July 12, 2013, - 8:59 am

Obama Administration Considering Fed Prosecution if Zimmerman Acquitted – Double Jeopardy

By Debbie Schlussel

Even if George Zimmerman is acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin, he’s not off the hook. The Obama Administration might prosecute him in federal court.


Today, the George Zimmerman case will probably go to a Florida jury. But, even if he is acquitted, George Zimmerman may face federal charges. Because in America–while we think you can’t be charged for the same crime twice–there really is double jeopardy, in the form of federal charges. And if you think Barack Obama–who said if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin–hasn’t instructed his Justice Department to consider it, think again.

The other day, a reader asked me about this and whether I thought that Eric Holder would go after Zimmerman on federal charges. It’s certainly possible. They could go after him for the nebulous, baloney “crime” of “violating Trayvon Martin’s civil rights.” There is a lot of unfortunate precedent for this.

As I’ve noted on this site, that’s what happened, after April 29, 1992, when four police officers were acquitted by a Simi Valley, California jury in the beating of repeat convicted felon Rodney King, who resisted arrest. Then-President George H.W. Bush, upset over the race riots in South Central Los Angeles, spurred by the verdict, decided to give into the rioters, just like a Stockholm Syndrome afflicted hostage gives into and sympathizes with his captors. And the police officers, already acquitted by a jury of their peers, faced federal charges. Two of the four police officers, Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell, were convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison.

And it’s not the first time this kind of thing happened. There’s also the Vincent Chin case.

On June 23, 1982, two drunk men, one of them a supervisor at an auto plant (and the other his stepson), spotted Chin at a Detroit strip club, Fancy Pants. They mistook him for Japanese (as his surname indicates, he was Chinese), and held him responsible for American autoworkers losing their jobs, as the flood of cheap Japanese cars that came into America in the early ’80s led to a big down period in the American auto industry. And they beat Chin to death, after he left the strip club, and they paid someone to find him. The two men, Ronald Ebens and stepson Michael Nitz, were charged with second degree murder but convicted of manslaughter, pursuant to a plea deal. They were sentenced to three years of probation and served no jail time.

But after outrage by the Asian American community, the Reagan Administration pursued federal charges against the two men through the Justice Department. Both were charged with violating Chin’s civil rights. Nitz was acquitted, but Ebens was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison. That conviction and sentence were overturned after the Court of Appeals found that Reagan Justice Department officials improperly coached a witness. When Ebens was retried in Ohio, he was acquitted.

I’m not saying I believe Ebens and Nitz were innocent. While I do not know all the facts of the case, I remember that it sure sounded to me (from the liberal media which controlled all news in those days) like they were guilty and should have been convicted and sentenced to prison time. But they went through the legal system and the court process, and it’s wrong to try people twice for a crime for which they’ve already been tried, just because we don’t like the result. That’s the real double jeopardy in America.

Double jeopardy is a misunderstood concept in America. It only means you can’t be tried twice for the same crime in the SAME COURT. In fact, liberal Justice Department officials–and the American Presidents who direct them–often make sure that Americans are repeatedly charged for crimes of which they’ve already been acquitted, by charging them with new “crimes” for the same crime, such as “violating” the alleged victim’s civil rights.

Yes, there isn’t just one bite at the apple–or at George Zimmerman–for left-wing race-baiters who want his hide. If he’s acquitted by the jurors in this local trial, Barack Obama and Eric Holder can swoop in and make his life hell yet again for defending himself against Trayvon Martin.

And if you don’t think they are considering it, think again. They are.

Will they do it? I’m not sure they would risk the outrage of half the country on this.

But they’ve done far worse.

Note, by the way, that no President ever sent his Justice Department to go after O.J. Simpson or Casey Anthony. They just don’t see any race-baiting value there.

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104 Responses

In general, the jury system offers the best chance for justice. And I would agree that in most cases, a person should not by tried twice for the same crime. However, no system is perfect because people are not perfect, in spite of all the safeguards that are built into the system that are supposed to work.

Consequently, there are sometimes circumstances that warrant intervention in the jury system. Such intervention should be the exception, however, and should only be justified when the system itself failed to function fairly.

The original jury verdict in the Rodney King case clearly was NOT one of those exceptions, and the Federal intervention was a response to what? Destruction of cities and looting of Asian merchants by rioters? And that has what to do with some purported perceived racial bias on the part of the Simi Valley jury in the King case?

With regard to the O.J. Simpson case in Los Angeles, I have always believed that the case was DELIBERATELY MOVED from Simpson’s real home base in Brentwood, CA to downtown Los Angeles to increase the likelihood that Simpson would walk free by increasing the likelihood of his getting a racially biased jury. The reason for that move was, in my opinion, obviously designed to minimum the chances of another race riot if Simpson were convicted. So the Simpson case was actually an example of a case in which Federal intervention SHOULD have taken place because of inverse racism, but the Federal Government goes along with the concept that racism is only a one-way street.

And there are also cases in history in which intervention is necessary because a jury has WRONGLY CONVICTED a person. One of the most powerful such cases is the Leo Frank trial in 1913 that took place in Atlanta, Georgia, and in which Frank was convicted of murdering a 13-year old employee, Mary Phagen, at the pencil factory where Frank was the manager and son-in-law of one of the owners.

I won’t go into all the details here, if you are not familiar with the case, but when the evidence was looked at objectively, guilt actually pointed to Jim Conley, the factory’s janitor, and the prosecution’s star witness AGAINST Frank. (Later, William Smith, Conley’s own attorney would acknowledge that he believed that his own client, Conley, was guilty, not Frank.)

Remember, this was a different time, but an instructive one for us today. In the Frank case, the all-white jury chose (or was pressured) to “believe” a black janitor over a Jewish manager, even though the people of Atlanta, Georgia at that time generally considered blacks to be inferior and untrustworthy. The sad “moral” of this story: hatred for Jews trumps racism.

Appeals followed the guilty verdict, but justice was again denied. The case went all the way to the SCOTUS. But Frank lost again in a 7-2 vote. Only Oliver Wendell Holmes and Charles Evans Hughes dissented. (And they certainly don’t make SCOTUS justices like those two anymore–but that should go without saying.)

One man, however, demonstrated exceptional bravery and character in this tragic case: departing Governor of Georgia, John M. Slaton. Slaton investigated and recognized the grave injustice and failure of the legal system, and intervened, commuting Frank’s sentence–one day before Frank was scheduled to be hanged.

But the tragedy did not end there. A lynch mob would take the law entire their own hands anyway, and they broke into the facility where Frank was being held, kidnapped him, and then hung him from a tree. The lynch mob included “law” officers, politicians, and even “judges.” This was America.

The case has been dramatized several times, and I’ve seen three of them–each very well done, as far as they go. One was a TV show as part of the “Profiles in Courage” series based on the JFK book by that name, with Walter Matthau as Slaton; another as a telemovie with Jack Lemmon as Slaton (who, interestingly, was a close friend of Matthau’s, and they are buried next to each other at Westwood Cemetery in LA); and the other was a musical version entitled “Parade.” There are also many books on the case, and I’ve read several of those too.

Bottom Line: The jury system is the best system we’ve got, but there are cases where intervention is needed because the system has failed.

Ralph Adamo on July 13, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Deb, have you seen what is being written today from the center to the far left?

CNN can’t get the facts staight or is it intentional?

“A 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman that officers were on the way and not to follow the allegedly suspicious person.
Nonetheless, Zimmerman got out of his car, later telling police he just wanted to get a definitive address to relay to authorities.”

He was already out of the car when asked not to follow….sorry but I could not read any further since the story starts with a wrong accounting of fact.

Here is a liberal rags editorial comment Politicususa…

“Trayvon Martin was tried, convicted, and executed by George Zimmerman who thought Trayvon was in the “commission of a forcible felony” of walking while Black in a white neighborhood, and no reasonable human being can argue otherwise.”


Visteo on July 13, 2013 at 9:31 pm

George Zimmerman was acquitted tonight on Florida manslaughter charges.

I thought he would be convicted. The jury hearing the case agreed though that it was an open and shut case of seld defense – a complete legal defense in a murder case.

While he’s a free man tonight, Zimmerman could still face federal charges. A man cannot be tried twice for the same crime in the same court but he can be tried for violating federal civil rights laws.

With liberal federal prosecutors and the race-baiting surrounding this case, that remains a real possibility. Like Debbie wrote, this drama is far from over, despite what happened tonight.

NormanF on July 13, 2013 at 11:42 pm

REALLY…the Obama administration isn’t going to waste their time on re-prosecuting him. Who comes up with these stupid ass stories?

Tim Gray on July 13, 2013 at 11:55 pm

I won’t post this on twitter because too many things have gone wrong… and Zimmerman doesn’t deserve to have more to worry about than staying alive at this time.

herself311 on July 14, 2013 at 7:24 am

Some stranger is following me and I cant react out of fear of my personal safety? #fearofablackplanet

Hofstra U on July 14, 2013 at 9:13 am

    A reasonable person would not sucker punch someone for the question “What are you doing around here?”. That would constitute assault.

    Paw Paw on July 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

      @PawPaw, you dont know whst transpired because the victim is dead and the assailent didnt testify isn his own behalf. Secondly,wudnt it have been more reasonable for the question to Trayvon to have been”Do you live here?” and then proceed to introduce yourself. Trayvon from all accounts wasnt unapproachable. You’re opinion is offhanded and speculative.

      LydiaJ on July 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        Your so ignorant but thats ok. Live in your fantasy world and come up with an original post instead of trolling someone else’s.

        sam on July 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm

If these race baiting monsters actually pull off a second prosecution, I would fervently hope some of our best legal minds in America would step up and bust their chops once and for all.
If they want to engage in lawfare, they need to be wiped out financially and professionally once and for all. That includes ALL who, from their own bully pulpits in government, continue to lie and otherwise deceive the public in order to persecute someone found innocent even though he had a heavily stacked deck played against him.

Whiskeytangofoxtrot on July 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm

No sources. Huh. You are full of shit, Debbie.

Big Bill on July 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I wonder if the BLACK people of america can say GENE SPECIFIC VIRUS,if they get to far out of hand ,the US AIR FORCE has it in drums and all thats needed, is the order to load it on the planes and start spraying it,it will kill every black person on the planet,in 30 days,ALL they need is for some one to give the order………………..

Arizona on July 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Why is this even a racial issue did he get killed because he was black? Because I missed that part. Looks like zimmerman is the one that got punked who cares how he approached the situation. The security guard was doing his job. A few months before this happened a runner got punked by some 18yo white kid and the runner in Florida mind you, excessively shot the kid to death over being punched. No jury and trial there. You people need to grow up stop feeding into this media poison that we are being fed. Its no worse than believing the reality tv BS that you all watch. Its not all real and a lot is distorted for the RATINGS and yes the media wants RATINGS too and will feed you any bent truth of the story to get hype an make a dollar off the despair of others lives. Sickening and sad. I want no part of it. Obama is the worst of them all. He uses the media and tv tactic to get to us too. Loser

sam on July 14, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Isn’t that something. Obama passes laws that allows him to kill any American anywhere, for any reason of his chosing, (and I believe he does) then comes after someone who had a trial and found not guilty because he was in mortal danger.
Oh, I forgot he’s our all powerful dictator.

James on July 14, 2013 at 11:09 pm

For clarity’s sake, I was responding to commenter “Big D” (not DS) and my point, although perhaps poorly made, was that it’s not acceptable for a person to do nothing if they are attacked – whether the attacker has a valid reason or not. Trayvon wasn’t an innocent child minding his own business – he attacked George Zimmerman because he didn’t like what Zimmerman was doing.

KerryB29 on July 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Most of the responders here seem to be racist pigs. I contend that he was cleared of murder, however, a child was killed and had his civil rights denied by the monster George Zimmerman. I hope the U.S.A.G. prevails. Rest in peace, Trayvon.

Ancient Pollyanna on July 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm

You have made some decent points right now there. I looked on the internet for that issue and found most individuals will go along with along with your website.

samuel on July 20, 2013 at 11:40 am

When netting a fish, make sure to make use of the correct netting techniques. Net the fish head first, if netting is absolutely necessary. This makes the fish use you. It will likely be attempting to escape, nevertheless it will only move deeper into the net, helping secure itself for removal through the water.

hollister scs on September 21, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Bartkus v. Illinois 359 U.S. 121 (1959) is a Supreme Court ruling that pronounced a dual sovereignty exemption to the double jeopardy clause. Under Bartkus, the Rodney King civil rights case, the Crown Heights riots case were legally prosecuted in federal court after acquittal in state court. There is no evidence to exclusion and beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Zimmerman violated the civil rights of Trayvon Bemjamin Martin. The evidence was probative of a heat of passion homicide. I respect the jury verdict to pronounce acquittal on the legal case that self-defense was not disproved to exclusion and beyond a reasonable doubt and that the indicted offense second degree murder and the enumerated lesser offense of manslaughter were not proven to exclusion and beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jinsky Jean-Pois on December 2, 2013 at 11:25 pm

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