Friday, April 06, 2012

This is why we have a justice system, remember?

I hate it when good guys use reprehensible tactics.

In the midst of the Trayvon Martin travesty, writer/director/gadfly Spike Lee decided to take matters into his own hands.  He Tweeted what he claimed was the phone number of George Zimmerman, Martin's killer. Unfortunately, the phone number was that of an elderly couple, who have since settled with Lee.

What needs to be said is Lee should never have made that Tweet in the first place, even if he had gotten Zimmerman's number correct.

This is a call to vigilante justice. We on the left decry anti-abortionists posting the private information of abortion providers, with good reason. Even accused murderers -- and more importantly their families, who have done nothing wrong -- deserve to live their lives in safety.

Should Zimmerman have been arrested? Yes.  Is the Florida "stand your ground" law which protects him an abomination? Undoubtedly.

But to do what Lee did is to argue that it is okay to harass this man at his home. To decide his guilt or innocence by popular outrage is antithetical to the belief that people are innocent until proven guilty. And as much as the "stand your ground laws" undermine the rule of law, the taking of justice into private hands does so more.

The ends -- calling George Zimmerman to account -- do not justify the means.

You want justice? There is still a grand jury that will consider whether charges should be brought.

More importantly, fight to change this insane law -- not just in Florida but in the many other states that have them -- before another young man who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time gets murdered.

No comments:

Post a Comment