Are post-verdict protests warranted?
As a young man back in the 1950s, I stood with my black brothers in picket lines and demonstrations, fighting for equal justice under the law, and against lynch mob rule. So I am very disappointed to see NAACP leaders now whipping up mob emotions against the rule of law.
The George Zimmerman trial involved 200 exhibits, 84 photos, 38 prosecution witnesses, 18 defense witnesses, 14 days of testimony, and 16 hours of deliberations by a jury accepted by both prosecution and defense. The jury decided Zimmerman was not guilty.
Are the howling mobs better qualified to judge whether justice has been done?
JACK MALONEY, St. Paul
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I think the jury got it right in the Zimmerman trial, and by that I mean they followed the instruction given to them by the judge. I also think the legal system, not the jury, got it wrong. The prosecution did a poor job: It should have raised the language of the Florida statute (776.041) that says that use of force is not available to someone who initially provokes the use of force (which Zimmerman did by pursuing Trayvon Martin even after the police told him more than once not to). But what pushed me over the line is this: The Martin family is planning to file civil charges against Zimmerman. How many of us know that the “stand your ground” law in Florida says at 776.032 that if a person (i.e., Zimmerman) is given immunity under that law, then the other party (i.e., the Martins) may be ordered to pay that person’s legal fees? Yup. As if losing a son were not enough, the Matins may actually end up paying money to the man who killed their son. Now if that is not a broken system worthy of protest, I don’t know what is.
JOHN MEDEIROS, Minneapolis
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Corporate complaints, warnings fail to impress
“Medical device tax receipts now top $1 billion,” according to a July 16 headline. Our Minnesota senators and at least one representative are working hard to end the 2.3 percent excise tax.
The device companies claim that the tax “threatens medical innovation and jobs.” Yet, the tax money will be used to support health care reform. I think it should be noted that an industry that is making over $43 billion in gross sales is complaining about a $1 billion tax bill that will help provide health care to those who have had little or none before.
RITA LESCH, Bloomington
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While I agree with Omar Ishrak (the CEO of Medtronic) that tax reform is badly needed in the United States (“Put federal tax reform on the state’s wish list,” July 12), I’m certainly beyond weary of multimillionaires complaining about taxes. The notion that if only we’d fix corporate taxes all would be well in the world for the rest of us — because we’d all reap the rewards — sounds eerily similar to “trickle-down” ideas of years ago. And those of us firmly in the middle class — or lower — surely wonder where all that bounty went to.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.