''A teenager is dead. He is dead through no fault of his own. He is dead because another man made assumptions... and unfortunately, because his assumptions were wrong, Trayvon Benjamin Martin no longer walks on this earth.'' This simple statement is the state's most compelling argument for a manslaughter conviction. An innocent teenager died and Zimmerman was his killer as the result of his flawed perceptions and negligent conduct.
In a bold and virtually unprecedented move by the defence, Tracy Martin was called to testify. His evidence was preceded by two Sanford police officers, including the lead investigator, who confirmed that in the days following his teenage son's death, Tracy Martin was unable to identify the voice on the 911 call crying for help. Martin contested the officers' testimony stating that ''I never said it wasn't my son's voice.'' He later concluded that it was his son after listening to the call ''as many as 20 times.''
The prosecution's case has been marked by a parade of errors. It started with overreaching and charging George Zimmerman with second-degree murder. The charge requires evidence of hatred, spite or evil intent and the evidence in the case fell woefully short of that standard. The only possible charge left for the jury to consider is manslaughter.
The jury has George Zimmerman's complete legal defence presented in his own words. The prosecution introduced four statements Zimmerman provided to the police after the fatal shooting incident. In his statements, Zimmerman described yelling for help as the person (later identified as Trayvon Martin) was ''whaling on my head.'' He placed his hands on Zimmerman's nose and told him that ''you're going to die tonight.'' Zimmerman thought that his assailant was going for his gun and shot him one time.
As a white myself, I appreciate John Derbyshire's efforts, presumably tongue-in-cheek advice piece for fellow fearful, racist white parents who may be concerned about their children interacting too much with black Americans. I would like to pay for it by providing non-whites with some advice on the talk you may wish to have with your children about us. You're welcome.