The Mills of the Gods
…grind slowly but exceedingly fine.
In the first actual post I made to this blog I described my participation in the trial of Alrashim Chambers for the homicide of Victoria Carmen White, a transwoman. As described in the post we could not find on the evidence presented that Chambers was guilty, and that reading the not-guilty verdict was the hardest thing I’d ever done. As the post’s title said I and my fellow jurors knew there would be no justice for Carmen.
I’d been checking up on the two principles, Chambers and Marquise Foster, every so often on Google. I’d stopped during the pandemic but recently tried again. Foster seems to have fallen off the face of the earth, but Chambers evidently has been busy. He’d been convicted in 2012 and 2013, the latter on federal charges, and in 2019 he was convicted of the aggravated manslaughter of Rajaee Montgomery in a dispute over unpaid parking tickets on a car that had been towed. With associated weapons charges Chambers was sentenced to 50 years, and under New Jersey laws regarding repeat violent offenders Chambers must serve at least 85% of that time before being eligible for any kind of early release. Assuming he survives over 40 years inside he’ll be in his early 70s before he gets out.
He’s not going to serve one day for Carmen, whatever his participation in her death was. But, still, there is some small measure of justice for her at last. One of the last things I’d said to the other jurors as we left the deliberation room to give the verdict was that I expected Chambers and Foster would have another opportunity to speak with a prosecuting attorney and I was right.
I regret that Chambers wasn’t able to straighten his life out. Dodging a murder conviction should have been a serious wake-up call. And I take no pleasure in the fact that he’s essentially thrown his life away. But I’m not shedding any tears either. He had choices, like all of us, and he made bad ones.
Now he pays for them.