Zimmerman deserves a fair shake in court, if not the media

If you’ve noticed the actual George Zimmerman trial — as opposed to the inquisition conducted by the liberal media before the first juror was sworn in or the first scrap of evidence presented — it isn’t about the two things left-leaning pundits said it was: race and Florida’s “stand your ground” statute.

George Zimmerman
George Zimmerman (Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel)

As to the latter, Zimmerman never raised that defense. All that pontificating about the National Rifle Association’s  work in state capitals and the speculation about whether Zimmerman was emboldened to act because of such a law turned out to be, well, meaningless. This is an ordinary, standard-issue self-defense case.

Dan Abrams of ABC News explained:

Zimmerman waived a pre-trial Stand Your Ground hearing and went directly to trial (likely because his lawyers knew they would lose) and simply argued classic self-defense, which is different. Now no matter how it started, if Zimmerman shot Martin because he reasonably believed it was the only way to protect himself from “great bodily harm” then he is not guilty. That’s the law.

That, in part, is why the second-degree-murder charge is so inappropriate. When there is a struggle for a gun, one witness (John Good) spots the victim on top and there are extensive injuries to the accused, it is hard to think how there could be a charge of murder, which requires depraved mind, indifference to human life and other states of mind for which there is little, if any, evidence.

That is why Abrams concludes: “The prosecution has the burden to prove the case, and so if there is reasonable doubt, the defense wins. Good’s testimony in conjunction with Zimmerman’s injuries are likely enough to cast reasonable doubt on the key question, which is whether Zimmerman reasonably believed he needed to shoot Martin to prevent ‘great bodily injury.’”

Then there is the race issue. There hasn’t been any evidence of racial animus other than the testimony of the state’s witness, Rachel Jeantel, that Martin referred to Zimmerman as the “creepy a** cracker.” As for Zimmerman’s purported racism, there hasn’t been evidence to support the liberal construction of the case, namely that this is all about Zimmerman’s, the police’s, and/or the original prosecutors’ racism.

The New York Times has an unintentionally revealing report about the insistence by liberal onlookers that race must be at the heart of this:

The judge made it clear that statements about race would be sharply limited and the term “racial profiling” not allowed. What is more, overtly bringing up race might not have helped the prosecution.

“There is no question that race is the 800-pound gorilla in this trial,” said Ed Shohat, a Miami lawyer who is also a member of the Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board. “But if you overplay that card either way, you lose with the jury. You have to let the jury come to its own conclusion.”

If they come to that conclusion, then it’s not based on evidence, because none was presented. Are left-leaning pundits and civil rights advocates (protection against being wrongly convicted isn’t one of those rights, it seems) suggesting that anytime a white man (or Hispanic, as is the case in the Zimmerman case) shoots an African American there is racism and the failure to charge the alleged killer is also racism? That, I guess, is still potent stuff with some readers. But that is not what trials and “justice” demand. For that, you need actual proof.

Simply because the left-wing media insists on seeing every event through a prism of race — leaving them indifferent to facts, the law and that justice they keep say they’re looking for — they tend to ignore the requirements of a murder conviction. But that doesn’t mean the jury should.

 

 

 

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.
SECTION: {section=opinions, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Comments
SECTION: {section=opinions, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Show Comments
Next Story
Jennifer Rubin | July 9, 2013