Was George Zimmerman "depraved" when he shot Trayvon Martin?
I wasn't terribly surprised that the prosecutor decided to prosecute George Zimmerman for shooting Trayvon Martin, but the second-degree murder charge was an eye-opener. None of the "evidence" presented in the media to-date seemed to support that charge. Manslaughter or negligence maybe, but was George really "depraved"? It doesn't seem so.
I see that there are several possibilities to explain the charge:
- There is some secret evidence that the prosecutor has uncovered that has not yet come to light in the media. Hey, it is possible... but unlikely, especially since it would have to strongly contradict evidence already presented in the media.
- It was a "bone" thrown to the "enraged" African-American community. Even if the charge doesn't stick and George is acquitted, at least the family/community will have "had their day in court", which may be all they may really be after. In other words, George will ultimately walk, but the family/community can claim "justice was served" (sort of.)
- This is just the start, to get our attention, and the prosecution may eventually add a separate manslaughter charge (and possibly other charges) so that a jury could fall back to manslaughter or even assault or negligence if they find that the second-degree murder charge doesn't stick.
- This is just... "Florida Justice", as usual. Despite it's label and reputation as "The Sunshine State", much of the state is rather backwards, redneck, and rather Wild West in its "justice" system. In other words, the prosecution team will benefit from the high-profile prosecution of a greater charge, even if the case goes against them. It could be Casey Anthony all over again.
But, even if George does get off the hook with the criminal charge(s), he and the gated-community homeowner's association could well be targeted with one or more civil suits (ala OJ.)
As far as the "Stand Your Ground" law, I don't think George needs to invoke it. He is claiming self defense and that it was in the heat of a purported physical assault by Martin that he pulled the gun, so as long as the evidence doesn't contradict that claim, he will be able to claim that he had no opportunity to "retreat" after Martin (allegedly) initiated the (alleged) assault.