A young black man is dead and across the country people are demanding justice. I don’t have any strong feelings about this incident one way or the other. Frankly, I’d prefer the nation be talking about the injustice of bequeathing one hundred-plus trillion dollars in debt to our children be they black, white, brown, yellow, red, or some combination thereof. Then again, I’d prefer that’s all the nation talked about all the time. But Trayvon Martin’s death is in the news and it is a worthy topic for discussion – although not for reasons the folks organizing for justice would enjoy.
So now that we’re hearing “No justice, no peace!” from the black community and others, perhaps we should discuss what justice means in this case.
First point of order – neither I nor anyone else opining or agitating over Trayvon’s death has all the facts. All we can say for sure is that he’s dead and the guy that shot him wasn’t charged. As a general rule I think that anytime one person fatally shoots another person it should at least be referred to a grand jury for review. If that didn’t happen in this case it’s worth asking why. But without all the facts of the case I’m not going to impugn the local PD or prosecutor for declining to refer the case.
We can probably assume the attention the case has drawn will now compel them to refer it to a grand jury. If the grand jury no bills the case and does not indict Zimmerman has justice been served? A reasonable person would have to say yes but I doubt that outcome would satisfy the folks turning out in protest.
Alternatively, what if he is indicted, tried, and found not guilty? Again, I don’t expect that would be an acceptable outcome for the people outraged by this incident. The only satisfactory outcome for the people turning out in protest is for Zimmerman to be jailed for a long time, executed, or otherwise killed. Regardless of facts, regardless of what a jury might say, Zimmerman must be punished.
Casey Anthony had to go into hiding for fear of her life despite being found not guilty. Does anyone believe Zimmerman wouldn’t similarly have to disappear if he were found not guilty?
If he is found not guilty should we assume he will then be tried again by Holder’s DOJ for violating Martin’s civil rights? Zimmerman may or may not have uttered a racial slur during his call to 911, does that in combination with Martin’s death constitute a violation of civil rights? I don’t believe so yet have no doubt the feds would take another crack at him under the lower standard of evidence that would be required to convict him in a civil rights case.
I cannot foresee a pleasant outcome for this case. If he’s not indicted or found not guilty there’s a good chance the frustration in the streets will erupt into violence. The only thing that will placate the street at this point is a conviction for murder one – which is probably not even a possibility considering the local PD and DA didn’t see enough evidence to even refer the case to a grand jury.
What does justice for Trayvon Martin mean? It depends on who you ask. I always though Americans were better than a bunch of blood-feuding Pashtuns in tribal Afghanistan. Please prove me right.