Michael Shrimpton: The Zimmerman Case!
Yes I know everyone else is calling it the Trayvon Martin Case, but he wasn't the guy on trial. The verdict of the petit jury did not take me by surprise. Indeed I hinted at it in previous comments on this website. Right from the day one it looked as though the Sanford Police Department got it right when they decided not to charge George Zimmerman. His injuries were consistent with his account of being attacked by Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was clearly not a racist and Trayvon was clearly not a racist and Trayvon was clearly not the butter wouldn't melt in his mouth' young teenager portrayed in the mainstream media, using carefully selected out of date photos. Why not go the whole hog and use cute baby photos? Of course Zimmerman may have profiled Martin initially, but so what? It's standard intelligence technique. The trick is not to take it too far. Most police officers and INS agents use it, even if they deny it. Pretending it doesn't happen is just silly. As long it's based on fact not prejudice profiling is fine. It fit certain profiles, English barrister etc. The Injuries. There seem to me to be two critical pieces of evidence. The first was the injuries to George Zimmerman. These were consistent with his account that Trayvon was violent towards him and put him in fear of his life. If that account was right, then Zimmerman was entitled to use force, lethal force if necessary. All the vaporing and posturing by civil rights and African American groups doesn't alter the facts as presented to the jury. The 911 Call. Someone is heard screaming and shouting for help. That person was mostly likely the victim. The prosecution had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was Trayvon Martin appealing for help. They couldn't. It doesn't sound to me like a case which turned on the onus of proof however. My impression is that the jury decided that it was George Zimmerman shouting for help. That was a view they were entitled to form. Is George Zimmerman Racist? There is no evidence that he is, either from the facts of the incident itself, or his life story. He isn't white, he had no priors for racist assault or abuse and he isn't a vigilante. He was a neighborhood watch captain, looking out for the community, for which he deserves credit. The attempt to portray him as a racist comes across a character smear, an attempt to put Zimmerman in the frame if you like. It was almost as though Thames Valley Police were investigating! The Jury's Verdict. It comes across as a true verdict according to the evidence. The jury saw and heard the witnesses and considered all the evidence. Their verdict has to be respected. I am not bothered by the racial profile of the jury. Far too much is made in my view of diversity on juries. In my experience as a trial lawyer most juries are fair and reach verdicts according to the evidence.