Skip to comments.Dershowitz: Prosecutor Should Drop Charges Against Zimmerman
Posted on 05/24/2012 8:51:56 AM PDT by marktwain
Leftist Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz says special prosecutor Angela Corey should drop the second-degree murder charge against George Zimmerman, the Hispanic man who shot Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Florida.
The evidence that Zimmerman told the truth when he said Martin attacked and tried to kill him, Dershowitz wrote in the New York Daily News, is too much to ignore. And the only right thing for the prosecutor to do, he concluded, is forget about nailing Zimmerman for murder.
Dershowitz has been speaking out about the case since the prosecutor released an affidavit that Dershowitz said fell fall short of what is legally required. Most notably, it lies by omission, he implied.
The Harvard law professor unbosomed his opinion after prosecutors released the evidence in the case, including photos and a report about Zimmermans injuries sustained in the fight for his life against the enraged 17-year-old football player.
As The New American reported last week, the medical evidence backs up the account Zimmerman gave police: that Martin brutally attacked him, breaking his nose and bashing his head into the ground, before Zimmerman pulled his gun and shot the teenager.
The medical report showed that Zimmerman had a closed fracture of the nose, lacerations on his head and a minor back injury. Photos confirm the written report.
As well, the autopsy on Martin showed Zimmerman shot him at close range, which is, again, consistent with Zimmermans account, and that Martin had an abrasion on one of his fingers and trace amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system. Whether Martin was stoned when he attacked Zimmerman is unclear.
Dershowitz says the time has come to drop the case. If this evidence turns out to be valid, the prosecutor will have no choice but to drop the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman if she wants to act ethically, lawfully and professional, he wrote, adding,
There is, of course, no assurance that the special prosecutor handling the case, State Attorney Angela Corey, will do the right thing. Because until now, her actions have been anything but ethical, lawful and professional.
Dershowitz also reprised earlier his remarks of a few weeks ago, which suggested that the prosecutors affidavit was faulty because did not contain exculpatory evidence. She was aware when she submitted an affidavit that it did not contain the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. She deliberately withheld evidence that supported Zimmermans claim of self-defense, he wrote.
A few weeks ago, Dershowitz noted that such affidavits must contain all relevant information, and that not including evidence that would prove Zimmermans innocence is unethical, immoral and irresponsible. He even called the affidavit stupid.
This week, Dershowitz explained more:
The New York Times has reported that the police had a full face picture of Zimmerman, before paramedics treated him, that showed a bloodied nose. The prosecutor also had photographic evidence of bruises to the back of his head.
But none of this was included in any affidavit.
Now there is much more extensive medical evidence that would tend to support Zimmermans version of events.
Dershowitz also explained that Floridas Stand Your Ground Law might not be an issue in the case, and that even if Zimmerman cannot use the law as a defense, he may still have a legitimate claim of self defense. A defendant, under Florida law, loses his stand your ground defense if he provoked the encounter but he retains traditional self-defense if he reasonably believed his life was in danger and his only recourse was to employ deadly force, he wrote.
Thus, if Zimmerman verbally provoked Martin, but Martin then got on top of Zimmerman and banged his head into the ground, broke his nose, bloodied his eyes and persisted in attacking Zimmerman and if Zimmerman couldnt protect himself from further attack except by shooting Martin he would have the right to do that. (The prosecution has already admitted that it has no evidence that Zimmerman started the actual fight.)
Dershowitz is highly concerned that Corey said her job was to get justice for Trayvon Martin but not for George Zimmerman. That, Dershowitz wrote, is not a prosecutors job. Nor he wrote, is her job to get a conviction to avoid racial troubles that might arise should Zimmerman go free:
As many see it, her additional job is to prevent riots of the sort that followed the acquittal of the policemen who beat Rodney King.
Indeed, Mansfield Frazier, a columnist for the Daily Beast, has suggested that it is the responsibility of the legal system to avert a large scale racial calamity. He has urged Zimmermans defense lawyer to become a savior by brokering a deal to plead his client guilty to a crime that has him back on the streets within this decade.
But it is not the role of a defense lawyer to save the world or the country. His job his only job is to get the best result for his client, by all legal and ethical means.
The prosecutors job is far broader: to do justice to the defendant as well as the alleged victim.
As the Supreme Court has said: The government wins ... when justice is done.
Zimmermans lawyer is doing his job. Its about time for the prosecutor to start doing hers.
Evidence Likely Means Acquittal
Corey charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder in early April. At the time, legal experts wondered how she would get a conviction given the high standard of evidence required to prove such a crime. That evidence must include proof that the accused evinc[ed] a depraved mind regardless of human life. The defense experts concluded that she overcharged to force a plea deal from Zimmerman.
But then the prosecutor released the affidavit, which suggested they had no case. Dershowitz noted as much at the time: The evidence, he said, is so thin that it wont make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge. He also called the affidavit a grave ethical violation because of what it didnt include: the evidence supported Zimmermans claim that Martin attacked him.
Indeed, Dershowitz confidently said the evidence was so weak Zimmerman would be probably be acquitted, and he accused Corey of trying to score political points with the charge. I think what you have here is an elected public official who made a campaign speech last night for reelection when she gave her presentation and overcharged, he said. [I]f the evidence is no stronger than what appears in the probable cause affidavit this case will result in an acquittal.
Now Dershowitz flatly calls on Corey to drop the case.
Nope, the DA has screwed herself, big time!
Too late now. She hoped to play this big time in front of the drooling cameras. The media will need a scapegoat for their own stupid reporting—and she’s it.
Never mind that the media lied before she did. They control the news.
She probably hoped to play this into a future governorship. Forget it, stupid.
Is it time for Corey to be examined on ethics charges?
How correct you are.
I sat in court with my grandson as all the cases were being handled. Not realizing it at the time the Judge wanted every case out of the way so the court room was empty except for me and my grandson. The Judge then proceeded to chew the prosecutor out for overcharging the case. My grandson's defense lawyer said to the Judge I can see now why you put us off to the very last.
they’ll just refile it as “manslaughter”
...and face disciplinary action up to and including loss of her job and possibly her license.
I want Sham-ton sued. Dropping charges isn’t enough... Panthers need to be investigated for witness tampering...
Are you sick of our 'law enforcement people' cowering in front of threats of black violence? Dershowitz is calling this one from a bastion of liberal group think - that takes courage. Thanks Dershowitz...
“There is, of course, no assurance that the special prosecutor handling the case, State Attorney Angela Corey, will do the right thing. Because until now, her actions have been anything but ethical, lawful and professional.”
Did State AG “Inherit the wind”, as did Barrack, Al and Jesse?
Proverbs 11:29, He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
That depends upon whether or not the judge dismisses "with prejudice". Since any manslaughter charge would be based on the same act, with the same set of facts as the original charge, that would result in him being prosecuted twice for substantially the same crime. If the charge is dismissed with prejudice, filing again under manslaughter would violate the prohibition against double jeopardy.
“Are you sick of our ‘law enforcement people’ cowering in front of threats of black violence? Dershowitz is calling this one from a bastion of liberal group think - that takes courage. Thanks Dershowitz... “
Now Alan, go down to Floriduh and take over the case for Zimmerman’s defense Pro Bono. Now that would really be the “ethical” thing to do.
when he's right, he's right. Just like a stopped clock.
Zimmerman should get Dershowitz for his defense attorney.
The cognitive dissonance at that point would cause liberal spontaneous combustion throughout our land.
” She probably hoped to play this into a future governorship. Forget it, stupid.”
Is she 1/128th Cherokee?
She might be able to teach at Harvard.
Who writes this crud? I know what it means, etc. but come on... I am not even sure that the use of this word is correct given the context of the sentence...
usually there is prosecutorial discretion. Don't know how it works in florida. Can the prosecutor withdraw the 2nd degree murder charge and re-file as manslaughter ? or do they first have to get the judge to dismiss ?
I believe it is not correct. Alan Dershowitz is not confidentially revealing a private, secret thought here - he is shouting from the rooftops to anyone who cares to hear.
Dershowits's specialty is appeals.