April 13, 2012

"Stand your ground is not a defense, but an immunity statute, providing immunity from criminal prosecution."

Jeralyn Merritt (at TalkLeft) explains the law:
A defendant charged with a crime who wants to raise Stand your Ground files a motion to dismiss claiming stand your ground immunizes him from prosecution....
A hearing is held before trial. The burden is on the defendant to prove by a preponderance of evidence that stand your ground immunity applies.

The judge weighs the facts. If the judge agrees the defendant has shown stand your ground immunity applies by a preponderance of evidence, the charges are dismissed. The defendant can't be prosecuted.

If the judge finds the defendant hasn't met his burden, (including if the disputed evidence is so equal on both sides the judge can't decide one way or the other) the case goes to trial to be decided by the jury. At trial, the defendant can still argue both self-defense and stand your ground immunity -- he only has to establish some evidence of his theory, which can be just his own testimony, that he acted in self-defense.



The prosecution must prove his guilt at the jury trial beyond a reasonable doubt. Which means, if the defendant raises self-defense or stand your ground at trial and gets the jury instruction, the state, which has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, must disprove self-defense. If the jury has a doubt, the defendant must be acquitted.
Merritt is discussing a decision by a Florida judge she respects who denied an immunity motion and explained how different the burden of proof is at trial. That case was not the one involving George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, but it explains the way the Stand Your Ground law does have some application to Zimmerman, even though the facts in Zimmerman's case don't seem to involve whether or not there is a duty to retreat.

That is, there is a pretrial motion to be made, with a judge making the decision about the evidence and a preponderance burden of proof on the defendant. The defendant can win at that point or be sent on to trial, where the prosecution will have the burden, even the burden to disprove self-defense, and the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, much higher than what the defendant would have had to prove to avoid the trial.

So, to put it somewhat crudely — and please correct me if I'm wrong — assume, hypothetically, that any factfinder will decide there's only, at most, an equal chance that it was self-defense, but there's some reasonable likelihood. The judge as factfinder at the immunity motion phase must deny the motion, but the jury as factfinder after the trial phase must acquit.

186 comments:

edutcher said...

If the judge buys SYG, you can bet S FL will look like Beautiful Downtown Beirut in a couple of hours.

No idea how tough the judge they picked is, but she's probably been selected for her "awareness" of the situation.

Jay said...

If the prosecutor's case is now:

1. Zimmerman allegedly followed Martin because Martin's girlfriend says so

2. Martin's mother says Martin is screaming on the 9-11 tape (hello confirmation bias!)

This is an embarrassment and I hope Zimmerman finds a legal remedy in all of this after he is acquitted.

Jay said...

By the way, it was nice to read that the prosecutor says in the documents that Zimmerman said "f**ing punks"

Not coons.

LCB said...

Ann,
Please clarify something for me. I have my CWP in Ohio. We were taught to never, ever knowingly put ourselves in a situation where we might have to draw our weapon. It was a dark, rainy night with a man that Zimmerman thought was suspicious walking around the neighborhood. Zimmerman had already fulfilled his duty as a Watch Captain by calling the police. Morally (to me, YMMV), Zimmerman was wrong for leaving his vehicle with his gun unless he saw a violent crime being committed. No matter what happened after he left the car, Zimmerman created the potential for having to use his gun.

I'm not a lawyer, so please tell me whether or not this fulfills negligent homicide anywhere. I really don't know...

Pastafarian said...

LCB: "...to never, ever knowingly put ourselves in a situation where we might have to draw our weapon."

So you just carry your weapon around within your own house, then?

Because if you leave your house, you might have to draw it.

David said...

Nice to see a cogent explanation of stand your ground's courtroom impact.

Dershowitz thinks the affidavit supporting the prosecution is an embarrassing violation of ethics. He says a "good" judge would dismiss the case just on the basis of the contents of the affidavit. I'm always interested in Dershowitz's opinion in cases like this, but I think hell will freeze over before a judge refuses to let a trial proceed. Judges can't afford 24/7 security.

Pastafarian said...

So, LCB, if you see a woman being raped on your front lawn, do you cower inside with your cell phone?

Nichevo said...

There's talk now that the circumstances of this prosecution will mug Zimmerman into making a deal. Then I suppose the DOJ can take another bite for civil rights if the deal is too good. Then somebody can sue for all that sweet sweet money to come from somewhere, and beat down the horrible SYG law that horribly lets people defend themselves.

But the point is, why is it so costly to be innocent? Can Zimmerman pull a Phryne in court, whatever Ayn Rand meant by that, and stand on the evidence? Must needs it cost him zillions to have any chance at freedom?

I think I heard on the radio that he is in 23 hour lockup 'for his own good' like the denizens of supermax. That is one flavor of advance punishment (just in case some stupid jury should let him go); I suppose another would be to be thrown into general population to be punk'd and/or shiv'd.

Why is it so advantageous to play up this Trayvon kid as some kind of poor lamb? He could have enlisted in the Marines with his parents' OK. Despite his baby pictures which is about all the news trusts the American people to see, he towered over Zimmerman, who despite reports did not outweigh him by much. (And hoodies aside, AFAIC anybody who 'fronts' those 'grillz' or whatever should be hunted for pelts. But that's just me.)

And the 'poor sweet parents' - why didn't the father even report him missing for three days? Yeah, a tight-knit bunch. If they loved their kid so much they should have given him a human name. Try the Bible for suggestions if your imagination is totally bankrupt. ("Trayvon?" "Why not "Rover" or "Trigger" or "Mxyzptlk?")

I am amused to hear that tea and skittles equate to drug lingo. I love tea and I adore skittles - just bought a pair of big bags on Amazon, no midnight runs for me.

I just don't see the big deal. I'm sure the poor sweet parents are sad, sure, fine, whatever. What was this kid going to do for the GDP vs. his social expenses, is all that anybody unrelated should care about.

The kid had lots of opportunities not to get himself killed. He chose to discard them all. There is a line of thought that 'lots of teens do dumb things, should they all die?' Well, why not? Survival of the fittest. Maybe if teens aren't isolated from the consequences they invoke, they would wise up.

Better that strange kids shouldn't saunter around strange neighborhoods acting strangely and attack people who question them, than that they have the liberty to do so. No? I didn't lurk in high crime areas, my kids should I have any won't lurk in high crime areas. People who don't want to die shouldn't lurk suspiciously in high crime areas. When they do, and are challenged, they probably shouldn't aggress and attack.

Ironically, if Zimmerman had brandished his weapon at the first incident - "Freeze! Neighborhood Watch! What are you doing here?" - Martin would have probably been wise enough not to charge the gun.

Who should be punished, is whoever taught the poor bugger that it would be a good idea to jump Zimmerman. That would be some social hygiene.

Patrick said...


So, to put it somewhat crudely — and please correct me if I'm wrong — assume, hypothetically, that any factfinder will decide there's only, at most, an equal chance that it was self-defense, but there's some reasonable likelihood. The judge as factfinder at the immunity motion phase must deny the motion, but the jury as factfinder after the trial phase must acquit.


I would think that the judge would make the finding at the immunity hearing that the Defendant either met his burden or did not. Stating that the Defendant did not show he has immunity by a Preponderance does not entail a finding that he would have met a lower standard. In other words, the Judge could decide the standard is not met without finding that the evidence is "equal on both sides." I would agree though, that such a Finding would require a directed verdict of acquittal.

Scott M said...

Looking around the blogosphere and such last night and this morning, something occurred to me. As I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, I'm sure this has occurred others among you.

Given that the prosecution has an uphill battle, and given that there apparently isn't a whole helluva lot of info that we didn't have, making the case against Zimmerman seem thin...

...is it possible that they made the calculated decision to charge him in order to take the wind out of the riot sails that were filling up down there?

Rialby said...

"And the 'poor sweet parents' - why didn't the father even report him missing for three days?"

Not true. It was less than 12 hours.

Scott M said...

So, LCB, if you see a woman being raped on your front lawn, do you cower inside with your cell phone?

Unless the rapist clearly has a weapon, you don't run outside brandishing a pistol. Grab the bat you have stowed in the coat closet near the front door and try that first. If that doesn't work or she, the rapist, charges you, then you pull and fire.

Hagar said...

Besides the other things that have been discussed in previous posts, I would think the most obvious factor to determine if the "Stand Your Ground" law applies, is that the defendant must have had an opportunity to decide if he/she wanted to "stand" his/her ground.

According to Zimmerman, he did not, which leaves simple self defense and, in extremis, with a lethal weapon.

This has never been any different since the time of Arild; the "stand Your Ground" law has nothing to do with this case.

Rialby said...

"..is it possible that they made the calculated decision to charge him in order to take the wind out of the riot sails that were filling up down there?"

Of course they did. Ask Stacey Koon how that worked out.

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

We were taught to never, ever knowingly put ourselves in a situation where we might have to draw our weapon. It was a dark, rainy night with a man that Zimmerman thought was suspicious walking around the neighborhood. Zimmerman had already fulfilled his duty as a Watch Captain by calling the police. Morally (to me, YMMV), Zimmerman was wrong for leaving his vehicle with his gun unless he saw a violent crime being committed. No matter what happened after he left the car, Zimmerman created the potential for having to use his gun.

I'm not a lawyer, so please tell me whether or not this fulfills negligent homicide anywhere. I really don't know...


It doesn't.

Zimmerman was wrong for leaving his vehicle with his gun unless he saw a violent crime being committed.

You're assuming facts not in evidence. What if he left his car to get the street address for the police to meet him?

Pastafarian said...

ScottM, I thought of something along those lines.

I thought: Maybe this is the only way for Zimmerman to be able to go on with some semblance of a normal life. He'll have a public trial, and he'll probably be acquitted. People will see how thin the evidence is. They'll accept the verdict and allow Zimmerman to return to society.

Then I ran out of ether. I tried to get that same feeling of polly-anna euphoria by huffing paint, but the moment was gone.

Rialby said...

"Grab the bat you have stowed in the coat closet near the front door and try that first. If that doesn't work or she, the rapist, charges you, then you pull and fire."

I disagree. Having a pistol or rifle does not require that you brandish. Merely noting its presence can be enough to persuade.

Pastafarian said...

ScottM at 10:49: By leaving the house armed with a gun, even holstered, you've violated LCB's rule.

Scott M said...

eople will see how thin the evidence is. They'll accept the verdict and allow Zimmerman to return to society.

He will never be able to return to a normal life. He will have to change his name and move. Regardless, I'm talking about the public situation down there and the pressure by state officials for the locals to do something about it. I'm basing this all on what appears to be an easy case of a competent defense attorney.

David said...

Impressively thoughtful comment thread at Talk Left on this post. No Jeremys.

Fen said...

Unless the rapist clearly has a weapon, you don't run outside brandishing a pistol. Grab the bat you have stowed in the coat closet near the front door and try that first. If that doesn't work or she, the rapist, charges you, then you pull and fire.

That's really bad advice. You're going into close quarter combat with a rapist.. with a gun in your belt?

Triangle Man said...

Whose job is it to determine whether SYG immunity applies? Do the police have this discretion? Because it sounds like they initially thought they did. Is it the Prosecutor's discretion, or does the statute require a judge to decide? If there is sufficient question about the situation, shouldn't a judge hear the evidence?

I have not seen any discussion of provocation. Surely one cannot provoke an attack then kill the provoked attacker and claim immunity under SYG.

Scott M said...

Having a pistol or rifle does not require that you brandish. Merely noting its presence can be enough to persuade.

I'm trying to remember particulars from my CCW cert class, but if memory serves (and this might be state-centric) telling someone you have a pistol and will pull it if x doesn't happen is legally akin to pulling it.

You can pull a weapon without pointing it at anyone and still find yourself in deep legal doo doo. The only reason I seem to recall warning that you're going to pull having something similar was the class' reaction. I'll have to look that one up.

Obviously, in a real situation as described, you rush out to put a stop to whatever is happening and probably don't think too much about the legal ramifications. If someone's getting raped on your front lawn, you have some quick decisions to make.

ed said...

"Zimmerman had already fulfilled his duty as a Watch Captain by calling the police." - LCB

Just countering the misinformation is a frigging full time job. Zimmerman wasn't on duty as a "Watch Captain". He was going on an errand, while carrying, when he encountered Martin.

Fen said...

But the point is, why is it so costly to be innocent?

Because if the Left can't overturn laws allowing you to defend yourself, the can at least turn you into an object lesson by ruining your life.

Pastafarian said...

I've got to agree with Fen: I'm not that great with a bat. I'm a career 0.250 hitter. I'd have a only a one-in-four chance of hitting him.

I was just trying to point out the absurdity of LCB's rule, which seems to negate the point of carrying in the first place.

Tully said...

From the affadavit:

"Martin ... was on his way back to the townhouse where he was living when he was profiled by George Zimmerman ..."

Profiled as what? A suspicious person meandering about a neighborhood that had suffered a recent string of burglaries? A black male popping Skittles in the rain? Why is that word being used here at all? What evidence is offered to justify it in any usage?

"Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued."

We have been offered no evidence that Zimmerman confronted Martin, and not the other way around. In both SYG and self-defense, that's a crucial point. Keeping an eye on someone from a distance is not "confronting" them.

Scott M said...

That's really bad advice. You're going into close quarter combat with a rapist.. with a gun in your belt?

If someone was on my front lawn, clearly attacking someone else, I would yell at the missus to call 911 as I rushed out to stop it. IF I had the aforementioned baseball bat, the attacker would not have a chance to strike back, trust me.

I Callahan said...

We were taught to never, ever knowingly put ourselves in a situation where we might have to draw our weapon

So why even have a weapon? Just leave it at home at all times, or even further, get rid of it completely.

edutcher said...

Scott M said...

Looking around the blogosphere and such last night and this morning, something occurred to me. As I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, I'm sure this has occurred others among you.

Given that the prosecution has an uphill battle, and given that there apparently isn't a whole helluva lot of info that we didn't have, making the case against Zimmerman seem thin...

...is it possible that they made the calculated decision to charge him in order to take the wind out of the riot sails that were filling up down there?


You're expecting people who have been raised in an entitlement culture and "educated" in public schools by union teachers to be reasonable and to understand that we live under the Rule of Law.

Won't happen. Think Rodney King verdicts.

They've been whipped up so they want blood. No trial and/or no conviction and all Hell breaks loose.

Props to Martin's mother for trying to walk this thing back, but, when you have Eric Holder praising Al Sharpton, you know it's going to take a much bigger effort than that.

ed said...

"And the 'poor sweet parents' - why didn't the father even report him missing for three days?" - Nichevo

The police contacted them (the family) the next day. So when/where did the father not "report him missing for three days"?

Contrarian Catalogue said...

I feel bad for Zimmerman for requiring protective custody, but at least now there'll be some investigation. Unlike before. It's just too bad that it required a media circus before a real investigation took place.

I just don't get how you can shoot someone in public and have the police take your word that it was in self defense. Especially given the circumstances of this case.

EDH said...

Additional complications...

I still think Martin supporters and the prosecuter are likely to have to argue that Martin's actions, even if aggressive, were justified by the stand your ground (SYG) law.

As a result, even if Zimmerman claims traditional self-defense against life threatening force used by Martin, the prosecuter will claim Martin's original use of force was justified by the SYG law. And presumably argue that it was unlawful for Zimmerman to kill someone who was justified in using SYG force to protect himself.

What it seems like the SYG law didn't contemplate is how that supposed to work procedurally. How does the SYG "immunity" work to protect someone killed while lawfully "standing his ground", particularly if the killer is justified under traditional self-defense?

Now, even under the SYG, it's unlikely that Martin was justified in using lethal force to deal with any perceived threat posed by Zimmerman.

Yet bashing someone's head against the pavement may be the kind of unjustified lethal threat that might justify Zimmerman's use of lethal force claiming traditional self-defense.

I Callahan said...

I just don't get how you can shoot someone in public and have the police take your word that it was in self defense. Especially given the circumstances of this case.

So, a trial for EVERY TIME someone shoots someone in public, even if every piece of evidence points that it was self-defense. Because that's the situation you envision with your statement.

That's one way of getting rid of guns without, you know, really getting rid of guns.

I Callahan said...

A guy breaks into my house. He has a long list of priors for B&E. I have a clean record. He has a gun. I have a gun. He shoots at me and misses; I shoot back and kill him.

According to Contrarian Catalogue, I need to be tried for something.

The stupidity. It burns worse than irony.

Fen said...

Contrarian Catalogue: I feel bad for Zimmerman for requiring protective custody, but at least now there'll be some investigation.

At a cost of approx $100,000 to Zimmerman.

Unlike before. It's just too bad that it required a media circus before a real investigation took place.

The "real" investigation already took place. Look at the affadavit - all of the information presented there (even the MSM lies) is from the intial investigation.


I just don't get how you can shoot someone in public and have the police take your word that it was in self defense. Especially given the circumstances of this case.

Dumbass. The police didn't merely "take his word" for it.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick said...

EDH, SYG would not apply to Martin in this case, because he is not charged with a crime. Even if he was acting within his rights under SYG, that does not mean that Zimmerman could not also have acted legally.

Ex-prosecutor said...

Although there have been hints as to some of the important evidence, what we need to know is the condition of Martin’s clothes - torn, grass-stains?; whether the wound was contact; the angle of the slug through his body; injuries to Zimmerman - nose, head; condition of his clothes - torn, stained?

My prediction is that, regardless of the proof, the judge will let this case go to a jury, where, I expect, some will vote along racial lines, resulting in a hung jury. Assuming the case is moved from Seminole County, there will be a battle as to whether it must go to a county with similar racial makeup. For instance, the panhandle, I understand, is mostly while, which would seem to be to Zimmerman’s advantage.

LCB said...

Pastafarian,
Either you can't read, or your definition of a violent crime isn't what mine is. If I see any turd raping a woman, then the law be damned, I'm going toward him with my gun yelling, "STOP". If he doesn't stop, I'll shoot him IF I can do so without shooting her.

Now, if I see someone slapping around a woman (or man), I call the police and let them know that the police has been called. If they are punching someone, again you call the police. But if they are using a "ballbat" or other tool to inflict damage...or have the victim on the ground beating their head in to a concrete sidewalk...out I go with the gun. The law may not back me up, but sometimes yah do whatcha have to do.

I will give you that leaving my house does create a slight "potential". But it's not one I "know" about like seeing a stranger waling around the neighborhood. That may be semantics to you, but to me its something I understand.

Jay said...

Contrarian Catalogue said...
I feel bad for Zimmerman for requiring protective custody, but at least now there'll be some investigation. Unlike before. It's just too bad that it required a media circus before a real investigation took place.



Not true.

Ms. Corey had effusive praise for the Stanford PD. The Stanford PD also:

1. Secured & tested Zimmerman's weapon.

2. Took Zimmerman to the police station for 3 + hours of questioning.

3. Gave Zimmerman a voice stress test the night of the shooting.

4. Returned to the scene the next day with Zimmerman to re-enact the shooting (and video taped it)

5. Never stopped investigating anything.

So your meme needs to stop.

enicar333 said...

People are AWARE that a FIST is a deadly weapon?

A FIST can KILL with one punch - right?

MARTIN Walker murdered Colin Byars with one punch - and was sentenced to seven years in prison - for murder.

This happened in Kenosha WI.

A FIST - one punch - has killed many around the World - SO, those with FISTS - are ARMED!

One Punch Homicide - THE FILM

"It's about those who killed and were killed by one punch, and only one punch, and their loved ones. Most of One Punch Homicide is interviews with five inmates in five U.S. states who killed someone with a single punch. It also has interviews with the loved ones of seven who were killed with one punch, and more, including the death of a 16 year old boy from one punch."

jeff said...

"So, LCB, if you see a woman being raped on your front lawn, do you cower inside with your cell phone?

Unless the rapist clearly has a weapon, you don't run outside brandishing a pistol. Grab the bat you have stowed in the coat closet near the front door and try that first. If that doesn't work or she, the rapist, charges you, then you pull and fire. "

The hell you don't. You have a violent felony occurring in your front yard. This isn't some kid hitting your mailbox with a bat. You are fully justified at stopping the rape and holding the offender at gunpoint. If he chooses to continue the assault or to assault you, whatever happens is on him.

ed said...

Frankly the simple fact is that if you legally carry a loaded weapon then you have to be aware of the legal ramifications of doing so. And having some legal insurance coverage just in case you do have to draw and/or use the weapon is smart planning.

Carrying illegally or carrying without aforementioned insurance is simply dumb.

And no matter what laws are in play the reality is that the onus is on the person carrying the weapon to avoid having to use it whether or not SYG has any applicability. Retreating when possible is always preferred to engaging because of that liability.

When I was younger I worked as an armed guard for an armored car service. The general rules were that we were there and armed to prevent casual theft or robbery but anything involving firearms or having to draw a firearm we were instructed to retreat and leave the money. Because the money was insured and the amount of potential loss could be calculated beforehand while the potential liability of bullets flying in every direction has almost unlimited liability.

My opinion is that Zimmerman, from all evidence that is available, would have retreated had he the opportunity. That he suffered personal injury before drawing and firing speaks of someone who did not have an opportunity to retreat and the majority of the SP's affidavit is just so much bullshit.

Nichevo said...

Okay, I heard the three days thing somewhere; perhaps it was wrong or I misunderstood some remark along these lines.


Oh, wait, here it is:

http://black-culture.tumblr.com/post/19866672987/trayvon-martin-in-morgue-3-days-as-john-doe-after-mom


Maybe there is an error in the mix. I don't know. I wish people had been this quick and diligent to correct such significant and insignificant misapprehensions as: Z outweighed M by about a hundred pounds; M was a model student; Z's family is some high-powered cog in the Eternal Zionist Plot; Z showed no signs of injury; Z defied instructions by the police dispatcher to break contact with the suspect; and so forth.

But now that you mention it, twelve hours and then the cops called the dad not the other way round? I dunno, pretty freewheeling, though less abandoned sounding that three days was.

BTW, anybody consider that Zimmerman himself is probably all broken up about this? Anybody care? And that's without the hassling. If the mission of the black bloc was to make Zimmerman wish he'd just let Martin beat his head into a paste rather than stand up to him, looks like they're well on their way to Mission Accomplished.

As for riots, riots my fanny arbuckle. Why did DHS order 450 million rounds of .40 ammo? Sounds like riot medicine is in good supply.

Fen said...

That's really bad advice. You're going into close quarter combat with a rapist.. with a gun in your belt?

Scott: If someone was on my front lawn, clearly attacking someone else, I would yell at the missus to call 911 as I rushed out to stop it. IF I had the aforementioned baseball bat, the attacker would not have a chance to strike back, trust me

No, I won't trust you. Running out into close quarter combat with a baseball bat... with an inflated view of you martial prowess... with a gun in your belt... you're going to get yourself killed and your wife will be raped with your own handgun. The police will arrive just in time to gather evidence.

I really can't think of anything more stupid. Other than dousing yourself in gasoline and threatening the rapist with self-immolation.

EDH said...

Patrick said...
EDH, SYG would not apply to Martin in this case, because he is not charged with a crime. Even if he was acting within his rights under SYG, that does not mean that Zimmerman could not also have acted legally.

As I alluded to, procedurally, you may be right. The dead don't have a chance to invoke their "immunity". Did the writers of the SYG law contemplated this?

So, is it really the "stand your ground... at your own risk" law?

ed said...

"As a result, even if Zimmerman claims traditional self-defense against life threatening force used by Martin, the prosecuter will claim Martin's original use of force was justified by the SYG law. And presumably argue that it was unlawful for Zimmerman to kill someone who was justified in using SYG force to protect himself. " - EDH

In a long line of silly comments this stands out so far as the silliest.

1. Whoever strikes first loses SYG protections.

2. Zimmerman suffered physical injuries.

3. Martin was shot dead with a single bullet.

Which do you think happened first?

I Callahan said...

Frankly the simple fact is that if you legally carry a loaded weapon then you have to be aware of the legal ramifications of doing so. And having some legal insurance coverage just in case you do have to draw and/or use the weapon is smart planning.

If some lanky kid is sitting on my chest and pounding my head against the pavement, the last thing I'm thinking about is insurance coverage. If I have a gun, and I'm reasonably sure that my life or health is in jeopardy, then I'm shooting.

Better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by 6.

Jay said...

Unless the rapist clearly has a weapon, you don't run outside brandishing a pistol. Grab

Um, Florida law allows for, and has always allowed for, the use of deadly force to stop a felony in progress.

So no, I will be grapping no bat.

LCB said...

Fen:
"You're assuming facts not in evidence. What if he left his car to get the street address for the police to meet him?"

I guess I just don't believe it. But you're right, I am assuming he left his car to follow Martin.

ed said...

"Maybe there is an error in the mix." - Nichevo

There is a huge amount of misinformation and just simple bullshit floating around on this case. I wish that wasn't true, but it is. And trusting any particular source is a bad idea because just about all of them involve some level of bad data.

What a pain in the ass really.

LCB said...

Ed:
"Just countering the misinformation is a frigging full time job. Zimmerman wasn't on duty as a "Watch Captain". He was going on an errand, while carrying, when he encountered Martin."

Then he fulfilled his duty as a citizen.

I Callahan said...

I guess I just don't believe it

What are you basing this non-belief on? Are you privy to some piece of evidence that the rest of us aren't?

Let's hope you're not on the jury.

Jay said...

Though someone above alluded to a scenario where you saw someone hitting a woman. Either slaps or with closed fists, you would want to think long & hard before even drawing a weapon in that scenario.

It isn't clear cut that is felony battery and you would spend a year in and out of court on the matter...

Patrick said...

So, is it really the "stand your ground... at your own risk" law?

I think any time you shoot someone, you are taking a risk of prosecution, SYG or not.

Contrarian Catalogue said...

Seems like the real crux of the issue is which party first initiated the confrontation. Maybe it happened according to Zimmerman's account or maybe the other way around. We just don't know yet.

Since one of them is dead and can't give his side of the story, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to put the other guy on trial. What's wrong with that?

Scott M said...

It's a truism of war that it's unpredictable.

I would be counting on the fact that the rapist would be paying to much attention to her victim.

ed said...

"I guess I just don't believe it. But you're right, I am assuming he left his car to follow Martin." - LCB

Keep in mind that:

1. It was night time.

2. It was raining.

3. Not everybody has lit or lighted house numbers.

4. It can a serious pain in the ass to determine what a house number is from the street during daytime because there aren't any hard or fast rules on that anywhere I've seen. Even on commercial office buildings I've gone to haven't always had their street number posted prominently.

5. Even if all of these were wrong or non-existent Zimmerman would still have the complete right to travel as he wished, where he wished on a public street.

Which reminds me of a neighbor from Hell I once had to deal with who felt that the public street in front of her house "belonged" to her and that she had the right to have my car towed because it was parked -once- in front of her house because I had guests for dinner.

The expression on the police officer's face as he tried repeatedly to get her to comprehend that the public road didn't belong to her was indescribable. But very amusing.

Fen said...

Scott: I would be counting on the fact that the rapist would be paying to much attention to her victim.

No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.

Seriously, don't do the baseball bat thingy. Or at the very least, leave the gun in the safe so the rest of us aren't victimized by your bravado.

Scott M said...

I really can't think of anything more stupid. Other than dousing yourself in gasoline and threatening the rapist with self-immolation.

I'm not going to get into a pissing contest with you, Fen, as it's obvious from this and other comments you can piss far further. Suffice to say that I don't have an inflated view of anything. I've been in "martial" situations more than once where weapons were involved and done just fine. This also includes knowing when not to use deadly force, like when the retarded woman from a block over broke into my house with a large kitchen knife and an intent to take my daughter.

We'll have to leave it at that as your stream is outdistancing me by quite a bit.

Fen said...

it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to put the other guy on trial.

For a show trial? If its not unreasonable, I'm sure you'll have no issue putting up the $100k Zimmerman will be forced to spend to save his own life.

Scott M said...

No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.

And yet commanders have won battles constantly throughout history. Funny, that.

I Callahan said...

Since one of them is dead and can't give his side of the story, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to put the other guy on trial. What's wrong with that?

Same situation as the hypothetical I described above. When one person is dead, by default they can't give their side of the story. That's why there are police, evidence technicians, and local prosecutors who look at the evidence that exists, who make a determination on whether to charge or not. In this case, they decided not to charge.

Then politics came into the picture, and now a second man's life is held in the balance "just to be sure".

If an entire group of hucksters weren't threatening the armageddon, not only would this case not be going to trial, but we'd never heard of it. So think really hard about whether we want to go down this road.

Fen said...

Sorry Scott. I do get carried away.

Patrick said...

Since one of them is dead and can't give his side of the story, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to put the other guy on trial. What's wrong with that?

The prosecution needs to believe it can convict by proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. They can't, or at least shouldn't put a guy on trial just to see what may happen. If the results of the investigation show that the shooter has SYG immunity, they should decline to prosecute. That applies even if the only evidence they have is from the shooter. Unless they generate some other evidence, they cannot charge.

LCB said...

I Cahahan: "What are you basing this non-belief on? Are you privy to some piece of evidence that the rest of us aren't?

Let's hope you're not on the jury."

It's just my opinion, and yeah, everybody has one of those along with a "fill in the space". :-)

Zimmerman was on his turf. There was a community clubhouse where he could have met the police once he lost site of Martin. He did neighborhood watch which would make him even more familiar with his neighborhood.

Those are the kind of thoughts I had when I first heard the "I got out to look for an address" story. And if I were on a jury, those are the kind of questions I would have had with myself. So, yeah, maybe I should never by on a jury, because I would be super sceptical of both defense and prosecution claims during the trial.

But would I convict on just this. No.

TWM said...

The affidavit is woefully inadequate. There's nothing in it that warrants a charge of 2nd Degree Murder and much left out that would argue no charge at all.

A good judge will toss this thing. Assuming they can find a good judge.

Fen said...

No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.

And yet commanders have won battles constantly throughout history. Funny, that.

Do you know why? Its because one of the first things they learn is that "no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy" and they learn to adapt.

So what's *your* Plan B? You've confronted the rapist with your baseball bat and something you couldn't have foreseen has happened - you are on the ground dazed, he has the bat and is pulling your own gun out of its holster.

Plan B. Did you even have one? Because your "commanders that have won battles constantly throughout history" certainly did.

machine said...

"Because if the Left can't overturn laws allowing you to defend yourself, the can at least turn you into an object lesson by ruining your life."

We do not want to overturn laws allowing people to defend themselves (strawman), the law already allows for this (self-defense); what we want overturned are poorly drafted laws like SYG...immunity from prosecution because I said I was being attacked...does anyone really think this is a good idea? Evidence should be weighed in a courtroom, not on a sidewalk.

Scott M said...

Plan B. Did you even have one? Because your "commanders that have won battles constantly throughout history" certainly did.

See...I think it's your arc that's getting the better distance. Without a proper gauge, it would be tough to judge something like velocity at emission, which I don't have handy and I'm not going to use on you in any case. I'm just going to have to chalk it up with you being a better man than I am.

Freder Frederson said...

it's unlikely that Martin was justified in using lethal force to deal with any perceived threat posed by Zimmerman.

Why is it unlikely? Zimmerman was armed with a gun, Martin may have had every right to defend himself against deadly force with deadly force. If you are going to carry a gun you better realize that others might perceive your possession of a gun a threat to their safety.

LoafingOaf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MikeDC said...

Zimmerman was wrong for leaving his vehicle with his gun unless he saw a violent crime being committed. No matter what happened after he left the car, Zimmerman created the potential for having to use his gun.

These may be moral wrongs, but as far as I know, they're not crimes.

That really gets to the root of the whole self-defense argument.

Most everyone, I think, would agree a law-abiding citizen has a right to self defense.

And, whether it's a great idea or not, it's certainly legal for a law-abiding citizen to approach another citizen and ask them a question.

So if the law abiding guy turns out to be armed or not seems immaterial to me. Otherwise, what you're really doing is hollowing out two pretty fundamental rights- to bear arms and self-defense.

Because you're saying that, while technically, it's perfectly legal to arm yourself, and technically, it's perfectly legal to defend yourself, exercising your legal right to arm yourself creates a presumption or causes you to forfeit your right to defend yourself.

That can't be right, although it seems to be the outcome some would like to see.

Cedarford said...

There does seem to be a strong crusade by activist blacks, liberals, and progressive jews running the media "narrative" to convince the public that:

1. You lose the right to self-defense if you:

a. Follow a "troubled youth or pack of troubled youths" thus disturbing them enough to physically assault you to end the confrontation you started. And you cannot defend yourself since you "started it by paying attention to them". The thug defenders are claiming that tracking a thug is just like landing the first blow in a physical battery.
b. If you are a storeowner, and see a "troubled youth" stealing a sixpack, a box of skittles, or the 19 gold chains in the case that was just smashed...you cannot confront them and "start the incident". Just get a description, call the police, and they will make arrests and return your property. Don't be a vigilante! If the thug tries killing you...die...because you have no right to kill in self-defense when you could have just let the thug and the sixpack, skittles, or 4,000 dollars in gold chains go..
c. You cannot defend yourself from rape if you approached the man and got affectionate but said stop...Because you provoked it...and you lose the right to defend yourself with a weapon.
d. You cannot be a member of a neighborhood watch program and patrol your neighborhood. Just doing so "starts the fight" if you see a thug who becomes angered you are watching him, following him. Just cower in your home or car. Try not to pay attention to thugs or groups of thugs..not only could you cause a homicide...but you are likely a RACIST for 'profiling' wandering thugs.
--------------
2. How they have managed to get people to believe that once you call the 911 you have to obey any advice - they tell you to stay put and not evacuate the WTC - you are bound by law to obey the phone operator, etc.

3. That guns, and not thugs, are the problem - and no one should ever carry one outside the home or their vehicle.

TWM said...

"Scott: If someone was on my front lawn, clearly attacking someone else, I would yell at the missus to call 911 as I rushed out to stop it. IF I had the aforementioned baseball bat, the attacker would not have a chance to strike back, trust me."

Attacking someone with a baseball bat could be, and probably would be, considered using deadly force. Yeah, you can say you were saving the woman's life, but crunching the guys skull with a bat or shooting him is about the same thing legally.

I'd yell stop and maybe kick him one time and if that didn't stop him I'd plug him. And then pray it wasn't a lover's quarrel and the gal turns on you.

EDH said...

ed said...
In a long line of silly comments this stands out so far as the silliest.

1. Whoever strikes first loses SYG protections.

2. Zimmerman suffered physical injuries.

3. Martin was shot dead with a single bullet.

Which do you think happened first?


Funny, I see nothing in the SYG statute that talks about "strikes first", and the prosecution hardly stipulates in its affidavit that Martin struck first when it says Zimmerman "confronted Martin and a struggle ensued".

776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm...

(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

(b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.


Like a gun, brandishing the word "silly" without "the aforementioned insurance is simply dumb".

Freder Frederson said...

I thought Ann assured us that the SYG law was "inapplicable" in this case and any discussion of it was just inflammatory.

LoafingOaf said...

By the way, it was nice to read that the prosecutor says in the documents that Zimmerman said "f**ing punks"

Which helps Zimmerman with the accusation he was acting on racism, but doesn't entirely help him. "Fucking punks" would be a bit of evidence to back up that he was looking for trouble, looking or confrontation, and had a depraved mind.

Although, unless they have much enhanced audio at trial, they're not gonna be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt what word he said.

Zimmerman allegedly followed Martin because Martin's girlfriend says so

The prosecutor only revealed what she needed to support probable cause. I was baffled by all the folks in this forum who were trying to argue there wasn't probable cause.

But, anyway, even in that affidavit the prosecutor had more than just the girlfriend's testimony that he was following Trayvon. When he's out of the car, the dispatcher asks him if he's following him and he says yes. Then, after the dispatcher says they don't need him to do that and he says "okay" it sounds like he stops for a minute. The dispatcher is asking him where he'll be when the cops come. He says he won't be at home. They suggest he wait where he is, but then he says that they should instead call him and he'll tell them where he's at at that time.

I take that to indicate he decided to continue on following after Trayvon. Of course I can't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. But, just as my personal opinion, I do think Zimmerman continued on and confronted Trayvon and was the aggressor. Before Zimmerman got out of the car he said, "these assholes, they always get away."

The prosecutor will need more evidence to convict, IMO. And you have to assume there will be more evidence coming (which side it helps remains to be seen). If Zimmerman's story that he told the police breaks down and doesn't fit the evidence that's coming, he's in big trouble. My memory could be wrong on this, but didn't he talk to the police for 3 hours?

Freder Frederson said...

Try not to pay attention to thugs or groups of thugs.

And what makes Martin a thug. I know, he was Black and wearing a hoodie.

Fen said...

and the prosecution hardly stipulates in its affidavit that Martin struck first when it says Zimmerman "confronted Martin and a struggle ensued".

Tom Maguire over at JustOneMinute noticed the odd switch to passive voice: "a struggle ensued"

Wonder why they did that?

I rec his site for the anaysis of the affadivt (linked above). His reporting on this has been essential in dispelling all the myths and lies we keep getting from the Martin supporters.

LCB said...

MikeDC:
"That can't be right, although it seems to be the outcome some would like to see."

Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I think you're the first person to really understand what I was asking...and you've given me some heavy thinking to do.

Molly said...

There is one source of testimony I haven't heard much discussion of: the EMT techs who treated Zimmerman at the scene. At some point they will be called to testify: what were his injuries? were they consistent or inconsistent with Zimmerman's testimony?

As a non-lawyer, I expect them to be called in the preliminary hearing on the Stand Your Ground motion. And I expect it will be a big news item, no matter how they testify.

I wonder why no enterprising journalist has tracked them down?

MikeDC said...

"We do not want to overturn laws allowing people to defend themselves (strawman), the law already allows for this (self-defense); what we want overturned are poorly drafted laws like SYG...immunity from prosecution because I said I was being attacked...does anyone really think this is a good idea? Evidence should be weighed in a courtroom, not on a sidewalk."

But as was just outlined, a stand your ground immunity defense is decided in a court-room, and all criminal cases first require the state to bring charges, which requires a weighing of the evidence and likelihood of conviction.

So your contention that SYG is an issue here doesn't seem on the mark to me.

As a general rule, "we" also think trials are expensive, often unfair, biased, and imperfect ways of resolving disputes, and hence, when the evidence seems to pretty clearly suggest the outcome, "we" like to avoid them.

Thorley Winston said...

Props to Martin's mother for trying to walk this thing back,
I think it might be a bit premature to give Mrs. Martin any “props”:
Earlier today, I made a comment to the media that was later mischaracterized. When I referenced the word 'accident' today with regard to Trayvon's death, in NO way did I mean the shooting was an accident.

We believe that George Zimmerman stalked my son and murdered him in cold blood. The 'accident' I was referring to was the fact that George Zimmerman and my son ever crossed paths. It was an accidental encounter. If George Zimmerman hadn't gotten out of his vehicle, this entire incident would have been avoided.

My son was profiled, followed and murdered by George Zimmerman, and there was nothing accidental about that
.”

She’s entitled to her opinion of course but let’s not pretend that these comments are doing anything but adding fuel to the pile.

Fen said...

Freder: And what makes Martin a thug. I know, he was Black and wearing a hoodie.

His facebook page presents him as a gangster wannabe. He also makes comments about playing the "knockout game", which makes me wonder if he approached Zimmerman with the intent of putting him on the ground with one punch and snapping a pic to get credit with his homeys. Especially since that's what actually happened - ie. Zimmerman was knocked to the ground with one punch.

He looks like a thug in recent pics, which is why your MSM fed you that 5 year-old pic of him at age 12.

He was busted at school with stolen jewelry and pot. So I don't find it unreasonable that he was casing houses during his visit to that neighborhood. It certainly dovetails with Zimmerman's account that he was behaving suspiciusly, wandering around at night in the rain, looking at houses.

Fen said...

immunity from prosecution because I said I was being attacked...does anyone really think this is a good idea?

You could actually read the statute before beclowning yourself.

Fen said...

LoafingOaf: "Fucking punks" would be a bit of evidence to back up that he was looking for trouble, looking or confrontation, and had a depraved mind.

Howler of the day. From the Latino-hater again.

Peano said...

Alan Dershowitz says, "This affidavit does not even make it to probable cause."

MadisonMan said...

I wonder why no enterprising journalist has tracked them down?

Would it violate HIPPA (HIPAA?) to talk about Zimmerman?

Fen said...

...if the Left can't overturn laws allowing you to defend yourself, the can at least turn you into an object lesson by ruining your life.

machine: We do not want to overturn laws allowing people to defend themselves (strawman)

Right. We'll just pretend that the Left hasn't been crusading against gun rights for the last 20 years...

Matthew Sablan said...

I assume no one has tracked them down because we don't have names or any real way of finding them, or if we have names, I don't know where to find them. Between that, they're not likely to talk, and they can't leak anonymously because what they know is so specific that it won't be a secret who leaked it. That's my thoughts on why no one has heard about the injuries in more detail than the police report and initial reports.

pduggie said...

"People will see how thin the evidence is. They'll accept the verdict and allow Zimmerman to return to society."


Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!


ha.

LoafingOaf said...

There does seem to be a strong crusade by activist blacks, liberals, and progressive jews running the media "narrative" to convince the public that:

1. You lose the right to self-defense if you:

a. Follow a "troubled youth or pack of troubled youths" thus disturbing them enough to physically assault you to end the confrontation you started. And you cannot defend yourself since you "started it by paying attention to them". The thug defenders are claiming that tracking a thug is just like landing the first blow in a physical battery.

As usual, some of the conservative Althouse commenters cannot post about this case without displaying their racism.

Now that this is in court, where it belonged all along, maybe it's time for some of you to realize that this is about what caused this boy to be shot and killed, not about what you think about Al Sharpton's career. I have watched Trayvon's family on TV many times now and they appear to be decent, good people who simply wanted a court to get to the bottom of what happened to their dead son. They are not Al Sharpton. They turned to Al Sharpton because they didn't know where else to turn.

It is disgraceful the way some of you refer to the boy as a "thug" based on no evidence. We don't know what happened in the actual fight, but all the evidence of what was going on before that is that this boy was walking back to the house his father was at with refreshments to watch the second half of the NBA All-Star Game. He was not trespassing on peoples' property. He was not spotted by Zimmermen trying to burglarize a home. He was walking home while chatting with his girlfriend. Zimmerman did not have a good basis for calling the cops at all, and he sure as hell should have stayed in his car and let the police handle it. Doesn't make him guilty of murder, but it does show that Zimmerman's bad decisions were what started all this.

I can't imagine calling the cops on a boy unless I actually saw him doing something wrong, and I sure can't imagine jumping out of my car with a loaded gun to follow him on foot when the police were on their way. You do that and you're basically saying to yourself, "I might shoot this boy."

Any boy would be scared if a strange man in a strange car were following him as he walked alone. And then, when he decides to get the fuck away from this SUV, think how scared he must've been when this strange man got out of his car to pursue him on foot. Zimmerman was not scared. Nothing in his call indicated he was scared. It all indicated that Zimmerman jumped to an wrong assumption that this boy was a criminal and Zimmerman felt he had to get him because "these assholes always get away." He was looking for trouble.

Whether he's acquitted or not remains to be seen, but he will never be entirely cleared of all wrongdoing, morally speaking, when it comes to the chain of events that led to this boy getting killed.

Freder Frederson said...

His facebook page presents him as a gangster wannabe.

And Zimmerman would know this how? Zimmerman wasn't a choirboy either. He had been arrested for domestic violence and violence against an officer.

Matthew Sablan said...

Zimmerman -also- mentored at risk youths, crusaded for justice for a beaten man and helped solve at least one robbery. So, if we're going to heap praise onto Martin and sugar coat him, we need to put the equally positive praise and spin for Zimmerman.

Nichevo said...

Cedarford:

"There does seem to be a strong crusade by activist blacks, liberals, and progressive jews running the media "narrative" to convince the public that:"

Since I largely abound in your sense for what follows this, it again perplexes and baffles me why you feel the need to break out "progressive Jews" (again the caps, please, "Jew" is a proper noun) from liberals generally.

It adds nothing and subtracts from your persuasive force. And since you've already been schooled, and did not reply, I am disinclined today to ignore it.

But let me make it simpler in case you are unable to follow me. Why do you hate Jews? Is there a reason or is it just instinct or upbringing?

traditionalguy said...

That is a good description of a No Fault Murder Statute that the Florida guys put into place.

In Florida, a reasonable fear is all any killer has to say that he was feeling at the moment he killed. No one can disprove his fears...only, maybe, refuse to believe he felt fear.

The last two weeks of comments are proof that any white person can claim reasonable fear of any black young man and win the immunity lottery, and go home with the case closed.

That is what has the black mothers and fathers so upset. Do they have to paint their sons white before letting them walk around outside where they might intimidate other citizens?

That is arguably a denial of equal protection of the laws.

The solution is to amend out the new "reasonable fear creates immunity" provision...or they could issue all citizens 9mm automatics and ammo so they can handle things themselves out standing on the ground where they presently stand on alone. That would make the PROTECTION of the law equal since neither skin color gets any protection in Florida which I believe is their intention.

Matthew Sablan said...

I thought the fear needs to be one a reasonable person would have. So, I don't have a reasonable fear of someone shouting obscenities at me thirty feet away, or even someone shouting at me two or three feet away. They have to do -something- that indicates they are actually a threat.

Bruce Hayden said...

Funny, I see nothing in the SYG statute that talks about "strikes first", and the prosecution hardly stipulates in its affidavit that Martin struck first when it says Zimmerman "confronted Martin and a struggle ensued".

What must be remembered is that the Florida law is overlaid over self defense common law. That is what the statutes are doing, modifying and overruling the common law.

Thus, for example, the actual SYG law is a modification, and mostly elimination, by statute, of the traditional common law duty of retreat. In a lot of jurisdictions, you have to retreat, if possible, before you can use self-defense. Or, to phrase it differently, if you could have safely retreated, then the defense is unavailable. SYG basically says that if you can legally be there, you don't lose the affirmative defense of self-defense by not retreating. And, in some states, you even need to retreat when you are in your own home, if it will prevent the need for self-defense. Abolishing that is the "castle doctrine".

The actual SYG portion of the law is almost irrelevant in this case, except to note that there were probably no legal reasons for either party to not be where they were, and so there was no requirement for retreat by either party.

The actual immunity that we are talking about is only tied to SYG, because they were enacted together in, I believe, 2005. Other than that, it has little to do with SYG, except, maybe, that failure to retreat cannot prevent operation of the immunity.

Self-defense has been a valid affirmative defense for many centuries. One of the bigger difference between the states (and, to some extent the other Common Law countries) involves burdens of proof. In some states, the state has to prove its case in chief beyond a reasonable doubt, while the defense has to prove their affirmative defenses by a preponderance of the evidence. Others, like I believe Florida, require that the defense show some evidence to support self defense as an affirmative defense, and then the state has to overcome or rebut it by the beyond a reasonable doubt standard. This mostly didn't change with the 2005 law.

What does appear to have changed is that the state has an additional hurdle - it must be able to show probable cause that an assault or killing was not self-defense, otherwise the potential defendant is immune from prosecution AND civil suit.

Nichevo said...

I dunno - assuming your hypo, tradguy, just to avoid the end of debate - could black teens not learn to dress and act less suspiciously? Because people skulking around like that are liable to get shot right or wrong.

Therefore, stop skulking, avoid death. Simple, no? Or is it "give me skulking or give me death?"

PS Where will Zimmerman's exoneration leave you? Will you be satisfied or at least shut up if he is freed by a jury of his peers?

PPS Soebody said he was coming back home with refreshments/ Did they ever find the tea and skittles on poor Baby Trayvon? Did they perhaps find anything more interesting than tea and skittles?

PPPS I wonder wherever Trayvon Martin is, looking up or down on the land of the living, what he thinks. "Man I was stupid to bust on that guy?" "Geez, all I wanted to do was knock him out and take a picture to amuse my friends?" "I wish I had behaved better?"

LoafingOaf said...

Zimmerman -also- mentored at risk youths, crusaded for justice for a beaten man and helped solve at least one robbery. So, if we're going to heap praise onto Martin and sugar coat him, we need to put the equally positive praise and spin for Zimmerman.

He also jumped out of his SUV with a loaded gun, saying "these assholes always get away", to follow a teenager who had committed no crime, instead of letting the police handle it. And, while it probably won't be admissible in court, he was ordered into anger manangement clsses in the past.

This nonsense about Trayvon's internet screennames is pathetic. "No Limit Nigga" is from a rap song. The vast majority of teenagers in America listen to rap.
Zimmerman called himself "datniggytb" on MySpace. So what?

Fen said...

LoafingOaf: As usual, some of the conservative Althouse commenters cannot post about this case without displaying their racism.

Oh goodie, another lecture about racism from the guy who hates Latinos...


It is disgraceful the way some of you refer to the boy as a "thug" based on no evidence.

I provided my reasons why Martin could be seen as a thug. It a few posts above yours.


this boy was walking back to the house his father was at with refreshments

Dumbass still doesn't know what "skittles and tea" means...


He was not spotted by Zimmermen trying to burglarize a home. He was walking home while chatting with his girlfriend. Zimmerman did not have a good basis for calling the cops at all

Zimmerman reported Martin (your 17 yr old "boy") to the police for behaving suspiciously - wandering around in the rain at night casing houses.


Any boy would be scared if a strange man in a strange car were following him as he walked alone.

Really? So scared that he doubles back to attack Zimmerman? Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound?

Face it, if Zimmerman had been black, and this was just another of the 9,000 annual black-black shootings, you would be back at Daily Kos complaining about "spics" and "wetbacks", you racist bitch.

Fen said...

LoafingOaf: He also jumped out of his SUV with a loaded gun, saying "these assholes always get away"

As yes, the Hollywood movie version. Maybe you hyberbolate(?) even more with the soundtrack from Gunsmoke.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Dumbass still doesn't know what "skittles and tea" means... "

People keep saying that, and yes. I don't know what it means. I don't think it matters what it means; wasn't he actually carrying an iced tea and a bag of skittles? In which case, that is literally what he went to get, not code for anything. I may be wrong and that there's no actual report of what he was carrying, but I thought that his belongings were just his cellphone, and the tea and skittles.

traditionalguy said...

Dershowitz made a typical Law Professor's critical condemnation of the Prosecutor's affidavit of probable cause based on what Dershowitz has read about.

But her case is in an adversarial system and not under an appellate review yet.

The Prosecutor says as little as she has to in the affidavit to get her arrest warrant sent on to an immunity hearing where she will bring in the rest of her evidence, or hold some back for the Jury trial if she feels she can do without it at the Immunity Hearing level.

Apparently any evidence in dispute over what happened that night is all she thinks she needs to get to the Jury trial. That's where it all gets into the record that goes up on appeal.

Fen said...

wasn't he actually carrying an iced tea and a bag of skittles?

No.

No skittle or tea were found at the scene.

No store video of Martin buying skittles and tea has been found.

Fen said...

DEXTROMETHORPHAN. Street Names: DXM, CCC, Triple C, Skittles, Robo, Poor Man’s PCP.

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drugs_concern/dextro_m/dextro_m.htm

Bruce Hayden said...

So, how does "provocation" fit into this case? It mostly doesn't, and is a red herring.

What matters mostly is assault. Mostly, this means who threw the first punch. It might mean, in certain situations, if someone points a firearm at someone or otherwise threatens with a lethal weapon. But, that has to be a viable threat, and a holstered firearm is specifically not included here, esp. given the strength of Florida's CCL laws. In short here, if and until Zimmerman drew his weapon and pointed it at Martin, there was no legal provocation by him of assault by Martin.

What you need to keep in mind is that the only way that Martin could legally assault Zimmerman for having a handgun is in self-defense. His fear would have to be reasonable, and under Florida law, that is highly unlikely as long as the gun was in Zimmerman's holster.

As I have pointed out before, self-defense is somewhat of a dance. You have two parties, one the attacker and the other the defender. The defender can use self-defense. The attacker mostly cannot. But, several things can happen that can change this. First, the attacker can withdraw. But, for obvious reasons, the withdraw has to be manifest to the defender. And, then, maybe, if the second party continues to use violence against the first, he becomes the attacker. If the withdraw wasn't obvious to the defender (or, at least to a reasonable person), then it isn't effective.

Secondly, once the attacker has been neutralized, and can no longer attack, further action against the attacker by the defender causes the roles to switch, with the former defender beating on his unconscious attacker now the attacker under the law.

Thirdly, the level of violence can escalate. If you are involved in a light bout of fisticuffs, and one party pulls a knife, he has escalated, and becomes the attacker. Normally, this escalation is between non-deadly and deadly force, but I think there have been distinctions found within those categories.

The relevance here is that self-defense is only available to the defender, and not the attacker. And, as a corollary of all of this, excess force used in self-defense is considered an attack, and is thus unlawful. But, here, if someone is a defender, if he reasonably believed himself (or others) to be in imminent danger of his life or major bodily injury, the use of lethal force is not excessive, nor is it unlawful. (This all assumes that neither of the parties are police - because then the rules change significantly).

Bender said...

The burden is on the defendant to prove by a preponderance of evidence that stand your ground immunity applies

If the burden is on the defendant, then that really isn't immunity.

Immunity means being immune from having to justify yourself.

Kirk Parker said...

EDH,

"I see nothing in the SYG statute that talks about 'strikes first'..."

It's right there in 776.013 (3):

"A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked..."

Someone who strikes first is the attacker, not the attacked.

Matthew Sablan said...

Fen,

This article says authorities say he was carrying them. CNN says the same here. Did I miss the walk back on this too?

Bender said...

the jury as factfinder after the trial phase must acquit

You've never tried a case to a jury, have you?

The jury isn't required to do anything. There is no "must." If the jury thinks that the evidence insufficient and convicts anyway, all that can be done is to hope the judge sets aside the verdict and enters a judgment of acquittal. Judges are very hesitant to do that.

Often times, in cases where the defendant is grossly overcharged, even when the evidence is insufficient, at least one person on the jury is hesitant to acquit, and thus the rest will compromise with a conviction on a lesser offense.

That is most likely what the prosecutor intends here -- not a second-degree conviction, but a manslaughter conviction, except that she is not ethical enough to charge him with that in the first instance.

Fr Martin Fox said...

LCB took some grief up-thread about the advice he was given regarding carrying a weapon.

His post reminded me of the time, now 20 years ago, when I was contemplating becoming a gun owner. (It was when Clinton was talking about grabbing guns.) I picked up some literature from the gunnies I knew about what it meant to be a gun-owner and gun-carrier.

The book I read gave exactly the sort of advice LCB recounted. It was from a pro-gun person; and it was sound advice, once you thought about it.

The issue isn't what the letter of the law allows you to do. It's what you are wise to do so that you avoid being in the sort of nightmare Mr. Zimmerman is now in.

The gist of the advice as I recall it, was: when you actually carry a loaded gun, you go several extra miles to be a pussycat.

Because, first, you may well avoid using the weapon without real necessity; and if, in the end, you do use your weapon, you have created the most favorable situation for the police, the prosecutor, and the media, to evaluate you. You may still get crucified, but why provide the nails?

Bruce Hayden said...

The Prosecutor says as little as she has to in the affidavit to get her arrest warrant sent on to an immunity hearing where she will bring in the rest of her evidence, or hold some back for the Jury trial if she feels she can do without it at the Immunity Hearing level.

Apparently any evidence in dispute over what happened that night is all she thinks she needs to get to the Jury trial. That's where it all gets into the record that goes up on appeal.


Not sure if I agree there. Starting at the end, and working backwards, what she showed was what she thought that she needed to get Zimmerman arrested. Florida is a bit difference, with the immunity statute, and if she doesn't have anything more, her case won't make it through the likely immunity preliminary hearing. She has to, at a minimum, be able to show probable cause why Zimmerman was not acting in self-defense. She really hasn't addressed that yet. With my reading of the law, I think that she should have, but I am pretty sure that she knows this area of the law far better than I do. (I said "likely" immunity hearing, because Zimmerman's attorney is going to have to assert the self-defense and demand the hearing - but it seems highly likely that he will).

In a criminal case, and under what I understand of Florida law, there is nothing really to be gained by the prosecution to hold back evidence that might help the defense. They have a legal and ethical obligation to provide it to the defense on a timely basis, and if they fail to do so, they risk either a mistrial or acquittal on the trial side, and suspension or disbarment on the ethical side.

Criminal prosecution is not like civil litigation. The state typically has far more resources than the defense does, and is using those resources to try to lock the defendant away, or, even kill them. That, combined with the presumption of innocence and our Bill of Rights, is why discovery obligations are so one-sided in criminal prosecutions.

Bruce Hayden said...

His post reminded me of the time, now 20 years ago, when I was contemplating becoming a gun owner.

Interesting ethical dilemma there Father. Do you have the same moral and ethical right of self-defense as do the laity? Note - I am not talking legal right here. And, I would never suggest from my position in the latter category that you would not have such a moral and ethical right. But, traditionally, Men (and Women) of God (priests, ministers, etc.) have seemed to have been seen as having a higher ethical duty in these areas than the rest of us.

EDH said...

Kirk Parker said...
It's right there in 776.013 (3):

"A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked..."

Someone who strikes first is the attacker, not the attacked.


Not in all cases.

A person who creates in another "a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm" is, for the purposes of the statute, the attacker.

Although it's more difficult to prove "reasonableness" of the fear before a blow is struck, it is not necessary, and the person with reasonable fear can strike an attacker who hasn't struck first.

Otherwise, you would have wait for someone brandishing a gun to shoot you before you could shoot in self defense.

Cedarford said...

Loafing Oaf - "It is disgraceful the way some of you refer to the boy as a "thug" based on no evidence."

In Martin's case, the evidence, depending on if a judge or jury believes it - of being a thug is this:

1. Martin struck GZ first and sent him to the ground.
2. GZ and two eyewitnesses report that Martin continued the attack, was on top of Zimmerman beating him while Zimmerman was screaming for help.
3. Prior to the GZ incident, a lot of evidence that Martin had embraced the thug life - the dental "grills", stolen jewelry and burglary tools found on him, school suspensions, the handle "No Limit Niggah" and enthusiasm for beating up people or doing a "one-punch knockout" of a stranger on a street.

Now...to be fair...GZ did not know about "No Limit Niggah's" background. Screaming that paying more attention to young blacks wearing hoodies in a neighborhood that had young blacks similarly attired do 8 burglaries is "profiling!!!" may be true. Even Jesse Jackson said it is common sense to realize that your possible "personal risk" of harm is higher with 3 blacks in hoodies coming up behind him than 3 old white nuns.

Bender said...

It is a strange argument that says that you have a right to walk around your neighborhood at night, but if you see someone suspicious, you no longer have that right, but must stay in your car or walk in a different direction.

It is an additionally strange argument that says that if you see someone suspicious that you are prohibited from seeking additional information to confirm your suspicions, but must instead walk away.

traditionalguy said...

Nichevo...The Jury trial will do the right thing. Of course I will accept any outcome of the men and women who spend the several weeks in a room with the living people testfying and get to listen to them under oath and under cross examination 25 feet away as they explain their answers and are being intently observed bu the jurors.

Jurors get wisdom and instincts for the truth of a case from this, even in ways that Crack MC would not want to hear about.

Jay said...

The prosecutor only revealed what she needed to support probable cause. I was baffled by all the folks in this forum who were trying to argue there wasn't probable cause.



Well, a distinguished Harvard law prof took to CNN to say the prosecutor doesn't have probable cause...

Gene said...

LCB: Morally (to me, YMMV), Zimmerman was wrong for leaving his vehicle with his gun

Suppose he didn't have a gun. Would he be in the moral wrong then if he left his vehicle to try and see where Martin had gone?

Bender said...

As for the possibility that if you carry a weapon in public, then you are thus creating a situation in which you increase the chance of using a weapon and, as such, should think twice about carrying --

What is the whole point of carrying a weapon in public?

Is the point, perhaps, to defend yourself in case you are attacked? To be able to protect yourself if, for example, someone punches you to the ground and then starts slamming your head into the ground?

What might this case be all about if Zimmerman had not been armed?

From the evidence that has been publicized, is it not likely that we would then be looking at murder charges or malicious wounding charges against Martin?

Shanna said...

My opinion is that Zimmerman, from all evidence that is available, would have retreated had he the opportunity. That he suffered personal injury before drawing and firing speaks of someone who did not have an opportunity to retreat

I agree, that he waited until so late in the game to draw the gun is what makes me think it highly unlikely that he had any intention to hurt Martin and was pretty much backed into it. I think it’s unlikely that he would have started a physical confrontation with a taller, albeit younger, man. Reach matters in a fight and not only that, but would you want to get into a wrestling match with someone, knowing you have a gun that they could then take?

Nothing in this story that I’ve seen matches the story we’ve been sold on this. Unless there is major, major evidence we haven’t heard (like Martin being shot in the back) 2nd degree seems like a purely political overcharge.

We believe that George Zimmerman stalked my son and murdered him in cold blood.

Does she really think that? It doesn’t seem at all likely. I thought better of her when she called it a horrible accident.

Because people skulking around like that are liable to get shot right or wrong.

No, unless things are quite different from what we’ve heard, he was shot for beating the snot out of a guy. That is pretty easy to avoid.

Cedarford said...

Nichevo - "Since I largely abound in your sense for what follows this, it again perplexes and baffles me why you feel the need to break out "progressive Jews" (again the caps, please, "Jew" is a proper noun) from liberals generally."

My basis is to remind people who creates "The Narrative" - that is the template which liberals, satellite media, Al Sharpton, activists groups march to.
That would be progressive jews (and to a lesser extent gentile liberals and a few token black media masters) that still pull the strings that "The Narrative" from the 60s is shaped by and instructs blacks and people on the left to act by.

Such progressive Jews, as did their Bolshevik and socialist ancestors, seek a fundamental reordering of US society. They need to be called out and spotlighted on what they are doing to manipulate opinions and events in mass media, legal activism, and high finance.
And their inordinate influence questioned.

I have no problem with groups of Jews - outside the Networks of the descendents of the Bolsheviks and radical socialist tradition that are working hard to create the divisions and dysfunctions they see as needed for a radically new, transformed America to emerge.

Gene said...

Jay: By the way, it was nice to read that the prosecutor says in the documents that Zimmerman said "f**ing punks". . . Not coons.

In the computer enhanced replay I heard it sound like Zimmerman was saying "fucking cold." Maybe he said "man, it's fucking cold night to be out chasing fucking punks."

bagoh20 said...

Having lived through the Rodney King L.A. riots, supposedly a result of only a beating and not a killing, I can tell that any riot will not be because of this killing, but rather because of the opportunity to rape, pillage and have an all around good time. The people who will riot are out for that alone. The killing will just be an excuse for the party. Kinda like Saint Patrick.

There are people genuinely and even reasonably upset about this, but they won't riot, but their rhetoric will however give the sick assholes who want to pillage ample signal to go ahead.

I saw the L.A. riots up close and personal. The rioters were not mad, they were having the time of their lives. They were either laughing and smiling widely as they smashed windows and heads, or they were deep in concentration about which item to take from the store and which direction to get back home with it.

Afterward, was like hangover - some cleaning up while bragging about the extent to which one got crazy at the party.

Reassuringly my Representative, Maxine Waters, was out yelling "NO justice - No Peace!" with a megaphone.

You gotta love her. She likes to party like it's 1992.

Scott M said...

Kinda like Saint Patrick.

Oh...now you've gone and jumped the O'shark.

Fen said...

It is an additionally strange argument that says that if you see someone suspicious that you are prohibited from seeking additional information to confirm your suspicions, but must instead walk away.

Espcially in light of all the reminders from Homeland Security to be vigilante and report any suspicious activity.

traditionalguy said...

Bruce Hayden is correct about the discovery of evidence in the DA's files happening soon or later. But in the meantime the DA's arguments are not fully put into writings filed with the Court .

Pleadings in both civil and Criminal cases go by the cautionary tactic that "You plead not what you need not, for fear you may have to prove what you cannot."

Fen said...

Jay: By the way, it was nice to read that the prosecutor says in the documents that Zimmerman said "f**ing punks". . . Not coons.

In the computer enhanced replay I heard it sound like Zimmerman was saying "fucking cold." Maybe he said "man, it's fucking cold night to be out chasing fucking punks."


The defense is going to maul the girlfriend's testimony over how she can know who did what through her cellphone. Hell, the local and national media with all their voice rec "experts" couldn't get it right.

Bruce Hayden said...

If the burden is on the defendant, then that really isn't immunity.

Immunity means being immune from having to justify yourself
.

I think that you have to be able to draw some lines here, otherwise, everyone will claim self-defense, regardless of merit, and no one will ever not be immune.

Which is why it looks to me to be somewhat of a dance at the preliminary (and, indeed, at the trial) phase. I see it going like this:
1) Potential defendant asserts self-defense. Failure to assert this in a timely manner results in loss of immunity.
2) In response to potential defendant asserting self-defense, the prosecutor has to show probable cause why the assault/killing was not done in self-defense. Failure to show probable cause results in immunity.
3) In response to the prosecution showing probable cause why the incident was not self-defense, the potential defendant has to show self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence. If they do, they get immunity, and if the don't, they go to trial.

Then, in states like Florida, trial goes something like this:
1) Defendant asserts (often at a preliminary phase) self-defense.
2) Prosecution introduces evidence to contradict or overcome the claim for self-defense. If they don't introduce such, by the time that they rest their case, the case should be dismissed on a motion for a directed verdict (or, whatever it is called in Florida criminal courts).
3) Assuming that the prosecution did introduce evidence that would survive the directed verdict, the defense can now introduce evidence supporting their self-defense claim.
4) Then, when the jury gets the case, they must consider the evidence in regards to the self-defense claim. In Florida, the state must apparently show beyond a reasonable doubt that it was not self-defense. In other states, they merely have to show it by a preponderance of the evidence.

The lower standard (preponderance of the evidence) required of the state to overcome the assertion of immunity than to prove guilt (beyond a reasonable doubt) makes sense for a lot of reasons. If they were the same standard, self-defense cases would almost never go to trial. So, what goes to trial (absent ineffectual counsel), and then the defendant is found not guilty by reason of self-defense, are those cases where the evidence is not conclusive - and a jury (or judge as ultimate fact finder) is the best place for making that determination.

We shall see how much evidence the prosecution has, when Zimmerman has his preliminary hearing on his assertion of immunity. If it isn't any more than we saw earlier, she may be guilty of prosecutorial misconduct, which may be grievable as an ethics violation. I think that the special prosecutor is much too experienced for that, so I do expect some more evidence from her that weighs against Zimmerman's self-defense claim.

Bruce Hayden said...

A person who creates in another "a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm" is, for the purposes of the statute, the attacker.

Although it's more difficult to prove "reasonableness" of the fear before a blow is struck, it is not necessary, and the person with reasonable fear can strike an attacker who hasn't struck first.

Otherwise, you would have wait for someone brandishing a gun to shoot you before you could shoot in self defense.


Agreed - which is why it may be advantageous to look at who committed the first violent crime and/or assault to determine who is the attacker. Normal rule is that the party who swings first is the attacker, and the other party is the defender. But, brandishing a gun is an exception to that. But, note, that brandishing that gun may be considered a violent crime. Just showing it, maybe not. Definitely not having it holstered in Florida and many other states. But, if you point a gun at someone, and you cannot show self-defense, then you may have committed a crime, and if you did, then may indeed be the attacker.

But, keep this in mind - there is a big difference here between the guy who points a gun at someone and tells them that if they come any closer, he will have to shoot them (strongly implying self-defense), and the guy who tells you that you have a choice of your money or your life. The later is likely to get you jailed for a long stretch, if caught, but likely not the former.

Keep this in mind though - a holstered gun in Florida is not considered a provocation nor a threat of deadly force, except, possibly in very, very, special cases.

AllenS said...

I keep hearing people say that he was only carrying a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. Yet, he was supposedly talking on a cell phone with his girlfriend, or at least that's what she said. Where's the cell phone? There's never any mention of it.

Justin said...

Funny, I see nothing in the SYG statute that talks about "strikes first"

Here it is. Always remember to read the whole statute. If the prosecutor can establish that Zimmerman started it, I don't see him walking away from this on SYG grounds. At least not on a pretrial motion.

****

776.041. Use of force by aggressor. The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

MadisonMan said...

Espcially in light of all the reminders from Homeland Security to be vigilante

Excellent misspelling! :)

ed said...

"I keep hearing people say that he was only carrying a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. Yet, he was supposedly talking on a cell phone with his girlfriend, or at least that's what she said. Where's the cell phone? There's never any mention of it." - AllenS

I'm still not entirely certain he was carrying ice tea and Skittles but if he was then they were in the pockets of his hoodie. The cellphone was supposedly in his hand while he was talking to his girlfriend. No idea if the call was still active when he got into the confrontation with Zimmerman.

Fen said...

LOL thanks Madsion.

ed said...

"Just showing it, maybe not." - Bruce Hayden

Showing a holstered pistol can and will get you into a world of trouble. At the very least you may lose your CCW without serious justification. At the worst you may have to post bail. At the very worst the state police might stop by your house to confiscate all of your firearms.

Generally speaking showing a holstered firearm is the same as drawing it for a CCW holder. Neither is something you want to do unless you absolutely have to and are willing to suffer the consequences.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

I got to tell you that this stuff is some scary shit. If some big ass dude is raping someone or threatening me or my family, and I do pretty much the only thing that may help the situation, like brandishing a gun or shooting if necessary, and the result is that I'm the one going to jail, then we are nothing but sheep tied to a pole in the forest.

I would much prefer an occasional mistaken shooting to being such a sheep in my neighborhood, even if it means me and mine might be the ones shot. I think I can avoid that 100%. I know I can't completely avoid the assholes looking for sheep.

Bryan C said...

"If the prosecutor can establish that Zimmerman started it, I don't see him walking away from this on SYG grounds. At least not on a pretrial motion."

Hold on. What about 2(a), just under what you boldfaced? Even if Zimmerman "started it" the statute doesn't require that pay for his crime by laying still and being beaten to death.

LCB said...

Gene: "Suppose he didn't have a gun. Would he be in the moral wrong then if he left his vehicle to try and see where Martin had gone?"

Good question. Morally...I don’t know. If it was me, I'd say yes it would be morally wrong, because I have a family to support, I've already called the police AND...the suspect was NOT BREAKING THE LAW. I shouldn't risk my skin to approach a stranger that I suspect of being up to no good. And really, if Martin HAD been casing houses, wasn’t there a good risk that he’d be armed with a knife or gun.

A good compromise perhaps...roll your window down, drive up and say, "Can I help you? You look lost." There's still some risk, but only if the suspect just pulls a gun and starts shooting.

I probably would have done that before calling the police anyway. But then, my neighborhood isn’t overly plagued by theft.

Alex said...

tradguy...

The last two weeks of comments are proof that any white person can claim reasonable fear of any black young man and win the immunity lottery, and go home with the case closed.

That is what has the black mothers and fathers so upset. Do they have to paint their sons white before letting them walk around outside where they might intimidate other citizens?

That is arguably a denial of equal protection of the laws.


Wow, just wow. You are a fucking evil idiot asshole.

Fen said...

LCB, he didn't say "confront", he said "to try and see where Martin had gone?"

There's a difference.

Fen said...

The last two weeks of comments are proof that any white person can claim reasonable fear of any black young man who is smashing his head into the pavement and win the immunity lottery, and go home with the case closed.

That is what has the black mothers and fathers so upset.


/fixed

Kirk Parker said...

EDH,

Yes, thanks; that's a useful clarification.

I think what I meant to address was that nothing about Florida's SYG law changes anything about the traditional concept of who the aggressor is.

Fen said...

And don't bother explaining to him that the statute doesn't mean what he says it means. I did 3 days ago and he's still pouting.

Shanna said...

The last two weeks of comments are proof that any white person can claim reasonable fear of any black young man who is smashing his head into the pavement and win the immunity lottery, and go home with the case closed.

That is what has the black mothers and fathers so upset.

/fixed


Seriously, Fen! And you damn well should be worried their might be repercussions to beating the hell out of someone, even if he was following you or even, god forbid, pissed you off.

Bender said...

Is it morally wrong to make moral judgments on insufficient information???

LCB?

Or do you think it proper to investigate and become informed before making such conclusions?

Jerome said...

"If the prosecutor can establish that Zimmerman started it, I don't see him walking away from this on SYG grounds. At least not on a pretrial motion."

What the prosecutor has alleged is that "Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued." Note that;
a) There is no known evidence that Zimmerman confronted Martin.
b)Even if there were, the affidavit does not allege that "Zimmerman started it".

This affidavit is a profoundly unserious document. But I suspect that it is mostly a formality anyway.

Kirk Parker said...

bagoh20,

No, it's not really that scary, because the law isn't as you say; that's only the understanding of some of the very-poorly-informed commenters.

See my earlier citation, and Justin's even more pertinent one at 2:03pm, for what FL law really says.

LCB said...

Bender:"Is it morally wrong to make moral judgments on insufficient information???

LCB?

Or do you think it proper to investigate and become informed before making such conclusions?"

Which conclusion? That Zimmerman had fulfilled his moral obligation to his community after he had called the police? That getting out of the vehicle with the gun highly raised the potential for using the gun given the circumstances as we know them?

It's my opinion. And they're MY MORALS. I'm not trying to force them on anyone, just sharing what I think for discussion. Every time I put myself in Zimmerman's position, given the facts we know (and yes, I know we don't know all of the facts)I would have stayed in my vehicle until the police came. I would then have said "He went datta way, officers."

Hey, maybe I'm just a coward. That's already been implied on this thread. Well...I've seen death, not from natural causes, and I'll be damned if I go out of my way to put myself in a position to maybe see it happen again, especially at my own hands.

That said, someone tries to hurt me or my family, and I will protect to the full extent of my abilities!!!

EDH said...

Justin said...
Here it is. Always remember to read the whole statute. If the prosecutor can establish that Zimmerman started it, I don't see him walking away from this on SYG grounds. At least not on a pretrial motion.

Notice, what I'm suggesting is that Tryvon Martin's side might invoke SYG to justify Martin striking first, if the facts point that way, such that Zimmerman's shooting him in return would not be justified under traditional self-defense, even if Zimmerman feared for his life and was trapped (ie, pinned to the ground).

Under the circumstances, however, I just do not see the procedural avenue for a "victim" or prosecution to posthumously make the case that his killer wasn't justified because the decedent was was entitled to strike first according to SYG.

grackle said...

Grab the bat you have stowed in the coat closet near the front door and try that first.


And then the rapist pulls a gun out and shoots you. But you tried the bat first so you can die with the knowledge that at least you didn't confront a rapist with a firearm.


... the attacker would not have a chance to strike back, trust me.


You cannot know this. If I have a gun and for some reason someone comes at me with a bat they are going to be shot. Trust me.


I would be counting on the fact that the rapist would be paying to much attention to her victim.


The rapist is assaulting a victim in public on your front lawn. I think a rapist in that situation would probably be keeping a eye out for Good Samaritans, would see you approaching with a bat and kill you with his gun.


This also includes knowing when not to use deadly force, like when the retarded woman from a block over broke into my house with a large kitchen knife and an intent to take my daughter.


Anyone who breaks into my house will be shot as dead as I can make them.
I'd yell stop and maybe kick him one time and if that didn't stop him I'd plug him.


Maybe you would kick him, maybe not. Maybe he would plug you instead. Dead men don't kick very well.

Fen said...

What the prosecutor has alleged is that "Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued"

That's what I don't get, the switch to passive voice - a struggle ensued. Why not simply say "Zimmerman confronted and initiated a struggle"?

Because they can't be sure if Martin struck first? So didn't the prosecuter just admit to reasonable doubt?

LCB said...

Let me clarify...do I think Zimmerman is legally guilty of murder 2 or manslaughter. From WHAT WE KNOW and what little I know of the law...no.

But morally, if I was Zimmerman, I'd be looking at myself in the mirror every day for the rest of my life knowing I was guilty as hell for starting the whole chain of events. I think I'd handle it...but I'd never forgive myself. Whehter or not Martin was gangbanger or choirmember...that doesn't matter. This shooting should not have happened.

My OPINION. YMMV

Scott M said...

Anyone who breaks into my house will be shot as dead as I can make them.

If you in the same situation I was in and saw what I saw, you would not have shot her. If you were in that situation and saw what I saw and DID shoot her, you deserve to be put down like an animal.

If you're criticizing me (which you apparently are given the fact you quoted me and my handling of the incident) for not shooting an obviously retarded woman breaking into my house, you don't have good enough judgement to be carry a firearm. That you can legally do so is beside the point.

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.

William said...

Sometime back, when I was much younger, I had occasion to charge at at group of muggers in Central Park. I'm not particularly intimidating, but I was armed with a tennis racket and it was broad daylight with lots of people around. The muggers broke off contact and ran away. There's a kind of etiqueete to these things. The criminal is supposed to run away when you confront him. He has more at risk and more to lose from a controntation....There was probably a confrontation precisely because Trayvon was not guilty.....Reverse the polarities. Clint Eastwood is being followed by some punk stranger. Does Clint run home? No way. He sneaks up on the punk and levels him with one punch. When the punk goes down, Clint sees that he is armed. Clinto jumps on him to make sure the punk doesn't go pulling a weapon hon him......The facts of the case, as presently known, don't make Zimmerman a cold blooded killer, but neither do they make out Trayvon to be a gangster thug.

Nichevo said...

So, William, I guess a dialogue along the lines of:

"Who are you and where are you going?"

"Who wants to know?"

"Neighborhood Watch"

"Not that it's any of your damn business, actually, but I'm coming back from the 7-11 to watch the rest of the All-Star Game"

"Oh, cool, who's winning"

"Damfino, bro, that's why I'm heading back"

"Yeah, OK, do you know where you're going, you look lost"

"1313 Mockingbird Lane" "Oh, that's the other way, this is a dead end...that's half a mile and it's raining, can I give you a lift"

"Naw thanks, I enjoy the rain"

"OK have a good night"

"You too, peace out"

was not in the cards?

Bender said...

It's my opinion. And they're MY MORALS

And he had his opinion and he had his morals.

So there really isn't much point in discussing it, is there, if everyone's morals are their own.

Of course, it appears that YOUR MORALS come with a double standard, one that allows you to make judgments about another person with very little information, meanwhile condemning that same person when he tried to investigate and gain more information before coming to any conclusions.

THAT is what a reasonable person does, both under the law and as a matter of morality. He doesn't see a suspicious person and then make snap judgments, rather, he follows up and investigates further. He looks to see just exactly what this person was doing while he was walking through people's yards, in a neighborhood that had seen a number of burglaries in the last year.

And before you even start, NO, you do NOT have a right to disagree with me here -- that is "my opinion" (actually it is a statement of fact, but that's another thing) based on MY MORALS. (See how fun subjective morality is?)

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

re: stand your ground, from IMHO the relevant section of the Florida law-

"776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force."

Mr. Zimmerman took it upon himself to initially provoke the use of force against himself, the use of defensive force, by Trayvon Martin so should not be exculpated from charge or prosecution by the castle law based on my understanding of the facts. The exception here is a reasonable belief of the aggresor,Zimmerman in this scenario, of great bodily harm. That gets to the problem of the castle law. It seems you might provoke somebody to react to your aggression and then stretch your use of deadly force as covered by a reasonable fear of 'great bodily harm.'

madAsHell said...

So.....how many burglaries have there been in the gated community since Mr. Martin's demise?

Gawd...I'm such a troll!!!!

William said...

I'm with LCB in his observation that Zimmerman made a foolish decision when he decided to leave his car when he knew there was someone dangerous lurkng about. But as as foolish decisions go, it doesn't compare to that of Trayvon's in deciding to deck his stalker (if that is indeed what happened)......You can argue this case from every angle, and it's still a scratch shot for Trayvon....I don't see the need to demonize or beatify either party in this dispute. They were both foolish, although, of course, only Zimmerman will have sufficient time to contemplate his clumsiness.....Also I would warn all parties to this discussion that there are many loud mouthed exhibitionists who like to do nothing better than have sex on strangers' front yards. It's a perversion, called lawnage. So let us learn from the lesson of Trayvon and Zimmerman and not do anything rash.

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin said...

THAT is what a reasonable person does, both under the law and as a matter of morality. He doesn't see a suspicious person and then make snap judgments, rather, he follows up and investigates further.

Wrong. Zimmerman called the police before he "investigate[d] further" as you term it. So he did make a snap judgment. A reasonable person would have called the police, stayed in their car, and waited for the police to show up.

I don't think Zimmerman is guilty of any sort of homicide, based on the facts as we know them now. I am also outraged by the media's refusal to consider the angle that this kid really was a thug up to no good. That's a possibility and admitting that doesn't make anyone racist.

That said, what Zimmerman did was monumentally stupid. And from a moral standpoint, even if it isn't his fault, there is no reason to believe that this would have happened if Zimmerman had just called the police and refrained from following Martin, as the dispatcher suggested. Even if Zimmerman is ultimately found innocent, and I think he will be, that is and should be a heavy burden to carry. Regardless of whether Zimmerman is criminally liable, he bears some pretty heavy responsibility for what happened here.

"Don't talk to strangers" is sound advice. Don't follow them around either. If you think they're up to no good, call the police and call it a day.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Bruce:

About priests as gun-owners...

From anecdotal information, I gather many priests are gun owners. They hunt, and shoot targets for recreation.

As far as a priest wielding a gun for self-defense, I can't call to mind any church laws that address it, but prudence would suggest a priest be extremely careful about that.

In my case, I never did become a gun owner; I decided I didn't want the responsibility.

SukieTawdry said...

Lord, I wish Zimmerman had just stayed in his car.

grackle said...

If you were in that situation and saw what I saw and DID shoot her, you deserve to be put down like an animal.

Well now, if I shoot a home intruder, the commentor believes I would then deserve to be killed "like an animal." Typical misdirected ire. These anti-Zimmerman folks sure get hot, don't they? And you don't even have to knock them down. Or get on top of them while they are on their backs - or start pounding their heads against a concrete sidewalk. None of that required. All you have to do is protect yourself.

I wonder if the commentor believes the mentally impaired are incapable of physical violence. Which would be better - to be stabbed to death by a "normal" or murdered by a mentally impaired person? The commentor's response gives rise to such nonsensical hypotheticals.

Actually, after further thought, I might hesitate with a woman intruder, even with a butcher knife in her hand. Which is a cultural thing, of course. Plenty of men have been stabbed to death by women. But still, she might avoid being shot by allowing me to dial 911 while keeping her distance. Or if she turned and ran outside. But if she comes at me with a kitchen knife she will be shot. I would regret the incident; it would no doubt cause me some anguish. But she would be shot.

If it's a man, he's toast unless he runs outside immediately. That one action could save his life.

... you don't have good enough judgement to be carry a firearm.

According to the Constitution and the laws of my state, I do possess the required judgement. The Constitution protects the rest of us from folks like the commentor, thanks to the wise authors of that wonderful document. We are lucky. We have rights even if it makes someone angry.

ed said...

"Notice, what I'm suggesting is that Tryvon Martin's side might invoke SYG to justify Martin striking first, if the facts point that way, such that Zimmerman's shooting him in return would not be justified under traditional self-defense, even if Zimmerman feared for his life and was trapped (ie, pinned to the ground)." - EDH

You're seriously trying to make a SYG argument with Martin?

So an unarmed person who **has to close to physical contact range** is going to invoke SYG?

Do you want to consider the severe lack of logic in that argument and try again?

Nichevo said...

grackle,

You would be insulted by my first stab at composition - "You don't have to be such a macho man" - so I will try to recast it...

No one has anything to prove here; no one really can prove anything here, as we are all Internet dogs and you can say you've shot a thousand men and I can say, Hell, I've shot a thousand Cape buffalo and a few dozen Martians and neither can we prove it, nor does it matter.

You equate your statement with firm resolution, a resolve to defend your life, your household, your family, your lares and penates, even if attacked by a girl or other semi-pitiable foe. That's just fine, but shooting is not a virtue in itself.

There will always be a shoot/no-shoot threshold where on one side you would be foolish to shoot and on the other, foolish not to shoot. This is not for robots or 200-year-old decision trees, this is for you here now.

No-shoot: Think of the drapes, the legal costs, your wife puking when she sees the blood;

and then again, here is a nice stick of firewood at hand, so you can just hit her over the head if you must - she's got the SA and combat savvy of a fried egg;

and anyway she will settle down in a minute, she always does this during the full moon, or probably the check didn't come and she's a pill or two behind;

and after all you've known her from childhood, long before she tok that bad fall on her bike and scrambled her brains;

and her cousin makes the best moonshine/T-bones/mandelbrot in six counties.

So do you shoot her, just because the law would wink, and her family might be grateful to be rid of the burden?

I dunno. Being a softie myself, and wanting to harm none, and not ever having actually killed anyone before (though I do okay at the range and have practiced those Gunsite drills and am pretty sure I can light her up if she closes to six feet), maybe I wait as long as I can while vigilantly ensuring there is no greater or other threat.

Shoot: When she closes to six feet, or ten feet or four feet or wherever my consciousness at that moment judges is the tripwire; or her face changes and she starts to make her move, at whatever distance. Or possibly sooner if my child is in the room and is not behind me. Or never if I feared hitting a friendly. I'm sure it would be very situational. Basically, I have to fear that the consequences of not shooting are worse than the consequences of shooting.

I'd try to talk 'em down. I'd try to listen to see if there was anything I should know. I'd try for the police or the nutjob's family or whatever I thought would work. I'd try everything else first, if I could. This is not a suicide bomber, this is someone I know. So it seems from the shaggy-dog story he told.

Peer threat - strange young athletic man or men - it's dark - if they smell like booze or pot or stagger or get between me and safety or otherwise do anything hinky, my alert thresholds are probably much higher, or should I say lower. Hell, that poor 'tard sneaks into my house at night, all I see is the knife, I probably blast before I have time to see that it's someone I feel bad for.

I really don't know what I'd do because I've never been there before. Basically, as I understand it is, you shoot if you're afraid, and you keep shooting till you're not afraid anymore. I'm not afraid of the poor retarded lady until I have to be; of the things that go bump in the night, probably rather more so. I really don't know where the bright line would be till I'm there, and if I have anything of a lawyer, I trust the jury won't either.

Lest some thief or other punk come to think this makes me chickensalad and he should come get me, well, I guess you have the right to think that, and so I guess you should do what you think is right. I could hardly stop you with words anyway, could I?

Nichevo said...

C4, by now it's late and I haven't the starch to give you full force. I guess in brief what I am getting at is three things:

1) What is the significance of "Jew?" Why, to ask a question I should have asked last Friday night, are Jewish libs, lefties, progs different from all other progs? Madelyn Murray O'Hair was no Jew. Bill Ayers was no Jew. Robespierre was no Jew. Stalin was no Jew. Mao was no Jew. You don't need Jews to build a hell on earth nor conceive one.

2) What is a Jew? Is it faith or race or what? Is there a one-drop rule? Can you stop being a Jew? You often invoke people like Lenin or Trotsky. Yes, Lenin was grandson of a rabbi but he himself was an apostate, he avowed no faith. As for Sulzberger, as I told you on another thread:

"Sulzberger was born in Mount Kisco, New York, the son of Barbara Winslow Grant and the previous Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, grandson of Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger, and the great-grandson of Times owner and publisher Adolph Ochs. His mother was of mostly English and Scottish origin[2] while his father was of Jewish origin. His parents divorced when he was five and he was raised in his mother's Episcopalian faith, but no longer observes the religion.[3] On May 24, 1975, he married artist and journalist Gail Gregg. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Katherine Belton, a Presbyterian assistant pastor, in the Greggs' garden in Topeka, Kansas.[4] In May, 2008 they announced plans to end their marriage.[5]"

As for the father, well he may have published the Pentagon Papers (though I think you'd agree the paper has taken a big slide under the son), but contra your jibes he did see action in both WWII and Korea, so at least he was no notable pussy.

A number of Jews came to communism in the USSR - a number of Jews were also purged, and I don't just mean the doctors' plot. Lenin himself was probably murdered by Stalin, as was Trotsky.

As for why would Jews be attracted to the Bolsheviks? Well, leaving aside certain idealistic thoughts and utopian bases of the religion - and it's not as if Russia wasn't in dire need of reform and progress - it is reasonable for people to consider siding against a regime which greatly oppressed them. This was just Easter. Easter was a very good time for Jews like me, in Russia or the Pale, to get their asses kicked every time some drunken cossack remembered that, say, I killed Christ, or he owed me money, or I had a pretty daughter or a fast horse that he wanted to play with, or in some other way I didn't kiss his ass. Jews had reason to want change. You can't ignore that - or maybe you can; but it puts you up there with those Brits aghast at the Americans casting off their loyalty to the Crown. Was it a good bet in the long run? I guess not. Ever been wrong, Cedarford?

3) You're wrong about the Jews anyway. The Irish, that's who's at the heart of all evil in the world. Look it up.

That's all I've got for tonight. Your serve.

Gene said...

Sukie: Lord, I wish Zimmerman had just stayed in his car.

I'm glad the passengers in United Airlines 93 didn't stay in their seats but at least tried to take back control of the plane before the box cutter bandits crashed it into something else. Being a passive victim doesn't earn anyone Brownie points anymore. If you don't fight back, the bad guys win.

I'm not saying Trayvon was a bad guy (we don't yet know) but his school did find him with a bag of jewelry and wedding rings for which he had no plausible excuse. I think the reason Zimmerman thought he was up to go good was because, as Zimmerman said, Trayvon was walking around and looking around like he was up to no good.

EDH said...

ed said...

You're seriously trying to make a SYG argument with Martin?

Yes.

So an unarmed person who **has to close to physical contact range** is going to invoke SYG?

Although I'm not exactly sure of the supposition you wish to introduce: yes, if the unarmed person uses force when traditional self-defense is not available (eg, there was an escape). The only procedural limitation I can see is being shot dead like Martin before you can assert the immunity.

Do you want to consider the severe lack of logic in that argument and try again?

If you insist. Please bother to actually explain your superior logic, however.

EDH said...

A qualifier. Just because I "make a SYG argument with Martin" doesn't mean I think the claim would prevail under the facts.

Had he survived, Martin would have a hard time justifying the use of lethal force under SYG, if that's what Martin had used against Zimmerman (eg, bashing his head on pavement), in the seconds before being shot dead.

Bruce Hayden said...

Showing a holstered pistol can and will get you into a world of trouble. At the very least you may lose your CCW without serious justification. At the worst you may have to post bail. At the very worst the state police might stop by your house to confiscate all of your firearms.

Generally speaking showing a holstered firearm is the same as drawing it for a CCW holder. Neither is something you want to do unless you absolutely have to and are willing to suffer the consequences.


I think that has to vary, state by state. I have a serious problem with considering the mere sight of a holstered gun to be armed assault, etc., where the person glimpsing the gun is put in fear of his own life, and is thus authorized to use deadly force to defend against the person who has the holstered gun.

Now, as I pointed out above, it all depends again on the circumstances. We have probably all seen the guys on TV who pull up their shirts to show the guns in their belts to intimidate or scare the people they are talking to. And, in that case, then, yes, I think that you might be able to respond in self defense. But, I have seen a number of concealed weapons over the years, where the glimpses were inadvertent. So, that may be one line that could be drawn - between intent and lack of intent.

And, when you are talking intent, I think that you also need to look to what the intent was. It is one thing to intimidate someone into doing something because of the display of the firearm. But, it is quite something else, if the firearm is displayed in self-defense, even if still holstered.

But, you also need to go back to self-defense basics. Would a reasonable person be in imminent fear of loss of life or great bodily injury if they saw the gun, given the circumstances. A reasonable person shouldn't be in such a fear, if the glimpse were inadvertent, but much more likely if the gun were intentionally revealed, and, esp. if there were an implied or express intent to use it other than in pure self-defense. And, without such a reasonable fear, I don't see a justification to assault the person carrying the gun, or the mere possession of it to be provocation for such an assault (which comes back to my assertion earlier that when you are talking legal provocation for assault, you are really talking self-defense, and nothing more).

That is not to say that there aren't plenty of things that you can be charged with, if someone sees your concealed handgun.

That is, unless you live someplace like here in AZ, where you only need a permit if you want to carry concealed in another state, and there are no specific prohibitions against open carry for legal residents who are not legally barred from possessing a gun.

Bruce Hayden said...

Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.

Except that this isn't limited to man, but also applies, apparently, to our closest relatives, the common chimpanzee. Male chimps will apparently murder other male chimps, and esp. if of another tribe. For example, in the case of two tribes, living next to each other, the males of one would sneak into the other's territory, and if they could catch a male alone, they would ambush him, kill him, and maybe participate in a little cannibalism. This went on for awhile, until the number of males in the second tribe had been whittled down, at which time, the first tribe invaded the second, killed the remaining adult males, and appropriated the females and the territory.

grackle said...

grackle, You would be insulted by my first stab at composition - "You don't have to be such a macho man" - so I will try to recast it...
Actually, I wouldn't be insulted. But notice, readers, that the commentor does manage to work what he(mistakenly) thought to be an insulting phrase into the comment. How to insult while seeming not to - a good title for a book.
Unlike the commentor I don't necessarily connect "macho" sentiments with self-defense. Or carrying a firearm. It's more like common sense survival behavior to me. Kind of like insurance.
And what if the homeowner were a woman? Would she be exhibiting"macho" tendencies if she shot a home intruder?
No one has anything to prove here ... you can say you've shot a thousand men and I can say, Hell, I've shot a thousand Cape buffalo and a few dozen Martians and neither can we prove it ...
Straw man argument. I never claimed to have shot anyone. And I'm not attempting tp prove anything to the commentor. He's already on the mob's side and likely to stay that way. I comment to offer my views to the readers, some of who may be forming opinions on these issues.
You equate your statement with firm resolution, a resolve to defend your life, your household, your family, your lares and penates, even if attacked by a girl or other semi-pitiable foe. That's just fineThat's just fine, but shooting is not a virtue in itself.
The real virtue is to protect yourself and your loved ones.
A "girl or other semi-pitiable foe?" How old would this girl be? Old enough to join the Marine Corps? Or just starting elementary school? And "pitiable" seems a bit vague for good debate. And how would I know any of this?
No-shoot: Think of the drapes, the legal costs, your wife puking when she sees the blood;
I tend to think of being dead or injured, the funeral costs, my wife lying dead at the intruder's feet, my children losing their parents.
and then again, here is a nice stick of firewood at hand, so you can just hit her over the head if you must - she's got the SA and combat savvy of a fried egg;
Here the commentor paints my hypothetical intruder as harmless. But a home intruder coming at you with a knife is decidedly NOT harmless. As for the intruder's lack of murder skills - how are we to know? How could the commentor have known for sure? Does he think the knife was picked up in order to peel potatoes?
and anyway she will settle down in a minute, she always does this during the full moon, or probably the check didn't come and she's a pill or two behind;
I don't see how all this info helps me if I'm stabbed to death. Sorry she missed her pills and check but she should have found a friend to commiserate with her instead of breaking into my home.

grackle said...

and after all you've known her from childhood, long before she tok that bad fall on her bike and scrambled her brains;
Again - how could the commentor have known for sure the intruder was harmless? He took a chance and that time it worked out OK(I assume). Next time he might not be so lucky. Or a luckless neighbor ends up dead. Sounds like a dangerous neighborhood to me - what with mentally impaired folks breaking out of their facilities, breaking into homes and grabbing knives out of the kitchen.
So do you shoot her, just because the law would wink ...
I don't want the law to "wink." I want the law to protect law-abiding citizens who defend themselves.
Basically, I have to fear that the consequences of not shooting are worse than the consequences of shooting.
Here's where we kind of agree. It's our perception of the "consequences" where we part company.
... so I guess you should do what you think is right. I could hardly stop you with words anyway, could I?
Actually, yes - words could "stop" me, in the form of a superior argument. I've actually had my mind changed on a couple of issues through debate over the years.

Nichevo said...

No, grackle, I do not think I am part of whatever mob it is that concerns you. I just think that there would be no way to decide shoot/no-shoot except situationally.

Saying 'this one broke into my house so I am entitled to shoot him/her so I would shoot him/her' is not credible to me. This is the sense of 'macho' posturing I mean; it is something I think one would say who had never done it. You are not a tripwire on a claymore; you are a sentient being faced with the momentous decision to terminate another sentient being. Do you think George Zimmerman, who I think is innocent and I hope gets off, has warm and happy thoughts of the incident, a felling of satisfaction that he blasted that thug?

I guess I was basically drawing a mental picture of why the other guy didn't immediately blast the retarded woman who stormed into his house with a butcher knife looking for his daughter. Obviously busting into someone's house with a knife looking for one's daughter is a good way to get shot. Since he didn't shoot her, there must be extenuating circumstances such as he alluded to, but failed to describe.

Look, if you saw two guys with ski masks and shotguns coming up the sidewalk to your house in bounding overwatch, or some guy who had already threatened your life, the shoot/no-shoot decision would be rather starker. I doubt the above would rouse pity in anyone's breast, or curiosity and a wish to 'try to understand them,' as Scott M apparently did in re: the retarded woman.


As for 'stop me,' I wasn't talking about you, I was talking about a hypothetical villain out there, or anybody who would think that I would not defend myself and go all the way if I thought I had no other choice. "I don't like violence...but I'm good at it."

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

@ Nichevo. In identifying with Christ, there is something of a narcissistic masochism that, while often useful, is ambivalently taken. The Jews represent the forbidden wish. Thanks for the information about the Irish.

Nichevo said...

psych, i always value your comments but otoh i usually understand them. this was a bit tightly packed, would you elucidate? thx.





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Blogger a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

@ Nichevo. In identifying with Christ, there is something of a narcissistic masochism that, while often useful, is ambivalently taken. The Jews represent the forbidden wish. Thanks for the information about the Irish.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

The Christian identifies with Christ. A narcissistic masochism might be to say 'I am beautiful, valuable because I suffer in this.' For example, one of the changes that came with Christianity is monogamy. Rather than thinking 'if I had more money then..' the ideal is to say 'I will listen to my neighbor, my wife.' Christ was transformed into eternal life by choosing to suffer horribly and die; Jews say by their unbelief 'No he wasn't.' The Christian in various circumstances may not wish to choose suffering, may not want to find narcissism in a masochistic position and the Jew would seem to say to him 'You might be beautiful without it,' a forbidden wish.