Did you watch the trial? I did. I work at home and had the trial going on as I worked. I’m sure I saw at least 3/4 of the trial live and heard playbacks of anything important that I missed. If I had been in the jury, I would have voted to acquit him as well.

Do I think George Zimmerman is a racist? Well, yes and no. He’s not your classic Ku Klux Klanner. The state never turned up any blatantly racial statements he had ever made. He did lament to a police operator once that “The assholes always get away.” Some people are reading those words as implicitly racial, but there is no supporting evidence for that assumption.

He had even volunteered in programs that mainly benefited black youth!

At the same time, I think there is little doubt that he profiled the victim, Trayvon Martin. I’m not sure he profiled him because he was black. I think perhaps he would have profiled any male teen walking along in Zimmerman’s neighborhood who had the hood of his hoodie up.

I think the initial mistake was in charging Zimmerman in the first place. The local police decided there was no case and decided not to prosecute. It was only after a clamor orchestrated by Trayvon’s family attorney that the state Attorney General stepped in and forced a prosecution that Zimmerman was charged.

The problem the prosecution faced was that the only eye-witness to the fight between Martin and Zimmerman supported Zimmerman’s story that Trayvon was on top, pounding Zimmerman’s head on the concrete sidewalk. And Zimmerman did have a broken nose. All Martin had was a bullet through the heart, which is allowed in Florida (and in most states, even ones without specific Stand Your Ground laws) if Zimmerman had reason to feel his life was in danger.

In final summations, where generally it is the prosecution explaining the letter of the law and how to apply it, while the defense often appeals to the jury’s feelings rather than their intellect, it was reversed. It was the defense explaining in detail how to apply the law while it was the prosecutors shouting and foaming at the mouth about the injustice of Trayvon Martin’s death. That alone signaled that the prosecution really didn’t trust their own case.

In retrospect, it appears that the local police were right. And, in fact, during cross examination, the lead local investigator admitted that he personally believed Zimmerman’s story based on the facts he discovered. While the judge ordered the jury not to consider that opinion (because it’s an opinion and not a fact), “You can’t un-ring a bell.”

This case should have all of us thinking about assumptions we make regarding young people and especially young black males. Perhaps Florida will reconsider it’s “Stand Your Ground” law which makes it easier to defend oneself with lethal force based merely on a belief that one is in danger of death or severe bodily harm.

I don’t know what actually happened leading up to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Only George Zimmerman knows that. Did he profile Trayvon? I think he did. Did he profile him racially? The evidence doesn’t support that. Trayvon was probably profiled more as a young male than as a black male. Under his hoodie, his race may not have been evident.

Profiling may be a bad thing but it isn’t an illegal thing. And Zimmerman wasn’t on trial for profiling, but for murder. The state had to prove that Zimmerman had hate in his heart, and that they didn’t do.

The verdict, as dissatisfying as it may be, was the right one based on the facts.

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Though it's a rarity, once in a great while, the planets do align.

And when they do.... look out:

The unintended consequences of "fixing" things so that Zimmerman-esque offenders would be easier to put behind bars...

People upset at George Zimmerman's acquittal are calling for awarding various new powers to prosecutors at the expense of protections for criminal defendants.

Maybe this would make it easier to hang a rap on some future Zimmerman. But it also would have an effect that its backers probably don't intend: increasing the number of persons convicted and sent to prison. As part of that effect, more young black men -- as well as more members of other groups -- will end up behind bars. (source)

In other words, if the system were modified to make it easier to get convictions in cases like Zimmerman's, AND if there is an anti-black bias built into the system, the system would likely adversely affect black defendants more than white defendants. A classic Catch-22.

Actually, UnOne, that's food for an entirely new topic - many states today are turning over their correction facilities to private corporations, who not only lobby, contribute to the campaigns of lawmakers and judges, but make more money, as more people are imprisoned. The US has more of its citizens in prison, per capita, than any other country.

... that is largely due to the drug war.

The US has more of its citizens in prison, per capita, than any other country.

And rightly so, many would say.

At least some would look at this as a positive, as they'd have more racism to complain about.

And heaven knows there are enough Americans-who-hate-America out there.

Basketball player Charles Barkley agrees with the Zimmerman verdict. Says many black folks are racist, too:

CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, I agreed with the verdict. I feel sorry that young kid got killed. But they didn't have enough evidence to charge him. Something clearly went wrong that night. Clearly something went wrong. I feel bad for anybody who loses a kid, but if you looked at the case and you don't make it -- there was some racial profiling, no question about it. But something happened that changed the dynamic of that night, and I know -- that's probably not a popular opinion among most people but just looking at the evidence I agreed with the verdict.

I just feel bad because I don't like when race gets out in the media because I don't think the media has a pure heart, as I call it. There are very few people have a pure heart when it comes to race. Racism is wrong in any, shape, form -- a lot of black people are racist too. I think sometimes when people talk about racism, they say only white people are racist. There are a lot of black people who are racist. I don't like when it gets out there in the media because I don't think the media has clean hands. 

MARIA BARTIROMO, CNBC: I'm glad you made that point.

BARKLEY: Obviously I feel sorry that young kid got killed but just judging by the evidence, I don't think that guy should have went to jail the rest of his life. Something happened bad that night, obviously.

BARTIROMO: I like what the juror said, they both should have walked away. And if there is a shadow of a doubt, there is a shadow of a doubt. 

Here is a similar case.  A man found a group of youths in the process of committing a crime, and one of them rushed him--not a single blow had fallen yet but the threat was imminent.  He shot and killed the youth and was just acquitted.


Note that he was acquitted on the lesser charge of manslaughter, so there is no issue of him getting off because of being overcharged (not all states let you tack a manslaughter charge on in the courtroom, as Florida does--if the prosecutor overcharges and end up with an acquittal, the defendant walks).  He was acquitted of this charge even though he had not sustained any injury at all.

And... oh by the way... the acquitted self-defender was black and the youth that tried to attack him was white.

Of course THIS case didn't make the national media, it doesn't fit the "narrative."

Of course THIS case didn't make the national media, it doesn't fit the "narrative."

When will the sheep on the street learn that there are people who have created a career for themselves consisting of stirring the pot of protest? Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Gloria Allred, to name a few. And then there are the wannabes, like the attorney for Trayvon's parents.

We do have a big problem with the treatment of blacks in the system, but George Zimmerman is hardly the right person to function as the poster child for this issue. 

My feeling is that one of the biggest problems that isn't racist is our drug laws, which incarcerates a disproportionate number of black males, which then gives them a criminal record, which then largely excludes them from normal employment. Why in the world marijuana is still illegal boggles the mind.

We do have a big problem with the treatment of blacks in the system, but George Zimmerman is hardly the right person to function as the poster child for this issue.

Sometimes it's racism at play when a black is being prosecuted.

And sometimes the individual in question really IS a thug.

Reflexive assumption in EITHER direction is bigotry.


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