The George Zimmerman trial is about to wrap up. He is being charged with murdering Trayvon Martin. It is mainly a question of whether Zimmerman acted in self defense. I would be surprised if Zimmerman is convicted, but you can never be certain with who is on the jury.
This is an extremely divisive case. I think a slight majority of Americans side with Zimmerman, at least to the point that he should not be convicted on murder charges. Personally, I think there never would have been a trial if politics and the media had not entered into it. Zimmerman was only later arrested and prosecuted after the incident became well known and the illustrious Obama spoke (note the sarcasm).
For those who are against Zimmerman and believe he should be convicted, I find that there are two main reasons for this opinion. One reason is racial. If Zimmerman were black or Martin had been white, then most people wouldn’t care about what happened and it wouldn’t be on the news.
But not everyone against Zimmerman is black and not everyone against him necessarily thinks that Zimmerman is some kind of a racist or bigot. The second main reason that people oppose Zimmerman is because they view him as taking the law into his own hands.
Some people will say that Zimmerman was the aggressor because he followed Martin and got out of his car. We can have a legitimate argument about whether this was poor judgement on Zimmerman’s part, but poor judgement does not make him a murderer. I could go walking down the street in the ghetto in the middle of the night. It would be poor judgement on my part whether I am looking for a fight or not. But if someone comes up to me and physically attacks me, then I have the right to defend myself, regardless of my poor judgement of walking in a rough neighborhood.
For those who oppose Zimmerman and think he should be convicted because he got out of his car, I pose a serious question. What if George Zimmerman had been an undercover cop? Would you still believe that he should be convicted of murder? If not, why is there a difference? Do you think a government-issued license (a police badge) should change the verdict?
My guess is that most people, even those who currently oppose Zimmerman, would think that an undercover cop should not be convicted if the same exact scenario had happened. I believe these people are hypocrites for thinking this way. They are not being consistent. Zimmerman was carrying a gun legally. But the people who oppose Zimmerman mostly think that the state should have a monopoly on violence. Most people who oppose Zimmerman do not believe “regular” citizens should be able to carry guns. (I am generalizing here and I know there are exceptions.)
So if Zimmerman had been a police officer, even if undercover, then attitudes would be different right now among many people. But since he didn’t have a state-issued badge, he is on trial for murder, despite the injuries he sustained. If Zimmerman had to do it all over again, I’m guessing he wouldn’t have left his car. He is now faced with a life in prison or a life in hiding, despite the evidence that he most likely acted in self defense. But regardless of whether he used poor judgement in leaving his car, it doesn’t make him guilty of murder.