Jimmy Carter rocked liberal waters this morning saying that the jury in the George Zimmerman's 2nd Degree Murder trial made the right decision. Not a fan of Jimmy's since the onset of his anti-Semitic sojourn in 1999, I wondered if the Mad Cow had finally caught up to him.
It turns out that Carter was onto something and he put the Zimmerman verdict succinctly into context. He said that the jurors decision was a legal one, not a moral one. As new evidence of that emerges today, it seems that he might be on the right track. This time.
Juror B-37 (no, it's not a vitamin to promote male potency) told Anderson Cooper yesterday that she and all her fellow jurors believed, among other things that screams heard on the 9-1-1 tapes were definitely those of George Zimmerman. She told Cooper which witnesses she believed and which she didn't and that her opinions were shared unanimously among the jurors.
Whoa, not so fast. Four of the jurors, today released a joint statement that their opinions were NOT reflected in B-37's statement-Why do I want to say here that juror B-52 was unavailable and suspected to be at the Love Shack?
According to the four jurors, B-37's views were "not in any way representative" of their own and that "in the end we did what the law required us to do." Juror B-37's reported a book deal has been reportedly rescinded.
I understand how this trial raised hackles on both sides of what I would have thought a pretty straightforward issue. Conversation is good. Some of the stuff I heard and read, though seemed to reach a new low in the de-evolution of modern culture.
One of the stupidest (but it only beats out the less stupid by a little) things uttered was a conclusion drawn by defense attorney, Mark O'Mara. He said that George Zimmerman wouldn't have been arrested if he were black. Clearly, O'Mara's conclusion is based on his understanding of generations of across-the-board leniency shown by both Law AND Order towards our darker-skinned brothers and sisters.
Geraldo Rivera, always looking to top his unveiling of Al Capone's empty safe opined early on that Trayvon Martin may have brought on his own demise by wearing a hoodie. I'm not sure if that's as stupid as it sounds, but Mark Zuckerberg and my blonde-haired, blue-eyed daughter (M.D.) wear hoodies.
Rivera redeemed himself, though after reading transcripts of George Zimmerman's police interview. He rejoiced on FOX news that his instincts were right, that Zimmerman did not profile Trayvon Martin because he was black, but because he was wearing a hoodie.
More jaw-dropping-and widely accepted among FOX viewers-is Rivera's post-trial proclamation. He said that had the jurors been in George Zimmerman's shoes that night, they would have shot Trayvon Martin dead faster than did George Zimmerman. Youtube it.
Robert Zimmerman, Jr.-brother-lead off by saying that he resented the way his brother had been portrayed as a racist. He apparently was the only one who didn't hear brother George's 9-1-1 call. Later, he said that he believed that Obama-that's right, President Barack Obama-was tapping his phone. Not NSA or CIA or FBI, but the President of the United States was tapping his phone.
To solidify his credentials as idiot brother, Jr. said yesterday that he's concerned for his brother. He said that he fears harm my come to George Zimmerman at the hand of an armed vigilante. He said it with a straight face.
I may compile a book of all the stupidy, but I'm going to end here with what was a legitimate question. I heard it asked on cable news and by my friend, Peter.
The gist of the question is this: Why is the death of Trayvon Martin, as tragic as it is any more of a tragedy than any of the other hundreds of black children shot in America every year? The short answer is, it isn't .
Trayvon Martin's death is no more tragic than was Hadiya Pendleton's, the girl who was shot to death in Chicago just a couple of weeks after attending President Obama's second inauguration. Nor is it any more tragic than other innocent lives lost, their names known only to grieving families.
The difference is not the tragedy of Trayvon Martin's death, but how our society and our legal system regarded it. In the vast majority of gun deaths, especially in impoverished neighborhoods the killers remain anonymous. They go unpunished because they are not caught. Those that are caught are quickly swept into the system and disappear until eligible for parole.
What differentiates this case is that the killer was positively identified. By himself. What differentiates this case is what happened from that point forward. It was the level of importance given to Trayvon Martin's death and the treatment of his killer that turned this case into a microcosm of America's conscience.
In his interview, Jimmy Carter generously said that the prosecution had been too ambitious in their pursuit of Second Degree Murder. He is being too generous, by a lot. In the end, the jury had a legal duty to return a verdict based on law and, in doing so they upheld its rule. As Carter said, it was a legal decision, not a moral one. He declined, however to say what he might have considered as the correct moral decision.
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