Long Island, NY. December 23, 2007:
A Suffolk County jury on Saturday night found a black man guilty of manslaughter for shooting of an unarmed white teenager outside the man’s house last year, ending a racially charged trial.
The jury began deliberating on Wednesday, and on Friday indicated that it was deadlocked and racked with discord. But late Saturday night, it delivered its verdict: The man, John H. White, 54, was guilty of the second-degree manslaughter charge that prosecutors had sought, and of criminal possession of a weapon. Mr. White was allowed to remain free until sentencing, when he will face a maximum term of 5 to 15 years in prison.
Mr. White was convicted of shooting Daniel Cicciaro, 17, point-blank in the face on Aug. 9, 2006. Daniel and several friends had left a party and showed up Mr. White’s house just after 11 p.m. to challenge his son Aaron, then 19, to a fight, and had used threats, profanities and racial epithets. Mr. White awoke and grabbed a loaded Beretta pistol he kept in the garage of his house in Miller Place, a predominantly white hamlet on Long Island.
“We are elated and relieved and feel that Daniel has been vindicated and that justice has been served,” said Gregg Sarra, a longtime friend of the Cicciaro family and Daniel’s godfather."
Former NY governor David Patterson commuted the imprisoned Mr. White's sentence exactly three years later.
I have no opinion on guilt or innocence in the White case or the Zimmerman case; I'm merely presenting this for the consideration of those who feel certain it would all be different if Trayvon was white and Zimmerman was was black.