Friday, July 9, 2010

Political violence following Oscar Grant ruling

And the murderer gets off with "involuntary manslaughter". Story here. Here's an account of the prosecution's case against Mehserle's "accident" defense.
"Why didn't you yell, 'Gun! Gun! Gun!' like you'd been taught in training?" Stein asked. Mehserle said he wouldn't yell that unless he was 100 percent sure, or unless he'd actually seen a gun in Grant's pocket. "But you still believed he was going for a gun? Why didn't you yell 'Gun! Gun! Gun'?" Stein pressed. Mehserle stumbled, saying, "It didn't cross my mind."

Finally Stein, who usually doesn't have the same courtroom flair as Rains, raised his voice. "Isn't it true you never had the intention of using your Taser?!" It was more of a booming statement than a question.

Stein was able to show that Mehserle did none of the things he should have done if he really believed Grant had a gun. And he did none of the things he should have done if he really intended to pull his Taser. Those are important holes in the defense's argument that the shooting was an understandable, if tragic mistake.

Fucking unbelievable. Evidently the murderer will get 2-4 years tops and may turn out to get off with only probation. Compare that with the mandatory 5-year sentence for possession of 5 grams of crack.


fwoan said...

White man kills Black man.

Initiate wrist-slap.

dnw said...

i guess i should feel bad, but i don't share the zeal for wanting him PUNISHED. i don't see the good in retributive justice. paradoxically, it's a political injustice serving a philosophical anti-injustice (for me). the 5 years thing for coke is just insane.

Anonymous said...

I see the problem with wanting someone "PUNISHED". But asking that he actually gets charged for the crime he committed is another matter. His defense was that he accidentally pulled out his gun (and fired) rather than his taser. It doesn't seem at all plausible that that's true. Either way, involuntary manslaughter is not the right call. And when the most often refrain from those blocking justice is that "police brutality is a myth", I don't think there's anything wrong with highlighting particularly egregious cases that prove the deniers wrong. Often the response to events like this politicize people and create the basis for organized resistance.