In a surprising development, George Zimmerman was charged with Second Degree Murder in Florida today. He is now in custody and a court appearance is likely tomorrow.
The charge by the prosecutor is stunning.
First the prosecutor dismissed the grand jury, which took Murder One off the table. Under Florida law, a charge of Murder One can only be delivered by a grand jury.
Much of the evidence in this case has already been made public. There are stories in the narrative of Trayvon Martin as little innocent victim. Turns out, he was not the twelve year old that was shown in the media photographs. He was a seventeen year old football player who was not only taller than Zimmerman, but almost certainly in much better shape.
Zimmerman apparently told the police that he lost Martin, who later approach him and said something to the effect of, “Do you have a problem?” Moments later, he allegedly said something to the effect of, “you do now,” and hit Zimmerman. Zimmerman claims he was punched and knocked down by Martin. Zimmerman claims that Martin began pounding his head into the ground. All of these claims seem to be supported by physical evidence. Zimmerman had a broken nose and lacerations to the back of his head. The back of his clothing was stained and wet when the police arrived moments after the shooting. A Zimmerman family member said that Zimmerman had told the family that Martin tried to take Zimmerman’s gun away from him.
All of that indicates a justifiable homicide.
The prosecutor has charged him with Second Degree Murder. While Florida’s statute has some archaic language in it, Second Degree Murder is basically the same as First Degree Murder minus the premeditation.
Why Second Degree Murder with a case where the known facts do not support the charge?
There is always the possibility that the prosecutor is sitting on a smoking gun that would convict Zimmerman but if that were the case, he would have been charged the night of the shooting.
At a news conference late this afternoon, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey said, “We do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition. We prosecute based on the facts of any given case, as well as the laws of the state of Florida.”
Pardon me, while I laugh. Public pressure is exactly why this case was brought.
It is also why the charge is Second Degree Murder.
Why? First, I do not believe the prosecutor could have gotten a grand jury to go for Murder One. Even though the prosecutor selects the evidence and the standard of proof in front of the Grand Jury is only probable cause, it would not have happened.
In the criminal justice system, what she did is called “over charging.” Ethical prosecutors are trained not to over charge. You go with the facts because a prosecutor’s duty is to seek justice, not secure a conviction.
By going with the greatest charge she could get, the prosecutor has two advantages. First, she increases the chance that Zimmerman will have a bail set so high he cannot make it. Every prosecutor knows that if you can get a defendant into jail, your chances of getting him or her to plead guilty go up by an order of magnitude.
Second, when the prosecutor makes a plea bargain offer, she will have a greater chance of that offer being accepted. If Zimmerman is looking at a life sentence, a plea to a reduced charge is hard to say no to, particularly if it involves only a little jail time or no jail time at all.
If Zimmerman cannot make bail and her offer involves immediate release, the offer is again hard to decline.
This case should have been presented to a grand jury instead of having a single prosecutor, subject to public pressure, make the decision. George Zimmerman will now have a trial and hopefully the State of Florida can find twelve unbiased jurors.
Based on what is publicly known about the case, it never should have been filed.
Hopefully, justice will be served.
He will get killed jail regardless even if get 18 months. It is still a death sentence.
Yep they win big. Very big.
And like Him in many ways. We all lose. Rights that is.
Hell He has death warrents out for his life. If he is sent away they need to clamp the rest of them in Irons.
Other people not even involved have suffered from that crap. They need to start filing suits.
Everything you list is abhorrent to Liberty, Justice, and the Rule of Law. If racist, bigoted, thugs wish to riot, let THEM face the full measure of Law Enforcement ... not some innocent pawn who in our system has RIGHTS!
First, I am not surprised....Trying not to sound like a leftist libtard....Stand your ground law means exactly that, not follow or pursue....anything after that Zimmerman is culpable. The leftist finally got one right.
I AGREE! IAGREE!
This is what I said earlier but got so many people upset. Now everyone is on the Z. is innocent bandwagon that they are beginning to scare me.
I have been very disappointed in the connservatives who are beginng to use the same tactics as the liberals... who is on our side is innocent. I tried to talk to two of my conservative friends about the Sara Palin movie and one of them told me she didn't want to hear a word of it...it was all LIES! I said I was sure most of it was but would be interested in discussing it...She got so angry she left the table where we were sitting at a restaurant.
I have been appalled at some of my liberal friends who have done the same thing, but now I cannot rely on anything my conservative friend comments on. I know what it will be regardless of facts..
You know that you and I wil get a lot of furious answers.
There's a difference between the 'Z is innocent bandwagon' and the 'Is Z is being railroaded to appease the mob bandwagon'. Unfortunately, when you consider the influence of politics in our legal system it is not inconceivable that Z could well become a sacrificial lamb to keep the cities from burning down this summer.
If you are so appalled by your liberal friends and can no longer rely on your conservative friends then perhaps it is either time to get new friends or quit trying to play in the middle?
We aren't saying he was in the right. But unlike so many cases like and similer to this one, is delt with. There was no need to have this Countrys Head Politicians getting involved. There has been some crazy killings that has happened after this one that no one seems to want to mention. Why? because it don't help Obama and gang.
It's sad. This was a persons death. not a Political Problem.
If he is truly guilty he will pay. Period. There are trials every day.
Actually, I think you either misunderstand or misinterpret Florida's "stand your ground law." First, the only currently known fact is that Zimmerman was part of a neighborhood watch. Even when the 911 operator told him not to follow Martin, he was under no lawful constraint to comply with that, even though Zimmerman claims he did stop following Martin and headed back toward his own vehicle. Secondly, stand your ground in Florida basically extends one's basic right to defend life, family, and property in home or domicile to one's person outside their domicile.
Lastly, I doubt the stand your ground law will be relevant in this case. Anyone has an unalienable right when sucker-punched and having their nose broken, knocked to the ground, and straddled and pummeled, to defend their life by "any and all means including use of deadly force."
I disagree. All the facts will come out with a trial.
That's why we need odummy on trial, too -- so we can get the facts about document fraud.
I like your suggestion, Billy.
Would love to arrest and round up every politician and government worker and put them in prison - they are becoming way too powerful