Open Chat... All Day, Every Day! Express Your Views, Debate, and Challenge the Views of Others!

In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

An Open Discussion About the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman Case

Though this might be a story that has been over-played and media juiced for some time now, I wanted to get my personal feelings out about it. I also think that the power of blogging lets us discuss this openly, and though many of the feelings expressed about this case are in the comments sections of LME's daily Morning Headlines posts, there has been no post dedicated to this issue. I believe an open discussion should be had, if for anything, so that people's thoughts and feelings are archived and easily accessible in the future. Our country might look back on this issue in many ways, but at least here, in our corner of the world, hopefully people were together to share their views in their own way. 

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. 


  1. Well said and with less spelling errors than LME. Nice job pachyderm!

  2. I didn't realize I had that many typos, but okay. How is that relevant here?

  3. Amen and thank you for writing this!

  4. Good article. I think a majority of us agree with you. We all just wanted there to be a trial so there could be a decision made on who was guilty based on facts argued in court not based on the opinions of a few police officers.

    I think the verdict will be accepted regardless of which way by a majority of people.
    I also believe the law will probably be changed regardless of the verdict.

    To be honest thought the case seems strait forward to me. I don't see how they can argue standing your ground when you follow, and confront a person against the direction of police. Even if Zimmerman was attacked when he confronted Trayvon I think there is a stronger argument that Trayvon stood his ground and (if he grabbed Zimmerman's gun) attempted to use Zimmerman gun to defend himself from what he felt was a random person following him with the intent to kill him.

  5. what? were you there? did you completely ignore what this post was saying? You talk about wanting a decision based on facts argued in court, but then discount the "opinions" of a few police officers. Okay? where are these "facts" going to come from them? I'll help you out: the write-ups of the police officers, witnesses, and zimmerman.

    but did you completely ignore what this article is saying. it says, you weren't there and the information you have is from a bunch of uncredible, constantly varying media outlets.

    but for some reason, the case is straight forward, and you give the SAME BULL THE MEDIA IS TELLING YOU!

    how do you know that's what happened. there are tons of accounts that contradict your side, and tons that contradict zimmermans side. for some reason, y ou just say, bing! yep, zimmerman wanted to kill him, the evidence of him being attacked by trayvon is not true, and he is a killer.

  6. The end of what i said was my personal opinion. I did not say it was based on an investigation and interviews ect.

    I said "I think the verdict will be accepted regardless of which way by a majority of people"

    If the court rules his is innocent then obviously i was wrong.

    But my PERSONAL OPINION. Is you will have a hard time arguing "standing your ground" when you follow the victim against the wishes of the police and then confront the victim. Regardless of what happened after the confrontation. The audio tape from the police PROVE that Zimmerman followed the kid and that led to there being a confrontation. If he listened to the police nothing would have happened....

    Again remember this is my opinion, and i clearly stated i trust the judicial system to do what it is there for!

    The point i made is i agree with the post... If someone DIES there should be a trial.

    1. thanks for cleraing that up. i didn't realize it was a personal opinion. it sounded like you were sayin that it is fact and that's the way it is.

      i do agreee, there should be a trial, and leave it up to the courts to look at evidence. our opinions are irrelevant

  7. I'm glad that Mr. Zimmerman is in custody and the process has finally begun. That said, my mind shoots back to Rodney King and the horrible aftermath of those trials... and the resultant RE-trials. Then I remember what I considered (my own opinion) the freak show and subsequent travesty of 'justice' in the O.J. Simpson verdict, and I see this case as a 'damned if you do - damned if you don't' scenario.

    I personally don't think the 'stand your ground' law was ever in play in this instance. The MSM and the Left don't like or agree with it - and I believe they used it as a ploy to further inflame an already horrific event.

    Yesterday, in a television interview, Trayvon's MOTHER voiced a theory that I've had in the back of my mind all along.. this shooting may have been the result of a series of events (unknown to anyone who wasn't there)that culminated in a tragic 'accident'. For some reason, she revised this statement in a later interview. That she said it leads me to believe that SHE has doubts that Mr. Zimmerman 'gunned down' her son - in cold blood - as so many have claimed to be the ONLY truth of the matter.

    This is America, Mr. Zimmerman is entitled to a fair trial and verdict by a jury of his peers. Unfortunately, the man has already been tried - and convicted - by the press and people like the New Black Panthers and Al Sharpton.

    And what if the evidence produced in that trial were to deem Mr. Zimmerman innocent of the crime for which he's charged 'beyond a reasonable doubt'? No matter how carefully the jurors in this case are vetted, they will be, after all - human. The fear of violent public repercussions, in response an INNOCENT verdict, WILL weigh heavily in their own private, internal deliberations - no matter what the evidence has revealed.

    So... is a 'fair trial' for Mr. Zimmerman even possible?

    In this case, I believe our 'Lady Justice' will, once again become wedged - between a rock and a hard place.