The wide range of reactions to the recently decided State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman has given me pause about how well the average person understands the justice system in America.
Like many, I was of the opinion before the trial ended that Zimmerman had commited the crimes with which he was charged. But despite my opinions, we must respect that the law was applied here.
There's a reason that appeals in these types of cases on come from those found guilty, as opposed to appealing a case that exonerates the defendant: The U.S. legal system was set up to err on the side of the accused. This ruling will be good for our society over the long run.
It's terrible for the family of Trayvon Martin, and likely bad for race relations in the short term, but in the end, it's more important that the potentially guilty go free than the innocent get sent to jail — way more important.
It's a hard pill to swallow, especially now in the midst of all the nearly-racist predictions of looting and the general uneasyness that even the most staunch defenders of gun rights are experiencing. But it's still important for us as a free society because the alternative is far worse, regardless of one's ethnic lineage.
My sincere hope is that people remember this as the watercooler discussions of this case play out over the next week or so.
Despite how bad this outcome feels emotionally, in the end, justice was preserved.