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Zimmerman in the case of bail system gone wild

Much is said about Zimmerman's credibilty in light of the recent media hype concerning his financial situation that was said to be misrepresented during his bond hearing.

Is Zimmerman's credibility in jeopardy? Maybe so. But, it is not irreparable.

This is so because the bail hearing fallout has nothing to do with his murder case. More so when he was being unfairly put under the circumstances.

His recent predicament is understandable given the duress he was subjected to. Zimmerman was facing an imminent excessive bail that would put him in jail for a long time while the case slowly makes its way through the court system.

If his family tried to secure his release it would financially break the back of his family and loved ones if the judge would grant the prosecutor's request for a million dollar bond. Remember, at the bond hearing, the amount that was raised in his website wasn't even quite enough if the bond was set at the million mark.

So, it is understanable why Zimmerman would let his financial situation to be mistated in court in an attempt to look out for his family's welfare while he is on trial.

But, the big question for me is: Should our bail system break a man's back or cause severe financial hardship to the family and loved ones of a man on trial when the potential for flight based on past behavior and performance is demonstrably very low or nil?

Whatever happened to "innocence until proven guilty"?

I know he is charged with a capital crime and there should be a bail to assure he showed up in court. But, shouldn't there be a reasonable bail based on his potentiality to abscond or skip bail and not on some mean spirited way of trying to impose a punitive financial hardship on people who cannot afford the bail.

Here is the humanity of it all:

When asked to explain further the Zimmermans' reasoning, O'Mara replied, "I truly want that explanation to go directly to the person who deserves it, Judge Lester. But not to sound coy, my understanding is that the family had been put upon with things - thrown out of their house, their jobs, schools, other family members in hiding. For whatever reason they felt the need to protect some of that money for a very uncertain future.

Zimmerman atty: Family "made a mistake" with defense funds - CBS News

Being a human being, I can understand and empathize with his situation.

Who among us would not do what Zimmerman does in such a trying time? He was put in a dilemma of having to think of his loved ones - his wife, his parents and other family members who suffered and are in hiding because of his action that put them financially through the mud.

Who among us would not try to engage in some kind of material falsehood by omission to protect some kind of funds for your loved ones who are facing financial hardship and uncertainty of what's going to happen to them in the days to come because of your action?

Who among us would just let your loved ones perish in financial crisis before your eyes when there is this little lifeline of hope at your disposal but you would choose to let it go because of wanting to adhere to some principles of honesty in which there is none in a system that has gone astray.

I know I would do the same as what Zimmerman did during the bail hearing, especially when the bail system has absolutely nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of a crime he was being charged.

Frankly, I find the bail system in this nation going awry from its intended purpose. The whole purpose of a bail is to assure the defendant show up in court for trial or for sentencing after a conviction.

The judge should not impose bail based upon how much money he can get from a defendant’s financial resources and bred him dry unless there is probable cause to believe the defendant’s ability to pay comes from ill gotten gains as a result of criminal activities.

In Zimmerman’s case, the judge should just consider his flight risk based on his behavior after the purported crime. When he shot Trayvon, he didn’t try to run away but stayed there till the police arrived. He didn’t resist arrest but cooperated with their investigation until he was released from police custody. Then, after he was being charged by the special prosecutor, he immediately returned from his hiding and turned himself into the police custody.

These are the factors the judge should only take into consideration. Also to be taken into considerations are his family and community ties and the fact that he wasn’t a career hardcore criminals with a long rap sheet with proven disregard for the law.

These are the things the judge should take into consideration for the bond and not his financial records.

On one extreme, you have a police chief who simply wants to let him walk scotch-free without a trial. On the other extreme you have a bail system that unusually punishes a person before the trial.

Yes, we want Zimmerman to face the justice and tell us what happened that night to Trayvon Martin. We want the jury to hear the case and decide the verdict based upon all the evidence and sworn testimony.

We definitely don’t want a one man show acting as the sole judge and jury to dismiss the case without a charge. But, neither should we run to the other extreme of witch-hunting nor should we try to break the will of a man and his whole family just because we want him to answer to the charge of a crime.

We don't want to sanction a vilgilante killing of our children by an overzealous armed man who profiled, followed and chased his victims and then claimed self-defense.

We also don't want our children to be falsely accused into facing a trial only to be broken into submission by a bail system that punishes the presumption of innocence rather than the finding of guilt.

Our forefathers had once held "that excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” So, in the spirit of justice in which we are seeking for Trayvon, we must also treat Zimmerman justly and not hound him like a dog without cause.

Personally, I find the $150,000 bail bordering on excessiveness. He should get another bail hearing for him to come clean with the judge the acknowledgment he made to his lawyer. If the judge is fair, he should understand the predicament he was in that had nothing to do with his guilt or innocence in the murder case. If this is the case, the judge should show leniency and release this man pending the outcome of the trial.

As to Zimmerman’s credibility, I don’t think it should be allowed to be introduced into the trial as it was made under duress to protect his family and which has nothing to do with Trayvon’s killing.

Let this man go so that he can get his fair trial.
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