A few minutes ago, George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing a young African American boy, Trayvon Martin. The Florida jury’s verdict essentially validated Zimmerman’s killing of Martin in self-defense after deliberating for about sixteen (16) hours.
No matter how you feel about the verdict, I’d like to point out a few strange things that have happened during and after this trial.
Certainly, the NAACP’s defense of Seminole County’s State Attorney’s Office is a new phenomena. In fact, civil rights marches were organized by the NAACP and others because of the racial problems that were going on between law enforcement and minorities in that county. The NAACP and the Seminole County’s State Attorney’s Office certainly make for strange bedfellows. Does it seem that the State Attorney’s office paraded a prosecution in order to hide their checkered racial past, and to seem like the good guy? On the other hand, isn’t it true that this is a case that just had to go to trial so the facts could come out and be checked by members of the public?
Then there are the defense attorneys. Don West, one of Zimmerman’s attorney’s, called the prosecution “disgraceful” at a news conference shortly after the verdict. Again, though, isn’t this a case that just had to go to trial in order for there to be any type of justice, if any? Strange that the NAACP and the defense attorney’s are at odds here. I remember when the NAACP and defense attorneys were joined in court fights against the government and the media with the objective of trying to acquit a man.
Finally, I was even amused that the media spotlighted Florida’s (and California’s) “Use a Gun And You’re Done” Laws. I saw it my-self while watching Anderson Cooper, and had fun sending Tweets and Facebook messages about it. The media seemed amused that the Judge’s discretion in these cases are essentially taken away by these types of laws, and defendants may end up doing very long and unfair sentences. Funny, the media never came and asked me about my every day clients who may face the same crime and punishment, and about how unfair it potentially might be. I didn’t know they cared.
Out of all this, I hope all of us can take something constructive from this verdict whether we agree with it or not.