Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
3 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

How Tough Will Angela "Tough on Crime" Corey Be on Zimmerman?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 4/11/12

opednews.com

In two terse statements, Florida Fourth Judicial Circuit   State Attorney Angela "tough on crime" Corey said that she would skip a grand jury and make a quick decision on whether to prosecute George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin.   Corey gave no hint of which way she was leaning.   She said simply that she would make her decision based on the evidence and testimony. Despite Corey's neutral, bland, and very non-committal statements, there are worries about a prosecution, plenty of them. The first is Corey's track record. She earned her legal nom de guerre of "tough on crime" by prosecuting more juveniles as adults than any other prosecutor in any other district in the country on a population adjusted basis. The overwhelming majority of them have been young men that look like Martin.

Corey's penchant to throw the book at young black males raised racial suspicions about her ability to be impartial in the Martin case. But her tough on crime record supposedly offsets that. As a prosecutor with a hard-nosed record on crime and punishment, in theory anyway she should be ideal to take the toughest stance against a suspect in a potential murder case.   But even if Corey can make a bias free decision on a Zimmerman prosecution she still must hurdle these obstacles: the absurdly high bar of a law that so far has shielded Zimmerman, the difficulty of winning a conviction, and the politics that have embroiled the case.

Florida's stand your ground law bluntly states that an individual can initiate the kill solely based on their fear or belief that "the danger could be avoided only by using it."   It's not exactly a license to kill, but it's a license to take aggressive action if there is perceived danger. It's loose, arbitrary, and subjective. But it's the law. Nailing a killer that hides behind the law has been tough. The number of killings ruled justifiable in Florida in the seven years after the law was enacted in 2005 has tripled according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement data. FBI figures have shown that in the more than two dozen states that have variations of the stand your ground law, there's a similar rise in dubious self-defense killings that have not been prosecuted.

Corey must next weigh the prospect of getting a conviction against Zimmerman. The failure to arrest or even detain Zimmerman, the initial sloppy, bungled police investigation, the possible destruction of forensic evidence, the drumbeat repeat by Zimmerman, his defenders, and by some in the media of his version of the deadly encounter are red flags. Then most importantly there's the inability of the only other witness to what happened that fateful night to tell his story, namely Martin. These factors could easily make any prosecutor no matter how bias free pause.

If Corey decides to prosecute, Zimmerman will still have yet one other possible out. He can ask for an evidentiary hearing before a judge to determine if there is enough cause to order him bound over for trial. Again, this right is built into the law. This means Corey in effect has to try the case before the judge even before it gets to trial and a jury. These legal clouds have bedeviled the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, a national group. They have called the stand your ground laws and their escape hatch provisions a barrier to prosecution of genuine criminals.

Then there is the racial polarization that has inflamed the Marin murder. It took weeks to get any national publicity for the case and many charged that was because the victim was a young black, and the shooter a non-black, quasi authority figure. The relentless tossing about in the media of every scintilla of dirt that could be found on Martin, the legions that are more than willing to believe and defend Zimmerman, and the polls that show a sharp racial divide with a majority of whites that say the case has gotten too much attention, and the majority of blacks that dispute that are ominous signs.  

None of these factors should in any way influence Corey in deciding whether to prosecute Zimmerman. But court and legal history has shown that in controversial, racially polarizing cases, it's the height of naivety to think that prosecutor's decisions are ever totally free of politics and public opinion. It boils down then to a law that licenses aggression under the guise of self-defense and how convinced Corey is that there's enough evidence to overcome the barriers to nail Zimmerman. This is the test that will determine just how tough on Zimmerman tough on crime Corey will really be.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour heard weekly on the nationally network broadcast Hutchinson Newsmaker Network.

Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

 

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The House is duty-bound to Bring Articles of Impeachment against Clarence Thomas

Tea Party Now a Huge GOP Liability

Think of the Two Decade Embarrassment of Thomas We Would Have Been Spared If We had known about Thomas's Porn Alleged Ob

Clarence Thomas Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief with Weiner Downfall

Did Race Explain Penn State's Blind Eye to Sex Scandal?

Method to Thomas Madness on Obama Birth Certificate

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Haven't heard much about this: click here... by Robert James on Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 3:59:54 PM
the perpetrators of the crime your talking about a... by zon moy on Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 8:04:55 PM
The primary reason that the Martin case became a c... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, Apr 12, 2012 at 12:44:53 PM