Skip to comments.Attorney General Holder Has a Compelling Reason to Consider a Zimmerman Prosecution
Posted on 07/14/2013 3:53:35 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The moment George Zimmerman was acquitted the NAACP and the Reverend Al Sharpton immediately called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to bring civil rights charges against him. The Justice Department has already conducted an exhaustive investigation to determine whether Zimmerman killed Martin out of racial animus. It found no evidence of that. Thats one hard and fast requisite for a civil rights prosecution. The other is that the state so bungled the prosecution of a defendant that in effect it nullified the intent of the law, namely to insure that justice was truly served. On the surface, this doesnt appear to be the case with Zimmerman.
Still, the call for Holder to strongly consider a federal prosecution is the right call. There are several factors within federal law that federal prosecutors must look at to determine whether there is a compelling interest in a second prosecution of a defendant whos been acquitted in a state court. It must involve a substantial federal interest, the state prosecution must not have vindicated that interest, the government must believe that the defendant's conduct could constitute a federal offense, and that there is still sufficient evidence against the defendant that the government can obtain a conviction.
There are clear elements of each of these hard federal prosecution requirements in the Zimmerman case. The compelling interest is probably the easiest of the requisites to satisfy. The defense and prosecution agreed that Martin did not commit a crime, was not even suspected of a crime, and was on a public thoroughfare when he was killed. The right to freedom of movement without the danger of undue harm is a fundamental right thats enshrined in constitutional law and public policy. Its inviolate. The courts have repeatedly upheld a citizens right to freedom of access and movement in public places.
Though there was no apparent racial motive in Zimmermans confronting Martin, his action clearly violated Martins right to exercise his freedom of movement. This directly impacts on an individuals right to life and liberty. This civil right was violated the moment Zimmerman presumed that a young black man walking on public sidewalk had committed a crime. The safeguard of that right must be a fundamental concern of federal prosecutors.
The Martin case also strongly pointed to systemic issues of excessive force, the excessive force being the slaying of Martin. This strikes to the heart of another basic right of citizens, namely the right to life and liberty, and again the freedom from undue harm. There was audio evidence that strongly hinted that it was Martin who was screaming for help and therefore was under physical assault from Zimmerman. Therefore it was his life, not Zimmermans, that was in mortal danger. This is sufficient cause for federal prosecutors to question whether the jury ignored the fact that Martin was the victim, and Zimmerman was the assailant. This is one of the basic ingredients in determining whether the jury nullified a compelling prosecution fact.
The Martin case raised deeply troubling questions about the power of the law to protect citizens from their unimpeded right to life and safety. Federal prosecutors play a major role in insuring that where theres the suspicion that an individual's rights might have been violated solely because of their race and gender that the power of federal law is brought to bear to insure that that right is protected.
Zimmerman was not a police office and did not abuse his power in killing Martin under the color of law. However, he was acting in a quasi-legal capacity as a one-time neighborhood watchman who had close ties and collaboration with local law enforcement. This in effect bestowed on him the presumption of authority to take action to stop and question an individual he considered a crime suspect. This was the rationale that federal prosecutors used in the Rodney King beating case to bring civil rights charge against the four LAPD officers that beat King. The linchpin was that they acted in an official capacity when they violated Kings rights.
The Justice Department scrupulously tries to avoid a dual prosecution of a defendant acquitted in a state court. It goes to great lengths to shield itself from the charge that its bowing to media or public pressure to prosecute. This is why the percentage of civil rights prosecutions it authorizes is infinitesimally low. Yet in the Martin slaying there are crucial federal interests in insuring the rights of individuals to be free from undue harm because of their color, age, and being in a public area merely because someone perceives they shouldnt be in and then acts on that perception with no cause other than that belief or perception.
If the Justice Department gives serious consideration to the civil rights violations in the Martin case, it will again send the strong message that civil rights violations will always be subject to full and public scrutiny by federal prosecutors. This is exactly why Attorney General Holder has a more than compelling reason to consider a Zimmerman civil rights prosecution.
This is rich considering the FBI did an investigation last summer and concluded that GZ did not act out of racism.
The compelling reason is that Zim has been positively ID’d as a Creepy Ass Cracker.
This idiot author admits that, but says Holder should do it anyway. It’s a schizo article.....from what I gleaned...
Zimmerman himself has a history of standing up for the rights of those less fortunate than himself.
The trouble is, nobody trusts Holder. Many Americans see him as a racist bigot.
not one iota of evidence said GZ was guilty
If you want to destroy American start with not giving a $hit about the laws or the Constitution.
The author is an ass.
Martin did not commit a crime?
Since when is jumping a person on a dark night and beating the crap out of him not a crime?
because his book would sell better
...no doubt.....no one will read his books, but a bunch of other liberal professors will order it for their students......
With enough blather, nothing is outside the scope of federal control.
Not even the most mundane self defense act.
I hope they do go after him for civil rights violations. The trial would be a laughingstock for the arch-racist Holder, and the not-guilty verdict would be returned even faster. One more (of many) data point of incompetence for this corrupt Administration.
What a pantload of HS. No matter what they gin up the feds can't obtain a conviction --
Got that right
It is hard to imagine that these people don’t know how to read. I can’t bring myself to think they’re that stupid.
Therefore, they are so partisan that, even know the truth, they push any opportunity they see to advocate an agenda at a particular time and place.
They know that the idea of Zimmerman preventing free movement or the right to life and safety is just so much sophistry.
What’s the other hand doing? Generally I’d say follow the money. However, in the same way as knowledge is power, so money is power. Follow the money, but also follow the power.
I have an even more compelling reason to call this writer a moron.
When are people going to stop calling that racist little son of a bitch “Reverend”?
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