Trayvon Martin

Prosecutor Says George Zimmerman Shot Trayvon Martin 'Because He Wanted To'

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ABC News

During his opening statement in the murder trial of George Zimmerman this morning, prosecutor John Guy declared that the defendant "did not shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to." Rather, said Guy, "he shot him for the worst of all reasons—because he wanted to." If the shooting was not justified, a more likely explanation is that Zimmerman panicked in the course of a fight he was losing—that is, he feared serious injury or death, but not reasonably so, which is a requirement for self-defense under Florida law. But because Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder, the prosecution is obliged to show, according to the standard jury instructions, that he acted "from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent" and demonstrated "an indifference to human life." If Zimmerman had been charged with manslaughter, by contrast, the prosecution would have to show only that he deliberately shot Martin (which he admits) and that the shooting was not justified by self-defense. The extra burden of proving second-degree murder is leading the state to portray Zimmerman as almost cold-bloodedly executing Martin.

According to the prosecution, the person heard screaming in the background of a 911 call was Martin, who was begging for his life. Guy emphasized that the screaming stops right after the gunshot. But that is also consistent with Zimmerman's claim that he was the one screaming, because Martin was on top of him, banging his head against the pavement. On Saturday, Circuit Judge Debra Nelson ruled that the prosecution may not present testimony from expert witnesses who say the voice on the recording is Martin's. (Defense experts, not surprisingly, disputed that conclusion.) Nelson decided that the methods used by forensic voice analysts are "not reliable." But she will allow family members to testify that they recognize the voice as either Martin's or Zimmerman's.

If Zimmerman acted from "from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent," as the government alleges, what exactly was the source of that motivation? Drawing from Zimmerman's call to police, Guy argued that he viewed Martin, based on his age and attire (he did not mention race, per another ruling by Nelson), as a "fucking punk" who was "real suspicious" and "up to no good." He also noted that Zimmerman, who was on edge due to a recent series of burglaries committed by young black men, at one point tells the dispatcher, "These assholes, they always get away." Gray argued that Zimmerman "profiled [Martin] as someone who was about to commit a crime in his neighborhood, and then he acted on it, and that's why we're here"—because Zimmerman was determined to "rid the neighborhood of anyone that he believed didn't belong." Maybe so, but probably not through lethal means. How do we get from the neighborhood watch organizer mistaking a teenager for a burglar to that teenager dead from a gunshot to the chest? Zimmerman's wounds after the shooting are consistent with his account of a violent struggle, although they do not show that Martin started the fight. It is even possible that Zimmerman and Martin both were acting based on a reasonable fear of serious injury or death. But assuming Zimmerman was not, manslaughter would have been a more appropriate charge for what seems like a heat-of-the-moment decision based on fear rather than hostility.

I will have a summary of the opening statement by Zimmerman's lawyer later today.

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  1. The crucial thing about this line of argument is that it shows that the prosecutor believes that Zimmerman SHOULDN’T have wanted to shoot some random punk who was prowling the neighborhood, and who attacked him.

  2. Is this jury allowed to find Zimmerman guilty of a lesser offense (i.e. manslaughter)? Or are they restricted to guilty/not guilty on second-degree murder? If the latter, I don’t see how he could get convicted. Zimmerman had wounds to the front and back of head, consistent with his story and with the witness who saw him being pummeled. You can’t argue that Zimmerman decided to “cold-bloodedly execute” someone while having his head pounded into the pavement.

    I just wonder how many riots there will be when Zimmerman walks.

    1. If Zimmerman is found guilty, this is going to make it a fuckton harder to justify a lot of police shootings in this country.

      1. It’s okay when cops do it. Because FYTW.

      2. That would be nice, but no.

    2. It has to be a lesser included defense, where the elements have all be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

      This case is a huge loser, because they’ll never be prove what they’re claiming. This probably wouldn’t be prosecuted as murder at all without the media frenzy.

  3. Jesus Babyraping Christ- if that were really the case, why didn’t Zimmerman just does a Charles Whitman?

    1. The prosecutor doesn’t have a leg to stand on wrt 2nd degree murder. He had a shot at manslaughter, but he got greedy. No way Zimmerman gets found guilty. Of course, he’s already been convicted by about half the country so the rest of his life is going to suck anyway…

      1. No way Zimmerman gets found guilty.

        You have more faith in juries than I do.

        -jcr

        1. I’m just looking at the cases as presented. No real eye witnesses. Both sides are going to argue that the voice calling for help is their guy. Zimmerman had well-documented injuries. No way the jury finds “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Zimmerman shot Martin “from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent” and demonstrated “an indifference to human life.”

          1. There’s a very real chance this never gets to the jury, given what evidence the prosecution seems to be relying on.

      2. Have you heard the defense lawyer? They’ll be voting for capital murder and the death penalty if he keeps up at his current rate.

  4. There will be no riots. Most people don’t even know or care about this case. There is a ton of KULTUR WAR interest in it, but I’ve never heard anyone outside of H&R and the media talk about it, ever.

    1. There will be no riots.

      I’ll take that bet.

      When Al Sharpton and his ilk point out the injustice, it’ll be nasty.

      1. Yeah, people don’t care nationally, but the locals do care, and that’s where rioting happens.

    2. There actually will be, because if Zimmerman is found innocent(no chance of that happening), then the freakozoids in Hollywood, along with Sharpton and other race baiters will stir up the riots.

    3. The fringe left hasn’t had a good excuse for a public stink since Occupy fizzled out, and no doubt they are hugely frustrated with Obama. I guarantee that there will be demonstrations in San Francisco and Oakland, and a good chance that the Oakland one will go violent.

    4. The one person who did bring it up outside of H/R and the media was my father, as further evidence of the failure of integration, and how the dusky races are not to be trusted.

      But he’ll be the first to assure you, he’s no racist. Since we brought a lot of their ancestors over here forcibly, he fully believes the gov’t should pay for the plane tickets to send them all back to Africa. He isn’t heartless, after all.

      I sincerely wish I was making all that up.

      Still, I gotta say…I think there’ll be some “riots” in the sense of, “This is a good opportunity to steal some shit, and if anybody asks, we’re doing it for Great Justice.”

      1. JJ! How are you?

        1. Better. I’ll have a limp for the rest of my life, but I can get around with just a cane now. And I finished working on the ignition this weekend, so I can turn the beast on again. Now it’s just bolt-on stuff and some cosmetic repair, and I should be back in the saddle by next weekend.

          On less happy news, my site is being shut down and we’re all being laid off over the next few months. So who knows if my new job will afford me the opportunity to prowl around on here like I used to.

          1. Welcome to the cripple club, JJ. It’s never a fun initiation, but we all get over it. I’m really stoned, by the way.

            1. Eh, it wasn’t so bad. I was in shock immediately after and they had me on a morphine drip before that wore off, so I really never felt anything until days later. And I got to sit on my ass at home for three months on medical leave. Though I was bed-ridden for a huge stretch of that time.

              Still, all in all, I’d do it again if I got another three months off of work. But I’d try to explode my other leg, for walking symmetry purposes.

              1. Hey, dude, I got to see my leg bent at 45 degrees in a way that no leg should ever be bent…and then had it straightened out manually. You don’t forget that, though the morphine helped.

                1. *shrugs* I saw my knee cap bloom open like a flower, or a face-hugger egg, and the drugs gave me the clinical detachment to look at it, poke at the pieces of bone, and try to find the end of my ACL and tape it back where it should be. And I’m fine with that.

                  My point is, that I’m manlier than you, because you come from Connecticut and play tennis. Fucking queer.

                  1. You candyass motherfucker. I laid on a gurney for 24 hours with the broken ends of my femur grinding together with every breath. I had friends visit me so that I could babble nonsense through my teeth gritted with pain.

                    Don’t get in an accident in the UK, by the way. The NHS sucks.

                    1. Did they roll your gurney uphill through the snow?

                    2. Your mom’s snow. I’m really stoned right now, by the way. Like, just did another bowl on the deck stoned.

                    3. I had some amusing interactions with hydrocodone and heavy doses cough syrup. The best one was when I brokered an end to the 1,000 year old war between the forest sprites and the cave trolls, when I found out that Buck Showalter was King of the Cave Trolls and Gore Vidal was King of the Forest Sprites. The rest was easy.

                      But I’ve been having horrible diarrhea for days now while weening off the pills. I mean I am just pissing Hershey’s syrup out of my ass. It’s really depressing. Try working on a motorcycle engine sometime when every time you squat, you instinctively reach for a bucket, just in case.

          2. Yes, welcome. Look for your “My Penis Is All Healed Up Now, Thanks For Asking” t-shirt in the mail.

            1. Your name isn’t orange anymore. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?!?!?!

              1. Some computer types figured out that if you didn’t have an email link in your handle, preview would start working again.

                1. Preview is for those who lack a masculine confidence.

                  1. I still don’t use it much. Surprise, surprise.

      2. I’d be curious to know if there are any pre-riot ‘doorbuster price blowouts’ on t.v.s and bluray players. in FL.

    5. NPR will get interested if Zimmerman is found not guilty.

    6. Anthony from the Opie and Anthony Show won’t stop talking about it. He’s even donated to the Zimmerman Defense Fund.

  5. “…..a more likely explanation is that Zimmerman panicked in the course of a fight he was losing?that is, he feared serious injury or death, but not reasonably so, which is a requirement for self-defense under Florida law.”

    I have a little trouble with that. I see no reason here to think that Zimmerman, under those circumstances, panic or no panic, was unreasonable in believing his life was in jepardy.

    1. I usually panic while getting beat. I guess I’m just different.

    2. He should have known that Trayvon only meant to hurt him really, really badly, not kill him.

    3. How do you challenge that, though? He clearly was beaten, and there are no surviving witnesses.

  6. Bullshit. He shot Trayvon because he didn’t want to! Everybody knows that!

  7. “for the worst of all reasons?because he wanted to.”

    Actually, “because he could” is worse.

    /Bill Clinton

    1. Because fuck you, that’s why?

    2. “Because he was a fool that didn’t know how to handle a firearm”, would present the largest threat to the public.

      Unless he were a cop of course, everyone knows their guns are prone to firing on their own.

      1. I’d say he handled the firearm quite well. How many shots were fired and how many of those hit the intended target?

  8. Pardon Snowden

    I hear that the white house just put in an order for more than 111,000 drones.

    1. “We won’t dignify this ‘petition’ with a response.”

  9. “he shot him for the worst of all reasons?because he wanted to.”

    And he wanted to because he’s racist.

    1. And you know this how?

  10. Reading back over the comments today it struck me how no one here holds back.

    I thought I would tell y’all that a month or so ago I had an overnight visit from a cousin and his wife. I am an early riser and so is the cousin’s wife. At 5 am I was drinking coffee and reading over some of the comments on H&R. She came in the living room, saw me, and asked what I was doing. I invited her to read some.

    After a minute she stood up from in front of the computer. “Oh my god! How can they say that?!”

    I asked, feigning puzzlement ” You dont think they should be allowed to say those things?”

    Her answer – ” Well no! I mean, yes, but…” then sulking silence.

    I just asked her if she was ready for some coffee.

    I guess I didnt realize just how politically correct and intellectually inhibited the rest of the population is. Fuck.

    1. After the beginning, this post went in a different direction that I expected. I’d hoped for more of a “Penthouse Letters” vibe.

      1. me too. “And there she was, making coffee without a stitch of clothing on…”

        1. And there she was, making coffee without a stitch of clothing on.

          What does non-naked coffee look like?

          1. Naked coffee is that really fancy type that gets crapped out of weasels.

        2. lulz! Me three!

          “…and as I showed her the comments, she sat on my lap. I could feel that she wasn’t wearing any panties….she bagan breathing on my neck….”

          /SugarFree

          1. Oh come on….no nipple clamps? Animals or ropes?
            Too tame….

            1. No erotic slow clicking of her optic mouse?

        3. I always thought you made up these letters, but I have to tell you what happened to me…

      2. Me too.

      3. My apologies. I can make one up if you like…..then it would be identical to penthouse letters.

    2. I thought that was taking a sexual direction, also.

      You really let everyone down by starting a mundane story off like that ; D

      1. The Naughty Cousin-In-Law: An Early Riser Erotic Adventure

      2. Yeah, I’m not sure if I should feel bad that my intial thought was “holy shit, Suthenboy nailed his cousin’s wife!”

        1. What’s great is, I didn’t even think about, or give a shit, whether that story tied in to the subject at hand. I just wanted to hear it.

          1. Ask and ye shall receive.

            Reading back over the comments today it struck me how no one here holds back.

            I thought I would tell y’all that a month or so ago I had an overnight visit from a cousin and his wife. I am an early riser and so is the cousin’s wife. At 5 am I was drinking coffee and reading over some of the comments on H&R. She came in the living room, saw me, and asked what I was doing. I invited her to read some.

            After a minute she stood up from in front of the computer. “Oh my god! How can they say that?! It makes me sooooo hot!”

            She sat on my lap, wrapped her arms around my neck and whispered in my ear, “And it makes me wet, just thinking about Steve Smith!? She flicked her tongue in my ear and started stroking the inside of my thigh.

            1. “What happens if Cousin Bob finds us?” I whispered urgently.

              “Oh, he’s out cold. He won’t be conscious for hours. I can hear him snoring.” She then reached into my pajama bottoms, extracted my rigid cock, and with a smile started to get down on her knees. “For a white self-identified Hispanic, you are certainly hung!”

              1. Kitchen counter sex is the best! What if she returns to this blog?

    3. Later conversation with the husband:

      “What’s wrong? Did he hit on you or something?”

      “No. Worse! He’s a.. a.. libertarian!”

      1. Libertarian? Them people what check out books and suchlike?

      2. “What!? But I’ve seen him using the roads!”

  11. The only person still alive who knows for sure what really happened is Zimmerman.

    1. ^This

      It amazes me how confident people on both side are about what happened. I have no idea what happened that night (aside from the fact that there was a struggle, Zimmerman sustained injuries, and Martin got shot). I don’t know who started the fight, and neither does anyone besides Zimmerman. Given that in this country, the burden of proof is on the prosecution (as it should be), there isn’t enough evidence to convict Zimmerman beyond a reasonable doubt. And hypothetically, had Martin disarmed Zimmerman when he pulled the gun, and then got it in a struggle and shot Zimmerman, there probably wouldn’t be enough evidence to convict him either. I can’t see how the prosecution can possibly prove that Zimmerman started the fight, or that he didn’t have reason to fear for his life

      1. *sides

      2. This is totally rigged from the start. An all female jury? WTF? Zimmerman is doomed.

        1. Yeah. How often have you heard people claim that a black person can’t get a fair trial with an all white jury. How is this different?

        2. Zimmerman was asked if he was ok with this jury and said he was so I don’t know if he can bitch if he loses.

        3. How can you say that? I’ve read some people theorizing that women will take the side of the alpha male (Trayvon), but I don’t buy it. White women (and one Hispanic) seem unlikely to take the side of a young thug type like Trayvon. Plus, several of the jurors own guns, and one had a concealed carry permit at one point. And don’t they all have to agree to convict? Zimmerman walks.

          1. I know he wasn’t the perfect angel some tried to portray him as, but I think that’s using the term “thug” pretty loosely. I do agree that Zimmerman will probably walk, and given existing evidence, he definitely should. As I said, I don’t know if he or Trayvon started the fight, but there’s simply not enough evidence to convict

          2. Corpses aren’t usually considered ‘alpha males’.

          3. I would like to see studies. My guess is that women tend to vote guilty more.

        4. It worked for OJ.

      3. What does prove have to do with anything?

        Have you ever sat through a criminal trial?

        1. I’m talking from an ideal perspective of how the system should work, not saying I think that’s how it works all the time. And I was also commenting on the public’s perception of the case. People on both sides are making assumptions about things that they have no idea of whether or not its true

    2. Actually, this assumes much… Iow, that Zimmerman really KNOWS what happened. When people are involved in deadly force incidents (I speak from personal experienceas well as extensive case studies), there is distortion of time, perception, etc. Iow, what Zimmerman thinks happened and what actually happened are not necessarily the same things. People assume (especially here with cops and shootings) that inaccuracies equals lying, but the reality is that with all the adrenaline pumpin’, there is distortion of perception and while Zimmerman certainly has a pretty good idea of his motives, he may have a somewhat distorted perception of time sequence, and what actually happened. Memory is imperfect too, and of course somebody convincing themselves they did the right thing CAN change their perception of events without knowing it. As memento pointed out, memory is fallible.

      That aside, I don’t think there is sufficient evidence to prosecute him, but I look at it through a WA case law lens, which is more protective of self defense than florida (we are better, as usual)

      1. I read a book written by a lawyer about ccw laws in Florida. The take away from the book is don’t get involved in anything that doesn’t involve an immediate threat to you or your family. You can intervene in forceable felonies but if you make a bad call you are going down. I will only draw my revolver if there is no exit and a clear threat to me or my family.

      2. and of course somebody convincing themselves they did the right thing CAN change their perception of events without knowing it

        I’ll just leave this here.

  12. Too bad this case didn’t happen in my state, where the state has the burden to DISPROVE self defense and if the jury finds it was self defense, defense gets back pay and lawyer fees paid for!! We respect self-defense here in WA state.

    That aside, I’m looking forward to reason.com and especially volokh.com coverage of this case. Imo, the murder charge is massive overreach. Even a manslaughter charge imnsho would be unjustified, but then again, I’m looking at it through a WA case law lens, admittedly.

    1. I think Florida cops and prosecutors also thought bringing any charges was unjustified. It’s amazing what marches by Al Tawana Brawley, and the president pining for the son he never had, will do to clarify the “law”.

      Predicting what a jury will do is a fool’s errand, of course, and I never pass up an opportunity to take on such errands, so I am gonna predict a hung jury.

  13. I love the language instructions to the defense and prosecution. Zimmerman can be called a “wanna be cop” and a “vigilante,” but he can only be said to have “profiled” Martin, not “racially profiled.”

    But what “hogfucker”? Can I call anyone a “hogfucker.”

    1. “That’s ‘The Honorable Hogfucker.’ One more outburst like that, Mr. Free, and I’ll have to gag you.”

      1. SugarFree LIKES the ball gag – don’t let him clever you into affixing it!

    2. No. But Pigfucker is permitted.

      1. Your mealy-mouthed semantics are destroying justice in America.

        1. Porkhumper is right out.

          1. But Baconbuggerer is ok.

            1. Provided that you smile when you say that.

              1. Nothing says “polite” like service with a smile!

    3. I’ll allow it, but watch yourself, SugarFree.

      1. That’s El Se?or SinAz?car to you! El Se?or Az?carLibre is also acceptable.

  14. I guess I didnt realize just how politically correct and intellectually inhibited the rest of the population is. Fuck

    You don’t know anyone who recently graduated from the public school system?

    I can assure you that most of the people I work with, if they were to be told that they have to address each other with the prefix of comrade cowpie and that it would be considered extremely offensive if they didn’t do it, they would just do it, no questions asked. And they would be shocked when I refused to do it.

    1. Actually, I’m going to require my children now address everyone as “Comrade Cowpie” instead of “Sir” or “Ma’am”. That’s awesome.

      1. For “Ma’am” as well? That’s just bad manners. The proper address for women is “Madame Porkpie”.

  15. “Oh my god! How can they say that?!”

    typng is hsrd, but I endeavor to persevere.

    1. +1 Dan George

  16. If the prosecution’s theory is that Zimmerman got out of the car with the intention of shooting Martin, they are in a lot of trouble. The only possible case you could make is that Zimmerman was a hot head who confronted Martin and then acted recklessly and shot even though his life wasn’t in any danger. But if the persecution is making the far fetched claim that Zimmerman intended to shoot Martin from the moment he got out of the car, that tells you they don’t think they have a prayer of proving that he acted recklessly once the confrontation started. If you can’t prove Zimmerman acted recklessly after the confrontation started, your only hope then is to try and prove he went there with the intention of shooting Zimmerman all along and thus it doesn’t matter what happened during the fight since Zimmerman planned to and did shoot anyway. That is a long shot theory to say the least.

    1. That’s not necessarily their theory.

      The claim was that he wanted to shoot martin, not that he formed that desire from the moment he got out of the car.

      1. No it is not

        “from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent” and demonstrated “an indifference to human life.”

        The ill will and the spite didn’t just arrive. They theory is he hated Martin the entire time and went there to do him harm. He had the gun and Martin was there and the police were not coming. So he confronted him and shot him. The intent to do harm was formed when he got out of the car.

        It goes back to my point below. That is a difficult point to make. They have no evidence that Zimmerman had anything against Martin. That is the kind of theory you use when there is a long standing dispute between the two parties not between two strangers.

        It is a very difficult case to make. And it is only being made because the easy case can’t be made.

        1. One would have to wonder if he intended to shoot him from the time he left the car, why he would wait until he was on his back getting his skull bashed in to do it.

          As you said, a very difficult case to make.

          1. Or if he hated Martin and wanted to do him harm, he didn’t have his gun out from the beginning. Clearly he didn’t draw his gun or Martin wouldn’t have attacked him.

            1. Both of these points are crucial. The physical evidence makes no sense under the theory of the prosecution.

              1. I agree with all of you. I don’t see how the prosecution can make a rational case, but that’s what juries are for, to kiss the prosecutor’s ass “for the children”.

    2. “. If you can’t prove Zimmerman acted recklessly after the confrontation started, your only hope then is to try and prove he went there with the intention of shooting Zimmerman all along and thus it doesn’t matter what happened during the fight since Zimmerman planned to and did shoot anyway”

      Actually, it’s an objective totality of the facts analysis, so REGARDLESS of his intent, if he was objectively justified, he’s not guilty.

      Iow, if person X has the intent to murder person Y, but person Y commits acts that would put a reasonable person in fear of death or serious bodily injury, then person X is legally justified in shooting Y and their intent is irrelevant under the law (technically)

      1. Actually, it’s an objective totality of the facts analysis, so REGARDLESS of his intent, if he was objectively justified, he’s not guilty.

        Sure it is. But if you prove he got out of the car with the intention to shoot Martin, the jury is very unlikely to pay any attention to what Martin did. If they prove that he intended to shoot Martin from the start, then the jury is not going to believe Zimmerman’s account of how Martin attacked him. Trying to prove Zimmerman intended to shoot Martin all along is a very long shot way of getting around Zimmerman’s self defense claim. You only make that argument and send the jury down that path if you think Zimmerman’s account is credible. If Zimmerman’s account isn’t credible, you don’t bother with divining his intentions from the start. You just show the jury how reckless he was and how the shooting wasn’t justified. That is the easy way to win the case. The hard way is proving that Zimmerman had a desire to shoot Martin from the start. The prosecution is taking the hard way because the easy way is not available.

    3. To torture myself, I’ve been reading Jose Baez’s book about defending Casey Anthony.

      One thing that struck me is the power that the prosecution has – the huge pot of money they have that can be used for forensic testing, expert witnesses, jury selection research, etc. The defense, on the other hand, has it’s hands more tied. And imagine being a poor slob with no money.

      In low profile cases, it’s no wonder that taking a plea is often used. A few years in jail may beat bankruptcy – or foreclosure.

      1. And the prosecution has the biggest power of all, they get to choose what charges are brought. They get to choose on what ground the battle is waged. That is a huge advantage.

        The defense has a few advantages of their own provided they have a fair jury that understands and takes reasonable doubt seriously. As a defense attorney, I get to choose where on the battlefield I make my stand. The government has to prove everything. I have only got to choose one key thing to beat them on to win. Choosing that, is the art of being a good defense attorney.

    4. John, your mistakes are always the best mistakes: “But if the persecution is making the far fetched claim that Zimmerman intended to shoot Martin from the moment he got out of the car.”

      I think this case is an interesting example of the difference between state overreach and the question of innocence and guilt. It sounds like we’ll never know the precise truth, given the lack of witnesses and lack of truly convincing evidence of guilt. But one thing that is apparent is that this case isn’t about the shooting to the prosecutors and the local government.

  17. Can I call anyone a “hogfucker.”

    My opinion of you will greatly diminished if you do not.

  18. This case is highly political but it really has to be said that GZ did himself ZERO favors from the outset.

    Everything he did after he pulled the trigger worked against him.

    – Talking to the media
    – Having his family talk to the media
    – Speaking in depth with the police before retaining COMPETENT counsel skilled in justifiable homicide cases.

    And the list just goes on.

    Whether or not he’s guilty of 2nd degree murder, he personally has stacked the deck against himself very very heavily.

    There is a volume of case law on justifiable homicide out there, a volume of authors who have distilled it for you, and classes run by people who are experts in the law. These classes are typically run for criminal lawyers AND LEOs but are also available to civilians.

    If you’re going to carry a gun, avail yourself of all of this. There are many, many people in jail who were involved in justifiable homicides but they made critical mistakes. DAs are politicians first and foremost. Arm yourself with facts.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    1. I’ve seen NUMEROUS cases of justifiable homicide where people helped, not harmed themselves, by talking to the cops prior to retaining counsel. WA state has numerous examples. Those cases were, admittedly, much more clear cut (burglars, etc.) than the Zimmerman case.

      I would agree that in a case like Zimmermans, only a short statement to police would be the way to go, prior to retaining counsel, since the devil is going to be in the details and he needs competent counsel to press the details.

      However, ceteris paribus, any statement given w.o counsel is naturally more credible, both to jury and police than that given after counsel, since “coaching’ doesn’t come into play.

      But yes, in this case, he said too much

      1. However, ceteris paribus, any statement given w.o counsel is naturally more credible, both to jury and police than that given after counsel, since “coaching’ doesn’t come into play.

        Fuck you.

        Sincerely,

        An Attorney

        1. Even honest attorneys (like defense attorneys I have spoken to), will admit this.

          Which is more credible? Seriously?

          That’s not a criticism of defense attorneys. I love defense attorneys. It’s their fucking job and more power to them.

          1. How are they supposed to know dipshit? No judge should ever allow that fact even to come before a jury. It is irrelevant and completely prejudicial.

            1. Jurors are not idiots. I’m going to ignore the ad homs and try to explain to you that JURORS have made these comments after a trial. THEY have said that they viewed non-counsel coached statements as more credible. Iow, from THEIR mouths to my lips

              Here’s a hint-… jurors often speak after trial and as somebody who has been involved in scores of trials, I am privy to scores of post-trial juror statements.

              1. You are aware it is a crime in most states to talk to a jury about the case and or deliberations? When exactly did you talk to these jurors.

                Once again, the fact that the statement was made with counsel should never be known by a jury. And it cannot be argued by an attorney. If your statement is credible and aligns with the known facts, no jury is going to convict you because they figured you must be lying because it wasn’t at the time.

        2. I wouldn’t talk to the police without my attorney there. Especially in a situation like this.

          1. That’s your decision. My point is that in a shooting like zimmerman’s, a DETAILED statement should not be given w/o counsel. In MANY OTHER self defense shootings, like homeowner of burglar, that’s not the case. And I speak from numerous case examples.

            1. yes, that is my decision. One bolstered by my attorney.

        3. ^^^^^^^^^^^

          What the Attorney said. Triple.

          1. Triple and then x100.

            Never. talk. to. the. cops. ever. without. council.

            1. Stupid advice, countered by scores of case examples, but typical for here

              1. Give me a fucking break, you blue mafioso.

                Police union lawyers tell officers involved in shootings to STFU until they speak with them first.

                That’s something any good attorney would tell their client. So stop acting like we can trust your ilk.

                It’s pure unadulterated bullshit that no one’s buying.

      2. The point is make it clear that you will co-operate with the police, ask to sign a complaint and thereby become the complainant, and then wait for counsel.

        I’ve never seen or heard of any case where the DA has said that a defendant demanding counsel was indicative of guilt. The implication would provide immediate grounds for a motion to dismiss or at the very least risk a mistrial.

        1. That’s because they are not allowed under the rules of evidence to make the claim that demanding counsel was indicative of guilt, NOR is it necessarily.

          That’s tangential to the point that a juror and/or prosecutor can and often will take an uncoached spur of the moment statement as more credible than a coached one.That’s THEIR job.Credibility of witness statements is a question left to the finder of fact-the jury.These statements I am making are corroborated by common sense AS WELL AS post-trial statements by jurors.

          Again, which is MORE credible-a statement made without sufficient time to construct believable fiction and without coaching by a third party or the other option?

          I mean, come fucking on.I’ve dealt with NUMEROUS self-defense cases where people gave detailed statements without counsel and the prosecutor (rightly so)gives those more weight (as to subjective factors not clearly shown by evidence) and IF a case goes to trial, any juror with common sense gives more credibility to them as well. The common perception of defense attorneys by jurors(BASED ON JUROR STATEMENTS) is that the defense attorney is going to help them make a statement that is going to help them get out of penal liability, not that it’s going to necesasrily be the truth.

          In obvious cases, like homeowner shooting burglar,the homeowner ALMOST ALWAYS gives a detailed statement to cops ime without an attorney and is almost always benefited by that decision,based on a clear fact pattern.

          1. And there are also numerous cases where they guy mispoke and said things he didn’t mean and that could be taken out of context. You are a fucking moron if you talk to the police after just shooting someone. The adrenaline rush alone is going to affect your memory and your ability to think and talk straight. Maybe that works out for you, maybe it doesn’t.

            If you don’t like that as a cop, go fuck yourself. I have a newsflash for you, no matter what they tell you, prosecutors couldn’t give a fuck less what you think about the case. They really don’t. They are nice to you and pretend to care because they need you to do your job for them. But the fact that a cop says “I don’t believe this guy” means nothing to a prosecutor. What matter is whether the lawyer thinks he has the evidence to win. And the fact that the suspect gave a statement after talking attorney versus not giving one of giving one there isn’t going to weigh too much in that judgement.

            1. AGain, if you can’t be civil, I’m done with you. I’ve heard scores of juror comments post trial, and I’ve worked with both juries and grand juries on scores (in the case of grand juries – hundreds ) of occasions. I know what I am talking about,but you are clearly interested in just slinging insults, which bores me.

              1. Your primitive understanding of criminal law bores me. If there is one thing I learned in over a hundred different criminal trials is that no one ever talks there way out of trouble with the police. If the evidence isn’t there, you are not going to be tried. But nothing you say is ever going to get you out of trouble if the evidence is there. But it might get you in trouble if there is no other evidence. Every person thinks they can talk to the cops and explain things. That is not true. You are going to do yourself no good and are likely to do yourself harm. No competent defense attorney would ever tell a client to give a statement to police without counsel being there.

            2. cops are currently just little cogs in the wheels of oppression. Keep on grinding and keep yer head up, chump.

          2. You just made the claim that defense attorneys help their clients lie, whereas cops and prosecutors are paragons of truth and justice.

            Holy shit Dunphy.

            1. Only in the mind of a cop would “I’d like to speak to my attorney” = “I need someone to help me fabricate a story.”

            2. Holy shit Dunphy

              You’re surprised at this?

          3. In a clear cut case like home defense it would make even more sense to have an attorney present, since unless he cops try to fuck you over it should be open and shut . innocent. Equating counsel with guilt is asinine and I highly doubt anyone but the corrupt bunch associated with “enforcing” the law goes by that meter.

            We don’t have a department or evidence tampering to back us up so we get a leg up with reliable legal representation. Don’t be mad that some people aren’t so stupid as to believe the cops have an innocent citizen’s best interest in mind.

        2. So I’m doing 70 in a 55 and a cop pulls me over and the first thing that comes out of his mouth is “Do you know why I pulled you over?”. How should I respond? Do they even ask seemingly stupid questions anymore? I used to just ask them questions back. But it’s been years and years.

          1. It’s not a stupid question, it’s entrapment. If you say “no” you are lying to a cop; if you say “yes” you are admitting to the offense.

            It’s shit like this that makes people hate cops. Give me the ticket, fuckbag. Stop trying to toy with me.

            1. Since most cops do not have access to the contents of your mind, the better answer is probably “no”. Or perhaps say “yes, I think so, but why don’t you tell me anyway”.

            2. “seemingly”

              1. The correct response is like the old cartoon-“Please excuse me one moment Officer, I am on the phone with my attorney.”

      3. The fact that your attorney was there can’t even be mentioned to a jury much less used as a negative inference against you. Any defense attorney worth his salt will make sure that the jury never knows about your invocation or the presence of your attorney. And if you as a cop should ever mention said fact on the stand, pray to God I am not the judge because you will find your dumb cop ass in jail on contempt charges.

        1. I’m going to continue to ignore your ad homs and just ignore you. You are clearly not interested in discussing case facts. You can ignore what jurors have told me all you want, but the reality is they can read betweent eh lines and they aren’t idiots. I’ll take what a juror tells me as to their judgment of credibility vs. what an anonymous internet troll tells me about them.

          1. You clearly have no idea about the constitution or how trials actually work. I have no doubt that you gladly get up and tell juries how you just know the guy is lying because he invoked. And who knows, in whatever bum fuck place you live there may be judges who let you get away with it. But that doesn’t make it the law.

            1. dunphy’s remedial knowledge of the law aside, I find his frequent interactions with jurors to be more than a little worrisome.

              1. A bit yes. I doubt it is true. He is talking out of his ass.

      4. Anyone who talks to the cops without an attorney when they might be up on charges is an idiot. End of story.

      5. I’ve seen NUMEROUS cases of justifiable homicide where people helped, not harmed themselves, by talking to the cops prior to retaining counsel.

        Bullshit. Just pure, unadulterated bullshit. This is, without a doubt, the dumbest thing you’ve ever written here, and that isn’t a low bar.

        Anything helpful someone has to say can be said after talking to a lawyer. For fuck’s sake, the card I have from the firm that would represent me in any gun-related case says:

        Make sure 911 has been called. If you make the call, state only that there is an emergency. Do not make any statements regarding your actions to 911. Call us next. When the police talk to you, hand them this card (which says I invoke my 4th, 5th, and 6th amendment rights, along with the Texas versions). DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE WITHOUT YOUR ATTORNEY PRESENT.

        1. Exactly, NEM!

          Hell, the guy who taught my CCW class was a retired police captain and HE said pretty much the same damn thing. “Call 911. Let them know that someone has been shot. Not that you’ve shot someone, or even that you were involved in a shooter. Just that someone has been shot. Hang up, call a lawyer. Then shut the fuck up until your lawyer arrives.” he followed up with “The police are not specifically there to make sure you’re ok. They’re there to ascertain whether a crime has been committed and arrest any suspects for prosecution. Period. Guilt is for the jury to decide and they WILL use anything you say to prosecute you”

          Remember, Call 911, admit nothing, call lawyer, admit nothing.

          1. Massad Ayoob has his “five things to cover with the police after a gunfight.”

            Basically (nicely summarized in one of the comments):
            1. Officer, this man attacked me
            2. I will sign a complaint
            3. The evidence (bullet casings, etc.) is right there
            4. Those people witnessed it
            5. Officer, you will have my full cooperation in 24 hours after I have spoken with counsel

            The video goes into more detail, of course. So do his courses at the Lethal Force Institute.

            Isn’t it policy for most LEO departments to allow their officers time “to compose themselves,” after an officer-involved shooting, for a period of time before making their official statement? I.e., get together with their attorney and or coworkers if necessary and hash out what their story will be.

    2. Why?

      When this happened, his instant cooperation and aid to the police convinced them that the shooting was justified(the supposed detective that didn’t believe him was a lie).

      The whole thing was over–until an activist saw a way to get some donations.

  19. Defense ought to take the entire case history of the prosecution team for statistical analysis of profiling and see what spits back out.

  20. “did not shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to.” Rather, said Guy, “he shot him for the worst of all reasons?because he wanted to.”

    That’s a pretty serious accusation with regard to motive, I think the prosecutor is going to regret going that route given that Zimmerman was being beaten at the time of the shooting.

    1. It’s the ONLY accusation relevant if they are charging him with murder, which they are.

      Like I said, I think manslaughter is a stretch (again, parsed through a WA case law lens – more protective of self defense than florida), but murder is fucking joke, but they pretty much HAVE to make that argument IF they are charging murder. If he erroneously thought he was in danger of death or serious bodily injury, than it’s almost always manslaughter unless that perception is one that it’s inconceivable a reasonable person could conclude

      1. More to the point, if the prosecutors involved want to continue working for the DAs or have any sort of political future in Florida, they must charge murder. Losing a murder case will reflect less badly on their careers than pleaing Zimmerman to manslaughter would. This is Casey Anthony, redux: most of the country has convicted Zimmerman, so attempting to nail him on anything less than motivated killing is out of the question. Even if it means overstating the case against him and probably losing.

  21. John Guy declared that the defendant “did not shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to.” Rather, said Guy, “he shot him for the worst of all reasons?because he wanted to.”

    1) Why then did he call the cops before hand? If he just wanted to kill a punk, why not just kill him and disappear.

    2) The alternative to wanting to shoot someone that you in fact did shoot is negligence.

    1. “1) Why then did he call the cops before hand? If he just wanted to kill a punk, why not just kill him and disappear.”

      The same argument (devil’s advocate) made here by anti-cop types. A cop who calls for backup can still be seen as wanting to kill the motherfucker in any # of deadly force shootings. It could be seen as a way to “cover” his actions iow “hey, I CALLED police, I didn’t WANT to shoot him”. That’s how the prosecution will ‘splain it away.

      1. Except that in those cases the back up can be considered a co-conspirator which is highly unlikely to be the case with a citizen looking to dish out vigilante justice.

  22. There is no use discussing the merits of this case. Zimmerman will be found guilty, that’s already been decided. The jury is all white women, with the exception of one Hispanic woman. So obviously, for them to not find Zimmerman guilty would be racism. There couldn’t be any other reason. Case closed, guilty.

    1. I am going to wait and see. I have a bit more faith in women than you do. Just because they are women that doesn’t mean they are stupid.

    2. I’m not so sure. The charge is such a stretch, the jury would have to completely ignore the law. If the charge was manslaughter, I’d be more inclined to agree with you.

    3. The jury is all white women, with the exception of one Hispanic woman

      I could see this working in either direction, though, depending on the mentality of the women in how they view Trayvon.

      If all they see is a scared child and maternal instincts kick in, GZ is screwed.

      If they take a racial view of things, it could be very much in GZ’s favor. The jurors might harbor a bit of racism and be reassured by a confirmation bias that Trayvon was up to no good.

      I really have no idea which way this is going to go. From a strictly legal standpoint, I don’t see how they could possibly prove second degree murder. But not everyone is rational and appeals to emotion are extremely effective.

      1. A “scared child” doesn’t jump on someone and pound their head into the pavement.

        1. I know that, Papaya. You know that. But what we don’t know for sure is the order of events. Zimmerman’s statement seems to line up with the facts, but that’s no guarantee that it’s the truth and I’ve seen people ignore circumstances due to their own personal biases.

          Your post above about the makeup of the jury (gun/ccw owners) makes me think that those members will be more biased toward the guy carrying the gun and looking out for his neighborhood.

          In a perfect world, all biases would be left at the door, but we don’t live there. People get convicted based on biased decisions all the time.

          1. I suppose my bias is against thugs, and it’s pretty clear that Trayvon was one. It sure looks like he was casing the neighborhood for a burglary, and he seems to have been involved in breaking into lockers at school. (Getting caught with a screwdriver and some women’s jewelry that “someone gave him.”) He was involved in some sort of Fight Club group. He had plenty of markers of a young thug, who might well attack someone like Zimmerman under those circumstances.

            Zimmerman, on the other hand, doesn’t at all seem like someone who decided to go out and shoot some black guy. The physical evidence and the order of events also seem to go along with his story. As said above, the jury *might* have been persuaded that it was manslaughter, but murder? No way.

            1. Again, I’m with you 100%.

              The point is that neither itsnotmeitsyou nor PapaysSF are on the jury. Neither of us have any say in how the jury finds. I sincerely hope that you are right about the jury makeup and he’ll walk. But I’m not holding my breath quite yet.

              Irrational people make irrational decisions.

            2. “It sure looks like he was casing the neighborhood for a burglary”

              And your basing this off what? His dad and stepmom (or his dad’s girlfriend I forget if they were married) lived in the area, it’s not like he had no good reason to be there. Not saying I think Zimmerman was just looking to shoot some black guy, or that I think he should be found guilty but that’s no reason to make baseless assertions the other way

              1. His dad’s girlfriend lived there. Trayvon lived in Miami and was suspended from school. We know he was wandering around because of the time between him purchasing watermelon cocktail at the 7-11 and the 911 calls.

              2. At the time I read a pretty convincing analysis of Trayvon’s movements that night, and it looked like he wasn’t taking the most direct route between his destinations. Plus, Zimmerman said he was looking into houses, which is odd for someone just headed home in the rain.

                1. Zimmerman said that, but we don’t know if it’s true. And who cares if he didn’t take the most direct route home? That hardly means he’s casing for a burglary.

        2. That’s begging the question. If they view him as a “scared child” they might take the view that Zimmerman started it and Martin then gained the upper hand by fighting back (even though there isn’t any evidence to prove this). If they view him as a stereotypical black thug, then Zimmerman’s getting off.

          1. That’s the point.

            I’m basically saying I’m not jumping on either bandwagon. I’m saying that depending A LOT on the juries own personal biases, the verdict could go either way.

          2. If “Zimmerman started it,” why were Trayvon’s wounds skinned knuckles and the gunshot, and Zimmerman’s wounds what they were? That makes no sense to me.

            1. You can’t start a fight and lose?

        3. A “scared child” doesn’t jump on someone and pound their head into the pavement.

          You don’t know that.

    4. I don’t agree at all, and the jury was approved by the defense as well as the prosecution.

      The evidence is really weak for murder. It’s not so weak for manslaughter. In the non-media frenzy version of this case, that’s what he’d be charged with. Not because Zimmerman is so obviously innocent but because that’s all they’ve got.

  23. I think a win-win solution would be to declare Martin (retroactively) an enemy combatant terrorist and authorize armed drones for gated communities.

  24. I hate how this case is being framed. George Zimmerman is by no means a racist. He shot Trayvon (which, retrospectively, he shouldn’t have) because the kid had him on the ground and was beating the shit out of him. He had every right to do so, as he felt his life was being put in danger and you are allowed to defend yourself (at least in Florida) when that is the case. I personally think he should have warned Trayvon by pulling out the gun briefly as a deterrent. Very unlikely anyone would have died that night had Trayvon known what he was up against and had Zimmerman been able to actually find out what he was all about rather than just guess based on how he was dressed and his age (race was NOT a factor). The fact that this case evokes so much emotion and so little logic irks me to no end.

    1. Drawing a firearm with no crime being comitted is brandishing a firearm. Martin didn’t comit a crime until the assault and then it is too late for warnings. As I stated above, do not get involved. Call the police, walk away.

      1. Not getting involved is what I would have done, but you have to take into account that Zimmerman was neighborhood watch and there had been a history of problems in that neighborhood. Zimmerman simply found a shady kid in a hoodie walking around at night and decided to pursue him after notifying the police. And I know everyone says he shouldn’t have pursued him but the police, as we all know, are not the most reliable bunch and it’s often necessary to take measures into your own hands. Had Martin not assaulted Zimmerman, there would be no case.

        1. Seriously, “neighborhood watch” makes your case worse, not better. He hd no right to be following that kind. Armed, no less. How is that responsible behavior?

          How do burglaries justify somebody grabbing a gun and getting all vigilante on people? Who, in their right mind, does that?

          1. As far as I know, Zimmerman (ostensibly) pursued Martin through a public thoroughfare before (ostensibly) returning to his vehicle to await police, at which point Martin (allegedly) assaulted him.

            Up until the shooting, which is the point of the trail, when did Zimmerman infringe Martin’s rights? Or overstep his own rights?

            You’re question begging all over, by the way.

            1. Dweebston,

              I think Zimmerman overstepped his own rights by following somebody who was (ostensibly) running away at the time. From my point of view, it would be easy to consider somebody pursuing me at an elevated speed to be a threat to me. Harassment and stalking are not acceptable behaviors (and potentially illegal), even being part of a neighborhood watch. In fact, I would undeniably consider that a threat to my well-being in light of those actions (ostensibly).

              I can’t say whether Zimmerman should charged with murder, but I don’t think I could say that he was a murderer. Just very stupid with the ability to impart significant damage on the well-being of another person, depriving them of the one thing impossible to recompense. He used that power in a situation which was a good deal his own making and should be held accountable for that behavior.

          2. Many people in their right minds, knowing of a rash of burglaries in their neighborhood, arm themselves.

            1. But people in their right minds don’t go following people on dark streets while armed. It’s basic common sense and it’s really dangerous. Would anybody in their right mind advocate that behavior? Would you do that in any urban area in the United States? Maybe even the world?

              Even if he was guilty of the burglary (which he wasn’t), that’s just stuff. Damages can be recouped. Justice can be imparted. This is a life and has far more value, even if some disagree with the quality of that life.

      2. Exactly. Everybody else manages to be able to not get into these situations while being armed.

    2. Not good advice there about issuing a warning sir. If Martin was kicking Zimmerman’s ass with ease, as the damge on zZimmerman clearly indicates, drawing a gun and issuing a warning might have resulted in Martin taking the gun away from Zimmerman and using it on him instead. You don’t arm someone causing you harm.

      1. If you watch the video of Zimmerman’s statement to the cops, he states that the altercation was just punches and head smashing until Martin saw his gun. He claims that was when Martin said “you die tonight” and went for the gun. Zimmerman got to it first, apparently.

        Again, as with nearly everything in this case, the validity is based on whether you believe Zimmerman or not.

  25. There doesn’t appear to be any way that the prosecution can prove 2nd degree murder here. I suspect the the prosecution overreached hoping to scare him into taking a plea for manslaughter. Unfortunately for them, Zimmerman called their bluff.

    The only reason Zimmerman may be found guilty is if the jurors are afraid of riots if they find him not guilty, which is probably a real possibility. I’ve always thought that was one of the reasons why the O.J. Simpson found him not guilty – they were scared of the potential riots.

    1. OJ was found not guilty because the jury was leery of cops, from first hand interactions, and the cops were transparently lying about key parts of the investigation; which destroyed their credibility entirely with that jury.

      1. OJ was let off for a couple of reasons. First, the jury didn’t understand the DNA evidence. It was 1994. There was no such thing as Law and Order SUV. DNA evidence was knew and the jury didn’t understand what it meant Second, the prosecution was wildly incompetant. They based their motive and theory on the idea that OJ Simplson hated Nicole Simpson and we knew that because he beat her. That sounds great except the jury was full of black people who were from a culture where domestic violence is not as big of a deal. Marsha Clark was a typical upper class white woman who figured that any jury would think a man evil enough to beat his wife was also a murderer. The black women on that jury didn’t see it that way at all.

        So, the jury didn’t understand the DNA evidence and didn’t find the domestic violence evidence relevant. So all the prosecution had left was the word of the cops, which as you point out, wasn’t any good.

        1. It’s more specific that that John,

          The jurors had dealt with lying cops for decades. And when the cops lied about

          1) the reason for going to OJs house; claiming that they thought he would be a victim, instead of telling the truth that furman had experience of dealing with his domestic violence.

          2) seeing blood on his car from 100 feet away at night; which was physically impossible given the trace amounts of blood on the car,

          3) Van atter breaking the chain of custody procedures by carrying around flask of ojs blood for a couple of days.

          Provided reasonable doubt in their minds, based on the fact that they had been dealing with corrupt lying cops for decades.

          And they actually showed a lot more common sense regarding the DNA evidence than the people that think it’s some kind of perfect magic proof. As demonstrated by the number of crime labs that have been revealed to have framed people with fraudulent dna ‘evidence’.

          1. Of course there was so much evidence that it is unlikely even the LAPD would have planted that much. Nicole Simpson and more importantly, Ron Goldman’s blood was all over OJ’s house. There is no way to explain that away.

            In addition, there is a hugely compelling circumstantial case against OJ. He couldn’t account for his whereabouts the night of the murder. Kato Kalin heard someone come over the fence right about the time OJ would have been returning from the crime. OJ tells this ridiculous lie to the limo driver there to pick him up the next morning. We know Nicole Simpson told him that day their relationship was over and she was never going to come back to him or give him his kids back. OJ was the one known person who had both the opportunity to kill her. That is very compelling. It seems quite unlikely that some random person killed Nicole Simpson on the night after she told OJ it was over and when OJ couldn’t verify his whereabouts and was in town.

            1. There wasn’t blood all over OJs house.

              There was some in his car, but the amount was greatly exaggerated by the media.

              Having said that.

              I’m sure that OJ was there, either as the killer or stumbled across the scene – see the Jason Simpson theory.

              The problem is that the cops did lie to a jury that was prone to dis believe them.

        2. Also, the black women on the OJ jury may not have been inclined to take the side of the pretty white woman who OJ married.

      2. OJ was found not guilty because the jury was leery of cops, from first hand interactions, and the cops were transparently lying about key parts of the investigation

        True, this is the primary reason, but I said “I’ve always thought that was one of the reasons why the O.J. Simpson found him not guilty – they were scared of the potential riots.” Key word being “one,” as in one of several reasons.

        Also, the misconduct of the police and that idiot Mark Furhman in particular was stirring up a lot of shit. I’m sure the jury knew how it would look to a lot of the race baiters if they found him guilty, and with the Rodney King riots were still fresh in their minds it was bound to influence their thinking at least a little bit.

        1. OJ’s trial was in 1995 and the extent of the corruption and abuse that the LAPD had been perpetrating on South Central LA for decades was not known by the larger public at that time. But it was known by the people that lived there.

          There’s a number of LAPD cops that have been convicted of literally framing innocent black people in that area in that time. We all know how likely it is for cops to get prosecuted for that let alone convicted, so the cases that we do know of are the tip of the iceberg.

          And that’s without even considering routine police abuse, piling on charges, lying about evidence etc. that was SOP for the LAPD.

          1. Third-hand, but I had heard an anecdote after the verdict, where around the time of jury selection, a few of the jurors mentioned asking whether O.J. would be coming to the party after the trial…

            You can thank Garcetti’s political ambition for not holding the trial in Santa Monica, where even the D.A’s Office’s manifest incompetence wouldn’t have been enough to keep O.J. out of jail. Even though it looks like his kid may actually have been the one that did it. The theory looks really interesting to me, and I wonder how a retest of the evidence, with Jason Simpson’s DNA, would turn out?

            Seriously, who does a courtroom demonstration without knowing ahead of time how the demo will turn out?!

  26. My impressions were that Judge Ito and prosecutor old-what’s-her-name were both dipshits.

    1. That too. The LA DA’s office was totally riven by political correctness. A woman and a black man were going to try that case no matter what. Sadly, they apparently only had morons who fit the proper ethnic profile.

      1. I never understood why the famous white Bronco chase never came up in court. Seemed like good evidence of guilty behavior.

        BTW, the best “OJ didn’t do it” theory I’ve read is that OJ’s rather disturbed sounding son Jason might have, and that OJ was protecting him.

        1. That’s at least a credible theory, if it’s true that the DNA technology of the time could not differentiate between a father & son.

  27. Baboon shit everywhere.

  28. Yes,he wanted to…live.

    also, Martin was about to commit a crime, which did by attacking Zimmerman without reason.

    1. You don’t know whether he attacked without reason. Only Zimmerman knows that.

  29. I don’t know what the problem is here. Zimmerman was clearly an asshole with a gun looking for trouble. Well, one finds trouble with a gun if he so chooses. People who walk around armed need to take responsibility for their actions. Just because he was losing a fight with person doesn’t absolve Zimmerman of the action of having positively engaged in following Martin on a dark street. Zimmerman is a dangerous idiot and we are better off without his kind “patrolling” our streets. I’m ok with people owning firearms, but one must accept that there is a significant expectation to behave responsibly while armed. Severe consequences are justified here, in my opinion.

    1. How dare someone concerned about burglaries in their neighborhood follow a suspicious character wandering around in the rain, looking like they were casing houses!

      Besides, the evidence seems to indicate that Zimmerman stopped following Martin, and that Martin then doubled back and attacked him.

      1. suspicious character

        According to Zimmerman.

        wandering around in the rain

        According to Zimmerman.

        looking like they were casing houses

        According to Zimmerman.

        the evidence seems to indicate

        The evidence not gathered until days later.

        Zimmerman stopped following Martin, and that Martin then doubled back and attacked him.

        According to Zimmerman.

        1. The problem for the prosecution is that most of the evidence seems to support, or, at least, not contradict, Zimmerman’s version of events (even if that’s not what really happened). That’s very difficult to overcome.

          1. I think he’ll get off. I’m not convinced he committed a crime, even. But the confirmation bias in the case is off the fucking charts. As is the alarmingly cavalier attitude some seem to have to this guy stalking a teenager that there is no evidence whatsoever was committing a crime because of his frustration that the cops he called 46 times weren’t doing enough about “these assholes.”

            1. Too much speculation for a murder charge. That’s all I’m saying. Zimmerman may well have provoked an incident that never should’ve happened. On the other hand, the same is likely true of Martin. Sounds to me like it was a perfect storm of dumb decisions.

            2. As is the alarmingly cavalier attitude some seem to have to this guy stalking a teenager

              Stalking? Really???

              Do people usually call the cops before the begin stalking someone?

              1. Do people usually call the cops before the begin stalking someone?

                How many teenagers do you follow around in the rain in your car, and then get out and follow on foot?

                If you read the transcript of his 911 call, Zimmerman was already following him before he called the cops and became frustrated when Martin noticed him and ran away.

                What happened after that is Zimmerman’s version of events after Martin was dead.

        2. Oh for the love of fucking God. You and fluffy just can’t give this up.

          Here is the bottom line. If Martin hadn’t jumped him and ended up on top of Zimmerman beating his head against the concrete, Zimmerman wouldn’t have shot him. The bottom line here is, don’t get into fights with strangers who might have guns. I haven’t the slightest bit of sympathy for Martin. It seems very clear that Martin started the fight because he thought he was a bad ass and didn’t like Zimmerman following. It is real fun to be a bad ass until you run into the wrong guy. And that is what happened to Martin. Martin is just another dead dumb ass.

          1. What terrible fate would have befallen the neighborhood if Zimmerman hadn’t got out of his car and started playing cop with Martin? That’s right, nothing.

            Eh, just a dead black kid, who gives a shit, right?

            1. If Zimmerman is such an aggressive bad guy, why didn’t he draw his gun from the start? Think about it. If Zimmerman is this evil racist who wanted to clean the black kids out of his neighborhood, why on earth would he have not drawn his gun? That makes no sense. If you are going into a confrontation, you want the other guy to know you have a gun, especially if you mean him harm. But Zimmerman didn’t draw his gun. We know that because he got into a fight with Martin. No way is Martin crazy enough to attack someone with a gun and if Zimmerman already has his gun drawn, why would he bother with getting into a fight?

              The only explanation that makes any sense is that Zimmerman didn’t confront Martin. That Martin, not knowing Zimmerman had a gun, confronted Zimmerman. To believe Zimmerman was the aggressor you have to believe that Zimmerman confronted him but for some unknown reason didn’t draw his gun.

              1. John, I know you love this line of strawman bullshit, but that’s all it is. The argument that Zimmerman wasn’t out to assassinate a random black kid doesn’t mean he did nothing wrong.

                1. The argument that Zimmerman wasn’t out to assassinate a random black kid doesn’t mean he did nothing wrong.

                  Okay, then how do you make the case that he was the aggressor? Just what was Zimmerman doing that made him the aggressor but somehow didn’t draw his gun?

                  You are telling me that Zimmerman went out and started a fist fight with someone younger and bigger than him even though he had gun.

                  SF give it up. the case doesn’t fit your narrative. Stop letting it make you say stupid things.

                  1. SF give it up. the case doesn’t fit your narrative. Stop letting it make you say stupid things.

                    It’s OK, John. I’d get defensive too if I were in your shoes.

                    Zimmerman could have attempted to detain or delay Martin until the police arrived. Martin could have verbally challenged him and Zimmerman pulled before he could identify himself as Neighborhood Watch. Or Zimmerman could have freaked out a 17-year-old by following him and the kid attacked him.

                    Either way, if Zimmerman had just called the cops and not gotten out of the car, Martin would be alive.

              2. Following somebody down a dark street with a gun is basically armed stalking. Why did he feel the need to follow somebody while armed. What is the point? What was he hoping to do or prevent? If somebody wants to find trouble, it’s not a difficult thing to do.

                Seriously, supporting this guy is just the absolute worst case one can make for supporting responsible gun ownership in this country. If these are the types of behavior that are allowed while armed, then I’m way against it.

                1. Following somebody down a dark street with a gun is basically armed stalking.

                  No it is not. It was his neighborhood. He had both a right to carry a gun and go wherever he wanted. And following someone doesn’t give them the right to attack you. Martin attacked Zimmerman because he was an asshole thug who thought he had found an easy mark. Sadly for him, life can be short if you are stupid.

                  1. Zimmerman had a right to be walking around with a gun where he was. That is certainly true. I think it may well be true that he did nothing criminal at all. But the fact remains that had he stayed in the car, this wouldn’t have happened and everyone involved would be much better off. It is possible to be responsible for someone’s death without being criminally guilty and I think that is the case here.

                    1. But the fact remains that had he stayed in the car, this wouldn’t have happened and everyone involved would be much better off.

                      So you are saying if he was wrong for not just left everything to the cops. Funny how this is the one time Libertarians all of the sudden decide waiting around for the cops is the only responsible thing to do.

                    2. I am only saying what I actually typed. I wouldn’t have gotten involved at all. And as it turns out, it would have been better had Zimmerman not gotten involved. That’s all I’m saying. I leave decisions about whether or not to call the cops up to whoever finds himself in such a situation.

                      It doesn’t matter what I think about the facts. What matters is that there is no evidence to convict him on. What bugs me is the people swiging too hard in the other direction and assuming that Martin was a thug who had it coming and Zimmerman was totally, obviously justified. What makes sense to you isn’t necessarily what happened. People do shit that makes no sense pretty regularly.

                    3. But the fact remains that had he stayed in the car, this wouldn’t have happened and everyone involved would be much better off.

                      Assumes facts not in evidence.

                    4. “Assumes facts not in evidence.”

                      Which facts am I assuming (beyond some very basic laws of nature and patterns of human behavior)? At some point he got out of the car. It was after that that the altercation happened.

                      Perhaps Martin was dead set on bashing Zimmerman’s head on the ground that night, but that seems very unlikely and barring that, I don’t see how this could have happened without Z getting out of the car.

                    5. That everyone involved would be much better off. If Martin was just one his way home, then yeah. If Martin was looking for a house to break into, not so much.

                      Just as much as nothing happens, theoretically, if Zimmerman stays in the car, nothing happens if Martin doesn’t behave as he does.

                      Since, as far as I am aware, there is zero evidence that Zimmerman did anything to justify a physical confrontation, or that he started one, the “if only he had behaved differently” thing appears to fall more on Martin.

              3. You just don’t understand John.

                Zimmerman who lived in the neighborhood had not right or reason to be walking around on a rainy night. While Martin, who did not live there, was perfectly within his rights to be wandering around, checking for unlocked doors and such.

                1. And he had every right to attack anyone who came near him VG.

          2. One could also argue this bottom line: if Zimmerman hadn’t been following Martin, then none of this would have happened. And Zimmerman wouldn’t have shot him.

            If somebody is following me on a dark street, there is a good chance that I will make sure that he/she ceases to continue that behavior. The onus of responsibility here is on Zimmerman. He was entering into a potentially dangerous situation of his own volition while armed. If you guys want to support responsible gun ownership in this country, you should be all for the harshest punishment for Zimmerman.

            The fact that you don’t have any sympathy for a dead kid who didn’t ask to be followed or shot is simply mind boggling. If Zimmerman had left him alone, there would be no issue, whatsoever.

            Where is the libertarian philosophy of leaving people the fuck along here?

            1. *alone” durr

            2. Punishment for what? Seriously, he may very well be telling the truth–there’s nothing that really shows that he isn’t. If so, he shot the kid in self-defense.

              I’ve got all the sympathy in the world for the kid and his family, as I’m doubtful that he intended to kill Zimmerman. But he may have initiated the violence and may have taken the beating over the top. That’s not a smart thing to do, even without a gun. If Zimmerman had been unarmed, Martin would very likely be getting tried right now for battery.

            3. If somebody is following me on a dark street, there is a good chance that I will make sure that he/she ceases to continue that behavior.

              So you and Martin are the only ones allowed to walk in a given area at a given time?

              1. So you and Martin are the only ones allowed to walk in a given area at a given time?

                Zimmerman voluntarily admits to following Martin in the 911 call.

                1. Which is irrelevant.

                  You don’t get to attack someone because they are ‘following’ you.

                  1. Shift those goalposts.

                    And only Zimmerman’s testimony says that Martin doubled back and attacked him. Zimmerman’s injuries prove a fight occurred, not who started.

                    1. You are the one saying that Martin was justified in initiating force because he was being followed by Zimmerman.

                      Now you are, wisely, backing away for that position.

                      Which leaves the real issue of whether Zimmerman reasonably feared for his life when he shot trayvon. And the injuries that he sustained support that contention.

                    2. You are the one saying that Martin was justified in initiating force because he was being followed by Zimmerman.

                      You and John are starting to have the same delusions. Get that checked.

                      I’m merely countering your idea that Zimmerman was walking along, whistling a tune, and Martin jumped out the bushes. Zimmerman was following him. Martin should not have attacked him in the way Zimmerman described (assuming that’s the truth.) But Martin would be alive if Zimmerman wasn’t following him, that much is evident.

                    3. But Martin would be alive if Zimmerman wasn’t following him, that much is evident.

                    4. But Martin would be alive if Zimmerman wasn’t following him, that much is evident.

                      Sure, if the circumstance were different the outcome would have been too.

                      So what?

                      You might as well say that if Trayvon wasn’t wandering that neighborhood at that time he’d still be alive.

                    5. You might as well say that if Trayvon wasn’t wandering that neighborhood at that time he’d still be alive.

                      Ah, yes. Back to the capital crime of wandering. How dare he.

                    6. Nice emotional injection.

                      But the fact remains that if Trayvon were not in the common areas of that neighborhood that night, then he would still be alive.

                      Which is an equally valid observation to yours that Trayvon would be alive if Zimmerman were not in the common areas of that neighborhood that night.

                      That is unless you think one of them (Zimmerman) had no valid right to be there that night.

                    7. Sugar Free,

                      Since when does Zimmerman have to prove he is innocent? If his injuries are consistent with his story, that is reasonable doubt. If you don’t like reasonable doubt, tough shit.

                    8. Since when does Zimmerman have to prove he is innocent?

                      He doesn’t. I’ve said I don’t think he should be on trail for 2nd degree murder. But I also don’t have to take everything he says as gospel like you, Sidd, VG, and Papaya.

                    9. True SF, you can disbelieve Zimmerman despite all evidence to the contrary. I still waiting for an explanation of why exactly Zimmeran would have physically assaulted Martin even though he had a gun. It makes no sense. If Zimmerman wanted trouble, he would have drawn his gun and confronted Martin and that would have been it. Martin as far as I know was no suicidal, so I doubt he would have attacked a man holding a gun on him.

                      But we know there was a fight. So I would like to hear your explanation for how it happened, other than Martin attacking Zimmerman before he could draw his gun.

                    10. There is no evidence of anything other than a fight taking place. Your assertion that no one brandishing a gun is ever attacked while holding a gun is ludicrous. Zimmerman also could have confronted Martin knowing he had the gun if he needed it.

                      Don’t examine why you believe what you believe about this case, John. That’s not a mirror you want to look into for too long.

                    11. Zimmerman also could have confronted Martin knowing he had the gun if he needed it.

                      So some old guy is going to confront a large athletic teenager but not draw his gun “in case he needed it”. That is idiotic and you know it.

                      Your assertion that no one brandishing a gun is ever attacked while holding a gun is ludicrous.

                      No it is not. Is it your position that Zimmerman confronts Martin gun pulled and Martin attacked him? No fucking way. Run maybe. But not attack. That is ludicrous. No way would Martin attack Zimmerman had he known Zimmerman had a gun. Why would he? What reason would he have to do that?

                      Forget it. There is no way to explain what he know other than Martin attacked Zimmerman. To believe otherwise is to believe that Zimmerman started a fight with a guy much larger and much younger than him even though he had a gun and an easy way to subdue him.

                      That is absurd. Just stop it. This whole thing boils down to your complete refusal to believe Martin could ever have done anything wrong. That is really what this is about. You just can’t admit that Martin could have just been an asshole who decided he could beat up Zimmerman.

                    12. John,

                      Zimmerman called the cops. If we assume he confronted Martin, why would he have his gun out? You can’t just go around brandishing and/or pointing a gun at people without reason to think they’re committing a crime. You act as if it’s insane to think a guy might be reluctant to pull a gun on a kid walking around after he called the police. I’m not saying Zimmerman should be convicted and I’m not saying that Martin didn’t attack Zimmerman. I’m saying you don’t know either, and quit pretending like there’s no possible scenario where Zimmerman initiated the confrontation.

                    13. SF says that the only evidence of T wandering is Z’s testimony. I point out that the time between the 7-11 purchase and the 911 calls means he was wandering around.

                      According to the totally not biased SugarFree, that’s taking everything Z says as gospel.

                    14. I’m saying wandering isn’t a crime that the police need to be called for. And if Martin was wandering, he sure shouldn’t have died because of it.

                      What do you think Zimmerman is lying about, Sidd?

                    15. Is there any evidence at all, anywhere, from anyone, that Zimmerman acted in a way to justify a physical response from Martin or that Zimmerman initiated a physical confrontation?

                      My understanding is that Marin didn’t die because he was wandering, he died because he attacked someone who was watching him wander. Do you know of any evidence which contradicts this?

                    16. nd if Martin was wandering, he sure shouldn’t have died because of it.

                      He died because he attacked Zimmerman. If Zimmerman had just walked up and shot him, that would have been murder. But that is not what happened and you know it.

                    17. If I was a bookie and there was some way of knowing the truth, I’d put the odds that Zimmerman story is more or less true at about 15:1. I’d put the odds that Zimmerman didn’t confront Trayvon at all considerably lower, say 8:1.

                    18. I’ve said I don’t think he should be on trail for 2nd degree murder. But I also don’t have to take everything he says as gospel like you, Sidd, VG, and Papaya.

                      Pretty much this. No way you guys would give Zimmerman’s account this much weight if he was a cop. I’m not sure why we have to take his account as face value, considering he’s a criminal defendant. After he hangs up on 911 (Seriously, “I’ll call you back.” WTF?) all we have, until he starts getting his ass kicked, is his story. Which is going to be as self-serving as any other criminal defendant’s.

                      If you give Z’s story next to zero weight, I think it’s just as reasonable to suppose that Z hung up on 911 because he saw Martin, and wanted to confront him without 911 hearing it. Especially after the operator said that he didn’t need to get out of his truck to go after Martin. That isn’t good enough to convict, of course, especially when the prosecution has to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, but I’m not talking about legal guilty or not guilty. Just what I think’s the likeliest to have happened.

                      Give me an omniscient perspective, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it showed Z running up to Martin, demanding to know what he was doing in the neighborhood, grabbing him, Martin getting pissed, and a fight breaking out. But we don’t have that.

                      Good thing for Z that Florida’s a homestead state.

            4. Martin should have left Zimmerman alone?

            5. I have now read multiple posts by you, DDP.

              Climb down off your “if you want to support responsible gun ownership” high horse.

              The physical facts of the case seem pretty clear. Zimmerman was acting in a lawful manner when he called the police, and so was Martin.

              Zimmerman sustained multiple injuries consistent with his account of what happened. Martin had no injuries except a hole through his heart and scraped knuckles.

              Based on those facts alone I don’t see how Zimmerman can be convicted of manslaughter, much less murder.

              1. Damned threading. Maybe Brooks has a point.

                From John,

                So some old guy is going to confront a large athletic teenager but not draw his gun “in case he needed it”.

                Z’s what, 5’8, 200? And turns 30 this year. If he’s an old guy, what does that make us? Anyway, Martin’s 5’11-6’0, 160 or so. I’m not seeing a Wladimir Klitschko-Danny De Vito disparity here, not enough that Z’d feel obligated to pull his pistol. Anyway, pulling his pistol would be brandishing, and not the sort of thing he’d want to have to explain to the cops. You really can’t imagine a police academy applicant like Zimmerman going up to Martin and demanding to know what’s he doing in the neighborhood, without Zimmerman pulling his gun?

                Perfectly reasonable to guess that Z felt emboldened enough to get out of his car and go look for Martin. Who was going to get away before the cops got there. They always get away, right George?

                Again, based on the burden of proof, and the evidence we’ve been shown, I think Z should walk on a hypothetical manslaughter charge. And 2nd degree murder is insane overcharging. But his conduct, letting himself get in that position in the first place, was atrocious.

                He makes a good warning to other CHL holders about what not to do.

              2. He was acting lawfully when he called the police and acted terribly irresponsible when he tailed Martin. Martin was running when he started tailing him. Running. If I was running and some dude was following me, yeah, I’d feel pretty threatened.

                If the consensus here is that admittedly tailing people on dark streets while armed is responsible gun ownership, then I simply don’t believe in it. Is that what you believe?

                I’m not sure that he will be convicted given the lack of evidence, but that’s not for us to decide anyway, I suppose.

                1. If I was running and some dude was following me, yeah, I’d feel pretty threatened.

                  If you felt threatened, you’d probably run to where you’re staying right? I mean you’re only a block away. And you’re a young athlete and the guy following you is short and fat. I’m pretty sure that’s the plan that nearly everybody would follow.

                  f the consensus here is that admittedly tailing people on dark streets

                  Florida has electricity these days.

                  1. “If you felt threatened, you’d probably run to where you’re staying right? I mean you’re only a block away. And you’re a young athlete and the guy following you is short and fat. I’m pretty sure that’s the plan that nearly everybody would follow.”

                    Yes, but I’m also not a slightly troubled 17-year old kid. The reason you don’t put yourself in an armed situation in which you make somebody feel threatened is because you can’t predict how a threatened person can react. Anger, aggression, and fear are all normal responses to perceived threats and a depending on the emotional restraint of a 17-year old to keep yourself out of trouble is simply foolish. To do this while armed is beyond foolish. This is basic common sense that any reasonably intelligent adult understands. He knew better and should not be excused.

            6. The fact that you don’t have any sympathy for a dead kid who didn’t ask to be followed or shot is simply mind boggling

              He didn’t ask to be followed, but he begged to be shot.

          3. There is only one eye witness, and he’s on trial. I don’t think he is guilty of murder, and most likely not of manslaughter either. The evidence certainly is not there. But I think that the points SF raises are valid. I don’t know, you don’t know, and Mr. Papaya doesn’t know.

            1. This. I’m glad I’m not on the jury. I’m also glad that SugarFree isn’t, either; Zimmerman would be strung up for paranoia.

            2. I don’t know, you don’t know, and Mr. Papaya doesn’t know.

              Which means the only legal and moral thing to do is acquit Zimmerman.

              1. I agree entirely. My only objection is to the people who seem to think that that means he is totally and obviously innocent. We don’t know.

                1. As Night Elf Mohawk points out, “don’t know” = legally innocent.

                  And Zeb, I believe there is another witness, who saw Martin on top of Zimmerman.

                  1. Not guilty /= innocent.

                    As we’ll probably find out, during the subsequent civil suit.

                  2. No one’s disputing that Martin injured Zimmerman in a fight. What some of us are saying is that no one alive except Zimmerman knows who started it. That means he should walk, but it also means the people saying “Martin was obviously a violent thug who attacked Zimmerman and there’s no other possible explanation” are jumping to conclusions without evidence.

        3. This is a good example of what I was talking about above about how people who weren’t there on both sides are making assumptions on things they know nothing about. That said, as Pro Liberate said, there’s no way to disprove what Zimmerman’s saying, so there’s no way he can be justly convicted. At the same time, as I mentioned earlier, had Martin won the struggle, I don’t think there would in all likelihood be enough evidence to convict him of a crime

        4. We know he was wandering around because of the time between him purchasing watermelon cocktail at the 7-11 and the 911 calls.

          1. So if you don’t walk straight home, I should call the cops? Follow you? Confront you? Shoot you?

            1. What a strange way of admitting you were wrong.

              1. I gave you four choices. Which would you like applied to your actions?

                1. 1 is fine. 2 is fine at a distance. 3 is fine. 4 is not cool.

                  1. OK, so the cops should be checking out anyone not moving from A to B in the most efficient manner possible?

                    I go for a walk all the time with no clear destination all the time. Should a squad car be rolling up on me and the hundreds of people doing this in my neighborhood every day? I even see some of them doing at night or in the rain. Get a fucking SWAT team over here!

                    1. I said I would be fine with you calling the cops.

                      “So if you don’t walk straight home, I should call the cops?”

                      “1 is fine.”

                      How the fuck you interpreted that as “the cops should be checking out anyone not moving from A to B in the most efficient manner possible” is beyond me.

                    2. Your words.

                      We know he was wandering around because of the time between him purchasing watermelon cocktail at the 7-11 and the 911 calls.

                      My words.

                      So if you don’t walk straight home, I should call the cops? Follow you? Confront you? Shoot you?

                      Your words.

                      1 is fine.

                      What’s the problem you are having? Is “wandering” that’s hanging you up? Define wandering in a way that doesn’t encompass “not moving from A to B in the most efficient manner possible”.

                    3. Presumably the cops have some agency.

                      SugarFree to 911: “Some guy is not walking home in the most efficient manner possible.”

                      I’m fine with this.

                      911 to SugarFree: “Get the fuck outta here with this shit.”

                      I’m fine with this also.

            2. No but you should give a beat down to anyone that happens to be walking near you at the same time.

              1. Zimmerman voluntarily admits to following Martin in the 911 call.

                Why can’t you admit that? Even if Martin attacked him, it was anything but a random event.

                1. Trauyvon knew that?

                  Or did he see someone walking the same path a few hundred feet behind him?

                  And is that always a threat to you?

                  1. Or did he see someone walking the same path a few hundred feet behind him?

                    I guess only Republicans are smart enough to know when they are being followed by someone in a car and then they get out and start following them on foot.

                2. SF,

                  The crux of your argument is that any person who feels they are being followed has a right to physically assault the person following them. That is completely retarded and you know it. Give it up. This has gone past the point of embarrassing.

                  1. The crux of your argument is that any person who feels they are being followed has a right to physically assault the person following them.

                    Find where I have said that.

                    And only Zimmerman’s testimony says that’s what happened. I guess we know where your bias are getting confirmed.

                    1. Okay, SF, if you are not saying that, then what are you saying? Where does Martin get the right to assault Zimmerman?

                      And don’t tell me Zimmerman started it. He couldn’t have. He had a gun. Why on earth would Zimmerman have started a fight when all he had to do was pull his gun. In order for Martin to be right here, he has to have some kind of justification for assaulting Zimmerman.

              2. By his own admission, Zimmerman was tailing him.

                1. Who cares. It is a free country. Zimmerman can follow whomever he wants.

                  You people need to get it through your heads. Zimmerman was not a cop. So stop acting like he has to have probable cause to tail someone.

              3. Yes, let’s just all conveniently pretend that he wasn’t actually following him while armed. Even though that fact isn’t even disputed by Zimmerman.

                Zimmerman asked for all of this. It’s simply common sense not to behave the way that he did.

                1. Yes, let’s just all conveniently pretend that he wasn’t actually following him while armed.

                  I am not pretending that. You need to stop pretending that following someone is a crime or gives them the right to assault you. So what if Zimmerman was tailing him. For the fifth time, THAT IS NOT A CRIME.

                  1. I was replying to VG who is arguing that Zimmerman’s behavior was just the same as walking around. It clearly was not.

                    And following somebody can be rightly viewed as harassment or stalking, and can easily be perceived as a threat. I know when I’m walking down the street, I pay attention to people behind me because they are all conceivable threats. That’s just normal urban common sense.

                    But we’ll never know if Martin felt threatened. Only that Zimmerman assessed Martin as a threat, followed Martin while armed (while Martin was running away), got beat up pretty badly by Martin and then Zimmerman killed Martin with his handgun. Almost everything else is Zimmerman’s word.

                    The second step in that sequence could have avoided all of this.

                    1. …followed Martin while armed (while Martin was running away), got beat up pretty badly by Martin…

                      Hmm, seems like there must be another step around that comma, correct? Zimmerman didn’t get beaten up while Martin was running away. I’m sure Martin could have outrun Zimmerman any day of the week. So he must have come back and started the fight, because the wounds are inconsistent with Zimmerman starting a fight, unless you think Zimmerman attacked Martin’s fists with his face.

                      That missing step, of Martin coming back, is what “could have avoided all this.” But thugs gotta thug.

                    2. Sure, it is implicit that they encountered each other from steps 2 to 3. Was it Martin who instigated the physical contact? Hard to tell. But one thing that may be nice to keep in mind is that he was a fucking kid. But he was a “thug” (allegedly), which is a totally justifiable reason for dying at 17.

                      This was a 17-year old slightly troubled kid walking down the street with skittles and ice tea.

                      George Zimmerman is somebody who has assaulted police officers and his ex-fianc?. He couldn’t even get an associates degree, though he dreamed of being a judge. And he thought that following a running kid on a dark street with a gun was a good idea. George Zimmerman is a reckless moron. What was he thinking would happen in that situation? What would any normal person think would happen in that situation? Regardless of what happened in between, he bears responsibility for creating that situation.

                      If you can’t even defend yourself from a teenager, a good idea not to get yourself in that situation.

          2. You guys are some strange libertarians. The neighborhood watch has a right to follow me while armed if I don’t go straight home from 7-11. Bizarre, simply bizarre.

            1. If you don’t think the neighborhood watch has the right to follow strangers wandering around at night, why don’t you just admit that neighborhood watches shouldn’t exist?

            2. Well, just so you know, even if Zimmerman said, “Hey, what are you doing?” after following Martin, Martin committed battery, perhaps aggravated battery, if he attacked him without any additional provocation.

              I’m rather surprised at all the certainty around here about what happened. I tend to think both Zimmerman and Martin acted foolishly, but, as a matter of law, I don’t see how the prosecution can even start off looking for a murder conviction. The evidence simply isn’t there.

              It’s also not there for us to know for sure what happened. Maybe Zimmerman Paula Deaned the kid and provoked him into an attack. Heck, maybe he threw the first punch. Or maybe the kid did have an attitude and went off on Zimmerman without much provocation.

              After that, there’s still the question of whether Zimmerman was justified in using lethal force. Maybe, maybe not. We weren’t there, and the evidence couldn’t be much worse.

            3. Anyone has a right to follow you on public property.

              Seriously, is suspicion of being followed now justification for initiating force?

            4. Yes. They are citizens too. I can follow you anywhere I like provided I don’t trespass. Since when can I not follow someone? Where is that a crime?

              This post is a good example of why this case brings out the full of retard in so many otherwise reasonable people. Some people just can’t understand or get over the fact that yes, while you have a right to go anywhere you want, everyone else has a right to ask you why you are there. And that may be annoying, it doesn’t give you the right to attack them.

              1. Some people just can’t understand or get over the fact that yes, while you have a right to go anywhere you want, everyone else has a right to ask you why you are there.

                Wait… Zimmerman spoke to Martin? I thought he was meekly walking back to his car minding him own business and was attacked out of the blue?

                1. Zimmerman spoke to Martin? I thought he was meekly walking back to his car minding him own business and was attacked out of the blue?

                  I don’t know. It is an irrelevant fact. I don’t care if Zimmerman followed him for hours. Nothing Zimmerman did gave Martin the right to attack him. That is what you can’t admit. You just can’t get over the idea that Zimmerman had every right to follow, talk to or tell Martin to go fuck himself if he wanted to. Unless you can show me that Zimmerman struck first, which you can’t, Martin was the aggressor.

                  1. I could be wrong, but I don’t think SF is anywhere saying that Martin had any clear right to attack Zimmerman, or that Zimmerman ought to be tried or convicted of murder. Only that Z’s actions led to an unfortunate and avoidable death. I’m pretty sure no one here is saying that he ought to be convicted of murder. A number of people do seem to be assuming a lot about both parties’ intentions, though. And we really know nothing about that.

                  2. You can’t just follow whomever you want in whatever capacity you want. There are laws against harassment and stalking. Being in the neighborhood watch does not absolve one of that. Especially while armed.

                    Would you then suggest to your own daughter that she not prepare to defend herself with mace or any other deterrent if some guy is following her on a darkened street? Are you just that na?ve to think that behavior is typically innocuous? There are plenty of people who are followed for nefarious reasons, it beggars belief that you are ignoring that.

                    It just doesn’t pass the smell test that one would think that Zimmerman is absolved of all responsibility in this situation. He instigated an encounter which led to the fatal shooting of a kid by his own hand. It could have all been avoided had he simply avoided the situation altogether. I honestly don’t know what world that you live in where one should not expect a negative consequence from following somebody. It’s more than just rude, it’s threatening.

                    Zimmerman bears responsibility for this. I can’t say whether he deserves murder charges or something lesser. But it would not be a benefit to anybody to allow his type of behavior.

        5. All of which is far more convincing than any story Trayvon’s defenders have told.

          Zimmerman a racist? His background says otherwise: he’s part black and was involved in protesting a police shooting of a black man.

          Trayvon just an innocent kid? His background says otherwise.

          Trayvon was just passing through the neighborhood? The timeline and map indicate he didn’t simply travel between his destinations by anything like an efficient route, and took far longer.

          Zimmerman started it? The wounds on the two of them say otherwise.

          If Zimmerman were black, and Trayvon a white kid with a similarly thuggish background, I doubt if few would think Zimmerman guilty.

          1. I don’t think Zimmerman is a racist, he’s just stupid.

            Zimmerman’s background suggests violent behavior. Assaulting an officer and assaulting one’s spouse is thuggish. And he did these things as an adult. Where in Martin’s background can you say the same? Shit, in your hypothetical, I would absolutely take Martin’s background over Zimmerman’s.

            Martin wasn’t passing through the community…he was staying there with his father.

        6. The evidence was gathered right after it happened.

          And every single piece of physical evidence supports the series of events that happened–

          According to Zimmerman.

      2. Seriously, how dare he. When I see something suspicious, I call the police and try to stay far away. I don’t trust the police much, but I sure as heck don’t trust myself in a situation like that either. Why? Because I’m not an asshole.

        1. I don’t trust the police much, but I sure as heck don’t trust myself in a situation like that either

          AHH, the projection comes out. “I don’t trust ME, you obviously can’t be trusted either”

          1. Yes, obviously he can’t be trusted with a gun. Why? Because he shot a kid with skittles on a dark street! Should I be trusted to be the final arbiter of somebody’s life because I feel like he *might* be doing something wrong?

            Christ on a bike, this guy did something violent and horrible, people. A kid fucking died. How is this not a big deal?

            1. Zimmerman’s injuries are consistent with his story of having his head smashed against the ground. In which case he acted in self defense.

              The only thing relevant to this case is whether you believe that or not.

              The reason for Zimmerman walking his neighborhood at that time is irrelevant.

              The case would not be different if Z saw Martin because he was walking his dog or taking out his trash or anything else.

            2. Will go down in history as “The Skittles Prosecution”.

            3. Because he shot a kid with skittles on a dark street!

              Who was pounding his head into the pavement.

              Should I be trusted to be the final arbiter of somebody’s life because I feel like he *might* be doing something wrong?

              There’s no “might.” Pounding Zimmerman’s head into the pavement was definitely “doing something wrong.”

              How is this not a big deal?

              Because many people don’t mourn the deaths of violent thugs.

              1. And I certainly won’t mourn the conviction of somebody as stupidly dangerous as Zimmerman. You know, the guy who actually killed somebody here.

                1. I don’t consider people who defend themselves from assault by strangers as “stupidly dangerous.” OTOH, I do consider people who assault strangers as stupidly dangerous.

              2. Papaya, how do you know Martin started the fight? You act as if it’s impossible to start a physical confrontation and then get your ass kicked. I agree there’s not enough evidence to convict Zimmerman. There also isn’t any proof as to who started the confrontation (which means Zimmerman should walk)

        2. It is the existence of people like DDP2 and Sugarfree that convinces me that the outcome of this case will be a hung jury.

          1. I don’t know about DDP2, but SugarFree specifically said that he shouldn’t be on trial for murder given the available evidence. It is possible to think that the whole incident was a tragic fuckup and also to think that Zimmerman should not be criminally liable. Why is this so hard to understand. I’m not on the jury. I am not obliged to think of this case only in terms of criminal liability.

            1. I don’t know whether he should face murder charges here specifically, but based on his own admissions he bears a great deal responsibility for this situation. I believe in responsible gun ownership, but he showed extremely poor judgment while armed. He needs to be held accountable for that if we, as a society, are going to continue to prove that responsible gun ownership is feasible.

              1. Fuck off, sockpuppet.

                Go tell Mayor Bloomberg to fuck off, too. Your concern trolling is noted, and duly ridiculed.

              2. DDP, please clarify your concern for “responsible gun ownership”?

                Does it mean that if you own a gun you should hole up in your home with the curtains drawn and never make eye contact with another human being? Does it mean that if you are put in a position to defend your life you should never, ever use your gun and instead just accept your mortal beating in order to convince hoplophobes that gun owners are noble?

                Seriously, what does “responsible gun ownership” have to do with anything here?

                1. shamalam,

                  My understanding of responsible gun ownership is to avoid any confrontations which could result in the discharge of a firearm. Following Martin while he was running away does not qualify as such, in my view.

                  If your view of responsible gun ownership is to tail people who you suspect of burglary of your own volition, then yes I absolutely disagree with that notion. I don’t want to be afraid of walking down the streets in my own neighborhood lest I be deemed a threat by some private individual. That doesn’t sound like a free society to me.

                  Is that what it sounds like to you?

                  1. DDP,

                    If your neighborhood is plagued by burglaries would you want a neighborhood watch program in effect? In such a neighborhood would you want your neighbors to call the police if they saw a suspicious person? Do you think a neighborhood watch program that actually results in some arrests of criminals might deter future criminals?

                    Does your understanding of responsible gun ownership preclude all possible instances where you might need to use your gun? Are you saying that only gun owners who never use their gun are responsible and that those who do use their guns are irresponsible?

            2. Hey, it pains me to criticize SF because I am a big fan of his writing on H&R but in this case SF seems to have completely abandoned reasoning (drink if you want to).

              Unless the prosecution has some evidence I am unaware of, this case should never have gone to trial, which makes me wonder if there might be a directed verdict of not guilty.

              I do give SF a little bit of leeway. He seems to at least agree that murder 2 is unwarranted. DDP seems to be completely unhinged about this.

              It seems to me that about 1/3 of people who have an opinion on this case are utterly convinced that Z is a murderer, 1/3 are convinced Z acted in self defense, and 1/3 are willing to make a judgment based on the evidence. This leads me to believe that a hung jury is the only possible outcome.

              1. I’m not sure what part of DDP’s posts that you find completely unhinged. Do you think that Zimmerman wasn’t reckless in trying to follow Martin on foot, while Zimmerman was armed? Sounds like he was looking for a confrontation, and I thought that’s one of the things you really tried to avoid while carrying?

                I agree with you about the hung jury, though I think the jury will find him not guilty if the defense does a good job of hammering into the jury what the required (very steep) burden of proof is, and how the prosecution failed to meet it.

                No way the judge issues a JMOL at close of State’s case. Not unless she has stock in some reconstruction companies…

                It wouldn’t surprise me to see the jury convict—juries will do the strangest things—and have the 5th Court of Appeals overturn.

                1. As an aside, I was recently on a jury in which there was no physical evidence whatsoever linking the defendant to the crime. Only testimony of a “snitch”. I thought there was no way the jury would convict. In the end, I was selected as an alternate juror and the jury convicted him within a few hours. I was pretty surprised.

                  Point being, juries do funny things. And I also realized how liberal I was toward criminal justice that day.

                2. GG,

                  If Z were unarmed would he have been reckless if he had followed TM? Following a suspicious person so as to be able to tell the cops, “he went out the back gate”,or “he went into unit 19” does not qualify as “looking for a confrontation”. Considering that Z wound up fighting for his life it seems that being armed was the exact opposite of being reckless.

                  I agree there is no way the judge will issue a directed verdict.

                  1. If Z were unarmed would he have been reckless if he had followed TM?

                    Sure. He has no way of knowing that Martin wasn’t armed. He also thinks that Martin’s up to no good (I actually might agree with that.) He’s lost sight of Martin, and he has no backup. So, suppose Martin actually is a crazed crackhead, whatever. How does Z know that Martin isn’t laying in wait for him?

                    I don’t know if Martin has friends out of sight that I haven’t seen, or if Martin’s ‘likes-to-fight-guy.’ With all of that, why would I leave my means of mobility, with doors I can lock, to go prowl around in the darkness (~7:00 PM EST in February.), where I can be ambushed?

                    I don’t have qualified immunity for my actions. So if I actually do have to confront someone, I get to go to jail if it gets physical. I get to hire an attorney out of pocket, and least of all, I’m probably losing my weapon. Again, if this wasn’t a homestead state, I can easily see Z losing his house in the civil suit after this.

                    I’ve no problem with him calling the cops on someone he thought was casing houses. But, given all that, hell yeah it’s reckless to get out of his truck to go looking for Martin, armed or not. And because both of them were stupid, and reckless, they both ended up having to fight for their lives, as you note.

                    1. Good points, GG. I do not agree that Z was “looking for a confrontation”, though. If so, he certainly passed up his chance when TM approached his vehicle with his hand in his waist band.

                      Lawfully carrying a weapon does not equate to looking for a confrontation.

                  2. shamalan,

                    I don’t think I would ever claim that Zimmerman was actually a murderer (with intent to kill Martin from the get-go). I think he is incredibly stupid and behaved as such while armed (which is consistent with manslaughter, I believe). I find his behavior to be rather dangerous.

                    Zimmerman was a legal gun owner. If one would absolve Zimmerman of any wrongdoing here, it is tantamount to saying that he behaved in a responsible manner while armed. If that is the behavior of a responsible gun owner, then I think we have a serious problem with the potential outcomes of responsible gun ownership, if dead teenagers are acceptable outcomes.

                    Again, I don’t think Zimmerman is a murderer, but he sure bears responsibility for this situation. If that’s the type of behavior that we can expect from other responsible gun owners, then we have a serious problem and events like this will continue to happen.

                    Further, how can we continue to convince people who are more antagonistic toward gun ownership about the merits of allowing responsible gun ownership? If this is acceptable, then I don’t see how anybody can argue for it with a straight face. This is basically the exact scenario that progressives are afraid of regarding gun ownership. Absolving him just makes their case stronger.

                    1. DDP, Zimmerman was the recipient of a “ground and pound”. Unless there is evidence I am unaware of, that is a good scenario to exercise self defense. You are acting as if TM had no part in this. The physical evidence utterly contradicts that notion.

                      The responsibility for this situation rests with the guy who was bashing the other guy’s head into the pavement.

                  3. “If Z were unarmed would he have been reckless if he had followed TM?”

                    I realize this wasn’t directed toward me, but that is absolutely reckless.

                    Honestly, do you really think that is acceptable behavior for somebody looking to stay safe? Why would somebody do that? I live in Detroit. Doing that would almost certainly put me and maybe even other people in harm’s way. Without question, it is reckless.

                    1. DDP, what you are arguing is that neighborhood watch programs are reckless and should be unlawful. We should just cede the streets, and our homes to the thugs.

                    2. shamalan,

                      If Zimmerman thought he was trailing a potentially dangerous criminal on a dark street (his own view), how could he not expect to be the recipient of aggressive or defensive actions? Obviously he wasn’t capable of defending himself physically, given that he got a pretty bad beating from a teenager who he outweighed.

                      So, why would he enter himself into that situation, in which he could not guarantee his own safety without resorting to using his handgun? How did he think that his pursuit would end with positive results? Did he think that his handgun provided him additional safety while knowingly entering into a dangerous situation of his own free will?

                      I would hope that somebody wouldn’t be that stupid, but there are quite a few signs that point to that being the case here. If so, that is extremely irresponsible and negligent behavior.

                      Even in this case, the act of following an innocent person in an unwanted manner could easily lead to escalation with that unknown person. Can we say that Zimmerman was harassing Martin? Difficult to say. However, a normal person, in their right mind, should absolutely expect somebody else to defend themselves in that situation especially if being pursued while running away. I would certainly feel threatened.

                      I don’t think that members of a neighborhood watch should behave in the manner that Zimmerman did. He was told that. Neighborhood watch policy dictates that. Police policy dictates that. Common sense dictates that.

                    3. “DDP, what you are arguing is that neighborhood watch programs are reckless and should be unlawful. We should just cede the streets, and our homes to the thugs”

                      shamalam,

                      But the problem is that Zimmerman was acting counter to general neighborhood watch policies. First by personally pursuing a “suspect” and secondly by being armed while on acting on the behalf of neighborhood watch. I’m not suggesting that neighborhood watch is reckless, George Zimmerman is. Neighborhood watch policies corroborate that.

                      Further, Martin was breaking no laws, so nobody is asking to cede the streets to him. However, given what I know, I would certainly rather have Martin wandering my streets than Zimmerman.

                    4. Z was on his way to the store when he saw TM acting suspiciously, he was not doing his NW duties. He had a license to carry a weapon. Would you expect him to go home and stow his weapon and then come back to eyeball the suspicious person?

                      I don’t even buy the “pursuing/following” argument without more evidence. If you watch a suspicious person from 100 yards away in order to be able to tell the police “he went thataway”, are you “pursuing”? As far as I can tell, Z stopped following TM when the dispatcher said, “we don’t need you to do that”.

                    5. “Z was on his way to the store when he saw TM acting suspiciously”

                      Allegedly suspicious, yes. Nonetheless, not a good reason to follow somebody while packing? Why because you are entering yourself into a situation that can escalate into violence.

                      “Would you expect him to go home and stow his weapon and then come back to eyeball the suspicious person?”

                      Absolutely! The responsible action is to disarm oneself before putting oneself in a dangerous situation like that. How is that not the reasonable course of action? Without question, that is the right thing to do. The irresponsible action is following somebody on foot while armed.

                      Is it really more important to “eyeball” a suspicious person (who wasn’t actually doing anything) or to make sure you don’t involve yourself in a situation in which you can get hurt or hurt somebody else? Even if Martin was up to no good, is it more important to catch him or make sure that the situation doesn’t escalate to violence? Avoiding violent situations is what normal law-abiding people who understand potential consequences of being armed understand. He put himself through this with his own actions.

                      Zimmerman is a foolish man who should not have been trusted with a gun. He will likely be found not guilty, but he is likely very responsible for what happened. He deserves to have a haunted conscience at the very least.

                    6. I apologize for the poor grammar above. Please correct to:

                      “Allegedly suspicious, yes. Nonetheless, not a good reason to follow somebody while packing. Why? Because you are entering yourself into a situation that can escalate into violence.”

  30. I think Dunphy is getting a bit of a bum rap here. Clearly as a veteran mall cop he is someone worthy of respect. It’s men like him who make it safe to shop at Old Navy.

  31. There actually was a Florida case similar to this one about ten or fifteen years ago. A fifteen year old kid threw a rock through the window of a home. The homeowner got his gun and went outside to investigate. One thing led to another and the homeowner wound up shooting the fifteen year old dead.

    The shooter was a middle aged black man, and active duty Navy NCO. The kid was white, and “troubled”. There was a jury trial. The shooter was found not guilty. Impossible, huh?

    One of the news shows (60 minutes, or front line, etc) did a full hour-long show on it. I wish I could remember the name of the show.

    1. Strange. Not the way I’d have bet before the SYG and Castle Doctrine laws went through, even with the historically more lenient treatment of a homeowner using deadly force on their property, than someone using it on a public street. It helps when you don’t kill someone popular. I wish I was entirely joking.

      Though my feeling was from looking at a broad survey of Florida self-defense cases that judges are applying these laws all over the map. Your guess is as good as mine how a D.A., judge, and jury will interpret your actions in any self-defense shooting beyond the most open and shut. One more reason for not putting yourself in a position where you might be involved in one.

      Bet his attorney and bail—never mind the stress of potentially going off to rape camp for 25 years—were a hell of a lot more expensive than his window.

      1. Yeah, I agree about not putting yourself through an ordeal like that.

        I was sympathetic to the shooter in the case I cited but I also thought, “man, how dumb can you be to pursue somebody outside your house and shoot them”. I thought the guy was going to prison for sure, but that is not how it turned out. I really wish I could find that show on Youtube or something.

  32. “If your neighborhood is plagued by burglaries would you want a neighborhood watch program in effect?”

    Sure.

    “In such a neighborhood would you want your neighbors to call the police if they saw a suspicious person?”

    Yes.

    “Do you think a neighborhood watch program that actually results in some arrests of criminals might deter future criminals?”

    Likely. But if program results in instigating violent situations in which death occurs, then no. I’d rather take the burglaries in which nobody dies. People dying on my streets is a worse outcome.

    “Does your understanding of responsible gun ownership preclude all possible instances where you might need to use your gun”

    No, it does not preclude that. There would be no point in owning a firearm then.

    “Are you saying that only gun owners who never use their gun are responsible and that those who do use their guns are irresponsible?”

    I’m saying responsible gun owners are those who do everything possible to not place themselves in a situation in which their gun would need to be used. In this situation, calling the police and removing oneself from the situation is the correct move. That didn’t happen. That’s what responsibility is.

    1. This was in response to shamalam. Clearly I lack skill in thread navigation here.

    2. It seems that Z tried to remove himself and wait for the police: “we don’t need you to do that… OK”, but TM was not having it. TM would not let Z remove himself.

      The only facts we have to go by corroborate Z’s account, maybe there is evidence that we don’t know about. Z acted in self defense based on what I have seen. I will happily change my mind if new evidence emerges that warrants a change of mind.

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