An insider's view of what is really happening in the Harris County Criminal Courts
The media coverage in the Holley matter no doubt created a presumption for juror prejudice. After the United States Supreme Court decision in Skilling v. United States, however, a Harris County defendant's burden to demonstrate that juror exposure to news accounts deprived one of due process is virtually insurmountable. Even with the unkind and at times arguably prejudicial media attention and information, with the large and diverse pool of residents in a county with the Nation's fourth most populous city eligible for jury service and the reduction in the decibel level of media attention since the alleged crime, the appellate court(s), if there is a conviction, will ultimately have to examine how carefully and fully the trial court conducted voir dire. (Statisically does not bode well for any defendant). In passing, though, a change of venue might have been prudent here because of a different reason.Calvin A. Hartmann
Prosecutors mouth off in the news all the time. Just because it happened to a cop this time doesn't mean the venue should have been changed. Rage
The jury is going to see that tape lots of times. And, the defense may be able to spin it. If they're planning on spinning it, they're going to have to show it a lot of times too.They might be better off if it's not a shock to jurors who hadn't seen it. And, they can probably bust a bunch of venire if they ask about seeing the tape and having made up their minds.
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