The Trayvon Martin Case and the Rule of Law

The death of Florida black teenager Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman has generated millions of words, nearly all predictable (for example, see here).  It is almost as if a contest is being held to see who could be the most outraged. Unfortunately, this rhetorical outpouring displays a profound disregard to one of the cornerstones of American life, if not of Western civilization itself: a respect for the rule of law -- that is, the idea that explicit publicly known law, not personal views or impromptu whims, is decisive, and that these laws are applied systematically according to certain specified procedures with little room for individual discretion.  Of the utmost importance, the law is applied regardless of personal characteristics -- that is, apart from sex, age, race, or wealth, unless special treatment is legally specified (e.g., the treatment of children). Absolutely nobody is mounting the public soapbox and saying, "Yes, there may be an injustice here,...(Read Full Article)

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