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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

George Zimmerman Needs to be Arrested

      Every moment this person remains free is a travesty. Whatever it takes. If the State of Florida is going to give him a pass then the Feds have to step in and do the job and while they're at it, they should invest the police department that let this man go on just his own word that "he felt threatened."

      As for this Stand Your Ground law, if it is so perverse it allows a murderer to go free then it be disregarded and overturned. In any case, Federal law trumps state law, so there's no excuse for throwing up our hands and saying "Gee we don't like this so well but it's the law!"

     Not surprisingly the sorry legacy of this law-the homicide rate has spiked since its passage in 2005 we have yet another Bush to thank, this time former Governor Jeb Bush. This law was supposed to prevent crime if you can believe anything so absurd.

      To be sure, you could have a reasonable law that allowed you to defend yourself-perhaps, I'm someone who suspects that the gun control advocates are probably right that if you possess a weapon you probably have increased rather than decreased your chance of getting hurt, or hurting someone else.. But this law is applied in a way that lets stone blooded killers go free-no this is not the first time.

     This case is made all the more appalling as Zimmerman clearly had a preoccupation with race and perhaps something of an obsession about crime-he had called the police 50 times over the last year. Some might argue that as a member of the neighborhood watch he was right to do this. Certainly it would have been better if he had stuck to calling the police rather than taking the law into his own hands. The neighborhood watch handbook tells you that you can't follow a suspect or carry a guy.

     But then Zimmerman's particular watch was not even recognized as legitimate neighborhood watch group. In a positive development the Sanford police chief Bill Lee who chose not to arrest Zimmerman has just received a 2-1 "no confidence" vote.  Laurence O'Donnell has the City Manager, Norton Bonaparte on his show who Laurence tells us has the police chief's fate in his hands.

2 comments:

  1. You ever watch First 48 hours? I have and I have seen cases where black teen drug dealers in Texas have not been charged because they killed someone in self defense. You should realize that a lot of blacks live in neighborhoods where they need to defend themselves. There was a defense attorney on NPR the other day saying that she used the stand your ground law as a defense. She loves the law. There will be a lot of blacks jailed for self defense crimes if the law is recinded. You know the law is hard on blacks already, now you want to take away the one bone they've been thrown?

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  2. Miss Carnivious-love your name incidentally-for one thing, the Stand Your Ground laws are different in different states. I can't speak for Texas and how it affects blacks, I do see though that many find the way the law is constructed in Florida it essentially gives people way too much license to kill then hide behind Stand Your Ground.

    The fact is that George Zimmerman was allowed to walk free after killing a teenage boy. He walked home with physical evidence all over his body, the loaded gun that he had used to kill Trayvon, having just fired a bullet.

    The police checked Trayvon's body for drugs and not Zimmerman's. In this case the law was certainly abused. Maybe it was terribly misapplied, though most people who are knowlegeable about this law and it's history think at least that as construed in Florida it is much too broad and is over used.

    Still, I will say that it would be less outrageous if this law was used as a defense at a criminal trial. What is objectionable is that the police played judge and jury and threw out a case that clearly had the elements of probably cause at least.

    Whether or not this law is bad in principle is to an extent as separate question. What is not debatable is that it has been badly applied here.

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