For Those Willing To See It, The Justice Department’s Conduct Regarding George Zimmerman Is Definitive Proof Of Corruption

When John Mitchell starts looking good, you know we have an Attorney General problem...

When John Mitchell starts looking good, you know we have an Attorney General problem…

President Obama and Eric Holder are feeling great pressure, says the Washington Post, to bring federal charges against George Zimmerman. All of the President’s most vocal supporters want a federal prosecution to address the “injustice” of the Florida jury’s acquittal of the man who shot Trayvon Martin. Yet informed observers, analysts, academics and attorneys both in and out of the Justice Department say that the likelihood of a conviction would be small or non-existent. A civil rights prosecution would have to prove racial animus and hatred on Zimmerman’s part, and there is just no evidence of that, as the trial just concluded shows.

There is no evidence of a civil rights violation. Since there is no evidence, there is no genuine issue or controversy. Unscrupulous organizations, self-interested activists and ignorant citizens, all apparently firmly in the political camp headed by President Obama and Attorney General Holder, his loyal lieutenant, are calling for a prosecution that will continue a vendetta-based persecution predicated on false assumptions and bias. And my question is…

So what? If it is self-evident that there is no legitimate justification for continuing to hound George Zimmerman and destroy him, why are the President of the United States and his Justice Department “feeling pressure” to engage in a blatant abuse of power and to target an innocent citizen for law enforcement? The President and the Justice Department are pledged and obligated to protect and serve  all Americans equally, without bias, prejudice, or favoritism, following Constitutional principles and the rule of law. There can be no pressure to act in contradiction and violation of this duty. It’s wrong.  When there is no option there is no problem, and the simple, and only, ethical response to manufactured pressure to bring charges against a citizen when there is no evidence for such charges is “No.” Just “No.” The U.S. government cannot arbitrarily use its power to punish the designated targets of interest groups.  A government that can be selectively sicced on individual citizens is a threat to all of us, and corrupt to the core. This  perceived “pressure” is the simplest thing in the world to relieve—just say this:

” The jury has evaluated the case for punishing George Zimmerman and found it wanting. In the absence of sufficient evidence to prove Mr. Zimmerman was not acting ins self-defense when he shot Trayvon Martin, and no evidence at all presented at trial that would suggest that the crime was race-related, it would be inappropriate for the Justice Department to continue this matter.”

Instead, disgracefully and unethically, Eric Holder is directing his supposedly non-partisan Justice Department to actively search for ways it can continue the persecution of George Zimmerman,and the President of the United States is allowing him to do it.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

“The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday afternoon appealed to civil rights groups and community leaders, nationally and in Sanford, for help investigating whether a federal criminal case might be brought against George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, one advocate said. The DOJ has also set up a public email address to take in tips on its civil rights investigation. Barbara Arnwine, president and executive director the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – who earlier in the day joined calls for federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman, said that later in the afternoon, she joined a U.S. Department of Justice conference call to discuss the prospects. “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.” Arnwine said the call was convened at about 3:30 p.m. by Tom Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, and included representatives from the FBI, and several federal prosecutors, she said. DOJ officials also said they would open a public email address so people could send in tips on the case. That email address, which is now in operation, is Sanford.florida@usdoj.gov. In addition to Arnwine’s group, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Laura Murphy, Washington Chapter head of the ACLU; and several national, Florida and Sanford-based “human relations” groups participated, Arnwine said. During the call, DOJ officials announced they had set up a way for people to send email tips that could help aid in their investigation. The email address will be operational later this week.”

There is no way to spin this, though many will try, since admitting what is now an unavoidable truth about both Holder and Obama is too painful for some to bear. The U.S. government has no evidence that George Zimmerman committed a crime and no reason toi believe that there is any, but its ruling party’s supporters want him punished, so Holder is dutifully looking for something to punish him for. In other words, “Get George Zimmerman.” If this doesn’t seem sinister to you, first, what the hell’s the matter with you?, and second, just think a second. The procedure in law enforcement is to learn of evidence that a crime has been committed, and then to investigate suspects and to see if they did it. Targeting for prosecution an individual who has engaged in no crime, and pursuing that prosecution by looking for a evidence when there is no valid reason to think it exists, is a purely political exercise and a gross abuse of government power. This is the sort of thing J.Edgar Hoover’s FBI engaged in, to its perpetual shame. This is using the power of the government for de facto assassination, and if it can be done to George Zimmerman, it can be done to any one of us. There are laws upon laws in the U.S., and if the government sets out to make you a criminal, you will be a criminal.

Far from opposing this vicious, cynical and cowardly use of the Justice Department to settle political scores (for the race-grievance industry hates George Zimmerman for not being the murderous racist they said he was, so it is dedicated to making him one, and facts and fairness have nothing to do with it), Attorney General Eric Holder, already the most corrupt and incompetent U.S. Attorney General within memory (John Mitchel was as corrupt, but more competent; Ed Meese was as incompetent, but not corrupt), is telling activists that he’s with them: George Zimmerman must be got. Yesterday he courted applause from the NAACP convention by condemning Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, to which law professor Ann Althouse responded..

“Let me translate: Holder wants relief from the pressure to prosecute Zimmerman, so he’s shifting to a topic that has nothing to do with Zimmerman but that low-information people think has to do with Zimmerman. (Zimmerman was pinned down before he decided his life was on the line, and he had no route of escape.) And, yes, I know Holder is also talking about investigating the Zimmerman matter. But “investigating” is code. As we saw with Benghazi, it means: We’re hoping that if enough time passes, you’ll forget about it. This is all so thoroughly lame. But at the same time: It’s a very powerful person speaking dishonestly and threateningly about the exercise of power. What a disgusting combination.”

Yes, isn’t it.

But then Holder is a disgusting combination, and so is the Administration that he serves. “Pressure” again, you will note. This isn’t a government for the people, it’s a government for racial groups that the President owes his election to, and if a “white Hispanic” who was properly found not guilty of a crime he never should have been charged with has to be destroyed to satisfy that base, well, as they say, “by any means necessary.” A trustworthy Constitutional government doesn’t yield to “pressure” to abuse power and target citizens because of the color of their skin. (Go ahead, deny that in this situation. Would the ACLU and the NAACP be demanding Zimmerman’s head if he was black, or even if his name were Hernandez?) A trustworthy government doesn’t destroy one citizen because the citizens who vote for its leaders  exert “pressure.” Nor does a good government. Or a democratic one.

Both Obama and Holder are lawyers, and at least one of them is a smart man. Virtually every lawyer who has examined this case has concluded that the jury was correct—it is more of a consensus than  the “consensus” for global warming. Most agree with Alan Dershowitz that the case never should have been brought at all. The predominant feeling in the legal community is that the media and the public, lacking knowledge of the law and civics, simply don’t understand what happened, leading renowned attorney and ethicist Stephen Gillers to publish this excellent “Imaginary dialogue trying to explain Florida v. Zimmerman to someone who has not had the benefit of a legal education.”

Do you really think Obama and Holder don’t know that Zimmerman is innocent under the law? Of course they do; it’s undeniable. Yet even knowing that, they are determined to find something to allow them to charge a citizen with a crime after he has lost a year of his life and his reputation to an unethical prosecution. And why? Because their supporters are applying pressure: they want someone destroyed for political gain, and because the President of the United States and his Attorney General don’t possess the integrity, honor, patriotism or belief in the Constitution to say “no.”

That is more than disgusting.

That is frightening.

[ I highly recommend the commentary on the Zimmerman prosecution from William Saletan of Slate, John Steele of the Legal Ethic Forum, and David Bernstein of the Volokh Conspiracy. Feel free to refer them to your ignorant Facebook friends who are signing “Justice For Trayvon” petitions. Tell them I sent you.]

_____________________________

Facts: Washington Post, Orlando Sentinel

Sources: Legal Ethics Forum, Legal InsurrectionAlthouse

Graphic: New York Natives

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.

 

 

 

71 thoughts on “For Those Willing To See It, The Justice Department’s Conduct Regarding George Zimmerman Is Definitive Proof Of Corruption

  1. Why? I’ll answer (as I so often do) with a story:

    A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
    scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
    frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion
    says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

    The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
    the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
    paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
    but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

    Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”

  2. Jack I understand why CNN and the media bushmill keep pushing this broken story…. ratings

    But why are YOU still on it?

    Please change the conversation.

    • Ignoring problems don’t make them go away.

      Evil persists because good men do nothing.

      To expound: good men who aren’t educated on what evils are occurring can’t do anything about it.

      • There’s no “problem.” It just politics as usual… Obama is using Holder as his mouthpiece to keep the party faithful energized.

        Remember GW Bush and the Terry Schiavo scandal? He came off vacation, mobilized Congress and probably would have mobilized the National Guard if that would have helped.. Why? To keep the Party Faithful involved.

        • I saw no action from Pres. Bush in the Schiavo matter—it was all from Jeb Bush and Frist…and so what? Who was being locked up? The situations are not remotely comparable. The government interferes with private family decisions about when to pull the plug—controversial, I think clearly wrong. The government sets out to throw you in prison to win votes? Dangerous and critical to stop for the safety of the country.

          • You recall incorrectly. He signed legislation and spoke after her death. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxQBuLH195M

            And the government throws people in prison all the time to win votes. The war on drugs leaps to mind.

            Personally, I think Holder should drop it. My guess is that the DOJ won’t pursue charges but they are grandstanding right now to prevent riots. I could be wrong, but that’s my bet.

            • Throwing drug criminals in jail as part of the war on drugs “to get votes” is not analogous to prosecuting Zimmerman after his acquittal to get votes. It would be more like claiming cynically “man those politicians throw murderers and thieves in jail all the time to get votes, you know they are only doing that to look like they are doing good”.

              Prosecuting drug criminals as part of enforcing drug laws is hardly equitable to an administration throwing a tantrum that their preferred end state did not occur in the Zimmerman and then in the same tantrum deciding they will throw their weight into finding something-ANYTHING to bust Zimmerman for.

              • I disagree. I’m not a fan of drugs, but the enforcement of them (and the punishments attached) are ridiculous, unfair, and have led to the imprisonment of a large percentage of our population who have done nothing to anyone except themselves. In my view, this is far worse than the prosecution of a lone man.

                • It still isn’t analogous. Those who have broken drug laws broke them and were discovered to have broken them, sure some have been discovered after tips were received.

                  The DOJ has NO CASE against Zimmerman, yet they are requesting ANYONE come forward with ANYTHING they can prosecute him for. They have pre-ordained a private citizen to be found guilty of something. They want him guilty. This is TERRIFYING.

                  This does not parallel the Drug War one iota (even if you could prove drug laws to be unfair or unconstitutional)

                • Beth your analogy still doesn’t work here. The drug laws may or may not be ridiculous and unfair…but they are still the laws of the land and good citizens are bound to follow them. If you break them, you will have to live with the consequences of your actions. There are many LEGAL ways for citizens to attempt to change laws that they feel are unjust or improper.
                  The problem with this particular situation is that Zimmerman has already been found not guilty and it is obvious the administration is trying to gin up a crime where its own FBI has already determined there is none.

                    • I thought your point was to analogize the ridiculousness of pressing federal charges gainst Zimmerman??

                      If you think that pressing charges agains drug people is wrong because the laws are wrong, then by analogy are you saying finding a federal civil rights law to press against Zimmerman is wrong because civil rights laws are wrong?

                      I’m really confused if you are trying to open a new discussion or continue delving into the Zimmerman persecution?

                    • My point solely is that the government throws people in jail all the time to win votes. This is neither a pro-Republican nor a pro-Democrat statement, it is just a factual one. The war on drugs, as an easy example, involves minor incarcerations from pot smokers to vicious drug cartels. The laws are on the books, but the decision to strongly enforce those laws, hire increased personnel (local, state and federal), border enforcement, costly military surveillance, additional prisons, etc. – this is at least partially designed to win political favor from certain demographic groups. (Some would argue too to pad the pockets of affiliated lobbyists and defense contractors, but I don’t need to go there AND my tinfoil hat is at the cleaners.) The only analogy back to Martin/Zimmerman is a big picture one — politicians create or manipulate laws, policies, investigations, etc. to garner political favor.

              • Well, assuming I’m right — I very well could be wrong, that would be effective leadership. The situation still is hot and there are protests everywhere. So, let’s have the DOJ (under the leadership of a black man) “investigate” and then announce a few weeks later — once there is a new story — that the government won’t be bringing charges.

                • That’s not leadership. That’s playing to the falsely based emotions of nefariously manipulated mob. That essentially endorses those falsely built emotions by saying “sure we think you are right” all the while deceiving them as to the real intentions of the leaders, which, in your hypothetical is not to pursue anything.

                  So instead, they will lie to the mob and in their lie, they will strengthen the mob’s belief that the mob is right. When the frenzied mob calms down it will realize its leaders betrayed it an will then only hope for more radical leadership in the future.

                  That is not good leadership. That is kicking a huge disaster down the road and helping to make the disaster worse!

                  Good leadership would diffuse the situation while steering the mob towards a rational mode of thought.

                  Of course it doesn’t help that the very people we need that leadership from are the same people who helped ensure the frenzied crowd came into existence.

            • My guess is that the DOJ won’t pursue charges but they are grandstanding right now to prevent riots.

              If that is why they are doing it, they should be removed from their positions, and any lawyers involved should be fucking disbarred.

              It remains a disgusting abuse of the power of the Federal Government, and frankly I think that doing it merely for show makes it even worse.

              • Well, I don’t think grandstanding should be a daily governing principle, but bread and circuses once in in a blue moon to prevent mass rioting is okay — especially if no one gets prosecuted.

                • How can you consider it ok to postpone rioting by strengthening the rioter’s falsely based beliefs and ultimately adding to the problem that causes the riots to begin with.

                  It’s that kind of “kick the can” mentality that makes problems grow and grow and fester until it CANNOT be solved without violence.

                  • Just because the DOJ is “investigating,” doesn’t mean it will be strengthened. What if they investigate and find absolutely nothing wrong? It happens every day with government investigations.

                    • So as long as – in the end – they don’t do anything, then you think it is perfectly acceptable for senior law-enforcement officer in the entire country to call for the most exactly and invasive investigation into a single citizen – a citizen who is not guilty of a single crime, I would remind you – simply because the howling, ignorant mob demands it?

                      Seriously, how the fuck did they come to admit you to the bar, and how the holy fuck have you kept your damned law license? Do you have pictures of somebody? Because I cannot begin to grasp how someone so willing to excuse a blatant abuse of power could retain the ability to practice law.

                    • How about we get them to launch an investigation into you, hmm? Put out a public call for people to dig into every possible facet of your life and dealing in a search for evidence to back up a charge they actively seek to make stick?

                      you don’t think that a little confirmation bias might come into play? That maybe they might misconstrue something and spin it in the worst of possible light in order to secure at least the ability to make you stand trial?

                      Seriously, I need to invent some new profanity, because the old standby’s simply no longer suffice at describing the utter contempt I have for you.

                    • AM – I don’t think that there is a criminal civil rights violation here, but I don’t have all the facts and neither do you. That’s why we have investigations. That’s why we have state and federal governments. You can be guilty of a state crime and not guilty of a federal crime or vice versa.

                    • The problem is the government saying “gee, this guy doesn’t seem to be guilty of anything. Let’s find something so we can try him!” Backwards, unfair, unethical and an abuse of the system.

                    • AM – I don’t think that there is a criminal civil rights violation here, but I don’t have all the facts and neither do you. That’s why we have investigations. That’s why we have state and federal governments. You can be guilty of a state crime and not guilty of a federal crime or vice versa.

                      Jesus, did they admit you to the bar to fill a quota?

                      18 USC § 242 requires the wrongful actor to be a government official of some kind (acting under “color of law), the Shepard-Byrd act requires there to be an underlying crime (nicely done there, Corey), and because it wasn’t “[w]ithin the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States” (at sea or on federal land) THERE IS NO FUCKING APPLICABLE FEDERAL MURDER STATUTE YOU FUCKING RETARD!

                      We know there was no racial component because the fucking FBI already found that there wasn’t.

                      How fucking stupid are you, really? I’m being serious here – how low is your IQ?

                      Again, you clearly don’t give a fuck about the rule of law – you simply want Zimmerman punished because you think he’s a bad person.

                      You condone prosecutorial misconduct, you condone abuse of power by the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in the country, and you condone sham investigations and trials.

                      When opposing council founds out they are up against you, they must throw a fucking party at the office.

                    • AM — you keep bringing up my bar admission and my intelligence (or lack thereof). Do you think that bothers me in the least? Do you have issues with your own scholastic or career milestones? I don’t think you have to have a degree or a fancy job as proof of intelligence, but you’re a broken record on this with me and everyone else with whom you disagree, so I’m just a little curious.

                    • AM — you keep bringing up my bar admission and my intelligence (or lack thereof). Do you think that bothers me in the least?

                      I honestly don’t care. It’s just that my astonishment as to how damned dumb you are is so great as to cause me to give voice to it. It is an invitation for you to prove that no, you do indeed have an IQ that clocks in above room temperature – an invitation you have yet to accept.

                      Do you have issues with your own scholastic or career milestones?

                      Not particularly, no. Thank you for asking.

                      I don’t think you have to have a degree or a fancy job as proof of intelligence, but you’re a broken record on this with me and everyone else with whom you disagree, so I’m just a little curious.

                      It certainly isn’t required as proof, but if you have one I think I am more than justified at requiring some proof that it wasn’t gained through little more than extortion.

                      You constantly prove yourself to be both morally bankrupt as well as ignorant as to, you know, the fucking law, especially in this case.

                      If a lawyer is going to say in essence that ‘he’s guilty of something so just root around until you find a way to punish him’, then that lawyer should be ejected – violently if at all possible – from the practice of law. You actively support groundless investigations that are a flagrant abuse of power because you think it feels right. This disgusts me at a level more fundamental than my need to eat and breath, and I weep for the fact that I am no long allowed to remove a white glove, slap you across your face, and demand that you meet me upon the field at sun’s first light.

                    • AM — I’ll be gracious here. I don’t think YOU are an idiot although you consistently show that you fail to grasp real world application of, well … just about anything. And your debating skills are lacking. Just so you are aware, you don’t have to have an airtight charge to investigate. Agencies (local, state, and federal) do it all the time and — guess what — end up bringing no formal charges. I worked at one, I know.

                      AGAIN, I wouldn’t bring charges here. But I’m not the decision-maker. However, I’ll also say that if I shot someone through the heart (even if it was in self-defense), I would anticipate — and hope — that the authorities would investigate. Because we are a nation of laws. If the investigation and/or prosecution is vindictive (and ideally it never should be), there are remedies available.

                    • I have to say, I don’t understand your obstinacy here, Beth. There was a trial, and an investigation before and during. The charge wasn’t proven, and absent finding a secret videotape of the encounter, what really happened is unknowable. So why are you resisting the irresistible conclusion that this is, for once, a situation where “witch hunt” is properly used—an official effort to tar one individual with guilt regardless of law or facts?

                      The Justice Department is seeking evidence that a citizen has committed a crime when a trial has just exonerated him of any crime he could be legally charged with under currently known facts. Seeking unknown facts now for the soul purpose of finding some way to imprison a citizen for what he was already found not guilty of is the definition of abuse of prosecutorial power. Saying there are remedies for such abuse is no justification for it, and is in fact a naked rationalization. “Don’t worry—if I burn your house down, you have legal remedies.” Yes, BUT MY HOUSE WILL HAVE BURNED DOWN!!!

                      And if I read you right, you are saying that a persecution of a legally innocent citizen is justified if it keeps other citizens from breaking the law. Which makes, honestly, no sense at all.

                    • I worked at one, I know.

                      I weep for whatever citizens you abused.

                      Because there is no possible way you didn’t subject them to a reaming that would make a proctologist cringe.

                      However, I’ll also say that if I shot someone through the heart (even if it was in self-defense), I would anticipate — and hope — that the authorities would investigate.

                      They did. It was called the fucking trial, you ignorant whore. Not only did an entire state government bend to abuse a man (through a process so riddled with fuck-ups and errors and outright lies that I can only assume massive, widespread abuse of pot as the reason why the state hasn’t risen up and called for public hangings), but an entire federal agency did so as well and found no grounds for a single fucking thing.

                      I will point out that you don’t contest my statements there there is literally nothing for the Feds to charge him under.

                      Because we are a nation of laws.

                      Is it possible that you fucking act like it?

                      If the investigation and/or prosecution is vindictive (and ideally it never should be), there are remedies available.

                      Oh, well then. After a person suffers possible ANOTHER sham trial and incurred even further burdens (both financial and personal – do you REALLY think that Zimmerman winning a bullshit Federal case would calm things???) you think that it makes it all OK if he then, after all of that, gets to spend the next five years in Federal court trying to recover for the abuses he has suffered at the hands of the Racist-in-Chief and his pet trolls?

                      OK, I’m done playing nice – what the fuck is your bar number? I can no longer justify not filing a complaint for your abject failure as anything remotely resembling an ethical or moral person. To not take what steps I may to see that you get – at the greatest of minimums – the benchslap you so richly deserve would be very much like becoming a co-conspirator.

                    • I bet you’re real popular with the ladies AM.

                      Jack, I don’t think I’m being obstinate. I have acknowledged that this investigation is politically motivated (of course – this is true for most government actions) – and that I don’t support it. Like JJ, I think this is all smoke and mirrors. The official DOJ statement is below – sounds they are going to do a whole bunch of nothing and this will go away. They’ve already given themselves the out of whether there is a “prosecutable violation” of the “limited” statutes.

                      “As the Department first acknowledged last year, we have an open investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin. The Department of Justice’s Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation continue to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal investigation, as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial. Experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction, and whether federal prosecution is appropriate in accordance with the Department’s policy governing successive federal prosecution following a state trial.”

                  • “However, I’ll also say that if I shot someone through the heart (even if it was in self-defense), I would anticipate — and hope — that the authorities would investigate. ”

                    Isn’t the trial he just endured enough investigation? The FBI has already investigated as well.

    • You’ll really have to justify this comment, JJ.

      I know the political tactic is to “move on”, but the Justice Department’s conduct here IS a new topic, and raises new ethics issues and alarms. You think I should ignore our government setting out to destroy individual citizens for political purposes? Eric Holder’s incompetence and Obama’s unwillingness to use his position to stop it is a ongoing issue. There are still ignorant protests…here, where I live. And what’s the “bushmill” crap supposed to mean? Calling attention to the corruption of a corrupt government is partisan? What’s partisan is looking the other way because it’s your guys acting like Putin.

      • It’s not just a matter of partisanship, Jack, although so far all the posts, notes, etc., I have seen that are pro-Martin have come from the blue side of the aisle. This is a “skin win” or skin loss, in this case, pure and simple. A semi-white guy with a white-sounding name killed a black 17-year-old, and got away with it. That person must pay for this crime redolent of the old South, which is a crime of hate against every person of color everywhere, and if the state can’t make him pay,. the Feds must. End of discussion.

        There are still a few people around now who remember the days when Billy Bob murdered poor Willie for looking the wrong way at Sarah Mae and the jury was Goober, Gomer, and Bo, so nothing happened to him. It was, I submit, exactly that kind of failure of the state justice system that the civil rights criminal statutes were created to address, so that if the local authorities looked the other way on criminal activity because of the color of the perpetrator the Feds would be able to step in.

        However, like many well-meaning and even necessary statutes, it didn’t change with the times, and even though the South (and some places in the North, the Department of Justice just terminated a bs consent decree which gave it power over the hiring practices of about 12 NJ fire departments) have reached the point where it’s time to let them out of the penalty box, the Feds still don’t have to trust the state criminal justice systems if, in their opinion, the states didn’t reach the right result and there is some way politically incorrect animus can be worked into the prosecution. At the time I could see putting aside the constitutional objection that the states, not the Federal government, are supposed to be the primary policing authorities, because the states were clearly not extending all the rights in the Bill of Rights to all citizens, but this is not 1964, and this isn’t the above scenario. This isn’t even the Rodney King scenario, where the jury arguably went against the credible weight of the evidence at least with regard to 2 of the officers. Even then I had some questions, but the courts decided that “double sovereignty” meant that even if the state prosecuted someone, the Feds still get their crack at that person for the same or substantially the same charges if they want it and double jeopardy does not apply.

        Unfortunately no one seems to have gotten it into their heads to modify the statute, which was written to deal with a specific situation, to bring it up to date and perhaps narrow it down a bit, say, to cases where the state result was against the weight of the credible evidence or otherwise tainted, and the Feds still have this tremendous power to retry, frequently under much more liberal evidentiary standards and with much stiffer sentences available. Am I ok with the Feds stepping in in the Eastern District of New York to try cop-killers and put them in their well-earned graves when the State of New York in it’s wisdom believes the death penalty to be a problem? Yes. Am I OK with them trying a terrorist bomber in Oklahoma FIRST under the anti-terrorism laws with the state waiting in the wings to hit him with murder charges if the Feds can’t tombstone him? Yes.

        These are appropriate ways for the different levels of the justice system to work, but to target one man in one fight who came away the winner and then walked because the state couldn’t legitimately prove its case because the sector of the population the loser belonged to (and its political allies, together with a lot of people still not over racial guilt for the way this nation used to be) is calling for his head no matter what the facts might be? That is a gross abuse of this tremendous power, amounting to the ability to target anyone, anywhere, who might offend a protected class (though most likely blacks and gays will top the list), and put his head on a pike in the public square to remind everyone that the pendulum has swung the other way, and now those who were not equal once are more equal now. That’s pretty frightening.

      • Jack, I enjoy reading your blog for its diversity of topics and usually common sense approach towards ethics.

        In this case Holder’s words are carefully chosen to give the appearance that the Feds are doing something.. .He has said they are going forward with ANY Federal case against Zimmerman… So why worry about it until he does? Its just a bunch of political hot air at this point.

    • I’m sure that when King Barry and his minions cease and desist their pernicious behavior, I’m sure Jack will move on to something else. In other words, maybe THEY should drop it!

      • Agreed! Just as soon as something else pushes this case off the front page, Holder will drop it…. Will bet the mortage on it…lol

  3. Jack:

    I totally agree with your position in this article and your positions on the Zimmerman trial. This is a very disturbing case. On one hand, I can understand the argument that the trial was appropriate, to submit the facts and evidence to a jury for its deliberation (though I believe the second degree murder charge should never have been brought as I think, at most, a tenuous case could be made for manslaughter). On the other hand, the way this prosecution occurred, where a special prosecutor was brought in amidst public pressure seeking ‘justice’ for Trayvon Martin, is a complete violation of due process and Constitutional rights. (I believe Zimmerman is morally responsible for what happened; however, I do not believe he is legally culpable and that is where the prosecution should have ended. The Sanford Police Department investigation seemed to be thorough and it believed there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges, recommending a grand jury investigation.)

    We appear to be devolving into a mob rules society that would abandon 250 years of jurisprudence in favor of social media and public pressure demands for a required outcome. “Justice” for Martin necessarily means punishing Zimmerman. These cries, at their root, simply means to dispense with the farce of a show trial and execute the accused forthwith. You stated it beautifully: “Targeting for prosecution an individual who has engaged in no crime, and pursuing that prosecution by looking for a evidence when there is no valid reason to think it exists, is a purely political exercise and a gross abuse of government power”, and later, “This isn’t a government for the people, it’s a government for racial groups that the President owes his election to, and if a ‘white Hispanic’ who was properly found not guilty of a crime he never should have been charged with has to be destroyed to satisfy that base, well, as they say, ‘by any means necessary’”. Not only the Obama Administration, but the prosecutors involved in this case have demeaned the criminal justice system by declaring that Zimmerman was ‘lucky’ and a ‘murderer’.

    I feat for the nation.

    jvb

  4. A civil rights prosecution would have to prove racial animus and hatred on Zimmerman’s part, and there is just no evidence of that, as the trial just concluded shows.

    Does it? My understanding (possibly incorrect since I didn’t start paying attention to the legal proceedings until the actual trial) was that Judge Nelson did not allow the prosecution to pursue the “racial profiling” angle, and as such both sides had to tiptoe around the issue of race in their arguments.

    Not that this (if true) undermines your main point, however. An FBI investigation found no evidence of racism on Zimmerman’s part and we have little reason to doubt its findings. I doubt that’s good enough for the people still calling for blood, but then neither was the trial.

    By the way, Jack, if you really want something to get indignant about then check out The Onion‘s articles on the Zimmerman case.

    • Why would I want something to get indignant over?

      The judge disallowed the term “racial profiling” because there was nothing to support it in the evidence. She did allow “profiling.”

      • Why would I want something to get indignant over?

        Because many people like being indignant over things. I do, for example, which is why I’ve been paying so much attention to the Zimmerman case. I assumed you did too, on the basis that you can’t stand the likes of MSNBC but nevertheless watch it often enough to keep writing about it. No offence is or was intended.

        The judge disallowed the term “racial profiling” because there was nothing to support it in the evidence. She did allow “profiling.”

        Right. My (minor, pedantic) point was merely the the trial itself did not show that there’s no evidence of racial animus on Zimmerman’s part.

        • “My (minor, pedantic) point was merely the the trial itself did not show that there’s no evidence of racial animus on Zimmerman’s part.”

          The trial itself, also didn’t show that there is no evidence that Zimmerman doesn’t like strawberries or the TV show Lost. So, I’m not sure what your point is meant to prove other than support all the irresponsible theories of the “convict him of racism because we desperately want him to be racist so we can continue to justify our world view” crowd. Of course, I don’t think you hold that view, but arguing the point you argued supports that view.

          Trials don’t exist to show NO evidence. Trials exist so prosecution can show that enough evidence DOES exist to support an accusation and so that defense can show enough doubt based on lack of evidence or that the evidence isn’t sufficient.

          • Jeez, tough crowd. As I already wrote:

            Not that this (if true) undermines your main point, however. An FBI investigation found no evidence of racism on Zimmerman’s part and we have little reason to doubt its findings.

            Let me reiterate that I do not in any way support the irresponsible calls to convict Zimmerman of something. I just wanted to correct what I saw as a false statement, because incorrect hypotheses are not necessary to support correct conclusions.

          • “Trials don’t exist to show NO evidence. Trials exist so prosecution can show that enough evidence DOES exist to support an accusation and so that defense can show enough doubt based on lack of evidence or that the evidence isn’t sufficient.”

            That was confusing:

            Trials do not exist so it can be said “Well the Defense didn’t prove that something the Prosecution didn’t accuse didn’t happen!!” That’s backwards. Defense only has to defend against the specific accusations of the prosecution.

  5. “(for the race-grievance industry hates George Zimmerman for not being the murderous racist they said he was, so it is dedicated to making him one,”

    1. I wonder, if you could quantify such things…just how much NBC is ultimately responsible for ALL of this, seeing as how they invented the racial profiling angle in the very beginning by deceptively editing his 911 call?
    I was one of those outraged against Zimmerman’s perceived racism at the very beginning, when everyone was passing the NBC version of the 911 call as fact.

    2. How easily could Obama be the Jackie Robinson/Mandela-esque hero here, and silence the violent protests, the manhunt, and the looming racewar just by giving a nice speech that explains why Zimmerman’s acquittal wasn’t really a miscarriage of justice, and calling for peace? I have no doubts about my President’s ability to deliver a speech articulately. He didn’t hesitate to stir the initial frenzy up before the facts were known with his “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” message. He can actually do some good this time. Trying to believe the best here, and not that Obama just might WANT a little nostalgic 90’s race war. (It sure beats 24/7 news coverage of all of the administration’s scandals.)

    3. So a random Hispanic man was reportedly beaten by a group of teens yelling “This is for Trayvon!” Could an unintended consequence of this irresponsibly-communicated story be escalating Black-vs.-Hispanic racial tensions? I bet that’s not what the initial aggregates of this hysteria wanted.

  6. I had thought that rather than stalking Zimmerman with the rest of the posse, the ACLU would be defending Zimmerman against the DOJ. Jack? Isn’t that what they’re best at?

  7. The longer this drags on, the greater likelihood Zimmerman will become a sympathetic figure. I don’t think that will be a big likelihood, but an increasing likelihood nonetheless.

    • I think Zimmerman is a sympathetic figure. I think this is one of those tragedies that happen much like when an emergency vehicle collides with another at an intersection where all concerned are victims. Demonizing and hounding GZ isn’t going to bring TM back so who benefits? I just have a sense of deja vu, having survived Chicago in the 60s. Hope I’m wrong.

      /

      • I don’t disagree. In terms of being an icon of misplaced and drummed up rage, he *ought* to be a sympathetic* figure. But a large and disturbing mass of people hate him irrationally…I think that particular set of people will turn (albeit only on the margins and in low numbers) as anyone who is wrongly hounded by a greater force tends to become a sympathetic figure.

        *his current status as an icon of misplaced and drummed up rage IS sullied by his culpability in the whole debacle.

  8. “You have a duty to not stand up for good and to stand by and let bad people do bad things and try to stop them” -Your Attorney General (paraphrased)

    Now that we can start ramping up again and gearing our rhetoric to start up the assault on the 2nd Amendment again since we’ve got more people on board the frenzy train.

  9. Is this Eric Holder – the one trolling for evidence of Zimmerman’s racism – the same Eric Holder who dropped charges against this man (in the video below) for intimidating voters in Philadelphia? This man, who leaves no doubt about his racism….Where were the hordes of protestors after this speech?
    Selective outrage by the “caring and concerned” is getting old….

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