The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 15, 2013

Zimmerman trial verdict reached because of facts in the case, Florida law


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — In an enlightening post on his “Criminal Defense” blog, veteran criminal defense lawyer Brian Tannebaum cut to the chase about “The Embarrassment Of The George Zimmerman Verdict.” He made some excellent points, which we will share in this editorial.

The Florida attorney began by stating that Trayvon Martin’s death was a tragedy, and that George Zimmerman didn’t have to shoot him. That said, Tannebaum emphasized that he wasn’t there.

 “You weren’t there either,” Tannebaum wrote. “You don’t know what happened, exactly. As much as you want to believe you were there and know what happened, exactly, you weren’t, and you don’t.

“Not knowing exactly what happened requires a not guilty verdict, no matter how angry or outraged you are.”

Tannebaum, who watched the trial and knows lawyers on both sides, wrote that the jury reached its verdict because of the facts and Florida law.

The jurors — who heard everything; we didn’t — issued a reasonable verdict on the issue they had to decide: the criminal charge against Zimmerman.

Tannebaum argued the state didn’t have a great case, with no witnesses and a confusing tape recording.

“George Zimmerman is not guilty because the law says he’s not guilty,” the attorney wrote. “You don’t think it’s right that he killed Trayvon Martin, but that’s not what the law says in Florida where we like guns more than we like people. You have a problem with that, do something to change the law other than complain on social media. I know, you’re busy, you won’t. That’s for others to do.”

In closing, Tannebaum criticized broadcast news coverage and suggested better vetting of TV pundits. Also, he urged the uninformed to quit criticizing the verdict and asked to put an end to misguided cries for an appeal.

We believe the verdict does not mean an endorsement of Zimmerman as a “good” guy, Martin as a bad guy “deserving” death, or many other non-criminal concerns that have come out in this case.

Racism still exists in our country. Teenagers say and do stupid things and sometimes criminal things. Adults sometimes say and do stupid things, too. But, Zimmerman did not murder Martin, so says the jury.

Click HERE to read Tannebaum’s blog.