Did Trayvon Martin have a right to “stand his ground” under Florida law in the confrontation with Mr. Zimmerman? Was that his fatal mistake? Should he simply have run? If he had run, how would he know that he wasn’t still being followed? Many questions still are unanswered. And, perhaps, there’s too little factual evidence.
The jury should be accorded respect in this matter because it is often between a rock and a hard place.
Fritz Joseph Orzelek, Binghamton, N.Y.
The state of Florida charged George Zimmerman with second-degree murder, even though most experts believed the state didn’t have sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Zimmerman committed second-degree murder. That’s the charge the state brought against him; that’s what the state prosecuted him for; and that’s what his lawyers defended him against. The state didn’t charge him with manslaughter, and his lawyers didn’t defend him against a manslaughter charge.
After the state presented its case, and after Mr. Zimmerman’s lawyers defended him against the charge of second-degree murder, but before the jury was sent to decide his guilt or innocence, the state effectively admitted that it hadn’t provedMr. Zimmerman had committed second-degree murder and so it asked the judge to add manslaughter to the charges. Shockingly, she did.
The jury agreed unanimously that the state failed to prove that Mr. Zimmerman committed second-degree murder and, hopefully, it didn’t waste any time trying to decide whether he committed a crime (manslaughter) he wasn’t charged with committing.
Bill Scanlon, Ellicott City
Instead of being grateful that his client has gotten away with gunning down an unarmed teenager, Don West, George Zimmerman’s defense lawyer, complained, “The prosecution of George Zimmerman was disgraceful.” I hope Mr. West uses part of his fee to purchase a new dictionary, since he apparently doesn’t know the meaning of that term.
I also hope he never again inflicts such a despicable, callous comment on those who mourn for Trayvon Martin and grieve with his family.
Steven Alan Honley, Washington