Civil rights groups and advocates’ response to the George Zimmerman “not guilty” verdict was so predictable: justice was not served.
Rev. Al Sharpton said the verdict was a “slap in the face.” NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock stated, “Justice failed Trayvon Martin and his family.”
The undisputable facts are as follows:
George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin on a dark and rainy night on February 28, 2012. Zimmerman admitted to the killing but claimed he acted in self-defense. Zimmerman was charged with Second Degree Murder.
Approximately 16 months later, Zimmerman’s trial started. The prosecution and defense mutually agreed on a detailed juror questionnaire that was filled out by 211 potential jurors. Over the course of nine days, both sides sifted through every response, whittled their way down to 40 prospective jurors, and picked a final jury of 6, with four alternates.
Over the course of 14 days, the jury heard opening statements, viewed over 200 exhibits, and listened to the testimony of 56 witnesses (38 for the prosecution and 18 for the defense), and heard closing arguments.
The jury received detailed instructions on the elements required to find Zimmerman guilty of second degree murder, as well as a lesser-included offense of manslaughter.
On July 13, 2013, the jury of six women made a unanimous decision: “Not Guilty.”
The president of the Florida NAACP State Conference also chimed in: “Justice did not prevail,” said Adora Obi Nweze.
Justice did not prevail? How so?
In the same statement, Nweze said “Last year we pushed for the arrest of George Zimmerman and a thorough investigation and trial.”
Not only did “they” push for a trial, they received a trial.
Oh wait, the NAACP and other opponents of the verdict did not ask for a “fair trial.” They wanted a trial without the constitutional requirements of due process and an impartial jury.
The opponents’ message is clear: they believe in “selective” civil rights where race trumps gender and that the all-woman jury's unanimous decision was wrong.
Lady Justice, the symbol of our judicial system, represents the six women who took an oath to reach a verdict based strictly on the evidence presented in the four-corners of the courtroom.
A Martin family attorney told Greta Van Susteren, “We never endorsed that jury…They didn’t properly consider the evidence.” When I heard this baseless statement by a fellow member of the bar, I was disgusted.
Since when do prosecutors need approval from a victim’s family about the makeup of the jury?
The NAACP, Al Sharpton and others speaking out against the Zimmerman verdict clearly forgot that discrimination based on gender is also a civil rights violation.
These “leaders” are equally guilty of injustice: gender injustice. Six lady justices spoke. We do not have to agree with the decision but we must certainly respect every one of the six women and their collective, unanimous decision.