The case of Florida v. Zimmerman, in the Superior Court of Florida in and for the County of Seminole, should have been a routine criminal matter. One man shoots another under doubtful circumstances, and pleads self-defense. Except that the conduct of the case, and even the bringing of it, are anything but routine. In fact, the conduct of the judge in the case, and the conduct of certain city, State and federal officials, suggests something very wrong. Simply put: the Attorney General of the United States, or possibly the de facto President, proscribed George Zimmerman. And they did it to further the power of the federal government.
The case of Florida v. Zimmerman
The case seems simple enough: George Zimmerman lives in an apartment complex that has suffered many burglaries over the years. As is typical in such cases, the Sanford, Florida Police Department do not seem able to stop this rash of burglaries. So George Zimmerman, who lives in that community, offered to help. He accepted training as a neighborhood watchman. He tried to train in Mixed Martial Arts; one witness implied he would have done better not to try. (He seems never to have been a prepossessing physical specimen even then, and is less so today.) But he did arm himself, with a revolver. That fact would be key.
On February 26, 2012, Zimmerman was driving around the complex. He spotted a tall, shadowy figure, dressed in a hooded sweatshirt, walking around in the rain. Zimmerman did not recognize him, so he called 911. He told them he’d spotted “a young man, up to no good.” The dispatcher asked him to describe hs race, and Zimmerman said, “he looks black.”
The young man was, of course, Trayvon Martin, age 17. By nearly all accounts, he had bought a packet of fruit-flavored sugar candies and an iced-tea-flavored drink at a local convenience store. And on his way back home, the rain caught him.
The dispatcher whom Zimmerman talked to, said, “We don’t need you to follow [Martin].” Zimmerman said, “OK.”
Martin, meanwhile, celled a friend of his, Rachael Jeantel, on his cellphone. He said someone was following him. But he didn’t sound frightened about it. He sounded cocky and arrogant. “Creepy cracker,” he called Zimmerman. (Edited for family friendship.) In case that reference doesn’t click: cracker is a common name some blacks have for whites. It dates back to the South before the War Between the States.
Four minutes would elapse between the time Martin first called Ms. Jeantel, and the time those two men met. Their meeting, of course, ended badly. Before it was over, George Zimmerman had a bloody, probably broken nose, and many cuts and bruises on his skull. But Trayvon Martin was dead, with a bullet in his heart.
That much, both sides in the case stipulate to. All the rest is in dispute.
A police chief loses his job
Police Chief Bill Lee knew at once he did not have enough evidence to charge George Zimmerman with anything. The police do not make an arrest just to satisfy grieving relatives. But that is what city officials demanded that Lee do. Lee refused. So the city fired him, and hired someone who would arrest Zimmerman.
Why did they want an arrest? To stop a spate of near-riots that had broken out in the city. More on that later. But that spectacle alone should alarm any American. That politicians would order someone’s arrest to placate angry mobs? This sort of thing began with the French Revolution.
Nor was that police chief the only one. The lead investigator lost his job, too – same reason. And the governor of Florida (Rick Scott, Republican, of all things) named a special prosecutor who insisted on prosecuting a case with no evidence.
A corrupt judge?
Mr. Anthony Martin (no relation) has the best summary on the conduct of Judge Debra Nelson, now trying the case. Martin lists these reasons why she should not only have recused herself from the case, but resigned from the bench:
- She has made highly dubious rulings, slanted heavily in favor of the prosecution. Martin accuses her of overruling defense objections without stopping to hear the defense’ reasons for objecting.
- She refused to consider the clear indication that the prosecution withheld exculpatory and/or mitigating evidence, contrary to proper discovery procedure in any jurisdiction.
- She insisted on questioning Zimmerman directly, on whether he planned to testify in his own defense. That in itself is not necessarily improper – except when the defense has not even rested its own case.
Many commentators have made much of Judge Nelson’s “testy” relationship with Donald West, co-counsel for the defense. Sometimes, judges and lawyers come to resent one another. But such resentment would not carry this far.
J-men incite riots?
But the worst evidence that someone in Washington proscribed Zimmerman came out this week – from Washington.
Judicial Watch, on Tuesday, told the world they had an astounding documentary find. The Department of Justice organized the very protests that prompted city officials to fire their police chief when he would not arrest Zimmerman, and then hire someone who would.
The Justice Department has, and has had since the Civil Rights Act, a unit called the Community Relations Service. Their job has always been, or so their story goes, to make sure that, whenever anyone marched for “civil rights” in the South, no Bull Connors would come along and turn fire hoses on them, or some such thing. In other words, these are glorified protest-march parade marshals.
This alone is repugnant to liberty, because no one else gets that kind of favor. But what Judicial Watch turned up is worse. Why did CRS spend nearly nine hundred dollars “to provide interregional support for protest deployment in Florida”? Interregional support? What can that mean, except bringing protesters in from outside? Amounts like that are a trifle. What the government did with it is the worst part. Considering the strident nature of the protests, why shouldn’t anyone suspect the Justice Department of inciting to riot? And not only that, gave them free security protection?
Why proscribe Zimmerman?
The evidence thus far is damning. Had Attorney General Eric Holder not sent his glorified civil-rights-march parade marshals to Sanford, the protests might never have been. And so no question of arresting Zimmerman would have come up. No trial would take place. And a jury would not now be deliberating whether George Zimmerman truly acted in self-defense or not. And of course, once the trial began, the authorities needed a sympathetic judge to make more of the case against Zimmerman than the evidence warranted. And, at the right moment, introduce a “lesser included” charge of manslaughter, so that when six female jurors, five of whom have minor children to care for, wanted so much to punish Zimmerman only because Martin was dead, whether Zimmerman broke the law or not, they could convict him of a charge that seems lesser. That is, until one realizes that manslaughter, when one commits it with a firearm, carries the same penalty as does second-degree murder.
So what is this all about?
In classical Latin, to proscribe someone means to publish his name and tell the world the government has condemned him to death and means to seize his property. Today it means only that the government means to punish him, somehow, usually to get him out of the way, by hook or by crook. When a legislature does this, the Constitution calls this a bill of attainder – and strictly forbids this. This qualifies as an Executive Order of Attainder – or, to repeat, a simple letter of proscription.
But why proscribe Zimmerman? For a ten thousand dollar fine? That would barely repay what the Justice Department has spent inciting and abetting those near-riots. (And anyway, the State gets that, not the federals.)
Two possible motives exist for what is happening to Zimmerman. (Or what might happen; the jury must still decide.)
- George Zimmerman represents everything the progressive left hates. He is an autonomous citizen, seeking to protect his neighborhood when the police cannot or will not. And remember: the police have no duty to protect anyone; they exist only to keep the peace. So the citizen must protect himself. Which is the last thing a progressive leftist wants. Why, if a citizen can protect himself from a robber or burglar, he can also protect himself from the government’s authorized redistribution agents – as opposed to the unauthorized redistribution agents that all common garden-variety robbers and burglars are. And so, when a citizen does act to protect himself, the leftist calls him vigilante. That is one who goes beyond protecting himself, and becomes judge, jury and executioner when normal legal processes, in his mind, fail.
- Perhaps – just perhaps – the government needs riots and civil commotion to give the de facto President the excuse to suspend the Constitution completely and declare himself Dictator. One might expect a head of state seeking that excuse to divide the people constantly along lines of skin tone, gender, or “sexual orientation.” How odd that everything Barack Obama does, that has anything to do with such relations, only makes them worse.
Here, then, is the evidence. Did the federal government proscribe George Zimmerman? And did they do it to further their “gun control” and “police state” agenda? Or to seize power permanently? You decide.
UPDATE: The ladies of the jury reached a verdict, at about 10:11 p.m. today (July 13).
As to the charge of second-degree murder: Not guilty.
And as to the lesser included charge of manslaughter: Not guilty.
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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