The leak of George Zimmerman's statement to police have shed new light on the Trayvon Martin case, along with accusations of bias against the media and public.
Until Tuesday, the case had been framed from Martin's standpoint, which is certainly understandable to a point, as he was unarmed when he was shot and killed.
However, Zimmerman’s defense depicts Trayvon not as an unsuspecting youngster chased by an armed vigilante, but as a violent aggressor who left him no choice.
Some commentators point to Zimmerman’s story as evidence that the media and public have been too quick to lay blame in a case that has gripped the nation.
Zimmerman’s claim that he was jumped and beaten to the point where he shot Martin in self-defense seems dubious, especially if a dispatcher told him not to pursue the boy.
Nevertheless, he hasn't been charged with a crime.
You wouldn't know it by the mug shot, taken after a previous arrest, circulated by the media for the last month - most times, next to a five-year-old photo of Martin.
The contrast of the above images has indirectly but significantly shaped the way the sensationalized case is framed, turning the 17-year-old into an innocent martyr.
Martin's tragic death has sparked important public debate over racial profiling, gun laws and other broad social issues. Yet the media tends to sell a single narrative.
Consider how the following photos might portray the case instead:
Do a smiling Zimmerman in a suit and tie, or a current photo of Martin looking more like an adult, change your perception of either party? Probably at least a little.
NOTE: The authenticity of the Martin photo above, as well as others on the web (in which he sports fake good teeth), is disputed, but the point remains the same.
Stories such as President Obama's remarks or the "Million Hoodie March" get enormous attention and make the public fall in love with the idealized version of Martin.
The fact of the matter is, though, they have little to do with the case.
Police in Sanford, Fla., deserve to be under scrutiny for their decision not to arrest Zimmerman, but the April 10 grand jury investigation also needs to play itself out.
The truth, as is so often the case, won't be found easily. It almost unavoidably lies among a thousand shades of grey in a case of great complexity and magnitude.
By oversimplifying it and/or turning into an entertainment form, the media and public fail to honor both the deceased's memory and the accused's right to due process.
You tell us: Is there media bias in the Trayvon Martin case?