So you know that joke people tell each other, where somebody’s doing something vaguely annoying and you say that if you were to kill them for it ‘no jury would convict you’? Turns out, they won’t. Not if you’re in Florida and can claim self-defense, at least.
Florida resident Michael Dunn was at a gas station one night when he was started an argument with four teenagers over how loudly they were allowed to blast their car’s stereo. And, hey, we’ve all been there. Where significantly fewer of us have been is the part where Dunn fired upon the SUV ten times, killing one teen, Jordan Davis, and endangering the rest. Dunn later claimed self-defense, saying Davis had threatened him with a shotgun that his friends had disposed of before the police began their investigation. readme sure as hell couldn’t see any parallels between this and any other murder cases that happened in the last year or so, especially once it found out that Davis and all his friends were young black males who had been listening to rap music when the shooting occurred.
Perhaps because of these parallels which in no way exist between this shooting and that other one, the prosecution was skeptical of Dunn’s self-defense claim. The police turned up no evidence of this alleged shotgun, they said, and Dunn’s behavior after the shooting was suspiciously nonchalant given the circumstances. What’s more, Dunn’s own fiancée testified that he had never mentioned being threatened by Davis before shooting him. Because there’s absolutely no reason you’d want to inform your soon-to-be wife that the time you killed that one kid was actually self-defense and not murder. He was acting—to use the legal term—‘shifty as all hell’.
The good news is that while Dunn was not actually convicted of murder, he was convicted on three counts of attempted murder with a minimum sixty-year sentence, and the jury did not acquit him of the murder either, so it is possible a subsequent jury will convict him of that, as well. But while a story about a dude in Florida being punished for killing an unarmed teenager is far more preferable than a story about a dude in Florida getting off scot free for killing an unarmed teenager, readme can’t help but think things would be way better off if dudes in Florida just stopped killing unarmed teenagers. Sure, it means the Florida media will no longer have any interesting news to cover, but readme thinks a few week-long editorials about how to cope with the humidity is worth not having to live in a constant state of lawless anarchy, don’t you agree?

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