In announcing that she was charging George Zimmerman with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, special prosecutor Angela B. Corey insisted that "we do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition." That's an important assurance; the government shouldn't bring a case except when allegations are backed up by facts and evidence.
On the other hand, Corey wouldn't even have been in a position to assess the case against the neighborhood watch volunteer had there not been a public outcry about his release the night of the killing after what looked like a slipshod police investigation. It wasn't "mob justice" for Martin's family or the activists who came to their aid to insist on further examination of an incident in which an unarmed 17-year-old was killed by a private citizen who reported sighting a "suspicious guy" and apparently disregarded a dispatcher's advice not to follow him.
Now, however, the cause of "justice for Trayvon" has become a case. In court, public sentiment must be subordinated to the rules of evidence and prosecutors must convince a jury that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Guided by that standard, jurors will weigh the prosecution's version of events (which is still to be fleshed out) against Zimmerman's insistence that he shot Martin in self-defense. Having rightly demanded that authorities take a second look at the circumstances of this tragic encounter, Martin's champions will have to be patient as the judicial process unfolds. An arrest has been made, charges have been filed and, unless Zimmerman pleads guilty or a judge dismisses the charges before trial, both sides will have their day in court.