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The story that began with a stupid internet prank on Myspace is coming to a head as a Riverhead, New York, jury deliberates the fate of 53-year-old John White, on trial for killing 17-year-old Daniel Cicciaro during a confrontation at his home. Cicciaro and his friends had come to intimidate and potentially assault Aaron White, John’s son. They called his home and told him they were coming. John and his son armed themselves and waited, rather than calling the police. When the guys arrived, they confronted them and in the ensuing exchange, John White shot Cicciaro in the face, killing him.

This on the heels of the Joe Horn case in Pasadena, where Horn, who is white, shot and killed two black hispanic men who were robbing his neighbors home. Horn observed the robbery taking place from inside his home and called the police. Despite repeated instructions from the police dispatcher to remain in his home, Horn insisted on going outside and confronting the thieves. When he attempted to stop them, they tried to run and Horn shot each one in the back with his shotgun, killing them both. Horn remains free pending grand jury deliberations on whether he should be charged. White I believe is in jail and his case has now gone to a jury.

In both of these cases, the shootings were not justified in my opinion. Both men had ample opportunity to avoid harm and allow the authorities to address the situation. In both cases, each man chose confrontation and reckless, unnecessary self help tactics to address the situation with tragic results. Now what remains to be seen is the manner in which these cases are handled by the justice system.

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