A fight breaks out on a Bay Area Rapid Transit train, BART police officer Johannes Mehserle subdues a perp, reaches for a weapon, shoots subdued perp, weapon turns out to be a gun, perp is dead. Cop goes to trial, is convicted of involuntary manslaughter and not murder; the jury believes Mehserle's claim that he thought he was reaching for his Taser. Thugs riot, because the transit cop didn't get a murder sentence.
Radley Balko says the jury gave the right verdict
. Key is the defendant's immediate reaction to the shooting, caught on surveillance tape and confirmed by witnesses. Read the whole thing.