Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pete V. Domenici U.S. Courthouse???

What’s wrong with this picture?

Observers Say Jury Must Take its Time
By Kate Nash
Tribune Reporter
May 22, 2006
Outside the sixth-floor courtroom at the Pete V. Domenici U.S. Courthouse in Downtown, two flats of Diet Coke and bottled water sat waiting alongside a bag of styrofoam cups and a container of coffee creamer - fuel for the jury set to return to work this afternoon in the corruption trial of former State Treasurer Robert Vigil….
This is not the Pete V. Domenici U.S. Courthouse, but it is the old federal courthouse at Fifth Street and Gold Ave., where the former New Mexico State Treasurer Robert Vigil’s corruption trial came to a halt in a mistrial when the jury could not come to an agreement on any of the 24 counts left after the weeks long trial.

This is the Pete V. Domenici U.S. Courthouse on Lomas Blvd. between Second and Third Streets.

So if a senior political reporter of the second major newspaper of the largest city in the state can’t get the right name of the courthouse, what else did she not get right in her reporting?

The Tribune, along with other news outlets, banged the drum of guilt, before the trial, very hard. Now that the federal government has failed to obtain a conviction, what does it say about pre-trial publicity?

It seems a single juror held out for acquittal, frustrating other members of the panel. Some have tried to blame the holdout as being unreasonable and closed minded. I learned a long time ago that you don't second guess the outcome of jury trials or predict Supreme Court decisions. If you do you often will be surprised by the outcome and even more amazed at their reasoning. It is also the beauty of the jury system; 12 people with different backgrounds, histories and experiences having to unanimously agree on charges. The test is very high; beyond a reasonable doubt.

The U.S. Attorney has the right to retry the case if he wishes, however, that decision has to be made based on a careful and complete analysis.

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