The VIEW from here

Zimmerman trial, reaction an epic failure


Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

When George Zimmerman was acquitted Sunday of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., it was an epic failure in more ways than one.

The first and most obvious failure was that of the justice system. Zimmerman killed the unarmed youth without a doubt, and according to jurors it was selfdefense. Was it murder? No. Manslaughter? Perhaps.

What was clear is both Zimmerman and Martin were victims of their own bad judgment. Beyond that, look at the facts and then draw a conclusion.

Zimmerman had his day in court, he received a fair trial and he was acquitted. Like it or not, that is how our legal system in the United States works. It has been this way for generations and, unless changed, that is how it will continue to work.

The verdict falls in with other bad calls by juries — the O.J. Simpson and the Casey Anthony cases, both being good examples of the legal system gone haywire. But it was a fair trial, nonetheless.

You can argue it was a biased jury, it was racism or a poor prosecution. Whatever excuses you want to make for the outcome of the trial — it is what it is. A murder acquittal means double jeopardy, so Zimmerman can’t be tried again for the death of Trayvon Martin.

But people complain, they protest, they yell discrimination or celebrities come rushing to the scene to say their peace and suddenly we have the Unites States Attorney General Eric Holder, talking about possible civil rights charges.

Trayvon Martin was denied the freedom of life, so his civil rights were violated. I’ve heard this contingency thrown out there as a possible way to bring Zimmerman to “justice.”

That’s mob justice, in my opinion. You know, a lynchmob. If the authorities can’t deal out the justice the mob calls for, then people will take matters into their own hands. If we’re going to start charging accused murderers with civil rights crimes, then shouldn’t we handle every murder that way? You are accused of murder, you are tried by a jury of your peers and if you are found innocent, bring the federal government forth and let them prosecute for violating the civil rights of the victim.

If any segment of the population thinks Zimmerman got off easy and should have been found guilty, they should seek political means to change the system.

Zimmerman was tried and found not guilty by a jury of his peers in the killing of Martin. This is the same system that tries and either convicts or acquits hundreds of people every day on a host of charges.

It is much like gambling — the outcome can either be for or against the person on trial and the stakes can often be high.

So I urge those angry with the outcome of the Zimmerman trial to stop complaining, stop threatening violence and stop claiming bias and do something constructive with your outrage. Either change the system or accept the outcome of an imperfect legal system, created by imperfect people.

ggould@mihomepaper.com


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