Wednesday, February 19, 2014

1294 Michael Dun_

There’s a fourth letter in the guy’s last name.  Mostly it’s a second “n.” But feel free to substitute the letter “g.”

Dun_ is the Florida software engineer with the schizo verdict in his trial in Jacksonville.

Some headlines trumpet his conviction, some trumpet his mistrial.  Both are true.

Let’s explain.  Dun_ shot and killed a 17 year old black kid who was a passenger in a car in which loud rap music complete with booming, earth-shaking bass was playing at top volume.

This is established fact.

Dun_ wasn’t convicted of murder.  That charge ended in a hung jury. And as of now, prosecutors haven’t decided whether to re-try.

He was convicted of second degree attempted murder because he shot at the music car as it fled carrying some living black kids and one dead one.

Dun_ killed Jordan Davis and there’s no doubt about that.  But his feeble, cheap and shabby claim of self defense because he was in fear of his life is… well … feeble, cheap and shabby.

The defense brought forth character witnesses that said Dun_ was a good guy.  It would have been instructive if the character witnesses had character witnesses and to hear what they had to say.

But here’s where the prosecution dropped the ball.  The pro- witnesses’ testimony opened the door to the presenting of anti- character witnesses.  The district attorney had at least one who thought Dun_ was a hot tempered guy with a gun problem.

Dun_’s jailhouse e-mails and phone calls showed an anti young black male attitude. But those were after the killing and could not be put in evidence.

Three things can happen as of this writing.  Because of the mistrial, Dun_ can be retried on the first degree murder charge.  Or he can cop a plea.  Or the DA can drop the case.

Smart money is on option two, which would include a guilty plea.

On the stand, the defendant was what some call haughty or snooty. He was obviously well prepared and probably well rehearsed.  If that was his opening act, you can expect more of the same at a second trial.

There’s nothing in his pre trial, on trial or post trial behavior that even hinted at remorse.  He appears to believe he was in the right.

Yeah, right.

A retrial with a guilty verdict would have no practical effect.  The guy is going to jail and will spend the next 60 years yelping about his innocence. And filing appeals.  And maybe attending parole hearings.

Which brings us to question the value of prisons, many of which are called correctional institutions.  What they most seem to correct is an inmate's failure at crime by schooling him in better technique.

A guy who’s in for burglary often comes out with a degree for grand theft auto or bank robbery.

A guy who’s in for rape comes out with an advanced degree in rape, or maybe even a doctorate in murder.

When a guy pumps a bullet into an unarmed kid and goes unpunished for it doesn’t need correction, the rest of us do.  And that’s why they send these guys away in the first place.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ℠
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© WJR 2014

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