There’s no doubt that Trayvon Martin, a black 17 year old teenager is on trial for his own murder, ever since George Zimmerman was arrested and charged for his murder, 44 days after killing him. And if Trayvon Martin had lived and George Zimmerman had died, there would be no doubt that the jury would be able to convict on second degree murder, albeit with the same exact case and evidence. Trayvon Martin would be just one more young black man going to prison like the half of the prison population of the jails in the U.S. Now that Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, is on trial for killing an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin is still the one being tried and there’s now discussion about finding reasonable doubt for Zimmerman.
To find reasonable doubt, the jury will need to overlook the exaggerations which I prefer to call lies that Zimmerman told. His head was not slammed 20-25 times against the cement, as he claimed. Even the officers, including Det. Serino who mostly supported his version, didn’t believe that one. Det. Serino admitted that the extent of Zimmerman’s injuries were exaggerated. And the State’s medical examiner testified that his head injuries were inflicted by perhaps one and no more than 4 superficial blows, necessitating a band aid and no stitches.
To find reasonable doubt, the jury will need to overlook the fact that Zimmerman set in motion the events leading to Trayvon Martin’s death by making a conscious decision to follow and pursue him, even when told to wait for the police.
To find reasonable doubt, the jury must ignore the fact that Zimmerman was training “intensively” for mixed martial arts for almost a year, according to his doctor’s notes from Zimmerman, and for sometimes 6 hours a week, according to his gym owner. And they will also need to ignore the independent neighbor witnesses who saw Zimmerman pounding on top of Trayvon Martin.
To find reasonable doubt, the jury will need to forgive Zimmerman for lying to Sean Hannity about not having any knowledge of Stand Your Ground laws. They will need to assume he forgot about receiving an A grade in a class which taught Stand Your Ground less than two years before Trayvon Martin was killed.
To find reasonable doubt, the jury must find that the profanity uttered under Zimmerman’s breath to the police in seeing Trayvon Martin was just words meaning no ill will, but terms of endearment or a way of speaking. And that those words meant no harm, no foul.
To find reasonable doubt, the jury must determine that since Zimmerman did not recognize his own voice on the 911 tape when asked by Det. Serino, it must be due to his superficial head injury or some other unknown reason. The jury will need to ignore the fact that the one person alive who should be able to identify the voice on the 911 tape, didn’t recognize it.
To find reasonable doubt, the jury must disbelieve Zimmerman’s best friend and author of a book on the case, who testified Zimmerman told him that Trayvon Martin grabbed his gun. Zimmerman’s account differs when talking to the police to Trayvon reached for his gun. No fingerprints belonging to Trayvon Martin are ever found on the gun.
To find reasonable doubt, the jury must find that it is acceptable for a black child to die for no apparent reason other than someone thought they were dangerous, carrying something in his hand and “up to no good”, when they were carrying Iced Tea and a bag of Skittles.
To find reasonable doubt, the jury must find that Trayvon Martin is on trial for and caused his own death. Trayvon Martin did not cause his own death. Trayvon Martin is not on trial but he might as well be on trial.
Washington , DC based Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer and former prosecutor who has tried murders, rapes, robberies, narcotic violations, burglaries and economic crimes with a high conviction rate. She founded Legalspeaks blog in 2009 where she blogs on race, gender and class in the law. She is frequently seen in the media addressing legal issues, criminal law and the criminal justice system.