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View Diary: What really happened between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman? (16 comments)

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  •  It isn't really 4th degree murder (3+ / 0-)
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    Gareth, kyril, native
    If you kill somebody in a bar fight with a gun, even if you didn't intend to, you are facing manslaughter.
    It is either voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.

    Intent doesn't mean that you hadn't planned on using lethal force.  Rather it is a question whether you knew your action could result in the death of the victim.

    If you hit someone with a bottle, and they die, you could argue that the assault lacked lethal intent.

    When you'll pull a gun, you eliminate the question of intent.  You are knowingly using lethal force.

    Zimmerman is claiming self defense, which is a confession to the crime of voluntary manslaughter.  There are two relevant legal questions.

    1.  When did Zimmerman decide to use the gun?

    2.  Did Zimmerman actually feel his life was threatened?

    Question 1 determines the whether it is 1st degree murder, 2nd murder or voluntary manslaughter.

    Question 2 determines whether his self defense claim can result in justifiable homicide.

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