MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

July 16, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — A miscarriage of justice


— The verdict in the Trayvon Martin case represents a gross miscarriage of justice.

It is seen as a flaw in our justice system which comes to light more often than we care to admit.

George Zimmerman does not deny that he killed Trayvon, he claims self-defense, and for some reason the jury bought his story.

The defense claims that race was not an issue in this case, which is not true.

Trayvon, a 17-year-old African-American male wearing a hoodie to ward off the rain, unarmed except with a package of Skittles and a can of tea, is trying to make his way home and is spotted by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman refers to him as a punk during a 911 call. At this point Zimmerman has profiled Trayvon and proceeds to stalk him as his prey. A confrontation takes place. Trayvon, attempting to defend himself, is killed by a 28-year-old wanna-be cop. Trayvon had the right to defend himself which the jury ignored.

The defense denied that race was a factor in this travesty, yet they played the race issue very successfully. By putting the young white woman on the stand to tell a story, which had nothing to do with the case and should not have allowed by the judge, was a pure play on race. By doing this, the defense played to the fears of the white women on the jury of African-American males. It was effective. The prosecution misplayed this hand.

George Zimmerman claimed self-defense. Does not Trayvon have a right to self-defense? Perhaps not under Florida law. The jury has spoken and though I do not agree with it, I must accept it and hopefully the Justice Department will step in and seek justice for Trayvon. So far it has been denied.

CEDRIC JOHNSON

Muskogee