"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New-found Passion for Law and Order on the Left Coast

You may have seen this video of a BART officer shooting a cuffed, prone suspect:

The incident has caused riots in the Bay area, which for some curious reason have been directed at black-owned businesses. Of course, because the officer is white and the victim black, the racism template is in play, whereby anything bad that happens to a black suspect at the hands of a police officer is presumptively an act motivated by racism. Now, never mind that no one knows (yet) whether racism actually motivated anything that happened in this case: the race of the parties involved is all one needs to know, after all.

Nevertheless, the officer, Johanes Mehserle, has been charged with murder by the Alameda County DA.

The DA was quoted as saying: "At this point, what I feel the evidence indicates, is an unlawful killing done by an intentional act and from the evidence we have there's nothing that would mitigate that to something lower than a murder."

I think if the defendant intentionally killed the victim, he's probably got a good insanity defense, since the crime was committed in full public view on a crowded train platform, surrounded by other police officers.

Isn't it more probable that the likeliest explanation is the truth? That for whatever reason, whether it be that this officer in the excitement and adrenaline rush thought he was deploying his taser, not his firearm, or simply that, having (even if unecessarily) drawn his firearm, he negligently but accidentally fired it?

And if the firing was not intentional but accidental, the crime should be no worse than manslaughter.

Take a look at this view of the incident. With the audio, some things become clear: the police had to have known that everyone was watching what they were doing. When the shot is fired, the officers act surprised. It looks alot like a reaction one would expect from an accidental discharge.

Will this defendant receive a fair trial in Oakland, given the vast press coverage and the injection of race into the shooting by the usual agitators? I dunno, but one thing grimly humorous has come from this mess: you can read here (as just one example) all about the conversion to a strict law and order mentality, including favoring the death penalty, of various leftists and libertarians.

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