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said he decided to shock Grant with his Taser but mistakenly pulled his .40 caliber handgun. Grant was shot as he lay face down.
Fearing Grant may have a weapon, Mehserle Lacoste T Shirt 2018
Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle shortly before Mehserle shot Grant on New Year's Day 2009. Mehserle testified Friday June 25, 2010 that he mistakenly pulled out his pistol instead of a stun gun when he shot and killed an unarmed black man who was lying face down on an Oakland train platform. A jury has reached a verdict in the trial of a former San Francisco Bay area transit officer accused of murdering Grant, an unarmed man on an Oakland train platform. The eight woman, four man panel is scheduled to read the verdict on Thursday, July 8, 2010. (AP Photo/ Los Angeles County Superior Court)
"It is probably politically difficult to give him probation," Santa Clara University law professor Edward Steinman said.
"There is a real ambiguity here," Weisberg said. Justice Department leads to charges and a federal conviction.
FILE This undated family file photo provided by the Law Offices of John Burris shows Oscar Grant, a 22 year old transit rider who was shot and killed by BART police on New Year's Day, 2009. With Grant is his girlfriend Sophina Mesa and their daughter. A jury has reached a verdict in the trial of a former San Francisco Bay area transit officer accused of murdering Grant, an unarmed man on an Oakland train platform. The eight woman, four man panel is scheduled to read the verdict on Thursday, July 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Family photo provided by the Law Offices of John Burris) NO SALES
Mehserle was arrested two weeks after the shooting and has remained free after posting $3 million bail in February 2009, meaning he would have no credit for time served if he is sentenced to prison.
Protesters looted an athletic footwear store and ransacked a jewelry shop. The windows of a bank were smashed, fires were set fires in several trash bins, and a small incendiary device was detonated near a police station but caused no damage.
Legal experts also said a sentence of probation appears remote, especially since Mehserle was taken into custody immediately after the verdict and booked into the Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail, where he will be kept apart from the general population.
Using it in a shooting death that resulted in an involuntary manslaughter conviction is redundant and illogical, said Stanford University law professor Robert Weisberg.
Involuntary manslaughter convictions call for two to four years in prison, but Perry could tack on an additional three to 10 years due to the gun enhancement.
He said he will forever "live, breathe, sleep and not sleep" with the memory of Grant dying on the train platform and "knowing that Mr. Grant should not have been shot."
Instead, jurors decided Mehserle didn't mean to kill Grant, but his behavior was still so negligent that it was criminal.
Angry protestors eye sentencing in train killing
FILE This undated family photo provided by the Law Offices of John Burris shows Oscar Grant, a 22 year old transit rider who was shot and killed by Bay Area Rapid Transit police on New Year's Day 2009. A jury has reached a verdict in the trial of a former San Francisco Bay area transit officer accused of murdering Grant, an unarmed man on an Oakland train platform. The eight woman, four man panel is scheduled to read the verdict on Thursday, July 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Family photo via the Law Offices of John Burris) NO SALES
Mehserle, 28, testified during his trial Buy Polo Neck T Shirts Online India that he struggled with Grant and saw him digging in his pocket as officers responded to reports of a fight at a train station.
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The judge has the option of tossing out the gun enhancement, though experts say that seems unlikely because of Perry's no nonsense reputation on the bench.
"I think he could get substantial time, by that I mean like six years," said John Barnett, a defense attorney from Orange County who represented one of four Los Angeles police officers acquitted of beating Rodney King in 1992. "There is going to be a lot of pressure to give him state prison."
A sentence on the low end could further inflame tensions among the hundreds of angry people who took to the streets of Oakland on Thursday over what they believe should have been a murder conviction.
The gun enhancement law was passed to additionally punish armed muggers, robbers and other criminals for endangering lives during their crimes.
into the King case after a state court jury acquitted four Los Angeles police officers in 1992 of using excessive force, touching off three days of riots, 53 deaths and more than $1 billion in damage.
Those protesters could find some satisfaction in the way Perry decides to apply a finding by the jury that Mehserle used a gun to commit the crime.
Prosecutors wanted Johannes Mehserle convicted of murdering Grant.
FILE This cellular telephone image provided by the Los Angeles County Superior Court shows an image taken, according to lawyers, by Oscar Grant, of former San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Lacoste Sport Slim Polo Shirt Mens
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry has a tremendous amount of discretion in handing down punishment Aug. 6 against Johannes Mehserle anywhere from probation to 14 years.
The verdict against Mehserle enflamed emotions in Oakland, where 30 businesses were damaged and 78 people were arrested for violations that included failure to disperse, vandalism and assaulting a police officer.
Some experts doubt that Mehserle will receive the maximum sentence and question whether an on duty police officer should be punished with additional state prison time for using a service weapon.
The two officers convicted of federal civil rights violations in the King beating were each sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. A federal jury acquitted the two other officers.
In a handwritten letter released Friday, Mehserle suggested a possible prison term wouldn't be his only punishment for killing 22 year old Oscar Grant.
SAN FRANCISCO The involuntary manslaughter conviction of a white former transit officer in the death of an unarmed black man set the stage for a sentencing that could be just as explosive as the trial depending on how the judge interprets the verdict.
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