Guns

The jury verdict in the attempted-murder trial of Temple Law student Gerald Ung came out on Tuesday, but people are still talking about the case.

Some readers have complained about our repeated use of Gerald Ung’s mugshot to illustrate our stories. In yesterday’s linkwrap, we mixed it up a bit, using a more formal photo of Ung.

The other day, a reader sent us a more colorful image of this new celebrity of the legal profession….

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Gerald Ung (left) and Eddie DiDonato (right)

Judging from the comments section of our last story about Gerald Ung — which is still active, like a volcano — many of you are still interested in talking about the Temple Law student shooter. Even though Ung was quickly acquitted of all charges arising out of the January 2010 shooting of Edward DiDonato Jr., the trial goes on — in the court of public opinion.

We’ve selected a handful of stories from the avalanche of news and blogosphere coverage that we believe merit your attention. You can check them out — one of them reveals what Gerald Ung’s future plans are, while another has the reaction to the verdict of Eddie DiDonato’s father, a prominent partner at Fox Rothschild — after the jump.

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Gerald Ung (left) and Edward DiDonato Jr. (right)

Well that didn’t take long, did it? The jury in the case of Commonwealth v. Ung began deliberations at 11:32 a.m., and it just returned a verdict of “not guilty,” around 4 p.m. Eastern time. Gerald Ung, the Temple Law student who was charged with attempted murder in connection with a January 2010 shooting in the Old City section of Philadelphia, has been acquitted.

This news might not come as a huge shock. In our reader poll, over 90 percent of you said you’d vote “not guilty” if you were jurors.

Congratulations to Ung — who testified on his own behalf yesterday, arguing that he acted in self-defense — and to Ung’s very fine defense lawyer, the renowned Jack McMahon.

Does this mean that Gerald Ung, 29, gets his life back? Can things go back to normal for him and for the Ung family?

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A little over half an hour ago — shortly before noon, after receiving instructions from Judge Glynnis Hill — a jury of six men and six women began its deliberations in Commonwealth v. Ung, the criminal trial of Temple Law student Gerald Ung. Ung has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and other offenses, arising out of a January 2010 shooting incident. Ung shot Eddie DiDonato, a former Villanova lacrosse captain and the son of a partner at Fox Rothschild, in what Ung claims was self-defense.

Above the Law readers seem sympathetic to Ung. At the current time, in our reader poll, over 90 percent of you would vote “not guilty” on the main charge of attempted murder. (The poll is still open; you can vote over here.)

How long will the jury deliberate? Will we end up with a hung jury, or an Ung jury, or some convictions?

Stay tuned. We’ll bring you the verdict as soon as we learn of it. (Of course, please feel free to email us or text us (646-820-8477) if you happen to get the news before we do.)

UPDATE: Read about the jury verdict over here.

Jury gets case of student charged in Old City shooting [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Earlier: Commonwealth v. Ung: The Defendant Takes the Stand
Prior ATL coverage of Gerald Ung

Testimony is now over in the trial of Gerald Ung, the Temple Law student facing charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault stemming from a shooting in January 2010. Ung shot Eddie DiDonato, a former Villanova lacrosse captain and the son of a politically connected partner at the Fox Rothschild law firm.

Throughout the trial, Ung’s counsel, renowned Philadelphia defense lawyer Jack McMahon, has argued that his client acted in self-defense. As he said in his opening statement, “This case is about privileged, drunken bullies, four guys, tough guys, big-muscle guys. It’s unfortunate what happened to this young man [DiDonato], but it was their own fault.”

Today Gerald Ung got to drive this point home, in his own words. In a rare move for a criminal defendant, Ung took the stand, testifying for almost two hours.

How did Ung do? Let’s find out — and play the role of jurors, by voting in a reader poll….

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Gerald Ung (left) and Edward DiDonato Jr. (right)

In response to our last story about Gerald Ung — the Temple Law student now on trial for attempted murder and aggravated assault (among other charges), after shooting Eddie DiDonato, a former Villanova lacrosse captain and the son of a prominent Fox Rothschild partner — some commenters expressed the view that our coverage was too favorable to the prosecution.

Look — we have no dog in this fight. It seems that the part of the post readers found most objectionable was a blockquote from a source who attended the trial, which we reprinted simply because it was from someone actually present in the courtroom. Sadly, Above the Law doesn’t have a Philadelphia bureau. If you’ve been attending the trial and would like to share your thoughts with us, we’d love to hear from you.

Another reason why the earlier story might have seemed more pro-prosecution is that it was describing the prosecution’s side of the case and the early prosecution witnesses. Now that the trial has been going on for several days, a fuller version of events has emerged. This will culminate tomorrow, when defendant Gerald Ung is expected to take the stand. This is not typical — it happens more on TV and in the movies than in real life — but then again, this is not the typical case. Ung’s defense lawyer, Jack McMahon, may be betting on the ability of his client — a law student, presumably intelligent and articulate — to win over the jury.

Let’s learn more about what’s been going on at the trial over the past few days — and hear some juicy tidbits about defense counsel McMahon….

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As a deeply self-loathing Asian-American, I do not support Asians shooting white people. The white people were nice enough to let us (or our ancestors) into this great country of theirs; the least we can do is show some gratitude.

In addition, as an emasculated Asian male (is that redundant?), I don’t like guns. Of course, I respect the Second Amendment, and I’m not endorsing any specific gun-control legislation. Legal and constitutional questions aside, I just think that guns are icky and scary and bad, and the world would be a better place if nobody had them.

Given all my weird hang-ups about Asians and guns, I probably wouldn’t have made it on to the jury in Commonwealth v. Ung. The criminal trial of (former?) Temple Law student Gerald Ung — a gun-toting Asian accused of shooting Eddie DiDonato, a former Villanova lacrosse captain and the son of a prominent Fox Rothschild partner — got underway in Philadelphia this week.

And Ung’s lawyer, defense attorney Jack McMahon, seems to be standing up for the right of his client to shoot some bros — in self-defense, of course….

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Do we really need to make it easier for people to have weapons on school campuses? Really? We’re not worried about school shootings anymore? Is the Second Amendment really so broad that it requires us to allow students to weaponize their law school dorm rooms? Is there no “safe zone” in America where I can go and be reasonably assured of not being hit with an unintended, stray, accidental bullet fired from a hand cannon a man was legally allowed to possess just because George Washington needed some well-armed farmers to defeat the British?

According Idaho Law 2L Aaron Tribble, his right to have a firearm in his dorm room trumps his classmates’ rights to not have to live on campus with potentially crazy gunmen in legal possession of weapons. Tribble has filed suit against the University of Idaho over its policy that bans guns on campus.

He claims that the rule violates his Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights to possess a gun in his on-campus home…

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Investigators looking at surveillance footage from the Tucson attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords say that Chief Judge John Roll died a hero. According to the New York Times, the video shows that Judge Roll apparently died while helping to save the life of Ronald Barber, a Giffords staffer. Barber, who was shot twice while standing near Congresswoman Giffords, survived the attack and has since left the hospital.

The descriptions of Judge Roll’s actions during the shooting are amazing…

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Don’t watch nothing say him white. Him blacker than me and you.

Buju Banton, the celebrated reggae musician, speaking about his lawyer, David Oscar Markus — whom he called up to the stage and hugged at a recent concert.

(Markus, who is also a legal blogger as well as a prominent criminal defense lawyer, is representing the Grammy-nominated Banton in an upcoming retrial on federal drug and firearms charges. Markus doesn’t look very black.)

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