Last night Anderson Cooper interviewed juror B37 of the George Zimmerman trial. Think Progress has highlighted several points from the interview. A few really stick out at me.
2. Juror felt just as sorry for Zimmerman.
COOPER: Do you feel sorry for Trayvon Martin?
JUROR: I feel sorry for both of them. I feel sorry for Trayvon, in the situation he was in. And I feel sorry for George because of the situation he got himself in.
Right there is a very interesting confession by someone who decided Zimmerman was innocent – the situation “he got himself in.” Trayvon didn’t ask to be in that situation. His only crime was walking home. But George Zimmerman decided to pursue Trayvon, stalking him and making Trayvon worry about his own safety. The juror admitted here that Zimmerman was the provocateur. That means, he decided to enter a situation he clearly couldn’t handle, and that justified him murdering a teenager in cold blood. Is this the America we all call home?
COOPER: Do you think he’s guilty of something?
JUROR: I think he’s guilty of not using good judgment. When he was in the car and he called 911, he shouldn’t have gotten out of that car. But the 911 operator also, when he was talking to him, kind of egged him on.
I have listened to these 9/11 tapes a few times. How in the world can this juror take away that Zimmerman was egged on by the operator? The operator clearly told Zimmerman to stay in the car. And besides, the old adage of “if your friend tells you to jump off the bridge, will you?” comes into play here.
7. Zimmerman’s history of reporting black men to the police and his decision to follow Martin played no role in the verdict.
COOPER: So whether it was George Zimmerman getting out of the vehicle, whether he was right to get out of the vehicle, whether he was a wannabe cop, whether he was overeager, none of that in the final analysis, mattered. What mattered was those seconds before the shot went off, did George Zimmerman fear for his life?
JUROR: Exactly. That’s exactly what happened.
The final part of Cooper’s question is what really sticks out; “What mattered was those seconds before the shot went off.” Welcome to the setting of a precedent that can become one of the greatest regrets in the history of our judicial system. This means that anyone in Florida can entice someone into an altercation, then simply shoot them at the end. The point of judgement comes right before that gun is fired, and all you have to do is say “hey I was scared for my life”. No matter who the lawyer, judge or jury, how can one decide how you felt? They can’t, so that will open this law up to incredible abuses that can never be proven.
If anything comes out of this tragedy, I hope that it’s that people see the need to get rid of this law. It’s highly dangerous and one that can easily be abused.