A second-degree murder conviction for George Zimmerman in the widely-watched Florida trial looks ever more doubtful, says Miami Herald columnist Fred Grimm. Civic leaders, mindful that public assumptions about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin aren't governed by the legal niceties of Florida's self-defense law, might want to start planning, says Grimm, who adds that if Zimmerman walks, “The reaction could be ugly.”
Two key witnesses called last week to bolster the prosecution instead left this racially divisive case infested with doubts. Jonathan Good, who saw the confrontation between two men outside his townhouse on a dark rainy night, decribed a scuffle that supported Zimmerman's contention that Martin had been the aggressor, the man on top, throwing the punches. Good called the blows “ground and pound.” Rachel Jeantel, the Miami woman on the other end of a cell phone conversation with Martin quoted the teen as calling Zimmerman “a creepy ass cracker,” was stalking him through the neighborhood. Her testimony set off a national debate about whether she had been unfairly caricatured in the press and social media. None of that reached the sequestered jury–the only opinions that matter, Grimm says.