Monday, July 08, 2013

Sleaze at Work

I fear we are witnessing a genuine case of sleaze at work “in the fields of the law.” Of course I have the current Zimmerman trial in mind, but sleaze is sleaze wherever found. I wonder if Karl Rove learned his sleazy political machinations from defense attorneys or if they have benefitted from his technique of “roviation?” In any case, there is no doubt the Zimmerman defense from even before the trial has been one attempt after another to portray Trayvon Martin as a less than desirable character, suggesting he was a “street fighter,” a poor student, a possible burglar, a pot smoker, and so on. This is a classic case of using Rove’s technique of attacking your opponent either for his possible shortcomings, or his strong points, rather than those of your candidate, or client. Perhaps the best example of lawyerly sleaze came when Zimmerman’s defense attorney tried to bully Trayvon Martin’s mother into saying that perhaps her son had brought his untimely end on himself. He said something to the effect of, “Wouldn’t you have hoped your son did nothing to bring this on himself?” Pure sleaze, what a ridiculous question, that wasn’t even meant to elicit an answer. Of course any mother would have hoped such a thing, IF it was necessary to even ask such a stupid question in the first place, and IF a mother fell into the trap. It is much to Trayvon’s mother’s credit that she did not, saying simply, “I don’t understand what you are asking me” (apparently she couldn’t believe anyone could ask such a stupid question).
Anyway, I think the defense attorneys for Zimmerman have done everything they could to destroy Trayvon Martin’s character and credibility even though such things should have nothing to do with what happened. The blond analyst on MSNBC has praised them as being among the finest defense attorneys she has seen. I guess they are, if defense attorneys employ any sleazy tactic they can to win their case. I guess I would think they should try to prove their client is innocent rather than try to destroy the reputation of the victim, but what do I know, I’m not a lawyer. But to my way of thinking the whole defense reeks of, what can I say…just plain sleaze.
 I continue to believe Zimmerman is guilty. Of course I could possibly be wrong. But as far as I can see his whole story lacks credibility, from start to finish. He wants us to believe that even though he went on his watch fully armed with a semi-automatic pistol (that he was not supposed to be carrying according to the rules for such watchmen), and even though he followed Trayvon when he was instructed not to, and even though it has been established that Trayvon was frightened by being followed by a strange man, that it was he, Trayvon, a 17 year-old with tea and skittles, minding his own business, who ultimately was the aggressor and attacked Zimmerman. Zimmerman also wants us to believe that it was he who was screaming for help rather than the boy. Zimmerman, who outweighed the boy, who aspired to be a policeman and even studied police tactics, who had been working out 2 to 3 times a week for more than a year in a Gym, learning boxing and other self-defense methods (he apparently wasn’t very good at it), had lost about 80 pounds of weight, was fully armed and obviously looking for trouble, was reduced to a helpless screaming victim when supposedly attacked by a smaller Black teenager. Some cop he would have made.
The screaming stopped after the shot was fired. Common sense would suggest the victim stopped screaming because he was shot. Zimmerman’s defense wants us to believe it was Zimmerman who stopped screaming, “because he had no further reason to scream.” I simply cannot get myself to believe this no matter how hard I try. And of course we already know Zimmerman is a liar, having lied about his bail money, and, more importantly, lying that he knew nothing of the infamous Stand Your Ground law even though he had studied it in a class devoted to such topics. His description of Trayvon seeing and trying to get his gun is an unbelievable fairy tale. Zimmerman has shown no regret whatsoever for taking the life of an innocent, unarmed 17 year-old victim. His story reeks of dishonesty. He probably even feels proud of having rid us of another “punk,” that at least he finally succeeded in keeping one of “them” from “always getting away.”  As Black people live in the complex where this unfortunate even occurred, it wasn’t as if Trayvon was suspiciously out of place in a White neighborhood. He seems to have been guilty only of “Walking while Black.” It seems pretty clear to me that this wanna-be tough-guy, wanna-be cop, wanna-be hero, tried to apprehend (capture? Hold? Warn?) Trayvon Martin, didn’t prove to be man enough for the job when the boy resisted, and shot him dead out of desperation. He wants to convert his unwarranted attack on Trayvon to Trayvon’s (defensive, but imaginarily “deadly”) aggressive sneak attack on him. If sleazy lawyering gets him off I don’t believe it will prove “justice” had anything to do with it.

Then not only custom, but also nature affirms that to do is more disgraceful than to suffer injustice, and that justice is equality.

1 comment:

nancydrew said...

From today's Guardian, I read that the judge is entertaining a request to allow defense to use computer animation it has commissioned to be shown in court. At which point, one hardly knows what to say about justice in this case. Enter computer graphics crossed with a reality show production *evidence* demonstration. I'd suggest this would cross a dangerous threshold from which it would be impossible to turn back. Most frightening.

Also -- Good to see you at your desk. Spokane reader here.