Nine deaths, 20 injuries results in zero convictions

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Actor Jussie Smollett is at the center of controversy after allegedly staging a hate-crime attack and then having 16 counts of disorderly conduct unexplainedly dropped. Everyone from outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to President Trump has criticized the prosecution and a judge is considering a media request to open files related to the case.

A four-year-old case in Texas, which resulted in a number of actual deaths and injuries , also resulted in dismissal of all charges, but is not drawing anywhere near the same attention.

A number of Texas motorcycle “clubs” have a history of working together for charitable causes, and have even received awards for their efforts, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t involved in traditional biker activities and turf battles.

Over objections of local police, several clubs were meeting at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, when another, uninvited club showed up to make a point.

Not surprisingly, despite being surrounded by law enforcement, a shootout erupted and nine were left dead and 20 injured.

While biker justice can be swift, officially sanctioned justice requires things like presumption of innocence and proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

The latter was cited by the prosecutor in the case, who announced this week that the 24 remaining criminal cases would be dismissed to “end this nightmare that we have been dealing with in this county since May 17, 2015.”

"There were nine people who were killed on that fateful day in Waco, Texas, and 20 injured, all of whom were members of rival motorcycle clubs/gangs, and the loss of life is a difficult thing," McLenan County District Attorney Barry Johnson told the Waco Tribune-Herald.

"But after looking over the 24 cases we were left with, it is my opinion as your district attorney that we are not able to prosecute any of those cases and reach our burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt."

Civil cases will be allowed to continue, so perhaps the aggrieved will still have their day in court, albeit on their own dime.

Unlike the Smollett case, the outcome in the Lone Star state makes more sense when one remembers it involved bikers and, yes, it was in Texas.

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