No Heroes No Villians Essay

Submitted By elisemarinilli
Words: 804
Pages: 4

On June 28, 1972, James Richardson was waiting for the subway train to come and take him to work. Richardson was then stopped by John Skagen who was an off duty transit authority patrolman, and ordered Richardson to “put up his hands, and get against the wall”. After a short brawl the two men traded shots and Richardson fled the scene on foot. There were two other officers that were on the main street above the subway station and were made aware of what was taking place below and rushed to the scene. As the two officers approached the entrance of the subway station, Richardson who was fleeing the scene ran directly into one of the officers. The officer had noticed Richardson’ s wound and attempted to stop him and engaged in pursuit. The other officer continued into the subway and witnessed Skagen, who was in civilian clothes exhibiting his gun. When the officer seen Skagen with his gun, he then shot and emptied his gun into Skagen. Skagen was able to let off one round prior to the officer shooting him. Richardson was later apprehended and taken to the emergency room for his wounds. His gun was also recovered. Skagen was rushed to the same hospital emergency room where Richardson was taken, Skagen had been pronounced dead. Richardson had confessed to shooting Skagen and said that there were only four rounds exchanged between them. Skagen’s autopsy affirmed that he was shot five times and showed eight wounds in total. The report had stated that he had five entry wounds, one re-entry wound, and two exit wounds, but only four bullets were reclaimed from Skagen’s body. Richardson was arrested and charged with attempted murder, felony murder, escape in the second degree, manslaughter in the second degree, felony possession of a weapon, criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, and reckless endangerment in the second degree. Richardson had obtained William Kunstler for his defense.
I think the officer’s handled the situation very well from beginning to end. When Richardson fled into Jacobsen’s arms, from that point the officer had enough cause to chase after him. The item found on the scene was a blue leather case. It had contained identification papers and a social security card belonging to James Richardson, and pinned to the case was a gold correction officer’s badge belonging to May Elaine Williams. The other evidence that had been later collected indicated that Richardson had fired four shots in total. Raul Bianchi found four spent shells and one live round in the railroad yard near the spot Richardson had thrown his gun. I do think that it is a huge problem in our legal system that people are being found guilty for crime they did not commit, and this was virtually the case in this trial. I think that the courts did handle some of the evidence correctly. A lot of Richardson’s fate rested on his lawyer William Kunstler. Kunstler argued that all seven statements that Richardson had confessed were unlawfully coerced and asserted that Richardson had not been properly advised of his rights. Morris Krohn the court clerk asked the jury