Welcome to Season 4, Episode #1
Let me begin by saying my birthday last week was a dandy one, commencing with a delightful little surprise of a party and ending with a wonderful evening at La Belle Vie with Handy and my in-town kids. The cocktails were lovely, the dinner astounding, and the company was great fun. Perhaps we be will lucky enough to have senior son and significant other in town for the next adventure…which would be wonderful. Official thanks must go to Pajama Guy and his lady for the gift certificate to what is ostensibly the best restaurant in Minneapolis.
The news, however, is less delightful.
I cannot say I was surprised by the verdict Trayvon Martin murder trial; disgusted maybe, disappointed definitely. But not surprised.
When Judge Debra S. Nelson instructed the jury that they might consider manslaughter as an alternative charge, I was momentarily hopeful that they jury would have a viable path to conviction. Unfortunately, the 6 ladies of the jury did not see it that way. I don’t pretend to understand how they decided George Zimmerman shot a kid at point blank range in self-defense. But.....
I know why Mr. Zimmerman did not take the stand in his own defense - he didn't need to. There were moments during the defense's presentation when I thought I was listening to a modern version of "We Both Reached For The Gun." As that silver tongued Prince of the Courtroom Billy Flinn would say,
Yes it's perfectly understandable
Not a bit reprehensible
It's so defensible.
By the letter of the law, it does not matter who provoked the event. Nor does it matter that George Zimmerman had a gun. By opting for a self-defense trial, the burden of proof was on the prosecution. It was their job to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that George Zimmerman did not believe his life was in danger. If at any moment during the fight he believed Trayvon Martin was trying to kill him, then the gun was fired in self-defense. To separate the self-defense contention from the vigilante/stand-your-ground version of events, Judge Nelson issued a ruling early on which disallowed the use of the term "racial profiling" but would not prevent phrases like "wanna-be cop." She effectively limited the idea of race being presented as a motivating factor. The judge (rightfully so) guided the trial based on the position of self-defense only.
Since racial profiling could not be introduced as a factor in Mr. Zimmerman's following the kid, the jury never really got to hear how many time Mr. Zimmerman had called the local cops in the past to report suspicious black teenagers in the neighborhood. Apparently he did that quite a lot. Did he report white teenagers? Apparently not. Were the black kids he called in arrested and successfully prosecuted for property crimes in that neighborhood? Since no one mentioned his success rate, I'm guessing the answer is no. But none of that was admissible in Judge Nelson's court, so it has no bearing on the case.
Truth is Mr. Zimmerman's trial was done very precisely and as close to constitutionally rigid as possible. Judge Nelson was very clear and precise in all her instructions to to jury to keep their process as free from passion possible. By defining the absolute letter of the law, the only thing the jury had to decide is whether or not Mr. Zimmerman believed his life was in imminent danger.
However, was justice truly served?
Not really. What we know from the inadmissible evidence is that even if Mr. Zimmerman was not known as a racist, he was a profiler. He went after a kid armed with a bag of Skittles. The kid acted in self-defense, but Mr. Martin was not the one left standing, therefore he doesn't get a vote. Would the outcome have been different if the colors were reversed or Mr. Martin had been the one with the gun? Probably. And that is scant comfort to the parents who have buried a child.
Mr. Zimmerman's troubles are far from over. There will be a civil wrongful death suit, and while highly unlikely, the DoJ will investigate to see if there is a chargeable violation of Trayvon Martin's civil rights. So sit back, relax, and wait for Act II.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Texas, the war on women's health continues. News levels of astounding included the confiscation of tampons and maxi-pads at the state house because security was concerned that women were going to hurl those at legislators. Loaded guns, however, are still permitted. Just how scared are those guys are of women? Honestly, I don't get how any woman can vote for guys who want them to be nothing more than incubators. How do you look in the mirror and say, "I'm okay with being a second class citizen with minimal control over my own body functions?
Bah humbug; I hold by my original thought: let 'em secede. Let 'em go back to bein' their very own rootin' tootin' republic. That way they can teach whatever they want in their classrooms and not get one silver dime from the US to support it. They can chain and shackle the wimmin' that wanna stay there any ol' way they want. Offer the rest of the womenfolk amnesty to cross the border into the 21st century. That should do it.
Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Having a spare freezer in the basement or the garage is not the worst idea on the planet.
You never know when the ol' reliable SubZero is gonna decide to stop freezing.