The Stand Your Ground Law And The Zimmerman Trial

President_Barack_ObamaLast night, I appeared again (here and here) on the PBS Newshour to discuss President Barack Obama’s comments about the Zimmerman trial.  While I usually do not intrude on our weekend guest bloggers, I have received a few emails about a comment that I made about the Stand Your Ground law.  I was commenting on the President’s statement that we need to reexamine the Stand Your Ground law and noted that the law was not in play at the trial.  This led to a few emails objecting that I had ignored the jury instructions that they claim imposed the standard of the SYG law on the jury. I disagree and wanted to briefly explain.  Most were civil and insightful and I thought, after our exchange, it would be good to post a brief discussion on this insular issue from the trial.  There are important things to discuss in the aftermath of the verdict, as the President said, but we should be clear about our view of the underlying legal standards and trial record.

First, as I mentioned last night, I found Obama’s statement to be powerful and helpful. His sharing of his own experience is a valuable insight. I noted that there are two narratives in this case: a due process narrative (favored by those who agree with the verdict) and a race narrative (favored by those who disagree with the verdict). The President spoke largely to the latter narrative. It would have been useful to see the President acknowledge that this outcome can be justified by people of good faith on the basis for the evidence (though the President did commend the judge on her handling of the trial). However, his words were eloquent and deeply meaningful. I have included the full comments below for your reading if you have not had a chance.

Second, it was interesting to see the President signal that people should not expect too much from the civil rights investigation. As I have said before, this case does not present a record for a hate crime charge and would present an even weaker case for conviction.

However, it is my comment about the SYG law that I wanted to address. There is a common misunderstanding about the case. Many people believe that SYG was used as a defense. This mistaken view has been reinforced by people, including the President, calling for a national campaign against the law. (To his credit, he did not expressly claim that the law played a role at trial). In fact, the defense elected to present a traditional case of self-defense. SYG was waived pre-trial by the defense, which did not seek immunity under the law. As the Florida Supreme Court has stated, it is the immunity provision is generally referenced as the Stand Your Ground law. Dennis v. State, 51 So. 3d 456 (2010) (discussing “immunity from criminal prosecution pursuant to section 776.032, Florida Statutes (2006), commonly known as the ‘Stand Your Ground” statute.'”) The point of the law was to avoid the need for a criminal or civil trial entirely due to the immunity grant. Id. (“While Florida law has long recognized that a defendant may argue as an affirmative defense at trial that his or her use of force was legally justified, section 776.032 contemplates that a defendant who establishes entitlement to the statutory immunity will not be subjected to trial.”).

I also want to note, as many on this blog know, I have been a vocal critic (if not one of the most vocal critics) against these laws. I have written extensively against the Castle Laws currently in place in a majority of states and the SYG laws that extend these laws outside of the home. My argument for years has been that these laws are not necessary and encourage people to use lethal force with often disastrous results.

Some people have insisted that SYG was applied in the case as a defense through Judge Nelson’s jury instructions. This is understandable given the fact that the jury instructions state that there is no duty to retreat. The jury was told that if Zimmerman “was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed [as above].”

However, the common law does not impose a duty to retreat. It preexisted the SYG law in most states. If it didn’t, hundreds of thousands of cases of self-defense would have had different results after people defended themselves rather than flee. Indeed, this is a point that I often made in opposing these laws: you already have the right to defend yourself and not to retreat. There are slight difference in the jury instruction among the states, including Florida, but the Zimmerman instructions reflected the general common law standard for self-defense and the justified use of force.  If the President was referring to the no duty to retreat rule in his call for reform, he would have to change not the SYG laws but the common law in the majority of states.  This has been a rule either through statute or common law for a long time.  The change would require citizens to retreat or flee when attacked in most cases or lose the defense in the use of lethal force.

There has been much to do about the inclusion of an instruction that “If in your consideration of the issue of self-defense you have a reasonable doubt on the question of whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you should find George Zimmerman not guilty.” That is also found in many states though some states have different burdens of proof. That is not a reflection of SYG immunity but a state preference in self-defense cases generally. As noted above, the legislation that included the immunity provision also adopted the common law rule on self-defense. You have no duty of retreat in many states that do not have a formal SYG law. Many people who may not like the immunity provision (barring criminal prosecution) would likely support the common law rule that, once attacked, you do not have to flee in order to claim self-defense in the use of lethal force.  Note that in cases of non-lethal force, there is no such rule even in retreat states and, under the common law, you must still show that your use of lethal force was commensurate with the threat.

Moreover, the jury verdict seemed to reflect its view of the fact in relation to the main charge of the instructions (a standard charge) on self defense that a defendant is “justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself.” That is a standard that is used in the same basic form by all states that I know of.

This case turns on classic self-defense. Moreover, Zimmerman seemed motivated by an obsession with crime and not the SYG law. Even without the law, this encounter would have likely unfolded in the same way and the outcome at trial would have likely been the same, in my view. The outcome may have been different if Angela Corey had not over-charged the case and framed it as manslaughter. Many experts have criticized her charging and handling of the case. Yet, this again has little to do with the SYG law.

None of this means that we should not get rid of these laws. Those of us who have criticized these laws for years would welcome allies, particularly the President. I do believe that these laws, including the Castle Doctrine laws, do motivate some people like Joe Horn in Texas. However, the controversy over the Zimmerman trial should not be allowed to stray from the central and material questions, in my view. Reasonable people can disagree on the facts. In fact, one of the reasons this debate has remained so bitter is a refusal of both sides to recognize that reasonable people can disagree about what the evidence shows without revealing some bias or deep-seated prejudice. The jury clearly found the evidence lacking, as I pointed out in an earlier column. That does not mean that they were carrying out a racial agenda or blind to the historic mistreatment of blacks in America. They could have had a good-faith reason for reasonable doubt of what occurred at this place at that time.

Here are all of the jury instructions.

Update: In commentary on this posting, some have objected that Stand Your Ground was used in the jury instructions, which is precisely what this blog addressed below (though one person noted that he decided not to read the whole blog). There was an insistence that there is nothing to waive and no pre-trial hearing. That is simply not true. What most people refer to as the purpose of SYG is the immunity provision, which states as follows:

Fla. Stat. § 776.032 (2013)

§ 776.032. Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force

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

(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.

(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

In order to seek immunity, you have to invoke the SYG provision and have a substantive pre-trial hearing. The court rules on the matter from the bench. If successful, there is no criminal trial. See Wonder v. State, 64 So. 3d 1208; 2011 Fla. LEXIS 1246 (Fla. 2011). That is the most significant difference in the SYG law and most of us have referred to that provision in the case. The defense did indeed waive that argument in not seeking the pre-trial hearing. They wisely chose to make a conventional self-defense argument to the jury. Moreover, for those who read the entire blog, the point was that the no retreat language in the instruction is not the invention of the SYG law but rather a common law rule (though Florida did once have a retreat rule). No retreat is the common law rule and the SYG language comes from common law cases. While the wording may differ from state to state, most states have always recognized the right to defend yourself without having an obligation to flee or retreat in the face of an attack. In other words, you can have the same defense with no duty to retreat in states without a formal SYG law.

While this may be only of interest to some lawyers, these distinctions are often lost in the actual application to given cases.  Even states with a duty to retreat like Connecticut, that duty is required only if “he or she knows that he or she can avoid the necessity of using such force with complete safety (1) by retreating. . . ” See Conn. Sec. 53a-19. Use of physical force in defense of person. As stated in Smiley v. State, 966 So. 2d 330, the legislature did indeed change a prior rule with a duty to retreat in Florida with the legislation. Furthermore, as discussed in Weiand v. State, 732 So. 2d 1044, the Florida case law required a duty to retreat, but most states do not under the common law. The prior Florida law had exceptions for home or “retreat to the wall” defense. The legislation effectively adopted the common law rule in those other states. See Wayne LaFave & Austin Scott, Jr., Criminal Law § 5.7(f) (2d ed. 1986). Notably, even under the old Florida rule, Zimmerman could have made the same defense that he used at trial. He insisted that it was Martin who attacked him and that during the struggle he had to use lethal force in the struggle. Under the prior Florida rule, “if the defendant was placed in a position of imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and it would have increased his own danger to retreat then his use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm was justifiable.” Dias v. State, 812 So. 2d 487 (2002) The adoption of the common law rule however certainly changed the instruction to expressly eliminate any retreat duty. If you waived immunity by not asking for the pre-trial SYG finding, you were left with the same rule in other states under the common law.

Below are the President’s comments which I commend to you as worthy reading:

I wanted to come out here, first of all, to tell you that Jay is prepared for all your questions and is very much looking forward to the session. The second thing is I want to let you know that over the next couple of weeks, there’s going to obviously be a whole range of issues — immigration, economics, et cetera — we’ll try to arrange a fuller press conference to address your questions.
The reason I actually wanted to come out today is not to take questions, but to speak to an issue that obviously has gotten a lot of attention over the course of the last week — the issue of the Trayvon Martin ruling. I gave a preliminary statement right after the ruling on Sunday. But watching the debate over the course of the last week, I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit.

First of all, I want to make sure that, once again, I send my thoughts and prayers, as well as Michelle’s, to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they’ve dealt with the entire situation. I can only imagine what they’re going through, and it’s remarkable how they’ve handled it.

The second thing I want to say is to reiterate what I said on Sunday, which is there’s going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case — I’ll let all the legal analysts and talking heads address those issues. The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury has spoken, that’s how our system works. But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling.

You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.

There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator. There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.

And I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African American community interprets what happened one night in Florida. And it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear. The African American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws — everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.

Now, this isn’t to say that the African American community is naïve about the fact that African American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system; that they’re disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. It’s not to make excuses for that fact — although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context. They understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.

And so the fact that sometimes that’s unacknowledged adds to the frustration. And the fact that a lot of African American boys are painted with a broad brush and the excuse is given, well, there are these statistics out there that show that African American boys are more violent — using that as an excuse to then see sons treated differently causes pain.

I think the African American community is also not naïve in understanding that, statistically, somebody like Trayvon Martin was statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else. So folks understand the challenges that exist for African American boys. But they get frustrated, I think, if they feel that there’s no context for it and that context is being denied. And that all contributes I think to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.

Now, the question for me at least, and I think for a lot of folks, is where do we take this? How do we learn some lessons from this and move in a positive direction? I think it’s understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through, as long as it remains nonviolent. If I see any violence, then I will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to Trayvon Martin and his family. But beyond protests or vigils, the question is, are there some concrete things that we might be able to do.

I know that Eric Holder is reviewing what happened down there, but I think it’s important for people to have some clear expectations here. Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government, the criminal code. And law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels.

That doesn’t mean, though, that as a nation we can’t do some things that I think would be productive. So let me just give a couple of specifics that I’m still bouncing around with my staff, so we’re not rolling out some five-point plan, but some areas where I think all of us could potentially focus.

Number one, precisely because law enforcement is often determined at the state and local level, I think it would be productive for the Justice Department, governors, mayors to work with law enforcement about training at the state and local levels in order to reduce the kind of mistrust in the system that sometimes currently exists.

When I was in Illinois, I passed racial profiling legislation, and it actually did just two simple things. One, it collected data on traffic stops and the race of the person who was stopped. But the other thing was it resourced us training police departments across the state on how to think about potential racial bias and ways to further professionalize what they were doing.

And initially, the police departments across the state were resistant, but actually they came to recognize that if it was done in a fair, straightforward way that it would allow them to do their jobs better and communities would have more confidence in them and, in turn, be more helpful in applying the law. And obviously, law enforcement has got a very tough job.

So that’s one area where I think there are a lot of resources and best practices that could be brought to bear if state and local governments are receptive. And I think a lot of them would be. And let’s figure out are there ways for us to push out that kind of training.

Along the same lines, I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it — if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations.

I know that there’s been commentary about the fact that the “stand your ground” laws in Florida were not used as a defense in the case. On the other hand, if we’re sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed potentially has the right to use those firearms even if there’s a way for them to exit from a situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we’d like to see?

And for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these “stand your ground” laws, I’d just ask people to consider, if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.

Number three — and this is a long-term project — we need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our African American boys. And this is something that Michelle and I talk a lot about. There are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement. And is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?

I’m not naïve about the prospects of some grand, new federal program. I’m not sure that that’s what we’re talking about here. But I do recognize that as President, I’ve got some convening power, and there are a lot of good programs that are being done across the country on this front. And for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes, and figure out how are we doing a better job helping young African American men feel that they’re a full part of this society and that they’ve got pathways and avenues to succeed — I think that would be a pretty good outcome from what was obviously a tragic situation. And we’re going to spend some time working on that and thinking about that.

And then, finally, I think it’s going to be important for all of us to do some soul-searching. There has been talk about should we convene a conversation on race. I haven’t seen that be particularly productive when politicians try to organize conversations. They end up being stilted and politicized, and folks are locked into the positions they already have. On the other hand, in families and churches and workplaces, there’s the possibility that people are a little bit more honest, and at least you ask yourself your own questions about, am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can? Am I judging people as much as I can, based on not the color of their skin, but the content of their character? That would, I think, be an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy.

And let me just leave you with a final thought that, as difficult and challenging as this whole episode has been for a lot of people, I don’t want us to lose sight that things are getting better. Each successive generation seems to be making progress in changing attitudes when it comes to race. It doesn’t mean we’re in a post-racial society. It doesn’t mean that racism is eliminated. But when I talk to Malia and Sasha, and I listen to their friends and I seem them interact, they’re better than we are — they’re better than we were — on these issues. And that’s true in every community that I’ve visited all across the country.

And so we have to be vigilant and we have to work on these issues. And those of us in authority should be doing everything we can to encourage the better angels of our nature, as opposed to using these episodes to heighten divisions. But we should also have confidence that kids these days, I think, have more sense than we did back then, and certainly more than our parents did or our grandparents did; and that along this long, difficult journey, we’re becoming a more perfect union — not a perfect union, but a more perfect union.

Thank you, guys.

220 thoughts on “The Stand Your Ground Law And The Zimmerman Trial

  1. I still can’t believe I’m reading this sort of stuff from a law professor…..

    I stopped reading at this point in the entry: “In fact, the defense elected to present a traditional case of self-defense. SYG was waived pre-trial.”

    Just to be clear, anyone can read the Florida statutes themselves if they don’t believe what I’m saying.

    1. There is no special part of Florida statutes that is entitled “Stand Your Ground.”

    2. The phrase “Stand Your Ground law” refers to a section in the Florida statutes that describes the conditions under which a person is justified in using deadly force when engaging in self-defense. It is Florida self-defense law for cases where deadly force is used.

    3. The “Stand Your Ground law” is described in chapter 776 of FLA statutes, more specifically 776.012. It is Florida law. It does not require a special hearing. It does not require that someone “invoke” it. It cannot be “waived” because they did not have a pre-trial hearing. If someone is engaged in the act of self-defense and uses deadly force as George Zimmerman did, the law applies.

    4. What Professor Turley therefore said above is utterly meaningless. When one has engaged in the use of deadly force as an act of self-defense, the law has to be applied. The Zimmerman defense didn’t “present a traditional self-defense” as somehow distinguishable from a “SYG defense.” Zimmerman used deadly force in self-defense. The law applies. It’s all right there in Florida statutes

    SYG law cannot be “waived” as Turley suggests. IT IS FLORIDA LAW. There was never a “SYG hearing” either.

    So I guess maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt and read the rest of the entry. But it’s just so hard when I get to that sentence and I realize that a distinguished law professor doesn’t have his law right….

  2. SYG might not have been part of the Judges instructions to the jury, but Juror B37 specifically mentioned SYG more than once as part of the reasoning behind her vote of not guilty, and as one of the more outspoken jurors, she might have influenced the other jurors as well.

  3. War Crimes Tribunal Looking to ARREST Obama & Bush

    During the Nuremberg trials of some of the main Nazis, the chief American prosecutor, Robert H. Jackson, stated: “To initiate a War of Aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other War Crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Also established at the Nuremberg trials, “just following orders” is no defense against war crimes. “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”

    All the U.S. Government Invasions are illegal as were the Nazi Invasions. They are crimes of aggression. A crime of aggression at Nuremberg was to be the supreme international crime. Washington DC = Nazi Berlin. It is time for Nuremberg on the Potomac War Crimes Trials. “War Crimes Prosecutors appear to be out for the arrest of George Bush and Barack Obama. Lawyers file arrest warrants for those they claim are “murderers on a large scale.” As Hitler, Obama, Biden, Bush, Cheney and their co-conspirators are Supreme War Criminals.

  4. I noted that there are two narrative in this case: a due process narrative (favored by those who agree with the verdict) and a race narrative (favored by those who disagree with the verdict).

    I hope you meant that there are *at least* two narratives, as I certainly don’t fit in either of those two.
    I disagree with the verdict, but from a purely due process POV.

    In theory, the 6 jurors came to the trial with absolutely no preconceptions, no real knowlege of the affair and no real exposure to the raging disputes around it.
    According to Juror B37, two of them came from the courtroom thinking manslaugter. One of them thought M2. B37 came from teh cortroom thinking not guilty. Despite this she though that Zimmerman was wrong to get out of the truck and that he had gone to far. There is no way that she would be happy to have the Zimmerman of that night or the Zimmerman of the Hannity show on her neighborhood watch.
    That’s *at least* 4 of the 6 who thought Zimmerman had something to answer for.
    .

    The jury clearly found the evidence lacking,

    Let’s be absolutely clear.
    They were prevented from considering Zimmerman’s actions immediatly leading up to the struggle. Without that, evidence to prove culpability on the part of Zimmerman was lacking.
    .

    The jury was left with no option but to effectively declare Martin guilty and Zimmerman a saint.
    This despite – according to B37 – 3 of them believing him guilty of at least manslaughter and at least 4 of them believing that his actions were at fault – and a death resulted.

    That’s the most important thing about the case.
    My favorite one-liner again:

    “The fundamental danger of an acquittal is not more riots, it is more George Zimmermans.”

    .

    The civil rights case does not seem like a genuine runner – presuming that it centers on race and hatred. That’s not what happened i my view.

    What happened was a dengerously reckless and stupis person with a gun.
    The chances of identifying and preventing such people from carrying guns are slim.
    What should be done is an education process that might reach people inclined that way.
    What the Zimmerman verdict does is to encourage such people.

    I would hope that a civil case might serve to further education.
    I’m an incurable optimist :)

  5. I believe Mr. Kane’s analysis of Florida Law to be incorrect. A quick review of the applicable, reported cases from Florida’s appellate courts clearly set out a defendant’s burden when attempting to utilise a “Stand Your Ground” defense.

    When notice is given by a defendant of intent to use the “Stand Your Ground” statute, a separate evidentiary hearing is held by the trial court devoted solely to the issue of whether a SYG defense is applicable. Judging from the appellate decisions, defendants in Florida face a heavy burden in proving up a SYG-defense situation, and attempts to utilise the SYG defense are seldom if ever successful.

    It would be helpful if Mr. Kane obtained information on the number of times courts have permitted a defendant to assert the SYG statutory defense.

  6. con’t reply to Warspite

    And just to be clear, a defendant may have burdens under Florida law that are required for someone who has used deadly force in a self-defense situation. But that doesn’t contradict anything I said. If you utilize deadly force in self-defense, yes there are burdens. But one does not have to declare or “invoke” some “special” concept. The phrase “Stand Your Ground” as a title of a statue doesn’t appear anywhere.

    Also, the jury instructions in this case clearly use the phrase “stand your ground”: “If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

    It is Florida law. It doesn’t need some sort of special invocation.

  7. Eric Holders statements were not helpful at all…. If this were a crime based upon what I felt was racially based I would speak out very heavily….. But this one is a misused self defense situation that turned out in Zimmerman’s favor….. If the prosecutor had charged and not been complicit in withholding evidence this case might have ended up with either a hung jury or….a conviction….

    What’s interesting is Corey is still defending SYG laws while other prosecutors are against it….. I heard her speak yesterday….. I think the case has/had problems from the beginning…. But this was the topper…..

    This should be a lesson to prosecutors all over the country…. Charge the appropriate crime…. Don’t bow to political pressure…. Do what’s right from the beginning….

    Thanks professor…. I appreciate your input…l

  8. The article John Kane linked to says:

    • Those who invoke “stand your ground” to avoid prosecution have been extremely successful. Nearly 70 percent have gone free.

    • Defendants claiming “stand your ground” are more likely to prevail if the victim is black. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white.

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

  9. SYG laws can be called approved bullying laws. Any bully can approach an innocent person and start an encounter, then kill the person for fighting back. These laws give every gun-totin’ cowboy, every minority fearing suburbanite, every gay hating redneck the opportunity to kill while being the aggressor. Fight back and you are dead and the killer is innocent. Should be called a run or be killed law.

  10. Since George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, conservatives have argued that Stand Your Ground, Florida’s expansive and controversial self-defense law, was irrelevant to the case. After all, Zimmerman waived his right to a pretrial hearing that might have granted him immunity under the statute, and his defense team chose not to raise it during the trial. Case closed, right?

    This argument might make sense if, say, you didn’t pay attention to the details of the case until a few days ago. In reality, Stand Your Ground played a major role, from Martin’s death to Zimmerman’s acquittal. Here’s how:http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/07/stand-your-ground-george-zimmerman-trayvon-martin

  11. Trayvon Martin and the Irony of American Justice
    Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Jul 15 2013
    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/07/trayvon-martin-and-the-irony-of-american-justice/277782/

    Excerpt:
    In trying to assess the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, two seemingly conflicting truths emerge for me. The first is that based on the case presented by the state, and based on Florida law, George Zimmerman should not have been convicted of second degree murder or manslaughter. The second is that the killing of Trayvon Martin is a profound injustice. In examining the first conclusion, I think it’s important to take a very hard look at the qualifications allowed for aggressors by Florida’s self-defense statute:

     ”Use of force by aggressor.–The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

    “(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

    ‘(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, 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; or (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.”

    I don’t think the import of this is being appreciated. Effectively, I can bait you into a fight and if I start losing I can can legally kill you, provided I “believe” myself to be subject to “great bodily harm.” It is then the state’s job to prove — beyond a reasonable doubt — that I either did not actually fear for my life, or my fear was unreasonable. In the case of George Zimmerman, even if the state proved that he baited an encounter (and I am not sure they did) they still must prove that he had no reasonable justification to fear for his life. You see very similar language in the actual instructions given to the jury:

    “In deciding whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.

    “If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

    There has been a lot of complaint that “stand your ground” has nothing to do with this case. That contention is contravened by the fact that it is cited in the instructions to the jury. Taken together, it is important to understand that it is not enough for the state to prove that George Zimmerman acted unwisely in following Martin. Under Florida law, George Zimmerman had no responsibility to — at any point — retreat. The state must prove that Zimmerman had no reasonable fear for his life. Moreover, it is not enough for the jury to find Zimmerman’s story fishy. Again the jury instructions:

    “George Zimmerman has entered a plea of not guilty. This means you must presume or believe George Zimmerman is innocent. The presumption stays with George Zimmerman as to each material allegation in the Information through each stage of the trial unless it has been overcome by the evidence to the exclusion of and beyond a reasonable doubt. To overcome George Zimmerman’s presumption of innocence, the State has the burden of proving the crime with which George Zimmerman is charged was committed and George Zimmerman is the person who committed the crime.

    “George Zimmerman is not required to present evidence or prove anything.

    “Whenever the words “reasonable doubt” are used you must consider the following: A reasonable doubt is not a mere possible doubt, a speculative, imaginary or forced doubt. Such a doubt must not influence you to return a verdict of not guilty if you have an abiding conviction of guilt. On the other hand if, after carefully considering, comparing and weighing all the evidence, there is not an abiding conviction of guilt, or, if having a conviction, it is one which is not stable but one which wavers and vacillates, then the charge is not proved beyond every reasonable doubt and you must find George Zimmerman not guilty because the doubt is reasonable.

    “It is to the evidence introduced in this trial, and to it alone, that you are to look for that proof.

    “A reasonable doubt as to the guilt of George Zimmerman may arise from the evidence, conflict in the evidence, or the lack of evidence.

    “If you have a reasonable doubt, you should find George Zimmerman not guilty. If you have no reasonable doubt, you should find George Zimmerman guilty.”

    This was the job given to the state of Florida. I have seen nothing within the actual case presented by the prosecution that would allow for a stable and unvacillating belief that George Zimmerman was guilty.

    That conclusion should not offer you security or comfort. It should not leave you secure in the wisdom of our laws. On the contrary, it should greatly trouble you. But if you are simply focusing on what happened in the court-room, then you have been head-faked by history and bought into a idea of fairness which can not possibly exist.

    The injustice inherent in the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman was not authored by a jury given a weak case. The jury’s performance may be the least disturbing aspect of this entire affair. The injustice was authored by a country which has taken as its policy, for the lionshare of its history, to erect a pariah class. The killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is not an error in programming. It is the correct result of forces we set in motion years ago and have done very little to arrest.

    One need only look the criminalization of Martin across the country. Perhaps you have been lucky enough to not receive the above “portrait” of Trayvon Martin and its accompanying text. The portrait is actually of a 32-year old man. Perhaps you were lucky enough to not see the Trayvon Martin imagery used for target practice (by law enforcement, no less.) Perhaps you did not see the iPhone games. Or maybe you missed the theory presently being floated by Zimmerman’s family that Martin was a gun-runner and drug-dealer in training, that texts and tweets he sent mark him as a criminal in waiting. Or the theory floated that the mere donning of a hoodie marks you a thug, leaving one wondering why this guy is a criminal and this one is not.

    We have spent much of this year outlining the ways in which American policy has placed black people outside of the law. We are now being told that after having pursued such policies for 200 years, after codifying violence in slavery, after a people conceived in mass rape, after permitting the disenfranchisement of black people through violence, after Draft riots, after white-lines, white leagues, and red shirts, after terrorism, after standing aside for the better reduction of Rosewood and the improvement of Tulsa, after the coup d’etat in Wilmington, after Airport Homes and Cicero, after Ossian Sweet, after Arthur Lee McDuffie, after Anthony Baez, Amadou Diallo and Eleanor Bumpers, after Kathryn Johnston and the Danziger Bridge, that there are no ill effects, that we are pure, that we are just, that we are clean. Our sense of self is incredible. We believe ourselves to have inherited all of Jefferson’s love of freedom, but none of his affection for white supremacy.

  12. Why Stand Your Ground Is Central To George Zimmerman’s Case After All
    By Nicole Flatow
    Jul 15, 2013
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/07/15/2301621/why-stand-your-ground-is-central-to-george-zimmermans-case-after-all/

    Excerpt:
    Zimmerman’s lawyer chose instead to go to trial, once again declining to specifically raise “Stand Your Ground” as a defense and keeping the law out of the trial. But the principle’s irrelevance ended the moment the jury received their instructions for deciding the case. As Ta-Nehisi Coates reveals, the written instructions that sat with the jurors as they deliberated made very clear that under Florida law, a shooter has a right to stand his ground:

    “If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in anyplace where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

    Since Zimmerman’s lawyers opted not to invoke Stand Your Ground as a defense, observers have characterized this case as a regular old “self-defense” case, rather than a “Stand Your Ground” case. But what these jury instructions make clear is that, in Florida, there is no longer an effective distinction. Stand Your Ground is the state’s self-defense law, whether or not a defendant opts to hold a hearing specifically on the question. In fact, this section on the “Justifiable Use of Deadly Force” is the only place in all 27 pages of jury instructions in which the phrase “self-defense” is used.

    And self-defense now means shooters may stand their ground not just to prevent death or great bodily harm, but also to prevent the “commission of a forcible felony.” Those who wonder why jurors didn’t expect that a reasonable person in George Zimmerman’s situation should have taken lesser action than firing a deadly shot at a kid whose arsenal consisted of candy and a soft drink – regardless of whether or not he attacked Zimmerman — may find their answer on page 11 of the jury instructions.

    Given this instruction, it is worth pointing out that George Zimmerman was studying criminal justice at an online college, including Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. After jurors watched the recording of a Fox News interview in which Zimmerman claimed to have no knowledge of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, his college professor testified that the law was covered extensively in his class, and that Zimmerman was “probably one of the better students in the class” and received an A.

    Regardless of whether Zimmerman was well-versed in the statute and exploited it to his advantage, it remains the law in Florida. Its inclusion in the jury instructions as an explanation of self-defense makes all the more compelling the jury’s reasonable doubt about Zimmerman’s legal culpability, even if, as Emily Bazelon suggests, Florida is undoubtedly guilty.

  13. The evidence professor law blog also addressed the issue of the jury instruction (but I am not sure what they concluded). For what it is worth, at volokh blog they note that 31 states have a stand your ground law [so Stevie Wonder’s travels are going to be greatly curtailed] and 49 states require the state to prove that a defendant did not act in self-defense.

    I’ll admit that I have not read (and I am unlikely to read) the President’s full statement and heard only the sound bite; and the same is true with Charles Barkley’s comments. Of the two sound bites, Mr. Barkley’s are too me the more powerful. Paraphrasing the Chief Justice: the way to get over race is to stop bringing into every discussion.

  14. (CNN) — George Zimmerman, set to stand trial in the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, on Tuesday waived his right to a “stand your ground” pretrial immunity hearing. Zimmerman’s attorneys have decided they will try this as a self-defense case.

    Florida’s deadly force law, also called “stand your ground”, was passed in 2005. It allows people to meet “force with force” if they believe they or someone else is in danger of being seriously harmed by an assailant. Under the law, a person can use deadly force anywhere as long as he is not engaged in an unlawful activity, is being attacked in a place he has a right to be, and reasonably believes that his life and safety are in danger as a result of an overt act or perceived threat committed by someone else.

    In a pretrial immunity hearing, a judge would have ruled whether Zimmerman’s actions were protected under the “stand your ground” law; a ruling in favor of the defendant would have meant that no criminal or civil trial could proceed.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/30/justice/florida-zimmerman-defense

  15. Trayvon’s Parents: Obama’s Remarks A ‘Beautiful Tribute’

    ‘”The parents of teen Trayvon Martin reacted to President Barack Obama’s remarks on Friday, calling them a “beautiful tribute to our boy.”

    Full statement via NBC Nightly News below:

    “We are deeply honored and moved that President Obama took the time to speak publicly and at length about our son, Trayvon. The President’s comments give us great strength at this time. We are thankful for President Obama’s and Michelle’s prayers, and we ask for your prayers as well as we continue to move forward.

    We know that the death of our son Trayvon, the trial and the not guilty verdict have been deeply painful and difficult for many people. We know our family has become a conduit for people to talk about race in America and to try and talk about the difficult issues that we need to bring into the light in order to become a better people.

    What touches people is that our son, Trayvon Benjamin Martin, could have been their son. President Obama sees himself in Trayvon and identifies with him. This is a beautiful tribute to our boy.

    Trayvon’s life was cut short, but we hope that his legacy will make our communities a better place for generations to come. We applaud the President’s call to action to bring communities together to encourage an open and difficult dialogue. Our family is committed to this dialogue through the work of the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

    We seek a future when a child can walk down the street and not worry that others see him as dangerous because of the color of his skin or the clothes on his back. We seek a future where our children can grow up and become the people God intended them to be.”

  16. I still do not understand the incredible disconnect that exists in applying ANY kind of self-defense defense to George Zimmermans actions. There are risks that one assumes when they target and follow someone…..when they stop and confront someone….just the same as when you break into someones home or Bernie Madof someone….it is imperative that we understand that walking down the street and being confronted is the NON_CRIMINAL behaviour in this instance. The AGGRESSOR was not held to standard. This was lost by the machinations of a strangely absent prosecution and the confused and muddled atmosphere created by SYG.

    SYG and other elements of this case are a wet dream for aggressives. I don’t beleive that race was the only issue at play though I find it incredibly telling that Zimmerman had historically made so many calls and only against blacks. The racism applies in the application of the law, not so much in the breach.

    And I don’t know what law was ‘used’ in court…I can tell you that when a law becomes law…its effects breathe even outside the courtroom and SYG and laws like them have done much to increase the violence and imposition of fear and threat to law abiding peoples here in Florida and the rest of the Nation as well.

  17. voltaic 1, July 20, 2013 at 9:06 am

    SYG laws can be called approved bullying laws. Any bully can approach an innocent person and start an encounter, then kill the person for fighting back. These laws give every gun-totin’ cowboy, every minority fearing suburbanite, every gay hating redneck the opportunity to kill while being the aggressor. Fight back and you are dead and the killer is innocent. Should be called a run or be killed law.
    ==========================
    Well said.

    The diseased mindset of our national foreign policy (Bullying) is coming home to roost here (NSA spying, militarization of police forces, etc.) and is sinking down deeper into the state laws –and then public behavior.

  18. “I still can’t believe I’m reading this sort of stuff from a law professor…..

    I stopped reading at this point in the entry: “In fact, the defense elected to present a traditional case of self-defense. SYG was waived pre-trial.”

    I stopped reading John Kane’s comments after the first two sentences of his first comment. Why should I waste my time reading comments on a blog from someone who hasn’t bothered to read the blog in point through?

  19. mahtso 1, July 20, 2013 at 9:26 am

    … Paraphrasing the Chief Justice: the way to get over race is to stop bringing into every discussion.
    ========================
    Not bringing race up in relevant discussion is called denial. And American History 101.

  20. It doesn’t matter how often the “SYG law is invoked”, what matters is whether a trial court allows its use. That almost never happens. In fact, when I checked about a year ago, no appellate court had ever reversed a trial court’s denial of the statutory defence. I’m not even sure how many cases have been dismissed followed a defendant prevailing in the evidentiary hearing required by the statute.

    People, and this includes those who post here and Obama, confuse Common Law doctrines of self-defence and states passing statutes regarding what are collectively called “Stand Your Ground” laws. They are not the same thing, and loose language from Obama, who ought to know better, does nothing but stoke the flames of racism. And when you have a Black president, re-elected to a second term, using tricks of the “politics of race” trade that his election should have rendered obsolescent, you really have to wonder.

    I suppose that no case where someone was killed is simple. But, the key at this trial was not racism, SYG (not even present), etc., it was politics. The SAO in Florida via its “special prosecutor” gave into political pressure and charged Zimmerman with a crime he did not commit. And the prosecution compounded its poor judgment by leading off with a witness who could not speak anything close to proper English, and was a general embarrassment. As I watched the first witness for the prosecution, I was fully aware the case to convict Zimmerman for what he was overcharged with was over. (Unless… it was part of a White conspiracy!).

    Rather than confusing statutory laws passed by individual state legislatures with legal principles passed down from the Common Law, or decrying alleged racism, attention should be directed towards why it was considered politically “necessary” to let Zimmerman off the hook by overcharging him. Maybe in his lecture, Professor Obama should have touched on that vestige of racism?

    I guess it’s easier to have a Black President, one who was easily re-elected, tell America how racist the Country remains. It’s so much reassuring than pointing the finger of blame where it belongs.

  21. “I’ll admit that I have not read (and I am unlikely to read) the President’s full statement and heard only the sound bite; and the same is true with Charles Barkley’s comments. Of the two sound bites, Mr. Barkley’s are too me the more powerful. Paraphrasing the Chief Justice: the way to get over race is to stop bringing into every discussion.”

    Mahtso,

    Ignorance is bliss. Pontificating on that of which you are ignorant, is a priceless joke at your own expense.

  22. Dredd, You have a point about our bullying foreign policy but I really think the stand your ground laws have more to do with southern strategy and the vigilante justice.

  23. Race Baiter Obama’s Words on Anything mean Nothing. He is the World’s Biggest Liar.

    Obama is Not the President.

    Forensic findings on Obama’s birth certificate: ‘A 100 percent forgery, no doubt about it’

    “There is a problem with President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate: It’s a forgery, say multiple forensic experts who have examined it. A report detailing the evidence will soon be presented to Congress.”

    http://www.worldtribune.com/2013/07/08/forensic-findings-on-obamas-birth-certificate-a-100-percent-forgery-no-doubt-about-it/

  24. Don’t ever forget the driving force behind the creation of the odious SYG laws in the first place: the Koch Brothers.

    Social strife and increased gun violence plays directly into their fascist ideals of a privatized government that works only for the wealthy and industry.

  25. Seriously, Birther.

    Give it up already.

    There are plenty of legitimate reasons to criticize Obama – some even impeachment worthy – but the false meme of the birthers is dead and it died some time ago.

  26. Unlike two commenters here I have read Professor Turley’s entire blog and I have some comments:

    1. The prosecution overcharged the case leading to the inevitability of GZ being acquitted due to there being a “reasonable doubt” of his guilt. Had it been a manslaughter charge, perhaps the result would have been different.

    However,

    2. Whether a Statute that is publicly called “stand your ground” was invoked by the defense, the pre-trial publicity made this into a “stand your ground” case in the minds of the public and thus the jury. For a juror not to have heard the arguments pro and con on this case involving “stand your ground” is a miniscule improbability. We pretend as if juries come to cases without opinions and with a clean mental slate, but in fact that has always been wishful thinking. This is also true in the fact of whether or not this case was in essence about race, before even the first jury pool was called, every potential juror was aware of the racial backdrop of this case through pre-trial publicity.

    3. President Obama, our first black President, took far too long into his Administration in making this statement about the context of Black/White relations in the U.S.. It was a powerful and true statement, which had he been less a politician and more a speaker of truth, would have come early on in his first Administration. It needed to be said, but the sad fact is that even some here will not bother to deal with it, perhaps because their minds have already been made up.

  27. Why might one need self defense laws?

    How does that ole saying go?

    As the Motors go so goes the USA!

    A msg from a friend:

    **MSM on the Bankruptcy of Detroit:

    You are told to believe this is the best thing that ever happened to a municipality in the USA. The one to blame for the bankruptcy is management of Detroit City and has nothing to do with trends created by the management of the USA, but only due to Detroit’s long history of sins.

    Incredible is all I can say. **

    http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/banklist.csv

  28. Mr. Jonathan, please go through in detail, the interview of Anderson Cooper with the Juror B37. It will then become obvious to you whether the jury had applied the SYG law, despite the instructions from the judge to the contrary. Your whole article will become redundant and void once you review that interview diligently. She states it very clearly at one point.Please also note that none of the jurors were law graduates or professors like you to apply everything so perfectly.

    Sam

  29. “I guess it’s easier to have a Black President, one who was easily re-elected, tell America how racist the Country remains. It’s so much reassuring than pointing the finger of blame where it belongs.”

    Warspite,

    What’s far more reassuring is for many in this country to deny the provable fact that racism still exists to a large degree all over this country. A honest person might say “black people cause their own problems, screw them and that is my opinion”, but sadly not all of us are honest enough, even with ourselves, to admit their own pre-judgments.

  30. I watched the President’s speech in its entirety. There was no teleprompter. It was from his heart. I hear what he said vis a vis the two experiences of black and white from black friends, and I understand it and believe. But, not having that experience, there are limits to any white person profoundly understanding it. There are people who have slammed the speech as “race baiting.” They’re wrong. There are reasonable people who disagree w/ parts of the speech. I thought a bit more time could have been spent supporting our jury system. I thought the lauding of the judge was curious, because my take was she was in over her head. But, to each their own.

    Mr. Turley has taken a lot of heat on this trial. I suspect many slamming him only know about trials from watching tv. Those who have been involved in trials, whose profession is in our justice system, have a much less emotional and much more clinical view of due process. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. In court, it is about the law and the facts, not how you feel. If you want to focus your anger on the trial, Angela Corey would be a great place to start.

  31. Mike Spindell 1, July 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

    “I still can’t believe I’m reading this sort of stuff from a law professor…..

    I stopped reading at this point in the entry: “In fact, the defense elected to present a traditional case of self-defense. SYG was waived pre-trial.”

    I stopped reading John Kane’s comments after the first two sentences of his first comment. Why should I waste my time reading comments on a blog from someone who hasn’t bothered to read the blog in point through?
    ==================================
    You make a case for not reading something completely upon encountering a certain assertion, like John Kane did.

    That seems to illustrate Confirmation Bias (which Bob Kauten brought up?) in a recent post here on JT blog.

    So, perhaps an independent third party should be consulted:

    Florida Law Prior to the Enactment of the “Stand Your Ground” Law

    Prior to Stand Your Ground, a person could use only non-deadly force to defend against the imminent use of unlawful non-deadly force. Deadly force was authorized only to defend against imminent deadly force or great bodily harm, or the commission of a forcible felony.

    Unless the person was in his home or workplace, he had a “duty to retreat” prior to using deadly force. In one’s home, the “Castle Doctrine” provided that the person had no duty to retreat prior to using deadly force against an intruder. However, he still needed the reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary to defend against deadly force, great bodily harm, or the commission of a forcible felony.

    Florida Law After the Enactment of the “Stand Your Ground” Law

    The “Stand Your Ground” Law introduced two (2) conclusive presumptions that favor a criminal defendant who is making a self-defense claim:

    The presumption that the defendant had a reasonable fear that deadly force was necessary; and
    The presumption that the intruder intended to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.

    These two presumptions protect the defender from both civil and criminal prosecution for unlawful use of deadly or non-deadly force in self-defense.

    In addition, the defender/gun owner has no duty to retreat, regardless of where he is attacked, so long as he is in a place where he is lawfully entitled to be when the danger occurs.

    (Florida Stand Your Ground Lawfirm). Thus, there seems to be room for discussion from the two opposing views on the law and on the facts.

  32. “Race Baiter Obama’s Words on Anything mean Nothing. He is the World’s Biggest Liar.”

    Dante,

    Just what we needed to add to the discussion, an unapologetic “birther” spouting ignorance bred from hatred.

  33. Prepare to defend yourselves!

    **

    The GEAB site is http://www.leap2020.eu/

    GEAB shockingly says, “Historians will certainly consider the 2008 crisis as a warning shot before that of 2013. All of the world’s regions won’t be a can be summarized as the following affected the same way but all will suffer. According to LEAP/ E2020 the stages of this second crisis as follows:

    -end 2013, financial impact: collapse of financial markets especially in the US and Japan. Banks can no longer be saved by the states and BAIL-Ins are put in place;

    -end 2013 / 2014 spreading to the real economy: The financial impasse causes / reveals a major world recession and the reduction of international trade;

    -2014, social impact: The economic deterioration causes unemployment to explode, in the United States the dollar’s decline lowers the standard of living, riots mushroom everywhere;

    -2014 political crisis: the governments of the most affected countries are under fire for their handling of the crisis, forced resignations and early elections are expected, if not coups;

    -2014-2015, international management of the crisis: together Euroland and the BRICS impose a new international monetary system and lay down the basis of new global governance;

    -2015: The least affected regions have exited the crisis definitively;

    -2018: It will take the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan five years to purge themselves of the crisis with, ultimately, a greatly reduced standard of living and a considerable loss of global influence (resulting from their refusal to participate in the re-casting of global governance on new bases).”

    **

    Some say it isn’t over until 2020 at the earliest.

    Oh well, back on topic…. If Martin’s mom had slept with a Mexican wouldn’t that mean Obama would be a fruit picker instead of the gun grabbing traitor lair he is today? LOL ;)

  34. While racism does indeed still exist, I loved the genuinely positive comments by our President. When he spoke about seeing his daughters and friends, and how he sees their attitudes being better than our generation, and even better than our parents and grandparents, I nodded my head. He could say the same about generational attitudes toward homosexuality. There is so much negativity. Charles Barkley spoke about how the media doesn’t have the moral authority to discuss race because it wants conflict. So much of this vitriol is media based. You’re either a glass half full or empty person. It dominates how you look @ everything. The media speaks to glass half empty folks.

  35. One aspect of this broad topic is the interposition of federal govenment Power now, after, a state court verdict. Had the federal government come in with some civil rights criminal charge prior to the state taking the lead might be acceptable, IF the state then dropped its charges. To be put in jeopardy of life or limb Twice is violative of the Double Jeopardy Clause. Follow this thread for a moment. The so called hate crimes under 18 U.S.C. are postulated on the 13th Amendment and the provision of that Amendment which said that Congress can pass laws to enforce the Amendment. But, the 13th Amendment did not expressly repudiate the Double Jeopardy Clause and it thus trumps (no Donald necessary) any Statute passed by Congress which violates the Double Jeopardy Clause.

    JT: address this topic.

    Eric Holder needs to quit. If he prosecutes Z at this stage then he is beyond the Pale. For the uninformed, that means he is beyond the Paletinate. He is violative of the Nuremberg Laws and is violative of the BarkinDog Doctrine. This nation is not yet a Pirate Territory. Yet.

  36. Swarthmore mom 1, July 20, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Dredd, You have a point about our bullying foreign policy but I really think the stand your ground laws have more to do with southern strategy and the vigilante justice.
    ===========================
    Good point on “the face” of their social expression.

    I would add that deeper down “southern strategy and the vigilante justiceis bullying, and has been so for a century or so.

  37. “The Oligarchy loves a divided electorate. Look, Look!! over there SQUIRREL SQUIRREL ! .The Oligarchs creates the Ruses that distract and Confuses the Rubes. The Oligarchs fiddle and dance, and take money from our pants.” **

    One of the biggest things Obama has done to destroy the Democratic party for maybe decades was was to flat lie to Americans that he & the Democratic party supported the 2nd Amendment.

    He & his party have been attacking it since the day he took office & the party has backed his play.

    ie: Operation Fast & Furious, etc., etc.,…… Martin/Zimmerman…

    I’m no big gun nut, but I do consider the 2nd as a small piece of the whole & I won’t willingly give up any small piece of my ownership “Rights”.

    I see it as much in the same light as property I own. I don’t just give it away or grant an easement to it if someone showed up & demanded I give it up.

    I recall the comments of Thomas Jefferson that the beauty of the 2nd Amd was we never really need it until the govt/Obama tries to take it away.

    Anyway, the point is that regardless if we currently own a gun or not a large number of voters like myself will not risk being betrayed again on this issue by Obama/DNC.

    “Obama LIES AGAIN – I Will NOT Take Your Guns Away ” 42 seconds long

  38. SWM, I Like Malisha a lot. She was gleaning her facts before the trial. She had her mind made up. I think either her or bettykath agreed w/ me they could never had been a juror. As I’ve said previously, I paid no attention to the pretrial circus. Is Malisha and attorney? I miss her and bettykath. I said that to them. I understood their feelings. 98% of what I know about this case is from watching the trial. And, I seldom watch trials on tv. I’ve seen more than my share in real life. I believe the verdict was correct based on the evidence presented. What is so disturbing is that is simply enough for some folks to call me a racist.

  39. nick, Everyone here loves whistle blowers. Malisha and bettekath blew the whistle on what they perceived to be “white privilege”, and then proceeded to leave.

  40. nick,

    There are a third and forth “kind of person”.

    1) The glass is half empty.

    2) The glass is half full.

    3) The glass is the wrong size.

    4) Is a glass the appropriate vessel?

  41. She was gleaning her facts before the trial. She had her mind made up. I think either her or bettykath agreed w/ me they could never had been a juror. As I’ve said previously, I paid no attention to the pretrial circus.

    Why is that nobody much pays attention to a majority (at the very least) of the jury thinking that Zimmerman had a measure of culpability for the death.
    Maybe because jury members talking is not supposed to happen – and that therfore it did not happen? It does not belong in arcane discussions of legal nicities?
    .

    I believe the verdict was correct based on the evidence presented.

    I do not think that belief can stand examination.

    If you were to say “I believe the verdict was correct based on the evidence presented and the instructions given to the jury”, then that would be more realistic belief.

    What happened in the verdict was that a selective view of the law was served.
    Very clearly, justice was not served – going by what the jury appeared to feel, as opposed to what observers (whether prejudiced or not) feel.

  42. BS about a southern stragety and stand your ground…. More northern states have SYG laws than Southern… But it depends on what you consider southern….

    Many states have some form of stand-your-ground law. Alabama,[14] Alaska,[15] Arizona,[16] California,[17][18] Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa,[19] Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,[16] Maine, Massachusetts (though the term is used very loosely there),[20] Michigan,[16] Mississippi, Missouri, Montana,[16] New Hampshire,[16] North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma,[16] Pennsylvania ,[21], Rhode Island,[22] South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee,[16] Texas,[23] Utah,[24] West Virginia,[16], Wisconsin[25] and Wyoming have adopted Castle Doctrine statutes, and other states (Iowa,[26] Virginia,[27] and Washington) have considered stand-your-ground laws of their own.[28][29][30]

    From Wiki….

  43. Clarification:

    The belief can stand because it’s a belief. Some people think the earth is flat and that the moon landing were done in a movie studio.
    It’s the basis of the belief that I was referring to.

  44. SWM, I got that. I just hope the anger fades and they return. We’ve all had very strong feeling like that. I love passion. But, you can’t hold onto anger. You got to let it out, and then let it go. I hope their leaving is an effort to let it go, and then they return.

  45. I love white privileged people that want to uphold there own safety but demand that others subscribe to the same standards they live by, such as live in predominately white neighborhoods, shop at predominately white neighborhoods, send their children to private schools, which includes high school and colleges and then complain about white privilege. One would think they were hypocrites.

  46. It is thought provoking and an interesting discussion when Florida’s SYG law is the subject of debate concerning the Zimmerman trial but, in the end, juror B37 provides the best insight into the role SYG played in the verdict:

    “COOPER: Because of the two options you had, second degree murder or manslaughter, you felt neither applied?

    JUROR: Right. Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.”

    I can imagine at the point she uttered those words a collective groan was heard in thousands of homes and offices across the country.

    SYG – It’s an invisible fit, you must acquit

  47. “In the wake of the Zimmerman verdict, Roman provided me with his more recent, more fine-grained analysis of the relationships between shooters and victims, including the types of weapons involved. The racial (black-white) divide was strongest in just the kind of shooting that Zimmerman committed: a fatal shooting involving a handgun and two strangers of different races, neither of whom is in law enforcement. Even in states without “Stand Your Ground” laws, the numbers are stark; 29.3 percent of white-on-black shootings are ruled justifiable, while only 2.9 percent of black-on-white shootings are. But in states that have enacted “Stand Your Ground” laws, the situation is worse: 35.9 percent of white-on-black shootings are ultimately deemed to be self-defense. In the reverse situation, black-on-white shootings, only 3.4 percent of cases have ended with the same verdict.

    Based on this new analysis, Roman tells me via email that: “The criminal justice system is rife with racial disparities. From searches of motor vehicles during traffic stops, to stop-and-frisk encounters and arrests, to sentencing and parole decisions, black Americans – especially young black males – come in contact with the police and courts far more often than their share of the population would predict. The chasm in justifiable homicide rulings, however, is vastly larger than other disparities and deserves intense scrutiny.”

    The Zimmerman verdict is clearly not an isolated incident. It instead reflects the deep and enduring ways that race has become entangled with how America views, treats, and prosecutes crime – a problem that is not going away.” From the Atlantic article above.

  48. Lee, You mean the republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz. I wonder which one will prevail with that crowd…Rand Paul or Ted Cruz.?

  49. Only those that are owned by the MIC will be allowed to become president…. Slaverly none the less…..

  50. Stand Your Ground In Favor of The United States Constitution!

    When Eric Holder files some criminal complaint against Zimmerman please Occupy Washington. The Constitution prohibits Double Jeopardy. Z has been acquitted. To rephrase some theory and charge the same factual situation is prohibited. Here is the Fifth Amendment. Z must take the Fifth, particularly the Double Jeopardy Clause if the feds charge him with some crime under some hate theory.

    Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    JT: Post a topic on the Double Jeopardy Clause. The 13th Amendment did not repeal the Ffith Amendment. The statute purporting to create Hate Crimes is predicated on the 13th Amendment. Z has been acquitted. The facts dont change. The federal government is without Power (not Rights) to recharge Z. The state of Florida exercised its Power (not a Right) to prosecute Z.

  51. SWM not sure which is scarier but they sure do prove Gov Jindel was right when he called his party the “stupid party”. Just amazes me, although don’t know why it should anymore, that so many agree with both their sentiments on so many issues.

  52. Gene, I agree. I think there’s a general half full or half empty outlook in all of us, but indeed we do sometimes exhibit all 4.

  53. Blouise,

    JUROR: Right. Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.”

    She also said that she would be ok with Zimmerman being on her NW, BUT ONLY if he didn’t act like he did that night.
    She is clear that she thinks he was wrong to get out and do what he did, but it seems the SYG-think in her head trumped that.

    SYG-think is a magic spell that does away with responsibility and accountability.

  54. Some people don’t have a half-full/empty problem.
    Their glass is full – but they don’t like what is in it.

  55. nick,

    Some people are exclusively one of 1-4 (Cat 6). Those are the ones I find the most problematic as any one of the four alone can lead to myopic and/or skewed analysis. The Cat 5’s by in large tend to be more realists. Things usually aren’t as bad as the worst case scenario (1), the best case scenario is just as far to the other end of the curve (2), and while problem solving (3) and skepticism (4) can sway the results, some problems simply don’t have solutions or the solutions are beyond human scale to apply. “All of the above” (5) allows for no solution as an acceptable solution. It also allows that randomness can create either a negative or positive outcome when the opposite action is taken (the old “good from evil, evil from good” problem). To me, this is most compatible with game theory where there really are only three possible outcomes to any given scenario (-1, 0 and 1).

    I’m fairly certain that it’s obvious at this point that I have spent a lot time thinking about thinking in general and how thought and decision making relate to both physics and mathematics.

    I wave my geek flag with pride. :D

    Live long and prosper.

  56. Swarthmore mom 1, July 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Dredd, How about all the way back to slavery?
    ======================================
    For sure.

    Except it was not just a southern thing going all the way back.

    It was general and widespread enough that it was even “sprinkled with holy water” by being put into the Constitution.

    It was not just a southern thing then, it was a national thing.

    What made it a southern thing later was the wealth generated in the form of slavery.

    That hit the south harder than the rest of the nation upon emancipation and the civil war:

    The “human capital” consisting of black men and women held as chattel in the states of the south was more valuable than all the industrial and transportation capital (“other domestic capital”) of the country in the first half of the nineteenth century. When you consider that the institution of slavery was limited to specific subset of the country, you can see that in the region where it held sway slave wealth was wealth.

    (True US Wealth History). After the south lost a larger portion of its wealth that the rest of the nation, racial opinions set in hard.

    Depending on what year you calculate it, from 100% down to 27% of U.S. presidents have owned slaves.

    Starting with George Washington, it would be 100% of presidents owning slaves.

    Calculating using the first five, and 80% of presidents owned slaves (4/5).

    Since a total of 12 presidents owned slaves, and today the 44th president is in office, 27.27% of presidents have owned slaves (12/44 = 27.27%).

    I agree that it is still bullying, it is just that the south continued the bullying for a longer period of time, and still does.

  57. what everyone seems to keep forgetting is that gz used the syg when the crime first occured that was the original reason he was not arrested. as i said in another post had my pc not crashed i would be able to prove it. once the uproar began then his attorneys dropped syg and went with a regular defense and i still stand by the fact that the trial was a farce. as everything that went on and was said to have happened was told by gz and yes of course he told the truth.

    Had gz been charged with his past crimes it would have been illegal for him to even own a gun much less a 9mm. I dont understand exactly what part of all that everyone seems to be missing and why some people find it hard to understand where the anger is coming from. IT STILL STANDS THAT HAD GZ NOT GOTTEN OUT OF HIS CAR. TRAYVON WOULD STILL BE ALIVE. there is still no response as to what answer gz gave to Trayvon when asked why he was being followed. and because there is no answer to that. it makes no sense that trayvon would just hit gz,.gz got his gusto from the knowledge that he had a gun on him. and im not the only one who remembers quite well the pictures posted of gz when it first happened and there was no blood on his face or head no scars nothing. yet a few months later all of that came out. once again HUMANITY IS BEING LED TO A RACIAL WAR INSTIGATED BY THOSE WHO WILL USE IT TO INSTITUTE MARTIAL LAW.

  58. Gene, I withdrew from a symbolic logic course my junior year after 2 weeks. My wife aced it, as I’m sure did you. And I know my dropping out doesn’t surprise you! Our brains are all hard wired differently. The symbolic logic class seemed like everyone was speaking in tongues. That’s what makes life so damn interesting. I’m much more of a nature, opposed to nurture, thinker on human behavior. I think our mamas push us out and ~80-90% of who we are is in our genes. Parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, etc. can play w/ that 10-20%.

  59. Mr. Spindell
    Get your facts right; I commented on a topic of which I do have knowledge: the sound bites. (And for what it’s worth, I am secure enough that I will not let a joke at my expense bother me, even if the joke was self-inflicted.)

  60. “SYG-think is a magic spell that does away with responsibility and accountability.” (Sling)

    Very true, but when we get right down to it … SYG, the second phase (begun in 2005 in Florida) that came after CCW (liberalized concealed carry permits started in Florida in 1987), is a marketing tool to sell more handguns. It is no wonder judges and lawyers are having difficulty in applying a law that is nothing more than a marketing strategy at its core.

  61. Ignore Jesus not having his character in us toward others replying on a godless document ask for worse and worse abominable things. One being Marshal law is one of them escalating to total annihilation thinking all the while that you are safe with people all over the place having weapons that kill.

  62. Ignore Jesus not having his character in us toward others relying on a godless document ask for worse and worse abominable things. One being Marshal law is one of them escalating to total annihilation thinking all the while that you are safe with people all over the place having weapons that kill.

  63. Ignore Jesus not having his character in us toward others relying on a godless document is asking for worse and worse abominable things to occur. One being Marshal law is one of them escalating to total annihilation thinking all the while that you are safe with people all over the place having weapons that kill.

    Leave a Reply

  64. This is why I read this blog. I’m just a guy who happened upon it one day and find it interesting. I’m not involved in the legal profession at all.

    The simple fact that the SYG law was not used in Zimmerman’s defense is one that I was completely unaware of. (Not that I followed the case very closely)

    I think my ignorance of this simple fact, and my surprise at discovering it, further illustrates the importance of the influence of the media in hyping up a case the way they did with this one. As far as I’m concerned, it has been continuously implied that the SYG law was, in some way, in play during this trial. It will be interesting to see what happens with Zimmerman’s lawsuit against a certain major network!

  65. I screwed up with the comment above since I was still logged into WordPress after I posted my guest blog. Jonathan had nothing to do with it and I’m going to go in and remove his picture.

    Nevertheless:

    Categorize not, lest ye be characterized……..that’s the ticket.

  66. The continued obsession of ideologues on the left & right to drag race into the Zimmerman trial is reprehensible. But, if you want to go that way at least play it out with a modicum of objectivity.

    Specifically, deal with this reality. Under the facts, the prosecutor should have been permitted to charge Zimmerman with Florida’s version of Involuntary Manslaughter. Then, Zimmerman’s counsel could have argued justifiable use of deadly force. Assuming the prosecution decided to drop the pathetic first witness, or bury her later in its case in chief, the defense would have been very hard pressed to get an acquittal.

    But, no. The charge of “only” Involuntary Manslaughter was so anathema to certain political interests, the state of Florida had to locate some prosector from another County willing to proceed on a charge of murder. And, you might recall the state never even attempted to get a murder indictment out of a grand jury.

    Even people whose legal experience consists of watching various Law & Orders, if told what actually happened as political pressure trumped common sense, know a conviction was never possible. Frankly, I’m not even sure many of the so-called interested political, ethic, etc., groups even cared about justice. All they wanted was a cause célèbre to shore up the ever-mounting weakness of the race-baiting “traditional civil rights”groups & performers. After all, no racial strife, no $$ for folks who might otherwise have to get a job.

    If Barack & Michelle are so concerned about their kids, maybe talking “from the heart” about what its going to take to restore American financial integrity is a good idea. But, don’t forget, real problems are hard work & require tough decisions. And, of course, having parents that are multi-millionaires should be of assistance to the Obama girls.

  67. Takes a lot of words and legalese to justify an injustice.

    Perhaps this is mostly just important to me. Easier to just walk away.

  68. Nate: Folks can try and analogise the situation to something you understand, rather than using “legalese”. Maybe “Halo II”? A “Dr. Who” episode? Or, would “Family Guy” work best?

    If you think the impact from the state caving to political pressure is hard to sort out, please don’t go out of your way volunteering for jury duty. If this sounds discourteous, its because choosing to shut down your brain rather than consider an argument you don’t “like” is not something laudable.

  69. Dante,
    “Document Expert Could Topple the Obama Administration.”

    A jelly-filled donut could also topple the Obama Administration. Not very likely, but it could certainly happen.
    Care to make a video concerning that scenario? I might actually watch that one. Certainly more plausible.

  70. Wow. This was a great discussion following Prof. Turley’s follow-up article. I think this case is a prime example of just how far we still have to go on race in this country. This is also exhibit A for what happens when the wrong people have guns.

  71. When confronted with the Truth the Oheads turn into jelly-filled cartoon donuts.

    2000 evil stooges go to Washington and call it a government..

  72. Dante,

    Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath about that “document expert.” Because that whole thing is going precisely nowhere. It is a farce. In fact, it is about as big a farce as the show being put on by Trayvonites, with all their “racism” and “SYG” foolishness. I am waiting for pieces of the Real Hoodie to start showing up on Ebay, as a cure for the shakes, the St. Vitus dance, and impotency problems. I expect the bag of Skittles to be auctioned off by Christies, and preserved like fine wine in some collector’s cellar. Perhaps a Skittle here and there will be released to cure the halt and infirm??? At a price.

    Thank goodness the Republicans finally have a group to point to as being as nutzo as the Birthers. While a quantum of idiocy seldom benefits a nation, it is perhaps helpful if the crazies are more equally spread out between the two major parties.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  73. Agree with Elaine: you can stalk a black person, kill him/her (after you stalked him/her), claim self-defense, receive a jury in which 5 of the 6 jurors are white (just like your father and your attorney), including one juror whose husband is ‘good friends’ with the defense attorney, and obtain a not guilty verdict.

    What is so shocking to me is, everyone-including professor JT, believes that it was the evidence, prosecutors’ fault for overcharging this case, SYG Law or any form of self-defense law, or the witnesses (or lack of) that lead to Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict.

    When, in fact, everyone knows that if 5 of the 6 jurors were black, Zimmerman’s attorney would be appealing the Guilty of 2nd degree murder verdict.

    Maybe we need to look at how and why we need to change our methods of jury selection, since ‘85% of trial-by-juror cases are won and done at the jury selection phase.’ (Wikipedia)

  74. I forgot to add: maybe Mespo is addressing this in his series….

    And, for clarification purposes, the ‘you’ in which I was referring to in the first sentence, was a ‘white’ person…

  75. rwl:

    Why do you leave out the whole Trayvon busting GZ’s nose, knocking him down, jumping on him, and banging his head into the concrete??? Maybe the notable lack of sympathy with your position from the legal community, and the country at large, is an indication that you are the one out in left field.

    There is no “Black Yute” exception to self-defense that I am aware of. What, you can defend yourself, unless it is a Black Yute that is attacking you, and when that occurs you are supposed to be sensitive to past racial injustice??? Yeah, dream on. As for me:

    I have a dream that one day in America, Trayvon Martin will be judged, not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character, including the facts of his conduct.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  76. Came back to read guest blogger articles. And here we are.

    Here’s a great discussion with Jim Clemente, a retired FBI agent and current advisor, writer and producer for the TV series “Criminal Minds.” It’s long: 51 minutes. He says that racial profiling is the opposite of criminal profiling, which I find particularly interesting since “racial profiling” was changed to “profiling” during the trial. He thinks the prosecution made many major mistakes.
    It may be the third video at the link. >| to the next till you find it.

    Would these discussions be happening if a not guilty verdict had been given?

    gz will spend many years being discriminated against much the same as Black men. Maybe good punishment. Just hope he doesn’t kill someone else in his paranoia.

  77. Well, if GZ HAD profiled Poor Little Trayvon, as a criminal, for what ever reason, he was subsequently proven to be a very accurate profiler. Because Poor Little Trayvon did, in fact, attack him. Which fact once again seems to get misplaced somewhere in the Trayvonite analysis. Perhaps those facts just got mixed up with all the Skittles??? To where the Trayvonites can’t tell the difference.

    Because this really is a different case if you leave out all those inconvenient little facts. Leave them out, and the Trayvonites can dress up and play Freedom Rider all day long. Put them back in, and you have to wonder what all the fuss is about. Another thug done attacked somebody, and this time the intended vic was armed! Which most people realize.

    You have to resort to some weird Post-modernist deconstructionism cum race babble to make this case either remarkable, or significant.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  78. Thanks to our friend in the Irish Parliament, Clare Daly, for telling it like it is about Obama.

    She called Obama “a war criminal .. going for the hypocrite of the century award.”

  79. “Because Poor Little Trayvon did, in fact, attack him.”

    Do we now? Sorry, Sqweek, but what we know is there was a fight. We don’t know who started it. That’s one (of several) of the reasons Z’s defense team didn’t want an SYG hearing.

    For shame, Girl Reporter.

    If you keep that up, Lois Lane will start giving you the snub at parties. Not to mention what the Ghost of Jack Webb will do. He likes just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts. And he carries handcuffs.

  80. I thought the Prosecution’s apparent acceptance of Zimmerman’s description of the altercation and how he came by his injuries very problematic. It basically undercut their own witness testimony regarding the voice yelling help.

    There is no reason why the two men could not have been described as rolling around on the ground, one on top first, then the other and so on.

    Also, how is it that the safety switch on Zimmerman’s gun was not closed? Why not suppose that Zimmerman had already drawn his gun when the altercation began? Who among us would be likely to pursue a perceived burglar into a dark space without his gun drawn, if he had one in the first place?

    I suspect that the injuries to Zimmerman’s head were caused by a struggle over that gun and that some of those injuries were due to the gun itself being scraped across his scalp in the struggle. I really do not understand the Prosecution’s failure to present this line of argument, not to mention why self defense is not applicable to Trayvon who was, in fact, stalked while black.

    pbh

  81. Hi GeneH!!!

    Well, determining FACTS, is what juries do, and what judge’s do. What we do know, is there was NO factual finding that GZ started it. GZ told the police that Poor Little Trayvon started it. They could not find any evidence to the contrary.

    Sooo, I’m feeling pretty comfortable. When you add in all the out-of-court evidence, then I become outright cocky! I would say it is the Trayvonites who have to invent stuff to get outraged about. Which is why I call them the “Birthers of the Left.”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  82. What we also know is there was NO factual finding that Martin started it either.

    I’m not impressed when someone takes testimony of a party with a vested interest in not being found the initial aggressor as fact with no other evidence to back that assertion on their word alone, Sqweeky.

    Be as cocky as you like.

    You’re entitled to your opinion. You aren’t entitled to your own facts. Stating that Martin started the fight as a matter of fact is not backed by sufficient evidence to be stated as a fact.

    Lois is going to be very disappointed.

  83. GeneH:

    Well, if you get something more to back you up than SPECULATION, let me know. In the meantime, even Jeantel is saying Trayvon threw the first punch. I think all that means the WEIGHT of the evidence supports my view. And the jury’s.

    In the meantime, you could consult some of the Birther’s lawyers, and their leading bloggers. If you paid Orly Taitz enough, she and her investigators could probably help you keep this alive for years.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  84. It’s not speculation. There is no proof that Martin started the fight other than Zimmerman’s word. Zero. There was no factual finding Martin did start the fight. We have no way of knowing other than Zimmerman’s word and he’s hardly a disinterested impartial observer. Your opinion doesn’t constitute evidence. Besides, you’re the one who made the assertion. The burden of proof rests with you.

    And at this point, Orly is more your speed.

    Put those ace reporting skills to work.

    Find some conclusive proof Martin started the fight.
    Or don’t.
    I don’t care either way.

    But I am going to call bullshit on your assertion that it’s a fact Martin attacked Zimmerman.

    There’s insufficient objective proof to make that determination.

  85. Squeaky,

    Actually Rachel Jeantel did NOT say that Trayvon started it. She said that Trayvon was confronted by the CAC, not the other way around. He asked why the CAC was following him. The “heavy breathing man” didn’t answer him (cop mentality, they ask questions, they don’t answer them) but wanted to know what Trayvon was doing there. Then she heard Trayvon’s mic get bumped and fall to the grass.

    Why would a kid who’s talking on the phone with a friend about an upcoming basketball game attack a guy he’s afraid of before putting his phone away? If he was intent on attacking the CAC with a sucker punch, why would he talk to him first?

    There are so many who just didn’t hear what Rachel had to say.

  86. I’m still sorting this case out in what remains of my brain. But I fervently disagree with those who argue that racism played no role.

  87. This Canadian is still scraping her jaw off the floor. I read these comments in astonishment as George Zimmerman walks free and good ‘ol boys pat each other on the back.My husband is a lawyer; I understand points of law, yet fail to comprehend how America misses the obvious.Had Zimmerman been black and Martin white – he would be serving life at the very least.Why does America persist in the charade?

    On the day of the verdict blues legend Lester Chambers played at the Hayward-Russell Blues Festival in Hayward California. Chambers took the stage moments before the verdict was announced, dedicating Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” to Trayvon Martin. A white woman climbed on stage, knocked Chambers to the ground, beating him. while shouting “it’s all your fault” The 73 year old musician was taken to hospital; the woman charged with assault. This story was front page in Europe, Canada, just about every corner of the world except America.Not so much as a whisper given by U.S. news media.

    As I said – give up the charade America, call a spade a spade.

  88. People need to stop fixating about this. What would people do had a person know without a shadow of a doubt that a person killed someone deliberately with the court system forgiving like God forgives? People with Satan in them would go beezerk. People have no self control not seeing the soul not having faith in God either.

  89. Hi Bettykath!!!

    The Travonite Hypotheticals were presented by the prosecution and not accepted by the jury. In spite of that, the Trayvonites are playing “What if” games. Here is a Jeantel quote, and analysis from AFTER the trial:
    ==========
    “Prosecution witness Rachel Jeantel, speaking to Piers Morgan on CNN last night, explained that George Zimmerman had misunderstood the beating he was receiving from Trayvon Martin, and so had the jury in his trial. Zimmerman was not facing a potentially life-threatening “bashing,” but simply a “whoop-ass.”

    They don’t understand, they understand, “Oh, he would just bash, or was kill.” When somebody bash somebody, like, blood people, trust me, in the area I live, that’s not bashing. That’s just called “whoop-ass.” You just got your ass whooped. That’s what it is.

    It was Zimmerman’s own fault for not understanding the cultural context in which he was being attacked.

    Morgan tried to save Jeantel’s statement by asking her whether Martin would have “whooped ass” in self-defense. But the damage was done. For a split second, the camera caught a member of the audience reacting in shock, her jaw dropping at Jeantel’s admission–and her apparent expectation that Zimmerman should have understood the supposed cultural practice of “whoop-ass,” rather than acting to protect his own life.”
    ==========
    Jeantel is the gift that keeps on giving. IF Martin was in fear for his life, as the Trayvonites urge, then why would he simply be “whoop-ass’ing”???

    The point is, the Trayvonites have nothing but raw SUSPICION that something else was at play. Based on their own flawed world view. But what do we call those people who are really great at spinning some unfounded SUSPICIONS into definite guilt??? What do we call people who invent “What if” theories, and then start believing them over the available evidence? What do we call people who invent ersatz legal theories to support their SUSPICIONS, like the “Black Yute” Exception to Self Defense??? Well, one word fits all three actions very well – BIRTHERS.

    Please don’t turn into one for the left.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  90. OMG, had Martin been white, and Zimmerman black, there wouldn’t have even been a trial, because most White Americans would figure that he had it coming for jumping on somebody, breaking their nose, knocking them to the ground, and then banging their head into the concrete. White Americans would not have been out there protesting about Skittles and hoodies and all that crap. At least, I wouldn’t have. The State never would have felt compelled to put on a show trial. IMO.

    It would have been even less likely if there were pictures of Poor Little White Trayvon, smoking dope, flashing gang signs, texting that he was a “gangsta”, posing with a gun, having a bag of jewels that didn’t belong to him, and going by the name of “No Limit Cracka”.

    Man, some of you people are way too invested in playing race card games.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  91. notes to ponder

    while i had not heard anything about this i seem to miss the point, what was all his fault? i’ve just watched the video of the attack, it’s posted on several news sites, but what is his fault? the acquittal? the charges? the shooting?

    she seems to me to just be some looney who needs her meds adjusted.

  92. Squeaky, as I’ve said in another context, the best way to prevent someone from playing the race card is to quit dealing it.

  93. Hi Squeeky,

    It’s so very good to hear from you again!

    Are the pigs allowing you access to a computer?

    You sound like you haven’t aged a day, since we were working together!
    How’s that Black/White race war that we instigated, coming?

    Remember to pull the slide back, before firing the .45, next time, OK?

    Chuckie

  94. MikeS:

    Yes, Mike, anybody who doesn’t agree with you must be a racist! And OMG, FOX News, oh one just knows how they are. Sorry dude, but if anybody has the wrong take on this, its the Trayvonites who are doing the best Great Racist Witch Hunt they can do.

    Problem is, the jury done spoke. It wasn’t about race, and it never was except in the fevered imaginations of people who I suspect are Latent Racists. Because you know how you get suspicious that people who complain about gay people all the time, maybe are just over-compensating, and are gay themselves??? Well, I think the same is probably true for people who see racists behind every tree. Maybe it is their own racism that angers them.

    As for me, it wouldn’t make any difference if Poor Little Trayvon was white. If you jump on a stranger, and attack them, then you take your life in your hands. He did, and it turned out badly for him. Guess he’s got some “Limits” now. And there isn’t a Black Yute exception to self-defense. Except over on MSNBC.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  95. Do you know what’s funny?

    What if there was no black people? What if there were no white people? What if they all got mixed up and as a result, we all became brown people?

    I can imagine it now… that in the future when there’s no more black or white people but just brown people.

    Does that mean there will be no racism?

    No…

    You’ll read this in newspaper: “Tall person shoots and kill short person. Bob “Shorty” Smith, spokesperson for Short People Allied accuses tall person of instigating the crime on basis of heightism.”

    It will never end.

  96. Let’s see. Detroit was once the 4th largest city in the U.S. Prior to WWII, people came from around the world to see a city that symbolized America’s industrial capacity. While reading books on WWII, time after time one comes upon statements about “________” having visited Detroit and thus, “knew the industrial capacity of America… .” What lesson do you think people now take away from the same visit?

    But, forget about that sort of BIG, important National issue. Just toss it a verbal “bone” Mr. President. “Pay no attention to [the problems] behind the curtain”. Instead, “speak from the heart” about your horrible experiences while growing up Black, and ending up, somehow, a wealthy, two-term President of the U.S.

    OK, Mr. President, I’ll go along with your narrative. Basically lived in Indonesia until age 10. Then moving to that horrible, awful paradise called Hawaii. Raised by a white mother and her parents, seemed to do OK while in Hawaii. Definitely not rich, maybe just hanging on. But, there was that private school & all, plus nary an incident of racism. In fact, this is where the President learned his great “secret” of being entirely comfortable around White people, & vice versa.

    Then, off to an expensive college in California for two years (for some reason, those two years are never discussed), before starting to discover his “Blackness” & transferring to Columbia University and the Ivy League. It’s not easy to transfer, and students usually lose credits when they come from a school not the calibre of where they end up. But, I don’t know anything about all that, even though I was treated to every course & grade Bush took at Yale. (Kind of like when Al Gore supposedly left Vandy Law after two years. Right! No one leaves Vanderbilt Law after two years unless they have to. No money, conduct, or bad grades? Three choices, first two don’t count).

    The President then has to tough out Harvard Law, I presume on scholarship. Grades before & during… not known. Unlike with Bush’s MBA, or Romney’s academics. Harvard Law Review editor, though whether wrote on or graded on… unknown. Unlike anything with Bush, where we knew all about grades at B-school. Meets Michelle, and they hook up, making him officially Black.

    Query: if the half-Caucasian Barack Obama had married a blonde of Scandinavian descent, or a “Ginger” with an Irish name, would he still be “Black” in the eyes of the Black community? And I pose the question seriously. How “Black” would he be, politically? (Please, no antiquated, “one drop of blood” stuff. We’re in 2013 America, not 1901 Arkansas).

    The Prez toughs it out for a few years at a major law firm ($$) in Chicago, where he somehow gets to bill anywhere from one-half to less than two-thirds the hours any other Associate would need. Earmarked, understandably, for politics by the local Dem. machine, he settles down with Michelle, has kids, joins an anti-Semitic church, and Michelle earns some $$ in one of those “legal” jobs one can’t quite explain to an educated person from, say, the U.K.

    State House, waltzes into being a U.S. Senator when his opponent’s divorce proceedings are “tapped into” (i.e., someone unseals and reads the beautiful ex-wife’s deposition) and embarrassing info is leaked. After all, it’s the public’s right to know allegations about Jeri Ryan’s sex life, by Ms. Ryan, that were dismissed out of hand by a court, right? Wouldn’t want Barack to run against someone with bona fide, earned credentials. Then Obama is groomed to run for Prez, raises an incredible amount of money, and becomes personally wealthy (big house you have there, Mr. Prez) by playing upon a relationship he never actually had with a bum father, who deserted his mother when the Prez was very, very young.

    Obama then defeats the Wicked Witch in Dem primaries. Stop a sec. Does anyone recall the blatantly racist politicking HRC resorted to when the chance to be prez was slipping away? Obama handily wins the presidency, and easily wins reelection. A great, great Moment in America finally purging its Original Sin of Slavery. Forgiven, maybe not. But penance, yes.

    Believe it or not Mr. President, I don’t want to hear the leader of the Executive Branch of the U.S. opine for 20 minutes on a case in the Florida state court system, in which political pressure forced the overcharging of a defendant, resulting in an acquittal. As a former “professor of Constitutional Law”, you understand the danger in things like giving your opinion on how a state court judge handled her trial. Mr. President, you are a wealthy, educated guy, and you damn well know its not 1954, or 1962, nor 1968.

    But it’s just so GD easy to breathe new oxygen into the dying flame of racial politics than to, e.g., explain why your A.G. is not only giving the thumbs up to the greatest invasion of privacy ever seen in the U.S., but also has not always been, uh, truthful. Or, exactly what the H-ll our Rules of Engagement are with drone aircraft. Or, the continued weakness of the dollar. Or, the 20 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., etc., etc., etc.

    Yep. Just give the sheeple their “Bread and Circuses”. A lot easier than working.

  97. “But it’s just so GD easy to breathe new oxygen into the dying flame of racial politics”

    Warspite,

    Clever narrative deftly blending fiction with fact. I think you might try a novel next. A little advice though stay away from history and politics because your
    pre-judgments overcome your perception.

  98. Mike Appleton: “I’m still sorting this case out in what remains of my brain. But I fervently disagree with those who argue that racism played no role.”

    ChaZ: “You’ll read this in newspaper: “Tall person shoots and kill short person.”

    Me:
    It think that if the people who had been burglarizing the neighboehood had been universally tall or universally short, Zimmerman would have profiled a strange tall (or short) person as a potential burglar.

    Racism certainly played a role but this was played by other people – on both sides – afterwards.

  99. Squeeky: “Problem is, the jury done spoke.”

    Interesting is it not?
    When the 6 jurors left the courtroom, two of them thought Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter and one of them thought he was guilty of M2.
    The jury ended up returning a “not guilty” verdict, not because they discovered – in that disorganized pile that necessitated a request for a list to even begin to make sense of it – evidence that changed their minds It was because they found that the jury instructions did not allow them to consider anything but the fight itself.

    Even Juror B37, who came away from the courtroom thinking “not guilty” says she wanted to find Zimmerman guilty of ……. (read below)
    .

    She thinks that Zimmerman started the whole thing, that he should not have got out of the truck, that he lied in his stories and that he confronted Martin.
    Nevertheless, she considers that SYG (which was not the defence) trumped all of that and that therefore Zimmerman had to be “not guilty”
    It seems clear from her CNN interview that had a “not guilty but at the same time not innocent” verdict had been available, she would have gone for that.
    .

    From her interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN…

    I wanted to find him guilty of not using his senses.” “He started the ball rolling. He could have avoided the whole situation by staying in the car, but he wanted to do good. I think he had good in his heart. He just went overboard.”
    “I think he just didn’t know when to stop. He was frustrated, and things just got out of hand.” .

    .

    She thinks that Zimmerman was hunting for Martin

    I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods, and wanting to catch these people so badly, that he went above and beyond what he really should have done. But I think his heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong.
    I think he’s guilty of not using good judgment. When he was in the car and he called 911, he shouldn’t have gotten out of that car.
    I think the roles changed. I think, I think George got in a little bit too deep, which he shouldn’t have been there. But Trayvon decided that he wasn’t going to let him scare him and get the one- over, up on him, or something. And I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him

    He wanted to catch these people.
    He was the hunter but the roles changed.
    .

    She is sure that Zimmerman lied about some aspects at least

    I’m sure there were some fabrications, enhancements,
    “I think there were maybe some other issues and stuff leading between that, like what exactly — where George went exactly, and where Trayvon went exactly, because nobody knows where the two of them went to

    Her certainty that Zimmerman lied about heading for the truck may be related to the fact that she understands that times are unexplained by his stories.

    “and I think there was 2 minutes between when George hung up from his 911 call to the time when Trayvon and Rachel had hung up”

    In the trial, there was no evidence to indicate where Zimmerman was during those missing minutes after the call. In his closing, MOM offered a theory that Zimmerman “might have been looking around”.

    She wasn’t specific about the other “fabrications and enhancements” that she is sure that Zimmerman asserted as being truth.
    A leading candidate has got to be the “circling”. Although the dispatcher was right then asking him to tell if the guy did anything, Zimmerman does not mention anything. He came out with it later -–although he dropped it in Hannity.
    .She might have had doubts about a guy who clearly is utterly confused about significant parts of events that happened during the NEN can remember a dialog from a movie when they encountered. She might also wonder that a guy whose head was about to explode could remember lines from a different movie.

    She believes that Zimmerman confronted Martin

    he could have — when George confronted him and he could have walked away and gone home

    Apart from her stating that “nobody knows where the two of them went to”, the missing 2 minutes and MOM suggesting that Zimmerman might have been ”looking around” during those missing minutes, it might be that she considered that Zimmerman’s responses to Martin on the encounter were confrontational – this would apply both to Zimmerman’s version and Jeantel’s version.
    .

    She goes on to say that she would not be happy to have anyone who acted like Zimmerman did on the night being on watch in her neighborhood.
    She would be OK with Zimmerman being there because she thinks that Zimmerman now – despite “not using good judgement” on the night and “not knowing where to stop” would be the “most careful person on the planet”.
    Well, one might expect him to be. Quite apart from the realization that his stupidity had resulted in the death of a person, there was all that terribly inconvenient stuff that happened afterwards.
    Cut to the Hannity Interview…

    HANNITY: Is there anything you regret? Do you regret getting out of the car to follow Trayvon that night?
    ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.
    HANNITY: Is there anything you might do differently in retrospect now that the time has passed a little bit?
    ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

    For some strange reason, neither she nor Anderson Cooper got to wondering why Zimmerman would need to assert what B37 is sure were “some fabrications, enhancements” (aka “lies”).
    His lies were all to do with Martin being a clearly dangerous violent thug, and he being a concerned citizen who did what he had to do, did not hang about unnecessarily – but got jumped as he headed straight back for his truck.

  100. Try again WordPress…..
    .

    Squeeky: “Problem is, the jury done spoke.”

    Interesting is it not?
    When the 6 jurors left the courtroom, two of them thought Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter and one of them thought he was guilty of M2.
    The jury ended up returning a “not guilty” verdict, not because they discovered – in that disorganized pile that necessitated a request for a list to even begin to make sense of it – evidence that changed their minds It was because they found that the jury instructions did not allow them to consider anything but the fight itself.

    Even Juror B37, who came away from the courtroom thinking “not guilty” says she wanted to find Zimmerman guilty of ……. (read below)
    .

    She thinks that Zimmerman started the whole thing, that he should not have got out of the truck, that he lied in his stories and that he confronted Martin.
    Nevertheless, she considers that SYG (which was not the defence) trumped all of that and that therefore Zimmerman had to be “not guilty”
    It seems clear from her CNN interview that had a “not guilty but at the same time not innocent” verdict had been available, she would have gone for that.
    .

    From her interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN…

    I wanted to find him guilty of not using his senses.” “He started the ball rolling. He could have avoided the whole situation by staying in the car, but he wanted to do good. I think he had good in his heart. He just went overboard.”
    “I think he just didn’t know when to stop. He was frustrated, and things just got out of hand.” .

    .

    She thinks that Zimmerman was hunting for Martin

    I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods, and wanting to catch these people so badly, that he went above and beyond what he really should have done. But I think his heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong.
    I think he’s guilty of not using good judgment. When he was in the car and he called 911, he shouldn’t have gotten out of that car.
    I think the roles changed. I think, I think George got in a little bit too deep, which he shouldn’t have been there. But Trayvon decided that he wasn’t going to let him scare him and get the one- over, up on him, or something. And I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him

    He wanted to catch these people.
    He was the hunter but the roles changed.
    .

    She is sure that Zimmerman lied about some aspects at least

    I’m sure there were some fabrications, enhancements,
    “I think there were maybe some other issues and stuff leading between that, like what exactly — where George went exactly, and where Trayvon went exactly, because nobody knows where the two of them went to

    Her certainty that Zimmerman lied about heading for the truck may be related to the fact that she understands that times are unexplained by his stories.

    “and I think there was 2 minutes between when George hung up from his 911 call to the time when Trayvon and Rachel had hung up”

    In the trial, there was no evidence to indicate where Zimmerman was during those missing minutes after the call. In his closing, MOM offered a theory that Zimmerman “might have been looking around”.

    She wasn’t specific about the other “fabrications and enhancements” that she is sure that Zimmerman asserted as being truth.
    A leading candidate has got to be the “circling”. Although the dispatcher was right then asking him to tell if the guy did anything, Zimmerman does not mention anything. He came out with it later -–although he dropped it in Hannity.
    .She might have had doubts about a guy who clearly is utterly confused about significant parts of events that happened during the NEN can remember a dialog from a movie when they encountered. She might also wonder that a guy whose head was about to explode could remember lines from a different movie.

    She believes that Zimmerman confronted Martin

    he could have — when George confronted him and he could have walked away and gone home

    Apart from her stating that “nobody knows where the two of them went to”, the missing 2 minutes and MOM suggesting that Zimmerman might have been ”looking around” during those missing minutes, it might be that she considered that Zimmerman’s responses to Martin on the encounter were confrontational – this would apply both to Zimmerman’s version and Jeantel’s version.
    .

    She goes on to say that she would not be happy to have anyone who acted like Zimmerman did on the night being on watch in her neighborhood.
    She would be OK with Zimmerman being there because she thinks that Zimmerman now – despite “not using good judgement” on the night and “not knowing where to stop” would be the “most careful person on the planet”.
    Well, one might expect him to be. Quite apart from the realization that his stupidity had resulted in the death of a person, there was all that terribly inconvenient stuff that happened afterwards.
    Cut to the Hannity Interview…

    HANNITY: Is there anything you regret? Do you regret getting out of the car to follow Trayvon that night?
    ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.
    HANNITY: Is there anything you might do differently in retrospect now that the time has passed a little bit?
    ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

    For some strange reason, neither she nor Anderson Cooper got to wondering why Zimmerman would need to assert what B37 is sure were “some fabrications, enhancements” (aka “lies”).
    His lies were all to do with Martin being a clearly dangerous violent thug, and he being a concerned citizen who did what he had to do, did not hang about unnecessarily – but got jumped as he headed straight back for his truck.

  101. Mike, you have no idea the extent to which your comment is incredibly & ironically humorous.

    I’m no Birther, Obama groupie, or other fringe nut. I’m just calling ’em like I see ’em. Admittedly, always a subjective process.

  102. I’ll try this as two parts, as WordPress seems to be swallowing stuff again …..

    —————————————————————————-

    Squeeky: “Problem is, the jury done spoke.”

    Interesting is it not?
    When the 6 jurors left the courtroom, two of them thought Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter and one of them thought he was guilty of M2.
    The jury ended up returning a “not guilty” verdict, not because they discovered – in that disorganized pile that necessitated a request for a list to even begin to make sense of it – evidence that changed their minds It was because they found that the jury instructions did not allow them to consider anything but the fight itself.

    Even Juror B37, who came away from the courtroom thinking “not guilty” says she wanted to find Zimmerman guilty of ……. (read below)
    .

    She thinks that Zimmerman started the whole thing, that he should not have got out of the truck, that he lied in his stories and that he confronted Martin.
    Nevertheless, she considers that SYG (which was not the defence) trumped all of that and that therefore Zimmerman had to be “not guilty”
    It seems clear from her CNN interview that had a “not guilty but at the same time not innocent” verdict had been available, she would have gone for that.
    .

    From her interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN…

    I wanted to find him guilty of not using his senses.” “He started the ball rolling. He could have avoided the whole situation by staying in the car, but he wanted to do good. I think he had good in his heart. He just went overboard.”
    “I think he just didn’t know when to stop. He was frustrated, and things just got out of hand.” .

    .

    She thinks that Zimmerman was hunting for Martin

    I think George Zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place, but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods, and wanting to catch these people so badly, that he went above and beyond what he really should have done. But I think his heart was in the right place. It just went terribly wrong.
    I think he’s guilty of not using good judgment. When he was in the car and he called 911, he shouldn’t have gotten out of that car.
    I think the roles changed. I think, I think George got in a little bit too deep, which he shouldn’t have been there. But Trayvon decided that he wasn’t going to let him scare him and get the one- over, up on him, or something. And I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him

    He wanted to catch these people.
    He was the hunter but the roles changed.
    .

    She is sure that Zimmerman lied about some aspects at least

    I’m sure there were some fabrications, enhancements,
    “I think there were maybe some other issues and stuff leading between that, like what exactly — where George went exactly, and where Trayvon went exactly, because nobody knows where the two of them went to

    Her certainty that Zimmerman lied about heading for the truck may be related to the fact that she understands that times are unexplained by his stories.

    “and I think there was 2 minutes between when George hung up from his 911 call to the time when Trayvon and Rachel had hung up”

    In the trial, there was no evidence to indicate where Zimmerman was during those missing minutes after the call. In his closing, MOM offered a theory that Zimmerman “might have been looking around”.

  103. One last try … this time in three parts ….

    1 of 3 ( or alternatively 0 of somthing swallowed by WordPress )
    ———————————————————————————
    .

    Squeeky: “Problem is, the jury done spoke.”

    Interesting is it not?
    When the 6 jurors left the courtroom, two of them thought Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter and one of them thought he was guilty of M2.
    The jury ended up returning a “not guilty” verdict, not because they discovered – in that disorganized pile that necessitated a request for a list to even begin to make sense of it – evidence that changed their minds It was because they found that the jury instructions did not allow them to consider anything but the fight itself.

    Even Juror B37, who came away from the courtroom thinking “not guilty” says she wanted to find Zimmerman guilty of ……. (read below)
    .

    She thinks that Zimmerman started the whole thing, that he should not have got out of the truck, that he lied in his stories and that he confronted Martin.
    Nevertheless, she considers that SYG (which was not the defence) trumped all of that and that therefore Zimmerman had to be “not guilty”
    It seems clear from her CNN interview that had a “not guilty but at the same time not innocent” verdict had been available, she would have gone for that.
    .

    From her interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN…

    I wanted to find him guilty of not using his senses.” “He started the ball rolling. He could have avoided the whole situation by staying in the car, but he wanted to do good. I think he had good in his heart. He just went overboard.”
    “I think he just didn’t know when to stop. He was frustrated, and things just got out of hand.” .

  104. “Yes, Mike, anybody who doesn’t agree with you must be a racist!”

    Squeeky,

    I only call racists, racist. A rule of thumb about who is a racist is the use of the term “play the race card”. This is a meme made up by racists to deflect the discussion away from their own complicity/belief in racism.

    Let’s be honest though Squeeky. You are here to promote your birther website.
    I was nice enough to give you a couple of views and I must say the coherence is lacking and the crap flows freely. I will also categorically state that any birther is a racist. There is much to criticize in our President, but his citizenship is a proven fact to all but those who hate Black people, some though who don’t even have the courage to admit their prejudice.

  105. “If you jump on a stranger, and attack them, then you take your life in your hands. ” ~Squeeky
    ——————————
    And if you manage to kill them, then you’ve done away with all the witnesses (you hope) and can say what-evah you want happened.

    Trayvonites? Interesting word, do you mean these misguided people?

  106. Mike, Obama’s American citizenship is obvious. Birthers are as silly and ignorant as those who belive in a race of Lizard-people controling our world. However you are wrong in your blanket accusation of racism.

    The phrase “playing the race card” is used by racist and non-racist alike. It is used to describe racist actions, it is used as a condemation against racism and it is used to exploit racism.

    It is a legitmate idiom. It’s use does not make one a racist.

    It is certainly possible that a person’s dislike for Obama’s policies, and his apparent political beliefs will cause someone to jump on a conspiracy theory. You forget how much Americans love their conspiracy theories. It doesn’t take a racist to believe that we never landed on the moon or 9-11 was an inside job and it doesn’t take a racist to believe Obama is hiding his birthplace

    You say there is much to criticize about Obama but anyone believing in the Birther conspiracy must be a racist. This is interesting when others have stated the only reason to criticize Obama is racism. Obviously you don’t believe in the absolute. Likewise your birther = racist is just as inaccurate.

  107. When confronted with the strange information that Zimmerman had made an unusually high number of 911 calls/police calls and they always and only involved blacks…well I don’t know why i did not learn of that PRIOR to the trial and I wonder if they were all infused with the racial hunting language GZ employed in his Trayvon call. I still believe it was a power overreach, breach of self restraint, and I wonder if the fact that GZ’s Dad was a judge
    had some weight. But not much was made of this in the press either….perhaps race is just a tool….

  108. People need to go to those Trayvon Martin rallies saying to people :Stop worshiping the dead. God is the God of the living. Worship the dead make more dead to worship. Stop the madness.

  109. “I’m no Birther, Obama groupie, or other fringe nut. I’m just calling ‘em like I see ‘em. Admittedly, always a subjective process.”

    Warspite,

    I used none of those characterizations above as an adjective for you. I did say that the narrative you supplied in that comment was a blend of fact and fiction. I’m not happy with President Obama and I’ve written extensively about the sources of my unhappiness:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2013/06/29/obama-and-the-war-on-drugs-hypocrisy-in-action-2/

    http://jonathanturley.org/2013/01/12/president-obama-disappoints-why-the-surprise/

    Those are just two of many I’ve written in which I criticized the President. If you enter “Mike Spindell Obama” in the search function above you will see many more guest blogs I’ve written. What I tried to do with all of them though was back up my beliefs factually. I don’t think your particular comment that I responded to held up to that standard, but agree it was deftly written.

    “The President then has to tough out Harvard Law, I presume on scholarship. Grades before & during… not known. Unlike with Bush’s MBA, or Romney’s academics. Harvard Law Review editor, though whether wrote on or graded on… unknown. Unlike anything with Bush, where we knew all about grades at B-school. Meets Michelle, and they hook up, making him officially Black.”

    Fiction via supposition.

    “Query: if the half-Caucasian Barack Obama had married a blonde of Scandinavian descent, or a “Ginger” with an Irish name, would he still be “Black” in the eyes of the Black community?”

    The answer is yes he would be, but the more important answer would be that he would be considered black by an overwhelming majority of the White community. That’s the way the issue of race works in America.

    “Believe it or not Mr. President, I don’t want to hear the leader of the Executive Branch of the U.S. opine for 20 minutes on a case in the Florida state court system, in which political pressure forced the overcharging of a defendant, resulting in an acquittal.”

    Yes just as JFK was wrong in commenting about the arrest of Martin Luther King in Birmingham. Prior to this you de-legitimized him as being black and now you de-legitimize his right to use the “bully pulpit” of the Presidency.

    “Mr. President, you are a wealthy, educated guy, and you damn well know its not 1954, or 1962, nor 1968.”

    Warspite, I’m also a very educated guy, not wealthy, but I was alive during those years. They were terrible years to be Black in this country and considering the awful state of affairs then, progress has been made. However,
    you are blind to the reality of the situation if you think this country is beyond crippling racism. That a small percentage of Black have achieved success as proof of the change is specious. It is similar to saying that when someone of a poor economic background makes it as a billionaire, that proves that anyone in the U.S. can succeed if they just work hard enough. That is the nonsense of novelistic conception/perception and I did complement your talents in that area.

  110. People need to go to those Trayvon Martin rallies saying to people on a bull horn: Stop worshiping the dead. God is the God of the living. Worship the dead make more dead to worship. Stop the madness.

  111. “The phrase “playing the race card” is used by racist and non-racist alike. It is used to describe racist actions, it is used as a condemation against racism and it is used to exploit racism.”

    Jeff,

    Please provide me an example of a non-racist using “playing the race card” and if you do, then I may admit that I am wrong

  112. George Zimmerman killed the presumption of innocence
    In an era of drones and NSA excess, the Zimmerman verdict reaffirms that like Trayvon, too many are presumed guilty
    By David Sirota
    7/15/13
    http://www.salon.com/2013/07/15/after_zimmerman_verdict_we_all_are_threats_now/

    Excerpt:
    For those desperately seeking a glimmer of sunlight in the terrible thunderstorm that was the George Zimmerman trial, the presumption of innocence might seem like a good principle on which to focus. After all, Zimmerman’s defense lawyers always predicated their hopes on such a presumption and, on the surface, Zimmerman’s exoneration seems like proof that the presumption is alive and well in America — so alive and well, in fact, that an admitted killer was able to avoid conviction because of the ineptitude of the prosecution.

    Even if you subscribe to this generous interpretation, it is no doubt cold comfort. A child is dead and his extrajudicial executioner is free. But can’t we take pride in the supposed persistence of a foundational legal principle — one that in aggregate is supposed to create a more just and humane society? Can’t we at least have that?

    The blunt answer, unfortunately, is no, because Zimmerman’s exoneration is the latest — and perhaps most powerful — state-sanctioned societal rejection of the presumption of innocence, with the killer a microcosmic embodiment of such a rejection.

    Zimmerman, you recall, tracked Martin’s walk through their gated community, muttering under his breath about “these fucking punks” and “assholes” always getting away. Though Martin wasn’t doing anything other than strolling around, Zimmerman presumed him guilty of something and therefore followed him, ultimately leading to the altercation in which he murdered Martin.

    In consequently exonerating him for such a murder, the Sanford court effectively added its government stamp of approval to Zimmerman presuming Martin guilty. Put another way, the Florida judiciary went on record declaring that armed citizens like Zimmerman have no obligation to presume unarmed black teenagers innocent, but instead have a right to presume them guilty — and, in turn, worthy of extrajudicial capital punishment. Call it the Zimmerman Principle.

    Terrifying and grotesque as that principle is, it is sadly neither nothing new nor anything we can write off as isolated. On the contrary, Zimmerman’s presumption of guilt and his subsequent actions mimic those of his own government, and therefore reflect a larger attitudinal shift in the nation at large.

    Remember, in the same year that saw Zimmerman kill Martin, Zimmerman’s president, Barack Obama, extra-judicially executed Anwar al-Awlaki and then his 16-year-old son, without charging either of the two U.S. citizens with a single crime. The two were simply presumed guilty, without any evidence being officially marshaled against them. Not only that, such a presumption wasn’t hidden from view in shame, as if it was something to be embarrassed about. Instead, Obama openly touted the extra-judicial killing of the father and then his spokesman haughtily justified the extra-judicial killing of the child.

    Explaining the Zimmerman-like aggression against the Awlakis and thousands of others who find themselves targeted by U.S. drone strike missiles, the federal government later offered up the Zimmerman Principle, repeating the same sentiment that Zimmerman expressed during his cellphone call to non-emergency responders.

    Whereas Zimmerman told non-emergency responders that Martin “looks like he’s up to no good,” the New York Times reported that Obama’s indiscriminate drone bombing, which “counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants,” presumes that people in a targeted area are “probably up to no good.” In other words, when it comes to military policy, the Obama administration is George Zimmerman perceiving the world as filled with Trayvon Martins supposedly “up to no good” — and who supposedly therefore deserve to die.

  113. I did not watch the trial but it is my understanding that the jury was limited to the confrontation which limited the question to “Was Zimmerman protecting himself?” His injuries would say Yes.

    If this is true, then they were not allowed to consider provocation. If someone was stalking me in the dark and I knew he had a gun, I would hope I would be able to put him out of commission–by leaping on him and pounding his head into unconsciousness. And hope he could not reach or fire his gun before I succeeded. That, I believe, is one interpretation of the scenario the jury was given. Not, Did Trayvon feel threatened? Did Trayvon have the need to protect himself?

    Since the prosecutor handled this poorly from the start, including charging, and then jury instructions limited the verdict, I think race was not a determining factor.

    Pres. Obama’s reminder is partially true. This country is not safer today for people of color than it was twenty or thirty years ago. Would Zimmerman have suspected and stalked a white teen who wore a hoodie? (But that was not a question raised at trial.)

  114. Squeeky: “Problem is, the jury done spoke.”

    Interesting is it not?
    When the 6 jurors left the courtroom, two of them thought Zimmerman was guilty of manslaughter and one of them thought he was guilty of M2.
    The jury ended up returning a “not guilty” verdict, not because they discovered – in that disorganized pile that necessitated a request for a list to even begin to make sense of it – evidence that changed their minds It was because they found that the jury instructions did not allow them to consider anything but the fight itself. They were not allowed to consider what led up to it.

    Even Juror B37, who came away from the courtroom thinking “not guilty” says she wanted to find Zimmerman guilty of …….

    http://zimmermanscall.blogspot.com/p/verdict-and-juror-b37.html

  115. The News Media is standing its ground. They are preparing the ground for another Ronnie Raygun backlash. CNN is full time trayvon. So is Fox. They differ in their comments. But they want the Hoodie in your face and they are both of the same political persuasion. They want the backlash. It will be Ron Paul in 2016 thanks to CNN and Trayvon. Thank you Holder.

  116. MikeSpendell:

    First, you said: “A rule of thumb about who is a racist is the use of the term “play the race card”. This is a meme made up by racists to deflect the discussion away from their own complicity/belief in racism.”

    Wow! That is very some convenient logic! Person A starts hollering “racism”, when not appropriate, and person B responds, “You’re playing the race card!” And your conclusion is that it is Person B who will always be the racist.

    That’s completely laughable! Your statement is simply an excuse for a player of race cards to exempt themselves from either criticism or responsibility for that behavior. Sort of a “If you say I am playing the race card, then it is YOU who are the racist!” as a hard and fast rule. Isn’t that an adult version of, “I’m rubber, you’re glue, and anything you say bounces off of me, and sticks onto you!”

    A more rational criteria for the non-tricyclers among us would entail examination of the statements/positition of both parties. At which time one would find that the Trayvonites are hollering racism, when there seems to be none. Unless of course, you advocate for a Black Yute exception to self defense. Which I would maintain is racist.

    As far as promoting my anti-Birther website, it ain’t doable. That topic has a very narrow following, and the people who are interested in that subject already know about the place. Outside of the occasional “WTF???” visitor, my appearance on any blog, generates few visits.

    As far as all Birthers being racists, I have about zero respect for Birthers but even I do not go that far. Because I don’t think it’s true. Some are, and some aren’t. Some just can’t stand liberals,or progressives, or whatever tag you want to put on Obama. Others are just run-of-the-mill legal quacks. Once again, you are overly free and easy with your characterizations.

    Because of your tendencies, as detailed above, I suggest you go get a check up and see if you were perhaps bitten by a mosquito carrying the Hubris Virus. That affliction tends to blur one’s vision over time.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  117. Jesus stood his ground but he stopped conflict getting away from conflict. He also judged himself. People that are complaining about the outcome of the court are not judging themselves. Don’t do that have people end up hurting people and or property. Not a heavenly attitude.

  118. Following on Juror B37 clearly saying that she thought that Zimmerman was not innocent, here’s another hyperlink to something that WordPress would probably refuse to digest – going by earlier frustrations….

    http://zimmermanscall.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_21.html

    Someone suggested to me that if Zimmerman’s following of ‘a suspect’ was reckless and culpable, then a following by two local construction workers of someone they recognized as someone they had noticed breaking into a house would be equally reckless and culpable.
    The theory must be that “following” is an unambiguous legal term that completely describes any and all eventualities where one person goes in the same direction as another.

    My understanding of the contruction worker event is that is that it happened in broad daylight and that they were able to maintain sight of the person at all times and from a safe distance. I’m not sure if the person was even aware of their following of him.

    However, the challenge gave me an idea.
    Two construction workers inside Zimmerman’s head on the night.

  119. I was reading a news clip that basically stated that he questioned if the prosecutor in the Martin case really wanted a conviction…. Interesting….

  120. “I was reading a news clip that basically stated that he questioned if the prosecutor in the Martin case really wanted a conviction…. Interesting….”

    AY,

    Somewhere on one of the earliest threads on the verdict I raised the same issue. A “victory” for the prosecution would have been a rebuke to the Sanford P.D. and its enabling politicians. There is the distinct possibility that the prosecution “threw” its case via overcharging and incompetent trial management.

  121. “There is the distinct possibility that the prosecution ‘threw’ its case via overcharging and incompetent trial management.”

    And therein lies the dog that the DOJ might get to hunt in a civil rights action against the local officials.

  122. Had there been a Guilty verdict (presumably on the manslaugter charge) the judge would have had an avalanche of complaints about her decisions throughout.

    She was extremely fast on the Original Aggressor instruction.
    “Following isn’t illegal.”
    “The defence doen’t want it. The court isn’t giving it.”
    There was little or no discussion. Bang!

    There still might be complaints about her but any intense heat has been removed by the “not guilty”.

    So… it was a team effort? or interests in common?

    “Following isn’t illegal.” Oh thank you Judge!
    Can it be aggressive? (as in original)? Yes.

  123. On the other hand, I have known a lawyer or two, when stuck with a dog of a case, just played it nasty and wild to please their stupid client(s), who they couldn’t talk into settling. Quite often, the client didn’t mind losing because they got to tell their side of things in Court, and get off their chest what a no-good SOB the other party(s) was.

    There is one lawyer in town, well known for cursing and threatening like an insane, rabid sailor over the phone at other lawyers. Most of them know, when there is a pause in the invective, to ask, “Is your client still there?” and usually the answer comes back, “No, she/he left. Now lets talk settlement, I hate this darn case! Those people are crazy.”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  124. Sooooooooooo, let’s cut to the chase on this SYG stuff. Under Florida’s SYG law, a defendant electing to have an SYG hearing has the burden of proof. In order to gain the benefit (dismissal) under the SYG law, the defendant must prove that he acted in self-defense. If he establishes self-defense by affirmative evidence, a fortiari, he is also establishing the government cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did not act in self-defense. Conversely, if the defendant fails to meet his burden at the SYG hearing, the case goes to trial and the government may or may not be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Are you with me so far?

    Removing the SYG hearing from the analysis does not change the evidence. By meeting his burden of proof at the SYG hearing, the defendant is also proving that the government cannot prevail at trial. The quantum of proof is still insufficient for conviction whether there was an SYG hearing or not. The result is the same whether the defendant proved his innocence at the SYG hearing or the government failed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. Everybody still with me?

    Repealing the SYG law will only change the procedural right of a defendant to a pretrial SYG hearing and consequent dismissal provided he proves that the government cannot prevail at trial by affirmatively proving that he acted in self-defense. Therefore, instead of having an provably innocent defendant’s case dismissed pretrial because he proved his innocence, the provably innocent defendant will be acquitted at trial because the government cannot prove his guilt. The only thing that repeal of the SYG law will accomplish is that a defendant who would otherwise be able to prove he acted in self-defense will be forced into the expense of a criminal trial. Oh yes, the public will also have to pay for the trial, the media will get to print incorrect accounts of the evidence, and the politicians will get to rant. Gee, what great benefits repeal of the SYG laws would have.

  125. Wootsy, It wasn’t just that rz,sr was a magistrate in Va, there was a long relationship between him and da Wolfinger that goes back to the military time. Also, one is the godfather of one of the other’s children.

    Serino submitted the capias, which turns out to be the mo of the SPD. Instead of doing arrests, they submit a capias which leaves it up to the da to decide whether or not to charge. Wolfinger decided this was a non-action due to SYG.

  126. In states without SYG laws, a district attorney decides whether to press charges. That’s what happened before the advent of SYG laws. What’s wrong with that system?

    SYG just encourages murder, by setting the tone. Civilized states and countries already have the concept of self-defense. That’s sufficient.

    Combine SYG with state encouragement of every lunatic to carry guns, and you have a failed state like Florida.

    It requires a certain mindset to focus on trial expenses, when one citizen kills another. Whut the hail, let ’em go, saves money!

  127. Reblogged this on SERENDIPITY and commented:
    This is a thoughtful commentary. Obama’s remarks (a full transcript) are included and worth reading. There are more sides to this story than I can count. All contain some truth, valid points. It isn’t nearly as we would all like it to be. Few things in our world are black and white, including this. The area of gray is huge and very complicated.

  128. The prosecution “threw” the case? Well, that’s another step closer to, “it’s the Jews’ fault”.

  129. Warspite,
    Why, were the prosecutors Jewish?
    Can Jews also be shot on sight in Florida?
    Please elaborate.
    I guess if Zimmerman had suspected someone of being Jewish, he might have feared for his life, and murdered him.
    Stand Your Ground is quite useful, for cowards. Everyone scares them.

  130. bettykath
    1, July 21, 2013 at 9:56 pm
    —————
    well that does make it a tad creepy doesn’t it? No one is talking about those sides of the issue. Pure speculation but I wonder if GZ’s behaviour would have gone un-addressed for so long if he did not have such connections… what other ‘priveledges’ has he enjoyed that puts regular people at risk? Not to mention, those kinds of priveledges also put HIM at risk as well….

  131. Charles Manson: “Civilized states and countries already have the concept of self-defense. That’s sufficient.

    It’s not sufficient if that concept is one that finds it acceptable for someone to get themselves into a confrontational situation by ignoring good sense and advices formally given.

    If someone in innocently going about their busines, then by all means let them defend themselves from attack if they have no other option.
    .

    Zimmerman had formal NW advices “Call from the safety of your home or vehicle. Do not approach.”
    He had “We don’t need you to do that” – which is as far as the dispatcher was allowed by formal policy to go in the direction of giving an instruction.

    What if Zimmerman had told the dispatcher that the guy had just circled the truck in a threatening confrontational manner? He didn’t tell the dispatcher that for some strange reason, even though the dispatcher had asked him to let him know if the guy did anything.

    Is it possible that had Zimmerman mentioned such a circling, that the dispatcher’s advice would have been “We really, really, but freaking REALLY, do NOT need you to do that.”?

  132. Mr. Manson,

    So, what’s wrong with giving the accused an opportunity to challenge the prosecutor’s unbridled discretion in bringing charges? This is not a matter of economy. It is a matter of giving the defendant a check on prosecutorial abuses.

  133. Mike and Gene:

    “There is the distinct possibility that the prosecution ‘threw’ its case via overcharging and incompetent trial management.”

    “And therein lies the dog that the DOJ might get to hunt in a civil rights action against the local officials.”

    That’s some pretty deep conjecture guys. A few questions for you:

    Mike: Do you honestly think that the prosecutors would ‘throw’ their case just so that the Sanford P.D. and their “enabling politicians” can save face!? And let’s say, just for the sake of argument that they did. Does it even matter? How would investigators even BEGIN to look into such a conspiracy?

    Gene: Do you honestly believe the federal government is going to put resources into this!? How could this POSSIBLY be proven!?

    I’m not trying to be a jerk with these questions. I’m genuinely interested in both of your thoughts on them.

    Incidentally, Mike, I enjoy your blogs very much.

    -Cheers

  134. Uh, Bob, do you really not understand I am using hyperbole (I hope!) to illustrate the stupidity of a “throwing the case” conspiracy theory. You know, kind of like even though the only people involved were Muslim, the Jews were behind 9/11.

    Throwing around conspiracy stuff like they threw the case is also irresponsible because of the “vulnerability”? “”acceptance”? “gullibility”? Or, how about stupidity, of the Black community in the US when it comes to conspiracy theories. A significant percentage, including educated Blacks, will believe incredibly stupid conspiracy theories, if the theories involve actions detrimental to Blacks.

    So, go ahead & spread those lies. Doubt you will have too much trouble convincing the Rachel Jeantels of the world. (and I feel sorry for a 19 yr old, probably only semi-literate, still in H.S. Barring capitalising on the trial, what sort of future can she expect?)

  135. So, who’s going to decide, under a SYG hearing, that someone who kills an unarmed man shouldn’t be charged?
    A White Citizens’ Council?

  136. Warspite,
    Thanks for the…uh…clarification. Your explanation is even more confusing than the original.
    “A significant percentage, including educated Blacks, will believe incredibly stupid conspiracy theories, if the theories involve actions detrimental to Blacks.”
    What percentage is that? Perhaps you could poll a large population of Black folks, “Do you believe in incredibly stupid conspiracy theories?”
    You could ask Obama. But, is he black, or is he white?

    “So, go ahead & spread those lies. Doubt you will have too much trouble convincing the Rachel Jeantels of the world.”

    C’mon. Just a hint. What are you talking about? Is there anyone else, besides you, in this conversation?
    Is Rachel Jeantel an archetype? Of what, Black women?

  137. Bob Kauten,

    From what I understand, a Stand Your Ground hearing takes place before a judge.

    bettykath,

    Your Zimmerman/Wolfinger relationship is just an unsubstantiated rumor.

  138. Of course, the details on Georgie “helping” people out of an overturned vehicle are sorely lacking. What did he actually do? Walk over to the vehicle and hold his hand out? Yell out, “Hey are oyu guys okay?” as they climbed out of the vehicle? A big yawn.

    But I did want to make one last comment about Turley’s claim above that the defense “waived” SYG claims: “SYG was waived pre-trial by the defense, which did not seek immunity under the law.”

    The defense waived a pre-trial immunity hearing. But they did NOT waive any claims to SYG during the trial: “During Tuesday’s motions hearing, Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O’Mara told Judge Debra Nelson there was nothing in the law that required the immunity hearing to take place before Zimmerman’s trial.” No rights were waived. The SYG claims were never waived.

    And the jury instructions clearly contained the SYG language from the Florida statutes.

  139. PBH51:
    “Also, how is it that the safety switch on Zimmerman’s gun was not closed? Why not suppose that Zimmerman had already drawn his gun when the altercation began?”

    Many of the most popular carry guns have no external safety, such as every model of Glock, the Walther PPS, most of Smith and Wesson’s M&P line, the Springfield XD (grip safety, but that’s a passive safety), and others.

    Many if not most people who carry guns legally do so with the safety off. It’s a debated topic in the concealed carry community, but to my eye, the majority favor not having the safety on if you carry a gun with one. The thinking is that any properly functioning gun in a competent holster is already safe, and carrying it with the safety on adds another step, one involving fine motor control in a high stress situation, to having the firearm ready to use.

    Zimmerman’s safety being off means nothing more than Zimmerman’s safety was off.

  140. The 911 call has a male (sounds like an older male, not a teen … hence, it would reasonably be Zimmerman) making calls for help that are utterly bone chilling “I-fear-for-my-life” calls not a “hey, I’m losing this fight” call out. With the key witness saying that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman … and evidence proving that Trayvon was on top when he was shot, I have no doubt that it was Zimmerman we heard … believing he was going to die.

  141. PBH51:
    Also, how is it that the safety switch on Zimmerman’s gun was not closed? Why not suppose that Zimmerman had already drawn his gun when the altercation began?

    The gun does not have a safety catch.
    The ‘safety’ is that it needs a long pull on the trigger of about 5 pounds pressure.
    The long pull has the effect of pulling back the hammer and then releasing it (double-action).
    There is a hammer-lock mechanism to ensude that dropping the gun does not cause it to fire. It should only fire after a trigger-pull.

    Most people seem to carry such guns with a round always in the chamber and the magazine then refilled.

    To fire the gun, they simply draw and pull the trigger.

  142. TallTexan,

    calls for help that are utterly bone chilling “I-fear-for-my-life” calls not a “hey, I’m losing this fight” call out.

    We don’t know which of them is calling.
    Each side says that they think it is their guy that is calling. This is understandable.

    How anyone is meant to be able to identify a family_member/friend’s “utterly bone chilling “I-fear-for-my-life” calls” even without them being in the background of a telephone conversation beats me.
    In addition, the sounds had to travel about 40 feet in an echo-prone space, pass through heavy external porch shutters and then x feet to the phone.

    Why would Martin be screaming in fear of his life?
    1) He thinks the follower-in-the-dark is trying to pull a gun
    – because after he asked the guy what he was at, the guy gave either
    a) a smart-ass response (Zimmerman’s version) or
    b) asked a question (Jeantel’s version)
    – the guy put his hand to his hip/waistband
    or
    2) He knows the follower-in-the-dark has a gun
    – because he pulled it then , or
    – because he already had it out
    John Good could not see hands or faces. It was too dark. If the gun was out, no way would he be able to see that very small gun even if he could vaguely make out hands.

    What are the indicators that it was Martin and not Zimmerman that was calling?
    1) The screams seem regular. Zimmerman says that Martin was using both hands to cover his mouth and nose. Did Martin stop doing this on a regular pattern? Was Martin cycling through suffocate / punch / head-pound – with Zimmerman screaming in the breaks?
    2) If Zimmerman’s nose was injured at the outset, and he has been on his back, the blood would tend to flow into his throat/windpipe. That might be expected to have some effect.
    3) The calls stop immediately on the shot. The shot cuts the last one off.
    Zimmerman says that he did not even know if teh shot had hit Martin. Accordingly, and “I-fear-for-my-life” belief would still be present.
    .

    I’m not saying that it *was* Martin.
    We don’t know.

    I’m not sure how a particular adults’ desperate screams can be distinguished from a particular 17-year-old desperate screams.
    No expert could make a judgement.
    The opinions of family/friends have to cancel each other out.

    Certainly, Zimmerman says that
    1) he put his hand to his hip/waistband
    2) Martin then punched him
    In the circumstances, it would be reasonable for Martin to assume a gun.
    That for instance is what Hannity suggests as a natural reaction for Zimmerman on observing Martin with “his hand in his waistband”.

    Zimmerman is insistent that he had absolutely no idea that he was carrying a gun, and that he was only reminded of it when he thought Martin’s hand was reaching for it.
    Is he protesting too much here?
    Is it not reasonable to suggest that a CCW holder would remember the hard thing inside their waistband when “a suspicious person who could be up to no good and might be on drugs or something and has their hand in their waistband” walks right up to him.?
    Not alone walking up to him, but also (although not in the NEN despite requests for reports on what the guy is doing) circling him in a threatening manner.
    .

    I’ll take indications other than your feeling about what Zimmerman sceaming in terror might sound like. :)

    .

    What I would love to have done would be to get a number of people to scream exactly like that and dub them in over the 911 call.
    Play them randomly, with some repeated and one or two originals in there to everyone who said it was Zimmerman.
    I have a very strong suspicion that they would not identify his voice in the mix.

  143. TallTexan,

    “utterly bone chilling “I-fear-for-my-life” calls not a “hey, I’m losing this fight” call out”

    Zimmerman’s story is that he feared for his life when Martin (radar-eyes) saw the gun and went for it, while saying “Yo gonna die tonite MF”. This presumably to give him a solid “fear-of-life” defence later.
    The screams.at teh end of the fight (post “Yo gonna die tonite MF” ) do not sound any more urgent than tne screams 40 seconds earlier.

    Of the two, it would only be Martin who would have the same level of fear throughout. Zimmerman’s would have been increasing gradually.

    Hey! Maybe it was Martin?

  144. I can’t believe the incredible amount of misunderstanding (?) on the SYG issue.

    Put as simply as possible, a defendant in a criminal case such as shooting someone, hitting someone, etc., almost always always has the right to argue the harm inflicted was justified because the defendant had a reasonable fear of bodily harm. You can call it a “Justiication” type of defense. Many states have adopted, by statute or caselaw, a right not to flee, but instead defend yourself to the extent deemed reasonable (this is a “stand your ground”- all small S’s, type of defense). The defendant can argue Justification, but the jury (or a judge) can easily deem the defense unwarranted.

    The above is a good thing, not a bad thing. Sometimes even killing someone can be legally justified. One can think of many examples. It can get complicated or emotional, but the final decider of fact has to make the call on Justification. That can be a judge or jury.

    Florida and some other states have adopted another wrinkle. If the defendant thinks it warranted, they can ask for a pre-trial evidentisry hearing on Justification. This is the “Stand Your Ground” (all capital S’s) statute. If the defendant can prevail at a SYG evidentiary hearing- a VERY HARD thing to do, they have carried the burden on a Justified defensive action. The whole case is “directed” to be dismissed, rather than Justification (“self-defense”) being argued to a (sometimes) judge or jury at a trial ,with them deciding.

    Just because a defendant chooses not to ask for a pre-trial evidentiary hearing under the “SYG self-defense statute”, does not and should not have any effect whatsoever upon the ability of the accused to argue a Justification defense such as a “stand your ground” type of reasonable self-defense if lethal force was used. This is a criminal matter putting a defendant’s life & liberty at issue. Not a civil case, which is almost always only about money.

  145. “Or, how about stupidity, of the Black community in the US when it comes to conspiracy theories. A significant percentage, including educated Blacks, will believe incredibly stupid conspiracy theories, if the theories involve actions detrimental to Blacks.”

    Warspite,

    I don’t know how old you are but I am old enough to remember “Jim Crow”. To call the Black community “stupid” for believing in government conspiracies is well……..stupid. “Jim Crow” was a government conspiracy and the fact of it can’t be denied. We had huge swaths of this country conspiring openly to deny Blacks their rights as citizens for many years and even today. From your comments it would seem you would even deny them their rights to protest their oppression and that in itself is ignorant and frankly heartless.

    What is really stupid is to believe that the words of a few individuals who seek
    fame and fortune represent the thinking of an entire community and if you think that is a direct attack on your credibility, you would be correct.

  146. “Mike: Do you honestly think that the prosecutors would ‘throw’ their case just so that the Sanford P.D. and their “enabling politicians” can save face!?”

    Anthony,

    Yes I do and I’ve been criticizing the prosecutor’s conduct of the case since even before the trial began. They didn’t make the case for the charges and that was either gross incompetence and/or collusion.

    “And let’s say, just for the sake of argument that they did. Does it even matter? How would investigators even BEGIN to look into such a conspiracy?”

    I’m not calling for anybody to look into this because I think the case is over and ended. I don’t think the DOJ will do anything to investigate anything but produce a “dog and pony” show. I’m not even calling for a DOJ investigation because I think it would be fruitless. I believe strongly that this was a miscarriage of justice, since I’m convinced GZ was guilty of manslaughter from the evidence I’ve seen. However, miscarriages of justice are regrettably all too common these days as innocents get convicted and the guilty are deemed innocent.

  147. Mike:

    Yeah, you really seem like you know the old days in the American South. I’ll just have to bow to your superior knowledge on Southern History, Culture, and Sociology. What would someone my age, my background, where I was educated know about the American South?

    Jim Crow was a government conspiracy? I thought the whole nature of conspiracies was to be secret. Guess not, cause it seems to me Jim Crow laws were about as much a conspiracy as was the federal government’s intermittent efforts to commit genocide on American Indian Tribes.

    Jim Crow laws were state-imposed, thus varied from Maryland (yeah, that Maryland) out to Texas. Basically, the members of the Confederacy, plus three of the four states where Slavery was legal in 1860 (Mike, Delaware was technically a slave state). It involved, to be overly simple, a deal cut to end Reconstruction as part of a Republican prevailing in the contested election of 1876, a Supreme Court that undercut the 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments, an era of weak presidents & a strong congress, and the pitfalls of Federalism. There were, of course, other factors in a complex accommodation of sorts reached between the South and the remainder of the Country.

    Secretly infecting Blacks with V.D., secretly not treating them, now that’s a government conspiracy. The Jim Crow laws were no conspiracy. They couldn’t have been more blatant & cruel. Unless you lived in the South before the last vestiges of Jim Crow (not prejudice, but officially sanctioned & supported racism) were extinguished, which was largely by the mid to late 1980’s, you’re just some Yankee observer who probably thinks Blacks were “denied” the right to vote in 2000 Florida.

    The Black Community has certain distinguishing features, like all ethnic communities (does the Gay community have the same? If so, why object to the same for Blacks? And I specifically mean amongst Black, African Americans). One of those features is a higher incidence of anti-semitism than other predominately Christian communities. Yet another is the unusual extent of penetration achieved by Conspiracy theories, which is why starting stupid rumours the state threw the case is so very dumb.

    And, by the way, when you can combine something like anti-semitism with stupid conspiracy theories, you can hit the jackpot. E.g., beliefs about Jews being the group primarily behind the slave trade, or exegesis by rabbis on a particular story in Genesis (re Noah) being the religious and theological bases for two millennia of anti-black prejudice & racism.

    But what do I know compared to Mike, except maybe to read & understand Faulkner?

  148. con·spir·a·cy (kn-spîr-s)
    n. pl. con·spir·a·cies
    1. An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.
    2. A group of conspirators.
    3. Law An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.
    4. A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design: a conspiracy of wind and tide that devastated coastal areas. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/conspiracy

    Warspite,

    It doesn’t have to be secret, only covert in the sense that the true intent is not openly acknowledged. As for your other point that Jim Crow laws were State imposed and so the Federal government was not part of the plan I just answer you as dismissively as you do others: poppycock. Those Amendments made Jim Crow unconstitutional as you stated and yet as you further stated the Presidents, Congress and Scotus turned their back on the Amendments and allowed, nay encouraged Jim Crow to continue. You make my point.

    “But what do I know compared to Mike, except maybe to read & understand Faulkner?”

    And yes I have read Faulkner and many other writers of the South on the South. I’ve also read Baldwin, Ellison and Malcom X, have you?

    “One of those features is a higher incidence of anti-semitism than other predominately Christian communities. Yet another is the unusual extent of penetration achieved by Conspiracy theories, which is why starting stupid rumours the state threw the case is so very dumb.”

    This is nonsense. I am Jewish and proud. I worked an entire career working with, working for and supervising Black people. I spent many years in the areas of NYC that White people were supposed to be afraid of day day night. I never experienced anti-Jewish feeling from a black person. Beyond that though, there was a determined effort made by some in the Jewish Community, a small minority, to try to convince Jews that Black people hated them per se. I guess you bought in, but then you seem to buy into much that is unproven, or unprovable.

    As far as believing in conspiracy theories though, if I was Black, given the history that my people had lived through in this country, I would be insane not to believe in some conspiracy theories.

    Finally though Warspite, I know nothing of you except for what you’ve written and your rather menacing nom de plume, so I can’t say much about you other than so far based on your writing on specific topics, I believe I do know more than you and you have yet to prove that wrong. That wasn’t a challenge by the way, nor was it a threat. You have the right to your opinion and you have been a good commenter here. However, on these issue we’ve discussed I think I know more than you do. I’m sure though that there are areas where you know more than me.

  149. The Trayvonite Movement continues to degenerate into High Farce as we learn that Obama, as an Illinois State Senator, voted to strengthen SYG laws:

    “But the Illinois Review says Obama didn’t seem to have any of those concerns when in 2004 he co-sponsored S.B. 2386, which broadened the state’s Stand Your Ground law “by shielding the person who was attacked from being sued in civil court by perpetrators or their estates when a ’stand your ground’ defense is used in protecting his or her person, dwelling or other property.”

    S.B. 2386 passed the Illinois state senate by a 56–0 vote on March 25, 2004. It sailed through the state house with only two “nay” votes. Both chambers were controlled by Democrats.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/354059/obama-voted-strengthen-illinoiss-stand-your-ground-law-2004-john-fund

    As they run out of rational excuses for their existence, I suspect that soon, the Trayvonites will begin blaming Skittles and corn syrup.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  150. http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2013/07/13/the-zimmerman-verdict-part-1/

    Please read the four part blog by Massad Ayoob above before replying.

    I have read in more than one place on the comments here insinuating that Zimmerman picked a fight with Martin. There is no evidence that I am aware of that supports any assertion that Zimmerman picked a fight with Martin. Any assertion that Zimmerman bullied Martin or that Martin was somehow justified to use violence simply baffles me. If someone follows me in a car, I am then legally justified to punch him in the face and bash his head into the sidewalk?.. Give me a break.

  151. […] Jonathan Turley, a well-known attorney and commentator on national news stories relative to the law,  maintains that Obama’s sharing of his personal experience gave good insight into the problems of race in America.  He went on to say that he believes Zimmerman was fixated on the topic of crime as opposed to the SYG law itself and declares the use of it at trial was the classic self-defense style often used in trials such as these. […]

  152. Well, thank you Mike for conceding there may be areas in which I know more than you. Based on what you’ve said and written, I’d opine two of those areas concern the American South (incl. specifically why I referenced Faulkner), American Legal History, American Political History, and American History in general.

    Based on your NYC time & efforts, however, I’d definitely give you the edge in hubris. I’m well aware NYC folks had & have an interesting perspective on the end of the Jim Crow era, seeing how people up there seem to know about everything about anything. And, I concede perspective in distance and culture can be very important in any analysis.

    However, no matter how hard you might try, you don’t know what it was like to grow up in, or live in, a small town in Kentucky (or, it would seem like a small town to anyone in metro NYC). There were RR tracks, and there were folks who lived on the other side. Some Whites lived there, but ALL the Blacks in town lived there. And, you don’t seem like the type to have attended one of the half dozen+ universities in the South that are of the calibre as those in the NE, Midwest, or West Coast.

    I know it, lived it and learned from it. One thing I learned was how important it was for me to vote for Obama. Exactly what it symbolized. I also dealt with large numbers of Blacks, and not helping or organizing. Their culture, like all ethnic cultures, has some strange sides to it. It is always possible to explain things, but they are still odd. Sometimes even ugly.

    Enough ruminating & reminiscing about Dixie. Allow me to propose a bottom line:

    If I’m walking in the middle of the evening, get shadowed by a car…, you know, even if I’m not shadowed by a car. If I’m walking as noted, and some guy I don’t know says something and moves towards me in an aggressive manner, I’d defend myself and hit him as hard as I could. And I am still able to hit pretty hard.

    If the guy came close enough for me to punch, w/o my going after him, I think it’s 100% self-defense. If we end up on the ground, struggling, even if I am on top of him, it is still self-defense. If the guy who followed me & came towards me in the midde of the night had a gun and shot & killed me, there is no way the guy did not commit either manslaughter or, depending on the facts, some sort of involuntary manslaughter. Murder-? No. But it damn sure was a crime.

    And it does not matter if I’ve robbed 5 convenience stores, and just got out on parole. I, who was just walking, used reasonable judgment in defending myself against the stranger approaching me in the evening.

    Anyone who cannot recognize that a felony occurred is an idiot. Anyone who believes it was the felony of Murder, is almost as stupid. (anyone who believes there was a conspiracy to throw the case slips in right between the aforementioned idiot and stupid).

  153. Scott,

    OK. I read the Ayoob pages.

    Any assertion that Zimmerman bullied Martin or that Martin was somehow justified to use violence simply baffles me. If someone follows me in a car, I am then legally justified to punch him in the face and bash his head into the sidewalk?.. Give me a break.

    Apples: Someone follows me in a car,
    Oranges: Someone follows me in a car. When I pass the car, he winds up the window. He then follows on foot. It’s night. We come face to face in the dark. I ask him why he is following me. He does not say why. Instead he asks me what I am doing. His hand then goes to his waistband. In the particular circumstances of him following and then not explaining why, I make a reasonable assumption that he is a threat and going for a weapon. I have a reasonable belief that my life may be in danger. I defend myself.
    .

    Now for your Ayoob pages……
    It is clear that he has not taken to trouble to acquaint himself with all of the available information. He has not listened to the NEN call. If he has, then he has not paid attention. He has not looked at the map of the area and worked out where Zimmerman would be at times during the NEN – if his walk-through account of his track is right.
    He exhibits that hallmark Zimmerman-apologist a la carte interpretation of Jeantel.

    Part.2
    First, the haters (like the prosecution) assiduously ignored George Zimmerman’s statement that while Martin was “ground-and-pounding” him, Martin saw Zimmerman’s gun in its now exposed holster, told Zimmerman that he was going to die tonight, and reached for his victim’s pistol.

    Here’s a clue.
    It was really dark. The only light source is Good’s porch light – which illuminates the porch only he says. The pair are on the ground about 20 feet from that light source. It’s a very small gun. It’s inside the waistband and behind the hip. Even if the gun has slipped a bit above the waistband line, there is no way that Martin will be able to see it. Did we mention that his own leg would be in the way – even if he has the ability to see small dark objects in the dark behind someone’s hip.
    .

    Part.3
    The evidence indicates that Zimmerman didn’t get out of his car until the operator asked where the suspicious person was, and where the police should meet Zimmerman, the complainant.

    Listen to the NEN. On “He’s running,” you can hear Zimmerman start to move. As he is getting out he is able to say that Martin has gone down towards the back entrance. He saw that while still inside his truck. He did not need to get out to see that. He can no longer see Martin.
    The question of an address where Zimmerman would meet the police does not arise until 40 seconds after Zimmerman has left the truck.
    Anyone of even mild intelligence would know that by listening to the NEN.
    .

    He was then told, “You don’t have to do that.”
    The evidence indicates that he stopped following Martin at that moment. His former rapid breathing returned to normal and wind noise from his phone stopped, consistent with his testimony that he stopped following and had lost sight of Martin.

    Your Ayoob has not looked at the map nor has he listened to the defence explanations of the noise and Zimmerman’s pace.
    The story is that Zimmerman is walking at a normal pace. He is not rushing. That ‘wind’ noise is purely the wind rushing past a person who is walking at a normal pace – period. Stop with the ‘rapid breathing’ please. This would indicate that Zimmerman was in a hurry.
    In any case, the noise does not die down until 16 seconds after “We don’t need you to do that”. Zimmerman had not broken pace/wind. He kept on going in the same direction at the same pace.
    The wind dying down corresponds to him arriving into the central area – if you care to work out the physics.
    .

    When Zimmerman lost sight of Martin, the latter was a very short distance from home. Yet in the four minutes thereafter, he had to have left that location and gone toward Zimmerman’s.

    “Yet in the four minutes thereafter….”
    1) We do not know where Martin was. As Ayoob notes, when Zimmerman saw him turn down the path and out of sight he was “a very short distance from” ( aka “right by” ) home.
    2) Zimmerman arrived into the central area 35 seconds after Martin did. This means that if Martin had 4 minutes in there, then Zimmerman had 3.5 minutes in there.

    I note that Ayoob does not suggest what Zimmerman might have been doing in those 3.5 minutes.
    Zimmerman says that he walked over to RVC, where he ended the NEN call and then started for his truck. At the end of the NEN, his 3.5 minutes have gone down to just over 2. The walk from RVC to the T-junction took him 20 seconds in the walk-through.
    Zimmerman has always denied delaying in any way. On the Hannity show he overdoses on this fixation.
    MOM suggested in his closing arguments that Zimmerman might have been “looking around”. We don’t know where Zimmerman went. We don’t even know if he actually went to RVC. We do know that he says he was standing on RVC while completing the NEN. If he was, we don’t know why he didn’t give the dispatcher the house number that he says he went there to get. Also remember that he was not asked for an address until after he would have been at RVC already according to his later story.
    Perhaps you or Ayoob might be able to suggest what Zimmerman might have been “looking around” for in the pitch dark and rain for those minutes?
    .

    Even Jeantel admits that the first words of the confrontation she heard were from Martin, before the phone went dead.

    I *love* it when Zimmerman apologists talk about Jeantel.
    When she says something that be interpreted as bad for Martin, she is telling the gospel truth.
    When she says something that is bad for Zimmerman, she is a perjurer, etc.

    If you choose to believe that she heard the first words ( and the timeline shows that their call was still connected ) then you really have to believe what the first words were.
    The first words were (from Martin) “Why are you following me?”
    In the circumstances, this is not an unreasonable question.
    A reasonable answer would have been an explanation that Zimmerman was NW and concerned.
    His response was not an answer. It was a question.

    This was a monumentally stupid response in the particular circumstances. It can only have inflamed any situation rather than the reverse.
    This is doubly monumentally stupid if you bear in mind that Zimmerman offered as part of his justification for getting tangle with plainclothes officers was that “They did not identify themselves as such”.
    Even if you choose to take Zimmerman’s account of the encounter, his response is equally monumentally stupid. If not more so.

    And then……..
    ….the final master touch…the supreme stupidity following on monumental stupidity…….
    ….according to Zimmerman’s account, the next thing Martin sees is Zimmerman’s hand going for his waistband.
    Oh my! “He’s got his hand in his waistband”!! Listen to the NEN. Zimmerman thinks that “hand in waistband” is significant.

    Zimmerman says that after his hand went for his waistband, that Martin punched him
    .

    We don’t actually know what happened at the at encounter.
    We do have that strange conversation between Zimmerman and Singleton in which he asks her if she ever had to shoot anybody. She answers no. He thinks and than offers that she had a stern commanding presence and that people would not question her authority because of that. He says that he wouldn’t question her authority.
    Why is he thinking about people questioning authority in connection with having to shoot people?
    .

    Scott,
    http://zimmermanscall.blogspot.com/p/the-call.html
    “Please read the blog” by moi “above before replying.”

    Please also read some of the pages indexed in the left-hand column of that page.
    I commend particularly Quiz, Construction Workers, and Juror B37 for starters

  154. Whatever happened to the “Clean Hands” concept?

    Zimmerman had no business getting out of his car and particularly after being told by the police to not get out or follow the person. His failure to follow the police order would be, or should be, a crime in my mind. He should be found guilty and punished at least for that crime and in this case for the death crime also.

    Had he not done that, THE DISASTROUS EVENT WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED. And yet he got off completely free without any accountability for either of his criminal actions!

    People taking the law into their own hands should right then lose all standing to self defense or subsequent consequences unless some other independent criminal event by someone else intervenes. In this case, any action of self defense – aggressive or otherwise – by Martin was not an independent criminal event. It was dependent on Zimmerman’s continued pursuit of Martin contrary to instructions by the police.

    One should/must have “clean hands” before they can expect sympathy for their actions, or the results from their actions.

    And that concept should be made very clear to the rest of society and encoded in the law.

  155. Warspite,

    Your venomous nature is complementary to your nom de plume. Sorry your feathers got ruffled by logic. Has anyone ever told you that a good sign of hubris is one who denigrates others personally, rather that meets the test of refuting their logic. Have a nice day. :)

  156. Paul,

    The “We don’t need you to do that” came after Zimmerman got out of the truck.
    Dispatchers are not permitted to give orders to callers. This is because they could become legally responsible for any outcome.

    That aside, Zimmerman was reckless to get out and go into that dark area if he really believed that Martin was a thug.

    He had the same 4 minutes that Martin had.
    He would only have needed 2 minutes to make the entire round trip if he really walked to RVC for a house number and back to the truck.
    THe reasoning that he asserts for going to RVC for a house number is very broken – as I dramatize in the “Construction Workers” page in my blog.

    And then….. you have his unbelievable stupidity as I described in the comment just above.

    And then… you have his lies – almost certainly about circling and definitely about heading straight back for his truck.
    Why would he need to lie? Good question.

    As far as I can make out, he went in search of “the kid” and had some vague idea that “the kid” should respect his authority.

  157. Unfortunately it appears none of the legislators who vote for or defended SYG contemplated situations like with Martin where someone who was not doing anything is followed and then killed. The sadder part is too many of them still will not concede that these laws give permission for this to happen.

  158. In Costa Rica if the only way you can stop a thief from escaping with something priceless to you is by gunning him down, then the law entitles such a response under the protection of self defense. Is it the same anywhere in the U.S.?

  159. Shad: “Someone LOOKED at him and he responded with racial violence.”

    Shad goes right to the heart of the matter. He’s absolutely right.

    Zimmerman looked at Martin down by Taffe’s house.
    Martin became enraged and jumped into the truck.
    He forced Zimmerman to drive past the clubhouse (where he might or might not have caught Zimmerman looking at him again.)
    It certainly appears that he forced Zimmerman to drive into Twin Trees.
    This might have been the end of the matter had not Zimmerman accidentally looked at him again.
    In blind racial rage, Martin dragged Zimmerman out of the truck and dragged him into the central dog-walk area.
    A voice said “We don’t need you to do that”, but Martin just kept on dragging Zimmerman.
    About 4 minutes passed, during which Zimmerman attempted to avoid looking at Martin. This was to no avail as Martin kept grabbing Zimmerman’s head and used both hands to force Zimmerman’s eyes open.
    Martin very unreasonably chose to interpret this as Zimmerman wilfully and wantonly looking at him.
    As Martin’s rage at being looked at rose to a climax, he screamed “You gonna die tonite yo MFing white Hispanic looker!!”
    Zimmerman then shot Martin.
    This was a lucky shot as Zimmerman was looking away at the time.

  160. Bottom line: 1. Not a poster child for racially motivated killings. Too many holes in the argument. 2. Not an air-tight case to put SYG on the trial. Too many holes. 3. Good spin by the press and the pres. Obama knows why the sentence was dictated as it was. He understands the presumed innocence, the lack of evidence, the problem with the charge made. Mom Trayvon could not have recognized the scream of son if she were paid to do so (and she has been paid very dearly). She shipped him off at age 3. Imagine a mother with a stable job history sending her infant to live with unstable dad and wife no. 2. He was a burden to her. Tray comes home when Dad wants to go twerking with the woman he traded in for wife no.2. Lives with aunt and uncle. Mom still does not want him and finally sends him back to baby´s daddy. Bio mom gets a patent and revenue off of every time “We Are Trayvon” Or “Justice for Trayvon” is printed. Where was mom when he was falling down and needed a hand to pick him up? Step mom convinces me with the tears. She is the real mom. Not interested in making a buck.

  161. Turley is like so many other commenters on this subject. He is quick to tell us the statutes that do not apply, but refuses to tell us which statute does. In my reading, Florida’s 776.041 Use of force by aggressor. statute comes closest. We can assume Turley’s denial.
    “Lawless” is the impression created. Due process was never really provided and so there is civil rights case.
    George Zimmerman is guilty of murder in the first degree, in fact and obviously so.

  162. I suppose now would be as good a time as any to advise you that even Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara is now working to get SYG language removed from traditional self-defense case jury instructions in Florida. Further, it’s absolutely ABSURD to say SYG was not a part of the case when it was included in the jury instructions and every juror that has spoken about the case said the SYG language is what made them free Zimmerman. I suggest you delete this ignorant blog. People told you it was ignorant from the first post and Mark O’Mara is also calling out your ignorance 8 months later as well. It’s been past time for you to listen.

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