A heavy-hearted story, updates come from a past segment with host Brian Shapiro. While at another radio show, Shapiro covered the news of an execution at a liquor store. April 2016, a young man by the name of Matthew Christiansen, a man with his whole life ahead of him, was working several jobs to make ends meet, just to get by. Those who knew him said he was a great person. He was working the cash register at Lee’s Liquor Store when three thugs entered, one of who had a gun. They try to rob the store, insisting Christiansen opens the safe. He wasn’t able to open the safe. As we know, all employees don’t have access to the safe. One of the managers that did have access to it was pregnant at the time. Christiansen saved her life, based on the police report, saying she didn’t have a way to open the safe. He protected her and saved her life. With Christiansen’s hands up, not threatening in any way, the “cold blooded piece of garbage animal,” twenty-six year old Charles Brown, shot Matthew Christiansen six times. He died on the way to the hospital. 

 

Days later, Shapiro spoke with Christiansen’s girlfriend on his show at the other station. She was obviously devastated, torn apart. She has since moved to get away from the incident. Shapiro also spoke with Christiansen’s brother. Stories were shared of this kid being a good guy, a hero, and how he saved the life of another individual. At the time of these interviews, police were still looking for the three suspects. Since then, the three have been identified. Two of them have had time behind bars. While they’re actions can’t be defended, they were certainly part of the incident and deserve to go to jail, they did not pull the trigger and do not deserve life in prison. Charles Brown is the one that executed Christiansen, not threatening, his arms in the air, for no reason at all. Shapiro hoped, before the suspects discovered, that Christiansen’s murder would get the death penalty. 

 

The prosecutors were going for the death penalty, but couldn’t get it. The jurors deliberated, with the death penalty off the table, deciding between life without the chance of parole or giving him a chance at parole. The jurors give life in prison with a chance at parole. This means Brown could serve twenty years, thirty years, but with a very good chance after good behavior could be released. However, Matthew Christiansen has no opportunity, no future, and no chance at a life after this incident. His life is extinguished, over, at the hands of Brown who still gets the privilege of life. 

 

Shapiro has a big problem with the possibility of parole. He is not against the death penalty, and believes that if the intention was to save Brown’s life to allow his children to visit him in prison, that could have been fine. Shapiro doesn’t believe he deserves life, but the rest of his life with no possibility of release would have been the minimum accepted. The fact that these jurors basically said, “It doesn’t matter if you execute somebody, it doesn’t matter if you end somebody’s life for no reason intentionally, cold blooded murder, but you behave behind bars you get a second chance at life.” Shapiro calls it “the injustice system,” and it is disgusting. Every one of those jurors should be ashamed of themselves. Shapiro asks, “what if it was a member of your family; your father, your mother, your daughter, your son that was executed and killed. Would you want to give that person another chance in society?” 

The Vegas Take Editor

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