By Dr. Ray Kessler, who is, incidentally, a retired Prof. of Criminal Justice, defense attorney and prosecutor is your host. This blog is about sharing information, opinion and commentary. I try to avoid knee-jerk & lemming approaches. The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the author's former employer. P.S. If you are thinking about a Bachelor's or Master's degree, see the info. on the right about Sul Ross State University.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Reflections on the Zimmerman Acquitttal
Most everyone knows about Geo. Zimmerman’s complete
acquittal by now.Let’s thank the jurors
who were able to rise above left-wing political correctness (anti-gun,
anti-self defense, etc.) and the threat of riots if they can back with
something other than guilty.The black
female juror showed great courage.You
know she’s going to hear it and it won’t be pretty.Obviously, only Zimmerman knows if he is
guilty or not, but I feared for his chances of getting a fair trial.The left leaning media pronounced him guilty
and NBC even admitted to “editing” a tape of the 911 call that made Zimmerman
look bad. (See prior post).Judicial and prosecutorial shenanigans and media
bias worried a lot of people.Pres.
Obama’s unethical remark about Trayvon Martin during an ongoing criminal case
was despicable.This former “constitutional
law Professor” certainly knew that his remarks would threaten Zimmerman’s right
to a fair trial.The case wasn’t even a
federal prosecution.Why is the Pres. of
the U.S. sticking his nose into a state trial?What little respect I had for Obama disappeared with that remark.[It is so sad that politicians and much of
the public put ideology and partisan advantage. before constitutional values
(e.g. when is the Left going to stop whining about Citizens United?)Although I roundly criticized NFIB v.
Sebelius (the Obamacare Supreme Court decision) I don’t even bring it up
anymore.Get over it! Get a life!Stop playing the victim role.]
So what happened?Here’s
1.The testimony was so conflicting that it was
difficult to figure out what really happened.As usual, even the “experts” disagreed.In this situation, it appears that the jurors followed their instruction
to acquit unless the prosecution proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
2.The closest person to being an actual witness
testified to the effect that the saw Martin on top of Zimmerman.
3.Perhaps the jury was put off by the Prosecutor’s
anger and arrogance.Did the prosecutor
give the impression that he was on a personal vendetta against Zimmerman?You may remember a recent child abuse case
where the jury came back with an acquittal in spite of the fact that the woman
had already been convicted by the media.One of the factors in the acquittal may have been prosecutorial
excesses. (Anyone remember that case?Send us the defendant’s name or a link if you recall this case)
4.The bruises and blood on Zimmerman’s head gave
credibility to his story.
5.I don’t know if the defense argued this or the
judge gave instructions on it, but once Zimmerman, who was carrying a firearm,
was attacked, there was a possibility that Martin might have used it on
Zimmerman.Thus, arguably, Zimmerman
faced an imminent threat of deadly force.
Personally, although I didn’t watch all the
trial, I thought there was a reasonable doubt (e.g. 1. 2. And 4 above). This case help restore my faith in the system
and in jurors.
Some of you may also have seen ABC’s 20/20
program on Friday night.I was fairly
obvious that they had no interest in balanced coverage of Zimmerman’s trial (e.g.
showed part of prosecutor’s closing argument but none of defense’s
closing.They also then showed a piece
about a Texas man who argued self-defense and was convicted.There was no discussion of how many legitimate
self-defense cases there are in this country.One case of someone trying to work the law to their advantage and
killing another proves nothing.Does ABC,
the 20/20 staff and Diane Sawyer think we are all idiots and ideologues like
they appear to be?When is the public
going to wake up and start thinking for themselves instead of relying of obviously
biased media types?Whatever happened to
media ethics?There is very little news,
but lots of propaganda out there (and I’m including Fox in this critique).
As one source suggested, could this high-profile acquittal be part of
a new civil rights revolution recognizing the right of law abiding people to
keep and bear arms and engage in lawful self-defense? If it is, count this
cautious libertarian in.