Some extremely relevant information from the police report is completely excluded [from affidavit of probable cause]: There is no mention of the grass and wetness found on the back of Zimmerman’s shirt, the gashes on the back of his head, the bloody nose, or the other witnesses who saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, beating him, before the shot was fired. There is not even an attempt to say that the police report was in error; instead the affidavit just disregards it.
Even if everything in the affidavit is correct, it does not even begin to deal with the most crucial question: Who attacked whom? Even if it is true that “Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued,” there may have been no wrongdoing on Zimmerman’s part. “Confronted” does not mean “provoked” or “assaulted.” It could simply mean that Zimmerman followed Martin and asked him what he was doing in the neighborhood. Surely Zimmerman had the right to investigate a strange person in his neighborhood. The police operator’s advice that “we don’t need you to do that” was merely suggestive, not an order to stop. Indeed, the police had no authority to give Zimmerman such an order.
Now take the charge of “second degree” murder. There is no way that the affidavit justifies such a charge. In Florida, second-degree murder is defined as “the unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual.” But if Zimmerman was being beaten, there was no “depraved mind regardless of human life,” and the act “imminently dangerous to another” would be justified as self-defense.
April 13, 2012
"The prosecutor has most likely deliberately overcharged, hoping to intimidate Zimmerman into agreeing to a plea bargain."
"If this case goes to trial, Zimmerman will almost definitely be found 'not guilty' on the charge of second-degree murder," opines John R. Lott Jr.