Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ferguson Missouri

If you've been following the case in Ferguson we have a black teenager shot by a white police officer.

This is one of those stories that has wildly varying claims about what happened and who did what.

Witnesses claim that the teenager, Michael Brown, had his hands in the air and was trying to surrender when the police officer, Darren Wilson, shot him.

The reason Brown was initially approached by Wilson appeared to have been an incident where Brown allegedly robbed a store by basically walking out with some merchandise.

As usually the media has been all over the map.

There were significant, often violent, protests in Ferguson over the shooting. A Grand Jury was convened to consider whether or not the police officer should be indicted for Brown's death.

After wading through volumes of testimony and forensic evidence, the Grand Jury declined to indict Darren Wilson.  The jury consisted of seven men and five women, nine of them white and three black. Nine votes were required for an indictment. What the vote actually was has not been made public.

What can I say? Clearly the Grand Jury was not convinced that an indictment was warranted. From what I've heard the eye witness testimony tended to support Brown being shot down unjustifiably while the forensic evidence seemed to indicate that Wilson's version of the events was closer to the truth.

If that's true then I can understand the reluctance to indict because eye witness testimony is notoriously unreliable.

I didn't hear the evidence so I can do is rely on the decision of the Grand Jury.

Friday, November 07, 2014

6th Circuit Upholds Gay Marriage Bans

Let the games begin!

As expected the 6th Circuit Court has upheld Gay Marriage Bans in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.

It doesn't sound as if the court found the states arguments particularly persuasive as the 2-1 decision stated that Gay marriage is almost inevitable. What the court did state is that the issue should be settled by the democratic process and not by the courts.

The 6th Circuit has apparently forgotten that a key role of the courts is to protect the rights of the minority under the law from the tyranny of the majority. A "let the democratic process" settle it approach in the days of Jim Crow would almost certainly have kept blacks disenfranchised and segregation in place.

I wonder if the court is using this as an excuse to kick the question up where it belongs at the Supreme Court?

In any event now the SCOTUS has no excuse not to address the issue. If they hurry up they can still get it on this years docket.

I think Gay Marriage should be legal across the country. The waste of resources over this question is ridiculous. Let's settle it and move on already.

If the SCOTUS upholds state bans, the battle and waste of resources will continue. The way to put an end to it is to declare Gay Marriage a right under the 14th Amendment because it's the right thing to do.