Dunn: Jury hung 9-3 to convict on Jordan Davis murder charge

February 19, 2014


(H/T to Two Sides to a Story for providing the link)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

Good morning:

The jury hung 9-3 to convict Michael Dunn of murdering Jordan Davis. The three holdouts bought his self-defense claim.

The jury convicted Dunn of three counts of attempted second degree murder and one count of shooting into a vehicle based on the 4 shots that Dunn fired at the fleeing Durango. The three holdouts believed he “crossed the line” and was no longer shooting in self-defense when he fired those shots.

The 3 holdouts for self-defense probably provide a sufficient excuse for Angela Corey to decide not to retry Dunn for the Jordan Davis murder.

The inability of this jury to convict Dunn serves as a stark reminder that white guys can get away with killing unarmed black male teenagers in Florida by fleeing the scene, ordering a pizza, waiting to see if the police arrest them, and simply tell them that they thought they saw a gun and felt threatened.

The Zimmerman and Dunn cases stand for the proposition that it’s OK to murder unarmed black teenagers and lie about it.

Just don’t miss or you will spend the rest of your life in prison.


What’s next for Michael Dunn

February 18, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Good morning:

Crane and I thank everyone who has responded to our financial plight with a donation. Some of you have made multiple donations and we are very grateful.

Because it takes several days for Paypal to transfer money into our bank account, we are expecting to be without electricity for several days, possibly starting later today. Fortunately, the weather is warming up into the high 50s today and for the rest of this week, so we are not in any danger of freezing.

We will not have internet access when the power is shut off, but we can motor to the nearest McDonald’s and use their WiFi connection to periodically post and comment. We should be able to get through this without too much interruption or inconvenience.

Now to today’s post.

Angela Corey has to decide whether she is going to retry Michael Dunn for killing Jordan Davis. She said she would, but prosecutors almost always say they will do that, only to later change their minds and attempt to resolve the charge by entering into a plea agreement with the defendant in exchange for reducing the charge. If she decides to go this route and Dunn refuses to plead guilty to anything, which is what I expect he will do since he is already looking at a minimum 60-year sentence on the three attempted second degree murder charges, she will have to either retry him on the murder charge or dismiss it and proceed to sentencing.

I believe it’s pretty clear that the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the murder charge because one or more jurors concluded that Dunn shot Jordan Davis in self-defense. I doubt a majority of the jury believed that, but this is Florida, the Gunshine State, where many white people apparently believe all black male teenagers are thugs armed to the teeth and looking for an excuse to kill white males and steal their wives or girlfriends.

Some of the jurors who wanted to convict Dunn probably have contacted Corey and informed her regarding how many jurors bought the self-defense argument and their reasons for doing so.

Corey is more likely to retry the murder charge, if the vote were 11-1 or 10-2 to convict, as opposed to acquit. She may ultimately decide against retrying Dunn for the murder, if 4 or more jurors held out to acquit. After all, there is not much point in retrying Dunn, unless good reason exists to believe the retrial will end in a conviction.

The evidence against Dunn was overwhelming. However, she did not use Dunn’s overtly racist letters in which he said the world would be a better place if more white people shot and killed black thugs and gangsters like the boys in the red Durango.

Corey likely will have to use those letters, if she hopes to convict Dunn, and I am not at all certain that she is willing to do that. After all, she was elected State Attorney by pandering to white racist fear of black male teenagers by promising to aggressively prosecute and convict all the thugs and gangsters, which are the new words used to replace the N-word.

Her apparent lack of zeal to convict George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin does not inspire confidence that she is not racist. Frankly, I think she shares some of Dunn’s beliefs, so I would not be surprised if she ultimately dismisses the murder charge.

Dunn will not be sentenced until the murder charge is resolved, whether by trial, plea or dismissal. After it is resolved, the matter will proceed to sentencing where Dunn is looking at a sentence of at least 60 years.

Dunn has a constitutional right to appeal the case after the sentence is imposed and a final judgment is entered.

He also has a constitutional right to be represented by court-appointed counsel during that appeal at public expense, if he is indigent and unable to hire private counsel.

Incidentally, the same applies to a retrial of the murder charge. Look for Cory Strolla to move to withdraw, if Dunn is out of money.

The court would most likely appoint a public defender to represent Dunn, although courts sometimes appoint a private lawyer willing to work at the lower rates courts are willing to pay.

At this point, I do not believe Dunn has any meritorious issues to raise on appeal. Therefore, regardless of the outcome of a retrial of the murder charge, I believe he will spend the rest of his life in prison.


Racism is an insane delusion about people of color

February 16, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Good morning:

Although I am pleased with the three guilty verdicts of attempted second degree murder and the guilty verdict for shooting into a car that will keep Michael Dunn locked up for the rest of his life, I am disappointed with the jury’s failure to reach a verdict on count 1, which charged him with first degree murder for the death of Jordan Davis.

Ironically, without the presence of the three boys in the Durango and the guilty verdicts to diminish our disappointment, we would be in a much different emotional state today.

I support Angela Corey’s decision to retry him, but she is going to have to change her strategy to obtain a different result.

I am going to focus on Jordan Davis today, which is his birthday, and explain what she must do to obtain justice for Jordan.

The time has come to stop white-washing racially motivated crimes. By that, I mean ignoring the elephant in the living room, racism.

Although motive is not an element of most crimes and therefore irrelevant, it may be relevant (i.e., probative) to prove intent.

The importance of introducing evidence of racial motivation comes into sharp focus when the victim, like Jordan, was black unarmed, and the defendant, like Dunn, is white and claims he saw a weapon or a portion of a weapon and killed the victim in self-defense.

Such a killing would be justifiable homicide in self-defense, if the defendant reasonably believed himself to be in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

As our United States Supreme Court has often said, reasonableness depends on the “totality of the circumstances.”

We know from Dunn’s letters that he regarded the four boys as dangerous thugs and gangsters listening to “thug” music.

That is a racist assumption unsupported by any evidence.

Sometimes people see what they expect to see or want to see and that certainly applies to racists who are substantially more likely to assume that an unarmed black male teenager is an armed thug than an unprejudiced person.

Like it or not, that mindset is part of the totality of the circumstances that a jury should have a right to consider in deciding whether a defendant like Dunn gave a truthful account of his actions and acted reasonably.

Our legal system needs to acknowledge the existence of racism and call it what it is, an insane delusion.

A claim of self-defense must be evaluated according to whether a reasonable person in the same situation as the defendant would have believed himself to be in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury such that the use of deadly force in self-defense was reasonably necessary.

There is no such thing as a reasonable insane delusion and we do justice to no one by excusing a violent act committed by a person pursuant to an insane delusion and ignoring the consequences of that act.

I do not mean to suggest or imply that Dunn actually saw a weapon or believed that he did. I believe he lied about that to avoid arrest and prosecution.

Evidence of a racial motivation to kill makes comprehensible the otherwise incomprehensible crime.

For example, let’s assume that a defendant in a murder case, who shot and killed an unarmed teenage girl whom he did not know, testifies and says,

“Why would I have killed her unless I believed she had a gun and was going to rob and kill me?”

A racist is more likely to believe that she had a gun or lie about it than a person who is not racist.

White washing racist defendants by concealing or withholding evidence of their racial motivation from a jury will produce injustice, not justice.

It is not a coincidence that my hypothetical resembles the Renisha McBride case in Detroit, which is coming up for trial in June.

I do not know if Theodore Wafer is a racist, but I certainly would be looking for such evidence with the intent of introducing it at trial, if I were the prosecutor.

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This is our 901st post and we passed 2 million all-time views for the blog last night, despite being in existence only a little over two years.

We are still in desperate financial straits with bills for basic living expenses and medical bills we cannot pay for this month. We need help. Please donate today, if you haven’t already.

Fred


Saturday night review of the Dunn trial 2/15/2014

February 15, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Good evening:

The Good News

A semblance of order has been restored to the universe. After deliberating for 33 hours, the jury in the Michael Dunn case convicted of him of 3 counts of attempted murder in the second degree involving Tommy Stornes, Tevin Thompson and Leeland Brunson. Each crime was committed with a firearm. It also convicted him of discharging a firearm into a vehicle.

Dunn must be sentenced to a minimum of 75 years and could be sentenced up to a maximum of 105 years.

Since he is 47-years-old, he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

There do not appear to be any issues for appeal that are likely to result in reversal of his conviction.

The Bad News

The jury was unable to reach a verdict as to count 1, which charged him with the premeditated murder of Jordan Davis. We do not know what the split was about or the vote because the jurors declined to talk to the press.

State Attorney Angela Corey announced that her office will retry Dunn on count 1.

Dunn remains in custody and is scheduled to be sentence the week of March 24th.

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We went over 2 million views for the site tonight in just a little over 2 years. Thank you to all of our readers.

Fred and Crane.


What is an Allen charge in Florida?

February 15, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2914

Good afternoon:

The jury has reached a verdict on 4 of the 5 counts. It is hung on count 1, which charges Dunn with first degree murder for the death of Jordan Davis.

We do not know if those verdicts are guilty, not guilty or some combination of the two.

When a jury advises the court that it cannot reach a verdict, the court will give an Allen charge, which is an order to return to the jury room and do the following: each juror has to identify the weaknesses in his position without comment by the others. Then they deliberate again and if they cannot agree, the foreperson is to so advise the court and the court will declare a mistrial as to that count.


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