Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy called Attorney General Eric Holder’s comments on Monday about the George Zimmerman verdict “bizarre.”
"It’s very bizarre because when I was a federal prosecutor, the Justice Department’s standard line — one that was standard because we believed it — was that we respected the jury process and respect jury verdicts even when we lost," McCarthy told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"So it’s remarkable to me that given we had a trial that was on television so all the world could see, it was clear that the state got every opportunity to put its case in."
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Holder, speaking at the national convention for the African-American sorority Delta Sigma Theta on Monday, promised the Justice Department will act "consistent with the facts and the law" as it mulls whether to pursue civil-rights charges against Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17.
"We are determined to meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion - and also with truth," he said, adding Trayvon Martin's death was "tragic" and "unnecessary."
McCarthy, who believes murder charges should never have been brought against Martin, said a federal charge against Zimmerman would be "even more frivolous" than Florida's murder charge was.
"In the state, they had no evidence of intentional murder or depraved mind . . . It was clear even on the manslaughter that he had a justifiable self-defense defense to put in . . .," he said.
"In a federal case, you not only have all those same problems, you would also have to show racial bias, which they obviously were not able to show in the Florida case.
"In addition, that Zimmerman acted intending to impede Martin in the enjoyment of some cognizable federal civil right. I just don’t see where that comes in in this case at all."
McCarthy, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, called Florida State Attorney Angela Corey's labeling of Zimmerman as a "murderer" after he had been acquitted "disgraceful."
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"To have a prosecutor come out and say something like that after the jury has decided the case is just a reprehensible thing to do,’" said McCarthy, author of the bestselling book, "Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy."
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