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Topic of the day: The Zimmerman verdict

Published: Monday, July 15 2013 1:20 p.m. MDT

George Zimmerman arrives in circuit court for his trial, along with co-counsel Don West, Monday, June 10, 2013, in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman is was declared innocent in the shooting of Trayvon Martin . (Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Associated Press) George Zimmerman arrives in circuit court for his trial, along with co-counsel Don West, Monday, June 10, 2013, in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman is was declared innocent in the shooting of Trayvon Martin . (Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Associated Press)

More than a year after the shooting of Trayvon Martin — a 17-year-old black teenager — by neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman, the much publicized trial ended with the jury finding Zimmerman innocent.

There has since been a heated response from across the nation, prompting the president yesterday to ask the American people to stand by the verdict despite misgivings. "I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher," he said. "But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son."

“Jurors listened attentively and deliberated carefully, and the rule of law must be respected,” notes the editorial board of the Washington Post, as it goes on to note that the true tragedy, no matter the verdict, is that Martin is still dead. “But the central tragedy of this case — the death of a 17-year-old boy who had been on a simple errand to get snacks — remains.”

President Barack Obama speaks during a ceremony to present the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award to Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton, from Union, Iowa, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2013. White House spokesman Jay Carney says it would be inappropriate for President Obama to express an opinion on how the Justice Department deals with Zimmerman after the neighborhood watch volunteer's acquittal in the shooting of the unarmed 17-year-old last year.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Carolyn Kaster, AP) President Barack Obama speaks during a ceremony to present the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award to Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton, from Union, Iowa, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2013. White House spokesman Jay Carney says it would be inappropriate for President Obama to express an opinion on how the Justice Department deals with Zimmerman after the neighborhood watch volunteer's acquittal in the shooting of the unarmed 17-year-old last year. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Carolyn Kaster, AP)

Indeed, tragedy was the key point many brought up, regardless of if they believed in Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence, and many have captured that tragedy in different ways. At Fox News, Erick Erickson quotes scripture: “My prayers for Trayvon Martin, his family, George Zimmerman and his family, and the jury that did its job. ‘Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.' — Isaiah 40:28-31.”

Steve Erickson is much less forgiving at the American Prospect, calling the verdict an “affront to the moral logic that makes up half of justice.” Erickson believes that the entire trial was a shame, and that the state caved into a massive media circus, failing to remove itself from the political spectacle going on outside of the courtroom. “This was a political trial however much everyone tried to make it otherwise.”

A cut out picture of Trayvon Martin is held aloft by marchers on Times Square Sunday, July 14, 2013, in New York, as they gathered for a protest against the acquittal of volunteer neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman in the 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Demonstrators upset with the verdict protested mostly peacefully in Florida, Milwaukee, Washington, Atlanta and other cities Sunday.  (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) (Craig Ruttle, ASSOCIATED PRESS) A cut out picture of Trayvon Martin is held aloft by marchers on Times Square Sunday, July 14, 2013, in New York, as they gathered for a protest against the acquittal of volunteer neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman in the 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Demonstrators upset with the verdict protested mostly peacefully in Florida, Milwaukee, Washington, Atlanta and other cities Sunday. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) (Craig Ruttle, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

And the New York Times editorial board is already looking back on the case and how it will be viewed in the future. “It may not be possible to consider the case of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted Saturday of all charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, as anything but a sad commentary on the state of race relations and the battle over gun rights in America today.”

Freeman Stevenson is a Snow College grad and is the DeseretNews.com opinion intern. Reach him at fstevenson@deseretdigital or @freemandesnews

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