Innocent until proven guilty

Innocent until proven guilty Ben Kramer ‘12 George Zimmerman is finally charged with second degree murder concerning the killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin almost 2 months ago. At first, Police took Zimmerman’s plea of the “stand your ground” law that he acted off of self-defense and set him free with almost no investigation. But Zimmerman didn’t get off that easy; the media got a hold of the case and made it into this generation’s biggest racial hate crime. Trayvon being black, and Zimmerman being either of Caucasian or Mexican-American descent, undoubtedly launched the case into something that it very well might not be. Before I express further opinion on behalf of Zimmerman, I will start by saying that he was in the wrong position and easily could have prevented what became to be a tragic situation. The only person who knows what really happened is Zimmerman, but trusting his plea on first instinct is the opposite of what any professional prosecutor, police officer, or attorney should do. Therefore, I will follow precedent and stay as unbiased as possible. As far as I am concerned, Zimmerman held some position of a neighborhood watchman, and was concerned about a suspicious teen walking down the street. There’s no doubt in my mind that he ethically crossed the line of Martin’s privacy, but if he illegally crossed that line, we will never know because the evidence is too vague. “Innocent until proven guilty” is the most unbiased approach to this situation if you ask me. So we’ve heard a million stories of what happens next (the police call, the fight, the screams, and the actual shootings), so don’t believe anyone. The only thing I have decided is that I will refuse to take a victim’s side if he could have been the suspect, and visa versa. So my stance becomes very simple, despite the terrifyingly complex situation. My stance is that the situation, from what I can tell, could have been avoided, but until Zimmerman is proven guilty, he is a free man. Zimmerman being a free man means that it is ethically no man’s business to make his situation any worse than it is. Also, Trayvon’s family, as deserved, should receive all of the comfort and support that there is to give, just as any family should who has lost a child. Where I start to become angry is when there are national protests attacking a situation that seems to have no answer. Where I especially become angry is when I see a situation that has far more to do with ignorance than race, become an extreme racial issue. A lack of reliable witnesses should be answered with a lack of protest, and at the same time, an abundance of tragedy should be answered with an abundance of support. Instead of reaching for answers, simply support justice and support the “victim”. Media has the overwhelming tendency to blow things out of proportion. Again, I am not taking sides, I am simply stating that media has a massive effect on what we believe whether we can help it or not. Throughout the entire case, the two pictures that were shown happened to be a painful mug shot of Zimmerman, and a welcoming snapshot of a young Trayvon. Naturally, the picture made everyone think to themselves how such a big intimidating man could possibly be frightened by such a tender adolescent. The fact is that both pictures gave people false perceptions, and everyone immediately took the side of Trayvon. Whether the media is right or wrong in this case is not for me to decide, but one thing is sure; this case gained a lot more popularity than most cases that are a lot more serious. So if you take no stance at all, keep it that way until justice is served! You don’t want to be caught thinking Ben Kramer is a racist just by looking at the title and picture he used for his article, right? To wrap this all together, I want to clearly state that I do believe that racism is still at least somewhat of a problem in our contemporary post-civil rights era United States. As for this particular case, I cannot say that race is the strong issue. The strong issue should involve the reformation of the “stand your ground” law, or something along the lines of the inconsistencies of pleading self-defense.