Sunday, July 14, 2013

When Will America Figure Out What a Criminal Justice System Does: Zimmerman, The Right Verdict

When will America figure out what a criminal justice system is supposed to do?

Our Criminal Justice System is meant to determine if : A. Someone has committed a crime and if so B. Determine what is the least restrictive means to accomplish the goals of sentence.

In Florida, George Zimmerman has been acquitted of the crimes of Murder 2* and Manslaughter so the system has accomplished the first part of its mission and has negated a need for the second part. Yet much of America is up in arms because the decision isn't one they like and even if they rationally agree the verdict is correct, they are angry at the system because they didn't get what they wanted from it: a guilty verdict. In the minds and hearts of these people the "know" George Zimmerman killed, wanted to kill, and purposely incited a confrontation so he could kill a 17 year old boy named Trayvon Martin.

That what they know in their hearts to be true, didn't get satisfied is killing them. It makes them say stupid things like: "It isn't safe for a black boy in America." or The black man cannot get a fair shake in an American court" or "The system is rigged against the poor person in a court." No, No and NO! This system for all of its flaws worked in the Zimmerman case and the problem is not with the Criminal Justice System but with the Media which chose up sides early on in a truly local case that should have had no national interest. The Liberal Media wanted a poster boy for gun control and all Media wanted more viewers.

Not a whit of what was being reported played any part in what the investigation or trial was about. (In fact the media forced the arrest. Clearly the way the case played out proved that the original decisions not to arrest Zimmerman was correct. That would not have served the purpose of those who wanted gun control.) It was further not a referendum on race relations in America. A poor black kid can walk as safely in a community as a rich white kid with a pack of Skittles and a Sprite without having anymore fear than normal. This case did not give white people a license to kill black kids, or allow anybody to get away with ANYTHING.

Do you know why? Because I do not care if the jury were made up of 6 males females whites blacks or Martians, if they followed the law, and applied the facts they heard to the law that they were given, THERE WAS NO OTHER VERDICT TO RENDER BUT NOT GUILTY. Look this case was not about who followed who (it might have been had the defense imposed a "Stand Your Ground"defense) it wasn't about black or white or if one guy was a hater and the other a thug or punk or even an alter boy. It was about one thing only: At the time he pulled out his weapon, was George Zimmerman in imminent fear of being injured or killed? If the people fail to exclude that issue, they lose. Remember, it isn't a question of was it likely he was in fear but probably wasn't. The Prosecutor had to prove Zimmerman did not act out of that fear at the time he shot Martin. He had to prove it Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

The proof in the case was not good for the prosecution once the self defense issue was raised. Unlike in the "Stand Your Ground" defense (hereinafter SYG) if the defendant is the "aggressor" he cannot win if the only reason he shot his victim was so he could stand his ground. It didn't matter that Zimmerman followed and stalked the boy, that he didn't go back in his car when the Police 911 dispatcher told him not to leave his car (he already had left his car) it didn't matter that he had profiled Trayvon. None of that mattered any more than Trayvon didn't have a weapon, was not doing anything wrong at the time nor that he would never see his parents again (or that they would never see him.) Even if it was the most unjust thing ever, if the People of the State of Florida fail to prove Zimmerman was NOT acting in self defense, none of it mattered.

Now you could argue that the facts I laid out above may show a pre-dispositon for Zimmerman to be a killer than a victim, but those facts had to overcome other issues such as: No one knows whose voice was calling for help on the call, that it appears Zimmerman had head wounds, One of the prosecution witnesses saw Martin atop of Zimmerman during the fight. These issues preclude any other verdict than not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Now all of that may make you feel angry. Here is the solution: deal with the idea that the only thing that can come from a prosecution like this is a not guilty verdict. That is good because we have another system of justice that is perfect for giving people their day in court and doesn't deprive one of their liberty while their case is being heard. That is  the civil court system. But for the Media, that is where this case would have gone and it is exactly what should have happened.

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