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With the Guyger Verdict, a Texas Jury Chips Away at the Unwritten Law That Helps Bad Cops Go Free

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Earlier today, a Dallas jury convicted former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger of murder after she mistakenly entered the wrong apartment and shot dead its rightful occupant — a young black man named Botham Jean. The verdict came in spite of an incredibly puzzling jury instruction permitting Guyger to argue that Texas’s “Castle Doctrine” could apply to her actions. Under the Castle Doctrine, the use of force is presumed reasonable if another person is “unlawfully and with force entering or attempting to enter your occupied home, car, or place of business.” Yet Guyger was the armed person unlawfully entering Jean’s home. He had the right to shoot Guyger. She had no right to shoot him.

The jury’s verdict is significant — and not just because justice was done in this dreadful case. It’s a small data point that some juries in some jurisdictions may well be rejecting a........

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