In a must-read story, The Post reports some hard truths for those agitating for further prosecution of George Zimmerman: “Current and former Justice Department officials said Monday that bringing civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old in Florida, would be extremely difficult and may not be possible.”
This should come as no surprise to those who recall that the previous FBI investigation revealed no evidence of racial motivation in the killing of Trayvon Martin. You see, the lack of evidence is a problem:
The weakness of the evidence compounds the political problems facing President Obama and Holder, who are under mounting pressure from many liberal and African American groups to bring a federal case against Zimmerman after a Florida jury acquitted him Saturday of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Obama has responded cautiously to the national uproar, making no public comments other than a carefully worded statement Sunday.
This is a problem entirely of the president’s own making. He egged on his base. He identified with Martin. He sent his DOJ to swoop down on Florida. Now his base demands their pound of flesh. He could hardly have expected anything different.
This may seem basic, but simple is lost on the left-leaning pundit crowd. They know it was race, even though there was no evidence. They know the Florida prosecutors couldn’t plug the holes in their Swiss cheese case, yet they insist on another show trial.
Let us be candid: It was not ethical for Angela Corey to charge Zimmerman with second-degree murder in the absence of evidence of a “depraved mind.” To do so now in the guise of a civil rights prosecution would be willful misconduct by the DOJ:
“The Department of Justice couldn’t bring this case unless they believe they could prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin because of his race,” said Rachel Harmon, a law professor at the University of Virginia and a former prosecutor in the Justice Department’s civil rights division.
“It’s not enough to show that Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin because of his race,” Harmon added. “They would have to show that he attacked Martin for that reason. . . . Proving that motive is why it’s hard to bring hate crime charges in general and why it is likely to be hard to bring them in this case.”
The same should have been said about Florida’s original prosecution — the absence of evidence of a depraved mind was the stickler — but the symbolic value and the crass partisan utility of whipping up the liberal base was too much to resist. Perhaps DOJ attorneys concerned about their own professional obligations will think twice before following Corey down the path of prosecutorial misconduct.