There was much for us all to learn from this case. For anyone who came in late, let me refer you here http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob143.html for a summary. It ends with one such lesson. Let’s pick up from there.
In this society, the person who moves toward danger in any respect is seen as “having gone looking for trouble,” and widely blamed accordingly if it does not end well. I’ve explained earlier why I don’t think anything Zimmerman did within the totality of the circumstances was the proximate cause of the death, but there’s a reason for the saying “It’s not about fault, it’s about blame.”
When you’re on trial, you aren’t the player, you’re the stakes. The players are your lawyers, and you want the best. Zimmerman had that, and it saved him. The evidence dealt them a powerful hand of cards. I think their two highest cards were Ace of Experts Dr. Vincent DiMaio, Jr. and Ace of Eyewitnesses John Good. The master forensic pathologist tied it all together and proved from the hard evidence what Good, the closest eyewitness, testified: it was Martin on top brutally beating Zimmerman until the shot. I did a murder case with Dr. DiMaio in Texas years ago, also resulting in an acquittal, and DiMaio was extraordinary there, too.
If anyone still has the fantasy that you’ll always be treated as a hero after a clean shoot, this case teaches us the reality. It’s often an ordeal of lies, misunderstandings, and false accusations…and, as seen here, your family will go through that ordeal with you.
It’s not something you want to face alone. Kudos to those who donated to Zimmerman’s legal defense fund: you helped enormously to do justice. O’Mara establishing a website to show the actual evidence (www.GZlegalcase.com) was powerful and effective, and I think we’ll see other defense lawyers modeling on this strategy in the future. One useful ally would be the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, which I’m involved with and have seen do good work. (http://armedcitizensnetwork.net) . Mark O’Mara consulted with ACLDN head Marty Hayes on the case, and appears to have put some of his advice to good use. Hayes’ excellent analysis is found here: http://www.armedcitizensnetwork.net/images/stories/Network_2013-08.pdf .
Don’t believe everything you see in the papers or on TV when the news in question is a self-defense act. For decades as an expert witness in these cases, I’d get back to the hotel after testifying, watch the news report on the day’s events in court, and wonder what the hell trial the reporter was watching. We saw that classically here. The honest reporting was more in the blogosphere than in the mainstream media.
The gun prohibition subculture in this country is powerful, abetted heavily by the MSM, and you can expect them to seize on incidents like this and demonize the shooter. Zimmerman has become the poster person for this venomous trend. Even those who grudgingly accept the verdict still mutter aloud, “If Zimmerman hadn’t had a gun, Trayvon Martin would still be alive.”
That’s probably true, but the final lesson is the flip side, which those commentators sometimes blindly and sometimes studiously ignore: If George Zimmerman hadn’t been carrying a gun routinely on a night he wasn’t expecting trouble, he would probably be dead.