On March 25, Texas prosecutors lost an irreplaceable ally with the death of State Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Paul. Those of us fortunate enough to count him as a friend lost something even more significant. Matthew’s unique combination of brilliance, humility, fairness, warmth, and humor will be sorely missed by his friends and family.
On April 17, the Harris County Commissioner’s Court presented a proclamation to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Division recognizing its 30th anniversary. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett presented the proclamation to Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal and Division Director Amy Smith. Also on hand to celebrate this milestone were former Harris County District Attorney Carol Vance and first Division Director Suzanne McDanie.
At the 2007 Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse (TxCVC) conference in Austin, Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley received the 2007 Danny Hill Award as an outstanding prosecutor upholding victims’ rights. The award is presented each year to a prosecutor who shows special attention to the needs of victims of crime.
During the presentation, Raven Kazen, director of victim services for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice highlighted Bradley’s work as President of the Board of Directors for the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center and his constant sensitivity to victims’ needs. Bradley also has recently created a parole protest task force to provide key information to the parole board for the denial of early release of inmates who have been convicted of and sentenced for violent crimes. (See page 20 for an article on that task force.)
Our own Clay Abbott, TDCAA’s DWI resource prosecutor, was recently honored by both the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and by the National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators (NAPC) for his work on behalf of traffic safety.
As you may know, Abbott travels all over the state (and indeed the country) to train officers and prosecutors how to properly investigate and try intoxication offenses to keep our roads safer. Congratulations on these two honors!
Editor’s note: The TDCAF continues to receive gifts in memory of our great friend, the late State’s Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Paul. We are honored to accept gifts in his name from the people listed below:
The Honorable Larry Gist
The Honorable W.C. “Bud” Kirkendall
We would also like to share a letter from Crawford Long, an assistant prosecutor in McLennan County, who superbly sums up why we all miss Matthew:
Matthew Paul was an exceptionally talented person and public servant. I have sought his advice and counsel on many occasions and always found him to be generous with his time and willing to help us with our legal issues. In addition to his professional advice, I appreciated his personal kindness as well. A few days after I argued a capital murder case before the Court of Criminal Appeals, my district attorney showed me a letter that Matthew had written to him complimenting my argument to the court. I have a copy of that letter which I keep and treasure. Those of us who knew him and worked with him feel the loss at the same time we recognize the skill, dedication, and kindness with which he enhanced our profession.
The newest addition to the TDCAA staff is Jennifer Matney, our meeting planner, who joined the association in late August—just in time to finish tying up loose ends for the Annual Criminal and Civil Law Update. Jen hit the ground running and was a gloriously calm, collected presence during the craziest season of TDCAA’s year. She even graciously agreed to join an amateur volleyball league with several association staffers, and her obvious skills put the rest of us to shame. She has fit seamlessly into the office.