Trayvon Martin

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Postby Minardil » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:33 am

And does Stand Your Ground protect someone involved in explicitly illegal activity? If a mugger attempts to detain and rob someone on the street, and the intended victim resists and attacks the mugger, and the mugger shoots and kills his victim, can the MUGGER now claim "Self Defense", or is he guilty of murder? The Stand Your Ground law would seem to give cover to the Mugger. Is that a GOOD law, or a BAD law?
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Postby hamlet » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:34 am

Portia: There is an investigation. It's mentioned only briefly in one of the Reuters articles. The police and prosecuters are looking into it.

However, the news story is not about that, but about the fact that Zimmerman "got away with it" or however you choose to phrase that. And the protesters are ignoring the fact that, by law, Zimmerman can't be arrested yet or it could contaminate any investigation and evidence and future trial.

People are ignoring what doesn't fit their view of the event, and the media is enabling that. It's very much a Roarschach Test.


Vison: Perhaps the racial epithet (and I'm not 100% convinced it happened given how easily memories change based on circumstances) pushed Martin to violence. But I'd say that doesn't excuse any assault Martin made, and the assault probably doesn't excuse Zimmerman discharging his weapon (though I'd say that self defense is one of those fuzzy areas).

Minardil wrote:Did Martin ASSAULT Zimmerman, or did he DEFEND himself against a perceived threat FROM Zimmerman?


I dont' know the answer to that. And, frankly, nobody really does, even, I'd contend, Zimmerman on a certain level. Does the "Stand Your Ground" law apply in the other way? Can't say, but I can see it being the basis of a smart prosecutor's case against Zimmerman, though I don't believe there's really enough evidence or reliable witness accounts to support the case. Or, for that matter, to support the case that Martin assaulted Zimmerman aggressively (i.e., not in self defense, but in anger after Zimmerman allegedly had turned away and was on his way back to his car).

Right now, the entire thing is "he said vs. he said" and everybody is lining up according to their inherent proclivities facts be damned.
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Postby hamlet » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:36 am

vison wrote:But the shooter doesn't have to be drunk or high, he can just be an eager-beaver with a loaded gun, all pumped up on adrenalin and testosterone, breathing hard and having a very good time.


Or it could be a frightened idiot who realizes too late that he's gotten himself in over his head and done something stupid.

A gun is a bit like a hammer. When you think it's the only tool you've got, then all those problems start looking like nails.
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Postby Minardil » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:38 am

And the protesters are ignoring the fact that, by law, Zimmerman can't be arrested yet or it could contaminate any investigation and evidence and future trial.


Well, that aspect is exactly what I am focused on: How is it that a law forbids the police from conducting a criminal investigation into a death, just so long as the killer claims he acted in self defense? It is the broadness of the LAW that is the problem.


Right now, the entire thing is "he said vs. he said" and everybody is lining up according to their inherent proclivities facts be damned


Right now it's just a case of "He Said" because Martin is dead and isn't saying anything.
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Postby portia » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:50 am

I agree that there is an issue of whether the stand your ground principle applies equally to Martin.

If I were just walking home from the store and someone I do not know were pursuing me, possibly displaying attitude, (do we know if Zimmerman's gun was visible to Martin?) and I didn't think I could make it home, I would definitely fear for my safety and feel that a good offense is the best defense. Disable the pursuer so I have a real chance of getting away.

There is a lot more work to be done on this case before any conclusions can be reached, if they ever can.
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Postby hamlet » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:57 am

Minardil wrote:
And the protesters are ignoring the fact that, by law, Zimmerman can't be arrested yet or it could contaminate any investigation and evidence and future trial.


Well, that aspect is exactly what I am focused on: How is it that a law forbids the police from conducting a criminal investigation into a death, just so long as the killer claims he acted in self defense? It is the broadness of the LAW that is the problem.


Right now, the entire thing is "he said vs. he said" and everybody is lining up according to their inherent proclivities facts be damned


Right now it's just a case of "He Said" because Martin is dead and isn't saying anything.


That's the thing, Minardil. It's not that the investigation is prohibited, just the arrest.

And yes, the law is badly worded and phenomenally ill advised. it's an unneccesary law doubling up on bits of law already in existance.

Point on that second bit, though.


Portia: That's the thing, though. Was Martin justified in hurting Zimmerman? Was he justified in assaulting him? I'd actually tend to say no, but qualify that with a "we don't know for sure." I think that both men were at fault in this incident. Zimmerman precipitated a confrontation. Martin, if we're to believe what Zimmerman said even a little, escalated it to some point (whether by not remaining calm, explaining that he's just trying to go about his way, or by becoming angry at Zimmerman and attacking him for the confrontation), and Zimmerman for being stupid enough to have fired his weapon in the situation (which suggests to me that he had it out to begin with which is just damned stupid of him). Both of them had the opportunity to end the situation, or to at least reduce it from the death that resulted. Neither of them took that opportunity and tradgedy is the result.
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Postby Minardil » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:10 am

portia wrote:I agree that there is an issue of whether the stand your ground principle applies equally to Martin.

If I were just walking home from the store and someone I do not know were pursuing me, possibly displaying attitude, (do we know if Zimmerman's gun was visible to Martin?) and I didn't think I could make it home, I would definitely fear for my safety and feel that a good offense is the best defense. Disable the pursuer so I have a real chance of getting away.

There is a lot more work to be done on this case before any conclusions can be reached, if they ever can.


Zimmerman's gun MUST have been visible to Martin at some point, because Zimmerman says Martin tried to take it from him, and that's why he (Zimmerman) shot Martin. So what we have is Zimmerman initiating a pursuit of Martin despite being ordered not to, at some point Zimmerman draws his weapon, Martin attempts to take the weapon (according to Zimmerman) and Zimmerman shoots Martin.

Where is Zimmerman's justification or "probable cause" for pursuing Martin in the first place, especially since 911 ordered him not to? I can't see how any of Zimmerman's subsequent actions are justifiable, since he was certainly the person who instigated whatever confrontation occured when he disobeyed police instructions and set off in pursuit of Martin. At that point, I think he has to lose whatever protection "Stand Your Ground" might otherwise offer.

That's the thing, Minardil. It's not that the investigation is prohibited, just the arrest


Perhaps, but there wasn't an investigation either UNTIL the story gained national attention. It's not like the police have been investigating this all along, they released Zimmerman that night based on his own account of events, and that was that. Until now, that is.
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Postby Silverberry_Spritely » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:13 am

Minardil wrote:
Assaulting someone with a gun greatly increases your chances of being shot, regardless of your race. I'd entertain this if it was a monoracial neighborhood, but blacks and Latinos lived there. A white, Hispanic, or Asian kid who assaults someone with a gun has a pretty good chance of getting shot, just as much as any black kid.


Martin wasn't the one with the gun. Martin was accosted by a man with a gun, a confrontation resulted, and Martin, who was UNARMED, was shot dead.

The outrage here was largely sparked by the fact that Zimmerman was simply released by the police immediately, with no real investigation at all. He said he acted in self defense, which may be true, but shouldn't there have been SOME official investigation into that? There is NOW, because of the outcry, but shouldn't there have been one to begin with? The anger is over the LAW that seemingly allows anyone to commit murder, then walk away by claiming they felt threatened by their victim.


Oh, by no means am I saying Zimmerman's not an idiot who has no business with a gun. Murder is a serious crime, and just because he was released doesn't mean he's not being investigated. His risk of committing another crime is low, so why take up room in a jail? He doesn't have a criminal past. And no one kills a kid and gets away with it (other than Casey Anthony).
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Postby Silverberry_Spritely » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:21 am

Swordsman_Of_The_Tower wrote:Would a white kid be suspicious walking back from 7/11

No he wouldn't be, and he never would be.

[...]

Your sure as **** if some nutjob wannabe cop is chasing me down my street I'm going to react with as much force as possible.

So now the burden of proof is on the (dead) victim to prove he was not "asking" to be executed. Nice world. You guys can have it. I don't want it anymore.




A 17 year old white upper middle class girl was walking home from the convenience store talking on her cell phone. An armed black man in the neighborhood thought she looked suspicious. He calls 911 and is told to stay away from her. He calls her a racial epithet on the line, and proceeds to pursue her. She gets the jump on him, and a struggle ensues. He shoots her and doesn't attempt to help her. The cops bag the girl as a "Jane Doe" and don't look at her cell phone to inform her parents.

Is the black man in the above

A. Lynched
B. Let go
C. Given a needle


I love how you think it's okay to say racist things like all black kids are suspicious. Really? No. This was a neighborhood with lots of kids, many of them black. You're grasping at straws here. I was a teenager, and I was accosted by cops a few times.

And if you think reacting violently to a bigger, older, supposedly violent person is smart, well, I can't help you.

And just making up stories about why white women are so privileged doesn't prove anything. "Once upon a time, an Asian boy robbed a bank and the town gave him a parade for being so clever," doesn't exactly prove a point.

Minorities don't need apologists. They need equal opportunities and accountability. And I should know.
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Postby Swordsman_Of_The_Tower » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:37 am

Well done media well done. Character assassination 100% effective


Blame the victim. That's the narrative, that's what will fly. At least now we know it's best to leave no other version of events if you want to go around and accost random CHILDREN on the street and interrogate them because you watch way to much television.


Also proves what a wuss that tub of lard really is. Letting someone that much smaller then you get the better of you? Real tough guy. Lucky for him he isn't going to jail, without his gun he'd last about 3 days.

Next time I'm in Boston I'm going to go around getting in people's faces. Over under on when I get hit? 2, maybe 3.
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Postby hamlet » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:55 am

Character assasination by the media? You are joking, right?

If anything, the Media has spent all its energies portraying Martin as the unequivocal victim to the point of downplaying and even excising anything that might cast a shadow on him.
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Postby Dave_LF » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:12 am

Minardil wrote:Where is Zimmerman's justification or "probable cause" for pursuing Martin in the first place, especially since 911 ordered him not to?


As far as I know, 911 operators can't order anyone to do anything, and that's as it should be. And even if they can, "we don't need you to do that" doesn't sounds like much of an order to me. If you're prepared to take the risks, there's nothing illegal about confronting suspicious people and asking them what they're doing. We don't know for sure what happened during the confrontation in this case, but up until that point, Zimmerman wasn't doing anything wrong.
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Postby hamlet » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:15 am

Dave_LF wrote:
Minardil wrote:Where is Zimmerman's justification or "probable cause" for pursuing Martin in the first place, especially since 911 ordered him not to?


As far as I know, 911 operators can't order anyone to do anything, and that's as it should be. And even if they can, "we don't need you to do that" doesn't sounds like much of an order to me. If you're prepared to take the risks, there's nothing illegal about confronting suspicious people and asking them what they're doing. We don't know for sure what happened during the confrontation in this case, but up until that point, Zimmerman wasn't doing anything wrong.


No, but it could certainly be argued that pursuing Martin when he was told that it wasn't neccessary effectively gave up his priveledge under the law to not be arrested for it.

Might not have been doing anything legally wrong, but he was doing something stupid and provacative.
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Postby JewelSong » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:37 am

hamlet wrote:
JewelSong wrote:
He wanted to shoot him. And I would bet anything that he provoked things so he could do just that.


You can't assert that as fact.


No, of course I can't "assert it as fact." It's my opinion.

I have called 911 on several occasions and each time, been told in no uncertain terms to stay away from the scene...either stay in my house or in my car. Was I "ordered" to do it? No, I guess not, but it was very strongly worded in a way that brooked no argument.

Zimmerman was a hot-headed, trigger-happy vigilante who was just itching for a chance to show what a bad-a** he was by taking down a suspicious character. He wanted an excuse to shoot, and he made it happen.

In my opinion.
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Postby Cerin » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:44 am

hamlet wrote:However, according to Zimmerman, Martin assaulted him and went after his weapon, presumably to do something with that weapon that was, shall we say, not very nice.

Okay, so let me get this straight. We have one person armed with skittles, and one person armed with a gun. The person with the gun begins following the person with the skittles, having concluded he is a threat to the community. The person with the skittles becomes alarmed and confronts the armed person following him. That's the person who had the right to defend himself. But now he's dead, because of these deplorable 'shoot first' laws passed at the instigation of the NRA. Disgusting, but par for the course in this great country of ours. And we've only just begun to sink into the pit.


Griffon_64 wrote:And also, I wonder whether the investigation will include a toxicology report from the coroner on whether Martin had any substances in his body at the time of his death.

Unfortunately, there will be no toxicology report on Zimmerman.


While the gut feel is that Zimmerman had no business doing what he was doing, initial reports did include that he suspected Martin to be under the influence of drugs.

That's a ridiculous claim. What evidence could he possibly have had for that, other than it was a black boy in a hoodie?


vison wrote:Would this have happened to a white kid?

No.


Griffon_64 wrote:I'm puzzled that such a law exists.

The NRA has enormous political clout in this country. They can defeat any politician who crosses them. There are laws like this now in 23 states, thanks to the NRA and their representatives in Congress (and their allies at ALEC). And the laws are also being taken advantage of by criminals, from what I've read.


Thanks for those links, basil.


Minardil wrote:Because the way I see it, this law has allowed Zimmerman to initiate a confrontation in a threatening manner (pursuing someone with a gun), and them it protects him when that confrontation becomes violent. I don't think anyone should be able to pick a fight with a stranger on the street, then kill that stranger when the fight goes poorly, and claim "self defense" and the police aren't even permitted under the law to do anything about it. Really, they didn't even give Zimmerman a breathalizer test on the scene. Seriously, any law that allows a private citizen to shoot another UNARMED person and doesn't even require them to prove they aren't drunk is fatally flawed.

I think this succinctly states the case.


hamlet wrote:
Minardil wrote:Did Martin ASSAULT Zimmerman, or did he DEFEND himself against a perceived threat FROM Zimmerman?


I dont' know the answer to that. And, frankly, nobody really does, even, I'd contend, Zimmerman on a certain level.

Yes, we do know the answer to that. Zimmerman followed Martin for no reason, other than that he's a hot-head vigilante (based on his history of complaints to the police) and a racist. He then got out of his SUV when instructed not to, and followed Martin on foot. His is the sole blame for this incident. He was determined that this criminal (i.e., black boy in hoodie) wasn't going to get away.


If anything, the Media has spent all its energies portraying Martin as the unequivocal victim

He is the unequivocal victim. He was minding his own business when a racist fanatic with a gun started following him at night. Gee, what could possibly go wrong?


We don't know for sure what happened during the confrontation in this case, but up until that point, Zimmerman wasn't doing anything wrong.

Yes, he was doing something wrong. He acted recklessly. He took his gun and followed a young man at night, even after being told not to, having decided that because of the man's skin color, said man was a criminal. He had no place following the man. Had he not followed him, Martin would still be alive.

edit

If Martin had succeeded in getting the gun from Zimmerman and shot him dead, and then claimed he's acted under 'Stand Your Ground', does anyone here think they also wouldn't have arrested Martin?
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Postby hamlet » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:45 am

JewelSong wrote:
hamlet wrote:
JewelSong wrote:
He wanted to shoot him. And I would bet anything that he provoked things so he could do just that.


You can't assert that as fact.


No, of course I can't "assert it as fact." It's my opinion.

I have called 911 on several occasions and each time, been told in no uncertain terms to stay away from the scene...either stay in my house or in my car. Was I "ordered" to do it? No, I guess not, but it was very strongly worded in a way that brooked no argument.

Zimmerman was a hot-headed, trigger-happy vigilante who was just itching for a chance to show what a bad-a** he was by taking down a suspicious character. He wanted an excuse to shoot, and he made it happen.

In my opinion.


I don't think he was looking for an excuse to shoot. At least not conciously. He was looking for an opportunity to, as you say, prove that he was powerful and he thought that having a weapon made him powerful.

As I said, he's an idiot. But I don't think he actually had in his mind a desire to seriously harm somebody. That's reading a level of intent into it that I don't think you can or should. It's, essentially, falling to the same fate as the protestors.
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Postby Minardil » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:46 am

Dave_LF wrote:
Minardil wrote:Where is Zimmerman's justification or "probable cause" for pursuing Martin in the first place, especially since 911 ordered him not to?


As far as I know, 911 operators can't order anyone to do anything, and that's as it should be. And even if they can, "we don't need you to do that" doesn't sounds like much of an order to me. If you're prepared to take the risks, there's nothing illegal about confronting suspicious people and asking them what they're doing. We don't know for sure what happened during the confrontation in this case, but up until that point, Zimmerman wasn't doing anything wrong.


No, you are right, it isn't illegal for private citizens like Zimmerman to ask strangers like Martin what they are doing. However, nor is there a legal requirement for Martin to answer any of Zimmerman's questions, or to allow himself to be detained by Zimmerman. And when Martin decided to run away, Zimmerman had no legal right to pursue him, especially when he was specifically instructed NOT to by the 911 dispatcher. And finally, when Zimmerman drew his gun, Martin was within his rights under Stand your Ground to fight back to defend himself.

Zimmerman was also in violation of the Neighborhood Watch handbook, which forbids the carrying of weapons, and seems to have skipped the day of Watch training where they taught Watch members that they do NOT have Police powers.
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Postby Dave_LF » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:59 am

And finally, when Zimmerman drew his gun, Martin was within his rights under Stand your Ground to fight back to defend himself.


I have not heard anyone involved claim that's what happened. It's a rather key detail, but no one has stated whether Zimmerman drew first and was then attacked, or whether Martin attacked first without even knowing that Zimmerman had a gun. And maybe there is no way to determine that now.
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Postby hamlet » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:02 pm

The 911 operator had no authority to order Zimmerman either. Not and expect to be obeyed. Those operators cannot give orders, only offer advice and instructions on how to better handle the situation. They are not police and have no power except to call in the actual authorities.
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Postby Jnyusa » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:59 pm

All I can say is, I'm glad I'm white.
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Postby Griffon64 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:13 pm

Cerin wrote:
While the gut feel is that Zimmerman had no business doing what he was doing, initial reports did include that he suspected Martin to be under the influence of drugs.

That's a ridiculous claim. What evidence could he possibly have had for that, other than it was a black boy in a hoodie?

That was his claim, and it probably was ridiculous. But without a toxicology report, we will never know for sure.

My reaction when I read the initial reports were: "He's just saying that because he was a vigilante hopped up on the perceived power that he had to keep his neighborhood safe, and when he saw a black boy in a hoodie his prejudices let him to do a stupid, horrible thing."

Then, several days later, when I read that Martin was suspended for having that baggie of residue in his backpack, and his family confirmed it, I realized that my initial reaction was also prejudiced - I immediately saw the hothead, racist light-skinned male wannabe-vigilante with a gun who went after a young black boy in a hoodie for no good reason [ in my mind ] other than that he thought a young black boy in a hoodie walking in his well-to-do neighborhood didn't belong there and must be up to no good, probably on drugs.

That's the point at which I decided that I would be trying not to make any more judgement calls on the motivations, thoughts, "must have dones", etc in this case, and would rather try to learn about the facts in the case and stick with those.

Since I wasn't there, I wouldn't know what evidence he possibly could have had. Without a toxicology report, we wouldn't know one way or another, either. Evidence, such as the call Martin was having when interrupted, suggests he wasn't, but that's evidence offered via a patchwork of media reports, interviews, statements by lawyers and the like. We have fewer facts that we know for sure than we may think we do. Each of us can only view the information through our own prism of prejudices, and draw our own personal conclusions, but none of us knows all the facts.

Cerin wrote:
Griffon_64 wrote:I'm puzzled that such a law exists.

The NRA has enormous political clout in this country. They can defeat any politician who crosses them. There are laws like this now in 23 states, thanks to the NRA and their representatives in Congress (and their allies at ALEC). And the laws are also being taken advantage of by criminals, from what I've read.


Why is the NRA so powerful? Do most Americans support it?
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Postby Minardil » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:21 pm

hamlet wrote:The 911 operator had no authority to order Zimmerman either. Not and expect to be obeyed. Those operators cannot give orders, only offer advice and instructions on how to better handle the situation. They are not police and have no power except to call in the actual authorities.


Maybe not, but if the 911 operator is telling you to back off, it's probably a good idea, especially if the Neighborhood Watch "rules of engagement" specifically forbid members from attempting to apprehend suspects in situations like this. Not to mention that Zimmerman wasn't supposed to be carrying a gun at all when on NW.

BUT all that is beside the point I've been trying to make which is that IF the law protected Zimmerman when he felt threatened, then it must have FIRST protected Martin when he was approached by Zimmerman.
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Postby hamlet » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:22 pm

Cerin, you'll have to forgive us mere m ortals. We do not have the moral omnicsience that you do and have to examine things more closely whereas you simply seem able to determine the correct answer out of hand.


Minardil wrote:
hamlet said:

The 911 operator had no authority to order Zimmerman either. Not and expect to be obeyed. Those operators cannot give orders, only offer advice and instructions on how to better handle the situation. They are not police and have no power except to call in the actual authorities.


Maybe not, but if the 911 operator is telling you to back off, it's probably a good idea, especially if the Neighborhood Watch "rules of engagement" specifically forbid members from attempting to apprehend suspects in situations like this. Not to mention that Zimmerman wasn't supposed to be carrying a gun at all when on NW.

BUT all that is beside the point I've been trying to make which is that IF the law protected Zimmerman when he felt threatened, then it must have FIRST protected Martin when he was approached by Zimmerman.


Not saying it wasn't a good idea, or the right thing to do, merely that saying "he was ordered not to by the operator" is not a legally valid point to argue from.

And yes, I agree that Zimmerman bears most of the fault in this based on the evidence we've heard. I only point out that he may not have been the first person to engage in violence.
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Postby Minardil » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:29 pm

If Martin had succeeded in getting the gun from Zimmerman and shot him dead, and then claimed he's acted under 'Stand Your Ground', does anyone here think they also wouldn't have arrested Martin?


I think the Law undeniably would give Martin the right to disarm Zimmerman and shoot him dead. THAT'S THE TROUBLE WITH THE LAW, as I see it. It basically gives both parties a free pass to kill each other and then claim they were acting in self defense. So far, I haven't heard anyone admit really that this law should have also applied to Martin, and NOT just Zimmerman.
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Postby hamlet » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:36 pm

Minardil wrote:
If Martin had succeeded in getting the gun from Zimmerman and shot him dead, and then claimed he's acted under 'Stand Your Ground', does anyone here think they also wouldn't have arrested Martin?


I think the Law undeniably would give Martin the right to disarm Zimmerman and shoot him dead. THAT'S THE TROUBLE WITH THE LAW, as I see it. It basically gives both parties a free pass to kill each other and then claim they were acting in self defense. So far, I haven't heard anyone admit really that this law should have also applied to Martin, and NOT just Zimmerman.


Because all you can hear is the usual media pap about "oh won't somebody please think of the children!?!" the endless and ignorant protests, adn the usual slew of articles divulging useless tidbits of information a little at a time like drug dealers to adicts.
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Postby Dave_LF » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:38 pm

Minardil wrote:BUT all that is beside the point I've been trying to make which is that IF the law protected Zimmerman when he felt threatened, then it must have FIRST protected Martin when he was approached by Zimmerman.


If Zimmerman approached Martin aggressively, then Martin certainly had the right to defend himself. But we don't know that he did. Zimmerman claims it was Martin who approached him.
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Postby vison » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:08 pm

Has anyone here ever seen anyone smoking pot act violently and paranoid? Assuming the kid had smoked pot at any time, given the "baggie with the residue".

As for the guy "not intending to harm anyone", the guy with the gun? What the hell else did he intend? To fire a "warning shot"? You carry a gun, you better be ready to use it. And, guess what? It seems he was.

It seems fairly obvious that a jerk with a gun shot and killed a kid who wouldn't do what he was told and if that's not the case I will be surprised. Not, like, blown out of the water, but mildly surprised.

Even real cops can do stuff like this. So why would anyone be surprised if some jumped-up rent-a-cop does it?
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Postby hamlet » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:17 pm

vison wrote:Has anyone here ever seen anyone smoking pot act violently and paranoid? Assuming the kid had smoked pot at any time, given the "baggie with the residue".

As for the guy "not intending to harm anyone", the guy with the gun? What the hell else did he intend? To fire a "warning shot"? You carry a gun, you better be ready to use it. And, guess what? It seems he was.

It seems fairly obvious that a jerk with a gun shot and killed a kid who wouldn't do what he was told and if that's not the case I will be surprised. Not, like, blown out of the water, but mildly surprised.

Even real cops can do stuff like this. So why would anyone be surprised if some jumped-up rent-a-cop does it?


Perhaps may come as a surprise to you, but people don't always act rationally. Zimmerman was probably not intending to shoot Martin as in "I'm gonna kill me a darkie" as Cerin seems to think. I suspect that he drew his gun conciously because he felt he might "need" it, and unconciously because it gave him a sense of power and security.

The key is intent. I don't think there's enough evidence to argue that Zimmerman intended to actually harm Martin other than lots of assumption that he's a horrible racist white jerk* and so on. There's no actual evidence of any of that and people are reading into it and assuming that their assumptions are good as fact.


*Zimmerman isn't white. He's hispanic. One of those things that's conveniently ignored in this entire story.
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Postby Cenedril_Gildinaur » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:54 pm

"Stand your ground" isn't, or shouldn't be, an aspect to this case.

If you initiate the encounter, you are not entitled to cite "stand your ground" as a reason for shooting someone. It is a defensive law, meant to be used in cases of defense against someone else initiating the encounter.

What Zimmerman did, rightly or wrongly, was engage in vigilantism. Whether right or wrong, it is not a case of "stand your ground" and shouldn't be treated as such.
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Postby RoseMorninStar » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:06 pm

Someone threw some flour on a Kardashian and they have been arrested for assault. But in Florida someone can be murdered and .. what the heck?

If someone gets out of their vehicle and follows you in a threatening way.. who is the victim? Who was exerting self-defense? If Zimmerman turned his back to get his gun out of his vehicle.. when he says he was attacked, he couldn't have been too worried if he turned his back on Martin. It sounds like Martin was defending himself..but he wasn't the one with a gun.
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