Zimmerman verdict: Not guilty
Late Saturday night, the jury in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial acquitted him of all charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. The verdict required 15 hours of deliberation over the course of two days, according to Fox News, which relays the unhappy reactions of the professional race-baiting industry:
Supporters of Martin’s family who had gathered outside the courthouse yelled out “No! No!”
“Today, justice failed Trayvon Martin and his family,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP in a statement. “We call immediately for the Justice Department to conduct an investigation into the civil rights violations committed against Trayvon Martin. This case has re-energized the movement to end racial profiling in the United States.”
“We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, in another statement. “We stand with Trayvon’s family and we are called to act. We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed.”
Does someone want to remind Mr. Jealous that the Stand Your Ground law played no part in Zimmerman’s defense? Or that, according to testimony, there’s considerably more evidence of Martin “racially profiling” Zimmerman than the reverse? The media certainly conducted some intense racial profiling on the “white,” and later “White Hispanic,” Zimmerman. Or are facts and law completely irrelevant at this point?
Earlier on Saturday, the jury had requested clarification on the instructions for manslaughter, a charge hastily added by the judge (over what CNN describes as “the defense’s vehement objection”) near the end of the trial. This led many observers to think the jury fairly quickly reached a not-guilty verdict on second degree murder, but needed more time to work out the manslaughter verdict. The prosecution also wanted to throw in a charge of third-degree murder based on Zimmerman committing aggravated child abuse against the 17-year-old Martin, but fortunately for the rule of law and the sanity of the justice system, Judge Debra Nelson wouldn’t go for that.
CNN brings the responses of both the defense and prosecution teams:
When he learned his fate, a quiet Zimmerman had little visible reaction. His face was mostly expressionless. He turned and shook the hand of one of his attorneys before sitting back down, only openly smiling after court was adjourned. His parents, Robert and Gladys Zimmerman, were seated nearby, but Martin’s parents were not in the courtroom.
Defense attorney Mark O’Mara said a short time later that he and his team were “ecstatic” with the verdict.
“George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self defense,” O’Mara said.
[...] Florida State Attorney Angela Corey defended the second-degree murder charge that was filed against Zimmerman, telling reporters late Saturday that the allegations “fit the bill” for the charge.
“We believe that we brought out the truth on behalf of Trayvon Martin,” Corey told reporters shortly after the verdict was announced.
One of her prosecutors, Bernie de la Rionda, expressed disappointment with the jury’s decision, but acceptance as well.
“It’s not perfect, but it’s the best of the world,” he said of the jury system. “And we respect the jury’s verdict.”
It’s funny Angela Corey should mention bringing out the truth, because Saturday morning brought reports that IT technician who blew the whistle on prosecution efforts to hide evidence found on Trayvon Martin’s cell phone from the defense had been fired, with a hand-delivered letter that said he “can never again be trusted to step foot in this office.” The whistleblower, Ben Kruidbos, denies allegations in the letter that he “did a poor job overseeing the Information Technology department” and “violated public records law for retaining documents,” according to a report at Jacksonville.com.