Whew, that was a close one!
Most people with whom I was in contact leading up to the Zimmerman verdict had been somewhat bitterly hedging their prognostications of his escaping conviction on the murder charge, resignedly saying conviction for the lesser accusation of manslaughter was the most likely outcome, given what we’ve come to expect from mercurial juries in our modern times.
For myself, despite being skeptical along the way and even arguing in the later phase that a hung jury was probable, I wound up firmly predicting total acquittal (as I mainly had in numerous articles on the case over the months) while the final hours of deliberations ticked by.Still, while I was inwardly overjoyed to watch Zimmerman stand and listen to the “not guilty” pronouncement being read to the court, I was also a bit shocked and incredulous–I was waiting for some qualification, some “but” or clarification regarding his exoneration on the count 2nd degree murder, followed by the dismal horror of a proclamation of guilt on the manslaughter charge.
In Zimmerman’s face, I was sure I could read the same trepidation–an extremely cautious unwillingness to perhaps prematurely conclude that he was really off the hook, lest he suddenly hear in the jury foreperson’s next breath that he was to be sentenced to as much as thirty years in prison for the lesser charge.
Zimmerman’s expression, like my own as I watched the TV screen in utter raptness, was that of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Nope, nada; no guilt on either charge of 2nd degree murder nor manslaughter.
Praise God and honest women!
Even Judge Debra Nelson’s craggy, previously surly countenance over the preceding weeks was soon visibly brightened, and her voice even seemed surprisingly pleasant, as she gave the final orders for the verdict’s ramifications, and for the resolution of the case. I am sure I detected the faint hints of a smile as she finished the business of her court regarding the matter. I’m not sure what to make of that; it was probably mere relief that the ordeal was ending, given her open hostility toward the defense throughout.
The jury of women did their job. They carefully sifted through the facts and evidence presented, and they properly applied the law.
As the realization of his sudden freedom sunk in, Zimmerman only dared show the faintest, minimal signs of relief and reserved gratitude as his defense team slowly, quietly reached to assure him and support him in the reality of what was happening. It was not, nor will it ever be, apparently, safe for him to fully openly enjoy and celebrate his survival against such an all-out racial and political vendetta. Not unless our society undergoes a radical reformation, that is.
Given the extreme tensions involved in the entire one-and-a-half-year-long odyssey of malice directed toward destroying his life by those who falsely claimed that he’d murdered one of theirs, it was prudent for Zimmerman not to openly celebrate the verdict, or even unintentionally antagonize his persecutors in any way.
Despite the fact that he’d already (by only the skin of his teeth) barely survived attempted murder by Trayvon Martin, and had just barely survived the attempt by the full force of government and media (all the way up to the White House and the major networks’ & newspapers’ titanic campaigns of deceptive mass-propaganda) to railroad him into decades of imprisonment, George Zimmerman has by now learned the score: Those who have all along wished him to be tortured and buried into oblivion know no reason, nor mercy, nor acquiescence, and he’d be naive to operate from this point on as if he could safely dance or even timidly tiptoe his way to a life of rights in such a vast minefield of danger and hate.
Zimmerman’s own government, that entity whose only legitimate, primary Constitutional role is supposed to be that of serving to help protect a citizen’s fundamental Divine rights here on Earth, has instead mostly sided with those who would lynch him, doing nothing to stop identified individuals and groups who actually took to live national television to announce a bounty on his head.