Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Travis County Follies [link]

Now we learn that Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle got a "no bill" of indictment against Tom DeLay from a second grand jury. So, rather than give up on the case, he enpaneled yet a THIRD grand jury and they issued an indictment.

I worked as an assistant county prosecutor in Delaware County, Ohio for ten months in 1999 and 2000. One of my jobs was to present cases to the grand jury. We used our grand jury as an investigative tool...we had all witnesses, favorable to the prosecution and favorable to the defense, testify. This made it slightly harder to get an indictment, but it was worth the extra effort.

Let's face it, if I could not get a 9 to 0, an 8 to 1, or a 7 to 2 vote in favor of indictment (when there is no one defending the defendant), then the case is never going to win at trial. Indeed, anything less than a unanimous 9 to 0 vote was a sign that the case had serious trouble. We would never take a case to trial if it was anything less than a 9 to 0 vote.

So here we have Ronnie Earle who forms a special grand jury to indict Tom DeLay. I don't know whether he presented witnesses favorable to DeLay or not (but I would guess not) and that grand jury issues a "no bill" of indictment. This is not good enough for Earle who has yet another grand jury formed. Earle says that new evidence cropped up over the weekend. Really? This case has been going on for over two years...what new evidence is going to crop up?

This is looking more and more like a witch hunt. And Earle is becoming an embarrassment. My guess is that he is going to try and stretch this case out so that the public will get use to the idea of DeLay being under indictment. But, if DeLay's attorney's are halfway decent, they will force Earle to go ahead with the prosecution of this case. If it blows up in Earle's face (as I expect it will), DeLay will come out looking like the victim of a massive injustice and will return to power with his reputation restored.


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