#DunnTrial #JordanDavis

So you may have heard about the outcry over the #DunnTrial verdict; Dunn was convicted of attempted murder but not for the actual murder of #JordanDavis. Some argue he’s going to jail so folks shouldn’t complain. Others argue that its hypocritical to be outraged about this when Blacks are being killed by Blacks  all the time.

If you give me a couple of minutes I’ll break down the issue and give arguments against all the bullshit.


On today’s episode of TWiB Prime,  #TeamBlackness discusses the jail time a woman received for not a returning a rental movie from 2005, whether arming yourself is the way of the future, and more on the Dunn trial.

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The Morning discuss Kanye West’s explanation of why the media really gives him a hard time (20:00), a man being tased and dragged off a BART train for no reason (55:00), and a special Black History Month What You Should Know (16:00).

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72 replies
  1. 1
    shortstop says:

    Also, black slave owners existed in Africa, so this country’s hideous history of human bondage is totally cool.

  2. 2
    Comrade Luke says:

    I’m sure this guy will also be convicted for attempted murder but not the actual murder. Because the precedent has been set, amirite?

    Iamwrong.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    Have any of the jurors spoken out about what they were hung over? Was it whether Dunn should get first or second degree murder or whether he had a valid stand your ground defense?

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Michael Dunn doesn’t think he should go to jail, period. He was just doing his civic duty to get that damn thug music turned down. People should be THANKING him for performing a public service!

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @shortstop:

    You missed the “too” after the “also” there, SS.

  6. 6
    shortstop says:

    @Baud: I don’t think anyone’s spoken out yet, but it’s pretty clear at least one person wasn’t going to convict Dunn for murder in any degree. They did have the option of going for second. If Dunn hadn’t fired repeatedly at the car as it was driving away, he would have been convicted of NOTHING.

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    @Baud: Not that I know of. Until we find out, my outrage meter is 7 out of 10.

    @Comrade Luke: That is so sad. If he wanted to scare the teenagers, he should have called the police.

  8. 8
    shortstop says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I thought about it, but decided to be subtle and low key for a change of pace.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    @shortstop: That is not necessarily true. If someone wanted first degree and refused to budge, that would cause a deadlock.

  10. 10
    Lol says:

    The questions make it pretty clear some jurors thought the shooting was justified for talking back to a white guy.

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Um, no.

    I do believe you know exactly why, though, don’t you?

  12. 12
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Not a peep, which is kind of surprising.

  13. 13
    MomSense says:

    Ugh, can’t listen right now. This is one I will definitely come back to. Sharpton was talking about Dunn on his show today and my kids came into the room and were beside themselves. I had no words of wisdom or comfort to offer. How in the world do his parents get through each day?!

  14. 14
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL:

    photo caption: Willie Noble told police he did not intend to hurt anyone.

    Then why the hell was he shooting a gun at them? It’s just not possible to be that stupid, is it?

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    They even threw in a terrorism charge!

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL:

    That is true as well, and until some jurors come forward, we can only speculate (as wildly as possible, of course) what the hold up was, precisely.

    Still, Lol’s scenario of comment 10 seems to be all too plausible.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl:

    It is surprising. Maybe they realized there could be a retrial?

  18. 18
    shortstop says:

    @JPL: Why not 10 of 10? Even if someone buys SYG or a philosophical approximation of it as a legitimate defense, here are a few of the things Dunn did that belie his story that he felt endangered:

    –He didn’t tell his fiancee that he’d seen Davis with a gun — that little story surfaced only after he was arrested.
    –He continued firing at the car as it drove away.
    –He didn’t call the cops, or ask anyone at the gas station to do so, after these sooper scary teenagers produced their mythical shotgun. After they drove away, he went to his hotel and continued drinking. Had a few snacks, too, and went to bed.

    Whatever he/she/they is telling themselves as a moral cover story, at least one person on the jury wanted to protect the right of this crazy, enraged white man to murder an unarmed black kid without consequence.

  19. 19

    Was talking to a bunch of lawyers over lunch today about this and they basically said that the ADA overcharged. If she had charged 2nd degree she should have got a conviction. Someone upthread said that the jurors were given the option of 2nd degree but I do not believe they were. Please correct me if I am wrong. Also listening to a lawyer on Politics Nation tonight they opined that the ADA should retry with 2nd degree and add on a hate crime based upon his telephone calls and letters to his fiancé. It is obvious this guy was just looking for an excuse to kill a black kid. I do not think that the jurors would not convict based upon the facts that we now know.

  20. 20
    Poopyman says:

    I dunno, Elon. I think it’s a waste of time looking for a rationale. My take on it is that it only took one juror convinced that he/she wasn’t going to find him guilty to monkeywrench the whole thing. Putting myself in the shoes of the other jurors, I think the only remaining justifiable course to take was the one they took, and give another jury a shot at Murder One. Anything less (IMO) is not justice.

    Of course, I’m a middle-aged white guy, so grain of salt, etc.

  21. 21
    gbear says:

    @WaterGirl: My guess is that he didn’t think he’d hurt them by shooting at them because he’s a responsible gun owner.

  22. 22
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL: Or 11 jurors who wanted first degree murder, and one racist who wanted to let him go free.

    But if you’re that much of a racist, then I don’t get why that person voted to convict on the other charges. What, the kid who argued with the guy deserved it, but the others didn’t? I just don’t get it.

    Edit: the only way I can make sense of that is if the juror thought it was okay to kill the one guy, because he defied the white guy, and that just makes me sick.

    I was on a jury for a criminal case last spring, and it was kind of scary. I don’t think I would have wanted to speak publicly about it for fear of retribution, but I sure wish these juror’s would tell us what happened.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt:

    Second and third degree murder, along with manslaughter, were lesser included in the first degree charge.

    The jury may have had too much to choose from (OK, I’ll have pepperoni AND Canadian bacon, no wait, just sardines, no wait…) or someone insisted on first degree and others wanted an outright acquittal because talking back to a white man is certainly justifiable cause to kill. We just don’t know.

  24. 24
    shortstop says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt: My understanding from all the reports I’ve read is that they had the option to charge him with second degree or manslaughter as well as first degree.

    @JPL: That is possible, but considerably less unlikely than the other scenario. If someone is convinced Dunn is guilty of murder and wants him to be convicted accordingly, it would seem he or she would settle for second before allowing a hung jury on that charge.

  25. 25
    TS says:

    @WaterGirl:

    There has been a peep if you check this twitter @JohnPhillips – I believe lawyer for the Davis Family

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt: The reporting on Saturday indicated that lesser included a were charged. It may have been as bad as the the rest of the reporting on the trial, but it is the last information of which I am aware.

  27. 27
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I wonder if it was suggested to the jurors that while they could talk publicly, it might affect a retrial so they were kind of discouraged from talking?

    I know after we gave our verdict in the criminal case last spring, the officer who had been assigned to us during the trial got very talkative, and told us about what a bad guy this was, what his history was, and it was great that we had voted to convict because he was also up on charges for aggravated rape in addition to armed robbery. Our officer was so chatty that it makes me wonder what might have been said to the jurors after the verdict.

  28. 28
    shortstop says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Strangely, we understood that. ;)

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Maybe. The routine may also be different where the jury reaches a verdict (as in your case) and where it’s hung. Don’t know.

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @shortstop: And yet the person to whom I was replying did not.

  31. 31
    NotMax says:

    Some argue he’s going to jail so folks shouldn’t complain. Others argue that its hypocritical to be outraged about this when Blacks are being killed by Blacks all the time.

    Using the ‘some say’ FOX dog whistle is naught but a cheap and lazy ploy.

    I don’t deny it may be technically true but who, specifically, is being called out?

    Mostly, though, evinces a “So what?” reaction without identifying or properly discrediting the source. Example: Some say adding peanut butter to your tank will increase fuel mileage.

  32. 32

    @Villago Delenda Est: @shortstop: @Omnes Omnibus:

    In that case the Jury’s verdict makes absolutely no sense as my lawyer friends said today, you are convicted of attempted 2nd degree murder for the three kids you didn’t kill but get a mistrial on a 2nd degree murder charge of the kid that you did kill.

  33. 33
    WaterGirl says:

    @TS: I don’t do twitter but I think I found the guy’s twitter account over the web.

    Rumors starting to circulate it was ONE female juror who held out from day one on justifiable homicide.

    That is mind-boggling. Arguing about music with a white guy (arguing while black) is justifiable homicide?

  34. 34
    shortstop says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I was making a leetle joke about your garbled words, not questioning the fact that you posted them.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I’m comforted by the fact that our speculations have been confirmed by other people’s rumors.

  36. 36
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I see your point. They told us a bunch of stuff afterwards that hadn’t been admissible during the trial. If it had, the verdict would have been obvious. I’ll bet the response is different with a mistrial.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt: Two options: 1. The jury could not decide the degree of homicide; most likely a murder/ manslaughter split. 2. Some asshole/s believed self defense wrt Davis but not the others.

  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I really wonder what would have happened if the OJ trial had taken place with all the technology we have now.

    The OJ verdict and the supreme court ruling on the 2000 election were two very shocking days in my life. Until then I thought justice was blind.

  39. 39
    shortstop says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt: Who can get into the grotesque mind of a person determined to a) stand up for standing your ground, b) believe that Davis had a shotgun, c) believe that Dunn believed that Davis had a shotgun, d) think that Davis had it coming for talking back to Dunn, e) some combination of the above?

    The difference between the conviction Dunn escaped and the ones for which he was convicted may be that it’s tough to use a SYG defense for getting down on one knee and furiously shooting after a car that’s already left. At least, I’m guessing that’s how the rest of the jury probably saw it. Frankly, though, someone crazy enough to make excuses for Dunn murdering Davis is stubborn enough to vote against convicting on the other counts.

    Understand that I’m as outraged as anyone that Dunn escaped conviction for murdering Davis and I’m not remotely suggesting that people should be happy with the convictions he got. I’m just speculating — only speculating — on how the hung jury came to be hung.

  40. 40
    TooManyJens says:

    @Baud: It’s consistent with the questions the jury asked the judge, though. Those don’t make sense unless there was at least one person who thought shooting Davis was self-defense.

  41. 41
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: When I worked at the university, I used to say that any committee that couldn’t decide on a pizza order (one pizza, not individual pizzas) was too big. Perhaps the first thing a jury should have to do is order a pizza, and if you can’t decide on that, they bring in a new jury.

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WaterGirl:

    That is mind-boggling. Arguing about music with a white guy (arguing while black) is justifiable homicide?

    This is northern Florida, mind you, which is culturally very Southern. Uppity ni*CLANG* got what was coming to him.

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @shortstop:

    He hasn’t “escaped” conviction yet for David. More like he’s been given a temporary furlough from conviction. There will be a retrial.

  44. 44
    shortstop says:

    @Baud: Yes, I know — I was talking about this round.

    @TooManyJens: Right.

  45. 45
    JPL says:

    @shortstop: Don’t misunderstand me. I can’t imagine a juror saying it was self defense and that’s why I’m waiting.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    @TooManyJens:

    I agree. That is the strongest argument that there was a holdout who would have found him not guilty on that count.

  47. 47
    shortstop says:

    @JPL: Gotcha.

    @Baud: If this juror starts giving interviews in which she refers affectionately to “Mikey,” as Juror 30-something spoke about “Georgie,” Ima get violent myself.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @shortstop:

    IIRC, there were some Zimmerman jurors who would have convicted for murder but gave up rather quickly to Juror No. 30. This jury was stellar by that comparison. (I know….”and aside for that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”)

  49. 49
    Poopyman says:

    First time I played the video, the ad that came up at the end was for the Tea Party. Second time played it was an NRA ad.

    Just sayin’. I know you have no control over that shit.

  50. 50
    TS says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Two options: 1. The jury could not decide the degree of homicide; most likely a murder/ manslaughter split. 2. Some asshole/s believed self defense wrt Davis but not the others.

    Option 1 seems crazy – would there be anyone who wanted to tie up a jury because murder 1 instead of murder 2? Not that I can see.

    Option 2 – has to be – the majority could have been in either direction.

  51. 51
    shortstop says:

    @Baud: That’s kind of what I meant when I said the same horrible juror(s) — if there is/are one/some — could have hung tight against conviction on the other counts.

  52. 52
    TS says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I don’t do twitter but I think I found the guy’s twitter account over the web.
    Rumors starting to circulate it was ONE female juror who held out from day one on justifiable homicide.
    That is mind-boggling. Arguing about music with a white guy (arguing while black) is justifiable homicide?

    Could well be if he hadn’t fired the shots at the fleeing car – every charge could have been a mistrial!!

    I don’t do twitter either – but as you say – easy to find on the internet. He clarified (to those who misread the first tweet – sigh) with another tweet – 11-1 for conviction. But it seems to be only a rumor at this time. I have seen nothing else.

  53. 53
    gwangung says:

    @shortstop:

    That is possible, but considerably less unlikely than the other scenario. If someone is convinced Dunn is guilty of murder and wants him to be convicted accordingly, it would seem he or she would settle for second before allowing a hung jury on that charge.

    This is what happened on the jury I served on.

    Not saying that this happened here, but that would be something I’d readily believe.

  54. 54
    debbie says:

    @Poopyman:

    I think it’s a waste of time looking for a rationale.

    I don’t know. I think someone’s managed to find a weakness in the exceptionalism of American justice.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @shortstop: My bad. Typing and reading while doing other things.

    @TS: If it is option one, I think the more likely split is between jurors who found intent to kill and were opting for first or second degree murder and jurors who saw it as manslaughter. Less likely to see a compromise there. My need to maintain my faith in humanity requires that option one must at least be a possibility.

  56. 56
    Cassidy says:

    This is my home. Odds are, one of those white males thought the “thug” got what was coming to him.

  57. 57
    Mandalay says:

    When Dunn is retried for the murder charge, does anyone know whether details of his letters and phone calls while he was in jail can be used in evidence? For example, this comment

    In the conversation with his fiancee, Rhonda Rouer, he also complained about being in a room by himself, but added: “But I guess it would be better than being in a room with them animals.”

    A short while later, he said, “I was in a room with three black guys.”

  58. 58

    @NotMax:

    I don’t make strawman arguments. The reason why I say “some say” is because I’m distilling comments, tweets, facebook posts that I’ve received. If you followed me on social media you would see that I’ve been talking about this for a while and had these fights and conversations across multiple platforms. Just because I don’t decide to call out every name who has said dumb shit doesn’t mean I’m making it up.

  59. 59
    ruemara says:

    @Baud: They could have sent back a murder 2. They chose not to. Someone thought Dunn may have been in the right.

  60. 60
    NotMax says:

    @Elon James White

    No doubt that is so, but this is here and there is there. A single concrete example would suffice.

    More so for those of us who don’t hold any particular interest for Facebook or Twitter.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: T&H did it Saturday night, if that helps.

  62. 62
    TooManyJens says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Because of course he did.

  63. 63
    waspuppet says:

    Others argue that its hypocritical to be outraged about this when Blacks are being killed by Blacks all the time.

    I’m hearing it all the time: “Why don’t they make a big story out of black-on-black crime?”

    Simplest answer: If and when the day comes that a black guy kills a black kid because (transparently BS excuses aside) the kid was black, it will be a huge story.

  64. 64
    jibeaux says:

    The verdict doesn’t make any sense — how can it be attempted murder to shoot and miss, but not any sort of murder to shoot and not miss? — but it only takes one person to hold up a jury verdict. My brother was a juror on an emotionally wrenching trial of what he viewed as an open-and-shut case, and just happened to have a jury nullifier on. The victim was quite elderly, and it was kind of eating him up to worry that she might not get any justice before she died. There was a mistrial, and the second jury deliberated 45 minutes. One of the jurors later told the media the only reason it took 45 minutes is they killed a little time in case anyone thought they weren’t taking it seriously. The victim hadn’t died in the meantime. So, hopefully the second trial will go better.

  65. 65
    Gian says:

    Is it just the lawyer I know who hates talking to jurors because they can have the craziest reasons for doing what they did.
    As for this jury I can’t read minds. If Florida is like other states they got a long lecture from the judge on the requirements of each charge as well as the defenses. It might have been too confusing if they were tasked with figuring out the differences among degrees of murder and voluntary versus involuntary manslaughter. .. throw in Floridas self defense law… and I can see simple confusion. .. throw in history and I can see the race angle.
    I can’t say I know what they were thinking.

  66. 66
    Mandalay says:

    @jibeaux:

    The verdict doesn’t make any sense — how can it be attempted murder to shoot and miss, but not any sort of murder to shoot and not miss?

    Because Dunn’s defense was that he was defending himself against the person he killed, whereas that was not the case where he shot and missed. And apparently one juror believed Dunn on the killing.

    I think Dunn’s explanation for firing off further shots which missed were that he panicked, and that clearly was not enough reason to find him not guilty.

    To be clear, I’m not defending Dunn’s claims (lies) at all, but that is the explanation for the apparent contradiction.

  67. 67
    jibeaux says:

    @Mandalay: i think you’re right on that rationale, yes.

  68. 68
    Shortstop says:

    @NotMax: You don’t hold interest FOR Facebook and Twitter, or they don’t hold any interest for you? Perhaps both?

    In any case, you’d have to be unaware of pretty much all media, social and otherwise, not to have heard these arguments made. These views aren’t something that only Elon has encountered and that are hidden from everyone who doesn’t read his tweets.

  69. 69
    NotMax says:

    @Shortstop

    Of course they exist. Never intimated otherwise.

    Sill maintain that using the shorthand ‘some say’ is lazy prose.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jibeaux:

    There does seem to be kind of a freaky disconnect that has been created in Florida law where killing someone is self-defense but firing warning shots is a 20-year minimum sentence. You literally are better off under Florida law shooting and killing someone than you are if you just wound them or don’t injure anyone at all.

    So, yes, given the fucked-up nature of Florida law right now, I can completely believe that there would be a scenario where killing Jordan Davis would legally be justifiable self-defense but firing the gun at the other kids would be attempted murder and get a mandatory 20-year sentence for each charge.

  71. 71

    @NotMax:
    Lazy prose? It was a quick description to set up the video so that folks would understand what it was about and some of the arguments it swats down. If you acknowledge that the folks I speak of exist then what’s the point of complaining about saying “some say?”

  72. 72
    Paul in KY says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt: I would say that whomever is holding out thought he ‘feared for his life’ vis a vis the victim, but didn’t when it came to the other 3 young men.

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