Zimmerman’s Bail : Can We Call It Racist?

George Zimmerman, accused of second degree murder by the state of Florida, has been released on $150,000 bail.  Predictably, some people — the usual suspects like the Reverend Al Sharpton — are outraged.  Sharpton’s National Action Network stated:

National Action Network’s concern is that there is a fair trial and it is imperative that a review of the Stand Your Ground Law be conducted because after today’s hearing it is clearly the strategy of the defense. As long as this law stands on the books in Florida and other states we consider this a danger and we are committed to fighting that law.”

This shows part of the clear political agenda — attacking the Stand Your Ground law and more widely, attacking the pro-free market group ALEC that ia connected to it. Obviously, there is nothing to be gained in the Zimmerman case by examining the law. Nor do we see Sharpton and his group going after Trever Dooley, the black man currently on trial who is using Stand Your Ground as his defense.

Sharpton is also mad about the $150,000 bail that was set for Zimmerman, calling it way too low. He isn’t the only one outraged by Zimmerman’s supposedly low $150,000 bail. As a Milwaukee Journal Zimmerman Article title Bail raises issues of fairness states:

When the judge set bail, some people took it like a punch in the gut.

“That’s incredible! I can’t believe they did that!” was a common posting on Facebook and Twitter from Martin supporters.

Others seemed to think $150,000 was way too low for a second-degree homicide charge.

“I guess that’s the price of killing a young black man!” read one comment.

Once again, perhaps it’s instructive to look at the case of Trevor Dooley; another central Florida case, a shooting after an altercation that used Stand Your Ground as a defense except in Dooley’s case the shooter is black and the victim is white. How did the Florida justice system work there? According to the Tampa Times:

TAMPA — Trevor Dooley stood before a judge Wednesday morning, wrists shackled, straight face, accused of killing a 41-year-old father in front of his 8-year-old daughter.

Dooley’s family was there, on the back bench of the courtroom. They watched the 69-year-old school bus driver in a jailhouse jumpsuit via video feed from the Falkenburg Road Jail.

“Oh, my God,” one of them said, tearing up. It’s clear they never expected this.

Allegations: He came out of his house packing a gun to shoo off a skateboarder and things went terribly wrong.

Charges: manslaughter, improper exhibition of a firearm and openly carrying a firearm.

Bail: $50,000, which he posted and was released late Wednesday.

That’s right — Trevor Dooley was given 1/3 the bail Zimmerman faced. The black suspect was given $50,000 bail (and I’ve seen no evidence of an apology, so that wasn’t a factor) and ‘white Hispanic’ Zimmerman was given $150,000 bail.

If Dooley had been given a higher bail, race hustlers like Sharpton would be crying racist.

Ah, but there’s a key difference — Zimmerman was charged with Second Degree Murder and Dooley was charged with Manslaughter.  This doesn’t clear up the inequity, it only adds to it, because it’s widely held even by legal writers on the left that Zimmerman was overcharged. It’s pointed out by many that the prosecution that brought forth no evidence at all of ‘depraved indifference’ that would be required for a Second Degree charge.

If Dooley had been overcharged the way Zimmerman was, race hustlers like Sharpton would be crying racist.

Of course, it’s hard to directly compare because the facts of each case are different. It’s increasingly clear in the Trayvon Martin, however, that facts aren’t the prime motivating factor for people like Sharpton to be involved.

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