The Zimmerman Trial? It's That Simple

Richard Butrick
If you begin with the conviction that Zimmerman is a racist then the trial was a gross miscarriage of justice. The conviction lends credence to the narrative that Trayvon was just innocently walking through a white neighborhood and that Zimmerman deliberately stalked Trayvon and wanted to intimidate him and get him arrested because he was black. That further lends credence to the narrative that Zimmerman started the altercation. That Zimmerman got the worst of the fight served him right and Trayvon taught him a lesson he deserved. Trayvon would have punched him out and left him banged up but alive. Losing a fight - especially one you start - is no basis for shooting someone. Zimmerman, then, had no basis to shoot Trayvon and at the very least deserved a manslaughter conviction.

If you begin with the conviction that Zimmerman was not a racist the trial was a fair and just outcome. The conviction lends credence to the narrative that Zimmerman was just doing his duty as  community watchman and was just discretely keeping an eye on him and that it was Trayvon who jumped him and started the altercation. Not only is it unlikely that Zimmerman started the altercation, he took a terrible beating and had reason to fear for his life and the result is justifiable homicide.

If you suspend judgment about whether Zimmerman is a racist then sufficient evidence as to whether Zimmerman, in his heart of hearts, is a racist did not emerge and you have to go on the evidence in its simplest form uncolored by either narrative. In that case it cannot be entirely clear as to who started the altercation but it is clear that Zimmerman had reason to fear for his life in the beating he took, and, as that basically is the best evidence to go on, the result is a somewhat uncomfortable insufficient evidence to convict and a fair trial outcome.

But I forget the system heads - the whole system is racist there can be no justice for blacks. Then there are the placard heads - "an innocent child has died." And then, of course, the brainless celebrities - the tweet heads. 'Simple' is not the right word.

If you begin with the conviction that Zimmerman is a racist then the trial was a gross miscarriage of justice. The conviction lends credence to the narrative that Trayvon was just innocently walking through a white neighborhood and that Zimmerman deliberately stalked Trayvon and wanted to intimidate him and get him arrested because he was black. That further lends credence to the narrative that Zimmerman started the altercation. That Zimmerman got the worst of the fight served him right and Trayvon taught him a lesson he deserved. Trayvon would have punched him out and left him banged up but alive. Losing a fight - especially one you start - is no basis for shooting someone. Zimmerman, then, had no basis to shoot Trayvon and at the very least deserved a manslaughter conviction.

If you begin with the conviction that Zimmerman was not a racist the trial was a fair and just outcome. The conviction lends credence to the narrative that Zimmerman was just doing his duty as  community watchman and was just discretely keeping an eye on him and that it was Trayvon who jumped him and started the altercation. Not only is it unlikely that Zimmerman started the altercation, he took a terrible beating and had reason to fear for his life and the result is justifiable homicide.

If you suspend judgment about whether Zimmerman is a racist then sufficient evidence as to whether Zimmerman, in his heart of hearts, is a racist did not emerge and you have to go on the evidence in its simplest form uncolored by either narrative. In that case it cannot be entirely clear as to who started the altercation but it is clear that Zimmerman had reason to fear for his life in the beating he took, and, as that basically is the best evidence to go on, the result is a somewhat uncomfortable insufficient evidence to convict and a fair trial outcome.

But I forget the system heads - the whole system is racist there can be no justice for blacks. Then there are the placard heads - "an innocent child has died." And then, of course, the brainless celebrities - the tweet heads. 'Simple' is not the right word.