Other Views from Those in the Know
founder, Florida Tea Party
Seal Criminal Information Until a Conviction
After watching two political criminal-court proceedings that couldn’t be further away from each other, it is easy to conclude that the American system of jurisprudence is continuing its downward spiral toward selective enforcement of laws and increasingly appears to have the safeguards of a Stalinist gulag for individual rights.
The re-arrest of Zimmerman gave the media a nice weekend story to go over and over the entire circumstances of the reason he’s caught in the judicial system.
Judge Kenny Lester, acting like an Imperial Roman potentate, demanded that Zimmerman turn himself back into prison on the allegations by a heavy-handed prosecution that has seen its rock-solid case fall apart as the evidence slowly leaks out.
To eavesdrop on an inmate to carve a case that would keep him in jail is an outrageous abuse of the prison system and of prosecutorial misconduct.
A man who is accused but not convicted should not have a sliding scale of financial worth used against him. Is this equal justice under the law? I think not.
George Zimmerman did not speak at that bond hearing from what I can tell. Of course, getting accurate media portrayals is like spitting in the wind and not having blowback. Zimmerman didn’t ‘lie to the court.’ I don’t think he even spoke to the court. His new legal team barely had time to introduce themselves to their client before bond was determined.
The other case was that of John Edwards and thank God, he was found not guilty on one charge and a mistrial declared on the other six counts.
The federal prosecutors have absolutely no right under our constitutional framework to declare any aspect of campaign financing to be governed by criminal statutes. Any and all contributions are essentially gifts from an individual to the candidate. What a candidate chooses to use that money for is entirely his business and certainly not the federal government’s. The jury got it right but only after two years of vilification and disdain heaped upon Mr. Edwards from the legal batteries of the federal justice department. The heavy boot of government.
Keeping a defendant in jail, even when the individual is constitutionally innocent, is a main goal of prosecutors. They don’t want a defendant to have easy access to help with his own defense, to make a living, to care for his family and loved ones. The overwhelming goal of prosecutors is to carpet bomb the opposition with unlimited taxpayer dollars and a flood of motions and paperwork.
Justice in Florida is neither blind nor equal.
The fact that Zimmerman was in the middle of raising funds to care for his family was a positive thing. It probably never occurred to him that this was something his new attorneys should know. With the vagaries of PayPal, assorted charge-backs, slow payments, delayed payments and NSF payments, no one really accurately knows what’s in the account. But more importantly, why would a man’s worth determine his temporary or permanent incarceration in a “free” country that never condoned ‘debtors’ prisons like our English masters?
Florida should remove any and all criminal information from the media’s view. It simply should not be public record. Not only does such information paint a one-sided picture, but it also permeates the potential jury pool and reduces the chances of a just verdict.
Seal all records on criminal matters and only allow their release upon a conviction. No conviction – no records.
The ability of today’s prosecutors and media to indict, convict and destroy people based on partial information is overwhelming.
It’s time someone put a stop to it.
Doug Guetzloe is the host of The Guetzloe Report, founder of the Florida Tea Party and founder of Ax the Tax, a grassroots group that has helped taxpayers successfully defeat tax increases throughout Florida.
© Florida Voices
Published Tuesday, June 05, 2012