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Letters to the editor, July 25

One side usually unhappy

The not guilty verdict in the Zimmerman case does not appear to be one of “jury nullification,” i.e. where a jury ignores the judge’s instructions and ignores overwhelming proof of guilt. The fact that the trial jury consisted of six women, five of whom had children, would seem to favor the prosecution.

Although not shown on TV, it may be assumed that to insure a fair and impartial trial, both sides carefully questioned the prospective jurors in the jury pool (“voir dire of the venire”) and dismissed any who revealed bias (racism) for cause. And dismissed some for no reason at all (“peremptory” challenges).

As a former federal prosecutor, our system of justice, the rules of procedure and evidence in criminal trials, federal or state, are only intended to insure a fair trial, not a certain result in a particular case. The fact that the accused, Zimmerman, had injuries on the back of his head was, of course, crucial evidence to his defense.

At the end of most trials, however, civil or criminal, one side is usually unhappy. It is unfortunate that bi-racial homicide trials or trials involving alleged misconduct by police also provide a platform for biased persons to exploit their own racial prejudices or their disrespect for law enforcement.

As shown on TV, the restraint shown in the remarks made by the attorney for the Martin family, a family that suffered a great tragedy, is applauded.

H.L. Hall,