Posted by News Express | 14 July 2013 | 3,286 times
Disbelief and anger have trailed the “not guilty” verdict returned late yesterday in the case of Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman who killed an unarmed black teenager. Zimmerman, 29, was cleared of all charges by the all-white jury in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman, according to Florida Today, “blinked and barely smiled when the verdict was announced. He could have been convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter. But the jury of six women, all but one of them white, reached a verdict of not guilty after deliberating well into the night. Their names have not been made public, and they declined to speak to the media.”
Martin’s mother and father were not in the courtroom when the verdict was read; supporters of his family who had gathered outside yelled “No! No!” upon learning of the not guilty verdict, Florida Today reported.
It said that “the jurors considered nearly three weeks of often wildly conflicting testimony over who was the aggressor on the rainy night the 17-year-old was shot while walking through the gated townhouse community where he was staying.
“Defense attorneys said the case was classic self-defense, claiming Martin knocked Zimmerman down and was slamming the older man’s head against the concrete sidewalk when Zimmerman fired his gun.”
“ ‘We’re ecstatic with the results,” defense attorney Mark O’Mara after the verdict. “George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self-defense.’
“Another member of his defense team, Don West, said he was pleased the jury ‘kept this tragedy from becoming a travesty.’
“Prosecutors called Zimmerman a liar and portrayed him was a “wannabe cop” vigilante who had grown frustrated by break-ins in his neighborhood committed primarily by young black men. Zimmerman assumed Martin was up to no good and took the law into his own hands, prosecutors said.”
Florida Today quoted Biko Misabiko, a 21-year-old Florida State College at Jacksonville student who attended the trial in the hope of seeing justice done to Martin as lamenting: “Oh man, this is a very hurtful day. Hurtful and disappointing.”
Tampa resident Craig Woodord who brought his 13-year-old son, Dante, to the courthouse, was quoted as saying: “My son’s 13. And it could have been him. And so my heart really, really goes out to the Martin family, who lost their son that was doing absolutely nothing wrong.
“But nobody wins tonight. George Zimmerman is free, but he has to come out into society – living with a lot of people that don’t like him.”
The paper noted that Martin’s murder has “unleashed furious debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.”
•Photo shows the murdered Trayvon Martin.
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