Tag Archives: change of venue

Change of venue? Sure, but move it far, far away

Amber Guyger is going to stand trial — possibly soon — for murder. The former Dallas police officer this past September allegedly walked into a Botham Jean’s apartment and shot him to death reportedly thinking she had entered her own apartment.

The case has riveted many residents of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, which makes a request for a change of venue so very interesting.

Guyger’s lawyers insist she cannot get a fair trial in Dallas County, where the case is set to be tried. They want a change of trial venue to a county other than Dallas County, citing “media hysteria” surrounding the case.

I am not going to argue for or against a change of venue. Indeed I can see why defendant’s legal counsel would want to change the trial location. However, the counsel should insist on moving it far away not just from Dallas County, but also from Collin County, Tarrant County, Rockwall County, Ellis County — or any part of the region served by the Dallas/Fort Worth media outlets that have been covering this case.

Send it to El Paso County, or to Orange County, or to Hidalgo County, or to Dallam County.

Yes, there is intense interest in this case.  A lot of the circumstances sound, shall we say, weird. Guyger was suspended at first from the Dallas Police Department and then was fired after she was indicted for murder in the death of Botham Jean, a native of St. Lucia who lived in an apartment on a separate floor from where Guyger resided.

Whatever the judge decides, my belief is that this case needs to go a lot farther away than just outside of Dallas County.

Change of venue? Sure thing … not!

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev thinks he can find a more impartial jury pool in a city other than Boston.

Sure thing, accused Boston Marathon bomber. Go for it. My hunch is that the man’s trial is staying put.


Tsarnaev is accused of detonating a bomb that exploded at the finish line of the world-renowned race. Surveillance videos captured images of him and his late brother moments before the blast as they were leaving a “package” near the blast site.

Jury selection in Boston has been delayed by many factors, including the horrendous weather that has all but buried the city under several feet of snow. Those delays apparently have given Tsarnaev’s legal team reason to seek a “Hail Mary” move to get the trial moved to another site.

Where, it is fair to ask, is there a place where residents don’t know about the bombing or haven’t formed an opinion on the incident?

The same question could be applied to, say, the change of venue that the judge granted for Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the federal office building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The government moved his trial to Denver, where he was convicted anyway. The jury sentenced him to death and McVeigh was executed for his crime.

Tsarnaev’s trial should remain in the city where the crime occurred. The court will seat a qualified jury eventually, once the city clears the mountains of snow off the streets.

Let the trial begin for Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial has begun.

In Boston.

Where it needs to occur.

The man accused of setting off the bomb at the end of the 2013 Boston Marathon had sought a change of venue. His lawyers contended he couldn’t get a fair trail in Boston, where everyone it seems knows something or someone associated with the horrific attack that killed three people and injured dozens more.

Look at the Timothy McVeigh bombing case, they said, noting that McVeigh — who blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995 — was tried in Denver, Colo. The Justice Department moved the case out of OKC because everyone there had an opinion on the tragedy.

Well, the Denver jury convicted McVeigh and then the federal government executed him.


There would be zero point in moving the trial out of Boston to some other location. The entire world knew of the bombing. Indeed, the Boston Marathon is an international event that draws competitors — and their entourages — from throughout the world.

The other point has been the plea-bargain deal. There had been negotiations for Tsarnaev to plead guilty to the crime and avoiding the death penalty. Although I oppose capital punishment on principle, I want this trial to proceed. I want to hear the evidence. I want to hear testimony.

Most of all I want Tsarnaev to explain precisely who was pictured in those security videos leaving a bag carrying a bomb near the finish line of the big race. If it wasn’t him and his brother — who died trying to escape — then who in the hell was it?

Tsarnaev innocence is presumed. His guilt will need to be determined. I feel comfortable in knowing that the federal judicial system will convict this individual.

Let it be in Boston, where he can look his victims — allegedly — in the eye.