June 27, 2013
I pity the individuals that are serving on the jury in the second degree murder trial of Florida’s George Zimmerman, who shot Trayvon Martin to death during a confrontation in which Zimmerman was serving as a volunteer neighborhood watch leader.
The jurors are now sequestered for what is likely to be a period of weeks. They will have limited access to news and other types of media, will not be permitted to see family members, and will only be allowed minimal communication with them. They have now sat through opening statements, including one by the defense that lasted for three hours.
Participants in neighborhood watch organizations do not carry guns and if Zimmerman had followed that protocol, Martin would likely be alive.
My belief, based upon what I have read, including accounts of Zimmerman’s interactions with 911 personnel, is that he considered a young black male within the housing complex to be suspicious and up to no good, so he angrily confronted Martin, initiating a conflict. What happened after that, I cannot speculate on.
Anyone that was not present on that fateful night cannot know precisely what occurred and that shall be for the jury to determine. There is a large segment of the community which insists on a guilty verdict.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has added fuel to the fire, improvidently stating early in this story that Martin’s death was “an assassination.”
Was he present? What will happen if Zimmerman is acquitted? Will there be riots reminiscent of the horror which occurred following the not guilty verdicts in the trial of the officers that assaulted Rodney King? If unrest occurs, will the government find a means to retry the defendant?
The jurors are no doubt under enormous pressure and stress. I suspect and fear that many, if not all of them, will bear long-term scars as a result of their service. May God grant them wisdom and blessings.
— Oren M. Spiegler, Upper Saint Clair, Pa.
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