No Heroes, No Villains Essay

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No heroes, no villains Shelby DiRoma Monroe Community College No heroes, no villains On June 28, 1972, James Richardson awaiting the subway train which would take him to work. He was stopped and ordered to “put up your hands, and get against the wall”. These directions were given by an off duty Transit Authority patrolman named John Skagen. Skagen’s actions seem unprovoked and unnecessary. After a short tussle the two men exchanged shots and Richardson fled the scene on foot. Two other officers that were on the main street above the subway station were made aware of what was transpiring below and rushed to the scene. As they approached the entrance of the station, Richardson who was fleeing the scene ran directly into one of the…show more content…
Richardson’s trial was delayed for twenty seven months before finally beginning in Sept. 1974. The trial was long and was delayed numerous times due to Kunstler’s busy schedule with other demanding trial cases. The delays were also part of Kunstler’s defense strategy. There was an abundance of evidence shown throughout the trial among which was the ballistics test. These test showed that of the five shots that Skagen endured only two were from Richardson’s gun. After a yearlong trial the prosecutor and the defense gave their summations and the jury deliberated. The deliberation took several days. In the end Richardson was convicted with three of the original seven charges; manslaughter in the second degree, possessing a weapon as a felony, and criminal possessing of stolen property in the third degree. The judge sentenced Richardson to a term no more than ten years for the conviction of manslaughter in the second degree. No more than seven years for the conviction of felony possession of a weapon. The criminal possession of stolen property was unconditionally discharged and the sentences were to be served concurrently. Kunstler appealed this sentenced and Richardson was allowed to stay out of jail on bail. On April 13, 1976 the Appellate Division reversed the manslaughter conviction and the felony gun conviction. The case was sent back to the original court and Richardson was resentenced to three years
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