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George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, And The Rules Of Evidence

George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin

With the start of the George Zimmerman murder trial in Florida just over three weeks away, the prosecution and defense are at the point where they are finalizing their respective trial strategies and getting ready for what is likely to be a criminal trial that is going to grab the nations attentions for the better part of the summer. Part of that includes pre-trial motions regarding the admissibility of evidence and related matters, in the legal world called Motions in Limine, and yesterday it was the defense teams turn to argue several evidentiary and other motions before the judge who will preside over the trial:

MIAMI — Lawyers for George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin, will be barred from mentioning Mr. Martin’s marijuana use, history of fights or high school suspension during opening arguments in Mr. Zimmerman’s trial, which begins June 10.

At a hearing Tuesday in a Seminole County court, Circuit Judge Debra Steinberg Nelson denied a string of defense motions concerning evidence that was intended to portray Mr. Martin as a troubled teenager with a propensity for fighting and an interest in guns. Prosecutors argued that such evidence had nothing to do with Mr. Martin’s death.

Mr. Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, was killed in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012, by Mr. Zimmerman, who said he shot him in self-defense.

Mark O’Mara, Mr. Zimmerman’s lawyer, argued that Mr. Martin’s drug use could have made him aggressive and paranoid, which the defense said might have prompted him to attack Mr. Zimmerman, 29, a neighborhood watch volunteer.

“All of that fits in squarely to what the defense is going to present: that George Zimmerman was put in the position that he had to act in self-defense,” Mr. O’Mara, said. “How could you keep us from arguing that?”

Judge Nelson replied: “The rules of evidence keep you from doing it.”

The judge left open the possibility that some of the information, including Facebook postings and text messages, may come up at trial, but she set a high hurdle for the defense. Mr. O’Mara called the decision a victory, saying that it would force prosecutors to be careful in how they portray Mr. Zimmerman.

“You get ready for whatever battle they may throw at you, with the hope that most of your weapons stay in your quiver,” Mr. O’Mara said at a news conference after the hearing.

Mr. O’Mara, as he has in the past, asked that Judge Nelson delay the trial because the defense is still taking depositions and reviewing material that was turned over by prosecutors only recently. That request was denied.

Judge Nelson denied a request that jurors be allowed to visit the gated townhouse complex where Mr. Martin was shot, calling it a “logistical nightmare.” Mr. O’Mara said he wanted jurors to get a feel for the shadowy path between two rows of townhouses where Mr. Martin was shot.

The judge also denied a request that defense lawyers and prosecutors be prevented from talking publicly about the case, and she refused to sequester the jury pool, which could number 500 people, during the selection process. Prosecutors said it would be too expensive and unwieldy to sequester that many people. The judge has not ruled on whether the jurors who are selected should be sequestered.

Defense lawyers and prosecutors both said they would agree to the jury being sequestered, given the trial’s high-profile nature.>

The Orlando Sentinel, which has been doing a fairly good job of covering this case from the start, has this to say about the hearing: (Warning: Link leads to a page with autoplay video)

SANFORD – At the start of George Zimmerman’s murder trial, which begins in two weeks, expect Trayvon Martin to be portrayed as an innocent teenager, an unarmed 17-year-old who was killed while walking home in the rain.

By the time it concludes, however, jurors may have a more menacing view of him.

In rat-a-tat fashion, Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson buzzed through a series of pretrial motions on Tuesday, laying the groundwork for what jurors will hear during the second-degree murder trial, expected to be one of the most watched this year.
For pur
One of the judge’s clearest rulings: Defense attorneys will not get more time to prepare. Jury selection will begin June 10, when 500 potential jurors are scheduled walk through the courthouse doors.

And, in general, she banned defense attorneys from introducing reputation-damaging evidence about Trayvon — but she left lots of wiggle room.

If defense attorneys can convince her during the course of the trial that it’s relevant, she may allow them to put on evidence showing that at the time of his death, Trayvon had marijuana in his system; that he had discipline problems at school; and that he had a history of fighting.

The ruling that seems to be arousing the most interest are those involving the evidence that Zimmerman’s defense team was seeking regarding issues that can best be described as character issues involving Trayvon Martin. Specifically, this includes evidence derived from Martin’s Twitter and Facebook feeds as well as the text messages sent and received via his cell phone during the months prior to the incident on February 26, 2012 that led to Martin’s death, as well as school records for Martin both from Sanford where he lived with his father and Miami, where for a time prior to the incident he lived with his mother. Among other things, these sources of information paint a picture of Martin that is far different from the one that his family has presented to the public in the year since he died. Martin was a young man with a not insignificant record of disciplinary problems in school, mostly resulting from fights that he was involved in. He tweeted several pictures of himself that appear to show him smoking marijuana as well as tweets where he talked about smoking marijuana. There is one exchange where he talks about being with friends while they beat up a homeless man. Other evidence that the defense sought a pre-trial ruling on included reports resulting from Martin’s autopsy that showed traces of THC, the active component in marijuana in his system. In short, the evidence that the defense wanted to introduce  paints a picture of a troubled young man with an apparent history of violent outbursts. Again, this is far different from the picture that his family and their attorney has sought to portray over the past 15 months since the story became the subject of public attention.

The question, though, is whether evidence like this should be admissible at trial.1

Perhaps the most important thing to understand about how trials work, especially criminal trials, is that not all “evidence”  is admissible evidence. Not every piece of  information that might somehow be tangentially relevant to a criminal case2 is admissible at trial. The classic example that most lay people are familiar with is hearsay evidence, which essentially refers to evidence of statements made outside of a courtroom setting that are, for one reason or another, not subject to cross-examination. There are literally dozens of exceptions to the hearsay rule that allow such statements to be admitted into evidence under the right circumstances, but the general rule is that if a party wishes to present evidence of something that someone who isn’t available to testify, for whatever reason, then that evidence is inadmissible unless an exception applies.

In the Zimmerman case, though, we’re dealing with the somewhat more complicated issue of character evidence. Quite obviously, Zimmerman’s hoped, and if given the opportunity during the trial still hope, to use evidence about Trayvon Martin’s past to establish that he was a violent person, thus reinforcing the defense theory of the case that Zimmerman was attacked by a young guy who he saw roaming around his neighborhood. To many lay people, including many people that I discussed this issue with on Twitter and Facebook yesterday evening, it seems self-evident that any evidence that shows that Trayvon Martin was a “thug” is relevant to Zimmerman’s defense and therefore ought to be something that the jury should be able to consider. As a general rule, evidence regarding the character of the victim, or the Defendant, is considered inadmissible unless it somehow becomes relevant to the actual facts at issue in the case. The most well-known example of this is the body of law that has determined, largely correctly, that the sexual history of a woman claiming that she was raped is inadmissible in a rape trial.

In reality, and under the law, it isn’t nearly that simple.

When a Judge is presiding over a jury trial, one of their most important roles is to ensure that the evidence that gets presented to the jury both provides them with the information that they need to decide the case before them and does not unfairly prejudice either the case of the defense or the prosecution. During the course of testimony this often involves ruling on what may seem like outside observers like rather boring objections on technical issues, but quite often they also involve ruling on the admissibility of evidence that could be potentially inflammatory.  For example, for a very long and unfortunate period of time it was a matter of course that the sexual history of women who were victims of rape was considered admissible evidence, and many men who were quite obviously guilty of violent rape walked away free largely because the law endorsed  a puritanical vision of female sexuality that essentially said that any woman who who had sex outside of marriage was a slut. It was only because of political action that the law in that area got changed.

Obviously, I am not trying to compare the Zimmeran/Martin matter to a rape trial. However, there is an applicable analogy here in that the fact that Martin may have had violence issues in the past is not necessarily proof of what happened on the night of February 26th, 2012. After all, even the worst criminal on the planet could theoretically become a victim under the right circumstances. Objectively, the only relevant issues in the Zimmerman case involve what happened that night. That is a question that can only be answered by the forensic evidence, the testimony of witnesses,  whatever pre-confrontation evidence Martin’s cell phone conversations may contain, and Zimmerman’s own testimony (and, yes, Zimmerman will have to testify at trial.) Of course, as the trial judge allowed in her ruling yesterday, there is still the possibility that the defense may be able to bring evidence of Trayvon Martin’s past into evidence during the trial. If the prosecution ends up bring into evidence, either deliberately or inadvertently, that Trayvon Martin was a peaceful guy who never would have attacked anyone without provocation, then the defense is going to be free to ask the trial judge to allow them to submit rebuttal evidence to the jury.  Depending upon how far the prosecution opened the door, the Judge is going to be stretching the bounds of reversible error if she forbids the defense from bringing in evidence of  Martin’s violent past.

In discussing the issues that these issues raise, I’ve been accused of being too “lawerly” and ignoring the reality of what happened in the Zimmerman/Martin confrontation on that February night in 2012. Perhaps that’s true on some level. However, my primary concern goes the idea that there needs to be a fair trial in this case, and that means not only that George Zimmerman will be permitted to make the best case his lawyers can in his defense. It also includes the idea that the trial itself will only be focusing upon evidence that is not merely relevant, but also not tainted with prejudice and bias.  As far as I’m concerned, the trial judge’s evidentiary rulings at this stage of the case seem entirely appropriate.

1 For purposes of the rest of this discussion, I will be speaking in terms of general principles of the laws of evidence, rather than anything specific to Florida, I welcome any insights in the comment thread  from Florida attorneys regarding the specific legal basis behind the Judge’s rulings.

2 The rules are, for the most part, identical in civil cases, but there are several situations where the protections granted to criminal defendants mandate far greater protections.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    (and, yes, Zimmerman will have to testify at trial.)

    Are you saying he will be compelled to testify or only that if he is to be acquitted he will need to get on the stand?

    I’ve been accused of being too “lawerly” and ignoring the reality of what happened in the Zimmerman/Martin confrontation on that February night in 2012.

    As a lawyer who blogs, I thought that was the appropriate role for you. I guess I should have thought you would want your hand on the rope as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  2. @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’m saying that as a practical matter it’s going to be impossible for Zimmerman’s defense team to put on a coherent self-defense case without putting him on the stand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  3. legion says:

    Perhaps the most important thing to understand about how trials work, especially criminal trials, is that not all “evidence” is admissible evidence.

    Right on, Doug. Unless there’s some conceivable reason Zimmerman could have known anything about Martin’s past or personality, it’s irrelevant to the case; mainly because it would have had no impact on Zimmerman’s decisions that night. To use Martin’s past to attack his character amounts to a “he had it coming” kind of defense; that even if the shooting wasn’t technically justified it was still ok because Martin somehow “deserved” it. Really no different from the “she was a slut” rape defense Doug mentioned.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

  4. Anderson says:

    That’s what I thought Doug meant (& I agree).

    Even relevant evidence can be excluded where it is “more prejudicial than probative.” So evidence of Martin’s conduct that might be tangentially relevant could still be excluded if the court decided it was more likely to prejudice the jury than to contribute to its verdict. The marijuana evidence almost certainly falls under that. The “thuggery” stuff is a closer call.

    (My view continues to be that Zimmerman was out looking for trouble, deliberately disregarding the 911 operator’s instruction to avoid an encounter, and he found it.)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  5. rudderpedals says:

    I’ve been accused of being too “lawerly”

    Then you’re hanging with a bad crowd of twitterers. Good article.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. @OzarkHillbilly:

    Since no one else actually witnessed the confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman, if the defense wants to claim Martin attacked Zimmerman, the only way to do that is for Zimmerman himself to testify to that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  7. Matt Bernius says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Great article on the ins and out of the trial process. And in many respects, I think you’re spot on about the parallels between this and a rape case.

    I’m saying that as a practical matter it’s going to be impossible for Zimmerman’s defense team to put on a coherent self-defense case without putting him on the stand.

    Well put — especially since he remains the only first hand witness to the entire altercation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  8. Stonetools says:

    Agree with the judge’s pre trial motions so far. None of this is directly relevant to how or why Zimmerman shot Martin. The evidence could come in, though, if one of the prosecution witnesses testifies about how innocent and peaceful Martin was. The prosecutor has to be careful about not opening the door.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. to ensure that the evidence that gets presented to the jury both provides them with the information that they need to decide the case before them and does not unfairly prejudice either the case of the defense or the prosecution.

    I know this case has taken on political dimensions, but when I heard the defense was trying to push for evidence of Martin smoking weed and posting stupid stuff on Facebook, it was obvious they were trying to “unfairly prejudice” the case.

    Prove that Martin was a dope-smoking thug prior to that night, you still have to prove he was a dope-smoking thug on the night in question.

    The judge made the right call. Zimmerman’s lawyers…..well, they’re doing the best they can with what they have. And apparently it ain’t much…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  10. Modulo Myself says:

    I’m guessing that the people who believe that Martin’s past matters do not think that Zimmerman’s past (a domestic violence charge and a cousin who claimed he molested her) are remotely important to figuring out what happened that night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  11. PD Shaw says:

    I’ve heard a local attorney explain that under Illinois law the defendant has to be available to testify if he claims self-defense. My impression was that this was a legal requirement stemming from the defendant’s assertion of affirmative matter beyond just “not guilty.”

    In any event, as a practical matter, since the jury is required to acquit Zimmerman if it finds a reasonable doubt about his self-defense claim, it might be impossible for the State to convict anybody offering a colorable self-defense claim if the defendant is not required to testify.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  12. JKB says:

    This seems to have been more strategic than tactical, which Legal Insurrection hinted at in their discussion.

    First, it is a shot across the prosecution’s bow. Try to portray Martin as a choir boy and we’ve got a lot of refutation. Plus, that evidence is now in the record so easier to use on appeal if denied a chance to refute. That might include the prosecution trying to use the media photo of the younger Martin.

    Second, it permitted the defense to bring up what appeared to be an attempt by the prosecution to deny the defense the cell phone photos and messages.

    Third, this is the story, it is working to put a dent in the lies the media and politicians propagated when this happened about Martin’s character at the time. Turns out, he wasn’t a perfect middle-schooler as portrayed in photos but a pretty normal 17 yr old from a less than peaceful neighborhood, i.e. apparently dabbled in weed, was a scrapper and had an attitude. The latter supporting the theory that Martin became the aggressor for the fateful fight. Not admissible in court, as of yet, but now in the court of public opinion.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 16

  13. PD Shaw says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    The state’s toxicologist says that Martin used pot within a couple hours of his death; it was hard to place an exact time because it depended on whether Martin used drugs a lot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  14. @PD Shaw: Even then….that proves Martin smoked dope before his death.

    It does not prove that Zimmerman was defending himself when he killed Martin. In other words, it’s not relevant.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  15. Franklin says:

    Mark O’Mara, Mr. Zimmerman’s lawyer, argued that Mr. Martin’s drug use could have made him aggressive and paranoid, which the defense said might have prompted him to attack Mr. Zimmerman, 29, a neighborhood watch volunteer.

    It’s not “paranoid” when somebody is actually after you.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 4

  16. anjin-san says:

    aggressive and paranoid

    So someone defending himself from an armed stranger who is following him for no reason is “paranoid” – now that’s interesting.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 5

  17. rudderpedals says:

    @PD Shaw: Couldn’t that go both ways? I mean a juror who smoked pot before when confronted with evidence the victim was stoned is going to put himself into the position and wonder how he went from bleary eyed passive stoner on a munchie quest to crazed lunatic killer.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  18. @JKB:

    Turns out, he wasn’t a perfect middle-schooler as portrayed in photos but a pretty normal 17 yr old from a less than peaceful neighborhood, i.e. apparently dabbled in weed, was a scrapper and had an attitude. The latter supporting the theory that Martin became the aggressor for the fateful fight.

    Um….I’m sure his family portrayed him as a perfect middle-schooler, but you know….I forgive them. Their loved one was killed and they were doing that weird thing people do when they grieve: Focus on the good things.

    As for “supporting the theory,” c’mon……ditch the political element on this and focus on the facts.

    Even if Martin smoked dope, got into fights, used rough language, listened to rap music……none of these things prove he attacked George Zimmerman that night.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  19. MM says:

    @rudderpedals: Conversely, you might get some senior citizens on the jury who just know that marihuana angries up the youth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. Scott says:

    an interest in guns

    I thought an interest in guns is a good thing. I wonder how many people would have thought that Martin was “standing his ground” if he shot Zimmerman instead of the other way around

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

  21. PD Shaw says:

    @rudderpedals: Zimmerman called 911 and said that there was a guy acting strange like he was on drugs or something. So one reason the drugs become relevant is that is supports Zimmerman’s account that Martin was acting strange like he was on drugs or something. The other reason is that it is evidence that Martin’s judgment may have been impaired at the time; not that he was necessarily a crazed-violent madman.

    It sounds to me like the judge will admit it, so long as the toxicology evidence supports the notion that Martin could have been under the influence at the time. The judge said no drug references in the opening statement however.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  22. legion says:

    @PD Shaw: Actually, I think evidence that he was on pot at the time would be more likely to show Martin _wasn’t_ the aggressor… I’ve seen lots of “angry drunks”, but never an “angry pothead”.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 5

  23. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    George Zimmerman appearing on the stand will be the end of George Zimmerman’s freedom. He is a proven liar and as such will not be able to keep his stories straight.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8

  24. Gromitt Gunn says:

    If I am on that jury, telling me that the dude was stoned and on his way back from 7-11 with some Arizona Iced Tea and Skittles is going to make me much less likely to believe that he was some sort of aggro thug looking to pound Zimmerman’s head in. Stoner w/ munchies vs paranoid cop wannabe self-proclaimed neighborhood watch guy with a gun? Yeah… no way you’ld convince me that Zimmerman engaged in self-defence.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

  25. anjin-san says:

    never an “angry pothead”.

    I grew up in a era when pot smoking was practically an olympic sport. The most agressive thing I saw a stoner do was bogart a joint, or eat all the brownies…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  26. PD Shaw says:

    @legion: Its been a while since I immersed myself into all things Zimmerman, but last I recall, its not disputed that Martin was the aggressor in the sense that he attacked Zimmerman first. The prosecution’s theory is that Zimmerman provoked the attack by his own suspicious behavior in watching and/or tailing Martin. If my recollection is correct, all of the relevant disputes are about what people were doing before violence was initiated. If Martin had no evidence of drugs or alcohol in his system, the state would be introducing that evidence to show that Zimmerman’s account was incorrect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  27. anjin-san says:

    its not disputed that Martin was the aggressor in the sense that he attacked Zimmerman first.

    Ahhhhh. That would be wrong. The only evidence we have of that is the statements of Zimmermann, and he is a proven liar with proven terrible judgement.

    I find it far more credible that Zimmermann, aided by gun driven false courage, was the aggressor.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  28. anjin-san says:

    i.e. apparently dabbled in weed, was a scrapper and had an attitude.

    When a white kid does this, he’s a normal teenager. When a black kid does, well, he is probably violent/dangerous.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 4

  29. stonetools says:

    @Scott:

    I thought an interest in guns is a good thing. I wonder how many people would have thought that Martin was “standing his ground” if he shot Zimmerman instead of the other way around

    Er, the “stand your ground” defense is for whites only. I thought that was understood. Make a note of it going forward

    /snark

    a case in Georgia in which the stand your ground law did not protect an African American man who shot and killed a white man on his own property. The case is the ultimate example of applying a different principle for a similar situation based on race.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  30. JKB says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb): none of these things prove he attacked George Zimmerman that night.

    But the past fights and teen attitude does support the premise that Martin was an aggressor. Those won’t be presented to the jury barring some strange prosecution assertion but they do inform the public view which up till now has erroneously pushed the innocent kid, wouldn’t hurt a fly theory.

    No, the family has not responsibility to not present their loved one in the best light but the media then ran with that image in an effort to make a story about a bad, gun-totting guy with a German sounding name.

    Zimmerman said he was attacked, there are not witnesses to the start of the physical confrontation. There are witnesses that put Martin on top of Zimmerman and evidence to support the bashing of Zimmerman’s head into the concrete. The justification for the shooting will hinge on whether that bashing was a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

  31. Rafer Janders says:

    @PD Shaw:

    So one reason the drugs become relevant is that is supports Zimmerman’s account that Martin was acting strange like he was on drugs or something.

    How exactly do you “act strange like you’re on drugs or something” when all you’ve done is smoke a joint and are walking home after getting the munchies? What exactly would this “acting strange” consist of?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  32. Rafer Janders says:

    @PD Shaw:

    its not disputed that Martin was the aggressor in the sense that he attacked Zimmerman first.

    It is certainly disputed, since the only source for that assertion is Zimmerman — a proven liar — himself.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  33. Caj says:

    George Zimmerman is as guilty as sin! All this crap they’re trying to bring up to put the poor young dead man who can’t defend himself in a bad light is shameful. Zimmerman was told NOT to followTrayvon, but he ignored that because he felt himself above the law and took it upon himself to be judge, jury and executioner!!! At the end of the day Zimmerman had the gun and shot and killed Trayvon. Trayvon was unarmed. The ridiculous stand your ground law in Florida covers many a shooter!! It needs to be repealed. They should lock up Zimmerman and throw away the key!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

  34. JKB says:

    @Scott: I wonder how many people would have thought that Martin was “standing his ground” if he shot Zimmerman instead of the other way around

    First off, “stand your ground” is not an issue in this matter. When Zimmerman used deadly force there was no means by which he could have simply tried to escape instead. He was on the ground, with Martin atop him. So you might want to come to understand the law before commenting.

    Had their positions and actions been reversed, then Martin would have had a good argument that he acted in self defense. Even if he used his own handgun which would have been illegal for him to posses due to age.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 18

  35. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @JKB: “Zimmerman said he was attacked”

    And we believe the proven liar George Zimmerman why, again?

    ” The justification for the shooting …”

    There was no justification for the shooting. Mr. Zimmerman created the danger once he left his vehicle betraying his own state of mind in his own words, as recorded by 911. Mr. Zimmerman had no business inserting himself into Mr. Martin’s life that night. None whatsoever. He went looking for trouble and found it.

    And soon he will be facing murder charges as a result.

    That is what the evidence we have suggests.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

  36. stonetools says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    How exactly do you “act strange like you’re on drugs or something” when all you’ve done is smoke a joint and are walking home after getting the munchies? What exactly would this “acting strange” consist of?

    Clearly, you haven’t seen that authoritative documentary of a scientific study, Reefer Madness

    Plus we all know that Negroes, due to their inferior intelligence, get crazy aggressive when hopped up on weed, not like genetically superior white people.

    Try to keep up with wingnut logic here.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 4

  37. anjin-san says:

    there was no means by which he could have simply tried to escape instead.

    Really? A grown man could not have possibly thrown a skinny kid off of him, gotten up, and ran away? It is utterly Inconceivable?

    How many of us, in our younger days, were on the bottom in a wrestling match or a fight and by some miracle, managed to get out of it?

    You’ve said a lot of stupid things, but this is right up there.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

  38. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    When Zimmerman used deadly force there was no means by which he could have simply tried to escape instead. He was on the ground, with Martin atop him.

    Certainly, when I was a 28 year old man who weighed 200 pounds I could never have simply lifted a 160 pound 17 year old off of myself….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  39. stonetools says:

    @JKB:

    Had their positions and actions been reversed, then Martin would have had a good argument that he acted in self defense. Even if he used his own handgun which would have been illegal for him to posses due to age.

    Had the situation be reversed, Martin would have been arrested and charged with murder that night, and would most likely be serving a life sentence by now.

    /Injecting reality.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  40. Rafer Janders says:

    @anjin-san:

    there was no means by which he could have simply tried to escape instead.

    This is why, in high school and college wrestling matches, it’s a legal move for the wrestler on the bottom to shoot his way out.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  41. Rafer Janders says:

    Let’s imagine that instead of Trayvon Martin, it was a 17 year old white girl named Tracey Martin who was stalked and accosted by 200 pound adult man George Zimmerman that night. And let’s imagine that Tracey, in fear for her life, turned to confront the creepy older man following her and that Zimmerman then shot her dead.

    Somehow, I doubt that there would be so many Zimmerman apologists in that case…..

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  42. Rafer Janders says:

    @anjin-san:

    Really? A grown man could not have possibly thrown a skinny kid off of him, gotten up, and ran away? It is utterly Inconceivable?

    Especially a grown man who outweighed him by 40 pounds and had a denser body mass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  43. Ernieyeball says:

    @JKB: The justification for the shooting will hinge on whether that bashing was a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury.

    I have a “reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury.” when ever I try to cross the street at a crosswalk with a “walk” sign in my favor.
    Maybe in Florida I can just shoot my way to the other side.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  44. rudderpedals says:

    @MM: Indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. anjin-san says:

    Martin was acting strange like he was on drugs a man in a truck was following him or something

    FTFY

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  46. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    Turns out, he wasn’t a perfect middle-schooler as portrayed in photos but a pretty normal 17 yr old from a less than peaceful neighborhood, i.e. apparently dabbled in weed, was a scrapper and had an attitude.

    I live in New York, and every day probably several dozen pretty normal 17 year olds from a less than peaceful neighborhood who dabble in weed, are scrappers and have an attitude walk past my street. If I, a tall and imposing adult man, decide to stalk them at night, guess who’s the aggressor? I am.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  47. anjin-san says:

    It would be interesting to know if Zimmermann ever studied self-defense. After all, he was a cop wannabe. Or did he think that all he needed out on the street was his big, bad gun?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  48. Jesse says:

    @Caj:
    Your multiple exclamation points certainly convinced me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  49. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    Had their positions and actions been reversed, then Martin would have had a good argument that he acted in self defense.

    And I’m sure that JKB would be the first to defend that claim of self-defense if a black teenager armed with a gun had stalked, confronted and then killed an unarmed adult man walking back to his family’s house at night.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  50. @PD Shaw:

    Zimmerman called 911 and said that there was a guy acting strange like he was on drugs or something.

    And you find it credible than Zimmerman was able to tell Martin was smoking dope by observing him from a distance in the dark?

    I mean, I have no doubt that’s what Zimmerman said and possibly thought at the time. But there’s no way he could have known that.

    Also:

    last I recall, its not disputed that Martin was the aggressor in the sense that he attacked Zimmerman first.

    Oh, that is very much in dispute. There’s no dispute there was a struggle, but who started it? That’s what this all hinges on.

    Zimmerman would have us believe Martin started it because he was a thug and smoking pot. If you find that credible, I think you should check the batteries on your BS detector. Even thugs need a reason to attack someone, and as been pointed out several times over, pot has a sedative effect that does not incline one to violence.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  51. bob s says:

    @JKB:

    amongst all the comments here there is also more against Zimmerman. at the time the murder happened I looked up sanfords neighborhood watch protocols and Zimmerman broke many of them.the one biggie is if you are a neighborhood watch member you are not supposed to be armed while you patrol and you are not supposed to follow suspicious people. the guidelines clearly state that you call the police and let them handle it.
    for a supposed neighborhood watch captain it seems Zimmerman was ignorant of these rules…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  52. Scott says:

    @JKB: I seem to remember “stand your ground” to be a major part of the conversation months ago with a lot of folks defending the concept WRT this case. I guess that has changed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  53. anjin-san says:

    @ James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb)

    “suspicious black male, probably on drugs”

    How many times has that little chestnut been used to f**k over a black guy?

    Martin was guilty. Guilty of walking while black, guilty of breathing while black, and guilty of defending himself. Given the history of our country, those can be pretty serious crimes.

    I have a teenage nephew who is about Martin’s size. If I found out an armed man was following him around the neighborhood when he was minding his own business, I would beat the guy like a drum…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  54. @JKB:

    But the past fights and teen attitude does support the premise that Martin was an aggressor.

    No, it does not. I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to explain this to you, but stipulating that Martin was a thug with a bad attitude, I would still need to give him a reason to attack George Zimmerman that night.

    “He smoked pot,” is not a reason.

    “He got in a fight once at school,” is not a reason.

    “He had a bad teenage attitude,” is not a reason.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  55. JKB says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    Before you act on your belief about “imminent threat” when crossing the street, I suggest you consult with a knowledgeable attorney about what the courts have found to be a reasonable fear and imminent threat. Otherwise, enjoy your time in prison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  56. anjin-san says:

    And while we are discussing Martin’s supposed “attitude” let’s look at a few things about Zimmermann.

    At one time a girlfriend had a restraining order out against him

    He has been accused of domestic violence

    He was arrested in an incident where he laid hands on a cop – resulting in a felony sheet

    He took court ordered anger management classes.

    He made obsessive 911 calls.

    He ignored the most fundamental rules of neighborhood watch programs.

    I’m twice his age, and have never had anything remotely like any of this happen to me. Its pretty easy to question his stability based on his track record.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  57. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @bob s: “for a supposed neighborhood watch captain it seems Zimmerman was ignorant of these rules…”

    It speaks to an irresponsible person acting in a most negligent fashion. He will most certainly be asked about it should he take the stand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  58. stonetools says:

    @bob s:

    for a supposed neighborhood watch captain it seems Zimmerman was ignorant of these rules

    Oh, I’m sure he knew the rules. But if he followed the rules, he wouldn’t get to play Dirty Harry/Batman/Marshall Dillon…..

    He probably thought the skinny 17 year old teenager would be easily intimidated, and that he would humiliate him, maybe make a “citizen’s arrest” and have a great war story to tell his buddies at the bar.
    Unfortunately, Martin wasn’t intimidated by the big white man throwing his weight around, what would it being the 21st century and all. I say unfortunate because maybe he should have followed the rules under Jim Crow and submitted meekly to Zimmerman’s bluster. He would have stood a better chance of making it out alive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  59. JKB says:

    @anjin-san: I would beat the guy like a drum…

    I think this whole incident is a lesson that one should not get into physical altercations with people carrying guns.

    Or if you do, you should be careful to make sure that at no time they have a reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Otherwise, you are creating a potential deadly situation that might result in them being justified in using deadly force. Right or wrong, you’d still be dead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  60. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Before you lecture anyone about anything, why don’t you go into more detail about how it was utterly impossible for Zimmermann to defend himself short of deadly force or extricate himself from the bottom position in a fight?

    There is no possible way Zimmermann could have thrown Martin off, or assumed a highly defensible bottom guard position, or punched his way out?

    You seem to fancy yourself as something of an expert on violent situations, but you are spouting demonstrable nonsense. That implies an agenda at work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  61. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    I think this whole incident is a lesson that one should not get into physical altercations with people carrying guns. Or if you do, you should be careful to make sure that at no time they have a reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

    So ladies, if you’re walking alone down a dark street at night, and a creepy man armed with a gun starts to follow you, whatever you do, don’t, DON’T, cause that man to have any fear of you at all, or else he can shoot you.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  62. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    I think this whole incident is a lesson that one should not get into physical altercations with people carrying guns.

    How did Martin know Zimmermann was an armed idiot, as opposed to the garden variety idiot? It’s reasonable to assume that if Zimmermann had brandished his gun before there was physical contact, Martin would have turned into a track star.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  63. anjin-san says:

    teen attitude

    When I was a teenager, we had plenty of attitude. We also wanted no part of fights with grown men. When I was 17 a confrontation with a 26 year old would have scared the crap out of me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  64. @JKB:

    I think this whole incident is a lesson that one should not get into physical altercations with people carrying guns.

    Really? I think if someone needed a “lesson” on something so obvious, then that person is an idiot. Sorry…but c’mon.

    If anything, the “lesson” is that guns are deadly in irresponsible hands. But then again, that’s obvious too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  65. JKB says:

    @Scott: I seem to remember “stand your ground” to be a major part of the conversation months ago

    The media latched on to this and many people commented on SYG as a concept. But it does not apply in this situation as currently represented.

    While the title is used in many contexts, SYG means not being required to retreat in the face of an aggressor from a place you may lawfully be.

    In this situation, it has been asserted Martin confronted Zimmerman then struck him, whereupon they ended up on the ground with Martin pinning Zimmerman down bashing his head into concrete. There was no means of safe retreat for Zimmerman while he was on the ground and prior to his use of deadly force to stop what he claims was an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. So therefore, any duty to retreat would be moot even without the SYG law. The situation is straight forward self defense if that justification prevails.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  66. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    In this situation, it has been asserted Martin confronted Zimmerman then struck him, whereupon they ended up on the ground with Martin pinning Zimmerman down bashing his head into concrete.

    It has only been asserted by Zimmerman, already a proven liar, and someone who has more than a little self-interest in claiming this. It’s far more likely and believable that Zimmerman confronted Trayvon first, but of course Trayvon isn’t around to give his side of the story since Zimmerman killed him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  67. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    There was no means of safe retreat for Zimmerman while he was on the ground

    You’re still claiming that a 200 pound adult man can’t defend himself from a skinny teenage kid that he outweighs by more than 40 pounds, and you expect to be taken seriously? Most of us have been in some variation of that situation at some point in our lives, and yet most of us got out of it without killing anyone. I don’t know who you think you’re convincing with this line of bull, but it’s not us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  68. JKB says:

    @Rafer Janders: @anjin-san:

    The comment you both are so foolishly misrepresenting was about anjin-san’s claim he would go after someone he discovered had followed a family member while armed. It has no relation to the Martin case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  69. JKB says:

    @Rafer Janders: You’re still claiming that a 200 pound adult man can’t defend himself from a skinny teenage kid

    I am making no such assertion. I am stating that Zimmerman could not safely retreat, which is evident by your insistence that he could have thrown Martin off. An assertion use base on physical characteristics that have since been shown to be in error. In any case, once there is a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury, use of deadly force is justifiable and there is no requirement that you exhaust non-lethal options others might conceive of in the aftermath.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  70. anjin-san says:

    once there is a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury, use of deadly force is justifiable

    It’s a perfect world for paranoid, gun toting conservatives. If you are scared, you can shoot someone dead, and it’s justifiable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  71. Ernieyeball says:

    @JKB: I suggest you consult with a knowledgeable attorney about what the courts have found to be a reasonable fear and imminent threat. Otherwise, enjoy your time in prison.

    I appreciate your concern about the consequences of me actually carrying out my fantasy. Not to worry. I do not own any firearms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  72. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    I am stating that Zimmerman could not safely retreat,

    Yes, you keep stating that, but it’s nonsense. There’s no evidence that Martin was even on top of Zimmerman, other than Zimmerman’s word for it, and we already know that Zimmerman will lie for his own advantage. Even if it happened as Zimmerman claimed — which I don’t believe — it still doesn’t mean that he couldn’t safely retreat. He was the 200 pound adult man with the gun and the truck, not the unarmed skinny teenager on foot; Zimmerman could have safely retreated any time he wanted to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  73. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rafer Janders: You’re still claiming that a 200 pound adult man can’t defend himself from a skinny teenage kid that he outweighs by more than 40 pounds, and you expect to be taken seriously?

    According to the autopsy report, Martin was 71 inches tall (5’11″) and weighed 158 lbs. According to Zimmerman’s arrest report, he is 68 inches tall (5’7″) and weighed 200. So Martin had 3″ on Zimmerman, while Zimmerman had 42 lbs. on Martin.

    A later report puts Zimmerman at 5’7″ and 185, which strongly indicates that part of his weight advantage was fat, not muscle. On the other hand, Martin had played on his high school football team, so we can presume that Martin was in fairly good shape.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 18

  74. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @JKB: “I am stating that Zimmerman could not safely retreat,”

    This is not true.

    Mr. Zimmerman had from the time he was told not to follow Mr. Martin until he inexcusably confronted Mr. Martin to safely retreat.

    He chose not to. With this freedom of choice, Mr. Zimmerman is discovering, comes grave responsibilities he also chose to ignore.

    He has also lied repeatedly and wants us to ignore that and believe it was all self defense now. Mr. Zimmerman would like us to ignore a great deal.

    His habits of gross negligence will certainly be mentioned if the defense is foolish enough to put him on the stand. Gross negligence is what the evidence we have suggests.

    He will be facing murder charges as a result.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  75. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    In any case, once there is a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury, use of deadly force is justifiable

    You see those words “reasonable” and “imminent” and “serious” in the sentence you wrote? Those are the key word right there.

    Also, it matters who the aggressor is. If I initiate a fight, but then I start to lose and decide to kill my way out of it, then deadly force isn’t justifiable.

    Say, for example, an armed man stalks a woman on the street, intent on raping her. She confronts him and he attacks, thinking he can overpower her, but she turns out to be a martial artist and starts beating him into the ground. If he then pulls out his gun and kills her, it’s murder, even if he did fear she was going to kill him.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  76. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    I think its pretty obvious that my “beat him like a drum” comment was tongue in cheek. If I did choose to go after my nephew’s hypothetical armed stalker personally (something I would not do) I would take one of my own guns, which I am pretty handy with. I have a fair amount experience with real confrontations and violence from my bar days, I’m not a little bitch like George Zimmermann.

    But that would never happen. Being, unlike the aformentioned Zimmermann, a responsible adult, I would call the police. I’m white, I live in a good neighborhood, and I look like a guy who is on his way to have lunch with the mayor. The police would back me without a second thought. They Treyvon Martin’s of the world don’t enjoy the same advantage I do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  77. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rafer Janders: It has only been asserted by Zimmerman, already a proven liar, and someone who has more than a little self-interest in claiming this. It’s far more likely and believable that Zimmerman confronted Trayvon first, but of course Trayvon isn’t around to give his side of the story since Zimmerman killed him.

    Only if you’ve already made up your mind, or you’re an idiot. The 911 tape is perfectly consistent with Zimmerman’s story — that he followed and lost track of Martin, then Martin came back and confronted him.

    There’s also the injuries on the two parties — Martin with skinned knuckles and a single gunshot wound, Zimmerman with a broken nose and abrasions to the back of his head.

    But hey, why bother bring facts into this? You’ve all made up your mind. Why not just take out the white (well, “white Hispanic”) man who shot and killed a black kid and string him up? Make it abundantly clear that there is NEVER an excuse for shooting and killing a black teen, even if he’s bashing your head into the pavement over and over and over again.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 19

  78. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “o we can presume that Martin was in fairly good shape.”

    So what? Mr. Martin therefore deserved to be stalked by a predator with anger management issues and a history of ignoring everyone from neighborhood watches to police officers to the extent of laying his hands on a cop. resulting in a felony sheet?

    Your theory is irrelevant for lack of evidence.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  79. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “Guilty of walking while black, guilty of breathing while black, and guilty of defending himself. Given the history of our country, those can be pretty serious crimes.”

    Well, we know from various Republicans that presidenting while black is an impeachable offense.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  80. Modulo Myself says:

    @JKB:

    Zimmerman will have a huge problem with the ‘reasonable’ part. There’s absolutely nothing he did that night that was reasonable. He was armed. He followed Martin, and it did not even seem to occur to him that this was a provocative action. He exited the car after being told not to. Had he been really operating reasonably, none of this should have happened. He wasn’t a cop. He had no training. He had no idea what he was doing.

    And the medical report doesn’t help. Two black eyes, a cut, and a busted nose. That’s it. No concussion, no head trauma. Nothing that would actually suggest that he was in life-threatening danger.

    And all of this occurred after he called the police and in an inhabited area. He knew the police were coming (and they showed up minutes later) and somehow this didn’t matter.

    But of course everyone knows this. The guy is a clown and a coward. He should not have been doing anything that he did. If he was richer and it was twenty to thirty years ago, his defense might work, but he isn’t and it’s not. No one buys the lines that come out of some dehumanizing enraged loser, with a gun. And no one wants to.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  81. @Rafer Janders:

    There’s no evidence that Martin was even on top of Zimmerman, other than Zimmerman’s word for it, and we already know that Zimmerman will lie for his own advantage.

    It’s not Zimmerman’s burden to provide evidence Martin was on top of him. It’s the state’s burden to provide evidence Martin wasn’t. I’m suspicious of Martin’s story, but it is within the realm of possibility, so unless the state has some evidence they haven’t disclosed yet, I think Zimmerman should be acquitted.

    The state should have tried for an involuntary manslaughter conviction instead of second degree murder; arguing Zimmerman recklessly created a situation that lead to Martin’s death is far more provable given the circumstances than proving Zimmerman killed Martin when he’s the only witness to what actually happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 12

  82. anjin-san says:

    I’m thinking that, given the assumption that someone is a high school football player translates into their being a physical marvel, one or two real bashes of his head into the pavement would have rendered Zimmermann unconcious or worse. I know if I bounced someones head off the sidewalk they would not be getting up any time soon.

    Zimmermann’d injuries were consistent with someone who had been in a decent scrape, not someone who was beaten half to death.

    Losing a fight does not excuse manslaughter, especially when the shooter is entirely responsible for creating the confrontation.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  83. @Stormy Dragon:

    I’m suspicious of Zimmerman’s story, even.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  84. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James in Silverdale, WA: I offered no theory, you jackhole. I rebutted Jander’s inference that Martin was no physical threat to Zimmerman with actual facts.

    @Modulo Myself: And the medical report doesn’t help. Two black eyes, a cut, and a busted nose. That’s it. No concussion, no head trauma. Nothing that would actually suggest that he was in life-threatening danger.

    “A cut.” Nice way to minimize numerous abrasions and contusions to the back of his head. Which, I’m sure, he inflicted on himself to give credibility that Martin was sitting on top of him and bashing his head against the ground.

    @anjin-san: I know if I bounced someones head off the sidewalk they would not be getting up any time soon.

    For the first few, not so much. The person on the bottom would be resisting quite strenuously. It takes a few hits to daze them enough to really get the bashing going.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14

  85. @Jenos Idanian:

    that he followed and lost track of Martin, then Martin came back and confronted him.

    What caused Martin to come back? According to Zimmerman, Martin was fleeing from him, and then, after finally escaping, decides turn around and come back to confront him. If Martin wanted to confront him, why was he fleeing to begin with?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  86. Modulo Myself says:

    It’s not Zimmerman’s burden to provide evidence Martin was on top of him. It’s the state’s burden to provide evidence Martin wasn’t.

    It doesn’t really matter if Martin was on top at one point. It matters where each was when Martin was shot.

    Zimmerman’s story is meaningless if he shot Martin in a position other than that and if the state can prove it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  87. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Modulo Myself: But of course everyone knows this. The guy is a clown and a coward. He should not have been doing anything that he did. If he was richer and it was twenty to thirty years ago, his defense might work, but he isn’t and it’s not. No one buys the lines that come out of some dehumanizing enraged loser, with a gun. And no one wants to.

    As I said: tried and convicted. You’re not interested in any facts, just wondering how long you have to wait until you can see him strung up.

    As Stormy notes: the evidence just isn’t there to support the charges. The evidence isn’t sufficient to even challenge Zimmerman’s story, which is certainly enough to support a self-defense case. That could change, of course, as more facts emerge — but it ain’t come out yet, and I have doubts that it exists.

    Not that it matters to the lynch mob so ably represented by anjin and Rafer, of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 14

  88. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Sorry, two cuts:

    The morning after he killed Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman went to a clinic with what appeared to be a broken nose, two black eyes and two cuts on the back of his head. But the physician’s assistant who treated him determined he neither needed X-rays nor had he suffered head trauma, newly released medical records show.

    Zimmerman declined to go to an ear, nose and throat specialist even though it was recommended, the physician’s assistant wrote.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  89. PD Shaw says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It’s not Zimmerman’s burden to provide evidence Martin was on top of him. It’s the state’s burden to provide evidence Martin wasn’t. I’m suspicious of Martin’s story, but it is within the realm of possibility, so unless the state has some evidence they haven’t disclosed yet, I think Zimmerman should be acquitted.

    Its nice to see a comment, particularly one not entirely favorable to Zimmerman, that recognizes the huge burden of proof problem that the state has. One of the chief investigators said last year under oath that the state has no evidence that conflicts with Zimmerman’s contention that Martin struck first. The theory appears to be that Zimmerman provoked Martin into attack him by “profiling” him, which is a unique murder theory to say the least.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  90. @JKB:

    I am stating that Zimmerman could not safely retreat, which is evident by your insistence that he could have thrown Martin off.

    That will no doubt be Zimmerman’s testimony. Just know, it will not go unchallenged in the court room.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  91. anjin-san says:

    the state has no evidence that conflicts with Zimmerman’s contention that Martin struck first.

    Reminds me of something my dad said when he was teaching me to shoot: “If you shoot someone, make sure you kill them. A dead guy can’t come back at you later, and you will be the only one who gets to tell your side of the story.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  92. pylon says:

    If I, a tall and imposing adult man

    hey, this is a comment section, not an online dating service ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  93. anjin-san says:

    I am stating that Zimmerman could not safely retreat, which is evident by your insistence that he could have thrown Martin off.

    Because it’s impossible for someone to throw an opponent off, then retreat. Impossible, I say!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  94. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @Jenos Idanian: ” I rebutted Jander’s inference that Martin was no physical threat to Zimmerman with actual facts.”

    No, you did not. Not even close.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  95. legion says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    What exactly would this “acting strange” consist of?

    Being a black kid and walking within eyeball range of a rich white gated community.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  96. pylon says:

    Actually, Stormy and PD, while the state has the overall burden of proof, that’s just for th elements of the crime.

    For the positive defense of self-defense, the defendant bears an evidentiary burden.

    In short – the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

    1. Zimmerman killed Martin.
    2. Zimmerman intended to kill Martin (or, for a lesser offence, intended to do him boldiy harm and was reckless as to whether death occurred).

    If those are proven (I think they can’t be denied), Zimmerman must raise evidence of self defence.

    That said, Zimmerman’s lucky to be in Fla where the burden doesn’t actually officially shift like in other jurisdictions, where self defence is claimed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  97. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    lynch mob

    Over the last few days, you demonstrated repeatedly that you don’t know what “pedophile” means. Now you want to make further displays of your ignorance with “lynch mob”?

    Personally, I think Zimmermann should have been charged with manslaughter, and then receive the maximum possible sentence. Hardly a lynching.

    But I do take into account that the story of Zimmermann, a proven liar, resonates with a proven liar such as yourself. I also realize that your comments are driven, to some extent, by the knowledge that neither Rafer or myself would trust a… person such as yourself to mow our lawns. But we all know you seem to have a taste for public humiliation. Please proceed.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  98. Matt Bernius says:

    @James in Silverdale, WA:

    And we believe the proven liar George Zimmerman why, again?

    But in writing that and putting forward that argument, you demonstrate why the defense is trying to introduce all of this data. Proof of previous action is used to discredit the actions in credit.

    On the one hand, we cannot trust Zimmerman because he’s lied at different times. On the other hand, if evidence suggests that Martin had a history of being involved in fights and of drug use, this introduces a shadow of a doubt about his victimhood as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  99. @pylon:

    Self defense isn’t a positive defense in Florida.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  100. Matt Bernius says:

    @PD Shaw:

    One of the chief investigators said last year under oath that the state has no evidence that conflicts with Zimmerman’s contention that Martin struck first. The theory appears to be that Zimmerman provoked Martin into attack him by “profiling” him, which is a unique murder theory to say the least.

    Actually in terms of self defense, it’s not entirely that unique. It’s not just an issue of profiling, its an issue of stalking — actively following. That can be deemed enough of a threatening behavior to trigger a self defense situation.

    In fact, in WSD courses one thing that is taught is — if not immediate safe means of escape is available — to turn and confront someone you think is stalking you. And, if one believes themselves to be in a situation that is going to lead to violence, to preemptively initiate the violence first in order to open up an avenue for escape.

    All that said, such a defense requires getting into the defendant’s (in terms of the initial self defense situations) head. In other words, Martin would have to say the all important words “I felt I was in immediate danger and punched him before he could hurt me.” And even then the jury–if things went to that stage–would have to believe him.

    That’s a tight needle that prosecutors have to thread. I’m doubtful that they can do it given the current evidence.

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  101. anjin-san says:

    Martin had a history of being involved in fights and of drug use,

    Granted I am going back a few decades, but when I was a teenager, this description applied to over half the teenage boys in town. How many boys never get in fights? Never at least dabble with drugs?

    So if you are a normal teenager, on his way back from a munchie run, you can’t be a victim?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  102. @pylon:

    2. Zimmerman intended to kill Martin (or, for a lesser offence, intended to do him boldiy harm and was reckless as to whether death occurred).

    And this is my problem. With only Zimmerman as a witness, I’m not sure they can prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, and for some reason the prosecutor decided no to pursue any lesser offenses, so there’s no fall back position.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  103. Matt Bernius says:

    @PD Shaw:

    One of the chief investigators said last year under oath that the state has no evidence that conflicts with Zimmerman’s contention that Martin struck first.

    This is entirely correct. However, it should also be noted that the same investigator (I believe) was also the one who in reports questioned whether or not the situation/fight escalated in the way and to the degree which Zimmerman described.

    The key question is whether or not the Jury will agree that the level of force Zimmerman responded with — i.e. deadly force — was warranted by the circumstances. I expect most of the prosecutions work is going to actually center around this specific question rather than the issue of provocation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  104. Matt Bernius says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    With only Zimmerman as a witness, I’m not sure they can prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, and for some reason the prosecutor decided no to pursue any lesser offenses, so there’s no fall back position.

    THIS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  105. PD Shaw says:

    @pylon: Do you have any links? Here is a lawyer on Florida law:

    The prosecution must prove his guilt at the jury trial beyond a reasonable doubt. Which means, if the defendant raises self-defense or stand your ground at trial and gets the jury instruction, the state, which has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, must disprove self-defense. If the jury has a doubt, the defendant must be acquitted.

    A few states do it differently.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  106. @Stormy Dragon:

    It’s not Zimmerman’s burden to provide evidence Martin was on top of him. It’s the state’s burden to provide evidence Martin wasn’t.

    Say what?

    No, I don’t think that’s how “the burden of proof” works. Really what it comes down to is that the state has to prove Martin’s killing fits the definition of murder. It’s not going to be easy, no doubt, but it’s definitely not going to be so easily thwarted either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  107. Rafer Janders says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It’s not Zimmerman’s burden to provide evidence Martin was on top of him. It’s the state’s burden to provide evidence Martin wasn’t.

    Actually, that’s completely false, since the only evidence that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman is Zimmerman himself. If Zimmerman doesn’t testify that Trayvon was on top of him, then there’s no other admissible evidence of that fact. The state has no burden to disprove something that’s not in evidence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  108. Rafer Janders says:

    @pylon:

    hey, this is a comment section, not an online dating service ;)

    You use this site for your needs, and I’ll use if for mine….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  109. Rafer Janders says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    And this is my problem. With only Zimmerman as a witness, I’m not sure they can prove this beyond a reasonable doubt

    You don’t think the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that “Zimmerman intended to kill Martin (or, for a lesser offence, intended to do him boldiy harm and was reckless as to whether death occurred)”? I think the fact that Zimmerman aimed a gun at Travyon and pulled the trigger, thereby killing him with that gunshot, is not really in dispute; in fact, Zimmerman admitted it himself. If you point a gun at someone at close range and shoot them, it’s not a real stretch to prove that you intended to kill or at least harm them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  110. rudderpedals says:
  111. Matt Bernius says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    Correct. The questions seem to me to be (a) is whether or not the decision to kill/deploy deadly force was justified, and (b) [This is from the Prosecutions perspective] What culpability — if any — does Zimmerman have for creating the circumstances that necessitated deploying deadly force.

    @Rafer Janders:

    Actually, that’s completely false, since the only evidence that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman is Zimmerman himself. If Zimmerman doesn’t testify that Trayvon was on top of him, then there’s no other admissible evidence of that fact.

    I believe multiple witnesses have stated that Trayvon appeared to be mounted at the time of the shooting. We have yet to know if any of those witnesses will appear in court.

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  112. PD Shaw says:

    Here is a primer on Florida law with citations to relevant caselaw:

    The bottom line is that Zimmerman cannot be convicted of murder or manslaughter unless the evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that he did not act in self-defense.

    Or more precisely from a Florida court:

    No, he did not have to prove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. He did not have to prove even that his additional facts were more likely true than not. The real nature of his burden concerning his defense of justification is that his evidence of additional facts need merely leave the jury with a reasonable doubt about whether he was justified in using deadly force. Hence, if he wanted his self-defense to be considered, it was necessary to present evidence that his justification might be true. It would then be up to the jury to decide whether his evidence produced a reasonable doubt about his claim of self-defense.

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  113. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    I am stating that Zimmerman could not safely retreat,

    Your repeated comments about this have shown that you do not understand what the “duty to retreat” involves. It’s not a get out of jail free card that you can pull out anytime, rather, you have to pay attention to the timeframe. Zimmerman started the encounter driving in his truck, armed with a gun, following an unarmed teenager who was on foot.

    Zimmerman could have retreated at that moment in complete safety, but he instead chose to pursue the teenager, take his gun and get out of the truck, and initiate a confrontation on foot. The second he did that, he lost the claim that he could not safely retreat. He had ample opportunities to retreat in safety but chose not to take any of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  114. Rafer Janders says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    I believe multiple witnesses have stated that Trayvon appeared to be mounted at the time of the shooting.

    You believe falsely. This is simply untrue. There were no eyewitnesses to the confrontation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  115. anjin-san says:

    @ Rafer Janders

    I think I am starting to see where JKB’s head is really at. He’s created a fantasy world of armed, nearly invulnerable conservatives. You had better not f**k with them, because they are probably packing, and if they perceive a threat, they can simply use deadly force. If they start something with you, you’d best back off fast or you might just end up dead.

    With modern conservatism so deeply rooted in a fixed state of fear, I can see the appeal of this charming mental construct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  116. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Over the last few days, you demonstrated repeatedly that you don’t know what “pedophile” means. Now you want to make further displays of your ignorance with “lynch mob”?

    I know exactly what I’m saying and why. In this case, I am using a racially-charged term to demonstrate that there are quite a few people here who, based on the initial reports on this case, decided that Zimmerman was guilty and have not let anything change their minds. They have even invented facts — including one of the authors here who declared that Zimmerman chased Martin “with gun drawn” because he “couldn’t imagine it happening any other way.”

    One drawback I did not anticipate was that it would give a hyper-pedantic d-bag (that would be you) an excuse to completely avoid the topics at hand and instead focus on semantics and precise definitions of words, subverting the discussion away from the topic at hand. In the previous case, I abandoned the word you focused on and instead resorted to a literal description of the acts — which also met with opposition.

    In this case, I think I’ll stick with the metaphorical “lynch mob” terminology — because it reflects the prejudice and resistance to developments that contradict the pre-judging. And yes, I fully recognize that it’s a “racial dog-whistle” that I hope will help others recognize the situation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  117. Tyrell says:

    @legion: Some evidence concerning Martin’s personality and temperment are relevant, such as if he had a problem controlling anger, a bent toward flying off the handle, attitude/adjustment problems, how he carried and behaved in certain situations, and was he inclined to be confrontaional or was he an easy going, laid back person: these situational behaviors would seem to be relevant to this case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  118. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    to completely avoid the topics at hand

    In the case of the other thread (Katilyn Hunt) I had been discussing the matter at hand (yes, Hunt broke the law, what to do about it?) for the entire thread, it’s not my fault that you are not bright enough to keep up.

    There is also the matter of your priggish insistence that you get to decide what “the matter at hand” is. Sorry Skippy. For one thing, no one, and I mean not one single person on OTB, takes you seriously. For another, there is a group of people who actually work here, and they get to decide if someone is seriously off topic, and what to do about it. Steven has talked to you about this on more than one occasion.

    It’s actually kind of funny when a notorious threadjacker such as yourself breaks out his hankie and starts crying about others being off topic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  119. Rafer Janders says:

    @Tyrell:

    Some evidence concerning Martin’s personality and temperment are relevant, such as if he had a problem controlling anger, a bent toward flying off the handle, attitude/adjustment problems, how he carried and behaved in certain situations, and was he inclined to be confrontaional or was he an easy going, laid back person:

    Evidence such as the fact that he had a restraining order taken out on him, or that he’d been arrested for assaulting a police officer? Sure, that would be releva….oh, wait. That was Zimmerman, not Trayvon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  120. anjin-san says:

    @ Tyrell

    Some evidence concerning Martin’s personality

    Can you show us some evidence. Let’s see, like pretty much every boy in the history of the world, he got in fights.

    Oh, yea. He’s black. That’s different.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  121. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Eh, go home and get your shinebox, Tommy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  122. anjin-san says:

    I find the whole “Martin got in fights” line fascinating.

    If you are a boy growing up in America, fighting is an expectation. It’ practically a requirement. What do we call boys who are afraid of a fight? Sissy, wimp, mama’s boy, homo, chicken, coward, wussy… the list is endless. Boys are often taught, and even required to fight by their fathers. “Don’t take any crap son, be a man”…

    But, if the boy is black…

    Violent. Angry. Bad attitude. Dangerous. A threat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  123. Matt Bernius says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    All I know about witnesses is via the summary section of the case on Wikipedia. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Trayvon_Martin#Witness_accounts

    There are multiple people who claim to have seen what appeared to be Martin on top of Zimmerman prior to the shooting. Some have recanted or otherwise changed their statements. I don’t know if any of these people will be called.

    If you have better links suggesting that there are no eye-witnesses, please share.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  124. wr says:

    @anjin-san: Have you noticed that the two things that Jenos really… excited — enough that he feels compelled to keep typing them out over and over again are the images of a teen girl forcing herself sexually on another teen girl and a strapping young black football player straddling a chubby white guy and wriggling around and thrusting?

    I can’t imagine what the common thread is here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

  125. @Jenos Idanian:

    there are quite a few people here who, based on the initial reports on this case, decided that Zimmerman was guilty and have not let anything change their minds.

    And there’s no right-wingers who decided Zimmerman is innocent, even though he killed an unarmed kid? I’m sure those minds are ready to be changed with new information, aren’t they?

    completely avoid the topics at hand and instead focus on semantics and precise definitions of words

    Hmmm….like how when you kill an unarmed kid, it may not technically be murder, as long as this planet is aligned with that one.

    In this case, I think I’ll stick with the metaphorical “lynch mob” terminology — because it reflects the prejudice and resistance to developments that contradict the pre-judging.

    And this is where you prove your inability to add anything to this conversation.

    I presume you’re saying that Zimmerman is suffering a metaphorical lynch mob? Even though he’s on trial. Even though he’s consulting with lawyers and will be allowed to offer a defense?

    Do you even know what a lynch mob is?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  126. Tyrell says:

    @anjin-san: Just because he is black does not mean that he has anger problems or a tendency toward violence. He might well have been a cool, laid back nice guy that never lost it; that could be addressed in court also. I understand that you did not mean or imply that he had anger or attitude problems.

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  127. Modulo Myself says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Right. The witnesses all saw two men. Most of them have seemed to change their testimony. Also, according to wikipedia, the girl who was supposedly talking to Martin on the phone lied under oath.

    But this was fascinating:

    When Zimmerman tried to move off the concrete, Martin saw his gun and said “You’re going to die tonight motherf—r!” Martin grabbed for the gun, but Zimmerman grabbed it first. He said after firing his weapon at Martin, he wasn’t sure at first that he had hit him, so he got on top of him in order to subdue him.

    If Martin was above Zimmerman, was shot, and then fell onto the ground on his back, why wouldn’t Zimmerman know that he had hit him? Maybe he had no idea what was going on, and didn’t put the situation together in his mind. Or, Martin wasn’t where Zimmerman said he was.

    The most logical explanation for Zimmerman not knowing if he had shot Martin would be that Martin was already on his back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  128. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Pardon me while I note that on the previous thread, numerous people were misstating the ages of the involved parties until I linked to the police reports showing that it wasn’t a matter of 17-year-old and a 15-year-old, or that the victim’s parents had waited until the accused was 18 before filing the police complaint. Did I step on your toes there? Were you just about to pounce in and correct everyone before I stole your thunder?

    @wr: If we’re going to jump to conclusions, then I should point out that you’re on the side of allowing adults to have sex with 14-year-old children and the right of someone who feels “dissed” to beat the crap out of those who “dis” them.

    Both are examples of narcissism run wild, of the sociopath’s well-known inability to feel empathy and the need to identify with the aggressor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  129. Jenos Idanian says:

    And with that, I think I’ll adjourn for at least a few hours — if not longer — and let the lynch mob continue to rationalize their prejudices against Zimmerman. At this point, you NEED him to be guilty, facts be damned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  130. @Jenos Idanian:

    And with that, I think I’ll adjourn for at least a few hours — if not longer —

    Please do.

    and let the lynch mob continue to rationalize their prejudices against Zimmerman. At this point, you NEED him to be guilty, facts be damned.

    What you need to understand, Jenos, as you cry about “rationalize their prejudices” is that declaring Zimmerman innocent because he cited some gun law you like is also a form of “rationalizing prejudices.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  131. nemerinys says:

    @JKB:

    One witness who saw a small fraction of the “wrestling” saw a dynamic struggle whereby Zimmerman and Martin were able to roll up an incline to the sidewalk into a different position before, obviously, rolling back down to the point where Zimmerman shot Martin. Unless Martin was an agreeable ninny, Zimmerman had to have had some freedom of movement during this time.

    According to Zimmerman’s statements, he was able to shift his weight to retrieve his gun; to both take aim and worry about not shooting his own hand; and to have “wrist-control” of Martin. According to forensic evidence, he was also able to pull Martin’s clothing away and down from Martin’s body.

    Zimmerman was in physical control at the time he chose to shoot and kill Martin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  132. nemerinys says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The state will present evidence to prove Murder 2; it does not have to address self-defense unless Zimmerman takes the stand and presents a self-defense justification.

    After he sat in his truck for a few minutes staring at Martin, Zimmerman muttered, “These assholes, they always get away” before he turned his truck around and drove behind Martin; he exclaimed, “Shit, he’s running” before he exited his truck and jogged along the same path taken by Martin; he muttered, “Fucking punks;” and he remained in the area for approximately four minutes during and after the NEN call.

    If there was a confrontation at the T, per Zimmerman’s statements, Martin announced his presence by asking if he had a problem. Zimmerman responded, “No, I don’t have a problem,” while patting his jacket and jean pockets. A reasonable person, after having been decidedly followed/hunted and asking a decidedly reasonable question, would be reasonably alarmed when told an evident lie while the liar is “looking for his cell phone,” which no reasonable person would ever conjecture.

    If there was a confrontation at the T, per his own statements, Zimmerman was able to stand up and move without obstruction. He did not move towards his truck, but, instead, moved in the direction of Martin’s destination. In his reenactment, he used a swatting motion, indicating that Martin was behind him; this belies any notion that he couldn’t return to his truck (in which case, any further struggle with a “violent” Martin would have been in that direction).

    This is only the beginning of the state’s case as to behavior and state-of-mind, with the additional note that Martin walked past Zimmerman’s truck without word or gesture, ran into an area where a vehicle could not follow, and, if Zimmerman is to be believed, “hid” before appearing with his question. These actions belie allegations of aggression.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  133. nemerinys says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    The NEN tape is perfectly inconsistent with Zimmerman’s statements. He insisted that he was following the dispatcher’s instructions, and that he followed Martin with the mission to find an address. The tape proves otherwise. He insisted that he was returning to his truck while still on the phone. His presence in the area minutes later proves otherwise.

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  134. nemerinys says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Zimmerman had a likely broken nose, abrasions along his forehead and at the tip of his nose, and two small lacerations (2cm and 0.5cm) on his scalp (requiring no stitches and mere cleaning with soap and water). His physical stats were normal within 30 minutes after he allegedly fought for his life and killed Martin, with the paramedic noting that injuries were minor. He refused to seek medical attention until going to his physician’s office late the following morning, after he went to his workplace and only because, according to him, his employer wanted a doctor’s note.

    There’s no evidence that Martin laid a hand on him; no Zimmerman blood or DNA on his hands, none on his sleeves or sleeve cuffs. Zimmerman had the use of arms, hands, teeth, and one tactical flashlight; there’s no evidence that he used any of these in self-defense. While there is evidence that Martin enjoyed refereed sparring matches, there’s no evidence that he was aggressive or had violent tendencies; sparring matches are not street fights. While it’s a rarity for a pot smoker to behave aggressively, there’s no evidence that Martin was one of them, and his own actions that night contradict aggressive behavior.

    The only non-gunshot injury on Martin was a ¼ x 1/8 inch abrasion on the fourth finger on his left hand (Martin was right-handed).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  135. nemerinys says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Three witnesses heard a loud argument and yelling; several witnesses heard a shriek or a “whine.” No one saw the beginning of the struggle.

    Only one witness saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, but twice under oath attested that he couldn’t see anyone’s hands, much less any punching or head-bashing. At least three witnesses saw Zimmerman on top of Martin immediately after the gunshot; a fourth witness saw only one person, wearing a red jacket, indicating that Martin was not on top of Zimmerman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  136. Bill Taylor says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I hope i read this wrong but did YOU claim MOST of martin’s problems at school were related to FIGHTING?????

    i must ask because the FACT is NONE of his problems at school involved ANY fight?????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  137. Bill Taylor says:

    @Modulo Myself: the shot was from less than 2 feet away, his own words he took careful aim to miss his own hand(showing BOTH hands were FREE and the off hand was near martins chest) then shot directly through his heart…there is NO CHANCE on earth zman didnt know he hit him just another of his countless stupid LIES…..like not knowing the name of a street he had to drive on to enter or leave his home and had patrolled for months.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  138. stonetools says:

    Wow, still litigating this? Wait for the trial, guys. It’ll be just a couple of weeks.
    A question for the Zimmerman apologists: If the situation were reversed, with Zimmerman being the one followed and shot, is there any doubt whatsoever that Trayvon Martin would have tried, charged , and convicted, and that it would have been a relatively straightforward prosecution case for second degree murder at least? Why is this such a tough case now? Would you be as vehement in defense of defendant Trayvon Martin?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  139. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Are you still here? I thought I told you to go get your f****’in shine box.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  140. Matt Bernius says:

    @nemerinys:

    Zimmerman had a likely broken nose, abrasions along his forehead and at the tip of his nose, and two small lacerations (2cm and 0.5cm) on his scalp (requiring no stitches and mere cleaning with soap and water). His physical stats were normal within 30 minutes after he allegedly fought for his life and killed Martin, with the paramedic noting that injuries were minor. He refused to seek medical attention until going to his physician’s office late the following morning, after he went to his workplace and only because, according to him, his employer wanted a doctor’s note.

    I have long considered this to be the strongest evidence for an overreaction on Zimmerman’s part.

    As I’ve written here numerous times, here’s my reconstruction based on the evidence and personal experience.

    I think heated words were exchanged between two people whose adrenaline was dumping and were not thinking straight. Martin may very well have thrown the first punch, which potentially broke Zimmerman’s nose. Zimmerman started to fall and grabbed Martin pulling him to the ground (all too common in these sorts of fights and in part the source of the famous “high percentage of fights go to ground” statistic that BJJ marketed for years). From there things got messy and I’m sure at some point Zimmerman’s head got bounced off the *ground* (note I didn’t say sidewalk).

    My read on Zimmerman is someone with little to no self-defense or fight experience. I think he paniced and though his head was going to get split open. He fussed his way to an opening, drew and fired while he and Martin were tangled.

    Again, I’m of the school that getting one’s ass kicked isn’t enough justification for deadly force. But this is going to be an uphill battle due to the general self-defense culture of Florida.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  141. Bill Taylor says:

    @PD Shaw: no they said “could” have……why must people leave out the easily seen words?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  142. bill says:

    @Matt Bernius: or maybe trayvon saw the gun and went for it? there were some other witnesses that saw it from a distance, some dropped out of the scene after it became a media circus and the panthers put a bounty of his head. what’s next, an all black jury so they can appease the crowd?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  143. Jeremy R says:

    Is it normal for modern defense attorneys to create websites for their client to disseminate evidence to the public & media? Given that the judge refused to sequester the jury pool, and the wide media coverage of this website content, this seems like an end run around the judge’s evidentiary rulings.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/23/18449794-zimmerman-defense-releases-texts-about-guns-fighting-from-trayvon-martins-phone?lite

    The newly released evidence, posted to a website run by Zimmerman’s defense team on Thursday, includes texts from Martin where he discusses being suspended from school and smoking marijuana. He also shows an interest in guns in several texts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  144. anjin-san says:

    @ everyone

    And with that, I think I’ll adjourn for at least a few hours — if not longer —

    Shame on all of us for giving this sad little drama queen any attention.He is not interested in any sort of reasonably intelligent discussion, he simply wants attention. People with no strengths develop gimmicks – his is being annoying. People pay attention to him, in much the same way they pay attention to a mosquito that is buzzing around them. He has probably been working that single note since the third grade, and I will grant that he is good at it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  145. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    panthers

    I am from East Oak originally. I still live in the east bay. There are no more Black Panthers. Good Lord, do the girlymen on the right ever stop shaking in their boots?

    There is a fringe group that styles themselves as “The New Black Panthers” – they have nothing to do with the real thing. A few of them stood outside a polling place in PA in 2008, they harmed no one, and guys like bill are still pissing themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  146. Matt Bernius says:

    @bill:

    or maybe trayvon saw the gun and went for it?

    Frankly, under those conditions — someone was following me, leading up to a verbal confrontation, and then showed a gun — I most likely would go for the gun myself. It’s the highest probability chance of survival at close range.

    However, there were intitial reports that supposedly Martin started to grab the gun and talk about capping Zimmerman. As anyone with a modicum of experience will tell you, once an adrenaline dump occurs in a fight or flight scenario, speech is one of the first areas of the brain to be lost. So, counter comic books, no one banters during a real fight.

    So, not surprisingly, the rumors that you seem to believe say a lot more about your biases and beliefs than any facts in the case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  147. James Pearce says:

    @Matt Bernius: Maybe I’ve been watching too much Hannibal, thinking I’m taking on some of Will Graham’s more imaginative abilities, but I’m with you in thinking this was a panic move by Zimmerman. I suspect that what happened is that Zimmerman confronted Martin and may have tried to detain him for the police, a citizen’s arrest of sorts.

    I mean, we have to account for why Zimmerman was within striking distance. His account says that Martin ambushed him, but there’s reason to find that unlikely. Martin may have been hostile to Zimmerman, but to be as cold and calculating as to set up an ambush? That’s action movie nonsense. No self-respecting gangster would do that alone, preferring a group attack in retaliation, if anything. He’s a 17 year old kid, stoned out of his gourd. But he’s going to ambush a guy in the dark?

    It just doesn’t fit. You add Zimmerman playing think-a-cop, and it seems more likely he confronted Martin, not the other way around. I do not expect Zimmerman to ever admit that, but I think that’s probably what happened.

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  148. Pharoah Narim says:

    Have any of the clowns talking about head bashing actually seen a real fight before?!?!? Repeated head bashing (or any scenario involving multiple head shots) only occurs if someone has been knocked out or stunned and disoriented. Otherwise, a person still in the fight can either cover up, roll over, or even counteract the downward movement of the head into the pavement by flexing the head forward. Furthermore, an assailant, in order to launch a head bashing attack on someone they’ve mounted but is still resisting…would have to use both arms–exposing the rest of their body to the arms and legs of the person on the ground. The person on the ground would also have the ability to roll over and and perhaps even flip and mount the person on top in this scenario. This story is a load of horse hockey. It didn’t happen that way–couldn’t have happened the way this loser described it. If he was nimble, cognizant, and instinctual enough to pull a weapon in the scenario he gave, he also would have had to ability to easily counter Martins “advantage” in the cover story he gave–especially since he had 40 lbs on the kid. I agree we ought to be talking Manslaughter–but Zman has nobody to blame but himself. He was looking for trouble and found that things don’t unfold like they do in the movies. There is nowhere in Orlando where you have to fear for your life at night. You may get robbed in a few places but killing is not very common. Its not that kinda town.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  149. Pharoah Narim says:

    ***BREAKING NEWS****

    The RightWing Blogosphere has been set a flame by the release of this previously hidden video of Martin “acting like he was on drugs” thus corroborating Zman’s story.


    http://youtu.be/hs6Hk4vlrnQ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  150. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    What’s that?…. You mean–that NOT Martin?!? Oh…. Nevermind… [they all look so much alike though]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  151. legion says:

    @Tyrell:

    these situational behaviors would seem to be relevant to this case.

    Possibly. But as we all know, paper records tell an extremely one-dimensional story of a person. Would you want a jury to judge you by your Facebook posts? Or your browser history? It might even be admissible under some circumstances _if_ the individual in question could cross-examine and rebut. But in this case, he can’t. Because he’s dead. Therefore, a small judgement in his favor is entirely appropriate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  152. D&G says:

    So does anyone not recall the messages of Martin being present at a beating of a homeless man, for those of you stating that the evidence of prior violence shouldnt be admissible and that even a thug needs to have a reason to take action, what about that man? What did he do to deserve the beating? A violent person is going to be violent or aggresive. Its even said the Martin had MMA style fighting history, so how is an average citizen going to get away from that? Even a skinny person with at least some fighting training will be able to take on a guy that relied on a weapon instead of his muscle because George Zimmerman knew he wouldnt be able to defend himself if needed, in any scenario, not just this. The media painted Martin as an innocent victim, a person reputable and almost with an angelic view, what they failed to show was a troubled teen going down the wrong path, while zimmerman was portrayed as a mad-man. Zimmerman should deserve a fighting chance due to these current photos that were purposely hidden, to help redeem himself from what the media has portrayed him. I believe that Martin was as guilty as he was innocent, not that he deserved his death in anyway, but walking around like a thug and think your not gonna get any attention? Put yourselves in this situation people, imagine a random person walking around your neigborhood with baggy clothes, are they not gonna attract your attention? It has been shown time and time that dressing certain ways will catch the attention of others in a non positive way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  153. D&G says:

    @stonetools:

    Had Zimmerman shot Martin as he turned around and shot him in the back yes try Zimmerman for murder as the stand your ground shouldnt apply, same case for Martin, if he had acquired Zimmermans gun, and Zimmerman ran away and Martin shot him, is is guilty of murder, when your getting your butt kicked your gonna try to find a way to get out of that shamble in terms of getting hurt, picking up what you could to defend your life, George Zimmerman chose his gun, had Zimmerman pulled the gun out and Martin removed it and shot him then Martins case would have been Stand your Ground as well, compare apples to apples folks, when facing your aggresor whether Martin or Zimmerman in this case it is unknown which was which, no one had their backs turned so they are both as guilty, had Zimmerman walked away with no injuries, then yes say what you may, many state my outcome wouldve been different. No one really knows how Zimmermans chances stood if he had no gun and he had to actually fight

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  154. Tarlus says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    There were also grass stains on the knees of Martin and on the back of Zimmerman. I think the evidence presented will follow pretty closely Zimmerman’s version of the events. Plus there is the voice stress test Zimmerman took and passed right after the incident (which will not be admitted in trial)

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  155. Tarlus says:

    @anjin-san:

    Granted I am going back a few decades, but when I was a teenager, this description applied to over half the teenage boys in town. How many boys never get in fights? Never at least dabble with drugs?

    So if you are a normal teenager, on his way back from a munchie run, you can’t be a victim?

    But I doubt half the kids filmed friends beating up homeless people, were suspended 3 times in one semester from school, got kicked out of the house by their mother, texted about trying to buy a handgun, and so on.

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  156. anjin-san says:

    @ Tarlus

    Smear the victim, eh?

    That’s what sleezeball lawyers who defend rapists do.

    We can tell a lot about Zimmermann by the character, or lack thereof, of his supporters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  157. Tarlus says:

    @anjin-san:

    I understand why you are bringing rape and sleezeball lawyers into the discussion. The trouble is I am not suggesting Trayvon deserved anything, let alone being shot and killed. I just questioned your assertion that the things Trayvon was involved in are quite normal for most teen-agers. Who knows, I might be wrong about that.

    I support neither Zimmerman nor anyone else in this case. My preference is to have a full airing of all the evidence at trial before I can come to a final conclusion.
    Finally, no need to make attacks on a poster’s character for posting observations. Unless, that is the way you try to persuade others.

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  158. bob s says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    let’s look at some other facts. fact one is that if you are in a neighborhood watch you are not supposed to be armed. Zimmerman violated that rule. fact 2 if you are in a neighborhood watch you are not supposed to follow any suspicious character. you call the police and let them handle it. Zimmerman violated this rule as well. if you are a neighborhood watch”captain” like Zimmerman claims then you should know these rules inside and out the fact that he ignored this shows his intent to go out armed and looking for trouble. now someone is dead because he wanted to play dirty harry or try to play at being a cop. he had the right to do neither….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  159. bob s says:

    @Tyrell: and so could zimmermans attitude. martin was never arrested Zimmerman was arrested for resisting arrest and battery of a police officer. the charges were later reduced and Zimmerman had to go to classes for anger management and also alcohol abuse. I wonder if zimmermans judge father had anything to do with the charge being reduced. his father is a former Virginia judge and i’d be willing to bet he goes to the same clubs as the local politicians and d.a.
    also another chestnut is Zimmerman also had a restraining order against him for slapping around a girlfriend of his. so the defense wants to claim a person who was shot and killed and had no police record was the aggressor against someone who had a history of aggression and a police record for it.

    interesting…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  160. rodney dill says:

    …maybe we should start a pool about how many OTB Martin-Zimmerman posts will occur this summer before the verdict. …or to be more fair how many comments on the combined posts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  161. Jenos Idanian says:

    @nemerinys: The NEN tape is perfectly inconsistent with Zimmerman’s statements. He insisted that he was following the dispatcher’s instructions, and that he followed Martin with the mission to find an address. The tape proves otherwise. He insisted that he was returning to his truck while still on the phone. His presence in the area minutes later proves otherwise.

    Here’s where I’m coming from:

    Zimmerman and the operator are talking. Zimmerman is panting. She asks if he’s following the subject. He confirms that. She says “you don’t need to do that” — a suggestion, not an order, which she has no right to issue anyway. Zimmerman’s breathing returns to normal and discusses where to meet the police.

    The most logical conclusion to draw is that Zimmerman stopped chasing Martin at that point. And if Zimmerman was no longer following Martin, then the logical conclusion to draw there is that any confrontation that followed were the result of Martin returning to confront Zimmerman, not Zimmerman continuing to pursue and catch up to Martin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  162. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I thought I told you to go home and get your shine box, Tommy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  163. Jenos Idanian says:

    @bob s: I wonder if zimmermans judge father had anything to do with the charge being reduced. his father is a former Virginia judge and i’d be willing to bet he goes to the same clubs as the local politicians and d.a.

    That’s a lie. Zimmerman’s father was a magistrate in Virginia, not a judge — a lower, less influential position. And he held the position from 2000 to 2006. His ability to exercise influence for his son is essentially negligible.

    Well, Bob, that might not be fair of me. Could it be that you read somewhere that “Zimmerman’s father was a judge” and it just stuck in your head, and you never bothered to verify it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  164. bob s says:

    @Jenos Idanian: if you bothered to look at the posts I made to you concerning this you would know that Zimmerman broke the 2 most important rules in the neighborhood watch. he went out armed which your not supposed to do and he was following who he called a suspicious person. sanfords watch protocols and indeed all watch protocols state clearly that you don’t go out armed or follow a suspect. which part of these rules don’t you understand?
    look up the neighborhood watch protocols for Sanford florida and see what they say.
    Zimmerman thought he was a bad ass because he had a gun and could go harass people that he thought were suspicious…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  165. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rafer Janders: And I thought I told you to blow it out your ass, Rafer.

    Oh, I’m sorry, I neglected to say so earlier. So I’ll say it now: blow it out your ass, Rafer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  166. JKB says:

    @rodney dill: …maybe we should start a pool about how many OTB Martin-Zimmerman posts will occur this summer before the verdict. …or to be more fair how many comments on the combined posts.

    By all indications it would be somewhere around infinity times infinity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  167. Matt Bernius says:

    @Tarlus:

    There were also grass stains on the knees of Martin and on the back of Zimmerman.

    All those stains suggest is that Zimmerman’s back hit the ground as did Martin’s knees. As I said in my suggested reconstruction, those could easily occur by Zimmerman falling backwards and pulling Martin on top of him on his way down. Again, anyone whose seen (or been in) a fight like this is probably familiar with this turn of events.

    I have little doubt that it was followed by a lot of rolling around (which is also pretty common). I even can see Martin ending up “on top.”

    But none of this is evidence that Martin had Zimmerman in the full “ground and pound” position. And the limited bruising of Martin’s finger (note not plural) is some evidence against that as well (as is the limited bruising on the back of Zimmerman’s head).

    But all of this is internet speculation without access to the full facts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  168. Septimius says:

    @Jeremy R:

    Is it normal for modern defense attorneys to create websites for their client to disseminate evidence to the public & media?

    No, but when CNN airs a story falsely claiming your client uttered a racial slur on the 911 tape, NBC News deceptively edits the 911 call to make your client appear racist, ABC News airs a grainy still photo from a police surveillance camera and claims your client had no injuries on the night in question, it might not be a bad thing to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  169. Tarlus says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    What you say is possible. But how can you convict when you have to make suppositions that don’t immediately fit the evidence. The grass stains on the knee photo looks more than just rolling on the ground. Too much doubt to be able to convict. Throw on top of that the first witness original statement that he saw Martin on top pounding Z on the ground and originally stated that he thought the one on bottom was crying for help (which makes sense).

    Once again, what you say is possible but pending full evidence in court, not enough to convict.

    I do agree this is just internet speculation at this point. However, the photos and much of the evidence to be presented is available for study. We shall see how it pans out with the addition of expert analysis in the trial.

    PS Thank you Matt for being able to discuss this tragedy without personal attacks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  170. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Matt Bernius: But none of this is evidence that Martin had Zimmerman in the full “ground and pound” position.

    I feel slightly conspicuous about using semantics here after mocking others for doing so, but the grass stains are absolutely evidence that support Zimmerman’s story. They are not proof, but they certainly support his story.

    That’s the problem here. There’s very little proof involved, just lots of evidence. Nothing is conclusive. That’s why it’s so easy for the “hang Zimmerman” crowd to dismiss it — since none of them are conclusive in and of themselves, they are treated as if they don’t matter.

    To me, they do. They add weight to the case. And, so far, they almost all fall on Zimmerman’s side of the story.

    The question I ask of each new factoid is “is this consistent with Zimmerman’s story, or does it contradict it in some way?” As Zimmerman’s story is the only eyewitness account, it is the key to the whole case. And only an idiot would discount Zimmerman’s interest in presenting a story that puts him in the best light.

    The main issue to this whole story is “did Zimmerman break the law when he killed Martin?” Not whether or not Zimmerman told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    If Zimmerman is found to have shaded the truth in some details of his account, that does not make him guilty of murder. It takes away the credibility of his story. And I’m sure he did misstate some things — some from ordinary confusion, some from self-interest, some from guilt (moral, not legal). Which is why I don’t take his story at face value. And why I look so carefully at the facts that emerge.

    And I also look at the statements of those so eager to convict him.

    For example: Zimmerman said he was battered by Martin, resulting in a broken nose and injuries to the back of his head. His detractors minimized his injuries, even citing videos that showed him apparently uninjured. But then it turned out that those videos were edited to remove evidence of his injuries (a broken nose and numerous abrasions to the back of his head) which are consistent with his story of being punched in the face, knocked down, and having his head bashed into the pavement.

    That’s not proof that Martin punched Zimmerman in the face and pounded his head into the pavement. But it’s consistent. And the Zimmerman critics are caught not only lying, but faking evidence to support their lie.

    Zimmerman says he was on his back on the ground, Martin atop him. Critics say that there’s no proof that it wasn’t the other way around, even for a brief time. But there are grass stains on Martin’s knees and Zimmerman’s back — and not on Martin’s back, and not on Zimmerman’s knees. Again, not proof, but consistent with Zimmerman’s story.

    I’ve never said Zimmerman was innocent. I’ve always said that I am not convinced of his guilt. And based on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” the proof of his guilt is extremely shaky.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 14

  171. @Jenos Idanian:

    She says “you don’t need to do that”

    She???

    No, he says “We don’t need you to do that.” This about five seconds after George Zimmerman said Martin was running away.

    The most logical conclusion to draw is that Zimmerman stopped chasing Martin at that point.

    Oh no, it’s not logic that brings you to that conclusion. It’s your own partisan credulity.

    Remember, a few short minutes after he allegedly “stopped chasing Martin,” Zimmerman was shooting him dead. Zimmerman would have us believe it’s because Martin leaped out of the shadows like Batman. Isn’t it also possible that Zimmerman continued to chase Martin? Of course it is.

    Considering the results of that night, that possibility becomes something more, approaching dangerously close to an actual likelihood.

    As for the shinebox comment, you got it all wrong. “Blow it out your ass?” Haven’t you ever seen Goodfellas? Joe Pesci’s comeback was way better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  172. Tarlus says:

    @Septimius:

    I do agree the defense needed to stop the story line being put on the airwaves. My first reaction was Zimmerman needed to sentenced to life, end of story. Zimmerman didn’t have a chance of acquittal. But now as more facts have come out I realize one must not rush to judgement. I will await all evidence in a trial before making my final call.

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  173. Pharoah Narim says:

    @D&G: So–your position is: Whoever dies was the guilty party? You might want to re-think that. Thanks for demonstrating what a stupid piece of legislation SYG is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  174. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “We can tell a lot about Zimmermann by the character, or lack thereof, of his supporters. ‘

    I tend to agree with you about Zimmerman’s guilt, but this strikes me as unfair. A lot of really stupid people just mindlessly repeat whatever Glen Beck or some other right wing guru tells them. (For instance, today’s mantra about the beating of a homeless man, which has magically materialized in the middle of the conversation, having never been mentioned here before and now suddenly the key argument for all the illiterate mouth-breathers.)

    This really doesn’t tell us anything about Zimmerman, except that the worst of the worst have chosent to use him as a rallying point to keep fleecing the rubes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  175. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb): No, never saw “Goodfellas.” It’s one of many cultural touchstones I’ve missed. I’ve also never watched Titanic or Gone With The Wind, and only saw Casablanca in my late 20′s.

    As far as your actual point… Zimmerman was following Martin, and the operator said “you don’t need to do that.” Zimmerman’s breathing returned to normal, indicating (not proving) that he stopped moving quickly.

    There was more than enough time for Martin, angered at being followed for what he saw as no good reason, for turn back and confront the guy who had treated him with such disrespect and throw the first punch, breaking Zimmerman’s nose and knocking him to the ground. An equally valid (if not more valid) possibility, based on the known facts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  176. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Pharoah Narim: The message of SYG laws is that no, we do NOT value the lives and safety of aggressors just as much as we value the lives and safety of those being aggressed against.

    Which, of course, is totally irrelevant to the Zimmerman case, as the Florida law as written does not apply to it, and all concerned parties have agreed that it doesn’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  177. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Shut the f**k up, Donnie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  178. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: We can tell a lot about Zimmermann by the character, or lack thereof, of his supporters.

    Let’s apply the same standard to the Martin supporters, who have been caught repeatedly faking evidence to discredit Zimmerman. The minimizing of his injuries, the selective editing and altering of audio and video records, etc. etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  179. bob s says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    why is it do you still have nothing to say about the posts I made to you concerning the fact that Zimmerman claims to be a neighborhood watch captain that violated the main rules of said neighborhood watch protocols?
    is it because it conflicts with your ideas on Zimmerman and shows that he was indeed looking to cause trouble?

    Sanford neighborhood watch protocols clearly indicate that if you are in a neighborhood watch you do not go out armed nor do you follow a suspicious person. Zimmerman violated these rules which is not going to be good for him. don’t you think the prosecution will bring this up?

    these issue right away put everything Zimmerman did in question including any self defense claim since he had a weapon he was clearly looking to confront someone because if he wasn’t why would he need a weapon in violation of watch protocols? the fact that he was following someone again in violation of watch protocols shows that he was intent on confrontation. whether to make himself look like a hero or because he thinks he is a cop is debatable

    but this will factor into the case you can be sure…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  180. @Tarlus:

    Too much doubt to be able to convict.

    I’m hesitant to even address you since apparently your definition of “personal attack” is neither very personal nor much of an attack, so buckle up, fluff the pillows on the fainting couch, and get ready.

    “Doubt?” I keep hearing about this “reasonable doubt” stuff, as if we’re talking about OJ and the “real” killer.

    Let’s just establish something: There is no doubt that Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin.

    What we’re talking about here is determining if that killing is a criminal murder or a justified homicide. We already know that Zimmerman thought it was justified at the time, but was it? Was it really?

    I just have a hard time believing the guy who was armed, with his truck nearby and the cavalry already called, would find himself –through no fault of his own– in a situation where he would have to defend himself with deadly force.

    Self defense isn’t just about shooting people who attack you. It’s about being smart too. That’s why people put locks on their doors instead of just leaning a shotgun on the jamb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  181. Jenos Idanian says:

    @bob s: why is it do you still have nothing to say about the posts I made to you concerning the fact that Zimmerman claims to be a neighborhood watch captain that violated the main rules of said neighborhood watch protocols?
    is it because it conflicts with your ideas on Zimmerman and shows that he was indeed looking to cause trouble?

    No, it’s because it’s irrelevant to whether or not Zimmerman committed murder when he killed Martin. He isn’t claiming that he shot Zimmerman in the pursuit of his duties as neighborhood watch captain.

    I’d ask you why you haven’t addressed the accusations that Zimmerman’s a racist thug cop wannabe, when a few years ago he took on the police department in a case where a politically-connected cop beat the crap out of a homeless black man, but that’s just as irrelevant.

    We already know Zimmerman’s hardly the smartest knife in the drawer. The only relevant question is whether or not he committed murder when he shot Martin. The only reason I can think of constantly assailing his character is to make his accusers feel better about trying to railroad him — because he deserves it.

    Not that I’m saying that he’s innocent, just noticing that there have been serious moves to fake evidence against him. See above.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  182. Matt Bernius says:

    @Tarlus:

    What you say is possible. But how can you convict when you have to make suppositions that don’t immediately fit the evidence. The grass stains on the knee photo looks more than just rolling on the ground. Too much doubt to be able to convict. Throw on top of that the first witness original statement that he saw Martin on top pounding Z on the ground and originally stated that he thought the one on bottom was crying for help (which makes sense).

    First, as I’ve said repeatedly, the evidence, plus the general disposition in Florida towards armed self defense, is going to make this hard case for the prosecution and I am one of the many who thing Murder 2 was most likely an overreach based on politics versus the facts.

    As to one specific point you raised: “The grass stains on the knee photo looks more than just rolling on the ground.”

    I’ve already addressed the fact that I suspect the grass stains are there based on the initial impact of Zimmerman hitting the ground after eating a punch to the nose and his pulling Martin to the group with him. Again, this is an incredibly common fight situation (especially if Martin over-swung, which is also common in real life fights).

    As far as the following:

    “Throw on top of that the first witness original statement that he saw Martin on top pounding Z on the ground and originally stated that he thought the one on bottom was crying for help (which makes sense).”

    As a few people have correct me above, this witness has changed his testimony a few times. Additionally, even if Martin was on top of Zimmerman (which I expect he was when the shooting occurred), this is entirely different than an “MMA style” (as people keep using) ground and pound (which, apparently the people who keep using “MMA style” have never actually seen).

    To Jenos’s comment that follows, the evidence suggests that both men went to the ground and rolled around. As the police inspector wrote, it doesn’t *strongly* support Zimmerman’s account of the events.

    I continue to take that evidence in total as saying that Zimmerman was losing a fight. The question was (a) how badly was he losing, and (b) was this ultimately a fight for his life. Again, looking at the evidence as someone who studies martial arts and self defense, I have a hard time seeing this as a life threatening situation. I don’t believe getting one’s ass kicked should necessarily give permission for the use of deadly force.

    That said, I’m not the arbiter here. Ultimate the jury is. And if the defense is able to build the case that Zimmerman both (a) felt his life was in danger, and (b) there was enough physical evidence to support that conclusion, then he’s going to be found “not guilty” of the charges brought against him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  183. bob s says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    again you are being disingenuous. Zimmerman claims he is a neighborhood watch captain and was performing his duties as such. if he was truly doing that he would not have been armed as per the watch protocols nor would he have been following martin again against watch protocols
    you keep talking about faked evidence but where is this faked evidence? what people say on these forums or others is not considered evidence it is what they have heard reported though some may change things to suit themselves. the courts have the evidence and i’m sure they are not going by what people on this or any other msg board say.

    Zimmerman claims to be a neighborhood watch captain,this is fact
    he violated the rules for a neighborhood watch by going out armed and following someone around this is also fact.
    this is going to factor in to this case because it shows Zimmerman was ready to use a weapon when by the protocols of the watch he should never have had one in his possession if he was actually performing such duties.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  184. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Matt Bernius: I continue to take that evidence in total as saying that Zimmerman was losing a fight. The question was (a) how badly was he losing, and (b) was this ultimately a fight for his life. Again, looking at the evidence as someone who studies martial arts and self defense, I have a hard time seeing this as a life threatening situation. I don’t believe getting one’s ass kicked should necessarily give permission for the use of deadly force.

    I wonder if you’re bringing too much expertise to this case. You’re looking at the fight through an expert’s eyes; a layman who’s pinned down and having his head bashed against pavement hard enough to draw blood might reasonably believe their life is in danger. Toss in another lawman being on top might be genuinely trying to kill the guy on the bottom, but lacking in the training to do so most effectively. And a layman might also be more angry than a trained person like yourself, and more likely to utter death threats during the fight.

    Again, total speculation — but the standard in court isn’t what a trained expert would do in similar circumstances, but a reasonable person. An average person who stabs another in the throat can be presumed to be trying to kill the person; a doctor doing so could be performing a tracheotomy to save their life.

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  185. mantis says:

    I have no idea if Zimmerman is guilty of murder or not, and I suspect the only person who truly knows that is Zimmerman. What I do know is his defenders quite obviously do not consider Martin’s death to be a tragic event, but rather a just one. They are sick, disturbed people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  186. Tarlus says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    James I must say I agree with what you just posted. Except of course about personal attack parts. I do have thick skin. I just find them to be a distraction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  187. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Actually, that’s my ultimate point — and the same one the Investigator arguably made in his determination — it’s all going to depend on what the cases and presented and what the jury decides.

    You raise a couple points in this response that I wish I had time to address now. For the moment though, I want to point out that IMHO, Zimmerman stopped being *just* a layman the moment that he decided to carry a gun. And the fact that he went out armed as a neighborhood watch person kicks him up yet another level on the “not a layman” scale.

    Like it or not, the act of arming himself greatly increased his ability to inflict grievous bodily harm (in the same way that training Martial Arts can). And so, IMHO, he needs to be judged by a higher standard than someone who was randomly jumped on the street or attacked by an acquaintance.

    I don’t think he should be judged on the same level as an expert. But I don’t agree with the layman argument either.

    An average person who stabs another in the throat can be presumed to be trying to kill the person; a doctor doing so could be performing a tracheotomy to save their life.

    Correct. Likewise the average citizen is not held to the same standard as police. But this is a case where someone decided to “play cop.” So while he shouldn’t be judged as a cop, he doesn’t get to take the “average person” defense either.

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  188. Tarlus says:

    @mantis:

    Wow! Where does that statement come from?

    Yes, i have seen wackos saying he got what he deserved. But, I have seen just a few of those comments. Here I have read from those questioning the guilt or innocence of Zimmerman that it was a tragic death. I also find it tragic and a loss of a precious life.

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  189. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    a layman who’s pinned down and having his head bashed against pavement hard enough to draw blood

    There is no evidence showing that Zimmerman’s head was “bashed against pavement” and in fact his injuries suggest something more minor than that description. It is unwise to accept the story of the accused without question. We don’t know that Martin ever touched Zimmerman’s head.

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  190. Matt Bernius says:

    To go on record, based on looking at lots of these cases, I predict a not-guilty verdict. Given the culture of Florida and the evidence, such as we know it, I don’t see how the defense threads the the “Murder 2″ needle (again, I think they over-reached).

    Even if this had happened in a Northern state, I still think — for better or worse — the results would largely be the same. BTW, that result has little to do with racism (systemic or otherwise) and a lot more to do with the fact that in self defense cases, the Jury tends to be on the side of the defendant.

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  191. mantis says:

    @Tarlus:

    Wow! Where does that statement come from?

    I wasn’t referring to you.

    Yes, i have seen wackos saying he got what he deserved. But, I have seen just a few of those comments.

    I have seen tons of them. You aren’t paying attention.

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  192. anjin-san says:

    @ Tarlus

    I just questioned your assertion that the things Trayvon was involved in are quite normal for most teen-agers. Who knows, I might be wrong about that.

    Well, smoking dope and getting in fights are certainly fairly normal for a teenage boy. As for things like the supposed incident with the homeless man, how certain are you that that actually happened? We are talking about a 17 year old kid who ended up dead when all he was doing was walking home from the store. If you are going to disparage his character, it might not be a bad idea to be very sure you have the facts straight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  193. anjin-san says:

    @ Matt Bernius

    I predict a not-guilty verdict.

    I’m inclined to agree. They should have charged him with manslaughter. It’s just one more screw up on this case by local authorities. Your assessment of the fight strikes me as spot on as well.

    One thing is certain. Zimmermann’s incredibly reckless/foolish actions set a chain of events in motion that led to a horrible tragedy. He chose to arm himself. He chose to ignore Neighborhood Watch rules. He chose to follow a civilian in the absence of any authority. I think the most grievous thing he did was choosing to get out of the truck.

    WTF could he possibly be thinking at that point? How is that situation possibly going to end well? And if Martin “gets away”, who cares? If he truly though Martin was suspicious, well the cops were on the way. All good. While he was in the truck, Zimmermann was essentially invulnerable, which is a fairly important point, since he seemed to regard Martin as a threat.

    One more relevant item. Nothing in Martin’s past is relevant to what happened that night. He was walking home from the store, minding his own business. He had every right to be there. If I was going for a walk and a stranger was following me, I would absolutely be prepared to defend myself, and I would be within my rights to do so. Can anyone here claim to feel differently?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  194. anjin-san says:

    @ wr

    Your point is well taken. The fact that Zimmermann’s support tends to come from bottom feeders is not really his fault. I would have been more correct to say that support for Zimmermann, the architect of this tragedy, tells us a lot about his fan base.

    It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. A not guilty verdict for Zimmermann might not be such a kind fate, though he will certainly be a hero in some circles on the right. Dan White’s experience shows us how one’s karma can take hold in a situation like this.

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  195. @anjin-san, @Matt Bernius:

    I predict a not-guilty verdict.

    I predict a not guilt verdict isn’t going to be so easy. Jury’s may be extremely lenient in the self-defense claims, but from what the defense team is pushing out, it seems like they’re building a less-than-convincing circumstantial case that Trayvon Martin was a violent kid. The judge seems to be constraining that to a significant degree.

    Glance above:

    “All of that fits in squarely to what the defense is going to present: that George Zimmerman was put in the position that he had to act in self-defense,” Mr. O’Mara, said. “How could you keep us from arguing that?”

    Judge Nelson replied: “The rules of evidence keep you from doing it.”

    This does not sound like a defense cruising towards acquittal. Sounds like one that’s grasping at straws….

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  196. anjin-san says:

    @ James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb)

    I predict a not guilt verdict isn’t going to be so easy.

    I hope you are right, Zimmermann deserves prison. That being said, I think the murder charge was a bit of an overreach. It really depends on FL law I suppose.

    The composition of the jury will have a lot to do with the outcome.

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  197. Pharoah Narim says:

    No way GZ is acquitted. He might have had a shot if this had happened in the Pan Handle or the East/Space Coast of Florida. He’s going to be convicted on the charges. The “They always get away” quip is going to be his undoing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  198. anjin-san says:

    One more thing, let’s put this silly “bashing his head against the pavement” meme in the garbage, where it belongs. The physical evidence does not support it, and Zimmermann is a proven liar with every reason to lie in this case.

    You can’t have it both ways. If you are going to portray Martin as a formidable high school football player, a powerful young man in his prime, than you also have to accept that if a guy with those types of physical attributes would do a hell of a lot more damage bouncing someones skull off of the pavement repeatedly, with malice, than the superficial scalp damage Zimmermann had in the real world. The blood means nothing, scalp wounds bleed like hell. This is not rocket science, anyone with any experience in fights knows these things.

    Zimmerman had injuries consistent with being in a fairly mundane fight. In no way do they suggest an altercation where he was at risk of being beaten to death, or even severely. I’ve seen incredibly bloody fights where both guys walked away and went home, good as new in a few weeks.

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  199. Matt Bernius says:

    @anjin-san:

    One more thing, let’s put this silly “bashing his head against the pavement” meme in the garbage, where it belongs. The physical evidence does not support it, and Zimmermann is a proven liar with every reason to lie in this case.

    You can’t have it both ways. If you are going to portray Martin as a formidable high school football player, a powerful young man in his prime, than you also have to accept that if a guy with those types of physical attributes would do a hell of a lot more damage bouncing someones skull off of the pavement repeatedly, with malice, than the superficial scalp damage Zimmermann had in the real world.

    Thank you. This is also the problem with the meme that Martin had Zimmerman mounted “MMA Style” and was grounding and pounding him. If that was the case, then the damage to (a) the front and (b) the back of Zimmerman’s head, not to mention to (c) Treyvon’s knuckles would have been significantly worse.

    The reason that MMA and Boxers wear gloves is to protect their hands because they are hitting the hardest part of the human body — the head. Grounding and pounding on a re-enforced surface without hand protection leads to open wounds on the hand (due to the face’s sharp angle and teeth) and broken finger and hand bones and knuckles (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxer%27s_fracture ). This is why there are cut men ringside at professional fights.

    Grounding and Pounding on a reenforced surface also leads to far more head trauma (one of the reasons that, in many localities, a “curb” can be considered a deadly weapon in assault cases). Given that the head has some of the most tightly stretched skin on the body, getting “bounced” off an unforgiving surface will normally open up head wounds. The more the head bounces (on pavement) the more the back of the head opens up (either from new wounds or the further opening of previously inflicted wounds).

    A small contusion on the back of the subject’s head and a single, small knuckle wound do not match “repeated bashing” of one’s head on the concrete or repeated punches to the face.

    Again, there is little question in my mind that it probably felt that way to Zimmerman. But this is where the evidence doesn’t bear out the severity of the claim.

    But again, whether or not the Jury agrees is an entirely different thing.

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  200. JKB says:

    @Matt Bernius: in many localities, a “curb” can be considered a deadly weapon in assault cases

    You went on and on even after answering your own question.

    It is not required that one sustain serious injury to have a reasonable fear of death or serious injury and therefore be justified in using deadly force to stop the threat. One only has to reasonably fear such an injury and the threat must be imminent. The means of the threat must be present and ready for use.

    In the statements, Zimmerman was on his back and his head had been bashed into the concrete one or more times, either with intent or as a consequence of being hit in the front of the head. So, the concrete was present and in a position to cause death or serious bodily injury due to the actions, intentional or otherwise, by Martin. You state above that many jurisdictions consider a “curb”, i.e., hard concrete surface, a deadly weapon. So Zimmerman has a good argument that his fear of serious injury or death was reasonable. So, there is reasonable, and there is imminent, there is serious bodily injury or death.

    This, of course, may hinge upon details in the evidence not publicly available.

    So your fantasy about the level of bleeding of the head or the knuckles doesn’t matter. One good strike of a head on concrete even being pushed with an open hand can be deadly.

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  201. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    his head had been bashed into the concrete one or more times,

    Back in the real world, Zimmermann’s superficial injuries show this not to be the case. I have no doubt that he was scared, but he simply was not receiving a brutal beating. If his head had been “bashed into the concrete” multiple times by a serious opponent with his blood up, we would be looking at multiple lacerations with a lot more blood, a possible concussion, a possible skull fracture, and possible loss of consciousness. The EMTs would almost certainly make a forceful argument for him to go to the ER.

    Like I said earlier, you seem to fancy yourself as an expert on violent situations and threat assessments, yet you spot demonstrable nonsense. You said Zimmermann had no possible way to retreat. Bullshit. A guy is on top of you? Get him off, via one of several methods, and continue the fight, or run if you think you are in true danger. I’ve done both, so I know it is possible.

    It’s curious, the sympathy Zimmermann’s supporters feel for him. He is an entirely unsympathetic character, and he is the sole architect of this horrible tragedy. When you mix in the sense they are projecting that Martin somehow “deserved it”, well, it’s not a pretty picture.

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  202. @JKB:

    It is not required that one sustain serious injury to have a reasonable fear of death or serious injury and therefore be justified in using deadly force to stop the threat. One only has to reasonably fear such an injury and the threat must be imminent.

    Nope, sorry, man….you have it wrong:

    A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    It says nothing about fear. It says “reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm.”

    Unfortunately it was not necessary for Zimmerman to kill Martin to prevent death or great bodily harm. He could have stayed in his truck. He could have waited for the police. He could have done a lot of things, including firing the weapon in the air.

    But he panicked and killed the kid instead.

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  203. anjin-san says:

    It says nothing about fear. It says “reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm.”

    Bingo. Zimmermann was scared, probably panicked. He clearly has no street smarts. He does not appear to have any skill or experience with self-defense or fighting. How then, in the heat of the moment, does this rather pathetic man make a reasonable assessment of the situation, and determine he is in grave danger? He doesn’t. He panicked, and Martin died as a result.

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  204. Pharoah Narim says:

    So…..JKB advocates people shooting their fears away. Got it. What if I’m afeared that you’re afeared? Does D&G’s philosophy of the first to shoot and kill is the one who gets the free pass apply? Enlighten us.

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  205. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: There is no evidence showing that Zimmerman’s head was “bashed against pavement” and in fact his injuries suggest something more minor than that description. It is unwise to accept the story of the accused without question. We don’t know that Martin ever touched Zimmerman’s head.

    Here’s a radical thought: don’t just parrot crap that is readily disproven.

    For the clue-impaired: the link leads to a video still showing the back of Zimmerman’s head from the night of the shooting.

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  206. nemerinys says:

    @D&G:

    The text messages and photos released by the defense are non-contextual and not authenticated. What evidence does the defense have that Martin was aggressive or had violent tendencies? Has the defense produced – or suggested it has – witnesses to testify to such behavior? Does it have witnesses who can testify that it is Martin in any video, that Martin picked fights, or that Martin was in any way a “thug?” Evidence suggests Martin enjoyed watching and/or participating in refereed sparring matches, the very opposite of thug-like street fights.

    O’Mara has been disingenuous in his press conferences, stating, for example, that he has a witness who will testify that he saw Martin pounding Zimmerman, while failing to add that said witness later retracted his statement, twice stating under oath that he never saw any hands, much less any such pounding.

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  207. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    It says “reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm.”’

    And it also says “reasonably” believe. The apprehension must be that of a reasonable person, and most guys who’ve been in a fight know that the reasonable man doesn’t immediately fear he’s being beaten to death. The fact that someone may have smacked you around a few times doesn’t mean you have a reasonable belief that you can resort to deadly force to stop it.

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  208. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    For the clue-impaired: the link leads to a video still showing the back of Zimmerman’s head from the night of the shooting.

    Thanks, Jenos, for showing us the non-life-threatening injury Zimmerman unreasonably believed was necessary cause to use deadly force.

    Really making the case there…..

    (You do realize that while Zimmerman did get a broken nose, two black eyes, and a cut on the back of his head, he did not get a concussion. You contend that’s “great bodily harm?” )

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  209. anjin-san says:

    the non-life-threatening injury Zimmerman unreasonably believed was necessary cause to use deadly force.

    There is no evidence of the “bashing the head” – in fact, the superficial nature of the scalp injury suggests otherwise. Zimmermann could have been backing away in a panic and tripped over his own feet, falling back and hurting his head. The punch to the nose could have flattened him, injuring his head. It could have happened while then were rolling around on the ground.

    For that matter, it’s not impossible that he inflicted an injury on himself when he realized what he had done. We don’t know for sure, and we never will. Anyone who claims the head bashing is a non-argueable fact is spinning BS for reasons of their own.

    Zimmermann also claimed that Martin was bashing his head AND smothering him, AND telling him he was going to die. As another commentator pointed out, we are in comic book territory here. The investigator on the scene did not believe him, and for good reason. The story does not pass the smell test.

    As to “reasonable” – nothing Zimmermann did that night was reasonable. Every decision he made was somewhere between bad and train wreck horrible. Arming himself and playing cop. Following Martin. Getting out of the truck was absolutely unforgivable.

    He claimed Martin was “suspicious” “probably on drugs” “going for his waistband” (meaning weapon) – sounds like good reason to be afraid of Martin and follow the safest possible course of action, if he actually believed any of it. WTF would you leave the safety of the truck, unless you were seeking a confrontation? Zimmermann either wanted to confront Martin, or he had left reason behind a long time ago. Again, you can’t have it both ways.

    So after a string of unreasonable, horrible choices, Zimmermann was able to make a “reasonable” conclusion in the heat of the moment during the fight? I have a bridge I want to sell you.

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  210. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Pearce:

    (You do realize that while Zimmerman did get a broken nose, two black eyes, and a cut on the back of his head, he did not get a concussion. You contend that’s “great bodily harm?” )

    I’ve been in several fights over the years, and have both gotten and given black eyes and cuts (and have twice broken my opponent’s nose). On none of those occasions did any of us, however, think it was reasonable to reach for a gun and shoot to end the fight. We just brushed ourselves off and moved on.

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  211. Mikey says:

    @anjin-san:

    As to “reasonable” – nothing Zimmermann did that night was reasonable. Every decision he made was somewhere between bad and train wreck horrible. Arming himself and playing cop. Following Martin. Getting out of the truck was absolutely unforgivable.

    Coming into this comment thread rather late, but this jumped out at me because it’s how I’ve felt about the incident since it happened. All Zimmerman had to do was call the police and wait–well, really, all he had to do was nothing. But I suppose if you’re the appointed neighborhood watch guy and you see someone you consider suspicious, you call the police.

    But following was unnecessary. Getting out of the truck? He says he did that to get a house number. Well, perhaps, but he wouldn’t have needed the house number if he hadn’t been following the guy in the first place. Once he’s out of the truck, all bets are off. Martin may well have been confrontational, but if Zimmerman doesn’t follow him to start with, there would have been no opportunity for a confrontation.

    Zimmerman made one bad decision after another and Martin ended up dead. Whether that adds up to second-degree murder is up to a jury I won’t be on, but i can apply basic common sense and figure out whatever happened was due to Zimmerman’s godawful judgment.

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  212. JKB says:

    Awww, did we forget our critical thinking skills? Sure, I used the words “reasonable fear”. But if you applied a bit of thinking, you might see that a reasonable fear is a reasonable belief. And if one has a reasonable belief of an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury, as one might is someone continued in a altercation to strike you in a manner that caused you head to strike a hard object (concrete) and showed no signs of stopping the attack. One might then reasonably believe it is necessary to use force, including deadly force, to stop the threat.

    The very argument being made that Zimmerman was not apparently well versed in fighting techniques supports that his belief the force was necessary is reasonable.

    But yes, Zimmerman did do several completely lawful actions that did contribute to the eventual confrontation. He did notice Martin, did call the police, did follow another individual in public areas, and did end up away from his truck between the buildings. But Martin also took actions that contributed to the eventual confrontation. Namely, he did not continue to where he was staying and instead, reportedly, challenged Zimmerman. Reportedly, Martin hit Zimmerman and a physical altercation ensued. Reportedly, Martin threatened Zimmerman’s life verbally during the fight. At some point, Martin ended up on top of Zimmerman, striking him. Unfortunately, Zimmerman’s head was on concrete and the blows drove Zimmerman’s head to strike the concrete. Zimmerman came to believe that he had to use his firearm to stop Martin from causing his head to impact the concrete.

    What is the lesson here? That what each consider rational actions can lead to a conflict during which one or another can come to what they believe to be a reasonable belief they are under threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury and they may then utilize deadly force to stop the perceived threat. Or perhaps their belief isn’t reasonable but they use deadly force anyway. In either case, one ends up dead, the other ends up on trial. So the best course of action is to stop the chain of events before they merge into a tragedy.

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  213. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Seriously pal, buzz off. Clearly Zimmermann’s actions have appeal – if you are a paranoid Dirty Harry wannabe.

    As I said earlier, I can see the attraction that Zimmermann getting away with this has for people who go through life scared – and your repeated ramblings about “threats” makes it clear you are one of them.

    Arm yourself – hey, you are an instant badass. Nobody had better f**k with you if they know what’s good for them. And if you choose to start something (which is what Zimmermann did) the other guy had better back off in a hurry – if he knows what’s good for him. “Hey, I was scared, I shot him – is it Miller time now?” You can skip all the hard work that a guy like Matt B put in, leaning how to actually handle himself. You are a big man with a gun.

    I can see the appeal this has to a young man who is not terribly bright, but for guys over 25 and people with triple digit IQs, it’s rather repellent.

    Namely, he did not continue to where he was staying and instead, reportedly, challenged Zimmerman. Reportedly, Martin hit Zimmerman and a physical altercation ensued. Reportedly, Martin threatened Zimmerman’s life verbally during the fight

    That you can say this in a post where you mention “critical thinking skills” and not see the subsequent irony mushroom cloud tells us something about you – and it is not flattering.

    The very argument being made that Zimmerman was not apparently well versed in fighting techniques supports that his belief the force was necessary is reasonable.

    Really? So I guess any guy who is losing a fight now has a license to shoot his way out of it. We had better start building more morgues.

    So the best course of action is to stop the chain of events before they merge into a tragedy.

    Absolutely. Zimmermann stays home and watches a ball game. No tragedy.

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  214. anjin-san says:

    @ Mikey

    “Had to get out of the truck to get a number” also does not pass the smell test. He did not “have” to do anything. And the kicker is, if Martin “gets away” who cares?

    There was no evidence Martin had committed a crime, even in Zimmerman’s fevered imagination. Zimmermann saw a guy he though was suspicious, the police were on their way, and Martin was spooked and highly unlikely to commit a burglary, if that was what he was up to. Zimmermann has done his civic duty, if that indeed was his goal.

    The more we talk about this, the more I think Zimmermann was determined to play the hero, and was willing to escalate the situation to do so.

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  215. wr says:

    @Pharoah Narim: “So…..JKB advocates people shooting their fears away.”

    Well, yeah. He also thinks people should have lots of guns so they can start murdering cops, firefighters, mail carriers and teachers in case they ever start thinking the gummint is oppressing them.

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  216. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James Pearce: Thanks, Jenos, for showing us the non-life-threatening injury Zimmerman unreasonably believed was necessary cause to use deadly force.

    Really making the case there…..

    (You do realize that while Zimmerman did get a broken nose, two black eyes, and a cut on the back of his head, he did not get a concussion. You contend that’s “great bodily harm?” )

    The key isn’t “great bodily harm,” it’s “reasonable fear of great bodily harm.” By your standard, I’m not threatened by a guy who pulls a knife on me; I have to wait for him to stab me first.

    Zimmerman’s injuries were not life-threatening. But his story seems to be that Martin had him pinned down on the ground, hands covering his mouth, nose broken (I’ve never had a broken nose, but I suspect it’s rather difficult to breathe through a broken nose), and slamming his head against the pavement while uttering threats. If we take his story as accurate, then he had every reason to believe that his life was in danger — he was injured, at the mercy of his attacker, and his attacker was continuing the attack and threatening to kill him.

    So the key here is to see if his story can be sufficiently discredited to justify discarding it — or, even better, find something that contradicts it sufficiently to put forth an alternate theory that explains the known facts better than Zimmerman’s story.

    The forensic evidence is inconclusive, but consistent with Zimmerman’s story. And in this country, that means that the defendant walks.

    That all could change, of course. The trial hasn’t even begun, and no one knows what might happen then. But as of right now, based on what has been released, I couldn’t vote for conviction — and anyone who would isn’t actually looking at the known facts of the case.

    One last point to a few specific individuals here: simply yelling “RAAAAACIST” is no longer the guaranteed easy win to an argument. Saying that Zimmerman is “obviously” a racist is meaningless, and accusing people of being “obviously” racist to discredit their arguments is lazy, dishonest, and pointless. It’s becoming damned close to a Godwin case: “in an argument between left-wingers and right-wingers, the likelihood of the liberal calling the conservative a racist, bigot, homophobe, or other epithet approaches 1.”

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  217. anjin-san says:

    If we take his story as accurate

    If we take his story as accurate, we are talking the word of a proven liar who has every reason to be dishonest about what happened. We are believing him over the cop who was there, who saw the scene, who talked to Zimmermann, and who clearly did not believe his story.

    If we take his story as accurate, we are buying into the rather fantastic story that a kid that walked to the store to get candy after watching TV with his dad was suddenly ready to kill. This is an amazing claim. I can picture Martin saying “why are you following me asshole?” or “you f**ked with the wrong guy”, but “you are going to die tonight” – sorry, it reeks of BS, and its one of the reasons the cops did not believe Zimmerman.

    The forensic evidence is inconclusive, but consistent with Zimmerman’s story.

    No, it’s not. Repeated bashing of one’s head off of pavement would produce more (probably much more) serious injuries, especially if you believe, as you have repeatedly said you do, that Martin is a formidable physical specimen. Do you have any real world experience with fighting? It does not sound like it.

    On the subject of racism, well it’s a real thing. Was it in play here? There is reason to suspect so, but we cannot be certain. A lot of what has been said since certainly has the stink of racism. You may think that simply pulling your “RAAAAACIST” canard out of the hat is clever, and that you are blowing people out of the water with it, but you are the only one who thinks that.

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  218. Graham says:

    @JKB: @Rafer Janders:

    Actually, there was a witness that stated he saw a man throwing MMA style blows on the man beneath him. No wounds on Trayvon, broken nose, lacerations on back of George’s head. Pretty sure thats evidence

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  219. Graham says:

    @JKB:

    Very well said.

    All these folks stating George was “stalking” Trayvon, I am curious to know just what that term means to them? To me, it means doing so with ill intent. I do not see that being the case here. George was just following a suspicious person (something I wouldn’t do), but still, not a crime.

    It seems Trayvon doubled back and confronted George, again, still no crime. But then a physical alteration ensued. By George’s account, Trayvon struck him first, and the physical evidence does support that. That continued with Trayvon on top of George (eye witness to collaborate hat) and I can see George fearing great bodily harm, or death, and taking action to prevent that.

    I do not see racism in this event itself, but do so from those who prosper from it by pushing that agenda.

    One thing I want to make a point on. I had my nose broken when I was in 6th grade. I got punched by a bigger guy, but more importantly, I have no recall of the minutes immediately proceeding it. A closed fist (with no boxing gloves) can easily disorient one when it happens.

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  220. nemerinys says:

    @Tarlus:

    Debris was found on both Martin’s and Zimmerman’s clothing, socks and shoes – including on Martin’s underwear. This was not a one-guy-always-on-top-of-the-other-guy situation.

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  221. nemerinys says:

    @Tarlus:

    There’ve been no photos of Martin’s clothing released to the public, except for b/w copies of his shirt and hoodie displaying the gunshot holes. Zimmerman’s jeans, on the other hand, displays stains on his jeans on both knees. See Evidence photos.

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  222. anjin-san says:

    @ Graham

    The “MMA” meme has already been debunked by someone who knows what they are talking about. Feel free to get informed.

    @Matt Bernius:

    It’s clear that the people who are throwing “MMA” around have no clue about the level of violence in MMA style fighting or the kind of damage it can do. Zimmermann’s injuries might seem serious to a guy who has spent too much time hanging around with his mother, but they are run of the mill fight injuries, indicating a run of the mill fight.

    To me, it means doing so with ill intent. I do not see that being the case here.

    Hmm. There is no way the dead body of Treyvon Martin could be construed as evidence of ill intent?

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  223. nemerinys says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Except the evidence proves otherwise. Zimmerman “panted” (belabored breathing) for some 27 seconds from the time he closed the vehicle door to when the sound stopped – and 13 of those seconds were after he responded “okay” to the dispatcher telling he needn’t follow.

    What was Zimmerman doing during the 1’38″ between his saying “okay” and the end of the NEN call? Further, what was he doing during the nearly two minutes after the NEN call ended? (Or 1’30″ if we spot him 30 seconds for the argument to begin, the loud yells heard by three witnesses).

    In the reenactment video, it took Zimmerman – ambling while talking – just 23 seconds to walk from Retreat View Circle, where he said he had gone “to get an address,” to just beyond the T where he said Martin began speaking to and approaching him. If he indeed began walking back to his truck after the NEN call, he had more than enough time to not just return to his truck, but to drive away as well.

    I’m curious: What’s your theory to explain his rush to interrupt the dispatcher, after just agreeing to meet the incoming LEO at the mailboxes, to ask that the LEO “call me so that I can tell him where I’m at?”

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  224. nemerinys says:

    @Jenos Idanian: None of the evidence backs up Zimmerman’s story/stories.

    How could Martin punch Zimmerman in the nose, punch him repeatedly in the face, roll around on the ground while Zimmerman’s nose is gushing blood, bash his head into the ground, and cover his nose and mouth – how could he do all that and not have any of Zimmerman’s blood or DNA on his hands or his clothing, including the cuffs of his hoodie sleeves? How could he do all that without any abrasions or signs of swelling along his knuckles?

    How could Zimmerman, having been repeatedly punched, head-bashed, and suffocated, have only one likely broken nose and two tiny scalp lacerations, no signs of physical and mental stress – and no other signs of having his head repeatedly bashed – within 30 minutes of the “fight?” And, damn, I can only admire his graceful exit from the police car without assistance and with his hands cuffed behind him after such ‘beating’ – his balance was magnificent.

    I noted to another commenter that there’s no released photographs showing Martin’s clothing beyond his shirt and hoodie; there are, however, photographs of Zimmerman’s clothing, and his jeans show stains at the knees. An FDLE lab report stated that both their clothing showed debris; and Martin’s underwear did as well. That would be highly unlikely if he was always on top of Zimmerman.

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  225. Tarlus says:

    @nemerinys:

    The photo with grass stains on the pants was released. From the website http://www.talkleft.com
    where they have numerous discussions on the trayvon tragedy I found this link to the photo released from FDLE office: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3697/8796259645_b5583487fc_c.jpg

    I do agree this doesn’t prove a simple Martin on top of Zimmerman theory. It does however, suggest that it did occur at some point during the altercation.

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  226. nemerinys says:

    @Graham: Zimmerman following a suspicious person is a problem, for two reasons: (1) Martin was walking a steady and direct route to his home, without committing or seeming ready to commit a crime, and without showing any aggression as he quietly walked past Zimmerman’s truck and then ran away when he could safely do so after having been followed by a guy in a truck; and (2) Florida Statutes define stalking as follows:

    784.048 Stalking

     (1)As used in this section, the term:

     (a)“Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.

     (b)“Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose. [...]

     (c)“Credible threat” means a verbal or nonverbal threat, or a combination of the two, [...] which places the person who is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for his or her safety [...], and which is made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat to cause such harm. It is not necessary to prove that the person making the threat had the intent to actually carry out the threat.

    Zimmerman’s first mistake was criminally profiling Martin without cause, and the second was, after knowing that an LEO was dispatched, he proceeded to stalk Martin by turning his truck to drive behind Martin, to exit his truck to follow Martin’s path after Martin ran away, and to remain in the area long past the time he no longer saw Martin (and long past when the NEN call ended).

    What Martin was doing in the meantime is both conjecture and irrelevant; he was legimately in the complex, he was not committing any crime, and he had run away. He could have sat right down in the middle of the sidewalk talking to his friend on the phone, or taken a stroll around the row of townhouses – it doesn’t matter. What’s certain is that he didn’t “ambush” Zimmerman; no one ambushes another by asking “hey, you got a problem?” when still several feet away from the ambushee. And, IF he did punch Zimmerman in the nose – for which there’s no forensic evidence – he had every moral and legal right to do so subsequent to Zimmerman’s stalking and immediate behavior prior to the alleged punch.

    A man who had more than enough time to return to his truck, which he shouldn’t have left in the first place, who hung around the area for a few minutes doing goodness knows what, who managed to get to and move his feet after the alleged punch, and who moved in the direction of not his truck but, rather, towards Martin’s ultimate destination – that is not a man who was seeking to avoid a confrontation.

    A man who had control of Martin’s wrist and clothing – pulling them down so that the holes in matching locations on both hoodie and shirt were several inches away from the bullet entry on Martin’s chest, a man who was able to move in order to get his gun, and “just aim and fire” while worrying about not hitting his other hand that was holding onto Martin – that is not a man who was being restrained and who had no other options but to “aim and fire.” He was not in imminent threat.

    It was Martin who was restrained, who was being prevented from escaping (judging from Zimmerman’s attested movement after the “punch” and the location of the shooting), and who was in imminent danger of death.

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  227. nemerinys says:

    I’d just like to apologize to ya’ll for all my lengthy comments, one right after the other. I find this case fascinating, not least of which because it’s rare that the public has access to discovery materials before a trial – hence all the armchair detective work amongst so many who are equally interested.

    I just wish that people who repeat the same crap that has been long been disproven without having reviewed discovery documents, lab reports, photographs, etc. would do the work of reviewing that material and see if their opinions correspond to the evidence. There’s only one reason that comes to mind that explains some people’s adamant determination to trust Zimmerman’s contradictory statements when so little, if any, of the evidence publicly released supports anything he said.

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  228. bob s says:

    @nemerinys:

    and one more thing to add to your comments. why is there none of martins blood on zimmermans clothes? Zimmerman claims to have shot martin while martin was on top of him at that range there would have been some kind of blood spatter so why none of martins blood on Zimmerman if martin was shot at such close range? and also powder burns for that matter. if martin was atop of zimm when the gun was fired then the gun could not have been much more than say 12-16 inches away from martins chest. where are the powder burns on martins clothes?

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  229. nemerinys says:

    @Tarlus: Many thanks for the link to the photograph. Do you have a link to the Talk Left blog post or forum thread in which the photo was noted?

    The reasons I ask is because Martin was wearing khaki-colored pants that night, not denim, and because I’d like to see if other evidence photographs such as this were released together. If this is the only photo without a link to the particular discovery which it was part of – well, I’m a little wary of accepting the photo, particularly since, as I wrote, these pants do not look like those worn by Martin.

    I agree with you, though; if they are Martin’s pants, and since Zimmerman’s also has stains in the front, then that was indeed a dynamic wrestling match.

    There is a mystery that has long bothered me, and perhaps you can help (and anyone else hereabouts).

    According to Zimmerman, he first noticed Martin standing near Taafe’s house and then drove to the clubhouse before calling the non-emergency number. Obviously, he had to have watched Martin for at least a little while since, not being able to see Martin from the clubhouse, he said Martin was just walking and “looking around” in the rain, and otherwise looking suspicious, hence the desire to call the NEN.

    However, it was dark, it was raining, and the streetlamps are few and far between with rather weak lighting. How was Zimmerman, early in the NEN call, able to describe Martin’s hoodie as “dark gray?” (In his interview with Singleton that night, he described it as just “gray”). I mean, it was dark and cloudy outside, and the hoodie was wet. So how could Zimmerman distinguish it as “dark gray” and not, say, black or just ‘dark’?

    Remember, this is before Martin allegedly walked towards and past Zimmerman’s headlights. And it’s strange that he could be so specific unless he actually had time to watch Martin when the latter was in a well-lit area – such as the mailbox area.

    Although he did, like damn near everyone else that night, describe Martin’s pants as jeans (“like, stonewashed jeans”).

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  230. nemerinys says:

    @bob s: Actually, there was only slight bleeding from the gunshot wound; as I can personally attest, entry wounds don’t tend to bleed a lot. Remember, too, that he had two layers of clothing between his chest and Zimmerman. And there was powder on both hoodie and shirt; what’s remarkable is, like you wrote, if Martin was on top of Zimmerman, why didn’t any of the powder get on Zimmerman’s clothes? It would be small particles, but flaky. Yet none fell off onto Zimmerman’s jacket.

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  231. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: If we take his story as accurate, we are talking the word of a proven liar who has every reason to be dishonest about what happened. We are believing him over the cop who was there, who saw the scene, who talked to Zimmermann, and who clearly did not believe his story.

    Here’s where you and I differ, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

    I want to take Zimmerman’s story as accurate for a starting point. Take his story as an outline, then see how the other evidence supports or contradicts it. Whether or not he lied after the fact does not influence one bit the legality of his actions when he shot Martin.

    You, on the other hand, find areas where Zimmerman has lied and use that to toss out everything he has ever said or done. Then, with that blank slate, you come up with the most damning scenario possible and then presume that is what happened.

    But I think I’m going to have to consider adopting your standard. It could come in very handy when discussing such figures as Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry… all people how have lied, knowingly and repeatedly, to advance their own best interests. For example, Holder has been held in contempt of Congress and has most likely perjured himself in two separate ways over the reporter wiretapping mess.

    Let’s look at Holder some more. He signed off on a warrant that declared Fox News’ James Rosen was a “co-conspirator” and a “flight risk,” and then, when asked about that incident under oath, said he had only heard about the Rosen case through press accounts.) Therefore, he’s a proven liar. So we can’t accept anything he says about anything, so he probably signed off on dropping the Black Panthers case and personally authorized Fast & Furious. Yeah, he’s denied involvement in both, but since he’s a proven liar, his denials are meaningless — and probably proof of guilt.

    I want to use Zimmerman’s statement as a starting point to find out the truth — or as close to the truth as we can get. You want him convicted, so you’re only interested in things that will work towards his conviction.

    But what I find really disappointing is how you so rigorously support your “once shown to lie, forever a liar and untrustworthy” standard only against those you don’t like, and refuse to apply it to those you like. The term I’ve heard for that kind of thing starts with an “H” and ends with “YPOCRISY.”

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  232. Tarlus says:

    @nemerinys:

    Hi nemerinys, sorry about the lengthy time to get back to you. I slept in this morning. Here is the link to the TalkLeft discussion with the grass stains. The photos are linked about halfway down the page. http://www.talkleft.com/story/2013/5/23/174547/402/crimenews/New-George-Zimmerman-Discovery-Trayvon-Liked-Guns-Fights-and-Pot

    This site has some very good discussions on many of the news and criminal investigations. (Of course I have found OutsideTheBeltway to be a great find for a variety of viewpoints and discussions with some bright minds on the current topics of the day and now encourage friends to visit this site).

    PS I haven’t personally posted there yet as I usually just lurk and read for a while before sticking my toes in and joining the conversations.

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  233. Tarlus says:

    @nemerinys:

    Here is the info page on the blogger: http://www.talkleft.com/special/Jeralyn
    I guess she was an attorney in the Timothy McVeigh trial.

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  234. @Jenos Idanian:

    I want to use Zimmerman’s statement as a starting point to find out the truth — or as close to the truth as we can get.

    Well, that’s your mistake right there.

    You’re way too credulous about a subjective account that is as self-serving as it is unwilling to admit error. Which was fine a day or two after reading about the incident, but now that this account has been somewhat contradicted by physical evidence, well, it’s just foolish. You should be a little skeptical about Zimmerman’s account, if only to maintain your own intellectual integrity.

    I mean, I get it. You’re a devoted right wing soldier. George Zimmerman must be innocent or the liberals will win, right? You can’t resist using this as an opportunity to vent about Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry….and then you’d have us believe you’re interested in The Truth?

    Sorry, man, but that boat won’t float.

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  235. anjin-san says:

    @ James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb)

    intellectual integrity

    But, but, but, but… BENGHAZI!! Fast & Furious!!! Sasha’s lunch money!

    George Zimmerman must be innocent or the liberals will win, right?

    And there you have it…

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  236. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Graham

    WTH is a “MMA-style” blow?!?!? Please describe this unique punch that needs its own adverb. Is it somehow more deadly than a regular blow? Or is the use of the word MMA designed to subconsciously invoke mental pictures of extreme violence rather than call it what it was—a street fight. Do you have any evidence Martin received any type of martial arts training? If not–how could he throw such specialized (DEADLY) punches? Perhaps he also knew the 5 point palm exploding heart technique as well? Can’t take any chances with a boy with the ability to kill with his bare hands can you?

    No wounds on Trayvon….” Heeelllloooooo?!?!?!? BULLET HOLES!!!!!!

    Dude–your point of view would be hillarious… if it wasn’t far more sad.

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  237. anjin-san says:

    @ Pharoah Narim

    WTH is a “MMA-style” blow?!?!?

    Watching the archetype of the violent, dangerous young black man weave its way though this story is fascinating. Considerable effort has been invested by the right into portraying Martin as thug, and since there is a presumption of guilt directed at young black men by that end of the political spectrum, it’s become something of a perpetual motion machine.

    Much has been made about Marting “being interested in guns.” Now why is that even worth discussing? According to the common wisdom of conservative politics, an interest in, and possession of guns is more or less a patriotic duty. Gun manufactures produce and market lines of guns targeting K-3 children and the right is fighting tooth and nail for their right to do so.

    The image of towheaded young Chip heading out with his father to do a little shooting is as American as apple pie. Once upon a time I was that kid with his father, and society smiled upon us both.

    So why would anyone waste even a single pixel on Martin’s “interest in guns”?

    Well, Martin was not the aformentioned towheaded boy. He was a boy of a different color. And when a black man/child is interested in guns, it is a different matter entirely. They must be planning a stick up, or to bust a few caps into a rival gang-banger.

    Same thing for Martin’s “getting into fights.” Now in American, a boy who will not fight is shunned, he is an object of scorn and ridicule. There is a great deal of reinforcement from society for a boy mixing it up now and then. So, why is there menace in the fact Martin got in fights? Sorry, but I am only finding one answer. He was black. A black kid getting in fights is dangerous. They are inherently violent. They want to hurt white people, and are equipped to do so.

    There is plenty of material here for a separate post, I hope one of the OTB writers pursues it.

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  238. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb): You need a starting point, a framework to begin from. Zimmerman’s story is probably the best starting point, and has numerous details readily verifiable. Other details can also be checked, with various degrees of difficulty.

    For example: he says Martin punched him in the face and bashed his head against the pavement. That matches Zimmerman’s injuries. He said he shot Martin once, with his own gun. That also checks out. He says he shot while they were grappling, with Martin atop him while he was pinned down on his back. The ballistics report of the gunshot wound is also consistent with that. So we have some basic facts to start from.

    Zimmerman says he never threw a punch. He almost certainly never landed one; he has no hand injuries, and Martin had no bruises apart from his own knuckles.

    Zimmerman is no rocket scientist. If he fabricated his story, he avoided the most obvious pitfalls that usually trip up the not-too-bright when they try to lie themselves out of trouble. Hell, Zimmerman’s already been caught lying on other matters (the status of his legal defense fund), so we have some evidence that he’s not really good at lying and getting away with it.

    It’ll be up to the jury to decide this one. But from what we’ve seen so far, the prosecution might get a manslaughter conviction, but murder? Not based on what we’ve seen so far.

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  239. anjin-san says:

    bashed his head against the pavement. That matches Zimmerman’s injuries.

    No, it does not. You can keep saying it does, but BS remains BS, even upon repetition. I ask again, do you have any real word experience with fighting? It certainly does not sound like it, or you would not accept a minor scalp wound(s) as evidence of a brutal beating.

    If he fabricated his story, he avoided the most obvious pitfalls that usually trip up the not-too-bright

    Wrong again, and obviously wrong. “You are going to die tonight” was blatant dramatic overreach. A kid walking home from buying candy is suddenly ready to kill? He is taunting his opponent with promises of death? Please. The cops did not buy it, and there were actually, you know, there.

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  240. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    He says he shot while they were grappling, with Martin atop him while he was pinned down on his back. The ballistics report of the gunshot wound is also consistent with that.

    Wrong again — or, more accurately, lying again. The ballistics report shows he shot upward at Trayvon, but not at all that he was “pinned” on his back. Ballistics can’t possibly show that; it’s nonsensical.

    In fact, if anything the report shows Zimmerman had freedom of movement, since the scorch marks indicate that Trayvon’s sweatshirt and undershirt were pulled several inches from his body, indicating that Zimmerman had one hand free to hold on to Travyon’s clothing, thereby restraining Trayvon, and another hand free to pull, aim and fire his weapon.

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  241. @Jenos Idanian:

    Zimmerman’s story is probably the best starting point, and has numerous details readily verifiable.

    C’mon, Jenos, the “best starting point” is the evidence, not the testimony. You use the evidence to confirm the testimony. You do not do what you’re doing, which is trying to fit the evidence in with the testimony.

    For instance:

    He says he shot while they were grappling, with Martin atop him while he was pinned down on his back. The ballistics report of the gunshot wound is also consistent with that.

    That’s a mighty robust ballistics report. Apparently you can tell two people were grappling and who was pinning who just by analyzing the bullet that passed between them.

    Also this:

    Zimmerman says he never threw a punch. He almost certainly never landed one; he has no hand injuries, and Martin had no bruises apart from his own knuckles.

    Well, that confirms that “he never threw a punch.” But does it confirm that he was fighting for his life?

    No.

    (Kinda does the opposite, actually.)

    If he fabricated his story, he avoided the most obvious pitfalls that usually trip up the not-too-bright when they try to lie themselves out of trouble.

    Yeah, I don’t know about that, bud. He’s on trial for murder. That’s kind of a big pitfall.

    He almost avoided it. But then he was arrested. (Is his wife still in jail? Another big pitfall with that whole scenario….)

    It’ll be up to the jury to decide this one. But from what we’ve seen so far, the prosecution might get a manslaughter conviction, but murder?

    Yep, and the jury will have access to more information than we do. They will also have to follow the judge’s rules. I have no doubt the judge will narrow this thing down to the legal definition of 2nd degree murder and will only accept a self-defense claim if it fits the legal definition of self-defense.

    My money’s on the state. It’s going to be a lot easier for the state to prove Zimmerman had a “depraved mind” than it will be for Zimmerman to prove that killing Martin was necessary to prevent his death or great bodily harm.

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  242. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    You use the evidence to confirm the testimony. You do not do what you’re doing, which is trying to fit the evidence in with the testimony.

    Well, you do if you’re a liar.

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  243. nemerinys says:

    @Tarlus: Thank you very much for the link, Tarlus. I hadn’t known about those photos; they’d only been released a week ago and I had long stopped going to Talk Left.

    Those certainly are Trayvon’s pants (the previous link you provided seemed to have a blue filter, so that they looked like denim), and those certainly are mud/grass stains – and they are far more ingrained than what appears on Zimmerman’s jeans.

    My own theory is that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman when he was killed, or that they were face-to-face in an upright position; there’s no other way that I can see that would explain the direct front-to-back-no-angle bullet trajectory. The problem for Zimmerman is that his injuries and subsequent assessments indicate the beating he alleges took place didn’t happen, thus making it difficult to make the case he was reasonable in his alleged fear of imminent danger of grave injury or death – particularly since there’s no evidence he sought to defend himself from said beating; and that all the other evidence – location, physical control of Trayvon, etc. – contradict his alleged need to use his gun.

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  244. nemerinys says:

    @Jenos Idanian: One last time – there were no injuries on Martin’s hands except for one tiny abrasion on the fourth finger of his left hand – and Martin was right-handed.

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  245. Rafer Janders says:

    @anjin-san:

    He is taunting his opponent with promises of death?

    And as anyone who’s actually been in real fights knows, there’s no trash-talking. If it’s an actual, desperate fight, you’re so gasping with unexpected exertion and so flooded with adrenaline that it’s all you can do to breath. You can’t say much because you literally don’t have the breath for it. Getting into a real fight is about the most exhausting thing a human being can do.

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  246. anjin-san says:

    I keep coming back to Martin allegedly saying “You are going to die tonight.” It’s such an amazing claim. A high school kid is walking home from store. He is packing Skittles, and he is strapped with ice tea.

    Someone is following him. There is a confrontation, and suddenly the Skittles wielding kid is ready to kill! He is taunting Zimmermann about his upcoming death!

    Pretty amazing. Pretty hard to believe. Damn near impossible, really. But some commentators seem unwilling to question Zimmermann’s story in the slightest, despite the fact he is a proven liar. Jenos keeps talking about how how Martin chose to come back, confront Zimmermann, and start the fight because he felt “dissed”…

    And there you have the right wing reasoning process. Let’s boil it down.

    Ordinary black teenager, in the midst of an utterly innocuous activity > feels “dissed” > ready to kill, perhaps even eager to kill

    That really appears to be what is going on in some peoples heads. Martin was a powder keg, an accident waiting to happen. All it took for him to blow was a spark.

    Mind you this is a kid who had Miami Dolphins sheets on his bed…

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  247. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rafer Janders: Wrong again — or, more accurately, lying again. The ballistics report shows he shot upward at Trayvon, but not at all that he was “pinned” on his back. Ballistics can’t possibly show that; it’s nonsensical.

    Look, crapweasel, you’re lying here. I didn’t say the ballistics evidence “proved” Zimmerman’s story; I said it was consistent with it. As in, “does not disprove it.”

    This isn’t a TV show, this is real life. There almost certainly won’t be a sudden breakthrough or discovery that settles the matter conclusively in the last few minutes before the hour’s up. It’s going to be little detail after little detail, some supporting Zimmerman’s story, some eroding it, and in the end a jury’s going to decide if there’s enough evidence presented to convince them of his guilt.

    There are a lot of people here who have already decided that Zimmerman’s guilty, and anyone who doesn’t buy into that must be a hateful racist bigot (like Zimmerman, of course). And man, do they get pissed when you don’t toe the line and put forth an argument that Zimmerman’s guilt is still not proven, that there’s a lot of evidence leaning towards him not being guilty of the crime which he has been charged, and as of right now it looks like he should be acquitted — but it’s way too early to say for sure.

    So, what’s next? “No Justice, No Peace” demonstrations, followed by riots if Zimmerman’s acquitted by a jury?

    Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the signs were already being designed…

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  248. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    So it’s Friday night, you’ve finished your TV dinner, and you have no prospects for female companionship. It’s time to triple down on stupid!

    put forth an argument that Zimmerman’s guilt is still not proven

    That’s not the argument you have been making all these months. You have been arguing that Zimmermann’s actions were reasonable, and that Martin is to blame for the confrontation, the subsequent violence, and his own death.

    And before you get too prissy with your claim to be all about the facts, well, most of us remember the glee with which you linked to fake Martin “thug life” sites when this story broke. And the rather complex rationalizations and gyrations you are still going through to try and construct a logic box that can contain Zimmermann’s very, very shaky story are apparent to all.

    Most of us are arguing that we think Zimmermann is clearly at fault for the whole horrible mess. Perhaps you have forgotten the epic smackdown James laid on you on that very topic some time ago. He really summarized the whole thing quiet well.

    Most of us are also arguing that we think Zimmermann is guilty of a crime. Some say murder, some say manslaughter. That’s what most of us think – he committed a crime – its an opinion, If any have flat out stated Zimmermann has been “proven guilty” I have missed it.

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  249. anjin-san says:

    And man, do they get pissed when you don’t toe the line and put forth an argument

    One more thing, and I think I can speak for the room when I say that all of us would welcome intelligent, thoughtful, and well reasoned arguments from you or any conservative, on this or any other topic.

    We really, really want intelligence, reason, and principled dissent from the opposition. I mean we are hungry for it. Our country cannot thrive without it. But we almost never get it.

    As far as your little victim fest – repeating tripe endlessly, while full of great conviction of your own cleverness, is not refusing to toe the line. It’s just recycled tripe, powered by hot air.

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  250. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: That’s not the argument you have been making all these months. You have been arguing that Zimmermann’s actions were reasonable, and that Martin is to blame for the confrontation, the subsequent violence, and his own death.

    On occasion, I might have gotten slightly distempered, and misstated my arguments, but I have always held that the case against Zimmerman has appeared, thus far, extremely shaky and driven more by politics and not facts.

    I also got a bit bent out of shape by the sheer dishonesty of those pushing for Zimmerman’s guilt. The altered audio, the altered and suppressed videos and images, the creation out of whole cloth of Zimmerman using a racial epithet, the substitution of years-old phtoos of Martin to enhance the pushing of his innocent, saintly image, the wholesale fabrication of facts… I’d have a bit more respect for you if you spent even a little energy calling out the falsehoods on your side as you do on those you oppose.

    Most of us are arguing that we think Zimmermann is clearly at fault for the whole horrible mess. Perhaps you have forgotten the epic smackdown James laid on you on that very topic some time ago. He really summarized the whole thing quiet well.

    I believe that James was also the one who also created a factoid out of whole cloth — that Zimmerman chased down Martin “with gun drawn.” And when I challenged him as being the first person in the world to make that claim, he answered by saying he couldn’t imagine it happening any other way. Yeah, that left quite a mark on me.

    Most of us are also arguing that we think Zimmermann is guilty of a crime. Some say murder, some say manslaughter. That’s what most of us think – he committed a crime – its an opinion, If any have flat out stated Zimmermann has been “proven guilty” I have missed it.

    Oh, fine. Whatever. The point I keep making is that, like you, I agree that Zimmerman hasn’t been “proven guilty” of any crimes. My point is that the case that he is guilty of the crime he has been charged with is extremely poor. They might have a case for manslaughter, but murder?

    One more thing, and I think I can speak for the room when I say that all of us would welcome intelligent, thoughtful, and well reasoned arguments from you or any conservative, on this or any other topic.

    You mean, like when I pointed out how the ages of Kaitlyn Hunt and her victims were being repeatedly misstated, to reduce the age differences? Man, I really appreciated your support there, and how you denounced those who parroted the false ages.

    Whoops, my bad. Shouldn’t be commenting after smoking those old gym socks.

    To sum up: Zimmerman appears to be overcharged, and my “sympathy with the little guy” instinct was probably triggered when I saw large portions of the mainstream media and the organized left go to astonishingly dishonest extremes in their attempts to demonize this dumb schmuck. And when that many people I distrust go to such dishonest lengths to push a narrative, I’m inclined to push back.

    And just as a little reminder, here are a few examples of the dishonesty that disgusted me, and you apparently have no problems with:

    1) Zimmerman was a white racist. (He’s Hispanic with black ancestry, grew up in a mixed-race home, and a few years ago led a protest after a police officer beat a homeless black man, even getting black churches involved in the effort.)

    2) Zimmerman was barely injured in the fracas.

    3) Zimmerman used the word “coon” in the 911 talks. After repeated listenings, there’s a definite “X” sound at the end of the word — which “coon” does not have, but “punks” does.

    4) Zimmerman said Martin was acting suspicious, and “looked black.” Zimmerman didn’t mentino Martin’s race until the 911 operator specifically asked about his race.

    5) Zimmerman’s father is a retired judge who probably pulled strings to help Zimmerman. The father spent six years as a magistrate several states away, and likely has little or no “pull” in Florida, especially in as high-profile a case as this.

    That’s just five points, off the top of my head. And when you have those points being made by such groups as ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and the enlightened, informed, intelligent gang here, over and over, despite being provably and laughably wrong, you start to wonder if these people are a bit too invested in their initial narrative.

    And if that means that Zimmerman has to get locked up in order to protect their egos and reputations, so be it. He’s a dumb nobody anyway, who really cares?

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  251. @Jenos Idanian:

    I have always held that the case against Zimmerman has appeared, thus far, extremely shaky and driven more by politics and not facts.

    C’mon, Jenos. A guy kills an unarmed kid and his prosecution is driven by politics? How about a sense of justice?

    The mind-numbing credulity you display for Zimmerman’s self-defense claims are driven by politics. You don’t have to admit it. It’s obvious.

    I believe that James was also the one who also created a factoid out of whole cloth — that Zimmerman chased down Martin “with gun drawn.”

    Me? I said that. Prove it.

    I do think that Zimmerman chased Martin and confronted him, yes, but I don’t think I ever said he pulled out the gun and yelled “Halt.” Talk about making stuff up out of whole cloth…..

    My point is that the case that he is guilty of the crime he has been charged with is extremely poor.

    Really? Let’s see:

    1) Trayvon Martin is dead
    2) George Zimmerman killed him.

    Those are not in dispute. The only thing that is in dispute is whether Zimmerman acted with a “depraved mind” and well, some of the comments he made to the dispatcher bolster that piece.

    You would prefer he wasn’t charged at all? Or do you think there’s a more appropriate charge he should be prosecuted for?

    And if that means that Zimmerman has to get locked up in order to protect their egos and reputations, so be it. He’s a dumb nobody anyway, who really cares?

    Surely you can’t be that dense. Zimmerman should be locked up because he killed an unarmed kid.

    It sucks, I know….but hey, that’s justice.

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  252. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb): The “James” wasn’t specified. I think it was Mr. Joyner who invented the “chased him with gun drawn” fiction.

    As far as the rest… it’s simply too stupid to bother answering.

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  253. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian: That’s so weak they’re going to have to reprint the dictionary to include your picture.

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  254. Jenos Idanian says:

    If you can’t conceive of a circumstance where a 17-year-old could pose an imminent lethal threat to an adult, then you need to find someone else to blame for your own mental defects.

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  255. anjin-san says:

    You mean, like when I pointed out how the ages of Kaitlyn Hunt and her victims were being repeatedly misstated

    I’m surprised you found time in between rants about her being a pedophile (which is absolute, unadulterated BS), and repeatedly leering over the intimate details of what happened between these young girls.

    Here’s a hint. When grown up men obsess about sex acts committed by 14 year old girls, respectable people think of them as creeps, and rightly so.

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  256. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: When grown up men obsess about sex acts committed by 14 year old girls, respectable people think of them as creeps, and rightly so.

    Thanks, you just gave the game away.

    Those weren’t sex acts committed by a 14-year-old, but against a 14-year-old. A 14-year-old is not old enough to legally give consent, and therefore the sex acts were statutory rape. Which is what Kaitlyn Hunt was charged with.

    And here’s where your hypocrisy betrays you. In your world, a 14-year-old girl is old enough to take responsibility for her actions, but a 17-year-old boy isn’t?

    And further, why are you more offended by my description of the actions than you are by the actions themselves?

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  257. anjin-san says:

    In your world, a 14-year-old girl is old enough to take responsibility for her actions, but a 17-year-old boy isn’t?

    Please show proof that Martin did anything wrong – beyond “walking while black” Exactly what action is Martin responsible for?

    Before you do so, I suggest you look up the word “proof” in the dictionary.

    Also, please show where I said the above. Be very specific, as you have already been caught lying about both my comments and those of others on the Hunt thread.

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  258. Chris Bolts Sr says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    So that’s why the prosecution has to prove the defendant is guilty “beyond all reasonable doubt”?

    Whatever happened to “presumption of innocence? Oh, I forgot: A “white Hispanic” shot Trayvon Martin. Presumption out the window!

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  259. anjin-san says:

    @ Chris Bolts Sr

    Oh, I forgot: A “white Hispanic” shot Trayvon Martin.

    I am not seeing where James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb) mentioned Zimmermann’s race. Can you point it out?

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  260. Dan M. says:

    Martin’s reputation for aggression is irrelevant to Zimmerman’s state of mind regarding his need to defend himself, but it sure as hell is not irrelevant to the fundamental question of who the initial aggressor is.

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  261. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: I didn’t attribute specific actors to specific offenses, but brought up a general list. The “White Hispanic” descriptor came from the New York Times.

    Mr. Zimmerman, 28, a white Hispanic, told the police that he shot Trayvon in self-defense after an altercation. The teenager was walking home from a convenience store, where he bought iced tea and Skittles, when he was shot once in the chest.

    As I said, I wasn’t citing only sources here. Hell, the sources here were just an afterthought.

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  262. anjin-san says:

    Mr. Zimmerman, 28, a white Hispanic, told the police that he shot Trayvon in self-defense after an altercation. The teenager was walking home from a convenience store, where he bought iced tea and Skittles, when he was shot once in the chest.

    Yes, Zimmerman’s name, age, and race were reported. This is stock reporting. Where did they say Zimmerman’s race had anything to do with the events of the night in question?

    Sorry Charlie, no conspiracy here. You should probably put your X-Files secret decoder ring away.

    BTW, my comment about “white Hispanic” was not directed at you. I know it’s difficult to accept, but OTB is not all about little Jenos.

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  263. anjin-san says:

    @ Dan M.

    Martin’s reputation for aggression

    What “reputation for agression”? – please provide details. Apparently he got in a few fights. Is there a guy here who never got in fights as a teenager? Is there any proof that Martin started the fights he was in? You sound like someone who is simply accepting a meme because it supports a conclusion you have already reached.

    We are being asked to believe that a kid on a candy run was suddenly ready kill, that he was gleefully taunting Zimmerman about his impending death. Unless you accept that stereotype that young black males are inherently violent and are potential killers by nature, the smell test throws this claim of Zimmerman’s into the toilet in about two seconds.

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  264. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: As the one who brought up the NYT’s characterization, I felt it prudent to clarify the point: not that the NYT reported Zimmerman’s ethnic origin, but invented a whole new class in “White Hispanic.”

    My hunch is that they saw the name and figured he was Jewish, and that was backed by the early, washed-out photos of Zimmerman. When he turned out to be Hispanic, they had to rationalize their earlier statements. And if, in the process they reinforce the “White/Black” racial dynamic, so be it.

    Perhaps you’d like to discuss how many others qualify as “White Hispanics,” and in what contexts that term is used. And if the NYT was so concerned about fractional racial identity, why don’t they refer to President Obama as “half-black?”

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  265. anjin-san says:

    My hunch

    Yep. Keep inventing details to keep conspiracy fires burning. Or more precisely, keep parroting the details Rush Limbaugh has invented.

    Alex Parenne nails it:

    OK, guys. Here’s the thing. I know all of you don’t actually give a single shit about ethnic identity and are in fact simply trolling as part of a pathological need to deny the existence of racism, but “Hispanic” is not a race. The U.S. Census has a handy, easy-to-remember definition: “‘Hispanic or Latino’ refers to a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.” If “white” means “descended from Europeans” then guess what? A lot of people from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and South and Central America are white, even though they speak Spanish and you are racist against them.

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  266. anjin-san says:

    BTW, This is still an open question.

    In your world, a 14-year-old girl is old enough to take responsibility for her actions, but a 17-year-old boy isn’t?

    Please show proof that Martin did anything wrong – beyond “walking while black” Exactly what action is Martin responsible for?

    Damn, you look like a track star running away from this one…

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  267. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: It’s hardly my fault that you keep demanding “proof” when there’s almost nothing that can be “proven” in this case. There’s a lot of evidence, and various and sundry factoids that support or discredit various scenarios, but actual proof?

    I ignored your demands because they’re stupid. Do you really want to shine the spotlight on your stupidity? I thought to spare you, but if you’re going to insist…

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  268. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Such a thorough answer, and so totally lacking in relevancy. The question is “why did the NYT use the term ‘White Hispanic’ to identify Martin, a term virtually unheard before then?”

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  269. Tarlus says:

    @nemerinys:

    Hey again nemerinys, I just have to come back real quick and eat crow. I had made a statement in an earlier post using the reference of Trayvon videotaping 2 friends beating a homeless person. It turns out that the claim is totally false and the videotape was not of 2 friends beating a homeless person. I apologize. I had received this information watching the actually court hearings. Now, it seems O’Mara says he was wrong about the tape. That is important and I thought it important that I correct the mistake I made here.

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  270. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Why would I want to waste even a single breath on that irrelevant nonsense? Anyway, until you offer up some proof that Martin actually did something wrong that he needs to be “held responsible” for, as you claim, I am done with you. I suspect you will continue to run from that one.

    Oh, and Zimmerman’s highly suspect story about what happened? Not proof.

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  271. nemerinys says:

    @Tarlus: Thank you, Tarlus. And well done. I hope you will continue to engage in the many discussions that will definitely occur as the trial proceeds; your honesty and effort to know more about the case is needed.

    I do recommend, however, to take whatever O’Mara and West have to say with colossal grains of salt. They’ve been attempting to tamper with the jury pool, to suggest that the entire case is built on political grandstanding, to defame the deceased, and to emphasis racial elements when the accused has not been charged with either a hate crime or racial profiling. In the meantime, they’ve dropped both the SYG defense and the pre-trial immunity hearing, flooded the court with some truly bizarre motions, and, recently, sought the judge to force a private expert to lower his retainer and fees so that the defense could afford him. This, after the defendant managed to spend well over $300,000 in a year and get himself sued for having failed to pay for the private security he hired.

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  272. anjin-san says:

    Now, it seems O’Mara says he was wrong about the tape.

    But the smear has already worked it’s way into the public conciousness, which was what it was intended to do. Sliming the memory of a kid who was shot while waking home from the store to get candy. Charming.

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  273. nemerinys says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    The question is “why did the NYT use the term ‘White Hispanic’ to identify Martin, a term virtually unheard before then?”

    Identifiers such as race and ethnicity have long been used on census questionnaires; ‘white Hispanic” and “black Hispanic” have long been used by officials and HR personnel for quite some time.

    And JFTR: The charge of racism was initially directed at the Sanford Police Department for having failed to charge and arrest, or at least detain, a racially white adult for having killed an unarmed racially black teenager. This is also when the SYG defense became notorious, since the SPD used it to explain why they hadn’t arrested Zimmerman. Questions about Zimmerman’s possible racism came into play when his NEN call was publicly released, and many people heard him say “coons” instead of “punks;” even his buddy Joe Oliver, who made numerous media appearances, believed the word was “goons,” comically trying to make it appear as a term of affection.

    While the racial aspect continues with respect to the SPD’s lack of action, together with its history of injustice towards both African-American aggressors and victims, Zimmerman has not been charged with a hate crime or racial profiling.

    O’Mara and Robert Zimmerman, Jr. can make all the fuss they want about “race,” but that factor has nothing to do with the actual charge of Murder 2.

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  274. Dan M. says:

    @anjin-san:

    I’m not saying he necessarily has a reputation as an aggressor. I’m saying that his reputation for that specific trait, if he is aggressive or nonaggressive, is relevant to prove or disprove any contention that he was the initial aggressor.

    I don’t think evidence of being in a few fights is relevant. But if there is evidence of a reputation for instigating fights, it sure as hell is fundamental to allowing the defense to present its case.

    This is, after all, a discussion about what evidence should be admissible, in order to allow the defendant the fundamental right to present his defense. And if he has evidence that fits under the Florida Rules of Evidence, then it should come in. With the sparse detail we have so far, the ruling to exclude the evidence appears correct.

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  275. anjin-san says:

    @ Dan M.

    Well, I can see why team Zimmerman would be a bit desperate to get anything in that could support his rather fantastic story. And, as we have seen in the last few posts, they are willing to peddle utter horseshit in an effort to smear Martin.

    prove or disprove any contention that he was the initial aggressor

    How will this ever be proved or disproved? We will never know for sure. All we have is Zimmerman’s story. Martin is not alive to tell his. We do know for certain that Zimmerman is, at best, a dangerous fool, a proven liar, and a guy who has had a few brushes with the law. I am still not seeing why anyone would take him at his word, especially when his fairly minor injuries in no way indicate that he received the kind of beating he said he did.

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  276. bob s says:

    @Dan M.:

    and what about Zimmerman dan? do you know he has a record with the police and was arrested for battery on an officer and resisting arrest? the charges were lessened because they made him take an anger management class. he also had a restraining order against him from a former girlfriend because he slapped her around.
    so wouldn’t Zimmerman be said to have aggressive traits? and such a person walking around with a weapon looking for trouble is a good thing?

    Zimmerman claims to be a neighborhood watch captain and yet violated sanfords watch rules by going out armed and following someone he deemed suspicious. Sanford watch protocols specifically state you do not do either of these things. you call the police and let them handle it.

    It seems to me that it’s more likely zimm was the aggressor with a gun and a dirty harry attitude…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  277. Tarlus says:

    @anjin-san:

    If it was intentional he should be slapped with some charges and fines. There is a huge difference between videotaping friends beat up a homeless person and videotaping a fight that was happened upon. As nemerinys as mentioned previously that is why it is important to wait for the trial to see all the evidence with the proper cross examinations to give it perspective. Even then much will remain in doubt. What is not in doubt is there was a tragic loss of life.

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  278. Mike Grind says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    Corey didn’t have enough probable cause to make it through a grand jury, so she skipped it. Conversely, all the physical evidence and eyewitness testimony so far supports Zimmerman’s claim of self defense. So I would be very interested to see evidence – not speculation – that supports second degree murder.

    I’m not saying Zimmerman is guilty or innocent. I have no personal interest. But after the Duke Lacrosse case, Tawana Brawley, and instances of innocent people getting executed, I would like to make sure innocent people are not prosecuted. So I would like to see proof – not passion.

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