TalkLeft’s account of the case: Jeralyn Merritt is a well-known criminal defense attorney and the founder of the TalkLeft blog. Starting last year, she has produced endlessly detailed work about the Zimmerman prosecution.
In this new post from this morning, Merritt cringes at Piers Morgan’s groaning incompetence last night. That said, such multimillionaire buffoons have a substantial influence among us the people.
We thought of Plato, and of Gene Lyons, when we read Merritt’s update of her view of this case. For background on Plato and Lyons, see our previous post.
Here’s Merritt’s view of the case:
MERRITT (7/11/13): Now that the evidence has been presented, my previously expressed opinions on this case have only become more solidified. Looking to the future, and the legacy of this case, here is what I see. Keep in mind this is only my opinion.Plato: “When I saw all this, and other things as bad, I was disgusted and withdrew from the wickedness of the times.”
Whether George Zimmerman is acquitted or convicted, and I am not making any predictions before hearing closing arguments and reading the jury instructions, the legacy of this case will be that the media never gets it right, and worse, that a group of lawyers, with the aid of a public relations team, who had a financial stake in the outcome of pending and anticipated civil litigation, were allowed to commandeer control of Florida's criminal justice system, in pursuit of a divisive, personal agenda.
Their transformation of a tragic but spontaneous shooting into the crime of the century, and their relentless demonization of the person they deemed responsible, not for a tragic killing, but for "cold-blooded murder," has called into question the political motives and ethics of the officials serving in the Executive branch of Florida's government, ruined the career of other public officials, turned the lives of the Zimmerman family, who are as innocent as their grieving clients, into a nightmare, and along the way, set back any chance of a rational discussion of the very cause they were promoting, probably for years.
The problems of racial disparity and arbitrary enforcement of our criminal laws are real, systemic and need to be addressed. Criminal defense lawyers see it and fight to correct it every day. From charging decisions to plea offers to sentences, the system is not fair and everybody knows it.
But this case has never been representative of those problems. And perhaps most unfortunate of all, as a result of the false narrative created by the lawyers for grieving parents who tragically lost their son—a narrative perpetuated by a complicit and ratings-hungry media—any attempt at meaningful reform is likely to fall on deaf ears for years to come.
We strongly suggest that you review Merritt’s brief treatment of the way the prosecution painted Zimmerman as a racist because he had, on four other occasions, called in descriptions of other black suspects to police.
As Merritt explains, two of those calls involved the August 2011 home invasion experienced by yesterday’s witness, Olivia Bertalan. In the aftermath of that crime, Zimmerman twice called in sightings of someone matching the description of the perpetrator, a description which had come from Bertalan.
Merritt: “The person he reported not only turned out to be the perpetrator, but the perpetrator was only able to be charged after his latent prints were found on the wall he had jumped over from Retreat at Twin Lakes to the neighboring complex.”
In short, the prosecution was tagging Zimmerman as a race man for correctly sighting a perpetrator who had been described by his victim. This is the kind of “wicked” behavior Plato described long ago.
Just so you’ll know:
This prosecution was overseen by Angela Corey, the biggest crackpot prosecutor in all of crackpot Florida. She was prosecuting a 12-year-old Hispanic boy for murder at the time she was appointed.
Corey was assigned to the case by Governor Rick Scott, one of the most repugnant right-wing pols in the country.
This is who our liberal heroes are cheering when they clown for us on cable TV every night. That said, we’re glad to see Merritt discussing Piers Morgan, who would be deported tomorrow morning if we the people had the slightest sense of decency.
We humans have always been badly impaired, intellectually and morally. We’ve always been easy to stampede at times of tribal high feeling.
Chris and Lawrence have been cheering the horrible people Merritt describes in that piece. Last year, the conduct by MSNBC was the worst we've ever seen. In the past few weeks, the channel has been doing deeply indecent work.
On the bright side, Chris and Lawrence are being well paid and corporate ratings this week have been good. Truly, there is no “wickedness” without some transplendent gain!