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No grand jury in Trayvon Martin case

No grand jury in Trayvon Martin case

The Special Prosecutor in Florida just announced that she will not take the case to the Grand Jury which was expected to start this week:

The Florida special prosecutor investigating the Trayvon Martin shooting has decided not to use a grand jury, but says that should not be considered a factor in her final determination of the case.

The office of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey announced the decision this morning in a statement, USA TODAY’s Marisol Bello reports. Gov. Rick Scott appointed Corey as the special prosecutor on March 22.

She said at the outset that she might well forego using a grand jury.

The grand jury that had been set to convene April 10 had been called for by the former prosecutor in the case.

Via The Miami Herald:

In Florida, the decision on whether to indict someone in capital cases must be made by a grand jury. In all lesser cases the decision to file charges are routinely made by prosecutors. But in highly controversial or difficult cases, prosecutors often defer to a grand jury, leaving the politically charged decision to a panel of citizens

Corey’s office pointed out that the decision not to take the case to a grand jury should not be taken as an indication of which way she’s going to decide.

“The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case,” her office said in a release.


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HollywoodNeoCon | April 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Hold on to your butts. The Tea Party may start to issue calls for indiscriminate racial violence!!

When I say “Tea Party,” I of course mean the “New Black Panther Party (formerly known as Gangster Disciples and Vice Lords),” for anyone who may have misunderstood me.

I wondered how that was going to work-

As in, it wasn’t.

JackRussellTerrierist | April 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Do I detect the artifact of a spine?

JackRussellTerrierist | April 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Do I detect the artifact of a spine?

JackRussellTerrierist | April 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Do I detect the artifact of a spine?

JackRussellTerrierist | April 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Do I detect the artifact of a spine?

    Frank Scarn in reply to [email protected]. | April 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Derbyshire’s Points 10a and 10d are especially on point with this New Black Panther business and with anything in which Jackson or Sharpton participates.

I mentioned the rumor of this Friday in regards to the Zimmerman family hiring Hal Uhrig. What’s being floated is that they will charge Zimmerman with a charge of Manslaughter by Act. The defense of which is self-defense. Let the circus begin!

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Quilly_Mammoth. | April 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    What further facts do they expect to garner from that kind of proceeding that they don’t already know?

    Is it fair, is it even constitutional to charge somebody when no crime was committed by the would-be defendant?

    Not on this site, but on others, especially follow-up commentary to news articles on news sites, I see the grossly ignorant saying things like, “I don’t know if he’s guilty or not. Just let a jury sort it out.” I’ve seen this many times, and it sends shivers down my spine.

    The facts are there to determine if this was self-defense or not. If it was, there was no crime and there should not a be a trial just to appease black America and give the Martins the grounds they are looking for to file civil suits.

Cowboy Curtis | April 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm

From what I’ve read, most seem to think this means there will be no charges. I tend to think its more likely that they do not believe a grand jury will indict, and given the politics of the situation, they feel like they’ve got to at least charge him with something.

Think about it, if this woman has any greater political, or even legal or judicial, ambitions, a failure to charge him will follow her to the grave (regardless of whether or not the evidence justifies it). If she’s a democrat, her career would be over. If she’s a republican, the dems will bludgeon her with it for the rest of her days. I hope I’m wrong, and that she decides the matter purely on the merits of the evidence, but human nature isn’t a pretty thing.

    Browndog in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | April 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Her decision to charge or not to charge will be supported by the evidence, and thus supported by most of the general public.

    From what I’ve seen of her, she seems unpersuaded by public pressure, and will follow the letter of Florida law.

    Further, I think she knows that there is not enough to charge, but is painstakingly reviewing and re-reviewing all the evidence. I say that because if they had something chargeable, it would have been done by now, and we’d all know about it-

    That why “they” are spending all their time listening to racial slurs on the 9-11 tape, and editing the tape.

    That’s all “they” have.

      Cowboy Curtis in reply to Browndog. | April 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      I hope you’re right. I don’t know the woman, she might be the epitome of justice and fair dealing, and I hope that’s the case. I just have a little less faith in politicians than you (State Attorneys are elected down here), so maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.*

      *I don’t know if he’s guilty or not since not all the evidence has been released. But from what we know at this moment, it certainly looks like a justified shooting.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Browndog. | April 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks to the media, this woman will be condemned and criticized no matter what her final conclusions and decision are. But anybody would be a fool not to recognize that. Her salvation, personally, politically, and ethically all lie in the law and rational interpretation of facts.

      janitor in reply to Browndog. | April 10, 2012 at 10:38 am

      I’m sure that ABC will figure out the right thing to do.

      It’s rare that a Grand Jury doesn’t just rubber stamp what the prosecutor wants, so my guess is that she’s avoiding a pointless exercise that will only serve as media fodder.

    It looks like the special persecutor wants to avoid having the grand jury throw the whole thing out.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Neo. | April 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      ….or be threatened and intimidated into coming back with a bill like they did in the Duke lacrosse case?

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | April 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    If the facts don’t support charges, filing charges anyway is just throwing Zimmerman to the wolves. Is this woman that weak?

    Suppose he is charged, and a jury finds him not guilty. Then the riots start. Isn’t filing charges just to appease black America a very short-sighted solution? Does she want to be remembered as the special pros who, through weakness, charged Zimmerman whose acquittal led to the 2012 riots? Conversely, does she want to be remembered as the special pros who imprisoned an innocent man convicted by a racist, OJ-type jury because she was too weak NOT to charge him, like Mike Nifong?

What was she supposed to present to the Grand Jury? There aren’t any facts indicating a crime has occurred.

The ONLY scenario under which this isn’t classic self-defense is if Zimmerman struck the first blow, and there is not a shred of evidence to support that, while virtually every bit of actual evidence tends to confirm Zimmerman’s own account.

Now, it is true Trayvon Martin isn’t here to give his side of it. What are they going to do? Hold a freakin’ seance? Bring in Jonathan Edwards for a phony cold reading of the Grand Jury pool?

The SP has a problem. If she doesn’t charge Zimmerman, there may well be rioting, endangering public safety. But if she charges him without clear probable cause, the case will be dismissed and everyone – including the state, now that they’ve commandeered the investigation – will get sued, making Zimmerman a rich man.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Estragon. | April 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Even if she charges Zimmerman, if he’s acquitted, and he most likeyly would be if it’s truly a fair and impartial jury not packed with black racists, there will still be riots – Rodney King redux. Either way, they’ll riot. The only scenario under which they don’t riot is if Zimmerman is charged AND convicted. In other words, a miscarriage of justice is required to appease them. This has to stop. it’s time this country quits caving into these savages.

    Corey needs to stand tall and not be intimidated by these professional thugs and street savages.

      Reading your posts, how could one NOT come away with the conclusion you have a real issue with black people as an “identity group”?

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | April 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm

        Black Americans have chosen to separate themselves from the rest of America by self-identifying as “African-American”, referring to themselves as a group called the “African-American community”, which feeds on the old wounds of slavery never even experienced by its “members.” They choose to have their own “leaders” and “voices”, such as Al, Jesse, Louis, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP and other semi-private and private organizations that would be deemed “racist” to the nth degree if whites had such organizations. They’ve also broadened and advanced their own shadow culture, and it isn’t a healthy one. They form their own clubs within cities and on college and even high school campuses across the country. They vote as a bloc. They choose to remain separate and consider following traditional American culture as “acting white.”

        It is not I who puts them forward as an identity group. They do. I simply noticed it, as have millions of others.

        I view their preference to keep separate as un-American unwillingness to assimilate. Meanwhile, we pay for the turmoil their shadow culture creates in our society. We pay for it in lives lost, lives ruined and the fear many whites live in by coming into contact with “African-American culture.” We pay for it in welfare and all manner of give-away programs that have been growing for decades. We pay for it by opportunities lost in preference for blacks, who more often than not fail anyway due to the precepts of their culture that render them unequipped to utilize those advantages. We pay for it inthe education of other people who would be successful but for the dumbed-down curriculum and low achievement standards that keep spiraling downward in order to meet black failure levels lest their feelings be hurt. We pay for it in medical expenses incurred for their violence and illnesses, and in police, fire, and other public protection services, all of which are greatly increased because of the sicknesses of their culture. We have spent trillions on these programs and services. We spend a great deal more per pupil in predominantly black schools to no avail, which is a strong indicator that they have no plan to improve any of these features and circumstances in the future.

        Black America, as a group, made the choice to preserve their blackness as their identity and evolve it into a violent, failing sub-culture, not I. My problem with that is the price that other races pay for their choice. They’ve had more than enough time, money and advantages thrown at all their ills to succeed. Their failure is willful.

        If you don’t see that as a problem, well, that’s a problem, too.

Midwest Rhino | April 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I don’t know what they’ll do, but if they knew there would be no charges, it might be wise to put off the announcement till things die down, and major media has moved on to its next contrived story.

And they can let the air out slowly … this announcement being the first step. Maybe next dribble out some facts that look to exonerate Zimmerman, such as Martin’s prints on the gun. Then finally in a month release “no charges”, after everyone is basically expecting that.

Or if they are going to charge, they might as well do it now. But I don’t know how long these things normally take.

    Browndog in reply to Midwest Rhino. | April 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I don’t know what they’ll do, but if they knew there would be no charges, it might be wise to put off the announcement till things die down, and major media has moved on to its next contrived story.

    That is exactly what I’m thinking….that they’re thinking-

      Estragon in reply to Browndog. | April 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Agreed. In fact, my guess is the whole “bring in a Special Prosecutor and have an independent investigation” idea wasn’t due to any errors or mishandling of the case by local authorities, it was just a ploy to buy time and let the mobs disperse a bit.

      Sharpton isn’t going to hang around if there is no chance of getting paid.

      I predict a public press conference and perhaps a Power Point presentation of the case and evidence, ending with no charges filed. It might not avoid violence, but is probably the best chance to at this point in the circus.

Without an arrest there is no standing for a civil case awarding monetary damages to Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fuller against George Zimmerman, the HOA for The Retreat At Twin Lakes, and possibly the City of Sanford and all of their respective insurance companies.”

This is why the family is demanding that Zimmerman be arrested immediately. His arrest would open the door to riches without ever requiring that he be convicted of anything.

Wait a second. In Florida, prosecutors can decide to subject someone to a trial all on their own?! No grand jury, no committal proceeding before a judge, no other neutral body to determine whether a prima facie case exists; just a decision by a prosecutor that trying this person would advance his or her career or political ambitions? How is that constitutional? How can that possibly comply with the Due Process clause?

    Estragon in reply to Milhouse. | April 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    It’s called “prosecutorial discretion” and is the practice in most states. Where there is no question that probable cause exists, of course they can bring the charges. The police can file on their own, too.

    The difference in Florida is that if someone is arrested WITHOUT probable cause, everyone from the cop to the city loses their immunity to civil redress.

    It would be a practical impossibility for every criminal case to be brought by grand juries.

      Milhouse in reply to Estragon. | April 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Prosecutorial discretion covers not pressing every case that can be made, not about trying someone when there has been no judicial determination that he has a case to answer! In every common-law country I’ve ever heard of, there is a judicial process of some sort to determine this; whether it’s a grand jury or a hearing before a magistrate or a coroner, a person is entitled not to be put through the ordeal and expense of a trial unless the government first demonstrates to a neutral finder of fact that there is a prima facie case. Yes, every single criminal case, unless of course the defendant waives his right. This is no more impractical than having a trial for every criminal case. I am shocked that this is not the case in Florida, and astounded that the courts have not found it to be in breach of the Due Process clause. Can some of our lawyers comment on this?

        Estragon in reply to Milhouse. | April 10, 2012 at 3:00 am

        Sure, there has to be an arraignment before a magistrate to formalize the charges. There doesn’t need to be a grand jury indictment, though.

          Milhouse in reply to Estragon. | April 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

          Arraignment is not a committal to trial. They purpose of arraignment is to justify holding somebody in custody; to do that the police do not need to demonstrate a prima facie case against him. I repeat my question: can it really be the case that in one of the United States of America a person can be sent up for trial without any proceeding to determine whether he has a case to answer? Can such a system comply with the Due Process clause?

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Estragon. | April 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

          I thought an arraignment was to formally notify the defendant of the charges complained. In the case of someone in custody, this must take place within about 72 hours of arrest so that people are not held in jail to languish for no apparent or unspoken reason. I thought preliminary hearings and GJ indictments were used to determine whether there’s probable cause for a case against the accused.

To me it means Zimmerman WILL be charged. They couldn’t take the chance of a GJ not indicting. The big question now is what they charge him with.

I believe there will be charges, possibly manslaughter.

The next question I would have, can George Zimmerman get a fair trial?

I live and worked in Florida as a police detective. It seems to me there are several things at play here. Some of you are right, the SP is looking to charge Zimmerman and knows a grand jury WILL NOT. Her problem is the facts prove Zimmerman did not shoot Martin while “WWB”, but instead, Martin was SWT (shot while thuggin’). However, the SP is under a lot of political pressure as politicians are more than willing to throw one man under the bus and ruin his life to keep their position.

That said, the best news for Zimmerman is the Tulsa shootings, which WERE race based. Maybe if Al and Jesse get out of here, we can let the system work. I wonder if they have caught the red eye yet.

    Estragon in reply to archer52. | April 10, 2012 at 3:11 am

    But even the SP has to present probable cause. That’s going to be hard to find.

    Before a grand jury, she would have enormous influence over the process, and if she convinced them to indict, everybody keeps their sovereign immunity against civil suits.

    Since the SP is a tough black prosecutor with plenty of experience on self-defense and stand-your-ground cases, she may want to be in the position of holding a presser and going through the facts to show why she is NOT bringing charges. That might be the best way to avoid violence from the mob.

BannedbytheGuardian | April 10, 2012 at 1:40 am

Some here are quick to denounce the SP without any evidence.

We all know about equal. Nothing.

Save that Florida is where the election is won or lost.

“It speaks to the fact that she wants to do this investigation thoroughly and not be on someone else’s timeline,” said Randy Reep, a Jacksonville-based criminal defense attorney [who also worked with Corey]. “It would be folly to make a determination of the quality of the case based on her not taking it to the grand jury.”

This lady is an extremely experienced prosecutor. There is a lot in her background that indicates she is personally very tough once her mind is made up, and not prone to political wind-gauging.

It is conjecture on my part, but she must enjoy her work, as she could readily have moved to a judgeship or into other lines of lawyering, some of them much more lucrative.

Some of the comments on this thread really have me scratching my head. I guess a lot of you are way less impressed with our legal system than I am, and with the general goodness of people. And I’m hardly a Pollyanna.

And some of you are pretty far down the road of pure fantasy.

Bottom line on the grand jury; not enough to tell anything. There was never any likelihood Zimmerman would face a murder-one charge.

Bottom line on Ms. Corey; if I were a criminal defense guy, I would say “good news/bad news”. She is a pro, which is what you want to deal with. She knows the rules and the law, and where her bounds are (though she can get a bit “creative”, as with the prosecution of Cristian Fernandez). So, good news. The bad news would be if she decided to prosecute your client. She knows how, and she would not bother if she didn’t have the goods.

Another thing I’ve sort of gotten about Corey…she is not a press whore. She sure could be, given some of her prosecutions.