We attended the hearing for the six guys accused of beating Alex. It was painful to hear the story of how these thugs attacked him, unprovoked, and started to kick him in the face. Evidently there was a pattern of attacks.
I don’t want innocent people to get in trouble and I know that is why we have all the complicated legal procedures. It is good that the system is stacked in favor of defendants. But their lawyers were clearly fishing. They asked the cop on the stand all sorts of questions clearly designed to tax his recollection, things that really didn’t matter and/or things he could not have known.
Alex took the stand to tell what he knew, which wasn’t much. He only knows that he found himself on the ground being kicked. None of the lawyers for the defendants cross examined him. I was glad for that; he could not have added anything, but I thought the lawyers might try to cloud the issue somehow.
I made a special point of staring at the defendants as they were identified. They didn’t show emotion. During the recess they all went into the bathroom and I got to wait in line among them. None of them looked at me. I don’t know what that means, if anything. Maybe they had to go to the bathroom really bad and that was all that was on their minds. I cannot tell who is guilty just by looking. I was hoping they would brag or say something that I could bring to the attention of the authorities, but they were completely silent. They were very savvy defendants, which I think is significant.
The authorities are still waiting for DNA evidence. Human blood was splattered on one of their shirts. You have to wonder how it got there and if it is Alex’s it will prove that the guy in question at least came close enough to get splashed. Until that comes in, they had enough evidence to hold only one of the guys. As I wrote above, I don’t want innocent guys punished. But they caught these guys at the scene where they were identified at the time by witnesses. Maybe they were not all involved, but the probably all know who was involved. There is no honor in protecting bad guys.
Alex is philosophical about this. He doesn’t want them punished very much, since they are young and perhaps inexperienced. But anybody who would hit a stranger from behind and then commence to kick him in the head and face is dangerous to society. I can understand, if not accept, assault during a robbery, but they didn’t try to rob Alex. It takes a special kind of evil personality to want to hurt a stranger purely out of hatred. I have never even contemplated doing anything like that and I don’t think many people do. It is our civic duty to get these kinds of people out of circulation until his attitude improves or his energy diminishes.
A witness clearly identified the one guy they were able to hold. That is how they got him. She said she had seen him earlier too. Evidently he attacked a customer headed into the gas station with his money in hand. The witness said that the perp hit the customer in the face, took the money and taunted him saying, “What are you gonna do now?” and walked away. That is why she could identify him with such certainty as the one who attacked Alex when he showed up a second time. I stood next to him when waiting in the bathroom line. He just looked at his shoes and seemed very harmless. He was wearing a suit and had cut off the dreadlocks he sported a couple months ago. He didn’t look much like the picture we had seen before. You cannot judge guilt by looking at people and they tend to behave differently in the courthouse than they do on the street.