Tell It To The Jury

13 Apr

All week I have been looking for a soapbox.  And then I remembered I sort of have one.  Heh.

Now, for those of you who follow Professional Chicks, you know this blog is absolutely not political, controversial, or anything close.  Not at all.  I know way better than that.  And, this post is not intended to be any of those things, either.  But, as a lawyer, and a human being, I feel compelled to comment on the Trayvon Martin case.  More than anything, I find it so confusing (not the events, but what happened in the aftermath) and it blows my mind that this has somehow become political rather than simply factual.

So, here I go.  Disclaimer – I’m not a criminal lawyer, but we can keep this simple.  When someone commits a potentially, seemingly, apparently, etc. criminal act (where law enforcement has probable cause to arrest), that person is arrested, taken into custody, permitted to post bail (depending on the severity of the crime, risk of the accused fleeing, etc.), appointed or allowed to hire a lawyer, given a speedy trial, and, finally, convicted or found innocent by a jury of his or her peers.  It’s not always quite that simple, but that’s the gist.

What does NOT happen when someone admits to killing another human being is that that person tells a self-serving story to a group of police officers who decides on the spot whether or not the crime was justified and allows the killer to go.

Now, I have no idea whether Mr. Zimmerman is guilty or innocent.  None of us do.  That is what a trial is for.  On his own admission he killed Trayvon.  But, in some instances, and as Zimmerman claims in this case, you may kill someone in self-defense or on the basis of a law in Florida, where this event happened, that apparently allows you to “stand your ground” when someone is attacking you.  Indeed, in other instances, you may murder someone in cold blood and plead insanity, in which case you may also be found not guilty or not fit for trial.  Many people are tried of crimes and ultimately found not guilty.  The idea is that you tell your story to the jury, and the prosecution tells its story, and then the jury decides.  In no instance is guilt or innocence a question for police officers to decide unilaterally, based on no evidence or competing testimony whatsoever.  Never.

Almost done (and here’s where it gets a little edgy):  If Zimmerman had killed me, he clearly would never have left police custody.  Forget that I’m a girl – if he had killed any teenager in the town of Rancho Santa Fe, California, where I grew up, hoodie or not, Skittles or not, he would go down in flames.

I’m glad this is now going to go through the proper legal channels.  That’s really the only point I’m trying to make.

Thanks for listening (and please share your comments, if you are so inclined).

3 Responses to “Tell It To The Jury”

  1. Kata April 15, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Right on, sister! ♥, your favorite criminal lawyer

    • Diz April 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      Thanks, Kata! I’ve been waiting for someone to chime in. Glad to have the support of a superstar criminal attorney!

  2. Mao April 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    I totally agree, 100%! The police made so many mistakes leaving an open door for everyone else to make it political, racial and so forth! Bad decisions which hurt both parties involved, making it more difficult for justice to prevail in the end!

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