History And Memory
Source: The Aging Rebel
History And Memory
Yesterday, as even The Washington Post quickly discovered. McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson threw up his hands, dismissed all the pending charges that lingered, stinking, from the Twin Peaks Mass Murder, like corpses rotting in the Texas sun, and declared it was time to “end this nightmare that we have been dealing with in this county since May 17, 2015.”
He did not say who he meant by “we.”
“There were nine people who were killed on that fateful day in Waco, Texas, and 20 injured, all of whom were members of rival motorcycle clubs/gangs, and the loss of life is a difficult thing. But after looking over the 24 cases we were left with, it is my opinion as your district attorney that we are not able to prosecute any of those cases and reach our burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
At least Johnson refrained from declaring “Let the healing begin!”
A few hours later, Dallas attorney Clint Broden, who represented five criminal defendants after the mass murder, issued a statement about Johnson’s decision. Arguably, Broden was the most visible defense attorney during the first three years of the legal fiasco that followed the bloodshed. His words yesterday were more pointed than the Waco politician’s.
“Today the new District Attorney of McLennan County announced that all the remaining criminal cases would all be dismissed.
“We are, of course, pleased with the actions of the new District Attorney Barry Johnson and applaud him for his efforts. On the other hand, the fact that this case is going on four years is a true miscarriage of justice. Many lives of those falsely accused were irreparably damaged by former District Attorney Abel Reyna not to mention the victims and their families who were denied justice from those actually responsible.
“The actions of Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson should also never be excused. He set identical $1million dollar bonds and more than 170 people spent three or more weeks in jail, losing jobs, homes and families, for charges that were ultimately dismissed.
“In addition, it is hoped that members of the news media learned a lesson. While certainly not all members of the news media, and reporters for the Waco Tribune-Herald are truly an exception, in the beginning days of this tragedy the news media drank the kool-aid of roving biker gangs that Patrick Swanton, Waco Police spokesman, peddled only to ultimately find out that this narrative was false and that many innocent people were falsely arrested.
“In the end, my clients are certainly relieved but the anger from the false arrests will never go away.”