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View Diary: Hate the Law Not the Verdict (21 comments)

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  •  Thank you, but still... (0+ / 0-)

    Zimmerman just has to say he couldn't get away and was pinned, which seems to be his case. We don't know who escalated this to a physical altercation--there is no evidence of that. I agree with you there as well. And I do agree that the prosecution did not meet the burden of proof, therefore the not guilty verdict was correct.

    I also thin it is true that you can't use disproportionate force in other states like you can in Florida.

    "What is essential is invisible to the eye." www.thefoxfoot.com

    by greywolfe359 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:30:33 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  A couple of points. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NWTerriD, andalusi, denise b, VClib
      Zimmerman just has to say he couldn't get away and was pinned, which seems to be his case
      If Martin was on top of him as Mr. Good testified, and as Dr. DiMaio testified was supported by the forensics, then there was never any question of Zimmerman "getting away."  The prosecution did not argue that Zimmerman should have gotten away.  
      We don't know who escalated this to a physical altercation--there is no evidence of that.
      This is exactly the issue at trial.  In every criminal case tried in this country, the prosecution has the burden of proof.  In this case, whoever was the first to use force was the aggressor.  Zimmerman claimed Martin was the first to use force by hitting him in the nose, and his injury was circumstantial evidence of that.  The lack of physical injury on Martin (other than the gunshot) would also be circumstantial evidence of that (Dr. DiMaio addressed that as well).  That raises the notion that there's a reasonable possibility that Martin was the first to use force.  The prosecution did not have evidence to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Zimmerman was the first to use force.
      I also thin it is true that you can't use disproportionate force in other states like you can in Florida.
      This is just wrong.  You absolutely cannot use disproportionate force in the state of Florida.  That is NOT the law.  In Florida, just like every other state in the country,you can use deadly force if and ONLY if you have a reasonable belief that it is necessary to PREVENT death or great bodily harm.  That is exactly what the judge told the jury.  See here.  The law itself is here.

      There is nothing -- nothing -- unusual about Florida's law of self-defense as applied to this case.  It is basic self-defense law as in every state.  What happened here was that the prosecution did not prove the facts that it needed to prove under standard self-defense law.  

      •  I agree with all these points (0+ / 0-)

        I do think that the physician who testified for the prosecution said the injuries were not severe. In other words, I think that a reasonable person would not have feared DEATH in Zimmerman's position.

        I also dislike the fact that the law ignores Zimmerman's responsibility for getting the chain of events started--EVEN IF Martin threw the first physical blow, it would not have happened if a grown man armed with a gun wasn't following him around for no apparent reason.

        "What is essential is invisible to the eye." www.thefoxfoot.com

        by greywolfe359 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:49:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Dr. DiMaio (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          Who (literally) wrote the book on the subject, testified that any cut in the scalp demonstrates significant force -- that the scalp does not tear if there's an insignificant bump.  And he testified that hits to the head like those demonstrated by the cuts and the lumps on his head are cumulative, meaning that if you have several (the prosecution's expert recognized there was evidence of more than one, while Dr. DiMaio testified there was evidence of several), meaning that a bunch of little hits can add up over time.  (Remember the testimony about being "stunned" for a few seconds is a little concussion, and if you have a number of those they add up, and if you have enough in a short period of time you can die.)

          That's reasonable doubt about the issue of whether, if Zimmerman had not stopped Martin and (under the facts testified to by Good and Dr. DiMaio)  Martin kept beating Zimmerman's head, the cumulative effect could have led to death or great bodily harm.  

          When you are the prosecution, you can't just introduce some evidence that supports your theory.  You have to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt.  If the defense has equally reliable evidence to the contrary, that's generally reasonable doubt.  

          If you talk to most lawyers who watched the trial (as I did) this was all about the prosecution not having evidence to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.  

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