At the Intersection of Prejudice and Self-Interest: ALEC and a Dead Young Man

So turns out, despite claims to the contrary, that Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law–pushed by the vile corporate lobbying group ALEC–played a tremendous role in the Zimmerman trial jury’s decision to acquit (boldface mine):

The juror’s interview with Anderson Cooper Monday night confirms that the jury not only considered this language in their deliberations, but that their decision hinged in part on the Stand Your Ground Law:

COOPER: Did you feel like you understood the instructions from the judge? Because they were very complex. I mean, reading them, they were tough to follow.

JUROR: Right. That was our problem. It was just so confusing what went with what and what we could apply to what. Because I mean, there was a couple of them in there that wanted to find him guilty of something. And after hours and hours and hours of deliberating over the law and reading did [it?] over and over and over again, we decided there’s just no way — no other place to go.

COOPER: Because of the two options you had, second degree murder or manslaughter, you felt neither applied?

JUROR: Right. Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.

COOPER: Even though he got out of the car, followed Trayvon Martin that didn’t matter in the deliberations. What mattered was the final seconds, minutes when there was an altercation and whether or not in your mind the most important thing was whether or not George Zimmerman felt his life was in danger?

JUROR: That’s how we read the law. That’s how we got to the point of everybody being not guilty.

The intersection of racism and economic interest has always been a very ugly place.

Related: ALEC appears to be very influential within the Florida legislature.

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1 Response to At the Intersection of Prejudice and Self-Interest: ALEC and a Dead Young Man

  1. brineyjm says:

    And yet, we have the nearly simultaneous case of a black man shooting a white teen and being acquitted on the grounds of self-defense. The parallel isn’t perfect — the teen in this case was white, while Zimmerman is hispanic. I don’t think racism had anything to do with the outcome of either case, but it’s played a pretty decent role in the post-verdict commentary.

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