Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Dicey Prospects of Putting Jurors on TV

Juror #8

CNN has found a juror (#8) in the Jordan Davis killing (“the loud music shooting”) willing to be interviewed on TV.

It’s always a dicey proposition for any juror to go before the cameras in such agenda-driven venues.

For one thing, jurors heard a LOT more evidence and were privy to a LOT more information than was covered in news accounts.

Moreover, jurors generally have a rough time relaying their understanding of the law, which is to say, how they “understood” the law and the judge’s instructions is NOT always what was intended. So jurors, on that level, seem to have the SAME problems understanding the law as do news-entertainment people in the national media.

In the case of “juror #8,” she frustrated CNN hosts by insisting that “race played no part in the verdict,” while also relaying that “there was a lot of yelling and shouting,” to indicate how tempestuous such proceedings often get.

MORE troubling however, was that she claims to see Michael Dunn (the shooter) as “a good guy.”

OK, I’ll admit that from all I saw of the guy, he seemed to be an arrogant, insufferable prick, however, I may just be more sensitive to such things, or my perception of people might be a bit off...that wouldn't be the first time I've heard that. In either case, Dunn’s “prickishness,” or lack of same, SHOULD NOT be taken as evidence of any proof of wrongdoing, absent direct proof of that guilt.

Even more disturbing, in explaining why they didn't convict Dunn of First Degree murder, juror #8 explained that they believed he was firing only because he truly believed he was in fear of his own life.

Yikes! IF that is indeed the consensus then he SHOULD HAVE been acquitted of everything EXCEPT criminal reckless endangerment (firing nine rounds from a gun in a densely packed public area). Self defense is an affirmative and legal defense against murder and manslaughter charges.

What’s VITAL here is that NO GUN, no lead pipe, NO weapon whatsoever was found by police and the Dunn defense’s charges that “police didn't search for weapons extensively enough,” DOES NOT change the fact that no weapons were found.

It should be a high bar for someone to shoot an unarmed person...far higher than “believing they are endangered,” when no one got out of the other car, no assault took place (Zimmerman was at least assaulted prior to firing at Trayvon Martin), NOTHING seems to reasonably suggest Mr. Dunn had any reality-based fear for his life. IF the jury heard otherwise, certainly juror #8 gave no indication of that.

As for CNN’s astonishment that the jury had a rough time convicting on 1st degree murder, well that only shows that news-entertainers are, for the most part, even dumber than the folks they dupe onto their shows.

First degree murder requires “forethought and intent.” In this case, 1st degree murder would constitute that there was some evidence that Mr. Dunn didn't like what he called “thug music” blaring from the next car and decided right there, “I’m gonna teach these goons a lesson they won’t forget.”

AGAIN, no such evidence seemed to be uncovered in trial. Juror #8 suggests there wasn't and CNN’s dopey hosts seem to believe that apparently Dunn’s “whiteness” was all the proof you’d need. Apparently, “WHY else would a middle aged white guy shoot someone black?”

CNN a station which highlighted the murder of white air force corpsman David James by black homeowner Trevor Dooley during the Trayvon Martin case and has continually brought on guests that highlight the stark racial disparities in violent crime rates is on shaky ground when it tries to appear neutral on such issues. In continually brining on “experts” who highlight the wide disparities in violent crime in America, they appear anything but!

Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz has said that he believes there was a strong possibility that the attempted murder charges against Dunn might not hold up when the case is eventually retried. He said attempted murder, in which a person was not killed, must involve premeditation, which, of course, must be proven.

"I think there is some chance that will be reversed, because [of] the jury instruction, and the charge of attempted murder may not fit," he said.

A problem with Corey's strategy, Dershowitz said, was that she "always overcharges."

Dershowitz believes that Corey should have charged Dunn with second-degree murder in Davis' death. THAT makes sense, given that according to FindLaw notes that 1st degree murder falls into two categories:

* Premeditated, intentional killings

* Felony murder

While 2nd degree murder is either:

* An unplanned, intentional killing; or

* A death caused by a reckless disregard for human life

According to FindLaw, the real difference between first and second degree murder is the degree of intent under which the defendant acted when carrying out the killing.

First degree murder requires that a defendant plan and intentionally carry out the killing, whereas second degree murder requires that the killing either be intentional or reckless, and occur in the spur of the moment.

According to that definition this case clearly appears to fit a 2nd degree murder charge much better.

Is Dershowitz right that perhaps DA Corey actively undermines some cases by deliberately overcharging, so that they’ll be overturned on appeal?

Might be...but that doesn’t explain away the abject ignorance of CNN’s newser entertainers.

No comments:

American Ideas Click Here!