“Without the media hoopla, egged on by the president and left-leaning columnists, most prosecutors would not have filed a murder charge,” writes Jennifer Rubin in a characteristically biting post asking if there are “second thoughts” on charging George Zimmerman with second-degree murder for killing unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. And she brands me as one of those “left-leaning columnists” by linking to a column that was written nearly three months after Zimmerman was finally arrested and charged in Trayvon’s death.
I’ve written 64 posts about the tragic event that took place in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012. You bet I called for Zimmerman’s arrest, but I never specified a charge. “While there are more than a few out there who have tried and convicted Zimmerman for killing Trayvon,” I wrote on April 6, 2012, “most people want him to at least have his guilt or innocence judged in a court of law.” Rubin must have missed that.
Thanks to Florida’s incredible sunshine laws, the evidence obtained by the prosecution and the defense must be released. Much of the information for my posts came from Zimmerman’s defense team. I have read all the police reports from the night of the shooting. I read Zimmerman’s written narrative from that night. I have scoured the DNA analysis of Trayvon’s fingernails (no Zimmerman DNA found), Zimmerman’s gun (no Trayvon DNA found) and both individuals’ clothing. I read Trayvon’s autopsy. I have watched Zimmerman’s day-after video reenactment of what happened. And I have listened to all of Zimmerman’s jailhouse interviews with then-lead detective Chris Serino and detective Doris Singleton.
Folks who have read all the information available know more than what the jury will actually hear. But after two weeks of the jury trial, we (still) know there are major holes in Zimmerman’s story, from the position of Trayvon’s hands to the “insignificant” nature of Zimmerman’s injuries. As I have said from almost the very beginning, nothing about this case makes sense.
I could find only two posts by Rubin on the Zimmerman case. Her first post last year decried “the mob” that led to Zimmerman’s arrest and used attorney Alan Dershowitz’s op-ed in the New York Daily News as her backup. Wednesday’s harangue focuses on the prosecution’s calling of witnesses that appear to bolster Zimmerman’s version of events.
The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman acted with “depraved mind without regard for human life.” And, yes, I have some doubts that the state has met the very high bar needed to prove its second-degree murder case. A task potentially made more difficult after Serino testified that he thought Zimmerman was telling the truth in his claim of self-defense. Even though the state successfully got Judge Debra Nelson to instruct the jury to ignore Serino’s remark, it’s hard to see how the jury ignores what they heard. Still, whether the state meets the “depraved mind” test will be determined by the jury, not by conservative critics who parachute in once a year to comment on a complex case, especially those who probably have read little more than that day’s news.
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