The ADL has released a statement in the wake of the non-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman that accepts the legality of the verdict while questioning the wisdom of the stand-your-ground laws that allowed Zimmerman to use deadly force in self-defense. The statement also raises the need to explore many unresolved issues of race in the country:
We have great faith in America’s jury system and do not question the verdict in the Zimmerman case.
However, this case raises serious questions about the wisdom of stand-your-ground laws and the easy access to concealed weapons permits in states like Florida, where more than one million permits have been issued since 1987 when the state’s concealed weapons law went into effect. Had neither been in place, this tragedy may never have occurred.
There are serious, unresolved issues of race in our country, and this trial underscored the need to explore these issues more fully. Hopefully, the debate concerning the justice of the verdict in the Zimmerman case will inspire a continued much-needed discussion about the lingering impact of racism in society.