George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, was found not guilty of second-degree murder on Saturday, July 13, in a Seminole County Court. He was also acquitted of manslaughter.
The jury, made up of six women, had been sequestered since June 24. After hearing three weeks' worth of testimony, they deliberated for 16 hours and 20 minutes over a two-day period.
Earlier in the trial, the prosecution argued that Zimmerman had targeted Martin, 17 at the time of his death, because he viewed the unarmed teen as a criminal. Zimmerman, in turn, claimed he shot Martin in self-defense, after the youth allegedly knocked him to the ground, punched him, and slammed his head against the sidewalk.
Both arguments found passionate supporters around the nation in the weeks and months after Martin's death. The ensuing legal drama sparked a heated debate about racial profiling -- a debate that continues now in the wake of the verdict.
Minutes after the "not guilty" decision was announced in court, Twitter exploded with reactions from people all over the country. Among those who spoke up were celebs including Sophia Bush, Lena Dunham, Rihanna, John Legend, and Josh Groban. Below are some of their thoughts:
Sophia Bush: The wind is more than knocked out of me... My heart aches for this boy's family. Justice System? I don't think so. #justicefortrayvon
Rihanna: This is the saddest news ever!!! #whatsjustice #pray4theMartinFamily
John Legend: My heart hurts
Lena Dunham: No. My heart is with Sybrina Fulton, Rachel Jeantel, everyone who loved Trayvon and has been sent the message that his life didn't matter.
Mario Lopez: Hope people don't misbehave after hearing this verdict... Pray for the Martin family.
Josh Groban: Oh no. Seriously? Crap.
Olivia Wilde: I feel sick.
Mandy Moore: My heart is heavy...for all who knew and loved #TrayvonMartin. His life mattered. This is shameful.
Nicki Minaj: And our taxes paid for that trial. We just paid to see a murderer walk free after killing an innocent unarmed little boy. #GodBlessAmerica