Piers Morgan and many others think that someone ought to 'pay' for Trayvon Martin's unfortunate death, and that that person ought to be George Zimmerman. Morgan demands justice for Trayvon and thinks that this can be achieved only be convicting Zimmerman of some crime. But what murk and muddle in Morgan's mind makes him think this?
I conjecture that he is failing to distinguish among three senses of 'responsibility,' the causal, the legal, and the moral.
There is no doubt that Zimmerman caused, and is therefore causally responsible for, Martin's death. There was no 'whodunit' aspect to the trial. It is clear 'whodunit.' But it doesn't follow that the Hispanic is either legally or morally responsible for the black youth's death. As we saw from the trial, Zimmerman was acquitted. There simply was not the evidence to convict him of murder two or manslaughter. To say it one more time: the probative standard is set very high in criminal cases: the accused must be shown to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Zimmerman was found to be not legally responsible and so not subject to any legal sanctions.
What's more, the judgment was correct. To be found not guilty is not the same as to be not guilty --remember the O. J. Simpson case -- but in the Zimmerman case he was not only found not guilty, but in reality is not guilty, as any objective observer should be able to see.
But suppose you disagree with the last thing I said, namely, that Zimmerman is not guilty of the crimes with which he was charged. Still, that doesn't matter for practical purposes. The jury has spoken and we all must accept the result, just as we must in the Simpson case.
The result, again, is that Zimmerman is not legally responsible for Martin's death. I conjecture that Morgan cannot grasp this because he fails to distinguish causal from legal responsibility.
Does Zimmerman bear any moral responsibility for Martin's death? Some will say that he does and some that he doesn't. But it doesn't matter for practical purposes. All that matters is that Zimmerman was acquitted in a fair trial.
It is worth saying again that the purpose of a criminal trial is not to secure justice for the victim. If that were the purpose, every such trial would have to end in a 'guilty' verdict. The sole purpose of a criminal trial is to secure justice for the accused. Nobody can be made to 'pay' for Martin's death since the only person who could is not guilty of any wrongdoing. Zimmerman was merely defending himself against a deadly attack. If anyone is to blame for Martin's death, it is Martin himself for attacking Zimmerman.
In case you missed it last night, here is Larry Elder attempting to pound some sense into the the benighted Piers Morgan.