In a story titled "George Zimmerman Case: Should Charges Be Dropped?" Matt Gutman of ABC News contemplates the implosion of the case against George Zimmerman, but he has us puzzling over this:
"There is no second-degree murder evidence in this case," Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said. "It's a very close case."
I see those quotation marks, but when did Dershowitz say "It's a very close case"? Last Friday he wrote this in the Daily News:
A medical report by George Zimmerman’s doctor has disclosed that Zimmerman had a fractured nose, two black eyes, two lacerations on the back of his head and a back injury on the day after the fatal shooting. If this evidence turns out to be valid, the prosecutor will have no choice but to drop the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman — if she wants to act ethically, lawfully and professionally.
There is, of course, no assurance that the special prosecutor handling the case, State Attorney Angela Corey, will do the right thing. Because until now, her actions have been anything but ethical, lawful and professional.
Believe it or not, I did not find the words "close case" in that article.
Back in April, before the recent evidence dump, Dershowitz was scathing about the arrest affidavit:
“Most affidavits of probable cause are very thin. This is so thin that it won’t make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge,” Dershowitz said. “There’s simply nothing in there that would justify second degree murder.”
Dershowitz said that the elements that would constitute that crime are non-existent in the affidavit. “It’s not only thin, it’s irresponsible,” said Dershowitz.
...“This affidavit does not even make it to probable cause,” Dershowitz concluded. “everything in the affidavit is completely consistent with a defense of self-defense. Everything.”
If there was a segue to "close case" I missed it.
Now, it may be that somewhere Prof. Dershowitz has opined that a manslaughter charge could lead to a close case. And I can believe that the motion to dismiss based on Florida's self-defense immunity might be close. But that is hardly the context being presented by ABC News.
I think ABC News ought to present a bit of context for that "close case" quote, which seems way out of line with everything else Dershowitz has said.
Free the quote! No context, no peace!