Special prosecutor Angela Corey said during Wednesday's press conference that the arrest of George Zimmerman was not made under pressure. She said Florida followed the law to the letter and always prosecuted based on evidence not public pressure or petitions. Hmmmm.
Sounds altruistic, doesn't it? She held that press conference like it was an Oscar announcement; introducing her District Attorneys like nominees for an award. It all felt a tad over-done, over-played. Maybe that's just her style but when cameras and high-profile are attached to cases, the players involved tend to act differently. Remember the O.J. Simpson case with DAs Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden?
28-year-old Zimmerman was arrested 45 days after he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on the night of February 26 in Sanford Fla. 45 days later. Why did it take so long? If the Sunshine State's justice system turned on well-oiled wheels like prosecutor Corey would have us believe, why did it drag out this painfully?
The original prosecutor Norm Wolfinger dismissed Trayvon's death for he reportedly prevented the Sanford police from charging him or keeping him in custody. The teen's parents were heartbroken, then that grief turned to outrage. 130 people were reportedly killed since Stand Your Ground was signed into law by then governorin 2005. Only 19 were convicted.
Sybrina and Tracey did not want their son to become just another statistic so they decided to speak out, reach out for help from the community and beyond. The crescendo reached a pitch Florida couldn't ignore anymore. Even the president and Republican candidates were weighing in. The rest of the country was shining a blinding light on them and this them woke up from their slumber.
Corey said they do not respond to pressure, but isn't that exactly what happened here? Now they will officially charge the neighborhood watchman with second-degree murder but I am wondering if this isn't "charging" themselves out of a win?
We all rememberand her relatively unknown lawyer Jose Baez who was catapulted to notoriety by getting a not guilty verdict for his client. Many said the prosecution had practically boxed themselves into that losing corner with the severe charge of 1st-degree murder. Is this where we're heading with this case?
What does the prosecution have to prove to get a guilty verdict for second-degree murder? The defense does not have to prove anything but cast reasonable doubt. Murder means there must be some pre-meditation or calculated design.
Corey said that the evidence showed Zimmerman profiled, then stalked Trayvon and shot him. I hope she really has the evidence to back that up in an airtight manner. If she doesn't, a brilliant lawyer will have room to manuerver. The only two people who know everything that transpired that fatal night are the accused and the dead teen. Obviously, only one is here to tell what happened so he can spin it however he wants to.
Forensic and witnesses reports are the other "eyes" on that night. If police did a thorough investigation and evidence processing of the crime scene immediately starting the night of the killing, the state may have a case. However, from the numerous reports we know that probably did not happen for the Sanford police allegedly took Zimmerman's word as truth. He was released that same night. We don't know if his clothes were kept as evidence. We don't know if his entire body was photographed. If the gun was checked for Trayvon's prints. Was he tested for alcohol and drugs?
Did they run a background check on Zimmerman?If so, did they see that he had an arrest in his past? Was he alledgedly fired as a security guard for being too aggressive? Reports say Sanford police ran such ckecks on Trayvon, tested him for drugs and he was the one laying in the morgue. Shouldn't the burden of proof have rested on the one who pulled the trigger? Make sure it wasn't murder?
The state is also putting emphasis on the fact that the 911 operator had told Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon but he did so anway. The watchman's rebuttal to that and his defense lawyer can say he was going back to his car, obeying that order when the teen jumped him from behind. This can muddy the water unless the state has the time-lines of that night locked down tight.
What time did Zimmerman call in his "suspicious person" complant? What time was Trayvon on the phone with his girlfriend DeeDee? What time did neighbors hear the voices then the gunshot? Did police enter Trayvon's phone into evidence? The girlfriend's phone records can also be used to tell the same tale.
Shockingly, police did not interview the 16-year-old ear-witness. Witnesses who called 911 have said that the teen was laying face down in the grass when the police arrived. Why was he face down if he was shot in his chest while a scuffle was allegedly taking place, with both of them on the ground? Moreover, Zimmerman had said his head was cut open by Trayvon bashing it repeatedly on the pavement. His brother Robert told CNN Piers Morgan that Zimmerman passed out during the severe beating. But he was never taken to the hospital.
The almost one-minute long haunting screams for help heard on those 911 tapes which abruptly stopped when the gun shot was heard might be a key piece of evidence? Who was crying out in fear, the unarmed teenager or the armed watchman?
So many questions and little to no answers--all of which the prosecutor has to answer for the jury. Trayvon's mother Sybrina may have helped the defense on Thursday when she told the NBC's Todays show that her son's killng was an accident, that something that got out of hand. I know she must be under tremendous stress, for she is grieving for her child while at the same time constantly fighting for some kind of justice.
Whirlwind interviews, surrounded by numerous folks who may be telling her what to do, say, how to act and travelling to Capitol Hill to speak on racial profiling, and speaking at several protests can overwhelm anyone. She may be at her breaking point. As a mother of a 17-year-old like Trayvon, I know I would.
All eyes are on Florida: Communities are anticipating justice and to many justice comes in a guilty verdict. Zimmerman supporters--and there are also many--are looking for a not guilty. The media is salivating and some have even begun to call the upcoming case, "the trial of the century" and we are only in 2012. Even comedians are daring to go "there" and Jon Stewart's The Daily Show had some dark humor Thursday night alluding to the media circus which is bound to ensue.
Meanwhile Zimmerman remains in jail under protective custody and new lawyer Mark O'Mara is expected to ask for bail next Friday.
What do you think: Did the prosecution over-charge, risking the case or do you think they have a good chance at a conviction?