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.
You like many of the lynch mob seem to overlook that Trayvon followed Zimmerman for four minutes and then, apparently, sucker punched him. If he'd just done the smart thing and kept on his way home, he'd be alive today. The fact that Zimmerman had a gun (legally carried, it turns out) simply gave him a way to defend himself. Trayvon died of what many teens die of: poor judgment.
George Zimmerman must give direct testimony and give a full account of his actions from start to finish. Mr. Martin's family has a right to get answers through our legal system at all levels available to them in their search to learn the truth of what happen that terrible night.
He did give a full account. While he didn't testify on the stand, the local police made a video of him on the scene explaining what had transpired the night before.
Martin's parents can sue Zimmerman in civil court if they like, but I don't think they'll get much further. There is no special reason why Zimmerman needs to testify. His story is on the record. And it shouldn't even be there because the case was overcharged to start with. The local cops had it right that there was no case to be brought and all the trial did was serve to prove that.
Some people will never be satisfied and I think you are probably one.
You feel Zimmerman is guilty of something. If you are open-minded, then what, if you heard it, could change your mind?
There is no evidence, none, that George Zimmerman was a bigot. There is no evidence he went out intending to end up in a fight. He followed Trayvon Martin for a while despite being advised not to do so, but even so he broke off the pursuit. THEN is when he was attacked and found himself believing that his life might be in danger. That is all there is to it.
The mindless social networks lynch mob sees Zimmerman as symbolizing all bigots or all people carrying guns itching for the chance to shoot someone. He qualifies in neither category. He should be allowed to resume his life as a citizen as normally as circumstances will allow. I'm sure before he goes to sleep every night he'll replay all the events of that night. Even though he isn't at fault, no non-psychopath can find it easy to live with being the agent of someone else's demise.
The defense’s argument was based on Zimmermanfeeling afraid (that's all) and therefore that he justifiably killed Martin in self-defense according to the laws of Florida. That is exactly the unjust law I said that I would disregard as a juror, remember?
But what else can we expect people act on other than their perceptions? After all, that's what the jury is supposed to act on!
I have news for you. Zimmerman would have been exonerated almost anywhere in the U.S. based on the evidence presented. You may not like it, but if someone attacks you and you believe you are in peril of death or serious harm, you can defend yourself with whatever is at hand.
Where did you get the iimpression that this case has anything to do with Stand Your Ground? His legal team never invoked it.
Zimmerman was in a fist fight, not in peril of death or serious harm. And the evidence of Zimmerman's "very insignificant" injuries do not support his claims to belief of the contrary.
Yeah, I'm sure Zimmerman was thinking "Are these injuries I'm sustaining beyond insignificant?" Who would?
Don't be silly.
Prosecutors almost anywhere would not have charged Zimmerman based simply on the fact that he was enduring an attack that could any second have gone lethal or led to brain damage.
The fallacy of your argument is that one can only respond proportionally if one is capable of a proportional response. It was testified that Zimmerman was basically a wimp with no real fighting skills and a psychological mindset that didn't make him a fighter.
So...on to Plan B. The gun.
And you know Zimmerman lied...how?
You keep on harping on the insignificance of the injuries as though he was expected to say to himself "Okay, now I've sustained irreparable brain damage, NOW I can respond with deadly force."
RE: "I find it delightfully ironic that you assert without evidence the 'fact' of who assaulted whom" - other than the bullet wound, how many documented marks - cuts, bruises, abrasions - indicating a physical response by Zimmerman, did Martin sustain? Does anyone have photos of those?
Arch: "How many documented marks - cuts, bruises, abrasions - indicating a physical response by Zimmerman, did Martin sustain? Does anyone have photos of those?"
GM: "None are necessary."
So am I to understand that Zimmerman sustained bruises, cuts and abrasions, while Martain sustained none, yet you "find it delightfully ironic that you assert without evidence the 'fact' of who assaulted whom"?
RE: "If Zimmerman so much as touched Martin, got up in his face, stared him down menacingly, or spoke in a threatening manner, it's assault." - and your evidence that this happened is --?
RE: "got up in his face" - I'm curious, how close does the law state one can get to another person's face without committing assault? If I'm jam-packed in an elevator full of people, and my face passes beyond your "invisible" barrier, can I be arrested for assault? Inquiring minds want to know --
Oh, and a "menacing" stare is assault? Who determines if the stare is "menacing," or one of "Greg House's" thousand-yard stares he experienced just before he solved the case? Wherever are the Stare Police when you need them?
"Definition of Simple Assault (Misdemeanor)- Florida Law
As defined under Section 784.011, Florida Statutes, simple assault occurs when a person, by word or act, makes an intentional, unlawful threat to commit violence towards another person, and the person making the threat has the apparent ability to carry out the threat, and the person does some act which creates a well-founded fear in the other person that such violence is imminent.
Actually, it sounds as though you've very accurately described exactly what Treyvon Martin did. Thanks for clarifying that for us.
"If the threat involves deadly force, the person defending themselves can use deadly force to counteract the threat.
I would say that if my head is being pounded on pavement, that does threaten to become deadly, as Dr. Vincent Di Maio, world renowned forensice scientist, opined. If something can become deadly force, it threatens to become deadly force, justifying a deadly response. You talk about threats but you clearly would only accept the fact of deadly force as an excuse to reply with deadly force.
Zimmerman's pers/prosecutors being sued. Accused of withholding exculpatory evidence.
A former employee of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey's office plans to file a whistleblower lawsuit against George Zimmerman's prosecutors, his attorney told Reuters on Tuesday.
The action will put pressure on Corey, who already faces criticism from some legal experts for the unsuccessful prosecution of the case, which led to the acquittal of Zimmerman for shooting unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman's defense has also called for sanctions against her and her prosecution team.
Ben Kruidbos, Corey's former director of information technology, was fired after testifying at a pre-trial hearing on June 6 that prosecutors failed to turn over potentially embarrassing evidence extracted from Martin's cell phone to the defense, as required by evidence-sharing laws.
"We will be filing a whistleblower action in (Florida's Fourth Judicial District) Circuit Court," said Kruidbos' attorney Wesley White, himself a former prosecutor who was hired by Corey but resigned in December because he disagreed with her prosecutorial priorities. He said the suit will be filed within the next 30 days.
You can stand your ground if you’re white, and you can use a gun to do it. But if you stand your ground with your fists and you’re black, you’re dead.
In the state of Florida, the season on African-Americans now runs year round. Come one, come all. And bring a handgun. The legislators are fine with this blood on their hands. The governor, too. One man accosted another and when it became a fist fight, one man — and one man only — had a firearm. The rest is racial rationalization and dishonorable commentary.
If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walking toward that courthouse in Sanford. Those that do not, those that hold the pain and betrayal inside and somehow manage to resist violence — these citizens are testament to a stoic tolerance that is more than the rest of us deserve. I confess, their patience and patriotism is well beyond my own.
Behold, the lewd, pornographic embrace of two great American pathologies: Race and guns, both of which have conspired not only to take the life of a teenager, but to make that killing entirely permissible. I can’t look an African-American parent in the eye for thinking about what they must tell their sons about what can happen to them on the streets of their country. Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American.
First, Trayvon Martin didn't stand his ground, he committed assault and battery. It is that fact which exonerated Zimmerman who used what he had at hand to defend himself as he would be allowed to do almost anywhere in the country with race not a consideration.
There may be places in the U.S. where Zimmerman would be taking the blame had he been black, but it's unfair to attempt to make that sad fact Zimmerman's fault. And let's also remember—as I am always reminding people—that Zimmerman, despite a German name, is Hispanic, not white.
It simply amazes me that so many people can't get into their thick skulls that Trayvon Martin was the one who escalated the nonviolent verbal confrontation to the level of an assault and battery. Had he simply continued on his way, he would have been at home eating Skittles and iced tea.
It also amazes me that commentators who should know better and social media-fueled mindless mobs have settled on this particular case as their cause celebre when there have to be many far better cases than this to be protesting.