Thursday, April 03, 2008
How To Get Away with Manslaughter on Bourbon Street
Asphyxiate an African American college student on Bourbon Street for a dress code "violation", and then the real key here is to get the trial moved to Lake Charles, where you can choose a jury of 11 white people and one African American, or "colored," as they still say in polite circles in rural Louisiana. The first of 4 bouncers Arthur Irons is scheduled to leave the courthouse a free man. Levon Jones, well he's still dead. The Orleans Parish coroner's office said Jones died from asphyxiation from "excessive physical" force. The defense had Dr. Bruce Wainer testify that CPR caused damage that might have led to the coroner's "mistake." So how then did this young athlete die? Of course from a pre-existing heart condition, according to Wainer. Sounds like the jury had a real moral struggle with this one, deliberating for a whopping 1 hour and 15 minutes (45 minutes according to WGNO). My students from Louisiana told me that the minute this trial was moved out of New Orleans the bouncers would walk. I'm still pretty naive. I said there's no way with all the evidence. My prayers tonight are with Jones's family and girlfriend Glenda Milton. I'll just bet Dr. Wainer was wearing a Seersucker suit. If so, here comes Hollywood... and here come the racist comments.