Jul 17, 2013 at 7:47 am #1305495
Nobody has an opinion about Zimmerman?
I agree with verdict, can't prove beyond reasonable doubt that he committed crime, although I would have voted for manslaughter.
What it does show, is that the solution to crime isn't "good guys with guns".
I want the gun toters to be well trained, like the police, so innocent kids aren't killed on the way home from the store.Jul 17, 2013 at 8:45 am #2007060
I agree that the verdict was correct in that I doubt that murder could have possibly been proven. I'll go further and say that I doubt that manslaughter could have been proven, too. I even suspect that Martin's family will lose the wrongful-death suit. This is why the police never initially arrested Zimmerman (though they detained and interrogated him for five or six hours)- because they knew this was a losing case. They and the prosecutor are allowed to make that call. But instead they were pressured into prosecuting when it was very clear to almost everyone involved that it was a waste of taxpayer money. I mean, heck, the lead detective resigned and asked to be reassigned to patrol duty (!) because he felt that prosecuting with as little evidence as they had was so ridiculous and was only being done because of political pressure.
As for what actually happened? Clearly we will never know. Heck, Zimmerman might even be (*gasp!*) telling the truth. That's sort of the nature of reasonable doubt.
Zimmerman's story (and we clearly don't have Martin's side of things, but that alone does not prove wrongdoing on Zimmerman's part) is self-defense. People try make a lot of his continuing to follow Martin after his conversation with the police dispatcher, but in fact the dispatcher did NOT tell him not to follow. They said "you don't have to do that". Zimmerman then says that he lost sight of Martin, anyway, and tried to return to his car. Following someone isn't criminal, and would not excuse his being attacked. On the way back to his car Zimmerman claims that Martin approached him from behind and did exactly that- attacked him, after challenging him. Several witnesses (with one dissenting) testified that they saw Martin standing over a supine Zimmerman, and a few specified that Martin was beating him. Zimmerman did have injuries to his face and the back of his head. Zimmerman says that he then shot Martin while fearing for his life- which is not beyond reason if his story of being attacked and knocked down is true, given that Martin was an athletic 5'11" and 160-lbs while Zimmerman was a clinically obese 5'7" and 200 pounds. Martin's only injury was the single gunshot wound and a skinned pinky finger- he was not nearly as beaten up as Zimmerman. The medical examiner testified that Martin's wound was most consistent with being shot while looming over his shooter.
All of Zimmerman's testimony fit the evidence and was consistent from the first moment he spoke to the police. That adds up to at least reasonable doubt, since self-defense is a viable affirmative defense to murder and/or manslaughter. Ergo, I'm agreeing that the verdict was probably "correct." True is a different matter- who can know? Given what very little we know of the character of the individuals involved I think that one can reasonably believe any number of proposed scenarios, with either or both of them in the wrong. Zimmerman is a somewhat looney cop-wannabe and Martin was clearly not a lily-white choir-boy as his family and the media tried to present him. Both had histories of aggressive behavior, albeit tenuous in both cases.
Granted, it's very hard to wrap your brain about ANY emotional legal case when your only source is the media. We (the public who are being so vocal about this case) really have little idea what evidence was presented to the jury and how it was presented. I guess that's why we ostensibly don't try cases in the media. After all, this is the media that kept showing clearly biased photos of both men and falsified the police dispatch recording to make Zimmerman sound like a racist, undoubtedly because that would make for a juicier story that would sell more eyeballs.
Don't get me started on my loathing of the fourth estate. They are lucky that they are so important for a free society.Jul 17, 2013 at 9:27 am #2007074
I thought the 911 operator said "we don't need you to do that", but it could have been immediately before Martin hit him.
Zimmerman should have stayed in car.Jul 17, 2013 at 10:02 am #2007081
"His death wasn’t about race, guns, or your pet issue. It was about misjudgment and overreaction—exactly what we’re doing now to the verdict."Jul 17, 2013 at 10:43 am #2007098
Yes, if he had any sense he would have stayed in the car- but because following someone that you already suspect is Up To No Good is dangerous, not because it is immoral, illegal, or provocative. Foolish, but not those things.
Which actually brings up the only valid area of debate in this whole case, IMO. To whit- what constitutes "provoking a fight"?
Because clearly, if you carry a gun then you necessarily impose a somewhat higher standard of behavior upon yourself, both legally and morally.
For instance, if someone is carrying a gun and starts a fistfight with someone else, then proceeds to lose the fight and starts getting severely beaten, but then pulls out the gun and shoots the other party, well, clearly he cannot claim self-defense. He started the fight.
So, is following someone tantamount to provoking a fight?
At least the way the Zimmerman describes the events of that night- and remember that witnesses and evidence at least don't refute his version- I don't think it would be. But in slightly different circumstances it very well could be. His actions were foolish- no doubt- but probably not criminal. That's why we have juries. Thus, as I said, "correct" verdict.
EDIT– That link is GREAT, Dave. Especially when the reporter says "I almost joined the frenzy… [But then] I sat down and watched the closing arguments: nearly seven hours of video…" (A great example of what journalists are capable of in the rare instances that they actually look up some facts.) Then it well lays out much of what I just said- Zimmerman was foolish, but not convictable.Jul 17, 2013 at 10:44 am #2007099
Agreed that Zimmerman does not have the personality, maturity, etc etc to play the neighborhood Cherub of Justice. He presumably has no training in how to deescalate a volatile situation; in all likelihood the only reason the situation was volatile in the first place was probably because Zimmerman made it that way.
I'm sure Traavon is no angel but Zimmerman was the one with the gun and Traavon wasn't.
The jury is given very specific instructions to determine what the elements of the various crimes are. For purposes of man slaughter, they were also (presumably) given instructions on how to determine if the prosecution could prove beyond a reasonable doubt if Zimmerman's actions met the threshold of reckless, negligent, etc.
This was a difficult case to prove especially with the key witness being dead.
Bottom line is that there are too many holes in this case to make an informed armchair quarterback opinion of it but it was still very sad, tragic, and avoidable.Jul 17, 2013 at 10:52 am #2007101
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
"Bottom line is that there are too many holes in this case to make an informed armchair quarterback opinion of it but it was still very sad, tragic, and avoidable."
Last night my 17 year old daughter said just that. She was able to express her sadness, the possibility of injustice even though due process seems to have occurred. She commented on how many people are convinced either way and know so little.
All and all it was a sad and discouraging conversation but I am proud of her.Jul 17, 2013 at 11:16 am #2007106
"I want the gun toters to be well trained, like the police, so innocent kids aren't killed on the way home from the store."
To unpack that statement, what would a policeperson have done in a similar situation? Seems like at each step of the way
different choices would have different outcomes. At the point of altercation I don't know if a police trained person would have acted differently.
Things I learned as a teen, part of the boy code..
You don't enter a fight with a weapon in your pocket.
When you have someone on the ground, you stop fighting.
Otherwise you will be acting criminally.
Of course as an adult, your are given much less legal leeway.
Cultural differences likely came into play, and the culture of my youth has changed in regards to fisticuffs and assault.Jul 17, 2013 at 11:31 am #2007110
"To unpack that statement, what would a policeperson have done in a similar situation? Seems like at each step of the way
different choices would have different outcomes. At the point of altercation I don't know if a police trained person would have acted differently."
To me the case would hinge on this. Did Traavon behave in a way to give an officer reasonable suspicion (below that of probable cause) that a crime had transpired which would justify stopping him? Was Zimmerman behaving belligerently in such a way to goad Traavon into a fight? Too many unknowns and for the most part, only Zimmerman's word to go by.Jul 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm #2007137
Thanks for the link Dave, that was a great piece. Unfortunately, many of the commenters to it obviously just don't get it. Kinda like what happens on BPL sometimes.
I think one thing worth discussing/pondering is if Zimmerman would have ever gotten out of his car and followed Martin if Zimmerman hadn't had a gun.Jul 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm #2007532
"Too many unknowns and for the most part, only Zimmerman's word to go by."
Which equals reasonable doubt. What I said.
This is why- as heartless as this sounds- but if you are put in the unfortunate position where you are forced to shoot someone you are in a FAR better legal position if you kill them than if you wound them. If you kill them then they don't get to make up some story about how it was all your fault, get YOU thrown in jail, and then sue you. Numerous use-of-force experts have said this. Their family can still sue you, but again their case is more difficult. (To be clear- I'm not advocating "finishing off" someone who has stopped being an active threat. There is a technical word for that- murder.)
Of course this works the other way around. If you kill someone for non-justifiable reasons then they can't refute the false story that YOU cook up.
That's sort of the crux of this case. Which version was it? Just because Martin died and can't give his side, that doesn't mean that he's a victim. And just because Zimmerman claimed he was attacked doesn't mean HE was the victim and within his rights to defend himself lethally. None of the rest of us will ever know with any certainty- that's just the nature of cases such as this- and anyone who claims otherwise clearly has an agenda of some sort. (Like all of the more rabid folks still calling Zimmerman a "child murderer.")
Reasonable doubt.Jul 18, 2013 at 10:31 pm #2007537
"Which equals reasonable doubt. What I said"
I wasn't arguing with you Dean. Just sharing my thoughts.Jul 19, 2013 at 6:31 am #2007570
but, the crux of the case is I want the people carrying guns to be trained police. Don't "profile" innocent kids coming home from store. If you have to stop and question him you know how to constrain the person without having to shoot him.
not that it should be illegal for Zimmerman to carry gun, just lots of public education that people shouldn't take law into their own hands
I think Zimmerman's life is probably ruined, even though he was found not guilty, sort of like O.J. Let that be a lesson to people that want to shoot people.Jul 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm #2007733
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
I found the President's speech very relevant and quite powerful.
I think he addressed "the crux", Jerry.Jul 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm #2007740
"but, the crux of the case is I want the people carrying guns to be trained police. Don't "profile" innocent kids coming home from store. If you have to stop and question him you know how to constrain the person without having to shoot him.
not that it should be illegal for Zimmerman to carry gun, just lots of public education that people shouldn't take law into their own hands
I think Zimmerman's life is probably ruined, even though he was found not guilty, sort of like O.J. Let that be a lesson to people that want to shoot people."
You assume a lot and none of it was found to be true beyond a reasonable doubt. The verdict points to a kid in the process of commiting aggravated assault, potentially attempted murder, being shot by someone who probably should have been minding his own business.Jul 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm #2007757
You're the one assuming – that verdict "points to a kid in process of committing aggravated assault…". We will never know what actually happened.
Why did Zimmerman get out of his car with his gun? To determine where Martin went? I think neighborhood watch people should stay in their house or car, call police, and let them aprehend the possible criminal.
And I don't think there's any question this is a tragedy for Zimmerman. His lawyer saying he's in hiding because of death threats. Said that Zimmerman will probably never be able to work or anything because of the notoriety.
If you could have it done over again would you recommend to Zimmerman go ahaed and do what he did, or would you tell him to stay in his car?Jul 20, 2013 at 7:40 am #2007826
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
I hope he is looking over his shoulder every waking moment for the rest of of his miserable life.Jul 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm #2007888
"If you could have it done over again would you recommend to Zimmerman go ahaed and do what he did, or would you tell him to stay in his car?"
What did I say previously?
A culture of "ground and pound" meets gun culture. Both sides lose. Wonder if the president ever practiced MMA on the streets?Jul 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm #2007892
Policemen are trained to control the suspect without having to shoot him.
Was Trevon a trained MMA person?Jul 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm #2007929
"I agree with verdict, can't prove beyond reasonable doubt that he committed crime, although I would have voted for manslaughter."
Jerry, not sure I understand that statement. Are you saying you would have voted guilty for manslaughter even though it couldn't have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt or that murder couldn't be proven, but you think there was enough evidence of manslaughter and you would have voted for that?
For my part, I think the scariest part of the case is what happened in the media. It's already been said but no one but Zimmerman knows what happened. We don't know if Trayvon was an innocent kid, or some punk kid who got more than he bargained for. We don't know if Zimmerman acted in self defense or murdered the kid. The evidence appears to back up his story, but we just don't know and never will. Just too many unknowns. I'm tired of hearing about all the outrage regarding the verdict in the news.Jul 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm #2007941
Not that it matters, but if I was on the jury I would have voted for manslaughter, but I accept that the jury concluded it wasn't proven beyond reasonable doubt. That one juror said that initially, 2 of the 6 thought he was guilty of manslaughter and another thought he was guilty of 2nd degree murder so I think it was a close call.
Zimmerman told the 911 operator that Trevon was a criminal and Zimmerman wouldn't let him get away with it. Zimmerman got out of the car to follow Trevon. This was reckless in my opinion and as a result Trevon was killed, thus guilty of manslaughter.
Trevon was walking home from the store. He had smoked marijuana, had some problems in school, etc, but no evidence that he was committing any crime like breaking into a house. He was between the store and his house and had stuff with him that he bought at the store.
Some creep was following him in a car and got out. Trevon should have run away, not hit Zimmerman. That confuses things.
I think for 2nd degree murder, Zimmerman would have had to intend to kill Trevon, but I think he just intended to aprehend him, so not guilty of this.Jul 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm #2007952
"Zimmerman told the 911 operator that Trevon was a criminal and Zimmerman wouldn't let him get away with it."
Perhaps you should read the transcript of the 911 call instead of some left leaning writer's take on the transcript.
And Jerry, did you watch all of the trial, every second of it? Because that's the only way you could form an educated opinion on how you would have voted, unless you made up your mind before the trial even started…..Jul 20, 2013 at 9:45 pm #2007957
No, I only watched a little
Mostly I heard the mainstream media accounts because it was so saturated
If I made up my mind before hand from liberal sources I would think Zimmerman was a racist and guilty of 2nd degree murder : )
Okay, I listened to the transcript. He said things like Trevon was up to no good, suspicious looking. Something about criminals getting away with it. 911 told him they didn't need Zimmerman to follow him. Zimmerman was breathing hard so he must have gotten out of his car looking for Trevon while he was talking to 911. There was more than a minute after 911 told Zimmerman they didn't need Zimmerman to follow Trevon before call ended.Jul 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm #2007958
There you go with that 'criminal' word again. He never said Martin was a criminal. Words matter.Jul 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm #2007964
"These assholes, they always get away"
Yeah, words matter : )
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