I’m good with this. I’m good — both as a lawyer who fears the “slippery slope” and as an aunt whose nine nephews will likely at some point or another play loud music and be obnoxious teenagers. I gueessss I can maaaaybe somewhat understand the original jury’s indecision on first degree murder (ok not really; maybe theoretically but as a practical matter, no); but this new verdict works for me. I believe in open-minded factual review and benefit of the doubt for supposed self-defenders. I hesitate to second guess those who claim mortal fear, because I wouldn’t want Monday morning quarterbacks questioning me from the comfort of their barcaloungers if I ever found myself in a CCW situation. But we can’t allow stains on the Second Amendment. We can’t let self-defense become a pretext for murder.
One more thing. I know the question of race is always a lightning rod. There are huge divides when it comes to figuring out the extent to which (if at all) implicit racial biases play a part in shootings (and affect our justice system). And there are race baiters out there who stir the pot and only blur the issues more than they’re already blurred. But Jordan Davis’ father, Ron Davis, had something positive to say after the verdict was read:
I wanted Jacksonville to be a shining example that you can have a jury made up of mostly white people, white men, [and still convict a white man of murdering a black boy], and be an example to the rest of the world to stop the discriminatory practices, stop discriminating….
I’ll just say it: I think race does play a role. I think it is a factor sometimes — both in shootings and in the administration of justice. But I hope the social war mongerers will at least acknowledge what the Dunn verdict means. It is proof that maybe one day we won’t have to pay fancy national commentators to “look at juries and say what the [racial] makeup of juries are…“