After 16 hours of deliberation, the jury of six women found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter. The verdict was read late Saturday evening.
In the end, the state could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman was unreasonable in his use of force. Stated differently: It was reasonable for George Zimmerman to believe that his use of force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself. There was not enough evidence to prove that he acted with a depraved mind without regard to human life (Murder 2) or that he intentionally caused Trayvon Martin's death (manslaughter).
While an acquittal is what I had been predicting ever since we heard from the one eye witness, there is no doubt that this case remains a tragedy. A 17 year old man is dead and nothing can change that. It's heartbreaking to imagine, as a parent, what Martin's family has gone through. Putting emotion aside is so difficult in any case (as I'm sure it was in this one) but that is what the jury was asked to do and simply focus on the evidence and the law.
After hearing the testimony from eye witness John Good describing the MMA, ground-and-pound assault endured by Zimmerman, it seems as though the jury felt it was reasonable for Zimmerman to assume there was a threat to his life or body and therefore was justified in his use of self defense. That's it – That's all the jury was asked to decide and thus they came down with a not guilty verdict.
Notice that nowhere in here have I mentioned race. Nowhere in here have I mentioned Zimmerman initially following Martin. The fact is that those issues were ultimately not the issues the jury had to decide on. You may not like that fact, but that is the case.
In the end, we must respect the jury's decision. They did everything that was asked of them and came to a difficult decision based on the law. In our nation we should pride ourselves on this fact, even when we don't like the outcome.
Although Zimmerman has been found not guilty, his life is forever changed. He has to live with the fact that he has killed someone. He also has to be realistic about his safety, considering the charged nature of his case. His life is undoubtedly changed forever, but at least he still has it. That is the injustice that upsets so many people. I can understand that, but we must respect the law or risk becoming something we're not as a nation.