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.

Tags: George, Martin, Trayvon, Zimmerman, profiling, race

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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.

The point regarding Zimmerman's lack of impartiality is well taken, considering he was looking at a life sentence. As such, where Zimmerman's unverifiable account of the extreme violence he encountered conflicts with the verifiable evidence of his injuries, I disregard his account.  

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.

Is that a direct quote from Di Maio himself? He said "slammed"? Source? Even if it is, it addresses only how the lacerations could have happened, not the severity of the injuries which indicates the force involved.

Fortunately the testimony of Dr. Valerie Rao-- the Jacksonville, Florida medical examiner-- does address that very subject in a direct, sourced quote.

The injuries were not life-threatening,” she said, describing them as, “very insignificant.”

Like I said, the physical evidence does not support Zimmerman's account that Martin was slamming his head into the concrete and Zimmerman shot him while they struggled for the weapon. It supports that Martin was punching him in the face while Zimmerman was lying on concrete, and that Zimmerman put his gun to Martin's chest and shot him in the heart.

The point you still haven't refuted, GM, is that Zimmerman was being assaulted. That is all that is needed to establish self-defense.

I don't have to refute that point. I said from the beginning that a bullet in the heart is not a justifiable response to being punched in the face, even if the law says otherwise. It's a justifiable response to an attempt to bash someone's brains out against a sidewalk, but based on the evidence I don't believe Zimmerman's claim that such an attack occurred.

The defense’s argument was based on Zimmerman feeling 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?

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.

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.

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being without justification or excuse. The question in this case was whether or not Zimmerman was justified in killing Martin. If he was not, then it's murder.

That's for me as a jury member to decide.

Murder does not require evidence of premeditation, which is why there is second degree murder: a fact which tells me you don't know what you're talking about.

I hope you never serve on a jury.

If you murder a black kid and think some NRA-written law is going to let you get away with it, you'd certainly better hope I never serve on YOUR 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.

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. 

I didn't evaluate Zimmerman's actions. I evaluated the physical evidence of his injuries and his statements. If you say there is incongruity in how I did that then show it to me. Respond to what I wrote. Explain it. Be specific. 

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.

What true thing did I ignore to reach my conclusion? Show it to me. Be specific. 

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'm glad you brought up the subject of "isn't worth shit", Steve.

I've presented my reasoning that Zimmerman killed Martin unjustly, based on the facts presented in the trial, as best as they can be found on the public internet. I've also presented evidence supporting that SYG is racially biased.

You've responded substantially to none of that in favor of making false pronouncements that I reached my conclusions like a jury member who has not yet been empanelled: someone who has not evaluated any evidence or any facts at all.

That's not even to mention your paranoia about Zimmerman's prosecutors and whatever improprieties you're implying about them.

I stand by my statement that I hope you never serve on a jury.  Regardless of who is charged and with what crime.

I have no doubt that you do, now that we've established the worth of that stance. You'll be delighted to know you got your wish many years ago when I was called up, under circumstances I'm sure that will delight you.

The last time I had jury duty I made it into one of the last groups of finalists for the jury. I sat in a conference room with four other guys waiting our turns to be called into the court for an interview. The bailiff waited outside. I sat quietly and said nothing while the three of them discussed the case. They had guessed based on the screening questions so far that it was for an incident in which several black gang members had injured several white bystanders in a shooting at a public event the year before. They said the damn city had gone to hell with all the low income blacks and hispanics moving into the neighborhoods down by the river. One of them gave the names of the gang involved in the shooting and said they're dealing drugs in such-and-such neighborhood and there was just a murder there and don't go there after dark. One joked that he almost hit a black guy crossing the street at night, but it was his own fault because he "should have smiled or something". Haw haw haw. I rose and took a seat on the other side of the table, turned my back to them and looked out the window. They ignored me and went on, and with increasing animus: racist jokes, claims of racial criminality, etc.

They shut up when the bailiff came in and we got called into the court one at a time. I got called last. When I looked over, all three had been selected to sit on the jury. They were sitting in the jury box looking at me. The defendants were three black men. The youngest was about 18. He looked terrified.

The judge asked me if I had heard about a shooting incident on such and such a date, if I knew anything about the so-and-so Street Posse gang, and other questions about my attitudes regarding race. I answered truthfully: I hadn't heard about any mass shootings, I didn't have any knowledge of gangs in the city, and I could decide matters of the case without regard to the race of the victims or defendants. I meant every word of it and it was all true. The judges and lawyers had a quick pow-wow at the bench and I was excused with no explanation.

The three racists ended up on the jury and assuming they were asked the same questions as me, two of them had to have lied their asses off to get there. I followed the trial in the news. The three black kids all went to prison on weapons and assault charges. The youngest was 18 years old.

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?

He's just part of the irrational post-trial lynch mob. Once one adopts the attitude that the result of a trial is not the end of it, the lynchings begin. In the old West when a town didn't like official justice the exonerated one would be dragged to a hangin' tree.

In the end, that's not a world we want to live in. In the end, a mob is a kind of tyrannical monarchy. A monster with many heads but no brain.

The prosecution was just horrible. Everyone including the DA should be fired. They couldn't even present a case properly. It all went downhill starting with the first witness of the prosecution, that friend Travyon was on the phone with while he was walking.

Well, they had no case. Maybe they could have convicted Zimmerman of harassment of some sort, but they didn't have the goods as far as murder or manslaughter. Do I wish Zimmerman had to suffer some sort of legal consequence? Yes, I do, but my point is that they simply didn't prove the case. That's why they prosecuted at the top of their lungs. There's a legal saying, “If you have the law, hammer the law. If you have the facts, hammer the facts. If you have neither the law nor the facts, hammer the table." 

They did a lot of table hammering.

Agreed.

There simply wasn't a case here and IMHO the whole prosecution was motivated by PC run amok.  Local authorities thought there was no basis for charging Zimmerman, at any rate.

Zimmerman will be hounded for the rest of his life by millions of people who decided (on the basis of slanted news reporting and demagoguery by people whose living is made by perpetuating racial grievances rather than solving them) that he was a racist turd bent on killing a black.  If he were, he'd deserve the hounding, of course... but it doesn't look like he was.  No matter, millions of people believe he is, and will act accordingly if they see him.  That's going to be punishment enough, I think.

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