April 1, 2012

The anti-democratic exploitation of the Trayvon Martin.

"To make a big deal out of the Trayvon Martin case is anti-democratic?" Bob Wright challenges me, and I respond.



Here's the whole 11+-minute discussion of the case:

91 comments:

John Smith said...

Trayvon Martin's killing is a tool for the Left. They are using it as an emotional device to further their policies.

LakeLevel said...

If the facts are that Trayvon Martin attacked Zimmerman, and it is increasingly likely that is the case, then the "Stand Your Ground Rule" has absolutely nothing to do with this incident. That is why the left wing press will not back down. The new Journolist agenda came down and facts be damned, we're pushing this narative.

PJ said...

Shorter Bob: "I don't want to live in a society where he doesn't go to jail. Therefore, what he did was a crime."

Rialby said...

You go back and forth on the "was this chosen" question. The fact of the matter is that this local story took 3 weeks to get "hot". It absolutely was chosen as a story to seize upon by the Left. Had it been the grim white on black, hunt and kill story that everyone is now suggesting it is, it would not have taken 3 weeks to become national news. In fact, it's a nuanced and murky tale that was made manichean by the Left before becoming nuanced again, thanks to the Right.

Lyle said...

Althouse you were great in this diavlog. Some of the comments at bhtv do not reflect your conversation at all with Bob Wright. If anything, they describe Bob Wright accurately... like you said emotive.

I was banned from posting there after the the Glenn Show diavlog. I posted under Lyle7. People who are connected to the Atlantic do not like being disagreed with apparently.

Anyway, you were wonderful... thank you for being you.

EDH said...

Martin-Zimmerman is a unique test case for the "stand your ground" law, but not for the reasons Bob Wright believes.

I still think it seems quite likely that as the facts come out, ironically, Trayvon Martin's supporters will eventually invoke the principles of Florida's "stand your ground" defense to justify Trayvon Martin's actions leading up to the shooting, while George Zimmerman's lawyers will likely use traditional notions of self-defense to justify his.

What will Bob Wright argue then?

rhhardin said...

Does Bob actually turn up the volume knob or is he just talking louder.

mesquito said...

What will Bob Wright argue then?

Whatever it is, it will be frantic, shrill, and deeply stupid.

Rialby said...

I rarely listen to these but, if this is at all how these normally go, I am shocked that Bob agrees to do them. You trounced him in argument after argument. What is his area of expertise? He continually gets shown up on the most basic facts of nearly every topic.

But, as we know, Liberals don't need to know facts because they FEEL more and FEEL better than conservatives.

jfm said...

Bob Wright's motto: "I'll never let the lack of facts get in the way of my opinions."

leslyn said...

EDH: Yes!

And that should be the end of it until we actually know some FACTS.

What an odd notion....

Rialby said...

The reality of the Trayvon Martin shooting is that we know very little about what went down - maybe 25%. That doesn't matter a whit to the Left because they feel an injustice was done. That feeling could potentially lead to riots if this thing continues to simmer. Nobody on the Left wil ever get blamed for that. Ever.

If the roles were reversed, the Left would not be anywhere near this story.

Ann G said...

Surely the reason why there needs to be a court case is BECAUSE the facts aren't proven.

purplepenquin said...

"To use that subject, the way it was used, is an attempt to move the political discourse into a very highly emotive realm where people won't talk about ideas..."


The irony slays me...'cause that is exactly what I think whenever I see our hostess try to link "Unions" in general to any/all threats made against her, even tho the person making the comments aren't connected to the unions at all.

Jason said...

Good lord, Ann!

Why do you waste your time with this twit? This guy's dumber than Goldberg, and that's saying something!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I don't see how you can argue that the exploitation of Trayvon Martin is anti-democratic. In fact, it is the essence of democracy. That is why our founders were wise to set up a representative republic instead of a direct democracy.

You can certainly argue that it is unhealthy for the country, and I would agree with that whole-heartedly

Hagar said...

We do know the "facts of the case" fairly well, since they are in the police record and have been leaked or pulled out of them over the last couple of weeks.
The facts do tend to be consistent with and support Zimmermann's story, and there is little or nothing to contradict him. Therefore the case was put away on the D.A.'s advice as non-prosecutable.
Then, I think 3 weeks or so later, a law student in Alexandria, VA somehow came across a garbled report of the case and decided to make it his mission to rectify this "miscarriage of justice," and went on the web with a video that went viral, and that is what caused the present furore.

It would have been much better if the City of Sanford immediately had responded with a full disclosure of the recorded evidence, but lawyers and bureaucats being lawyers and bureaucrats, they did not.

However, there is no confusion about the actual incident; the confusing facts have all beeen added later.

Ann Althouse said...

"Does Bob actually turn up the volume knob or is he just talking louder."

I was talking pretty loud too. Of course, the telephones -- which we were talking on -- have volume control, and if you turn yours up high, then you might end up talking louder than the other person, who is at a different location, obviously. It's not like 2 people in a room adjusting to each other.

We separately make recordings of our own video + audio. Then a technical makes the split screen presentation. The technician is adjusting the 2 volumes and deciding. Perhaps a decision is made to bump up Bob's volume to enhance his dominance or whatever. But I assume the effort is to get it equal.

rhhardin said...

Conspiracy: I'd go rather with a simple business model.

The MSM needs eyeballs to sell, and soap opera is the only working vehicle to attract enough eyes to support the business.

The MSM businesses that do that survive, the MSM businesses that don't, fail. Money organizes the situation, not conspiracy.

The left piggybacks on that. They supply the soap narrative, the MSM puts it out to attract its real product, eyeballs. They go together, the one side for money and the other side for power.

It's not working as well as it used to owing to ridicule.

leslyn said...

2 Forensic experts say screams captured on neighbor's 911 call don't match Zimmerman's voice: report.

Saint Croix said...

Perhaps a decision is made to bump up Bob's volume to enhance his dominance or whatever.

boy that's some frantic knob turning.

leslyn said...

Hagar said,

The facts do tend to be consistent with and support Zimmermann's story, and there is little or nothing to contradict him.

That could be because Martin is dead.

Bender said...

We do know the "facts of the case" fairly well

We know as much as is typically presented in any criminal trial.

The evidence presented at trial almost never provides the full story, all of the facts. There are always some things missing. The evidence is always such that you must infer the truth of other facts.

The evidence that we do know is conclusive of reasonable doubt. The burden of proof is not on Zimmerman, it is on the prosecution. And there is no additional evidence in the world that can rebut the responding police officer seeing injuries to Zimmerman and the back of his clothing wet and covered with grass, or rebut two eyewitnesses seeing Martin on top of Zimmerman.

That evidence of a struggle, with Zimmerman on the bottom, provides conclusive doubt regardless of what other evidence is discovered or manufactured.

John M Auston said...

Bob VERY quickly goes off the rails when trying to list 'facts'.

That Zimmerman had a gun and that ultimately Trayvon was shot dead, is a fact.

That Zimmerman followed Trayvon for at least a while is a fact (911 call).

But that is about it for 'facts' so far as we know.

It is entirely plausible that, once the 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman to STOP following him, he DID stop, and headed back to his car/house or whatever.

What happened after than is not known, but there are several possibilities that 'favor' one person or the other as aggressor.

Bottom line, Bob assumes, and very quickly, facts not in evidence. And shame on him for that.

Hagar said...

This is speculation, but since it has been brought up about "the man with a gun pursuing a person who has done nothing wrong,...", etc., I think the following scenario is more reasonable to fill in the minute or so not covered by the recorded facts.

We have the 911 call ending with Zimmermann saying OK and presumably starting to walk back to his truck.
I think maybe Zimmermann at this point saw or glimpsed Martin leaving the street and starting up the walk between the townhouse units, and Zimmermann, in the frame of mind he was in, thinks he had better follow him anyway, because this definitely is suspicious. Martin may, of course, just be taking a shortcut back to the house where he was staying, or he may be going up there just to get away from Zimmermann, but he knows he is being followed, and he naturally enough is not happy about it. So, for one reason or another decides to turn around, "stand his ground," and confront his follower, and the altercation ensues, ending with Martin on top of Zimmermann trying to subdue him, and Zimmermann in fear of his life manages to get his gun out and shoots Martin.

Regrettable, and why the police tell you to just observe and call 911; do not take it on yourself to pursue, but reasonably understandable on both sides, and no "hate crime" involved.
And if anybody "stood his ground," it was Martin, not Zimmermann.

Anga2010 said...

Here's another example of an individual case to frame the real issue:

Sampson Blake Oguntope

Anga2010 said...

p.s.
The 911 operator did not tell anyone to STOP doing anything. All that was said, "We don't need you to do that."

Anga2010 said...

p.s.s.
Eye witness sayz

“The guy on the bottom who had a red sweater on was yelling to me: ‘help, help…and I told him to stop and I was calling 911.”

leslyn said...

Bender,

You know too well that the facts we have would NOT be all that is presented in a court case in this type of situation. Therefore nothing about what we know can be "conclusive" as to reasonable doubt.

To address just one issue,there's a great deal we don't know about the forensic evidence. E.g., to name just a few:
the blood evidence (if any) on Zimmerman's clothes;
angle of entry of the bullet into Martin and what that says about both men's positions as the gun was fired;
the relative positions both men were in when they were found;
the nature of Zimmerman's injuries;
blood spatter patterns;
voice analysis of all recordings extant;
Zimmerman's apparent mental condition when found;

etc, etc.

Quaestor said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
We separately make recordings of our own video + audio.

You had me fooled. I would have sworn you were using some type of streaming media service like Citrix or DACast. Well, you mostly. Robert Wright's eyes tend to wander whenever you're speaking. I had taken this to be veiled condescension, sorta like those rolling eyeballs and indignant exhalations Al Gore used against G.W.B. during one of their famous "debates". So I guess I owe Robert Wright an apology because I inferred intent where there was none. (Which seems to be a fashionable fallacy in some quarters these day, so I'm in trendy company if not good company.) Apology owed, so here goes: Mr. Wright, I was wrong.

You, Ann, had be fooled however. Judging by partly by the simulated eye contact (I assume you kept you gaze fixed on the camcorder lens) and most particularly by you vivid gestures I instinctively believed you could see as well as hear you counterpart. That's some good Film/TV technique, BTW. Being able to interact with a camera as if it were a person is a fundamental skill. How do you do it? Do you imagine the camcorder is a human being, or do you have a framed picture of Robert Wright to talk at?

On a more substantive note I think you rather handily pwned him on many points, particularly when he rolled out the "SCOTUS assisted the Bush Theft of the 2000 Election" canard to illustrate what he calls "judicial realism". I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that as cogently and comprehensively you laid out the actual case brought before the court your argument didn't seem to Wright more than an inch or two toward the historical truth seeing as how the grossly partisan decision of the Rehnquist court has become the creation myth of 21st Century Liberalism -- No joke, they do it all the time. If one tries to explain the case to one of these die-hards they'll either change the subject to another myth, especially "Bush lied, people died", or they'll claim the historical record is a phony cooked up by a CIA/Haliburton alliance. It's like explaining human evolution to an ID freak.

Rialby said...

I agree with Representative Corrine Brown - it's always some bullshit.

wildswan said...

Could George Zimmerman get a fair trial now? Where is the ACLU on this?

rhhardin said...

The evidence that we do know is conclusive of reasonable doubt.

Doubt isn't a conclusion.

Canuck said...

Was he arrested?

I don't believe he was arrested, but rather detained. No charge.

Peano said...

Perhaps your (and Wright's) unstated premise -- that emotion opposes reason -- is mistaken. George Marcus argues that it is.

"This book challenges the conventional wisdom that improving democratic politics requires keeping emotion out of it. Marcus advances the provocative claim that the tradition in democratic theory of treating emotion and reason as hostile opposites is misguided and leads contemporary theorists to misdiagnose the current state of American democracy."

rhhardin said...

Conspiracy II: The racism meme isn't a narrative to control Republicans, it's a narrative to control Blacks.

The MSM welcomes the narrative for its eyeballs, the democrats for its power.

rhhardin said...

Racism will always be found by the media until it no longer works on Blacks.

That's the disconnect between its media presence and its actual absence.

Canuck said...

yeah - the debate about if he was arrested was the most interesting part of that exchange.

The question of due process is what pushed this debate to front and center. If Z. had been arrested and charged there would have been no debate in the U.S. It was the absence of a charge that pushed this news story.

Fen said...

leslyn: 2 Forensic experts say screams captured on neighbor's 911 call don't match Zimmerman's voice: report.

They claim a 48% match.

Regardless, I don't trust any information from your MSM source. They are still propagandizing the facts throughout their article, ie. the photo of Martin as a child, the (proven false) claim that Zimmerman had no injuries on police video, etc. Based on that alone, its fair to assume they use the same deceptive techniques to advance their narrative.

If we've learned anything from this shooting, its that the media can't be trusted to print the truth.

Last night we caught ABC and NBC editing the 911 tape to make Zimmerman appear racist. CNN was busted for deliberately leaving out (censorship by omission) eyewitness testimony that backs Zimmerman's account. CNN was also caught placing a video "artifact" over Zimmerman's head wound in the police video, thus hiding facts from their viewers.

I will wager that what happened with your source (NY Daily) is that they consulted with a dozen "experts", found 10 who claim the voice is Zimmerman & found 2 who claim the voice is Martin. Guess which "experts" they chose to give print to?

You want to be fed with a shovel, fine. But don't expect the rest of us to swallow that bullshit.

Fen said...

It was the absence of a charge that pushed this news story.

Then why is Zimmerman getting the death threats instead of the DA who chose not to charge him?

Fen said...

when he rolled out the "SCOTUS assisted the Bush Theft of the 2000 Election" canard

Wow. Bob Wright really did this?

Thank you Bob for saving me the time of listening to you. Next time try "fire doesn't melt steel". You'll come off as less of an idiot.

Canuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

"I'm not saying skip the trial."

No, Bob, you are saying that we must have a show trial. I don't want to live in Bob Wright's society.

leslyn said...

@Fen: I chose one out of many sources for the videotape reference. Would you have preferred MSNBC?

In any case, I don't believe that two experts hired by a newspaper produce evidence to the kind of standard that would be necessary for presentation in court. The news story was an example of one thing people claim they know (both sides lay claim to the screaming), but in fact do not know.

My intent would have been clearer had I stated this; but in providing the link I preferred to let people draw their own conclusions.

I agree with you on the abuses of the MSM. Everything seems to have become sensationalism and trying to outdone the other guy. Jackals at whatever unfortunate becomes their carcass. I often close my office door at work because there is a TV in the hallway that is routinely tuned to any one of the 24-hour "news" channels. I just can't stand the constant screaming. Oh, for the days of "Wal-ter Cronk-ite."

Stephen A. Meigs said...

But in a way it is good that the media occasionally focuses on individual cases like this, because people will know so much about what happened, they will likely eventually know precisely what part of the media has been ridiculous or prejudiced in making wrong or unfounded suggestions.

The media can more easily be dishonest by taking a broad approach, covering many crimes in a perfunctory way, because there won't be a large body of ordinary people following every detail that comes out about cases that people are only slightly interested in, making it easier then for the media to bull people. And the Trayvon Martin case is about an important issue, and not something the media focused on because it (say) involved celebrities.

Fen said...

lesyln: My intent would have been clearer had I stated this; but in providing the link I preferred to let people draw their own conclusions.

Oh okay. My bad. Sorry about that.

I guess I'm reacting reflexively. I haven't seen media coverage this corrupt since the CBS Memo Hoax.

William said...

I object to Wright's use of the word "pursued". It implies a hunter tracking down his prey. I suppose "observe closely" is too exculpatory. Perhaps "follow" is the least loaded word to describe Zimmerman's activity. At any rate, just by using words like "stalk" and "pursue", you are convicting Zimmerman......Zimmerman took on the responsibility of carrying a gun and joining the neighborhood watch. Part of that responsibility is not killing innocent people. He failed. I don't know if that failure was criminal, but it was a failure....I'm half liberal on my mother's side. This has given me amazing psychic powers. These psychic powers enable me to visualize what happened and to know what went on in the minds of the participants. Trayvon was belligerent. He initiated the physical confrontation. Either in panic or anger or self-defense, Zimmerman responded by shooting Trayvon. My psychic powers are not sufficent to give a clear picture of Zimmerman's motivation for pulling the trigger. However, I have discerned that racism was not hit primary motivation. Anyone who does not agree with my psychic vision of these events just reveals theor own irrationality.

Bender said...

leslyn -- here's your chance to play prosecutor.

Make your proffer, lay out your case, tell us what witnesses will be called and what they will say, what physical will be presented, and how all of that is relevant to the charge of criminal homicide, and then tell us how that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

edutcher said...

The Martin case is the latest in GodZero's misdirection ploys, and it's also about as successful.

leslyn said...

The facts do tend to be consistent with and support Zimmermann's story, and there is little or nothing to contradict him.

That could be because Martin is dead.


Of course, in leslyn world, facts can never support someone accused of murder (especially if it's white on black).

damikesc said...

2 Forensic experts say screams captured on neighbor's 911 call don't match Zimmerman's voice: report.

From your link, where your "expert" states he thinks the screamer was Martin.

"Primeau didn't use Owen’s CSI-style voice analysis software, but instead relied on audio enhancement and his own well-trained ear to compare the screams to Zimmerman's voice on a 911 call he made shortly before the killing."

That's scientific.

Synova said...

He seems to be focused on a person having a gun being presumed guilty. Period.

People should not have guns. Period.

bbkingfish said...

I watched the first 3:30 of this and did not hear one coherent thought germane to the particulars of the Martin case expressed by either party.

Prof. Althouse did show a lawyerly ability to embroider more or less irrelevantly about a much more amorphous issue, related only tangentially to the dead body at hand, and to the investigation conducted by the Sanford police in the immediate aftermath of the killing.

Why was the recommendation of the lead homicide investigator to hold Zimmerman countermanded? He was present for the interrogation of the killer, and stated in the report that he didn't believe his story.

Why was Zimmerman not required to submit to a drug and alcohol test? Any police officer would be required to if he killed a civilian in the line of duty, let alone an underage civilian.

Is it true that an investigating officer encouraged a witness to change her testimony to agree with that of a witness favorable to Zimmerman, a 13 year old boy who may have been coached by the same cop? This was stated as fact by the Orlando TV news report that brought the case to national attention.

With such questions in the air and the potential they suggest for institutional malfeasance, especially in the heart of a part of the country with a centuries-long, nasty, and brutal approach to race relations by public law enforcement, I understand why conservative mouthpieces try to cloud the water with irrelevancies.

Too many of their core values come under the microscope in this case. Conservatives just want the Trayvon Martin case to go away, and they are reduced to scolding people who want to talk about it.

Synova said...

He claims he's not anti-gun but he is. Only police should watch in the neighborhood.

leslyn said...

edutcher said:

"leslyn said... [about another poster's statement that read]

"The facts do tend to be consistent with and support Zimmermann's story, and there is little or nothing to contradict him."

Leslyn said:

"That could be because Martin is dead."

Then edutcher said,

" Of course, in leslyn world, facts can never support someone accused of murder (especially if it's white on black)."

So now leslyn says:

@ edutcher: Don't be silly.

[leslyn now mumbling, "was all that "he said, she said" crap you just did worth it? Heck if I know. But after the work I put into it, I'm not going to erase it now."]

leslyn said...

Bender said:

leslyn --here's your chance to play prosecutor.

Make your proffer, lay out your case, tell us what witnesses will be called and what they will say, what physical evidence will be presented, and how all of that is relevant to the charge of criminal homicide, and then tell us how that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


Bender, you gotta be kidding me. That would require having all the evidence , which I don't.

If I had it, would you want me to give the "short" version of a briefing, which would take hours of prep and pages of this blog, or the "long" version of a presentation that could take weeks (or so) in court?

Either way, I don't have sufficient evidence from an investigation to go either way, WHICH IS WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG.

Ahem. Sorry, wasn't shouting at you. Frustration got the better of me for a moment.

No can do. ...Are you trying to Snidely Whiplash me?

Synova said...

"With such questions in the air and the potential they suggest for institutional malfeasance, especially in the heart of a part of the country with a centuries-long, nasty, and brutal approach to race relations by public law enforcement, I understand why conservative mouthpieces try to cloud the water with irrelevancies."

Oh, gawd, really?

And no concept whatsoever that the result of utterly destroying public trust in the police (who are multi-ethnic *everywhere*) is anarchy?

The kid was black. The killer was "white". The police lie and cheat and make up stuff, always, if the victim is black or if the killer is black, right? So we know who is guilty, right? Even if the black guy walked over and shot a cop in the face as he lays on the ground, we *know* who is innocent, because the cop laying on the ground is out to get black people, and lies and makes stuff up and pressures witnesses.

Who believes that?

And these lies have no impact on race relations in our society?

If people are encouraged to view police as the enemy out to get them, what are they supposed to do then?

Form neighborhood watch associations?

Dreadful circle you're insisting upon, and no care at all about what is broken or what happens afterward. Do you not *care* what you break?

And how does that make you a good person?

Throw rumors around, repeat gossip, nothing on your head, right?

Bender said...

Oh come on, leslyn. I gave a defense proffer in these pages of what the the witnesses would say and what the physical evidence shows. It took me all of about ten minutes, not hours of preparation.

As for not having all the evidence -- again, in any criminal case, you NEVER have all the facts. You have to play the cards that are dealt.

But I'll make it easy for you -- just make it up and contrast that made-up evidence against what the established witnesses have already stated on the record.

leslyn said...

@Fen:
Thank you. You were gracious.

I have to make an apology of a different sort to you. I believe you claimed, at one point in the distant past of the lifespan of these blogs, that I had been commenting under a different name or "sockpuppet," which I denied.

I believe I was wrong. I believe that during a day relating to the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke hoo-haw I changed to "ProudToBeAProstitueSlut" for a few posts.

I have tried to find the day and posts, but have been unsuccessful. There may be an easy way which I haven't found.

In any case, unless all that happened in a dream-state nightmare, I owe you an apology for...something. Misleading you, but not on purpose?

Canuck said...

This case has a lot of polarization and shouting. Don't see why it should be politicized at all.

The only relevant questions that need to be decided:

1) Was this a justificable homicide?

2) Should a jury decide the answer to this question?

In cases such as these, best to send to a jury trial. No need to arbitrate the facts of the case in the press or on blogs.

A police report is not sufficient to explain to the community and parents why a high school junior is now dead. It is the role of juries, trials, and the legal system to determine if this was a justificable homicide.

Why can't reasonable people agree with this statement? This case should not be politicized.

leslyn said...

@Bender. No. I thought your "proffer" was deficient in facts.

I know that in a court case we never have all the facts. But I'm not going to "just make it up" for you. This isn't a classroom (or even a bar) where one debates hypotheticals with learned counsel without consequence. Heck, some folks here would probably run with it as if I thought it were true.

The lack of relevant facts makes opining here faulty, IMO.

The Godfather said...

Aside from Wright’s use of loaded words like “stalk” and “pursue” (which “William” properly criticized), what Wright says he wants is jail time for Zimmerman because he followed Martin through his neighborhood. Following a stranger down the street at night may be a stupid thing to do, but it’s NOT a crime.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I too am puzzled by the emphasis Wright (and others) puts on the mere fact that Zimmerman started out following Martin. If the former is guilty of a crime (which still could well turn out to be the case) it would be on account of something he did later on. Following a stranger in your neighborhood to see what he's up to is unexceptionable. Is there a movement afoot to import the "least-cost avoider" theory from tort law into criminal law? There's a sobering thought!

P.S. "The Travon Martin"? You need to have a word with the person who writes your headlines.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I don't think much of Canuck's chances of getting reasonable people to agree both that this case shouldn't be politicized, and that for political reasons it has to go to trial whether the prosecution has a case or not.

Synova said...

"A police report is not sufficient to explain to the community and parents why a high school junior is now dead. It is the role of juries, trials, and the legal system to determine if this was a justificable homicide.

Why can't reasonable people agree with this statement? This case should not be politicized.
"

I think that most reasonable people would agree with this statement. Though I do *sort of* disagree... "we don't have a case," is generally a normal part of the "legal system". But hindsight and all, the prosecutor probably should have taken even a hopeless case to trial.

The chances at *this* point of a fair jury trial? Where are they going to find anyone who hasn't convicted Zimmerman before it starts? Or who wants to face the prospect of being tweeted by Spike Lee for voting not-guilty?

traditionalguy said...

A Neighborhood Watch is a team of voluntary watchers like the old Civilian Air Patrol in the 1950s watching for Russian bombers with binoculars. Both jobs were to spot something and call it in.

The watchers are not the Neighborhood Armed Rapid Response Team any more than the CAP was an anti aircraft (AAA) Battery.

This is an teachable moment for the Zimmerman family.

Zimmerman made all of the wrong moves. He killed a man in a scuffle he started but could not finish.

If this happened in a bar in Sandford, the Manslaughter charge would have been automatic.

Florida's treatment of Zimmerman as if he has a version of Diplomatic Immunity has not work. That is because it is another wrong move in the list of wrong moves.

Democracy includes the right to petition the Government for a redress pf grievances, and get a hearing.

If Florida can select a jury in secret in Tampa for Casy Anthony, then Zimmerman can get a fair trial.

How about a right move, Florida?

leslyn said...

@ Bender:
I have just realized that William (directly above you!) has the material you want:

I'm half liberal on my mother's side. This has given me amazing psychic powers. These psychic powers enable me to visualize what happened and to know what went on in the minds of the participants. Trayvon was belligerent. He initiated the physical confrontation. Either in panic or anger or self-defense, Zimmerman responded by shooting Trayvon. My psychic powers are not sufficent to give a clear picture of Zimmerman's motivation for pulling the trigger. However, I have discerned that racism was not hi[s] primary motivation. Anyone who does not agree with my psychic vision of these events just reveals their own irrationality.

Synova said...

"He killed a man in a scuffle he started..."

We don't know this.

leslyn said...

Synod said:

But hindsight and all, the prosecutor probably should have taken even a hopeless case to trial.

I am sorry to disagree with youm. If a case is truly hopeless, it shouldn't pass the judge's sniff test.

Prosecuting such a case would put the prosecutor, perhaps the whole prosecutor's office, in ethical violation. Judges don't look kindly on that, nor should they. It is a waste of resources, a deception to the community, and puts the freedom of a possibly innocent man at risk.

Further, to try to prosecute a "hopeless" case (in fact, why don't we just use the legal standard and call it a case that any reasonable prosecutor would believe cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt)--might well involve the prosecution withholding some exculpatory evidence from the defense. To knowingly do so is a Constitutional violation of the accused's right to a fair trial.

No judge would look kindly on that either. In fact, I have seen a federal district court lose confidence in a whole local US Attorney's office because of this problem, and the result was a published list of previously-convicted felons being set free.

So there is a practical, ethical and Constitutional problem in prosecuting a case which a prosecutor reasonably believes they can't win because of a lack of evidence.

That may or may not be the case here, based on the limited facts we know.

Freder Frederson said...

Shorter Althouse:

"Nothing to see here, move along."

leslyn said...

Sorry, I meant "@ Synova," not "Synod." Gotta whack the autospeller again.

Do you know, it will not let me write curse words. It changes them into something else. I think this is a violation of my free speech rights, and I should take this case to the manufacturer. For a lot of money.

Fen said...

A Neighborhood Watch is a team of voluntary watchers like the old Civilian Air Patrol in the 1950s watching for Russian bombers with binoculars. Both jobs were to spot something and call it in.

Thats a good tangental point thats being lost in all this.

Originally, the police were intended to *supplement* vigilant citizens, not replace them.

Zimmerman alerts 911, but still complains that they never arrive in time to catch suspects.

The witness to the Martin/Zimmerman fight responds to pleas of "Help!" by also calling 911. Police arrive in time to draw chalk around the body.

Where do people get the idea that calling 911 is of any use, other than to dress wounds and cart off the dead?

Fen said...

Freder: Shorter Althouse:

Shorter Freder: [Non Sequitur deviod of any content you can sink your teeth into]

Fen said...

bbkingfish: Why was Zimmerman not required to submit to a drug and alcohol test? Any police officer would be required to if he killed a civilian in the line of duty, let alone an underage civilian.

Welcome back.

I'm still waiting for you to source your specious claims from two days ago:

1) cite the tox report that proves no drugs in Martin's system. Not a MSM source, but the actual report.

2) cite the law that says Zimmerman should submit to a drug and alchohol test after shooting someone in self-defense. Again, not MSM source but the actual law.

Thanks for you time.

leslyn said...

Fen said:

Thats a good tangental point thats being lost in all this. Originally, the police were intended to *supplement* vigilant citizens, not replace them.

Yeah, but Fen that was before Sir Robert Peel in England advocated a professional police force in 1828. We've largely handed over that responsibility from civilians to the police because of that professionalization. For example, a police officer in Zimmerman's shoes would have had his gun taken away immediately and been placed on administrative leave while an investigation of the officer was conducted.

Just sayin....

Freder Frederson said...

cite the law that says Zimmerman should submit to a drug and alchohol test after shooting someone in self-defense.

And how, other than Zimmerman's statement that "I shot him in self-defense", do we know that it was self-defense.

I bet that if someone shot your child in "self-defense", you would expect the police to find out if the shooter was deranged, paranoid or on drugs.

But then again maybe not. You would probably say, "Hey, my kid got shot, he probably deserved it."

Freder Frederson said...

cite the tox report that proves no drugs in Martin's system. Not a MSM source, but the actual report.

Cite a tox report that proves no drugs in Zimmerman's system.

Oh, that's right, there is none.

Fen said...

True. But my point remains - the Police were never intended to be a stand-alone enforcement agency.
The public has to be involved, not simply stare down at their shoelaces while their neighbor is beat to death. And relying on a call to 911 is not enough.

I think thats some pushback on this shooting is coming from. The thugs want us to keep our heads down and eyes averted.

Canuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Fen: cite the law that says Zimmerman should submit to a drug and alchohol test after shooting someone in self-defense.

Freder: And how, other than Zimmerman's statement that "I shot him in self-defense", do we know that it was self-defense.

Then take out the self-defense part. Cite the law that says Zimmerman should be tested for drugs and alcohol.


[...]

Fen: cite the tox report that proves no drugs in Martin's system. Not a MSM source, but the actual report.

Freder: Cite a tox report that proves no drugs in Zimmerman's system. Oh, that's right, there is none.

Geez Freder, you're worse than Bob Wright - you can't even use the Tu Quo fallacy correctly.

Hint: I never claimed Zimmerman was clean. bbkingfish claimed a tox report proved Martin wasn't on drugs. He refuses to cite his source. The onus is on him not me.

Idiot.

leslyn said...

Fen: True back atcha. But that's a little different from "the police are never around when you need them, so you gotta take care of business your own self," which was what I heard.

Synova said...

That explains the parents, Freder. How does it explain everyone else?

"And how, other than Zimmerman's statement that "I shot him in self-defense", do we know that it was self-defense."

I don't suppose that we do.

The police, presumably, would have some notion if Zimmerman, as watch captain, was belligerent and aggressive and likely to "behave stupidly." They would *presumably* have noted if the story he told didn't match the evidence.

But what *we've* got is national news networks reporting that Martin was targeted for being a black kid wearing a hoodie, which was a lie (leading me to wonder where the outrage over "editing" the tape is now), and celebrities tweeting Zimmerman's home address... and what does any of *that* have to do with Martin's parents?

leslyn said...

Heartburn on why Zimmerman should, should not , or could have been tested for drugs/alcohol:

Here's an explanation, though I do not claim it to be the only one, as you will see.

Martin could be tested for drugs/alcohol because he was dead. Dead, he no longer had any privacy rights in his body. May be distressing to some, but that's the way it is.

Zimmerman is alive. Alive, he still owns the privacy rights to his body. This can be overcome, however. If Zimmerman had been arrested and police had reason to believe he had ingested alcohol or drugs, he could have had blood drawn to test for this as part of the arrest.

If there is a Florida statute which adds to this particular ability to test for alcohol/drugs at the time of arrest, or incarceration, it would have to be narrowly drawn in order to avoid a Constitutional violation. I don't know whether Florida might have such a statute.

The only other justification I can think of would be if Zimmerman were so impaired by alcohol/drugs at the time police/paramedics found him that he would need detox. Apparently that was not the case.

Peter said...

There is actually a very good reason to not have a trial if the evidence points to an aquittal. A manslaughter/murder trial is hugely expensive. Especially for the defendant. The poor broke-assed taxpayer pays for the prosecution, the defendant is on his own. Hell, it cost around ten grand in a rural area for a case that doesn't make it to the Grand Jury. A full blown murder trial? Looks at at least a hundred thousand dollars thrown in the campfire.

It's easy to scream, "we only want a trial" but a trial itself is a punishment. It would be one thing if the state would pay the bills if they lost the case, but it ain't that way.

Supposed there were a trial and Zimmerman won. Then was left completely destitute? What then?

bbkingfish said...

"...This can be overcome, however. If Zimmerman had been arrested and police had reason to believe he had ingested alcohol or drugs, he could have had blood drawn to test for this as part of the arrest..."

Zimmerman made a bizarre sequence of decisions that suggested a deficient, perhaps unhinged, mind. There was every reason to suspect Zimmerman might be drunk or deranged on meth or God knows what.

Where I live, the police think nothing of pulling citizens over at random, by the hundreds, and forcing them to prove sobriety. I find it hard to believe the Sanford police lacked the authority to test in the bloody wake of Zimmerman's behavior.

Fen said...

"Why do you use words like concede? Why are you talking like that? Why are you characterizing the facts?"

Bravo, Ann.

Fen said...

bbkingfish: Zimmerman made a bizarre sequence of decisions that suggested a deficient, perhaps unhinged, mind.

Oh bullshit. Name one.

BTW, still waiting for you to back up your earlier claims with proof.

1) cite the tox report that shows no drugs in Martin's system

2) cite the law that says police were required to drug test Zimmerman.

Again, I'm asking for direct links, not media propaganda. Back up your claims or being considered as full of shit.

Fen said...

bbkingfish: I find it hard to believe the Sanford police lacked the authority to test in the bloody wake of Zimmerman's behavior.

Hold on, yesterday you were asserting that they were legally required to test Zimmerman.

Now you don't know?

MikeR said...

Well, I've been on a local neighborhood weight, and I agree with several commenters here. I myself would never have approached a suspicious loiterer, and in fact we weren't allowed to, and someone would have been thrown off the neighborhood watch for doing it. But a crime? And Wright assume he's responsible if the other guy is touchy, and explodes in his face and starts beating his head into the concrete? (Obviously, I don't know what actually happened better than the next guy...) Why?

MikeR said...

That's "neighborhood *watch*"

leslyn said...

@bbkingfish: A sobriety checkpoint is legal on an entirely different Constitutional basis than drawing Zimmerman's blood as part of an arrest, if an arrest had occurred.

Just because you want it doesn't mean you can get it. Welcome to the world of a police officer.

leslyn said...

@bbkingfish:

A sobriety checkpoint is legal on a different Constitutional basis than drawing blood with probable cause at the time of arrest, if Zimmerman had been arrested.

Just because you want it doesn't mean you can get it. Welcome to the world of the polive officer.