First the Times has a nice intereactive map about the scene of the Trayvon killing.
Second, there's a great fair and balanced account of Martin and Zimmerman and what happened. No hype. Just the facts and clearly labeled speculation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the best and least biased and most informative account of the characters and scene to date.
[The only troubling error I see is in Zimmerman's favor. Zimmerman did not say he would meet the cops by the mail boxes. He tells the cops to call him when they arrive, since Zimmerman was not expected to be by his car. And he wasn't]
And tangentially related, Bill Keller writes a nice proper op-ed attacking the concept of the "hate crime." I agree; I don't like the criminalization of thought one bit:
The fact that [the hate crimes law] is constitutional and commonplace does not quiet the nagging sense that hate crime legislation resembles something from an Orwell dystopia.... The government is authorized to punish you for thinking those vile things, if you think them in the course of committing a crime.
It’s not a great reach to say that Ravi faces up to 10 years in prison for being a jerk.
This is the kind of demagoguery that could prejudice a prosecution, or mobilize a mob. Is it not creepy, by the way, that Spike Lee was tweeting the suspected home address of George Zimmerman? As if to say, “Go get him!” (Lee sent apologies and a check to the elderly couple who were scared from their home because, oops, the tweet gave the wrong address. But apparently it’s O.K. to terrorize Zimmerman.)
In most cases, hate crime laws take offenses that would carry more modest sentences — assault, vandalism — and ratchet up the penalty two or three times because we know, or think we know, what evil disposition lurked in the offender’s mind. Then we pat ourselves on the back. As if none of us, pure and righteous citizens, ever entertained a racist thought or laughed at a homophobic slur.
Bias laws are widely accepted. They are understandable. They are probably here to stay. But they seem to me a costly form of sanctimony.