Overall, it’s not true that during this decade’s “racial reckoning,” some races are above the law. But there are straws in the wind suggesting a trend…
From San Francisco Public Safety News:
Family of slain Twin Peaks photographer lament jury deadlock
May 22nd, 2023 at 1:10 PM
A mistrial was declared today in the murder trial of Fantasy Decuir and Lamonte Mims in San Francisco Superior Court.
The pair were accused of robbing and killing photographer and film location scout Ed French, 71, at Twin Peaks overlook in July 2017.
The jury of five men and seven women reported they were deadlocked as to a count of first-degree murder. …
The broad daylight, caught-on-camera killing of the defenseless senior shocked residents for its senselessness and brutality.
The pair will face a retrial.
Speaking outside Department 28 today the victim’s partner Brian Higginbotham lamented the failure of the jury to reach a verdict as to Decuir and Mims.
“They are both guilty of first degree murder,” he said. “They killed Ed in cold blood and went on almost to commit another murder less than two weeks later.” …
While they did not dispute that their client fired the shot that killed Mr French, defense attorneys argued that, at the time of the killing, Ms Decuir was in a “sickle cell crisis” and suffering from opiate painkiller withdrawal.
They added that Ms Decuir had a low IQ, a “lack of adaptive functioning” and suffers from stress and anxiety. As a consequence, they said, she did not act “consciously” when firing the gun.
She was “unaware of what is going on,” attorney Mark Iverson told the jury, “She is moving, but without conscious thought.”
Summing-up, prosecutor Heather Trevisan dismissed claims of lack of consciousness: “making a plan with someone else to go to a target-rich environment [and] to leave [Mr French] alone to die on the street while you go to fence the camera” suggested to the contrary, she said. …
One juror spoke of “personal tension” among those deliberating.
With respect to Mr French’s death, the only guilty verdicts arising from the day’s events, that the jury could agree, related to Mims: a single count of ‘second degree robbery’ and a count of ‘contempt of court’—because, by being on Twin Peaks, he violated a stay-away order previously imposed.
The pair were both found not guilty of ‘inflicting injury on an elder’ as regards Mr French. The reading of this verdict for Ms Decuir caused a member of the French family to immediately leave the courtroom. …
Six days before the killing, Lamonte Mims, already on felony probation, was released on bail by Judge Sharon Reardon after being arrested for gun possession and parole violations.
In making her release decision, Judge Reardon had the benefit of a risk assessment prepared via an algorithm—however staff at the SF Pretrial Diversion Project said that they mistakenly inputted incorrect data, resulting in a ‘release’ recommendation.