Florida Guarantees Zimmerman's Acquittal

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[Open Letter]

Angela Corey
Special Prosecutor - 18th Circuit
Courthouse Annex
220 East Bay Street
Jacksonville, Florida, 32202

Re:  State v. Zimmerman
Dear Ms. Corey:

In a letter dated April 16, 2012, I, in effect, asked Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica J. Recksiedler to decide if George Zimmerman was a descendant of slaveholders or a descendant of enslaved Africans.

This issue arose because Florida had initially refused to arrest Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, a descendant of enslaved Africans. Rather than to decide this application, she abruptly resigned from State v. Zimmerman.  Florida immediately chose Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr. of Seminole County Court to replace her.

Without hesitation, Judge Lester, at the very least, affirmed the presumption that George Zimmerman was a descendant of slaveholders and entitled to all rights under the slave codes.

If a descendant of enslaved Africans had murdered a white person, Florida would have banned all attorneys from successfully seeking a bail application.  After being charged with murdering a white person in Florida, no Black defendant has ever enjoyed securing modest bail.  That chance is from "nil to none".

My letter respectfully requested that the Seminole County Court summarily deny Zimmerman's bail application.  In his collective wisdom, Judge Lester chose to grant bail in the actual, modest amount of Fifteen Thousand Dollars.  There would be no travel restrictions on his fleeing the jurisdiction.  He was allowed all privileges emanating from possessing a passport.

This was a sweetheart deal.  Zimmerman was off to the races.  It would eventually hit the Seminole County Court that both Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, had lied to it in procuring bail for him. Florida, however, only chose to prosecute Shellie Zimmerman, an accomplice, on a misdemeanor charge.  George Zimmerman enjoyed "benefit of clergy".  Nevertheless, his bail on the murder charge was revoked.

There is a wrinkle in the misdemeanor prosecution of his wife.  There may be more than one wrinkle.  First and foremost, Florida has to surmount the husband-wife privilege.  Communications between them are necessary to secure a misdemeanor conviction.  There is also a question of their rights under the Fourth Amendment.

On June 29, 2012, Zimmerman fled custodial confinement with the approval of Seminole County Court.  No prosecuting authority had filed charges against him for lying to the Court.  To make matters worse, he has been granted release on his own recognizance because the Court failed to ascertain the source of the bail money.  Thus, Zimmerman has nothing to lose by fleeing the jurisdiction.

The late Justice Bruce Wright of the New York Supreme Court was the foremost authority on the Eighth Amendment.  I learned years ago that any criminal defendant who can repeatedly abuse privileges under the Eighth Amendment will enjoy an acquittal at trial.  The only open question is whether Zimmerman will stay around to hear the jury's verdict.

A dual system of justice has always existed in the United States. Before 1868, it was easy to recognize this dual system.  Slave codes would apply to persons of African ancestry.  Whites would enjoy the common law.  After 1868, whites would enjoy the spirit of the law and Blacks would suffer the letter of the law.

Florida forfeited its duty to prosecute George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin.  If Florida were acting in good-faith, it would substitute a special prosecutor for a public prosecutor.  Substitution of counsel is a critical issue in this case.  Some judicial action must be taken forthwith.

Very truly yours,
Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
 cc:  National Bar Association

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