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Man avoids murder conviction in killing over parking space

Original post made on Nov 17, 2013

A man who shot and killed an East Palo Alto resident following a parking dispute between two women was convicted of voluntary manslaughter on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, November 17, 2013, 9:45 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2013 at 10:18 am

> On Aug. 12, 2009, Dante Rodney Strauter, 24, of San Jose, shot and killed Joel Long, 27

> Strauter faced a possible murder conviction, but a San Mateo County jury convicted him of the lesser voluntary manslaughter charge and an enhancement for use of a firearm. He faces up to 12 years in prison


This means that Dante Rodney Strauter, 24, after 12 years or less in prison will come out at 36 or younger bitter, with no way to survive and nothing to do but be a criminal, and young enough to be successful at hurting other people? He's already killed someone over an argument over parking ... what is in store for the public in the future?

I do not understand this calculation of justice?

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm


Because it services the criminal justice industry.

Our schools are failing, but we have the highest incarceration rate and the highest recidivism rate in the developed world. Prison is the university of crime, and we graduate more PhD's than anyone, and those Doctors of crime go on to victimize society, get caught, incarcerated, released, etc, etc, etc.

It won't stop until the profit for creating hardened criminals is removed from the criminal justice industry.

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Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2013 at 6:21 am

Why wasn't the woman involved also convicted of a crime? Accessory? Lock that idiot up too.

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Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 18, 2013 at 10:44 am

The awful woman who brought him to where she was should be convicted of being an accomplice, and he should have been convicted of murder, because they, with willful intent, went back to the scene of the argument. Sounds pretty premeditated to me! Even if not intent to kill, definitely the intent to harm.
Guess the DA or the jury isn't on the ball in San Mateo County.

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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 18, 2013 at 10:50 am

2 Outside Observer-

"Schools are failing" is not universally true. They do very well for most. Don't blame "the schools" for the behavior of a rage-aholic with a gun who shows up to shoot someone after his girlfriend[?] tells him somebody wouldn't move her car.

NO! Blame parents who clearly didn't effectively teach impulse control. Did they even make him go to school? Truancy is a problem which requires very active parental participation to correct. A kid who behaves dangerously toward his schoolmates & teachers must be removed from the campus for the safety if others. How is that a school failure? Someone in the household in which you grew up probably insisted that you went to school, behaved while you were there, and implied that there were possible consequences for not doing so.

Maybe some voluntary chemical thrills were part of this guy's behavior that night. Lower the charge because he'll never, ever, use drugs again? He's promised! Drug or alcohol abuse by an adult, if this was a factor, have nothing to do with "the schools." It goes back to values, choices, and consequences, for which the foundation & reinforcement responsibility lands squarely on the parents or guardians.

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Posted by My 2 cents
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2013 at 10:59 am

He will not even do the full 12 years for killing someone but they keep the non-violent law breakers in jail/prison and they get more time than this guy. The prisons keep as many as they can because they get paid by the day for each and every one of them. WE pay for them to get 3 meals and a bed. Majority of them are minorities and partly due to the way the laws are set up. How can you get 5 years for a piece of rock cocaine and 6 mos for the same amount of powder cocaine? Why? Because the rock cocaine was brought here and introduced to the lower class communities (Oakland, East Palo Alto, Brooklyn, Detroit)to destroy the african american people. They weren't planning on it sucking in white people too! Then the ones that eventually get out, their only option is to commit crimes to live. As felons they cannot get a job so what are they supposed to do? I don't condone it and if they had not commited a crime they would not be there. Some are there for simple things as stealing food on a 3 strike and now have 25-life. This is just plain stupid! But even those that get degrees while locked up still cannot get a job. Again I ask, what are they supposed to do?

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Posted by At a Loss...
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2013 at 11:07 am

I can't believe I've read such absurd story!
If he were a San Jose or East Palo Alto man that killed a Palo Alto man MURDER WOULD BE THE CHARGE, NO DOUBT.
I'm at a loss for words (very rare) but that man should be charged with murder and that woman should be charged with voluntary manslaughter for her part in it. If she would've left and not returned he would still be alive.
Choose your peers and associates wisely.

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Posted by Mohammed
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2013 at 11:55 am

The question here why only 12 years for premeditated murder?

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Posted by Juror
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm

There are 2 sides to every story. The articles leave out a lot of what happened. The defendant's cousin did not refuse to move her car in the first place. The female driver of the car she blocked in told her it was OK to park there. She never had an argument with the other woman and not one person on either side testified to that. She had a bottle thrown at her by the driver's friend, the victim, who was high on meth(proven), because she did not move her car fast enough. She was there and parked right in front because she was driving the victim's grandmother from a nursing home. She was in the bathroom when the victim came in yelling for her to move her car and yelling at his grandmother to tell the girl she "better move her car." She came out and said "all you had to do was ask me to move it" and started towards her car when he threw the bottle. She told her cousin what happened when she got home. He had been staying with her and was on his way out. The defendant and his cousin did not return there together. The defendant went there by himself on his way somewhere. He just wanted to find out from his cousin's boyfriend, who also lived at the victim's house, what had happened. His cousin showed up later, which she should not have done. The article says he "returned to his car, grabbed a handgun and shot before fleeing." He returned to his car, calm and unarmed by most accounts on both side, and tried to leave but was boxed in. Even the victim's camp agreed with that. He was then threatened by the high-on-meth victim and had no way to leave. That is when he pulled his gun out. Most of us do not carry guns around. Unfortunately, many people who live in rough neighborhoods carry them, if anything, for protection. Of course the defendant's version may not be entirely true either, but several key points were corroborated by both sides. None of us will know the exact way it happened, but the prosecution was not able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was premeditated. It would seem that way from all the news articles, but they are slanted and almost all are quotes from the prosecution. If anyone knows how our system operates, people are innocent until proven guilty and he just was not proven guilty of premeditated murder. The decision by the jury was fair based on the evidence. He was not given a free pass, but charged with the only level there was enough proof for. There is nothing absurd about that.

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Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Assuming the Juror's account is accurate, I applaud the comments. Like all of us, the press, the public, the letter writers and commenters--all need a comeuppance once in a while. This is a possible great example. We all have axes to grind, unaware as we are to our own prejudices. Again assuming the letter is as well based as it seems to be, it is a wonderful "exam" of the media and may it humble us all. Thank you.

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Posted by wally
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 18, 2013 at 10:47 pm

wally is a registered user.

Posted by At a Loss..., a resident of Midtown

I can't believe I've read such absurd story!
If he were a San Jose or East Palo Alto man that killed a Palo Alto man MURDER WOULD BE THE CHARGE, NO DOUBT.


Murder was the charge. he faced a jury. End of story.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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