Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Martyrs and Pawns

File Under:  The Law Is Not Mocked

This is a spillover of two separate conversations.  In the first conversation, I erroneously stated Zimmerman was charged with first-degree murder.  In response to a photograph highlighting the testimony of the doctor during the trial, which noted Zimmerman's injuries on the night of Trayvon's death were "insignificant," I asked, "how significant George Zimmerman's wounds would have been if he had not shot Trayvon Martin?"  Here is the my two cents on George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial:

We know who killed Trayvon Martin, why he was killed, with what he was killed, and when his death occurred? What we do not know is how the altercation that lead to Trayvon's death was precipitated?  So who committed a crime first?  Zimmerman certainly committed the first mistake, but did he commit a crime? Following someone is not a crime, asking someone a question also is not a crime, and not listening to a 911 operator is not a crime. 911 operators are not authority figures, they cannot tell you what to do. If Zimmerman stopped Martin and prevented him from leaving or gave him the impression that he could not leave, that would be a crime: false imprisonment.  However, if Martin stopped of his own free will, then no crime was committed.  Approaching someone in a public place is not a crime either. The jury must decide who assaulted whom first.

If George Zimmerman had stayed in his car, Trayvon Martin probably would not have doubled-back to confront him and Trayvon would likely still be alive.  If Trayvon Martin had kept walking, he would definitely be alive today. If Trayvon Martin had called 911 instead of his girlfriend, he might still be dead but at least we would have a reliable record of what happened. As someone else pointed out: "they both did something stupid." The question is who committed a crime first.  Zimmerman is facing a minimum of 25 years.l even manslaughter is a minimum of nine and a quarter. Given the evidence, I think it would be a mistake to convict Zimmerman of murder. That would be a miscarriage of justice.

What is on trial here is not really George Zimmerman: Trayvon attacked Zimmerman - case closed. What is on trial is the handling of the investigation, the racial profiling of Martin by Zimmerman and the police, and the validity of stand your ground laws. If Martin had killed Zimmerman he would have went to jail that night and been held or no bond or a bond of ridiculous proportions. The shooter not the victim would have been subjected to a toxicology screening. If the media covered the story at all, the media would have spread images of Trayvon that portrayed him as the violence-loving, rebellious, drug-using wannabe thug that he was.  Trayvon has been made a false martyr and Zimmerman, should Zimmerman be convicted, will become the sacrificial pawn that helps someone else jockey for position to execute their political checkmate.

"Hurricane" by Bob Dylan from Desire released 1975 on Columbia

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