Child murderer George Zimmerman was acquitted in Florida!
A jury of six women — five white — exonerated George Zimmerman after the self-professed neighborhood watchman pursued Trayvon Martin through the hood and shot him!
The case was closely observed. Whites and blacks, mothers and fathers, liberals and conservatives, the legal community, pundits, gun violence advocates, and those opposed to guns anxiously awaited the outcome. The country was deeply divided.
Not Guilty? Really?
The trial was complicated from the beginning because of misinterpretations created by stupid laws — laws created by ignorant people — and having to be interpreted by simple and sometimes unqualified individuals.
It was further complicated by the inability of Trayvon to tell his side of the story — he was dead, shot down by a man carrying a gun.
There’s no doubt Zimmerman drew his weapon and fired the fatal shot into the heart of Trayvon Martin. There’s no argument he exited his truck — ignoring the dispatcher’s admonition that he did not need to follow the youth.
He admitted that.
Here’s where it became complicated.
Trayvon Martin, became the accused — persecuted by the defense to cloud Zimmerman’s unlawful actions: profiling, ethnic slurs, following Trayvon, confronting him, and pulling his gun and killing him.
Was it unreasonable for the six jurors to acquit George Zimmerman? The court justified in letting the defense put Trayvon on trial? Jurors given the wrong tools to make an informed decision? Were they the wrong people to hear this case? Do average citizens have problems understanding the law and applying it?
The answer to all is yes!
Our law provides: a citizen accused is entitled to be judged by a jury of his peers.
In a case that involves different races should the jury be more ethnically balanced?
Ideally, the prosecution would have ended up with a more diverse jury. Some men, diverse ethnicities. But not a jury composed of five white women.
How did a black victim become the accused and how did the jury end up so pale, so colorless? Did the prosecution drop the ball, failing miserably in jury selection?
The court denied two peremptory challenges by the prosecution that essentially kept the jury lily white. The possibility of peremptory nullification in jury selection using Batson v. Kentucky was presented by Frederick Leatherman in early March. The court’s denial of the prosecution’s challenges of two white jurors was a reverse application of the law, in deference to the fact that three caucasians remained on the jury.
Removal of two white jurors was nothing like the actions which created Baston v. Kentucky and the loose interpretation of the law denied Trayvon his right to equal protection under the law — and justice.
Post-trial interviews with juror’s B37 and B29, clearly indicated the jury wasn’t qualified to adjudicate guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman.
Discussion centered around the prosecution’s failure to present a good case to the jury — that they failed to provide evidence proving Zimmerman’s guilt. The burden of proof, as always in a criminal trial, was on the prosecution. Despite a weak presentation, the proof was there for a conviction. The jury just had to apply reasonable intelligence to convict.
In juror B37’s mind Zimmerman had the right to stand his ground even though Stand Your Ground was not included in the defense’s case. If properly applied she would have concluded that Trayvon was protected under the law the minute Zimmerman chose to pursue him. The victim of Zimmerman’s hatred stood his ground and was murdered as a result.
Though B29 wanted to convict she felt she had been handcuffed by the law citing that the prosecution hadn’t proven intent. But the lesser charge, manslaughter, did not require that Zimmerman intended to kill Trayvon, only that he did.
Was the jury derelict in its charge?
A murderer is free to walk the streets of Florida, but there is a silver lining. Fortunately it’s brought a lot of attention to the insidious Stand Your Ground laws currently in place in over 23 states. Some of the ugliest states in the union.
It’s another opportunity to point out the absurdity of our weak and dangerous gun laws.
It is not unreasonable to believe that George Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter, encouraged to use deadly force because of Stand Your Ground. And it’s not unreasonable to understand, laws that allow individuals like Zimmerman to carry a weapon are dangerous to our lives, liberties, and pursuit of happiness.
It is reasonable to believe that Trayvon, his life threatened, stood his ground and paid the ultimate price at the hands of a wannabe cop.
And it is reasonable to believe that a flawed justice system and barbaric laws in Florida allowed George Zimmerman to get away with murder.