Now that the verdict is in, a few thoughts:
1. Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old kid who purchased his iced tea and Skittles from a neighborhood convenience outlet and was walking home in his own neighborhood. THIS IS NOT A CRIME NOR IS IT ILLEGAL OR SUSPICIOUS.
2. Zimmerman was told by 911 to stop following Trayvon. 911 operators are trained on what actions to take and recommend. Zimmerman articulated NO reasonable suspicion for police intervention much less his own. Zimmerman showed total disregard for law enforcement by taking matters into his own hands.
3. A NOT GUILTY verdict does NOT mean Zimmerman is innocent. As it is not uncommon in murder trials with no direct eyewitnesses, Zimmerman benefitted because his was the ONLY side of the story presented.
4. Zimmerman lied about very basic stuff: the streets involved (maybe he was trying to throw off cops from neighborhood witnesses), the screams being his (when he first heard the screams played by the detective he said that it didn't sound like him); these are not arguments- these are all documented facts. Why relevant ? He is the only one ALIVE left to tell the story. Those screams 'being his' proved to be the bedrock of his self defense theory that got him a Not Guilty. Despite a neighbor being there (directly hearing them) telling police at the time it was not a grown man's screams.
5. 6 jurors on a murder trial. It is acceptable to have 6 jurors on a misdemeanor, but not on a felony. This should have been a 12 person jury. Florida needs to revamp their laws. Most states have 6 on misdemeanors and 12 on felonies. There is a legal and common sense reason to this. When the stakes are higher, there must be MORE consensus from the community.
6. Outside factors. Little things to judges such as keeping jurors till 10 pm can backfire. Here the defense was audible in their complaints. The judge staunchly held firm. The jurors could have really identified with the defense lawyers and started subconsciously seeing them as their mouthpiece and savior as well (as jurors have very little say on the proceedings until deliberations start). It is never good to for jurors to feel punished. This can produce sympathy and bias for the defense. Jurors do not like to feel as if they are in jail throughout the process. Many judges make the mistake of ignoring normal social protocols honored in the workplace when it comes to reasonable work hours.
7. It would be a mistake to give any media publicity to these jurors. This trial is already about one tragedy. Any juror willing to make money off the life of this young 17 year old boy does not have the proper judgment to be listened to. Any business or media outlet willing to pay for it contributes to desecrating the honor of an innocent young man. Whether or not Zimmerman is innocent, it is a fact that 17 yearold Trayvon Martin, unarmed and walking home in his own neighborhood being chased (fact by the 911 call and timing of events) is innocent. It it also a fact that Trayvon Martin under these circumstances is legally entitled to self defense.
8. The sad lesson here. Most men I know would turn around and fight someone following them at night. What this verdict states is you better kill that person because if you don't, he will kill you and get off. An example of this same flawed mentality nationwide is you are better off risking driving home intoxicated because if you do the right thing and park to sleep it off you will still be arrested for DWI.
9. Had George Zimmerman been an unemployed man living off welfare who did the same thing versus a man with police connections and his self appointed position of 'neighborhood watch' we wouldn't be discussing this case. He would already have been convicted. I see this all the time with DWIs, police officers even when they are wrong are always given extra credibility and backed up. It is time we stop this. This is the public's fault. DAs do it because of verdicts like this one.
10. Young people do not be scared. There are still people like me who are out there to protect you and your rights. You keep on living. You keep on going to the neighborhood store to buy your iced tea and Skittles. Our Founding Fathers sacrificed and fought for us to have those rights: the simple pleasures to be free and to live without fear when we are doing nothing wrong. THOSE 6 WOMEN DO NOT REPRESENT THE REST OF US. Their verdict does not represent how the rest of the nation feels, just theirs. I would have made Zimmerman answer for his crime.
Zimmerman appeared on Hannity Live yesterday. When asked if he regretted getting out of the car and following Trayvon that night, he responded "No Sir." When asked if he regretted having a gun on him, he responded "No Sir." What more needs to be said ?