There is almost nothing more emotive than a murder trial, particularly when it takes place in the United States and involves the shooting dead of a black boy on the basis of self-defence. Public sympathies are inevitably roused and divided on the basis of prejudices and predilections. That is understandable. It is understandable that disaffected black youngsters in Florida hoped to see George Zimmerman found guilty and Trayvon Martin vindicated: for all that it would do, for all that it would say.
The converse is also true. Neighbourhood activists like Zimmerman, many members of the American public who live in fear of kids on the streets, those who themselves have been victims of attacks; these people no doubt harboured a silent hope that Zimmerman would be acquitted.