Today begins jury selection in the trial of George Zimmerman, who killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
Lawyers estimate the long-awaited trial will last four to eight weeks. Much of that time is expected to be spent picking a six-person jury that can be open-minded despite extensive publicity about some of the explosive issues, including racial profiling and self-defense, surrounding the case.Mmph. You know how I feel about calling this a "senseless" killing. It "made sense" to the person who did it, and it "made sense" to the local police who failed to arrest him for more than a month, and it "made sense" to every person who has spoken out in Zimmerman's defense, and it "made sense" to everyone who has donated to his defense fund.
"They're going to have a tough time picking a jury. At this point who doesn't know who Trayvon Martin is and who George Zimmerman is," said David Weinstein, a former state prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer.
Zimmerman, a 29-year-old former neighborhood watch volunteer, faces up to life in prison if convicted as charged of second-degree murder.
More than 200 journalists have signed up to cover the trial and a tight blanket of security will be enforced by federal, state and local police in and around the courthouse in this town near Orlando in central Florida.
Even spectators in barricaded "public assembly zones" on the courthouse lawn will be subject to search. Four seats inside the courtroom will be rotated among local pastors who will monitor the trial and be ready to help calm any racial tensions.
The trial is being heralded as either a defining moment in the annals of civil rights, or an anti-climactic resolution of another senseless killing in gun-happy Florida.
Let us just hope the eventual jury consists of six people who don't think it "makes sense" to fancy oneself some sort of vigilante superhero, to stalk unarmed teenagers, and to take out a gun and kill them whether they do not or do confront you because you're being a scary, threatening, aggressive stalkfucker.