THE WAY I SEE IT by Don Polson (530) 515-2137 Red Bluff Daily News 4/17/2012
Justice: Pursued goal or miscarriage?
Please note that former state senator and candidate for Congress, Dr. Sam Aanestad, will appear at tonight’s Tea Party Patriots meeting, 6 PM, Westside Grange.
It seemed little deserved further attention in the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, until I heard the overdone press conference by the prosecutor, Angela Corey, complete with a heart-tugging recitation of having prayed with young Martin’s family. Not a peep from the usual liberal suspects about the supposed “separation of church and state,” just like the stunning silence over Attorney General Eric Holder’s asking race hustler Al Sharpton for his prayers when Holder glowingly praised Sharpton’s “Action Network.”
I found the whole spectacle remarkable and unnerving, considering that the first prosecutor found no grounds for filing charges, meaning Zimmerman justifiably defended himself, while the second prosecutor leaped all the way to “second degree murder.” The verbiage used by Corey, i.e. “justice for Trayvon,” hardly suggested impartiality in the pursuit of Zimmerman for murder. It all came across as an excessive and choreographed example of misplaced prosecutorial resources, most likely in response to the very same public outcry and staged protests that Ms. Corey denied as her motivation.
I even found the predictable objections by my nemesis, R. Mazzucchi, in online comments (“your column is far more incendiary than the wearing of hoodies …”) easily dismissed as shamelessly partisan observations from someone having no concept of the “presumption of innocence.” So, Zimmerman was culpable because he didn’t follow “the instructions of police”; however, the dispatcher on the non-emergency line didn’t “instruct” anything, only saying “you don’t need to do that” (follow Martin). The “watch volunteer” Zimmerman had every right to determine if a young man, acting oddly, was about to engage in mischief in his crime-suffering community.
He also had a legal right to own, and carry, a handgun, without the use of which he might have suffered serious injuries, a concussion, or even been left in a coma, by the physically superior Martin. R.M.’s contention that Zimmerman “created a volatile situation” and “apparently assassinated” Martin is unsupportable by facts we know, including that Martin cold-cocked him, broke his nose, and drove him to the ground.
We do know of several miscarriages of truth by media and bloggers, all to the detriment of Zimmerman: 1) His injuries, questioned by them, were visible and proven by video and witnesses; 2) He had no opportunity to retreat, observed a witness, making the “stand your ground” law irrelevant and self-defense paramount; 3) NBC edited the audio phone call to make it sound as if Zimmerman was offering that Martin “looked black,” when it was the police dispatcher asking what race the suspect was; 4) CNN and amateur analysis of recordings couldn’t prove that Zimmerman used any racial epithets, or that screams heard were Martin’s, meaning failed narrative on their part.
Let’s allow the legal process its due, ok? Zimmerman may find that he’s being railroaded to assuage outrage by parts of the public seeking not justice but vengeance. He may have to wait years for vindication; however, he may be guilty – but he’s innocent until it’s proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Much presuming of guilt is emanating from the same crowd cheering every attempt to free convicted murderers. I say that legal gun owners are more law-abiding than the general population simply by virtue of not having stolen their weapons; legally permitted gun-carrying citizens commit a quantifiably lower rate of gun crimes than the general population. Had Zimmerman not defended himself, he might well have been left to languish or die; at least he is alive to have his day in court.
Also, such neighborhood “watchers” would be well advised to travel in pairs, and possess non-lethal means to defend themselves if confronted. Remember, it is a heavy burden to take another life, even an intruder in your own home. If a threat or intruder can be commanded to cease moving, lay a weapon down and slowly hit the floor, law enforcement will be on your side. You have every right to your own self-defense, but not to escape the ramifications of your decisions.
I am reminded of several gross miscarriages of justice by a “Today in History” entry from last Wednesday, April 11: “Five years ago: North Carolina’s top prosecutor dropped all charges against three former Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a stripper at a party, saying the athletes were innocent victims of a ‘tragic rush to accuse.’” Those innocent young men were dragged through the mud of public accusation for months before being exonerated.
Also, never forget the role Al Sharpton played in sullying the reputations of six white men, including peace officers, for a year while he shamelessly beat racial drums over what ultimately turned out to be a completely phony story of rape and abuse by a black girl, Tawaney Brawley.
Finally, never forget the living hell that Richard Jewell, a peace officer and security guard at the 1996 Summer Olympics, endured for months while the media and public rushed to judgment, turning his heroic efforts to spare injury and death to many people from a bomb in Centennial Park, into suspicion that he planted it himself.