Monday letters: Do something constructive

July 22, 2013 

Neighborhood Watch News Guide

AP

I’m disappointed in the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial because it was Zimmerman who carried the gun to the scene — against his neighborhood watch training and instructions. If he had not, Trayvon Martin would not have been shot.

But a legally impaneled jury rendered the verdict, and much as we would wish those six people might have come to a different conclusion — if not murder, at least manslaughter — they did not. We will never know in this, or any case, how much the jurors’ verdict reflected their analysis of the facts as presented and how much it reflected personal experiences, attitudes and beliefs.

I wish more people would focus solely on the facts and render what we consider a just verdict, but that cannot be guaranteed. We, as a society of diverse personalities, beliefs, ethnicities and cultures, educational levels and attitudes, can only continue to educate one another.

Those six jurors came to their verdict according to the law as they understood it and the instructions they received in the courtroom. Whether we agree with a verdict or not, we must trust the legal system.

Those who feel the Zimmerman verdict is a travesty of justice have a responsibility to work diligently to reform and refine that system so such travesties are much less likely to occur. We must move on to prevent future Zimmermans from making bigoted assumptions, from projecting their fears and narrow attitudes onto others, and from employing the instant and permanent judgment of a gun.

Let’s do something to stop this madness.

Sej Harman

Columbia

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