Check out this week’s Justice is Served for the latest legal news. First up, in Case of the Week, we discuss the trial of Theodore Wafer, the man who shot and killed 19-year-old Renisha McBride on his porch November 2nd. Wafer was found guilty on all counts, the highest being second-degree murder. Wafer testified in his own defense that he felt in imminent fear for his life when he heard someone banging on his front and side door in the early morning hours. He testified that he had no landline, could not find his cell phone to call 911, and grabbed his gun, then shot McBride in the face through the locked screen door, forgetting his gun was loaded. My co-host Loni Coombs and I compare the case to the trial of George Zimmerman, where Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin just one year ago.
Then in On the Docket we discuss the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision to reverse the attempted murder conviction in the case of Vonte Skinner. Skinner’s case garnered much attention because prosecutors relied on rap lyrics found in his car in building their case against Skinner. The state’s highest court ruled the rap lyric evidence was prejudicial and that Skinner deserves a new trial, stating, “One would not presume that Bob Marley, who wrote the well-known song ‘I Shot the Sheriff,’ actually shot a sheriff, or that Edgar Allan Poe buried a man beneath his floorboards, as depicted in his short story ‘The Tell-Tale Heart,’ simply because of their respective artistic endeavors on those subjects.The Court reasons that defendant’s lyrics should receive no different treatment.”
Finally, in Tipping the Scales, we discuss Kanye West’s comparison between the celebrity fight against the paparazzi and the civil rights movement. That outrageous comparison came to light in a deposition in one photog’s suit against West for attacking him. West says there’s a parallel between blacks fighting for civil rights in the ’60s and celebs fighting for theirs today: “I mean in the ’60s people used to hold up ‘Die N****r’ signs when my parents were in the sit-ins also.” The plaintiff’s lawyer asks if he equates the struggle of blacks in the past with celebrities today and Kanye says, “Yes, 100 … I equate it to discrimination. I equate it to inequalities.” Weigh in with your thoughts on West’s comparison and the other stories we discussed in the comments section below and be sure to tune into Justice is Served every week on Black Hollywood Live.