July 11, 2013

"I have a really bad feeling about the Zimmerman verdict."

Says Professor Jacobson:
Logically, it should be a slam dunk of “Not Guilty” on all charges, since the evidence clearly shows Zimmerman was acting in justifiable self-defense as he was being beaten by Trayvon Martin. Or at least there is a reasonable doubt as to self-defense, which the law requires result in a Not Guilty verdict.

I’ve said it before, this was a case which never should have been brought, and it wasn’t. Not until a carefully orchestrated professionally managed publicity campaign based on false racial accusations, resulting in a Special Prosecutor....
I don't have a bad feeling. And I don't feel drawn to this cynicism about jury trials. I think the case has been tried on the evidence — to a sequestered jury. The racial politics and folk sociology that have permeated the media were not part of the trial, and I expect the jury to handle the case properly.

I understand the point of commentary like Jacobson's and the people on the other side as well. They're laying the groundwork for the political use of the case after we see the verdict. All the hot air about the outrage that will meet an acquittal has stirred up a need to puff about the outrage that should accompany a conviction. But are we a nation of hotheads or do we believe that we have a rule of law? If we want the jury to look at the actual relevant evidence, why don't we wait and hear the closing arguments and see what the jury does? Why anticipate lawlessness?

UPDATE: From the CNN email: "Jurors in George Zimmerman murder trial can consider lesser charge of manslaughter, judge rules."

This could take the hot air out of everyone's balloon. A manslaughter conviction. Or will everyone be unhappy... but not all that unhappy? But that's the idea of a "compromise" verdict, and in a properly functioning system, the jurors are not supposed to compromise.