Trayvon Martin

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Postby Cerin » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:14 pm

Griffon64 wrote:
Why is the NRA so powerful? Do most Americans support it?

The NRA leadership are fanatics with a radical agenda. I don't know what the membership is, but it is large and the organization is well-funded. This is not to say that all members of the NRA are fanatics, but many Americans are passionate about guns and their perception of the Constitutional right to bear arms, so people who love their guns are an easily motivated, easily mobilized constituency who can be energized by incendiary campaign misinformation. It is probably the one untouchable issue in America except possibly in more liberal areas of the country. You rarely see anyone who dares to campaign on gun insanity -- it's the third rail in American politics. No one dares to talk about it because they know they will have an unrelenting, implacable, fanatical enemy on their tail.


hamlet wrote:Zimmerman was probably not intending to shoot Martin as in "I'm gonna kill me a darkie" as Cerin seems to think.

I did not suggest that Zimmerman set out to kill Martin. There are some things we do know. The man had made 46 unsubstantiated complaints to police in a short period of time, about suspicious activity in his neighborhood; this is not normal behavior. We know that he is heard saying, 'They always get away' just before he got out of his vehicle to pursue the dangerous individual armed with skittles. We know he was heard using a racial epithet to describe Martin. That paints a very clear picture to me. The man is a racist, he had been preoccupied with crime and 'suspicious' persons in his neighborhood, he saw a black man, decided he was a criminal, and decided it was his place to see that said criminal didn't get away this time. I don't presume to know his motivations beyond that -- whether he intended malice, or wanted to be a hero, or was just itching to use his gun. It doesn't matter, as far as I'm concerned. Zimmerman is responsible for the death of someone who was innocently walking home from the grocery store, and he should be punished. In any sane country, he would be.
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Postby Democritus » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:54 pm

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


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.

Would this be national news if the victim wasn't a black kid? I'll bet money not.


This is one of those "only in fricking America" moments for me I am afraid, as on balance I like the place more than dislike it, but there are some truly repugnent things embedded in the American psyche, and one of them is that excessive and lethal force is acceptable if someone looks bad, or threatening, and then responds violently (out of justified fear) when a gun is waved at them by someone who has not been givin a society sanctioned right to a possible use of force such as the police. Zimmerman kills an unarmed man because he looks suspicious and responds badly to having a gun in his face, and people are actually ok with that... wow...

and I'm with Vison, if that kid had been white and the citizen shooter black, I bet the reaction from the American right would be very different.
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Postby The Heretic » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:19 pm

vison wrote:but from what I've read the shooter was trigger happy and those odds alone wouldn't explain what happened.

From what you've read he was "trigger happy"? Where did you read that?
Link please.
I wonder if being called n*gger by Zimmerman was enough to annoy that kid?

How do you know Zimmermann called Martin a "n*gger"?
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Postby vison » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:29 pm

The Heretic wrote:
vison wrote:but from what I've read the shooter was trigger happy and those odds alone wouldn't explain what happened.

From what you've read he was "trigger happy"? Where did you read that?
Link please.
I wonder if being called n*gger by Zimmerman was enough to annoy that kid?

How do you know Zimmermann called Martin a "n*gger"?


What's the issue here, TheHeretic? Why jump on me? I'm not the only person in this thread who has said similar things.

Are you trolling, by chance?

Just askin'. :)
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Postby The Heretic » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:34 pm

vison wrote:
The Heretic wrote:
vison wrote:but from what I've read the shooter was trigger happy and those odds alone wouldn't explain what happened.

From what you've read he was "trigger happy"? Where did you read that?
Link please.
I wonder if being called n*gger by Zimmerman was enough to annoy that kid?

How do you know Zimmermann called Martin a "n*gger"?


What's the issue here, TheHeretic? Why jump on me? I'm not the only person in this thread who has said similar things.

Are you trolling, by chance?

Just askin'. :)

You said very specific things.
Are you able to answer the questions about what you wrote? Or do you just intend on making inflammatory remarks?
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Postby vison » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:38 pm

Stop trolling me, TheHeretic.

Thanx ever so.
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Postby vison » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:42 pm

Cerin wrote: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.


Seems pretty cut and dried to me. Assuming your assertions are correct.

I doubt that we will ever get "the whole truth". But, as I said earlier, I know guys like this Zimmerman. I've seen them: rent-a-cops peeing themselves with excitement just from firing a pistol at a shooting range. Maybe Mr. Zimmerman is a calm, kind, caring man who donates money to the Negro College Fund. I think I doubt that, but, hey, I could be wrong. I was wrong once before about something. :)
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Postby The Heretic » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:45 pm

vison wrote:Stop trolling me, TheHeretic.

Thanx ever so.

Ah, just inflammatory remarks.

The answer to my questions would then appear to be:
You did not read that Zimmerman was trigger happy, you just made it up.
It would also appear that your assertion regarding Zimmerman using the word "n*gger", is something you just made up.
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Postby vison » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:47 pm

The Heretic wrote:
vison wrote:Stop trolling me, TheHeretic.

Thanx ever so.

Ah, just inflammatory remorks.

The answer to my questions would then appear to be, you did not read that Zimmerman was trigger happy, you just made it up.
It would also appear that you assertion regarding Zimmerman using the word "n*gger", is something you just made up.


You know, I have never once complained to a moderator about another poster being offensive to me. Not once. But I might just have to do it this time. I asked nicely, several times.

Lay off, TheHeretic. I think you are trolling me and I object to it. If you continue, I will complain formally.
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Postby The Heretic » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:56 pm

vison wrote:
The Heretic wrote:
vison wrote:Stop trolling me, TheHeretic.

Thanx ever so.

Ah, just inflammatory remorks.

The answer to my questions would then appear to be, you did not read that Zimmerman was trigger happy, you just made it up.
It would also appear that you assertion regarding Zimmerman using the word "n*gger", is something you just made up.


You know, I have never once complained to a moderator about another poster being offensive to me. Not once. But I might just have to do it this time. I asked nicely, several times.

Lay off, TheHeretic. I think you are trolling me and I object to it. If you continue, I will complain formally.

And I think that you could not support your assertions, when asked, so rather than just admitting you made it up, you decided to make personal attacks.
Though it is interesting that you find a very simple asking of questions about what you wrote "offensive" to you.
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Postby Faramond » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:00 pm

Please do not get this thread locked.
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Postby portia » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:09 pm

Continuing to make inflammatory remarks, when asked to stop, is not what these threads are about.

There are people want to have a serious discussion, which is difficult to do if the thread is locked.

* * * * * * *

I am sure we have all "heard" a lot of things and some are not true. It is very early to try to sort out this emotional subject. However, I can see a scenario where both Martin and Zimmerman could have thought they were defending themselves from an attack. I am not saying that this is the "truth," but it seems consistent with what has come out, already.
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Postby vison » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:10 pm

I don't want the thread locked. But I do not like being trolled. And since Mr. TheHeretic continues to harass me, I guess I have to do something about it.

This really, really, really, really sux. :(
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Postby The Heretic » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:13 pm

Cerin wrote: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.


According to his friend Joe Oliver, Zimmerman and his wife would tutor minority children, including African Americans for free.
Hardly the actions of a racist. See video starting at about 7:45:
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/zimmerman-fr ... -a-racist/
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Postby The Heretic » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:18 pm

portia wrote:Continuing to make inflammatory remarks, when asked to stop, is not what these threads are about.

Can you quote the inflammatory remarks?
There are people want to have a serious discussion, which is difficult to do if the thread is locked.

Hard to have a discussion as well, when one is accused of trolling by a poster, because she cannot answer straightforward questions about her own assertions.
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Postby portia » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:28 pm

I have no idea if Zimmerman tutored anyone, and that is at best a side issue. We really need to focus on what he did, and didn't do (and what Martin did and didn't do on that night. Zimmerman is not being criticized for his attitudes, and if he is arrested and tried it will not be for his attitudes.
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Postby The Heretic » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:39 pm

portia wrote:I have no idea if Zimmerman tutored anyone, and that is at best a side issue. We really need to focus on what he did, and didn't do (and what Martin did and didn't do on that night. Zimmerman is not being criticized for his attitudes, and if he is arrested and tried it will not be for his attitudes.

He is being called, in this thread, "a racist".
Is his supposed 'racism' a "side issue"?
If it is not a side issue, then how can evidence that Zimmerman is not a racist (ie tutoring black kids for free) be a side issue?
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Postby The Heretic » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:49 pm

Minardil wrote: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?


(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
...

776.041 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.

http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2 ... er0776/All

By my reading, if you are engaged in certain criminal activities, you are not covered by 'stand your ground'.
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Postby Silverberry_Spritely » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:42 pm

Democritus wrote:
This is one of those "only in fricking America" moments for me I am afraid, as on balance I like the place more than dislike it, but there are some truly repugnent things embedded in the American psyche, and one of them is that excessive and lethal force is acceptable if someone looks bad, or threatening, and then responds violently (out of justified fear) when a gun is waved at them by someone who has not been givin a society sanctioned right to a possible use of force such as the police. Zimmerman kills an unarmed man because he looks suspicious and responds badly to having a gun in his face, and people are actually ok with that... wow...

and I'm with Vison, if that kid had been white and the citizen shooter black, I bet the reaction from the American right would be very different.


Racism is alive and well, but in this case, black people murdering white people in a violent way certainly got less media attention. No one outside of Knoxville I've spoken to is familiar with this case.

Do I think the murderers in that case represent most black people? No.

Zimmerman didn't kill an unarmed man. He killed an unarmed kid. Andthat is a horrifying thought. But the kid was being aggressive. Doesn't justify the event. Doesn't mean Zimmerman shouldn't have to pay the penalty for taking the life of a young man. But he's not just this awful murderer who needs to be in jail until he stands trial.

As an American, I can tell you I'm far from "pro-gun" or "okay with this." But it's not like this was a nice young man headed to a good college. I certainly wouldn't be willing to convict Zimmerman for first degree murder. Manslaughter? Absolutely, and he needs to serve jail time for this. But he's not a murderer, and he wasn't out there to kill a black kid. He needs to never be a gun owner again, and he needs to pay for his crime.
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Postby Silverberry_Spritely » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:45 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"


I think the whole bad grades/pot character assassination thing has nothing to do with the case and is unfair, but that's just me. It's a terrible thing to drag Trayvon's name through the mud when it's utterly unrelated.
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Postby RoseMorninStar » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:56 am

I'm certainly no lawyer, but it seems to me that these type of laws make it far too easy for entrapment. Too easy for someone to provoke an (unarmed) person and then pull a gun and kill the unarmed human being claiming 'self-defense'. And it's one person's word against.. no one else...as a dead person cannot give their side of the story.

If this skittle toting kid was such a threat.. why did Zimmerman get out of his vehicle & chase him down? (When I think of someone who is a 'threat' enough to warrant pulling a gun on them, I would think a person should have good reason to believe the 'threat' is armed).. and if he was such a threat.. why also would Zimmerman turn his back on the kid as he said he did when he went back to his truck & claims he did when he was attacked. All of this in a few minutes between the call to police where he was told not to pursue Martin .. and the time he was found dead. What a waste.

America.. where a woman who threw flour on Kim Kardashian was arrested on site.. but the killer of a young man who was murdered walks free.
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Postby Hobbituk » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:29 am

A public and polite REMINDER that if someone in a thread (or, indeed, real life) asks you to 'back off' then you should do so.

You cannot force someone to engage you in conversation.

That this reminder is necessary amazes me.
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Postby The Heretic » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:59 am

Hobbituk wrote:A public and polite REMINDER that if someone in a thread (or, indeed, real life) asks you to 'back off' then you should do so.

You cannot force someone to engage you in conversation.

That this reminder is necessary amazes me.

Should I take it though, that calling a poster a troll or accusing a poster, who asks a straight forward question about the claim made, of trolling is acceptable in this forum?
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Postby Hobbituk » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:16 am

Interestingly, did you know there is something we can do when we think people are calling us names?

What do we think that is kids?

That's right! Tell a teacher!*


Now, let's get this thread back on track folks, so I don't have to continue talking to grown adults like children. Much appreciated.



*(or moderator)
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Postby Minardil » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:12 am

The Heretic wrote:
portia wrote:I have no idea if Zimmerman tutored anyone, and that is at best a side issue. We really need to focus on what he did, and didn't do (and what Martin did and didn't do on that night. Zimmerman is not being criticized for his attitudes, and if he is arrested and tried it will not be for his attitudes.

He is being called, in this thread, "a racist".
Is his supposed 'racism' a "side issue"?
If it is not a side issue, then how can evidence that Zimmerman is not a racist (ie tutoring black kids for free) be a side issue?


I have already stated that I am not interested in the "racial" element of this case, however that said, just because someone "tutors" black kids or has "black friends" doesn't mean that they don't also hold "racist" views to some degree, any more than Zimmerman's alleged use of the word "coon" in the 911 tape automatically means that he IS a "racist".
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Postby Democritus » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:07 am

Silverberry_Spritely wrote:
Democritus wrote:
This is one of those "only in fricking America" moments for me I am afraid, as on balance I like the place more than dislike it, but there are some truly repugnent things embedded in the American psyche, and one of them is that excessive and lethal force is acceptable if someone looks bad, or threatening, and then responds violently (out of justified fear) when a gun is waved at them by someone who has not been givin a society sanctioned right to a possible use of force such as the police. Zimmerman kills an unarmed man because he looks suspicious and responds badly to having a gun in his face, and people are actually ok with that... wow...

and I'm with Vison, if that kid had been white and the citizen shooter black, I bet the reaction from the American right would be very different.


Racism is alive and well, but in this case, black people murdering white people in a violent way certainly got less media attention. No one outside of Knoxville I've spoken to is familiar with this case.

Do I think the murderers in that case represent most black people? No.

Zimmerman didn't kill an unarmed man. He killed an unarmed kid. Andthat is a horrifying thought. But the kid was being aggressive. Doesn't justify the event. Doesn't mean Zimmerman shouldn't have to pay the penalty for taking the life of a young man. But he's not just this awful murderer who needs to be in jail until he stands trial.

As an American, I can tell you I'm far from "pro-gun" or "okay with this." But it's not like this was a nice young man headed to a good college. I certainly wouldn't be willing to convict Zimmerman for first degree murder. Manslaughter? Absolutely, and he needs to serve jail time for this. But he's not a murderer, and he wasn't out there to kill a black kid. He needs to never be a gun owner again, and he needs to pay for his crime.
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Err, you are representing some of that American mentality I just don’t get, in terms of seeing everything so black and white, good-guy, bad-guy. You admit that an unarmed kid was killed, and in great probability unjustifiably so, and yet you argue that the killer should not have to spend jail-time waiting for the court-case like everyone else because he “wasn’t an awful murderer”, well isn’t that up to the courts to decide if he was? He very well might be, and I don’t see why he shouldn’t be detained behind bars like everyone else who killed someone, until that is in-fact established.

And as for “But it's not like this was a nice young man headed to a good college.” What on earth does that have to do with everything? Since when was a unarmed person’s right not to be unlawfully killed by a citizen abrogated because they are not “a nice young man going to college"? Are you saying that only nice people going to college should continue to have the right not to be unlawfully killed?? It is clearly irrelevant how nice this kid was, it is only relevant as to how and why he was killed.
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Postby portia » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:19 am

Thanks for posting the law text, Heretic.


There is a lot of history and old English common Law behind that rule. It is not generally the law in the US, now. It has been abandoned in favor of the requirement to retreat.

But I think it is obvious that, in a situation involving an attack it will be very difficult for a person to sort through the steps he or she is supposed to follow to decide how to respond. The instinct is to defend oneself, and not to necessarily moderate the force of the defense. And It can be hard for a person involved in that situation to decide whether he/she might be considered "the aggressor" at some later, calmer, time. And it is also true that a person can reasonably believe that the best idea is to attack a potential attacker, before he/she can "get off a shot" or otherwise attack with such force that no defense is possible.

I am not trying to defend either Martin or Zimmerman. I am simply trying to point out that in an attack situation, there is not time or mental leisure for nice legal distinctions. They may be useful, later, to sort out whether anyone needs to be prosecuted, but we should realize that these distinctions are inherently artificial and unrealistic.
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Postby The Heretic » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:40 am

portia wrote:Thanks for posting the law text, Heretic.


There is a lot of history and old English common Law behind that rule. It is not generally the law in the US, now. It has been abandoned in favor of the requirement to retreat.


According to one of the lawyers at Volokh Conspiracy, who cites cases going back to the late 1800's, it is not abandoned, but states are split, while federal law allows 'stand your ground':
Historically, American states have been split as to whether there is ever a duty to retreat, and under what circumstances. Richard Maxwell Brown’s excellent book No Duty to Retreat: Violence and Values in American History and Society (1994) details the strong trend in American courts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries against a duty of retreat. The U.S. Supreme Court said the same thing in Beard v. United States, 158 U.S. 550 (1895):

[Beard] was not obliged to retreat, nor to consider whether he could safely retreat, but was entitled to stand his ground, and meet any attack upon him with a deadly weapon, in such a way and with such force as, under all the circumstances, he, at the moment, honestly believed, and had reasonable grounds to believe, were necessary to save his own life, or to protect himself from great bodily injury.

Beard involved a victim on his own land. The Court unanimously re-affirmed Beard‘s no-retreat rule in Alberty v. U.S., 162 U.S. 499 (1896), which involved a person in his own home. Allen v. United States, 164 U.S. 493, 502 (1896), involved a victim who was on someone else’s property; there, the Court upheld a jury instruction in favor of a duty to retreat.

Finally, in Brown v. United States, 256 U.S. 335 (1921), Justice Holmes writing for a unanimous Court that included Louis Brandeis (the greatest Progressive jurist), explained:

Rationally the failure to retreat is a circumstance to be considered with all the others in order to determine whether the defendant went farther than he was justified in doing; not a categorical proof of guilt. The law has grown, and even if historical mistakes have contributed to its growth it has tended in the direction of rules consistent with human nature. Many respectable writers agree that if a man reasonably believes that he is in immediate danger of death or grievous bodily harm from his assailant he may stand his ground and that if he kills him he has not succeeded the bounds of lawful self defence. That has been the decision of this Court. [cite to Beard.] Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife. Therefore in this Court, at least, it is not a condition of immunity that one in that situation should pause to consider whether a reasonable man might not think it possible to fly with safety or to disable his assailant rather than to kill him Rowe v. United States, 164 U. S. 546. The law of Texas very strongly adopts these views as is shown by many cases, of which it is enough to cite two. Cooper v. State, 49 Tex. Cr. R. 28, 38, 89 S. W. 1068. Baltrip v. State, 30 Tex. App. 545, 549, 17 S. W. 1106.

It is true that in the case of Beard he was upon his own land (not in his house,) and in that of Rowe he was in the room of a hotel, but those facts, although mentioned by the Court, would not have bettered the defence by the old common law and were not appreciably more favorable than that the defendant here was at a place where he was called to be, in the discharge of his duty. [Defendant Brown was an employee at a federal navy yard, where Hermis attacked him with a knife.]

The above cases all involved federal common law, applied to the federal Territories and to federal property. States, of course, are free to chart their own course. Judges can revise the common law, and legislatures can enact statutes which differ from the common law. Under the English common law of Blackstone, there was no duty to retreat in the home, and no duty to retreat when the use of force was necessary to commit a forcible felony, such as arson. Retreat was required, if practicable, in cases “of a sudden brawl or quarrel” outside the home. See also Hawkins, Pleas of the Crown, sects. 106-07; Bishop’s Criminal Law, sect. 850 (most influential American criminal law treatise of latter 19th century; person who is victim of murderous attack has no duty to retreat).

In sum, Florida’s non-retreat rule is not some 21st century novelty. It is consistent with a long tradition of American law, in which different states have had a variety of rules about when, if ever, retreat might be required.

Even among the most restrictive states, such as New York, retreat in safety is not required before using deadly force in the home; to prevent a burglary (if the person reasonably believes that the criminal would use force to thwart the person’s termination of the burglary) ; to prevent a robbery ; or to prevent a kidnapping, forcible rape, or other forcible criminal sexual attack. Thus, whether you are in Lake Placid, New York, or Lake Placid, Florida, and someone attempts to rob you when you are walking down the street, you have no duty to retreat before using deadly force to thwart the robbery.

http://volokh.com/2012/03/27/floridas-s ... more-57774
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Postby vison » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:45 am

SilverberrySpritely wrote:But it's not like this was a nice young man headed to a good college.


I add my voice to Democritus here: what on earth does that have to do with anything?

The whole stupid tragedy is what you call a fustercluck, but in this case a young man, a boy, is dead. Someone's son.

Once upon a time black parents had to teach their sons to walk and act in such a way that no white person could see them as "uppity". That could get a boy killed. Maybe it still does.

But maybe race had nothing to do with it. Maybe Zimmerman would have shot a white boy, or a girl. Or a lawyer carrying a briefcase.

Who knows?
GM is alive.

Osama bin Laden is dead.
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Postby Minardil » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:50 am

But it's not like this was a nice young man headed to a good college.


Well he certainly isn't going to college now that he's DEAD, but I would like some explanation of exactly what that line was supposed to mean, because it seems very much like you are devaluing Mr. Martin's life due to your perception of his social and economic situation, implying that his life was worth less than some nice college bound kid's would be, and I'd like to give you an opportunity to explain or clarify that, because surely that could not be what you meant to say.
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