Can There Be Justice For These Murders?
He managed an apartment building in Burbank. He was an Armenian, a Christian, a man who came to America to become a part of the country, even as he lived within the warm familiarity of Burbank's large Armenian community.
Another resident of the building, Manyam Masihi, was also killed, and Farhadian's son Oshin was shot in the shoulder and is still hospitalized. Read the news report here.
I bring up this tragedy, that looms huge in the lives of three families, but will pass by unnoticed by America, because the murderer, an Armenian man named Rafael Shirinian, killed himself as police arrived, leaving me with a very big question I'd like your thoughts on: Was justice served?
The murders were, even by murder's low standard, extremely unnecessary. Shirinian went on his bloddy rampage (shooting Farhadian 11 times, although you wouldn't know that from the coverage) because Farhadian didn't have a parking space available for Shirinian at the apartment building.
(It was poor urban planning that killed these folks, but that's another story....)
Shirinian had been arguing and fighting about it for some time over the matter and seemed unable to take no for an answer. Finally, he snapped, shooting Vahik as he arrived back at the building from the grocery. Oshin took off into Masihi's appartment and escaped out the window with Masihi's two children. Shirinian killed Masihi after she warned off another person who was about to walk onto the scene. He shot at but missed that person, who fled.
All over a parking space!
And in the end, as police closed in, Shirinian pointed the gun at his chest and pulled the trigger. Police attempted to revive him, but he died.
The Farhadian family will now have no chance to see Shirinian stand trial and face charges for the murders he committed. They will not be able to face him, or tell the court the pain he caused. They will not see him hauled off in chains to prison, as he presumably would be, given the evidence. And they won't see him executed by the state.
Shirinian got off easy, although ID#1 points out that he did suffer more pain for longer with the gunshot to the chest than he would have experienced with a gunshot to the head. But is a few minutes of pain enough to provide justice?
Is the family actually better off, having avoiding defense attorney theatrics and the risk that the jury will not provide justice?
Are the courts an elemental and necessary component of justice? If they're not, would justice have been served if someone other than Shirinian had killed him? Finally, if justice was not served, is there any way the Farhadian family can find it? If not, what will the impact on them be?