Tag Archives: Stand Your Ground Law

Michael Dunn Headed to Prison for the Shots that Failed to Kill

MichaelDunn

PoliticusUSA

Michael Dunn will likely receive a lengthy prison sentence after a jury found him guilty on three counts of attempted murder and one count of firing into a vehicle. The jury however was unable to reach agreement on the charge of first degree murder for killing Jordan Davis. On that charge, a mistrial was declared, but the four felony counts that Dunn was found guilty of could still send him to prison for up to 75 years. Dunn’s sentencing is scheduled for March 24th.

Dunn was remanded to custody after being convicted, and if the judge gives him anything close to the maximum sentence on each charge, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. Yet, the verdict was disconcerting for one simple reason. Dunn was not convicted for murdering Jordan Davis. Had he confined his shooting to firing one or two fatal shots, he conceivably could have dodged the four felony counts and been in a position to get away with murder.

The case once again highlights the difficulty in convicting shooters who kill unarmed young black men. Although Dunn did face some consequences for his behavior and the case was so egregious, the jury still struggled with the notion that Dunn was guilty. Apparently by merely raising the suggestion that Jordan Davis could have had a gun, even though no gun was found, Dunn’s attorneys were able to plant the seed of doubt in the jury. A white guy who shoots black teenagers should be given the benefit of the doubt, the jury apparently reasoned. Even if the shooter fails to contact the police after murdering a black youth and instead orders pizza for take out, he is entitled to the benefit of the doubt because after all the guy he shot was black and black people are scary to white people.

In Florida, and in the United States, it is easier to get away with homicide if the victim is black. This is true no matter what race the shooter is although black shooters who shoot African-Americans are less likely to successfully claim self-defense than white or Hispanics who kill African-Americans. In  Stand Your Ground cases in Florida, whites or Hispanics who kill African-Americans are only convicted about ten percent of the time. When a non-white kills a white person and tries to use Stand Your Ground defense they are four times more likely to be convicted than a white or Hispanic person who kills a black person. While the Michael Dunn case did not technically invoke Stand Your Ground in a pre-trial motion, his self-defense argument underscores the racial disparities that define American court cases.

Had the shooter been an African-American who shot four white teenagers who were listening to country music in their pickup truck, does anybody think the jury would have struggled with convicting the black man of murder? It is possible but unlikely. In the United States, racial prejudices still operate and many Americans who find there way on juries presume that young African-American males are threatening or potential criminals. With such latent prejudices looming beneath the surface in the psyches of jurors, it makes convicting a white man who claims he felt threatened by a young black man extremely difficult.

Dunn will go to prison simply because his behavior was so egregious and because he was so trigger happy that he pumped an SUV full of bullets, firing ten shots into the vehicle even after it was retreating.  Nevertheless, the jury’s inability to agree that Dunn committed first degree murder still should give our nation cause for collective pause. A jury once again has raised questions about whether our justice system places the same value on young black lives as it does on white lives. The answer appears to be negative, but perhaps Dunn will be convicted if and when the case is retried. While he awaits a possible retrial, at least he will be doing so from a prison cell.  The only irony is that he will be doing time for the shots that missed and not for the fatal shot that took Jordan Davis’ life. That is a tragedy, even if Dunn spends the rest of his life in prison where he belongs.

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Melissa Harris-Perry Sends Open Letter To Marissa Alexander’s Prosecuting Attorney

Melissa Harris-Perry Sends Open Letter To Marissa Alexander's Prosecuting Attorney

Liberals Unite

Three days after domestic violence victim, Marissa Alexander was released on bail, after spending ‘over 1,000 days’ in prison, MSNBC’s host, Melissa Harris-Perry, decided to write and open letter to Angela Corey – Marissa’s prosecuting attorney.

Corey helped send Alexander to prison for 20 years – for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband who was coming at her. (Husband, Rico Gray,  admitted his intentions in his sworn deposition, and had admitted abusing her physically and emotionally prior to that incident as well).

Here is Melissa Harris-Perry’s intro followed by her letter to Corey:

There is nothing like being home for the holidays with your loved ones. So I can only imagine that this Thanksgiving is particularly bittersweet for Marissa Alexander, who was granted a special pre-trial release at 10:30 PM on Wednesday – Thanksgiving Eve – after spending more than 1000 days in jail, and barely seeing her youngest child who just recently turned three.

But my letter is not to Marissa. Sis, I am saving that one for when you are finally freed for good. No, my letter this week is to the woman that worked to put you in jail in the first place: Florida State Attorney for the fourth judicial circuit, Angela Corey.

Dear Angela Corey,

It’s me, Melissa.

Angela, there are few times in life that we get second chances to right our wrongs. Well Angela, this is yours.

You have been called a fierce victim’s advocate, so it is way past time that you start acting like it.

Because a woman who was hospitalized in 2009 after being shoved into a bathtub and hitting her head – she is a victim.

A woman whose estranged husband has admitted to abusing all five mothers of his kids – she is his victim.

And when that woman, that victim, who has just recently given birth, fires a warning shot near the man that has cornered her in her home – she is a victim who feels she has no other recourse.

But that is part of the problem, Angela. You never saw Marissa as a victim. You saw Marissa as the aggressor and even justified why the infamous “Stand Your Ground” law was not applied in Marissa’s case.

Because, as you put it, she was not fleeing from an abuser, even though Rico Gray, her estranged husband, has admitted telling Marissa that he would kill her if she ever cheated on him.

You have said that the shot fired was not consistent with a warning shot because it was at adult head height. Marissa is three inches shorter than Rico Gray.

And according to you she didn’t have to get 20 years in jail. That also was her fault, right Angela? You said to NBC’s the Grio back in May: “She didn’t have to get 20 years, because I took into account their prior domestic history and her lack of a [criminal] record, and we offered her the three year mandatory minimum.”

Marissa is a mother of three. And she is a victim of abuse.
Any mother knows that one day away from her child is 24 hours too long.

And when you are an abuse victim, you have to believe that the courts will finally free you from the cycle of violence instead of criminalizing you for trying to protect yourself.

If nothing else, the last two years should have shown you that an aggressive prosecution is not always the best one.
So while I know Marissa is thankful this holiday to be home with her family while she awaits her new trial on March 31st, 2014, maybe you should spend this holiday being thankful that you have a second chance to right this obvious wrong.

Sincerely,
Melissa

Video 

Also posted on TFC’s Racial Profiling page

 

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At Stand Your Ground Hearing, Ted Cruz Argues Florida Law Helps African-Americans

Ted Cruz

Sen Ted Cruz – (R-TX)      Credit AP

Here are some stats about the Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws compiled by Media Matters:

  • Under SYG, Homicides With Black Victims Much More Likely To Be Found Justified
  • SYG Laws Are Linked To An Increase In Homicides
  • Studies Show “Statistically Significant” Rise In Homicides In SYG States.

Think Progress

With Trayvon Martin’s mother sitting just across from him, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) claimed that Stand Your Ground is beneficial for African-Americans. At the Tuesday Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing, Cruz claimed, “In Florida, the data show that African-American defendants have availed themselves of the Stand Your Ground law more frequently than Anglo defendants.” Indirectly citing a Daily Caller story that said black defendants were successful in 55 percent of fatal cases compared to 53 percent of whites, Cruz said this “isn’t about inflaming racial tensions though some might try to use it to do that.”

Shortly after Cruz described Stand Your Ground as protecting innocent victims from violent aggressors, Sybrina Fulton and Lucia McBath, the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, delivered emotional testimony about their murdered children.

GOP witness John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, also argued Cruz’s point at length. “Poor blacks who live in high-crime urban areas are not only the most likely victims of crime, they are also the ones who benefit the most from Stand Your Ground laws,” he said according to prepared testimony. Later, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he found Lott’s argument “compelling,” and that he did not see how the law “has a racial injustice about it.”

This is an oversimplified, if not misleading, portrayal of the racial disparity in Stand Your Ground. It looks only at the rate of successful Florida claims based on the shooter’s race, which indeed is slightly higher for black shooters than white shooters.

By no means does this mean blacks “benefit” under the law.

A report from the Congressional Research Service on inter-racial shootings nationwide shows disparity at work. Without looking specifically at Stand Your Ground, CRS found a clear racial disparity in shootings that were ruled to be justified, as well as an increase in cases of justifiable white-on-black homicides after states began enacting the ALEC model legislation in 2005. According tothe report, white-on-black shootings were considered justified far more often than black-on-white shootings.

The same data that Florida Cruz cited also shows that killers are far more likely to go free when their victims are black. In those cases with black or Hispanic victims, the killings were found justified by the Stand Your Ground law 78 percent of the time, compared to 56 percent in cases with white victims. The racial disparity among victims has also been confirmed by other studies, like the Urban Institute’s finding that in Stand Your Ground states, white-on-black homicides are 354 percent more likely to be ruled justified than white-on-white homicides.

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Breaking News: New trial ordered for Marissa Alexander, who got 20 years

The case is about a Florida wife who was repeatedly abused by her husband (he admitted as much at her trial) and in an effort to avert his attacks, she fired a rifle in the air as a warning to stay away from her.  Long story short, her stand your ground defense was rejected by the prosecutor.  She was offered a deal of 5 years on a plea or the maximum if she goes to trial and loses her case.  Ms. Alexander opted to go to trial and was found guilty.  I was one of tens of thousand who signed petitions on the internet for her case to be appealed to a higher court, so this is great news for all that advocated for her.

WTLTV

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appeals court is ordering a new trial for a woman sentenced to 20 years to prison after she fired a warning shot in a wall during a dispute with her ex-husband.

The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that a judge did not properly instruct the jury handling the case of Marissa Alexander.

But the appeals court did also state that the judge was right to block Alexander from using the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law as a way to defend her actions.

Alexander had never been arrested before she fired a bullet at a wall one day in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her.

Kevin Cobbin represented Marissa in her trial and has remained an advocate commented on the decision and stated, “It is a good day. I won’t be saying anything on camera Respecting the judicial system. Personally, we’re very excited the case will be coming back. Her attorneys will seek to have her released on bond, but nobody will celebrate until she’s home. The process still has to work through, she’s [Alexander] not done yet.”

Isaiah Rumlin with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Jacksonville Branch reacted to the news stating, “That is excellent. I’m overjoyed. I think the court made the right decision. She was overcharged, It never should have gotten as far as it did.”

Rumlin explained he was hardly able to talk upon hearing the news, adding, “This is good news. She’s going to get a new trial. I think we did the right thing in what we did as it relates to the demonstrations and all the social media that got involved and the lawyer from New York who got involved.

Alexander’s case in Jacksonville has drawn attention and criticism aimed at mandatory-minimum sentencing laws.

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Fox News’ racist commenters react to Zimmerman being charged

:::::Ho hum::: same old racist garbage.  I simply like exposing these cretins…

DAILY KOS

So, with the news that Zimmerman will be charged with something in the killing of Trayvon Martin, I thought I’d wander over and take a look at what the calm, rational (HA!) commenters over at Faux Noise had to say about it.  The results were… about what you’d expect.  Clippings below the squiggle.

sierra10
Ni gg ers are taking over.
Buy those guns white America…..and learn how to use them.
The savages are restless.

jmmossen
After the threats by the “New Blaċk Punksters” defense witnesses and jurors might fear retaliation by these Punks (Eric Holders people). He cannot possibly get a fair and impartial trial. The Savages will uprise.

nomorenohow
Is Angela Corey a je -wess or a neg-ress ? I’ll bet the SPLC is dipping their tips in this. What we is fewer heebs and boos on the face of this planet. We need to have a global conference to come up with a plan to reduce our combined heeb/ we-be footprint.

hatelukewarm
The definition of a good gangbanger……..a dead one!  America is better for it.
3 people liked this.

richardsh  
The only thing Zimmerman should be charged with is LITTERING.
3 people liked this.

bluec
I hope Zimmerman flees to Mexico for what these bureaucrats are attempting to do to him. This tossing him to the mob because its easier then dealing with the out of control bl acks is fing cowardly and disgraceful.
4 people liked this.

pantherhunter
First we went to the good trouble to eliminate every single leftist / Obama supporter from our companies, now we are going to have to do the same to bIacks just to make a point … man, you bottom feeding maggots sure are making it hard on yourselves.
Gotta love those right to work states …
2 people liked this.

TONY1954
They can put Zimmerman on trial and they may even convict him, but George has saved countless victims by taking out this animal before he got the chance to hurt anyone else. Plus probably hundreds of victims from the offspring this thug would have more than likely produced with the neigborhood mamas.
2 people liked this

mlmini  
So Dumbo trying to get the bla cks on his side is now going to loose the Latino vote………good going the imposter in chief who has his hands in every aspect of our lives……….good riddence in November
5 people liked this.

stogienavl
THIE WORD POLICE ARE REALLY ON THIS SITE TODAY…I CAN’T GET ANYTHING PRINTED…..I MUST BE A LITTLE RAW WITH MY THOUGHTS TODAY……AND A LITTLE TROUBLED WITH CHARGES BEING BROUGHT ON THIS MATTER…..TRAYVON WAS NOTSHOT IN THE BACK….SO YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT HE WAS SAYIN TO ZIMMERMAN….JUST LISTEN TORAP MUSIC….AND YOU CAN PUT WORDS IN TRAYVON’S MOUTH….

LOL, poor racist can’t get his screeds past the word filter.  You make me want to cry for you, stogie.

imavet2  
Trayvon Martin should be charged with intent to murder George Zimmerman.
4 people liked this.

azdart  
they ought to charge him if anything with littering leaving trash lay at the scene fine him $50.00
2 people liked this.

yvhvhaco
well well well… what in_hell_do we have_here? A racist_federal_buckwheat_kangaroo_court forced_upon_we_the_people in America by_the_POS_buckwheat_in_our_wh_and his_racist_buddy_holder_and_liberal_thug_brothers_the_new_balck_panzy_punks!!! America, justice_just went out_the door!!! Lock_and_load!!! The_party_is_about_begin_again…
4 people liked this.

tica.mcgarity  
It is the O.J. Simpson trial all over again.  Facts do not matter … when the political left smells BL00D.
The race card is the only card that Obummer has left to play.
If it looks like he might not win the next election … look for things to get so bad that martial law is declared … and Obummer is deemed to be re elected…
TEA anyone?
6 people liked this

unjust_era
Don’t just use the word.nig.ger…  You gotta rotate your racial slurs.Coon…porch monkey..gigg-a-boo.  I’ll tel ya, the next time you gunna
say nap py headed.nig.ger., call that spade a jungle bunny instead – Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks

kittykat17  
Well that makes me hopping mad.  I guess we aren’t supposed to defend
ourselves against punks anymore.
6 people liked this.

vdomkr
Put me on the Jury.  I’ll get revenge for the OJ trial.  No way this guys gets convicted.  If you’re white, you must be right!
6 people liked this.

agbjr
Not surprising considering the media and liberals have already and publicly tried and convicted Zimmerman. All that’s left now is for the B lack Panthers to put on white robes and throw a rope over a tree limb. Of course Eric Holder and the compliant liberal media would somehow justify such an illegal act.
11 people liked this.

iearnmyown
You.niggers thought you had it bad before.  Just wait.  BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
7 people liked this.

gruntworker
Time to disassociate from Blax. We have done everything we can for them since the civil war where we lost almost 600,000 whites fighting on their behalf. They have no appreciation and still hate us. No matter how much we give them, they continue the racist march. Don’t hire them or befriend them…they have proven they cannot be trusted to be intelligent and fair. Blax are only concerned for other Blax…they care nothing about anyone else.
19 people liked this.

paperman1   40 minutes ago
Can’t wait till he is acquitted and the urban apes go on their usual rampage.
9 people liked this.

coolercoleman
If I was on this jury I couldn’t find him guilty just because Al Sharpton and Eric Holder have already convicted him. What the jury will be asked to do is to find this man guilty because of drummed up community outrage by b l a c k racists. He is guilty simply because a b l a c k man was killed, forget about the facts
10 people liked this.

cruciblethorn
Sharpton, Jackson and their “NoLimitNigga” chain gang are racial terr orists. They do nothing but stir up hatred with their race baiting and inflamatory speech. All they do is try to incite violence with their gold tooth rhetoric. But you don’t see the other “NoLimitNiggas” in the WHITE house or the Dept of Injustice arresting these criminals or the DHS investigating them for their terr orist activities. Guess jungle fever is spreading like wildfire now.
6 people liked this.

sierra10  
No more “politically correct”.
They are ni gg ers…always have been…always will be.

Love One
JUSTICEiearnmyown  in reply to Love One
..was served when Trayvon.died.
5 people liked this.

madcapmagician2  
So lets see, your bläck… you are a wanna be thug… you attack someone
and get yourself kìlled and YOU ARE THE HERO / INNOCENT VICTIM …..
you are non-bläck and defend yourself from bodily harm and having your
skull crushed by being slammed into the pavement repeatedly and shòot
and kìll said bläck wanna be thùg YOU ARE THE BAD GUY? …. if people
want to talk about Zimmermans intent, and actions prior to this incident
then lets also look at prior actions of martin… 1) walking around
looking suspicious in a neighborhood that has had a problem…
13 people liked this.

JGBNYC
Travon:
We all appreciate your sacrifice, but someone has to feed the worms and you were chosen.

Mad Rhino
“Special Prosecutor Reportedly Will Charge George Zimmerman in Fatal Shooting of Trayvon Martin”
Translation: In a desperate move to maintain his base in the face of the highest blàck unemployment in recent history, President Obama pressures special prosecutor Angela Corey to charge Zimmerman pander to a ginned-up and ill-informed blàck community.
1 person liked this.

LieutenantSword
BIack people, would you please stop crying and bitching?  It’s getting old.  Time to man up, fellas.  Time to quit acting like a bunch of mouthy ho’s, ladies.  I swear, you’re a bunch of professional victims, and quite frankly, I’m tired of you butchering the English language, dressing like street trash and thinking everyone owes you something.  Grow up, bIack people.  Enough is enough.
11 people liked this

…I’m done.  They’re posting this shit way faster than I can copy it out.  Note that the most racist ones are the ones with the most recs. Just what I’d expect from them.

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