April 10, 2012

The NYT characterizes the decision whether to prosecute George Zimmerman as dependent on "Florida’s lenient self-defense law, known as Stand Your Ground."

Why stress "Stand Your Ground" other than to demagogue about guns?

It seems to me there are rival descriptions about what happened, but none of them have to do with Zimmerman passing up an opportunity to retreat. Either Zimmerman stalked Trayvon Martin and shot him down or Martin punched Zimmerman, had him on the ground — not standing, but lying — and he was hitting his head into the concrete. Who's describing a scenario in which Zimmerman wins or loses depending on whether there is a Stand Your Ground law on the books?

Why inject an inapplicable, controversial issue? To inflame passions? To skew judgment? To take any opportunity/nonopportunity to push your pet issue?

124 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

To take any opportunity/nonopportunity to push your pet issue?

Exactly

MadisonMan said...

Why inject an inapplicable, controversial issue?

To sell newspapers, or to generate clicks.

t-man said...

Never let a crisis go to waste.

t-man said...

They hope that if they just pile on more manure, their gun control seed will bloom and grow.

Moose said...

OMG - gun control is part of the DNS at NYT - they'll link anything to civilian ownership of guns.

To think they'd not bring that up in this context is to curse a fish for being wet.

Widmerpool said...

This is a serious question about the editorial judgment of the New York Times? Really?

Scott M said...

DNS

Deoxyribonucleic...soap?

alan markus said...

Pretty much the same dynamic with the Slinger homeowner who shot the intruder. DA determined that shooting was justified under Self-Defense laws. Also analyzed it under the Castle Doctrine law and came to the same conclusion. However, it has been spun as Wisconsin's first fatality under the Castle Doctrine law & there is a movement to repeal it.

Paul said...

"Why inject an inapplicable, controversial issue?
To inflame passions?
To skew judgment?
To take any opportunity/nonopportunity to push your pet issue? "

All the above Ann!

Zimmerman is just a patsy for the 'cause'. Does not matter who did what as long as the narrative holds.

Matthew Sablan said...

I thought they brought it up because they mentioned having to convene a special hearing to see if the law applied, and if it could be used as a defense by Zimmerman. It sounded like they have the hearing on SYG first; if it is determined to apply, end of the road. If it is determined to not, then it goes forward?

NYT won't let me re-read the article, so I may have misinterpreted the gist, or missed something else. But, if I remember correctly, that actually sounds like a legit reason to bring up the law. I could be misremembering though.

Shanna said...

none of them have to do with Zimmerman passing up an opportunity to retreat

You can't retreat into the ground.

The Drill SGT said...

Scott M said...
DNS

Deoxyribonucleic...soap?


My guess: Digital News Site

Andy Freeman said...

A better question would be to ask why anyone would expect the NYT to behave otherwise.

Jay said...

Note, when someone is on top of you bashing your head into the ground, a "stand your ground" defense does not apply.

But it sounds ominous to the ignorant liberals so of course it must be demonized.

TANSTAAFL said...

How can one "Stand Your Ground" when you're lying on the ground?

AJ Lynch said...

DNS

Scott- my guess is a typo- the a is next to the s on the keyboard.

traditionalguy said...

The special prosecutor talked on the phone to a few of the protestors gathered outside the Police Station yesterday.

That is a major improvement. Someone in authority listened to them. That was in effect a mini hearing before the person they expect to render justice. Bravo!

The NYT asserts that if she charges Zimmerman, a Judge will next hold a probable cause Hearing on throwing out the charges if no evidence is presented to doubt Zimmerman's account.

Bravo! Another Hearing. That should make the issues of doubt die.

When autopsy and witnesses statements are released they will affirm Zimmerman was lying on the ground under a head bashing attack or they will not.

Only why that was not done before will remain a mystery.

Scott M said...

Scott- my guess is a typo- the a is next to the s on the keyboard.

That's how I took it. I just want hilarity to ensue on a thread that's built upon da funny.

Jay said...

traditionalguy said...

When autopsy and witnesses statements are released they will affirm Zimmerman was lying on the ground under a head bashing attack or they will not.

Only why that was not done before will remain a mystery.


Hey stupid:

I've pointed out to you four times that in Florida they don't release autopsy reports during active investigations.

Can you read?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Bravo! Another Hearing. That should make the issues of doubt die."

-- You have more faith in people than I do. Some people still don't think we landed on the moon. For some people, there will be no proof.

machine said...

Uhhh...because he claimed self-defense...and self defense/no duty to retreat outside of the home (where the Castle Doctrine would have applied) is called "Stand your Ground" in Florida...

mebbe that is why...

rcocean said...

Answer for $500: They always take any opportunity/nonopportunity to push your pet issue.

Question: What is the New York Times.

edutcher said...

Dictator Zero gave his marching orders to the media last week and they "chust following orders".

I don't think there are enough people in the Demo and media establishments who remember the 60s. They may not want a race war, just to hype up the base, but they may get one.

Those other two "community organizers", Stokeley Carmichael and Rap Brown got what they wanted. This crowd doesn't seem to get how close to the edge they are.

Ann Althouse said...

Why inject an inapplicable, controversial issue?

Let's recall that, under Pinch's tutelage, the Gray Lady has given up its title as Newspaper Of Record to the National Enquirer.

Accuracy ceased to be part of the Times' escutcheon long ago.

Chef Mojo said...

Why inject an inapplicable, controversial issue? To inflame passions? To skew judgment? To take any opportunity/nonopportunity to push your pet issue?

How about "rank stupidity and maliciousness?"

That seems to be the trend these days at the Times, NBC, MSNBC, et.al...

Althouse, I believe you used the term, "evil?"

Cedarford said...

I'd leave it for a lawyer to make the call....but to my understanding as a person who has had a gun permit in a state that doesn't have "stand your ground" - if a thug jumps you and you are in fear of your life....

I do believe you can "plug the thug" and it is legally defensible under the self-defense doctrine - which all 50 states have in their laws basically since they became states.

The progressive jews at the NY Times, however, have long held that only hero cops, security guards, personal bodyguards hired by wealthy Manhattanites, and lawbreaking criminals should be expected to have guns. So they hate castle doctrine and stand your ground provisions because both "encourage mere unqualified prole citizens to get guns".

"If you need security, hire a bodyguard or wait for the hero cops to come".

Real American said...

the left never lets the facts get in the way of their propaganda.

Jay said...

Note from the NYT piece:

If Ms. Corey decided to file charges against Mr. Zimmerman, a judge must hold a special pretrial hearing under the Stand Your Ground law to determine whether Mr. Zimmerman’s actions fall within the protections afforded by the statute.

Nothing like a bunch of race hustlers begging a white Republican to help them out, huh?

Gee, what ever will the story line be if she declines to prosecute???

Dan in Philly said...

The heart of the issue is summed up in your blogpost. If there is no prosecution, those who have invested their credibility in saying Zimmerman committed a crime can say "He got off on a technicality" rather than what seems to be the truth "He acted in clear self-defense."

Hagar said...

"The castle doctrine" and "stand your ground" are two entirely different things, and neither defense is available to Zimmerman, as he definitely was not in his home, and he was acting as a "Neighborhood Watch" patrol.

The "stand your ground" law might have been available to Trayvon Martin if he had survived, and if there was a trial and the jury believed his story rather than Zimmerman's.

The NYT is just muddying the waters to keep the national narrative going, regardless of how the local story plays out.

Ken said...

Why inject an inapplicable, controversial issue?

The rest of the preferred narratives failed, so now they have to fall back on this. The left (i.e., the MSM) desparately needs something they can grasp on to as a win to validate their worldview. Much of their worldview shattered as the facts of the case emerged. This is with what they're left.

They did it to themselves. Instead of reporting the news (i.e., facts of the case), the MSM came up with a "narrative" to sell. Naturally, it's their preferred political narrative. They failed. Now they're trying to save some face (with whom is unclear).

Scott M said...

The NYT is just muddying the waters to keep the national narrative going, regardless of how the local story plays out.

On the other hand, you know the narrative is falling apart because the White House re-election team quietly put the Obama hoodie back up to full price. You remember...the one they discounted right after the shooting?

Ann Althouse said...

"Uhhh...because he claimed self-defense...and self defense/no duty to retreat outside of the home (where the Castle Doctrine would have applied) is called "Stand your Ground" in Florida..."

Uhhh, yourself. There are websites where you'd be permanently banned for starting a comment like that.

But if you'd read the post, you'd see my point. There's no version of the story out there where failing to retreat is the question of fact. Either Z was the aggressor and took Martin down or Martin was the aggressor and Z was in a position where retreat wasn't an issue.

Unknown said...

Jay you are assuming that you are not a scroll over on the blog. Could be....... You seem to reinforce it here.

Jay said...
traditionalguy said...

When autopsy and witnesses statements are released they will affirm Zimmerman was lying on the ground under a head bashing attack or they will not.

Only why that was not done before will remain a mystery.

Hey stupid:

I've pointed out to you four times that in Florida they don't release autopsy reports during active investigations.

Can you read?

Ann Althouse said...

jews?!

Cedarford, stop being a a parody of yourself.

Unknown said...

kipling

The Godfather said...

Can we just step back a second and remember why this became a nationwide news story? It isn't because somebody killed somebody. That happens all the time. At most that's local news. This became a big story because it was presented by the news media as one in which a white man shot and killed an unarmed black teenager without provocation and wasn't arrested. Now we know that the shooter says the black teenager attacked him and he shot him in self-defense. We now know the shooter was taken into custody and transported to the police station in handcuffs, presumably for interrogation. This is NOT the case the news media presented to us. It's not worthy of national attention. But the New York Times, like the rest of the major media, won't let it go, because they don't want to give up on the "narrative" they've created around it.

William said...

Landlord tenant disputes are notoriously acrimonious. That's because both sides have the territoral imperative working for them. This may be a case where both sides felt that their terrtory was being invaded and that they were justified in using force to repel it. Zimmerman's act of eyeballing Trayvon was far less aggressive than Trayvon's response (if punching Zimmeran was indeed his response), but they were both drawing from the same well spring of emotion......The left managed to successfully spin the assassination of Kennedy into an indictment of the gun culture in Texas rather than the act of a pro Castro activist. It's looking less and less like Zimmerman is guilty so they'll probably indict the Stand Your Ground law instead.

Peter said...

"Why inject an inapplicable, controversial issue? To inflame passions? To skew judgment?"


One need not assume malice when mere incompetence is sufficient.

The job of a journalist is to report things quickly. Given a choice between accuracy and speed, speed has to win. A newspaper has deadlines that must be met.

Which is why the journalists tend to be reactive types and not deep thinkers. Historians have time to think; journalists don't.

So, journalists take shortcuts. One of the easiest shortcuts is to fit incoming data to predetermined narratives.

Now you could object that by now they've had time to think, and to reflect on what is known and what is not known. BUT, that ignores that they are journalists. And journalists tend not to be reflective people- it's just not what they do.

paminwi said...

Fun little tidbit about the NYT.

Made me laugh.

http://gawker.com/5900669/new-york-times-reporter-blasts-boss-in-email-to-150-of-his-best-friends

Chuck66 said...

Just to watch liberals heads spin and explode....some rightwinger should blame the shooting on Hispanic immigration since Zimmerman is of Mexican decent.

Chuck66 said...

paminwi.....I worked for a company once where (from what I could tell), someone meant to send an email about his big drunken party to his "friends" distribution list. But instead sent it to "finance". Yes, several hundred people from Sr mgmt on down got invited to a drunkfest that will have several kegs of beer.

G Joubert said...

To the extent "stand your ground even applies, it seems of the two it was Trayvon who stood his ground.

Hagar said...

Only if he had survived, and if he told a different story than Zimmerman's.

Hagar said...

and then, of course, there are those pesky neighborhood witnesses.

Cedarford said...

Ann Althouse said...
jews?!

Cedarford, stop being a a parody of yourself
===================
1. Who owns the NY Times?
2. Who sets the agenda and the various "narratives" at the NY Times - reporters must write by to remain employed - and the rest of the old media feed off of?

You cannot ignore who, in any organization, pulls the strings. Could be the Politburo, could be an owner like Bill Gates...could be the decades-long narratives and agendas the Sulzberger Family ensures the NY Times follows.

Thorley Winston said...

Just to watch liberals heads spin and explode....some rightwinger should blame the shooting on Hispanic immigration since Zimmerman is of Mexican decent.

I thought that his mother was Peruvian.

It seems rather notable how the various Latino advocacy groups have been silent on the way one of the people that they purport to represent has been targeted and treated over the shooting. You think at least one of them would make some obligatory comment calling for calm, letting the investigation proceed in an orderly manner, and condemning the bounty placed on the head of a Latino male and the harassment directed at his parents.

Alex said...

All Alinsky, all the time baby.

cryptical said...

Hagar said: "The castle doctrine" and "stand your ground" are two entirely different things, and neither defense is available to Zimmerman, as he definitely was not in his home, and he was acting as a "Neighborhood Watch" patrol.

He wasn't on neighborhood watch at the time, in fact he was running errands when the incident occured.

Alex said...

C4 - our charming resident Nazi. What would we do without him?

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Thorley Winston said...

Just to watch liberals heads spin and explode....some rightwinger should blame the shooting on Hispanic immigration since Zimmerman is of Mexican decent.

I thought that his mother was Peruvian.

It seems rather notable how the various Latino advocacy groups have been silent on the way one of the people that they purport to represent has been targeted and treated over the shooting. You think at least one of them would make some obligatory comment calling for calm, letting the investigation proceed in an orderly manner, and condemning the bounty placed on the head of a Latino male and the harassment directed at his parents.
---------------------------------

For the purposes of this narrative Zimmerman is classified 'white'. On the other hand, if he were to be shot by a white, Episcopalian, Republican, he would be Hispanic.

bagoh20 said...

Here's my theory: The people at the NYT are emotion driven idiots, who rarely think any issue through any further than what they believed at the age of 17. All well educated, sophisticated, well read and connected.

It's truly inspiring to know how little all that helps. It means anyone, regardless of finances, time or social situation can be smarter than a NYT reporter or editor. It takes just a few minutes to get some facts with an open mind, and poof - there you are.

roesch/voltaire said...

It all depends on what we mean by aggressor. Does a man who has a gun on his hip stalking somebody on their way home who is talking on a cell phone count as aggressive behavior, or does turning around and standing up to that man who is stalking you and striking him with only a fist count as aggression? I suspect that if Martin had the gun and fired on Zimmerman, he would have been protected by the Stand Your Ground Law, and isn't that ironic?

traditionalguy said...

@ Jay...What is so hard for you about understanding the differences between past, present and future tenses of the English language?

The autopsy report was kept secret.(past tense)
The autopsy report is now being kept secret.( present tense),and
The autopsy report will not be kept secret in the future, like the coming day of the hearing that may happen after all(future tense.)

Those are three different thoughts. Really they are.

Freder Frederson said...

Either Z was the aggressor and took Martin down or Martin was the aggressor and Z was in a position where retreat wasn't an issue.

And this is a vast oversimplification of the doctrine. If one of your students put such a glib statement on an exam, I'm sure you would (justifiably) fail him.

No matter how much you wish it was so, the facts of this case are not so cut and dried.

First of all, even if we accept the prevailing anonymous eyewitness accounts (that indeed M was on to of Z when M was shot), we only have Z's account of how they ended up on the ground (M cold-cocked and jumped on him). Now if the altercation did not develop as Z claims, then the stand your ground law is very relevant. Z may have had ample opportunity to retreat but believed that he had no responsibility to. We, and you, simply don't know, unless you believe that people potentially facing a long time in jail always tell the absolute truth.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Does a man who has a gun on his hip stalking somebody on their way home who is talking on a cell phone count as aggressive behavior, or does turning around and standing up to that man who is stalking you and striking him with only a fist count as aggression?"

-- Yes, punching someone who has not directly threatened you and, when asked if he had a problem, backed off, is an act of aggression. As is continuing your attack after the threat has been neutralized (that is, beating his head into the concrete after knocking him down.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Now if the altercation did not develop as Z claims, then the stand your ground law is very relevant."

-- No. Justifiable use of force can devlove into assault very quickly. Even if Martin were justified in the first punch, the repeated beating of Zimmerman's head against the ground is enough to say that Martin was no longer using a just application of force.

For example, if Zimmerman's first bullet had only wounded Martin, he would not be justified in taking a second shot, unless Martin still proved to be a threat.

Zimmerman was down and pinned; attempting to bash his head open is no longer defense -- it is assault (unless all the witnesses who saw it are wrong or lying). Zimmerman could be charged with something in that case, but it won't be murder.

Scott M said...

Does a man who has a gun on his hip stalking somebody on their way home who is talking on a cell phone count as aggressive behavior, or does turning around and standing up to that man who is stalking you and striking him with only a fist count as aggression?

Not that your premise is biased at all. Just how long have you been beating your wife, RV?

Striking someone with a fist is a far greater act of a aggression than having a gun in a holster. Further, we can only assume, but if Zimmerman's version is correct and Martin attacked him (even assuming he was "standing up" to someone that was "stalking" him), it's highly unlikely Zimmerman's weapon was visible. I doubt Martin would have confronted and struck Zimmerman if the weapon was openly or sloppily carried. Otherwise we would have to add "stupid" to Martins as of yet unvetted list of characteristics.

Matthew Sablan said...

I believe every report I've seen said that Zimmerman was carrying concealed, so I assume he was. It's possible when he reached for his cellphone, Martin thought he was reaching for a weapon? That's possible, I guess. But, that still just gets us "two hot-heads do something stupid" and no closer to a real answer.

Shanna said...

does turning around and standing up to that man who is stalking you and striking him with only a fist count as aggression?

Is that a real question? Yes, punching someone is 'aggression'.

Alex said...

Is there any evidence that Zimmerman's head was hit?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Is that a real question? Yes, punching someone is 'aggression'."

On second thought, it's not like he put some target reticules on a map or anything. That's real violence. This? This was just a punch. In the face.

Hagar said...

According to Zimmerman, he only reached for his weapon when he was flat on his back and Martin was banging his head against the concrete walk. This seems reasonable since Martin would hardly have charged him if he knew Zimmerman had a gun.

The description of how the altercation started is only Zimmerman's story, but it is consistent with everything we now know about the two of them and how the incident unfolded. It is going to be hard for the Martin side to get around.

Alex said...

Video backs up Zimmerman's injuries

Maguro said...

1. Who owns the NY Times?

Some Mexican dude, right?

Jay said...

traditionalguy said...

@ Jay...What is so hard for you about understanding the differences between past, present and future tenses of the English language?


Er, you have asserted on multiple occasions that there is a "cover up" taking place.

You have also stated several times you don't understand why the autopsy report hasn't been released.

It is beyond comical you can't see the disconnect between your incoherent ramblings that a report be released from an organization you believe is engaging in a cover up.

Freder Frederson said...

Even if Martin were justified in the first punch, the repeated beating of Zimmerman's head against the ground is enough to say that Martin was no longer using a just application of force.

And I would argue that, under these circumstances, as soon as Martin saw the gun he would had the right to use deadly force--including repeated beating of Zimmerman's head against the ground. If you are in a fight with someone who is carrying a gun, your life is in danger until that person is incapacitated or disarmed.

Besides the whole thread is premised on Althouse's assertion that the stand your ground law is completely irrelevant in this case. Arguing about who was the aggressor and when that person had the duty to retreat or at least avoid the use of deadly force involves examining Florida's stand your ground law.

Bruce Hayden said...

If the NYT is mentioning SYG, they are intentionally misleading the public, don't understand the issues, or are misusing the term to cover the 2005 changes to the Florida statutes.

SYG is a modification of the "retreat doctrine", which determines when you need to retreat when faced with potential harm. The Florida SYG law (776.012 Use of force in defense of person)says that if you are somewhere legally, you have no duty to retreat. Pretty much that simple. Traditionally, and still in many states, you do have to retreat, or you lose recorse to the affirmative defense of self-defense.

Which is different from the Castle Doctrine (776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm), where not only do you not have to retreat when in your castle (which also includes your car there), but that someone breaking in is presumptively intent on committing a violent felony, which in turn authorizes deadly force.

None of that though is really relevant there. Instead, what is relevant is the portion of the statute titled: 776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force. Under that statute, Zimmerman is immune from prosecution unless the state can show probable cause that he acted illegally in killing Martin (i.e. that the killing was not in legal self-defense) and immune from civil litigation (which is likely why the Martins are so hot to get Zimmerman bound over to trial - so they can sue for wrongful death).

As Ann points out, the SYG doctrine is irrelevant here, because we have two alternatives. Either Martin was the aggressor, and his being shot by Zimmerman either is or is not self-defense, or Zimmerman was the aggressor, and therefore self defense is not available as a defense.

The only place where SYG might have been applicable is if Martin had approached Zimmerman (or visa versa), and Zimmerman did not retreat. Then SYG would have said, fine, if Martin swings first, Zimmerman can still use a self-defense defense, even if he didn't retreat. But, if he was not given a chance to retreat, which would be the case if Martin surprised Zimmerman, then it is moot anyway.

Jay said...

And I would argue that, under these circumstances, as soon as Martin saw the gun he would had the right to use deadly force--including repeated beating of Zimmerman's head against the ground. If you are in a fight with someone who is carrying a gun, your life is in danger until that person is incapacitated or disarmed.

You would end up in jail rather quickly taking this approach.

Especially in a blue state.

Freder Frederson said...

I do believe you can "plug the thug" and it is legally defensible under the self-defense doctrine.

You better not ever have to "plug a thug", because your blatant racism and shoot first, ask questions later attitude will come back to haunt you as I am sure the prosecutor (and wouldn't be ironic if it was a Black Jew) will use your posts here to demonstrate what a hate-filled racist jerk you are.

damikesc said...

Uhhh...because he claimed self-defense...and self defense/no duty to retreat outside of the home (where the Castle Doctrine would have applied) is called "Stand your Ground" in Florida...

You could save time and just post "I don't understand a thing about this case"

Matthew Sablan said...

"And I would argue that, under these circumstances, as soon as Martin saw the gun he would had the right to use deadly force--including repeated beating of Zimmerman's head against the ground."

-- Cause and effect. Martin never saw the gun until after he was trying to brain Zimmerman.

Freder Frederson said...

You would end up in jail rather quickly taking this approach.

How so, under what you posited, Martin (for whatever reason) was initially justified in using force against Zimmerman. Why doesn't that use of force extend to doing what ever is necessary to stop Zimmerman from shooting him? Does the stand your ground law only apply to people carrying guns?

Bruce Hayden said...

First of all, even if we accept the prevailing anonymous eyewitness accounts (that indeed M was on to of Z when M was shot), we only have Z's account of how they ended up on the ground (M cold-cocked and jumped on him). Now if the altercation did not develop as Z claims, then the stand your ground law is very relevant. Z may have had ample opportunity to retreat but believed that he had no responsibility to. We, and you, simply don't know, unless you believe that people potentially facing a long time in jail always tell the absolute truth.

So, what I hear you saying is that if Zimmerman were confronted, but not physically assaulted, by Martin, then absent the Florida SYG law, Zimmerman might not be able to use a self-defense defense.

And, yes, on LS exams, you get extra credit by making up possible conflicting alternatives, such as your hypothetical. But, here, there is no real evidence supporting your hypothetical, and even if there were, due to the way that the SYG statute works, the state would still have to show probable cause that Zimmerman illegally killed Martin before he could be arrested.

Alex said...

Freder won't be happy until Zimmerman is lynched.

Matthew Sablan said...

"You better not ever have to "plug a thug", because your blatant racism and shoot first,"

-- Why are you so racist as to associate thugs with race?

Alex said...

the state would still have to show probable cause that Zimmerman illegally killed Martin before he could be arrested.

Which is why the DA isn't prosecuting Z.

Freder Frederson said...

Martin never saw the gun until after he was trying to brain Zimmerman.

According to Zimmerman's self-serving account. Nobody else (except Martin)--and probably not even Zimmerman--can known when the gun was seen by Martin.

Freder Frederson said...

Which is why the DA isn't prosecuting Z.

The DA is not sending the case to a grand jury. Zimmerman is not out of the woods yet.

Remember how upset Althouse gets when someone misstates facts about this case.

Scott M said...

And I would argue that, under these circumstances, as soon as Martin saw the gun he would had the right to use deadly force--including repeated beating of Zimmerman's head against the ground. If you are in a fight with someone who is carrying a gun, your life is in danger until that person is incapacitated or disarmed.

This assumes that he saw the gun. There's now way to make that assertion. It's just as easy Martin was no longer using a just application of force. The truth is, neither of us know.

Matthew Sablan said...

"According to Zimmerman's self-serving account. Nobody else (except Martin)--and probably not even Zimmerman--can known when the gun was seen by Martin."

-- If Martin saw the gun, and attacked anyway, that doesn't get the prosecution closer to a conviction. After all: Martin has to attack Zimmerman for the facts we have to add up. Or, we have to assume something we have no proof for happened -- which, I hear, juries don't like to do, since having to assume things implies that there is a doubt of a reasonable nature when all the other facts point the other way.

The prosecution could rally that Zimmerman attacked barehanded at first, starting the fight, then when bested, went for his gun. So, is that what you believe happened, or do you believe something else happened?

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Freder Frederson said...

I do believe you can "plug the thug" and it is legally defensible under the self-defense doctrine.

You better not ever have to "plug a thug", because your blatant racism and shoot first, ask questions later attitude will come back to haunt you as I am sure the prosecutor (and wouldn't be ironic if it was a Black Jew) will use your posts here to demonstrate what a hate-filled racist jerk you are.
-------------------------------

You have been convicted of a PreCrime (see 'Minority Report').

Turn yourself in now; don't make Freder come after you.

Freder Frederson said...

Why are you so racist as to associate thugs with race?

Because I know Cedarford. When Cedarford says "thugs" or "welfare queens" he means Black thugs and Black welfare queens.

Don't try and make me believe that in Cedarford's mind, the thugs are of indeterminate race. He has way too long a history here.

Hagar said...

Freder,
There is no evidence that Martin ever saw the gun that killed him.

You are just making up shit, and you were not there.

Zimmerman's testimony may not mean much, but it is at least something, and even a little something must necessarily aoutweigh nothing.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm pretty sure if any thug attacks someone with the mental attitude that one should plug thugs, it won't matter the race of their attacker. He won't suddenly decide to be carried by six instead of judged by twelve if it is a blond German doing the mugging.

You're the one bringing race into it.

Freder Frederson said...

If Martin saw the gun, and attacked anyway, that doesn't get the prosecution closer to a conviction.

Why not. I thought SYG meant no duty to retreat. If some shadowy figure with a gun (an Hispanic even!) was trailing him and acting suspiciously, then Martin had every right under the SYG law to defend his life with deadly force.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Why not. I thought SYG meant no duty to retreat. If some shadowy figure with a gun (an Hispanic even!) was trailing him and acting suspiciously, then Martin had every right under the SYG law to defend his life with deadly force."

-- Not if the gun was holstered and, after confronting the man, the man made it clear he had no intention to fight and was withdrawing.

If, after confirming that the man means you no harm and is withdrawing, you attack anyway... you were not in jeopardy.

Read up on self-defense law. You can't just think someone means you harm; you need to be in danger. You can't plug a man across the street who has a knife and is yelling things at you, because he is not an immediate threat to you. Likewise, you can't kick a man when he is down.

Simply because you think Martin was a paranoid racist (for reasons I can't understand), doesn't mean he was -- and it doesn't give him the right to attack a man who has not threatened or made any intention to harm him.

Your best bet is to claim that Zimmerman is just a liar, but we have no proof, but let's hope the jury doesn't give a damn.

Scott M said...

If some shadowy figure with a gun (an Hispanic even!) was trailing him and acting suspiciously

You've seen one to many nior movies, Freder. You're also relying on the testimony of the deceased, which is tough to get on a good day. Unless he said "Some guy with a gun is following me" to his girlfriend who just happened to be running a Qik app at the time, you're SOL.

In any case, real life experience dictates teenagers don't physically confront people they know to have guns. In order for it to work your way, Zimmerman had to be stalking him with his gun visible, then either drop it or hide it before striking Martin with his bare hands. As has already been asked, is this the theory you're ascribing to?

Freder Frederson said...

There is no evidence that Martin ever saw the gun that killed him.

You are just making up shit, and you were not there.


I am not making anything up--I am dealing in hypotheticals.

The point of this thread is that Florida's SYG law is irrelevant in this case. I am pointing out reasonable assumptions, not contradicted by the facts at hand, where the SYG law would be pertinent. This is meant to demonstrate that Althouse's criticism of the NYT article (on this specific point) is spurious.

Alex said...

Freder - at worst it was as scuffle that led to an accidental shooting and death. Nothing worthy of arrest, much less conviction for manslaughter.

Oh - you haven't yet denounced the NBP's $10K bounty on Z's head.

Freder Frederson said...

Not if the gun was holstered and, after confronting the man, the man made it clear he had no intention to fight and was withdrawing.

Now who's making shit up?

Freder Frederson said...

Oh - you haven't yet denounced the NBP's $10K bounty on Z's head.

Why is it my responsibility to denounce this. Are you under the mistaken belief that I am a member of the NBP or even know anyone who is a member. I hadn't even heard of the organization before this incident.

I demand that you denounce every stupid thing Cedarford says and everything published on Stormfront.

Sheesh!

Matthew Sablan said...

"Now who's making shit up?"

-- We know the gun was holstered, because if it was not, Martin would never have gotten on top of Zimmerman in the first place. Only one, or maybe two, shots were fired. Were Zimmerman's gun out, Martin would not have mounted him and proceeded to smash his head into the concrete. If his gun were out, the only way to injure the back of his head is to injure himself, get sucker punched, or decide to wrestle Martin and not use his gun. None of those are good situations for the prosecution, since all three show that Zimmerman did not want to use lethal force.

We believe Zimmerman was withdrawing, since he has injuries on the front and back of his head. We believe Zimmerman was withdrawing because he says so, and that, again, if he was not and had his gun out, Martin would not have gotten on top of him.

Martin's girlfriend's testimony only confirms for us that Martin approached Zimmerman (he asked him first why he was following him), and Zimmerman responded with a question. Then there was pushing. That does not synch up with Zimmerman's version.

That's your best attack point; claim Zimmerman is a liar.

Scott M said...

Freder - at worst it was as scuffle that led to an accidental shooting and death.

I don't see how you get accidental shoot (at worst yet) unless you're suggesting that they were fighting, the gun fell out of it's holster, they both saw it and both reached for the gun...

Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes they both
Oh yes, they both
Oh yes, they both reached for
The gun, the gun, the gun, the gun,
Oh yes, they both reached for the gun for the gun.


In which case, your point would be valid and understandable...

Understandable. understandable
Yes, it's perfectly understandable
Comprehensible. Comprehensible
Not a bit reprehensible
It's so defensible!


The gun, the gun, the gun, the gun...

Matthew Sablan said...

Well, OK. If he injured himself, the reason that doesn't work, which I failed to explain, is that witnesses saw the fatal shot. He would have had to injure himself BEFORE meeting Martin, if his gun were out when they met. Unless he let Martin get the best of him, while his gun was out, allowed his head to be smacked into concrete multiple times, and then used his gun.

Having his gun out makes very little sense. At all.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder - at worst it was as scuffle that led to an accidental shooting and death.

Not even Zimmerman claims that the shooting was accidental.

And I am accused of moving goalposts!

Freder Frederson said...

That's your best attack point; claim Zimmerman is a liar.

Well of course we have to assume Zimmerman is lying, or at least telling the version of the story that puts him in the best light.

Matthew Sablan said...

If anything, now that I re-read the girlfriend's comments, she says that Martin called out to Zimmerman first (at least, the first place I got my hands on says that.)

Which makes it even harder to believe Zimmerman engaged Martin. After all, Zimmerman could see that Martin was on his cellphone. Why would you attack someone who was going to have someone able to say: "I heard so and so get attacked and call for help."

Heck, when I used to get home late at night, I always called people on my cell phone I knew to be up so I was less likely to be attacked because there was light near me and I'd have someone who could corroborate the time of the attack, and testify to what I said when I was attacked.

Zimmerman attacking Martin seems -less- likely with what she says.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Well of course we have to assume Zimmerman is lying, or at least telling the version of the story that puts him in the best light."

-- No. You have to assume he is lying about everything after he hung up the phone. Martin cannot have attacked him first to win this case; Zimmerman needs to have manufactured his injury and tricked the witnesses into seeing Martin on top. Perhaps swapping jackets with the man during the scuffle to confuse who was on top.

Remember; Zimmerman is believable because much of what he says synchs up with witnesses. He has to have fooled them, fooled the camera at the police station into showing a gash on the back of his head, or been willing to kill himself by letting Martin inflict potentially massive head trauma, or doing it to himself.

Remember, if Martin had been able to get a few more pounds of force, it would not be a gash across the back of his head. We'd be talking fractures.

So, you pretty much have to go all in, call Zimmerman a liar, and explain how all the witness statements make sense. Then, you have to address the rest of the material evidence that we know of.

You can also say: "There are hidden facts we don't know yet that will prove my case," but in that case, meh.

traditionalguy said...

Jay...I assert again that there has been a cover up.

Until the Cable News shows got into showing audio tapes, some even altered to sound racist, there was no investigation going on in Florida.

So at that time a calculated withholding of a coroner's report was not required by law. The ongoing investigation story that you swallowed was at that time a part of the cover up.

The Chief of Police and the State Attorney had found No probable cause to NOT believe Zimmerman's story and closed their investigation by the next morning.

The white race being attacked claims then came later from Zimmerman's Dad and you swallowed that too. BTW lynching is a the method used by White racists only.

Two new investigations have started, and they will report sometime soon.

Then you can claim your bragging rights as the Best Guesser in a Blog Comment. But that is premature.

Rusty said...

roesch/voltaire said...
It all depends on what we mean by aggressor. Does a man who has a gun on his hip stalking somebody on their way home who is talking on a cell phone count as aggressive behavior, or does turning around and standing up to that man who is stalking you and striking him with only a fist count as aggression? I suspect that if Martin had the gun and fired on Zimmerman, he would have been protected by the Stand Your Ground Law, and isn't that ironic


If you were there you should contact the police.

Matthew Sablan said...

See, I can respect Traditional Guy. He's going all in with "There are things we don't know that can prove my case." That's a valid position to take; I can be proven wrong very easily if it turns out the witnesses don't really exist or were bribed, or were just wrong.

I may not agree, but it is valid.

Scott M said...

fooled the camera at the police station into showing a gash on the back of his head

Don't try telling Freder that was a gash. He will fight you until the end of the Earth over it.

Pastafarian said...

RV: "Does a man...stalking somebody...count as aggressive behavior, or does...striking him with only a fist count as aggression?"

That's some funny stuff right there. Walking while armed: Aggression. Striking someone in the face: In Florida, they do that like we midwesterners shake hands.

Pastafarian said...

Freder: "Well of course we have to assume Zimmerman is lying..."

Of course.

Guilty til proven innocent. Duh.

Pastafarian said...

Freder: "And I would argue that, under these circumstances, as soon as Martin saw the gun he would had the right to use deadly force..."

And spring upon him like a panther and bash Zimmerman's head into the concrete, because Martin saw that Zimmerman had the audacity to walk around armed.

I mean, who the hell does Zimmerman think he is? A free citizen of a constitutional republic?

That's an interesting theory you have there, Freder. I guess the next time I see a cop, I can jump him and curb-stomp his brains into mush, with no legal repercussions.

Or does the cop have to be Peruvian, for "these circumstances" that justify bloody murder to arise?

Shit, remind me not to attend the Nationals in Camp Perry, Ohio this year. Any one of those guys would be perfectly justified in opening fire on any of the others. It will be a goddamned bloodbath.

Shanna said...

And I would argue that, under these circumstances, as soon as Martin saw the gun he would had the right to use deadly force--including repeated beating of Zimmerman's head against the ground.

So, in your head, it’s legal to attack someone because they are legally carrying a gun, but not legal to shoot somebody when they are stomping your head into the ground? Is that about right?

does turning around and standing up to that man who is stalking you and striking him with only a fist count as aggression

Does hitting someone not count somehow if it’s ‘only a fist’? What kind of lunacy is this.

I suspect that if Martin had the gun and fired on Zimmerman, he would have been protected by the Stand Your Ground Law, and isn't that ironic

Only if Z actually attacked him! Sheesh.

Freder Frederson said...

So, in your head, it’s legal to attack someone because they are legally carrying a gun, but not legal to shoot somebody when they are stomping your head into the ground? Is that about right?

No, that does not reflect what's in my head at all. In fact it is a gross mis-characterization of what I said.

Freder Frederson said...

And spring upon him like a panther and bash Zimmerman's head into the concrete.

You don't bother to read what I wrote, or at least deliberately mis-characterize what I wrote. So why should I bother to explain to you.

Hagar said...

Freder,
Let's not be dealing in hypotheticals while Zimmerman is out there with a price on his head and no authorities, Federal State, or Local, are doing anything about it!

garage mahal said...

Wouldn't doubt it if we're in for a white Bronco moment anytime

Gene said...

Peter: So, journalists take shortcuts. One of the easiest shortcuts is to fit incoming data to predetermined narratives.

You got that right. For a typical reporter there are only about 10 different stories. Everything else is details.

I sometimes imagine reporters sitting at a desk with 10 pigeonhole boxes in front of them. No matter what happens they manage to make the story fit into one of them. This story (like the Duke Lacrosse story) automatically went into the "racist-whites-attack-blameless- blacks" pigeonhole.

In a sense you have got to admire the simplicity of the system. You don't have to agonize over how to present the story. You simply go with the existing narrative, providing names and details as required. The story practically writes itself.

Gene said...

Peter: So, journalists take shortcuts. One of the easiest shortcuts is to fit incoming data to predetermined narratives.

You got that right. For a typical reporter there are only about 10 different stories. Everything else is details.

I sometimes imagine reporters sitting at a desk with 10 pigeonhole boxes in front of them. No matter what happens they manage to make the story fit into one of them. This story (like the Duke Lacrosse story) automatically went into the "racist-whites-attack-blameless- blacks" pigeonhole.

In a sense you have got to admire the simplicity of the system. You don't have to agonize over how to present the story. You simply go with the existing narrative, providing names and details as required. The story practically writes itself.

Michael McNeil said...

I am not a lawyer, but Althouse's point about the inapplicability of Florida's “stand your ground” law in the Zimmerman/Martin case seems quite apt. More particularly Dave Kopel (who is also a lawyer and law professor, at Denver University) agrees, as he writes in the (libertarian-leaning) legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy:

“Media coverage of Florida’s self-defense laws in recent weeks has often been very inaccurate. While some persons, particularly from the gun prohibition lobbies, have claimed that the Martin/Zimmerman case shows the danger of Florida’s ‘Stand your ground’ law, that law is legally irrelevant to case. So let’s take a look at what the Florida laws actually say.”

Read the whole thing.

See also this posting by blog founder, UCLA constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh.

Note too this case where a black man was convicted of murder for defending himself against an assault by a white racist who screamed at him “I’m going to stab you niggers” and attacked him, in a state lacking a “stand your ground” provision in the law. As a result, the black man could not defend himself against the racist assault, but rather had a “duty to retreat” (i.e., run away) and was sent to prison for murder when he did not.

leslyn said...

What demagoguery? It was one paragraph in the whole story that explained the Florida law, and did it rather well. It is "lenient" because "It requires law enforcement officials to prove that a suspect did not act in self-defense, and sets the case on a slow track."

That is in contrast to long-established criminal law, which requires that the person claiming self-defense shall in fact prove it (remember "affirmative defenses" from those long-ago law school days?)

So the Florida law is in fact more "lenient" for a person claiming self-defense, and it is called the "Stand Your Ground" law because it does not require a person to retreat.

What on earth is wrong with explaining that? It's just decent reporting.

Why inject an inapplicable, controversial issue?

Because it's what you do.

leslyn said...

Bruce Hayden said,

The only place where SYG might have been applicable is if Martin had approached Zimmerman (or visa versa), and Zimmerman did not retreat. Then SYG would have said, fine, if Martin swings first, Zimmerman can still use a self-defense defense, even if he didn't retreat. But, if he was not given a chance to retreat, which would be the case if Martin surprised Zimmerman, then it is moot anyway.

That's the point. WE DON'T KNOW THE FACTS. All speculation is pointless, and so is continuing the practice.

CWJ said...

Peter @1:16

Oh please. This is /was NOT a breaking story. It was a week old before anyone decided that it needed national attention. Everyone had the time to treat this story properly, but the need to play to the racist meme trumped everything else. Pleading time constraints is just lazy. And if that is an accurate description of modern journalism, than more shame on that!

leslyn said...

Matthew Sablan said...
L"Now who's making shit up?"

You are:

<-- We know the gun was holstered, because if it was not, Martin would never have gotten on top of Zimmerman in the first place. Only one, or maybe two, shots were fired. Were Zimmerman's gun out, Martin would not have mounted him and proceeded to smash his head into the concrete. If his gun were out, the only way to injure the back of his head is to injure himself, get sucker punched, or decide to wrestle Martin and not use his gun. None of those are good situations for the prosecution, since all three show that Zimmerman did not want to use lethal force.

All of that was just so much bullshit, as if you are the resident psychic. You don't know a damn thing about it. No one does yet.

You also don't know a thing about altercations. "We know the gun was holstered, because if it was not, Martin would never have gotten on top of Zimmerman in the first place."

What total crap.

Michael McNeil said...

We know the gun was holstered…

We may not know it, but we can be pretty confident of it, because concealed-carry gun bears are not allowed to brandish their weapon without cause, or even reveal its presence, and Zimmerman would have gotten in considerable trouble had he drawn it before his life was in danger.

Matthew Sablan said...

Ok Leslyn. Explain then, Zimmerman's gun is drawn. How does Martin over power him, get on top of him, and not secure his gun arm to commence the beating we know Zimmerman received?

That's how we know the gun was holstered. It is the only thing that makes sense. Martin's girlfriend doesn't here Martin scream, say anything about a gun; she hears him approach and ask why are you following me. Not: "Why do you have a gun?" "Why are you pointing that thing at me?"

So, explain to me, with the facts as we know them, how the gun was in any other position besides holstered and concealed.

ken in sc said...

I don't think anything these days is written to sell newspapers. Nobody buys a newspaper because of a headline they saw on the street. There are no newsboys shouting, “Read all about it, new racial outrage!” These stories are written to fit a predetermined narrative. It does not matter if it sells papers or not.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, remember, while explaining this, you have to also answer the following: 1) Zimmerman's injuries; 2) Witness reports of the scuffle; 3) Why Zimmerman didn't shoot earlier; 4) Why Martin did not seem to react to there being a gun involved while on the phone with his girlfriend.

If your situation cannot explain all those variables, then we have to go with the current set of facts we have: Zimmerman's gun was holstered and away (per his statements) when Martin confronted him/he confronted Martin.

Bruce Hayden said...

It all depends on what we mean by aggressor. Does a man who has a gun on his hip stalking somebody on their way home who is talking on a cell phone count as aggressive behavior, or does turning around and standing up to that man who is stalking you and striking him with only a fist count as aggression? I suspect that if Martin had the gun and fired on Zimmerman, he would have been protected by the Stand Your Ground Law, and isn't that ironic.

As I have pointed out before, self-defense is somewhat like a dance. Most often the guy who swings (or shoots) first is the aggressor. The other party has a right of self-defense. There are exception - for example, if someone pulls out a gun and points it at you, then they are probably the aggressor. Keep in mind that this tracks closely to criminal law - the guy swinging at you is committing an assault, which he could be arrest for, when he connects. In the case of someone pointing a gun at you, it really depends on the circumstances. If he says, your money or your life, then that is a major felony, and he is the aggressor. But, if he says, don't come any closer, or I will shoot, then it may be part of self defense. It depends.

In any case, once someone assaults you, or makes a credible threat to assault you, which a reasonable person would see as such, then you can defend yourself. That may mean hitting back, and it may mean shooting them, if they put you in reasonable apprehension for your life or of major bodily injury.

But, self-defense is not unlimited. If someone swings at you, and you hit back, and ultimately knock him out, you cannot continue to hit him. Rather, you must stop when the threat is neutralized. If you don't, you become the aggressor, and the positions are reversed.

The aggressor can withdraw, but it has to be unequivocal. It should be obvious to a reasonable person. And, if he does, and his victim continues the fight, then the former victim becomes the aggressor.

There is one more facet - escalation. If one party is originally the aggressor, but it is not a deadly confrontation, and the non-aggressor does not have a reasonable fear of imminent death or major bodily harm, then he cannot escalate to the use of lethal force. If he does, or can reasonably believed by the other party to be doing so, then his potentially deadly force may not be lawful.

The place where deadly force comes in, is where the non-aggressor feels an imminent reasonable fear for his life or great bodily harm. Then, he can use deadly force to protect himself from the aggressor, and often, to protect others.

As should be obvious here, someone getting in your face, talking bad about your momma, or anything of the sort, doesn't excuse physical aggression. It is still a crime if you swing first. It still comes down to who swung first, Martin or Zimmerman, and whether the aggressor withdrew, switching roles. Unless, maybe, Zimmerman pulled his gun, pointed it at Martin, and made a credible threat of imminent death or great bodily injury, before either swung on the other. If Martin swung first, and didn't withdraw, then the only question is whether Zimmerman had a reasonable apprehension of imminent death or great bodily injury to use deadly force. And, if Zimmerman swung first, then he may still be ok, if he can show that he had a reasonable apprehension of imminent death or great bodily injury AND Martin had not put him in that apprehension as a result of his unlawful actions.

Some ins and outs, but not really that complicated. But, hopefully you can see why the SYG doctrine is not applicable here, unless Zimmerman was given a chance to retreat and didn't - and with the FL SYG law, that is irrelevant, but wouldn't be in some other states.

Nichevo said...

The part where you get ridiculous is that Pinch Sulzberger is not a Jew. This diminishes the relevance of your ad hominems (which, despite your laughable plaint, are your bread and butter except you practice restraint within the room you're in, e.g., Althouse) to the point of parody, descending towards "The NYT lies because somebody there ordered a pastrami!"

The Prog-Jews thing (oh by the way cedarford, in the English language, "Jews" and its racemes are capitalized as per the rule for proper nouns, just as with "Catholics" and "Protestants." The usage as "jews" implies either an ignorance or a disrespect which, no doubt, are utterly alien to your nature, right?) is old and tired generally.

A leftish Catholic or Protestant (which IIRC is what Pinch "Shanda" Sulzberger became) would run the paper just the same as a liberal Jew, or not differently enough to matter. Or a liberal atheist.

If you disagree, C4, why?


P.S. Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath for your valid responses. Your pattern is to flee when directly and soberly confronted. Just as long as everybody else knows when you've been whipped, it doesn't matter if you admit it.


-----


Cedarford said...

Ann Althouse said...
jews?!

Cedarford, stop being a a parody of yourself
===================
1. Who owns the NY Times?
2. Who sets the agenda and the various "narratives" at the NY Times - reporters must write by to remain employed - and the rest of the old media feed off of?

You cannot ignore who, in any organization, pulls the strings. Could be the Politburo, could be an owner like Bill Gates...could be the decades-long narratives and agendas the Sulzberger Family ensures the NY Times follows.
4/10/12 1:41 PM

Lawyer Mom said...

Go ask ALEC.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/10/mcdonalds-alec-color-of-change_n_1415428.html