Alan Dershowitz started this meme a couple days ago in an MSNBC appearance (see video above).
Several others have weighed in and they agree with Dershowitz:
This affidavit is incredibly weak.
Andy McCarthy at National Review Online:
I’m inclined … to agree with commentators ranging from former Reagan Justice Department official Mark Levin to Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz that the affidavit is stunningly weak — “unethical,” as Prof. Dershowitz puts it. In fact, I go further (which, after nearly 20 years of writing and supervising the writing of complaint affidavits, I think I’m qualified to do). This affidavit is not law, it is agitprop: invoking, for example, the explosive term “profiled” but carefully avoiding any discussion of what it means and failing to note that (a) there is no evidence of racial profiling, and (b) absent an invidious racial component there is nothing wrong with profiling (indeed, we want police to do it so that innocent people don’t get hassled).
John Hinderaker at Power Line:
The Affidavit … suggests that, despite the extraordinary investigation that has been carried out, the prosecutor may not have much real evidence against Zimmerman.
Jack Dunphy at Ricochet:
If we are to judge the evidence against Zimmerman based on this affidavit, prosecutors have a loser on their hands… George Zimmerman has been launched into what will be a multi-year odyssey through the justice system. If this was done based on nothing more than the slender reed of a case as outlined in this affidavit, it is an insult not only to Zimmerman but to the justice system itself.
John Work at The American Thinker:
I just read the arrest affidavit in the Florida v. George Zimmerman case. I’m pretty certain that I would have been laughed out of any judge’s chambers in Colorado, had I brought in a piece of evidentiary matter so poorly written. The Zimmerman affidavit is so deficient in properly sourced factual information and full of unsubstantiated, unsourced conclusions, I am appalled that a State’s Attorney would even give it a second look. I don’t know what’s going on in the Florida Courts. But, where I worked as a cop, all summaries of statements from eye and ear witnesses, whether inculpatory or exculpatory, had to be both sourced and included in a properly assembled arrest affidavit. Every piece of information in the affidavit must be provable to a jury. This case is terribly lacking, both in supporting evidence and in veracity.
At National Review Online, David French was one of the few legal commentators to argue that the affidavit supports Zimmerman’s arrest:
While the affidavit is quite brief and lacks detail, it does contain three key factual assertions, that — if proven — will vindicate those who called for Zimmerman’s arrest… When an armed man shoots an unarmed man, unless there are compelling facts to the contrary, charges are expected and routine. As I’ve watched this case unfold and heard arguments pro and con, I think there’s probable cause for an arrest (and it’s really not close). Whether there’s proof sufficient for conviction will be determined when we see the state’s case. As of today, we’ve just peeked under the curtain.
The overwhelming majority of Twitter users who have commented on the affidavit believe the case against Zimmerman is shockingly weak:
The affidavit in the Zimmerman case fails to justify a second-degree-murder charge. http://t.co/mngo6Z0S
— ExposeTheMedia.com (@ExposeTheMedia) April 15, 2012
— Gaius Publius (@Gaius_Publius) April 14, 2012
— Broward County, FL (@BrowardLiving) April 15, 2012
— ★✙★GulfDogs ® (@GulfDogs) April 15, 2012
— Aquila7 (@Aquila7) April 15, 2012
Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman: Anatomy Of An Deficient Probable Cause Affidavit http://t.co/jjzZlPxL this case is NOT what's being reportd
— bmaz (@bmaz) April 14, 2012
Most media lawyers say Zimmerman case will not make it past the judge due to prosecutor's poorly written probable cause affidavit.
— PeteWadeinIndy (@PeteWadeinIndy) April 14, 2012
Just read FL Affidavit against George Zimmerman. Seems very weak in support of 2nd degree murder. Facts at trial will be interesting.
— Michael Giuseppe (@michaelgiuseppe) April 14, 2012
Could this affidavit regarding Trayvon Martin case, be so thin that the murderer, George Zimmerman, be let go w/ no charges filed? Could be!
— Damon Moore (@CoachDamonMoore) April 13, 2012
The affidavit is available online here. Read it yourself and let us know what you think.
Exit question: what will happen if Zimmerman is acquitted?