Long Island Judgeâ€™s Miscarriage
To protect his family from these racist night riders, John White grabbed a handgun, after telling his wife to call the police, and confronted the men walking on his property. They taunted him with â€œniggerâ€? chants and told the elder White that they were going to â€œfuck upâ€? him and his family.
[Speaking Truth To Power]
The second degree manslaughter conviction of 54-year-old John White, a Black Long Island man, who shot a white racist thug trespassing on his property, is causing a firestorm of controversy, partly, because of a despicable decision made by the case Judge Barbara Khan.
Daniel Cicciaro Jr., 17, on the night of Aug. 9, 2006 along with some of his white “friends” stalked White’s son, Aaron, by following him to the White family home, on Miller Place in Suffolk County.
The white males were angry, alleging that Aaron had made sexual remarks about a white female, who was at a party were all were present. This allegation later proved to be false. Aaron also though the thugs had been his friends.
Aaron upon reaching the safety of his house awoke his father telling him of the chilling details transpiring. Outside, the lynch mob was busy blocking off the street leading to the White home, while revving the intimidating loud engines of their hot-rod cars and spewing the N-word.
To protect his family from these racist night riders, John White grabbed a handgun, after telling his wife to call the police, and confronted the men walking on his property. They taunted him with “nigger” chants and told the elder White that they were going to “fuck up” him and his family.
White told the hoodlums to leave. They wouldn’t. Cicciaro eventually lunged at White trying to grab the gun. It discharged, killing him.
White was charged with second degree manslaughter and third degree weapons possession. The trial started five weeks ago. Deliberations started last Wednesday, and on Saturday evening the jury told the judge that they were deadlocked with two jurors holding out for acquittal. We now know these two jurors were being bullied by the others to vote guilty.
One of the holdouts was John Larche, a white South African. Larche said “I really don’t think Mr. White—had a fair chance.” He stated that most of the jurors, on the largely white jury, had made up their minds from the first day of deliberations. “There was no clear objective reasoning,” he lamented. “As far as they were concerned, a young kid was dead and someone had to pay the price.” Larche also said that he was verbally attacked by the other jurors and called “a pig-head” for not voting with them.
But the judge was about to make a bad situation worse.
After being told of the impasse, Judge Barbara Khan sabotaged the trial with conduct that can be best deemed as mischievously malicious. The judge asked them to make a schedule of their religious itineraries for the next day, making it clear she intended to bring them back Sunday; one day before Christmas Eve to continue deliberations.
She told them if they didn’t reach a verdict the case would go before a jury “that would not be any different from you.” One hour later, after Larche and the other holdout caved, a guilty verdict was rendered.
By her coercive conduct Judge Khan unduly influenced the holdouts into changing their “not guilty” votes. What did this “judge” think would happen by, in effect, threatening the jurors by insinuating that she would make them deliberate on a Sunday before Christmas Eve? Is she just an ignoramus? If this was just a matter of judicial incompetence that would be bad enough, we already have enough idiots making judgments regarding life and death.
But something far worse is at play here.
Ask yourself: what was this judge’s intention when she told jurors that another jury “would not be any different that you?” Why is she burdening them with a loaded statement like that? This language was clearly meant to force the jury into making a decision. If that statement isn’t enough to overturn this contrived conviction then those responsible for judicial oversight should be investigated themselves. Given that 10 jurors were leaning toward guilt, the judge had to know this would mean conviction for Mr. White. Is it any wonder it came so soon after her outrageous provocations?
Also, how could anyone vote against a man whose family was being threatened by thugs violating their personal space with deadly intentions in mind? Does any honest person think that if Mr. White was a white man, and the offending thugs Black youth, that he would have been convicted in the most segregated area in America?
When jurors talk about someone having to pay for a dead kid, don’t they really mean a dead white kid? Didn’t Daniel Cicciaro Jr. bear responsibility for his own death by his bigoted belligerent behavior and his sense of white entitlement?
The intimidating skinhead presence of Cicciaro family “supporters” inside the Court House must also be reviewed and examined for its influence on this verdict.
In 1984 so-called Subway Vigilante Bernard Goetz shot four Black men on a Manhattan subway train and was acquitted on all charges, except for one on weapons violation.
So, a white man can shoot four Blacks in a subway and be acquitted, but a Black man who shoots a white thug attempting to enter his home is convicted? Some justice system.
Benjamin is a member of The Black Star News's Editorial Board.
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