Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Crane and I thank everyone who has responded to our financial plight with a donation. Some of you have made multiple donations and we are very grateful.
Because it takes several days for Paypal to transfer money into our bank account, we are expecting to be without electricity for several days, possibly starting later today. Fortunately, the weather is warming up into the high 50s today and for the rest of this week, so we are not in any danger of freezing.
We will not have internet access when the power is shut off, but we can motor to the nearest McDonald’s and use their WiFi connection to periodically post and comment. We should be able to get through this without too much interruption or inconvenience.
Now to today’s post.
Angela Corey has to decide whether she is going to retry Michael Dunn for killing Jordan Davis. She said she would, but prosecutors almost always say they will do that, only to later change their minds and attempt to resolve the charge by entering into a plea agreement with the defendant in exchange for reducing the charge. If she decides to go this route and Dunn refuses to plead guilty to anything, which is what I expect he will do since he is already looking at a minimum 60-year sentence on the three attempted second degree murder charges, she will have to either retry him on the murder charge or dismiss it and proceed to sentencing.
I believe it’s pretty clear that the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the murder charge because one or more jurors concluded that Dunn shot Jordan Davis in self-defense. I doubt a majority of the jury believed that, but this is Florida, the Gunshine State, where many white people apparently believe all black male teenagers are thugs armed to the teeth and looking for an excuse to kill white males and steal their wives or girlfriends.
Some of the jurors who wanted to convict Dunn probably have contacted Corey and informed her regarding how many jurors bought the self-defense argument and their reasons for doing so.
Corey is more likely to retry the murder charge, if the vote were 11-1 or 10-2 to convict, as opposed to acquit. She may ultimately decide against retrying Dunn for the murder, if 4 or more jurors held out to acquit. After all, there is not much point in retrying Dunn, unless good reason exists to believe the retrial will end in a conviction.
The evidence against Dunn was overwhelming. However, she did not use Dunn’s overtly racist letters in which he said the world would be a better place if more white people shot and killed black thugs and gangsters like the boys in the red Durango.
Corey likely will have to use those letters, if she hopes to convict Dunn, and I am not at all certain that she is willing to do that. After all, she was elected State Attorney by pandering to white racist fear of black male teenagers by promising to aggressively prosecute and convict all the thugs and gangsters, which are the new words used to replace the N-word.
Her apparent lack of zeal to convict George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin does not inspire confidence that she is not racist. Frankly, I think she shares some of Dunn’s beliefs, so I would not be surprised if she ultimately dismisses the murder charge.
Dunn will not be sentenced until the murder charge is resolved, whether by trial, plea or dismissal. After it is resolved, the matter will proceed to sentencing where Dunn is looking at a sentence of at least 60 years.
Dunn has a constitutional right to appeal the case after the sentence is imposed and a final judgment is entered.
He also has a constitutional right to be represented by court-appointed counsel during that appeal at public expense, if he is indigent and unable to hire private counsel.
Incidentally, the same applies to a retrial of the murder charge. Look for Cory Strolla to move to withdraw, if Dunn is out of money.
The court would most likely appoint a public defender to represent Dunn, although courts sometimes appoint a private lawyer willing to work at the lower rates courts are willing to pay.
At this point, I do not believe Dunn has any meritorious issues to raise on appeal. Therefore, regardless of the outcome of a retrial of the murder charge, I believe he will spend the rest of his life in prison.