A jury has found George Zimmerman not guilty on all counts in the trial of murder/manslaughter of Trayvon Martin.
The jury deliberated for two days before returning the verdict. The case has polarized the opinions of the nation for months, with some saying that Zimmermann brutally took the life of a young black man with no cause, and others saying he was acting only in self-defense.
A jury was tasked with determining beyond reasonable doubt whether Zimmerman killed Martin with malice aforethought, or even acted in a reckless manner that he knew could result in his death.
According to Fox News, after the reading of the verdict, the judge told Zimmerman he was free to go: “You have no more business in this court.”
And now to see what the reactions to the verdict will be. Prior to the reading of the verdict Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said, “There is no party in this case who wants to see any violence. We have an expectation upon this announcement that our community will continue to act peacefully.”
The trial and verdict echo the days of the O.J. Simpson trial and verdict, where a black man was accused of murder, but found not guilty in court. Though many have continued to believe that Simpson did commit the murders, they also agree that the burden of proof in the trial was not handled properly by the prosecution, and that the verdict was therefore appropriate judicially.
There may be many who disagree with the verdict handed down my the jury in the Zimmerman case, not even finding him guilty on the secondary charge of manslaughter. But the question is whether or not the jury felt the prosecution had met that burden of proof: beyond reasonable doubt. Much of that had to do with whether they could prove that Zimmerman was not defending himself in the struggle with Martin, a task very hard to accomplish.