On the anniversary of another controversial Florida case, that of Terri Schiavo, Jake DiMare wonders where are all of the Floridians who held vigil for her life, now that we’re talking about the life of a vibrant young man?
As the controversy surrounding the tragic Trayvon Martin case continues to grow in Florida, so does an implacable public frustration with Sanford law enforcement’s prostrate stance on initiating the legal process toward justice. At best their paralyzed position is perceived as castrated and weak, at worst…completely corrupt. This week even more evidence has been produced backing the most horrifying scenario: An over-zealous neighborhood watchman decides a black teenage boy is ‘suspicious’ so he stalks him, illegally detains him, and then murders him in cold blood. Incredibly, the shooter still walks free.
But what’s Sanford Chief of Police Lee to do? Florida state laws protect a shooter in cases where more rational states would demand they flee from a situation, rather than use deadly force. In other words: In Massachusetts Zimmerman is a murderer. In Florida, not so much. And after all, law enforcement is about the rule of law, not the rule of justice.
I couldn’t help but notice today is the 7th anniversary of the day when the United States Senate stepped in to weigh the justice of another set of laws in Florida. Back then the Federal government intervened in a state matter on behalf of the parents of Terri Schiavo, to enact Terri’s Law II, authorizing her parents to seek a federal court review of whether Terri’s rights have been protected. Is it perhaps true, that laws are not always just?
This memory also made me wonder, where all of Florida’s pious, white, christian-conservatives are now…Those who held constant vigil around Terri’s parents? Why is all the right-to-life bluster so much more zealous when applied to zygotes and those barely clinging to a life they never wanted. Is the life of a vibrant teenage boy somehow less valuable?
When a boy is slain by a hollow, frightened, whelp of a man, who spends his time wandering around a complex of townhouses profiling his neighbors and their guests, is this justice to you men and women of Jesus? Where is your outrage now? When is the Christian vigil for Trayvon’s mother?