Over a year since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Florida the long await trial finally started last week. I’ve thought long and hard about this case, and I have to conclude that its a messy, complex topic, particularly on the matter of whether or not Zimmerman murdered someone in cold blood or was acting in self defense. Since only Martin and Zimmerman were there when the incident happened, with Martin clearly dead, no one can say for certain what happened that night when Zimmerman ignored the advice of a 9-11 operator and pursued Martin. The young man was simply walking home, and as far as we know was not armed at all, while Zimmerman had a firearm. Race has been mentioned in the case as well, and yet so far there is little evidence to suggest that Zimmerman is racist. Rather I think I he made a paranoid filled judgment, overacting to a stranger entering his neighborhood. After all, Florida has the Stand Your Ground Law, which allows for people to defend themselves while under attack.

However there is the major problem and the reason why Zimmerman is currently standing trial (besides the fact that he of course shot and killed someone): was the killing in self defense, or did he mean to actually murder Martin? I go with the charge of manslaughter, where things got out of hand and Zimmerman inadvertently killed Martin. The prosecution is trying to convict Zimmerman of murder, which usually states that Zimmerman truly meant to kill Martin-and I don’t think he actually did, although that is just my opinion. I find it interesting that the jury is composed entirely of women, perhaps since Florida has the death penalty and they won’t be as likely to vote in favor of such a harsh punishment if Zimmerman is found guilty.

Overall I’m reminded of what The Dude said in The Big Lebowski: “This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous.” That seems to be an apt description, especially since the jury is in a lose lose situation here. If they rule that Zimmerman is innocent, the local community will probably riot. If Zimmerman is found guilty, then maybe Stand Your Ground laws all over the country might be called into question, and the conservatives will argue that the jury ruled to avoid going against public opinion. I’m just glad I’m not on that jury, that’s for sure: they need the patience of a saint and the wisdom of Solomon.

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