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The Trayvon Martin case looks to be entering into a new phase with the arrest of George Zimmerman. It’s about time, too. At least, Mr. Zimmerman had the grace to turn himself in, thus saving the state of Florida the trouble, not to mention the expense, of having to hunt him down. He’s been charged with second-degree murder, which takes the death penalty off the table. This particular statute, if I am understanding it right, covers a killing that results from a "depraved" disregard for human life, apparently an “in the heat of the moment” killing which does not involve premeditation. I am glad that this isn’t going to be a death penalty case. Believe me. Following an act of murder with ANOTHER act of murder isn’t a solution.
George Zimmerman, on that rainy February night, went out looking for trouble. I don’t have a clue as to what he thought he was going to accomplish, and I don’t think he did either. This is a man that was a neighborhood watch captain; whether he was official or self-appointed doesn’t really matter, since the president of the homeowner’s association identified him as such. The point is, he was out on a rainy night trolling for trouble. With a gun. That’s something that is specifically forbidden by all neighborhood watch programs. All a neighborhood watch person is supposed to do is observe and report. That’s it. That’s ALL. He found his trouble, too, didn’t he? He also found out that he wasn’t nearly as brave as he thought he was, even if he had the ultimate answer to every argument riding on his hip.
Here’s what I think happened: He may have been in a bad humour – fight with the wife, bad day at work whatEVER -, and decided to get out of the house to – well, I don’t know what he thought he was going to do. He saw a kiddo in a hoodie walking down the street, and he saw that that kiddo was black. Whether or not Mr. Zimmerman is a racist or not is a question that only he could answer, but he started following the kiddo, all the while talking to the 911 operator. He was told to stop following the kid, which he didn’t do. Instead, he confronted him, probably started yelling at him, and also probably physically shoved him. What probably happened next is that he got the surprize of his life when the kid shoved him back. Maybe he fell, maybe he didn’t – but the outcome was that A) he got scared and B) he pulled his equalizer and shot an unarmed child whose “crime” was walking down the street in the dark while being black. Mr. Zimmerman’s cowardice killed an unarmed child. I don’t think I’d like to be living in George Zimmerman’s head right now.
I empathize completely with Mr. Martin and Mrs. Fulton, Trayvon’s parents. I have a blood daughter that I adore even if she doesn’t speak to me because I’m considered to be a family disgrace. I know how I would feel if I were those two parents. I know how I’d feel if it had been my child. Not only have they lost a beloved child, the Sanford police didn’t even bother to find out who he was until he’d been dead for three days. THREE DAYS, folks. Can you even imagine what those parents went through during that time? I can, and it sickens me beyond measure. I don’t think that I’d have just a lot of christian forbearance with the man that killed my child, either. Give the choice, IF I ever got my hands on the bastard, I would rip the murderer limb from limb, I would tear out his heart and BURN it in front of his face. There, literally, is NO end to the horrors that I would visit upon him, this sick, contemptible, twisted ABOMINABLE bastard.
That’s pretty much what ANY parent would want to do, given the opportunity, regardless of what they say publicly. There is not enough money in the world to make this go away; there is not and never WOULD be enough forgiveness in my own heart, to NOT want to visit this person who ripped my world apart and who crushed my soul with every single, solitary, truly AWFUL thing that my mind could devise – and I have a VERY fertile imagination.
OK, so? He deserves the death penalty, right? He deserves a SCRUPULOUSLY fair trial, he deserves the very BEST legal help that he can get, and THEN we get to take him out and kill him, right? Unfortunately, we’re a civilized country, so after that trial and conviction, we’ll take him into a chamber, strap him down, and use the same chemicals that we put our sick pets to sleep with; no pain, no horror, NOTHING except that he quits breathing, his heart quits pumping and he goes to meet God with this horrific crime writ large on his face for all the angels to see.
Murder is murder is MURDER, and murder is wrong. Death itself robs us of our loved ones, both human and animal. Death attends and woos us every day while we live. Death takes all – the brave, the cowardly, saints, sinners – ALL, and Death comes to us all whether we like it or not – and MOST of us DON’T, myself included. Murder is even worse. Murder de-humanizes both the victim and the perpetrator. Murder robs us of our loved ones before their allotted time is finished. Murder reminds us that there are, still, amoral and uncaring animals in our midst that are pretending to be as human as we are – and that they will always be with us.
OK. So? What do we DO with these animals? Well, they’re rabid dogs, and we kill rabid dogs, right? OF COURSE we do. THEY don’t know any better, and their sickness will kill, so we kill them FIRST - quickly, quietly, humanely. Unfortunately, this is an argument that doesn’t translate to humankind. We are NOT animals, to destroy those among us that are sick. We must try to heal that sickness if we can – and if we can’t, then it’s up to us to be sure that this sickness doesn’t get out to infect the rest of us.
Capital punishment, dress it in whatever language that we will, is still an act of murder. It is the state – which includes, dear reader, you and I – rather than an individual doing the killing, but it is STILL murder. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life” is pretty plainly stated in the Bible, and that is what gives the state the moral sanction to COMMIT murder, no matter how quietly, and no matter how humanely. This is wrong. There is no difference between the acts of politically sanctioned murder, such as war, state sanctioned murder such as the death penalty, or individually performed murder, like the murder of Trayvon Martin.
Many, MANY people die that deserve to live, and if we cannot give BACK to them what was taken from them, then we have no right, no ethical mandate, and NO moral reason to take life from anyone else regardless of what they might have done – or DID do – to deserve it. This is why I am glad that this is not going to be a death penalty case. Killing George Zimmerman for his one act of cowardice would not solve anything. It won’t bring back Trayvon Martin, and it won’t help the parents of either one of these people to heal or be any less hurt or torn apart.
Murder is murder is MURDER – and we do NOT have the right to kill.