Kaufman is unique among Dallas bordering counties. Ellis and Rockwall have similar population numbers but Kaufman demographics are more rural. For example, Ennis (where I live in Ellis County) is larger than any city in Kaufman county. Kaufman is a spread out mix of ranchers, farmers, and smaller communities along with the commuter/family friendly cities of Crandall and Forney. It makes for a unique mix of jurors. It’s always difficult to generalize about an entire county’s jury pool, but that’s what criminal lawyers do.
Locally, Dallas county has the reputation for more defendant friendly/skeptical of government jurors, Collin and Denton are regarded as the more prosecutor oriented jurors. Kaufman is somewhere in between.
Two recent verdicts show Kaufman jurors are open to probation and rehabilitaion, even for reprehesnible offenses. Both cases were open pleas (some call this a slow plea) where the defendant pleads guilty and then both sides present punishment evidence to the jury.
About two months ago a jury decided punishment on a burglary of a habitation. The defendant participated in a home invasion robbery but had no other record. The jury recommended probation. The punishment evidence took a week to consider. That’s the longest punishment phase in Kaufman that I’m aware of.
This week the jury came back with a probation reocmmendation on an intoxication manslaugther case, where the defendant was already on DWI probation.
Two probation sentences isn’t enough to extrapolate, and each case is unique. However, it shows that if you’re willing to ask a Kaufman jury for probation in a felony case (and your defense lawyer is prepared) Kaufman jurors will listen.