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Why was Gary Younge’s article removed?

How odd. An article was removed from The Guardian website, and now only this note has been left in its place.

This article has been taken down on 14 July 2013 pending investigation.

I guess they’ll investigate away. Meanwhile, you can read the article as originally posted.

Open season on black boys after a verdict like this
Posted:Sun, 14 Jul 2013 07:25:00 GMTPosted:2013-07-14T08:07:42Z

Calls for calm after George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin are empty words for black families

Let it be noted that on this day, Saturday 13 July 2013, it was still deemed legal in the US to chase and then shoot dead an unarmed young black man on his way home from the store because you didn’t like the look of him.

The killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year was tragic. But in the age of Obama the acquittal of George Zimmerman offers at least that clarity. For the salient facts in this case were not in dispute. On 26 February 2012 Martin was on his way home, minding his own business armed only with a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles. Zimmerman pursued him, armed with a 9mm handgun, believing him to be a criminal. Martin resisted. They fought. Zimmerman shot him dead.

Who screamed. Who was stronger. Who called whom what and when and why are all details to warm the heart of a cable news producer with 24 hours to fill. Strip them all away and the truth remains that Martin’s heart would still be beating if Zimmerman had not chased him down and shot him.

There is no doubt about who the aggressor was here. The only reason the two interacted at all, physically or otherwise, is that Zimmerman believed it was his civic duty to apprehend an innocent teenager who caused suspicion by his existence alone.

Appeals for calm in the wake of such a verdict raise the question of what calm there can possibly be in a place where such a verdict is possible. Parents of black boys are not likely to feel calm. Partners of black men are not likely to feel calm. Children with black fathers are not likely to feel calm. Those who now fear violent social disorder must ask themselves whose interests are served by a violent social order in which young black men can be thus slain and discarded.

But while the acquittal was shameful it was not a shock. It took more than six weeks after Martin’s death for Zimmerman to be arrested and only then after massive pressure both nationally and locally. Those who dismissed this as a political trial (a peculiar accusation in the summer of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden) should bear in mind that it was politics that made this case controversial.

Charging Zimmerman should have been a no-brainer. He was not initially charged because Florida has a “stand your ground” law whereby deadly force is permitted if the person “reasonably believes” it is necessary to protect their own life, the life of another or to prevent a forcible felony.

Since it was Zimmerman who stalked Martin, the question remains: what ground is a young black man entitled to and on what grounds may he defend himself? What version of events is there for that night in which Martin gets away with his life? Or is it open season on black boys after dark?

Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict will be contested for years to come. But he passed judgement on Trayvon that night summarily.

“Fucking punks,” Zimmerman told the police dispatcher that night. “These assholes. They always get away.”

So true it’s painful. And so predictable it hurts.

I don’t know what’s wrong with it. Maybe the editors noticed a typo.

Comments

  1. Bernard Bumner says

    The placeholder now reads, “This article was launched early in error and was taken down on 14 July 2013 pending checks with the author.”

    The article appears entirely accurate. And really rather measured.

  2. says

    I do not get it. I might try as hard as I can, but I will never be able to wrap my head around this. Zimmerman followed Martin after being told not to do so for no other reason than “looking suspicious” and yet was found not guilty via self-defence? What the fuck? What self defence, he clearly initiated the whole incident, he was the attacker!

    I am not sure whether I want to cry, break something or vomit.

  3. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    *slow clap* for Gary Younge
    That’s one hell of an article.

    I’m going through some of his older articles, and those are worth reading too. *bookmarks his Guardian page*

  4. zmidponk says

    This decision is truly, truly bizarre.

    Even if you accept Zimmerman’s version of events, and he shot Martin because he was being assaulted by Martin, and you accept the claim that it was Zimmerman, not Martin, calling for help on the 911 call, Zimmerman was only being assaulted because MARTIN, not Zimmerman, was defending himself against, from his point of view, this random guy who was stalking and following him. Everyone is going on about Zimmerman’s right to ‘stand his ground’. This jury seems to have decided that, in this case, Zimmerman had that right, but Trayvon Martin did not.

  5. bigdyterminator says

    Perhaps it is the usage of the word “fucking” and not anything more? Though one would hope that would be a quick edit. It’s not as if the people who scream “think of the children”, would let their kids read this article anyways.

  6. cry4turtles says

    It seems as if one has a penchant for killing minorities and children, or minority children, one simply needs to move to Florida and “stand one’s ground.”

  7. David Marjanović says

    …Let me just say I can’t find a typo. And if I can’t find a typo, chances are very good there isn’t one.

    So I’ll just sit here, fume quietly, and continue to avoid Florida (admittedly very easy to do for me).

  8. rogerfirth says

    I hope the Streisand Effect kicks in on this article. Big time.

    I have to say, I was already expecting a not guilty verdict. Screw the evidence. We’ve got a bunch of white voters out there who need to be reassured that they’re safe. Blowing away a black kid does just that.

    The justice system is broken.

  9. randay says

    Another scenario. Martin manages to wrench stalker Zimmerman’s gun from him and is holding it as the police arrive. They see a black man pointing a gun at a white man. What are they going to do? Well, if history is any indicator, they are going to shoot the black man and ask questions later. So Martin gets himself dead in either case. Finally there is only the criminal white man’s story that will be heard as in the present case.If Martin had killed Zimmerman, there would only be his black man testimony and would that hold up in a Florida court?

  10. ChasCPeterson says

    I don’t know what’s wrong with it.

    It assumes facts not in evidence, such as Zimmerman’s intent. It changes ‘followed’ to “chased down” and “stalked” and ‘tried to apprehend’.
    Since the author of the piece is not psychic and does not actually know what happened, much less what anybody involved was thinking, the rhetoric is over the top.
    That would be my guess.

  11. blf says

    I’ve said it before, but Gary Younge is one of my favourite writers at The Grauniad.

    Perhaps it is the usage of the word “fucking” and not anything more?

    Unlikely. The Grauniad allows that in appropriate circumstances, such as in a quote or when it’s not gratuitous. Their style manual (of whatever it’s called) is available on their site, albeit I haven’t read it in yonks.

    As pointed out above, The Grauniad’s site is now saying “This article was launched early in error and was taken down on 14 July 2013 pending checks with the author.” That sounds plausible. Unfortunately, since this is Sunday, it might not get sorted out until the start of next week? — which is awkward as such a delay too easily fuels conspiracy gibberish.

  12. John Morales says

    Chas:

    It assumes facts not in evidence, such as Zimmerman’s intent. It changes ‘followed’ to “chased down” and “stalked” and ‘tried to apprehend’.

    So, change those words back to ‘followed’ and ‘interacted with’; what actually substantively changes?

    Kid is still going home from the shop, would-be vigilante still follows and ends up shooting him.

    And gets away with it.

    Since the author of the piece is not psychic and does not actually know what happened, much less what anybody involved was thinking, the rhetoric is over the top.

    So, who (other than Zimmerman) does actually know what happened?

    (Me, I think it is the acquittal which is over the top)

  13. ChasCPeterson says

    Kid is still going home from the shop, would-be vigilante still follows and ends up shooting him.

    yeah, John, the entire trial was about what happened in between those two indisputables, i.e. the exact nature of the “interacted with”.
    It’s not illegal to follow somebody down the street. It’s also not illegal (in Florida) to kill in self-defense. The prosecution was unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was not in self-defense.

  14. randay says

    ChasCPeterson, what alternative world do you live in? You wouldn’t have a problem with a person you didn’t know following you down the street? If so, you are dumber than shit. As I said before, if Martin had killed Zimmerman, do you think he would have gotten the consideration that the thug Zimmerman got? Don’t even mention a fair trial, or in Zimmerman’s case, a trial that was decided by an intentionally weak racist prosecution and a racist judge’s biased and wrong instructions about the law to the jurors.

    What we do know is that Martin was walking peacefully down the street and not bothering anyone. Then the redneck racist Zimmerman steps in for no reason. Spare me your racist apologetics.

  15. Rob Grigjanis says

    Chas, in Florida the self-defense argument doesn’t work very well if you’re a black woman.

    Marissa Alexander had never been arrested before she fired a bullet at a wall one day in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her. Nobody got hurt, but this month a northeast Florida judge was bound by state law to sentence her to 20 years in prison.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2013/07/florida-justice

  16. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    the rhetoric is over the top

    Chas, I’ve passed over quite a number of things you’ve said that have really pissed off other people without comment or even in rare cases with a mild defense of some reasonable core.

    The rhetoric is over the top?

    The ***rhetoric** is over the top???

    The F RHETORIC is over the top?

    What rhetoric do you use when a man decides to hunt “those people” among us? What rhetoric do you use when children are shot dead in our streets – for any reason? What rhetoric do you use when such a hunter of children is relieved of legal responsibility because he was afraid of the consequences of his own choices?

    What rhetoric is appropriate to such a crime? What rhetoric is appropriate to a criminal justice system?

  17. says

    @Chas

    Unless you’re a racist asshole, it’s beyond a reasonable doubt that if an armed person is voluntarily and deliberately “following” another, unarmed person and shoots that person dead, that’s not self-defence.

  18. CaitieCat says

    What a fucking obscenity this verdict is. Simply obscene. Simple fact: if Zimmerman hadn’t decided he needed to do something against the direct urging of the police, following an unarmed man, and then starting a confrontation, Trayvon Martin is still alive.

    Why doesn’t anyone get to make the case that Zimmerman should be the one dead, given he’s the one who initiated the confrontation, how is it that Trayvon Martin wasn’t entitled to stand his ground and not give way to a civilian attacker? Oh right, because ZIMMERMAN KILLED HIM. So we can’t hear his story in court, so obviously we should take the word of the guy who started the fight.

    Obscene. The upshot clearly is, if you’re a racist asshole in Florida, make damn sure you kill the victims of your racist paranoia, because then you can get away with it.

  19. bigdyterminator says

    Blf, thanks for the clarity. I am unfamiliar with The Guardian and was drawing my suggestion from local news sources. I am glad to see the situation was simply a publishing issue and nothing untoward.

  20. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @24

    Of course we can imagine it, we just did in response to your question.

    More to the point: let’s imagine the white reaction to young black men hunting down white kids, one of said young black men goes on to initiate a confrontation and kill such a white child, and finally to the successful use of self defense on behalf of the young black man.

    Let’s imagine the political and media manifestations of such a series of events (I won’t call them “unfortunate” to avoid trivializing them).

    Would Younge’s rhetoric in such a situation be remotely remarkable, much less “over the top” in the context of such a white reaction?

  21. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @carlie:

    Stalking has multiple definitions. One of which is a legal one and denotes making repeated contact after being informed your contact is unwanted. A non-legal one involves following with intent to kill. While there are definitions that overlap that make it perfectly acceptable to interchange the terms if you mean to indicate meaning within the area of overlap, I suspect that the shades of the non-overlapping meanings are the sources of Chas’ objections.

    But if so, it is clearly a jerkwater move. There is plenty of evidence to show that Zimmerman pursued faster than Martin fled and that Zimmerman spent at least part of the time stealthily following Martin. The words a very appropriately used and the fact that a reader might misapply another definition of such words is an objection of a critic unwilling to face the horror of what actually happened and to discuss such horror openly. If we are required to mince words in facing such horrors, we will never be able to honestly discuss them. Refusing to use “a TV set” because someone might think we are talking about a linked group of things related to television instead of simply a single device is pedantry for the sake of pedantry. Doing something similar when trying to discuss the appropriate response to the shooting of children is cowardly pedantry for the sake of cowardice. Suggesting that doing something similar might possibly justify the removal of an article from a website that publishes Julie Burchill is loathsome pedantry for what sake it matters not at all.

  22. No One says

    “Fucking punks. These assholes. They always get away.”

    Broken jaw at a party. Robbed at gunpoint. Well third times a charm isn’t it?

  23. Ben P says

    ChasCPeterson, what alternative world do you live in? You wouldn’t have a problem with a person you didn’t know following you down the street? If so, you are dumber than shit.

    So flip it around.

    Is someone following you down the street grounds to attack them? If someone shouts down the street to stay where you are, is that a basis to attack someone? At what point does it become permissible to to jump someone? And perhaps more importantly, at what point does your decision to attack someone make you an aggressor rather than the person following you?

    It’s likely that Zimmerman’s nose and the back of his head didn’t bloody themselves, notwithstanding the prosecutor’s suggestion “he could have walked into a tree.”

    The fact is the prosecution didn’t have any reliable evidence as to what happened and neither do you. The prosecution had the burden to prove it wasn’t self defense and they couldn’t meet that burden. If Zimmerman lived in a state where self defense was an affirmative defense that he had to prove, the result might have been different.

    On the other hand, you seem awfully quick to allege that everyone involved is trying to screw martin because they’re racist, the prosecutor threw the trial, the judge was biased against Martin. I see a lot of emotion and very few facts.

  24. carlie says

    The fact is the prosecution didn’t have any reliable evidence

    You’re assuming that the young woman who was talking with Trayvon during the event isn’t reliable.

  25. CaitieCat says

    @32: Of course, carlie. Anything spoken in the Black English Variant has an inherent truth value of 3/5 that of someone who doesn’t speak it.

    Also, “court nails”, so, y’know, obviously.

    /poe warning

  26. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Is someone following you down the street grounds to attack them? If someone shouts down the street to stay where you are, is that a basis to attack someone? At what point does it become permissible to to jump someone? And perhaps more importantly, at what point does your decision to attack someone make you an aggressor rather than the person following you?

    We have flipped it around. In Florida they passed a law specifically so you wouldn’t have to retreat. In Florida, you don’t have to use only “proportionate” force. In Canada there’s a weird and ever evolving test of proportionality and though the court insists it is not a test that forces one to judge one’s blow to a nicety, nonetheless you are legally required to use the least force available that will end the threat. The US law is poorly known by me, but tracks Canadian law in broad strokes (I believe that generally it has more wiggle room, but another problem with comparing Canadian & US law is that criminal law is the province of the states in the US while the state of the criminal code is entirely in the hands of the feds in Canada – so we’re comparing one system in Canada to more than 50 in the US).

    Florida specifically wanted to decide such questions with a bias towards the people Florida legislators called victims. They didn’t want people threatened by criminals to have to respond in any way proportionately. The prospect of disproportionate response was mentioned favorably as providing an aspect of deterrent when the bill was considered and later passed.

    The criticism was that such benefit of the doubt wouldn’t be given on the basis of a legitimate analysis of initiation of threat but rather on the basis of historic, institutionalized privileges.

    The Martin homicide – especially as contrasted with the Alexander case – bear these fears out.

    While you and others tend to focus on whether or not Zimmerman was afraid – and I certainly believe that he probably was. I believe his fear prompted him to go hunting, after all. – this is insufficient to successful assertion of self-defense.

    To wit [from FL law on self-defense]:
    A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.

    Emphasis mine.

    In other words, Martin’s actions must be unlawful for Zimmerman’s fear to be relevant.

    Thus flipping it around has been what critics of FL’s criminal law have been doing since day one: there is no ground of Martin’s on which he may stand. He retreated. He phoned for help. He has an armed man coming at him – ordering him to halt and then, instead of waiting for the cops, closing the distance. Martin had significant reason to fear unlawful force. Then, according to state laws, he has the right to defend himself either under self-defense, assuming Zimmerman initiated the actual violence, or under stand-your-ground, assuming that Martin preempted the feared first blow. This makes Martin’s force lawful under any scenario that follows the undisputed facts, so long as he fears Zimmerman’s force.

    If he does [and we have the evidence of his phone calls that night that makes this a slam dunk], then [his use of force against Zimmerman being not unlawful] Zimmerman’s fear is not relevant, and thus Zimmerman is convicted and jailed.

    Yet somehow Zimmerman is not convicted. The obvious conclusion is that it does not matter what rights exist in law, young black men do not have recourse to them in Florida.

    That’s a pretty racist state of affairs. And by “pretty racist state of affairs” I mean that’s a state that tolerates the homicide of young black men because they are young black men, refusing to call such homicide murder or punish it legally.

    Moreover, legislators were told that this would be the outcome and they persisted with reform that made it more likely instead of working to clarify self-defense laws that would make such outcomes less likely. That makes it a State that tolerates the homicide of young black men.

    To suggest that we shouldn’t be outraged at the verdict because we don’t have the details of the confrontation is to miss how the law is twisted to favor some and betray others, to miss how the law is racist. If the law was fair, Zimmerman would have been returned to his cell.

    Defend that.

  27. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Catie Cat:

    Ouch. If it weren’t so damn true, it wouldn’t hurt so much.

  28. Ben P says

    You’re assuming that the young woman who was talking with Trayvon during the event isn’t reliable.

    You mean the one who admitted she didn’t write the letter where she purportedly described the accident, and who complained before the trial about “lawyers being on her ass.” (Which was probably to attempt to work with her on the testimony that, in my opinion as an attorney, was awful?)

  29. says

    Well, she was black, wasn’t she?

    I hoped the jury would at least see that even the defense knew Zimmerman was full of shit which is why they declined to put him on the stand. They didn’t want to get in legal hot water by putting him on the stand knowing he was going to lie.

  30. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Within this mind:

    Of course, in the US it is unlawful for the prosecution to imply anything from Zimmerman’s refusal to take the stand.

    While the jury is legally able to infer that the defense was full of shit – legally they can use just about any line of reasoning in deciding for themselves whether the burden of proof has been met – there are good reasons for this protection to exist and I wouldn’t want to infer a defense to be deceitful merely because a defendant did not take the stand.

  31. carlie says

    and who complained before the trial about “lawyers being on her ass.”

    Oh, well then. She must not be reliable, because we all know how much everybody loves lawyers.

  32. Ben P says

    This makes Martin’s force lawful under any scenario that follows the undisputed facts, so long as he fears Zimmerman’s force.

    There are several problems with this theory.

    1. Self defense is subjective. That is, it depends on what you blieve. I’ve personally witnessed a case (it was misdemeanor simple assault) where two parties had gotten into a fight, both claimed self defense, and in seperate trials both were acquitted, because in both cases the jury found they subjectively believed they were at risk of harm from the other person. It is possible for both parties to have a valid self defense claim.

    2. Zimmerman is on trial here, Martin isn’t. The prosecution has a specific burden of proving that Zimmerman didn’t act in self defense. Zimmerman only has to create reasonable doubt that he feared he was at risk of bodily harm. From Zimmerman’s subjective point of view, if Martin jumped him, why would that be lawful?

    3. Pursuing a theory of “Zimmerman committed murder because Martin was justified in attacking him because Martin thought Zimmerman was about to attack him,” is convoluted and impossible to explain in a simple way. There’s a good practical reason the prosecutor didn’t try an argument like this.

  33. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Ben P:

    Regardless of whether from a lawyer’s perspective a lawyer’s actions were reasonable, complaining that a lawyer is “on your ass” is not exactly evidence that a person is unreliable. Assuming you practice in the US, you would know better than I exactly how annoying a lawyer can be to someone not that lawyer’s client when zealously pursuing the interests of said client.

    I don’t think you want to go down the road of using annoyance at lawyers as a sign of non-credibility.
    fFs, lawyers’ credibility would be the first to go under that scenario.

  34. Ben P says

    I hoped the jury would at least see that even the defense knew Zimmerman was full of shit which is why they declined to put him on the stand. They didn’t want to get in legal hot water by putting him on the stand knowing he was going to lie.
    38

    Not when the judge explicitly instructs the jury otherwise. You see, we have this little thing called the 5th amendment.

    That doesn’t mean juries dont’ draw this inference. However, in every criminal case where the Defendant requests it (and any competent lawyer will request it, if the Defendant is not testifying and the facts indicate he could), the Judge will instruct the jury something along the lines of the following.

    [t]he defendant is not compelled to testify and the fact that he does not cannot be used as an inference of guilt and should not prejudice him in any way.”

  35. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Ben P

    Unless it’s grossly different in the US, you’re misusing “subjective” in a legal context. While true in the way that non-lawyers use the term, properly this test is objective/subjective. It requires your *actual* belief, and it requires that belief is reasonable. You can’t get away with, “I wasn’t afraid at all, but a reasonable person would have been.” You can’t get away with, “I was terrified that when she said, ‘Boo’ in a friendly voice on Halloween, and thus I grabbed the axe and murdered her before she could slip ethereally through the walls and attack me from behind”.

    It is a test that requires both, and thus is more stringent than either. Note that this does not preclude a confusing scenario in which each side reasonably believed the other was about to attack.

    ……..
    in regards to your point 3:

    Note that I am not attacking courtroom strategy. i am bringing to your attention critiques previously made about the likely outcomes of applied law, given present biases. Legislators were warned that the dead party wouldn’t be able to testify about reasonable fear. The fact that convicting Zimmerman in the absence of such testimony is a difficult court-row to hoe does not vitiate the criticism. It F’n validates it.

  36. carlie says

    Uncooperative doesn’t mean unreliable.
    Uncooperative doesn’t mean wrong.
    Uncooperative is a rational response to a legal system that you’ve just seen refuse to even collect evidence against the guy who killed your friend until there was a national outcry.
    Uncooperative is a rational response to a setup you know is a national spectacle wherein you will be trashed as thoroughly as possible on live tv by the other side.
    Uncooperative is a rational response when you know you won’t be believed anyway.

  37. Ben P says

    I don’t think you want to go down the road of using annoyance at lawyers as a sign of non-credibility.
    fFs, lawyers’ credibility would be the first to go under that scenario.

    The “lawyers on my ass” thing didn’t go before the jury anyway, but what did go before the jury was her contradictory testimony and a presence on the witness stand that was …underwhelming… to say the least. To be perfectly fair there are a lot of racial issues tied up in her presence as a witness that flew over the head of the mostly white courtroom and that the prosecutor, in hindsight, could have done a better job of rehabilitating her on. But that requires a cooperative witness, she did not come across as cooperative.

  38. carlie says

    and that the prosecutor, in hindsight, could have done a better job of rehabilitating her on.

    “Rehabilitating her”? Do you realize how patronizing that is? You have literally just said that her demeanor and presence was uncomprehensible to white people, and that she needs rehabilitation to be present in…what, “proper” society? How about if the prosecution lawyer had done a better job of placing her and her actions in context to the jury? How about if the lawyer had done a better job streamlining what they explicitly needed her for?

  39. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Ben P:

    Do you know of any cases in which a verdict was overturned
    …1. b/c the jurors concluded a defense was unreliable based crucially* on the failure of the defendant to testify
    …2. in a case where neither judge nor prosecution was alleged to have implied this was a basis for invalidating the defense.

    It would be especially relevant if the case was in federal court or in a state court able to consider and actually considering the federal 5th amendment protections, but it would still be relevant if it were a state court interpreting state protections in light of the federal 5th amendment.

    I say this because I’m not exactly clear on the 5th amendment and whether the ***jury*** is prevented from inferring, or whether state is prevented from implying. Obviously the government is made up of individuals, and actions of individuals acting on the state’s behalf are state actions. But I recall high profile US cases in which jurors have later said that the refusal to take the stand made a difference in the verdict and I don’t remember that being a problem addressed on appeal without state implication.

    I would honestly appreciate any information you have as to whether or not jurors are state actors for the purposes of the 5th amendment. It was my understanding that US jurors are not, in fact, state actors. However I am fully aware that I could easily be wrong.

    *as in, “at the crux” meaning that regardless of what other reasons might have existed, the weight given to the refusal to testify changed the balance of the scales in judging the reliability of the defense.

  40. Ben P says

    Unless it’s grossly different in the US, you’re misusing “subjective” in a legal context. While true in the way that non-lawyers use the term, properly this test is objective/subjective. It requires your *actual* belief, and it requires that belief is reasonable. You can’t get away with, “I wasn’t afraid at all, but a reasonable person would have been.” You can’t get away with, “I was terrified that when she said, ‘Boo’ in a friendly voice on Halloween, and thus I grabbed the axe and murdered her before she could slip ethereally through the walls and attack me from behind”.

    It is a test that requires both, and thus is more stringent than either. Note that this does not preclude a confusing scenario in which each side reasonably believed the other was about to attack.

    You’re not describing the standard accurately. The actual jury instruction will say something like this.

    A defendant is justified in using lethal force in self defense if he reasonably believes he is threatened by death or grievous bodily injury. You must consider this belief from the perspective of the defendant, that is, what the defendant did actually believe, as opposed to what can be inferred from the evidence. However, A defendant cannot justifiably act on (his/her) actual belief, however honestly or sincerely (he/she) held it, if that belief would not have been shared by a reasonable person in (his/her) circumstances.

    I referenced it earlier, but go look up Bernie Goetz. Goetz shot four african american teenagers in a subway because he had been robbed before and thought they were about to rob him. He was acquitted of all the assault/attempted murder/murder charges (was convicted on unlawfully carrying a gun).

  41. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    The “lawyers on my ass” thing didn’t go before the jury anyway, but what did go before the jury was her contradictory testimony and a presence on the witness stand that was …underwhelming… to say the least. To be perfectly fair there are a lot of racial issues tied up in her presence as a witness that flew over the head of the mostly white courtroom and that the prosecutor, in hindsight, could have done a better job of rehabilitating her on. But that requires a cooperative witness, she did not come across as cooperative.

    BenP, did you just say her testimony would have been more helpful, if only she was properly coached into acted a bit less black?

  42. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @carlie:

    I get where you’re coming from, and I have problems with some things Ben has said, but “rehabilitating a witness” is a term of art in legal circles and I don’t think criticism is going to be very useful to Ben if it confuses non-legal definitions of the word with definitions of the use by lawyers in certain contexts.

    for instance:

    How about if the prosecution lawyer had done a better job of placing her and her actions in context to the jury?

    This is, in fact, one sense of “rehabilitate a witness”.

    I’m not saying it’s not patronizing and/or doesn’t reflect a messed up relationship between the legal profession, particularly but not only trial lawyers, and non-lawyers. I’m just clarifying that it’s not about this witness or about racism or sexism. They really say that about absolutely any witness who damages a case in any way.

  43. Ben P says

    “Rehabilitating her”? Do you realize how patronizing that is? You have literally just said that her demeanor and presence was uncomprehensible to white people, and that she needs rehabilitation to be present in…what, “proper” society? How about if the prosecution lawyer had done a better job of placing her and her actions in context to the jury? How about if the lawyer had done a better job streamlining what they explicitly needed her for?

    WTF?

    Rehabilitating the witness is an exceedingly common legal term used to describe the act of walking the witness back through his or her own testimony after the defense counsel has finished cross examination.

    I’ll give you an example from a hearing I was in recently. Our primary witness was a mother in law who was testifying against a son in law because she’d witnessed child abuse. The defense counsel tore her to pieces on the fact that there’d already been custody fights and her daughter would get custody if the abuse were proven. She was reduced to tears on the stand.

    In a summary manner, my rehabilitation consisted of

    “Mrs. X, before you started testifying this morning, did you raise your right hand and take an oath to tell the truth?

    “and you’re telling the truth, aren’t you?”

    “Did anyone ever tell you anything about what might happen with custody in this case?”
    (the answer is no, btw).
    “SO you dont’ even really know what would happen for sure?”
    Yeah, I guess
    “wouldn’t you say that you can easily seperate in your mind whether you saw Y hit the child, and whether it could result in your daughter getting custody?”
    “yes”
    “and everything you testified about earlier, was that all true?”
    “yes.”

  44. randay says

    In these two threads about the undisputed murder of Trayvor Martin, it is amazing to me the great many skeptics, secularists, and atheists who come up with such improbable arguments for a racist murderer, which in fact only show their racism. We have a much bigger problem than we thought. It’ no wonder that we have a problem attracting blacks or other minorities.

    They see many of us defending a racist judge, racist prosecutors, and a racist killer. If Martin had managed to kill Zimmerman, as was his right, he would have been convicted to numerous years in prison, though being the innocent victim of a hate crime. I am white and completely disgusted with the attitude of all these defenders of lynching a black guy. You are no better than the KKK.

  45. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Ben P, 48:

    In what way did I not describe it accurately. A belief must be both subjectively held and objectively reasonable. It is, to use a term, an objective/subjective test. I then gave examples of meeting the objective part but failing the subjective part and meeting the subjective part but failing the objective part. Please clarify your criticism of my statement.

    Also, your 48 is in contradiction to your earlier description of a merely subjective test.

    Does objective/subjective mean something completely different in the US? And what is your actual defense against my criticism? It seems you’re saying that I’m all wrong and that what is really true is exactly what I said. You placing the test in the form of a jury instruction doesn’t change the substance of the test or the need for both an objective and a subjective component in any way.

  46. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    To be perfectly fair there are a lot of racial issues tied up in her presence as a witness that flew over the head of the mostly white courtroom and that the prosecutor, in hindsight, could have done a better job of rehabilitating her on. But that requires a cooperative witness, she did not come across as cooperative.

    Which doesn’t exactly provide evidence that there were no racial issues tied up to the jury’s decision.
    Quite the opposite.

  47. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    In South African law, too, in this sense “subjective” means “from the pov of the specific person involved” and “objective” means “a reasonable man in the same circumstances”. If that makes any difference.

  48. busterggi says

    Florida is now officially Texas.

    I’m pasty white but won’t visit either – some native might think my footsteps sound black and have to kill me for it.

  49. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Note to non-lawyers/law students, etc.:

    When I say “objective” I really mean it according to the legal definition. The reasonable person standard is subjective as all hell and biased in horrible ways. Nonetheless the word “objective” is used to refer to judgements about things like whether a certain emotion, reaction, or action were “reasonable”. This is the point at issue with Ben just now.

  50. randay says

    There are two things we know. Martin was doing nothing wrong, just walking down the street. Then Zimmerman followed him and murdered him. Everything else is unimportant. If shithead Zimmerman had minded his own business, it wouldn’t have happened. Zimmerman wanted to kill a black person, today or tomorrow or later.

  51. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Crip Dyke, I know, that’s why I was replying. In South African law, the test for objectivity is even called the “reasonable man test”. As opposed to the subjective test, which is “is how this specific person feels/felt in these specific circumstances reasonable?”

  52. =8)-DX says

    Looking at it from the perspective of all the evidence offered at the trial, it sounds like an open invitation to all the assholes who go out to bars with the sole intention of beating someone up. Self-defence my ass. You can’t go after someone, pick a fight with them and then be all surprised that they punch you or whatever. Are the following examples of self-defence?
     ¬ “Hey dude, let’s let’s take it outside.”
     ¬ “Look into my eyes, motherfucker.”
     ¬ “Hit me, go on, just hit me!”
     ¬ “You got a problem, eh? Eh?”
     ¬ “I’m watching you.”

  53. carlie says

    Thanks, Crip Dyke. What a terrible term – it really shows the underlying power dynamics in the legal system, doesn’t it?

  54. Anthony K says

    What spirited defences of the system, and explanations of how perfectly it worked in this case. Prosecutorial burden of proof, rehabilitating witnesses etc.

    It would be laudable if only we all didn’t know how fucking bullshit it all is when it comes to black defendants.

    Anyway, carry on explaining how the jury had no choice but to acquit Zimmerman, because justice demanded it, or something. Nothing Whitey loves more than to fap about how just his legal systems are.

  55. says

    A 47-page document listing the calls George Zimmerman made made to emergency dispatchers in Seminole County, Florida can be accessed here: http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/327330-george-zimmerrman-911-call-history.html

    He was obsessed with black males. Zimmerman had a pattern of frequently complaining to authorities about minor disturbances, or even non-disturbances like children playing in the street. He was going to shoot someone eventually. He was most likely to shoot a black man eventually.

    Allowing him to carry a concealed weapon was a mistake. Allowing him to participate in Neighborhood Watch was a mistake. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is a mistake.

  56. David Marjanović says

    3. Pursuing a theory of “Zimmerman committed murder because Martin was justified in attacking him because Martin thought Zimmerman was about to attack him,” is convoluted and impossible to explain in a simple way. There’s a good practical reason the prosecutor didn’t try an argument like this.

    For fuck’s sake.

    Are you listening to yourself?

    You just explained it in a simple way, and not the simplest one possible!

    The “lawyers on my ass” thing didn’t go before the jury anyway, but what did go before the jury was her contradictory testimony and a presence on the witness stand that was …underwhelming… to say the least.

    Let me mention this. I can’t find the video right now, but it’s really appalling how the prosecutor treated her as incomprehensibly exotic and pretended to understand almost nothing she said.

  57. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Carlie, 64:
    Yeah. It is an indictment [see what I did there?] of the legal profession.

    And does nothing to disprove the hypothesis that *other* aspects of the profession or the law are racist and/or sexist and/or classist and/or ableist.

    @David, 67:

    That is also a fair point. But since the concern is so much broader than this specific case, I focused my response on how Ben seemed to miss what were the actual (systemic) criticisms. I should have pointed out that it is also not that difficult to communicate that one must be responding to ***unlawful*** force, and that the same laws that benefit Zimmerman must likewise be applied to Martin.

    finally, brought up by David’s quote from Ben:

    The “lawyers on my ass” thing didn’t go before the jury anyway

    Ben keeps sidestepping the actual issues involved. I didn’t criticize the “lawyers on my ass” being used at trial. I criticized Ben’s assertions that being annoyed at lawyers is evidence of unreliability and/or deception.

    He hasn’t even acknowledged that criticism, much less responded to it with any substantive admission or defense. Nor has he responded to the crap where he tells me in no uncertain terms that I’m wrong about something being an objective/subjective test where each element is required …and that what is actually going on is a test for an objective element and a test for a subjective element.

    Gods of the Winsome Elite, I feel I’m at one of those meetings where nice, white middle class lady who happens to be VP of New Account Development says, “I think mixing our red and yellow paints will give us the perfect color for the conference room,” who is then shouted down by the frat-boy sales associate says, “Hell no. We should really mix up a nice orange. Orange would be the perfect shade for this room.”

    Fortunately missing is the bystander approbation for Ben P that is present in the archetypal example of the VP/sales associate scenario.

    Nonetheless, what the heck makes Ben P so resistant to engaging in the substance of criticism that he can’t read a competent criticism as competent when he has time to write #51???

  58. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    I’ve been saying this since the verdict came out:

    This means that you can pick a fight, and when the person you’re picking on eventually fights back, you can pull a gun out and shoot them dead.

    Is this really the society we want? And for all those who whine about gun rights, do you really think that if Zimmerman hadn’t been packing, any of this would have happened? He wouldn’t have gotten out, he wouldn’t have confronted Martin, and he sure as hell wouldn’t have gotten into a fight where he (even if true) felt he had to pull a gun out to protect himself.

    The other issue is what Crip Dyke (#34) said, that Martin had every reason to feel he had to defend himself (and in fact a lot more, considering that Zimmerman actually did have a gun and has objectively proven that he is a danger to others) and was therefore justified in defending himself. In fact, I would say that every African American male living in a SYG state should now consider a CC permit, and would legally be able to shoot every white male that they might feel threatened by.

    As a white male in FL, this doesn’t seem like a very good state of affairs to me, but that’s what this verdict, taken to its logical conclusion, suggests.

  59. says

    @29, That’s the part that gets me. Trayvon was by himself. Zimmerman kept talking in the plural. There is no clearer indication that Zimmerman was not reacting to Trayvon’s actions as an individual, he was seeing a black guy and convicting him of whatever he is certain black men “always get away with” doing.

    That couldn’t make it any clearer if you ask me.

  60. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Carlie, this brings up stuff which would be off topic here, but I think would be a good subject for Thunderdome. I’m just posting now in Thunderdome about it, if you Ben P or anyone else are interested in following up there.

  61. says

    @69 Except we all know that that isn’t really the state of affairs as they would be carried out. We KNOW that black men can’t all get CC licenses and start killing white men they feel threatened by. In a culture that doesn’t acknowledge that racism exists, that racism can’t be used as the thing that threatens black men.

    It is why these laws get passed. The people who support them know they won’t work to their disadvantage, either explicitly or implicitly. Unexamined privilege is a motherfucker.

  62. unclefrogy says

    I …………
    That…………… with
    Rodney …..
    there is nothing I can. say.
    What next?
    uncle frogy

  63. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @barbyau –

    Yeah, see my #34.

  64. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    @72, barbyau,

    You’re absolutely correct. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to see the response of the FL legislature (which has been gerrymandered to be overwhelmingly Repub, despite the fact that we’re essentially 50/50 in Presidential voting and 40 Dem/35% Repub by registration) and the population as a whole if African-Americans started applying for CC permits in large numbers.

  65. A. Noyd says

    Anthony K (#65)

    It would be laudable if only we all didn’t know how fucking bullshit it all is when it comes to black defendants.

    Thank you. I’m fucking sick of the “jury had no choice” defense people keep spouting because juries manage to convict black people just fine in far lesser and/or more ambiguous cases.

    No one can reasonably celebrate the system “working” in a case like this, because if changing the race of the defendant regularly results in different outcomes, then some more dominant force (ie. racism) is coming into play first. In which case, the actual system that defenders are celebrating is a foul one.

  66. kevinkirkpatrick says

    I don’t like the verdict inasmuch as I think Mr . Zimmerman’s actions ABSOLUTELY merited substantial criminal penalty. However, I’m not surprised that he was not found guilty of the charges ultimately leveled against him. Even if we take the worst-case version of the narrative up to the point where the gun became unholstered and in play, no matter what led up to that, IF Mr. Zimmerman had reason to believe that his choices were to either shoot Trayvon or be killed himself, I can’t see this as any form of murder.

    IMO, it was all the negligent/racist shit Mr. Zimmerman pulled up until that potentially-each-man-for-himself moment that should put him behind bars for a very long time. In other words, I think the biggest failure was the failure of our legislators (and by extension, our gun-happy-as-fuck society) to put laws in place which would allow George Zimmerman to be convicted of the wrong-doing that he provably did commit.
    1) He initiated a hostile interaction with another person without reason to think himself, his property, others, nor the property of others to be in danger.
    2) He initiated a hostile confrontation while armed with deadly force, without reason to think his life or the life of others to be at risk.
    3) A “multiplier” of #2: said confrontation resulted in a homicide.
    4) As a “multiplier” of 1 – 3, each of the transgressions was based on the race of the victim, which qualifies it as a hate crime, and would rightfully entail much stiffer penalties.

    It seems that these 4 laws on the books should have (1) deterred a self-considred law-abiding citizen like Mr. Zimmerman from even approaching Trayvon Martin and (2) EASILY given law enforcement officials absolutely NO REASON to avoid charging and convicting Mr. Zimmerman of the unforgivably despicable and horrific way he acted that night.

  67. Freodin says

    Not knowing the exact circumstances of this law, I might have grudingly admit that this verdic might be correct.

    It is still fucked up.

    Does it still count as self defense if you deliberately get yourself into a situation where you might have to use deadly force to save yourself? Because that is what Zimmerman did.

    Can you really doubt the violent intent of a guy who rants about “these people getting away”, takes his gun and follows one of “these people”? Because this is what Zimmerman did.

    What happened in this trial might be legal. But it sure isn’t right.

  68. Maureen Brian says

    Let us imagine two things.

    1. Let us imagine that when the police advised Zimmerman to stay in his car and take no further action he actually did what he was told. There would have been nobody dead, no trial and no verdict. In fact, none of us would have heard of George Zimmerman.

    2. Let us imagine that there was indeed a witness to this whole event, someone who saw most of what happened and heard some of what was said. No, we don’t know that such a person ever existed but in a housing complex at that time of day it’s not impossible. The reason we don’t know is it took six weeks and an international outcry for the police to get off their arses, by which time any hope of evidence and witnesses was long gone.

    And let’s have no heroic bullshit about if such a person existed they would nobly have stepped forward. What, if she’s Black in Florida and the whole legal system is saying it don’t need no information because it has already decided Zimmerman is a hero? Don’t be silly.

  69. howardhershey says

    Don’t forget the elephant in the room (or the “equalizer” in the belt). If George Zimmerman had not had a gun while a ‘neighborhood’ watchman, he would have been much more likely to listen to the operator. That gun in his pants likely gave him the courage to follow (and by following, likely, from Trayvon’s perspective, be perceived as a threat) rather than merely keeping an eye on the kid in the hoodie. And even if Zimmerman did have the courage to follow someone while unarmed, the worst that would likely have happened is assault, not death for one or the other.

  70. Anthony K says

    but “rehabilitating a witness” is a term of art in legal circles

    This is certainly true, but it’s worthwhile to note that it’s an example of a jargon that is fairly incomprehensible to non-lawyers, the vast majority of the population the legal system is meant to serve, unless they’ve specifically been educated it in (including self-educating). In other words, it’s a proper and acceptable code/variety to use in one of the most powerful institutions in society, despite being understood by a few percent of the population.*

    Yet AAVE, a full and natural language, spoken by arguably more Americans than legalese†, is treated in justice as, well, David Marjanović put it well&colon:

    it’s really appalling how the prosecutor treated her as incomprehensibly exotic and pretended to understand almost nothing she said

    “incomprehensively exotic”.

    *Took a Wiki estimate of the number of licensed lawyers in the US (2011) 1,225,452. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorneys_in_the_United_States)
    The US population was 308,745,538 in 2010 (Wiki, again, because I’m ballparking here), so figuring there’s at least a few retired lawyers, judges, paralegals, law students, activists who understand legal jargon for every currently licensed lawyer. So, I’m estimating 2-5 million Americans familiar with legal jargon, though I’m certain it’s an underestimate.
    †I couldn’t find any reliable estimates of the numbers of speakers of AAVE with a quick google search, and several sources suggested reliable estimates aren’t available. But even if we estimate only 1 in 10 African-Americans are competent AAVE speakers, that’s about 4 million right there, not including the number of non-African Americans who are competent speakers of it.

  71. vaiyt says

    @kevinkirkpatrick

    IF Mr. Zimmerman had reason to believe that his choices were to either shoot Trayvon or be killed himself, I can’t see this as any form of murder.

    Really?

    Really?

    Really?

    Dude follows a man going his own way, confronts him with a fucking gun, and you think he still has reasonable ground to believe HE was the endangered party? Do you really think that the legal system should acknowledge the delusions of a paranoid racist?

    You heard it, ladies and gentlemen! As long as you believe black men are a threat to your existence, you’re excused to stalk and hunt them down! Self-defence!

    You’re fucking disgusting.

  72. says

    To those who think it’s important to point out that the verdict was correct: consider what that means.

    It means that what Zimmerman did was legal.

    It means it’s 100% legal to mistakenly suspect a total stranger of wrongdoing, follow that stranger, initiate some sort of contact with them, and kill them. Just so long as you can convince a jury that they initiated physical aggression. Which is pretty easy as long as the other person is dead.

    So, what is your point? Are you saying you’re okay with all of that being legal? If not, then why are you trying to emphasize the legality of the verdict? What are you trying to get across?

  73. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Anthony K, 83:

    yep. totally agreed.

    In addition, I am an advocate of changing legal language where it is in direct opposition to common usage.

    “Objective”, for instance, is very clearly not objective.

    Likewise, “unwanted and offensive conduct” means in practice merely unwanted and not to be expected as a result of one’s own choices (being jostled on a subway car may be unwanted, but it’s an expected consequence of riding the subway). It need not be “offensive” at all. Using “and” as the test in Canada does implies something other than unwanted, while the real test is simply “wanted” with desire being implied in situations where the contact is an expected consequence of their own choices.

    Anyway, there are many others. It’s one thing to say ignorance of the law is no excuse. It’s another entirely to say that ignorance of legal language is no excuse. We can even avoid legal redefinition by putting in an asterisk and noting that “unwanted and unexpected as a consequence of one’s own actions” is to be interpreted in courts of law as identical with the previous phrase.

    There is no reason to use legal language that is opposite in meaning from common language [or that needlessly confuses without adding meaning, as in "offensive"]. It is unethical to knowingly confuse the understanding of the law in the people who are expected to obey it.

  74. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Sally:

    Just so long as you can convince a jury that they initiated physical aggression.

    Nope. Just so long as you can convince a jury that it was reasonable to believe that – whoever started it – you didn’t wish it would continue and that you feared death or grievous bodily harm.

    So long as it’s a reasonable possibility for a juror to believe that it is possible you wished the fight would end and that you feared death or grievous bodily harm, you win. There’s no need to convince a jury that they started the physical aggression – which is part of what’s so offensive about the outcome.

  75. Pen says

    # 85 SallyStrange

    So, what is your point? Are you saying you’re okay with all of that being legal? If not, then why are you trying to emphasize the legality of the verdict? What are you trying to get across?

    I think people saying this are divided into two camps, those who are indeed okay with that being legal, but I wouldn’t expect to find many here. The others believe the laws of Florida need changing because they’re inadequate. It wouldn’t be the first time heinous laws existed and that’s why there’s no problem with something heinous being legal. It doesn’t make it alright. Look at it this way, there are two potential directions a protest campaign can go:

    1) to get a guilty verdict against Zimmerman by hook or by crook.
    2) to get the law under which his behaviour is deemed legal off the books.

    Route 2 strikes me as a good long term goal and there may be some motivation for it at this point.

  76. kevinkirkpatrick says

    @vaiyt#84:

    I’ll try to clarify. I do not think justice was served here. I do not think Zimmerman should be free. I think he should be behind bars.

    Your paraphrase of my comment:
    “You heard it, ladies and gentlemen! As long as you believe black men are a threat to your existence, you’re excused to stalk and hunt them down! Self-defence!”

    What I said:
    “I don’t like the verdict inasmuch as I think Mr . Zimmerman’s actions ABSOLUTELY merited substantial criminal penalty. ”
    What I also said:
    “IMO, it was all the negligent/racist shit Mr. Zimmerman pulled up until that potentially-each-man-for-himself moment that should put him behind bars for a very long time.”

    I thought my point was simple. If I kidnap someone, torture them, they get free, and rush me with a knife, and I shoot them as they’re charging me with a knife… I’m a horrible person, but it’s just not murder. Words mean things. I, based on the actions I committed, have done all SORTS of things which should have me behind bars for life. But if the prosecution is stupid enough to charge me with murder (or, to make the point more clearly, “reckless driving”), and I was charged with “murder”, and I was acquitted of THAT charge, then
    1) Justice would NOT have been served and 2) the jury would’ve come to the right decision.

    OTOH, there is such a thing as juries enforcing the spiriti of the law, not the letter of the law. To that end, I was disappointed that the jury didn’t finr Mr. Zimmerman guilty. Guilty for what he did, regardless of whether he was actually guilty of the specific charges for which he was on trial

  77. Nick Gotts says

    Do any of those defending the legal correctness of the verdict really think the same verdict would have been given if Zimmerman had been black and Martin white?

  78. vaiyt says

    If I kidnap someone, torture them, they get free, and rush me with a knife, and I shoot them as they’re charging me with a knife… I’m a horrible person, but it’s just not murder.

    Disproportionate retribution abnd false equivalence. Google them.

  79. vaiyt says

    In your stupid hypothetical, kevinkirkpatrick, a reasonable jury would conclude the guy rushing at you with a knife is the one acting in self-defence. Not you. Therefore, it would still be murder.

  80. blf says

    I just did an automated comparison of Gary Younge’s article as quoted by poopyhead, and the version which has been back up at The Grauniad for many hours now. There are no differences. The obviously-temporary pulling of the piece seems to have been nothing more than that was quoted above, an inadvertent premature publishing by The Grauniad before Mr Younge was able to clarify a few points for the lawyers / editors / fact-checkers / whoever, a situation — as per above quotes — caused in part by the time difference between London (where The Grauniad is based / published), and New York (where Mr Younge is based).

  81. ombak says

    This whole “reasonable person” standard and the need to judge how Zimmerman felt (since he’s the one on trial) sound so… well.. reasonable, in a vacuum. But it’s akin to being a hyper-skeptic about claims of rape or any number of other things we see people nitpick unreasonably.

    In a reasonable world, if someone says “well is it reasonable for me to kill someone in self-defense if they’re fighting with me and I genuinely fear for my life” reasonable people would say “wait a second, how did it come to that???”

    Unfortunately, the jury is forced to operate in this vacuum while the law is still written by people who live in a very real, very discriminatory world, which tries to paint vigilantes and those who are afraid of anyone darker than them as reasonable. And so we end up where we are, arguing over details when the bottom line is a child was killed because of this disease of racism.

  82. skaduskitai says

    I just don’t get the Florida version of reasonable doubt. On the one hand we have the chain of events laid out and on the other we have someone’s guess about how Zimmerman may have felt. Which is the stronger testimony of intent? His actions as they played out OR his attorneys pretending to read his mind a year later? Actions speak louder than words. And confirmed events should weigh more than speculations from people that are paid to be biased. There is nothing ‘reasonable’ in this verdict.

  83. dragon says

    Now that we have precedent in Florida on this implementation of ‘Stand Your Ground’, it would seem quite reasonable for all black men in Florida to be in mortal fear of George Zimmerman trying the same scenario with each of them. Indeed, the black man would be forced to accept that the law would not protect him in the reasonable likelihood that Mr. Zimmerman forced another confrontation and then killed him.
    Since we also know that Mr. Zimmerman carries a concealed weapon, such a black man would not have to actually see any weapon.
    Therefore, if George Zimmerman started to walk in the direction of any black man in Florida, the man could legally fire preemptively to kill George Zimmerman.


    And if Florida state lawmakers do not agree with the above, they must repeal ‘Stand Your Ground’ immediately. It is a law that allows excessive abuse. Indeed seems to have been written specifically to allow excessive abuse.

    Note: I make no statement that a jury in Florida would find the shooter in my scenario ‘not guilty’, only that it would actually be legal in Florida. I do not trust the jury to properly apply the precedent when skin color is reversed. And that is the entire point.

  84. microraptor says

    Do any of those defending the legal correctness of the verdict really think the same verdict would have been given if Zimmerman had been black and Martin white?

    I think that if the races of the defendant and the victim had been reversed, the defendant would have been convicted in less time than it took for Mr Zimmerman to get arrested.

  85. mesh says

    I’m not particularly very well-versed in legalese – is there a clear distinction made in this legislation between a real threat and a perceived threat? I was initially under the impression that a danger needed to be somewhat substantiated in the case of Stand your ground, but from what I’ve read it sounds as though all a defense attorney really needs to do is conjure up a tale straight from the Book of Mother Goose about how the shooter could have perceived a danger at which point the prosecution is inevitably faced with an uphill battle proving a negative.

  86. aluchko says

    @irisvanderpluym #88

    He didn’t say “god’s will” he said “god’s plan”. Religious people say that all the time after something bad happens, ‘oh I can’t question it’s was all god’s plan’ or ‘the lord works in mysterious ways’. It’s a stupid religious thing, he doesn’t mean he wanted it to happen. As for the no regrets, that’s probably advice from his lawyer since saying he did something wrong makes it easier to prove he provoked the confrontation and is guilty.

    @Crip Dyke #68

    I don’t think it’s unjustifiable to give the testimony of an unreliable witness less weight. There’s various reasons for a person to be unreliable. They can be irresponsible, not respect authority, be suspicious of the legal system, or they could be lying and being evasive because they’re worried about getting caught in a lie.

    Now a black person does have just cause to be suspicious of the legal system, and a little bit of unreliability shouldn’t be weighed against them on those grounds.

    But people who are irresponsible or who doesn’t respect authority are less likely to respect the authority of the court and take them seriously, and are more likely to lie or give a distorted account on those regards.

    Her friend was also the victim so she has a strong motivation to embellish her testimony to see Zimmerman punished, this makes her testimony less believable (similarly if Zimmerman had a friend who was a witness that friend would be less believable).

  87. elind says

    I don’t know what’s wrong with it. Maybe the editors noticed a typo.

    For a site that is evidence based I am puzzled at the comments here. Certainly one can be critical of circumstances and laws that allow civilians to walk around with sidearms, and one can argue that if we didn’t have such laws then someone like Zimmerman would have stayed in his car, as advised to do. However there are neighborhood watches everywhere who report and observe suspicious persons behind homes all the time, regardless of race, without being called racists. Even Zimmerman’s comment, as quoted, makes no mention of race. He and the neighborhood had a significant reason to be suspicious of young men, of any color, in that area.

    The point about the article however is that it says that Zimmerman chased and shot Martin, for no reason.

    That is not what the evidence and the trial concluded. What is the point of evidence if it can be so easily discarded; particularly in a place like this?

  88. xmaseveeve says

    Rutee (comment 124)

    ‘Being non-white means you aren’t overtly racist? News to me.’

    She didn’t say that.

  89. carlie says

    The point about the article however is that it says that Zimmerman chased and shot Martin, for no reason.

    That is not what the evidence and the trial concluded.

    You’re right. He didn’t chase Martin for no reason.

    He chased him in direct contradiction to the orders of the police department through the 911 dispatcher.

  90. carlie says

    Religious people say that all the time after something bad happens, ‘oh I can’t question it’s was all god’s plan’ or ‘the lord works in mysterious ways’.

    They only say that for things that are not in their control, as a way to feel better about something they could never have done anything about . Find me one other instance of a religious person saying “It was God’s will” about something they themselves fucked up. I think you’ll have to look pretty hard to find it.

  91. elind says

    You’re right. He didn’t chase Martin for no reason.

    There is a difference between chasing and following. Why do you persist in twisting the facts as presented and ignoring the very strong likelyhood that it was Zimmerman who was assaulted?

    I doubt Zimmerman had the guts to chase anyone.

  92. carlie says

    There is a difference between chasing and following.

    How so? Chasing is a subset of following. You’re saying there’s some kind of substantive difference depending on the speed of the stalking?

  93. elind says

    They only say that for things that are not in their control, as a way to feel better about something they could never have done anything about . Find me one other instance of a religious person saying “It was God’s will” about something they themselves fucked up. I think you’ll have to look pretty hard to find it.

    Talk about more twisting/spin. Sure, Zimmerman fucked up by carrying a gun and following a suspicious character in the dark and being assaulted as a result, but even the prosecution didn’t allege that he did so with the intent to kill.

    Why do you ignore the evidence that Martin assaulted him?

  94. elind says

    How so? Chasing is a subset of following. You’re saying there’s some kind of substantive difference depending on the speed of the stalking?

    Of course there is. How dense are you? One means an attempt to catch and the other means, how can I explain this, follow.

  95. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why do you ignore the evidence that Martin assaulted him?

    Why do you continue to ignore Zimmerman’s blatant aggression and inability to stop his aggression, leaving the situation unescalated? That is what root cause determination demands. Once Zimmerman didn’t pull back, his aggression is overt and obvious, and should be under the law. He is the aggressor. He must back down in order to claims self defense with reasonable laws….

  96. says

    elind:

    Of course there is. How dense are you? One means an attempt to catch and the other means, how can I explain this, follow.

    From the perspective of the one being followed, the only difference is whether or not you want to be followed. If Martin did not want to be followed, Zimmerman was chasing him. Martin said he was being followed by someone who was creepy, and that he was frightened. From his perspective, he was being chased.

    Also, as it appears Zimmerman confronted Martin, it certainly seems like his intent was to catch him. “Fucking punks. These assholes always get away.”

  97. krisrhodes says

    Zimmerman was NOT ordered to stop following by the police.

    He was told by the police dispatcher, after asking if he should follow, “We don’t need you to do that” – this isn’t a police order. It’s a liability protection line.

    His response to that? He said “okay”.

    The confrontation occurred several minutes later near that location, not closer to Martin’s destination.

    The balance of evidence is that Martin turned around and attacked Zimmerman.

  98. elind says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    What is your definition of aggression? If you think that following (keeping under observation) someone deemed suspicious is aggression then you have a poor grasp of English, not to mention logic and we would see the courts full of “aggressive” neighborhood watch volunteers, not to mention myself in a few occasions (unarmed).

    As to backing down, is that what you mean by laying down while your head is being banged into concrete?

    Listen up all you self righteous fantasizers; I think Zimmerman was an ass in the wrong place at the wrong time and should never have been armed (he could just as easily have missed and shot someone in a nearby condo), but he was also clearly assaulted by a pissed off young man who had no recognition of why he would be deemed suspicious by taking a shortcut behind dark buildings.

    We allow people who have no good reason to be carrying guns to do so and shit happens, all too often.

  99. says

    elind:

    Listen up all you self righteous fantasizers; I think Zimmerman was an ass in the wrong place at the wrong time and should never have been armed (he could just as easily have missed and shot someone in a nearby condo), but he was also clearly assaulted by a pissed off young man who had no recognition of why he would be deemed suspicious by taking a shortcut behind dark buildings.

    He was a frightened young man, according to the person he spoke to just before the incident.

    At what point does “stand your ground” count for someone who is being followed for no reason? How would you feel if someone were following you for no reason? Frightened, perhaps?

    This isn’t a self-righteous fantasy. It’s about taking responsibility for your actions. Zimmerman followed someone who simply “looked suspicious.” This frightened the person he was pursuing. When the confrontation finally came, it resulted in violence. It appears Martin was acting in what he thought was self-defense (being frightened by someone pursuing him). The person responsible for the whole mess is the person who took it upon himself to do the job of the cops — the same cops he knew would arrive momentarily.

    Just out of curiosity, did Zimmerman act responsibly?

  100. elind says

    From the perspective of the one being followed, the only difference is whether or not you want to be followed. If Martin did not want to be followed, Zimmerman was chasing him. Martin said he was being followed by someone who was creepy, and that he was frightened. From his perspective, he was being chased.

    Also, as it appears Zimmerman confronted Martin, it certainly seems like his intent was to catch him. “Fucking punks. These assholes always get away.”

    You fantasize and distort the evidence, which is my point here. Martin said he was frightened? Did he? Most people in that situation would simply run. I presume you would attack just because you didn’t like the look of someone watching you.

    As to the quote, it means nothing. I have been burglarized and the fucking punks got away, as did most in Zimmerman’s neighborhood. All it means is that he wanted to keep an eye on the suspicious character until the police arrived and having wanted to be a policeman he knew very well that he had no reason to detain/attack/assault anyone without a crime in progress which he never claimed he saw.

  101. elind says

    nigelTheBold, also Avo

    He was a frightened young man, according to the person he spoke to just before the incident.

    At what point does “stand your ground” count for someone who is being followed for no reason? How would you feel if someone were following you for no reason? Frightened, perhaps?

    No reason?? Any normal person, except perhaps one who lived in a neigborhood where people sleep in the day and go wandering at night, would understand that walking behind homes in the rain at night could be deemed suspicious and simply either move on faster or say to someone watching that he was heading home to such and such.

    Wouldn’t you do that, instead of pretending that you would be justified in attacking the other person, as you are doing?

  102. says

    elind:

    Martin said he was frightened? Did he?

    Yes, he did. He was on the phone with a friend, and he told the friend he was being followed by someone creepy, and that he was frightened. Did you not know this?

    Most people in that situation would simply run. I presume you would attack just because you didn’t like the look of someone watching you.

    But by your own admission, Zimmerman wasn’t just “watching” him. It’s interesting you feel the need to modify the situation to make it less menacing.

  103. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The confrontation occurred several minutes later near that location, not closer to Martin’s destination.

    Citation needed, as the map I have seen says otherwise…

  104. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You fantasize and distort the evidence, which is my point here.

    Pot, kettle blaCK. The evidence says Zimmerman was the aggressor from the time the police told him to stop his surveillance. What part of reality do you have trouble with? Most of reality, from your posts. Stop your lying…

  105. says

    elind:

    No reason?? Any normal person, except perhaps one who lived in a neigborhood where people sleep in the day and go wandering at night, would understand that walking behind homes in the rain at night could be deemed suspicious and simply either move on faster or say to someone watching that he was heading home to such and such.

    So, if you were heading home (even if you were cutting between houses) and someone started silently following you, you’d be totes OK? You wouldn’t be worried even just a little?

    At no point did I say Zimmerman didn’t believe he had a reason. I was claiming from Martin’s perspective, he was being followed for no reason. I thought that was clear from context. I apologize for my lack of clarity.

    Wouldn’t you do that, instead of pretending that you would be justified in attacking the other person, as you are doing?

    First, it’s unclear that Martin attacked Zimmerman without a prior confrontation — say, one that starts with pushing and shoving (as Martin’s friend reported she heard before the conversation was disconnected). But even in that case, you are avoiding the one fact: Zimmerman was menacing Martin by following him for no obvious reason.

    If someone were following me in the middle of the night, I could only assume they were doing so for nefarious reasons. I might confront them before I led them to my house, where the people I love reside. If I were frightened, I might do that with a 2×4 in hand.

    But still, let’s get to the bottom of this. Answer these questions honestly:

    1. If you were walking home and someone creepy was following you, how would you feel? Would you feel threatened and perhaps angry, or relaxed?

    2. Did Zimmerman act responsibly?

    3. Did Zimmerman’s actions lead directly to the death of Martin?

  106. xmaseveeve says

    Stand your ground is absurd and must be put in the dustbin of history.

    I think the article and some comments here confuse actus reus (the harmful act) with mens rea (intention or recklessness – literally ‘guilty mind’). You can’t just keep saying ‘murder’ but meaning ‘killing’.

    Incidentally, I think any intelligent person would understand ‘rehabilitation’ from the context and I didn’t see any intent to confuse.

    The jury decides the facts. Each side presents a narrative. The judge explains the law in each part of each version they choose to believe. It’s the least worst system. And bad laws can be changed. Time this one was. It sends the wrong message and benefits no one but trigger-happy thickos.

  107. xmaseveeve says

    I meant to say that when the burden of proof shifts, and the accused has to prove, for example, self-defence, the standard of proof drops to ‘on the balance of probabilities’.

    I’m afraid that I too see no way the jury could have convicted. Although ‘stand your ground’ may not have been used directly, it was mentioned in instructions. It sends the wrong message to would-be killers and provides them with cast-iron loopholes when they kill. (There has to be an obligation to remove yourself from imminent danger if you can.)

  108. elind says

    nigelTheBold, also Avo
    So, if you were heading home (even if you were cutting between houses) and someone started silently following you, you’d be totes OK? You wouldn’t be worried even just a little?

    If the other person was in a car initially, I would assume it was someone who lived in the area, which I was not familiar with. I would not assume I had to attack them.

    First, it’s unclear that Martin attacked Zimmerman without a prior confrontation — say, one that starts with pushing and shoving (as Martin’s friend reported she heard before the conversation was disconnected).

    Being followed, or watched, under those circumstances would not be threatening. It would require a thought as to why and the initial thought as to why should be obvious to most people. As to Martin’s friend; as a witness for the prosecution she was found to be lying on multiple occasions and to base your case on her is rather silly.

    I do not consider most reasonable people would see that as “threatening” under the circumstances. The reason should be obvious to anyone.

    But even in that case, you are avoiding the one fact:Zimmerman was menacing Martin by following him for no obvious reason.

    I am simple minded perhaps, and not a paranoiac; so I do not find being observed in circumstances that any normal person would recognize as being possibly suspicious to be “threatening”.

    If someone were following me in the middle of the night, I could only assume they were doing so for nefarious reasons. I might confront them before I led them to my house, where the people I love reside. If I were frightened, I might do that with a 2×4 in hand.

    If I walked in the dark and rain in the alley behind houses instead of the main road which I could have taken I would automatically assume that anyone who saw me would wonder what I was doing there and I would respond accordingly if challenged (which there is no evidence, as you claim, occurred).

    2. Did Zimmerman act responsibly?

    By all evidence, no; but without evidence to the contrary, he did so legally.

    Did Zimmerman’s actions lead directly to the death of Martin?

    No. The evidence shows that Martin assaulted Zimmerman; which is not to say that I have any support for people like Zimmerman walking around with guns, but unfortunately that was legal.

    As I have said previously, we have the most ridiculous gun laws on the planet. Only nations without laws have equally dumb ones.

  109. says

    Martin said he was frightened? Did he? Most people in that situation would simply run.

    I have PTSD. When angry strangers confront me or look at me strangely or follow me, I do NOT run.
    I do not turn my back on possible danger. I turn to face it, walk slowly towards the person and watch his hands.

    ESPECIALLY when I am near my home.

    I had a guy follow me last fall, drugged out of his mind, trying to start fights with others, then he saw me.
    When he saw me I was about to turn onto my block.

    My block has no outlet, just as virtually ALL residential blocks in Florida do not.

    I did NOT run, I didn’t want the creepy guy following me to come down my street, learn where I lived, bother my house, bother my family, bother my neighbors.

    I walked back to stop him following me down my block. He was acting like he had a gun in his jacket, and no way was I letting him follow me to where people I cared for lived.

    I live two blocks from the border of the most violent neighborhood in California, usually one of the top five in the country.

    People have been found shot dead in the parking lot around my corner.
    No, you do NOT always run.

    Sometimes you have to think about other people… but if not, guess what? You have the right to STAND YOUR GROUND in Florida, so I hear.

    So you do, and are killed by an armed stalker… and now it’s YOUR fault?

    So many people spreading so much bullshit to be able to deny the rampant racism that any person can see pervades our so-called “justice” system.

    There are studies, there are statistics. There is history.

    Ignore that? Some skeptics you are.

  110. elind says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    14 July 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Pot, kettle blaCK. The evidence says Zimmerman was the aggressor from the time the police told him to stop his surveillance. What part of reality do you have trouble with? Most of reality, from your posts. Stop your lying…

    Please, stop the juvenile attempt at debate by calling liar. The police did not tell him to stop surveilling anything; and when is that aggression? The dispatcher advised him to stay observing from his car. He should have done so, but he did nothing illegal by getting out, and being in the immediate neighborhood.

    You do indeed have a problem with facts and reality. Why are you here?

  111. says

    The evidence shows that Martin assaulted Zimmerman

    The “evidence” only shows that if you are predisposed to accept that unsupported narrative as “evidence.”

    The “evidence” is that Zimmerman had very minor injuries and that Martin is dead.
    You do not know who started the actual physical confrontation. You only assume.
    We also know that Zimmerman contradicted his own account of the most pertinent details repeatedly.
    Why do you assume in the direction you do? Why are your assumptions suddenly “the evidence?”

  112. BJ Survivor says

    Guardian editors: Oh noes, we mustn’t dare bring up race or we’ll be inciting a class war (which was begun long ago and, in this country, primarily and most vociferously by whitey). We live in a post-racial society, dontcha know. I mean, we have a black U.S. president, right?
    ——————

    I am sick to my (white Hispanic) core that that fucker got away with murdering a strapping, promising lad who was “armed” with fucking Skittles, even though that fucker stalked that unarmed, minding-his-own-business, normal teen-aged boy for no fucking real reason. You bet your ass I’m pissed. You bet your ass I am grieving and raging with Trayvon Martin’s family and friends.

    Don’t try to tell us that we are wrong, that justice was served in this case. Fuck those of you that can actually say that and really mean it. With a rough-hewn, horned pitchfork.

    It’s the same old shit that should have stopped happening long, long ago. Emmett Till, anyone?

  113. elind says

    Jafafa Hots

    I have PTSD. When angry strangers confront me or look at me strangely or follow me, I do NOT run.
    I do not turn my back on possible danger. I turn to face it, walk slowly towards the person and watch his hands.

    ESPECIALLY when I am near my home.

    Remind me never to look at you strangely then; as the result would surely find you in jail for assault according to the law.

    Need I remind you that Martin was NOT near his home. He was visiting.

    I suspect however that you would be a great witness for Zimmerman’s defense if you were to so eloquently describe the possible mindset of Martin.

  114. says

    I am simple minded perhaps, and not a paranoiac; so I do not find being observed in circumstances that any normal person would recognize as being possibly suspicious to be “threatening”.

    Perhaps.

    May I ask, are you a young black male living in the USA? Particularly in part of the USA with the extreme history of racism and violence against black males that Florida has? In a racist “sundown town” like Sanford?

    Do you have any idea what it’s like for young black males to be “observed” and followed in such a place?
    Do you consider black men to be “normal” people?

    Try listening to their life experiences.

    Try reading some fucking history books.

  115. ck says

    xmaseveeve: The fact you use terms like “actus reus” and “mens rea” means you already know more about the law than a layperson. What makes you think you can say what a layperson should understand from a term like rehabilitation? It’s lawyer jargon, and could easily mean something like perhaps “speech rehabilitation” to an average non-lawyer. Legalese is not the natural language for the vast majority of people, and you shouldn’t expect that the first thing that comes to your mind when a term is mentioned is the first thing that comes to other people’s mind.

    Jargon, of virtually any type, is generally to be avoided when communicating with the general public unless you’re willing to define your jargon before you use it. It’s difficult to be precise and avoid jargon, so sometimes you just have to accept that you’re not going to be 100% precise.

  116. says

    Remind me never to look at you strangely then; as the result would surely find you in jail for assault according to the law.

    Where did I say I assaulted him? I never laid a hand on him. I never made any motion to reach out or touch or threaten him as he waved (what I assume was just his hand) in his jacket to threaten me as if he had a gun.

    I didn’t assault him, I didn’t threaten him, he threatened ME. He threatened to get friends to come back and “fuck me up.” He threatened me with the name of the local drug gang.

    I did nothing but stand there.
    Why is that assault?
    Oh yes, because you IMAGINED things right into the narrative that I never said, that never happened.
    Why did you do that?

    Since YOU just stated a bunch of bullshit about an event you had no knowledge of, and which was NOT contained or even implied in what I said, why should anyone trust what your interpretation of ANYTHING?

    You have your prejudices and biases and you insert them where they don’t belong and call them facts.
    Your “opinion” is questionable to say the least.

    Need I remind you that Martin was NOT near his home. He was visiting.

    HIS FATHER’S HOUSE.
    Most kids these days have separated parents. Are you saying that they can’t feel like both parents’ houses are “home?” Are you saying that staying at Dad’s to the mind of that dad’s kid is not being home, not seen as a safe place to not lead stalkers back to, that you’re “just visiting?”

    Keep inventing shit.
    Keep inserting your own biases and prejudices and calling them “fact.”

    Nobody is fooled.

  117. elind says

    Jafafa Hots

    The “evidence” only shows that if you are predisposed to accept that unsupported narrative as “evidence.”

    The “evidence” is that Zimmerman had very minor injuries and that Martin is dead.
    You do not know who started the actual physical confrontation. You only assume.
    We also know that Zimmerman contradicted his own account of the most pertinent details repeatedly.
    Why do you assume in the direction you do? Why are your assumptions suddenly “the evidence?”

    If I didn’t know better I would assume that you were a creationist, the way you make up stuff as you see fit.

    We have only the evidence we have and it, beyond a reasonable doubt, suggests that Martin didn’t like being observed and accosted a chubby smaller man and for all we know could have left him brain dead if he hadn’t been shot. Zimmerman did not contradict anything of substance or that is all we would have heard from the prosecution.

    I do know that if I had been carrying a gun to a fight I would not have started it by attempting to hit someone else without leaving any marks and if I had wanted to kill someone on top of me beating my head into the ground (I suppose you claim that was self inflicted, whatever) then I would have emptied the damned clip into that person, not just shot once.

  118. says

    Zimmerman did not contradict anything of substance or that is all we would have heard from the prosecution.

    Oh, you mean the prosecution that never intended to try the case in the first place and then was pressured into it?
    Yeah, I’m sure they worked their hears out on this.

  119. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    Elind, seriously. Fuck off. Like, right now. Go.

  120. elind says

    Jafafa Hots

    Sorry to hear about your anger problems; I will assume that they were incurred in service to your country, but I cannot ignore that your dismissal of our legal system and the evidence presented after hours and hours and days and weeks while almost nothing else happened in the world, is considered by you to be bullshit and anyone who points out anything different is biased and prejudiced.

  121. says

    Elind is a shithead.

    I relate a story about how a guy was threatening people on the street, then saw me and started to follow me shouting threats, brandishing (or pretending to brandish) a gun, and because I didn’t run, instead stopping the (high on meth, I think) menacing person from following me further without touching him or saying a word, I was guilty of assault.

    Elind, it’s pretty clear what motivates you to lie and invent things.

  122. says

    I cannot ignore that your dismissal of our legal system

    You mean the legal system that is proven to be several hundred percent more likely to convict a black person over a white person for the same alleged crime?
    The legal system that is shown to give much harsher penalties to black convicts than whites convicted of the same crime?

    The legal system that incarcerated more black people for cannabis possession than whites despite the fact that not only are whites a far greater percentage of the population than blacks, but also despite the fact that blacks use pot no more than (some studies say less than) whites?

    THAT legal system?

  123. says

    elind:

    If the other person was in a car initially, I would assume it was someone who lived in the area, which I was not familiar with. I would not assume I had to attack them.

    Again, you modify the situation to make it seem less-threatening. Even you have admitted Zimmerman followed him on foot. And that truly is creepy.

    Being followed, or watched, under those circumstances would not be threatening. It would require a thought as to why and the initial thought as to why should be obvious to most people.

    (Emphasis added)

    Why did you add “or watched”? It seems you are again attempting to mitigate the overt menace of being followed by a stranger at night. I know of no time it’s not uncomfortable to be followed by a stranger. But at night? That is frightening. And it’s disingenuous of you to suggest it isn’t.

    And you claim the “initial though [as to why]” should be obvious to most people. What is that thought? That someone got out of a car and followed me because… why, exactly?

    I am simple minded perhaps, and not a paranoiac; so I do not find being observed in circumstances that any normal person would recognize as being possibly suspicious to be “threatening”.

    You are not being simple-minded. You equivocate. First, it wasn’t simple “observation,” yet you try to present it as such. That’s not even how I presented the situation. If someone is following you, how can you possibly know their intent?

    And if you are headed home, why would you think you are behaving suspiciously? He wasn’t “behind” houses, as you suggested. Zimmerman said he was “between” houses. Further, this was a common shortcut used by residents of the neighborhood when on foot.

    So why again should Martin think he’s done anything wrong? Why should he think the guy who started out following him in a vehicle, and later was following him on foot, was doing so for legitimate reasons?

    Tell me again how you would feel if someone were following you at night, first in a vehicle, then on foot?

    As to Martin’s friend; as a witness for the prosecution she was found to be lying on multiple occasions and to base your case on her is rather silly.

    Where was she lying? Only at one point was she found to lie, and that was when she reported she was in the hospital the day of Martin’s funeral. At no other instance has her testimony contradicted the facts. In fact, her testimony lined up exactly with Zimmerman’s, right up to the altercation (at which point the phone conversation ended).

    It’s interesting you’re so quick to dismiss her testimony, and so quick to accept Zimmerman’s, when his various interviews have contradicted each other.

    By all evidence, no; but without evidence to the contrary, he did so legally.

    That’s perfectly OK. Even acting irresponsibly while performing legal actions can get you manslaughter.

    No. The evidence shows that Martin assaulted Zimmerman…

    Ah! Here’s where we diverge, I see.

    The other witness (the one that wasn’t Zimmerman himself) claims there was some shoving and shouting going on before the altercation, which occurred after the connection was broken (logically, by Martin hanging up). In that case, the beginning of the altercation is slightly different than the way Zimmerman presented it. This doesn’t make Zimmerman a liar, per se. But it does indicate that Martin was not solely responsible for the assault.

    I’m not claiming Martin’ shouldn’t’ve simply run away and hid. I’m not claiming he’s completely innocent victim. If there’d been no shooting, Martin would’ve been brought up on assault charges, and rightfully so. But that does not erase Zimmerman’s culpability in acting irresponsibly while carrying a deadly weapon.

  124. says

    Crip Dyke @87:
    I am still a bit fuzzy on a few things.
    In seeking second degree murder or manslaughter, would (or is that SHOULD?) Zimmerman’s stalking and profiling be relevant? I would think it should be relevent for establishing that Zimmerman evinced a depraved mind (it seems likely this could be established given Lynna’s link upthread).
    How, if at all, did the prosecution handle this?
    I think it is possible that much may rest on the prosecution, rather than the jury. If the prosecution failed to establish that Zimmerman evinced a depraved mind, how else could they be reasonably convinced to find him guilty?

    Also, I am curious…given your skill in this area, were these the best charges to bring against Zimmerman?

  125. says

    elind:
    You are dense.
    There was insufficient justification for Zimmerman following Trayvon to begin with. What is the definition of “acting suspiciously”, such that not only would the average person agree, but would hd up in a court? ESPECIALLY given Zimmermans documented hisory of prejudice against black people.

  126. says

    elind:

    Also, as an added note, Zimmerman was told to stop pursuit immediately after getting out of his SUV. He said “OK.” The altercation didn’t happen until 4 minutes later, many yards from Zimmerman’s vehicle — in fact, Martin’s body was found in the shared back-yard of his father’s townhouse, though down at the far end.

    How could that happen, elind, if Zimmerman had stopped pursuit pursuant to a direct order from the authorities?

  127. says

    “Martin’s body was found in the shared back-yard of his father’s townhouse, though down at the far end.”

    Gee, that almost sounds as if Zimmerman stalked Martin, doesn’t it?

  128. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    empt at debate by calling liar.

    And when is “let us handle it from here” not fuck off, or you are the aggressor. There is no debate. You have no evidence against the facts of Zimmerman’s aggression. Your OPINION is dismissed as evidenceless bullshit. Deal with that, and bring forward real that that would be accepted in root cause analysis. Nothing you have said to date fits that definitnion.

  129. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony.

    I have no idea how the prosecution handled it. RL has been a bear lately (among other things, I’m putting my dog to sleep on tuesday – before she is incapable of joy and companionship, but is it too soon? Major source of guilt…) and I didn’t have it in me to follow the trial even after I heard it started (which was too late to see the whole thing).

    However, Zimmerman’s stalking and profiling would be relevant depending on the underlying act. Most people assume that pulling the trigger is the only possible act of depraved indifference, but this isn’t so. If someone invites you to a fistfight, and you know that the rules are no weapons – perhaps specifically to keep things from going out of hand – and you bring a gun, a person hitting you harder than expected or for longer than expected *after* you bring the gun doesn’t excuse your bringing of the gun. You chose to create a life-threatening situation by bringing a gun to an ordered and limited fistfight. You know or should know that bringing a gun to such an emotionally charged -indeed fear charged- endeavor creates risks that someone will end up dead. You persisted in bringing the gun despite your knowledge of such risk.

    This indicates indifference to potentially fatal consequences. The adjective depraved is legally of no effect, since being indifferent to death is by definition depraved, so it adds no meaning or requirements here.

    Thus, legally, the act is depraved indifference. Did it lead to the death of another? Sure, without the gun the person would not have died of a gunshot would.

    This obviates some of the discussion about the exact nature of the fistfight and whether or not the blows of the other person were proportionate and/or inspired by fear of the shooter’s gun.

    In a similar manner, certain theories of the crime can locate the act of depraved indifference somewhere in the timeline such that the act precedes the stalking – thus making the stalking irrelevant – or after the stalking but also after some further event that (I don’t know the us legal langauge here, I’m drawing from Canadian law) so transforms the circumstances as to render the stalking either a “de minimus cause” or renders legal notice of the cause contrary to the public interest of justice.

    If you stalk a guy, and it’s totally based on racism, but he notices you and (this being “Hypotheticville”, a very small town) recognizes you. Being followed, he enters a sporting goods store and buys a gun and ammo. He then heads to your child’s school bus stop and blows the kid away, then turns towards you with gun pointed.

    Sure, the confrontation wouldn’t have happened without your stalking, but holding you to be the cause given this person’s obvious overreaction and murderous intent make it contrary to the administration of justice to take your actions into legal account as a cause. Similar processes are used in the US to winnow down when to account for contextual actions like stalking.

    Part of the problem here is that, as Ben P is quick to mention, we don’t have Martin’s testimony. But this is not a bar to finding Zimmerman guilty. [It just raises the difficulty of the prosecution's dive.] The jury is instructed that nothing is implied by the decision of Zimmerman to refuse to testify, but they can and do take that into account, and they especially do when they are unable to hear the victim’s testimony because of the defendant’s own actions.

    So, yes, the precedent actions of Zimmerman can be used at trial as relevant evidence, but not if they aren’t actually relevant to the theory of crime advanced [because they post-date the conduct alleged to be criminal or because they post-date an intervening act that renders them legally irrelevant].

    Stalking could also be used as evidence of state of mind if mens rea is at issue, but there are a couple types of intent in mens rea.

    One is general intent: I was in conscious control of my actions when I pulled the trigger with the gun pointed in Martin’s direction. (this is the approximate mens rea of manslaughter)
    Another is specific intent: I intended to kill Martin because of the color of his skin. (this is the approximate mens rea of federal statutes that criminalize depriving a person of a fundamental right on the basis of race)

    The first is the type of intent in the vast majority of criminal cases. The second comes into play in “purposive” crimes. For instance, first degree murder often includes something called “felony murder”.

    Felony murder is not so called because some murders aren’t felonies. It is so called because committing murder in the process of committing another felony (including a separate murder) is its own thing. Here, one must often take the action that results in death with the expectation that it will serve the separately felonious purpose.

    For instance, (from a real Canadian case – and TW) I tie you up in order to rob you, and I have nothing like the mens rea of first degree murder (or even, in Canada, 2nd degree murder). But I do have the mens rea for kidnapping and for robbery. Each of these are felonies. If you are unable to struggle free and die of a combination of dehydration and asphyxiation after multiple dies in your bonds, you can be guilty of a specific type of murder that carries the same penalty as first degree murder despite not having the specific intent to kill or cause bodily harm that murder usually requires.

    All this mens rea stuff is to say that if it becomes an issue whether
    1. you were engaging in an underlying unlawful act (say, menacing)
    2. which permits self defense on the part of Martin,
    3. which makes his violence lawful force
    4. which makes it impossible for you to fear his “unlawful force” because his force is, in fact, lawful
    5. which makes you ineligible to assert self-defense,

    then the telephone calls, the decision to go out of the car armed, the stalking, whether or not the gun would have been visible to Martin etc. all become important evidence as to whether or not you intended Martin to be afraid (part of the mens rea for Menacing in many jurisdictions).

    It can be ridiculously complicated, because you can’t claim self-defense against self-defense (FL law actually spells this out, requiring an initiator to retreat from confrontation despite the SYG law in order to regain the legal high ground when when your victim refuses to end the fight and thus -for legal purposes- becomes the initiator of a new confrontation), and thus Martin’s right to self-defense becomes an issue and thus Zimmerman’s prior actions may become relevant to a crime with which he is not even charged (or a tort, as tortious actions are “unlawful acts” just not criminal acts – you get the difference between unlawful & criminal, right?).

    Ben P kind of glosses over this, but there’s a reason. I haven’t dealt with it much either.

    I’m not sure if this will tend to confuse you or tend to clarify for you when and why Z’s stalking might be relevant. At the least, I hope that this comment will make it possible for you to ask more refined questions so that I can get you a useful answer (or know for certain – and communicate to you – that I don’t know the answer).

  130. AtheistPowerlifter says

    Fuck the Zimmerman ‘self defense’ apologists. I don’t even read their posts. My wife and I are from Nova Scotia and we followed this trial coverage peripherally (being from Canada it’s fucking weird that any trial be televised).

    We sat in stunned silence as the verdict was read. My wife kept saying “…but fucking Zimmerman LEFT his car and followed him…he CAUSED the incident…WTF…”

    I don’t know what to say about it. As a white person I’m not going to comment on the racial undertones, I can sympathize, but not empathize.

    I don’t care if Trayvon was a 280 lb monster going house to house selling drugs to pre-schoolers…Zimmerman did not have the right to stalk, confront, and create a fatal situation. Trayvon was just a scared young teen who was confronted and died needlessly. Baffling and fucking depressing.

    Seeing the defense lawyers preening after the verdict was nauseating. Seeing Zimmerman’s brother on CNN (the national enquirer of news networks) talk about how Trayvon was ‘armed’ with the ‘sidewalk’ also made me sick.

    Fuck I need a drink.

    AP

  131. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Some folks still refuse to recognize that Zimmerman had many opportunities to defuse the incident. They all required him to not pursue his paranoia. Once he couldn’t let go, he was the aggressor, period, end of story. the only way not to the be aggressor was for him to stop following the victim. Which did not occur. You want to convince me Zimmerman acted appropriately? Show me where he backed down and stopped his stalking….

  132. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    That other post was getting long, and for clarity I wanted to answer two other questions from Tony here:

    If the prosecution failed to establish that Zimmerman evinced a depraved mind, how else could they be reasonably convinced to find him guilty?

    They could find that Zimmerman engaged in an “unlawful act” that was furthered by his use of lethal force. This is slightly different than in Canada, and as I understand it (though I could be wrong) this still does apply in most states in the US. In Canada, although the underlying unlawful act might be relatively trivial (felony trespass, for instance), meeting *only* the mens rea for the underlying act is insufficient. One must still have a level of mens rea commensurate with the stigma of the crime of murder. In the states I don’t think this is regularly so. It was rather novel when introduced in Canada (I pretty sure we were the first or 2nd to eliminate the felony murder rule on mens rea at the national level) not that long ago, and the US criminal law is controlled by states, not the fed, and, needless to say, FL is unlikely to eliminate this aspect of the felony murder rule anytime soon. To be sure though, you’d have to look at case law. The statute in Canada doesn’t make this clear at all. I haven’t done **any** reading on criminal cases in FL aside from media/popular accounts of a couple very old lynching cases (bizarrely, I’ve actually read a few civil procedure cases out of FL though).

    SO, if the felony murder rule on mens rea holds (as I think it does), then he only needs to intend to menace. Self-defense works by countering mens rea while conceding the actus rea. Since the mens rea of murder is no longer required, his self-defense claim is useless and depraved mind is not required.

    This would actually be a good tactic for the prosecution, but it would require arguing felonious menacing, and most menacing is likely misdemeanor menacing.

    On the other hand, you can get yourself in trouble with this. If you argue the underlying unlawful act is a federal felony of deprivation of civil rights, you now have a new mens rea element: that he did what he did because of the color of Martin’s skin.

    in general, prosecutors want to make a case as simple as possible, but sometimes adding a layer means gaining access to a powerful tool like the felony murder rule which is easily worth the extra complexity.

    If the state of the FL felony murder rule was not considered, I would consider that pretty darn negligent on the part of the prosecution.

    Of course, it could well be that the FMR doesn’t usefully apply, and if obviously so such consideration might be no more than a second’s contemplation…but with what little I know about FL criminal law (and nearly all of that mere inference based on what I know of criminal law n other states) I would suspect that FMR does have potentially useful application and the real question would be whether you can find a minimal felony whose mens rea is easier to prove than that for murder/manslaughter.

    Also, I am curious…given your skill in this area, were these the best charges to bring against Zimmerman?

    I really couldn’t say. Sorry. I’m not actually skilled in US criminal law, and only “skilled” in a limited way in Canadian law. Really I’m more skilled in reading law – interpreting statute and case law – but without knowing exactly what case law to read, I would likely be missing important things and I have no roadmap to FL cases that are important. Ultimately, making a judgement as to the best charges would require that I know more about both the evidence and the state of FL criminal case law than I do.

    After all that, though, I can say that I wouldn’t shy away from charging murder if

    1) I was a FL prosecutor
    2) the FMR provided a useful way around murder’s mens rea and self-defense hurdles
    3) there existed conduct with mens rea on the part of Zimmerman which I could successfully argue constituted an underlying felony.

    Self-defense is a high bar in FL if, as Ben P says and I don’t contest, it is not an affirmative defense (thus requiring it be proved by the barest majority of the evidence) but merely an assistive and responsive defense (thus merely providing an avenue for raising a reasonable doubt that it could have been self-defense).

    But there are clear exemptions to SD in law, and prosecutors should be skilled at using these exemptions. Indeed, these exemptions are part of why there is a drastic disparity in the success of SD claims in the US on the basis of the races of defendant and victim.

    I can say that -as strategy- I would have to look long and hard at what act I was proposing as the unlawful act causing death:
    strapping on the gun? probably not unlawful.
    Following him in the car knowing I have a gun strapped to my hip? probably not unlawful to a point.
    Getting out of the car and ordering him to stand still when I had no legal authority to do so, probably unlawful if one could reasonably expect that Martin would be afraid given the totality of the circumstances and that Z was using this fear [wittingly or not] to help confine Martin,
    and so on….

    If I was charging involuntary manslaughter or criminally negligent manslaughter, I don’t have to worry about the unlawfulness of the underlying action, merely its recklessness. Is it, for instance, recommended that neighborhood watch members go about armed? Or is it recommended that watch be undertaken unarmed? The standards for such actions go to whether the conduct was reckless of reasonable.

    If all this is too much information without a definite conclusion LMK & I’ll step back in favor of someone practicing criminal law in the states – preferably FL itself.

  133. elind says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    14 July 2013 at 9:54 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment
    Some folks still refuse to recognize that Zimmerman had many opportunities to defuse the incident. They all required him to not pursue his paranoia. Once he couldn’t let go, he was the aggressor, period, end of story. the only way not to the be aggressor was for him to stop following the victim. Which did not occur. You want to convince me Zimmerman acted appropriately? Show me where he backed down and stopped his stalking….

    There nothing illegal in following a suspicious person in a residential neighborhood. It happens all the time by concerned citizens and reasonable people do not call that aggression. Do you have a dictionary?

    . I don’t approve of them being armed, but I fail to see why people like you think it is perfectly legitimate for the other person to attack. That is aggression.

  134. elind says

    AtheistPowerlifter
    14 July 2013 at 9:37 pm
    Fuck the Zimmerman ‘self defense’ apologists. I don’t even read their posts. My wife and I are from Nova Scotia and we followed this trial coverage peripherally (being from Canada it’s fucking weird that any trial be televised).

    We sat in stunned silence as the verdict was read. My wife kept saying “…but fucking Zimmerman LEFT his car and followed him…he CAUSED the incident…WTF…”

    I don’t know what to say about it. As a white person I’m not going to comment on the racial undertones, I can sympathize, but not empathize.

    I don’t care if Trayvon was a 280 lb monster going house to house selling drugs to pre-schoolers…Zimmerman did not have the right to stalk, confront, and create a fatal situation. Trayvon was just a scared young teen who was confronted and died needlessly. Baffling and fucking depressing.

    Seeing the defense lawyers preening after the verdict was nauseating. Seeing Zimmerman’s brother on CNN (the national enquirer of news networks) talk about how Trayvon was ‘armed’ with the ‘sidewalk’ also made me sick.

    Fuck I need a drink.

    AP

    So you are another who thinks being followed, with or without cause, is an excuse to attack the follower yet it is the followers responsibility to not incite the followed to attack; the latter being quite justified in doing so, according to you.

    One person should run but the other is allowed to attack. As to the racist temptation that you adopt, the only comment made was something like “punk”, which has no racist connotation, except to those who need one to justify something they imagine.

    It’s amazing that you can be smart enough to call yourself an atheist.

  135. says

    There nothing illegal in following a suspicious person in a residential neighborhood. It happens all the time by concerned citizens and reasonable people do not call that aggression.

    But when a guy follows and threatens several other people and then follows and threatens ME and I stand there and do nothing and don’t touch him or threaten him as he motions as if he has a gun, threatening to kill me – I’ve committed assault according to you.

    You are full of shit, your words are useless except as an exposé of your prejudice.

  136. elind says

    nigelTheBold, also Avo
    14 July 2013 at 9:01 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment
    elind:

    Also, as an added note, Zimmerman was told to stop pursuit immediately after getting out of his SUV. He said “OK.” The altercation didn’t happen until 4 minutes later, many yards from Zimmerman’s vehicle — in fact, Martin’s body was found in the shared back-yard of his father’s townhouse, though down at the far end.

    How could that happen, elind, if Zimmerman had stopped pursuit pursuant to a direct order from the authorities?

    He wasn’t told (ordered) to do anything of the sort. It was a suggestion. Please read a few other posts here. Martin wasn’t found in his father’s yard (these are small yards in town homes). Please provide the proof of this which I have not heard. What I did hear is that it took some time to identify Martin.

  137. elind says

    Jafafa Hots
    14 July 2013 at 10:22 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment
    the only comment made was something like “punk”

    And once again you flat-out lie.

    Once again you play the creationist line.

  138. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    So you are another who thinks being followed, with or without cause, is an excuse to attack the follower yet it is the followers responsibility to not incite the followed to attack; the latter being quite justified in doing so, according to you.

    Look everybody, elind’s a shit wizard and he’s casting a spell!

  139. says

    So you are another who thinks being followed, with or without cause, is an excuse to attack the follower

    AGAIN with the lies.
    Nowhere in that comment did AtheistPowerlifter say it is OK to attack someone who is stalking you with a gun.
    There is no proof that Martin attacked Zimmerman, NONE. Not even the trial result hinged on proving that, just merely the possibility.

    But YOU state it as fact, liar.
    That’s not even getting into whether or not punching a guy who is following you with a gun to your house is legal or not.

    Let me explain the internet to you, dipshit.
    The comments you distort and lie about? WE CAN STILL READ THEM.

    The people you accuse of saying things they never said? THEY CAN REMEMBER WHAT THEY SAID. They can. likewise, still read it.

    But I’m glad to hear, oh great oracle, that when the cops tell you not to follow someone with your gun, it’s just a suggestion.

    Scumbag.

  140. ChasCPeterson says

    Zimmerman was told to stop pursuit immediately after getting out of his SUV. He said “OK.” …a direct order from the authorities

    There was no “order”. (Nor is a police dispatcher an “authority” whose word is law.) The transcript of the phone call is readily available. Here, let me fucking google it, copy it, and paste it for you:

    Dispatcher: Are you following him?
    Zimmerman: Yeah
    Dispatcher: Ok, we don’t need you to do that.
    Zimmerman: Ok

    Much is unknown, but this is.

  141. says

    Is it “legitimate” to physically attack someone just for following you? I don’t know, I’m not sure what elind means by “legitimate.” I think it’s understandable, in certain circumstances. Certainly it’s illegal. Even if it’s illegal, it’s not something that justifies being killed. The fact that the law does regard it as justification, at least in Florida, is merely evidence that the law is a terrible law, as people have been saying all along. Also, I’m skeptical that that’s what happened. I don’t think Rachel Jeantal’s testimony should be disregarded because she lied about being in the hospital on the day of her friend’s funeral on account of not wanting to see his dead body or face his family. Zimmerman told more lies, and more pertinent ones, than Rachel Jeantal ever did.

  142. says

    Once again you play the creationist line.

    Wait… creationists do that?
    When someone selectively edits a quote to remove hints of bigotry, then asserts that that proves there was no bigotry, while LYING by saying that their edited quote was all that was said…. creationists point out that the blatant liar is lying?

    Well, I guess there had to be ONE thing they do right.

  143. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There nothing illegal in following a suspicious person in a residential neighborhood. It happens all the time by concerned citizens and reasonable people do not call that aggression. Do you have a dictionary?

    Citation needed fuckwit. FOLLOWING FOR BLOCKS DOENS’T HAPPEN. NO NEED FOR IT UNLESS YOU ARE A PARANOID BIGOT, LIKE YOURSELF.

  144. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    Chas, what the fuck is the point in posting that? If anything here’s what happened: he told the dispatcher he was following Trayvon, the dispatcher says “we don’t need you to do that”, and he says “okay”, which tells the dispatcher that he’s not going to follow him anymore, and obviously Zimmerman DID keep following him, so he LIED to the dispatcher. How do you know that, had he said “No, I’m still gonna follow him” the dispatcher couldn’t have made it an order? Or had a cop get on the line and do it? There are laws against vigilantism, you know.

  145. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @elind (quoted responding to AtheistPowerlifter):

    So you are another who thinks being followed, with or without cause, is an excuse to attack the follower yet it is the followers responsibility to not incite the followed to attack; the latter being quite justified in doing so, according to you.

    No. he didn’t say that. Stop making things up.

    Further, what I’ve read from people is that
    1. Zimmerman was an aggressor and **people don’t believe he actually acted in self-defense**
    …note, this is not a comment on whether or not Zimmerman has the right to self defense.
    2. Martin should be given the right to self defense as well – which makes it morally problematic to suggest that we can know **merely from whether or not Martin engaged in violence** whether or not Zimmerman was engaged in self-defense.

    Further, note that I have raised legal, not merely moral, problems with the case’s implications for Martin’s right of self defense in
    3. To assert self-defense, Z must have feared not just the use of force, but ***unlawful force***. Martin had no legal duty to retreat. Martin was legally justified in responding with force to fear provoked by another. Thus Martin’s use or potential use of force provides no grounds for self-defense unless Martin is not assumed to have the same rights to self-defense as Zimmerman.

    Indeed, this is the most problematic (and racist as F) implication of this case: that young black men have no right of self-defense. IF they did, then it would be hard to conclude Zimmerman engaged in self-defense.

    You want to say that if Martin threw the first punch he’s not engaged in self-defese. But that’s not FL law. He merely needs to hold a reasonable belief that he will be harmed or his property will be subject to one of a certain specified group of felonies. Further, SYG modified the statutory requirements for defense of another person, though that’s not at issue here.

    If SYG modifies self-defense for black men, then all your ranting about who threw the first punch is legally inconsequential.

    If SYG doesn’t modify self-defense for black men, it is overtly racist and violative of the 14th amendment.

    You are arguing as if Martin is subject to SD requirements to which Zimmerman is not subject. Ergo, you are arguing for an overtly racist and unconstitutional law.

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it til you get pre-cancerous lesions in your alveoli.

  146. says

    Crip Dyke:
    (So sorry to hear about having your dog put down)

    Thank you for that detailed response.
    Some of my confusion is gone.
    What remains has more to do with not knowing to what extent the prosecution hit on the stalking/profiling angle.

    I have looked around a bit, but have not found clear definitions of “criminal act ” or “unlawful act”. Even Wikipedia was not helpful. Argh. I am trying to understand some small bit of this trial and feel woefully ignorant.

  147. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @JafafaHots

    Nowhere in that comment did AtheistPowerlifter say it is OK to attack someone who is stalking you with a gun.
    There is no proof that Martin attacked Zimmerman, NONE. Not even the trial result hinged on proving that, just merely the possibility.

    But YOU state it as fact, liar.

    Worse than lying about this specific case, he states it as if it is legally consequential…but only for the black child.

  148. DLC says

    Zimmerman had no right within any law anywhere to follow Martin, or stop him or even ask him what time of day it is. None whatever. When he got out of his car with the intent to stop Martin, that is when the incident began. The weight was on Zimmerman to not create a confrontation. He created a confrontation. The responsibility was his not to start something.
    I’ll relate a situation here.
    Feb 2012, afternoon: I come home from the store and see 2 men who I don’t know exit a van and head into the house next door, which had been empty for a couple months (turns out, the previous owners had been “underwater” on it and abandoned it rather than try to keep up.) and these guys were entering the premises. Not knowing that they were contractors for the bank, come to write an estimate on repairs, I became concerned. What did I do ? Did I a) grab a weapon and go over there and confront the men, demanding that they (being swarthy-skinned individuals) identify themselves to me and prove their right to be on the property; or b) call the police non-emergency number, report the incident and explain that I was concerned because there have been burglaries in my neighborhood, and then wait for the police to arrive and handle it, waiting at a safe distance until the incident was resolved. ?
    I’ll answer my own question : B. you stay back, stay out of the incident, and observe and report. nothing more. Not ever.

  149. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Elind, I’m talking about Root Cause Analysis, to get to why something happened and to prevent a recurrence. Legalities aren’t part of why the incident happened, only the aftermath. Why this happened is paranoia and failure to back down on the the part of Zimmerman. End of story. Show otherwise, where Zimmerman backing down gives the same result, or shut the fuck up….

  150. says

    DLC:
    Sadly, Zimmerman chose
    C) feel empowered with a gun by my side and angry that “they” always get away.

    I am not convinced as some are that his intent at the onset of stalking was to kill Martin, but he was reckless, irresponsible and carrying a loaded weapon. If not legally, he was definitely morally wrong.

  151. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    elind –

    Some folks still refuse to recognize that Zimmerman had many opportunities to defuse the incident. They all required him to not pursue his paranoia. Once he couldn’t let go, he was the aggressor, period, end of story. the only way not to the be aggressor was for him to stop following the victim. Which did not occur. You want to convince me Zimmerman acted appropriately? Show me where he backed down and stopped his stalking….

    There nothing illegal in following a suspicious person in a residential neighborhood. It happens all the time by concerned citizens and reasonable people do not call that aggression.

    No, you dumb liar, following does not “happen all the time”.

    I’ve lived many years in many cities, small towns, and rural areas around the USA and I have never once been followed by a “concerned citizen” nor have I even known a single person who – as a “concerned citizen” – ever took it upon themselves to follow someone else in a residential neighborhood.

    Following is not reasonable, it’s not acceptable, and every reasonable person knows that following is creepy if not outright intended as dangerous to the person being followed. If you follow me, I’ll call the cops on you being a likely criminal looking to assault me.

    Then again, I’m of a skin color (and voice) which the local police are likely to take sides with.

    Too bad that black teenager didn’t have a reason to think the police would be on his side if he called to report a creepy strange dude following him home to his dad’s house.

    Elind, you’re a shit and you should be ashamed of yourself. Stop doing whatever you’re doing before someone gets hurt.

  152. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    The point is for Chas to be a contrarian douche, as per usual.

    Ooh, right. See, I haven’t posted here in awhile and I tend to forget about things like that.

  153. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    a “criminal act” in the US includes all acts for which a defendant is liable to a term of imprisonment upon conviction – even if in practice such a term in prison is rarely if ever imposed. Thus all misdemeanors and felonies are “criminal acts”

    The confusion comes with acts that are violations – meaning punishable by fines, usually relatively small – but even upon conviction the state has no legally authority to incarcerate you. Speeding tickets, parking tickets and the like are violations. To be a true violation, however, requires that it be a statute and not a regulation. For instance, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t specify when grab bars are required to be installed in a bathroom, but it gives authority to the executive branch (I think but don’t quote me, the DHHS in this case) to make up such specific rules as are necessary and appropriate to bring about the legislative aims of the act. The DHHS then creates architectural requirements for certain buildings under federal jurisdiction. The breach of these is the breach of a DHHS rule, not of the underlying statute itself. DHHS may fine a building owner, but such a fine is administrative law, not a “violation” in the criminal sense.

    Sometimes violations (actual violations, not regulatory breaches) are spoken of as criminal acts, sometimes they aren’t. I tend to include them as is technically proper, but since violations and misdemeanors are handled much differently, lawyers need to make a distinction sometimes between “merely” a violation and a criminal act. Thus you’re more likely to here the version that doesn’t include violations in the context of criminal law (“He has no criminal record” is not the same as “he has no parking tickets”).

    ======
    Unlawful act.

    An unlawful act includes all crimes (obviously, I hope), but also includes actions that violate tort law (slander and liable are unlawful acts, but there is no remedy in criminal court, a private actor must bring suit on behalf of hirself) AND includes those regulatory breaches discussed earlier. Importing an endangered species is a criminal act. Importing an animal without attaching a health certificate is an unlawful act – no one could ever go to prison for it, even with the most egregious violation, and adjudication takes place in administrative tribunals, not criminal courts.

    Note that punching someone is both a tort (you can sue me if I do it to you) and a crime (the state can take action against me on behalf of itself, with jurisdiction lying in criminal, not administrative courts – and in this case a potential sentence of incarceration exists, even if such a potential sentence is not strictly necessary to make something a criminal act under the violation-inclusive definition).

    Clumsy use such as “a criminal act is one that places one at risk of imprisonment or fine” that fail to distinguish some fines from other fines result in a ton of confusion about what is or isn’t a “criminal act” among non-lawyers.

    Note that even breaches of statute that carry no penalty can be unlawful acts. If the government wishes to pass a law saying that selling hammers to children under 6 is against the law, it can. But that doesn’t automatically provide a penalty for such behavior. If no penalty is provided in the law or regulation, then it is an unlawful act that has no penalty on its own, but violating that statute or regulation makes you subject to other laws that may have harsh penalties for doing behavior X while committing an unlawful act.

    This is used to establish causes of action, for instance. You might say that discharging pollutant X into a watershed is against the law but without penalty. Then you might further say that any breach of pollution handling laws that results in injury or death is a felony.

    The government might do this, for instance, for pollutants for which there is not yet evidence of a precise threshold of toxicity. This sets a non-binding requirement below which companies cannot be liable for injury, but above which the companies take their chances. If they believe the science shows injury and death are incredibly unlikely they are free to take their chances. But the fact that scientific studies only later reveal that some illegal dose was in fact harmful is no defense: even if they didn’t know it was harmful, they knew it was unlawful and their unlawful actions resulted in injury or death. Thus they are screwed.

    It’s a way of limiting liability without capping injury claims. Companies know they can be good citizens and proactively reduce pollution – though with the threshold not established we aren’t certain it’s enough to avoid harm or far more than necessary to avoid harm. If they act in good faith, reducing pollution, what harm they do cause in their ignorance is not laid at their feet. But if they don’t act in good faith, there is no limit on damages that might prevent a just amount of compensation.

    So criminal act vs. unlawful act is only really clear if you focus on the “criminal” part. If a criminal court doesn’t have jurisdiction, if it’s an administrative rule breach, if its a civil action for which one private party an sue another, it’s not criminal but it is still unlawful – sometimes even when there is no penalty at all.

  154. says

    It’s pretty clear what Eland considers to be “a suspicious person.”

    When I was a kid, like Trayvon, I had a dad. He lived in a house. His house was in a neighborhood.

    Clearly all of the hours I spent wandering around that neighborhood made me a suspicious person. I guess anyone would have been totally justified in following me around with a gun.

    Except, of course, I’m white.
    Somehow nobody thought I was suspicious… I wonder if that might have anything to do with that last detail?

    Especially since I lived in a county where black people driving to their suburban homes are often stopped by the cops and asked “what are you doing out here?

  155. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    CripDick @ 19

    What rhetoric is appropriate to a criminal justice system?

    You are totally right. But what we have isn’t a justice system. It’s a legal system. It’s purpose is social control and it’s method is punishment. It isn’t about protecting society. It’s about maintaining it’s own power. I think that’s what this verdict shows us (as well as the War on Drugs and a bunch of other bullshit social maintenance laws).

  156. says

    Chas:
    Is it an attempt to keep everything along factual lines that motivates you here? I cannot see your point.
    Even if everyone who thinks ‘Zimmerman was ordered to stop following by authorities’ started saying ‘Zimmerman was told it was not needed [for him to continue following Martin] by a dispatcher’–what is gained? Does that substantially alter anyone’s argument?

    The only other reason I can see is that painting Zimmerman as ‘a guy who ignores police orders’ fits a false narrative of the story and you are trying to make note of that. Even this doesn’t compute. All it does is change the narrative from “irrational, racist, reckless, vigilante douchebag ignores police orders’ to ‘irrational, racist, reckless, vigilante douchebag ignores advice’. At the end of the day, what difference does that make?

  157. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @cyranothe2nd

    First, I laughed out loud. Seriously. It helped that I saw the correction first as I was scrolling up after zooming to the bottom, so I new in advance not to take offense. but I was thinking you said I was Chas or something.

    Second, I think you miss my biting sense of humor.

    Try it again:

    What rhetoric is appropriate to a criminal justice system?

    and put the emphasis on the 3rd to last word, not the 2nd.

  158. futurechemist says

    Fox News was rebroadcasting Sean Hannity interviewing George Zimmerman from last year. Parts of the interview were chilling. Zimmerman said he had no regrets or remorse about anything that happened. And even if he could go back, he wouldn’t change anything that happened, including getting out of his car in the first place. He justified his stance by saying everything that happened was god’s plan. The fact that he’s satisfied with how everything happened makes me think he’s sociopathic. Even if it was (hypothetically) self-defense, one can still wish things happened differently or that nobody died. I can only hope he’s more remorseful now.

  159. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony, glad this legal education can be useful to my community.

  160. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    When I was a kid, like Trayvon, I had a dad. He lived in a house. His house was in a neighborhood.

    Clearly all of the hours I spent wandering around that neighborhood made me a suspicious person. I guess anyone would have been totally justified in following me around with a gun.

    Except, of course, I’m white.
    Somehow nobody thought I was suspicious… I wonder if that might have anything to do with that last detail?

    Yeah, me too. Sadly ironic in my case, being what as I actually did look like a “suspicious person” many of the nights I spent wandering around the neighborhood at seventeen. I walked for hours after dark, high, not wanting to get caught, and almost certainly giving off signs that I was guilty of something.

    Honestly, I wonder how I survived. But then again, I’ve never been in a place where anyone thinks it’s “reasonable” to follow teenagers and murder them because they look suspicious and otherwise they might get away with whatever they’re guilty of.

  161. DLC says

    Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop @174 :

    DLC:
    Sadly, Zimmerman chose
    C) feel empowered with a gun by my side and angry that “they” always get away.

    I am not convinced as some are that his intent at the onset of stalking was to kill Martin, but he was reckless, irresponsible and carrying a loaded weapon. If not legally, he was definitely morally wrong.

    I don’t think Zimmerman thought anything through other than the chance at some action.
    IMO Zimmerman sees himself as being the maligned hero, always being put upon by an unfair press, and an ungrateful public. But I also don’t doubt that he is a racist, from one end to the other.

  162. didgen says

    @ Crip Dyke, so sorry about your dog, that is beyond hard.
    I am an old white woman, I recently found myself at 3am having to use a rest stop bathroom on I5 in central California. This is something I try to avoid, as there is nothing for miles, and just generally a great opportunity for problems. When I went in the restroom there was no one in sight, when I came out as I was heading for my car, someone began walking faster and faster towards me in the dark across the grass. Since I am physically unable to run, and I don’t carry a gun, I didn’t assume this person might be thinking I was “suspicious.” I thought what any normal person would have, that I was in a potentially dangerous situation, and I was afraid for my life. I do carry a fair sized pocket knife, and had this person closed with me, there in the dark, instead of stopping when I turned to face him, I would have done my best to gut him.
    I feel fairly secure that the legal system would have been on my side. The question is, in light of this verdict why? The fact that I’m white? Maybe that guy was the rest stop neighborhood watch.

  163. busterggi says

    A question to the person who says the police dispatcher was only offering a suggestion when Zimmerman was told to stop following Martin – if the police stop your car and say, “Would you please get out of your car?” do you consider that an order and do so or a suggestion and just drive away?

  164. aluchko says

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    It’s not that Zimmerman didn’t have opportunities to defuse the incident. It’s that his failure to defuse doesn’t make him a murderer.

    Following someone around makes you an asshole, but unless you do more to provoke them just following doesn’t give them the right to attack you.

  165. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @didgen

    Unfortunately, the law is biased against women in lots of ways, and one of which is in the law of self-defense. Women tend to either not employ forcible self-defense for fear of escalating a situation, or to employ it earlier in a conflict than a median man would. This dichotomy makes it seem like it is “unreasonable” to quickly gut someone when in fear that the longer a fight goes on, the worse the odds for the defender, even when the aggressor is clearly identified as such.

    The reasonable person test can be “personalized” by which the court means it takes into account demographic realities, but only in rare jurisdictions does it actually take into account truly personal characteristics (e.g. whether or not you’ve had an aikido class, whether or not you’re a survivor of multiple rapes, whether or not one rape you experienced began with abduction from a nearly-deserted gas station in the middle of the night, etc.). Some jurisdictions use the demographic version of personalization, most don’t. Unfortunately, in jurisdictions where demographic realities aren’t acknowledged, person means “white, cis, able-bodied, adult man”. This is so b/c of a number of dynamics, but not least because of precedent – precedent that was established during much more overtly prejudiced times. The court can now acknowledge that women can be rational, that people of color can be reasonable, but in effect it often works against them as it *expects* us who aren’t white, cis, able-bodied, adult men to act in the ways the court has determined are “reasonable” in past cases…when we don’t act the same and yet we aren’t irrational. But we can’t get our rational tendencies acknowledged as rational, b/c what is rational behavior is already established. We’re just asking if you used that same behavior. Back when we weren’t expected to be rational, it worked against us in many ways, but we weren’t necessarily held to the same standard and sometimes that worked in the favor of justice. With so much of law fleshed out, it’s hard to work in new definitions of “reasonable” without consciously engaging in demographic adjustment of expectations. Even then, it’s hard for courts to understand how to properly embrace findings like, “Women, relative to the median man, tend to resort to violent self defense either more quickly or much much more slowly. To that extent, either quick self-defense or slow self-defense is a reasonable response, by definition as these are the two common reactions of the vast population, and its ubiquity is evidence of its reasonableness.”

    To know whether the law would be on your side, you’d have to know whether or not California is a “personalizing” jurisdiction.

    But to know what implications this case holds for your right to self-defense, I think it will likely have little: your instinct to gut someone who comes up behind you in the dark at 3 am, to a point within your limited reach, will likely be seen as unreasonable. This will be used to paint your fear itself as unreasonable. Since your right to self defense is based on you “reasonably perceiving” the threat, sexism in the system might cause your actions to be determined to be unreasonable, thus your perceptions to be determined unreasonable, thus your self-defense to be unreasonable [and thus unlawful].

    (IMO) The worst threat to your right to self-defense, then, is not something that I see coming up in the Martin/Zimmerman case.

    Again, talking to a California qualified criminal attorney would be much better than talking to me, but I don’t think I’m wrong in the broad strokes of women having problems with courts considering their violence to be unreasonable more often than the court is willing to consider men’s violence unreasonable.

  166. didgen says

    @Crip Dyke
    I related that event because of the statements I am reading here that seem to be that a normal person would not be threatened if someone was following them in the dark. It seems to me that any person would feel fear in this case, a seventeen year old perhaps more so. I wasn’t meaning to say that I would have acted so without a clear action on the part of the person that I felt was threatening me. I am not sure why he chose to stop when I faced him, perhaps I didn’t come across as frightened? I have had very unpleasant things done to me, and I can say that they have caused a definite change in the way I view the world. I didn’t always exit my vehicle worried about how many people were around, how close are they? what is the fastest way to safety?
    I don’t mean to sound like I haunt dark areas looking for a chance to try out my skills. But I wouldn’t hesitate to defend myself if forced to either, I’m just trying, badly I’m sure, to illustrate that things would be looked at so differently in my scenario.

  167. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I didn’t think you were describing going out hunting, Aileen Wuornos style. I didn’t think that your actions would necessarily *be* unreasonable, just that I thought women were likely to have their actions perceived as unreasonable if they didn’t conform to stereotypes about women.

    In that sense, the Martin/Zimmerman case *is* related to your scenario: stereotypes affect who we see as acting reasonably, and our actions are used to infer the reasonability of our perceptions and beliefs, and the reasonability of our perceptions and beliefs are issues of fact at trial that may make the difference between being convicted and being set free.

    The unfavorable – and unfortunately likely (IMO) – scenario is that the Black right to self defense is curtailed against whites, because the stereotype (against all evidence) is that historically whites do not threaten Black folk with violence, but rather Black men and boys threaten white folk with violence.

    FL case law won’t affect your ability to claim self-defense in CA, but there’s no reason to believe that you are free of the insidious effects of stereotyping that assumes non-passive women to be unreasonable.

  168. vaiyt says

    For the people who say Zimmerman wasn’t wrong because supposedly Martin attacked him. Shouldn’t Martin be justified in standing his ground, since he could reasonably fear that Zimmerman was going to assault him?

  169. didgen says

    I understood, my biggest worry is that I now worry even more about my grandsons. My daughter is bi-racial, there was a time when I truly believed that our country was going to move past racism, that when “those” people had died, my enlightened generation was going to be free of such blatantly wrong thinking. I look back fondly at that time in my life as my “stupid phase.”
    Maybe, maybe, we can learn something from this as a country, but I’m scared. What if, in eleven years someone looks at this kid that is such a little weirdo, and thinks he’s suspicious, just for walking home.

  170. jefrir says

    Martin said he was frightened? Did he? Most people in that situation would simply run.

    At which point Zimmerman thinks “He’s trying to get away!” and chases and assaults him, or possibly even shoots him – because hey, why would you run, if you’ve done nothing wrong? Definitely acting suspicious, that.

  171. randay says

    I think the prosecution intentionally presented a weak case. Did they call George Zimmerman’s brother, you know, the one who frequents TV to defend his brother, to the stand? They could have asked him if he and his brother talked about a possible confrontation and what George would do and when he would use his gun. Also, how did George feel about his vigilante job? What did he think his role was? Did the brother give George any advice? If so, was it to be more, or less, aggressive?

    Further in the scenario, what was the brother’s role in George’s case? I can easily imagine that they collaborated on a plan to teach some black person a lesson when the opportunity presented. That they even planned a killing together for sooner or later. I will be unsurprised if sometime in the future George shoots someone else. My guess is that George is an angry short fuse murderer. Now that he has gotten away with it once, why should he stop? The question is: was his brother involved and maybe even the instigator.

  172. Maureen Brian says

    In case that liar and fool elind returns and because, dammit, I didn’t have time to do this yesterday evening …

    Back at 115 elind used the phrase “go wandering at night” and throughout relies on trying to convince us that it all happened because young Mr Martin’s behaviour was totally weird and undoubtedly suspicious and made more so by happening at an unbelievable time.

    Let’s have some facts. The 911 call is logged at 7.09.34 PM on 26 February 2012, a Sunday. On that day sunset at Jacksonville FL – just to the North and closest I can get – was at 6.23 PM – 56 minutes earlier. I don’t know Florida and can’t guess how much light there still was but it was certainly not the middle of the night, not even in the wildest of elind’s fantasies.

    As for why didn’t he run well that’s a daft question. As others have mentioned – it would make him a target, it would have confirmed Zimmerman’s suspicions, it would have had his pursuer pumping even more adrenalin. When you know the area well enough not to get trapped then stepping off the roadway into a narrower, pedestrianised space is eminently sensible.

    We know that Martin had good reason to be in the area. We have no reason to believe he was acting illegally at any stage. Yet elind needs us to believe the converse of those. Why?

  173. carlie says

    I wonder if elind and their ilk have even been in the vicinity of any 17 year olds in the last decade or so. They certainly argue as if they think that 17 year olds have some pretty advanced threat analysis and social mores skills. Know what 17 year olds are? Dorks. Goofy awkward sweet kids who are the size of actual adults but not anywhere near the skill sets of adults. They vacillate wildly between sometimes acting like adults and most of the time acting like kids. And, recall, Trayvon had just turned 17 three months prior. You want to talk legal responsibility? Legally, the US system didn’t even deem him mentally capable of making the decision to buy cigarettes yet. Hell, it had only deemed him mentally competent of buying a fucking rated-R movie ticket by himself only three months prior to his death.

    And you think this kid should have accurately assessed, somehow, that although he was walking to his dad’s house at 7pm that he should have understood that the big old guy who stopped, got out of his car, and started following him was really not a threat as long as he somehow… didn’t look threatening back? And that standing up for himself to the guy who was following him was a stupid move because the guy probably had a gun and would shoot him with it? And that justice was served because the same legal system that won’t even let him decide to smoke holds him responsible for following some kind of convoluted “logic” that even most actual adults wouldn’t string together?

  174. says

    Oh come on.
    How can someone, anyone, use the self defense argument in defense of Zimmerman?
    If you follow someone around, corner them into an alley, you should expect violence. But that doesn’t give you the right to invoque self defense — because you fucking started it!

  175. logicalcat says

    Um, guys, Martin did run. At least according to Zimmerman in his 911 call, Martin started to run. So yea he fucking chased him down, sorry to ruin your little fantasy Elind.

  176. randay says

    I have looked up some of that links at the site hugo #201 put up. I found this report from the Miami Herald–3/21/12–with witness testimony that directly contradicts Zimmerman’s later defense.

    “I heard someone crying — not boo-hoo crying, but scared or terrified or hurt maybe,” said Mary Cutcher, 31, who lives in the Retreat at Twin Lakes townhome community where the shooting occurred. “To me, it was a child.”

    Zimmerman said he tailed Trayvon in a mission to find out if the teen was up to no good. Zimmerman was out to put a stop to recent burglaries. He dialed police — his 46th call since 2001 to report shady people, reckless drivers and other disturbances around his neighborhood.

    He offered to follow his suspect, but the dispatcher told him: “We don’t need you to do that.”

    Some minutes later, Trayvon was killed with a gun the watch volunteer was licensed to carry.

    “This was not self-defense,” Cutcher said. “We heard no fighting, no wrestling, no punching. We heard a boy crying. As soon as the shot went off, it stopped, which tells me it was the child crying. If it had been Zimmerman crying, it wouldn’t have stopped. If you’re hurting, you’re hurting.”

    She and her friend say they heard the sounds from a few steps away, where they were inside beside an open window. Seconds later, they dashed out to find a boy face down on the ground and a man standing over him, a foot on each side of the body on the ground, with his hands pinning the shooting victim down.

    “I asked him, ‘What’s happening here? What’s going on?’ ” said Cutcher’s friend, Selma Mora Lamilla. “The third time, I was indignant, and he said, ‘just call the police.’ Then I saw him with his hands over his head in the universal sign of: ‘Oh man, I messed up.’ ”

    The women, who were the first on the scene, said they saw Zimmerman pacing back and forth.

    “I know what I heard. I heard a cry and a shot,” Mora said. “If there was a fight, it did not happen here where the boy was shot. I would have heard it, as this all happened right outside my open window.”

    The women think there may well have been a physical altercation between the two, but it must have taken place in a different spot, where Zimmerman perhaps had a chance to compose himself and draw his weapon.

    Cutcher was one of eight or nine 911 callers that night but she said investigators dismissed her, and a detective failed to follow up with her. Both women said police seemed very blasé.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/15/2696446_p2/trayvon-martin-case.html#storylink=cpy

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/15/2696446/trayvon-martin-case.html#storylink=cpy

  177. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    In the third frame of that interactive map you can clearly make out Zimmerman saying “fucking punk” under his breath… Everything he said to dispatch prior? It is non-corroborated hearsay that Trayvon was indeed acting as described. That is without evidence. Everything sounds like a fucking setup for a ‘cover-your-ass’…

  178. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Following someone around makes you an asshole, but unless you do more to provoke them just following doesn’t give them the right to attack you.

    Following in the vehicle, no problem. ON FOOT AND CONFRONTATIONAL…YOU ARE THE AGGRESSOR. As Zimmerman was. Your claim Zimmerman’s actions weren’t aggressive is rejected as self-serving and bigoted bullshit.

  179. says

    carlie:

    I wonder if elind and their ilk have even been in the vicinity of any 17 year olds in the last decade or so. They certainly argue as if they think that 17 year olds have some pretty advanced threat analysis and social mores skills. Know what 17 year olds are? Dorks.

    I’m an adult, and I don’t have the threat-assessment skills, situational awareness, and the magic ability to discern intent that elind seems to have. If I were followed today the way Zimmerman followed Martin, I’d be fucking scared.

    But then, my wife says I’m a dork.

    Back when I was 15 and staying at my mom’s, I walked home from the library one night. This was around 9, just after the library closed. It wasn’t yet dark, but it was getting there. A truck passed by, going slowly. It rounded a corner. I didn’t think anything of it.

    A block later, the same truck passes by, still going slowly. That was curious, but I still didn’t think about it too much.

    The same truck slowly cruises by a third time. I’m the only one on the sidewalk, and it’s getting dark. I start to worry a little bit. I turn down a side street, one that usually has little traffic. A minute later, the same truck moves slowly by. Now I freak out. I start walking much faster, turn down another lane. The truck cruises towards me, pulls up next to me driving in the wrong lane, so the driver window is right next to me. I panic. The driver spools the window down, holding something in the dark of the cabin. I can barely think. I freeze.

    The driver, an older gentleman, said, “Excuse me, Sonny, but have you seen a golden retriever running around?”

    Yeah. Poor guy was driving up and down the streets of the neighborhood, worried sick about his dog running loose.

    But how the fuck was I supposed to know that until he told me?

    Also, the only difference between the way I’d react today is, I’d be ready for a confrontation.

  180. says

    randay:

    Zimmerman had to get out of his SUV to walk a few yards in a pedestrian path, then turn a corner to walk a few yards more to confront Martin.

    Right. And his official excuse? He wasn’t following Martin, he was walking the same way Martin went, looking for a street sign so he could give the proper location to the police. Y’know, street signs that are always posted in back-yard sidewalks that vehicles can’t access, rather than in streets where a vehicle (say, an SUV) might drive.

  181. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not surprising the gun nuts don’t like the concept of having a gun makes you more aggressive in your actions than you would be if unarmed.
    In this area, neighborhood patrols are told to carry no weapons, just a flashlight and cellphone. So they don’t do something foolish and aggressive.

  182. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    I just want to point out that I walk my dogs, go for strolls to the store, walk to a neighbors, etc. at night. While I’m out, I see alot of my neighbors doing the same. It’s even a thing for people to stand by their cars with the radios on and hang out. Old folks sit on their porches, Teenagers laugh and talk to each other, talk on the phone or walk silently with their headphones on. The weather is nice at night. It isn’t as sticky and humid. There is nothing odd about being out after dark.

  183. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    It’s not that Zimmerman didn’t have opportunities to defuse the incident. It’s that his failure to defuse doesn’t make him a murderer.

    LOL yeah. He just had a gun that he unloaded into an unarmed teenage boy, but he’s no murderer! he’s a brave hero!

  184. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s not that Zimmerman didn’t have opportunities to defuse the incident. It’s that his failure to defuse doesn’t make him a murderer.

    A teen was murdered by Zimmerman with a gun, a fact not in dispute. He is a murderer. Zimmerman should have stayed in his vehicle. End of story.

  185. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    It’s not that Zimmerman didn’t have opportunities to defuse the incident. It’s that his failure to defuse doesn’t make him a murderer.

    Um, yes it does since it makes him the aggressor and shows that his claims of self-defense are bullshit.

  186. carlie says

    Walking is suspicious. It means you don’t have a car. That’s unAmerican.

    It’s worse than unamerican, it’s poor american. We even have a slur for white people who are poor, that’s how much we hate poor people.

  187. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    It’s not that Zimmerman didn’t have opportunities to defuse the incident. It’s that his failure to defuse doesn’t make him a murderer.

    I mean, if this sort of shit actually were legal, it would mean US is more fucked up than I thought.

  188. says

    My old workplace hosts the concealed-carry class every once in a while. The nice ex-cop who teaches it (and I mean that — he’s a very nice, very compassionate person, from what I’ve seen) says you should try your damnedest not to shoot at all. But if you have to, shoot to kill. It makes your defense a lot easier.

    The implication was, if your victim doesn’t survive, they can’t contradict your testimony.

  189. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Beatrice, I hate to break it to you. The US? More fucked up than you thought.

    And it really doesn’t much matter how fucked up you thought it was.

  190. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    The implication was, if your victim doesn’t survive, they can’t contradict your testimony.

    Well, it would have been very inconvenient if Trayvon was only injured and able to stand up in court and say he was defending himself when (if) he hit Zimmerman.

  191. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Crip Dyke,

    I should have probably expected that kind of answer. *sigh*

  192. brucegorton says

    [quote]the rhetoric is over the top.[/quote]

    George Zimmerman saw a teenager wearing a hoodie. That teenager wasn’t doing anything illegal, he was just walking down the street.

    George Zimmerman elected to follow that teenager down the street. A behavior that could very well be interpreted as threatening. George Zimmerman shot that teenager he followed down the street.

    But of course, the teenager was black, and George Zimmerman was white. Consequently George Zimmerman was found not guilty, because following a black teenager down the street and shooting him is not murder in the USA.

    Especially if sifting through his entire life, he is found to not be a fucking saint because in America only complete fucking saintly black children have the right to not get shot for walking down the wrong fucking street wearing the wrong fucking clothes.

    And you have the gall to talk about the rhetoric being a bit extreme.

  193. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    Oh, my. I just listened to the 911 call where you can hear Trayvon crying for help and then you can hear Zimmerman kill him …

    The only thing wrong about Gary Younge’s article is that he has had to report that a murderer was found ‘not guilty’.

  194. says

    Crip Dyke:

    Beatrice, I hate to break it to you. The US? More fucked up than you thought.

    Private prison companies mandating incarceration levels: check.
    Demonstrable (hell, undeniable) racial bias: check.
    Incarceration with the intent of sequestration and punishment, rather than rehabilitation: check.
    Massive increase of violent no-knock searches for non-violent crimes: check.
    Use of riot-suppression gear (including the deployment of tear gas and bean-bag shotguns) to “control” non-violent legal protest: check.

    I could continue.

  195. randay says

    I am retired now, but when I was growing up in a big city, things were like Jackie #212 says. It was a mixed neighborhood with maybe 40% whites and then blacks and asians and latinos. My friends who were mostly not white and I walked around the streets or hung out with no problem. It was not one of these awful gated communities. That whole idea disgusts me.

    My parents moved to a new suburb, not gated something that didn’t exist then, which was all white. It was depressing. I still go there to visit and walk around at night–about the only one–and don’t have any vigilantes driving around.I am white so that may not matter in any case. Even though the neighborhood is not entirely white now, there are few/no problems except for Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons coming around and I gladly piss them off.

    I wonder what Americans are so afraid of. Do they really think they live better in gated communities, sometimes with private “security” guards? These gated communities often have strict rules about the color of your house or not having a basketball hoop on the garage. Then they are the ones who complain about big government overregulation on basic necessities on things like drinkable water!

    America is just bizarre now.

  196. says

    Especially if sifting through his entire life, he is found to not be a fucking saint because in America only complete fucking saintly black children have the right to not get shot for walking down the wrong fucking street wearing the wrong fucking clothes.

    Not only that, but Zimmerman has a demonstrated history of violent behavior – assaulting a cop, assaulting a girlfriend, allegations of molestation of his young cousin – the sort of thing that would instantly send a black man to prison, were he put in a similar situation to Zimmerman.

  197. =8)-DX says

    the sort of thing that would instantly send a black man to prison, were he put in a similar situation to Zimmerman.

    On thing that strikes me here is – taking into account the discrimination, racism: the injustice of any given legal system, how does one work to remove these disparities? For any given case a number of things are at play:

    A) Minority group perpetrators get higher sentences.
    B) Minority group victims are ignored.
    C) Dominant group perpetrators get lower sentences (and a fairer hearing of their case).
    D) Dominant group victims are treated with utmost importance and urgency (the harm done to them is never dismissed).
    E) Whatever their mutual perpetrator-victim relationship, dominant group members are always treated as more trustworthy and less likely to commit a crime when paired with a minority group member in a trial.

    Now it seems to me that similarly to other situations of systemic discrimination, the ideal world would have problems A and B disappear, and minority groups would receive the same treatment as the current dominant group does. The underprivileged would be provided with those advantages the privileged take for granted.
    In that case, should jury members / lawyers / court officials aware of the problem:

    1.   …push for more strict verdicts for C) and less due dilligence for D)?
    2.   …try to instead of C) and D) treat minorities like cases of A) and B)?
    3.   …be biased towards minorities in cases of E)?

    I’m pretty sure about 2. & 3., but I’m not so sure about 1. In line with everything else, wouldn’t minorities being treated with the same due dilligence, assumption of innocence, trust and lenience be a solution. And aren’t some people in a way asking for 1. in regards to Zimmerman?

  198. David Marjanović says

    However there are neighborhood watches everywhere who report and observe suspicious persons behind homes all the time, regardless of race, without being called racists. Even Zimmerman’s comment, as quoted, makes no mention of race. He and the neighborhood had a significant reason to be suspicious of young men, of any color, in that area.

    …Wow.

    What kind of failed state do you live in, that 1) you can act as if police didn’t even exist and 2) there’s a reasonably high probability that you’ll actually see a criminal?

    Incidentally, I think any intelligent person would understand ‘rehabilitation’ from the context

    What in the fuck?

    I had six years of Latin, I know mens rea and understood actus reus immediately – and I had no idea what “rehabilitation” might possibly mean in that sentence, unless something related to the medical use of the word or the sense used in comment 225.

    and I didn’t see any intent to confuse.

    Oh, neither do I. I see reckless negligence about causing confusion!

    The point is for Chas to be a contrarian douche, as per usual.

    ~:-| No. He’s just more literal than you. Could you really argue in court that “we don’t need you to do that” was an order not to “do that”, and that “doing that” anyway meant getting in trouble with the law?

    Or is that how orders are expressed in Florida? After all, “why don’t you” is an order in much of the US and probably beyond, and that’s not something I’d have guessed without context.

    All it does is change the narrative from “irrational, racist, reckless, vigilante douchebag ignores police orders’ to ‘irrational, racist, reckless, vigilante douchebag ignores advice’. At the end of the day, what difference does that make?

    SIWOTI syndrome.

    A question to the person who says the police dispatcher was only offering a suggestion when Zimmerman was told to stop following Martin – if the police stop your car and say, “Would you please get out of your car?” do you consider that an order and do so or a suggestion and just drive away?

    If, on the other hand, they only say “we don’t need you driving on”, you’d just be confused, wouldn’t you?

    Right. And his official excuse? He wasn’t following Martin, he was walking the same way Martin went, looking for a street sign so he could give the proper location to the police.

    *headdesk*

    THE STUPID! IT BURNS!

    It’s worse than unamerican, it’s poor american. We even have a slur for white people who are poor, that’s how much we hate poor people.

    I was quite shocked when I encountered the term white trash for the first time.

    Not only that, but Zimmerman has a demonstrated history of violent behavior – assaulting a cop, assaulting a girlfriend, allegations of molestation of his young cousin – the sort of thing that would instantly send a black man to prison, were he put in a similar situation to Zimmerman.

    Oh, wonderful.

  199. says

    One thing that astounds me trhoughout this whole topic is something mentioned on the very beginning – that for self defense claim to be succesful in Florida, it is sufficient to show that hypothetical scenario of self defense cannot be ruled out beyond reasonable doubt.[sacracasm] This might me my degenerated post-communist backwards european thinking [/sarcasm], but such law seems totaly backwards to me. One person is dead. The person who killed them should prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that this was the best and only option how to resolve the conflict, not the other way around. That might make it harder for some who find themselves in the unfortunate state of affairs and kill someone in real defense, sure. But it makes it much, much harder for some racist ashole to kill some black kid on the whim and subsequently offer some ridiculous ad hoc scenario and get off the hook completely.

  200. CaitieCat says

    Charly, I think that’s a bit facile. Even assuming away the problem of “innocent until proven guilty”, I find it hard to imagine that your version of the law wouldn’t end up working the way the law does now: you are innocent until proven not-white.

    In other words, every time a Black man happened to be around when a white man ended up dead, you’d find that “show me why I shouldn’t think you did it” will become a nightmare of injustice.

    It’s a nice idea, but I think that it doesn’t account for the systematic and structural apparatus that racism expresses itself through: the judges and juries and prosecutors and police and defence attorneys would still be the same racist folk they are (and I don’t exclude myself here, nor am I saying they are especially prone to it; just acknowledging that it is, i believe, pretty much impossible to grow to age in our society without internalizing some racism, some misogyny, some homophobia, et c.. There are too many people still in denial that this is the way society is, for us to be able to fix things simply by changing the way we approach certain trials. It’s much, much deeper problem, and until people begin to recognize this in themselves, and admit to it, it’s going to be very hard to fix the system.

  201. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    in most common law jurisdictions, the prosecution proves the homicide beyond a reasonable doubt, then the defendant pleading self-defense is required to prove self-defense only to the barest majority of the evidenee This is consistent with the principle of innocent-until-proven-guilty.

    I’ve been thinking about that off & on since I learned it, and I’m still not sure I can come up with a better way. However, where there is no evidence directly on point save the defendant’s assertion, self-defense still becomes a nightmare of stereotypes and prejudices influencing perceptions of tendencies towards violence and dishonesty. Ugh. This is an aspect of the justice system where I haven’t yet really any good ideas on how to improve it.

  202. =8)-DX says

    CatieCat – we actually have a different legal system in the Czech Republic (think Charly is from there too), where there is a much greater burden of proof on the perpetrators of violence. For instance we have degrees of harm: to property, health and life. You are justified in self-defence only to the degree that you can show reasonable threat to the same degree of harm as you are handing out. If a pickpocket grabs your purse, you aren’t allowed to beat the shit out of them or kill them. If a mugger attacks you, you can fight back, but aren’t allowed to kill them. Only if your life is directly threatened, is murder allowed as self-defence. This also influences when you’re allowed to pull a gun, and I’m not 100% sure, but pointing a gun (or replica) at someone is considered a criminal offence (just as carrying a loaded firearm).

    We have cases of people being convicted for killing or beating the shit out of their assailants/robbers. But we also treat killing someone a lot more seriously here. And yes, there are problems of racial/minority groups here, but when I hear the cries of “they just let him of because he’s a gypsy!”, I’m always thankful that we’re not as bad off as many parts of the US seem.

    When I first read of the Florida “Stand your ground” law, I couldn’t believe it: I thought Florida was in the East, not the Wild Wild West…

  203. =8)-DX says

    And of course we have pleanty of libertarian/”liberal” types who want things to be more like in the worst parts of the US (more guns, freedom to shoot people, get rid of universal healthcare, less taxes, tax the poor, no social safety net, etc. etc. etc.)

  204. David Marjanović says

    You are justified in self-defence only to the degree that you can show reasonable threat to the same degree of harm as you are handing out. If a pickpocket grabs your purse, you aren’t allowed to beat the shit out of them or kill them. If a mugger attacks you, you can fight back, but aren’t allowed to kill them. Only if your life is directly threatened, is murder allowed as self-defence.

    Pretty much the same over here: excess of self-defense is a crime.

  205. CaitieCat says

    Thanks for that, DX; I didn’t know that about the Czech Republic. I think the Canadian law is fairly similar, though I defer to CripDyke on that, cause it seems like she’s got the collegeknowledge for Canadian law. The Florida law is just horrifying to me.

    It’s because of that stricter standard in Canada, btw, that I never reported the one time I was sexually assaulted on the street, literally by a man jumping from behind a hedge. The incident ended very badly for him, and I had no confidence whatsoever that a trans woman would get a fair hearing, given that my self-defence had gotten rather…harsh, shall we say, on my attacker. That is to say, I spent the next few days anxiously checking the news reports to see if he’d turned up in hospital or worse. It was very much a case of the metaphorical “red mist descending” situation: we were in a particular position, and things were going badly for me, and the next time I remember was seeing him on his knees on the sidewalk looking very much the worse for wear.

    Given this was also 1992, and a long, long way from trans people being held in appropriate jails, I had a whole ‘nother layer of worry to it as well. Since I wasn’t able (at the time, this has been changed since) to get my ID updated without having surgery (which i couldn’t afford), there was a good chance I’d have been held in the men’s side of the jail, with all that can imply. :/

  206. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    CaitieCat:

    Ooof. I know what it’s like to be a trans woman afraid to report a crime, but not with such a substantial risk of being incarcerated. That must have been terrifying.

    Canada, btw, is very much a State that requires proportionality between the threat and the force employed in defense. However there is more slack in Canada than in many European states. In particular, the easy access to legal firearms has meant that lethal force is accepted against very dangerous threats that are nonetheless a lot less likely to kill than a gun.

    In the US there is even more leeway. Plus, leeway is state by state, and the reading I’ve done in the last couple days (I haven’t read any FL criminal law before now) seems to indicate a lot more leeway than Oregon, where I lived before moving to Canada. I have no idea if it is among the states with the most leeway, but gun vs. unarmed man pretty routinely (though not automatically) disqualifies it as self defense in a number of states. So it’s pretty far from the lower bound, even the lower bound in the US.

  207. =8)-DX says

    Thanks for that, DX; I didn’t know that about the Czech Republic.

    A lawyer would explain things much better, but suffice to say we have Civil law, not Common law. And in many situations the same state of affairs has been arrived at from a different legal framework.

    Pretty much the same over here: excess of self-defense is a crime.

    The same basic principles apply (albeit in a different legal system), I was trying to express the degree of difference.
    Examples of cases we’ve had:
    X’s weekend cottage is repeatedly broken into: X sets up a crossbow trap and the intruder is hauled off to hospital with sever chest wounds. X ends up in prison.
    X attacked by pickpocket who grabs X’s purse. X’s dog then chases and bites perp. X is prosecuted for assault, perp is free to go because X’s purse contained only the misdemeanor sum of money.

  208. elind says

    So some here think “fuck off” is a valid argument, along with making up facts that suit them.

    The simple facts are as shown by the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, that Martin assaulted Zimmerman.

    Zimmerman should have stayed in his car, and he should not have been carrying a gun, but he did nothing illegal.

    Martin could have stopped and said who he was or he could easily have avoided any confrontation by distancing himself from Zimmerman even by running from a smaller and chubby guy who was no threat to the much larger Martin and there is zero evidence that Zimmerman tried to physically accost Martin, nor is it reasonable to think he would given that he was carrying a gun.

    All those who think this was a racist issue should remember that “punk” is not racist, but Martin on the other hand called Zimmerman a creepy ass cracker, which can be a derogatory racist term for whites in certain circumstances.

    Both men placed themselves in harms way, but the evidence says that Martin did so deliberately.

    It’s a sad end, but the facts are what they are.

  209. =8)-DX says

    And CatieCat: I’m unable to imagine how horrible your sexual assault must have been like, but I sympathise with your anguish at even considering calling the police as a trans woman. This stuff should end.

  210. =8)-DX says

    So some here think “fuck off” is a valid argument, along with making up facts that suit them.

    1) No, they don’t. It’s an insult and a request to leave – that’s how it was used in response to you.
    2) Obviously (at least on this thread) the facts are in dispute. Some things were offered as evidence at the trial and were interpreted in a certain way by the jury. People are disputing both that interpretation and what actually happened (the facts).

    If we knew all the facts, it would be equivalent to standing next to Zimmerman as he pulled the trigger. We don’t. Due to the nature of the case, the “facts” are pieces of evidence and testimony.

    Furthermore your “All those who think this was a racist issue should remember that “punk” is not racist” is a non-sequitor. What you need to argue against is the idea that in every single part of the case, George Zimmerman was evaluated as a white-skinned person and Trayvon Martin as a black-skinned one. Even if Zimmerman did not act in a way equatable with racist hate, the whole case is wrought through and through with racist issues, just as it would have been if the situation was reversed.

  211. says

    No one can reasonably celebrate the system “working” in a case like this

    of course they can. If there was a trial, and there was no blatantly illegal behavior during the trial by either prosecution or defense (or the jury, or the judge), and if a verdict was handed down that will be obeyed without social breakdown/riots/etc., then the system is working. It’s not just by any reasonable meaning of the word, but it definitely “works”. And people who are employed within it and have to function within it have the strongest motivation for system justification, so too many of them end up with the “no choice” or “it works” line of BS.

    There’s various reasons for a person to be unreliable. They can be irresponsible, not respect authority, be suspicious of the legal system

    so people who are systematically abused by the law are by that definition always unreliable. interesting how that works out, innit.

    I’m afraid that I too see no way the jury could have convicted.

    I do, since they do it all the time in situations when the person at the deadly end of the gun is white.

    I doubt Zimmerman had the guts to chase anyone.

    he didn’t need guts; he had a gun and he wasn’t black. no courage required, to chase after an unarmed black teen in that situation.

    following a suspicious character in the darkthere was nothing “suspicious” about a teen walking around with some snack foods. unless you’re another one who thinks everything “different” is automatically “suspicious”.

    Any normal person, except perhaps one who lived in a neigborhood where people sleep in the day and go wandering at night, would understand that walking behind homes in the rain at night could be deemed suspicious

    you basically just described a sundown town. non-bigoted places, there’s nothing suspicious about walking anywhere at 7pm; not even in neighborhoods that roll up the sidewalks right after dinner. Hell, in non-bigoted places it’s not suspicious to walk anywhere in the middle of the night either.

    It would require a thought as to why and the initial thought as to why should be obvious to most people.

    it is obvious to most people: namely, that being a black guy in a place like Florida is dangerous because it’s full of dangerous racists.

    I do not consider most reasonable people would see that as “threatening” under the circumstances.

    being followed by a guy at night? I’d be scared shitless.

    I do not find being observed in circumstances that any normal person would recognize as being possibly suspicious

    there’s nothing suspicious about what the kid did. nowhere reasonable is it “suspicious” to be walking around a neighborhood even in the middle of the night.

    If I walked in the dark and rain in the alley behind houses instead of the main road which I could have taken I would automatically assume that anyone who saw me would wonder what I was doing there

    you’re weird. what is suspicious about taking a way different from the main street? If you’re not supposed to walk in the alley, why is it there?

    It happens all the time by concerned citizens and reasonable people do not call that aggression.

    reasonable people don’t stalk others for no other reason than because they used a road that isn’t the main road, after dark. And reasonable people don’t find it reasonable to do that, but creepy. You’re not a reasonable person.

  212. minnik says

    elind:

    There nothing illegal in following a suspicious person in a residential neighborhood. It happens all the time by concerned citizens and reasonable people do not call that aggression. Do you have a dictionary?

    It might not be illegal, but it could warrant self defence. That would depend in what way it is done and under what circumstances; after all, many attacks begin by following someone.
    .
    Here is another example where self defence was necessary although the perpetrators were not doing anything illegal: there were three men talking with each other about what they would do. At one point, I realized that they were talking about me. Although they did not say so explicitly. Just the way they were looking at me. They were describing, in detail, how they were going to attack me. I knew that it would work, and that I could soon die. I was very lucky because at one point some people appeared and I could get away; otherwise, I wouldn’t have had a chance.
    .
    Had I had a gun then, I would have used it in self defence as soon as I realized what situation I was in. If I had waited for any of them to physically grab me before i shot, chances are that I maybe could have fired one shot before another one of them pulled the gun away from me and hurt me.

    Now, how a court would view such a shooting I don’t know, but I certainly *should* have been able to do so legally in self defence as under those circumstances, that was my only option.

    aluchko:

    It’s not that Zimmerman didn’t have opportunities to defuse the incident. It’s that his failure to defuse doesn’t make him a murderer.

    Following someone around makes you an asshole, but unless you do more to provoke them just following doesn’t give them the right to attack you.

    If you are following someone in an environment where the other person might not feel safe and that person begins a physical altercation with you, it means that you were following that person at a *very* close distance. Not a distance to just observe in order to tell the police where the person went or to see that they are not doing anything wrong. WHY would you follow or run after someone and get very close to them without any possible reasonable explanation (like going after someone because you saw their phone fall out of their pocket and want to give it back to them), in a situation that they do not have personal safety? Should anyone with no ill intentions do that – *no*, because there is no reason for it. Which makes it easy to assume that the pursuing person has ill intentions. Someone who is a civilian who can stop another person to prevent immediate harm to another being should do so, but can’t order around people to stop just because they want them to.
    .
    I’m not implying that that is what happened between Zimmerman and Martin, just that Zimmerman did more than “follow and not diffuse the incident”; he got *very* close to Martin. Whatever his intentions were, this can be read as threatening behavior given the circumstances: following Martin earlier and the secluded path they were on. In such a situation it may be optional for someone to face the pursuer and to try to fight them off, because you may not have any options that would be safer. I don’t know how courts would deem it, but following *and* getting close to the person followed is not the same as “just following”, and this could absolutely force or frighten someone into defending themselves, also physically.

  213. =8)-DX says

    I’m afraid that I too see no way the jury could have convicted.

    I do, since they do it all the time in situations when the person at the deadly end of the gun is white.

    I’d be interested if you’d see my 1) @ #228 comment as a problem here. Is it OK to ask for white (cis, male, middle-class) people to get the same bad convictions/justice as blacks/minorities/others, or should one deride only the bad treatment of the underprivileged – (Trayvon here – and had he been, as a victim, treated as a white person, I think it would have made much more difference than treating Zimmerman as badly as black defendants are).

  214. Tapetum, Raddled Harridan says

    elind – others can address other parts of your argument, but “a smaller and chubby guy who was no threat to the much larger Martin” is straight up bull that I can address with some authority. Martin was taller than Zimmerman, not bigger. Indeed he was a good deal lighter weight. As it happens, I am almost exactly Zimmerman’s height and weight. (5’8″, about 200 lbs.), and in the dojo I attend there is an 18-year-old black belt who is almost exactly Martin’s height and weight (6′ and about 165 lbs.). To increase the disparity somewhat, I’m female, and a few years older than Zimmerman. I still beat him on the mat a good 2 out of 3 times, and he’s afraid of me, not vice versa. I do expect this to change sometime in the not too distant future, but it hasn’t happened yet. That forty pounds of additional weight counts for a lot when you know how to use it.

    Zimmerman apparently did some MMA, and if he was even halfway decent at it, he could definitely be a threat to Martin, even without the gun. With the gun, there’s very little question about who was a threat to whom. Pudgy and older doesn’t mean they can’t fight, or are harmless.

  215. says

    The simple facts are as shown by the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, that Martin assaulted Zimmerman.

    actually no. the evidence shows that Martin inflicted minor injuries to Zimmerman, while Zimmerman shit Martin dead. The directionality of the assault is pure speculation, and largely based on bullshit and bias.

    nor is it reasonable to think he would given that he was carrying a gun.

    this is ass-backwards. carrying a gun is a good way to give faux courage to bigoted assholes with hero-complexes.

    All those who think this was a racist issue should remember that “punk” is not racist, but Martin on the other hand called Zimmerman a creepy ass cracker, which can be a derogatory racist term for whites in certain circumstances.

    oh yeah. that dreaded reverse racism, so dangerous.
    And it’s pure bullshit to claim that the “punk” comment is the totality of evidence for Zimmerman’s racism. You’re bullshitting to defend a racist who killed a kid. You’re not just not a reasonable person, you’re an asshole.

    Both men placed themselves in harms way, but the evidence says that Martin did so deliberately.

    this is exactly backwards. you’re bullshitting in defense of a killer.

  216. says

    I’d be interested if you’d see my 1) @ #228 comment as a problem here. Is it OK to ask for white (cis, male, middle-class) people to get the same bad convictions/justice as blacks/minorities/others,

    I’m not asking for “the same bad convictions”, I’m calling bullshit on the claim that there couldn’t have been different verdict. You see, the bias doesn’t just go one way. It’s not just that black defendants are convicted for almost nothing; it’s also that the killing of a black guy when you’re not black gets you excessive leniency. These are both bullshit and wrong.

  217. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    One of the problems, =8)-DX, is that it’s very difficult to know whether whites are convicted more accurately, less accurately, or with the same quantitative divergence but opposite sign.

    What we want is for whites to be convicted when they are actually guilty and not when they actually are not.
    We want blacks to be convicted when they are actually guilty and not when they actually are not. It’s really hard to get statistics on how “fair” such trials are. This is true in no small part because the legal profession goes higgledy-piggledy at the suggestion that injustice might happen in a courtroom.

    Me? Okay, I”ve been going gangbusters here with my thoughts on criminal justice reform, I might as well throw out another pie-in-the-sky idea (or maybe just make my existing pie higher?):

    We need to run experiments. We need to have the trial transcripts of situations in which we know for sure what the factual state of guilt is (a reliable confession was thrown out as evidence, but helped to confirm the factual guilt, or a post-trial DNA test later confirmed innocence, etc.). Then we need practiced barristers to act out the entire process, from jury selection to verdict, without the jurors knowing that the trial is rehearsed. Run the same trial 30 or so times with different racial mixes of defendant & victim. Do this for a number of trials, perhaps a dozen.

    It’s expensive, sure, but it gives you information on exactly how much race influences justice. It gives some idea of how often false convictions and false acquittals occur. As a side benefit, it might even give you a better idea of which employees are better in a courtroom.

    It would also hopefully give us a way to reduce false convictions over time, while hopefully also reducing false acquittals. This would mean that we were spending our corrections resources much more efficiently, which would then save money, probably lots of it.

    A smart minister of justice would recognize this as a way to save money over time, but I doubt it will happen any time in the next 20 years.

    But a tranny can dream, can’t ze?

  218. guyincognito says

    A couple of questions that I had:

    1) If your neighborhood had experienced a number of recent burglaries and attempted break-ins, would someone walking around in the rain, cutting through yards arouse any suspicion?

    2) Is it unlawful to follow a suspicious person in your neighborhood and aid the police department by relaying their current position and physical description?

    3) Is there any evidence that GZ pulled out his gun and threatened TM or attempted to physically detain him while waiting for the police officers to respond?

    4) Is it unlawful to carry a licensed handgun for the purpose of defending yourself against great bodily harm.

    5) If you were being held on the ground by a physical equal or superior and the unlucky recipient of multiple blows to your head, how would you decide whether or not you were going to sustain serious permanent damage (brain damage, coma, death, etc.) and if lethal force was justified?

    I’m not going to argue that racism doesn’t exist in America, but racism isn’t what was on trial.

    Meanwhile, since the TM shooting in February of 2012, 480 blacks have been murdered in Chicago, IL (USA) alone. Where is the outrage over that? Where are the protests in the street? Is it not blogworthy because it’s just blacks killing other blacks?

  219. =8)-DX says

    @Jadehawk:
    Ok, so E).

    The simple facts are as shown by the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, that Martin assaulted Zimmerman.

    actually no. the evidence shows that Martin inflicted minor injuries to Zimmerman, while Zimmerman shit Martin dead. The directionality of the assault is pure speculation, and largely based on bullshit and bias.

    And that’s the problem – different people (and obviously the jury) interpret different parts of the evidence as “facts”, as well as evidence not presented at the trial that many people interpret as factual. =(

  220. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Lots of Black people get killed by white folk without it making the news.

    You are completely missing that there had been great outrage over SYG laws before this in FL, that communities of color had warned legislators that it would lead to English speakers perceived as white getting off inappropriately while not aiding people of color who are more often convicted inappropriately, and that this scenario played out without an arrest being made when self-defense is properly a subject for trial in all but the most ridiculously clear cut cases…but the cops and prosecutors didn’t even consider indicting him.

    After having a narrative that perfectly illustrated the longstanding claims of critics, SYG critics (disproportionately people of color) jumped on the case. They would not have done that for a white on Black drug-related execution. They did it because the case had particular political import in changing a law SYG critics saw as racist and deeply unfair. People with expertise in the legal system can look at stats that have been linked to elsewhere showing that in states with SYG laws, whites get acquitted at higher rates than Black defendants in SYG states and than whites in non-SYG states. In fact, the whites from non-SYG states are acquitted 250% more often than all Blacks, and the whites from SYG states are acquitted 350% more often in SYG states. Neither is a small discrepancy.

    Thus the case got national media play.

    It’s not hard to explain and doesn’t require reverse-racist conspiracies to do so.

  221. CaitieCat says

    It’s not hard to explain and doesn’t require reverse-racist conspiracies to do so.

    Yeah, but you’re missing the feel-good factor: some white people have to find ways to make it anything but the racism, because if it’s the racism, then that might mean that some white people are racist, when we all know that all the racism is committed by Black men getting themselves shot dead just so they can get some bigoted asshole with a history of criminal violence in trouble with the law. That’s why this verdict was such a clear vindication of how white people are totally not racist ever, and thus the ‘feel-good’ factor: if these people aren’t racist, then $RANDOM_WHITEY sure isn’t. Whew.

    Fuck, I feel dirty even parodying that white supremacist shit.

  222. =8)-DX says

    @Crip Dyke

    It’s expensive, sure, but it gives you information on exactly how much race influences justice.
    [..]
    A smart minister of justice would recognize this as a way to save money over time, but I doubt it will happen any time in the next 20 years.

    Such studies cost money and require there to be a public (or at least expert) push for change in this area. I’m not sure about youre “saving money over time” idea. More like: “leading to better justice in the long run”. Or are you talking about saving money by reducing the number of falsely accused people of colour or for other discriminatory reasons entering the prison system?

    @guyincognito

    I’m not going to argue that racism doesn’t exist in America, but racism isn’t what was on trial.
    Meanwhile, since the TM shooting in February of 2012, 480 blacks have been murdered in Chicago, IL (USA) alone. Where is the outrage over that? Where are the protests in the street? Is it not blogworthy because it’s just blacks killing other blacks?

    Dude, I’m guessing you haven’t read the entire thread. If so, you’re probably prepared for the shitstorm you’ve just entered. I’m only hoping you’re a fly-by troll, otherwise you’re in for a whole load of it.

    >> racism isn’t what was on trial.
    The entire incident, the public outcry as well as the court perception of events were all coloured by racism. Ignoring that is racist.
    >>480 blacks have been murdered in Chicago, IL
    Why is this relevant? Do black people killing black people somehow reduce the overall, pervasive, everyday racism of a society? If no black person ever killed a black person, would this trial be different? Total non-sequitor. And a standard racism-apologist non-sequitor at that.

  223. Chris Gauthier says

    Delurking to explain to elind that “Fuck off”, isn’t an argument. The people here saying that, after making several good arguments that were ignored or brushed aside, decided that you were too callous and dishonest for any more case-making to be worth the effort. In essence, they no longer give any shits about your opinion and asked you to leave with deliberate, measured rudeness. Whining about it says a lot more about your need to be respected by these people (or troll them) than it does about their ability to make an argument. If you are so much better than these folks, why keep wasting your time trying to be understood?

    You could always just fuck off.

  224. =8)-DX says

    *pokes Chris Gauthier
    Lurker-delurker! (better than my own previous *lurker, de- oops hit over head with spiked porcupine* status)

  225. carlie says

    Is there any evidence that GZ pulled out his gun and threatened TM or attempted to physically detain him while waiting for the police officers to respond?

    I’d say the fatal gunshot wound is pretty good evidence that GZ pulled out his gun on TM before the police responded, yes.

  226. guyincognito says

    =8)-DX
    Dude, I’m guessing you haven’t read the entire thread. If so, you’re probably prepared for the shitstorm you’ve just entered. I’m only hoping you’re a fly-by troll, otherwise you’re in for a whole load of it.

    Thanks for the concern. I’m not sensitive. I can handle the “FUCK OFF” responses from people with small brains who have nothing better to contribute.

    =8)-DX
    Why is this relevant? Do black people killing black people somehow reduce the overall, pervasive, everyday racism of a society? If no black person ever killed a black person, would this trial be different? Total non-sequitor. And a standard racism-apologist non-sequitor at that.

    Maybe it’s a naive wish on my part, that people would show the same outrage over what I perceive to be legitimate racism, allowing an entire generation of blacks to go without adequate nutrition, education and a safe childhood… only to end up dead, an unequal footing in the employment world or another tax subsidy for the prison system.

    Oh, but those things are all much more difficult to address and fix than convicting a single person of murder (when there wasn’t any evidence to support that charge). That ought to set things right and show American and the rest of the world that we’re living in a “post racial world”! ::roll-eyes::

    So I guess we’ll all just whine, argue and protest for the low hanging fruit…

  227. =8)-DX says

    over what I perceive to be legitimate racism

    What is your definition of “legitimate racism”?

    things are all much more difficult to address and fix than convicting a single person of murder (when there wasn’t any evidence to support that charge).

    So you think that racism was not an issue in the Trayvon Marting / George Zimmerman case/event/murder? So you think that public advocacy and protest against individual examples of racist laws and legal systems is not an effective way to push for change in these areas? So you think there is no systematic cultural racism that impacts the US legal system and that this isn’t a problem on par with “, allowing an entire generation of blacks to go without adequate nutrition, education and a safe childhood… only to end up dead, an unequal footing in the employment world or another tax subsidy for the prison system.”

  228. says

    Pudgy and older doesn’t mean they can’t fight, or are harmless.

    I remember seeing the photos of Zimmerman immediately after he shot Martin. He didn’t strike me as particularly pudgy. He gained a lot of weight after he went to jail.

  229. =8)-DX says

    Also @guyincognito,
    in’t Trayvon Martin part of that generation? Didn’t he end up – without a safe childhood – dead? I guess you can say he wasn’t too strenuous a tax subsidy for the prison system, since Zimmerman was released on bail and is now free to walk.

  230. guyincognito says

    carlie
    I’d say the fatal gunshot wound is pretty good evidence that GZ pulled out his gun on TM before the police responded, yes.

    I apologize if the question isn’t clear.

    Let me try to clarify it:

    Is there evidence or witness testimony that GZ pulled out his gun and/or physically tried to detain TM before witness testimony (and GZ’s statement to the police) indicates that he was lying on the ground under TM on the ground and TM was physically striking him?

    I’ll add another question:

    6) Is it possible that GZ bloodied the back of his own head [1] and broke his own nose [2], in the minute after TM was shot and before the police arrived?

    [1] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/George_Zimmerman_back_of_head.jpg
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:George_Zimmerman_front_of_head.jpg

  231. Rey Fox says

    So I guess we’ll all just whine, argue and protest for the low hanging fruit…

    Oh fuck off.

  232. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @guy incognito:

    those things are all much more difficult to address and fix than convicting a single person of murder

    If you’ve been paying any attention at all, I’m trying to change the entire legal systems approach to doing business, to get it to accept that it is necessarily unjust as humans are involved, but that it need not be systematically and frequently unjust, and that empiricism and experiment, combined with actions targeted to change the institutions of law when that E & E reveal systemic problems’ existence or nature or magnitude.

    Do you have any idea how difficult it will be to change the Court’s attitude towards dress codes in my lifetime, much less get it to embrace experimental identification of racial bias in conviction rates?

    You think that getting food problems implemented and/or improved is going to be more difficult than that?

    Your arrogance, ignorance, and self-iimportance are noted.

  233. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    So some here think “fuck off” is a valid argument, along with making up facts that suit them.

    As has been said, “fuck off” is not, nor is it intended, to be an argument.

    The simple facts are as shown by the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, that Martin assaulted Zimmerman.

    No, they don’t. You are, objectively, a liar.

    Zimmerman should have stayed in his car, and he should not have been carrying a gun, but he did nothing illegal.

    Stalking and murder are both illegal, dipshit.

    Martin could have stopped and said who he was

    He had no obligation to do that. If someone follows you at night, doesn’t identify themselves or show they’re a police officer or someone who has the authority to question you like that, then you don’t have to answer them. You can ignore them, you can tell them to fuck off and get away from you. The fact that you think a black boy walking down the street should’ve done whatever the white man wanted makes me think you’re a goddamn racist, among other things.

    or he could easily have avoided any confrontation by distancing himself from Zimmerman even by running from a smaller and chubby guy who was no threat to the much larger Martin and there is zero evidence that Zimmerman tried to physically accost Martin, nor is it reasonable to think he would given that he was carrying a gun.

    Martin shouldn’t have run, or he should have, he shouldn’t have been out at night, or wearing a hoodie, or been scared by the fact that he was being stalked, or made the mistake of existing while black. Meanwhile, there is ZERO DISCUSSION about what the perpetrator should’ve done to avoid the situation, starting with NOT SHOOTING SOMEONE. Asshole.

    All those who think this was a racist issue should remember that “punk” is not racist, but Martin on the other hand called Zimmerman a creepy ass cracker, which can be a derogatory racist term for whites in certain circumstances.

    call me when white people being called “cracker” results in anything other than butthurt internet posts about reverse racism, okay?

    Both men placed themselves in harms way, but the evidence says that Martin did so deliberately.

    Okay, so, now it’s both of their faults? And Martin’s position is WORSE? Do you understand now why I told you to fuck off? Because apparently you don’t. FUCK. OFF.

    It’s a sad end, but the facts are what they are.

    Seriously, fuck you.

  234. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @=8)-DX, #254

    It saves money by:

    1. spending incarceration funds only on those who deserve incarceration
    2. actually incarcerates guilty people who would otherwise be inappropriately released and commit more crimes. While we do spend the incarceration money here, we save huge amounts on the costs of each trial we avoid b/c of the savings of not having the economic/physical injury related to the crime occur, not spending money on police, court time, court officer time, etc.
    3. If we are using a similar empirical approach to corrections, our education/anti-recidivism programs will be more effective, and they won’t be wasted on people who aren’t actually in need of them.
    4. Some folk who go to prison under unfair circumstances conclude that they might as well do crime, since they are already doing the time. This eliminates a corrupting force. The quantity of that force’s costs is unknown at present, but it’s another source of savings.
    5. More trust in the legal system reduces social stress, which has all sorts of positive benefits, some of them economic.

    While I can’t guarantee that an experimental program will return on the investment, the only way to actually quantify things is to try it…and when it is implemented in other fields previously resistant to experiment and empiricism (like psychology, like military training, etc.) it inevitably identified positive changes that made the organization more effective, more ethical, and more cost effective at the same time. When this result is repeated in many places, it requires a rejection of the null hypothesis to assume that the results in the legal system would be different.

  235. guyincognito says

    =8)-DX

    So you think that racism was not an issue in the Trayvon Marting / George Zimmerman case/event/murder? So you think that public advocacy and protest against individual examples of racist laws and legal systems is not an effective way to push for change in these areas? So you think there is no systematic cultural racism that impacts the US legal system and that this isn’t a problem on par with “, allowing an entire generation of blacks to go without adequate nutrition, education and a safe childhood… only to end up dead, an unequal footing in the employment world or another tax subsidy for the prison system.”

    I think racism is being artificially injected into the case. For what reason? I do not know other than what I’ve already speculated on. Maybe it’s a planned media distraction to distort our attention away from illegitimate wars, domestic spying by the government, the theft of a nation by private banks and lenders, a failed drug war that hurts more than it helps, the erosion of jobs for unskilled workers, an education system that favors anything but the children it’s supposed to be educating, bickering politicians who can’t agree on anything except on how to accept campaign donations from lobbyists, etc.

    The case is QUITE SIMPLY a test of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ rulings and the right for someone to defend themselves from physical harm from an attacker.

    If you want to concoct court cases where the races are reversed, let’s argue the KNOWN FACTS and OUTCOMES of those actual cases.

  236. CaitieCat says

    CripDyke, the first thing I thought of in the way of funding your experiment? Approach the Chinese and/or Russian governments. I’m sure they’d very much enjoy spending the fairly small amount of money you’d need (on a global-power-spending basis) on a project that’s almost certain to indict the USan “justice” system.

    Isn’t it odd how many of the original USA’s founding principles and lofty ideas now feel more accurately expressed with scare quotes? “Justice.” “Liberty.” “Equality.” “By the people, of the people, for the people.” “Shining City on a Hill.” “Enlightenment.”

    Or maybe it’s just…sad, rather than odd.

  237. says

    Elind:

    Both men placed themselves in harms way, but the evidence says that Martin did so deliberately.

    What the every loving fuck? Trayvon was walking home at 7 o’clock in the evening. He did not instigate the confrontation.

    I’m gonna go one step further than simply telling you to fuck off; I’m going to call you a piece of racist filth, then tell you to fuck off. So, fuck you, you piece of racist filth. The sooner you fuck off, the happier everyone is going to be.

  238. guyincognito says

    Chris Clarke
    guyincognito, I like your gravatar better in the original pointed white sheet.

    Good one, Chris!

  239. Rey Fox says

    Hey everybody, let’s drop everything and talk about what guy incognito wants us to talk about. After all, he is the arbiter of “legitimate racism”.

  240. says

    Maybe it’s a planned media distraction to distort our attention away from illegitimate wars, domestic spying by the government, the theft of a nation by private banks and lenders, a failed drug war that hurts more than it helps, the erosion of jobs for unskilled workers, an education system that favors anything but the children it’s supposed to be educating, bickering politicians who can’t agree on anything except on how to accept campaign donations from lobbyists, etc.

    Yes, that’s parsimonious. It’s a PLOT! People don’t ACTUALLY care about racism, it’s just a conspiracy! Because you know, systemic racism is a phenomenon that is 100% isolated from government abuses of power, joblessness, failing education systems, etc.

    The case is QUITE SIMPLY a test of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ rulings and the right for someone to defend themselves from physical harm from an attacker.

    The Stand Your Ground laws are racist in effect. That’s part of the case against them, and that’s part of the reason this case attracted attention in the first place.

  241. =8)-DX says

    The case is QUITE SIMPLY a test of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ rulings and the right for someone to defend themselves from physical harm from an attacker.

    Oh? I thought Zimmerman’s defence refused to make use of SYG and that the other two instances of this law being applicable were in the reluctance to even charge Zimmerman with murder (because a white race-profiling vigilante murderer must of course have been SYGing) and Trayvon Martin himself not being considered as having Stood His Ground against Zimmerman.

    But then for you it’s all really simple and easy. Just erase all the racial nonsense and suddenly it’s a clear-cut case where all the evidence fits neatly together. WRONG. Nothing is simple about this case and the need to take systemic and individual racism into account is one of the reasons.

  242. busterggi says

    Still waiting for elind to answer my question (see 189 above).

    Don’t expect an honest answer but would still like one.

    C’mon elind, we’ve all admired your nicely starched & bleached white hood long enough – you’ve even acquired a fellow Klavern member, some unknow guy – so how about answering my simple question?

  243. says

    Apparently one of the jurors – the one who’s planning on writing a book – is on TV right now, talking about how she considered testimony the judge told the jurors to disregard, found the jury instructions confusing, and thought Rachel Jeantal was “embarrassing.” Apparently the original jury vote count was 3 for not guilty, 2 for manslaughter, and 1 for 2nd degree murder.

    Strange, that, if the facts were really as clear-cut as our resident racists would have us believe.

  244. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @CatieCat, 271:

    yeah, and I’d be happy for that experiment to be run…but I’m talking about doing it in Canada, where I’m currently studying and intend to base my practice (albeit a practice I hope to make international).

    I doubt that there’s the same level of funding from China for embarrassing Canada. Moreover, you need actual judges and lawyers to conduct the mock trials. Actors wouldn’t really cut it unless they were very experienced in actual (not TV) courtrooms, and even then you want to control for all the variables you can – why risk a confound based in an actor’s behavior being different from a barrister’s behavior? Would the government entity controlling the courts permit its barristers (a state government in the US or the government of any other State, like Canada) to participate in a project funded by a foreign power who grants the money on the hope and expectation of embarrassment to that same court-controlling government entity?

    I think not.

    no, this has to be completely above board, with buy in from the government, with the goals focussed entirely on creating a better justice system – a system both more just and more efficient.

  245. =8)-DX says

    Plus once more: “legitimate racism”?
    WTF? Either you miswrote, or you stand behind that piece-of-shit phrase?
    guyincognito proudly stands next to Todd “legitimate rape” Akin, as

    GUY “legitimate racist” incognito!!!
    (do you wear a cape as well?)

  246. says

    Yeah, and apparently she was convinced that riots took place in Sanford prior to Zimmerman getting arrested. No such riots ever occurred.

    Fucking fantastic.

  247. says

    Sally:

    … thought Rachel Jeantal was “embarrassing.”

    Just out of curiosity, was the juror referring to the way she was treated or something else? ‘Cos that was fucking enraging.

  248. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I think racism is being artificially injected into the case. For what reason? I do not know other than what I’ve already speculated on

    Then read the F’n thread. Like, say, my #252 written in response to similar crap in your #250?

    But you’re too busy ignoring the actual information provided by your conversation partners to preserve your fragile conspiracy theories to go back and read for comprehension, aren’t you?

    Either read the thread or go jump in a lake. You are worse than useless around here if you’re not even reading for comprehension.

  249. says

    Al – just look up #JurorB37 on Twitter, you’ll get the full range of responses. But yeah, apparently she felt bad for Jeantal, on account of how un-educated she was, thought she shouldn’t have been there, and found her not credible as a result.

  250. guyincognito says

    =8)-DX

    But then for you it’s all really simple and easy. Just erase all the racial nonsense and suddenly it’s a clear-cut case where all the evidence fits neatly together. WRONG. Nothing is simple about this case and the need to take systemic and individual racism into account is one of the reasons.

    What if GZ and TM were both black and nearly everything else remained the same?

    Oh wait…

    Not guilty: The verdict in the manslaughter trial of Roderick Scott.

    After more than 19 hours of deliberations over two days, a jury acquitted the Greece man in the shooting death of Christopher Cervini, 17, last April.

    Scott says he acted in self defense when he confronted Cervini and two others saying they were stealing from neighbors cars. He told them he had a gun and ordered them to freeze and wait for police.

    Scott says he shot Cervini twice when the victim charged toward him yelling he was going to get Scott.

    Full story here: http://rochester.ynn.com/content/top_stories/490926/jury-finds-roderick-scott-not-guilty/

    I’m not arguing for a second that racism exists and is a problem in America or any communities in the world.

    I’m simply saying, examine the FACTS of the case and the known EVIDENCE that was presented.

    Look beyond the Black and Hispanic races of the two individuals involved.

  251. says

    Hispanic people come in all colors, since “Hispanic” denotes ethnicity rather than race.

    I fail to see what is gained by looking “beyond” race or ethnicity. Or even what that means. Let’s pretend they’re grey-skinned aliens! While we’re at it, why not pretend that Trayvon Martin is still alive.

  252. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @everyone except GuyIncognito:

    This joke is getting more nauseating by the minute. Ze doesn’t actually address substantial criticisms; ze doesn’t know the difference between racism and racial prejudice; ze only drops sludge around the thread as ze likes regardless of any substantive response or criticism.

    I’m out – it’s time to ignore these GI droppings.

  253. guyincognito says

    The outrage and protests shouldn’t be about race, it should be about “gun violence” and what constitutes lawful self-defense no matter what race you are.

    Evidence suggests that TM attacked GZ and inflicted a broken nose and lacerations to the back of his head.

    If GZ wasn’t armed with a gun (legally), TM would still be alive (and probably on trial for aggravated assault). But would GZ be alive and in what condition? Could he have suffered more serious injuries if TM had continued to punch him in the head? Look at the story about the drunken fool in NY who confronted a diner (minding his own business) at an outdoor patio and started saying a bunch of stupid racist things. The diner left his table and punched the idiot in the face which dropped him to the ground where he hit his head on the concrete. He’s now in serious condition at the hospital. [1] Repeated blows to the head can cause serious permanent brain damage, paralysis and even death.

    If GZ didn’t have a gun and wasn’t able to stop TM, what does his future look like? Does he escape with a few minor bruises or something much more serious?

    [1] http://m.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/man_gets_punched_out_after_yelling_p5WHbNs3vZENuZ20QuOXOP

  254. =8)-DX says

    What if GZ and TM were both black and nearly everything else remained the same?
    [..]Not guilty: The verdict in the manslaughter trial of Roderick Scott.

    Why is that relevant? If you’d read the thread, you’d know that people are pointing to examples of the racism in this particular case:

    1) Racial profiling by Zimmerman.
    2) Racism from the police/prosecution delaying arrest and criminal charges.
    3) The racism inherant the SYG law, also part of previous.
    4) Systematic racism as evident in the disparate convictions/leniency/trust/biases in cases with people of colour and white people – which should be taken into account in this case as well.
    5) Ignoring racist intent on the part of Zimmerman or fear of racist aggression from Trayvon Martin (see #191 >> “Unfortunately, in jurisdictions where demographic realities aren’t acknowledged, person means “white, cis, able-bodied, adult man”).

    Once more:

    If GZ and TM were both black and nearly everything else remained the same?

    The result would be different in court. And Trayvon may have still been alive in reality. Not to say that there aren’t people of colour affected by similar predjudice that Zimmerman

  255. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    Evidence suggests that TM attacked GZ and inflicted a broken nose and lacerations to the back of his head.

    If GZ wasn’t armed with a gun (legally), TM would still be alive (and probably on trial for aggravated assault).

    See, this is why I think you’re a racist bag of shit. The only “evidence” is that there are two pictures of Zimmerman having a bloody nose and possibly 2 extremely shallow cuts on the back of his head. Now, you’re not only assuming that Trayvon attacked first, but also that he wasn’t doing so to defend himself from someone threatening him. What conclusion should I draw from the fact that you jump to the most negative possible scenario about the victim other than that you’re a racist, victim-blaming asshole? Because I don’t see a good alternative. So you can fuck off, too.

  256. Anri says

    A couple of questions that I had:

    The Force tells me JAQing off is incoming… but let’s read anyway…

    1) If your neighborhood had experienced a number of recent burglaries and attempted break-ins, would someone walking around in the rain, cutting through yards arouse any suspicion?

    Yes.
    If it were your yard, and you had called the police, and they had told you to not follow the walking-at-night-person, would you take your handgun and follow him anyway?

    2) Is it unlawful to follow a suspicious person in your neighborhood and aid the police department by relaying their current position and physical description?

    Illegal? I doubt it.
    Is it stupid because it can get a 17-year-old unarmed kid killed? Yes.
    Which is more important to you? Breaking laws or killing kids?

    3) Is there any evidence that GZ pulled out his gun and threatened TM or attempted to physically detain him while waiting for the police officers to respond?

    We don’t know who threw the first punch.
    We only know who was walking home unarmed, and ended up dead, and who was following an unarmed kid and killed him.
    Oh, wait, we also know which one of them was black, and which one of them is not going to jail for killing someone.

    4) Is it unlawful to carry a licensed handgun for the purpose of defending yourself against great bodily harm.

    Is it unlawful to not follow someone to avoid great bodily harm to both you and them? If both actions are equally legal, and one results in the death of a 17-year old unarmed kid, which do you prefer and why?

    5) If you were being held on the ground by a physical equal or superior and the unlucky recipient of multiple blows to your head, how would you decide whether or not you were going to sustain serious permanent damage (brain damage, coma, death, etc.) and if lethal force was justified?

    I don’t follow kids around my neighborhood in the dark with a gun in my pocket, thus making it vastly less likely I’ll find myself in this situation. Would you say that’s a stupid decision on my part?

    I’m not going to argue that racism doesn’t exist in America, but racism isn’t what was on trial.

    So, you’re not telling us racism doesn’t exist, just that it has no bearing on the verdict of this case?
    Care to demonstrate that?
    A really good place to start would be to show that SYG and self-defense laws are equally successful for black defendants and non-black defendants.
    Wanna give that a shot? Or are you maybe just a little smarter than that?

    Meanwhile, since the TM shooting in February of 2012, 480 blacks have been murdered in Chicago, IL (USA) alone. Where is the outrage over that? Where are the protests in the street? Is it not blogworthy because it’s just blacks killing other blacks?

    Ah, so all of those killers were recorded on 911 calls killing someone, openly went without arrest for several weeks, and got off scott free?
    Or only some of them?
    None of them?
    You tell me, since you’re concerned about the clear travesty of justice in all… or some… or gee I dunno of those cases.
    Or were you just tossing this out since you don’t really have an argument about this case?

  257. Anri says

    guyincognito:

    Evidence suggests that TM attacked GZ and inflicted a broken nose and lacerations to the back of his head.

    What I wanna know is, how did he beat Zimmerman up that badly when Zimmerman stayed in his car?

  258. =8)-DX says

    @guyincognito

    I’m gonna ignore anything you say, until you stop ignoring people’s rebuttals of your points

    What. The. Fuck. Is “what I perceive to be legitimate racism” in your fuckin’ book? Apologise for this bigotted remark and participate in the argument instead of just Gish-galloping non-sequitors.

  259. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Zimmerman should have stayed in his car, and he should not have been carrying a gun, but he did nothing illegal.

    That argument is irrelevant to the Root Cause Analysis, which ignores such bullshit. It looks at the actions of those involved and what should have been done to prevent an unnecessary death. Which was less aggression and aggression build-up by Zimmerman. You can’t show otherwise. Your arguments are treated as they should be.

  260. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s a sad end, but [my inane and wrong spinning of] the facts are what they are.

    Fixed that for you fuckwit. You won’t spin it your way here. FUCK OFF.

  261. A. Noyd says

    Jadehawk (#243)

    If there was a trial, and there was no blatantly illegal behavior during the trial by either prosecution or defense (or the jury, or the judge), and if a verdict was handed down that will be obeyed without social breakdown/riots/etc., then the system is working.

    The point is, no one can conclude that just by looking at the results. Zimmerman getting off because the system works has the same result as Zimmerman getting off because of racism. We know that swapping the races around in similar cases regularly results in outcomes unfavorable for the defendants (notably, for that prosecutor in particular), so the reasonable position is to doubt that the system worked in this instance.

  262. carlie says

    That one of the jurors already has a book deal insinuates some bad things about the strength of the sequester.

  263. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Failing the flounce to list this:

    784.021 Aggravated assault.—
    (1) An “aggravated assault” is an assault:
    (a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
    (b) With an intent to commit a felony.
    (2) Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

    ===========

    There is no way Trayvon would be on trial for aggravated assault. Were he to have continued, in a punishing way, to injure Zimmerman he would have been on trial for attempted murder (or murder in the case of Zimmerman’s death). Were he not to have injured Zimmerman, he would have been charged with a lesser assault, if any charges were filed.

    Aggravated Assault is notoriously inappropriate…but that doesn’t matter when GI’s hole is running. He makes up things about the law and expects people to believe him b/c he’s a soopur-jeenyus that doesn’t need to know anything about the law to know everything about the law.

    Move to Canada, GI. I’d love to have you as opposing counsel for every client I ever have.

    ==========

    Backing off again to let y’all handle the non-legal specific GI droppings.

  264. says

    1) If your neighborhood had experienced a number of recent burglaries and attempted break-ins, would someone walking around in the rain, cutting through yards arouse any suspicion?

    just a random someone walking by, at 7pm? no. what’s suspicious about that?

    2) Is it unlawful to follow a suspicious person in your neighborhood and aid the police department by relaying their current position and physical description?

    in civilized countries, vigilantism is discouraged.

    4) Is it unlawful to carry a licensed handgun for the purpose of defending yourself against great bodily harm.

    in civilized countries it is, because it’s bullshit and leads to a lot of unnecessarily dead people.

    5) If you were being held on the ground by a physical equal or superior and the unlucky recipient of multiple blows to your head, how would you decide whether or not you were going to sustain serious permanent damage (brain damage, coma, death, etc.) and if lethal force was justified?

    well, I was in that situation once, and I chose not to escalate. your point?

    Oh, but those things are all much more difficult to address and fix than convicting a single person of murder (when there wasn’t any evidence to support that charge). That ought to set things right and show American and the rest of the world that we’re living in a “post racial world”! ::roll-eyes::

    what does this have to do with this blog.

    I think racism is being artificially injected into the case.

    bullshit. That’s a story told about EVERY single instance of someone pointing out racism. It’s never actually racism, is it.

    Maybe it’s a planned media distraction to distort our attention away from illegitimate wars, domestic spying by the government, the theft of a nation by private banks and lenders, a failed drug war that hurts more than it helps, the erosion of jobs for unskilled workers, an education system that favors anything but the children it’s supposed to be educating, bickering politicians who can’t agree on anything except on how to accept campaign donations from lobbyists, etc.

    yeah. black people being pissed because their sons can be murdered with impunity, just as they’ve predicted would happen with the ever-more expansive “gun-rights”, is totes a conspiracy to hide all other problems. fuck that shit.

    The case is QUITE SIMPLY a test of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ rulings and the right for someone to defend themselves from physical harm from an attacker.

    and it passed with flying colors, as intended: it protects the killers of black people, especially when those killers are not themselves black. As predicted.

    Can black people be racist?

    against other black people? of course. what the fuck makes you think not?

  265. vaiyt says

    The case is QUITE SIMPLY a test of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ rulings and the right for someone to defend themselves from physical harm from an attacker.

    Yes it is. And the law was found wanting, as black men were shown to not have the right to Stand Their Ground against white assholes with guns.

  266. guyincognito says

    Can someone explain how Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is codeified to only apply when the shooter is Non-Black and the person being shot is Black? I don’t see any specific races being referred to in the definition of the law. But then again, I’m just the sheet-wearin’, leader of the KKK/Nazi party.

    The various studies on the effect of the law have returned varied results:

    - The third edition of More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott[5] says that states adopting “Stand Your Ground”/”Castle Doctrine” laws reduced murder rates by 9 percent and overall violent crime by 11 percent, and that occurs even after accounting for a range of other factors such as national crime trends, law enforcement variables (arrest, execution, and imprisonment rates), income and poverty measures, demographic changes, and the national average changes in crime rates from year-to-year and average differences across states.

    A study by Texas A&M economics professors found that the adoption of stand-your-ground laws caused a statistically significant increase in the raw homicide rate, and had only a very small positive effect on deterrence of crime. The authors of the study were unable to determine what percentage of the increase was justifiable homicide, due to the reporting of homicide to the FBI often lacking notation whether the homicide was justifiable or not

    Another analysis of stand-your-ground laws by economists at Georgia State, using monthly data from the U.S. Vital Statistics, found a significant increase in homicide and injury of whites, especially white males. They also analyzed data from the Health Care Utilization Project, which revealed significantly increased rates of emergency room visits and hospital discharges related to gun injuries in states which enacted these laws.

    So one says it reduced crime and homicides, another said that it increased homicides but didn’t distinguish between “justified” and “unjustified” homicides and a third study said it increased injury and homicide rates of whites.

  267. says

    Could one of the members of the “theres no racism involved” crowd explain to this PoC how they know that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman first?
    I have seen speculation (usually coming from the “theres no racism involved” crowd) and acceptance of Zimmermans version of events as truth, but given his dislike of black people, his comments about “them always getting away”, and his reckless actions, how can you be so certain he is telling the truth?

  268. guyincognito says

    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    There is no way Trayvon would be on trial for aggravated assault. Were he to have continued, in a punishing way, to injure Zimmerman he would have been on trial for attempted murder (or murder in the case of Zimmerman’s death). Were he not to have injured Zimmerman, he would have been charged with a lesser assault, if any charges were filed.

    Aggravated Assault is notoriously inappropriate…but that doesn’t matter when GI’s hole is running. He makes up things about the law and expects people to believe him b/c he’s a soopur-jeenyus that doesn’t need to know anything about the law to know everything about the law.

    I made an honest mistake in the terminology. I used “assault” (the threat of harm) instead of “battery” (actual physical contact).

    784.03 Battery; felony battery.
    (1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or 2. Intentionally causes bodily…

    http://law.onecle.com/florida/crimes/chapter784.html

    BTW, your ad-hominem is showing.

  269. says

    Can someone explain how Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is codeified to only apply when the shooter is Non-Black and the person being shot is Black? I don’t see any specific races being referred to in the definition of the law.

    You’re not very bright, are you?

  270. says

    People interested in discussion and actual debate brings facts to the table WITH LINKS to the sources so others can read them fully and make their own assessment.

    It is more than clear that you are blind to the more subtle and insidious effects of racism. You must be someone for whom racism really does not affect. Privilege, where art thou?
    Holed up in some incognito guy apparently.

    In other news, I found this interesting (emphasis mine):

    . It would be a dubious bootstrap to allow the person who sparked a violent confrontation without cause then to claim to be acting in self-defense. Former Republican state senator, Durell Peaden, who cosponsored the “Stand Your Ground” legislation, argued that when Zimmerman “said ‘I’m following him,’ he lost his self-defense.” Added Peaden: “There’s nothing in the Florida law that allows him to follow someone with a damn gun.”

    Finally, Zimmerman’s record was not “squeaky clean” as the police originally reported. He’d been previously arrested for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer; the charges later were dropped. Zimmerman also had been the subject of several complaints from neighbors about his aggressive tactics while acting on neighborhood watch. Neighbor Frank Taaffe defended Zimmerman, but admitted: “I think he had fed-up issues. He wasmad as hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore.” Zimmerman’stwo 911 calls regarding Martin were his 47th and 48th phone calls to the emergency service, suggesting zealousness or paranoia, or, more likely, a combustible combination of the two.
    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/trayvon-martin-confronting-problem-enduring-racism?print

  271. guyincognito says

    Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop
    Could one of the members of the “theres no racism involved” crowd explain to this PoC how they know that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman first?

    I have seen speculation (usually coming from the “theres no racism involved” crowd) and acceptance of Zimmermans version of events as truth, but given his dislike of black people, his comments about “them always getting away”, and his reckless actions, how can you be so certain he is telling the truth?

    Is GZ telling the truth? He passed a lie detector test (voice stress test). I personally don’t put much weight into the result of a lie detector test. Some judges/courts allow them for particular cases, others do not. Let’s dismiss the test results. They’re not admissible in FL courts anyway.

    TM is dead so we can’t hear his side of the story.

    What does the physical evidence suggest? GZ has wounds (a broken nose and lacerations to the back of his head) that match up with a person lying on the ground on their back with someone sitting on top of them and assaulting them with punches. Look closely at the pictures [1] and [2]. Are these self-inflicted wounds? The result of GZ coming into contact with a tree or bushes?

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:George_Zimmerman_front_of_head.jpg
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:George_Zimmerman_back_of_head.jpg

    The reliability of eye-witness testimony can definitely be a point of contention, especially when it’s dark and the witnesses are at a distance.

    A witness to the confrontation just prior to the shooting stated that Martin was on top of Zimmerman and punching him, while Zimmerman was yelling for help. This witness, who identified himself as “John”, stated that “the guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, ‘Help! Help!’ and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911″. He went on to say that when he got upstairs and looked down, “the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.”

    The witness above recounts a scenario where TM was on top of GZ (who was screaming for help) and punching him.

    A 13-year-old boy walking his dog saw a man on the ground shortly before the shooting and identified him as wearing red. His mother later disputed the testimony and claimed that the police pressured him into choosing the color that the man was wearing and that her son could not see any details in the dark. She also stated that the police waited five days before requesting to even question her son and said that the lead homicide investigator told her that he did not believe the shooting was self-defense.

    I don’t really know what to say about this one. His mother claims he was pressured into making an inaccurate visual ID and that it was too dark for him to see anything. So… nothing here? The possibility of shoddy detective work?

    Mary Cutcher and her roommate, Selma Mora Lamilla, appeared on AC 360, and Cutcher stated that she believes that “there was no punching, no hitting going on at the time, no wrestling” just prior to the shooting but admitted that she neither saw the shooting nor the preceding altercation. Cutcher and her roommate heard the pair in their backyard and a “very young voice” whining, with no sounds of a fight. They heard a gunshot; the crying stopped immediately, and they saw Zimmerman on his knees straddling Martin on the ground. Mary Cutcher phoned police after the fatal shooting and said the black man was standing over another man, although Trayvon Martin was already dead.According to the Orlando Sentinel article, “Police spokesman Sgt. Dave Morgenstern [on March 15] issued a statement disputing Cutcher’s version of events, calling her statements to WFTV “inconsistent with her sworn testimony to police.” However, Cutcher and her roommate maintain that their account of the incident to the police did not agree with Zimmerman’s, and they demanded the police issue a retraction.

    So here we have someone who “believes” there was no physical assault that preceded the shooting, but also admits that she didn’t actually see the physical altercation. Nothing here, again.

    On March 29, 2012, an eyewitness referred to as a male said that he saw two men on the ground scuffling, then heard the shooting, and saw Zimmerman walk away with no blood on him.The witness later appeared on CNN AC360 referred to as a female, giving more details on her account. She pointed out that she heard an argument between a younger and an older voice. During the time that she witnessed the incident, the scuffling happened on the grass. She said that the larger man, who walked away after the gunshot, was on top and that it was too dark to see blood on his face.

    I’m not sure what “larger” means in this context. TM was physically taller (5’11″ vs 5’7″), but weighed less than GZ (158 lbs vs 185 lbs).

    A witness who arrived shortly after the shooting revealed photos that he took that night that showed “blood trickling down the back of Zimmerman’s head from two cuts. It also shows a possible contusion forming on the crown of his head”. In revealing the photo to ABC News in mid-April, he noted that he had heard but had not seen the scuffle, had been the first to arrive, and had been the first to talk to Zimmerman after the shooting.

    Did GZ have time to self-inflict these wounds before the first witness approached him?

    One eye-witness statement given the night of the shooting describes “a black male, wearing a dark colored ‘hoodie’ on top of a white or Hispanic male who was yelling for help.” The witness said that the black male was throwing punches “MMA [mixed martial arts] style.” After hearing a “pop,” he saw the black male “laid out on the grass.” When the witness was subsequently interviewed weeks later by a different agency, the witness said he thought that the black male was either punching or pinning the lighter skinned male underneath him. He was no longer certain who was calling for help, having not seen their mouths in the dark. He was still certain that the black male had been on top of the lighter-skinned male.

    Again, this eye witness seems to verify the statements made by GZ when interviewed by the police.

  272. guyincognito says

    Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop

    I have seen speculation (usually coming from the “theres no racism involved” crowd) and acceptance of Zimmermans version of events as truth, but given his dislike of black people, his comments about “them always getting away”, and his reckless actions, how can you be so certain he is telling the truth?

    Can you give some support to your assertion that GZ “disliked black people”?

    Maybe you’re referring to the doctored recording played by NBC?

    Trayvon Martin Shooter Sues NBC Universal Over ‘Doctored’ 911 Call

    According to the lawsuit, “the first manipulated audio” appeared when Burnside played the tape of Zimmerman telling the 911 operator that “there is a real suspicious guy. Ah, this guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something. He looks black.”

    In fact, though, Zimmerman said, “he looks black” only after the operator asked him to describe Martin, including his race.

    The next day, according to the lawsuit, Luciano broadcast a different doctored version of the 911 call, wherein Zimmerman says: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good or on drugs or something. He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male.”

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/trayvon-martin-shooter-sues-nbcuniversal-398972

    Isn’t that a bit racist? Where’s the outrage against NBC?

  273. guyincognito says

    SallyStrange

    You’re not very bright, are you?

    Duh, that’s why I asked for the explanation.

    Use small words if possible. Remember, I’m less intelligent than the rest of you.

  274. says

    “Racist in effect.”

    What do you think that means? You think it means that the racism was explicitly written into law, in contravention of the 14th amendment? Is that what you think?

  275. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @GI, 307:

    And you used “aggravated” which requires a deadly weapon – not just deadly force, a deadly weapon. I haven’t yet marked up case law from FL on what constitutes a deadly weapon, but if it is at all consistent with other jurisdictions, it must be something that you can move manually. It might be too heavy to lift if you topple it off something high, but a floor or sidewalk is decidedly not a weapon of any kind in the law of any common law jurisdiction of which I’m aware.

    Then you neglected to cite aggravated battery:
    784.045 Aggravated battery.—

    (1)(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:

    1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or

    2. Uses a deadly weapon.

    (b) A person commits aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.

    (2) Whoever commits aggravated battery shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

    History.—s. 1, ch. 70-63; s. 732, ch. 71-136; s. 20, ch. 74-383; s. 10, ch. 75-298; s. 3, ch. 88-344.

    ========
    If you really only switched out assault for battery, you would have cited aggravated battery.

    As it stands, I don’t think you really understood at all that the reason aggravated assault was grossly inappropriate was that it required the use of a deadly weapon or for the assault to take place in furtherance of a separate felony.

    Seems to me you are post-facto trying to guess at what was inappropriate in your charge, realized that there was some injury, and cited the code for simple battery.

    Or perhaps you can walk me through your legal reasoning for not citing aggravated battery in place of aggravated assault when the *only* mistake you made was subbing assault for battery and not grossly misusing a statute requiring use of a deadly weapon.

    Try, just try, to make a plausible argument that you weren’t talking out your ass about FL law. I’ll even believe you, if you have good evidence. But it would have to cover up a lot of upthread mess where you seem to quite clearly have no idea of the implication of the deadly weapon requirement or even the case law definition of a deadly weapon.

    Right now, it seems like you’re just lying to cover your reckless, ignorant assertions of law. Prove that hypothesis wrong. Try.

  276. guyincognito says

    Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop

    People interested in discussion and actual debate brings facts to the table WITH LINKS to the sources so others can read them fully and make their own assessment.

    They’re all from KKK-NAZI.com, duh! :: roll eyes ::

    Unless otherwise specifically cited (which I make an honest attempt at doing), the quoted paragraphs are from the summaries on Wikipedia which all have links to the articles that they are from. I apologize in advance if you don’t think Wikipedia is an accurate report. I’ve traced back a number of the cited references in effort to avoid reiterating false information. I will review any corrections that you have and adjust my opinions accordingly.

    Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop

    It is more than clear that you are blind to the more subtle and insidious effects of racism. You must be someone for whom racism really does not affect. Privilege, where art thou?
    Holed up in some incognito guy apparently.

    Tony, reverse the races here. Make TM hispanic and make GZ black. Make everything else exactly the same. Is this now a case of a black man unlawfully hunting down a white kid and shooting him at point blank range without any justification other than he hates “creepy-ass crackers”?

    What you say? This would never happen? Surely the black man would be wrongfully convicted? Maybe, but that’s not always the case (see the Roderick Scott/Chris Cervini case I listed earlier in this thread)… AND MOST IMPORTANTLY LET’S IDENTIFY AND DIRECT THE OUTRAGE AT THE RULINGS OF THOSE CASES!

  277. guyincognito says

    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    If you really only switched out assault for battery, you would have cited aggravated battery.

    As it stands, I don’t think you really understood at all that the reason aggravated assault was grossly inappropriate was that it required the use of a deadly weapon or for the assault to take place in furtherance of a separate felony.

    Seems to me you are post-facto trying to guess at what was inappropriate in your charge, realized that there was some injury, and cited the code for simple battery.

    Or perhaps you can walk me through your legal reasoning for not citing aggravated battery in place of aggravated assault when the *only* mistake you made was subbing assault for battery and not grossly misusing a statute requiring use of a deadly weapon.

    Try, just try, to make a plausible argument that you weren’t talking out your ass about FL law. I’ll even believe you, if you have good evidence. But it would have to cover up a lot of upthread mess where you seem to quite clearly have no idea of the implication of the deadly weapon requirement or even the case law definition of a deadly weapon.

    Right now, it seems like you’re just lying to cover your reckless, ignorant assertions of law. Prove that hypothesis wrong. Try.

    I admitted I was wrong and corrected my mistake.

    Plain and simple.

    Try not to read too much into it.

    We get it… you’re a successful law-talking-dude, and you’re so much smarter than everyone else.

    What does it matter if I accidentally interchanged “assault” with “battery”. I bet you it’s quite a common mistake.

    In both criminal and civil law, a battery is the intentional touching of, or application of force to, the body of another person, in a harmful or offensive manner, and without consent. A battery is often confused with an assault, which is merely the act of threatening a battery, or of placing another in fear or apprehension of an impending and immediate battery. A battery is almost always preceded by an assault, which is why the terms are often used transitionally or combined, as in “assault and battery.”

    - See more at: http://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/battery-basics.html#sthash.rIRYkCvQ.dpuf

    I bet you’re a hoot at dinner parties.

  278. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I admitted I was wrong and corrected my mistake.

    while making another mistake in the process – saying that you “only” mistook assault for battery.

    There is no shame in being ignorant of statutory interpretation. But when you assert something very specific – that, for instance, Martin would be charged with a specific crime – and you are patently wrong, it matters because it makes the other things you assert whose truth I’m not already aware of much more suspect.

    When you assert with confidence that which is patently wrong, then blame your mistake on an error that doesn’t explain anything at all (the prosecutor could charge assault even where injury has taken place because the threat of harm obviously existed if actual harm occurred. Injury to Martin didn’t make proving Aggravated Assault impossible: the lack of a furthered felony or deadly weapon made proving aggravated assault impossible) which further showing that you just don’t get it, you are making an ass out of yourself and sabotaging your credibility and wasting everyone’s time reading crap that simply isn’t true…and thus isn’t useful except as evidence of your ability to participate honestly and effectively in the conversation.

    I don’t read too much into it: I merely read into it that you don’t even know what error you need to admit, yet proceed on with undeserved confidence anyway.

    And I read into your most recent response that you don’t have the first clue what “dyke” means.

    As for dinner parties, my friends know as much as I do, though not always about the same things, and generously provide me new information which I enjoy learning. My friends have a wee bit more insight into gender. My friends don’t quote findlaw saying what has already been established earlier in the conversation. My friends don’t confidently assert things that are obviously wrong, and deflect criticism with an issue not at all related to the central error under the mistaken impression that a less consequential error must be the real issue.

    As for my hooting, well, you’ll have to ask my friends about that.

  279. guyincognito says

    SallyStrange

    Here ya go, Incognito dude. This link has a lot of words, but if you scroll down there’s a big graph with bright colors. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/criminal-justice/is-there-racial-bias-in-stand-your-ground-laws/

    I’d suggest you read past the “big graph with bright colors”.

    So the disparity is clear. But the figures don’t yet prove bias. As Roman points out, the data doesn’t show the circumstances behind the killings, for example whether the people who were shot were involved in home invasions or in a confrontation on the street.

    Additionally, there are far fewer white-on-black shootings in the FBI data — only 25 total in both the Stand Your Ground and non-Stand Your Ground states. In fact, the small sample size is one of the reasons Roman conducted a regression analysis, which determines the statistical likelihood of whether the killings will be found justifiable.

    And lastly, whether a homicide is ruled justifiable only tells part of the story. Stand Your Ground laws can be applied at multiple points during an investigation.

  280. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    What does the physical evidence suggest? GZ has wounds (a broken nose and lacerations to the back of his head) that match up with a person lying on the ground on their back with someone sitting on top of them and assaulting them with punches.

    I think you took a wrong turn somewhere on your internet journey, because this isn’t fanfiction.net. Those injuries only “match up” with your scenario if I can also claim the ding in my car resulted from it being hit by a monster truck. All you’ve done is regurgitate Zimmerman’s story, which the forensic evidence actually doesn’t support at all.

    And once again, holy shit, this is victim-blame-tastic.

  281. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Wow guyincognito, you are just starting to sound like a whining child…

    Or is it just your “ad-hominem showing”?

    Thank you Crip, Sally and the rest for sticking with this. I haven’t contributed anything to the discussion but I have learnt a lot. It is very confusing compared to laws here.

  282. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I am happy to be useful, Gobi’s S’s M.

    Where are you & in what way is the law different? I’m attempting to go into comparative/constructive constitutional law in post-conflict jurisdictions – basically working to create governing documents and principles that can ease tensions from recent conflict while preventing future conflict. Along the way, of course, there’s comparative/constructive constitutional law work in, say, assisting with the development of governing documents for indigenous nations here in Canada who each need their own constitutions (though they aren’t typically called constitutions).

    While I likely will never practice criminal law, knowing how criminal law works in different jurisdictions is pretty crucial to helping tailor the constitutional construction of a judicial system to the needs and expectations of a given populace. So any insight you have to impart about differences you see in your local legal system is incredibly useful to me.

  283. minnik says

    guyincognito @321:
    Do you remember what the question was?

    Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop
    Could one of the members of the “theres no racism involved” crowd explain to this PoC how they know that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman first?

    Presenting Zimmermans wounds and witness accounts suggesting that Martin was hitting Zimmerman are not in any way evidence that Martin was the one who started the physical confrontation.

    It is also possible to corner someone into a situation where that person would be the one to first use physical force, which would constitute self defence and not an attack.

  284. guyincognito says

    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    while making another mistake in the process – saying that you “only” mistook assault for battery.

    There is no shame in being ignorant of statutory interpretation. But when you assert something very specific – that, for instance, Martin would be charged with a specific crime – and you are patently wrong, it matters because it makes the other things you assert whose truth I’m not already aware of much more suspect.

    When you assert with confidence that which is patently wrong, then blame your mistake on an error that doesn’t explain anything at all (the prosecutor could charge assault even where injury has taken place because the threat of harm obviously existed if actual harm occurred. Injury to Martin didn’t make proving Aggravated Assault impossible: the lack of a furthered felony or deadly weapon made proving aggravated assault impossible) which further showing that you just don’t get it, you are making an ass out of yourself and sabotaging your credibility and wasting everyone’s time reading crap that simply isn’t true…and thus isn’t useful except as evidence of your ability to participate honestly and effectively in the conversation.

    I don’t read too much into it: I merely read into it that you don’t even know what error you need to admit, yet proceed on with undeserved confidence anyway.

    I think you’re getting a bit off topic here…

    I thank you for the correction.

    Whether I said “assault” and meant “battery”, the intent of my argument was the same. Had TM not been killed, according to the facts presented, the photographed injuries to GZ and the eye witness accounts, he could have been charged with battery, assault or both.

    As for aggravated vs regular battery, I guess that’s up to your definition and interpretation of the law.

    784.045 Aggravated battery.
    (1)(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or 2. Uses a deadly weapon….

    http://law.onecle.com/florida/crimes/chapter784.html

    Again, sorry for the mistake. In my defense (your honor) it seems to be a common one…

    While assault and battery are two of the most common crimes in America, there is still a lot of confusion about these charges. The biggest misunderstanding most people have lies in the definition of the words themselves. While common usage suggests that assault and battery are words that can be used interchangeably, each word has a distinct meaning.

    Assault is defined as the attempt, paired with the ability, to injure someone illegally. Battery is the actual use of force or violence on someone. If you attempt to throw a punch at someone, but miss, you can be charged with assault, even if there was no physical contact. If the punch ended up hitting someone else, you could be charged with assaulting your intended target and battering the actual victim.

    Because police in these cases often act based on the testimony of witnesses, you could be charged with battery even when you did not actually make physical contact with anyone. That is why it is so important to work with a skilled Vista violent crimes lawyer who can help show your side of the story is the accurate explanation of events.

    http://www.vistacriminallaw.com/Blog/the-difference-between-assault-battery/

    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    And I read into your most recent response that you don’t have the first clue what “dyke” means.

    “Law-talking dude” (it’s supposed to be: “law-talking guy”, there… another… mistake!) is quite simply a reference to a Simpsons quote, as is my username.

    I have no opinion on your sexual identification or how you choose to label yourself. Whatever floats your boat.

  285. guyincognito says

    gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet

    Wow guyincognito, you are just starting to sound like a whining child…

    I’m the whining child?

    I don’t remember deliberately attacking posters, their usernames or insinuating that they were stupid, racist or members of the KKK or Nazi party.

    You are familiar with an “ad hominem” argument?

    ad hominem

    Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement lists ad hominem as the second worst type of argument in a disagreement.

    An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument.[2] Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as an informal fallacy, more precisely an irrelevance.

  286. says

    Record of Zimmerman’s calls to police during his activities as self-appointed neighborhood watch:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/22/george-zimmerman-s-history-of-911-calls-a-complete-log.html

    At one point Zimmerman reports a 7 – 9 year old black boy for being suspicious.

    And yeah, Incognito, I read the whole thing. The stats there are conclusive evidence that SYG laws are racist in effect, but it is some evidence. It’s consistent with the criticisms that were mounted against SYG laws when they were first being passed. Of course, the way SYG laws are set up makes it difficult to collect that information anyway, since it discourages arrests and investigations – which is also “racist in effect.”

    You never did answer my question about what the hell you think that phrase means.

    Hey, are you one of those people who think it’s not racism unless the person comes right out and says, “I’m a racist, I hate black people”? If so, that would explain a lot. Like you “legitimate racism” remark, which you also never explained.

  287. says

    Sorry, I left out a crucial “NOT” – those stats are NOT conclusive evidence of racist effects of SYG laws. They’re just some evidence.

  288. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    @ Crip Dyke

    I am in Australia and my legal knowledge is merely that of an interested lay person. I just find the whole SYG staggering – especially as we have very strict gun ownership laws here.

    Just as an anecdote: my wife was once told by a police officer ( not officially of course ) that if she was ever to defend herself in a home invasion with a knife to make sure the guy was dead and put a knife in his hand.

  289. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Sigh.

    We were discussing Aggravated Assault. Aggravated battery need not have a furthered felony if the injury resulting is severe. The appropriateness of the charge of Aggravated Assault is not up to my interpretation of the law. This isn’t poetry. There’s a right answer here.

    Your faux respect is ridiculous and your insistence that you made a “common mistake” combined with your statements upthread make me believe you still think I’m talking about assault vs. battery instead of aggravated vs. non.

    If you want a productive conversation, read for comprehension. You confidently asserted in an area where you are less competent than me, and I’m not competent at all in FL criminal law. You bring into question your character and your judgement, and you respond with a impressively persistent missing of the point.

    I don’t care if you’re a lawyer with 30 years experience in a prosecutor’s office whose home state distinguishes assault from battery only in tort law. I don’t care if you got all your legal info off a cereal box. If you are certain you are right when you’re wrong, and can’t figure out what is the consequential error in citing Aggravated Assault even when it is thoroughly (repeatedly!) explained, then however you came by your mistakes and however you came by your confidence you need to cut out the assertions.

    It’s not about me being right. It’s about you demonstrating that you care at all about the truth. I’m happy to have you correct me on the details of a case I didn’t follow. I’m happy to have you correct me on my F’n grammar if you want. But if you go round misinforming others in this thread, I don’t give a rodent’s patoot whether you did it through a slip induced by an old brain injury, gross negligence, or infernal malevolence.

    i’m going to call it out, and if you persist in asserting that the consequential mistake was subbing assault for battery, I’m going to call you out again and again and again.

    fFs, how many times do I have to say that your assertion of AA wasn’t grossly inappropriate due to subbing A for B, it was grossly inappropriate because a prosecutor couldn’t possibly believe that AA was an offense provable against Martin given the facts.

    Do you even get that assault is a lesser included offense for battery? You understand, do you, that it’s not inappropriate to charge assault when an injury occurred: that’s a matter for plea negotiation and prosecutorial discretion, should the prosecutor believe that the actions constitute battery but court action would result in a more fair penalty given the overall circumstances if the defendant were convicted of assault. It’s not inappropriate to charge assault in the face of battery: it’s done all the time. It’s inappropriate to charge something for which you can’t possibly meet the burden of proof.

    as for law-talking-dude/guy: whether the quote is original to you is entirely beside the point. You either understand the gendered implications of the phrase and of my ‘nym or you don’t. If you knew and you persisted, it’s a pretty jerkwater move. If you didn’t know, my generous interpretation of you as ignorant stands.

  290. minnik says

    Btw, I’m so upset about all the claims that if the victim fights back to protect themselves, then the attacker has a right to use force against them. No, they do not! The one who started the confrontation is the one who has to back down, otherwise it would be like saying that a victim has no right to effectively defend themselves. By initiating a confrontation, one is taking a risk that they may be harmed by the one who is acting in self defence; the victim is the one who is put on the spot.

  291. randay says

    All you here who say that Zimmerman killed Martin in a fight should look up my comments above on reporting by the Miami Herald. Two women who were the closest witnesses just a couple of yards away from where Martin was killed, said that they heard no noises of a fight. They only heard Trayvon cry out and then heard a shot. They, courageously I might add, immediately went out and confronted Zimmerman.

    Also look up the site hugo #201 gives and read the links there.

    If the prosecutors didn’t use these women’s testimony, that means they threw the trial, one they and the police didn’t want to have in the first place.

  292. brucegorton says

    guyincognito

    Lets cut the crap here. I am a South African living in Johannesburg.

    Specifically Randburg.

    Here are our crime stats.

    http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2012/provinces/gauteng/pdf/randburg.pdf

    That is where I live, it is well within line with Sanford, and it is not that bad a neighbourhood for Johannesburg.

    You want a bad neighbourhood you look at Johannesburg central, which has 50 murders to Randburg’s 8. Yet, funnily enough we still get pedestrians in both areas, walking down streets without getting shot for being pedestrians. Amazing isn’t it?

    In fact I see somebody following me down the street? I assume they are going to try and mug me, because I live in a high crime society. I have the right to defend myself in that situation.

    I do not however have the right to follow somebody else down the street with a loaded weapon close enough for them to turn around and punch me. A stranger walking down the street isn’t suspicious behaviour, following somebody is.

  293. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I just find the whole SYG staggering – especially as we have very strict gun ownership laws here.

    You and everywhere else. Canada probably has the next least restrictive gun laws after the US among the countries of Europe, N. America, Australia, NZ, South Africa, India, Japan, Taiwan, & China. Literally no country in that group has a constitution that explicitly guarantees access to firearms. US is a very unique place.

    On the other hand, I read a lot of Aussie property law. Woooweee, your country’s interpretation of indigenous property rights is as messed up as any country I’ve seen outside of Canada – and we’re just competitive with you, not clearly out in front. Though I gotta admit that we in BC shamelessly copied your Premier of South Australia Robert Torrens’* property registration system & it’s worked out fairly well.

    *19th century and he bugged out for Britain as soon as he made a name for himself, you wouldn’t necessarily know him well…but maybe you do.

  294. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @elind #123

    That is literally the stupidest argument I have ever come across. If someone is following you down a dark street, you don’t think “Oh, he must be a responsible citizen following me because I look suspicious”, do you? Mainly because no reasonable person responds to the presence of a suspicious/dangerous looking person by arming themself and following that person down a dark street. You think “Oh shit, I’m about to be beaten up for my wallet”. And you react accordingly.

  295. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @guyincognito

    I bet you’re a hoot at dinner parties

    I can’t speak for everyone, but personally I would much rather listen to crip dyke explaining criminal law than listen to your whiny racist bullshit.

  296. says

    @Cryp Dyke
    With regard to your proposed experiment, I think (I admit I might be overlooking something important) it is unnecesarily complicated and expensive. In order to prove racial bias in juror’s decisions, you do not need to do that. You need to cut out all unnecesary variables (for example baristors with varying degrees of skill, influences of the length of the process etc.) and assess the one variable you need to assess – id est if racial prejudice affects jurors decisions.

    So you need only about 200 random people eligible for jury duty, one ambiguous scenario draftet by skilled lawyer in two versions with race of the killer/killed reversed and everything else identical. You divide your 200 people into two groups, let them read your scenario and write down their verdict guilty/not guilty. Then you make your statistical analysis for likleihood of your result occuring by chance.

    I do not thing such experiment would be extremely expensive, In fact it might be interesting graduate project in sociology. But again, I admit I might have misunderstoodd/overlook some of your point.

  297. says

    Damn it. “I think” not “I thing”. And I ommited that you let your two groups read each only one version of scenario, but I think you understand anyway.

  298. Anri says

    guyincognito:

    Can someone explain how Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is codeified to only apply when the shooter is Non-Black and the person being shot is Black? I don’t see any specific races being referred to in the definition of the law. But then again, I’m just the sheet-wearin’, leader of the KKK/Nazi party.

    …and many Reconstruction-era voting laws (literacy or property tests and their exceptions, for example) said nothing about race, either, so they were totes color-neutral, too -
    except I’d have to be pretty fucking stupid to actually say that out loud.

    Um, did you still want that explanation, or have you managed to figure out that one on your own?

    Also:

    Did GZ have time to self-inflict these wounds before the first witness approached him?

    I still haven’t gotten an answer to my question: how did he get beaten up so badly while he was staying in his car?

  299. md says

    Is everyone here clear that SYG was not invoked in the GZ defense? Whatever your views on it, this case did not turn on SYG at all. GZ’s legal team did not claim it in defense. It was initially cited by the police as to why they did not charge him, but after the charges were brought, SYG was not claimed in defense. Self-defense was.

  300. =8)-DX says

    >>Whatever your views on it, this case did not turn on SYG at all

    Well as you admit, since it delayed the charging of Zimmerman, as well as delayed the interrogation of witnesses, it definitely influenced the case. Insufficient, contradictory or confused witness testimony was part of the defence’s case.

    I think most people here are clear that SYG was not claimed for Zimmerman, but some people are saying that Trayvon Martin was, essentially “staying his ground” if not directly acting in self-defence, and Crip Dyke was making the point that this should have made it impossible for Zimmerman to evoke self-defence, since (if this standard applies to FL too) self-defence is only valid against imminent use unlawful force?

    The point this shows is that despite not being ultimately considered by the jury, SYG was only ever applied or considered in relation to Zimmerman. The stalked, accosted and murdered Trayvon is somehow always seen as the agressor.

    I think that’s the relevance of SYG here.

  301. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @md

    I’ve been curious about this claim. It struck me as unlikely. I didn’t say anything before when others made the assertion, but I thought I would check it out when I had the chance. I’ve now researched the original bill, it’s language, and its effect on the criminal code of Florida. While I’m sure you’re saying this in good faith, the claim you’re repeating is unmitigated BS.

    SYG amends sections of the criminal code. It is not a stand alone chapter of statute. It was a stand alone bill that, when passed, created modifications to the criminal code. Most notably to sections of statute in the criminal code, chapter 776. While Zimmerman maintained publicly that he started no fight, and rhetorically maintained he was using traditional self-defense because he didn’t start the fight, the SYG bill not only created 776.013 from whole cloth [providing for a rebuttable presumption of self-defense], it amended 776.012 – the traditional self-defense/defense of other portion of the code. Since Zimmerman availed himself of the current version of 776.012 (indeed, he couldn’t possibly have asserted that he wished to use law no longer in effect after the 2005 bill), he did in fact avail himself of SYG.

    The state of current law prevented the prosecutor from asking certain questions or introducing certain evidence. Not necessarily because a judge would have absolutely forbid it, but because it would no longer undermine a claim of self-defense now that 776.013, acting as a safety net, was there to catch Zimmerman gently. Prosecutorial strategy that would have been useful before, now simply shifts the defense to relying on a different section of the code on defense of persons with the same ultimate legal effect.

    Zimmerman relied on SYG.

    He openly relied on the amended 776.012.

    He knowingly benefited from the existence of 776.013.

    And this is only at trial.

    Much evidence wasn’t collected at the time because the cops didn’t investigate thoroughly when the evidence was fresh as a result of the changes to the statutory code.

    Zimmerman relied on SYG at trial, he benefitted from SYG before trial, and he took advantage of prosecutor’s constrained tactics both before and during trial.

    SYG was at issue in multiple phases of this case, and the case is absolutely an example of the effects of modifications to 776.012 as well as the existence of 776.013.

    Do not repeat your wrong claim, here or anywhere.

  302. CaitieCat says

    CripDyke, you have an attractive brain. Pls forgive the OT, but I’ve been enjoying watching you pwn all comers. :)

  303. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @=8)-DX

    Thanks for noting what I said upthread about SYG. The requirement that self-defense be in response to a “reasonable fear” of “unlawful force” is key as well, since Martin’s force would have been lawful under SYG. While theoretically it’s possible for Zimmerman to erroneously but reasonably believe Martin’s force to be unlawful, *on these facts* he had no reasonable basis for such belief that I can find.

    That said, I want it out there that the whole claim that Zimmerman didn’t rely on SYG is bullshit since the criminal code section relating to traditional defense of persons was amended by the SYG bill…and in fact, the part that was amended was the part on using “deadly force”. Only the portion of the section relating to non-deadly force was unamended by SYG.

    I strongly suspected this before, but now I’ve done the homework and am ready to report back. This is fact. “Defense of Persons” was Zimmerman’s defense. DoP was an existing section of code amended by SYG. Zimmerman relied on DoP regardless of the fact that he didn’t openly assert 776.013 which was wholly created (not merely amended) by the SYG bill.

    The best that they can say is 776.013 was not *openly* at issue as a point of law, during trial. No one can factually claim that SYG was not at issue, even open issue. No one can even factually claim that 776.013 was not implicitly at issue as it affected the available legal options for prosecutors. Nor can anyone factually claim that patterns of practice in how 776.012 and 776.013 are applied are not revealed in the absence of SYG justification of Martin’s alleged acts.

    It’s always been about who gets to stand, whose ground it is. It’s always been about SYG having deleterious effects on Black communities and providing unjustified immunity to trigger-happy whites. Saying of this case “SYG was not invoked in the GZ defense” is not only wrong, but dangerously deceptive.

  304. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @CatieCat

    Please excuse me whilst I flush red & gaze at one of my toes digging a hole in the dirt.

  305. md says

    Crip Dyke, you are at odds with Florida State Attorney Angela Corey and Chief Prosector Bernie de la Rionda. 10:06 and 18:45 in the clip below, respectively.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BAJqBXS7eks#at=19

    Reporter: Can you talk about the Florida Stand Your Ground law and whether the changes in 2005 in the law affected the facts in this case and whether this case could have been won, perhaps, pre the changes in the law?

    Corey: Well, justifiable use of deadly force has changed to a certain extent. Stand Your Ground is a procedural mechanism, as we call it, where we fully expected it because of what we were hearing that the defense would request a Stand Your Ground hearing. We would have put on the same evidence. It would have been in front of just a judge instead of a jury.

    Reporter: What about the duty to retreat aspect?

    Corey: Well, the duty to retreat aspect had sort of disappeared before Stand Your Ground kicked in.

    Chief Prosecutor Bernie de la Ronda in response to a similar question:

    Reporter: Could I get your impression of the 2005 expansion of the Florida self-defense statutes? Does this make your job harder?

    De la Rionda: You know, self-defense has existed for a long time. And we’ve dealt with it in Jackson for a long time. We’ve tried a lot of self-defense cases; I’ve personally tried 10 to 15 self-defense cases. They’re tough cases, but we accept it so… The law really hasn’t changed all that much. Stand Your Ground was a big thing, but really the law hasn’t changed. We have a right to bear arms and a right to self-defense.

  306. chrisv says

    Cut to the chase…one guy was big, the other small; one guy had MMA training, the other didn’t; one guy left his car to follow after being told not to, the other was followed; one had a gun, the other had Skittles; one was white, the other black; one died, the other didn’t. Guess which one died. One was buried…the other walked.

  307. says

    Was SYG at issue or not? The fact that the defense did not explicitly invoke it does not mean that it wasn’t. In fact, if you look at Juror B37 (the one who changed her mind about writing a freaking book after an outcry and a petition last night) certainly thought it was. And the interpretation of self-defense laws in Florida hinges on the existence of SYG laws.

    However, I think that if SYG had been invoked, Zimmerman may not have walked away, because SYG states that the SYG defense is not available to a person who:

    (1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony, or

    Initially provokes the use of force against himself or her self, unless:

    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant…

    The defense was successful in convincing the judge not to inform the jury about the parts I just bolded up there. Had the judge not agreed to that, Zimmerman’s actions in provoking the conflict would not have been set aside and the three jurors who initially thought that Zimmerman should be found guilty of manslaughter or 2nd degree murder might have prevailed. We’ll never know, of course, but the omission of such information strikes me as having the effect of placing a heavy thumb on the scales of justice in Zimmerman’s favor.

    http://www.politicususa.com/2013/07/16/case-breibarted-justice.html

  308. David Marjanović says

    =8)-DX, I’m not in the US. I was referring to Austria – “over here” is Germany, but I’m sure such laws don’t differ much.

    Jadehawk, thanks. I’m not familiar with the concept of alleys being “behind” houses and not counting as “main roads”, so I couldn’t tell for certain if it really wasn’t suspicious to walk in one in the early evening…

    (Why would anyone want to walk in a main road with all the traffic, and the noise, stench and general ugliness it causes?)

  309. David Marjanović says

    The defense was successful in convincing the judge not to inform the jury about the parts I just bolded up there.

    *blink*

    How is that legal???

  310. =8)-DX says

    @David

    I was referring to Austria – “over here” is Germany,

    Oops sorry, my bad.

    I’m not familiar with the concept of alleys being “behind” houses and not counting as “main roads”, so I couldn’t tell for certain if it really wasn’t suspicious to walk in one in the early evening…

    (Why would anyone want to walk in a main road with all the traffic, and the noise, stench and general ugliness it causes?)

    David, check the interactive map up on the Miami Herald site that’s been linked above. (the link for your convenience). Or check Google maps.

    It was a gated residential compound – basically all traffic would be locals and most pedestrians would be locals or visitors. No “main roads” and no reason for transit traffic to take a route directly through the neighbourhood. Looking at the map it’s quite easy to see why Trayvon took the path behind the houses – it was the shortest route to the rear entrance of his father’s house. Looking at Google maps it seems a rather nice, well-to-do area.

    I’ve come across some of these residential areas in Europe and I find them ghastly to the point of vomit-inducing progeny of a cabal of psychopatic urban planners. But I guess reduced traffic and open spaces might be quite pleasant to live in.

  311. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @md

    Reporter: Can you talk about the Florida Stand Your Ground law and whether the changes in 2005 in the law affected the facts in this case and whether this case could have been won, perhaps, pre the changes in the law?

    Corey: Well, justifiable use of deadly force has changed to a certain extent [This refers to 776.012, which he acknowledges changed when the SYG *bill* passed]. Stand Your Ground is a procedural mechanism, as we call it, [Here he is saying that 776.013 is colloquially known - thus "as we call it" - as SYG. Here is making clear that he's talking about only 776.013 despite the bill which passed containing other provisions besides the one that created 776.013] where we fully expected it because of what we were hearing that the defense would request a Stand Your Ground hearing. We would have put on the same evidence. It would have been in front of just a judge instead of a jury.[here he is saying what I did: that 776.013 was not directly at issue in law during this trial]

    Reporter: What about the duty to retreat aspect? [The question acknowledges that SYG encompasses more than the special procedure contained within 776.013 - though note that the procedure is not the only thing contained in 776.013]

    Corey: Well, the duty to retreat aspect had sort of disappeared before Stand Your Ground kicked in. [Here he is asserting that the practical change to 776.012 was minimal, b/c case law. I can't speak to exactly how minimal such change was, but there was change and it was real. Criminal barristers in FL that were critical of SYG raised this as a point. Even Corey is acknowledging that there was real change. There is a quibble over how much. I'm not the expert in FL criminal law, but what I said - that 776 .012 was changed by SYG and that these provisions were at issue at trial is not contradicted in any way by what Corey says here.]

    What about your second quote, from the local prosecutor?

    Reporter: Could I get your impression of the 2005 expansion of the Florida self-defense statutes? Does this make your job harder?

    De la Rionda: You know, self-defense has existed for a long time. And we’ve dealt with it in Jackson for a long time. We’ve tried a lot of self-defense cases; I’ve personally tried 10 to 15 self-defense cases. They’re tough cases, but we accept it so… The law really hasn’t changed all that much. Stand Your Ground was a big thing, but really the law hasn’t changed. We have a right to bear arms and a right to self-defense.

    here he is asserting two contradictory things: the law known as SYG was a “big thing” but the actual legal regime “hasn’t changed”.

    But on what does he base this last bit? The fact that the law in the past and in the present contained “a right to bear arms and a right to self-defense”.

    If that isn’t crap, I don’t know what is. The law is the same b/c there’s still a self-defense provision and the federal 2nd amendment hasn’t been repealed by the state of FL?

    His statement is in total concert with mine – no contradictions whatsoever. he’s acknowledging changes, yet minimizing them without actually providing a description of exactly what those minimal effects are.

    Why would they each minimize? I can’t say, but I can speculate that they don’t want the SYG bill blamed for the acquittal as that could increase political pressure to change the law. If they support such a law, they would naturally want to blunt any political momentum for change.

    Also, they would certainly want to hedge in such a way as to avoid giving the impression that the law is such that they cannot successfully prosecute blameworthy individuals. Thus things are hard, but hey, we’ve always had to overcome self-defense in some form or another.

    I have no idea why you think what I said in detail doesn’t match up with their vague and political statements to the media.

  312. guyincognito says

    Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop
    Guyincognito:
    I will state outright that I feel much of what you have said in this thread is racist in nature

    Congratulations!

    What do you win?

  313. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What do you win?

    You win the contempt of every non-bigot on the thread. Which is everybody not defending the murderer, as Zimmerman did murder somebody. He just wasn’t convicted of said murder due to legal technicalities irrelevant to a more general whose fault was it judgement found with Root Cause Analysis. Where Zimmerman was the aggressor from start to finish, and it was up to him to change the outcome.

  314. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @David, 352:

    I’m not familiar with this case, but the prosecution can’t use a reading of the law in the jury instruction to imply things that help meet the prosecutor’s burden of proof.

    Say you’re prosecuting a burglary. This is a trespass with the intent to commit another crime during the trespass. The prosecutor can’t have the murder statutes read during the jury instruction when there is no dead body and no accusation of murder being tried – it would make the jury think that they havne’t heard all the evidence and that a murder did occur, but that they couldn’t hear that evidence for some reason…

    …however, obviously if a murder occurred, the person intended to commit a crime during the trespass, so the jury might convict on burglary when there was only evidence of trespass plus a gratuitous reading of the murder statute.

    If I may speculate, the judge might have thought that there was no evidence that would under FL law have put Zimmerman in the position of aggressor to begin with.

    The prosecutor can’t introduce no evidence that Z was the aggresor, then have the judge instruct the jury on the legal responsibilities that attach to aggressors – it would imply that we know this without having admissible evidence on point. The reading of the provision would substitute for evidence.

    That would definitely be unjust. That is a reasonable way it could be excluded from the jury instruction.

    Of course, the judge’s assessment of insufficient evidence might have been completely *unreasonable*, but you asked how it could happen, and this is the first way that comes to mind. There are certainly other legal issues about which I’m not thinking at the moment…some may even be unique to FL, I wouldn’t know … but that one is an important constraint on jury instructions and seems the most likely mechanism to me just now.

  315. guyincognito says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    You win the contempt of every non-bigot on the thread. Which is everybody not defending the murderer, as Zimmerman did murder somebody. He just wasn’t convicted of said murder due to legal technicalities irrelevant to a more general whose fault was it judgement found with Root Cause Analysis. Where Zimmerman was the aggressor from start to finish, and it was up to him to change the outcome.

    Was Roderick Scott acquitted due to legal technicalities?

    What would happen if a black man armed with a handgun confronted “suspicious persons” in his neighborhood? What would happen if the “suspicious persons” were unarmed white teens, one of them was shot dead, and the shooter claimed self-defense?

    This is not an exercise in mere speculation. We know what would happen in such a case. There would be no white mobs in the street chanting “No justice, no peace!” There would be no whites holding a “million hoodie march” in New York City. There would be no white equivalent of Al Sharpton, the professional race-baiter behind the 1987 Tawana Brawley hoax, leading marches in the streets of the shooter’s hometown. There would be no Federal civil rights investigation by the Justice Department. There would be no comments from a president who seems congenitally unable to keep his mouth shut on matters involving left-wing political correctness. And there would be no national media attention from biased, left-wing “reporters.”

    We know this because in fact, such an event occurred in 2009 in Greece, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester. Roderick Scott, a black man, shot and killed an unarmed white teen, Christopher Cervini, whom he believed was burglarizing a neighbor’s car, with a licensed .40 cal. handgun.
    There are many similarities between the Scott-Cervini case and the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case in Florida. In both cases, there had been a spate of criminal activity in the neighborhood. In both cases, the shooters called 911 to report suspicious activity, yet chose to confront the unarmed suspects outside their residence and off their own property prior to the arrival of the police. In both cases, the shooters claimed that they felt threatened, and fired in self-defense. In both cases, local law enforcement applied relevant state law.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/what_if_trayvon_had_been_white_and_the_shooter_black.html#ixzz2ZFbXPdvY

  316. =8)-DX says

    He stands by his racist comments, but I just have to say his americanthinker.com article falls flat on its face when it states:

    The truth of the matter is that “civil rights” cases are often little more than reverse lynch mobs.

    Yeah. The problem with racism in the West is all the anti-majority-demographic lynch mobs. And the problem with sexism is all those uppity feminist women who hate men. And the problem with unemployment is all those lazy bums who don’t want to work.

    No. The problem is that there are a lot of people who think they can decide “what [they] perceive to be legitimate racism”.

  317. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Was Roderick Scott acquitted due to legal technicalities?

    Non-sequitur, not under discussion. Is your argument so piss poor you have to stoop to such stupidity? We are talking about Zimmerman only. So, where is your real evidence for this case?

  318. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and bigotincognito, I mean any evidence that Zimmerman didn’t keep escalating his aggression, and actually stepped out of the situation?

  319. guyincognito says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Non-sequitur, not under discussion. Is your argument so piss poor you have to stoop to such stupidity? We are talking about Zimmerman only. So, where is your real evidence for this case?

    The cases have a number of similarities. I think it’s relevant to pose a similar court outcome in which the defendant was also acquitted of murder charges due to claims of self-defense. Is race the issue? Is self-defense the issue? Is self-defense with a gun the issue? Please elaborate on the “technicalities” in the GZ case.

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Oh, and bigotincognito, I mean any evidence that Zimmerman didn’t keep escalating his aggression, and actually stepped out of the situation?

    Is confronting a suspicious person about their intentions considered unlawful aggression?

    Where’s your proof that GZ instigated a physical assault on TM or tried to physically detain him until the cops arrived?

    You have GZ’s testimony that he was attacked by TM and you have eye-witness testimony that validates that he was on the ground, with TM perched on top, reigning down blows to his head. He also has physical injuries that support that account.

  320. guyincognito says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Oh, and bigotincognito…

    Real mature there…

  321. guyincognito says

    =8)-DX
    Yeah. The problem with racism in the West is all the anti-majority-demographic lynch mobs. And the problem with sexism is all those uppity feminist women who hate men. And the problem with unemployment is all those lazy bums who don’t want to work.

    No. The problem is that there are a lot of people who think they can decide “what [they] perceive to be legitimate racism”.

    Reverse the races. Make TM Hispanic and GZ Black. Based on the evidence presented by the Prosecution, Black GZ should still be acquitted. If that’s not the case, I would agree that it was an unfair ruling. Please post examples of similar court outcomes and I will more than likely agree with the outrage.

  322. John Morales says

    guyincognito:

    [1] Where’s your proof that GZ instigated a physical assault on TM or tried to physically detain him until the cops arrived?

    [2] You have GZ’s testimony that he was attacked by TM and you have eye-witness testimony that validates that he was on the ground, with TM perched on top, reigning down blows to his head. He also has physical injuries that support that account.

    1. There is, as you know, no proof of that (nor of the converse). There is only the high likelihood that Zimmerman was the aggressor, based on the indisputable information at hand.

    2. You do realise that the injuries and the eyewitness testimony are no less congruent with a scenario where Zimmerman’s testimony is a self-serving lie?

    Why do you focus on who may have instigated a physical altercation, when it is clear it was the result of Zimmerman following the victim?

    (Let me guess: you care that the legalities are satisfied more than that justice is done)

  323. Anri says

    I think we can all agree with guyincognito that since the justice system serves white and black equally well, and equally fairly, identical reactions to possible injustice are likely to be the norm.

    …right?

    I mean, the alternative, that somehow we might even propose the notion – crazy, silly, totally counterfactual, I know I know! – that justice in this country is somehow not color blind, and that whites more often demonstrate their displeasure with the legal system by changing it, rather than merely protesting against it… well, we’d be living in some kind of fantasy world!

    In the meantime, I’ll ask again: how did Zimmerman get so badly beaten up when he stayed in his car?

  324. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Was Roderick Scott acquitted due to legal technicalities?

    Who the shit cares what YOU THINK. We are talking about Zimmersman’s aggressive acts until he pulledx the trigger on an unarmed teen.

    Is confronting a suspicious person about their intentions considered unlawful aggression?

    Unless you are a policeman, yes. END OF STORY. Nobody has to give a stranger time of day without a badge. You should know that…

    Real mature there…

    Compared to your juvenile posts trying to spin a know murderer as anything but…

    Where’s your proof that GZ instigated a physical assault on TM or tried to physically detain him until the cops arrived?

    Don’t need it. Until Zimmerman backed off his aggressive acts, he was the aggressor by Root Cause Analysis. Show me where he did back down and let the police handle the matter, or shut the fuck up. What happened when the aggressor had someone STAND THEIR GROUND is irrelevant.

  325. clidna says

    This has been a very interesting thread to read, and I’m glad I came across it. I’ve noticed an awful lot of people who think that GZ was in the right to use the force he did, and to them I have one question – let’s assume that everything you are trying to convince us of is completely true – let’s assume that Trayvon did indeed attack GZ unprovoked, striking fear in his poor innocent do-gooder heart. In light of the relatively light injuries he sustained (a couple scratches to the head and a broken nose, if memory serves), how could he feel he was in mortal danger when he knew damn well the police would quite literally be there any minute? He was the one who called them! He knew they were en route. He must have known they would put an end to any altercation upon arrival.

  326. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Sigh.

    md didn’t come back. All this windex used up on the timepiece and no one to appreciate the sparkling-clean face!

  327. says

    Racistguyincognito:
    Still clinging to the ridiculous idea that Martin was engaged in “suspicious activity”?
    No one who has put this this forward has defined what “suspicious activity” is.
    Martin walking from the store constitutes “suspicious activity” HOW? And how is that any different from anyone else walking from the store.

  328. guyincognito says

    Anri
    I think we can all agree with guyincognito that since the justice system serves white and black equally well, and equally fairly, identical reactions to possible injustice are likely to be the norm.

    …right?

    Where did I say anything like that?


    Reverse the races. Make TM Hispanic and GZ Black. Based on the evidence presented by the Prosecution, Black GZ should still be acquitted. If that’s not the case, I would agree that it was an unfair ruling. Please post examples of similar court outcomes and I will more than likely agree with the outrage.

    Anri
    In the meantime, I’ll ask again: how did Zimmerman get so badly beaten up when he stayed in his car?

    I apologize for not asking you about this. I mean to, but got busy with other responses. I’m confused? He didn’t stay in his car. I don’t understand the question.

  329. John Morales says

    guyincognito:

    Where did I say anything like that?

    Reverse the races. Make TM Hispanic and GZ Black. Based on the evidence presented by the Prosecution, Black GZ should still be acquitted. If that’s not the case, I would agree that it was an unfair ruling. Please post examples of similar court outcomes and I will more than likely agree with the outrage.

    Since you request evidentiary proof that it is not the case, it follows that you believe it’s the null hypothesis.

    (duh; Anri didn’t claim you said that explicitly, nor did he need to)

    I apologize for not asking you about this. I mean to, but got busy with other responses. I’m confused? He didn’t stay in his car. I don’t understand the question.

    Leaving aside that your purported business with other responses is not evident, it is good that you acknowledge that Zimmerman was the one who accosted the victim, rather than the reverse.

    (Now, try to follow the ineluctable implication, if you can)

  330. guyincognito says

    Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop

    Racistguyincognito:
    Still clinging to the ridiculous idea that Martin was engaged in “suspicious activity”?
    No one who has put this this forward has defined what “suspicious activity” is.
    Martin walking from the store constitutes “suspicious activity” HOW? And how is that any different from anyone else walking from the store.

    Why don’t you tell me your definition of “suspicious activity”?

    A Catholic priest inviting young boys over to his house for midnight Bible readings and pajama parties?

    The Retreat at Twin Lakes is a 260-unit gated townhome community in Sanford, Florida.The population in the development at the time of the shooting, was about 49% non-Hispanic white, 23% Hispanic (of any race), 20% black, and 5% Asian, according to Census figures. Both George Zimmerman and Tracy Martin’s fiancées were renting homes in the development when the shooting occurred. At the time of the shooting, Martin had been staying with his father’s fiancee at The Retreat.

    From January 1, 2011 through February 26, 2012, police were called to The Retreat at Twin Lakes 402 times. During the 18 months preceding the February 26 shooting, Zimmerman called the non-emergency police line seven times. On five of those calls, Zimmerman reported suspicious looking men in the area, but never offered the men’s race without first being asked by the dispatcher. Crimes committed at The Retreat in the year prior to Martin’s death included eight burglaries, nine thefts, and one shooting.Twin Lakes residents said there were dozens of reports of attempted break-ins, which had created an atmosphere of fear in their neighborhood.

    Three weeks prior to the shooting, on February 2, 2012, Zimmerman called police to report a young man peering into the windows of an empty Twin Lakes home. Zimmerman was told a police car was on the way and he waited for their arrival. By the time police arrived, the suspect had fled. On February 6, workers witnessed two young black men lingering in the yard of a Twin Lakes resident around the same time her home was burgled. A new laptop and some gold jewelry were stolen. The next day police discovered the stolen laptop in the backpack of a young black man, which led to his arrest. Zimmerman identified this young man as the same person he had spotted peering into windows on February 2.

    sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Trayvon_Martin

    Maybe the editors at Wikipedia are all racists? Why don’t you go in and edit it to reflect the truth? Make sure to cite your sources.

  331. guyincognito says

    clidna
    how could he feel he was in mortal danger when he knew damn well the police would quite literally be there any minute? He was the one who called them! He knew they were en route. He must have known they would put an end to any altercation upon arrival.

    All it takes is one blow to cause brain damage, paralysis or even death.

    Take the recent example of a drunken idiot who went up to a restaurant diner who was minding his own business and hurled a bunch of stupid racist insults. The diner got up and punched the drunk, who fell back and hit his head on the concrete. The idiot is in the hospital

    One punch critically injured a drunk white man who dropped the n-word at a Manhattan restaurant.

    Douglas Reddish, age 25, was eating with his girlfriend at Benny’s Burritos in the city’s West Village neighborhood when a worse-for-wear Austin Dewan, age 31, stumbled into their table on the sidewalk.

    Witnesses said that Reddish jumped up to help the visibly inebriated Dewan, but when he slurred out “This n***** wants to fight me” which resulted in Reddish losing control and punching him.

    In fact, he was so enraged he went to punch the unconscious man again, but the patrons stopped him.

    “I couldn’t believe it,” the witness said. “He mentioned the N-word, this guy hits him one time and he hits his head on the curb.”

    “He was out cold. I thought he was dead,” said Benny’s worker Robert Garcia to the New York Post.

    Dewan fell backwards with such force from the blow that he hit his head on the sidewalk’s concrete curb causing him to be knocked-out with blood pouring from a wound on his head.

    Paramedics rushed the man to Beth Israel Medical Center with head trauma.

    After realizing the state that Dewan was in, Reddish fled the scene.

    http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/douglas-reddish-faces-charges-after-n-word-punch-left-drunk-austin-dewan-knocked-out-bleeding-with-a-concussion-62451/

  332. guyincognito says

    John Morales

    Leaving aside that your purported business with other responses is not evident, it is good that you acknowledge that Zimmerman was the one who accosted the victim, rather than the reverse.

    (Now, try to follow the ineluctable implication, if you can)

    Here’s a thought experiment that shows the flaws of the “he started it” argument.

    A 30-year-old black man we’ll call Darnell Haskins, not especially tall, and not in great shape, lives in a mostly black town where young white toughs from the town across the river have been committing petty burglaries lately. Haskins is a self-appointed neighborhood “mayor” of sorts who likes to keep an eye on things.

    Haskins sees a white 17-year-old we’ll call Greg Pruitt walking through, follows him grumbling about these “young crackers” and stops him. It turns out Pruitt is just minding his own business visiting a friend, doesn’t take kindly to being detained, and one thing leads to another. Pruitt, six feet tall and not unaccustomed to defending himself, is on top of Haskins banging his head on the ground. Haskins, losing the battle and desperate, takes out his gun and fires. Pruitt dies.

    All will agree that this is a reasonable reconstruction of what likely happened that night in Sanford, Florida—except with the races changed. So: how many people would think Haskins should spend his life in jail for murder – even though he started it?

    Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2013/07/12/viewpoint-just-because-zimmerman-started-it-doesnt-mean-hes-guilty/#ixzz2ZHO2JC7d

  333. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    No, it’s just…

    Well, ever since the Max Dick McMacho thread, I’ve noticed a distinct trend in putting out a really good takedown of someone’s assertion or argument…and there’s never a substantive response.

    Racismnotsoincognito kept on about, “Geez, I subbed assault for battery, everyone does it, no big deal” when I repeatedly explained that the hugely consequential error was asserting that prosecutors should charge Martin with a crime for which they absolutely clearly couldn’t possibly provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt, because we know Martin wasn’t trying to commit a felony unrelated to the interaction with Zimmerman, and we know it was Z not M who had the lethal weapon. He was clearly making shit up, but never did he acknowledge that. If he had meant Aggravated Battery he would have been more-than-likely wrong as well, depending on how seriously case law takes a broken nose. So we know it wasn’t a common replacement error (and saying assault when meaning battery is a common error), because he didn’t mean Aggravated Battery either. Yet “aggravated” makes Martin’s actions sound so much worse…not so coincidentally. He was speaking untruth using specific jargon that would encourage people to believe him and he spoke that untruth (whether he believed it or not) in service of further trashing Martin – the victim in this whole thing. It was outrageous. But was there ever any acknowledgement that is was wrong in many, many senses that with Martin already at the short end of the largest injustice that can exist, GI said a prosecutor should throw the book at him so hard he should be charged with crimes of which he couldn’t possibly be guilty? Was there any acknowledgement that being outrageous for the sake of cowing people into believe you know what you’re talking about when you don’t might be more than just a little inappropriate in *this* context?

    Nope.

    Anyway, It’s not that I want md back. It’s just that I’m beginning to wonder if my opponents all have some great inability to understand the written word or if arguments are far less airtight than I think, or if they are intimidating people in a way that ends conversation but without communicating a good argument, or if my arguments are actually well thought, well constructed, and powerful and it’s just damn common for people to completely fail to acknowledge such arguments exist b/c they’re afraid to confront them.

    The last would seem rather arrogant, but I’m not excited about embracing either of the first three either.

    So I want some frickin’ acknowledgement from these folks, of the arguments, of the tofu of the matter. Do they concede? Do they bring up something I haven’t considered/ What? md is just the latest to fail to get back to something that I’ve considered important enough to really engage. It gets frustrating.

  334. guyincognito says

    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Racismnotsoincognito kept on about, “Geez, I subbed assault for battery, everyone does it, no big deal” when I repeatedly explained that the hugely consequential error was asserting that prosecutors should charge Martin with a crime for which they absolutely clearly couldn’t possibly provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt, because we know Martin wasn’t trying to commit a felony unrelated to the interaction with Zimmerman, and we know it was Z not M who had the lethal weapon. He was clearly making shit up, but never did he acknowledge that. If he had meant Aggravated Battery he would have been more-than-likely wrong as well, depending on how seriously case law takes a broken nose. So we know it wasn’t a common replacement error (and saying assault when meaning battery is a common error), because he didn’t mean Aggravated Battery either. Yet “aggravated” makes Martin’s actions sound so much worse…not so coincidentally. He was speaking untruth using specific jargon that would encourage people to believe him and he spoke that untruth (whether he believed it or not) in service of further trashing Martin – the victim in this whole thing. It was outrageous. But was there ever any acknowledgement that is was wrong in many, many senses that with Martin already at the short end of the largest injustice that can exist, GI said a prosecutor should throw the book at him so hard he should be charged with crimes of which he couldn’t possibly be guilty? Was there any acknowledgement that being outrageous for the sake of cowing people into believe you know what you’re talking about when you don’t might be more than just a little inappropriate in *this* context?

    Nope.

    Jesus Christ on a fucking cracker. I admitted I made an honest mistake. How much longer are you going to beat a dead horse?

  335. guyincognito says

    Another apparent “racist” weighs in:

    The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. says she is not a fan of the viral image of her uncle wearing a hoodie in support of Trayvon Martin. The image, created by artist Nikkolas Smith and spread widely by activist Van Jones on Twitter, shows a contemplative King wearing the garment, which has become a symbol of support for the slain 17-year-old.

    “I can almost promise you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would not wear a hoodie,” said Alveda King on the Andrea Tantaros radio show Tuesday when asked about the image. Alveda King is a former state representative in Georgia and a right-wing anti-abortion activist and minister.

    King said she and two of her cousins are calling on Americans not to “fight or debate” about the case, which she thinks did not raise any significant racial issues. The 29-year-old neighborhood watchman who shot the unarmed Martin, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of all charges against him on Saturday. Zimmerman is half Hispanic, Martin was black. “You’ve got two grieving and hurting families,” King said, before quoting her uncle. “We all need to live together as brothers.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/mlk-s-niece-on-viral-hoodie-image—dr–martin-luther-king-jr–would-not-wear-a-hoodie–164608597.html

  336. Lysander says

    my arguments are actually well thought, well constructed, and powerful and it’s just damn common for people to completely fail to acknowledge such arguments exist b/c they’re afraid to confront them

    It’s this one. Although I’m not sure if afraid is exactly the word, it’s more that they are aware that they lack the capacity to admit that they have been wrong, so when presented with an airtight counterargument they usually go somewhere else and repeat whatever bullshit you just shot down.

  337. John Morales says

    guyincognito evasively responds to Tony thus:

    Why don’t you tell me your definition of “suspicious activity”?

    A Catholic priest inviting young boys over to his house for midnight Bible readings and pajama parties?

    Well, it wasn’t that, was it?

    (In this case it purportedly was walking down the street whilst being a black boy wearing a hoodie)

    Maybe the editors at Wikipedia are all racists?

    Right — and maybe you’re just blowing smoke out of your fundament whilst desperately casting about for any distraction from your stupid narrative.

    All it takes is one blow to cause brain damage, paralysis or even death.

    Take the recent example of a drunken idiot

    So, you’d compare the case of a 29-yo person trained in self-defense vs a 17-yo junior schooler and who was supposedly in fear of his life after having having approached said youth with that of a drunken idiot who verbally accosted a sober diner, eh?

    (You do realise your comparison casts Zimmerman as the belligerent drunken idiot, no?)

  338. John Morales says

    guyincognito @379, I note that you don’t dispute that you acknowledge that Zimmerman was the one who accosted the victim, rather than the reverse.

    (Again, I urge you to try to follow the ineluctable implication, if you can)

  339. guyincognito says

    John Morales
    So, you’d compare the case of a 29-yo person trained in self-defense vs a 17-yo junior schooler and who was supposedly in fear of his life after having having approached said youth with that of a drunken idiot who verbally accosted a sober diner, eh?

    I’m only presenting the example of what sort of damage can be done by someone with fists and concrete. No other comparisons (ie. sobriety, race, age differences) are intended.

    Would you allow me to place a craigslist ad for an athletic, 5’11″ 160 lb 17 year old “Junior schooler” to sit on top of you and pound your head into the concrete? It’s not a threat. I’m asking if it’s a consensual experiment you’d like to take part in?

    I’d even give you the luxury of a safe word that once uttered by you, would immediately stop the beating.

    The only thing I ask is that you don’t try to defend yourself or stop the beating until I decide it’s finished, you’re knocked unconscious, or worse.

  340. John Morales says

    guyincognito”

    I’m only presenting the example of what sort of damage can be done by someone with fists and concrete. No other comparisons (ie. sobriety, race, age differences) are intended.

    Right — if you ignore all the differences, the circumstances are just the same.

    Would you allow me to place a craigslist ad for an athletic, 5’11″ 160 lb 17 year old “Junior schooler” to sit on top of you and pound your head into the concrete?

    Am I allowed to carry a concealed firearm while said junior is armed with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea, and to follow said junior and accost him at a time of my choosing, when he’s not expecting it?

    It’s not a threat. I’m asking if it’s a consensual experiment you’d like to take part in?

    Well, I’d not choose so, unlike Zimmerman.

    (I don’t get my kicks by playing vigilante)

    I’d even give you the luxury of a safe word that once uttered by you, would immediately stop the beating.

    From your own link: “The Volusia County medical examiner found that Martin was killed by an injury resulting from a single gunshot to the chest, fired at “intermediate range”, between 1 and 18 inches according to a forensic expert.”

    (I’d not need a safe word any more than Zimmerman did)

    The only thing I ask is that you don’t try to defend yourself or stop the beating until I decide it’s finished, you’re knocked unconscious, or worse.

    The worse would be your craigslist sucker would be shot dead at close range.

    (Better make it a black dude, no?)

    Fuck but you’re disingenuous — the only way you sustain your conceit is by imagining the perpetrator (Zimmerman) was some sort of helpless victim, who was beset by the actual victim (the dead kid, Trayvon Martin).

  341. minnik says

    guyincognito

    Reverse the races. Make TM Hispanic and GZ Black. Based on the evidence presented by the Prosecution, Black GZ should still be acquitted. If that’s not the case, I would agree that it was an unfair ruling. Please post examples of similar court outcomes and I will more than likely agree with the outrage.

    Whether you reverse the races or not, whether the prosecution did a sufficiently good job or not, it was Zimmermans who was the aggressor and therefore should not be able to claim self defence and is ultimately at fault for Martins death. What is unfair is how this whole situation came about, starting with the call Zimmerman made to the police because someone was just walking (unless the residents of that area had agreed that they would not be outside after 6.30 pm), all through what happened after the shooting and including laws that can be interpreted in an unfair way so easily.

    What do you mean by similar court outcomes here? Even one unjust court outcome is well enough to be upset about? And it is difficult to compare similar self defence cases because the specific circumstances in them are very important and those involved can have so diverse reactions. Comparing specific aspects of cases may be more helpful, depending on what t is that you want to illustrate.

  342. says

    Racistguyincognito:
    God you are dense.
    The point many people have been trying to make that you refuse to get is that racism exists throughout society at all levels to various degrees. That includes the legal system. The deck is stacked against african americans to a great degree. Much of the racism is institutionalized to the point that people do not see it, especially those LIKE YOU who are not directly affected by it. Your constant refrain of “reverse the races” is utterly meaningless and does nothing to alter this. In fact, it is an exercise in you continuing to miss the fucking point.

  343. says

    Guyincognito:
    Oh you really are not interested in arguing honestly are you?
    I am not the one using the stupid phrase “suspicious activity” asswipe. I am the one stating that there is no definition of it bc it is too open to personal interpretation and bias! Zimmermans bias against black people, for instance. You and all those like you continue to use the phrase as if it means something, yet cannot define it.
    More important, you miss the point again.

    Martin was not doing anything wrong. He was a teenager, walking back from a store in the early evening hours. Those of you using a different narrative need to define what is so damned suspicious about this and explain yourselves. Fuck, at 37 I have walked to the store from my home at night. There is nothing suspicious about walking, day or night, with or without a hoodie carrying or not carrying Skittles and iced tea, or talking/not talking to someone on your cellphone.

  344. says

    With that, I am done here I think.
    Racistguy is not interested in discussion. He just wants to talk about all these other cases as if they hsve any bearing on this one. Fuck, what a goddamned shithead.

  345. randay says

    A little history. Between 1882 and 1930, at least 250 blacks were lynched in Florida. Amazingly in 1899, two were lynched for having “aided in lynching”. How do you figure that one out?

    Most were accused of heinous crimes, but between accusation and guilt there is a big step.

    One accusation was “in company of a white woman”. Another for “giving evidence”. Yet another for “refused information”. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Several accusations are “unknown”, one even “no offense”, and a black woman lynched by “mistaken identity” and a man for “race hatred”. Another one hard to figure. A couple were accused of “moonshining”, as if no good ole boy rednecks didn’t moonshine.

    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fltttp/lynchings.htm

    Thanks Florida for legalizing lynching, which wasn’t even the case when the above events happened.

  346. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    There was a recent spate of burglaries in the area, so Zimmerman, as neighbourhood watch guy, was presumably on high alert. He saw a young black man wandering about in the rain with his hood up, and assumed he was up to no good.

    In short, he stereotyped him based on a combination of race and dress. Racial stereotyping is a facet of racism. Guyincognito, if you disagree with any of that, please explain why.

  347. says

    @racistguyincognito:

    Alveda King doesn’t know what the fuck her uncle would or would not do. She uses him as an anti-gay icon and claims he wasn’t for same-sex marriage or equality when he most certainly was, according to his WIFE.

  348. md says

    CripDyke,

    Sorry to keep you waiting. I hadn’t seen your response to my last. Believe it or not I have a life away from this blog. As to your response, well, as you admit, you are speculating as to why La Rionda would say what he said. With all due respect to your research, and I mean that earnestly and will say I have no legal training and your legal grasp is superior to mine, I still lean towards the reductionist summary.

    1) The defense did not invoke SYG. I know this because there was no immunity hearing.

    2) The prosecution says they did not change their prosecutorial strategy based on SYG. Says further that SYG did not change pre-existing self defense laws, which were in play in the case. I suppose he could be ‘minimizing’, as you put it, but I don’t read minds.

    In short SYG was added to the legal code alongside existing self defense laws. This case, both the defense and prosecutorial strategies, turned on the self defense claim.

    I do not contend that SYG had no effect on the entire case. Yes, the police cited SYG was why they initially let him go. Yes, the ensuing delay probably had some effect on evidence gathering. But when the trial came before the jury, SYG was not in play.

    You assert that the SYG amendment made some changes to language regarding ‘deadly force’ in the Defense of Persons statute. Maybe this is the source of my misunderstanding. Am I right in understanding your assertion as: had SYG not been written into Florida law, Zimmerman could not have claimed the legal right to use deadly force in his Defence of Persons strategy?

  349. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    The only thing I ask is that you don’t try to defend yourself or stop the beating until I decide it’s finished, you’re knocked unconscious, or worse.

    You’re a piece of shit and you need to fuck off.

  350. Rey Fox says

    Would the Marissa Alexander case (see comment #18) be a good counterargument, or would it have to be similar to Zimmerman in every detail, otherwise race doesn’t factor into these cases nosiree not at all?

  351. Anthony K says

    I’m only presenting the example of what sort of damage can be done by someone with fists and concrete.

    If that was Zimmerman’s fear, then he likely would have stayed in his car. And probably not spent a year training MMA.

    I spent the better part of a decade training bak hok pai gong fu. The possibility of killing someone with a wayward punch, accidentally, was drummed into our heads as just one of the reasons one didn’t run around playing Batman. When I engaged people on the street involved in ‘suspicious activity’—by that I mean people in the act of assaulting another, not people wearing the wrong colour skin—I made damn sure every single action of mine, from how I approached the assailant to how I responded to getting punched in the face myself, was intended to de-escalate.

    Obviously, you’re throwing wild haymakers in desperation, guyincognito. You’d best be careful. You’re liable to hurt yourself.

  352. md says

    In attempting to answer my own question here is the statute in 2004

    “…However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”

    And the relevant statutes in 2012

    Its expanded after 2005, but the relevant language again

    “…A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

    SYG refers to the duty to retreat. Like it or not, the jurors accepted GZ’s version of the story, or at least felt they did not have reasonable doubt to disbelieve his version, which obviates SYG. According to GZ, and accepted by the jurors, he had no opportunity to retreat. Refering to the new statute GZ was “attacked in a place where he had a right to be” and could “meet force with force, including deadly force…”

    The ‘deadly force’ language you refer to existed in 2004, prior to SYG, and the language authorizing it 2012 is not significantly different as it applies to this case. I don’t see what clause exonerates him in 2012 that was not there in 2004. It reads that way to me and the prosecutor says the same thing.

  353. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Something that appears to be forgotten by Zimmerman apologists, is that neighborhood watch means just that. Watch, and call the police if one sees what you think is suspicious activity. Then it will be handled by the police. Neighborhood watch should never, ever, approach anybody as you have no authority to even ask questions. Zimmerman should have stayed in his vehicle. Failure to do so was an aggressive action on his part.

  354. Anthony K says

    Failure to do so was an aggressive action on his part.

    In fact, it was positively suicidal on his part, what with his knowledge and fear of the deadliness of sidewalks, and their omnipresence in suburban areas outside of his car.

  355. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @md

    Now we’ve got the knowledge to be more or less on the same page. You originally asserted that SYG was not invoked, but that self-defense was.

    Part of the problem is that SYG is a law, but that apparently some people are using it isomorphically with a subset of the law. My post responding to you was quite clear that relying on an amended 776.012 **is** relying on SYG.

    I have not claimed a precise quantum of effect on the case. However, 8 years of precedent means 8 years of differently-worded decisions from trial and appellate courts. Neither of us is sufficiently expert (or even remotely close to the same) to make that determination. But you are now claiming that the change within a section had literally zero effect on the case – even through the cascading effect of case law – or we are perfectly in agreement.

    I believe, frankly, that the clear reading of your own quotes is that neither official is willing to say it had zero impact.

    Therefore to say SYG was not at issue is clearly false.

    On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be a clear way established in the popular press to refer to the procedure contained within .013 without referring to the amendments to 2 other sections also contained in the act. I am perfectly happy if you go away unwilling to state as fact that SYG was not at issue, but that 776.013 (however you make that clear) was not at issue and that *in your opinion* the amendment to .012 had no impact on this case.

    i think it’s silly. I know enough about cascading case law and about how stupidly people latch on to portions of a decision’s reasoning in contradiction of that reasoning in the fuller context (see US Supreme Court’s recent VRA decision and analysis of the “dignity of states” argument for details of one certain-to-be-classic example) to think that small wording changes don’t have major effects over years.

    I can’t say the effects were major here, but I can say opining the changes to the section that permits standard self-defense claims had no impact are reckless without some authoritative statement from someone with detailed knowledge of the specifics of the case **and** detailed knowledge of FL case law regarding DoP.

    So long as your claims about .012 are clearly marked as opinion, we’ll disagree, but it won’t be dishonest or arguing in bad faith. So long as when you say that something wasn’t at issue, you make clear it wasn’t the whole of SYG, but a particular procedural mechanism, then we will agree.

    The sticking point seems to be that you believe that when officials say “sort of” or “hasn’t changed all that much” what they mean is that the impact on the case was literally zero. I find that reading bizarre, but I won’t waste any more time arguing the specifics of those quotes now that we’ve gotten down to the actual law.

  356. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Anthony K –

    Failure to do so was an aggressive action on his part.

    In fact, it was positively suicidal on his part, what with his knowledge and fear of the deadliness of sidewalks, and their omnipresence in suburban areas outside of his car.

    Thanks for this. Brought a little smile to my face.

  357. guyincognito says

    Racist bigot Jimmy Carter

    The jury made the “right decision” in the George Zimmerman murder trial, former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday.

    “I think the jury made the right decision based on the evidence presented, because the prosecution inadvertently set the standard so high that the jury had to be convinced that it was a deliberate act by Zimmerman that he was not at all defending himself, and so forth,” Carter told Atlanta news channel WXIA. “It’s not a moral question, it’s a legal question and the American law requires that the jury listens to the evidence presented.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/jimmy-carter-george-zimmerman-verdict-94320.html#ixzz2ZK9XGrcV

  358. vaiyt says

    “Suspicious activity”? Walking TO YOUR OWN DAMN HOUSE in YOUR OWN DAMN NEIGHBORHOOD while black is now suspicious activity?

    Maybe according to the racist paranoia of Zimmerman, or the racist faux-obliviousness of guyincognito. I guess I haven’t taken enough levels in Racist Asshat to grok that.

  359. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, still no evidence Zimmerman wasn’t the aggressor. Any law that allows one to be aggressor and claim self-defense if the victim stands their ground doesn’t make sense, and should be changed/abolished or more killing of unarmed black teens will occur with regularity. That’s a form of lynching.

    This isn’t about the verdict, but rather the situation itself. The aggressor should never be able to claim self-defense until they can demonstrate they backed down/away first and were followed.

  360. vaiyt says

    There was a recent spate of burglaries in the area, so Zimmerman, as neighbourhood watch guy, was presumably on high alert. He saw a young black man wandering about in the rain with his hood up, and assumed he was up to no good.

    No racism here. Racism is only white hoods and burning crosses, yanno. Even when it kills just the same.

  361. vaiyt says

    guyincognito:

    Based on the evidence presented by the Prosecution, Black GZ should still be acquitted.

    Do you really think that would ever happen?

  362. says

    @racistguyincognito:

    I agree with President Carter. The prosecution should never have gone for second degree murder. But after manslaughter charges were offered, they should have been put on him. Zimmerman walked away from murdering a kid who he had no reason to pursue.

    Certainly he may have had a reason to be suspicious of the young man, but he’s not a cop. He shouldn’t have left his car. He should have called the cops and told them that Martin was suspicious and was walking behind some houses, get a black-and-white out here to check it out. That’s it.

    Zimmerman escalated the situation. If Martin attacked, it was because he was fucking creeped out (understandable!) and wanted to get some creeper off his case.

  363. guyincognito says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yawn, still no evidence Zimmerman wasn’t the aggressor. Any law that allows one to be aggressor and claim self-defense if the victim stands their ground doesn’t make sense, and should be changed/abolished or more killing of unarmed black teens will occur with regularity. That’s a form of lynching.

    What evidence is there that GZ was the aggressor?

    What FL law allows you to physically assault someone who you think might be following you?

    “A man was watching him,” said Rachel Jeantel, 19, who was on the phone with Martin just before he was fatally shot. “He said the man kept watching him. He kept complaining that a man was just watching him.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/26/justice/zimmerman-trial

    Are you claiming that GZ exited his car, with his gun drawn to confront TM? We don’t know that. All we have is GZ’s police interrogation testimony. Feel free to ignore that.

    Why would TM confront GZ if he had is gun visibly drawn? Who closes the distance on someone with a gun? If he feared for his safety, why wouldn’t TM run the other way to the home that he was staying at which was just down the block? If GZ shot at TM while they were both standing, where would the bruises/lacerations on GZ’s head (broken nose, 2 black eyes, lacerations on the back of his head) come from? Did GZ inflict these bruises to himself after he shot TM while they were both on their feet standing?

    All of the evidence for this case (eyewitness testimony, bruises to GZ consistent with his alleged account) point to TM being on top of GZ, on the ground, and punching him repeatedly in the head.

    Do you agree with that last sentence or not?

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    This isn’t about the verdict, but rather the situation itself. The aggressor should never be able to claim self-defense until they can demonstrate they backed down/away first and were followed.

    Where’s the Justice for Christopher Cervini? Why should Roderick Scott have been acquitted of murder on a similar claim of self-defense? In a similar situation, why is it only an injustice when the races are reversed and the media can turn it into a circus?

  364. says

    What evidence is there that GZ was the aggressor?

    The fact that he strapped on his gun and went to go follow someone and confront them That is aggressive behaviour, hence why GZ is described as the aggressor.

  365. guyincognito says

    KevinKat
    Zimmerman escalated the situation. If Martin attacked, it was because he was fucking creeped out (understandable!) and wanted to get some creeper off his case.

    If he was “creeped out”, why didn’t he just go home to the house he was staying at and/or call the police?

    Why confront GZ at all either violent or non-violently?

    Especially if he had a already drawn weapon as I’ve seen some here claim.

  366. Anthony K says

    The fact that he strapped on his gun and went to go follow someone and confront them That is aggressive behaviour, hence why GZ is described as the aggressor.

    Don’t be absurd. Guns completely neutral, like pieces of paper which can be used to write Moby Dick or Mein Kampf. The only difference is that, after having been used to write Mein Kampf, one could argue that paper was wielded by the writer with the intent of writing Mein Kampf. Not so with guns, which never collapse their probabilistic peace wave function.

  367. Menyambal --- Ooo, look! A garage sale ... says

    GZ was the aggressor because he said that he was going to do something, and the police told him to not do it. GZ was the aggressor because he made an aggressive rant. GZ was the aggressor because he put an un-armed teen half his size in a situation where he had to fight. GZ was the aggressor because he had a gun and wanted to be a cop/vigilante. GZ was the aggressor because he wound up killing someone.

  368. Anthony K says

    If he was “creeped out”, why didn’t he just go home to the house he was staying at and/or call the police?

    Why aren’t you asking that question of his killer?

  369. says

    (Ok, failed to stick the flounce)

    There appears to be some perception that talking about other cases has some sort of relevance, as if the context of each case are so similar, when they are not. Some in this thread fail to see the racism inherent in Zimmermans actions. One commenter in particular seems to think that swit hing the races will achieve…something. Not sure what, since reverse racism doesnt exist and we all know that racism is more than just prejudicial treatment of another based on perceived or actual race:

    Racism exists when prejudice+power combine to form social constructs, legislation and widespread media bias that contribute to the oppression of the rights and liberties of a group of people. Racism is systemic, institutional, and far reaching. It is the prevalence of racism within social structures and institutional norms, along with implicit and explicit enforcement by members of a group, that allows racism to run rampant and unchecked. America is a country seeped in white privilege, and our social structure is built on colonization and forced slave labor that then turned into further systemic and ongoing oppression of PoC. We have a culture that presents whiteness as the norm and all else as ‘other’ or different. White is presented as the beauty ideal, the main face in the media (unless we’re talking about criminals, then PoC get unfairly misrepresented), the standard, the regular. It’s a structural problem that affects the perceptions of jurors in criminal cases, admissions to colleges, funding for public schools, welfare and food stamp programs, the redrawing of district lines that affect where we vote, who we see represented on T.V. and how, what schools people have access to, what neighborhoods people live in, an individual’s shopping experience, access to goods and services; it’s extensive and a part of the fabric that let’s whiteness remain dominant in American culture.
    [...]

    The situations in which you, fellow white person, were involved were unfortunate and inappropriate, this is true. But to claim that these experiences were ‘reverse racism’ both diminishes and minimalizes the real and actual experiences of PoC who really do encounter racism. There is no system of oppression in America that actively works to oppress and subjugate white people. Sorry to break it to you, but your individual suffering is just that, individual. The individuals acting against you do not have the institutionalized power to actively oppress you in every facet of your life, nor would their racism be upheld and supported by government, media, and legislation if they did. Because you’re white.

    Reverse racism isn’t real because we live in a culture that supports and enforces whiteness as the norm and PoC as other. If you experience discrimination, prejudice, or bigotry, it’s valid to be upset about it and want to talk about it. It is not valid to claim that it is reverse racism, and certainly not valid to claim that it is racism on par with anything like the institutionalized racism that PoC will come into contact with. When a white person starts talking about reverse racism, what they’re really doing is derailing a conversation to make it about them. Their white privilege leads them to believe that what they say both matters and needs to be heard and is important and the conversation should stop to focus on their perceived ills. You know what? When somebody is talking about racism they have experienced, that conversation is not all about you, nor should you expect it to be, so stop with the derailing and just listen and learn.

    When white people complain about experiencing reverse racism, what they’re really complaining about is losing out on or being denied their already existing privileges. And while it may feel bad to realize your privilege is crumbling and the things you’ve taken for granted can be taken away from you, it is unfair, untrue, and disingenuous to call that experience reverse racism.

    http://feminspire.com/why-reverse-racism-isnt-real/

  370. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    If he was “creeped out”, why didn’t he just go home to the house he was staying at and/or call the police?

    He was going home.

    Why confront GZ at all either violent or non-violently?

    You only have Zimmerman’s word on who confronted whom.
    Non-violently confronting Zimmerman makes any sort of excuse for ZImmerman shooting the kid how exactly?

    Especially if he had a already drawn weapon as I’ve seen some here claim.

    Um. If Zimmerman had a drawn weapon, that makes him the aggressor, so… erm, I’m not sure what you’re trying to prove, but you suck at it.
    You do realize that bullets are kinda hard to outrun, and the advice when being at gunpoint would probably be more in the line of “try to reason with the gun toting person” instead of “try to break law of physics”.

  371. says

    @racistguyincognito:

    He was fucking going home.

    You’re engaging in some serious victim blaming assholery around here, and it’s fucking sickening.

    He should’ve run. He shouldn’t have been walking out that late. He should’ve not been wearing a hoodie. He should’ve stopped and answered Zimmerman. He shouldn’t have fought back. He shouldn’t have.. He should’ve. He should’ve.

    Fucking STOP it. Don’t you see what you’re doing? The point of the matter is a young black kid is dead. You second-guess his actions and you know what, I don’t think it’d matter in the end. Do you know why?

    Cause there are countless stories of other black boys doing everything Trayvon Martin did and did not do. Some of those boys made it home safely, while perhaps being harrassed. Others ended up dead.

    It’s not about Martin and Zimmerman and who’s to blame or who’s the aggressor. It’s about systemic racism and immediately pegging a black kid in a hoodie as “up to no good.”

    And fuck you very much for ignoring the first half of my post which said that Zimmerman should never have fucking got out of his fucking car! If Zimmerman had stayed in his car and let the police do their job instead of being Batman, then we’d not be having this conversation and Trayvon Martin would probably be out having fun with his friends!

  372. guyincognito says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy
    The fact that he strapped on his gun and went to go follow someone and confront them That is aggressive behaviour, hence why GZ is described as the aggressor.

    Just to make sure I’m clear on what you’re saying, anyone who is carrying a legally obtained concealed gun is always the aggressor, even if it has not been drawn?

    Could a woman who confronted a man who she thought was following her and asked him about his intentions, was punched in the head, knocked to the ground, mounted and struck with continuous blows to her head, defend herself from further harm and possible rape by using her legally obtained gun?

    Would she be the aggressor because she “strapped on a gun” and confronted the man?

  373. says

    @racistguyincognito:

    Dear fuck do you read?

    The fact that he strapped on his gun and went to go follow someone and confront them

    Bolded the part that’s really fucking important.

  374. Anthony K says

    Could a woman who confronted a man who she thought was following her and asked him about his intentions, was punched in the head, knocked to the ground, mounted and struck with continuous blows to her head, defend herself from further harm and possible rape by using her legally obtained gun?

    Oh? Now thinking someone is following you is grounds for a confrontation?

    Why doesn’t she just go home or call the police? hmm, fuckhead?

    Jesus Christ, no wonder you’re incognito. Whatever sadistic scientists who removed your brain and replaced it with a bag of shit are probably looking for you to make good on their grant money.

  375. Menyambal --- Ooo, look! A garage sale ... says

    Martin was trying to “just go home to the house he was staying at”, but some nut was chasing him. He didn’t call the police because he was a young black man, and has been clearly demonstrated, the police didn’t care if he was killed, and because Zimmerman was playing the role of a cop, all gun and attitude and all.

    guyincognito, you are playing a religious game here. You want anyone who disagrees with you to explain everything, logically and without error, in a case where you make the rules and shift the goalposts. The facts are simple—a young man was killed, and no investigation into his death was done. You are asking us to define the hell out of scenario that none of us have first-hand information about, as if it were able to be explained in only one possible way, and we are saying that such rigorous questioning should have been done by the police immediately after the incident.

    You keep talking about single possible motivations or actions, as if a frightened boy and an angry man would have chopped logic on that hot night. And you want us to parse the possibilities.

    Again, the facts: A non-cop shot an un-armed minor. Nobody asked what happened.

  376. Anthony K says

    Could a woman who confronted a man who she thought was following her and asked him about his intentions, was punched in the head, knocked to the ground, mounted and struck with continuous blows to her head, defend herself from further harm and possible rape by using her legally obtained gun?

    Honestly, I can’t believe what a sleazy liar you are.

  377. guyincognito says

    Assuming GZ isn’t walking around with his gun already drawn…

    TM walks calmly up to the “crazy cracker” GZ and says “What do you want?”. GZ replies “Do you live in this neighborhood? I haven’t seen you around. Where do you live? I saw you cutting through the back yards. We’ve had a number of burglaries in the area. I’ve already called the cops and they’re on their way to check it out.” TM responds “I’m staying with my dad’s fiance just down the street. I don’t feel that I need to give you any further information. I’m going to wait at my house until the cops arrive to explain my side of the story. I’m on the phone with my friend right now who is acting as my witness, and I would appreciate it if you let me continue on my way.”

  378. guyincognito says

    Anthony K

    Honestly, I can’t believe what a sleazy liar you are.

    How am I being a sleazy liar?

  379. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why confront GZ at all either violent or non-violently?

    Why not confront the aggressive bigot? He need confronting so he would back down and leave the teen alone, as Zimmerman should have if he was following directions (directions for neighborhood watch is DO NOT CONFRONT ANYBODY). Zimmerman wouldn’t stop his escalation of his aggressive behavior and stay in his vehicle. When he stepped out, he was the aggressor by definition. Martin could stand his ground, but Zimmerman couldn’t. He was the aggressor. Simple.

  380. Menyambal --- Ooo, look! A garage sale ... says

    Just to make sure I’m clear on what you’re saying, anyone who is carrying a legally obtained concealed gun is always the aggressor, even if it has not been drawn?

    Now he’s doing the passive/aggressive distortion-to-extreme blame game. If I needed that, I’d go chat with my ex.

  381. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Because Trayvon being anything but unfailingly polite means Zimmerman had good reason to shoot him.

  382. guyincognito says

    Menyambal — Ooo, look! A garage sale …

    Martin was trying to “just go home to the house he was staying at”, but some nut was chasing him. He didn’t call the police because he was a young black man, and has been clearly demonstrated, the police didn’t care if he was killed, and because Zimmerman was playing the role of a cop, all gun and attitude and all.

    guyincognito, you are playing a religious game here. You want anyone who disagrees with you to explain everything, logically and without error, in a case where you make the rules and shift the goalposts. The facts are simple—a young man was killed, and no investigation into his death was done. You are asking us to define the hell out of scenario that none of us have first-hand information about, as if it were able to be explained in only one possible way, and we are saying that such rigorous questioning should have been done by the police immediately after the incident.

    You keep talking about single possible motivations or actions, as if a frightened boy and an angry man would have chopped logic on that hot night. And you want us to parse the possibilities.

    Again, the facts: A non-cop shot an un-armed minor. Nobody asked what happened.

    So it’s simply OK to look only at the races of the individuals involved and ignore everything else?

    How’s that not racist?

    How’s that justice?

  383. guyincognito says

    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Because Trayvon being anything but unfailingly polite means Zimmerman had good reason to shoot him.

    Because that’s exactly what I said!!!!

    Is there any difference between my ‘fake scenario’ and the ‘real scenario’ in which GZ ends up on the ground being repeatedly punched in the face by TM (which is supported by the injuries to GZ and the eye-witness testimony).

    Make GZ and TM both white or both black and given the evidence presented… the outcome of the trail SHOULD still be the same: justifiable self defense.

  384. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Oh, so the fake scenario was there just to fill the comment threat, good to know. We have a name for people who like to just fill threads with meaningless garbage – trolls.

  385. Anthony K says

    How am I being a sleazy liar?

    You clearly switched the positions of the stalker and stalkee in your analogy in order to support your point.

    If that wasn’t intentional, and you’re just really, really, dumb, then you might want to find a trusted adult to help you with thinking.

  386. logicalcat says

    @guyincognito
    “Make GZ and TM both white or both black and given the evidence presented… the outcome of the trail SHOULD still be the same: justifiable self defense.”

    I’m guessing you didn’t read the whole thread.

  387. Anthony K says

    I’m guessing you didn’t read the whole thread.

    No, but GI knows that Zimmerman knows how dangerously fatal asphalt is and still got out of his car.

  388. logicalcat says

    @guyincognito
    “What FL law allows you to physically assault someone who you think might be following you?”

    The Florida stand your ground law allows someone to do that. Off course according to the evidence (and ass hats like you who keep ignoring that Martin acted in self defence) this law can only be applied to white people.

  389. says

    Hey, guyincognito. You’re acting like a racist shithead. Stop now. Any more of your rationalizations and I will ban you.

  390. brucegorton says

    Why confront GZ at all either violent or non-violently?

    Because fear is a fight or flight response. You don’t seem to realise that Zimmerman’s behaviour was 100% consistent with what you would expect from somebody planning to violently rob or murder someone.

    That Zimmerman wasn’t black, didn’t mean that this would not occur to anybody, he was acting like a violent criminal stalking Martin. You seem entirely to lack an understanding of what is and is not suspicious behaviour to somebody who lives in a high crime area.

  391. guyincognito says

    Anthony K
    Oh? Now thinking someone is following you is grounds for a confrontation?

    When have I stated otherwise? Do you know the difference between talking to someone and physically assaulting someone? Which one is a crime? Does talking to someone (confronting them) without physically attacking them, but the other person (being confronted) in harm’s way?

    I see nothing wrong with TM non-violently confronting GZ and inquiring about his intentions.

    TM did nothing wrong until he physically assaulted GZ. Suspecting someone is following you is not grounds for physically assaulting someone.

    Anthony K
    Why doesn’t she just go home or call the police? hmm, fuckhead?

    Nowhere have I said that TM was under any obligation to hide in his home. If he was just a scared little boy, afraid that GZ was going to harm him, would it make sense for TM to confront GZ?

    Anthony K
    Jesus Christ, no wonder you’re incognito. Whatever sadistic scientists who removed your brain and replaced it with a bag of shit are probably looking for you to make good on their grant money.

    I’ve tried to remain civil and argue the facts presented in the case, but I’ve received nothing but taunts, called racist/bigot and told how stupid I am.

    This says a lot about the character of those who have responded to me.

    [Your arguments say a lot about your racist personality, too. Bye. Don't come back. --pzm]

  392. Anthony K says

    You don’t seem to realise that Zimmerman’s behaviour was 100% consistent with what you would expect from somebody planning to violently rob or murder someone.

    Uh, hello? He was the good guy. Neighbourhood Watch. Concerned citizen.

    Martin would have seen his halo and known he was no real threat.

  393. Nick Gotts says

    I’ve received nothing but taunts, called racist/bigot and told how stupid I am.

    When a lot of people call you a stupid racist bigot, it could be time to stop being a stupid racist bigot.

  394. Anthony K says

    This says a lot about the character of those who have responded to me.

    So run home or call the cops.

  395. says

    This says a lot about the character of those who have responded to me.

    It does, yes. It says that we can see what’s plainly in front of our faces and that we don’t tolerate bigotry. I personally consider these to be positive traits, but I can see where a flaming racist asshole would disagree.

  396. brucegorton says

    I’m not PZ but I can answer this:

    If the races in the trial were reversed and the known evidence was the same, should a non-guilty verdict have been rendered?

    No. And, lets face it, nor would it have been.

  397. Anthony K says

    So he’s a racist MRA asshole. Who would have thought that combination would ever come up?

    Oh, a poor, put upon white guy. Oh noes.

    Now I wish I hadn’t been so fucking nice to the fucking lying lackwit jackoff.

  398. Anthony K says

    If he was just a scared little boy, afraid that GZ was going to harm him, would it make sense for TM to confront GZ?

    Yes. I’ve done exactly that, because running is not necessarily the best action when you’re stalked by someone in a car.

  399. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Just walking while black was considered suspicious behavior, I’m sure running away while black would have made a much better impression on Zimmerman. I’m sure he would have a very convincing excuse for shooting Martin in the back in that case.

  400. Anthony K says

    I’m sure running away while black would have made a much better impression on Zimmerman.

    “Fucking punks. These assholes always get away.”

  401. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ve tried to remain civil and argue the facts presented in the case,

    No, you presented your spin on the facts of the case, the spin where the black teen always had to back down, and the paranoid bigot stalking him could do anything he wanted, including shooting the black teen for not being appropriately submissive. What’s the word to describe such fuckwittery? Ah, yes, racist. The shoe fits.

  402. vaiyt says

    Certainly he may have had a reason to be suspicious of the young man,

    Reason being “There’s a BLACK GUY!!!!1111 WALKING AROUND AT NIGHT!!!!!!!1111 OH TO THE FUCKING NOES!!!!!!!111111″

  403. Anthony K says

    Certainly he may have had a reason to be suspicious of the young man,

    Suspicion which apparently justifies his getting out of his car with a loaded weapon to confront Martin.

    Martin, of course, suspicious as he may have been, is afforded no such justification and his every action must be scrutinised, because any deviation from the ideal conflict-resolution strategy every 17-year-old should know is grounds for getting shot.

  404. vaiyt says

    I’ve tried to remain civil and argue the facts presented in the case,

    Racist asshats never seem to realize that a racist position is uncivil by design.

  405. vaiyt says

    Suspicion which apparently justifies his getting out of his car with a loaded weapon to confront Martin.

    Martin, of course, suspicious as he may have been, is afforded no such justification and his every action must be scrutinised, because any deviation from the ideal conflict-resolution strategy every 17-year-old should know is grounds for getting shot.

    That’s more or less what I’ve been banging my head about. Really? It’s fine if Zimmerman stalks Martin for two blocks, grabs a gun and corners him out of mere suspicion, but the moment Martin takes a stand to throw off the crazy guy following him, he’s fair game?

  406. says

    This makes me incredulous too. Grown up man comming to his thirties, who really should know better undeniably messes up – he follows unknown person in the dark against police dispatchers advice, yet this is consirdered somewhat OK and mostly ignored. And barely postpubescent kid possibly messes up his handling of the stalking, but is immediately and forever in focus for handling the situation in wrong an immature manner.

    These racist shitheads cannot even make their spiel superficially consistent.

  407. Anthony K says

    These racist shitheads cannot even make their spiel superficially consistent.

    Oh, sure they can. Hint: the woman or person of colour is always at fault.

  408. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, here’s the thing we can get down to now that we’re no longer cleaning up GI droppings.

    There is a good, non-racist reason to have thought Martin deeply suspicious – though it’s not relevant to this case b/c Zimmerman couldn’t have known.

    The crucial question is this: Was Martin carrying an unopened bag of skittles home from the store. I, personally, have carried many many skittle bags home from various stores, and it was an extremely rare and unusual case when the bag was unplundered upon reaching my domicile. You’re carrying a rainbow of fruit flavors in that pocket, completely immune to its charms? Deferring your gratification?

    That would cause me to deeply mistrust you.

  409. says

    If he was “creeped out”, why didn’t he just go home to the house he was staying at and/or call the police?

    This one just confuses me to no end, but it keeps being brought up by the GZ apologists.

    The other day I was on my drive home and the guy behind me seemed almost aggressively following me. I was seriously creeped out by the time we got a block from my house. Go home? Fuck, no. I’m not leading creepy guy to my house. Even if he doesn’t confront me there and then, he’ll know where I live and might come back again at some other time to make trouble. I turned a different corner and went around the block.

    Can these people not recognize the basic primal instinct of not leading what one perceives as a predator to one’s home?

    The “call the police” bit induced an ::eyeroll:: that nearly tore my optic nerves. Seriously? I recognize that they probably don’t have much experience with the conditions male black youths have to put up with from polices in general, but have these people not been following Ed Brayton, or any of those who write about civil liberties. Yeah, like a black kid is going to feel comfortable calling the cops.

  410. Anri says

    He’s gone now, but my question finally got noticed, so I guess I’ll get my licks in post-banning:

    I apologize for not asking you about this. I mean to, but got busy with other responses. I’m confused? He didn’t stay in his car. I don’t understand the question.

    Right.
    He didn’t stay in his car.
    That’s, um, kinda my point.
    He got in a fight, and killed an unarmed 17 year old kid because he didn’t fucking stay in his fucking car!

    Where did I say anything like that?

    Every single time you -or anyone else for that matter – has tried, with equal amounts of desperation and disingenuousness, to insist that race did not play a part in this incident, or the eventual legal outcome.
    You can’t blithely reverse the races here. As anyone who has (or is it wants?) the least smidgen of understanding of the history of institutionalized racism in the US would know.

    And then:

    Nowhere have I said that TM was under any obligation to hide in his home. If he was just a scared little boy, afraid that GZ was going to harm him, would it make sense for TM to confront GZ?

    I dunno, maybe he was just sick of getting hassled for being black.
    Perhaps he should have just been a Good Little Darkie and knuckled under to the guy with the gun, right?

    That’s one of the problems with being taught to stand up to bullies when they bully you. Some bullies carry guns.

  411. Anri says

    Anthony K:

    WHY DOES THIS FUCKING FREAK HAVE A GUN?!

    Didn’t you read that call list? There were black people! He saw them! BLACK PEOPLE!

    Walking around!
    Freely! Openly! SUSPICIOUSLY!
    Especially that prepubescent kid! If you see that many black people, YOU NEED A GUN!

    That article guyincognito linked to earlier on pretty much said so, right?

    (weeps)

  412. says

    From Anthony K’s link:

    36. April 22, 2011 – 7:09 p.m.
    Type: TEL
    Subject: Suspicious activity
    Report: Juvenile black male “apprx 7–9” years old, four feet tall “skinny build short blk hair” last seen wearing a blue t-shirt and blue shorts

    7 to 9 year old … suspicious activity? Suspicious enough to phone the police? Yeah, this kid’s probably responsible for those break-ins … sure. WTF. Oh wait, here’s the suspicious part: black male. Everything other than that is irrelevant to those like GZ. But, no sign of racism on GZ’s part, no indeed, none at all.

  413. says

    Holy Fucking Jesus In His First Job As Fry Cook, but these assholes fucking make me hate. “Oh, but what’s the difference between talking to someone and assaulting them?” Right. Because we know Martin started the physical contact. I mean, he was there to testify and all. And his friend was such a laugh on the stand, her testimony doesn’t fucking matter. Never mind that Zimmerman basically chased him fucking down.

    But we’ll listen to the killer. He’s totes OK by me.

    I know you’re gone, guyincognito (and good fucking riddance), but … FUCK YOU. Fuck you for your assumption that the scared kid chased down by a scary, creepy asshole Zimmerman doesn’t deserve your consideration. Fuck you for your insistence that Zimmerman had every right to chase him down in the first place (because, y’know, he looked suspicious and all).

    But mostly, fuck you for being shitbrained enough to provide cover for future Zimmermans. Because if there’s something America doesn’t have enough of, it’s racists assholes armed with lethal sidearms.

  414. clidna says

    How do you know that wasn’t said? Followed by Zimmerman attempting to refuse Martin the right to leave, “No, stay here and wait for the police!” (Because y’know, he’d look like a bit of an idiot for calling them for the umpteenth time). Martin refuses, Zimmerman threatens, a scuffle ensues, and oh, look, Trayvon Martin is still dead. Funny how that works.

    Yes, I realize I made all that up. That’s the point. Anybody can make up anything. The only facts we actually have are these: Zimmerman used racial profiling to convict Martin of being up to no good, in the courtroom in his head; Zimmerman called the authorities, whom he evidently didn’t have much faith in, and therefore; Zimmerman, being told it was unnecessary for him to stalk the suspicious person, does so anyway, causing a confrontation and a death. There is absolutely nothing that changes the CLEAR FACT that had Zimmerman not gone all wannabe cop and started following around and scaring an unarmed teenager, said teenager would be alive today and we’d be arguing about something else.

  415. clidna says

    (That was in reference to GI’s little fake scenario – this is why one shouldn’t start a post at night and finish it in the morning!)

  416. Anthony K says

    clidna:

    Because y’know, he’d look like a bit of an idiot for calling them for the umpteenth time.

    That was not a problem for Zimmerman. He called the cops because of potholes and trash on the road.

    But I shouldn’t have called him a freak. That’s not right.

  417. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    He called the cops because of potholes and trash on the road.

    Has that history of his been brought up at the trial? (sorry if that question has already been covered, I haven’t noticed it/forgot)

  418. David Marjanović says

    Just walking while black was considered suspicious behavior, I’m sure running away while black would have made a much better impression on Zimmerman. I’m sure he would have a very convincing excuse for shooting Martin in the back in that case.

    In self-defense even – standing his ground or something!

    WHY DOES THIS FUCKING FREAK HAVE A GUN?!

    …That’s a very good question.

    Jesus Hussein Christ. Zimmerman called the cops for everything and anything, and usually by dialing 911. He needs professional help!

    That’s one of the problems with being taught to stand up to bullies when they bully you. Some bullies carry guns.

    + 1

  419. elind says

    Yes, I realize I made all that up. That’s the point. Anybody can make up anything. The only facts we actually have are these: Zimmerman used racial profiling to convict Martin of being up to no good,

    I thought I would come back to verify if people here are still making stuff up; and you are.

    There was no evidence presented for what you say, so you made it up.

    I can only conclude that you think suspicious people noticed anywhere cannot be suspicious if they are black, assuming that can be determined in the dark.

    Weird. Martin could have run away, but Zimmerman could not when underneath Martin; so the latter is the aggressor. *sigh*

  420. says

    Oh, so another racist returns. Lovely.

    Perhaps elind can explain WTF is suspicious about walking from the store. You need to define the phrase before antone can begin to agree with you. As it stands, Martin was doing nothing wrong when Zimmerman racially profiled and began following him. So you have your work cut out trying to explain Martins “suspicious activity”.
    And I hope everyone will note how easily elind accepts Zimmermans narrative of events. You know, the guy with incentive to lie and a dislike of black people.
    Also note that elind is entirely incapable of understanding that Zimmerman being the aggressor refers to more than his role in the fight. His aggressive activities began when he followed Martin and then when he got out of his car. Fuck, they actually began when he thought he should arm himself as neighborhood watch man.

  421. vaiyt says

    There was no evidence presented for what you say,

    There’s no evidence for Martin doing anything suspicious but walking down the street while black. Your point?

  422. nightshadequeen says

    Yes, I realize I made all that up. That’s the point. Anybody can make up anything. The only facts we actually have are these: Zimmerman used racial profiling to convict Martin of being up to no good,

    There was no evidence presented for what you say, so you made it up.

    Zimmerman’s 911 calls:

    45. Feb. 26, 2012 (night of Martin shooting) – 7:11 p.m.
    Type: TEL
    Subject: Suspicious activity
    Report: Black male “late teens lsw[last seen wearing] dark gray hoodie jeans or sweatpants walking around area” … “subj now running towards back entrance of complex”

    44. Feb. 2, 2012 – 8:29 p.m.
    Type: TEL
    Subject: Suspicious activity
    Report: “BM[Black male] lsw: black leather jacket, black hat, printed PJ pants, he keeps going going to this” location

    41. Oct. 1, 2011 – 12:53 a.m.
    Type: TEL
    Subject: Suspicious activity
    Report: Two black male suspects “20–30 YOA in [white] Chevy poss Impala at the gate of the community.” Zimmerman “does not recognize subjs or veh and is concerned due to recent” burglaries in the area

    39. Aug. 6, 2011 – 10:20 p.m.
    Type: TEL
    Subject: Suspicious activity
    Report: Two black males, one wearing a black tank top and black shorts, the second wearing a black t-shirt and jeans … “Subjs are in their teens”

    38. Aug. 3, 2011 – 6:45 p.m.
    Type: TEL
    Subject: Suspicious activity
    Report: Black male last seen wearing a white tank top and black shorts … Zimmerman “believes subject is involved in recent” burglaries in the neighborhood

    36. April 22, 2011 – 7:09 p.m.
    Type: TEL
    Subject: Suspicious activity
    Report: Juvenile black male “apprx 7–9” years old, four feet tall “skinny build short blk hair” last seen wearing a blue t-shirt and blue shorts

    10. June 24, 2007 – 12:48 a.m.
    Type: TEL
    Subject: Suspicious activity
    Report: “By the pool”, two Hispanic males and one white male with “slim jim”

    I sense a pattern here…

  423. Rey Fox says

    Perhaps elind can explain WTF is suspicious about walking from the store. You need to define the phrase before antone can begin to agree with you.

    Well, it’s obvious. Suspicious behavior is like pornography, you know it when you see it.

  424. elind says

    There’s no evidence for Martin doing anything suspicious but walking down the street while black. Your point?

    You seem to miss the facts. Is that a habit?

    He wasn’t walking down the street. He was walking slowly in the rain in a poorly lit alley behind the townhomes where an uncommon amount of burglaries had occurred.

    Why do you conclude that because he was black, if that had been initially noticed, he could not be considered suspicious?

  425. elind says

    Well, it’s obvious. Suspicious behavior is like pornography, you know it when you see it.

    That is true, if you have ever seen any.

  426. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I thought I would come back to verify if people here are still making stuff up; and you are

    Nobody bought your lies and bullshit. Fuck off bigot.

    There was no evidence presented for what you say, so you made it up.

    No, you make it up. Zimmerman was the aggressor. End of story. Martin did nothing wrong from start to finish. You haven’t presented a lick of evidence otherwise–and your OPINION isn’t an never will be evidence.

    Weird. Martin could have run away,

    No evidence he was underneath Martin. But, unlike you, we see there is absolutely no legitimate reason for Zimmerman to get out of his vehicle. That was pure aggression, and from that point on, Zimmerman had to back down and run away and be followed in order to establish he could stand his ground. Martin could stand his ground if accosted by Zimmerman. Just as any intelligent person knows. Which leaves you and your bigoted attitude out.

  427. elind says

    Perhaps elind can explain WTF is suspicious about walking from the store. You need to define the phrase before antone can begin to agree with you.

    If you had lived there with your doors well locked you would know what was suspicious. This has been explained many times.

    Perhaps you can explain why Martin did not simply stop and identify himself, since any reasonable person familiar with the area would have done so, or even possibly if he was terrified of a creepy ass cracker (the equivalent of the N word in such circumstances) why he had not simply run home?

  428. Anthony K says

    or even possibly if he was terrified of a creepy ass cracker (the equivalent of the N word in such circumstances) why he had not simply run home?

    I covered that, above.

  429. elind says

    No evidence he was underneath Martin. But, unlike you, we see there is absolutely no legitimate reason for Zimmerman to get out of his vehicle. That was pure aggression, and from that point on, Zimmerman had to back down and run away and be followed in order to establish he could stand his ground. Martin could stand his ground if accosted by Zimmerman. Just as any intelligent person knows. Which leaves you and your bigoted attitude out.

    This is what makes this discussion interesting, between childish references to bigotry. You saw the evidence of injury, yet you ignore it.

    Getting out of a car to observe someone is aggression in your book. Do you not realize how that makes you a super supporter of the “stand your ground” idiocy, which was not raised by the defense in any case?

  430. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You saw the evidence of injury, yet you ignore it.

    Perhaps self-inflicted. I don’t believe your narrative, nor do I have to. Zimmerman was the aggressor from start to finish by Root Cause Analysis. Martin was totally innocent, and had SYG on his side. Zimmerman had to break off and be chase for SYG to come into play by him. You need to bone up on what is and isn’t evidence. YOUR OPINION ISN’T AND NEVER WILL BE EVIDENCE.

    Getting out of a car to observe someone is aggression in your book.

    In the book of all rational people who understand how neighbor watch is in no way supposed to accost anybody. They just observe from a distance. Only a bigot would think otherwise.

  431. Anthony K says

    between childish references to bigotry

    It’s a lot less childish than asking questions that have already been addressed, multiple times.

  432. elind says

    Anthony K

    I covered that, above.

    Sorry, I can’t find any reference from you. I only raise the issue because here in Florida it is most definitely a racial slur in such context, regardless of what the talking heads on CNN say.

  433. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Elind, nobody is going to believe you. You are a proven liar, bullshitter, and bigot. Fuck off.

  434. elind says

    Anthony K

    It’s a lot less childish than asking questions that have already been addressed, multiple times.

    You think 400+ posts need to be read before commenting on recent ones? I’m simply pointing out that even now, people are making stuff up.

  435. Joe says

    Getting out of a car to observe someone is aggression in your book.

    No, following someone in your car then getting out and following them on foot while armed is aggression in our book. This is significantly different to simply getting out of a car to observe someone.

  436. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You think 400+ posts need to be read before commenting on recent ones? I’m simply pointing out that even now, people are making stuff up.

    YES FUCKWIT, READ THE THREAD. THEN SHUT THE FUCK UP AS YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY THAT HASN’T BEEN SAID.

  437. Anthony K says

    Sorry, I can’t find any reference from you. I only raise the issue because here in Florida it is most definitely a racial slur in such context, regardless of what the talking heads on CNN say.

    That’s irrelevant to the question of why TM didn’t run, which was the question you asked, and the one I responded to.

    Look, if you’re that socially incompetent that you cannot even comprehend an answer to your own question, then sit this one out. You’re in no position to understand how actual humans perceive and respond to threats.

  438. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Elind, you OPINION will be dismissed out of hand. All you have is your OPINION and SPIN.

  439. Anthony K says

    You think 400+ posts need to be read before commenting on recent ones?

    When you’re asking questions of people, it’s reasonable to first consider whether those questions have already been answered. Because it’s not all about you.

  440. elind says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    Perhaps self-inflicted.

    Seriously?? Why do you say “perhaps”?

    SYG?? So you are actually a supporter of this ridiculous law, which most demonstrators FOR Martin are absolutely against.

  441. elind says

    That’s irrelevant to the question of why TM didn’t run, which was the question you asked, and the one I responded to.

    Look, if you’re that socially incompetent that you cannot even comprehend an answer to your own question, then sit this one out. You’re in no position to understand how actual humans perceive and respond to threats.

    This gets funnier and funnier (never mind the swearing from the Troll guy). Did you not notice that there were two parts to the question that you claim to have answered?

    You assume about as much about me as you do about the evidence you don’t like in this trial.

    You are in fact, an excellent example of why I bother with this debate, if one can call it that.

    Cognitive dissonance interests me, and not only in the case of religious fundamentalists.

  442. elind says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Elind, you OPINION will be dismissed out of hand. All you have is your OPINION and SPIN.

    Yes, that is obvious, but I have to point out that nothing I present is my evidence alone. On the other hand everything you present (in between insults) is denial of evidence.

    Why on earth are you in a blog that defines itself by lambasting people who do what you are doing?

  443. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So you are actually a supporter of this ridiculous law, which most demonstrators FOR Martin are absolutely against.

    You haven’t been listening. Since Zimmerman was the aggressor from start to finish, Martin could stand his ground. If he did, there still was no reason for a gunshot as Zimmermand had to turn away and go away from the scence and be followed. SHOW THE ME THE EVIDENCE THAT THIS OCCURRED, OR SHUT THE FUCK UP. That is the only way Zimmerman has the ability to SYG.

    You assume about as much about me as you do about the evidence you don’t like in this trial.

    I’m not, and haven’t been talking about the trial. I’m discussing Root Cause Analysis, which says Zimmerman was the aggressor from start to finish. Which is why you aren’t paying attention. I don’t give a shit about the trial verdict. It was programs by the prosecution in my opinion.

    You are in fact, an excellent example of why I bother with this debate, if one can call it that.

    There is no debate. Debate requires facts. You have nothing but OPINION, bigoted opinion.

  444. Anthony K says

    Did you not notice that there were two parts to the question that you claim to have answered?

    I pretty clearly blockquoted only the part I was responding to.

    Your response regarding the racism of the term ‘cracker’ in Florida isn’t relevant to either.

    You are in fact, an excellent example of why I bother with this debate, if one can call it that.
    Cognitive dissonance interests me, and not only in the case of religious fundamentalists.

    And you’re assuming cognitive dissonance in me on this issue based on what? A couple of responses to you?

    Nice work. Well done.

  445. elind says

    Anthony K

    When you’re asking questions of people, it’s reasonable to first consider whether those questions have already been answered. Because it’s not all about you.

    If you are too bored to actually argue anything, why are you bothering to say nothing of substance?

    This is only about me to the extent that I see you as a poor debate opponent.

    Maybe that makes it about you?

  446. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Elind, if your OPINION requires the stalkee and person of color to always back down, that is bigotry.

  447. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This is only about me to the extent that I see you as a poor debate opponent.

    You aren’t debating, which requires real facts and knowledge. You are pontificating bigotry, which requires neither.