Three Self Defense Cases-You Be the Judge

July/18/2013 5:31AM
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First, the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman Case. Was it a fair verdict? Did the jury get it right?

I don’t know. I’m pretty sure the O.J. Simpson jury didn’t, but I don’t know whether George Zimmerman was an over zealous cop wanna-be who went too far, or whether he was being beaten and took drastic action to save his own skin. The jury, after reviewing all the evidence, believed the latter. That’s justice in America and I’m satisfied with that. If they had found him guilty, I would have been satisfied with that. I never saw this as a black/white issue, just a bad situation. I find it very concerning that some people see every one of these as black/white issues.

Here’s an opposite tragedy.

by Kevin Reece / KHOU 11 News

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 6:19 PM

        HOUSTON– The pastor of the young woman who was indicted for murder five months after a road rage incident in northwest Harris County says that if the races were reversed there might not be a murder indictment at all.

Crystal Scott, 23, shot and killed 22-year-old Jonathan Ables, September 17, 2012, after she says he approached and pounded on her car.

The drivers had pulled into a Shell gas station at Perry and FM 1960 after Scott says Ables bumped her car. Both were on their way to work during the morning commute.

“Unfortunately the actions of an enraged man led to his untimely death,” said Scott’s pastor, Bishop James Dixon, II, who held a news conference on Wednesday — the day after the indictment was announced.

Crystal Scott is African American.  Jonathan Ables was white.

“Had this been a black male, a white female, most people are doubtful we’d be having this kind of press conference,” said Dixon when a reporter asked specifically about the race issue and whether he thought a white female would face a murder charge under similar circumstances.

“How is it that you get a murder charge when you’re the one under attack,” Dixon asked.

We posed that exact question to 11 News Legal Expert Professor Gerald Treece at the South Texas College of Law.

“The question is if a person comes up angry to you do you have a right to kill him? No, you do not,” said Treece who said that to avoid a murder indictment there would have to be clear and convincing evidence that Scott feared for her life. The grand jury indicted Scott on Tuesday after weighing additional evidence beyond Scott’s version of events.

“A (trial) jury could very well accept self defense,” said Treece of Scott eventually facing the charges in court.  “But to prove self defense under Texas law you’re going to have to show you were in reasonable fear, not of injury, but of your life before you take a life.”

“I want you to know that in this town, this county, and this state, a concealed handgun license is not a license to kill,” said Ables’ family attorney, Brian Wice, in an interview with KHOU 11 News on the day of the indictment.

Crystal Scott surrendered to authorities Tuesday night for a mandatory booking process and was released pending trial on $50,000 bail.

An initial court date has been set for early March.

Here’s what I find both interesting and confusing.

Bishop Dixon of the NAACP runs to the aid of Crystal Scott.

Bishop James Dixon has taken an interest in the Crystal Scott case. Crystal Scott was recently indicted for murder by a grand jury for the shooting of Jonathan Ables. She claims self defense.

Who is Bishop James Dixon? He is Chairman of Religious Affairs for the NAACP in Texas. Since Crystal Scott is black and Jonathan Ables white guess who Dixon is defending? That’s right, the shooter Crystal Scott.

 George Zimmerman was charged with murder 2 after he defended himself while under attack. It wasn’t George’s car that was being beaten it was him. But a witness pumping gas about 15 to 20 ft away said he heard no yelling or banging on a window. He only heard the gun shot.…192138941.html

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Crystal Scott’s family and supporters gathered demanding justice. They say they want answers now that 23-year-old Scott was just indicted on a murder charge.
“We’re thoroughly convinced that Crystal Scott acted in clear self defense and does not deserve to be faced with any charges whatsoever,” said Community of Faith Church Bishop James Dixon.…cal&id=9000217

I wonder what this Bishop James Dixon would say about the Zimmerman case. Surely he would be in favor of not charging George. After all George was being physically attacked.

It turns out Bishop Dixon was involved in the activities in Sanford, Florida:

On Thursday, March 22, 2012, Bishop James Dixon will be traveling to Sanford, Florida to join other social justice advocates including Rev. Al Sharpton of National Action Network, Marc Morial of the National Urban League and NAACP leaders. The purpose is to protest the killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin. He was an unarmed youth who was gunned down by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. The youth was not armed.

Wait, so Bishop Dixon was with Al Sharpton and Company to protest against George? What happened to defending one’s self while under attack?

Bishop James Dixon was recently appointed Chairman of Religious Affairs of the Texas NAACP. He works closely with national religious and civil rights leaders, many of whom will be speaking in Sanford, Florida on Thursday.

Bishop Dixon even explained his philosophy like this:

Be Your Brother’s Keeper Not Your Brother’s Killer. A campaign introduced by Bishop Dixon to area leaders that promotes the concept of brotherhood within and across lines of race, and to discourage violence by promoting the sanctity of human life.

So in the case of George Zimmerman it is “Be your brother’s keeper not killer” but in the Crystal Scott case he thinks she should not be charged because Jonathan Ables allegedly attacked her car.

Ms. Scott will have her day in court, just like Mr. Zimmerman. Maybe her jury will find her not guilty. But, I worry about the hypocracy of Bishop Dixon who sees race in every situation regardless of who pulled the trigger and got shot.   In his eyes, Zimmerman is guilty of murder and Ms. Scott is innocent. The only measure is so-called racial fairness.

Are people like Bishop Dixon even capable of fairness?

The US Attorney General, Eric Holder, spoke before the NAACP and called the self-defense laws in Florida flawed. I’m sure Bishop Dixon was there hanging on Holder’s every word. But, he will go back to Texas and try to get Ms. Scott acquitted on that same flawed law.

The third case involves a late friend of mine, Larry Butcher. He was riding home from golf in his personal golf cart. No one saw what happened, but witnesses heard a car horn blaring for several seconds. Then a gun shot. larry was in his early 70’s and the shooter was 69 years old. The shooter said Larry pulled his golf cart next to the shooter’s car window and put his hands on the man’s throat. There were no marks on the man’s throat. He simply grabbed the gun on the car seat and shot Larry.

This happened in Tennessee. The verdict, self-defense.

So, judge, what’s your verdict on these three murders? Zimmerman get a fair trial? Will Scott get a fair trial? Did Larry’s killer get a fair trial?

According to your Attorney General, the answers are: Zimmerman get’s second degree, Scott gets second degree(sure, Eric, tell that to Bishop Dixon), and Larry’s killer gets second degree. Of the three, who was the most threatened?

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