Lawmakers vow change after Blomberg verdict

May 25, 2012 3:36:09 PM PDT
Texas Congressman Al Green says he wants the way jurors are chosen to change after the controversial acquittal of former HPD Officer Andrew Blomberg.

Blomberg was found not guilty earlier this month in the beating of teenage burglary suspect Chad Holley, but the fact that the jury was all white has many calling for a change.

Local lawmakers told us Harris County is too diverse to have a one-race jury in any trial and they're they are appealing to state and federal agencies to review what happened.

"I do not support unchallenged one-race juries in Harris County," said Congressman Al Green outside the federal courthouse downtown on Friday.

That's the message Congressman Green and other elected officials gave during the press conference. Each member of the group says it's concerned over how the first of four trials involving this videotaped beating of Holley was handled.

"In Harris County, achieving a one-race jury trial in the Chad Holley case shocks the conscious," said Green.

Congressman Green announced he met with members of the Department of Justice last week, asking them to review circumstances over how the Holley arrest was tried. That meeting, just days after the all-white Harris County jury found former HPD Officer Andrew Blomberg not guilty of official oppression for kicking the teen burglary suspect two times.

"We live in a world where it is not enough for things to be right," said Green. "They must also look right."

Other politicians are now criticizing the District Attorney's office for failing to challenge the jury selection process in a county with over 2.5 million minorities. Last week, DA Pat Lykos told Eyewitness News the initial pool had more than 60 prospective jurors, which was then cut to 19.

Lykos told us there was nothing they could do when the defense struck two black jurors for cause.

"I will tell the DA I don't want a 75-person panel," said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. "I want a 300-person panel."

The DA's office has not yet responded to our request for comment about Friday's news conference.


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