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Zimmerman Verdict: Why Politics and Law Are Different

Adam Cohen illuminated the fine line between law and politics that society straddles to the point that we can't even look down and see it

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I greatly appreciate Mr. Cohen’s piece on the Martin trial’s inability to answer the politically charged questions surrounding it ["The Lessons of Zimmerman's Not Guilty Verdict"]. Politics and law often go hand-in-hand — lawyers become politicians and politicians are lawmakers — and they do share a strong connection. However, as is clear in the structure of nearly every college and university in the country, politics and law are two distinct fields. The law can’t always answer the questions we ask of it, often because the questions we ask are different from the questions asked by the law.

What I appreciate most about Mr. Cohen’s piece is that he sees the result the same way he would have if the jury had ruled that George Zimmerman was guilty. While Mr. Cohen may appear politically left of center because of his reaction, he would’ve appeared right of center had he written the same piece in response to a different outcome. This is evidence of legal reporting absent the common underlying political tension, and it’s something we ought to appreciate.

So, Mr. Cohen, thank you for your piece. You have illuminated the fine line between law and politics that society straddles to the point that we can’t even look down and see it.

Charles Lutvak, New York City