Monday, June 4, 2012
These videos that include the name Coleman-Young are of Jeff representing Jarvus Coleman-Young who was a 23-year-old facing one count of open murder (a statutory definition in Michigan that allows the prosecutor to pursue first degree murder and lesser-included degrees of homicide, too), carrying a concealed weapon, and felony murder. The prosecutor wanted a conviction for first-degree murder and the other two. Jarvus was convicted of second-degree murder and the other two. He was sentenced to 22 years to 62 years, as opposed to the life without parole that is the sentence for first-degree murder. Jarvus had confessed to shooting the victim within two hours of the act, and even before the police had his name despite the fact that there were at least three eye witnesses. Two videos show Jeff’s cross-examination of the chief training officer for the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety; the third is a portion of Jeff’s argument after the examination of that officer. Jeff wanted to introduce testimony that nearly ten percent of all officers in Kalamazoo use lethal force in a training program when it is shown lethal force was not necessary. In other words, they shoot innocent bystanders in the training program. Think of the shooting range scene in the Dirty Harry movies if you’re at least as old as I am, and the recruiting scene in Men In Black with Will Smith if you’re younger. The judge concluded that the testimony would be relevant, but would confuse the jury. This was my first of four failed attempts to get the testimony before the jury. The jury was not in the courtroom during the questions and argument on this issue.
The brief I’ve also attached here present my arguments to the court for why this should be allowed.
I am still hopeful that an appellate court will reverse the trial judge and Jarvus will receive what I think is justice.
That was my third failed attempt.