Just presenting another perspective, please don't freak out....lol. :)
Alan Dershowitz Is Wrong: Trayvon Martin’s Alleged Killer Must Be Tried
The famed attorney is arguing that the charges against George Zimmerman should be dropped. But Mansfield Frazier says a trial in open court is the only way we'll know that justice was served.
While I have the utmost respect for Dershowitz, in this case I have to disagree. There are simply too many unanswered questions to even suggest circumventing the jury process by dropping the charges. This case cries out for a very public and thorough airing of the facts.
Certainly Zimmerman’s injuries add another layer to an already cloudy set of circumstances, but all they really prove is that a violent struggle took place between him and Trayvon Martin, which is all the more reason to allow the legal process to play out. We need find out—to the greatest extent possible—what really happened. And while Zimmerman’s attorney is duty-bound to get the best possible outcome for his client, the prosecutor in this case has a duty to assure that all of the facts are presented in a legal forum.
At heart, this case is really about the type of society some want to have versus the one the National Rifle Association wants to foist on an unsuspecting public. Just imagine for a minute that Trayvon Martin was an adult instead of a juvenile; further, that he was licensed to carry a concealed weapon; and still further, that he had a gun on his person when Zimmerman approached him. Under “Stand Your Ground” laws Martin could have just as easily shot and killed Zimmerman instead, and (if not for the fact he was black, and that laws—when race enters into the picture—have been applied unequally in this country for centuries) he then could have made the same self-defense claim. Under this type of Wild West mentality fistfights can (and will) escalate into murders.
Nonetheless, more laws are being proposed in some states to allow concealed weapons to be carried into bars, schools, and public buildings, all in the name of creating a safer society.
According to a study published in the prestigious American Journal of Epidemiology, however, “Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home …”
Writing on the website for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Violence, Dennis Henigan said, “The NRA has a wonderfully simple story to tell. In the NRA’s world, people are neatly divided into two readily identifiable groups: good guys and bad guys. In this imaginary world, we know that legal carriers of guns must be good guys and that good guys use their guns only in legitimate self-defense—that’s what makes them good guys in the first place. The Trayvon Martin tragedy reveals the real world to be far more complicated.” Indeed it is.
In the streets there’s a phenomenon called “pistol courage” which poses the question, would Zimmerman—if he wasn’t armed—have approached Martin in the aggressive manner in which he did? Put another way, are cowards, when they’re empowered with the advantage of firepower, willing to take more risks, and even provoke situations that could have been handled in another manner if they were not armed?
Many gun nuts brag about how they could blow someone away and sleep like babies, and for some of them that’s the gospel truth. But for others (even case-hardened soldiers and police officers) once they’ve taken the life of another human being they’re forever changed—and not for the better. And there’s really no way to know in advance how a person will be affected.
In the Martin/Zimmerman case, issues such as who was crying out for help and what Trayvon was saying to his girlfriend in the seconds before the confrontation cannot be dismissed, and can only be thoroughly examined in a court of law. But the real upside of a trial is that a much-needed spotlight will be placed on “Stand Your Ground” laws. Even if Zimmerman is found not guilty, if those dangerous laws are changed, society will have won a victory.
And the following directly contradicts Dershowitz statements regarding the charging afadavit:
So, what did Dershowitz get wrong? To start with, Dershowitz seems to be speaking out of a feigned ignorance for criminal law in general, as well as a complete ignorance for the specific Rules of Criminal Procedure enacted by the state of Florida. The prosecution’s handling of the initial pretrial detention hearing, along with the Affidavit of Probable Cause that Dershowitz calls “a crime,” was completely and utterly routine; the State was doing the same thing it does every day, for all of the defendants it charges with crimes, in all the cases it handles.
The particular affidavit that Dershowitz ascribes so much profound significance to is in fact of little procedural significance and absolutely no substantive significance, and the prosecution is not required to do any of the things Dershowitz suggests in his interview. To clarify, an Affidavit of Probable Cause, submitted in conjunction with a pretrial probable cause determination under Rule 3.133 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure: (1) is not a formal charge; (2) is not subject to normal evidentiary rules or standards; and (3) is not used to disclose the State’s case against the accused, and as a routine matter the State attempts to provide as little of the State’s evidence as possible in such affidavits, providing only what is necessary to demonstrate probable cause.
Simply put, “[a] preliminary hearing is for the purpose of determining if probable cause exists to hold one accused of a crime for trial. Such a hearing is not a critical stage in the proceedings.” Anderson v. State, 241 So. 2d 390, 392-93 (Fla. 1970). At these initial hearings, “the strict rules of evidence are not enforced … and no formal charges are existing or filed against the defendant. The whole proceedings partake of the nature of an inquiry and, outside of being conducted by a magistrate (perhaps in a court house), bears little or no resemblance to a trial.” Davis v. State, 65 So. 2d 307, 308 (Fla. 1953).
Contrary to Dershowitz’s unsupported claims, it is expected, normal, and proper for everything but the bare bones case for probable cause to be left out of a probable cause affidavit, whether it be in support of a warrant or a pretrial preliminary hearing. See Perry v. State, 842 So. 2d 301, 303 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2003) (“Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.133(a)(3) states that … the court should apply the same standard as is required for issuing an arrest warrant.”). The Probable Cause Affidavit filed against Zimmerman is in no manner unique or somehow lacking, as compared to the probable cause affidavits filed in every other criminal manner. In any matter where more than a modicum of investigation has been done, such affidavits essentially never include the State’s full case against the accused. So if Dershowitz was right about the State’s requirements in filing such an affidavit, it is not just Angela Corey that ought to be looking for an attorney; every prosecutor in the U.S. ought to be doing the same as well.
Courts are not a place for public opinion to rule.
If there's no legal reason to charge him, he should not be charged. If he's only charged because of the political implications of the case, the prosecutor should be disbarred.
<In the Martin/Zimmerman case, issues such as who was crying out for help and what Trayvon was saying to his girlfriend in the seconds before the confrontation cannot be dismissed, and can only be thoroughly examined in a court of law.>
No. As Ron pointed out, there has to be some kind of specific & willful lack of care for human life. Nothing in someone crying out for help or what was suggested was said by Trayvon's girlfriend are relevant to that.
Whew... for a second there I was worried we would run out of Martin/Zimmerman threads.
I hear some "neato" dudes are meeting in Chicago or something... anyone heard anything about that? Nah... nothing important, I'm sure.
Whew......for a second there I was worried we were going to run out of links to media reports about things not reported in the media, lol. :)~
<<Courts are not a place for public opinion to rule.
Nobody said public opinion should rule in the court, what a strange thing to say. Ron posted a thread regarding the legal opinion of Alan Dershowitz, this thread is a direct response to that thread. Tell me, why did you not apply the same comment and standard to Ron's thread on the opinion of Dershowitz?
<<<In the Martin/Zimmerman case, issues such as who was crying out for help and what Trayvon was saying to his girlfriend in the seconds before the confrontation cannot be dismissed, and can only be thoroughly examined in a court of law.>
No. As Ron pointed out, there has to be some kind of specific & willful lack of care for human life. Nothing in someone crying out for help or what was suggested was said by Trayvon's girlfriend are relevant to that. <<
Saying that specific pieces of evidence should not be dismissed is not the same thing as saying this evidence alone can be used for conviction. The totality of evidence must be taken as a whole, and if allowed to remain as evidence for the trial, then this would but but one part of the totality of evidence.