Wednesday, January 20, 2016

TX: A Good Juror Candidate in Garland

Duc Quach picture from

There was an unusual shooting in Garland, Texas on 15 January, 2016 .  It involved an old girl friend, a home security system, and a warning phone call.  It seems the homeowner and the person he shot knew each other.  The person had been told to leave the property an hour earlier.  Then the homeowner received a phone call from the person's ex girlfriend, that he was returning, and was a threat. From
Tampered home surveillance equipment is the first sign that this was not an ordinary crime. Police say that and a warning phone call is what caused a homeowner to grab his gun and go outside.
So if someone is outside your home, doing damage to your security system, what do you do?  In this case the homeowner went outside.  A confrontation ensued, and the trespasser/vandal/attacker was shot and killed. A neighbor was asked by what they would do:
“I’d probably call the cops, you know what I mean. I don’t know if I’d go outside, but I don’t know the situation, so I can’t judge,” neighbor Duc Quach said.


 “Everybody has their rights. That’s why everybody has a gun, you know what I mean? He was protecting his family,” Quach said.
 Texas may be the foremost state for protecting the rights of residents who protect their property and their lives with deadly force.  But anywhere that I might be, Duc Quach is the sort of person who I want on a jury.  He knows enough that he does not have all the details, so he cannot judge.  He also knows that people have rights, and they have those rights for a reason.

Would Duc Quach be seated on a jury today?  Maybe.  I have had people  tell me that prosecutors and defense attorneys do not want people who are too knowledgeable or too smart on juries.

I want to believe that is an exaggeration.  In Texas, Duc is more likely to be on a Grand Jury.   Those juries are who prosecutors present cases to, to determine if there is enough evidence that a crime was committed to proceed with prosecution.  Jurors for grand juries are not usually run through as rigorous a jury selection, as those that are selected for a trial. 

When a jury tells a prosecutor that there is no case for prosecution, it is called a "No Bill" .  "No Bills" are very common in Texas defensive shootings.

This is not because Texas prosecutors are pushing for trials of people in self defense shootings.  It is standard operating procedure in Texas for all homicides to be put before a grand jury.

It is a comforting to think that Texas grand juries are likely to have a number of citizens like Duc Quach.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.  Link to Gun Watch

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