Monday, June 19, 2017

[bqngzmqz] Death of James Hodgkinson

Exactly what were the circumstances of the death of James Hodgkinson, the shooter at the Congressional baseball game practice?

This was a premeditated political act, so presumably Hodgkinson worked out beforehand the political calculus regarding what he should do to maximize his political impact.  It seems that surviving, being arrested, then having his day in court ought to have been a high priority.  With large swaths of the country vehemently opposed to Trump and the Republican Congress, and especially the DC metro area heavily leaning liberal, it seems likely that at least one juror in 12 selected from that region might be willing to exercise jury nullification, refusing to convict (hanging the jury), agreeing with Hodgkinson's politics and the need for drastic political action to right the rapidly sinking ship of state.  In the event of such a judicial outcome (perhaps after multiple such mistrials), it would become open season on Republicans in Washington, inspiring many copycats, thereby greatly magnifying Hodgkinson's political impact.  This calculation Hodgkinson could have worked out beforehand, or should have.  It was not necessary to kill as many Republicans as possible; even just maiming (he could have seen that Steve Scalise was injured), even missing entirely could have set the ball rolling toward "open season", so long as he survived to trial (and mistrial).

It is possible Hodgkinson did not know about the concept and possibility of jury nullification.  It is possible Hodgkinson knew about it but believed it to be extremely unlikely, perhaps not attuned to the political climate of the DC metro area, or of the country.  What he knew and believed can likely be discovered with research.

It is possible Hodgkinson disliked the idea of prison so much that he intended for this to be a suicide mission from the outset and so kept shooting until he got shot.  Perhaps he calculated (wrongly, IMHO) he would have more political impact as a martyr.  Again, whether any of this is true can also be discovered with research.  A suicide mission might have left a suicide note.

The most sinister possible scenario is that Hodgkinson did in fact intend to survive, tried to surrender peacefully, but was then shot in cold blood by Capitol Police, who made the same political calculation as given here and judged that under no condition should the shooter be allowed to live because of the potentially dangerous political repercussions.  Perhaps the Capitol Police have standing orders to this effect, or training to act this way without having to think.  Actually, the revenge instinct is innate; it takes training not to act that way.

NB: Capitol Police is a police force that protects the Capitol and members of Congress.  This is a separate organization from the Washington, DC police.

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