Monday, March 30, 2009

A prosecutor responds

In light of the Batson incident in Harris County that I blogged about last week, I decided to give the prosecutors in question a chance to respond to the allegations.

I sent one request to Mr. Rifi Newaz directly and another to the other prosecutor through a third party. I let both prosecutors know that I would run their responses unedited. I received a response from Mr. Newaz but I have yet to receive a response from the other prosecutor.

Mr. Newaz writes:

"We didn't strike anybody based on race."


EsqVoz said...

Honestly, I believe Rifi. I believe that Rifi took the suggestions of his chief and supervisor, Mark Donnelly. Unfortunately, those suggestions were detrimental to both of them. I find it hard to believe that they did not notice they struck every single Black person on the jury. They used such a large percent of their strikes. I'm still unclear. If the strikes were not race-based, then how did every Black person coincidentally fit into their race neutral reason. What was it about the Blacks that did not adhere to the White people the prosecutors found fit for jury duty. I am not trying to be antagonistic, I just truly do not understand how they unknowingly managed to strike ALL of the Blacks, particularly with a Black defendant. I'm also curious as to whether they feel that Blacks are more lenient and, thus, contra the prosecution. Through all of this wondering, I still like Rifi and I pray he is okay through all of this. My prayers are with you, Rifi. I'm so sorry this happened to you.

Paul B. Kennedy said...

Thank you for the comment.

I, too, find it hard to believe that they did not notice they used their strikes on the black jurors.

Having said that, I have had cases with Rifi and I find him a very able attorney and I hope he can put this behind him.