A new law swept into the Waco, Texas judiciary yesterday that has top officials frantically typing into Google search engines “what is the First Amendment.”
After a year, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that the lower appeal’s court decision was correct and that the gag order had to be lifted. The gag order prevented those involved in the case from commenting about it. Rarely do you see that in the law. Did you see that in the O.J. Simpson case? Of course not!
District Attorney Abel Reyna sought the gag order after his office and Sgt. Swanton used their fifteen minutes of fame spewing out wrong information in their favor.
The weeks after the incident at Twin Peaks in Waco, you couldn’t turn on the television without seeing Swanton at a press conference making up the facts as he went along. But, once those arrested went public, the District Attorney ran into court seeking small town justice, but alas, the law does extend beyond the borders of Waco; a fact that now has them rethinking their strategies or lack thereof.
The opinion written by Justice Cheryl Johnson simple read- “We deny mandamus relief and withdraw our order staying the proceedings.”
The gag order was initially entered by McLennan County State District Judge Matt Johnson and was later overturned by the Tenth Court of Appeals.
In the coming weeks it will be interesting to see what the motorcycle club members have to say and if District Attorney Reyna and the Waco Police Department have anything else to say. The gag order being vacated doesn’t mean they have to talk, but if I were Swanton or Reyna, I would keep quiet at this point, a strategy that seems they have implemented.
When you are in a hole, stop digging.