Editorial: Family drama

POSTED: 06/14/12 1:00 PM

The defendant in the Jamal Samuel shooting showed up in court dressed to the teens: dress pants, shirt and tie and shiny shoes. This was the main player in a family drama for which there is no consolation. The defendant shot his brother, thereby robbing his 3-year-old nephew of a father, causing tremendous grief to the rest of his family, and probably damaging himself emotionally for life.

In such situations the criminal justice system seems to have no good answers. Sure, a crime was committed, and somebody died. That demands time in prison, right?

The question is of course what purpose such a prison sentence – if it comes that far – will serve.

That he did something very wrong – nobody knows it better than this defendant, though one might wonder about the fact that his version of what transpired diverges so strongly from what independent witnesses saw.

Looking at the story from that angle, it seems that the defendant, regretful or not, still needs to learn a lesson and that is to take full responsibility for his actions.

But no matter what decision the court will take, it will do nothing to heal the pain this out of control argument has caused to so many people, including the defendant.

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