Zimmerman was acquitted because he couldn’t be convicted beyond reasonable doubt. This means even if you believe a defendant is guilty, if there is not enough evidence, you must return to a verdict of not guilty.
Except that, oddly, Zimmerman wasn’t the one on trial; Trayvon was.
The only absolutely undeniable fact in this case is that Zimmerman shot Trayvon. Therefore, the burden of proof is on Zimmerman and his defense to provide evidence that Trayvon had attacked him first. In order to acquit Zimmerman, who had beyond reasonable doubt killed Trayvon, we have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Trayvon attacked him.
And the jury took this for granted.
There’s loads of reason to believe that Trayvon didn’t attack first. A forensic expert noted that if Trayvon were as close as Zimmerman claimed, we would “expect to see high velocity blood spatter (mist-like spray of blood drops about 1 mm in diameter) or blowback on the barrel of Zimmerman’s gun, his shooting hand, and the sleeve of his jacket.” There was no blood spray.
Despite the fact that Zimmerman claims Trayvon punched him several times, there were no bruises or signs of repeated trauma on Trayvon’s knuckles or hands, only a small scratch below the knuckle of his pinky. Forensic experts noted that the cuts on Zimmerman’s nose were minor. The head injury, also minor, appeared to gush blood because that is characteristic of a head injury.
Trayvon’s friend Rachel was on the phone with him to the last minute. She heard Trayvon ask, “Why are you following me?” (which differs greatly in tone to “You got a problem?”–Zimmerman’s version) and Zimmerman reply, “What are you doing here?” followed by a shout from Trayvon, “Get off!”
The bold suggests that when the attack occurred Zimmerman was still the one following, despite his claim that Trayvon had reversed the pursuit.
I don’t doubt (because I am the most reasonable woman in the world) that Trayvon punched him in the nose. Probably at this point. This was self-defense, because he wanted Zimmerman to “get off.” Trayvon was rather patient. It would have taken all my restraint to keep from punching Zimmerman in the nose right after he asked, “What are you doing here?” (Me? What the fuck are YOU doing here?) The question itself demonstrates a belief shared nation-wide that Trayvon does not have the right to be in public places as he pleases–or to exist. Zimmerman was by all means the one acting like a creeper, stalking people around in the rain, which he is largely viewed as having the right to do. Rachel mentioned she thought on the phone he was a rapist. Considering Zimmerman’s molested his niece for two decades, Trayvon and Rachel had good reason to worry.
Really, what was Zimmerman doing there? The women of the jury are certainly white far before they are women.
Objectively, it is Zimmerman who, because he shot and killed Trayvon, needs to prove the person he killed posed life-threatening danger. But that’s not what happened because Trayvon–unlike fetuses–from the very beginning, had no right to live.
To pronounce Zimmerman not guilty really means to pronounce Trayvon guilty, even with reasonable doubt, of attacking him unwarranted, when we have no evidence to support this, and in fact forensic evidence is against Zimmerman’s (false) witness. Zimmerman lied about Trayvon’s exact words–he lied about who struck first too.
Even if Trayvon punched him first, the wounds on Zimmerman were proven to be minor, and not nearly severe enough to make allowable the use of a gun.
As far as the dialogue, if it’s Zimmerman’s–a liar on record–word against Rachel’s, I’d rather believe cool and collected Rachel Jeantel, whom one of the white women on the jury accused of being “uneducated.” Uneducated? The girl is 18. Is she supposed to have three college degrees?
The judgement was obviously made on race. The trial itself was about race the minute they decided not to put black people in the jury.
To anyone who isn’t white, this establishes what you knew already: the burden of proof is always on you–even if you’re the one dead.