Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Growing Police State: Messin' With Dershowitz Edition

I haven't really kept up with the George Zimmerman case in Florida.  From my understanding of the facts currently in evidence, the very fact that he was charged with any crime is a miscarriage of justice.  Once I reached that conclusion, I mostly quit paying attention, except for the occasional news piece that I either couldn't avoid, or that piqued my interest for some other reason.

So, when I read at Ace of Spades that the State Prosecutor, Angela Corey, had threatened to sue Harvard Law School and Alan Dershowitz for "libel and defamation" (shouldn't that be "libel and slander" or just "defamation?"), I had to check it out.  Indeed, after his very pointed criticisms of how this case has been (mis)handled, Ms. Corey did call Harvard Law School and threaten to sue then and Mr. Dershowitz.

Mr. Dershowitz does a fine job of taking down her argument, so I'll leave that in his most capable hands.  What he only barely addresses, though, is this: why on earth would a State Employee believe she had any right to attempt to silence a private citizen giving an opinion about a public matter?  What the heck is going on here?

Angela Corey is a State Prosecutor.  The George Zimmerman trial is a very public matter; indeed, it has received much national press.  This means even a lay person such as I gets to say things like "Angela Corey is a stuttering clusterf*ck of a miserable prosecutor," and she can't say a thing about it.  It's called the First Amendment.  Maybe she should look it up.  In fact, I bet she doesn't have to go that far.  Every State also has freedom of speech and freedom of press protections in their own Constitutions; no Federal Constitution required.

So how is it that Ms. Corey thought she could get away with this?  It's because we live in a Police State.  I've chronicled it here, and will continue to do so, but we are continually sliding into a world where the average American will be judged based on "The Innocent have nothing to hide," instead of "Innocent until proven guilty."  Ms. Corey is part of that culture, she quite obviously believes it to be the correct one.

How can we surmise otherwise?  Even before this incident, she filed a false affidavit of probable cause with the Florida Courts.  Her affidavit left out, not just "exculpatory" evidence, but even otherwise neutral evidence that would have affirmed Mr. Zimmerman's general trustworthiness.  And, yet, she did not hesitate for a moment to have him thrown back in jail for failing to disclose his legal defense fund.  Irony, thy name is Corey.

I'll end with a quote from Dershowitz's piece:

"If Angela Corey doesn’t like the way freedom of expression operates in the United States, there are plenty of countries where truthful criticism of prosecutors and other government officials result in disbarment, defamation suits and even criminal charges.

We do not want to become such a country."

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