John Staab, Stuart
Letter: Judge in Zimmerman case should recuse himself
I was more than surprised to see where the judge presiding over George Zimmerman’s case questioned the source of $200,000 collected online and donated to Zimmerman’s defense fund. Given Zimmerman’s modest stature in life, there were no donations from money moguls with deep pockets. These donations were from the rank and file of average American citizens with no expectation of reward from Zimmerman should he prevail.
The judge knew this and it is obvious that he sided with Trayvon Martin’s parents in wanting to know where the money came from, thereby casting a shadow of its legitimacy. Apparently the judge, a learned man, knows full well the political implications of anything that has to do with the Zimmerman case. There is a tinder box all over the country ready to prematurely explode even before justice wends its way to a conclusion if anything or anybody dares to even insinuate that Zimmerman may not be guilty.
The people donating to Zimmerman’s defense fund apparently believe a man is innocent until proven guilty. Zimmerman is a complete stranger to them so they have not expressed their opinions because of love or friendship. They donated because they believe in fair play, justice and the Constitution, and they knew Zimmerman couldn’t finance his defense by himself.
The judge’s inquiry is not judicial; it is societal in that he believes that siding with the prosecution and Trayvon’s parents, he will ameliorate the predilection to violence in this case. Whether he is right or wrong is not the issue. Officially going into where the defense funds came from is none of the court’s business.
The donations are also innocent until proven otherwise. The judge must recuse himself.