I don't think I've mentioned the Zimmerman case here before, and I probably won't mention it again, but I was sort of shocked to wake up this morning to a "not guilty" verdict and to find so many of my out-of-state friends on Facebook proclaiming once again how effed up Florida is. So...
Let's do a quick recap the story, leaving race out. Neighborhood watch guy sees suspicious-looking adult male, reports to authorities, makes the bad decision to get out of his car and follow male, makes another bad decision to approach male, male engages, struggle ensues, someone gets shot.
George Zimmerman made a series of very bad decisions that resulted in the death of Trayvon Martin. That was a tragedy that ended one life and ruined the lives of members of both families. In my heart, I believe that he thought Trayvon would back down when approached and had no intention of engaging in any sort of violence. I have a lot of opinions about George being a wannabe cop who turned out to be a coward, but I don't think this is the time for character assassination.
Let's not forget that 16 months ago the police investigators determined that George had acted in self-defense. And then the media got involved. The only reason he was charged with a crime was the outcry from the community (local and national). They wanted a trial. They got a trial.
For those saying Trayvon was a child: yes, in the strictest sense of the law. But he was a full-grown man, and if the tables were turned and George had ended up being the one hurt or killed, Trayvon would have been charged as an adult.
For those comparing this case to the Casey Anthony case: the similarity, I believe, is only that the respective District Attorneys were bullied by the media and other outside influences into pressing charges in weak cases. Florida juries are not inherently flawed, nor are Florida laws. Remember, "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" is a high standard built into the criminal justice to minimize the chance of an innocent person being convicted of a crime.
For those worried that this verdict will embolden nut jobs/racists to take the law into their own hands more often: I guess we'll see. I'm inclined to disagree, but that's just a hunch.
It is my sincere hope that those who are unhappy with the verdict look at the laws they feel need to be changed and fight for their beliefs. I hope that people on both sides stop being angry long enough to pray for the life lost. And I hope that we all learn something and can move on.