Paying Attention: The Case of Marvin Guy

Mass incarceration is a problem in this country. The United States has the most people locked up in jails and prisons than any other country in the world. We also have the most people locked up in immigrant detention centers than anywhere else in the world, the majority of whom have not committed a crime. Even in United States jails, most people are locked up without being convicted of a crime. 

Would mass incarceration be a problem in the US if so many innocent people were not being locked away? How much is the jailing of innocent people because of corrupt prosecutors and police? Or does this system create corruption?Is it the cause of or the desired result of mass incarceration that black and brown people are not safe from armed police (the enforcing arm of the state) in our own homes, asleep at night?Such is the case of Marvin Guy. In Killeen, Texas, Marvin Guy is accused of fatally shooting an officer during a middle of the night no knock raid on Marvin Guy’s house while he was asleep . He has been in jail for 8 years now without a trial.

This is what happened… While Marvin and his partner were sleeping, the Killeen police started a no knock raid. The warrant for this raid was obtained because of faulty information. A “tipster” told the police that Marvin Guy had drugs in his house, but none were found after the raid.

When the cops started the raid, it was a disaster from the beginning. A flash grenade went off accidentally, causing chaos. Marvin Guy, not knowing what was going on, thought an intruder was trying to get into his house, so he shot at the window. An office died from injuries received during the raid. People suspect that one of the reasons that Marvin Guy’s case has never gone to trial is because there is no conclusive evidence that his bullet is the one that killed the officer who died in the raid. 

What makes Guy’s situation even more suspicious is that the presiding judge, John Gauntt placed a gag order on the case a few months after Marvin Guy’s arrest. Marvin Guy’s judge, Judge John Gauntt, who has also kept two other black people incarcerated in Bell County Jail for more than 5 years without a trial, Derrick Lamont Bailey and Bobbi Battishia White. Gauntt is a Republican, and his son also works for Bell County as an assistant county attorney. 

Is race and social status playing a role in this case? My suspicious is that the answer is yes. I will be continuing to monitor this case closely.

Written by: Vinisha PatelAdams _________________________________________________________________________________________