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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-18 10:42pm
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Kamakazie Sith wrote:
Enigma wrote:
Yet it all could have been avoidable if Zimmerman wasn't such a douchebag and decided to pursue Trayvon for no reason whatsoever.

Zimmerman took a life, period. If he gets off I feel that this will only boost his ego and he'll try pursuing "thugs" again.


I don't think you know enough about Zimmerman to make these conclusions. Couldn't you just as easily say that this wouldn't have happened if Martin didn't decide to confront Zimmerman? I could also say that I think Zimmerman let his desire get the best of him. That desire being to help protect his neighborhood and then he turned into a struggle which Zimmerman thought he was going to die.


At the moment, from what I understand about this case, it was Zimmerman who initiated the confrontation. Would he have done the same thing if he did not carry a gun?

If he wanted to act like a cop he should have been one and not end up in a situation like this. As far as we know, Trayvon wasn't committing a crime so why the pursuit? He could have just written down Trayvon's description, take a pic from his cell and then talk to the police. But no, he decided to be a nut-ball to confront Trayvon, end up in a struggle that forced him to kill.

Kamakazie Sith wrote:
Enigma wrote:
I don't give a rat's ass about weed being in Trayvon's system. Anyone would defend themselves if confronted by an aggressor. If this was me? If someone kept following me, I'd do my best to lose the pursuer. If I can't shake him and the guy tries to be physical, I damn well try to stop him in any way I can. Knock the guy to the ground, get on top of him and punch, kick, stomp on the guy until I am sure that he will not get back up and then leave. High or not, maybe that was Trayvon's intention too. Trounce Zimmerman until he's unable to continue the pursuit.


It could be. It could also be that Martin decided that he was going to beat the shit out of Zimmerman for following him. Is that not a possibility to you at all? Though I do agree the media reporting the THC content is ridiculous. It is completely irrelevant.


Wasn't Zimmerman following him in his vehicle? But if it did turn out that Trayvon was the aggressor then it is different but we'll find out eventually won't we?

Kamakazie Sith wrote:
Enigma wrote:
But yeah, they way it is, Zimmerman will walk but he'll be hated for the rest of his life.


LMAO. Let's say Zimmerman was totally in the right and did nothing wrong but still ended up having to defend his life. Do you honestly think he wouldn't still be just as hated?


Of course he'll still be hated but not as much. I'm going out on a limb here but if he ended up in the right and did no wrong, the main haters will be the African Americans. I have a feeling that no matter which way the case goes, Zimmerman will be hated by many of them in comparison with the rest of the country.

He's screwed.

To put it bluntly, If he was completely in the right, I hold nothing against him. But if he walks for any other reason, my perception of him would be tainted and thus would have a hard time considering him to be a decent person.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-18 10:48pm
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On THC blood serum levels:
Blood Tests

Unlike urine tests, blood tests detect the active presence of THC in the bloodstream. In the case of smoked marijuana, THC peaks rapidly in the first few minutes after inhaling, often to levels above 100 ng/ml in blood plasma. It then declines quickly to single-digit levels within an hour. High THC levels are therefore a good indication that the subject has smoked marijuana recently. THC can remain at low but detectable levels of 1- 2 ng/ml for 8 hours or more without any measurable signs of impairment. Chronic users have been found to show residual blood THC levels of 1.5 (+/- 0.5) ng/ml for a full week after ceasing use [Karschner].

Note: THC blood levels above are recorded in terms of concentration in serum or plasma. Most U.S. labs report levels based on whole blood instead. Concentrations in whole blood are about half as high. Therefore 1 - 2 ng/ml in plasma is equal to 0.5 - 1.0 ng/ml in whole blood.

Unlike urine, blood test results can give a useful indicator of whether one is impaired by marijuana. Studies have shown that high THC blood levels are correlated with impaired driving. An expert panel review of scientific studies on driving under the influence of cannabis concluded that THC levels above 7 - 10 ng/ml in plasma or 3.5 - 5 ng/ml in blood indicate likely impairment [Grotenhermen]. The same review found no increased driving hazard at low levels of THC. Despite the fact that accident studies have repeatedly failed to find evidence of increased driving risk at low levels (1 or 2 ng in blood) of THC, numerous states and foreign countries have enacted "zero-tolerance" laws, treating any non-zero trace of THC as legal evidence for driving under the influence.

Although high blood THC is a good indicator of impairment, it is not infallible. Chronic users who develop tolerance to THC may in some cases drive safely with high blood levels of THC. In one study, a subject with severe attention deficit disorder could not pass a driving test while straight, but performed well with a blood level of 71 ng/ml [Strohbeck-Kühner]. No similar phenomenon is known for alcohol.


While it is from a pro-marijuana legalization political group, it is well-sourced from peer-reviewed studies, and reading some of the cites from JSTOR (can't repost for copyright concerns), they are not misrepresenting the research. In short, THC blood serum (or even whole blood levels) of 1.5 ng/ml are detectable up to 8 hours after using marijuana, and for up to a week for chronic users. Such levels do not typically result in noticeable impairment.

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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 12:22am
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Enigma wrote:
Wasn't Zimmerman following him in his vehicle? But if it did turn out that Trayvon was the aggressor then it is different but we'll find out eventually won't we?


Not sure. Haven't really seen any evidence of it, but Trayvon did approach Zimmerman while Zimmerman was in his SUV. It's at the one minute mark:


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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 03:06am
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Cosmic Average wrote:

Well, you could look up the law:

776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a)  Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or

(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
.

So hypothetically if Gil allowed such gang members to corner him while backing away (ie no reasonable means of escape are left), and the gang members still continue to come (ie Gil can believe that he is in imminent danger) then its A-ok? Just want to clarify that.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 04:52am
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Gil Hamilton wrote:
Kamakazie Sith wrote:
Nobody said anything about marijuana making someone aggressive. I said the presence of THC is completely irrelevant. However, Jcow79, reminded me that Zimmerman was following Martin because he was acting strange and appeared like he was on drugs. The toxicology report could potentially substantiate Zimmerman's claim and silence those that think Zimmerman was following Martin for no reason or because of his skin color.


"Toxicology tests found elements of the drug in the teenager's chest blood -- 1.5 nanograms per milliliter of one type (THC), as well as 7.3 nanograms of another type (THC-COOH) -- according to the medical examiner's report. There also was a presumed positive test of cannabinoids in Martin's urine, according to the medical examiner's report. It was not immediately clear how significant these amounts were."

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/18/justice/f ... ?hpt=ju_c2

That's less than what most places consider "intoxicated". That little amount of THC indicates he probably wasn't high.


That's probably an accurate reading from when his heart stopped as well, so yeah you're probably right.

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Further, what does a person who is someone slightly buzzed on marijuana look like that they are so suspicious? Zimmerman is the neighborhood paranoid who inundated the police department with nearly fifty reports of "suspicious people" in one year, none of which were substantiated. The pissant amount of THC that Martin had in his system is a red herring, which would only work on people who still privately believe that weed causes "reefer madness".


I don't recall if Zimmerman articulated the suspicious behavior. Some behavior of intoxicated individuals that I've seen is trying the doors of homes and cars because they're confused.

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We're looking at a case where your average joe citizen used deadly force when he created the situation in which deadly force was needed.


You missed a part of that, Gil. When you create a situation in which a reasonable person would be able to determine that deadly force would be needed to get yourself out of that situation. Your fictional scenario fits. My stepping in front of a car scenario fits. Zimmerman's does not.

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But why don't you think I'd be charged with murder? Do you think when I set out to confront the hypothetical guys and created a situation where lethal force was needed to extract myself in one piece that I didn't commit murder? Do you think that I wasn't responsible for the people killed and my actions were the direct cause?


No, because that other person still initiated the attempt to kill you. They are still responsible for that action. You're responsible for being reckless.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 04:58am
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Enigma wrote:
At the moment, from what I understand about this case, it was Zimmerman who initiated the confrontation. Would he have done the same thing if he did not carry a gun?

If he wanted to act like a cop he should have been one and not end up in a situation like this. As far as we know, Trayvon wasn't committing a crime so why the pursuit? He could have just written down Trayvon's description, take a pic from his cell and then talk to the police. But no, he decided to be a nut-ball to confront Trayvon, end up in a struggle that forced him to kill.


Even if he did intiate a verbal confrontation with Martin it still doesn't reach the level of Zimmerman reasonably knowing that Martin would try to kill him. That's what matters. That's why I gave the example of stepping in front of a car. Talking with a person that you find suspicious doesn't reach that level. Though it could depend on how Zimmerman started the confrontation.

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Wasn't Zimmerman following him in his vehicle? But if it did turn out that Trayvon was the aggressor then it is different but we'll find out eventually won't we?


Who knows. Part of me thinks we will never hear the whole story.

Quote:
Of course he'll still be hated but not as much. I'm going out on a limb here but if he ended up in the right and did no wrong, the main haters will be the African Americans. I have a feeling that no matter which way the case goes, Zimmerman will be hated by many of them in comparison with the rest of the country.

He's screwed.

To put it bluntly, If he was completely in the right, I hold nothing against him. But if he walks for any other reason, my perception of him would be tainted and thus would have a hard time considering him to be a decent person.


That's what I mean. Many people have already made up their mind and no court ruling or thorough investigation will change that.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 06:18am
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Kamakazie Sith wrote:
You missed a part of that, Gil. When you create a situation in which a reasonable person would be able to determine that deadly force would be needed to get yourself out of that situation. Your fictional scenario fits. My stepping in front of a car scenario fits. Zimmerman's does not.

Of course it does. Zimmerman pursued Martin for the express purpose of confronting him over criminal behavior, despite having absolutely no evidence that Martin was doing anything remotely criminal*. He created a situation where violence was a distinct possibility, not Martin. If Zimmerman had behaved like a reasonable person, Martin would not be dead right now. That's why the Sanford police wanted to have Zimmerman brought in on manslaughter charges.

*Unless you can prove that Martin was acting in a way that a reasonable person would conclude was suspicious and thus worth stalking and confronting over. If you can do so, please do.

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No, because that other person still initiated the attempt to kill you. They are still responsible for that action. You're responsible for being reckless.

But I created the situation where it was possible to happen, in the case of my scenario, deliberately, and being reckless is not a crime. What this amounts to, based on your logic, is that it is entirely possible to contrive situations where a person could seek out and randomly murder people and get away with it, just as long as they could provoke the person they are seeking to shoot into a violent encounter. Or am I missing something? In my scenario, you'd let me go, having committed no crime despite deliberately seeking out someone for the sole purpose of shooting them. Is that correct?



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 07:06am
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Gil Hamilton wrote:
Of course it does. Zimmerman pursued Martin for the express purpose of confronting him over criminal behavior, despite having absolutely no evidence that Martin was doing anything remotely criminal*. He created a situation where violence was a distinct possibility, not Martin. If Zimmerman had behaved like a reasonable person, Martin would not be dead right now. That's why the Sanford police wanted to have Zimmerman brought in on manslaughter charges.

*Unless you can prove that Martin was acting in a way that a reasonable person would conclude was suspicious and thus worth stalking and confronting over. If you can do so, please do.


In my examples, and your gang example, a reasonable person would conclude a strong possibility of death or serious bodily injury resulting from their actions. It doesn't apply to any situation in which any form of violence is a possibility. Are you saying that Zimmerman should have reasonably concluded that his decision to follow and confront Martin would likely result in deadly violence against him?

Quote:
But I created the situation where it was possible to happen, in the case of my scenario, deliberately, and being reckless is not a crime. What this amounts to, based on your logic, is that it is entirely possible to contrive situations where a person could seek out and randomly murder people and get away with it, just as long as they could provoke the person they are seeking to shoot into a violent encounter. Or am I missing something? In my scenario, you'd let me go, having committed no crime despite deliberately seeking out someone for the sole purpose of shooting them. Is that correct?


Wrong, in your scenario your reckless actions resulted in the death of numerous people. That is a crime. It is called manslaughter. To charge them with murder with any hope of a conviction the prosecution would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally or knowlingly created the situation so you could kill these men. I don't see how that could be done because ultimately they decided and acted on their decision to murder you.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 10:59am
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Kamakazie Sith wrote:
In my examples, and your gang example, a reasonable person would conclude a strong possibility of death or serious bodily injury resulting from their actions. It doesn't apply to any situation in which any form of violence is a possibility. Are you saying that Zimmerman should have reasonably concluded that his decision to follow and confront Martin would likely result in deadly violence against him?


seems pretty reasonable to me - he was acting far beyond his remit and had been told not to follow by the 911 person.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 11:43am
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madd0ct0r wrote:
Kamakazie Sith wrote:
In my examples, and your gang example, a reasonable person would conclude a strong possibility of death or serious bodily injury resulting from their actions. It doesn't apply to any situation in which any form of violence is a possibility. Are you saying that Zimmerman should have reasonably concluded that his decision to follow and confront Martin would likely result in deadly violence against him?


seems pretty reasonable to me - he was acting far beyond his remit and had been told not to follow by the 911 person.


Acting far beyond your remit and not following the instruction of a 911 caller is not part of the prerequisite.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 12:29pm
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Kamakazie Sith wrote:
In my examples, and your gang example, a reasonable person would conclude a strong possibility of death or serious bodily injury resulting from their actions. It doesn't apply to any situation in which any form of violence is a possibility. Are you saying that Zimmerman should have reasonably concluded that his decision to follow and confront Martin would likely result in deadly violence against him?

Absolutely. Remember, Zimmerman had come to the conclusion that Martin was a criminal, somehow, and was out to confront him on that basis, hence violence was a strong possibility. Zimmerman had a firearm, which by its very nature escalates potential violence into potential deadly violence, simply by its presence. After all, that Zimmerman had a gun and was chasing him is a pretty compelling reason why Martin tried to overpower him and beat him. Zimmerman caused this entire situation, when he easily could have avoided.

Tell me, KS, don't you even feel a bit weird that in a scenario where a paranoid nutcase with a firearm chases unarmed teenager and ends up shooting him that you are defending the paranoid nutcase?

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Wrong, in your scenario your reckless actions resulted in the death of numerous people. That is a crime. It is called manslaughter. To charge them with murder with any hope of a conviction the prosecution would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally or knowlingly created the situation so you could kill these men. I don't see how that could be done because ultimately they decided and acted on their decision to murder you.

You said yourself, they didn't have to attack me in my scenario and insulting people isn't a crime. You put all responsibility on them before. In my scenario, I did knowingly and intentionally create the scenario so I could kill those men. Yet I'd walk scot free, particularly given Arizona's "Stand Your Ground" law... it might not even go to trial, because the police probably can't demonstrate based on the immediate evidence that I had done anything wrong.

It was reckless of me to start the encounter in the first place, you are denying above that merely starting an encounter where violence is a possibility is enough. Or are you conceding that Zimmerman did commit at least manslaughter, since his own reckless actions lead to the death of a person?



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 12:43pm
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Gil Hamilton wrote:
Kamakazie Sith wrote:
In my examples, and your gang example, a reasonable person would conclude a strong possibility of death or serious bodily injury resulting from their actions. It doesn't apply to any situation in which any form of violence is a possibility. Are you saying that Zimmerman should have reasonably concluded that his decision to follow and confront Martin would likely result in deadly violence against him?
Absolutely. Remember, Zimmerman had come to the conclusion that Martin was a criminal, somehow, and was out to confront him on that basis, hence violence was a strong possibility. Zimmerman had a firearm, which by its very nature escalates potential violence into potential deadly violence, simply by its presence. After all, that Zimmerman had a gun and was chasing him is a pretty compelling reason why Martin tried to overpower him and beat him. Zimmerman caused this entire situation, when he easily could have avoided.

Tell me, KS, don't you even feel a bit weird that in a scenario where a paranoid nutcase with a firearm chases unarmed teenager and ends up shooting him that you are defending the paranoid nutcase?
If he doesn't, I would kind of understand that. Policemen who really are doing what Zimmerman thought he was doing chase unarmed suspects every day. There's no murderous intent there, but sometimes they get attacked anyway.

I wouldn't be surprised if KS, or someone KS knows, had actually had the experience of chasing an unarmed person on foot only for them to freak out, decide they were "rattlesnake cornered", and launch a counterattack.

That is a thing that can happen to people who, because of their job, have to go chasing after people who may be unstable, violent, or just... hyped up on natural testosterone, really.

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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 02:51pm
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Gil Hamilton wrote:
Absolutely. Remember, Zimmerman had come to the conclusion that Martin was a criminal, somehow, and was out to confront him on that basis, hence violence was a strong possibility. Zimmerman had a firearm, which by its very nature escalates potential violence into potential deadly violence, simply by its presence. After all, that Zimmerman had a gun and was chasing him is a pretty compelling reason why Martin tried to overpower him and beat him. Zimmerman caused this entire situation, when he easily could have avoided.


You still aren't grasping this concept. It doesn't matter what you are carrying. What matters is whether the situation itself is likely to force you to resort to deadly force to remove yourself from the situation. Positioning yourself in front of a fleeing car. Seeking out extremely violent gang members and insulting them. Jumping into the middle of a fight where you are outnumbered.

Following one person who is acting suspicious and confronting them is not a situation in which I would see the likely outcome is them trying to murder me.

Confronting someone engaged in any crime is not a situation in which I would see the likely outcome is them trying to murder me, otherwise, police would approach all persons engaged in any criminal activity with guns drawn.

Quote:
Tell me, KS, don't you even feel a bit weird that in a scenario where a paranoid nutcase with a firearm chases unarmed teenager and ends up shooting him that you are defending the paranoid nutcase?


A persons call history is not a diagnosis for mental illness. Also, I think Zimmerman is an idiot but my position is whether he broke the law or acted in a manner that made his use of deadly force unjustified. Under current Florida law it does not appear that way.

You keep going back to any violence. This case law doesn't specify any violence. It specifies putting yourself into a situation in which it would be obvious to a reasonable person that deadly force would be needed to remove yourself from it. Confronting your typical suspicious person or petty criminal doesn't reach that level otherwise police would be justified in pointing guns at shoplifters, assault suspects, etc.

Quote:
You said yourself, they didn't have to attack me in my scenario and insulting people isn't a crime. You put all responsibility on them before. In my scenario, I did knowingly and intentionally create the scenario so I could kill those men. Yet I'd walk scot free, particularly given Arizona's "Stand Your Ground" law... it might not even go to trial, because the police probably can't demonstrate based on the immediate evidence that I had done anything wrong.


I didn't put all the responsibility on them before. Are you paying attention?

When you posted this scenario I said "I'm not aware if there is case law when it comes to your average joe citizen but there is case law that a police officer will be found unjustified in the use of deadly force if it is discovered that the police officer created the situation in which deadly force was needed. IE - Positioning yourself in front of a moving car, jumping into the middle of a large fight without sufficient numbers."

How you conclude that means that I'm placing all the responsibility on them is aggravating. In your scenario your use of deadly force would be unjustified because you engaged in action that is likely to result in your needing to use deadly force to remove yourself from that situation.

I'm not sure how the stand your ground laws apply to the case law that I'm talking about. I'm still researching it. This case law might only apply to police officers so this entire conversation could be irrelevant.

Quote:
It was reckless of me to start the encounter in the first place, you are denying above that merely starting an encounter where violence is a possibility is enough. Or are you conceding that Zimmerman did commit at least manslaughter, since his own reckless actions lead to the death of a person?


I said at the very start that your use of deadly force in the gang scenario would not be justified and that's because you're provoking a situation in which you will have to use deadly force to remove yourself. Even though that is what happened in with Zimmerman's situation that was not the likely outcome...at least in my opinion.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 03:14pm
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What makes this troubling is this:

For a real police officer, pursuing an unarmed but suspicious individual on foot is part of their job description. There is some small chance that doing so will lead to violence, even deadly violence- but the police officer still has a mandate to do it. Sure, he's provoking a situation where there's some risk of violence. That's considered acceptable because society needs him for that job, and because he's part of a disciplined, organized force that is supposed to train him to think about when to do it and when not to do it.

Zimmerman (or a random civilian) does not have that mandate. He was not required to go chasing after someone he decided was suspicious. He was not subject to any discipline, organization, or training. So for him to act in a way that creates that same small chance of violence might be less acceptable.

It's the same way that we expect police officers to restrain strong, violent, drunken men, and physically remove them from areas where they're unwelcome. Even though that could lead to violence. If a private citizen walks up to the same man and says and does the same things as the policeman, he could reasonably be accused of having provoked a fight.

Here, a real police officer caught in the same circumstances would have a stronger defense against manslaughter charges than Zimmerman, because the real police officer is doing his job when he tries to intercept and interrogate a person wandering around and night. Zimmerman's actions were borderline vigilantism. When vigilantes provoke fights and use deadly force to get out of them, I think we should have very little forbearance for that.

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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 03:30pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
What makes this troubling is this:

For a real police officer, pursuing an unarmed but suspicious individual on foot is part of their job description. There is some small chance that doing so will lead to violence, even deadly violence- but the police officer still has a mandate to do it. Sure, he's provoking a situation where there's some risk of violence. That's considered acceptable because society needs him for that job, and because he's part of a disciplined, organized force that is supposed to train him to think about when to do it and when not to do it.

Zimmerman (or a random civilian) does not have that mandate. He was not required to go chasing after someone he decided was suspicious. He was not subject to any discipline, organization, or training. So for him to act in a way that creates that same small chance of violence might be less acceptable.


Not legally less acceptable. Zimmerman following and even verbally confronting Martin doesn't damage Zimmerman's self defense claim. However, if Zimmerman tried to detain Martin then his actions become criminal because as far as I can tell Zimmerman had not witnessed a crime and had not articulated why Martin was suspicious.

If police had arrived on scene for the suspicious person call that Zimmerman had reported they couldn't detain him. They could speak to Martin but he could leave if and when he wanted to unless the officers developed reasonable suspicion that Martin was going commit a crime, had committed a crime, or was in the process of committing a crime.

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It's the same way that we expect police officers to restrain strong, violent, drunken men, and physically remove them from areas where they're unwelcome. Even though that could lead to violence. If a private citizen walks up to the same man and says and does the same things as the policeman, he could reasonably be accused of having provoked a fight.


Incorrect. An average citizen can make an arrest if he/she witnesses a crime or an attempted crime. A violent drunk man would meet these requirements and that citizen could use reasonable force to effect that arrest.

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Here, a real police officer caught in the same circumstances would have a stronger defense against manslaughter charges than Zimmerman, because the real police officer is doing his job when he tries to intercept and interrogate a person wandering around and night. Zimmerman's actions were borderline vigilantism. When vigilantes provoke fights and use deadly force to get out of them, I think we should have very little forbearance for that.


I agree on your general point. I don't when it comes to Zimmerman/Martin only because it isn't clear what happened.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 04:59pm
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Kamakazie Sith wrote:
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Here, a real police officer caught in the same circumstances would have a stronger defense against manslaughter charges than Zimmerman, because the real police officer is doing his job when he tries to intercept and interrogate a person wandering around and night. Zimmerman's actions were borderline vigilantism. When vigilantes provoke fights and use deadly force to get out of them, I think we should have very little forbearance for that.
I agree on your general point. I don't when it comes to Zimmerman/Martin only because it isn't clear what happened.
To me, the whole thing... it has the smell of vigilantism. I'm not a jury, blah blah blah, insert disclaimers here. But it's very hard for me to construct a mental model of Zimmerman's mindset that I would want to see duplicated. There's no evidence whatsoever that Martin had any criminal intent, or intent to do anything at all other than walk home with his bag of Skittles. Zimmerman made the conscious decision to follow Martin, first in a car and then on foot, because... what, exactly? What stood out about the man so much?

I'm trying to make allowances for bias on my end here, but I have a hard time making sense of Zimmerman's actions except as "itching to start a confrontation with a Designated Bad Man, which happened to (not surprisingly) turn violent." He did go pretty far out of his way to create the situation that* ended with a panicking teenager beating him into the ground and him shooting Martin in the chest.

I don't think the penalties for manslaughter would be out of line as a punishment for behaving that way- for making a choice, one that a reasonable person should not have made, which led to confrontation, violence, and death.

Unfortunately, the charge is second degree murder, which makes it more likely that Zimmerman will walk... [growls]
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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 06:46pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
I'm not a jury, blah blah blah, insert disclaimers here. But it's very hard for me to construct a mental model of Zimmerman's mindset that I would want to see duplicated. There's no evidence whatsoever that Martin had any criminal intent, or intent to do anything at all other than walk home with his bag of Skittles. Zimmerman made the conscious decision to follow Martin, first in a car and then on foot, because... what, exactly? What stood out about the man so much?


Let me play devil's advocate again. Let's say Martin's walking home with his Skittles, but...what if he's not walking on the sidewalk? What if Martin is walking across people's front lawns, or maybe he's stoned out of his mind and walking in zig-zags down the street? Normal people don't do that, so if you saw someone who was doing the above you'd probably wonder WTF is going on with him. If he's walking across everyone's front lawns you might suspect that he's up to no good and looking for a house to break into, and if he's zig-zagging down the street the logical conclusion is he's drunk off his ass or high as a kite.

In either case it would be reasonable to phone him in for public intoxication/suspicious behavior and/or go up to him and say "excuse me sir, is everything ok here? You cool?" And maybe that's what Zimmerman did before Martin tried to beat his head into the concrete sidewalk. Is this what happened? We don't know, and until more evidence comes out we won't know.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 07:30pm
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aerius wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
I'm not a jury, blah blah blah, insert disclaimers here. But it's very hard for me to construct a mental model of Zimmerman's mindset that I would want to see duplicated. There's no evidence whatsoever that Martin had any criminal intent, or intent to do anything at all other than walk home with his bag of Skittles. Zimmerman made the conscious decision to follow Martin, first in a car and then on foot, because... what, exactly? What stood out about the man so much?


Let me play devil's advocate again. Let's say Martin's walking home with his Skittles, but...what if he's not walking on the sidewalk? What if Martin is walking across people's front lawns, or maybe he's stoned out of his mind and walking in zig-zags down the street? Normal people don't do that, so if you saw someone who was doing the above you'd probably wonder WTF is going on with him. If he's walking across everyone's front lawns you might suspect that he's up to no good and looking for a house to break into, and if he's zig-zagging down the street the logical conclusion is he's drunk off his ass or high as a kite.

In either case it would be reasonable to phone him in for public intoxication/suspicious behavior and/or go up to him and say "excuse me sir, is everything ok here? You cool?" And maybe that's what Zimmerman did before Martin tried to beat his head into the concrete sidewalk. Is this what happened? We don't know, and until more evidence comes out we won't know.


He wasn't stoned out of his mind. The autopsy toxicology makes that clear.

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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 08:42pm
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aerius wrote:
What if Martin is walking across people's front lawns, or maybe he's stoned out of his mind and walking in zig-zags down the street? Normal people don't do that, so if you saw someone who was doing the above you'd probably wonder WTF is going on with him. If he's walking across everyone's front lawns you might suspect that he's up to no good and looking for a house to break into, and if he's zig-zagging down the street the logical conclusion is he's drunk off his ass or high as a kite.

In either case it would be reasonable to phone him in for public intoxication/suspicious behavior and/or go up to him and say "excuse me sir, is everything ok here? You cool?" And maybe that's what Zimmerman did before Martin tried to beat his head into the concrete sidewalk. Is this what happened? We don't know, and until more evidence comes out we won't know.


Here's surveillance video from multiple angles of him at the 7/11:



It shows him kinda ambling in one direction, turning around, walking in the opposite direction, turning around and walking back... Full shot starts at about 3:30.

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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 09:41pm
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he walks to the back of the store, looks in a freezer and then wanders around the store. Shit, I've never done that! Whenever i go to a strange store I always walk straight it, make my way unerringly to the snack i might not have decided on yet, and promptly purchase and march out the door.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 10:46pm
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madd0ct0r wrote:
he walks to the back of the store, looks in a freezer and then wanders around the store. Shit, I've never done that! Whenever i go to a strange store I always walk straight it, make my way unerringly to the snack i might not have decided on yet, and promptly purchase and march out the door.


No, I mean the part after he makes his purchase.

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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-19 11:26pm
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oh, you mean about the 5.30mark he walks back to the same freezer, picks up a dollar or something on the floor, and then decides not to buy it and walks out the shop.

christ for we know he might really have wanted ice cream, but not been sure if he could get it home without melting.

mate, you're really stretching for something on this one.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-20 02:04am
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aerius wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
I'm not a jury, blah blah blah, insert disclaimers here. But it's very hard for me to construct a mental model of Zimmerman's mindset that I would want to see duplicated. There's no evidence whatsoever that Martin had any criminal intent, or intent to do anything at all other than walk home with his bag of Skittles. Zimmerman made the conscious decision to follow Martin, first in a car and then on foot, because... what, exactly? What stood out about the man so much?


Let me play devil's advocate again. Let's say Martin's walking home with his Skittles, but...what if he's not walking on the sidewalk? What if Martin is walking across people's front lawns, or maybe he's stoned out of his mind and walking in zig-zags down the street? Normal people don't do that, so if you saw someone who was doing the above you'd probably wonder WTF is going on with him. If he's walking across everyone's front lawns you might suspect that he's up to no good and looking for a house to break into, and if he's zig-zagging down the street the logical conclusion is he's drunk off his ass or high as a kite.

In either case it would be reasonable to phone him in for public intoxication/suspicious behavior and/or go up to him and say "excuse me sir, is everything ok here? You cool?" And maybe that's what Zimmerman did before Martin tried to beat his head into the concrete sidewalk. Is this what happened? We don't know, and until more evidence comes out we won't know.

Considering Zimmerman referred to Martin as a fucking (something) in his phone call to police, I find it hard to believe he was suddenly oh so nice when confronting him.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-20 09:52am
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Simon_Jester wrote:
[To me, the whole thing... it has the smell of vigilantism. I'm not a jury, blah blah blah, insert disclaimers here. But it's very hard for me to construct a mental model of Zimmerman's mindset that I would want to see duplicated. There's no evidence whatsoever that Martin had any criminal intent, or intent to do anything at all other than walk home with his bag of Skittles. Zimmerman made the conscious decision to follow Martin, first in a car and then on foot, because... what, exactly? What stood out about the man so much?


You're correct. Zimmerman has yet to articulate exactly what this suspicious behavior was.

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I'm trying to make allowances for bias on my end here, but I have a hard time making sense of Zimmerman's actions except as "itching to start a confrontation with a Designated Bad Man, which happened to (not surprisingly) turn violent." He did go pretty far out of his way to create the situation that* ended with a panicking teenager beating him into the ground and him shooting Martin in the chest.


This part I'm not clear on because I thought Zimmerman said he was attacked from behind as he was walking back to his truck. If that's true then that doesn't really follow with "itching to start a confrontation".

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I don't think the penalties for manslaughter would be out of line as a punishment for behaving that way- for making a choice, one that a reasonable person should not have made, which led to confrontation, violence, and death.

Unfortunately, the charge is second degree murder, which makes it more likely that Zimmerman will walk... [growls]


Even with manslaughter you'd have to show that a reasonable person would have concluded that his/her actions would result in the death of somebody. Like shooting wildly down a city street. Confronting a someone you don't recognize in your neighborhood. Not so much.

I understand your frustration. The system is design is intended to give an innocent person the best chance even at the expense of guilty person walking free.



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 Post subject: Re: Trayvon Martin Case (Zimmerman charged; 2nd deg. murder) PostPosted: 2012-05-20 01:27pm
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What frustrates me in this case is the bone-deep sense that it's going to be viewed by a disgusting subset as open hunting license on 'suspicious characters' in their neighborhood. Most of the victims of that are probably going to be black, and this will tend to reinforce the perception among blacks that the American legal system really isn't looking out for them.

All of which is bad, and all of which is probably going to happen regardless of the details of the case or whether Zimmerman is legally guilty of a crime.

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