On Monday, a Pierce County jury convicted three of four defendants--the majority of whom were relatives of the late Maurice Clemmons--of aiding the deranged cop killer as he sought to evade the authorities in the wake of his heinous homicides. The convicted trio will face 15 to 25 years of incarceration at a January 14 sentencing hearing, and Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist has pledged to seek the maximum. That's understandable, but let's hope the judge casts a more sympathetic ear to their plight, as the actions of some of those convicted were equally understandable, if not especially commendable.
Maurice Clemmons' crimes are indefensible, and in the end he got what he deserved. Granted, his posthumous inability to stand trial denied his victims' families a degree of cathartic closure, but nothing can bring those slain officers back. Had Clemmons gone on to murder other people after Davis and Nelson lent a hand to their distressed cousin/nephew, this argument might ring hollow, and that scenario is, admittedly, a legitimate way to poke a hole in this argument as is.
In the animal kingdom, protecting one's kin outstrips all other considerations. And humans are animals. Jungle law shouldn't have come into play when considering Davis' and Nelson's guilt, but it certainly merits consideration in determining whether they deserve to spend a good chunk of their lives behind bars for being dragged into the tailwind of a crime perpetuated by a member of their own flock.