The Assassination of the Mayor of Castro Street Essay

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The Assassination of the Mayor of Castro Street and the Consensus of the Judicial System It was November 27th, 1978. There was a cheerful atmosphere in San Francisco’s City Hall that morning. Supervisor Harvey Milk’s good mood was due to Mayor George Moscone’s upcoming announcement to the press. He was going to publicize that he had decided not to reappoint the ultra-conservative "voice for the family", Dan White, back to the board of supervisors. Harvey Milk was a fierce advocate of this political move, for he was the first openly gay elected official, and thus, the most important political leader for homosexuals at the time. Dan White, on the other hand, enforced family values and therefore was not someone that supported this…show more content…
He snuck through a window in City Hall just before the press conference was scheduled to take place, and swiftly shot and killed both men in their own offices. He confessed to the assassinations just hours later at the local police station. Despite the evidence of premeditation, the obvious animosity between the assassin and the victims, and the immediate confession, Dan White was only convicted of two counts of voluntary manslaughter. He served five years in prison for his crime. In the context of the assassination of two government officials, the jury’s conviction is almost inconsequential. To fully understand the implication of the term "voluntary manslaughter" it is necessary to distinguish the different classifications of murder as defined by California State law. The definition of murder constitutes both deliberation and premeditation, while voluntary manslaughter is defined as the killing of another human spontaneously with the lack of previous planning. After staying up all night, Dan White called his secretary and asked for a ride to City Hall, having no purpose to be in the building, due to the fact that he was no longer employed there. He brought with him his gun, and because he brought ten extra bullets as well he clearly had the intention of firing it. He had contemplated how to avoid the metal detectors at the main entrance and
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