Skip to comments.Zipping up the Zimmerman Case (Part 2)-(Better get a bucket)
Posted on 07/31/2013 10:50:15 AM PDT by NOVACPA
In Part I, BPRs Lauren Sukin and Thomas Nath debated the legal underpinnings of the Zimmerman verdict and critiqued both the prosecutors and the Florida Stand Your Ground Law. In Part II, Sukin and Nath delve into the social ramifications of the verdict and its effect on American life.
Lauren: Lets transition away from whether or not Zimmerman is guilty, but the reality that he has been proclaimed innocent. What do you think will happen now?
Thomas: Id definitely anticipate him having to enter some sort of protection program.
Lauren: He had been wearing a bulletproof vest during the trial, which is an indication of the strength of public emotion about this trial. Zimmerman certainly has the potential to become the next O.J. Simpson. Also, some of the reactions Ive heard to the case are concerning. Would-be sassy comments like, Hows that for democracy? ignore the reality that, though the Florida laws were bad, and its hard to see this case as the moral decision, the precedent it sets in the public consciousness for assuming someone is innocent until they are proven guilty and having respect for reasonable doubt is incredibly significant since those principals are a cornerstone of our judicial and democratic system.
Thomas: Agreed. As a friend of mine rightly pointed out, true justice is never served when a judicial system wrongly convicts an innocent person, even if that means, sometimes, a guilty person goes free. Also, unlike Simpson (who was a wealthy football star and could surely afford increased security), Zimmerman lacks the same sort of means to guard himself against those who might potentially do him harm.
Lauren: It remains to see if that kind of harm could actually happen. There have been calls for larger protests and talk about a possible appeal, but Im not sure either of those are really going to happen.
Thomas: I agree, and the conversation surrounding an appeal represents little more than a gesture and is incredibly unlikely to come to fruition. The inconsistent manner in which the Stand Your Ground law has been selectively upheld seems to be the most consistently race-dependent variable (the woman who received 20 years for firing warning shots at her abusive boyfriend, the father who shot a white boy outside his house who was yelling racial slurs, etc.).
Lauren: Speaking of which, lets talk a little bit about the role that race plays in the case. There was racial profiling that occurred on both ends, although of course Zimmermans had a worse case of racism-itis. During the trial we observed a discussion of how race interacts with motivation, but race has also played a factor in the larger events surrounding the trial. Remember that at first, Zimmerman wasnt even arrested, but the protests, which largely started due to race concerns, are what caused Florida to step in and arrest Zimmerman. In addition, the overall reaction to the trials verdict has a lot to do with race as well. Many feel as though Zimmerman wouldnt have been acquitted had the races of Zimmerman and Martin been reversed. Maybe this is true and maybe it isnt; its not something we will ever know for sure, but I suspect that there is at least a grain of truth to it. Its a cold reminder that prejudice is still strong.
Thomas: We can hardly overlook the impact of race on this case, and I think the important question to ask is in what sort of direction the trial and reaction would have gone if, during that struggle between the two, Zimmerman had ended up dead with a gunshot wound to the chest. Would we be giving Trayvon the same benefit of the doubt? Would we be so quick to designate his actions as reasonable self-defense, and thus protected under Florida and federal law? And what we can glean from other similar cases, which have involved black individuals in similar circumstances as Zimmerman, is that the race of the defendant is an influencing factor in juries decisions.
Lauren: Regardless, the verdict stands, unless the case is successfully appealed. We should listen to Obamas eloquent comments on the case. We can respect the decision of the jury while seeking to foster an environment in which tragedies like Martins death will not happen again. We should fight racism, and Stand Your Ground, and not let the case be forgotten.
Thomas: The question isnt Who is guilty? Instead, its: What if we lived in a world in which George Zimmerman had offered Trayvon a ride home?
Isn’t the country sick of all this YET?
Time to move on to a few smaller and less important things like “Phony Scandals”, there sure as hell are a lot of them to address.
The verdict stands, unless it is succesfully appealed?????
No understanding of Double Jeopardy on their part.
I don’t understand the left-wing obsession with the stand your ground law, since it was never invoked in this case. Also, if the races had been reversed I suspect not only would the verdict have been the same, but the case would never have made the national news, and the shooter would probably have never been arrested. Black on white crime, even where the motive is clearly race hatred and the case involves torture and murder, never get more than a local headline and maybe some internet coverage.
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Supposedly, Trayvon was concerned that Zimmerman was a gay guy cruising for some young meat. I'm sure he would have jumped right into George's vehicle.
George Zimmerman would have offered Trayvon a ride home but the chip on the kid’s shoulder got in the way.