Can Voters Get A Fair Trial In Victor Trevino Case?

One of Harris County’s most popular and well-known lawmen was indicted last week. So what are the challenges of getting a fair trial for both sides with such a high-profile defendant?

Harris County Constable Victor Trevino is indicted on four charges related to abuse of his official powers, fiduciary misconduct and other charges related to how he used campaign funds as well as money intended for his youth-focused charity.

Trevino has been a constable for 23 years and is extremely popular with his constituents in Precinct 6.

South Texas College of Law Professor Geoffrey Corn says that could make it difficult for prosecutors when the case goes to trial.

“Particularly law enforcement personnel go into a criminal trial with a powerful presumption that they are devoted and honorable public servants. And defeating or rebutting that presumption is always a challenge for the prosecution.”

But there’s also Trevino’s notoriety to deal with. He has been the subject of a number of media investigations and employee complaints.

Corn says anytime you have a high-profile defendent the challenge of getting an impartial jury is a little bit harder.

“There’s not a requirement that jurors have no knowledge of the incident. The requirement is that they commit themselves to complying with the legal instruction to judge the defendent solely on the evidence that’s presented at the trial and to set aside any preconceived notions they might have about guilt or innocence.”

Trevino maintains his innocence and has refused to resign as Precinct 6 Constable. He faces up to ten years in prison if convicted.


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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