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The verdict in the George Zimmerman trial appalled me, as it appalled so many of you. Like you, I feel that justice was not done.  But it is not Trayvon Martin who was denied justice at the trial: Trayvon Martin would have been denied justice even if George Zimmerman had been found guilty of murder.  Trayvon Martin was denied justice because he was killed for no decent reason.

Indeed, because this was a criminal trial, Trayvon Martin was not even a party to the trial. Those two parties were George Zimmerman and the state of Florida. In a criminal trial, there is a high burden of proof on one party: The state. The state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did what he or she is accused of. The defense need do nothing. The jury found (unreasonably, to my way of thinking) that the state had not met that burden.

So, the people who were denied justice by the verdict are the people of Florida, and, by a not unreasonable extension, the people of the whole USA (after all, we are United States).

Why is this important? I think it is important because it vastly broadens the group to whom injustice was done.  George Zimmerman did an injustice to Trayvon Martin. The law, the judge and the jury did an injustice to us all.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't blame the jury. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, LNK, polecat

    A pathetic prosecution and Florida law made it almost impossible for the jury to convict.

  •  The new secrets to shooting people successfully: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, a2nite

    1) Make sure they're dead
    2) Fewer witnesses improve your odds
    3) Appear to be injured to some degree
    4) know about SYG-type defenses
    5) Through out enough doubt so that the evidence from the scene goes ungathered
    6) (in re#4) Say as little as possible -- appear to be in shock
    7) become cause célébrité and enjoy the benefits of other people's money during your 15 minutes

    Note of caution: Don't lie to the judge about the money you've received from #7.

    God help us all, and I'm boycotting Florida in addition to AZ and SC.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 10:36:43 AM PDT

  •  We aren't united at all nt (0+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 11:08:04 AM PDT

  •  suggestion for a dailykos petition (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Please start a dailykos petition to the FLORIDA JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION  to censure the judge in the Zimmerman trial for refusing to instruct the jury on Title XLVI

    776.041 Use of force by aggressor.­The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
    (1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
    (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
    (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

    For more background see Alafair Burke's article about this.

    Jerry Lobdill

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