Zimmerman trial should lead to discussion about jury system, too

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  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 22, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    If Zimmerman were convicted and sent to prison no one would be asking for a discussion of anything. How sad is that.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    July 19, 2013 4:00 p.m.

    Interloper: Nothing you said would have changed the verdict. Even if I agreed with everything you said, my question to your comments is: So What?

  • Interloper Portland, OR
    July 19, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    There is another glaring problem with this piece. The writer avoids the key issue that needs addressing: Why can't a black victim get equal justice in the American criminal justice system? Part of the reason for this is Jay Evensen treats George Zimmerman, not Trayvon Martin, as the victim in Florida vs. Zimmerman. The grown man was the defendant, not the youth. The adult weighed 60-70 pounds more than the boy, had trained in Mixed Martial Arts three times a week and was armed with a loaded 9mm handgun. He was the threatening figure, not a tall, skinny unarmed teenager.

    Like the jurors, Evensen is incapable of seeing Trayvon Martin as a person. Instead, he perceives the boy as somehow inherently threatening and at fault for his own death. The white jury that heard the case have the same problem, as have white juries hearing the cases of black victims for centuries. What we really learned from Juror B-37 is that she never saw Martin as a victim, or even a person. This is why the jury system failed Trayvon Martin.

  • Interloper Portland, OR
    July 19, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    The way white journalists and bloggers apply anti-African-American stereotypes to the Trayvon Martin case would be amusing if it were not tragic. Trayvon Martin's father, Tracy, was very involved with his son, sharing custody and often having the youth stay at his home. Yet, the writer, predictably, claims Trayvon lacked a father. Nor is it acknowledged that Martin came from a middle-class family, with two successful parents. Or that he was a college track student, engaged in activities such as football, horseback riding, learning to fly a plane and babysitting his toddler nieces. Admittedly, a campaign of slander against the Martins has tried to misled the public, but basic reading in mainstream media would have provided all of this information.

    The family that has deep problems is the Zimmermans. The members were not even on speaking terms until George Zimmerman was charged. His criminal record, and allegations he molested a young cousin, which have been widely reported in mainstream media, led to breaches in the family that have lasted years. The notion that the black family, the Martins, is the one that should be criticized in this situation is silly.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 19, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    The Cost of Political Prosecutions

    In concealed carry class we are taught, if it becomes necessary to shoot a person .. 911 should be called. Since Florida showed that political prosecutions are a very real possibility, I envision in the future that there will be people who if they have to shoot someone to protect themself or another person, will not call 911 but simply disappear. The cost of having to deal with the legal system is too great and too unpredictable.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    July 19, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    by definition: race baiters call people racist (because that's what they are themselves)

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 19, 2013 6:59 a.m.

    You are being followed by a stranger with a gun.... race doesn't matter..... and the fact that you defend your self against this person.... makes you the aggressor.

    Would any parent of a child who was being followed by a stranger with a gun - could be a white dude following your white son - would any of you not find that disturbing?

    You can actually say that if You were being followed through your own neighborhood, by a stranger with a gun, you wouldn't have issues with that?

    I am lost at how people are casting the victim here as the problem.... blows me away.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 9:19 p.m.

    You are absolutely wrong, Riverton Couger, there was testimony that directly contradicted Zimmerman's account of what happened that night. And the only testimony that was presented of the actual moment of contact between Trayvon and Zimmerman (the girl that was on the phone with Trayvon) did not support Zimmerman's account. Zimmerman claimed Trayvon hit him with no warning, the girl on the phone says otherwise.

    But it doesn't matter. Again, Trayvon had a right, under Florida law, to defend himself. He did not have to retreat (although he had a number of times) and he did not have to be injured or physically assaulted first, he just had to have a reasonable fear of bodily harm or death.

    And there is no question, no doubt, that Trayvon would have had a reasonable fear for his life that night (leave aside the fact that he was killed) he had an adult pursuing him through the dark that night even after he ran away from him.

    Any reasonable person would have felt fear of death or physical harm that night in Trayvon's shoes. Because of that Trayvon had every right to use self defense.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    July 18, 2013 8:42 p.m.


    Again, Although we don't know exactly what happened, the testimonies strongly suggest that Zimmerman was telling the truth. Even the testimonies that the prosecution brought forward helped Zimmerman's case. In any case, people have failed to find evidence that suggests Zimmerman targeted Martin; Zimmerman's story is the most credible story based on the testimonies given. That is why people knew they couldn't convict him, and that is why the jury knew they couldn't convict him.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 7:17 p.m.

    "Although you don't like to hear it, Martin became the aggressor by jumping Zimmerman"

    "Trayvon caused his own death because of his illegal and violent actions. "

    "Despite the lies you've posted about GZ, note that all he did that night was legal... even pulling a trigger when being attacked."

    None of you have any evidence to back up these claims. All you have is George Zimmerman claiming this is what happened. You have the killer stating this. And not even under oath.

    Treyvon had just as much right as anyone else's to defend himself that night. He did not have to run home; he had a legal right in Florida to stand his ground, just as much as anyone else.

    If he felt his life was threatened or he was at risk of great bodily harm, Treyvon had every right to defend himself. And as the defense attorney said: he did not need to be injured at all, "not even a cut on his finger."

    Treyvon had every right to avail himself of the law against a man that was pursuing him, after he ran away.

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    July 18, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    Why haven't we seen any opinion polls about the attitude of the citizens in the country about the verdict? Is it because the majority of Americans agree with the decision and it just wouldn't make good print to hear that most Americans are just fine with the verdict and the jury system?

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    July 18, 2013 4:28 p.m.


    We may not know exactly how everything happened, but based on the evidence presented, even by Martin's girlfriend, Zimmerman's story was seen to be the most credible and correct story.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 18, 2013 4:01 p.m.

    What's interesting is what you can't say on this thread. You can't say, "follow the money" when racism is being discussed. You can't name names. You can't ask what would happen if that named individual encourged blacks to get an education, to get a job, to stay off drugs, to stay out of gangs. You can't use Bill Cosby's name as a prime example of someone who didn't listen to rants and rages.

    The jury system works. Yes, jurors are underpaid. They should be paid an honest wage for judging one of their peers. The judge is paid. The lawyers are paid. The reporters are paid. The jury should be respected enough to pay them an honest wage for their time. Duty does not mean absence of payment. Read the Consitution. Read the provisions in the Constitution that stipulate that those who serve the public are to be paid.

    People who have a political agenda use race as an issue whenever they can. They don't tell us how many whites or latinos were killed. They don't tells us about the deaths of innocent children. Why not?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 18, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    Juries get all the book and media deals they need. Who needs respect?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 18, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    Something we need to come to grips with... We all have racial biases (not just Utahns). And even Al Sharpton, and even the protesters. And even the Pope. Literally every human being has some bias regarding everything, and even some bias concerning race. It's literally impossible to go through life without forming a single opinion or bias regarding basically everything.

    It's not a matter of...are you racist or not. We are literally all racist (just the degree varies). We all have experiences and they form our biases. The experiences this week contributing to them.

    People are forming their biases every day. From observing what happened in Florida. From observing the trial. From observing different people's reaction to the verdict. To how people choose to express their displeasure with the outcome, how people treat you, and how people react to any given situation. It's impossible be a sentient being and not form biases.

    The important thing is being open minded enough to change your bias when you observe something that should change your current biases.

    Are the protesters willing to correct their biases? Are Utahns able to correct theirs? Some are.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 18, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    Give me a break..... really. This case is an exception... and there will always be those. We had OJ Simpson and the glove didn't fit. Then, recently we had the young lady in Florida who just about everyone who has a brain could figure out that her daughters disappearance\death was some how attributed to her - and yet was found not guilty. These things happen. These are not indications of a complete systematic failure of the judicial system.

    This was a total tragedy for all involved. Mr. Martins parents have been dealing with this issue with class and grace - why can't everyone else?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 18, 2013 2:37 p.m.

    I listened to the testimony by Trayvon's friend, who was with him on the phone as he was being followed by Zimmerman. Her testimony gave the impression that Trayvon was trying to elude/avoid Zimmerman, not looking to attack Zimmerman. Also, if someone were going to attack another person, wouldn't that person end the phone conversation before doing so? Whatever happened, according to the friend, it appears that Trayvon thought he had eluded Zimmerman, told her he didn't need to run because he was close to home. But then Zimmerman surprised him again, followed by Trayvon dropping the phone and the sound of a scuffle.

    We only know Zimmerman's version of how the "attack" started. We don't know Trayvon's version except for the testimony provided by his friend.

    The term Trayvon used to describe Zimmerman is being totally mischaracterized, misinterpreted and distorted by Limbaugh and others. Trayvon's friend testified after he called Zimmerman that name she said "maybe he's a rapist," and Trayvon responded "nah, stop playing with me like that." So Trayvon was dismissing the idea that Zimmerman was a homosexual pervert.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 18, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    Having served on a jury--a case involving the robbery of a drug dealer(seriously, that was the case, two people on trial for robbing a drug dealer)--I can honestly say I never want to repeat the experience again. Nor would I want to be a witness or defendant.

    I agree with Mr. Evensen that there are many problems in our society including the great disparity in our educational system. Stereotypes persist. The truth is that there are more young black men attending college than in prison. The majority of black murder victims are murdered by blacks, but the same holds true for whites: Most whites are murdered by whites. (where the race of both perpetrator and victim can be determined).

    Prof. David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at NYC John Jay College of Criminal Justice:
    "Homicides overwhelmingly happen among people who know each other," there are relatively few absolutely straight-up stranger homicides. Homicide is a phenomenon of social networks. ... Most peoples’ relationships are primarily with someone of their own race or ethnicity. As long as anybody has studied homicide, this has been the pattern."

  • silo Sandy, UT
    July 18, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    @Riverton Cougar

    "Let's attempt to have an honest discussion..."

    That would be great, except you follow that statement with a post full of speculation and lies. The same lies and speculation are posted by many others as if they were facts, when they are far from it. That's not honest discussion...it's merely backfilling your existing opinions with more opinions.

    "Trayvon Martin jumped Zimmerman..."
    Nothing honest about that statement. The only person claiming that Martin jumped Zimmerman is Zimmerman himself. Since he was also the killer, his claims should be held suspect.

    Another example:
    "...started to beat the tar out of him"
    Again, nothing honest here. You have no idea whether Martin 'started' anything. Only Zimmerman claims this. It is just as likely that Zimmerman started things. There's no evidence to support/refute either argument.

    Yet another example:
    "...an irate teenager on drugs"
    Martin was not 'on drugs'. He had traces of THC in his system that were determined to be no effect on his action according to the medical examiner. In contrast, Zimmerman was taking Adderall, which has known side effects of agitation and aggression.

    An honest discussion requires honesty. Try again.

  • KG South Jordan, UT
    July 18, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    @ WRZ

    I think he was racially profiled. The report I read was that there had been reports of burglaries in the area perpetrated by a young black man. When GZ saw a young, black man, he profiled Martin, according to the reports. That, IMO, is racial profiling. But, I don't have a problem with that at all--he fit the description of the reports.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    July 18, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    There would have been no controversy if the media were honest in their reporting. The Main Stream Media twisted the facts and in one case, even doctored a tape to promote a distorted narrative of the truth. People believe that justice was not served because they were spoon fed false information by the media.

    1. Prosecute the media for inciting a riot. The violence is their fault.

    The police said that there was no case against Zimmerman.
    The local prosecutors said there was no case against Zimmerman.

    2. Disbar those who moved forward with this prosecution. Zimmerman's rights have been seriously violated.

    If Zimmerman set out to murder this young man, why did he call 911? Mighty strange behavior for somebody planning to commit a crime.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    July 18, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    I was going to comment but then realized that "carman", "fed up", and "joe" already expressed my views.

    I find it interesting that people like "EdGrady" labelled Utahns racist for not supposedly not seeing the injustice in the trial decision. He might consider that people like him could possibly be ignorant of the facts that led to the jury's decision.

    Calling me racist for agreeing with the verdict is akin to calling me homophobic for disagreeing with gay marriage. Wrong accusation in both cases, but these are the default accusations they resort to.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 1:29 p.m.

    EdGrady and others morph a serious dialog into nonsensical, gratuitous insults. Sad that there are people like that.

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    July 18, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    @The Solution:
    "This problem is a serious issue that needs to be addressed..."

    Tell that to the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who have been seen to escalating violent protests with racist rhetoric.

    "This country is in need of healing. The hate has to stop."

    I only hope it does not escalate into a civil war. But I ain't holding my breath.


    "... both the prosecutor, and defense settle on the jury with no complaints prior to the verdict."

    They made a mistake, then, didn't they?

    "An all black jury would of (sic) voted Zimmerman guilty?"

    Not with a black defendant.

    "You must think that a black jury is not capable of following the letter of the law"

    They pick their evidence... and in some cases made it up. Just listen to what they emphasize... profiling, gun toting, getting out of a vehicle, stalking, etc.

    "Only the liberal media has made a mess of the Zimmerman jury..."

    Not so. Look who's condemning the verdict. Look who's rioting in the streets.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    July 18, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    The article said that violent protests broke out in Los Angeles and Oakland. A protest in Houston, TX also turned violent. A grandmother was trying to rush her grandchild to the hospital due to a severe allergic reaction, but her path was blocked by the protest mob. When she rolled down her window to plead for passage, a protester socked her in the face. Fortunately, she was only delayed 20 minutes and the child did not die.

  • Question Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 18, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    Understanding why African American men make up such a disproportionate percentage of those who find themselves in the criminal justice system may not be as big a mystery as some may think. I know saying this is not politically-correct but... Is it possible that more of any group find themselves in court because they are accused of more crimes?

    Now... why they are accused of more crimes is another question. And while it could be a big conspiracy to get the group in jail (just because you don't like them or something), OR could it be that they are just in the wrong-place and the wrong-time more often? Or... it's also possible that they involved in more crimes?

    It may be a big invisible conspiracy to hurt the African American community. I don't know for sure. I tend to subscribe to the Occam's razor type logic, meaning "the simplest explanation is usually the correct one".

    I'm sure there's some schism based on racial bias in society or the justice system, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Occam's razor explanation also explains at least some of this phenomena.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    July 18, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    @Miss Piggy, both the prosecutor, and defense settle on the jury with no complaints prior to the verdict. Complaints from nobody prior to the verdict including the black community, the liberal media, the Martin family or their atty's. They only did their howling when they did'nt get there way. An all black jury would of voted Zimmerman guilty? You must think that a black jury is not capable of following the letter of the law, and vote on race and emotion only. My experience with black jurors was they were just as capable as following the letter of the law as I was, and were just as strict as I was with a black defendent. However, their is the occasional exception such as the OJ juror's who partied with him after the verdict. Maybe your perception of a black jury is based on that? Only the liberal media has made a mess of the Zimmerman jury, the same media that thought the all woman jury would be good for the Martin family and procecutors.

  • crawfordzoo Barstow, CA
    July 18, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    Booker T. Washington said this in 1911: "There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs-partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs."

  • The Solution Las Cruces, NM
    July 18, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    I had a decent debate with a black man on facebook about this case, but eventually he basically told me that it was okay for black Americans to be racist because of their history. Another debate with a female, where she said that it is flat out wrong to profile, and then stated that there is no way that a "fat" grown man was being beat up by a 14 year old boy.

    Truth is everyone profiles in one form or another... it's called judgement--the evaluation of evidence to make a decision. Sometimes we are wrong or exercise poor judgement, but it is a necessary part of life.

    This problem is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, because if not, things are going to escalate to a boiling point in this country, and large scale violence will break out.

    I'm not just talking about the race issue here, though that is a big part of it. I'm also talking about the polarization that is taking place in which oposing sides hate each other.

    This country is in need of healing. The hate has to stop.

    Go say something nice to someone you disagree with.

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    July 18, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    "Nothing wrong with the jury system. They acquitted on the letter of the law."

    The jury was all white. If the jury was all black would the decision be the same? I doubt it, based on the reactions we've seen. What does that say about our jury system?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    if only Trayvon Martin had had a gun....

  • Mr. Bean Pheonix, AZ
    July 18, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    @Ernest T. Bass:
    "Again, he was minding his own business, walking down the road eating candy. A guy in an SUV, with a gun confronted a kid who was doing nothing wrong."

    So, why did he punch the guy with the gun in the kisser and bang his head on the cement sidewalk? He shoulda either ran home or offered to share his candy.

    "If the guy with the gun follows police instructions and stays in his vehicle this whole episode goes away."

    It wasn't the police. It was a 911 phone operator. And he/she did not tell Zim to stay in the vehicle. He/she said "we don't need you to do that." Then he/she asked Zim, "where is he now." Which tells Zim to get out of the vehicle and find out.

    "As I said, the only thing Trayvon was guilty of was bringing skittles to a gun fight."

    And, as someone else posted, he brought a fist and a cement sidewalk to the fight. Not too smart against a gun.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    July 18, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    @EdGrady: "If I ever decide to shoot an unarmed teenager, I hope I get this jury.

    No, no. Just take Vice President Joe Biden's advise:

    "If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barreled shot gun," Biden said. "Jill, if there's ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here... put that double-barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house," the vice president added. "I promise you, whoever is coming in is not gonna... you don't need an AR-15... Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun."

    @Ernest T. Bass: "Trayvon was guilty of bringing skittles to a gun fight."

    No. no. He brought a 'right cross' and a cement sidewalk.

    @KG: "Was he racially profiled by Mr. Zimmerman?"

    No. no. He was racially profiled by the news media. They needed to sensationalize this incident to capitalize monetarily. It seemed to work. They're no dummies.

    @ThornBirds: "GZ definitely was not the man his attorneys portrayed him to be."

    Despite the lies you've posted about GZ, note that all he did that night was legal... even pulling a trigger when being attacked.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Here's how I see the racial problem:

    If your skin is light chances are you feel bad Trayvon died, but you feel he shares the blame for attacking GZ. It is easy to see the right to self-defense as GZ has his nose broken and head being slammed against the concrete.

    If your skin is darker chances are you feel that GZ had no right to profile Trayvon, that he should have stayed in the car, and that because he had a gun GZ is guilty of murdering an unarmed young man.

    I feel bad for both the Martin and Zimmerman families. I feel even worse for the nation where race strongly controls our ability to reason and process information.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    Again, he was minding his own business, walking down the road eating candy.
    A guy in an SUV, with a gun confronted a kid who was doing nothing wrong.
    If the guy with the gun follows police instructions and stays in his vehicle this whole episode goes away.
    As I said, the only thing Trayvon was guilty of was bringing skittles to a gun fight.

    If this happened to any of your kids would you agree that Zimmerman was an innocent victim? I doubt any of you would.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    @Riverton Cougar
    This is about much more than the case. It's about how black people are treated with heightened suspicion even if they're doing nothing more than walking home while talking on the phone and carrying convenience store items. It's about how police target minority communities with "stop and frisk". It's about how blacks and whites use illegal drugs at the same rates but because of different enforcement matters blacks have much higher incarceration rates. It's about rampant gun violence in our cities.

    You know what? The jury got it right, but the discussion is much bigger than this one case, and this is the sort of stuff that is why Melissa Harris-Perry said she was actually glad when her ultrasound came back that she'd have a daughter rather than a son, knowing the sorts of things he'd likely have to face. This is why Eric Holder notes having that other "talk" with sons about how to interact with police because of all those cases of police brutality and heightened suspicion due to race.

    But hey, we're white and live in Utah, so I guess we can just ignore it.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    July 18, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    Nothing wrong with the jury system. They acquitted on the letter of the law. There was no case from the beginning. Only politics brought it to trial. Anyone complaining that it's one sided, just keep yourselves out of court. Better yet, clean up the mess in your homes.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    "If someone observes there are more blacks in the criminal justice system because they commit more crimes, nobody wants to evaluate whether the evidence supports that theory."

    I know for drug use, studies show whites use illegal drugs at the same rates as blacks but blacks have much higher rates of being incarcerated for illegal drug use (since enforcement varies from region to region, white neighborhoods don't get as much in the manner of things like "stop and frisk" for instance).

    "The race problem in this country is far less a white problem than it is a black problem."

    You live in a town that's like 95% white. Small wonder you don't see a problem when minorities are practically non-existant.

  • BYUtah Fan Herriman, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    Generally I side with the defenders of the verdict. I think that Trayvon caused his own death because of his illegal and violent actions. However, it is undeniable that the vast majority of black people strenuously disagree with me. Like it or not we live in the same country and we are all Americans. As Abraham Lincoln famously stated "A house divided itself cannot stand". Unless we want to witness the downfall of this country as we know it, we need to discuss and understand how we could look at the same set of facts and reach such radically different conclusions. What is causing this divide between us and how do we bridge it?

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:09 a.m.

    George Zimmerman doesn't have a racist bone in his body. He escorted a black girl to the prom, mentored black children, and had blacks living in his home. He is as Latino as Barack Obama is black.

    On the other hand, Trayvon Martin had been expelled from school, had photos of guns on his phone, and was high on drugs when he attacked George Zimmerman. How do we know? Because his girlfriend Juantel said he was incensed that a homosexual pervert was following him. Was Trayvon the one with bias and prejudice? You won't hear the mainstream media (or Jesse Jackson) let us know these facts!

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    Let's attempt to have an honest discussion, starting with EdGrady and Ernest T. Bass.

    When Trayvon Martin jumped Zimmerman and started to beat the tar out of him, what did you expect Zimmerman to do? Scream for help? Yeah, he did that, and it didn't help. What else then? Ask him politely? "Excuse me, but could you please get off of me and stop throwing punches? It's starting to hurt". Yeah, I'm sure that would have worked well. Seriously, what should Zimmerman have done? Just let himself get killed by an irate teenager on drugs?

    My guess is that you will say Zimmerman should not have left his car. That is true. However, to say that Zimmerman caused it by leaving his car is like saying that Martin caused it by buying Skittles. Getting out of the car to see where he went (in response to the police's inquiry) is no more illegal than Martin buying Skittles.

    Again, I mainly want to know what you think the appropriate response would have been for Zimmerman after Martin attacked. Although you don't like to hear it, Martin became the aggressor by jumping Zimmerman.

  • George New York, NY
    July 18, 2013 10:36 a.m.


    I agree with the decision the jury made, I think it was the only decision they could have made based on the evidence presented to them. Having said that I wonder how you think that your characterization is any less inflammatory and divisive then those you are speaking out against. Baiting can take many forms and yours is no less so because it comes from a conservative.

  • Another Perspective Bountiful, UT
    July 18, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    People subject to political pressure should not make decisions about who to prosecute.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    July 18, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    caleb: I made the same observation. I assume EdGrady's post says more about him than it does about Utahans in general or the people who posted on this comment board.

  • BigAlAvenger Summit, UT
    July 18, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    Why now are progressive, liberal people calling for dialog about the black problem. Why did they not cry out after the black O J Simpson butchered two "white" human beings. The race problem in this country is far less a white problem than it is a black problem. Oh, and people like Ed Grady and the Thornbirds, that think they are superior are a gigantic part of our problem. We definitely need to return to the nation that our fore-fathers founded!

  • caleb in new york Glen Cove, NY
    July 18, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    most of the posts here seem to be thoroughly-reasoned opinions that avoided quick superficial judgments. EdGrady's attacks on the posts here as somehow reflecting racism is ludicrous.

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    I got a notice for possible jury duty next month. Where can I get one of those "Justice for Trayvon" T-shirts in case I get called in?

  • PAC Phoenix, AZ
    July 18, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    Look People, it is what it is..Let it go and move on!

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    July 18, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    Perhaps it would be beneficial to look into the back round of a certain young man who has a retired judge as a father. A father with quite unique judicial powers to be able to "doctor up and cover up" his son, George's, criminal history.
    Honesty would have been beneficial.
    George Zimmerman's attorneys refused to let his criminal back round be admitted into the trial. Deceit and legal trickery abounded on the defense side in this trial. And...... we are now hearing about conflicts and preferential treatment occurring during deliberation of the Zimmerman trial concerning the female jurors.
    Gee whiz....it would have shown nothing other than dishonesty and deceit trickled down in the Zimmerman household. GZ definitely was not the man his attorneys portrayed him to be.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    July 18, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    Ya know, I've heard for years that the fine residents of Utah harbored racist sentiments, and I didn't believe it utnil I read some of the comments posted herein.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    July 18, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass: C'mon! He also jumped and beat the tar out of another human being! There was plenty of blame to go around in this case. GZ should have been slower to judge, and then should have waited for the police to come. Treyvon should not have attacked GZ, punched him in the face, broken his nose and repeatedly slammed GZ's head into the ground. I might add that what GZ did may not have been right, but it was not illegal either. What Treyvon M did to GZ was, however, extremely illegal (assault and battery), and triggered the right for GZ to then defend himself.

    I am getting tired of each side politicizing every event, and trying to score debate points while conveniently leaving out exculpatory evidence and context. Hey - the Zimmerman/Martin tragedy and trial should cause us to think deeply about a number of issues, and to have significant dialogue on underlying causes of these problems. To do so, however, will require everyone to be more intellectually honest, less emotional, and to let go of biases and political talking points.

  • KG South Jordan, UT
    July 18, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    I agree with the author: juries are essential to the justice system. Social media and lackluster (or agenda driven) coverage of news like the Zimmerman trial are the problems, not the jury system. The jurors heard all the appropriate evidence, and made their decision according to the law in Florida. No real evidence of jury nullification has surfaced, and it appears as though the jurors wanted to reach a different verdict, but could not do so under the law.

    The real issue in this case and this story isn't the justice system, it is obviously race. A young man was killed. And that young man was black. Was he racially profiled by Mr. Zimmerman? Maybe. Is that illegal? No. If there were reports of burglaries by a young black man, and the neighborhood watchman saw a young black man acting suspiciously and acted upon it, that isn't racial profiling. And while we may never know the exact sequence of events that led up to the gunshot, the facts and evidence presented to the jury in this case was insufficient to satisfy the burden of proof.

    Fix the familial problems, then worry about race.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    July 18, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    Trial by jury has produced "unfavorable" outcomes for centuries. Perhaps the most famous early example was the trial of British soldiers in the Boston Massacre. The people of Boston demanded justice or even revenge, much like with this case. The soldiers had a difficult time finding an attorney to defend them. They ended up being represented John Adams - one who despised British rule, would be perhaps the leading voice demanding independence, and a much respected patriot.

    Adams said during the trial "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

    The soldiers were not convicted. People were mad. John Adams didn't like the soldiers being in America (or what had happened in the massacre) but he realized the rule of law should rule the land - not a mob. He continued to be well respected and went on to serve the American cause with passion. The founders put the same system into our constitution which had produced "unfavorable" results in Boston.

    We should remember lessons learned from our early history when thinking about the current controversy with the Martin case.

  • Rule of Law Pittsburgh, PA
    July 18, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    All worthy topics of discussion. Now the next question is "who is in a position to lead / moderate this discussion?"

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    July 18, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    edgrady and etbass; were both of you in the court room? did you hear every word that was spoken, did you listen to the instructions of the judge, and did you spend 16 hours in deliberation with those jurors? Perhaps there is more to this than meets your eye.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    There is a lesson to be learned from this case. If a shady character is following me and I am close to home, I plan to run as fast as I can for the safety of my house, not turn and attack him. But then most of us already knew this.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    July 18, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    Why does this one case deserve discussion? Because according to the radical leftists, anarchists, and marxists they didn't get the results they wanted...so they claim the system is broken? So we need to change the system...to what? One in which the black guy always wins? This is nuts! Oh, and thanks to the leftist media and their agenda for stirring up the public on this one case. They very wisely leave out of the news any black on white or black on Latino crimes. And black racism is okay.

    @EdGrady / @Ernest T. Bass
    It's the jury's fault...Really? Serious? Don't you think it's possible that the jury had just a bit more information than you in coming to their conclusion? Give your repetition of spoon-fed media hype a rest. You ought to do a little more research than simply turning on MSNBC.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 18, 2013 7:57 a.m.

    Trayvon was guilty of bringing skittles to a gun fight.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    July 18, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    If I ever decide to shoot an unarmed teenager, I hope I get this jury.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    July 18, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    I agree that the media was a big part of the problem in having a reasonable trial or outcome of a tragic happening. The media and a bunch of politicians, who have an agenda and not the welfare of the people of the U.S.A. at heart, are causing all of us grief. And it is also true that we have a significant portion of the population not willing to consider any viewpoints but their own. It all adds up to trouble, and we are in a mire of it.

  • UtahVET1 Sandy, Utah
    July 18, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    Most of the commits I have seen talk as if Zimmerman was white. One of the big problems we have is that the news media will alter a story just to push their agenda and generate money. The media as shown in this article indicates that Zimmerman was white and that is not the fact. So they turn it into a race riot that is generated by the media and then they can report on the riots that are going on also. While all this is going on the media takes no responsibility for any of it.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    July 18, 2013 6:34 a.m.

    The reason we can't have a dialog on race in this country is because we can't have an honest dialog on the topic. For example, in 1960 there was a higher percentage of two-parent black homes than two-parent white homes. What happened to destroy the black family by the end of the century? There is a political faction in this country that does not want that question answered honestly.

    If a black man like Bill Cosby, with no political agenda to grind, wants to discuss solutions to the social problems faced by blacks, it doesn't create a dialog. It creates an outcry, a furor, a spewing forth of hateful comments from those who cannot tolerate opinions other than their own. How can a dialog exist in that environment.

    If someone observes there are more blacks in the criminal justice system because they commit more crimes, nobody wants to evaluate whether the evidence supports that theory. Instead, they want to immediately crucify the messenger as racist. How can a dialog happen in that environment?

    To have a dialog, you have to be willing to listen to and consider opinions that differ from your own.

  • fed up Provo, UT
    July 18, 2013 6:23 a.m.

    Perhaps let us make the prime topic why do so many or our youth raised in families without a father present and who are involved with gangs end up in trouble? Maybe we could add "is a high proportion of those sent to prison because of a lack of a family or other support system"? If this is a high percentage of a certain race, maybe we should work on building strong families not protesting. I think these ideas hold true in all races.