The shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman illustrates everything that is wrong with our criminal justice system. From the looks of it we have a young man who is dead and another being held in Seminole County Florida County Jail. We also have very few facts other than that. It seems that it took an extraordinary long time to arrest Zimmerman. And we have a “special prosecutor” no less.
Now we have a media circus. From lawyers giving press conferences about Zimmerman who never may have represented him to the Special Prosecutor herself giving a lengthy and rather cheerful one. Never a good idea. Then we have Zimmerman’s new lawyer Mark O’Mara who specializes in criminal defense work AND DIVORCE- WHATTTTTTTTTT? That combo is what is wrong here. A case as serious as this needs specialists; not wanna be media stars. As I have stated, every defense lawyer I know wanted to jump in a represent Zimmerman. Not because they were going to be paid a lot but because they wanted their TV Time!
Factually it looks like another over charge just like we had in the Casey Anthony case. This may have been done to answer some political and media pressure. Never a good idea to overcharge if you have a weak case. Friday Zimmerman lawyer O’Mara will ask for bond at a special hearing. He has also asked that judge Jessica Recksiedler be replaced. Should bond be granted we will really see every crazy coming out of the woodwork? Maybe even our favorite bounty hunter! Yikes.
This is obviously a high profile case and we must begin to separate fact from fiction. Who are the key players, did they have records, did they ever encounter each other before and did something else happen that night? Also, we need to keep people away from this case who simply want to turn it into a racial issue. It may be partly racial and it may be fully. We just do not know yet. But, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson mixing up trouble is the worst thing they can be doing right now. Unfortunately, this is their pattern and one that never advances their community very far.
Trayvon Martin’s mother even stated on television that she thought this was an accident. However, moments later she recanted and went on to read an obviously staged statement. Who wrote it? AL Sharpton? My advice to everybody is to keep quiet for now if you really want to see justice done. But, I fear we will see Zimmerman and his team selling interviews and pictures just like we saw Casey Anthony do when she was out on bond. Really media? Just don’t pay for that garbage.
Lastly, I see many “experts” talking about what it is like for Zimmerman right now. Please- here are the facts as I work with people inside prisons and those coming out for a living. I even prep people on how to stand strong during a trial and how their family should behave, as it is a very stressful time. Zimmerman is being held in Protective Custody by the Seminole County Jail. He is inmate 201200004452. Protective Custody is for his own good as he may face harm in the general population. Anthony and others have been held in what we call PC.
So, now it is time to let the system begin to play out while we all watch and draw our own conclusions. I urge everyone to see what the evidence says at trial before rushing to judgment. I will be watching and talking about this case too. Stay tuned…
Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert and legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from Today, CBS Early Show to Fox News and Nancy Grace. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.