He Didn't Say Boo
So George Zimmerman has been arrested and is facing second degree murder. Like everyone else writing about the case, I don't know what happened*. But considering what is known, and what likely can't be known, it sounds like a very hard case to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. (The probable cause affadavit isn't particularly impressive.)
The first investigation dropped all charages. Even if you believe it was flawed, that's quite a jump from no charge to second degree murder. I've heard three explanations:
1) The prosecution has a lot more than they're showing.
2) Special prosecutor Angela Corey is making a political decision, giving the crowds marching against Zimmerman what they want.
3) The prosecutor is overcharging, ironically, to throw the case.
The first point has been made by Corey. The second point is widely believed--at least by people I know. The third point is definitely a minority view.
Anyway, the question now is can Zimmerman get a fair trial. When even the President has waded into the issue, it can be hard to find jurors without strong opinions. Worse, some of the rhetoric surrounding the Trayvon Martin shooting has been heated enough that people may be fearful there'll be trouble following the verdict. Will jurors be affected by this?
Zimmerman was arrested the same day the Academy had a fiftieth anniversary screening of To Kill A Mockingbird. Host Tavis Smiley noted
To Kill A Mockingbird is the story of a man accused of a crime he didn't commit. Lawyer Atticus Finch defends him, but the town is out for blood, and won't even consider any evidence that goes against their prejudices. I guess the tension between the townfolk and Atticus parallel the tensions Smiley refers to. Or am I getting it wrong?
*I don't know what happened, but I can somewhat feel what Trayvon Martin went through. Believe it or not, I've had neighborhood watch types follow me and call the cops on several occasions. Every time it made me pretty angry, though luckily things never came to blows.