Eliot Spitzer, the candidate for New York City comptroller and former New York Attorney General, said Sunday that the not-guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman was a “failure of justice.”
“This is a failure of justice. I don’t think there’s any other way to view it,” Spitzer said on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos. “The judicial system is not perfect. And in this case it has failed. And before we get into a conversation of whether the prosecution was flawed, that they should have handled it in a different way, there is a simple reality here.
“An innocent, young man was walking down a street, was confronted by a stranger with a gun and that innocent, young man was shot. The criminal justice system should be able to deal with situations like that. It didn’t.”
Spitzer, though, was hesitant to say whether the Justice Department should step in and bring a civil-rights case against Zimmerman, as the NAACP and other organisations have already argued.
Zimmerman was found not guilty in the 2012 death of teenager Trayvon Martin. The jury determined that he was not guilty of both second-degree murder and manslaughter.
“Well, the Justice Department will step in, but it’s in a very dicey position because there has been a criminal case,” Spitzer said. “Double jeopardy is a fundamental principle in our American judicial system, as it should be. And so it’s going to be hard for them to come back at the defendant. And, boy, this is just the, understandably, a hugely emotional moment for many people who say, that could have been my kid, it could have been my son.
“Where are we when the simple principals of justice should be applied? There are notable examples where our judicial system has failed. It is not perfect. Look I will say this, it is still the best system in the world, bar none. The jury system is what we have to rely upon, but in this case it failed.”
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