Something Stinks in Florida

Can’t we just tell the truth? You don’t need a law degree or a bunch of capitalized letters following your name to correctly identify the source of the stench that is permeating our country. It emanates from the Sunshine State, the orange juice capital of the world.

We know the state that it comes from but before we identify exactly what it is that stinks let’s be clear about what it is that does not stink. It’s not the sunshine. It’s not the orange juice and it is most certainly not the jurors in Florida.

It’s the law, people. The stand your ground law is not simply faulty. It is an abomination. It is an affront to the very notion of justice. It is an insult to our founding fathers.

Where the hell did Florida lawmakers come up with the idea that it’s okay to stand your ground, if you only “perceive” yourself to be in danger of physical harm? Let’s make it clear, very clear, in Florida it’s okay to shoot somebody, kill them stone cold dead, if you “think” you are in danger. Remember, you don’t need to be in danger, you just need to “think” that you are.

What about if you’re wrong? What if you think you are in danger, kill somebody, but the truth is that you were never in danger? You just thought you were in danger. But guess what, you were wrong!

Being wrong in Florida, is simply okay. Somebody just killed a person that they didn’t need to, they misperceived the situation and guess what? No harm, no foul, everybody can be wrong sometime. The fact that you just killed an innocent person and please let me be very clear here, that innocent person could be me or you or your very menacing looking 12-year-old daughter, doesn’t mean squat in Florida.

It’s okay to kill in Florida if you “think” you are in danger. “Being” in danger, don’t mean shit in Florida. Thinking you are in danger, is all that counts. Hey Florida legislators, don’t you realize what your law really means?

It means that there is no punishment for killing an innocent person.

That’s right. They can kill innocent people all day long in Florida, just as long as they think they are in danger. It doesn’t matter whether they are or are not. The only thing that matters is if they “think” they are.

Shooter: “You know officer, I’m not shitting you here, I thought that old lady had a shotgun. I know it really was just a black cane, but the way she was holding it and all, getting out of her car, it sure looked like a shotgun to me. ”

Police officer: “Did you really think she was a danger to you?”

Shooter: “I surely did.”

Police officer: “Did you really, really think she was a danger to you?”

Shooter: “You betcha I did!”

Police officer: “Well go on home and forget about it. Ain’t nobody perfect.”

Don’t blame the juries for letting killers go free. Blame Florida lawmakers for writing a law that allows well-intentioned individuals, with poor perceptual abilities, to go free after erroneously killing a completely innocent person.

You know, the Florida lawmakers ought to rewrite that law and they should do so with the same insight and wisdom that they used when writing it originally. In that vein, I would propose revisions to that law that should suit the wisdom and reasoning capacity of  Florida lawmakers.

My personal thoughts, obviously would be inconsistent with those of the Florida lawmakers who created the stand your ground law. So I won’t share my thoughts as to how I would deal with the Florida law instead I will propose changes that should be acceptable to those lawmakers. My own thoughts certainly would not be acceptable to the mindset responsible for the creation of the Florida stand your ground law.

So you lawmakers in Florida, probably by this time, realize that you might just be a little off with that stand your ground law. It probably needs a little tweaking and I have a few ideas that might just please you.

Let’s change the law a bit. No use throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

My first suggestion, keeping with the spirit of those Floridian law makers: only allow people to kill one innocent person, per lifetime. It’s like a get out of jail free card. It’s like saying “okay you got it wrong this time but the next time…” And let that next time be a really teaching event. A fine and a hefty one. Perhaps even in the hundreds of dollars range.

My next suggestion, to those lawmakers, would be to rewrite the law making it only okay to kill innocent people so long as they dress in a way that you find inappropriate and unbecoming and are also of a different race or ethnic group than their own.

See this way, it’s okay for a white guy to shoot a black guy or a black guy to shoot a white guy but it completely allows for the prosecution of a black guy shooting a black guy or even worse a white guy shooting a white guy.

Let’s face facts. Teenagers wearing hoodies look scary to some people. Black teenagers wearing hoodies look even more scary to those same people. Black teenagers, wearing hoodies, listening to loud music, look so damn scary that some people just gotta shoot them.

Now, I guess the obvious solution and you know what, it’s actually more obvious than most people would want to admit, is to make it illegal for a teenager to wear a hoodie.

Make it illegal, then people won’t get scared and won’t have to shoot them. And that solves a lot of the problem. But don’t forget, the same people who are afraid of teenagers wearing hoodies are even more afraid of “black” teenagers wearing hoodies.

With that same wisdom, perhaps while you’re at it, you should just make it illegal to be black. Because after all isn’t that what this is really all about.

5 thoughts on “Something Stinks in Florida

  1. Dr. Randle, you are absolutely right that the Florida Stand Your Ground law stinks and needs to be rewritten.

    But I am not so sure that the Stand Your Ground Law or the fact that Michael Dunn is white and Jordan Davis is black had anything to do with the hung jury on the murder charge because the jurors found Dunn guilty of second degree attempted murder on the other three black kids in the car.

    I would like to hear from the jurors to find out why they could all agree Michael Dunn was guilty of second degree attempted murder on the other three men in the car and guilty of firing into an occupied car but couldn’t agree on the murder charge.

    That makes no sense to me. Did the holdout or holdouts think Dunn killed Davis because he believed he was in danger from Davis but not the other three or were they in disagreement on whether it was first degree murder, second degree murder or manslaughter?

    I would think if they found Dunn guilty of attempted murder and firing into an occupied car, they would also at least find him guilty of second degree murder. Maybe some felt it was first degree murder and wanted to hang the jury so they could try him again and get first degree murder the second time.

    At least, the second degree attempted murder charges carry a maximum of 30 years and the firing into an occupied car carries a maximum of 15 years so even if they don’t try him again for murder, he will be in prison a long time unless the judge gives him a slap on the wrist.

  2. As usual your article is spot on Dr K., and correct in every facet – particularly the conclusion. This Stand Your Ground law is a license to kill, and particularly so if you happen to become involved with one of those menacing black boys wearing a hoodie, playing loud music, or worst of all threatening your life by throwing popcorn at you, which is the next upcoming saga in these murders. After the Zimmerman trial it was obvious that you would not want to be a coloured boy walking the streets of Florida – more so now.
    It is an extremely dangerous situation if a person is entitled to shoot to kill another because he represents some sort of perceived threat to him. Surely nobody is safe to venture outside under such a ridiculous law. And what is a ‘concealed weapon permit’ other than a license for a coward to carry the ultimate ‘equaliser’ in any altercation he might find himself in?
    This was probably the most open and shut case of first degree murder that one could find. Dunn chose to park right next to these boys who were playing the ‘thug music’, as the arrogant Dunn described it, and provoked a situation that should never have arisen.The situation escalated when the boy decided to defy Dunn’s demand that they turn down the music – and paid for it with his life because he ‘disrespected’ Dunn who couldn’t handle it.
    Of course the inability to convict him of murder had everything to do with race. Are we to seriously believe that if this was a middle-aged black man firing into a car full of white kids, one of whom was killed as a result, there would have been a similar outcome to the trial? You are only left to speculate whether if there had not been a couple of coloured people on the jury that Dunn would have walked on even the lesser, more blatantly and openly committed offences.
    This trial should have been held to obtain justice for Jordon Davis. It failed to because the jury found a loophole to let this coward off. Of course they had to convict on the lesser charges as there was no loophole to him firing a volley of shots at the car as it was fleeing the scene.
    What value did Dunn place on the boy’s life? None. He left the scene without reference to anyone, returned to his hotel and ordered a pizza. His arrogant and self- assured performance in the witness box would have made Arias look like a blushing violet. And his reaction to the verdict? – “How could this be happening?”
    There can be no justice for Trayvon Martin now, and probably not much chance of it for Jordon Davis either, but once again – at the conclusion of this trial – justice weeps.

  3. Thank you Dr Randle! Absolutely, that is what this is all about! And, oh YES indeed, the Stand your Ground law is most certainly to blame in Florida. It has sent the message loud and clear – black teenagers, you’re good as dead, particularly if you’re minding your own business. Yes, race was very prevalent in this case. Don’t believe me? Read Dunn’s jailhouse letters. Look at the jury’s decision on the verdict of Count One.

    Of course, it could be any one of us – cowards don’t always discriminate, as long they target what they ‘perceive’ to be a threat, it’s open season.

    NO, it’s not good enough that the murderer will serve a life sentence, far from it. There’s a conviction to be had and a law to be changed or better yet, abolished. Saying that he will serve a life sentence so why bother with a retrial is like saying Jordan’s life didn’t matter. He was a boy, a teenager, with a whole life ahead of him. He loved life. He had a good life with a wonderful, loving and supportive family. He had friends. He had a girlfriend. He had dreams and aspirations. Why doesn’t he deserve justice – after all he was the one who was murdered.

    Sentencing in Florida. The judge can’t just give him a slap on the wrist. Florida has the mandatory minimum sentencing structure – mandatory minimum 20 years for each offense of second degree attempted murder and mandatory minimum 15 years for firing into the car.

    Sentencing conundrum in Florida – Marissa Alexander is serving a mandatory 20 years for firing a warning shot in self defense. She made the mistake of not killing what she ‘perceived’ to be a threat? But her attacker was a threat so it doesn’t count? She was black and her attacker was black so it doesn’t count? Huh? Oh Well.

    The jurors convicted Dunn of second degree attempted murder because they had to. He said himself, they didn’t pose a threat to him. The volley of shots toward them came as they were trying to escape this cowardly madman on a killing mission.

    My thought of what happened in that jury room in respect to Jordan’s murder is one, or more, jurors believed his BS story (that he took almost 24 hours to conjure up) and wanted to acquit. Frankly, I would assume that juror or jurors who believed that were middle aged white men, probably with a “concealed carry permit” i.e. cowards.

    Angela Corey, the prosecutor, said at the post verdict press conference that she’s proud of the laws in Florida. I am ashamed and deeply saddened.

    And to those legal analysts who are saying a retrial would be too costly? Really? How dare you – a human being’s life – Jordan Davis’ life, is priceless! Justice has not been served!

  4. I agree that Michael Dunn is a racist and he concocted the self defense excuse as a way to try to get away with murdering teenagers he believed were black thugs. I agree the state should retry Dunn and get justice for Jordan Davis.

    Juror number 4, a white woman who said she voted for murder, has spoken and said the self defense claim was one of the reasons the jurors were hung on the murder charge. But she said race never came up. Nobody on the jury would admit to being a racist even if they were.

    What I meant about slap on the wrist is if the Florida judge would give Dunn three 20 year sentences to run concurrent instead of consecutive like the Arizona judge did with Richard Chrisman. Then he could be out in 12 years.

    Chrisman, the ex Phoenix cop who shot and killed a Hispanic man and his dog, plead guilty to manslaughter to avoid another trial on second degree murder after the jury hung on that charge but convicted him on an assault charge. Chrisman also claimed self defense. The manslaughter charge carried a 7 to 15 year sentence and the assault charge carried another sentence of 5 to 15 years.

    However, the judge sentenced Chrisman to 7 years for both charges with the sentences to run concurrent instead of consecutive so that means he got a total of 7 years for both charges. He could be out in 3 years. Chrismon killed an unarmed innocent mentally ill man and got a slap on the wrist.

    Kyle Wayne Quadlin, 25, was not arrested after he shot and killed a Navajo Indian father of six in Wal-Mart in Chandler, AZ, near Phoenix, this past weekend. Quadlin claimed self defense. The two men, who didn’t know each other, got into a physical fight at a service counter and Quadlin pulled out a gun and shot the Indian. He claimed he feared for his life so the police investigated and reported their findings to the district attorney. He will probably never be charged because of the self defense law in Arizona which says you have no duty to retreat if you fear for your life.

    My family and I have shopped in that Chandler Wal-Mart store. We could have been in the store when the shooting occurred and shot by a stray bullet. This is scary that people are carrying guns and fighting in public and then shooting people when they lose the fight.

    The laws need to be changed in all states for the protection of the public from people who use the law as a shield to carry guns and commit murder.

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