August 10, 2012

"Can Zimmerman win 'stand your ground' hearing?"

"Central Florida lawyers predicted that, based on the evidence released so far by prosecutors, Zimmerman has a strong chance of winning."

234 comments:

1 – 200 of 234   Newer›   Newest»
Synova said...

Others predict that he won't need "stand your ground" when simple self-defense will do.

I'm *sorry* that poor Travon is dead. Sometimes bad choices have permanent consequences. Everyone deserves a second chance. This isn't about what someone deserves.

Methadras said...

He will win, he should win. Evidence and eye witness accounts and testimony will see to that. If he doesn't and this farce goes to trial, he will be found not guilty. The special prosecutor is the one that should be seeing an 8 x 5 for being a lying sack of horseshit.

wyo sis said...

I agree that self-defense should cover this. If it doesn't for some reason, it certainly meets the stand your ground criteria. If the media hadn't gotten involved with their phony "white Hispanic" narrative there would never have been a question.
There must be very few instances of white on black crime for this one to have been pounced on.

Matthew Sablan said...

Synova: If he wins on self-defense, then he is not immunized from civil claims. He'll still have to go to court over those. SYG -does- protect him, pre-emptively, from that, which is why whether he wins on this is important or not.

But, yes. Even if he loses on SYG, plain old self-defense could keep him from jail.

Lauderdale Vet said...

Well said, Methadras.

In related news, the NRA is seeking to pass a bill legalizing Open Carry in Florida.

Did you know that we’re approaching 1 million concealed weapon permits here in the Sunshine State?

Synova said...

Thanks, Matthew.

I can see how that would be really important then.

Michael K said...

This case is all about politics. Zimmerman will be harassed by the race hustlers and poverty pimps at least until the election is over and probably well beyond that.

Maybe he can get a TV career out of it like Mark Fuhrman but I doubt it.

traditionalguy said...

The real evidence needs to be presented first. I doubt Z could claim he was standing the entire HOA common areas as his ground.

But self defense could fit the facts once Z started losing the fight that started when he was walking away and was struck from behind on his nose.

edutcher said...

No matter how he wins, the last half dozen killer hurricanes will be nothing compared to the devastation when the case is dismissed.

Bruce Hayden said...

Synova

Here is what is happening. The hearing that is being talked about is an immunity hearing. It is to determine whether or not Zimmerman should have immunity - both from criminal trial, and civil litigation. If the judge grants immunity here, poof - everything is over. No criminal trial. And, no wrongful death trial by the Martins.

The problem for Zimmerman is that the burden is on him this time to show that he shot Martin in self defense. The state doesn't have a very steep burden here to overcome it. At trial though, the state would have to disprove self-defense by the beyond a reasonable doubt standard - which seems increasingly unlikely, since most of the evidence seems to be in Zimmerman's favor.

Marshal said...

A grown man cannot profile and pursue an unarmed child, shoot him in the heart and then claim stand your ground," Crump wrote.

This theory doesn't explain Zimmerman's bloody head particularly well. I'm reminded of the Atlantic's Coates' absolute certainty Zimmerman was guilty after viewing grainy security image of Zimmerman from 50 feet away because the footage "proved" no evidence of a struggle. But somehow when contrary evidence appeared it was explained away. Lefty analyis in action.

Since the prosecution accidentally released the file the other day it seems all the evidence is already public. The evidence for self defence seems strong to me.

Pogo said...

The left want to pick strange fruit, damn the facts. Payback for Emmett Till and others.

It's be nice to know ahead of time how many lynchings are needed to call it even. Might just pick a bunch of innocent whites and hang them for the sins of folks they never knew.

Or hang one per week, like Survivor or some such.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DKWalser said...

The problem for Zimmerman is that the burden is on him this time to show that he shot Martin in self defense. The state doesn't have a very steep burden here to overcome it. At trial though, the state would have to disprove self-defense by the beyond a reasonable doubt standard - which seems increasingly unlikely, since most of the evidence seems to be in Zimmerman's favor.

Yes. As you point out, Zimmerman has the burden of proof, but he only needs to meet the preponderance of evidence standard. Which means, as you also point out, Zimmerman should win the immunity claim because "most of the evidence [is] in Zimmerman's favor."

Bruce Hayden said...

Everyone - ignore the name of this hearing. It has nothing to do with Zimmerman standing his ground. Nothing. It is only called such because immunity for self-defense was introduced into Florida law at the same time that Stand Your Ground was introduced. They both affect self-defense in Floria, and they both became law at the same time.

It might be better and less confusing to call the hearing a "Dennis" hearing after the Florida Supreme Court case that in essence determined that if immunity for self-defense is now available under Florida law, that the courts need to provide a hearing for defendants who demand such.

Revenant said...

Zimmerman has a strong chance of winning.

Based on the evidence available thus far he ought to. Then again, if the system was actually relying on the evidence he wouldn't have been arrested or charged in the first place.

My guess: politics win. He goes to trial. Later, he is found not guilty after an hour or so of deliberations.

Matthew Sablan said...

Since we've got a Zimmerman thread, what's up with the prosecution releasing Zimmerman's college transcripts?

ed said...

@ traditionalguy

"The real evidence needs to be presented first. I doubt Z could claim he was standing the entire HOA common areas as his ground. "

I was wondering when the Asshat Brigade would show up.

Ex-prosecutor said...

For this case to be fairly reviewed as to whether the defendant should be changed and, then, for the proceedings to proceed in a fair fashion, the governor should have appointed a retired judge and a retired prosecutor. Those he appointed will be committing political suicide if they do anything other that put the screws to the defendant. Since he should have never been indicted in the first place, he should win the SYG hearing. However, justice is a stranger to these proceedings, so I'll be astonished if this matter does not go to trial.

rhhardin said...

What are the chances of an honest judge?

AReasonableMan said...

Zimmerman acted like a coward and deserves jail time. He was a 28 year old man who shot an unarmed 17 year old boy. Any man of 28 years who can't defend himself a much lighter 17 year old shouldn't be carrying a gun because he is not a competent man. Zimmerman clearly panicked in the most unmanly way imaginable resulting in the unnecessary death of an innocent teenager.

It is very unfortunate that this case has been caught up in racial politics because the fact is, as any man should know, if you are in your late twenties and you can't beat the crap out of most teenagers you shouldn't be accosting them in the first place. This guy is a complete ass and deserves as much jail time as they can get.

Palladian said...

Reasonable must mean something different on your planet.

Shanna said...

My guess: politics win. He goes to trial. Later, he is found not guilty after an hour or so of deliberations.

I agree, sadly. He should not have been charged with this evidence, he should be cleared in this hearing but politics will ensure that he goes to trial. And then when he is cleared, Crump and crew will go after whoever they can think of with deep pockets.

ed said...

@ AReasonableMan

"He was a 28 year old man who shot an unarmed 17 year old boy. Any man of 28 years who can't defend himself a much lighter 17 year old shouldn't be carrying a gun because he is not a competent man."

Proof positive that stupidity is eternal.

Frankly I considered actually answering this but it's a waste of time really.

Cedarford said...

Zimmerman and his wife are no rocket scientists and their foolish bumbling efforts to hide the money received (without consulting with defense counsel!) has hurt Zimmerman's credibility.

I imagine after their lame stunt was uncovered...the lawyer ripped Zimmerman a new asshole.

Probably said that he was a near-lock to get "stand your ground immunity" before he brought his credibility and personal integrity into such doubt before the very judge that would hear his SYG argument.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb!!

Big Mike said...

Here's the thing I don't get. As far as I can tell the only reason for prosecuting is fear that Black people will riot if he's let go.

So where are the Hispanic leaders? Shouldn't they be standing up and saying that if Zimmerman spends even one more day in jail then they'll riot? Have the alleged Hispanic leaders consciously decided to accept a very junior position in the Democrat coalition?

traditionalguy said...

ed...Am I in your head?

Try looking at this case in a non-partisan way.

Listening to a fear of a great black uprising to lynch the whites taken at random in their sleep is still causing a partisan reaction after all these years.

That fear is what has empowered the race hustlers. Be strong and refuse to react to that fear.

ed said...

@ traditionalguy

"ed...Am I in your head? "

You bore me.

Bruce Hayden said...

Right now, I have little doubt that Zimmerman would be acquitted at trial based on his claim of self defense. As I noted above, the state would have to disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt. They just don't have much in evidence.

BUT, this immunity hearing is to the bench (i.e. the judge), and I would think mostly unreviewable (which means that Zimmerman's attorneys probably cannot appeal losing this hearing, absent something pretty blatant). Contrast this with a criminal trial, where those on death row seem to be able to appeal their convictions essentially forever. And, part of why review of a denial of this motion is mostly unreviewable is that the result of an adverse decision is merely that the defendant goes to trial (where he will presumably reassert his self-defense claim).

Which is why I don't think that this is as slam-dunk as many do. Zimmerman and the judge are not on the best of terms right now. First, there was the issue of his initial bail hearing, where the prosecutors could claim that Zimmerman's team and witnesses were not completely honest and candid about his defense fund. The judge revoked bail for awhile, and then ultimately released him on higher bail. And, then, Zimmerman's attorneys asked that the judge recuse himself and transfer the case to another judge - which was denied by the judge.

The sum of this is that the judge likely does not view Zimmerman in a positive light right now. His personal views shouldn't affect his ruling on immunity, but will they? If he distrusts Zimmerman's defense team enough, he may jut say to himself, that he might as well deny the motion, and let the state prove its case in open trial, likely sometime in 2013.

We shall see.

Ex-prosecutor said...

I assume that the defense lawyer is holding off filing a motion for change of venue until after the SYG hearing. If the trial judge denies a change of venue, it means that he wants to hold onto the case, which is bad for the defendant. Should the motion be granted, there will be a big fight as to where it goes. For instance, in the panhandle, the jury would be mostly white with some retired military, making a not guilty more likely. On the other hand, if it's a racially mixed jury, the likelihood of a hung jury becomes more likely. Unless the jury is anonymous, there will be terrific pressure on black jurors to convict and they may have to be concerned for their own safety if they vote for not guilty.

TWM said...

"It is very unfortunate that this case has been caught up in racial politics because the fact is, as any man should know, if you are in your late twenties and you can't beat the crap out of most teenagers you shouldn't be accosting them in the first place. This guy is a complete ass and deserves as much jail time as they can get."

My God, the stupidity.

Bruce Hayden said...

Zimmerman acted like a coward and deserves jail time. He was a 28 year old man who shot an unarmed 17 year old boy. Any man of 28 years who can't defend himself a much lighter 17 year old shouldn't be carrying a gun because he is not a competent man. Zimmerman clearly panicked in the most unmanly way imaginable resulting in the unnecessary death of an innocent teenager.

The weight differential was not that great, and likely much less, when it comes to muscle mass. Indeed, Martin may, and probably did, have more lean muscle mass than the pudgy Zimmerman. Martin was 4-6 inches taller, and likely in pretty good shape, after playing varsity sports. He most likely did not appear to be a boy when he was confronting Zimmerman. What you need to be doing is not looking at the pictures of the angelic 14 year old Martin, but rather, the tatted up almost 17 year old Marin with the gold grill and hand signs. If Martin had killed Zimmerman instead of the other way around, I would suggest that he almost assuredly would have been tried as an adult.

Lem said...

The white hispanic is toast.

Synova said...

"Since we've got a Zimmerman thread, what's up with the prosecution releasing Zimmerman's college transcripts?"

"I withdraw the question."

Jay said...

Good.

I hope he wins and Prosector Corey resigns in disgrace.

Jay said...

AReasonableMan said...
Zimmerman acted like a coward and deserves jail time. He was a 28 year old man who shot an unarmed 17 year old boy. Any man of 28 years who can't defend himself a much lighter 17 year old shouldn't be carrying a gun because he is not a competent man. Zimmerman clearly panicked in the most unmanly way imaginable resulting in the unnecessary death of an innocent teenager.


You are not in any way, even remotely, educated on the facts in this case.

You should not be commenting on blogs because you are clearly an incompetent man.

Fprawl said...

I spent 40 years just south of Orlando in that Red Neck bastion.

First Rule. Z is alive. He wins.

Rule 2. The redneck jurors know somebody like my nephew who was carjacked, put in the trunk and listened while the two 'Youths' discussed whether or not to kill him for his shoes. Not the car, Shoes. Z wins.

Rule 3. Racial politics trumps everything. Z loses the SYG hearing, Has 2 hung juries, and then is sued into oblivion without the protection of SYG.

but I am a robot said...

Once in a while I turn on MSNBC just to see how long it takes before I hear something so completely asinine that I just have to turn it off. The last time I did that, what I heard was something like "the death of Trayvon Martin has shown us, beyond question, the danger of being a young black man in a suburban neighborhood." It wasn't even the opinion of a guest; it was the introduction of an entire segment.

They made it a whole 10 seconds.

The Godfather said...

There's reason to fear violence if Zimmerman is acquitted. There will certainly be charges of racism and severe criticism of whoever is deemed responsible for Zimmerman not being punished. Leaving aside how this particular judge may feel about Zimmerman personally, it would take a lot of courage to grant Zimmerman immunity, knowing what the reaction would be. The judge would surely be tempted to defer the decision -- and the grief -- to a trial jury.

Bruce Hayden said...

Rule 3. Racial politics trumps everything. Z loses the SYG hearing, Has 2 hung juries, and then is sued into oblivion without the protection of SYG.

I don't see the 2 hung juries, just because I think it unlikely that they will end up somewhere with that many Blacks. But, I do expect the Martins to sue if Zimmerman loses the immunity hearing. I think the solution there is just to declare bankruptcy, and laugh at them.

Tank said...

Bruce

You need to check the exceptions to discharge provisions in the Code.

Ex-prosecutor said...

I just looked up the racial makeup of Seminole county, where Sanford is located. It's 83% while and 10% black - no figures as to white hispanics. So, the defendant's lawyer may want to keep it in Sanford and expect, with lots of luck, a not guilty, but, more likely, a hung jury.

Ralph L said...

So where are the Hispanic leaders?
Apparently, not a lot of Peruvian-Americans in Florida.

I'm hoping the national attention (and the passage of time) will help keep the judge honest enough, though it obviously didn't with the prosecutor. She should have learned from the Nifong / Duke Lacrosse case.

Eric said...

I hope he wins and Prosector Corey resigns in disgrace.

She should be barred from practicing law after all the games she's played during this trial. Clearly she has political ambitions and doesn't care who gets in the way. She's just a slightly milder version of Mike Nifong.

AReasonableMan said...

I am sorry, but any 28 year old man who feels it is necessary to gun down an unarmed 17 year old boy deserves to go to jail. A man has got to know his limitations. If Zimmerman wasn't comfortable defending himself without resorting to deadly force he should never have placed himself in a situation where that possibility could arise. He should have stayed safely locked up in his car.

For me, Zimmerman is the classic coward. Initially full of his own self importance and then acting in blind panic. To shoot a boy because you are losing a fight is really the depth of cowardice.

I understand that people feel fearful and resentful of the perceived and sometimes actual violent potential of black youths. When I was Zimmerman's age I lived in a very segregated neighbourhood, where black youths ran wild on occasion. I never had any trouble. Would I feel differently now that I am old and more vulnerable, yes I probably would. Would I shoot an unarmed boy, never. There is something so completely unmanly about Zimmerman's actions that I think most people feel some abhorrence towards him. It is not his race but his actions that underlie the lack of support that this guy is getting from a large swathe of the community. He deserves to go to jail. You simply cannot take the life of a boy in this manner without having to pay some penalty.

Matthew Sablan said...

Why should a 28-year-old-man who has been overpowered and had his head slammed into the ground not be allowed to defend himself? Walking down the street, in some cases, is enough for someone to attempt harm on your person. Should everyone be expected to be trained to expert levels of self-defense?

What about a 28-year-old-woman? Would she have been justified in shooting a man on top of her beating her head into the ground?

Why? If Zimmerman is telling the truth, then he had every right to shoot.

No matter whether you think that men should be expected to be injured for some great moral certainty of yours

I Callahan said...

I am sorry, but any 28 year old man who feels it is necessary to gun down an unarmed 17 year old boy deserves to go to jail. A man has got to know his limitations. If Zimmerman wasn't comfortable defending himself without resorting to deadly force he should never have placed himself in a situation where that possibility could arise. He should have stayed safely locked up in his car.

This is probably one of the top 5 stupidest paragraphs ever put on the internet in its history. There is so much weapons grade idiocy there I would be afraid to jump next to it lest it blow up.

He felt it necessary because HE WAS JUMPED AND BEING BEATEN INTO SUBMISSION.

Why do people PURPOSELY ignore all evidence to state an opinion that has absolutely no basis in fact?

Please dude, don't vote, and don't pro-create.

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Salamandyr said...

It sounds like the judge, for whatever reason, doesn't like him, so no, I don't think he can win this hearing.

Robert Cook said...

"As far as I can tell the only reason for prosecuting is fear that Black people will riot if he's let go."

How about for the reason that there was an altercation on the street in which one man shot another? When you have a man with a gun and a dead man on the ground, that is the normal procedure.

Even if evidence and argument at trial results in acquittal for Zimmerman, it doesn't invalidate the initial decision to prosecute.
As, presumably, no one commenting here was present at the scene, no one here can assert that the facts are so clear cut and unambiguous as to render a trial unnecessary or unjust.

exhelodrvr1 said...

traditional guy,
"Listening to a fear of a great black uprising to lynch the whites taken at random in their sleep is still causing a partisan reaction after all these years"

Rodney King sound familiar?

I Callahan said...

When you have a man with a gun and a dead man on the ground, that is the normal procedure.

Wrong, RC. If there is evidence of self-defense (overwhelmingly, in this case), then there is NO NEED to go to trial. That's the way it was in this case, until the political hacks stepped in.

Not to mention that trials like these can ruin someone financially. I'd only be in favor of what you say if all court costs were paid by the government, including living expenses for Z for the rest of his life, since no one will probably hire him thanks to the political heat.

David said...

I have no idea whether he can win at the hearing. It takes more study of the case than I am willing to do.

But of the wailing and screaming if he does will.

Due process for me, but not for thee.

Matthew Sablan said...

Cook: Actually, the decision not to prosecute could very easily have been moral. Or, a decision to go for a more reasonable charge. But, immediately going for premeditated murder when no evidence points to that? That's a stretch; each subsequent step by the prosecution has left me less and less sure they have an ace in the hole to prove their case. This may just look bad, and there may be a valid reason for each step -- but so far, Florida is doing a really bad job explaining itself.

exhelodrvr1 said...

A reasonable man,
" If Zimmerman wasn't comfortable defending himself without resorting to deadly force he should never have placed himself in a situation where that possibility could arise"

According to you, Zimmerman should have assumed that, upon seeing the black youth, he was in dnager of needing to use deadly force. That's quite racist.

Revenant said...

Zimmerman acted like a coward and deserves jail time.

You have the least appropriate alias I've seen. :)

Roger J. said...

"Reasonable" man: precisely what is your definition of a boy? a 17 YO tatted up thug? And why do you refer to a black youth as a "boy" racist much? The lamented trayvon was a thug pure and simple.

Matthew Sablan said...

I have no idea if Martin was or was not a thug. His past really doesn't matter to Zimmerman's defense, and it is best not to bring it up. The immediate four or five minutes around the shooting are all we need to determine if Zimmerman is guilty or not.

Ex-prosecutor said...

AReasonableMan would be stricken from the jury pool because he would be unable to follow the law of the state of Florida, as instructed by the judge, rather than the beliefs with which he carried into the courthouse.

Otherwise, I exercise my first peremptory challenge on him.

Shanna said...

He felt it necessary because HE WAS JUMPED AND BEING BEATEN INTO SUBMISSION.

Indeed. Is it ‘cowardice’ to refuse to accept the potential of death? How long must one allow a beating to go on before self defense would be deemed ok to these folks?

Why do people PURPOSELY ignore all evidence to state an opinion that has absolutely no basis in fact?

Because their opinion sound more reasonable with lies than the truth.

Even if evidence and argument at trial results in acquittal for Zimmerman, it doesn't invalidate the initial decision to prosecute.

The initial decision was NOT to prosecute. The decision to prosecute was a political one entirely.

You are not obliged to bring someone to trial if every shred of evidence proves self defense.

Dante said...

Wasn't Z lying on his back? There was no standing.

DKWalser said...

How about for the reason that there was an altercation on the street in which one man shot another? When you have a man with a gun and a dead man on the ground, that is the normal procedure.

Even if evidence and argument at trial results in acquittal for Zimmerman, it doesn't invalidate the initial decision to prosecute.
As, presumably, no one commenting here was present at the scene, no one here can assert that the facts are so clear cut and unambiguous as to render a trial unnecessary or unjust.


Robert,

In a generic case, I would agree. In a generic case, the police and prosecutors review the evidence and determine whether there is enough evidence to support a prosecution. If, having done that, the case goes to trial a subsequent acquittal doesn't call into question the decision to prosecute the case.

However, this isn't the generic case. In this case, the police and prosecutors reviewed the evidence and determined that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Zimmerman. Weeks after that decision was made, advocacy journalism (that's a nice way of saying misleading and one-sided) created public pressure to reconsider the decision. Now, if Zimmerman is acquitted (or found by the judge to have immunity from prosecution because he acted in self defense), we'll have good reason to believe that the decision to prosecute was a bad one.

Lady Justice is supposed to be blind -- meaning cases shouldn't be brought for political purposes. An acquittal will be proof Lady Justice removed her blindfold.

Revenant said...

How about for the reason that there was an altercation on the street in which one man shot another?

That's like arresting a black man for rape based on a photo of him in bed with a white woman. Certainly the photo is consistent with rape -- but it is also consistent with consensual sex.

"He shot a man in an altercation" is consistent with both murder and with self-defense against an attacker. It is not sufficient grounds for arrest, let alone prosecution. That's why there was no arrest or prosecution until the "civil unrest" started up and politicians got involved.

Shana said...

So, reasonableman, you believe that the Colt 45's role as The Great Equalizer is a bug, not a feature? Odd.

AReasonableMan said...

Roger J.,

Trayvon Martin had every right to be where he was. There is no evidence that he was acting like a thug, this is a projection on you part. He was a young black male. No one fits sterotypes perfectly. There is really no evidence that he had any goal at the time other than walking back to his father's place, which is what would have happened without Zimmerman's intervention.

Zimmerman shot an unarmed 17-year old. There has to be some penalty.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

AReasonableMan,

Piling on at this point, but ...

If Zimmerman wasn't comfortable defending himself without resorting to deadly force he should never have placed himself in a situation where that possibility could arise. He should have stayed safely locked up in his car.

OK, I'm a middle-aged woman, not especially strong or fit. Should I be allowed out on the sidewalk, or is it my own damn fault if someone should happen to bash my head into the concrete, break my nose, blacken my eyes? After all, had I merely stayed safely behind a locked door, none of this hypothetical shit would've happened, right?

I'm open to persuasion that Zimmermann was in the wrong here, but the idea that he was in the wrong because he shouldn't have gotten in a position where this "child" (only 20 pounds lighter and several inches taller than himself) could put him in fear of his life ... that I don't buy. If that is the standard, most of us should be staying home. With the doors, as you say, locked.

Terry said...

AResonableMan wrote unreasonably:Zimmerman shot an unarmed 17-year old. There has to be some penalty.
Even if said seventeen year old is trying to beat him to death?

Carol said...

"the lack of support that this guy is getting from a large swathe of the community."

This is exactly why the rule of law should come to his aid. The actors in these incidents are not always the most appealing. If they were they would already have everyone's sympathy. How facile to say after the event that he overreacted.

No, it's the average schmuck who needs resort to the law, and the relevant facts, rather than rely particular character to protect himself.

Same for Trayvon. It is not relevant that he was a tatted up thug who called himself no_limit_Nigga; what is relevant is that he was beating Z's head into the cement threatening death or brain damage.

I Callahan said...

Zimmerman shot an unarmed 17-year old. There has to be some penalty.

Wrong. Again.

If Z was defending himself, and thought his life was in danger, it doesn't matter that T was 17 years old, or black.

What is the cutoff? If he was 18, does he get to defend himself? What if he was 21? What if he was also of Hispanic descent?

What are your guidelines that someone gets to defend their life with deadly force? And if you have none, what stops criminals from indiscriminately killing others, since they know they'll always have the upper hand?

For God's sake, think instead of emoting.

Ex-prosecutor said...

AReasonableMan

Could you enlighten us as to why and how you chose that moniker? I don't think I ever known of anyone with such hardened views and so unwilling to hear the facts before making up his mind.

AReasonableMan said...

Shanna said...
Is it ‘cowardice’ to refuse to accept the potential of death? How long must one allow a beating to go on before self defense would be deemed ok to these folks?

Zimmerman's injuries were not life threatening. I, and no doubt many others here, have been hurt a lot worse playing football. His response was completely disproportionate. It reflects fear and panic, and is exactly why he should not have put himself in that situation. If you aren't confident about your ability to handle yourself in situations like this then avoid them, something that would have been very easy to do in this case.

Zimmerman's shooting of Martin was completely unnecessary. He made multiple poor decisions and acted in a cowardly way when those decisions turned bad on him. Most men have picked off more than they can chew at least once in their life. You take your lumps and move on, you don't shoot someone out of blind panic.

Matthew Sablan said...

Zimmerman is lucky that his injuries were not life threatening. People who slip and hit their head on the ground die. Five, 10, 15 more pounds of force? Who knows what it would have taken for his skull to crack?

You are not obligated to let someone maim you before you fight back.

I Callahan said...

Zimmerman's injuries were not life threatening. I, and no doubt many others here, have been hurt a lot worse playing football.

Despite the fact that you weren't there, let's assume you're right. Why do you think that is? Maybe, because Z defended himself to keep his injuries from getting worse?

His response was completely disproportionate. It reflects fear and panic, and is exactly why he should not have put himself in that situation.

He was walking back to his car. He was then jumped from behind. What situation are you talking about?

If you aren't confident about your ability to handle yourself in situations like this then avoid them, something that would have been very easy to do in this case.

I'd say he was confident; or else he'd be the one who is dead instead of Martin.

Once again, quit reading into the evidence that which doesn't exist. Nothing in any of your comments even comes close to what actually happened, so either educate yourself as to what did, or avoid commenting on that which you have no clue.

AReasonableMan said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...
OK, I'm a middle-aged woman, not especially strong or fit. Should I be allowed out on the sidewalk,

Of course you should, and equally clearly you would not have behaved like Zimmerman did. No doubt Martin would have barely noticed you, as is generally the case for youths and older adults. I am pretty much invisible these days. Zimmerman wanted to be noticed.

Shana said...

Ah, so my skull must actually crack before I can defend myself?

AReasonableMan said...

Again, I am really sorry to make an issue of this because people on this site are clearly very worked up about Martin. But, Zimmerman shot an unarmed 17 year old. It is not unreasonable to expect that he get's his day in court. I would vote for manslaughter if it was an option.

Revenant said...

Trayvon Martin had every right to be where he was.

On top of an innocent man, pounding the man's head into the pavement?

Gotta disagree with you on that one. :)

Matthew Sablan said...

You haven't even heard the prosecution's evidence, and you are willing to vote against the guy? That's important, remember. They haven't presented their case, which is why I've always hedged and said "assuming this is true" and "provided the prosecution doesn't have an ace in the hole."

I Callahan said...

Of course you should, and equally clearly you would not have behaved like Zimmerman did.

How the hell do you know how she would have behaved? I would hope Ms. Thompson would be able to stop the man who is trying to kill her, even if it means deadly force.

Zimmerman wanted to be noticed.

Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence. Put up, or, you know the rest.

Robert Cook said...

Sensational stories reported in the press rarely, or never, provide sufficient information to allow for a reasonably accurate determination of the facts. For all the impassioned certainty of several persons here, there was an interaction on the street which ended up with one man dead by gunshot, and none of really knows what happened.

Zimmerman may very well have been justified in using lethal force, but that remains to be determined by evidence presented at trial.

Revenant said...

But, Zimmerman shot an unarmed 17 year old

I guess he should have armed himself before trying to kill a guy who was carrying a gun. :)

I Callahan said...

You haven't even heard the prosecution's evidence, and you are willing to vote against the guy?

Yup. Guilty until proven innocent.

I weep for my country.

Rabel said...

The original reporting on the incident, like this, poisoned the well. Some people will never get beyond those first inaccurate and emotional reports.

Revenant said...

Zimmerman may very well have been justified in using lethal force, but that remains to be determined by evidence presented at trial.

That's not how the law works.

There is supposed to be solid proof of guilt before the trial even starts. Unless the prosecution has damning evidence that Zimmerman is guilty -- and given that they've leaked everything up to and including the poor guy's college transcript it is safe to say they haven't -- they aren't supposed to put him on trial at all.

If a reasonable person can doubt Zimmerman committed murder -- and all reasonable people do -- then he won't be convicted. If he won't be convicted, having a trial at all is abuse of state power.

You know, the kind of thing you occasionally pretend to care about.

Shana said...

"Zimmerman may very well have been justified in using lethal force, but that remains to be determined by evidence presented at trial."

If Zimmerman hadn't had the press try to lynch him, I doubt any of us would be talking about this.

Matthew Sablan said...

See, I can accept Cook or Trad Guy's position: "We don't really know, there's enough there, a trial is a safe option." That seems fair; I'm not convinced it needed to go to trial, and I would have preferred it to go sooner rather than... well, later, after it exploded. But, if you're not convinced, or if you want to be extra sure, a trial is a legitimate way of doing that, even if not what I prefer in this case.

I just can't understand stating that Zimmerman is clearly guilty.

I Callahan said...

Zimmerman may very well have been justified in using lethal force, but that remains to be determined by evidence presented at trial.

So what's the standard RC? Each time a gun is used, someone should go to trial?

Hypothetical: You're at home, and you're armed. A guy breaks in, says he's going to kill you and your family. He points the gun at you, but you're quicker and get off 2 rounds and kill the attacker. Police investigation shows that all evidence points to the above facts.

Question: Should you go to trial for this?

AReasonableMan said...

Matthew Sablan said...
You haven't even heard the prosecution's evidence, and you are willing to vote against the guy?

This is true, but a lot of the evidence has leaked out and clearly most people here have made up their mind regarding the thuggish nature of Martin, who apparently deserved to die.

As far as I can see this kid was minding his own business and would still be alive if Zimmerman had not intervened in his life. If there had been a cop in Zimmerman's car rather than Zimmerman does anyone really believe that Martin would now be dead? Zimmerman has to take some responsibility for this unnecessary death.

chickelit said...

When I hear about the Zimmerman Martin fight I'm reminded of my cousin who was killed by an enraged man with his bare hands--head banged against concrete. If my cousin had had a gun he'd still be alive.

None of Martin's defenders here can swear that he couldn't have killed Zimmerman, and none of Zimmerman's defenders here can swear that he should have killed Martin.

I Callahan said...

As far as I can see this kid was minding his own business and would still be alive if Zimmerman had not intervened in his life.

Completely wishful thinking. He was NOT minding his own business, and even if he was, you don't physically assault someone who's following you. Had Trayvon not attacked Zimmerman, he ALSO would still have been alive.

If there had been a cop in Zimmerman's car rather than Zimmerman does anyone really believe that Martin would now be dead?

There are a couple of things wrong with this statement. First - you seem to infer that no one, unless they're a cop, can defend themselves. I should hope that shouldn't be the case, because if a cop is not around, you may as well let someone kill you. Second - if Trayvon was dumb enough to jump a cop, then he'd be just as dead. Somehow I don't think you'd be any less judgmental about that.

Zimmerman has to take some responsibility for this unnecessary death.

It was NOT unnecessary. It was necessary if Zimmerman thought his life was in danger.

I Callahan said...

none of Zimmerman's defenders here can swear that he should have killed Martin.

If the available evidence is to be believed, then I CAN swear that he should have killed Martin.

Robert Cook said...

"'Trayvon Martin had every right to be where he was.'

"On top of an innocent man, pounding the man's head into the pavement?

"Gotta disagree with you on that one. :)"


Examine the underlying assumptions of your statement: Zimmerman was "innocent," Martin, beating up on Zimmerman, presumably "guilty," the aggressor.

How can you be sure Martin did not fear for his safety from Zimmerman? How can you know that his altercation with Zimmerman was an act of aggression and not Martin's attempt to (as he may have believed necessary) defend himself against a man with a gun who has approached and challenged him?

bagoh20 said...

"Trayvon Martin had every right to be where he was."

Right up until his fist contacted another citizen's nose who also had every right to be where he was. Then there is that part of the world located right on top of Z's chest, where I don't believe Martin had the right to hang out randomly slamming the closest head into the pavement.

I know this may seem unreasonable to such a man as yourself, who hopefully is a troll. If not, please accept no position of responsibility, please.

Terry said...

AReasonableMan wrote unreasonably:
As far as I can see this kid was minding his own business and would still be alive if Zimmerman had not intervened in his life.

Aren't you talking about the guy who was shot while beating Zimmerman?

Jason said...

ReasonableMan:

Wow. You're dumber than most guitar players, and that's saying something.

bagoh20 said...

"How can you be sure Martin did not fear for his safety from Zimmerman?"

Simple, he had more than enough time to make it home to safety, if that's what he thought. In fact, he probably did make it home and returned to attack.

Zimmerman was returning to his truck. Martin didn't have to confront Z at all. Clearly he was not in fear for his life.

More likely hoping for a cool story to tell of knocking some dude out. It didn't go like it usually does. Fail.

Rabel said...

One question that is somewhat negative for Zimmerman is why would a teen who was on the verge of beginning a criminal life but hadn't yet crossed the line into violence take that first punch.

He could have been partially motivated by the "sucker punch" "knock the motherfucker out" meme which has become so popular on the internet.

But I would also look to the phone conversation with the girlfriend. Her self-report of the calls sounds innocent, but isn't it quite possible that a wanna-be gangster's girlfriend would encourage him to, let's say, be proactive.

Just looking to understand that first punch (the effect of which is gtossly underestimated by some).

AReasonableMan said...

chickelit said...
None of Martin's defenders here can swear that he couldn't have killed Zimmerman, and none of Zimmerman's defenders here can swear that he should have killed Martin.

This is true. It ignores the fact that Martin would still be alive if Zimmerman had simply stayed in his car as requested and not panicked when things went bad. Things do go bad sometimes when men interact, rarely does it end up with a dead youth lying in the street a few yards from his father's house.

Martin didn't mug Zimmerman. He wasn't stealing from Zimmerman's house. He went to get a candy. Zimmerman has a lot to answer for here. Maybe he convinces a jury that he isn't guilty of manslaughter but the dead body speaks very loudly, at least for some of us.

bagoh20 said...

Rabel, I also think the conversation with the girlfriend, if recorded, would tell us why this happened. He may have told her exactly what he was going to do. I wonder if she warned or encouraged him. One thing is for sure: he did not proceed home to safety and peace.

I Callahan said...

It ignores the fact that Martin would still be alive if Zimmerman had not punched Zimmerman.

FTFY.

Martin didn't mug Zimmerman. He wasn't stealing from Zimmerman's house. He went to get a candy. Zimmerman has a lot to answer for here. Maybe he convinces a jury that he isn't guilty of manslaughter but the dead body speaks very loudly, at least for some of us.

You're really bending in every direction to completely ignore the evidence that exists. Wow. Have you even tried in any way?

I have to say that based on your comments, I've never seen someone so completely closed-minded in my entire life. And that's saying something.

chickelit said...

Martin didn't mug Zimmerman.

Worse--he jumped him, initiating the lethal brawl.

In your world we all stay inside like good little burghers and let the gendarme sort things out. That shit flies in Britain but not over here.

Don't act like such a pussy.

bagoh20 said...

"It ignores the fact that Martin would still be alive if Zimmerman had simply stayed in his car as requested"

Just learn the facts and come back when you know what you are talking about.

I Callahan said...

RM:
It ignores the fact that Martin would still be alive if Zimmerman had simply stayed in his car as requested

chickelit:
In your world we all stay inside like good little burghers and let the gendarme sort things out. That shit flies in Britain but not over here.

Yup. Like a good little subject, you had better do what your betters say or else.

Nothing infuriates me more than that kind of thinking. Does more than 20% of this country even want to be independent anymore?

I Callahan said...

I would suppose that if ReasonableMan say a film that showed exactly what the evidence says happened, he still wouldn't believe it, and it would somehow be Z's fault anyway.

There is no reasoning with the unreasonable.

Shana said...

"...but the dead body speaks very loudly, at least for some of us."

True. It reminds me of the reason I have a big honkin' pistol in my car, and that my husband probably has a point in nagging me to get my concealed carry. Better put that on the to-do list.

Rabel said...

bagoh,
In my neck of the woods, many girlfriends would have told the guy to "go kick that motherfuckers ass."

Some of my ladies were a little coarse, I guess.

AReasonableMan said...

I am sorry but I can't get past what a coward Zimmerman was. There are plenty of men who have taken a beating at one time or another. What if they had all reacted by shooting their opponent dead?

At the very worst Zimmerman was not outmatched in this fight. He was older and heavier. If it had been a sanctioned fight, he would have been in a different division. When I was seventeen I would never have picked a fight with someone that much older, they were always stronger and meaner. For Zimmerman to shoot this unarmed youth simply because he was losing the fight was a cowardly over-reaction. Martin wasn't trying to rob him. Martin didn't know who he was. He just went out to buy some f**king candy. Why don't we acknowledge that Martin didn't need to die and would not have died if Zimmerman did not have the character that he does have.

Shanna said...

He made multiple poor decisions

It’s very easy for you to say that, knowing that Martin ended up attacking him, but he didn’t know that... Poor decisions aren’t illegal or life threatening, punching someone in the head is. Unless you have some sort of proof that Z started that fight, rather than just annoying Martin by being on his sidewalk, then you might have a case. That seems highly unlikely because of the lack of physical evidence, the fact that Z would be an idiot to start a fist fight when he had a gun and the fact that he knew the cops were on the way.

You are looking at it as Zimmerman got into a fight and was losing so he should have just taken it, even if his head was being slammed into the ground. But that applies equally to Martin. He got into a (probably started) a fight, which he ultimately lost, because Z pulled his gun. That’s why you shouldn’t get into a fight with someone when you don’t know if you can handle it. Martin made a poor decision that resulted in his death. That is very sad, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a crime.

chickelit said...

ARM admitted: When I was seventeen I would never have picked a fight with someone that much older, they were always stronger and meaner

This only indicates that you may be more rational that Martin was. Nothing more, nothing less, given the facts.

MarkD said...

Z should have held his fire until his brains were leaking on the sidewalk. Then, defending himself might have been considered reasonable, or something.

Lem said...

I want Zim to go to jail... so that Romney wins Florida.

Or something like that.

Take one for the team ;)

Terry said...

AReasonableMan wrote unreasonably:
I am sorry but I can't get past what a coward Zimmerman was.

So you do know exactly what happened on that sidewalk? Funny, until now you have written things that showed that you were amazingly uninformed about the incident. You wrote, for example, that Martin was "minding his own business", when virtually every witness says that the two were fighting.

I wonder at what moment during the fight Zimmerman realized that Martin was underage and that he was going out for candy. Was it before or after he shot Martin?

Marshal said...

AReasonableMan said...
Things do go bad sometimes when men interact, rarely does it end up with a dead youth lying in the street a few yards from his father's house.


Your philosphy is that when someone attacks you you're required to rely on their goodwill not to kill you? You're welcome to live it. But I'm happy to live in a country where that philosophy is overwhelmingly rejected.

Bruce Hayden said...

Again, I am really sorry to make an issue of this because people on this site are clearly very worked up about Martin. But, Zimmerman shot an unarmed 17 year old. It is not unreasonable to expect that he get's his day in court. I would vote for manslaughter if it was an option.

Move to a different state then. A lot of people were going to trial for self-defense, and then being acquitted, after spending much time in jail and money for a decent defense attorney. Florida decided that self-defense is a basic right, and that if someone is clearly protecting their own life or that of someone else, that they shouldn't go through an entire trial to get there, potentially spending months in jail first, to get there. And, thus, the immunity hearing that is the subject of this post.

Other states have decided this question differently. Let me suggest that if you don't like this sort of deference to self-defense use of deadly force, then you should live in a state that will put you in jail when you try to defend yourself.

virgil xenophon said...

I'm rather amused by AReasonable man's obvious lack of medical knowledge as revealed by his description of Zimmerman's "minor" injuries.. My late Mother tripped on some carpeted stairs at a dept store, fell face forward with such rapidity that she didn't even have time to use her arms to cushion the blow and hit full face. Although nothing was broken to the naked eye, (no blood, no black eyes, etc, her glasses, tho knocked off, weren't even broken) she nevertheless received a brain contusion, bled out internally in the brain and was in a coma within 30 min from which she never recovered. It doesn't take much. Zimmerman was a very lucky man...ARman's ignorance of things medical is astounding..

victoria said...

Totally told from the point of view of Zimmerman's attorney. What else is he going to say?

Balderdash


Vicki from Pasadena

Mel Plontz said...

I'm a South FL lawyer, but I will join with those in the sub-headline. This should end soon.

Trayvon Martin's mother lives in South FL and has just filed a suit in Federal Court seeking damages from the HOA. If his SYG defense is accepted, then that puts an interesting angle on her claim of negligence by the HOA in "employing" Zimmerman in this neighborhood watch role. HOA's in FL are in miserable shape with the mortgage/foreclosure crisis. All they need is a fat judgment up there.

Marshal said...

I am really sorry to make an issue of this because people on this site are clearly very worked up about Martin.

The people worked up over the Martin case aren't on this site. People here are responding to the over the top positions held by others.

Bruce Hayden said...

At the very worst Zimmerman was not outmatched in this fight. He was older and heavier. If it had been a sanctioned fight, he would have been in a different division. When I was seventeen I would never have picked a fight with someone that much older, they were always stronger and meaner. For Zimmerman to shoot this unarmed youth simply because he was losing the fight was a cowardly over-reaction. Martin wasn't trying to rob him. Martin didn't know who he was. He just went out to buy some f**king candy. Why don't we acknowledge that Martin didn't need to die and would not have died if Zimmerman did not have the character that he does have.

Because you are making a lot of this up?

First, as I pointed out above, Martin was maybe 10-15 pounds lighter, but maybe 4 inches taller. Zimmerman was still a bit pudgy, and probably not in very good shape. Martin had recently played varsity sports in high school.

Martin bragged about swinging on a bus driver shortly before this altercation. Maybe it was all brag. But, there is no evidence to show him to be non-violent. And, indeed, more evidence to show the opposite, along with being a law breaker, given his pot use and being caught with women's jewelry that didn't belong to him.

And, no, there is absolutely no evidence that Zimmerman was meaner than Martin. Rather, his short and somewhat pudgy stature, mannerisms, etc. would indicate quite the opposite for Zimmerman. He may have committed violence 10 years earlier, but not recently after getting married and nearing 30. A more likely scenario is that Martin felt dissed by Zimmerman suspecting him of ill intent, and assaulted him, figuring that it was dark, and that he would be able to safely get some licks in - not knowing that the police were already in route.

The Skittles and Arizona Watermelon drink were two of three ingredients for "lean" (the other being cough syrup) a popular street drug that Martin claimed to be fond of. His staggering around in the 7/11 video shortly before the incident could be explained by his use of the drug (and part of why it got that name).

Martin wasn't just walking home from 7/11. That was a 5 minute walk, and he left 7/11 more than a half an hour earlier. He was unknown in the neighborhood, was almost sneaking around, with his hood of his sweatshirt up, etc. Yes, he was skinny, but from his height, looked like an adult to Zimmerman.

And, you are correct that there is no evidence that Martin was trying to rob Zimmerman. If he was up to no good, it is more likely that burglary was on his mind (given the jewelry and the cost of that gold grill of his).

The timing is such that Martin had plenty of time to get back to his father's GF's place, after first talking to Zimmerman, if he had wanted to. Rather, by most of the evidence so far, he doubled back and jumped Zimmerman, punched him in the nose, knocking him down, and then, while on top of him, beat his head into the concrete.

And, while Martin was legally entitled to be in the gated community, because he was visiting his father, whose girlfriend lived there, so did Zimmerman, who wasn't visiting, but rather lived there.

Synova said...

Men who get in fights and beat the tar out of each other without fear for their life if they lose either 1) know each other, or 2) are surrounded by people they know will pull them apart, or 3) have observed the preliminary ritual posturing that proves everyone knows the rules.

People are beat to death EVERY DAY.

It's not brave to expect a fair fight from someone who attacks you, it's stupid.

Jay said...

AReasonableMan said...
I am sorry, but any 28 year old man who feels it is necessary to gun down an unarmed 17 year old boy deserves to go to jail.


Yes!!!

Because that is totally like what happened!

Really, it is!

Jay said...

AReasonableMan said...

At the very worst Zimmerman was not outmatched in this fight. He was older and heavier.


The fact that he is older is irrelevant and he is 10lbs heavier.

And shorter.

By the way jakie, I think it is cute you came back with another sockpuppet handle.

Jay said...

AReasonableMan said...


Zimmerman's injuries were not life threatening


Except for the fact you're not a doctor and whether or not they were "life threatening" is totally irrelevant as a matter of law.

Idiot.

Jay said...

AReasonableMan said...
For Zimmerman to shoot this unarmed youth simply because he was losing the fight was a cowardly over-reaction


Except that isn't what happened, Jake Diamond.

I'm sorry, but you're an idiot and you have demonstrated zero interest in familiarizing yourself with the relevant facts.

Which is why you're typing stupid shit on the Internet.

Bruce Hayden said...

Trayvon Martin's mother lives in South FL and has just filed a suit in Federal Court seeking damages from the HOA. If his SYG defense is accepted, then that puts an interesting angle on her claim of negligence by the HOA in "employing" Zimmerman in this neighborhood watch role. HOA's in FL are in miserable shape with the mortgage/foreclosure crisis. All they need is a fat judgment up there.

In a perfect world, the suit would be dismissed as frivolous, and sanctions imposed. There is no evidence whatsoever that Zimmerman was working as Neighborhood Watch at the time of the incident, and there is evidence that he did not work such armed.

What Martin's family would be arguing is negligence, but that requires proximate cause, and that, I would suggest, is missing. Besides, in a lot of states, there is contributory negligence. Swinging on Zimmerman, knocking him to the ground, and beating him, would likely be either significant comparative or contributory negligence (or, actually an intentional tort), or an intervening cause.

Maybe the better law suit might be against Martin's parents for pretty gross negligence in the raising of their son. As he was still under age, and living with his parents, they should have some responsibility.

Synova said...

Self-defense doesn't have to wait until after someone kills you.

Only the police have to wait for that.

Hagar said...

Go back to Bruce Hayden's far far above. This is about a "Stand Your Ground" hearing, not a trial.

And if this judge remains in carge of the hearing, Zimmerman is quite likely to "lose," regardless of the merits of his case.

Gene said...

A grown man cannot profile and pursue an unarmed child. . . " Benjamin Crump, attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin

Like many people these days, Mr. Crump seems to feel that it's illegal to profile anyone. In truth, millions of people profile millions of other people (not to mention, dogs, insects and mushrooms) every day. It's how we protect ourselves in an unsafe world, which is to say it's an essential part of life. Ask Jessie Jackson. When he's walking down the street at night he's very careful to profile the people behind him. Ask a young girl who has to decide whether to enter an elevator up to her floor when the door opens and she sees someone inside she's never seen before. It strikes me as astonishingly foolish to do otherwise.

Revenant said...

How can you be sure Martin did not fear for his safety from Zimmerman? How can you know that his altercation with Zimmerman was an act of aggression

I don't have to know what happened. I just have to know what is reasonable to believe happened. Given the known facts, the only reasonable conclusion is that Martin was the aggressor.

How can you be sure Martin did not fear for his safety from Zimmerman?

The standard isn't "was he afraid". The standard is "was it reasonable for him to be afraid". The only marks on Martin are his bloody knuckles and a bullet hole. What reasonable grounds did Martin have for fearing for his life?

Martin's attempt to defend himself against a man with a gun who has approached and challenged him?

There is no evidence that Zimmerman approached Martin or confronted him, and police aren't supposed to arrest people based on hypotheticals.

As for the idea that Zimmerman had his gun out -- so we're supposed to believe that Zimmerman had a gun out, but let Martin approach him, punch him, drag him to the ground and beat his heat against the pavement BEFORE shooting him? This is the scenario you think jurors will accept as true beyond a reasonable doubt?

Come on, get real.

Revenant said...

Wow. You're dumber than most guitar players

I love that live so much I want to marry it and have little rhetorical offspring with it.

AReasonableMan said...

Bruce Hayden said...
First, as I pointed out above, Martin was maybe 10-15 pounds lighter

From the Wikipedia page:

Martin weighed 158 pounds at the time of his death.

Zimmerman's weight as 185 pounds on his Seminole County Sheriff's Office Inmate Booking Information dated 4/11/2012.
Zimmerman's weight at 200 pounds on the Sanford Police Department Offense Report for 2/26/2012.

According to the police reports, which I asume you accept, Zimmerman was between 27 and 42 pounds heavier.

Most of the rest of your post regarding Martin is projection. Zimmerman actually has documented violence in his past.

Having seen these kinds of interactions play out multiple times when I was younger, Zimmerman's account of what happened does not have the ring of truth. It is obviously his right to present things as favorably as possible but I think more than a little scepticism is justified in this case.

Ex-prosecutor said...

Mr. AReasonableMan:

As one of the many who have tried to penetrate your firmly-held beliefs as to this matter, I have a question:

Have you ever believed one thing strongly and, then, found you were wrong?

If, please enlighten us.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

AReasonableMan,

[Me:] OK, I'm a middle-aged woman, not especially strong or fit. Should I be allowed out on the sidewalk[,]

[You:] Of course you should, and equally clearly you would not have behaved like Zimmerman did. No doubt Martin would have barely noticed you, as is generally the case for youths and older adults. I am pretty much invisible these days. Zimmerman wanted to be noticed.

(1) I have certainly been "noticed" by "youths," having been the target of two attempted muggings.

(2) I think I would have behaved -- not quite as Zimmerman did, but at least with curiosity at what someone I didn't know was doing roaming around in the rain in my neighborhood apparently checking out houses in a hoodie. No doubt that is sufficient cause for someone to bash my face in. If I'd merely minded my own business and stayed behind a locked door, none of this terrible tale would've unfolded itself.

We have a "neighborhood watch" on my block. It's basically an excuse for an annual barbecue in the middle of the street (it was last week), but it does mean that we all know who lives on the block, all have one another's phone numbers, and so forth. Insidious, yes?

Revenant said...

It ignores the fact that Martin would still be alive if Zimmerman had simply stayed in his car as requested

So, to clarify:

Martin -- the stoned teenager who wasn't a resident of the community -- had a right to walk around the neighborhood.

Zimmerman -- the neighborhood watch volunteer who lived a few apartments over in the neighborhood -- did NOT have a right to walk around the neighborhood. Or to be suspicious of strange potheads in his neighborhood. Or... to do anything else but take a beating, apparently.

Look, here's the actual reality: Martin would still be alive if he hadn't had a blunt where his brains should be. He jumped the wrong guy and got killed. It is a tragedy -- but a tragedy in a "teenager crashes into a utility pole driving home drunk from a party" sense, not a "victimized by a bad person" sense. It is a damned shame when teenagers act like idiots and die, but that's adolescence for you.

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

Synova said...
Men who get in fights and beat the tar out of each other without fear for their life if they lose either 1) know each other, or 2) are surrounded by people they know will pull them apart, or 3) have observed the preliminary ritual posturing that proves everyone knows the rules.

It's not clear that your third condition did not apply, at least to Martin. Zimmerman initiated this contact in his self appointed role as community defender. Whatever happened next it is reasonable to assume that Martin did not expect to be shot to death. The person who violated this condition was not Martin, based on the physical evidence. Despite Zimmerman's post hoc statements, there is no evidence that Martin intended to kill someone, had killed anyone in the past or had any desire to kill someone.

Revenant said...

I have to say that I love the idea that "weighs less" = "isn't a threat". It makes me wonder why the army tries to discourage obesity.

AReasonableMan said...

Ex-prosecutor said...
As one of the many who have tried to penetrate your firmly-held beliefs as to this matter, I have a question: Have you ever believed one thing strongly and, then, found you were wrong?

I don't believe anything particularly strongly in this case. I don't believe almost anything that Zimmerman has said to date. Maybe he is telling the truth. Personally, I would not base any of my own beliefs on Zimmerman's credibility and I am surprised that so many are willing to do so.

I do know that he shot an unarmed youth. At a minimum, he should face a jury of his peers for that action.

AReasonableMan said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...
AReasonableMan,

(1) I have certainly been "noticed" by "youths," having been the target of two attempted muggings.


I am sorry to hear that you have beem mugged. I have had a gun pulled on me twice and it is not something you quickly forget. This being said, it is irrelevant to this particular case. There is no suggestion that Martin intended to mug anyone.

Jason said...

ReasonableMan: "Zimmerman's injuries were not life-threatening."

Funny. I just tried to call Natasha Richardson to get her comment on that. I couldn't get a hold of her.

Why do you think that is, retard?

chickelit said...

AReasonMan condemned & suggested: At a minimum, he should face a jury of his peers for that action.

Thankfully, we have voir dire.

Jason said...

there is no evidence that Martin intended to kill someone,

Well, other than the small matter of him pounding Zim's head into the pavement, shit-for-brains.

You mentioned you were a woodworker. You really need to do your shellacking in a more well-ventilated area.

rubymudpuppy said...

AnInsaneMan, why you ignore commenters' comments about scar on Zimmerman's head?

Eric said...

Again, I am really sorry to make an issue of this because people on this site are clearly very worked up about Martin. But, Zimmerman shot an unarmed 17 year old. It is not unreasonable to expect that he get's his day in court. I would vote for manslaughter if it was an option.

This is why we don't determine the outcome of trials by vote.

Some people are saying "Wait until the prosecution puts on its case. They may have some evidence we haven't seen." That's not the way trials work. They've already presented their evidence to the grand jury. There isn't any there there.

garage mahal said...

Thing is too, Zimmerman just oozes credibility. Him and his old lady. They haven't lied yet, have they?

AReasonableMan said...

Jason said...
Well, other than the small matter of him pounding Zim's head into the pavement, shit-for-brains.

Dear Jason, the injuries are really very minor and could have been sustained if Zimmerman had simply fallen over. Given the generally unfavorable view that everyone here seems to have regarding Zimmerman's physical capabilities perhaps this is the most likely scenario. Again, I believe very little of what Zimmerman is saying. You are obviously welcome to buy into as much of his nonsense as you like, but caveat emptor.

Jason said...

the injuries are really very minor

You know why? Because Zim had the presence of mind to shoot Martin.

Now, tell, me, drooler. Why can't I get Natasha Richardson on the phone to comment on whether Zim's injuries were life-threatening or not?

Why?

William said...

I suppose if Zimmerman had acted with perfect tact and discretion, the altercation could have been avoided. But that goes double for Martin. He upped the ante considerably by punching Zimmerman.....It is the opinion of a Reasonable Man and Crump that eyeballing and following black teenagers is an act of aggrerssion and that such aggressors deserve to be punched out.....I don't think it can honestly be claimed that Martin was in fear of his life. That initial assault was not the act of someone in fear for his life. I do think that Zimmerman should have been sufficiently on his guard to not let Martin land the first punch. But it happened, and he had every right to fear for his life under the circumstances.....What is the appropriate moral to be drawn from this story: 1) It is wrong to eyeball black teenagers in high crime areas unless they are actively engaged in crime, or 2.) It is wrong to start a physcal confrontation with someone solely because they are following you.....The liberal reading is the first one, but I think must reasonable people believe that option 2 is the saner course of action.

rubymudpuppy said...

"You are obviously welcome to buy into as much of his nonsense as you like, but caveat emptor."

Go look in the mirror, AnInsaneMan.

Terry said...

AReasonableMan wrote unreasonably wrote:
Again, I believe very little of what Zimmerman is saying.

What a strange position to take. Why would you not believe Zimmerman? Why is your fervid imagination to be trusted over Zimmerman's words? It seems to me that AReasonableMan would believe what Zimmerman said unless there was evidence that what he said was untrue.

AReasonableMan said...

William said...
I suppose if Zimmerman had acted with perfect tact and discretion, the altercation could have been avoided.

Exactly my point. For an adult man, carrying a gun, acting as an authority figure, to get himself into this situation indicates a serious lack of something. To base any conclusions about what actually happened on this idiot's post hoc statements seems very unwise. This guy has issues, which have played in a tragic way for Martin and his family.

Revenant said...

Thing is too, Zimmerman just oozes credibility. Him and his old lady. They haven't lied yet, have they?

Well, if he lied about money then obviously he's a murderer.

Who could think to argue with that logic? :)

Revenant said...

Dear Jason, the injuries are really very minor and could have been sustained if Zimmerman had simply fallen over.

He fell over and landed on both his back and his face?

How many points did the East German judge give him for that gymnastic move?

Bruce Hayden said...

Some people are saying "Wait until the prosecution puts on its case. They may have some evidence we haven't seen." That's not the way trials work. They've already presented their evidence to the grand jury. There isn't any there there.

Except that this time, it didn't go to the grand jury. Rather, the prosecutor charged through an information that was, I think, inadequate. The charged mens rea was essentially that Zimmerman got out of his truck (in his own gated community) and was legally carrying a legally concealed weapon. That was supposed to support the level of indifferent behavior required for a 2nd Degree charge. Which is to day, that I don't think that she could get a conviction (with a racially neutral jury) even if Zimmerman were not claiming self-defense.

garage mahal said...

So we've established quite clearly Zimmerman won't hesitate to lie when it's beneficial to him.

AReasonableMan said...

Terry said...
Why would you not believe Zimmerman?

Because he clearly panicked and is now almost certainly lying to cover his ass.

Bruce Hayden said...

Exactly my point. For an adult man, carrying a gun, acting as an authority figure, to get himself into this situation indicates a serious lack of something.

Not sure where you got this "acting as an authority figure".

Zimmerman was legally carrying a concealed weapon. Martin didn't attack someone whom he thought was armed, but rather, someone he most likely thought that he could beat up with impunity. Martin apparently didn't see the gun until he had Zimmerman on the ground.

As for believing Zimmerman, there really isn't a choice. There aren't any other credible alternatives that are supported by a significant portion of the evidence that we have seen so far. You are free to continue make things up, as is Crump, the Martins' attorney, but expect to be ridiculed if they aren't supported by the evidence.

Revenant said...

So we've established quite clearly Zimmerman won't hesitate to lie when it's beneficial to him.

Yes, we have established beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a member of the species "homo sapiens".

Bruce Hayden said...

Because he clearly panicked and is now almost certainly lying to cover his ass.

Of course he panicked. He was having his head beat into the concrete, and, then, according to his story, Martin saw the gun and grabbed for it.

You are going to have to do a lot better than that. A lot of people are going to panic if facing what Zimmerman faced.

rubymudpuppy said...

"So we've established quite clearly Zimmerman won't hesitate to lie when it's beneficial to him."

Oh god. You are killing me. LOL

Why can't you see that on Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and other polticians?

Paul said...

What? Are they now saying all along Zimmerman was innocent due to SYG?

AFTER ALL THE HELL THEY PUT HIM THROUGH?

Yes we know his arrest was political and Zimmerman can actually say he is a political prisoner.

And just yesterday the prosecutor 'accidentally' released personal info on Zimmerman.

Yea.. special paid prosecutor just accidentally releases info.

I hope Zimmerman sues and sues and sues.

Revenant said...

Zimmerman was legally carrying a concealed weapon. Martin didn't attack someone whom he thought was armed, but rather, someone he most likely thought that he could beat up with impunity. Martin apparently didn't see the gun until he had Zimmerman on the ground.

I think we're supposed to believe that Martin saw the gun and was afraid, but that Zimmerman then attacked Marin, but somehow all the injuries wound up on Zimmerman's body.

Basically, Martin was like Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid. Totally opposed to the use of violence, but easily capable of messing you up if you start something with him. Zimmerman was like that guy from Cagney and Lacey who played the evil karate teacher.

AReasonableMan said...

Bruce Hayden said...
Martin didn't attack someone whom he thought was armed, but rather, someone he most likely thought that he could beat up with impunity.

You do not know this to be true.

AReasonableMan said...

Bruce Hayden said...
He was having his head beat into the concrete, and, then, according to his story, Martin saw the gun and grabbed for it.

I am glad that you used the word story, because that is all it is.

chickelit said...

It seems that AReasonableMan believes that the accused are guilty until proven innocent. I'll add that he/she believes that Zimmerman should have laid back and thought of Selma during the beating.

Eric said...

Dear Jason, the injuries are really very minor and could have been sustained if Zimmerman had simply fallen over.

No, the injuries are not minor, and yes, I suppose we could believe he sustained them in a fall if not for the fact that we have a witness who saw Martin straddling Zimmerman and pounding his head against the pavement.

You don't actually know anything about this case, do you?

chickelit said...

I simply can't believe that Trayvon's mother would have the idea to profit off the name of her dead son: link. It's much easier to believe that someone put her up to it. But who?

chickelit said...

I'll add that he/she believes that Zimmerman should have laid back and thought of Selma during the beating.

Wasn't Althouse just lecturing us the other day how appropriate it is to just turn the other cheek when taking a beating?

AReasonableMan said...

Bruce Hayden said...
As for believing Zimmerman, there really isn't a choice.

There very definitely is a choice. Zimmerman is not a credible witness. Everything he has said has become increasingly self serving.

In Zimmerman I see a coward who wanted to act tough, panicked when he couldn't pull it off and then killed an innocent youth when things went bad for him. I would see this the same way if they had both been white, asian or eskimo. This is about how young and not so young men behave in public places and nothing Zimmerman is saying really gets at how this encounter went so badly. It's all apparently a big mystery to him. I am sure that is a lie.

garage mahal said...

Yes, we have established beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a member of the species "homo sapiens".

Yes. Zimmerman could be lying about the entirety of this encounter. Or he could be telling the truth. Previously lying to the court makes me a bit more suspicious about his version of events though.

Eric said...

In Zimmerman I see a coward who wanted to act tough, panicked when he couldn't pull it off and then killed an innocent youth when things went bad for him

And yet there isn't a shred of evidence to support your belief. I suppose you're free to believe whatever you want, but you certainly haven't let the fact get in your way.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

AReasonableMan,

I am sorry to hear that you have been mugged. I have had a gun pulled on me twice and it is not something you quickly forget. This being said, it is irrelevant to this particular case. There is no suggestion that Martin intended to mug anyone.

And I didn't mean to suggest any such thing.

My point is that the idea that "youths" as such don't notice "older adults" is complete bollocks, given that some "youths" see "older adults" as convenient piggy banks.If you think otherwise, I suggest going to a neighborhood beloved of "youths" (I am sure there's one tolerably near where you live), and walking slowly through it wearing a suit. Bonus points if you cross-dress and wear a woman's suit.

NB: You misread me. I didn't say I had been mugged; I said that twice someone tried to mug me. It's astonishing how astonished some guys can be when they try to snatch your bag and you just don't let go of it.

It's my husband who was actually held up at (alleged) gunpoint. (I say "alleged" because we have no idea whether he was actually armed or not. Thankfully all the dude wanted was his wallet; there was a viola worth several thousand dollars in the back seat.)

exhelodrvr1 said...

Reasonable,
Are you actually using the comparative body weights as guidelines for their comparative physical capabilities? Are you that obtuse?

marklewin said...

If Zimmerman's self-defense claim rests largely with his credibility and he damaged his credibility by failing to be open and honest about his finances at a bail hearing, hasn't this placed him at a significant disadvantage with the court? Assuming there is limited evidence supporting the claims of the plaintiff or the defendant, from an empirical perspective wouldn't the Court rely on the data that appears to be the strongest, i.e. one piece of which is that Zimmerman is a liar?

jr565 said...

garage mahal wrote:
Yes. Zimmerman could be lying about the entirety of this encounter. Or he could be telling the truth. Previously lying to the court makes me a bit more suspicious about his version of events though.

And passing a lie detector test the day after the shooting is suggestive that he is telling the truth. By the way, what he was found to have lied about? anything to do with the shooting?

Revenant said...

Zimmerman could be lying about the entirety of this encounter.

You mean he didn't actually shoot Martin? And that was somebody else on the phone with the cops? Was it an evil twin? That doesn't make sense -- Zimmerman's the one with the goatee.

Previously lying to the court makes me a bit more suspicious about his version of events though.

Garage, you were claiming Zimmerman was obviously guilty months before the alleged lying took place. This is one of many reasons why it brings a smile to my face to see you tut-tutting another person's fibs. :)

Fen said...

How can you be sure Martin did not fear for his safety from Zimmerman?

Easy, if Martin was in fear for his safety he would have fled home. Instead, he doubled back to stalk and then ambush Zimmerman.

Fen said...

Libtard: Zimmerman's injuries were not life threatening.

The standard under the law is in fear of your life or grevious bodily harm. Having your head bashed into concrete can easily result in TBI (traumatic brain injury).

There's a guy in England who had his head bashed into concrete by police - he cant walk or feed himself or even talk to his children. His wife has to wipe him. Something I wish would happen to people like you who ignorantly claim he was in no danger.

bagoh20 said...

There is a limit to how much value to put on a person's history of honesty when the stakes get this high. I would not be surprised if a normally honest person would lie to avoid being convicted of murder when they have a way out it. There are very few times I can accept lying, but even from an normally honest person I expect it in some instances. If a rapist is chasing you down and he asks someone which way you went I expect that person to lie. If lying will save them from life in prison, and it hurts no one else, I expect a lie.

That said, I don't believe Zimmerman is lying about the shooting, but the evidence is what matters to me, not his word. It just carries little weight for me when it's this important.

bagoh20 said...

History has also shown me that the prosecution will lie easily and often regardless of the stakes. Justice would be better deaf, than blind.

Revenant said...

If Zimmerman's self-defense claim rests largely with his credibility

It doesn't.

If you looked exclusively at the evidence (the wounds to both men, the 911 tapes, and the eyewitness testimony) and had absolutely no idea what Zimmerman had said happened, you would conclude that Martin attacked Zimmerman and Zimmerman shot him in self-defense.

All the wounds are on Zimmerman, except for Martin's bloody knuckles and the bullet hole that ended the fight. Martin was on drugs; Zimmerman was sober. Zimmerman knew the cops would be there any minute; Martin didn't.

The prosecution's theory is that Zimmerman called the cops, told them where to find him, and then ran off and committed a murder while they were on the way there. That's a retarded theory, and the complete lack of ANY supporting evidence for it doesn't improve it.

garage mahal said...

Martin was on drugs; Zimmerman was sober

right. Because smoking pot is notorious for making people hyper-aggressive.

bagoh20 said...

"Libtard: Zimmerman's injuries were not life threatening."

"Ahh dude, could you stop smashing my head, so I can get some x-rays and figure out just how bad this is getting? I don't want to shoot you unless I have to, so just let me up. I'll go get it checked out, and if I'm really not in danger here, we can resume this where we left off. What do you say, next week at 8pm?

Jason said...

ReasonableMan:

Funny... you keep saying Zim's injuries were not life threatening. But I still can't get Natasha Richardson on the phone to get her take on it.

Tell me why I can't get her on the phone, prick.

marklewin said...

If you looked exclusively at the evidence (the wounds to both men, the 911 tapes, and the eyewitness testimony...)

Was there more than one 911 tape? I have heard only one tape and it did not seem to capture an attack. As to the strength of eye witness testimony, it probably depends on a number of factors. Current research in this area raises many questions about the usefulness of some eye witness testimony. Another commentator referred to Zimmerman passing a lie detector test as evidence on his behalf, however this evidence will be excluded from court.

To me, Zimmerman's lie represents strong evidence that appears difficult to challenge and is obviously a self-inflicted wound.

AReasonableMan said...

Revenant said...
If you looked exclusively at the evidence (the wounds to both men, the 911 tapes, and the eyewitness testimony) and had absolutely no idea what Zimmerman had said happened, you would conclude that Martin attacked Zimmerman and Zimmerman shot him in self-defense.

I look at this evidence and see a man who panicked after initiating a fight and then shot an unarmed youth. It's not murder but he is guilty of manslaughter.

Bill Beeman said...

garage mahal said "Because smoking pot is notorious for making people hyper-aggressive."

Not exactly. But it does clearly lead to impaired decision making, and it may well have contributed to a really bad decision on Martin's part.

And AReasonableMan commented: "For an adult man, carrying a gun, acting as an authority figure, to get himself into this situation indicates a serious lack of something."

Actually the "acting as an authority figure" seems to be quite unsupported by the evidence so far made public.

And circumstances are not the same for everyone. While I'm six feet tall, I'm also well north of 70, and we are told by our sheriff that we can't expect better than a thirty to forty minute response time. In the last year we've had two nearby home-invasion attempts. To not carry in this circumstance would seem to indicate a serious lack of judgement.

Jason said...

WHY CAN'T I GET NATASHA RICHARDSON ON THE PHONE???

Terry said...

AReasonableMan wrote unreasonably:

I look at this evidence and see a man who panicked after initiating a fight.

That is not a reasonable belief.

AReasonableMan said...

This is the timeline for the Martin-Zimmerman encounter. At 7:11 Martin is running away and cannot be reasonably considered an aggressor. Five minutes later he is dead.
At 7:13 Zimmerman is looking for Martin. Three minutes later Martin is dead.


▪ 6:54 - 7:12 — Martin has an 18-minute cell phone call with a girl (reported to be his girlfriend) which gets disconnected.
▪ 7:09:34 - 7:13:41 — George Zimmerman calls the Sanford Police Department (SPD) from his truck; total time of the call is 4 minutes 7 seconds.
▪ 7:11:33 — Zimmerman tells the police dispatcher that Trayvon Martin is running.
▪ 7:11:59 — In reply to the dispatcher's question, "Are you following him?" Zimmerman says, "Yes." Dispatcher states, "OK, we don't need you to do that." Zimmerman replies, "OK."
▪ 7:12:00 - 7:12:59 — The girl calls Martin again at some point during this minute.
▪ 7:13:10 — Zimmerman says he does not know where Martin is.
▪ 7:13:41 — Zimmerman's call to Sanford police ends.
▪ 7:16:00 - 7:16:59 — Martin's call from the girl goes dead during this minute.
▪ 7:16:11 — First 911 call from witness about a fight, calls for help heard.
▪ 7:16:55 — Gunshot heard on 911 call.

To me this timeline does not support the idea that Martin was some kind of pumped up thug looking for a fight. What kind of thug runs away? It does support the idea that Zimmerman provoked a conflict despite being asked not to by the relevant authorities.

Ex-prosecutor said...

AReasonableMan said:

I look at this evidence and see a man who panicked after initiating a fight and then shot an unarmed youth. It's not murder but he is guilty of manslaughter.

The elements of all criminal offenses are spelled out precisely in the applicable. Your idea of what constitutes manslaughter simply is incorrect. Obviously, you feel very strongly about this matter to continuing to post comments and ignoring the heaps of criticism. If we were all members of a jury, the judge would instruct us to consider the views of others. For reasons I do not understand, you seem to be unable to do so.

Before broadcasting so widely your beliefs, I suggest you actually read the Florida statute setting out the definitions of manslaughter, most states, by the way, recognizing both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Your ideas as to the law are very incomplete.

Synova said...

Synova said...
Men who get in fights and beat the tar out of each other without fear for their life if they lose either 1) know each other, or 2) are surrounded by people they know will pull them apart, or 3) have observed the preliminary ritual posturing that proves everyone knows the rules.

"It's not clear that your third condition did not apply, at least to Martin."

You realize, don't you, that this isn't the way evidence works. The law requires that assumption of innocence and guilt has to be proven. I wasn't suggesting a legal standard, anyway, I was responding to your insistence that a fist fight is nothing but "boys will be boys" and can not be reasonably seen as a threat to one's life.

You're an idiot.

I gave examples to show how drastically *narrow* the normal "it's just a fist fight" thing is. Only a complete idiot would hold as the default position that someone banging their head into the concrete after they were down, instead of getting away after they were down, was just doing the man-thing.

"Zimmerman initiated this contact in his self appointed role as community defender."

You don't KNOW that. You can't PROVE that.

"Whatever happened next it is reasonable to assume that Martin did not expect to be shot to death. The person who violated this condition was not Martin, based on the physical evidence."

The physical evidence is that Martin was beating on Zimmerman, however they got there. Martin did not leave when Zimmerman went down. Lucky for Zimmerman he had a gun.


"Despite Zimmerman's post hoc statements, there is no evidence that Martin intended to kill someone, had killed anyone in the past or had any desire to kill someone."

Martin isn't on trial. It's entirely irrelevant what Martin *intended* about anything. It's only relevant what he actually did and if Zimmerman had a reasonable fear for his life or grievous bodily injury or however that goes.

That's the "condition" and that's all Zimmerman has to show. Martin isn't on trial. It doesn't make a bit of difference to anyone in the universe if Martin intended to murder Zimmerman or if he just made a dumb ass choice and got himself killed. Zimmerman isn't required by the law to be a mind reader.

Fen said...

garage mahal said: Because smoking pot is notorious for making people hyper-aggressive.

Actually, the type that Trayon Martin smoked (called "leaner" - a pot/cough syrup/arizona tea combination) is known to cause episodes of rage.

AReasonableMan said...

Ex-prosecutor said...
Your ideas as to the law are very incomplete.

This is true, but there is a common sense of justice that I think most people appreciate without a specific knowledge of particular state law codes. I don't think that Zimmerman deliberately set out to murder Martin. I do think Zimmerman is guilty of voluntary manslaughter, in the common sense understanding of this term. Through his deliberate actions he caused the unnecessary death of another human being. I'm not trying to win a legal argument here, I agree I am not a qualified lawyer. I am comfortable with the moral argument.

If Martin had been my son I would have moved heaven and earth to ensure that Zimmerman faced a jury. Martin's parent appear to be neither wealthy nor well educated and the path that they took to ensure justice for their son was less than ideal. But, at the end of the day, they were facing the possibility that their son's killer would walk free without facing any reasonable form of justice. They did what they had to do. I would have done the same, albeit using different tactics, as would just about anybody who has commented on this thread.

It amazes me that there is so little sympathy for Martin and his family. He wasn't perfect but he appears to have been just a really ordinary kid. Not real bright, not real good at school, not real good at anything as far as I can tell. Certainly no superman as a physical specimen. The attempt to build him up into some scary thug is not very convincing. He just seems very typical of kids that age, with all the negatives that entails.

AReasonableMan said...

I gleaned the following from descriptions of the autopsy report:

Martin had one small abrasion on his left ring finger below the knuckle.

He had trace amounts of THC in his blood. The THC amount was so low that it was most likely ingested days earlier and played no role in Martin's behavior.

So, there is no evidence that Martin brutally beat Zimmerman with his fists and there is no evidence that he was under the influence of drugs.

There is no evidence that Martin was a habitual drug user. Because of the long half-life of THC you would find similar levels of THC in 50% of kids his age in pretty much any neighborhood.

Fen said...

There remains no evidence that AReasonableMan has any knowledge of the actual facts in this case.

Synova said...

"To me this timeline does not support the idea that Martin was some kind of pumped up thug looking for a fight. What kind of thug runs away?"

Do you listen to yourself? Martin has "run away", Zimmerman tells the police he's gone. Zimmerman hangs up. Martin is GONE. Martin is SAFE.

"It does support the idea that Zimmerman provoked a conflict despite being asked not to by the relevant authorities."

Your fantasy requires that Zimmerman tells the police he's lost sight of Martin and in less than three minutes Zimmerman finds and chases down Martin (remember, Martin was gone), Zimmerman then starts a fight that goes so badly so fast that someone calls 911 (do people do that for manly fist fights?) and then, 40 seconds into the call, there is a gunshot.

All in three minutes.

Oh, and you suggest that there's no reason that my #3 didn't happen... ritual posturing and chest beating to indicate that both combatants understand the no-lethality rule.

How much time for that? 60 seconds? Remember Zimmerman had to RE-locate and chase down Martin and that had to take, what, another 60 seconds? That leaves, what, 0 seconds for someone to become alarmed by the manly fist-fight and call the police so that the call can be recorded for 40 seconds before the gun shot?

Maybe we should figure Zimmerman is awesome at locating and chasing down and it only takes him 30 seconds so there is 30 seconds of manly fist-fight before a neighbor is alarmed enough to call 911.

I'm trying to work with you here.

AReasonableMan said...

Synova said...
The physical evidence is that Martin was beating on Zimmerman, however they got there. Martin did not leave when Zimmerman went down. Lucky for Zimmerman he had a gun.

But, Zimmerman's injuries were very minor for someone supposedly being beaten to death. Zimmerman may have believed that he was about to be beaten to death, erroneously I suspect. But he wasn't actually being beaten to death when he shot Martin.

I think Zimmerman behaved like a coward. He overreacted and shot an unarmed youth to death. Zimmerman is not evil, just not a very admirable person.

Synova said...

"It amazes me that there is so little sympathy for Martin and his family. He wasn't perfect but he appears to have been just a really ordinary kid."

Sympathy is an odd standard for who is right and who is wrong.

We could just pick the prettiest person, or something?

Seriously... has it EVER occurred to you that BOTH Zimmerman and Martin could have been good and decent people? Or at least that BOTH of them were normal flawed but far from evil men on their way to honest and productive lives?

Cedarford said...

Amazing how AReasonableMan and Andy R can completely dominate any thread on Althouse they choose to take over - because so many posters just choose to become their catspaws.

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