Zimmerman Verdict Was Outrageous—and Correct
Ta-Nehisi Coates: Sadly, our system worked 'as intended'
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 15, 2013 9:57 AM CDT
This combo image made from file photos shows Trayvon Martin, left, and George Zimmerman.   (AP Photos, File)

(Newser) – There are two unavoidable truths about the George Zimmerman trial: First, based on the state's laws and the prosecutors' case, Zimmerman should not have been convicted of anything. And second, "the killing of Trayvon Martin is a profound injustice," writes Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Atlantic. Florida's self-defense laws explicitly state that even if you start a fight, you can use deadly force to end it if you "reasonably believe" you're in danger of "great bodily harm," and the jury's instructions made this abundantly clear.

"The jury's performance may be the least disturbing aspect of this entire affair," Coates argues. "The injustice was authored by a country which has taken as its policy, for [the] lionshare of its history, to erect a pariah class." It's the end result of 200 years of codified, systemic racism. "This is not our system malfunctioning. It is our system working as intended. … You live in a country that ensures that Trayvon Martin will happen," and indeed, has happened again. Fellow Atlantic writer Andrew Cohen has come to much the same conclusion, writing that the case "is above all a blunt reminder of the limitations of our justice system." Our trials examine only "tiny slivers of the truth."

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Your Take
3%
6%
7%
47%
2%
36%
7% of people agree
that it's Depressing
Check Out Another Depressing Story
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 169 comments
sandrae
Jul 25, 2013 9:04 PM CDT
It seems to me if I were an attorney asked to take on a high-profile controversial case, before agreeing I would tend to many reviews and examinations of the circumstances of the case (including nature of the case, case law, any state laws that might cause me trouble). I then would agree (or not agree) to take the case on based on those findings. Had the "stand your ground" law been discovered/fully discussed fully before the case got underway, the Martin Family should have received counsel to petition the court for a change of venue. It is my understanding that Arkansas, Georgia, Connecticut, Hawaii and Illinois are states where the case could have been tried with a strong possibility that the outcome would have been favorable to the Martins. I am just wondering why the Martins' attorneys did not use this strategy.
ZAXXON
Jul 19, 2013 9:58 AM CDT
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH RULES : SEE & CALL not follow and shoot rULES MEAN NOTHING ANYMORE? 911 DISPATCHER SUGGESTED HE NOT FOLLOW: HE FOLLOWED Everything that transpired was a result of George's actions Hes liable hes a killer If there was a fight he lost it and wanted to kill all proof of that and he created a story Do ya think a wife that would move monies in checking and savings and lie to court to obtain Public dEFENSE would accept GEORGIE Lost again LOSERS LIE _ LOSERS LOSE GEORGE IS, WAS WILL ALWAYS BE A LOSER
squiggysmom1
Jul 17, 2013 2:20 PM CDT
It was bad enough that Trayvon Martin did not get justice, but for George Zimmerman to grin like the Cheshire Cat when the verdict was read, was, in my opinion, an indication of just how little conscience this man has about the feelings of others. Trayvon's parents were in the Courtroom- at least Zimmerman could have waited to gloat until he was out of their sight.