G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Part of me thinks that the Feds are merely posturing over conducting a full investigation of George Zimmerman’s possibly racially-motivated “crime”. Eric Holder and the DOJ have to pretend that they’re going to do something, though they *seem* to not have much of a leg to stand on. You never know though, they might invent a leg.
At NYT’s Room for Debate, William Yeomans discusses the circumstances where the Feds might supercede a state court’s decision:
Federal prosecution may be particularly appropriate where a peculiarity of state law – like a “stand your ground” law – makes it less likely that racially motivated violence will be punished. Similarly, where peculiarities of state procedure, rules of evidence or rules regarding jury pools and juror selection impair the state’s ability to win a conviction, federal prosecutors may have warrant to step in.
Throw out the Stand Your Ground reference. Even though SYG was mentioned in jury instructions to the Zimmerman jurors, it was not something that was argued by the defense and was not the basis of his acquittal.
But as Martin family attorney Natalie Jackson indicated to me, as sour grapes, and as I’ve seen people arguing on TV, I think that there will be a move to impeach the manner in which the jury was selected for trial. Why was juror B37 even on the jury? asked Slate. Judge Nelson blocked two of the state’s peremptory strikes, and allowed the defense to strike a black woman from the jury pool whose pastor had written a letter in support of Martin. Just based upon that recent buzz about why those jurors were allowed to stay even after the attempted peremptory strike, I think the Feds will try to use that as a wedge to rationalize their witch hunt.
Frederick Leatherman is a lawyer who has been willing to ignore the real world in order to push the anti-Zimmerman agenda. His rhetoric is extreme, but his views are just a less refined reflection of what the Martin family and state prosecutors have been arguing. He’s pushing for federal hate crime charges:
I think the problem with the verdict in this case was the de-emphasis on race and the presence of stealth jurors on the jury who were influenced by O’Mara’s year-long campaign, aided and abetted by the media, to acquit his client in the court of public opinion.
I believe B-37, and possibly two others, lied their way onto that jury determined to vote NG, regardless of the evidence. If I’m right, they should be prosecuted for perjury.
So this Zimmerman email tip line – my thought on it is that it won’t be used just in order to dig up dirt on Zimmerman, but it might be used to find information on the jurors and perhaps Zimmerman’s attorneys. Any shred of evidence of manipulation could then be used to get this up to the federal ranks. Maybe the Feds won’t get their argument through – let’s hope not – but it will give them that leg they need.