Saturday, July 13, 2013

Waiting for a Verdict

The mood on Facebook and the blogs is grim.  Nobody likes to think about the possible outcomes:

  • Zimmerman is acquitted - riots destroy not only Sanford, but possibly other cities

  • Zimmerman is convicted of SOMETHING - probably NOT 2nd degree murder, but manslaughter - a man loses a good portion of his life and money, although not objectively guilty of the crime

  • Hung jury - contrary to the idea that this would be GOOD for Zimmerman, it just puts off the inevitable.  The next jury thinks, he got lucky the first time, and convicts him (particularly since Zimmerman is unlikely to have the cash for another set of lawyers).  If not prosecuted, see first bullet point (no pun intended).

Sultan Knish has a rather thoughtful piece about these cases, and why they so often involve the lower-middle classes.

The fact is, Zimmerman's neighborhood was being victimized by thugs.  The residents did not have the money to escape the problems.  Society thought that the rights of the perps were more important than the right of Zimmerman and his neighbors to be safe in their own homes.

Was Martin one of those thugs?  Who really knows?  There was no direct evidence at the scene to prove that he was - on the other hand, he apparently had time enough to go back to his father's fiancee's house and stash anything incriminating.  He may well have been just what his family and friends said - a kid in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That having been said, he had NO right to attack Zimmerman, let alone to smash his head in concrete.  That Zimmerman felt threatened was a natural extension of Martin's actions.  So, in that sense, the killing was justified.

It is, in all ways, a Shakespearean tragedy.  Hubris, youthful aggression, family dynamics, death.

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