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Opinion

Opinion

Opinion: Verdict leaves key question unanswered

July 16, 2013

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Let us give the jury the benefit of the doubt.

Let us assume that, within the narrow constraints of the evidence at hand and Florida’s bizarre gun laws, six good women rendered the only verdict they could Saturday night in acquitting George Zimmerman of murder and manslaughter in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Even so, the problem remains. Whatever legal closure it gives, this verdict does not satisfy, any more than a guilty verdict would have, the central moral question here:

Why?

Why did Zimmerman regard Trayvon as suspicious when all he did was wear a hooded sweatshirt while walking in the rain? Why did initial police reports designate Trayvon the suspect when he was actually the unarmed victim? Why was his assailant able to go home that same night?

Trayvon’s parents have consistently rejected any notion that race played a role in his death. It was a smart position, reflecting a recognition that when race enters the conversation, reason often exits, compassion following close behind.

But truth is, race has been there at every turn. If man and boy had both been black or white, we would never have heard of either. There likely would not even have been a shooting.

For many of us as African-Americans, that night was a recurring nightmare driven to a horrific conclusion. It was the driving-while-black traffic stops, the “born suspect” joke that isn’t, the cost of being black in a nation that considers black the natural color of criminality.

Some people — most of them white and on the furthest right of the political spectrum — will disagree. For them, Zimmerman is the victim here, a man who acted justifiably to defend himself. Race, they will say, did not enter the picture except afterward, when he was thrown to the mob because of it.

And you wonder: What color is the sky on their world?

A few years ago, “What Would You Do?,” an ABC-TV hidden-camera show, set up a situation where two actors posed as bike thieves in a public park, using bolt cutters and hack saws to cut a bike chain. The results were instructive. Over the course of an hour, a hundred people passed the white “thief” by with barely a glance. The black one had hardly gotten to work before a crowd of whites gathered around him, interrogating him, lecturing him, calling 911, even shooting cell phone video.

Did race explain the disparity? “Not at all,” a white man who had harassed the black actor assured the cameras. “He could’ve been any color, it wouldn’t have mattered to me.” He doubtless believed what he said. For some of us, though, it has a tired, heard-before quality.

It is, after all, the kind of thing some people always say when you complain of voter ID laws that will peel black voters off the rolls.

Or when you condemn Republican presidential candidates for using “welfare” as a dog-whistle word of racial acrimony.

Or when an unarmed boy is killed and the man who did the killing doesn’t even spend the night in jail.

But the answer to the moral questions that killing raises is not mysterious to some of us. We know how America is. We know, for instance, that it regards black men as inherently criminal, jails them disproportionately because of that belief, then points to the fact that they are disproportionately jailed as proof of that belief. We know, in other words, that where people who look like Trayvon are concerned, America is a little nuts.

So we know what stalked Trayvon down that street last year. We know what killed him. And we know why the people who were paid to give a damn about that, didn’t. You see, we have not the luxury of self-delusion. We have sons and grandsons and nephews, and we must teach them, too, how America is. They are cocky and invincible in the way boys always are.

And they all look like Trayvon.

— Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com.

Comments

grammaddy 1 year, 5 months ago

Until young black lives are valued as much as their white counterparts, racism will remain alive and well in this country.

Seth Peterson 1 year, 5 months ago

Had Zimmerman been black and Martin white we wouldn't be discussing this because it would have been a forgone conclusions and Zimmerman would be serving 25 to life a week after the shooting.

mom_of_three 1 year, 5 months ago

Pitts his the nail on the head pretty much. If Zimmerman would have only stayed in his car and let the police handle it, none of this would have happened. But he didn't. The law protected him. But its not fiction unfortunately. The "stand your ground" law sucks.
next, read about Marissa Alexander. Too bad the law didn't tell Zimmerman he should have ran or stayed in his car.

deec 1 year, 5 months ago

Because the police dispatcher told him to?

Zimmerman stalked and hunted down a black kid. All the rest is obfuscation.

grammaddy 1 year, 5 months ago

Or Jordan Davis who was sitting in his car with friends listening to music when some jerk pulled up next to them and opened fire because he didn't likie their music.

Seth Peterson 1 year, 5 months ago

Until young black lives are valued as much as their white counterparts, racism will remain alive and well in this country.

Thank you for proving once more that racism is alive and well.

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

And, Zimmerman had a gun loaded with hollow point bullets - who was "loaded for bear" really?

Zimmerman isn't a law enforcement officer, and has no legal right to demand identification and what somebody is doing.

I agree that Martin could and should have done any number of things differently, but so should Zimmerman.

If you're being followed by a strange non law enforcement person, would you feel threatened? I would, and I bet that Martin did as well.

Clearly, Zimmerman was the one "lying in wait", trying to catch bad guys (or people he thought were bad guys).

verity 1 year, 5 months ago

" . . . who was "loaded for bear" really?"

Exactly.

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

Sure. But, somebody carrying a gun with that ammo is clearly the one "loaded for bear" in the situation, much more so than an unarmed person.

The post I was responding to suggested that Martin should have explained to Zimmerman what he was doing - I was simply pointing out that he has no obligation to do that, and Zimmerman has no legal right to demand it of him.

Also, one could say that Zimmerman should have calmly told Martin what he was up to.

If I were being followed by a non law enforcement person I didn't know, I would feel threatened - I wouldn't assume he was a good guy and go talk to him and explain what I was doing.

I don't know why he didn't go home, and unfortunately we can't ask him, because he's dead.

But, the whole thing would never have happened if Zimmerman had simply called the police and let them do their job, rather than following Martin through the neighborhood. And, I find it provocative for somebody who's not law enforcement to do that.

ebyrdstarr 1 year, 5 months ago

"I don't know why he didn't go home, and unfortunately we can't ask him, because he's dead."

I've seen/heard a lot of people make that comment, which always makes me wonder am I the only one who has heard the advice that if you think you're being followed, you're not supposed to go home? Is that just something that women are taught, that you don't want to lead your potential attacker directly to your home where they can follow you into a building and attack you without an audience?

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

That's an interesting and good point I hadn't thought of.

Perhaps women are more often advised in that way. What are you supposed to do instead?

ebyrdstarr 1 year, 5 months ago

Stay as out in the open as possible, head toward lit, public places, find people. I've driven past my own street because the car behind me followed me through too many turns, instead driving back out of the residential area onto main streets. Once in Rome, a creepy-looking guy was following me, so I walked toward the nearest touristy-spot and looked for a group of Americans. That kind of thing.

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

So, what would you have done if you were Martin, walking in the rain at night?

And, do you think most people would help him, or would race and gender play into that? Personally, I bet that people are more likely to help women than men, and that race also plays into the decision.

ebyrdstarr 1 year, 5 months ago

I have thought about that a lot, actually, and the answer is even with lots of hindsight and not under the immediate pressure of the situation, I'm not sure what I would have done in Martin's position. I don't know that there was a well-lit public area in this residential neighborhood. He might not have known the area well enough to know where they were.

I'm not sure calling 911 would make sense for him for a couple of reasons. First, would he have been able to identify where he was to the dispatcher. Second, with all we've been hearing in the past few days about the conversations that parents of young black men have to have with their sons about how to interact with others, including police, so as to avoid arrest and/or getting shot, I'm not sure that many young black males are inclined to see the police as a source of help. Then there's also just the pride factor of not wanting to look a fool when it turns out the guy "following" you was just walking home.

If the story is true that the only person home at the house he was visiting was a 12 year-old boy, I definitely wouldn't have gone home. I probably would have just kept hyper aware of where the guy was and tried to lose him by walking in different directions.

Of course, the other thing to keep in mind is I can't come up with a good answer as a grown adult with decades of experience and education and a fully-developed frontal lobe, the part of the brain that houses things like impulse control and decision-making. At 17, the decision would be even harder to figure out.

As for the helping people out, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the neighbors wouldn't have helped him out if he'd knocked. Just last week, a story made the national news about a naked rape victim who knocked on a random door for help. The homeowners called 911 for her, but wouldn't let her in in case it was a con and some armed scary robber was hiding ready to spring into the house when they opened the door for the woman. As it was, several neighbors heard the scuffle, but none came out to help, preferring instead to call 911 while remaining safely in their homes. Can't blame Martin if he suspected no neighbor would offer him protection from the creepy guy following him.

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 5 months ago

Trayvon was "Loaded for Bear"? Are you serious? Since when is a Can of Tea and a Package of Skittles equal to a Deadly Weapon such as a 9mm Semiautomatic Pistol? Zimmerman Put himself in a Bad situation even against instructions from Law Enforcement. None of this ever should have happened. It happened when Zimmeman DID NOT stop following Trayvon when the 911 operator told him to stop.

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 5 months ago

Beating a man who also Failed to comply with a law Enforcement officers orders to stop the pursuit and then Lied to the same officer after he was asked is he still following him. You do know that lying and failure to comply with instructions of a Law Enforcement Officer is Breaking the Law? What Law was Trayvon Breaking when Confronted by a man that had just broken 2 laws and had a Gun? This will come up in the Civil trial I assure you.

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 5 months ago

(The above posts were in response to a post that has been deleted)

Seth Peterson 1 year, 5 months ago

Nothing required Martin to walk home, and he has the option not to. Zimmerman took the opposite route, he went out of his way to cause the confrontation.

verity 1 year, 5 months ago

The prosecution might as well have phoned it in. It looked to me like they purposely threw the trial. Whether the jury came to the correct decision from the testimony they heard I can't say, but it's pretty apparent that this will empower others to act as vigilantes.

Nobody knows what actually happened as the only other person involved is dead. You can interpret the known facts as you want, but way too many people making stuff up just to fit their theory and presenting it as fact.

Interesting article about one of the jurors in Slate---"Why Did They Let Her on the Zimmerman Jury?" by Dahlia Lithwick, posted July 15, 2013.

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

The combination of Florida laws and the difficulty of knowing exactly what happened made reasonable doubt and/or acquittal pretty certain, I think.

And, we have to keep in mind that the prosecution has the burden of proof at a high standard in criminal cases, so this may well have been the right verdict, even if we think Zimmerman acted badly.

verity 1 year, 5 months ago

You are right, jafs. However, I still think the prosecution did an unpardonably bad job.

The other question is why was a person with Zimmerman's background licensed to have a gun? Not relevant, of course, to the trial, but certainly important to a lot of us and should be of concern to everyone.

I suspect we're also going to hear a lot more about the jury, at least the one referenced above---she's already getting a lot of attention and some disturbing issues are coming up. What is true and what is rumor has yet to be sorted out. She did sign with a literary agent for a book deal less than two days after the trial, but apparently the agent has backed out now.

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

What do you think they should have done differently?

Why should Zimmerman not be able to get a CC permit?

I don't know that article - what was wrong with that juror?

verity 1 year, 5 months ago

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune "Did George Zimmerman's prosecutors try to get him off?" http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/07/did_george_zimmermans_prosecut.html

I hadn't read this when I made my statement, but it says it much better than I can.

This article references the same article I read in Slate about Juror B-37 and you can google others about her. It will be interesting to see if any of the other jurors talk and what they say.

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

Thanks.

I'll check that out when I have time.

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 5 months ago

I wonder how people would grade the media 'experts' during this trial.

I would not say that they had the ability to be objective or a good grasp of the evidence.

It sounded like a bunch of politicians.

verity 1 year, 5 months ago

Unfortunately, much of the media seem to feel it needs to be entertainment in order to survive. Shows what they think of our intelligence. I don't know, maybe they're right.

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

The only thing that the jury did was find that the prosecution hadn't proven it's case beyond a reasonable doubt.

What would his grounds be for a lawsuit exactly?

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't think that's grounds for winning a lawsuit.

A state isn't required to defer to local law authority as far as I know.

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

That wouldn't be grounds for a lawsuit against the state, as boiled suggests.

Kathy Getto 1 year, 5 months ago

"The man can not even go out in public now" All actions have consequences.

Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 5 months ago

As the mother of a bi-racial child this is incredibly painful for me. I have to consider that someone could kill my child for no other reason than they have dark skin. Was everything that we did in the civil right era in vain? Why are we debating whether or not people of color have the right to live? If you are a white person do you like the idea of a person of color having to speak softly around you and always knowing their place, always feeding your ego because you are white?

We are all brothers and sisters of the same God, however you chose to worship, and that should not be that difficult to accept. Just go your own way and let other people be.

Hudson Luce 1 year, 5 months ago

If Martin was wearing a hoody, and Zimmerman was following him from behind, and it was a dark night and raining, there's no way that Zimmerman could tell which race Martin was a member of. Think about it a bit - the only point at which Zimmerman found out that Martin was black was when Martin closed the distance between them, threw the punch, broke Zimmerman's nose, and knocked him to the ground. Up until then, Martin was a suspicious guy walking around the neighborhood, a neighborhood that had suffered a rash of residential burglaries. The hoody obscured Martin's race.

ebyrdstarr 1 year, 5 months ago

Except that Zimmerman identified him as appearing Black in his phone call to 911.

Armstrong 1 year, 5 months ago

Liberal speak 101 Notes: "Why did initial police reports designate Trayvon the suspect when he was actually the unarmed victim?" Make your opinion sound like fact.

"Trayvon’s parents have consistently rejected any notion that race played a role in his death." Don't let facts get in the way of your message.

"But truth is, race has been there at every turn." At least in Len's mind, that opinion is fact thing again.

It is, after all, the kind of thing some people always say when you complain of voter ID laws that will peel black voters off the rolls. Victim card and Race card - bonus points

The race-baiting left really needs to revamp their game. This is the same Pitts article every week just the wording is different.

Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm sure you Zimmerman supporters out there would have a different reaction if it were you, or your offspring on the receiving end of unwarranted scrutiny, harassment, interference or impedance while peaceably conducting your own business ~ whatever that may be ~ by a neighborhood busybody with control issues and a loaded gun. And unfortunately, this verdict may very likely embolden fellow low-information gun-packing vigilantes looking to take back the streets.

George Lippencott 1 year, 5 months ago

Well Mr. Pitts the jury was only tasked to determine the guilt of one man in one incident. The standard was (and is for all of us) beyond a reasonable doubt. It did that job!

The jury was not saddled with addressing the state of racial animus in our country. The issue of race was raised during the trial as the prosecution attempted to show that Mr. Zimmerman acted with animus - and failed to do so.

In reading Mr. Pitts it seems that all white people are defined as racist and if any of them decline the identification they are branded right wing nuts. I would submit that is hardly a good way to start a dialogue with a group that outnumbers you by 6 to 1.

That there will be racial (or ethnic, or religious, or gender, or nationality) bias is a given. It is in our nature. The important things is to controls it Throwing rocks at people is hardly a good way to do that - tends to make people defensive and inflexible.

Satirical 1 year, 5 months ago

"...reflecting a recognition that when race enters the conversation, reason often exits..."

This is one of the few intelligent things Pitts has written. Yet somehow he is oblivious to the irony present. People like Pitts hurt the racial dialogue by crying wolf (racisim) when it does not exist, so society is blind to real racisim when it rears its ugly head. Sadly there are too many people who are financially and political rewarded when they cry wolf for this to end...and too many fools who follow.

Satirical 1 year, 5 months ago

Which person had a greater error in judgment?

(1) Person X who follows person Y, because person X is wandering around a neighborhood at night, in the rain; or

(2) Person Y who is 65 feet from his home, being followed by person X, decides to ambush and attack person X (no injuries on Martin other than on his hand from beating Zimmerman and the gunshot wound); continue pummelling person X while person X is begging for help for 45 seconds (911 call); and pounding person X's head into the concrete(forensic evidence)...all because Person X followed him.

Tough choice...

Jaded_one 1 year, 5 months ago

This is 2013 not Jim Crow era. A young black male has a right to walk home at night. He does not have to be the good little black boy and "shuffle on home now". We will never know what was said to him by the creepy person who was shadowing him. My fight or flight syndrome would have told me to fight. Picture this...what if Travon knocked him out until the police came and found the loaded gun on the creepy dude and the unarmed Travon got to tell his side of the story...how he feared for HIS life...hmmmmmmmmmmm

Satirical 1 year, 5 months ago

Jaded_One...

Everyone has the right to walk home at night, including a young black male. He does not have to shuffle home. However, he also does not have to ambush and attack somene either, does he? He has options, like calling the police from his cell phone. Martin chose the worst possible option.

You would choose to ambush someone who is following you, bash his head into the pavement and continue pummeling him as he begs for help for 45 seconds? I guess you and Martin think alike. Why would Martin need to knock him out to call the police? That is absolutely absurd. If he feared for his life because someone was following him, he could have done a hundred things other than what he did. Martin's error in judgment cost him his life.

ChuckFInster 1 year, 5 months ago

Pretty much clears that up. Great points.

sliktime 1 year, 5 months ago

that is nothing but speculating. i was followed when i was 17.. you know what i did? i went inside. TM made a bad choice that night and paid with his life. that is not GZ fault.

Jaded_one 1 year, 5 months ago

Ambush and attack...again one-sided story. The error in judgment was not observing and reporting like a good mall cop or security guard is supposed to do. The police were on there way and what did he say so professionally to the dispatcher "these fing Aholes always get away". I guess not on that night. not on that night. Super Security Guard to the rescue.

Satirical 1 year, 5 months ago

Jaded_one...

One sided story? It is a simple unbiased deduction of the facts. Martin had no injuries other than to his fist from beating Zimmerman, and the gunshot wound. This is a fact proven by the autopsy. Zimmerman had numerous injuries as evidenced by the photos and medical exam. Does it make any sense that Martin yelled for help for 45 seconds, while he is beating up someone else? No. More evidence that Martin started the fight. If Zimmerman intended harm to Martin, he could have simply pulled the gun right away and Martin would have no opportunity to get close enough to injure him. Again, more evidence that Martin attacked Zimmerman.

Zimmerman WAS observing and reporting to 911. The operator asked him what Martin was doing and what he looked like. Zimmerman got out of his car to answer those questions, during the 911 call.

I am not claiming Zimmerman made zero errors in judgment, but deductive reasoning shows Martin attacked him. Martin was the one who beat Zimmerman's head into the concrete. Martin was the one who kept pummeling Zimmerman as he begged for help for 45 seconds. This wasn't a back and forth melee. This was a beat down. Again, who made the greater errors in judgment?

This isn't rocket science.

Satirical 1 year, 5 months ago

verity...

No one testified they saw the ambush. However, this can be inferred for the fact that Martin waited around four minutes to confront Zimmerman, then Martin attacked Zimmerman. If Zimmerman wanted to attack Martin, he could have simply pulled his gun and kept Martin at a distance. If Martin's attack was not an ambush, presumably Zimmerman would have time to pull his gun and kept Martin at a distance. Because this did not occur, it can be inferred that Martin ambushed Zimmerman, as Zimmerman states.

verity 1 year, 5 months ago

Massive fail. You can only guess what happened. A simple unbiased deduction of the facts it isn't in any way shape or form. It's a biased guess of what you want to think.

Armstrong 1 year, 5 months ago

Right, and using what the media has told you is an even better idea.

Satirical 1 year, 5 months ago

verity...

My statements are based on facts.

(1) Martine waited around four minutes to confront Zimmerman. This fact is proven based on the time of the cell phone call to Jenteal, and the time of the 911 call from the neighbor.

(2) Martin attacked Zimmerman. This facts is proven by the numerous injuries to Zimmerman, and the only injuries on Martin being the gunshot wound and the bruises on Martin's fist from beating up Zimmerman.

(3) If Zimmerman wanted to attack Martin he could have pulled his gun and kept him at a distance. This fact is proven because Zimmerman did have a gun.

If you can reasonably take those facts and come to other conclusions, I am eager to see what you come up with.

James Minor 1 year, 5 months ago

The loss of TM only leaves America with one question, "Why did the law fail again and took the side of the attacker"? Regardless of race a person has the right to walk home. Lawrence residents should understand about walking due to the public transportation there is in the town. It is sad to read how so many people can't or is not willing to put themselves in the place of a teenager walking home from an errand and then attacked by "Barney Fife". GZ had all the answers: TM was walking in my neighborhood without my approval, he was wearing banned clothing by the state of Florida, he was not willing to talk to a stranger, the teenager was walking at night past the curfew imposed by the community, he's dead so he must be up to no good.

The result from this trial should let all of us know that we should stop teaching our children to not talk to strangers. If a stranger approaches you do what he/she says without question. If the neighborhood watch guy approaches you and starts a confrontation don't fear him because he is more scared of you. Run that four minute mile so it will convince the police that you must be up to no good - because you ran. The three ladies in Cleveland held against their will after being abducted from maybe walking home, is really a hoax and didn't happen.

We don't know what TM was thinking at the time when an adult was attacking him, it was probably fear, and that person was trying to hurt him. Maybe he saw the gun and was trying to keep GZ from grabbing it by punching him enough times till GZ learned his lesson. "Wait for the police and don't touch anyone unless they say you can".

Unfortunately, the burden of proof was on TM. A burden no one wants to experience, especially when you are fighting for your life and you lose, to later be found guilty for defending yourself.

Satirical 1 year, 5 months ago

antonioandolini...

Do you even know any of the facts of this case? TM wasn't walking home and confronted by GZ. He saw GZ following and TM waited four minutes to confront him. Then TM attacked GZ. TM was on top of GZ, hitting his head into the concrete, and continued to attack GZ for 45 seconds while GZ was begging for help.

Please get your facts straight before making sweeping generalizations. But as Pitts stated, when race enters the pictures, reason often exits.

Satirical 1 year, 5 months ago

vertigo...

So you are contending that GZ started the fight, yet there is zero physical evidence? The only injuries on TM were on his fist, from punching GZ, and the gunshot wound.

To a lesser degree it doesn't make sense that a guy with a gun started a fight against a guy bigger than him, who he thought was a criminal, and didn't immediately pull the gun. We know this didn't happen because the evidence shows close confrontation occured. Adding this to the fact there were no injuries to TM, is the strongly presumed conclusion that Zimmerman did not start the fight.

James Minor 1 year, 5 months ago

Satirical It is you that doesn't have the facts. Looking at the incident, the events leading up to the trial and the decision, leaves everyone wondering why. GZ did not have to get out of the car. It was a man frightening a boy, regardless of their sizes, or body types. There is a lot to this story that wasn't told and unless there is a video tape of the full incident, it will never be told. The moral of the story is GZ should have let the police handle the situation and we would not be having these debates.

Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 5 months ago

You have posted the best comment on TM's murder. Here's my thing, the whole neighborhood watch concept is going to cause a lot more problems than it is going to solve. It just creates vigilantes and people getting up in other peoples business. Let's face reality here, if you go looking for something suspicious you are going to find it.

verity 1 year, 5 months ago

Watching and reporting to the police is one thing. Many neighborhoods have "watches" but don't have the problem with vigilanteism. Yes, "if you're looking for something suspicious you are going to find it" but having people on the lookout I think is a good thing. I watch out for my neighbors all the time, especially when they ask me too when they're on vacation. The problem lies with someone taking the law into their own hands and that this verdict will cause more people to feel empowered to do just that.

ebyrdstarr 1 year, 5 months ago

Not quite. The verdict means that the state couldn't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it wasn't self-defense.

George Lippencott 1 year, 5 months ago

verity

If only things were as simple as you imply. When you pull a neighborhood watch tour your real purpose is presence. By being there you discourage crime - at least where you are.

Now when as a neighborhood watch person you come upon something that in your mind is suspicious - that could mean a lot of things. It might be prudent to make an effort to determine if what you think you observed is something to call the police about - they have their own jobs to do. Sometimes simply observing for a short period clears it all up. You do not and should not confront!.

Now I hope we are not brandishing the claim of profiling if as a neighborhood watch person in a neighborhood repeatedly victimized by an identifiable group if you observed such a group and became concerned about its presence??

lunatic 1 year, 5 months ago

Why did Martin hide in darkness and sucker punch Zimmerman breaking his nose? Why did Martin pound zimmermans head on side walk telling him he was going to die tonight? Would Martin have done that if Zimmerman was black? Where is the racism? Hmmm

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 5 months ago

"more than 30,000 Americans die in gun violence every year."
Clipped from:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/21/boston-marathon-bombs-us-gun-law

Out of over 30,000 deaths per year, this one single case got an amazing amount of media attention. I don't think it was very unique, and it certainly was not a rare event or crime. The Casey Anthony trial got a whole lot of media attention also. But, a mother killing her child is not a particularly rare crime either.

"Almost 1,500 children a year are killed by their parents, those we know of anyway, and of this number at least 15% or over 200 are killed by their mother."
Clipped from:
http://www.livesecure.org/mothers-who-kill-their-babies/

I think that talk show hosts and those in the magazine and newspaper publishing industries are the ones that control which cases get a lot of media attention while others are ignored, except locally. But how in the world do they decide which individual cases should become issues of national debate is what I would like to know.

But one thing is for sure: They're chasing the almighty dollar, the money that is paid for advertising. If everyone is talking and reading about one particular case, of course the media that is covering it will be watched or read, and collecting a whole lot of advertising revenue.

It's a sad thought indeed, that all this debate is really about advertising and sales, and the people involved are for obscure reasons, the real victims. Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman will be remembered for a very long time, while thousands of others will remain anonymous.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 5 months ago

"It is better that ten guilty men go free than that one innocent man be convicted."
- William Blackstone, 18th-century English legal scholar

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