UPDATE: Skip below to the video
To paraphrase Rodney King: Can't we all just respect the verdict.
Unfortunately, the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin murder trial has sparked too much disrespect.
Whether you agree or disagree with the verdict, I'm with President Barack Obama who said the verdict should be respected because the "jury has spoken."
I hope this is more than lip service from the president who earlier in appropriately inserted himself into a state trial when he said, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." Saying you respect the verdict and meaning it are too different things.
As I said when the trial started,
Respect the jury's verdict. Even if you listen to every last word of evidence, you are not in the courtroom and you will not be sitting in on the jury's deliberations. You may disagree with the verdict. But if our system of justice is to work, we have to respect the jury's decision. I may have been the only columnist in the nation, make that the world, who did not comment on the O.J. Simpson verdict. That's not because I didn't have a private opinion, but I kept my opinion to myself.
If we're going to second-guess juries, then our criminal and civil justice systems are in trouble. We cannot allow trials to degenerate into trial by popular opinion. Yet, the disrespect grows:
Sirius XM Satellite Radio host Joe Madison called the teen's killing "nothing more than a modern day lynching. George Zimmerman became the judge, jury and executioner."
Protests in Oakland took a violent turn that included window-smashing, flag burning, vandalism and graffiti declare "Kill Zimmerman" and "Fuck the police," reported Huffpost.
In New York, Democrat Bill Thompson, the only black candidate for mayor, tweeted that “Trayvon Martin was killed because he was black. There was no justice done today in Florida," reported the New York Daily News.
Columnist Eugene Robinson lamented: "Justice failed Trayvon Martin the night he was killed. We should be appalled and outraged, but perhaps not surprised, that it failed him again Saturday night with a verdict setting his killer free."
And now for the biggest idiot of them all John Oliver on the Daily Show:
The jury had to make its decision with only the facts that had been admitted into the trial and according to the law. It couldn't take into account broader social questions, such as racial profiling. I'd have the same advice if the jury had found Zimmerman guilty.
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