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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Equal Justice in Houston? Religious prejudice in DA's office While DA Sends Friends Videos of Women Being Stripped

Photo: Lakewood church members: Houston DA's office says they are "Not acceptable" as jurors. If ordinary Christians aren't safe from such nonsense, who is?

America is supposed to be about EQUAL Justice. Our founding fathers wrote a Constitution based on "All men are created equal" based on "the rule of law" instead of a monarch's whim.

Our District Attorney's office is in charge of applying the rule of law equally, no matter if the defendant is an Asian, Hispanic, African American or White, man or woman, an atheist or church-attending person charged with an offense.

But if the person in charge of that department has finds photos that degrade women or minorities humorous, it casts a huge shadow of doubt on the legitimacy justice received by nearly 4 million people in the Houston area.

If it is also common policy by that same DA department to strike potential jurors on the basis that they attend a particular church, even an ordinary one like Lakewood Church, all verdicts in those cases also come into question.

On what basis is church membership a legitimate reason to strike jurors in capital cases? Do you want to be a defendant in a criminal justice system in which the District Attorney who thinks pictures of people laying on the street in dire straits are funny?

How many females who have been raped are going to appreciate their case being served by system in which the chief legal officer thinks it would be funny to see their blouses ripped off by some stranger?

The integrity of the Houston District Attorney's office has been destroyed by the revelations of the type of "joke" emails and videos Chuck Rosenthal likes. If the DA likes to watch porn, how can his office bust others for doing the same? Where is the equal justice in that?

Replacing him with a prosecutor who saw nothing wrong with cutting Lakewood Church members from juries would do nothing to enhance their current image.

Until then, we cannot hold ourselves up to the world in places like Iraq as a true American model of providing unbiased equal justice for our citizens.

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