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posted: 2/21/2014 5:01 AM

Court system is failing crime victims

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The recent trial of Michael Dunn in Florida on charges of first-degree and attempted murder brought back memories of a cold day in April years ago. I received a frantic call from my sister that her husband was shot and lay dying in their Schaumburg condo. Five minutes prior to her call, they were getting ready to visit our house for my birthday and were playing their stereo at normal levels. When a song of love came on, one for which my brother-in-law liked to serenade my sister, he turned up the stereo.

Moments later came a knock on the door. He stopped his serenade, opened the door and without a word being said by the man at the door, was shot in the face at point-blank range.

The man who killed my brother-in-law was charged with second-degree murder instead of first-degree since, we were told, first-degree must show premeditation. Going berserk over loud music is not premeditation, so first-degree murder would be hard or impossible to win a conviction due to specifics the charge carries. He was convicted but is now free.

When I read that Dunn had a mistrial on the first-degree murder charges, I was disgusted with the prosecutors. Dunn, as expected, was using every possible defense for that murder, including "stand-your-ground." His defense of stand-your-ground failed as proven by his conviction of attempted murder. However, there was a mistrial for first-degree murder. There will now be a media feeding-frenzy and many will blame the "stand-your-ground" law and completely miss the fact that the prosecutors failed Jordan Davis.

Changes to stand-your-ground will not matter as long as courts continue to fail us. People use this failure as reason to arm themselves so they will not be a "victim of the failed system." We must fix the system first.

Richard Bolesta


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