Friday, July 12, 2013

Trayvon Martin case: Murder, that's what I call it.

Not quite as tawdry as the Jodi Arias trial but with far greater potential significance for the rest of society, the jury that has been hearing the trial of George Zimmerman for the killing of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin began its deliberations today.

From -
A jury has recessed for the day without reaching a verdict in the case of George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

The jurors were set to return Saturday morning at 9 a.m. to resume deliberations.

The jury, which consists of a panel of six women, is weighing a second-degree murder charge against the 29-year-old, who shot Martin during a confrontation last year in a gated Sanford, Fla. community. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming he shot Martin in self defense. 

The panel of six women, which has been sequestered as the proceedings stretched into the end of their third week, will also weigh a lesser charge of manslaughter.

There are many schools of thought on this matter, but they basically boil down to two sides:

- The NRA, white supremacists, and their apologists saying that Zimmerman was justified in killing Martin, even though Zimmerman created the circumstances and conflict that Zimmerman is using to rationalize the killing.

- Civil society, most of whose members are saying "not so much".

Most of the time, I have the words to sum up a position on an issue, *any* issue.  Today, however. I'm going to rely on the words of actor John Wayne.  In real life, and even in some of his roles, he was ultraconservative (check out the pro Confederate-era South themes in many of his Westerns, or the shameless pro-Vietnam War propaganda in the movie "The Green Berets"), but occasionally he put forth some genuine pearls of wisdom.

Consider a scene from his film "Rio Bravo".

In the scene,, he plays Sheriff John T. Chance speaking to John Russell (playing character Nathan Burdette) about the arrest of his brother, Joe Burdette (played by Claude Akins).
(L-R) Wayne, Akins, and Russell (pic courtesy
The dialogue (courtesy IMDB) (emphasis added) -
John T. Chance: [explaining why Joe got beat up] He didn't take too kindly to being arrested for murder.
Joe Burdette: It wasn't murder.
Nathan Burdette: If he says it wasn't murder, why do you say it was?
John T. Chance: Man gets shot that's got a gun, there's room for reasonable doubt. Man gets shot that hasn't got a gun, what would you call it? But, you knew that already otherwise you wouldn't have set things up the way you did. 

I call it murder.

1 comment:

John said...

You forgot Wayne's "Big Jim McClain" movie, where he hunts reds as an investigator for HUAC during the cold war.