In yet another questionable turn of events, Judge Kenneth Lester ordered George Zimmerman, who will soon stand trial for murdering unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, released on $1 million bail, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
In a bond hearing that began last Friday, Zimmerman’s defense attorney Mark O’Mara argued that Zimmerman shouldn’t be kept in jail because he had a strong self-defense case. On Thursday morning, Judge Lester validated O’Mara’s defense by setting Zimmerman’s bond. Almost immediately, O’Mara reportedly responded that the Zimmermans had the $211,000 needed to pay the bond company for Zimmerman’s release.
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Watch Zimmerman at the bond hearing here:
This latest development in the Zimmerman case is an unexpected one to say the least. Just a month ago, this same judge revoked Zimmerman’s bond — effectively ordering him back to jail — after it became clear that his wife, Shellie, lied to the court about their lack of funds during George’s initial bond hearing.
At the time, Shellie claimed that they were practically destitute, even though they were reportedly collecting $1,000 a day through his website. George also misled the courts when it came time to turn in his passports, withholding a second valid passport from the judge.
Consequently, in Thursday’s written 9-page statement, Judge Lester labeled the defendant a “manipulator”:
By any definition, the defendant has flaunted the system,” Lester wrote. “It appears to this court that the defendant is manipulating the system for his own benefit.
Obviously, Judge Lester’s criticism is hollow since he went ahead and granted the dubious George bail a second time.
One has to wonder whether Judge Lester is biased in this case. It is one thing to grant a murderer bail, because obviously, he isn’t being judged on his crime of killing a random teen but on whether he is a flight risk. It is another matter to grant him bail, after it is clear that he purposely lied to the court and withheld pertinent information.
Zimmerman, on the other hand, did indeed kill an unarmed youth and was caught lying to the court TWICE, yet he is granted bail TWICE. Yes, I’m aware both examples are two distinct cases, with one dealing with a trial and the other dealing with a bond hearing, still one thing is clear: In this country, second chances are available to those with a very specific skin tone.