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The Zimmerman Trial: No Right Way Out

Posted on 25th Jul 2013 @ 9:09 AM

The Zimmerman Trial: No Right Way Out

The incident of 17-year-old African American Trayvon Martin’s murder, which occurred early last year in Sanford, Florida, had resulted in an eruptive respond from the general public protesting racial discrimination and profiling. Over a year later, George Zimmerman, the 29-year-old partially Hispanic man who shot Martin, is currently on trial for second-degree murder.  

The case stands as follows: Zimmerman, on the defensive, claims that while on neighborhood watch he had shot Martin out of self-defense after Martin, who had been suspiciously walking around the area, confronted and attacked Zimmerman. According to the defense’s case, Martin was on top of Zimmerman and had repeatedly punched Zimmerman and bashed Zimmerman’s head into the ground. Left with no other alternative, Zimmerman took out his gun and shot Martin to defend against the teen.

On the other hand, the prosecutors are accusing Zimmerman of using racial profiling to attack Martin, who was an innocent child and was not partaking in any violent or unruly behavior. More concrete evidence lies in the witness and neighbor testimonies. Most notably, Martin was on the phone with long-time friend Rachel Jeantel leading up to and during the incident, so her testimony provided important evidence for this case. According to Jeantel, Martin had been voicing his concerns about Zimmerman watching and following him as he walked in the neighborhood, and she heard the commotion as Martin dropped his phone and got into a physical altercation with Zimmerman. She also claims she heard Martin say “get off”.

Much of the outcome of this case rests on a short, low-quality 911 phone call clip that contains a lot of screaming and a few seconds of someone screaming for help. If the judge and jury can determine who was making these cries for help, it would be easier to establish who was the aggressor and who was the victim. However, in this situation there is naturally a lot of bias. Due to the short length and poor quality of the audio clip, voice recognition cannot be performed accurately. Expectedly, all of Martin’s family and friends claim that Martin is the one calling for help, while Zimmerman’s relatives and friends don’t have a doubt that the voice calling for help belonged to Zimmerman. To ask people who were close to or knew either Martin or Zimmerman introduces much bias and room for error, and the case is bound to hit a dead end if it continues to simply relay back and forth who each side thinks was calling for help.

In any case, the outcome of this case seems extremely unclear, as the accounts differ vastly and both sides lack concrete evidence.



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