When media interferes with politics
“This case is an example of how politics and the media wrongly interfered with our American justice system.
First, law enforcement did its job and after its investigation concluded they did not have probable cause to arrest Zimmerman. However, there were inappropriate remarks by some politicians and others, including statements made by the President, that in turn were publicized by countless reporters in the media, that made the case more about race than thousands of other tragic deaths in society all over the United States. This pressure changed the direction of the case from a tragic accident or one of self defense to a charge of murder and manslaughter.
Everyone knows there are more killings in Chicago and Detroit than other large cities, but this scourge in comparison has received very little media attention, and certainly less remedial action by politicians and the President.
Second, when the goal of honest journalism is to analyze all of the facts to produce a fair and balanced report,we have in this case instead witnessed the opposite. Furthermore, this case is an example of how reporters fueled the fires, forcing the system to improperly react, resulting in Zimmerman being arrested and having to be jailed for a year while he waited for a trial. Then, the pundits argued the wisdom or lack thereof of the “stand your ground law” and ignored the most elementary rule of law, self-defense.
Lastly, even the judge apparently feared she would be unfairly criticized so defense objections in the Zimmerman trial were overruled and evidence the defense sought to introduce was barred. It appears the judge was overly concerned the media would blame her if there was an acquittal.
In the end, we all lose when our justice system is manipulated and/or influenced by politics and not objectivity and restraint. Here, the rule of law was sacrificed in order to satisfy political correctness (politics and the media), but it is hoped this case will now have a positive influence so what took place is never repeated.”
Sam Spital, San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer and Former Deputy Attorney General, State of California Department of Justice.