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View Diary: Plurality agree with Zimmerman Verdict - Huffpo/Yougov poll (52 comments)

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  •  It shows a divided public on a simply worded (2+ / 0-)

    question.  I know people who agree with the ruling.  I even had a conversation with a pretty nutty cab driver in DC about the ruling (he got his talking points from Fox). I think over time, more people will oppose this ruling.

    The division of opinion stems from the physical altercation between Martin and Zimmerman.  Was Zimmerman justified in shooting him after Martin hit him? Was Martin justified in responding physically to Zimmerman after Zimmerman followed him, provoked him and laid his hand on him?  

    Some might think Democrats should not focus on the Martin case because of that grey area.  It might not be a political winner.  However, I think this case is precisely what we should focus on.  Does an unarmed black male who is committing no crime have a right to defend himself (or 'stand his ground') against a self-styled cop?  Does an unarmed black male have a right to not be viewed as criminally suspect when in public? Does an unarmed black male have a right not to be shot because of another person's fear of them (rationally based or not)? What about the racist impact of 'stand your ground'?  What about the impact on civil society of 'stand your ground'?  We can't shy away from these issues just because the public has split views on the Zimmerman decision.

    Alternative rock with something to say. Check out Global Shakedown's latest album, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes/Amazon, or stream it at http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown.

    by khyber900 on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 01:16:25 PM PDT

    •  the problem is that in a physical fight (4+ / 0-)

      and without eyewitnesses both parties can claim self-defense. This is not a clear cut issue. To hang all those issues on an ambiguous case where people can legitimately disagree based on available evidence is not a recipe for justice.

      •  The issue is whether a person who provoked (5+ / 0-)

        a fight and was armed had a right to shoot an unarmed man who was otherwise minding his business and had every reason to be scared and intimidated as the shooter claimed to be.  In this case, the burden should have fallen on the armed person to exercise better judgment.  That's why I think the Zimmerman ruling was a bad one.  Traditionally, in common law, a provoker can't claim self-defense without proving some special circumstances.  Self-defense also has to be proportional. You can't, generally speaking ,fatally shoot someone in response to getting punched, especially if you initiated the contact first.

        Alternative rock with something to say. Check out Global Shakedown's latest album, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes/Amazon, or stream it at http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown.

        by khyber900 on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 02:45:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is an issue of SYG type laws and defining (0+ / 0-)

          (plus proving) "provoked". Technically GZ had a right to be in the neighborhood and wasn't breaking the law by following him (even though he was lying to the dispatcher- uh just looking for the street name- uh).

          I believe GZ did grab TM first. Rachel's claim that she heard TM say "Get off, Get off" makes me believe that.

          Cryonaut is right about the lack of evidence though. TM's "Get Off" wasn't recorded on a 911 call. No other witness to the start of the altercation means some people disbelieve Rachel and are convinced that TM jumped out at GZ and attacked him. Seems completely unbelievable to me, but you know....

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