Not Guilty! My Faith In Juries Is Vindicated

As Paul noted a few minutes ago, the jury in the George Zimmerman case, after deliberating for around 12 hours and having carefully considered the evidence and the court’s instructions, returned the correct verdict: not guilty on all counts. This is a tremendous vindication of our jury system. Is it perfect? No. But it is pretty damn good.

I tried my first jury case when I was 24 years old and have tried 100 jury cases since then. My experience has given me a great deal of faith in the common sense and good judgment of jurors. But cases like this one, conducted in the glare of publicity and with massive political pressure brought to bear, from the White House on down, are necessarily unpredictable. So let’s congratulate the six citizens of Seminole County, Florida, whose identities are still unknown, for standing up to the political gales and doing their duty: because it was always obvious that Zimmerman acted in self-defense, and never should have been charged.

Mark O’Mara is enjoying, tonight, the kind of satisfaction that you almost have to be a trial lawyer to appreciate:

Tonight a lot of people are vindicated: the police officers and prosecutors who initially evaluated the evidence and declined to prosecute Zimmerman, and whose integrity got them fired; Zimmerman and his defense team, of course; and observers like Andrew Branca who had this politically-motivated prosecution pegged from the beginning.

Others should be held accountable: the race hustlers like Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama and Al Sharpton who lied about what happened and tried to stir up riots; the special prosecutor who bent to the political winds and commenced a prosecution that never should have taken place; and countless media commentators who, if they followed the case at all, should have seen how weak it was, but nevertheless continued to promote the liberal themes, in hopes of imprisoning an innocent man for life. All of those people–and here, Barack, I mean you in particular–should be ashamed of themselves.

So: three cheers for the jury system and for the tiny crew of six unnamed, unknown women who could so easily have bent to the prevailing winds of prejudice, but instead–unlike the fictional jurors in To Kill A Mockingbird–did their duty. Today is a good day for America.

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