Mistrial declared in the Slade case

slade%20101307.jpgThe criminal trial of former Texas Southern University president Priscilla Slade (previous posts here) ended in a mistrial Friday afternoon after four days of jury deliberations could not break a deadlocked jury that was essentially evenly split. The trial had lasted a little over a month and a half.
The mistrial was a remarkable achievement for Slade defense attorneys Mike DeGeurin and Paul Nugent, who probably concluded that a hung jury was their best shot at avoiding a conviction of their client after they decided not to allow Ms. Slade to testify in her own defense.
The mistrial increases the likelihood that the venue of the retrial will be changed from Harris County. The defense will hoping for a venue change to a location such as Austin or the Rio Grande Valley, but definitely not New Braunfels or San Angelo. Prosecutors and defense counsel are scheduled to appear before District Judge Brock Thomas on Friday to determine details of the retrial.
Meanwhile, the chronic problem of what to do about TSU continues unaddressed. So it goes.

5 thoughts on “Mistrial declared in the Slade case

  1. After the results of the last local election, a more liberal Dallas jury-of-her-peers very well could decide to let the “sister” walk.

  2. “The mistrial was a remarkable achievement for Slade defense attorneys…”
    Nothing could be further from the truth. These attorney had it made similar to those representing O. J. Simpson. The odds were heavily on their side—maybe as high as 99%. Priscillia Slade was acquitted only because of her black skin. A white Republican would be on their way to prison. Please note what happened to Scooter Libby in Washington, DC.

  3. David, I think your comparison of the Simpson and Slade cases is a stretch.
    First, the jurors who deadlocked the Slade jury were not all black. The jury ended up evenly split (6-6) and was comprised of six-men with only two black men and six women with only one black woman. So, even if the blacks all voted to acquit Slade (which has not been reported), at least three white people voted to acquit her, too.
    As I noted in a comment to Laurence Simon’s blog post on the mistrial, my sense is that the primary reason for the mistrial is that the prosecutors got a bit greedy on the charges they pursued against Slade. They wanted a jury verdict finding Slade guilty either of misapplication of fiduciary property of more than $200,000, a felony with a maximum punishment of life in prison, or a lesser offense of misapplication of fiduciary property of $100,000 to $200,000, a second-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. So, those were the jury’s choices.
    Consequently, the prosecution may well have proven that Slade misappropriated $10,000 in purchasing the bedroom set or some other personal items, but that doesn’t prove either of the above-described crimes without proof of a lot of such purchases.
    I’m an advocate of not allowing executives to misappropriate property from the business that they are running. But I’m a bigger advocate of requiring the state to charge people with their true crime, not one that is so draconian that the defendant is faced with the choice of enduring a horrific penalty for exercising her right to a trial or plea bargaining for a prison term that is longer than what she would receive if convicted of the true crime. A few of those Slade jurors may have felt the same way as me.

  4. I still insist that a white defendant would be on their way to prison. No, this verdict is all about black jurors subconsciously refusing to find guilty one of their own. Abstract legal niceties had little do with anything. The sense of victimhood and entitlement brought about this decision.

  5. David, the big difference is that white administrators who have done things similar to what Slade did are much less likely to be prosecuted at all. A case in point is the recent Vanderbilt president, Mr. Gee, who recently left Vandy to become the president at Ohio State. He spent more than $6 million dollars renovating Vanderbilt’s president’s house without any meaningful board approval.

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