In the case of Florida v. George Zimmerman a jury found that Zimmerman was not guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt. In the case of Washington v. Antonio Cellestine, the defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter and felony hit-and-run for the death of my father, Gordon Patterson. No jury was necessary.
But in my opinion, a crime of murder was just as obvious. Patterson was killed on Sept. 15, 2009, by Cellestine, a convicted offender who was out on parole.
Had the state of Florida pressed for manslaughter, Zimmerman might be in jail for a long time, but as Clark County prosecutors explained to my family, murder is a very difficult charge to prove to a jury beyond a shadow of a doubt. Murder is the highest crime and carries the harshest penalty, and when considering someone's life or possible execution, everyone should be certain beyond a shadow of a doubt.
So the killers in both cases were allowed to go free because that is the system we have.
As reported in The Columbian's July 19 story "Driver who killed Bay teacher back in court," my father's killer was arrested this week for violating parole again.
Should he be allowed out on parole yet again?
Will you be the next victim of no more justice in America?