The jury in the George Zimmerman trial reached the correct LEGAL VERDICT by finding Zimmerman not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin, because the evidence showed that Zimmerman was not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence showed that Zimmerman had a credible self-defense claim. I emphasized the words "legal verdict", because the jury could have returned an emotion-and-politics-based verdict and found Zimmerman guilty. It is to the jury's credit that it did not do that. Our legal system wouldn't be worth spit if it bowed to political pressures and based outcomes on emotion. If we had an emotion-and-politics-based justice system, we wouldn't have justice at all. Instead, we'd have a series of Salem witch trials based on the desires of the pitchfork-wielding mob.
There is no joy or celebration with this verdict, because the death of Trayvon Martin was tragic and unnecessary. It consisted of a series of unfortunate events. The evidence showed that Zimmerman profiled Martin, not because Martin was black per se, but because there had been a series of crimes in the neighborhood and Zimmerman thought Martin fit the profile of the criminals (thus the "these b*st*rds always get away") comment from Zimmerman. Zimmerman called 911 and then followed Martin. These facts were stressed by the prosecution to contend Zimmerman's guilt. Unfortunately for the prosecution, those pre-assault facts basically constituted their entire case. The problem for the prosection was, nothing Zimmerman did up to that point was illegal or criminal. That's why the prosecution tried to get the jury to look into Zimmerman's allegedly craven heart to find bad intent, an intent Zimmerman allegedly had to murder Martin, which is a fairly ridiculous notion. It would mean Zimmerman basically called the cops (911) on himself. This is where the prosecution's case fell apart, because the evidence indicates that Martin attacked Zimmerman, not the other way around. While the prosecution contended that Zimmerman's initial actions were what led to Martin's death, it is equally if not more credible to say that Martin's actions led to the death of Martin. Until violence actually occurred between Zimmerman and Martin, there was no crime at all.
I'm always a bit mystified why certain cases become national spectacles, while others do not. In this case, politics and race were the catalysts. Some tried to put Florida's Stand Your Ground law on trial, despite the fact that Zimmerman's defense team didn't even put on a Stand Your Ground defense. It eschewed a Stand Your Ground hearing, and made a more traditional case for self-defense. Others tried to make the case about racial injustice, which led to our pot-stirring, sensationalist joke of a media inventing terms like "white Hispanic" in reference to Zimmerman, while at the same time they broadcasted years-old photos of Martin as a young innocent-looking child, in order to not-so-subtly tell the nation who was to blame. Then our white black President, Barack Obama, aka The Great Divider, weighed in on the side of Martin, saying if Obama had a son, he'd look like Trayvon.
Therefore, it was no surprise when the nation became divided, lots of protesters showed up with Justice For Trayvon signs, and all the usual race baiters (i.e. Al Sharpton, the NAACP, MSNBC, assorted liberal pundits and media) played this case for all it was worth. A national spectacle ensued. One has to ask, why is so much attention paid to this one particular case ? Where are the protests over the MUCH larger problem of black youths being gunned down in American cities, such as the carnage taking place in Chicago ? Where is the march on Chicago's gang violence ? That is the true epidemic in this country. There is no epidemic of George Zimmermans gunning down innocent black teenagers across the nation. There is no epidemic of "white Hispanics" shooting black kids. The Zimmerman situation is an isolated case, yet that is where all the energy has gone. Aside from getting to the bottom of the Zimmerman-Martin incident, there is obviously something else going on here, and it involves racial politics. I heard an attorney for the Martin family say last night that the verdict indicates Martin Luther King's dream has not been fulfilled, and then he equated the murders of Medgar Evers and Emmett Till to the death of Trayvon Martin. My jaw almost hit the floor. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. That statement was wrong on so many levels that it boggles the mind. While I feel lots of sympathy for the parents of Trayvon Martin, their attorney's statement was outrageous.
As much as Martin's supporters won't want to hear this, there is no Justice For Trayvon specifically, which predetermines Zimmerman's guilt. There is only justice, and both Zimmerman and Martin are entitled to it. There should be no black justice, no white justice. There is only our system of justice. It is not perfect and can never be perfect, but it's the best we have, and it's infinitely preferable to the aforementioned mob justice.
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