12 October 2007

More Southern justice

From the AP:

Guards Acquitted in Boot Camp Case

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Eight former boot camp workers were acquitted of manslaughter Friday in the death of a 14-year-old boy who was videotaped being punched and kicked. The scene sparked outrage and changes in the juvenile system, but it jurors took just 90 minutes to decide it was not a crime.


Southern state? Check.
All-white jury? Check.
Black victim? Check.
White perp? Check (to be fair, some of the guards were black or Asian; the jury probably just couldn't figure out how to convict them but not the white guards)
Incontrovertible evidence? Check.
Acquittal? Check.

The AP article describes the county in which the crime took place as being conservative, with a great respect for law and order, which apparently translates to "Anything any goon in a uniform does to a minority or a poor kid is just aces with us".

I have no doubt when the apologists come crawling out of the woodwork (and they always do), they will claim that since the victim, Martin Lee Anderson, was in the juvenile justice system, he was obviously a troublemaker, was probably mouthing off to the guards, et cetera, and deserved what was coming to him (this same reasoning was used to justify sentencing Mychal Bell to decades in prison for a cafeteria fight, even after the circumstances of the Jena 6 case came to light). Two responses: first, I'm coming around to the idea that "He's a troublemaker/thug/criminal" has become the 21st century equivalent of "He was winking at a white woman". Second, Martin Lee Anderson's heinous crime was...joyriding.

No further comment is necessary, I think.

1 comment:

Da Rev said...

C'mon, dun. You should know better than to rely on a single source for a story and then draw wild conclusions. This story speaks more to the competence of the prosecution than to unchecked prejudice on the jury. Even if Pondi hadn't put two medical examiners on the stage with arguably inconsistent testimony, the evidence introduced by prosecution points to negligent homicide--not manslaughter.

BTW, not a bad job on Humanist. Finally finished reading it. A bit heavy-handed and disingenuous about Christian Reconstructionism, but all in all a solid demonstration that hard sf and space opera are not mutually exclusive. I look forward to reading more of your work.