It’s been over a year since Trayvon Martin came into our living rooms. The black teen was gunned down by George Zimmerman, a self-styled vigilante, as he made his way back home from the store. A national outcry to the killing is the reason why there’s a trial.
This shouldn’t be seen as a slam-dunk. Three big reasons: one is that Trayvon can’t tell his story; two is that we have a basically white jury of women; and three is that the Stand Your Ground is also on trial (and Florida loves it racist laws). There is plenty of circumstantial and forensic evidence that should prove that Zimmerman’s life was not in jeopardy and that, in fact, he was the aggressor. Over the years, I have been in many courtrooms and witnessed less than just outcomes.
Judge Debra Nelson was correct to rule that Martin’s previous records were not relevant to the case. Why? Because Zimmerman had no knowledge of who that young man was that night. Martin could’ve been a Sunday School angel or a violent drug dealer; it didn’t matter to Zimmerman who apparently had already decided he was going to get some “punk” that night.
In the prosecutor’s opening statement, John Guy repeated Zimmerman’s words to the police dispatcher. “F—— punks. These a——-. They always get away.”
Defense attorney Don West started his opening argument with a knock knock joke. He later apologized if his inappropriate humor offended anyone.
I’ll be commenting more on the trial as it proceeds. Stay tuned.