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MEDIA: Get fresh perspective on Trayvon Martin case

Letter by Stephen Wright, Tacoma on April 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm with 70 Comments »
April 12, 2012 2:20 pm

The News Tribune’s view of the Trayvon Martin case (editorial, 4-10) is sending the same message as so many other sensational media sources. If you really want a fresh perspective on this case, I suggest you read the Wall Street Journal’s April 5th article by Shelby Steele.  Steele is a black senior fellow at Stanford who eloquently labels this sad affair not as a white racist situation (remember the shooter is Hispanic) but instead an exploitation by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

The civil rights community and the liberal media still provoke the public with the message that America is still a racist society. Does some racism still exist? Surely within all races, but not nearly to the degree that is being magnified here.

As an important messenger to this community, the TNT owes it to the readers to place more pieces like Steele’s in the paper and less of columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr., whose unrelenting, predictable message is long overdue for a change.

Leave a comment Comments → 70
  1. averageJoseph says:

    Good point Stephen. The topper is that in it’s zeal to paint Americans as racist a few media chose to commit fraud. Sad.

  2. slugoxyz says:

    Shelby Steele writes a book called The Content of Our Character that sheds a very interesting light on the motives of keeping racism alive in America. He doesn’t deny it exists. Of course it does but he does a very good job of shining a light on people like Al Sharpton and supporters of Affirmative Action etc. Worth a read if only for a different point of view.

  3. LornaDoone says:

    Maybe you can tell us what Jackson and Sharpton did to “exploit”, aside from the talking points of the right wing media.

    Sharpton was contacted by the Martin family when the local law enforcement tried to stonewall them. Luckily for them, they did reach out. NAN got the job done.

    The continual fanning of the racial flames has come from right wing sources, determined to track this to President Obama as a campaign tactic. It didn’t work. Nor does your letter.

  4. If I am ever killed and the police do a shoddy job of investigating it and refuse to send it to a grand jury or judge, then I want the kind of “exploitation” that requires a second look, just like Jackson and Sharpton pushed for.

    I read Steele’s article, and it was completely filled with innuendo, race-baiting and more speculation than I could handle.

    How can any person trying to point the finger at others open his piece with this statement about Martin:

    “Dressed in a “hoodie,” a costume of menace, he crossed paths with a man on the hunt for precisely such clichés of menace. Added to this—and here is the rub—was the fact of his dark skin.

    Maybe it was more the hood than the dark skin, but who could argue that the skin did not enhance the menace of the hood at night…”

    Those lines are sickening and should be called out for the ugly race-baiting sterotyping that it is.

    And for this author to claim that the killing made the civil rights movement “happy” is a total abomination. This piece of trash journalism is the total depraved sensationalism that the author claims he is of decrying.

  5. Steele is a black

    Glad to know why you think his opinion matters…..

  6. LornaDoone says:

    OK. Let the denials begin:

    To prove second-degree murder, prosecutors must show that Zimmerman committed an “imminently dangerous” act that showed a “depraved” lack of regard for human life. The charge carries a mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life.

    The special prosecutor in the case, Angela Corey, has refused to explain exactly how she arrived at the charge. But in the affidavit, prosecutors said Zimmerman spotted Martin while patrolling his gated community, got out of his vehicle and followed the young man.

    Prosecutors interviewed a friend of Martin’s who was talking to him over the phone moments before the shooting. His parents’ lawyer has said that Martin was talking to his girlfriend back in Miami.

    “During this time, Martin was on the phone with a friend and described to her what was happening,” the affidavit said. “The witness advised that Martin was scared because he was being followed through the complex by an unknown male and didn’t know why.”

    During a recorded call to a police dispatcher, Zimmerman “made reference to people he felt had committed and gotten away with break-ins in his neighborhood. Later while talking about Martin, Zimmerman stated `these a——s, they always get away’ and also said `these f—–g punks,’ said the affidavit, available at http://apne.ws/Itn7Nu.

    It continued: “When the police dispatcher realized Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, he instructed Zimmerman not to do that and that the responding officer would meet him. Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher and continued to follow Martin who was trying to return to his home.”

    “Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued,” prosecutors said in their account.

  7. I gotta wonder – why is debating Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence so important to some of you?

    Zimmerman will have his “day in court”. I am satisfied. But whether he is guilty or not is not up to me to decide.

  8. “the TNT owes it to the readers to place more pieces like Steele’s in the paper and less of columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr.”

    In other words you want the paper to continue to feed the racism?
    Seriously?

  9. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Tuddo, if indeed you actually did read Steele’s piece and seriously found it “completely filled with innuendo, race-baiting and more speculation” you are a victim of the very “poetic truth” that Steele so eloquently describes.

    My guess; a quick skim and a reactionary post.

  10. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    “Steele is a black”

    Glad to know why you think his opinion matters…..

    Hope you do. The point implicit here is that, sadly, ONLY a black person could write such a piece of truth – never mind the timeliness.

    For those truly interested in the truth… or at least willing to take in another opinion:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303302504577323691134926300.html

  11. “My guess; a quick skim and a reactionary post.”

    My guess is thats what you do and you are projecting.

  12. Vox, so your mind is as made up of what the “truth” is in this case and you have declared Martin guilty of assault on Zimmerman just like the author:

    “There was a terrible fight. Trayvon apparently got the drop on George Zimmerman”

    How can you know that as a “truth”. Were you and eye witness, was the author of the article?

    The article is a pompous smear job, racist in approach and extremely harmful to any mature discussion. In fact, the article is one of the most disgusting in this entire cycle of articles.

  13. Vox, the right loves to accuse others of what it does so well. In declaring that Martin was to blame for his own death because he wore a hoodie and was walking while dark-skinned at night and therefore was menacing, this author removes all “truth” from the article.

    It is ironic that he uses this line to attack those who were seeking an investigation into what really happened while he declares Martin responsible before the facts were even known:

    “The great trick of poetic truth is to pass itself off as the deep and essential truth so that hard facts that refute it must be dismissed in the name of truth.

  14. I’m confused. If someone is Hispanic they can’t have racist feelings/behaviors toward African Americans?

  15. LornaDoone says:

    “Lardnos pretends to post a smoking gun while merely pasting old info

    …”Your denial began some time ago on the one. Punks? You had me ‘convinced’ he, instead, used a racial epithet?”

    Paccy – Those are the words of the prosecutor, published about an hour before I pasted them. Try checking the link. The prosecutor choose to use the word that Zimmerman’s father said that George told him he said, thus avoiding a silly argument over one word. Brilliant on her part, if you ask me, because you’ve demonstrated how those blinded by the hoodie are willing to argue the most inane of issues when the reality is that a man, with a gun, stalked and killed an innocent kid.

    I still say it sounds like “coons” on the audio tape, but that’s not the important issue.

    You obviously missed my comment, made several times that I don’t think Zimmerman is a racist. I also know that he is being tried for murder, not for racism. Byron De La Beckwith was a racist, but went to prison on murder charges.

    As to your rhetorical game on the 911 operator “suggesting” – if I call 911 to tell them of an irratic driver on I-5 and they tell me not to do anything dangerous – following, speeding, etc – and I don’t listen and am in an accident, it’s not an excuse if I try to say I was playing Dan Matthews for a Day (probably way over your head). On the other side, Zimmerman’s ignoring of the 911 operator WILL demonstrate his aggressiveness and eliminate his “self defense” claim.

    Are you and CT7 the only ones calling me “Lardnos”? Of course, I don’t think that CT7 is smart enough to use my personal name for his email account so to conclude that you and CT7 are one and the same would be incorrect. Sandy Beach, however does things like that.

  16. scooter6139 says:

    If this is a “fresh perspective” then someone doesn’t read or watch TV that much. The Shelby Steel article is the same line of attack used by FOX news and many other conservative pundits. Mr. Steel is a conservative who makes a living off being the opposite of the Reverends Sharpton and Jackson so therefore his article (which does contain many innuendos and assumptions and half truths) is a perfect vehicle to go after those he disagrees with. This articles basis has little to do with Trayvon Martin, really, than with his personal opposition to the ideas and beliefs of Sharpton and Jackson. It’s a perspective all right, just not a fresh one.

  17. LornaDoone says:

    “There was a terrible fight. Trayvon apparently got the drop on George Zimmerman”

    What a perfect example of the creative writing of right wing opinionists. There is nothing to support the claim of “a terrible fight”, other than a mother identifying her son’s voice and a voice expert stipulating that the voice crying for help wasn’t Zimmerman.

    Couple with that the broken nose that never bleeds and the “here today gone tomorrow” abrasions on Zimmerman’s head and you have a “terrible fight”.

    I am so glad that a special prosecutor was assigned. You really have to honor Trayvon’s parents for not allowing the stonewalling and soliciting the help of Al Sharpton, who is not afraid of what the right wing will say about him.

  18. LornaDoone says:

    The truth that makes the right wing go nuts:

    “We are not in the business of revenge. We are in the business of justice,” said Sharpton, speaking at a convention for the National Action Network, his civil rights group. “We must make the justice system work. Otherwise the movement is for nothing. To go outside the justice system is to achieve nothing.”

    Added Crump: “We have got a lot of calls from government officials about when the special prosecutor makes her decision that we want to make sure that everything remains peaceful and responsible and that nothing gets out of hand.”

    He said supporters to should replicate the “composure” of Trayvon’s parents.

  19. To me it seems there is so much conjecture and inuendoes in this case,the public will never know the whole truth.What does seem evident is that Zimmerman has already been tried and convicted and the only thing left is carrying out the sentence that will be imposed.I also notice the comments that this was a White person doing the action.If the races were reversed in episodes like this,I get the feeling there would be rioting in many places.Much like what happened in Los Angeles!

  20. the Shelby Steel article is the same line of attack used by FOX news

    Since FOX and WSJ are both owned by Rupert “phone hacking” Murdoch, that really isn’t a surprise.

  21. LornaDoone says:

    “What does seem evident is that Zimmerman has already been tried and convicted and the only thing left is carrying out the sentence that will be imposed.”

    Again, more of the same hyperbole from the same direction. Zimmerman has been charged, long overdue, and that’s all.

  22. Another justification for Zimmerman thinking Martin was a menace was given by the referenced article’s author:

    “Fifty-five percent of all federal prisoners are black though we are only 12% of the population.”

    That was in the same article that declared that historical racism is over and should not be used in discussions by black leaders.

    However, one of the main reasons there are so many blacks in prison is that there is tremendous bias in the judicial system against them in terms of prosecution rates and sentencing rates. (Studies have shown no discrepency in the conviction rates for jury trials, although a much higher rate of blacks are brought to trial for first arrests and minor offenses than whites).

    •African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in prison for a drug offense.
    •African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months).
    •If African Americans were incarcerated at the same rates of whites for the same crimes, today’s prison and jail populations would decline by approximately 50%
    •Between 1988 and 1994, 75% of the defendents in federal drug kingpin cases were white and 24% were African American. 78% of the defendents receiving prison sentences were African American, while 11% of the whites received prison sentences.

    I am not quoting these statistics to make any excuses for criminals. However, for an article to throw out statistics that show percent of a race of people who are incarcerated to give the impression that it is reasonable and understandable to profile a black man as menacing is despicable, especially when one knows how disproportionate the rates and lengths of sentences are for blacks.

  23. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Trayvon apparently got the drop…

    apparently [əˈpærəntlɪ əˈpɛər-]
    adv
    (sentence modifier) it appears that; as far as one knows; seemingly

    Wow, tud, a sentence modifier is all it takes to convince you that I and Shelby Steele have convicted Martin of assault?

    Okey-dokey. No sense arguing then, apparently you are the only one privy to the “real” truth, LOL.

    Sheeesh.

    Al Sharpton, LMAO! Yes, tud, he’s been very helpful… as usual.

    “But resist, we much… we must… and we will much… about… that… be committed.” – Al Sharpton, msnbc, August 9, 2011

  24. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Vox, the right loves to accuse others of what it does so well. In declaring that Martin was to blame for his own death because he wore a hoodie…

    Heraldo Rivera? You serious? Last I heard he was a liberal Democrat-turned-Libertarian. Must be the whole “Faux News” thing.

    For your gross misallocation of generalizations, I hereby sentence you to read and re-read the first two paragraphs of Steele’s article 100 times.

    Two tragedies are apparent in the Trayvon Martin case. The first is obvious: A teenager—unarmed and committing no crime—was shot dead. Dressed in a “hoodie,” a costume of menace, he crossed paths with a man on the hunt for precisely such clichés of menace. Added to this—and here is the rub—was the fact of his dark skin.

    Maybe it was more the hood than the dark skin, but who could argue that the skin did not enhance the menace of the hood at night and in the eyes of someone watching for crime. (Fifty-five percent of all federal prisoners are black though we are only 12% of the population.) Would Trayvon be alive today had he been walking home—Skittles and ice tea in hand—wearing a polo shirt with an alligator logo? Possibly. And does this make the ugly point that dark skin late at night needs to have its menace softened by some show of Waspy Americana? Possibly.

    Test tomorrow.

  25. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    However, one of the main reasons there are so many blacks in prison is that there is tremendous bias in the judicial system against them in terms of prosecution rates and sentencing rates.

    If this is true, why do you then go on to only cite drug violations? According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, for fiscal year 2008, there were 25,273 federal sentences for drug offenses. Of that number, African-American prisoners didn’t even account for the highest percentage among the three biggest groups. Hispanics led with 40 percent, followed by blacks at 31 percent and whites at 25 percent. So you must have left out a pretty large chunk of offenders, tud. Care to look at violent crime?

    And where’s your outrage over the higher Hispanic incarceration rate?

    But we’re getting dangerously off-topic, tud. Save your answer for another thread. Please continue with your “Steele can’t be an authentic black… he’s a… a… a conservative” rant.

  26. LornaDoone says:

    I see certain people are still focused on race.

  27. Thats what racists do, they focus on what scares them.
    In this case it’s a young black kid and what scares them the most is it just might turn out to be illegal to kill them.

  28. Vox, I think you’re the one who needs to read the first two paragraphs again. This writer had no reason to call a hoodie a “costume of menace” or point out that the victim had “dark skin”, and make this whole thing about the race of the victim and how it was perfectly understandable that anyone would do what Zimmerman did, especially when he adds:

    “who could argue that the skin did not enhance the menace of the hood at night and in the eyes of someone watching for crime.”

    Show me that these statements are not trying to make it appear that Trayvon was responsible for choosing to wear a hoodie and walking around at night while being dark skinned. Show me that the writer did not try to indict a whole race of people as being menacing.

    Even using your definition of “apparently” of “as far as one knows”, as far as the public knows, there are various versions of what hapened and it is far from apparent that Trayvon “got the drop on Zimmerman.” We do know that the prosecutor does not think that version is defendable, because, if she had, we would have had manslaughter or lower charges brought.

    The writer jumped on the “defend Zimmerman by pointing out he was black” movement very early in the game and proved his own point that some people use the media try to make things look like something they aren’t by doing exactly what he says is bad.

  29. And Vox, if you understand how a prison sentence works, you know that if a group of people stay much longer in prison and get sent there while others get plea bargains and community service instead, the length of sentences matters as well as the number of convictions in impacting how many accumulate there. That was my point, that the percent of a race is highly impacted by the percent of the race sentenced to prison, and for long terms, not just the conviction rate.

    The reason I focused on drug usage is that 62% of persons admitted to Federal prison for the first time were sentenced because of drug offenses, and for blacks that figure is almost 70%. Nonviolent drug crimes are by far the biggest reason so many blacks are in Federal prison.

    The reason I didn’t mention hispanic crime rates is because the author did not state, and no one is defending Trayvon Martin’s worrying about someone following him by saying:

    “And Zimmerman, wearing an hispanic costume of menace and profiled as a possible danger by Martin because, as we know, hispanics have a much higher prison population rate because of their violence and drug usage…”

    If he had I would have pointed out the racism in that statement, too.

    And, lastly, I have never mentioned the author’s race. I do not care about it. I focus on what he wrote. It is only you who says that it must be true because a black poerson wrote it.

    If you think that this article is any way equal to Martin’s family’s call for an investigation and asking people to wait for all facts to be presented before making a judgement, and having black leaders voice the same thing, then you need to read over and over what that family and those leaders actually said – not the so-called Black Panthers – the scary handful of agitators that the right somehow brings out every time (and who have absolutely no following among African Americans).

  30. The race of the writer is considered important as he is one of the few conservative writers who are black – which somehow legitimizes his viewpoint when speaking on matters of race (interesting how Pitts and other black liberal writers are oftentimes delegitimized by conservatives for exactly the same reason).

  31. There Is No New Black Panther Party: An Open Letter From the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation
    http://www.blackpanther.org/newsalert.htm

    Failing to find its own legitimacy in the black community, this band would graft the Party’s name upon itself, which we condemn.

  32. You can say what you want about Jackson and Sharpton, and Pitts and Steele but the main reason that this case has had such legs is that the Right could not let the President’s weigh in go unchallenged. The Right was left with no political choice but to take the opposite side no matter how flimsy their reasoning had to become to justify the stalking and shooting of a seventeen year old who was doing nothing wrong. It’s all about politics. Racism is a strawman; something to argue over but which no one can prove whether or not the color of the victim’s skin played a major role in the stalking/shooting and the lack of investigation/prosecution. This letter screams politics while carefully dancing around race by applauding the viewpoint of a black conservative columnist and chastising that of a black liberal columnist.

  33. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Even using your definition of “apparently” of “as far as one knows”, as far as the public knows, there are various versions of what hapened and it is far from apparent that Trayvon “got the drop on Zimmerman.”

    First of all, “my definition” is the dictionary definition. It’s not my prob if you don’t understand the function/ definition of a modifying adverb. But you can’t just make up things like usage and meaning so as to shoehorn intent into your narrative. “Poetic truth is like poetic license where one breaks grammatical rules for effect.”

    We do know that the prosecutor does not think that version is defendable, because, if she had, we would have had manslaughter or lower charges brought.

    There you go again. You’re actually demonstrating that you think you know the prosecutor’s thinking, justifications, intent, etc – and by extension, evidence. Isn’t that the very same brush with which you try to paint me? The only difference is you’ve never seen me make such a foolish statement about the prosecution or the defense. But, apparently, you know more than most others.

    Florida (applicable) definition of Second Degree Murder:

    Murder with a Depraved Mind:

    Murder with a Depraved Mind occurs when a person is killed, without any premeditated design, by an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind showing no regard for human life.

    Ergo; Martin apparently got the drop on Zimmerman – Zimmerman apparently responded with “an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind showing no regard for human life.”

    The writer jumped on the “defend Zimmerman by pointing out he was black” movement…

    “Two tragedies are apparent in the Trayvon Martin case. The first is obvious: A teenager—unarmed and committing no crime—was shot dead. Dressed in a “hoodie,” a costume of menace, he crossed paths with a man on the hunt for precisely such clichés of menace.”

    That sounds like Steele is “defending Zimmerman” to you? Guess you effed he test.

  34. Sorry, Vox, even your examples are in direct opposition to the case you are trying to make.

    Prosecutors do not bring charges they know they cannot win. Judges do not allow charges to stand that have no basis in evidence. Those are facts, not conjecture.

    Yes, Steele is “defending Zimmerman” by bringing in all kinds of irrelevant “possibilities” and conjectures, and by making wildly provacative statements about people who wear hoodies and who are dark-skinned. Why else is he doing it, to try to show Zimmerman is guilty?

    Trying to make a case that anyone would have reacted the way Zimmerman did if they were in the same situation because of the hoodie, dark skin, walking at night, number of blacks in prison, “apparently” being jumped and got the drop on, or any other reason is a defense whether you think so or not.

  35. vox – your ergo doesn’t follow directly for me – sorry but you seem to be making a HUGE leap – there is nothing in the 2degree murder charge that leads directly to a conclusion that the victim “got the drop” on the perpertrator.

  36. In fact an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind showing no regard for human life. would tend to suggest the opposite – that there was nothing even resembling self-defense except, maybe, in the perceptions of a “depraved mind”.

  37. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    beerBs, a prosecutor deems that the use of excessive force is not warranted by the situation, ergo, apparently in Florida and with the proper media and racial focus, it can be considered “an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind showing no regard for human life.”

    HTH

    I still think a MS charge would have been the obvious one, but we shall see.

  38. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Prosecutors do not bring charges they know they cannot win.

    Uh huh… which is why the original prosecutor declined to prosecute Zimmerman.

    As for the rest of your take on Steele, it’s way to nice a day to go refute your obvious slant on his piece now.

    The weekend is still long – I’ll be back later.

  39. Pacman33 says:

    From reading the first two paragraphs and not whole piece, to me it appears as if Steele is mocking the left along with those of us who have been suckered into participating in the left’s contrived discourse. Which is merely hyperbolic malconformation and race-baiting.

    With the exception of the vast caverns of leftist’s lopsided imaginations, where did these talking point derive from? How were details and terms such as “hoodies”, Trayvon being “black”, “suspicious”, etc. all get, not only associated, but injected into the narrative?

    These are all distortions by the left of dialog originating from Zimmerman’s replies to direct questions from the 911 dispatcher and nothing more. Simply answers to the operator’s inquiry meant to provide the police with information describing the scene and to identify individuals involved.

    In a matter of hours after the 911 tapes were released, the deranged and shameless left had translated the 911 questioning, meant to describe the scene for the benefit of officers, into Zimmerman’s motive for naturally following a stranger in a gated community as a neighborhood watch volunteer. Opposed to a neighborhood “ignore strangers wandering through gated community” volunteer.

  40. Pacman – commenting upon an article that you admit you have read only two paragraphs from doesn’t to your gravitas as an informed commenter.

  41. “doesn’t add to your gravitas….”

  42. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Here’s another “perspective” on the Zimmerman charges from that well known right wing racist lunatic and “defend Zimmerman by pointing out he was black” (whatever that means) proponent, Alan Dershowitz:

    Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball where fill-in host Michel Smerconish asked him his opinions of the arrest warrant issued and carried out for alleged Trayvon Martin murderer, George Zimmerman.

    “You’ve seen the affidavit of probable cause. What do you make of it,” Smerconish asked. “It won’t suffice,” Dershowitz replied without hesitation.

    “Most affidavits of probable cause are very thin. This is so thin that it won’t make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge,” Dershowitz said. “There’s simply nothing in there that would justify second degree murder.”

    Dershowitz said that the elements that would constitute that crime are non-existent in the affidavit. “It’s not only thin, it’s irresponsible,” said Dershowitz.

    Dershowitz went on to strongly criticize Corey’s decision to move forward with the case against Zimmerman. “I think what you have here is an elected public official who made a campaign speech last night for reelection when she gave her presentation and overcharged. This case will not – if the evidence is no stronger than what appears in the probable cause affidavit – this case will result in an acquittal.”

    Smerconish identified the total lack of any mention of the supposed fight that occurred between Martin and Zimmerman prior to Martin being shot. He said he was disappointed that he did not see any mention of that conflict that led to Martin’s murder.

    “But it’s worse than that,” said Dershowitz. “It’s irresponsible and unethical in not including material that favors the defendant.”

    “This affidavit does not even make it to probable cause,” Dershowitz concluded. “everything in the affidavit is completely consistent with a defense of self-defense. Everything.”

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/harvard-prof-alan-dershowitz-zimmerman-arrest-affidavit-irresponsible-and-unethical/

    Acknowledging that Dershowitz can be at times more than a bit prone to hyperbole, I nevertheless doubt those were the answers Smerconish was expecting. But it’s hard not to agree. It’s not uncommon for prosecutors to overreach in charging a high-profile case using the old “spaghetti at the wall” axiom. But given the witness testimony that we already know, and the wild card that is “Stand Your Ground”, it would have been tough enough just to make a manslaughter charge stick.

    I just hope we don’t end up with another Rodney King fiasco now.

  43. LornaDoone says:

    “apparently Trayvon got the drop on Zimmerman”

    Who says? There is no evidence to prove anything of the sort, and in fact, what evidence there is – audio tape, video tape – seems to indicate the contrary.

    Apparently someone is trying to make up evidence and see if it will fly.

  44. Vox, here is a perspective of Romney’s leagal point man and advisor, conservative darling, David French:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/295942/three-legal-keys-trayvon-martin-affidavit-david-french

    “While the affidavit is quite brief and lacks detail, it does contain three key factual assertions, that — if proven — will vindicate those who called for Zimmerman’s arrest.”

    and:

    “When an armed man shoots an unarmed man, unless there are compelling facts to the contrary, charges are expected and routine. As I’ve watched this case unfold and heard arguments pro and con, I think there’s probable cause for an arrest (and it’s really not close). Whether there’s proof sufficient for conviction will be determined when we see the state’s case.

  45. “From reading the first two paragraphs and not whole piece”

    Shows us your bias.

  46. Acknowledging that Dershowitz can be at times more than a bit prone to hyperbole

    Acknowledging that vox can at times be more than a bit prone to understatement…

    Alan Dershowitz, since 911, has become a complete Machiavellian who has argued against the basic rights granted through the Magna Carta. Hyperbole is hardly a big enough word to describe Dershowitz’s fear-based polemics.

  47. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Listen bB, I’m no fan of Dershowitz, but I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

    Dershowitz has written and published, extensively, his views (his opinions) on the 1st, 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments. And since 9/11, his views on rights under provisions of the patriot act, subsequent rulings of the court, and actions of the military vis-a-vis interrogation, military tribunals, and incarceration of terrorists have also been widely published.

    But speaking of hyperbole, I suspect your reference to a so-called attack on “basic rights granted through the Magna Carta” stems more from your well known anti… Israel views. No doubt his strong support for Israel (though he is “anti-settlements”) and coercive interrogation (when used only in “extraordinary circumstances and with the most extraordinary of safeguards” to prevent an act of terrorism), not to mention his on-going battle with the “anti-Semetic” Media Matters, does not sit well with you personally. But he still considers himself a “proud liberal Democrat” – a political prerequisite to professorship at Harvard.

    Nevertheless, bB, Dershowitz articulates, very persuasively, all of the problems with the charging docs and the prosecution’s case from a defense attorney’s perspective. And something tells me he won’t be the only well-know liberal legal expert to voice the obvious challenges faced by the prosecution in this case.

    Fact is, every celebrity lawyer you can name would trample over their own mother to get a seat at the defense table in this very high-profile case.

    Should be interesting… until it gets boring and redundant.

  48. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    tuddo, just like the Steele piece and the Dershowitz comments, I don’t disagree with anything in the article by David French.

    Indeed, I appreciate the perspectives. That’s what you all like to preach as (exhibiting) “open mindedness” – something sorely, and hypocritically, missing from debate by most representatives of the left here. And not in this instance alone.

    But I’m sure your claim that French is “Romney’s leagal point man and advisor” would come as a bit of a surprise to Robert Bork (GASP), LOLZ.

  49. Nice attempt vox to ignore the obvious:

    Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Dershowitz published an article in The San Francisco Chronicle entitled “Want to Torture? Get a Warrant,” in which he advocated the issuance of warrants permitting the torture of terrorism suspects, if there were an “absolute need to obtain immediate information in order to save lives coupled with probable cause that the suspect had such information and is unwilling to reveal it.”[54] He argued that authorities should be permitted to use non-lethal torture in a “ticking time bomb scenario,” and that it would be less destructive to the rule of law to regulate the process than to leave it to the discretion of individual law-enforcement agents. He favors preventing the government from prosecuting the subject of torture based on information revealed during such an interrogation.[55] The “ticking time bomb scenario” is the subject of a play, The Dershowitz Protocol, by Canadian author Robert Fothergill, in which the American government has established a protocol of “intensified interrogation” for terrorist suspects.[56]

    William F. Schulz, Executive Director of the U.S. section of Amnesty International, found Dershowitz’s ticking-bomb scenario unrealistic because, he argued, it would require that “the authorities know that a bomb has been planted somewhere; know it is about to go off; know that the suspect in their custody has the information they need to stop it; know that the suspect will yield that information accurately in a matter of minutes if subjected to torture; and know that there is no other way to obtain it.”[57] James Bamford of The Washington Post described one of the practices recommended by Dershowitz—the “sterilized needle being shoved under the fingernails”—as “chillingly Nazi-like.”[3

  50. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    beerBs, I seem to recall mentioning his support for “coercive interrogation” in “extraordinary circumstances” – hardly “ignoring the obvious”. And I certainly didn’t intend that as a launching pad for your wiki-rant.

    The topic here is Martin/ Zimmerman. My references to Dershowitz are relevant.

    Yours?

  51. Vox, I was just paraphrasing the National Review blurb that introduced David French. I haven’t made a list myself of advisors to Romney, but if Bork is a major one, that is another huge strike against Romney.

    French, while conservative, usually has a handle on what the conservative’s think the Constitution really means, while Bork is, well, Bork – way out there almost by himself, but accompanied by a few loonies who think we live in 1774, no Supreme Court interpretations have been given and male land owners are the only real citizens of the USA.

    The Dershowitz piece comes to a conclusion that is diametrically opposed to French’s in whether there was support for moving with the arrest and indictment, and Dershowitz proclainms that he is sure that there will be an acquittal, while French says to wait for the evidence.

    I don’t see how someone can agree with both articles. Does one half of your brain agree that Zimmerman is not guilty and should not have been arrested while the other half says he should have been arrested immediately and brought to trial?

  52. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    I don’t see how someone can agree with both articles.

    Well is seems you problem now is with nuance. When I say “I don’t disagree” it doesn’t mean “I (do) agree” – it’s not a mutually exclusive thing.

    e.g, if someone tells you to eat something because it’s good for you, you may agree it’s good for you, no? But if it happened to be a food you disliked… couldn’t get past the gag reflex, would you eat it?

  53. LornaDoone says:

    Well, I see a diversion from the subject of Zimmerman killing Martin has finally had its way

  54. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Pi$$-off, troll.

  55. vox – when you cite someone’s opinion it is totally relevant to provide context for that person.

    You are getting a bit snippy about this – why so much personal investment?

  56. Vox, so if a person doesn’t disagree with French saying there should have been an immediate arrest and trial, but disagreed with Al Sharpton calling for an arrest and trial, then it is a matter of having a gag reflex?

    Tell me the nuances in your statements that you think any arrest would be a “shame” and if Zimmerman were to be arrested, it would be because of media pressure. How can a person call a trial of Zimmerman a “shame” and not disagree with French that there should be an arrest and trial? How can someone say that an arrest would not be based on evidence but pressure, and against the prosecutor’s better judgment when you didn’t disagree with French when he said there was sufficient cause to arrest Zimmerman?

    Vox said: “Nevertheless, I would bet the farm that the state prosecutor will file manslaughter charges, mostly as a result of national attention. I think that is a shame, and will ultimately wind up needlessly costing the people of Florida more grief in terms of adverse publicity, not to mention time and money.”

    Read more here: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2012/04/10/what-the-trayvon-martin-cases-tells-us-about-the-media/#storylink=cpy

    And this: I think the level of publicity will force the prosecutor to prosecute against her better judgement. I see a change of venue and an acquittal on the grounds that Zimmerman was in compliance with Florida Law – specifically “Stand Your Ground”.

    Read more here: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2012/03/28/ill-give-him-refuge/#storylink=cpy

  57. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, bBs.

    But you do remind me of my wife telling me I’m grouchy when she’s in a bad mood.

  58. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Tud, it’s called being able to see both sides of the story. You should try it sometime.

    And, in case you hadn’t noticed, the scenarios I presented – prior to the M2 charge – would have required an arrest.

    The “shame” is in the fact that regardless of the findings of the first prosecutor – who chose not to prosecute on the grounds of lack of evidence (remember?) – pressure was brought to bear by media, political interests (including members of both parties, the President, the Governor of Florida, and Justice Dept.) to charge Zimmerman. Trial be media is a shame in my book, I don’t care whether or not I think the accused or potentially accused is guilty.

    Would this be a non-story if the original prosecutor had pressed manslaughter charges as the lead detective had wanted? Maybe. It depends on the outcome. But no question, an arrest at that time would have made this a non-story right now, and probably would have been the right thing to do. (Maybe you can go back and find where I’ve stated otherwise now?) So yes, I can also agree with French on that too.

    But please, don’t even bring race-baiters like sharpton into the discussion – that is, if you want to keep it credible.

  59. So it is a matter who says it, not what is being said. Two people say the same thing. You call one a “race baiter” without a shred of justification. I can only guess because he is an outspoken African-American leader instead of an outspoken conservative pundit.

    I still don’t see your expanation at all in the “shame” quote, since you go on to give your reasons why – the jury will find Zimmerman innocent. If that isn’t making a judgment before all facts are in, I don’t know what is.

    Stay inside your cocoon of self righteousness, speaqk out of both sides of your mouth, but please, stop pointing the finger at other people for doing exactly what you do.

  60. But you do remind me of my wife telling me I’m grouchy when she’s in a bad mood.

    And I thought I was the only one who had that happen!

    ;-)

  61. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    So it is a matter who says it…

    Sharpton versus French (or just about any other credible individual – celebrity or no)? Hell yes. And given sharpton’s little-boy-who-cried-“racist” record, I’m fairly confident I would have the company of better than 80% of fellow citizens in agreement with me. If you’d like to ignore sharpton’s history – and we can throw in jackson as well – that’s you prerogative – plenty of sand on the Earth, lot’s more room for heads.

    the jury will find Zimmerman innocent. If that isn’t making a judgment before all facts are in, I don’t know what is.

    Tud, I know you’re grasping at straws… you must be because I don’t want to believe you’re so dense you don’t get speculation. I make a bold prediction – turns out it’s already wrong since my quote that you so skillfully cut-and-pasted, was made prior to the murder 2 charge, and was based on my (now-incorrect) prediction that Zimmerman would be charged with manslaughter.

    If you want to razz me because my prediction turned out wrong, fire away, but don’t try to put words/ intentions in my mouth. And remember, at that time the vast majority of you libs were only interested in the racial angle – still are, for that matter. Not a one of you were bold enough to even predict an indictment because it didn’t fit the narrative, so you’ll have to give me a little credit too.

    The thing I’m taking from this weekends exchanges with you, tud, is that you’re entirely focused on two words contained in two separate posts I’ve made; “apparently”, and now “agree”.

    I’d wager most casual observers with even a modicum of neutrality on the topic would “agree” you’re “apparently” giving a splendid demonstration on the art of splitting hairs. So just to make you feel better, and end this silly line, I’m going to “apparently agree” that I “apparently” do not fully “agree” with every word in the above-cited opinions…”apparently”.

    There you go tuds. How’s that for “self righteousness”. Now if you’ll excuse me, my wings are just about dry.

  62. Were there a way to measure the amount of energy expended arguing a case about which you all know very little, the number would be great. I just hope a fair trial is possible and that justice will be served. This, this is just idle talk.

  63. averageJoseph says:

    Yet, what we DO KNOW is ABC altered the 911 audio.

  64. And given sharpton’s little-boy-who-cried-”racist” record

    Just to point out that my citation of Dershowitz’s “ticking bomb” delusional apology for torture was entirely appropriate in response to your citation of his support for Zimmerman.

  65. For the record, in my opinion:

    Al Sharpton is a buffoon who has rarely said anything worth anything;
    Jesse Jackson is a publicity hound who destroyed his credibility several decades ago;
    The so-called New Black Panther Party are a disgrace to the civil rights movement.

    BUT – this doesn’t change the reality that, it is apparent that the cops did not show due diligence concerning Zimmerman.

    I am surprised by the 2nd degree murder charge (like vox I expected manslaughter).

    It is extremely unfortunate that this whole case has already been prosecuted/defended in the media. Apparently it seems that the case would never had gone to trial unless the people rose up though…

  66. This case needed to be tried and wasn’t going to be tried due to “Lack of evidence.” What the media did was argue that, contrary to the prosecutor, there was more than enough evidence to bring Zimmerman in. The prosecutor is to blame for this uproar, not the media.

  67. The Zimmerman/Martin case has NOT already been prosecuted/defended in the media. The case as to whether or not there was “a lack of evidence” was, and rightfully so.

  68. LornaDoone says:

    “Yet, what we DO KNOW is ABC altered the 911 audio.”

    Sure glad I listened to the audio long before that became an issue.

  69. LornaDoone says:

    Uh oh. Someone didn’t like the game of “I know who you are”.

    Sadly – they love to play it.

  70. Vox, I don’t speak for the “vast majority” of anyone. You say:

    “the vast majority of you libs were only interested in the racial angle – still are, for that matter. Not a one of you were bold enough to even predict an indictment because it didn’t fit the narrative, so you’ll have to give me a little credit too.”

    Since you were talking to me, and I have only responded to the racial issue when people like you keep harping on it, I laugh in your face about that statement. The right, not the left, brought race into the discussion because of the “menacing person” description of a dark-skinned person wearing a hoodie being such, saying that blacks are responsible for the reactions of others when they see them walking alone carrying something, and they should know better.

    Race is a big issue in how the author of the article under discussion defended Zimmerman’s actions, so claiming the “libs” are using it to create division or overly interested in it is ludicrous and totally dishonest, unless you are claiming that the “libs” are the ones defending Zimmerman.

    My point has actually been more on the line of what sozo has said, that anyone claiming to know all the facts in the case is not being honest, and anyone denouncing people who called for an investigation to find out the facts and at the same time making “predictions” or saying this person is guilty and that one is innocent based on any media reports is being a hypocrite.

    You, for example attacked some who used facts reported by the media to say a prosecutor will indict Zimmerman and a jury will convict him while at the same time saying that the facts will show he is innocent.

    You said that Sharpton used racist reasons for wanting Zimmerman indicted, and I asked you to support that with facts, and you couldn’t, so you tried to turn the discussion into your justification of using certain words.

    In my opinion, Martin’s family was fully justified in calling for another look into how this case was handled,. Sharpton and other leaders lent their influence to create sufficient public interest that the case did have another look.

    Now that the prosecutor has made an arrest with probable cause, I fully expect the processes of the justice system to work. Those processes usually, but not always, work, and they usually work much better when there is pubic scrutiny.

    Making a prediction on how any jury of 12 people will decide, or how any appellate court will weave the technicalities and legalitites is folly.

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