BART shooting in Oakland

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Lori_7, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    (Insert Title Here)

    There is ... somewhere. From back when it happened. I'm just not sure where it is. I'll try to dig it up later.

    In the meantime, I suppose there is a bit to say about the verdict. I just haven't figured out what, yet. I heard yesterday, on the way to a baseball game, right after I heard about DoMA getting hit in court. And then I got good and drunk in ninety-degree heat. My brain isn't completely back online yet, and I just burned up a bunch of its reserve on DoMA.

    Okay ... a cursory look through the record suggests I'm wrong. Maybe it's buried in The Cesspool, or something. Then again, it was January, 2009, so maybe I'm just imagining things. But, yeah, I'll give it another go later.

    Meanwhile, if you want a new thread on the verdict, don't let me stop you.
     
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  5. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

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    here's the verdict...

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20010069-504083.html

    manslaughter i can see, but involuntary? it was a fucking assassination. i don't know, maybe the cop got out of bed that day and decided he was going to shoot an unarmed kid in the back of the head and just had to find one. then, it's murder.
     
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  7. Gustav Banned Banned

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    can the tazers they use be mistaken for the guns they use? where is it situated relative to the gun? was the guy a rookie?
     
  8. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

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    Involuntary manslaghter in this case means that the jury thought that there was a reasonable doubt as to whether the cop knew he was shooting the young man.

    I don't believe Mehserle's story. I think Mehserle intentionally executed that young man because Mehserle and the culture of the Bart police force in general are mentally ill and racist. But predominant probability only matters in civil law and criminal cases require that the crime needs to be committed beyond a reasonable doubt.

    What the hell is a "reasonable doubt"? I have looked into definitions for "reasonable doubt" and jury instructions on "a reasonable doubt" and nothing in law or tradition removes the subjectivity about what a "reasonable doubt" is.

    In reality "reasonable doubt" translates into a ratio of guilty criminals allowed to go free and unpunished for their crimes to innocent people locked up in jails for crimes they did not commit. Society is not comfortable with these truths that some innocent people must be locked up for crimes that they did not commit so that criminals are not allowed to go free and that some criminals must be allowed to go free so that innocent people don't get locked up to often. So we tell juries to use this vague subjective reasonable doubt standard so that we don't have to think abut unpunished criminals and wrongly punished innocents.

    Whether the jury chooses to convict at a 51% probability of guilt or a 99.9% probability of guilt is left up to the jury subject to their biases and the persuasive abilities of the prosecutor and defense lawyer.

    Most Americans were outrage that the OJ Simpson jury saw a reasonable doubt of OJ's guilt. Many will be outraged that this jury sees a reasonable doubt of Mehserle's guilt.

    When there is a 90% probability that somebody murdered somebody else should you convict them of murder or let them go free?

    Should the past history of police being allowed to kill black people and the history disregarding of black witnesses testimony in regards to police misconduct have any bearing on whether or not individual police should be convicted in this new era where everybody has a camera and their bad behavior is caught on photographs? Would it be fair to Mehserle if because we are sic of police being allowed to commit crimes we disregarded the possibility that maybe he really did mistake his gun for his taser?

    Of course even if Mehserle did tase Oscar Grant while he was handcuffed that would still be a crime because there would not have been a legal justification to tase the handcuffed non-resisting Oscar Grant. The BART police attempt to seize the cameras also should have been prosecuted as an attempt to obstruct justice.

    If Mehserle had been a poor black guy doing a citizens arrest of a wealthy white guy is there any chance that he would only get involuntary manslaughter for this crime? Should cops be given the benefit of the doubt that would not be given to not cops? The race and class of the victim and the perpetrator probably still affects jury decisions in 2010 USA.

    I can't say that the jury was wrong to let Mehserle off on the Murder charge even though I do believe Mehserle intentionally murdered Oscar Grant.
     
  9. AJRelic Malformed Registered Senior Member

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    I don't know much about guns or tasers but until someone more knowledgeable comes along and corrects me, here's what I think.

    I have a full size .40 caliber G22 Glock. I don't know what BART officers are issued but I'd imagine it's a .40 caliber as well. My gun has 2 external safety features on it, a safety switch and a depressor. The switch must be turned down and the depressor compressed before you're able to fire the gun.

    I don't know what tasers they were issued but research suggest that the Taser X26 is standard. From what I understand, a loaded .40 caliber is at least 3 times heavier than this taser. As well the safety switch has to be turned up before firing.

    The safety switch on my glock is on the left side and can be accessed by my thumb since I'm right handed. All the pictures I have seen of taser guns have the safety switch on the right side making it more difficult to access.

    It's possible that the gun this officer had didn't have a thumb safety switch on it as newer models have opted for internal safety mechanisms instead. I believe there's still a depressor which should have sent up a red flag as soon as the officer touched the trigger.

    And then just the shape of the taser... it's just awkward. I don't see how a veteran could have made that mistake but then again why in gods name would he kill a man right in front of all these people?

    Maybe he's just a dumbass.
     
  10. PieAreSquared Woo is resistant to reason Registered Senior Member

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    just a jerkwad who couldn't make it as a real cop and became a subway cop instead
     
  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    I don't understand the verdict. And I don't see how one can mistake a gun for a taser. And when you combine it with the fact the guy was handcuffed, it just the verdict of involuntary manslaughter does not make sense.

    I have been involved in restraining many such individuals in the field and never resorted to the use of weapons. The guy had plenty of backup. There is just no excuse for the execution of the young man.
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Any excuse for a cop ....

    Involuntary manslaughter is likely a verdict the jury was allowed to reach in order to convict a police officer of something. In far too many of these cases, people are reluctant to convict a cop of murder. In California, it seems that involuntary manslaughter includes criminal negligence; the phrase "imperfect self-defense" is invoked as a mitigating circumstance. The result is that a jury rules a defendant believed, albeit incorrectly, that he was acting in self-defense.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    "580. Involuntary Manslaughter: Lesser Included Offense". (n.d.) Justia.com. July 10, 2010. http://www.justia.com/criminal/docs/calcrim/500/580.html
     
  13. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

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    maybe he's just a cop and knows he can get away with murder.
     
  14. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    I think too often the wrong kinds of people find themselves behind a badge and carrying a gun.
     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Sublimation

    It's called sublimation. Most people don't believe in it, in part because it's Freudian, but also because it's just inconvenient. To the other, Freud held that sublimation was, in some ways, also a process of psychological maturity.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Heffner, Christopher L. "Ego Defense Mechanisms". Psychology 101. 2001. AllPsych.com. July 13, 2010. http://allpsych.com/psychology101/defenses.html
     
  16. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    I bet it results in changes to offer's guns being made that verbally announce "Your GUN is drawn", so they won't ever be *confused*.
     

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