From John Mortimer’s “Rumpole and the Family Pride” in Rumpole of the Bailey:
Liz Probert: “It’s a bloody unjust world, Rumpole.”
Horace Rumpole: “You’ve been at the law this long, Liz, and you’re just now finding that out?”
From Clint Eastwood’s film Unforgiven:
Sheriff Little Bill Daggett: “I don’t deserve this … to die like this.”
Will Munny: “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”
Commentary by Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor, known for his successful appeal and subsequent acquittal of Claus von Bulow in the Reversal of Fortune case where von Bulow was accused of attempted murder of his socialite wife in Rhode Island (full essay at this link):
“(CNN) – On the basis of the evidence currently in the public record, one likely outcome of the case against George Zimmerman is a mixed one: There may be sufficient evidence for a reasonable prosecutor to indict him for manslaughter, but there may also be doubt sufficient for a reasonable jury to acquit him.
“Any such predictions should be accepted with an abundance of caution, however, because the evidence known to the special prosecutor, but not to the public, may paint a different picture. It may be stronger or weaker.”
* * *
“These ‘facts’ give rise to several possible scenarios of what may actually have occurred on that dark rainy night. Under the Florida self-defense statute, it matters greatly what happened, most especially who ‘initially provoke[d] the use of force,’ and who started the physical encounter.”
* * *
“All this goes to show how factually driven this case is under Florida law. And we don’t yet know all the facts. The special prosecutor, who has said she will not use a grand jury to decide whether to indict Zimmerman, has an obligation to consider all the evidence and to apply the law to the facts.
“All she needs in order to indict is probable cause that a crime has been committed. A jury that ultimately decides whether the defendant is guilty needs much more: proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But what if a prosecutor concludes that there is both probable cause and a reasonable doubt?
“That is the nightmare scenario that this prosecutor may well face. In ordinary circumstances, most prosecutors would not bring such a case, because it would be a waste of resources to indict someone who will probably be acquitted. But this is anything but a run-of-the-mill case.
* * *
“Moreover, the Florida statute provides an additional layer of protection to a defendant claiming self-defense: A judge must decide whether the defendant is “immune from prosecution,” that is, if the judge believes his actions fall under the law of self-defense.
“So the following mixed outcome is certainly possible: The special prosecutor indicts; the judge does or doesn’t grant immunity; if he doesn’t, the jury acquits.
“Many people would be unhappy with such a mixed outcome, but it is not the job of the law to make people happy.” (My emphasis)
So there we have it. Either a man who committed murder gets off, or a man who justifiably killed another is convicted and sentenced to a lengthy prison term, or is acquitted but had the ordeal and expense of defending himself. In any event, the nation and world will be treated to a media circus sure to make the advertising industry giddy.
What is the deal about central Florida? Terri Schiavo, Casey Anthony, and now Martin/Zimmerman. Something in the drinking water?
It is a bloody unjust world; and I guess “deserve” really has nothing to do with it.