Oh, And This Bullshit

Sorry Betty Cracker, but fuck you Florida:

A jury on Saturday night convicted a Florida man on four charges related to his shooting into an SUV full of teenagers during an argument over loud music, but could not decide on the most serious charge — murder.

Michael Dunn was found guilty on four charges, including three for attempted second-degree murder, which could land him behind bars for decades. But they couldn’t reach a verdict on the most significant charge: first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

As the decisions became clear about 7 p.m. Saturday, Dunn looked ahead solemnly with a frown but no tears. His lawyer, Cory Strolla, told reporters later that his client was “in disbelief.”

“Even as he sat next to me, he asked, how is this happening,” Strolla said. “… It has not set in. I don’t think it will set in anytime soon.”

Sociopath guns down a bunch of kids, killing one, for no reason at all, and Floridians can’t figure out that that is murder. Why has no one started to boycott Florida? Why would anyone not as white as Rush Limbaugh go to that hellhole?

*** Update ***

Just read this.

218 replies
  1. 1
    RaflW says:

    My partner and I actually did scrub our plans for an April trip to the beach in FL in no small part due to the horrible gun & violence culture there.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    I still love you, Betty.

  3. 3
    Greg says:

    I think this may actually be the best outcome. The guy goes to jail for multiple decades, as he deserves, and at the same time it is clear that the law is so fucked up that the jury could determine that he attempted to murder the 3 kids that lived but couldn’t determine whether he murdered the poor kid that died.

  4. 4
    Steve S says:

    Many people will never know how the Deep Weird infuses into your bones here. When I was away in NC for a decade, in college towns, living with smarter, higher-educated, more tolerant people, I liked it…

    But I still missed this place.

    There’s nothing like it.

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve S:

    When I was away in NC for a decade

    Waaaiiiittt a second…North Carolina is *less* crazy than Florida?
    Holy balls.

  6. 6
    Steve in the ATL says:

    My in laws live in Florida so I avoid it even though I’m white.

  7. 7
    Steve S says:

    My partner and I actually did scrub our plans for an April trip to the beach in FL in no small part due to the horrible gun & violence culture there.

    Considering that 16 states have a higher murder rate, that was probably a data-poor decision.

  8. 8
    Steve S says:

    @Corner Stone:

    NC is a staid bedroom community compared to Florida.

    Like I said, nost people have No Idea.

  9. 9
    raven says:

    Oh good now someone can cut and paste 87 million fucking tweets from other people.

  10. 10
    JoyfulA says:

    @Steve S: The last time I stopped in North Carolina, as I was going in a restaurant, a man in full Harley gear and a Wild West holstered gun was coming out.

    I am not stopping in North Carolina anymore.

  11. 11
    RaflW says:

    @Steve S: It’s not the murder rate – that has many other factors that go into it.

    Its the fucked up “stand your ground” horror and all the Floridians who seem to value guns over people that are factors.

    Or was that not obvious?

  12. 12
    Jordan Rules says:

    @raven: Or worship the cult of handegg obsessively.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    I am not favoring the hang up on the murder one charge, but that requires unanimous agreement on premeditation (or such is my understanding), which is something much easier to cast doubt upon than to prove conclusively in a spontaneous occurrence such as was on trial.

  14. 14
    jenn says:

    John, it may not be that the jury couldn’t figure out that it was murder – it may be that they couldn’t agree on whether it was Murder 1. Still sucks, of course. Thank goodness there is going to be a retrial.

    But as for boycotting Florida, I sure as hell am not going there. I’d love to visit some of the parks etc, but … yeah, not going to happen.

  15. 15
    batgirl says:

    In trying to make sense of the verdicts, consider the questions from the jury to the judge earlier today:

    Just after 9:30 a.m. the jury presented Judge Healey additional questions:

    Is the defense of self-defense separate for each person and each count?
    Are we determining if deadly force is justified against each person in each count?
    If we determine deadly force is justified against one person, is it justified for the others?

    Sounds to me at least some on the jury think the murder of Davis was justifiable as self-defense while the “collateral” damage of shooting at the other kids wasn’t. Just sick and saddening.

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @RaflW:

    Despite my hatred of Florida, I still have a number of friends, including former in-laws (not to mention Betty Cracker and Mustang Bobby), living in the state. I’d like to see them again, but until and unless FL makes some rational political/legislative decisions, I’m not spending a dime in that place.

    Fluck Forida.

  17. 17
    the Conster says:

    The limp dicked sewer of America.

  18. 18
    some guy says:

    Thank god for Misissippi.

  19. 19
    some guy says:

    And Alabama

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Again, we don’t know at this point if the jury deadlocked on guilty/acquittal or on the specific homicide type on which to convict.

  21. 21
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It doesn’t matter what we know. We know what we want to know.

  22. 22
    ulee says:

    “Dunn in disbelief” says the CNN headline. Poor ol Dunn. He thought it was open season on negroes in Florida. Zimmerman better watch his ass. He isn’t the hero he thinks he is.

  23. 23
    bmoak says:

    @batgirl:

    Yeah, I originally thought the jury had deadlocked on either 1st degree or second degree murder, but after reading that, it looks like the jury deadlocked on whether the killing was justified or not. If Dunn hadn’t got out of his car and fired that final volley at the fleeing van, he probably would be a free man today.

  24. 24
    Keith P says:

    I’m sure they can figure out it’s murder. Their issue is whether or not it was 1st degree (premeditated) murder. Prosecution would have had a much easier time making a case for 2nd.

  25. 25
    jonas says:

    So let me get this straight. In Florida, you can basically just light up a car full of people, kill them, and then claim it was because they were doing something that bugged you and walk on murder charges? And then act indignant that the jury convicted you of *anything*?

    Just…wow. I…. I got nothing.

  26. 26
    raven says:

    Acting indignant is the national fucking pastime.

  27. 27
    Culture of Truth says:

    Hell I’ve read the multiple choices thrown at the jury and I can’t figure them out. Is it really rocket surgery to give them one realistic choice (hopefully beyond a reasonable doubt) and leave it at that?

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    I’m offended by that statement.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @bmoak:

    Seems that way to me, too.

    It’s still hilarious that the three kids who survived are getting justice for the wrong done (Dunn?) against them, but the kid who died isn’t.

    How can shooting at a vehicle moving away from you be a crime, but killing someone inside it be justifiable? This boggles my mind. It seems that SOMEONE on that jury was looking for a way to excuse the death of a “thug”.

  30. 30
    Steve from Antioch says:

    I don’t know what the protocol is in the parts about re-posts, so I’ll just drop this link here: @Steve from Antioch:

  31. 31
    raven says:

    @Culture of Truth: You better be damn glad they got four and that he’s going to jail for 60 years.

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jonas: He didn’t walk on murder charges.

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Steve from Antioch:

    THAT is a perfectly acceptable way to do it, and I salute you for it.

  34. 34
    ulee says:

    I believe first degree murder is a murder considered with forethought. I don’t think Dunn considered this murder particularly, but with his,”You talking to me” attitude I think he was ready for it. This is a good outcome. And he will be retried for first degree. It’s not a home run but it’s a triple when it comes to these bigoted idiot gun fucks.

  35. 35
    Ronnie Pudding says:

    From the CNN article:

    But did one of the teens flash a gun? Dunn said so, but prosecutors said that’s not true — pointing to the fact the teens were unarmed.

    So it’s he said, she said, apparently.

    Though a weapon was never found, Strolla maintains the youths could have had one. Dunn felt threatened and acted, he said

    And indeed, they could have had one. Hypothetically.

  36. 36
    Central NJ Resident says:

    Hold your horses folks. First off, they did not find Dunn innocent on the murder charge, and they would not be letting him go even if that was the only thing he was charged with. The jury deadlocked on that charge, but as of now we don’t know why or by how much. It may turn out that 11 people were ready to convict the second they walked into the jury room but one lone holdout prevented that from happening because he/she may have once had a similar encounter with that “scary thug music”. Yeah, it should have been a no-brainer on guilt, but let’s not blast the entire jury (or the entire state for that matter) until we know the answer to why and how many.

    Meanwhile, the state can keep retrying this over and over again. There is a snowball’s chance in Key West that you will ever find 12 jurors in FL that will all vote not-guilty given the facts here. It’s only a matter of time until the state comes up with a jury pool that doesn’t have a lone wacko in it. And while they are doing that, Dunn will still be rotting in prison.

    My personal guess is that he cuts a plea deal on Murder 2 at this point in order to avoid the expense of another trial, since there is no chance he will ever be a free man again anyway.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @batgirl:

    Was it ever established who the most offensive, in your face thug was in this case?

    I frankly don’t think Dunn differentiated between these kids, as soon as he noticed their color.

  38. 38
    raven says:

    @Ronnie Pudding: Well everyone else is spouting “seems, and may have”.

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Central NJ Resident:

    My personal guess is that he cuts a plea deal on Murder 2 at this point in order to avoid the expense of another trial, since there is no chance he will ever be a free man again anyway.

    I agree.

  40. 40
    Gopher2b says:

    I’m a prosecutor. This verdict makes no sense. How do you have intent to commit attempted murder, someone dies for your act, and it’s not murder (or at least manslaughter). I don’t get it.

  41. 41
    raven says:

    @Central NJ Resident: Why would he care about the expense of another trial?

  42. 42
    trollhattan says:

    @Ronnie Pudding:

    I could have a jetpack and a date with Penelope Cruz. Just sayin’.

  43. 43
    raven says:

    @Gopher2b: I bet it’s the first time you’ve ever seen a verdict that doesn’t make sense.

  44. 44
    Mandalay says:

    @RaflW:

    Its the fucked up “stand your ground” horror

    There are many fucked up things about Florida, and this case, but can we please just get one thing cleared up…The Stand Your Ground law was not relevant for this case. Here is Dunn’s attorney explaining why he DID NOT USE SYG in his client’s defense…

    Reporter: Can you define the difference between Florida’s Stand Your Ground and self-defense?

    Strolla: “It’s a legal principal and I see what you are saying. In Florida, Stand Your Ground is when you have a mini-trial in front of just a judge, no jury. It’s an immunity hearing. I think that’s where the perception is being lost. Everybody keeps saying Stand Your Ground, and if you heard the jury instructions, it says that Mr. Dunn was allowed to stand his ground and meet force with force, and the media goes, ‘Oh, the words stand your ground!’ It’s a different burden. In a pre-trial immunity hearing the judge can determine by preponderance of the evidence that it was self-defense and throw the case out and never go to a jury. We strategically decided not to do it because of the media attention, because of the publicity and because we did not want to give the State Attorney’s Office a preview of what our defense and our questioning was going to be. Basically as a defense attorney you got to lay all your cards out on the table before it gets to trial. If the judge denies the hearing, you’ve got nothing left.

    That said, I can understand why folks are incorrectly wailing about SYG, since the media (mis)reporting on this case has been so abysmal.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven:

    Indeed. I’d think he’d want to stick it to the liberal thug-loving gun-grabbing tyrannical state for even considering holding him responsible for opening fire on ni*CLANG*s.

  46. 46
    Ronnie Pudding says:

    @raven:

    My post was ironic. I just love the “on the one hand, he says he saw a gun, on the other hand, they didn’t have one.”

  47. 47
    lamh36 says:

    Le sigh.

    I never said anything about jury selections or deliberations, or called the jury idiots or maligned the jury in anyway.

    But excuse me, for have a visceral reaction to the proceedings and the outcome, not based on the semantics of the legal system, but as a person of color and feeling like the life of your young son or lil brother or cousin is automatically allowed to be suspect in the eyes of some racist fuck.

    Excuse me, but you can be satisfied with the conviction that was given, but be damn well pissed about the other thing.

    Forget the jury, let me ask all of you a few questions:

    1) Are you the parent of a teenage boy?

    2) Like most teenage boys now-a-days, does your child listen to hip hop? Or a better question…does your boy like to listen to music “played loudly” when they are with friends?

    3) When they leave their house when they are with friends, do you feel the need to tell them be careful and don’t play your music too loud?

    4)Better yet, are you concerned to even let your teenage son hang out with more than one friend on the fear that the police or some other “Law-abiding” citizen feels threatened by the group of them?

    No…well guess what those last 2 questions are two things that my sister has to grapple with and my young nephew has to be advice of at 14. That the “carefree” life that some kids are afforded at teenage is not the same life he can afford by virtue of being Black and a boy.

    So yeah, I get the legalese that so many are spouting. I get the “hey at least we got something” spill that some are spouting.

    But excuse me if I don’t give a fuck, and instead think about what I’ve got to tell my nephew and how I advice him to live a free life, yet be in fear as well. I don’t know about ya’ll, but that seems like a sad life to impose on a teenager.

  48. 48

    Have made it clear repeatedly to family in FL (Bradenton) and TX (Houston), you want to see me, you come here. No reason to go those places ever again. If I want fucked up crazy, all I gotta do is drive two hours to Pittsburgh.

  49. 49
    raven says:

    @Ronnie Pudding:Maybe all the “seems and may haves” are too?

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ronnie Pudding:

    Well, you know, he did see a gun.

    In his own hand.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gopher2b: At this point, I lean toward the theory that the jury was split between first degree murder and one of the lesser includeds.

  52. 52
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @raven: I just gave up trying to offer an opinion based on criminal law experience. I know Florida is the southernmost insane asylum in the US, and SYG laws are ridiculous and encouraging violence. I understand why people are upset. But there is strong likelihood that the deadlock was between which degree of murder was proved.

  53. 53
    bago says:

    There is a very dark and twisted part of me that just knows that the lesson that some people will gladly take away from this incident is the following: “When shooting at undesiarables, don’t miss”.

  54. 54
    trollhattan says:

    @Mandalay:

    After the Zimmerman horror, where they also did not use SYG in the trial, I read a comparison of Florida juror instructions from before and after the law passed, even in non-SYG murder cases. They were worded quite differently. Did that change apply to the juror instructions for this case?

  55. 55
    batgirl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I don’t think so, and I agree with you. However, and some one correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the verbal altercation over the loud music was between Davis and Dunn. In other words, if you are a black male, you better only say “yes sir” and “no sir” to a white person or better yet keep your mouth shut. So it is possible that some on the jury saw this verbal altercation as justification for fear and self-defense. Who the fuck knows. This is all speculation, isn’t it? The one bit we know, those questions from the jury, however, do seem to indicate that at least someone of the jury thought the murder of Davis was justifiable.

  56. 56
    Gopher2b says:

    @batgirl: if thats the case then he has an appellate issue. If the jury thought (obviously not all of them did because it was hung) that he was justified and shooting Jordan Davis, then they should have acquitted on the attempted murder charges because he lacked intent to shoot them (basically, he missed). Imagine if there is a crowd of people and some pulls out a gun and threatens you with it, you pull out your’s and shoot at him, miss and hit the person next to him, but he lives. You’re not guilty of attempted murder. Basically the same thing here.

  57. 57
    raven says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): We got a pretty good explanation that this had nothing to do with SYG upstream.

  58. 58
    billB says:

    The south should be walled off like Hadrian’s Wall in England. All nutballs can live there, but civilization is on this side. OH and no aid to them, they can’t get tax subsidies for the corporate farms, the oil facilities, the coal rape of mountains. If it is sooo dang great there, pay your own way, and let normal people alone. AND we will bring all them chillin up here for a safe and good education.

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    Yeah, but the legal atmosphere of Florida is tainted by SYG. It’s basically like handing out double-O licences to every white male in Florida, and even though it wasn’t invoked in this case, it’s still out there that Dunn’s actions were justifiable because he was “threatened” by these loud hip-hop “thug music” playing “thugs” who made him in fear for his life as they drove away from him.

  60. 60
    batgirl says:

    @Gopher2b: See the jury questions I pasted up above. It makes “sense” if some of the jury thought the shooting of Davis was justifiable but the shooting at the other kids in the car wasn’t.

  61. 61
    Gopher2b says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Why wouldn’t the 1st degree’ers go down then? I admire the passion but man, get the verdict. Besides, if 1st degree in Florida is premeditation then he prob wasn’t guilty of that anyway.

  62. 62
    batgirl says:

    @Gopher2b: What do you make of the questions that the jury asked?

  63. 63
    raven says:

    First it’s Florida, now it’s “the South”. Someone call McClaren and he can advise every one of you to kill yourselves.

  64. 64
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @RaflW:

    Despite my hatred of Florida, I still have a number of friends, including my former in-laws (not to mention Betty Cracker and Mustang Bobby), living in the state. I’d like to see them again, but until and unless FL makes some rational political/legislative decisions, I’m not spending a dime in that place.

    Fluck Forida.

  65. 65
    KG says:

    @raven: can we start putting that on our money instead of e plubis unim?

  66. 66
    Central NJ Resident says:

    Raven,

    Why spend money on a new trial when you still have no chance of ever seeing the outside of a jail cell. He would gain nothing, not even his “good name”. Better to leave the money for his dog.

    Gopher,

    I think it’s obvious the holdout juror(s) view this as 2 separate acts. Act 1, he fears for his life and shoots Jordan. Holdout thinks this is ok. But then Act 2, he gets out of the car and shoots at a fleeing vehicle when he is no longer in any danger. I don’t see these as inconsistent if you are willing to buy his BS about self defense.

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gopher2b: He walked back to his car to get the gun. That could be be enough for premed. Also, the split could have been murder/vol manslaughter – that is a juror could have a believed that Dunn believed he was in danger but that a reasonable person would not have, i.e., imperfect self defense.

  68. 68
    gwangung says:

    @Gopher2b: Then why no conviction on 2nd degree?

  69. 69
    lamh36 says:

    The Jordan Davis’ family should take comfort in the fact that Dunn will be in prison for a lifetime. Sure there son was murdered, but I’m sure all the legalese will comfort them..

    Jordan Davis’ Father: My Son Will Never Be Just Another Day At The Office [VIDEO]

    Leaving the courtroom in tears after a jury could not decide whether or not to charge Michael Dunn, 47, with first-degree murder in the shooting death of their 17 year old son Jordan Davis, Lucia McBath and Ron Davis told reporters that they will never stop fighting for justice for their son…
    While McBath was visibly emotionally drained, saying that she would pray for Dunn and continue to wait for justice, the elder Davis reminded reporters that their son was a good kid who deserved the law to protect him…

  70. 70
    KG says:

    Miami isn’t so bad, if you’re ok with many people not speaking English.

  71. 71
    TriassicSands says:

    The burning question is “Which state is more barbaric?” Texas or Florida?

    With two recent murders of black teenagers to their credit, Floridians can, with some racist pride, claim the mantle today. But, Texas will not sit idly by.

  72. 72
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yeah, but the legal atmosphere of Florida is tainted by SYG.

    And of course the cultural atmosphere is totally ruined as a result.

  73. 73
    Walker says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The majority of North Carolina wanted to go union. It did not because it was sandwiched between South Carolina and Virginia and wanted to live.

    Yeah, it is still very racist in parts, but compared to the rest of the south…

  74. 74
    Gopher2b says:

    That’s what concerns me. Those don’t sound like the questions of a jury split between 1st and 2nd. If the judge got the law wrong (what did he say?) then those holdout jurors are going to be all over the news in the next dew days.

    You watch, the NRA will get to those jurors and convince them the misunderstood the instructions if the judge got the correct.

  75. 75
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yeah, but the legal atmosphere of Florida is tainted by SYG.

    I don’t understand your point. Perhaps the mentality and behavior of people like Dunn may be tainted by the very existence of SYG, but I don’t see how the “legal atmosphere…is tainted”. But then again, IANAL.

  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lamh36: The murder charge will be retried. Odds are that Dunn will plead out.

  77. 77
    SuperHrefna says:

    @billB: Sounds like a good start but what the hell can we do with the racist motherfuckers up here? At least on Long Island it’s still illegal to shoot children but there are copious numbers of Scared White Men who need a re-education camp at the very least.

    I am heartsick at this verdict. What will it take for black lives to be given the same love, dignity and respect as white lives?

  78. 78
    Gopher2b says:

    @Central NJ Resident:

    I didn’t know that. That could make sense. I should prob learn the facts before spouting off!!!

  79. 79
    Kay says:

    They better figure out how to prosecute these before it becomes a “nothing can be done” category like school shootings are.

    We’ll have periodic school slaughters and then we’ll have periodic murders of unarmed black teenagers where they can’t manage to convict the shooter, and that’s just the way things are, like the tides or the phases of the moon or something.

    This is a basic, bedrock issue of public safety. If they can’t manage this, they’re failing at a really profound and central state role.

  80. 80
    The Dangerman says:

    Do we know how the jury was split? If it was between 1st degree and 2nd degree, then the aspersions aren’t warranted. If there was a split with innocence, aspersion away.

  81. 81
    Central NJ Resident says:

    Another reason not to rush to judgement on the judgement…

    As to the question of why wouldn’t jurors who may have wanted Murder 1 didn’t drop to murder 2 in order to get a verdict, maybe it’s because they felt strongly enough about getting real justice for Jordan that they weren’t willing to make that compromise because of a few stubborn holdouts. And if so, then good for them. I’m sure they would have realized that by holding out, the State gets another crack at it, this time without a stubborn nutjob on the jury.

    We should now by tomorrow at least what the split was on the jury for guilty / not guilty. My money is on a 11/1 split in favor of M1.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Dangerman: We don’t know.

  83. 83
    gwangung says:

    @Kay:

    We’ll have periodic school slaughters and then we’ll have periodic murders of unarmed black teenagers where they can’t manage to convict the shooter, and that’s just the way things are, like the tides or the phases of the moon or something.

    Oh, no, they won’t stay that way. Black folks are going to arm themselves, if only for self protection. And they’ll take the message of Zimmerman to heart and shoot to kill.

  84. 84
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Kay: I think it is symptomatic of the crumbling of the idea of America. Americans just don’t seem to trust each other any more, don’t seem to be willing to help each other out as fellow residents of the same nation. There is so much anger and fear and the Corporate Overlords just keep egging all us rats on to fight in our sack. Anything to distract us from their plunder.

  85. 85
    Mandalay says:

    @KG:

    Miami isn’t so bad, if you’re ok with many people not speaking English.

    For tolerance and acceptance of others in a multicultural society, I think that Miami kicks ass, and is probably way ahead of most other large US cities. But there is a massive difference between north Florida and south Florida. As a south Floridian I would be delighted if we stopped pretending, and everywhere north of Lake Okeechobee became part of Alabama.

  86. 86
    some guy says:

    Florida 69, Kentucky 59.

    Fan tastic

  87. 87
    jenn says:

    @lamh36: I’ve retyped this comment 3 times now, but – there’s nothing about this whole situation that doesn’t suck. The only thing that I would say is, the thing that I am holding on to anyway – the legal system isn’t done with Dunn, there will be a retrial, and hopefully, the legal system will be the justice system for Jordan.

  88. 88
    Kay says:

    @lamh36:

    who deserved the law to protect him…

    Yup. They’re right. I wouldn’t buy all the elaborate explanations either, if I were them. They’re supposed to protect us from crazed shooters when we go to the convenience store. It’s really their core duty. Without that, there’s not much point in all the rest.

  89. 89
    Central NJ Resident says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Yes, but only on those who couldn’t see Dunn was plainly guilty. Let’s not blame the whole jury, the state or the system just because one crank decided to gum up the works. That’s why mistrials exist, so the State can run a do-over.

    This is not the Zimmerman verdict. That one deserves aspersions because their should have been one sane person on that jury who was willing to hold out for a conviction, even if it meant deadlocking the jury and forcing a mistrial.

  90. 90
    TriassicSands says:

    @Gopher2b:

    Besides, if 1st degree in Florida is premeditation then he prob wasn’t guilty of that anyway.

    First degree murder can be charged if the homicide takes place during the commission of a “predicate felony.”
    In Florida, murder is considered a predicate felony. If Dunn was engaged in committing murder his homicide could be considered first degree. Ironically, attempted murder did not appear on the list I found of predicate felonies. It would follow that if attempted murder were a predicate felony, then Dunn’s crime could be considered 1st degree murder, since the homicide occurred during the commission of attempted murder — which he was found guilty of committing.

    Sound circular?

  91. 91
    SatanicPanic says:

    I would threaten to boycott Florida, but I never had any plans to go in the first place so that would just be cheap moral posturing. I hope this guy spends the rest of his natural life in jail.

  92. 92
    Corner Stone says:

    @trollhattan:

    I could have a jetpack and a date with Penelope Cruz.

    Take the jetpack. Leave the Penelope.

  93. 93

    @lamh36: All good points. Here’s what we’ve decided, as parents trying to bring a vulnerable brown child up in a racist society: Freedom and safety aren’t opposites, unless you want to spend your life under the bed.

    Trayvon, Jordan, Renisha…these children died doing things that I want my child to be able to do. Most of the young people of all hues who do those normal things every day come home alive. The reason this is a national news story is that very rarely does the asshole in the parking lot decide to shoot up a car full of kids. This was vanishingly unlikely.

    Yes, the black skin on the kids in the car was a factor in the killer’s fear, and his choice to respond to his own discomfort with deadly force. That’s unjustifiable, as the end state of an intolerable system of irrationality and fears–but it’s still extremely rare that racists pull out a piece and start shooting.

  94. 94
    James E. Powell says:

    To every attorney or other legal thinker who argues that ‘stand your ground’ had nothing to do with this case: you may be right in the sense that it wasn’t in the jury instructions, but you are wrong in the sense that the ‘stand your ground’ mentality, or worldview, is exactly what produces jurors who excuse murder. Obviously, this is especially but not exclusively the case when the shooter is white and the dead person is a young, black male.

  95. 95
    Kay says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    It’s genuinely alarming, and I’m not a black teenager. They only have a couple of things they absolutely have to be able to do, and this is one of them. I can’t believe the language I hear on the radio: “tragedy”. WTF? It’s a crime. I think they’ve completely lost sight of their basic job.

    Nothing can be done about school shootings, the murder of unarmed black teenagers and the safety of drinking water in West Virginia. These are all “tragedies”. Our hands are tied!

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @James E. Powell: Absolutely, the mindset that posits shooting as the best first response to any kind of perceived threat is at the heart of all of these cases.

  97. 97
    some guy says:

    Racism is the default position for way too many of my fellow Floridians.period. white privilige is the defau lot setting for the majority of White Americans and yet a kenyan muslim socialist won this states electoral votes against McCain. And 4 years later the Negro In Chief won Florida electoral college votes against RomneyBot 2.but broad strokes from broad brushes cover many sins.

    Le sigh

  98. 98
    Keith P says:

    @jonas: The murder charge was a mistrial, not an acquittal. They can retry that charge.

  99. 99
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    Soon they will all be “acts of God.”

  100. 100
    Mandalay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    He walked back to his car to get the gun.

    That was what I initially thought as well, but after hearing the testimony my understanding of what actually happened is this:
    1 Dunn left his car without a gun, spoke to the kids, and returned to his car.
    2 While everyone remained in their cars a heated conversation occurred through lowered windows.
    3 Dunn then alleges that Davis got out of the SUV, so he reached into his glove box and fired because he was in fear of his life.
    4 When Dunn’s girlfriend got in the car Dunn started to drive away, but then stopped, got out of his car, and fired some more shots at the SUV.

    I don’t think very many people believe Dunn’s testimony on point 3, but there is general agreement on everything else.

  101. 101
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Kay: that’s exactly it. This isn’t a random tragedy, like a hurricane or an earthquake, that we just have to live through. It is a crime, and a crime that should be dealt with by a healthy body politic. But we don’t have one. There is no national consensus that shooting people is wrong, or that one’s worth should not be determined by the color of one’s skin.

  102. 102
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Nope, we have no knowledge of how the jury was split, why it was split or any of that. All we do know is that the murder charge was declared a mistrial, which means it can be retried.

    What went on inside the jury room itself is known only by the jurors.

  103. 103
    mclaren says:

    I agree with your sentiment, but, sorry, Cole, you’re just wrong on the legalities here.

    First degree murder requires premeditation. This incident sounds pretty clearly like a rage killing. Legally, that means that the guy did not arrive at that location with the specific intent to kill that kid. Premeditation demands that the guy brought a gun along and specifically formed a detailed plan to murder the kid playing the loud music. From the facts of the case, it sounds like a typical case of out-of-control rage that escalated. That’s not premeditated murder.

    Second degree murder? You bet. But not premeditated murder.

    First degree murder has a high probitive bar. It requires that a jury finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant formed a specific plan to murder the decedent. First degree murder is what you get a conviction on when the defendant makes up a list with entries like TIE UP WIFE, KILL DOG, BURN THE BODIES. That’s not the kind of thing that happened in this case. There’s just no evidence that the defendant made plans beforehand and travelled to that location in order to murder any of those kids.

    How do we know? Because Dunn shot at the kids, he didn’t specifically walk up to each kid and shoot them in the head one by one. Dunn didn’t leave behind anything like a list reading FIRST KILL THE KIDS PLAYING THE LOUD MUSIC, THEN HIDE THE BODIES. Dunn didn’t search the internet for subjects like “how to kill children playing loud music” and so on. Dunn simply became enraged and got a gun and shot at the kids. That’s sociopathic and brutal and crazy…but it doesn’t meet the legal definition of premeditated murder.

    Anyway, since the guy got 60 years, it sounds like justice was reasonably served. I would be exercised if he’d gotten off entirely, or if he’d gotten 3 years probation. But 60 years sounds like a fairly sensible outcome.

  104. 104
    Lyrebird says:

    @lamh36: There’s another interview w/the boy’s mom linked from the TNC article John recommended… I am in awe of her response to having her sweet boy murdered.

    As far as Florida goes, for me there’s an annual professional event which brings me there; I am gonna ask myself to match at least half the conference cost with a donation in honor of Jordan and Trayvon. Which is at least as cold comfort as the legal wrangling. Blessings on your nephew. (secular or sectarian, however you prefer.)

  105. 105
    Liberty60 says:

    @gwangung: \Sadly, if I thought that black folk arming themselves would solve things, I would agree.

    But I know that if the colors were reversed, and Dunn were black, he would be on his way to a Supermax prison as we speak.

  106. 106
    Keith P says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: We’ll know what went on in the jury room by about noon on Monday. Anderson Cooper will look super-concerned (aka “Blue Steel”) while he interviews one of them by, I dunno, Tuesday evening.

  107. 107
    Mandalay says:

    @James E. Powell:

    To every attorney or other legal thinker who argues that ‘stand your ground’ had nothing to do with this case: you may be right in the sense that it wasn’t in the jury instructions

    Oh FFS, there is no “may be” about it. Either there was a pre-trial SYG hearing or there wasn’t, and in this case there wasn’t. There is no ambiguity on the point.

  108. 108
    James E. Powell says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Absolutely, the mindset that posits shooting as the best first response to any kind of perceived threat is at the heart of all of these cases.

    And just so I am making myself clear, I am not talking about the shooter’s beliefs, but that rather widespread belief that the shooter is entitled to pull the trigger on anyone or anything that is or might be a plausible threat.

    Jurors can hang their decisions on legalese or some piece of evidence, but ultimately they make their decision on what they believe is right, factually and morally. These people just do not believe that killing an innocent person is wrong if the shooter felt threatened. And young, black males are presumed to be threatening.

  109. 109
    LA-labor-lawyer says:

    I’ll feel better about Florida justice and Florida juries when a Black man is acquitted for shooting a white teenager who was blasting Blake Shelton in his Camaro.

  110. 110
    rikyrah says:

    Jamilah Lemieux ✔ @JamilahLemieux
    Follow

    No one should have to be graceful in the face of murder and injustice.
    7:03 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  111. 111
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Central NJ Resident:

    He would not be spending the money.

    The State of Florida would.

    Dunn is answering to the charges. Retrying the case is the state’s prerogative, not Dunn’s.

  112. 112
    rikyrah says:

    SheriffFruitfly @sherifffruitfly
    Follow

    it has nothing to do with music, hoodies or anything. it has everything to do with we white folks thinking we can do anything to black folks
    7:03 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  113. 113
    rikyrah says:

    Firestarter in Chief @docrocktex26
    Follow

    Stand Your Ground prioritizes the demons in a gun nut’s imagination over reality, innocence, and public safety.
    4:44 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  114. 114
    rikyrah says:

    Jesse Berney @jesseberney
    Follow

    Honestly thought this was open and shut. I needed to be reminded how terrifying it is to be black in America.
    6:51 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  115. 115
    rikyrah says:

    Faith Jenkins Esq. @faithjenkins1
    Follow

    The problem w black victims in cases like this is that they are no longer around to prove they were worthy of life. #dunntrial
    6:41 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  116. 116
    rikyrah says:

    Omar Moore @popcornreel
    Follow

    FLA: Marissa Alexander gets 20 years for shooting a gun INTO THE AIR but Michael Dunn isn’t convicted of MURDERING Jordan Davis. #DunnTrial
    7:10 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  117. 117
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Premeditation does not require a set amount of time. It requires only thinking about it before hand. Something like getting a gun out of the trunk of a car or loading a gun can be enough to establish premeditation. Second degree simply requires acting with the intent to kill. The case is arguably either one – even using the facts as Mandalay described them.

    BTW the murder charge can be retried.

  118. 118
    rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid ✔ @TheReidReport
    Follow

    If you shoot someone in FL & they live, you’re going down. If they die, hung jury or acquittal. The bitter irony of Stand Your Ground.
    6:07 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  119. 119
    rikyrah says:

    Marc Lamont Hill ✔ @marclamonthill
    Follow

    Jordan Davis’s mom said she is praying for Dunn. If only someone had been that loving and merciful to her child.
    6:36 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  120. 120
    SuperHrefna says:

    @mclaren: no, I don’t think justice was served, sixty years imprisonment or not. The fact remains that a teenager was shot to death and no one has been convicted in his killing. You may be correct that second degree murder best describes the crime, I am not a lawyer. But even I can tell that letting the killing of this child go without a legal verdict weakens respect for the law, and thus weakens us all. These things matter.

  121. 121
    rikyrah says:

    Grace @graceishuman
    Follow

    God. Another Black mother having to stand in front of the country and weep for her dead child. Love to Lucia McBath.
    6:36 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  122. 122
    rikyrah says:

    Elon James White @elonjames
    Follow

    And again–WHY is #JordanDavis dead? It’s not because he played loud music. Its because he defied a White man. Thats terrifying in America.
    7:27 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  123. 123
    rikyrah says:

    Only4RM @Only4RM
    Follow

    In a parallel universe #Trayvon & #Jordan are college freshmen together, not bound in our collective trauma from their deaths @TheReidReport
    6:53 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  124. 124
    rikyrah says:

    Teresa Kopec @TeresaKopec
    Follow

    Most remarkable part of Dunn story is he drove off, ordered a pizza & never called the police after KILLING a boy. THEN claims self defense.
    7:27 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  125. 125
    James E. Powell says:

    I am curious to know why the defendant was not charged with 2nd degree murder.

    And do we have the language of the indictment?

  126. 126
    rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid ✔ @TheReidReport
    Follow

    So Michael Dunn faces at least 60 years in prison, but ZERO years in prison (now) for killing Jordan Davis. Ah, Florida. #DunnTrial
    6:04 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  127. 127
    rikyrah says:

    Holly Robinson Peete ✔ @hollyrpeete
    Follow

    Dunn verdict scares me so much as an American mom. How many times can we justify killing these boys of color b/c they appear “menacing”??
    8:04 PM – 15 Feb 2014

  128. 128
    Mandalay says:

    @TriassicSands:

    It would follow that if attempted murder were a predicate felony, then Dunn’s crime could be considered 1st degree murder, since the homicide occurred during the commission of attempted murder — which he was found guilty of committing.

    IANAL, but surely it is relevant that the homicide occurred prior to the attempted murders? The homicide clearly did not occur while Dunn was separately in the act of committing attempted murder.

  129. 129
    Mandalay says:

    @TriassicSands:

    It would follow that if attempted murder were a predicate felony, then Dunn’s crime could be considered 1st degree murder, since the homicide occurred during the commission of attempted murder — which he was found guilty of committing.

    IANAL, but surely it is relevant that the homicide occurred prior to the attempted murders? The homicide clearly did not occur while Dunn was separately in the act of committing attempted murder.

  130. 130
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @James E. Powell:

    He was charged, but not convicted. Of anything involving the death of Jordan Davis.

    The trial specifically for the death of Jordan Davis was declared a mistrial.

    To clarify, he was charged with First degree murder, but also with the lesser included crimes of second degree and third degree murder, as well as manslaughter.

    The jury could not decided on a charge to convict him of.

    Hence the mistrial.

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @James E. Powell: Lesser included offenses were in there. Apparently, FL law requires it.

  132. 132
    mclaren says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    I agree with you that Dunn should have been convicted on a murder charge. It seems to me that the fault lies with the prosecutor, who indicted Dunn on the wrong charge. I’m pretty sure that if the prosecutor had charged Dunn with second degree murder, the jury would’ve convicted in a heartbeat.

    This sounds to me like a case of a glory-seeking prosecutor who wants to be the Big Swinging Dick who convicted that old guy of first degree murder, so the prosecutor can run for higher office. The damn fool should’ve realized that the facts of the case don’t support a first degree murder charge and charged him with second degree.

    Dunn is still open to a federal prosecution for 14th amendment violation of the dead kid’s civil rights, though. And frankly, if I were Obama, I’d ask a U.S. attorney to go for it. Just speaking for myself.

  133. 133
    rikyrah says:

    On The Killing Of Jordan Davis By Michael Dunn
    Ta-Nehisi Coates Feb 15 2014, 10:07 PM ET

    I wish I had something more to say about the fact that Michael Dunn was not convicted for killing a black boy. Except I said it after George Zimmerman was not convicted of killing a black boy. Except the parents of black boys already know this. Except the parents of black boys have long said this, and they have been answered with mockery.

    Jordan Davis had a mother and a father. It did not save him. Trayvon Martin had a mother and a father. They could not save him. My son has a father and mother. We cannot protect him from our country, which is our aegis and our assailant. We cannot protect our children because racism in America is not merely a belief system but a heritage, and the inability of black parents to protect their children is an ancient tradition.
    ……………………………………………

    Spare us the invocations of “black on black crime.” I will not respect the lie. I would rather be thought insane. The most mendacious phrase in the American language is “black on black crime,” which is uttered as though the same hands that drew red lines around the ghettoes of Chicago are not the same hands that drew red lines around the life of Jordan Davis, as though black people authored North Lawndale and policy does not exist. That which mandates the murder of our Hadiya Pendletons necessarily mandates the murder of Jordan Davis. I will not respect any difference. I will not respect the lie. I would rather be thought crazy.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/pol.....nn/283870/

  134. 134
    rikyrah says:

    @lamh36:

    thank you, lamh.

  135. 135
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Lesser included offenses were charged in the indictment. Dunn was not acquitted. Because it was a mistrial, jeopardy did not attach and the state is free to try him again. The prosecutor has already stated that Dunn will be tried again.

  136. 136
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    ER, “decide”. Idiot editor, idiot poster…

  137. 137
    Mandalay says:

    @rikyrah:

    Most remarkable part of Dunn story is he drove off, ordered a pizza & never called the police after KILLING a boy. THEN claims self defense.

    It’s actually even worse than that. He was with his girlfriend for over 12 hours after the killing, yet she testified that he had never mentioned to her that anyone got out of the SUV, or that he thought he saw a gun.

    While Dunn was in jail awaiting trial he wrote to her to “remind” her that someone got out of the SUV, but she refused to go along with his lies in her testimony.

  138. 138

    I’ve been protecting my sanity by avoiding this trial, so I’m now confused because it seems so improbable: Dunn claims that the shooting was self-defense. He also claims that the kid who died, from a bullet he fired at a moving car, just happened to be the one of 4 black boys in the car playing loud music who threatened his life.

    Did the other boys, who didn’t die within minutes of the shooting, verify that the victim made any such threat? Or spoke to the killer at all?

    I just don’t see taking the word of a guy whose defense consists of ‘thugs with their blackity black rap noise scared me so I went for my piece’ that he could tell which of these children was the one who sassed him. Because my instincts tell me that they all looked alike to him.

  139. 139
    mdblanche says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    : The murder charge will be retried. Odds are that Dunn will plead out.

    Why do you say that? Since he’s going to prison anyway, it seems like he has nothing left to lose at this point.

    Though I do take some comfort that he is going to prison for along time for something and is not going to become another Zimmerman-style celebrity.

  140. 140
    rikyrah says:

    @raven:

    you really don’t want any parts of me tonight. I’m out of fucks to give. so you can kiss my entire Black ass.

  141. 141
    Mandalay says:

    Dunn’s lawyer is grabbing his 15 minutes of fame while he can. These remarks from him are certainly memorable:

    Strolla: “He’s said that since day one, and had he had bond and been able to speak to the media, he would have told you from day one. Matter of fact, he can’t tell you how many times he’s said that this isn’t a black and white issue, it’s what he would call a subculture thug issue, and again that doesn’t go to race. It goes to how people behave and respond to situations.”

  142. 142
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mdblanche: Sentencing consideration. And, of course, a plea to second degree murder takes the death penalty off the table.

  143. 143
    Gopher2b says:

    @Central NJ Resident:

    Just spent the last 45 minutes reading the witness summaries available on the intertubes. Based on the jurors questions and the witness testimony and this verdict, think the jurors believed they had to find self defense for each victim. That’s just not correct. You cannot pierce jury deliberations but nothing is stopping one of them from runnig their mouth and or writing a book.

  144. 144
    Mandalay says:

    @mdblanche:

    Since he’s going to prison anyway, it seems like he has nothing left to lose at this point.

    How about a lot of money? Depending on his sentence, he may be going away for the rest of his life, in which case he may decide to cut his losses and leave any remaining assets to his family rather than a lawyer.

  145. 145
    Gopher2b says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    I just read some do the summaries and his friends said Davis and Dunn were arguing and that their friend escalated it but he never threatened Dunn. The summaries don’t get specific but it sounds like Davis called him a bunch of names, as teens tend to do.

  146. 146

    @Mandalay: Good gawd. His client certainly demonstrated that he’s a thug who solves perceived challenges to his status with violence…but my guess is that is not what he was trying to say.

    Someone take away that man’s shovel and help him out of that hole before this killer can appeal on the grounds of inadequate counsel.

  147. 147
    jl says:

    The news reports and articles were pretty worthless in figuring out what the results meant, so thanks for commenters and links here who filled in some details.

    The verdict is good in that it puts a sociopath like Dunn away for a long time. If they try Dunn again for second or third degree murder and convict him, that would be good since it would place at least some limits on who gun owners can decide to shoot to death and in what manner. Pretty atrocious, but at least some limits. If they cannot convict Dunn of some kind of murder or manslaughter, then I think Florida will turn into a shooting gallary, and the place will be a true mess.

    All the gunsters have to do is remember a few rules. Like, OK, I killed the guy I wanted, now remember, DO NOT shoot at his friends as they try to run away. Other than that, just g-damn shoot who you want, just have some BS story that you say something threatening, glint of metal, some one had their hands near one the two dozen daily items that might look like the handle of a pistol. All you need now is just a raised voice, a gesture or a glare, if there are witnesses. And if no witnesses, you can just shoot away.

    So, yeah, sorry. Love the outdoors in Florida, but I’m not going there unless I absolutely have to for work. I’m thinking of writing some Democratic officials in FL about it.

  148. 148
    mclaren says:

    @rikyrah:

    Don’t degrade yourself by arguing with a sociopath like raven. It insults your intelligence, and unnecessarily ennobles him.

  149. 149
    Mandalay says:

    @mclaren:

    First degree murder requires premeditation. This incident sounds pretty clearly like a rage killing. Legally, that means that the guy did not arrive at that location with the specific intent to kill that kid.

    I think everyone would agree that Dunn did not arrive at the gas station with the slightest intention of murdering anyone, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be charged with first degree murder….

    Premeditation doesn’t rely on a certain length of time, Corey said.

    “Ten times out of ten, when someone fires ten shots into a car full of unarmed teenagers, we will file first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder charges,” she said.

  150. 150

    @Gopher2b: Thanks for finding that–suggests that the 1st degree charge is based on that kid who sassed the shooter being the one he intended to kill.

  151. 151
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    “Thug” being the nice code word for “ni*CLANG*”.

    Oh, yes, this is a black and white issue. No doubt there at all.

  152. 152
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rikyrah: @lamh36: I know we are approaching this from very different angles. I know I look at it as a lawyer first and you are experiencing it as black people in a fucked-up world. To the extent that I can from my position, I get that. This isn’t the Zimmerman case though – when that jury tanked the verdict , it was over. Dunn, however, can and will be retried and almost certainly convicted of at least voluntary manslaughter. I am not counseling patience; I am saying that juries do weird shit sometimes and this is one time where it can be fixed.

  153. 153
    gwangung says:

    @mclaren: But people enjoy talking to you….

  154. 154
    jl says:

    I don’t think there is a time limit on planning or intent for first degree murder. It has to do with whether someone as so upset, angry or scared that their judgment was impaired.

    I have no problem with accusing Dunn of first degree murder. Even if Dunn thought he was threatened, Dunn went back to his car, got the gun, and as far as I can tell from accounts, the teenagers did not one damn thing, did not get out of the car, did not come after him. And Dunn calmly gets the gun, and goes back to the car and shoots the damn thing full of holes. Then he shoots again as it drives away. He just decided that he didn’t like getting lip from the kids and would shoot their asses. Well, in my book, that is a plan, and Dun executed it quite calmly.

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl:

    I don’t think there is a time limit on planning or intent for first degree murder. It has to do with whether someone as so upset, angry or scared that their judgment was impaired.

    Yes as to time limit. No as to impaired judgment. Deliberation, evidence of some preparation – even of short duration – is what is needed.

  156. 156
    jl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: thanks for clarification. Then I think Dunn is definitely guilty of first degree murder. And the Florida SYG law must be really messed up if any sane jury would not convict him.

  157. 157
    DavidTC says:

    Some people here appeared confused about Stand Your Ground law.

    Stand Your Ground indeed has a hearing component, where there is a ‘pre-court’ hearing that can stop the police from charging someone *at all*. That’s an extra step that didn’t happen here.

    It also *changes self-defense law*, so that you don’t have a duty to try to retreat, like you normally do anywhere outside your house. (This is literally what ‘Stand Your Ground’ means…it’s the *opposite* of the common ‘Duty to Retreat’.)

    So Stand Your Ground is two things…weakening self defense in general, and then requiring an extra step of the court system to charge you if you claim self defense.

    And incidentally, before people start asserting there’s anything to read in that extra step not applying here…that step was probably skipped here because of the *attempted* murders…it’s completely impossible for the guy to claim he tried to kill *everyone* in self-defense, (Especially someone who was currently driving a car the opposite direction.) so the police were *allowed* to arrest him without running it past a hearing first.

    So Stand Your Ground laws *certainly* were a factor in this case, and were indeed part of the jury instructions in what ‘self-defense’ is, as they change where self-defense can be claimed. If would have been *much* simpler for the prosecution to shoot down a self-defense defense in a duty-to-retreat state…he did not attempt to retreat and he could have, ergo, he cannot make a claim of self-defense, period.

    That said, it’s unclear that the lack of murder conviction had anything to do with self-defense at all, and may indeed be simply due to the jury not liking first degree murder.

  158. 158
    Cassidy says:

    Local coverage complete with comments section.

    For local flavor, where the murder took place is not an area with high crime in that anyone would have a reasonable fear of violence in the parking lot. The boys had actually come from the Town Center which is a big shopping and dining area. The lawyer attempted to discredit forensics and portray the boys as thugs listening to violent gangsta rap hippity hop. Local new coverage made sure to include the particular rapper and clips of his video as if that had any bearing. I always got the sense that most people around here didn’t know what was going on.

    ETA: As to SYG. It is a common belief amongst the population that you can shoot your way to victory down here. So, regardless of whether SYG was invoked or instructed, etc. it’s a part of everyone’s thought process. Down here, you either believe you have a duty to retreat or you do not. There isn’t much middle ground.

    My advice, persons of color should avoid the South, in general.

    Also ETA: Capone was convicted of tax evasion. You take what is given and sometimes that has to be enough.

  159. 159
    CaseyL says:

    I don’t think the problem is the jury or the verdict – the jury was not monolithically white, and the instructions regarding first degree murder weren’t exactly clear. Finding Dunn guilty of first degree murder won’t bring back Jordan Davis.

    The issue is that Dunn felt it was OK to shoot at a bunch of black kids because he’s a cowardly POS; and that Florida is an open air insane asylum where that variety of cowardly bigoted POS-ism can flourish.

    I don’t know if the fact that Dunn was convicted of enough counts to ensure he stays in prison for the rest of his life will act as a deterrent. One can hope: at least he didn’t walk away scott free like Zimmerman.

  160. 160
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cassidy:

    and portray the boys as thugs listening to violent gangsta rap hippity hop.

    Of course a bit of a problem with that is that people like my brother and I would listen to NWA or Public Enemy when we took a couple of reasonably long car trips together in the early 90s because it was about the only music we agreed upon. We didn’t exactly appear to fit the current “thug” definition – if you know what I mean.

  161. 161
    jl says:

    @CaseyL:

    ” don’t know if the fact that Dunn was convicted of enough counts to ensure he stays in prison for the rest of his life will act as a deterrent. ”

    If Dunn cannot be convicted of some kind of crime specifically for his shooting of Davis, I don’t think the other verdicts will be deterrents. The other convictions will just set some ground rules for how a private citizen should go about committing executions by firearm in Florida without facing any consequences. As I said above, the place will become a shooting gallery. There will be a ghastly series of white bigots shooting black people and Hispanics on bogus grounds, but eventually the violence will spread beyond that scenario.

    Edit: Actually, the violence already has spread, to neighbors shooting each other, and gangs taking advantage or the law, but it will get far worse.

  162. 162
    Cassidy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Shit, I had me some Nappy Roots pounding from my minivan just the other day. I don’t fit their definition of “thug” either. Unfortunately, they think I’m one of them and all too often I have to have the “don’t use that language around me” talk.

  163. 163
    kc says:

    @jl:

    place will become a shooting gallery.

    “Will become?”

  164. 164
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @CaseyL: Whether it adds a nano-second to Dunn’s sentence or not, I think it essential that Dunn be tried again and convicted some level of homicide. Read the comments of the AA commenters here tonight. There is a palpable feeling of justice denied. In addition, the fucking idiots whose first reaction to any situation is to reach for their gun need to know that there are real consequences and the shooting kids for no reason is murder – no matter what color there skin is. In my view, Dunn is a murderer and he should be labeled as such.

  165. 165
    max says:

    @TriassicSands: First degree murder can be charged if the homicide takes place during the commission of a “predicate felony.” In Florida, murder is considered a predicate felony. If Dunn was engaged in committing murder his homicide could be considered first degree. Ironically, attempted murder did not appear on the list I found of predicate felonies. It would follow that if attempted murder were a predicate felony, then Dunn’s crime could be considered 1st degree murder, since the homicide occurred during the commission of attempted murder — which he was found guilty of committing.

    He didn’t commit the attempted murders (in which he got out of the car and pumped a bunch of rounds into the fleeing vehicle) prior to the shooting. So, couldn’t be a predicate. Besides, I believe what you laid out there would be double-charging.

    If the guy had been trying to steal their drugs (or their non-existent guns! or their loud radio) and then had killed the one kid, that would satisfy the predicate charge.

    @jl: I have no problem with accusing Dunn of first degree murder. Even if Dunn thought he was threatened, Dunn went back to his car, got the gun, and as far as I can tell from accounts, the teenagers did not one damn thing, did not get out of the car, did not come after him. And Dunn calmly gets the gun, and goes back to the car and shoots the damn thing full of holes.

    Given that he said he felt threatened, I don’t really see the first degree. There isn’t enough clarity around the act to say the dude was engaged in premeditation. (Another words, did he up and decide he was going to off some ‘thugs’, or was he genuinely mistaken? Therein lies reasonable doubt.) There is clearly no justification for the act.

    Not seeing why the jury didn’t return the conviction on 2nd degree, but they’re going to retry him again and they should.

    max
    [‘I’m not seeing him plead out though, unless he’s going to get, say, 20 years over all, included the murder charge, which would make refiling the charges pointless.’]

  166. 166
    TS says:

    @Central NJ Resident:

    My personal guess is that he cuts a plea deal on Murder 2 at this point in order to avoid the expense of another trial, since there is no chance he will ever be a free man again anyway.

    Why would he do that – this jury had the choice of Murder 2 & could not agree – he has no more money so will have a public defender next time – might as well stir up some more anger while supporting his right to end an argument – that he started – with a gun.

  167. 167
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @max:

    I’m not seeing him plead out though, unless he’s going to get, say, 20 years over all, included the murder charge, which would make refiling the charges pointless.

    Removes the danger of the death penalty for Dunn. Gets a murder conviction stat for the prosecutor.

  168. 168
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @CaseyL:

    Finding Dunn guilty of first degree murder won’t bring back Jordan Davis.

    What it might do however is ensure that it’s harder for future assholes to skate on similar charges without having to lean on the extenuating attempted murder charges present in this case. I find myself imagining if Davis was alone in that car that day and this incident still happened.

  169. 169
    gian says:

    the professionals say that juries are unpredictable.
    I think that’s probably true in florida as well as anywhere else. they did convict on a number of charges which have long sentences. this is not a go home and have beer night for the shooter.

    I didn’t watch the trial, and I wasn’t there. I just read about in the news, and knowing what I know about the news, they aren’t always perfect on the facts.
    this shooter will be out of circulation for a long time, and that is a good thing. if all they saw was race, they’d have flat walked this guy.
    “maybe they thought” will drive a lawyer, or a trial watcher nuts.

    * side note as to the history of thug and how I hate the right wing has stolen it. this, as I learned it as a teen is the origin of thug:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuggee
    I tend to think of people who kill or attempt to kill innocents when I see the word. but I guess language evolves and now nazicommiesocialist means black guy who wants you to have health care.

  170. 170
    Hal says:

    So basically the jury accepts Dunn’s claim that there was a shotgun and that his life was threatened, even though police found no gun, and no witnesses to the altercation ever saw a gun.

  171. 171
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Hal: No.

  172. 172
    gwangung says:

    @max:

    Given that he said he felt threatened, I don’t really see the first degree.

    Since I don’t feel that a reasonable man would feel threatened in that situation, I can see first degree quite clearly. I do not take his statements as truthful without corroborating evidence (and I have heard none).

  173. 173
    DavidTC says:

    Oh, and that said…I actually think this qualifies as first degree murder, and I hope the next jury finds him guilty of that. Florida law:

    Murder in the first: The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated from a premeditated design to effect the death of the person killed or any human being…

    Murder in the second: The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual…

    It’s unclear just reading the ‘first degree’ definition, but the second makes it clear what is being talked about. To be second degree, there must not have been *any* premeditated design. If there was any, it’s first degree.

    People seem to think it’s the level of planning, but that’s not really it. Second degree is for when you attack or try to injury someone *without* technically intending to kill them…but then do kill them.

    Retrieving and loading a gun? Pretty clearly first degree. End of story.

  174. 174
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gwangung: A person can feel threatened in a situation where a reasonable person would not. It creates a situation called imperfect self-defense. It can knock murder down to voluntary manslaughter.

    @DavidTC:

    People seem to think it’s the level of planning, but that’s not really it. Second degree is for when you attack or try to injury someone *without* technically intending to kill them…but then do kill them.

    No. First degree requires premeditation and intent to kill. Second degree requires only intent to kill. What you describe as second degree is voluntary manslaughter.

  175. 175
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Late here, but it’s the juries and the process of jury selection. The US has made a particular deal: the First Amendment means the press can report whatever it likes on trials, but to offset it, you have large jury pools and a selection process in high-profile trials that produces juries with at least enough idiots to end up with verdicts like this.

    Other countries with similar judicial systems have sub judice rules and strict sequestering and much less room for both sides to pick their jurors.

  176. 176

    […] Ta-Nehisi Coates on Jordan Davis, via John Cole: […]

  177. 177
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Soon they will all be “acts of God.”

    I think the careful language is calculated not to offend. We’re all tip-toeing around teenager-shooters, so as not to upset anyone.

    As far as I’m concerned he attacked a group of people outside a convenience store, killing one.

    That’s the headline I’d write: “One Dead In Attack Outside Convenience Store”.

  178. 178
    jl says:

    @gwangung: I do not understand what max is talking about.From what I have read, Dunn walked AWAY from the van, and no one followed him, or took a shoot at him. Dunn got a gun out of his car. And from what I read, there was no more confrontation, no one was yelling from the van that Dunn was a dead man or they were gong to gt him.

    Dunn walked BACK to the van, with as far as I know from reports, no further provocation or threats from the van, and shoot into the van. And no reliable reports at the time that Dunn was scared, or thought he saw a gun. Nothing.

    And what the hell was Dunn thinking about as he did that? What kind of wine he was going to buy? Whether red or white went with chips? Dunn as obviously thinking about shooting into the van.

    I wasn’t at the trial, and IANAL, but SYG has to be one really messed up weirdo law for that not be first degree murder.

  179. 179
    gian says:

    @DavidTC:
    the difference is the premeditation and the historical case-law says you can premeditate in very quick fashion.

    the law for example gives a killer some leniency for extreme provocation, if, for example someone comes home early from work and finds their spouse enjoying a carnal dalliance and grabs the fireplace poker and makes like a major league hitter, it’s a lesser grade of killing than say planting a bomb in the lover’s car a week later.

    juries, and I think some judges have a problem with understanding that some asshole would really DO what was actually done. that kind of thing has never happened in their world and the victim must’ve done something… (see how people react to date rape cases) at a trial the killer is all cleaned up and in the least threatening to the jury pose (think Menedez sweaters)

    in this case, the victims friends are in or applying to college now. Imagine how that feels for the parents.

    But really intent to kill can happen in the blink of an eye. If as the NRA wants, every driver who was cut off in a rude manner had access to a gun….

    went to comment moderation, no clue why.

  180. 180
    gwangung says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: If you accept that he felt threatened at the time. Juries are not bound to accept his statements as truth, nor accept him as a credible actor, and we, as outsiders, are certainly not bound, either.

  181. 181
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hal:

    No, the jury could not agree on what charge he should be convicted of, which is all we know right now. What exactly members of the jury thought was appropriate we don’t know. We can’t read 12 minds remotely to determine that. We don’t know if a majority thought it as premeditated (first degree) or if he was defending himself. SYG was NOT invoked in this case, but it colors everything. It’s definitely in people’s minds, whether or not it’s explicitly used in a defense in a situation like this or not.

  182. 182
    jl says:

    @Kay: I am calling them ‘private citizen executions by firearm’. And ‘shooting people to death for no good reason’. I am also going to add ‘wanton and legalized slaughter by firearm, as advocated by gun nuts’ for variety.

  183. 183
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gwangung: Oh, absolutely. The thing is, I do think he felt threatened because I think he is a cowardly racist who didn’t see kids listening to music in that parking lot but instead saw something from the heights/depths of the Bloods and the Crips fights.

  184. 184
    jl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: IANAL, but even if SYG had been invoked, and I were prosecuting it, I would say SYG doesn’t apply because the killer Dunn decided that hearing some hippity hoppity music that was too loud for his sociopath ears. So he started the confrontation.

    Now, if someone in the van actually did have a gun and used it, who would have SYG’d whom, and who would have had the right to perform a private citizen execution by firearm on the spot? A case like that will come up soon, won’t it?

  185. 185
    Cassidy says:

    Jacksonville is very big on it’s “good” blacks and “bad” ones attitude. It’s baffling at times.

  186. 186
    Kay says:

    @jl:

    I don’t think we should give them a special category. “Man goes on shooting spree at convenience store”. Just ordinary words.

    I think it’s bad enough that Florida’s criminal code is all of a sudden completely inadequate to convict anyone of murder, although self defense has been around forever and this didn’t used to be a problem. It’s like Goldilocks and the three bears down there, now. The murder has to be just right.

  187. 187
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl: SYG never came up in this trial, except, as a commenter noted above, in the attitudes of some of the player in this drama.

    @Kay: I do think that this will end with a murder conviction (well, at least a vol man conviction) for Dunn.

  188. 188
    jl says:

    @Kay: OK, I will clam down, and next time one of these comes up in the news, I will just call it ‘legalized murder by gun, as advocated by wanton murderous sociopathic, usually racist, white ass gun nuts.’

  189. 189
    Joel says:

    @lamh36: You know, I’m as white as the driven snow, and my father used to tell me to always back down from fights. Just do it, because you just don’t know how crazy people are. I used to think that was the saddest and least manly advice ever, back when I was a testosterone-pumped idiot teenager. But I did heed that advice, and my thoughts on it have changed quite a bit over the years.

    Now I can only imagine how the world is for people who are prejudicially targeted for violence; people of the wrong race, or gender, or sexual orientation.

  190. 190
    max says:

    @jl: I do not understand what max is talking about. From what I have read, Dunn walked AWAY from the van, and no one followed him, or took a shot at him.

    Yes.

    Dunn got a gun out of his car.

    Very specifically, he reached into the glovebox, grabbed his gun and loaded it. Which I believe is legal there.

    And from what I read, there was no more confrontation, no one was yelling from the van that Dunn was a dead man or they were gong to get him.

    That isn’t what he was *claiming*.

    Dunn walked BACK to the van, with as far as I know from reports, no further provocation or threats from the van,

    Again, that isn’t what he was claiming.

    and shoot into the van. And no reliable reports at the time that Dunn was scared, or thought he saw a gun. Nothing.

    This is a dark convenience store parking lot. Dunn’s girlfriend is in the store. The other witnesses were some ways away. We have Dunn and the kids in the car with the loud music. Dunn says he was threatened (in what way?).

    So he turns around and… You may believe he premeditated the act before he got the gun, but you need the proof. If you’re going to claim premeditation after that point, you have to prove that. You may believe he figured he was going to shoot them for playing loud music, but that isn’t what he says.

    If this had been a similar situation with a black black guy, and a bunch of white kids (who DID have a shotgun), I have no doubt the system would have put the black guy on the railroad to the death chamber, ASAP, no questions asked. But that would be wrong, because you need to prove the premeditation.

    After the fact, Dunn unloaded into the fleeing vehicle, drove to get pizza and then didn’t call the cops or mention being threatened to his girlfriend, either because he was too dumb to figure out he shot somebody or much more likely, he thought he needed to get away with something.

    At any rate, if Dunn gets convicted on retrial and winds doing 40+ years hard time, that seems like a decent outcome.

    max
    [‘We’ll see if we get even that.’]

  191. 191
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @max: Loading an unloaded gun can be sufficient to indicate premeditation*

    *Please don’t ask me to find the citation at this time of night.

  192. 192
    jl says:

    @max I still don’t understand your argument at all. Maybe you are trying to troll me, or are trying to show how premeditation or intent is stretch in an abundance of caution. But I think your arguments make no sense.

    What is with this all the ‘it is legal’ to this that and the other? What are you saying, that if an accused has an intent to commit an illegal act, say murder, then it is necessary that the accused do some illegal things in preparation? (Well, it was LEGAL for him to take the knife out of the knife rack before he stabbed his room mate, so how could he have planned it?) Who cares? Why do we have to work through non sequiturs to get to intent?

    Or did Dunn have to go over to somebody and write out a note that he intended to shoot some punks. That is not a reasonable standard of intent or premeditation I ever heard of.

  193. 193
    gwangung says:

    @max:

    Very specifically, he reached into the glovebox, grabbed his gun and loaded it. Which I believe is legal there.

    It’s also evidence of premeditation. Intent to use, planned with forethought. It’s certainly not something you can argue was done in the heat of the moment.

    I think you’re playing in legal waters that you don’t have a map for.

  194. 194
    Ruckus says:

    @PhoenixRising:
    It may be rare but would you want to risk it to end up your son?

    I had a young step daughter. I understand a bit what it’s like to have a child, to be a parent. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a black parent. What can you possibly say to your kids? Being responsible for a child is hard enough but to have to explain being shot dead for nothing? Having to explain/teach your kids that there are people who will shoot you for doing nothing wrong except being in the wrong place at any time while being black.

  195. 195
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gwangung: That is the heart of the 1st/2d degree decision.

  196. 196
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    IANAL, but even if SYG had been invoked, and I were prosecuting it, I would say SYG doesn’t apply because the killer Dunn decided that hearing some hippity hoppity music that was too loud for his sociopath ears. So he started the confrontation.

    Here’s the thing, though — under Florida’s self-defense law, it doesn’t matter who started the confrontation. All that matters is whether or not the defendant felt threatened at some point during the confrontation.

    It’s not like that in other states — here in California, you can’t claim self-defense if you’re the one who started the fight. But in Florida, you can start a fight, kill the other guy, and claim that you felt threatened and it’s a valid defense. There are several cases in the Tampa Bay Times database of exactly that situation.

  197. 197
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    Why do we have to work through non sequiturs to get to intent?

    Because the difference between Murder One and Murder Two is not intent. It’s planning, aka premeditation. You can intend to kill someone in a situation but not have planned ahead of time to do it.

    As Omnes said, premeditation is a very tricky thing, legally, and there are cases where the prosecution has successfully claimed premeditation based on actions by the defendant that happened only a few minutes before the murder. But, generally speaking, it would be really hard for the prosecution to prove that Dunn planned to kill that kid when he went to the convenience store, which is different than intending to kill him when he shot at him.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the deadlock by the jury was because some of the jurors didn’t want to make Dunn eligible for the death penalty by finding him guilty of first degree murder, which is its own little fucked up racial problem.

  198. 198
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Actually, you can claim self defense if you retreated and then the other party became the aggressor. General legal rule. Damn it, some of us spent a lot of time and money and passed exams and shit, but what the hell everyone knows everything about the law (hah! the law), what the hell, no one here actually cares.

  199. 199
    xenos says:

    @Mandalay:

    That said, I can understand why folks are incorrectly wailing about SYG, since the media (mis)reporting on this case has been so abysmal.

    The jury instructions use the exact same language for ‘stand your ground’, and although you and I understand that there is a distinct procedure involved the juries are apparantly quite confused and the Zimmerman jury did think that that an immunity applied when it should have been an affirmative defense.

    You have to step back from the legal formalities and look at the human thinking process and social setting: SYG + jury instructions on self defense = open invitation for jury nullification where the victim can be characterised as having it coming to him.

  200. 200
    xenos says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the deadlock by the jury was because some of the jurors didn’t want to make Dunn eligible for the death penalty by finding him guilty of first degree murder, which is its own little fucked up racial problem.

    The priest class is not supposed to be subject to being human sacrifices themselves. It makes the gods angry.

  201. 201
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    California has no duty to retreat, and never has — it’s part of our history of being a Wild West state, apparently. Because we’ve never had a duty to retreat, that may be why California’s laws specify that the aggressor can’t claim self-defense.

  202. 202
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: I said nothing about a duty to retreat. Read what I wrote.

  203. 203
    gwangung says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Huh. Learn something everyday.

  204. 204
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gwangung: Some do. Some don’t. I try.

  205. 205
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: I read someplace that even though there is no duty to retreat in California, it does have a stronger ‘reasonable person’ requirement. The jury has to decide whether the accused acted in some community-wide objective standard for what a reasonable person would have done, not just what the accused themselves subjectively thought was reasonable. Which seems to be a big F-ing deal in determining guilt or innocence, in cases like this.

    Edit: and OK, I probably typed ‘intent’ when I meant ‘plan’. So will restate. Dunn going back to his car, getting the gun, and then going back the van indicated planning to shoot at the van. I mean, maybe in an alternative scenario, he was going to pay for the wine and the chips with the gun, or maybe, hey, he decided to hold up the convenience store because he saw he forgot his wallet, but the punks jumped out of the van and came after him. But that didn’t happen, he waked back the van and shot it up. It was a simple plan, and it only took a minute, but I don’t see how any sane person can say it was not a plan.

    And for Omnes, I admit that IANAL, so this is just IANAL me trying to figure this stuff out.

  206. 206
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl: My view ( a really defense oriented guy): He deliberately got a gun and shot the fuck out of the SUV. 1st degree murder and attempted murder – easily. Were I his counsel, I would have been looking for a deal really early.

  207. 207
    TriassicSands says:

    @max:
    @Mandalay:

    The words “Sound circular,” were meant to indicate that I didn’t accept that line of reasoning.

    Clearly, everyone guilty of murder (not homicide) is also guilty of attempted murder — imagine the time between the shot being fired and the death. In some cases it is only a second; in others it can be weeks or longer. In that case, the person could be tried for attempted murder and then tried for murder should the victim die later. I don’t believe that would be double charging. In the shorter time frame, it would make no sense to me to charge attempted murder, if the attempt succeeded. I’ve never supported prosecutors creating a laundry list of charges for effect.

  208. 208
    Howard Beale IV says:

    If Florida gets whacked from some climate change event, they deserve it.

  209. 209
    gopher2b says:

    @max:

    He won’t plead. He’s going to appeal and the second trial will end before his appeals do. Pleading guilty to murder would kill his appeal.

  210. 210
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    I just read this piece and can feel nothing but despair because it feels like racism (as with all Other hatred) is that much closer to becoming accepted.

  211. 211
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: This was first degree murder under Florida law. Would not be on the multistate, but is in Florida.

  212. 212
    bob says:

    I hope Fl continues to take a stand to send a message that thugs are not welcome here. Take your “bs” elsewhere.

  213. 213
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @lamh36: I’m not a parent, but am shocked by the mistrial on the murder charge. Hope Dunn is retried and found guilty. I don’t understand how his straight up, cold-blooded, shooting of an unarmed teenager can be deemed self defense when the teenager did not have a weapon.

    Plus given his letters from jail, he’s nothing but a racist.

    Ridiculous.

  214. 214
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @batgirl: So what will happen if the Black car occupants are armed and shoot back against a future Dunn? Eventually that’s exactly what’s going to happen in Florida. Every Black male is not going to be a sitting duck for White racists to unload on.

  215. 215
    Bill says:

    @mdblanche:

    First degree murder carries a potential death sentence and Dunn now knows that he’s not automatically going to walk. Plus he knows he’s going to sit in jail for a long time anyway. I’m guessing he pleads. A recommendation of concurrent sentences and taking the death penalty off the table is probably enough to get him to plead and still puts him behind bars for a long time.

  216. 216
    Plantsmantx says:

    @bob:
    Are you talking about the serial wife-beater who had a silencer and nunchuks in his car?

  217. 217
    LAC says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I hope that motherfucker spends every day of his life in jail thinking on that. Because there are folks down on Florida making sure she does just that.

  218. 218
    Paul in KY says:

    @mclaren: You can ‘premeditate’ in 2 or 3 secs.

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