No Justice for Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman has been found not guilty by a six person jury consisting of five white women and one Hispanic woman.

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Jury acquits George Zimmerman of second-degree murder in shooting of Trayvon Martin.

I can’t say I’m entirely shocked, however it’s good to be wrong about these things from time to time. It would be a pleasant surprise to be wrong. To not have our most cynical suspicions confirmed.

The jury was given a choice between second degree murder and manslaughter, however they couldn’t even find it in themselves to declare a mistrial or hung jury. They cleared George Zimmerman of all charges within a day.

I can’t say that it’s now open season on black youths in America, because the truth is it already was and it always has been. If George Zimmerman had killed a white child instead, I wouldn’t be making this somber post right now because he would have actually been arrested on the night of the murder and locked away soon after.

Racism killed Trayvon Martin and racism set George Zimmerman free. And, speaking for myself, Don West is a loathsome, astonishing piece of shit.

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  • Lady Willpower

    I just have to sit in the corner and cry now.

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      I am so sincerely sorry.

  • Angie Watkins

    As usual, you hit the nail on the head, Bob.

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      It was Ashby, not Bob. Just sayin’ because Bob often gets the credit for Ashby’s work. And I love Bob’s work, but credit where credit is due.

      And you’re right………Ashby did hit the nail on the head.

  • missliberties

    Totally.

  • missliberties

    Think about what this says to the rest of the world.

    What an awful day for America.

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      Even worse, think about what it says to black men, and the mothers of black men.

      • missliberties

        It’s a tragedy beyond comprehension that in this day and age mothers of black boys and girls have to coach their children in keeping a low profile while walking, driving black.

      • nasani

        The message is unmistakable: The lives of Black men, especially the young Black men, is not worthy two cents. I am certain if Zimmerman had killed some one’s dog with impunity he would have at least done some jail time plus restitution.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    And, if you listen closely, you can hear the sound of racists firing off their penis extenders in jubilation over Trayvon Martin denied his justice.

    Disgraceful. And yet, not at all a surprise.

  • Clusterpuck

    Justice was served. It got it wrong in this case but, both parties got their day in Court. Unfortunately, today the guilty went free.

    As for Don West, yes he’s the worst sort. In fact, as I said to my wife, these two defense attorneys really must be proud. (And I say that as a person who has great reverence for defense attorneys and the role they play in our adversarial system of justice.) In order to win, they put the victim on trial, and for whatever reason (I fault the DAs for not defending Trayvon’s right to be in the neighborhood), that argument won. Both Mara and West now get to go sip Scotch knowing they helped a man get away with an unjust killing.

    It makes no sense to me but, I didn’t sit in that jury box for 12 days. So, sad day overall but, at least Trayvon got his days in Court.

    • JMAshby

      Justice was not served if the guilty went free.

      • Clusterpuck

        I respect the opinion but, the “guilty” go free often in our system of justice. I spoke only to the fact that Zimmerman was brought forward to answer for his actions.

        As I’m sure you recall, even that seemed remote at one point in this tragedy.

        • JMAshby

          Just because we have a system of justice does not mean justice is always rendered.

          • Clusterpuck

            Mr. Ashby, allow me to restate: I respect the (your) opinion. In addition: “…today the guilty went free.”

            Lady Justice is blinded for a reason. The people who heard the case, fairly presented, from both sides, voted “not guilty”. That’s justice. That it didn’t result in what we consider the “correct” outcome doesn’t make injustice. It’s just a failing inherent to our legal system that sometimes the guilty go free.

            Lastly, so KABoink doesn’t cream his shorts whilst preparing his attack- I think this verdict was wrong. There’s no way that any of the critical events of that night happen if Mr. Zimmerman follows instructions and stays in his truck.

            To be more succinct (Google it, KAB), Mr. Zimmerman gained no tactical/strategic advantage by his pursuit of Mr. Martin. And, by following Mr. Martin he provoked the mortal combat that followed.

            If there’s blame to lay, I lay it at the feet of the prosecution. They allowed Trayvon to be put on trial and never once asserted Trayvon’s rights to self-defense/stand-your-ground (which would have removed the whole “armed himself with a sidewalk” hooey).

            So, I’ll close now and say “let fly” with all the “slings and arrows” I apparently deserve for focusing attention on the target- a man was charged, tried and, (wrongly) acquitted. It sucks but, it’s still “justice”.

        • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

          You’re babbling again.

      • nasani

        Exactly!

    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      You shouldn’t babble nonsense when clearly justice was not served today.
      An armed stalker hunted down and murdered a 17 year old child in cold blood after being told by authorities to stay in his vehicle.
      But if you’re from the south where killing unarmed black kids is okay in your opinion, I understand where you are coming from.

      • Claude Weaver

        Now that is unfair. He isn’t “babbling nonsense”, and all the snide remarks and downvoting is ridiculous. There is no reason to call him racist or act like he is saying something offensive or all that outrageous.

        He is right: there was a point where just getting Zimmerman to stand trial was considered a victory. We wouldn’t even have this verdict to be mad over if some folks had their way.

        So yeah, in a sad, sad way, justice did get served. The machine worked. It doesn’t mean we have to like the results.

        Don’t start lashing out at other people in anger unless they say something really repugnant.

        • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

          I was in an angry mood and shouldn’t vent like that.
          I will agree that the Florida ‘stand your ground’ law is disastrously wrong and our legal system failed, but I just find any justification to say that justice was served.

  • trgahan

    “Stand Your Ground” just got its legal validation. It also got amended: You can now take a gun out with you looking for trouble and as long as no one else sees you pull the trigger, you’ve “stood your ground.”

    Expect the NRA to push hard for similar laws in any state that doesn’t already have one.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      …so long as it’s a black male that get’s shot at.

      • trgahan

        Oh I can see many a villain in the Zimmerman fan club that fall into the “he needed killin’” category, which is disgusting enough.

        I’m more repulsed that now, due to the jury’s interpretation of Florida law, the burden of proof over whether a citizen shooting is justifiable is on the victim and not the shooter. They validated the behavior of someone arming themselves and actively seeking situations that could end in gun violence and it will all be legal as long as no one can definitively contradict the shooters story. It is a gun nut’s wet dream.

    • blackdaug

      When you combine ‘stand your ground’, with ‘concealed carry’ and now ‘open carry’…you have essentially made it legal for every insecure, frightened, xenophobic, homophobic, tiny dicked moron or flat out lunatic to go out and even up the score for every imagined slight life has dealt them.
      Even the backwards hicks of the good “old west” weren’t that stupid…

  • js hooper

    As a young black man I felt like I got kicked the gut when they read the verdict. It was almost like having someone acknowledge that my life is worthless in America. I believe I can safely say that mosr black men in America see ourselves in Trayvon. It’s 2013 and it is still IMPOSSIBLE for a black male to be viewed as a legitimate victim in a case like this. Truly a sad day that won’t be forgotten soon.

    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      Yep, a sad day indeed!

    • Steven

      What is astounding to me, from reading comments from those who support this verdict, is that no one seems to put themselves in Trayvon’s shoes. He was doing nothing wrong, minding his own business. And I keep hearing the word ‘thug’ tossed out regularly as well. If you consider Trayvon a thug based on his marijuana use and his gangsta wanna be stylings, I hope you’re considering 90% of ALL young men – black and white – thugs, because from what I can tell, Trayvon was about as typical a 17-year-old as you’ll find.

      My heart is broken not just for him but for all the young black men who must see this verdict as JS does, that their lives are worthless to society. What other message can you take away from it?

    • Lady Willpower

      I am right there with you, my brother. I still feel that someday we shall overcome. I just wish that day was closer.

    • nasani

      js hooper, I agree with you 100%! That’s the exact message I received and I am an old black man who grew up during the Jim crow period when you didn’t need laws to lynch a black person. Come think about it, I don’t this country has ever done away with Jim Crow completely. While de jure Jim crow may have died, de facto Jim Crow has always been alive and well.

      To me, these “Stand Your Ground” laws are nothing but a modernized version of the Jim Crow “lynch law” that took the lives of Emmett Till and thousands of other blacks. It’s a given that under both the modern lynch law (a.k a. (Stand Your Ground), and the old, extralegal, “lynch law” of the Jim crow period, the murderers of black males, no matter how young, are always set free. But I suppose to Clusterpuck the fact that State courts stage show trials, as they did both in the Emmett Till case and the Trayvon case, is proof positive that justice “was served.” That’s some fu*kd up justice, especially if you are Black and Brown. It looks like the 21st Century, so far as the human value of Black lives are concerned, is after all not going to be that much different from the previous 4 centuries that Black people have been in what became the United States. As one sign I saw today read: Is there any ground left for Blacks to stand on?

  • Zen Diesel

    One word, “Floriduh”, it doesn’t surprise me; however, I am deeply sadden by this turn of events. It’s hard to comprehend, how some of the decisions I see happen in Florida make any sense. A black woman fires a gun in the air in self defense of an abusive ex husband, and she goes to jail for 20 yrs, while Zimmerman kills a black youth, and is found not guilty.

  • dukesirius

    I strongly feel that this angry undercurrent that is running through the country, in every young person I know; every person of color I know, and every poor person I know is going to manifest itself badly in the next few years. I don’t know how, when or what will finally put it over the edge, but I don’t think anyone will fail to know the answer why.

    • Zen Diesel

      I feel the same way. It’s like we are sitting on a powderkeg on so many fronts. The country is deeply divided, the grifters in Washington are screwing us over, there is a full assault on women, private prisons have become a profit model for incarcerating our youth, and to see a man who has shown no remorse over killing a kid walk free, is mind boggling. I feel like this country needs a reboot in order to bring everybody back to their senses.

  • muselet

    I’ve sat on more than my share of juries and I generally don’t question verdicts.

    There are exceptions. This is one of them.

    –alopecia

  • Stacie

    I am sorry Trayvon that our Justice system let your family down, your life was worth so much more than all of this, you deserved more than this person with a gun taking it all from you. I am in tears, I can not stop crying tears for you. I will not forget this, I will not forget what happened to you and how Justice was not served today, I will not forget.

  • Kennet

    It’s hard for me to wrap my head around all of this.

    In one hand I weigh the fact that it was a fight to even charge Zimmerman in the first place. He was not arrested, or even taken in after the shooting. It really doesn’t seem a surprise that he was acquitted in a ‘stand your ground’ state, as a white man, under the banner of neighborhood watch.

    To the other end, it is incredibly surprising that anything but manslaughter came back. I didn’t expect the murder-2 charge to stick beyond a doubt, but I cannot make sense of how a person’s racial profiling was forward and recorded then disobeyed law enforcement to follow a teenager into an obviously confrontational situation wherein a struggle resulted in a round being fired through the heart of a kid gets to walk free. That is the definition of manslaughter. Everything Zimmerman did escalated the situation.

    I don’t know that there is any one answer or any one thing to blame but I can’t imagine how this prosecution team could not get the lesser charge. I’m personally suspicious that the confusion about manslaughter addressed by the jury had some serious effect on the outcome. I’m not so brazen as to claim mistrial, but clearly they didn’t know how to render the situation in the frame of manslaughter, and that ought to be of note.

    But, because no bad situation is ever lonely, here’s a story about a black mother from Florida who fired warning shots into the air trying to fend off an abusive husband. Nobody was injured. She’ll be in prison for 20 years: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57433184/fla-mom-gets-20-years-for-firing-warning-shots/

    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      You said; “Everything Zimmerman did escalated the situation”.
      Damn straight!
      I’m beside myself right now because this is truly a WTF? moment.

  • ontheotherhand

    The trial of Trayvon Martin is now over.

    I wish I could hope for him that he rests in peace, but it’s difficult to see how that is possible. Nor can I see how his family can find peace, although I wish it for them. I think in their place I would feel as if my son had been killed all over again. I am aghast.

    My son is 19, and when he was 17, he loved Skittles and Dew. And if someone had tried to stalk him, he probably would have thought that standing his ground and defending himself would be the logical and heroic thing to do. Yes, it could have been my son.

    To clarify: we don’t have a system of justice, we have a system of law.

  • ak1287

    I didn’t find out about the verdict until late, late in the day, since I was tied up taking witness statements for ten hours.
    As a bit of background: I work in a medium-to-large size police department in the Northwest (not Seattle or Portland); before that I went to school to become a lawyer, and never took the bar because of cases exactly like this; and during that time frame, I was in the military.

    Each group’s response correlated with their knowledge of the case. My cop friends were outraged and sickened, but otherwise expected it. My lawyer friends were equal parts shocked and amazed, but sort of expected it. My military friends, and basically everyone else I know who doesn’t really understand the case, were ecstatic, seeing it as upholding their right to… do something. I don’t know, I stopped listening to them.

    The sad part is, every one of my friends/coworkers who has dealt with a trial understood that this wasn’t going to end well. The best and worst part of our system of jurisprudence is that the final word is up to twelve individuals, who bring their own level of intelligence (or lack thereof) and bias to the table. This isn’t really the system failing, per se, although it definitely did, in my eyes and the eyes of everyone I know in the field; this is the system working, as intended, in the worst possible way.

  • joseph2004

    I’m surprised. I thought for sure Zimmerman would at least be found guilty of manslaughter. I’m not a lawyer, so am not familiar with the weedy details of the different charges, but, Zimmerman was wrong to get out of his car, wrong to defy the police request that he not engage or confront Martin. This case would never have occurred had he stayed put. I think the verdict sends a bad message.
    However, I don’t believe that Zimmerman got out of his car with the intention of murdering Trayvon Martin or anyone else.
    Also, blaming the jury because 5 of the 6 members were white implies that had the jury been 5 black and 1 Hispanic, George Zimmerman would have been found guilty of the murder charge, throw away the key, and that wouldn’t have been “justice” either in this case. There would be screaming from neutral parties (not to mention those who backed Zimmerman) that the verdict was based on race, a sort of revenge verdict. The charge the jury was biased seems predictable regardless of its composition.

    • stacib23

      I don’t blame the jury. They could only make decisions based on their life experiences and what they hear on television or read in the newspaper. I do believe that a different jury, with some people who understand that being a young, black male does not make you inherently dangerous – that jury would have heard differently, had different questions. Whether or not they would have come to the same conclusion – I have no idea, but I would have trusted where that decision came from just a bit more.

    • Lady Willpower

      I actually agree with most of this. I thought he deserved Manslaughter. I don’t think it was Murder 2.
      And I don’t blame racism for the jury’s decision. The case wasn’t a slam-dunk, no matter how much it sickens me. Evidence-wise, it was tough. Granted, much of that had to do with a large part of the evidence being DEAD.
      But I don’t think a racist jury would have deliberated for 13 hours.
      It’s just SMH.

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    “Racism killed Trayvon Martin and racism set George Zimmerman free. And,
    speaking for myself, Don West is a loathsome, astonishing piece of shit”.

    Co-sign.

    I have a son. As a mother, I cannot even allow myself to consider how terrified I would be if he were black.

    • LK3

      Don West was still cracking jokes last night. He is exactly as you described him ashby
      How anyone can laugh and crack jokes when a young boy lost his life for NO reason is beyond me. He is a disgrace. Zimmerman obeys police, none of this happens.

      • missliberties

        Zimmerman is the victim. Not Trayvon. That is yet another insult added in the mix of this huge tragedy.

  • blackdaug

    After some of the things I have seen and heard over the last 6 years or so (since the election of this president) I didn’t think my opinion of a segment of this country’s population could get much lower.
    I am pretty old (same age as the president) have always been more than a bit cynical, but tried to hold out hope that no matter what, overall as a society, we were moving forward, becoming more tolerant, more enlightened, slowly climbing that mountain.
    Now, it just looks like for every step forward we make, we jump two steps back.
    When this first occured, I had an aqaintence of long duration (I won’t call him a friend any more….) who tried to argue with me, that this was something other than what it obviosly was (the ..completely needless murder of a young man). I ended up throwing him out of my house and have not spoken to him since.
    While this person , and others I know (I live in another red state) may be able to claim, that they disagree with me on a variety of issues because of legitimate political or ideological differences…..to me this case became the perfect barometer:
    Zimmerman’s actions were indefensable…..morally, legally ……in any way….indefensible …full stop.
    The fact that those actions were successfuly defended in court is tragic, but that so many defended those actions publicly, or even privatly is a travesty for this country.
    I am so sorry for this family, I am so sorry for us all.

    • missliberties

      It’s hard not to wonder if the glee on the right is because Trayvon is just a stand in for this black President, who is obviously a terrifying, spooky black man who deserves to be ‘taken care of’.

      The good news is the whole word is watching. The bad news is the whole world was watching.

      • blackdaug

        Wonder no more. That is exactly what it is.
        While I always knew racism was at the heart of the unprecedented opposition this president has faced from day one, I can use this case to confirm it.
        We don’t have to argue politics if you are defending Zimmerman…I already know you are a bigot. It is a poker tell.
        If this president had been raised in Florida and not Hawaii… not only would he not be President today…there is a good chance he would not be breathing air.

        • missliberties

          That the right has worked so tediously and long to make the law in Florida possible is a testament to the breadth and depth of the black man. It is a sobering moment. And we know that this is not just a bias on the right.

          The most offensive aspect of this in the aftermath has been the lack of respect for Trayvon Martin. The defense glorifies, still, Zimmerman as the victim.

          • blackdaug

            That law is all across the south now.
            It will not only be used by bigots, …..but garden variety sociopaths, abusive husbands, viscous homophobes, vindictive neighbors…and otherwise penis challeged assholes ….to gun down thousands.

  • incredulous72

    It saddens me that this country is so divided regarding race. It saddens me that this trial ultimately came down to centuries’ old myths regarding black men. It saddens me further that Zimmerman has no remorse or regret for taking another unarmed human being’s life. No regret.

    Zimmerman had no authority, no justification for following and confronting that boy. I don’t care if Trayvon had marijuana in his system; many teenagers do. I don’t care what kind of pictures Trayvon posted on facebook that seemingly made him look “thuggish”. Most teens that are engrossed in hip hop culture, whether black, white, hispanic, asian, etc., have similar pictures on their accounts. Trayvon had a right to defend himself against a grown man who was following him and confronting him without provocation.

    The bottom line is Zimmerman accosted that boy and went looking for a fight. When he got what he wanted he took out his gun and shot that boy in cold blood with no evidence that he was involved in anything suspicious. He racially profiled that young man BECAUSE HE WAS BLACK. He should be sitting in a jail cell awaiting sentencing on manslaughter charges at the least.

    Did the prosecution do their due diligence? Many people do not believe so. Was it the prosecution’s lack of a case or the jury actually believed that Zimmerman was within his rights to do what he did? We may never know. What I do know is that this IS NOT JUSTICE.

  • pgeorge

    An analogy has occurred to me. Say a rapist (armed with a gun) goes looking for a likely target, finds a woman who looks vulnerable and closes in. Terrified woman fights back, maybe claws him or slugs him with her purse. So he shoots her, points to the damage to his face and says “I had to stand my ground!”
    I knew the justice system was insane when the defense said that Trayvon WAS armed – with the cement of the sidewalk. Which I guess makes us all crazy armed people.