New piece at NRO: "Where’s the ‘Probable Cause’? The affidavit in the Zimmerman case fails to justify a second-degree-murder charge."

My new piece at NRO starts this way:
The charges brought against George Zimmerman sure look like prosecutorial misconduct. The case as put forward by the prosecutor in the “affidavit of probable cause” is startlingly weak. As a former chief economist at the U.S. Sentencing Commission, I have read a number of such affidavits, and cannot recall one lacking so much relevant information. The prosecutor has most likely deliberately overcharged, hoping to intimidate Zimmerman into agreeing to a plea bargain. If this case goes to trial, Zimmerman will almost definitely be found “not guilty” on the charge of second-degree murder. The prosecutor wasn’t required to go to the grand jury for the indictment, but the fact that she didn’t in such a high-profile case is troubling. Everyone knows how easy it is for a prosecutor to get a grand jury to indict, because only the prosecutor presents evidence. A grand-jury indictment would have provided political cover; that charges were brought without one means that the prosecutor was worried that a grand jury would not give her the indictment. . . .

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Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Being that prosecutors are elected officials in Florida, a special prosecutor was assigned to this case in order to avoid any possible thoughts of politics tainting this case. However, we are witnessing politics. The second degree murder charge is simply a means to avoid a Rodney King scenario from occuring again, by appeasing those whom want to lynch Mr. Zimmerman.

Also, this gives the special prosecutor an out or two. If the jury fails to convict, fingers can be pointed at them. Overcharging a suspect is a means to get them to plea bargain, and in this case the prosecutor can say that she at least got Zimmerman convicted of a crime.

No matter how one slices it, this is a complete farce, and should be treated as such. Problem is, there are two kinds of justice. One spends money, or one spends time.

4/16/2012 1:20 PM  

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