I do not believe the Zimmerman trial nor the jury's decision should be interpreted as being about issues in American culture, especially guns, carry and conceal, race, and vigilantism. We don't make such broad brush assumptions around white-on-white crime such as in the Jodi Arias case. I believe the Zimmerman case and decision was about very specific circumstances in an unwitnessed one-on-one encounter, tragically resulting in one death.
Does not guilty mean innocent? Personally, I believe Martin's death was utterly avoidable.
Addressing the larger question: this was not a civil rights nor right to arms trial; it was a self-defense trial. We should all be careful not to build up tensions on either side now that the jury has spoken. I agree with the prosecution that this case is not about sending an emotional message about any larger issue, and we'd be well-advised not to make it one.
These six sequestered jurors were shielded from the enormous national and international attention the media has placed on this case. They deliberated in regard to facts placed before them and the burden of truth beyond a reasonable doubt, not an interpretation of broader issues. Neither should we.
In response to a question at the press conference immediately following the verdict, defense lawyer Mark O'Mara stated, "The case would certainly not have come to trial if Zimmerman were black." This is the type of comment that needlessly fuels the racial spin post-verdict. The NAACP has said, "We are outraged and heartbroken over today's verdict," also not entirely helpful. There are certainly racial undertones to this case, but that's not actually where the jurors were coming from.
In the words of George's brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., "This is not a time for high-fives." And as Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump stated, "For Trayvon to rest in peace, we must all be peaceful." Let's pay heed.
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