Monday, July 15, 2013
Rant #1,003: Miscarriage of Justice, or Justice Served?
The judgment came in on Saturday night, and a lot of people are happy, others aren't.
George Zimmerman was found not guilty of all charges in the murder case of Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman, you might remember, was the volunteer neighborhood watchman who reported Martin was in the area, was suspicious, overstepped his boundaries, and ended shooting this kid in what he said was self defense.
Some said that Zimmerman racially profiled Martin, others said that since there were a rash of burglaries in the area, he was doing his job.
However, the only thing that really was proven in this trial was that Zimmerman, himself of mixed race, did overstep his boundaries.
He should have simply called in about the suspicious activity, and let the real police handle it.
Once it went beyond that, the jury found that they could not find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Zimmerman killed Martin in cold blood.
And I have found that that is what people do not understand about this case.
I am not going to argue here about whether Zimmerman murdered Martin or killed him in self defense.
But I am going to talk about whether the jury was correct in its verdict.
And it was.
That is how our judicial system works. You cannot convict somebody of the top crime, murder, if there even is a scintilla of doubt in your mind.
That is what makes our judicial system work better than any other judicial system in the world.
Innocent until proven guilty.
I am not going to say that it is perfect--it isn't.
But in this case, it worked to perfection.
I think the whole problem was that the prosecution's lawyers made a critical error, painting him as something of a choir boy in this whole horrible incident.
I believe that if they exposed Martin as a somewhat nefarious character, which he was, the jury might have gone the other way.
Being a nefarious character does not earn you the right to be murdered, but the prosecution's lawyers were clearly incompetent--much like the lawyers against O.J. Simpson were years ago--and they missed the boat here.
Zimmerman's lawyers were able to play this up, and prove to the jurors that yes, their client may have crossed the line, but when it came down to it, he was defending himself when shots were fired.
So if there is outrage, it should be about the prosecution's lawyers.
People should also keep calm about this.
You can be outraged, upset, or down on what happened, but as you know, there are people out there who are just looking for something to latch onto to spread further violence.
Those people should be made to understand that their actions don't herald Martin's memory, they besmirch it.
What will happen next?
You cannot try a person twice for murder in this country, it is a double jeopardy thing, so Zimmerman cannot be tried again.
However, the case can become a federal one, so yes, I do believe he can be tried again.
And there will almost certainly be a civil lawsuit, and those lawsuits usually even out the playing field, so Zimmerman has simply jumped over the first hurdle here, and probably not his last.
So, in summary, you might not be happy with the jury's verdict, but our judicial system worked to perfection here.
Let's look at it that way, and move on.
Posted by Larry at 2:31 AM