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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 12, 2013/ 5 Menachem-Av, 5773

Waiting for a verdict in Florida

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | An inattentive lawyer can ruin his case with one badly prepared witness. The prosecutors of the case against George Zimmerman no doubt rue the day they put Rachel Jeantel on the witness stand, but their case was weak and ineffective, anyway. Soon we'll see what the jurors think. Theirs, after all, is the only opinion that counts.

The rest of us can only speculate, and judging a criminal case from a distance is nothing but speculation. Reading a jury is difficult. But some are more qualified to speculate than others.

Alan Dershowitz, the renowned criminal-law professor at Harvard, has reached his own verdict by reading the case from a distance of 1,400 miles. "I would say there's reasonable doubt," he said in an interview Wednesday after both the state and the defense rested their case. "I would say nobody knows who started the initial fight. Remember, it's monumentally irrelevant who's morally guilty here."

The Rev. Al Sharpton, the pot-boiling troublemaker from New York, stirred the pot early, telling a rally in March that "we're tired of going to jail for nothing and others going home for something. Zimmerman should have been arrested [the night of the incident]." But Rev. Al, who has incited memorable riots in the past, seems to have had an epiphany, perhaps in company of the television executives at MSNBC, where he has a talk show. Executives even at MSNBC wouldn't want joint ownership of a race riot.



Reflecting on the trial as opposing lawyers prepared their closing arguments, Rev. Al grew sober, responsible and even eloquent. "No matter [the jury's] decision," he says, "there'll be no winners in this case. If the defense wins, Mr. Zimmerman will have to bear the burden of the accusations and will be known for this throughout life. If the prosecution wins, the family of Trayvon Martin will not get their child back, their brother back."

The cops and other authorities in Florida are preparing for "protests," presumably if there's an acquittal; the streets should be quiet in the wake of a conviction. What the trial gave us is a needed tutorial about how trials, judges, lawyers and juries actually work. The Constitution guarantees everyone his civil rights, black, white and all the shades between, even if the justice system does not always deliver. The state of Florida must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that George Zimmerman is guilty of a crime, if not murder, something lesser but nevertheless real. If the state fails to do that, the defendant walks. We saw that principle at work in the trial of O.J. Simpson.

"Reasonable doubt" comes down to percentages, and a verdict of "not guilty" does not mean "innocent," though many think the two terms are interchangeable. Newspaper editors once understood this, and never allowed a slovenly account that a suspect was found "innocent."

"If you think it's 60 percent likely, or 70 percent or even 80 percent likely that Zimmerman is guilty and doesn't deserve self-defense," says Alan Dershowitz, "you [still] have to acquit. It has to be higher than that. It has to be certainly like 90 percent likely before you can say there's no reasonable doubt. So, if I were on the jury, I would find reasonable doubt."

Such a verdict would not confer choirboy status. "I certainly would not declare him innocent. There's the big difference between declaring him innocent and declaring him not guilty." Mr. Dershowitz observes that the case is confusing. "Self-defense is a very important principle in American law and people forget, too, that the government has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he didn't act in self-defense. They have to prove a negative beyond a reasonable doubt, which is not easy to do."

Loose talk about what could happen, what might happen, what shouldn't happen in event of an unpopular verdict borders on irresponsible. One blogger on the Internet, that indispensable fountain of all things wrong, asks whether it would "be appropriate to consider potential riots when deciding on whether or not to prosecute Zimmerman. Or should justice be blind and follow the rule of law?" The blog went "viral," and days of argument flooded computer screens across the land. That the question was even asked measures the depth of ignorance of how justice works.

Trayvon Martin's family seems braced for a disappointing verdict, and his parents, though nursing broken hearts, have said everything to discourage a violent response. And now so has Rev. Al. Not guilty does not mean innocent, as most newspaper and television accounts imply. It's a hard truth, but a necessary one.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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