January 03, 2009
RIP, Sharon Levine

Sharon Levine, who was a Houston defense attorney that played a key role in the ultimate downfall of former Harris County DA Chuck Rosenthal, has died at the far too young age of 38, from Hodgkins' disease. Defense attorney Paul Kennedy fills in the details.

Ms. Levine represented one of the Ibarra brothers who were arrested for videotaping a police raid on a house in their neighborhood. Believing that her client had been arrested without cause, Ms. Levine took the matter to trial - twice. After the first trial ended in a hung jury, the state offered a $1 fine in exchange for a guilty plea. Again Ms. Levine and Mr. Ibarra declined and set the matter for trial.

The jury in the second trial found Mr. Ibarra not guilty. That verdict set the stage for the civil rights suit filed by the Ibarra's against Harris County. The judge in that matter ordered then-D.A. Chuck Rosenthal to turn over e-mails to the Ibarras. After defying the court's order, Mr. Rosenthal was forced to resign from office earlier this year.

The toppling of the Rosenthal regime was the result of Ms. Levine's tireless devotion to her client in a fairly meaningless (except for Mr. Ibarra and his family) case.

The rest you know, but the history of her representation of the Ibarra brothers was something I hadn't known. It's amazing what can happen when one refuses to accept an injustice, isn't it? My sincere condolences to Sharon Levine's family and friends. She made a difference in her lifetime, and that's more than most of us get to say. Thanks to Mark Bennett for the link.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 03, 2009 to Crime and Punishment
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