George Zimmerman Case
Coverage of the George Zimmerman trial gives ample demonstration that most of our agenda driven media today makes the facts fit the story and not the other way around. Cathy Young at Reason examines how the media has constantly attempted to falsely portray George Zimmerman as a white racist:
This narrative has transformed Zimmerman, a man of racially mixed heritage that included white, Hispanic and black roots (a grandmother who helped raise him had an Afro-Peruvian father), into an honorary white male steeped in white privilege. It has cast him as a virulent racist even though he once had a black business partner, mentored African-American kids, lived in a neighborhood about 20 percent black, and participated in complaints about a white police lieutenant’s son getting away with beating a homeless black man.
This narrative has perpetuated the lie that Zimmerman’s history of calls to the police indicates obsessive racial paranoia. Thus, discussing the verdict on the PBS NewsHour, University of Connecticut professor and New Yorker contributor Jelani Cobb asserted that “Zimmerman had called the police 46 times in previous six years, only for African-Americans, only for African-American men.” Actually, prior to the call about Martin, only four of Zimmerman’s calls had to do with African-American men or teenage boys (and two of them were about individuals who Zimmerman thought matched the specific description of burglary suspects). Five involved complaints about whites, and one about two Hispanics and a white male; others were about such issues as a fire alarm going off, a reckless driver of unknown race, or an aggressive dog.
In this narrative, even Zimmerman’s concern for a black child—a 2011 call to report a young African-American boy walking unsupervised on a busy street, on which the police record notes, “compl[ainant] concerned for well-being”—has been twisted into crazed racism. Writing on the website of The New Republic, Stanford University law professor Richard Thompson Ford describes Zimmerman as “an edgy basket case” who called 911 about “the suspicious activities of a seven year old black boy.” This slander turns up in other left-of-center sources, such as ThinkProgress.org. Continue reading
Sometimes in the past few years I have to shake my head and wonder: “Is this still the United States of America?”
Mark and Dana Michelle Gerstle told friends they do not want to talk publicly about Zimmerman for fear they will be accused of portraying him as a hero – and face a backlash from those who consider he got away with murder.
“There is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start to think about robbery and then look around and see it’s somebody white and feel relieved.”
Jesse Jackson, 1998
Obama continued his attempt to pour gasoline on the Zimmerman verdict with his impromptu musings on the case before the White House press corps yesterday. The cynicism of this attempt to use the Zimmerman verdict as both a decoy from his manifest failings in regard to the economy, Obamacare and other issues, and to whip up the black vote in 2014 is breathtaking. This country does need an honest discussion about race, something that I have never witnessed in my 56 years on this planet, but Obama’s deeply poisonous playing of the race card throughout this case for crass political gain makes it likely that I will not see such a discussion while I inhabit this vale of tears. Continue reading
Sir Thomas More: You threaten like a dockside bully.
Cromwell: How should I threaten?
Sir Thomas More: Like a minister of state. With justice.
Cromwell: Oh, justice is what you’re threatened with.
Sir Thomas More: Then I am not threatened.
Robert Bolt, A Man for all Seasons
Roger Kimball has a good piece of commentary at Pajamas Media citing Saint Thomas More in reference to the Zimmerman case:
That’s not stopping the race mongers, of course. For them, the death of Trayvon Martin is an allegory of how America is a racist society. If only they could take a break from their race baiting histrionics to watch an improving film, The Man for All Seasons (1966), for example. A friend, pondering the spectacle of race hatred on view in the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial, sent me these exchanges from the movie:
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!
The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.
George Orwell, 1984
Ah, if only George Orwell were still around to give us commentary on the collective meltdown, with certain honorable exceptions, Saletan I am looking at you, on most left wing blogs, I guess he wouldn’t be surprised at all. Orwell, a man of the Left, noted that in his time Leftists tended to be on the look out for heretics to transform into objects of hate. In our day the objects of Leftist wrath do not even need to be heretics. Thus George Zimmerman, one-quarter black Hispanic, an Obama voter, a man who an FBI investigation cleared of any racial motivation, has became an object of Leftist hate because he touched, accidentally, one of the great Leftist totems in this country: race.
Thomas Sowell, who recently noted that he is old enough to remember when most racial hatred came from whites, explains how a low level investigation of a fairly routine self defense shooting was transformed into a national morality play for the Left:
Legally speaking, Zimmerman has won his freedom. But he can still be sued in a civil case, and he will probably never be safe to live his life in peace, as he could have before this case made him the focus of national attention and orchestrated hate.
More important than the fate of George Zimmerman, however, is the fate of the American justice system and of the public’s faith in that system and in their country. People who have increasingly asked, during the lawlessness of the Obama administration, “Is this still America?” may feel some measure of relief.
But the very fact that this case was brought in the first place, in an absence of serious evidence — which became ever more painfully obvious as the prosecution strained to try to come up with anything worthy of a murder trial — will be of limited encouragement as to how long this will remain America.
The political perversion of the criminal-justice system began early and at the top, with the president of the United States. Unlike other public officials who decline to comment on criminal cases that have not yet been tried in court, Barack Obama chose to say, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
But it did not stop there. After the local police in Florida found insufficient evidence to ask for Zimmerman to be prosecuted, the Obama administration sent Justice Department investigators to Sanford, Fla., and also used the taxpayers’ money to finance local activists who agitated for Zimmerman to be arrested.
I have been practicing law for three decades in Illinois and I have never seen anything like the above video when a defendant in a criminal case is represented by counsel. I will defer to any Florida attorney who can indicate if the above video reflects common legal procedure in Florida, but in Illinois whether a defendant in a criminal case is going to testify is not something the defense counsel is going to indicate. The ability to keep the prosecution guessing as to whether the defendant is going to testify is a key advantage of the defense. When a defendant is represented by counsel in Illinois it is assumed that in a criminal case counsel has advised the defendant of his right to testify or keep silent at trial. If a plea bargain is entered into in Illinois in a criminal case then the judge will advise the defendant of all of his rights prior to accepting the plea bargain. Other than that, the time for such admonishments is at arraignment prior to a plea being entered, and certainly not during the trial.
Any input from any Florida criminal defense attorneys among our readers would be appreciated.
After more than three decades at the bar, little shocks me about courts and how they operate. I confess, however, that I am shocked by the George Zimmerman prosecution. First, that it was brought at all with virtually no evidence that could lead to a guilty verdict by any honest jury and, second, the way in which it has been conducted. However, what shocks me as a lawyer does not shock me when I view it as an example of current racial politics in this country. Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson who has been covering the trial at his blog Legal Insurrection, explains:
We also knew that Eric Holder had the DOJ investigate the case, and that the FBI found no evidence that Zimmerman was racist or motivated by racism.
What we didn’t know until today was that the DOJ supported some of the anti-Zimmerman rallies, as disclosed by Judicial Watch (which also is helping me with my lawsuit to obtain David Gregory non-prosecution records from D.C.): Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained documents in response to local, state, and federal records requests revealing that a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman.
The way the trial has been conducted is an equal travesty. The prosecution is throwing everything against the wall, including conflicting and inconsistent theories that Trayvon was on the bottom of the fight screaming and alternatively that Trayvon was on top pulling back. Similarly the prosecution creates obsessive distractions such as whether Zimmerman “followed” Martin, even though that is legally irrelevant. We have had the strange spectacle of the prosecution attacking its own police witnesses who had the temerity to believe George Zimmerman’s story and find it consistent and credible. The law enforcement world has been turned on its head in this prosecution, because it had to be turned on its head to justify the prosecution.
If you want to understand just how dirty this prosecution case has been, consider one bit of evidence which probably slipped by most viewers. The prosecution elicited testimony from defense gun shot wound forensic expert Vincent DiMaio that he participated in studies of gunshot wounds on live animals (under a federally regulated and sanctioned program in which the animals were under anesthesia). What’s the relevance of that? Nothing. Except that the prosecution knew that there were animal owners on the jury, and this was an attempt to poison the jury on something having nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman.
It’s all coming together in this case.
Racial politics supported by State power. Continue reading
One of the professional requirements of being an attorney, especially an attorney engaging in litigation, is developing a tough hide when it comes to criticism. Most of my brethren and sistren of the bar develop such hides. Alas, some do not:
Alan M. Dershowitz’s Perspective: State Attorney Angela Corey, the prosecutor in the George Zimmerman case, recently called the Dean of Harvard Law School to complain about my criticism of some of her actions.
She was transferred to the Office of Communications and proceeded to engage in a 40-minute rant, during which she threatened to sue Harvard Law School, to try to get me disciplined by the Bar Association and to file charges against me for libel and slander.
She said that because I work for Harvard and am identified as a professor she had the right to sue Harvard.
When the communications official explained to her that I have a right to express my opinion as “a matter of academic freedom,” and that Harvard has no control over what I say, she did not seem to understand.
She persisted in her nonstop whining, claiming that she is prohibited from responding to my attacks by the rules of professional responsibility — without mentioning that she has repeatedly held her own press conferences and made public statements throughout her career.
Her beef was that I criticized her for filing a misleading affidavit that willfully omitted all information about the injuries Zimmerman had sustained during the “struggle” it described. She denied that she had any obligation to include in the affidavit truthful material that was favorable to the defense.
She insisted that she is entitled to submit what, in effect, were half truths in an affidavit of probable cause, so long as she subsequently provides the defense with exculpatory evidence.
She should go back to law school, where she will learn that it is never appropriate to submit an affidavit that contains a half truth, because a half truth is regarded by the law as a lie, and anyone who submits an affidavit swears to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Before she submitted the probable cause affidavit, Corey was fully aware that Zimmerman had sustained serious injuries to the front and back of his head. The affidavit said that her investigators “reviewed” reports, statements and “photographs” that purportedly “detail[ed] the following.” Continue reading