What If A Texas Judge Cleaned Guns During Jury Selection?

cleaning gunsAnthony Haynes was only 19.  An African American with no prior criminal record, he was under the influence of crystal meth and mental health problems when he killed an off-duty police officer in Houston, Texas in May 1998.

At jury selection for his trial, the judge cleaned guns while African Americans were peremptorily removed from the jury pool.  What kind of message did that send?

A jury with 11 white members convicted Haynes. His defense lawyer then made little effort to stave off a death sentence – witnesses who could have testified that Anthony Haynes’ crime was totally out of character were not called.  The jury heard nothing about this, or about Haynes’ mental health issues, and promptly sentenced him to die.

Since his death sentence was handed down in 1999, Anthony Haynes has been a model prisoner, disproving the jury’s conclusion that he would be a continuing threat to society (a requirement in Texas for passing a death sentence).

Yet Texas has scheduled Anthony Haynes for execution anyway, on October 18. The neglectful way that racial bias was allowed to seep into this case, and indifference of all concerned (including, first, his defense, and then the courts that thought it was ok for a judge to clean guns in front of potential jurors) are all too typical of death penalty cases.

A system that cavalier toward matters of life and death should be stripped of its power to impose the ultimate penalty.  If Texas authorities want to show that they do take capital cases seriously, they can start by granting clemency to Anthony Haynes.

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26 thoughts on “What If A Texas Judge Cleaned Guns During Jury Selection?

  1. Number 1 – there was atleast 1 african American on the unanamous jury (of course you conveniently left that out SHOCKING that you would purposefully do such a thing). Number 2 – The man is guilty beyond any doubt. Number 3 – neither you or anyone can show any bias/prejudice on the part of the GASP "white" jury. Number 4 – stop judging people (juries included) by the color of the skin. Even the "cleaning the guns" story should be elaborated to paint a more honest and truthful picture of what really went on to include how it had zero impact on the results of the trial and countless appeals.

  2. I concur with Brian. The race card cannot be played in this case because there is no prejudice that can clearly be established. AIUSA does not need to discuss that he had no prior record nor that he was on crystal meth either. Can we excuse a domestic violence perpetrator on the basis he was under the influence of alcohol? AIUSA continues to make excuses for murderers without providing any solutions to this dillemma other than LWOP. Take out your checkbook then to equalize my tax burden…

    • I am so very happy people down – mark my remarks. This means I am touching on some nerves here and perhaps making people think that AIUSA provides empty rhetoric and no substance in terms of providing any solutions. LWOP is costly and the only result is an overcowded prison full of murderers, who but away, will need to be segregated or put in solitary confinement due to their propensities. IAIUSA being for LWOP and at the same time arguing against solitary confinement (another cause discussed in another post) for dangerous prisoners is yet another illogical conclusion that would not withstand objective analysis.

  3. Stubby – seek help now. When you have calmed down and done a little unbiased research and analysis into this particular case and care to debate (like a mature adult) the specific arguments Mr. Brian Evans has tossed out in this blog – I will be happy to have an adult like discussion with you. Now — BREATH feel better???

  4. I take it from your post you are not interested in debating the "issues" raised in this blog. Please tell me where I sign up to administer the cocktail for the next convicted of brutally raping and murdering a child or shooting a cop point blank in the face while his terrified wife was sitting in the passenger seat of the off-duty police officers car right behind them.

  5. What States are using a Garrotte or Penknife? I already have a full-time job, school, family and other part-time employment — I dont think i'll be taking any civil service exams or applying any time soon for that worthy and honorable law enforcement profession – but if any States ever need a volunteer I'll be sure to sign up.

  6. Thank you TR! People get a better sense of "the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth" – when there is no spin, no purposeful deletion or distortion.

  7. There is a way to block the IP address of "Julia" and so I urge AIUSA to do so immediately….

  8. I am so very happy people down – mark my remarks. This means I am touching on some nerves here and perhaps making people think that AIUSA provides empty rhetoric and no substance in terms of providing any solutions.