The Trial of Stephen Morgan

Two and a half years after the tragic shooting of Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10, the trial of Stephen Morgan began yesterday in Middletown. (For those who may not have been around in 2009: Morgan, a 32-year-old Marblehead, Mass., native is charged with the murder of Justin-Jinich on May 6, 2009, in Red & Black Cafe.) “Morgan chose the three-judge panel over a jury for his trial,” reports the Associated Press, and he is choosing to plead insanity. Whether or not the judges accept the insanity claim, the stakes are high:

If convicted of murder, he could face up to 60 years in prison or be committed to a high-security state psychiatric hospital, depending on the judges’ ruling on the insanity claim. He was also charged with two other felonies — intimidation due to bias and carrying a pistol without a permit. [ . . . ] Both the prosecution and defense are expected to put psychiatrists on the witness stand to testify about Morgan’s mental health.

Eye witnesses to the shooting took the stand on Wednesday, including Susan Gerhardt ’09, Barry Finder ’09, and Capt. Sean Moriarty of the Middletown Police Department.  Here, the Wall Street Journal reports on their accounts. Unsurprisingly, recollections of the shooting remain quite painful for many in the courtroom (which included “about a dozen relatives and friends of Justin-Jinich”) and on campus. This blog’s intention is neither to dredge up painful details of the shooting nor to give Morgan any more celebrity status on this blog than necessary. As such, Wesleying’s coverage will likely be limited to significant newsworthy developments. For now, here is coverage of the start of the trial:

7 thoughts on “The Trial of Stephen Morgan

  1. April Fawn Scheller

    I cannot be silent while my community excuses hate by
    disability.

    The hate directed at the mentally ill in order to support by
    law a theory to prove some natural determinism for anti-Semitism is as
    disgusting as the views of the alleged killer, as disgusting as creating a ‘by nature’ defense for hate. I would
    not like the task personally, of judging Stephen Morgan. I know too many of
    those who testify him guilty both Mad and Sane to have the ability to in fairness
    not recuse myself were I judge. Justice is not meant to be an emotionally
    painless event but rather honest to the point of pain. By similar virtue to the
    community’s choice of the manner in which to try the crime I could not in good
    conscious be silent. For I am a civil rights activist and a Mad dissident in
    opposition to this cultivation of legal immunities for hatred that would
    condemn my people and Johanna’s to this.

    By accused biology
    my people are segregated to the violence of an institutional ghetto. By false
    tolerance we are caged together guilt and innocence untried by jury, often
    without choice of plea, constitution forgotten, a caste of genetic determinism.
    ‘Diversion’ of justice: As in WWI where
    we mentally ill were targets of eugenic extermination: injustice again spreads
    to community Jews… for shame to the courts for accommodating hate again and
    again to excuse injustice to both Johanna’s people and mine.

    I have even lectured at Wesleyan upon this matter in March.
    I lectured also at CUNY last June by invitation of other civil rights activists
    for the mentally ill. Nor is this dissident voice in the community of
    Middletown as invisible as my entire socio-genetic caste is supposed to be in
    the eyes of today’s professional scientific racists.

    Wesleyan’s
    Announcement:

    http://wesleying.org/2012/03/26/the-sense-of-sensitivity-a-madpride-presentation/

    My last lecture filmed for youtube:

    My sources are also web-linked here: I’m not sure by whom it
    was posted: but thank you. I’ve no web site of my own. http://whatcausesmentalillness.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=708:-the-sense-of-sensitivity–a-proposal-on-mad-ethnicity-originally-presented-at-the-psychout-2011-conference-at-cuny-graduate-center-of-new-york-city-under-the-topic-of-eliminating-the-insanity-defense&catid=42:the-consumer-movement&Itemid=70

    RIP Johanna, you are missed by many.

  2. Pingback: Stephen Morgan Found Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity – Wesleying

  3. another alum

    It wouldn’t.  But you COULD get their class years right?  I think Susan is ’10 and Barry is ’09.

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