Sunday, July 14, 2013

Impressions of the Zimmerman Verdict

So, "Georgie" Zimmerman is a free man. I found it interesting that Zimmerman's friends and family called him "Georgie", as if here were some sort of big teddy bear during their testimony during the trial. Do they really feel that way after he shot someone in "self defense"?

I imagine that people are going to be a lot more polite to Zimmerman now that he's been acquitted. "Yes, sir." "No, sir." "Is there anything else I can do for you, *sir*?" He's is now going to get the respect that he's always wanted. After seeing his smug little smile in pictures taken after the verdict was read, I had the impression that he nothing but contempt for his opponents.

Why did Zimmerman go free? For one, there was lots of conflicting testimony. There is only one living witness who was there the whole time during the altercation between Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. But no one else can give a complete account of the incident. Isn't it interesting the Zimmerman didn't even testify? If he truly believed he was not guilty, then he should have no trouble testifying on his own behalf.

There was some confusion as to which charge Zimmerman was accused of. Some say it was 2nd degree murder. Others say manslaughter. The prosecution tried both and still failed.

Even the technology at hand could not lend much certainty to the evidence. Many reports indicated that the screams heard on the phone could not be distinguished by voice recognition between Martin or Zimmerman. That could have been a deciding factor. But the expert witnesses qualified to make that determination were whittled down to those only in favor of the defense.

But the biggest determining factor was the "stand your ground" law in force at the time of the shooting. The jury had to take into account Zimmerman's state of mind. Zimmerman claimed he was in fear for his life and felt justified to use his concealed gun. Some say that Zimmerman never would have left his car had he not had a gun. That would make the fight more even. But Zimmerman left his car and followed Martin even after the 911 dispatch told him not to.

Zimmerman may be a free man, but is he really free today? He's a celebrity. It's only a matter of time before he finds himself interviewed on Fox News gloating over his legal victory. If he shows camera presence, he might be a good candidate for a job on Fox News that will pay his legal bills. What legal bills?

The legal bills he will pay when someone, the DOJ, Martin's family, almost certainly somebody, who will come looking for money with a civil lawsuit against Zimmerman.

Zimmerman may be free, but he may spend the rest of his days never really knowing for sure if he is safe.
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