Harris County DA's Office, or Amway Sales Contest HQ?

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A no-doubt-disgruntled source has sent an internal memo from the DA's office to Mark Bennett, who writes the popular Defending People blog.

The memo is to newbie prosecutors and offers a variety of games to encourage them to go to trial in cases.

Examples: The first prosecutor to try ten DWI jury trials this year gets to assist a senior prosecutor in an intoxicated manslaughter DWI case; the first to try 12 jury trials will get to assist on a murder case, and --- wait for it -- a prosecutor who completes three jury trials in a week gets an afternoon off to do "lunch, movie, [or] bowling" with colleagues.

Second prize, we guess, is a set of steak knives.

Bennett, quite rightly, wonders how the contests will affect prosecutors' decisions as to whether to accept a plea deal or go to trial.

He notes that the memo, from John Jordan, closes with "And it goes without saying, what we do is always about justice."

"I love that right at the end John stuck in that nod toward justice, which 'goes without saying,'" Bennett says. "It's almost like he knew I'd be giving him hell for turning what should be a very serious matter of freedom, future and reputation into a fratboy game for 25-year-olds to play to get Friday afternoons off."

We've asked the DA's office for comment; we'll let you know if they have anything to say.

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