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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Justice delayed

At long last, a Florida special prosecutor did the right thing and brought second-degree murder charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

But the inexcusable delay that allowed the case to be played out in the court of public opinion instead of the legal one has only served to deny justice to both Martin and yes, Zimmerman.

Let's be honest: would there have been such a lengthy delay in the case if the accused shooter was black and the victim white?

But by plastering Zimmerman's face across national and international media as an accused but uncharged shooter, Florida authorities have made it incredibly hard to have this case play out in court as our legal system intends.

There's also the culpability of the Florida Legislature for passing a law giving all rights to gun owners to take a life with seeming impunity, a reality that was well on the way to fruition before a handful of African-American journalists took up the cause of the 17-year-old shot to death in a gated community, hood up on on a rainy night in February as he returned to a Sanford home where he was a guest, armed with Skittles and iced tea.

Questions also need to be raised about a police department that seemingly shrugged its collective shoulders and decided the law tied their hands too. And about a nation where blame the victim -- or defame him -- is still too much of a reality.

Now, the case is exactly where it belongs, in a court of law where testimony will be heard, evidence can be examined and a jury will decide Zimmerman's fate as prescribed by the Constitution.

In the end, it's a no-brainer, which is what makes the lack of brains exhibited by Florida authorities all the more vexing.

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