Skip to comments.Susan Estrich: Trayvon Martin - What Really Happened? (Surprising)
Posted on 04/03/2012 10:36:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
What happened to Trayvon Martin? The short answer: I dont know.
I know that he was shot by George Zimmerman while wearing a hoodie and carrying a box of Skittles. No weapons of mass destruction. An awful tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to his parents and family. A thorough and fair investigation is obviously a necessity.
But after decades of studying the criminal justice system, how it works and how it doesnt, including the shadow cast by racism over that system, that is what I know.
I also know this: If the police and prosecutors had a clear case that Zimmerman had unreasonably resorted to deadly force in a situation where the law prohibits it, if they had probable cause to arrest him and believe they could and should secure a conviction, they would have arrested him.
With the eyes of the nation upon them, with the president comparing Martin to the son he doesnt have, with marchers and editorials, the easiest thing, the most political thing, the move that would turn down the temperature would be to arrest Zimmerman.
I know that is not always what has happened. Too often in our history, police and prosecutors have been reluctant to arrest African-American men for killing white men in situations where they would have done so had the races been different.
I know that police and prosecutors and juries have been too willing to assume that any African-American man in a hoodie is likely to be a criminal and that crimes involving the death of an African-American have not received the same attention as those involving the death of a white person.
I also know that in highly politicized cases, just the opposite has happened.
The most notorious example of this, obviously, was the Duke lacrosse team case, where the prosecutor moved too fast, where his motives were political, where a thorough investigation would have spared not only the young men involved but also, ironically, the young woman, whose reputation was also ruined in the process.
And Martins also almost certainly would be were an unjustified arrest made here.
We are a nation of laws, not men and women. From everything I can see, police and prosecutors in Sanford, Fla., are proceeding carefully and thoroughly as they must, given the issues involved.
The law allows an individual to resort to deadly force when he reasonably believes he is facing death or serious bodily injury. In many states, an individual is required to retreat (at least when attacked outside his own home) when he could do so safely. Florida is not one of those states. I do not support Stand Your Ground laws because they allow lives to be taken in self-defense where it is not in fact a necessity. But I dont make the law in Florida, and neither do those charged with its enforcement.
The law does not require that the individual who resorts to deadly force be right. His actions must be judged at the time he takes them. The standard is objective: what a reasonable person would do. But in applying that standard, the reasonable person stands in the shoes of the one who resorted to deadly force.
Obviously, race should not be a factor in this analysis.
Obviously, wearing a hoodie should not be a factor in this analysis.
But if there is credible and substantiated evidence that Zimmerman reasonably believed he was facing death or serious bodily injury at the time he shot, then the police and prosecutors would be violating their ethical duties and the rule of law in arresting him to respond to a political crisis.
I understand the presidents identification with Trayvon Martin. I understand his concerns that deaths such as this have, historically, been too easily ignored on racial grounds. But it is essential that our leaders have the courage to say that, ultimately, the issue here should not be race. The issue is the rule of law, applied without regard to race.
Susan Estrich is a law professor in Southern California and managed the 1988 presidential race of Democrat Michael Dukakis.
There is no evidence that I am aware of that Martin was carrying skittles...just a comment from the family lawyer.
IIRC, Zimmerman was in fact arrested, just not charged.
A “box” of skittles?
Susan Estrogen is still out to lunch.
At least she didn’t say “box of skillets”
And she evidently changed her mind. Which, for most liberals, is an impossible accomplishment.
Estrich is annoying. But she is one of those rare honest liberals.
Actually, he was hauled downtown in handcuffs, interrogated for five hours, just not arrested. Because there was manifestly no proof he did anything illegal.
She's very partisan but can smell BS, even liberal BS. I've seen her wrestle with her bad inner self during interviews and usually end up on the side of the Angels. She'll never be a conservative but she's intellectually honest, which is far more than can be said of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the rest of Comrade Obama's wild-eyed sycophants.
1. Facing death or serious bodily injury.
2. Unable to retreat unless you can throw of your attacker.
What does Florida's Stand Your Ground law have to do in a situation where your attacker is on top of you breaking your
head open on the concrete under you?
If the accounts of George Zimmerman and the eyewitness
are correct this is a case of self defense and nothing
more, nothing less.
George Zimmerman had a constitutional right to defend himself no matter what state he was in and Florida's Stand Your Ground law has nothing to do with it. And that is the rule of law.
This is turning out to be another case of lying media FAIL
just as it was with the Duke lacrosse team case.
Time will tell.
Was not aware you could handcuffed, taken in, held for 5hrs and yet not officially “arrested”. Interesting.
Police and prosecutors have been reluctant to arrest African-American men for killing white men? I was not aware of this.
I think she got confused in the middle of writing this and got it turned around. Isn’t that what it looks like to you?
Good for Susan. She was very good during the Duke lacrosse case, as well.
As the old timers used to say “Maybe she got her tongue over her eye teeth and couldn’t see what she was saying.”
I’m confused. Where is it that Zimmerman is shown to disobey the dispatcher’s statement about following the perp, saying “we don’t need you to do that.” In the transcript, Zimmerman says “OK.”
Anyone know where that is resolved?
First off, Zimmerman has no obligation to a suggestion from a dispatcher
Estrich is a liberal, but more the old-fashioned Democrat kind of liberal as opposed to the race-baiting looney communist scum that currently runs the Democrat party. From seeing her guest appearances on TV many times over the years, her comments here do not surprise me.
“I understand the presidents identification with Trayvon Martin. I understand his concerns that deaths such as this have, historically, been too easily ignored on racial grounds.”
She is naive or lying. Zero’s comments have nothing to do with “identification” and everything to do with pumping up the black vote before the election.
This is the tried and true tactic of the left to enhance black voter turnout. It happens every election. Remember the ads blaming George Bush for dragging that black kid behind the car on a rope?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.