“We’re hung up on this one case where this one fellow was in fact found not guilty by a jury. That’s the way the American law system works. Get over it.” — Maryland Rep. Andy Harris on the George Zimmerman verdict in the Trayvon Martin slaying trial” (from Blair Lee’s column “My Maryland” in his article Maryland’s Best/Worst 2013 Part I, Quotes of the Year in www.gazette.net).
The above remark by the Republican representative of the first congressional district in Maryland – one that covers all of the Eastern Shore and parts of Baltimore, Harford and Carroll counties that are mostly white areas – is no surprise to me as a Marylander who knows Eastern Shore history.
In Lisa Bloom’s new book “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It” Bloom exposes the prosecution errors that happened at the trial. She appeared on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” hosted by Reverend Al Sharpton when the book was released (in February) and revealed the book contained what occurred in the jury room (in which “Maddy” (aka juror B-29) was mocked by the other jurors) and that jurors stated that “Trayvon was a bad kid” making Zimmerman more the victim than Trayvon.
Bloom, a trial attorney and NBC news analyst, also made appearances on PoliticsNation and NBC news during the trial giving her opinion along with other lawyers.
Two years ago on Feb. 26 was the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The drama behind his death escalated to national and global attention; stemming from whether Martin had no business being followed by a self-proclaimed neighborhood watchman, to whether Martin attacked Zimmerman, or if the so-called watchman killed Martin in self-defense.
The media captured the story of Trayvon Martin that happened on a rainy night in Sanford, Fl. through analysis, opinions, investigations, fallacies and theories. Martin’s death raised issues of racism, gun violence, school behavior, parenting, justice, and laws and legislation (in particular the stand your ground law and racial profiling).
Protests, marches and demonstrations followed and then the trial; which was the most watched in America in 2013. The result ended with the killer, George Zimmerman, being acquitted of the murder charge. The jury contained six people instead of twelve (five whites and one Hispanic, all women) that was allowed according to Florida law. The woman of color who was part of the jury (juror B-29) stated after the trial that “George Zimmerman got away with murder” and during the decision-making three of the jurors thought Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter but were persuaded (or badgered) by the other three. The parents and brother of Trayvon Martin went through a grueling process in their grief but remained as people of faith and dignity. Despite the hurt they felt because of the allegations made against Trayvon, the Martin family today still continues to do their part by touring the country in helping others while working on the foundation set up in honor of Trayvon.
Here’s a snippet of what Amazon.com wrote on the book –
Bloom now exposes the injustice, conducting new in-depth interviews with key trial participants and digging deeper into the evidence. Suspicion Nation outlines the six biggest mistakes made by the state of Florida that guaranteed it would lose this “winnable case,” and the laws and biases that created the conditions for this tragedy.
The only nonwhite juror tells her story of painful isolation in the jury room. Rachel Jeantel, the state's star witness, reveals how poorly the state prepared her to testify and what went through her mind on the stand. The medical examiner reveals scientific evidence he wasn’t allowed to present. And a new examination of Trayvon's school suspensions raises questions about racial profiling, all in a country divided over issues of race, gun laws, and violence.
Other editorial reviews –
"With the mind of a lawyer and the eye of a journalist, Bloom achieves a remarkable double success: meticulously examining the evidence in this case while also placing the whole Zimmerman saga in a broad historical and cultural context." —Jeffrey Toobin, New York Times bestselling author of The Nine and The Oath
"Riveting and brilliantly done. Suspicion Nation reads like a great courtroom drama and will ignite major re-examination of this iconic case." —Joy-Ann Reid, MSNBC Anchor
"Suspicion Nation is a thorough evisceration of the amateurish job done by the Florida prosecutors who tried Zimmerman... her analysis of the Zimmerman prosecution's many missteps is a compelling one.” —The Los Angeles Times
“Suspicion Nation is an alarming, somewhat uncomfortable and brutally realistic look at race, stereotypes and violence in the United States.” —Shelf Awareness