A Little Bit of Justice – Judge Overturns Marissa Alexander Conviction And 20 Year Sentence

 

Under the category “Special Laws for certain people”…

Marissa Alexander at sentencing

JUSTICE: COURT FINALLY OVERTURNS MARISSA ALEXANDER’S 20 YEAR SENTENCE

A Florida woman who claimed to be a victim of abuse was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for allegedly firing a warning shot during an argument with her husband was granted a new trial.

The appellate court ruling erased a decision by a jury that took just 12 minutes to convict Marissa Alexander, a mother of three, of aggravated assault.

The conviction of Alexander, who is black, sparked outrage and cries of a racial double standard in light of the exoneration of George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, for the death of Trayvon Martin, who was black. In particular, outrage aired on social media and among some lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Alexander unsuccessfully tried to invoke Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law as the same prosecutors who unsuccessfully worked to put Zimmerman behind bars told the court that she did not act in self-defense.

In granting the new trial, Judge James Daniel also seemed unmoved by the Stand Your Ground defense.

“We reject her contention that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, but we remand for a new trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous,” wrote Daniel.

Alexander testified that, on Aug. 1, 2010, her then-husband, Rico Gray Sr., questioned her fidelity and the paternity of her 1-week-old child.

She claimed that he broke through a bathroom door that she had locked and grabbed her by the neck. She said she tried to push past him but he shoved her into the door, sparking a struggle that felt like an “eternity.”

Afterwards, she claimed that she ran to the garage and tried to leave but was unable to open the garage door, so she retrieved a gun, which she legally owned.

Once inside, she claimed, her husband saw the gun and charged at her “in a rage” saying, “Bitch, I’ll kill you.” She said she raised the gun and fired a warning shot into the air because it was the “lesser of two evils.” The jury rejected the self-defense claim and Alexander was sentenced under the state’s 10-20-life law, sparking outrage over how self-defense laws are applied in the state.

A Florida appellate court ruled that jury instructions, which unfairly made Alexander prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that she was acting in self-defense, were wrong — and that there were other incorrect instructions that self-defense only applied if the victim suffered an injury, which Gray had not.

The Lynching of Laura Nelson. The Old Jim Crow…Just Like the New Jim Crow

Not Just Cops And Bullets…Hiring Discrimination in High-Tech

BTx3 has been in the High-Tech Industry for over 40 years. Seen some bad, and some good in that time…

This one doesn’t really surprise me though.

This one is another “dividend” from Prop 209’s resegregation of California Universities. These companies are hiring most of their staff from West Coast Universities. which means – there are few, if any black or Hispanic graduates in the field.

Tech jobs: Minorities have degrees, but don’t get hired

Top universities turn out black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering graduates at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them, a USA TODAYanalysis shows.

Technology companies blame the pool of job applicants for the severe shortage of blacks and Hispanics in Silicon Valley.

But these findings show that claim “does not hold water,” said Darrick Hamilton, professor of economics and urban policy at The New School in New York.

“What do dominant groups say? ‘We tried, we searched but there was nobody qualified.’ If you look at the empirical evidence, that is just not the case,” he said.

As technology becomes a major engine of economic growth in the U.S. economy, tech companies are under growing pressure to diversify their workforces, which are predominantly white, Asian and male. Leaving African Americans and Hispanics out of that growth increases the divide between haves and have-nots. And the technology industry risks losing touch with the diverse nation — and world — that forms its customer base.

On average, just 2% of technology workers at seven Silicon Valley companies that have released staffing numbers are black; 3% are Hispanic.

But last year, 4.5% of all new recipients of bachelor’s degrees in computer science or computer engineering from prestigious research universities were African American, and 6.5% were Hispanic, according to data from the Computing Research Association.

The USA TODAY analysis was based on the association’s annual Taulbee Survey, which includes 179 U.S. and Canadian universities that offer doctorates in computer science and computer engineering.

“They’re reporting 2% and 3%, and we’re looking at graduation numbers (for African Americans and Hispanics) that are maybe twice that,” said Stuart Zweben, professor of computer science and engineering at The Ohio State University in Columbus.

“Why are they not getting more of a share of at least the doctoral-granting institutions?” said Zweben, who co-authored the 2013 Taulbee Survey report.

An even larger gulf emerges between Silicon Valley and graduates of all U.S. colleges and universities. A survey by the National Center for Education Statistics showed that blacks and Hispanics each made up about 9% of all 2012 computer science graduates.

Nationally, blacks make up 12% of the U.S. workforce and Hispanics 16%.

Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple and Yahoo declined to comment on the disparity between graduation rates and their hiring rates.

LinkedIn issued a statement that it was working with organizations to “address the need for greater diversity to help LinkedIn and the tech industry as a whole.”

Google said on its diversity blog in May that it has “been working with historically black colleges and universities to elevate coursework and attendance in computer science.”

In his blog post on diversity, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook cited improving education as “one of the best ways in which Apple can have a meaningful impact on society. We recently pledged $100 million to President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to bring cutting-edge technologies to economically disadvantaged schools.”

All of the companies have insisted they are hiring all of the qualified black and Hispanic tech workers they can find.

In an interview earlier this year, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the key to getting more women and minorities into the technology field had to start with improvements to education…

“We are not going to fix the numbers for under-representation in technology or any industry until we fix our education system,” she said.

Others say tech giants simply don’t see the programmers right in front of them.

Janice Cuny directs the Computer Education program at the National Science Foundation. She says black and Hispanic computer science graduates are invisible to these companies.

“People used to say that there were no women in major orchestras because women didn’t like classical music. Then in the 1970s they changed the way people auditioned so it was blind, the listeners couldn’t see the players auditioning. Now the numbers are much more representative,” she said.

The same thing happens in the tech world, said Cuny. “There are these subtle biases that make you think that some person is not what you’re looking for, even when they are.”

One of the key problems: There are elite computer science departments that graduate larger numbers of African-American and Hispanic students, but they are not the ones where leading companies recruit employees. Stanford, UC-Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA and MIT are among the most popular for recruiting by tech companies, according to research by Wired magazine.

“That is the major disconnect,” said Juan Gilbert, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

“The premise that if you want diversity, you have to sacrifice quality, is false,” he said. His department currently has 25 African-American Ph.D. candidates. Rice University in Houston has a large number of Hispanic students.

“These are very strong programs, top-ranked places that have excellent reputations,” he said. “Intel has been hiring from my lab, and they say our students hit it out of the ballpark.”

Justin Edmund says he was fortunate to attend Carnegie Mellon. Today he’s the seventh employee at Pinterest and one of the top designers at the San Francisco start-up valued at $5 billion.

He’s also one of the few African Americans in his company.

“There’s a lot of things that can be done to fix the problem, but a lot of them are things that Silicon Valley and technology companies don’t do,” Edmund said. “If you go to the same prestigious universities every single time and every single year to recruit people … then you are going to get the same people over and over again.”

St Louis Baseball Fans and Mike Brown Protestors

Let you make your own mind up about this one –

Another Gun Lynching in Florida?

That Florida SYG Lynch law is having the intended effect…

That Assad guy over in Syria needs to pass one of these laws. Then he’d have the cons screaming to support genocide.

Now, I have no idea what the ethnicities or races are of the individuals involved are – but this is the result of conservative gun mania empowering murderers.

Back in the days when people called murder what it is

 

Florida Man Claims Self-Defense After Hopping A Fence To Shoot, Kill 21-Year-Old In A Hoodie

On Thursday, an Orlando man shot and killed a 21-year-old who was fleeing his yard. He didn’t appear to be stealing anything, according to witness accounts. He didn’t appear to be threatening anybody. But Claudius Smith said he feared he was a burglar, followed him over the fence to a neighboring apartment complex, where he shot him after he said he felt threatened, according to a confession documented in an Orlando Police Department report. Smith even said he feared victim Ricardo Sanes was armed “because his pants were falling down” and his hands were in his hoodie pockets, according to a report obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

Now, questions are emerging about whether Smith will also invoke the state’s Stand Your Ground law, which gained notoriety over the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, shot in a Florida residential development while wearing a hoodie. Law enforcement officials don’t seem to believe Stand Your Ground applies. Smith has already been charged with second-degree murder. But that doesn’t stop a judge from granting Stand Your Ground immunity later. In one of the most recent Florida court decisions on Stand Your Ground, an appeals court granted Stand Your Ground immunity to a man who went to his car to get a gun before the fatal incident.

According to statements by Smith’s girlfriend, Angela Kemraj, to police, the incident started when she saw a man in the yard on surveillance cameras and reported it to Smith. She said they saw the individual in dark clothes and a hoodie leaving their yard without anything in his hands, and climbing over the fence to a neighboring apartment complex. Smith then left the apartment and climbed over the fence. Two minutes later, Kemraj said she heard gunshots. Soon after, Smith came back to the apartment and said Sanes tried to rob him, without mentioning the shooting. During initial police questioning, Smith later denied knowledge about the shooting, and only later confessed, claiming he shot in self-defense.

Black Basketball Players Expelled From School for Making 3 Point Sign

This one is so ridiculous, it just makes you mad…

Hand signals are used in basketball frequently to signal the next offensive play, or defense. That is done because in an enclosed stadium simply shouting won’t be heard by the other players over the noise of the crowd. Hand signs are also used by players as signs of success at a particular move or goal (to the crowd), or taunting another player.

High School Suspends Black Basketball Players, Claiming Gang-Related Hand Signs

A Wisconsin school district is standing by its decision to suspend two black basketball players because the signals they were making with their hands looked gang-related, saying that proper procedure was followed, the Raw Story reports.

 It all started at the beginning of the month when a local newspaper, the Sheboygan Falls News, ran what was supposed to be an upbeat story about three brothers, Jordan, Jamal and Juwaun Jackson, who moved to the district and now play basketball with Sheboygan Falls High School. As is normal, the paper did a mini photo-shoot for the article, and ultimately the decision was made to publish a “goofy” picture of the boys fooling around in their team’s uniform, making gestures with their hands.

However, things didn’t end up well for the boys. The high school suspended two of the brothers because parents who saw the story in the sports section of the paper thought the boys were making gang signs. The police department was even called in to investigate at the school’s request, the Raw Story notes.

“I did it like every other kid does it when they make a three [pointer],” Jordan Jackson explainedto TMJ News. “When you make a three, everyone does this sign. You’ve probably seen LeBron James or someone do it. I did the three in the picture, and my little brother pointed at the camera.

“I had no idea, they told us it meant blood,” he said referring to infamous Bloods gang.

Jean Born, the district superintendent, is sticking firm to the decision, saying that the school followed the athletic code. Police Chief Steve Riffel claimed that he was “able to confirm that the sign was indeed a gang sign,” even though he admitted the boys weren’t a threat.

The Sheboygan Falls News is siding with the boys on this issue, shocked at the mess the article has caused, expressing their disappointment in the school.

“The sign made by Jordan Jackson (on the far left side of the photo) is also commonly used by NBA players, such as James Harden, Lebron James and Brandon Jennings, after making a three-point shot,” the paper’s editor, Jeff Pederson, wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. “The good intentions surrounding a positive article about high school student-athletes adjusting to a new school and contributing to an SFHS sports program has somehow taken an ugly turn.

“We are disappointed and saddened by the negative reaction and subsequent outcome, which has resulted in two high school basketball players being forced to miss a game against the team’s biggest rival,” he added. “In my 20 years in mainly small-town newspaper journalism, I have fielded plenty of complaints from readers. However, I have never seen anything published in a paper I have been a part of escalate to this very unfortunate and negative magnitude.”

The ACLU of Wisconsin has also stepped up in the boys’ defense, saying that they will be investigating the case themselves.

“It appears as if the Sheboygan Falls school district and police department are unprepared to respond to the increasing diversity in the schools in an appropriate and educationally sound manner,” ACLU Executive Director Chris Ahmuty said, according to the Raw Story. “The ACLU will be seeking information from the schools in order to assess their compliance with pupil non-discrimination rules. The ACLU asks the district to immediately make the brothers eligible to play in tomorrow’s game.”

Now, I don’t know where they recruited this particular group of school administrative morons from but obviously they have never attended a Wisconsin-Michigan Game…

Wisconsin Badger Frank Kaminsky makes a “gang sign” after making a 3 pointer. Michigan’s Nick Stauskas with “3 points in your eyes” 

Or a pro game.

Lebron James gives the three point signal

How Stupid Are Conservatives? This Stupid…

Fresh on the heels of the Faux News “Search for a white Trayvon”, the “Santa is white” debacle (parts 1 & 2), we have yet another conservative – who obviously due to a dramatic lowering of standards in order to recruit teachers …

Got a job as a teacher.

Encouraged by the race baiting tactics of the right, the KKK is indeed back…here…and here, and here.

Which gets us to the most recent conservative with “foot in mouth” disease.

Looking at the guys work history, it makes you wonder what a background investigation would show up…

Teacher suspended for alleged comment

A Fairfield Freshman School teacher has been suspended without pay and faces the prospect of dismissal after allegedly making racially insensitive statements to a student earlier this month.

Monday, the Fairfield Board of Education suspended science teacher Gil Voigt. He has 10 days to request a hearing before the school board or a referee.

Voigt, who is white, is accused of telling an African-American male student, “We do not need another black president” after the student said he would like to become president.

The incident occurred on Dec. 3, with several other students present,

according to a report from Assistant Superintendent Roger Martin, who conducted a disciplinary hearing on the matter.

It isn’t the first time the 14-year Fairfield teacher has been disciplined. He received a verbal warning for making an inappropriate racial comment in 2008. That year he also received a verbal warning for improper use of school technology.

Last year he received a verbal warning after allegedly calling a student “stupid” and belittling him. He received a written warning last month for failure to use the adopted curriculum.

“This is a rare occurrence. This is the first time I’ve faced it since being named assistant superintendent (in 2011),” Martin said.

In his report, Martin said he believed four students were interviewed who corroborated the student Voigt was speaking to.

Following a complaint by the student’s parents, the teen was removed from Voigt’s class, Martin said.

“We intend to uphold board policies and to hold teachers accountable for the essential functions of the teacher job description,” Martin said.

Voigt is accused of violating board policies related to staff ethics, staff-student relations and harassment.

Voigt was not present at the meeting and could not be reached on Monday for comment.

According to the report, Voigt said his statement was misquoted by the student, who he said was not a very good student and was troublesome in class.

Voigt has been a Fairfield teacher since 2000. Before that he taught seven years in North Carolina, two years in Florida and six years in the Cincinnati Public Schools.

 

Marissa Alexander Released on Bail

Marissa Alexander is the Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison…

For shooting some drywall.

In the same state where George Zimmerman got “not guilty” for murder – and doesn’t seem to be able to go to jail for shoving guns in the faces of his soon-to-be ex-wife and girlfriend.

At least she gets to spend this Thanksgiving, and possibly Christmas with her kids while awaiting retrial.

Woman Sentenced For Firing Alleged ‘Warning Shot’ At Her Husband Gets Released

The Jacksonville woman awaiting a new trial in a controversial “stand your ground” case is free on bond.

First Coast News (http://fcnews.tv/18q19sa) reports that Marissa Alexander was released from jail Wednesday. According to the Duval County Clerk of Court, she must remain under house arrest while awaiting trial.

In 2012, Alexander was sentenced to a mandatory 20-year prison sentence for firing what she insisted was a warning shot during a fight with her husband. She tried to invoke Florida’s “stand your ground” law, but the judge threw out her self-defense claim.

An appeals court ruled in September that the judge in the case gave improper jury instructions.

Alexander says she fired a bullet at a wall in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her.

 

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