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Michael Dunn Convicted of First-Degree Murder for Death of Jordan Davis
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Summary: The racially charged case of Michael Dunn’s killing of African-American teen Jordan Davis ended this Wednesday with a conviction of first-degree murder.

A verdict has finally been reached on the case of Michael Dunn who was accused of the murder of 17-year-old Jordan Davis over a music dispute. Dunn got into a heated exchange with the youth and his friends back in 2012, and this escalated ultimately into Dunn firing a series of shots into an SUV full of teenagers in Jacksonville, Florida, ending with the African-American teenager, Jordan Davis, receiving 3 bullets, one that pierced his liver, another that pierced his aorta. The dispute cost Jordan Davis his life.


The case has been closely tied with the case of Trayvon Martin, the African-American youth shot and killed by neighborhood patrolman George Zimmerman. The Davis case fell into national consciousness when the country began talking about the problem of unarmed African-American teens being killed by armed white assailants. Zimmerman was found not guilty of first-degree murder, a decision that angered many people on the polarized issue. It came a as a relief, then, when Dunn was found guilty this Wednesday.

“Words cannot express our joy but also our great sorrow because … we know that Jordan has received his justice,” said Davis’ mother, Lucy McBath. “We know that Jordan’s life and legacy will live on for others, but at the same time, we’re very saddened by the life that Michael Dunn will continue to live. We are saddened for his family, for his friends and the community that will continue to suffer by his actions.”

Davis’ father, meanwhile, said that “All across the nation, there is a trial between a victim that is black and someone that shot him that is white, we look at what is the make-up of the jury. Is the black victim going to be represented? Hopefully this is a start where we don’t have to look at the makeup of the jury anymore. All we can do is look at the case, look at the minds of the souls and the hearts of people, of human beings, not skin color, but of human beings.”

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A tad quixotic, perhaps, but it at least marks the felt distinction between the original trial Dunn faced, in which the jurors deliberated for 30 hours only for the judge to call for a retrial, and the 5 hours the jurors took to deliberate this time.

Attorney John Phillips, who represented the Davis family these last two years, said prosecutors had more preparation in countering the defense’s attempt to negatively characterize Jordan Davis. He claimed that in the retrial “The race card wasn’t played, it was an American card.”

Though the dispute was over loud rap music, and Dunn, when he was first interrogated by the police, referred to Davis and his friends as “thugs,” and “gangsters,” the claim is that the case was not about race. As Dunn explained in trial, he thought Davis was going to shoot him from the back seat of the SUV.

“I saw the barrel of a gun. I’m petrified. I’m in fear for my life. This guy just threatened to kill me – and he showed me a gun,” claimed Davis as he stood witness during his retrial.

Dunn, 47, has gained 60 years in prison for the convictions of his first trial. He has the possibility of a 15-year sentence for shooting into the teenager’s car, as prosecutor Erin Wolfson explained, and of course the upcoming sentence for his first-degree murder conviction.



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