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Will The Zimmerman Trial Go The Way We Think Or The Way We Hope?

Submitted by on June 23, 2013 – 1:21 pm13 Comments

George Zimmerman‘s trial for the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin begins tomorrow morning. While it took a lot of organizing, protesting, letter writing, and intensity to even get to this point (recall that Zimmerman was initially released from police custody without having been charged), will we really feel vindicated if a trial without a conviction is all we get?

This is an important question. Think of the names of the people, our people, who died or were brutally attacked under similar circumstances. Rodney King. Amadou Diallo. Sean Bell. Oscar Grant. How many of us were satisfied with the results of those trials? The only time in recent memory that a trial ended fairly was in the Danziger Bridge shootings in New Orleans, and that was after years of investigation following the first verdict.

Unfortunately, there is a real chance for this case to turn out to be more of the same. It may seem that momentum and public unrest and even the fear of rioting are on our side, but in all of the cases named above, our justice system showed us how much it cares about what we think of its rulings, verdicts, and sentences.

Despite the anguish this kind of realization can cause, all we can do now is watch and wait. The jury of six women – five white, one a minority – has been selected. Pretrial motions have been filed, and now it’s time for testimony, evidence, and the whole nine.

Things to look out for as we watch this trial are:

  • A very confident, albeit misguided, defense team. Recall that Zimmerman first asked for, then rejected, a Stand Your Ground hearing. This means that at some point he decided he wanted to be tried in front of a jury and believes he can win.
  • Demonizing characterization of Trayvon Martin. The defense is likely to try to convince the jury (especially when one considers whom that jury consists of) that Trayvon was an aggressive, scary, confrontational thug. Unfortunately, his parents will have to sit there silently while these things are said or implied about their son.
  • Evidence about robberies in the neighborhood. Several crimes had been committed or attempted in the neighborhood where the shooting took place in the days leading up to it. Most of them involved young black men. Blogs and publications would eventually report on this as if this made it OK for a young black man to be suspected of criminal activity based on his mere presence, to be overzealously pursued and killed. Will the defense make the same case and if so, how receptive will the jury be? At least four of the six jurors are mothers. They might be able to relate to someone who claimed to be protecting his family and his neighborhood.

Hopefully, by the time both sides have rested their cases and the jury has deliberated, there will be justice for Trayvon, and for a group that grows increasingly suspicious of and enraged at our justice system with every marginalizing decision.

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  • montezuma says:

    How about justice for zimmerman! I’m sure he wasn’t out to kill someone and I’m sure travon wasn’t hop scotching home with his skittles singing church songs!

  • Jameson says:

    Nice hate piece. It appears the author would rather the jury ignore the evidence and just convict under threat of riots. Impressively ignorant of you.

    The evidence shows that Zimmerman is protected by the stand your ground law. If you want to hate on somebody, hate on Florida’s stand your ground law.

  • Buster Brown says:

    This is Florida. Here everyone keeps a weapon for self defense.

    In the Saint Petersburg riot the police kept the rioters contained
    in their own neighborhoods. The rioters trashed their own homes and
    business’s but didn’t venture into other areas of the city.

    Police, in essence, protected the rioters from the armed citizens of St. Pete. And Sanford is full of rednecks praying for a chance to “defend” themselves from rioters. The police in Sanford may be unable to protect those who want to cause violence. If you want a good riot hold it in Miami…The police there are a little more PC.

  • BigMac says:

    Agree with the first poster: We need impartial justice, which includes the living Zimmerman. I don’t know what exactly transpired, and suspect in the end we will not be sure “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and as such the correct action of justice should be “not guilty”. All of the strong feelings aside, it’s important not to lose track of the fact that the defense should only need to produce a “reasonable doubt” of guilt to get their client off. Trayvon will continue to be dead. His family will continue to experience the loss. No doubt Zimmerman will suffer in the future. But justice should be based on the answer to the question of the homicide charge beyond a reasonable doubt. And I also believe that if this trial were in the hands of a judge, not a jury, NG would be the verdict.

  • Zack says:

    Wow. The article just about convicts this man before the trial. You really can’t believe anything you see on any mainstream news outlets anymore. Have you done any research about this kid? He was a punk and a thug to say the least. I am not saying he should have been shot,or killed for that matter, but we don’t know the whole truth, and probably never will, thanks to our state-run media.

  • The Truth says:

    Ah yes, one of the first of many since propaganda attacks on our Gun rights . Every one of these widely publicized shootings has been full of misquotes, lies, and distorted facts. The mainstream media may as well be another branch of the government, everything they report seems to be a lie after doing a few minutes of research. What a joke.

  • Suspicious mind says:

    Hey Chris J, were you at the scene of this alleged crime? How can you convict a man based on no evidence at all? You are either part of the Obama anit-rights agenda/ Propaganda machine or just an idiot.

  • Walford says:

    You’re forgetting Witness #6, “John.”


    “John” was the closest witness to Zimmerman and Trayvon, only about 20 feet away. He SAW and HEARD that it was ZIMMERMAN screaming for help, and that it was TRAYVON “throwing down blows on the guy, kinda MMA style.”

    Once Witness #6 testifies, this case is OVER. It is COMPLETELY OVER.

  • Msbribap says:

    Great piece. I honestly believe he’s going to get off because really and truly when has America ever gave two flying flips about dead Black boys? I mean really when? The four names you named are few of MANY cases (as you know) of Blacks being gunned down in the streets and no “justice” being served.
    A lot of people want to ignore the fact that there wouldn’t have been ANY confrontation had Zimmerman stayed in his car as he was instructed to do. Unless Martin ran up his squad car, yanked him from the driver seat, and then proceeded to beat him I have no idea why people can’t entertain the notion that even if Martin was “winning” (using it loosely since he’s DEAD currently) the fight, he was acting in self defense. Even though the weight difference between the two does not lend itself to that scenario playing out in real life.
    I also find it LAUGHABLE that people consider a predominantly white, female jury “unbiased” as if only people of color can rule or decide in the interests of their own people. White people rule in white people’s favors ALL THE TIME (i.e. Emmett Till). Whether ZImmerman is hispanic this dead black child and his family will prob not receive justice. Of course there’s always one witness who will testify for the defense but seeing as how they’re more people who said it was the other way around, I don’t quite see how witness #6 is a dealbreaker.
    We can skate around racism all we want, doesn’t make it go away and if you see this as anything other than racism at work, you’re more likely than not, racist yourself. I don’t see anything less racist than defending the murderer of a black child who was blatantly attacked and killed on the way home.

  • Murf says:

    Where was the indignation when the lacrosse players were accused of raping that black prostitute and then everyone found out she lied? Where was Rev Jackson with his apologies and all the rest that got on TV to convict those kids publicly? Let the courts do what needs to be done. Not everyone will agree for their own personal reasons, but the law is the law and if you want justice because of your personal prejudices then leave and go to a country that still allows justice without a trial.

  • smplyjai says:

    My heart is literally broken over this trial. And seeing how so many white people out of the wood work and saying that he somehow deserved to be murdered scares me to death. I mean this is 2013 ! Im afraid for my brothers and my kids! Its okay in 2013 to stalk an unarmed teenager with a loaded gun and kill him for defending himself to a grown man! Why is this okay. No one should ever have to defend being killed! I could see if he was actually doing something illegal but he was just walking home. I feel like this is the Emmitt Till of my generation. My heart literally aches. In 2013 a black life is still next nothing in america.

  • Pat Ciesla says:

    If Zimmerman had done what he was told and STAYED in the car, Martin would be alive!!! Zimmerman is an egotist who didn’t get what he wanted and took it out on others. WHY didn’t they bring up what others he stalked, threated and . . . . . .

    My he rot somewhere.

  • Frank Ecker says:

    This trial is a left wing trial. A DA doesn’t care if you’re guilty or not. They just want to win! That’s why they lie daily.

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