Jury finds Espinoza guilty in the murder of Jamiel Shaw Jr.

By Alex A. Alonso
Streetgangs.com Staff Writer
May 9, 2012 | 4:09 p.m.

LOS ANGELES – After about 4 hours of deliberations the jury found 18th Street gang member Pedro Espinoza guilty of 1st degree murder in the 2008 killing of Jamiel Shaw Jr.

While walking home in the Washington Heights neighborhood, Shaw crossed paths with Espinoza who had just left Torres’ home on the same block Shaw lived.

Espinoza approached Shaw, gang words were exchanged, and Espinoza shot Shaw twice, once in the abdomen, and then in the head.

The jury deliberated for about 20 minutes on Tuesday and they had a verdict by 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, deliberating just under 4 hours.

The guilty verdict also included special circumstances that the jury found to be true which makes Espinoza, then 19, eligible for the death penalty.

The guilt phase of the trial will occur next week, and that will determine if Espinoza will be sentenced to death.

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Alex Alonso is an author, film maker, founder of Streetgangs.com, and a criminal trial consultant. He is a contributing author in the book Black Los Angeles: American Dreams Racial Realities (New York University Press). He can be reached via email, toll free at 800-249-1324 or on Twitter.

Posted by on May 9 2012. Filed under Features, People of CA v. Pedro Espinoza. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

18 Comments for “Jury finds Espinoza guilty in the murder of Jamiel Shaw Jr.”

  1. he may be sentenced to death

  2. Pimp Cup

    How do you get the death penalty when a gang members ki*ls another gang member? Is that even common?

  3. Gold max

    Jamiel didnt deserve to get murked like that.

    • Fall Guy

      Jamiel got murked because he was claiming a Blood gang and saying 18th Street ki*lah. I just heard on the radio that Pedro got the death penalty because he ki*led Jamiel who was mistaken to be a gang members – please! media lies.

  4. Tania

    This is a sad story all around. First because a human life was taken over such a stupid thing, and second because a system who treats people like animals, instead of rehabilitating them keep creating monsters out of human beings. I believe gang members are oppressed individuals who use external oppression toward other individuals just like them not even realizing it. I feel for Jamiel Shaw and Pedro Espinoza, they were both part of a sick game called gangs. Yes I did say I feel bad for Pedro; i feel bad for him because from what i know he became a gang member in his early teens (as most gang members do), a time when you don’t really consider how the decisions you make will affect your future. Gang members are brain wash from the moment they join the gang, they are told to hate people they don’t even know, how their supposed to dress, and act. I think of gangs as cults. The problem is society forgets that gang members are human beings who can change and become productive members of society. The system in place, were you lock them up and throw away the key is clearly not working. The prison system needs to change, there needs to be rehabilitation. I believe education is the key because knowledge is power. Sociology, Public Speaking, and Psychology clblankes should be mandatory in prisons. If they are able to understand why they do the things they do maybe we’ll stop them before they go too far.

  5. Sonia

    I agree with Tania. Something needs to change! Its ridiculous that society expects people who have been incarcerated to get out and act like normal productive members of society after being treated like animals for years. This case is proof that prisons are clearly not rehabilitating prisoners.

  6. Michelle

    The death penalty is hypocritical; society is punishing someone for taking a human a life by taking a human life, isn’t that ironic!? There’s people who commit worse crimes and don’t get the death penalty (child ki*lers, serial rapist, ect), they’re ignoring facts (like the victim was a gang member himself) giving this guy the death penalty because the victims mother was in the ARMY. The gang members kil#i*gg other gang members every day i never saw them care so much. So ridiculous!

  7. Dnedra

    What’s the special circumstance???? Was it, the victim’s mother is in the ARMY so let’s give him death?!?!?! The crime was a gang member kil#i*gg another gang member (similar crimes like this happen all the time). They’re making too much of this case. They’re giving this guy the death penalty to show that Jamel was “more important” than other gang members who are murdered simply because his mother is in the ARMY. Isn’t that crazy!!!! What this guys did was WRONG, but instead of giving him death they need to figure out where the system went wrong (he had just been release from jail and obviously was not rehabilitated) and try and fix it. They need to figure out a better way of trying to stop kids from joining gangs, and help gang members see that they can change and that there is a way out of that lifestyle.
    If you think about it the way prisons are run today, prisons are a school of crime. There’s a bunch of criminals giving each other ideas of how to commit crimes without making the same mistakes that got them caught. They need to give prisoners the tools they need to be able to fit in society when release. Tools like teaching them how to get jobs and/or psychological help (a lot of these people have psychological issues). The whole lock them up and throw away the key system is not working. Most gangmembers “choose” to be gang members at a young age (12 to 14 years old), these kids don’t know what they’re doing with their life at this age, they just want to fit in. How about helping them see that there’s more out there than their “neighborhood” and trying to show them that they been brain wash.
    Giving this guy the death penalty will not bring Jamel back or solve anything!!!!!!

  8. Daniel

    What’s the special circumstance???? Was it, the victim’s mother is in the ARMY so let’s give this guy death?!?!?! The crime was a gang member kil#i*gg another gang member (similar crimes like this happen all the time). They’re making too much of this case. They’re giving this guy the death penalty to show that Jamel was “more important” than other gang members who are murdered simply because his mother is in the ARMY. Isn’t that!!!!! Waisting tax payers money on bs.

  9. Daniel

    ** isn’t that crazy!!!!!

  10. themostknownunknown

    It’s no big secret. Shaw just got caught slippin’ that’s it. Dude claimin’ bloods and he died for it. That’s the price of admission for claimin’ a set. Besides, chances are if he wasn’t ki*led by someone from 18st he was going to get ki*led at the hands of either another blood or a Crip. Young kids need to be aware of what they’re tryin’ to represent when they takin’ pics in these colors and putting them on fb and myspace tryin’ to be like Lil’ Wayne or somebody.

    • FUCKTHEWORLD by

      ALL YOU PIECE OF sh*% MUTHERf#@$kERS R SO IGNORANT AND HYPOCCRITICAL BE REAL AND JUST ADMIT IT THIS LIL 17 YR OLD WANNABE BLUUD guy ACTIN LIKE HE BANGING AND ALL GOT HISELF ki*lED DONT ACT ON IT IF U AINT ABOUT IT f#@$kEN CRYBABIES ALWAYS CRYING ABOUT SOMETHING I DONT AGREE WITH PEDRO ESPINOZA GETTING DEATH PENALTY SOONER OR LATER HELL GET OUT ON SOME PROPOSITION U GUYS WATCH AND SEEE AND FOR THE PARENTS PLAYING THAT RACISM BULLsh*% LIKE EVERY OTHER BLACK CRYBABY DOES GET THE f#@$k OUTTA HERE WITH THAT BULLsh*% ALWAYS TRYING TO GET SYMPATHY BOUT UR ANCENSTORS WAHHHHWAHHHHWAHHHH JAMUL KNEW WHAT HE WAS FWTTING HIS MARKK blank INTO HAD HIS PARENTS SO BULLsh*%TED THEY ACT LIKE HE WAS SO INNOCENT I SAY OH WELLL f#@$kEM ALL

  11. Loko TRiGGz

    f#@$k the system that’s all I gotta say..cause mutha f#@$kers ki*l 2 persons at the same and don’t even get the death penalty ..

  12. LATINO

    pedro got the death penalty he deserved it jamiel shaw was a gang member dow or a wannabe wheter the parents think he was not a blood member or not pedro is a scum cause this was a racial thing and gang affiliated but what i dont like about jamiel shaws dad is him wanting police to harrase innocent latino workers

  13. angelica

    “Gang violence occurs often because of racial oppression. It is a common perception that most gang members are of a minority race. The anger that conjures in a racially oppressed group can be the explanation for the formation of gangs and the execution of violence. Blacks and Hispanics are the most commonly referred to races when discussing gang violence as a social problem. Their oppression, specifically African Americans, is sourced back to the pre-Civil Rights movement, and the resentment formed from that oppression causes underprivileged minorities to lash back in violent ways. This mindset sets the stage for a lot of racially charged gang violence throughout lower clblank, metropolitan areas. It can be seen in many ways as an extremist form of the black power movement, Unfortunately, the violent culture that was originally established from a back lash due to oppression has disbanded those original intentions. Nowadays, gang factions within races fight against each other rather than together as a race. Although counterproductive to the progression of minorities, violence within races is common”

  14. angelica

    Fact: Most sociologists and biologists believe race is a social construct, meaning it does not have a basis in the natural world but is simply an artificial distinction created by humans.

  15. angelica

    Minorities need to stop creating divisions between them and realize that we are all one “race,” the HUMAN RACE. We are all equal and should work together to make better opportunities for each other. kil#i*gg each other for a senseless reason such as the gang you claim makes no sense. These kids need to value their life (they only have one) and realize that there is way more in this world than the few blocks they called “their” neighborhood. I grew up in a primary Black and Hispanic neighborhood and it was sad to see that people who were friends when they were kids had to become enemies because they joined gangs that didn’t get along. The worst part is most of them didn’t even know why they shouldn’t like the other gang members they were just told that those were their enemies and like the followers they were, they listened and hate people that for the most part they didn’t even know. Its a sad world when we minorities destroy our own communities instead of helping make it better for all who live there.

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