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George Zimmerman (L) appears, along with his attorney Mark O'Mara, in front of Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester for a bond hearing at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Florida, June 29, 2012. Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second-degr
George Zimmerman (L) appears in court,
along with his attorney Mark O'Mara.
George Zimmerman's defense team announced today on a website that his client will seek a "stand your ground" hearing because "there is clear support for a strong claim of self-defense" in the case. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February after a confrontation he claims was initiated by Martin after he followed him into a gated community in the central Florida city of Sanford.

Such hearings amount to mini-trials in which a portion, often a large portion, of evidence that would have been presented at a jury trial is presented before a judge. But the burden of proof, unlike in a trial, is on the defense. If the judge were to rule in Zimmerman's favor, he would not have to stand trial and could not be sued in a civil action under Florida law.

On the website, defense attorney Mark O'Mara wrote:

The primary focus of a 'stand your ground' hearing is whether George Zimmerman reasonably believed that his use of his weapon was necessary to prevent great bodily harm to himself at the hands of Trayvon Martin.
How soon the hearing would occur is unknown. It might not be until next year, which is when the trial is expected to begin. The announcement stated:
Preparing for the “Stand Your Ground” hearing will require the same time and resources that would be necessary to prepare for a trial. It will take time to collect and submit reciprocal discovery, depose witnesses and experts, and identify evidence to be submitted during the hearing. We anticipate this will still take several months. Mr. O’Mara, again, urges everyone to be patient during this process and to reserve judgment until the evidence is presented in the “Stand Your Ground” hearing.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney that represents Martin's family, said in a statement:
"A grown man cannot profile and pursue an unarmed child, shoot him in the heart, and then claim stand your ground. [...] We believe that the killer's motion will be denied during the stand your ground hearing, and as justice requires a jury will ultimately decide the fate of a man that killed an innocent child."

Crump said Trayvon's parents "do not feel that this is a man that feared for his life the night he shot and killed their child, this is a man whose only fear is spending his life in prison."

The Tampa Bay Times examined the outcome of some 200 "stand your ground" cases in Florida and discovered that some killers with highly questionable claims were freed. Seventy percent of the defendants in "stand your ground" cases the paper reviewed won dismissals.

Among those:

• Defendants who claimed "stand your ground" were more likely to see their cases dismissed when the victim was black.

• The number of cases has risen, in part, because defense attorneys have chosen to use the law in bizarre ways. One person used "stand your ground" after shooting a bear, another when he beat a dog.

• "People often go free under 'stand your ground' in cases that seem to make a mockery of what lawmakers intended. One man killed two unarmed people and walked out of jail. Another shot a man as he lay on the ground. Others went free after shooting their victims in the back. In nearly a third of the cases the Times analyzed, defendants initiated the fight, shot an unarmed person or pursued their victim — and still went free."

Zimmerman remains free on a $1 million bond and cannot leave Seminole County. He is monitored with an electronic bracelet.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 01:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (119+ / 0-)

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 01:57:27 PM PDT

  •  I'll still stand by my prediction (11+ / 0-)

    Loses the SYG Hearing - probably because O'Mara would be nuts to let him testify - but wins at trial on standard self defense, and where the heavy burden of proof shifts back to the prosecution.

    Also, a jury is going to be easier to persuade than one judge - just my opinion of course.

    Power-Worshipping Fascist

    by campionrules on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:01:43 PM PDT

    •  how can he present a case at the SYG hearing (10+ / 0-)

      without Zimmy's testimony? What other evidence could he have?  I agree this would be a gold mine for the prosecution.

      •  Other evidence besides Zimmerman's testimony (9+ / 0-)

        Witness accounts - the phone call to the girlfriend, the witness accounts submitted by the prosecution and defense and police statements.

        Physical Evidence - injuries to Zimmerman, scene evidence, gun shot evidence etc,

        It may not be a completely defense without his testimony but certainly possible.

        Power-Worshipping Fascist

        by campionrules on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:26:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The other evidence you mentnion is not (12+ / 0-)

          consistent with self-defense

          1. Where the body was found

          2. What the eye witnesses say when pieced together

          3. Blood work

          4. Ballistic information

          5. Injuries are not consistent with serious bodily harm (no proof for example of broken nose other than defendant's word since he did not obtain any medical examination AND the photographs are inconsistent with serious bodily harm- minor cuts)

          Many of the above things wou ld require the defense to prove because the must meet the preponderance pre-trial.

          Many are not something that the prosecution even need respond to. etc

          In fact, that's the big problem he faces. Its not that its he said, versus what a dead guy would have said.

          Its that the physical evidence says something different than self defense. His testimony was the only way that I can see he had to explain away that evidence.

          By the way, I don't know if you intend it, but there is no such thing as partial self defense in Florida

          Under the law, the defense must be complete- meaning objective- and the defendant's belief, even if he really believed it, is not sufficient to meet the legal standard.

          •  What I have seen of his booking photos (9+ / 0-)

            does not suggest any injury of significance inflicted by another. He looked like he might have had a little scratch on top of his head, which seems to have bled a bit, but scalp wounds bleed like crazy if they are of any severity at all. The most likely explanation seems to me to be that Zimmerman slipped and fell on ass while he was chasing his prey. He also might have bumped his head on a tree branch during the pursuit.

            Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

            by OrdinaryIowan on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 05:04:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am not sure I am allowed to mention this here (9+ / 0-)

              The problem with this case is the racialization of the case

              The result is that white liberals looking at the case are not really thinking about the reasonableness of the situation here

              In other words, let's say that those minor wounds (and they are minor from the photos) were inflicted in a fight with TM.

              Is that the end of the inquiry?

              To the racialized version of facts yes. A black man touched a white one. End of story.

              But, does that answer the question of what a reasonable person would have done?

              The answer is no.

              For that, we need to know a lot more about the facts and circumstances

              Were the wounds consistent with someone in danger or in faear for his life ?

              What were the nature of the wounds?

              Were they a product of him attacking someone who then protected himself against Zimerman or was this a cae of Zimmeerman not being the agressor?

              On and on there are tons of questions that must be asked ans answer in a narrative to figure out reasonablness

              The trouble is that when you racilize it

              The black kid shouldn't have been there

              The black kid touched a white man

              End of story

              Reasonableness flies out the window as far as a process for analyzing the evidence

              Its a conclusion in search of excuses

              •  Good luck with that argument, here. (0+ / 0-)

                "Help me to be, to think, to act what is right because it is right; make me truthful, honest, and honorable in all things; make me intellectually honest for the sake of right and honor and without thought of reward to me." [Robert E. Lee]

                by SpamNunn on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:05:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, I don't think its everyone (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SoCalSal

                  I just mean that I would like to explore the issue of racialization and how impacts reasoning

                  For example, someone in this very diary says something along the lines that although Zimmerman was basically asked not to follow TM , that Zimmermna was not legally obligated to not follow TM

                  To me, if you are  reasonable person that should be utlimately start sending off bells

                  Why was this person following this other person?

                  Was that following reasonable even if he had a legal right to follow?

                  Or was it comeing from profiling someone as alient and other

                  Is that irrational belief reasonable and evidence that tends to go to whether his fears were reasonable like a trained dispatcher saying that he shouldn't follow, etc would tend to matter

                  But rather than going with what that says about the reasonableness of what Zimmerman was doing- they go to 'he has a legal right to do it

                  Why are they even making that point?

                  Does that make it less of an act of aggression just becasue someone stays within the borderline of the law?

                  Why think that this is okay at all?

                  Thats what I mean by racializtion. where people are making clear assumptions about what Zimmerman was allowed to do and what was reasonble for him to do.

              •  The trouble is that almost NONE of those questions (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NancyK, BYw, colleen, cybersaur

                need to asked OR answered.

                The notion that you can pick a fight with someone -- which any way you slice it, is at the very least what Zimmerman did -- and when you start losing, shoot the person and claim SYG, is on its face ridiculous.

                It doesn't fucking matter if Zimmerman at that point was in fear for his life: He was responsible for creating the situation in the first place. 100% responsible. The moment he got out of that truck and proceeded to track Martin on foot, he became a de facto predatory criminal -- and in some jurisdictions, quite likely a de jure one. Zimmerman was the aggressor, whether or not he threw the first punch.

                Hell, if Martin had been white, and Zimmerman black, and Martin had shot Zimmerman from 10 feet away, every single mouth-breather foaming and ranting about Zimmerman's right to Stand His Ground would be on Martin's side.

                That's really the front, back, inside and outside of this whole fucking conversation.

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 08:32:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The problem is they will argue that he was not (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  colleen

                  the agressive one, and much of that relies on unspoke middle class beliefs about where black people should be and where white people should be. If those beliefs didn't exist to the extentive they do, this would be a case in the first place and TM would still be alive

                •  That's a pretty strong statement (0+ / 0-)
                  The moment he got out of that truck and proceeded to track Martin on foot, he became a de facto predatory criminal -- and in some jurisdictions, quite likely a de jure one.
                  The moment he got out of his truck and began to track Martin on foot?

                  So if Person A gets out of his truck and walks towards Person B that makes Person A a "predatory criminal"?

                  Can you explain this?

                  After all, that kind of behavior must happen a million times a day in the US.  Is everyone who gets out of a vehicle and walks towards someone else a predatory criminal?

                  I suspect you are assuming additional facts not in evidence about Zimmerman's behavior here.

                  •  He was STALKING him. (0+ / 0-)

                    First in the truck.

                    Then on foot.

                    What about this whole event is mysterious to you?

                    Again: If that had been a black man stalking a white teenager, and the teenager had put a bullet in the stalker from 10 feet away, not one person defending Zimmerman today would have a word of criticism for the shooter.

                    For that matter, if it had been a white male stalking a white female, and she had blown him away at a distance, nobody would have questioned the outcome.

                    The only reason we are talking about this at all is because Martin was black and unarmed, and rather than wait to be jumped, he exhibited extraordinary physical courage and directly confronted his stalker.

                    Next you'll be telling me that Rodney King was fighting back -- "Hey, just look at the stills!"

                    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:36:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  I am no expert (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard, drmah, VClib, colleen

      but I think the burden to assert an affirmative defense at trial still resides with the defense, although under a lesser than a "beyond a reasonable doubt standard"  Also, if I am not mistaken, traditional self defense requires retreat first, unlike SYG self defense.  Now, does anyone know if the affirmative defense at trial permits the defense where a clear opportunity to retreat is not taken?  (That is, does the SYG part apply to this hearing only, or does it also apply to the self-defense affirmative defense across the board?)

      That seventy percent number is pretty damned chilling though.

      Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

      by Mindful Nature on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 03:56:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Affirmative defense in Florida (3+ / 0-)

        Murray v. State 937 So.2d 277, 279 (Fla. 4th Dist. 2006), the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Florida ruled that once a defendant in a criminal case has introduced evidence that he acted in self-defense the jury is then entitled to consider that defense, and the jury may not convict the defendant unless it finds beyond a reasonable that he did not act in self-defense is the law that will be relevant here.

        Basically after he introduces evidence, and the evidence does not have to be his own testimony, it is then the burden of the state to prove he did not act in self-defense. The defendant does not have to testify in Florida even in affirmative defense cases and even to use the defense.  The burden completely lies with the state after any evidence is introduced that self defense applies.  This burden threshold is not a huge one.    

      •  Traditional depends on where you come from. Out (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, Mindful Nature

        west the SYG has been the law of the land in some jurisdictions for over a 100 years.  A duty to retreat if possible is still in many jurisdictions.  

        Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

        by thestructureguy on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:04:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thestructureguy - I too was surprised that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mindful Nature, thestructureguy

          stand your ground has been the rule of law in California for more than 100 years.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:39:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Cool (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thestructureguy

          Thanks for sharing that. I didn't know that either

          This is why I love dkos!

          Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

          by Mindful Nature on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 08:05:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Can you provide some evidence? I was born and (0+ / 0-)

          raised in CA and have never heard that.

          •  Here ya go. Still good law. So to speak. n/t (0+ / 0-)

            People v. Newcomer, (1897) 118 Cal. 263, 273. ("[W]hen a man without fault himself is suddenly attacked in a way that puts his life or bodily safety at imminent hazard, he is not compelled to fly or to consider the proposition of flying, but may stand his ground and defend himself to the extent of taking the life of the assailant, if that be reasonably necessary [in the name of California self-defense].")

            Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

            by thestructureguy on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 09:52:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That hasn't been amended or changed since 1897? (0+ / 0-)
              •  Nope. Below is the jury instruction for the (0+ / 0-)

                law. Very likely not to change.  It makes sense in a number of fact patterns.  Remember, they first have to show it was valid self-defense. Truth be told even in states with a duty to treat once you show a valid act of self defense it would probably be very hard for a jury to second guess someone defending their life.  I would think the fact pattern would be very narrow.

                CALJIC No. 5.50, Self-Defense—Assailed Person Need Not Retreat: A person threatened with an attack that justifies the exercise of the right of self-defense need not retreat. In the exercise of [his] . . . right of self-defense a person may stand [his] . . . ground and defend [himself] . . . by the use of all force and means which would appear to be necessary to a reasonable person in a similar situation and with similar knowledge; and a person may pursue [his] . . . assailant until [he] . . . has secured [himself] . . . from danger if that course likewise appears reasonably necessary. This law applies even though the assailed person might more easily have gained safety by flight or by withdrawing from the scene.

                Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

                by thestructureguy on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 12:23:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Trial by jury (0+ / 0-)

      Yes unfortunately, I have to agree with you.Although I think a mistrial is more than likely considering the number of supporters GZ has out there.Ive read comments(hundreds)in many of the articles written,and there is many racists out there who truly believe TM was a thug.If one of those people get on the panel,forget about a conviction.

  •  "Stand Your Ground" as a hunting permit (39+ / 0-)
    "People often go free under 'stand your ground' in cases that seem to make a mockery of what lawmakers intended. One man killed two unarmed people and walked out of jail. Another shot a man as he lay on the ground. Others went free after shooting their victims in the back. In nearly a third of the cases the Times analyzed, defendants initiated the fight, shot an unarmed person or pursued their victim — and still went free."

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:02:06 PM PDT

  •  I hope that works out well in the long run . (5+ / 0-)

    Really really well .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:02:13 PM PDT

  •  Trayvon Martin stood his ground and lost his life. (31+ / 0-)

    Good luck with this Zimmerman but I think the jury will end up hearing this case and my gut tells me that Trayvon's family will get justice when you finally end up behind bars.

    •  Your title says it all. Why should Zimmerman (33+ / 0-)

      be allowed to use the SYG law to let him go free when Trayvon was trying to also stand his ground and he died?  A dismissal or acquittal would basically say the winner of this deadly contest is the live one, and Trayvon was in the wrong.  That would be outrageous.

      I hope the prosecutor is able to point out that Zimmerman is the one who set the whole thing in motion, was told to back off, and yet he caused the death of Trayvon.  If it hadn't been for Zimmerman's actions, Zimmerman would never have been hurt, never in danger and Trayvon probably would have probably never have even known who Zimmerman was.

      This case still makes me mad.  May Zimmerman burn, and no, I have no reservations about who I believe is the guilty party here.

      •  If you believe in due process (8+ / 0-)

        Then he should be allowed to try and use all legal options at his disposal just as a death row inmate should be allowed to exhaust all possible appeals.  Even guilty people have rights.

        Whether he should be allowed to succeed is an entirely different question.

        •  He should be allowed to use all legal options (4+ / 0-)

          available, he is allowed to make money off this killing as he has done. He is even allowed to judge shop as he has tried to do. He has rights of course. Even murderers and molesters have rights.

        •  I can believe in due process but I also believe (18+ / 0-)

          that Zimmerman was judge, jury and executioner of Trayvon.  He took away Trayvon's right to be judged by a jury of his peers.  He took away Trayvon's right to live.  If there were any question about Zimmerman's being present, I might be less certain about what I feel the outcome should be, but Zimmerman hasn't been able to explain why things got so out of hand when he was explicitly told to stand down.

          I believe him to be guilty of ending Trayvon's life, and whatever level that puts him on - manslaughter, 1st or 2nd degree murder, the trial should not be to determine guilt or innocence.  It should be to determine what his punishment should be.

          I don't believe the SYG law should be accepted by the judge in this case and I would be shocked if it turns out that way.

          •  The trial should be to determine guilt/innocence (4+ / 0-)

            No star chambers, no kangaroo courts, no show trials.

            What next, are you going to advocate the ironic lynching of Zimmerman if he is set free?

            •  I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. (4+ / 0-)

              No doubt, Zimmerman has a right to a trial and an SYG hearing before he is sentenced.  That's well-settled law.

              But the right to presumption of innocence is a trial right and one of due process - he has a right for the government to presume him innocent, and he has a right to be tried by jurors who are instructed to presume him innocent.

              The media need not treat him as presumed innocent, nor need employers, nor need commenters on a blog.  We can at the same time both respect his Constitutional rights and note the fact that he killed Martin in cold blood.

              "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

              by auron renouille on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:22:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have a problem with the statement (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                auron renouille, erush1345

                "...the trial should not be to determine guilt or innocence.  It should be to determine what his punishment should be."

                I get that people are angry about this.  This same sort of emotion is why some people didn't want suspected terrorists to have civil criminal trials.  I can have empathy for those people, despite thinking they are wrong.

                Remember this the next time a conservative who has a legitimate reason to be angry suggests a course of action that would violate someone's rights.

                •  Yes, you're absolutely right. (0+ / 0-)

                  Sorry, for some reason I didn't interpret it that way - I gave ColoTim the benefit of the doubt and assumed that to mean that the evidence of guilt was so strong that a trial would just be a lengthy sentencing phase, that the conclusion was obvious.  Sort of like what would have happened had Loughner chosen to go to trial.  But a second read shows that your reading is most likely correct

                  Sorry, one of my pet peeves is people shouting past each other about how someone has a right for the general public to presume a defendant innocent.  But I missed his meaning, you're absolutely right.

                  "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

                  by auron renouille on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:59:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  He has admitted that he killed Trayvon. (0+ / 0-)

                  He is guilty of that.  The trial is to determine what the penalty is - is it none, is it probation, is it a jail sentence, or is it something more?  That's what the trial is for.  I don't want people saying he's innocent, which would be counter to what he has already admitted.  He might be not guilty of 1st degree murder, or 2nd degree murder, or manslaughter, or whatever, but he isn't "innocent" of having killed Trayvon.  He pulled the trigger, Trayvon is dead.  

                  I loudly admit, IANAL.  I don't know the precise legal definitions of the various levels of murder, manslaughter, etc, but nobody is disputing he killed Trayvon.  The courts just need to figure out what an appropriate punishment should be under the law (and I know that the appropriate level could be "none").

                  Unless you want to say somehow he didn't pull the trigger?

                  •  wrong (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ColoTim
                    The trial is to determine what the penalty is - is it none, is it probation, is it a jail sentence, or is it something more?  That's what the trial is fo
                    A trial is to determine if there is any criminal liability for which a penalty should be applied. Sentencing is what determines what the penalty is. Zimmerman has admitted killing Martin, but that doesn't mean he has admitted committing a crime. Not all killings are illegal.
                    •  That makes sense. No wonder you're a (0+ / 0-)

                      Doctor - you can use words to get your point across.

                      Question, in all seriousness.  When someone is on trial for murder, aren't they charged with a particular level of murder?  For example, charged with Murder in the 1st Degree, which mandates that the person committed the murder with premeditation and clear thought (not insane).  Or are juries allowed to say that someone (for example, Zimmerman) is guilty of the crime of killing someone, and then the jury decides it's with premeditation, without premeditation (2nd degree), accidental, with reckless disregard for safety, or any other mitigating circumstances that will then lessen the final penalty?  I haven't watched many legal shows in awhile, but I thought the jury just got to decide guilt or innocence and it's up to the prosecutor to decide what to charge the person with and that choice, yay or nay, is what the jury gets to decide from.  If it's over-reach, like the jury just can't vote unanimously that it was with premeditation, then it's either not guilty or a hung jury.  I ask, because you say "Sentencing is what determines the penalty" and I know judges get to decide how many years someone serves once convicted, but do judges get to influence 1st or 2nd degree for what the jury considers?

            •  BTW, I think the confusion may result from wording (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ColoTim, doroma

              I think ColoTim is meaning to say that Zimmerman's asserted SYG defense is not supported by the evidence as thus far known by the general public, not that the judge should arbitrarily deny him the right to even have an SYG hearing.  He has a right to a hearing, but he doesn't have the right to all of us on DailyKos believing him before said hearing.

              "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

              by auron renouille on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:25:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The judge has the right to grant or deny him (0+ / 0-)

                a Stand Your Ground defense hearing and I believe he has already agreed to go through that process, though I hope that the judge disallows that defense.  I think Zimmerman has proven that he had ample opportunity and indeed had been instructed by the police not to place himself in danger.  That he then did so not only should cancel out this phase of his defense but I am hoping that it is pointed out that he forced the sequence of events that apparently forced Trayvon to stand his ground, which resulted in the adult Zimmerman killing the child Trayvon.

                I believe the judge is making sure the case is fully heard and is going the extra mile to not give an automatic appeal in this case - at least due to whether or not SYG was allowed to be considered.  

                Auron, I believe you understand what I have been trying to say.

          •  ColoTim - do you not believe in murder trials? (3+ / 0-)

            Your comment suggests that there should not be murder trials, just court actions to determine punishment. Zimmy is accused of second degree murder but until convicted by a jury of his peers is presumed innocent. There is no doubt that he killed Martin, but only a trial can determine if he is guilty of a crime.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:48:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I believe in murder trials. I believe there needs (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doroma

              to be one in this case.  I don't believe Florida's Stand Your Ground law should be a valid defense here, and I'll be very surprised if the judge allows that to be the ruling and there is no trial.

              I actually would really like a plea deal to be reached here and there not be a trial, but I don't expect that to happen because of the high profile nature of this all and I don't think Zimmerman believes what he did was wrong (and therefore worth admitting was wrong in a plea deal).

              Where there is nobody questioning whether or not he pulled the trigger, I think a trial to prove innocent or guilt is not the right way to think of this (and IANAL).  What needs to be determined is what is allowed under the law and whether Zimmerman followed the law (and he's not a lawyer or trained in law enforcement either, so his being judge, jury and executioner is really sticking in my craw).  

              I hope that the SYG law is modified and drastically scaled back as to what is allowed and what isn't.  Perhaps that will be the final outcome of this whole mess, and while it can't bring back Trayvon, it might save many other truly innocent lives.

              •  ColoTim, I think that a trial tries to do (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dr Swig Mcjigger

                much of what you hope would be done. The fact that someone was killed does not mean a crime has been committed. The trial court is the "finder of fact". Until all of the facts are brought to court, in an adversarial manner, and all the evidence is reviewed by the jury there can be no conclusion that anyone is guilty of a crime.  

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 09:08:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  what a shame (0+ / 0-)

          Mr Zimmerman was able to ignore due process entirely.

      •  ColoTim - I think Zimmy has a weak SYG case (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345

        but most of the facts that you cited aren't relevant to this specific hearing. Everything that happened prior to the actual confrontation isn't going to be considered, based on the Florida SYG statute. I believe those facts will play a major role in the actual murder trial.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:45:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Will there be a trial if his Stand Your Ground (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doroma

          defense is accepted?  Or would the trial be for stalking Trayvon and everything up to but not including the final confrontation?  I'd be pretty upset if Trayvon wasn't allowed to use SYG (because he's dead) and Zimmerman is.

    •  Trayvon was the only one standing his ground (8+ / 0-)

      I've been carrying a gun for seven years now, and I say that Zimmerman is a murderer.
      I say that because, for an armed civilian, following and deliberately confronting anyone is murder unless your life, or some other innocent party's life, is directly threatened.

      Zimmerman had no right to fuck with Trayvon Martin, and he had a legal obligation not to. He knew that startign that fight might lead to his gun becoming necessary, but he did it anyway.

      Fuck George Zimmerman. He's a fucking murderer... and I say this as an armed citizen who carries a gun, legally, every day.

      "She's petite, extremely beautiful, and heavily armed." -1995 Michael Moore documentary Canadian Bacon

      by Tom Seaview on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:27:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (25+ / 0-)

    i really would like to believe that if you're told by a police dispatcher to not pursue, and you do the exact opposite of those instructions, that your "standing my ground" claim gets summarily tossed.

    ianal and all, but seems to me that there's a hell of a big difference between standing your ground and encroaching upon someone else's.

    keep your eyes on the sky. put a dollar in the kitty. don't the moon look pretty. --becker&fagen

    by homo neurotic on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:14:57 PM PDT

  •  Seems like a tactic... (12+ / 0-)

    ...to get the prosecution to show their hand.

    Zimmerman's team may expect to lose the SYG trial before the judge, but can then craft a defense strategy to counter the prosecution's case at trial, before a jury...

    Smart.  Either way.

    Zimmerman's hide belongs behind bars for an exceedingly long time.  He's a murderer, in my opinion.  However, the justice system demands due process all the way around...both sides...

    I've got all available body parts crossed for the right, good, just outcome.

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:17:10 PM PDT

    •  that's an interesting take (6+ / 0-)

      but it seems to me the defense has to make their case first in this instance, and thereby tip their own hand.

      •  Yes, but not really. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doroma, sockpuppet, raincrow, sethtriggs, VClib

        Zimmerman's case was always going to be about "self defense."  Hell, that's the only defense there could ever be.

        What the defense wants/needs to know is how the prosecution will use evidence against Zimmerman, to build a case beyond the doubt threshold(s)...

        I'm just speculating and pondering possibilities...I could be totally off...the defense could really, truly believe they've got a winning argument with a SYG trial.  I don't think so, but I'm nobody.

        "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

        by Marjmar on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:30:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are somebody Marjmar:) (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marjmar, sockpuppet, raincrow, sethtriggs
        •  the problem they face is they have morre (7+ / 0-)

          to lose (the defense) here than the prosecution as far as cards on the table

          How do they get through this without putting Zimmerman on the stand since the physical evidence is not consistent with self defense?

          •  bruh - I think that Marjmar has it right (0+ / 0-)

            They aren't going to put Zimmy on the stand and the SYG hearing will be a fishing expedition for the defense.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:53:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't see how he does that without (0+ / 0-)

              his contradictory prior statements coming into play. They aren't just contradictory in the sense of "I forgot" They are contradictory in the sense that each statement is designed by the speaker to exculpate himself when some evidence is brought up that his prior statement could not explain. How does his testimony give rise to preponderance of the evidence? I suppose your point is that they don' care bout that. But then that raises question for me, that I don't know the answer to: can whatever he say in the SYG hearing be used at trial as evidence without him testifyin a gain?

              •  bruh - we need help from Florida counsel (0+ / 0-)

                but I would think that if they put Zimmy on the stand at the SYG hearing that his testimony could be used as evidence and would be admissible at the trial, but that is a question of law that we need some expertise to answer.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 10:13:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah, I really don't know the answer (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib

                  I could probably look it up, but frankly this is only a subject I  read in passing and I am not really wanting to spend time researching it. My guess is that they would not allow one to be decoupled from the other- that really would be two times at trial rather than one. One mini trial and then one completely unrelated full trial would seem to be bad public policy, but that has never stopped law makers so who knows

          •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

            At the end of the day, the case is about the cards the prosecution has to play. If they can't prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant wins, without having to produce any "cards" of their own.

            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              its not

              the case becomes about what the defense cn do to justify the death siince the defendant has admited to the killing

              •  of course it is (0+ / 0-)

                All cases as about the prosecution being able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Yes, Zimmerman has admitted killing Martin. That's only one of the elements that the the prosecution has to prove. If they can't do this, he walks, even if he can't prove it was self defense/SYG.

                •  and you think that's hard to prove here (0+ / 0-)

                  given the facts we know?

                  SYG and Self Defeense, even in FL, are affirmative defenses

                  THe prosection does not need to enter any evidence of those defenses

                  The discussion which you are now trying to wiggle out of is whether  he can prove his case of SYG or self defense

                  the prosectuion has an easy case here but for the self defense and SYG arguments

                  They both depend on believing the defendant because the physical evidence does not back self defense or SYG

                  I can certainly go through this piece by piece with you but I sense your mind is made up

                  You memorized a fphrase and thats it

                  reasonable doubt has to be reasonable. not just denial

                  here circumstantial evidence is pretty damning unless the defendant can explain why its not

                  •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                    It could be hard to prove. I've seen cases much more clear cut than this one, where everyone was sure so and so was getting convicted  and the jury came back with a not guilty verdict. I've also seen the opposite, where the case was weak according to almost all observers and the defendant is now in prison. You can never say with certainty what a jury will do.  The prosecution has to do much more than prove that Zimmerman killed Martin. For Second degree murder, the prosecution has to prove this:

                    he unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree and constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in
                    It's a pretty steep burden for them and not a lot of evidence show thus far backs this up. The prosecution admitted under oath that they don't have much evidence of this. Manslaughter is a lower burden and I think,  a much more likely result, although an acquittal is possible.
                    •  Your comment is nonsensical (0+ / 0-)

                      (1) The first part is appeal to authority. I discount that ultimately

                      (2) The second part is "well its going to be hrad because..

                      You never say. It just is. for record, the minute he got out of the car against the advice of seasoned professionals, he offered the prosecution evidence regarding his state of mind

                      depraved mind is not as hard to prove as you seem to think.

                    •  Let me cut this shorter (0+ / 0-)

                      There are two ways that a self defense excuse can entered

                      Through evidence offfered by the prosecution or by the defense

                      THe defense would have to be hoping for an unforced error by the prosecution- logically speaking- for you to be right

                      There in lies the problem with your assumptions

                      The case is proveable against Zimmerman without providing any evidence of self defense

                      THe other choice is that TM will intro the evidence, which t hen opens up the can of worms of the physical evidence against Zimmerman and his prior statements

                      If neither is offered, he can't even get the instruction in front of the jury about SYG or self defense

                      Your argument depends on bad prosecution

        •  Well, there's a number of different ways to look. (0+ / 0-)

          Purely theorizing, I think that the defense is probably taking the risk of having to show their hand on any evidence not otherwise subject to disclosure because it gets them two bites at the apple - he essentially gets two trials, one before the judge and, if he loses that trial, a second before the jury.

          "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

          by auron renouille on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:27:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Dop you really think the defense attorney(s?) in (8+ / 0-)

      this case have shown any indication of being wily, wise and conniving?   I think they're idiots, but that word's being tossed around a lot lately.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:45:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Dope" = me for "Dop" And I'm the one talking (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet, Marjmar

        about idiots.  ;-)

        LOL.....  

        I still think Zimmerman's lawyers are a mess.  That interview on TV really did him some damage, in my eyes, and I have a feeling the judge didn't think much of it.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:58:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I really couldn't say... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan

        ...because there are an awful lot of dumb-like-a-fox lawyers shuffling around.

        Zimmerman's defense team could be trying out the lawyerly version of absent-minded professor types...or they really could be dim bulbs.

        "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

        by Marjmar on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 03:27:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They arent' stupid (0+ / 0-)

          O'Mara bills out at a very high rate. In this day, with a glut of lawyers out there looking for work, you don't get away with being stupid and getting clients to pay that rate. The first two lawyers Zimmerman had were in over their heads. They took the case on short notice and clearly didn't have the experience necessary for such a high profile case.  I really don't see what he's done wrong, thus far. It's a tough case and he has a difficult client, but I really can't fault him for anything major so far.

    •  Yes, basically right but also (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, Marjmar

      a hail Mary too.

  •  the big difference between Z syg case (14+ / 0-)

    and the prior cases is that judge lester has so far done real legal analysis and this case has national attention, and that can push doing the job right.

    i imagine if he loses syg motion to dismiss case, he will take second try before jury at trial.

    i still think the person who had the right to invoke SYG was Trayvon, not Z.

    O'Mara also indicated, i believe, that what made him decide to go for the SYG motion was the latest release of prosecution evidence. Not sure what was in that document release, but then o'mara is one to skirt the truth too.

    thanks for keeping us updated with Z's legal doings.

     

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:18:53 PM PDT

  •  This adjudicates a civil suit? (5+ / 0-)

    That is a due process violation. It also violates the Seventh Amendment.

    •  From the statute: (17+ / 0-)
      776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.
      (1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:28:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I get that (14+ / 0-)

        It remains a due process violation and a violation of the Seventh Amendment.

        If Florida wishes to strike the civil claim of wrongful death, they can do so.

        What they cannot do is determine the validity of such a claim without offering the claimant due process. The Trayvon Martin family is not offered an opportunity to participate in the SYG hearing, nor can their rights be adjudicated in such a hearing by jury trial.

        The Seventh Amendment provides that "In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."

      •  So there's no immunity because (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet

        each of those things in the definition have happened.

        As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
        Ambiguous much? Yes, I'm misinterpreting the words on purpose.

        It's the permissible use of force that's important here.

        "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

        by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:45:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GrumpyOldGeek, sockpuppet

          But that does not answer the process question on the civil claim.

          If the intent is to make the actions not subject to civil liability, then the law needs to say that, not the SYG process.

          In essence, the factual question in the criminal case does not decide the civil case, certainly without providing the civil claimants an opportunity to participate.

          •  Now that I think about it some more (0+ / 0-)

            This would seem to violate the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

          •  I've compared a few states' versions with the ALEC (5+ / 0-)

            boilerplate. It's not just that the ALEC boilerplate is word-salad jibberish, it's that it's based on ideological and philosophical musings.

            This super-simplistic right wing thinking, which isn't thinking at all, shows up in a lot of ALEC boilerplate junk. At least we've helped get the word out about ALEC, wingers, and the NRA. So the pendulum is swinging in the better direction, imo.

            I just want these crap laws to go away. And it's clear that this won't be easy. In the mean time, killers will occasionally get away with murder.

            Practically, I can't even find the open end of the tunnel from here.

            Where do we begin? Have we begun? If this gets to the SCOTUS, will things get worse? What's the status of the federal hate crime investigation?

            Will the "get off my lawn" case make a difference? That's the guy who killed a door-to-door salesman, shooting him in the back of his head, now claiming SYG defense. Seven years earlier, this guy pulled a gun on a uniformed utility meter reader and a jury set him free. The judge was Sonia Sotomayor, btw. She regrets the jury's decision now. No shit, Sonia.

            Will we have to read about yet another brainless racist who just can't understand how shooting him a n*&^r is such a big deal?

            I'll stop now. The SYG hearing in FL is a big deal.

            "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

            by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 04:27:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  She regrets the jury's decision? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, GrumpyOldGeek

              I think there's some missing links here - she can regret it all day but juries can basically do anything they damn well please when it comes to decisions.  If the jury convicts a person for whom the evidence in support of conviction was inadequate, there are appeal rights.  But if the jury acquits someone despite 10 truckloads of evidence of guilt and no evidence in support of a not guilty finding ever presented at all, our system says "too bad, so sad" and that's it.  So I think something got lost in translation - she may have been disappointed by the verdict but judges can do absolutely nothing in the face of an unfounded acquittal.

              Sorry if I misunderstood you, sounds like some weird info may have been passed along.

              "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

              by auron renouille on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:36:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  hhhmmm... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                GrumpyOldGeek

                Hopefully somebody in the know will come along...

                I thought it was/is entirely possible for judges to vacate jury verdicts, either way, but they almost never do...but they do have the power...

                Maybe?  No way?

                I don't know, but I thought I'd read or heard [that] some place...

                "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

                by Marjmar on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 08:11:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's rarely done - lots to think about (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Marjmar

                  If the evidence isn't solid or there are some discrepancies or procedural issues, vacating a jury verdict is likely to be overturned on appeal. Experienced judges pretty much know how it will end up. It's helpful if the jury has really, really, really, screwed up in blatent and obvious ways. But this could result in a mistrial, too. There is no way to feel this out without being there. Sotomayor was there, of course.

                  There are a gazillion options and maybe none are appropriate.

                  I just don't have a problem with the fact that the judge regretted the fact that they guy walked out, gun permits and all, after days of observing this mentally unstable guy in the courtroom. The guy was squeaky clean until that trial. And now he's murdered an unarmed salesman. And he was still squeaky clean until then. I'd be disappointed, too. A judge simply cannot change the law or ignore precedents. A judge can't order a mental evaluation arbitrarily, either.

                  "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

                  by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 11:44:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  A judge can throw out a conviction, but must live (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Marjmar

                  with an acquittal.

                  "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

                  by auron renouille on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 05:04:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  She had no other possible response (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                auron renouille

                The jury let a deranged killer keep his guns and turned him loose. Yes, she regrets that the jury make that decision. The guy pointed a gun within inches of a utility meter reader's face, threatened her, and the frikking jury decided that this wasn't criminal threatening.

                Yeah.

                Sometimes juries screw up. Sometimes prosecutors screw up. Sometimes the defense screws up. I doubt if the judge, Sotomayor, screwed up. Her hands were tied as the law requires.

                When she learned that this guy had killed someone, she didn't need to be reminded of who he was or what happened in her court. Yeah, she regrets that the jury didn't decide that a point blank gun in the face wasn't threatening, somehow. She didn't offer a different opinion, a stupid thing for any judge to do, but expressing her regret was a meaningful comment.

                "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

                by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 10:34:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks, I understand the context now. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GrumpyOldGeek

                  I was interpreting "regrets" as in she regretted what she had done or something to the effect, not just regretted the situation.

                  "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

                  by auron renouille on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 05:05:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Very Vaguely Written (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1

        What exactly does it mean that they have "Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force". Does that mean that there is a huge safe harbor around the individual for anything that was set in motion by their actions or does it just mean only the action of the justifiable force has immunity?

        In practical terms can somebody sue them for damages if the course of standing their ground they did damage to other peoples property? Are they shield from responsibility for say shooting up somebody's car while they stood their ground? How about if a shot killed a beloved pet, or some random bystander - are they shielded from that too?

  •  They're looking for an excuse. They want a riot. (11+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:29:05 PM PDT

    •  That's loud and clear to me. I want to be wrong. (6+ / 0-)

      The NRA hasn't been promoting race riots, right? Oh yeah. They have been doing that. But only in their dumbest groups. Oh, wait.

      Zeromann will be looking over his shoulder for the rest of his miserable life regardless of what happens.

      Setting him free is multi-city race riots. Been there, done that. Don't want that to happen ever again.

      The SYG hearing will be held during the long, hot, summer in the South.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:39:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe if blacks bought a lot of guns (5+ / 0-)

        Multi-city race riots would be the kind of thing that would push people towards gun control.

        Not that I advocate rioting, but the perceived threat of armed minorities would probably do more than white people doing some actual shooting in getting people to address the gun issue.

        •  Maybe if Obama takes their guns away (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          willisnewton

          Their worst nightmare.

          There's no simple solution. If there were, it wouldn't be a problem today.

          And violence is NEVER an answer. Violence always makes everything worse, never better. Ever.

          Understand that there are large numbers of idiots who live among us who are PLANNING to win the race war. The NRA's "take yer gunnns aweigh" lie has increased guns sales beyond all reason. And did I say that they expect to win their fantasy race war? And it's Obama's clever plan to exact revenge for slavery, or something.

          A 17 year old carrying Skittles gets murdered, seemingly because he's suspiciously happy as he talks with his girlfriend.

          A 17 year old carrying Skittles and a gun would get no justice at all. Not a chance. This would actually provide more bullshit justification for SYG and Castle disasterous laws.

          And this is a race war. The opening shots have been fired. If you've ever met a white supremacist or a KKK type, this is their wet dream. I've met more than my share, for sure. They are insane. There's no other way to say it.

          You might conclude that I'm against violence in every way. You would be right about that.

          The only reasonable solution has to begin with preventing violence. I believe that violence is inevitable if we do nothing. And right now we're doing next to nothing.

          Elections have always been more important than a few murders or an illegal war or two. So there's that.

          "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

          by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 05:22:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Standing Your Ground armed with a deadly pistol (13+ / 0-)

    while stalking a teen-age kid armed with a Pepsi and Skittles would seem a far fetched lift even for a Florida judge.  But then, you never know.

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 02:59:43 PM PDT

  •  Let's review... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma, drmah, cybersaur

    The Zimmerman was told NOT to pursue by the local police. He pursued in his truck. All agree on these facts, I believe.

    If I were a judge, or a juryman, or a casual observer, I know what I would say about a Stand Your Ground defense; BS.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 03:04:12 PM PDT

    •  but those aren't the facts. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345

      Children have imaginary friends, adults have god.

      by soros on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 03:16:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Police Audio I Heard Said "We Don't Want You (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drmah, Sector 7G, SoCalSal

      doing that" and I didn't hear anything that sounded like an order not to. Anyway it was a dispatcher he was talking with so they may not have had any legal authority on him.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 04:03:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am sure he would love you on the jury (8+ / 0-)

        The fact is what you are arguing is not reaonable by any stretch of the imagination

        SOmeone who is trained these issues asks you not to do something, and your response is "you don't have legal authority over me?"

        It seems lk e you are searchinig for reasons ot justify what he did rather than asking whether what he did was reasonable under the circumstances

        This is a big problem with the pro Zimmerman arguments

        Each time along the way he had choices, and he choose the unreasonable one,but then you start to mke arguments like

        "Well they didn't have legal authortity"

        Thats not the standard for whather he was acting reasonably in pursuing TM. When you go t to resort to legalistic spilting of hairs that are not relevent to understanding the reasonableness of a series of decisions, I think the defense has a problem

        •  Yes, I would say the Defense has a problem.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doroma

          based on the audiotape. If the dispatcher is not Uniform, does that mean he has no authority to ask people NOT to do something? I dont think so. The dispatcher is at least an employee of the department, with Department authority. That is why he is Dispatcher.

           If he is Uniform he clearly has authority. The case shouldnt hinge on that however. It should hinge on the totality of what the Police Department told its residents about pursuit.

          I know the answer! They told them DONT PURSUE! Call us.

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:21:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Its about reasaonableness (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OregonOak, doroma, drmah, Meteor Blades

            The value of the dispatch telling him not to follow is that it points to whether a reasonable person under the circumstance would follow if a better trained official had just told you not to follow?

            The question ultimately to me, and I would imagine the prosecution will argue, is not whether Zimmerman had a legal right to do what he did, but was it reasonable or aggressive behavior.

            Its all about setting up context for the confrontation. That he took self steps to become the aggressor.

            Part of that was ignoring reasonable advice to not follow.

            That was one of the first signs that he was being aggressive.

            I see the whole "its legal" argue as a way to destract from the larger narraative of Zimmerman's actions

            It has now probative value at all. Many things tat are legally are neverthelesess not reasonable.

            For example someone can walk toward you in a threatening manner, but not actually be aboutto hit you or threaten you

            By itself, it doesn't prove that they were about to threaten you, but it does add evidence to that fact if someone who was better trained asked the person moving to not move forward given the situaton

  •  think he will lose in front of judge (4+ / 0-)

    But I can't say that  jury won't nullify using this as an excuse later

    I still remain weighted towards conviction for manslaughter

    •  i think he may just get murder2. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drmah, doroma, cybersaur

      either way, zimmerman will do some serious time.

      do you know if killing a minor will be an aggravating circumstance?  in terms of sentencing?

      MITT ROMNEY IN 2012 : LET'S PROVE THE MAYANS RIGHT!!!!!! (-9.75 / -9.05)

      by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:57:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure about aggregavating circumstances based (1+ / 0-)

        on age of victim

        Also, I am assuming this case will not make it to trial. That after they lose the SYG hearing, the attorney will go to his client telling him to take a deal. I suppose he may reject one. The prosecution can't know whether a jury will nullify (race does matter here) or choose to misapply SYG (again a factor), and as I remember the jury instructions will include lesser offenses. So , I think even if they believe him guilt¥ they may decide to split the differece for the reasons I mentioned like race and not understanding the law (eg some may think its okay to give him a partial self defense which FL does not allow, but they may believe he believed he was acting in self defense, etc). That's why in terms of certain conviction I think the prosecution will entertain manslaughter especially after fuck ups like today with the evidence.

  •  How can he think he'll win (5+ / 0-)

    when there's a recording of him being told NOT to follow the kid, to stay where he is, and he didn't. He was not standing ground, he was pursuing.

    Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

    by Debby on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 03:40:09 PM PDT

    •  He Wasn't Told Not To, He Was Told We Don't Want (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, Sector 7G

      you doing that.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 04:01:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Situation on the ground (0+ / 0-)

          versus situation at a command center.

          You don't want dispatchers giving orders based on information that is very unclear.

          Imagine watching someone you know be raped and stabbed, you call the police and the dispatcher tells you to not interfere.

      •  That's really not relevant. (0+ / 0-)

        Whether or not the dispatcher told him to go or stay is interesting and provides background but the issue is whether not Zimmerman reasonably believed that he was in danger.  I won't claim to know Florida's standard but the general self-defense standard is often described as "reasonable apprehension of imminent physical harm."  Basically, that means that the person must have believed that he was going to be seriously injured or killed and that belief had to be reasonable.  For instance, I may believe that Los Angeles is going to secede and create its own sovereign nation - I may even sincerely believe it.  But that belief isn't reasonable.

        I don't have the SYG law in front of me and it may use different language, but that's probably similar to what the SYG law will ask.  For the dispatcher's words to be relevant, the dispatcher would have needed to tell him something that tends to either prove or disprove a reasonable apprehension (e.g. the dispatcher could have said "Please hide immediately, it's very dangerous out" or perhaps could have instead said "Sir, I'm hanging up now because everything seems fine," and those would matter because it would go to Zimmerman's state of mind).  But "We don't need you to do that" is too noncommittal to really be meaningful in this context.  The public (correctly) uses those words as a sign that Zimmerman was morally wrong, but I my gut says that they won't be a big issue at trial or at this hearing.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:49:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Its relevant to whether TM or Zimmerman (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cybersaur

          was the aggressive party or not, which if it is Zimmerman, he loses both the SYG and Self Defense argument.

          Reasonable is not something you get to make up on your own. If a dispatcher is telling you  not to  pursue, then that's one of the examples that can be given that Zimmerman was not acting reasonably if its proven that he was in pursuit of TM

          This isn't about morally wrong. Nor it is about your gut.

          Its about understanding the role of evidence. The defense will argue he had a legal right, as the Talk left people do over at that site, to follow TM.

          Sure, but was it reasonable for him to do so, and how is following, even if its legally not an act of aggression, especially when you have been cautioned (acting with caution is one of those signs of being a reasonable person) not do follow.

          There was no imminent threat or danger to anyone that justified the pursuit.

          Again some of this comes down to how you view what  was reasonable behavior.

          You and others apparently think its reasonable for one person to follow another without any basis for doing so, and for that not to be seen as an act of aggression. The question that i have for you is- why do you believe this?

          Put another way, if you are out at night, and someone starts following you, and that person has been cautioned not to do so, you are telling me, you don't see that caution not to follow you as a relevant to the reasonableness of that person's behavior?

      •  "We don't need you to do that", (0+ / 0-)

        is what the dispatcher said. Not even as strong as "we don't want you doing that."

        Transcript:

        Dispatcher: Are you following him?

        Zimmerman: Yeah.

        Dispatcher: Ok, we don't need you to do that.

        Zimmerman: Ok.

        I hope SYG doesn't work for Zimmerman. But I don't think that was an actual "order" from the dispatcher.

        The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

        by SoCalSal on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 08:13:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It doesn't need to be an order (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoCalSal, doroma, cybersaur

          Zimmernan wasn't an employee of the police, and he has know authority to do what he was doing in the first place.

          When someone who is actually trained to perform the task of policing the community, tells you not to do so, you are not acting reasonably.

          Again, I ask the same as above: What exactly makes Zimmmerna's following of Martin reasonable here as far as not being perceived as an aggressor?

          Remember if Zimmerman is the aggressor, or seen as such, he loses both the SYG and Self defense argument.

          This is one among many examples o evidence that goes to demonstrate the narrative that he was acting aggressively because he was cautioned against following TM, but choose to do so anyhow against the precaution offered.

    •  because 70% do win. (0+ / 0-)

      73% when the victim was Black.  Those aren't bad odds at all, and it doesn't prejudice his criminal trial at all.

      Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 05:55:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't walk/jog w 1 or more ppl in SYG states (9+ / 0-)

    except in very public and well-trafficked places, i.e., where there are plenty of witnesses.

    SYG is a murderous wacko's wet dream:

    One man killed two unarmed people and walked out of jail.

    Out walking when/where nobody's around, and encounter two or more people? They threatened to gang up on me, SYG, get out of jail free!

    I also wouldn't want to be the lone witness to an SYG killing --> You've just gunned down 2 or more people, and a bystander saw it happen. If ever someone posed a THREAT to your life or limb, that bystander definitely qualifies, don't you know...

  •  Seems Like He Has a Good Chance of Walking Even (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, sethtriggs

    if he was pursuing the victim in the beginning, from considerable commentary I was hearing when the case first broke and backed up by quotes in some of the comments.

    IANAL but I'm guessing it'll come down to a very very short time frame just before he fired.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 04:01:01 PM PDT

    •  Yes thats what Talk Left claims (4+ / 0-)

      That's not necessarily true

      the case will come down to what narrative people believe

      and that narrative need not start with right before he fired if one believes Zimmerman was the aggressor he has neither a right self defense or SYG

      Both would require looking at the story in total rather han the Rodney King like "lets just look at the part we want to see"

      By your logic, one could follow another, act as an aggressor, ut once in a fight claim that one was not the aggressor simple by arbitrarily cliaming an incident started when it suited their argument

      It would lead to absurd outcomes

      To understand the case - the prosecutor will likely argue we must follow the entire events of that night. Not just seconds before he fires.

      Otherwise, a lot of evidence about Zimmerman magically not being the aggressor can be ignored. As was done by Talk Left and why they can pretend over there that the case is a slam dunk.

      •  We don't know who the "aggressor" was. (0+ / 0-)

        I can follow you, in public, legally.

        The question will be who threw the first punch.

        That person will be deemed "the aggressor".

        I don't have a good feeling about the outcome of this.

        •  We can use circumstantial evidence (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doroma

          to infer it

          And no, the question will not be who threw the fist punch since there is  no evidenc eabout that. what the question will be is who is the agressor.

          I think its interesting you seem to think you know who that person is who threw the first punch with very little evidence to back it up, but you don't think actual evidence about who the aggressor is like who was fiollowing whom is  going to tell us who the aggressor is

          Only if you are going to Talk Left are you taught that criminical  cases do not use reasonable inferences

          Here, if the Jury believes the narrative through reasonable inference of the evidence we do know (physical evidence) that zimmerman was followiing TM rather than your imaginaed who threw the first punch, your guy loses

          I am not really interested in how you feel one way or ther other. I do think is interesting you bring it up though.

          •  He's not "my guy". Without eyewitnesses, (0+ / 0-)

            testimony is evidence.

            I hope he's convicted, despite my unease about the potential outcome.

            •  your comment makes no sense (0+ / 0-)

              physical evidence is what will determine this case

              there is no testimony except his about what happened that night that directly can tells us aything

              if his testimony is entered - so are the various versions of it and the physical evidence not consistent with it

              hes your guy to the extent you come to a conclusion not based in reason

  •  Not surprising (7+ / 0-)

    though disheartening.

    The real kicker is the protection from civil court suits, on top of avoiding prosecution for killing someone.

    "Thou shalt not kill" except when the NRA and ALEC say its ok to.  

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 04:01:09 PM PDT

  •  This after the judge all but called him a liar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma, Clytemnestra

    when he revoked his original bond.  Good luck.

    •  Yeah, he probably screwed his SYG hearing. (0+ / 0-)

      The jury can't consider that as evidence.  But judges are human and this judge already knows him to be a liar - you can't put that toothpaste back into the tube and the court's going to be skeptical of his testimony.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:51:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I guess "no one could have predicted" that this (5+ / 0-)

    law would allow murders to go free.

    /snark

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 05:05:47 PM PDT

  •  Why can't Martin's survivors claim the same (2+ / 0-)

    in a similar hearing.

    It would protect them from potential law suits by Z for defamation etc.

    As Martin ended up dead surly his claim to feeling threatened and punching Z is greather than Z's claim of feeling threatened by someone he was stalking.

  •   NOT official at all; just a plea for donations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1

    A blog post is hardly the same thing as a motion filed to the court; I looked at the GZlegal site and all I see is empty words attached to a plea for donations backed with NOTHING.  

    Until the court docket is set for an SYG hearing this means NADA in my book.  

    I respect your work, Meteor but please consider changing the title of this diary.  It's misleading.

    For all I know this could be one last plea for cash, another bluff to the prosecution that "we'll never give up" and a prelude to a plea bargain.  

    Most criminal cases in the USA end with a plea deal; I don't see what makes this one so special.  GZ lied to investigators, his credibility is zilch and he's going to be convicted, IMO.  I think his lawyer is smart enough to know that, too.  

    It could be that the defendant himself is pushing for this but I doubt it's on the best advice of his lawyer.  He'll be destroyed on cross-examination.  

  •  He was the one stalking, right? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, doroma, cybersaur

    It seems to me the only one who gets to use "stand your ground" as a defense is the kid who got shot.

  •  Wow, not smart (0+ / 0-)

    This dude lied in court about being broke, and was caught in the act. The prosecution is going to destroy his credibility, and once that's done he'll have no defense.

    If I were him I'd have copped a plea.

  •  The Burden suggest that Zim will have to testify.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma

    which is of course a Bonanza for the Prosecution.  Several bytes at the apple to put him on the stand, or at least the opportunity to take the transcript of his testimony at the hearing to the Jury.

    Oh, to be able to do that cross...

  •  Stand your ground= murder without consequences (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma, cybersaur

    Mitt Romney treats people like things. And he treats things - corporations - like people.

    by richardak on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:09:30 PM PDT

  •  Sounds to me as if Zimmerman is given enough rope (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, ZappoDave, doroma

    he may hang himself in his own case.

    •  Zimmerman is asked to re-enact (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doroma, drmah

      the final events for the jury. He calmly and quietly begins to describe the struggle.  His defense rests, he is smiling and upbeat. The DA begins to question him ... he unravels quickly. Soon  the DA hands Zimmerman a dummy to re-enact. Zimmerman begins choking the dummy and rips it's head off ... the stuffing of the dummy has settled on the court.  

      The court is silent.

      O'Mara's jaw has dropped and he is silent.

      Zimmerman then says ... "what?".

      The End

      Neo-Perry Mason Series 1 episode 2

  •  The defense is getting two bites at the apple. SYG (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, Marjmar

    only applies to acts of valid self-defense.  If the self defense is valid then it will be dismissed because you don't have to retreat.  If the judge finds SYG doesn't apply the defense gets a trial to make a run at the self-defense defense again.  In the meantime they had a run through of putting on a self defense argument.  

    Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:12:06 PM PDT

  •  A mockery of what lawmakers intended? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    congenitalefty, sfbob, Marjmar, cybersaur

    No, I unfortunately think that this is exactly what they intended - for Florida to become a state where shooting people is legal, so long as the shooter and victim are of the correct racial, economic and religious background.

    You don't write laws like this when the common law has recognized a valid assertion of self defense since basically cave men were beating each other over the heads with tree limbs.

    I don't normally consider myself a radical but, sorry, Tampa Bay Times, maybe you should come to terms with the reality that your legislature has declared an open season on minorities.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:16:44 PM PDT

  •  With the same judge? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma

    or in another court?

    I'm guessing it's with the same judge, the judge whom is becoming more familiar with Zimmerman's stories.

  •  At any rate .. (0+ / 0-)

    I bet Georgie is running out of cash. His family isn't bucking up ... It will be time for him to make a deal after he loses the stand your ground argument. heh.

    George? Georgie? Doors number one and two are waiting. Number three is no longer available.

    Sam Waterson says .... 20 to life.

  •  Result a forgone conclusion. He'll walk. (0+ / 0-)

    It's Florida, for Pete's sake.

    We might view an eventual conviction of Dexter, but that's fiction.

    I just flushed my Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. Whaddya know, trickle down theory actually works somewhere.

    by cal2010 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:39:45 PM PDT

  •  Avoid Florida (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur

    Going to Florida for any reason may cost you your life. Sissies in Florida are afraidy cats  and will shoot at anything and make an excuse later.

  •  We are in danger of this being a RWNJ plot to (0+ / 0-)

    distract U.S. from the Mitt Twit issues.

    If they rig this and let GZ OFF due to SYG
    it will put the whole nation in an uproar.

    Devious bastards


    Mitt Romney was CEO of Bain until Aug 2001. Proof of Bain & Romney Fraud

    by laserhaas on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:52:45 PM PDT

  •  Florida... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma, cybersaur

    Where men with guns cower in fear in the shadow of teenagers and their Skittles.

    I hope they put that motherfucker UNDER the jail.

  •  BAM!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma, cybersaur

    Crump is on fire!

    "A grown man cannot profile and pursue an unarmed child, shoot him in the heart, and then claim stand your ground."
    You tell 'em. Ben.  He's really clear and concise on that statement.


    "A recent study reveals Americans' heads are larger than they were 150 years ago but sadly there is no indication that the extra room is used for anything." - entlord

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 08:03:59 PM PDT

  •  What ground? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma, cybersaur

    seriously, what "ground" was Zimmerman "Standing"

    He certainly wasn't on HIS property.  He wasn't protecting a love one.  He had no reason to think the kid had a weapon.  The kid was running AWAY from him, for fuck's sake.

    The judge will laugh him out of the fucking courtroom.


    "A recent study reveals Americans' heads are larger than they were 150 years ago but sadly there is no indication that the extra room is used for anything." - entlord

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 08:05:49 PM PDT

    •  Zimmerman will claim... (0+ / 0-)

      ...he felt "obligated" or "responsible" because he was a neighborhood watch cowboy tough guy <-- probably not an official title. ;)

      Zimmerman, from what I've read, seems to be one of those wannabe cop sorts.

      So...Zimmerman was "out on patrol" and [that] is the "reason" he will have and what he will base his claim upon.

      ...and the judge may not agree with that argument, but I'm betting the judge won't laugh at that argument.

      "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

      by Marjmar on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 08:34:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, but as falcon1939013491341 will remind (0+ / 0-)

    us there hasn't been some sort of bloodbath in the aftermath of all these gun-rights laws.

    At least, there hasn't been one reported.

    The bottom line is that the abuse of the SYG laws was perfectly predictable. Why? Because the survey results that the pro-gunsters passed around in order to justify their fetish made it perfectly clear that thousands upon thousands of gun owners already delusionally believe that they have used their guns to save themselves in life-or-death situations.

    How do we know they are delusional? Because the numbers simply don't add up. Statistically, if that many gun owners had actually saved themselves from death and dismemberment only by the timely brandishing of their shootin' arns, then the number of correspondingly dead non-gun owners would have to be in the many tens -- if not hundreds -- of thousands PER YEAR.

    Yet ... that doesn't happen.

    No, the sad fact is that most people are not particularly good at evaluating their immediate risk, nor in the aftermath of a frightening situation, of evaluating exactly what just transpired. With all of those folks, armed and carrying and with their courage burnished by the affirmative statement of their fellow citizens: use your own judgment!, the result could only be what it has in fact been: Lots of people shot for no particularly good reason.

    When all of the formal institutions of society come together to validate the paranoid fantasies of some of the most pathetic of citizens, those paranoid fantasies must bring death to their neighbors.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 08:25:13 PM PDT

  •  let it go (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, Dr Swig Mcjigger
    Hidden by:
    cybersaur

    I'm a hard-core Democrat, particularly on economic issues, but this looks like a loser to me.

    Face it, the guy may have been a racist a-hole, but he was within his rights to keep an eye on a suspicious (to him) person in his neighborhood. Martin's rights in that situation were limited to saying "Hey - bug off" as long as Zimmerman did not directly confront him.

    The audio evidence suggests that Martin was the first to initiate a confrontation ("What's your problem?") while witness reports and the injuries to the back of Zimmerman's head are consistent with someone being pinned down and their head banged against a hard surface by an assailant.

    You can argue that Zimmerman overreacted by shooting his assailant in a situation that you assume would have only resulted in minor bodily injuries, but you don't know his state of mind or the possible outcomes.

    If I was in a situation where an unknown attacker had me pinned down and saying I was going to die, I'd shoot the s.o.b. if I had a gun, no doubt about it - regardless of any comments I may have made about his mother a short time earlier.

    Sorry, but this case strikes me as a situation where a hot-headed teen mixed it up with the wrong person. Period.

  •  Child Killers,drug dealers,go free via SYG (0+ / 0-)

    This is a must read!  " It is broad enough that one judge complained that in a Wild West-type shootout, where everybody is armed, everyone might go free."http://www.tampabay.com/...

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