The well-reported and sad death of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin took place on February 26, 2012. By the third week of March, a joint hustler and washed-up celebrity hit parade was making its way through Florida to further stir up tensions, with Al Sharpton at the head and Roseanne Barr (not inconspicuously) bringing up the rear. Twitter was made into a threat and terror weapon and the President made a blatantly collectivist appeal, stating that Trayvon could have been his own son, presumably because Obama’s son would “look” like Trayvon.
The Orlando Sentinel published a short article on the Martin case on February 28 mentioning the fact that Zimmerman (then unnamed) was a member of the neighborhood watch and hadn’t been charged. On March 2, the Miami Herald incorrectly reported that Zimmerman, also incorrectly said to be 25 years old, shot Martin “at a convenience store.”
However, the kernel of agitprop was popping in full by March 7 when one of the first, if not the first, major report had then been issued by Reuters. It tells the searching reader all he needs to know about the political agitation and discomfort surrounding the case: “The family of a 17-year-old African-American boy shot to death last month in his gated Florida community by a white Neighborhood Watch captain wants to see the captain arrested, the family’s lawyer said on Wednesday.”
On March 8, it heated up further in the Herald: “Why any neighborhood watchman be carrying a loaded gun?,” said Benjamin Crump, the Martin Family’s grammatically-challenged attorney. Zimmerman is once again misreported in this story as being “white.”
On March 10, Good Morning America joined the fray, and by the next day, the New Black Panthers were demonstrating. However, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee maintained that there was evidence to corroborate Zimmerman’s self-defense claims.
On March 25, it was reported that members of the New Black Panther Party were offering a $10,000 reward for the “capture” of George Zimmerman. Leader Mikhail Muhammad, when asked whether he was encouraging vigilante justice for slain teen Trayvon Martin, replied: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” The Obama-Holder Justice (sic) Department had no public response to this.
Nevertheless, I submit that the main theme of the case is not race but the legal abuses inherent in the structure of Florida’s government and the abusive practices of its politicians (this includes prosecutors) who “interpret” and enforce that law. The notion of self-defense seems to very nearly be on trial along with the issue of neighborhood citizen watches. However, what is a neighborhood under siege from robbers supposed to do? The police usually arrive too late. In any event, expect some people to brand neighborhood watch groups as inherently “racist.” This may have occurred already.
The Martin Family attorney was deliberately cultivating the meme that Zimmerman was white. Crump said that race was “the 600 pound elephant in the room.” Of course, after being white in initial media reports, Zimmerman then morphed into a “white Hispanic,” “half-Hispanic” and then finally a man with black roots, according to a more recent Reuters report.
For weeks though, the media incessantly repeated the agitprop racial tale offered by the family’s “lawyer” that a white man killed Trayvon, and that made a tragic situation much worse. Rancid celebrities, long past their expiration dates, tweeted parties’ home addresses and promised retribution.
One Washed-Up Celebrity Past Her Expiration Date
Zimmerman’s aggressive actions may have been those of a reckless busybody depending on the precise events that transpired. However, this fact doesn’t change the nature of the campaign waged against due process and proper legal procedure. Governors, some of the creepiest of politicians (See “New York State Governors”), should not be able to “game” a prosecution by shuffling the deck of law enforcement and then simply picking his or her favorite prosecutor regardless. However, Governor Rick Scott bowed to pressure and an unjust procedure won the day.
Scott has essentially rendered Florida a gubernatorial dictatorship. When the State Attorney elected for the district covering Sanford, Florida wasn’t providing the prosecution the powerbrokers of Florida wanted, Governor Scott assumed the role of Chief Inquisitor and appointed a special prosecutor. This created a situation where any ambitious, ruthless prosecutor worth her citric acid was compelled to prosecute.
Since the Governor of the Citrus Republic of Florida decides who the prosecutor of a case should be based upon political considerations, the people of Florida suffer under what can only be called a gubernatorial dictatorship. If the governor wants to ruin someone, he simply has to appoint a special prosecutor to do his bidding.
Some had believed there were protections or limitations under the Bill of Rights, a set of brakes in the system as they were, such as indictment by grand jury. Instead, there is now Indictment by Florida Governor. Don’t get on Rick Scott’s bad side.
The Wheel: Coming to a Florida Court Near You Courtesy of Florida Republicans?
It made perfect sense that Corey cancelled the grand jury scheduled to hear the case April 10. Scott’s appointment of her was the equivalent of dropping into her lap a multi-million dollar book deal and national fame. Being the ambitious woman she is, she wasn’t about to let this opportunity pass. There was no doubt in that politicized environment that there would be an indictment.
In Florida, only first-degree murder cases require the use of grand juries. The second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman is itself preposterous, regardless of his probable missteps, unless one is truly inclined to think that Zimmerman simply decided to kill Martin in cold blood and out of rage.
This is how many believe law should work: an accident or tragic event occurs—and the misery must be compounded by “charging” someone with something, anything. Said one Facebook commenter to a USA Today article: “As a neighborhood watch volunteer and not a police officer, Zimmerman should had never followed nor confronted someone that he thought was a potential burglar. He made a bad decision that cost a young man his life. Zimmerman needs to be charge (sic) with something.” This is a not uncommon opinion. It doesn’t matter what his state of mind was nor does it matter what actually happened to provoke Zimmerman’s response; he must be charged with something.
Indeed, the fallen but inimitable Alan Dershowitz does nothing if not recognize a prosecutorial abuse when he sees it. Says Dershowitz: “[S]he (Corey) wasn’t appointed to get justice.” He suggested that her affidavit withholding evidence of Zimmerman’s injuries, and a photo showing them, constituted perjury. In any event, it is upon a dubious faith only that one could trust that Corey has operated within the framework of responsibility set forth by the Supreme Court in Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78 (1935), wherein it is said that a prosecutor’s duty is to find the truth, not obtain convictions (“while he [the prosecutor] may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones.”)
Dershowitz thinks Corey may have foisted herself into legal trouble. This seems doubtful since she is, after all, a personal servant to Governor Scott and is not likely to be held accountable for anything she does. If Scott asks her to don a court jester’s outfit to the first day of trial, she will. Dershowitz mentions that the U.S. is the only place in the world where prosecutors are elected. The problem, though, is that any roving governmental prosecution system is an invitation for abuse and injustice. Judge Napolitano raised the issue of privatizing these functions in a recent tweet.
This unfortunate case reveals the ugly intersection of the politics of ambition, government prosecutions, and racial controversy. The result of this collision may leave the subjects of the Florida Governor with even less legal protection, real or imagined, than they enjoyed prior to February 26.