Posts Tagged ‘Trayvon’

Respect for the Rule of Law

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

From The Informer, July 14, 2013

Last night the verdict came:

George Zimmerman was found not guilty of all charges related to the shooting death of teenager, Trayvon Martin.

Surprised? Yeah, me too. I thought he would be convicted of manslaughter, at the very least. Still, I thought the 2nd degree murder charge was obscure, at very best, and probably not a charge supported by the evidence. Frankly, I feared the all-female jury might be influenced by fear of retaliation, if they brought a verdict of not guilty. Those ladies have courage.

Several have gone on record to stem the tide of violent protest threatened if the Zimmerman jury found him not-guilty. A young man is dead; another was on trial. Two families are deeply affected. Now, the verdict is in and the world waits with bated breath for what may happen next.

And, someone pleads for respect for the rule of law.

Trayvon Martin Family

I suspect the family of Trayvon Martin would say they are also interested in respect for the rule of law. Their view of the matter would be, of course, that respect for the rule of law should result in the conviction and incarceration of the man responsible for the death of their son. It is actually an understandable position to all of us who would want the same thing, should our sons or daughters be suddenly killed. My heart goes out to the Martin family in the death of their son.

George Zimmerman Family

The family of George Zimmerman wants the same thing, except they want the rule of law to prevail over the mob mentality of the press, experienced in the months immediately preceding the trial of their son. The want the rule of law to trump a President, whose stated implication about the death of young Mr. Martin is that the shooter was guilty of killing a man who looked like the President (referring, I suppose, to racial characteristics). Frankly, this cacophony of prejudgment has proven to be a shameful embarrassment to legal process.

The Legal System

Nobody claims the legal system is without fault. Some would suggest our oft-twisted legal system is a large part of the problem, not part of the solution. Apparently, some think Jim Crow-era mob violence is preferred. Others threw brickbats at Sanford FL police for an alleged, botched investigation, but the extensive investigation did not turn up any specific thing they did wrong. Others charge the office of the District Attorney is at fault…or maybe it is the governor…or maybe just about anybody. All we want is a conviction or vindication (depending on your perception). What about rule of law?

It looks to me like everybody involved in this matter has bias they bring to the table. Yet, the very ones who have the least investment in the case are those who threaten mob violence for what they perceive to be an unjust verdict.

The Rule of Divine Law

Still, the rule of law arises as a specter over a ghostly field: God ordained civil authority (Romans 13:1-2) and He warns we may be judged by it. We are to obey every ordinance of man, for the Lord’s sake (1 Peter 2:13). We have an example of Jesus, Who would not break a bruised reed (Isaiah 42:3), and silently bore the penalty of an unjust trial to His death.


Fine, but give place to the wrath of God (Romans 12:19). Be angry, but do not sin or give place to Satan (Ephesians 4:26). Respect for the rule of law involves us, too.

~Royce Bell