George Zimmerman's Mom Wrote An Open Letter

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 11 2013 4:46 PM

George Zimmerman's Mom Wrote An Open Letter

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George Zimmerman appears during a hearing in Seminole circuit court on February 5, 2013 in Sanford, Florida

Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

It's been one year since George Zimmerman was taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. On Thursday, George's mom Gladys Zimmerman marked the anniversary by publishing an open letter that blames the media for her son's arrest.

The two-page letter was released via her son Robert's twitter account. It begins:

"Today, April 11, 2013 is the anniversary of the most unfortunate arrest of our son George. I am writing from my heart and with incalculable gratitude to our family members, dearest friends, and those we have not personally met but who have nonetheless offered their unwavering moral and spirituals upport. Those who read this letter should do so of their own free will, and do so because they are interested in its message. If you read this letter with the hopes of finding material to mock or rebuke, please stop reading now, because this letter is not intended for you."
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The letter goes on to blame the media for vilifying her son, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of self-defense to the charge against him, with a trial set for June (emphasis ours):

"From the beginning, this case has been heavily publicized and a false narrative was developed surrounding a very real tragedy when there was little evidence available to the public. It is astounding that despite the vast amount of information and evidence now available that supports George’s self-defense claim, the majority of the media avoids its publication. It is indeed alarming that even more media outlets do not regret misinforming the public and have not taken steps to retract the fabrications they are responsible for perpetuating...The media, with the help of social media made it their prerogative to judge and sentence George before and after his arrest. Even members of Congress and self-proclaimed “activists” used and routinely use to this day the term “murderer” when they speak of him – in effect they are re-enforcing the only acceptable judicial outcome in their eyes. Many have seen to it that he be judged by the public, the very public they were keen on misinforming."

She then, addressing George Zimmerman's supporters, says "The upcoming trial will not disappoint you. The truth will finally be revealed to many, but to some who have always seen through the narrative — the truth George always told will be 'revealed,' but rather 'confirmed.'

Trayvon Martin's family and their legal team responded to Gladys Zimmerman's letter with the following statement on Thursday afternoon, via CBS News (emphasis ours):

"The facts of this case are simple and straightforward...We are confident that a jury following the overwhelming evidence against George Zimmerman will hold him accountable for killing our son, Trayvon Martin." The Martins call Gladys Zimmerman's view of the justice system "disingenuous and disrespectful to the very system that is currently affording [George Zimmerman] every available opportunity to defend himself...The arrest of an admitted killer is not violation of due process, it is due process."

Read Zimmerman's letter here.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.