The Zimmerman Trial: Jury Spoke Correctly
July 16, 2013 12:20 AM | 2577 views | 6 6 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this country those charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty. And it is difficult to see how the jury in the George Zimmerman case could have reached a decision other than the one it did. There was no way of concluding beyond a reasonable doubt that, based on the known facts, he was guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Guilty of grievously bad judgment? Yes. But murder? No.

Neighborhood Watch volunteer Zimmerman, a Hispanic-American, had spotted Martin (a 17-year-old African-American teen) walking through his crime-wracked neighborhood in Sanford, Fla., early one evening in 2012 and, not recognizing him, followed him. Zimmerman called 911 and was told not to intervene — advice he unfortunately ignored. An altercation between the two men ensued. The much larger Martin quickly got the best of Zimmerman, banging his head against the sidewalk and pinning him to the ground. Zimmerman, apparently desperate, shot Martin in what he said was self-defense. Prosecutors in Zimmerman’s trial were never able to produce an eyewitness or significant evidence to clearly indicate Zimmerman’s account was exaggerated or untrue.

That’s even though the state of Florida pulled out all the stops to try to convict Zimmerman, and even though the White House and much of the major media did little to hide the fact they hoped Zimmerman would be found guilty.

Pressure was brought from on high to indict Zimmerman: a special prosecutor was brought in from Jacksonville to take the place of local prosecutors; and President Obama injected an additional dose of racial politics in the case, saying that if he had a son, he’d look like Martin. To emphasize the racial angle even more, some of the major media conveniently ignored the fact that Zimmerman’s mother was Peruvian, preferring to refer to him as white and for a while even coining a new ethnic category, that of “white Hispanic.”

Meanwhile, the special prosecutor, Angela Corey, did not turn over to the defense the evidence of photos and text messages recovered from Martin’s cellphone — photos that included underage nude women, marijuana, a pile of jewelry on a bed and a hand holding a semiautomatic weapon in a menacing fashion. (Instead, the only photo made available to the media depicted an angelic pre-pubescent Martin.) Fortunately for justice, Ben Kruidbos, the whistle-blowing IT director for the Florida Attorney General’s office, turned over the cellphone evidence to Zimmerman’s defense team — and was promptly suspended in May, and then fired last Friday, the day the case went to the jury.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice sent its “Community Relations Services” team to Florida at taxpayer expense to organize anti-Zimmerman rallies; and the judge often ruled in favor of the prosecution, especially at the end of the trial when, with the prosecution’s case very much in doubt, she allowed the jury to consider convicting Zimmerman on a lesser manslaughter charge in hopes he would be convicted of something.

The six woman (five whites, one black) jury, to its great credit, focused on the evidence and did the only thing it rightfully could do — acquit Zimmerman.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is now said to be looking hard at trying to indict Zimmerman for violating Martin’s civil rights. We suspect he would find that an uphill battle as there is no evidence that has come to light that indicates Zimmerman was motivated by race.

Yes, there is no question that young black men often receive different treatment from police than other people do. But neither is there any question that young black men (and young men in general) are responsible for a disproportionate share of crimes, and sadly, a very high percentage of their victims are other young black men.

To his credit, Obama, apparently learning from his earlier misstep, said little after the verdict aside from, “We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.”

The jury has spoken; and it has spoken correctly. Obama and his DOJ should let that verdict stand, and we should all learn from the mistakes and missteps of this tragic case, and go forward from there.

Comments
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Jim Stoll
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July 21, 2013
Maybe you didn't hear about this incident either, where four teen-age black kids beat the bejesus out of a white man at a convenience store, forcing him to retreat into the middle of the adjacent highway and left him laying in the middle of the road, unconscious. A truck eventually hit him and killed him. It happened right here in Mableton. It was reported in the MDJ on July 3, 2013, everyone's picture was in the paper, but it never made it on the national media, not even Fox News. Neither Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton showed up. I wonder why? I guess they must have been busy doing other things.
LeslieGketuden and
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July 17, 2013
I accept the verdict, but I do not like it at all. Someone is dead because they apparently were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone is dead because he looked suspicious. Someone is dead because he felt threatened and he fought back. Because there are a lot of what ifs that is reasonable doubt, but what if Zimmerman verbally threatened Martin showing off his gun? What if Trayvon in bad judgment leaped at Zimmerman to protect himself. We will never know. When I hear the jury got it right I don't like the sound of it, i'd rather the headline said The jury had no choice. We have to learn from this case. We have to think about our own prejudices and biases we have about people based on their appearances before we overreact.
anonymous
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July 16, 2013
The characterization of the DOJ "organizing" protests is completely wrong.

Let's hope the MDJ editorializes on the 20-year sentence a Florida jury handed down to Marrisa Alexander, an African-American who fired a warning shot over the head of her abuser-husband. She had no criminal record, nobody was killed or injured, and she invoked "stand your ground" defense.

anonymous
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July 17, 2013
You most likely are not familiar with the case. Ms. Alexander have left the dwelling and returned with a gun. Secondly you do not fire wild warning shots. They endanger others and children testified that they were in fear of their life. Ballistics of the warning shot differed from the defendants testimony. She was present in the residence of an individual that she had a protective order against when she fired the warning shot. As condition of bond for aggravated assault arrest the was to stay away from her ex-husband. While awaiting trial she went back to his residence and struck him in the face. The defendant was offered a plea to a lesser charge which she declined. The sentence was a mandatory minimum that the defendant was aware of before the trial. How does this compare to the Zimmerman trial? I guess the moral to this story is don't brandish a handgun firing waring shots and when the judge tells you something, comply.
anonymous
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July 18, 2013
The moral of the story: an unarmed black 17 year old is dead and the white man who instigated the confrontation shot him. A black mother of three is sent to prison and nobody is dead or injured.

White justice, black justice. It's an old story.
some guy
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August 02, 2013
Apples v. Oranges. The "stand your ground" defense was not used by Zimmerman. He utilized "self defense" and if Alexander tried that, she would have likely lost.
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