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Anyone wanna bet that this case ends up in a mistrial?

A Dallas County judge ruled Thursday that Dallas County prosecutors unfairly struck minorities in seating an all-white jury to decide the fate of a black man facing the death penalty.

State District Judge Mike Snipes ordered that a black man that prosecutors bumped be placed back on the jury.

So now we have to have a jury that “looks like America”.  ‘Course, if this turns out to be anything like the Zoe Baird fiasco, the wheels of justice in Dall-ass County are about to come grinding to an extremely noisy halt.

The judge’s decision is rich with irony.

Dallas County prosecutors have historically and notoriously struck jurors because of race. The district attorney’s office of decades past even sent out memos ordering prosecutors to not pick jurors because of their race.

But now Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins is the first elected black DA in the state. The lead prosecutor in the case, David Alex, is also black. The defense attorneys, Brad Lollar and Doug Parks, are white. So is the judge.

Hmmm.  Given Watkins’ penchant for using DNA to get all his homies off scot-free, one wonders if the jackass will work as hard for conviction as he would for a cracker, hm?

“David Alex [Lead prosecutor -DV] and all the attorneys that picked that jury were not thinking about race,” Watkins said. “We have an element of race in our system. It’s played a role before. That doesn’t mean it’s played a role today.”

Last month, the DA’s office added to its employee handbook a section about race and jury selection. Prosecutors were told that if a challenge based on jury selection was upheld, there would be an internal investigation.

Watkins said jury selection in the Broadnax case would also be investigated. But Watkins added he doubted there would be a problem because Snipes did not find fault with the DA’s office and because prosecutors had already examined the decisions.

But Katy-bar-the-door if it were Watkins’ predecessor – who just happened to be white.  They’d have to pull Sharpton, Jesse and  Bambi down here to protest that!

Alex said that prosecutors had valid reasons for dismissing him.

“We would be putting him on because of his race,” Alex said during the hearing. He said that seating the juror would tell white jurors “we don’t trust you because you’re white.”

That’s what the black community thinks already, Mr. Alex.  Didn’t you get the memo?

Count on a few hundred thousand dollars wasted on this case when the mistrial is called.

1 Comment to “Justice, colorblind?  Not here it ain’t”

  1. Alan K. Henderson — August 3, 2009 @ 4:46 am

    I wish they’d reported why the other black jurors were struck, instead of that one who opposed the death penalty.

    I was a Dallas County juror last year. Under threat of penalty and fine, the county said I gotts be – Dallas Juror Number Nine…

    One thing I know about jury selection: the first twelve people who don’t get struck get picked for the jury. Perhaps jury selection is different for death penalty cases; I have no idea.

    The case I sat in on was pretty serious: assault with a deadly weapon, the weapon in question being a maroon Buick. Verdict guilty, sentenced to thirty years. Skipping the details, one could argue that the assault was accidental, but leaving the scene was not.

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