The Grand Jury Decision: Something That Means Nothing

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criminal justice, Trayvon Martin

I wasn’t going to write anything about the decision to not take the Martin-Zimmerman case to a grand jury, because it doesn’t mean anything. But yesterday I kept running into people on the Web who were wailing that it meant the prosecutor will let Zimmerman walk. No, it just means she’s not going to seek a death penalty.

But then this morning I read this, by Tim F. at Balloon Juice:

It seems likely that George Zimmerman will walk for shooting an unarmed teenager. The special prosecutor has more or less thrown up her hands and I can hardly blame her, caught between that stupid law and the absolute hash that Sanford PD made of their initial response. That, at least, might go punished. I have some hope that the Federal investigation into their department will at least shame the Sanford PD into doing a better job next time

I would have just left a comment at Balloon Juice, but I seem to be on the twit filter there as none of my comments ever show up on the threads. So here goes — grand juries are only required in Florida in capital murder cases. The prosecutor doesn’t need a grand jury to charge Zimmerman with second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. Further, I’ve read this particular prosecutor, Angela Corey, has a history of not bothering with grand juries when the law does not require them. Her decision to not use a grand jury doesn’t tell us anything about where she might be headed, one way or another.

But a grand jury outcome would have been unpredictable, and it’s also my understanding that Trayvon Martin’s family had preferred the case not go to a grand jury.

My understanding is that the original prosecutor — the one who was trying to sweep it all under the rug — scheduled a grand jury after the public outcry began. No doubt he thought dumping the case on a grand jury would take the heat off him. No doubt it didn’t work.

In other Zimmerman news, it appears the Zimmerman family has put up a website soliciting donations for Zimmerman’s defense and featuring a photograph of the vandalized black cultural center at Ohio State University (click to enlarge):

click to enlarge

Charles Johnson asks, “Could Zimmerman really be this dumb?” That would be my guess, yes.

Speaking of dumb, alleged pastor Terry “Islam Is of the Devil” Jones, who likes to draw attention to himself by pulling stupid Koran-burning stunts to get U.S. troops killed, led a rally in support of Zimmerman. (“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” — Matthew 7:20, King James Bible)

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 10, 2012 @9:16 am

    I think a word was misinterpreted in the translation from the original Aramaic:
    “Wherefore by their fruitCAKES ye shall know them.” — Matthew 7:20, King James Bible.

    There, that’s better!

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 10, 2012 @9:28 am

    An Ibsen quote?
    IBSEN!!!

    The original playwright for “dysfunctional families?”
    The man who held a mirror to 19th Century Conservatism?
    The man wrote the first play about companies polluting the environment? (In “An Enemy of the People, he wrote about water in a town being polluted by the water run-off from a tannery).
    The man who wrote great parts and plays for women?

    THAT IBSEN?

    Methinks someone thumbed through “Bartlett’s Quotations” until they found something they liked.

    Well, I guess maybe we should be thankful they didn’t use one of MLK Jr’s.

  3. Swami  •  Apr 10, 2012 @10:56 am

    Methinks someone thumbed through “Bartlett’s Quotations” until they found something they liked.

    Methinks you’re probably right…:)

  4. uncledad  •  Apr 10, 2012 @11:21 am

    “soliciting donations for Zimmerman’s defense”

    I shot an unarmed black boy, now I want to be paid!

  5. joanr16  •  Apr 10, 2012 @11:30 am

    The man who held a mirror to 19th Century Conservatism?

    Gulag, you’re thinking of a different guy. The pro-murderer website quotes someone named “Henrik , Ibsen.” Known to his friends as “Comma,” to distinguish him from his famous third cousin, he was a simple lutefisk salesman who died in obscurity.

    And, fellow olds, remember when “Long Live Zimmerman” was a tribute to the Bard of Hibbing, Minnesota?

    Sigh. These kids today.

  6. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 10, 2012 @11:56 am

    joan,
    Didn’t Garrison Keillor do a tribute to “Comma” on “Prairie Home Companion” a couple of dozen years ago, in their famous “Tribute to the Humble Lutefisk” broadcast?

  7. Fang  •  Apr 10, 2012 @12:00 pm

    The Zimmerman/Martin mess is really revealing and says a lot about our country, culture, and media:
    * I can’t remember the last time people were so obsessed with justifying the shooting of one person by another.
    * The racial elements have spewed forth in a telling way – like a scab breaking to discharge pus.
    * The ham-handed cluelessness displayed by many people, from Derbyshire to Zimmerman (if this is truly his site, I can’t believe he’d use that Ohio State Picture).
    * The politicization – it seems to have gotten going after Obama’s expression of sympathy, which brought in the full wingnut.

    The lack of self-awareness and empathy and rational thought astounds even me.

    What do we look like to other countries? I dread to think what the infamous Taiwanese animators could do with this.

  8. joanr16  •  Apr 10, 2012 @12:44 pm

    Didn’t Garrison Keillor do a tribute to “Comma”

    Like I said, died in obscurity. :)

  9. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 10, 2012 @1:33 pm

    When Guy Noir looked for him a few years ago, he found that while he died in Obscuritee, he was buried near Oslo.



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