Mar 28

On Trayvon Martin

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you know that I’ve been paying attention to what’s going on in the Trayvon Martin case.

We live in a world where a young black man, unarmed, is shot coming home from the convenience store and his killer is not arrested, not prosecuted. We live in a world where a young black man, unarmed, is shot coming home from the convenience store and he is deemed to be at fault for his own death.

Quite frankly, there’s just too much for me to do justice in a post, so I’m going to post links to what I’ve been reading, in the order that I read them, earliest reports to latest.  Please click through to these reports. Please read. Please get informed. If you don’t have time to click through to all the links, Mother Jones has a frequently updated page with all the latest developments.

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  1. Tom Seeman

    When the story first broke, it looked pretty clear-cut that a grave injustice had been done to Trayvon Martin. Then, more information came out that cast doubt on the initial version of events and made one wonder if Mr Martin was really so innocent, and Mr. Zimmerman so guilty. But then over the past 24 hours or so the pendulum has swung again, casting doubt on the second round of information, and now… I have no idea where this thing is headed. I’m reserving judgment for now except to say that I’d like an independent investigation.

    The usual suspects on both/all sides are exploiting the event for all it’s worth. Unfortunate but predictable.

    Posting links to an ongoing story seems a worthy thing to do, but once again I’d caution against drawing premature conclusions. What I find fascinating is the tendency of partisans to believe the version of events that fits their political ideology… a trap I’ll admit I’ve fallen into more than once!

  2. Liz

    What I, and most of the folks who I’m linking to, want is merely for there to be some kind of judicial accounting.

    In England, according to what I’ve read, every death is looked into by a court of Inquest. A jury looks at all the facts in evidence and declares their judgment of what caused the death. Natural causes, murder, what have you.

    I wish that we had that system here, because what offends me most is that there would be no official attention paid to this death if we were not protesting.

    I’m not saying that Zimmerman should be convicted. I’m saying that Zimmerman should be tried. Letting him walk away from this shooting without even a trial? Now THAT’s a rush to judgment!!!!

  3. Tom Seeman

    Liz, I think you misunderstand how the judicial system works. We do not have trials to discover the truth or to hold people accountable or whatever. A trial is not nor should it be an inquiry. That’s why we have investigations.

    Only if the state believes the person to be guilty are they brought to trial. So if you do not think someone should be convicted there is no reason to bring them to trial, because like I said you (the DA, Commonwealth’s Attorney, whatever the title)don’t bring someone to trial unless you’re sure they’re guilty.

    So far the local authorities did their investigation and did not believe Zimmerman guilty. Now, perhaps they are wrong, perhaps they did a bad job, perhaps they’re a bunch of Klansmen. In that case we bring in the state or Feds and they do an investigation.

    I’m all for a higher-level investigation, but a trial at this point is premature.

    1. Liz

      Well, when a tragedy like this one occurs, it seems that merely investigating is not enough for transparency and accountability. I do wish we had the inquest system here for deaths so that we could have a public accounting of what is known about a death, and who, if anyone should be held responsible, and if there is enough evidence to bring to a trial.

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