Sunday, July 14, 2013

What it means that doubts about Zimmerman's guilt are 'reasonable'

Like a lot of people I'm sad, angry and not entirely surprised about the verdict in the slaying of Trayvon Martin.  It strikes me as a basic injustice, not on the legal level, but the human one, because George Zimmerman is the reason that Trayvon Martin is dead.  George Zimmerman followed him.  George Zimmerman confronted him.  George Zimmerman brought deadly force with him.  And it was George Zimmerman who, when it came to blows, pulled the trigger.

Beyond that I'm disgusted by the tactics of the defense, which resemble nothing so much as a defense attorney in a rape case convincing a male jury that the victim was a lying slut who asked for it.

But on a legal level I'm disturbed by what a jury* found 'reasonable.'  I'm disturbed that they thought it was 'reasonable' to assume, even as a possibility, the best of George Zimmerman and the worst of Trayvon Martin.  Because that says a lot about who we trust (and this is what a lot of these verdicts come down to, whether or not juries trust someone even a little bit).  That jury, and thus our nation as a legal entity, has decided to simply trust George Zimmerman, and to think it 'reasonable' that Trayvon Martin died because of his own suicidal bravado and aggression.  That we would think such a thing reasonable is disgusting.

*Who seem to have been of Zimmerman's peers, not Martin's.