Amber Guyger Can Get a Fair Trial in Dallas and This Is Where She Should Be Tried

As Americans and Texans, we must believe in the rule of law, that justice can be impartial, that a jury of citizens can put aside personal concerns and render a fair and just verdict.It is our faith in this outcome that leads us to urge State District Judge Tammy Kemp to keep the upcoming murder trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger in a Dallas courtroom. Guyger, 30, killed Botham Jean on Sept. 6 inside his apartment when she was off duty but still in uniform. Authorities said she mistook his apartment for her own, and she has said his door was unlocked and she thought Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, was a burglar. Guyger's attorneys have requested that the trial be moved to Collin, Grayson, Kaufman, Ellis, Rockwall or Fannin County on the grounds that “media hysteria” surrounding the fatal shooting would make a fair trial impossible in Dallas. In court filings, they described publicity surrounding this case as “prejudicial and inflammatory,” citing comments by local officials, and widespread news coverage.We disagree that a fair trial is impossible. The standard is not whether a potential juror has heard about the case, but whether jurors of good will can put aside what they might have heard and assess the merits of the evidence and testimony presented in the courtroom. A subtext of this case, race and attitudes toward police, can’t be ignored, but they certainly can be mitigated. This isn’t a trial about broad grievances; it is an effort to determine what happened in that apartment building.   Continue reading...

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