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View Diary: Zimmerman Proves He Shot An Ordinary Teenager (30 comments)

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  •  Police ask the same question. . . . (0+ / 0-)

    When was the last time police were called to a Pot Party because fighting broke out?  You don't get belligerent smoking weed.  You either get the munchies or you get sleepy.    Painting a teenager belligerent after smoking weed is a figment of Hollywood, not real life.
    Zimmermann had to have gone after Martin with his pistol in his hand, not holstered.  Zimmermann is lying to save his ass.

    •  Not necessarily, but it doesn't matter (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, rlb

      From Martin's perspective he was being followed by a strange man who then attempted to make some sort of direct contact with him.  He had no idea who Zimmerman was, only that he had been following him in the dark and the rain.  How scared would any reasonable person be in that situation.  Put yourself there: The weird guy who has been watching you, following you, is suddenly right behind you and moving in.  Sounds scary?  You bet it does.  Even if he didn't see Zimmerman's gun at all, the scenario is threatening to any reasonable person.  Add to that Martin's youth and inexperience and you can bet it gets even scarier.  Even if Martin threw a punch when Zimmerman attempted to make contact (of whatever sort) it's a perfectly reasonable response, when threatened, to defend yourself.  Given Zimmerman's very minor injuries, it sure doesn't appear that Martin did much more than throw one or two punches, which completely undermines any defense based on fear of death or serious bodily harm...unless Zimmerman is claiming that he's just terrified of Black kids in general.

      "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

      by Triscula on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:35:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is where you went wrong (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, rlb, andalusi
        Even if Martin threw a punch when Zimmerman attempted to make contact (of whatever sort) it's a perfectly reasonable response, when threatened, to defend yourself.  
         

        That depends entirely on whether Zimmerman was the first to use, or threaten, actual physical force.  If Zimmerman attempted to "make contact" by coming up to Martin, and speaking to Martin, then throwing a punch in response is not a "reasonable" response -- legally, it would be battery.  The only time you are legally allowed to respond with force is when you are threatened with force (like someone pointing a gun at you) or someone else has used force on you.  That's a universal principle across this country.  Simply "feeling threatened" does not allow anyone to respond to force.  On the other hand, if the other person makes an actual threat of imminent force (like pointing a gun at you or trying to take a swing at you), absolutely you can respond with similar force.  That's a basic principle of self-defense.

        Given Zimmerman's very minor injuries, it sure doesn't appear that Martin did much more than throw one or two punches, which completely undermines any defense based on fear of death or serious bodily harm...unless Zimmerman is claiming that he's just terrified of Black kids in general
        Remember, the standard is a "reasonable belief" of death or great bodily harm.  That's an objective standard -- would someone in Zimmerman's situation, in the moments before he was shot, reasonably believe that he has to act to prevent death or great bodily harm.  (what kind of people Zimmerman is, or is not, "terrified of" does not matter at all.)  As the prosecution's witness testified Friday, no one has to wait until after suffering a serious injury to respond in self defense.  If someone throws one serious punch  at your head, and the situation is such that a reasonable person would believe that he is going to continue throwing serious punches at your head until you make him stop, that's probably going to be a reasonable reason to fear death or great bodily harm (another prosecution witness has testified that blows to the head can cause subdural hematoma).  On the other hand, if after one punch to the head, a reasonable person has no reason to believe the punching will continue or escalate, then you cannot respond with deadly force.   If, for example, someone punches you and then clearly and obviously runs away, you can't resort to deadly force -- you can't run after him with a gun to try to shoot him.  (You certainly can call the police and press charges.)   That is because -- even if you suffered a big head injury with the first punch -- the question is whether you need to do something to prevent FUTURE actions by the person who already punched you.  

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