Video: Jury acquits Zimmerman in shooting

posted at 11:15 pm on July 13, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

For those who have paid attention to the trial, the acquittal probably comes as little surprise.  Will that extend to everyone else in Sanford, in Florida, and around the country?  We’ll soon find out (via Worldwide Standard):

(CNN) — The acquittal of George Michael Zimmerman, 29, means he’s a free man and will be able to walk out of the courthouse because he’s no longer in police custody.

He will be free, if he chooses, to leave Seminole County, Florida. But one of his attorneys, Mark O’Mara, has said that Zimmerman is a marked man and lives in fear for his life.

In fact, during court proceedings, Zimmerman didn’t disclose where he had been residing for more than a year, and he dared to venture outdoors only when in disguise. Zimmerman also wore body armor.

Was justice served? The jury had raised eyebrows by asking just a couple of hours earlier for an explanation of the manslaughter charge, so it’s not as if they weren’t open to a conviction.  The panel appeared to have taken its duty seriously, and reached the only verdict possible with the evidence presented to it.  Clearly the second-degree murder charge was ridiculous on its face, and the prosecution’s decision to overcharge could possibly have undermined its credibility, too.

John Hinderaker says his faith in juries has been vindicated:

As Paul noted a few minutes ago, the jury in the George Zimmerman case, after deliberating for around 12 hours and having carefully considered the evidence and the court’s instructions, returned the correct verdict: not guilty on all counts. This is a tremendous vindication of our jury system. Is it perfect? No. But it is pretty damn good.

I tried my first jury case when I was 24 years old and have tried 100 jury cases since then. My experience has given me a great deal of faith in the common sense and good judgment of jurors. But cases like this one, conducted in the glare of publicity and with massive political pressure brought to bear, from the White House on down, are necessarily unpredictable. So let’s congratulate the six citizens of Seminole County, Florida, whose identities are still unknown, for standing up to the political gales and doing their duty: because it was always obvious that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, and never should have been charged.

The second-degree murder charge was unreasonable — and the prosecution provided almost no evidence in support of it.  A manslaughter charge was at least rational, though, and a jury might have convicted on that charge, if they could find no reasonable doubt that Zimmerman had rationally feared for his life or grave bodily harm without the use of lethal force.  That was always the only legal issue in question, and apparently the jury couldn’t dispel that reasonable doubt — and therefore reached the proper verdict.  While my faith in the jury system isn’t vindicated or demolished on the basis of one case, this jury at least took their responsibilities seriously and executed them in a thoughtful manner.  Maybe the prosecution could learn a lesson from them.

Update: John Nolte indicts the media.  We are all the jury in that case.

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Comment pages: 1 10 11 12

Mojave Mark on July 14, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Why compromise, go where I did.

http://www.kimberamerica.com/1911/compact-ii-pro-carry-ii/pro-carry-hd-ii

PJ Emeritus on July 14, 2013 at 9:58 PM

1101

davidk on July 14, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Poot.

davidk on July 14, 2013 at 10:00 PM

I’ve been reading the comments in a variety of places around the internets… damn, there are a LOT of people stuck on stupid out there.

princetrumpet on July 14, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Sidetracked ’cause someone needed a friend.
Yep, just like that.
Bless you all.
No mystery at all. It’s what one does.
I never did mind. No worries.

mickytx on July 14, 2013 at 10:38 PM

I’ve been reading the comments in a variety of places around the internets… damn, there are a LOT of people stuck on stupid out there.

princetrumpet on July 14, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Toni Braxton tweeted, “Today I am embarrassed to be an American…my heart goes out to the Martin family.”

Funny, I‘m embarrassed she’s an American today, too! :)

Anti-Control on July 14, 2013 at 10:49 PM

it was always obvious that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, and never should have been charged

I don’t understand what was obvious about this case. A ‘neighborhood watch’ enforcer shoots and kills an unarmed teenager under the guide of ‘self defense’ after profiling and pursuing him, yet his supposedly life-threatening encounter resulted in only minor injuries.

This case should have gone to court as it did.

bayam on July 14, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Well, it’s not often that someone starts off by admitting they can’t understand the obvious. I guess you should be congratulated for your honesty.

It’s not hard to understand why Trayvon Martin is dead. He physically attacked someone who was armed. Maybe he was a hothead, maybe he was a thug, maybe he just liked to brawl. It had nothing to do with justice, and everything to do with a very, extremely, deeply stupid action.

It’s not hard to understand why Zimmerman was acquitted. Contrary to your whole statement, there was no evidence that Zimmerman was some kind of enforcer, no evidence that he profiled Trayvon, and no evidence he pursued him. All the evidence that exists shows instead that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman, and even the prosecution was admitting that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman when he was finally shot.

Instead, we get all kinds of wild speculation about how it could have still been Zimmerman’s fault, without even a shred of evidence that any of the speculation is true.

Speculation amounts to nothing. Zimmerman wasn’t convicted because no one could prove any crime at all.

And the prosecution knew that perfectly well. That’s why they skipped the grand jury that was already in place to consider the evidence and just filed a false affidavit instead.

Zimmerman being acquitted was the least that could happen. Zimmerman being put through a long show trial and smeared by the media means no justice will ever be served here.

The real shame is that Zimmerman appears to have been a concerned citizen trying his best to help people in his community deal with a crime wave by working directly with the police. For his public-spiritedness, he wound up being treated like dirt to further someone’s political agenda.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 15, 2013 at 1:15 AM

Obama,Holder, DOJ, Sharpton, Jackson, Black Panthers, et.al. are all guilty of racism and violating Zimmermans rights. However fair is fair and one should not gloss over the corrupt actions of the Republican powers starting with Bondi, Scott, and Corey! The corrupt prosecutor carpetbaggers were sent by the governor to violate Z’s rights! They violated his rights in too many ways to try to list here. They hid evidence, fired the normal prosecutor, fired the police chief, lied like rugs, and fired the whistle blower who tried to tell some of their antics.The bald headed one whined that he had only lost two murder case out of two hunderd in his esteemed career!! Duh! With his tactics of corruption, deceit, and dishonesty, it is easy to see how he and his ilk could steamroll the average defendant. Minorities should aim their outrage at those other 200 who may have been railroaded by this bunch of thugs. The prosecutors should lose their licenses for this trial alone! The governor , attorney general, and prosecutor (Scott, Bondi,and Corey) are not fit for public office! This opinion, sadly, was formed by a life long conservative Republican who cannot support corruption and injustice out of blind partisanship!!

Marco on July 15, 2013 at 10:54 AM

A ‘neighborhood watch’ enforcer shoots and kills an unarmed teenager under the guide of ‘self defense’ after profiling and pursuing him, yet his supposedly life-threatening encounter resulted in only minor injuries.

This case should have gone to court as it did.

bayam on July 14, 2013 at 4:36 PM

So much ignorance and dishonest in such a small amount of words.

Why does the left feel the need to lie about absolutely everything?

Is there nothing that the left won’t lie about?

The left is so damn racist, it is absolutely disgusting.

Monkeytoe on July 15, 2013 at 4:28 PM

This case should have gone to court as it did.

bayam on July 14, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Not really and you failed, No surprise there.

CW on July 15, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Comment pages: 1 10 11 12