Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Innocent Until Proven Guilty" Instead of Judge Lynch

I won't say whether or not George Zimmermann did right or wrong when he shot Trayvon Martin. I cannot speculate because I was not there. The justice system has to act.

I can judge guilty the media and the politicians who swarmed this story and presented it in such a way as to convict Mr. Zimmermann before the grand jury could even hear evidence. Not only did they convict him individually, they demonstrated serious racism by mistakenly identifying him as white.

Every step of the way, the media thought that they had a racism home run. A guy with a German last name chases down and shoots a black kid.

Oops, he's Hispanic. Nevermind. We'll just use the never before heard "white Hispanic."

They also tend to smooth over the various issues that Martin has had over the years.

The fact is that none of this really matters too much. Prosecutors must make cases and juries must decide guilty or not guilty. They are required to follow a constitutional model of responsibility that dates back to the Middle Ages.

Sometimes they get it right, other times they make mistakes. At the very least, they have time to soberly review the evidence and the case over time. That makes our trial by jury system much more palatable and accurate than Judge Lynch.

Because, you see, Judge Lynch is always thirsty for blood. He used to roam the backwoods and run with vigilantes. Now he inhabits the newsrooms and minds of those not disposed to follow the law.

Judge Lynch and Spike Lee, for example, wanted to Tweet out Zimmermann's address so that his blood could be spilt before he walked into a courtroom.

Judge Lynch hears his cases based strictly on emotion and public perception, not facts and evidence. It is merely enough for the mob to shout "hang 'em high" and, if allowed, he will vent their fury for them.

If a prosecutor can prove Zimmermann guilty, then he will pay a debt to society. If not, then he will walk a free man, though not unpunished. Because whether in prison or free, he will have to walk in fear the rest of his life. Emotions have been stirred too much for the situation to be otherwise.

So will be the sentence of Judge Lynch.

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