I've struggled to record my exact feelings on yesterday's acquittal. The court delivered an awful verdict that suggested that certain key questions are beside the point: What is the crime? Who committed it? Why? How?
Apart from the racial aspects of the case, which others have covered far more eloquently than I could, I'm disturbed by the way the final decision failed to reflect an actual crime. Isn't the whole notion of Western justice based on cause and effect? Crime and punishment?
We're left with the fact that a man was murdered, but hey, that's cool, just an annoying gnat of a fact irrelevant to the case at hand.
No one seems bothered by the proportionality of Zimmerman's act. That a man with a gun shot a kid without a weapon of any kind. That a guy who wilfully ignored police orders should not be allowed a gun in any circumstance. That even when you strip away all the politics around this, the facts remain: a man with a gun shot an unarmed teenager.
A man with a gun shot an unarmed teenager, and apparently that's ok. What is our justice system even worth when that kind of core simplicity can be flim-flammed away?
This verdict is a travesty, and even if Zimmerman's acts are perfectly lawful, then we have to question the substance of the laws themselves.
Let's see how the civil trial fares.