Carter supports Zimmerman verdict

Former President Jimmy Carter says a Florida jury’s acquittal of a man who killed an unarmed black teenager in 2012 was a legal decision rather than a moral one.

By Bob Allen

Former President Jimmy Carter says the jury in the George Zimmerman trial “made the right decision" based on the evidence and the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the neighborhood watch volunteer acted deliberately and was not defending himself.

Jimmy-Carter-headshot"It's not a moral question," Carter said in an interview with Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA television. "It was a legal question, and the American law requires that the jury listens to the evidence presented."

Carter said he agrees with President Obama, who called Trayvon Martin’s death a tragedy, but said Americans have to accept the results of the jury’s decision.

Carter, the 39th U.S. president and 2002 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, said he believes the country will recover from strong feelings about the case currently polarizing blacks and whites.

“I’ve seen outbreaks of this before,” he said. “In California, when the black man was being beaten up by the police, and when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, there were terrible race riots.”

Carter, 88, said he believes the United States is moving forward in race relations.

“I think eventually no matter how deeply the moral feelings and personal feelings might be among African-Americans or others, with time passing they start saying, ‘What can we do about the present and future and put aside our feelings about the past?’” he said. “I think that is what is going to happen around the country.”