Not knowing how to use a gun is no excuse for killing someone.

At least that was the conventional wisdom until 14-year-old (13 at the time of the shooting) Nathaniel Brazill received his verdict of second degree murder for killing his English teacher.

The Jury evidently wasn’t watching the video of the shooting, which showed that the kid pointed the gun at the teacher’s head for a full 11 seconds before cocking the weapon and then shooting the teacher.

Common Law murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought. Brazill was sent home earlier that day for a water balloon fight. He then came back with a .25 caliber pistol and then took his time to aim the gun at his teacher before shooting.

We’ve all heard about stupid lawyer tricks sometimes, but this one is for the annals of history. Here’s an excerpt:
Lawyer: “Where were you aiming the gun?
Brazill: “I was aiming at his head.”
Lawyer: “Where did you hit him?”
Brazill: “In the head.”
Lawyer: “Did he take you seriously after you shot him?”
Brazill did not respond.
Lawyer: “What did Mr. Grunow do when he fell to the ground?”
Brazill: “What do you think he did?”

You’d think this was the O.J. Simpson trial. The jury was made up of nine women and three men. Someone once said that law is simply the veil of logic over the illogical.

That someone was certainly proven correct here. While I don’t normally berate women, this bemoans of erratic, illogical emotionality that defense attorneys world wide have wet dreams about. A better jury could not have been gotten through Voir Dire if the defense tried. The fact that the jury deliberated since Monday may indicate that the men tried to inject some logic to this situation, but ultimately failed.

Thankfully a verdict of manslaughter, a lesser charge than second degree murder, was averted, but this leads the teenagers of today down a slippery path. No more apples for teacher, just a bullet between the eyes. Teachers should be on a path of their own right now – to the local arms dealer for full body armor. –DS

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