By Daniel Strauss - 07/17/13 11:36 AM EDT
Former President Carter said Tuesday that the Florida jury that acquitted George Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin made the “right decision.”
The jury verdict on Saturday exonerating Zimmerman who shot Martin, an unarmed black teenager after a confrontation in February 2012 sparked nationwide protests.
The Justice Department has also begun reviewing the case to decide whether to press civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
Carter was asked if race was a factor in the jury's decision.
"I can't allege that the six jurors, all of whom are women, are not just as sensitive about the race issue as I am," Carter said.
"But I would presume that they listened to the evidence,” he added. “The judge warned them over and over that they had to listen to the evidence only, not to their own feelings about race. Since the prosecution, neither side, were willing to bring in the race issue, I think as far as the jury was concerned they could not consider that."
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is also preparing bills to target racial profiling and remove laws like Florida's "stand your ground" laws that allow a person to use deadly force if attacked, even if retreat from a dangerous situation is an option.