DeLay: Trial in Liberal City Unfair.

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Tom DeLay.jpgFormer U.S. House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay (R) of Texas, is scheduled to stand trial in Austin, Texas. The charge states he illegally sent $190,000 in corporate money through the RNC (Republican National Committee) to help elect GOP Texas legislative candidates in 2002.

DeLay is asking the court for a change of venue, (place where trial will occur) from Austin to his home County where he served as Congressman. DeLay said, "I doubt I can get a fair trial here in Travis County. I think I'm more hated in Travis County than any other politician." He called Austin the "last bastion of liberalism" in the Republican-leaning state. Tom DeLay's request raises serious issues if the court honors his request for a change of venue to a place where jurors will be more favorable to him on political grounds.

When a movie actor is charged for statutory rape in Arizona, should the courts honor the actor's request to be tried in Hollywood, Ca. where the jury pool would be more sympathetic to the actor's plight? Should all politicians indicted for crimes be allowed to pick and choose the voting district where the jurors are more likely to have voted for the politician? If one commits a crime, should their politics be a factor at all?

These are tough questions in a society that revolves around political warfare between the two major Parties, and friends and associates are chosen or rejected by many on the basis of what Party they belong to or sympathize with. Isn't justice supposed to be blind to such issues? Whether or not it is supposed to be, Tom DeLay clearly believes justice is not blind to politics and he wants to take advantage of that.

Tom DeLay's request assumes that Americans in Austin and his home County are prejudiced along political lines and he cannot, therefore get a fair trial in Austin, and can received favored treatment in his conservative home county, Fort Bend, North of Houston. Is Tom DeLay's assumption correct? And if so, what does that say about America, and its people, and its judicial and justice systems?

Most people would agree that a murderer's or rapist's politics would have no meaning to a jury hearing the facts of the defendant's case in most places in America. Why should it be different in a case of money laundering for Tom DeLay? Is there a threshold of severity of the crime that has to be reached before politics no longer becomes a factor?

These questions are not easily answered. What about a white man in Mississippi charged with the murder of a black man? Can this defendant get a fair trial in a predominantly white County of Mississippi? How about a predominantly Black County in Mississippi? Should a judge be blind to such considerations in determining where a defendant should be tried, or, should a judge take such considerations into account when trying a white person for murder of a black person?

If a judge should take such considerations into account, then what is to stop a judge from allowing their own politics to determine where Tom DeLay is to be tried? Is that just? Judges routinely instruct the jury that their decision is to be based solely on the facts of the case presented to them. Don't judges have the same obligation in determining where the case is to be tried? Should politics even enter into the decision of a judge as to where the case should be tried?

Winston Churchill once said: "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." It is this writer's opinion that Tom DeLay's request should be denied.

There is nothing perfect about America's judicial and justice system, but, it is the best system ever devised, even with its flaws. If in a judge's opinion, a defendant will not likely receive a fair and impartial decision by the jurors in one location, that judge has an obligation to consider another place where that defendant can be more assured of a fair and impartial decision by the jurors.

However, Tom DeLay's request is not to be tried where he is likely to receive a fair and impartial decision. His request is to be tried where he is likely to receive a biased and politically prejudiced decision in his favor; his home County where voters overwhelming elected him, again and again. Like many politicians, Tom DeLay is not concerned with fairness or justice. He is concerned with twisting events to his own personal advantage. He does not seek fairness in his trial as sought by the founding principles of our nation. He seeks partiality and bias from our justice system, in his favor.

There are Counties in Texas that are more balanced on the liberal/conservative numbers, and who have less or no personal experience with Tom DeLay. It seems to this writer, that if the judge is to change the venue for the trial, that judge has an obligation to choose just such a place, in order to best assure a fair and impartial decision by a jury.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on August 25, 2010 3:29 PM.

Ted Stevens: His Time is Done. was the previous entry in this blog.

Divided GOP: Failing America is the next entry in this blog.

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