The Daily Dose/Sunday October 7, 2018

The Daily Dose/October 7, 2018
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

In The News
The verdict in the murder trial of former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke – guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery, one for each bullet – is, on the whole, fair. Van Dyke deserved criminal sanction over his conduct in the shooting to death Laquan McDonald. We are pretty pro-law enforcement here, but officers must be held accountable when they kill those they are sworn to protect.

This case illustrates several things:

One, it will always remain difficult to convict a police officer of first-degree murder – Van Dyke’s original charge – in these situations, even someone who pumps 16 rounds into someone who’s walking away. Murder one, as we have pointed out here before, involves premeditation, intent and malice aforethought and these are very difficult to prove when a killer has only known his victim for a few minutes. Fortunately, Illinois law provides for conviction of a lesser offense, not every jurisdiction does, and hopefully, we’ll see fewer prosecutors try for Murder 1. Of course, it looks good when the charge is first issued because this makes DAs look tough on crime, but it is difficult and impractical to prove.

Two, the times they are a’ changin’. Slowly. But they are changing. It used to be unprecedented for an officer to be convicted of so much as jaywalking much less murder in on-the-job killings like this but Van Dyke joins a former Texas officer as the second cop convicted of murder this year.

This might also change the way officers are tried, particularly when there is contradictory video evidence. Van Dyke took the stand in his own defense and was found not to be believable by the jury, with one juror noting his testimony seemed like a play being put on after long rehearsals. It might also reduce the number of time an officer chooses to face a jury, as numerous acquittals have come from judges presiding over bench trials.

Maybe it will also change the way police are hired. No small number of officers who shoot and kill people on the job had prior complaints against them and an alarming number are combat vets, too.

Now, we served our country in time of war – though we never saw combat – and we have the highest possible level of respect for those who have, too. But the scars of battle are both visible and hidden and some of these scars disqualify veterans from police careers.

Today at the Site
Sparrow starts in on his opening and closing statements for the candidate’s forum Tuesday night on today’s edition of The Diary of a Nobody. Also, without his usual Saturday night shift at the retailer, Sparrow attempts to have dinner at his small town diner, but they’re closed, so he ends up going to the Mexican joint in the next county.

Still slow at the hotel…We’re asking $119 for walk-ins but eff that noise, if you haggle enough with me you could probably name your price as long as that price wasn’t $19.99.

The Thought for the Day continues to take a well-earned rest and today’s encore is from January of this year, a thought from Dan Duffy, an old shipmate from the Navy days on aiming high. You can read it here.

Sure, some steps are momentous and require not only courage but a huge leap of faith, but sometimes only the decision to set out and give something a try is the difference between success and failure. 

On This Date
In  2003 – California Governor Gray Davis is recalled in a special election. The election actually had two questions: should Davis be recalled and, if so, who should replace him. The first question passed 55 percent to 45 percent, and Arnold Schwarzenegger got 48 percent of the vote to earn election as the next governor. He took office on November 17.

In 1916 – Georgia Tech defeats Cumberland College 222-0, the most lopsided college football game in American history. Cumberland had actually discontinued their football program after the 1915 season and only traveled to Atlanta to avoid paying the required fee for canceling the game and the squad that showed up mainly consisted of frat brothers of manager George E Allen. Today Cumberland, located in Lebanon, Tennessee, plays football in the Big South Conference of the NAIA and are currently 3-4 following Saturday’s 13-7 loss to Georgetown College.

In 1978 – Kiss You All Over by Exile is at #1 for the second of four consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. While not technically a one-hot wonder, Kiss You All Over was Exile’s only major Top 40 hit, though they would go on to great success on Billboard’s country chart, where they had ten #1 hits, including seven in a row between 1983-85.

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
To date, 3.791 extrasolar planets have been discovered. – Source: California Institute of Technology.

Today’s Stumper
How many candidates for governor were there in California’s 2003 recall election? – Answer next time!

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