How can you call him a racist? He says he isn’t! »« Good advice for those threatened with a defamation suit

Comments

  1. kyoseki says

    Sorry, that should be “also” help.

    It’s good that she’s getting a retrial, but the 10-20-life statute responsible for her ridiculous sentence is what needs to change.

  2. says

    It just goes to show that the NRA’s claims of guns being used for self-defense are bs. The law in Florida is clearly written to encourage you to shoot to kill, not use a gun to defuse a situation. If she killed the guy, she’d be able to use the SYG law in her defense. But since the potential target is alive to contradict her story, she will be punished in a way George Zimmerman never had to worry about.

  3. kyoseki says

    1: She retreated from the confrontation to retrieve her firearm and then went back to the scene of the confrontation – this is why she was denied a SYG defense. If someone threatens me in a bar, I’m not allowed to go to my car, get my gun, come back and shoot at him.

    2: She didn’t just shoot at her asshole of a husband (note, it was not a warning shot into the ceiling as it getting widely reported – the court documents state that the bullet hole was in the wall behind him), she fired a gun in the direction of him and his two kids (at least one of whom also testified against her), which is why she was charged with 3 counts of aggravated assault and not just one.

    You’re not allowed to fire warning shots in Florida, as far as I can tell, warning shots are not legal ANYWHERE, but Florida has a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years for anyone who discharges a firearm during the commission of a felony. Even brandishing a firearm to dissuade someone from attacking you can get you 10 years if you’re not careful.

    As far as I can tell, she absolutely broke the law, but she doesn’t deserve 20 years for an incident where nobody was hurt.

  4. ironflange says

    Zimmerman made me decide never to visit Florida again; this makes me ashamed of ever having been there in the past.

  5. robro says

    I think the shock of Alexander’s sentence was due to the contrast with the Zimmerman case. It’s not that Alexander may not have been guilty…and certainly the media can be misleading…but that Zimmerman was found not guilty.

    Zimmerman took a loaded gun with him out of his car, initiated a confrontation with a stranger who was walking home, and ended up shooting him. Yet, his right to SYG was not denied by the court, because Martin resisted. But this denies Martin’s right to defend himself from a stranger confronting him with a gun was ignored. This difference suggests bias in the handling of the two cases, first by the police (particularly in the Zimmerman case) and then by the prosecution.

    As a person who grew up in Florida, the different outcomes of the two trials was predictable, given the races of the two defendants.

    ironflange: I’m with you about Florida…well, I’ve been ashamed of being from Florida and the South for a long time…but my Mom and brother still live there, so I’m probably go. Yuck.

  6. Ruby says

    @4

    “His” kids? Or THEIR kids?

    If it was their kids, doesn’t that nullify the ‘she came back argument’? I mean, if she went to get the gun to protect herself, and while she was doing so her domestic abuser ex got near her children, would it be perfectly logical for her to rush to the kids and tell him to get his ass away from them or she’ll blow his head off right then and there?

  7. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    She retreated from the confrontation to retrieve her firearm and then went back to the scene of the confrontation – this is why she was denied a SYG defense.

    Yeah, she should have stalked someone who was attempting to retreat instead. That would have made it all better.

    Fuck off.

  8. kyoseki says

    Oh right, because I state the facts of this case I’m obviously a Zimmerman sympathizer?

    Seriously?

    Grow up.

  9. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Smarmily stating the law without also clearly stating how the law as exists is fucking DEPRAVED, plus pattern recognition from dozens of smug transparent-closet-racists.

    Prove me wrong.

  10. says

    Interesting note — the prosecutor in this case (Angela Corey) was assigned to the Zimmerman case as well. .

    I lived in Duval County in Florida for twenty years, and I know three things:

    — If she were white and middle-class, it’s not likely she’d be in prison;
    — The SAO prosecutes blacks far more harshly than whites;
    — Judges sentence blacks more harshly than whites.(Compare the outcome of the Ronald Thompson case in Keystone Heights with that of the Marissa Alexander case. The judge in the Thompson case said the 20-year minimum was unconstitutional and sentenced him to 3 years.)

  11. kyoseki says

    As far as I’m concerned, they’re both guilty; of wildly differing offences, yes, but neither of them is innocent.

    She got fucked by Florida’s fucking asinine mandatory minimum sentencing (see post #2), and Zimmerman got lucky because of a lack of evidence.

    Her actions could easily have resulted in the death of her husband (no great loss, he was a real piece of shit by all accounts) or one of his kids (which is the real problem here). She’s far from the only person to have gotten 20 years for a warning shot, aggravated assault is the usual charge, a felony, which results in Florida’s asinine 10-20-Life statute.

    Is it fucking stupid that a warning shot can get you a greater sentence than manslaughter or even murder? Damn fucking straight it is. Does it change the fact that warning shots are fucking dangerous which is WHY they’re illegal? No it fucking doesn’t.

  12. kyoseki says

    Ronald Thompson was sentenced to 3 years by the judge in defiance of 10-20-Life, but Corey’s office appealed the sentence and he was resentenced to the full 20, wasn’t he?

    Like Alexander, the appeals court determined his jury instructions were incorrect/inadequate and his conviction (also multiple counts of aggravated assault with a firearm) was overturned, but he is still facing a retrial on the original charges.

    The FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) website lists a number of people who all got fucked by Florida’s 10-20-Life statute for firing a warning shot (and who were all charged with the same crime she was), Marissa Alexander is far from the only one.

  13. sparkles says

    Ultimately, do not free her. Lock her away for an eternity. She LEFT the house, then RE-ENTERED with a gun, and fired, even though children were in there. It doesn’t matter if she knew or not. If you leave and re-enter with a gun, you have one thought on your mind. KILL.

    Game over. Case done. She is a dangerous person. We don’t need anymore thugs choosing guns as a solution on the street. You can argue an unnecessary sentence all you want, but ultimately, we have another death-loving gunlover on the streets if she gets out.

    I’m disgusted that any sane person would want to “free” someone who would leave, then willingly re-enter, without police help, and fire into a house with children. Please, re-state your position. It comes off VERY PRO-GUNSSSSZZZ. Extra S and Z for emphasis. The NRA understands.

  14. trina says

    ‘Thugs choosing guns as a solution on the street’

    Nothing racist about that description at all.

  15. says

    Ultimately, do not free her. Lock her away for an eternity. She LEFT the house, then RE-ENTERED with a gun, and fired, even though children were in there.

    You want a woman in prison without a body, and you want that sentence to last literally forever.

    Yeah there’s nothing racist about that at all.

  16. says

    @17, seriously?

    YEah, seriously. Unless you choose to ignore that black people are called thugs regardless of what they do.

    ffs if a white dude did this, it’d be self defense. DV cases cause the standards to change drastically, all the moreso with black people.

  17. carlie says

    If you leave and re-enter with a gun, you have one thought on your mind. KILL.

    Really? All the time? Because the stories I’ve read about it state that the garage door was stuck shut, so the only egress she had to get away was THROUGH THE HOUSE. At which point, she’s trying to get away but has to go past the person she’s scared of, which means shooting towards him while trying to get out is a self-defense move.

  18. A Masked Avenger says

    #3, Barbyou:

    The law in Florida is clearly written to encourage you to shoot to kill, not use a gun to defuse a situation. If she killed the guy, she’d be able to use the SYG law in her defense.

    That’s an extremely inaccurate summary of how the law works. I think I get what you’re thinking–you’re contrasting “stand your ground” with “go away and come back.” Put that way, it sounds like a pretty arbitrary distinction. But the difference is that “stand your ground” presupposes that you’re going about your business and then suddenly confronted with a threat; it does not authorize you to purposely seek occasion to shoot someone.

    “Stand your ground” says only that you’re not obligated to run away. The best argument in support of that idea is that (1) running away is often dangerous, and (2) the obligation of running away shifts the burden of proof in a potentially problematic way. The defendant claiming self-defense is obligated to prove that he or she tried to run away, or that it was impossible to run away, and this is in general practically impossible to prove.

    In Zimmerman’s case, and what makes it such a hot argument–aside from the racial aspects–is the fact that Zimmerman (1) chose to follow Martin, (2) armed himself beforehand, (3) ended up in some sort of confrontation, and (4) finally, shot Martin dead. It’s easy, and not at all unreasonable, to interpret this as indicating that he left his car with the intention of either shooting Martin, or of provoking a confrontation which was likely to end in a shooting. If that’s what happened, then it’s murder pure and simple. And nobody knows Zimmerman’s motives except Zimmerman, so we’re stuck making inferences about what he did. And we’re swayed by the fact that (a) he was told to stay in the car, but didn’t, and (b) any reasonable person would expect that following someone around is likely to result in a confrontation.

    The law isn’t the same as morality. Hopefully the law won’t produce immoral results, but we know it does. And we know that even a perfect law will err on the side of inaction, in order to minimize the potential injustice–where society has decided that punishing the innocent is a greater injustice, generally, than failing to punish the guilty.

    In self-defense cases, the law splits a certain hair. If you shoot someone in a confrontation you provoked, then you are not entitled to claim self-defense. You can’t walk up to someone, insult his mother, and then shoot him when he punches you in the face. But, the law limits this in two ways. First, if you insult someone’s mother and he walks away, but then returns some time later and attacks you, the law considers this a separate incident, and generally will allow you to claim self-defense. And second, you can initiate certain types of confrontation without losing your “clean hands,” such as demanding rent from a tenant, or telling a loiterer to vacate your premises, etc. If your confrontation is “legitimate,” whatever that means, and not an attempt at provoking an attack that then forces you to defend yourself, then you can still claim self-defense.

    In Zimmerman’s case, he can argue that this hair splits in his favor. He claimed that he acted in a civic-minded way to observe someone loitering in the rain, which he found suspicious. That’s perfectly legal, if that’s all you’re doing. Next he claimed that Martin left the area, which appears to be true. Then he claims that he walked around not to find Martin, but to orient himself as to his location, which strains credulity a bit, but is hard to prove or disprove. Finally, he claims that Martin then sought him out and attacked him, placing him in fear of his life, and his physical injuries tend to support that claim.

    If the facts are exactly as Zimmerman claims, then “stand your ground” has nothing to do with anything. He claimed in his testimony that he was on the ground, with Martin on top, which makes the question of escape moot. Zimmerman’s version would also legally exonerate him from provoking the conflict, because (1) watching a suspicious loiterer is not considered “provocation,” (2) walking around to orient yourself is certainly not considered “provocation,” and (3) once Martin left, that encounter was over, and the assault that allegedly occurred later legally constitutes a separate incident.

    Whether Zimmerman is a murderer or acted in self-defense hinges critically on why he found Martin so suspicious, why he followed Martin, and whether events transpired as Zimmerman claims. Most of the evidence is circumstantial, and the rest is subject to interpretation. Zimmerman’s story is unchallenged, because Martin’s story is unavailable. So we’re left with our own interpretation of what we’ve heard. Privileged, upper middle-class whites, tend to find Zimmerman’s story plausible, at least partly because they are more likely to be equally suspicious of a young black man walking around at night. People of color, who have plenty of experience being treated with undeserved suspicion, find Zimmerman much less credible.

    In Marissa Alexander’s case, the hair-splitting hurts her. When she left the scene of the conflict, the law considers the first incident ended. When she returned with a gun and shot him, the law considers this a new incident that was clearly caused by Alexander’s actions. By law she can’t claim self-defense, because at the time she retrieved her gun she was (arguably) perfectly safe. BUT here she may be a victim of exactly how she described the incident. It’s entirely possible that she might retrieve the gun in case she might be attacked, and then return to the scene of conflict for a legitimate purpose, such as protecting the kids from a perceived danger. In that case her actions would be fully justified, and the court would be crucifying her because she said, “I got my gun and came back and fired it,” instead of saying, “I got my gun as a precaution, and went back to ensure the safety of the children, and fired a shot when he attacked me.

    Morally, Zimmerman is at the very least guilty of recklessly causing Martin’s death. Legally he may be as well, but proving it is hard.

    Morally, Alexander may be guilty as well, IF the news accounts are accurate. Legally she appears to be guilty, again IF the news accounts are accurate. Unfortunately, the benefit of the doubt will tend to go against her, as a woman of color and an abused wife. And even more unfortunately, the law applies extremely harsh penalties whenever a gun is involved, with very little latitude for courts to show mercy. It’s abundantly obvious that this woman is no killer, but she will be treated like an attempted murderer regardless.

  19. A Masked Avenger says

    I apologize for the length of post #23. It has at least two unclear points, though.

    When she left the scene of the conflict, the law considers the first incident ended. When she returned with a gun and shot him, the law considers this a new incident…

    I should have said “shot at him,” or “fired warning shots.” She didn’t actually shoot him.

    Morally, Alexander may be guilty as well, IF the news accounts are accurate. Legally she appears to be guilty, again IF the news accounts are accurate.

    Legally guilty of what? The first court convicted her of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a third degree felony, and which has a greatly enhanced sentence when committed with a firearm. Is that what she’s guilty of? Morally? It’s impossible for us to know her state of mind (as with Zimmerman), but based on her account it seems ridiculously excessive. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any other applicable law. Perhaps they could have charged her with disorderly conduct, or unlawful discharge of a firearm, if they were striving for an outcome at least somewhat more in line with justice. Or, they could charge her as they did, but give the judge discretion to sentence her to community service or some such.

    The gun laws in Florida seem stacked in this way: the penalties are extremely severe, with little latitude for judicial discretion, and there are few gradations in the law. Your only real choice, it seems, is to beat the rap. Which is largely dependent on how the jury responds to you, which is significantly affected by factors like race, sex, age, class, etc.

  20. kyoseki says

    carlie

    Really? All the time? Because the stories I’ve read about it state that the garage door was stuck shut, so the only egress she had to get away was THROUGH THE HOUSE.

    Read the court decision document I linked earlier (post #8) – it details the judge’s reasoning in denying her a self defense claim:
    1: Nobody could find any evidence that the garage door was stuck.
    2: Even if it was, the route she took to retrieve her firearm passed by the unobstructed front & back doors, she did not have to go through the house to leave.

    The only way she could make a reasonable self defense claim in this case is if the husband had followed her to the garage and, fearing for her life, she shot at him and missed, but neither of these things happened (and neither the prosecution nor defense is arguing that they did).

    With the claim of self defense denied, we’re left with the fact that she discharged a firearm in the direction of three unarmed individuals, two of whom were children – note that the charge was “aggravated assault with a firearm without intent to kill” which is the usual charge in warning shot cases.

  21. carlie says

    Ok, I stand corrected. But I still don’t see how she would have been in anything other than a panic of “he’s coming after me” regardless of where they were in the house relative to each other. And I know that in a panic I lose the ability to do basic tasks, so even if the door wasn’t stuck she still might not have been able to get it open properly.

  22. sparkles says

    Race has nothing to do with it. White, black, anything. Someone who knows there are kids in the house and grabs a gun is a thug. Stop using race as an excuse for preventable violent behavior. If you choose to find a word such as “thug” and attach a racial connotation, then that’s absolutely silly of you. Perhaps I could have chosen a better word, but ultimately, your race argument holds no water.

    The idea here is not that she was judged wrongly because of her race (she certainly could have been), but that there was a better alternative than firing a gun which could go through a wall and kill a small child (calling police).

    And if you think that it is racist to lock up a black woman to protect black children… well, you’re apparently holding some odd guilt for your own past actions that you need to own up to.

  23. kyoseki says

    carlie

    Ok, I stand corrected. But I still don’t see how she would have been in anything other than a panic of “he’s coming after me” regardless of where they were in the house relative to each other. And I know that in a panic I lose the ability to do basic tasks, so even if the door wasn’t stuck she still might not have been able to get it open properly.

    Ok, well let’s rewind the clock a little further, the original confrontation started in the main bedroom/bathroom, he then left her in the bathroom and went to the kitchen to grab his kids before leaving – again, I’m going off the prosecution’s version of events here, but the defense isn’t contesting this.

    In order for her to get to the firearm in the garage, she had to pass through the kitchen and so have to pass him (read section IV of the court document I posted earlier – “the Defendant intentionally passed by the Victims and entered the garage where she immediately armed herself before proceeding back into the home”) – if she was in a panic that he was coming after her, why would she do this? If she were also in a blind panic, why would she actively return to the kitchen? Why didn’t the shooting incident take place in the hallway where, according to your hypothesis, she was unable to open the front door (note that again, the defense is not arguing that she did this).

  24. says

    Race has nothing to do with it.

    Race has everything to do with reaching for ‘thug’ as your word, unless you are a time traveller from a perfect future.

    Stop using race as an excuse for preventable violent behavior.

    That would be the people who’d release a white dude for doing it. DV Cases short circuit the legal system’s brains; facts of the case that’d be self defense in any other situation become horrid. All the moreso with a black defendant rather than a white one.

    f you choose to find a word such as “thug” and attach a racial connotation, then that’s absolutely silly of you.

    You’re free to pretend that reality doesn’t apply to you if you wish, but I have no reason to indulge you. In the real world, “Thug” is racialized and is almost never used for white people unless the speaker is trying to imply they’re not behaving like white people.

    And if you think that it is racist to lock up a black woman to protect black children… well, you’re apparently holding some odd guilt for your own past actions that you need to own up to.

    It is entirely racist to demand extraordinary sentences be placed on black people. A life sentence for reckless actions is beyond extraordinary. And while your little insinuation is cute, I’ve never done more than low level moving violations.

  25. kyoseki says

    Just for completeness’ sake, the FAMM website lists 5 people in Florida sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot (there may be more but they recently rearranged the website and it doesn’t appear to have any rational order to it).

    Marissa Alexander (Conviction overturned, awaiting retrial)
    Marla Swearingen (Conviction overturned, pled out instead of retrial)
    Ronald Thomas (Originally sentenced to 3 years, sentenced revised to 20 years on appeal. Conviction overturned, awaiting retrial)
    Erik Weyant (Serving 20 years)
    Orville Lee Wollard. (Serving 20 years)

    With the exception of Marissa Alexander, they’re all white and middle class and all convicted of “aggravated assault with a firearm without intent to kill” which is what Alexander was charged with.

    That said, I don’t know how representative of the whole they are.

    As I noted over on the Black Skeptics thread, 10-20-Life (which is the statute they were all sentenced under) generally fucks people who think their actions were justified – the guy who holds up a liquor store at gunpoint knows he’s committed a crime and pleads out, but the people who think they’re in the right and go to trial only to be found guilty are the ones who end up serving the mandatory minimum sentences and there is literally NOTHING the judge can do about it.

    It really is a monumentally fucked up piece of legislation.

  26. koncorde says

    @29 In the real world, “Thug” is used to describe lots of people of many walks of life. Thug has a very popular use in Britain to describe pretty much all instances of domestic violence, hooliganism, assault, affray, or have generally aggressive nationalistic tendencies. We got it from the Indians.

    In the US it has a long history of being used for Mafia members, gangsters and the like, even down to petty criminals etc. Generally speaking sharing the same connotations as hoodlum, or hood.

    In the last 20 years it has become loosely associated with the concept of “Thug Life” via Tupac, in which case the word “Thug” means nothing like it does in common parlance.

    However I’m not aware of any common association of the word with “black” aside from in the Tupac usage. You would be the first, in my admittedly limited personal experience of reading a lot of the net, to make such a bold leap. I don’t believe there is any suggestion Kyoseki was talking about Alexander in terms of Tupac Shakur.

    Now, I stand to be corrected – but I think you’re talking shit – and rather than thug being used to “to imply they’re not behaving like white people” (which carries a massively racist connotation, would you like to clarify what it means to “behave white”?) I think that largely it’s used to imply that someone is acting violently towards another in the commission of a crime.

  27. says

    kyoseki — you are correct — the sentence was re-imposed by another judge. Thompson is appealing due to incorrect jury instructions (seems to be a specialty of the area’s judiciary).

    Alexander’s husband walked through a restraining order to pay her a visit. At that visit, according to the Florida Times-Union:

    According to the ruling, Alexander said her husband accused her of infidelity and questioned whether he was the father of the child she’d given birth to a week earlier. Alexander told him to leave and locked herself in the bathroom until he broke through the door, grabbed her by the neck and shoved her to the floor.

    She ran into the garage but found she couldn’t leave because the garage door wouldn’t open, according to the ruling. She got a gun from the glove compartment of a car in the garage, went back into the house and when Gray saw her, she said he charged saying he was going to kill her. Alexander fired the gun.

    She also said Gray had abused her repeatedly for about 18 months.

    If it happened that way…well, I’d have actually shot the guy. Always thought it better to be in jail than dead or beaten to a pulp. But — and here’s the main point — since I’m white, college-educated (it matters there), middle-class, look as threatening as a marshmallow peep, and have access to excellent legal representation, the outcome would have been very different.

    FWIW, I don’t think that SYG is the best defence here, but I am no legal scholar.

  28. indicus says

    Wow, this is interesting from a blog where 9 out of 10 posters seem to think that guns and gun owners are the scum of the earth. The woman fired IN THE DIRECTION OF TWO CHILDREN. It doesn’t matter if her asshole husband beat her silly or threatened to kill her every day of their relationship. SHE ENDANGERED THE LIVES OF TWO CHILDREN. Could she have blown the abusive bastard’s head off and rightly claimed self-defense? Probably. I really don’t know the fine details of the case. But the second she pointed a firearm at CHILDREN she flew over the line onto everything that is ethically and legally abhorrent. I’ll agree that 20 years is excessive. And I’ll easily agree that Zimmerman should be serving that length of time instead. But the fact that any of you clowns are willing to champion the case of a person who POINTED A LOADED GUN AT CHILDREN reminds me of the flaming hypocrisy of the self-identified progressive left.

  29. indicus says

    P. S. I also seem to recall that oh so many posters here deny that any possible justification could be offered for owning and carrying a gun, a woman couldn’t possibly hope to pull it on her attacker in time, she is far more likely to have it taken from her, blah, blah, blah. Could it be you’ve actually found someone who DOES have a reason to own a firearm? Say it ain’t so.

  30. Ichthyic says

    this is why she was denied a SYG defense. If someone threatens me in a bar, I’m not allowed to go to my car, get my gun, come back and shoot at him.

    Damn straight… if you were in Texas, I think it’s against the law NOT to bring your gun with you wherever you go now, so you can shoot anyone you don’t like on sight, and claim self defense.

    seriously, the way you phrase it, it sure sounds like should would be just fine legally if she had the gun IN THE HOUSE instead.

    if you can’t see the many flaws in the argument that she is guilty because she left and came back, here’s a tip for you:

    leave. do not come back.

  31. Ichthyic says

    It doesn’t matter if her asshole husband beat her silly or threatened to kill her every day of their relationship.

    yes, it does.

    seriously, you should be ban-hammered just for saying that.

  32. indicus says

    “seriously, you should be ban-hammered just for saying that”

    Re-read my comments chuckles. That comment was not in regards to the fact that she shot at the guy but in regards to the fact that

  33. indicus says

    “seriously, you should be ban-hammered just for saying that”

    Re-read my comments chuckles. That comment was not in regards to the fact that she shot at the guy but in regards to the fact that SHE POINTED A LOADED FIREARM AT CHILDREN. If he had seriously threatened, even once, to hurt her that would have been more than enough justification to blow his head off. But nothing gives anyone the right to POINT A GUN AT CHILDREN. That by itself is more than worthy of punishment.

  34. indicus says

    Just to reiterate it, nothing represents grounds for a man to threaten a woman. Ever. And in such a case she would have every justification for drawing a weapon and using deadly force if necessary. But NOTHING gives anyone the right to point a firearm at children. And if anyone seriously disputes that then they need to seek professional help.

  35. Tapetum, Raddled Harridan says

    Indicus, you keep repeating “point a gun at children” – but I haven’t seen anything to indicate that she was a) firing at the children, or b) aiming so blindly as to endanger children. I am far from an expert shot, but if a grown man and a couple of children are in a room, I’m pretty capable of firing high enough that even a major miss is not going to endanger the kids. I.e. the equivalent of firing a warning shot into the ceiling, even if what I’m hitting is wall. Doing such a thing when terrified for your life is hardly an indication of a psychopath.

  36. indicus says

    And of course we all know that a gun has never gone off unintentionally. So as long she wasn’t actively shooting at them all is good, huh? The cardinal law of gun safety is you NEVER point a gun at something you might not intend to shoot. Not only is that a rule of safety, it is the law in all 50 states. Unless someone was actively threatening me with a weapon, if I pointed a gun at some third party in the general vicinity I would go to jail and rightly so. What she did does not make her a psychopath but it did place the lives of two children in danger. It was a massive error of judgement that showed a disregard for the lived of two innocent people and was criminal.

  37. says

    In the US it has a long history of being used for Mafia members, gangsters and the like, even down to petty criminals etc. Generally speaking sharing the same connotations as hoodlum, or hood.

    And ‘fag’ used to mean cigarettes. Historical usage is typically irrelevant compared to current.

    However I’m not aware of any common association of the word with “black” aside from in the Tupac usage. You would be the first, in my admittedly limited personal experience of reading a lot of the net, to make such a bold leap. I don’t believe there is any suggestion Kyoseki was talking about Alexander in terms of Tupac Shakur.

    I could probably believe that, from a brit. But it wouldn’t fill me with confidence at your knowledge of race relations, especially over here. ‘thug’ for black dude is only a bit less common than ‘urban’, with a host of jackass racism accompanying either (varying with context for the latter, certainly). I seriously can’t remember a recent occasion where ‘thug’ wasn’t used to connote or directly refer to being of color – usually black.

    Wow, this is interesting from a blog where 9 out of 10 posters seem to think that guns and gun owners are the scum of the earth

    I don’t think gun owners are scum of the earth, just endangering people needlessly. And I have an extreme stance in comparison with most. I suspect you’re wrong about most people’s opinions (shocker).

    But the fact that any of you clowns are willing to champion the case of a person who POINTED A LOADED GUN AT CHILDREN reminds me of the flaming hypocrisy of the self-identified progressive left.

    It’s only hypocrisy if you can’t hold two thoughts in your head at the same time. It is entirely possible for the gun to have been unnecessary and only threatened people *while* the law is swung as a racist hammer against a black woman. I don’t have to be okay with what she did to not want people to deal with racist jackassery.

    P. S. I also seem to recall that oh so many posters here deny that any possible justification could be offered for owning and carrying a gun, a woman couldn’t possibly hope to pull it on her attacker in time, she is far more likely to have it taken from her, blah, blah, blah. Could it be you’ve actually found someone who DOES have a reason to own a firearm? Say it ain’t so.

    It ain’t so. Alexander’s safety wasn’t enhanced for having access to a firearm. That doesn’t change that people have absolutely absurd demands for what should happen to her because she’s a black woman, in comparison to a white dude.

  38. says

    Unless someone was actively threatening me with a weapon, if I pointed a gun at some third party in the general vicinity I would go to jail and rightly so.

    Well, if you’re a black person that might be true – especially if you point it at a white person. White people threatening black people are reasonably safe though.

  39. Howard Bannister says

    Goddamitall, the judge says she could get away BUT THE ABUSIVE HUSBAND DISAGREES GUYS

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/07/17/1224283/-Deposition-Excerpts-From-Marissa-Alexander-s-Abusive-Husband

    They struggled. She ran out through the laundry room into the garage. “But I knew she couldn’t leave out of the garage because the garage door was locked.”

    That’s from his deposition.

    ANYBODY WHO CITES THE JUDGE’S DECISION WITHOUT NOTING THAT THE JUDGE DISAGREES WITH THE HUSBAND IS DELIBERATELY MISLEADING YOU.

    There’s no way you read the judge’s decision and somehow missed that he ignored the husband’s deposition. NO WAY.

    Also, about the whole ‘never point the gun at them unless you mean to shoot them’ — (which is good and true and proper gun safety)

    He said, “The gun was never actually pointed at me. When she raised the gun down and raised it up, you know, the gun was never pointed at me. The fact is, you know . . . she never been violent toward me. I was always the one starting it. If she was violent toward me, it was because she was trying to get me up off her or stop me from doing.”

    Holy shit did she do everything right.

    AND SHE STILL WENT TO JAIL.

  40. nrdo says

    This is another example of the pervasive damage that ubiquitous guns do to a society. Guns are like catalysts; they elevate the prospect of lethality in every situation, prompting the state to impose ever harsher penalties for using guns “incorrectly” which leads to more broken relationships and, in this case, motherless children. I don’t know how bad the situation will have to become before people start analyzing gun violence rationally but I mourn all the people who will be killed and imprisoned in the interim.

  41. doubtthat says

    Are you just reading through the case file at this point looking for information to support your presupposition? It’s deliberately misleading to advance the victim’s deposition as evidence without including a few facts:

    1) The parties met in violation of a no-contact order and discussed what Gray should say during the deposition: http://www.scribd.com/doc/89763280/Order-Denying-Defendants-Motion-for-Immunity-and-Motion-to-Dismiss

    2) Months after the deposition, Alexander went to Gray’s house where he was living with his two children and physically assaulted him. The incident lead to her arrest and the revocation of her bond (same link).

    3) Gray’s deposition — to which Howard Bannister @46 is referring — conflicted in important ways with the information he gave police. Gray later admitted to lying in the deposition to protect Alexander:

    Gray said he lied during an initial deposition when he said he had been the aggressor because the couple had settled their differences and gotten back together. He said he didn’t want to see his wife go to prison.
    It was after Alexander assaulted him again less than five months later that he decided to no longer support her. She pleaded no contest to domestic battery in that incident and was sentenced to time served.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2012-05-16/story/marissa-alexanders-husband-says-it-was-her-violent-nature-led-shooting

    Now, obviously Gray is a convicted abuser and may just be covering his ass, but it is incorrect to say that the judge and Gray disagree. The Judge and Gray agree over Gray’s first story and the one he eventually went back to. They disagree if you think the deposition was correct, but Gray himself says that was a lie.

    Either you believe Gray or you don’t, but that deposition becomes totally useless as evidence and Gray, in general, becomes a totally untrustworthy source. That’s why the decision — linked above — does not refer to Gray’s testimony, just the material facts of the case.

    The mandatory sentencing of 20 years was absurd, but this case does not prove what people wish it would. What’s even more frustrating is that it’s hardly difficult to find evidence to support the claim that the American justice system is heavily biased against black defendants. This case was fixated upon because of a superficial resemblance to the Zimmerman case, and it’s just an awful example.