I’m writing while sitting in the courthouse gallery on Monday morning, at the punishment phase of P. David Romei’s felony trial. Saturday night the jury convicted the former Executive Director of the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley on two of the three counts of theft and misappropriation of public and private funds. Today the jury decides if David will go on probation or serve as many as ten years in prison.
1. As my two previous posts note, I think the case against David was overwhelming. That the jury deliberated for more than 30 hours over two and one-half days bespeaks the caliber of our citizenry that answers a jury summons. That they acquitted him on one charge while convicting him on two—while reducing one felony charge to a misdemeanor—shows the careful, deliberate way in which they approached their duties. One of the newspaper articles said a fraction of those summoned showed up, and that extras had to be diverted from the leftover jury candidates from another trial. It looks like the best members of the potential jury pool took their civic duty seriously. (more…)