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Deep down, most people have dreams - they may be forgotten, unspoken, or unrealized - but they are there. I want to help you remember and believe in them again...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Why this verdict bothers me so much...

I've heard this quoted and misquoted many times over the years:  (12th Century) legal theorist Maimonides said "It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death" in reference to our legal system in the United States.

While I understand the sentiment, it feels like many innocents are found guilty and that the thousand guilty persons keep adding up.

I also get the reality that the Prosecution in Sanford, FL did not "prove their case beyond a doubt" but my problem is with the REASONABLENESS of it.  Reasonable Doubt?  Reasonable...  Reasonable... that word echoes in my mind.

I've heard those who support the NRA talk about the 2nd Amendment...
I've heard the arguments about race and profiling...

But here's what keeps replaying in my mind:
Most pre-drivers (meaning 15 year olds or younger) tend to take the shortest route home - even if that means cutting through others yards.  I did it when I was a kid.  I now live in a gated community and more than once I've seen kids "cutting through" my neighborhood.  It's what they do.
I am a responsible gun owner and a member of the NRA.  I support the 2nd Amendment.  However EVERY single gun class, seminar, etc. ALWAYS talks about protecting yourself, your home or property.  It's about defending... not being aggressive.  I've been the victim of violence so I've taken self defense classes off and on for years from basic self defense to Krav Maga -- again, it's always about protecting yourself and about creating space to GET AWAY.  The objective is to survive and get away.
I've been stalked before.  I've been followed.  I can tell you from personal experience AND based on most statistics, when someone is following you, their INTENT is to intimidate.  Most human reaction to being followed is FEAR in some form.
So here's what bugs me...
Mr. Zimmerman called police multiple times prior to this incident to report 'suspicious looking black men' in the neighborhood.
This night, he decided to "follow the suspicious black man."  
WHY do that?  It's aggressive by the action alone.
Common sense says that Mr. Zimmerman was aggravated by the boy's presence.

Most 15 year old boys I know have some hormone issues.  They tend to think they're invincible, can be rebellious and even a little mouthy.  Even in the best of circumstances, teenagers don't always REACT well to stress - particularly fear.
Mr. Zimmerman had defense classes - whether or not he was good at them - he had to take a class to legally obtain a fire arm.  So he'd been told and taught what to do in a confrontation.  The basic principles remind us to "Get Away."
But clearly, FEAR won.
A child died.

In Jacksonville, a dispute over music, another white man claims he "stood his ground"- FEAR won... and
A child died.

We, as a society, have never been able to eradicate bias.  But sadly,  I have to admit that if Trayvon was the white son of a local councilman, or favored (white) teacher, cop, or fireman... despite the incredible limitations imposed on the jury by FL law... I believe Mr. Zimmerman and potentially Mr. Dunn would be serving a jail sentence.

This is one of the many reasons why this verdict bothers me so much.

The whole thing bothers me.

I do pray to God that He helps us as a nation heal this and so many other injustices - because only He can.

...and I do pray that anyone / everyone living in Florida will consider all this and VOTE to change your representatives and others so that your laws may better protect all children. 


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