I was stunned to see that headline at the ultra-liberal Daily Beast! More:
With last week’s release of a trove of information about the Trayvon Martin killing, three things are now apparent.
First, special prosecutor Angela Corey’s statement last month that public pressure had nothing to do with the decision to bring charges against George Zimmerman is exposed for the bunk that it always was.
Second, if the case against Zimmerman ever reaches a jury (which it probably won’t), there is no chance he will be convicted. Of course, Corey is an experienced prosecutor who must know this, which only further reveals the role public pressure played in her decision to indict.
Why won’t Zimmerman be convicted? Because we now know everything the jury is going to know. We’ve read the reports, seen the photos, heard the tapes. The only way the jury could learn something not contained in the documents, photographs, and medical reports released last week would be if witnesses with personal knowledge were to testify. But that will not happen, because Martin is dead, and Zimmerman won’t speak.
So here is what the jury will learn: Zimmerman called police frequently to report supposedly suspicious characters, and every time he called he was suspicious about someone black. It will learn that a 911 tape records someone shouting “Help!” right before Zimmerman fired the single fatal shot from point-blank range. Some witnesses say the person screaming was Martin, some say it was Zimmerman, and the FBI’s analyst says the recording is too distorted to tell. (Notably, the newly released documents reveal that an investigator spoke with Martin’s father, Tracy, and asked whether the screaming on the tape was his son’s, he responded, “No.”)
The jury will also learn that the back of Zimmerman’s shirt was wet, as if he had been lying on his back in the wet grass, that he had apparently been struck in the face, and that he was bleeding from a gash on the back of his head. It will learn that police officers asked him at least three times whether he wanted to go to the hospital—confirming contemporaneously that he had visible physical injuries.
A second-year law student could identify enough doubt here to preclude a criminal conviction. A superstar lawyer, which is what Zimmerman now has, could get an acquittal in his sleep. Zimmerman’s defense will be that he felt threatened by Martin, that his fear was reasonable because Martin was hitting him, and that he was therefore justified in firing. Florida’s lenient Stand Your Ground law makes all of this close to a slam-dunk.