Skip to comments.George Zimmerman Is Destined for a Hung Jury
Posted on 04/21/2012 3:29:09 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Not only will it be impossible to find a jury without preconceived opinions in the Trayvon Martin caseit will be impossible to find one that will convict, says Mansfield Frazier.
An editor I used to work for had a favorite saying: Predicting the future is usually as easy as stating the obvious. In the upcoming trial of George Zimmerman, the obvious is this: theres little, if any, chance to avoid not only a mistrial, but a series of them if the state continues to reindict him, which it has the right to do and no doubt will, but with the same result over and over again.
At some point in the future, after endless retrials, it will seem as if this caselike the racial discord that will cause it to hang around our nation's collective neck like an albatrosshas always been a part of American life, like Mount Rushmore, the Liberty Bell, or the Washington Monument.
The problem for the Florida legal system is that at this juncture, the case really isnt about points of guilt or innocence that a jury can make reasoned decisions on. The case has become a referendum on the Stand Your Ground law and, more importantly, a referendum on the thorny issue of race in America. How to bridge the chasm that divides the races in America (which, amazingly, seems to both widen and narrow at the same instant in this country) is not only a question we dont have the answer to, its a question we dont even like to ask.
However, the case at hand is forcing our handit quite simply wont allow us to duck the issue of race, at least for a while. Whether this is a good or bad thing is yet to be seen. Will this forced confrontation of racial attitudes help to solve our national problem, or will it only be made worse?
Voir dire is the process whereby attorneys from both sides get to ask potential jurors questions. Under Florida law six jurors (not 12) will hear the case against Zimmerman. In the states code of criminal procedure, the section that outlines the grounds for challenge to individual jurors for cause (Section 913.03) is the longest and most detailed by far, and for good reason. All criminal-defense lawyers (and prosecutors, as well) know cases can be won or lost during jury selection. In addition to striking a juror for cause, each side has six preemptory challenges, which means a potential juror can be dismissed without a reason being given. After Jim Crow laws were abolished, these preemptory challenges were the tool used to keep blacks off of juries.
But all-white juries are a thing of the not-too-distant past, and theres no way to impanel a jury in the case at hand that doesnt have at least one or two blacks on it. And with Floridas liberal use of cameras in courtrooms (unless the judge rules them out in this case or instructs that the jury not be shown), everyone in the country is going to know who is sitting on the jury, and therein lies the rub.
The facts of this case, no matter if they are for or against Zimmerman, ultimately will have very little to do with the outcome. Jurors, when it comes to voting on guilt or innocence, are most likely going to break down along racial lines. Try as they might to be good citizens and follow the instructions of the judge to put their personal feelings aside and make a decision based only on the facts of the case, the odds are that they will deadlock. This is not to say they are weak people; rather, it indicates how strongly race factors into decisions in American life, and its hard to see how this case will be an exception. Jurors are not superhuman.
Because of this, no matter how many times the state puts Zimmerman on trial, the outcome will probably be the same: a hung jury. Few, if any, whites in the South are going to want to be forever known as a member of a jury that voted to convict Zimmerman, and conversely, no black is going to care to be known as the person who voted to acquit him. Its a recipe for deadlock.
Talk is already circulating of a change of venue, but a change to where? The moon? Theres no place in the country where potential jurors havent heard about the case, and most folks (black and white, rightly or wrongly) have already formed opinions that by now are virtually intractable.
Besides, the cult of celebrity worship thats developed in this country virtually assures that the good folks in the state of Florida, who are about to participate in what promises to be the most high-profile court case of the century so farperhaps even eclipsing the Casey Anthony trialare not about to let their shot at fame (and a potential book deal somewhere down the line) slip through their fingers. There will be no change of venuebet on it.
This trial will afford us the opportunity, albeit by way of force, to deal with the skeleton of race thats been hanging in the national closet for centuries. How well or badly we use it is really up to us.
Everyone involved will be pressured into making sure he is guilty.
Some of have known and stated this from day one.
All white jury and he has a chance for a fair trial, all black jury and he's guilty as hell, mixed race jury equals hung jury every time he's tried.
How many times will the state try him with the same results? When does it simply become harassment to retry him?
Eventually, when Florida becomes tired of retrying him, the fed justice dept. will charge him with a civil rights violation.
Seminole County, Florida appears to be 90+% white. There has been talk of busing in jurors to make it “fair.” I leave it to the reader to determine the race of the “busees!”
Some of us have known and stated this from day one.
Angela Corey should be investigated and brought up on charges at some point which should dampen Florida’s ardor to keep retrying Zimmerman indefinitely.
I didn’t know about the civil suit protection aspect of the law. I’ve been going on the assumption that a civil suit would have immediately followed any acquittal or dismissal of charges. Interesting.
This is BS, I had to read about half of the article before the guy made his point. White people are too racist to convict a man guilty of killing a black man. Who the he** acquitted OJ then if this BS is true? White Jurors may very well vote to acquit but it won't be for racist reasons, it will be because they listen to the facts instead of the BS pushed by the MSM.
Wait, what does this law actually say? Are you saying I could shoot you in your sleep, and if I claimed, "stand your ground," I am immune from prosecution? If so, it is a really bad law. I doubt it really is what you say. Someone may act in self defense, but that should be weighed as evidence. Merely because you can name a law, shouldn't mean that they can't be prosecuted.
Koreans? Amish? Ashkenazi Jews? Peruvians?
“by way of force, to deal with the skeleton of race thats been hanging in the national closet for centuries. “
I agree. It’s time that everyone accepts the fact that blacks are the only large group left in America that’s overwhelmingly racist.
Then we can answer this question: What do we do about it?
Angela Corey should be dis-barred like Nifong.
This case is looking a lot like the Duke Rape Case.
I hate to lay blame in any one corner, I REALLY do, but it’s all the democrats fault.
Dems are the party of RACE. Certainly today, and for many years back.
The Al Not-so Sharpton’s and Jerkson’s of their party have elevated this and worked their voting plan... I mean, public into a frenzy.
With about 50 murders EVERY day in the US, the dems have chosen this one for everybody to chime in on, and keep this in the news cycles, tainting any potential jury. From zer0 himself, to the Martin parents, and everybody in-between.
The best thing for justice here would be if the judge forbade live TV, cameras, and the like. Anything to tone down the ferver and let the courts do their job... themselves!
I thought the opportunity for the case to be dismissed was at the hearing they just had. Is there still a possibility that the judge could dismiss the case before it goes to trial?
Ah, Seminole County. Maybe there’s a way out of the quandry: empanel a jury all of whose members are Seminoles to get the white/black dynamic out of the matter.
Maybe, but Mr. Zimmerman, being half Peruvian, has a high percentage of native Indian blood (he physically appears more Indian than European, just sayin’) so the Seminoles may come off and say he’s not guilty at all. They’re more a jury of his peers than anyone else, and what could the two irreverends, Bogus Al and Shake’m down Jesse do about it, call the native americans racist? Ha!
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