Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Conclusion of Excerpts from Justice in the Round; Review Tomorrow; Friday Discussion with Harold Michael Harvey!

Trayvon and Dad

The Killings of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis: More creepy white crap

"Today we are witnessing a more subtle systemic approach to white genetic survival. The destruction of Black males now is indirect, so that the Black male victims themselves can be led to participate in--and then be blamed for--their own mass deaths." --Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

As a writer and former trial lawyer of some note a decade ago, there are a number of ways I could approach a piece on what I have learned from the killings of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. I am going to ramble for a while and come back to two adjectives that stand out from both trials.

The first is "creepy white...  "  from the George Zimmerman trial. You know the rest of that verbiage, but for my purposes there is no need to mention it here.

The other adjective is "... crap," from the Michael Dunn trial.

For my purposes I am going to substitute Dunn's characterization of Davis' music with the word white, as in "white crap." More specifically, as in what was in Dunn's mind the day he pulled out his gun and killed Jordan Davis.

Before I was 10 years old, my granddad, Charles Harvey, taught me how to tract and trap wild game... The effective use of guns and gun safety was taught as a rite of passage in the Deep south of my youth. Black boys were also taught how to outflank white hunters when they were encountered in the same hunting area. White hunters tended to think and act like they had first dibs on any wild game in the area. So I was taught to never be caught inside the perimeter where white hunters were tracking game as white hunters tended to think they had a right to shoot any target on the other end of their barrel, whether it was wild game or a ten-year-old Negro hunter.

These survival skills were taught to black goys growing up in the Jim Crow South...Many black parents stopped teaching survival skills. They were free at last, many thought. So survival skills gave way to teaching the young that they had a right to all the privileges... appertaining to American life.

Scant attention was paid by black people to the fierce resistance in Boston, Charlotte, and Jacksonville. Indeed, all over the country the rights of blacks were being forced on a white population that had grown accustomed to the spoils of privilege. Whites fought back...

How can a black juror not see race in the loud-music trial?

Race, according to Creshuna Miles, "was never brought up." Miles is Juror No. 8 in the Michael Dunn murder trial, also known as the loud-music trial...I do not know what jurors do when they do what they do.

As a former trial lawyer, I have picked at least 60 juries, five of which were for death-penalty murder cases. I've always been mystified, if not mortified, every time a jury came back with a verdict. When they voted for my client and when they did not, I could never discern how they got through the process with their verdict.

When things go horribly wrong in our society involving members of different ethnicities, race is always a factor. No matter how we want to spin it, race trumps everything.

Racism is not the overt outburst, which says, for instance, I'm going to shoot you because you are black. That was how it was done in yesteryear when whites had the color of law on their side.

Since the 1970s, racism is more covert. It is shaped by the perceptions people tend to have about those who are not in their ethnic group. What possessed Michael Dunn to think that he could order a carload of African American teenagers to turn their music down?

...You cannot get to justice in cases like the killing of Trayvon Martin and Jordan David without understanding the solemnity of race in America...

The Jury System was Designed for Europeans to Judge Europeans

The Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment VI, grants the criminally accused a right to a "speedy and public an impartial jury in the state and district where the crime shall have been committed..."

How Do White Men Get Away with Killing Black Teenagers?

"Juror No. 8...shows how a misinformed juror can throw a trial," said Teemo Luciano, his frustration spilling over after watching Miles appear on CNN to recount her thoughts on jury deliberations in the Michael Dunn murder trial...

Speaking truth in the jury room

Voir dire is French for "speak the truth." It is the process of questioning prospective jurors in search of a jury that is not biased toward one side in a trial.

The goal is to select a venire or panel that will speak the truth after reviewing all of the knowable facts. A jury must determine which set of facts speak the truth.

In the Zimmerman and Dunn trials, it appears to me that both juries focused their attention on the law of the case. This is in direct violation of one of the jury instruction given to them by the trial judges...

On the Evil in the Abyss

"Why are you going down there," my editor of thirty-three and a half years queried with a bit of concern and pride in her voice.

It was a fair question. Down there was the abyss, the Jackson Diagnostic and Classification Prison, which temporarily houses every person penalized in the Georgia criminal industrial complex, as well as Georgia's infamous "death row."

Closing Argument

Twelve little essays symbolic of twelve peers who are called upon to speak the truth of what happened in events they were not privy to attend. The best way for the American jury system to work is for good people to show up for jury duty when summoned, focused on rendering justice beyond the pale of the legal fictions they will be presented with in court.

The jury system as envisioned by the framers of the Constitution by the framers of the Constitution depends upon good fair-minded people willing to lay aside their business interests for however long it takes to get to the truth of legal disputes between their neighbors.

Therefore, the major reform needed in the jury system is...

The future journalist, lawyer, novelist, essayist Harold Michael Harvey the summer of 1968

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