Sometimes, doing the right thing means looking past the letter of the law and applying a little common sense. That's exactly what a Lubbock Grand Jury did last week when they decided not to indict a man accused of shooting at police.
Last month, Willie Williams tried to defend himself during a home burglary attempt. When police arrived on the scene, they shouted out a warning to identify themselves.
But there was a problem. Willie was a 90-year-old man, and Willie had hearing problems. He was hiding in a corner and probably scared to death.
Willie Williams was within his rights to own a gun and to defend his home from intruders. Lubbock Police had every right to return fire and arrest Willie. And the DA was within his rights to charge Willie with aggravated assault on a public servant.
What a mess. Thankfully, nobody got killed. And, in the end, our justice system worked.
Should Willie have been charged with a crime at all? Probably not. But the good news is that 12 Lubbock citizens sitting on a grand jury said, "Whoa! Let's think about this."
Sometimes, doing the right thing means realizing that life can be messy and confusing and sometimes just plain sad.
And sometimes justice is better served by mercy than vengeance.
Thank you, Lubbock jurors, for taking time to use your hearts as well as your heads.
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