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The Root Interviews Professor Kevin Woodson on Gaps in Perception and Law in Trayvon Martin Case

August 29, 2013

Broad questions about race relations stirred by Trayvon Martin’s death overlap very little with the fine legal distinctions in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, Professor Kevin Woodson said in an interview published by The Root on July 11. 

The jury faced one key question: whether or not Zimmerman believed he needed to protect himself at the precise moment he fired his gun, Woodson explained.  

Florida law allows aggressors to use deadly force under certain circumstances, Woodson said, adding that Zimmerman’s defense team had an obligation to argue that Martin initiated the altercation or subsequently overpowered their client. 

The article, published on an opinion and news site focused on African American interests before the trial ended, predicted that many would perceive a not-guilty verdict as evidence of a double standard in the justice system.