I strongly disagree with David French’s analysis. I’m inclined, instead, to agree with commentators ranging from former Reagan Justice Department official Mark Levin to Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz that the affidavit is stunningly weak — “unethical,” as Prof. Dershowitz puts it. In fact, I go further (which, after nearly 20 years of writing and supervising the writing of complaint affidavits, I think I’m qualified to do). This affidavit is not law, it is agitprop: invoking, for example, the explosive term “profiled” but carefully avoiding any discussion of what it means and failing to note that (a) there is no evidence of racial profiling, and (b) absent an invidious racial component there is nothing wrong with profiling (indeed, we want police to do it so that innocent people don’t get hassled).You can read his points at the link. He closes it with this paragraph that seems to confirm some of what I wrote yesterday:
If I were a cynic, I’d say that an ambitious special prosecutor — exploiting the rabble-rousing of the U.S. attorney general and the racial grievance industry — filed an exceedingly serious charge for which she lacks evidence, second degree murder, in order to bask in the mob’s adulation while pressuring Zimmerman to plead guilty to a lesser charge, manslaughter, on which the special prosecutor runs a high risk of losing if Zimmerman forces a trial. So I’m sure glad I’m not a cynic.This is what I said yesterday:
My own feeling is that the prosecution had to charge Zimmerman with something that included the word "murder" to keep the neighborhood from going ape**** crazy and burning the place down. Had they charged him with negligent homicide or something along those lines, the race pimps would have gone nuts and incited a riot. This charge also takes the pressure off of Florida officials...for a little while.Yes, I'm a cynic, but I also know these people and the way they work. Personally, I hope Zimmerman refuses to accept a plea deal and forces a trial. He'll win, either through acquittal or a hung jury. I don't see a downside in going to trial.
I think what they've done is postpone the looting to a more convenient date.
Let's see what happens if this case ever gets to trial. There's still a chance that the entire thing could be challenged under the "Stand Your Ground" law and the case dismissed. That would be a gutsy move on the part of the judge who ordered that.
If it does make it to trial, I expect that 2nd degree murder, which requires a finding of intent, won't be the only option available to the jury. Expect them to be given the option of a lesser charge, because the prosecution won't want to put all their eggs in the 2nd degree murder basket. They know they won't get that. I personally think they expect to lose on 2nd degree but hope the jury will throw them a bone with a lesser charge that will keep the natives happy.
UPDATE: John Lott's take on the affidavit is very similar to the two above:
The charges brought against George Zimmerman sure look like prosecutorial misconduct. The case as put forward by the prosecutor in the “affidavit of probable cause” is startlingly weak. As a former chief economist at the U.S. Sentencing Commission, I have read a number of such affidavits, and cannot recall one lacking so much relevant information. The prosecutor has most likely deliberately overcharged, hoping to intimidate Zimmerman into agreeing to a plea bargain. If this case goes to trial, Zimmerman will almost definitely be found “not guilty” on the charge of second-degree murder.Read the rest of it here.