Crime/Corruption

G Zimmerman v The People v common sense: a travesty of justice and reason

Farce

Farce

The more I hear about this case, the more ridiculous it gets. To hell with what’s “permissible by the statute.”

Defense: Innocent by virtue of stupid and feeble!

Prosecution: Look jury, we realize we failed to make an airtight case for what we wanted, so would you just convict him of something? Anything? Please?

Oh, and Jury? We know you simply cannot consider GZ taking the 5th as a damning silence, so please pay no attention to the fact that he and his counsel are obviously gaming the right. Oh, I need to wait and see how this is going before I (we/Counsel) decide(s) if opening my idiot mouth is worse than keeping it closed.

Seriously, I’m convinced that the prosecution isn’t even trying to win. For a real prosecution, this should have been a gimme, especially against the defense raised.

Ideal scenario? Prosecution seeking 1st degree. Defense working from Stand Your Ground. Argument to be had…can you SYG when you’re clearly unprepared for a physical confrontation, are armed and know you would have to resort to that if things go south, were instructed to back off, and still went so far as to stalk the guy on foot anyway? How far are you allowed to travel before the ground isn’t yours to stand, especially if you’re the one provoking someone with your subjectively creepy behavior?

Case in point…if instead of Trayvon Martin, guilty of walking while black (the only thing we know for sure he was up to before Killerman got twitchy), it were a suspicious looking woman (walking while invaginated?) that GZ followed, especially after being instructed not to, and she were creeped out by GZ, he wouldn’t back off, and she shot GZ? Who would have been standing ground then?

This trial is a farce.

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Image credit: David Jackmanson @ flikr.com. Licensed under Creative Commons.

42 replies »

  1. Facts or fiction…the matter is that since this crap happened..I am not longer Latino I am now White..The matter is that since day one Trevor was made out to be a poor inocent child…his aged photos from when he was 10 or 11 years old were plastered all over the media and George Z.portrayed as a child killer.Trevor ‘ s parents common sense tell us not much involved with his upbringing or at least lack of guidancevon their part since he had been suspended from school numerous time..caught withbstolen goods…evidence from his own cell to indicate he was using at least marijuana..talking about buying or selling guns etc. Etc. and the question is..why didn’t his parents got him some help intervined…why why why now they are crying foul since Trevor was indeed a misfortune waiting to happen… I know that had things would have turned out differently. .everyone would be …well some people would say …George had it coming or poor little boy …he did not know any better..he is a minority etc..excuses excuses excuses. ..Trevor was indeed more than likely casing out the place and no I am not saying that just because of hisbskin color but because he surely had done it before and he was up to no good and was led to run around without due care supervision. ..Was not his parents who got the Black Panthers involved and why people were being harassed if they took George side..They even an address and name of some poor elderly lady and made it public using social media….I guess the ignorant Spike Lee was hoping someone would go to her house and do God knows what…Yeap…that is what justice means and the rest of us get intimidated by a bunch of thugs and good for nothing human garbage…amen

      • Ignorance is bliss…I am the proud mother of three African American children whom I adore and feel blessed to have in my life. I have tried to teach them well and be productive ..responsible and you will never would have seeing nor would be seeing them wondering around without supervision …doing drugs etc. I have always been involved in their school activitities and if any of them ever would have gotting into trouble we would have msking sure to find them some counseling and would have done everything in our power to lead them well. Sir haven said that who is the one making assumptions…In fact sll my half siblings had African Americsn background and since I was not able to have children of my own I adopted one of my half sibbling children when she loss the battle with breast cancer and it was an honor

        • All I guess I can say, since I don’t know you, is that your original comment exhibited a good deal of negative generalizations about blacks. I know that at the personal level these sorts of issues can be terribly complex, and I even wrote about one such instance from my own childhood recently.

          When you begin with the generalizations and the assumptions not based in fact, you’re likely to be taken that way.

    • it really doesn’t matter if he was casing the neighborhood or not… george shouldn’t have followed him beyond his property line if he was going to stand his ground. he wound up getting in a fight, realized he’s a big pussy and can’t 1. fight for shit or 2. take the beating he got himself into by confronting travis, and then shot him.

      who cares if travis got kicked out of schools, does drugs or talked about buying or selling guns. if he didn’t initiate the attack and then fought back and was putting a beat down on someone that harassed him, great, call 911 and press assault charges. don’t follow the guy, end up shooting him and then try to claim self defense. the first part of self defense in this instance was obvious a complete failure, george went after him rather than standing his ground on his porch.

  2. I cannot understand why the “Stand your Ground” rules don’t apply to the deceased in this case. He is as likely and with similar valid reasons to have been fighting, within the rules of the stand your ground law, for his life.

    The problem with “Stand your Ground” is when two otherwise fine and upstanding citizens mistakenly confront each other with VALID reasons to Stand their Ground and therefore fight unto death for one or the other.

    Under the (somewhat mythical) Code of the West you didn’t draw until the other party did… which means if both parties have no malice to the other then nothing happens.

    But with Stand your Ground you are entirely justified in shooting first based on your (possibly, probably) ill considered appreciation of the other parties intent. And in fact you are positively benefited from making a faster and mistaken appreciation if it allows you to shoot first and walk away.

    And in the two good citizens scenario that means one walks away and the other doesn’t.

    • I cannot understand why the “Stand your Ground” rules don’t apply to the deceased in this case. He is as likely and with similar valid reasons to have been fighting, within the rules of the stand your ground law, for his life.

      Not sure I see why this is so complicated. You’re standing your ground if you’re, you know, standing your ground. You’re not standing your ground if you’re following the guy around and initiating the conflict. If that were the case, I could legally kill anyone I could badger enough to make them turn around and face me.

    • Because Stuartlynne, SYG laws are a defense against prosecution for shooting someone. The deceased has no use for a legal defense against shooting someone because A) He didn’t shoot anyone and B) He is deceased.

      Florida’s SYG law is a moot point in this discussion anyway since it was never invoked. Maybe Sam or one of the other Scrogues will do a separate blog on the concept. Even with a concealed carry permit I personally find these laws repugnant. The first rule of survival is escape not confrontation.

      Most of us myself included are in no way equipped to make on the spot judgement about the legal and ethical use of deadly force. If there is _any_ available avenue of retreat we should take it. Murder death kill is absolutely a last resort.

  3. Once again, a la the OJ case I think justice is much better served allowing local courts to decide local matters without injecting the confusion of national scrutiny. However we do love our reality shows and this one is a doozy.

    I feel you’re leaving a lot of precipitating color out of your post Frank. The court may disallow prejudicial background information from being interjected about defendant and deceased but as 13th (or 7th) Virtual Jurors we are not subject to that restriction.

    GZ by all descriptions is an angry disenfranchised wannabe cop with a temper. Absolutely the wrong guy to be carrying a concealed weapon and keeping a beady eye on the neighborhood. No argument, he was an accident waiting to happen. However saying TM was guilty only of walking while black conveniently disregards a wealth of damning evidence against him and his actions immediately prior to his death. The gangster affectations, His MMA/UFC aspirations, his anger and disenfranchisement. 17 is old enough to know better, my government had already handed me a battle rifle and was teaching me how to use it at that age.

    I think the Judge gave the jurors the perfect out in introducing them to the lesser charge of manslaughter and suspect that will be the final verdict. GZ _was_ weak and feeble minded that night and he did slaughter a man because of it. Both men had attitudes and both men behaved badly showing poor judgement. However GZ chose to carry a gun and deserves punishment for causing another humans death with it, mitigated by the beat down he took after foolishly getting out of his vehicle. SYG was never invoked, this is not a SYG case.

    The only farce I see is our “Squirrel! Squirrel!” national mentality manifested in distractions like this where we forget about all the hugely important things going on around the world and in our own country and instead focus on nickel carnival sideshows like this.

    • Wait a second, Frank. First, none of that precipitating evidence you allude to is relevant. Especially the MMA thing, which if you know a bit about the sport (which I find too barbaric to watch, but that ain’t the issue) you realize promotes restraint, not abusiveness. That aside, whatever Martin may have done in the past, unrelated to the current circumstances, is immaterial to the events of the case. If he’s a stone cold thug who’s gotten away with all kinds of stuff in the past, no doubt that causes me to lose a little less sleep over his demise, but again, irrelevant to the point.

      More critically, whatever Martin might have hypothetically been or done in the past, Zimmerman had no way of knowing about it. Martin could have been a serial killer but all Zimmerman had to go on was “negro in the kind of clothing I’ve seen gangstas wearing on the TV.” He was profiling, straight up, and his actions weren’t remotely SYG. You forfeit that status when you stalk the guy.

      In the grand moral narrative I don’t know what Martin may or may not have deserved. But within the context of the crime here, it’s going to be a travesty if Zimmerman gets off with anything less than the most severe charges against him.

      • In the court of public opinion everything is relevant Sam, even lies and fabrications. That is the travesty in my opinion, not leaving jurisprudence to the court system we have entrusted it to.

        Let’s boil the frog. There are only 3 possible verdicts, guilty 2nd degree murder, guilty manslaughter, innocent by reason of self defense. The Florida Stand Your Ground Law was not invoked, is not applicable, and has no place in this discussion.

        You say second degree murder is the only reasonable verdict. I disagree, I believe there are mitigating circumstances, in particular the victim trying to beat the killer’s brains out on the concrete sidewalk,. That adds enough of an element of self defense to Zimmerman’s actions to make this a fairly clear cut case of manslaughter.

        One way or the other we’ll know what those 6 female jurors have decided shortly and as a side note I also feel the racial elements of this case have been vastly overstated.
        Zimmerman was playing tacti-cool docent rent-a-cop and Martin could have just as easily been Latino, Cuban, Caucasian. It wouldn’t have mattered, Zimmerman was looking for trouble and he found it.

        • In the court of public opinion everything is relevant Sam, even lies and fabrications. That is the travesty in my opinion, not leaving jurisprudence to the court system we have entrusted it to.

          Agreed. But much of your comment seems to based in assumptions that are not relevant in the trial. So which are we talking about?

          I disagree, I believe there are mitigating circumstances, in particular the victim trying to beat the killer’s brains out on the concrete sidewalk,. That adds enough of an element of self defense to Zimmerman’s actions to make this a fairly clear cut case of manslaughter.

          Frank, you don’t get to invoke these kinds of circumstances when YOU STARTED IT. This is like one of those cases we hear about periodically where a punk breaks into a house and gets shot and then sues the owner. If you stalk me and confront me when I’m minding my own business, there is a fair chance, depending on how you react when I tell you to fuck off, that you’re going to get your head pounded on the sidewalk, too.

          The evidence I have seen suggests that it was Martin who was threatened, and if anyone was acting in self-defense it was him. So I don’t buy a word of your argument here. You don’t get to claim self-defense when you started it.

          One way or the other we’ll know what those 6 female jurors have decided shortly and as a side note I also feel the racial elements of this case have been vastly overstated.

          And this part has me more than a little mystified, I admit. Not at all sure how it factors in. I will say this – I’m going to be surprised if they return guilty on the 2nd degree charge, and I won’t be at all surprised if he walks.

        • Frank, I know you to be a reasonable poster, so I ask this question in all honesty: How can you be so sure of some things I’m not sure of, at all?

          For instance, this statement of yours: “in particular the victim trying to beat the killer’s brains out on the concrete sidewalk.” I was once injured badly enough to soak my shirt, my undershirt, and my upper jeans with blood simply by falling backwards and hitting my head on a blacktop. I know how head wounds bleed (they bleed a LOT), and Zimmerman’s didn’t bleed much at all. Testimony in the trial called the wounds “minor.” How do you translate a low-bleed, minor wound that could have been acquired in a number of ways with certainty that “the victim was trying to beat the killer’s brains out?” We have Zimmerman’s word for that, and that’s all we have.

          And what is “self-defense” under Florida law? Can one invoke self-defense when one is the initial aggressor, and the other person is defending him or herself? I don’t know the answer to that, but I think there’s a very reasonable construct in which Martin was defending himself from Zimmerman. There is, in fact, testimony to that could be interpreted that way from the young lady who was on the phone with Martin at the time.

          As for the racial elements, we’ll never know, because we’ll never know what was going through Zimmerman’s addled brain. My experience with symbolism and reactions to various symbols, as measured by physiological response, suggests that very few, if any, of us are immune to the influence of them. For instance, I own a hoodie, and I like it a lot. That hood comes in handy in snow and rain. Had I — a late-middle-age white man — been wearing a hoodie and waking through that neighborhood, I doubt anyone would have noticed, and I really, really doubt Zimmerman would have given a second glance.

        • In the court of public opinion everything is relevant Sam, even lies and fabrications. That is the travesty in my opinion, not leaving jurisprudence to the court system we have entrusted it to.

          Agreed. But much of your comment seems to based in assumptions that are not relevant in the trial. So which are we talking about?

          ***This is the court of public opinion and I’m talking about my assumptions versus the Good Frank’s and yours Sam. Everything written here is hearsay and assumption. None of us have any factual basis other than what we’ve read.

          I disagree, I believe there are mitigating circumstances, in particular the victim trying to beat the killer’s brains out on the concrete sidewalk,. That adds enough of an element of self defense to Zimmerman’s actions to make this a fairly clear cut case of manslaughter.

          Frank, you don’t get to invoke these kinds of circumstances when YOU STARTED IT. This is like one of those cases we hear about periodically where a punk breaks into a house and gets shot and then sues the owner. If you stalk me and confront me when I’m minding my own business, there is a fair chance, depending on how you react when I tell you to fuck off, that you’re going to get your head pounded on the sidewalk, too.

          ***Sure you do Sam. I come from a long line of Lawyers and Judges and can tell you with certainty that the law has little to do with fairness and justice. Besides, you are confusing “Castle Doctrine” with a street fight. Completely different rules.

          The evidence I have seen suggests that it was Martin who was threatened, and if anyone was acting in self-defense it was him. So I don’t buy a word of your argument here. You don’t get to claim self-defense when you started it.

          ***That’s the beauty of the court of public opinion, like pigs on ice we can all slide our own way. I will say again however, in assault turned to murder cases the original perpetrator can easily claim self defense in the presence of mitigating evidence.

          One way or the other we’ll know what those 6 female jurors have decided shortly and as a side note I also feel the racial elements of this case have been vastly overstated.

          And this part has me more than a little mystified, I admit. Not at all sure how it factors in. I will say this – I’m going to be surprised if they return guilty on the 2nd degree charge, and I won’t be at all surprised if he walks.

          ***I hope not, and I absolutely hope Otherwise is wrong. Zimmerman needs a felony rap, some time in the crowbar hotel to think about what he’s done, and to be permanently barred from owning or carrying firearms. He has proven himself to be untrustworthy with one.

        • You’re really working the court of public opinion line hard. All I really care about is the facts of the case. We can certainly discuss public opinion, especially as its influenced by media and general ignorance (lord knows I studied enough of that in my doc program, and I’m a big Lippmann fan, as well as Dewey). But you’re dragging Frank and me over into a debate that neither of us is really talking about, don’t you think?

      • Thanks Samuel– a man who reasons and thinks ! Yea this seem some sort of blast off space for insanity- were these people there! Trayvon was a CHILD, tall yes, CHILD! Young Teems test the waters- Black in America is very difficult, now and in the historical past! Zimmerman a wannabecop should never have accosted this CHILD! If i were a Teen boy and I was accosted and frightened I would try and fight back! That Trial was a farce as far as I am concerned!
        Santana

  4. The so called OJ case was more of a mass brainwashing operation then anything else. I believe the media showed footage of white people “crying” after the verdict.

  5. Frank Dilatush: I’m very surprised by your comment, “saying TM was guilty only of walking while black conveniently disregards a wealth of damning evidence against him and his actions immediately prior to his death.” I’m not sure what “wealth” you’re referring to, but perhaps I missed some things that you could steer me to. This is what I think I know about that wealth of evidence you speak of.

    1. George Zimmerman says that Martin was acting suspiciously that night, perhaps looking into windows and buildings. To my knowledge, that is the only testimony we have. And I wouldn’t call the killer’s testimony a “wealth,”:personally, especially since Martin was visiting from out of town, the development and its streets look very much alike even during the day (and it was dark), and any reasonable person could have simply been trying to figure out where in the hell he was, especially if he decided to take an ill-advised shortcut.

    2. We have testimony from Martin’s friend, whom we know was on the phone with him at roughly the time the confrontation with Zimmerman took place. If her testimony is accurate (and I’m not saying it is), then Martin felt threatened by Zimmerman, so though we know that a fist fight occurred, and it’s even possible that Martin initiated it, there’s also evidence that he might well have felt that he was fighting in self defense to protect himself from Zimmerman, and using the only weapons at his disposal .. his fists.

    3. We know that Martin was suspended from school a few times, and we can be sure he used marijuana. Well, marijuana use is legal in my state. I just attended a wedding where a pinata was loaded with joints. Perfectly legal. Where it’s not legal, it’s pretty much akin to being caught imbibing alcohol during Prohibition. A lot of people who got citations during Prohibition for alcohol consumption were perfectly upstanding citizens who just happened to run afoul of an enormously stupid law. Same with weed use, from my perspective.

    4. We also know that Martin was caught with some jewelry, and that he didn’t explain where he got it. No jewelry matching that description was ever reported stolen, so I think we can assume that he didn’t steal it, innocence being assumed without proof. I know that, if I had jewelry stolen, I would report it. Martin could have found it, could have been given it by someone he didn’t want to name, etc.

    5. As for “gangster affectations,” do you have any evidence that Martin was part of a gang? Violent gang? Criminal gang? I know white, overachieving, suburban kids where I live who flash gang signs. It seems to be chic these days. I don’t suspect any of them of being gangsters, nor would I suggest that any of them are likely to be violent, and I certainly wouldn’t call what they do “damning” evidence of anything at all. To be sure, let’s understand that the widely circulated photo purporting to be of Martin, with a gold grill, is of a 30-year-old rapper. Let’s also understand that the photo of Martin circulated shortly after the incident wasn’t taken when we was “10 or 11 years old,” as the egregiously wrong (on many counts) karmami asserts, above. It was taken a few months before his death. Not that a photo means all that much.

    6. I appears that Martin may have gotten into a lot of fights. I know a lot of kids who got into a lot of fights, and I’m one of them. Where I grew up, it couldn’t be avoided. If you were a boy, you fought or you suffered unbearable abuse in every walk of life. I have no insights into the culture in which Martin grew up, whether he picked fights or whether he just refused to walk away from them, but I certainly associate very little with the simple fact of fighting, unless I know for a fact that a kid was a bully. And I don’t know that for a fact.

    I see nothing reported in the media that would suggest that Martin behaved any more badly than, say, many ADHD kids (not that I have any idea if he had ADHD or not, I’m just pointing out that his transgressions appear to be very minor). with whom I’m acquainted, and while they have their troubles, they’re not criminals.

    I think the most likely explanation of what happened that night is that Zimmerman made some ridiculous assumptions about a black kid in a hoodie who was looking for the apartment/home he was staying in in a neighborhood where everything looks much alike. Maybe he wasn’t even acting suspiciously, but Zimmerman, on hyper alert status, read that into his actions. Zimmerman calls the police, as we know, then gets out to track Martin on foot. Martin was aware he was being followed, and it made him afraid (as I would be too if I were being followed). Perhaps he hid somewhere as Zimmerman caught up to him and came out and confronted him. Perhaps. We’ll never know. It wouldn’t even surprise me if Martin swung first. Threatened people often do. But some of Zimmerman’s testimony reads like really, really bad scripting; like Martin’s saying “You’re going to die tonight” while reaching for Zimmerman’s gun. How silly. People who are struggling and fighting don’t talk like they do in comic books. Zimmerman panicked and shot a kid who had just gone out to buy a couple of items from the local convenience store.

    • Frank Dilatush: I’m very surprised by your comment, “saying TM was guilty only of walking while black conveniently disregards a wealth of damning evidence against him and his actions immediately prior to his death.” I’m not sure what “wealth” you’re referring to, but perhaps I missed some things that you could steer me to. This is what I think I know about that wealth of evidence you speak of.

      ***Howdy J Stephen, I was speaking to Frank’s description of Martin as “guilty only of walking while black”. Using wealth as the opposite of dearth was perhaps hyperbole on my part. Let me restate if you will. There was significant evidence including but not limited to Zimmerman’s bloodied head and recorded screams while being beaten that would make one suspect Martin had more of a hand in the events that ultimately led to his own demise than just walking down the street.

      1. George Zimmerman says that Martin was acting suspiciously that night, perhaps looking into windows and buildings. To my knowledge, that is the only testimony we have. And I wouldn’t call the killer’s testimony a “wealth,”:personally, especially since Martin was visiting from out of town, the development and its streets look very much alike even during the day (and it was dark), and any reasonable person could have simply been trying to figure out where in the hell he was, especially if he decided to take an ill-advised shortcut.

      ***Zimmerman’s testimony is certainly suspect, I was speaking to forensic evidence.

      2. We have testimony from Martin’s friend, whom we know was on the phone with him at roughly the time the confrontation with Zimmerman took place. If her testimony is accurate (and I’m not saying it is), then Martin felt threatened by Zimmerman, so though we know that a fist fight occurred, and it’s even possible that Martin initiated it, there’s also evidence that he might well have felt that he was fighting in self defense to protect himself from Zimmerman, and using the only weapons at his disposal .. his fists.

      ***Defense turns to offense and victim to perpetrator if you continue beating an opponent once he/she is subdued. To me this is the crux of what the jury has to decide. Zimmerman undoubtedly exceeded what miniscule authority he had as a volunteer neighborhood watch officer when he stepped out of his vehicle, but was Martin trying to kill him by continually beating his head against a hard surface? If yes then a manslaughter or even not guilty verdict is appropriate.

      3. We know that Martin was suspended from school a few times, and we can be sure he used marijuana. Well, marijuana use is legal in my state. I just attended a wedding where a pinata was loaded with joints. Perfectly legal. Where it’s not legal, it’s pretty much akin to being caught imbibing alcohol during Prohibition. A lot of people who got citations during Prohibition for alcohol consumption were perfectly upstanding citizens who just happened to run afoul of an enormously stupid law. Same with weed use, from my perspective.

      ***Agreed, immaterial. I believe in a firm drug policy on pot…share.

      4. We also know that Martin was caught with some jewelry, and that he didn’t explain where he got it. No jewelry matching that description was ever reported stolen, so I think we can assume that he didn’t steal it, innocence being assumed without proof. I know that, if I had jewelry stolen, I would report it. Martin could have found it, could have been given it by someone he didn’t want to name, etc.

      ***Agree immaterial.

      5. As for “gangster affectations,” do you have any evidence that Martin was part of a gang? Violent gang? Criminal gang? I know white, overachieving, suburban kids where I live who flash gang signs. It seems to be chic these days. I don’t suspect any of them of being gangsters, nor would I suggest that any of them are likely to be violent, and I certainly wouldn’t call what they do “damning” evidence of anything at all. To be sure, let’s understand that the widely circulated photo purporting to be of Martin, with a gold grill, is of a 30-year-old rapper. Let’s also understand that the photo of Martin circulated shortly after the incident wasn’t taken when we was “10 or 11 years old,” as the egregiously wrong (on many counts) karmami asserts, above. It was taken a few months before his death. Not that a photo means all that much.

      ***I read and enjoy your well crafted responses to other blog posts here J Stephen and know you to have an excellent command of language so I won’t belabor my use of “affectation” other than to say it denotes an attitude not a life style.

      6. I appears that Martin may have gotten into a lot of fights. I know a lot of kids who got into a lot of fights, and I’m one of them. Where I grew up, it couldn’t be avoided. If you were a boy, you fought or you suffered unbearable abuse in every walk of life. I have no insights into the culture in which Martin grew up, whether he picked fights or whether he just refused to walk away from them, but I certainly associate very little with the simple fact of fighting, unless I know for a fact that a kid was a bully. And I don’t know that for a fact.

      ***Agreed, Martin comes across as a petty tyrant who took pleasure in exerting control over people . Martin appears to have resisted aggresively and it all went downhill from there.

      I see nothing reported in the media that would suggest that Martin behaved any more badly than, say, many ADHD kids (not that I have any idea if he had ADHD or not, I’m just pointing out that his transgressions appear to be very minor). with whom I’m acquainted, and while they have their troubles, they’re not criminals.

      I think the most likely explanation of what happened that night is that Zimmerman made some ridiculous assumptions about a black kid in a hoodie who was looking for the apartment/home he was staying in in a neighborhood where everything looks much alike. Maybe he wasn’t even acting suspiciously, but Zimmerman, on hyper alert status, read that into his actions. Zimmerman calls the police, as we know, then gets out to track Martin on foot. Martin was aware he was being followed, and it made him afraid (as I would be too if I were being followed). Perhaps he hid somewhere as Zimmerman caught up to him and came out and confronted him. Perhaps. We’ll never know. It wouldn’t even surprise me if Martin swung first. Threatened people often do. But some of Zimmerman’s testimony reads like really, really bad scripting; like Martin’s saying “You’re going to die tonight” while reaching for Zimmerman’s gun. How silly. People who are struggling and fighting don’t talk like they do in comic books. Zimmerman panicked and shot a kid who had just gone out to buy a couple of items from the local convenience store.

      ***Sort of agree if you leave out the black part and you’re absolutely right Martin isn’t here to speak for himself. Again, the culpatory evidence against Martin being an entirely innocent victim is not one sided testimony, it’s Zimmerman’s bloody head and eyewitness accounts of Martin being on top of him. Both men had bad attitudes towards each other which led to a cascading social breakdown ultimately resorting in one of their deaths. Stupid, sorrowful, and unnecessary.

      • Frank: ***Defense turns to offense and victim to perpetrator if you continue beating an opponent once he/she is subdued.

        Yeah, but the facts of this case make clear that whatever else Zimmerman may have been, he was most assuredly not subdued. Surely we can agree on that much?

      • Frank, thanks for your response. I have to keep coming back, though, to your assertion that Martin repeatedly hit Zimmerman’s head against the concrete. To the best of my knowledge, the only source for this is Zimmerman, and I don’t believe that the *actual* injuries he suffered come even close to corroborating his account. Did I miss some evidence that this is what actually happened?

        In addition, the recorded screams are in no way tied to Zimmerman except in the testimony of Zimmerman’s family members and, perhaps, friends. Martin’s family members claim they are Martin’s screams. There were two expert witnesses for the prosecution whose testimony was that the screams could not have been Zimmerman’s. Their testimony was disallowed, which I support since the science isn’t settled. But, still, I don’t see unequivocal evidence that the screams were Zimmerman’s.

        With great respect, because I enjoy your posts and your reasoning, it appears to me that you’re accepting certain premises here as being fact when, in fact, they are much disputed and very unclear to me.

    • YEA… a mind is speaking! Thank you! I saw massive violence in Denver in the 80’s against African Americans and frankly I doubt it is supremely different now! Yes, kids can get in trouble in the Teens, testing all! Are they bad kids- no they are kids!
      That Jury, to me, all White Women was stacked against any reasonable verdict-
      It made no sense whatsoever and neither did the team prosecuting Zimmerman! Zimmerman a wannabecop was far more than eager to prove he was * copworthy* concealed weapon etc- he killed a kid with skittles, not a gang banger with an AK47!
      As a canadian who lived poart of her life in America including the racist south as a child– I am clear about racism’s ugliness! I am deeply sorry that this Child died because he went to the STORE!
      I pray that another TRIAL happens and one that makes sense!
      misty

      • Misty,

        I get the biggest kick out of Canadian’s looking at the United States as a haven for racism and violence. Canada is part of the British Empire, you are “subjects” of the Crown while we are citizens of a republic. You cannot call yourself a citizen, you’re a subject. You are not free, you’re under the thumb of Empire, the same Empire that installed the peculiar system of slavery in this country as a means to destroy it.
        All major problems in the United States today can be traced to a two and a half century long effort of Empire to destroy the only real republic ever founded on this planet.

        The Z trial is actually nothing but a media diversion. The British controlled financial system is imploding, there are murders of reporters like the car explosion murder of Michael Hastings. This Zimmerman trial is a diversion.

  6. Zimmerman will likely go free.

    1. Defendants in show trials are rarely convicted. In part that may be because show trials attract big time defense advocates and always have (e.g., Darrow in Scopes.) Prosecutors rack up their win rate against public defenders, not against elite lawyers. Examples: OJ, Anthony, Robert Blake, and Robert Durst. Remember, Durst cut up his victim with a saw and dumped him in Galveston Bay and STILL didn’t get convicted. Nor was he convicted of the two other murders in which he’s the prime suspect. Phil Spector is an aberration, and if he hadn’t insisted on/been unable to disguise being so darn weird, he’d have walked, too.

    2. People don’t convict vigilantes. Remember Bernhard Goetz, who wasn’t convicted of a similar crime.

    I’d give it 50/50 odds he shoots someone else down the road. He will view acquital as vindication and a license to patrol the streets with a gun. I hope he protects the neighborhood where his local state legislator lives next.

    • Otherwise, I agree. I think the most likely outcome will be an acquittal, because that’s the way America works. There’s a vigilante streak in this country that leads to acquittals in the vast majority of cases like these, and this is Florida, where vigilantism has a long and violent history. Plus, the victim doesn’t get to testify, which is always a nice thing for the accused in these cases. If there is a guilty verdict, it will be manslaughter, but I doubt there will be.

  7. Hey J Stephen and Sam, reiterating my initial comment, these things are best left to courts. However, in the interest of discussing Frank’s post, and it has been an interesting discussion, I was merely pointing out how things are being presented and looked at by the jurors in this case. Frank’s post left out some significant forensics, it’s not all “Poor little Trayvon.”

    J Stephen, I agree, blood is like oil, a little bit can look like a worse problem than it really is. Here are the booking photos decide for yourself. Does it look like goose eggs on the back of his head? How many times can you have your brain cage smacked before you black out? Could victim have turned to perpetrator and been trying to kill his initial attacker? http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-201_162-10012334.html

    As to the screams, I _believe_ it has been established by credible witness not Zimmerman testimony that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman throwing punches. Why would Trayvon be screaming anything besides insults? http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57591520-504083/george-zimmerman-trial-neighbor-testifies-trayvon-martin-was-straddling-zimmerman-moments-before-fatal-gunshot/

    Zimmerman took some kind of a beating before he shot Martin, and now the jurors will decide if it was bad enough to mitigate his ignorant stupid actions of that evening that resulted in the death of another human. This is the pivot of the case and I pointed it out because Frank didn’t.

    Just an alternative viewpoint gentlemen, it’s a pleasure speaking with you.

    • Thanks for the reply, Frank. I reviewed the picture of Zimmerman’s injuries, and what I see are two bumps and some stains, but let’s note that I haven’t had a chance to do a close examination. Someone who did, and who is a trained medical professional, called these injuries “minor.” There’s very, very little blood, and as I said, I’ve seen head wounds before. I’ve bled more than that from nicking myself shaving ;-).

      As for the screams and the testimony, we have one witness who says he thinks Martin was on top, but we have other, conflicting testimony. But it was dark. Everyone seems to be very confused, including one person who reported hearing three gunshots instead of one, and it’s certain that there was one gunshot. Remember that we also have testimony that the screams stopped immediately upon the sound of the gunshot, and that could well signify a bullet through the heart for Martin. And if someone had a gun to my chest, I might be bloody well screaming, too, or regardless of that, the screams may have been screams of rage. Finally, we don’t know who started out on top and who on the bottom.

      I’m not saying that you’re wrong, Frank. You may well be right. It’s just that, from my perspective, much of what you’ve presented in firm language appears very squishy. At least, to me.

      • I’ve admittedly played the Devil’s Advocate here today J Stephen, and ultimately I agree with you, this whole mess is squishy. I don’t envy the Jurors their individual responsibility regarding a vote based on highly subjective evidence that will decide the fate of a man’s life.

        But, as the judge undoubtedly instructed them, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution and any reasonable doubts are cause enough to convict on the lesser charge or even to find for a verdict of not guilty. It won’t mean Martin is innocent, only that the state failed to prove guilt.

        I hope that doesn’t happen and I’m closer to your and Sam’s viewpoint than perhaps you suspect, If nothing else, I made you think, as did you I and thinking men are rarely vigilantes. As I told the prosecutor moments before he released me from jury duty here in Jeffco, “I would rather see ten guilty men go free than one innocent man wrongly convicted.”

        He didn’t like that and I didn’t give a shit because it’s the truth.

  8. OK, let me understand. I walk up to you and aim a gun at your head. You slap the gun out of my hand and pick it up. I grab it and shoot you. I’m OK because it was self-defense. Really? How can you divorce the context (stalking) from the result? Is there any chance Travon would have just jumped on this guy and started banging his head on the sidewalk if he hadn’t been stalking him with a gun?

    • Absolutely not Otherwise, but since everything we know about this case comes from the same media that just reported in earnest one of the pilot’s names of the crashed Korean 777 at SFO as “Ho Lee Fuk” how can you be certain of your contextual perceptions?
      They’re selling papers and viewer numbers not truth friend.

      None of us know the principles, none of us were present at the scene before during or after the event, none of us have first hand knowledge of the investigation, interrogation, or witness interviews. A majority here seem wholly convinced Zimmerman is guilty based on hearsay and I suspect given the opportunity would gladly cheer the Emperor for a thumbs down and quick end for the White Mexican by gladiator’s sword.

      Social vigilantism, that’s what I’m arguing against.

  9. Frank, thanks for the good conversation. I agree with you (and Blackstone) that it’s best if ten guilty men walk rather than one innocent man go to prison. And having served on juries, I know that my approach was to follow the law as closely as possible, given sometimes ambiguous language.

    To me, the law should change to make it clear that stalking someone while armed is a crime in itself. But, this is Florida. That’s not going to happen.

    Thanks again for the conversation.

    • Frank,
      I have one question for you to think on. If I have seen you have a gun and I am on top of you and am trying to “beat you down” to a point I can escape when is it safe for me to stop…while you are still conscious or after I have beat you head into the pavement enough that you have blacked out?

      • Rho, placing ourselves in this scenario as antagonists, if you’ve seen I have a gun and still insist on engaging me barehanded, then I would immediately shoot you and skip the beat down altogether. Defensive handgunning 101, don’t let an opponent get in close enough to disarm you.

        If Trayvon knew Zimmerman had a pistol before the last few moments of the tussle, he would have been trying to control his hands, not his head. Powder residue would be the witness on this one, to my knowledge Trayvon’s hands were clean other than knuckle scrapes.

        I don’t know what happened that night anymore than you, but I do know what the adrenalin and tunnel vision of high stress physical altercations feels like. I suspect Zimmerman the ignorant self appointed neighborhood watchman got in way over his head very quickly and in desperation drew and fired a weapon that Martin never suspected he was carrying.

    • I’ve enjoyed the discourse as well J Stephen. Here’s an interesting analysis that delves into the finer points of the issues we’ve been discussing.

      In particular why Zimmerman’s defense team did not ask for a “Stand Your Ground” hearing (because they knew they’d lose), and how under the American jurisprudence system the initiator of an altercation that results in death can absolutely claim self defense if they can prove fear of death or significant injury. No actual injury required.

      http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-zimmerman-convicted-murder-manslaughter/story?id=19598422#.UeF-YkHVCSo

  10. Frank

    I just read your comment in the holding pen, but can’t reply to it there, so I’m hoping this one ends up in the thread behind yours. If not, know this is in reply to your future quote, not your last one. (Hey–I may have figured out time travel.)

    You’re absolutely right. I will never forget that some of my black friends thought OJ was innocent at the time, and that was because they were watching black media, who reported the trial completely differently. And this is a family of black judges, bank managers, etc–a pretty sophisticated crew.

    We don’t know. I do think Occam’s Razor applies here. Guy follows kid with no history of violence and shoots him, guy with gun is probably guilty. But you’re absolutely right. We weren’t there and the media lens can be everything.

    Look at that Amanda Knox mess. Watching US media we’re convinced she’s innocent, but Italians aren’t stupid, and they think she’s guilty.

    O

    • Go back and read Russ’s piece on Amanda Knox. What you have there isn’t about Italian stupid, it’s about that legendary Italian corruption.

      • I’ve read Russ’s piece and Preston’s book. But I still don’t think I really know what happened. I do know that if she weren’t as pretty, white, American and middle-class, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. She’d be doing her time quietly like all the other (perhaps wrongfully convicted) people in the prison system.

    • OJ was found not guilty in less than 4 hours by the jury. I am not sure what you mean by “black media” ,the BET Channel?
      In the Simpson case there was question “who killed the two victims”. In the Zimmerman case there is no question who fired the fatal shot.

      There was no real strong case against Simpson by the prosecution. The media did all the dirty work brainwashing the population. The jury was spared all the media hype and that is what accounted for the quick acquittal.

      • “Black media” was my friend’s term, not mine, so I’m not sure either.

  11. As of this posting the jury has not returned with a verdict. Given the length of time the jury has been out I would lean towards predicting a conviction.

  12. If true that Zimmerman’s Dad is a retired Judge, his brother is a lawyer, and his Uncle a sitting Judge, America knows why justice failed – privilege of some, and inequality of others. It is also why Zimmerman was immediately not arrested. The social privelege of class and status is the issue, not race except for possible motivation for Zimmerman to pursue.

    The case is about racial profiling, class and privilege, and how attorneys manipulate law to confer privilege upon some while others pay the price. the dead boy’s life was worthless in the eyes of the law, and that is subject to Supreme Court intervention and review to prevent self defense law from being corrupted, in FL and everywhere.