Update: August 27th, 2013.
A great deal has happened in my part of the world since the terribly sad outcome of the George Zimmerman trial.
I wrote about Zimmerman in the past, the article below I wrote in April, 2012. I wanted to write about the Zimmerman case, as I had written about the Casey Anthony trial, but couldn’t bring myself to do it – knowing that once I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop.
That may sound odd, but the truth is, the horribleness of this case, and now its outcome, is terribly depressing. Life is hard enough, I thought then, why go down that road of despair? How could I write everything that needs to be said about the case and the verdict?
It’s too important to be taken lightly or to simply “blog” about.
I feel that writing about this moment in history is so serious and would take such devotion on my part, that I’d need to give it my full, undivided, attention – to do it justice.
So, instead of writing about it, I let it simmer in me.
The simmer – what I feel is not exactly “rage”, but its cousin.
I think of this case and its outcome every single day and now, today, Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lead defense attorney, is asking the state of Florida to cover Zimmerman’s bill! Yes, a million would cover it, thank-you-very-much-Florida.
So, I’m outraged more. Paying Zimmerman’s legal bill????
It’s UNFAIR. At least on moral ground. As for legal ground, I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer. It must be legal for O’Mara to ask, and I don’t blame him for asking – that’s what lawyers do. But, shouldn’t O’Mara at least try to walk on a higher ground? Couldn’t he let the people of Florida get over this before pouring salt into this still bleeding wound? Haven’t we suffered enough over this terrible tragedy?
Makes me angry. Really angry.
Zimmerman never apologized, as far as I know. And during the trial, he never showed one ounce of remorse for the murder (it will always be murder no matter what the verdict of 6 people.) of a defenseless young teenager.
A child with loving parents. Strong parents. Good parents.
The jury didn’t see Trayvon the child. They didn’t see him for the child he was; they saw him as a young hoodie-wearing-soon-to-be-hoodlum-because-they-knew-that’s-what-all-young-black-men-are.
Had the jury thought of Trayvon as THEIR son, as THEIR child, I don’t think they could have let Zimmerman walk away, get away, with murder.
No. The jury didn’t see their child. They didn’t see their duty to protect this child – their child.
The jury saw a young black man, probably up to no good, and a good, upstanding man with a license to kill, doing what good white men do – stand their ground because they have a gun to do it with.
What does this say to young men today? It says: Beware – you are targets in Florida. Don’t drink your Arizona Ice Tea or your Skittles while black.
I have friends who, over the years, have referred to their status as a citizen behind the wheel of an automobile (especially an expensive car), as “Driving While Black.” They have to be hyper-vigilant and it’s incredibly sad – beyond the beyond of disgusting.
It’s a given that young black men are racially targeted; it’s a given they are profiled; it’s a given they are increasingly disadvantaged economically and socially, but must we pour more money to the Gun-toting Southern white man’s sense of superiority?
Let’s give more money to the cracker-ass white men like Zimmerman who think nothing of starving their beast.
But, don’t get me started.
April 2, 2012: In Richard III, one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, the character of Richard – who will do anything to be King of England – accuses Lord Hastings of all things foul, and thus Hastings is murdered.
In a video revealed today by ABC News, George Zimmerman’s head (as he’s being led out of a police car), appears injured and red. Does the fact that Zimmerman appears to have an injured head make any difference?
No. No. A thousand times, no.
However, it IS important insofar as it supports Zimmerman’s claim to have acted in self-defense, claiming he’d been attacked by Trayvon Martin.
Yeah. And, so what?
As we know, Zimmerman claims he shot Trayvon Martin in self defense, stating that the young man, armed with a very dangerous bag of Skittles, pounded his head into the ground and bloodied his nose……
Wait. Back up. We don’t know if that is true or not! And even if it is true, so what?!
Like the sign the guy in the above photo is holding – “They never stop & frisk old white guys like me.” (I love that he’s wearing a blindfold like Lady Justice in the photo.)
It’s true. We live in the land of the free, where people, no matter who they are, should be able to walk down any street while eating candy as it rains.
Just My Opinion:
Here’s what I think may have happened that night:
- Zimmerman sees a young man in his neighborhood that he does not recognize and calls the police. Why? Because Zimmerman realizes that the boy is black. Strike one against Trayvon, he’s walking while black. Clearly in Zimmerman’s mind that spells trouble.
- While Zimmerman is talking to the police operator, during his first call, it sounds like he’s walking. Was he following Trayvon? (Oh, he’s following in self-defense – that’s right, I forgot that detail.)
- Trayvon surely must sense that he’s being followed, or stalked by a man he doesn’t recognize.
- Does Trayvon fear Zimmerman because he’s white? Possibly. But more likely, he’s afraid because he’s being watched and followed. I would be terrified.
- Zimmerman hangs up with the dispatch, talks to the Police who tell him NOT to take action.
- Does Zimmerman continue to stalk / follow Trayvon? Does Zimmerman get too close? Does he purposely appear threatening? Does he brandish his gun?
- If Zimmerman brandished his gun, Trayvon may have, in a fight for his life, attempted to disable Zimmerman – separate him from his gun, to save his young life.
- Did Zimmerman lay hands on Trayvon maybe to question him? Why? He’s not a police-person.
- Common sense tells me Zimmerman was likely holding his gun. People who carry guns do so because they want to use them. That’s just common sense, right?
- Did Trayvon see that gun and try to save his life by jumping on Zimmerman to try to disarm him?
- Was Zimmerman too strong for Trayvon?
- Did Trayvon, realizing he is no match against Zimmerman, now try to run away to save his life? Or did he fall, screaming out and afraid of the man and the gun?
These things we may never really know, but we do know that Trayvon was crying out, afraid that he was going to be shot. Who shoots to kill someone who’s unarmed and crying?
I will not go so far as to say Zimmerman murdered the young Trayvon because I do not know what really happened. I only know there is something very wrong and a young man with an Ice Tea and a bag of candy should not be gunned down.
Florida and it’s NRA – written, Jeb Bush backed “Stand Your Ground” law is horrifying, senseless, and unconstitutional as far as I am concerned. The Second Amendment to the Constitution did not want a bunch of Zimmerman’s running around, in my opinion.
So, I won’t say “Off with his head,” about Zimmerman. If he’s guilty of manslaughter or murder, he’ll have his day in court. He’ll face Florida laws, which is what I’m afraid of.
Reading the Opinion Page of the New York Times today confirmed the horror I feared would result from Alabama’s new Immigration law – which is illegal but Alabama is bold in their racism – raising its middle finger at Federal laws.
How to put into words the terror that people in Alabama are experiencing is hardly possible – my heart is literally in my throat as I write this. I want to help these people; I want to join this 2011 Civil Rights battle more than anything in the world. I feel helpless. Well, I have this little blog that some of you may read and then realize the seriousness and the desperation of this problem.
I wrote about this issue on November 6th in a post titled, Alabama Ignores Justice Department, because I knew it could get very ugly for children trying to attend school. NEVER, never-ever did I imagine the reality of this issue.
I never wanted to believe that Alabama could turn their Immigration policy into vile racism. Alabama’s brand of hatred drips with the blood of all who came before and fought and died for Civil Rights in this country.
The New York Times editorial from November 13, 2011 tells us this about the Alabama immigration law:
The law was written to deny immigrants without papers the ability to work or travel, to own or rent a home, to enter contracts of any kind. Fear is causing an exodus as Latinos abandon homes and jobs and crops in the fields. Utilities are preparing to shut off water, power and heat to customers who cannot show the right papers.
Alabama is far from alone in passing a law whose express aim is misery and panic. States are expanding their power to hasten racial exclusion and family disintegration, to make a particular ethnic group of poor people disappear. The new laws come cloaked in talk of law and order; the bigotry beneath them is never acknowledged.
The below words spoken by a US Senator should frighten the very life out of all of every one of us:
A sponsor of the legislation, State Senator Scott Beason, chairman of the Rules Committee, was secretly taped by the F.B.I. talking about black residents of Greene County. “They’re aborigines,” he said. He is the lawmaker who urged fellow Republicans to “empty the clip” to stop illegal immigrants.
How can Senator Beason be allowed to stay in Government? He is the lowest of the low; a neanderthals brain is his to claim.
How can he say things like “empty the clip” and not be arrested or charged? What a fine example of a lawmaker he is.
The important aspect in this article? The ease with which people can hate.
Today the hate extends to immigrants in Alabama, and other states (Alabama is the worst). What about tomorrow? Who is next on the list?
As Judge U. W. Clemon, a former Alabama senator, noted, the Latino immigrant population is very small and yet the target Alabama has placed on their backs is startling:
…..Judge Clemon, a civil rights foot soldier who fought Bull Connor and George Wallace, the common thread between then and now — the threat of racial profiling and the abuse of a cheap, exploited work force — is obvious, as is the racism driving the law.
Although the Hispanic population of the state is less than 5 percent, the leaders of the state were hell-bent on removing as much of that 4 percent as possible. And I think they’ve been fairly successful in scaring them out of the state of Alabama.
How can American citizens with any conscious allow such hateful treatment to fellow human beings? These immigrant human beings simply want a better life and they are willing to work their fingers to the bone for the basics. They’ll do the jobs that Americans don’t want to do.
Anyone who thinks immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans is living in a dream world.
Wake up! They simply want to put clothes on their back and a roof over their head.
Alabama would deny immigrants even the basic needs of survival. Can you imagine having the below things taken away from you? I can’t imagine being denied the below basic needs.
- Own or rent a home
- have water service
- basic K-12 education
The NAACP’s leaders in Birmingham Alabama have groups of advocates to assist people caught in this government noose.
I feel helpless. However, I am a member of the NAACP; now I am going to get to work and get ACTIVE.
“Jim Crow is dead,” said the Reverend Anthony Alann Johnson, “but his cousins are still alive.”
You better believe it.
Please help by finding your local NAACP branch and join us to fight for Civil Rights.
Read the article: On the Rise in Alabama
Slide Show: A New Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is well known to most Americans, and certainly to lawmakers, judges, attorneys and academia. Any entity that seeks to disobey these laws is subject to rebuke via the Department of Justice.
Alabama is being sued by the Federal Government for its Immigration law, and now is seriously under investigations with regards to defying basic human rights.
Alabama’s newly enacted immigration laws which, in no uncertain terms, intend to disrupt the government’s job of handling immigration, is also disrupting basic civil rights.
Alabama is essentially ignoring the Constitution of the United States.
The Alabama Attorney General, Luther Strange, is intentionally and cruelly sticking out his proverbial middle finger at the Department of Justice by asserting the Federal Government has no jurisdiction to challenge and investigate its newly adopted immigration law. Not so, says the Federal Government.
In this country, a public education is available to all school-aged children regardless of their immigration status. Alabama’s cruel and illegal new “law” requires schools to check the immigration status of children and their parents. The result of which is causing extreme disruption for children who (if they even continue to go to school), are harassed and bullied. Parents, frightened about deportation, are keeping their children out of school.
This prompted the Justice Department’s Assistant Attorney General to issue letters to every Alabama school superintendent regarding the change in their enrollment numbers since the new “law” went into effect. See Letter. http://blogs.usdoj.gov/blog/archives/1710
Meanwhile, the Alabama Attorney General, Luther Strange, wrote his own letter to the Department of Justice advising they have no authority to request this information. See Letter http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/opinion/downes/Perez.pdf?ref=sunday
To which Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General answered by saying, in essence, that the Federal Government, who is suing Alabama for its immigration policy, will investigate allegations that Alabama is running rough-shod over Civil Rights. (Think back to Governor George Wallace – the segregationist – who blocked the entrance to the University of Alabama, not allowing two black students to enter, in total defiance of desegregation. Constitution. It was not until President John F. Kennedy who made the Alabama National Guard a federal entity so they could enforce justice and allow the two students to register for classes. Think back to that time, and you’ll realize what is happening today in Alabama.)
It is deplorable. Shameful. But, not surprising. Since the election of Alabama Republican Gov. Robert J. Bentley stood up multiple times to say that people who had accepted Jesus Christ were his brothers and sisters. He said: “if you’re a Christian and you’re saved … it makes you and me brother and sister.” http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/19/nation/la-na-alabama-governor-20110119
Every lawmaker on earth has read the US Constitution and knows that such comments are unconstitutional. Yet, the Governor of Alabama is clearly snubbing his nose at his role in Government!
Gov. Robert J. Bentley went on to say,
So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/19/nation/la-na-alabama-governor-20110119
Assistant Attorney General Perez advised in his letter to Perez that the US, as they
“…receive additional information, the Civil Rights Division and other Federal Agencies will be evaluating the potential for violation of Federal laws in Alabama, including civil rights laws – looking at violations of the Fair Housing Act, the Safe Streets Act, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, among others.
I don’t have the words right now to express the disgust I feel for the lawmakers in Alabama.
Last night during the discussion with Richard Dreyfuss, he asked the entire audience stand up. Then he asked us to place our right hand on our heart. Then we said the pledge of allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.
And then he asked us to read it again, but follow him and he left out “under God.”
I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.
The first Pledge above is what is used today. The words “under God” were added by Congress, in 1954.
Mr. Dreyfuss pointed out that the pledge is not a prayer, though it sounds as such. The pledge allows those of us who are loyal to this country, to articulate our allegiance to the flag and to the Republic for which it stands because we are one nation, we won’t be divided in that regard, and the core of America is to provide the due process of liberty and justice for all.
Adding “under God” says we all stand “under” God; but not all do. There are other religions who do not believe in our God. There are Agnostics and Atheists who do not place themselves in allegiance with God, but with the US and the Republic for which it stands.
In fact, the 1st Amendment provides for freedom of religion and the addition of “under God” is, in reality, unconstitutional. The same holds true for “In God we Trust” in written all over our money.
That is my view.
Hah! Politics AND religion in one post…. I’m just asking for trouble!
Every day spam is scooped up by the excellent WordPress spam-blocker and deleted. Sometimes I have to manually delete the spam because occasionally legitimate comments are mistakenly caught.
I found one of those “legit” comments tonight. Although, it wasn’t exactly a comment, it was a link to a petition about the Casey Anthony trial. It’s a legitimate link and an actual petition that already has 48,000 signatures.
48,000 people agree with this petition.
The petition, on change.org, is intended to convince the legal and political community in this country to consider trying Casey Anthony in Federal Court, with a federal crime! What federal crime they believe Casey Anthony committed, I cannot tell you, but the petition refers repeatedly to the murder of Caylee Marie Anthony.
The petition will be sent to:
- Office of Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll (Jennifer Carroll)
- United States Attorney’s Office Middle District of Florida (ROBERT E. ONEIL)
- State of Florida Attorney General (Pam Bondi)
- Governor of Florida (Florida Governor Rick Scott)
- United States Attorney General (The U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder)
- Director in Charge FBI Headquarters Washington DC (Robert Mueller)
- Assistant Director in charge FBI Headquarters Washinton D.C. (James W. McJunkin)
- ORANGE COUNTY STATE ATTORNEY (LAWSON LAMAR)
- FBI Orlando Headquarters (Special agent in charge Steven E. Ibison)
- President of the United States (President Barack Obama)
Though I am loath to publicize this petition, if you would like to review what is written, here is the link: http://www.change.org/petitions/united-states-attorney-general-try-casey-anthony-in-federal-court
Apparently, there are 48,000 people who don’t know the reason for the double jeopardy rule of law.
The concept of double jeopardy is based on the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. “Nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”
The reason for this protection? To make sure that We the People are not abused by the government via repeated prosecution, or other abuses.
If repeated prosecutions were legal, it would amount to a form of oppression that denies human rights.
In Communist countries the government has total control over such things, and will convict because they can. Communist countries also control religious beliefs, political parties, and the distribution of wealth.
As we know from WW2, Hitler’s goal was to design a type of German individual that fit his liking. Under Hitler it was a crime to be Jewish. 13 million people were given the Death Penalty because of their religion. Catholics, and homosexuals were singled out, too.
Communist countries don’t have trials. They have convictions.
Casey Anthony was already tried for the crime of murder. She was found Not Guilty. Yes, the verdict is difficult to swallow. Yes, it seems like a travesty of justice, and yes, most of the country believed she was guilty. But, to even consider trying her again is chilling. Think about what it would mean if citizens could be tried twice for the same crime!
Casey Anthony is not guilty; that does not mean she is innocent. Though, she was innocent until proven guilty. She was proven not guilty and now, she can sing from the rooftops that she committed the crime, and not a single thing can happen to her.
People say, our system of justice didn’t work in this case. I do not agree. The system of justice worked. Just because we didn’t like the outcome of the trial does not mean the system didn’t work.
Casey Anthony now deserves all the freedoms that you and I enjoy.
She had a fair trial – she was given protections and special treatment that most defendants don’t enjoy. Unfortunately, 12 jurors did not believe the evidence presented – that’s the bottom line.
Reforms are needed to improve the jury system in long, media-laden trials. But no one could say that Casey Anthony did not have a fair trial or a fair jury.
Judge Belvin Perry is a Jurist of the highest caliber, as was Judge Stan Strickland. The Prosecution won most of their motions leading up to the trial. No one can say the prosecution got a bad wrap.
The defense, we said, was incompetent, unethical, and morally challenged.
But they did what they had to do and won the case.
They won. In life there are bitter pills to swallow.
The fact that the 48 Hours Mystery show, titled “Only Casey Knows,” is going to air is absolutely maddening. But, there is not a thing that anyone can do about it, not even Judge Belvin Perry. The reason, of course, is a result of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. But, I’m still mad at CBS.
We know about the protections of the First Amendment as it relates to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. But that does not stop my anger and my feeling that airing this show is a dirty low-down stunt, and I am mad as hell at CBS.
I carry a little copy of the Constitution with me in my purse and am well aware of the First Amendment, as I am sure you are, too. But, I’m still mad at CBS.
We know that the defense has every right to speak to whomever they wish, whenever they wish when no gag-order is imposed by a court. But, is it right? Not in my opinion. Is it ethical? Not in my opinion. Does it taint potential jurors? Yes, in my opinion. Is it illegal? No, not under the Constitution of the United States of America. But, I’m still mad at CBS.
During today’s hearing a very interesting request came out of the mouth of Jose Baez to the court. He would like to turn off the cameras in the courtroom. Mr. Baez, like us, doesn’t like the freedom of the press either – unless it’s convenient. His request is no different than ours. We want to stop 48 Hours, and Mr. Baez wants to stop the cameras from rolling in the court. Judge Perry told Mr. Baez that the Florida Supreme Court would not agree. Perry said if he turned the cameras off, they’d be back on in 48 hours.
48 Hours? Interesting. I have 48 reasons why I’m still mad at CBS.
Below are the words of the First Amendment of the Constitution:
Amendment One: Freedom of religion, speech, and the press; rights of assembly and petition.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
There it is – that thing called the First Amendment which protects Mr. Baez, and Mason, and you and me when we want to express our opinions. Where it not for the First Amendment, I would not be able to blog as I do. Neither would you. And, I am mad at CBS, but I sure cherish my rights.
What are some of the rights ripped out from under people in a Communist state?
- People may not write or publish as they please – writers and Bloggers are thrown in jail.
- People may not practice the religion of their choice;
- The press is controlled by the Government;
- People cannot assemble in protest in countries wrapped in a communist flag, but
- I’m mad as hell at CBS.
I like my First Amendment Rights! I am thankful for the First Amendment, but I am angry over how wrong it seems to air a show like 48 Hours before the system of justice has a chance to work.
Regardless, I am glad I live in a country where such a program can air.
And, you know what? This is an object lesson many of us can learn from.
BUT I AM STILL MAD AT CBS!
The Miranda question is still bothering me. For weeks now I have vacillated back and forth on the question of Casey Anthony’s rights concerning self-incrimination while at Universal Studios, and being interviewed / interrogated by three Detectives of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO).
On the one hand, Casey was a willing participant in the interview, carrying on like she was the mother of an abducted daughter, though without any affect or caring about the well-being of her child. Still, she was talking to the Detectives quite willingly.
On the other hand, were her rights violated? Judge Perry knows the Constitution far better than I, certainly, and we can trust him to make the proper and right decision. However, until that time, this question is an intriguing one to me. I would like to know when a citizen, who is suspected of wrong-doing, should know when to stop talking and protect them-self against self-incrimination.
I would say, well an innocent person should have no fear of self-incrimination, right? Wrong. There are too many examples of wrongful convictions in this country, so a person cannot assume that Law Enforcement will protect them.
Casey Anthony was an adult when she was questioned by the Detectives of the OCSO. Certainly she could have advised the Detectives when they said to her, “things are not looking very good for you,” that she wanted a lawyer, but she didn’t.
When should a citizen assert their rights? When is it incumbent on Law Enforcement to preserve the rights of its citizenry and read them their Miranda Rights?
There were any number of times during that interview that Casey Anthony could have asserted her rights. But, because she wanted to play the role of a mother who’s child was missing, and not appear guilty in the eyes of the law, she didn’t back down and ask for a lawyer. Shouldn’t one of the detectives, given the fact she admitted to lying, have Mirandized her right then and there?
Will Lying to Law Enforcement be the Sticking Point?
By lying to the Detectives, she had just broken the law, and they knew it, but I doubt that Casey realized the trouble she was in, which is why Miranda exists – to protect citizens from incriminating themselves. My question, then, is since the Detectives knew she was lying – she even admitted to lying – shouldn’t they have read her her rights then and there? Because, the truth is, anything she said after the time she admitted to lying, would have (and ultimately did) cause her to incriminate herself further?
When John Allen got her to admit to lying, near the middle of the interview, shouldn’t she have been told – right then and there – that anything else she says will be used against her?
For me the question is this: When a member of law enforcement talks to you like you’re a suspect, is that when they must deliver the Miranda warning? What is the balance between law enforcement needing information from a citizen, versus placing that citizen in the position of incriminating them self? I believe that is what Miranda is for – to prevent people who are suspected of committing a crime from incriminating themselves further.
Granted, Casey Anthony was “supposedly” in the position of wanting to help law enforcement find her daughter, but at the same time, the Detectives knew she was deceiving them, perhaps to buy her self some time to form an escape plan.
There is no doubt had Casey not been arrested, she would have tried to cover her tracks, or attempt to move Caylee, etc., and I am sure the Detectives were fearful of something like that happening. But, why did they then take her to the station, photograph her for a flyer to publicize Caylee’s disappearance, then turn around and place her under arrest for “sticking to her story”?
The fact is, even if the Universal Studios statement is suppressed, there are a number of other witnesses who will testify to the make believe Nanny-taking-Caylee story. So, if the Universal Studio interview is thrown out of the trial, it won’t be a show-stopper.
The big question, however, is this: Will the interview prove to be a violation of Casey’s rights under the US Constitution?
I’m doing my research, but I just don’t know!
Casey Anthony’s right to a fair trial includes her right to have a jury of her peer’s to sit in judgment of the crimes she is charged with.
I have always assumed that the phrase a jury of one’s peers was part of the Sixth Amendment “Right to a Fair Trial”.
Nope. Not there.
So, I then figured it must be in the Fifth Amendment, “Rights in Criminal Cases”.
Nope. Not there, either.
So, now I’m curious. I went in search of answers. A number of different sources proclaimed that the ideal of “a jury of one’s own peers” is from long ago, reaching back to the 12th century.
I did learn that it was not until 1967 that the Supreme Court decided that this right will be part of the Fourteenth Amendment. Therefore, it is the Fourteenth Amendment that assures one the right to a jury of “peers and equals” without exclusion.
There is a website dedicated to the US Constitution that contains a page titled: “Things that are Not in the U.S. Constitution”, written by Steve Mount.
Today, the American ideal dictates that we are all peers of one another, that regardless of gender, race, religion, social status, or any other division (except age), we are all equal. In this ideal, since we are all peers, a guarantee of a jury of ones peers would be redundant. While some argue with this ideal, it is the most democratic way to approach the subject. Juries need only be impartial, and not made up of one’s peers, else the jury system would be unworkable.
I must say, I very much like that logic and that ideal. However, Judge Perry, one would think, would have to consider a jury of Casey’s peers, lest he be called out on an appellate issue after the fact.
So, with an ideal in mind of a jury of peers, let’s discuss where Casey’s jurors might come from.
The Case of the Mystery County
Out of pure curiosity, and a love of putting together puzzles, I decided to look at all of the 67 counties in Florida, in terms of demographics, to try and figure out what county would provide a jury of Casey’s peers for her trial.
I am attempting to put together some sort of reasoning around “Jury of One’s Own Peers” and see what I could come up with. However, it’s anyone’s guess what criteria Judge Perry might be considering when he determines where the Jury for the Casey Anthony case will come from. One can only assume that he would look at counties with similarities to Orange County demographics.
What similarities will Judge Perry measure?
Chances are he will look at how certain demographics match up.
It seems reasonable that population demographics would come into play. I decided to use district size. And I will use the Census Bureau’s demographic information about “Median household income,” and “White persons, non Hispanic” as standards to match and measure.
First, however, I matched counties that meet the district size of Orange County, which has 6 districts. Therefore, I looked at how many out of those 67 counties have at least 6 districts. There are six.
Orange County has 6 Districts
- Broward has 9,
- Duval has 14,
- Hillsborough has 7,
- Miami-Dade has 13,
- Palm Beach has 7, and
- Pinellas has 7.
Next I looked at Median Income from 2009 Census Bureau data (I also included the County seat so you’ll recognize each county).
Orange County’s Median household income is $50, 674
- Broward County: $51,594 / County seat: Ft. Lauderdale
- Duval: $50, 660 / County seat: Jacksonville
- Hillsborough: $49,762 / County seat: Tampa
- Miami-Dade: $43,921 / County seat: Miami
- Palm Beach County: $52,807 / County seat: Palm Beach
- Pinellas: $45,899 / County seat: Clearwater
Next I looked at the percentages of “white persons, not Hispanic” from Census Bureau data.
Orange County’s White persons not Hispanic: 48.9%
- Duval: 58.7%
- Broward: 46.2%
- Hillsborough: 56.0%
- Miami-Dade: 17.6%
- Palm Beach County: 62.1%
- Pinellas: 77.8%
Based on these six counties, it appears that Broward County is the closest match, followed by Duval or Hillsborough.
Again, it’s not known what criteria that Hon. Judge Belvin Perry will use.
The truth, however, is exactly what Blogger Sherry said about finding a jury of Casey’s peers: “Well, that narrows it down to none – there is no “equal” to Casey that isn’t locked up!”
Oh, ain’t that the truth!