My 600 or so words on the Zimmerman case.
As much as I wanted Zimmerman to be found guilty for murdering Trayvon Martin, I knew this would end the way it did. Based on the prosecuting attorneys subpar performance, the botched investigation with the Sanford police, and Zimmerman having better lawyers, a not-guilty verdict was inevitable, especially for second degree murder.
George Zimmerman had a Constitutional right to have his due process in court. Regardless of how you personally feel about Zimmerman, he is entitled to a fair trial. From an emotional standpoint, I wanted him to be found guilty. I think he murdered not in self-defense, but as a result of his personal bigotry and racial profiling of Martin. Objectively speaking, Zimmerman received his chance in court. Once again, it is not the justice I personally wanted, but it is justice according to the letter of the law. It is up to the prosecuting attorneys to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman is guilty, which they failed to do.
Why not initially charge Zimmerman with manslaughter? Manslaughter is a layup of a charge to stick to Zimmerman. Second-degree murder is a charge in which no stone is left unturned. And if you are going to charge Zimmerman with second-degree murder, you need to be sure AND able to prove that killing was spiteful and racially motivated, not self-defense. I see it as racial motivation, but asking a jury of six suburban women (five of them white) to judge the same scenario, and they will have a different viewpoint. The jurors are looking at the situation from the standpoint of “there have been recent break-ins in the area. Zimmerman is neighborhood watch leader, and fed up with the burglaries. He’s taking justice into his hands, since the police haven’t.”….throw in the fact that these are women who probably would have wanted their significant others to react in a vigilante manner (without it getting as far as a murder), and you have a case where Zimmerman is one step closer to being not guilty before the trial has even begun.
More importantly, coaching Rachel Jeantel more before the trial was vital to the situation. The only living person with firsthand knowledge of the event is Zimmerman. He’s facing a life sentence. He’s not going to say what “really” happened. Having her on the witness stand being combative and calling people crackas, isn’t going to help their case. I understand she has a heavy heart, and having someone challenge your word on national television is going to make anyone angry. However, it is the attorney’s job to prepare her for that situation, and make her understand the magnitude of what is at stake. Which, once again, they failed to do.
Personally, this case is exactly like the OJ Simpson trial. Simpson is Zimmerman, and was able to receive a not guilty verdict based on having more money and better lawyers. Just like Simpson, Zimmerman is a murderer.
What we need are modifications to stand your ground laws. An overall repeal of the law is not practical, however, modifications to the law is a good place to start. Too many interpretations on self-defense result in Nicole Brown Simpson’s and Trayvon Martin’s being murdered. What Zimmerman did was stalking. It wasn’t self-defense. Forget rioting, changing profile pictures to black, and wearing t-shirts, we need to change laws. Protest in the streets. It needs to start with understanding the laws and tweaking them. A person carrying a concealed weapon and murdering someone should have to prove that the use of the weapon was absolutely necessary, not the state having to prove the use of force was NOT necessary. That is my main problem.
Stay black. Hit the streets.