We, the jury, find George Zimmerman not guilty.
This is the moment that is fueling a fierce debate among NBC 10 viewers when George Zimmerman was found not guilty of killing Treyvon Martin. Viewers immediately began questioning that verdict on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Now, we are taking your questions to someone who can answer them. Joining me is defense attorney Enrique Latoison in out digital operations center. He’s been with us throughout this entire Zimmerman trial. So, we do want to go to some of these viewer questions. Becky asks, how can it be self-defense when Zimmerman followed this child and instigated the altercation?
Well, this is what is being discussed across America right now. Now, this is the debate. We all agree that Zimmerman was the one who instigated the chain of events that led to the altercation. He profiled Treyvon, he stalked him. Treyvon was doing nothing wrong. But, the question is who started and instigated the physical altercation and this is a debate that’s going on around America right now. And, depending on who you believe that started that altercation, you do not give up your right for self-defense even though you’re the one who started the chain of events that led to that physical altercation.
We’ve heard a lot of people doing role reversal and analysts doing the same. Our next question, Cathy writes what if the outcome was different and George Zimmerman was killed in the fight instead of Treyvon Martin? Would Treyvon have been found not guilty? What do you say to Cathy?
I believe Treyvon would have been acquitted in this case and actually would have been an easier case for Treyvon, given the fact that Zimmerman was the one who had the gun, who followed Treyvon, who stalked him, who profiled him. And, then, it will still come down to who is the one that instigated the actual physical confrontation. The prosecution, either way, would have to prove beyond reasonable doubt who was the person who the aggressor in the matter and whether or not that person still had a right for self-defense.
And, we’ve heard so much about what Treyvon had on him, lemonade and skittles. Joyce writes, but Zimmerman killed an unarmed kid, doesn’t that call for some punishment? What do you say to Joyce?
This is why this case has struck a nerve with America, is because everyone agrees that Zimmerman should not have followed him and this kid was minding his business walking down the street and he should not have been put in this situation. But, even every state in this country allows for classic self-defense rights and even though you may be the one how started the chain of events that led to the physical altercation, you do not give up your right to self-defense. It feels bad that’s he’s going to get away with it. There’s going to be a civil case and they might be a possible federal case but you don’t give up your right to self-defense even though you’re the one who actually might have been the one who started the chain of events that led to the actual situation.
And the discussion continues. Defense attorney Enrique Latoison, thank you so much for your expertise.