Prosecutor Says George Zimmerman Is Guilty No Matter What Happened in His Fight With Trayvon Martin

Video via The Orlando SentinelVideo via The Orlando Sentinel"A teenager is dead," prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda declared today at the beginning of his closing argument in George Zimmerman's murder trial. "He is dead through no fault of his own. He is dead because another man made assumptions."

Of those three statements, the first is inarguably true, the third is pretty clearly true in at least some sense, and the second is the central matter of dispute in this case. If Trayvon Martin did nothing to justify Zimmerman's use of deadly force, Zimmerman is guilty of manslaughter at least. But if, as Zimmerman claims, Martin started the fight that ended in his death by knocking Zimmerman down with a punch to the face and then repeatedly smacked his head against the pavement, it is plausible that Zimmerman reasonably believed lethal force was necessary to prevent serious injury or death, whether or not Martin actually tried to grab Zimmerman's gun.

Zimmerman's guilt or innocence depends on the specific details of the fight, not the circumstances that led up to it. Yet de la Rionda urged the jury to look beyond the fight and focus on Zimmerman's assumptions about Martin's criminal propensities, which led the neighborhood watch organizer to follow the teenager and call the police to report a suspicious person. If Zimmerman had not followed Martin, de la Rionda said, Martin would still be alive. That much is true, but it does not make Zimmerman guilty of manslaughter, let alone second-degree murder. As de la Rionda conceded, everything Zimmerman did up to the moment of his violent encounter with Martin was perfectly legal. It may not have been prudent or fair, but it was legal. If Martin responded to Zimmerman's legal but unnerving actions by assaulting him, then it is not true that he is dead through no fault of his own. Even if Zimmerman was a nosy, overeager wannabe cop, as de la Rionda portrayed him, Martin's initiation of violence would not be justified. And if the fight proceeded as Zimmerman claims, his use of force was justified.

De la Rionda, by citing inconsistencies and exaggerations in Zimmerman's various statements to police, succeeded in raising reasonable doubts about the veracity of his account. But that is not enough for the prosecution to prevail—not by a long shot. The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was not acting in self-defense when he shot Martin. To concede, as de la Rionda repeatedly did, that certain crucial details of the fight remain unclear is tantamount to conceding that the prosecution has failed to make its case. The jury is not supposed to look at disputed facts and ask which version is more likely, then convict Zimmerman based on a preponderance of the evidence. It is supposed to convict Zimmerman only if the evidence presented by the prosecution is so strong that to imagine he acted in self-defense would be highly implausible, if not utterly fanciful. The prosecution has not come close to meeting that test.

If the prosecution has not proven that the shooting was unjustified, it necessarily has not proven that Zimmerman acted based on "ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent," as required to convict him of second-degree murder. Its theory about his motivation is based on the idea that he took the law into his hands because he was his frustrated by the "fucking punks," the "assholes" who "always get away," as he described them in his call to police that night. But the most this "ill will" led Zimmerman to do, even according to the prosecution, was follow Martin—which, again, was not illegal. The prosecution has offered no plausible explanation for how the fight started if it did not involve a first punch thrown by Martin. In any case, Zimmerman's involvement with the neighborhhod watch and his calm cursing during the police call hardly make him a Death Wish–style vigilante. Prosecutor Richard Mantei seemed to acknowledge the inadequacy of that evidence when he argued that the act of shooting Martin in the chest by itself was enough to demonstrate "ill will."

The danger for Zimmerman is that the jurors will reject the second-degree murder charge but settle on manslaughter as a way of holding him responsible for creating the situation that led to Martin's death. Such a verdict would be psychologically understandable but legally unjustified. 

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  • ||

    "A teenager is dead," prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda declared today at the beginning of his closing argument in George Zimmerman's murder trial. "He is dead through no fault of his own. He is dead because another man made assumptions."

    Jeez, I bet he didn't even have to write that. He could have just gone over to the Huffington Post or Slate and browsed the comments on a Zimmerman article.

  • RBS||

    Let me see if I understand... on second thought...

  • GILMORE||

    he could just say, "a man is dead...because guns" and still get an all-female jury to convict.

    with all the hype around this trial, there's no way he's walking away with guilt for *something*. prosecutor knows this and is playing to that end

  • ||

    ...and still get an all-female jury to convict.

    Not in Seminole County, nor in most other Florida counties.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I'm hoping against hope that this case will restore my faith in femhumanity. It would be nice to think that Facebook polemicists and Jezebel posters are no more representative of the general public than Youtube commenters.

  • Andrew S.||

    If a prosecutor can urge a jury to look past the evidence and convict a guy because he's bad, why can't a defense attorney urge a jury to nullify?

    (yes, I know, because FYTW)

  • Pro Libertate||

    He's just restating their version of the incident, I guess. If he were really saying "Ignore the evidence and convict!", that would be reversible error to allow it.

  • What's that smell?||

    Ahh,have you paid attention to this judge?

  • ||

    The state has not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman is guilty of the crime he has been charged with. Acquittal is the only just outcome in this case.

    Due process, how the fuck does it work, race-baiters?

  • Finrod||

    No kidding. IMHO the title could easily have been "Prosecutor Says George Zimmerman Is Guilty No Matter What The Facts Are".

  • wwhorton||

  • SIV||

    hardly makes him a Death Wish–style vigilante.

    Been a long time since I watched the movie. Did Bronson's character kill anyone who did not first initiate unprovoked force?

  • fish||

    Did Bronson's character kill anyone who did not first initiate unprovoked force?

    Yes...but only the black teenagers who were minding their own business and eating Skittles at night.

  • SIV||

    According to wiki the Skitles-eating teenager minding his own business was played by an un-credited Denzel Washington in his screen debut

  • fish||

    SIV...way to go the extra trivia mile!

    I've always thought that if President Obama had a son it would look like an uncredited Denzel Washington.

  • fish||

    "He" not "it"...sorry my bad!

  • ||

    It's okay.... everyone knows actors aren't real people.

  • ||

  • anarch||

    Thespianist!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Wow. I watched that movie not too long ago and didn't catch that. Denzel is the black Dick Clark. (Or Clark was the white Denzel.) He doesn't age.

  • Rich||

    If Martin responded to Zimmerman's legal but unnerving actions by assaulting him, then it is not true that he is dead through no fault of his own.

    Sorry, Bro -- dissin' trumps legal.

  • PapayaSF||

    There is evidence that Martin was a burglar, but was never charged because of pressure to "avoid criminal reports for black male students." To me, this makes Zimmerman's suspicions (that Martin was casing the neighborhood) entirely justified, and also (along with many other things about Martin: fighting, criminal activity on his cellphone, etc.) makes it more likely that it went down as Zimmerman described it: that Martin assaulted him.

  • ||

    How long have you been a member of the Imperial Klans of America? For a magazine called Reason, you guys sure do harbor a great many neo-Confederate Jim Crow lynch mob advocates. Drop it and admit that Zimmerman's a bloodthirsty murderer, or suffer.

    /Racemonger.

  • C. Anacreon||

    drink!

  • Gray Ghost||

    You don't even need to get to any alleged burglary. Just point to the prosecution's own witness stating that the deceased told her that he'd made it to his dad's yard, and that Zimmerman didn't see him. Done. He's now out of danger. All he has to do is walk inside and he's good.

    So I can't think of any other explanation for how he ends up back at the T, than his wanting to confront Zimmerman. Which he's entitled to do, if amazingly stupid to do so, but it really takes the wind out of the narrative that he's this frightened kid running from some Paul Blart-esque blowhard.

    Christ, there was a lot of stupidity on display that night.

  • Invisible Finger||

    A TEENAGER WITH A HISTORY OF BURGLARY IS DEAD.

    Fixed that for him.

    The defense can certainly say the same and merely face an "Objection!" by the persecution. If it wakes just one juror from her stupor it will be worth it.

  • Mike M.||

    Thank goodness this fucking thing is almost over.

  • ||

    If it ends in conviction, I'll rage like a motherfucker.

  • Barnstormer||

    What? Burn down your own neighborhood? Loot someplace?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    If history serves, I will attack a Korean grocery.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    If history serves, I will attack a Korean grocery.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRm0aBFXEag

    Check out this episode of Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown in which he visits Koreatown in downtown LA. It discusses the plight of the Korean-Americans who had to defend their neighborhood, all alone without any help from the LAPD, during the 1992 Riots.

  • GILMORE||

    Neoliberal Kochtopus| 7.11.13 @ 6:23PM |#

    If history serves, I will attack a Korean grocery.

    The white version of No Justice=No Peace involves boycotting the release of Jay-Z's new record and complaining a lot at their next golf outing

  • Mr. Soul||

    and if memory serves...
    Chairman Kaga will host an Iron Chef from beyond the grave in Koreatown.

  • ||

    I'm not some pinko grievance-monger. I'll just get really wasted and weep.

  • RBS||

    Wrong. We are all Trayvon Martin.

  • ||

    The prosecutor's "logic" reminds me a lot of the anti-cop bigot reasonoid logic (like in the purchasing alcohol for minors case where the cop got stoved in the melon by a bag with beer cans inside and then shot the guy - it's all about results analysis not reason analysis).

    The prosecution sounds a little desperate here, which is good. I think they realize their case is a hurtin'.

    Zimmerman need not have made the best of choices to be found not guilty, nor is (or should) his heart/beliefs etc. be on trial. It simply comes down to totality of circ's from HIS pov (a critical factor that many miss in deadly force analysis, especially when it's a cop doing the shooting).

    What he "reasonably" perceived is what matters. Zimmermna need not be a good guy nor need he have exercised the best judgment or done the "right thing" prior to getting involved in the physical altercation. The relevant point is what happened during that physical altercation and there is NO way the prosecution has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that there was manslaughter, let alone murder.

  • ||

    Even IF Zimmerman was a racist, and even IF he targeted Martin unfairly, that's irrelevant to the deadly force analysis.

    It looks to me like Martin was a thug who chose the wrong "victim" and got what his ilk (thugs) sometimes get - a victim who fights back with deadly force.

    Zimmerman's willingness to be open with the cops from the get-go speaks largely for his case, and the cops-prosecutors made the right decision - NO CHARGES- before the political juggernaut kicked in and they were forced to change their decision and charge him.

    He SHOULD get back pay and lawyer fees paid for and an apology from the prosecution. I won't hold my breath

  • Harvard||

    Begone Blart, back to the mall.

  • ||

    Far from a mall security guard, sorry. Not that I have anything against same, but I am patrollin' the mean streets, as I've done for 20+ yrs.

    Working class hero and all dat

  • RBS||

    You're a legend in your own mind.

  • Irish||

    iirc a surfing legend who gets with all the ladies is what the dunphmeister really is. Don't worry Dunphy. I've got your back and won't let the bigorati be mean to a legend like you, who has doubtlessly surfed some wicked swells and nailed lots of super models.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Don't you have something better to do, like pump 16 rounds into a guy in his bed? Or are you on administrative leave pending the cover up, I mean, internal investigation?

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Man, you guys are bad! Lol. Jk.

  • Andrew S.||

    Hey Dunphy, regardless of the verdict: In an alternate universe, George Zimmerman shoots Trayvon Martin. Every single fact is the same in each case, except in that alternate universe, George Zimmerman is a police officer.

    Does Officer Zimmerman get charged with murder? Does Officer Zimmerman face an internal investigation or discipline? How long of a paid vacation does he get? Do people even care?

    Regardless of the verdict, Zimmerman's life is ruined. That doesn't happen if he's a cop. Yet there's no double standard, right?

  • ||

    Sure, it happens if he's a cop. That's my cop. Cops are often charged/overcharged due to political concerns where the facts do not warrant it.

    What is most ironic is the same logic that people here are using to defend Zimmerman is the logic I use to defend cops using deadly force. People aer willing to extend the benefit of the doubt and proper analysis to Zimmerman that they would not extend to him if he was a cop. If Zimmerman was a cop, very few would be defending him, even based on the exact same fact pattern. I've seen it here dozens of times, like in the cop getting hit in the head with the bag of beer and using deadly force that is actually a quite similar fact pattern, even down to the head injuries suffered by the cop victim, but in that case it was a thug cop gunning down an innocent.

    The double standard is this- if a cop shoots a person of the wrong color (like zimmerman) and the fact pattern is incendiary enough (like Zimmerman), the prosecution will overcharge.

    Diallo case is a perfect example. The cops were charged with murder, and there's NO way the facts supported a murder charge. Manslaughter MAYBE, but not murder.

    Just like with Zimmerman.

    Zimmerman got caught up in a political case, just like many police shootings, and he's paying the price, just like the cops in the Diallo shooting (who were acquitted of murder, just like I predict Zimmerman will be acquitted of murder)

  • Andrew S.||

    Ooooh, can I reply to your speculation with an anecdote?

    The Justice Department recently reviewed 33 police shootings in Miami over a 4 year period.. Of those 33, 3 were deemed unjustified, and several others were deemed to be excessive force. There haven't been any prosecutions or any real discipline.

    Oh, you haven't heard about those stories? If Zimmerman's a cop, there's never any political reason for a prosecution, because this story never makes it out of local Orlando media.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Having lesser beings scrutinize your actions at all is a kind of punishment.

  • shamalam||

    I know it is not popular here, but I agree with you, Dunphy. I don't know if that gets me excommunicated from the International Brotherhood of Libertartians, local 666.

    I remember the "bag of beer" case you are referring to. It happened in Bakersfield, CA. I supported the cop in that case. Getting bonked in the skull with five pounds of beer, swung by a large man, is enough to cause one to "reasonably fear great bodily harm or death" and react accordingly.

  • Finrod||

    How many cops have you seen that got beat up before they used their gun?

    If you can name one in the last 50 years, I'd be shocked.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I'm related to one, Finrod. Granted it was 35 years ago, which kinda proves your point...

    Let's just say that a cop shouldn't necessarily trust a little old lady at a traffic stop. He ended up getting coshed over the head with his own MagLite. Nice trip to the hospital out of it. I'm still not sure whether his partner went postal on her; the story was told to me that he didn't, though he wanted to, but there was a glint in the teller's eye. I've never asked.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Does Officer Zimmerman get charged with murder?

    Where's Episiarch? He need a lot of all-caps "HA"s.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    He knows there is a double standard. He just thinks it's warranted.

  • ||

    There is a double standard FOR cops, as well as one against them.

    It works both ways. Reasonoids only acknowledge one way.

    For example, Paul Schene was charged twice (after hung jury and imo he was guilty as fuck) for the imo assault on the motorist in the holding cell.

    And many cops are charged twice (locally then federally) a la rodney king in use of force cases.

    This happens way more with cops than with non-cops. It;s a negative double standard applied to cops.

    A positive double standard is juries. Juries generally give cops WAY more benefit of the doubt than noncop witnesses. That's why you see some of these "wtf" acquittals.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    This happens way more with cops than with non-cops.

    [citation needed]

    Seriously, I see no indication of that. It can happen in any high profile case. Cases involving famous people, hate crimes, drugs, organized crime, big money white collar crime, etc.

    A positive double standard is juries. Juries generally give cops WAY more benefit of the doubt than noncop witnesses. That's why you see some of these "wtf" acquittals.

    That's true, but it doesn't excuse all the cases where it never gets that far.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Unblocked him to skim his hilarious wall of text. That's some of the funniest shit since Baghdad Bob's pronouncements.

    Try this on for size Andrew: I agree with you about GZ, but if Trayvon had a gun, pulled it when Zimmerman moves for his cell phone (which he admits doing in his interview with Serna), and shot GZ, absolutely nothing would happen. Hell GZ's packing his own drop gun, in that case.

    Doubt that Trayvon would've tried to jump a uniformed cop though.

    I live in an area where the cops shoot kids for driving in their parent's car, while they incompetently think it's stolen. And as the parents are trying to tell them it's their car. On their front lawn. (Though at least the D.A. tried to convict on that one.)

    Or where the cop zipped down a residential street at 60 MPH; sans lights and siren; t-boned a couple's car, killing her; and nothing else happens.

    Don't give me this shit about there being no double standard. Sloopy's made it seemingly his calling to point this out for the last several months. After the first few, literally, hundreds of anecdotes, maybe he might be onto something?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    After the first few, literally, hundreds of anecdotes, maybe he might be onto something?

    It's not only the sheer number of cases. That could be misleading, a result of cherry picking. But so often we see these reported before the investigation has been done, and then, almost without fail, the shooting is found to be justified and nothing is done.

  • Hopfiend||

    'cept, said officer has more training and non-lethal weapons at his disposal, meaning a firearm isn't his only defense. And, unlike most Americans, I think when you empower someone with a gun and a badge the standards of behavior go up not down, unlike the folks in the unbroken blue line, and all dat.

  • GILMORE||

    The prosecutor's "logic" reminds me a lot of the anti-cop bigot reasonoid logic

    and so Dunphy channels Tom Friedman, seeing parallels everywhere.

    because guys getting shot in bed, thrown in prison for facebook smack talk, random KGB-like DUI stops in PA, the Parks Dept SWAT team using helicopters and flashbangs to arrest...a second amendment rights activist?...having the 10millionth dog shot for no reason (and thats just the past week)... see, being appalled at that shit? thats plain bigotry. full stop. the lack of *balance* is just SOOO unfair.

    we should all has a sad and a cry for the poor oppressed innocents like Dunphy who suffer under this blatant misperception of law enforcement which in reality is not a corrupt unionized extortive arm of government but is so Teh Awesomes.

    or maybe not

  • GILMORE||

    "like in the purchasing alcohol for minors case where the cop got stoved in the melon by a bag with beer cans inside and then shot the guy""

    if i recall, he never hit anyone (no evidence of blows) and the security video which was supposed to capture the moment conveniently lost the relevant 2 minutes.

    but hey, while youre on your high horse about 'reasoned analysis of evidence', dont that let that get in the way of your self-important chest puffing

  • CE||

    Nice try, but if Zimmerman were a cop, he would have gotten two weeks paid leave and the police investigative board would have ruled that procedures were followed.

  • thom||

    From what I understand, in the hypothetical situation that Trayvon Martin had successfully defended himself using lethal force, he would have been unjustly charged and convicted for doing so, and therefore, George Zimmerman must also be found guilty.

    Using lefty logic, if in a hypothetical situation one person might experience injustice, then it is just to treat another person the same way.

  • Hash Brown||

    Yeah, I've seen a bunch of this at other sites.

  • ant1sthenes||

    That explains why they're fine with a bunch of people in hoods pressuring the justice system into railroading someone for killing someone of the wrong race.

  • ||

    There is evidence that Martin was a burglar, but was never charged because of pressure to "avoid criminal reports for black male students." To me, this makes Zimmerman's suspicions (that Martin was casing the neighborhood) entirely justified, and also (along with many other things about Martin: fighting, criminal activity on his cellphone, etc.) makes it more likely that it went down as Zimmerman described it: that Martin assaulted him.
    -------

    No, no , no, no , no.

    This is CLASSIC results (not process analysis).

    It doesn't matter what Martin ACTUALLY was or actually was doing. It matters what Zimmerman reasonably perceived. This is true in all deadly force analysis and is a big element that many people get wrong. I see it all the time in analysis of cop UOF. In brief, it doesn't matter that martin ACTUALLY was a burglar or actually was up to no good, etc. It matters what Zimmerman perceived, or more correctly reasonably perceived.

    It's like if a cop does a search of a guy for unjustified reasons, but happens to find 6 stolen guns, a bunch of drugs, and evidence tying the guy to a homicide, that doesn't make the search justified.

  • ||

    What matters is the totality of circs reasonably perceived by Zimmerman and if a "reasonable and prudent" person perceived what he perceived would rationally act in a manner like Zimmerman did. Which I think is clear, the answer is YES.

    Zimmerman could have been wholly wrong about his suspicions of Martin being up to no good, but if Martin attacked him with force perceived to be likely to result in serious bodily injury or death, the shooting is STILL justified.

    AGain, even if Zimmerman was UNreasonable in those perceptions, it doesn't justify Martin attacking him.

  • Harvard||

    How's Aunt Bea?

  • ||

    She's chillin'.

    The streets have been exploding with action though, this summer. It's been teh awesom.

    I actually got assaulted last night, which hasn't happened in a while, by an extremely drunk and belligerent motorist and I'm happy to say - no we didn't beat her down, but used classic and typical restraint in taking down a violent subject. We had a trooper on scene, so hopefully he caught it on dashboard video.

    Even though assault on a police officer is by law a felony, it will be charged as a misdemeanor. Why? Filing standards (no serious injury).

    Filing standards are why so often the penalty and/or crime charged is much less than the actual crime under the law and leads to many mistaken perceptions of "double standard" in cop cases. Because you HAVE to look at filing standards and the decision matrix that prosecutors actually use, not what the law says, to see that what appears to be double standard is actually a classic filing decision. For example, theft may say greater than $X is a felony, but filing standards by the prosecutor's office might require 2*X in order to get a felony filing.

    Regardless, thanx for asking. Bea is doing great.

  • Corneliusm||

    "no we didn't beat her down, but used classic and typical restraint in taking down a violent subject."

    So you tazed her and shot her dog?

    /kidding (mostly)

  • ||

    She was high on opioids and alcohol and completely off the hook. Had about 5 motorists call in her as a drunk driver all over the road , before we caught up with her. Frankly, we probably saved her from serious bodily injury and/.or other drivers by gettign her the fuck off the road. I estimate she was at least a .20 but we never got a breathalyzer because she was too combative.

    Drunk Wimmins btw, are probably the biggest risk for assault on a PO. Ime, they are the most dangerous in terms of likelihood (not seriousness) of assault. They don't have that taboo against hitting a cop that most men have.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Jesus, you would think he would get the fucking hint.

  • ||

    Fuck the hint. I just continue to speak truth to power against the bigots. I'm well aware of the subtext, but what you may not grok is that I don't CARE.

    The zimmerman case is hilarious because the same anti-cop bigots that would be calling Zimmerman a murderer (and a racist) are defending him. The only difference in the fact pattern is that Zimmerman is not a cop, so he's seen as a force for good in defending himself, whereas if he was a cop, it would be govt. power gunning down an innocent and no benefit of the doubt would be extended.

    If you compare the fact pattern here to to the case where the cop shot the guy after being struck in the head by the bag containing beer cans (or bottles- I don't recall), it's eerily similar, except the cops were guilty. Because they were cops.

    Zimmerman gets the benefit of the doubt, and reasonable doubt, because he's not a cop

  • RBS||

    Yeah, speaking truth to power, that's what you're doing.

  • ||

    You got it, man. It's why my analysis so often matches that of legal experts and the actual cases. And reasonoid bigots so often have the opposite analysis.

    Cops get a fair shake vis a vis uof in this country ON THE WHOLE. That's a good thing. Due process is ridiculed here (see: paid vacation snark), but it;s to be applauded.

    Truth to power- speakin' it every day

  • ||

    It's why my analysis so often matches that of legal experts retained by police unions and the actual cases as they are determined by union lawyers.

    Fixed.

  • Warrren||

    He doesn't understand the totality of the circus.

  • PapayaSF||

    it doesn't matter that Martin ACTUALLY was a burglar or actually was up to no good, etc. It matters what Zimmerman perceived, or more correctly reasonably perceived.

    I agree that it's not dispositive re self-defense, but I think it certainly matters that Martin was up to no good. The people attacking Zimmerman assume that Martin was just an innocent kid walking home, and that Zimmerman must have been a racist vigilante for following him. Well, the evidence that Martin was a burglar lends credence to Zimmerman's suspicions. The fact that he seems to have committed one burglary makes it more likely that he was acting like a burglar on the night he died. This isn't bigotry, just common sense. It undercuts prosecution's narrative, because they know they won't get anywhere by saying "Martin was just a burglar casing the neighborhood."

    Plus, the fact that Martin was both a criminal (the burglary, etc.) and violent (his interest in fighting) makes it more likely that he would jump Zimmerman.

    If I see a guy stumble on the way out of a bar, and then get in his car and drive away a bit too fast, it's not unreasonable for me to think that the guy might be drunk. If it turns out that he has a recent DUI, it doesn't prove he was drunk, because maybe the guy was sober and tripped on a loose doormat, and just in a hurry. But if we can't determine whether he was drunk the time I saw him, the previous DUI lends weight to my perception that he was.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "It matters what Zimmerman reasonably perceived"

    Nevertheless, people are blaming Zimmerman because he was unfairly profiling some innocent kid was just buying skittles.

    If the kid actually did have a criminal past, then it's more plausible that a reasonable person other than Zimmerman would also have found his behavior (rightly) suspicious, because it's more plausible he was actually casing houses. Maybe that shouldn't matter to people, but it sure seems to, even here.

  • SIV||

    Trayvon never should have whistled at Zimmerman's wife.

  • ||

    Zimmerman was just mad because his 1920s wife was smoking weed at a jazz club, and was susceptible to negro sexual advances.

  • Warrren||

    Are there any other kind of negro advances?

  • SIV||

  • Warrren||

    Hanniballin'

  • Hyperion||

    I'm still saying, as I have been from the beginning, that Zimmerman is screwed. They are going to get him on something, no matter how outrageous or ridiculous, or even illegal it is. Justice is dead in this country. If you're not on Obamas approved list of useful sheeple or cronies, or corruptocrat allies, you're guilty.

  • ||

    I predict, fwiw, acquittal. What do you think they are going to "get him" on?

    they got goetz for carrying a firearm w.o a permit, but there's no permit issue here. And once this trial is over, they can't "get him" on shit because of double jeopardy (after all, he's not a cop, so they won't do a second trial and go after him federally like they often would if he was a cop - see Rodney King).

    I'm curious about the predictions here. I'm guessing not guilty murder and not guilty manslaughter.

    Is the consensus that they will find guilty of manslaughter, as a compromise? God, that would be a miscarriage of justice, but it's certainly possible; I just think unlikely.

  • fish||

    Do you think the Justice Department will conjure one of their "show trials" if he is acquitted?

  • ||

    No

  • fish||

    From your lips to gods ear!

  • sarcasmic||

    Six mothers are not going to let a child-killer walk free.

  • Warrren||

    Mine would, but then she wasn't too fond of the darker folk.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I'll go $100 that they do.

  • Hyperion||

    What do I think they are going to get him on?

    How about manslaughter or child abuse? I'm not the one who came up with those, btw.

    If he's acquitted, Obama and Holder will go after him, for something, you can bet on that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I am curious about the aftermath. Assuming, as I do, he gets off completely, there's going to likely be a civil trial for wrongful death, and I just can't see the Stupid administration laying off of this.

  • ||

    What would the admin have to do with a civil trial? That would be a case where it's the guy's family vs. zimmerman. Govt. wouldn't be involved.

    Govt. WOULD be involved if they prosecuted federally, which is a double standard we frequently see in cop shootings, but almost never with non-cops and that won't happen here (imo).

    But yea, a civil case is likely. He will get sued by Martin's family. and UNLIKE a cop, he doesn't get qualified immunity.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Two different things. Martin's family sues in a civil case; the federal government tries a civil rights angle.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Not wanting to dig through the USC, but what's the federal statute they'd try to hang him on, ProL, given he's not a police officer or other government official? I mean, besides the perjury trap bullshit that commentators like Popehat have warned so eloquently about.

    The civil trial though, that's going to be a toughy. I wonder if Z can have the SYG hearing after a finding of not guilty. Doesn't it come with civil immunity if the hearing finds by a preponderance that his conduct was justified?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I dunno, maybe a 13th Amendment violation?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Seriously, I don't think there's any decent federal charge to bring against Zimmerman. I suppose they could try to go after the local government somehow for a civil rights violation, but that would be weak, especially when the only real civil rights claim I can see involves Mr. Zimmerman.

  • shamalam||

    I predict hung jury, based on the ~1/3 of people who insist "Zim murdered a child" ans insist evidence be damned.

  • CE||

    And then a mid-sized riot.

  • Corneliusm||

    Central FL is already home to some riot-inducing (but legally-sound) verdicts. How many women have been attacked that may have looked like Casey Anthony since the trial?

    Prosecution knows they've lost the case- they simply added an "out" for the jurors who might feel culpable (or threatened) about any violence resulting from a not-guilty verdict.

    In any case, I'm glad I live in a gated Orlando community with well-armed neighbors.

  • C. Anacreon||

    I live in a gated Orlando community with well-armed neighbors.

    Are any of these folks members of the Neighborhood Watch Committee?

  • Warrren||

    Are they heroic mulattoes?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Given the case presented, I'll be quite surprised if anything happens other than Zimmerman walking. I thought they might try to get aggravated battery in as a lesser included offense (manslaughter is almost as hard to prove as murder in this case), but they're still trying to get some big win. So, most likely, nothing.

  • ||

    I agree.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    (manslaughter is almost as hard to prove as murder in this case)

    Not really, manslaughter generally has a much lower mens rea (recklessly vs. knowingly or intentionally). I could see an argument that getting out of his car and pursuing Martin recklessly provoked a confrontation and that he is thus bears some criminal liability for the outcome of it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There's an argument for murder. Heck, there's an argument for first-degree murder. There's an argument for treason. What there isn't is proof of any of these things beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Gray Ghost||

    The thing is, if his self-defense claim stands up, and that seems to be the point the prosecution can't overcome, then it stands up for both manslaughter and murder. Hopefully the jury will see that, and not embrace their inner Solomon.

    I can see the defense counsel in their arguments (tomorrow, right?) hammering the fact that they've a witness who said that Martin went back from his father's house to go somewhere else, as well as hammering on the required standard of proof. Emphasize that the jurors swore an oath to do their job diligently, even if they feel uncomfortable, and that the state needs to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. A 'he said/he said' situation means Zimmerman goes free. (Cue apple pie, Blackstone, and the Magna Carta.)

    But emphasizing that part of his girlfriend's testimony, if done properly, should help the jury with the equity of the situation, and realize that Martin had at least about as much to do with this tragedy as Zimmerman did. And then remind them that you're not allowed to beat the shit out of someone, just because they followed you at some point.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "I could see an argument that getting out of his car and pursuing Martin recklessly provoked a confrontation and that he is thus bears some criminal liability for the outcome of it."

    I don't think that is how manslaughter works. It's not "the defendant did something that provoked a confrontation which ended in the victim's death" as much as it's "the defendant killed the victim but the victim did something to provoke the defendant."

    Zimmerman's following and pursuit may have been reckless, foolish behavior, but I think the question is, was his shooting of Martin reckless behavior?

  • Acosmist||

    Nope, no evidence for that.

  • Mr. Soul||

    he'll walk, but not now. They'll get him on manslaughter and he'll walk on the appeal since he was never charged with manslaughter.

    and Obama gets re-re-elected for 3rd term somehow.

  • Hyperion||

    Hey, BTW, where's the results of yesterdays poll? Has that been posted yet? I'm off to look again...

  • Hyperion||

    Guess I should have scrolled down more than 2 posts.

  • ||

    Hey everyone, if you defend George Zimmerman then I bet you would have cheered on the killers of Emmett Till!

  • ||

    Lol. What a load of tripe. Again, the worst thing that can happen if you shoot somebody in self defense, is if they are the wrong color. All this crap wouldn't be happening if Martin happened to be white, but the fact that he is black gives all the race baiters lots o' bait.

  • Andrew S.||

    Why on earth did I read that?

    And worse, why on earth did I read the comments?

  • Hyperion||

    Same reason I read the comments at HuffPo. It's like a horrific car accident, you don't want to look, but you can't look away.

  • Hopfiend||

    WTF. Twice in two days I've been tricked into reading Alternet. Never heard of it til yesterday. Is everyone there thinking under the influence of powerful intoxicants?

  • Irish||

    Alternet is where leftists who were too crazy for Daily Kos tend to congregate.

  • Hopfiend||

    Thank you. Wow, there is a pant load of stupid going on there.

  • ||

    Which is crazier, do you think; Alternet or Media Matter? I say Media Matters, but I'm not exactly an expert on the contents of either site.

  • Hopfiend||

    Now that I know about Alternet I won't be going back. Life is too short to spend time reading either one.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Alternet is the place that wished for the Reason cruise to accidentally get hit by a missile. It's just Stormfront for statists.

  • ||

    And BTW, Trayvon's mother missed a fucking golden opportunity for a great movie reference.

    She should have appeared the first day in court dressed in black, and given the Mrs. Kintner speech from Jaws to Zimmerman.

    "My boy is dead now. I just wanted you to know that."

  • ||

    The woman who played that part was actually my acting coach in Martha's Vineyard. She was just a local who they hired for the part (not a hollywood actor) and she got a standing ovation from all the hollywood actors for her performance - Lee Fierro. A wonderful woman, and a great director. She directed tons of Children's Theatre productions in Martha's Vineyard as well as many other productions. I was so proud of her performance as it's incredibly memorable to people (like you) even though such a bit part.

  • ||

    It is a classic and powerfully acted scene.

  • Warrren||

    Cop/power-lifter/surfer/actor now that's a multi-class.

  • fish||

    Cop/power-lifter/surfer/actor now that's a multi-class.

    Professional football player/child psychologist.....

  • ||

    I've never played football (or basketball).

  • fish||

    I've never played football (or basketball).

    I know (well no I don't). The last two skillz grafted onto your "resume" were from a bit on an old Chris Rock album.

  • ||

    Weightlifter, not Powerlifter

    People get this wrong so consistently, it boggles.

    Seriously though , do people live such empty activity free lives, that this seems like a big deal. Yea, I did a LOT of theater when I was young. I did Children's Theater in Martha's Vineyard every summer (just like tons of other kids), and that's no big accomplishment.

    After all, I didn't say I was a GOOD actor, just that she was my acting coach.

    Again, I wonder at people who think shit like this is surprising or a big deal. It's just par for the course for a normal person. God knows I work with people who have REALLY impressive backgrounds - professional athletes (Seahawks, etc.), Navy Seal, Television Actor (Saved by the bell... one guy I work with was on Saved by the Bell spinoff, and is friends with Jessica Biel... now THAT is impressive)

  • RBS||

    Newsflash fuckface, we don't care. WE ARE MAKING FUN OF YOU.

  • ||

    I am aware you are, and I think it's hilarious that my modest accomplishments are viewed as "bragging" or some such. Normal people have lives outside the internet

  • RBS||

    Apparently you don't understand it at all. It's because they are so modest that we ridicule you.

  • ||

    They are mentioned since they are relevant, not because they are bragworthy. If people are talkign exercise science (as they were when the WLing thing came up), they are relevant.

    I, like anybody here, have areas of expertise. If it's relevant I bring it up, or in the case of lee fierro, just relevant as a what the heck thing.

    I never claimed to have an impressive background, just a background beyond sitting in my basement getting hot pocket served to me while I wank about all the injustice caused by cops in this great nation.

    but thanks for the tip, man

  • ||

    One might say, theatrically modest.

  • Almanian!||

    ACTINGGGGGGGG....

    /Master Thespian

  • Reverendcaptain||

    If there is a conviction(possible?), it seems like it won't survive an appeal. The prosecution strategy seems to be based on everything except actual evidence. This is one of the most appalling trials in recent history.

  • Reverendcaptain||

    If there is a conviction(possible?), it seems like it won't survive an appeal. The prosecution strategy seems to be based on everything except actual evidence. This is one of the most appalling trials in recent history.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, if Zimmerman does get convicted, I doubt it will stand.

  • Warrren||

    The squirrel jury declares you GUILTY!

  • OldMexican||

    The danger for Zimmerman is that the jurors will reject the second-degree murder charge but settle on manslaughter as a way of holding him responsible for creating the situation that led to Martin's death. Such a verdict would be psychologically understandable but legally unjustified.


    Not to mention open to appeal, as the judge herself opened that door for the defense, wide open.

  • In Time Of War||

    "If Zimmerman had not followed Martin, de la Rionda said, Martin would still be alive. That much is true,"

    I'd like to take a moment to be pedantic and point out that no, that is not true. For all we know, if Martin had not been shot, he could have been hit by a car the next day. He could have slipped in the shower and cracked his skull open. To say he would still be alive today is to infer that people only die by being shot by Zimmerman.

  • ||

    It's similar to the "logic" many copcritics use in police shootings.

    "if the officer hadn't been Harassing that guy for jaywalking, that shooting never would have happened (after he resisted, etc.)."

    People are responsible for their own shit. Martin (apparently) attacked Zimmerman and to the extent that deadly force was authorized.

  • In Time Of War||

    As I am also a resident of the great state of Washington, I find it irritating people blithely dismiss the head-pounding as no big deal. There have been enough cases of "Guy1 punches Guy2, Guy2 falls down, hits head on curb and dies, Guy1 goes to prison" that I'd give a whole lot of thought before punching anyone, even if they really need it.

    I can't control how or what their head is going to hit on the way down, and I'm allergic to prison.

  • ||

    I got no argument with that analysis.

  • In Time Of War||

    Kwai Chang Caine: "He does not know how to fall."
    Sheriff Grogan: "They never do."

    Loved that episode.

  • Mike M.||

    Given that it looks like this kid was a punk well on his way to a life of serious crime, he would have probably been dead or in prison in the next few years.

  • PapayaSF||

    It's quite possible that Martin being dead means that some future victim of his will not be dead.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Now you are talking. Maybe... some future victim of Trayvon would otherwise be the successful leader of Planet Earth against the Machine Overlords. George Zimmerman was sent back in time to kill Trayvon, sparing the life of his future victim, who can then rebalance the power between humanity and technology.

    See? All the rioting will be worth it, for what now will happen in 2036.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    As opposed to Zimmerman and his multiple convictions for actual violent crimes?

  • Generic Stranger||

    Since when did a single incident that got reduced to a misdemeanor become multiple?

    Besides, he "assaulted" a BATF agent. So, no harm, no foul (seriously, those fuckers deserve way more than a fucking shove, which is all Zimmerman did).

  • Pro Libertate||

    Cause and effect are like magic. Of course, it goes all sorts of ways. Maybe Martin threw a punch. Whatever reason, worth dying for? Maybe no rain, no shooting. Maybe a whole lot of things.

    All that matters here is that the state lacks evidence of murder or manslaughter. It's possible that that's an injustice on a higher level, but without more knowledge than we'll ever have, we can't know that. No one can. That's why experts and idiots talking on TV are completely wrong to even try to speculate. They have no clue.

  • OldMexican||

    To concede, as de la Rionda repeatedly did, that certain crucial details of the fight remain unclear is tantamount to conceding that the prosecution has failed to make its case.


    They conceded as much when the "Dreamy Prosecutor" (as one of the legal "experts" at CNN called him) mounted a foam dummy in front of the jury to perfectly destroy the prosecution's own initial narrative that Zimmerman was the attacker all the time.

  • ||

    What is, god forbid, nancy grace's take on this shooting?

    Is she on the prosecution train?

    I would assume feministing ilk are, just like they were with the duke "rape"

  • Hopfiend||

    Angela Corey strikes me as just a unethical and pure friggin' evil as Nifong FWIW.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Dunphy (the real one),

    What is, god forbid, nancy grace's take on this shooting?


    That's like asking for the Pope's take on Original Sin. The woman is psychotic beyond belief. She has been obsessed with the lack of bushes in the crime scene (which are there, by the way) to the point of creepiness. Reminds me of that episode of Night Gallery with Patty Duke...

  • OldMexican||

    As de la Rionda conceded, everything Zimmerman did up to the moment of his violent encounter with Martin was perfectly legal.


    Of course, but his implied argument is that the mere act of following Martin started a chain of fatal events that could only end in the death of the teenager because there must be some physical law out there that controls this: "He [Martin] is dead through no fault of his own."

    This implies that Zimmerman should've foreseen this and stay in his car, so the little paranoid robot whose name is "Trayvon Martin" would not have turned to face GZ and suckerpunch him. So it's all Zimmerman's fault.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    And see, this is where the problem is. It's one thing to argue that we don't know how the fight went down and thus, for purposes of reasonable doubt, must assume the version most helpful to the defense at trial.

    It's quite another to jump from that to assuming Saint Zimmerman's account of his battle against the evil Martin demon is entirely accurate and therefore he deserved to die.

  • Gray Ghost||

    It's quite another to jump from that to assuming Saint Zimmerman's account of his battle against the evil Martin demon is entirely accurate and therefore he deserved to die.

    Couldn't agree more, and that's been my beef with the tone of a lot of the pro-Z folks. What Z did that night, don't do that. Never mind making this guy out to be some sort of poster child for the rightness of concealed carry.

    His story (other than his bullshit explanation for getting out of the car in the first place) though gets upheld more and more with each witness and piece of evidence that comes out. Too bad we never got anyone or any evidence of exactly how the final, eventually fatal, confrontation started.

  • Acosmist||

    Martin thought a homosexual white man was following him, and wanted to bash the gay.

    Black still trumps gay, for now. I guess. Although lots of gays were pissed when Obama voters also voted down gay marriage...

  • free2booze||

    It's quite another to jump from that to assuming Saint Zimmerman's account of his battle against the evil Martin demon is entirely accurate and therefore he deserved to die.

    The prosecution played four video's of Zimmerman, which included Zimmerman making the claim that he was jumped by Martin. The prosecution made no effort to rebut that statement.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Yes, and clearly Saint Zimmerman would never lie. Why, so godly is he that he suffers physical pain at even the though of allowing untruth to usher from his lips.

    Again, just because we most err on the side of the defendant for purposes of the trial doesn't mean we must do so elsewhere. We have only Zimmerman's word about how the fight started, and given how much he has to personally gain from us believing his version, it would be stupid to do so based solely on his word.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Let's ignore that the physical evidence is entirely consistent with what Zimmerman said happened and the prosecution's own witnesses often provided support for what Zimmerman said. It's. not. solely. Zimmerman's. Word.

  • Loki||

    But if, as Zimmerman claims, Martin started the fight that ended in his death by knocking Zimmerman down with a punch to the face and then repeatedly smacked his head against the pavement, it is plausible that Zimmerman reasonably believed lethal force was necessary to prevent serious injury or death...

    Not according to some people. In fact, according to some people Zimmerman was a vigilante wannabe cop pussy who panicked when Martin started to kick his ass, which was a totally and justifiable reaction to being followed by some "creepy ass cracker." Either that or he should have waited until he was starting to feel himself slip from the mortal coil before defending himself. /sarc

  • SugarFree||

    Damn, guys. It's like I walked into a room to find you all jacking off with a handful of your own shit.

    Gah.

  • ||

    Jesus, it happens one time and now you won't shut up about it.

  • Almanian!||

    ??????

    SO?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    He's just mad about being left out.

  • Warrren||

    We were yelling "scat" he just took it the wrong way.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Hey, this isn't San Diego.

  • Almanian!||

    derpfee - Cops are often charged/overcharged

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    SHIT! My spleen broke. That's your BEST one ever, derpfee!

    Don't bother with [citation], cause it just ain't true, and you can't back it up. Go pump some iron in your room plastered with Morgan Fairchild autographed posters, workin' man.

  • Warrren||

    Being charged with anything = being overcharged.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    holy shit, Sunny Hostin on CNN is ridiculous. How she can on any level conclude the prosecution proved its case is beyond me.

  • Warrren||

    There's several reasons she works for CNN.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Also just heard Jeffrey Toobin say there's no grounds for appeal if he is found guilty.

    I guess gamesmanship like we just saw with the change in charges by the prosecution is normal in courts.

    Anyway. The more I listen to Hostin and compare it to the evidence, the less she impressed me and the more I think Zimmerman should be acquitted.

  • MasterDarque||

    I am having a skittles and iced tea party for all you libertarians that will want to kill yourselves if JesusZim is found guilty.

  • Jeff||

    I'll throw my party after you /wrists when Zimmerman walks.

  • shamalam||

    I'll bring the guns!

  • SIV||

    If Z is found "not guilty" are you gonna lynch some Mexicans?

  • MasterDarque||

    why would I punish someone who had nothing to do with this? I might go hunting creepy ass crackers though.

  • free2booze||

    I am having a skittles and iced tea party

    No cough syrup?

  • MasterDarque||

    no lean this time my nigga

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Several commenters here have said things to the effect that Martin was a burglar or a "punk kid on his way to a life of serious crime." I've read he had been suspended from school and suspected, but never charged, with burglary. Is there any other evidence upon which the above claims rest?

  • cavalier973||

    He's black, duh.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

  • Spokker||

    His text messages that were not allowed paint a picture of a young man scared he was going to get a bullet to the chest because of his emergent lifestyle.

    He showed an affinity for fighting, illegal guns and drugs. Drugs is whatever, marijuana should be legal, but I do think when combined with the other two it's part of a lifestyle of thuggery. It's a culture of crime that goes beyond typical teenage transgressions.

    At 18, 19, 20 I think he was in a prime position to "catch a felony" to use the common phrase among young thugs (as if you just happened to catch a felony as if you are catching a cold) and have it ruin his chances to ever be a productive member of society.

    That's speculation on my part, which belongs on a blog, not in a courtroom, I guess. Someone tell that to the prosecution.

  • cavalier973||

  • cavalier973||

    Reducing the charge to manslaughter.

  • cavalier973||

  • Alice Bowie||

    Now you all now how liberal I am.

    I feel that Zimmerman is NOT GUILTY of Murder.
    I also feel that he may (70%) be guilty of Manslaughter.
    I do feel that George is responsible for that kids death and will lose a wrongful death civil suit.

    Given all of that, had I'd been the judge in this case, and after the defense rested, the DA came out with the 3rd Degree murder for Child Abuse shit, I would have right there and then, dismissed the jury and issue summary judgement of NOT GUILTY and tell George Zimmerman that he is free to go.

    The BALLS of the DA. That action PROVES that even the DA doesn't believe that he's guilty of Murder.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    How did you arrive at 70% and why is he responsible? Fuck, Martin left and later returned. He should have, wisely, kept on walking, no? Shit, there's something to be said of just turning the cheek.

    I was bullied by an STM worker in Montreal years ago. I don't remember why, but it had to be because of language because I was a kid who kept to himself listening to my walkman.

    But for days he did it. Even doing it inf front of the cops.

    It was retarded and to this day I wished he got the beating that piece of shit richly deserved.

    Guess what. I kept walking.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Rufus (& Shaka Khan)

    The fact is that Zimmerman MAY have started the entire incident and initiated the physical confrontation. We have no evidence proving he did or didn't. And, nobody except good-ole George knows the truth.

    I find that white people in general (especially the more racist type...and not all) believe Zimmerman's story because they feel Zimmerman did us a favor by getting rid of Trayvon.
    They buy the idea that Zimmerman after getting out of his car (with his gun), just simply walked back to his car like a mope and got jumped by the nigger.

    I find that black people (regardless of whether they are racist or not) along with people like me that don't trust the police not one single bit, find Zimmerman's story a bit skeptical.

    But, no evidence, no conviction of criminal charges as far as I'm concern.

    Since there's no affirmative defense in Florida, I have to acquit on ALL criminal charges.

  • free2booze||

    The fact is that Zimmerman MAY have started the entire incident and initiated the physical confrontation. We have no evidence proving he did or didn't.

    How many times do you need people to explain this to you... the defense doesn't need to prove anything. It's up to the prosecution to prove their case, and for the defense to provide reasonable doubt.

    The fact that you are saying that Zimmerman MAY have started the fight, implies reasonable doubt.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Common man, didn't you read by last two sentences?

    But, no evidence, no conviction of criminal charges as far as I'm concern.

    Since there's no affirmative defense in Florida, I have to acquit on ALL criminal charges.

    And, it's really could be beyond the reasonable doubt if the jury members don't believe his story and think he's lying.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Alice, nevertheless, it all comes down to the burden of proof falling on the prosecution and in order for it to have succeeded it would have needed to prove exactly what we don't know as you pointed out.

    Since they haven't, all the defense has to do is, well, play defense. The best offense is a good defense and in this case they were up against a weak offense.

  • Marshal||

    I find that white people in general (especially the more racist type...and not all) believe Zimmerman's story because they feel Zimmerman did us a favor by getting rid of Trayvon.

    You didn't "find" this. You invented it to support your twisted view of the world.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Martin left and later returned.

    Please point to where this fact was testified to?

  • Azathoth!!||

    It's in Jeantel's testimony

  • cavalier973||

    Just how liberal are you?

  • sloopyinca||

    Alice is so liberal...she [blanks] social justice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrHgEXNDw3k

  • Spokker||

    I think that the people who support a 2nd degree murder or manslaughter conviction for Zimmerman want the government to more strictly regulate the interactions people have with each other.

    Perhaps we SHOULD pass laws that further restrict our ability to follow others, inquire about what they are doing or be suspicious of them. This sounds like what the majority of the population wants.

    Yes, we have stalking laws that cover extreme cases, but perhaps we should pass a law that makes it illegal to follow someone once, and beef it up for special circumstances such as when you are a white man following a young black man or a woman in a parking structure, even if you just happened to park in the parking space next to them.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Agreed. At best, by some miracle, a Hung Jury.

  • sloopyinca||

    Just landed in PHX and getting ready to jump on another plane.

    All I have to say is: I really, really, really wish I'd have been around a few hours ago. I would have destroyed somebody on here with story after story after story.

    Fuck!

  • Generic Stranger||

    Nothing stopping you from doing it anyway.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    "Story after story" is sloopy's nickname for their strapon.

  • BabyJane63||

    Am I the ONLY one who listened to the medical testimony? Tray'von had NO injuries to indicate he'd ever even hit Zimmerman...Let alone attacked the ovezealous wannbe.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Apparently you didn't, because somehow you managed to miss the scraped knuckles.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    And the medical testimony that deeper injuries to his hands wouldn't have shown up so soon.

  • West Texas||

    With no men on the jury, Zimmerman is fucked. They'll probably not convict him of murder but I don't see how six women will reject the emotionalism and not land on manslaughter as a compromise.

  • MasterDarque||

    If only Perry Mason was real - sighs

  • MasterDarque||

    were

  • Marshal||

    I find it outrageous the prosecution is essentially arguing for the jury to ignore the law. It's bad enough that defense attorneys do it, but prosecutors? I have no idea if this violates their official ethics, but it should.

  • free2booze||

    4 minutes passed between when Trayvon started running away, and the time of the fight.

  • Spokker||

    "Such a verdict would be psychologically understandable but legally unjustified."

    I don't even think it would be understandable.

    Many people are forgetting that Zimmerman claims that he initially saw a suspicious person on someone else's grass area, looking into homes and acting strangely in a neighborhood that had had a rash of burglaries. He may be lying, but the evidence that this was possible or even likely is Trayvon Martin's past, which wasn't allowed in court.

    Whether it's true or not, it's weird how that possibility has gone completely away, even in casual non-court discussions about this. People talk about Trayvon Martin as if he had every right to be there, but Zimmerman had every right to watch him and be suspicious of him.

    At the end of the day, every shred of circumstantial evidence is consistent with Zimmerman being attacked. It's not even a Casey Anthony or OJ situation where you know they did it.

    The fear I have is that they convict Zimmerman of a lesser charge because of things he did that were perfectly legal but open to wild speculation.

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