08.26.2014 minor update
Despite Contrary Data, Oklahoma DA Will Not Charge Teens With Hate Crime
original article written by Net Advisor™
DUNCAN, Oklahoma. This week, Christopher Lane, 22 an Australian baseball player visiting in the United States was shot in the back and killed by three teenagers.
The driver of the vehicle Michael Jones, 17, reportedly told police that he and his accomplices were bored and had nothing else to do, so they decided to go kill someone.
Police say it was Jones who ultimately told them, “We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.”
— Source: CNN (PDF)
Despite the forgoing evidence suggesting that part of the motive by the shooter was racially driven, the Oklahoma District Attorney said there was insufficient evidence to charge any of the teens with a hate crime [Source: NBC News (PDF)].
We’ll were not lawyers, but with an education doing research work in the behavioral sciences, we can objectively look at evidence and see if it points to a motive. It is a bit surprising that the D.A. felt that public racial statements followed by a murder had nothing to do with a “hate crime.”
Let’s look at what evidence and you decide whether one of the teens was motivated by hate or not?
We first attempted to embed the original Tweets from James Edwards Jr’s Twitter account but it somehow was down at the time of this article. Not to worry, many media organizations already copied key tweets and we recently copied all of Edwards’ tweets back to May 1, 2013 (View Link Only /View PDF, 105pps).
Evidence Supporting James Edwards Motive for a Hate Crime
James Edwards posted a tweet on 07-15-2013 (PDF) that he “Knocked out 5 woods since Zimmerman court…”
Did Edwards Seek ‘Pay Back’ from the Zimmerman Trial?
The Zimmerman trial raised racial tensions by various political action groups, such as Al Sharpton, the White House and the U.S. Attorney General’s office. One U.S. major media organization apologized for editing the 911 tape to make Zimmerman’s response to a police dispatcher’s question seem racially motivated.
The only racist in that case was the victim, who refereed to Zimmerman as a “creepy ass cracker” (video). ABC News said the testimony by Trayvon Martin’s (girl) friend was “not racist ” (PDF). However, according to Wikipedia (PDF), “Cracker,” is a derogatory term against Caucasians that dates back somewhere around the 18th century.
Even after the verdict, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in support for Mr. Martin and asked the Justice Department to “act.” The U.S. Attorney General has not yet been able to find any evidence to charge Zimmerman with a civil rights violation.
Mr. Edwards’ action seems to vent his overt frustration with his disappointment of a judicial verdict. He then admits to acting out his aggression by singling out Caucasians to commit apparent random violence then brags about it on Twitter.
Mr. Edwards posted this Tweet on 04-28-2013 (PDF): “90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.”
Jones apparently idolized rap music by Chicago-based 16-year old rapper Keith Cozart, who goes by Chief Keef. The young rapper is known for his violent lyrics and Edwards quoted a line from one of Keef’s work.
Three days after the above tweet, Jones allegedly committed the murder of Christopher Lane.
Jones had other racial slurs publicly stating his intent for violence against Caucasian based solely upon the race.
So what do we have? Edwards publicly admits he hates (most) Caucasians, sought random violence against Caucasians based solely on race in apparent payback for an unrelated racially-charged case, quotes lyrics that it is time to take a life three days before he took a life, becomes board, then (allegedly) commits murder on a random Caucasian person? The local D.A. says there is no correlation to a hate crime?
If that isn’t racism, I don’t know what is?
Rapper Keef’s twitter account depicts various images including video of marijuana, video of a child apparently known to him, a Glock 17 pistol with a 50 round drum (Illegal in Chicago), and shows admiration for President Obama among others.
It is not known how the minor-aged murder suspects got a hold of a gun. After this murder, Gun Control advocates came rushing out of the woodwork to seek more restrictions on gun ownership. What the Gun Control crowd does not seem to understand is that there are existing laws in place restricting gun ownership. Just like possession of illegal narcotics is a crime, new laws do not stop the proliferation of drugs or drug crimes either.
Among just some of the minimum requirements to purchase a hand gun in most the United States:
- Must be at least 21 years of age.
- Must be a U.S. citizen.
- Must make the purchase from a licensed firearms dealer in their state.
- Must Have NO criminal record, or issues of mental illness.
In Oklahoma, one must be at-least 18 to possess or own a firearm. All of the individuals involved in this crime were well under 18 years of age. To purchase any firearm in Oklahoma also requires a FBI background check which includes fingerprinting.
Has the Justice System Become Weak?
Former Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fisher, blamed the NRA for guns and crime in America. What Mr. Fisher seems to fail to understand is that the NRA has never killed anyone. The problem in some states is the lack of enforcement by prosecutors. Chicago, the murder capital of the world is a known example to have amongst the lowest prosecute rate for capital crimes. In 2012, more people were killed in Chicago than American troops killed in Afghanistan (PDF).
If convicted, the teens changed in the alleged murder of Christopher Lane are not likely to get the death penalty because many prosecutors have been weak to push for capital crimes throughout most of the country now.
“Two of the teens, James Edwards Jr., 15, and Chancey Luna, 16, have been charged with first-degree murder in Lane’s death; Michael Jones, 17, who allegedly was driving the car they were all in, faces charges of being an accessory to his murder.”
Michael Jones, the alleged driver of the vehicle seems to be cooperating with investigations, and will probably get less prison time.
A criminal conviction in a felony case such as this would normally prevent him from ever legally owning or possessing a firearm unless the Court deems otherwise.
Some seem to think it is wrong to send a demented violent criminal to their death after due process and sentencing, that the criminal’s rights weigh more importance than the victim’s rights? The next best penalty would be life without the possibility of parole. Even this penalty could be an issue in a recent U.S. Supreme Court case.
On June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing a minor to death or life for capital crime violates the criminal’s Constitutional rights in this landmark case:
The High Court held that:
“…mandatory life without parole for those under the age of 18 at the time of their crimes violates the Eighth Amendment‘s prohibition on ‘cruel and unusual punishments’ and that a ‘judge or jury must have the opportunity to consider mitigating circumstances before imposing the harshest possible penalty for juveniles.'”
We will see how this case plays out. Housing a teen for a life would likely cost Oklahoma taxpayers at-least one million or more dollars for each person to house, feed, clothe, entertain, and provide healthcare. The victim, Christopher Lane has no options left. The alleged suspect(s) took his life, so the criminal’s lives can be forever spared?
image(s) credits: where noted. Tweet captures from Twitter, Inc.
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