George Zimmerman was arrested last night and charged with second-degree murder in connection to the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17, who was unarmed.
It is alleged that Zimmerman, 28, shot Martin while serving as a volunteer neighborhood watchman. The shooting has led to a national and international debate and has brought attention concerns regarding race (Zimmerman is Hispanic while Martin was African-American) and Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
At first glance, it would appear that the arrest brings justice to an unthinkable death. An arrest means that Zimmerman will stand trail for the actions. However, the quest for justice is just beginning. If we are truly concerned about justice in the Martin case then we will be equally concerned that Zimmerman receives a fair trial and is able to find redemption.
Zimmerman has the right to a fair trial, which will be incredibly difficult when many have already passed judgment against him. In our 24-hour news cycles, it is incredibly difficult to not know about this case and the allegations surrounding it. But, that cannot print justice from occurring. It will make it more difficult, but it should not prevent Zimmerman from receiving a fair trial.
At the same time, we should hope that Zimmerman finds redemption. True justice, I believe, is not retributive. Justice is not about seeking revenge for the wrong someone has done, but it is about seeing the person being forgiven, redeemed, and transformed. We should hope that Zimmerman finds forgiveness and seeks forgiveness from those whom we has hurt. If Zimmerman is found guilty then he will do is time in jail. However, to deny Zimmerman the opportunity for forgiveness and transformation would be to blind ourselves from God’s desire for all to know and love Him.
Martin’s death is a tragedy of a life taken too early. Now that the case has reached the legal stage let us hope for fair justice and true redemption for all involved.
That would be the fairest and best case for true justice in this tragic case.