Did the George Zimmerman trial involve racist attitudes? Of course it did. Did the predominantly white jury reach the right verdict? Of course it did. Is the criminal justice system a racist institution? Of course it is. Do young black males disproportionately suffer the brunt of this criminal justice system? Of course they do. Did the media and politicians inflame the situation for their own purposes? Of course they did. Is this a conundrum easily resolved or reconciled? Of course it’s not.
The defense flawlessly made the prosecution witnesses their very own character witnesses for Mr. Zimmerman. The media, instead of wondering what case the prosecution was trying, fixated on complete nonsense like the defense lawyer’s lame "knock knock" joke in his opening statement. Most breathlessly speculated that the defense would never recover. Supposed legal pundits, who themselves have never prosecuted or defended a homicide case in their career, daily gave high marks to the prosecution for their made-for-TV theatrics. As long as there is an Esquire after the name, they could opine in front of a camera about how great the prosecution was doing.
It's like going to a dermatologist for a second opinion when you are told you have a brain tumor. And what does the public know? Then, lo and behold, the jury comes back with a not guilty verdict which was the only correct verdict based on the evidence that was presented.
These prosecutors were scared from the beginning. They were scared to put the case in front of a grand jury. They were scared to turn over evidence to the defense. Zimmerman’s lawyer filed not one but six separate motions seeking sanctions against the prosecution for playing hide the ball. The Judge even set a hearing post trial on sanctions against the prosecution, which the media treated as just a normal part of the process. Instead of questioning why the prosecutors were repeatedly hiding evidence, the media just continued their cheerleading for the prosecution. The prosecutors were even afraid to put Trayvon Martin’s father on the witness stand. They left that chore for the defense.
The collective response from the Hallelujah chorus of legal dermatologists? The defense had made a huge mistake calling Mr. Martin to the stand, instead of chastising the prosecution for playing hide the ball once again. In their penultimate act of fear, prosecutors sought a lesser charge than murder, basically running away from their case in its entirety and abandoning George Zimmerman as harboring ill will and malice. Instead, they jettisoned their malicious racist theory in favor of one that argued Zimmerman was grossly negligent. And in their final act of cowardice, the State Attorney, Angela Corey, waited until the jury was out deliberating to fire her IT employee whistleblower who revealed her office’s prosecutorial shenanigans.
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