The Daily Grind Video
Jordan Davis’ Birthday Presents
Jordan Davis should have turned 19 on Sunday.  He should have been waking up to a kiss from his mother and the promise of cake and candles after dinner.  He should have been anticipating the possibility of gifts from his friends, his girlfriend and his parents. Instead he is gone, but on this, his 19th birthday, Jordan’s death and the trial that resulted have given us gifts that we can carry forever.
Jordan Gave Us Patience

The wait for a verdict in the trial over Jordan’s death seemed neverending.  The jury was out for almost 32 hours over four days, and hundreds if not thousands of us wore holes in the floor, pacing and waiting for justice.  Some could not imagine what was possibly taking so long, and others just hoped the wait would not lead to a compromise that may be difficult to swallow. However, the wait was peaceful and prayerful.  There was little to  no violence during the wait or after the verdict.  We learned patience from the wait, and that lesson will serve us well as we continue to wait for a resolution of Jordan’s case.Jordan Gave Us Forgiveness and Faith

When Jordan’s parents spoke after the verdict, they did not decry the system or rail out at the jury.  Jordan’s mother, Lucia McBath, said that they pray for Dunn and she has asked her family to pray for him as well.  Ron Davis, Jordan’s father, said”..we have love in our hearts and we want you all to love and have love in your hearts…”  If these parents, who have lost their son, can stand before us  and speak of love and forgiveness, how can we not have faith that such love and forgiveness is possible for all of us?

It is clear that both of Jordan’s parents have faith in something greater than what happened in that courtroom.  When Ms. McBath told MSNBC that “I believe that God’s hand is truly controlling everything that has happened” she gave us a way to believe that some good can come from this tragedy and there may be some reason for what, to many, seems like an unjust result.  This leads to the next and perhaps greatest gift.

Jordan Gave Us Determination

The issues we as a society need to address were never specifically raised in this case.  Gun control, Stand Your Ground laws and racial animosity are problems that need determined action to resolve.  Perhaps if there had been a guilty verdict in the case many of us would have felt it ok to be complacent on these issues.  Perhaps we would have said that while gun laws need changing and our children need protection, a jury can deal with these issues when they come up and we don’t need to be vigilant.  Perhaps we would have said that although the Stand Your Ground law seems dangerous, the jury was able to work it out and therefore we don’t need to rally to improve the law.  And perhaps we would have said that while it certainly seems that racism and fear still exist in our society, a jury can handle it and we don’t need to find a way to fight fear with love.  But here a jury could not reach a verdict, and so we cannot look away and leave it to somebody else, some other jury to make things right.  Perhaps Jordan’s biggest birthday gift to us is the reminder that we must stay determined and work to ensure that not another teenage boy fails to see his 19th birthday.

~Heather Hansen
Heather Hansen is a trial attorney and a partner at O’Brien and Ryan law firm. She is a national television legal analyst and author. You can follow her on twitter @ImHeatherHansen
“Ms. Hansen is a litigator and has tried cases in Philadelphia County, the surrounding counties and the Federal Courts. She has successfully defended hospitals and physicians in complex medical negligence litigation. A substantial portion of her practice involves catastrophic obstetric and orthopedic claims. Ms. Hansen has lectured extensively on these issues and has made presentations to the National Judicial Conference and at Grand Rounds at numerous hospitals. She has also co-authored two chapters in medical texts regarding medical malpractice litigation. She has served as a trained mediator for medical negligence claims for Health Care Resolutions. She speaks frequently for hospitals, universities and professional associations.”