July 28, 2013

Our View: Jury did its job in Zimmerman trial, even if verdict confounds

There is nothing to like about the fact that George Zimmerman shot down an unarmed teenager in Sanford, Fla., last year. Trayvon Martin should have had his whole life ahead of him. Instead, he was buried by his parents.

But anger over this injustice should not boil over into anger against the jurors in this case or a lack of confidence in the jury system. It remains the best way known of resolving disputes.

Public comments by the juror known as B-29 show that the panel did its job just as any of us would want them to do if we were the one charged with a crime. "In our hearts, we felt he was guilty," the woman told ABC News. "But we had to ... put it aside and look at evidence."

That's what juries are supposed to do. There's a difference between "not guilty" and "innocent," and the state has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If Trayvon Martin's death is not murder, it is still outrageous. The outrage is appropriate, but the jury verdict is not the right target for it.


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