ABC is reporting that Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, was indeed pummeled in a scuffle with the victim in the tragic encounter this past February. He had a broken nose, two black eyes, lacerations on the back of his head, and a back injury. Martin's autopsy revealed that he had bloody knuckles. Unbelievably (or, believably, given the current Justice Dept.), Eric Holder's department is considering hate crimes charges against Zimmerman ... which could, theoretically, lead to the death penalty.
Hate crimes charges?? Based on what? Merely because Martin was black? There is virtually nothing else known that could substantiate such charges; MSNBC did its level best to make it appear that "white Hispanic" Zimmerman was racist, but that turned out to be a debacle. And yet, where is the DOJ in this case? Or this one? Or this one? Or when the New Black Panthers put a bounty on George Zimmerman?
We've already heard testimony that Holder's Justice Department acts any way but race neutral. And hate crimes statutes are traditionally selectively enforced -- like the two white reporters in Norfolk, police and media are reluctant to consider such for fear of "stirring the race pot." Of course, it doesn't matter when it works the other way (i.e. the Martin incident), though! Delaware's largest newspaper as well as others won't even report the race of crime suspects out of the same ridiculous politically correct concerns.
What a sorry joke.
UPDATE: Reason has more:
1. There is very little evidence that Zimmerman hates black people, let alone that he shot Martin because he hates black people.
2. In the absence of a legal justification (such as self-defense), killing people should be a crime, but hating them because of their skin color should not be. By treating crimes more severely when they are motivated by bigotry, hate crime laws effectively punish people for their beliefs.
3. Federal hate crime laws are even worse, because they expose defendants to double jeopardy (although the courts deny this reality by calling it "dual sovereignty"). The federal investigation means that even if a Florida jury acquits Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter, he can be tried again for the same crime (killing Martin) under a different label (a possibility I noted two months ago).
I actually changed my position on #2 years ago. I don't have much of a problem with adding a "degree" of severity to a crime if it was indeed motivated by some sort of bias -- racial, religious, ethnic, etc. After all, there are degrees of murder, manslaughter, etc. But the main problem with hate crimes laws, in my view, is what's not mentioned by Reason: their selective enforcement. See the links above.
UPDATE 2: Hans Bader dissects the third issue noted by Reason above.Posted by Hube at May 16, 2012 04:07 PM | TrackBack