Many claim that the prosecution of George Zimmerman is actually a persecution of George Zimmerman. It’s not a routine quest for justice using the normal procedures of the criminal justice system, but a political lynching, where the verdict is rendered first and the trial—in the court of public opinion particularly–follows. Whatever happens in an actual trial—if an actual trial ever occurs—is of far less importance than the social justice verdict, which is the verdict with absolute moral authority and the ultimate truth. That’s why an actual trial really isn’t necessary, you see.
It’s important, when considering this article and this entire case, to keep in mind the existence of those two realms and their essential qualities:
(1) The Court of Public Opinion: In this court, the verdict comes before the trial and is determined by those who yell the loudest, have the most current political power, or can most successfully cow the majority. In this court, facts matter only to the degree they support the predetermined verdict. In this court, social justice and victim group status matter more than anything else. In this court, there is money to be made in pursuit of “social justice,” and any outcome not sanctioned by the self-appointed ministers of justice may be met by deadly violence against the innocent. There is no rule of law and favored individuals and victim groups are more equal and credible than others. Publicity, the narrative and optics are everything. This court always seeks to tear down society and to impose its standards instead.
(2) The Court of Law: Here the rule of law and equality under the law holds sway. All are innocent until proved guilty. Here, evidence matters, and prejudicial statements and evidence are not allowed. Publicity doesn’t matter. This court seeks to uphold society’s highest ideals.
Item 1: The Second Bond Hearing
On June 29, 2012, George Zimmerman had a second bond hearing after Judge Kenneth Lester revoked his original bond. A You Tube audio of most of the hearing is available here. A bond of $1 million dollars was set with onerous conditions, including a 6 PM to 6 AM curfew, electronic monitoring, and Zimmerman cannot open a bank account, obtain a passport or go to the local airport. The Orlando Sentinel noted:
Zimmerman’s attorneys said Thursday that there was $211,000 in an account, which included the amount raised from Zimmerman’s website and also money generated from another website set up by his legal team. An additional $20,000 was raised in the day after Lester issued the $1 million bond order.
Zimmerman had to pay a bond company $100,000 but also needed $1 million in collateral to secure the bail, his legal team said.
[Don] West refused to comment on what was being used as collateral after Zimmerman left the jail.
‘We worked that out,’ West said.
The Orlando Sentinel article also spoke to the Judge’s leanings:
During Zimmerman’s second bond hearing, his attorney, Mark O’Mara, said that his client was confused and fearful and experienced a moment of weakness when he and his wife misled the court.
The judge didn’t buy it and expressed his unhappiness with Zimmerman and his wife in his second bond order. He accused Zimmerman of making plans to flee to avoid prosecution, misleading O’Mara by not disclosing the money from the website and trying to manipulate the judicial system.
‘Under any definition, the defendant has flaunted the system,’ Lester wrote.
But the judge said current law limited his ability to deny a second application for bond.
Like most of the earlier hearings in this case Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara was able to get in substantial evidence relating to Zimmerman’s self-defense claim.
Denver Defense Attorney Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft wrote:
The Judge, in revoking bond, wrote in his order:
Furthermore, “[i]f no conditions of release can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons, assure the presence of the accused at trial, or assure the integrity of the judicial process, the accused may be detained.” Art. I. 5 14. Fla. Const.
It is apparent that Shelly Zimmerman testified untruthfully at the bond hearing. The Defendant also testified, but did not alert the Court to the misinformation. Therefore, this Court is authorized to revoke or modify the Defendant’s bond.
All the judge was interested in was an explanation for Zimmerman’s staying silent at the last bail hearing. He even said to O’Mara, assuming all the other factors go in his favor, he still has that issue. The judge said as he understands it, O’Mara’s explanation is that Zimmerman was afraid and confused about what would happen at the bond hearing. O’Mara agreed, his point being that his client had trusted the system before, cooperated in every way, and ended up with the state charging him with second degree murder, trying to deny him bond and imprison him up to life. That made him distrustful of the court and the system.
To this day, I remain confused and uneasy about the circumstances swirling around the first bond hearing on April 20, 2012. It was clear—and in the trial record at that hearing—that everyone, including the judge, was completely aware of the existence of Zimmerman’s Internet account, as was the general knowledge that there was a considerable amount in that account. The Prosecutor questioned Shellie Zimmerman about it, and discovering from her that her brother in law could answer questions about it and could be brought to the phone, dropped that line of questioning and did not ask to speak with him. This was likely done so the prosecutor could spring what he hoped to be a perjury trap on Shellie Zimmerman.
In addition, Judge Lester said, on the record, that he wasn’t sure what, if any authority he had over that account and would have to research it. The judge, and the prosecution and defense treated that account as separate and apart from the Zimmerman’s normal assets and sources of income. Therefore, for the judge to later act outraged and to assert that the Zimmermans were being deceptive is hard to understand. In fact, Zimmerman told his attorney Mark O’Mara about the balance of the account immediately after the hearing and within 24 hours turned all funds over to O’Mara for safekeeping and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. O’Mara advised the court of all of this on April 27, 2012 at the next regularly scheduled hearing in the case.
In every court I’ve ever known, these facts would cause any judge to understand that the defendant wasn’t hiding anything and did all he reasonably could to inform the court. If the judge had any questions about this at the April 20 bond hearing, all he had to do was simply summon Mr. O’Mara to the bench for quick chat (commonly called a “sidebar”), but he did not. There seems to be no evidence of intentional deception or concealment. After all, Zimmerman did fully disclose everything. The only argument might be over whether he did it quickly enough or in precisely the way the Judge might have preferred. And if I’m right, the prosecution got what it preferred. It did not want accurate testimony about the account on the record because it was trying to manufacture a perjury charge against Shellie Zimmerman long before the hearing.
Again, consider what Counselor Merritt had to say:
If the judge wasn’t required to consider all the bail factors, I think it’s likely he’d conclude he feels the same now as he did on June 1 and deny bond again. He told O’Mara that’s what this hearing is about, and I don’t think he learned anything on those issues — other than all the money is accounted for and there’s no hidden pot of gold anywhere that came from the website donations.
On the other hand, the Judge said he didn’t expect at the April 20 hearing that Zimmerman would stand up and say his wife was lying. He said he could have tugged at O’Mara’s sleeve. Nor did he mean on April 20 that Zimmerman would have to testify at yesterday’s hearing. He merely said he would give him that opportunity and he absolutely had a right not to testify. Keeping someone in pre-trial detention for what may be a year for failing to tug at his lawyer’s sleeve seems excessive, to put it mildly.
At times, it sounded like O’Mara was making a record for appeal, and the Judge was complying, allowing him to introduce evidence he didn’t really care to preserve the record. Maybe they all know how this is going to turn out.
Perhaps in Merritt’s last paragraph, and particularly her last sentence, there is insight. As I noted in Update 12, the prosecutor utterly failed to list a specific false statement made by Shellie Zimmerman during the first bond hearing in the affidavit. The prosecution failed not only in that, but in providing specific evidence to prove Shellie Zimmerman knew any specific statement was false when she made it. They did provide excerpts from jailhouse conversations between the Zimmermans, implying something she said was somehow wrong. However, these statements cannot possibly fulfill the elements of the statute which require any perjurious statements to have been made in court and under oath; these conversations were neither. The prosecution failed to fulfill the single most essential element of the Florida perjury statute, a matter Shellie Zimmerman’s attorneys will no doubt raise in the near future.
Notice that Judge Lester seems to hold Zimmerman responsible for not testifying to some unspecified deception by Shellie Zimmerman—by tugging on his attorney’s sleeve?–yet as Ms. Merritt notes, Zimmerman had an absolute right to remain silent, not to testify, and no obligation to correct the testimony of anyone—including his wife—if he for some reason thought it to be inaccurate.
My best guess is what happened here is that Mr. O’Mara erred in not being better informed about the Internet account and did not properly represent Zimmerman in that matter. However, at the April 20 hearing, O’Mara had only been on board Zimmerman’s defense about a week. Zimmerman had no idea what was legally important and what was not and was merely trying to ensure that his wife had shelter and food and their bills, including their legal bills, were paid while not spreading the fact that they had some money around the jail. Zimmerman did not conceal anything, and told his attorney as soon as the issue came up in court and trusted in O’Mara to inform the court, which he did one week later. The judge, after saying he had research to do on the law relating to the account, either didn’t do it, or simply allowed himself to be led around by the nose by the Prosecution, which has already happened in this case with the faulty second degree murder affidavit, as I noted in Update 2. Or perhaps Judge Lester took offense because he was not informed until April 27, but again, this is anything but evidence of intent to conceal the money or deceive the court on the part of George or Shellie Zimmerman.
Another matter that should not be forgotten—and I’ll deal with this in more detail shortly—is the extraordinary political and social pressure on Judge Lester, and any other judge involved. Perhaps everyone does know where this is going. My educated guess is that the Judge and everyone involved knows that if the law is to be the determining factor, this case will be dismissed before a complete trial on self defense grounds. It should be dismissed through pre-trial motion and a subsequent hearing to hear the self-defense evidence, which O’Mara might be able to pull off without ever having Zimmerman take the stand. So bizarre is this situation, the prosecution’s evidence is actually the defense case! Anything they might “accidently” omit can be brought out on cross-examination of prosecution witnesses by O’Mara.
Remember that at the first bond hearing Dale Gilbreath, the investigator for the special prosecutor, admitted they had no evidence to refute Zimmerman’s self defense claim. Yet, without a ton of flesh sufficient to satisfy the narrative crowd, the political and social fallout could be severe indeed. Rioting–not out of any concern for justice but for its own sake and for personal gain–could easily claim innocent lives. On one hand, the law and judicial ethics require judges to ignore such concerns. On the other, they’re human and unless they’re about to retire and already have a nice cottage picked out in the South Pacific, have to live in that community.
Therefore, we have: (1) a one million dollar bond, onerous and unnecessary conditions; (2) no evidence Zimmerman planned to flee yet Judge Lester said he thought there was; (3) judge Lester thinks Zimmerman is some kind of master justice system manipulator, yet there is no evidence of that, and (4) unusually personal commentary in the order by the Judge, which may be nothing more than cover for himself when he eventually does what seems inevitable under Florida law: dismiss the charges. This is, without doubt, one of the strangest cases I’ve ever seen.
Item 2: The FBI Prosecution Bomb
On July 12, 2012, the Orlando Sentinel published a story under this headline:
FBI interviews: No evidence Zimmerman a racist
An excerpt from the story:
Federal civil-rights investigators interviewed dozens of George Zimmerman’s friends, neighbors and co-workers, and no one said he was a racist, records released Thursday show.
FBI agents spread out across the state, talking to three dozen people, including gun-shop employees, Zimmerman’s ex-fiancée and the Sanford police detective who led the investigation into the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old.
None said he or she had ever known him to show racial bias. A co-workerwho saw him the day after the shooting said Zimmerman was ‘beat up physically and emotionally.’
Additional evidence was released, and none is apparently useful to the Prosecution:
Most of the new evidence appeared to favor Zimmerman.
A new witness whose name was blacked out told a prosecution investigator March 27 that she saw the fight and that the person on top was the one who wound up dead.
That makes two witnesses —one from an earlier evidence release — who back up Zimmerman’s version that Trayvon had overpowered him…
The new records also document that Zimmerman’s subdivision, where he led the Neighborhood Watch, had a bona-fide problem with burglaries.
Between March 2010 and March 2012, the new records show, there were seven burglaries reported in the townhouse community, as well as several larcenies and drug offenses.
That’s important because Zimmerman says he became suspicious of Trayvon because of all the neighborhood burglaries.
In a July 14 Orlando Sentinel article, former Sanford Police Detective Christopher Serino’s (he has been transferred to patrol and the midnight shift as outlined in Update 13) testimony to the FBI was in part revealed:
Racist or ‘overzealous’?
Zimmerman had a habit of calling police to complain about suspicious black teenagers in his neighborhood. Some critics have called that evidence of racism.
But Sanford police Investigator Chris Serino, in an interview with the FBI, laid out his theory: Zimmerman, he said, suspected Trayvon not because of race but because of the way he was dressed and because of prior crimes in the community.
Serino noted, as did another Sanford officer who specializes in gangs, that a local gang is known to wear dark, hooded sweat shirts, as Trayvon did that night. Zimmerman never mentioned the gang in his statements to police, but he made repeated references to past crimes in his subdivision, the Retreat at Twin Lakes, as the reason for his suspicions of Trayvon.
Serino thinks that when Zimmerman saw Trayvon in a hoodie, he ‘took it upon himself’ to view the teen ‘as acting suspicious,’ the FBI report says. Serino described Zimmerman as ‘overzealous and as having a ‘little hero complex,’ but not as a racist.
In their probable-cause affidavit, prosecutors point out that in a recorded call to a police dispatcher the night of the shooting, Zimmerman said, ‘These assholes, they always get away.’
Serino asked Zimmerman to whom he was referring.
‘People that victimize the neighborhood,’ Zimmerman said.
One should not assume this information means the Federal Department Of Justice investigation into this case is closed or that no federal charges will be filed against Zimmerman. The FBI is merely the lead federal investigative agency in such cases. When the DOJ needs an investigation done, the FBI normally gets the job. What’s unusual here is that the FBI and DOJ virtually never reveal that they are investigating such cases unless and until they are ready to announce charges and/or arrests. They won’t usually confirm or deny anything at all. Normally, if they investigate a case and find no basis for charges, the public will never know an investigation took place.
Considering the racialist nature of the current DOJ and the Administration, and their blatant politicization of the DOJ, it is a virtual certainty that this case will continue as long as it is politically useful for Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder. I would not be surprised to see an indictment handed down on Zimmerman before the election as a means of shoring up black support for Mr. Obama regardless of the evidence. However, it’s equally likely the Middle East will be so unstable he may have to put whatever diversional energies he has left there. While having no apparent evidence of racism on Zimmerman’s part would certainly not be helpful to any civil rights prosecution, it would not absolutely preclude it.
Again, the “new” evidence entirely supports Zimmerman’s account. Particularly damaging to the prosecution is that there now appears to be a second, likely credible, witness that saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, beating him. In addition, the specifics of many burglaries, thefts and drug offenses reported in the area are very helpful to Zimmerman as well. As neighborhood watch captain, it was very much his business to be aware of such things and to make such reports. There were no doubt more suspicious incidents called in by Zimmerman during the same time, but this new information confirms beyond doubt he had good reason to make those reports.
The FBI report is particularly damaging to the narrative and the court of public opinion case. The narrative requires Zimmerman to have murdered Martin for no reason other than racism.
What was suspicious about him?’ Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump asked at a March 8 news conference. ‘Race seems to be the 600-pound gorilla in the room.
Now even the FBI is on record as essentially exonerating Martin of that “charge.” However, such suppositions do not die easily. Even the prosecutor at the June 29th bond hearing would not let that angle go despite the evidence to the contrary:
What the defendant was doing was profiling,’ said an emotional Bernie de la Rionda, the lead prosecutor in Zimmerman’s second-degree-murder case, at a June 29 bond hearing.
Officer Serino’s statement to the FBI is interesting indeed. There is no apparent evidence that Serino engaged in false statements in his SPD reports, just elaborated them oddly and engage in unnecessary and potentially unprofessional editorializing. His statement to the FBI seems to follow the same general lines, however, that statement seems to be richer in facts—some might say the truth—and different in tone than reports of his earlier statements and feelings about the case. Perhaps one factor, and one reason to take his statement to the FBI as the definitive account, is that lying to federal agents is itself a crime. They usually remind people of that when the speak with them.
According to the Miami Herald on July 12, 2012, Serino also stated that he felt pressured to charge Zimmerman. According to the Herald, a sergeant and two officers pressured Serino, who reportedly did not feel there was sufficient evidence for charges.
If Zimmeman was indeed “overzealous” and had “a little hero complex,” one would expect Off. Serino to be able to provide examples supportive of those contentions. What, precisely did Zimmerman ever say or do to make Serino think that? However, there appears to be no such evidence. Calling in a suspicious person and trying to keep them in sight for responding officers is hardly an example of excessive zeal.
So we have had a variety of media statements suggesting that Serino was hot to charge Zimmerman but was overruled, and now a statement that he was being pressured to charge when he didn’t think there was sufficient evidence. What’s interesting is that having made this testimony to the FBI, should Serino make more damning or less accurate statements in future testimony, he will find himself impeached or worse.
Item 3: Another Witness Certain To Blow Up In the Prosecution’s Face
Coming only two days after the release of new evidence in the case, WOFL, Fox 35 in Orlando released a report from “Witness 9” claiming that Zimmerman and his family are racists and that Zimmerman molested her for a decade.
The Conservative Treehouse has reported that Witness 9 is a cousin of Zimmerman’s named Christina Meza Johnson, who was apparently trying to sell her “story” to the media.
The WOFL account is interesting indeed:
The witness claims Zimmerman grew up in a racist family. She tells investigators, ‘They like black people if they act white, and other than that, they talk a lot of bad things about black people.’
When investigators asked the woman if she could recall any specific racist comments from George Zimmerman, she replied, ‘No.’ When asked if Zimmerman ever took action against anyone based on their race, she again said, ‘No.’ The woman also claims Zimmerman’s mom told her she does not like President Obama, because his mom is racist. She says, ‘I just could not believe that she said so loud and proud, saying that she was a racist.’
The witness also claims Zimmerman molested her for ten years, starting when she was six and he was about eight. She was watching television with George under some blankets at his family’s home. She claims, ‘He would reach under the blankets and try to do things, and I would try to push him off, but he was bigger and stronger and older.’ The woman claims when she was eight, he groped her behind the living room curtains and when she was twelve Zimmerman showed her his private parts. She says Zimmerman was manipulative. ‘George, he always made himself look so good. He just sucked up to my dad, and he was like the son he never had, and he always was just very charming and personable with everyone in the family.’ Witness Number Nine claims there was one more incident, when she was sixteen, at George’s house in Lake Mary. They were lying on a bed and he rubbed her chest, and she ran out of the house. The woman claims she came forward to talk to police, because for the first time in her life, she’s not afraid of George Zimmerman.
The defense moved to prevent the release of this information, correctly observing that it had no bearing on the case, and would not be admissible, but Judge Lester allowed its release.
This development is disturbing, but entirely predictable. In the prosecution of any normal case, if any party to the case is interested in trying it in the court of public opinion, it is virtually always the defense, however, it is precisely the opposite in this case. From what we know about the evidence, that is hardly surprising, but it is certainly unethical. It is the job of the prosecution to seek justice, not convictions. It is also the job of the prosecution to do their best to avoid prejudicing the jury pool. If the prosecution truly seeks justice, if the necessary evidence is present, convictions will occur. If not, they should not be prosecuting cases. It is likely that this will not be the last “surprise” witness to pop up for the prosecution. It is equally likely that any additional “star” witness will explode in the prosecutor’s face the moment they take the stand.
In the Martin case, there is a perfect storm for unethical behavior. No evidence to support the charge—likely any charge—under the law, overwhelming political and social pressure, perhaps going to the highest level of the American government, and unremitting media pressure and support for the narrative. This has already led to the faulty second degree murder affidavit and the faulty perjury affidavit against Shellie Zimmerman. I’ll get into Judge Lester shortly.
Perhaps it is a coincidence that this information is released at about the same time as the release of the FBI information that Zimmerman is not a racist, but I’ll let readers draw their own conclusions about that.
Let’s examine the evidence provided by Ms. Meza Johnson. She believes the Zimmermans are racists because they supposedly like black people who act white (whatever that might mean: have jobs? Use good grammar? Can’t jump? Can’t dance?), but otherwise say bad things about blacks, however, she could not remember anything negative they ever said about blacks. Zimmerman’s mother supposedly claimed to dislike Barack Obama because she’s a racist–something Ms. Meza Johnson would have us believe Mrs. Zimmerman actually said–but that sort of thing sounds far more like a bit of satire than a serious comment. Neither could she remember a single racist thing George Zimmerman ever said or a single racist action he ever took, which seems a bit odd for a lifetime spent in regular contact with a family of racists. In addition, the incidents of “molestation” described by Meza Johnson would not constitute a crime in any state of which I’m aware due to age and to the utter lack of the elements of any sexual crime. In addition, these allegations involve things alleged to have happened from 10 to 20 years ago, and even if a rogue prosecutor were tempted to conjure up charges where none exist, the statute of limitations would almost surely have expired for such things. In short, Meza Johnson has made allegations of non-crimes utterly unrelated to the case at hand with no evidence to support them, which considering the allegations, is hardly surprising.
This is where Judge Lester comes in—and may go out. It is the duty of a judge to ensure that any criminal defendant receives a fair trial. A substantial part of his duty in that regard is ensuring that prejudicial information unrelated to the substance of the case is not brought to the attention of a jury, or even a potential jury. Judge Lester must have known that this information would never be admissible in court under the laws of Florida and judicial ethics. He must have known it would be blatantly prejudicial and its release could have no other affect than to make the impaneling of an unbiased jury more difficult and perhaps impossible, yet he released this information. At the least, this could easily be reversible error on appeal, and could result in charges against the judge at the state bar.
Item 4: Zimmerman Moves For A New Judge.
On July 13, Zimmerman’s attorney’s filed a motion to disqualify Judge Lester (PDF of the motion available here). They wrote:
On July 5, 2012, this Court filed its Order Setting Bail. In said Order, the Court makes gratuitous, disparaging remarks about Mr. Zimmerman’s character; advocates for Mr. Zimmerman to be prosecuted for additional crimes; offers a personal opinion about the evidence for said prosecution; and continues to hold over Mr. Zimmerman’s head the threat of future contempt proceedings. In doing so, the court has created a reasonable fear in Mr. Zimmerman that this Court is biased against him and because of this prejudice he cannot receive a fair and impartial trial or hearing by this Court.
Jeralyn Merritt also spoke to this issue:
But now we have a much more troubling situation, one that I think the courts will recognize. Judge Lester impugned George Zimmerman’s character, saying he ‘flouted the system.’ He said he exhibited disrespect for the judicial process. He said he was a manipulator. He doesn’t think Zimmerman is credible. He has suggested there is probable cause for the state to charge him with a crime for misrepresentations in his bail application. He is holding the threat of contempt over Zimmerman’s head. The state presented no evidence other than a flimsy affidavit that failed to include information it had contradicting its theory of guilt, and he found the evidence against Zimmerman “strong.” In setting bail at a million dollars, he didn’t even acknowledge the strength of the defense evidence presented and admitted at the hearing. He even gratuitously threw in he thought Zimmerman might be preparing to flee.
The question is whether a reasonable person in Zimmerman’s situation — a defendant in his court — would fear the judge is biased as a result of his comments and rulings.
Merritt also suggested that all of this was a part of a larger defense strategy:
O’Mara did everything possible to placate the judge, to no avail. He tried agreeing with the judge and criticizing his client — too much so, in the eyes of many.
I think this was O’Mara’s strategy all along, at least since the hearing at which bond was revoked. He waited, giving the judge every opportunity to be fair at the hearing on resetting bond. There wasn’t much to be gained by a huge battle after the revocation. He’d increase the likelihood bond would be denied and be stuck in a habeas action appealing that ruling while his client stayed in jail. He has said his strategy at the last bond hearing was part of a greater, overall plan. I think he knew going into the last hearing he could use it as an opportunity to expose the judge’s bias. And he made a careful record, which he used extensively in his motion to recuse.
Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Judge Lester wants off this case. Between the media demands for information, the public scrutiny of every detail, and the demands of his other cases, it’s got to be a major headache.
I recommend reading the motion to disqualify. I have no doubt that O’Mara’s claims are completely accurate and that they represent clear and convincing evidence of bias on the part of Judge Lester. Judges are commonly very careful what they say about any defendant and the evidence in a case, certainly in open court. Most will not say anything even in chambers. Most take seriously indeed their obligation to appear to be impartial and fair if for o other reason than to avoid being overturned on appeal. For whatever reason, Judge Lester seems to have taken many obvious steps over that ethical line. There seems to be something about this case—most likely the political and social pressure—that has already corrupted the prosecution and Judge Lester. Frankly, I’ve never seen such behavior on the part of a prosecutor (apart from the Duke Lacrosse case) and a judge. It’s extraordinary.
This very well could be part of a larger strategy on the part of O’Mara, who surely knows he’s fighting on multiple levels in multiple venues. I suspect that’s why he allowed Zimmerman to do the Hannity interview: he’s fighting in the court of public opinion as well.
We are now at an interesting point in this case. If there is any additional information harmful to George Zimmerman, it is difficult indeed to imagine what that might be. In addition, the Prosecution has written two woefully incompetent, perhaps even actionably unethical affidavits in this case, one in charging Zimmerman himself, and the other in charging Shellie Zimmerman with perjury. The judge has arguably violated judicial ethics in commenting on the character of George Zimmerman, on the evidence against him—despite the fact there has yet to be even a preliminary hearing—and has essentially threatened him with additional charges while suggesting his statements might have had some involvement in inspiring Shellie Zimmerman’s arrest. And now the judge must decide whether he should be disqualified. I can’t say it enough: this is the case from outer space.
On the defense side, it’s hard to imagine, outside a complete dismissal with prejudice, how things could be much better for them. Zimmerman’s self defense claim appears to become stronger with each new release of information, and apart from some juvenile threats by the prosecution, there seems to be no evidence harmful to Zimmerman likely to be forthcoming.
The situation regarding prosecution witnesses is mind boggling. There is former Detective Serino who appears to have made contradictory statements, but has surely made unprofessional statements, and in the middle of perhaps the most politically dangerous case of his–or anyone’s–career, apparently got caught leaking confidential information and demoted. This is generally not considered to enhance one’s credibility. Then there is Dee Dee, about whom no one is speaking these days. I would be hard put indeed to imagine a worse potential witness, much of whose testimony is likely inadmissible anyway. And now we have Ms. Meza Johnson who was apparently so intimidated by Zimmerman that she tried to sell her story, a story with accusations of non-crimes but no actual details or non-evidence to non-prove them. And on top of all of that, none of her allegations have any bearing on the case and no rational judge would ever allow her to testify. But in this case, who knows? I’m frankly expecting space aliens or zombies at any minute.
As I’ve often mentioned, I’m constantly looking for information that might in some way alter the course of this case, but I’ve yet to see it. I’ve little doubt this case is—should we say “interesting”—for the defense. They have to consider the court of public opinion, the actual courts and the presidential election, while trying to factor in the innate corruption of the Holder Department of Justice and whatever political maneuvering might be done on the state and local levels.
It will be interesting to see what the supporters of the narrative do with the FBI report. George Zimmerman has to be a racist or the foundation of their world view collapses. And Prosecutor Bernard de la Rionda simply can’t let go of the “profiling” meme despite Investigator Gilbreath being badly embarrassed when he could not explain what it meant or who put it in the original affidavit at the April 20th bond hearing as I outlined in Update 3.
Stayed tuned for additional updates–or alien zombie alerts–as sufficient information becomes available.