By Baratunde Thurston
In July 2010 America came to a standstill and watched television as Lebron James held a much-hyped press conference to announce he would be leaving Cleveland to play for the Miami Heat. In January 2009 America came to a standstill and watched YouTube as BART transit officer Johannes Mehserle pulled out his gun, pointed it at an unarmed, pinned down Oscar Grant, and shot him in the back. Today, Cleveland wept as it lost a star basketball player. Today, Oakland wept as a Los Angeles jury returned a guilty verdict of involuntary manslaughter in Mehserle’s trial.
We have seen this movie before, and it’s genre is Horror, but it also goes by the labels Absurdity, Farce and Injustice.
The Rachel Maddow show did an excellent rundown tonight:
Involuntary manslaughter was the lightest possible conviction. The DA sought a murder conviction. According to the SF Chronicle (who’s reporting I trust on sentencing more than the video above), Mehserle faces five to 14 years
Mehserle’s possible sentence for involuntary manslaughter is two, three or four years, plus three, four or 10 years for using a gun. That means the minimum total sentence that Judge Robert Perry could impose would be five years, and the maximum would be 14 years.