George Zimmerman, the man accused of shooting dead 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida, February 2012, has been in court today. His appearance was not the start of the trial which seems to be taking time to get underway. Perhaps such trials usually do in the USA. It was simply to set the trial date.
During a hearing at a Court in Sandford Florida the date was set for the trial of Mr Zimmerman. He stands charged with second-degree murder. The date for the start of the trial is June 10, 2013. The legal teams think that the trial will last about three weeks. There is no doubt or question about who shot and killed Trayvon but it is the circumstances surrounding his death which are disputed. One person present, Trayvon, is no longer able to speak out.
Since this tragedy in February both of the people involved have been painted this way and that. Both were relatively young men, as Zimmerman is only in his twenties. We have all seen images of both men looking innocent and as children. Such excessive media coverage would in many cases and countries not be allowed for fear it would jeopardise a fair trial. But stand trial Mr Zimmerman must.
There are many people online who will tell you that George did nothing wrong. That Trayvon was not such an innocent and had been in trouble with the law before. Whether this is true or not is immaterial. If he was minding his own business, then chased by a stronger older man waving a gun, what did Trayvon do wrong?
He was a stranger to Mr Zimmerman so he knew nothing of this young man only what he could see with his own eyes. The only conclusion is that all he could see was a young black man who was wearing a hoodie. For that Trayvon died.
You can fussy it up how you like but that is the truth. When one American told us Trayvon was not the innocent he was made out to be we asked one question. Had he done anything which deserved a death penalty meted out on the spot by a security guard? We never received a reply.
All parties involved in this case deserve a fair hearing. Zimmerman deserves a fair trial. Martin and his loved ones deserve justice.
The incident once again threw the ridiculous gun culture in the USA into the spotlight . Nothing changed though. It is election year in the US when all is said and done. Since February the USA has experienced a wave of shootings. Some have involved vengeful employees whilst others have been seemingly insane shootings at cinemas and more.
When Trayvon was shot dead it took interference from outside forces to ensure that the judicial process began. That says it all we think. RIP