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Membrain

Zimmerman cleared of all charges

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Looks like the Martin-Zimmerman case has just come to a close with a not guilty verdict on all charges. [EDIT: Removed some sensationalist angry bits.]

Article here.

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I've watched the trial stream since the first day. The verdict is sound and logical. I would have came to the exact same verdict.

Lets find another Hispanic white vs. black crime to sensationalize.

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Technician said:

I've watched the trial stream since the first day. The verdict is sound and logical. I would have came to the exact same verdict.

Lets find another Hispanic white vs. black crime to sensationalize.


My thoughts exactly. Although it's unfortunate someone had to die, he should've walked away instead of confronting Zimmerman.

If the legal system worked on public opinion like all these masses of people wanted it to, we would live in quite a different society.

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Mr. Freeze said:

that's what happens when you bring skittles to a gunfight


More like that's what happens when you try to take away a cop's gun, as Martin allegedly did(I don't know that we can be sure, but that's part of the defense testimony.)

3 things you never try to take from a cop: 1. his gun 2. his cruiser 3. his Bear Claw.

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I was scared that this case was going to be "To Kill a Mockingbird" with the roles reversed where the prosecution had no evidence beyond speculation and half truths to work with. But I'm glad that justice prevailed.

The deal was sealed when Trayvon got on top of him and started slamming his head against the cement. Delusional TM supporters don't understand how sensitive the back of the head is and my point is proven that just recently a child died from getting repeatedly punched and bashed at the back of the head by another child 2 years older, and put it into perspective that Trayvon had the body of a full grown man (I saw a photo of his lifeless body on a retarded liberal site with the phrase "GET MAD") who was involved in streetfighting. The headboy of one of the schools we played rugby against in 2007 also died in an injury related to concussion when he was hit on the head. I've been beatdown and mugged before and I think you really need to be on the recieving end of something like that to understand all the pain and frantic emotions you go through and the realization that your life is in danger. Add this with your attacker saying he's going to kill you and I would have shot as well.... or maybe I should have just waited for him to finish expressing his anger and decide when he's done beating my head into the concrete like a good tolerant rational boy. Fuck, go watch an MMA match and see what happens when a fighter gains full mount and starts swinging...

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I can only help but feel that the martin-zimmerman case is going to become a wad like the Chris Dorner thing.

Though I'm in no position to say, I'm not really buying that Martin tried going for Zimmerman's gun. I feel it's a scenario that can be easily used to cover his (Zimmer's) ass. I still think Zimmerman was trying to be neighborhood badass.

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Good, now I'll hopefully stop seeing and hearing headlines about a man who killed a "black teenager" for a while.

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I don't buy the testimony that Zimmerman gave. It directly contradicts the testimony given by other witnesses and the physical evidence. He had some marks on him, and there is no reason to believe that he had not been involved in a scuffle. However, there's no way to know if he had approached Martin first or if he had, indeed, tried to avoid confrontation by staying in his car. For that matter, nobody else other than Zimmerman seems to remember hearing any exchange between the two other than someone yelling "Help!" The threats on his life and attempts to take the gun feel tacked-on. (Again, I can't bring myself to buy this.) The whole case reeks of poor operating by authorities and badgering of witnesses to get the "right" evidence.

Also, does is -really- matter that this was a black/white crime? Seriously, the people who are ignoring the problems inherent to this case because of race are just as bad as the people exploiting it. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel that Zimmerman is guilty of murder or even, necessarily, that he was profiling Martin based on race. However, the fact that he had a firearm and used it on someone who was unarmed is at least suspect. I am curious as to why the manslaughter charge was dropped, based on that.

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Membrain said:

However, the fact that he had a firearm and used it on someone who was unarmed is at least suspect. I am curious as to why the manslaughter charge was dropped, based on that.

Evidence suggests Tray punched Zimmerman. This is why the manslaughter charge was dropped. The prosecution had no evidence that Zimmerman made the first blow.

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Yes, I've seen that as well as this: Link

I'm not attempting to deny that Martin did strike and injure Zimmerman. It's very possible, were he still alive rather than shot dead, he might have even been charged for the assault. However, there's no way to know that he was even the aggressor, if he'd threatened Zimmerman, or if he'd gone for his gun. Again, I don't support the idea that Zimmerman went out looking for blood. I do, however, have an issue with the idea that he would have to throw the first punch to be considered liable for killing someone.

I suppose the most pertinent part of this is that my opinion lies with the law, not necessarily the conduct of either party. It's possible that Martin may have been able to kill Zimmerman and may have thrown the first punch, even. But the fact remains that he ended up dead, with any number of possible scenarios playing out beforehand. Obviously, the jury thought that it was too ambiguous to charge him with anything, and thus the case is closed, but it does leave some food for thought.

It seems to me that the biggest issue is that there was nothing to ensure that the power Zimmerman held as neighborhood watch was kept in check. If he'd been required to keep a camera with him to record criminal activity (A requirement I only just thought up, so forgive any lapses in coverage.) this would have gone a lot differently. As it is, he was almost entirely alone, in the dark, with no records of what happened beyond his testimony and that of scattered witnesses.

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Membrain said:

Also, does is -really- matter that this was a black/white crime?

Yes, it does.
If the prosecution had lessened the charges, worked the stalking angle and put Zimmerman's actions into question, they might have gotten a fair conviction. Instead, the sensationalist media pushed it into becoming a "hate crime" case and Zimmerman walked free.

The shitty "stand your ground" law didn't help, because all you need to do to murder someone legally is lose a fight. Personally, I'm all for this:

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Stand-your-ground laws (Morrowind-style justice) are an intriguing idea. Maybe they can weed out people dumb enough to throw the first punch in public. I would amend it so the attackee can take the stuff of the person they kill just to see what happens (Morrowind-style NPC trolling, perhaps?). Would this plunge a city into chaos? Would doing that make for good TV?

If Zimmerman lived in a gated community he deserved whatever trouble he found, though. Only bastards live in gated communities.

But seriously, it looks like the jury got it right based on what they were given.

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Bucket said:

Personally, I'm all for this:

(video)


We Floridians would probably be much better off anyways!

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Membrain said:

I'm not attempting to deny that Martin did strike and injure Zimmerman. It's very possible, were he still alive rather than shot dead, he might have even been charged for the assault. However, there's no way to know that he was even the aggressor, if he'd threatened Zimmerman, or if he'd gone for his gun.

A man is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Western judicial system is willing to let a guilty man go than lock an innocent man up. There was certainly reasonable doubt on Zimmerman's side.

Again, I don't support the idea that Zimmerman went out looking for blood. I do, however, have an issue with the idea that he would have to throw the first punch to be considered liable for killing someone.

Because then he would have instigated the situation. If someone punches me and smashes my head into the ground, I will justifiably kill the prick. I'm not letting my brains leak onto the cement.

The fact of the matter is, you can't prove that Zim even pulled the gun out on Tray, that's the issue. If Zim confronted Tray, and Tray met said confrontation with physical violence, you can defend yourself without prejudiced.

I suppose the most pertinent part of this is that my opinion lies with the law, not necessarily the conduct of either party. It's possible that Martin may have been able to kill Zimmerman and may have thrown the first punch, even. But the fact remains that he ended up dead, with any number of possible scenarios playing out beforehand.

Jesus Christ, what a mess.

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Technician said:

Because then he would have instigated the situation.

He did instigate the situation by following and chasing Treyvon in spite of police telling him not to.

Technician said:

If someone punches me and smashes my head into the ground, I will justifiably kill the prick. I'm not letting my brains leak onto the cement.

No, you wouldn't be justified to kill that person, you would be justified to fight back, or try to run away. You're an psycho idiot if you think that getting your stupid ass beat up is justification for homicide.

Technician said:

The fact of the matter is, you can't prove that Zim even pulled the gun out on Tray, that's the issue. If Zim confronted Tray, and Tray met said confrontation with physical violence, you can defend yourself without prejudiced.

So how would you (who already profess to find yourself justified to kill people if they beat you up) react if some asshole starts chasing you down when you go to buy skittles? Obviously Zimmerman is allowed to defend himself from his victim, but the victim isn't allowed to defend himself?

Caffeine freak: Zimmerman is not a cop.

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kristus said:

Caffeine freak: Zimmerman is not a cop.


Heh, I keep forgetting Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch leader, and not a cop. Usually cases that attract this type of media attention and involve an authority figure shooting an unarmed suspect involve a cop.

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kristus said:

No, you wouldn't be justified to kill that person, you would be justified to fight back, or try to run away. You're an psycho idiot if you think that getting your stupid ass beat up is justification for homicide.


You're justified in hitting him back until he stops. If that kills him then so be it. Fighting badly should not be a crime, nor should shooting somebody if they attack you, especially if you can't fight.

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It's hard not to feel race still plays a big part in how these trials shake out:

(CBS News) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida woman who fired warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville had said the state's "Stand Your Ground" law should apply to her because she was defending herself against her allegedly abusive husband when she fired warning shots inside her home in August 2010. She told police it was to escape a brutal beating by her husband, against whom she had already taken out a protective order.

CBS Affiliate WETV reports that Circuit Court Judge James Daniel handed down the sentence Friday.

Under Florida's mandatory minimum sentencing requirements Alexander could not receive a lesser sentence, even though she has never been in trouble with the law before. Judge Daniel said the law did not allow for extenuating or mitigating circumstances to reduce the sentence below the 20-year minimum.

"I really was crying in there," Marissa's 11-year-old daughter told WETV. "I didn't want to cry in court, but I just really feel hurt. I don't think this should have been happening."

Alexander was convicted of attempted murder after she rejected a plea deal for a three-year prison sentence. She said she did not believe she did anything wrong.
She was recently denied a new trial after appealing to the judge to reconsider her case based on Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. The law states that the victim of a crime does not have to attempt to run for safety and can immediately retaliate in self-defense.

Alexander's attorney said she was clearly defending herself and should not have to spend the next two decades behind bars.

Alexander's case has drawn support from domestic abuse advocates - and comparison to the case of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who has claimed a "Stand Your Ground" defense in his fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.


Today a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder. While the decision was ultimately based on self-defense, it is widely argued that Florida’s stand your ground statute, which was initially considered by the defense, and which Zimmerman previously studied in a criminal litigation course despite claims to the contrary, was at play. The statute allows people to use proportionate force in the face of an attack without first trying to retreat or escape. More than 20 other states have such laws.

At MetroTrends, John Roman and Mitchell Downey report their analysis of 4,650 FBI records of homicides in which a person killed a stranger with a handgun. They conclude that stand your ground “tilts the odds in favor of the shooter.” In SYG states, 13.6% of homicides were ruled justifiable; in non-SYG states, only 7.2% were deemed such. This is strong evidence that rulings of justifiable homicide are more likely under stand your ground.

But which homicides?

Ones similar to the one decided in favor of George Zimmerman today. A finding of “justifiable homicide” is much more common in the case of a white-on-black killing than any other kind including a white and a black person. At PBS’s request, Roman compared the likelihood of a favorable finding for the defendant in SYG and non SYG cases, consider the races of the people involved. The data is clear, compared to white-on-white crimes, stand your ground increases the likelihood of a not-guilty finding, but only when a person is accused of killing a black person.

Notice, however, that white people who kill black people are far more likely to be found not-guilty even in states without SYG and black people who kill whites are less likely to be found not-guilty regardless of state law.

It’s simple: We are already biased in favor of the white defendant and against the black victim. Stand your ground laws give jurors more leeway to give defendants the benefit of the doubt. This increase even further the chances that a white-on-black homicide will be considered justifiable because jurors will likely give that benefit of the doubt to certain kinds of defendants and not others. Stand your ground may or may not be a good law in theory but, in practice, it increases racial bias in legal outcomes.

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2013/07/13/stand-your-ground-laws-increases-racial-bias-in-justifiable-homicide-trials/

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I literally just watched that on my local news station.

Jacksonville is also known to the underground as "Satan's asshole", and I think that's fitting considering the crime around here.

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This is the wealthy using race politics, shining the sewer stream media spotlight on a murder like a sitcom or football game. It's divide and conquer propaganda to get races to infight, and to distract from the real inequality of the rich vs. the poor.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K1DDPaWxc8

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I know I've said this before, but I would feel threatened and defensive if someone were stalking me in the middle of the night, harassing me, and refusing to let me go on my way. Maybe Trayvon did throw the first punch, but I can't really say I blame him for that. Maybe it wasn't the smartest move, but it's at least understandable. What I can't understand is why Zimmerman confronted him in the first place. He would not have had to worry about Trayvon if he had just stayed in the damn car like he was told.

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kristus said:

He did instigate the situation by following and chasing Treyvon in spite of police telling him not to.

You say "chasing" as if it's fact, Zimmerman got out of his car yes but he was returning to it when Trayvon turned around and engaged him with a sucker punch. Even then getting out the car and even following someone doesn't give them the right to kill you, and Martin probably would have killed Zimmerman. I always thought it was the person that swings the first punch that "instigated" but then again what do I know, I'm a craaaaazy right winger weapon lobyist conspiracy theorist who got indoctrinated by Apartheid twice.

Oh and that operator advised him, it wasn't an order.

@Membrain not all the eyewitness accounts conflicted with Zimmerman's, unless you're talking about that creepy ass Haitian zombie. The evidence fits his testimony to the "T" from what I've seen.

gggmork said:

This is the wealthy using race politics, shining the sewer stream media spotlight on a murder like a sitcom or football game. It's divide and conquer propaganda to get races to infight, and to distract from the real inequality of the rich vs. the poor.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K1DDPaWxc8

+1

Okay now can we focus on Syria? Or maybe we can wait until the next white man is forced to stand his ground in the outbreak of violence that the media's covering up?

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While there are possibilities of an appeal or review, this shows a State that puts private property over life, around a type of community that more or less represents that arrangement and pulls us back toward the Middle Ages.

It's like a mini-story of the US invading Iraq over hypotheticals and then walking out like nothing happened.

It also arguably shows "guns kill" is a valid idea. Zimmerman, who wasn't after Martin because anybody forced him but because he's a vigilante fool, used his gun because, if he were to lose it in the supposed fight, Martin could have used it against him. That is, the gun increases the odds over life.

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DeathevokatioN said:

You say "chasing" as if it's fact, Zimmerman got out of his car yes but he was returning to it when Trayvon turned around and engaged him with a sucker punch. Even then getting out the car and even following someone doesn't give them the right to kill you, and Martin probably would have killed Zimmerman. I always thought it was the person that swings the first punch that "instigated" but then again what do I know, I'm a craaaaazy right winger weapon lobyist conspiracy theorist who got indoctrinated by Apartheid twice.


The problem is that Zimmerman says he was approached and accosted by Martin before leaving his vehicle. He said he'd rolled up his windows to avoid a confrontation. He then says he left the vehicle to check his location, despite being in familiar territory. When questioned about that, his defense was that he takes ADHD pills and has a poor memory. That doesn't mean he was chasing him, but that's a spotty defense and doesn't answer the question of why he was going the "same direction" as someone he expected might be up to no good.

And where are you getting this idea that Martin "probably" would have killed him? I mentioned this before, but we know nothing of the situation except that one person was injured and one was killed. It's no less probable that Zimmerman attempted to restrain Martin and was injured in an ensuing struggle. Without any evidence one way or the other, the only thing we can be certain of beyond reasonable doubt is that Zimmerman was injured and Martin was killed. This is just setting a precedent that using deadly force when involved in a scuffle is justified, when it most certainly should not be.

Just to clarify, I believe that Zimmerman panicked and did not intend to kill anyone. However, he is still liable for the life he took and should be held accountable for those actions that led to the killing. Calling for years of jail and harsher punishments won't solve anything, but neither will a lack of any expectation of responsibility.

DeathevokatioN said:

Oh and that operator advised him, it wasn't an order.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=229815647128698

@Membrain not all the eyewitness accounts conflicted with Zimmerman's, unless you're talking about that creepy ass Haitian zombie. The evidence fits his testimony to the "T" from what I've seen.


They had similarities, but none of them detailed the most pertinent part of the altercation, notably what Zimmerman and Martin were doing before they were fighting. Everyone is throwing around ideas of what happened, but several accounts were given under duress and they often conflict with one another. One of them was a kid who was pressured into giving colors of a shirt when there's no way he could have been able to make them out in the dark.

Also, do you just get off on being racist or what? That video was disgusting, but what exactly does it have to do with this case? If I'm wrong, please enlighten me, but between that and "creepy Haitian zombie" I'm thinking that you've got an axe to grind. To be frank, except to racist assholes and sensationalist idiots, race has nothing to do with the problems with this case. This is all about reasonable expectation of safety, vigilante justice, and people not knowing how to use deadly weapons properly.

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I'm not a lawyer, nor a Florida citizen, and didn't watch the *whole* trial (though I did watch a lot of it).

But from my point of view, all the evidence that the prosecution was bringing forth was speculative; "this shows that person X MAY have done Y". If you're a prosecutor in the U.S., your job is to prove something without doubt.

Even if Zimmerman really did seek out that confrontation with the intent of killing someone, the system worked because the prosecution failed at their job, and the jury was forced to acquit because we are innocent until proven guilty. This is one of our most important civil rights IMO.

The protesters are basically shaming the jury's decision (no one in this country was more informed about the case than those 6 women). The protesters are also suggesting the legal system should require burden of proof to be on the defendant, which is frightening to me, especially considering our steady decline of personal rights where all our communications are tapped / have the potential to be tapped and can and will be used against us.

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I do agree that yes, Zimmerman was found not guilty, and whatever your personal stance, that's just how the legal system works. I don't support the people who reject the outcome of the trial - whatever he may or may not have done, the outcome was fairly determined by a jury of his peers, and I think it's dangerous thinking to want to demand a retrial or whatever.

Though yeah, personally, I think there were bad decisions made on the part of both parties in this case, and someone lost their life because of it.

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