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Please begin with an informative title:

Last night, the Daily Show returned after a 2-week hiatus with John Oliver just ripping into the George Zimmerman verdict.

Anyway, after all that, the entire Daily Show staff here was chomping at the bit — (image of sexy young people at the beach) yes, that's what we look like, why are you surprised?  We were chomping at the bit to get back to work at this comedy news show, and that feeling lasted until around 10pm on Saturday night.
JUROR (7/13/2013): We, the jury, find the defendant, George Zimmerman, not guilty.
(audience boos in disgust)

Ho Lee Fuk!

So... so he's innocent?  Wait, what??  How could that possibly...  You've got to be kid....  There is no way....  I can't even....  Oh my God!  Which I guess is what we'll call tonight's segment.

'Cause that feels about right.  That feels in your heart about right.  (audience applause)

Of the many truly depressing things about this case where a man was found not guilty after admitting pursuing and shooting an unarmed teenager, one is just how unsurprised people seem to be about the verdict.

MIKE BARNICLE (7/15/2013):They had no other option, given the scriptures of the law in Florida.

FOX NEWS ANALYST (7/14/2013): If at any point in that altercation, that Zimmerman felt that his life was in grave bodily harm or imminent danger, he had the right under Florida's law to pull that trigger.

Right, and that is what makes this so much worse, that we can get a verdict like this not because the system is broken down, but because the system worked exactly as it's designed.  How does 2013 Florida have a law that seems cut and pasted from 1881 Tombstone?

Because let's be clear here.  According to current Florida law, you can get a gun, follow an unarmed minor, call the police, have them explicitly tell you to stop following them, then choose to ignore that, keep following the minor, get into a confrontation with him, and if at any point during that process you get scared, you can shoot the minor to death, and the state of Florida will say, "Well, look, you did what you could."

You know, you know what?  I think it might honestly be time for the Sunshine State to officially change its motto.

(wild audience cheering and applause)

Yes, because that seems accurate right now.  Look, this is an awful story.  And it is hard to make a case for it not being at least partially about race.  Now it definitely has some racial undertones, if not racial only-tones.  Is there anything that we can learn from this terrible tragedy?  Let's hear from George Zimmerman's defense attorney.


REPORTER: The prosecution raised this question about whether the outcome would be different if the races of the defendant and the victim were different.


MARK O'MARA: I think that the things would've been different if George Zimmerman was black for this reason — he never would've been charged with a crime.

(shocked audience response)

Yeah, I suppose the one thing our justice system is notorious for is how lenient it is on black people.  Look, as long as we're doing hypotheticals, I wonder what it would feel like if George Zimmerman had, say, a family member, maybe a brother, who said something so breathtakingly unaware, that it makes you think that there might genuinely be a genetic problem in the Zimmerman family pool.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN (7/13/2013): He's a free man in the eyes of the court, but he's going to be looking around his shoulder for the rest of his life.  There are factions, there are groups, there are people that would want to take the law into their own hands as they perceived it or, you know, be vigilantes in some sense.
(shocked audience laughter as John facepalms)

Yeah, you just heard right.  That was George Zimmerman's brother expressing a fear of armed vigilantes.

If Florida's laws are so flawed as to let a tragic incident like this go unpunished, what, I wonder, are they going to do about it?


JON MEACHAM: Do you see any action on the Stand Your Ground laws on the gun legislation side of this coming out of the outrage over the decision?

KENDALL COFFEY: Not in Florida.  As you recall, the Governor appointed a commission, they didn't recommend any changes.  People in Florida like their guns.

OK, Florida.  Just because you're shaped like some combination of a gun and a dick, doesn't mean you have to act that way.  (wild audience cheering and applause)

No, no, let me take that back.  I'm sorry, that's an emotional response.  I shouldn't have said that, I take it back.

The fact is, whether we agree with them or not — (whispers) and we don't — the Sunshine State does have very strong self-defense laws, including its famous Stand Your Ground provision.  They may seem stupid — (whispers) they do seem incredibly stupid — but at least they're applied rigorously across the board.

RANDI KAYE (5/12/2012): A Florida woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a gun into the air.  Marissa Alexander's defense was Florida's Stand Your Ground law.  But a judge ruled that the law didn't apply in the case of Alexander firing a gun into the air, to supposedly scare off her abusive husband. ... A jury convicted Alexander after only 12 minutes.
(audience boos in disgust)

Has it ever occurred to anyone when visiting Orlando that when Mickey Mouse is waving at you, what he's actually trying to say is, "Please, someone get me the fuck out of here!!  These people are fucking crazy!!!"

(wild audience cheering and applause)

We'll be right back.

Video below the fold.

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

John opened the show by quickly recapping all the incredible news they missed over the last two weeks.
Al Madrigal then took umbrage at how Latinos are viewed as a monolithic group, and talked about how diverse the Latino community actually is.
Meanwhile, Stephen also covered the Zimmerman verdict and demonstrated that racial inequality in the U.S. is actually at a tie now.
He then looked at the story of a man who got a SkyMiles card for... his cello.  Stephen also covered how KTVU in San Francisco fell for those fake Asiana pilot names.
John had on The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin, but much like in the blackout episode in Season 1, right after Al Madrigal's segment, something blew up, and all the cameras and monitors in the studio went dead, so they had to record the interview with hand-held cameras.  Wow.  Stephen had on reporter Jeremy Scahill to talk about drones.
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