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Activists call on Gov to pardon John White

Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 5:23 p.m.

John White was not only defending his family, said Weatherspoon, but he was also a "victim of attempted robbery. Where is the sanctity of the home how much crap is someone supposed to put up with? Do people remember what happened in Texas with the neighbor who shot and killed people on somebody else's property?"

What seemed to be an ongoing conflict was exacerbated when one white teen and a subsequent Internet posting accused Aaron White of wanting to rape a white female friend of one of the teens.

On the fateful night, the same source of the fraudulent rumor allegedly called Aaron to let him know the gang was on their way to his home. The young man woke his dad around 11 p.m. to let him know.

John White has recounted how his family was terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama in the 1920s, including his grandfather's business being set alight. With that clearly in his mind, White took his loaded pistol, gave his son a shotgun, and went to confront the threat at the end of his driveway.

Even though White was confronted with the mob of white boys hurling racist taunts, as they spilled out of two cars at the end of his Suffolk County drive; the State Supreme Court appellate panel of four judges stated that the father of two should have simply stayed in his home and called 911.

The court noted that the altercation occurred 81 feet from the front door, but. Cicciaro was shot in the face at close range. Even though White has maintained that the gun went of accidentally, the appeals court ruled that there is "ample support for the jury's conclusion that a reasonable person in the defendant's position, and with his background and experiences, would not have believed that the use of deadly physical force was necessary to prevent the teenagers from unlawfully entering or attempting to enter his home to commit a crime, and that the shooting was thus not justified."

White has remained free on bail pending the appeal.

"[The] decision clearly and unequivocally supports the jury verdict in this case," said Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. "I am pleased that the court agreed with the prosecution that the defendant's actions were not justified under the law and that this tragedy could have been avoided had Mr. White stayed inside his home and called 911."

"It is what it is," Daniel Cicciaro Sr. said of the court's ruling, noting that he visits his son's grave every morning "before work to keep my sanity,".

"[John's] doing amazingly well under the circumstances," said Richard Mischel, one of White's attorneys. He told the AmNews that a conference call was being held late Wednesday afternoon to determine further legal action in terms of appealing the decision, and requesting an extension of the bail. "The appellant division confirmed the conviction," said Mischel. "So we are appealing the highest court for permission to file a second appeal, and to extend his stay of sentence, at least until the decision is made as to whether we can appeal."