Wednesday, October 05, 2005

new era of juror selection not to be delayed

Based on this morning's Houston Chronicle, I'm guessing that in addition to asking about religious beliefs and other things jury experts like to know, potential jurors in a trial against Tom DeLay will be interrogated about their political party affiliation and voting record. After reporting DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin's accusation that the indictments against DeLay are baseless and politically motivated, the paper obtained a list of grand jurors along with enough voting record information to note that 7 of the 12 grand jurors voted in Democratic primaries.

Earle has indicated that the initial grand jury only found he had enough evidence to indict on conspiracy charges, but not for the new indictment issued Monday. Earle seated a new grand jury, whose political affiliation make-up is most certain to be scrutinized, on Monday to review new evidence he obtained over the week-end. Earle's declined to provide any additional information at the moment, but one can speculate the source based on the froth coming from DeGuerin's mouth
DeGuerin criticized Earle at a Houston news conference, accusing him of offering "a sweet deal" to DeLay's co-defendants, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, to get them to testify against his client.

Ellis' lawyer, J.D. Pauerstein, of San Antonio, said prosecutors made offers but they were inadequate.

"I didn't perceive anything they offered as acceptable, let alone sweet. They were talking in terms of wanting to put these poor guys in jail," Pauerstein said. [Houston Chronicle]

This is not the first time DeLay has been on the receiving end of ethics charges (heck it's not the second, or third or . . .) and it's far from the only current investigation in which the senator has been implicated. Between Abramoff's penchant for bragging (I wonder how well he sings) and the British authorities now involved and questioning Maggy Thatcher, only a megalomaniac would be conducting business as usual.

If Earle (and any other potential prosecutor) really has the goods on DeLay I fully expect his dream team to seat a bunch of poor, put-upon Republicans to ensure for jury nullification ala OJ.

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