Thursday, July 18, 2013

Zimmerman acquittal reactions

Ana Kasparian provides her own view of the Zimmerman acquittal in George Zimmerman Verdict on Shooting Trayvon Martin: My Reaction 07/16/2013:

Ana stumbles a bit there on the role of Stand Your Ground in the Zimmerman case. It did play a role. Stand Your Ground was part of the jury's instructions and Juror B37 did tell Anderson Cooper that it played a part in their Not Guilty verdict.

As I've noted here before, the Stand Your Ground fans seem eager to distance that concept from the Zimmerman acquittal.

William Saletan takes that position in You Are Not Trayvon Martin Slate 07/15/2013: "New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is using the verdict to attack Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which wasn't invoked in this case." If "invoked" has anything to do with being explicitly in the judge's instructions to the jury, it was. If "invoked" means playing an explicit role in the jury's deliberations, then according to B37, it was.

One of the things of which the Trayvon Martin case and the discussions and controversies around it have made me particularly aware is how it is to be very aware of the tensions between the general and the particular in cases like this that raise the issue of white racism. Because the particulars are important in the individual case. And the particulars of an individual can be used to obscure the larger issues.

We could say that a particular case in itself cannot demonstrate a pattern of white racism in the justice system. That takes many cases. A single, standard cubic die has an equal chance on every roll to come up with any number between 1 and 6. So if you roll it once and it comes up with a five, there's nothing unusual about that. If you get a five ten times in a row, that's very unusual. A few more consecutive fives in a row

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks in his impassioned presentation in this video, Why People Should Be Outraged at Zimmerman's 'Not Guilty' Verdict 07/15/2013, does a good job of talking about how the larger issues are not identical with the issues within the context of the individual Zimmerman trial:

I haven't criticized the jurors within the context of the trial for their Not Guilty verdict. I can easily see how they couldn't decide within the confines of the judge's jury instructions based on what I've seen reported of the evidence presented during the trial that decided that the state had not proven Zimmerman guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. You can be outraged by Trayvon Martin's shooting and the various ways white racism shaped that event and those that followed, and still be insistent that George Zimmerman deserved a fair trial.

Former President Jimmy Carter had some sensible comments on the verdict, Jimmy Carter Agrees With Zimmerman Verdict: 'Jury Made The Right Decision' 07/17/2013:

The Young Turks both in their online show and their Current TV version have done a good job this week in analyzing the case and the racial issues around it.

Zimmerman Gets Back Gun Used to Kill Trayvon Martin 07/15/2013

SEK at Lawyers Guns and Money looks at the pattern of Zimmerman's 911 calls before the Trayvon Martin killing in Your black best friend isn't an "Unfamiliar Black Male" 07/17/2013.

The trend of white racism distorting the American justice system is made up of many thousands of individuals cases and particulars. The defenders of that situation will insist that each particular, e.g., the trial of George Zimmerman, be judged as though it were completely independent of all the related factors. Segregationists don't want to look at the evidence of white racism in the justice system. They want to insist that all the particulars that compose that evidence not be understood in relation to each other. Segregationists surely wanted a fair trial for George Zimmerman - or preferably no trial at all. But what they want even more is "reasonable doubt" around the whole issue of white racism producing unequal justice in a systematic way.

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