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Arizona's Noon News & Karie Dozer

Grief can trigger madness, but does it excuse killing?

Barajas brothers (Screenshot)

This is a moral dilemma.

Back on Dec. 7, David Barajas and his two sons were pushing his disabled pickup truck toward their house outside of Houston. Barajas' two youngest children were in the cab with their mother.

They were 50 yards from home when a suspected drunk driver plowed into the back of the truck. Barajas' 12-year-old son, David, Jr., was killed immediately. Caleb, 11, later died at the hospital.

According to police and witnesses, in the moments after the crash, Barajas walked into his home and came out with a gun. He then walked over to Jose Banda's car and shot him in the head, killing him.

This week Barajas has been charged with murder in Brazoria County.

But isn't there a primal instinct that says he was justified? Perhaps, but we do have to allow the judicial process to play out. Barajas took another man's life. Maybe he'll be found guilty, maybe he won't be. If he is, he could face the death penalty in Texas. Therein lies the moral dilemma.

Think about it. He lost his two sons. His reaction was to take the life of the person responsbile. I'm not sure if Barajas knew Banda was drunk. I doubt that mattered to him -- his sons mattered to him. At the same time Banda's mother lost her son too.

The dead man's aunt told a Texas TV station, "It was an accident. He didn't purposely do that. Whoever did it is getting away with murdering my nephew. He deserves justice."

Honestly, I'm not sure what I would do in this situation but I'm leaning towards a guilty verdict with a pretty light sentence.

If you were on that jury, what would you do? There doesn't seem to be a clear right or a clear wrong answer in this case.

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About the Author


Rob spent his formative years growing up in Massachusetts, but after graduating from Emerson College in Boston, he's had the privilege of living in Florida, New Orleans and New Mexico. Rob & his wife Amy have lived in Phoenix since 2006 when he joined KTAR. Rob is passionate about our freedom and rights -- something he learned to love while growing up in the Boston area.

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