Zimmerman/Martin

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Zimmerman/Martin

Postby Ennis » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:03 pm

I know this isn't the forum for this particular post, but I feel as though I'm among friends, and I really need to "vent." I've been following the trial of George Zimmerman, accused of killing an unarmed just-turned-17 black child, Trayvon Martin, in self-defense in Sanford, FL. I'm sure my American friends are aware of this trial; I'm not sure about my British/Irish friends. I cannot believe the jury came back with a verdict of "not guilty." Not to offend anyone, but I am embarrassed to be an American. What message about us as a country does this verdict send to the world, or does it simply reinforce already existent opinions? Those of you not from the US, if you have also been following this trial, what do you say?
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Re: Zimmerman/Martin

Postby Cath » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:17 pm

It's funny you should mention that Ennis because I've been following the trial too and was surprised not only the verdict but also by how many people were pleased by the acquittal (even some victim advocates believed Zimmerman had a right to kill Martin – a teenager with Skittles, a hoodie and pop, heading back to his dad’s apartment in a gated community he had every permission to be in). Oddly, I also asked myself what Keats would have thought of such a travesty of justice!

I’m not an American but as far as I can understand it, it seems the law essentially allows for a person to racially profile another, follow them (against the advice of the dispatcher), incite fear of danger, and then kill them for protecting themselves and scaring the perpetrator who incited it all. Since there are no good witnesses to the crime because it was dark and a closed community, the perpetrator can argue what he pleases and get away with it.
Last edited by Cath on Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zimmerman/Martin

Postby Sid13 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:49 am

Hello, Ennis and Cath. I have to disagree with you. The purpose of any trial is not to "send a message," but simply to evaluate the evidence presented as it relates to specified charges. The jury couldn't convict Zimmerman on the charges of second degree murder and manslaughter because he acted in self defense, he had reasonable fear that his life was in jeopardy when Martin repeatedly smashed his head into the sidewalk.

Now, I'm not saying that Zimmerman wasn't culpable. He made the decision to ignore the orders of the police dispatcher, get out of his car, and pursue Martin. (Though Martin is culpable, too. He made the decision to turn back and attack Zimmerman. If he'd kept on running, he'd be alive today.) As far as I understand legal terminology, what Zimmerman did would be termed "reckless endangerment." The blame here should fall not on the jury but on the prosecutor who played politics with the case and overreached with charges she should have realized would never hold up in a court of law.
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Re: Zimmerman/Martin

Postby Ennis » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:40 pm

Sid13 wrote:Hello, Ennis and Cath. I have to disagree with you. The purpose of any trial is not to "send a message," but simply to evaluate the evidence presented as it relates to specified charges. The jury couldn't convict Zimmerman on the charges of second degree murder and manslaughter because he acted in self defense, he had reasonable fear that his life was in jeopardy when Martin repeatedly smashed his head into the sidewalk.

Now, I'm not saying that Zimmerman wasn't culpable. He made the decision to ignore the orders of the police dispatcher, get out of his car, and pursue Martin. (Though Martin is culpable, too. He made the decision to turn back and attack Zimmerman. If he'd kept on running, he'd be alive today.) As far as I understand legal terminology, what Zimmerman did would be termed "reckless endangerment." The blame here should fall not on the jury but on the prosecutor who played politics with the case and overreached with charges she should have realized would never hold up in a court of law.


If Trayvon "repeatedly smashed" Zimmerman's "head into the sidewalk," why didn't the man suffer more extensive injuries to the back of his head? Why would he have refused to go to the ER? Did Trayvon not have the right to also defend himself against an (unknown) adult who was, for lack of a better word, stalking him, armed, if I'm not mistaken, with a bullet already in the chamber? It sounds as though you're putting the blame on a kid because he didn't run (home, possibly). Why would he want to run home, followed by a stranger? Would Trayvon really want to lead this man back to his home, where his younger brother was there alone? I know what the purpose of a trial is, but nonetheless, a message is still going to be sent. And I know it's merely semantics, but none of the prosecutors were female.
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: Zimmerman/Martin

Postby Cath » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:21 am

Hello Sid13,

I agree that the purpose of trials is not to "send messages" - that would be a perversion of their objective - but isn't it shocking at the same time that Zimmerman's actions are considered legal and that he will not serve any time in prison for killing an unarmed 17 year-old man? How do we define "reasonable fear that his life was in jeopardy"? It seems to me that Zimmerman is someone tending to the paranoid and who is very fearful of being overpowered - hence the wannabe cop actions and self-designated neighbourhood watchman status. If - as I believe - Zimmerman panicked, overreacted and used deadly force when it was not necessary, why should he be protected under self-defense laws and the grey area of reasonable doubt? Ethically it's not right that he should evade punishment for the killing - a killing which he admitted on TV he did not regret.
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Re: Zimmerman/Martin

Postby Ennis » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:58 am

"Ethically it's not right that he should evade punishment for the killing - a killing which he admitted on TV he did not regret." (Cath)*

Yes, and I might add, it was "God's plan" (according to Zimmerman) to murder Trayvon. Why not just blame God? It's really easy to absolve oneself when that excuse is given. What a load of crap.

(*don't know how to lift a quote; I am more than computer illiterate - just plain old computer stupid!!)
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: Zimmerman/Martin

Postby Sid13 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:57 pm

Ennis, to begin with two quick, minor points: The prosecutor I had in mind was Angela Corey, the state attorney who filed the charges against Zimmerman. And one can dispute how serious Zimmerman's injuries were or should have been, but the fact remains that he had multiple bleeding cuts on the back of his head.

Of course, Martin had every right both morally (at least in my view) and legally (at least in Florida) to stand his ground and use whatever degree of force might be necessary to protect himself, that is, if he was in imminent danger from Zimmerman. However, according to an alternate scenario (which Zimmerman claims is what happened), Zimmerman had lost sight of Martin and given up the pursuit and had turned back to his truck when Martin attacked him. In that case, Martin can not be said to have been acting in self defense.
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Re: Zimmerman/Martin

Postby Sid13 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:02 pm

Cath wrote:If - as I believe - Zimmerman panicked, overreacted and used deadly force when it was not necessary, why should he be protected under self-defense laws and the grey area of reasonable doubt?


I agree, the key word here, however, being "if." You can't send a man to prison on ifs. This was not a case of some marginal, far-fetched "shadow of a doubt" defense. The prosecution simply had no evidence to contradict Zimmerman's account of what happened.
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