A Better East Texas: Guest Commentary

This week's segment is an opposing view from Stephen Brewerton on the dispute between the Smith County District Attorney and Woods County District Attorney.

I support Jim Wheeler in his efforts before the Court of Appeals in the case of the alleged "Mineola sex ring." Why this concentration on the rights of criminal defendants accused of such a heinous crime? Why focus on the liberty interests of common criminals rather than on the safety of citizens? Benjamin Franklin once said, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

On his web site, Mat Bingham states personal opinion not rooted in Texas law or the Constitution stating: "The Smith County District Attorney's Office is dedicated to the vigorous prosecution of those who commit crimes within our county." Pat Stacey quotes Mr. Bingham as if Texas law supported his assertion.

On his web site, Jim Wheeler quotes Texas Law stating "It shall be the primary duty of all prosecuting attorneys not to convict, but to see that justice is done. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. 2.01." Moreover, where this vigorous prosecution of crimes oversteps the bounds of the Constitution, we are all in trouble.

Let's not judge this case until the appeals process has gone its course. After all, the Supreme Court has stated that matters concerning the privilege of appeal should be viewed with strict scrutiny since the appeals process is supportive of all rights of the criminal defendant an ultimately the rights of all citizens.

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