The Florida jury declared George Zimmerman not guilty Saturday night, bringing the contentious and often ridiculous trial to a welcome close.
Zimmerman was accused of second-degree murder after fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman had claimed the shooting was justified — and the police originally agreed — but pressure by liberal activists and the media eventually led to his arrest and trial.
By exonerating Mr. Zimmerman the jury struck a blow for self-defense and personal freedom. Mr. Zimmerman’s defense pressed the point home that Mr. Martin had been the aggressor, beating Mr. Zimmerman violently before being shot.
If what appeared to be an obvious case of self-defense had been ruled criminal, it would have sent a chilling wave across the nation that victims had better think twice before defending themselves or their loved ones lest the become the next media villain.