To: M. Peach
Your hypothetical differs in a very key fact from the actual incident to which this article devotes about one or two sentences--the crime.
"Mr. Jacobs, then 16, and a childhood friend, Roy Bridgewater, then 17, both black, burst into an occupied home in Marrero, a white suburb. The teenagers stole guns and jewelry and raced away in a minivan." In other words, they were working in concert. Together. As partners. They came in together, and they left together.
In your hypothetical, one person does the crime, unknown to the other person, who then appears on the scene and is thought to have done the crime. That's a very different situation.
In fact, that difference would certainly be noted when it came down to deciding whether the law considered the two people to be equally guilty.
I know of a case in which a group of about 5 black teenagers burst into a black home. In the home were a number of middle-aged black adults. They were using drugs. The "teens" made them all strip down to their underwear. They robbed them. The "teens" had some big, powerful guns. Then the "teens" fled. As the little gang was running away, some of the victims came to the door and started shooting at them. Some of the "teens" shot back as they were running away. One of the "teens" (the robbers) was shot dead in his tracks. Guess who went on trial for murder, because of his death? His fellow robbers. Yes--even though the bullet came from the gun of one of the victims. It was their robbery scheme that, in the beginning, caused the "teen's" death. No one would have been shooting at them if they hadn't been running away from a violent robbery.
Notice how the story makes a point of telling us they were "both black," and that Marrero is (supposedly) a "white suburb."
Before anyone goes visualizing Marrero as some ritzy, Beverly Hills-looking, super-high-income type place, let me say that it looks more working class to me. And I definitely don't recall it being all white.
Isn't if funny how race is suddenly a KEY factor? When, any other day, people who read and write the NYT would be outraged at a crime report that stated something like: "A black man approximately 6' tall, wearing a black stocking cap and a white jacket, robbed a white woman aged 56, in the K-Mart parking lot." But now, suddenly, we're SUPPOSED to pay attention to race.
And why would a hangman's noose be considered "racist?" Did the tie depict the noose around a black man's neck, with little X's over his eyes? That's not what I read. Currently, I am reading a book called "Bloodletters and Bad Men." It's a compendium of various criminals' histories. So far, every criminal mentioned has been white. Almost all those listed as executed, before 1950 or so, were listed as having been HANGED. Yes, there is a history of lynchings in which black men were hanged. Guess what? More white men, both lynch victims and criminals, have been hanged in this country. So why is a hangman's noose, WITHOUT MORE, considered a racist symbol?
And notice the ludicrous way in which the writer baldly states that the two men did the home invasion and robbery, but then switches to the mysterious passive voice, saying the victims were "found dead." Gee, we need a super detective to figure out how they died, don't we? Murder-suicide, you think?
Your point is well taken, however I was just reminded of this case and saw a comparison which you so eloquently pointed out the differences. I just thought post # 12 was an interesting dillemma for a jury to decide.
Would you agree with the jury in that case - deciding to let them both go? I think marajade spun out of answering my question directly, but you as a juror (or possibly a defendant) - what would you decide?
posted on 01/05/2003 6:30:17 PM PST
by M. Peach
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