Considered guilty before found innocent. That phrase keeps going through my mind as I read all the posts and links and news stories regarding the case of George Zimmerman and the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Even before this I realized that it is hard not to form an opinion about a case based on our life experiences. But, we are asked to do so when we sit on a jury and we should be able to do this when we read a news story or hear about something from our friends. But, our forefathers had a great idea that they put in the Constitution and that is a man is to be considered innocent before being found guilty by a jury of his peers. Sadly, it feels like we have become a nation where we find people guilty before deciding that they are innocent. I have read comments pointing to other cases that have been in the news in the past few years, where the media has basically convinced us that a person is guilty and later there is a small oops news story that the person is totally innocent. Too late, though the media got the story and public opinion they wanted and really don’t care about the true victim they created in the story. I was reminded of the news story about the hate crime homicide of a census taker in Kentucky. It was a headline news story that someone would be murdered in such a way. It was a much smaller story when all the evidence was reviewed and it was determined that the guy had committed suicide in a way to make it look like a homicide. It is also the other news stories that never get attention that are on my mind. What about the women who are raped, the children who are molested, and the other crimes that go on that we have learned to accept as a part of life. Why do we not get upset about those crimes?
So, I have had a lot of thoughts going on in my head in regards to this case. I have tried not to form an opinion regarding this. I am beginning to wonder when the hoodie became an issue and who brought that into the news story. I am wondering what the media is trying to do by creating this as a national news story. It is something we have to ask ourselves on every single news story we read, even fun entertainment ones, who is the author trying to reach and what is the message the author is trying to present? There are other questions that pop in my head that seem to be missing from this story. Some blogs have posted some of these questions and given their opinions to the answers as well as some witnesses have now spoken out about what they saw that night. This has left one little question in my head…what role did the gun play in the whole thing? I don’t mean that as a way to blame the gun, but as one thing I have always heard in regards to owing a gun. It is that you always have to be careful because a gun could be used as a weapon against you. If Martin had attacked Zimmerman as the witness has said, then where was the gun during this attack and who had control over the gun or who was trying to gain control over the gun? I supposed this is part of the police report that no one is paying attention to. But, it is also the lingering question that keeps coming to mind as I read about this event. I surely can’t be the only person who has wondered about what was going on with the gun as Zimmerman was on his back with Martin on top of him.
Finally, I will say that my opinion is this little bit of wisdom I have learned in my life: there are always two sides to a story and the truth lies somewhere in between. I will add that with the media I tend to think the truth is way on the other side of the story they tell, but there are always grains of truth in every story.
Another question keeps popping in my head. It is regarding the fact that he approached Martin and then walked away from him. Per the witness, it was as he walked away that he was attacked by Martin. What happened that caused Martin to decide to attack him? What was said between the two of them before Zimmerman walked away or was anything said at all? As these questions, keep coming popping into my head, I keep getting the same answer. Nobody, other than the men involved and the witnesses know what happened there. I am trying not to let the scenarios that pop into my head dictate what I think about this, but they do. However, what is sadder is that too many people are letting the scenarios that the media and spokespeople are creating to dictate the opinions they are forming in their heads. Sadly, I seem to remember a time when a couple of girls decided to say that a couple of women were witches and the public opinion was formed that these women were witches. Are we really doomed to repeat history where because of what a few people say, a person is presumed guilty?