Zimmerman not guilty in Trayvon Martin killing

George Zimmerman was found not guilty of manslaughter in the killing of Trayvon Martin. The jury came out with its verdict last night at around 10pm EST.

Trayvon-Martin

NYT:

The jury, which had been sequestered since June 24, deliberated 16 hours and 20 minutes over two days. The six female jurors entered the quiet, tense courtroom, several looking exhausted, their faces drawn and grim. After the verdict was read, each assented, one by one, and quietly, their agreement with the verdict.

Trayvon Martin’s father responds to the verdict

Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, responded to the verdict via Twitter:

Trayvon-Martin-father-tweets

What the jury had to find in order for George Zimmerman to be guilty

They were looking at Second Degree Murder or Manslaughter.

AP explains some of the difference between Second Degree Murder and Manslaughter in Florida, and what you need to prove for each:

To secure a second-degree murder conviction, prosecutors had to convince the jury that Zimmerman acted with a “depraved” state of mind — that is, with ill will, hatred or spite. Prosecutors said he demonstrated that when he muttered, “F—— punks. These a——-. They always get away” during a call to police as he watched Martin walk through his neighborhood.

To win a manslaughter conviction, prosecutors had to convince the jury only that Zimmerman killed without lawful justification.

More on what a lawful justification is below.

The Washington Post notes that the jury was looking at the manslaughter charge, so they dismissed Second Degree murder:

Earlier Saturday, the jury had sent a note to Judge Debra Steinberg Nelson requesting clarification of instructions related to manslaughter, signaling that they were taking a hard look at the lesser of the two charges against the former neighborhood watch volunteer and sending a jolt through the courtroom and the crowd outside. Before starting deliberations, the jury was given a cautionary note by Nelson, who instructed them that “Zimmerman cannot be guilty of manslaughter by committing a merely negligent act or if the killing was either justifiable or excusable homicide.”

Negligence means there was no intent to kill, but you were so sloppy in your actions that you killed someone.  You’re negligent when you leave a loaded gun near a child, and the child uses it and harms someone, but you didn’t intend for the child to harm someone.

Without lawful justification” sounds like you still have to find that there was intent to kill.  But if you find intent, in order to convict it has to be an intent that was not lawful – meaning, it wasn’t justified by self-defense, or you weren’t a cop who’s justified in shooting someone.  That’s “justifiable homicide” – you intended to kill someone, but you were justified in doing it.

As for the other term, “excusable homicide,” here’s what it means in the Florida statutes:

782.03 Excusable homicide.—Homicide is excusable when committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent, or by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or upon a sudden combat, without any dangerous weapon being used and not done in a cruel or unusual manner.

That’s a long definition. It actually contains 3 independent definitions of excusable homicide – if you can prove any of the three, you’re off the hook.

In order to meet the first definition of excusable homicide you need to meet all of the following four elements:

1. By accident: You drop a vase of water accidentally, it breaks, someone near you slips on the water and breaks their neck; and

2. It also has to be while doing something lawful – meaning, if you accidentally kill someone while committing a crime, it’s not excusable homicide; and

3. You have to be exercising usual caution: You can’t be negligent in doing whatever you did that accidentally led to someone else dying; and

4. You can’t have had any unlawful intent: That one’s interesting.  It think it means that if I was intending to kill you, and I accidentally drop the vase, you trip on the water and die – my intent was still unlawful.  So even if it was an accident, they might not let me off the hook.

But there’s a second definition that can independently count as “excusable homicide”:

1. By accident; and

2. It was the heat of passion and you were suddenly provoked to a significant degree.

I’m not entirely sure I understand this second defense.  I think that may be saying that the other elements in the first definition – that you were doing something lawful, that you were exercising caution, and that you didn’t have an unlawful intent may not be necessary for this second definition of “excusable homicide” if it was the heat of passion and you were suddenly provoked to a significant degree.  I wonder if this isn’t the reason the jury found Zimmerman not guilty.

And the third definition of excusable homicide in the law says that you were suddenly in a fight, and no dangerous weapon was used, yet the other guy died – that clearly doesn’t apply to this case, as there was a gun.

USA Today seems to think that the jury ruled that Trayvon Martin was killed in self-defense:

The not guilty verdict means the jury of six women found that Zimmerman justifiably used deadly force and reasonably believed that such force was “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” to himself — Florida’s definition of self-defense.

Can the Justice Department intervene?

Interesting statement from Al Sharpton about the Justice Department via AP:

Issuing a statement from New York, civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton called the not-guilty verdict “a slap in the face to the American people but it is only the first round in the pursuit of justice.”

“We intend to ask the Department of Justice to move forward as they did in the Rodney King case and we will closely monitor the civil case against Mr. Zimmerman,” Sharpton said, adding that he will travel to Florida in the next few days.


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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349 Responses to “Zimmerman not guilty in Trayvon Martin killing”

  1. recon says:

    Want to be a good american blogger?

    realize that a good citizen accepts the challenges to strive for a great reputation!

    we make mistakes, admit them, apologize, and move forward! it is a great responsibility!

    We set an example and communicate in a formal fashion so that those who are chosen to lead know what we are about!

    We give a shit about our community!

    we exceed beyond the limitations!

    sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating ourselves!

    physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics!

    honor, pride, ethics, and code!

    Conquering all obstacles, both large and small!

    we shall never quit!

    Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork!

    Honor, Perseverance, Spirit and Heart!

    A true effective community active adult, is educated, humble, and savvy. He or she can speak without saying a word!

    and achieve what others can only imagine!

  2. recon says:

    i thought his momma was from peru? have any references? just curious?

  3. recon says:

    LT must be the responding officer? the commanding officer of district where incident was committed? the defense attorney? or other legal insight position holder on martin vs zimmerman. one paragraph is not enough sir, please elaborate so we can learn? alright alright alright…we are going to learn today!

  4. beancrisp says:

    So you think the government is justified to prosecute people on trumped up charges?

  5. beancrisp says:

    How does stating the cold hard facts make someone an idiot.

  6. samizdat says:

    “…the slums of New York and California.”

    …and the slums of rural Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania…

    The state of the country is such that ‘slums’ exist everywhere. You just don’t see them because you’ve closed your eyes to the pain and suffering of others.

  7. samizdat says:

    Your argument is simpleminded, you know that, don’t you? The ol’ ‘love it or leave it’ canard went out of fashion with plaid hip-huggers.

  8. samizdat says:

    Funny how they become “rogue” when they conduct business in a way which doesn’t satisfy your blood lust.

  9. samizdat says:

    Thank you, you are an idiot.

    There, Kristine, I fixed it for you. By the way, the idiot bit goes for you, too.

  10. Kristine says:

    If it wasn’t for the military or cops we would all be dead because there wouldn’t be any laws to protect the innocent and there wouldn’t be an America we would be controlled by the British, if you hated so much move to a different country. Recon thank you for your service I’m very thankful and Semper Fi

  11. Kristine says:

    Oh screw you, you probably don’t know what happened maybe. You are racists against whites you always think it’s there faults. The evidence is there that Zimmerman was defending himself that’s why he wasn’t arrested at first until the media and Obama wanted him arrested. It’s not always white peoples fault. If someone was bashing your head in the pavement what would you do let them kill you or give you permit brain damage or would you defend yourself.Other races can be at fault too.

  12. Kristine says:

    Thank You you are a smart person

  13. LT says:

    truth is Trayvon Martin was a criminal, shot WHILE committing felony battery and possible attempted murder.. that is exactly what he would have been charged with had he not died WHILE committing those crimes… truth? yes… come on admit it….you can do it and be honest.. even if you don’t like it.

    …. he died because he was committing FELONY criminal acts and got shot doing it.. not because he was black..its pretty simple ..

  14. caphillprof says:

    Juries do not determine innocence.

  15. RJ says:

    Why is the race card played when things don’t go their way? I lived in a Multi-Cultured neighborhood in North Las Vegas. I had 3 attempted home invasion and all involved men of color. I moved out of the area for this reason. If I was to stay and I saw a man of color walking around the neighborhood and I did not know him would it be wrong to be suspicious of him? or did it just happen to be chance that over 90% percent of home invasion involved a man of color. Tired of hearing “its because I’m black” or its because he was black ect…….

  16. not a racist thing says:

    Zimmerman is Mexican not white lets get that straight but if some kid i don’t care what color he or she was. but if he or she was beating the crap out of me and i feared for my life me as an American have the right to defend myself no matter what. I wouldn’t want to die if he was just some kid either. I wouldn’t want to be the one to die. But Trayvon was beating him and his head was bleeding with gravel in it don’t forget that. I was even talking to an African American at my work he said he would have shoot the kid to. I doubt it was a race thing, just a MEXICAN fearing for his life.

  17. beancrisp says:

    Stopping rogue prosecutors from prosecuting an person is the epitome of the justiceinnocent system at it’s finest.

  18. beancrisp says:

    Stopping rogue prosecutors from railroading an innocent person is the eptome

  19. karmanot says:

    I bet all two of your grey cells figured that out. Huh genius?

  20. recon says:

    this is why you will not catch many police officers or jarheads posting in forums…the world has become a pussy of itself (crude yet fairly accurate, honor and code are dying)… liars are winning and honest men and women are unrecognized!

    martin vs. zimmerman really bothers me, zimmerman’s future…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/national/legal-analyst-on-what-lies-ahead-for-zimmerman/2013/07/14/8c57b1ac-ecdd-11e2-b46e-f15eec37b46c_video.html

    more than what jack ford said has to happen, florida law is going to have to change…this is ridiculous!

  21. recon says:

    without knowing anything else about that case, discharging a firearm within city limits and discharging a firearm into a dwelling are miniscule charges unless they resulted to murder or manslaughter like Martin vs. Zimmerman.

    i just can’t help but think there is more to that case than an uncomplicated discharge firearm (without causing injury to a person) 25 years, that sounds way off or something gone really really bad, sad, nightmare situation.

  22. beancrisp says:

    There is absolutely no evidence that Zimmerman ever attacked Trayvon
    prior to shooting him in self-defense. The prosecution couldn’t even put
    together a story of how Trayvon could have been at least a block,
    perhaps two, ahead of Zimmerman and headed home, then somehow ended up
    near Zimmerman’s car beating him up.

    Did Zimmerman chase him down then force him at gunpoint back to his car.
    After that he again forced Trayvon (at gunpoint) to punch him a few
    times so it looked good before shooting him?

    Or perhaps Trayvon overpowered Zimmerman briefly after having been forced back to the car, only to get shot in the end.

    This is so completely ridiculous and without a single shred of evidence
    supporting it that the prosecution never presented it. If they had their
    case would become so clearly a sham that they would have been laughed
    out of court.

    Instead they had to pursue an attack on Zimmerman’s character and try to
    discredit his story without offering any alternative at all.

    Any account has to include that Trayon was a significant distance away
    from Zimmerman, headed even further away then ended up next to him with
    Zimmerman beaten up.

    The only account I have heard that makes any sense is Zimmerman’s.

  23. Egan Foote says:

    I agree completely. Obviously you cannot compel the defendant to testify, but by shifting the burden of proof for such justification claims to the defendant, and by preventing them from introducing their self-defense claim through sneaky evidentiary means other than their testimony (which, in turn, opens them to cross examination), you have a much better system. And I remind you that this is the way it works in the majority (or many) jurisdictions.

    It is just baffling to me that Zimmerman was able to introduce his self-defense justification claim without actually having to personally assert such a defense and subject himself to cross-examination as to the credibility of those claims. Many blame the jury for their verdict, but it is really the system that is problematic. I hate to say it, but based on Florida law and procedure, and the evidence presented, I would not have been surprised had the jury gone either way. The burden on the prosecution to disprove a self-defense claim beyond a reasonable doubt, without being able to question the credibility of the individual making those claims, makes the prosecution’s extremely difficult.

  24. Stratplayer says:

    Yes, I do, in fact, find this profoundly troubling. I am quite leery of any burden-shifting away from the state in criminal prosecutions, but it seems to me that in a homicide case like this, in which the sole fully percipient witness other than the defendant happens to be the dead victim, and the defendant’s self-defense claim consists of accusing this permanently silenced victim of aggravated assault and battery, it might not be inappropriate to hold that leveling such an accusation essentially amounts to back-door testimony and compels a waiver of the defendant’s 5th Amendment rights even if the defendant doesn’t actually take the stand. Since “dead men tell no tales,” perhaps the survivor ought to be required to tell his tale first hand and submit to cross-examination.

  25. Ferdiad says:

    Look at the facts of that case. They have nothing to do with the Zimmerman case. People need to stop spreading lies just to continue the cycle of misinformation. The lady who fired a warning shot was violating a protection from abuse order when she entered the house. And, she fired the gun with her kids in close proximity -which put them in danger. AND, she was found guilty by the jury after she rejected a plea deal.

  26. Badgerite says:

    Madam Prosecutor has said that all she promised anyone was that she would see that the parties had their day in court. But I don’t really see the value of a show trial. First by overcharging she stacked the deck against a conviction and then the prosecution barely showed up at trial. They allowed the defense to put the dead boy on trial instead of Zimmerman. It is almost as if they, the defense and the prosecution, sucker punched the parents of that dead boy. Contrast the behavior of Attorney O’Mara at the time he took the case as opposed to after the verdict. If they thought they were helping Zimmerman be that kind of offensive behavior, I think they were mistaken. This was not the legal system at its finest.

  27. Bill_Perdue says:

    Modern racism was invented in the pre-colonial period as a justification for the slave trade.

    It was extended by the US Constitution, the betrayal of 1877 and Jim Crow and not it’s enshrined in drug laws and the racist imprisonment of people of color under cover of drug laws. Since the 1970’s when Jim Crow came under attack the prison population grew 700%. “While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned.”

    The US is a sewer of bigotries and racism is the oldest, most enduring and most violent of them.
    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2012/03/13/11351/the-top-10-most-startling-facts-about-people-of-color-and-criminal-justice-in-the-united-states/

  28. DJ says:

    Listen to the tapes moron. I didn’t make any of it up unlike you. You lack any substance to your arguments so all you can do is hurl insults. Your vision of the United States is the one that requires rejection. You really have a thing against vampires -don’t you ???? And you call me a racist…

    You are just another tool who’s been duped by the media.

  29. mirror says:

    Only a wacked out racist with a twisted stereotype about black teen behavior would believe a teenager walking home with some junk food with a young buddy waiting for him watching TV would turn around after running away and attack some total stranger pursuing him in an SUV. Your racism has you living in a world divorced from reality. You do not believe black people act the same as other people, In fact, based on your support for the way this was handled, you do not even see black people as human. Racist frickin gun nut vampires trying to drag the whole country into their twisted nightmare…. Sheesh.

  30. AntSWeb says:

    You want pathetic facts? LOL Here’s some for you.

    Black on Black murders surpass the number of people killed by the KKK every six months. In 2011 more than 7,000 black people were killed; the KKK killed 3,446 blacks in 86 years.

    Who’s violent? In Chicago as of July 2013, there have been 224 murders. Out of the 224, 173 of those were black. Blacks also were the offenders in 75 percent of the murders.

    Chicago from 2003 to 2011, an average of 77 percent had a prior arrest history, with a high of 79 percent of the 436 murdered in Chicago in 2010 having arrest histories.

    For the same 2003-2011 period, blacks were the victims of 75 percent of 4,265 murders. Blacks also were the offenders in 75 percent of the murders.

    Operation Enduring Freedom, the name for the war in Afghanistan, which started Oct. 7, 2001, has seen a total of 2,166 killed. The war has been ongoing for 11 years, 3 months and one week.

    Operation Iraqi Freedom, the name for the war in Iraq, which started March 20, 2003, and ended Dec. 15, 2011, saw a total of 4,422 killed.
    Priorities? Instead you’re protesting and jumping on Jesse Jackson’s and Al Sharpton’s bandwagon why don’t you all try protesting something that is FACTUAL. Fact of black on black murders in Chicago – killing each other.
    Why not protest rappers and music that your kids are listening to that promote violence, guns, and drugs? Priorities? LOL Maybe you should just continue to show your true ignorance by continuing to protest a case that has nothing to do with race and is now a NOT GUILTY verdict. Again, I ask, Priorities?
    I didn’t think so…

  31. DJ says:

    Now he chased him ? Martin took off running while Zimmerman was in his car talking to the dispatcher. The dispatcher asked Zimmerman which way he (Martin) went. That is when Zimmerman exited his car to see if he could determine which direction Martin ran. At this point Martin had about 400 ft to get to where he was staying (a distance just over an average city block). Zimmerman remained on the phone with the dispatcher for another two minutes. Martin had given Zimmerman the slip and could have made it back in about 45 seconds (less if he would have run the distance) to where he was staying. Martin chose not to go back but instead jumped Zimmerman.

    You can try to fabricate the story however you’d like to fit your narrative. It has nothing to do with what really happened, however.

  32. FLL says:

    Yes, I understand that racism has been used historically in the Thirteen Colonies and the United States to justify slavery. I’m also sure that racism has been used historically to justify slavery elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere during the same historical period.

  33. recon says:

    amen!

  34. karmanot says:

    Teach, guide, mentor, love and protect.

  35. recon says:

    i am pursuing contributing to my community in other ways, negativity is a strong influence, it brings everyone down, makes even the most powerful men and women stay home, hug their kids, and lock the doors!

  36. recon says:

    just sad really, i would like to tell you i wish i was on scene so i could participate in fairness, but i was not, i know very very little about this case, i am glad i was not there, i am retiring from law enforcement

  37. Bill_Perdue says:

    Modern racism was invented in the US in the pre-colonial period and extended into the post-colonial period codified in colonial (1) and post-colonial laws and ultimately in the Constitution (2), then in Jim Crow laws and now in drug laws.

    The African slave trade was an attempt to make up for the difficulties of enslaving native Americans and European indentured slaves. The native American slaves often just committed suicide and both they and EuroAmerican slaves repeatedly ran away to ask for asylum from nearby native Nations. It was a capital crime in New England for anyone to run away and join native Nations. (3) (4)

    The racist justification for permanent chattel slavery began with southern preachers. mainly Presbyterians, soon became law and infected large layers of the EuroAmerican population. A Maryland law of 1664 said “Be it enacted… that all negroes or other slaves already within the Province, and all negroes and other slaves to be hereafter imported into the Province shall serve durante vita. And all children born of any negro or other slave shall be slaves as their fathers were for the term of their lives.” Similar laws were passed in other slave colonies and then in slave states. (1)

    Your confusion between the slave trade and the racism invented to justify is not surprising, nor is your paytriotic attempt to spread the blame. I raised the question of racism in the US, not the whole world.

    (1) Wiki

    (2) “Section 9 of Article I allowed the continued “importation” of slaves. By prohibiting changes for two decades to regulation of the slave trade, Article V effectively protected the trade until 1808, giving the States 20 years to resolve this issue. During that time, planters in states of the Lower South imported tens of thousands of slaves, more than during any previous two decades in colonial history.
    As further protection for slavery, the delegates approved Section 2 of Article IV, which prohibited citizens from providing assistance to escaping slaves and required the return of chattel property to owners. In a section negotiated by James Madison of Virginia, Section 2 of Article I designated “other persons” (slaves) to be added to the total of the state’s free population, at the rate of three-fifths of their total number, to establish the state’s official population for the purposes of apportionment of Congressional representation and federal taxation.” Wiki

    (3) 1491, New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus Charles Mann, Vintage, 2004

    (4) “I doe not see how we can thrive untill we gett into a stock of slaves” moaned a New Englander in 1645. http://alexgoldfeld.com/NEHShistory2.html

  38. karmanot says:

    Just playing Loona! :-)

  39. JohnAGJ says:

    Personally, yes i would if their suggestion were reasonable. Zimmerman claims he did in this case, the 911 transcript seems to indicate he did and there was no credible evidence to prove otherwise.

  40. karmanot says:

    We so often disagree. I rather enjoy this thread of mutual understanding.

  41. karmanot says:

    I would never ever want to become a cop, but do have military and police family going back generations that inform my distaste for correction and violence. I chose a different path. I can think of no more devastating weapon than a corrupt and unjust legal system.

  42. JohnAGJ says:

    I havent followed that case but what little I heard it does seem excessive and perhaps an indictment against mandatory minimums being applied so broadly. I would note a couple of things though: the same prosecutor was in charge of both cases; Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was used as a defense in this case but was rejected since she left and came back, while Zimmerman ultimately didnt use that law for his defense.

  43. karmanot says:

    Not at all, I relate similar understanding when talking about my hospice years.

  44. recon says:

    if you think you can do a better job than a police officer i humbly suggest you pick a weapon and stand post!

  45. karmanot says:

    :-) I recognize that you have a great heart and a very hard professional path in life. Look out for the Travons that come your way, protect them and mentor them.

  46. recon says:

    i can’t comment on this i know squat about this, i hope you find closure.

    it’s all fine and dandy (in theory) till it happens to “us”, “me” or “you” and our loved ones, then it’s a whole different situation!

    this conversation is saturated, please excuse me

    recon out

  47. recon says:

    I wish you well non-combatant, may you live long and prosper!

    HM1 USMC NCDOJ/BLET SARC RN MSN

    Get some!

    (is that better?)

  48. Badgerite says:

    Really? Did you know that in Florida a black woman who had been the victim of domestic abuse was sentenced to 25 years for firing a warning shot at the wall? At the wall. And how is it that she was put on trial. Wasn’t she just defending herself. Florida law does not allow the judge any discretion due to mandatory minimum sentencing requirements. She is going to prison for 25 years for firing a warning shot at the wall to ward off a guy who had beat her. Do you seriously propose that George Zimmerman deserves sympathy because he had to defend his killing ( shot through the heart killing ) of an unarmed 17 year old who he got into an altercation with while he was following him through the neighborhood. I don’t think so.

  49. loona_c says:

    whether 911 operators have the “legal” authority to tell you what to do..if you call 911 asking for help, I would assume you would actuually LISTEN to what they tell you.

  50. loona_c says:

    Hey, hey, hey… I’m not one of those curtain peekers! But the constables who partrol our neighborhood have advised us that if we see anyone suspicious to let THEM know. That was my point. I wouldn’t confront the person or take the law into my own hands. And if Zi8mmerman had done the same, Trayvon would still be alive

  51. Badgerite says:

    How do you justify this result to the boy’s parents and the black community as a whole when the state of Florida also has a mandatory minimum that required a judge to sentence a black woman who had been the victim of domestic abuse and violence to 25 years in prison (25 YEARS) for firing a warning shot. Nobody was hurt. But the prosecution argued that the bullet COULD have ricocheted and hit someone. 25 years for a warning shot not even fired in anyone’s direction. How does Florida look the rest of the country in the eye after this bullshit. This woman is going to prison for a long time for trying to defend herself and not hurting anyone.

  52. Badgerite says:

    You know, that’s a good point. I hope you are wrong.

  53. karmanot says:

    My view from a larger historical arc, is that when rule of law becomes increasing unjust social disintegration follows and the concept of anarchy manifests. States and particularly the southern states are increasing challenging federal and constitutional law. The Travon Martin tragedy will be a microcosm of the future dystopia.

  54. Badgerite says:

    Huffington post has a rather interesting case contrast with this one. See Florida Woman Gets 20 Years For Firing Warning Shot. Florida law really is a mess.

  55. Jan Phillips says:

    Not to mention the ice cream celebrating with his kids after Trayvon’s friend testified. wth

  56. Badgerite says:

    It is all we’ve got short of vigilantism. The result of that was seen in the death of Trayvon Martin. So I wouldn’t disparage it too much. What’s the alternative. The real world is what it is. The law has to operate in the real world. It isn’t foolproof. Nothing is when you are dealing with people.

  57. karmanot says:

    Just a note. I have served my community for nearly forty years, know the court system, and from long experience know that testilying underlies court law. Defense lawyers know it, prosecutors know it, judges know it and cops routinely lie as a matter of fact. Those that are hurt by this structure are by and far the people of color and the poor.

  58. karmanot says:

    I’m with ya! ;-)

  59. karmanot says:

    I take your word that you are not a racist, that was not my point. The point is that ZImmerman was and remains a racist based on his recorded comments.

  60. karmanot says:

    I agree totally with that. Vigilantes and poorly trained civilians with guns are a danger to the public safety.

  61. karmanot says:

    If you believe for one moment there was no bias regarding Zimmerman’s racist murder of a 17yr old black kid…YOU are part of the problem. And don’t give us semper fi—-outrageou!

  62. benb says:

    I hope that the Civil Trial will hold Zimmerman responsible for his reckless behavior. Grab a gun and run out of the house to chase down some guy who must be a criminal, get into a fight, shoot the guy, and claim self-defense.

    Nobody’s safe in Florida.

  63. recon says:

    emotion without intellect, i hate it when i do that, i am human, i have made many mistakes, and continue to make mistakes, nothing is perfect, we do our best, unfortunately not everyone lives by this rule, i wish you all well, long lives, and prosperity!

  64. Whitewitch says:

    Really a down vote for this…wow

  65. recon says:

    and by the way i am african american but i bleed blue, i am the guy behind you taking notes, exercising my given power carefully every single day and night, i am no one, i am a shadow, my best calls are the simple one’s where I get to help the nice people in my community with a car wreck, or other incident, and be nice, respectful, and know that my honor, ethics, morals, and code stand for something, freedom for everyone without bias!

    semper fi!

  66. recon says:

    i truly truly wish zimmerman trayvon murder had never happened, this is a hit on our community, it breeds more racism, let’s all pull it together, and don’t try to do law enforcement’s job, they are underpaid, after all “you get what you pay for” so if the community hires cheap cops then they get cheap enforcement, testimony, and their ill effect in the court rooms

  67. JohnAGJ says:

    Yes, which the 5th Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to avoid if they choose without this being an indication of guilt. Legally at least.

  68. recon says:

    i am not racist ask any of the people who know me, i have arrested plenty of racists, we are all the same. look past trayvon’s ethnicity, he could be any race or gender, still presented himself on the data provided by the media as “undesirable” i won’t judge, i am not the arresting officer!

  69. recon says:

    correct! what do you know about society really? have you served in combat? or served your community with a sidearm? maybe you have? i don’t know so i won’t judge you. life sucks, plenty of challenges this was trayvon’s last challenge, its a damn shame.

  70. JohnAGJ says:

    Perhaps. Perhaps not. The jury instructions I read focused on whether he was guilty beyond a preasonable doubt of murder or manslaugter, not whether he acted in self defense or not which wasnt in the verdict.

  71. Whitewitch says:

    Oh no karmanot – he called you a troll…guess these two don’t come by this blog often to visit. Shall we “troll” together

  72. Badgerite says:

    Sad but true.

  73. Badgerite says:

    Point taken.

  74. Badgerite says:

    Correct me if I am wrong but those six kids are under arrest and were arrested without anyone having to tell the authorities to do so. How exactly does that relate to a case where an unarmed teenager is shot dead while walking home from the store and nothing happens. Crickets.

  75. Badgerite says:

    Point taken.

  76. Badgerite says:

    And did he do that by chasing after some kid he saw in the neighborhood and not listening to the dispatcher who told him not to and ultimately getting into a confrontation with the kid where he felt he needed to shoot him through the heart to survive and thereby setting off a firestorm in that community? I think not. There is a difference between tipping the police off about something and taking actions that end up with a dead body, don’t you think?

  77. Badgerite says:

    Here;s the thing. Zimmerman did not even need to go to the hospital and he shot Trayvon Martin through the heart. The only way that the defense could sell the idea that a guy who had no serious injuries was in fear for his life was to put Trayvon Martin on trial. And they did. And given what the kid was actually doing that night as the evidence shows, walking home from the store, it was disgusting. People who are upset about this verdict are not the only ones ‘speculating’. Trayvon Martin was doing routine daily activity and ended up dead and they are still out there trying to make him into a dangerous criminal to justify Zimmerman’s response of deadly force

  78. Badgerite says:

    You want to know what is not speculation. Zimmerman’s injuries were so minor that he did not even feel the need to go to the hospital. Trayvon Martin was shot straight through the heart and was dead within minutes. No chance of survival. Do you really think that kind of deadly shooting was really warranted by anything Trayvon Martin did? And if Zimmerman, as neighborhood watch, could not really defend himself in a physical altercation, why was he following this kid? Why didn’t he keep his distance as would have been prudent and wait for the police as they told him to do? I will tell you why. Because he had a gun. The great equalizer. If you have a gun, you can chase someone down whom you don’t know and if you get yourself into trouble you can shoot to kill. That’s reasonable?

  79. Egan Foote says:

    I agree as a general matter that the criminal justice system is designed to prevent innocent people from wrongful conviction, but you cannot treat the criminal justice system as a whole. Florida has legal and procedural differences from the majority of other states… specifically, the burden of proof for self defense claims. In most states, the burden shifts to the defendant to actively prove self-defense on a preponderance of evidence standard; in Florida, the burden is on the prosecution to DISPROVE self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt (a much higher standard than preponderance of evidence). So while I agree that procedure is extremely important in preserving the things you described, there are legal frameworks in other states that are more than adequate in protecting the innocent, while also ensuring that people like Zimmerman have to actually actively prove he was justified in shooting and killing an unarmed teen. Simply put, had this case taken place in the majority of jurisdictions outside of Floriday, Zimmerman would have surely been convicted.