Human Events Blog

The Zimmerman case disintegrates

The release of evidence in George Zimmerman’s murder trial quickly made a mockery of his second-degree murder charges, and threw a further layer of shame upon media and political opportunists who misrepresented a tragic, but fairly straightforward, case of lethal force employed in self-defense.

It is remarkable to take stock of this evidence and realize that it supports every single aspect of Zimmerman’s statement to the police.  His injuries are consistent with his account of physical assault by Trayvon Martin.  Martin’s gunshot wound occurred at the very short range described by Zimmerman, demolishing fantasies about a racist mall-cop wannabe stalking and murdering an innocent black kid for no reason. 

The Smoking Gun highlighted this bit of eyewitness testimony – released to the public by the Sanford police only a few days ago, but known to the prosecution when Zimmerman was charged – tendered to the police only 90 minutes after the shooting occurred, by a resident of Zimmerman’s community who heard the altercation and decided to investigate:

The man recalled seeing “a black male, wearing a dark colored ‘hoodie’ on top of a white or Hispanic male who was yelling for help.” The black male, he added, “was mounted on the white or Hispanic male and throwing punches ‘MMA (mixed martial arts) style.’”

The witness–who was in his living room and about 30 feet away from the confrontation– said he called out to the two men that he was dialing 911. “He then heard a ‘pop,’” police reported, and saw the black male “laid out on the grass.”

Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit relates the discovery of video from Trayvon Martin’s YouTube account, removed at some point during the last month, that shows he was actually involved in some sort of underground “fight club.”

Also fatal to the prosecution’s case is the discovery that Martin had THC in his system – he had apparently been smoking pot that night.  As related by the local CBS News affiliate:

 According to the autopsy report made public record by the Office of the Medial Examiner, the blood from Martin’s chest contained 1.5 ng/ML of THC, a drug commonly found in marijuana. There was about 7.3ng/mL of THC carboxy, the by-product of the body’s metabolism of THC.

Depending on the amount of THC consumed and the frequency in which it is consumed, THC carboxy can stay in a person’s system from somewhere between two weeks to a month, according to WBTV. THC itself can stay in the body for as long as four hours.

This is important because the charging document clearly, and without evidence, accuses Zimmerman of racially “profiling” Martin.  On the other hand, Zimmerman told the 911 dispatcher that Martin caught his eye because “this guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something… it’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”  Only then did the dispatcher specifically ask about Martin’s race, and request a description of his clothing.

Despite the prosecution’s awareness of the autopsy reports and eyewitness testimony, they included none of it in their affidavit against Zimmerman.  Criminal lawyer and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, who has been beside himself ever since the Zimmerman charges were filed, writes in the New York Daily News that it’s time to drop the charges, but doubts State Attorney Angela Corey “will do the right thing,” because “until now, her actions have been anything but ethical, lawful, and professional.”

As Dershowitz points out, the evidence released in this case means Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law isn’t even a factor in Zimmerman’s defense.  Much political hay has been made out of this law, but if Zimmerman was on the ground getting beaten to a pulp, withdrawal from the encounter was physically impossible for him.  “A defendant, under Florida law, loses his ‘stand your ground’ defense if he provoked the encounter,” observes Dershowitz, “but he retains traditional self-defense if he reasonably believed his life was in danger and his only recourse was to employ deadly force.”

For that matter, as Dershowitz notes, there is not one shred of evidence to support the prosecutor’s contention that Zimmerman provoked the encounter.  Neighborhood Watch patrols are not illegal.  There is no evidence that Zimmerman shouted any “fighting words” at Martin.

Dershowitz also mentions a suspicion I’ve harbored since the weird, circus-like press conference at which Corey announced the charges: they’re a political instrument designed to buy time for everyone to cool down, leading to a long trial that dismantles some of the hysteria built up around the Trayvon Martin case.  If true, the strategy is understandable… but utterly outrageous.  The United States does not do “show trials.”  The justice system is not a safety valve for releasing unhealthy levels of political tension.  Individual citizens are not pawns to be shoved around in media games by gun-control advocates, race hustlers, or opportunistic politicians.  The purpose of law enforcement is to protect the public, not appease certain segments of it.

State attorney Angela Corey responded by saying, “What the general public has to remember, and the media has to remember, is that there is a lot we cannot release by law.”  Zimmerman’s lawyer also cautiously conceded that more evidence may be in prosecutorial hands, as yet unreleased to either him or the public.

That doesn’t change the virtually indisputable fact that Corey deliberately suppressed evidence helpful to Zimmerman when her affidavit was written.  At best, that’s very sloppy work.  ABC News discusses the sort of cards Corey might be holding:

One key to the case is which of the two men instigated the clash that left Martin dead. The prosecution says Zimmerman initiated the altercation when he “profiled” Martin that night, and then got out of his car to follow him. In the newly released documents, lead homicide officer on the case, Chris Serino of the Sanford Police Department, called the shooting “avoidable” had Zimmerman remained in his vehicle.

What has yet to be seen are two main pieces of evidence: Zimmerman’s statement on the night of the incident, and his reenactment of the events of that night, which could prove vital when and if the case is heard in court.

It’s difficult to see how any of that might convince a jury to hand down a “guilty” verdict to Murder Two charges.  How does that “stay in your car” principle work?  Do you have to stay in your car when you see anyone acting suspiciously in your neighborhood, or do the age, sex, and racial background of the subject matter?  Does everyone have to stay in their cars, or only members of certain age, sex, and racial groups?

Or is it simpler for the law to assert that beating someone into the ground and administering an MMA-style thrashing is wrong, even if they looked at you funny?

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  • pennylane339

    Are you referring to the same Holder who is so truthful – especially when talking about his fast and furious debacle? We lost 2 wonderful men in law enforcement due to his stupidity.

  • noahfingwhey

    This is all well and good but in today’s racial politics all that matters is that Zimmerman is close enough to white to count and Treyvon at some point in his life was an innocent looking 6 year old and we have the pictures to prove it. Guilty as charged yo Honor!

  • Joe

    “pop”

    “Okay, you got it”

    – Last words of Trayvon.

    I guess what the Zimmerman case has Blacks so exercised is that they know, in their heart of hearts, that Trayvon was every bit the thug he strove so hard to be and set himself up for a justified shooting in self defense.

    Evidently, armed, non-thugs who can and will put an end to their criminality really bothers them.

    Too bad.

    Stand your ground isn’t going anywhere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Monte-Pair-Jones/732504018 Monte Pair Jones

    This article is just another example of the reasons why I love Ann Coulter. Brilliant, concise and informative.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tyeree-Deeboyoazz-Stines/1073798573 Tyeree Deeboyoazz Stines

    You may be referring to the witness who changed his story when questioned again. No one has maintained a stable statement in regards to this alleged attack. There is no evidence to support Georgie’s fabricated claim that he is telling the truth.

  • Jason Johnson

    You are probably some ambulance-chasing scumbag of a lawyer or a desicable thug-loving reprobate.

  • Nubian

    Eh, jury or judge will decide.

  • Nubian

    what would you do if you were visiting a friend, went to get skittles and some dude just kept following you when you were walking back then jumped out of his car and came toward you? Honestly, what would you do?

  • Nubian

    What does being pro-Trayvon and have to do with racism? What does calling Zim a lunatic have to do with racism? C’mon. Think through it.

  • wildslife

    Because it shows you’ve decided who’s wrong and who’s right based on skin color and without having all the facts. I have an open mind. You don’t. Hurts, don’t it.

  • jjumpire21

    Can you read?Martin attacked him.Martin was killing him,on top beating his head into concrete,Can you read?It’s over,Z did the world a favor,get over it,one less gangbanger.

  • MystWlker

    If you actually *had* read the facts of this case instead of the unsubstantiated hyperbole, you would know that Martin initially evaded Zimmerman, and then surprised Zimmerman from behind as Zimmerman was returning to his vehicle to await police.

    THAT is wrong with what you said.

  • MystWlker

    Problem is, Zimmerman DID NOT lie during his bail hearing.

    He didn’t count part of the donations to his defense because they legally had to be used for his defense, NOT bail.

    This is why the judge finally recused himself from the case.

  • MystWlker

    Wrong. Zimmerman’s first notice of Martin was near the complex’s adminstrative offices and clubhouse. Not at a store.

    By the way, why is it that no one as yet can identify just which store Martin had come from? It shouldn’t be hard, since there isn’t one within 2 miles of that complex….

  • MystWlker

    A voice of emotion, not reason.

    Just like yours.

  • MystWlker

    SYG doesn’t apply in this case because Zimmerman was pinned down and unable to retreat if he’d wanted to.

    At that point it became simple self defense.

  • Poodleguy

    So was Martin Luther King Jr, fyi!!!

  • Poodleguy

    Suggestion, Redd Head: grab yourself by the ears & jerk your head out of the nether region within which it rests!!!

  • Poodleguy

    Whereupon, Mr Z was headed back to his vehicle when he was jumped by the ill fated Mr Martin.

  • fedfreakinup

    I want to know one thing only. Skip skin color and who hit who etc… Did this happen because George pursued Trayvon rather than waiting for the police.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001400900364 Pete Za

    “We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” — Ayn Rand

  • H8tank

    And if martin took off running, how did an older, fatter zmmirman catch him?

  • H8tank

    So an athletic, football playing black youth took off running… but an older, fat hispanic was not only to catch Martin, but then scare him into yelling for help? Makes sense. lol.