Everyone has an opinion on the Zimmerman case. There seems to be as many points of view as there are flavors of jelly beans. One thing that has concerned me is the fact that people are saying that the system is broken. I would like to think of myself as a pretty open-minded guy. In my 58-odd years on this planet, I have been on a jury, watched a trial or two, followed high profile cases on television and tend to think that we have a wonderful judicial system.
Now, I’m no expert on the system, so I decided that I would check in with a couple of people who have a bit more experience with the legal system than me. I spoke with retired judges, The Honorable Charles Tate and The Honorable Tom Walker and posed this question to them: “In regards to the Zimmerman verdict, is our system broken?” Both Judge Tate and Judge Walker, and I’m not quoting, but they basically said, the system worked. Judge Walker had followed the trial more than Judge Tate, but both basically said there simply wasn’t enough there, simply wasn’t enough evidence to convict. I posed the question to Judge Walker, “Should charges have been filed in the first place?” He replied, “As a prosecutor anytime you lose a case you start second guessing yourself.” Both men also thought that political motivation may have been behind the filing of charges in the first place.
This is simply the opinion of two “old” (I think I know them both well enough I can get by with that little dig) retired judges and is by no means any kind legal opinion. I do, however, respect these two for their intelligence, experience and years on the bench. Assuming they know what they are talking about, I don’t know how you fix a system that presumes innocence until proven guilty.
There is still much anger and resentment. There are many questions and the only ones that know the real answers to some of those is the late Travon Martin and George Zimmerman. Is racism still alive and prospering? You bet! Did it have anything to do with this case? George Zimmerman is the only one that knows for sure.
There are threats of boycotts on Florida. I don’t think that idea has been thought on long enough. In my mind, I see that ultimately hurting some of Florida’s most vulnerable, those in the food service industries that are making minimum wage or little more, and for what purpose, to punish the innocent? It won’t change the verdict.
I was impressed with a rather heated discussion that was happening on a friend’s social media site a few nights ago on this issue. The thing that impressed me was the fact that there were some very divergent views as reflected in the general public. Although some posts were very passionate, it was debated and discussed with civility. It was refreshing to know that people can still debate an issue with fervor, without using profanity and tearing each other apart. I think we should all take a lesson from that.