I have long had doubts about the integrity of the special prosecutor and her deputies in the Martin case. Two successive charging affidavits—that of George Zimmerman and that of Shellie Zimmerman that did not contain probable cause, that did not fulfill the elements of the offense gave me substantial cause for concern. Bernie de la Rionda’s bumbling and potentially coached interview of “Dee Dee,” left me slack-jawed. After the information that came to light today, I no longer have that concern: Ms. Corey and her deputies have no integrity at all.
I have long had no doubt that the media is obscenely biased to the left, and in the Martin case, that means toward “the narrative.” I still have no doubt. Consider this passage from an August 9, 2012 story by The New York Daily News:
Trayvon Martin corpse photo accidentally released by Florida prosecutors as part of botched evidence dump
Zimmerman, who was on academic probation when he was booted from the school in the wake of the shooting of Martin, did get an A in criminal litigation and a B in criminal investigation, the transcripts show.
But Zimmerman’s overall grade point average was dragged down by his abysmal math and science grades, which included a pair of Fs in two algebra classes.
The transcripts were in a package of evidence that was mistakenly released by prosecutors in Orlando, and which also included a photograph of the slain 17-year-old.
The Daily News has chosen not to publish the post-mortem photo.
Zimmerman’s high school transcript was also in the evidence packet. It revealed that here too he struggled with math and science — and, more surprisingly, his Spanish grades were in the low 80s, despite the fact that Zimmerman is half-Peruvian.
Under Florida law, all the material is supposed to be confidential. But they are a window into the intellectual firepower of Zimmerman, who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and is free on $1 million bond.
Consider too this August 9, 2012 story from The Miami Herald:
Records show Zimmerman got D’s in criminal justice classes
Prosecutors accidentally released his academic record, which is normally exempt from Florida’s public-records laws. Also released by mistake: A photograph of Trayvon Martin’s corpse.
Prosecutors trying George Zimmerman on a second-degree murder charge accidentally released protected evidence Thursday, sending journalists and bloggers around the nation private academic transcripts showing that the neighborhood watch volunteer who aspired to become a judge did poorly on the classes in his major, criminal justice.
The prosecution also accidentally released a photo of Trayvon Martin’s body, which both sides in the case had agreed to keep from public view. The corpse photo was a grainy cellphone picture taken in the dark by one of the people who lives near the shooting scene. It was posted Thursday on blogs that subscribe to the Duval County State Attorney’s media email list.
Prosecutors recalled an email, which contained Zimmerman’s academic records from his Virginia high school and Seminole State College, in Sanford, where he studied criminal justice, but many media outlets had already reviewed the material. The records show Zimmerman’s mediocre grades had led to academic probation.
He got D’s in Introduction to Criminal Justice and Juvenile Delinquency, and a C in a course called Evil Minds -Violent Predators. He failed algebra and astronomy and had been placed on academic probation in 2011.
At one point, his grade-point average dropped to a .5. His A’s in English, criminal litigation and a Marriage and Family class boosted his overall G.P.A. to 2.3.
In late 2011, he was declined an associate’s degree because he had failed a class and did not have the credits to graduate. He was expelled from the school about three weeks after the killing, when the struggling student suddenly became the focus of a national media firestorm for having killed an unarmed teenager.
In releasing school records, the Special Prosecutor violated Florida law. The Miami Herald was very concerned about that:
Legal experts said prosecutors probably reviewed Zimmerman’s school records because they could suggest that he had enough knowledge of criminal justice to concoct a self defense claim on the fly.
‘To the extent that he had some knowledge of self defense, he would have been able to put together a story that made some sense,’ said Frederick Leatherman, a retired Seattle defense lawyer and legal-issues blogger who has reviewed all the Zimmerman case evidence. ‘As he conjured up this story, he didn’t know that a lot of the forensics would not match.’
Zimmerman’s defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, declined to comment about the accidental release of evidence Thursday. A spokeswoman for State Attorney Angela Corey released a statement saying the documents were inadvertently released without being reviewed, and asked reporters not to publish them because school records are exempt from Florida’s public-records law.
We are now to believe that the Special Prosecutor did a document dump—”accidently released protected evidence”–without bothering to check its contents. They were “inadvertently released without being reviewed.”
A somewhat cynical man would be tempted to think that the photograph was released because the prosecution is worried, as well they should be: the evidence in this case is not on their side and never was. That same cynical man might be further tempted to think the photo was released to fan the flames of racial hatred and strife and to prejudice the entire nation, and media outlets from North to South, such as the New York Daily News and the Miami Herald are cooperating, at least in part. And further, that cynical man might be led to believe the school records were released to do as much harm to Zimmerman’s reputation as possible, and to buttress the “wanna-be cop” portion of “the narrative,” even adding “stupid wanna-be cop.”
I’m not a somewhat cynical man. I believe Lilly Tomlin was right when she said:
No matter how cynical I get, it’s impossible to keep up.
That’s certainly true in the Martin case. I suspect the prosecution isn’t worried about so blatantly violating the law and legal ethics. They know the fix is in. They’re probably sure the judge is in their pocket and will be unlikely indeed to sanction them, particularly since an appeal over his removal from the case may be filed any day. Mark O’Mara is in a bad position, and is probably reluctant to press the issue with a judge who might take even more offense and further harm George or Shellie Zimmerman. Or perhaps he is waiting to see if the judge will do anything about it, and failing that, provide even greater evidence of bias against Zimmerman to use on appeal.
Which is worse, knowingly violating the law by releasing protected evidence that is unmistakably and intensely prejudicial to the accused, or being so incompetent as to accidently release that evidence?
The media’s slant on this story is plain, unprofessional and offensive. The New York Daily News and Miami Herald don’t bother to report factually, but focus in on Zimmerman’s grades in an obvious attempt to portray him as an idiot. And “legal experts” claim the prosecution obtained his academic records in order to better lie about the case. A Mr. Leatherman from Seattle tells us: “As he conjured up this story, he didn’t know that a lot of the forensics would not match.” Mr. Leatherman apparently has reviewed the evidence of a different case. In the case I’ve followed, all of the evidence supports Zimmerman’s account and the prosecution’s investigator, Dale Gilbreath, has admitted essentially that.
If there was any doubt that the prosecution intended to use any dirty trick it could imagine, including violating legal ethics and the law, to convict George and Shellie Zimmerman, I suspect that doubt may now be safely retired. All that remains to be known before trial is to what degree the Judge is in the prosecution’s pocket. Any competent, ethical jurist would severely sanction the prosecution for this crude, cruel and stupid stunt—declaring a mistrial or dismissing the case with prejudice would not be too severe–for it is now a virtual certainty that a fair trial for George Zimmerman is impossible.
One need not be a cynical man to reasonably conclude that in this case, the criminals are on the wrong side of the bars.