Blomberg/Holley Case: Was Justice Served?

Yesterday's acquittal of a Houston Police Officer in connection with the beating of a teenaged burglary suspect has touched off a storm of protest and outrage from community members. But legal experts say the public perception of injustice may not be accurate.

Former Houston Police Officer Andrew Blomberg was one of several officers accused of beating then 15-year-old suspect Chad Holley.

A jury found him not guilty of the charges of official oppression.

Upset by the verdict, people protested yesterday and today outside the Harris County Criminal Courthouse.

Professor Geoffrey Corn is a criminal law expert with the South Texas College of Law.

“The community outrage is a reflection of a undeniable truth about the criminal justice system — and that is that legal justice is not always perfectky synchronized with factual justice.”

Corn says despite the outcries over the not guilty verdict, the judicial system actually worked.

“I look at the tape and I’m perplexed like everybody else. I look at it and I say, boy if I were a prosecutor, this seems like a slam dunk case. But it’s a good reminder that every jury is different and that our system is built on the expectation that if we give the evidence to the jury and we give them the law and they take an oath to follow the law, that we have to accept the outcome.”

There are still three other officers charged in connection with the beating and awaiting trial.

In total, seven Houston Police officers were fired over the March, 2010 incident.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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