Thursday, November 30, 2017

If you ever wondered where is the best place to get away with murder...

It's San Francisco. But only if your an illegal alien with a lengthy criminal record who has been previously deported five times. Excuse me while I go throw up.


rick allen said...

The jury, hearing both sides of the evidence, determined unanimously that it was an accident, not murder.

For all its faults, we should be grateful for the jury system, under which guilt and innocence are determined by a panel of ordinary people, not pundits or ambitious politicians.

lannes said...

You'd think any prosecutor worth his salt would have gotten at least a manslaughter conviction for "accidentally" causing a death.

rick allen said...

A genuine accident is not manslaughter.

Look, people in the country are accidentally killed by guns practically every day, many of them children. Most of those pulling the trigger aren't even charged. Ask yourself why this case got so much publicity and the answer is politics.

unreconstructed rebel said...

For what it is worth, ICE has determined to deport him forthwith.

Why he decided to pick up the pistol is an interesting question.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

A convicted felon in possession of a gun shoots and kills someone. That's felony murder whether intentional or not. This was some weird specie of jury nullification.

rick allen said...

It's very frustrating trying to get the most ordinary details from the popular news media. But from a quick review of local news on the web it appears that there were four charges at the beginning of trial, second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, assault with a semi-automatic firearm, and felon in possession of a firearm. At the close of the evidence the judge granted the prosecution's motion to add first degree murder to the offenses which the jury could consider.

So it appears that the jury was not given the opportunity to return a verdict on felony murder.

Patrick Kelly said...

My understanding is his re-entry after deportation could get him 20 years from the Fed's if they were inclined prosecute and try. My bet is they're not inclined, so they will just deport him again.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

In California Felony Murder is a form of Second Degree Murder except in cases where the attendant Felony is...
Rape or another form of sexual assualt
Train wrecking
And drive by shootings

In which cases it is considered First Degree Murder. So an indictment for Second Degree Murder would cover Felony Murder.

rick allen said...

I'm sure you know more about California law than I do. I've always thought of second degree murder as intentional homicide, without premeditation. But of course there can be other types and elements. We'd probably need to see the jury charge to know if that was an option for felony murder, something I doubt will be easily findable on the web. But I'd be interested to know if any of your readers have any idea.

rick allen said...

I hope I'm not beating a dead horse here--the world has rollicked off to other controversies. But your question about felony murder was a good one that I've been wondering about since you asked it.

So I came across this, an account by an alternate juror about why the involuntary manslaughter charge wasn't returned as "guilty":

"The involuntary manslaughter charge that the jury was read included two key requirements: 1) A crime was committed in the act that caused death; 2) The defendant acted with “criminal negligence”—he did something than an ordinary person would have known was likely to lead to someone’s death.

"The jury members were not free to select the crime for part (1)—they had to use the one chosen by the prosecution, and the prosecution chose that crime to be the “brandishing,” or waving with menace, of a weapon. As a juror, I found this choice puzzling, because the prosecutor presented absolutely zero evidence of brandishing during the trial. I don’t think we even heard the word “brandishing” until it was read as part of the charge during the jury instructions at the trial’s end. No witnesses ever saw the defendant holding a gun, much less brandishing it. Given that baffling choice by the prosecution, the manslaughter charge was a nonstarter for the jury. Had a different precursor crime been chosen—for instance, the unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon—the outcome might have been different."

I can't vouch for the source, of course, but there's nothing inherently implausible about it. And it certainly highlights the importance, for the prosecution, of making sure that the charge given the jury is related to the evidence.