Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 11:47 am
George Zimmerman's defense team didn't invoke Florida's "stand your ground" defense in winning his acquittal of murder in last year's shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
But the specter of the 2005 law loomed, inescapably, over the proceedings.
It was inevitable that the racially fraught trial would again catapult Florida's law — which extends protections for the use of deadly force far beyond the traditional bounds of one's home — as well as those in 21-plus states with similar self-defense measures into the nation's consciousness.
Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 11:21 am
Calm largely prevailed after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman Saturday night in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Law enforcement and community leaders had prepared for potential unrest, and riots had been feared for months. Slate's Dave Weigel sums up the fears:
The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin is reverberating far beyond Florida. On Sunday, President Obama acknowledged the strong passions the verdict has incited. He asked Americans "to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son."
Many people are trying to make sense of a case that sparked a national conversation on race and gun laws.
Not guilty. That was the verdict reached Saturday night by an all-female jury in the George Zimmerman trial. Reaction to the decision in South Florida, like the rest of the country, has ranged from shock and anger to relief.
George Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman, Jr., tells NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that despite the acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, it will be a "long time" before his brother's life returns to normal.
"Believe me, he is overwhelmed," the elder brother said in an interview with host Rachel Martin. "And now it is time for him to readjust to that concept of being a free man, in every sense of the word."
As we've been reporting this morning, George Zimmerman has been acquitted of manslaughter and second-degree murder after a Florida jury found him not guilty late last night. This morning, Pastor C.J. Haynes of the New Salem Primitive Baptist Church in Sanford is preparing to minister to his congregation, and he's kind enough to take some time to join us live amid his preparations.
Elder Haynes, good morning. Thanks so much for joining us.
PASTOR C.J. HAYNES: Good morning. And thank you for having me.
"I'm ashamed at how long it took me to realize why so many people in my family have been consumed with looking church-ready when they step out the door regardless of time or day."
That Facebook quote came from Phyllis Fletcher, an African-American colleague at KUOW in Seattle. And it reminded me of something my sister once told me when a white friend teased her about taking too long to get ready when they went on joint shopping expeditions. "Why are you getting all dressed up? Just throw on some jeans, like me, and let's go."