George Zimmerman Trial Reaches It Verdict
It was a long day for the jury in the George Zimmerman trial, but finally at 10:00 pm EST the six women reached a unanimous verdict of Not Guilty. Though I am sure this is a blow for the family of Trayvon Martin, it does not come as a surprise. Throughout this week, news organizations covering the trial remarked that the prosecution did not do an adequate job making its case and that the defense was clearly winning.
Outside the courtroom supporters of both Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman gathered and awaited the final verdict. Though the trial has ended, I am sure that in the days to come the discussion will continue. One topic sure to be discussed is whether the prosecution should have argued manslaughter instead of second degree murder. In my opinion, I feel manslaughter should have been the goal for it is the easiest charge to prove and most fit to the crime. That fateful night, Zimmerman might not have had malice in his mind when he killed Martin, but he most definitely exhibited negligence with taking the law into his own hands and deciding to shoot an unarmed young adult.
I am even more interested to see the political fallout from this case. Two big issues this case covered was profiling and gun control. Now that Zimmerman managed to get away with killing an unarmed teenager without any penalty, I wonder what precedent this will set for profiling and gun laws. Will all neighborhood watch volunteers arm themselves when they go out on patrol? Instead of just reporting suspicious activity to trained professionals, will they now think it is okay to engage with suspicious people because if something happens they can pass it off as self-defense? Moreover what will this verdict mean for profiling? Zimmerman followed Martin because he was a young black man. If people believe that this verdict defends profiling, will it become more prevalent and lead to more violence? In my opinion, if some man was following me at night, I would feel threatened which I assume Trayvon did. Not being there that night, I do not know what Trayvon was feeling or what Zimmerman was doing, but if I was being followed I would feel threatened and take actions to protect myself. Who is to say if the roles were reversed and Zimmerman had been shot by Trayvon, Trayvon would not have used the exact same defense of self-defense. Hopefully, instead of being an excuse for profiling, this case will get people to participate in a serious discussion about not only the injustice of profiling but also the dangers.
Though the verdict has been read, I do not believe this trial is over. It has been a custom for families who do not get the verdict they want in the criminal case to then sue the defendant in civil court and I would not be surprised if this is the Martin’s family next step. Though the prosecution could not convince a jury that Zimmerman unjustly killed Trayvon, I think another lawyer could easily convince a jury in a wrongful death lawsuit. So even though Zimmerman might not have to spend the rest of his life in jail, I do not believe he is out of legal troubles yet. It will be interesting to see if the Martin family takes this route and if they are successful in the endeavor.
Though this trial has reached a conclusion continue looking for my posts because I am sure there is a lot more developments to unfold.