George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. In a shocking verdict, an all-female jury accepted Zimmerman’s plea of self-defense in the murder of Trayvon Martin and was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
The Trayvon Martin murder trial lasted three weeks and ended in one of the most shocking verdicts in courtroom history. George Zimmerman, who shot and killed an unarmed Trayvon Martin in 2012, sparked a national debate on civil rights and racial profiling.
On that fateful evening in 2012, Zimmerman called the police and alerted them to Trayvon Martin’s presence. After the phone call to the police ended, a physical altercation erupted between Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman. When police arrived, Trayvon Martin was dead and Zimmerman had two lacerations on the back of his head. After five hours of questioning over the death of Trayvon Martin, he was released without being charged.
It wasn’t until six weeks later, after media frenzy and much public outcry, that George Zimmerman was arrested. Now, 16 months later, George Zimmerman has been released (although with a stigma forever attached to his name). Trayvon Martin’s parents were not present in the courtroom when the verdict was read, but sources claim they are heartbroken, as to be expected.
After reading the verdict, Judge Debra Nelson told Zimmerman, “You have no further business with the court.” She noted that his bond would be released and his GPS monitor removed. Outside the courthouse, protestors broke into chants of “No justice, no peace!” Again, the media and social media erupted in disbelief at the not-guilty verdict.
The trial and its outcome will, of course, be hotly debated in the coming days. The general public is outraged and many will find fault with how the prosecution handled the case (most notably the lack of credibility of one of the witnesses who admitted to lying about her age and attending Trayvon Martin’s wake), as well as the injustice of the verdict.
As of now, George Zimmerman is free to return to his normal life. All in all, a tragic conclusion to a tragic story.