Mixed reactions to George Zimmerman acquittal continue in Houston

July 15, 2013 2:40:27 PM PDT
It's no surprise that the "not guilty" verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial has led to a lot of anger and outrage, both nationally and locally. But our ABC13 legal analyst says this case was lost from the beginning.

The verdict is polarizing, and both sides are fired up about their opinions.

"No justice in the justice system," Joseph Thomas III said when we spoke to him outside the Harris County Criminal Justice Center. "It was an innocent life taken."

Folks are talking still about the Zimmerman acquittal, even at a courthouse 1,000 miles away from Sanford, Florida.

"I felt the verdict was wrong," said Chad Handerson, a criminal defense attorney. "The jury got it wrong. But it's our system, so we have to respect the jury's verdict."

Neighborhood watch volunteer Zimmerman's acquittal has sparked outrage among the black community especially. Trayyvon Martin, 17, was unarmed, yet the defense successfully argued that Zimmerman feared for his life during the confrontation and fired his gun in self-defense.

"The prosecution from day one selected a horrible jury," ABC13 legal analyst Joel Androphy said.

Androphy suggests the prosecution lost this case long before any testimony in court. The jury was made up of six women. Five were white, and one was Hispanic.

Androphy said prosecutors needed an African American on the jury if they wanted to stand a chance at a conviction.

"What happened to them? How did they get stricken? There's laws in the United States that prohibit the defense from striking black jurors," Androphy said.

That said, some argue that the justice system did its job, and they question anyone who has formed an opinion about the case without being in court for every moment of testimony.

"I feel justice was served," Charles Williamson of Pasadena said. "Both sides got to present their story, it went to a jury [and] the jury found in favor of the what's-his-name ? Zimmerman."

The case is currently being reviewed by the Department of Justice. Androphy said he does not expect anything from the DOJ investigation because, historically, there is no case filed as result of civil rights claims.

Find Kevin on Facebook at ABC13KevinQuinn or on Twitter at @kquinn001

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