Yes another death is the answer.
And I say this as someone who has little to no positive feelings about the death penalty.
I say yes because white, white passing, anti-black, and whiteness upholding individuals have been killing Black people and Black children for centuries. They’ve been doing it with impunity, or with the knowledge that anything that happens to them will make them a martyr for their cause.
But this, if Florida does this, and the FBI does this, this could potentially be the first (technically second, in regards to Federal Hate Crimes legislation) in many cases that actually take our lives seriously.
More to the point, when Federal Hate Crimes laws were first introduced, it became a matter of seeing how they would be applied. Many, rightly, did and do fear that these laws will be employed to continue the biased attack on POC and incarcerate them for crimes against white persons, specifically white queers. And while that fear will continue to exist, while the fame may still be rigged against us, the fact that these first two cases to come under the direct purview of the laws pertain specifically to anti-Black actions means that there is a chance.
No matter how slim, there is a chance our stories and suffering will be respected.
George Zimmerman’s death, hell, just the intimation of it at this point, is not even a band-aid on the wound that is anti-Black violence. It is nothing as compared to our people who are dying and have died because of racism.
But it is a step, it is a show for how serious this is being taken.
If only every act of violence against us was taken seriously.
I agree with all of the above. This isn’t the fucking 40s anymore. Anyone who kills a black child should have the full brunt of the law smashed down on their dick
My humanity does not diminish for my wanting of this man’s death. All I want is justice. In this case, an eye for an eye is not enough. I need limb for limb and blood for blood. Because this is something bigger than Trayvon. While this is about getting him his justice, there are so many others who have never, and will never, get theirs. Make an example of Zimmerman. Show these white supremacist douchefucks that if you kill ours, you’ll get yours, and it will not be by vigilante justice but by the very system you uphold, that always protects you. It will come for you, too, because you should no longer hide behind your privilege and racism. So, no, I do not care if it seems callous that I wish death on a person. Zimmerman did what a lot of you apologists would do, and he deserves proper punishment. Time will not change him. He had time. He chose to hide. He chose to play the victim. He chose to play all the angles to pain his victim as the antagonist. I have no care in this world for this mans health, happiness, sanity, or redemption. Let the pits of Hell swallow him whole.
Yeah, I’m really going to have to completely cosign the excellent commentary up there. Never would I want to make to make an example out of or deviate from Trayvon’s death, but it’s worth mentioning that this isn’t an isolated incident. Black bodies being carelessly slain and the system that’s supposed to be protecting us showing absolutely no justice or respect is nothing new. It’s as American as apple pie and baseball. People who’re anti-black know this and that’s why they continue to indulge in said behavior. I don’t necessaily wish Zimmerman the death penalty, but I couldn’t bat an eyelash if that’s where his fate lead. What a disgusting, vile stain on the lineage on mankind. This man stalks a child, lies about the events that ensued later that night, runs away, cutting off all contact from his family and lawyers, capitalizes off of his heinous crime and has the audacity to look a mother in the eyes and say “I’m sorry about the loss of your child”, a loss .. (as if Trayvon is an expendable commodity, which is probably what he thought when he killed him), instead of “I’m sorry I killed your child”. I can’t even begin to describe to sheer horror that runs through my soul when I think there are people that could be that hateful. How can I feel sympathy for such a monster? Take him away, alleviate the world of such a horrid individual.
I find it pretty alarming that Tumblr is calling for the death penalty, as unbelievably disgusting as this crime was. I find it particularly nonsensical that one would prescribe the death penalty in this case to “make an example out of George Zimmerman” while racial-minorities, especially Black people, are disproportionately sentenced to death compared to white individuals.
How can the state legislate and enforce anti-homicide laws while being complicit in state-sponsored homicide? In Furman v. Georgia, Justice Marshall tackles the complex issue of retribution in great detail:
The fact that the State may seek retribution against those who have broken its laws does not mean that retribution may then become the State’s sole end in punishing. Our jurisprudence has always accepted deterrence in general, deterrence of individual recidivism, isolation of dangerous persons, and rehabilitation as proper goals of punishment. Retaliation, vengeance, and retribution have been roundly condemned as intolerable aspirations for a government in a free society.
Punishment as retribution has been condemned by scholars for centuries, and the Eighth Amendment itself was adopted to prevent punishment from becoming synonymous with vengeance.
In Weems v. United States, the Court, in the course of holding that Weems’ punishment violated the Eighth Amendment, contrasted it with penalties provided for other offenses, and concluded:[T]his contrast shows more than different exercises of legislative judgment. It is greater than that. It condemns the sentence in this case as cruel and unusual. It exhibits a difference between unrestrained power and that which is exercised under the spirit of constitutional limitations formed to establish justice. The State thereby suffers nothing, and loses no power. The purpose of punishment is fulfilled, crime is repressed by penalties of just, not tormenting, severity, its repetition is prevented, and hope is given for the reformation of the criminal.
It is plain that the view of the Weems Court was that punishment for the sake of retribution was not permissible under the Eighth Amendment. This is the only view that the Court could have taken if the “cruel and unusual” language were to be given any meaning. Retribution surely underlies the imposition of some punishment on one who commits a criminal act. But the fact that some punishment may be imposed does not mean that any punishment is permissible. If retribution alone could serve as a justification for any particular penalty, then all penalties selected by the legislature would, by definition, be acceptable means for designating society’s moral approbation of a particular act. The “cruel and unusual” language would thus be read out of the Constitution, and the fears of Patrick Henry and the other Founding Fathers would become realities. To preserve the integrity of the Eighth Amendment, the Court has consistently denigrated retribution as a permissible goal of punishment. It is undoubtedly correct that there is a demand for vengeance on the part of many persons in a community against one who is convicted of a particularly offensive act. At times, a cry is heard that morality requires vengeance to evidence society’s abhorrence of the act. But the Eighth Amendment is our insulation from our baser selves. The “cruel and unusual” language limits the avenues through which vengeance can be channeled. Were this not so, the language would be empty, and a return to the rack and other tortures would be possible in a given case.
Furthermore, the death penalty doesn’t even deter crime and it certainly does not deter Second Degree murder, or “crimes of passion,” as George Zimmerman has been charged with. It’s impossible to “make an example” out of Zimmerman because of the very nature of Second Degree murder and it certainly does nothing to knock down the walls of institutionalized racism, particularly when the death penalty is complicit in cementing such when studies have found that “black defendants were 1.7 times more likely to receive the death penalty than white defendants and that murderers of white victims were 4.3 times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who killed blacks.” [Source] I don’t see the benefit of prescribing a punishment, of which its application is inherently racist, to an individual guilty of committing murder motivated by racial bias in order to fight racism. Doing so only strengthens these legal institutions which are complicit in upholding institutionalized racism in this country.