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t0dd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:46 PM
Original message
Teens acquitted of murder, aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation
Edited on Sat May-02-09 10:47 PM by t0dd

Source: CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/05/02/pa.immigrant.beatin...



Some are calling it proof that the justice system works, others, a travesty of justice that sends an "extremely dangerous" message that you can beat an undocumented immigrant to death and get away with it.

Two Pennsylvania teens were acquitted Friday of the most serious charges in the death of Luis Ramirez, who died of blunt force injuries to the head after a fight on a residential street in the rural mining town of Shenandoah.

Prosecutors alleged that Brandon Piekarsky, 17, and Derrick Donchak, 19, baited the Ramirez into a fight with racial epithets, provoking an exchange of punches and kicks that ended with Ramirez convulsing in the street, foaming from the mouth. He died two days later in a hospital.

The incident drew national attention to the small town of Shenandoah, highlighting issues of race relations.

Gasps filled the courtroom in Pottsville as not-guilty verdicts were announced on charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and ethnic intimidation for both teens.

The gasps came from relatives of the defendants, who had to be restrained by sheriff's deputies as they tried to rush the defense table to congratulate the teens. Ramirez's sole supporter, his wife, Crystal, had left the courtroom before the verdicts announced.

Piekarsky was also acquitted of third-degree murder for allegedly delivering a fatal kick to Ramirez's head after he was knocked to the ground.

As they poured out of courthouse, the teens' supporters shouted "I was right from the start" and I'm glad the jury listened" at cameras that caught the late-night verdict.

But Gladys Limon, a spokeswoman for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said the jury had sent a troubling message.

"The jurors here sending the message that you can brutally beat a person, without regard to their life, and get away with it, continue with your life uninterrupted," she said.

"In this case, the message is that a person who may not be popular in society based on their national origin or certain characteristic has less value in our society," she said.

The all-white jury of six men and six women from Schuylkill County jury found Piekarsky and Donchak guilty of simple assault.

They also convicted Donchak of providing alcohol to the other teens who were involved in the confrontation, including a juvenile co-defendant and another teen who pleaded guilty in federal court for his role in the fight.



This is a travesty and by no stretch of the imagination proof our justice system works.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Three words: All white jury.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. The whole area is white .........
It happened in my home town, Shenandoah, and 99% of the population there is white. Nothing shifty in the jury selection.

The 1% that's not white is mostly illegal, and they're not registered to vote, which is where the jury is pulled from.

So, no, you can't attribute it to an all-white jury.

You've got to know the geography and the demographics before you make a blanket accusation like that. I watched the live blog from the trial all day, every day, last week, and, as an old litigator, I thought the prosecution did a lousy job and left the jury no choice but to find as they did.

The rumor is that the Feds will now bring charges against those young thugs.........
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Just like with black folks in the south back in the day, the feds will *have* to intervene...
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:02 PM by BlooInBloo
if there's to be even a chance at justice.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I hope so ...........
My poor old home town has so deteriorated, my one friend who was left there told me, when I was planning to drive there to spend some time with him, not to come. "It's not good for you to see it now," he told me.

Now, he's gone, too, so I'll never go back. But I don't want this matter to end like this. Not like this ................................
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PADemD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
27. Why didn't they move the trial to another county?
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. Because the defense lawyers were smart,
and chose to keep it right where they figured they had the best shot..................

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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. Two Words: Jury Nullification
This is what happened in the South when black men were lynched.

It's disgusting.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. No, sorry
If you'd followed the trial - I did - you'd have seen that the prosecutor did a lousy, lousy job........................
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muffin1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. Didn't the thugs admit to the beating?
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. The defense was they didn't kill him
They admitted to the beating but they weren't the ones who delivered the fatal blow.

If it was 3 kids of non-European heritage and a white victim we all know how that defense would of worked out with that Jury.

Racial Tensions in that area are going to rise.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. That wasn't the defense ..............
The defense was that the prosecution had not been able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt which of the defendants had delivered the fatal kick or kicks.

That's why the two boys were tried to together. The defense attorneys were betting that the prosecutor would not be able to pin down exactly who did it.

This murder took place near a park where my mother used to take me when I was a baby. I grew up two blocks from the spot where the man was beaten. I grew up in Shenandoah, and I know it well.

There were a lot of people who expected - and wanted - a conviction. The tensions aren't going to rise now, because the Mexicans who live there, and most of them are there illegally, are going to keep their heads down, because they're afraid.

The Feds, though, have intervened by offering one of the participants, a minor, immunity and a reduced sentence, which he accepted. Yet, he was never called as a witness by the prosecution, which I do not understand.

But, no, the defense was not that they didn't kill them. The defense was that the got into a fight, and that was all..
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. The Mexicans who live there will find that they aren't alone in their outrage.
This case will not go away any time soon.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. The defense was that the boy who got immunity
actually killed the kid. Thus the other two defendants didn't kill the kid.

My Mom is from Ashland I know the area well. The verdict did not shock me.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #20
29. No, that's not what the defense was ...........
The defense was that no one could state conclusively who delivered the fatal blow, whether it was a punch or a kick. The man's skull was fractured so badly, brain matter leaked out of two different places, so the punch to his face that sent him flying backwards and cracking his head on the curb could have done it, or the kick when he was down could have done it.

All the defense attorneys had to do was to put doubt into the jurors' minds about who, exactly, delivered the fatal blow, and that's exactly what they did, since the prosecutor was unable to state with any kind of certainty who did it.

That's called "reasonable doubt," and it's the gold standard for a "guilty" verdict in felony trials.

Ashland was a place we used to hit once we got our drivers' licenses. The Boulevard Drive-In was a special place - GREAT burgers and shakes and fries - and there were the dances at the Fountain Springs Country Club. My cousin went to nursing school at the old Ashland hospital, and our school used to play Ashland in football, baseball, and basketball. We had some good times in Ashland.

Do you know the story of "The Saint" from Ashland? I'll bet your Mom does ........................
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #29
34. In most cases
If 3 people kill someone by beating them to death generally speaking in most cases it really doesn't matter who delivered the fatal blow. If it were 3 non-white kids that would have been the verdict or if it was a white victim that would have been the verdict.

My Mom left there when she was 5, all her first cousins still live there. We used to go up to the Parade during the summer every year. My relatives are good people for the most part, however, I've also encountered some scary right wing types up there. I have one cousin who is so fucking right wing we can't talk anything politics or we'll go out each other.

I'll have to ask her about the Saint.

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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #34
38. That's not so .............
You cannot have a communal verdict on a "fatal blow." According to the law, you must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, who delivered the kick or punch that caused the death. You can't attribute it to more than one person.

Yeah, the area is totally red, which always confused the hell out of me. I'm sure Rush LImbaugh has a great big following in Schuylkill County, and the county went for McCain/Palin in November.

There was one bookstore in the whole county, last time I looked, which was about nine years ago. One.

If you Mom left at that young age, she probably doesn't know who The Saint was. Here's something about him:

http://tinyurl.com/cnhzgy

He was beloved...................
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renegade000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #38
69. That's interesting.
I'm not disputing your legal interpretation, you seem to be much more knowledgeable about this topic than I am, but it does strike me as a bit of an odd requirement to pin down the exact kick/punch that killed someone in the case of a sustained beating. Do we even have the forensic pathology methods to fully reconstruct the situation? And ethically speaking, does it make you more guilty if you were the one who deliver the more immediate 'fatal blow', as opposed to an earlier blow that could have proved to be fatal had the victim's death not been hasten by a sustained attack?

I know this is a bit of a contrived scenario, but it was interesting to contemplate. What if three men all shoot a victim at the same time with one bullet each. All three of the bullets hit the victim in the chest, however only one is responsible for an immediate cause of death (let's say it pierced his heart as opposed to puncturing his lungs, which might have still killed the person later). And let's assume that they were caught in the midst of wiping the prints off of each other's guns and the police can't match up a particular gun to the individual who fired it (but they know the three guns belong to those three men). Would they be able to pull off the defense that, "we'll you can't link up the actual murder weapon with one of us, so you can't convict!"

I can see where things get fuzzy, especially if let's say, one of the bullets actually missed the person entirely. But it does seem a bit absurd that as long as you obfuscate the details of the murder enough, even if everyone was involved in a significant way, to the point where medically speaking any of them could have been the potential killer, you could potentially get away with it.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #69
70. You sound like a first-year criminal law exam question
in law school. They're always getting someone shot at the same time by three guys, or the fellow with the eggshell skull just happens to be walking past a building when a piano falls out of a window and lands on him. Stuff like that made the exams fun, at the same time striking deadly fear in all our hearts.

Actually, yes, it's usually fairly simple to determine the cause of any given violent death, and, yes, under the proper circumstances - i.e., witnesses who are sentient and credible and conscientious - it can usually be determined who dealt the blow, fired the shot, did the ultimate deed that caused the death.

To your point, more often than not, felony charges end with plea bargains. Most don't go to trial, but when they do, the ones that are lost are usually because of the prosecution doing a bad job. There is the occasional aberration - like the OJ murder jury, which clearly disregarded the judge's instructions - but, for the most part, my experience is that juries are conscientious and careful, and do as they're instructed. When the prosecution doesn't do its job, that's usually where things fall apart, as it did in Schuylkill County this past Friday.

Having endured enough hypotheticals in law school, I lack the energy to engage in yet another exam question. I didn't even enjoy it when I ended up as law professor myself, writing the questions. But, yes, it's fascinating profession, and I've loved my years in it.
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #34
41. Your construct would apply to a different kind of charge
Had the boys agreed to go "kill a Mexican", and been charged with that, then it wouldn't have mattered who delivered the fatal blow.
As it is, the victim engaging in physical combat on a verbal takes on the characteristics of a fight, and the charges are reduced to that scenario, even if the intent of the defendants was to go find a fight, it was not to go out and "kill a Mexican". So it goes to finding out which of the defendants delivered a blow which he should have known was excessive (for the scenario) and likely to or possible to cause death.

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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
47. Hell yeah we do
If it was 3 kids of non-European heritage and a white victim we all know how that defense would of worked out with that Jury.

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auburnblu Donating Member (536 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
35. Must be guilty on some counts
Kicking a guy on the ground in the head? How were they not convicted of something? These scum will do more of this crap, hope they die in a car wreck before they have more victims.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #35
40. The prosecution did a lousy job .............
They were never able to prove exactly which defendant delivered the fatal blow.

That was enough to provide a "reasonable doubt" and that was what the defense relied upon, what the jury had to work with.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
4. I knew this was going to happen
My Mom was born in that area and we still have relatives up there. The place is a community that has been really hit hard over the past 20 years. You have a lot of people who have bought into the idea that immigrants are the cause of all their problems.

A message indeed has been sent in the area. The same message that was sent in the South during the civil rights movement.

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
6. This verdict will not stand. n/t
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muffin1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. What do you mean?
They were acquitted. It's disgusting as hell, but...
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. How will it not stand?
Not guilty

There's no do-overs
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. I'm not a lawyer but I can tell you, the community will not walk away
from this travesty. Maybe there will be a civil suit like there was with OJ. But people will not let this go. Not this time.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #18
43. It looks like the local community will just let it go, there does not seem to be any serious outrage
other than CNN sound bites. Civil suit will lack standing and wither, assuming its even attempted.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #43
48. No, that's not true ............
The community is, for the most part, very upset with the verdicts. There aren't any celebrations going on, except behind very tightly closed doors

A civil suit would be interesting, but ultimately, wouldn't get anything. If, however, a smart lawyer decided to go after Piekarsky's mother, who allegedly helped the thugs get their stories straight the day after the incident - the same woman who is the girlfriend of one of the Shenandoah police officers who arrived on the scene - I'd bet anything that it would fly. He's left three acknowledged minor children, and, at the time of his death, two more girls he'd knocked up, one of them the sister of the mother of his three children.

The people are waiting for the Feds to make their move. They're already conducting an investigation of the police department there......................
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #48
49. Your expectations are much higher than mine...then again I am old and somewhat cynical about such
things. Time will tell
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:23 AM
Response to Reply #49
50. A few things -
I'm probably older than you;

I'm an old litigator;

Shenandoah is my home town;

Sometimes things go right...............
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. I set a tickler to check back in 90 days
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 03:43 AM
Response to Reply #43
52. And you are basing that on what? No one reported Jenna either
except people like Amy Goodman in the beginning. Those people are probably in shock right now.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #52
61. I base that on the nature of the area and long observations of American culture
Some activists will keep agitating, and that is a good thing. I just think nothing will come of it.
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #16
53. They could still be charged at the federal level
That's how racist jury verdicts were handled in the old south.
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mtowngman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
13. Travesty indeed
Limon of the Mexican-American Legal defense fund intends to press the Department of Justice to file federal charges against the teens.

saddest line:"Ramirez's sole supporter, his wife, Crystal..."
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. She wasn't his wife ...............
Crystal Dillman is the mother of his three children, all under the age of five. He also knocked up her fifteen-year-old sister, who was present at the fight, and another girl who is due to give birth any day. But he and Crystal Dillman never married.

That's five kids who will grow up without a father. He was only twenty-five years old, and he'd fathered five kids, all of whom are now going to be the public dole.

It's a tragedy all around ......................
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #13
67. Crystal wasn't his wife.
Edited on Sun May-03-09 10:35 PM by LisaL
He was also apparently sleeping with Crystal's 15 years old half-sister. That 15 years old girl said Ramirez gave her an engagement ring.
"The first day of testimony included the revelation that Ramirez was carrying on a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl."
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gtcSK...
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NOW tense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
15. "baited the Ramirez into a fight with racial epithets" ????????
I don't usually point out errors, but that is not a good one.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. That article is really sloppy,
not a good representation of what happened.

Here's a link from the local paper (I read it every day, even after a lifetime away from my home town, Shenandoah):

http://www.republicanherald.com /

There's also a complete history of this sordid matter - if you're interested........................
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stranger81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #19
59. the comments at the end of this article really say it all . . . .
sounds like a whole lot of folks in Skook county think beating a Mexican to death was a public service. Remind me never to visit (or even drive through). Discouraging that these pockets of racism continue to thrive even in the age of Obama.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
21. It's not a travesty. It's just Phase One. Wait for the federal charges.
They'll get 'em. They denied the guy his civil rights.

That's a different issue entirely. It's no less onerous on 'em, though.
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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. I hope so.
Anything less and this trial is a farce.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #21
45. What would the charges be so that double jeopardy is not invoked?
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #45
57. Violation of the dead man's civil rights.
Right to life is a biggie, really.

It's how they got the guys down south who committed atrocities in the name of segregation.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. IIRC that means a documented conspiracy. That will not be easy
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. I don't think it's impossible, though, either.
The issue here is will.

Absent that, a private civil suit, a la OJ, could net the family a payday, if nothing else.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #64
65. Can't get blood from a stone
A civil suit will cost more than it could possibly make.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #65
68. The Goldmans managed to get blood from the OJ stone.
You just keep going back, you attach wages, you dog 'em from now till doomsday. They're young--they've got decades of earning to do.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #68
71. But OJ had resources, the perps do not. Pretty much judgement proof
It is the same reason parents put their kid's car into the kid's name as soon as they turn 18.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #71
72. They don't have resources now--but they're young. They have a lifetime of earning to do.
You can get a judgment and collect over time. That's what the Goldmans did. They continued to collect for years.
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JimGinPA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
23. I've Been To Shenandoah A Few Times...
It's almost like going back in time. On Friday & Saturday nights the high school kids drive around a "circuit", like they used to do in the '50s. That whole part of the state, what they call "the coal region" is a little on the strange side to me.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #23
33. Oh, you bet we were .............
I grew up there in the fifties and sixties, and it was a great place back then. The economy was still thriving, and there were a lot of first-generation Americans - like my parents - who stayed there to raise their families, so we all had large extended families.

You couldn't walk down the street and do something wrong, like throw a candy bar wrapper into the gutter, without a grown-up seeing you from a window and yelling at you to pick it up.

And, believe me, you picked it up. By the time you got home, your mother knew what you had done.

It was safe and wonderful, and I love my memories of it.

But, it had so many bars, the per capita rule dictated that the borough should have had 60,000 residents. It was normal for us, at the age of thirteen or fourteen, to scrape up the thirty-five cents it cost to get a quart of Stegmaier beer (in a brown paper bag) at Cassie's, the VERY strange bar on East Lloyd Street.

The old miners told some great stories. There were a lot of WWII vets, too, who had done amazing things in the War. One of the American Legion posts was named after a Medal Of Honor winner, a kid with whom my Dad had grown up.

Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey were born and raised there.

The place has a great history. It's awful what it's become ...............................
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sazemisery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
24. like they say....
Pennsylvania has Pittsburgh on one end and Philadlphia on the other and Arkansas in between.
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firedupdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
25. Damned shame that these little racist fucks got away with
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:53 PM by firedupdem
killing this man.

:puke:

Here is an interview Amy Goodman did with one of the witnesses. This was a pure hate crime.

http://www.huliq.com/65480/mexican-immigrant-beaten-dea...
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #25
36. Strange ................
Ms. Garcia was seventeen, a senior in high school, married with a child? Things HAVE changed since I was in high school there, that's for sure.

She said Ramirez wanted to go "uptown," which is the language used there, yet they dropped him off at an intersection that is at the far east end of Main and Center, which is "uptown." He must have seen someone and wanted to get out there, at Vine and Lloyd, where the fight took place.

A lot of people in Shenandoah are very upset with this verdict..................
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liberalmuse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
26. This is why we need hate crimes legislation.
This is disgusting. It's like Emmett Till all over again. :mad:
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #26
62. As I understand it, hate crimes were charged but turned down by the jury
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
28. I bet these shits are proud of themselves.
Probably heroes in the community.
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firedupdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. I remember reading about it when it first happened and they
were considered heroes. They just kept repeating that the boys were all on the high school football team...blah, blah, blah. They rallied around those creeps immediately. Mr. Ramirez was never going to get any justice from that jury. never.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #28
37. No, they're not ...........
As I've posted elsewhere, this is my home town, and, no, people are not happy with this verdict.

The Shenandoah police department is currently being investigated by the Feds. The mother of one of the boys is the girlfriend of one of the thugs who got off with a simple assault conviction yesterday - Brandon Piekarsky. She's also the one who got the boys together the day after the fight so that they could "get their stories straight."

Not one Shenandoah police officer was called to testify. How strange is THAT?

But, there are a lot of very fine folks there, and they are not representative of the area.

I can't believe, at this point in my life, I'm defending my home town. How things have changed .............................
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t0dd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
30. I wrote a letter to Eric Holder about this...
How likely is it for the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene? Since these men were acquitted of all serious charges, how likely is it for federal charges to be brought against them?
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #30
39. The Feds have already intervened ..........
They gave one of the kids, Colin Walsh, seventeen years old, a plea deal, which is still sealed. He copped a plea and will do time, that much is known.

So, the Feds are already onto it.

Plus, there is an investigation of the Shenandoah Police Force, which doesn't surprise me at all. One of the officers who finally showed up at the scene of the fight - AFTER the ambulance had arrived and taken Ramirez away (this is a borough that is one square mile - not a big place, yet they didn't get there in a timely manner at all) - is the boyfriend of the mother of Brandon Piekarsky, one of the kids who was convicted yesterday.

The mother is the one who got the boys together the day after the fight so that they "could get their stories straight."

I'm hoping - and so are a lot of residents there - that the Feds will take care of this ........................
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47of74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #39
44. I hope the Feds clean house down there
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
42. All white jury
why am I reminded of the DEEP SOUTH?

I hope the feds take this on the civil rights violations
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Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
46. Anyone surprised? Anyone??
If you are, let's have a chat. I've got some prime real estate I can hook you up with...



My prayers go out to this young man and his family. How horrible.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
54. This sick shit made me think of other recent Pennsylvania douchebaggery: Jailing Kids for Cash
Seems like Pennsylvania's a real fucked place to find yourself on the wrong side of the "justice" system

Jailing Kids for Cash

Posted on Feb 17, 2009
By Amy Goodman

As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited. The two judges pleaded guilty in a stunning case of greed and corruption that is still unfolding. Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan received $2.6 million in kickbacks while imprisoning children who often had no access to a lawyer. The case offers an extraordinary glimpse into the shameful private prison industry that is flourishing in the United States.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090217_kids_for_c...
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arcadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
55. Pennsylvania:
Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west with Alabama in between.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
56. this must be what Sarah Palin considered the "real pro american" areas of the country
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drchoice22 Donating Member (76 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
58. I don't even know why we have a law system or a jury.. Everyone here already knows who is guilty
You didn't sit in the courtroom one day and yet you can say they are guilty.

Heck whites shouldn't even be jurors right?

Is there any way we can work to ban white people from being jurors since obviously they are incapable of supporting the right ethnicity?

You know what, lets go a step further, white people shouldn't really even be able to vote.
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The Gunslinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #58
63. It doesn't take a rocket scientist..............
The kids admit to beating the guy...The guy died from the injuries. That equals murder. It is time to eliminate the public jury system and implement a jury system with jurors that are professionally trained and paid.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #63
66. You scenario is flawed
There was a fight and a guy died. It could be anything from justifiable homicide to murder, but most likely manslaughter at best.
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