Lawyers Ask County Commissioners to Remove Victims Monument - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/27/05

Lawyers Ask County Commissioners to Remove Victims Monument

They've stated their case to the Lubbock County Commissioners, now, the Criminal Defense Lawyers Association is waiting for an answer. The Association wants Commissioners to remove a victim's memorial stone on the courthouse lawn. They believe a quote on the stone could influence jurors and prevent fair trials. The quote reads: "Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are."

Defense attorneys say the problem is not the memorial, but the monument. Documents originally asked for grant money for the garden and the benches, but does not say anything about the monument, and it's the quote that is causing a controversy.

Alton Griffin, a former District Attorney and a member of CDLA felt three minutes to plead their case to the Commissioners was not enough, so they took 15 minutes. Griffin said, "As long as that is down here, that is a message to all people. You cannot say there is no effect on jurors. The monument says everyone, everyone."

Judge Tom Head prefaced the presentation by saying a decision to remove the stone would not be made today, as a meeting needed to be scheduled to discuss the issue with everyone involved.

Lawyers are not asking to move the Victims Memorial garden or benches, but they say they will not stop until the stone monument is removed from the courthouse lawn. Griffin said, "If it is not removed by authority, we will move to litigation."

County Judge Tom Head told NewsChannel 11 that they want to resolve this issues as soon as possible. A tentative meeting has been scheduled for either Wednesday or Friday this week where victims groups, attorneys, and the commissioners will discuss a possible solution.

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