Saturday, June 23, 2012

Trial Separation

It's not enough that the George Zimmerman trial seems highly politicized, he's also being threatened with federal prosecution.  For a long time I've felt that if you try someone for essentially the same act, even if you say it's a different crime, and even if one case is in state court and the other federal court, it sure sounds like double jeopardy to me. (Some fear the scenario where a prejudiced state court or jury let's a local off and he's free for good.  I sure don't see that happening in the Zimmerman case, but even if it were a major fear in general, the solution is to allow the feds to intervene when they've discovered a rotten court.)

So anyway the FBI has 10 special agents poking around in Florida (with help from 11 Florida investigators) to learn more about Zimmerman. And what do they want to know?

“Two FBI agents showed up here with a picture of Zimmerman asked me if I recognized him,” said gun dealer Khaled Akkawi, who was listed as a witness in the case. “They were pretty much asking along the lines of if he had made racial comments or anything. My employees told me it couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Didn’t the guy have a Sunday school in his house for minority kids?”

Before he shot the unarmed teen, Zimmerman mentored a black child, his family has said.

I don't care if he was the grand dragon of the local Klan.  Is Zimmerman to be tried for his politics?  Unfortunately, that's what hate crime laws amount to.  They punish you for the unpopular political views you held when you committed the crime.

We don't like racist beliefs (though there's some disagreement about what is racist--should juries be deciding that?), but they're not illegal in themselves.  They shouldn't be a factor in someone's prosecution.  The Supreme Court has let us down on this.  They should look at the issue again. Until then, the feds should back off, even if the case has lots of publicity.

Read more here:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trayvon Martin is dead so we won't know but did he think he was being stalked by a hispanic criminal and was forced to stand his ground?

7:01 AM, June 23, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trayvon Martin didn't have to stand his ground. He was the one who confronted the guy who was watching him--after doubling back when he was past that guy--and started beating the shit out of him. He also was high at the time.

8:57 AM, June 23, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Grand Dragon capitalized?

6:15 PM, June 23, 2012  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I actually checked this when I wrote the post. It didn't seem to me that "grand dragon" had to be a specific position, but could just be a rank (though the highest) that several people enjoy at teh same time, so I figured it didn't have to be capitalized, though I don't suppose it'd be wrong if I had done it that way.

11:17 PM, June 23, 2012  

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