Dissents Of The Day

Jul 15 2013 @ 12:15pm

A reader writes:

The jury was not “all-white,” but consisted of five white women and one black woman. Also, Zimmerman isn’t white.

According to ABC News:

While the court did not release the racial and ethnic makeup of the jury, the panel appeared to reporters covering jury selection to be made up of five white women and a sixth who may be Hispanic.

I used quote marks around “white” for the reason my reader notes. Another:

For someone who “didn’t follow the trial that closely,” the truth of the Zimmerman case is surprisingly obvious to you. You state that Martin “was clearly racially profiled, followed and challenged,” and you call that a “fact”. You further state that “Zimmerman clearly made a decision that led directly to” Martin’s death. Those “facts” were disputed at trial, and a jury – who were especially chosen out of a pool of many for their impartiality, who weighed vastly more evidence and heard more testimony than you, and who spent 12 hours deliberating the case – concluded that those were doubtful claims, not facts.

We don’t know the details of the jury’s deliberations. But no-one disputed the fact that Zimmerman described Martin thus to the cops before he killed him:

Fucking punks. These assholes. They always get away.

And he was told by the cops to stop his stalking. He decided to ignore them. My reader continues:

You make other egregious errors about America’s system of justice. I’m sure many of your readers will point them out to you (such as the fact that a jury of one’s peers is a right of the defendant, not the victim). But if you feel the need to comment about “race in America” again, you first ought to examine your own heart. Why are you so quick to impute racism not only to Zimmerman, but also to a jury whose members are wholly unknown to you? Why are you so quick to assume, with so little knowledge, that systemic racism has so tainted the minds of Americans that our very system of justice is untrustworthy? Why did you feel it necessary to make a bombastic comparison between the manifest wrongs of nearly a century ago (lynchings) with a case where right and wrong is so painfully unclear?

I emphatically do not believe the jury’s verdict was racist; I think they almost certainly made the right call given the evidence and how they were instructed. It was Geraldo who said they were racist. As for the right of the defendant to a jury of his peers, technically my reader is right. But Martin was effectively put on trial as well; and an almost all-white six-person jury of women doesn’t seem to represent either Zimmerman’s or Martin’s peers.