Prosecutors had asked for the expulsion of Dallas Amber Guyger a 28-year sentence, the age that his victim, Botham Jean, would be serving if she had not been shot dead in her own apartment. But the jury gave him 10 years in prison and the young black's family and those who supported them outside the courtroom considered the sentence a "slap in the face."
An unusual scene was lived within the enclosure. Jean's younger brother, Brandt – who his family had described as the one who suffered the most after the shooting – spoke directly to the explanation: "I don't want to tell you twice or for the hundredth time everything you've taken from us. I think you You know, I don't want you to go to prison either. I wish you well because I know that would be exactly what Botham would have wanted, "he said. "I love you as a person and I don't wish you anything bad," he added from the podium and then asked Judge Tammy Kemp: "Can I give a hug (to Guyger)?" She authorized it.
Guyger and Jean hugged each other in front of the room very hard and for a few seconds they both cried. Other people sobbed in the room. Then, Kemp, who presided over the case, descended from the podium drying his tears and hugged each member of the Jean family. He also addressed Guyger in what was considered another emotional moment, handed him a Bible and hugged her.RELATED
The feelings in the place were divided. The victim's mother, Allison Jean, told the media after the conviction that "10 years in prison is 10 years for her (the police) to reflect and to make changes in her life," he added that Dallas still has a lot to be done to prevent future shootings like the one that ended his son's life.
Changa Higgins, a member of the coalition that watches over the Dallas Community Police, said that although the guilty verdict gave people hope, the extension of the sentence ended everything. "I don't understand all this crap of forgiveness," he told the Texas Tribune website when referring to the hug between Brandt and the exagent. "They did not obtain justice, but at the same time that is their prerogative."
This was the unusual conclusion of this case that caught national attention due to the numerous incidents of police abuse by white agents against black people.
The events occurred on September 6, 2018. At night and after a long shift, Guyger said he was entering his own apartment on the third floor and confused Jean with a thief and shot him in the chest, fearing for his lifetime. I kill him. The reality is that the exagent had entered the young man's house, on the fourth floor, while he was sitting on his couch eating a bowl of ice cream. The jury rejected the woman's version this week and this week accused her of the murder.
Under the laws of Texas, the jury members, 12 in total, decide the sentence. They had already rejected the argument that she fired in self-defense, which could have put her sentence in a range of two to 20 years. Instead, they decided to lower the range of time that the punishment could have, taking it to between five and 99 years. And on Wednesday they finally handed down a 10-year sentence after finding her guilty for Jean's murder.
The professor at the South Texas Law School, Kenneth Williams, told The Washington Post that he imagined that being a police officer and even though they found her guilty, "there could be some jurors who might have felt empathy for she".
For the Jean family lawyer, Lee Merritt, the sentence only showed that the justice system does not work by unfairly treating people of color: "The entire justice system is disproportionately cruel to blacks and exceptionally benevolent when it's about white women, "he wrote on his Twitter account.
He later retweeted several trills of Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Civil Rights Lawyers Committee, who compared the 10-year sentence for Guyger for murdering a person with several cases of black people, including the one of a man sentenced to jail for life for selling crack or that of a 16 year old teenager who spent 14 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
In photos: The unusual death of Botham Jean, shot by an officer in his own apartment
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