Harvard Law Prof. Alan Dershowitz: Zimmerman Prosecutors 'Should be Disbarred'

Ken 2013/07/13 19:00:27


Dershowitz: Zimmerman Prosecutors 'Should Be Disbarred'

By Bill Hoffman
Friday July 12,2013

Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz says the prosecutors in the George Zimmerman murder trial should be charged with "prosecutorial misconduct" for suggesting the defendant planned the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

"That is something no prosecutor should be allowed to get away with … to make up a story from whole cloth," Dershowitz told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"These prosecutors should be disbarred. They have acted absolutely irresponsibly in an utterly un-American fashion."

Zimmerman, a 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, is charged with gunning down Martin, 17, as the two fought following a confrontation in the gated Sanford, Fla., community where Zimmerman lives — an act the defendant said was in self-defense.

In the prosecution's final argument on Friday, lawyer John Guy said Zimmerman deliberately followed Martin and "shot him because he wanted to."

Dershowitz called Guy's statement "such speculation. How does he get into the mind of Zimmerman? He hasn't cross-examined him, he hasn't met him.

"To ask the jury to believe that is to ask the jury to convict based on complete and utter speculation and that's not the way the law operates."

A day earlier, prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda said Zimmerman — whom he labeled a "wannabe cop" — "followed" and "tracked" Martin after profiling him as a criminal.

Dershowitz said not only should Zimmerman have not been charged with second-degree murder, but prosecutors should not have pushed to have manslaughter and child abuse added to the list of possible jury verdicts.

"[It's] utterly irresponsible. … The idea that the prosecution can try the case on a murder theory and then, at the last minute, substitute manslaughter, even though it seems to be permitted generally under Florida law — it's a big mistake to allow it in a case like this,” he said.

"And then the very idea of even suggesting child abuse in a case like this is so irresponsible."

Dershowitz praised the closing argument of defense lawyer Mark O'Mara.

"He did the right thing by being methodical and factual because this is a case where the prosecution's case is all emotion and the defense case is all factual," the famed civil-rights lawyer said.

"Emotionally, obviously everybody can identify with a young, unarmed 17-year-old who ends up dead, and emotionally, as President [Barack] Obama said, he's all of our children."

Dershowitz — whose clients have included Claus von Bulow, Mike Tyson, Patricia Hearst, and former televangelist Jim Bakker — said the case has "reasonable doubt" written all over it.

"Nobody knows who started the initial physical encounter, who threw the first blow — and if you don't know that you have to have a reasonable doubt," he said.

"Nobody knows for sure who screamed, 'Help me, help me.' You have to have a reasonable doubt about that. Nobody knows for sure who was on top and who was on bottom, though the overwhelming forensic evidence suggests that Zimmerman was on the bottom having his head banged by a younger, stronger man. You have to have reasonable doubt there."

Comment: I don't know about them being disbarred, but they should certainly be sanctioned by the Florida State Bar for their conduct of the case, being so desperate for a conviction led them to highly questionable conduct. Speaking of highly questionable conduct, the judge in the case falls into that category as well for allowing the prosecution's conduct and also for her biased rulings in the case. On closing argument the lawyers are not allowed to argue "outside the evidence," and there was no evidence of Zimmerman's state of mind on the evening in question - so to allow an argument that he "planned" to kill Trayvon Martin all along should not have been allowed..

Add Photos & Videos

Top Opinion

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest

  • Korsey Katt 2013/07/15 03:24:58
    Korsey Katt
    Angela B Corey
    Member in Good Standing Eligible to practice in Florida

    ID Number: - 300942
    Address: Office of the State Attorney 4th Judicial Cir
    220 E Bay St
    Jacksonville, Florida 322023429
    United States
    Phone: 904.630.7075
    Fax: 904.630.1848
    E-Mail: sao4th@coj.net

    County: Duval
    Circuit: 4
    Admitted: 09/17/1980

    Board Certification:
    Year Area
    1991 Criminal Trial

    10-Year Discipline History None

    Law School: University of Florida, Fredric G. Levin College of Law
    Graduation Year: 1979
    Degree: Doctor of Jurisprudence/Juris Doctor

    Firm: State Attorney's Office Fourth Judicial
    Website: www.coj.net/Depart...
    Firm Size: Over 100
  • Ken Korsey ... 2013/07/15 04:43:27
    Do you have an opinion on Alan Dershowitz's opinion that there was prosecutorial misconduct in brining second degree murder charges against Zimmerman?
  • Korsey ... Ken 2013/07/21 03:52:22
    Korsey Katt
    Sorry, Ken. Just saw your question. Well, withholding evidence in crim case is serious. I know from reading hundreds of CA Bar proceedings against attys the "Past conduct," "attorney's cooperation" with Bar officials and "Remorse" of atty carries significant weight. If this is atty's first charge, maybe short suspension and public reproval.
  • Ken Korsey ... 2013/07/21 04:47:50 (edited)
    I graduated University of San Diego School of Law in 1978, J.D., and passed the California Bar in 1979. I retired just six years ago - I had a career in Naval aviation before I attended law school. I used to read those state bar discipline reports every month too.
  • Allbiz - PWCM - JLA 2013/07/14 18:07:42
    Allbiz - PWCM - JLA
    "What difference does it make at this point?" The jury has made its decision and that's how the laws in our land work.

    Whether Trayvon Martin intended to kill Zimmerman or not is immaterial. What is material is what Zimmerman thought in his own mind.

    Its like the robber who holds up a store without a weapon but keeps his hand in his pocket to appear he does have one. If in the clerks mind he/she is in fear of their life, that robber is just as guilty as if he had a weapon.

    Therefore, if Zimmerman felt his life or bodily safety was in jeopardy, he was justified in what he did.

    I'm sick and tired of every time a black person is killed by a non-black, the MSM and protestors always try to turn the perp into the victim.

    And it's judges and lawyers like these employed in FL who just help to worsen the situation.
  • Bill 2013/07/14 15:49:29
  • Ken Bill 2013/07/14 16:12:19
    It turns out that Dershowitz was right.
  • Bill Ken 2013/07/14 18:00:19
  • Ken Bill 2013/07/14 19:21:56
    I don't know but it sounds like him. Rachel Janeale could be said to have been "testalying" when she claimed for the first time on the stand that she heard Trayvon saying 'get off, 'get off'. I would be interested in knowing if the prosecutors put her up to that because it would be subordination of perjury.
  • Beccy 2013/07/14 00:21:24
    Zimmerman should never have been placed on trail. That the state hid the fact that Martin was a kid with problems just blows me away. This is a joke and the world watchs.
  • Ken Beccy 2013/07/14 02:03:26
    Verdict just came down, 10:00 pm EST

    not guilty
  • Beccy Ken 2013/07/14 22:23:33
    I woke up to it this morning. I see the riots coming soon.
  • Ken Beccy 2013/07/15 04:38:22
    The black "leaders" are doing little to stop them, expressing no confidence in our system of justice -- they are all totally ignoring the evidence and calling Trayvon a "child", as though he wasn't big enough, and mean enough, to beat the crap out of Zimmerman.
  • Ken Beccy 2013/07/14 19:27:30
    That's true, and the evidence from Trayvon's cell phone texts, that he was fighting in some sort of UFC style fight club and that he was trying to get a gun was highly relevant and the judge excluded it on the theory that he was the victim. Actually though, since self defense was an issue, he was the aggressor, not the victim, during the fight that led to his death.
  • Beccy Ken 2013/07/14 22:25:34
    The sad part is the black community doesn't see that their kids need to clean up their acts. They scream to stop the killings but will not turn the killers in.
  • Ken Beccy 2013/07/15 04:41:26
    The other thing is, if it is black on black crime, most of them don't give a damn. If Zimmerman had been a black neighborhood watch captain with the exact same facts you wouldn't have heard a peep. Also, if Trayvon had been a white youth who did what he did and got himself killed you wouldn't hear a thing. I believe that if the press hadn't pushed the story when it first came out calling Zimmerman a white man, and NBC hadn't doctored the phone call, and if ABC hadn't erased Zimmerman's bloody head, we might not be in the position we are now in
  • Plantgypc 2013/07/13 21:56:42
    Gee I feel the same way and I'm not a lawyer.
  • Theresa 2013/07/13 21:36:14
    It was prosecutorial misconduct for even bringing charges! This whole thing Stinks!
  • JT For Political Reform 2013/07/13 20:53:52
    JT For Political Reform
    The only reason the prosecution and the judge have gotten away with this crap so far is because they are afraid. Horrible way to practice law, they should all be disbarred and drummed out of town.
  • Bill 2013/07/13 19:27:11
    A.D. is right and I usually don't agree with him.
  • Jackie G - Poker Playing Pa... 2013/07/13 19:18:49
    Jackie G - Poker Playing Patriot
    I agree with Dershowitz
  • none 2013/07/13 19:12:28
  • Bill none 2013/07/13 19:27:52
    Throw in Holder and the DOJ
  • none Bill 2013/07/13 19:40:39
  • Ken none 2013/07/13 19:40:19
    I agree with that!
  • 56lady☆POTL JLA BTO-t- BCRA... 2013/07/13 19:10:01
    56lady☆POTL JLA BTO-t- BCRA-F's
    I totally agree with Mr. Dershowitz but nothing will happen!!
    This trial should NEVER have taken place due to lack of evidence !!
  • Ken 56lady☆... 2013/07/13 19:11:55
    I agree with that, and it wouldn't have taken place but for the interference by the federal government in a local matter that they had no business concerning themselves with. It is what happens when you allow the federal government to escape the intended bounds of the Constitution.
  • 56lady☆... Ken 2013/07/13 19:17:20
    56lady☆POTL JLA BTO-t- BCRA-F's
    Absolutely Ken ... to think the Plack Banthers have bused in thousands for the verdict of this trial. Either way Zimmerman will never have a life.
  • Ken 56lady☆... 2013/07/13 19:41:25
    He will definitely have to move away from the area and assume another identity, assuming he's acquitted.
  • Theresa Ken 2013/07/13 21:38:49
    He will never be safe inside a prison or outside one. He will be hounded by this baying mob until they can satisfy their bloodlust! But him being dead will not stop them. Oh no many more people will have to die!
  • Theresa Theresa 2013/07/13 21:40:19
    This is the beginning of the Red blood gushing in the streets ala French Revolution. There are mobile guillotines just waiting for victims!
  • jeane Theresa 2013/07/15 04:49:09
    Eventually people will forget.
  • jeane Ken 2013/07/15 04:49:25
    It will eventually die down.
  • Ken jeane 2013/07/15 16:45:00
    However, this morning I saw the race-baiter-in-chief, Al Sharpton, a guy who has made his living stirring up racial animosity on false claims, ranting "This thing is far from over!"

    The absolute irrationality of people like Sharpton both amazes and distresses me. I don't believe anyone is out there celebrating Trayvon Martin's death, but no less a legal scholar than the very liberal Alan Dershowitz has looked at the facts and says the charges should never have been brought.

    Trayvon Martin was straddling Zimmerman beating on him, yet the dissenters constantly refer to the full-grown 17 year-old as a child. They totally ignore his own background (fighting in a "fight club", attempting to obtain a gun) and call Zimmerman a "wannabe cop." That may be true, and it is also true that some of Zimmerman's actions brought about the confrontation that night, but ultimately the cause of Trayvon's death was his own aggression in knocking Zimmerman to the ground and getting on top of him, then beating on him. If he had simply vented his anger by knocking Zimmerman to the ground and then walking on to his father's home it is likely he would be alive today. Certainly, if Zimmerman had shot and killed him in those circumstances he would have been guilty of second degree murder.
  • jeane Ken 2013/07/16 04:29:22
    I think that this is being whipped up in place of real issues - LIKE THE OBUNGLER SCANDALS. Very clever.
  • Ken jeane 2013/07/16 04:52:54
    That's a thought that hadn't entered my mind, but a very distinct possibility given the media's alliance with the Obama administration. Someone on here told me the weekly meetings between Stephanopoulos at ABC and the White House to discuss "talking points" are still going on. I haven't attempted to verify it, but I don't know why they would stop.
  • jeane 56lady☆... 2013/07/15 04:49:39
    Eventually he will have a fairly normal life.
  • Ken jeane 2013/07/15 16:47:38
    I'm not so sure Jeane, with NFL players tweeting "He (Zimmerman) won't last a year before the hood catches up with him.." He might be able to move to some remote town in Montana or Wyoming and change his identity, but he has a very recognizable face - he certainly wouldn't survive in any sizeable city, probably not even in Portland.
  • jeane Ken 2013/07/16 04:28:03
    It will eventually die down. The American public has a very short attention span. It needs to be whipped up into a fury by the MSM.
  • Ken jeane 2013/07/16 04:55:13
    The public does but special interest groups and guys like Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will do their damnedest to keep it going as long as possible. There have been some very threatening "tweets" from professional athletes, about what will happen to Zimmerman. One guy also tweeted that the jurors should all go home and kill themselves. Nice, huh?

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.

News & Politics

2016/02/10 06:51:07

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals