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Author Topic: Murder trial of George Zimmerman
Wingracer
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Then write your law to take that into account. How would you write it?
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Edgehopper
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
It's just...man. The double standards expressed so often in these discussions would be surprising if they weren't so common. For example: black kid in a hoodie at night on a known pedestrian path, scary, a scumbag who always gets away. But we shouldn't be too hasty in wondering if he's a racist.

Black kid uses the word cracka, open and shut racist.

Also, wait. So now you're saying we can't be sure Zimmerman followed Martin? Or that it couldn't 'objectively' be said to have been creepy?

17 year old kid at night in the rain, walking behind the houses in a gated subdivision, in a neighborhood with a history of frequent home robberies--yeah, that's suspicious. Doesn't matter whether he's white, black, or purple.

Said kid repeatedly refers to the guy he thinks is following him as a "cracka"--yes, that's racist, just as if Zimmerman had been black, Martin had been white, and Martin called him a "creepy ass n****."

We can't be sure Zimmerman followed Martin, let alone that he was "creepy." By Zimmerman's own narrative, he got out to check the house and street number to tell the 911 dispatcher. There's no hard evidence that contradicts that narrative. But we do know that if Zimmerman started following Martin, he stopped, and Martin was the one who confronted him at close range. That's directly from Jeantel's testimony, when she said that Martin went up to Zimmerman and said, depending on which version of her story we're talking about, either "What are you doing here?" or "Why are you following me?"

It is undisputed that if Zimmerman followed Martin, it was at a distance and Martin was the one who closed the distance. No legal code gives anyone the right to go up to a person following from a distance in public and physically attack them. So what's the prosecution's case?

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Edgehopper
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Right. Because somehow, it was unreasonable for Martin not to flee, but that *exact same line of thinking* somehow doesn't apply as much if not more to Zimmerman.

I was responding to someone who said that Martin fled, as evidence against Zimmerman. Martin was not under a duty to flee, nor did he have the right to attack Zimmerman for following him. But he certainly didn't flee.
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TomDavidson
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Well, not quite. Martin initially fled, Zimmerman followed him, and then Martin -- once he got close to home, and Zimmerman had stopped -- walked back to Zimmerman to confront him.
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Stone_Wolf_
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So much more would be clear if we knew how the physical confrontation got started, but we don't.

As for Zimmerman, he shouldn't have carried lethal force on neighborhood watch, and ignored police instructions.

Gross negligence easily. Manslaughter, maybe depending on how the fight started, sure. Murder? Again, we don't have proof of the circumstances, so they are pushing their luck far enough to break.

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Lyrhawn
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I think it's pretty difficult to prove murder given what we know. You'd need pretty damning evidence that he had at least some intention of committing the act before he even saw Martin, or perhaps that he planned on murdering him as soon as he saw him.

I think negligent manslaughter, based on what we know, would be an easier charge to pin on him. Better judgment on Zimmerman's part, listening to the advice of law enforcement officials, and not carrying a gun with an itchy trigger finger all would have saved a life that night.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Edgehopper:
I'm fairly sure the 6'1 slim Martin could beat the obese Zimmerman in that foot race.

I see zimmerman's strategy of becoming fat for the trial has worked on you.
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Edgehopper
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
So much more would be clear if we knew how the physical confrontation got started, but we don't.

As for Zimmerman, he shouldn't have carried lethal force on neighborhood watch, and ignored police instructions.

Gross negligence easily. Manslaughter, maybe depending on how the fight started, sure. Murder? Again, we don't have proof of the circumstances, so they are pushing their luck far enough to break.

Law? Evidence? Who needs 'em? I think he's guilty, and that's good enough for me!

Testimony from police and neighborhood watch people that there's nothing wrong with carrying a legal firearm on neighborhood watch? Utterly irrelevant, because guns are icky. Or maybe irrelevant because you got all your trial information from watching nightly news recaps rather than watching the actual trial, and those recaps don't cover anything but the few strongest minutes of the day for the prosecution.

Gross negligence? There aren't even elements of that--there is an intentional killing with a defense of justification. Manslaughter is in play, but the jury won't even be charged on a version of negligent homicide. But it sounds like a fair compromise!

Self defense? Do people even have a right to that?

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Edgehopper
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Edgehopper:
I'm fairly sure the 6'1 slim Martin could beat the obese Zimmerman in that foot race.

I see zimmerman's strategy of becoming fat for the trial has worked on you.
Zimmerman was obese based on his BMI on the night of the murder. It's true that he's gotten fatter since then.
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Samprimary
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Zimmerman was 195 pounds when he was arrested and his BMI was not in the range of obesity.

"It's true that he's gotten fatter since then" is a massive understatement. He's put on about a hundred and twenty pounds.

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stilesbn
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Having not really followed this case beyond things said on this message board I decided to google some images of him. I'll say, he looks much less menacing to me now than in the pictures of him right after the incident.
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Rakeesh
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How serious are you about 'police and neighborhood watch groups have no issue with armed neighborhood watch members on patrol', Edgehopper?
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Edgehopper:

It is undisputed that if Zimmerman followed Martin, it was at a distance and Martin was the one who closed the distance. No legal code gives anyone the right to go up to a person following from a distance in public and physically attack them. So what's the prosecution's case?

The law doesn't work like magical elves: you break the rules and you lose your rights. It is perfectly possible to be guilty of murdering someone who was, at the time that you murdered them, breaking the law.

I am not saying I know that Zimmerman is guilty of murder, mind. I am saying that the fact of Martin attacking him (if we agree that it is a fact, and apparently the prosecution stipulates to this), is not in and of itself enough to dismiss ZImmerman's actions: there are matters of his intent, and his judgement to be considered.

Keep this in mind: if you set out to kill somebody, or intentionally set the stage for your chance to kill someone, even if they do attack you and even if you are "defending yourself," you can be guilty of murder. Intent is important in distinguishing between what is murder, and what isn't. And Zimmerman's act of following a fleeing person to his home, with no reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, may be the deciding factor here: he put himself into a confrontation, or precipitated one, possibly with no just cause to do so. It's a complicated problem, to say the least, but not open and shut because Martin attacked him, even if that is a stipulated fact in the trial: he initiated contact with Martin. How and why he did that has to be considered in the outcome.

Personally I suspect the prosecution should have (maybe have) offered a please of criminally negligent homicide. But who knows: maybe they did and Zimmerman didn't take it.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
How serious are you about 'police and neighborhood watch groups have no issue with armed neighborhood watch members on patrol', Edgehopper?

I'm not him but having worked for the police I can tell you that many would be all for it, some would not. My guess would be about 50/50 of the officers I have known.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think it's pretty difficult to prove murder given what we know. You'd need pretty damning evidence that he had at least some intention of committing the act before he even saw Martin, or perhaps that he planned on murdering him as soon as he saw him.

I don't think that's true. According to Florida Law second degree murder does not require an intent to kill.
quote:
Murder with a Depraved Mind (i.e. second degree murder) occurs when a person is killed, without any premeditated design, by an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind showing no regard for human life.
emphasis mine

As I understand it, 2nd degree murder is a non-premeditated, unintentional killing resulting from an assault in which death was a distinct possibility. It is the most common charge when someone is killed in a brawl.


quote:
I think negligent manslaughter, based on what we know, would be an easier charge to pin on him. Better judgment on Zimmerman's part, listening to the advice of law enforcement officials, and not carrying a gun with an itchy trigger finger all would have saved a life that night.

I would have agreed with you before reading the legal definitions. Manslaughter is defined as a killing that is the result of negligence. Zimmerman, by his own account, intentionally drew his gun and shot Martin in the chest at point blank range. It wasn't an accident or the result of negligence so it was not manslaughter. It could have been 2nd degree murder, 3rd degree murder or justifiable homicide (i.e. self defense) but manslaughter does seem to fit the circumstances at all.
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Edgehopper
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
How serious are you about 'police and neighborhood watch groups have no issue with armed neighborhood watch members on patrol', Edgehopper?

I'm reporting the testimony that the jury heard. Maybe you should listen to it, because that's what the jury will be using to render a verdict, not your preconceived notions of the truth.
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Edgehopper
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Edgehopper:

It is undisputed that if Zimmerman followed Martin, it was at a distance and Martin was the one who closed the distance. No legal code gives anyone the right to go up to a person following from a distance in public and physically attack them. So what's the prosecution's case?

The law doesn't work like magical elves: you break the rules and you lose your rights. It is perfectly possible to be guilty of murdering someone who was, at the time that you murdered them, breaking the law.

I am not saying I know that Zimmerman is guilty of murder, mind. I am saying that the fact of Martin attacking him (if we agree that it is a fact, and apparently the prosecution stipulates to this), is not in and of itself enough to dismiss ZImmerman's actions: there are matters of his intent, and his judgement to be considered.

Keep this in mind: if you set out to kill somebody, or intentionally set the stage for your chance to kill someone, even if they do attack you and even if you are "defending yourself," you can be guilty of murder. Intent is important in distinguishing between what is murder, and what isn't. And Zimmerman's act of following a fleeing person to his home, with no reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, may be the deciding factor here: he put himself into a confrontation, or precipitated one, possibly with no just cause to do so. It's a complicated problem, to say the least, but not open and shut because Martin attacked him, even if that is a stipulated fact in the trial: he initiated contact with Martin. How and why he did that has to be considered in the outcome.

Personally I suspect the prosecution should have (maybe have) offered a please of criminally negligent homicide. But who knows: maybe they did and Zimmerman didn't take it.

You need evidence of intent!! And there isn't any!

The only thing the evidence shows is that Zimmerman at one point followed Martin from a distance, and at some time a little bit later Martin confronted Zimmerman (not at Martin's home). The evidence also strongly suggest that Martin threw the first and only punches. The rest of your post is pure speculation.

To get a guilty verdict on any charge, the prosecution has to disprove self defense beyond a reasonable doubt. To do that without prove that Zimmerman started the fight, the prosecution would have to prove that somehow Zimmerman intended to provoke Martin to attack him so that he would have a justification to shoot Martin. There is no evidence of such a plot.

When I've been on a subway station in New York, and seen what looks like a fight about to start, I've kept an eye on it from a distance so I can call the police or provide testimony if something turns bad. Occasionally I've followed from a distance, remaining in public, attempting to not be seen by the combatants, to do so. Does that justify their attacking me?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
To get a guilty verdict on any charge, the prosecution has to disprove self defense beyond a reasonable doubt.
My understanding of the self-defense claim here is that Zimmerman actually has to prove self-defense, not the reverse.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
To get a guilty verdict on any charge, the prosecution has to disprove self defense beyond a reasonable doubt.
My understanding of the self-defense claim here is that Zimmerman actually has to prove self-defense, not the reverse.
That was my understanding as well but it turns out I was wrong. Zimmerman only has to produce enough evidence to create a reasonable doubt that he was defending himself.
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Edgehopper
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think it's pretty difficult to prove murder given what we know. You'd need pretty damning evidence that he had at least some intention of committing the act before he even saw Martin, or perhaps that he planned on murdering him as soon as he saw him.

I don't think that's true. According to Florida Law second degree murder does not require an intent to kill.
quote:
Murder with a Depraved Mind (i.e. second degree murder) occurs when a person is killed, without any premeditated design, by an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind showing no regard for human life.
emphasis mine

As I understand it, 2nd degree murder is a non-premeditated, unintentional killing resulting from an assault in which death was a distinct possibility. It is the most common charge when someone is killed in a brawl.


quote:
I think negligent manslaughter, based on what we know, would be an easier charge to pin on him. Better judgment on Zimmerman's part, listening to the advice of law enforcement officials, and not carrying a gun with an itchy trigger finger all would have saved a life that night.

I would have agreed with you before reading the legal definitions. Manslaughter is defined as a killing that is the result of negligence. Zimmerman, by his own account, intentionally drew his gun and shot Martin in the chest at point blank range. It wasn't an accident or the result of negligence so it was not manslaughter. It could have been 2nd degree murder, 3rd degree murder or justifiable homicide (i.e. self defense) but manslaughter does seem to fit the circumstances at all.

I'm just going to go out on a limb and assume you're not a lawyer, because almost nothing in there was right.

2nd degree murder includes the commonly understood intentional murder as well as "depraved heart" murder. Depraved heart murder covers a killing caused by conduct so recklessly indifferent to human life as to show a "depraved heart." Common examples are people who fire automatic weapons randomly into the air (no intent to kill anyone, but extremely reckless) or people who set off heavy explosives where people are expected to be walking. It does not cover a person killed in a two-sided brawl that isn't intended to be lethal.

Voluntary manslaughter is the intentional killing of another without malice aforethought, and typically occurs when a person is reasonably driven into an unthinking rage in which he kills someone. A bar brawl that results in a death is likely to be found here, as is the standard manslaughter scenario of a man catching his wife in bed with another man who kills the other man in a fit of rage.

Involuntary manslaughter is criminal negligence resulting in the death of another. To show negligence, you have to show that the defendant intentionally breached a duty of care, and that the breach proximately (in layman's terms, both actually and foreseeably) caused the other person's death. The key here is that there needs to be a legal duty that was breached. Following a person at a distance in public is not negligence, nor is legally carrying a concealed firearm with a permit. Criminally negligent homicide would be target shooting in your backyard without a backstop, missing the target and accidentally hitting and killing a neighbor. Not a nebulous charge of "failing to follow vague non-instructions."

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
How serious are you about 'police and neighborhood watch groups have no issue with armed neighborhood watch members on patrol', Edgehopper?

I'm not him but having worked for the police I can tell you that many would be all for it, some would not. My guess would be about 50/50 of the officers I have known.
When people talk about "police" opinions I suspect we are talking about official department policy and not the personally held beliefs of individual law enforcement officers.

It is a horrific idea for neighborhood watch volenteers to go armed with lethal force...pepper spray on the other hand...

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Edgehopper
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
To get a guilty verdict on any charge, the prosecution has to disprove self defense beyond a reasonable doubt.
My understanding of the self-defense claim here is that Zimmerman actually has to prove self-defense, not the reverse.
http://www.ohioverticals.com/blogs/akron_law_cafe/2012/04/zimmermans-low-burden-of-proof-on-the-issue-of-self-defense/
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Rakeesh
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I was talking about your beliefs personally, not the testimony.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Edgehopper:
I'm just going to go out on a limb and assume you're not a lawyer, because almost nothing in there was right.

2nd degree murder includes the commonly understood intentional murder as well as "depraved heart" murder. Depraved heart murder covers a killing caused by conduct so recklessly indifferent to human life as to show a "depraved heart."

Step 1. Scoff at someone else for ignorance of the law.

Step 2. Site specific readings of the law with no reference to jurisdiction, as if violent criminal law was the same all over America.

Step 3. Next person repeats this process.


quote:
Involuntary manslaughter is criminal negligence resulting in the death of another. To show negligence, you have to show that the defendant intentionally breached a duty of care, and that the breach proximately (in layman's terms, both actually and foreseeably) caused the other person's death. The key here is that there needs to be a legal duty that was breached. Following a person at a distance in public is not negligence, nor is legally carrying a concealed firearm with a permit. Criminally negligent homicide would be target shooting in your backyard without a backstop, missing the target and accidentally hitting and killing a neighbor. Not a nebulous charge of "failing to follow vague non-instructions."
Under the test you are applying, is not responsibility for the care of firearms in your possession a duty with the potential to be breached, for example? Not that this specifically applies, but its certainly a charge that ZImmerman might have pleaded to, had he felt murder would stick.

Also, and of course, IANAL, I wonder if some interpretation of involuntary manslaughter could be gleaned from following and or "harassing" and provoking a non-aggressor into violent reprisal? If the firing of the gun itself is not the initial criminal act, could it be interpreted as deriving from criminal trespass or assault (assault as in verbal harassment)? Because surely, some version of running around scaring the crap out of people until someone attacks you, and then shooting that person, might draw upon the whole running after people bit as the negligent act.


What I think baffles and angers people about this case is that it firmly straddles the line between the rights of a victim, and those of the accused. Zimmerman has every right to a trial, wherein his guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, everyone knows that Zimmermans actions, be they criminal or not, were at best in poor judgement, and resulted in the death of a person who, had Zimmerman not been who Zimmerman is, would still be alive. That's very frustrating: Martin is dead, and cannot give his peace on the matter, and ZImmerman may not be guilty, but he can never say that he is not, in some part, responsible.

[ July 03, 2013, 07:55 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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Obama
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That last paragraph is definitely one of the better summations of this mess that I've seen, Orincoro.
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Wait, so if I catch a guy banging my wife, I can straight up kill him then and there, and probably get off on just manslaughter?

That is very handy information to have.

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Kwea
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Except by posting that in a public forum you just admitted to planning it, which is murder 1. [Big Grin]


Actually, running around while it is holstered and not drawn is legal, regardless of if others are scared by it or not.

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Edgehopper
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
[Step 1. Scoff at someone else for ignorance of the law.

Step 2. Site specific readings of the law with no reference to jurisdiction, as if violent criminal law was the same all over America.

Step 3. Next person repeats this process.

Florida's criminal code is essentially the common law with respect to homicide crimes. We're not talking about a really weird jurisdiction or an area of law where states differ drastically. All black letter first year stuff.

quote:
Under the test you are applying, is not responsibility for the care of firearms in your possession a duty with the potential to be breached, for example? Not that this specifically applies, but its certainly a charge that ZImmerman might have pleaded to, had he felt murder would stick.
Yes, but not broadly enough to encompass Zimmerman's alleged conduct. If you buy a gun without a safety course, point it at someone without checking it thinking it's empty, and pull the trigger as a joke, that's involuntary homicide. If you carry it legally, take a non-optimal legal action, get attacked, and intentionally shoot the attacker in self defense, that's not involuntary manslaughter.

quote:
Also, and of course, IANAL, I wonder if some interpretation of involuntary manslaughter could be gleaned from following and or "harassing" and provoking a non-aggressor into violent reprisal? If the firing of the gun itself is not the initial criminal act, could it be interpreted as deriving from criminal trespass or assault (assault as in verbal harassment)? Because surely, some version of running around scaring the crap out of people until someone attacks you, and then shooting that person, might draw upon the whole running after people bit as the negligent act.
Assumes facts not in evidence, but hypothetically, with enough provocation, this would probably be voluntary manslaughter. If, as no one has presented any evidence suggesting, Zimmerman ran up to Martin pointing a loaded gun at him, yelled, "What you doin' in my neighborhood, boy?!," Martin attacked, and Zimmerman fired, it would likely be voluntary manslaughter. The focus would be on whether Zimmerman's behavior was egregious enough to reasonably provoke Martin--common law assault would probably be sufficient.

On the other hand, following at a distance without saying anything is never going to be sufficient provocation to justify a violent response, at least not in one incident (maybe if the same person did it multiple times it could count as stalking, but that's not the fact pattern here.)

quote:
What I think baffles and angers people about this case is that it firmly straddles the line between the rights of a victim, and those of the accused. Zimmerman has every right to a trial, wherein his guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, everyone knows that Zimmermans actions, be they criminal or not, were at best in poor judgement, and resulted in the death of a person who, had Zimmerman not been who Zimmerman is, would still be alive. That's very frustrating: Martin is dead, and cannot give his peace on the matter, and ZImmerman may not be guilty, but he can never say that he is not, in some part, responsible. [/QB]
Assumes facts not in evidence again. The "poor judgment" is presumably that Zimmerman "followed" Martin against police "orders", right? But we know that the instruction wasn't an order--"You don't have to do that" is very different than "Don't follow him." And we don't know that Zimmerman continued following Martin after being told not to--the timing of Martin's comment to Jeantel "there's a creepy-ass cracker following me" and the dispatcher's comment "you don't need to do that" is unknown. It is fully consistent with all evidence and testimony that Zimmerman saw Martin acting suspiciously, called the nonemergency number to report, got out of his truck to keep an eye on Martin when Martin ran, was told he didn't need to do that, returned to his truck, and was confronted by Martin while returning to his truck. What poor judgment?

"Had Zimmerman not been who Zimmerman is"--what do you mean? Be specific. A racist? The guy stood up for black people who were being mistreated by police. A vigilante? He wanted to be a prosecutor, not a cop, according to today's testimony. A CCW permit holder? Nothing wrong with that.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Edgehopper:
Assumes facts not in evidence again. The "poor judgment" is presumably that Zimmerman "followed" Martin against police "orders", right?

No, the police didn't give such orders. But Martin's judgement clearly failed him: he followed an innocent person to his own home. An innocent person who, up until that moment, had done nothing unlawful. That situation ended in a violent altercation, and in a death. Had it been Zimmerman's death, I would make the same evaluation: poor judgement to follow someone on foot, simply because that person is fleeing from you. He did so alone, at night, after having been advised *not* to. Especially given that he was not a police officer, was armed with a deadly weapon, and had no reasonable cause to pursue Martin. That was, from my subjective viewpoint, an unwise move.

I assume no facts not in evidence here. I assume, in making this judgement, that ZImmerman is telling the whole truth. Even if he is, he exercised poor judgement in my assertion: I would not have done what he did, and I believe that he did it because he lacked proper judgement.

quote:
It is fully consistent with all evidence and testimony that Zimmerman saw Martin acting suspiciously, called the nonemergency number to report, got out of his truck to keep an eye on Martin when Martin ran, was told he didn't need to do that, returned to his truck, and was confronted by Martin while returning to his truck. What poor judgment?
No, I don't believe that's consistent with Zimmerman's own testimony. From what I recall, he himself stated that he followed Martin after speaking to the dispatcher. I do not hold to that as a fact, but it is my recollection of the order of events as they have been portrayed.

quote:
"Had Zimmerman not been who Zimmerman is"--what do you mean? Be specific. A racist?
Frankly, an idiot. Judging not only from his account of the events of that night, but from his behavior up to that point, from his actions after being arrested, etc. This isn't a criminal court- I don't need to prove Zimmerman intended to kill someone. But I can, and do, assert that in his place, I wouldn't *be* in his place. And most people wouldn't, because he's a gun happy idiot. Not a crime to be an idiot, but his brand of idiocy resulted in a death that should not have happened. That's a shame.

quote:
A CCW permit holder? Nothing wrong with that.
Actually, we disagree on this. I think there is something wrong with people like Zimmerman, who patrol the streets of quiet neighborhoods at night, alone, and carry guns with them, and ignore the advise of police who -and lets dispense with the drudgery of semantics over the wording- *suggest* that he not do so. And I think the world would be a better place if stupid people like him were not gambling about at night with guns. In fact, I think the world would be a better place if nobody was carrying guns. Not if guns were illegal to carry or to own, just if nobody had them. There's something wrong with the world when so many people do carry them.

[ July 03, 2013, 09:25 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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DustinDopps
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Orincoro - I don't know how it works in Florida, but here in Portland, Oregon the 911 dispatchers are most definitely *not* police officers. I've sat in for a shift at the main 911 dispatch center in Portland and the people answering the phone are civilians who make about $20 an hour in a high-stress job.

So saying that Zimmerman ignored the advice of the police is most likely false.

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I'm not sure how whether Martin was in pain as he died is relevant to whether Zimmerman committed murder or not. The defense's objection should have been upheld.
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Samprimary
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Yeah if there is one thing that has been consistently shown after the shooting, it's that Zimmerman is a complete goddamned fool. He had no business being an armed vigilante and it's nearly assured he was profiling Martin.

Yet it gets so damn easy for people to profile Martin instead. I mean, we all remember the 'violent thug' and subsequent goddamned meltdown in the other thread here about this.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Yeah if there is one thing that has been consistently shown after the shooting, it's that Zimmerman is a complete goddamned fool. He had no business being an armed vigilante and it's nearly assured he was profiling Martin.

Yet it gets so damn easy for people to profile Martin instead. I mean, we all remember the 'violent thug' and subsequent goddamned meltdown in the other thread here about this.

All of that is quite true but also unfortunately fairly irrelevant. Whether you are black, white, green, yellow, red, human, animal or alien, if you have someone one the ground, are slamming his head into the pavement and he has a gun you either kill him quick with your bare hands or get shot yourself.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by DustinDopps:
Orincoro - I don't know how it works in Florida, but here in Portland, Oregon the 911 dispatchers are most definitely *not* police officers. I've sat in for a shift at the main 911 dispatch center in Portland and the people answering the phone are civilians who make about $20 an hour in a high-stress job.

So saying that Zimmerman ignored the advice of the police is most likely false.

It's interesting how often this gets brought up. It's quite true, but I wonder-is it just precision about a technicality, or is it that people are suggesting 'you shouldn't necessarily listen to a dispatcher'?
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Stone_Wolf_
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I applied for a CHP 911 operator and must say that they highly trained, and paid by one law enforcement body or another, so while not police officers, they are unquestionably police representatives.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Originally posted by DustinDopps:
Orincoro - I don't know how it works in Florida, but here in Portland, Oregon the 911 dispatchers are most definitely *not* police officers. I've sat in for a shift at the main 911 dispatch center in Portland and the people answering the phone are civilians who make about $20 an hour in a high-stress job.

So saying that Zimmerman ignored the advice of the police is most likely false.

It's interesting how often this gets brought up. It's quite true, but I wonder-is it just precision about a technicality, or is it that people are suggesting 'you shouldn't necessarily listen to a dispatcher'?
Obviously he should have listened. If he had, Martin would be alive and he would not be on trial. That doesn't change the fact that legally he was under no obligation to do so. If dispatchers were law enforcement officers and if one had actually ordered him not to follow, then even if he did get off the murder charge you could at least charge him with failure to obey an officer (yeah, slap on the wrist so not exactly satisfying) and possibly could bring negligence into play. Since neither is true, legally it's mostly irrelevant. Might be able to use it establish character or something.
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Kwea
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You are not required to listen to a dispatcher, nor are they police officers. Martin AND Zimmerman each had the right to be there, and like it or not Zimmerman had the right to be armed.
If he HAD listened, perhaps a crime committed by a high young black man would have been committed. Perhaps not.

I find it interesting that nothing about Martin's past...not his THC level (new or old), not his history of fighting or suspensions are allowed. They weren't even allowed to ask the young black girl who so ignorantly testified IF Martin had started it he would have TOLD her if he had in the past, during other situations...

But Zimmerman's past is fair game.

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DustinDopps
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Originally posted by DustinDopps:
Orincoro - I don't know how it works in Florida, but here in Portland, Oregon the 911 dispatchers are most definitely *not* police officers. I've sat in for a shift at the main 911 dispatch center in Portland and the people answering the phone are civilians who make about $20 an hour in a high-stress job.

So saying that Zimmerman ignored the advice of the police is most likely false.

It's interesting how often this gets brought up. It's quite true, but I wonder-is it just precision about a technicality, or is it that people are suggesting 'you shouldn't necessarily listen to a dispatcher'?
To me, it's more like ignoring a doctor's advice. It's not that you shouldn't listen to a dispatcher (or doctor), but rather that your own experiences color how you react to said dispatcher. I wouldn't necessarily listen to a 911 operator. I would think "I'm here. I have all of the information and know better than they do how to proceed."

It's definitely related to personal pride, but it's probably a pretty common reaction.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
If he HAD listened, perhaps a crime committed by a high young black man would have been committed. Perhaps not.
Oh, good, we're back to this. Ugh. 'Perhaps not' indeed. Legally you're absolutely right that Zimmerman had the right to be there and be armed. As an argument of good judgment it was profoundly stupid and reckless of Zimmerman to be there, armed, breaking multiple good practices of a neighborhood watch because 'these expletives always get away' (which freaking says everything about his judgment and state of mind, but let's pretend it's not clearly indicative of anything, because gosh scary).

But this tripe about 'oh, he had smoked some weed'. Christ. Let's just be clear here, Kwea, first of all do you think it's a good thing that marijuana is illegal? Second, do you think someone being high makes it likely they're going to be a criminal except for the smoking itself? Because the only way-the *only* way-you're not being a pretty shameless hypocrite on this particular aspect of the case is if your answer to both of those questions is an emphatic 'yes'.

Zimmerman seems likely to walk, which is the law, and I can't complain about that. But for pity's sake, drop this absurd bullshit about how it's reasonable to think Martin was gonna commit some sort of crime had Zimmerman not been there. He was freaking walking home with a snack and a drink. Life is (supposedly) scary but gimme a freaking break.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
To me, it's more like ignoring a doctor's advice. It's not that you shouldn't listen to a dispatcher (or doctor), but rather that your own experiences color how you react to said dispatcher. I wouldn't necessarily listen to a 911 operator. I would think "I'm here. I have all of the information and know better than they do how to proceed."
All of this is perfectly human, but that's a long way away from 'it's good sound judgment'. Generally the doctor is *right*, and in the case of the rampant 911 caller armed neighborhood patroller I don't particularly care that his reaction was natural (for, well, that sort of cop wannabe, I suppose) and predictable, even if his decision to ignore general neighborhood watch thinking and the dispatcher turned out (amazingly) to have been really bad.

It's like we're supposed to (the story goes) hold Zimmerman up as some paragon of sound crisis judgment and intuitive analyst. He was that night (and his behavior since, along with his wife) showed him to have *really bad* judgment which, as it turns out, wasn't sufficient to rationally overturn all of the things he did instead-going armed, following, getting out of the car, etc. If some careful, cautious, experienced person with a quick mind and ample past encounters overturns the conventional wisdom because of specifics, I'll be happy to credit that they did know better. If some half-assed jackass decides he knows better and then it turns out *he was completely wrong*, I don't understand what the commitment is towards defending him. I'm not talking about all of that means he's guilty because it doesn't. I'm taking about this insistence you hear all the time-and in this thread-along the lines of 'well wait now we can't say Zimmerman could have *known*'. We can, and we *should* say that he could have known.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I find it interesting that nothing about Martin's past...not his THC level (new or old), not his history of fighting or suspensions are allowed. They weren't even allowed to ask the young black girl who so ignorantly testified IF Martin had started it he would have TOLD her if he had in the past, during other situations...
And why should it have been brought up? I'm just curious. It seems you're all about the law on the one hand, when it means Zimmerman will likely walk, but what...is Zimmerman not likely to be sufficiently exonerated for you or something?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Yeah if there is one thing that has been consistently shown after the shooting, it's that Zimmerman is a complete goddamned fool. He had no business being an armed vigilante and it's nearly assured he was profiling Martin.

Yet it gets so damn easy for people to profile Martin instead. I mean, we all remember the 'violent thug' and subsequent goddamned meltdown in the other thread here about this.

All of that is quite true but also unfortunately fairly irrelevant. Whether you are black, white, green, yellow, red, human, animal or alien, if you have someone one the ground, are slamming his head into the pavement and he has a gun you either kill him quick with your bare hands or get shot yourself.
1. so if zimmerman started the altercation in a physical sense, he alone is responsible for when he amped it up to lethal force with his vigilante popgun, and

2. as far as medical testimony can assert, zimmerman's wounds are superficial and not consistent with zimmerman's story that he was having his head repeatedly slammed into concrete.

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Wingracer
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People have died from head injuries with NO visible wounds. Hard impacts into hard surfaces do not always crack skulls, if it had he would probably be incapable of shooting. It is quite easy to say that the beating someone is taking is not lethal so he should not risk further injury by fighting back but try doing it yourself.

As for number 1, what? I have heard nothing solid indicating that Zimmerman started the physical altercation. If you have heard otherwise, please inform all of us. Links would be most welcome and change a great many things.

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Samprimary
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no. 1 is "if zimmerman started the altercation in a physical sense" — the power word is "if."

That people can die from head injuries with no visible wounds is not at issue here. The issue is that zimmerman claimed that martin repeatedly slammed his head into the concrete, but his wounds are not consistent with this story.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:

As for number 1, what? I have heard nothing solid indicating that Zimmerman started the physical altercation. If you have heard otherwise, please inform all of us. Links would be most welcome and change a great many things.

WEll, in the most basic sense, considering that there is no eyewitness to this event, this is what the trial is supposed to determine, isn't it? Or did the prosecution stipulate to his version of events?
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:

As for number 1, what? I have heard nothing solid indicating that Zimmerman started the physical altercation. If you have heard otherwise, please inform all of us. Links would be most welcome and change a great many things.

WEll, in the most basic sense, considering that there is no eyewitness to this event, this is what the trial is supposed to determine, isn't it? Or did the prosecution stipulate to his version of events?
I don't know, I'm not watching the trial. But he says Martin attacked him first and if the prosecution can't prove otherwise, that is all that matters. Is it possible Zimmerman deliberately provoked it? Well yes and that would change everything. It's even possible that you and I were hiding in the woods, shot Martin and Zimmerman is taking the heat to protect us but without evidence to prove it, what can they do?
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:

As for number 1, what? I have heard nothing solid indicating that Zimmerman started the physical altercation. If you have heard otherwise, please inform all of us. Links would be most welcome and change a great many things.

WEll, in the most basic sense, considering that there is no eyewitness to this event, this is what the trial is supposed to determine, isn't it? Or did the prosecution stipulate to his version of events?
I don't know, I'm not watching the trial. But he says Martin attacked him first and if the prosecution can't prove otherwise, that is all that matters. Is it possible Zimmerman deliberately provoked it? Well yes and that would change everything. It's even possible that you and I were hiding in the woods, shot Martin and Zimmerman is taking the heat to protect us but without evidence to prove it, what can they do?
This is the purpose of a trial. It is not required of the jury that they *believe* Zimmerman's story. And if Zimmerman doesn't testify, we'll never actually get his version of events- only what he told police during questioning.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:

As for number 1, what? I have heard nothing solid indicating that Zimmerman started the physical altercation. If you have heard otherwise, please inform all of us. Links would be most welcome and change a great many things.

WEll, in the most basic sense, considering that there is no eyewitness to this event, this is what the trial is supposed to determine, isn't it? Or did the prosecution stipulate to his version of events?
I don't know, I'm not watching the trial. But he says Martin attacked him first and if the prosecution can't prove otherwise, that is all that matters. Is it possible Zimmerman deliberately provoked it? Well yes and that would change everything. It's even possible that you and I were hiding in the woods, shot Martin and Zimmerman is taking the heat to protect us but without evidence to prove it, what can they do?
This is the purpose of a trial. It is not required of the jury that they *believe* Zimmerman's story. And if Zimmerman doesn't testify, we'll never actually get his version of events- only what he told police during questioning.
Yes but the prosecution does have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. If they have no evidence to do that, he walks. The burden is not on Zimmerman to prove his statement to the police, it's on the prosecution to disprove it.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
no. 1 is "if zimmerman started the altercation in a physical sense" — the power word is "if."

That people can die from head injuries with no visible wounds is not at issue here. The issue is that zimmerman claimed that martin repeatedly slammed his head into the concrete, but his wounds are not consistent with this story.

Did some reading on it.

1. She never examined Zimmerman personally. Her opinion is based on photos and videos.

2. Under cross she admitted that her opinion was the injuries came from a single blow but that it was possible the injuries resulted from multiple blows.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
Yes but the prosecution does have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. If they have no evidence to do that, he walks. The burden is not on Zimmerman to prove his statement to the police, it's on the prosecution to disprove it.

That's not exactly the standard. It's not necessary for the prosecution to directly disprove ZImmerman's version of events- only to show beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty of murder. That means they don't need to specifically discount his version, only present their version a highly convincing fashion. Of course, *it helps* to disprove his version, and since they probably can't, he will probably walk on a mistrial or two. Just my guess. Still, it's not that they have to prove he's lying, just that they have to show a sound, convincing version of events (again, which they probably can't do).
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