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Legal Experts Weigh In On Murder Charge Against Ex-BART Officer

Publication Date: 
January 15, 2009
Oakland Tribune
Katy Murphy

Lecturer in Law and Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Center Kara P. Dansky is quoted in an article by the Oakland Tribune that examines various legal experts' opinions regarding the murder charges against former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle for the New Year's Day shooting death of an unarmed man at an Oakland BART station. The Oakland Tribune writes:

Video evidence plainly shows that former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle killed 22-year-old Oscar Grant III early New Year's morning. But for a murder charge to stick, the prosecution has to prove Mehserle acted with malice and intended to kill the BART passenger, legal experts say.


Kara Dansky, director of Stanford University's Criminal Justice Center, said that from what she's seen, Orloff charged Mehserle appropriately.

"It doesn't seem a stretch to me at this point," Dansky said.

Beles agreed with Dansky. "If this had happened in any other context aside from an officer-related shooting, the person would have been arrested and in jail that night," she said, adding, "How will this play out? I don't know."