SANFORD, FL—More than 16 months after he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in an altercation at a Florida condominium development, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was found, technically speaking, not guilty of murder Saturday, but c’mon.
Following two days of intense deliberations, a six-member jury determined that Zimmerman had, from a purely legal standpoint, not murdered Martin, a black teenager, in February 2012. According to jurors, Zimmerman lawfully acted in self-defense—but let’s be serious here, shall we?—when he shot Martin at point-blank range in the chest, leaving him dead within minutes.
“The jury acted within the letter of the law, I guess, if you want to be official about it, and acquitted Mr. Zimmerman of both second-degree murder and manslaughter charges,” said legal scholar Jeffrey Frazier about Zimmerman’s culpability in the events of February 26, 2012, which, trial or no trial, have been pretty clear all along, right? “Mr. Zimmerman did not violate any Florida state laws—although, please, give me a break—and is an innocent man, I suppose, if you’re sticking to the strict legal definition of that word.”
“And thus, this trial was properly conducted in full accordance with the U.S. justice system,” Frazier added. “For whatever that’s worth.”
The highly anticipated verdict was announced late Saturday evening, when the jury’s foreman informed the dozens gathered in the packed courtroom that, in purely technical terms, mind you, Zimmerman had been cleared of wrongdoing, using her middle and forefingers on both hands to pantomime quotation marks while stating the words “not guilty.”
“Is George Zimmerman, juridically speaking, guilty of a crime? Under the precise stipulations of this particular law, no, he wasn’t,” said the foreman, adding, “Although, I think we all know what happened here, don’t we? Seriously, don’t we? And so we the jury find the defendant, George Zimmerman, you know, Christ, I guess I have to say not guilty? Do I really have to say that?”
The trial, which gripped the nation for three weeks, was particularly notable for Judge Debra B. Nelson’s order barring any discussion of race, which she stated had no bearing on the case, but, again, let’s be serious here for a second, as the victim was a black teenager.
In the wake of the verdict, large protests are confirmed to have erupted in cities throughout the country, which, frankly, is pretty understandable because, Christ, did you watch this fucking trial? In response to the nationwide outrage over Zimmerman’s innocence, and, boy, we’re using the term “innocence” pretty goddamned loosely here, President Barack Obama urged calm.
“I ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son,” said Obama in an address Sunday, sighing. “We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.”
“But c’mon,” added Obama.