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.
Today photos were released that show George Zimmerman's head was in fact bloodied. What gets me is why is an apparent and obvious act of self defense being made such a big deal of? Was Mr Zimmerman supposed to just sit there and be beaten to death by this street punk? The system is trying to railroad this guy into prison to pacify the liberals and the militant black elements. Are we supposed to believe that black people do not commit any crimes? Just look at the statistics. What is most appalling is that if black people kill their own, not only doesn't the liberal care, it appears to be perfectly acceptable bahavior.
He is being railroaded because they fear them more than they fear us.
Judge Sets Bail for George Zimmerman at $150,000
I truly fear for his life if he is able to post bond and walks out of jail.
OJ Simpson's dog was an Akita named "Kato".
Many dogs are submissive to the "alpha" in the pack, or family.
If Zimmerman is convicted of anything, the gloves are coming off!
Maybe it is time the other wheel starts squeaking a lot louder.
Amen Thomas - a very loud AMEN.
That bus has left the station! We missed our chance when Al Sharpton and Louie Farrakan walked into the picture... They should be prosecuted for inciting to riot, and sued for every cent of damages! Not to mention, Spike Lee, Oprah, and anyone else that tweeted what thet thought was GZ's address!
My point is, when they show up, we show up. They yell we yell louder. Everywhere the race baiters are, we should be, calling out their lies and hate.
We're still a nation of laws, Thomas, not riots! We don't play their game! The FIRST thing Obama would do is declare martial law and start confiscating registered guns. You don't want to see the second thing!
I didn't say riots, I said show up. If the demonstrate we demonstrate. If we are afraid to do that in fear of a fight. Then we lost. What if John Parker thought that way? Where would we be today?
If a bunch of white people show up where a bunch of black people are protesting, what do think is going to happen? If we have to resort to fighting in the streets, then we have already lost. If someone files a suit against Farakkan (for example), and a rigged court tosses it out, that is one thing. But no legal action has been taken that I am aware of, so we would not be justified in protest, just like they are not justified in doing what they are doing.