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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Zimmerman found not guilty for shooting Trayvon Martin

    So, Amerikee friends, whats the general opinion on the whole situation? On the media involvement? Are there going to be riots?
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  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Hmm to be honest I don't know if I like the way this has turned out, I mean there wasn't really much evidence either way was there...but yeah The black community is probably not going to like this and continue to think the system is racist.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Yeah. I think we are safe from widespread riots as most people forgot about the trial (yay for goldfish-esque attention spans), but it definitely won't do any good for the perception of the police as "Always putting down the black guy"

    As for the media coverage: It pretty much disgusted me. Evidently Zimmerman was a White Supremecist who murdered a child in cold blood.

    In reality: Of the coverage I watched, I was able to glean the following FACTS:
    1. It REALLY shouldn't matter, but Zimmerman was half-hispanic (I believe Mexican?)
    2. Zimmerman was an idiot with a history of violence
    3. Martin was an idiot with a history of criminal activity
    4. The neighborhood had recent break-ins
    5. Zimmerman was patrolling on the lookout for burglars
    6. Martin was a grown man, not the little smiling child that they kept showing in pictures (I think he was a football player?)
    7. The police told Zimmerman to not approach and to disengage. He did not
    8. Martin confronted Zimmerman for following him
    9. SOMETHING happened, followed by a physical altercation in which someone pinned somebody and was "raining down blows". Based on the camera footage, it looks like Martin got the upperhand
    10. Zimmerman shot and killed Martin


    Then the news media got involved. Martin's family and their lawyers realized they could win this in the court of public opinion by playing up Zimmerman as the white supremacist gun nut and Martin as an 8-year old boy. Also, various news stations went forward with "anonymous tips" that Zimmerman had said MANY racist things in the past. And Zimmerman, for whatever reason, stayed out of the limelight and didn't really defend himself (one can argue he didn't want to get lynched).


    Personally, from the moment I found out Martin was actually a fully grown teenager (funnily enough: Only Fox really gave that information. The CNN and MSNBC coverage tended to gloss over the fact that the picture of Martin was a few years old), I was fairly certain this was self-defense. We already had info that there was a confrontation of some form prior to the shooting, and the fact that the family's attorney felt the need to not show an up-to-date photo suggested "Big strong, could kick my ass without trying". Something happened, Zimmerman felt his life was in danger, he fired.
    But what I wasn't sure on (and won't be until I review all the facts after the dust settles in a few months), was if it was LEGAL self-defense. Because as anyone who owns a firearm for self defense should realize: There are VERY specific requirements that must be met for a gun to be used in self-defense AND for said self-defense to be lethal.




    Also: While I REALLY don't want to believe it, I got a strong vibe of Martin's family seeing an excuse to profit/be famous for this from the interviews and coverage.
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  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    It's quite likely people are using it to profit. a la that one witness who has written a book on the events (some of which conflicts with his testimony in obscure ways).

    The major problem with the 'stand your ground' defense case for Zimmerman is that this antiquated Florida law could go both ways. Is it only that Zimmerman was standing his ground and acted in self-defense, or did Trayvon Martin stand his ground with a man pursuing him for X reason?

    Pursuing Martin and leading to the confrontation in that way is not enough to convict the man of 2nd degree murder, we just don't know what happened in between, because that could change the case. There is too much doubt as to what exactly happened, and that is tragic.

    This case is racially charged from both sides, also something which should be recognized, from black and non-black Americans, neither group wanting 'their own' to be culpable. It's easier to just blame the other group for making the case more political.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    Problem in this case has always been lack of evidence... sadly. Really tragic.

  7. #7
    Network Hub Donjo's Avatar
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    It's obviously completely fucked that Zimmerman was deemed innocent... this seems to grant people immunity for certain kinds of murder.

  8. #8
    Network Hub moms's Avatar
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    "Forget it, Jake. It's Florida."

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    The major problem with the 'stand your ground' defense case for Zimmerman is that this antiquated Florida law could go both ways. Is it only that Zimmerman was standing his ground and acted in self-defense, or did Trayvon Martin stand his ground with a man pursuing him for X reason?
    Personally, I'd see that as a sound law. From what I've managed to glean from the case, either one of them had grounds for taking the other's life in self defence. Martin because this menacing guy was following him with a gun - Zimmerman because his head was repeatedly smashed into the ground. That's assuming, of course, that Zimmerman could prove that he had no intention of killing Martin before he was being beaten, which I imagine would be quite hard but evidently, he managed it.
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  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donjonson View Post
    It's obviously completely fucked that Zimmerman was deemed innocent... this seems to grant people immunity for certain kinds of murder.
    Zimmerman wasn't deemed innocent; the verdict was not guilty. It may seem like petty semantics, but it is not in a very important way. A juror can believe a defendant guilty but still vote not guilty if the evidence does not meet the criteria required for a guilty vote.
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  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickygor View Post
    Personally, I'd see that as a sound law. From what I've managed to glean from the case, either one of them had grounds for taking the other's life in self defence.
    That's the problem with the law... it becomes a "he said, you said" argument. It's a law for 5 year olds to whine about who deserves to play with a toy...

    Again, who was standing their ground in this case? Zimmerman who was allegedly attacked by Trayvon or Trayvon who was allegedly followed by Zimmerman? That's all that needs to be said to demonstrate how useless said law is. It's a whole chicken or the egg type of law... useless...

    If either one had a legitimate reason to kill each other, why would there even be a case in the first place?

    The primary issue is the lack of evidence. The law 'stand your ground' just proves useless in this case, and would be in any other case, because either way you still need to know the circumstances of what happened, and that's a lack of evidence issue.

    If we knew for certain one person was assaulted and acted in self-defense, there's already a case to be made without such a law.

    Again, the problem is with providing evidence to say whether or not the use of the firearm was justified. No law is going to provide that information. This law sounds more like it could protect perpetrators of homicide, especially when there is no witness to the event, than it could actually benefit justice...
    Last edited by rockman29; 14-07-2013 at 06:28 PM.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    There should always be a case when someone is killed by someone else, because it's not just good enough to take someone's word when they claim that it was in self defence. In practice, the prosecution is trying to prove that it was murder, but in reality with a robust self defence law as such in Florida, it's as much the defence proving that they were innocent. I'd be pretty damn pissed off if I got in a fight with someone because they, for example, smashed a light on my car, then was found guilty of murder because this person started beating me to a point where I feared for my life. Perhaps there'd be grounds for an assault charge, but in no way would me killing that person be anything other than self defence on my part. The law should, and in Florida does, reflect that. There's a world of difference between the two crimes, and either party can escalate it.
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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    What does robust self-defense law mean? The wording sounds more like it could protect perpetrators of homicide, more than give victims of homicide justice.

    I would not be ready to give benefit of the doubt to say this law is "robust," especially when I have rarely seen similar legislation in other Western countries who seem to do fine without it.

    Stand-your-ground laws are frequently criticized and called "shoot first" laws by critics, including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.[30] In Florida, the law has resulted in self-defense claims tripling.[30][31] The law's critics argue that Florida's law makes it very difficult to prosecute cases against people who shoot others and then claim self-defense. The shooter can argue that he felt threatened, and in most cases, the only witness who could have argued otherwise is the victim who was shot and killed.[30] Before passage of the law, Miami police chief John F. Timoney called the law unnecessary and dangerous in that "[w]hether it's trick-or-treaters or kids playing in the yard of someone who doesn't want them there or some drunk guy stumbling into the wrong house, you're encouraging people to possibly use deadly physical force where it shouldn't be used."[32][33]
    Sounds like some people agree with me...
    Last edited by rockman29; 14-07-2013 at 06:35 PM.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    I don't see how it could protect people who commit murder. Quite frankly, it should protect some forms of homicide - specifically self defence. A fight that escalates and winds up with one person dead should be charged under assault or perhaps manslaughter, depending on whether it was the person who was winning, or was losing, that killed the other one. Regardless of whether you started an altercation or not, if you fear for your life you should not be convicted for taking the life of the person you feel is threatening yours. You should be charged with assaulting or antagonising the person who put you in that situation.

    I do not feel that other Western countries do fine without it. There's no scope to protect you or yours in western Europe - if you kill someone, you will do time unless you have the money to buy your way out, or you can prove that it was an accident (and even then plenty of people do time for negligence). That's not "doing fine," there's no justice in that whatsoever.
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    And how do you determine a person was fearing for their life? And who will argue against that, if the only other person who experienced the event is dead?

    That sounds like an awfully subjective description. To what degree does a person need to be threatened, to justify using lethal force? I don't think there is quite an answer to that.

    What if you're an extremely fearful and anxious person? Anyone who barely crosses you can be legitimately killed by your hand? That sounds ridiculous, no?

    How does anyone know Zimmerman didn't instigate the physical confrontation? Or shouldn't be responsible for the confrontation for another reason?

    Now do you see why it has an unbalanced protection for the person who survived the altercation? Remember one thing: we don't have the testimony from Trayvon Martin, but we do have one from Zimmerman.

    If the claims for self-defense increase 3x after the starting of this law, I think that is objective indication enough it has made the claim of self-defense more appealing to those who have used lethal force, legitimately or not.

    The assumption behind using this "robust law" as a defense for Zimmerman already makes the assumption that Zimmerman in fact did act in self-defense. And this has not be proven.

    More importantly, the fact that it wasn't proven, shows how useless the law is. IF it was proven he acted in self-defense, then Zimmerman would have been completely off the hook according to US justice.

    However, it is clear that the justice system determined the lack of evidence primarily trumps the ridiculous stand your ground law. And I think the fact that Zimmerman pursued the individual against police advice, as well as making many peculiar remarks played a role in delivering the manslaughter verdict.
    Last edited by rockman29; 14-07-2013 at 06:56 PM.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    That's kind of stunning, I originally thought they upheld the manslaughter conviction.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    And how do you determine a person was fearing for their life? And who will argue against that, if the only other person who experienced the event is dead?
    You look at the evidence. You look at how the gun was fired, where the person was hit, and you look for wounds sustained on both sides. You do everything you possibly can to NOT make it "he said, she said"

    That sounds like an awfully subjective description. To what degree does a person need to be threatened, to justify using lethal force? I don't think there is quite an answer to that.
    I am sure the laws actually give specific requirements that must be met (just like "crazy" is actually a very strict checklist), which is why I always say: If you want to own a firearm for self-defense, it is YOUR responsibility to understand what counts as self-defense.

    What if you're an extremely fearful and anxious person? Anyone who barely crosses you can be legitimately killed by your hand? That sounds ridiculous, no?
    Which is why that isn't the law. Also, that is why most people (even many "gun nuts") push for stricter background checks before being issued a firearm, let alone a concealed carry permit. Because it is a lot harder to kill someone with a gun.

    How does anyone know Zimmerman didn't instigate the physical confrontation? Or shouldn't be responsible for the confrontation for another reason?
    Honestly, I don't care who started it, from a legal standpoint.

    The fact we know: Some altercation occurred, Martin started beating the hell out of Zimmerman, Zimmerman shot Martin. There weren't enough defensive wounds on Martin to make Zimmerman look like the winner of the fistfight.

    So let's look at the two extremes:

    1. Zimmerman approaches Martin, demands he identifies himself, Martin beats the hell out of him. Zimmerman, fearing for his life, shoots Martin
    2. Zimmerman approaches Martin, demands he identifies himself, they exchange heated words, Zimmerman shoves Martin, Martin beats the living hell out of him. Zimmerman, fearing for his life, shoots Martin.

    In both of those cases, it is clear that it was escalated to a degree and, judging by Zimmerman seeming to have gotten the worse of the fighting, Martin probably took it too far. Did Zimmerman then take his self-defense too far? According to the courts, no.

    If I flip someone off in traffic, that is not an open invitation to beat me half to death (or full to death). If you shove someone, that is not an invitation for them to knock all your teeth out. Contrary to what television has taught us, you can't trick someone into poking you and then beat them half to death in "self defense". There are many rules relating to how these situations can escalate and who violates the law as a result.

    All a stand-your-ground law does is provide a bit of flexibility in terms of what counts as self-defense. In principle, it is to protect people from being prosecuted for not running away (which isn't always feasible, or safe). In practice, they need a lot of work and are heavily dependent on the investigative ability of the police, which might not be the best approach.

    Personally. I am a firm believer in the castle doctrine (basically: if someone invades your home, you can kill them) but feel that stand your ground laws need to be VERY carefully defined, but should also exist so as to provide a measure of protection. Of course, I am also against concealed carry permits (allowing people to carry loaded weapons on their person).
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  19. #19
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    What testimonies did the folks from forensics and the doctors give?

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Personally. I am a firm believer in the castle doctrine (basically: if someone invades your home, you can kill them)


    I would disagree with this completely, I would say this is the worst thing you can do! One of the things people were worrying about in this country when they were thinking of bringing laws that allowed you to use force, and I believe them when they say this. They were saying that if your allowed to use force and maybe even kill them burgalers will basically shoot first without a doubt. Meaning you go from a crime that is basically just stealing items and items are really not that valuable you can get them back and maybe fearing for a little while. To having you or some of your family murdered...

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