Monday, July 8, 2013

Race Relations in America

Top of the evening all...

I have been watching the Zimmerman trial with morbid fascination over the last week or so.  I cannot wait until it is over.

We should all be sad and alarmed at whatever the turn of events was that led to the death of a kid whose entire life should have been ahead of him.  We should be further alarmed at the grisly way in which he met his demise.  Whether the defendant acted in self-defence is the clear question demanding an answer.  If yes, that is grounds for acquittal right there.  However, one is forced to wonder about the way we make decisions.  Would we be as willing to stand our ground without a personal weapon?  Would we be more willing to seek alternate solutions without immediate access to lethal force?  Such alternate solutions might be just to call the police first, or to run as fast as possible in the other direction.

In any event, my best estimation of the proceedings thus far is that Zimmerman will be found not guilty.  There have been cross-examinations in which the defence has trounced the prosecution, and there have been cross-examinations where it appears to be a draw.  It seems that the prosecution has had very few moments of glory in this trial.

Where are we left?  We are left in a situation where a young man is dead.  He might have been innocent.  We likely will never know.  He might have been guilty, and is now simply unable to unmake a series of bad decisions taken at a time of life that many people would like to redo.  We are also left with an adult who is either guilty of manslaughter or not.  He will nonetheless carry the burden of this trial for the rest of his life.

As is typical of many trials, the defence requested dismissal of charges after the prosecution rested.  The judge wisely denied the motion.  The reason I think she must have had in mind is the racial issue.  This is a different trial if both defendant and victim are of the same race.  The racial overtones of this trial place a shadow over the whole affair, a shadow that will demand that the trial be seen to a decisive verdict.  It is upsetting as well that a matter of law has gone well beyond the basic facts of the case.

Good night all...


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