the New Me- Justice
Lynn Gerrity: Posted on Wednesday, October 09, 2013 11:20 AM
After a good year of tension, the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case finally reached a conclusion this summer. Unfortunately, the verdict's left us wondering if Florida truly served justice for the deceased. Last May, our own TNM writer, Alona, asked several questions in pursuit of that knowledge. What of Trayvon Martin's life? Did karmic retribution (punishment for Martin’s past misdeeds), call for his death? What about his suspension from school? Yet, none of these questions matter. Martin's moral standing has nothing to do with the verdict that was reached last month and could not have been cited in court.
The issue of justice here sways along a blurred line. Do we address karmic justice, lawful justice, justice for the family and the deceased, justice for the man who killed Trayvon Martin? The scales of justice recognize the duality of every situation. Even as an accused murderer, George Zimmerman deserved a sentence fit for his crime - no more, no less. No one can speak to the karmic justice, whether Trayvon Martin lived a life so immoral to beget his own murder or moral enough to further condemn George Zimmerman's actions. Likewise, no one can identify the motive behind Zimmerman pulling the trigger, but Zimmerman. And, essentially, motive brought this case to a head. It was implied that George Zimmerman honestly believed he needed to defend himself, According to the police report he sustained injuries both to his nose and head. However, that leaves us with the question of why did he follow Trayvon,did Zimmerman want to harm Martin? knowing he could instigate a violent altercation or did he have racial motivations?
All the evidence in court proved inconclusive, including the audio recording of the altercation and the testimony of Martin's friend who heard the altercation as she spoke on the phone with him. Ultimately, no one can decide the motive, but Zimmerman. No one knows who called for help on the tape but Zimmerman. And, that is what allowed him to leave his trial declared Not Guilty. In the State of Florida, one must clearly harbor ill will towards his victim to receive a sentence for second degree murder or for manslaughter. Furthermore, accidental killings in the heat of passion are excused from the verdict of manslaughter.
Therefore, the jury chose the most just option available to them given the evidence, a not guilty verdict. Yes, George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. The entire nation knows it. However, by Florida state law, he is guilty of neither second degree murder nor manslaughter. Is this just? Maybe Zimmerman followed Martin hoping to hurt him. Maybe Zimmerman refused to stand down because he honestly felt following Martin would prevent criminal activity that night. In the end, Trayvon Martin's death gained national recognition. The people heard his family's voice and his story. The best justice you can give the deceased is not retribution but to tell their story-spread it and to prevent their injurer from harming others. As for George Zimmerman, his mistake or decision has cost him his reputation nationwide. He will never live down his crime and will forever live with the knowledge that he killed a teenager. Worse yet, he will always remember the instant where he killed a teenager. If he's happy with himself, we'll never know. If not, justice has been served.