Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom “The Hammer” DeLay wants to move his corruption trial out of Travis County because, his lawyer says, the county is too “liberal” and DeLay cannot get a fair trial.
Where does The Hammer want to stand trial? In his home county, Fort Bend.
So, DeLay wants to trade one jury pool’s potential bias in favor of another jury pool’s bias. He wants to swing the pendulum potentially in his favor. Ponder that for a moment.
Justice isn’t supposed to swing in either direction. It’s supposed to be administered without bias or prejudice — for either side.
DeLay has been accused in Travis County of money laundering in connection with the use of campaign cash. He left Congress in 2006 and is set to stand trial beginning Oct. 26.
His change of venue request, which has been denied, really is laughable.
Consider the size of Travis County. It is home to nearly 1 million people, roughly half of whom are eligible to serve on a trial jury. Is The Hammer’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, asking us to believe that no one in that vast pool of potential jurors can pass judgment without regard to DeLay’s or their own political leaning? Give me a break.
Yes, Travis County is a “liberal” county, but it isn’t unanimously so. Not everyone there marches to the same political cadence.
As for Fort Bend County, the jury pool there is roughly half the size of the Travis County pool, which means lawyers are less likely to find jurors who aren’t favorably disposed to DeLay’s plight. Is that fair to the state that will prosecute DeLay for the allegations leveled against him?
Senior State District Judge Pat Senior, to his credit, has denied DeLay’s change of venue request. So, he and the lawyers will have find 12 competent jurors to determine DeLay’s fate. It might take a tad longer than normal to find 12 people who aren’t biased — one way or the other. But let them take all the time they need.