By Henry McRandall
Orlando, Florida criminal defense lawyer and CNN analyst Mark Nejame hit the nail on the head when he identified one of the factors in yesterday’s gross miscarriage of justice that saw white wannabe cop George Zimmerman walk free in the shooting death of black minor Trayvon Martin. The Amerikkkan “justice system,” Nejame observed, “Is about process, not outcome.”
The very notion that any “justice system” should not be about “outcome” is ludicrous even on its face. The goal of any “justice system” should be – and must be – about achieving just redress, not about some airy-fairy “process” in which the ultimate “outcome” is far too often rigged in advance.
The U.S. and its northern lapdog – Canada – like to pat themselves on the back for the facade of “due process” that has evolved – or, rather, devolved – in North America over the years. The players in the “due process” scam are meticulous about dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” in the mountains of documents they produce in support of an “outcome” that is routinely pre-determined. But what they are delivering rarely has any real semblance to “justice”.
Consider the flubbed prosecution of George Zimmerman: From the very outset, the deck was stacked – by several factors – against a conviction.
The so-called “stand your ground” laws in Florida and many other states are simply a revival of the racial lynchings that were supposed to have been ended by federal civil rights laws of the past half century and by federal intervention in state-level systems of injustice, particularly in the Deep South. But for all the vapid rhetoric of the GOP Teabaggers and Democratic Blue Dogs about the right of self-defence, the “stand your ground” laws are – to call a spade a spade -, in many cases, a licence for cowardly white men to kill unarmed black men – or boys – who cross their paths and inspire that moment of irrational paranoia and panic that instantly prompts the trembling white men to think “black thug! danger!”
Presumably, the almost-totally-white jury that found Zimmerman “not guilty” was motivated by the psychological construct and ruse of “reasonable doubt.” One cannot help but wonder if the mostly-white, middle-class women on this jury would have had the same level of “reasonable doubt” if Trayvon Martin had been white and George Zimmerman had been black. Continue reading “U.S. justice ‘about process, not outcome’?”
By Henry McRandall