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article imageOp-Ed: Justice for Jordan Davis? — Michael Dunn not convicted of murder

By Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi     Feb 16, 2014 in Crime
Jacksonville - The verdict is in for Michael Dunn. He has not been convicted of first-degree murder for the killing of Jordan Davis, 17, an unarmed black teenager, for playing what Dunn described as "thug music" loudly.
He was found guilty on four other charges, three for attempted second-degree murder and one for firing 10 shots at a sports utility vehicle with four teens inside, three bullets fatally wounding Jordan.
A lack of conviction on the first-degree murder charge is disconcerting because the judge presented jurors with other options including second-degree murder, manslaughter, justifiable homicide, and excusable homicide, but they could not find common ground on any of those charges. Dunn, a 47-year-old white man, has been convicted of everything but killing Jordan.
A smiling Michael Dunn talks with his lawyer Cory Strolla after the jury began their deliberations i...
A smiling Michael Dunn talks with his lawyer Cory Strolla after the jury began their deliberations in Jacksonville, Florida February 15, 2014
© Reuters / Bob Mack / Pool
For the first three guilty counts, Dunn could get a sentence of up to 30 years for each one, with a minimum requirement of 20 years served on each of the three counts and a maximum of 15 years for the fourth count. Sentencing is scheduled for March 24, and certainly Dunn will be imprisoned a long time. But is this enough to compensate for his deeds? No, because technically he will not be imprisoned for killing Jordan, but lesser charges, and again, Florida has proven itself incapable of convicting a white man for unjustifiably killing a black male -- even an unarmed teenager inside a vehicle.
Hopefully, at least one juror will openly discuss what happened during deliberations and explain the thought processes that resulted in the mistrial. In the George Zimmerman case, which has similarities to Dunn’s, there were two jurors who spoke post trial. One, known as Juror B-37, a white woman, who thought Zimmerman was within his rights for killing Trayvon Martin, another unarmed black teen, while Juror B-29 (Maddy) stated, “George Zimmerman got away with murder,” but believed she could not render a guilty vote because of Florida’s infamous “stand your ground” law. Juror B-29, described as a black Hispanic, was the only person of color on the Zimmerman jury.
The primary jury in the Dunn trial was reportedly comprised of four white females; two black females; one Asian female; four white males; and one white Hispanic male. Apparently, one or more of these jurors voiced his or her differences with the majority; if the person(s) responsible for the hung jury was pro a guilty verdict and the majority were against it, the dissenting voice should be commended. It is never easy to be the odd man or woman out and to tenaciously hold on to truth and conviction in the midst of intense pressure. If the opposite were true, the individual(s) who voted "not guilty" should re-examine the facts and his or her heart.
A letter Dunn wrote while in jail, awaiting trial, is telling:
It's spooky how racist everyone is up here and how biased toward blacks the courts are. This jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs . . . This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these **** idiots when they're threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.
State Attorney Angela Corey will retry Dunn on the first-degree murder charge and stated, “We don’t back off trying to retry,” and explained that when an individual fires 10 shots into a car of unarmed teens, it is not prosecutorial overreach to charge the shooter with first-degree murder.”
Jordan’s mother, Lucia McBath, stated, "It's been a long, long road and we're so happy to have just a little bit of closure." She also said she has prayed for Dunn and asked her family to pray for him.
Bobby Worthy  CEO/President of The Justice League  leads a chant outside of the Duval County Courtho...
Bobby Worthy, CEO/President of The Justice League, leads a chant outside of the Duval County Courthouse as jury deliberations enter the fourth day during the trial of Michael Dunn in Jacksonville, Florida February 15, 2014
© Reuters / Kelly Jordan / Pool
Ron Davis, Jordan’s father, said, "So he's (Michael Dunn) gonna learn that he must be remorseful for the killing of my son, that it's not just another day at the office. My son will never be just another day at the office,” and ended with "We don't care about being stoic because we have love in our hearts and we want you all to love and have love in your hearts and I thank you for coming here today."
Perhaps with a retrial pending, justice for Jordan, whose life was cut off prematurely, may become a reality. He would have celebrated his 19th birthday Sunday.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about jordan davis, michael dunn, Firstdegree murder, Attempted Murder, Mistrial
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