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Mehserle Sentence Expected Today

Mehserle Sentence Expected Today

This image provided by the Los Angeles County Superior Court shows a cell phone image taken, according to lawyers, by Oscar Grant, of former San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle shortly before Mehserle shot Grant on New Ye

San Francisco Chronicle via YellowBrix

November 05, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO — Those seeking the maximum punishment of 14 years for former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle may be disappointed when a judge hands down his sentence today.

Mehserle, who fatally shot Oscar Grant III during an arrest at BART’s Fruitvale station in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009, could walk free from a Los Angeles courtroom today with mere probation or be sentenced to more than a decade behind bars.

Four months ago, a Los Angeles jury convicted Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter, a crime that carries a sentence of two to four years. The jury also handed down an enhancement of using a gun that could add up to 10 more years to the sentence.

The verdict, some legal experts say, sends mixed signals about his guilt.

The problem, according to legal experts such as defense attorney Michael Cardoza, who has been following the trial but is not involved, is that while involuntary manslaughter signals that Mehserle did not intend to kill Grant, the gun enhancement indicates just the opposite.

The conflicting verdict is unprecedented, and Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry will be making a decision that will be scrutinized by an appeals court, said Peter Keane, dean of the Golden Gate University School of Law.

“I can’t see how a judge could sentence [Mehserle] for the gun use,” Keane said. “I think it would be reversed on appeal if he did, and when you have that basic kind of conflict, the law requires you to rule in favor of the accused.”

The judge also has to rule whether Mehserle deserves a new trial because of issues with his defense. After being convicted, Mehserle’s defense team claimed new information regarding the use of Tasers by law officials had surfaced. Mehserle’s lawyers had argued that he intended to use a stun gun but instead accidentally shot Grant. If granted a new trial, Mehserle cannot be tried for anything more than involuntary manslaughter.

And, to add to the complicated set of scenarios, the judge could suspend Mehserle’s prison sentence or opt to keep him in county jail instead of state prison. The two years Mehserle has spent in jail during the trial and awaiting sentencing will be credited toward any sentence.

Mehserle’s attorney, Michael Rains, has argued that his client should only be placed on probation because he has no prior criminal record, no record of violence, and doesn’t represent a serious danger to society. But prosecutor David Stein said that because of the circumstances of the fatal shooting, prison is the only just punishment.

Experts say it will be somewhere in the middle.

“If neither side is happy, then it’s done right,” said Cardoza. “That means you’ve reached a medium.”

Breaking Down the Case >>


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    If you look at the policelink website and the forums you will see the most hateful and vile things said about Grant. This is a police related website with police officers commenting on various stories.

    In reference to the Grant shooting, officers in these forums call Grant horrible names. They call for Mehserle to be given no prison time and even call him the victim.

    Just as example of the hate found in these forums by police officers is the following comments made by a member under the profile name of
    Robocop33. He calls Grant a POS (Piece Of Shit) and a gang banger.

    Robocop33 makes the following comments.

    http://policelink.monster.com/news/articles/142899-bart-officer-found-guilty

    "I agree that this former Officer should get the minimum and hopefully probation. There was nothing intentional in this and he was just trying to do his job and screwed up big time. As someone else said, he probably should not have become a LEO but he did. Blame that on the hiring and weeding out process. The fact that the Officer happened to be white and the POS was black has, or should have nothing to do with it at all. The POS was a gang-banger with a long rap sheet and involved in basically inciting a riot as there were three or more people fighting. He then actively resisted arrest and was fighting with Officers when this young and inexperienced Officer grabbed the wrong pistol. I also saw tapes of this incident and there were at least two gang-bangers there with weapons, one being a plainly seen stub-nose pistol. In the totality of this incident it is really this Officer who is the victim."

  • Parkside_crest_new_12-15-08_copy_max50

    mmarchesi

    over 3 years ago

    2686 Comments

    HEYSARGE: Big BUMP to you!!

    "harsen: Until you have walked the walk and talked the talk.....Your comments should be directed on another site. Please shut your mouth and leave the site........................... You make me sick!"

  • Mardi_gras_cat_max50

    DonnaLynn

    over 3 years ago

    10478 Comments

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101106/ap_on_re_us/us_train_station_shooting

  • Mardi_gras_cat_max50

    DonnaLynn

    over 3 years ago

    10478 Comments

    gradyg, you are wrong in your final comment. Just because the cuffs go on does not mean the cuffed one ceases being violent.
    harsan needs to be elsewhere spewing his idiocy.
    This is a sad situation all the way around.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Wow.. this is a tough case.I truly hope they dont try to appease the masses by throwing the proverbial book at him. He has served 2 yrs..I dont think Probation is even necessary. Just call it time served and let the man and his family try to put their lives back together.

    @ HARSAN: Mistakes/Accidents happen everyday at peoples jobs. Regardless of your profession, everyone is human. No amount of "training better" is going to change being a human being.

    Must be nice to be perfect...

  • Img_20111016_163737_max50

    DDemlong

    over 3 years ago

    2238 Comments

    he only got 2 years

  • Myavatar_max50

    Drill_Sergeant

    over 3 years ago

    142 Comments

    It's funny how the arm chair lawyers come out in the relaxed concealment of an on-line forum. Everything about this story is tragic. Once adrenaline kicks in, training and instinct take over. Only Officer Mehserle can say what he saw, only he can describe what he believed to be unfolding before him. He should be judged by a jury of his peers, "Police Officers." No one else. Officer Mehserle has not only suffered enough, but will be affected for the rest of his life. HEYSARGE sums it up for me, Follow directions from police, and Harsen, you make me sick.

  • 1067_med_max50

    rarebit

    over 3 years ago

    98 Comments

    http://errortheory.blogspot.com/2009/01/confirmed-bart-uses-pistol-shaped-x26.html

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    over 3 years ago

    10918 Comments

    An all-around tragedy for all involved.

  • Badge_max50

    AnchAK

    over 3 years ago

    152 Comments

    Just a bad deal all the way around. When it comes down to a split second decision, we have a split second, literally, to weigh all factors and make a decision.

    Seems like a no win for everyone in incidents like this.

  • Derrick_max50

    gradyg

    over 3 years ago

    1118 Comments

    You all forgot he left the state after that happen and no he shouldn't be charge with murder. Involuntary Manslaughter given time serve for his stay at the county jail and let go with probation. You just cannot shoot someone in handcuff and expect to get off scott free that just wasn't going to happen. HEYSARGE you should know better, when the cuffs go on all violence cease.

  • Police_link_badge_max50

    HEYSARGE

    over 3 years ago

    16734 Comments

    The suspect in this case created an issue of not following directions from a uniformed police officer and placed him self in a situation that had a bad ending......FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS OF THE POLICE!!!!!!! SIMPLE !!!!!!!!

  • Police_link_badge_max50

    HEYSARGE

    over 3 years ago

    16734 Comments

    harsen: Until you have walked the walk and talked the talk.....Your comments should be directed on another site. Please shut your mouth and leave the site........................... You make me sick!

  • Screen_shot_2011-04-10_at_8

    T_9

    over 3 years ago

    5668 Comments

    My thoughts and prayers are immediately with OPD right now, may all the members of the PD and all the citizens with their wits be safe in dealing with the irrational tonight. For the Grant family, I have to agree with Top_Cat, if your loved one would have acted differently or listened to the orders of the officers, this may not have happened. I am not saying that it is not tragic, I understand tragic, but at the same time you have to realize that there is fault in Grant's actions. As for officer Mehserle, sir, keep your head up, know that you are not alone, other officers are living with the guilt that you have right now, accidental shooting happen more than it is reported. You are still human and mistakes have been made. I pray that you find peace to deal with everything that comes next.

    For harsan, ma'am/sir, I hope that you figure out what this site is dedicated to and realize that if you are here to point out our faults, we already know that we are flawed, we are human, it happens. As for your opinion, we know that you are entitled to it, but we would like for you to take it to a place where they are shared by others, which is obviously not here. *** BUMP DetBruin***

  • Me_in_dc_max50

    endsupremacy

    over 3 years ago

    22 Comments

    Where can I see the video?

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