George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and the lesser charge of manslaughter. I have one question: Why?
Normally, I’d be the first one person saying “innocent until proven guilty”, but this wasn’t a normal case. Zimmerman called 9-1-1, was told not to pursue Trayvon Martin, then got out of his car (with a gun), followed him, and killed him. What kind of drugs would have to be on to think that that was self-defense? When did stalking someone else and then killing them become the basis for a self-defense case? His 9-1-1 call should have been all the proof that the prosecution had to give to show that this was not only murder, but was premeditated. It wasn’t Zimmerman’s job to follow Trayvon. It wasn’t his moral duty. It was just his decision that night to be judge, jury, and executioner of some kid that he thought was up to no good.
I’ve heard some reports that attempted to justify Zimmerman killing Martin because Trayvon had apparently had marijuana in his system at some point. I guess for some that makes his death more understandable. For me, it makes the self-defense claim seem more ridiculous. Have these Zimmerman apologists never been around stoners? Marijuana itself does not usually make a person violent. For some it might increase paranoia or confusion, but those cases aren’t common and those symptoms aren’t generally enough to make someone violent. (Research on marijuana users who commit acts of violence show that they have generally been more aggressive prior to their first use of the drug and, from what I’ve read about Trayvon, he wasn’t known for being overly aggressive.) Personally, I think if anything was causing him to be paranoid that night, it was probably the fact that he was actually being followed by a man with a gun. If he chose to fight back against his stalker, then his actions were self-defense. Zimmerman shouldn’t have been able to claim self-defense when he was the one who was doing the stalking, who was armed, and who was doing all of this despite the dispatcher telling him not to do it, and to let the police deal with this. I wish that he had been charged with first-degree murder or whatever premeditated murder is labeled in Florida because that is what he did. His actions should have led to a conviction and they definitely should have gotten him a significant amount of jail-time. The fact that they didn’t is just a travesty of the criminal justice system.