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Zay Jackson Is A Hopeful Fool

The former Murray State guard has turned down the second plea deal that he was offered, and will now take his case to court - for better or worse. Probably worse.

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Jonathan Daniel

We have already covered the exact timeline of Murray State's Zay Jackson, and how it was that he made his way from "returning sophomore looking to help the Racers reach new heights" all the way down to "hope he remembers what civilian life is like when he's 21."

Ok, yes, that last part is a bit of hyperbolic exaggeration, but I use it to make a point - Zay Jackson is a damn fool. Let us recount the ways.

The initial incident involved Jackson deciding that the best way to resolve a dispute was to get into his car and attempt to run down his opponent with a hunk of metal. The first judge to take his case initially sentenced him to 30 days in jail, to be served on weekends so that he could attend class, plus a written apology to the victims and anger management.

Then media asked the judge (Dennis Foust) if his Murray State ties made he and his decisions biased. He said no, but recused himself from the case anyway before Jackson could be formally sentenced. The new judge, Craig Clymer, dismissed the plea deal as too lenient - despite prosecution being fine with the deal - and offered one of his own.

Jackson could accept the new deal - a year in prison, with the exception that he could be eligible for shock probation after 30 days, meaning that Jackson would only spend 30 days imprisoned. Jackson went away for a few weeks...and then decided that no, he would rather go to trial than accept that plea deal. This strikes me as a fool's errand.

The primary reason that Judge Clymer came to the decision that he did (fair or otherwise) was because he had the opportunity to watch the parking lot security video of the incident. How does Jackson think a jury is going to react to a viewing of that madness? I'm not sure what Jackson's lawyer is telling him.

It is possible that a jury may exercise a leniency similar to what Judge Foust intended, and gives him a sentence similar to what he was originally looking at. However, Jackson has now gone from guaranteeing himself no worse than 30 days in jail to only 50% odds of that. That now goes alongside 50% odds that a jury doesn't like him, his behavior, or his belief that they would go easy on him, and finds the biggest book they can get to throw at him and "teach him a lesson."

Good luck to you at your trail, Mr. Zaveral Jackson (his arraignment is tomorrow) - hopefully you won't regret passing on that initial offer.