The George Zimmerman Verdict: Justice Served?

Yesterday, George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges for the death of Trayvon Martin, much to the surprise of people watching the trial as well as myself.  I never thought Zimmerman would be found guilty of second degree murder, but I was sure that he would be convicted of manslaughter.

There’s no question George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, but beyond that, there’s not much we can say for sure.  Zimmerman’s story seemed to hold up for the most part under scrutiny, and it never changed at any point during the investigation or trial.  That doesn’t mean he’s innocent, but typically a guilty man will change his story over time to fit with the evidence being uncovered.  On top of that, the lacerations on Zimmerman’s head and expert testimony regarding the position of Zimmerman’s gun relative to Martin seem to give some credibility to his story that he attacked Zimmerman and beat his head into the sidewalk.  It also didn’t help that the prosecution’s witnesses didn’t do much to bolster their case.

Second degree murder is defined as “a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender’s obvious lack of concern for human life”.  In order to get a conviction, the prosecution would have to prove that Zimmerman had no regard for Trayvon Martin’s life when he followed onto his neighborhood street on that fateful night.  One could argue that by ignoring the direction of the 911 dispatcher, Zimmerman demonstrated  his lack of regard for anything other than a confrontation.  However, as I mentioned before, evidence presented by the defense as well as some of the prosecution witnesses suggest that Trayvon Martin was the aggressor (he wasn’t as innocent as people originally suggested, though that doesn’t excuse what Zimmerman did).  Again, the problem is that nothing is certain about what happened that night.  There’s too much ambiguity involved for a jury to seriously consider a conviction for second degree murder, and, as a result, it ended up being a long shot, as the prosecution even seemed to concede toward the end of the trial.

Now, consider the definition of manslaughter: the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought.  This is a much easier argument to make.  Even if it was self defense, George Zimmerman jumped the gun.  He put himself in that position.  He chose to follow Trayvon Martin that night, setting off a chain of events leading to Martin’s death.  He may not have meant to, but Zimmerman caused Trayvon Martin’s death with his reckless actions.  That, I thought, would have merited a manslaughter conviction.  I don’t think that, given what we do know, that George Zimmerman should be free from responsibility in this case.  Clearly, though, the jury thought there was enough reasonable doubt to acquit him.

George Zimmerman, in my opinion, got less than he deserved yesterday.  I believe the evidence that was available seemed to at least support a manslaughter conviction. That being said, it’s important now that we accept the jury’s verdict.  They were specifically chosen because they had no connection to the case or the media dramatization surrounding it.  The jury may not have done what I thought they should have, but George Zimmerman had his day in court, and we need to accept that and move on.  Anger is not the answer to this, nor is insisting on a continued investigation (*cough cough* Al Sharpton).  From here on out, George Zimmerman has to live with his actions.


5 Responses to The George Zimmerman Verdict: Justice Served?

  1. Pingback: Don’t Worry About It George-Karma Is Coming For Your “Not Guilty” Ass | GetRealWithDarylandDeVon@.Wordpress.Com

  2. Pingback: The Zimmerman Verdict: Has Justice Been Served? | The Scruffy Pulpit

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  5. Pingback: Vengeance: The Elephant in America’s Living Room | Pacific Daily Times

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