Ray Jennings, Innocent (Michael Blake, DA, guilty)
[From the Eastside trenches]
The murder of Ms. O’Keefe (in a Palmdale CA park and ride, 2/2000) obviously counts as a tragedy, yet no conclusive evidence exists which would convict Sergeant Ray Jennings of the murder (he is now involved in his THIRD re-trial for 187, having been acquitted by two LA juries). The vigilante attitude shown towards Jennings in the Valley Press and Daily News (and LA Times, at least initially) has hardly been equitable or indeed Constitutional; he was found Guilty by Journalists as soon as he appeared in the papers (probably because Ms O'Keefe's daddy, an aerospace engineer has plenty of pull with the locals, including Mayor Rex "Puerco" Parris). Jennings may have made some inconsistent statements or even failed a polygraph, yet that does not prove anything, whatsoever.
No weapon was never located, and NO gunshot residue was detected on Jennings' hands or clothing. Any real detective or ballistic guy will tell you they ALWAYS get GSR on a perp's hands, or clothes after heavy shooting. Jennings was questioned probably within an hour of the shooting (9mm, 5 shots---that be gangsta-work, says Contingencies). He had no time to clean up with alcohol, or shower (which also would have been detected). Furthermore, it was Jennings' SECOND DAY AT WORK as a security guard, and he was shuttling cars to get to the park and ride. He's a family man, his second day at work, bonded, forbidden by law to carry a firearm,and his supervisor told him he was subject to inspection at all times (including his vehicle).
No one saw him with a gun; and he insists he did not have one. It's nearly IMPOSSIBLE that he had a gun to start with , yet the DA Blake continues to make the ludicrous claim Jennings had a gun. It is a near certainty, that JENNINGS DID NOT HAVE A FIREARM. That also explains why a gun was not found, since he called in the shooting within 20 minutes or so (he did pass by Ms O'Keefe minutes after she was shot, as he should have. He may have dawdled. Oh well. That does not show 187 at all.) Jennings did not have time to dispose of a gun; it's nearly certain the gun disappeared in the car with the gangster who killed Ms O'Keefe (and Ms O'Keefe also was dropped off by a friend. Did they search her car, or polygraph her??)
The lack of proof that Jennings had a firearm also should provides sufficient reasons for acquittal, though Blake has managed to bring in Jennings military record in (Sgt. Jennings served in Iraq with distinction, and his CO and fellow soldiers say he was innocent. Yet Blake the Crimefighter wants to use Jennings' own markmaship skills as evidence. BS, like all of Blake's pseudo-arguments. Blake's the one who should be on trial, facing obstruction of justice charges for insisting that Jennings did have a gun, when there is no evidence to establish that claim.
Though LA County residents have reason to be concerned about violent crime, crimefighters should never overlook the importance of the presumption of innocence clause. Obviously, that a person has been arrested does not imply that he has been found guilty of any charges, though reporters, including those of the AV Press, often seem a bit unclear on this concept. Raymond Jennings’ arrest demonstrates this type of justice, media-style, which often verges on a violation of Due Process rights that all citizens—even those charged with serious felonies—are entitled to according to the 14th Amendment.
Readers of newspapers are not provided with the same evidence that the police and courts are provided with, and any information that makes it into the paper is second hand; additionally, reporters often omit details that may be quite relevant—such as whether the person or persons who dropped Ms. O’Keefe off at the park and ride were ever considered suspects in the case. The papers also neglected to mention (at least until like the second trial) the results of the ballistics tests, or that it was Jennings' second day at work, or the car shuttling.
(And the rich defense attorneys in Northern LA County (and Kern as well) who read about this case and did nothing while Jennings' rights to a fair trial were mocked by the press and pigs are themselves guilty. )
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