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Pennsylvania Jury Foreman Explains Why He Acquitted Killer Cop

You would think the body cam footage showing a Pennsylvania police officer repeatedly tasering a convulsing man while yelling at him to stop moving – then shooting him dead when he was unable to stop moving due to the 50,000 volts of electricity ripping through his body – would have been sufficient evidence to convict Hummelstown police officer Lisa Mearkle of murder last week.

After all, David Kassick, the man she shot twice in the back with a gun held in her right hand as she electrocuted him with a taser held in her left hand, never once indicated he was going to harm her, no matter how paranoid she may have been over the possibility of him reaching for a gun inside his jacket, which was zipped up, by the way, because it had been snowing and the temperature was in the mid-30s.

But the legal system was created to protect the cops who kill, which is why Mearkle didn’t hesitate to kill that  February day after pulling Kassick over for an inspections sticker, which had expired a little more than a month earlier.

She knew she could easily justify the killing by claiming she was in fear for her life, even if it was based on an irrational fear of an imaginary gun carried by an excitable man who, at worst, was maybe too high on heroin to handle a traffic stop.

David Kassick

David Kassick

But the courts describe this fear as “reasonable.”

“I didn’t want to have to shoot him, but he made me,” Mearkle testified in court.

The fact that she was even charged with murder was only because the shooting was captured on her body cam, showing a man laying facedown in the snow, who appeared to be trying to follow her orders – if only she would stop electrocuting him.

But we have created a nation of badged “heroes,” terrified of their own shadows, killing an average of three people-a-day in an all-too-real adaptation of Ground Hog Day.

The only thing that changes are the names of the victims, the names of the agencies and the names of the states.

Everything else is the same; from the boilerplate bullshit spewed by police to the pretentious perjury spun by the courts to the pathetic apologists who ponder why couldn’t a man simply hold his arms in the air without mimicking an epileptic?

Lisa Mearkle entering court

Lisa Mearkle

The conclusion, as always, is that the lives of police officers are worth more than the lives of people who chose a different career path.

The courts have long established that their fear is more rational than our fear. That their right to live supersedes our right to live. That their right to kill supersedes our right to breath.

That bulletin is always hammered through to the  jurors, who get brainwashed into thinking they have entered a sacred institution governed by law, where the scales of justice are always in balance.

People like us. The ones who know better. We’re rarely chosen for jury duty.

That role usually goes to the apologists, which is why you rarely hear them explain themselves for their questionable decisions.

But Scot Benoit, foreman of the Mearkle jury, explained the verdict to Penn Live:

“I’m not saying mistakes weren’t made in the incident,” Benoit said on Sunday. “Certainly there was some questionable judgment here and there, starting with when she saw the expired sticker and the little police chase that happened afterwards. Things could have gone a lot differently than they did.”

“But based on the evidence given us and the it way presented, I couldn’t really get beyond the fact that I had reasonable doubt that she wasn’t justified in her action. The way it was phrased, if you have reasonable doubt, you have to find the defendant not guilty. That’s what we did.”

“Part of what we had to do was find if she had reasonable fear for her life,” Benoit said. “I think we were all in agreement that she did. She did fear for her life at that point. What we were tasked to do and come to consensus was is reasonable to the point it required her to shoot and that’s basically what it boiled down to. That’s what we spent the majority of the time discussing during the deliberation.”

There is so much bullshit in that one explanation that it is tempting to ram 50,000 volts of electricity up Benoit’s ass while asking him to repeat his explanation just one more time.

Judge Deborah Curcillo

Judge Deborah Curcillo

Essentially, the jury was instructed to get into this hysterical woman’s head and determine if she was in fear for her life at that precise moment.

Considering Hummelstown had gone years without a homicide before she committed a homicide, it is reasonable to believe this fear was all in her head. It’s actually a pretty safe bet.

But it was “the way it was phrased,” Benoit explained.

Yes, the way it was phrased, meaning that even though it was obvious she committed murder, they had to respect the judge’s instructions and ponder the “reasonableness” of her actions.

If it’s not reasonable for us to kill cops when they make us fear for our lives, then it shouldn’t be reasonable for the cop either.

The fact that they had to spend 12 hours pondering these actions before arriving at the wrong verdict demonstrates the farce of our legal system.

After all, considering more citizens are killed during traffic stops than cops, wouldn’t it be reasonable to believe that we would also be in fear for our lives during these stops, even if it is for something as minor as an inspection sticker?

No, of course not, because our lives are worth less than their lives. While you’re arguing over Black Lives Matter vs All Lives Matter, the reality is that only Blue Lives Matter.

Benoit continued his explanation:

“Part of what we had to do was find if she had reasonable fear for her life,” Benoit said. “I think we were all in agreement that she did. She did fear for her life at that point. What we were tasked to do and come to consensus was is reasonable to the point it required her to shoot and that’s basically what it boiled down to. That’s what we spent the majority of the time discussing during the deliberation.”

Twelve hours to deliberate what it took us less than three minutes to decide.

But we don’t have the advantage of a judge dictating to us how we should think.

Benoit said he himself originally leaned towards a guilty count on the  voluntary manslaughter charge, but changed his mind after Judge Deborah E. Curcillo provided additional clarification and explanation of the law.

“I  have to give Judge Curcillo credit,” Benoit said. The way she explained the law again, basically she explained like it was to a bunch of fifth graders.”

Like a bunch of fifth-graders? Perhaps we should set a higher bar for jurors but remember, the courts don’t like jurors who think for themselves.

Benoit noted that overwhelming public opinion has been critical of the jury’s decision. He said those opinions have been largely formed based on limited information, in particular, the graphic police video that captured the shooting. Benoit said much of what the public has seen on TV news has been edited. PennLive published the video in its entirety, as furnished by the Dauphin County District Attorney’s office.

Benoit said the edited versions of the video lack full context of what was going on during the foot chase.

“Even at the point where he got shot, he was still reaching into his coat,” Benoit said. “I’m a little disappointed that people are rushing to judgment without seeing the entire video in context.”

Edited video? No.

Reaching into his coat? No.

Ramming 50,000 volts of electricity up Benoit’s ass while asking him to provide this mysterious context to the video? Most definitely, yes.

 

 

 

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