To the editor:
I did not watch the Trayvon Martin case on T.V. and avoided reading in the press. I am following the results more closely now that a jury has spoken. What I saw of the trial is what I expected, sensationalism by the attorneys, some of whom I doubt the jury totally understood.
There could be no happiness with the verdict. Zimmerman guilty or not guilty is a bad verdict. No way should we be accepting of loss of life of an unarmed 17- year-old male, especially in a situation when there probably should not have been arms involved. If we ask Mr. Zimmerman, I bet you he wished he had not been in that situation. However at this point no attorney would allow him to speak.
Some people believe race and stand your ground were not involved. Just ask yourself if that had been a 17-year- old white male would he not be alive today? I heard that the following was said, "They always get away." I hear it was Mr. Zimmerman who said that. There is a lot here that indicates he was in over his head. I also hear that stand your ground was mentioned in the closing arguments. What a terrible shame. Stand your ground against a 17- year-old unarmed male is valid? This is another terrible decision in the State of Florida, and only indicates how out of control our government has become.
The governor says he supports the law as is. He says his task force supports him. I don't know who makes up his task force. Perhaps people who think like he does or who were afraid to analyze. I will not suggest more. This law needs to be changed. I ask myself to what extreme I would have gone to avoid deadly confrontation. It should never be easy to take another life. This gets to the core of our existence and who we are. Mr. Zimmerman needs to think of who he is and deal with this issue.
Mr. Zimmerman is Hispanic, which leads to a complexity of race. I find it regrettable that the beautiful people I love have been compelled to divide themselves based on color of skin. This hurts me dearly that friends and family are sometimes divided by this arbitrary (race) thing we as humans constructed out of hate and greed. Mr. Zimmerman had to choose a race to prefer and he chose it before the incident. This is another reason why he should not have been in the position he was in. Then he would not have had to subject himself to question who he is. Did Mr. Zimmerman prove that he was white enough?
The defense did not win this case but probably the prosecution lost. The mission, duty, commitment, and devotion in each case were different. I wonder if the state would have defended differently if the deceased had been a 17- year-old white male. I'm sure public sentiment would be different. That is why we need to come together so we can eliminate that suspicion, which has led me to believe we as Americans are questioning who we are.
Getting back to the trial, the jury selection was flawed. I understand there were six women, one being a young African American. I saw some vague program on juror #37. She was not prepared to be in that position. I blame the prosecution for putting her in a position that she wasn't prepared to handle. Can you imagine if the jury would have consisted of three women and three men? Women first; one grandmother with teenaged grandkids, one 25- year-old of child-bearing age, and one mother with teenaged children. (One African American, one Hispanic, one Caucasian). Now the men; one African American, one Hispanic, and one Caucasian, age distribution about the same, make sure all are of middle class income. I hope this, as far as income, would be comparable to Sanford residents. I am sure the attorney considered other social issues, but to be brief we'll stop there. Could you imagine how different the outcome? I think the jury would have been hung. We have a country that is ill with a cancer that has us in a catabolic state.
A perfect example of our disability is gun control. This is an issue of race and violence. Many people think they have to have a weapon of mass destruction to protect themselves from African Americans, Hispanics, or violent criminals. This is not the case, and should not be the case in America. So enters protection of the Second Amendment right. It seems honorable that we could get an honorable attorney to do this. After all, the defense of the constitutional rights is always necessary. So it was a no-brainer the ACLU and the NRA teamed up to do this. However if you read the argument given, they do not mention the Second Amendment and they used Fourth, Sixth amendments and various other cases (state, local, and judicial) and some studies and incidences to argue. This is classic attorney, judge (attorney) behavior which I find objectionable. The outcome, we can only continue to kill each other unnecessarily with more powerful weapons. The ACLU does many good things however I think they should have avoided this issue, especially not associated with the NRA. In every profession there comes a time when you say stop because the end does not justify the means. We must do what is right for humanity. If we do not do it, who will?
Lewis Robinson, M.D.