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Why the George Zimmerman trial is like the Super Bowl

The last time the New England Patriots were in the Super Bowl I watched all the analysis leading up to the final football game of the 2011-2012 season.

The experts all submitted their opinions on who they thought would win the game. Some selected the Pats while others picked the New York Giants to win. If they guessed correctly, it somehow enhances their credibility.

Truth be told, none of that analysis actually matters. Only the 60 minutes of game time does. Analysts can’t account for dropped balls, fumbles or great plays. They are just guessing at the outcome. The Pats lost the game even though several experts picked them to win. See, sports media thrives on these “educated” guesses and an entire industry is built up around them.

The same thing is starting to happen with high-profile trials.

George Zimmerman is the latest example. ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams predicted Zimmerman would be found not-guilty for the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Fox News analyst John Lott had a similar prediction. He thinks Zimmerman is either found not guilty or the trial will end with a hung jury.

This is a serious case with serious implications. A 17-year old is dead. The man who killed him, George Zimmerman, faces second-degree murder charges for that killing. If he’s found guilty, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars. If he’s found not guilty, either the state of Florida couldn’t prove the case or jurors believe Zimmerman was acting in self-defense.

Yet the media coverage focuses on the sports-like guessing game instead of the seriousness of the case.

Like sports, the analysis has become the entertainment. What truly matters here is what the jury thinks. Nothing else. And no one has the ability to get inside their heads to get a sneak-preview.

Waiting for them to decide, apparently, requires too much patience. So in the meantime, while the nation waits for the trial to end, the speculation and guessing games continues.

It happened during the Jodi Arias trial. It happened during the Casey Anthony trial. And it will happen again during the next high-profile case.

The only question is when will Vegas start taking bets on the verdict?


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