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:

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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.

Synova said...

"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."

If Zimmerman *believed* that he was about to be beaten to death, and it's reasonable to have that fear, he has the right of self-defense.

The end.

He doesn't have to wait until he's been hurt *enough*.

None of this, NONE of this, requires Martin to have been an evil person. He doesn't even have to have been stupid, because even smart people sometimes make stupid mistakes. He doesn't have to have been trying to kill Zimmerman. He doesn't have to have had the first murderous thought in his head.

He JUST has to have made Zimmerman afraid that a guy who was "gone" just a moment before but who is now on top of him and pounding on him, might not stop.

You know... I jumped backward into another guy at the dojo and we cracked heads... just our weight, just another head and not concrete... and I was half-way to knocked out. I could not have continued to fight, if I were actually in a fight. Sounded like a 2X4 breaking in my skull.

I think you have very VERY strange ideas about fights.

Ex-prosecutor said...

To AReasonableMan:

Are you my wife? Her beliefs as to this case are as nutty as yours. Surely, there can't be two of you!

Shana said...

"I think you have very VERY strange ideas about fights."

This. It is as if he thinks you can have some kind of running commentary in your head as it is bashed against the concrete as to just how injured you should get first before defending yourself. "OK - I think my skull can take 2 more hits before my brains actually leak out. Better not react yet. That would be cowardly". Troll. Gotta be.

AReasonableMan said...

Synova said...
has it EVER occurred to you that BOTH Zimmerman and Martin could have been good and decent people?

I think this is basically true. Nonetheless, there are very few acts more intrinsically evil than killing an unarmed person. Since the shooting it also seems most probable that Zimmerman has repeatedly lied about what Martin said and did. So perhaps Zimmerman is a little more flawed than average but not a murderer and not intrinsically evil.

I doubt that Zimmerman will see serious jail time for this crime but he deserves to. Martin's parent's had every right to pursue their sense of justice in this case. I doubt many parents would not have done the same.

Terry said...

AReasonableMan wrote unreasonably:
But he wasn't actually being beaten to death when he shot Martin.
Obviously Zimmerman wasn't "being beaten to death" since he did not die. He was being beaten, and it may have led to his death if he had not acted. Or maybe not. Have you ever heard of the "reasonable man test"?
By the way, what ever happened to your claim that Martin "was minding his own business"?

AReasonableMan said...

Ex-prosecutor said...
Are you my wife? Her beliefs as to this case are as nutty as yours.

Can you get her an account, I could use some help here.

Fen said...

there are very few acts more intrinsically evil than killing an unarmed person.

Not in self-defense.

And Martin was hardly "unarmed". There are more deaths in the US due to fists than handguns.

bagoh20 said...

"I think Zimmerman behaved like a coward."

Well then that means that even you think he's innocent. He feared for his life, even if cowardly, it's not unreasonable. Self-defense does not require bravery.

So why are you arguing when you agree he acted out of fear for his life (self-defense)?

How much do I have to risk my life to protect the guy who is attacking me from paying the price of his aggression? Should I let him take the first shot if he's armed, how about let him empty his gun? That would be brave, but what if he's a kid, maybe then bravery would require I at least let him get in a flesh wound first like in a western. I get the distinct impression that bravery is another thing you don't understand very well.

Terry said...

AReasonableMan wrote unreasonablyIt does support the idea that Zimmerman provoked a conflict despite being asked not to by the relevant authorities.
Zimmerman was not asked to avoid provoking a conflict by relevant authorities.
Please try to be more truthful.

AReasonableMan said...

Synova,

The difference between our perspectives comes down to the fact that you buy into what Zimmerman has said. I don't.

I don't believe that Martin was was a serious threat to his life.

The most likely scenario is that the minor head injury occurred when Zimmerman fell, possibly over his own feet. I agree that a thug, repeatedly beating Zimmerman's head into the ground would have been capable of killing him. This didn't happen. I suspect nothing like this happened or was ever going to happen.

Synova said...

"The difference between our perspectives comes down to the fact that you buy into what Zimmerman has said. I don't."

No.

The difference between our perspectives comes down to the fact that I'm not trying to decide who I like better.

Ralph L said...

Can you get her an account, I could use some help here.
Best laugh of the day, thanks.

Eyewitnesses saw Martin wailing on GZ--do you not believe them?

Synova said...

Oh, and perhaps I should say about the head cracking incident that while everyone was far more concerned about the short middle aged female color-belt, and less concerned about the big tough male 30-something Hispanic black-belt, he was just as dazed for just as long.

There isn't any stupid "a man who wasn't a coward would be tougher than that."

Bruce Hayden said...

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

Actually, no. Martin's tox report showed THC in his blood, but at a concentration that would indicate that he had smoked some pot a day or so earlier. And, I am not even sure if pot that long ago would impair his judgment that much, and he wasn't old enough to be suffering the long term effects of the drug.

The much more likely drug implicated is the street drug "lean", which is typically made using cough syrup, a sweet drink like the Arizona Ice Tea Watermelon drink he bought at 7/11, along with candy such as Jolly Rancher or Skittles (which he also had also purchased that night). He apparently tweated repeatedly, and increasingly, about this drug, and seemed to be obsessing about how to acquire the required cough syrup. In comparison to pot, it does sometimes elicit violence, as well as erratic behavior, and sometimes a problem with staying upright - he very well could have been on the drug while lurching around the 7/11 that night (caught on video).

Bruce Hayden said...

The most likely scenario is that the minor head injury occurred when Zimmerman fell, possibly over his own feet. I agree that a thug, repeatedly beating Zimmerman's head into the ground would have been capable of killing him. This didn't happen. I suspect nothing like this happened or was ever going to happen.

You seem to be making this up as you go along. There is absolutely no evidence to support your claim that Zimmerman fell down over his feat and hit his head. None.

On the other hand, Zimmerman gave the story immediately, and repeatedly through the night, that Martin had struck him in the nose, knocking him down, sitting on top of him, beating his head against the concrete. And, yes, there was an eye witness that saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, beating him.

Zimmerman claimed that his gun (which he was licensed to carry concealed) was hidden until he was on the ground, and this would seem reasonable given that Martin would probably have been less likely to attack someone who he knew was armed.

The place where I think that Zimmerman may have embellished was getting from when Martin was on top of him beating his head into the concrete, to shooting him. He claims that Martin saw the gun and lunged for it, and that was when he shot him. And, that is just too convenient, and the sort of thing that they might just teach in a concealed carry class (like the one that Zimmerman and his wife took). Grabbing for your gun is pretty much always considered sufficient threat to life and major bodily injury to justify the use of lethal force in self defense. Which means that shooting someone grabbing for your gun is most often legally excused, at least in Florida.

I think that Zimmerman still wins at trial on self-defense, even if his claim that Martin was grabbing for his gun is sufficiently discredited. But, it may not get him immunity.

Revenant said...

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.

Exactly. And given that we're talking about a guy who brings his drugs to school with him, it is safe to say that impulse control and good decision-making were not his strong points to begin with.

Revenant said...

there are very few acts more intrinsically evil than killing an unarmed person.

There's nothing intrinsically evil about killing an unarmed person. You're just making the uninformed assumption that unarmed people can't seriously injure other people.

Actually it is more likely you're trolling, but since I'm kind of bored waiting for my pasta to cook I'm replying anyway.

ed said...

@ Bruce Hayden

Then how about a reason why Martin would -not- reach for a pistol? There are only a relative handful of places where you can carry a concealed pistol. Particularly a semi-automatic 9mm. Especially if you don't want that pistol to jam after the first round is fired as the slide cocks back and gets caught on fabric or clothing.

If Zimmerman was carrying the pistol in a shoulder holster or hip belt holster then I can easily see a jacket or windbreaker being displaced and revealing the pistol. If the pistol were carried in the small of the back, that would make it extremely difficult to both reveal it or draw it when on the ground. If an ankle holster, the same. If the pistol were in a holster but carried in a pocket depending on the weight of the jacket it may or may not be easy to see. But that's a bad way of carrying since it would be difficult to draw the pistol without it getting caught on clothing.

Plus Martin is a 17 year old gangsta wannabe. Or maybe not so wannabe after all. Why wouldn't he reach for the pistol? If Martin were on top of Zimmerman and bashing his skull into a concrete sidewalk then what limits are there to Martin's potential behavior?

Can you really posit a scenario where Zimmerman's pistol could be ready at hand and yet Martin not notice it at all? Or can you posit a scenario where Martin sees the pistol and then ignores it as he continues to bash Zimmerman's skull into the concrete?

If you were fighting someone and beating their head against a slab of concrete would you simply ignore the loaded pistol the man was carrying?

I'm genuinely curious. Because I don't see how.

ed said...

@ Bruce Hayden

"The much more likely drug implicated is the street drug "lean""

I read somewhere that the autopsy showed liver damage and scarring from using "lean". Which is insane for a 17 year old. If you're 17 and you've got detectable liver damage from a drug habit then you're not long for this world.

Kirk Parker said...

People,

Why are we even talking to this silly moby? Talk about not commenting in good faith...

Rusty said...

Nonetheless, there are very few acts more intrinsically evil than killing an unarmed person.




I bet the guy having his face eaten off would argue that point.


What is evil is allowing yourself to become a victim.

Fen said...

Why wouldn't he reach for the pistol?

I know I would. You'd be an idiot not to. In a close quarters brawl, *someone* is going to reach for the gun. Better me than him.

Fen said...

But he wasn't actually being beaten to death when he shot Martin.

Wrong, he was in fear of "grevious bodily harm", which is all you need to invoke the right to kill in self-defense.

Google "Traumatic Brain Injury concrete" and get back to us.

....like you're a serious commenter to begin with.

Big Mike said...

The difference between our perspectives comes down to the fact that you buy into what Zimmerman has said. I don't.

Well, two lie detector tests also bought into what Zimmerman has said.

Big Mike said...

Nonetheless, there are very few acts more intrinsically evil than killing an unarmed person.

What do you not get about "an inalienable right to Life"?

Eric said...

Nonetheless, there are very few acts more intrinsically evil than killing an unarmed person.

One of them might be to allow an unarmed person to kill you when you could have stopped him.

Sling Trebuchet said...

Synova said:

"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."

So
Zimmerman's NEN call connected at 19:09:34
It lasted 4 minutes 6 seconds - ending at 19:13:41

The first 911 call connected at 19:16:11

That's a gap of 2 minutes 30 seconds.
It would have taken Zimmerman 20 seconds to walk from where he says he ended the call, at Retreat View Circle, to where he says he was attacked just West of the T-junction on his way back to the truck.
He says that he was attacked less than 30 seconds after he ended the call. He says that he started walking back to his truck immediately.

He's got 2 minutes to explain.

What's this evidence of self-defence?
Nobody saw how the fight started.
Nobody saw it ending.
Withess 'John' saw them both prone on the grass about 40 feet South of the T-junction, wrestling (no straddling, no MMA-style - he changed his story in the light of the darkness :)
He saw them for about 20 seconds, then he locked up and when to dial 911.

If the fight started *when* Zimmermna describes it, then over 2 minutes of fighting had already taken place before the 911 call connected.
A further 42 seconds of fighting then took place - up to the shot.

Zimmerman's minor injuries only prove that he was losing a fight.
They are not consistent with a beating of 2 minutes and 40 seconds plus.

The beating would have been shorter of course, if Zimmerman had not in fact been attacked less than 30 seconds after he ended his call. But he insists that he was walking straight back to his truck.

There is no witness to the start of the fight.
There is clear evidence that Zimmerman's account of the time that he spent in the pathway area is false.

Any reasonable person would see from the timings that Zimmerman went in search of Martin.
They would hear "F**hing ****s. They always get away".
They might form an opinion that Zimmerman was going to make surre that this one wasn't going to get away.

Some of the posters above appear to have a world view in which:
I can pick a fight with you.
If I start coming off badly, I can shoot you ( in self-defence ) and walk free.

Revenant said...

He's got 2 minutes to explain.

Um... Sling... you DO realize that 911 call reported two men fighting, not two men "about to fight", right? He spent those two minutes getting beaten up by Trayvon Martin. There's no huge mystery to it.

As for the evidence of self-defense -- that would be the wounds all over his head from Trayvon beating him. Honestly, if you can't keep up, take notes or something. :)

Sling Trebuchet said...

Revenant said...
"He spent those two minutes getting beaten up by Trayvon Martin. There's no huge mystery to it."

I think that if you do some thinking about it, a mystery might emerge.

Two minutes = 120 seconds
But ass 42 seconds from the connection of the 911 to the sound of the shot.
So that's 162 seconds of fighting,

A decks B with a punch to the nose.
A straddles B
A punches B and bangs B's head on the ground.

How many punches per second?
Two?
So that's 324 punches.

How many head-bangs per second?
One?
That's 162 head bangs.

Nah!
Make it one punch per second, and one head-bang every two seconds.
So that's only 162 punches and 81 head-bangs

Eh... that still sounds like a lot.


Have you seen the photographs of Zimmerman taken in the station after he was cleaned up?
Have you seen the video of him walking about?

Does that look like the result of a 2 minute 42 second beating?

Would anyone like to hazard a rough guess at how many punches and head-bangs would result in such minor injuries.

Zimmerman guesses "over a dozen punches". Make it twenty - over 162 seconds
That would be one punch every eight seconds.

This would seem to have been quite a leisurely affair.
They probably stopped and had a chat between punches.
It's a wonder that Martin didn't break out the iced tea and offer some to Zimmerman.
They could have become best buddies.

"Like another sip?"
"Love to, but I think it's time you banged my head again."
"Never! I banged your head 10 seconds ago"
"No. It's been at least 15 seconds"

Almost Ali said...

Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump has three huge allies in this case:

1) Race

2) Judge Lester (aka Zimmerman's wannabe executioner - he's chomping at the bit)

3) Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, who's allied with Crump before in his very successful efforts to shake down every deep, white pocket he could find. It's no accident that Crump is a highly regarded member of Florida's Black Attorney's Millionaire Club - and is important to Bondi's political ambitions.

In short, "if" politics has anything to do with it, Zimmerman is screwed. Again.

Synova said...

"Zimmerman's NEN call connected at 19:09:34
It lasted 4 minutes 6 seconds - ending at 19:13:41

The first 911 call connected at 19:16:11
"

The call to the girl friend ends between then, so they are NOT fighting at the very least until after her call ends, and IIRC, she doesn't report having heard Zimmerman either.

Also, again... have you ever tried to *throw* a punch a second? The first one's a breeze. The second and third ones are, too, if someone holds the punching bag for you. After that someone who has trained could keep it up.

Like a ninja.

But it doesn't really matter since what I was *arguing* was against the silly idea that some sort of pre-fight posturing or argument could have taken place.

Time-wise someone had to have jumped someone.

And we're supposed to believe it likely that the guy who called the police and putzed around on the phone trying to see where the guy went that he thought was being suspicious, would suddenly morph into hunter-killer mode instead of call the police back again?

Synova said...

This is the time-line given, assuming it's accurate:


▪ 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.


Between dropping the call to Martin's girl friend and the 911 call is not two minutes. The most it can be is 11 seconds.

40 seconds after that Martin is dead.

Leisurely?

Sling Trebuchet said...

"Between dropping the call to Martin's girl friend and the 911 call is not two minutes. The most it can be is 11 seconds.

40 seconds after that Martin is dead."

Excellent!

It's great to see people thinking about the absolute times. These are not matters of opinion or memory. They are a matter of automation and physics.

You're right of course. I agree.
The Struggle probably lasted about a minute.
That would be allowing about 20 seconds from the start of it to the 911 caller noticing and getting connected.

I only pointed out that the struggle would have had to be very leisurely *if* we accept Zimmerman's story about being ambushed as he walked directly back to his truck.

His story is simply impossible.
First 911 connects at 19:16:11
The struggle began say 20 seconds earlier - at 19:15:51

Zimmerman's call ended at 19:13:41
He says that he then began walking straight back to his truck.
By 19:14:01, he's at the point where he says Martin attacked him.

But .... The struggle breaks out at 19:15:51

That's allowing 20 seconds for the walk at an average pace. (It just so happens it took that time in the Walk-Through - but that was not a reconstruction. There is a difference.
Zimmerman says "Less than 30 seconds"
Even allowing 30 seconds, there is an explained gap of almost 2 minutes.

So
Any reasonable person would deduce that he spent nearly 2 minutes searching for Martin before the struggle broke out.

Zimmerman has been adamant from the start that he
- never went south of the East-West path
- did not follow. He went into that area solely to get a house number
- did not search for Martin


What was he doing for nearly two minutes?

When faced with this on a witness stand, he will have to fall back on "I don't remember" as he is seen to to in his videoed interviews when pressed on the conflicts between his NEN call and his various stories.

It comes down to credibility.
His hunting for Martin destroys his SYG / SD.

He may also have some forensic issues.

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