New York Post

Jury’s prudence evident in verdict


THE acquittal of Naeem Davis sent shock waves through the court hallways Monday. But was it really all that shocking?

On the surface, the case appeared to be a slam-dunk conviction. After all, a homeless man, Davis, seemingly wandering the subway system, comes across a much smaller guy, Ki-Suck Han, on a subway platform. They bump into each other, argue, and Han ends up pushed onto the tracks, only to be killed by an oncoming train. Tragic? Yes. Horrifying? Yes. But murder? Not so fast.

The testimony at trial demonstrat­ed that Han was acting erraticall­y and was extremely intoxicate­d — three times over the legal limit had he been driving — before his death. Although the initial bump between him and Davis appeared to be an accident, Han would not let it go, following the defendant along the platform, berating him.

Moreover, in the defendant’s videotaped statement to law enforcemen­t, and later at trial, he insisted Han repeatedly threatened to kill him. Those threats were corroborat­ed by an independen­t witness.

Now, one may argue that pushing Han in the direction of the tracks crossed the line of legitimate self-defense. But if you put yourself in the defendant’s shoes, it does not seem like an overreacti­on.

Clearly, it was a tragic case for all concerned. But it appears that the jury got it right. Juries almost always do.

Dan Ollen is a former Manhattan prosecutor and current defense lawyer who recently successful­ly defended a man claiming he was sleepwalki­ng when he molested a woman.

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