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Juror: Some of Us Wanted to Convict

Juror: Some of Us Wanted to Convict Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty

Two wanted manslaughter, one second-degree murder.

One of the jurors in George Zimmerman’s trial said Monday that the jury had been split at first, with three people wanting to acquit, two interested in manslaughter, and one person backing second-degree murder. “I want people to know that we put everything into this verdict,” the juror told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The all-female jury found Zimmerman, 29, not guilty Saturday in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year. Zimmerman had been charged with second-degree murder, but the jury was also allowed to consider manslaughter. “I think both were responsible for the situation they had gotten themselves into,” said the juror, known as B37. “I think they both could have walked away.”

Read it at Associated Press

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Heartbreaking Read

Trayvon Martin's Parents Plan Book

Trayvon Martin's Parents Plan Book Pool photo by Jacob Langston

Shopped to publishers this week.

Trayvon Martin's parents met with publishers this week to shop a book about their son's killing in Florida in 2012, according to two executives who participated in the meetings. Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who are represented by the Dallas-based literary agent Jan Miller, said they plan to give a full portrait of their son and their grief over the shooting that shocked and divided America. They told the publishers they had never fully told their side of the story, and the meetings suggested faith would be a central theme of the book.

Read it at The New York Times

Fighting On

Trayvon’s Father: My Guilt

Trayvon Martin’s father went to Washington to ask for help in raising the aspirations of young African-Americans. He tells Allison Samuels why he feels guilty over his son’s death.

Tracy Martin readily admits he struggles with regular bouts of guilt over the fate of his 17-year-old son, Trayvon. He wasn’t at home in Sanford, Florida, the night his unarmed son was shot and killed as he walked home from the store with a bag of Skittles and a bottle of Arizona Ice Tea.

Beyond Politics

America’s Post-Trayvon Awakening

President Obama’s briefing about the Trayvon Martin outcome proves Americans are—and have been—ready for a new kind of race discussion. Errol Louis writes.

President Obama’s remarkable public White House musings about the killing of Trayvon Martin are part of a larger national awakening and reassessment of the way Americans think and talk about race, crime, and culture. To a great extent, Obama is not so much leading this conversation as joining a discussion that has been building for a decade. 


The President Stands His Ground

He spoke about Trayvon. And he said nothing about Zimmerman. Shanin Specter on Obama’s historic speech to African-Americans.

President Obama's oral essay on the meaning to African-Americans of Trayvon Martin's death and George Zimmerman's acquittal is an amazing window into the heart and soul of the president.


100 Cities Join 'Justice for Trayvon' Rallies

100 Cities Join 'Justice for Trayvon' Rallies via Twitter

From New York to Los Angeles.

Inspired by George Zimmerman's acquittal in the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin, and fueled by President Obama's remarks that it "could have been me," protesters rallied in 100 cities around the country on Saturday. More than 300 people gathered outside Washington, D.C.'s federal courthouse to call for justice, while Beyoncé and Jay-Z made an appearance at New York City's rally outside the NYPD headquarters. Hundreds also gathered in Miami to hear Martin's father speak. "We will do everything we can to make sure there's change," he said, "that's our promise to our son's memory."

Read it at The Guardian

In a surprise appearance during Friday's press briefing, President Obama weighed in on the George Zimmerman verdict. Watch the video, and read his full remarks.

Land of the Free

Our False Rights

When he was a teenage author, Walter Mosley learned that African-American men like himself faced different laws and rights than his peers. In the wake of the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, he says nothing has changed—and asks what we’re going to do about it.

I remember when I was 17 years old, in 1969; three of my friends dropped by in one of their cars and asked me if I wanted to go out with them to the beach or the woods, I forget which. I told my father that I was going and he came out to see my friends. He knew them all and liked them. I went to high school with two of them.

Comment Box

Beast Readers on the Zimmerman Verdict

Ten of the most resonant comments from our readers on the controversial acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

This past Saturday night, a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of all charges relating to the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The controversial decision provoked a fierce debate across the Web, including in our own comments sections. Here are 10 comments our readers posted about the Zimmerman verdict that stood out. (Some have been lightly edited for clarity.)

Reverse Trayvon

The Other Zimmerman

In a second-degree murder case in Arizona, the accused is claiming he killed a young man because he thought he was a threat. Michael Daly on what’s being called the ‘reverse Trayvon Martin case.’

What has been called “the reverse Trayvon Martin case” is scheduled to go to trial on August 14 in Phoenix.


We’re Not Colorblind

Americans usually avoid talking about racism publicly until it’s unavoidable. It’s time to stop being afraid that we’ll offend someone and have a blunt, rational discussion, writes Errol Louis.

The jury has spoken in the Trayvon Martin case, rendering a verdict that many find infuriating and unjust. Now it’s time for the rest of the nation to be heard, and the discussion has begun in earnest, online and in churches, at workplaces and in bars, on television and at street protests. Across Twitter and other social media, and in a million places in the real world, a national argument has begun over what exactly the killing and trial mean. 

Trayvon: Tragedy to Travesty

Not This Again

This has happened before, to Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Emmett Till—even during the New York City draft riots of 1863. Herb Boyd on the outrageous abundance of police brutality and, once again, the lack of justice for black Americans.

Like many Americans, my sleep was troubled last night, troubled by the ghosts of past injustices, a feeling given fresh currency by a late-hour not-guilty verdict from Sanford, Florida, that freed George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

Rallying Cry

She Is Trayvon Martin

At a New York City protest against the Zimmerman verdict, a big voice rose from a tiny figure, giving the march uncommon power and incontestable legitimacy. Michael Daly reports.

The heat made faces shiny with sweat, and the thousands of protesters seemed to have no particular direction as they set off from Union Square through Manhattan just before 7 p.m. Sunday.

Role Reversal

Trayvon Was Black. It Matters.

It’s one simple word: race. Prosecutors, used to demonizing young black males as violent predators of the night, weren’t ready to fight for Trayvon Martin. By Michael Jackson’s defense lawyer, Mark Geragos.

Did the George Zimmerman trial involve racist attitudes? Of course it did. Did the predominantly white jury reach the right verdict? Of course it did. Is the criminal justice system a racist institution? Of course it is. Do young black males disproportionately suffer the brunt of this criminal justice system? Of course they do. Did the media and politicians inflame the situation for their own purposes? Of course they did. Is this a conundrum easily resolved or reconciled? Of course it’s not.

Both sides in the Trayvon Martin debate agree that America’s courts are biased, says Peter Beinart.

In April of last year, Gallup asked Americans their views on the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. Unlike blacks, whites hadn’t been paying close attention: 40 percent said they had been following the affair either “not too closely” or “not at all.” But when Gallup asked whites if “racial bias” had influenced Zimmerman’s behavior, more than half of those who had admitted to knowing little or nothing about the incident summoned the confidence to venture an opinion. A majority said race was either a “minor factor” or “not a factor.”