Free Republic
Browse · Search
Smoky Backroom
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

‘Stand your ground’ laws recall the Wild West
The Southtown Star ^ | April 20, 2012 | Professor David McGrath

Posted on 04/21/2012 10:44:28 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

The so-called “stand your ground” law that allowed neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman to shoot and kill Treyvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., without an initial arrest once was a principle that nearly every American believed in.

And we were reminded of its key provision every Saturday night in prime time when watching “Gunsmoke,” among the nation’s longest-running and most popular TV programs.

Each episode began with the same scene on Main Street in Dodge City, Kan., with Marshal Matt Dillon, played by James Arness, in a gun duel, staring at another man who stood 60 yards away. After several seconds of music and tension, the other man would reach for the handgun in his holster, which prompted Dillon to draw his gun faster and shoot him first.

No need for any investigation or police inquiry to determine whether it was a justified shooting because whichever cowboy drew last was standing his ground in self-defense.

Only two problems with this allusion. The first is that TV viewers understood that the law was needed in the West of the 19th century — when lawlessness prevailed, when you could not dial 911 and when every man carried a six-shooter or a rifle out in the open. Such circumstances, of course, did not apply to the America that watched westerns in the movie theater or on TV in the 1960s.

The second problem was that it was universally accepted that lethal self-defense was justifiable only against someone who was armed. Had Matt Dillon or Wyatt Earp or Lucas McCain of “The Rifleman” show tried to claim self-defense against an opponent who possessed only a club, slingshot or a bag of Skittles, not only would his reputation as a hero be jeopardized, he’d be thrown in jail and possibly sentenced to hang by Judge Roy Bean.

Fast forward 37 years, well past the last broadcast episode of “Gunsmoke”: Thanks to the National Rifle Association and its close friends like Florida Gov. Rick Scott, citizens are packing just like in the Wild West. In the state with the fewest gun restrictions in the country, Zimmerman’s right to carry the weapon he drew on Martin hasn’t been questioned.

But Florida’s NRA-loving legislators went the Wild West even one better — freeing pistol packers to fire on any man, woman or child, even if they’re not carrying a gun, as long as the shooter feared for his or her life.

I was not a resident of Florida in 2005 when Gov. Jeb Bush issued this license-to-kill en masse. So I am going to give its legislators the benefit of the doubt, confident that more than one must have pointed out that the law could be far too loosely interpreted — not only by bigots and paranoids but also by normal folks who happen to be temporarily disgruntled, disoriented, nervous or just naturally fearful of, say, teenagers, homeless people or strangers with moustaches, black hats or hooded sweatshirts.

What was everyone else thinking?

In the movie “Shane,” among the most highly acclaimed westerns of the aforementioned era, Jack Wilson, a kind of neighborhood watch captain hired by cattlemen, and played by Jack Palance, regularly got away with murder. He followed and confronted the poor homesteaders, threatening them with his malevolent grin and emasculating insults, driving them to make a move for a weapon out of fear and desperation, a move that cued their instant execution by the much-faster Wilson.

But even that sinister hit man was more regulated than Zimmerman, insofar as Wilson had to be careful not to shoot a homesteader who had only a hoe or a buggy whip or a can of iced tea.

After more than a month of protests and media debate, due process finally has been followed, with Special Prosecutor Angela Corey filing charges of second-degree murder against Zimmerman.

Whatever happens in the ensuing plea or trial, the next step should be repeal of the “stand your ground” law that permits people to act as judge, jury and executioner and that has led to the tripling of the number of so-called self-defense killings in Florida since its inception.

The law must be stricken from the books — not only in Florida but also in each of the other dozen or so states where legislators passed it while apparently temporarily insane.

****

David McGrath is an emeritus professor of English at the College of DuPage and author of “The Territory,” a story collection.


TOPICS: Heated Discussion
KEYWORDS: banglist; florida; georgezimmerman; lmm; trayvonmartin
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-95 last
To: SaraJohnson
Zero tolerance makes the victim who defends himself with violence against a violent attacker equally guilty and equally punished for the violence.

No, the innocent is not equally punished because the guilty guy goes unpunished while the victim is punished for "rising to the occasion." These euroscumsocialist brains are so addled you couldn't beat sense into them.

51 posted on 04/22/2012 6:14:29 AM PDT by AndyJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 50 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

In the “wild west”, more men died from snake bite than from gunshot wounds.

An armed society is a polite society.


52 posted on 04/22/2012 6:20:22 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

***No need for any investigation or police inquiry to determine whether it was a justified shooting because whichever cowboy drew last was standing his ground in self-defense. ***

Bunkum. In the REAL old West you were most likely to get shot in the back or from ambush.

Very few movie type gun fights happened.


53 posted on 04/22/2012 6:59:55 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

The real fallacy with this article is the idea that a fit person can be “unarmed”. Perhaps, if literally they have no arms. That would still leave their legs, though.

Any reasonably fit person can train, in a short while, to kill even a physically superior opponent without much trouble, given the element of surprise. By the way, back in the Old West, there was much less knowledge of the science of hand-to-hand combat than there is today.

Many folks criticizing GZ in the TM shooting apparently have no idea of what a hand-to-hand encounter is like. Even if GZ shot TM unilaterally, he was having to make split-second, life-or-death decisions while being beat - and having my head beat on concrete would provide all the justification I would need to shoot, personally. There is also some indication that TM went for the gun, and it went off as he and GZ struggled for it.

If the scenario unfolded as described by GZ, “Stand Your Ground” is irrelevant, since GZ could not have retreated if he wanted to. Even where there is no such law, if you are physically prevented from retreating you have no obligation to do so.

It’s a shame that TM died, but I’m fairly convinced given what I’ve seen so far that he initiated the violence. From what I know right now, I think GZ will go free. If it was valid self-defense, I hope he gets immunity from further action as it looks like TM’s family and lawyer are out for money. Of course, GZ will have some lawsuit targets himself given some of the absolutely shameful media coverage of this case.

This article did have one positive outcome though - I’m going to have to watch “Shane” in the near future. ;-)


54 posted on 04/22/2012 7:15:43 AM PDT by PreciousLiberty (Pray for America!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

That article about made my nose bleed it was so ignorant, and in so many offhand and ridiculous ways. It could almost be called “humor/parody”.

Some of the most glaring boffos:

A gunfight at 60 yards? 180 feet? That doesn’t even work on TV, because of camera lens focus.

Second, the Old West very frequently had shooting inquests, and almost certainly when lawmen were involved. This is why we know so much about western history, because they were careful to document many of these events. Far more reliable than newspapers.

Much of modern American criminal law comes from the Old West, especially a deep concern about “real” justice instead of “letter of the law” justice. Western juries, when convinced of justifiable mitigation, were very forthright in acquittal, and not prone to convict someone who was just unpleasant or ugly. The vast majority were also not racist.

Third, lawlessness *never* prevailed for long in the Old West, as it was a priority for settlers to create and maintain as much civility as possible for as long as possible. Most gunfights only happened between “bad people” in “the bad part of town”, much as today.

Justice of the Peace Roy Bean, in his entire career, only sentenced two men to hang, one of which escaped before hanging.

At times there were mercenary hired guns, it is true, but unlike driving off “settlers”, the primary dispute was between cattle ranchers and immigrant shepherds. The most prominent of these was the “Pleasant Valley War”, aka “The Graham-Tewksbury Feud”, probably the second most vicious family feud behind the “Hatfield-McCoy Feud”, in West Virginia and Kentucky.

It was believed that one of the sides hired the notorious “lawman, scout, soldier, hired gunman, detective, outlaw and assassin” Tom Horn, as an assassin. Who *may* have killed somebody, or not. In any event, all members of both families were eventually killed off. Tom Horn was hung, likely because he needed hanging.

If anyone killed homesteaders, it was most likely “Native Americans”. And in all fairness, these were warrior tribes who were just as willing to attack Americans as they were to attack other tribes. Much of what the American army did in the Old West was to try and convince the Indians to “stop doing that”.

To put this into perspective, the major tribes of the time could field what amounted to serious and capable armies, and they rapidly adapted to and integrated about every technology they could get their hands on. About the only real advantage the US Army had for a long time was artillery.

In any event, back to the English teacher’s ignorance. He apparently not only doesn’t know history outside of TV, but he doesn’t know the law, either. The “Stand Your Ground” law is only a small portion of the law of self-defense, which has been around since at least the Magna Carta. And in this case isn’t even needed, because the shooting was entirely justified on other grounds.


55 posted on 04/22/2012 7:53:25 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("It is already like a government job," he said, "but with goats." -- Iranian goat smuggler)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

I cannot take this guy seriously. The quality of the writing is terrible.


56 posted on 04/22/2012 8:20:57 AM PDT by Celtic Cross (The brain is the weapon; everything else is just accessories. --FReeper Joe Brower)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colorado Cowgirl
Treyvon M. was about 6 foot 3 inches tall, weighted 170-180 pounds, about 20 pounds less than George Z.

Trayvon was quite a bit bigger than Zimmerman. Zimmerman was measured at 5'8" 185 lbs at booking. Zimmerman is not a large man. Judging from the court photo, in a scrap between Zimmerman and say, Angela Corey, I would not bet against Angela Corey if both are unarmed.


57 posted on 04/22/2012 11:03:33 AM PDT by Meet the New Boss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
I think the SYG laws, being new, need some development before they are settled law.

The concept - no retreat from where you have a right to be - is clear. The APPLICATION of the concept to everyday situations is not so clear to me, and it's going to take some working out before it is.

The difference between SYG at home and SYG in public is that, at home, it is prima faciae reasonable to presume the home defender is without fault.

In many public situations, this is also true - but not all. If I understand the Florida SYG law, SYG confers immunity from arrest or prosecution. There are many brawls tha happen among ordinary people where "fault" is hard to figure out. It can't be right that if you don't avoid an avoidable fight, and the fight goes against you, that you can end it with a shot.

Discovery of the truth in confused situations belongs, as it has for centuries, to grand and petit juries. This process should not be overridden by across-the-board application of SYG.

58 posted on 04/22/2012 11:15:59 AM PDT by Jim Noble ("The Germans: At your feet, or at your throat" - Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VRWC For Truth
An armed society is a polite society. QED

Not quite.

I agree (mostly) with SYG, but not all young men are polite.

Some, I betcha, get LESS polite if they are packing and believe themselves immune from judgement by a jury of their peers.

I see this as a problem.

59 posted on 04/22/2012 11:18:17 AM PDT by Jim Noble ("The Germans: At your feet, or at your throat" - Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble

What about 10 Rod Road? Your observations on this.


60 posted on 04/22/2012 11:20:23 AM PDT by Little Bill (Sorry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 58 | View Replies]

To: SWAMPSNIPER
My comments above about SYG laws IN GENERAL do not apply to Zimmerman, who I believe is both innocent under common law and the laws of Florida (I am a Florida CCW holder) as they existed before SYG.

Even worse, he is being railroaded by a crooked State Attorney who is being permitted to do so by the governor, who, t is now clear, is a coward and a poltroon.

61 posted on 04/22/2012 11:21:37 AM PDT by Jim Noble ("The Germans: At your feet, or at your throat" - Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Little Bill
What about 10 Rod Road? Your observations on this.

He should get a medal.

If he shot him and killed him to prevent escape (at that distance and with no threat), he'd be guilty of a crime.

In fact, his care and wisdom in shooting into the ground should get him extra credit.

The People of New Hampshire should get some credit, too, for straightening out the County Attorney before things got too far out of hand.

62 posted on 04/22/2012 11:29:07 AM PDT by Jim Noble ("The Germans: At your feet, or at your throat" - Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 60 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble
You seem to forget the stand your ground is to protect your life and limb.

I think that our delegation of police powers to the Gov., which is evidenced by our ability, in NH, to fire our police force on popular Vote seems to intimate that we may detain a felon whose felony we witnessed and prevent his escape.

I agree that that the CA was a clown and ignored recient legislation or the spirit there of.

63 posted on 04/22/2012 11:45:20 AM PDT by Little Bill (Sorry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 62 | View Replies]

To: 4Runner
So many Black youth perps seem to be unusually adept at the methodology needed to quickly and effectively subdue an opponent.

It's easy to subdue an opponent who has not anticipated an attack and has no plan to execute in their own self-defense.

The unwitting lady walking in the mall parking lot is the classic case of an unwitting opponent.

As those acquainted with self-defense know, one needs to be ready and willing to counterattack with extreme prejudice (i.e., elan) in addition to being able to do so.

Mr. Zimmerman did have to foresight to be armed, however this situation brings out the importance of what's needed beyond the actual arming, which can place one in difficult circumstances. If one is armed and a personal-safety situation develops, one winds up facing the decision to either avoid confrontation or take charge of the situation and effectively hold the attacker at bay. Holding at bay requires one to be ready and willing to shoot. Once one is rushed, one is in a life-and-death struggle for the weapon.
64 posted on 04/22/2012 1:21:45 PM PDT by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Only a liberal would think a person must be the victim of a criminal by having to flee. I noticed only the liberal East Cost States have such laws because they started with the flee requirement in the first place. We here in the West have never had such stupid liberal laws. Only an idiot would think a person must flee a criminal. If criminals don’t want to be beat to sh*t or dead then they had best not attack anyone.


65 posted on 04/22/2012 1:43:21 PM PDT by CodeToad (If it ain't Newt, we're screwt !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Yorlik803
"Zimmerman was a fool..."

How so?

66 posted on 04/22/2012 1:58:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Ich habe keinen Konig aber Gott)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
From the info given,it sounds he didnt have situational awareness. Neighborhood watch is suppost to be observe and report. He was told by police dispatchers to break off following the scumbag but continued doing so{ Police dispatchers are agents for the police}. He blundered into a situation he wasnt prepared or trained for.
I have a CCW.I am aware of what I can and cant do with it. I am prepared for fight but I dont actively go out looking for one. It sounds like he was looking for a fight. But then facts keep leaking out so I may be wrong and in that case I will change my opinion.
67 posted on 04/22/2012 2:33:48 PM PDT by Yorlik803 (better to die on your feet than live on your knees.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 66 | View Replies]

To: Yorlik803

(a) Mr. Zimmerman was on his way to the store, not on neighborhood watch duty when he spotted Mr. Martin and (b) as I understand it, he was on the phone to the non-emergency police number, not 911 as most people believe and (c) from the transcripts I’ve heard he wasn’t “stalking” Mr. Martin, merely watching him to see what he was up to when he was blindsided. You do realize that little Trayvon was suspended from school for acts that would’ve landed him in jail where you and I live, right? Therefore, he’d probably still be alive today.


68 posted on 04/22/2012 2:46:01 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Ich habe keinen Konig aber Gott)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 67 | View Replies]

To: Yorlik803
He was told by police dispatchers to break off following the scumbag but continued doing so {Police dispatchers are agents for the police}

In fact the dispatcher said "we don't need you to do that." Which was merely stating it wasn't NECESSARY which is not the same thing as an order.

Even if the dispatcher did try to ORDER Zimmerman not to follow, so what? The police have no legal power to give that kind of order.

If I was a cop who lived in your neighborhood, maybe I should stop by your house every day and tell your wife to make me a sandwich and tell your kid to wash my car.

69 posted on 04/22/2012 2:58:36 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 67 | View Replies]

To: Meet the New Boss; Yorlik803

Not only that, but dispatchers are not normally sworn officers, but trained clerks. The lady at the DMV or unemployment office can’t give you orders and neither can this bureacrat.


70 posted on 04/22/2012 3:01:36 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Ich habe keinen Konig aber Gott)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 69 | View Replies]

To: Meet the New Boss
The last part of your statement was steeped in stupidity. So much so that it boggles the mind and dulls the senses. I cant even make a response to it because reading it took my breath away.
Since we are taking the Clinton “definition of “Is” is approach to this, the phrase “ we dont need you to do that” is a polite way of saying” stop doing it we have someone on the way”. Why the dispatcher didnt say it is beyond me. If you were driving home and saw a brush fire,and you called the fire dept and told them’I am going to put it out” and the dispatcher told you the same thing, would you still go into the field and stomp out the fire or would you let the fire department do it? The dispatcher isnt a fireman,he dont know anything about firefighting and he is sitting behind a console,sipping a Coke.
All i am saying is that Zimmerman acted outside the scope of his experience.
71 posted on 04/22/2012 3:51:27 PM PDT by Yorlik803 (better to die on your feet than live on your knees.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 69 | View Replies]

To: CodeToad
Only a liberal would think a person must be the victim of a criminal by having to flee

I absolutely don't think you should "have to flee".

But, in your home and curtilage, there is no legitimate "third option" - which is "stay out of trouble". If a zombie kicks in your door, the trouble has arrived.

On the street, though, there are many, many chances to walk into or stay out of trouble. When I lived in Brooklyn in the 1970s, I avoided trouble all the time. I never thought of crossing the street for 3 Trayvons to be "fleeing", and I don't think CCW should embolden you to walk into trouble you could easily avoid.

Also, see above. I think Zimmerman is innocent by common law and Florida statute from before SYG, his case is not an SYG case.

72 posted on 04/22/2012 3:59:30 PM PDT by Jim Noble ("The Germans: At your feet, or at your throat" - Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 65 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
tried to claim self-defense against an opponent who possessed only a club, slingshot or a bag of Skittles, not only would his reputation as a hero be jeopardized, he’d be thrown in jail and possibly sentenced to hang by Judge Roy Bean.

I don't get this. If somebody comes at me with a club I can't defend myself? This is idiotic. Is this what the Prof is saying or am I misunderstanding him?

73 posted on 04/22/2012 3:59:52 PM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: central_va

There’s a difference between “duty to flee” and “sense to stay out of trouble”.

This is what I don’t understand about SYG laws, and how they interact with the common law.

They guy attacking you with a club? Blow him away, and I’ll support you 100%.

Wade into a bar fight and kill a guy who gets the upper hand on you? Not so sure.

Walk down MLK Boulevard at 1am in your Jeff Davis T shirt, because you have a right to be there, but it’s only your CCW that overcomes your common sense? Don’t know about that, either.

BTW, it’s obvious to me that Zimmerman is innocent, with or without SYG.


74 posted on 04/22/2012 4:08:24 PM PDT by Jim Noble ("The Germans: At your feet, or at your throat" - Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 73 | View Replies]

To: Yorlik803
You have "blundered into" an argument armed with nothing but bullsh!t.

Neighborhood watch is suppost to be observe and report.

Zimmerman was not on neighborhood watch duty at the time of the incident. He was on his way out to run an errand.

Zimmerman stated that he was walking back to his car, and not following Martin, when he was attacked by Martin.

The prosecution CONCEDED in the Bond hearing that they have NO evidence to contradict that fact.

O'MARA: My question was do you have any evidence to contradict or that conflicts with his contention given before he knew any of the evidence that would conflict with the fact that he stated "I walked back to my car"?

GILBREATH: No.

The prosecution also conceded in the bond hearing that they have absolutely NO evidence to contradict Zimmerman's statement that Martin assaulted him.

He was told by police dispatchers to break off following the scumbag but continued doing so {Police dispatchers are agents for the police}.

As I have corrected you but you pretend not to understand he was not "told to break off following."

A police dispatcher whether or not an "agent for the police" has NO AUTHORITY TO ORDER AROUND CITIZENS. You would make a good little subject for a police state, however.

He blundered into a situation he wasn't prepared or trained for.

Wrong. He was heading back to his car when he was sucker punched.

It sounds like he was looking for a fight.

Not according to all the reported facts. But just make up whatever the hell facts you feel like.

If you were driving home and saw a brush fire,and you called the fire dept and told them’I am going to put it out” and the dispatcher told you the same thing, would you still go into the field and stomp out the fire or would you let the fire department do it?

OF COURSE I WOULD PUT OUT THE DAMN FIRE IF I COULD. Rather than let it get out of control waiting for who knows how long before an official fire truck decides to show up.

75 posted on 04/22/2012 4:29:23 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 71 | View Replies]

To: Yorlik803

Zimmerman walked to point E where he completed his call with the dispatcher.

He was walking back toward his car at point C when Martin assaulted him. The prosecution has conceded they do not have evidence that this was not what happened.

Martin was not walking home at the time of the altercation, but had double-backed to confront Zimmerman.

If Martin was actually walking directly home (in fact, his father's girlfriend's home), he would have been there before Zimmerman's call even ended.


76 posted on 04/22/2012 4:48:30 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 71 | View Replies]

To: Meet the New Boss
He was walking back toward his car at point C when Martin assaulted him. The prosecution has conceded they do not have evidence that this was not what happened.

__________________________________

They have no evidence that something didn't happen --- therefore it's true?

Meet the new boss dated goats in high school --- please provide evidence that this didn't happen.

Oh, btw...by your own map, z could not have been walking directly from point E to point C if he got jumped (as you say) at point F.

77 posted on 04/22/2012 5:12:30 PM PDT by wtc911 (Amigo - you've been had.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 76 | View Replies]

To: wtc911
They have no evidence that something didn't happen --- therefore it's true?

Indeed. "Innocent until proven guilty." The prosecution has to make the case based on the evidence. They likely will be unable to.

78 posted on 04/22/2012 5:16:42 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (If we had a President, he'd look like Newt.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 77 | View Replies]

To: wtc911
They have no evidence that something didn't happen --- therefore it's true?

In this country, the prosecution has to PROVE a crime happened BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. Citizens do not have to PROVE they DID NOT commit a crime.

The whole issue of "following" is a red herring. The prosecution conceded they do not have evidence that Zimmerman was not going back to his car at the time of the assault. But it does NOT MATTER.

The issue of "following" is being raised by the prosecution solely for public relations purposes. There seems to be a mentality among the public (and maybe here on FR) that if you follow a suspicious black youth in your neighborhood to see what he is up to, you deserve the beat-down you get.

Even if Zimmerman was following Martin at the time of the assault, SO WHAT? If you follow me down the street, does that give me the right to plant my fist on your face, and pound the crap out of you and try to crack your head open on the sidewalk?

The "profiling" matter is also a red herring (the prosecution conceded they were not talking about RACIAL profiling when they used that word in the affidavit). Both the "profiling" and the "following" are red herrings and have no legal signficance, if the prosecution has no evidence that it was racial profiling or that Zimmerman assaulted Martin, as appears clear from the bond hearing.

If you follow me down the street and I turn around and tell you to f off neither of us has done anything illegal or that would justify either of us assaulting the other.

The only relevant thing is WHO physically attacked the other and what was the nature of the physical attack.

If Martin assaulted Zimmerman as he stated in his police statement, he is justified in defending himself.

If Martin tried to smother him or tried to crack open his skull, as Zimmerman stated, then Martin is justified in using deadly force.

From the face of the charging affidavit and the concessions made at the bond hearing, the prosecution does not have evidence to support the charge made.

79 posted on 04/22/2012 5:32:12 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 77 | View Replies]

To: Future Snake Eater

Please explain how the lack of proof that something didn’t happen has suddenly become proof that it did.


80 posted on 04/22/2012 5:54:37 PM PDT by wtc911 (Amigo - you've been had.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 78 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
The good professor taught English (one hopes better than he can employ it) and not History. The "wild" West wasn't, especially. From Eugene Hollon's Frontier Violence: Another Look:

In Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell, for the years from 1870 to 1885, there were only 45 total homicides.

Three homicides per year in five of the "wildest" cow towns in the old cattle drive days. Not three each, three total. Professor McGrath might be better advised to lay off the oaters and pick up a book.

81 posted on 04/22/2012 6:00:15 PM PDT by Billthedrill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Meet the New Boss
Interesting deflection on your part...

Your post said nothinf about the legal burden of proof.

You took the leap from 'there is no evidence that martin didn't jump zimmerman' to 'martin doubled-back and attacked'.

Exactly when did lack of evidence that something "didn't" happen come to equal proof that it did?

And, if that is the case in your world then how about this...

"There is no proof that Zimmerman didn't follow Martin and confront him, gun in hand - Martin fought to keep from being shot"...by your standard that is equally true.

It is noted that you ignored the fact that, by your own map, zimmerman could not have been walking directly to his car since the fight happened off that track.

82 posted on 04/22/2012 6:03:55 PM PDT by wtc911 (Amigo - you've been had.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 79 | View Replies]

To: wtc911

We have Zimmerman’s sworn statement that he was returning to his car. The prosecution has no evidence to contradict that.

That’s it. That’s all the evidence.

If you want to pretend that in reality he was NOT returning to his car, go ahead. There’s no evidence for that, but go ahead.

If you look at the map and consider the size of the homes that are nearby, this is a small area. Pretending that ten feet in one direction or the other is meaningful when two men are fighting out in an open area “proves” something is idiotic.


83 posted on 04/22/2012 6:11:59 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 82 | View Replies]

To: wtc911
And a couple of other points to demonstrate how incredibly weak the prosecution's case is, and that this is basically a political prosecution:

The prosecution never sought Zimmerman's medical records for his injuries. That fact came out in the bond hearing.

Think about that. The prosecution NEVER EVEN SOUGHT Zimmerman's medical records before bringing charges of second degree murder. And there were weeks that elapsed before charges were brought.

And this is the kind of b.s. that makes up the prosecution's case:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE [from the state attorney's office]: Did he also not state that at some point, he the defendant — did he not state or claim that the victim in this case, Mr. Martin, put both hands one over his mouth and one over his nose so that he couldn’t breathe?

GILBREATH: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And all of sudden that’s when he was able to get free and grab the gun. Or I’m sorry, Martin was grabbing for the gun, did he not claim that too at some point. climb that?

GILBREATH: Yes.

This is the kind of crap they are reduced to. That someone being smothered is ipso facto incapable of getting hold of his gun and firing it. Incredible.

This case is a travesty.

84 posted on 04/22/2012 6:21:46 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 82 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble

“I absolutely don’t think you should “have to flee”.”

“On the street, though, there are many, many chances to walk into or stay out of trouble...I don’t think CCW should embolden you to walk into trouble you could easily avoid.”

You’re talking out of both sides of your mouth. I don’t care if a person is armed or not, they have to right to be and if a bad guy wants trouble then so be it, he gets trouble.

You are also taking the liberal stance that somehow a person with a gun is a wacko looking for trouble.


85 posted on 04/22/2012 6:52:23 PM PDT by CodeToad (If it ain't Newt, we're screwt !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 72 | View Replies]

To: wtc911

It isn’t “proof that it did.” But the prosecution has to prove its case. If they don’t have evidence that confirms their assertions, then they can’t prove it. That means “not guilty” (not the same thing as “innocent”).

Remember the Casey Anthony case. She was likely guilty as sin, and the defense was able to posit a number of ridiculous theories as to what happened. The prosecution did not make their case; they didn’t have the evidence. So she walked.

Here, they’re asserting “facts” that there is zero evidence of. Good luck with that.


86 posted on 04/23/2012 4:26:29 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (If we had a President, he'd look like Newt.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 80 | View Replies]

To: Future Snake Eater

I am fully aware of the legal threshold...i have written often that z should not have been arrested based on what we know. My point is a simple one...because we do not know, we can not state as fact that martin turned and attacked. To many freepers this scenario, which is just one of many possibilities, is the indisputable truth.


87 posted on 04/23/2012 8:16:24 AM PDT by wtc911 (Amigo - you've been had.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 86 | View Replies]

To: wtc911
My point is a simple one...because we do not know, we can not state as fact that martin turned and attacked. To many freepers this scenario, which is just one of many possibilities, is the indisputable truth.

No, we have no idea who initiated contact. Zimmerman says it was Martin, and Martin is unable to testify. To my knowledge there are no witnesses to confirm or deny Z's testimony. That means the prosecution is screwed and this trial is politically-motivated B.S.

88 posted on 04/23/2012 9:11:40 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (If we had a President, he'd look like Newt.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 87 | View Replies]

To: Meet the New Boss
Sorry skip, you swear that z was returning directly to his car and then you post a map that shows the fight happening off that track (and by a lot more than ten feet). You can't have it both ways.
89 posted on 04/23/2012 12:27:13 PM PDT by wtc911 (Amigo - you've been had.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 83 | View Replies]

To: wtc911

I didn’t “swear” anything. You seem to be emoting instead of thinking.

We have Zimmerman’s sworn statement that he was returning to his car.

The prosecution has stated they do not have evidence to contradict that.

But rather than pay attention to what both sides are stating about the evidence, you are putting your fingers in your ears and saying “WAAAAAAAAH”.

Two men start fighting. According to you, they must necessarily confine their movements to the top sidewalk? Are you serious?

After Zimmerman finishes his phone call, he doesn’t know where Trayvon is. Trayvon comes from behind him as he is walking back to his car. Let’s say Trayvon comes from point E. (perfectly plausible and not inconsistent with the evidence we have). Let’s say he confronts Zimmerman around the T intersection of the sidewalks. An exchange of words happens - “You got a problem with me homes?” “No” “You do now” or whatever was said. Maybe Zimmerman backs up a few feet (towards witness John’s yard) as Trayvon appears highly agitated and aggressive. Then Trayvon slugs him, breaking his nose and Zimmerman falls to the ground again in the direction of witness John’s yard. Trayvon lunges at him, Zimmerman manages to move a few feet further away from, but Trayvon quickly manages to get on top of him. And there they are, in witness John’s yard. Zimmerman cries for help, John goes out, sees Zimmerman on the bottom getting pummeled by Trayvon and yells “stop” and then goes in to call 911.

That is perfectly consistent with everything known about the case and consistent with the evidence that Zimmerman was heading back to his car when the confrontation occurred.

But no, you know better.

And you never explain why Trayvon was not already home, if he did not double back to confront Zimmerman.

You can see the house where he was staying. It’s not far. If he was indeed walking directly home, he would have been there before Zimmerman was even finished talking with the police dispatcher.

You can’t dispute that, the physical geography is plain to see. But the evidence appears not that important to you as you form your feelings about the case.


90 posted on 04/23/2012 1:13:33 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 89 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
Yes. Got it.

"Professor" McGrath is in favour of thugs raping women, killing men, robbing little children, and doing every other form of felonious misconduct, with impunity.

91 posted on 04/23/2012 1:15:31 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Meet the New Boss
You write an awful lot but say nothing. Let's go back to my original question...

How is the lack of proof that something "didn't" happen proof to you that it did?

Do your best...

92 posted on 04/23/2012 1:50:33 PM PDT by wtc911 (Amigo - you've been had.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 90 | View Replies]

To: wtc911

Rational people consider evidence.

If you have evidence not known to the prosecution and not known to the defense, please state it.


93 posted on 04/23/2012 2:12:04 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 92 | View Replies]

To: wtc911
Oh, btw...by your own map, z could not have been walking directly from point E to point C if he got jumped (as you say) at point F

The above are your words.

You dishonestly claimed I said he “got jumped” at point F. No, I did NOT say that.

Point F is where witness John saw Martin on top of Zimmerman beating him. It does not necessarily represent the point where they first spoke to each other or where Martin first struck Zimmerman.

The evidence, unchallenged, is that Zimmerman was heading back to his car when the confrontation occurred.

Was Zimmerman even walking directly on the cement as he was making his way back to his car? Maybe, maybe not. Was he walking quickly or slowly? Who knows? Was he was walking slowly and partially on the grass, peering around walls and shrubs to see if he saw anyone or saw signs of break-in as he made his way back to his car? Maybe. Or maybe not.

Your conclusion that Zimmerman “could not have been walking directly from point E to point C” if the two men were seen by witness John at point F is something you have simply pulled out of your butt.

You have concluded that in the course of the exchange of words and the physical assault that followed, that it was somehow not physically possible for the men to move off of the top sidewalk and into witness John’s yard.

What, was the sidewalk newly-poured cement, with their feet physically stuck in the cement? Is that your claim?

You offer nothing but b.s. You dispute the notion that Zimmerman was making his way back to his car, which is the only scenario for which we have evidence and which as to which the prosecution concedes there is no evidence to challenge this. And that is taking into account all of the witness statements, all of the physical evidence, analysis of the taped calls, everything they have.

And you offer what? Nothing.

And yet at the same time, you have concluded that it is NOT POSSIBLE for the confrontation to have started at some point on Zimmerman’s path back toward his car and yet for the two men to end up on the ground in witness John’s yard.

And how do you support your conclusion that this was not possible? With nothing.

94 posted on 04/23/2012 3:06:32 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 92 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

A guy in Salt Luke City stood his ground and stopped a knife welding lunatic.


95 posted on 04/28/2012 3:17:13 PM PDT by Pasadena2k
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-95 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Smoky Backroom
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson