Typically my commentary does not address what is “hot” in the news. I have enough difficulty attempting to be factually correct without jumping to conclusions before all the facts are available. My preference is to examine philosophical, principled and motivational justifications for the long-term strategies and attitudes of our so-called political leaders or for those of us who oppose them. Given my natural distrust of the “media” arising from years of observation and as a practitioner, I find that it is often unproductive to comment about a story until the narrative has been settled. Today is an exception to my usual hesitancy.
This past week it was revealed that more than $200,000 had been donated to the George Zimmerman defense fund via “PayPal” and other sources. Zimmerman, as you probably recall, has been charged with second degree murder for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin on February 26th in Sanford, Florida. Although the special prosecutor, Angela Corey, has not yet released her evidence supporting the charge, the pre-trial was held and the judge, Mark E. Herr, found the evidence sufficient for moving forward with probable cause. At a subsequent hearing the new judge, Kenneth Lester Jr., set bond at $150,000 for Zimmerman’s release from jail pending trial. Although I have taken the LSAT, I chose to follow the graduate school route to doctoral studies. I am not, therefore, an attorney, but my understanding is that there are three factors involved in the process for determining bail: 1) the nature of the alleged crime; 2) the severity of the charges; and 3) the potential risk for flight by the alleged (charged) perpetrator. Weighing those criteria (and perhaps others) Judge Lester determined that a $150,000 appearance bond (roughly a $15,000 cash outlay to bondsman) was warranted in this case. What has changed? Are the facts or the charges different from when the bond was set? Has Zimmerman attempted to flee the jurisdiction of the court? What has changed?
If the judge determined that the crime, charges and flight risk warranted a $150,000 bond, why should the existence of a $200,000 defense fund alter the circumstances? When the Martins, the prosecutors and a gaggle of their liberal brain-dead followers clamor for a larger bond simply because of the defense fund, it suggests another level of the “soak the rich” mentality that is so prevalent among the thoughtless class. Class warfare and all its accoutrements are replacing justice in our nation. Just like they are in many other aspects of our society. Some may argue that the fund heightens the probability that Zimmerman may take flight for a location that may be a haven from extradition. Perhaps, but for whatever reason the judge decided that it was unlikely that Zimmerman would flee. If His Honor changes the bail or bond amount for any reason beyond the increased potential for flight, then he will have succumbed to the class warfare cancer.
True justice should base the amount of the bond on the nature of the crime, the severity of the charges and the potential for flight….nothing more, nothing less. The bank account of the accused should not be a direct factor in the bond determination. If one believes that access to funds is critical for flight, pull the passport of the accused until trial. Stop this class warfare nonsense in the halls of government and the chambers of the court.