Bad Decisions, Intolerable Killing

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- We can only hope that yesterday’s conviction of two gang members for the murder of Dawnn Jaffier in 2014 will bring some measure of peace to her family.

They did not stop to talk to reporters after the verdict, and since the killers’ lawyers are indicating they will continue to work the system on behalf of their clients, the family may yet have to wait for justice, let alone peace.

I have never met the Jaffiers. But my own sons were about Dawnn’s age when this vicious crime occurred.

And while any murder of an innocent bystander is gut-wrenching, there was something especially appalling about what happened to Dawnn.

In the picture of her shown in court and on TV since this atrocity went down, Dawnn is smiling broadly, her eyes shining. She was considered a star by her family and friends, and was devoted to mentoring kids at West End House.

She had gone out early in the morning with friends to participate in a parade that precedes Boston’s annual Caribbean festival, and was in the wrong place at the wrong time when gang members decided it was a good idea to exchange gunfire in the middle of Blue Hill Ave.

During the trial, one of the prosecutors compared Dawnn’s death with that of Milena del Valle, the woman crushed to death in the 2006 collapse of the Big Dig tunnel ceiling. Both tragedies, he said, reflect “how cruel fate can be.”

True enough.

But in both cases, those innocent bystanders were killed by conscious, grossly-irresponsible decision-making.

Big Dig workers cut corners; selfish young punks didn’t care about human life.

Evil negligence and carelessness, not fate, was in charge.

Maybe we should keep that top of mind as we consider how to stop it from happening again.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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