How far have we come in America when it comes to equal justice. And we would be intellectually dishonest to not acknowledge the role of race. - Benjamin Crump.
I was not there. You were not there. I am always amazed at the outrage from people in this country over matters they are clearly woefully ignorant of. The truth folks is that the only people who strictly heard the evidence, devoid of all of the spin that masquerades as our media, was the jury. They said not guilty last night. I remember when this all started. I remember Al Sharpton, still reeking from the ghosts of Tawana Brawley and Crown Heights, ambling up to the microphone to gin up outrage where there shouldn't have been any. Do you remember what was said then? We just want a trial. That was what they all said. The insistence was that a child was dead and therefore the man who shot him should be in jail awaiting trial and let justice be done or the heavens fall. We just want a trial.
In light of the reaction last night it is now clear that what they meant was they just wanted a guilty verdict. If we were really to be intellectually honest we would have to admit that this was never about a fair trial. This was about an eye for an eye. I say this not out of any ill will towards a family that has suffered a horrific loss but the political forces that continue to use them and their grief. We have a system of justice in this country and it is far from perfect. It still is the best thing out there today. Many forget but the initial prosecutor refused to take this case because it was clear there was not the evidence to support charging Zimmerman. It turned out he was right. But political forces and people who suddenly had the bright lights turned on them were not going to care about true justice. Instead they dumped that prosecutor and found someone who would take this case. Thirty years from now when law students read about prosecutorial over reach - this case will be in their text books to show them how easily we can be corrupted by those bright lights.
I highlighted the quote from Benjamin Crump from yesterday's press conference because in it lies the fundamental problem with the forces surrounding the Martin camp. This was never about justice for them. It was about equal justice. Even those protesting this verdict are essentially complaining about equal justice. Equal justice is this notion you keep hearing proffered that if the races were reversed, would the outcome be the same. The problem with equal justice is that it discards actual justice. It is a macro argument, that may legitimately need discussion, that destroys the micro justice for George Zimmerman. You remember him? He was the guy actually on trial for his life the past month. There were plenty of problems this trial brought to the surface and none of them meant that George Zimmerman was guilty.
The fact that if the races were reversed would have seen a different handling of the case may indeed have plenty of merit and it is a problem we must face together as a nation. But it does not mean that George Zimmerman was guilty.
The fact that the stand your ground law appears to have been abused in Florida may indeed be an argument that has validity and something that needs to be addressed. But it does not mean that George Zimmerman is guilty. In fact, he did not even use the stand your ground defense.
The fact that this case has revealed the gross misconduct of prosecutors across this country in over charging and over reaching could very well be a good thing; especially if something is finally done about it. But it does not mean that George Zimmerman is guilty.
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