Why George Zimmerman Should Be Acquitted

The alleged lessons of Trayvon Martin's death should not obscure the evidence.

On a rainy night in February 2012 at a gated townhouse complex in Sanford, Florida, George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin stared at each other, and both perceived a threat. What followed is the focus of a murder trial that hinges on specific facts rather than the overarching, frequently misleading narratives that people tend to impose on this case.

According to one such narrative, the case is about race, which was the reason Zimmerman, a 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, thought Martin, a black teenager, looked "real suspicious" and the reason Zimmerman was not initially arrested for shooting Martin. According to another, complementary narrative, the case is about Florida's broad definition of self-defense, which gave Zimmerman license to kill Martin. But it turns out neither of these factors is relevant to Zimmerman's guilt.

Zimmerman called the police about Martin before he got a good enough look to verify the 17-year-old's race, and there is little indication that he harbored animosity toward blacks. The most explicit reference to race during the trial was a prosecution witness's testimony that Martin, who was on the phone with her shortly before he died, referred to Zimmerman (who is Hispanic) as a "creepy-ass cracker."

Maybe a black man who killed a white teenager in similar circumstances would have been arrested sooner. But that counterfactual has no bearing on whether Zimmerman should be convicted.

The outrage triggered by the six-week delay in arresting Zimmerman probably encouraged special prosecutor Angela Corey to accuse him of second-degree murder rather than the more appropriate charge of manslaughter. That mistake has been apparent every day of the trial as the prosecution struggles to show that Zimmerman acted out of "ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent," as opposed to panic in the midst of a fight he was losing.

Zimmerman's account of that fight does not invoke the right to "stand your ground" or any other special feature of Florida's self-defense law. He claims Martin, who was understandably angry about being followed, threw the first punch and was on top of him, knocking his head against a concrete sidewalk, when Zimmerman's holstered gun became visible. Zimmerman says Martin seemed to be reaching for the gun, so he grabbed it first, fearing for his life, and shot Martin in the chest.

The evidence supporting this version of events, though by no means conclusive, is ample cause for reasonable doubt about Zimmerman's guilt. His injuries—including a bloody, possibly broken nose, plus bumps and lacerations on the back of his head—are consistent with his description of the fight. While two neighbors gave testimony suggesting that Zimmerman was on top of Martin before the gunshot, the neighbor who seems to have had the best view of the struggle said Martin was on top and appeared to be pummeling Zimmerman. There was also dueling testimony from friends and relatives who claimed to be sure they could hear either Martin or Zimmerman screaming in the background of a 911 call placed during the fight.

Zimmerman's account, which he gave freely without asking for a lawyer, has been essentially consistent over time. The main investigator on the case testified (for the prosecution!) that Zimmerman seemed to be telling the truth and was happy to hear the fight might have been captured on video, suggesting he thought such evidence would vindicate him.

It is still possible that Zimmerman erroneously believed the shooting was justified—that he feared for his life but not reasonably so, as required for a self-defense claim under Florida law. But instead of making that argument, the prosecution, which rested last week, has implausibly portrayed Zimmerman as an angry vigilante who maliciously tracked Martin down to deliver rough justice after mistaking him for a burglar.

Like the commentators who insist on viewing this case as a lesson about racism or an indictment of "stand your ground" laws, the prosecutors tell a compelling story that does not fit the facts very well.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...the prosecutors tell a compelling story that does not fit the facts very well.

    It seems prosecution isn't much about truth or justice these days. But I'm told there will be rioting if Zimmerman is let free, so those loser prosecutors will have that on their hands.

  • Ted S.||

    When has prosecution been about truth or justics?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You remember that one time.

  • Hash Brown||

    O.J.!

  • AlmightyJB||

    If the screams don't fit, you must aquit.

  • ||

    "But I'm told there will be rioting if Zimmerman is let free,"

    I wonder how many of those rioters would have rioted if O.J. Simpson had NOT been set free.

    You see, it would have been racist to convict O.J. Simpson of murder but it is also racist to NOT convict Zimmerman of murder.

    Make sense?

  • Mike M.||

    I don't believe there will be "mass rioting" if Zimmerman is set free.

    And if anyone does use an acquittal as an excuse to commit violence and destroy property, I have no problem at all with the authorities using force to stop that person.

  • ||

    "I don't believe there will be "mass rioting" if Zimmerman is set free."

    I hope you are right but I am not so optimistic. Not with the may the mainstream media has been hyping the nonexistent racial angle.

  • Tony||

    Well we all know how little self-control the blacks have.

  • ||

    Tony, I did not mention any particular racial or ethnic group. You did. Speak for yourself as far as your prejudices. However, I do think that people are trying to make this into a racial issue when it never was one before.

  • PapayaSF||

    In SF and Oakland, demonstrations will be led by various leftists, almost entirely white, who in the past have often tried and succeeded in turning things violent.

  • ||

    PapayaSF, you are very correct. Unlike Tony, I make no assumptions about the racial or ethnic makeup of the people who might be rioting.

  • anewrepublic||

    Wait, wait. Guys, ok. wait. ok...
    Is Averroes saying that its overly presumptious to assume WHO will be rioting in the event of a Zimmerman acquittal???

  • ||

    anewrepublic,

    Have you ever been to or lived near an ultra-liberal college or University? I have. I have spent most of my working life working either directly or indirectly for academia. Yes, these ultra-liberal campuses are filled with people of many backgrounds who are eager to throw bricks through windows and light small businesses on fire. These are aging hippies and younger neo-hippies. They hate capitalism and any excuse to start violence is a good excuse and a possible opportunity for violent revolution. Most of these people are NOT black.

  • anewrepublic||

    Point taken, averroes. I know what you mean - While my exposure to liberal academia is not as prolonged as yours, I went to school in New England and was around some extreme leftists, and they could be destructive. But I'd have to say, I never felt that my life was in danger when in their presence. I grew up in Jersey City, where, simply due to the color of my skin, I felt unsafe in certain neighborhoods, and especially in crowds. And yes, I experienced racial violence first hand. Its a daily occurence in towns like JC, and it goes virtually unreported.
    So, while I agree that there will be white 'involvement' in some (possible) upcoming riots, the truly violent, blind, hateful acts will mostly be conducted by blacks. I DO choose to be hopeful that NOTHING happens, but if it does happen, I believe thats how it will go down.

    Again, I appreciate your response, truly.

  • Hopfiend||

    The derp is strong in this one.

  • Travini||

    Please don't insult the integrity of this forum with your Paul Krugman made-up words

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "But I'm told there will be rioting if Zimmerman is let free, so those loser prosecutors will have that on their hands."

    If it's anything like how the media responded to the Rodney King aftermath at the time and then again last summer when King died, they'll be held aloft as paragons of virtue and racial equality.

    Who knows, they even be officially canonized, depending on how many 13-year-old white kids they manage to douse with gasoline and set alight.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Like the commentators who insist on viewing this case as a lesson about racism or an indictment of "stand your ground" laws

    So Sullum reads the comment section? Makes sense. He might learn a thing or two there.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    Sullum is usually one of the most rational and objective columnists here. I don't always agree with him, but at least I can follow his train of thought.

  • BakedPenguin||

    His Saying Yes is a really good read.

  • Hash Brown||

    Is it dirty? It sounds dirty.

  • Ted S.||

    It might make the reason orgies more interesting.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Pretty sure he's referring to people in the media there.

  • Ted S.||

    Whoosh!

  • West Texas||

    There hasn't been a shred of hard evidence from the prosection that contradicts GZ's claims of what happened, only circumstantial evidence that kinda sorta reinterprets his motivations if you squint really hard.

    In fact, the prosecution now accepts as a settled part of the case that Trayvon made it back to his (Dad's?) backyard and then left again to confront GZ. In a sane world, that would make Trayvon the aggressor and the judge should have thrown out the case at that point.

    GZ is going to be acquitted and then we're going to have Rodney King part two all over the country. Instead of bowing to the mob, the Florida AG should have just hunkered down and let all the trouble pass over back last spring. Now all they've done by trying to appease the mob is made the ultimate reaction even worse.

  • Bill||

    Do you have a link for that? Did that come out in trial, that he made it to his Dad's ?

  • Daniel||

    It was part of the testimony from the girl Travon was on the phone with that night. TM told her that he ran to the backyard of his father's girlfriend. He then went back to where Zimmerman was walking.

  • free2booze||

    If this is true, then it completely destroys the claim that Zimmerman initiated the confrontation because he was following Martin. Why is no one talking about this? Oh, that's right, because it would destroy the media narrative.

  • Drake||

    Did they purposely time this thing for late July so that it's too hot to riot in Florida?

  • Floridian||

    I think studies show people are more aggressive in the heat. It makes them sweaty and irritable.

  • db||

    That explains Pro Lib and Brett, but what about SugarFree?

  • Rich||

  • Drake||

    When I have AC, it just makes me want to go inside.

  • thom||

    Plus people tend to be outside mixing with other people. Also, people are drinking more.

  • crashland||

    Sadly we live in a sane world filled with insane people.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't get all this talk about riots. Really? Riots? Over this case? If the media weren't constantly talking about riots, I doubt there would be anything remotely like that. Even the people who want Zimmerman's head have to realize by now that the facts are absurdly bad.

  • PapayaSF||

    It's sweet that you think the people angry about this are persuaded by facts.

  • Presedinte PL Romania||

    They never let the facts get in the way. It's part of what makes them such a solidly idiotic demographic. Although... I looked through polls. In the vast majority (with over 1,000,000 total participants), there was a general consensus that Zimmerman's verdict was correct. The exact figure for an average would be 77%.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    GZ is going to be acquitted and then we're going to have Rodney King part two all over the country. Instead of bowing to the mob, the Florida AG should have just hunkered down and let all the trouble pass over back last spring. Now all they've done by trying to appease the mob is made the ultimate reaction even worse.

    It's all about the narrative, not truth or justice.

  • ||

    I hope Florida's gun owners are buying up as much ammunition as they can. They may need it to protect their property after the verdict is read.

  • carol||

    Another reason why I'm glad I live in a very small town south of Tampa. Getting to and from work could be dodgy but there won't be any trouble on the homefront.

  • ||

    Carol, if you suspect there are going to be problems you might want to practice your cough. Better to call in sick then wind up maimed or worse.

  • Presedinte PL Romania||

    The worst activity seems to be in Oakland. The rest of the country seems peaceful. Me likey :)

  • Slothrop||

    I don't see a reason to assume there will be riots, regardless of the outcome of the trial. No offense, but this strikes me as a bit paranoid.

    The context of the King riots was substantially different. The (videotaped) facts were not in dispute. The defendants were members of a police force widely seen (accurately, according to the Ramparts investigation) as prone to corruption, and moving the trial out of the community where the incident occurred to a venue more favorable to the accused (to a venue with a mostly white jury pool, famously) was seen as the legal system closing ranks around some of its own to shield them from punishment for actions that obviously took place.

    In short, there was extensive anger against 'the system' already, and the trial outcome was a "last straw" that became a flashpoint for all of this anger to boil over into random irrational mob violence. The verdict was only part of the story as far as why the riots happened.

    This case is not really like that. It's an isolated incident where the facts are in dispute. Zimmerman's detractors see him as a racist, but the main complaint against the authorities was their decision not to arrrest him at first, which has already been reversed. There will be public disagreement over the verdict, but there's no blatant evidence suggesting that the court isn't doing its job impartially, which was the grievance that sparked the eruption of underlying anger in the neighborhoods where the LA riots happened.

  • Matrix||

    He should be found guilty, if for no other reason, because people will get mad and start lynching folks and burning down buildings.

    The mob should rule! That's what democracy is all about!

    Hope, Change, and yes we will!

  • db||

    Hey, when asked the other day about the appropriateness of Egypt's military coup, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said "a democratic process is not just about casting your ballots." While true to a degree, she was responding to a questioner who pointed out that the democratically elected leader of Egypt had just been deposed by the military.

  • RBS||

    So she'd be totally cool with me forming a separatist movement and overthrowing the Anointed One?

  • Loki||

    As long you can get 50.0000001% of the population to agree.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    ...and even if, even if, Trayvon went back and attacked GZ, it was because he snapped from the racism and racial profiling GZ was demonstrating - after a lifetime in racist Amerikka he had enough of White Hispanic Racism and his righteous fury came spilling out...
    -- some random MSNBC progtard after the acquittal

  • BakedPenguin||

    The racism narrative is pretty weak, considering Zimmerman is 1/4 black.

    If Obama had a son with a white Hispanic, he might look like George Zimmerman.

  • wareagle||

    in a sane world, the race narrative would have been dismissed from the start. It is that narrative and only that which made an otherwise local story into a national conversation piece.

  • RBS||

    My favorite part of the race narrative was when Al Sharpton went on national tv at the start of the trial and claimed he didn't want to add any more emotional fuel to the fire.

  • crashland||

    In a sane world people would be judged on the content of their character and not the pigmentation of their skin. I seem to remember an eloquent pastor making that point way back in the 60s.

    That's how non-racists deal with others. The totally racist proggies however see everything through a racist lens such that terms like "black mark" or "black sheep" or niggardly become in their tiny little twisted minds racist terms.

  • free2booze||

    And because they see everything through a racist lens, they assume everyone else does too.

  • Rich||

    What about the Judge? Is *she* a "creepy-ass cracker"?

  • ||

    As I understand it, in the state of Florida, the term "cracker" can sometimes refer to a person (of any race) who is born in Florida as opposed to somewhere else. How Trayvon Martin would have known where Zimmerman was born is another question.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It's more than just being born there, it means your family has been there for many generations, before the huge influx of people that has occurred since the mid 20th century. I've never heard a non-white person use it to describe themselves.

  • ||

    Thanks, I hadn't heard the "many generations" part of it. But it makes sense.

  • PapayaSF||

    I still wonder if Martin didn't actually say "creepy ass-cracker" and that this was intended as a gay-bashing.

  • scottstams||

    If Obama had a son, he would be a member of Chicago's GANGSTER DISCIPLES and would take the opportunity to liberate some mobile devices during the coming riots.

  • Seamus||

    It's spelled AmeriKKKa.

  • Fluffy||

    He's going to be acquitted, because based on the evidence presented and the theory of the crime offered by the prosecution he deserves to be acquitted.

    But even if you think he was in the wrong that night, he's already served as much time as most people convicted of manslaughter anyway.

  • sarcasmic||

    A jury of six mothers is going to acquit a child killer? I don't think so.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Zimmerman is someone's child, too.

    A jury of six mothers is going to punish a guy for defending himself? I don't think so.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't expect them to be rational.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    They don't have to be rational to acquit. There are women who have/had concealed carry permits on the jury. They could irrationally decide the case on the basis that they think people carry for exactly this kind of situation.

  • PapayaSF||

    This is an important point. Those women are not going to go for the "Zimmerman had a gun so he hunted Martin down and killed him" narrative.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    you've been beating that sexist drum for a few days now. It's tired. Time to give it a rest.

  • sarcasmic||

    suck it

  • ant1sthenes||

    Shit, I'm pretty sexist, but I still expect 1 in 6 women to have a basic sense of justice and fairness.

  • ||

    I expect an acquittal and possibly some form of rioting.

    I heard a local morning radio talk show host suggest that if there are riots, "this time we should be prepared to participate".

    How much property will be destroyed? How many will lose their lives just to promote the left's narrative? This is the kind of evil that the left whips up.

  • Rich||

    I heard a local morning radio talk show host suggest that if there are riots, "this time we should be prepared to participate".

    May I ask the name of this host?

  • Gordilocks||

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Assuming the talk show host was white (granted , major assumption), there is something to be said for his logic, if you're willing to throw decency to the wind. In a world where the whims of the mob, you're a fool to be the only person standing without one.

  • ||

    I'm lawyer but even I can see from miles and kilometers away that the prosecution has NO case. Day after day the facts tend to support Zimmerman's story more than it does Obama's cardboard son.

    Occam's Razor seems to be applicable here. Community night watchman observes suspicious kid, follows him (whether race was an impetus leading to that can't be known), kid gets upset, confronts the man, they get in a scuffle (to which the kid seems to have been stronger of the two), man pulls gun in self-defense.

    Tragic yes, murder no.

    All I know is the race narrative set forth by people who should know better (I'm looking directly at YOU Mr. President and others in the media) has been (hilariously?) debunked to and humiliating heights.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The prosecution witnesses raised reasonable doubt all by themselves. And, yeah, Di Maio beat the prosecution bloody.

    De la Rinonda's "oh, just one more thing" Columbo schtick is tiresome and Di Maio rammed it up his ass with "I've only charged $2400 so far, this is a very easy case."

    I've been through law school and around lawyers and Mantei is the prototypical smarmy, condescending fuck of a lawyer. Most people have to try to come across as dislikeable as he does, but it appears to come naturally for him.

    Zimmerman's lawyer's seem a bit whiny, but getting fucked by the judge for months might be a contributing factor.

  • ||

    I'm 'no' lawyer.

    And the testimony of Dr. Di Maio was crushing to the prosecution.

    This was nothing more than a case that could have descended into a circus but luckily it didn't.

  • Mr Whipple||

    There are those who want riots. Those that revel in flagellating themselves over White Privilege, but chiefly for the joy of narcissistic self-abasement. It has little to do with blacks.

    http://www.fredoneverything.net/ZRiots.shtml

  • db||

    There is a parallel situation (at least in terms of media circus) in the Asiana Flight 214 investigation. The NTSB's decision to release specific aircraft operating data without the context of other information and before any possibility of evaluation of the entirety of evidence is causing a terrible rash of conclusion jumping.

    In my engineering career I have been part of many root cause analyses that have been compromised by people of influence latching on to small bits of data without context and drawing conclusions that have turned out to be quite wrong, sometimes with significant future consequences with regard to repeat incidents.

    The NTSB folks seem to be professionals and they should know better than to release information that can and will be sensationalized.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    So the impression that a pilot inexperienced in actual control of the type of plane in question combined with no apparent mechanical issues such that this was pilot error is incorrect?

  • db||

    *sigh*

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    There were no mechanical issues, right? The guy have next to no experience actually flying this plane, right?

    Since I'm not investigating the crash, what's the harm in my having the impression, at this point, that this is pilot error?

    The NTSB folks seem to be professionals and they should know better than to release information that can and will be sensationalized.

    A lot of people complain that the NTSB takes too long to issue findings. Maybe this is their way of saying "don't worry about the 777" without explicitly saying that.

  • kinnath||

    There were no mechanical issues, right?

    Prove it.

    The data published by FlightAware shows a significant decrease in speed just prior to the accident while the autothrottle was supposedly engaged.

    This accident will mostly likely be determined to be the result of an extremely unlikely chain of unlikely events.

  • db||

    On one hand, it doesn't matter what YOU personally think--you're not a pilot, an investigator, or an influential government agent or businessman.

    However, when speculation becomes widespread, uninformed opinions can influence in subtle ways the conduct of an investigation and potentially its conclusion. At the very least it will severely muddy the waters and possibly cause real harm to people involved in litigation related to the incident.

  • dinkster||

    The guy have next to no experience actually flying this plane, right?

    Oh please. These guys are not hacks. Every plane is new until it is old and still crashes are rare.

  • kinnath||

    The pilot flying had 10000 fucking flight hours of experience and had landed 747s at SFO before.

    I am really fucking tired of reading how inexperienced the guy way.

  • RBS||

    Yeah, I think that was db's point. If all you watch is CNN then you's think this guy had never flown much at all.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I can't believe they let a passenger try to land the plane. What were they thinking?

  • ||

    It was, however, his first landing a 777. Once you know how to drive a car, it's not a big deal to jump into most any model and drive it, but it's a little tougher with airplanes. That's why he was being coached by another pilot with something like 12k hours on the 777 (who was actually acting in an instructor role for the first time also).

    I'm not saying it was his fault. There were 3 other pilots on board as well, so it would be odd that the entire lot of them missed something obvious. Your assessment of his skills on the 777 based on his rating on other hardware isn't much better than the opposite opinion though.

  • dinkster||

    Confirmed by the massive death toll among test pilots of prototype and experimental aircraft... oh wait...

  • Alice Bowie||

    George Zimmerman SHOULD BE acquitted for Murder found Guilty of Manslaughter. He should do No Jail Time and 10 years probation.
    Zimmerman, along with the condo association, should be held fiscally responsible for the Death of Travon in civil court. THIS WOULD BE 100% justice for Travon. No more.

    "Zimmerman as an angry vigilante who maliciously tracked Martin down to deliver rough justice after mistaking him for a burglar."

    I believe that this is what probably happened with the exception of the "Deliver rough Justice". I don't think Zimmerman intended on killing Travon. I think had Zimmerman been not so stupid and such a typical wannabee-cop-brut, he would have realized that this confrontation with a teenage black kid would have ruined his (George) life, as it has.

    I think Zimmerman was simply trying to apprehend Travon until the police came. Travon resisted, a fight broke out, Zimmerman was getting his ass kicked ( and, rightfully, in self-defense) shot Travon. I believe that Zimmerman shot Travon in self-defense.

    Isn't this much more a reasonable and believable scenario than
    A. George Zimmerman is a KKK member trying to kill Black Kids.
    B. Travon is a Thug who, while George wasn't looking, just started to beat him up out of no-where?

    This has NOTHING to do with the GUN controversy or RACE. It has more to do with whether or not we want bumble-heads like George Zimmerman who are not properly trained walking around armed acting like Security Sam.

  • sarcasmic||

    Shorter Alice: Facts? Shmacts! I know what happened!

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    "I believe..." "I think..."

    The burden here is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. What Alice thinks or believes isn't even proof, let alone proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yet if Alice was on the jury, no amount of facts could sway what she believes. She knows what happened, and that is that. That's why "reasonable doubt" is immaterial. People like Alice know what they feel, and no amount of facts or logic can change that.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Even if the jury is full of people like Alice, they could just as easily be locked into the opposite mode.

    I don't know what kind of rebuttal case there will be, but if the defense really rests today, we might know by the weekend one way or the other.

  • ||

    Let's say a jury is made up of 12 Alice's. And they come in with a guilty verdict on, say, a lesser charge (as she seems to claim he's guilty of). Can a judge, from what I've understood, over rule a jury's verdict if they feel they're simply not considering the facts?

  • Hash Brown||

    Not in a criminal case, I don't think.

  • sarcasmic||

    Isn't that the definition of jury nullification?

  • ||

    No, it's not. Jury nullification is when a jury believs the law itself is unjust or unlawful and therefore no one should be prosecuted for breaking it.

    I'm pretty sure that most folks think that laws against murder are just and that if the state has proved that Zimmerman commited it he should be brought to account.

    This is a plain case of the state failing to prove its case. Hence, reasonable doubt.

  • Loki||

    I thought "jury nullification" was where a jury decides that a law is so idiotic that even if the defendant is technically guilty they still refuse to pass a guilty verdict. That's why judges and prosecutors hate it so much. It's basically the concept that the jury can judge the law in addition to judging the defendant.

    Maybe there's two different definitions of jury nullification?

  • sarcasmic||

    Jury nullification is when the jury delivers a not guilty verdict when the facts say otherwise. It could be because they believe the law is unjust. Then again say it's a man on trial for murder. He walked in on his wife cheating on him, and killed the guy. A jury might deliver a not-guilty verdict not because they think laws against murder are wrong, but because they think the victim deserved it.

  • Seamus||

    Yes, if the judge finds that no reasonable jury could find that the evidence establishes the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Of course, this judge will never make such a finding, so if the jury convicts, GZ's only hope is from the appellate court. Or from executive clemency (which won't happen unless the governor is retiring from politics and his successor is going to be sworn in the next day).

  • tarran||

    Can a judge, from what I've understood, over rule a jury's verdict if they feel they're simply not considering the facts?

    Yes, they can; in the Louise Woodward trial, the judge reduced a jury's second degree murder conviction to manslaughter because the prosecution had presented no evidence of the malice required to sustain a murder charge.

  • Rusty Rebar||

    It works like that one way but not the other. If the jury convicts and they are completely off base the judge can over rule them. If the Jury acquits, that is it, there is no power on the planet that can convict after a jury acquits.

  • Jeff||

    You also thought that the Articles of Confederation had something to do with the Confederate States of America, Alice. So who really gives a fuck what you think?

  • Hash Brown||

    Srsly?

  • Jeff||

  • tarran||

    That's fucking comedy gold.

  • Hash Brown||

    Ouch.

    I blame society.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I think Zimmerman was simply trying to apprehend Travon until the police came.

    It's possible it happened that way, but there is no actual evidence for it. You do understand the role of a jury, right? They make a judgement based on the proof presented, not what they imagine might have happened.

  • Loki||

    This has NOTHING to do with the GUN controversy or RACE. It has more to do with whether or not we want bumble-heads like George Zimmerman who are not properly trained walking around armed acting like Security Sam.

    1. Sounds like you're saying it is all about "the GUN controversy" (whatever the fuck that is). Congrats, you may have just set a world record for fastest self contradiction. *golf clap*

    2. Who is this "we" that you refer to? You got a turd in your pocket?

    3. Like I'm going to take seriously anything coming from someone who capitalizes random words for no reason.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Actually, the proof for manslaughter is nonexistent as well. Zimmerman is walking.

  • KDN||

    Can they even get manslaughter? According to this article, Zimmerman's either a murderer or he's walking.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was under the impression that manslaughter was a lesser included offense to murder in Florida, but I do think the prosecution has to attempt to prove it separately. I could be wrong, not being a criminal lawyer, but if that's right, tactically, if you want a murder conviction, it's not a good idea to put manslaughter on the table, especially if your case isn't strong.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Manslaughter's specifically mentioned in the FL standard jury instructions for murder in the second degree. As I wrote in the earlier GZ thread, I've no idea why the U. Penn law prof is going on and on about various "mistakes" in his op-ed. The salient inquiry is whether GZ's claim of self-defense holds up, whether or not the charge is murder 2 or agg manslaughter of a kid. And mistake doesn't enter into the self-defense claim analysis.

    But IANAL, nor a law prof.

  • Rusty Rebar||

    Paywall

  • Gray Ghost||

    FWIW, you can paste the link address into Google's search bar, get the search results, load the cache from the result that has the article in it, and thereby traverse the paywall.

    Works lots of places, not just the WSJ.

  • Seamus||

    Interesting scenario. Can you cite evidence establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that that's what happened? If not, how do you justify a manslaughter verdict?

  • Lord Humungus||

    It was a dark and stormy night
    when George and Trayvon got in a fight
    was it an violent altercation
    or a racist's delight?

  • db||

    Media's bright lights
    Heat of public exposure
    Welds fact to fiction

  • Hash Brown||

    Stick with prose fiction, dude.

    ;)

  • some guy||

    There's really no excuse for this being brought to trial. What was the prosecutor thinking? No one who matters is on his side. Audio evidence was inconclusive. Witness testimony was inconclusive. The police didn't want to charge Zimmerman with anything, much less murder 2. Forensic evidence supports the defendant. This guy should be fired (or not rehired) for wasting tax money on a show trial.

    And then there's this.

    The power of the NRA and their gun-toting cronies in business were stopped in their tracks by the Justice For Trayvon Martin movement.

    And I thought the prosecutor was delusional...

  • ||

    Holy shit, that's dumb. You should really stop going to HuffPo before it rubs off.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I don't think that there will be riots after Zimmerman is found not guilty for all the same reasons that crime rates have dropped in the last 20 years and because black on hispanic riots definitely won't benefit the democrats in any way and may benefit republicans.

  • Gray Ghost||

    One big difference between this case and the riots following the Rodney King attackers' acquittal is that Florida and other states have widespread CCW. Rioters know this. So, I'm predicting that you might see violence in disarmed places like Chicago, but not in say Houston or Atlanta. While there might be riots in the predominantly black neighborhoods in urban Florida, I don't think you'll see many Reginald Denny's.

    Hopefully all there'll be after the likely acquittal is just grumbling and a return to business as usual.

  • Sidd Finch||

    both perceived a threat...
    The most explicit reference to race during the trial was a prosecution witness's testimony that Martin, who was on the phone with her shortly before he died, referred to Zimmerman (who is Hispanic) as a "creepy-ass cracker."

    Sounds more like 'gay bashing' than 'perceiving a threat.'

  • Floridian||

    I wonder if trayvon had dial 911 the operators would have had enough sense to figure out the situation and prevented it. I guess it doesn't matter now, but I doubt it.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Is it too much to hope that, in the course of the riots he will doubtless help foment, Sharpton gets trampled or shot? It would be such a charming Karmic coincidence...

  • ||

    Generals never go on the front lines. You know that.

  • creech||

    My black buddy says "cracker" comes from "whip cracker" as in "slave overseer." Says it is just as much an insult as "honky" within the black community.

  • Hash Brown||

    I believe that that is the accepted etymology.

    And who can forget Chuck Connors in Roots? "TOM MOORE IS NOT A CRACKER!!"

  • Fatty Bolger||

    That's just one of the possible explanations. The reality is, nobody knows for sure where it came from. Comparing it to "honky" is pretty accurate, except that unlike honky, white southerners might use it to describe themselves. It's like "nigger" in that way, though not nearly as bad.

  • PapayaSF||

    Apparently, no word in English is as bad as "nigger." What other single words can destroy your career, even if it's admitting you used the word once, decades ago?

  • ||

    What other single words can destroy your career, even if it's admitting you used the word once, decades ago?

    "Libertarian"?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Cracker was a term used in Florida for people herding cattle. It's used more widely than that, and I doubt the Florida-only meaning was used in this case.

  • Geoff Nathan||

    Actually it isn't. It's disputed, but probably has nothing to do with whips:

    http://www.etymonline.com/inde.....in_frame=0

    Another example of what we call 'etymythology'. Like the story about the 'rule of thumb' being about spousal abuse. That's also BS, incidentally.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Like I said, there's a localized version of the term and a more widespread usage. Two different things. There are contemporaneous accounts that support the Florida version.

    I'm only talking etymology here. Hardly anyone anywhere, including here, uses the Florida meaning except in the historical context. It's clearly a derogatory term in most instances.

  • MasterDarque||

    The term cracker is from England a term used for poor less educated whites

  • Ron Stringfield||

    Mr Sullum,

    Have you read Florida law concerning this case? Manslaughter is still on the table. Further, you acknowledge that Martin was understandably angry about the aggressive behavior of Zimmerman. You seem to argue that Martin was provoked. I agree and under Florida Statute 776.041 this invalidates Zimmerman's legal defense.

    I do agree the prosecution has failed to prove 2nd Degree Murder. But Zimmerman has failed to present evidence that his use of deadly force was justified. He should be convicted of manslaughter and I think it is still quite likely he will be.

  • Hash Brown||

    It does not invalidate Zimmerman's defense. See below, from the Florida Statutes:

    TITLE 46. CRIMES
    CHAPTER 776. JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE

    § 776.012. Use of force in defense of person

    ... a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; ....

    § 776.041. Use of force by aggressor

    The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

    (1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

    (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or

    (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

  • Alice Bowie||

    That point proves NOTHING.

    We all understand self defense.

    The question is who is the assailant. Nobody knows. And contrary to what everyone says, the facts don't point either way. As a result, Zimmerman should be found NOT GUILTY of MURDER.

  • free2booze||

    See Ron's comment where he brought up the subject of manslaughter

    I do agree the prosecution has failed to prove 2nd Degree Murder. But Zimmerman has failed to present evidence that his use of deadly force was justified. He should be convicted of manslaughter and I think it is still quite likely he will be.
  • Seamus||

    If we don't know who the assailant is, then there's reasonable doubt on both the murder and the manslaughter charges.

  • PapayaSF||

    Exactly.

  • A Libertarian||

    changed my name...

    The defense did not establish that the force was so great that Zimmerman reasonably believed he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm AND there is no sign that he EVER attempted to escape. Both are required and neither are supported by the evidence. It should also be noted that he knew the police were coming.

  • Jordan||

    Is there any evidence that Zimmerman was the aggressor? If not, then he has no duty to retreat. And slamming someone's head on the pavement is deadly force.

  • A Libertarian||

    Zimmerman claims they were off the pavement when he shot. Watch the walkthrough.

    He provoked a response by following Martin. There is also evidence of verbally aggressive behavior and provocation.

  • free2booze||

    He provoked a response by following Martin.

    That's silly. You're basically saying that Martin had a right to defend himself because someone was walking behind him?

    Also, the state has not been able to provide any evidence to dispute Zimmerman's claim that he lost Martin, was no longer following him, got out of his truck to find an address, and was returning to his truck when he was approached by Martin.

    Not only did the prosecution not do anything to dispute Zimmerman's version of events, by playing Zimmerman's statement's about the incident over and over again, they practically endorsed Zimmerman's story.

  • Jordan||

    Zimmerman claims they were off the pavement when he shot.

    That doesn't mean the attack was over. And following someone is not aggression.

  • A Libertarian||

    It means that he no longer was under the threat of having his head bashed into the concrete.

    Sullum acknowledges that Martin was provoked. Zimmerman's behavior would provoke a reasonable person. He continued to follow him even after Trayvon had fled. His behavior was quite aggressive.

  • free2booze||

    It means that he no longer was under the threat of having his head bashed into the concrete.

    But it doesn't change the fact that Zimmerman still had a person mounting him, reigning down punches.

    Tell you what, if you feel that Zimmerman had no business being in fear of great bodily harm, why don't you go outside, lie down on the grass, and have someone sit on top of you and pound on your face. Keep count of how many punches it takes before you feel like you're up shit creek, and let us know.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: A Libertarian,

    Zimmerman's behavior would provoke a reasonable person.


    Again, you seem to possess a dictionary totally different from any other used by the rest of the English-speaking peoples of this world.

    Why would a "reasonable" person turn around to confront the person he or she believes is following him or her, is beyond me. If I felt I was being followed, I get as far away as I can from the situation but I would certainly NOT turn around to get into a confrontation with that person; such action is not warranted and is not reasonable.

  • Loki||

    There is also evidence of verbally aggressive behavior and provocation.

    No there isn't. There's the testimony of one highly unreliable witness who claims she heard Zimmerman say "What are doing out here?," which really isn't all that "verbally agressive." Although I'll grant that I don't what tone of voice he used, but it's not like he was cussing him out or calling him names or anything.

  • Loki||

    Although I'll grant that I don't what tone of voice he used, but it's not like he was cussing him out or calling him names or anything.

    ...and I should add that's assuming the unreliable witness wasn't making that part up.

  • A Libertarian||

    You acknowledged there was evidence. There was another witness that claimed to hear the same thing in depositions. I don't know that that was introduced in the court.

    If it had not followed the other events where Zimmerman followed him even after he fled, I would not claim Martin was provoked, but Zimmerman acted foolishly and in a way that any reasonable person would expect to provoke a response.

  • Loki||

    You acknowledged there was evidence.

    No, I acknowledged that there was one highly unreliable witness who claims she heard a verbal exchange between them.

    There was another witness that claimed to hear the same thing in depositions.

    Same witness. Other witnesses have claimed that they heard and in some cases saw part of the fight, but Rachel Jeantel is the only witness that I know of who claims to have heard Zimmerman confront Martin prior to the physical altercation.

    If it had not followed the other events where Zimmerman followed him even after he fled

    What are you even talking about here? There's no evidence that Zimmerman followed Martin after he fled. In the tape of the 911 call Zimmerman made to report a suspicious person, after the dispatcher said "we don't need you to do that [follow Martin]," Zimmerman says "OK."

    But obviously you've already made up your mind that Zimmerman is a horrible person who was out playing vigilante wannabe cop, started a fight he couldn't win, and shot Martin in cold blood when the fight started to go against him. Nothing anyone says, and no amount of evidence to the contrary will convince you otherwise, so this is a pointless conversation.

  • A Libertarian||

    Loki, that is evidence.

    No, it was not the SAME witness. It was one of the neighbors.

    There is evidence that he followed Martin. His own the words in the dispatcher's call and his interview with Hannity.

    You are the one showing an obvious bias by denying even the mere existence of evidence against Zimmerman. You may well argue it is not compelling, but it does exist.

  • Seamus||

    He provoked a response by following Martin.

    So if I'm walking down a dark street in the ghetto, and some black guy is following me and making me feel uneasy, it's OK if I jump him, punch him in the face, and start pounding his head into the sidewalk?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Yeah, if you want to go to right to jail.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Here's the transcripts of the interview between Detective Serna and Zimmerman. (Link is to the first of three transcripts during the 2/29 interview, two days after the shooting. The other transcripts can be found at the linked site too.) They're really interesting reading.

    If you go and read them, you'll find that Zimmerman admits to running down the same path TM took when first running away from GZ. GZ claims he did it to try and find the name of the street. (In a development with what, four streets? But I digress.)

    GZ also admits at the outset of him meeting TM, after TM asked him if he had a fucking problem, that GZ was reaching for his cell phone in his right rear hip pocket. I don't think that being followed by some guy in his truck, who then gets out of the truck and starts running down the same path that TM took, who then starts trying to grab something out of his pocket when asked what his problem is, is as benign as "some guy following me and making me uneasy." Entirely possible that TM thought GZ was trying to pull a weapon. Still doesn't excuse TM cold-cocking GZ, but it's understandable why he might've.

  • Gray Ghost||

    It's also possible that the jury will find GZ's account of TM's statements during the fight to be unbelievable and that GZ's injuries meant that he wasn't in imminent danger of serious bodily harm, as FL law defines it. No imminent danger of SBH, no need to use deadly force. FWIW, I think you can infer from the interview that Detective Serna was also skeptical of GZ's belief that he'd suffered SBH:

    Once again, these can be interpreted as capillary-type cuts or whatever, lacerations, uh, not really, um, coinciding with being slammed hard into the ground. OK? That’s skull fractures is you happen with that. I’ve seen ‘em all, you know. Me, I reserve judgment because everybody’s built differently, your tolerance for pain might be different from mine, and anybody else’s and it wouldn’t be fair for me to go, I wasn’t there.

    Then again, he does earlier say that he believes GZ when GZ said he was afraid:

    Now I heard you say you’re yelling for help, it’s a matter of perception, I guess that there’s no doubt in my mind that you were in fear, OK?

    I still don't think a reasonable jury could convict of manslaughter, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did. GZ's troubles are only beginning though, what with a potential Federal criminal trial and the inevitable civil trial.

  • Loki||

    GZ's troubles are only beginning though, what with a potential Federal criminal trial and the inevitable civil trial.

    I half expect that if he does walk, someone will shoot him dead on the courthouse steps. If not, someone will track him down and kill him within a couple of weeks. Unless he does the smart thing and get the fuck out of Florida ASAP. And legally changes his name and goes off the grid. No matter what, his life is ruined.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I dunno. Bernie Goetz is still doing fine. Steve Bartman didn't get killed, and neither did the cops who beat the shit out of Rodney King. Karla Homulka is still rolling around Canada. (Wait, actually the Antilles. Still better than being broken on the wheel and left for the dogs to devour.) The public's memory is short and fickle.

    That said, dude should probably lose the weight or otherwise change his appearance, and lay low for awhile. I'm not as dismissive as John's been in other threads on this, that some hothead trying to get a rep won't try and kill GZ.

  • SIV||

    broken on the wheel and left for the dogs to devour

    Which is still too good for her.
    She rapes and murders a whole bunch of people including her 14 y/o sister and gerts a slap on the wrist.

  • Seamus||

    No imminent danger of SBH, no need to use deadly force.

    That's not the legal standard. The standard is whether the defendant was in *reasonable fear* of SBH. He doesn't have to have been in any actual danger at all (as we know from cases where one cop thinks he's shooting a dangerous perp, and the victim turns out to be an undercover cop who was no danger to the shooter at all--see, e.g., http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....09447.html).

  • A Libertarian||

    Under Florida law, he cannot be tried civilly unless he is found guilty.

  • A Libertarian||

    Seamus

    If you run away and he still pursues, ABSOLUTELY you have a right to respond! But we are not talking about whether it makes it "ok" but whether it provokes.

  • Seamus||

    All right then, if I'm walking down a dark street in the ghetto, and some black guy is following me and making me feel uneasy, it's reasonable for me to claim that I've been provoked, and when I jump him, punch him in the face, and start pounding his head into the sidewalk, and he pulls his gun out and shoots me dead in self-defense, *he* should be facing hard time?

  • A Libertarian||

    Seamus

    Yes, possibly.

    Why are you bringing race into this?

  • Seamus||

    Why are you bringing race into this?

    Because flipping the colors in the hypothetical helps make clear how GZ is being railroaded. Most people, faced with my hypothetical, would regard it as an example of racist "blaming the victim" to charge the shooter after saving his own ass from the pummeling I was administering. Most people would think it outrageous that a white guy should think he could get away with whaling on a black guy, just because he felt "provoked". In fact, the very idea that I have a right to feel provoked by being followed by a person of a different race (even though the statistics show that blacks are 39 times more likely to commit violent crimes against whites than vice versa (http://tinyurl.com/dbujmw), and to start pounding on him before he had actually threatened me, should be abhorrent. But I see that you are more interested in maintaining a foolish consistency than you are in denouncing the racism of my hypothetical attack on a black man who I claimed had "provoked" me by doing nothing more than following me in a place where he had the right to be.

  • Hash Brown||

    The defense does not need to prove that. All it has to do is present a prima facie case of self-defense (and no one disputes that Zimmerman has done that). At that point, it's the State's burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman is not entitled to a self-defense justification.

  • A Libertarian||

    Yes, and the state has proven that according to Florida law and in consideration with the points made by Sullum that Trayvon was understandably angry and perceived a threat from Zimmerman.

  • free2booze||

    What!? The state hasn't been able to prove a single thing in this case.

  • Hash Brown||

    Trayvon's state of mind has absolutely nothing to do with the question whether at the time of the shot Zimmerman reasonably believed that he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.

  • A Libertarian||

    No, it does not. It does have something to do with the applicability of self defense. The defense has not shown that Zimmerman exhausted attempts to escape or that he REASONABLY believed his life was in danger/that he was in danger of great bodily harm.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    He wasn't obligated to try to escape. Also, it's a bit tough to escape when someone is on top of you. Should Zimmerman have receded into the ground like Odo?

  • A Libertarian||

    According to the law I referenced he was obligated to EXHAUST all attempts at escape. He should have tried to fight back.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Well, first, we already demonstrated you cited the law wrong. See Loki's post below.

    Second, I would have to see some law that says part of attempting to escape involves fighting back. That doesn't read like an attempt to escape to me.

  • A Libertarian||

    Neoliberal

    No, you did not establish that I cited the law wrong. I don't even see where you made the effort.

  • Loki||

    Yes, and the state has proven that according to Florida law and in consideration with the points made by Sullum that Trayvon was understandably angry and perceived a threat from Zimmerman.

    No they haven't. From Hash Brown's post above:

    § 776.041. Use of force by aggressor

    The justification [for self defense using deadly force] described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
    ...

    (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant
    ;...

    IOW, if you provoke someone into attacking you (verbal provocation or provocation by following someone usually doesn't count, BTW), and they start beating the shit out of you, and you can't escape because they're, say, straddling you and hitting you repeatedly and slamming your head into the ground, then you can still use deadly force and claim self defense. Reading comprehension, how does it fucking work?

  • A Libertarian||

    Loki

    Who says that verbal provocation or provoking them by following them does not count? The law does not say that. It is applicable.

    Simply getting beat up does not satisfy the requirements for justifiable use of deadly force according to the law.

    He is not required to escape. He is required to exhaust all attempts and there is almost no proof that he made the first effort to escape.

  • DrAwkward||

    It's the "understandably angry" part you'll have to explain to me. Sounds like we have different facts.

  • A Libertarian||

    That is the claim of the author, but I absolutely agree. If somebody was following me in the rain and dark, I fled and he continued to pursue, I would definitely become angry. Fight or flight and he already tried flight. Anger typically follows fear and is a natural response that prepares us to defend ourselves.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    He had already made it home, which means the anger should have abated. Martin had an opportunity to end the interaction with Zimmermand and chose to re-ignite it instead.

  • A Libertarian||

    Neo

    What establishes Martin's duty continue to flee from the pursuit of Zimmerman? Zimmerman had an opportunity to not instigate an interaction with Martin and he repeatedly rejected it. You don't have substantial proof that Martin chose to "reignite it." That is all based on the word of Zimmerman.

  • ||

    You don't have substantial proof that Martin chose to "reignite it." That is all based on the word of Zimmerman.

    Actually, it was Rachel Jeantel who testified that Martin had returned to the back yard of the home at which he was staying.

  • Seamus||

    Zimmerman had an opportunity to not instigate an interaction with Martin and he repeatedly rejected it.

    There's plenty of reasonable doubt that this is how things happened. The only evidence we've heard that GZ might have initiated the interaction is Rachel Jeantel's testimony, and there are plenty of reason to take it with big buckets of salt, and not much to refute GZ's account that it was TM who initiated the interaction.

  • free2booze||

    Being followed is justification for starting a fight, but witnessing a person who is acting suspiciously, is not justification for following someone?

    Add to that, Martin didn't live in the neighborhood, and the neighborhood had experienced a rash of recent burglaries.

  • A Libertarian||

    free2booze

    Who said Martin's response was justified. It was provoked.

  • free2booze||

    How was it provoked? Zimmerman had lost sight of Martin, who was free and clear if he wanted to go home. Their paths didn't cross again until Z was on the way back to his truck. The act of being followed does not give a person the right to assault their follower.

  • A Libertarian||

    free2booze

    Again, I did not say it was justified but rather provoked. You are attempting to put Martin on trial.

    Zimmerman's claims that he was on his way back to his truck are not established fact. It is as reliable as his claim that Trayvon emerged from bushes that were not present at the scene.

  • free2booze||

    Zimmerman's claims that he was on his way back to his truck are not established fact.

    Considering the number of times the prosecution played video of Zimmerman making this statement, and then doing nothing to prove the statement false, it might as well be an established fact.

  • ||

    It's also not an established fact that Zimmerman initiated the confrontation. It's a claim by the prosecution just as the claim that Zimmerman was walking back to his car is a claim by the defense. We don't have an obligation to believe a narrative just because it is put on by the prosecution instead of the defense. It's assuming quite a bit that the hearsay testimony of one witness establishes with certainty that Martin was provoked into a fight, and even if we did accept that, it still says nothing about Zimmerman's self defense claim. Keep slurping that state cock though.

  • free2booze||

    The defense did not establish that the force was so great that Zimmerman reasonably believed he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm

    Of course they did. The defense established that Martin was on top of Zimmerman, and laying blows to his head. The injuries to Zimmerman support this.

  • A Libertarian||

    No, the injuries don't support it. He did not even go to the hospital after the incident, which proves that he did not perceive his injuries as being very great. Medical experts have indicated that his injuries were not significant.

  • Jordan||

    He did not even go to the hospital after the incident, which proves that he did not perceive his injuries as being very great.

    Meaningless. I can come away from an attempted stabbing with just shallow defensive wounds on my hands. Doesn't mean my life wasn't in danger.

  • A Libertarian||

    Your response is meaningless. There was no knife. You are dropping context and imagining things to establish your point. Stick to the facts.

  • free2booze||

    Zimmerman was seen by EMT's at the scene.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: A Libertarian,

    No, the injuries don't support it.


    They support the fact that he was being injured.

    He did not even go to the hospital after the incident,


    Non-sequitur. Self-defense does not mean you have to keep score of your injuries until you pass a certain threshold where use of deadly force is warranted. Only Monday-morning quaterbacks think that way.

    which proves that he did not perceive his injuries as being very great.


    Oh? You read minds? Why didn't you say so?

    He could've not realized the extense of his injuries, or had such an adrenalien rush that he was not thinking straight. His refusal to go to a hospital does not suddenly erase the severity of the injuries, first. And second, unless you can tell me that you can stoically stand such injuries without the urge of defending yourself, then stop thinking for others.

  • A Libertarian||

    Self defense in the use of deadly force DOES require a reasonable belief of imminent threat of death or great bodily harm. Your speculation that he underestimated his injuries does not help Zimmerman.

  • free2booze||

    Self defense in the use of deadly force DOES require a reasonable belief of imminent threat of death or great bodily harm.

    And you know what creates a reasonable belief of imminent threat of death or great bodily harm? Having another person mounting you, and pounding his fists repeatedly into your head, with no one else around to help or to break up the conflict.

  • A Libertarian||

    And being aware that police were on there way. I don't agree that that creates a reasonable belief of the necessary threat. Further, he did not meet the AND part of that exception, i.e., the clause requiring that he exhaust attempts to escape.

  • Seamus||

    And being aware that police were on there way.

    Because when seconds count (as, for example, when someone is straddling you and pounding his fists repeatedly into your head, which is thus being smashed against the pavement), the police are only minutes away.

  • Loki||

    Self-defense does not mean you have to keep score of your injuries until you pass a certain threshold where use of deadly force is warranted. Only Monday-morning quaterbacks think that way.

    Monday-morning quarterbacks, or people who think that real life works like the life bar that you see in fighting games except that you're not allowed to feel truly threatened and fight back with deadly force until after your life bar drops below some threshold.

  • A Libertarian||

    loki,

    I have been in plenty of real fights which only makes Zimmerman's story more ridiculous. He was required to exhaust attempts to escape before using deadly force. There is no sign that he ever tried to defend himself with less than deadly force.

  • free2booze||

    His injuries support the fact that Martin was trying to kick the shit out of Zimmerman. The fear that arose from Zimmerman getting his ass kicked is what justifies him believing that he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.

    Zimmerman didn't go to the hospital immediately after the incident (he did go the following day), but he was seen by EMT's on the scene. Obviously they would have been able to assess his injuries, and advise him if he needed to go to the hospital or not.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You are legally clueless.

    it does not matter how serious the injuries were after the event. What matters is whether Zimmerman's perception of imminent bodily harm or death was reasonable under the circumstances. You don't get to Monday-Morning quarterback.

  • A Libertarian||

    You are legally retarded.

    I am arguing that it was not reasonable and that there is no sign he reasonably believed it. Zimmerman did not perceive his injuries as being that great. It has been testified to several times that he was calm just moments afterword. Most people that are in state of fear for their lives are not calm and collected a few seconds after that. There were no signs of any sort of traumatic stress. All of these do contribute to the argument that he did not reasonably believe there was a sufficient threat to justify his use of deadly force.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    If you are just going to make things up there is no point in continuing the conversation. The "reasonableness" test is an objective standard. It is reasonable to belief that if your head is being smashed against a sidewalk that you are in danger of grave bodily harm or death. Your mind-reading is extremely tiresome.

  • A Libertarian||

    What did I make up? If you are going to make such an accusation then you should offer some support for it.

    Again, they were no longer on the concrete according to Zimmerman. The use of deadly force is not justified due to provocation. There was no imminent threat that his head was going to be "bashed against the concrete" any longer, so that is not relevant.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Even if you're right, AL, the things you note still haven't proven beyond a reasonable doubt that GZ either was not unable to escape or was not in reasonable apprehension of GBH. (No idea why I kept writing "serious" when I meant "great", above.) Which is what the state has to show if they want to overcome GZ's self-defense claim. The state's burden of proof in FL is a stone bitch to overcome. And they haven't exactly made a great attempt at convincing the jury that they've done that.

  • A Libertarian||

    I agree, the prosecution has been very weak. I am curious what will happen in closing.

  • Hash Brown||

    the things you note still haven't proven beyond a reasonable doubt that GZ either was not unable to escape or was not in reasonable apprehension of GBH

    This. At most, the State's evidence might raise doubts. But they don't prove the State's case beyond a reasonable doubt (for either murder or invol. manslaughter, in view of Zimm's self-defense case). Therefore, Zimmerman should be acquitted.

  • ||

    I am arguing that it was not reasonable and that there is no sign he reasonably believed it.

    That's your opinion, which you are fully entitled to, but which means precisely fuck all. You keep referring to your opinion as if it was lifted from the relevant statute.

    You also keep repeating that Martin was provoked when there's no evidence to show who initiated the physical confrontation. The only testimony on the moment of the confrontation has been the hearsay of the girl who was on the phone with Martin prior to the confrontation, who claims that Zimmerman said "What are you doing here?". The degree to which that question constitutes provocation to a physical fight is, here again, a matter of opinion, but certainly established in fact.

  • ||

    *certainly NOT established in fact.

  • Loki||

    The defense did not establish that the force was so great that Zimmerman reasonably believed he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm...

    Being punched in the face and having your head slammed into the pavement doesn't qualify? What does?

    AND there is no sign that he EVER attempted to escape.

    Kind of hard to escape when you're on the ground with someone straddling you.

    It should also be noted that he knew the police were coming.

    So fucking what? When seconds count the police are minutes away.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I think it is unlikely he'll be convicted. Florida has a 'wild-west' culture with its guns and society. THis happens all of the time in florida. There are way more road-rage and hot-head incidents with armed people.

    To Floridians, they see nothing wrong here.

    I would bet $10,000 of a NOT-GUILTY or MIS-TRIAL due to hung jury...at best.

  • Floridian||

    You are correct. I see nothing wrong with self defense. Jordan is correct. Using the sidewalk is assault with a deadly weapon, which allows defense with lethal force. And let me turn an argument around I keep hearing. If z had called 911 there would have been no fight. Okay, if T had called 911 and went home there would be no fight. He had a cell phone, if he was so afraid of Z, why not call the fuzz?

  • Rich||

    why not call the fuzz?

    The reason I've been hearing is that for Black Youths calling the fuzz is simply not an option.

    OTOH, if you're not doing anything wrong ....

    I'm so confused.

  • Hash Brown||

    Distrust of the law is no excuse....

    Or something like that.

  • Loki||

    Florida has a 'wild-west' culture with its guns and society

    GUNZ!!!!111!!!! WILD WEST KKKULTURE!!!!!1111!!!

    What-the-fuck-ever.

  • ||

    There are way more road-rage and hot-head incidents with armed people.

    [citation needed]

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Ron Stringfield,

    Further, you acknowledge that Martin was understandably angry about the aggressive behavior of Zimmerman.


    Your dictionary is probably very different from the one used by the rest of the English-speaking peoples of this world, Ron. Since when is the act of following someone an act of "aggression"?

    You seem to argue that Martin was provoked.


    By whom? By virtue of what? If a person feels "provoked" by the mere action of being followed, this would be indicative of a mental disorder or being driven by unbridled emotion, but not something indicative of a fully rational mind.

    I agree and under Florida Statute 776.041 this invalidates Zimmerman's legal defense.


    You must be on drugs. Can I suddenly run amok and stab people on the street by claiming that they "provoked me" by following me? The statute does not protect the paranoid; in this case, Mr. Martin.

    He should be convicted of manslaughter and I think it is still quite likely he will be.


    That's a possibility - anything's possible. But that conviction would stem from something other than the Law. Most of the accounts, especially from the witness that saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, plus the forensic evidence, point to the validity of Zimmerman's self-defense claim, so if the jury follows the Law, they have to acquit.

  • A Libertarian||

    Mr Sullum, claims that Martin perceived a threat and that he was understandably angry. I agree as any reasonable would find Zimmerman's behavior aggressive. He followed Martin in and out of his vehicle. There is also evidence that he was aggressive verbally.

    Nowhere in anything I said or in the laws I quoted does provocation justify stabbing anyone. If you see that somewhere then it must be do to your own hallucinations. That idea, that provocation of any kind justifies the use of deadly force, seems to be the argument of many of Zimmerman's defenders.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: A Libertarian,

    There is also evidence that he was aggressive verbally.


    Please point to that evidence. There's only Jeantel's comment that she thinks she heard Zimmerman asking "what are you doing here?" which only the paranoid would consider "aggressive."

    That idea, that provocation of any kind justifies the use of deadly force, seems to be the argument of many of Zimmerman's defenders.


    Please point out from whom such argument is coming. Not from me and certainly the evidence shows no such feeling of being "provoked" in Zimmerman - Zimmernamn was NOT BEING MERELY PROVOKED, he was being pounded into a concrete path with injuries to show! I don't understand where this "provocation incites deadly force" comment comes from. One thing is certain: There IS evidence Martin felt provoked by Zimmerman's LAWFUL actions, per Jeantel's testimony, and you can conclude that this incited in him the urge to use almost deadly force against Mr. Zimmerman, which ultimately was the reason Martin ended up being shot in the chest.

  • A Libertarian||

    The definition of aggressive behavior in the law other is that he was committing or escaping from a felony (Zimmerman was not) or that he provoked the use of physical force against himself. You just acknowledged that Trayvon was provoked. Therefore, 776.041 applies.

    Thanks.

  • Gray Ghost||

    That TM may have felt provoked by GZ's actions (don't know if that's true, or if it would have been reasonable for TM to feel provoked) does not necessarily make GZ the "aggressor" under '.041. 'Provocation' in the context of FL criminal law, means by force or the threat of force. See Gibbs v. State, 789 So.2d 443, (Fla. 4th DCA, 2001). Words alone don't cut it.

    Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt where GZ used either force or the threat of force to provoke the first use of force by TM?

  • A Libertarian||

    Gray

    Good response. However, your citation deals with the justifiable use of NON-deadly force. The defendant merely pushed her alleged victim and she was convicted of culpable negligence with injury. I am not sure that applies in this instance.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Not sure what you're arguing here, AL. I thought we're arguing over whether TM was sufficiently provoked by GZ's actions in order to classify GZ as an aggressor in light of '.041, and thereby not classify TM as the aggressor when TM punched GZ. I cited Gibbs, which has the language in it that in FL, provocation must involve force or the threat of force. That language isn't dicta; it's the whole point of the case, that the judge didn't allow that added language to the jury charge. Therefore, if GZ didn't initially use force on TM, or take actions that a reasonable person would interpret as threatening the use of force, GZ can't be held to have provoked the fight.

    I think you might be able to get there though, if you take GZ's admission that, immediately after TM encountered him near the dog waste can, GZ reached with his right hand to his rear pocket (to get his cell phone), and that by doing so TM reasonably feared GZ grabbing a weapon and thereby threatening TM with deadly force. Hell, it'd have worked if TM was a cop...

  • Gray Ghost||

    Of course, it'd have helped if the prosecution had bothered to paint a reasonable narrative for the jury supporting a finding a manslaughter. Hammering GZ's stated reason for running all the way through the T to the other street would have helped. 'You've lived here how long? You're a neighborhood watch member who's patrolled these streets how many times? There are how many streets in the complex? And you don't know what street you're on?" "You're following the young man because he's suspicious, you've called the cops because of this, but when he comes near the car, you don't roll down the window and ask him what he's doing?"

    Go read the transcripts of the interviews the detectives had with Zimmerman. (Although that's really a conversation they should've had the night of the shooting.) I'm only asking the same questions they asked of GZ. It seems reasonable you could get the jury asking those questions too.

    Try to establish that the defendant is lying, provide a reasonable alternate narrative, and the jury will often help you out by filling in the gaps. Especially if you can get the defendant's criminal history before them. It's a shit case, but I don't think it was an absolutely unwinnable one at the outset. At least for aggravated manslaughter of a kid.

    The more I read about the case, the more I suspect that the guys sitting first and second chair actually are trying to throw the case.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: A Libertarian,

    You just acknowledged that Trayvon was provoked.


    I believe you mean that I acknowledge that Zimmerman was provoked, which I did not, because I am arguing that ZIMMERMAN was not provoked into a fight (answering your contention that Zimmerman advocates think "that provocation of any kind justifies the use of deadly force"), thus making your proposition wrong.

    If you're going to equivocate, at least do it in a less incompetent fashion.

    Besides this, I am arguing that MARTIN felt provoked and thus acted in an aggressive way against Zimmerman which compelled the latter to shoot him. That IS justified under the law.

  • A Libertarian||

    OM, you said...

    "There IS evidence Martin felt provoked..." and in this response that... "MARTIN felt provoked." 776.041 then applies.

    I did not equivocate on anything and you failed to make it clear where I supposedly did.

  • ||

    There's no more evidence to show that Martin felt "provoked" in the legal sense than there is that Zimmerman was in fear of serious bodily harm or death. You're filling in that gap and beating on it as if it were established as firmly as gravity.

  • ||

    Zimmerman has failed to present evidence that his use of deadly force was justified.

    The defense has certainly introduced evidence intended to make that case, regardless of whether you find it persuasive or not. That he was allegedly being beaten and having his head slammed into the ground being the primary justification.

    In any case, the burden of proof is still on the prosecution when the charge is manslaughter, is it not?

  • Alice Bowie||

    Sarcasmic,

    I know u r not a big fan of me...but

    Facts? Other than testimony of the shooter, we have few facts.

    Again,
    A. George Zimmerman is a KKK member trying to kill Black Kids.
    B. Travon is a Thug who, while George wasn't looking, just started to beat him up out of no-where?

    These are emotional points brought up by the spectrum of black/white people.
    Whereas whites generally view Travon as a thug and Zimmerman as a superhero and blacks see Travon as themselves (or their own children) and Zimmerman as "THE MAN"...a modern day Bull Connor.

    The truth is likely to be in the middle.
    Zimmerman is no BIG Racist that wanted to kill a little Thug.
    And, Travon, didn't just decide to beat up a stranger who was following him.

    My guess, and I wasn't there, so it's a guess, is that Zimmerman went up and confronted Travon...and we don't know what happened.

    The reason I blame Zimmerman for the death is that he handled the legal contact with Travon in a Bad way. Turns out that Travon was not the local burglar.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Umm, B seems a lot more likely. In fact there's a common term (which I won't repeat) for that.

    If you want anybody to take your opinion seriously, it would help to familiarize yourself with the case at least enough to know the names.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    Facts? Other than testimony of the shooter, we have few facts.


    What's with this "we" business, Kimosabe?

    There is the testimony of a witness placing Martin on top of Zimmerman, pummeling the latter against a concrete path. There is the strong forensic evidence that backs up Zimmerman's account of the events. There's Rachel Jeantel's testimony where she unwittingly lets loose a comment about Martin's attitude when she said "you don't know Martin, he would not run... eh..."

    Wilfully ignoring those facts is evidence of an unhinged mind, A.

    A. George Zimmerman is a KKK member trying to kill Black Kids.
    B. Travon is a Thug who, while George wasn't looking, just started to beat him up out of no-where?


    That would be "B" and it wasn't out of nowhere, it was because Martin was not going to let a "creepy-ass cracker" follow his ass. Martin felt the big man, the powerful.

    The reason I blame Zimmerman for the death is that he handled the legal contact with Travon in a Bad way.


    Now THAT's speculation with no evidence!

  • MasterDarque||

    Zimmerman may well get off in this trial which is fine I suppose - But don't think for a moment he is innocent - the entire thing happened because he wanted to play cop - had he gone about his business or had Travon been armed with a gun this would be a non issue.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: MasterDarque,

    But don't think for a moment he is innocent - the entire thing happened because he wanted to play cop


    The whole thing happened because Martin felt paranoid, wanted to play Mr. Big Man and show this "creep-ass cracker" who was the boss.

    Zimmerman had EVERY RIGHT to defend his life. Period.

    Zimmerman had EVERY RIGHT to follow a person he felt was suspicious. It is NOT against the law to follow someone, but it IS against the law to pummel someone into the ground just because Martin did not appreciate being followed.

    had he gone about his business or had Travon been armed with a gun this would be a non issue.


    I don't understand the second part. You think cosmic forces would be in equilibrium had Martin shot Zimmerman in cold blood?

  • MasterDarque||

    Since when have you had to defend your life when you were not following a person. Zimmerman had no fucking rights - the real tragedy is that I wish it had been me Zimmerman was following me that day - I would have shot him dead for just being a fucking weirdo. Your using of the term creepy ass cracker or any other race based bullshit falls short with me - The bottom line is Zimmerman started something he couldn't finish and now someone is dead because of it - as far as cosmic forces put your comic books down and wake the fuck up

  • OldMexican||

    Re: MasterDarque,

    Since when have you had to defend your life when you were not following a person.


    Since when is it warranted to confront a person that YOU believe is following YOU? What Zimmerman was doing is NOT illegal or even improper.

    Zimmerman had no fucking rights


    You're an idiot. EVERYBODY has rights. EVERYBODY.

    I would have shot him dead for just being a fucking weirdo.


    Well, Martin pummeled him on the ground because he was as paranoid as you say you would be.

    Your using of the term creepy ass cracker or any other race based bullshit falls short with me


    It's wasn't "my use" of the term - that is what, according to Rachel Jeantel's testimony, Martin called Zimmerman.

    The bottom line is Zimmerman started something he couldn't finish


    Started what? A confrontation? From the evidence and testimony of Martin's friend (Rachel Jeantel) the person that started something was Martin, not Zimmerman.

  • MasterDarque||

    Did Rachel type creepy ass cracker in this thread or did you? I guess you thought I would be shocked by the term as if I don't understand that educated and lowlife motherfuckers use racial terms with each other and to other people. You think you have the right to follow someone and then when they challenge you and possibly fuck you up that you can just kill then? This is going to be hard for you but use your brain for a second. Kid/adult 17 young hot headed being following in a area he is not familiar with - Zimmerman walks up with god complex because he is neighborhood watch and has a gun - Martin not being a punk challenges him back - Zimmerman gets fucked up in fight realizes he has just played pussy and now is getting fucked - Fires gun at Martin and kills him

  • OldMexican||

    Re: MasterDarque,

    Did Rachel type creepy ass cracker in this thread or did you?


    I did. So? The term was used by Martin to describe Zimmerman - according to Rachel Jeantel. That indicates his state of mind.

    I guess you thought I would be shocked by the term


    I don't presume anything of the sort. I am arguing that Martin had a state of mind that would preclude him from taking more prudent measures, like for instance: Going home.

    Kid/adult 17 young hot headed being following in a area he is not familiar with


    So you're conceding that Martin acted like a hothead that night.

    Zimmerman gets fucked up in fight realizes he has just played pussy and now is getting fucked


    And thus he defends his life as he is legally allowed. Case closed.

    Your words.

  • trshmnstr||

    Martin not being a punk challenges him back


    a *reasonable* person (not being a punk, of course) would "challenge him back" by turning around and asking "What are you following me for?"

    an *unreasonable* person (being a punk) would "challenge him back" by turning around, cutting off the man's return to his hard, and beating the shit out of him.

    - Zimmerman gets fucked up in fight realizes he has just played pussy and now is getting fucked


    What bullshit false machismo.

    This isn't the middle ages, Zimmerman didn't slap Martin with a white glove. Martin (by all evidence) jumped Zimmerman in the dark in his neighborhood.

    I don't care if you get jumped because you're investigating a suspicious person in your neighborhood, or because you're walking on the street in the "wrong" neighborhood, this false machismo BS doesn't matter.

    If I've got a gun, I'm not gonna leave it holstered and take it to my grave that I was the "better man" for fighting like some sort of Hollywood imagined honor duel.
  • trshmnstr||

    effin forgot to close the blockquote tags

    more readable version:

    Martin not being a punk challenges him back


    a *reasonable* person (not being a punk, of course) would "challenge him back" by turning around and asking "What are you following me for?"

    an *unreasonable* person (being a punk) would "challenge him back" by turning around, cutting off the man's return to his hard, and beating the shit out of him.

    - Zimmerman gets fucked up in fight realizes he has just played pussy and now is getting fucked

    What bullshit false machismo.

    This isn't the middle ages, Zimmerman didn't slap Martin with a white glove. Martin (by all evidence) jumped Zimmerman in the dark in his neighborhood.

    I don't care if you get jumped because you're investigating a suspicious person in your neighborhood, or because you're walking on the street in the "wrong" neighborhood, this false machismo BS doesn't matter.

    If I've got a gun, I'm not gonna leave it holstered and take it to my grave that I was the "better man" for fighting like some sort of Hollywood imagined honor duel.

  • Loki||

    I would have shot him dead for just being a fucking weirdo.

    And that would be 2nd degree murder. Congrats, don't drop the soap in prison. Moron.

    Your using of the term creepy ass cracker or any other race based bullshit falls short with me

    "Creepy ass cracker" is what Rachel Jeantel said, under oath, Martin called Zimmerman. OM was merely repeating what she said, and it does give some insight into Martin's frame of mind. That he was probably annoyed that some WHITE dude was following him, and decided "I'm Travon Martin, king bad-ass of Sanford, and I'm going to teach this stupid cracker a lesson."

    Dipshit.

  • MasterDarque||

    Norse God of Evil - maybe I would wanna drop the soap and besides relax and let justice be done - and once again you pick and chose what you wanna hear along with most - my point is I don't give a fuck about racial terms they don't change shit or move me - Besides you are responsible for the death of Baldur you have no right to judge anyone

  • Michael S. Langston||

    So you don't care about the terms used directly by those involved?

    If Z had been known to scream racial slurs in other areas of life (and he hasn't) would you care then?

    Or maybe you picked the wrong fight, lost, and decided you "didn't care" about it...

  • MasterDarque||

    No Michael I don't give a fuck about racial terms regardless - I have never made this case about race so you are trying to race bait the wrong person - crawl back into your cave and try again

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I agree the case isn't about race - however I don't agree that how those involved in criminal incidents view race, which can be deduced by the routine language used, is irrelevant.

    Sorry if I was unclear.

    & please stop bashing on my cave - it's quite nice thank you.

  • Tony||

    His life was probably not in danger. For all we know both parties felt equally in danger. But only one had a gun, and the other is now dead. So it looks like we know for certain who, in fact, was in more danger.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    His life was probably not in danger.


    Irrelevant. The law does not require a person to keep score of his or her injuries until a threshold is reached, only that the person has reasonable fear for his or her life or GREAT BODILY harm. There is no requirement that you show ANY injuries at all to justify self-defense.

    For all we know both parties felt equally in danger.


    That's not the case. It's a canard. Zimmerman did not feel any danger coming out of his car because he believed the individual had already run away. He only felt his life threatened when Martin was POUNDING HIM into a CONCRETE path - something that you conveniently seem to ignore.

    But only one had a gun, and the other is now dead.


    And he used it AFTER receiving punches and hits on the head, i.e. at the very last possible moment (in his mind) and as a last resort. There is NO evidence he had his gun out or came with gun blazing.

    You only end up proving what I said before: This is a case where liberals - who couldn't care less about black juveniles - want to think Zimmerman was some sort of gun nut.

  • Tony||

    You are speculating a lot.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You are speculating a lot.


    Where am I speculating? Just point it out. I point out to all your comments as a courtesy to you and others.

  • Floridian||

    so there never was any danger? The only reason Z's injuries were not more severe is because he intervened to save his own life. Because he didn't die doesn't prove he was never in any danger.

  • ant1sthenes||

    The other had a big slab of rock.

    So it looks like we know for certain who, in fact, was in more danger.

    Danger doesn't work like that.

  • Tony||

    How is it that everything is politicized? Both sides have done so here, liberals with their outrage over the seeming lack of concern when a black kid gets killed, and conservatives with their outrage that someone be accused just for killing a black kid who probably deserved it. There's something disturbing switching from FOX to MSNBC and seeing that their respective politics seems to define whose side they are on. I'd prefer the justice system run its course. The jury knows what to do.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    How is it that everything is politicized?


    The case was turned into a political one by racial agitators and meek politicians. Zimmerman should not be on trial at all, as the evidence from the get-go supported his claim of self-defense.

    Both sides have done so here, liberals with their outrage over the seeming lack of concern when a black kid gets killed,


    You're obfuscating. Liberals could not care less about black kids being killed. Hundreds are killed just in the streets of Chicago and no liberal says anything. This case got politicized because of gun laws and the so-called "stand your ground" laws. Liberals in the media wanted a racially-charged case to push their own anti-gun agenda, even going so far as doctoring key pieces of information to show Zimmerman as a racist and even changing the color of his skin!

    and conservatives with their outrage that someone be accused just for killing a black kid who probably deserved it.


    Nobody has said that Martin deserved to be killed, unless you're privvy to information no one else has seen.

    There's something disturbing switching from FOX to MSNBC and seeing that their respective politics seems to define whose side they are on.


    You're jesting. The only network that has DOCTORED information was MSNBC - the 911 call, photos, etc.

  • Tony||

    You're clearly emotionally invested in this case to a degree that makes you nonobjective. I can't imagine why.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You're clearly emotionally invested in this case


    Is this your argument, Tony?

  • Tony||

    I have no argument other than let the jury decide and let's get on with our lives.

    The state has the burden of proof, but I also have no reason to believe the kid intended to threaten anyone or was doing anything wrong. So at best it's a tragedy.

    My political issue is with guns before race, though while I agree with Sullum's point about counterfactuals and the particular case, I think we should all be disturbed by how things would likely have gone had the races been reversed.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I have no argument other than let the jury decide and let's get on with our lives.


    You're obfuscating again. You are claiming I am too "emotionally invested" in the case. I am asking you: Is that your argument? Or do you have anything more substantial than that?

    I also have no reason to believe the kid intended to threaten anyone or was doing anything wrong


    But you can concede that pointing out the fact that you're wrong is not the same as being "emotionally invested in the case", right? Because there IS reason to believe that the kid DID something wrong: He punched Zimmerman.

    The REASONABLE thing to do would be to quick-step home if one feels one is being followed. According to his OWN friend - Rachel Jeantel - he wasn't "like that".

    Would you also concede that Zimmerman was also not doing anything wrong as it is NOT illegal to follow someone?

    My political issue is with guns before race,


    The political issue for the media is guns first. Injecting race into the mix was nothing less than "means to an end."

  • ||

    I have no argument other than let the jury decide and let's get on with our lives

    Using a similar line of reasoning, when 3 out of 4 cops on the scene failed to recommend charges, it might have made more sense to take the case to a grand jury rather and let them decide if there was enough evidence to support a charge than appoint a special prosecutor and make the criminal equivalent of a moonshot to appease the chattering class.

  • Sidd Finch||

    This case got politicized because of gun laws and the so-called "stand your ground" laws.

    Considering how smart Obama's campaign people are how much black women contributed to his re-election, I wouldn't be one bit surprised if Obama's people were the sole reason this was politicized.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Hey dumbfuck, our issue is that the state is prosecuting Zimmerman with no case. Zimmerman may be guilty as sin, but the state has no way to prove that. The jury should be doing whatever they want instead of being holed up in some shitty La Quinta.

  • Tony||

    We have a corpse and the admitted gunman. There's certainly a case to be made.

  • Sidd Finch||

    can't fix stupid

  • MasterDarque||

    But what makes him stupid and you so smart? Were you there? Is this God on reason trying to tell us what really happened so we don't have to guess anymore?

  • Sidd Finch||

    so we don't have to guess anymore?

    Another dumbfuck, if everyone is guessing, the state doesn't have a case. How the fuck is this hard to understand?

  • ||

    Perhaps MD above does not understand the legal phrase "Beyond a reasonable doubt".

    If the state can't PROVE he is guilty he needs to walk.

  • Floridian||

    So every person who defends themselves should have their life ruined by an expensive trial and doing jail time? That is justice? You are traumatized by a home invasion and now you are violated by the courts,. I don't want to live in that society.

  • Tony||

    I don't want to live in a society where people can murder and, as long as there are no witnesses, claim self-defense and that be the end of it. Self-defense has to be proven as well, as being the result of a reasonable fear of threat to oneself. When you have a corpse of someone who was committing no crime or portraying no threat before the confrontation, and the guy known to have been the one to kill him, there is a case there.

  • ||

    "Self-defense has to be proven as well, as being the result of a reasonable fear of threat to oneself."

    Tony, please explain to us what the legal phrase "proven beyond a reasonable doubt" means.

  • Tony||

    Yes the state has the reasonable doubt burden here, but we know who killed whom, so isn't the only question whether it was murder or self-defense? I agree that (as was originally claimed) if the state has no evidence otherwise, then they can't proceed with charges. But the reexamination occurred under the suspicion that the state didn't investigate well enough (for possibly bad reasons).

    My point is self-defense is not a default, it has to be demonstrated, even under Florida's exceptionally lax self-defense laws. People don't generally have the right to shoot other people. Self-defense is an exception to that rule.

  • Floridian||

    So you admit self defense is a legal act. Since when do you have to prove to the state you commited a legal act? The state had to prove an illegal act which they couldn't so the only correct action was not to ruin this man's life. A trial just to show their lack of evidence to the community is a stupid idea, but hey Z is just a little person so no big deal if his life is ruined.

  • ||

    "My point is self-defense is not a default, it has to be demonstrated"

    Tony, under the circumstances, especially with Zimmerman's head wounds, the claim that he was acting in self-defense is not an exceptionally absurd one. If Zimmerman shot Martin from several feet away and neither person had contact with the other your point might have some validity. As it is, it does not.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Self-defense has to be proven as well,


    That's not the case under English Common Law. maybe you would be happier in those countries where the Napoleonic code is followed and where self-defense (and any other defense) must be proven. Like Mexico, for instance.

    Or stop talking about things about which you hold no clue or even a hint.

  • ||

    When you have a corpse of someone who was committing no crime or portraying no threat before the confrontation, and the guy known to have been the one to kill him, there is a case there.

    Of course, the same could be said of Zimmerman. Following someone around your neighborhood isn't a crime. We don't know who initiated the physical confrontation. But we know that Zimmerman was the only one who showed any injuries from it. The default in such a case isn't necessarily to charge the person claiming self defense with 2nd degree murder. You only have to put on an affirmative defense once you've been charged. And the state still has the burden of proof.

    If the state was so confident of their evidence, it's a wonder they didn't take it before a grand jury instead of appointing a special prosecutor.

  • MasterDarque||

    So in your mind Floridian Zimmerman had nothing to do with this encounter and should not face any consequence?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: MasterDarque,

    So in your mind Floridian Zimmerman had nothing to do with this encounter and should not face any consequence?


    It is irrelevant if he had anything to do with this encounter or not, M. People have a right to move around and chance encounters WILL happen. What is being argued is if he was justified to use deadly-force to defend his life, not if he's guilty of being at the wrong place at the wrong time or even if, by his actions, provoked a paranoid reaction from what was, in the end, a thug.

  • MasterDarque||

    LOL - so Martin is a thug because he was able to defend himself from Zimmerman stalking?

  • DrAwkward||

    Sucker-punching someone for looking at you funny is thuggish behavior, not self defense.

  • MasterDarque||

    so Zimmerman just came up to Martin and was staring at him? Then yes Martin deserved to die - thanks for clearing this up for me.

  • Floridian||

    On other threads I have stated as a concealed carrier that I would never get involved in a situation i can avoid because I do not have the same protection as the police. I don't think Z made good choices. However there is no evidence to contradict his self defense claim. Taking someone to trial without evidence is a violation of their rights and makes them a victim twice. It can be destructive financially and socially. He did jail time, lost his job, and probably have to go into hiding if acquitted. That is not justice.

  • Floridian||

    Except if I witnessed a rape in progress. Pretty easy to spot the bad guys in that situation. Other than that I would not intervene in other forcible felonies. It is too easy to make a mistake.

  • MasterDarque||

    I understand what you are saying but my point is this - Zimmerman knew the police were coming - Martin unless he was able to make a bomb out of skittles and sweet tea was not a threat - Zimmerman should have gone back to jacking off to cop shows and minding his own business - instead he tried to puff up and got his ass handed to him and then decided that Martin was worthy of deadly force - I don't think Martin was worthy of deadly force - I think he just kicked Zimmermans ass

  • DrAwkward||

    He was able to make some bomb-ass purple drank!

  • Floridian||

    The problem DM is there are no witness and no hard evidence to contradict Z's self defense claim. Was it dumb to get out the car. Yes. Are there scenarios where Z ran down M and took a swing at him missed and got his ass whooped. Yes. But there is no proof that Z's claims are not true. I can speculate all kinds of situation but can't prove any of them. If you don't have the evidence you shouldn't waste tax payer money and ruin someone's life.

  • DrAwkward||

    Was it dumb for GZ to be on foot in his own neighborhood? Geez, I should hope not.

  • Floridian||

    If I thought I was tracking a criminal I would not leave my vehicle. Z claimed was got out of the car to follow him so he could give directions to operator. I can give directions just fine from my truck, plus I have my revolver in an easy to reach location.

  • ||

    Z claimed was got out of the car to follow him so he could give directions to operator.

    He claims got out of the car not to follow Martin, but to get a street name. And he claims he was actually walking back to his car when the encounter with Martin leading to the altercation took place. Whether that's true or not, of course, is indiscernible. But the state hasn't put on any evidence it isn't, which is the crux of the case.

  • ||

    " I don't think Martin was worthy of deadly force - I think he just kicked Zimmermans ass"

    MD,

    So you are saying that in the future victims of assault and battery should passively "take it" until the police get done with their doughnuts and decide to show up.

  • MasterDarque||

    Hey the police defend our rights and they serve and protect. They are not on trial here Zimmerman is.

  • ||

    MD,

    Above you wrote:

    " I don't think Martin was worthy of deadly force - I think he just kicked Zimmermans ass"

    So what advice WOULD you give future victims of assault and battery? It is a simple question.

  • Floridian||

    He is not attacking the police. He is referring to the fact that the court ruled they have no duty to protect citizens. They have an obligation to the public but not to individual.

  • ||

    Floridian, thanks. That is exactly right.

  • tarran||

    Given MasterDarques hyperbolic, legally flawed and dangerous to a CCW holder ideas, I question whether he is a CCW holder as he claims.

    I suspect he's just a massive blowhard trying to bullshit his way to credibility. On the other hand, he really could be as belligerently clueless as his arguments imply him to be.... and he's armed.

  • ||

    Most people who carry weapons in the USA have heard the saying "Better to be tried by 12 then carried by 6."

    In this case it needs to be amended "tried by six than carried by 6."

    Side bar question: Does anyone know why this particular jury has 6 rather than 12 jurors?

  • Floridian||

    In FL if it is not a capital offense then you don't have to have 12. If Z was facing the death penalty he would get 12 jurors.

  • MasterDarque||

    Tarran you should focus on the Zimmerman case - trying to dissect me on a text based site is beneath even you - I am not here to prove myself to you - I am making comments like you and others here

  • tarran||

    Sweetie, by that criterion you have no business dissecting Zimmerman's motivations since you have less information about them than I do about your mindset based on your commentary.

    And if you aren't here to prove yourself to me, then you shouldn't mind having failed miserably at it.

  • MasterDarque||

    Sweetie? Wow and here I thought I was just here making comments - Is this like a potential date? Please tell me you shave and have long legs :)

  • MasterDarque||

    I was being sarcastic - you guys really need to lighten up fuck Zimmerman and the police

  • Seamus||

    So in your mind Floridian Zimmerman had nothing to do with this encounter and should not face any consequence?

    I think he's already faced plenty of consequence. Or maybe you think having a life sentence hanging over your head for a year is nothing.

  • Gray Ghost||

    And again, he's going to face a civil trial after all of this is over. Never mind the possibility of the Feds taking a shot at him for some criminal charge or another.

    GZ ain't out of the woods by a long shot.

  • KDN||

    Both sides have done so here, liberals with their outrage over the seeming lack of concern when a black kid gets killed, and conservatives with their outrage that someone be accused just for killing a black kid who probably deserved it.

    The former happened constantly. The latter, never. You have completely missed the opposing political argument because whenever conservatives say or write anything you just work yourself up into a point-missing and fallacy-spewing lather and project the worst of motives to them.

    In short, you're as wrong as usual and still an idiot.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's silly, of course. I don't think Martin deserved to die, and I doubt he intended to kill Zimmerman. But the facts support Zimmerman's story almost completely--the facts presented by the prosecution, mind you, which makes this even worse--and I think it's impossible not to have a reasonable doubt in this case about whether he committed murder.

    He should walk, by any measure of justice in our system. We'll never know whether he's totally innocent or guilty, but we do know the case against him is shit.

  • MasterDarque||

    Now this I will agree with - the charges filed against him are not the correct ones. I hate the Martin family allowed themselves to be caught up by the anti gun crowd and the eternal race weirdos - this case is a clear example of wannabe Dirty Harry who didn't have the sack to deal with a fair fight

  • tarran||

    Wow!

    You were there and saw what happened clearly?

    Why have you not contacted the prosecutor?

  • DrAwkward||

    Is everyone with a conceal carry a wannabe dirty harry?

  • MasterDarque||

    Did you see me type that? I carry and I live here in Florida. The difference is I don't go looking for trouble but if trouble finds me I am prepared. My weapons (body and external) are used to defend my person, my family, and those around me who might be in mortal danger). Next time read and comprehend don't add and assume.

  • DrAwkward||

    You sound like a wannabe dirty harry to me.

  • MasterDarque||

    tell come make my day :)

  • ||

    My weapons (body and external) are used to defend my person

    So you might be motivated to pull your gun if, say, some dude was straddling your chest and punching you in the face? PUSSY!

  • trshmnstr||

    this case is a clear example of wannabe Dirty Harry who didn't have the sack to deal with a fair fight

    Again with your machismo bullshit. This is an actual real altercation, and there was a significant chance that either one of them could die. "fair fight" is a concept for high school buddies who irritate one another, not for a street brawl.

  • MasterDarque||

    Sorry for my "machismo bullshit" - but in all the fights that I have had and where I could have pulled a knife, gun etc etc - I didn't - sometimes you win sometimes you lose - In this case Martin is forever lost and this could have been avoided

  • Floridian||

    Why are you getting into fights? Walk away. Nothing is worth putting your life at risk over. If someone won't let me walk away, they are getting shot.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Not just that - but when you're irresponsible enough to get into serious altercations with random strangers, you should contemplate that you never know exactly who you're fighting against.

    You say "I only meant to scratch him"

    The ex-cancer patient, with a body riddled by chemo and several surgeries says "Sometimes I feel like a light breeze can kill me."

    They shoot someone because literally one punch may do significant, life threatening damage even by untrained fighters.

    Or - some poor guy who just lost his job after losing his kids in what he feels is a BS custody argument in divorce court... etc/etc/etc - he's happy for a fight and looking to take his anger out. When he kills, he won't mean to and he'll still go to jail.

    Point being - it's incredibly immature and idiotic to start or engage in a street fight with anyone you do not know (unless forced).

    & in case you believe fighting in the street is "strength" ask yourself if groups like the Navy Seals like to get into fights where they know nothing about the enemy (neither capabilities nor mindset), and never trained specifically for that encounter...

    No - the mark of a man isn't his inability to control his impulses to punish those around him - the mark of a man being able to control his emotions and do the right thing for himself and his family.

  • trshmnstr||

    in all the fights that I have had and where I could have pulled a knife, gun etc etc - I didn't

    I have to wonder whether you think this makes you a hero or something. Congrats, you get into fisticuffs a lot and have been lucky enough not to cause or receive serious damage. Hopefully the next guy doesn't outclass you enough to put you in a world of hurt.

    In this case Martin is forever lost and this could have been avoided

    He brought skittles to a gunfight. He lost. I'm sympathetic to anybody who loses their life prematurely, but I'll reserve the vast majority of it for people who couldn't have prevented their death by not beating the crap out of somebody.

  • ||

    Hopefully the next guy doesn't outclass you enough to put you in a world of hurt.

    I'd actually kind of love it if MD got into a fight where the other guy got the better of him, straddled his chest, and started punching the shit out of him. Just so he could show us what a tough motherfucker he is by letting the guy beat the shit out of him without even a thought of touching his gun. Because, you know, only a pussy would reach for a gun in that situation. Not a tough motherfucker with balls swinging so low they have to ride in a sidecar.

  • timbo||

    He should be acquitted because it should have never gone to trial. Another overzealous prosecutor without enough evidence just trying to get famous.

  • Floridian||

    I'm not sure about that. It doesn't seem like the prosecutor put much effort into this case. I think orders came down from the top to this poor bastard to go to trial no matter what.

  • thom||

    He'll be convicted of manslaughter. People will riot, outraged that he was only found guilty of the lesser charge. Zimmerman will get hosed and sit in prison for a decade. Nobody wins.

  • Loki||

    I think he walks. And then there are riots. Within no more than 2 weekd someone tracks down Zimmerman and kills him in cold blood. His only hope is to immediately leave the state of Florida, legally change his name, get facial reconstruction surgery, and go off the grid.

  • ||

    If I were able to give him advice I would recommend he legally change his name to something that sounds Hispanic and move to New Mexico or Arizona.

  • MasterDarque||

    I am thinking Peru

  • ||

    I have thought about moving to Latin America myself to avoid the rise of tyranny en Los EE.UU.

  • MasterDarque||

    Ecuador is very nice and so is Columbia

  • ||

    "He'll be convicted of manslaughter."

    Not even manslaughter has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Yes, he killed Martin. No one denies that. But the question on the table is WHY did he do so. If it cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he believed his life was threatened he needs to walk.

  • thom||

    I agree with you, but it doesn't matter. The jury will compromise with manslaughter.

  • DrAwkward||

    I wonder if the frequency of break-ins in the neighborhood went way down after the shooting. Hmmm..

  • Jackand Ace||

    What's your point...it was worth it?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Interesting all the people here who suggest he should "walk." Meaning, of course, get off scot free. So the society they desire, I guess, is one where an armed person who is not a police officer is free to track an innocent kid just because he looks suspicious to him.

    I wonder if you are sure how your teenage son might react. Yeah, maybe he would call the cops... but just maybe he would turn and confront the stalker...and then who knows...maybe tragedy. Also, I wonder if it would also be a good society where the same could occur, this time in cars. You know, follow someone who looks suspicious. Maybe it would turn into the next example of tragic road rage.

    The possibilities are just endless. Kids just can't be kids anymore.

  • Floridian||

    If you mean kids can't assault strangers then yes.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Got a son, Floridian? Teenager? You sure how he would react if he was being stalked out on the street?

  • Floridian||

    I would hope he would call 911 instead of getting in a street fight with a stranger.

  • Jackand Ace||

    You hope. That's great...even you are not sure. Who knows, maybe he's angry at other things and he decides to just turn around and say, "Hey man, why you following me." And tragedy ensues.

    I feel sorry that your kids father would just say oh well, he should have just kept walking.

  • free2booze||

    Who knows, maybe he's angry at other things and he decides to just turn around and say, "Hey man, why you following me." And tragedy ensues.

    Notice you didn't finish that with "and takes a swing at the guy following him". Are you suggesting that you have the right to assault a person just because they followed you?

  • Jackand Ace||

    You have no idea who threw the first punch.

  • free2booze||

    And neither do you, or the prosecution. I do know that the prosecution hasn't provided any evidence proving that Zimmerman threw the first punch. We also know that Martin didn't appear to have been punched.

  • Floridian||

    Yes, I said just keep walking, not use the tools you have to contact authorities and avoid a confrontation that might get you killed. I think my advice would have kept my child alive. Making apologies for my child's anger control issues would not have kept him alive. Also I recognize that teenaged are old enough to make their own choices. That is why they are allowed to drive cars. That is why I said "hope" instead of "would".

  • Jackand Ace||

    And your kid did not follow your advice (mine never followed all mine). Yeah, you would simply say, "You know that guy who wound up shooting my kid who only went to the store to buy candy, you know that guy? He should just walk."

    Tell me you would say that.

  • free2booze||

    Jackand Ace:

    Comments like that prove that you're obviously basing your decision based on feeling and not facts.

    Yes or No, if I follow you, does that give you the right to assault me?

  • Jackand Ace||

    If I turn around and say, "Why are you following me?", do you have a right to shoot me? Yes or no.

  • free2booze||

    If I turn around and say, "Why are you following me?", do you have a right to shoot me? Yes or no.

    No. Fortunately, that's not what happened in the case of George Zimmerman and Treyvon Martin.

    Great job dodging the question!

  • Jackand Ace||

    You have no idea what happened, do you free2booze. Both you and I are guessing.

    So now back to the only question I have been asking from the beginning.

    I want to know if we changed the roles above to the stalker being me, and the one who was stalked being your son, and the same tragedy ensued. And all we know is that I stalked, a confrontation ensued, and your son is dead, what should happen to me? Nothing?

  • free2booze||

    Your fate should depend on what can be proven in a court of law.

  • ||

    You have no idea what happened, do you free2booze. Both you and I are guessing.

    Admitting that you're arguing from a false premise is always a great way to advance your case.

    There is one minor difference in the levels of guesswork though: Zimmerman demonstrably had injuries. There was demonstrably a fight. Zimmerman demonstrably got the worst of it. So the premise:

    If I turn around and say, "Why are you following me?", do you have a right to shoot me? Yes or no.

    Is false.

    This is your brain on vagina.

  • Floridian||

    No. Next question. If I pin you to the ground and smash your head into cement do you have the right to defend yourself?

  • Floridian||

    If you told your kid not to drink and drive and hid did and got himself killed would you blame your kid? I'm not saying Martin was a dog that deserved to die, or that his parents shouldn't be angry, but to pretend he played no role in the way this situation played out is ignorant. Had he called the police or not assaulted Z he would be alive or Z would be facing murder one. Unless you believe Z beat himself up I don't see how Trayvon had no role to play.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Like I said above, you want a society that anyone armed can stalk your kids, and that it is then their job to avoid the potential catastrophe that ensues even if they were just buying candy. And that no punishment should exist for the one who stalked. I get your point.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Walking around your own neighborhood, armed or not, following anyone or not - is NOT stalking.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Here is how Florida defines stalking:

    "Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly FOLLOWS, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s."

    Note the word "follows", Mike.

  • JJK||

    Note the words MALICIOUSLY and REPEATEDLY. This is an AND statement not an OR statement. They all have to be true for it to be stalking.

  • Seamus||

    Gosh, I wonder why Corey didn't indict Zimmerman for stalking while she was piling on charges.

  • MasterDarque||

    Have many young minority kids do you know that call the police? Come on Floridian work with me.

  • free2booze||

    Have many young minority kids do you know that call the police?

    That's on them. Those kids still have the option to call the police, even if they choose not to exercise it. Besides, there are other people he could have called, his dad for one.

  • MasterDarque||

    ok free2booze I will have what you are drinking

  • Floridian||

    Seriously? Are you are saying minorities are incapable of calling the police? Even racist give them enough credit to push 3 numbers.

  • MasterDarque||

    Floridian are you seriously asking me this question? You cant live in Florida and be asking me this.

  • Floridian||

    I would never call the cops for petty issues but I have called them for break ins. If I thought someone was stalking me, as much as I despise the police I would have called them in stead of confronting a stranger. I carry and I would not push a conflict because gun fights are not like in the movies. I never ever want to get in a gun fight. I've seen to many shootings to think there is anything cool about them.

  • ||

    MD thinks it is better to solve problems by "beating someone's ass".

    In an earlier post he said: " I don't think Martin was worthy of deadly force - I think he just kicked Zimmermans ass"

  • ||

    MD thinks it is better to solve problems by "beating someone's ass".

    Hey, in all fairness, he thinks shooting them is a better first option:

    I would have shot him dead for just being a fucking weirdo.

    Calling the cops is so crazy it doesn't warrant mentioning. Blowing somebody away or "beating his ass" is clearly the more sensible course of action.

  • ant1sthenes||

    As long we're discussing hypotheticals, this case could be about homophobia in the black community, given the fact that Trayvon's friend warned him that Zimmerman might be a rapist.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    the president said he thinks gays should be allowed to marry, so homophobia is cured.

  • scottstams||

    The bottom line is that had this been just another one of those countless black on white or black on hispanic murders, manslaughters, and killings that happen every day, no one would have noticed. Martin being a black death at the hands of a white/hispanic upsets the natural order of things. The exception verifies the rule.

    Furthermore, I am surprised that the defense has not considered that the "punch" Martin delivered to Zimmerman was probably an MMA style quick elbow. Someone receiving this blow would not know what hit them and would explain the lack of DNA on Martin's hand.

    That being said, I think Rubio should speak out more on this case because if he had a son.....

  • Seamus||

    So the society they desire, I guess, is one where an armed person who is not a police officer is free to track an innocent kid just because he looks suspicious to him.

    I hate to tell you, but that *is* the society we live in. You are free to follow people, whether you're armed or not, and you have a right not to be molested when you do.

    And I certainly don't accept the premise that somehow police officers have the right to follow people but ordinary citizens don't. I adhere to the Peelian principle that "Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence."

  • Jackand Ace||

    Good for you...you want a society where anyone is free to stalk your unarmed kids when they are out on the street, and if your kid confronts them about it, his/her life could be taken and that can be justified.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    If by "confronts them about it" you mean "starts bashing their head into the sidewalk", yes, I do.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Let me add to that...your kid who had just walked to the store to buy candy. And if that happens, you'll just say,
    "Hey, he should have just kept walking."
    Yeah, that's what you'll say.

  • Floridian||

    Or you know use the cell phone he was on to call the police while walking/running straight home. Unless you think an over weight 28 year old can out run a fit teenager.

  • free2booze||

    And if he didn't want to call the police, he could have called his dad and asked for advice.

    Of course, none of this changes the fact that Martin got away from Zimmerman, and could have just gone to the house he was staying at.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Or maybe he is a kid like so many of our teenagers, and he turned and said "why are you stalking me?"

    My kid played athletics through high school and college...I would be willing to bet half of all his friends would not just walk away, or call "dad."

  • Floridian||

    Then they made bad decisions and may face poor outcomes.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Yeah, his kid's impulsiveness does not negate my right to not have my brain smashed in the pavement.

    And for the tough gais that don't think getting your head smashed in, you've watched too many movies. I got attacked by some guys when I was 19 and spent a week in intensive care after receiving similar injuries.

  • General Butt Naked||

    And for the tough gais that don't think getting your head smashed in is too bad, you've watched too many movies. I got attacked by some guys when I was 19 and spent a week in intensive care after receiving similar injuries.

    Old head wounds catch up to you, I guess.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Or you know, it was just a bad day for your kid and he decided to confront the guy who was stalking him unwarrantedly.

  • free2booze||

    Confront or assault?

  • Jackand Ace||

    How about you, free2booze, if all that happened to your kid, tell me you would say "Yeah, he just was buying candy, but he should have just kept walking. The other guy was right."
    You would be screaming.

  • free2booze||

    My emotional state would have nothing to do with which person acted within their legal rights. Last I checked, our system of justice wasn't based on emotions.

    Like or not, the simple act of followed does not give a person the right to initiate violence against the follower. Maybe if the person who is doing the following also makes a threat, or corners the person, that may change the dynamics a bit. Based on the evidence provided in this case, Martin was never in a potentially threatening situation until after the fight began.

  • Jackand Ace||

    And you assume Martin initiated the violence...and in reality like everyone else you have no idea.

  • free2booze||

    Right, no one knows. All we have to go by is the evidence that has been presented in court. The prosecution didn't provide any evidence to suggest that Zimmerman started the fight.

  • Seamus||

    And you assume Martin initiated the violence...and in reality like everyone else you have no idea.

    In other words, we have reasonable doubt.

  • Volren||

    Not sure why you assume he didn't, unless you are claiming to be privy to some information no one else is.

    If you aren't, you have no reasonable basis to assume the situation you are spinning out (Zimmerman shoots Martin after being peaceably 'confronted') is in fact what happened. Until you do your argument is completely and unequivocably based on speculation and pure emotion.

  • Floridian||

    You must be the parent who cries on TV when their kid gets shot breaking and entering claiming he was a good boy and the drugs made him do it and he would never hurt nobody and the home owner should have called the cops instead of killing my little boy.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Actually no. I'm the parent who would cry inconsolably that my son who was on the way home from buying candy at the store wound up being shot by a man who was stalking him.

    I'm also the parent who would demand justice, because I know that armed strangers should not be allowed to stalk them, shoot them, and then "walk." I would stand up for my kids.

    Not sure where you get breaking and entering, or drugs. It was walking home after buying candy. But I know the facts are just uncomfortable for you.

  • free2booze||

    because I know that armed strangers should not be allowed to stalk them, shoot them, and then "walk."

    No one is supporting this, but based on the evidence provided so far, what you describe isn't what happened in the case of George Zimmerman.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Read how many people up above say that Zimmerman should walk...its many.

    Its exactly what happened as far as we know. The kid was innocent, walking home unarmed after buying candy, was stalked because he looked suspicious, a confrontation ensued, and the kid is dead. That is EXACTLY what we know and what I have been saying.

    But now that you say you disagree with those who say he should walk, what punishment do you think Z should get? MAnslaughter? But I am glad to see you say he should not just walk.

  • free2booze||

    Its exactly what happened as far as we know.

    No... it's not exactly what happened as far as we know. It's what you choose to believe, but the evidence provided in this case does not support your version. You keep leaving out the entire part about the fight. The prosecution isn't even making the claim that Zimmerman threw the punch that started the fight.

    People are saying that Zimmerman should walk, because the prosecution hasn't been able to make a case against him.

  • Jackand Ace||

    No one has proved who threw the first punch...defense or prosecution. Its not what I choose to believe, its what we know.

    So do you say he should walk? Get off the fence, f2b.

  • free2booze||

    No one has proved who threw the first punch...defense or prosecution

    It's the prosecutions responsibility to prove their case, not the defense. Since the prosecution hasn't made the claim that Zimmerman threw the first punch, we can either assume that they either can't prove, and/or don't believe it. As part of their case, the prosecution also played multiple video and audio recordings of Zimmerman making the claim that Martin jumped him. At no point did the prosecution attempt to dispute that portion of evidence that they introduced. Therefor, for the purposes of this case, we can presume it to be true.

  • free2booze||

    So do you say he should walk? Get off the fence, f2b.

    Based on the evidence that the state has provided (or failed to provide), yes, Zimmerman should walk.

    Do feel that the prosecution has proven their case against Zimmerman. If "Yes", please explain how.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Here is what I believe that we know. Martin was stalked unjustifiably and a confrontation ensued resulting in his death. He was unarmed, and he was shot by Zimmerman. At a minimum, because Z initiated the whole event unjustifiably, he is guilty of manslaughter. That of course is my opinion based on what I have heard.

    But more importantly, I do not want it known that anyone can choose to stalk my children with a weapon when they are simply walking home. I don't want laws that allow that. If the laws never had that intent, then Z is certainly guilty of manslaughter. But if that was the intent of the law, then we seriously need to change the law.

    That's my opinion. Peace to you as well...hope neither of our children find themselves in the same position.

  • free2booze||

    because Z initiated the whole event unjustifiably,

    Please provide the law that makes it illegal to follow someone. Why are you so quick to say that Zimmerman was unjustified for following Martin? He lived in a neighborhood that had been ravaged by numerous break ins, and robberies.

  • Jackand Ace||

    And know this, f2b, if Z simply walks and nothing changes, get ready to see any of your own innocent children stalked by people with a weapon because someone just does not like the way they look. If tragedy happens, so be it.

  • free2booze||

    get ready to see any of your own innocent children stalked by people with a weapon because someone just does not like the way they look.

    Once again Jack, you make a point that has no relevance to what is happening here in reality.

  • Jackand Ace||

    It has all the relevance in the world...this is how we decide what society we live in. Its not a race issue. Its a question of what protections we provide for ourselves, and particularly our children. Protections that allow anyone to selectively single any of us out because of how we look.

    And by the way, there are plenty of laws, both federal and state against stalking. Its illegal.

    http://www.victimsofcrime.org/.....lking-laws

    But have at it...you think it can't happen to you. Maybe only to minorities, if you are not one. You've made yourself clear. Like I said, peace.

  • free2booze||

    And by the way, there are plenty of laws, both federal and state against stalking. Its illegal.

    Nothing Zimmerman did meets the definition of stalking

    A person who intentionally and repeatedly follows or harasses another person and who makes a credible threat, either expressed or implied, with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm is guilty of the crime of stalking.

    Following a person is not stalking.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Following him with a firearm is about the most basic definition of "placing that person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm."

    But you tell me if a mideastern looking person carrying a firearm was following you , around each corner, would you have a concern of harm?

    Its stalking, and has been judged so before. Here is what the law says in New York:

    2.causes material harm to the mental or emotional health of such person, where such conduct consists of FOLLOWING, telephoning or initiating communication or contact with such person, a member of such person's immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted, and the actor was previously clearly informed to cease that conduct;

    Following is stalking.

  • Jackand Ace||

    By the way, here is the definition of stalking in Florida:

    "Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly FOLLOWS, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s."

    Hate to tell you, but Zimmerman engaged in stalking.

  • free2booze||

    Reading comprehension?

    "Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly FOLLOWS, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s."

    You do see the word "repeatedly" in your quote, don't you?

  • Jackand Ace||

    I do...and if you engage in following a person for any length of time, with a firearm, you are putting that person in fear. That's stalking. That's not following. But we're glad you don't live here as well.

  • free2booze||

    Please, not the SCARY FIREARMS! This part of your argument is only valid if Martin knew that Zimmerman was carrying.

    FYI, I lived in the state of NY for 27 years. You can keep it.

  • Jackand Ace||

    And outside of the improvement, we never noticed the difference.

  • Jackand Ace||

    By the way, here is the rest of the Florida statute:

    “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, HOWEVER SHORT, evidencing a continuity of purpose."

    I trust you can read and comprehend.

  • Seamus||

    By the way, here is the rest of the Florida statute:

    “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, HOWEVER SHORT, evidencing a continuity of purpose."

    I trust you can read and comprehend.

    That is by no means "the rest of the Florida statute." The definition of "course of conduct" is subsection (1)(b) of Fla. Stat. §784.084. The definition of "stalking" is found in subsection (1)(d). (http://tinyurl.com/m9pc9y2)

    The term "course of conduct" is NOT part of the definition of "stalking," except indirectly, as part of the definition of "cyberstalking." ("'Cyberstalk' means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.") The term "course of conduct" has absolutely nothing to do with stalking as defined merely as following.

  • free2booze||

    Show me the legal definition that says that following is stalking. You can't

    Following him with a firearm is about the most basic definition of "placing that person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm."

    Did Martin know that Zimmerman was carrying? If not, then how could he have experienced "reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm" as a result of Zimmerman carrying?

    I thank God every day that I don't have to live under the laws of the State of New York.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Read above and weep about Florida. Knew you would discount New York.

  • free2booze||

    Its a question of what protections we provide for ourselves, and particularly our children.

    TE CHILRINZ!!!!!!

    That's such a loser argument.

  • Floridian||

    How did Zimmerman get his injuries? If the injuries were being delivered by Martin after an ambush, that is assault with a deadly weapon (concrete being the weapon). That is a felony same as B&E. crying about it does not equal evidence. The court must go by evidence not emotional appeal by a parent that thinks their kid can do no wrong. I am unmoved by your child's lack of impulse control.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Well, its just so obvious that you are unmoved when innocent children are shot.
    Peace.

  • free2booze||

    There you go emoting again, instead of making a conclusion based on the evidence.

  • Floridian||

    17 equals child. If a gang of 17 year olds raped your wife would you want them tried as children or adults?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Buying candy, Floridian, buying candy. Not drugs, not breaking and entering, not rape. Try to stay on topic.

  • Floridian||

    Lack of intellectual consistency, emotional appeal I get it. He is a child because it fits the narrative, Zimmerman's injuries are irrelevant because they don't fit the narrative. The laws are inconvenient so ignore them.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    Holy crap you are an idiot.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    Dammit...

    Holy crap, Jackand Ace, you are an idiot.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Too late...goes to Floridian.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    Floridian isn't spewing moronic tripe about a angel-faced baby who was only going to the store (and buying weed to stash before going back to confront that crazy ass cracker).

    I agree with Floridian, it's all about the narrative with the MSM and you. If it doesn't fit, line up the straw men.

  • Seamus||

    Well, its just so obvious that you are unmoved when innocent children are shot.

    The evidence has not established that that there were any innocent children involved in this case.

  • Seamus||

    I'm also the parent who would demand justice, because I know that armed strangers should not be allowed to stalk them, get punched in the face, get knocked to the ground and bashed into the sidewalk, shoot them, and then "walk." I would stand up for my kids.

    FTFY.

  • JJK||

    Stop being so disingenuous. He was not shot walking home from buying candy, He was shot beating someones head in to concrete for daring to question his motives or intentions. He was trying to teach GZ a lesson, and unfortunately for him it backfired.

  • MasterDarque||

    Martin only crime was he wasn't armed

  • ||

    MD, this doesn't jive with your above statement: " I don't think Martin was worthy of deadly force - I think he just kicked Zimmermans ass"

    "Kicking Zimmerman's ass" is a crime called assault and battery. If you are in the midst of an "ass kicking" you don't know how far it could lead. It could lead to your untimely death.

  • MasterDarque||

    Averroes Ibn Rushd try to follow me on this - Martin did not just walk up to Zimmerman and start kicking off in his ass - What happened was the result of some sort of interaction between the two of them - my point is had Zimmerman left the situation alone this would not have happened - Martin fought back and apparently was a better fighter than Zimmerman

  • Floridian||

    How do you explain the lack of wounds on Martin minus the GSW? A fight implies both people are throwing punches.

  • MasterDarque||

    I was going to type something else but the wording required on my part would be 2 lengthy - I will settle on I have no explanation for the lack of wounds.

  • ||

    AHHH, so on what basis do you make your claims? Feel to email me if you need more space.

  • Floridian||

    Don't misunderstand me MD. I think it is tragic that Trayvon died. He was committing no crimes when Z started following him. He did not deserve to die. But if there is a lack of evidence to disprove Z's story, that means he walks. It is sad but that is how a justice system is suppose to work.

  • MasterDarque||

    @ Floridian I don't take offense as sadly none of us will every know what actually happened here - my only point in this is that to me Zimmerman was the aggressor here - I recognize the fact that Martin was young and possibly hotheaded but that doesn't excuse the fact that again from my opinion Zimmerman created this situation and when it got out of his control he killed Martin. @ Averroes Ibn Rushd you are correct reasonable doubt

  • Floridian||

    I can agree with that.

  • ||

    none of us will every know what actually happened here

    my only point in this is that to me Zimmerman was the aggressor here

    Do you see how these statements are in conflict? If you don't know what happened, then your point that relies on you knowing what happened is pretty fucking retarded. People like you being sitting on juries is one of the single most terrifying travesties of the American justice system. It's a roll of the dice what kind of emotionally driven moron you're going to get deciding how severely your life gets destroyed.

  • ||

    MD, as Floridian said above me the forensic evidence does not jive with your claims. Besides, and I apparently need to say this again: All Zimmerman needs is REASONABLE DOUBT.

  • Seamus||

    Martin did not just walk up to Zimmerman and start kicking off in his ass

    Actually, we don't know that he didn't. In fact, evidence has been submitted (through the prosecution witnesses, quoting GZ's statements to them) that that's exactly what happened.

  • MasterDarque||

    I would love for Zimmerman to take the stand

  • ||

    So you want him acquitted too? Good to hear.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    I would love for a 20 pound bag of $50 dollar bills to magically appear before me...but that won't happen either.

  • Gray Ghost||

    It will in his civil case. That, and probably a deposition taken by Martin's family's lawyer. One way or the other, he's going to have to explain some of the inconsistencies in his story. Something the state in this case has spectacularly failed to do.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    Now you're talking apples and kiwis.

  • Alice Bowie||

    The self-defense argument is irrelevant!!!

    It doesn't matter that Zimmerman was defending himself.
    And, it's good he did. He probably would have had a concussion.
    By the mere fact that all he had was a few scrapes and a broken nose, I doubt his life was in danger. He was probably no match to the black kid.

    What is important to note that there should be at least a Grand Jury hearing when there is a shooting with no witnesses.

    And please, stop using the home invasion bit. I can understand an homeowner shooting an intruder. This is not that case. This is two individuals, both with rights to be where they were, and one is shot dead.

    It's OK if Zimmerman is acquitted. The system seems to be working fine. It's ok to say that Zimmerman confronted Travon, got his ass kicked, and, in an effort to stop the ass whoppin' killed Travon.

    However, he should be held accountable for Travon's death. Travon was not a burglar.

    What we have is two of the SAME PERSON. Two Meat-head Hot Heads.
    Zimmerman as wannabee cop Security SAM. And Travon who is probably like many inner-city kids that thinks he's tough. THE ADULT HERE was Zimmerman. Not Guilty of Murder, and maybe not even manslaughter. However, should be held accountable (fiscally, at least) for the death of that kid.

  • Floridian||

    If you admit it was self defense why should he be held liable? If there is no evidence why should he face a trial? If Zimmerman had a right to be where he was how is he responsible for Martin's actions?

  • Tony||

    Nobody has shown that Martin was doing anything wrong leading up to the confrontation.

    When I was younger I was followed once by an unknown person, and I wasn't doing anything wrong. I presumed I was about to be some creep's sexual plaything. If I hadn't managed to evade him, and the creep--no uniform or official position of authority of any kind--had confronted me and had a gun, the options would be flight or fight, with full knowledge that the guy with the gun has the upper hand.

    The point is the instigator of the entire situation was Zimmerman. He is responsible, even if not criminally.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    "Nobody has shown that Martin was doing anything wrong leading up to the confrontation."

    By "confrontation" you mean Martin bashing Zimmermans head onto the concrete, right?

    But, unlike Martin, you didn't leave the back yard of your home and seek out your creepy follower and attempt to bash his head onto the concrete.

  • JerryD||

    Actually, the girl on the phone with TM testified that TM made it to the backyard of his father's house, made a racist comment, then left his father's house. The confrontation occurred closer to GZ's car than the house, supporting GZ's version that he was heading back to the car. Also, if you read the 911 call transcript, its clear the GZ stopped following TM when the dispatcher told him to stop, and was artranging to meet the cops he knew was on the way at his car. Further supporting the claim he was heading back to his car when TM approached him. Although its possible GZ was the agressor, the evidence points towards TM looking for and finding GZ, not the other way around.

  • Alice Bowie||

    If I show up and kill your children and then you try to kill me and I shoot and kill you, I was acting in self defense.

    I still instigated the incident.

    I think the real question here is "in Florida, can I instigate a situation, piss someone off so bad that they try to beat me up, can I shoot and kill them with impunity?" I think the answer is yes.

  • Floridian||

    Yes is the answer Alice. What is expected of adults is not to get pissed and get in a fight. I have said in this thread and others, walk away. It is not worth your life. If you throw punches and the fight escalates you may be killed. The only fight you are not allowed to use deadly force in is fisticuffs between similarly matched opponents. Use your feet, it becomes assault with a deadly weapon, lethal force is then legal.

  • Floridian||

    Did not see kill the children. If you are in the act of committing a forcible felony you have no right to self defense, legally speaking. In really you can always defend yourself but it may not be legal.

  • JJK||

    The answer is yes if you didnt put them in grave or bodily danger, but they did to you. You can shout at someone all you want, the minute they use life threatening force feel free to shoot them center mass

  • Seamus||

    However, he should be held accountable for Travon's death. Travon was not a burglar.

    No, he was a batterer (see Fla. Stat. §784.03). And an aggravated assaulter, if you accept that the concrete sidewalk was a deadly weapon, and that Martin did not have the intent to kill Zimmerman (id. §784.021).

  • Rusty Rebar||

    I think this will all come down to reasonable doubt. My understanding of this case is as follows:

    Prosecution: GZ saw what he thought was a suspicious person (which turned out to be TM) coming into his neighborhood. GZ calls the cops to report this and follows the suspicious person. At some point GZ comes into contact with TM (although I don't think the prosecution indicates how this happens) and a struggle ensues. GZ is left bloodied and TM is left dead at GZ's hands.

    Defense: GZ saw what he thought was a suspicious person (which turned out to be TM) coming into his neighborhood. GZ calls the cops to report this and follows the suspicious person. At some point TM makes contact with GZ and sucker punches him and a struggle ensues. GZ is left bloodies and TM is left dead at GZ's hands.

    I have heard no evidence either way that indicates how GZ came into contact with TM. It could be that GZ grabbed him and tried to make a citizens arrest, it could be that TM jumped out of the dark and sucker punched GZ, no one seems to know. To me that sounds like reasonable doubt. GZ's story seems as reasonable as the prosecutions, I have heard no evidence to show that GZ is lying about it. It is the prosecution who has the burden here.

  • free2booze||

    I pretty much agree. I don't know how the prosecution explains how the two got hooked up again. I do know that the prosecution introduced, and played, multiple pieces of evidence with Zimmerman giving his version of events. Since they are the ones who introduced the evidence, I have to assume that anything stated by Zimmerman in those tapes that was not disputed by the prosecution, must be the truth.

  • Floridian||

    Never try to make a citizen's arrest. If you are correct about a crime it is totally legal. However, if you are incorrect the person is allowed to use force to resist you commiserate to the force you are using to detain him, including lethal force if it escalates.

  • BardMetal||

    I'm amazed at all the people who want to convict Zimmerman, they seem to think it's perfectly ok for someone to use deadly force because they think they might be being followed, but not ok to use deadly force when someone is beating your head against the pavement.

  • Jackand Ace||

    So many libertarians are just so phony. And it could not be more demonstrated than this case, with so many here looking forward to Zimmerman just "walking."

    You can't have a more basic human right than walking to the store to buy candy and then walking home...free from harassment from anyone, be they police or community watchers or citizens. OK, maybe breathing is more basic, but walking to the store to buy candy is number 2.

    So what do you all of you fall back on instead of that basic right given to us from God? The government. And their actions that allow firearms, or stand your ground laws, or whatever.

    To so many of you, these government bequeathed laws trump those all of us get as human beings. Basic individual freedoms trumped by man-made laws. You should be standing up for the right of the kid to walk around freely, not the guy who stalks unjustifiably and then winds up killing someone. If you were a true libertarian, that is.

  • Marshal||

    "You should be standing up for the right of the kid to walk around freely"

    We do support that right. We also support Zimmerman's right to walk around. Martin did not have the right to attack Zimmerman.

  • Jackand Ace||

    He did not walk around. He stalked. Far from walking around. Again for all of you, here is the Florida definition of stalking:

    "Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly FOLLOWS, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s."

    Regardless though, the kid who was walking around freely is dead. The guy who stalked...you want government laws to protect him, rather than speaking out for the right of the next kid to walk around freely?

  • Seamus||

    He did not walk around. He stalked. Far from walking around. Again for all of you, here is the Florida definition of stalking:

    "Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly FOLLOWS, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s."

    Did you miss the words "maliciously" and "repeatedly"? It's not malice to follow someone in order to keep an eye on him to be able to point the police in his direction, nor is it repeated when you do it once.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    "Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly FOLLOWS, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s."

    Emphasis added mine to make the point that following someone around your neighborhood on one single night is not stalking under the very definition you use.

    Side note: you could use the knowledge that you made such an obvious mistake as a catalyst to rethink your claim that you are the reasonable one and everyone else who believes Z should walk is emotional, but probably not...

  • Jackand Ace||

    And here is the rest of the Florida statute:

    “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, HOWEVER SHORT, evidencing a continuity of purpose."

    Sidenote Mike: no mistake.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    It's Michael..,. and you again point to facts which contradict your claim of stalking...

    means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time

    Following one guy, one night - is not a series of acts over time. Nor is it repetitive, nor is it malicious.

  • free2booze||

    By the very definition you provided, following =/= stalking. You would have to prove that Zimmerman followed Martin maliciously, and repeatedly.

    Of course, you don't care about evidence, or that the prosecution carries the burden of proof. It's all about ZE CHILENZ!!!!

  • Jackand Ace||

    However short a period of time, following someone with a gun- excuse me, stalking them with a gun, can certainly be interpreted by the one being stalked as putting them at risk for bodily harm.

  • free2booze||

    However short a period of time, following someone with a gun- excuse me, stalking them with a gun, can certainly be interpreted by the one being stalked as putting them at risk for bodily harm.

    Did the prosecution prove Martin knew that Zimmerman had a gun? If not, then the fact that Zimmerman had a gun is meaningless during the time he was following Martin.

  • Floridian||

    F2b it is a troll. Give it up. MD was at least willing to have a discussion and make reasonable points.

  • free2booze||

    Good call!

  • Marshal||

    "He stalked."

    Where are the repeated events?

    "Regardless though, the kid who was walking around freely is dead"

    Actually, the kid who physically attacked someone is dead. If all he did was walk around freely he'd still be alive.

    It's quite strange you keep referring to walking around but omitting the attack. It's as if a bank robber were shot and people kept insisting he was only walking while omitting that he walked to the bank before robbing it.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Funny how all of you assume you know who attacked who. You don't. There are no witnesses to prove it either way, but you, like so many others, just assume it was Martin. But go ahead, show me the proof that Martin threw the first punch. You can't. But we all know that Zimmerman stalked Martin.

  • free2booze||

    Funny how all of you assume you know who attacked who. You don't

    Correct. That said, the prosecution never made the claim that Zimmerman attacked Martin, or offered up an alternative theory of how Zimmerman sustained his injuries. If they can't do that, then there is reasonable doubt... or would you rather live under a system that places the burden of proof on the defendant?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Your arguments are old, F2B. I just can't say it enough...I would rather live in a system that my kid can walk to the store and buy candy, free from harassment, certainly free from death, and anyone who denied him/her that basic right would get punished.

    I get it you disagree. People are free to stalk your kids with guns, because they don't like how they look. You could not say it more plainly.
    Enough...its just to depressing to know that is what fellow citizen want.

  • Marshal||

    People are free to stalk your kids with guns, because they don't like how they look.

    If we argued like you: I get it, you're for a world where people can attack others whenever they want without repercussion.

    Be serious.

  • Jackand Ace||

    If Z walks out a free man, and you live in that state, that is what you are condoning...anyone with a firearm stalking your kids. Its really that simple.

    Even if what you say is true, and once again you have no idea if its true, Martin faced the ultimate "repercussion." He's dead.

    Now what about the other guy, Marshal? You want him to walk like everyone else here? You want someone else to know that they can follow your kids with a firearm because they don't like how they look? You settling for that?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Stop with the strawman arguments. No one is saying that kids walking to the store to buy candy. The dispute is with the bashing of the head to the concrete.

    BTW, Martin left his back yard, and sought out Zimmerman, and then beat Zimmermans head onto the concrete. Does that meet your statutory definitions of stalking?

  • JerryD||

    No you don't. So you want to live in world where people can assault you for watching out for your property? If TM has a problem with GZ, he could have confronted him. But his right to walk around ends at the tip of GZ's nose. And no, I don't know who threw the first punch, and neither do you. So State didnt carry burden of proof. But your argument is ludicrous if you think TM was justified in punching GZ becuase GZ was keeping an eye on him.

  • Marshal||

    "Funny how all of you assume you know who attacked who. "

    This is the legal fact pattern, no one is "assuming" anything.

    "But we all know that Zimmerman stalked Martin."

    It's just bizarre you keep saying this.

  • Jackand Ace||

    You to, Marshal. You want that society where men with guns can stalk your kids because he thinks they look suspicious. You want those stalkings to occur, because God knows, anyone should be able to distrust your kids intentions...simply by looking at them. Forget about the tragedy that probably will happen again. But lets say it doesn't.

    You still don't mind that strange men with firearms can follow your kids because something about them just does not look right to him.

    There is your wish.

  • Marshal||

    There has literally never been a more unsupported accusation published on the interwebs. Congratulations, you've won the prize.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Thanks. Knew you would not like being a man of your convictions.

  • trshmnstr||

    You want that society where men with guns can stalk your kids because he thinks they look suspicious.

    Following somebody for a block within your own neighborhood is NOT stalking.

    You want those stalkings to occur, because God knows, anyone should be able to distrust your kids intentions...simply by looking at them.

    If these scary armed men meet the legal definition of stalking, then they should be charged with the appropriate crime. Also, people are more than welcome to distrust my kid's intentions, simply by looking at them. That well within their rights.

    Forget about the tragedy that probably will happen again. But lets say it doesn't.

    You still don't mind that strange men with firearms can follow your kids because something about them just does not look right to him.

    Ah yes, more concern trolling. But... but... the CHILDRENZZZ!!!!!11! People watch, observe, and judge your kids' intentions all the time. Considering what a "precious" person you are, I'm sure they watch your kids twice as diligently, maybe even following them to make sure they're not getting into trouble. If you can't handle the fact that there are other people in the world with the right to be in the same area as your kids, don't have kids!

  • ||

    I guess teachers observing a student's bad behavior can be (mis)construed as 'stalking' now. This logic reminds me of the MO of progressives - put an unsubstantiated opinionated claim on Twitter and claim 'harassment' for merely being called out by smarter, critical minds.

    And really, JackandAce, you need to read that law you linked to a little more critically.

  • ||

    Shorter Jackand Ace:

    If I repeat the same mindless, histrionic bullshit enough times, I win!

    I want to live in a world where some 17 year old kid kicks the shit out of Jackand Ace and slams his head into the ground while he repeatedly emotes: "TEH CHILDRUNZ HAVE TEH RIGHT TO BUY CANDY!"

  • JerryD||

    Ummm, how do you propose to stop this? If they meet the legal definition of stalking, then arrest the creeps. No one, other than you, has suggested GZ was a stalker. If its not stalking, people have the right to carry guns, and people have the right to obeserve others. Sooooooo, if neither is a crime, you want to criminalize what? Take away guns? Or take away the right to observe people and make judgments?

  • Rusty Rebar||

    I think the thing that is getting under everyone's skin is this:

    How is it that TM, while doing nothing wrong, and totally within his rights to be where he was, ends up dead at the hands of some guy who mistook him for a "bad guy"?

    That just seems wrong, and it is wrong. That does not matter though. They are not here to determine what is right and what is wrong, they are here to determine beyond a reasonable doubt weather or not GZ's actions meet the criteria of Murder.

    It is not disputed that he meets the first two elements:

    1. The victim is dead;

    2. The death was caused by the criminal act of the defendant;

    3. There was an unlawful killing of the victim by an act imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind without regard for human life.

    The third element is not proven because it has not been proven how the altercation was initiated. If it was TM that initiated this force against GZ, then GZ is justified. If GZ initiated force against TM it is not justified.

    I think this is the most important element in this case, and the prosecution has not addressed it adequately. (Please correct me if I am wrong here.) The only thing I have heard that addressed the initiation of force was when Rachel Jeantel says she heard TM say "get off". That indicates to me that TM did not initiate the force, but I would hardly call that proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Alice Bowie||

    There's no proof.

    And yes, this is what is getting under black people's skin and the skin of those people that clearly don't want some bumble-head like Zimmerman causing issues like this.

    Stopping a burglary was not worth this kids life. And, it's definitely not worth the national pain going on over this issue. Zimmerman caused this. Period.

    Still, he's not guilty. No evidence. It's like the Stacy Case.

    Go Florida.

  • Rusty Rebar||

    Especially when we consider that there was no burglary happening.

    Without some sort of evidence indicating who initiated force, I don't see how GZ can be convicted.

  • Floridian||

    If you ignore the physical evidence and the fact the phone witness did not directly observe anything and has already lied about other details, you might have a case. But that is asking a lot. The GSW to Martin was fired with contact to his clothing but not to his chest. This indicates that Martin was leaning forward. The only way to make that shot is to be under Martin. The wounds to Zimmeran's face and back of head indicate his was being struck downward. Hard to retreat in that situation. Hitting his head into concrete is using a lethal weapon. Florida law allows self defense, including lethal force, in this situation.

  • Rusty Rebar||

    I don't think that is really important at all. Who was on top of who, who was screaming when. Irrelevant. It is not disputed that there was a scuffle. What is in dispute is who initiated that scuffle. The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was GZ who initiated that scuffle, short of that there is no case here.

  • Floridian||

    It does matter because people claim Z should have retreated. If pinned that is not possible. A fist fight does not allow deadly force. Using any object other than hands elevates the assault to assault with a deadly weapon (including feet). It is quite relevant to lethal force self defense. As soon as Martin banged Z head into concrete it elevated to situation to allow deadly force.

  • Rusty Rebar||

    I don't think there is a duty to retreat in Florida.

  • Floridian||

    There is not, but it bolsters the claim that you were in fear for your life.

  • Seamus||

    It is not disputed that he meets the first two elements:

    1. The victim is dead;

    2. The death was caused by the criminal act of the defendant;

    3. There was an unlawful killing of the victim by an act imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind without regard for human life.

    There is plenty of dispute about the second element. If he was exercising self-defense, then what he did wasn't a criminal act.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Oh, and why are some posters upset that Zimmerman was in a neighborhood watch program, equating that with being a cop? Aren't libertarians in favor of privatizing legitimate state functions?

  • Rusty Rebar||

    Libertarians are not some monolithic group.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Riiigght. That's non-responive to my question. Again, aren't libertarians in favor of privatizing legitimate state functions?

  • ||

    Not all of them. No.

  • ||

    I don't know what is meant by 'legitimate state functions.'

    Like how the EPA destroys the lives of citizens based on no evidence?

    Taxes are 'legit' to the extent they are fairly levied and collected. If they aren't, the people have a right to confront this. But I haven't heard libertarians call for 'privatizing' the IRS. But a majorass overhaul and reforms to your tax codes are in dire need.

    Military is 'legit' to the extent it isn't a tool of oppression abroad (or domestically in some cases) thus, arguably, jeopardizing national security.

    Again, don't see libertarians advocating the privatization of the military.

    I do see education and health and quite honestly, that's a point worth exploring.

    Libertarians, I could be wrong, don't speak with one voice and I'm sure there's a diverse set of opinions out there concerning this.

  • Knarf Yenrab (prev. An0nB0t)||

    A few years ago, I went over to my gf's apartment one evening to help her move the last of her belongings to a new place and discovered her frantically searching for her cat. She was afraid that kitty had slipped out the door while the movers were there, and we split up to search the perimeter of the apartment complex for said dumb cat. During the half hour that I searched the parking lot and shrubs, no fewer than four people stopped me to ask me what I was doing. Some were polite, some not.

    I can't say whether I was "profiled" as a peeping tom for being a white male walking around alone at night, for how I was dressed, for my age, or for my beardedness. What I can say is that, even with my annoyance at their suspicion, I had a brief conversation with each of the people who approached me rather than puffing my chest out and throwing down. Why? Because like most socialized non-sociopaths, I recognize that asking questions and being suspicious is not aggression, nor is any non-violent response to that suspicion--I could've answered politely, sarcastically, or even ignored them. It's easy enough to be an asshole without instigating physical violence, if that's what you want. If I'd responded to their suspicious inquiries by beating the shit out of them, however, it's hard to say that their initial suspicions about me were unwarranted.

  • ||

    "Because like most socialized non-sociopaths, I recognize that asking questions and being suspicious is not aggression, nor is any non-violent response to that suspicion--I could've answered politely, sarcastically, or even ignored them."

    Thank you! Your post is brilliant!

  • JerryD||

    Wow. This is the most balanced and well reasoned article I have read on this topic. Someone who actually looks at the evidence, applies a little logice, and does not let bias or pre-concieved notions color their judgment. Amazing. Thank you. I'm a fan.

  • WillaGCartwright||

    My goodness. What did I just read?

    When I read a name like "Reason", I made the assumption I would be reading something that was "well reasoned" and likely logically.

    Unfortunately, this article is neither well-reasoned, nor is it in any way logical.

    Omitting half the points and underhandedly accusing the other side of resorting to emotions and stereo types - while doing exactly the same thing - is hardly the basis for a logical, reasoned article.

    Mr. Sullum - this is pure opinion, and not a very reasoned one at that.

  • Dan||

    I love how you went off on a diatribe about not being logical and factual and resorting to emotions.

    Then proceed to make no actual point and simply engage in an emotional name calling rant. Stop trying to pretend you're something other than what you are.

  • eatapc@me.com||

    Oh come on, this is silly.

    I don't want to live in a society in which it's OK to for an incompetent idiot (let's say that idiot is me, for the sake of argument) to carry a concealed weapon, ignore police requests, stalk a teenager walking through my neighborhood, confront said teenager and get into a fight (while never identifying myself or warning the teenager that I was the neighborhood watchman and had a gun), then kill the teenager -- and not be found guilty of at least manslaughter.

    How is it legal for a guy with a gun to provoke a fight, shoot to kill, then claim self defense? That's criminally negligent manslaughter (or equivalent) in any state. It's not really a tough call, in spite of defense attorney obfuscations. I read nothing in Jacob Sullum's article that argues against a manslaughter conviction.

  • Dan||

    If any of that actually happened and you could prove it then he'd be guilty as sin.

    Unfortunately for morons like yourself, all the existing evidence and reliable witness testimony not only do not support those assertions, but directly contradict it.

  • eatapc@me.com||

    Dan, how old are you?

  • Dan||

    Of what relevance is my age?

    You're attempting to invent a scenario that isn't supported by a single piece of known evidence. Then trying to make an assertion based on nothing but your fictional scenario.

    It's utter nonsense.

    You also don't understand what manslaughter is. Classic manslaughter is when a guy comes home finds his wife in bed with another guy and flies into a rage and kills the guy. It's essentially murder without the premeditation.

    The only reasonable charge that could have possibly been brought in this case would have been involuntary manslaughter, but the facts in evidence don't even support a conviction on that. But then you don't really seem concerned with the facts since you're attempting to invent your own.

  • Dan||

    I actually don't find the prosecutions story compelling at all, regardless of the fact that it doesn't fit the facts whatsoever.

    They are presenting a defense rather than a prosecution. They aren't even attempting to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They are behaving as if the burden of proof is on the defense and all they need to do is cast reasonable doubt on the defenses theory in order to get a conviction.

    And they haven't produced a single piece of actual objective evidence that in any way shows guilt. All they've done is cobble together a ridiculous collection of asinine theories attempting to explain away what evidence that exists rather than using it to support their claims.

  • DeJarvis Floyd||

    Their is no way in hell George Zimmerman should have been acquitted on all charges. Check this out!!! www.dejarvisfloyd.com George Zimmerman vs O.J. (They both Got Away With it!!!)

  • madilynbrady6||

    as Lillian answered I'm dazzled that some one can make $4450 in a few weeks on the internet. have you read this site Go to site and open Home for details
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