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THE COLOR OF JUSTICE — 33 Comments

  1. The forces of media bias and hate mongering are a formidable force to overcome. They pay better than the truth.

  2. Mas – You’re a starry eyed optimist . . . who carries a pistol. 🙂

    No, twelve good and true people – while not always perfect (or even right) – is still the bed rock of justice. Having faith in it is having faith in people.

  3. Great post, Mas – and great words, Tom and Fruitbat. We simply must put our faith in the system. As Mas has said so many times – do not let an imperfect law make you a felon – know it and obey it! If you do those two things, good things happen.

  4. While juries may be trustworthy, the rest of the process often is not. There are too many examples of people being exonerated after conviction for crimes they did not commit. The evidence on which they were convicted was either incomplete or false. What scares me about jury duty is having to make a decision about a defendant’s life (or maybe death) with nothing more to go on that what the judge and a couple of lawyers let me see.

  5. “Get the facts in front of them, and they’ll do the right thing, the forces of media bias and hate-mongering notwithstanding.”

    I remember a video of you describing a jury (paraphrasing) as a twelve-headed creature, with a collective IQ significantly greater than 1200 and over 50 years of life experience, equipped with a dozen independently-operating bulls**t detectors, any of which may be functioning at any time.

    Show them the facts and don’t try to fool them. They’ll recognize BS and disregard it (along with the credibility of whoever is spewing it), and come to the right conclusion.

  6. Mas: that’s the most positive comments I’ve read in a long time. It’s so easy to get down on the system. I hope POUSA reads this n doesn’t just toss it aside. Thanks – good job as usual.

  7. Are ex-LEOs who are called to jury duty customarily not chosen to actually serve on a jury, and if so, exactly why are they excused? Because defense attorneys fear prejudice or something?

  8. Perhaps I’m missing something, but if juries are so reliable, how did the OJ verdict come down so wrong?

    All anyone needs to know about that case is that the murder victim’s blood was found at OJ’s home, and his blood was found at the crime scene.

    Case closed.

    Except if you have a jury inflamed by a racist lawyer carrying out their racist, “get even with whitey” agenda. And if you have enough money to spread around to hire the best legal gunslingers in the business (F. Lee Bailey once wrote an entire book about how in court he utterly destroyed a cop who had arrested him for drunk driving on the way home from the airport and a flight where he admitted in the book to have been drinking. God help anyone who had to submit to a deposition in front of this man. He could get you to admit to personally nailing Jesus to the cross).

    A well regarded local lawyer (who would flat ass guarantee to get you off on ANY DUI charge….the first time anyway, and he told you right up front that it was going to be EXPENSIVE! and no, I didn’t have to use him, but a few folks I know did. And you should know better than to ask into whose pockets all that money wound up) in these parts used to have a saying, “Every man is innocent until proven broke.”

    That pretty much says it all. You can buy justice if you have enough money. As they say in Chicago, “The fix is in.”

  9. I’ve never seen this country so divided on race since the sixties.
    I pray that our country can come back together when we don’t have the powers to be stirring the pot diving us up any longer. This is 2015 not 1940’s in Mississippi any longer.

  10. Thanks, Mas, for restoring a bit of my faith in humanity. My faith in the Almighty doesn’t waver; my fellow man oftens tests my faith—especially with the current occupant at 1600 Penn.

  11. Michael JT–you nailed it.
    It boils down to: if you want justice, how much can you afford?

  12. I want to believe in our legal system. I’m sure it works well most of the time. Being pro-death penalty, I would like to see speedy executions of first-degree murderers, rapists and child molesters. Problem is, anti-death penalty people tell me innocent men still get on death row. THAT IS SCARY! I want to believe such unjust things could only happen in the distant past.

    Maybe we need to execute judges who let murderers go free to murder again, and execute prosecutors who knowingly convict innocent men accused of capital crimes.

    I really need to give up my idealism. This world is getting worse, not better.

  13. I think it was Jefferson who commented that it’s a messy system, but it’s the best one we humans have come up with so far.

  14. That may be, Mas, but from what I’ve read about criminal cases, most (like 90 percent or so) don’t go to trial in the first place.

    BTW, can you post your thoughts on Chattanooga and its impact on us armed civilians? I’m especially interested in your take on my fellow Texans who are guarding recruiting offices not far from here in Fort Worth on their own dime and time. Those good ol’ boys, armed with ARs and pistols, are making me quite proud!

    TXCOMT

  15. TXCOMT, my major concern with that is that it will make it easier for a home-grown jihadi who looks like “one of us” to walk up to a recruiting station with visible weapon and NOT trigger an alarm.

  16. Its a little off topic but I thought that I would mention that the shooting at the Grand Theatre in Louisiana (in the news now) was another example of a killer picking a “Gun Free Zone” for his hunting ground.

    I checked out the Grand Theatre Web Site. The have a “Conduct Policy” posted that lists rules for guests who attend the theatre to watch movies. The third item on this list (behind bringing in outside food and smoking) is:

    “Our Theatre prohibits possession of firearms or weapons of any kind regardless of whether openly or concealed, with or without a permit.”

    Of course, such a policy did not protect their patrons. Rather it placed them in greater danger with several being killed or wounded by this nut job.

  17. Since we’re going off topic here, we had an extended discussion a few months back about the wisdom of declining to follow instructions given by a law enforcement officer.

    There’s been an excellent article by one of the law professor bloggers over at the Volokh Conspiracy which reaches the conclusion that it’s never safe — legally safe, practical issues aside — to do so even when you’re absolutely sure that you’re entirely legally justified to do so. That’s because you’re required to obey a LEO’s lawful orders and that there can be facts which make the orders lawful which may only be known to the officer and which you have no ability whatsoever to know about. He also makes the point that determining whether an order is lawful is legally exceptionally difficult even for lawyers and courts and that the law presumes you know the law perfectly when you make the decision not to comply (and that your inability to know all the facts won’t be factored into that presumption). The article is fascinating and gives a great number of additional details:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/07/23/sandra-bland-and-the-lawful-order-problem/

    The sentiment has been expressed here that citizens should just always obey the police. It’s usually expressed as a moral thing, but in light of the analysis in that article it’s also an entirely practical one as well. (Which, I might add, most legal advisors, such as the ACLU, also agree with. They say you may ask questions politely, but that you should always cooperate.)

  18. Apropos of not obeying orders of police:

    Here’s a quiz. What would you think is the likely outcome of this story:

    Local NAACP leader is contacted about a Twitter video which shows a Black woman screaming on a balcony and white police officers Tasering a black man trying to help her. Leader is asked to consider organizing protests. Leader asks to see the body camera videos and sees a black woman wrapped in a blanket on a balcony apparently in considerable emotional distress. A young Black man is trying to intervene between her and the police, is told to back away 30 times and when he instead moves towards the police is Tasered and arrested.

    Your choices.
    A. Mass protests erupt.
    B. Officers are suspended and investigated due to threats of protests.
    C. NAACP leader says police did everything right and protests aren’t justified.

    The answer is:





    C!

    http://tinyurl.com/peqcrj6

    The NAACP leader confirmed that the video shows that the woman was in an altered mental state and that the officers only took her into custody and handcuffed her to keep her from injuring herself and that the Black male was clearly refusing to obey a reasonable order. “On the video, I could hear that woman yelling and screaming, and he wanted to know what the officers were doing to her” [NAACP local leader] Hudspeth said. “I would have reacted the same way, but he crossed the line when he refused to obey their commands.”

    Body cameras work. Both ways.

  19. It just goes to show that the average American is a better person than we are reported to be by the new media and their “EXPERTS”

  20. I feel that the white v. black self-defensive shooting judgements become problematic, whether by civilian or police, most often when the alleged attacker is unarmed. The killing of an unarmed attacker can be much more subjective in nature, and leave plenty of room for juror’s biases and agendas to emerge. The blog post doesn’t mention whether or not the two deceased miscreants were armed during their attacks.

  21. William, the one in Los Angeles had a loaded 9mm Beretta, and the one in Texas was wielding a knife.

  22. In reference to LEOSA can you provide the source for LEOSA not covering magazine capacity? There is deffering opinions on the topic and my agencies legal advisor thinks LEOSA covers magazine capacity. I want to ensure none of my brothers in blue run affowl of the law. Thanks in advance.

  23. Matt, I’m not clear what reference for LEOSA covering magazine capacity you are talking about.

    As I understand it, an off-duty or retired officer in a “ten-round magazine state” is limited to the same ten rounds as a “civilian” there, and is only exempt from the capacity limit if he or she is on official police business in the state in question.

    When in doubt, check with the Blue Sheepdog website, or better yet, with the Attorney General’s Office of the given state in question.

  24. Thanks Mas, I will check Blue Sheepdog out. I travel to New York several times a year and based on one of your previous articles limit myself to 7 round mags in my XDS’s. Keep up the good work.

  25. Matt, it’s my understanding that a while back the Federal court of the Western District of NY State ruled the 7-round limit from the SAFE act arbitrary and capricious and threw it out, bringing the limit back up to the long-standing 10 in that state. However, my understanding in discussions with NY lawyers is that this decision does not bind upon the other three Federal districts of NY state. Thus, when I’m there, I stick with 7-round magazines.

  26. Mas,

    Thanks for a timely and very well presented article. We live in troubled times where the truth means nothing to most of the media and those involved.

  27. I would like to trust juries. This time last year I was sequestered on a murder trial. I came to the conclusion that the accused had acted in self-defense based on the situation, the wounds, and the pattern of holes in the structure.
    After all arguments alternates were chosen by lottery, and I was removed from the jury. I returned to the courtroom, curious about the verdict. Chatting with the court reporter and courtroom deputies, it was explicitly stated they believed it was a case of self-defense.
    The jurors ate lunch and returned a verdict of guilty, 1st degree murder.
    The judge looked disgusted. I was stunned. I later learned the judge found a way to set the berdict aside. The defendant has sense pled to a lesser charge.

  28. Dave – I can relate – most of the time I am typing from home on a Kindle keyboard.

  29. Thanks Mas, your article is why I bought a pair of XDS’s in .45 ACP. I would rather er on the side of caution. It is unfortunate that this is even an issue that we have to debate.