Skip to comments.Prosecutors Face Hurdles in Zimmerman Case
Posted on 04/12/2012 5:14:55 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
After an extraordinary public campaign to make an arrest in the shooting of an unarmed black teen, a Florida prosecutor came back with a murder charge in the case that has galvanized the nation for weeks.
But prosecutors face steep hurdles to win a second-degree murder conviction against neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, experts say. They will have to prove Zimmerman intentionally went after Martin instead of shooting him in self-defense, refute arguments that a Florida law empowered him to use deadly force and get past a judge's ruling at a pretrial hearing.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...
Florida manslaughter law. Florida Involuntary Manslaughter Laws
Overview of Florida Involuntary Manslaughter Laws
When a homicide, the killing of a human being, does not meet the legal definition of murder, Florida state laws allow a prosecutor to consider a manslaughter charge. The state establishes two types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. While voluntary manslaughter describes an intentional act performed during a provocation or heat of passion, involuntary manslaughter does not require an intent to kill or even an intent to perform that act resulting in the victim’s death.
To establish involuntary manslaughter, the prosecutor must show that the defendant acted with “culpable negligence.” Florida statutes define culpable negligence as a disregard for human life while engaging in wanton or reckless behavior. The state may be able to prove involuntary manslaughter by showing the defendant’s recklessness or lack of care when handling a dangerous instrument or weapon, or while engaging in a range of other activities that could lead to death if performed recklessly.
Example: If the defendant handles a loaded gun without any knowledge of whether the gun is loaded, and he later discharges the gun into a group of people, the defendant’s actions likely meet the recklessness requirement for a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Florida state laws also establish involuntary manslaughter if the prosecutor shows that the defendant used excessive force during self-defense or the defense of another person. The prosecution and defense can look at the facts and circumstances of the killing to determine whether the defendant reasonably believed that self-defense was necessary; if not necessary, the state might proceed with an involuntary manslaughter charge.
Defenses to Involuntary Manslaughter Charges
Justifiable use of deadly force to defend against a felony committed against a person or property
Excusable homicide committed by accident — for this defense in an involuntary manslaughter case, the defendant must show that she acted without recklessness qualifying as culpable negligence
Penalties and Sentences
Florida state laws establish manslaughter as a second degree felony, which may result in a term of imprisonment for up to fifteen years, a fine of an amount up to $10,000, or both. If the defendant committed aggravated manslaughter, such as manslaughter of a child or elderly person by culpable negligence, the state treats the offense as a first degree felony, which increases the potential term of imprisonment to a maximum of thirty years. Florida laws also require the state to consider the defendant’s criminal history and determine whether the defendant is a career criminal or habitual violent offender; if so, the state may be able to increase the defendant’s punishment.
Florida Involuntary Manslaughter Statute
Florida Statutes Sections 782.02-782.36
Well, hey; she has to safely exit left, too. She come out with anything else, she would never see the city limits.
Zimmerman should only plea to a ticket for improper parking.
You think i kid...but how many would go along? Worse...how many would try and stop him..? Too too few
I believe a deal has been worked out between the Martin family, the prosecutor and Z. Have you noticed that the mother has recently said, that what she really wanted was an arrest of Z... not that she was pushing for a guilty verdict regardless of guilt. They all know now what went down, and they all know the propensity of T pushing the envelope, testing out his growing taste for thuggish behavior in newly actualized adult, brutish body.
Z likely is remorseful, and wishes things had not gone down the way they did, but still, he is left with the proposition, that it was either himself or T that would die that night, and justifiable homicide is everybody's conclusion. T's family knows, they knew the path he was choosing, they knew if he didn't get back to the straight and narrow, he would either wind up dead or going to jail for killing someone, they knew.
Correct! This, from the article is wrong.
He followed the teenager despite being told not to by a police dispatcher and the two got into a struggle.
The dispatcher simply told him that following was not necessary because police were on their way. The dispatcher did not instruct him to stop following. Regardless, according to the 911 call, Zimmerman said "OK." and started back to his vehicle. On the way, Martin attacked him.
There is no way he should have been charged but he was because of the threat of mob violence. We will see more of this as the blacks are enjoying a taste of power through mob rule. Things will get hotter as we near the November election. Then Obama will declare martial law and suspend the election and stay in power until forcefully removed. I expect better from News Max.
“The fact that he was following Trayvon (at least for a time), does not necessarily show any intent to do violence.”
So true. We have shagged undesireables out of our neighborhood on numerous occasions. We always approach and ask them if we can help them and who are they looking for. If they seem too suspicious we tell them its time to leave and the cops are on the way. My fiancee’ has followed suspicious vehicles in his truck until they get the picture and leave the neighborhood. Thats not violence. Thats vigilance.
That may be why the prosecutor decided not to take it to a grand jury - to much risk that a grand jury would not find sufficient evidence to issue an indictment.
Isn't it interesting that Martin's autopsy still has never been released or even leaked? Any evidence of defensive wounds? Any evidence of drugs or alcohol?
I'm still betting that the toxicology test will show that Martin was high on marijuana and had gone on a munchies run.
Hard to have a pretrial without the accused present. Considering public sentiment, safest for him if he’s either in jail (for his own protection) or gone. Wandering in & out of the courthouse for a pre-arrest pretrial would get him killed (well, sooner than he will otherwise regardless of outcome).