Friday, May 11, 2007

Piecemeal Verdicts Delivered In The Strange Case Of Howard Morgan

Howard Morgan is that former Chicago cop turned railroad cop who was involved in that beyond bizarre shooting story. I can’t guess from what I’ve seen and heard what led to this tale of horror. I don’t think the real truth will ever be known.

I’ve never taken sides other than to suggest reasonable doubt or proof beyond a reasonable doubt should rule here rather than emotions. It looks like things are going well for the defense. If Morgan is guilty and skates on all charges he paid a severe penalty by being horribly wounded, jailed, bankrupted and vilified. If Morgan is truly innocent he will never be made whole by any amount of money.

Partial or piecemeal verdicts are rare in that they usually stay sealed until the whole enchilada, is returned by the jury. I can only hope this verdict is fair and just for all.

read More here and here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I spent several days watching the trial and talking with other observers. I will share my thoughts.

While the jury was deliberating the final counts, we were puzzled as to how he could be found not guilty of aggravated battery with a firearm and be found guilty of murder.
In the end, they were deadlocked,
and found him neither guilty nor not guilty of the attempted murder charges.
My take on that--Gallup polls show the police rank very high on scales of trustworthiness, so apparently some (two) of the jurors found it hard to disbelieve the police testimony.

As to why this strange event happened in the first place--the police officers were very young, inexperienced, and at least one (who admitted to being the first officer to fire) was from Virginia. One police officer present commented that these young
cops from non-urban areas are not ready for the west side of Chicago,
and,consequently overreacted (to put it mildly) when they saw Mr. Morgan's gun.
The charges against Mr. Morgan stem from the police need to justify their shooting.
Difficulties in figuring out what really happened stem from the fact that the the police investigation was poor-- they did not test for powder residue on Mr. Morgan's hands, and destroyed his van which might have shed some light on things. Each must decide for him/herself whether the sloopy investigation was normal for the
department, or was done that way for a reason.
We need good investigation on all cases.