Former President Jimmy Carter has expressed his support for the six jurors who recently acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a decision that had sparked protests and outrage across the country.
“I think the jury made the right decision based on the evidence presented, because the prosecution inadvertently set the standard so high that the jury had to be convinced that it was a deliberate act by Zimmerman that he was not at all defending himself, and so forth,” Carter told Atlanta's WXIA on Thursday.
“It’s not a moral question, it’s a legal question and the American law requires that the jury listens to the evidence presented," he added.
When asked whether race played a role in the jurors' decision, the 88-year-old Democrat echoed President echoed President Barack Obama's call for peace.
"I can't allege that the six jurors are not as sensitive about the race issue that I am, or you are," he said. "But they had to listen to the evidence only, not to their own feelings about race."
Obama asked Americans to "respect the call for calm reflection" from Martin's parents earlier this week.
The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.