George Zimmerman not guilty in Trayvon Martin shooting, Six female jurors deliberated 16 1/2 hours, NAACP requests Justice Department file civil rights charges
“I think things would have been different if George Zimmerman were black for this reason: He never would have been charged with a crime,” …defense attorney Mark O’Mara
“The New Black Panther case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career. Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal, statements falsely characterizing the case and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, this month I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.”…J. Christian Adams
From CNN July 13, 2013.
“George Zimmerman found not guilty of murder in Trayvon Martin’s death”
“George Zimmerman never denied shooting Trayvon Martin, but he said he did so in self defense. Late Saturday night, a Florida jury found him not guilty in the teenager’s death.
The verdict caps a case that has inflamed passions for well over a year, much of it focused on race.
The six jurors — all of them women — deliberated for 16½ hours. Five of the women are white; one is a minority.
When he heard his fate, Zimmerman had little visible reaction. He turned and shook the hand of one of his attorneys before sitting back down, smiling only after court was adjourned.”
“The jury had three choices: to find Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder; to find him guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter; or to find him not guilty.
For second-degree murder, the jurors would have had to believe that Martin’s unlawful killing was “done from ill will, hatred, spite or an evil intent” and would be “of such a nature that the act itself indicates an indifference to human life.”
To convict Zimmerman of manslaughter, the jurors would have had to believe he “intentionally committed an act or acts that caused the death of Trayvon Martin.” That charge could have carried a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, though the jury was not told of that possible sentence.
Ultimately, they believed Zimmerman wasn’t guilty of either charge. None of the jurors wanted to speak to the media after the verdict.”
“The NAACP has called for the Justice Department to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman and urged the public to sign a petition to support the effort.”
“If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be OK
But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.
And that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.”…2001 Barack Obama interview on Chicago public radio station WBEZ