A Random Bit Of Media Criticism
The wanton ignorance and depravity of NPR's coverage of the George Zimmerman trial knows no bounds.
4:34 pm eastern time. The drunken blockhead National Public Radio has assigned to cover the trial announces that because of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, George Zimmerman does not need to prove that he did not murder Trayvon Martin. This journalistic excrescence cannot go unaddressed.
First, George Zimmerman is not invoking Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. He is invoking the ancient and time-honored doctrine of self-defense, that a man confronted by deadly force is entitled to use deadly force in return for the preservation of his life.
Second, and more importantly, the reason George Zimmerman does not need to prove that he did not murder Trayvon Martin is because ALL CIVILIZED JUSTICE SYSTEMS FROM AT LEAST THE TIME OF ROME have placed the burden of proof on the prosecution. In the archaic and outdated "English common law" from which our justice system derives, this was the first principle.
What this wine-soaked oaf could have said, and he'd still have been wrong though not nearly by as much, is that self-defense is an affirmative defense, with the burden on the defendant. In actuality, all a defendant needs to do in Florida is to introduce competent evidence that he was confronted by force sufficient to make a reasonable man fear for his safety. Then the burden shifts to the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense.
It is no wonder that the average American is so confused by the laws that govern him. We lawyers bear much of the blame, and the courts and the legislatures bear more, but the average American is so ill-served by the press, even the serious press like NPR, that he might as well turn to television entertainment programs for understanding.
NPR could have dug up a retired Soviet judge from the Brezhnev era to cover this trial, and given him an undergraduate Russian major as a translator, and their listeners would be better informed than they are today.
Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White
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