Stevie Wonder Announces Florida Boycott Over Zimmerman Verdict
It's really getting absurd out there.
On Monday evening, Stevie Wonder told a concert audience in Quebec City that he will no longer perform in Florida or any other state with "Stand Your Ground" laws as a result of the George Zimmerman verdict (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
STEVIE WONDER: The truth is that -- for those of you who’ve lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world -- we can’t bring them back. What we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That’s what I know we can do...I decided today that until the "Stand Your Ground" law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again. As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.
Maybe someone should inform Wonder and all the other ignorant reactionaries on the left that "Stand Your Ground" had nothing to do with this case.
As the Tampa Bay Times reported Monday (emphasis added):
Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, waived his right for a pretrial immunity hearing, allowed under "stand your ground" law. Although the words "stand your ground" were seldom heard during the five-week trial, protesters have called for the repeal of "stand your ground" in light of the verdict.
Experienced prosecutors and law professors agreed that they think jurors were swayed by basic self-defense arguments made by Zimmerman's attorneys: Regardless of who initiated the encounter, at the moment the deadly shot was fired, Zimmerman feared for his life.
"I can see a similar outcome in jurisdictions without 'stand your ground' for the mere fact that the best eyewitness to counter the defense strategy was dead," said Darren Lenard Hutchinson, a professor of race and civil rights law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. "That's the terrible reality. The jurors saw a bloodied nose and that may have been enough for them."
Jurors were also instructed by the judge that if they had "reasonable doubt" about the second-degree murder or manslaughter charges against Zimmerman, they had no choice but to find him not guilty.
As I've previously noted, our system of justice errs on the side of the defendant because we as a society are more comfortable with guilty people walking freely in the society than innocent people being wrongly incarcerated.
This places a very high burden on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the case of Zimmerman, as the only eyewitness largely corroborated his claim that Martin attacked him, the jury had no choice but to acquit.
If we had an honest media rather than one that worked hard to convict Zimmerman from day one, people such as Wonder would be more informed about how our justice system worked, and as a result might not make such ignorant comments about the verdict.
Of course, since America's so-called journalists misinform the public about civics, economics, and science, why should we expect them to properly disseminate facts concerning our nation's system of justice?
That clearly would be asking too much when a racially-charged story fits their agenda.