Apr 13, 2012

George Zimmerman Charged With 2nd Degree Murder

After a much too long wait, George Zimmerman has officially been charged and is in custody for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford Florida.  This case has been one that is an incendiary topic of discussion for a lot of people.  For many it is indicative of this country's trouble history when it comes to justice for minorities, especially when it involves them being assaulted or killed by those who are White.   And while Zimmerman is Hispanic, that doesn't lessen the pain and anxiety that many in the Black community feel when it comes to this case.

At the same time, there is also a troubling scenario in which there are many on the internet social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook who are quick to start up their internet armies to rally for justice when it comes to mixed race violence such as White on Black or Hispanic on Black and scream that Justice must be done, and yet many of those people are silent when routinely there is Black on Black murders every day.

Not to diminish the efforts that are going on regularly by concerned community organizers and church folk who are rallying against Black on Black crime.  I'm strictly referring to people online who appear to be what I term Cause Junkies.   The ones who for a few weeks will scream about the plight of Troy Davis who was, in many people's eyes (mine included) wrongly executed in Georgia back on September 21st of 2011 and then just as quickly move on to another cause a few weeks later.   Who you will never see the hashtag #FreeTroyDavis or #RIPTroyDavis on their twitter timeline post October 1st 2011.

Or who rallied for the #Kony2012 cause and were tweeting and facebook sharing with all their heart, and yet now there's nothing to be seen from them. 


As I told some people on twitter recently, a life is a life regardless of race, and unfortunately too many are more pre-occupied with what race the victim is and what race the suspect is rather than just the fact that a person is dead and someone needs to face justice for that, no matter the race.

Which brings me back to Zimmerman.  He's charged with 2nd degree murder and there are some legal minds out there that have suggested that Zimmerman will probably be acquitted because the evidence isn't there.

Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz on Thursday said that George Zimmerman, who was recently arrested second degree murder, would probably be acquitted of the crime because of a lack of evidence.

“Most affidavits of probable cause are very thin,” he said on MSNBC. “This is so thin that it won’t make it past a judge on a second degree murder charge. There’s simply nothing in there that would justify second degree murder.” 

“The elements of the crime aren’t established. Basically what is in the affidavit is what’s in the public domain.”

There's a difference between what we believe and what we can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt.  And I'm a firm believer that if you're going to put someone in prison for the rest of their life, you better be DAMN sure you know what you're talking about.  There are so many people who have been exonerated after twenty or thirty years, some very close to execution for things they did not do, because there were police or eye witnesses who swear they saw the person do it.  And the whole time they were wrong.  Sometimes intentionally and maliciously, and other times they simply truly and sincerely believed that the person was guilty.

To be clear, there is zero doubt in anyone's mind (or there shouldn't be) that Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.  That fact is not in dispute, he has even admitted to shooting him.  Where the conflict comes in is was it in cold blood or did Trayvon attack him first?   Personally I think he followed him when he shouldn't have, when he was told not to, and confronted Trayvon and from there things went out of control.

I wasn't there nor were any of us.  The only ones who know 100% what happened are George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin and God.   Everyone else can only speculate.

And as much as I believe he's guilty and deserves to be in prison, I believe even more than that, that the system has to play itself out.  He has to be given his right to a fair trial and the evidence has to be shown and the case has to be made.   That is what you or I would expect if we were accused of something, even if everyone thought we were guilty and we knew we were not.

There's people who have been in Guantanamo Bay who were innocent and were denied their trial as long as possible, until finally the government had to prove their case and it turned out they didn't have one and had to let the person go after YEARS in prison for suspect accusations.  We know this thanks to WikiLeaks.

The documents show some inmates were described as more dangerous than previously known to the public and could complicate efforts by the US to transfer detainees out of the prison.

However, the documents also show that dozens of detainees were found to be innocent, after being held for lengthy periods.

At least 150 people were innocent Afghans or Pakistanis, including drivers, farmers and chefs, who were rounded up as part of frantic intelligence gathering, and then detained for years.

In several cases, senior US commanders were said to have concluded that there is "no reason recorded for transfer".

As a Progressive I've heard those who are also Progressive march and protest against unlawful detainment and people being locked up with no charges or just flat out executed with no trial.  This is no different, just because we may believe that the person is guilty.

He may be guilty, but he still gets a trial.  I want justice not old western justice where we just kill him and be done with it.  Otherwise we are no better than those we profess to be abhorred by.

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