Those issues include Florida’s Stand Your Ground law as well as gun rights. The real issue and ultimately the deciding factor, though, was reasonable doubt.
The jury of six women — five white and one Latina — in Sanford, Fla., weighed all the evidence and decided that a reasonable amount of doubt remained about whether Zimmerman intentionally killed the teen. Some believe a young man — who until confronted presumably was minding his own business — is dead while the wanna-be law enforcement officer, who was told by a 911 dispatcher to stay in his vehicle literally got away with murder at worst or at minimum vigilantism. Others believe Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, acted in self-defense. Had the prosecutors sought a manslaughter conviction the outcome might have been different.
Sadly this verdict may empower some people to think that it is OK to go back to the gun-slinging days of Kansas’ old westerns where someone could be shot and killed just because they — typically an outlaw — didn’t like the way that someone did or didn’t look at them. Perhaps a wrongful death suit would be a more appropriate approach to achieve justice in this case. Regardless, America is rife with too much violence. Violence should be a last resort rather than a default solution lest we see more Americans with or without hoodie garb being killed without justifiable cause.
— Jeanny Sharp, editor and publisher