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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 25, 2013 / 18 Menachem-Av, 5773

What all of those anti-Zimmerman yammerers don't want you to know

By Cathy Young





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As fallout from George Zimmerman's acquittal in the death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin continues, the anger is fueled partly by the assumption that the case would have turned out very differently with a black shooter and a white victim. For critics of the verdict, it is self-evident that U.S. law does not protect blacks who defend themselves, only whites who kill them. But is there evidence to support this scathing indictment? The facts and figures offer some surprising answers.

Could there have been a white Trayvon Martin? Ask the parents of Christopher Cervini, also 17 when he was killed in Rochester, N.Y., in 2009. The shooter, Roderick Scott, said he saw three boys breaking into a car, went out with his (legal) handgun to stop them, and fired in self-defense after Cervini ran at him yelling a threat. Cervini's family insisted that the teen, who had never been in trouble, was murdered in cold blood. Scott was tried for manslaughter and acquitted. He is black; Cervini was white.

New York has seen other controversial cases in which African-American men successfully claimed self-defense. In 1987, a racially mixed Brooklyn jury acquitted 19-year-old Andre Nichols, who had fatally shot and robbed a white Catholic priest, Frederick Strianese; Nichols said Strianese had solicited sex and was trying to assault him.

As proof of pervasive bias, some cite a June 2012 Tampa Bay Times report based on a study of cases involving self-defense claims since 2005, when Florida passed its "stand your ground law": 73 percent of defendants who killed blacks were cleared, compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white person. Yet, since most homicides were between people of the same race, this also suggests black defendants were more likely to win. Indeed, the study found that "black defendants went free 66 percent of the time in fatal cases compared to 61 percent for white defendants." In mixed-race cases, "four of the five blacks who killed a white went free; five of the six whites who killed a black went free."



Of course, one study in one state and a few anecdotes do not prove a national pattern. Critics point to an Urban Institute analysis of FBI statistics for 2005-10 which shows that firearm homicides are far more likely to be ruled justified when the shooter is white and the victim is black than vice versa. But without knowledge of the specific circumstances of these homicides, it's impossible to say how much of the disparity is due to bias.

One Florida case has been widely cited as a contrast to the Zimmerman verdict and a shocking injustice: the case of Marissa Alexander, a black woman said to be serving 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot to scare off her violent ex-husband. But that's not quite what happened. Alexander's "stand your ground" claim was rejected because, after the altercation with then-husband Rico Gray, she went to the garage, returned with a gun and fired a shot that Gray said narrowly missed his head (a claim backed by forensic evidence). Gray was indeed abusive, but Alexander was no innocent; she also assaulted him while out on bail for the shooting. Her 20-year sentence, required by a mandatory minimum for firearm offenses, was a travesty; her conviction was not.

President Barack Obama was right when he said that the passions over Martin's death and Zimmerman's acquittal must be seen in the context of a painful history of racism -- racism that, just over half a century ago, often did allow whites to kill blacks with impunity -- and of ongoing tensions over race, crime and profiling. But to address these issues, we must look at the facts, and acknowledge the imperfect progress made toward equal justice.

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JWR contributor Cathy Young is a regular contributor to Reason magazine and Newsday. Comment by clicking here.


© 2013, Cathy Young. This originally appeared in Newsday.

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