About Suspicion Nation
On the night of February 26, 2012, a black seventeen-year-old boy walking to a friend’s home carrying only his cell phone, candy, and a fruit drink, was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch coordinator.
This was the context of the highly watched trial of George Zimmerman, which has held the public’s attention even after Zimmerman’s eventual acquittal.
In her provocative and landmark book, Suspicion Nation, Lisa Bloom, who extensively covered the trial, posits that none of this was a surprise: Our laws, culture, and blind spots created the conditions that led to Trayvon Martin’s death, and made George Zimmerman’s acquittal by far the most likely outcome.
America today holds an unhealthy preoccupation with firearms that has led to the expansion of gun rights to surreal extremes. America now has not only the highest per capita gun ownership rate in the world (almost one gun per American), but the highest rate of gun deaths. Despite the strides America has made, fighting a bloody Civil War to end slavery, eradicating Jim Crow laws, teaching tolerance, and electing an African American president, racial inequality persists throughout our country, in employment, housing, education, the media, and most institutions. And perhaps most destructively of all, racial biases run deep in every level of our criminal justice system.<i>Suspicion Nation</i> captures a court system and a country conflicted and divided over issues of race, violence, and gun legislation.
Lisa writes, “The answer, to me, is unavoidable: Yes, the prosecution blew it. On a number of very significant points. Though Zimmerman’s story of the shooting was belied by the physical evidence, though he expressed overt hostility towards Trayvon from the moment he laid eyes on the minor, though he admitted to no remorse afterwards and gloated months later that the killing was “God’s plan,” the defense won the trial by painting Trayvon just as Zimmerman had, as “a real suspicious guy.” With his own voice silenced, and without any real courtroom advocates fighting for him, in a system coursing with racial biases, Trayvon never really stood a chance… The overlooked evidence, lack of witness preparation, and poor strategic choices made by the state’s attorneys were nothing short of astonishing.”
“With the mind of a lawyer and the eye of a journalist, Bloom achieves a remarkable double success: meticulously examining the evidence in this case while also placing the whole Zimmerman saga in a broad historical and cultural context.” — Jeffrey Toobin, New York Times bestselling author of The Nine and The Oath
“Riveting and brilliantly done. Suspicion Nation reads like a great courtroom drama and will ignite major re-examination of this iconic case.” — Joy-Ann Reid, MSNBC Anchor
“Suspicion Nation gets to the heart of all matters, both legal and racial. Lisa Bloom has given us a riveting analysis of one of the most profoundly disturbing cases of our time. Don’t miss this book.” – Marcia Clark, bestselling author and lead prosecutor, California v. OJ Simpson
“This book is a crusading call for change – and a penetrating inventory of our racially divided country. It is a tribute to Bloom’s candor that Suspicion Nation will make readers squirm. Her message has the potential to inspire a national dialogue, if we have the courage to read it.” – Jami Floyd, Legal Contributor, Al Jazeera America
“We know that somewhere the Trayvon Martin case went awry, but in Suspicion Nation Lisa Bloom shows us how wrong and reveals a lot we don’t know about the case. As a great civil rights lawyer Lisa has fought the good fight and exposed injustice.” —Toure, author of Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness