1. (BILL DAY | Copyright 2014 Cagle Cartoons)

    The week’s best editorial cartoons

     


  2. If Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?
    — President Obama
     


  3. Enacting tougher gun laws is hard enough. Changing attitudes on race is even harder

     

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  5. An unidentified Florida businessman is selling gun range targets designed to make people feel like they’re shooting Trayvon Martin. The target shows a silhouette in a black hoodie, holding Skittles and a can of iced tea, with a huge bullseye on it. The businessman admits he’s only in it for the money, adding that he sold out of the targets in two days.

    The reaction

     

  6. When reporters and pundits describe the upcoming trial of Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman — facing second-degree murder charges for the shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin — as the ‘trial of the century,’ take it with a grain of salt.

    That particular phrase is widely overused:

    1. O.J. Simpson murder trial
      "That image of the white Bronco speeding down the freeway is forever burned into our minds, and it was only the start of what would become one of the most unbelievable trials of the century. On June 17, [1994,] O.J. was expected to turn himself in for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend. But O.J. never showed up to the police station." (Kristin Wong, Hollyscoop, Nov. 7, 2011)
    2. Microsoft antitrust trial
      "Forget O.J. The real ‘trial of the century’ is taking place right now in a Washington, D.C., court room., where mighty Microsoft Corp. is going toe to toe with the U.S. Department of Justice." (John Moran, Hartford Courant, Dec. 24, 1998)

    3. Bill Clinton impeachment
      "The impeachment trial of President Clinton will be the ‘trial of the century.’ We know this is true in the same way we know so many other things are true — because everybody says so. ‘It will truly be the trial of the century,’ Alan Dershowitz wrote in USA Today. ‘It will be the real trial of the century,’ Tom Brokaw said on NBC News. ‘Without doubt, the trial of the century,’ Cynthia McFadden said on ABC News. ‘Trial of the Century,’ reads the huge headline on the cover of the Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine. The Independent, a liberal London newspaper, agrees. So does Agence France-Presse. And the New York Post, the New York Daily News, the Detroit News, and the Rock Hill (S.C.) News, all of which termed the upcoming impeachment battle ‘the trial of the century.’” (Peter Carlson, The Washington Post, Jan. 4, 1999)

    4. Martha Stewart obstruction-of-justice trial
      "It is Trial of the Century time again, and Martha Stewart, America’s doyenne of domesticity — perhaps the only woman in the world who decants her washing-up liquid — is in big trouble. The preliminary skirmishes are over, the media circus is assembled, and on January 12 at the Manhattan Federal Courthouse, a jury will be asked to decide if Martha is a crook." (William Langley, Britain’s Daily Telegraph, Jan. 4, 2004)

    6 other supposed ‘trials of the century’

     

  7. Will George Zimmerman get a fair trial? Michael Filoz at American Thinker sure doesn’t think so, saying everyone from the New black Panthers to “professional race-baiter” Al Sharpton to boxer Mike Tyson has called for Zimmerman’s head, and even President Obama has weighed in.

    Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post disagrees: The “court of public opinion has been working overtime” she writes, but the real “judicial system prosecutes high-profile, high publicity cases regularly.”

    Keep reading

     

  8. George Zimmerman’s murder charge, explained

    Seven long weeks later, George Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. 

    Why murder instead of manslaughter? Many defense attorneys were surprised that Angela Corey, the Florida state attorney, opted for the tougher charge. Their conclusion: “Corey and her team of prosecutors must know something that the rest of us don’t,” says Dan Sullivan in the Tampa Bay Times.

    What happens now that he has been charged? Zimmerman will be arraigned Thursday, and can ask to be released on bail. It’s possible that the 28-year-old could be granted bail because he has proved that he’s not a flight risk. But if he does get bail, he will almost surely remain under protective custody.

    Will Florida’s gun law protect Zimmerman? To win immunity under the law, the burden of proof is on the defendant, and few meet it to a judge’s satisfaction. “Most judges, I think, are comfortable letting the adversarial system play out before a jury rather than make decisions themselves,” Ralph Behr tells Reuters. During Wednesday’s press conference, state attorney Angela Corey told reporters, “If ‘stand your ground’ is an issue, we’ll fight it.”

    How much jail time could he get, and what is the most likely outcome

     

  9. Yesterday George Zimmerman’s lawyers announced they would not be representing him in court.Attorneys Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig said Zimmerman is making it impossible for them to represent him: He’s been incommunicado for several days, and has made several bad moves without telling them, or against their counsel. What’s really behind this strange parting of ways?

    1. Zimmerman is an impossible client
      Sonner and Uhrig say their erstwhile client — who’s still somewhere in the U.S. but no longer in Florida — called and spoke directly with Fox News host Sean Hannity behind their backs, and contacted the prosecutor assigned to the case, Angela Corey, in an attempt to set up a one-on-one meeting. For Corey to talk to Zimmerman without his lawyers present would violate “ethical rules in every state,” says Darren Lenard Hutchinson at Dissenting Justice
       
    2. And he might not be in his right mind
      Sonner and Uhrig said Zimmerman is ”not doing well emotionally,” and is possibly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Charlie Pierce at Esquire says Zimmerman “seems to have decided that the way out of his troubles is to become a cable-television celebrity.” 
       
    3. The lawyers were tired of working pro bono for an ingrate
      At their “bombshell press conference,” Sonner and Uhrig revealed that "Zimmerman has never paid his attorneys," notes Tommy Christopher at Mediaite. Sonner did say, however, that he agreed to represent Zimmerman pro bono until charges were filed. Neither lawyer has met Zimmerman in person, and he essentially dumped them by not returning their calls and text-messages.

    More theories

     


  10. Is George Zimmerman’s story falling apart?

    Forensic voice identification experts tell the Orlando Sentinel that the final screams before the fatal gunshot — captured in a neighbor’s 911 call — aren’t from Zimmerman. Following last week’s release of police video showing an apparently unharmed Zimmerman soon after Martin allegedly beat his head on the ground, “the pile of evidence bringing Zimmerman’s claims into question grows deeper every day,” says Timothy Lange at Daily Kos

    How do the experts know, and how damning is this clue? 

     

  11. Why do Americans often ignore black shooting victims? 

    When a young white female is killed or goes missing in the U.S., odds are good that Nancy Grace will dedicate weeks of her TV show to the case, and “these girls, their parents and everyone associated with them gets a magazine cover, or two, or three.”

    Why is it, then, that when a black youth like Trayvon Martin gets killed — and a disproportionate number of homicide victims are young black males — "very few people outside their family hear about it"? 

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  12. It’s getting increasingly difficult to keep up with the Trayvon Martin story. Here’s what you need to know:

    The Trayvon Martin case: A comprehensive timeline

     

  13. Cartoon of the day: Enraging loungewear

    More: Cartoonists respond to the Trayvon Martin controversy

    Copyright: Bob Gorrell, 2012 Creators Syndicate