Trayvon Martin: How Does Justice Look?

Though many people believe that George Zimmerman should receive time for shooting the unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Mychal Denzel Smith, writing at The Nation, delves beneath the surface and asks, besides prison, how would justice look?

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George Zimmerman (Getty Images)

In a piece at The Nation, Mychal Denzel Smith writes that imprisonment for George Zimmerman wouldn't be fair punishment or even justice for Trayvon Martin. The system is broken, and Zimmerman would be just one more person languishing behind bars. The pursuit of justice "needs to be more proactive," he says.

The murder trial of George Zimmerman for the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is nearing its end, with the defense expected to rest its case today. It's time to prepare for what happens if Zimmerman is acquitted.

I believe strongly in his guilt, but I've also watched the trial closely, and between the second-degree murder charge, where the prosecution must prove ill will or malice, and Zimmerman's crafty defense, it is entirely plausible that he'll walk. The special prosecutor assigned to this case, Angela Corey, originally charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder denying that it was because of "public pressure," but because of "special evidence" that supported the charge. Legal analyst Dan Abrams, writing for ABC News, said:

I certainly sympathize with the anger and frustration of the Martin family and doubt that a jury will accept the entirety of George Zimmerman's account as credible. But based on the legal standard and evidence presented by prosecutors it is difficult to see how jurors find proof beyond a reasonable doubt that it wasn't self defense. Prosecutors are at a distinct legal disadvantage. They have the burden to prove that Zimmerman did not "reasonably believe" that the gunshot was "necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm" to himself. That is no easy feat based on the evidence presented in their case. Almost every prosecution witness was called to discredit the only eyewitness who unquestionably saw everything that occurred that night, George Zimmerman.

Read Mychal Denzel Smith's entire piece at The Nation.

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