Joe McKnight was an elusive football player, but the justice system did him dirty. McKnight was killed in 2016 in a road rage incident in New Orleans. This week, the Supreme Court ruled that the killer of McKnight cannot be retried after his previous conviction was overturned.
Ronald Gesser shot and killed McKnight back in 2016 and was initially charged with second degree murder for the fatal shooting. During his trial Gesser claimed he was acting in self-defense and would eventually plead guilty to a lesser manslaughter charger. The crazy thing is the court overturned the charged because the ruling came from a non-unanimous jury which was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Prosecutors wanted another chance to charge Gesser but that was denied in court this week.
According to the Associated Press this was their statement and reasoning:
But the seven-member Supreme Court agreed with lower court rulings that trying Gasser again on the murder charge would violate his constitutional protection against double jeopardy.
Writing for the court, Justice Jay McCallum said state and federal double jeopardy protection “bars the reinstatement and retrial of a defendant on a higher charge when he has been lawfully convicted of a lesser included offense, even though the conviction is later vacated.”
Our law system is broken, this is tragic and sad for the family. The man that killed Joe McKnight will walk free. It was not self-defense, he followed Joe McKnight down an off-ramp that he did not ever travel, then shot him outside his car. This was a huge dropped ball by the courts. So sad.