In trying to make sense of the Trayvon Martin trial three things have come to the fore front in my thinking. One is the applicable law, which in Florida is somewhat different, but not that different from other states. The paradox of law is that the greatest strength of laws is also their greatest weakness. The strength and weakness of law is that they have no logic or sense or compassion, nor do they on their face discriminate, that is why they are laws. When laws are not applied to their letter they are no longer laws they become guidelines and guidelines as our politicians show us time and time again are basically meaningless. At times laws are changed by circumstances but until they are changed they must be enforced as written or they lead to unavoidable confusion and potential mayhem.
Two, and this is a tough one, had Trayvon Martin not been shot and killed would the same evidence presented in court have been strong enough to convict him of assault and battery on George Zimmerman noting that there is no law against following someone until you have been told to stop doing so by the court.
Finally just as I accepted the OJ Simpson verdict in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary and with a profound distrust of what I am allowed see on any issue, from any media outlet, I will accept this one as I was not in the court room. I did not hear all the evidence. I did not get to watch the faces of the accused and the witnesses or hear their voices. All things that the jury did before they made their decision. The justice system, rightfully so, in the US is supposed to be rigged in favor of the accused and at times we must accept that the system will find someone to be “not guilty” when in fact they are not entirely innocent either. That concept is embodied in the words ” beyond a reasonable doubt,” and those words are a cornerstone upon which both our judicial and personal systems of justice should rest.