Skip to comments.WAS IT REALLY 2D MURDER?
Posted on 04/12/2012 6:43:08 AM PDT by shortstop
George Zimmerman is guilty.
But Im not sure its second-degree murder.
Unless there is some bit of evidence we dont know about, unless there is some smoking gun out there, there is nothing in the Florida statute on second-degree murder that sounds like what happened that night.
The special prosecutor got to strut for the cameras last night, but if she cant deliver the goods, and there is an acquittal, there is going to be hell to pay and riot police are probably going to get called out.
In a case that has turned out to be more about race politics than the events on the sidewalk of a Florida subdivision, you wonder what last nights announcement was really about. Was it mollification? Was it the considered opinion of a veteran prosecutor? Was it the first step in a political lynching?
Time will tell.
But heres what the law book says.
In Florida, there are two ways a person can be guilty of second-degree murder.
In the first, someone has to be killed by someone showing a depraved mind. There must also be the perpetration of an act imminently dangerous to another. If those two factors exist, without premeditation, in Florida, thats second-degree murder.
In the second, someone has to be killed by someone who is committing another felony crime. That list of specified felony crimes runs from arson and kidnapping to aircraft piracy and aggravated stalking. But none of the specified crimes including terrorism is anything like what George Zimmerman did that night. Specifically, he has not been accused of any other felony crime, so he could not be charged under this part of Floridas second-degree murder law.
Which gets back to the first part.
Did George Zimmerman commit an act imminently dangerous to another and did he do so with a depraved mind.
It is clear that shooting a gun at someone is an act that is imminently dangerous. But did George Zimmerman fire the gun with a depraved mind?
Thats harder to say, and maybe impossible to prove.
Was it depraved for a Neighborhood Watch guy to follow a young man down the street? Unwise and ultimately tragic, yes, but depraved?
Not in most dictionaries.
And then there is the aspect of self-defense. If George Zimmerman makes the argument that he was repelling an attack he thought endangered his life or limb, the whole situation changes. The prosecution would have to not only show that George Zimmerman was not in danger, and that no reasonable person would consider themselves endangered in that situation, but that he had a depraved mind.
Unless theres evidence that we dont know about, that goes to Zimmermans state of mind, thats a very high standard for the prosecution to meet.
That phrase beyond a reasonable doubt is a purposefully difficult level of evidence.
In this case, we only have one version of events George Zimmermans. We cant presume he is being truthful, but the prosecution will have to affirmatively prove that he is being untruthful. And that will be hard, largely because Trayvon Martin is not here to tell his side of the story.
According to press accounts, a witness verifies Zimmermans claim that Trayvon was on top of him hitting him. The enhanced video from the police station shows an injury on the back of his head.
Those things, though not conclusive, are supportive of George Zimmermans version of events.
And in the absence of another theory, and evidence to support that theory, youre not getting to beyond a reasonable doubt.
There are practical aspects of trying this charge that will be difficult and disruptive.
How, for example, do you seat a jury?
And what will the racial makeup of that jury be and will that ratio be satisfactory to the people and activists who have been shouting for justice? In the blood lust that is masquerading as justice, how does a trial on this charge lead to anything but chaos?
If George Zimmerman is acquitted, as there seems to be a fair chance he will be, is there a possibility of racial upset or riot? Its happened before, more than once.
Have we just found this generations OJ trial? Have we just found this generations Rodney King?
I will trust that this prosecution is not political. But I will have my doubts.
Dont get me wrong.
Its George Zimmermans fault that Trayvon Martin is dead. If Zimmerman had stayed home or in his vehicle, none of this would have happened.
There is clearly reckless endangerment here, and maybe there is some species of criminally negligent homicide or maybe even a manslaughter. But murder, thats unlikely, and even less likely of being proven.
So we got headlines last night.
And a show trial sometime down the road.
But after that we may have uncorked hell.
>> “I understand that on at least on occasion, Martin was within 50 feet of his parent’s home. Why didn’t he just go there?” <<
Martin was upset that Zimmerman could identify him; he surely would not go ‘home’ giving Zimmerman an address to relay to the police.
This is just standard gang behavior: Kill all the witnesses that you can’t intimidate. He was determined to kill Zimmerman, but it didn’t work out his way.
Charges dismissed: Riots.
Plea bargain on a lesser charge: Riots.
Hung jury: Riots.
Conviction: Celebrations that will look just like riots.##
You nailed it dead on.
This was likely a deliberate over charging on the part of the prosecutor to mollify the blacks and avoid riots. They have to know there is no way they will get a conviction on 2nd degree murder. Even Manslaughter would be a real stretch. It would not suprise me if a judge throws it out.
“I have two bets with myself. The first is that GZ will be killed in jail, probably before the trial, but definitely afterward if convicted. The second is that regardless of the verdict, there will be riots - simply because they are opportunities to loot.”
If GZ is aquited there will be riots and looting out of anger.
If GZ is convicted there will be riots and looting to celebrate.
“Was it depraved for a Neighborhood Watch guy to follow a young man down the street?”
There is a huge amount of information about this confrontation that will not become known to the public until the trial gets underway.
Meanwhile, it is my understanding that Treyvon, the fresh-faced lad of 13, or 14 or 15 years, was strolling rather aimlessly through the backyards area of a gated community, not walking in a purposeful manner on a street or sidewalk, and thereby arousing suspicion as to his intent and purpose.
But lacking testimonial revelations through a public trial, we can only speculate, and that to little purpose.
Is it possible that the jury could acquit on the murder charge, but find him guilty of manslaughter? I can’t make out what the prosecutor is doing here, but one possibility is to satisfy the race baiters between now and next November, in the expectation that this will take quite a while to resolve.
Or, if the stories we have seen are true, I would hope that Zimmerman would simply be found not guilty. But it will be hard to de-politicize this case, and much depends on what kind of folks they pick for the jury.
What a sorry mess. Black racism is being taken to new highs.
I think it's more likely to be the second than the first but don't have enough info to be sure.In order to decide for sure (or "beyond a reasonable doubt") I'd want to know much,*much* more about *both* individuals.If,by chance,one of them has a "clean" past and the other one a "dirty" one then,IMO,it's most likely the one with the "dirty" one who's at fault.I've heard *nothing*,good *or* bad,about Zimmerman's past.I've heard a bit about the kid's past and,if everything is true and accurate (Twitter posts,school suspensions for example) it paints a picture of a gangsta thug in the making.But I can't be sure if *any* of it is true.
And BTW...it only matters if the kid *had good reason* to see Zimmerman as a threat.I think we all know that there are *millions* of kids in this country that see "threats" where none actually exist.Just listen to all those rap songs about the joys of bustin' a cap in some white pig cop.
“The jurors can claim to be unbiassed when selected, but once they get to the deliberations stage, what’s to stop them from ignoring the evidence presented in the trial and going by what they initially heard on TV?”
Interesting point you make.
It may be next to impossible to seat an “unbiased jury” for this case, given the attention it’s received and the racial polarization that has accompanied it.
Most whites “see the case” from a certain perspective. On the other hand, with few exceptions blacks seem to view it from 180 degrees opposite. It’s unclear right now how hispanics feel about it - one would believe they would be showing more interest in the case. Perhaps they are, but we aren’t seeing that just yet.
Even when presented with the same set of facts, white jurors vis-a-vis black jurors are going to perceive those [same] facts to mean “different truths”, and take those opposing truths into the jury room with them.
For such reasons, I’m wondering if a hung jury becomes inevitable. Whites/hispanics will probably accept the concept of “reasonable doubt” once the jury room door is closed. But I sense that blacks - even blacks who pass voir dire to gain a seat on the jury panel - will be predisposed towards conviction, and simply refuse to agree to a “not guilty” verdict, even if the evidence points in that direction.
So — a conviction may be unlikely based on the evidence we have seen; yet even in the presence of sufficient evidence favoring the defendant, an acquittal becomes all-but impossible. You can call my prediction bigoted if you wish, but that’s how I’m seeing it.
I would think that one of the first things Zimmerman’s attorney will do is request a change of venue. The obvious question would be “to where?”
But the real question is “to whom”?
I think it depends on the specifics or the charge and/or state law.But I'm not a lawyer so perhaps a lawyer would want to weigh in on this question.
I agree that there are likely to be riots either way. Hopefully this will all come to a conclusion before October, but seems to be timed just right for an October trial, to take advantage of the racial outrage by the left.
Another thing that is totally wrong is Zimmerman having to rot in jail waiting on the trial. Peoples’ rights are being trampled on left AND right by the left and RIGHT.
Obviously Bob Lonsberry is comfortable with a police-state to protect his sorry butt. Since when is it “wreckless” to keep an eye on your own neighborhood? In North Philly Black Muslim groups actively patrol certain blocks. Armed I am sure since there is little in the way of police patrols in these “no-go” areas. Would Mr. Lonsberry apply the same standards there?
it makes toal sense if you factor in the fact it will eliminate showboating prosecutors (see oj prosecution team, nifong etc).
there has to be an end to the “arrest them all and let the judge sort it out” mentality.
All of the cooberated evidence made public to this point indicates GZ was not stalking and that Trayvon approached and accosted GZ.
George Zimmerman was arrested, but it will be Trayvon who is really put on trial and convicted. Trayvon's gangsta behaviour including his facebook and twitter postings, his parents' lack of discipline and control, Trayvon's assualt on GZ will become the focus of the trial.
BINGO! We have a winner...
[[George Zimmerman is guilty. Of something. But Im not sure its second-degree murder.]]
Guilty of what? Defending himself while white? NOTHING George Zimmerman did was illegal- NOTHING! He had EVERY RIGHT to follow someone he thought was suspicious- Martin did NOT have ANY rgith to Criminally Attack Zimmerman Since Zimmerman did NOT initiate contact- Martin is the ON LY GUILTY PARTY i nthis case. I feel bad that ghis parents lost hteir son, but hte fact is their son was guilty of assault and attempted murder, and even told Zimmerman he was going to kill him. His parents may be unwillign to admit htese FACTS but they ARE the FACTS- PERIOD!
What an idiotic comment. He gives away the store here while trying to be 'balanced'. This statement suggests that just staying inside is the only action that doesn't open you to criminal charges, that simply going outside brands you as somehow complicit in any crime or event that happens around you.
That recent visitor to Baltimore would not have been sucker punched if he had stayed home, so would the author suggest that he too was at fault?
Any fault (other than Trayvon's) lives with the Martins, who should have known that letting their kid try out the thug life would not turn out well.
“,,,it will be Trayvon who is really put on trial and convicted. Trayvon’s gangsta behaviour including his facebook and twitter postings, his parents’ lack of discipline and control, Trayvon’s assualt on GZ will become the focus of the trial.”
There have been other cases where the victims previous behavior/reputation was not admissable. The Fish shooting trial in AZ and the trial regarding an unarmed killing after a son’s Hockey game come to mind.
I agree it should come down to which side is more credible due to lack of eyewitnesses, but that doesn’t always happen.
[[I think it’s more likely to be the second than the first but don’t have enough info to be sure.]]
By law, it should be the second- it doesn’t mastter IF martin saw zimmerman as ‘an aggressor’ Martin STILL HAD NO RIGHT TO CRIMINALLY ASSAULT Zimmerman- what the hell do peopel NOT understand about This?
[[it only matters if the kid *had good reason* to see Zimmerman as a threat]]
Beign followed is NOT ‘good reason’ to see soemoen as a risk and is NEVER justification for criminally assaulting that person- period! Trayvon commited a criminal act on Geoge- George did NOT commit ANY crimes i nthis case
Again- Martin did NOT hasve4 the right to assault and attempt to murder George Zimmerman, and Zimmerman had EVERY RIGHT to defend hismelf with deadly force when it became evident martin was terying to kill him- ANY TIME someone takes your head and bashes it agaisnt a solid object, you can reasonably assume that person intends to murder you and you have EVERY RUIGHT to protect yourself with deadly force
Martin thoguth he was a tough guy, decided agaisnt his girlfrioend’s wishes to confront george zimmerman, and made a VERY SERIOUS mkistake and paid for it with hisw life-
Again to those hwo think martin might have ‘seen zimmerman as threat’ Being followed is NEVER a reason to criminally assault someone especially with intent to murder- there is nothign more to discuss abotu that fact- Martin attacked zimerman with depraved indifference to zimmetrmans’s safety and well being- Martin apaprently made it very clear his intent to murder zimmerman- Zimmerman NEVER issued any such kind of threat toward Trayvon- Never!
IF someoen has evidence showing trayvon infact perceived zimmerman as a threat- and can show why he had reason to, present it- but hte facts of the case and witnesses and actiosn of trayvon show that htis is not the case
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