The Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman trial was brought to an end with a tragic but remarkably predictable ending, George Zimmerman walking free. Of course, George Zimmerman will never be “free” for as long as he lives as he will always be known as the man who killed a boy and got away with it. He will probably have invest heavily in personal security and get used to long and dirty looks from people as well as threats and actual attempts on his life.
While it is right that President Barack Obama and a number of public figures and religious leaders have stressed calm in the wake of protests and public outrage over the verdict, Zimmerman has to come to the fact that despite 12 of his peers found him innocent, huge swathes of a nation 310 million strong would beg to differ.
The non-guilty verdict in some sense was never in doubt and all you needed to know to find out how sure this verdict was down line was to watch TV coverage and see how bad a job the prosecution were doing in proving intent. Also another signal that the Martin family were not going to get justice was the attitude Zimmerman’s defence had throughout the case.
It’s not uncommon for lawyers to be confident in a case they are confident enough to try and prove in open court but I’ll doubt there is a lawyer in this world with enough confidence in his case to start his opening argument with a “knock, Knock” joke. Every time his defence made an appearance in the press, they had the swagger suggesting that the case was in the bag and the rest of the case was just a formality as the prosecution failed to make their case starting with the disastrous witness testimony of the clearly nervous and un-prepped Rachel Jeantel and letting Zimmerman’s defence control the narrative of the trial.
For all the fanfare of the trial, the aftermath of the trial regardless of the verdict is more important than the trial itself as a nation got to reflect on the big issues that underline the case, the most apparent being guns and race. The twittersphere lit up in outrage in lieu of the verdict citing other injustices and the unfairness of the ruling. In the physical world, there were widespread protests across the nation that were largely peaceful despite reasonable worries that all hell would break loose should Zimmerman be set free.
While Zimmerman maybe “free”, it is certainly not the end as the NAACP have made their intent clear urging the Department of Justice to launch an inquiry into the case. Whether the DOJ will look into the case is questionable but the NAACP seems committed in seeing the DOJ involved. This verdict as well the murder of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy as while Zimmerman’s guilt couldn’t be proved beyond reasonable doubt, Trayvon Martin’s death and his family grief goes beyond doubt altogether.
In sum, George Zimmerman was found not guilty for the murder of Trayvon Martin as he will be the only person who knew what exactly happened on that fateful February evening. But from what we know, Zimmerman in the eyes of many is guilty for profiling Martin, stalking him even when the cops told him to wait in his car till they showed up and getting out the car to confront the youngster which in the eyes of the public makes Zimmerman as guilty as sin as if he followed the advice of the cops and stayed in his vechile, Martin would be alive and Zimmerman would not have to watch his back as long as he lives for what he did.