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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

George Zimmerman Is Probably Going to Walk, and That’s Not a Bad Thing

Posted by on Jul. 10, 2013 at 3:55 PM
  • 87 Replies

I haven't paid much attention to the trial, because I find the whole thing depressing.  I'm not even talking about GZ, really, I'm more disheartened by a certain segment of the public's reaction to TM -- the need to tear him down so that they could rationalize his death.

Anyways, I read this piece, and from what I do know about the trial, I agree with it (although I take issues with the title).  Especially that last sentence. I'm not posting this for all the GZ defenders, more so for people who think that TM's death was senseless, and are frustrated that there doesn't seem to be any recourse for it.  

by Justin Peters

Barring any unforeseen complications, George Zimmerman’s defense team is expected to rest its case this afternoon. While the trial’s not over yet, many observers have already made up their minds: Zimmerman will be found not guilty. Last weekend Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten tweeted, “I don't like George Zimmerman, & he caused this to happen, but from what I've read he will, and should, walk.” ABC analyst Dan Abrams wrote, “I just don't see how a jury convicts [Zimmerman] of second degree murder or even manslaughter in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.” The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel predicted that “unless the prosecution rallies, don’t be shocked if Zimmerman walks away totally free.”

I think they’re right. Over the past two weeks, trial-watchers have seen a lot of things: bad jokes, anguish, rage, odd disparagement of Zimmerman’s physical capabilities. But there’s one thing we haven’t seen: a compelling, factual rebuttal to Zimmerman’s account of what happened the night Trayvon Martin was killed.

Here is what we know: Trayvon Martin died in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012. If George Zimmerman hadn’t been there, Martin would still be alive. Zimmerman found Martin suspicious. He called 911. A confrontation ensued. Beyond that, the facts are unclear. There’s not much physical evidence in the case. Other than the defendant, there are no eyewitnesses. Zimmerman claims that he was attacked by Martin, and that he shot him because he felt he was at risk of great bodily harm. We can certainly speculate as to whether or not he’s telling the truth, but can we say for sure? Zimmerman’s the only one who was there, and none of the prosecution’s witnesses came close to conclusively refuting his story.

That’s a problem for the state. To convict Zimmerman, the prosecutors have to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. That hasn’t happened. And if the prosecution can’t prove its case, then Zimmerman should walk. Many will see this as an unsatisfying outcome; many will think it shouldn’t be this easy to kill someone, concoct an uncontradictable excuse, and get away with it. But a legally satisfying verdict cannot always be the same as a morally satisfying verdict. It would be unjust if Zimmerman were convicted based not on the strength of the evidence against him, but rather on the public sentiment against him.

“Remember, it's monumentally irrelevant who's morally guilty here,” Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax. “Whether or not Zimmerman was a racist and racially profiled and shouldn’t have been doing it and didn’t listen to police, that's all irrelevant in Florida law.” Dershowitz was part of the legal team that defended O.J. Simpson in his 1995 murder trial. When Simpson was acquitted, there was the sense that Simpson was saved by high-priced lawyers who clouded the issues with sideshow tactics, bombast, and catchy rhymes. (“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!”) 

But Zimmerman’s lawyers haven’t made the trial into a spectacle, or used any rhetorical tricks to obscure the facts. Instead, they’ve presented witnesses to support Zimmerman’s story: a local who testified that Zimmerman was out of shape and thus unlikely to prevail in any physical confrontation; a forensic pathologist who said that the trajectory of the bullet that killed Martin shows that Martin was on top of Zimmerman when he was shot. (The fact that Zimmerman's defense team commissioned an animated re-creation of the fight is a little bit weird, but who’s to say that computer animation isn’t the future of criminal defense law?) Don West and his team didn’t need to turn the case into a sideshow. All they needed to do was to chip away at the prosecution’s case and make clear that reasonable doubt remains.

About a week and a half ago, I wrote a piece about the media’s shabby treatment of prosecution witness Rachel Jeantel, and one reader was certain he detected some anti-Zimmerman sentiment in my column. “It sounded like you were of the opinion, based on [Jeantel’s] testimony, that after [Zimmerman] followed Trayvon that he subsequently attacked Martin,” he wrote in an email to me. “Would that be a mischaracterization?”

“Yes,” I replied. “It would be a mischaracterization. I have no way of knowing what actually happened.” I still don’t. Nobody, except for George Zimmerman, really knows what happened that night. And I suspect that’ll be enough to get him off.

by on Jul. 10, 2013 at 3:55 PM
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Replies (1-10):
LuvmyAiden
by on Jul. 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM
4 moms liked this

I have to agree. Kinda like with OJ and Casey Anthony. The prosecution MUST do a good job and they haven't. The whole situation sucks.

ashellbell
by shellbark on Jul. 10, 2013 at 5:07 PM
2 moms liked this
I think he'll walk to. People usually get what's coming to them and I hope he finds what he deserves in the near future.
Sisteract
by Whoopie on Jul. 10, 2013 at 5:26 PM
8 moms liked this

 I have a strong suspicion that this judge will allow the jury to consider lesser charges- If this is the case, I can see them convicting on manslaughter. George did create and escalate the entire event to include an encounter. He admits that he killed the innocent teen. The teen was not in the commission of a crime when he was targeted and killed. There should be consequences for such behavior, particularly when you factor in George's own words on the 911 audio- "the assholes always get away in conjunction with his admitting to following TM" clearly shows his contribution in escalating the crime, and most likely why.

romalove
by Roma on Jul. 10, 2013 at 5:31 PM
8 moms liked this

I find it frustrating in these cases that you can walk by killing the only other person who can tell a different tale.

MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Jul. 10, 2013 at 5:33 PM

OJ they had a case, but Rodney King hung over that trial as did all police brutality against blacks in at LA.during that era.   Blacks felt a wrong needed to be righted by letting OJ off.  They had evidence and motive.  The all black female jury was irate to begin with that a black man who attained wealth had ditched them for a white woman.  I remember this case like it was yesterday.

Casey Anthony, they did NOT prove their case.  Period.  No cause of death, no forensic evidence and ultimately they could not prove that CA daughter did not die due to an accident.  Negligent mother, yes...murdering mom?  The evidence was not there.

GZ knows he followed that kid for no reason and killed him because he could not beat him up.  He's the worst type of coward.   While  he may walk, he will never be `free' and I hope life eats him alive.  In addition, he will be hit with a civil suit that he will lose and ultimately never earn a living in his life because it will go directly to TM parents. 

 


Quoting LuvmyAiden:

I have to agree. Kinda like with OJ and Casey Anthony. The prosecution MUST do a good job and they haven't. The whole situation sucks.


 

MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Jul. 10, 2013 at 5:35 PM
3 moms liked this

You are supposed to simply believe GZ.  He wouldn't lie about it.


Quoting romalove:

I find it frustrating in these cases that you can walk by killing the only other person who can tell a different tale.


 

ashellbell
by shellbark on Jul. 10, 2013 at 5:36 PM
Can they file a civil suit if he's found not guilty?

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:OJ they had a case, but Rodney King hung over that trial as did all police brutality against blacks in at LA.during that era.   Blacks felt a wrong needed to be righted by letting OJ off.  They had evidence and motive.  The all black female jury was irate to begin with that a black man who attained wealth had ditched them for a white woman.  I remember this case like it was yesterday.
Casey Anthony, they did NOT prove their case.  Period.  No cause of death, no forensic evidence and ultimately they could not prove that CA daughter did not die due to an accident.  Negligent mother, yes...murdering mom?  The evidence was not there.
GZ knows he followed that kid for no reason and killed him because he could not beat him up.  He's the worst type of coward.   While  he may walk, he will never be `free' and I hope life eats him alive.  In addition, he will be hit with a civil suit that he will lose and ultimately never earn a living in his life because it will go directly to TM parents. 
 

Quoting LuvmyAiden:
I have to agree. Kinda like with OJ and Casey Anthony. The prosecution MUST do a good job and they haven't. The whole situation sucks.

 
yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Jul. 10, 2013 at 5:36 PM
1 mom liked this

 I think the article is a simple statement of fact.  The prosecution just didn't make their case.

 

MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Jul. 10, 2013 at 5:40 PM
1 mom liked this

Absolutely.  He caused the boys death.  That is all they need.  For example, while OJ was found not guilty, he did lose the civil suit filed against him by the Goldman's.  That was far more contentious than this suit will be for the simple fact that GZ admits to killing Martin while OJ still maintains his innocence.


Quoting ashellbell:

Can they file a civil suit if he's found not guilty?

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:OJ they had a case, but Rodney King hung over that trial as did all police brutality against blacks in at LA.during that era.   Blacks felt a wrong needed to be righted by letting OJ off.  They had evidence and motive.  The all black female jury was irate to begin with that a black man who attained wealth had ditched them for a white woman.  I remember this case like it was yesterday.
Casey Anthony, they did NOT prove their case.  Period.  No cause of death, no forensic evidence and ultimately they could not prove that CA daughter did not die due to an accident.  Negligent mother, yes...murdering mom?  The evidence was not there.
GZ knows he followed that kid for no reason and killed him because he could not beat him up.  He's the worst type of coward.   While  he may walk, he will never be `free' and I hope life eats him alive.  In addition, he will be hit with a civil suit that he will lose and ultimately never earn a living in his life because it will go directly to TM parents. 
 

Quoting LuvmyAiden:
I have to agree. Kinda like with OJ and Casey Anthony. The prosecution MUST do a good job and they haven't. The whole situation sucks.

 


 

Sisteract
by Whoopie on Jul. 10, 2013 at 5:42 PM
3 moms liked this

 Yep.

I find it ridiculous that the threshold for self defense is "thinking" that you're in danger- not that you're actually in danger-[ I incurred more serious injuries falling off a racing bike onto asphalt, and never for a moment did my 16 yo self "think" that my life ws in danger]. The only person who can prove this or otherwise is Zimmerman- that's just a flaw.

Quoting romalove:

I find it frustrating in these cases that you can walk by killing the only other person who can tell a different tale.

 

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