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Sunday, July 14, 2013

New York Times Editorial, "Trayvon Martin’s Legacy": "Zimmerman’s Conviction Might Have Provided an Emotional Catharsis"

In an editorial entitled "Trayvon Martin’s Legacy" (, The New York Times goes on record as saying:

"It may not be possible to consider the case of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted Saturday of all charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, as anything but a sad commentary on the state of race relations and the battle over gun rights in America today.

Certainly it is about race — ask any black man, up to and including President Obama, and he will tell you at least a few stories that sound eerily like what happened that rainy winter night in Sanford, Fla.

While Mr. Zimmerman’s conviction might have provided an emotional catharsis, we would still be a country plagued by racism, which persists in ever more insidious forms despite the Supreme Court’s sanguine assessment that 'things have changed dramatically,' as it said in last month’s ruling striking down the heart of the Voting Rights Act."

An "emotional catharsis"? Excuse me, but the purpose of criminal trials is not to provide "emotional catharsis." Rather, criminal trials in the US are intended to determine whether the prosecution bore the burden of proving a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

I have not closely followed the George Zimmerman case and have not read the trial transcripts. Trayvon Martin's death was an avoidable tragedy, and the horror of losing a child would drive me insane. But not having read the trial transcripts, I am hardly in a position to argue with the jury verdict, which was strictly intended to address the question of reasonable doubt as regards the charges pressed by the prosecution against Zimmerman.

I would only mention that there was another recent murder of a black child, which is not receiving the attention provided to the Zimmerman case. As reported by Ben Shapiro of Breitbart (

"On Thursday, July 11, police discovered the rotting body of 17-year-old Darryl Green, a black child from the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Green’s body was found behind a boarded-up house in the 6500-block of South Damen, face down on basement stairs. The body was so badly decomposed that originally, local news reports suggested that he had died of blunt force trauma. On Friday, an autopsy showed he had been shot to death. Relatives reported that Green had refused to join a gang at school."

Green's murder does not also deserve the outrage of the media? Why are there no demonstrations over Green's death?

Go figure.

1 comment:

  1. Ha, I thought that for emotional catharsis you go to a theater and not elect the commander-in-chief or send an innocent person to prison for life.
    If you elect a commander-in-chief for emotional catharsis (as we did), there can be a problem. The Greeks knew that, we (without me) don't.
    And I don't know the details of the Florida tragedy either, but the idea of sending potentially innocent people to prison ...for catharsis of the NYT noble geniuses (who probably can afford tickets for the traditional catharsis) seems ... (a case of nonprintable abundance).
    On the other hand, I think it's a good idea to verify any new interpretation of the old concept, and I would welcome sending Rosenthal, for example, to prison to check if it works as catharsis for me. It actually can be pleasant, cathartic or not.