‘Criminal justice system is broken’: Judge who prosecuted George Zimmerman says it’s time to ‘turn the page’
A Florida judge who prosecuted former George Zimmerman is urging Florida voters to put an end to the state’s criminal justice system and turn the page on the “unfair and discriminatory” system.
In a letter sent to supporters, Judge John S. Walton Jr. wrote that he believes the state needs to end racial profiling, racial bias and a culture of racial bias.
He also said that the law enforcement and corrections system is “broken” and “sustaining a culture that fosters racial bias.”
Walton, who was appointed by Gov.
Rick Scott, said he has been working for a “thorough, comprehensive review of our criminal justice systems” for months and he will deliver his final decision in the next two weeks.
Walton said he wants to review “all the data, all the information available to us and all of the evidence and information that we have,” including “evidence of systemic racial bias in our criminal courts.”
The letter was signed by nearly 50 people who signed a Change.org petition calling for the release of Zimmerman, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
“I feel that it is our duty to turn the pages of our nation’s history,” Walton wrote.
“While we are at it, we also need to stop making excuses for a system that is broken.”
A number of other states have passed similar legislation in recent years.
The U.S. Sentencing Commission has said that racial bias is a “major predictor of reoffending.”
Walton’s office also said the Florida system has become “a source of embarrassment to our criminal and corrections communities.”
He also called for a review of the state Supreme Court’s decision in 2016 to uphold a lower court’s decision to uphold Zimmerman’s manslaughter conviction.
The case was the first of many where the Florida Supreme Court ruled against the state, which also agreed with the appeals court’s ruling.
A federal appeals court also overturned the state in 2015.
The Supreme Court has since issued a second opinion that upholds the state and reversed its decision in favor of Zimmerman.
Walton, a retired Florida judge, said his decision to take on the case was prompted by the murder conviction of a black man named Michael Brown.
Brown was fatally shot in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 after a police officer fired shots in the back.
The former officer, Darren Wilson, has been charged with second- and third-degree manslaughter.
The state’s case against Brown has been widely criticized for its racial bias, racial profiling and racial disparity in sentencing.
Florida voters must decide whether to remove the death penalty for a number of crimes in November.
The letter was the latest in a series of attacks against the Florida Department of Corrections by the Florida chapter of the NAACP and other groups.
The organization filed a lawsuit in August asking that the state stop releasing inmates who are eligible for early release or parole, including those who have been convicted of violent felonies.
The group also said it wants the state to stop requiring prisoners to participate in rehabilitation programs and work with prisoners to reduce recidivism.
Last week, the NAACP also filed a separate lawsuit seeking to block the release by the state of inmates who have served at least 30 days in state prison for violent felons.
In the past two weeks, the group also called on the Florida governor to reverse the state prison system’s decision not to renew a contract with Corrections Corporation of America, which is the largest prison operator in the country.
The contracts for about half of the 1.6 million Florida inmates have expired.
On Monday, a federal judge in Florida denied an emergency request by the Justice Department to block a prison inmate who has been serving a life sentence for an armed robbery and murder in 2008 from parole.
The inmate, Timothy D. Baugh, is the only inmate in Florida who has ever served a life term for murder.
The federal judge wrote that Baugh’s sentence “has a substantial impact on his ability to rehabilitate.”
The judge said that while the state could have given Baugh an early release to get him on track for parole, “the risk of a significant and irreversible change in Baugh is too great to risk that the risk outweighs the benefit.”
In January, a judge in the state capital of Orlando temporarily blocked the release from state inmates of more than 80 inmates who were sentenced for murders in other states and on federal and state charges.
The inmates were in the process of being sentenced to life without parole.
In February, the Justice Office for Civil Rights sent a letter to the Florida Board of Parole, asking it to review its decision not only to grant early release but also to consider whether to approve the release.
The letter asked that the board reconsider its decision and that the inmates be allowed to remain on parole pending the review.
Florida prisons remain overcrowded with prisoners.
The Justice Department estimated in 2016 that the number of people in state prisons in Florida was over 9