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Zimmerman Found Not Guilty

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

George Zimmerman found not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter. We look at the legal decision and the reaction from the court of public opinion.

George Zimmerman leaves court with his family after Zimmerman's not guilty verdict was read in Seminole Circuit Court in Sanford, Fla. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. Jurors found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. (AP)

George Zimmerman leaves court with his family after Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict was read in Seminole Circuit Court in Sanford, Fla. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. Jurors found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. (AP)

George Zimmerman is a free man.  Not guilty was the verdict reached Saturday night by the jury after 16 hours of deliberation. Not guilty of murder and not guilty of manslaughter.

His family is relieved. Trayvon Martin’s is heartbroken. And the nation is divided over whether justice was served.  From the beginning the case sparked intense debate about racism, guns, self-defense. Everyone seems to have an opinion of how this case should have been decided. And that debate continues.

This hour, On Point: listening to the Zimmerman verdict

Guests

Yamiche Alcindor, national correspondent for USA Today. (@Yamiche)

Jelani Cobb, contributor to the New Yorker.com. Associate Professor of history and Director of the Institute for American Studies at the University of Connecticut. (@jelani9)

Stacey Cole Ibara, attorney at the Gunster law firm and former Florida state-wide prosecutor and Assistant State Attorney.

David Folkenflik, media correspondent for NPR. (@davidfolkenflik)

From The Reading List

The Tampa Tribune: Verdict emotional for black community — “As the verdict came in late Saturday night that George Zimmerman was not guilty of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the reaction in the black community was a mix of despair, anger and caution. Families with young male teenagers particularly felt pained by the verdict.”

Miami Herald: State never proved its case, legal analysts say — “After five weeks of trial and 56 witnesses, few legal observers believed prosecutors came close to proving Sanford neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman committed second-degree murder when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in February 2012.”

The New Yorker: George Zimmerman, Not Guilty: Blood on the Leaves — “The not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial came down moments after I left a screening of ‘Fruitvale Station,’ a film about the police-shooting death of Oscar Grant four years ago in Oakland. Much of the audience sat quietly sobbing as the closing credits rolled, moved by the narrative of a young black man, unarmed and senselessly gone. Words were not needed to express a common understanding: to Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, the seventeen-year-old he shot, fit the description; for black America, the circumstances of his death did.”

 

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