Shock and AHH!!'s Economist Dr. Alan Gunty spells it out in his reaction to the Zimmerman verdict.
"Broad sympathy for some, broader skepticism for others." couldn't apply more to the Zimmerman trial. While effective as a comment on racial hatred alone, the concept the quote purport translates well to a legal context.
The insanity of the trial revolved not around the actual crime of Trayvon's death at the hands of Zimmerman, but of the complete distraction of whether or not Zimmerman didn't act in self-defense. That's right: DIDN'T act in self defense. The prosecution was saddled with a burden of proof of a non sequitur.
The facts were established that Zimmerman shot Martin, killing him. Zimmerman is either guilty or not guilty of manslaughter. The rest of the story is irrelevant. Who started it, finished it, escalated it, irrelevant.
Zimmerman was owed a great amount of sympathy from the police who arrested him, up to the jury who tried him. He was a victim, defending himself in an unfortunate circumstance. He was granted the benefit of the doubt of self-defense.
Poor little Trayvon, he couldn't have "just been shot." What was HE doing? Martin could have killed Zimmerman, after all. Except that he didn't. While a jury was fixated on what Trayvon MAY have been capable of, they ignored what Zimmerman WAS DEMONSTRABLY capable of. Zimmerman must have had a good reason to kill Martin, and Martin must have had no reason to be where he was, acting as he did. Broad sympathy for some, broader skepticism for others.