Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – February 23, 2014

Is there something about the water in Florida that empowers white men to shoot young black men, secure in the righteousness of their conduct? Meanwhile, we should pay attention to what Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says – and doesn’t say. And finally and incredibly, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is right – for once. Really.

The Florida Death Penalty

Michael Dunn is white. Jordan Davis was black. Michael Dunn did not like the volume of the music that Jordan Davis and his friends were playing. Michael Dunn shot and killed Jordan Davis.

Michael Dunn was accused of murder and attempted murder. A jury convicted him of attempted murder. A jury refused to convict him of murder (how one can be convicted only of attempted murder when that person kills someone is a Florida mystery special).

In the aftermath of the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his acknowledged killer, George Zimmerman, we have to wonder if there is something in the water of Florida that empowers white men to kill young black men with impunity.

The sun has clearly set on the Sunshine State.

There’s Something About Clarence

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has revealed himself to be living in a world of fantasy where the problem is race has been caused by the victims of racism. He also has managed to envision 1960 Georgia as a virtual Eden where black people were free of concerns about freedom.

Aside from his raucous voyage into the bizarre, it should be pointed out that this weekend marks 8 years since Justice Thomas spoke from the bench of the United States Supreme Court. That constitutes a very bizarre record as comments from the bench are a very important indication of the thinking and reasoning of Supreme Court justices.

Of course, it is possible that on the Planet Clarence Thomas there is not a lot of thinking and reasoning going on.

Rand Paul is Right!

United States Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is rarely right about anything. But last week he advocated eliminating post sentence felonies for convicts – a very good and just position.

Right now there are 29 states where ex-convicts do not have the right to vote even after they have served their sentence and completed any accompanying parole/probation.

This cruel and unusual punishment extends to preventing ex-convicts from obtaining gainful employment and living in public housing.

This practice is not in keeping with the constitutional concepts of banning cruel and unusual punishment and double jeopardy.

Senator Paul gets it. Hopefully others will as well……………and soon.

Have a great weekend – stay strong and be great!