EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


July 16, 2013

Letter: Our legal system fumbled in the Trayvon Martin case

To the editor:

Clearly, the jury decision that declared Zimmerman innocent is rife with unreconciled issues involved in finding the man devoid of culpability. America may have the best and fairest legal system in the world, but occasionally it fumbles. And that it really did in the Trayvon Martin case.

Inherent in a self-defense case (stand your ground) is the provision entitled “reasonable doubt,” a premise which has no guidelines and no quantifiable standards. Proving hate and ill will is like trying to read one’s mind in the dark. The acquittal also says that if you get in a fight and find yourself losing, you can shoot your adversary. But the outcome had other facets that brought home the bacon for Zimmerman.

First, the result of a trial is often determined by the skill of attorneys, and Zimmerman had the best. Secondly, the results should be based on evidence, but in the Zimmerman case, there were no witnesses; so the defense went by what had been said by the defendant, several experts who testified notwithstanding.

And Zimmerman was proven to have lied on several occasions, almost understandable considering the consequences of a finding of guilty. But if the man were innocent, he could have explained it by taking the stand and submitting to cross examination.

However, being found not guilty does not mean that Zimmerman can pick up the pieces and continue with his life.

For the foreseeable future he will have to shy away from public places and constantly be on the lookout for his life.

He has been wearing a bullet proof vest and will also have to disguise himself even to go to a store.

Maybe, that angst that Mr. Zimmerman will have to endure for a long time to come is a downpayment for his inexcusable, intemperate and tragically poor decisions.

Dante Ippolito


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