I've been stewing about George Zimmerman this week. His is the O.J. trial de jure, and if you've managed to escape all news for the past three weeks, his trial for second degree murder and manslaughter just concluded in Florida. He was charged with stalking an unarmed black kid, and then killing him at point blank range when the kid got the better of him. Verdict: not guilty.
I love "not guilty." It's not at all like saying "innocent." And for good reason. First, and what seems to have been forgotten in all the hooded-sweatshirt protests is that criminal defendants come to the courtroom clothed in innocence. I understand that the killing of an unarmed black kid hearkens back to our painful history of race murders, but George Zimmerman, the person, as opposed to George Zimmerman the symbol of White Oppression, deserves more than MSNBC justice. Thus, a criminal verdict never proclaims "innocence." If the government fails to meet its burden, the most that be said about any defendant is that he's "not guilty."
Sort of. If there's one thing this trial did show, it's that for George Zimmerman, "not guilty" is about as good as it gets. He thought that without any training he could go out and play cop. Stupid idiot. He stalked this young kid just as it was getting dark, and then is caught flat-footed when the kid ultimately jumps him. I mean, really, what was Zimmerman doing out of his car anyway? Stupid idiot. And then when this kid starts to beat the crap out of him as only a scared teenager high on Skittles and testosterone can, Zimmerman is like freaked-out scared, and he does what anyone of us would do if we were that scared and had the poor sense to carry a loaded firearm--he blew the kid away. Indeed, the lesson lost in all this mess is that nothing turns bad judgment into a tragedy faster than a loaded gun. Stupid, stupid idiot.
And of course I could be wrong; who knows what the hell happened on that pavement? Maybe George Zimmerman hunted this poor child down and killed him because he was black. But if it happened that way, the government didn't prove it, and there's the rub. There are only two people who know for sure. One didn't testify and the other one is dead. It's called reasonable doubt. Either way,the jury made the right call.
As for George Zimmerman, he may not be guilty, but the only thing this acquittal means is that he's not a convicted murderer. He's still a stupid idiot--although I doubt whether that's even the smallest morsel of comfort for Trayvon Martin's family.