Race has been a major element in many of the more prominent self-defense cases we’ve covered in recent months.
Both the George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn cases involved a white man shooting and killing a black teen, with both arguing the shootings were justified self-defense (Zimmerman successfully, Dunn temporarily so).
The Marissa Alexander case involved a black woman shooting at a black man and his two black children, but the severity of her 20-year prison sentence was attributed by many to her minority race (especially in the aftermath of the Zimmerman acquittal).
Within weeks, however, we’ll be live-covering a self-defense trial in which the racial paradigm has been flipped: the trial of Joseph Walker, a black New Jersey police officer charged with first degree murder for the road-rage fueled shooting death of the white (and apparently unarmed) victim Joseph Dale Harvey Jr.
Read the whole piece over at Legal Insurrection, here:
Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.