Friday, April 13, 2012
Dershowitz Unloads On Zimmerman Prosecutor
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has some very harsh words for the second degree murder indictment Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey brought against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin during a confrontation between the two in February. Dershowitz' comments are based on a very thin probable cause affidavit she filed with the court in charging Zimmerman that presents a very biased rendition of some of the pertinent facts from the night of the shooting. Initially, Corley was applauded because she chose to make the decision to prosecute on her own rather than present the evidence to a grand jury. After reading the probable cause affidavit, I find myself agreeing with Dershowitz. Unless she has better evidence than shown by the affidavit, it is highly doubtful she could have convinced a grand jury to indict Zimmerman on the basis that the shooting of Martin was a result of a depraved act on his part, an essential element to proving second degree murder under Florida law, particularly given his claim that he was acting in self defense. The probable cause affidavit notably omits any mention of the injuries sustained by Zimmerman, and it attributes the screams heard in the background on one of the 911 calls to Martin despite at least one eyewitness' claim that he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman hitting him while Zimmerman was flat on his back screaming out for help. Dershowitz believes that Corley grossly over-charged Zimmerman in hopes of getting a plea deal with him for a lesser charge. I also have to agree that Corley's announcement of the charges sounded more like a campaign speech than the announcement of a criminal indictment in a high profile case. She made a horrible first impression in my mind.