The fallout from the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman prosecution continues apace. I have often written about the corruption and complete lack of ethics displayed by the prosecutors, but they’ve hit new lows. The Gateway Pundit reports that prosecutor Angela Corey, when asked to describe George Zimmerman in one word, replied “Murderer.”
The Rule of Law and Lies: Lawyers, particularly prosecutors, simply don’t say such things. They know that not only is such commentary a direct insult to jurors, it demonstrates a shocking lack of respect for the very system lawyers serve. It puts their personal and political feelings above the rule of law and erodes respect for the justice system and everyone working in it. It is unethical, destructive to liberty and irredeemably stupid, but that’s what we have come to expect from Corey and her minions.
Corey’s comment is also a lie. A murderer is one who unlawfully kills. George Zimmerman is not a murderer and Angela Corey knows it. She spent a great deal of time and taxpayer money conclusively proving it.
Corey’s Mini Mes Speak: From ABC News’ Matt Gutman, we hear from the prosecution:
[Bernie de la Rionda]…prayed that [George Zimmerman] would have the courage to take the stand.’
‘Anytime you put in a defendant’s statements and a lot of those are self-serving, then usually a defendant will make the decision not to testify because you’ve got his story out. We felt it was important to get his story out because there were so many lies.
Aren’t attorneys supposed to refrain from criticizing people for exercising their rights under the Constitution, or am I just being picky? De la Rionda had some questions for Zimmerman:
Why did you assume because [Trayvon] Martin was wearing a hoodie, he was committing a crime? Why did you assume that because he was walking he was doing something improper? Why didn’t you identify yourself? Why did you assume he didn’t belong in the neighborhood?
Well, I’ll answer: Zimmerman never said or suggested that Martin was committing a crime because he was wearing a hoodie. Zimmerman never said or suggested that Martin was doing something improper because he was walking. Zimmerman didn’t identify himself because Martin menaced him and ran away before he could get close enough for Zimmerman to roll down his window and talk to him, and when he had a chance, attacked Zimmerman before he could engage him in conversation. Zimmerman assumed he didn’t belong in the neighborhood because he didn’t recognize him as a resident and because of the circumstances. Lies, Mr. de la Rionda? De la Rionda had a theory:
I think [Zimmerman] had the gun out earlier … but we didn’t have the eyewitnesses.
And I think Bernie de la Rionda is a three-headed space alien from the planet Mongo here to kidnap females, because Mongo needs women! Unfortunately, I don’t have any eyewitnesses either.
John Guy had advice for Zimmerman about daring to protect his life from the death threats the prosecution inspired:
He better be careful.
Something tells me Florida is probably the last place George Zimmerman plans to hang around. Rich Mantei also provided sage constitutional commentary:
The law allows an awful lot of people to carry guns, that doesn’t mean they all should. People have the right to exercise their rights. …The question of whether or not their judgments are safe enough for the rest of the people they might come across. … I think is going to be judged by the future.
Angela Corey was reassuring:
There was absolutely no political pressure.
Well sure. After all, no one pressured Corey to affirm the judgment of the Sanford Police and local prosecutor not to charge Zimmerman. When you know precisely what you’re supposed to do and have the media, the Black Grievance Industry, the POTUS, the Governor and AG behind you, life is remarkably pressure-free. Mantei clarified some of the legal issues:
To call something an overcharge is to say there was no evidence for the charge. There was clearly intentional pulling of the trigger and motive. The question was it justifiable.
So those were the issues all along! And since the jury ruled, is that a question anymore? De la Rionda also clarified the law and felt badly that everyone didn’t hug afterward:
We try cases to win. Hope we bring justice to the table. In this case, we’re disappointed. We thought the evidence was there…
I’ve been doing this for 30 years,’ said de la Rionda, who has now only lost two murder cases in his career. ‘We respect our colleagues. I guess they don’t.
They thought the evidence was there? Ah! That was why they argued about anatomy rather than evidence in their closing statements! And of course, justice is all about de la Rionda’s win/loss record. Anyone believing that the prosecution harbored warm and fuzzy feelings toward the defense for even a fraction of a second would be well served reviewing Update 25 and Update 26 where the real character of de la Rionda–mostly in his own words–is laid bare.
Overall, the post-acquittal behavior and statements of the prosecutors show them not only to be unethical lawyers, but very sore losers far more concerned about their reputations than the administration of justice.
The Polls: From Allahpundit at Hot Air, we learn that Rasumussen finds that 48% of Americans agree with the verdict in the Zimmerman case. Only 34% disagree and 18% aren’t sure. In addition, 54% believe Zimmerman was motivated by his knowledge of area burglaries, while 24% think him motivated by racism. Twenty-two percent were not sure.
The Politics: Many legal observers and pundits believe that that DOJ will not file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. They cite compelling evidence, such as the fact that federal law simply doesn’t address the situation, the FBI investigation proved that Zimmerman was not a racist, and any such case would be sure to fail, badly embarrassing AG Holder and Mr. Obama. They’re right, except for two things: (1) they’re assuming that Mr. Obama behaves like a conventional politician, and (2) they’re assuming that Mr. Obama is capable of feeling shame and embarrassment.
Mr. Obama and his DOJ alter ego, Mr. Holder, will do whatever is most politically useful and whatever best aligns with their Marxist/statist goals at the time they make the decision. If they think Mr. Obama’s black and progressive base can be best inflamed and energized by stringing out an “investigation” into Zimmerman with the help of a complicit and drooling media in the pursuit of electoral advantage in the 2014 mid terms, that’s what they’ll do. If they think that goal best accomplished with bogus civil rights charges–even if they know they will inevitably lose–that’s what they’ll do. And what makes anyone think a DOJ with no respect for the rule of law would not do whatever was necessary to convict and imprison whomever it wanted to convict and imprison?
The final option is that Mr. Obama might deliver a grand teleprompter reading pretending to desire a post-racial America, and as a token, announce that no civil rights charges will be filed. I consider this the least likely of the three options.
What’s that you say? Options one and two would be a waste of taxpayer dollars? Right. Barack Obama has great respect for taxpayer dollars.
Stringing Out: And speaking of stringing out, the DOJ has contacted the Sanford Police and placed a hold on all of the evidence in the Zimmerman case, including George’s Zimmerman’s gun.
By law, Zimmerman is entitled to receive any of his property seized by the police, including his firearm. He was presumed innocent before his arrest, and has not been convicted of any crime. It’s another of those pesky Fourth Amendment issues that annoy the government so.
Commenting on this matter, Bill Maher demonstrated the insightful and classy analysis for which he is famous:
Comedian and HBO host Bill Maher drew boos from audience members on Tuesday during a taping of The Late Show With David Letterman, by saying that ‘the Florida state law is that he can get his gun back. I say that if he gets a gun, Casey Anthony gets a baby.
Rumors and Gossip: Fox News tells us the DOJ has been busy:
More than a year after an FBI report indicated there was no evidence of racial bias in George Zimmerman’s history, the Justice Department is trolling for email tips on the former neighborhood watch volunteer as it weighs a possible federal civil rights case against him.
Amid pressure from the NAACP and several Democratic lawmakers to pursue Zimmerman, the department has set up a public email address asking for any tips or information regarding the case. The move appears to mark an expansion of the probe, after Attorney General Eric Holder said in an address Tuesday to the NAACP that his department would “consider all available information” before deciding whether to move forward.
And of course, the execrable Tom Perez of the DOJ Civil Rights Division is deeply involved:
The department also held a conference call with civil rights leaders on Monday.
The conference call included DOJ officials, along with representatives from the FBI and federal prosecutors. They spoke to civil rights leaders from Sanford, Fla., as well as others from around the country.
The call was convened by Tom Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division.
A Justice official told Fox News that both the conference call and the email address asking for tips and information are fairly standard procedure when dealing with a high-profile investigation such as this one. The department has used such tip lines in the past, including in a probe last year of the Albuquerque, N.M., police department.
And what was the content of the conference call?
Barbara Arnwine, president and executive director the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told the Orlando Sentinel that she was part of a Justice Department conference call on Monday that discussed the matter.
‘They were calling on us to actively refer anyone who had any information,’ that might build a case against Zimmerman for either a civil rights violation or a hate crime, Arnwine said. ‘They said they would very aggressively investigate this case.
Right. I seem to remember something about a trial where there was no evidence of racism or a hate crime. Certainly, the way to conduct federal investigations, after an exhaustive FBI investigation, is to rely on rumor and gossip. Readers with a few spare moments might contact the DOJ tip line–it’s here– Sanford.firstname.lastname@example.org. and let them know about the lunatic racists at the DOJ. Be polite, of course. Remember, the federal government has no sense of humor of which it is aware.
Cornell Law Professor William A. Jacobson of Legal Insurrection had these observations:
There’s a reason we stand up for the rights of individuals like George Zimmerman against an overreaching State.
It’s not just about the individual. It’s about all of us, and the reality that there but for fortune could go you or I.
The highly politicized Department of Justice desperately wants to bring federal charges to placate the race-agitators, and has joined in the witch hunt…
Update: Hey, call me old-fashioned. I don’t think the government should be in the business of identifying political targets first, trying to figure out if a crime was committed second. In an era in which everyone is guilty of something, this is a prescription for prosecutorial tyranny, as Prof. Glenn Reynold wrote in Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything is a Crime. See also my prior post, Racialized prosecutorial indiscretion in the Zimmerman case.
Lighting The Fire: As we now know, it was the “Community Relations Service (CRS) of the DOJ that lit the fire under the Zimmerman case. As Ron Cheaney at The American Thinker informs us, thanks to Judicial Watch, CRS involvement has been proved:
…Judicial Watch researchers were able to obtain hundreds of documents and emails pertaining to the case. This information helped Judicial Watch prove that a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman.
Hidden among these documents were emails dated from just after the shooting that referenced Trayvon Martin’s uncle, Ronald Fulton.
We also know that one of the primary groups the CRS helped–“Dream Defenders” is anything but a grass roots, student group (time frames refer to an audiotape of a meeting obtained by Judicial Watch, which was organized by the CRS):
1. The DOJ official called Dream Defenders a “student group” and referenced the ‘students’ talking at the meeting. (5:45 to 6:10) Yet none of the three members of Dream Defenders who were at the event is a student. Gabriel M. Pendas graduated from FSU in 2005. Vanessa Jennifer Baden graduated from FSU in 2007. Nelini Stamp never attended college. (10:20 to 11:00)
2. Far from being a ‘student group,’ the organization headed up by Pendas and two other non-students (including Stamp) is “Dream Defenders, Inc.,” a Florida corporation. (6:50 to 7:00; incorporation details here).
3. Given the background of the three people who appeared on its behalf, there is reason to believe that Dream Defenders is an ‘astroturf’ front group funded by the lawyers for Travon Martin’s family and/or ultra-left-wing big money sources. All three have long worked as paid political agitators.
Stamp currently works for an ACORN front group (the Working Families Party) and was a leader of the nationwide Occupy movement. During the April, 2012, Dream Defenders march she said that the protest was “bigger than Travon” because ‘we can’t take this anymore’ — ‘the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer.’ (9:55 to 11:30)
Pendas has spent the last decade, starting in college, working as a paid community organizer. (6:40 to 6:50; 9:40 to 9:55).
Baden began working as an organizer (with Pendas) in college (8:50 to 9:00) and has held at least three organizing jobs. As first reported yesterday on Breitbart.com by Lee Stranahan, for at least two years (2005-06) Baden worked as ‘Head of Activism’ at Parks & Crump, the law firm currently representing Travon Martin’s family (as Stranahan details, she focused her paid activism work on a racially charged case involving the death of another African-American teenager, which provided the “playbook” for the Travon Martin case, and at one point she apparently helped lead a mob that blocked rush-hour traffic in Florida’s capitol).
Liberal Lunacy: Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Jesse Jackson was predictable:
If Trayvon Martin were not a young black male, he would be alive today. Despite the verdict, it’s clear that George Zimmerman would never have confronted a young white man wearing a hoodie. He would, at the very least, have listened to the cops and stayed back…
That is the reality that can no longer be ignored. Through the years, gruesome horrors — the murder of Emmitt Till, the shooting of Medgar Evers in his front yard — have galvanized African Americans and public action on civil rights. Trayvon Martin’s death should do the same…
We need a national investigation of the racial context that led to Trayvon Martin’s slaying. Congress must act. And it’s time to call on the United Nations Human Rights Commission for an in-depth investigation of whether the U.S. is upholding its obligations under international human rights laws and treaties. Trayvon Martin’s death demands much more than a jury’s verdict on George Zimmerman. It calls for us to hear the evidence and render a verdict on the racial reality that never had its day in court at the trial.
Right. The UN, because it does so well at upholding human rights, when it’s troops aren’t raping the locals.
And Nancy Grace was equally predicable–and unhinged:
I’ll tell you what I think made a difference. When that 9-1-1 tape first came out — and everybody, get ready, this is graphic language — when it first came out that Zimmerman had said ‘fucking coon‘ on the 9-1-1 call, to me, that was open-and-shut that that showed open ill will and hatred. Now they’ve revised it to say he said ‘These punks, they always get away with it.’ I’m wondering if that reinterpretation of what he said made a difference as to a jury finding ill will in Mr. Zimmerman’s heart.
As I proved in Update 5 and Update 7 George Zimmerman did not say “fucking coons,” but instead viciously verbally attacked the Florida weather by muttering, under his breath, that it was “fucking cold.” CNN’s breathless story about Zimmerman’s racial slur was very, very reluctantly sort-of retracted by a clueless CNN talking head who, despite being presented with incontrovertible evidence by his own expert that Zimmerman was referring only to the temperature, couldn’t quite bring himself to admit he had been behaving like an idiot–just like Ms. Grace.
Every now and then, a leftist commits a serious gaffe, gaffe being defined as accidently telling the truth. Such was the case with Jasmine Rand, a Scheme Team attorney. Like Angela Corey, she obviously has a greater duty than upholding the rule of law. From Greta Van Susteran via Mediate.com:
I don’t think that they [the Zimmerman jury] properly considered the evidence,’ Rand declared. ‘If they had listened to the evidence and they had followed the law, then George Zimmerman would have been convicted of murder.’
‘You’re a lawyer, right?’ Van Susteren asked sternly. ‘It’s your duty — it’s not mine, it’s not yours, or anybody else — but it’s the jury’s duty to weigh [the evidence]. All of the sudden, suddenly, afterwards you say they can’t do their job?’
‘I have a greater duty beyond being an attorney, and that’s to be a social engineer,’ Rand shot back. ‘And when the law doesn’t get it right, I believe that we have the right to peacefully, and morally, conscientiously object to the decision of the jury.
I was going to observe that Rand would be a perfect fit to work with Angela Corey, but of course, she is a member of the Scheme Team. She and the other members of the Scheme Team were working with Corey before Corey actually was assigned the case.
God’s View: Fortunately, Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, knows the very nature of God and kindly informs us, via Fox News:
God ain’t good all of the time. In fact, sometimes, God is not for us,’ she wrote in the post. ‘As a black woman in an [sic] nation that has taken too many pains to remind me that I am not a white man, and am not capable of taking care of my reproductive rights, or my voting rights, I know that this American god ain’t my god.
As a matter of fact, I think he’s a white racist god with a problem. More importantly, he is carrying a gun and stalking young black men.
As a historian of American and African-American religion, I know that the Trayvon Martin moment is just one moment in a history of racism in America that, in large part, has its underpinnings in Christianity and its history. Those of us who teach American Religion have a responsibility to tell all of the story, not just the nice touchy-feely parts.
When the good Christians of America are some of its biggest racists, one has to consider our moral responsibility to call out those who clearly are not for human flourishing, no matter what ethnicity a person is. Where are you on that scale? I know where I am.
Her original writing can be found here. Read the whole thing if you’ve the stomach for it.
The “Trayvon Martin movement?” Isn’t that a marketing campaign for hoodies, Skittles and traditional leftist politics? Somehow I get the feeling that anyone wanting to learn about religion would not be well served at the University of Pennsylvania. Leftist racial activism, certainly, but religion? Not so much.
In a tweet sent out earlier this afternoon, Butler reiterated her statement that Americans worship a racist God.
‘y’all take care of the KKKlan Twitter egg avi’s till I return. I see my sheet they don’t like me calling out their racist god #toobad’ she tweeted.
In the blog-post Butler also criticized Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Koch brothers, the NRA, and capitalism as part of a system which supports the actions of people like George Zimmerman.
Neither Butler or Upenn responded to Campus Reform’s request for comment.
Sanctions: Reuters notes that all may not be smooth sailing for Angela Corey:
A former employee of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey’s office plans to file a whistleblower lawsuit against George Zimmerman’s prosecutors, his attorney told Reuters on Tuesday.
The action will put pressure on Corey, who already faces criticism from some legal experts for the unsuccessful prosecution of the case, which led to the acquittal of Zimmerman for shooting unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s defense has also called for sanctions against her and her prosecution team.
Ben Kruidbos, Corey’s former director of information technology, was fired after testifying at a pre-trial hearing on June 6 that prosecutors failed to turn over potentially embarrassing evidence extracted from Martin’s cell phone to the defense, as required by evidence-sharing laws.
‘We will be filing a whistleblower action in (Florida’s Fourth Judicial District) Circuit Court,’ said Kruidbos’ attorney Wesley White, himself a former prosecutor who was hired by Corey but resigned in December because he disagreed with her prosecutorial priorities. He said the suit will be filed within the next 30 days.
Who could possibly disagree with Angela Corey’s prosecutorial priorities?
Still to come in this case are hearings on the remaining sanctions motions against the prosecution. I expect Judge Nelson to find no Brady violations and to dismiss those motions without breaking a sweat.
Also on the horizon is Shellie Zimmerman’s trail for perjury. I’ll be reporting in depth on that upcoming trial in the very near future.
Roger Simon at PJ Media notes that the Trayvon Martin rallies planned for 100 cities over the weekend didn’t quite pan out as expected:
In other words, the turnout was somewhere between minuscule and puny — maybe, at best, fifteen thousand people nationwide in a country of 314 million. (You do the math on that one…. Okay, I’ll do it. That’s .00005 of the population.)
If the response of the institutional Left teaches us anything about this case, it is that this was never about this case. Convicted or acquitted, they would still be demonstrating about their never changing, never ending priorities, all of which would greatly diminish individual liberty and strengthen the imperial state.
Among the many outrages in this case is the continuing manipulation of Trayvon Martin, a young man who has become a perpetual political puppet of the hard left. It’s a shame such people are incapable of feeling shame.
Let’s give Mr. Simon the last word:
As one who has had the great fortune to travel the world and visit some sixty countries, the USA, in my view, is the least racist of all.
Is there still racism here? Of course. Will there always be? Most likely, humans being what they are.
But the best way to get rid of what remains is to shut up about it.
The sooner the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman affair disappears in the rear view mirror, the better for all of us.