To Many John Wiley Price Supporters, Verdict Proves Prosecution Was Racist

To many Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price's supporters, his avoidance of a guilty verdict Friday not only vindicated him, but proved the prosecution was racist. "On our side of town, we are used to our freedom fighters being targeted for witch hunts," said one of Price's pastors, the Rev. Frederick Haynes III, of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Red Bird. "I'm excited and relieved and shocked that justice finally worked." For the past two decades, most of the federal public corruption prosecutions in Dallas targeted black politicians. Price's verdict came after the convictions of former state Rep. Terri Hodge and Dallas City Council members Al Lipscomb, Don Hill and James Fantroy. Lipscomb's case was overturned when an appellate court ruled his case never should have been moved from Dallas to Amarillo where he was convicted by an all-white jury. He died without ever being retried. Price, meanwhile, had three black jurors -- one man and two women -- deciding his fate. Prosecutors were clearly aware of Price's revered status as a civil rights hero. Even as they painted Price as greedy, they acknowledged the good he had done in boosting the hiring of minority contractors and pushing overhauls of the county jail and hospital.   Continue reading...

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