Hate crime charge for George Zimmerman?
Marc Fernich on whether the DoJ will step in to the Trayvon Martin case.
- Duration 10:04
- Date Mar 27, 2012
Marc Fernich on whether the DoJ will step in to the Trayvon Martin case.
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He has now -- -- -- a criminal and a civil litigator great to have you on board with us.
And Erica I hear Obama still standing by here with his thoughts as well also let me ask you.
Given what we are hearing now.
There are those who are concerned about this is a rush to judgment.
We've got the front I think your post seeing this is that trademark -- week.
Saying that the -- he's been hijacked by race hustlers that the quote that the near post is playing up today and this whole thing is becoming so highly politicized.
And given that atmosphere the highly charged nature of it.
What are your thoughts as the Justice Department considers whether or not this.
The elements for breeding hate crime charge against the -- knowing that some information has been leaked at this point.
Talking about a scuffle that took place allegedly.
Well the leaking the information is less problematic than the nature of the law itself right I mean it's a very recent -- was only passed in 2000.
That was passed in reaction to the -- shows that this is the stand your ground -- know this whole.
Over the federal yeah -- -- -- -- -- -- -- floor well forget about that because we're talking that the Department of Justice now so who what was passed in 2009 around response to the Matthew Shepard killing.
It's a novel law.
It's a controversial law.
And most importantly it's a largely untested law because it's never been addressed by any federal appeals court.
And conventional wisdom holds that hard cases make bad loss.
Given that this is such -- charged case.
It probably isn't an ideal.
Vehicle for testing the limits of this very normal -- -- can elaborate on that if you want.
Kind going to go forward well in passing the statute.
Congress expressly recognize that state and local authorities are primarily.
Responsible for prosecuting and I'm quoting here he overwhelming majority of violent crimes and quote including -- -- so in the case where -- Stanford.
Police have already found no probable cause resentment over us.
And they've declined to press charges that the feds go forward with this case they open themselves -- accusations that there.
Usurping local law enforcement prerogatives and that proposed constitutional right here in the tenth and thirteenth -- So in other words the feds would be -- -- -- not because Florida and Stanford failed to investigate but because they just don't like the results of that investigation.
And that is arguably a very tenuous basis for -- old confederate soldiers.
But you know what if for example the police they're still taking you know obviously this information that was leaked suggested that we've heard some details that we didn't know before.
Maybe -- just -- -- you know build their case -- -- they're still -- company pieces -- doesn't mean as a -- not going to be era.
Well that's exactly right I mean the point of the matter is that.
Need for the protection of all of us.
They need time to calmly dispassionately.
And deliberately investigate the facts and we shouldn't be.
Buffalo into bringing charges for not bringing charges.
Because of pressure from partisan outsiders -- really don't know what happened.
That night and that's for the protection of all of us because that -- sure on the other foot.
Think people could theoretically.
Of the Caucasian victim just because the alleged -- -- was -- and we don't want pressure.
Wait for the other way we want police to be able to do their job based on the evidence that they develop and time to develop it.
Have people like Al Sharpton who -- no idea what the ball has no idea whatsoever sticking his nose in there.
For reasons that are reason for him.
What do you think -- -- the president stepped into this a whole firestorm.
A few days ago.
Staying -- -- -- could've been his sunny and hot it raised it to a level.
And that took it to to a point that really helped fuel even more passions.
Hope for people calling this a hate crime.
If the present -- United States is going to be talking about a case.
Yeah it's gonna get elevated -- but when Al Sharpton shows up it gets elevated and Al Sharpton shows up anywhere where he senses there may -- opportunity -- All that set -- No I would -- -- what's yours too patent at night.
I'm in no rush to judgment whatsoever I don't know all the facts not -- a snowball -- I'm not gonna get all the facts from the New York Post.
It doesn't smell very good to me it doesn't look straight at me but I -- don't know all the facts and I don't think that there should be.
The type of -- -- exerted on lawmakers to do anything until they know the facts and then tell us the facts.
From your standpoint though at this point the fact that this has become such a huge firestorm isn't possible for the police department there to be able to do a -- credible investigation.
Knowing that so much of this is being.
So Peter debated discussed outside the investigation as of raising.
More tensions and people are calling this an issue of race etc.
What images investigation as a compromise and I am -- itself or can they clearly stick to the the fact that they know it and still continue to put pieced together an investigation that's going to be.
She is not compromise.
Theoretically possible but some sort of prosecution.
Generally we're in this thing is probably inevitable it's probably afraid to complete in the state officials in my view that said all the right things and -- cautioned.
That it's going to be difficult.
Case for state authorities to make.
The expansive self defense rights in Florida.
So they're paying lip service to that principle.
And one would hope that they want.
Do the deliberate investigation that's necessary but practically speaking this is a superheated environment I read there in Washington.
Today while -- They're taking the congress yeah so there's -- about this America that they're looking at it from somewhere offensive line -- today that it helped ease their pain obviously we can't put ourselves in this.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- doing with the -- incredible emotional lost eight at the same -- prosecution hasn't -- to bring.
I hear you that child back and they -- have civil remedies in terms of -- wrongful death suit.
Which and in town justice was brought in the OJ Simpson case for example -- hands -- tied here and I will add that this federal law.
It's an ambiguous at a big law because it's not clear.
As to whether race has to be the sole cause of the attack.
The principal cause of the attack or just one of several contributing factors and -- Because of the what you called.
Accurately to charge him nature of this case this is not a good case to test.
That law do you think it's going to be a lot of pressure though -- Justice Department to do something because of the fact there's been elevated so I'm particularly the president's at the end I.
Have a lot more having done this for a for a long time.
-- and still not cynical enough.
To doubt the Justice Department's integrity.
To that extent I believe.
That they will sense the pressure from the administration and members of congress to bring charges here.
But I believe that -- will be.
Deliberate and thorough and conducting the investigation.
And from a practical standpoint I think they'll be sensitive to the difficulties both constitutional and evidence Cherie -- case into the slot and you know.
I'll be very reticent for charging in their.
-- you think that this Florida PD I mean even know me you know one could argue of course the dating to that can bring all of -- together that day boxes from the beginning and the way they handle it.
Look -- to judge that in my experience of doing this in twenty years.
Police aggressively tried to make the cases you're not.
In the business of trying to exonerate defendants and the standard for bringing the case is very -- probable cause to you can bet.
If they didn't.
Bring this case you're serious problems of proof in case and those problems likely.
Have nothing at all to do that -- again on the other side of this there -- a lot of folks who were upset with the fact that it looks like -- giving them blame the victim.
To go and you know the fact that he had Trace elements of.
Marijuana and look -- and those kind of things trying to.
You know tanker they don't plant some seeds of doubt in the minds of the public about this young man who is on -- and buying some -- you can't.
Sorry -- -- demonizing the suspects without his having been charged with anything so -- -- If so why not right in either case -- and -- people should back off.
Tone down the rhetoric.
Stop politicizing this for their own hands it's just a case it's a significant case it's a tragic loss for the family a tragic loss for the sun.
But it's a case here and it shouldn't be used by the president.
-- demagogues or anybody else for political means what Clinton with people's watts and Tim Henman has a life to go forward with also.
And crucified him before there's -- -- before there's an indictment.
It's not going to redress the loss at this and we have suffered particularly when they have similar civil remedies available excuse.
Play your very kind of you joining us -- just that this -- well listen presented and -- because.
We have to look at this and a very fair and balanced way as much as we can given the nature of what's going on but.
Even though we say all this you and I both know reality says this is gonna continue to be a highly -- politicized.
Issue that's going to continue to draw headlines and raise temperatures below your office it -- it is.
Because I think my take a break -- -- yeah -- yet.
Why did not -- charges or something that we don't know better.
But on the other hand whatever it is that we don't know if becomes highly politicized and if it is a hate crime if you know -- -- between there's absolutely no question about that.
All right thank you very much for joining hasn't really appreciate it very much.