Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trial By Jury

I watch a LOT of news. I read a LOT of news. We're talking hours and hours of it every day. I have to do it for my different jobs, and I really don't mind doing it because I like to be informed. I've been following the Trayvon Martin case because I can't avoid it, quite frankly. Normally, I don't like to follow big crime stories like this (for instance, Casey Anthony, OJ, etc). I'm not a fan at all of "trial by media" stories. If one could go so far as to be politically and morally against "trial by media" stories, I'd be in that camp.
Have you ever noticed how these "trial by media" stories rarely ever go the direction the media-tainted public thinks they should go? Again, Casey Anthony, OJ, Michael Jackson and the like. Somehow, every time the media hypes a story and does their own "digging," the jury in the courtroom, which hears the real police evidence, and the real witness testimonies (as compared to the "testimony" of some guy's third grade teacher who talks about what a good guy he was), the jury decides differently from the public.
Okay, maybe not every single time. But actually, I can't think of an over-hyped case that went the way the media portrayed it to. Can you? Maybe its just too late at night for my mind to recall one.
With the Casey Anthony trial I went out of my way to not read anything or listen to anything before the trial. I kept my mouth shut when the verdict came out because so many people were so angry about it. But because I never heard what the media said, and I only heard the recaps of what was said in the courtroom, I agreed with the verdict.
And that's my fear with the Trayvon case, that the nation is whipping itself up into this big racism frenzy, and in the end, that isn't going to be relevant. My biggest fear is that Al Sharpton et al are going to keep playing this race card, and racial profiling story, and that in the courtroom we are going to learn that Trayvon may have lived up to the stereotype. The local Orlando news (not the national news which has been paying obscure "witnesses") has been reporting that the only actual eyewitness, who was there when the shooting occurred, says that Trayvon jumped out of the bushes and attacked Zimmerman. Zimmerman had a cut on his head, grass stains on his back, blood on is face, and a broken nose. That takes a pretty big scuffle to get all of that.
But if everyone keeps listening to the "trial by media," and "jury by celebrity," no one will hear the actual facts of the case, and will judge on emotion only.
I am absolutely not, in any way, shape or form, on Team Zimmerman, or on Team Trayvon here. I'm on the "Let's wait and see what the police reports and actual statements say" team. I know we can't avoid all media coverage and all the stories on this event. But try and listen for the real facts, and don't get tied up in the emotional hyped parts. For instance, why did Trayvon's father say it wasn't his son in the 911 call (yelling for help in the background)? But Zimmerman's father says it is his son? And then it wasn't until she was on a paid appearance on a national talk show that suddenly Trayvon's mother says she knows it was her son? And why did the girlfriend on the phone wait a month before coming forward? There's a reason our justice system was built on "reasonable doubt." And right now, this case is full of reasonable doubt.
Honestly, it isn't so much the verdict on Zimmerman that I'm concerned about. It is the day after the trial (which is years away) that I'm more concerned over, when it comes to the health and affairs of the country. Screaming racism over and over right now, is going to make for some very heated tensions during the actual case. And do those kind of tensions ever end well?

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