I want to start by saying this is a sensitive issue, and I ask all people to keep that respect in mind. I also will not be discussing Trayvon's or George's families as I am sure they are both grieving in their own inconceivable ways.
Now that George Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder, the case takes a new twist. "Justice" is key, but I intentionally put quotes around justice for a reason. I want to address both sides.
To the supporters of Trayvon Martin - I certainly understand your feelings on this. Who wouldn't? You want "justice," as I think the vast majority of Americans do, but I do pose one very important question. What is "justice" to you? In my honest opinion, if you believe that justice is nothing less than a conviction and a life sentence, then to me, hope is lost. What is the purpose of a trial by jury if the only acceptable outcome is a conviction. A "not guilty" verdict is the other half of the coin, and it bears just as much weight. It sounds harsh, but I believe justice is not the automatic incarceration and punishment of a suspect. If through the legal process, a jury of Zimmerman's peers finds him not guilty of any crime, will you still feel justice has not been served? If the defense proves there is a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman committed second-degree murder, would accept it? Or are you already convinced of Zimmerman's guilt in spite of not being at the scene and not being present on this horrible day? Is your mind already made up, and regardless of the facts and evidence presented, a guilty verdict is the only one you will accept? Yes, sadly, tragically, a young man died. But, we must remember: Zimmerman can only be sent to prison for life if he broke a law, and that's for the jury to decide. If under the "stand your ground" law, he is found not guilty of second-degree murder, he can't go to prison for the of his life. As much grieving as there is (and I don't want to downplay the sadness of this tragedy), if after a trial by jury, Zimmerman is found guilty OR not guilty, justice has been served; justice worked.
You see, I see this like any other mitigated situation. I view it like a divorce. A soon-to-be ex-husband and ex-wife are having a tough time settling the division of mutual assets. Instead of hiring legal teams and going through a lengthy and costly divorce process, they mutually agree to use an impartial mediator. They have established that this is the means by which they will settle the dispute. After the negotiations, the husband feels wronged, he storms out, and threatens to take the wife to court. He came and agreed to settle the dispute, but when it didn't go his way, he cried "injustice!" Getting only your way is not the purpose of mediation, and that's not the purpose of a trial. The purpose of this trial is to settle an issue, namely, did George Zimmerman break the law? I fear if George Zimmerman is found to be not guilty, I think that though THIS is the accepted form in the United States of determining guilt or no guilt with respect to a crime, AND though both sides agreed to use this system, people will still be outraged. I hope it doesn't happen like that, but history is not on my side on this.
To the George Zimmerman supporters - I am not surprised by the arrest. Obviously, I wasn't at the crime scene (yes, it is now a crime scene), but the fact remains that someone was killed. I'm no lawyer, but I would think that any time someone's life comes to a tragic end, a trial should be conducted to see if a crime was committed. Doesn't that make sense? It's really simple. Killing another human in MOST situations is illegal. A human died, and the people of the state of Florida deserve to know IF this was one of the many cases of an illegal, life-ending homicide, or one of the rare instances of legal, justified homicide. That's about as simple as it gets. So yes, I think an arrest should have happened.
As far as the evidence goes: none of us were there. The skittles/iced tea talk is irrelevant. What matters are the questions surrounding Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law, and how the actions in this case pertain to it. Was Zimmerman attacked? Did Zimmerman do the attacking? Was his nose broken and his head bashed on the sidewalk, and did he fear for his life? Or did he kill Trayvon intentionally, and tried to get away with it by claiming it was self defense? Those who back Zimmerman claim he was attacked, but again, I cautiously remind people: you weren't there. Those who back Trayvon Martin claim he "only had a bag of skittles and some iced tea," but again, I cautiously remind people: you weren't there. It is a very real possibility that Trayvon Martin absolutely attacked George Zimmerman, broke his nose, bashed his head, and reached for his gun. All the talking and media reports about who followed whom is irrelevant. It's also a very real possibility that George Zimmerman simply wanted to kill Trayvon Martin, and he figured he could get away with it if he claimed "I was attacked, and I was fearful my life might end!" All the peripheral information the media is hyping, whether it's Travyon Martins school discipline history, or George Zimmerman's race or previous run-ins are irrelevant, and are simple media bloating. Remember, as far as the facts of the case go, we weren't there. Let the prosecution gather the evidence and make its case. Let the defense make theirs.
The case is in the law's hands now, as it should be. I think both sides should brace for all possible outcomes. We are not lawyers. We are not detectives. We are not Trayvor Martin. We are not George Zimmerman. We are not prosecutors. We are not defense attorneys. We are not judges. We are not juries. You know who we are? T.V. watchers and newspaper readers. We are blog writers and Twitter tweeters. Let the law be the law, and let the trial run its course. Keep a cool head, and again, we as Americans have agreed to settle it this way. Brace for all outcomes. No matter what the outcome is, it WILL settle this case, and regardless of if the verdict YOU thought should happen happens, or if the verdict YOU think is right is delivered, justice ran its course, and will be served.
Thoughts? Criticisms? Agreements? Opinions? All are welcome.