Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jury Suggestion

I'm going to have to read the Austin paper a little more often, it's chock full o' goodies. Like this little gem, where a judge doesn't particularly mind the fact that a juror personally contacted the son of the murder victim in he case in which he's serving as a juror. Now, that's a fairly clear violation of the Jury Charge, but everyone seems to be looking the other way.

The juror says: "I was convinced by that conversation that the defendant should get life in prison and not be sentenced to death."

The judge says: "Instructions schminstructions, I see no problem here."

Bonus: In Harris County the state would be kicking and screaming about this, because they couldn't give the guy the needle.

No matter who came out better, the fact is that personal conversations with witnesses, the son of a murder victim no less, was highly improper. What is it with Austin sentencing hearings? From prosecutors hiding witnesses to jurors talking to witnesses, they just can't seem to get it right.

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