Friday, July 26, 2013

Did George Zimmerman get away with murder?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Well, a lot of us think so, and so does one of the jurors:

The only minority on the all-female jury that voted to acquit George Zimmerman said today that Zimmerman "got away with murder" for killing Trayvon Martin and feels she owes an apology Martin's parents.

"You can't put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty," said the woman who was identified only as Juror B29 during the trial. "But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence."

She said the jury was following Florida law and the evidence, she said, did not prove murder. 

After the loathsome comments of that juror who came out in defense of Zimmerman, and who was probably going to vote to acquit no matter what, it is refreshing to see such a sense of responsibility given the gravity of the situation:

"I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury. I fought to the end," she said.

However, on the second day of deliberations, after spending nine hours discussing the evidence, Maddy said she realized there wasn't enough proof to convict Zimmerman of murder or manslaughter under Florida law. 

I said it afterwards, and I'll say it again: The verdict, sadly, made sense. The jury did what it had to do and ended up reaching a verdict that was probably the right one given the circumstances.

The problem wasn't the judge or the jurors or the system, even though there is racial discrimination in how such incidents are treated by police and prosecutors. In this case, the problem was the law, which allowed Zimmerman to carry a gun while acting as a self-appointed vigilante and then to shoot an unarmed black teenager, whom he was clearly targeting, supposedly in self-defense.

That's how he got away with murder.

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