The Wrongfully Acquitted

In another installment of “Criminal prosecutions:  the gift that keeps on giving.”, wrongfully acquitted George Zimmerman has been arrested on some minor unspecified charge that ordinarily wouldn’t even make local news on a really, really slow news day.  But a wrongfully acquitted person’s every “brush” with law enforcement is immediate national news.

He was pulled over for speeding, too, doncha know.

Meanwhile, maybe he helped some people after a car crash but no one cares about that.  We prefer our villains to be entirely one-dimensional.

I agree with his attorney:

 “If I were him I would leave the country.”

Personally, I think Zimmerman is a jerk who went looking for trouble and found it.  In so doing he killed a 17 year old kid.  The death of a 17 year old is sad beyond words.  I grieve for him and his parents and I understand the anger against Zimmerman.  I feel that way myself.

I might differ with most people, though, in that I don’t think my anger ought necessarily translate into criminal liability for the object of my anger.  And I never have any problem, intellectually or emotionally, with an acquittal.

The title of this post is meant tongue planted firmly in cheek.  There is no such thing as a ‘wrongful acquittal’.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Wrongfully Acquitted

  1. “We prefer our villains to be entirely one-dimensional.”
    So, so true. It is the fairy tale syndrome that I refer to frequently. Victims who are saints or struck down knights in shining armour and defendants who are wicked witches in disguise or spawn of Satan.
    I think Zimmerman is having some kind of stress breakdown that maybe was already festering when he killed Trayvon Martin, and with all the public scrutiny is on the verge of losing control – except that he probably has now been prevented from ultimately doing so.
    One cannot really regard brushes with the law subsequent to an extremely high profile trial with mass hostile public opinion as being mere “confirmers” that someone is a jerk, however. The aggravating variables in there, post trial, are just too many, so it is not an untainted, “controlled” test. He may very well be a jerk, but doesn’t involvement with the police become more likely when one is under extreme stress? Isn’t there a correlation between life crises and brushes with the legal system?
    I hold to the perspective that his killing Martin was more to do with a dodgy combination of general jerkiness, gun-toting law-enforcement wannabe over-enthusiasm and mounting marital problems than it was to do with race. the family he rescued from the car crash was black, but no-one wants to mention that – doesn’t jive with the one-dimensionalism…..

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    • Pitch, this is one of those unfortunate instances where I wind up agreeing with quite a bit of both opposing sides.

      I don’t think Zimmerman is a jerk because of the subsequent “brushes”; I think he’s a jerk because of the Trayvon Martin incident. In fact, because he initiated the contact leading to the killing he is about as close as you can get to crossing the line into a criminal act. I just don’t think he quite gets there, assuming he really did start to get badly pummeled, which my limited understandning of the evidence indicates he did.

      Nice to hear from you.

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