Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Zimmerman Verdict

It seems as if every nutjob with a keyboard, a megaphone, and a third-grade education has suddenly become a legal scholar in the wake of the jury's decision to acquit George Zimmerman in his trial for the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. I may as well weigh in with my own opinion.

To me, there are two key points to remember about this sad story:

1) George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

2) The state failed to present a case that would convince the jury, and the jury - not without much soul-searching - did its job, weighed the evidence, and voted to acquit Mr Zimmerman of either murder or manslaughter.

Unfortunately, the case will go on, because it has to. It touches too many deeply-felt emotions and scrapes at too many raw wounds on all sides. Mr Martin's family wants to file a wrongful death suit against Mr Zimmerman, and the federal government is exploring charging Mr Zimmerman with hate crimes in a new trial*. I'm reminded of the old joke about the young defense lawyer who won his first big case and wired home to his firm's head office, "JUSTICE HAS TRIUMPHED!" His boss wired back immediately, "APPEAL AT ONCE!"

A large segment of the population had already decided, well before the trial ever took place, that George Zimmerman was guilty, and that the only acceptable outcome of any trial was to confirm that opinion. It didn't work out that way, and so the varying concepts of "justice" are now on display: to many people, "justice" required George Zimmerman to be convicted of murder and duly punished; to many others, "justice" was done because a trial took place in front of a duly-selected jury, the state failed to prove its case, and Mr Zimmerman should go free.

Who's right?

For what it's worth, here's my opinion: Trayvon Martin is dead. George Zimmerman killed him. The state failed to convince a jury that this event, although terrible, should be considered either murder or manslaughter in their strict legal definitions. The system, imperfect though it may be, worked. Let it go. Learn the sad and bitter lessons, and move on.

Unfortunately, there are too many people with too much invested in using the case to advance their own agendas, and so it will be with us for a long time.

Have a good day. More thoughts later.


* One wonders why this does not constitute double jeopardy.


Mike said...

The moving on part should be a federal law banning all the stand your ground laws in all the states.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I agree. Those Stand Your Ground laws offer for the rash a license to kill.

We need to learn from this sorry episode.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

The jurors were in a far better position to evaluate the state's case than anyone else. The rest are engaging in wishful thinking.

Duckbutt said...

I think those 'stand your ground' laws need to be changed. Also, there's too much carrying of weapons on a casual basis.