Monday, July 15, 2013

A Miscarriage of Justice

A 17 year old young man is dead.  His family are emotionally wounded, perhaps shattered.  The man who killed him walks free; his conscience is the only punishment (outside of punishment of standing trial) he will receive- provided someone seeking vigilante justice does not kill him.

And none of that is a miscarriage of justice.  The miscarriage of justice is that he was tried in the first place.  The miscarriage of justice is that the young man's family was told their son was murdered, and that the murderer would be jailed.  The miscarriage of justice is that people today want the gunman dead.

I speak, of course, of the case of Florida v Zimmerman, in which George Zimmerman was prosecuted for acting in self defense.  A case in which the special prosecutor did not maintain the properly- even necessary- distance from the case and instead promised young Trayvon Martin's family "Justice for Trayvon."  A case in which a family court judge ran a criminal court in the manner of family court.  A case which should have ended with the Prosecution failed even to prove there was a crime, let alone that Zimmerman was guilty of it.

On that rainy night, George Zimmerman called the police.  His story- a story which has not changed materially since the night of the shooting- is that he exited his vehicle to check the street name and street numbers to better guide police to the correct location.  I do not believe it incredible that he also attempted to locate young Mr. Martin, but there is no proof of that. 

Zimmerman's story continues: after hanging up with police and realizing he had no sight of Martin, he moved to return to his vehicle.  At this point, he was confronted my Mr. Martin.  This was no 12 year old cherub, as the media would have you believe.  He was a 17 year old football player, nearing the prime of his physical life.  He was a thug who liked fighting, and in a series of texts would lament that an opponent had not bled enough.

We do not know the specifics of that conversation.  We do know it was brief.  We also know that it was brief because of how quickly it became physical.  Zimmerman maintains that Martin attacked him, punching him in the nose, and that he (Zimmerman) was too stunned to defend himself until he was on the ground being straddled by Martin.  Zimmerman claims it was at this point he cried for help, and continued to do so until Martin discovered Zimmerman's concealed weapon, whereupon Martin (says Zimmerman) said "You're going to die tonight."

Zimmerman grabbed his gun and fired one shot.  That shot was fatal.  Martin would have lost consciousness within seconds.  He would have been dead within a number of minutes which does not require two digits to count.

All of this is Zimmerman's story.  On the record.  Repeatedly.  Never once has any material claim he made changed.

But what did the evidence say?  What did officers believe?  Evidence showed that Zimmerman had a damaged face, and abrasions on the back of his head.  Evidence showed no outward signs of physical trauma to Martin except scraped knuckles (as may have occured when punching someone in the face), and the single gunshot wound.  When they interviewed him, officers believed Zimmerman was telling the truth.  He was arrested and interrogated that night; he submitted to both without counsel.  The next day, he walked the investigators through his version of events- on camera.

The police decided all the evidence pointed to self defense.  The DA decided all the evidence pointed to self defense.  Mr. Zimmerman was released.

That should have been the end of it.  As tragic as that tale was, it should have ended there.  But it was not to be.  For a variety of reasons- I personally believe because Barack Obama was flagging in the polls- the Media picked up the story.  They decided that the Hispanic Zimmerman must be a white guy.  They decided that Zimmerman must have racially profiled Martin, and edited the 911 call to prove their point.

Because of Rick Scott's cowardice, special prosecutor Angela Corey was assigned to the case.  Using deceptive, even criminal, prosecutorial practices, she indicted Mr. Zimmerman on a charge of 2nd Degree Murder- a charge which requires more than mere rage, it requires a "depraved state of mind."  Ms. Corey promised "Justice for Trayvon."

Now, the trial is over.  For those of us who followed the trial closely, it was a bizarre, frightening thing.  The prosecution seemed to believe it merely needed to provide reasonable doubt that Zimmerman's account was accurate, rather than proving the charge "beyond a reasonable doubt."  The judge made strange decisions- somehow Mr. Zimmerman's past was relevant, but texts from Mr. Martin's phone (showing above mentioned history of violence) were not.  Defense motions were denied almost out of hand.  The Defense methodically destroyed every assertion made by the prosecution.  State's witness after State's witness provided testimony which not only did not contradict Mr. Zimmerman's account, but bolstered it.

Zimmerman was, thankfully, acquitted.  He should never have been tried, but he was.  And now he should be free.  The story should end there.  But it doesn't.

The Media and so-called "intelligencia" would *still* have you believe that Zimmerman was "morally, if not criminally" responsible for the death of Mr. Martin.  And that's the kindest version.  Many believe he literally got away with murder.  The New Black Panther Party wants him dead.  NFL Players wished him dead.  Many are clamoring for Federal Charges.

Zimmerman may have been acquitted, but he will never be free.  He must live now in fear for his life, for the lives of his family and loved ones.  All because of a miscarriage of justice.

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