Arrest presents opportunity for justice

No matter who says what in today's world of instant commentary, no one really knows whether George Zimmerman committed a crime Feb. 26, or if he was defending himself when he killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

And no matter whose side is more vocal, the American justice system rightly will decide Zimmerman's fate.

Zimmerman, a neighborhood volunteer watchman in a gated community near Orlando, Fla., was arrested Wednesday on a charge of second-degree murder. His arrest followed six weeks of public outcry from Martin's family and their supporters. They were outraged after Zimmerman was released following police questioning soon after the slaying.

In New Mexico, unlike Florida, the common sense of the judicial system can surface more readily because it does not have a "stand your ground" law to complicate matters.

The focus of the case so far is on Florida's "stand your ground" law. It allows the use of deadly force without having to retreat in the face of danger, or something like that.

Zimmerman's supporters claim he had every right to shoot and kill Martin because Martin was attacking him.

Martin's supporters declare if Martin was attacking Zimmerman, it was only because Martin feared for his own safety.

Common sense says you cannot start a fight, then claim self defense when your target fights back. But, again, only Zimmerman knows what happened.

One thing is certain: Since Martin cannot speak on his behalf, prosecutors have a moral obligation to present his case to an impartial justice system.

"The arrest of George Zimmerman … does not mean that justice has been done," the Baltimore Sun editorialized. "But it does provide the opportunity for justice."

Opportunity for justice exists with or without Florida's ridiculous "stand your ground law," enacted in 2005 to purportedly provide extra legal protection to those who feel threatened.

The Bill of Rights seems like protection enough.

New Mexico law also specifically allows for self defense if there is "apparent danger of immediate death or great bodily harm."

Hopefully, states considering more laws to "protect" us all won't muddy up the court system with more legal gibberish.

And hopefully, justice will be served in Florida, for both Zimmerman and Martin families and friends.

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