A few thoughts on the not guilty verdict handed down in the George Zimmerman trial:
- I am, as I assume you are as well, feeling shocked, pissed off, saddened and disappointed, or some combination of that. The justice system is supposed to administer justice, and it did not happen in this case.
- But while I am shocked, pissed, saddened and disappointed, this is not a case of judicial corruption or a conspiracy by "the system," as I heard/read others say and write. The prosecution presented lots of evidence and witnesses, and cross-examined the defense's people to within an inch of their life. But ultimately they lacked that one piece of unshakable evidence or star witness that could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin. As with Casey Anthony--and let's be real, O.J. Simpson--it is not what you believe, it is what you can prove in court, and the prosecution failed to prove murder.
- Though the prosecution did not prove murder, I find it unfathomable the jury could look at the facts of this case and not convict Zimmerman of manslaughter. Zimmerman spotted Trayvon walking through the neighborhood, and saw him as a suspicious, hoodie-wearing thug who had to be up to no good. He was angered by the sight of him--"These assholes always get away," remember? That in and of itself, while an ugly and prejudiced assumption (though if we're honest with ourselves, we've all made assumptions, both innocuous and otherwise, at one time or another), is not a crime. However, he was told by police NOT to follow Trayvon, but pursued him anyway. He instigated the situation and escalated it by interrogating Trayvon and pulling out a gun. No one besides George Zimmerman truly knows whether it was self-defense or murder, but one thing we all know is Trayvon Martin is dead because George Zimmerman shot him. And the only reason he was in position to shoot him is because of a deadly situation he created. How could the jury not see this?
- I am happy people are not rioting and looting in the streets. That is not the way to get our point across. Peaceful protests and speaking out is, as well as taking civil action, which the NAACP is now pushing for (sign the petition here).
- I've seen lots of veiled and not-so veiled references to Zimmerman having to answer for or being punished for Trayvon's death later (i.e. "god's gonna get 'em"). Of course, people are very emotional right now, but those comments made me think of The Atheist Experience's Matt Dillahunty's thoughts on cosmic justice. Some parts of it come off pretty blunt and harsh, particularly if you're a believer, but he makes some good points. Listen to it here.
What are your thoughts on the verdict?