This weekend, the AP published what has to be the most slanted, biased, loaded piece of “journalism” it has ever been my displeasure to read: “Law Gives Zimmerman Extra Chances In Legal Fight”
MIAMI (AP) — George Zimmerman persuaded the police not to charge him for killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, but the prosecutor has accused him of murder. Soon, armed with unparalleled legal advantages, Zimmerman will get to ask a judge to find the killing was justified, and if that doesn’t work, he’ll get to make the same case to a jury.
Only one paragraph in, and already there are numerous problems. Zimmerman “persuaded the police not to charge him”? Really? Boy, that fast-talking half-white jive artist had those racist cops right in the palm of his hand, didn’t he? Or maybe we should just simply state the truth here: Zimmerman didn’t “persuade” the police to do anything with regard to charges, because the police don’t charge detainees. State or county prosecutors do. In Zimmerman’s case, the Sanford police originally requested a manslaughter charge, but state prosecutors did not believe they had enough evidence to counter Zimmerman’s self defense claim so they declined to press charges.
Upon reexamination of the case (and, I would argue, under tremendous political pressure and fear of violence and/or reprisals by the civil rights lynch mob) the state prosecutor charged Zimmerman with second degree murder. But doggone it, that sneaky SOB managed to shield himself behind a wall of “unparalleled legal advantages.” Such as … requesting a hearing before the judge to show that the preponderance of evidence in the case points to self defense and not second degree murder. And being tried before a jury. What, these are “unparalleled legal advantages?” Maybe if you’re a graduate of the Barack Obama School of Constitutional Scholarship. But to the rest of us, they are basic Constitutional rights, guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. Next paragraph:
The wave of National Rifle Association-backed legislation that began seven years ago in Florida and continues to sweep the country has done more than establish citizens’ right to “stand your ground,” as supporters call the laws. It’s added second, third and even fourth chances for people who have used lethal force to avoid prosecution and conviction using the same argument, extra opportunities to keep their freedom that defendants accused of other crimes don’t get.
The NRA has nothing to do with this case, but that doesn’t stop the author from injecting an obligatory smear, while conveniently ignoring the fact that “stand your ground” and “castle” immunity laws have been strongly supported by Democrats, due to their association with domestic abuse cases and the efforts of feminists to permanently eliminate “duty to retreat” presumptions from applying to attacks in one’s own home.
Then there’s the unbelievable claim that defendants who choose to invoke SYG immunity arguments automatically get second, third, and fourth chances to avoid prosecution or conviction, that other defendants do not receive. Really? Do tell, please.
While the states that have passed “stand your ground” laws continue to model them loosely after Florida’s — Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire put expanded laws on the books last year — Florida is unique.
One area that sets Florida apart is the next step Zimmerman faces: With the police and prosecutor having weighed in, a judge will decide whether to dismiss the second-degree murder charge based on “stand your ground.” If Zimmerman wins that stage, prosecutors can appeal.
But in another aspect peculiar to Florida, if the appeals court sides with Zimmerman, not only will he be forever immune from facing criminal charges for shooting the 17-year-old Martin — even if new evidence or witnesses surface — he could not even be sued for civil damages by Martin’s family for wrongfully causing his death.
As Ann Althouse recently pointed out, “stand your ground” is nothing more than an immunity statute. It is not a legal defense. SYG gives the defendant the opportunity to persuade the judge, at a pretrial hearing, that the preponderance of evidence is consistent with self defense. If the judge agrees, then he can dismiss the criminal charges against the defendant (though the prosecution can still file new charges against the defendant and attempt to negotiate a plea from the defendant for a lesser charge). Again, pretrial hearings are not unusual, or unprecedented, or unparalleled. Neither are plea bargains. Nor is the application of immunity statutes to both criminal and civil cases, since the burden of proof required to find a defendant guilty in a civil suit is much less rigorous than a criminal trial.
And I certainly hope I am misreading the last paragraph I quoted, because it seems to me that the author is doing his best to disparage the concept of double jeopardy, which again is a fundamental right guaranteed to all Americans by the Fifth Amendment.
I could pull more quotes from the article, but I think everyone already understands what’s going on here. The author of this story has deliberately loaded it with opinion regarding the case, choosing words and thoughts that convey the idea that George Zimmerman is obviously guilty of murder and that he has been exploiting the system in order to get off scot-free. And the AP calls this “news.” Whatever.
So why did the AP publish this story? I believe it is a preemptive attempt to justify the standard talking points of white progressives and black civil rights agitators who routinely accuse our courts of being a “white injustice system.” And the AP is doing this because their legal writers (and probably many others on the left) know that Zimmerman was overcharged, that the evidence presented in the second degree murder charging document was thin and most likely will not survive a pretrial hearing. But liberals and civil rights agitators are in a bind, because they have all but convinced a significant segment of the population that Zimmerman is guilty of murder.
If the case against Zimmerman falls apart in court, there will be a lot of angry people in the streets demanding “justice.” The left-wing media/social justice complex will never admit that they grossly misreported the facts in this case, so they need to make certain that the mobs are angry at the judicial system and the “establishment.” And they will print even more false and misleading information in order to do this.
Disgusting. And the media wonders why fewer and fewer people trust them …
(h/t Don Surber)