Anyone who paid any attention to the George Zimmerman trial this summer knew that the Prosecutor in the case, Angela Corey, had bitten off more than she could chew. Almost unanimously, the legal pundits across various forms of media thought that Ms. Corey had overreached in her prosecution of Zimmerman. While many may have believed that he was guilty of some crime, the legal brains just couldn’t see how she could prove that he murdered Trayvon Martin. She had no motive, no witnesses, and the little evidence that she could dig up all seemed inconclusive. “The prosecutors made a tactical error by charging this as second-degree murder,” said Charles H. Rose, a professor at Stetson University College of Law. “Their theory was that George Zimmerman picked out this young black kid and set out to do him harm. But at the trial, it became clear it didn’t happen that way.”
But she pressed on, and then she lost.
During the trial and in its immediate aftermath we began to learn more about the prosecutor and her unpleasant reputation.
She had been fired by a previous boss, in part, for abusive behavior. Her old boss, Harry Shorstein, enlightens us: ““We have law school interns in the office… When they leave we critique them and when they return to law school, they are critiqued by the professor who oversees their end. One of the interns reported Corey was abusive, profane, unprofessional, etc. The school called us, I reprimanded Corey. Then, Corey called the school and told the Dean the professor should be disciplined for reporting her misconduct, the school called me, I told Corey that was unacceptable and she must apologize to the Dean and the professor. Corey refused my direct order. Then she was given another chance, she refused and was fired.”
During the trial itself, evidence emerged that the prosecution might be covering up some evidence; when the whistleblower (who had been within Corey’s office) was found out, he was fired. Fired for abiding by the law, in not hiding evidence? He has since sued the prosecutor’s office for wrongful termination, and his lawyer expounds on why he believes he’ll win the case. “The letter terminating Mr. Kruidbos makes explicit reference to his testimony of June 6th … Prior to his testimony, he was a well-regarded employee, recently received a raise, and was considered a ‘friend’ by the State Attorney. But for his testimony he would still be employed.”
Now, Angela Corey is under investigation herself thanks to the investigation into the wrongful termination suit.
It will be interesting to see if Ms. Corey can find a way out of this predicament she has made for herself. In deciding to try to become a political icon by over-prosecuting George Zimmerman, she has unintentionally made herself into a pariah. This is what happens when someone uses the law in an attempt to advance their own political machinations… or maybe I should say this is what should happen. Far too often political careers are made by overzealous or overly political prosecutors and judges who focus on their career when they should be concerned with justice.
Hopefully Angela Corey serves as a warning to future members of the court that justice must come first.
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