Jury in Zimmerman Trial Will Consider Manslaughter As Well As Second-Degree Murder [UPDATED]

Video via The Orlando SentinelVideo via The Orlando SentinelThis morning Judge Debra Nelson ruled that the jury in George Zimmerman's trial may consider manslaughter as a lesser included offense in addition to the charge of second-degree murder brought by the state. Florida law defines manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, as "the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification." Second-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, is "the unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual." According to the standard jury instruction, an act "imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind" must be "done from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent" and indicate "an indifference to human life." Because the prosecution has struggled to show that Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin meets that description, it was keen to give the jury the option of manslaughter, which requires nothing more than concluding beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooting was not justified. The defense was equally keen to limit the jury's choices to guilty or not guilty of second-degree murder, fearing that the option of manslaughter might look like an appealing compromise even if the prosecution's evidence for that charge falls short of proof beyond a reasonable doubt (which it does).

The prosecution also wants the jury to consider third-degree felony murder, which like manslaughter is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Third-degree murder is defined as "the unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated without any design to effect death, by a person engaged in the perpetration of" certain felonies. The felony in this case, according to the prosecution, is...child abuse, because Martin was one year shy of 18 at the time of the shooting. According to this theory, the gunshot to Martin's chest was both an act of child abuse and an unlawful killing committed in the course of that felony. Don West, one of Zimmerman's attorneys, went ballistic at this suggestion, strenuously objecting that the charge was absurd and had been sprung on the defense at the last minute in an email sent by the prosecution this morning. If Zimmerman shot Martin in the course of a fight that the teenager initiated, West asked, by what stretch of the imagination does that count as child abuse? Judge Nelson will hear arguments about the proposed third-degree murder instruction this afternoon. After she rules, the jury will hear the prosecution's closing argument.

Update: Judge Debra Nelson just ruled that the allegations and evidence against Zimmerman do not support a third-degree murder charge based on child abuse, so the jury will not be given that option.

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  • Almanian!||

    Fucking bullshit call. FL continues to just fuck up this one, right and left. FUCK YOU, JUDGE JUDY DEBRA!!

  • Juice||

    It's the right call to me since, if he was to be charged with anything at all, he should have been charged with manslaughter.

  • db||

    If they can't get manslaughter, maybe they can reduce the charges to walking on the grass or leaving his car idling on a public thoroughfare. Seriously, how can this sort of conviction fishing stand?

  • Juice||

    Well, ok, the charge-switcheroo that they pulled is total bullshit. I'm just saying that if there were to be charges at all, they should have been manslaughter.

  • thom||

    It would be the right call if the defense agreed to it. But unless you hold prosecutors to the charges they bring, the overcharging will continue.

  • Rich||

    The felony in this case, according to the prosecution, is...child abuse, because Martin was one year shy of 18 at the time of the shooting.

    Zimmerman may have had an erection at the time, too, so better through in a sex crime, too.

    Where will this all end?

  • Rich||

    *throw*

    Crap, I can't even type straight.

  • PapayaSF||

    Maybe they can get him for discharging a firearm in city limits. Or disturbing the peace by making a noise at night. Or littering.

  • Drake||

    Maybe he parked illegally that night?

  • PapayaSF||

    There you go. Add all that up, and it could be life.

  • Loki||

    Where will this all end?

    Badly.

  • Drake||

    Years from now after appeals.

  • ||

    Boy, if we get a guilty verdict that's overturned on appeal, I can't wait to listen to months and months more of "even if Martin was bashing Zimmerman's head against the sidewalk, that's not actually deadly force because his skull wasn't caved in yet" argumentation.

  • ||

    Retarded. I thought this case was classic, text book reasonable doubt and now the jury is told they can consider manslaughter and 2nd degree murder as well as child abuse? Retarded.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The judge hasn't yet ruled on whether the felony murder child abuse will be in the jury instructions, at least on what I am watching.

  • Matrix||

    Yeah, that seems a bit underhanded on part of the state. How did the judge even allow this?

    So the prosecution and the defense spend all this time about a 2nd degree murder case. Now that they have both rested their arguments, the prosecution comes along, probably knowing full well they blew their 2nd degree murder case, and tries to get them to consider 3rd degree murder or manslaughter charges as well as child abuse. This gives the defense no time to even bring out arguments and evidence against these charges.

    How the fuck does that even stand up?

  • juris imprudent||

    Nice trick by the prosecution. It shouldn't be legal, of course.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's a show trial. The point is to get a conviction and stave off the riots. By any means necessary.

  • Loki||

    ^THIS^

    And my faith in a "jury of you peers" is not very high. As I said in another thread, I strongly suspect the jury will sacrifice Zimmerman for the "greater good" by convicting him of manslaughter, and they'll sleep soundly that night. Comfortable with the "knowledge" that they staved off race riots, nevermind that they helped the state pretty much ruin an innocent (by the standards of reasonable doubt at least) man's life.

  • sarcasmic||

    Though I've been accused of being sexist for saying this, I still think a jury of six mothers will feel that they must convict this child-killer of something, just because he killed a child.

  • Invisible Finger||

    How did the judge even allow this?

    Afraid of riots.

    OK, that's "why", not "how", but in govermnent-speak the words means the same thing.

  • carol||

    The judge has allowed everything the prosecution has asked for. Every time Zimmerman's attorney West tried to argue anything the judge cuts him off. She acts like she's the damn Queen of Hearts or something.

  • Loki||

    The judge and the prosecution both work the state, so not surprising really.

  • carol||

    True. But the judge is at least supposed to pretend to be impartial. This one isn't even trying to fake it.

  • Juice||

    I like the idea of "free agent" judges that are only paid from court costs and must undergo a sort of "voir dire" process to chose the judge for the trial. They aren't elected. They aren't appointed. They're chosen on agreement by the prosecution and the defense.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I wonder how often prosecutors in Florida go after a child abuse conviction whenever a minor is injured like this. Wouldn't any fight involving a minor be "child abuse" under this view?

  • Rich||

    It would be awesome if the jury found the prosecution and judge guilty of assaulting Zimmerman.

  • juris imprudent||

    Sovereign immunity FTW! The judge and prosecutor could be caught in flagrante in chambers and the most you would get in this case would be a mistrial.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    And people wonder why I hate DAs.

  • ||

    I am beginning to become just a teensy bit ever-so-slightly somewhat tired of this case.

  • Rich||

    Don't worry, Warty.

    It'll be over in just a few years.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    I'm watching at work, so I can't rewind, but I swear I just heard the judge say to the defense attorney, "Show me the statute that says it is legal to follow someone in Florida." in response to the defense wanting to mention to the jury that it was not illegal to follow someone.

  • sarcasmic||

    Well, duh. That which is not allowed is prohibited.
    You think we live in a free country where anything that is not prohibited is allowed?
    Get with the program.

  • Rich||

    Oh, I do hope the defense attorney responded with "Are you serious?"

  • carol||

    The defense attorney is absolutely gobsmacked. It would be funny except someone's future is on the line.

  • carol||

    The judge just ruled against including third degree murder. It is the first time in the whole trial she didn't give the prosecution what they wanted.

  • Floridian||

    Show me the statute it is legal to breathe. You can't, can you? Check and Mate.

  • sarcasmic||

    Reminds me of an argument in the Supreme Court where Ginsburg in response to something about enumerated rights asked the attorney to list off peoples' un-enumerated rights. I was floored. I mean, this woman is on the Supreme Court and wants those rights left by the 10A to be listed? What. The. Fuck.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    She definitely said that. She also said it would be asking the prosecution to prove a negative to put the burden on the prosecution to show it wasn't legal in Florida.

  • Paul.||

    mistrial.

  • Seamus||

    The prosecution could with as much legal justification asked for an instruction of Murder One, which Florida law defines as, inter alia, unlawful killing by a person committing, or attempting to commit, "aggravated child abuse" (Fla. Stat § 782.04(1)(a)h. Given that "aggravated child abuse" is defined to include "aggravated battery on a child" (id. § 827.03(1)(1)1., and "aggravated battery" is defined to include battery using a deadly weapon (id. § 784.045(1)(a)2., and I'm pretty sure that Zimmerman's gun constituted a deadly weapon.

    In fact, the state's argument should *rule out* a charge of Murder Three, because the statutory definition is that Murder Three is unlawful killing by a person who is committing, or attempting to commit, a felony *other than* several listed crimes, including aggravated child abuse. Since, under that state's theory, Zimmerman was committing acts that amount to aggravated child abuse, it would seem that the state has no option but to charge him with Murder One. Of course, they know that's absurd, and that the jury would balk, but live by the legal technicality, die by the legal technicality.

  • some guy||

    It's all part of the plan. The prosecutor is running a fine line here. He knows GZ is innocent and he doesn't want to send an innocent man to jail. But he also knows that if he doesn't look like he's doing his best he'll be pilloried by Martin's supporters. He thought this trial would be the best way to get all the evidence out there, reveal GZ's obvious innocence and avert the rioting. But the mountain of evidence supporting GZ hasn't quieted those calling for his blood. This call to consider manslaughter (and thus have GZ acquitted of that as well) is his last ditch effort to make them see reason.

  • shamalam||

    You are more of a sunny day optimist than I am.

  • Invisible Finger||

    That's some tortured logic there.

    But pretty much the same logic that has us funneling money to al qaeda in Syria and every whining party in Egypt.

  • Juice||

    He knows GZ is innocent and he doesn't want to send an innocent man to jail.

    Ha ha. Good one.

  • thom||

    Putting an obviously innocent guy away just shows you've got some serious prosecutin' chops. They're probably looking at some nice promotions after this.

  • Invisible Finger||

    KILL OFF-WHITEY!!

  • Invisible Finger||

    I want a riot of my own.

  • Juice||

    Just make sure it's quiet.

  • db||

    Cum on, you need to feel the noize in a proper riot.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    You're all crazy, now.

  • sarcasmic||

    Got to find him guilty of something! After all, he killed a child!

  • Zeb||

    A child who almost certainly would have been tried as an adult had he shot or beaten someone.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Sentence first, trial afterward."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    So we now have reached the point where the legal system is more or less explicitly viewed as a means of appeasing the mob?

  • OldMexican||

    Yes. Welcome to Amerika.

    Next question?

  • PapayaSF||

    This is all part of the Racial Healing™ that we got when we elected Obama. The riots will be part of that, too.

  • John||

    Yes. At first only a murder charge was going to appease the mob. So that is what we have. The only reason he was charged with murder is because the mob demanded it. Now that the case has fallen apart, they think maybe a lesser charge might appease the mob. Convicting him of a lesser charge will satiate the mob enough to keep the riots from happening and allow the usual jackasses in the media to feel vindicated for their efforts to frame Zimmerman.

    That is the only reason this is happening. Both the judge and the government realize there is no way in hell this jury is going for murder. So what they want to do is give them an option that says "you can save your own loves and appease the mob but not get the dirty feeling of convicting an innocent man of murder. So here, have a lesser offense that will appease the mob but be much easier to rationalize to your conscience".

  • PapayaSF||

    But doesn't the defense get to respond to this, if only to emphasize "If there's reasonable doubt for second degree murder, there's also reasonable doubt for manslaughter"?

  • John||

    Of course they do. But once the charge is in the instructions, there is no controlling what happens in the jury room. No matter what the defense says, that doesn't mean the jury won't feel intimidated and convict Zimmerman of something just so the mob doesn't riot.

  • ||

    Papaya, a while ago I saw you recommend a book to someone (I forget who) titled 'For good and evil.' I purchased it and currently half-way through this awesome book. What I like about it is, for those of us who read Gibbon and Machiavelli (who discussed Rome) and took Classics in university is it corroborates what I've learned from them.

    The story/narrative aligns itself nicely.

    Taxes - when oppressive - are evil. Pure and simple.

  • ||

    The Greece/Rome part of the book that is.

  • PapayaSF||

    Glad you're enjoying it. I've pimped the book around here several times, because I found it so interesting, from the first pages. (About how the Rosetta Stone was, in a sense, a document about tax exemptions promulgated to end a civil insurrection over taxes.)

  • shamalam||

    A legal analyst that I am listening to says Z can get life on either murder 2 or manslaughter because the "crime" was committed with a gun. So, murder 2 or manslaughter is a distinction without a difference.

  • John||

    Of course. But it won't be "murder" and that will give the jury a fig leaf to rationalize with.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I guess the bright side is that, by basically switching charges after the defense has rested, even if the jury convicts there are grounds for appeal (at least, I would assume so, though there's a lot about the legal system that horrifies me). By that time, the progtards and race-baiters will be off to some new shiny thing.

  • ||

    Didn't OJ wipe the slate clean?

  • Lord Humungus||

    Mans Laughter? What's wrong with laughing men?

  • Loki||

    Third-degree murder is defined as "the unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated without any design to effect death, by a person engaged in the perpetration of" certain felonies. The felony in this case, according to the prosecution, is...child abuse...

    Really??? I only have one thing to say to the prosecution: You fucking people.

  • SugarFree||

    It seems that involuntary manslaughter would rest on convincing the jury that following Martin, ignoring the instructions not to follow him, and then getting out of the car anyway constitutes recklessness.

    It might be a slam-dunk considering Zimmerman has already admitted these actions.

    Of course, this sounds like a pretty automatic appeal if he's convicted. Since it was never disputed that Zimmerman killed him, the trial should have been about recklessness of his actions and his defense of them.

  • SugarFree||

    Since it was never disputed that Zimmerman killed him, the trial should have been about recklessness of his actions and his defense of them if they charged him with involuntary manslaughter in the first place.

    Left out that part.

  • John||

    For Zimmerman to be guilty of involuntary manslaughter on those facts, you have to conclude that following someone in your own neighborhood is so likely to result in that person attacking you and you killing that person that any reasonable person would realize that result and doing so amounts to a depraved indifference to the other person's safety.

    You are saying that Zimmerman following Martin is the same thing as Zimmerman firing shots out randomly out his window, or driving a hundred miles an hour in a 25mph zone.

    Jesus fucking Christ, why does this case make you so stupid???

  • Zeb||

    You are saying that Zimmerman following Martin is the same thing as Zimmerman firing shots out randomly out his window, or driving a hundred miles an hour in a 25mph zone.

    All I see him saying is that that is what the prosecution would have to convince the jury of.

  • John||

    And he is saying the case would have been a "slam dunk" if it were about recklessness, which is crazy. There is no way what Zimmerman did was reckless enough to constitute manslaughter.

  • SugarFree||

    Get off your fainting couch, John. I was merely talking about a possible path to a lesser charge.

  • John||

    Fair enough. But no fair minded jury would ever convict of such a charge.

  • Paul.||

    The fainting couch is a central feature here at Hit & Run. If you wonder outloud about something-- or speculate about the veracity of a fact, you're often accused of being for the results.

    It's one of my few peeves about this place.

  • sgs||

    "It's one of my few peeves about this place."

    And it's largely John who does it.

  • John||

    Those facts are a slam dunk. But concluding that following him and getting out of the car is "reckless" requires a shreek level of retardation.

    I love how you are now this huge cop bootliker when it comes to this case. Since when do you think ignoring the instructions of a cop is "reckless"? Since when is someone policing their own neighborhood now criminal? And since when is standing around waiting for the cops to show up now the only acceptable option?

  • SugarFree||

    Feeling light-headed, John? You're such a hysteric.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: SugarFree,

    It seems that involuntary manslaughter would rest on convincing the jury that following Martin, ignoring the instructions not to follow him, and then getting out of the car anyway constitutes recklessness.


    The defense will simply point out that a) Zimmerman was already out of his car by then and b) the instruction was worded in a way that sounded more like a recommendation than an actual order, i.e. "Ok, we don't need you to do that."

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, that would be a defense to the recklessness idea. Also the fact that he was in the neighborhood watch and had done these sort of things before. It wasn't a unique situation in his experience.

  • shamalam||

    The police dispatcher specifically testified that the "we don't need you to do that" statement was merely a suggestion because they (dispatchers) are not allowed to give commands. There is no question whether it was a "command" or a "recommendation".

  • free2booze||

    Seems to me that both charges will depend on whether or not the jury believes Zimmerman acted in self defense. Self defense is self defense, whether the charge is Murder 2 or Manslaughter, right?

  • SugarFree||

    I'm not saying it's a great legal theory with the evidence as presented, but one a jury might accept as a compromise position.

    The whole case has been bungled from the start, the trial has been stupid. The prosecution should have conceded that Martin attacked him, but argued that Martin was put in fear for his life by Zimmerman following him in the dark in the rain, first in his car and then escalating the danger by following him on foot. It could be argued then that Zimmerman started a confrontation and killed Martin when it escalated out of his control, negating self-defense but not having to prove intent to murder. Under Florida law it would take much for involuntary manslaughter to hold up.

  • free2booze||

    I think that would have worked if Zimmerman had never lost track of Martin. The audio of the 911 call (or non-emergency line?) makes it pretty clear that Zimmerman had lost sight of Martin, which would seem to negate any argument that Martin had any reasonable fear at the time.

    Also, from what I remember of the timeline, and the map of the neighborhood, the fight happened less than 100 yards from where Martin was staying. If he was so scared, why didn't he just go home?

  • SugarFree||

    Maybe he didn't want to lead a creepy stalker to his home.

  • free2booze||

    Good point. Confronting Zimmerman in a secluded area, under nearly pitch black conditions was clearly the smarter move.

  • sgs||

    "ignoring the instructions not to follow him"

    There were no "instructions not to follow him", there WAS a suggestion from a minimum wage telephone operator, but that is nothing and holds no value whatsoever.

  • OldMexican||

    According to this theory, the gunshot to Martin's chest was both an act of child abuse and an unlawful killing committed in the course of that felony.


    A legal theory that, if considered, would impose the responsibility on all people to first ask your friendly neighborhood home burglar for his ID to determine if he's old enough under the law to have his head blown off.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    No felony murder in the jury charge.

  • John||

    Thank God.

  • OldMexican||

    It would have shown a level of disregard for the Rule of Law only seen in Communist countries to have accepted such a charge. Even this judge (who has been very slanted in favor of the prosecution) knew that it does not pass the smell test.

  • free2booze||

    This judge must have a vacation planned after the weekend or something, because she's working very hard to get this thing wrapped up before the weekend. The defense attorney mentioned something along the lines of it being his right to a very lengthy recess to research, and put together a brief concerning the appropriateness of adding Murder 3 to the list of charges. It was around this time that the judge decided not to allow the charge.

  • Alice Bowie||

    The 3rd degree Murder option was just thrown out.

    Zimmerman should had taken the stand. Had he done so, slam dunk acquittal. All he ad to do is offer condolences to the family and say he never intended on it ending this way bla bla bla.

    The fact that he didn't take the stand is because he was afraid that his story would not hold up in cross examination.

    Yesterday, I felt Not Guilty on Manslaughter. Today, I say Guilty on Manslaughter. I don't buy the story that he was attached.
    Self defense is obvious. He defended himself. After causing the altercation. He's not guilty of Murder but he's responsible for causing that kids death.

  • Floridian||

    If he wasn't attacked why does he have injuries?

  • Alice Bowie||

    CLearly there was an altercation.
    Clearly Zimmerman effectively defended himself.

    Nobody knows how it started. And there's no hard evidence to point that Zimmerman did started. I say Not guilty on Murder. And in many people's eyes, not guilty on Manslaughter either as we don't know what happened.

    In my eyes, and in others, the only evidence that matters is Zimmerman's testimony. And, I don't buy it. That's just my opinion.

    No worries REASON.COM, Zimmerman will be acquitted of ALL Charges. Worst case, Mistrial due to hung jury.

  • free2booze||

    The prosecution never made the claim that Zimmerman started the fight. They also introduced the video interviews of Zimmerman saying he was jumped by Martin, and then never made an attempt to counter Zimmerman's claim. Since the interviews were part of the prosecutions case, anything arising from the video's that they didn't dispute should be assumed to be true.

    The prosecution's case revolved around trying to convince the jury that Zimmerman had a depraved mind when he shot Martin.

  • sgs||

    "In my eyes, and in others, the only evidence that matters is Zimmerman's testimony. "

    So you admit you're an idiot?

  • Irish||

    You don't know much about trials, do you? You NEVER put your client on the stand unless your case is in deep trouble. The client taking the stand and getting into it with the prosecutor is law and order stuff. It never happens in real life.

    As it stands, the prosecution hasn't put forward enough evidence to result in a conviction. Putting Zimmerman on the stand could only do harm.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Irish, I really really agree with you.

    If the account was what Zimmerman said and it were me, I would take the stand and would have no problem with cross examination...had it been the TRUTH.

    Clearly, it wasn't the truth. IN MY OPINION. Have no facts to back it up.

  • sgs||

    "Have no facts to back it up."

    "Today, I say Guilty on Manslaughter. "

    So you just admitted there that you'd convict him on no facts.

    Fuck you.

  • Seamus||

    If GZ had taken the stand, the prosecution would have spent two hours cross-examining him about his prior arrest for getting into a scuffle with cops who were arresting his friend for underage drinking, and about the restraining order his former fiancee got against him. They'd do their best to make him look like one big bundle of rage waiting to explode. Even if that idea was total BS, Zimmerman really didn't need it being raised in the jury's mind.

  • Pro Libertate||

    All I see to Zimmerman on the stand is downside.

  • SugarFree||

    And he couldn't express remorse; they would just get out the video of him saying that even with all he knew afterward he wouldn't have done anything differently.

    I know why he had to say it, but if he really believes that he's a massive cuntstain.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    After causing the altercation.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    Zimmerman should had taken the stand.

    Why?

  • PapayaSF||

    Zimmerman did not "cause the altercation" in any reasonable sense. There is nothing illegal or immoral with following a suspicious person looking into houses at night, in a neighborhood where there had been many burglaries.

  • Alice Bowie||

    You don't know that. Nobody knows what happened exception Zimmerman. That fact that he was being beaten up at the end says NOTHING about the beginning.

    I still say he's not guilty of Murder. And Manslaughter is extremely difficult to prove as well.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    You don't know that. Nobody knows what happened exception Zimmerman.


    Hence the term "Reasonable Doubt"

    Pitch, swing, and that's the game.

  • sgs||

    "You don't know that."

    Then why did you act like you did?

  • free2booze||

    The fact that he didn't take the stand is because he was afraid that his story would not hold up in cross examination.

    Zimmerman didn't need to take the stand because his testimony was already offered by the prosecution 4 times. The jury got to hear Zimmerman's side of the story every time the prosecution played the video of Zimmerman's interviews with the detectives, the walk through he performed on video, and the Hannity interview.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    Zimmerman should had taken the stand. Had he done so, slam dunk acquittal.


    Because not doing so went so badly for O.J. and Anthony and....

    Ooooops!

    All he ad to do is offer condolences to the family and say he never intended on it ending this way bla bla bla.


    "Bla bla bla"? Not "Blah Blah Blah"? Are you Hispanic, A?

    The fact that he didn't take the stand is because he was afraid that his story would not hold up in cross examination.


    His story has been consistent all along save for a few minor inconsistencies, to wit: That the bushes he mentioned first were very far away (which can be explained, albeit not by the likes of someone like the extra-hysterical Nancy Grace or the exceedingly dishonest Dr. Drew, that in the dark, things actually look closer as the brain tries to make distances with the very little references available) and little things like that.

    Self defense is obvious. He defended himself. After causing the altercation.


    There's no evidence he CAUSED the altercation, first, and second, starting an altercation does not strip you from your right to defend your life.

    He's not guilty of Murder but he's responsible for causing that kids death.


    NO, that kid was responsible for his own death. Mr. Big Man gangsta who wanted to show the "creepy-ass cracker" who the boss was.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Mr. Mexican, some day we should meet for a Sangria or something. We've been trolling this place for years.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Since you have a pre-disposition and possible hatred to the type of kid Martin was, you believe zimmerman.

    Others have mistrust in police and police-like people similar to zimmerman, and don't believe.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    Since you have a pre-disposition and possible hatred to the type of kid Martin was, you believe zimmerman.


    No. Ask around - my first comments about this case, last year, were that I believed Zimmerman got himself into a situation and thus was guilty of at least manslaughter. That was BEFORE I saw the actual evidence - not the doctored evidence shown by NBC, ABC and CNN. After learning about the eye-witness accounts, seeing the preliminary forensic results and looking at COLOR photos of Zimmerman's injuries (not the convenient black-and-whites shown by ABC and CNN), I had to conclude that Zimmerman was telling the truth and that it was him who was viciously attacked by Martin. The last straw for me was when they sacked the original DA to place some liberal hack on the case; I knew THEN that they wanted to railroad this guy.

    So NO, I have NO feelings one way or the other for Martin. I saw the naked evidence and reached a different conclusion about the case.

  • sgs||

    "Yesterday, I felt Not Guilty on Manslaughter"

    That quite the feat, considering...

  • Alice Bowie||

    I think the DA claiming "Child Abuse" is more laughable than the 2nd degree charge. What a circus the Florida Justice System is.

    Ultimately, I blame the officers that didn't arrest Zimmerman within the 45 days. This is what outraged the black public and those who don't want a system in which one individual can shoot another individual with no witnesses (outside of their homes) and claim self defense.

    One should be able to claim self defense, the burden of proof should be on the State to DISPROVE self defense, and there should be some hearing like a Grand Jury or something. If this was followed, 90% chance that Zimmerman would have never received a true bill of indictment. This would have been justice.

    But no, buba the cop in FLA took it as Zimmerman did the good people of florida a favor by killing a thug and just took his word for it. That same buba would had not done this had Zimmerman been black.

  • Floridian||

    Why should he have been arrested? Self defense is legal. The police believed him since there was no contradicting evidence. Why should someone be arrested for admitting to a legal act?

  • Floridian||

    Also it is FL. We don't use Fla. anymore.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Because thy may be lying Floridian.
    We don't know. ANd we don't like just letting police officers doing Grand Jury and DA jobs.

    I'm not saying a Trial. I'm saying some hearing like Grand Jury.

    The reason I feel like this is because I have kids.

    Think like a Christian, regardless of your child being right/wrong, wouldn't you at least want the DA to look into his homicide?

  • sgs||

    "Because thy may be lying Floridian."

    ???

    How fucking stupid are you?

  • Contrarian P||

    You can't just arrest someone without evidence (at least that's how it's supposed to work). Under Florida law, if a person claims self defense and there is not sufficient evidence to disprove the claim, there is no reason to arrest them. If anything, doing that would get you a lawsuit from Zimmerman, and justifiably so. Additionally, even if you believed that the evidence was sufficient to at least consider a grand jury, there was no reason to bring Zimmerman in while the case was being developed, as he was a longtime resident of the area with numerous family ties and no evidence of risk of flight or harm to the community. Seriously, do you even think about the stuff you type first?

  • Locke||

    Alice- if you believe his self-defense claim, you MUST be for acquittal of Manslaughter. FL statutes explicitly state that even if Zimmerman had provoked Martin by... what, walking around? He had a right to use deadly force if he was in fear of his life or grievous bodily harm. Case closed.

  • Alice Bowie||

    No, I believe he defended himself.
    I don't know if he started the altercation. And neither does anyone else.

    Unfortunately, in AMerica today, some whites automatically assume Martin is a Thug. And some blacks feel that Zimmerman is a murderer. And this causes a pre-judgement in peoples' mind when they consider Zimmerman's story.

  • free2booze||

    I don't know if he started the altercation. And neither does anyone else.

    The prosecution has the burden to prove that Zimmerman started the fight. If they don't, then that's reasonable doubt, which goes to the defense.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    Unfortunately, in AMerica today, some whites automatically assume Martin is a Thug.


    But he WAS a thug. His own text messages, photos and his own comments, according to the prosecution's "star witness", shows this. So the assumption IS correct.

    And some blacks feel that Zimmerman is a murderer.


    For some race-baiters, any person who is NOT black that kills a black person is ipso facto a murderer - remember the Crown Heights incident?

  • PapayaSF||

    Apparently it never got mentioned in the trial, but Martin had been caught with a bunch of women's jewelry (which he said "someone gave him" but wouldn't say who) and a "burglary tool" (a large screwdriver), and that the jewelry matched to description of what was taken from a nearby home, and that the police never followed up on this. So that's evidence that Martin really was casing the neighborhood as Zimmerman said.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    But no fair minded jury would ever convict of such a charge.

    Good one.

  • Seamus||

    Since you have a pre-disposition and possible hatred to the type of kid Martin was, you believe zimmerman.

    I don't hate them, but I certainly don't have warm feelings toward people who regard being followed as sufficient provocation to jump someone and start beating the crap out of him, the way a dog might regard being stared at as sufficient provocation to attack.

  • MasterDarque||

    Alice you are fighting the good fight but against the awesome cosmic insight of these freedom loving libertarians you don't stand a chance. They are using the term creepy ass cracker, gangsta, thug, etc etc none of which they even know if truly came out of the mouth of the death man - But Zimmerman being Jesus in this case was simply minding his own business when the god of HipHop and thuggish aka Martin savagely attacked and beat him - rather than call on the awesome might of the one true God - JesusZim fired his mighty pistol and killed the god of hiphop - this trial nay this farce against justice should not be happening because JesusZim hath spoken - the end

  • ant1sthenes||

    Exactly. These Reason twerps are trying to fight our glorious progressive future, where a group of black people in black hoods can coerce authorities into sanctioning the lynching of an uppity cracker for having the temerity to defend themselves against a black person and being white (though not in their own view, and only if you apply a one drop rule).

  • MasterDarque||

    If race doesn't matter to you why do you keep bringing it up? In none of my arguments do I even give a fuck about the race of either party and yet every time one of you enlightened few wanna debate this you speak of race to me - for the last time I don't give a fuck about the race element to this - this is all about something that could have easily been avoided and wasn't - oh and one last thing for you assholes who keep saying Martin should have ran - he had the right to stand his ground as well - so all this call the police, call his father, etc etc shove it up your collective asses - as I have said before the real thug is on trial and the victim of his thuggery is dead

  • shamalam||

    Before Jeantel said it, I had never before heard the phrase, "creepy ass cracker". If the phrase did not in fact "come out of the mouth of the dead man" then Jeantel lied about it, though it is hard for me to figure why she would lie about it.

    So the "they" you are referring to might not be so biased as you imply.

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