In news that should come as no surprise to trial watchers -- yes, including you Rachel Jeantel -- and those familiar with the facts of the case (those presented to the court, those the court disallowed and those the media neglected), a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty.
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty on Saturday of the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin. He also was acquitted of manslaughter, a lesser charge. After three weeks of testimony, the six-woman jury rejected the prosecution’s contention that Mr. Zimmerman had deliberately pursued Mr. Martin because he viewed the hoodie-clad teenager as a criminal and instigated the fight that led to his death. Mr. Zimmerman said he shot Mr. Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in self-defense after the teenager knocked him to the ground, punched him and slammed his head repeatedly against the sidewalk. In finding him not guilty of murder or manslaughter, the jury agreed that Mr. Zimmerman could have been justified in shooting Mr. Martin because he feared great bodily harm or death. The jury, which has been sequestered since June 24, deliberated 16 hours and 20 minutes over two days. When the verdict was read, Mr. Zimmerman, 29, smiled slightly.His wife, Shellie, was in tears, and his whole family hugged. Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who lost their son a few weeks after his 17th birthday, were not in the courtroom. [...] Through it all, Mr. Martin’s parents said they sought one thing: That Mr. Zimmerman have his day in court. That day arrived on Saturday. From the start, prosecutors faced a difficult task in proving second-degree murder. That charge required Mr. Zimmerman to have evinced a “depraved mind,” brimming with ill will, hatred, spite or evil intent, when he shot Mr. Martin. Manslaughter, which under Florida law is typically added as a lesser charge if either side requests it, was a lower bar. Jurors needed to decide only that Mr. Zimmerman put himself in a situation that culminated in Mr. Martin’s death. But because of Florida’s laws, prosecutors had to persuade jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Zimmerman did not act in self-defense. A shortage of evidence in the case made that a high hurdle, legal experts said. Even after three weeks of testimony, the fight between Mr. Martin and Mr. Zimmerman on that rainy, dark night was a muddle, fodder for reasonable doubt. It remained unclear who had started it, who screamed for help, who threw the first punch and at what point Mr. Zimmerman drew his gun. There were no witnesses to the shooting.Nancy Grace's head is going to explode!
source: NY Times