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No. I think that, from everything that I know about the case, manslaughter would be a minimum charge that could be applied to Zimmerman. If the prosecutors have evidence to warrant a second degree murder charge, which assume they have enough, then I have no problem with the charge.

In your previous post, you said that manslaughter is the charge most applicable to Zimmerman. Do you still believe that?

If so, do you support the practice of the prosecution approaching a case where manslaughter is the most applicable charge, by filing a more serious charge and letting the jury sort it out?

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Russ, I disagree in the strongest terms that a broken nose and bleeding head wound (which required stitches) do not constitute great bodily harm. I can't imagine what your threshold is. I can't imagine how you'd think that someone bleeding from both sides of his head, pinned down with no means of escape, could actually have his self-defense case undermined by the assertion that the violent attacker who voiced intent to kill tried to grab his gun. This, at least as it is presented, certainly is justifiable homicide to prevent the continuation of an act of felony assault.

I think we need to revisit the notion of "ordinary caution" as it applies to manslaughter. You denied that "culpable negligence" was a necessary condition of manslaughter... Yet you seem to rely on that very same concept when you claim that Zimmerman's otherwise lawful activities were "unreasonable" because they (presumably) triggered Martin's violent assault. Except, when you invoke Zimmerman's alleged lack of reason, you don't seem to like the pesky and severe threshold of culpable negligence as described in the jury instruction document to which I linked. So, if not from the "culpable negligence" definition of manslaughter, where do you get the idea that being unreasonable is a crime?

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In your previous post, you said that manslaughter is the charge most applicable to Zimmerman. Do you still believe that?

If so, do you support the practice of the prosecution approaching a case where manslaughter is the most applicable charge, by filing a more serious charge and letting the jury sort it out?

Maybe my statement wasn't clear. Yes, I do think that manslaughter is most applicable to Zimmerman, hence:

"I think that, from everything that I know about the case, manslaughter would be a minimum charge that could be applied to Zimmerman." Additionally, I also support the charge of second degree murder if the evidence available to the prosecution warrants it: "If the prosecutors have evidence to warrant a second degree murder charge, which assume they have enough, then I have no problem with the charge."

Edited by RussK

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Maybe my statement wasn't clear. Yes, I do think that manslaughter is most applicable to Zimmerman, hence:

"I think that, from everything that I know about the case, manslaughter would be a minimum charge that could be applied to Zimmerman." Additionally, I also support the charge of second degree murder if the evidence available to the prosecution warrants it: "If the prosecutors have evidence to warrant a second degree murder charge, which assume they have enough, then I have no problem with the charge."

If there's evidence that it was murder, why is manslaughter the most applicable charge?

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Things are looking up for Zimmerman.

A superior court disqualified the judge, for setting his bail at $1 million and deriding him over failing to disclose a defense fund he gathered from donations.

http://news.yahoo.co...ies.html?_esi=1

The new judge also allowed the defense team to investigate potential violence in Martin's past, to gain access to evidence in possession of the Martin family's lawyer, and admitted testimony from Police personnel regarding several meetings in which investigators into the case reached a consensus that Zimmerman should not be charged with a crime.

I'm pretty sure this will be the first case in history where the investigative team as a whole is going to go on record on behalf of the defense.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/19/george-zimmerman-defense-trayvon-martin-records_n_1989792.html?utm_hp_ref=crime&ir=Crime

Edited by Nicky

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The Zimmerman prosecution is collapsing almost as quickly as Rice's prospects as Secretary of State. Give Zimmerman the job and make everybody happy.

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You haven't entertained the first one either. How exactly is he neglecting the dispatch? Here's the conversation, after you conveniently cut it off. Note how, during his supposed "pursuit", he manages not only to fool the dispatcher into thinking he stopped following Martin, but even gives his phone number and sets up a date with the cops. Helluva guy, to pursue a six foot +, athletic 17 yo. suspected criminal, while having a calm phone conversation with the Police and convincing them he stopped:

 

I think it is important to recognize that a 911 dispatcher is not "the Police." Whether or not Zimmerman stopped following or did not is not relevant as he is not legally obligated to comply. Though, it does support the idea that he did not follow him, which the Trayvon supporters keep pushing that that is initiating force.

 

This case is clear-cut self-defense and I don't see how any member of the jury can objectively convict him beyond a responsible doubt. The prosecution's case is very weak at best.

 

The tragedy is that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman, not that Zimmerman killed him. And I think it is a great injustice that the opposite is being perpetrated.

Edited by thenelli01

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I think if it weren't for current the cutural  understanding as concerns race, this post would not be.

 

This doesn't make sense. I presume you mean to say cultural and perhaps you can actually explain and support your statements instead of speaking in clichés.

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Maybe my statement wasn't clear. Yes, I do think that manslaughter is most applicable to Zimmerman, hence:

"I think that, from everything that I know about the case, manslaughter would be a minimum charge that could be applied to Zimmerman." Additionally, I also support the charge of second degree murder if the evidence available to the prosecution warrants it: "If the prosecutors have evidence to warrant a second degree murder charge, which assume they have enough, then I have no problem with the charge."

 

So then, logically, if someone were to meet YOU in a dark alley and give you a Picasso makeover, you'd have to respectfully wait for the authorities- or go directly to jail.  Right?

No, wait; I'm sorry.  That's a gross distortion. . . I mean, the man was walking around a bad neighborhood in the dead of night.

 

And girls shouldn't wear provocative clothing to parties because that's just asking for it.  Or did I miss something?

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I don't actually think we disagree with the spirit of ordinary caution as it is applied to excusable homicide, etc..., but I don't think that Zimmerman used ordinary caution, and the person affected was Martin.

 Yep.

 

So if a woman gets raped while walking down a dark alley- well, she should've known better.

If there's someone in your house, struggling to get your television out the door- just be thankful they aren't violating your rights! 

If someone pins you down and starts turning your brain into a useless puddle- just pray the cops arrive before he can kill you!  And who needs a brain, anyway, when you've got the right to break-and-enter with impunity?

 

Manslaughter is for accidents, which this was NOT.  Don't sugarcoat it by advocating a less-severe injustice; this trial is WRONG!

 

If George Zimmerman was not within his rights to KILL him OUTRIGHT, then he has no rights at all.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold

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This doesn't make sense. I presume you mean to say cultural and perhaps you can actually explain and support your statements instead of speaking in clichés.

Um yeah, sometimes I should read and not post.

 

Basically I doubt this case would receive the coverage it has, if Trevon was white. It was a local story until Sharpton and his ilk began his involvement and media attention. The attention is purely political.

 

None of the evidence so far public, seems to me to indicate that the authorities acted incorrectly the night of the incident and assessing the situation as one of self defense.

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....media attention. The attention is purely political.

 

The media attention is (so far) the most remarkable thing about this case since it has been so incredibly biased against one man--George Zimmerman. Since failure to pronounce moral judgment is tantamount to acquiescence and complicity, here goes.

 

A vast number of reporters demonstrated a complete lack of professionalism by pronouncing immediate judgment. The President of the US demonstrated prejudice with his pronouncements made prior to the publication of important evidence. With the evidence that has been released to this point it is possible to say that Treyvon Martin got what he deserved.

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I would not say that there is evidence to prove definitively that Martin "got what he deserved." I think, given that he was engaged in no criminal activity until/unless he assaulted Zimmerman, that it is unfortunate that the fatal encounter ever took place.

 

I do agree that unless there is evidence that I have not yet seen, there is no way the prosecution can prove that Zimmerman initiated force. Even if he did follow Martin after being asked to stop, which has not been proven and which is contradicted by some circumstantial evidence (mentioned earlier in the thread and here: http://www.wagist.com/2012/dan-linehan/evidence-that-trayvon-martin-doubled-back ).

 

The moral question is who initiated physical force. Zimmerman following Martin is not initiation of force. Martin yelling at Zimmerman is not initiation of force. To my knowledge, there is no evidence to prove definitively either way who initiated force, but we do know that Zimmerman sustained significant injuries, that he claims Martin initiated force, and that at least one eyewitness puts Zimmerman on the bottom screaming for help.

 

The correctly legal conclusion is obvious (unless, of course, the prosecution has some evidence I don't know about). There is no evidence proving that Zimmerman initiated force. There is evidence that there was a physical conflict in which Zimmerman sustained injuries. And, of course, Zimmerman claims that Martin tried to take his holstered firearm. This evidence is insufficient to convict Zimmerman for any crime (this evidence, as far as I can tell, would also not be enough to convict Martin for a crime had he lived). Even the manslaughter argument that he acted with disregard for Martin's life falls apart when you realize that the only action by Zimmerman that can be proven is: He called the police to report suspicious behavior and, at least briefly, followed the suspect. Later, he engaged in a physical fight with this teenager. In the midst of this battle, he shot and killed his antagonist. Now, following someone may not be the best idea, but it is NOT acting with disregard for that person's safety. If he was disregarding anyone's safety by doing that, it was his own. The only way following Martin is acting with disregard for Martin's safety is if he was following him with intent to attack or to pull his gun on him, which cannot be proven.

 

Unless there is evidence I do not know about, George Zimmerman must be acquitted.

 

Back to my first line. I don't think we can say for sure whether Martin acted immorally, just as we can't prove whether Zimmerman did. True, if we believe Zimmerman's account, Martin initiated force and therefore acted immorally and maybe even "got what he deserved," but personally, I'm not taking anything on Zimmerman's word. It is possible, given the evidence we have (unless there is an eyewitness or something else that I don't know of), that Zimmerman initiated force which then escalated into him feeling the need to shoot Martin.

 

Some have claimed that Martin started physical force, but only after being berated by Zimmerman. In this case, Martin would still be the immoral party, but Zimmerman would arguably also be immoral in the sense that he acted in a way indicating that he did not value his own life (provoking a younger, stronger stranger in the dark) or Martin's life (provoking someone into a physical fight knowing that, since he was armed, any physical conflict could easily become fatal) (value here meaning in the sense that one should value the lives of all innocent human beings to an extent).

 

Basically: There is not enough evidence for me to be willing to say that Treyvon Martin acted immorally or "got what he deserved", and the same goes for George Zimmerman. I do, however, agree that many journalists and commentators, including President Obama, acted immorally and unjustly by persecuting Zimmerman in disregard of the facts of the case, according to which it is unlikely that he is guilty of a crime and certainly cannot be convicted of one in a court of law.

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As Breitbart is reporting, CNN broadcast Zimmerman's phone, address, and SSN. Of course this is not the first time, as Spike Lee tweeted what he thought was Z's address, but turned out to be someone else, of course wanting him to be killed. Rosanne Barr also tweeted his parent's address and threatened to "go over there" whatever that means.

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I would not say that there is evidence to prove definitively that Martin "got what he deserved."....The moral question is who initiated physical force. Zimmerman following Martin is not initiation of force. Martin yelling at Zimmerman is not initiation of force. To my knowledge, there is no evidence to prove definitively either way who initiated force, but we do know that Zimmerman sustained significant injuries, that he claims Martin initiated force, and that at least one eyewitness puts Zimmerman on the bottom screaming for help.

 

There is no justification whatever for banging someone's head into the ground causing lacerations. Those lacerations are physical evidence of wrongdoing. If someone did that to me, I would kill them without the slightest compunction or feeling of remorse. They would deserve it, just as Trayvon Martin deserved to die. Good riddance to a worthless scum.

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There is no justification whatever for banging someone's head into the ground causing lacerations. Those lacerations are physical evidence of wrongdoing. If someone did that to me, I would kill them without the slightest compunction or feeling of remorse. They would deserve it, just as Trayvon Martin deserved to die. Good riddance to a worthless scum.

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So if others in the neighborhood responded to the cries for help, whether it was GZ or TM calling out, and stopped the altercation by restraining the apparent aggressor, it would have been acceptable for the victim of the aggression to end the life of the aggressor on the spot? This is an example of a rational, moral act ?

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There is no justification whatever for banging someone's head into the ground causing lacerations. Those lacerations are physical evidence of wrongdoing. If someone did that to me, I would kill them without the slightest compunction or feeling of remorse. They would deserve it, just as Trayvon Martin deserved to die. Good riddance to a worthless scum.

 

I don't think that in itself comprises physical evidence of wrongdoing. It proves that there was a physical fight that Martin was winning until Zimmerman shot him.

 

Let me draw you a scenario where there IS a justification for banging someone's head into the ground. If Zimmerman pulled his gun on Martin and expressed intent to kill. Then it would have been moral for Martin to do anything necessary to neutralize the threat.

 

Granted, there is no evidence that this happened at all, and the only living witness of the beginning of the confrontation flatly denies it. And there is circumstantial evidence suggesting that Martin initiated force. I think it is likely that Martin is guilty of wrongdoing and that Zimmerman was justified in killing him. However, I do not agree with your stance that there is no possible justification for banging someone's head into the ground. And for that reason I would be hesitant to say with certainty that Martin deserved to die.

 

I will go so far as to say that if Zimmerman's description of the events is accurate, Martin relinquished his right to life by initiating and using potentially deadly force and therefore deserved whatever Zimmerman had to do in order to save his own life, up to and including the fatal shooting that actually occurred.

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An eyewitness who is not Zimmerman would probably be enough to prove it (assuming of course that there is no reason to assume that the witness is lying, etc). As far as I know, the closest to such a witness that exists is a neighbor who saw Martin on top of Zimmerman and Zimmerman calling for help. This certainly is evidence that they fought and that Martin was winning until Zimmerman shot him, and it certainly suggests that Martin started the fight, but it is not conclusive since (if I am correct about this) the witness did not see the beginning of the fight. As far as I know, there is no such eyewitness, but I am willing to change my perspective if there is one that I do not know about.

 

I do, again, want to qualify my statements by saying that I think it is far more likely that Martin initiated force based on circumstantial evidence (what I posted earlier suggesting that Martin doubled back, 911 tapes suggesting Zimmerman planned to wait for the police to arrive, Zimmerman's significant injuries compared to relatively few aside from the gunshot on Martin). And that I think Zimmerman cannot be rightly convicted of a crime. I'm only talking about this to ensure that everyone is being careful not to make any statements of certainty where there is insufficient evidence.

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I think you make a great point-- the degree of certainty, which I spoke, is a bit unfair. I think it was more of an emotional response to the fact that the evidence points to one direction (Martin initiated the force), but the majority of the media and opinion are pointing to a direction that has no evidence (Zimmerman initiated the force). But I agree, I should not be stating (or implying) that Trayvon definitely initiated the force.

Edited by thenelli01

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