Crime

If George Zimmerman Loses a Pretrial Motion to Dismiss, He Can Still Be Acquitted

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Judging from a sidebar in today's New York Times, there is some confusion about how Florida's self-defense law applies to George Zimmerman's case. The law, as amended in 2005, states that someone who justifiably uses force in self-defense "is immune from criminal prosecution." Under a 2010 decision by the Florida Supreme Court, that means Zimmerman has a right to a pretrial hearing where he can get the second-degree murder charge against him dismissed if he can show, by "a preponderance of the evidence," that he reasonably believed deadly force was necessary to prevent Trayvon Martin from killing or seriously injuring him. In other words, he has to convince a judge it is more likely than not that his use of force was lawful. But if he loses that motion, he can still argue at trial that he acted in self-defense, and the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did not.

By contrast, the Times leaves the impression that Zimmerman has no hope of acquittal if his motion to dismiss is denied:

The case will almost certainly include a pretrial hearing to determine whether the state's Stand Your Ground law, which grants broad protections to people who claim to have killed in self-defense, applies; if the judge finds that Mr. Zimmerman acted appropriately, the case will end there. If the judge decides that the protections of the law do not apply, the case will go forward.

At trial, however, the question of self-defense can be brought up again and possibly will, said Robert Weisberg, a criminal law expert at Stanford Law School. That could lead to a fallback position for the jury β€” if allowed by the judge β€” of a lesser verdict of manslaughter should the jury decide that Mr. Zimmerman sincerely but unreasonably believed that he was appropriately using lethal force to defend himself, which is known as "imperfect self-defense."

Manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, does seem like a more appropriate charge than second-degree murder, which carries a potential life sentence and requires "a depraved mind regardless of human life." If Zimmerman broke the law, it was probably because he overreacted in the heat of the moment, so the murder charge seems like a stretch. But contrary to the implication of the Times article, a manslaughter conviction is not the best that Zimmerman can hope for if his case goes to trial. The jury could conclude there is reasonable doubt as to whether he acted in self-defense, in which case he would be acquitted. That standard is not some weird quirk of Florida law. As Northern Kentucky University law professor Michael J.Z. Mannheimer points out, "this is true in virtually every State."

Furthermore, the Times conflates two different aspects of Florida's self-defense law. If Zimmerman's account of his fight with Martin is true, he had no opportunity to safely retreat, so the right to "stand your ground" (the "broad protections" mentioned by the Times) would not apply. In this case the unusual aspect of Florida's law is not the self-defense argument Zimmerman is making but the fact that he gets to present it before trial, along with evidence to support his version of the shooting.

In mandating that procedure, the Florida Supreme Court noted the legislative intent expressed in the preamble to the 2005 law: "The Legislature finds that it is proper for law-abiding people to protect themselves, their families, and others from intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution." The court explained that the "immunity" promised by the law was meant to provide extra protection for people who use force in self-defense:

While Florida law has long recognized that a defendant may argue as an affirmative defense at trial that his or her use of force was legally justified, section 776.032 contemplates that a defendant who establishes entitlement to the statutory immunity will not be subjected to trial. Section 776.032(1) expressly grants defendants a substantive right to not be arrested, detained, charged, or prosecuted as a result of the use of legally justified force. The statute does not merely provide that a defendant cannot be convicted as a result of legally justified force.

But to reiterate, that defense is still available even if Zimmerman does not have enough evidence in his favor to avoid a trial.

Addendum: On the issue of second-degree murder vs. manslaughter, Florida's standard jury instruction for the former crime requires that the act leading to the victim's death "is done from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent," which does not seem to fit the publicly known facts of the shooting, although it might make sense if it can be shown that Zimmerman shot Martin out of anger rather than fear. As Mo points out in the comments, Martin's mother,  Sybrina Fulton, today described the shooting this way: "I believe it was an accident. I believe it just got out of control, and he couldn't turn the clock back." That does not sound like second-degree murder. 

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  1. How can they still be getting this so wrong? It’s not that hard to figure out.

    1. The facts never matter to these assholes. They create the facts not respond to them.

      1. That’s so alien to my way of thinking that I’m almost always surprised to see it. It’s just unbelievable.

        Reality isn’t going away, no matter how many times they click their ruby slippers together.

        1. Agenda today, corrections (maybe) tomorrow.

          1. By which time, no one cares, and the original “errors” have been internalized as facts.

            Case in point: George H.W. Bush’s supposed awe when seeing a bar-scanner in action.

      2. Do not underestimate the possibility — nay, the very strong likelihood — that these reporters and writers simply don’t understand what they are talking about.

        1. Odd how all of their errors seem to go in one direction, though.

          1. the errors ARE part of the entertainment in RW radio

            1. What color is the sky on your planet, ozone?

              1. It’s blue, Brutus. As a matter of fact, everything on his planet is blue. Beautiful, beautiful blue…(fapfapfapfap)

              2. the sky burned-off after the double-secret, global warming conspiracy

    2. Because they’re doing it on purpose. They’re following the Rahm Emanuel rule: never let a crisis go to waste. They’re seizing on this opportunity to weaken the individual right of self-defense, something they don’t believe in.

      1. You know, our country is in real trouble. We might want to deal with that rather than the fuzzy delusions of too much political LSD.

      2. They’re seizing on this opportunity to weaken the individual right of self-defense, something they don’t believe in.

        Right, because self-defense is an expression of self-reliance, aka individuality. And when you cut to the cahse, that’s what they really don’t believe in. The notion that an individual citizen can do something without their aid or their blessing is anathema to everything they stand for.

        1. And, in making the collective the basic unit of society, there is no atrocity they will not commit against the individual to empower the collective.

        2. It reminds me of the guy who shot a burglar with a crossbow in Oregon (or Washington) recently. The police spokesman said he would not be charged, but that he was lucky and that people should call the police rather than defend their person or property.

          1. A flerking crossbow? Did he not have a flail available?

      3. I hear on the radio “news” update at lunch” “Months after a young Florida teen was “gunned down” his “killer” is “finally” being charged”. No shit.

    3. The Times is a ass — a idiot.

    4. In the midst of all the racial victimhood, I have not heard an explanation for how the hunted down negro got on top of the Mexican on the ground.

      1. In the midst of all these sockpuppets, I have a simple explanation for where another one is coming from.

      2. dumass walked into a straight right is how

    5. Gee, imagine how many people would give a shit if Trayvon Martin had killed Zimmerman. Just imagine the outrage.

      1. That template was followed some 500-odd times in 2010, and no one raised a finger in outrage. Odd, no?

        1. So in 2010, black neighborhood watch guys shot dead 500 white,candy-carrying teenagers under questionable circumstances?

          Wow. I guess blacks have no reasons at all to be upset about Martin.

  2. I’m no fan self-appointed cop wannabe’s but I hope like hell this guy walks. They’re just playing politics with this kids life. No shame.

    1. It’s all just so bizarre.

      1. Not to these crazy fucks. Hyper partisanism makes people lose their fucking minds. And sadly this story has been embraced by Team Blue and Team Red making all logic fly out the window.

        1. This is true. It’s disgraceful.

    2. u mean the ALEX inspired politics which got trayvon kilt?

      1. Kilt as a verb? Ooh, I like it! Now if we all can decide on a definition.

        1. i luvs me sum conjugationz

      2. The sun came up today and I got out of bed. So if I get out of bed, the sun should come up.

      3. Who’s Alex? Alex P. Keaton? Alex Trebek?

        1. Alexander the Great, who wept that he had no more worlds to conquer, then stabbed a Persian in a hoodie.

      4. Do you think that George Zimmerman sat around thinking about the complexities of Florida self-defense law during his altercation? If not, how did the law have any impact on the actual shooting whatsoever?

        1. one thinks about such things before…before things get outta hand

  3. Yo, lawyers… Will the state be able to present evidence publicly to go against pre-trial dismissal or is it behind-closed-doors judicial review of the evidence?

    1. They’ll Prolly move him to guantonimo. Racism = Terrorism.

      1. Sorry. Racism is worse than terrorism. I should have proof read before posting.

      2. Even if it goes to trial as long as they can get the jury to only consider the small window of time where no one but Zimmerman knows what happened, reasonable doubt will acquit.

        1. There’s probably some physical evidence that will either corroborate or weaken Zimmerman’s testimony, and there’s at least some direct evidence in and around the shooting. Inconsistencies could hurt either way.

          1. What aboot the veracity of the eyewitness’ testimony? I’m still convinced that the prosecution knows more that what is being reported.

            1. Possibly. We’ll know soon enough.

            2. “Aboot”? Canadian infiltrator?

              1. Damn my rental fingers! That and this board has been Dagny T.and Arensen devoid far too long.

                Perhaps it was a Fraudian Slip.

              2. “Aboot” today. “Colour” a couple days ago. Cover blown.

                1. Activate Canadian Defense System. Level: Full Shatner.

                2. “Colour” a couple days ago. Cover blown.

                  Superfluous “u”‘s prove nothing. Nothing! Truth be told, I have an email pal in the UK, and I guess it’s rubbing off on me. Does self-defense apply in this case?

                  1. You Canadians get Predator Drone Due Process and you”ll LIKE it.

                    1. It’s just Drone Process.

                    2. You Canadians get Predator Drone Due Process and you”ll LIKE it.

                      But I’ve never even been to a Timmy Ho’s. I assure you I’m not a sleeper cell Canuckistanian. Do I get thrown into GitMo now?

                    3. But I’ve never even been to a Timmy Ho’s.

                      How is that even possible? Now it sounds like you’re making up ridiculous excuses.

                      And no, Gitmo is too nice for Maple Syrup Swizzlers such as yourself. I’ll have Nunavut.

                    4. How is that even possible?

                      Because there are no Timmy Ho’s in Okieland.

                      For the sake of SOD, I have advocated the total annihilation of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. Jeez!

                      I’m admittedly on the fence about (see!) the Quebecois.

                    5. I’ll have Nunavut.

                      Nice

                    6. And no, Gitmo is too nice for Maple Syrup Swizzlers such as yourself. I’ll have Nunavut.

                      Just because I occasionally watch the fights hoping a hockey game breaks out, does not a bagged milk swiller make.

                      You guys are really reaching here.

                    7. You make me some of that delicious poutine and a peameal sandwich and we’ll call it even.

                    8. You make me some of that delicious poutine and a peameal sandwich and we’ll call it even.

                      I’ve never ingested that cuisine of which you speak, much less know how to prepare it.

                      When I watched wrestling, back in the day, I rooted against Bret Hart. If that doesn’t absolve me of this baseless charge, I don’t know what will.

                    9. It’s because you rooted for Owen Hart and Chris Benoit. Don’t play that game with me.

                    10. It’s because you rooted for Owen Hart and Chris Benoit.

                      I shed not a tear when each of them died. Too bad about Owen Hart; Benoit deserves nothing less than eternal raping with a red hot iron ball mace and castration Prometheus style. And throw in some Sisyphean punishment in there for good measure.

                  2. I have an email pal in the UK, and I guess it’s rubbing off on me.

                    You have a dude in the UK rubbing off on you? You naaaaaaaaaasty, doc.

                    1. It’s days like this I really hate you guys. Feh.

                  3. *self-defence

          2. One thing I haven’t heard yet is the trajectory of the bullet in Martin. It should look quite different if Martin was shot standing up (as Martin’s family claims) or if he was shot while on top of Zimmerman (as Zimmerman claims). That will probably be the interesting part.

        2. reasonable doubt will acquit.

          Assuming he gets a jury willing to be impartial judge the merits of the case and evidence presented. Jury nullification is a double bladed axe.

          1. Assuming he gets a jury willing to be impartial judge the merits of the case and evidence presented. Jury nullification is a double bladed axe.

            Even if the evidence we haven’t seen yet really breaks in his favor, I still have a hard time believing that a jury won’t put him away, lest their acquittal stir up massive civil unrest.

            1. I have to join the chorus of those who think that the civil unrest threat is wildly overrated.

              1. I have to join the chorus of those who think that the civil unrest threat is wildly overrated.

                I don’t think it would happen, but I also don’t think that the idea is wildly overrated, either. And after the whole Rodney King kerfuffle twenty years ago, that will have to be weighing on their minds when they deliberate the case.

              2. I tend to fall in this camp as well. Every case is different. It is a distinct possibility, but I’m not going to assume the conclusion here.

              3. I have to join the chorus of those who think that the civil unrest threat is wildly overrated.

                It’s not like there haven’t been race riots here before:
                1967 – Tampa
                1980 – Miami
                1982 – Miami
                1987 – Tampa
                1989 – Miami
                1989 – Tampa
                1992 – Tampa
                1996 – St. Petersburg

    2. I assume it’s all a matter of public record unless the judge hears it in camera for some reason, which I assume won’t be the case. Not a litigator, though, so I’m not sure.

      1. Ditto. The presumption is for presenting evidence in open court. I don’t see anything here that would justify excluding the press.

    3. Public hearing. Unless there is some off-the-wall procedure in Florida that I am unaware of, it will be a hearing in public.

      1. Well, there is Thunderdome, but that was in Tampa. I don’t think they have anything like that over there.

        1. Well, there is Thunderdome, but that was in Tampa St. Petersburg. I don’t think they have anything like that over there.

          Come on, ProL! You live here, you should know this.

  4. The New York Times has really only one intention here, and it’s to push gun control.

    See here.

    And here.

      1. And, of course, the fan the flames of race-baiting for the election. Fucking politics.

        1. Insert Rahm Emmanuel here…

          Take that one for what you will, sickos! πŸ™‚

  5. someone who justifiably uses force in self-defense “is immune from criminal prosecution.”

    *cough*hatecrime*cough*

    1. Speaking of that, The Revs. Jackson and Sharptounge will be paying a visit to flyover country this weekend.

  6. By contrast, the Times makes it sound as if Zimmerman has no hope of acquittal if his motion to dismiss is denied…

    Incompetence or malice?

    If it’s 25% likely that Zimmerman reasonably believed deadly force was necessary, he’ll fail at pretrial and succeed at trial.

    1. Incompetence or malice?

      Why does it matter? The outcome is the same.

      1. You can generally teach competence or replace the incompetent. If it’s done from malice, change is much more unlikely.

    2. What is the percentage for “beyond a reasonable doubt”? 5%? 1%? “Limit of x as x goes to zero” percent?

    3. Incompetence or malice?

      Can’t it be both?

  7. The case will almost certainly include a pretrial hearing to determine whether the state’s Stand Your Ground law, which grants broad protections to people who claim to have killed in self-defense, applies…

    Furthermore, the Times conflates two different aspects of Florida’s self-defense law. If Zimmerman’s account of his fight with Martin is true, he had no opportunity to safely retreat, so the right to “stand your ground” (the “broad protections” mentioned by the Times) would not apply.

    Come now. It’s not as if they’re conflating things accidentally.

  8. So do we have a forensics report now? Or did the special prosecutor charge Zimmerman before the forensics was completed?

  9. Jacob, isn’t the fact that the case can be dismissed pretrial part of the SYG law? Therefore, if the case is dismissed, the Florida SYG law applies and the Times is correct that the SYG law is central to the issue pretrial.

  10. Does George Zimmerman still have the 5th Amendment right to remain silent if he goes for the SYG Dismissal and loses?

    It seems risky to go for the SYG Dismissal because what you say there may be used as evidence in trial if the judge decides not to dismiss 2nd degree murder.

    Any thoughts? I’m not familiar with this aspect of the law.

    1. This is an interesting conundrum.

    2. I understand what you are getting at but there is not doubt that Zimmerman shot him. The case hinges on how justified he was in doing so. So in this case your question only relevant when someone doesn’t want to admit to the shooting at all.

    3. I’m wondering if you can plead the 5th and invoke SYG.

      I guess he’s gonna have to take the stand.

      He’ll beat manslaughter…let alone 2nd degree murder. That is ridiculous. I think the DA did it on purpose as she knows she has absolutely no case.

      1. I suppose it’s possible that the idea is to punt and make the jury the fall guys, as there’s probably enough evidence to get to a verdict.

    4. From what I understand he gave up his 5th Amendment rights the day of the shooting. He allowed himself to be questioned without an attorney for several hours. Then he went back the next day and recreated his version of the events for the police at the scene while on camera. Supposedly, his story was consistent both times.

      1. He waived his right to counsel and his right to remain silent on those occasions, but that will not affect his right to remain silent in the future, if he chooses.

        1. True, but he has already given them enough to hang him, if anything is there.

      2. “He allowed himself to be questioned without an attorney for several hours.”

        that’s the lesson here.

        1. Uh, yeah. And had it not been for a nationwide race-baiting campaign involving some serious heavy hitters from the outrage industry, he wouldn’t have been charged with anything.

          I don’t think this example proves your lesson…

  11. This guy is so fucked.

    Because there will be riots if he doesn’t go to prison, the prosecutor and judge will use every dishonest trick they’ve got to put him there.

    At this point their job is not justice, but damage control.

    1. Indeed, they’d just skip the whole trial process if they could get away with it. To loud applause from the Left.

      1. And TEAM RED wouldn’t milk any political fallout to its advantage? This whole circus is disgusting.

        1. Of course they would. I don’t know that this particular situation is going to give them much of anything, unless they work up the nerve to complain about Zimmerman getting railroaded.

          Neither Team Red nor Team Blue is really noted for their courage. As someone once said, their favorite exercise is running for the hills.

      2. If he somehow gets off, Holder will immediately charge him on federal civil rights violations.

    2. Yes, they’re monsters, how dare they ask for a day in court for the man that killed their son.

      “I believe it was an accident. I believe it just got out of control and he couldn’t turn the clock back,” Fulton said, revealing her opinion about what happened the night her 17-year-old son was shot to death. “I would ask him, did he know that that was a minor, that that was a teenager and that he did not have a weapon.”

      Fulton said even if Zimmerman is found not guilty, the arrest achieves the goal of their campaign to raise awareness and bring him to justice.

      “We just want him to be held accountable for what he done,” Fulton said. “We are happy that he was arrested so that he can give his side of the story.”

      1. An “accident” would probably open Zimmerman to manslaughter charges. He’s better off with deliberate self-defense.

        1. Granted, the person saying it was an accident was Trayvon’s mom, so she likely believes that her son was innocent in the case. However, it seems to contradict that the family is full of enraged bloodlust like the commenters here seem to assume.

          1. Silly Mo,

            Don’t you know that Trayvon’s mom is Black, and therefore incapable of rational thought? All of her actions are fueled by base animalistic urges.

            This is also why it is assumed that unless Zimmerman is convinced that all Black people, everywhere around the world, will riot, rape, and induce mayhem. Because they’re incapable of having any sort of rational reaction to all of this.

            At least that’s what sarcasmic told me.

            1. Would you like some overalls for your straw man?

              1. Oh, are you saying these inevitable rioters will representative of all creeds and colors? A veritable human rainbow of diversity?

            2. It’s not like there isn’t some precedent for the expectation of rioting in such a case.

              1. What WTF said.

              2. So, post hoc ergo propter hoc?

                Besides, don’t you agree that the frustration from decades of treating the police as a protected class is what led to the LA riots? As a Son of Liberty, didn’t you have even the slightest inclination to join them, NAP be damned? If not, I’d say your blood runs too cold.

                1. The 1992 Los Angeles Riots or South Central Riots, also known as the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest[1][2][3] were sparked on April 29, 1992, when a jury acquitted three white and one Hispanic Los Angeles Police Department officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King following a high-speed pursuit.

                  It’s not a fallacy if it’s true.

                  1. Perhaps the Latin threw you off. I’m not saying the LA Riots didn’t happen. What I’m saying is that it is a fallacy to believe that just because a riot occurred when police officers were acquitted in one case were they brutalized a Black man, doesn’t mean that very time a high-profile case involves a Black person their will be riots if a certain verdict is reached.

                    Many of you are saying that its inevitable that there will be riots in the Black community. I find that line of reasoning to be unsavory, at best.

                    1. And I didn’t say “every time a high-profile case involves a Black person their (sic) will be riots if a certain verdict is reached.” I pointed out that it is a very real possibility. You seem to disagree. I guess we will both need to wait and see what actually happens.

                    2. I pointed out that it is a very real possibility. You seem to disagree. I guess we will both need to wait and see what actually happens.

                      As long as you’re arguing that it’s a possibility and not an inevitability then there is little for us to disagree. However, other commentators have been arguing as if it’s certain that riots will erupt in urban centers if Zimmerman is acquitted or found not guilty.

                      Mo arguments succinctly state why I don’t think rioting is inevitable or even highly probable. (But there is a possibility, I’ll concede that.)

                    3. I don’t know if there will be any rioting as such. I strongly suspect, though, that the decision makers in this case will fear that either rioting will occur or that they will be punished in some other way (e.g. in the next election) if they don’t make the “correct” choice. And I don’t have faith that they have enough backbone to do the right thing regardless of who is upset. I think they’ll do whatever advances their careers.

                    4. There were the Cincinnati riots as well….

                    5. I pointed out that it is a very real possibility. You seem to disagree. I guess we will both need to wait and see what actually happens.

                      No you didn’t, you said there’s an expectation. That means it’s much more likely than not.

                    6. I guess we can get bogged down in semantics, so I’ll clarify by saying ‘expectation of the possibility of rioting’. Or potential for rioting, or however you prefer. Just a guess, but I would say my gut is about 50/50 right now. Could change depending on how the trial, or dismissal, plays out.

                    7. Sadly, I think there are those who will try to drum up that sort of rage in this case, but I actually don’t expect major riots in the event of an acquittal. I think the possibility that things just got out of hand is beginning to trickle into people’s heads. Not that there isn’t culpability, just that it might not be so clear cut.

                2. Oddly, despite living in NYC at the time, I missed the riots after the Diallo case, but didn’t miss the peaceful protests.

                  1. …and the Crown Heights riot….

              3. The conditions in Los Angeles in 1992 and Florida in 2012 are completely different. Crime rates were more than twice as high, it was the LAPD with the culture that eventually led to the Rampart Scandal. There was a significant mistrust and weariness of abuse combined with a violent, well armed area created a tinderbox in the area. The King trial was the match that lit the fuse.

                1. So, do you believe that with the usual race hustlers and media enablers whipping up mobs out for Zimmerman’s head, that there is no chance of rioting if they don’t get what they want?

                  1. We’re libertarians, so we are glad the police didn’t get convicted in the Rodney King beating?

                    What am I missing here?

                    1. Don’t you get it Randian, the justice system always works correctly if Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton disagree with it. If people feel injustice has occurred, they are wrong and should shut up and take it rather than peacefully protest and lobby the government.

                  2. Really because Rodney King was the only time people were outraged about police abuse and brutality and came out in large numbers? I missed the post-Bell and Diallo riots.

                    1. The fact that this dude is not a cop, and therefor not above the law, is precisely why I believe he will be convicted no matter what.

                  3. No, I’m not saying there is no chance, but I’m not saying it’s 100 percent certain either.

                    Do you think it’s just as likely that White supremacists, et al. will riot if Zimmerman (the Jewish Hispanic Guy, lolwut?) is convicted? If not, why not?

                    1. Rioting is not a white supremacist thing. They lean toward bombs and shooting rampages several years after the fact.

                    2. What plu1959 said.

                    3. Rioting is not a white supremacist thing.

                      The Zoot Suit Riots?

                      The Chicago Race Riots?

                      Australia every other day? [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Cronulla_riots]

                    4. Did I say that white supremacists never riot?

                    5. Well, I would guess not, because I’m pretty sure white supremacists don’t really care what happens to a Jewish Hispanic guy.

                    6. Well, I would guess not, because I’m pretty sure white supremacists don’t really care what happens to a Jewish Hispanic guy.

                      You’d think so. πŸ™‚ But David Duke seems to be pretty concerned about Zimmerman’s fate; a fact that amuses me.

                    7. But David Duke seems to be pretty concerned about Zimmerman’s fate;

                      Seriously? That is….interesting, to say the least.

              4. Well there’s plenty of precedent for white folks stealing land, enslaving people and committing genocide. But when anyone mentions it or holds it against white people in general they’re playing a victim/race card.

            3. It’s a high profile case, and the media has gone all out in trying to make the guy look as guilty as possible. The greater the difference between the popular perception of guilt and the jury’s perception of guilt, and the more the case stays on people’s radar, the greater the likelihood of riots.

              That said, if there are riots, the media will deserve a great share of the blame. I sort of hope that the victims will actually try to sue them and succeed; aside from the damage, it would help to kill public respect for the institution of the press among moderates.

          2. This isn’t about Trayvon’s family. Of course they’re going to seek “justice”. It’s about the political parasites pandering to the race baiters.

            1. The victim’s family sure sounds moderate compared to the outrage industry.

              1. And the media.

                But what does the victim’s family know? They just lost one person. The media and the outrage industry is responsible for the Fate of Race Relations in America – a much more solemn (and reality-optional) obligation.

      2. It’s going to be a lot more than a day, dude. You seriously underestimate how much a trial can fuck up your life. Also, the Martins sure weren’t sounding this conciliatory two days ago. They got the first fruits of what they want and now they’re trying to project a nice image.

        1. Two days ago they didn’t have what they wanted, which was a fair and open trial in a court of law. That’s hardly an unreasonable request after their son was killed.

          1. Fair an open trial? Is that a joke?

            This guy is being railroaded.

            It’s a foregone conclusion at this point.

            This isn’t about justice, it’s about revenge.

          2. Two days ago they didn’t have what they wanted, which was a fair and open trial in a court of law.

            If Zimmerman is acquitted, we will truly find out how conciliatory the Martins are.

            If convicted, we will find out how gracious the Martins are.

            1. They’re sweet so we already know they must be gracious.

          3. Did the Martin family publicly repudiate the New Black Panther Party for putting a bounty on Zimmerman’s head? Repudiate Spike Lee for attempting to publicize Martin’s home address (and screwing it up)? Repudiate Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? Repudiate those repugnant politicians who pre-emptively declared Zimmerman guilty of shooting Martin down “like a dog” simply because he was black? Repudiate Obama for getting involved?

            They can end this nonsense simply by calling for it all to cease and to let the justice system proceed. Have they done that?

            I didn’t think so.

            1. Perhaps they’re pretty traumatized by the death of the kid and don’t want to be on TV all the time saying “Guys, don’t be idiots here”?

              1. But they weren’t too traumatized to take the time to trademark their son’s name, were they?

              2. They’ve been making public appearances speaking at protests pretty much constantly. Can’t fall back on that excuse.

                1. yea. it’s irrelevant to case facts, but martin’s family, especially his mother, sound like fucksticks.

                  trademarking his NAME and shit?

                  cmon

                  1. They trademarked it to block other people from using and abusing it. Like the fuckstick that trademarked “I believe you Zimmerman

                    1. They trademarked it to block other people from using and abusing it. Like the fuckstick that trademarked “I believe you Zimmerman”

                      Oh, so they have no intention of licensing it or making money off of it in any way? Then why would they trademark the phrases “I believe in Trayvon” and “Justice For Trayvon”? How could someone “abuse” it if that was what they put on a shirt? And why not TM “Fuck Trayvon” or “Trayvon had it coming”?

                      Sorry, this sure looks like a money grab that backfired.

          4. That’s hardly an unreasonable request after their son was killed.

            It’s unreasonable if the odds are so low that the state will have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to go through the motions and have the same outcome anyway. Government incompetence in indeed a two-way street but encouraging it is kinda stupid.

            Are they attempting any civil suit against Zimmerman?

    3. You think there wouldn’t be riots after a conviction?

      1. Nope. Celebration perhaps, but not rioting.

        1. Celebrations in which TVs are stolen.

          1. Don’t forget the Nikes.

            1. To see what will happen, just watch LA in the aftermath of a Lakers championship. And yes, all races and creeds will be represented in the ensuing chaos. All kinds of people like free shit.

              1. All kinds of people like free shit.

                Exhibit “A”: Why Obama’s numbers aren’t totally in the toilet.

                Exhibit “B”: Sandra (appropriately named) Fluke.

                Exhibit “C”: Why Shit Flopney’s numbers aren’t worse than they are, and has TEAM RED’s establishment crowd totally in the bag.

                1. Yeah, but at least those people in your examples are wanting free shit with an open hand rather than with a closed fist like the LA rioters tend to do after the Lakers win.

                  1. but at least those people in your examples are wanting free shit with an open hand rather than with a closed fist

                    Both are closed fists; how hard each of the parties are willing and hard to hit is a different story. My examples affect me directly. The Lakers rioteers, not quite so much.

                    like the LA rioters tend to do after the Lakers win.

                    No argument there, sloop. They hit hard, very hard.

                    1. Both are closed fists; how hard each of the parties are willing and hard to hit is a different story. My examples affect me directly. The Lakers rioteers, not quite so much.

                      I disagree, doc. Those people, the aggrieved class, are too shit-scared to try to take anything. That’s why they try to get the government to do their dirty work for them. And fortunately, to a certain degree, the government ebbs and flows in its willingness to rob from the rich the productive and give to the poor the aggrieved.

                      The minute they start trying to take without the government at their back is the day they have a rude awakening.

                    2. and hard to hit

                      Correction: “…where to hit…”

                  2. LA rioters still shit with their own hands, Sandra Fluke gets dunphy and company to do it for them.

                    1. Sandra Fluke being and aggregate represented by a nominally individuated person, of course. Hence the plural usage above.

                    2. I wonder why she’s gone away so quickly. Methinks Team Blue has put her out to pasture because they got to know more about her. And here’s hoping Team Red has found out the same details and are hanging onto them so they can hang her around Team Blue come election-time.

                      I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that woman is gonna end up being a net loser for Obama. He should have left her alone.

                    3. iow, she may be their joe the plumber?

                    4. The normal political calculus is reversed, it seems.

                      Dead boy > live whore

                    5. I wonder why she’s gone away so quickly. Methinks Team Blue has put her out to pasture because they got to know more about her.

                      If the feminists have anything to say, her entitled ass is not going anywhere

    4. I think that it won’t be that bad when Zimmerman is found not guilty…which I would bet $1mm on.

      I think the parents and the black community wanted at least a trial/court hearing and not just a mere an official investigation by the police.

      2nd Degree murder has a 100% chance of not guilty or hung-jury…at best!

      1. Since the trial will be in nowhereville, FL, you may be right. I am skeptical that people will riot over a trial hundreds or thousands of miles away.

        Black residents aren’t going to start trashing some redneck town – rednecks are more dangerous than Korean grocers.

    5. I just don’t see riots happening.

      I was 3 in 1992; maybe things today are more similar to the way they were then than I know. But I don’t think so.

      1. Prolly no riots. Now that he’s been charged, they’ll take their time, to let things cool down. Unless there’s a Rodney King-style video incriminating Zimmerman.

  12. But this is true in virtually every State: last I checked, only Ohio and South Carolina require a defendant to shoulder the burden of persuasion on self-defense.

    This is misleading. Affirmative defense states place the burden of proof on neither side, so self-defense claims are judged by preponderance of the evidence.

    1. This is incorrect; you’re confusing criminal with civil law. In most states, in a criminal case, if the defense raises enough evidence to make a plausible affirmative defense, the burden is on the prosecution to disprove the defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Only in civil cases is the burden on defendants to prove affirmative defenses by a preponderance of the evidence.

  13. I would make a prediction here, but my prediction of the charges was so spectacularly wrong (because, in my defense, I didn’t take the “overcharge and plead them out” Prosecutor Tactic 101 into account), I shouldn’t make predictions here. It would be interesting to see, though, if Zimmerman’s attorneys made a motion that 2nd degree murder charge could not be sustained and the judge granted the motion.

    1. I have a strong suspicion that this prediction will not prove correct.

      1. Who *are* his attorneys now?

  14. The original prosecutor obviously believed that the evidence pointed to self-defense, and cut Zimmerman loose as the law required. The Special Prosecutrix committed an act of appeasement to the racists in white hoodies, which will cost the taxpayers of Florida millions. Not only the wasted time of the judicial system, but Zimmerman’s defense costs when he is acquitted.

    1. I wonder if the Defense could call the original prosecutor to testify during a trial?

  15. What America really want’s to know though is what celebraties think of this whole thing because that’s what’s really important.

    1. Actually rather surprised I have not heard more from the Celebrity Crowd on this.

      1. They’re dying to weigh in, but the new H&R registration policy is holding them back.

        1. Spike Lee is a celebrity.

    2. Ooh, yeah, I can hardly wait for Sean Penn to weigh in!

    3. I’m sure Janeane Garofalo has some trenchant and insightful comments to offer.

      1. Didn’t she already come out and blame Bush?

        1. And the patriarchy. Don’t forget the patriarchy. It’s in the handbook.

          1. And the rich. Can’t forget the rich.

      2. Yeah, I can’t wait for her to explain whether this is racism, or racism straight up.

        1. according to whoopie, this is “murder murder”

  16. I’m hearing lots of:

    BUT A WHITE BOY IN A HOODIE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FOLLOWED

    1. GUNS!

      VIGILANTES!

      THE MAN!

    2. Me, too.

      Not to mention Zimmerman said “He looks black,” as opposed to “He is black.” If he was a racist, he’s the most clever one I’ve ever seen. And racists aren’t, be definition, known for their cleverness.

      1. I think we can safely rule out cleverness on Zimmerman’s part.

      2. Not to mention Zimmerman said “He looks black,” as opposed to “He is black.” If he was a racist, he’s the most clever one I’ve ever seen

        Good point, and he only took that guess after prompting by the 911 dispatcher.

        1. That needs to be his entire defense in the Federal civil rights trial that will come two days after his acquittal in state court.

          1. yea, they might rodney king him

            that’s what was ironic in the king trial. there’s an excellent case the cops were guilty of the charges they were acquitted of in state court, but no way they had the animus/motive to justify the conviction under the federal charges

            zimmerman will be in the same boat. he better hope there aren’t riots, etc. if and when he is acquitted in state court because then he will get the DISPROPORTIONATELY USED AGAINST COPS DOUBLE STANDARD of a dual sovereignty (iow double jeopardy justified) attack on him in federal court

            but hey, he’s a cop wannabe, so the libs can justify trying him twice based on that

            and maybe the jurors will find him guilty because they want to avoid more rioting. that’s the kind of “justice” we can expect if there is a federal trial

            1. Dunphy, since the federal civil rights laws in question require a racially biased act under color of law, wouldn’t they by definition exclude people who aren’t cops or government employees?

              It seems silly to claim that police are disproportionately targeted by laws that aren’t intended to target civilians in the first place.

              1. my point is about inequality of result

                if cops are far more likely to be tried twice, because a law was written making it much easier to do that to cops, it’s still an example of how cops IN THAT REGARDS face a double standard

                iow, it’s a structural or institutional double standard

                note that these laws aren’t solely limited to color of law though. there are ways they can be used to target non-cops.

                we very well may see that here

                but you are entirely correct. certain of those statutes reference color of law.

                but if one can say X% of noncop defendants are tried twice (local and federal) when found not guilty in state court, but X+Y% of cops are

                where Y is a significant positive #

                that is a double standard, at least as i am referring to

                which is : something that places a harsher burden on an accused LEO vs. a nonLEO

                whether it’s structural or a consequence of something else, isn’t germane to the issue that it places a harsher burden on cops

                but you are entirely correct about the color of law thing

                and note also, the DECISION to use these laws is ALWAYS discretionary

                1. How the hell could it be a double standard when the charge cannot even be applied to a non-cop? Seriously?

                  Can we also say that Doctors, Nurses and hospital administrators are unfairly targeted since the overwhelming % of medical malpractice charges are brought against them?

                  1. because it creates an unequal process, sloopy

                    if you can try a cop twice when he is found not guilty of a crime, but only try a noncop once (in many cases), that’s a STRUCTURAL double standard, but it’s still a double standard

                    if they wrote a law saying “a cop, whether off duty or on duty will receive a max 2 yr penalty for assault vs. the one year penalty if committed by a noncop” that would also be a structural or institutional double standard

                    note also, that much like RICO laws, they are very discretionary. we are talking such a subjective, mind reading standard, a perfect example is rodney king

                    this could devolve into a semantical wank about double standard

                    i would argue AND HAVE that the fact that juries give cops more credit than cops, is also a sort of double standard, just NOT an institutional one. it’s more a ‘de facto’ one, iow not based on intentional acts by prosecutors, not based on biases by govt. agents (prosecutors not to charge), but merely based on the WAY PEOPLE ARE – which is more likely to trust cops than the average joe

                    1. if they wrote a law saying “a cop, whether off duty or on duty will receive a max 2 yr penalty for assault vs. the one year penalty if committed by a noncop” that would also be a structural or institutional double standard

                      Right, which is why they have not and will not write such a law. Strawman.

                      this could devolve into a semantical wank about double standard

                      That would be a shock!

                      i would argue AND HAVE that the fact that juries give cops more credit than cops, is also a sort of double standard, just NOT an institutional one. it’s more a ‘de facto’ one, iow not based on intentional acts by prosecutors, not based on biases by govt. agents (prosecutors not to charge), but merely based on the WAY PEOPLE ARE – which is more likely to trust cops than the average joe

                      Well, when a particular witness is allowed to wear his uniform that designates him as an agent of the state and others are not, it sorta gives the impression that that witnesses testimony is to be trusted more. And when their arrest history and potential troubles are not made available to the defense and are not admitted as evidence, their integrity is not questioned nearly as much as anyone else’s. So yes, it is in fact institutionalized.

              2. You took the words right out of my mouth, fluffy.

                But did you know that cops are disproportionately charged with false arrest? Ditto for falsifying a police report?

                It’s almost like we’re out to get them! Hahahahahahahahaha.

                1. you can evade all you want, but it doesn’t affect the issue

                  if you don’t want to call that a double standard, cal it something else.t devolves into a semantical wank

                  the point is that you claim that the system is set up so cops are favored over noncops when there is evidence they committed a crime

                  that’s your “thesis”

                  mine is that in some respects and in some cases, a cop accused of the same crime as a noncop is favored,and in some cases and respect,he is disfavored

                  the double jeopardy example of dual sovereignty is an example where a cop is disfavored

                  a noncop can be much more confident he will only be tried once

                  that is an ADVANTAGE whether structural,de facto, or whatever

                  if i bludgeon some guy like a baby seal while in uniform because he calls me a “poo poo head” i can get charged with assault and if found not guilty i can get charged and tried for a federal color of law “asault”

                  if you get pissed off by some guy who calls you a poopoo head and bludgeon him like a baby seal, except in rare circs,you can be confident you will only be tried in state court and if found not guilty,you are free and clear

                  that meets my definition of a double standard

                  for the state to get two bites at the same apple is a HUGE disadvantage to a defendant.that’s why we have double jeopardy laws.

                  it’s not like we are even saying try color of law undre a federal code (and feds are always much more harsh system in terms of penalties for similar crimes) OR a state code.

                  1. mine is that in some respects and in some cases, a cop accused of the same crime as a noncop is favored,and in some cases and respect,he is disfavored

                    Accused, or charged? Because the investigation is where the biggest double-standard comes into play.

                    I wonder if the rest of us civilians were accused of committing a crime, what our charge an arrest rate would be if our coworkers and friends were allowed to conduct the investigation.

                  2. Dunphy, that’s because when a cop does it, it’s more than one crime.

                    If I beat some guy up today to get him to confess to a murder, I’m guilty of assault.

                    If you do it, you haven’t just committed assault, you’ve corrupted a legal process.

                    If the legislature came up with a second crime to describe your action – “conspiracy to suborn perjury”, for example (so that you ended up charged with two crimes and not one) – this would not be an injustice. It would reflect the fact that your action is qualitatively different than mine.

                    1. fluffy, i disagree

                      look at the rodney king case

                      that was one crime

                      they beat the piss out of the guy

                      i think these are legal niceties that subvert a fundamental american right – the right NOT to be tried more than once for a crime

                      they beat the piss out of rodney king

                      imo, in a just system, they would have been tried for it ONCE

                      and whether or not one agrees with the “logic” as to why it wasn’t double jeopardy, this isn’t an argument about that

                      it’s an argument about whether cops are favored or disfavored when they are accused of crimes. sloopy thinks the former. i think… it depends

                      in incidents like rodney king, they are disfavored

                      but again , i understand the legal niceties, but that’s not the issue of favored or disfavored.

                      and one can charge more than one crime at the same trial

                      i’m not even arguing about if (in the case you mentioned about the confession) charging the cop with two crimes

                      MY ISSUE IS WITH THE TWO TRIALS

                      iow, in the above case, charge the cop with assault and “corruption of the legal process type crime”

                      but in one trial

                      do you grok the distinction?

                      being found not guilty, then tried again, for the same INCIDENT regardless of if you name the crimes differently, it’s still the same ACT – beating the piss out of rodney king is an example of how cops are in those cases disfavored

                      that’s what i am saying

                    2. i’m not even arguing about if (in the case you mentioned about the confession) charging the cop with two crimes

                      MY ISSUE IS WITH THE TWO TRIALS

                      Well, if one of the crimes is a state crime and one is a federal crime, there pretty much have to be two trials, right?

                      In the King case, I think what was unsightly about it was that they brought the federal charges after the state charges didn’t pan out. There was a causation there.

                      Had both sets of charges been brought at once, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

                    3. I’ve always been skeptical of federal charges that are not even discussed until the state trial is concluded. It’s almost as if they aren’t nearly as concerned with “finding the truth” as they are with “getting their man.”

                      Now I know it’s impossible to think government lawyers and enforcers would think that way, but it what I truly believe.

    3. there was an article the other day, i think it was NRO where they showed that the press etc. use “hoodie” to describe clothing worn by apparent victims, etc. and “hooded” to describe clothing in the very common cases where a suspect is wearing such a shirt

      iow, a guy gunned down by a vigilante: he was wearing a hoodie

      two burglary suspects caught by police: wearing HOODED sweatshirts

      pretty compelling # of examples

      same clothing item, but described differently based on the perceived nature of the wearer

      bad guys wear hooded sweatshirts (or in the case of the KKK – hoods)

      good guys wear hoodies

    4. IIRC, Zimmerman was following him around because a.) the kid didn’t live there (he was staying with his mom(?) temporarily) and Zimmerman didn’t recognize him, and b.) he was apparently wondering through people’s yards and taking shortcuts between houses instead of walking on the sidewalk.

      If I’m on the neighborhood watch in a neighborhood that’s had a problem with property crimes, that’s exactly the kind of behavior I’d be looking for.

      And, if Zimmerman is telling the truth, he never confronted the kid, the kid turned around and confronted him.

      Unless there is some kind of nefarious secret video of Trayvon walking down the sidewalk and getting ambushed from behind, I don’t see how this can be any kind of murder at all.

      Manslaughter, however, is a different story. If the judge doesn’t agree that it was self-defense, the jury will convict him of manslaughter. I have no doubt.

      1. right. it could be a manslaughter ruling if the jury thinks the fact pattern as claimed by zimmerman is accurate, but they don’t believe the situation he was in was one where a REASONABLE person would have perceived death or imminent serious bodily injury and thus he shouldn’t have shot

        this would be (if florida makes that distinction) a voluntary manslaughter

        as opposed to, for example, the BART case which was involuntary manslaughter because the jury (and recall even balko agreed with them) didn’t think the act (shooting the guy) was intentional, the act of pulling the trigger was, but not the act of pulling the trigger OF A GUN intending to shoot it, since they bought that he confused his taser with a gun

  17. for the former crime requires that the act leading to the victim’s death “is done from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent,”

    That is why we so desperately need hate crime law. There is not enough redundancy built into the law.

    1. OK, so I guess we’re not dealing with Jack McCoy style depraved indifference homicide after all.

      1. nice. i’ve been using the term jack mccoyism for years at volokh to describe the kind of prosecutorial shenanigans that sees an act it doesn’t like and tries to pigeonhole some law into making it illegal when it shouldn’t be.

        i gotta give props to sullum for an excellently written article that employs (as far as i can tell) accurate legal analysis. that is refreshing

        1. Exactly.

          Last night when I read that they were going for 2nd degree depraved indifference murder, I immediately thought of Jack McCoy.

          Because Jack would say that when Zimmerman took his gun with him on patrol, he was “indifferent” to the possibility that he might accidentally confront a kid walking home from the store, and that his indifference was “depraved”, so he was guilty of 2nd degree murder.

          Because to Jack taking any action that results in a bad outcome is depraved indifference. Always.

          1. bingo. jack is actually a very well drawn character. i KNOW people, and lawyers who are exactly like him: politically very liberal, identify with liberal causes (jack frequently empathizes with hippies, 60’s protesters, he is firmly anti-gun rights, pro-abortion, etc.)

            very well drawn character

            i know people in the prosecutor’s office who could be his ideological twin

            to a “t”

            i far prefer fred thompson’s character who is a pragmatic libertarian leaning conservative.

            pragmatism combined with libertarianism is imo a potent mixture

            and jack on several occasions completely ignores the rule of law to serve a “just” end

            iow, his results based analysis reminds me of ideologues everywhere, to include many reasonoids

            1. i just realized i typed i know, AND lawyers” iow implying that lawyers are not people

              note that lawyer and person are not mutually exclusive πŸ™‚

  18. > [2nd degree murder] requires that
    > the act leading to the victim’s
    > death “is done from ill will,
    > hatred, spite, or an evil intent,”
    > which does not seem to fit the
    > publicly known facts of the shooting

    Commentators on CNN and FoxNews said something like this. On FoxNews they also said that it could be a repeat of Case Anthony — by going with a heavy charge, the state might not be able to prove their case, and the defendant could go free.

    But on MSNBC the coverage was more anti-Zimmerman. A politician said Martin was hunted down like a rabbit. So in the minds of some, Zimmerman does have a depraved mind. I think jury selection is going to very important here.

    Anyway, the lawyer for Zimmerman sad that he’s never used stand-your-ground defense in court. They always work around it.

    1. Who is Zimmerman’s new lawyer? Or did his old lawyers get back together with him when they discovered where he was?

      1. Zimmerman has new lawyers. From Wikipedia:

        George Zimmerman’s attorneys

        Craig Sonner, the first lawyer to represent George Zimmerman in this incident, has an office located in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Sonner is a former assistant State Attorney for Seminole County, having worked there for three years before going into private practice; he had never defended a client accused in a homicide before this case. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Sonner stated, “I believed his story of how he was defending himself.”

        Hal Uhrig, the second lawyer to join George Zimmerman’s legal team is the senior partner in a six-lawyer firm in Maitland, Florida. Uhrig is a former police officer, Florida assistant attorney general, legal advisor to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and assistant public defender.[67] He also offered TV commentary during the Casey Anthony trial on Fox-owned WOFL in Orlando, Florida.[68] In an interview about Zimmerman with CBS News concerning this incident, Uhrig stated that “this was a fairly simple but tragic case of self-defense.”[69]

        On April 10, 2012, attorneys Sonner and Uhrig announced at a news conference that they had lost contact with Zimmerman as he was no longer returning their calls. They said they were withdrawing from the case and no longer representing him.

        On April 11, 2012, it was announced that Zimmerman was represented by a new attorney, Mark M. O’Mara, who is board certified as a criminal trial specialist.

        1. Mark M. O’Mara,

          Now we know why he withdrew at Augusta before teeing off last week.

  19. FWIW, Trayvon’s mom now retracts the “accident” comment.

    I’m pretty sure her retraction was preceded by slapping around from a trial lawyer.

  20. Apparently they aren’t going to arraign Zimmerman until May 29th.

    Now, I am anti-Zimmerman as everyone knows, but what the fuck?

    If you aren’t prepared to arraign the guy and set bail, why did he have to surrender?

    I think that prosecutors are pretty blithe and nonchalant in the way they send people to sit in prison waiting for arraignment and bail for two months, like it’s nothing.

    1. zimmerman should have a very low bail.

      his face is plastered all over the news. iow, he can’t be anonymous wherever he would choose to go

      he has strong ties to the community

      he is not a danger to anybody . if anything, he is in danger from everybody from spike lee to martin’s mother.

      he has strong ties to community, etc

      there are rules about bail. he doesn’t deserve a high bail for any reason i am aware of

      1. Apparently he didn’t even ask for bail. His attorney said it would have been too provocative.

        Most likely he’s scared for his life and knows that he’s safer in jail than out, now that he’s no longer hiding.

        1. Oh, OK.

          I was not aware that he had voluntarily foregone bail.

          That’s different.

          Thanks.

          1. yea. i agree. nevermind, cheddar

      2. That’s my point.

        He’s likely to be granted bail, and since half the country is on his side he’s likely to be able to raise it.

        So any time between the moment he’s incarcerated and the moment he gets assigned bail is BS time he shouldn’t have to serve.

        There was no need to urgently have this guy surrender yesterday if they weren’t prepared to immediately move to arraignment.

        I think that systemically prosecutors have grown VERY cavalier about letting people sit in jail awaiting arraignment or trial. They’re sentencing this guy to two months in jail before they even start the process. He gets to sit there for two months before he can even hear his arraignment and post his bail.

        1. I think that systemically prosecutors have grown VERY cavalier about letting people sit in jail awaiting arraignment or trial. They’re sentencing this guy to two months in jail before they even start the process. He gets to sit there for two months before he can even hear his arraignment and post his bail.

          The prosecution needs time to manufacture an/or badger witnesses, create a state of mind for Zimmerman by shopping around until they get the right expert opinion and getting just the right prosecution put together. You know: denying him a right to a speedy trial.

      3. there are rules about bail. he doesn’t deserve a high bail for any reason i am aware of

        I’d love to finally agree with you on something…anything…but do you not think he is a flight risk? He managed to disappear for weeks until today. Do you not think he could do that again? How hard would it be to go into a parking garage at a baseball game an disappear into a crowd, get into another car and be on a boat in Ft. Lauderdale or Miami the same night?

        1. sloopy, we agree on the vast majority of stuff and far more so than you would agree with 99 people off the street

          think about it

          war on drugs, war on prostitution, cops grossly overuse tasers, taxes, socialized medicine, the fact that both liberals and conservatives are statist ninnies, SWAT is totally overused, right to keep and bear arms, pro jury nullification, against racial preferences, pro self defense, hate crime laws are bad, antibullying laws are bad, cyberstalking laws are bad, we need less “do it for the children” nannystate crap, antifood freedom laws are bad, etc. etc.

          you concentrate on the stuff we disagree with, but it’s literally minutaue (sp?) compared to the stuff we agree on, that is a huge body of stuff that puts us in a very small minority of people in general.

          this reminds me of the old usenet days, when i was in a weightlifting group and we would have endless arguments about stuff that we thought important, but of course was trivial compared ot the stuff we agreed on, which was very disparate from the rest of “normal society”

          and when some SSFA ninnies came in, we would all band together and let the wild rumpus begin

          we had a motto “we may hate each other, but we hate you more”. i see analogies here.

          1. i think our main differences is i am way more pragmatic, you are way more idealistic, i have different views on use of force, i know case law and constitutional law to a much greater extent than you do (you may disagree, but again… i can have tons of debates in volokh and i have for years, but i am almost always in accord with legal analysis with legal experts on both sides of the political aisle and courts have also consistently upheld my actions in 3.5 and 3.6 hearings, so i think that’s objective proof), and mainly – that i think most cops are good people, i think excessive force is much rarer than you do, and i analyze force differently.

            and it’s fun to argue that stuff, but the fact is we agree on far more than we disagree on, and are in a tiny niche minority compared to society at large.
            but to answer your question, unless there is some evidence i am unaware of – i do not think he is a flight risk

            could he flee? sure. but the issue is always -what is the evidence that suggests that.

            has zimmerman even ever traveled overseas? im not aware of that, and im not aware of any ties he has in foreign countries

            i readily admit there could be tons of stuff i don’t know, that would change my analysis

            1. Are you asking me out on a date?

              I keed! I keed!

              1. sloopy, i respect your fire and commitment to causes. i just think you are wrong a lot

          2. I on’t know, man. You chose to live in Seattle. I’m not sure I could ever do anything so disgusting.

            1. sloopy, i live in a suburb outside seattle

              i choose to live here because, among other things, we have far more civil rights than in most other states.

              right to carry, right to self defense, etc.

              i know you THINK SPD is a horrible agency. imo, they are mediocre, but i think the stats support that they are much better, and use force much less often than comparable agencies…

              e.g.

              seattle use of force in 2009 was .12% of all contacts.

              that is less than 1/5 the national average

              UNLIKE, the DOJ “analysis”, that’s objective, not subjective

              http://seattletimes.nwsource.c…..ce08m.html

              consider that i chose this state, partly because as a cop i would have far LESS power than i would have in california.

              i would not choose to live IN seattle, because i have a family.

              i have a very good school district, my area’s crime rate is exceptionally low (note seattle’s is low too, but mine is lower), i have a great neighborhood, huge yard, and i work for imo one of the best dept’s in the country). i did a lot of research before choosing it

              as much as i miss surfing and good weather, when you get a family and your overwhelming goal in life is to provide for them, your criteria change

              in this area, i can literally live the american dream, put away 25% of my income into investments, and i have NO INCOME TAX!!!!

              1. OH, ALSO. i have no commute time.

                that’s a quality of life issue

                iow, when i work 8 hours, i literally only work 8 hours. including commute (note many specialized units and positions get take home cars) πŸ™‚

                last night, i had an arrest near the end of shift, so i had rare overtime

                i got home 55 minutes late and got 45 minutes of overtime pay

                (the incident was 10 minutes from my house, so that didn’t go into my overtime)

                life here is awesome

                1. i know you THINK SPD is a horrible agency. imo, they are mediocre, but i think the stats support that they are much better, and use force much less often than comparable agencies…

                  But now that you mention it, SPD’s wholesale disregard for civil rights, their refusal to investigate UOF incidents to even a standard the equally leftist DOJ finds acceptable and the number of people who have been killed or brutalized by cops consequence-free the past few years makes me want to stay way the hell away from it.

                  Remember, the UOF stats you use were panned as inadequate by the DOJ due to a concerted cover-up.

              2. i know you THINK SPD is a horrible agency. imo, they are mediocre, but i think the stats support that they are much better, and use force much less often than comparable agencies…

                No, actually, I was referring to this: Herpa-derpa-derp.

                and this.

              3. i choose to live here because, among other things, we have far more civil rights than in most other states.

                And yet you do go on about how terrible TEAM BLUE is compared to TEAM RED. I wasn’t aware Washington was such a conservative state.

                1. Not sure about WA, but in many cases you have fairly extreme laws made decades ago, when the political landscape was very different, that are very difficult to overturn because the side that likes the law is still a significant minority. EG, Pennsylvania’s firearms preemption law and ridiculous liquor laws.

  21. if the state goes for a heavy charge and limits the jury choice to that charge, this case would now remind me of another cop case …. amadou diallo

    iirc, the charge for diallo was murder two and iirc the jury did not have the option for manslaughter

    they charged too high and WITHOUT an out/option for a lower charge and thus – acquittal

    they MAY have been able to get some sort of lower charge conviction

    imo, at least based on the evidence i have seen, it’s a nigh impossible burden to prove zimmerman had murderous intent, as i understand florida law

    imo, there only hope (obi wan) is the “he grossly overreated” etc. type of argument, which is manslaughter all the way

    he’s also, as far as i know, pretty sympathetic character, not your typical murder defendant

    1. if the state goes for a heavy charge and limits the jury choice to that charge, this case would now remind me of another cop case …. amadou diallo

      Which one was a cop? Zimmerman or Martin?

      (I’m just fucking with you and being a dick. You don’t need to respond.)

      1. you are cute when you are a dick, sloopy it’s part of your charm.

        but it’s actually a decent question, and of course zimmerman was the cop

        it’s a very different case based on some case facts, but also very similar – armed dude(s) shoot unarmed dude, where stop was made based on suspicion (in diallo, they were looking for a race suspect and diallo did match the description quite well, and the composite picture that had been drawn up of the racist)

        during the contact, bad shit happened, and the cops ended up shooting a guy that apparently had no ill intent (which may be different from martin) but the agreeing factor is it’s clear that martin (pretty clear) was not in fact a burglar or something as zimmerman suspect, and it was very clear diallo was just a totally innocent guy

        diallo was of course more tragic than the apparent fact pattern in this case, because he clearly had NO nefarious intent, whereas if zimmerman is to be believed (and physical and witness evidence supports this), martin was on top of zimmerman and pummeling him

        in the diallo case, the public reaction was very similar

        recall that , iirc, hilary clinton even referred to it as a “murder” and then apologized for kneejerking

  22. “And racists aren’t, be definition, known for their cleverness.”

    From sloopyinca’s mouth to G-d’s ear.

    1. Woodrow Wilson was *very* clever.

  23. Come and take it

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