Zimmerman found Not Guilty as tensions mount george zimmerman not guilty Paul Gordon Collier The nation was riveted to the George Zimmerman trial and finally learned of the verdict of the would-be vigilante.  A six-woman Jury found George Zimmerman not guilty, enabling Zimmerman to walk free. It is doubtful that Zimmerman’s life will return to normal given the amount of death threats he has already received and will, no doubt, continue to receive. The Jury could have found Zimmerman guilty of second degree murder or manslaughter. 

The Jury had specific instructions on whether to find Zimmerman guilty of manslaughter, an option that the Judge inserted at the end of the Trial, over the objection of the defense. When the Jury, on Saturday, asked for specific instructions on the grounds that they could find Zimmerman guilty of manslaughter, Judge Nelson gave this instruction, “George Zimmerman cannot be guilty of manslaughter by committing a merely negligent act or if the killing was either justifiable or excusable homicide.  Each of us has a duty to act reasonably toward others.

If there is a violation of that duty, without any conscious intention to harm, that violation is negligence.” Now that Zimmerman has been found Not Guilty, the next concern is the potential for riots that may spring from the black community.  With tweets appearing on twitter saying such things as this:

–        There is real concern over just such actions occurring in response to this verdict. “Civil Rights’  activists such as Reverend Al Sharpton have been accused of inciting potential violence in the Zimmerman case, and, in the end, of being, ironically, the reason Zimmerman ultimately walked away completely free.

It was largely the work of Al Sharpton as an ‘advocate’ for the Trayvon Martin family that prompted prosecutors to charge Zimmerman not of manslaughter but of second degree murder, a charge that has a much higher standard of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ to meet than a lesser, broadly defined charge of manslaughter. Sharpton made this statement at a press conference with the Martin family, responding to those who accused Sharpton and others from rushing to judgment on Zimmerman’s guilt:  “Trayvon Martin committed no crime.  He had no weapon and he had every legal right to be where he was. The rush to judgment was those that moved against him, said he was suspicious, and took his life. So to lecture us about rushing to judgment, we’re a victim of a rush to judgment in this case. Let’s be real clear on that.”

In an interview with Sharpton and Zimmerman’s lawyer, Sharpton makes the argument that any time there is a shooting in which another person ends up dead, the shooter should automatically be arrested and charged with murder:  “The probable cause is that you have the dead body of an unarmed person and there was no crime and there was no reason the police could determine at the scene. That’s probable cause. Otherwise, anyone in this country could be shot and killed and the police could just decide in the police station, ‘We’ll decide whether they go or not.’ That’s a dangerous precedent, wouldn’t you think so Attorney O’Mara?”

While Sharpton and his ‘Civil Rights’ ally, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, are calling for peace in response to this verdict, some cite the ‘incendiary’ and ‘race-baiting’ language of Sharpton and Jackson as being the real cause for the charge of 2nd degree murder being filed against Zimmerman and the interest the nation has given to a case about the boundary between defending yourself and putting yourself in unnecessary danger in the first place.

That case was turned into an issue of race after Sharpton and Jackson stepped in to represent the Martin family. It should be noted that while Sharpton and others in support of a Zimmerman guilty verdict referred to this as a crime committed by a white man against a black man, Zimmerman is in fact Hispanic. The verdict itself may possibly be the result of the narrow definition of manslaughter and the decision by the prosecution to charge Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder after the political pressure put on them by Sharpton and Jackson.

Many legal experts questioned the wisdom of the prosecution in charging Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder. They argued that charging Zimmerman with manslaughter, one more broadly defined than the one the Judge could give at the end of a 2nd degree murder trial, would have greatly increased the chances of Zimmerman being found guilty of manslaughter.

While most pro-guilty supporters look to Sharpton and Jackson as heroes, some quietly question the wisdom of Sharpton and Jackson in fomenting racial hatred and accusations against the prosecutors, forcing them to pursue a case unwisely, that, in the end, left Zimmerman walk free instead of facing charges that might have more realistically been provable in the court of law beyond a shadow of a doubt. Here are some tweets to take a snapshot of the nation’s reaction to the verdict:

 

This tweet from Think Progress is particularly disturbing. Is a congressman making a charge of inciting riots against the Zimmerman attorney?

 

 

Perhaps this tweet speaks to the real tragedy of this story, but not to the criminality of the story:

Al Sharpton’s calls for peace may be pushed aside after this response to the verdict, sure to stir up hate and anger:

 

Is this tweeter making a veiled threat on George Zimmerman?

Could this tweeter be called out for attempting to incite violence?

 

If this tweet proves to be true, this could be a very disturbing move by the Obama administration-

All in all, the general tenor on twitter suggest that those who tend to lean to the left are talking in a language of violence against Zimmerman, and even the jurors.  Those on the right seem to want to exonerate Zimmerman of any wrong-doing.  There is very little discourse which is measured and thoughtful.  This suggests to us that the Zimmerman-Martin wave is far from reaching its conclusion.

We will keep tracking developments as they occur.

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