Pat Buchanan

That the prosecution in the Zimmerman trial asked the judge to allow a verdict of "third-degree murder" -- i.e., child abuse, since Trayvon Martin was 17 -- testifies to the prosecution's failure and panic.

For George Zimmerman's defense has proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he shot Trayvon Martin not out of malice, rage or hate -- but in a desperate act of self-defense.

Zimmerman was being beaten "ground-and-pound," mixed martial arts style. His head was being banged on the cement. Screaming again and again for help, he pulled out his gun and fired.

Even the prosecution is now conceding Trayvon might have been on top, and is now scrambling for a compromise verdict on a lesser charge than second-degree murder, a charge that never should have been brought. Indeed, this trial should never have been held.

What we have witnessed in Sanford, Fla., is the prosecution of an innocent man for murder because the politically and socially powerful demanded it.

That Trayvon is dead is a tragedy, and an avoidable tragedy. But it was not murder. And it does not justify railroading a man who, whatever his mistakes that night -- and George Zimmerman made them -- committed no crime.

The case comes down to four questions. And the answers, supported by the evidence, testimony and common sense, point straight to an acquittal.

First, who was the aggressor?

All agree it would have been better if Zimmerman had never left his car or followed Trayvon that night.

Yet, ask yourself:

Would a pudgy, out-of-shape 28-year-old with a gun, facing a 17-year-old athletic kid, 4 inches taller, with a longer reach, throw a punch and start a fistfight with him?

If Zimmerman threw the first punch, what would be his motive? If you have a gun and your adversary does not, is not the sensible stance to keep your distance so you can be free to pull the gun? Who armed with a pistol starts a fistfight with a suspicious stranger?

Moreover, Trayvon's body showed no signs of having ever been punched, while George's nose looks like he was sucker-punched.

Second, who was on top in those final moments of the fight?

If Zimmerman was on top and Trayvon was on his back, Trayvon would have been found on his back. He was found dead on his stomach.

If Zimmerman was on top and Trayvon was on his stomach, he would have been shot in the back. He was shot in the chest.

How could Trayvon have been found lying on his face, with a bullet hole in his chest, if Zimmerman was sitting on top of him? Only if George Zimmerman, after shooting Trayvon, would have turned him over as he lay dying. No one has even suggested that.

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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