By proclamation of our dear leader, the fair-haired one, Governor Rick Perry, the week of April 10-16, 2011 is "The Defendant's Not Deserving of a Fair Trial Week."
The state has the right to notice of certain items as well as the right to demand a trial by jury.
The complaining witness (the alleged victim) has no rights in criminal court. The complaining witness is not a party to the litigation.This notion that "victims" have rights assumes that a crime was committed and is used as a front for attacking the Bill of Rights and a criminal defendant's due process rights.
Up in Montgomery County they take that notion to an extreme with a banner across the courthouse entrance and a "Crime Victim Memorial Wall" in the courthouse. Nothing like walking a jury passed those displays and then expecting them to sit in judgment of another without being influenced by it.
When a person sits at the defense table facing a jury of his peers, he deserves a jury that is going to make its decision solely on the facts of his case, not a jury that's going to base its decision on the fact that someone thinks a message must be sent or that a statement must be made.
Now I'm sure there are plenty of folks who don't see the problem with these proclamations and displays - and I understand that attitude. After all, most of us will never set foot in a courtroom accused by the state of committing a criminal act. But in the event that someone you know finds himself or herself in that position, would you want a jury who would presume them innocent unless proven guilty or a jury that was exposed to pro-prosecution propaganda on the way into the courthouse?
That's the real issue here.