In 2012, a white Florida man fired into a car full of unarmed black teenagers after arguing with them about loud music, in the presence of witnesses, then continued to shoot at them as they drove away. He expressed no remorse and later insulted his murder victim, Jordan Davis, in overtly racist language. Nevertheless, it took two long years for justice to be served.
At last, justice for Jordan
At last, today, convicted murderer Michael Dunn was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
For the first time, in court Dunn publicly apologized, sort of. “I am mortified I took a life, whether it was justified or not,” he said. His words feel tepid and calculated. He may as well have said, “please don’t impose the maximum penalty on me, even though I still will not wholly concede I did something wrong.” His non-apology apology was probably written by his lawyers and moved no one.
Dunn’s non-apology apology: Too little, too late
It’s all too little too late because we know his true heart. In a letter written from jail as he awaited trial, Dunn called Jordan Davis a “thug” and said the world would be a better place if more people “killed these fucking idiots.”
Referring to African-Americans, Dunn said, “the more I am exposed to these people, the more prejudiced against them I become.” (Inexplicably, the prosecution failed to introduce these and other virulently racist words penned by Dunn into evidence.)
At the sentencing, Davis’ parents remembered their murdered child, and spoke of grace and mercy.
“I miss his big, wide, toothy smile,” Davis’ mother, Lucy McBath, said through tears. “For me, there will be no college graduation. There will be no daughter-in-law. For me, there will be no future generation.”
She went on to add, “I, too, must be willing to forgive. And so I choose to forgive you, Mr. Dunn, for taking my son’s life. I pray that God has mercy on your soul.”
Jordan Davis’ parents asked that the prosecution not seek the death penalty.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Avvo.