Upcoming Trial in Texas: TABC v. Cajones

When accused of a crime, most people don’t mind if the charges get dismissed. Chris Nash, who was arrested in one of the recent Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission stings, is fortunately an exception to the rule. From the Dallas Observer:

“If they don’t let me challenge them, the dismissal doesn’t have any weight,” says Nash, who works as a systems engineer. “It allows them to duck and run. I want to confront my accusers.”

He claims to have an open-and-shut defense. On Saturday night, March 11, an undercover agent with the TABC tapped on Nash’s shoulder as he sat at the back of the Inwood Tavern with his girlfriend and a few others. At first, he thought the lady wanted the book of matches on his table. But she said she was with the state police and asked him to step outside. A second agent joined them.

As the suspected scofflaw was being questioned and videotaped, a cabbie that he knew circled around and asked him if he needed a ride. That footage would be exhibit A for the defense. Nash had taken a taxi to the tavern and planned to take one back. That was his new routine after he’d been arrested for drunk driving not long ago. Nash showed the agents that he didn’t even have his car keys on him, but he was unable to perform the sobriety test because, he said, he suffered from lower back pain.

It gets even better:

Between his defense and the aftermath of Monday’s hearing in Austin on the agency’s public intoxication arrests, Nash is worried that TABC will drop the case against him. So he and his attorney Lee Bright are researching their legal options to make sure they’ll have a chance, in essence, to humiliate their accusers in court. “I’ve talked to judges about it, and they’ve asked me why wouldn’t I want a criminal charge dismissed?” says Bright, who is representing Nash at cost, in part because of the principles involved in this case. “Don’t accuse somebody, don’t file charges and disrupt their life and when they want to defend themselves deny them a chance to confront their accuser.”

In what won’t be a shocker to anyone here, the article mentions that Nash leans politically in a libertarian direction. I don’t care what his politics are, he has the courage of our founding fathers and deserves our applause and support. I’d also like to see around 2200 civil proceedings filed against the state. Any greedy lawyers reading my rant?

Props to Michael Nelson.

6 Comments
  1. I just love the constitutional spin to this; “the right to face your accuser.”

    And gee, Stephen, what makes you think it’s not a surprise to us? That this guy is acting on principles… or that he knows other people who are as well?

  2. Ian — I just figured that this libertarian audience (as opposed to most political audiences) would equate “libertarian” with acting with principle.

  3. Julian,

    We agree again? Keep this up and we might get a lovefest going around here.

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