Hello, Esteemed Colleagues:
Today's High School students need to appreciate and understand much more relevant issues than what they may find in video games and movies like "Fast and Furious" and "Transporters." "Odor in the Court: Counterfeit Justice and How George Zimmerman Got Away With Murder" analyzes and discusses a real-life court trial that ended on July 13, 2014, and is still vigorously being discussed nationwide. This book is a combination Book-and-Lesson Plan for High School students: Grades 9 - 12.
I wrote this book to help our future leaders (our High School students) safely encounter and analyze and figure out some of the judicial, social, racial, and political issues that became the baggage that had to be dealt with, in that Sanford, Florida courthouse where George Zimmerman was brought to trial for shooting to death teenager Trayvon Martin.
This Book-and-Lesson Plan approach to learning and understanding vital and voiced contemporary issues provides your students with (1) operational opportunities for small group discussion of and written responses to the many hard questions that "Odor in the Court: Counterfeit Justice" contains; (2) a living educational document to which I will add several future chapters, as I research and discover more about that Sanford, Florida court trial where Zimmerman was ultimately acquitted; (3) commonalities and differences they find in small group learning experiences as they study the players and actors on the judicial stage whose behaviors they will analyze in their verbal or written responses to either your questions, viewpoints, and observations or the questions found in this Book-and-Lesson plan combo; and (4) critical thinking and writing opportunities on a hot topic debated nationally. Again, educational tools not really found in videotapes and movie accounts of fictional adventures.
Students will come to terms with the "unusual" Zimmerman jury selection process and the half-dozen "test questions" given all six (6) of them for determining their eligibility to render jury service. Students may be very delighted to find parallels, as did I, in Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara's arguments, to Shakespeare's Mark Antony’s repetitive chant, “Brutus is an honorable man!”, in the classic play, “Julius Caesar.” A future chapter-and-lesson plan of "Odor in the Court: Counterfeit Justice" will compare both of these "Marks' " (Shakespeare's Antony and Zimmerman's O'Mara) speeches, verbalized to incite and inspire others to act, in very clear and unmistakable ways toward the men for or against whom they were working.
Students will also learn and, hopefully, understand, in "Odor in the Court: Counterfeit Justice," that the rights of minority victims—particularly black victims—and the interests of justice “can easily be crushed and trampled beneath the feet of feuding lawyers; an ego-maniacal Special Prosecutor publicly fighting verbally with an irrelevant law professor; a judge asleep or looking the other way; and a rigged jury.
It is vital that every High School student in America fully and completely understand the events that went on, in and around, the George Zimmerman trial and influenced its outcome. The sport and entertainment some High School students derive from playing video games and watching action movies will not compare to the real-life reading about and understanding of the realities that accompany the search for justice in American courts today.
Students will also understand and respond verbally and in writing to how the attorneys used Psychology, or not, and the different results they achieved. For example, one attorney made his presentation to jurors in a soft, conversational and comforting voice; the other attorney yelled at the jurors as though English was not their first language and hollering at them would provide instant understanding.
Thank you for all you do to keep good education alive.
James E. Shaw