By Scott Tibbs, July 17, 2013
President Barack Obama should be impeached if he violates the Constitution's prohibition against double jeopardy in the George Zimmerman case. There has already been a criminal trial, and Zimmerman was found "not guilty" by a jury. A foundational principle of our constitutional republic is that the government does not get a "do-over" if it does not get what it wants.
Some would argue that the Justice Department has the legal authority to charge Zimmerman, as it is a different jurisdiction. However, that does not match the text of the Fifth Amendment, which clearly states "nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." There is no exception for serial prosecutions by multiple layers of government. The text is clear: Charging him again is illegal.
While I strongly agree with the jury's verdict in this case, I understand that many people are unhappy with the result of this trial. Nevertheless, a jury determined that the prosecution did not meet the legal standard of establishing Zimmerman's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It would be an abuse of power to go after him again.
It is important to understand why we have the prohibition against double jeopardy. I am sure the men who wrote the Constitution understood that there would be times that a guilty man would walk free after committing a crime. But they understood that those in government are as prone to corruption as anyone else, and feared the potential abuse of power that would be inevitable if serial prosecutions are permitted. We all have an interest in limiting government power, and the precedent established in the Zimmerman case can be used again and again by corrupt government officials.
To file an unconstitutional and illegal civil rights case, the Justice Department must demonstrate that Zimmerman attacked Martin while he was somewhere he was legally allowed to be, and that Zimmerman did so because of "racist" motivations. They would have to explain why a "racist" would mentor black youth or why he would angrily object to the beating of a black homeless man by the son of a police officer.
Yes, there are issues of race involved in this story, beyond the desperate effort of race hustlers to make themselves relevant. The issue of race involves the questions of whether Barack Obama, Eric Holder, the prosecutors in this case and a number of other Leftists are racists who do not believe Hispanics like Zimmerman have the right to defend themselves when they are violently attacked and beaten. Perhaps the next Republican President should order a Justice Department investigation of Obama and his allies.