The Trayvon Martin case: Is George Zimmerman guilty or innocent?
Trayvon Martin's death
The Trayvon Martin killing has taken the nation by storm, sparking tensions worldwide about the events and motives for the night that led to a teenager’s death. Trayvon Martin, a seventeen year-old from Miami Gardens, died while visiting his family at the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012. Carrying only a snack, the Nation wonders why a teenager was killed.
What made Trayvon Martin such a threat to George Zimmerman, a twenty-eight year-old watchman for the community at the Retreat at Twin Lakes? Was this killing an act of self-defense or was George Zimmerman a murderer?
Millions are protesting the teenager’s death, calling the case an unjust killing at the hands of a vigilante killer. With details of the events still being gathered, the world is still waiting for answers. Why was Trayvon Martin killed without any charges brought against the shooter, George Zimmerman?
George Zimmerman's actions
George Zimmerman defended his actions with Florida’s Stand your ground law of 2005, claiming his life was in danger and his only option was to shoot Trayvon Martin. He claimed that Trayvon Martin attacked him first and he shot the teenager to save his own life.
The case grabbed the Nation’s attention and differences of opinions over what individual rights were violated and/or protected in the Trayvon Martin case. He made the choice to shoot Trayvon Martin and now the Nation is questioning the legality and choice of George Zimmerman’s actions and if he violated the law. Was George Zimmerman acting with the legal realm of Florida’s Stand your ground law of 2005?
The escalation of events that led to the killing, questionable and possibly preventable, is now at the center of this case. Was George Zimmerman acting in self-defense or was he acting as a vigilante killer that went too far? The right to protect yourself is a right given to all, but when is it considered an illegal act or a crime? Did George Zimmerman act in the realm of the law when he shot Trayvon Martin? Or, was George Zimmerman acting as a Vigilante and who judged Trayvon Martin wrongfully by his appearance and right to freely walk in the neighborhood, without persecution?
Is George Zimmerman innocent?
George Zimmerman's decision
Justice is intended to be fair and unbiased, free from opinions and the interests of individual definitions of the law. To uphold the Law is a perspective that is defined differently by each person, but the law is written to limit each person’s abuse of the intended meaning. The law’s written definition is expected to protect an individual’s right, and allow justice to overcome individual opinions of what the law states.
Decisions by an individual determine the engagement to the law, but discretion to enforce the law determines the engagement to a crime and if the act was considered a crime. Discretion is a necessary element for the law, but dependence on individual discretion can misplace the meaning of the laws . Society entrusts the law with the burden of providing a ruling of what is right or wrong when a law is applied in a crime.
When George Zimmerman became Trayvon Martin’s judge and jury, he decided to follow a ‘suspicious person up to no good’. The decision to profile the teenager and initiate the confrontation began with George Zimmerman’s decision to interpret the law’s meaning and shoot him. When he shot the teenager, did the law overlook Trayvon Martin’s right to walk down the street without being profiled? Does the law only protect certain individuals from protection under the law?
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