Did you watch the trial? I did. I work at home and had the trial going on as I worked. I’m sure I saw at least 3/4 of the trial live and heard playbacks of anything important that I missed. If I had been in the jury, I would have voted to acquit him as well.
Do I think George Zimmerman is a racist? Well, yes and no. He’s not your classic Ku Klux Klanner. The state never turned up any blatantly racial statements he had ever made. He did lament to a police operator once that “The assholes always get away.” Some people are reading those words as implicitly racial, but there is no supporting evidence for that assumption.
He had even volunteered in programs that mainly benefited black youth!
At the same time, I think there is little doubt that he profiled the victim, Trayvon Martin. I’m not sure he profiled him because he was black. I think perhaps he would have profiled any male teen walking along in Zimmerman’s neighborhood who had the hood of his hoodie up.
I think the initial mistake was in charging Zimmerman in the first place. The local police decided there was no case and decided not to prosecute. It was only after a clamor orchestrated by Trayvon’s family attorney that the state Attorney General stepped in and forced a prosecution that Zimmerman was charged.
The problem the prosecution faced was that the only eye-witness to the fight between Martin and Zimmerman supported Zimmerman’s story that Trayvon was on top, pounding Zimmerman’s head on the concrete sidewalk. And Zimmerman did have a broken nose. All Martin had was a bullet through the heart, which is allowed in Florida (and in most states, even ones without specific Stand Your Ground laws) if Zimmerman had reason to feel his life was in danger.
In final summations, where generally it is the prosecution explaining the letter of the law and how to apply it, while the defense often appeals to the jury’s feelings rather than their intellect, it was reversed. It was the defense explaining in detail how to apply the law while it was the prosecutors shouting and foaming at the mouth about the injustice of Trayvon Martin’s death. That alone signaled that the prosecution really didn’t trust their own case.
In retrospect, it appears that the local police were right. And, in fact, during cross examination, the lead local investigator admitted that he personally believed Zimmerman’s story based on the facts he discovered. While the judge ordered the jury not to consider that opinion (because it’s an opinion and not a fact), “You can’t un-ring a bell.”
This case should have all of us thinking about assumptions we make regarding young people and especially young black males. Perhaps Florida will reconsider it’s “Stand Your Ground” law which makes it easier to defend oneself with lethal force based merely on a belief that one is in danger of death or severe bodily harm.
I don’t know what actually happened leading up to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Only George Zimmerman knows that. Did he profile Trayvon? I think he did. Did he profile him racially? The evidence doesn’t support that. Trayvon was probably profiled more as a young male than as a black male. Under his hoodie, his race may not have been evident.
Profiling may be a bad thing but it isn’t an illegal thing. And Zimmerman wasn’t on trial for profiling, but for murder. The state had to prove that Zimmerman had hate in his heart, and that they didn’t do.
The verdict, as dissatisfying as it may be, was the right one based on the facts.
Apparently, Mr Zimmerman believes that it was "all part of God's plan" that he kill the young man. Crazy.
That's a fallback position for all Christians. But the fact remains that whatever he did that was wrong—and I believe there was—there's no law against it. Lacking that, you don't just go ahead and convict him because you wish you could and despite the facts presented in court.
I believe "jury nullification" usually refers to refusing to convict someone of charges because you think they law they are being charged under is bullshit. E.g., refusing to convict an accused drug user.
Zimmerman was being charged with second degree murder and you wanted to convict him because you don't like the exceptions to that law.
Jury nullification doesn't apply to convicting someone because you don't like the law he used to justify his action. That conviction would simply get tossed on appeal since it would either be unjustified by the facts or the law. A jury nullification acquittal, on the other hand, could not be appealed.
Juries can nullify. Judges can set verdicts aside if they conflict with the facts of the case. Bad decisions can be reversed on appeal.
There was no murder. There was assault and battery. Zimmerman has a broken nose and lacerations on his head. Trayvon Martin has a bullet hole. Are you asserting that Trayvon was shot through the heart and THEN broke Zimmerman's nose and beat his head on the sidewalk?
@Gallups Mirror - Your attitude differs with that of the facts. I get it. Duly noted.
Zimmerman's claim that Martin was punching him in the face is consistent with the evidence of his injuries. Zimmerman's claim that Martin was beating his head against the sidewalk is not consistent with the evidence of his injuries at all.
That's not just my conclusion, it's also the conclusion of Investigator Dale Gilbreath, who testified under oath that Zimmerman's claim of a sidewalk head-beating was "not consistent with the evidence we found."
I agree with Investigator Gilbreath. Those are cuts and abrasions, suggesting Zimmerman's head was scraped against the sidewalk, not slammed against it again and again. If that had happened he would've had injuries consistent with multiple forceful impacts: severe bruising and swelling. But Zimmerman did not.
Galbreath is an "investigator." Dr. Vincent Di Maio is a world-famous pathologist. He supports Zimmerman's account:
Evidence supports George Zimmerman's claim that Trayvon Martin was on top of him when Zimmerman fired the shot that claimed Trayvon's life, a forensic pathologist testified Tuesday at Zimmerman's murder trial.
"The medical evidence is consistent with Mr. Zimmerman's statement," said Vincent Di Maio, an expert witness for the defense. The pathologist also found that Trayvon lived no more than three minutes after the shooting and probably was conscious for at least 10 to15 seconds.
Di Maio also testified that Zimmerman's head injuries could have been caused by coming into contact with concrete and that such injuries can be very dangerous. That testimony supported Zimmerman's claim that Trayvon was slamming his head into a sidewalk.
Di Maio said Zimmerman had at least six injuries from the struggle: two head lacerations, two wounds to his temples and wounds on his nose and forehead. Those injuries were consistent with having his head banged into a sidewalk, Di Maio said.
Zimmerman's impressions are those of someone in a state of fear to which something is happening. He is not an impartial observer, nor is he a medical examiner or forensic scientist. The point is how he perceived the situation. Dr. Di Maio showed photos showing multiple lumps and said the lacerations could have happened if Zimmerman's head was slammed with a pushing motion, scraping the head along the pavement.
The point you still haven't refuted, GM, is that Zimmerman was being assaulted. That is all that is needed to establish self-defense.
The mere fact that you persist in using the word "murder" when the facts established in trial show that it wasn't (no evidence whatsoever of premeditation or even malice on Zimmerman's part..), tells me your preconceived judgment is overruling your willingness to look at facts.
If this is "murder" the word then becomes equivalent to "homicide" and we can ditch such superfluous concepts as "manslaughter" "negligent homicide" and "wrongful death"
I hope you never serve on a jury.
I will stand corrected re: second degree murder and premeditation.
However, Unseen has quoted testimony that flies in the face of what you want to believe happened and how you want to evaluate Zimmerman's actions. You (as a hypothetical juror) would have heard that testimony in court, apparently, and ignored it because you did not want it to be true.
The last thing anyone (except maybe an overzealous prosecutor who knows their case isn't worth shit, but wants the conviction anyway because of their agenda) wants is a juror who has decided on a verdict of guilty before he is even empaneled. I stand by my statement that I hope you never serve on a jury. Regardless of who is charged and with what crime.
The bringing of the charges and the hysterical aftermath of the widely predicted verdict show how today's social media can turn into a high-tech lynch mob, propelled by people who don't bother to really dig into the facts before forming opinions.
Yes, we need to work on subliminal racism among America's whites, but picking out one person involved in such a bad case is simply nuts. He's the wrong guy to set up as the example of what's wrong with race relations in America.
Also, Gallup's Mirror seems to be under the impression the Zimmerman is looking forward to the life of Riley now that he's been exonerated. Actually, his life will be immeasurably worse now unless he gets some plastic surgery, changes his name, and moves outside the United States. The life he has ahead of him isn't one I'd wish on anyone.
Well I will hand it to you Gallup.
You have convinced me there are worse people out there to serve on a jury than you would be. Given a choice between you and them, I would without hesitation pick you.
But I am curious about one thing. Why did you say absolutely nothing about these people in front of the judge, the prosecutor, and the defense attorney?
I don't know the whole story but my impulse, when you related being asked if you had heard of this case, would have been to answer, "I had not heard of it at all, until twenty minutes ago when I heard three other jurors in the pool talking about it and making racist comments about it."
It is entirely possible that the defendants were the perps, but coming to that conclusion for racist reasons, of course, is both epistemically and morally wrong.
@Gallup's Mirror - Are you laboring under the illusion that any of us (the people you are arguing with in this thread and my own) are supporters of stand your ground laws?