Convictions, but no celebration*

Judge Convicts 9 Teens In Halloween Hate Crime, including video.

Nine Guilty In Halloween Attacks, plus videos, comments, photo galleries prior to verdicts. Plus this interesting comment:

“There’s a double standard in the whole system,” said Tony Muhammad, regional minister for the Nation of Islam. “I’m saying I don’t think all of them are guilty.”

Eight guilty of hate crime in Long Beach beating, including video, message board, and gallery.

Halloween night beating trial verdicts – just a small blurb at the top of their page.

I knew this was coming last night, but didn’t blog about it. I admit I was shocked to hear about the convictions on the radio. I suppose no one outside of the trial really knew what to expect. I’ll expand on how I feel a little later.

*I picked out Tony Muhammad’s quote on purpose. Honestly, I think these kids got more consideration than they probably deserved. Each of them got their own personal lawyers, who each helped make the trial that much more complicated (how many lawyers does it take to screw in a light bulb? Never mind, bad joke). All of their identities were protected by the courts and even by the newspapers and media outlets that covered the trial – at least, most of them, while they were minors. Plus, even if not all of them are guilty, as Mr. Muhammad believes – then why not say what you saw? The truth shall set everyone free, as one defendant’s relative said. One poster on the LAT message board said it perfectly:

Its quite simple really. Some or all of those kids are guilty. Why not own up to it? Why don’t some of these kids just flat out tell the truth about themselves or the others. Instead, saving their own backs probably got a couple of innocent ones in trouble.

If anything, I think the witnesses in this trial got the shortest end of the stick. Obviously there’s sympathy for the three victims (but, not enough in my opinion), and there’s outrage on behalf of the defendants – but for the witnesses? What a thankless role. If this were the only trial I ever saw or knew about and was my basis for the justice system, I would never want to be a trial witness. Ugh. I need my car, thank you very much.

I also heard on the radio earlier that the NAACP plans to represent some or all of the defendants in an appeal. I have no idea if this is correct, but if it is, let me know. I’d be surprised if they would make such a move, considering every other black activist worth his/her salt doesn’t seem to want to touch this case with a 10-foot-pole.