Irony, Trayvon Martin, and Angela Corey
March 23, 2012 4 Comments
On Thursday, it was announced that Florida State Attorney Angela Corey was appointed as special prosecutor to the Trayvon Martin case. The Martin case has ignited discussions about racism and injustice, in part because of the failure of law enforcement to bring charges against 28 year old George Zimmerman who fatally shot the unarmed 17 year old.
The irony is that the choice of Angela Corey for this particular case is only beneficial for one reason: she is a tough on crime prosecutor who enjoys throwing the book at any perceived criminal, regardless of the actual circumstances of the crime. This means that Zimmerman will likely be brought to justice. Which is a good thing.
But look at case in point about her history of prosecution of a minor, minority child: 13 year old Cristian Fernandez of Jacksonville, Florida. Cristian faces not one trial, but two trials, surrounding the unintentional death of his two year old brother David. Cristian is a hispanic minor who has experienced sexual and physical abuse throughout his life. Corey sought indictments for murder and aggravated child abuse against the young child, exposing him to a mandatory penalty of life without parole if he was convicted in a criminal trial. She claimed to the public she was not seeking life without parole, but when his defense rejected a plea deal that could have forced him to serve three years in an adult prison (from 18-21), undoing any good he would have received in the juvenile system, and also forcing him to carry a murder conviction for the rest of his life, she did the unthinkable: she sought an indictment for a third criminal charge.
The third charge was a sexual battery charge pertaining to a claim made by Cristian’s younger brother about sexually activity that occurred between the two when Cristian was approximately 11 or 12. The date and location of the activity was unclear. Though Corey had known about the claim since very early into the original murder investigation, she waited until his defense rejected the plea deal to seek an indictment, making it appear as though she was retaliating against the boy and his defense.
There is a petition for Cristian Fernandez here. Over 182,000 people have signed it, but Angela Corey has publicly stated she does not “prosecute by petition.”
But Cristian Fernandez is not the only minority child suffering under the reign of Angela Corey. In fact, a deeper look into the statistical data of the fourth judicial circuit for which Corey is responsible yields startling information about racial disparities involving black males.
It is a known fact that Corey transfers more juveniles into the adult criminal system than any other county in Florida on average, but what most people don’t know is that Corey also moves a much greater percentage of black males into the adult system than the rest of Florida as a whole.
And this is odd. Because the 4th judicial circuit is made up of a majority of white people. Why is there such a huge disparity when it comes to the number of black males tried as adults? Why is this disparity continuing unquestioned?
More importantly, why would a State Attorney with this kind of record toward young black males be chosen to head the prosecution for a murder victim who is the exact demographic of those she marginalizes in her own judicial circuit? Is it a publicity stunt to save her career? An easy way to make her look like a good prosecutor in light of all statistical data over the course of three plus years showing what she is really doing to children and minorities?
Is anyone going to take a closer look into what this woman is doing?
Here are the percentages of black males versus white males transferred into the adult criminal system in Florida as a whole. This includes all judicial circuits, including the 4th judicial circuit:
2006-2007 – 146,950 total juvenile referrals. 4,622 transferred to adult court.Of the above percentages given in relation to those transferred to adult court, 53.3% were black. 24.5% were white.
2007-2008 – 145,539 total juvenile referrals. 4, 907 transferred to adult court. Of the above percentages given in relation to those transferred to adult court, 50.1% were black. 25.7% were white.
2008-2009 – 138,218 total juvenile referrals. 4,393 transferred to adult court. Of the above percentages given in relation to those transferred to adult court, 52.8% were black. 23.4% were white.
2009-2010 – 121,642 total juvenile referrals. 3,694 transferred to adult court. Of the above percentages given in relation to those transferred to adult court, 52.1% were black. 24.2% were white.
2010-2011 – 109,813 total juvenile referrals. 3,061 transferred to adult court. Of the above percentages given in relation to those transferred to adult court, 50.8% were black. 26.1% were white.
Here is the data for Angela Corey’s 4th judicial circuit. Note the considerable increase. Angela Corey took office in the beginning of 2009 and did nothing to decrease the number of black males tried as adults – a trend that started before her and has not ceased. The trend has likely increased for 2011-2012 since juvenile crime referrals in her district of Duval went up, while referrals in the majority of other Florida counties actually went down:
2006-2007 – 8125 total juvenile referrals. Of the above percentages given in relation to those transferred to adult court, 61.7% were black. 31.3% were white.
2007-2008 – 9482 total juvenile referrals. Of the above percentages given in relation to those transferred to adult court, 79.2% were black. 13.8% were white.
2008-2009 – 8911 total juvenile referrals. Of the above percentages given in relation to those transferred to adult court, 71.1% were black. 19.6% were white.
2009-2010 – 6877 total juvenile referrals. Of the above percentages given in relation to those transferred to adult court, 74.4% were black. 16.8% were white.
2010-2011 – 5889 total juvenile referrals. Of the above percentages given in relation to those transferred to adult court, 62.2% were black. 27.8% were white.
All statistical information may be found on the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice site.
Governor Scott refused to get involved in helping Cristian who faces life without parole. Perhaps he will change his mind now that he has gotten involved in another criminal case.
Contact the Governor and thank him for seeking justice for Trayvon. Ask him to please do the same regarding Cristian Fernandez and to look into the disparities involving black males in the 4th judicial circuit: