Florida Fails at Ditch Duty

Maintaining drainage ditches is a responsibility, if sometimes a tedious one, of landowners. Maintaining the moral drainage ditch is a part of the duties of government. Florida failed in several ways to dam and control the flow. When Angela Corey, the Florida state attorney assigned to the Zimmerman case, gave her bizarre, smiley public statement after the verdict last evening, I wondered how anyone paying any attention could possibly think that the state had really provided “due process” of law here, as Corey claimed with an attitude of fiddle-de-dee satisfaction. I am not criticizing the jurors. The prosecutors failed in their duty of care, which was to provide a coherent portrait of the obvious. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Roberto Martinez, in a Miami Herald “Other Views” column, laid it out: “The man thought the teen looked suspicious. The man called the police to report his suspicions… The man was told by the police not to chase and pursue the teen. The man decided to chase and pursue the teen anyway. The man was carrying a loaded gun. The teen was not carrying a gun. The teen was not carrying any weapon. The teen was carrying candy. The teen was not committing any crime. The teen was not trespassing… The man and the teen met in a physical confrontation… The man shot the teen… The shot from the man’s gun killed the teen. There is no evidence that the teen was committing a crime or about to commit a crime. But for the man chasing and pursuing the teen, there would have been no physical confrontation…but for the man’s negligence in carrying a loaded gun and chasing and pursuing the teen, after being told not to by the police, there would have been no physical confrontation and the teen would be alive. No reasonably careful person would do what the man did, and that should be obvious to everyone. And, that is without considering anyone’s race.”

The race to the nasty, brutish, and short bottom represented by the NRA and ALEC-sponsored so-called stand-your-ground laws is a big problem, but even so, the state of Florida failed miserably to even present the case for simple and equal justice here.


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