Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey has charged George Zimmerman with second degree murder in connection with the death of Trayvon Martin.
Can Zimmerman get a fair trial? Are there 12 jurors who don't have a dog in this fight who can weigh the facts in the case without bias and fear of intimidation?
It is quite possible that the facts presented at trial do not support a charge of second degree murder leaving the jury with no other option but acquittal (unless the judge instructs they can convict on manslaughter). But if there is an acquittal there will surely be blood. Not only in Florida but perhaps nationwide. Surely this will weigh heavily on the mind of the jury and may move them to convict even if the evidence presented is less than solid.
Of course, even if Zimmerman is found guilty it won't necessarily assuage those who want a pound of flesh. If Zimmerman is convicted of manslaughter and is given what is perceived as a light sentence there will also be blood.
So I say shame on Al Sharpton, The New Black Panthers and all others who seek to profit from spreading fear and falsehoods. I also say shame on the mainstream media for reporting that Zimmerman used a racial epithet and suggesting that he was suspicious of Martin because of his skin color when in fact Zimmerman only mentioned race when he was asked to do so by the 911 dispatcher. They have fanned the flames set by Sharpton and the New Black Panthers. This may have been the mainstream media's worst hour and the clock has only begun to tick.
This isn't to discount the possibility that Zimmerman is guilty of second degree murder. The facts presented could point to that conclusion. But given the circumstances under which this case will be tried, the ability of 12 jurors to weigh those facts without bias and intimidation has been severely and unnecessarily compromised.
G-d help us.
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