Saturday, July 13, 2013

Reflections on the Zimmerman Verdict

Trey Smith

In all honesty, from all I've read, watched or heard, I don't think a jury should have found George Zimmerman guilty of second degree murder. The prosecution would need to prove intent to kill beyond a reasonable doubt and, since the one person (Trayvon Martin) who could have bolstered that point is dead, it becomes almost unprovable in a legal sense.

What surprises me is that that the jury found Zimmerman not guilty. In my view, the more reasonable charge should have been manslaughter.  But as it often happens, the prosecutorial decision to pursue the greater charge ended up hurting their chances of obtaining a guilty verdict on the lesser charge.  

Mind you, I am not necessarily blaming the prosecutor for pursuing the greater charge.  I am sure this was done due to the social and political pressure from around the nation and world.   If the prosecutor had decided to pursue a charge of manslaughter only, a lot of people would have said that this shows a form of racial bias.

The worst part of this entire ordeal is that Trayvon Martin is dead for no reason.  He wasn't up to "no good".  He merely was walking back from a convenience store to watch basketball on TV.  He didn't initiate the fatal circumstance he soon found himself in.  The entire onus of the situation falls on the man whom the jury acquitted.

This verdict will embolden others to stand behind the insane "stand your ground" laws.  Other people will initiate fatal circumstances and all they will need to say is that they "feared for their lives".  It won't matter -- as in this case -- that the deceased was unarmed.  It won't matter -- as in this case -- that the deceased wasn't the aggressor.  And it won't matter -- as in this case -- that the whole scenario was set in motion by the person pulling the trigger.

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