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Old July 7, 2013, 01:45 PM   #51
maestro pistolero
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Maestro, I am not arguing that Zimmerman didn't at some point have the right to self defense with lethal force...
Understood, Brent.
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Old July 7, 2013, 01:47 PM   #52
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Interesting autopsy report. So the bullet never exited Trayon Martin's body!

This is a media circus, of course the media generated hysteria it is all about profits, and it shows just how badly things can turn out after a shooting.

I hope the jurors are not watching the television because the talking heads are taking the position the defendant has to prove himself innocent, and I thought it was the burden of the state to prove the defendant guilty.
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Old July 7, 2013, 01:50 PM   #53
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So just because it is "gated" you don't see the "public" nature of the common areas ans public rights of way???

Sorry but I have knowledge to the this...

While the general public is limited access, it doesn't mean the residents have different allowances afforded...

If some goon hops a fence and is prowling around they can sure call the cops... If they wish to get in their car or go for a stroll while communicating with the cops they sure can...

And if they want to ask the person to stop and chat, well... that is where things may not go well...

But in this case, Zimmerman had no reason to suspect this person of hopping the wall... He just didn't know that Martin was a resident and did, in fact, "belong" and was doing nothing wrong...

A person walking down the street with earbuds talking on the phone might look like "he is high or something" to some but I see that as a statement made by a guy trying to speed up police response...

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Old July 7, 2013, 01:52 PM   #54
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I hope the jurors are not watching the television because the talking heads are taking the position the defendant has to prove himself innocent, and I thought it was the burden of the state to prove the defendant guilty.
The jurors are sequestered, and prohibited from using any electronic devices such as TV, social media, radio, tweets, emails, or discussing the case amongst themselves or with anyone else. And they were picked specifically for their presumably unbiased and unaffected view of this case.
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Old July 7, 2013, 02:10 PM   #55
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the talking heads are taking the position the defendant has to prove himself innocent,
Self defense is usually an "affirmative defense" meaning that the burden of proof does shift dramatically toward the defendant having to, in essence, prove he was not "innocent" but, justified.

The presumption of "innocence" is gone when you claim self defense, you have admitted you committed the homicide. The question is: Were you justified in doing so. ( if I understand correctly )
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Old July 7, 2013, 02:19 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by hogdogs
So just because it is "gated" you don't see the "public" nature of the common areas ans public rights of way???

Certainly Martin had the right to tell Zimmerman to buzz off. He did not however have the right to physically attack Zimmerman and zero evidence has been produced to suggest Zimmerman was the attacker.

Yes, I know that Martin isn't here to tell his side but that's no reason to discount Zimmerman's account.

If challenged by Zimmerman, I would have said "my name is and I'm staying at, thanks for keeping a watch out for us" as most reasonable people would have. Not attack Zimmerman, even if I was insulted by his suspicions.

I believe the unreasonable behavior was on the part of Martin and I believe Zimmerman truly feared for his life.

Hey, it's hard to ask for someone's ID to make sure they're 18, not 17, while they're beating your brains out.
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Old July 7, 2013, 02:54 PM   #57
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Quote-Glenn E. Meyer - One might consider and we cannot know that Zimmerman flashed the gun at Martin. If he did, Martin had self-defense on his side. A strange man following you and flashing a gun is a threat.
“we cannot know” if space aliens made him do it but this is a court case not imaginary make up time.
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Old July 7, 2013, 03:03 PM   #58
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Hey, it's hard to ask for someone's ID to make sure they're 18, not 17, while they're beating your brains out.
His ID had no reason to be asked for? Was he buying ciggs? It ain't just any Joe Citizen that is going to see my ID... Zimmerman would never have a reason to expect anyone to present their ID to him...

He was a SELF APPOINTED neighborhood watch "captain" and so far we have no reason to think any other neighbors even participated...

Since Joe Citizen has no idea of the person's age is even more reason to leave the interviews to the cops...

Quote:
If challenged by Zimmerman, I would have said "my name is and I'm staying at, thanks for keeping a watch out for us" as most reasonable people would have. Not attack Zimmerman, even if I was insulted by his suspicions.
And that is your choice... I personally choose to consider nosy people to be offensive from the beginning...

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Old July 7, 2013, 03:05 PM   #59
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But in this case, Zimmerman had no reason to suspect this person of hopping the wall... He just didn't know that Martin was a resident and did, in fact, "belong" and was doing nothing wrong...

A person walking down the street with earbuds talking on the phone might look like "he is high or something" to some but I see that as a statement made by a guy trying to speed up police response...
Martin was not just walking down the sidewalk, but going off the sidewalk into front yards and the like. It looked suspicious to Zimmerman, and his description of the behavior was enough for the police to send a squad car to check it out. I expect Martin was not up to "no good", but given the weather conditions it is somewhat suspicious if someone is not walking down the sidewalk trying to get somewhere but is wondering about.
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Old July 7, 2013, 03:18 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by hogdogs
His ID had no reason to be asked for? Was he buying ciggs? It ain't just any Joe Citizen that is going to see my ID... Zimmerman would never have a reason to expect anyone to present their ID to him...
You didn't take that literally did you?

I was pointing out the absurdity in assuming that Martin was a minor.
I can't tell the difference between a 17 and an 18 year old?

I know you're saying that Martin was a minor and Martin knew that he was a minor so his behavior can be somewhat justified by the fact that he was a minor being confronted by an adult, but, how would Zimmerman know that?

I can't tell the difference between a 17 and an 18 year old, can you?

So the whole minor thing is a moot point to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hogdogs
And that is your choice... I personally choose to consider nosy people to be offensive from the beginning...
And so offense is justification for physical attack? If not then your point makes no sense.
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Old July 7, 2013, 04:07 PM   #61
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post 52, trial issues.....

I agree with post 52.
It's worth watching the daily trial. Like the Casey Anthony mess of 2011, there is a lot of spectacle involved. There is a lot of theater involved in many US court cases & legal proceedings.
I've watched a few hours of the Zimmerman case. The state's case is just awful. Angela Corey, the "special prosecutor" assigned to handle this case by Florida Gov Rick Scott, has many flaws, errors and mishaps with it.
The recent court testimony of Dr Shiping Tao, the medical doctor who handled Martin's body was a great example. The good doctor stated under oath that he testified in 20 homicide cases but his speech, demeanor and attitude were really sub-standard.
Tao became bitter, irrate and started to berate the judge & lawyers.
He didn't want his private notes to be used in court, , then wanted to get uptight with the defense team.
He also said Martin felt pain & anguish. I'd object to that if I were the defense atty.
Dr Tao was not there! He doesnt know if Martin was in pain or screamed or cried.

The trial should end soon but I hope these prosecutors learn from this legal case.
Zimmerman will be cleared & found not guilty.
For those who say the family got nothing for their tragic loss, that's wrong. The HOA settled a wrongful death lawsuit & family of Trevon Martin got nearly $1,000,000.00 USD.
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Old July 7, 2013, 04:38 PM   #62
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Well, I'll agree that the prosecution failed to prove 2nd degree murder. Zimmerman didn't go looking to shoot the kid. But I don't see him getting off (unless no other option is given to the jury). Every state is different, and I'm certainly no lawyer, but in the Ohio CCW training, there is a specific caution that getting the worst of a fist fight does not justify lethal force. In Pennsylvania, their version of "Stand Your Ground" requires that a weapon be shown. It appears to be a higher standard than the "Castle Doctrine" which says, if I understand it correctly, that someone trying to force their way into your home or car is all the justification needed. And, of course, you cannot initiate the confrontation. The discussion over who initiated the confrontation has been focusing on one or the other, but we all know it's not always that clear. Most often, "it takes two to tango". In a way, Zimmerman did initiate by following Martin in a way that appears to have been viewed as threatening by Martin. But what happened then is unclear. There were no bushes for Martin to jump out of, but he may well have attacked his pursuer. Or not. If I were a juror, I would tend to discount Zimmerman's statements simply on the basis that they're self-serving and the other guy isn't there to present his side. I'd certainly discount both parties backgrounds. And who was screaming? Really, how could you tell? I think the jurors are going to see Zimmerman as the initiator (he was). They are not going to care who jumped whom (they got into a fight). And they are going to see one guy with minor injuries and the other dead. For me, however it shakes out, the lesson is that I really need to focus on my own behavior when I'm carrying a gun. Be extra polite. A clear attack with weapons or a group, that's pretty certain. But if you're one-on-one, no weapons involved, how do you really know yourself whether you're really in fear for your life, or just really, really PO'd?
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Old July 7, 2013, 04:47 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogdogs
Just because he was man size, don't make him less of a minor...
But if he was man-sized, how would someone who didn't know him and hadn't talked to him know he was a minor?

Quote:
Since this was not on Zimmerman's own yard and it appears Martin began on public right of way sidewalk... It appears to me that Zimmerman would have been the aggressor had he gotten to Martin and told him to stop to talk...
Since when is talking legally equivalent to assaulting? I don't think "aggressor" is an appropriate term for someone who simply initiates a conversation.

Quote:
Does this uneducated redneck opinion make any sense???
IMHO ... no, for the reason stated above.
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Old July 7, 2013, 04:54 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by hogdogs
Outcast, Zimmerman is no small guy, he is in good health and he is an adult... Martin, being a minor, automatically has a certain level of fear of adults, does he not?
What black silk top hat did you pull that out of?

Have you had NO exposure whatsoever to gangsta culture? I have. They don't have any fear of, or respect for, anyone other than the leaders of their own gang. Exactly what evidence has been provided to document in any way whatsoever that Trayvon Martin had "a certain level of fear of adults"? I haven't read anything about this case that would support that notion.
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Old July 7, 2013, 04:59 PM   #65
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How it should have been resolved....

I disagree but I guess will we all find out next week; .
In my view, the way this entire event should have played out was;
The Florida State Atty for Seminole County; Norm Wolfinger(an elected office), should have not put criminal charges on George Zimmerman but he should have made a formal request for the US Atty or DoJ/FBI to do a federal criminal investigation for a hate crime(since Zimmerman lacked a valid reason to confront or contact Martin). The confrontation escalated into Martin's death which could be considered a violation of the federal Civil Rights Act.
Wolfinger's office & court system wouldn't waste time or $$$ on a case they won't get a conviction on and he(plus the Sanford PD) would look like they took some formal action(progress).
The media & some members of the community really got steamed by the perceived lack of political action/law enforcement early on in this case which wasn't really true.
Sanford's former police chief; Bill Lee, got a raw deal IMO. He made a tough but fair decision in my view, then got burned by the out-cry & political fall-out.
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Old July 7, 2013, 05:00 PM   #66
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We have no idea if Martin had no fear because of gansta culture.

I suggest that we rope in that kind of speculation. A lot of the discussion of Martin is alien make up time.

Let's stick to the actual action.
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Old July 7, 2013, 05:20 PM   #67
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Well, I'll agree that the prosecution failed to prove 2nd degree murder. Zimmerman didn't go looking to shoot the kid. But I don't see him getting off (unless no other option is given to the jury). Every state is different, and I'm certainly no lawyer, but in the Ohio CCW training, there is a specific caution that getting the worst of a fist fight does not justify lethal force.
We are dealing with Florida Law. IANAL but in Florida:

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.

One solid witness has testified that GZ was on the bottom with TM straddling him on top. Getting your head bashed off the sidewalk can reasonable put someone in fear of great bodily injury. Even IF GZ initiated the encounter AND was the aggressor (ie threw the first blow / made the first physical contact) from the testimony given thus far and the documented injuries, and condition of GZ after the encounter (including grass stained and wet back of shirt) one could conclude that he has relief in F.S. 776.041 (2)(a) and (2)(b) as it appears that he meets BOTH tests (he only needs to meet one).

The Use of force is covered here:
776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony;

It is irrelevant if TM was in fear or not. When he was on top of GZ beating him senseless, the question is: was GZ in REASONABLE FEAR of great bodily injury. Unless the prosecution can undermine GZ's presumption of fear enough for the jury to believe that this was a school yard fight; GZ will most likely walk. It is not necessarily relevant that TM was under 18....enough "Minors" have been convicted as adults.

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Old July 7, 2013, 05:45 PM   #68
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Is the jury able to find Zimmerman not guilty of 2nd degree murder or manslaughter without saying the shooting was in self defense? Meaning could they just say the state did not prove their case but still leave Zimmerman open to the civil action from the family? Or, do they have to either find him guilty or find him not guilty based on his claim of self defense?

My guess is there will be federal follow up from Mr. Holder either way.
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Old July 7, 2013, 05:49 PM   #69
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Is the jury able to find Zimmerman not guilty of 2nd degree murder or manslaughter without saying the shooting was in self defense? Meaning could they just say the state did not prove their case but still leave Zimmerman open to the civil action from the family? Or, do they have to either find him guilty or find him not guilty based on his claim of self defense?
The civil option remains open no matter what the outcome of this trial.
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Old July 7, 2013, 05:56 PM   #70
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Self defense is usually an "affirmative defense" meaning that the burden of proof does shift dramatically toward the defendant having to, in essence, prove he was not "innocent" but, justified.

The presumption of "innocence" is gone when you claim self defense, you have admitted you committed the homicide. The question is: Were you justified in doing so. ( if I understand correctly )
I wouldn't say the burden shifts dramatically. You have it pretty much right.

Self defense is an affirmative defense. This essentially means that the person admits to all the elements of the offense but alleges, and must prove, additional facts, that render the conduct non-criminal despite the fact that all the elements are met.

The defendant has the burden to prove that he acted in self defense which is usually by some standard below beyond a reasonable doubt (preponderance of or clear and convincing evidence). If they meet that burden then the state must prove beyond a reasonable that the defendant did not act in self defense.

Unless the defendant produces some evidence to support self-defense the jury will not even be instructed as to self-defense.


The defense has clearly produced enough evidence to get the jury instructed on the matter. The question now is will the jury find that they have proven it and if so did the prosecution disprove it? The question to the first question seems to me to be an obvious yes. And since the prosecutions witnesses have blown up on them like a poorly made vest bomb the answer to the second question is likely no.


I don't know if Zimmerman did anything criminal but I can say that he didn't handle the situation in the wisest manner. This is a good example of how not to act lest you want to face a trial. Unless it is fairly obvious self defense the politics of a case similar to this will likely require that it be tried. A verdict of acquittal usually has more credibility than a decision of a prosecutor not to prosecute.

Avoiding the gun fight at all costs, as long as it can be done without endangering your life or the life of someone else, is usually the best option even if the law doesn't impose upon you a duty to retreat. Avoiding the gunfight also means avoiding situations that might lead to one. Stand your ground laws were designed to make claiming self defense easier and not turn every citizen into a cop.

IMO, Zimmerman has probably done a disservice to the gun owning community by acting like an idiot. But acting like an idiot is not itself, at least presently, a criminal offense.
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Old July 7, 2013, 05:58 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by OldMarksman
The civil option remains open no matter what the outcome of this trial.
Interesting. Others in this thread have indicated a not guilty by self defense verdict would make any civil action against him impossible under Florida law. I read that other places as well, but I have not verified it.
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Old July 7, 2013, 06:03 PM   #72
maestro pistolero
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1. If acquitted, FLA law immunizes Zimmerman from civil prosecution.

2. FLA law allows that the jury may acquit on 2nd degree, but find him guilty of manslaughter. The jury instructions will reflect that.

3. Even if Zimmerman was thought to have committed manslaughter by the jury, a reasonable showing of justifiable self-defense get him acquitted under FLA law. This will also be part of the jury instructions.

Even ABC news is starting get the picture:
"George Zimmerman Probably Won't be Convicted of Manslaughter – Here's Why":

http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-zimm...2#.UdnkHz7DVoY

Last edited by maestro pistolero; July 7, 2013 at 06:34 PM.
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Old July 7, 2013, 06:12 PM   #73
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Self defense is usually an "affirmative defense" meaning that the burden of proof does shift dramatically toward the defendant having to, in essence, prove he was not "innocent" but, justified.
My understanding of the Florida "stand your ground" law is that self-defense is not an affirmative defense. It falls to the prosecution to prove that one did not act in self-defense.

If we see an acquittal, expect this doctrine to become very controversial.
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Old July 7, 2013, 06:15 PM   #74
maestro pistolero
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Florida jury instructions for second degree murder:
http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/j...7/p2c7s7.4.rtf

Jury instructions for manslaughter:
http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/j...7/p2c7s7.7.rtf

7.7 MANSLAUGHTER
§ 782.07, Fla. Stat.

To prove the crime of Manslaughter, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. (Victim) is dead.

Give 2a, 2b, or 2c depending upon allegations and proof.
2. a. (Defendant) intentionally committed an act or acts that
caused the death of (victim).

b. (Defendant) intentionally procured an act that caused
the death of (victim).

c. The death of (victim) was caused by the culpable negligence of (defendant).

The defendant cannot be guilty of manslaughter by committing a merely negligent act or if the killing was either justifiable or excusable homicide:

Negligence:
Each of us has a duty to act reasonably toward others. If there is a violation of that duty, without any conscious intention to harm, that violation is negligence.

Justifiable Homicide:
The killing of a human being is justifiable homicide and lawful if necessarily done while resisting an attempt to murder or commit a felony upon the defendant, or to commit a felony in any dwelling house in which the defendant was at the time of the killing. § 782.02, Fla. Stat.
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Old July 7, 2013, 06:40 PM   #75
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Posted by maestro pistolero: If acquitted, FLA law immunizes Zimmerman from civil prosecution.
What is your basis for that assertion?
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