Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Sunday praised a Florida jury’s decision to find former neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin, and insisted that the case had not been influenced by race because “the justice system is color blind.”
“A very thoughtful case was made by each side, the jurors made the decision and we will live with that,” the governor explained to CNN’s Candy Crowley.
The CNN host, however, pointed out that critics of the verdict had asserted that the justice system was innately unfair and weighted against African-Americans.
“Do you think that?” Crowley asked.
“I don’t,” Perry insisted. “I think our justice system is color blind, and I think that, you know, again, you don’t find people that always agree with the jury’s decision. But that’s the reason we have the system we have in place, and I think, by and large, it may not be full proof, people may make mistakes in the jury system. On the civil side, you have that appellate process.”
“But in this case, I will suggest that two extraordinarily capable teams laid out the issues and that jury made the right decision from their stand point.”
Earlier this year, a New York Times editorial ripped the Texas justice system for executing a disproportionate number of African-Americans under Perry.
“Texas’s death penalty system is notorious for its high tolerance of ineffective counsel for defendants, overly zealous prosecutors, and racial discrimination in jury selection,” the Times wrote. “In Texas as well as other states, a black person who murders a white person is more likely to receive the death penalty than when the victim is black.”
Watch this video from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast July 14, 2013.