The verdict is in, and George Zimmerman was declared “not guilty” . The six person jury which made that finding is as quirky as the “stand your ground” law that loomed so large in determining this verdict. Finding 12, unbiased peers might be more complicated and costly, but it would also be less likely to succumb to personal prejudice or pressure. Had this trial happened in virtually any other state, the least that could have happened to Zimmerman would have been manslaughter. Initiating a conflict in which someone wound up dead would, at the very least, brought about that level of accountability.
Through the lense of the media, it is not possible to determine whether justice was done in this case or not. The parts of the trial that can’t be covered are exactly the places where the facts lie. But the riots that were predicted by right wing media disc jockeys didn’t materialize. That’s a good thing. And I think the discussion of disenfranchisement, which will be quite passionate for quite some time, will result in progress. The only way things get better is when there is enough attention paid to them to point out that there is a problem. With the political climate being what it is, I expect to see some changes come about as a result of this case, especially related to the kinds of laws that relate to similar situations. And that is a good thing too.
Letting people vent leads to healing. Now, more than ever, affirming the principle of free speech that we have in this country is crucial. It’s time for those who were hurt by this verdict to speak their mind. They have every right to do so.