Last night we all heard the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial. If you didn’t, you might qualify to be a jury member on a murder trail in Florida (reference: the awful knock knock joke the defense attorney told).
This was a trial that took place in a courthouse in Sanford, Florida, but also took place across Facebook, Twitter, by the water cooler and everywhere else across the country (and, one could argue, disparate parts of the world). It is a trial that never would have happened if it wasn’t for the pressure brought by a combination the media and average people.
But it still took place in Florida.
What’s wrong with Florida?
It is a little scary that the state that has been the swing vote in recent presidential elections is also the home of Stand Your Ground, a very liberal law that makes it easy for things like this to happen. But Florida is also the state that let Casey Anthony free not too long ago. Is it incompetent prosecution, bad juries or bad laws?
What about bad government in general? There are state-wide bodies that can step in to investigate racially motivated crimes, but that didn’t happen. There’s something rotten in Florida and in this case, it has strongly racial overtones.
Of course it was about race
In the end, we know George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, but what those of us outside of Florida can’t grasp is how a state has a law that allows people to shoot someone simply because they feel in danger, regardless of how they arrived at that moment…even if it was their own choices (which were counter to police instructions, no less). No one seems to doubt George Zimmerman singled out his victim based on race, yet there are many who claim this wasn’t a trial about race and prejudice. How do you reconcile those views?
How many people hated the OJ verdict and loved this outcome? That would make for an interesting demographic, no?
Zimmerman’s not done yet
Before the last newspaper hit the driveway this morning, there was a call for Federal charges to be brought, similar to how justice was finally found in the Rodney King trial. It often takes a new jury that isn’t part of the racial culture of the first trial. The five white, one hispanic, all-female jury will be a significant part of the story going forward. Couldn’t they find just one man…just one black person?