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View Diary: They didn't acquit Zimmerman, they convicted Trayvon Martin (120 comments)

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  •  IANAL, but I Respectfully Disagree (2+ / 0-)
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    buffie, a2nite

    All (or most) of this timeline hypothesizing is irrelevant.

    With respect to the trial, the prosecutor, having political ambitions and realizing that a vigorous prosecution and conviction would put those ambitions at risk, "phoned it in."

    With respect to the events, Zimmerman stalked Martin in his vehicle. Zimmerman made disparaging remarks about Zimmerman on the phone.  Zimmerman got out of his vehicle when he was advised not to and went on the hunt for Martin.  And as far as I can tell, Zimmerman's "neighborhood watch" was a posse of one.

    Martin was aware that Zimmerman was following him in the vehicle and was not comfortable with it. Fourteen year olds sometimes feel the need to show a bravado that is not necessarily prudent. That may have contributed, but nothing in the events makes Martin the instigator. Zimmerman precipitated the whole thing.

    This "stand your ground" in Florida thing is truly f%^&#d. How can Zimmerman be "standing his ground" when he rushed into the situation and created the confrontation? Of course, a prosecutor with a different viewpoint might have tried to make something out of that.

    "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

    by midnight lurker on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:12:40 PM PDT

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    •  Zimmerman may have been morally guilty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil

      but the jury may have done the right thing under the law. I hate the verdict, but I'm not sure I could have voted differently.

      However, to HeyMikey I say: The diary's point is a metaphor. Of course it is; there was no opportunity to charge Martin with any crime. And it wasn't (solely) in the courtroom that Martin was convicted; it was in the tainted hearts and minds of millions of Americans, including at least one who sat in that jury box.

      Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

      by Nowhere Man on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:55:15 AM PDT

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      •  Clarification (0+ / 0-)

        Zimmerman was morally guilty. No "maybe" was intended there.

        Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

        by Nowhere Man on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:56:12 AM PDT

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        •  Metaphor = projection. (0+ / 0-)

          The diary is an attempt to judge the jury and, by extension, much of America as racist.

          Surely there is a lot of racism in America; I completely agree. But I'm not sure the Zimmerman verdict is a product of racism. It seems to me it's a product of something much more mundane: not enough evidence to prove a violation of the law beyond a reasonable doubt.

          About my personal viewpoint: I am a lawyer. I concentrate my practice on upper-level Social Security disability appeals, mostly sent to me by other lawyers. It's fairly common for me to review a new case and form a definite personal opinion that the client is disabled, but to decline the case because the evidence isn't strong enough to prove what's legally required. That's heartbreaking. But it's reality.

          Surely my personal experience colors my view of the Zimmerman case; whether that's an improvement or not over the common view is open to interpretation.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:08:52 AM PDT

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          •  I submit that it is you who is projecting. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            The diarist does not mention the words "jury" or "courtroom" even once. The first of two appearances of the word "verdict" comes here, in what may well be considered the lede for the diary (even if it comes a few paragraphs in) :

            It enlightens me on the motives of those who hastily jump in to defend the verdict.
            The theme of the diary is about how people in the diarist's life -- and elsewhere -- react to the trial, and how they perceive Martin and Zimmerman. If you don't see the metaphor, perhaps it's because of your legal experience, not in spite of it.

            Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

            by Nowhere Man on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:47:08 AM PDT

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            •  Well, maybe. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dr Swig Mcjigger

              The diarist ended with:

              This whole thing had nothing to do with acquitting Zimmerman, and everything to do with convicting Trayvon.
              By "this whole thing" I thought the diarist meant the trial. But perhaps the diarist intended "this whole thing" to be his discussions with his family, and the similar reactions of other members of the public.

              Could be.

              But even so, the diarist also said:

              It enlightens me on the motives of those who hastily jump in to defend the verdict.
              I too have seen people defend the verdict by essentially saying Zimmerman was right to assume a young black man in a hoodie must be a threat. Which is, of course, a racist defense of racism.

              Which gets back to my original point: don't overreact. While there are certainly many who defend the verdict on racist grounds, there are others--like me--who see it as merely about the evidence not being there to prove a violation of the law. I'm merely encouraging the diarist not to assume that everyone who thinks the verdict was acceptable is biased against young men of color.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:07:31 AM PDT

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      •  I Was not Criticizing the Jury (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nowhere Man

        The jury can only operate under the law, the evidence presented, and the Judge's instructions. They worked with what they had. I am criticizing the prosecutor, who along with a half-hearted effort, allowed the defense to put Martin on trial. (Who could have anticipated a move like that from the defense?)

        The fact remains that Zimmerman created the situation and confronted Martin. The fact also remains that Martin's supposed law troubles should have been irrelevant. Zimmerman stalked Martin and killed him. No due process there.

        "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

        by midnight lurker on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:36:46 AM PDT

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      •  He is morally guilty nt (0+ / 0-)

        nosotros no somos estúpidos

        by a2nite on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 04:56:23 PM PDT

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    •  All true. Yet irrelevant. Put shoe on other foot. (0+ / 0-)

      The stalking, the disparaging remarks, the getting out of the vehicle despite being advised not to, the following Trayvon--none of that is a crime.

      "Stand your ground" in Florida--yes, it's truly f%^&#d. But it's the law. Juries are supposed to follow the law.

      Think about it this way: what if someone wearing a "God hates fags" T-shirt started roaming around the neighborhood where you and your gay brother live? (I am making up the gay brother, of course.) Would you want the right to follow the T-shirt wearer? To go up to him and ask him what he's doing? If he ended up dead, and there were no witnesses (or contradictory witnesses) about anything except what I have just described, should you be convicted of homicide?

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:59:32 AM PDT

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      •  Sorry, I Disagree Again (0+ / 0-)

        Zimmerman showed intent, as evidenced by his remarks to and 911 operator and his disregarding the instructions to remain in his vehicle.

        Now then --

        Would you want the right to follow the T-shirt wearer? To go up to him and ask him what he's doing? If he ended up dead, ...
        If he ended up dead, you might get away with it (Zimmerman evidently did.) If you ended up dead, because you confronted the person, despite having been advised by the police not to get physically involved, who's to blame? And if there were no witnesses?

        "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

        by midnight lurker on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:46:42 AM PDT

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        •  Intent not enough. (0+ / 0-)

          Intent is not enough. Intent is only in someone's head. The prosecution had to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, what went on in the actual physical world.

          Intent is a clue about that; it's some evidence of that; but without more, it's not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

          On the rest--"who's to blame?" Again, you have to separate moral blame from violation of criminal law. They're not the same.

          "If there were no witnesses"--then there's probably reasonable doubt.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:53:13 AM PDT

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          •  So Ways the Prosecutor Fell Down on the Job (0+ / 0-)

            Why was Zimmerman armed (I know it's legal, but why?) Police advise against it.
            Whose else is part of his "neighborhood watch?"
            What prompted him to make his racist remarks to 911? Right there he profiled/targeted Martin.
            Why did he ignore 911 operator's instructions to remain in his vehicle?
            Why did he confront Martin?

            We know there were means and opportunity. Intent speaks to motive.

            My point above in "Sorry, I Disagree Again" above was that if one unnecessarily thrusts oneself into a potentially dangerous situation (against direct instructions from the police) and it ends badly for one, it's one's own fault to a large degree.

            "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

            by midnight lurker on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:40:40 AM PDT

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