I have a comparison for you.
Currently there is an African-American woman serving life in prison for shooting and killing the man who molested her young son. In Texas a white man shot and killed two men for burglarizing his neighbor’s house. The shooter, Joe Horn, was cleared of all charges on Monday. He’s now a free man who doesn’t have to serve time for murder.
Of these two situations, is one person guiltier than the other? While both instances resulted in loss of life, is the white man less wrong for killing two human beings than the Black woman is for killing one? Because each incident resulted in death, should both individuals who shot fatal bullets into the victims’ bodies be given the same punishment?
While there are so many questions to ponder and variables to consider regarding this Black woman and white man, the vastly different outcome of their actions prove how truly inconsistent the judicial system is in the United States.
Both of these slayings were wrong and shouldn’t have occurred because it’s not our responsibility as human beings to dictate when another person’s life should end — none of us are God. I’m not excusing this Black mother, who killed her son’s molester, nor am I excusing any of the other women currently in prison for doing the same thing, but in the instance of Horn, there are numerous aspects that leave me asking the age-old question “Why?”
Horn killed Hernando Riascos Torres, 38, and Diego Ortiz, 30, both unemployed illegal immigrants from Colombia because he saw them burglarizing his neighbor’s home.
The shocking thing is that prior to shooting the men, Horn called 911, informed the dispatcher of the burglary, and told the dispatcher of his intent to kill the men. At one point during the dialogue, the dispatcher pleads with Horn, “Don’t go outside the house. You’re going to get yourself shot if you go outside that house with a gun. I don’t care what you think.” Horn responds to the dispatcher by saying, “You want to bet? I’m going to kill them.”
Immediately after Horn’s comment, you hear him cocking his 12-gauge shotgun, leave the house and fire two shots into the backs of Torres and Ortiz. Afterwards, Horn redials 911 and says, “I had no choice. They came in the front yard with me, man. I had no choice.”
However, Horn did have a choice. He could have chosen to listen to the trained dispatcher and remained inside his home. Instead, this gun-toting wanna-be cowboy chose to do what he wanted to do, which was kill the two men.
I understand that Texas is a state that is very strict in regards to crime and the way in which criminals are dealt with, but I can’t fathom how a grand jury could clear Horn of all charges and not indict him. One of the main reasons Horn should have been held accountable for his actions is because they were premeditated. He clearly told the dispatcher that he was going to kill the two men. Clearly. Another reason he should currently be serving a double life sentence is because despite Horn’s claims of his life being in danger, Torres and Ortiz were both shot in the back. I’m not sure how much in danger Horn’s life was, particularly since both victims were probably trying to get away.
Horn’s actions were grossly inappropriate and inhuman. Rather than residing comfortably in his home, Horn should be in a Texas correctional facility reflecting on his decision to play God.
Though Torres and Ortiz were indeed wrong for burglarizing the house, their actions didn’t constitute death, nor does the fact that they were illegal immigrants.
Rather than uplift Horn by calling him a hero (which is what thousands across the country are doing), people should recognize how truly wrong his actions were and rally to hold him accountable. I’m sure if Torres and Ortiz were the family members of some of Horn’s supporters, they wouldn’t consider his actions honorable.