Sunday, July 14, 2013

Zimmerman's Life: Over As He Knows It

A couple of hours ago I watched CNN's live coverage of the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.  Zimmerman was found not guilty and subsequently released from state custody. 

As expected, a wave of status updates appeared in my Twitter and Facebook feeds.  Most of my friends condemned the verdict, a couple were happy, and one felt the need to remind us all of the beauty of an impartial judicial system, just as the founding fathers of America had intended.

Before the verdict, I expected Zimmerman to be found guilty of killing Trayvon Martin.  I didn't watch the trial, but I did manage to listen to the nightly talk shows recap the day's events in the trial and came away convinced the prosecution did a poor job in making its case and that Zimmerman would be acquitted.  That was until I learned that the judge would allow for the lesser charge of Manslaughter (he was originally charged with 2nd Degree Murder).  Whether fair or unfair, I thought he'd be on the hook for at least the lesser charge.

To my shock, he was acquitted.  Zimmerman sat their emotionless and didn't move until his lawyer shook his hand and he half-smiled.  There was no celebration; it was tamped down for fear of rioting that could occur outside the courthouse and in the adjacent communities.

A couple of minutes after the verdict was read, it occurred to me then and there: Zimmerman may be acquitted, but his life's over.  The first thing that hit me was is that he will have a massive legal bill on his hands.  Whether or not he'll be able to pay it off with his parent's help remains to be seen. 

The reason I thought of that is because it lead me to believe that two more things are going to happen as well.  One is, he'll never get a real job, as in he'll never be hired as a police officer anywhere.  No department would want to have that albatross around their neck.  And what employer is going to want to be associated with him.  Guilty or not, Zimmerman has very few friends these days.

The second thing is, he's going to be sued by Trayvon Martin's parents, and they're going to win.  In addition to his criminal attorney's fees, he's going to have to relive the case in the civil courts where it isn't guilty beyond reasonable doubt, but preponderance of the evidence.  I don't know if his family has money or not, but it seems to me Zimmerman and/or his parents are going to have a mountain of legal fees from the criminal and civil trials, and whatever judgment is rendered onto him.

I should add that not only does he have few friends, but from observing some of the photos outside the courthouse, he may want to consider a relocation.  Maybe even a name change.  The leader of the New Black Panther Party, James Evan Muhammad, was pictured holding newspaper he published with Zimmerman's mugshot in the middle of cross hairs with the headline: "Wanted...For the cold blooded murder of Trayvon Martin, 17 years old."

I'll never know the whole truth of the night Trayvon Martin was killed, and neither will anyone else except Zimmerman.  Maybe I should feel ashamed for not following the trial that closely.  But there were 1,008 murders in Florida last year, and there's 1,007 of them I know nothing about. 

I don't feel sorry for Zimmerman.  I don't know the man, and I didn't know Trayvon.  But I don't feel sympathy either, because Trayvon Martin shouldn't be dead.  The only thing I can be sorry about is knowing that this will happen again.

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