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.
Who is "you"?
"George Zimmerman was the white victim of an unarmed black teen"
Zimmerman is no more white than Obama. Who's seeing in black and white now?
This is actually the second edit, as I have another question in relation. If Zimmerman were a black man, or a police officer, do you think Trayvon would have acted in the same way?
1) Even if the jury were all Klanswomen (all female jury), the verdict was the only rational one given the presenation by the prosecutors which clearly didn't prove the charge against Zimmerman. If it's any consolation, the verdict is "not proven," not "innocent."
2) I actually think that most white Americans than you think understand there's a more subtle racism than wearing white sheets and burning crosses and that unconscious and barely conscious and conscious but unspoken attitudes contribute to racism as well.
3) I confess my ignorance of racism in the Christian Bible, though I know Mormonism has race issues.
Yes, I gathered that as to your point 3, I invite you to checkout the myth of Adam & Eve and their offspring Cain and Abel and also the story of Noah's curse. No, I get no consolation from "not proven," not innocent", Trayvon Martin was judged to be a violent criminal who received death at the hands of a man who stalked and killed him, in the name of self-defense.
Hold up crew,.. you are taking this WAY out of context. Trayvon was not stalked and gunned down as you've portrayed. It wasn't as simple as that. Had Martin kept walking as Zimmerman returned to his car, I'm more than positive he would still be alive. It was his own decision to pursue Zimmerman and beat him down, which led to being shot. Yes, Zimmerman pulled the trigger. But Martin initiated the physical portion of the confrontation after the verbal conflict had ended. Zimmerman was walking back to his car, and was beaten from behind, so I don't see why you think Martin was so innocent.
Joe, you made me if feel if my comments were not welcome in this forum from your first response to me but I think we have more in common that meets the eye, such as the principal of the separation of state and church, however all else is open to discussion. You seem to vouchsafe for Mr. Zimmerman, after the fact, that Trayon would be alive today if he had just acted in a submissive way to a strange man armed with a gun who had no civil authority to stop and question him on a public street about his presence in a subdivision where his father lived. Mr. Zimmerman gave no testimony in court about the events of the that tragic night yet you seem to be cocksure about what transpired, it seems your interpretation is not supported by the conflicting statements given by Mr. Zimmerman to the police and to Fox media and, oh yes, how convenient for Zimmerman, "dead men tell no tales" no need to testify.If the Martin case has now set a precedent for the stand your ground defense I wonder how you feel about the Michael Dunn case in Jacksonville, FL. where on the night of Nov. 26th 2012 Dunn fired a gun into a car in a gas station killing Jordan Davis,17,becaused he felt threatened by the volume level of the music coming from the car he was riding in with two other passengers, Dunn also is claiming self-defense. The history of racial terrorism and rogue policing in America is long and well documented. So, if I express some doubt here don' t attack my right as a member in this forum to have an opinion. It is very unbecoming for a member of the community of reason. As to why I think Trayvon is "innocent," an armed person automatically feels emboldened and empowered to assert their will.
I dont think the defendant would have had the guts to even approach the teen had he not been carrying a loaded firearm. The fact that this guy left his home with a loaded weapon automatically means he left home willing to fire that weapon. Thats why you buy a firearm, to fire it. No one buys a gun to use as a door stop. Armed he instigates a confrontation that leads to his shooting and killing someone. That seems pretty open and shut to me. Regardless of how you try to argue it, this guy bought a gun and then created a situation where he could use it, and he did. The end.
I've no interest in tossing about your straw man arguments. I want to ask about how my first comment could possible make you feel unwelcome, but I'm afraid if I do, you'll go off on another tangent, and still not answer the question.
And with your logic, Trayvon found himself in a confrontation in which he had decided he was going to end his own way, hence the pursuit of Zimmerman after the initial conflict. He could have just walked away, and back to his fathers house to watch the playoffs.
Furthermore, if I'm leaving my house to confront a stranger whom I believe to be acting suspiciously, you can bet I'm taking my glock, my colt, or my bersa.
What I'm agitated about is that you seem like you want it to be a racial issue, when it clearly is not. Zimmerman is white/hispanic, yet examples and arguments you've put forth have laid heavy emphasis on white on black crime/oppression. As far as the Jacksonville case, since you queried my opinion, is a clear case of unjustified murder. I don't make decisions based on ethnicity. I make them based on values, and moral stance. The fact that you would even bring up the Jacksonville case, as if to prove a point is rather offensive.
You are welcome to post, and say whatever you like. That's the thing about freedom of speech. If you would like to understand more clearly my stance on that right, you can read my blog post on censorship. You may not like how I see things, and that's ok. Just be understanding when you don't like what someone else has to say. Especially if a comment you made is what prompted a person to say it.
I also feel the need to point out this IS a board packed full of free thinkers. We are good at it, and we question everything. We understand the structure of an argument, and for the most part, adhere to that structure.
I'm not hating on you, or trying to oppress you, or trying to shut you up. I'm asking valid questions, and making my own points that I feel need to be made. I'm sorry that it bothers you. I'll try harder not to be so offensive.
It doesn't matter what the law is, a jury has the power to fix broken laws if they see fit by ruling however the hell they want. The "Stand Your Ground" thing is clearly stupid, and this was a jury's chance to strike it down, and they did not. The worst thing about this trial is that it sets a precedent. A lot more innocent children can be shot dead under the Florida law.
The problem with jury nullification (which is what you are talking about is called) is that it's actually a kind of anarchy. Also, remember that judges are empowered to set aside verdicts that are totally contrary to the facts of a case. I'm not sure that would have happened had the verdict gone the other way, but a guilty verdict so contrary to the evidence would likely have not survived appeals.
My sentiments exactly. Gold star!
It is also the case that jury nullification involves acquitting someone otherwise guilty of a crime, because the jury doesn't think the law he's being charged under should be there at all. The jury is nullifying a stupid law. A (hypothetical) case of this would be refusing to convict someone of engaging in gay sex (there are laws against such, and oral sex between different sexes too, on the books in some states) even though the prosecution has a HD definition video of the act to introduce into evidence.
Is second degree murder something that should not be illegal? I don't believe any jury would ever think so; and I can't see them refusing to convict because they thought the law itself was bad. (There are cases of juries refusing to convict because they all hated the victim, etc. but that's not the law that is at issue.)
What we would have here if the jury voted to convict in spite of not enough evidence to show that he broke the law in question, would be a very different thing, it sure as heck wouldn't qualify as jury nullification.
Actually, Stand Your Ground was never brought up in the trial. The defense argued plain old fashioned self defense.