There is a lot to say about this case. If the roles were reversed, Mr. Botham Jean would probably face the death penalty for shooting a white, female cop in her apartment. Heck, the only reason anyone considered the defense at all is that she was a police officer. If it were two citizens, the accident would not have been much of a consideration. And it would not have made the news. It is also unlikely a citizen would have been so quick to shoot and kill.
This is a tragedy no matter what. Mr. Jean and his family would suffer regardless of the trial result and sentence. Convictions do not cure pain. Closure does not come in the courtroom. (There will be appeals, too.) Dealing with the pain of losing someone, or the pain of being a victim of a violent crime or sexual crime takes more than any court can give. I recommend therapy. If anyone promises you closure through a conviction, they are lying to you and they know it and you should seek other sources for your healing.
As a person tired of seeing police shoot black and brown people (and poor white people), and people with mental disabilities, I am happy for any conviction of a police officer. Some might say this is a form of lynching. I hope officers work to avoid shootings. Police need training on de-escalation and ways to avoid shooting/killing. They need to be trained on how to distinguish true life and death situations from the other 99.99% of situations in the world. The true perpetrator was bad training leading to bad thinking.
As a criminal defense attorney, I hear people say the castle doctrine or self-defense should not be allowed to be argued to a jury. This I cannot abide. Self-defense in all its forms is a protection for the individual when the government tries to second guess decisions, tough ones, that result in harm. When the press is involved, prosecutors start thinking like politicians and stop caring about the facts as much as a future election. Justice is not found in the press. The press is about selling papers. The press will make the facts seem a certain way to get more eyeballs, more clicks, more advertising dollars. Politician prosecutors will think their name and photograph means they can go to Congress or the Senate or maybe even President. But, at least they become a judge.
In Colorado, self-defense is allowed to be argued even if there is only a scintilla of evidence. Very small. A judge excludes the defense only very rarely because they know the appellate courts will overturn the conviction. The law is designed to allow a citizen accused of a crime to present their defense. It is up to the jury to decide if the defense is viable. I believe in this theory. And, in the case, it appears the jury found the defense to be lacking. In another case, they might say this defense was viable. I am not in favor of limiting self-defense, a right of the people. I favor the wisdom of the jury that sees and hears all the evidence.
Colorado has a make my day law that allows a judge to dismiss cases where the person is defending themselves, their family, or guests from intruders. The defense can also be argued to a jury if the judge does not dismiss. The basic tenants of self-defense are that you reasonably believe you are facing danger and that your response is reasonable to stop or prevent the danger you face. The greater the danger, the greater the force you can use to prevent it.
While I hope I never have to use force against a person, if I do need to, I want self-defense to be a strong, fully developed personal right so I do not get convicted for protecting myself or my people. These rights may not be perfectly applied or argued, but when we need them, I want them there. Most of the time, a jury will do the right thing.