Posted by WLS:
I’m a committed defender of the criminal justice system of this country, and I believe it is the best criminal justice system in theory and practice to have ever existed in the history of mankind.
But decisions such as this cause me to shake my head in disgust.
Here’s a summary of what happened:
Kaliah Harper was a police officer in the City of Richmond, in the East Bay of Northern California near Oakland. After attending a church memorial service for her two young cousins who had died a week earlier in a car accident, she was approached in the church’s parking lot by her killer — ex-boyfriend Quartus Hinton. Hinton pulled out a stolen .45 caliber handgun and proceeded to shoot Harper numerous times — including several shots while standing over her body as she lay on the ground.
After being arrested, Hinton made several comments to the police about what he had done, including the following:
“there’s no excuse for what I did. I was at my wit’s end.”
I was so overwhelmed by jealousy. I was out of my mind. Jealousy threw me over the edge.”
he was remorseful for what he called a “foolish mistake.”
But his defense was buttressed on the claim that SHE was threatening him — right there in the church parking lot where she had just attended a memorial service, where he had come to confront her with a stolen .45.
Hinton also told police that Harper had threatened him, saying, “I could put you away for life,” and that he “got fed up with it…”
Hinton’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Michael Ogul, said the verdict supported Hinton’s assertion that Harper had been trying to kill him that day and had reached into her purse for what he thought was a gun.
Now the jury, in an unbeliveable display of collective wisdom, deliberated for 3 days over this uncomplicated set of facts, before finally convicting the defendant of ….. did I call him a “killer”?? I misspoke, he’s not a killer, he’s only a “Manslaughterer”.
So, to recap — steal .45, go to church where ex is grieving the death of two cousins, wait in parking lot for her to exit, confront her in parking lot, shoot her many times, including standing over her to make sure she’s dead, tell the police it was all a “foolish mistake”, and wait for a jury of your fellow Solano County residents to give you a break.
Word of advice, from a prosecutor to all you prospective jurors — DO NOT COMPROMISE for a verdict.
If you have a strong belief in the guilty or innocence of the defendant, hold to your belief. Listen respectfully to the views of your fellow jurors, but vote your own conscience. If I could give advice to one of the jurors who wanted to convict this guy for first degree murder, I would have said “Hold out and hang the jury. I’ll retry the case without three knuckleheads who wanted to acquit the guy altogether.”
I don’t know how these 12 jurors are going to be able to sleep at night with this verdict.
Did I mention that Officer Harper had 12 letters of commendation for her work?
Did I mention that Quartus Hinton was a parolee with a long criminal record?
She’s dead, he killed her, but hey, it was a foolish mistake.