Republican presidential contender Sen. Rick Santorum appeared on CBS' Face the Nation this morning and pronounced George Zimmerman guilty of murder in the first degree.
Admitting that he was "not privy to what’s going on in someone’s mind," Santorum nevertheless said that Zimmerman, who shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin while participating in a neighborhood watch last month, "has a very sick mind who would pursue someone like this." He added that Zimmerman's motive had been "malicious."
The mental state of the alleged perpetrator, the motive, and the question of whether he pursued the alleged victim, are both critical in determining guilt. Santorum's conclusions are consistent with first-degree murder under Florida law.
As a lawyer, Santorum ought to know that Zimmerman would be entitled to a presumption of innocence if he were facing trial--and he has not even been charged with a crime.
Santorum was attempting to deflect a standard mainstream media "gotcha" question about whether he believed the shooting had been motivated by race. Santorum ducked the trap--but, in an attempt to express outrage at Martin's death, walked into another.
It ought to be possible to express sympathy with Martin and his family, and a desire to see justice done, without prejudging the outcome of ongoing investigations, and without playing into the racial and political hysteria whipped up by the president and the left in yet another attempt to divide Americans.
ON BREITBART TV