Part 3: TNs White Justice Verzuz TNs Black Just-Us
October 5, 2020
Vern Braswell verzuz Jennifer Collins - Jury Deliberations
“It don’t matter if you’re Black or White” Michael Jackson, 1991
“If you're Black, it don't matter if you did it or not” Vern Braswell, 2020
Jennifer Collins, a White defendant, was charged with second degree murder in the death of her newborn infant. Collins, a college student, verified her pregnancy with a home pregnancy test, wore loose baggy clothes to hide her pregnancy from family and friends, and continued to go out with her friend where she would consume alcohol. Collins sought no prenatal care.
On the night Collins went into labor, she delivered the child into the commode in her private bathroom. She cracked the door to get scissors from an apartment roommate, and cut the umbilical cord. She did not notify anyone as she attempted to keep the delivery a secret from her roommates.
After noticing Collins in distress, her roommates called paramedics and the infant was discovered deceased. At the autopsy, the medical examiner determined that the infant lived approximately two minutes and died from drowning.
At trial Collins offer no proof and stuck to the argument that the medical examiner acknowledged the death could have been an accident.
In the Braswell case, he claimed he asphyxiated his wife during consensual sex but that she was alive, although not felling well, when it was over and eventually died later that night while in their Jacuzzi tub. During the appeal, Braswell had new evidence testimony from a medical examiner that the death could have an accident from erotic asphyxia.
In Collins the prosecutors said she chose not to seek prenatal care, avoided medical assistance during delivery, hid her pregnancy, and caused the drowning death by cutting the umbilical cord as she sat on the commode.
In the Braswell case the prosecutors painted the Black defendant as a savage wife beater then she emphatically and repeatedly told the jury that Braswell fabricated the erotic asphyxia story during trial.
In Collins the Court said it was unfair for the prosecutor to show the jury pictures of the deceased infant because it could “elicit emotions of bias, sympathy, hatred, contempt, retribution, or horror”.
In the Braswell case the Court said it was “highly inappropriate” for the prosecutor to say some of the things she said about Braswell during trial because it caused Braswell to be judged on an unfair basis and implied that it could “elicit emotions ofbias, sympathy, hatred, contempt, retribution, or horror”.
the Court granted relief because “while the evidence was sufficient to establish second degree murder
, there was also evidence of reckless and negligent homicide”.
In the Braswell case
the Court would not grant relief to the Black defendant because of “the strong evidence supporting the Petitioner’s conviction for second degree murder”.
the Court said the one mistake
in the White defendant’s case was enough for her to get relief based on how the jury deliberated.
In the Brasweil case
the Court determined that up to seven mistakes in the Black defendant’s case was not enough for him to get relief
and the Court did not even factor or mention how the jury deliberated in the Black case.
the Court said when the jury deliberated for about three hours before returning with a question for the court
, this showed that the jury gave careful consideration to various degrees of homicide possible.
In the Brasweil case the Court refused to acknowledge that when the jury deliberated for about three hours before returning with a question for the court, that this showed evidence the Braswell jury gave careful consideration to various degrees of homicide possible the way they did in the White case.
In the Collins case the Court said when the jury considered the matter for more than two more hours before returning with its verdict of second degree murder
, it showed that because of the difficult factual issues separating murder and reckless or negligent homicides, a verdict may often depend on a single item of evidence.
In the Braswell case the Court refused to acknowledge that when the jury in the Black defendant's case considered the matter for more than two more hours before returning with its verdict of second degree murder, it showed that because of the difficult factual issues separating murder and reckless or negligent homicides, a verdict may onen depend on a singie item of evidence they way they did in the White case.
In the Collins case
the Court gave considerable acknowledgement to the “numerous supportive letters for the defendant from the community.
In the Braswell case
the Court didn‘t even question or look into why numerous supportive letters for the defendant from the community totally disappeared from the case files.
It’s evident from the Collins case that
in the Tennessee Criminal Justice System White defendants matter. She got relief and a new trial order.
It‘s evident from the Braswell case that
in the Tennessee Criminal Justice System Black defendants do not matter. He did not get relief or a new trial order.
God bless you.
Justice For Vern Braswell
& Black Defendants Matter
Please show your support for Vern being granted a Clemency release:
1) because of the injustices in his case
2) so he can continue working on his prison reform proposals and prison reform research and
3) because of his mother's rapidly failing health
by clicking the link below to send an email to TN's Gov Lee & the Clemency Unit. You MUST include your info in the email.
EMAIL THE GOV. & CLEMENCY DEPT
MEDIA COVERAGE OF VERN'S CASE
If you want to join Vern's family in helping to get Justice For Vern please contact, follow, and visit at J4VernBraswell@afmfm.org
This was composed in conjunction with Black Defendants Matter. BDM is responsible for researching and publicizing the Braswell case.
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State of Tennessee v. Jennifer Collins 986 S.W.2d 13
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