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Monday, July 15, 2013

My Thoughts on the Zimmerman Verdict

A friend and colleague asked me today regarding my thoughts on the Zimmerman verdict. Let's be honest. Although we can speculate, we will never know exactly what happened that night. Other than Zimmerman, no one alive witnessed all the events.

But that isn't the point. The state of Florida had an evidentiary burden to meet--"beyond a reasonable doubt." Not only could they not meet this burden, they didn't even come close. The prosecution lacked evidence to dispute Zimmerman's assertion of self-defense, and the state's own investigators--the police that actually questioned the suspects and examined the evidence--had determined that Martin's death was justified. The state's case appears to have been based on nothing more than speculation, assumption and outrage. If prosecutors didn't have immunity for bringing a charge, this matter probably would have been dropped long before.

Now we have protests across the nation, and even attacks on Hispanics. (See here and here). Apparently the protesters would prefer a legal system where you are assumed to be guilty unless you can prove otherwise. (Which, because of the defense of self-defense, Zimmerman essentially did). Except, I'm fooling myself. They simply want mob justice, or to simply feel better about themselves by supporting something they see as chic and popular. The only winners out of this will be the politicians and their media sycophants.

Yet the real question that should be on our mind is how many people are subject to the same type of frivolous prosecutions without the benefit of an attorney as skilled as Zimmerman's, and the moral fortitude to fight it out rather than agree to a plea bargain. 

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