Houston Criminal Attorney
John T. Floyd




Governor’s Sacking of Commission’s Head Stalls Review of Junk Science Convictions

By:  Houston Criminal Attorney John Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair

The Texas Legislature created the Forensic Science Commission (“FSC”) in 2005 to investigate what the Texas Monthly called “scientific negligence and misconduct.” The legislature acted following the February 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham and the October 2004 decision by Pecos County District Attorney Ori White to free Ernest Willis from capital murder charges. Willingham and Willis had both been convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for murders they allegedly committed by setting fires to dwellings in which five people were killed—two women in Willis’ case and Willingham’s three young daughters. The forensic arson evidence used to convict both men was virtually identical. In fact, as Michael Hall wrote recently in Texas Monthly, these two condemned men had a lot in common:

“They were both country boys—Willis from New Mexico, Willingham from Oklahoma—who liked hunting, drinking, and carousing. Both were unemployed and living in small Texas towns when they were accused of setting fires that killed people (in Willingham’ case, his three small daughters in 1991). Both were convicted of capital murder on the basis of testimony of investigators who believed they had found evidence of arson. Both were sent to death row. Eventually both were vindicated by modern science, which determined that there was absolutely no evidence of arson in either case. The fires were almost certainly accidents.”

And both men were targeted as suspects by investigators because of their behavior immediately after the fires. According to neighbors who witnessed the Willingham fire, the father “crouched down” in his front yard and refused to make any effort to recuse his children despite pleas by the neighbors that he do so. Similarly, witnesses said Willis, who was high on pain killers and beer, looked distant as he impassively smoked cigarettes while watching the fire burn that killed the two women. This apparent lack of “proper” emotion and empathy for the people being burned alive was sufficient reason for investigators to manipulate the forensic evidence to change the fires from accidents into intentional acts of murder.

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Houston Criminal Attorney

John T. Floyd is an experienced criminal defense attorney practicing before all Federal and State Criminal Courts in Houston, Harris County, Texas.

Without an experienced criminal defense attorney, Houston can be one the most threatening and overwhelming cities to be targeted as a criminal suspect or, even worse, charged with a serious criminal offense.

Texas, has a nationally known reputation for the tough zero tolerance policy law enforcement has taken on criminal activity and the tough, no mercy, position the prosecutors and courts have taken against criminal defendants.  Harris County, Texas, is well known for the long prison sentences given to those convicted of serious crimes including violent, sexual, or financial crimes.  Houston, Harris County, Texas, has the world-wide, yet shameful, reputation for being number one when it comes to sending people to death-row. 

Unfortunately, the courts, the prosecutors and law enforcement on all levels have become jaded by this reputation and blinded in their ruthless zeal for enforcing the criminal laws.  They often investigate, accuse, prosecute, and convict innocent people, who for one reason or another were unfortunate enough to be caught in the cross hairs of justice.   Worse, most of them just don’t care.

For most people knowing they are the potential suspect of a criminal investigation can be the most trying and stressful of times. 

Are you worried about a request by the FBI, DEA, ICE, Houston Police or Harris County Sheriff, for an “interview?” Or, maybe you have been stopped while driving your automobile and searched, or even worse, arrested.  Maybe your business has been raided and federal agents have seized your business records and equipment.

You could be facing allegations in which you stand identified as a suspect in a serious violent or sexual crime?  Whatever criminal allegations you are facing, the John T. Floyd Law Firm is here to help.  

Whether you are confronted with serious criminal allegations of bank fraud, mortgage fraud or serious financial crimes in Federal Court or serious drug, violent or sexual crimes in the State Courts, John T. Floyd stands ready and able to defend you and demand that your rights, integrity and freedom are protected to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Do you know your rights? What will you do? What happens when you lose your freedom? What happens to your family and your reputation? What about your job?  You need an experienced Houston Criminal Defense Attorney.

You should know that what you do, what decisions you make, and how you choose to respond to this situation will affect the rest of your life.

I believe the Constitution of the United States was created to protect the people of this country from an often oppressive government, the entrenched criminal justice system, over zealous police and prosecutors, and laws imposed by the powerful. You must be careful and be assured that an aggressive and zealous Houston criminal attorney is on your side to make sure that your constitutional rights are respected and upheld. You can not withstand the weight and force of the system without a competent, caring, an experienced Houston criminal attorney.

In Harris County, the judge is not on your side. The Houston Police and Harris County District Attorney both represent the government and are your adversaries. The police are allowed to lie to you, to trick or scare you into consenting to their interviews or their searches of your private places, including your car, home or business.   Don’t allow it!  Get an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney.

“You don’t need a attorney if you didn’t do anything wrong, do you?”  Do not buy it.

“If you talk to us we will ask the prosecutor to go easy on you.”  A lie! 

These, and many other tricks, are court approved law enforcement tactics taught to police and investigators throughout this state and country.  You do not have to agree to a demand by law enforcement to search your property.  You do not have to talk to the police.  In fact, you should do neither.

When contacted by a law enforcement agent in Houston, Texas, immediately ask to speak to a Houston criminal defense attorney. Even if you want to cooperate and have nothing to hide, consult a criminal defense attorney first and demand that all interviews be done in the presence of your attorney, whose only interest is to protect you. 

Make sure your choice of attorney is an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney who has never been a prosecutor. A criminal defense attorney who believes in the fundamental concept of our judicial system that “all people are presumed innocent.” 

This is not the time to shop around for the lowest price or to save money.  Your future freedom and reputation are at stake.  My advice is that you immediately call several experienced attorneys and meet them in person.  Find a attorney with whom you are most comfortable and feel can best defend your interest, and prepare for the fight of your life.

If you are interested in discussing your case with an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney, one who will take the time to review and investigate your case and will fight the allegations all the way through trial and appeal, not a attorney who will just plea your case at the first setting, then contact Houston Criminal Defense Attorney John T. Floyd. 

If you have any further questions, or would like to discuss your case further, please contact a dedicated Houston Criminal Defense Attorney by phone at 713-224-0101 or by e-mail at jfloyd@JohnTFloyd.com

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