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Justice Denied: the Zimmerman Verdict [Jul. 14th, 2013|08:45 am]
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Travon Martin was murdered.

George Zimmerman murdered him.

Travon Martin is dead.  George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder he committed.

Travon Martin--who was not a criminal fugitive and posed no threat to George Zimmerman until George Zimmerman followed, harassed, and then accosted him--died because he was a black teenager.  Was killed because he was walking with some candy in a paper sack and Zimmerman assumed he was up to no good.

George Zimmerman--who had a history of repeatedly calling in to the police about "suspicious persons" in his neighborhood, all of them persons of color, who carried a firearm "for self-defense" and then went out looking for reasons to feel he needed to use it...a man who, if he lived in my neighborhood, would scare the sh@t out of me, who had been told by police to quit following Travon Martin and let the police handle the situation--finally got his wish.  He got to shoot someone and get away with it, and be a hero to every racist in the country.

Justice denied.

George Zimmerman is a murderer.  He is also probably mentally unstable, because mentally stable people don't follow other people around in their cars, threatening, scaring, and finally accosting them, just so they have an excuse to shoot them.  Mentally stable people also don't assume every black or brown kid walking around with a bag of candy is a criminal.    Mentally stable people don't disobey police orders to cease following and harassing someone they suspect.  Mentally stable people, in other words, don't go looking for a reason to "be a hero" and shoot somebody.  It is clear to me and every other thinking person in the country that if a black adult followed a white kid around in a pickup, reported it to police, was told to quit following the kid, and eventually got out of his truck and accosted the kid, then shot him...that black adult would certainly be convicted of murder.  If I black adult followed a black kid around in his truck the same way and ended up shooting him...that blackadult would certainly be convicted of murder.  If a white adult followed a white kid around in his truck the same way and ended up shooting him,  that white adult would also be convicted.  But because it was a white man killing a black kid...he gets away with murder.   Justice denied.   All the sympathy poured on poor old George, who was ONLY trying to DEFEND himself...after deliberately setting out, with a firearm, to harass a kid who was not doing anything wrong, after disobeying police orders to cease and desist...all the lies presented about Travon--including pictures of an older black man that some posted online to prove that Travon wasn't a kid and was scary, so George was entitled to feel scared enough to shoot him.    And his life will never be the same....what about Travon's life, over before he reached maturity?  What about his mother's life, after her son was murdered and his murderer walks free?  What about all the other lives Zimmerman has smeared with his excuses and the excuses made for him, the damage he and his defenders and the verdict have done to relations between the races?    JUSTICE DENIED.  

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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-07-14 02:17 pm (UTC)
Our son is 30, and not black, but because he is autistic, and looks "different" and cannot speak fluently in a "normal" tone, I live in constant fear that he will be stopped by someone who assumes he's high on drugs or dangerously crazy. Or attacked by bullies because he's different (a disabled kid was attacked by a school gang in the parking lot of a convenience store, badly beaten, and the adult clerk did nothing because "I was afraid they'd hit me."

I recognize that the mother of a kid with dark skin (whether African-American, Latino, Persian, Lebanese, whatever) has that same fear all the time. She knows that her child will be assumed to be "bad" and that his testimony will always be discounted to some degree. My heart breaks for Trayvon's mother. I grew up in an area with mixed cultures and races and I saw, firsthand, how Authority--in the persons of schoolteachers, community leaders, police--readily believed white kids from good families were naturally good ("She's from a good family..." "His father's a respected doctor") and got away with bad behavior, while the treatment went downhill from there--poor white kids were treated more harshly, and dark-skinned kids were given the least leeway, sympathy, and belief. All kids screw up sometimes--it's part of being young that you aren't yet the responsible adult citizen people want. But what happened when you screwed up depended on both who your parents were and what color your skin was, and I thought that was rotten from the beginning. We were taught "Justice is blind" and "the rules are the rules for everybody" but that's not how it played out.
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[User Picture]From: teriegarrison
2013-07-14 02:08 pm (UTC)
Well, now we know: in Florida (and probably elsewhere), you can pick a fight with someone, then shoot them, claiming it was self-defense. Disgusting.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-07-14 02:20 pm (UTC)
But only if you're white and they're not. Pick your victims carefully.
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[User Picture]From: gifted
2013-07-14 02:57 pm (UTC)
I cannot BELIEVE Zimmerman was acquitted! Argh, I'm so mad.

I agree with everything you said here.
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[User Picture]From: dalesql
2013-07-14 03:07 pm (UTC)
The state prosecutor, with all the resources of a modern police investigatory service at their disposal, did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman committed murder or manslaughter. It may not be the verdict you desired. But american society chose to weight the justice system in favor of the accused. So the state has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury, and once a not guilty verdict is returned, they don't get a second chance.

It is a system that is a long way from perfect. But I much prefer it to a state where one is presumed guilty until you prove innocence. Or even worse, if one is the wrong gender or race, is more or less a piece of property owned by another.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-07-16 05:25 pm (UTC)
No. You completely misunderstand. The police did not use "all the resources of a modern police investigatory service" because initially they bought Zimmerman's story that he shot a suspicious person who attacked him. They did not treat Zimmerman as a suspect at all until public outrage forced them to do something. They lost valuable time in interviewing potential witnesses, collecting all the evidence from Zimmerman and his vehicle and the crime scene (including the exact nature of his injuries, his tox screen which would have revealed whether he was chemically impaired by alcohol or drugs), tracking cellphone records, reviewing Zimmerman's own criminal record (he had assaulted police officers before) and considering how credible his story was in light of his violent history, etc.

Moreover the judge decided to rule out some of the evidence that could have been presented. The moment judges start tampering with evidence (which they do all too often) and the jury does not get the whole story, somebody's greased the slope. And that happens over and over, with juries hearing only one side of the story because the other is prohibited from introducing evidence. (For example: some years back in a northern state, parents of a kid with a congenital bone disease that causes fragile bone sthat break easily were accused--and convicted--of child abuse and were sent to prison. The judge in that case refused to allow the child's congenital condition to be mentioned during the trial, refused to allow the child's own doctor to testify, etc. All the jury was told was that the child's injuries were compatible with severe abuse. And if the child hadn't had osteogenesis imperfecta, that would have been true. But he did. But the judge wouldn't let the jury know that. That's not just an imperfect system, but it a rotten, dishonest, travesty of a system.

"Reasonable doubt" is a very slippery concept anyway, because every juror comes to a case with pre-existing ideas about how much evidence is enough, and what kind. When jurors come to a case with a predisposition to believe that black kids are naturally scary (and naturally bad) and therefore white folks are justified in being so scare of them that they'll shoot them...you cannot have a fair trial on the facts.

I've been told by judges and lawyers that it's not about the facts anyway--it's about winning. Heard it first from a defense lawyer when I was in college (came to lecture to us on law) and again from a judge later and from a prosecutor--who turned out to be the guy who concealed evidence in a murder trial here in Texas and ended up putting an innocent man in jail for years, while the murderer went free. This is not the justice system the American people deserve.
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-07-14 04:04 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you on this. Now before you go calling me a racist please understand that I'm basing my opinion on the evidence presented at the trial. I agree that Zimmerman is guilty of disobeying police and believe he should face charges for that, but that does not mean he's guilty of murder.

I do not believe the prosecutors presented evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was indeed murder. None of us were there to see what actually happened, so we can only go by what the facts say. Do I believe that it could have been murder? Yes, it could have been. But if I was on that jury my vote would have been not guilty.

Yes it was tragic that a young man with his whole life ahead of him was killed, and its very easy to get caught up in emotions at seeing a life so tragically cut short.

Please don't flame me just because my opinion may differ that your. If you think I'm wrong I an certainly willing to have a discussion about it.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-07-14 04:29 pm (UTC)
Boy, you sure jump the gun...defensive, slightly, about being considered a racist?

A) If you can't post with a name, please post here with some indication of who you are. Otherwise, the word "troll" pops into my mind. I know some people can't sign in to LJ, so I know not all Anonymous posts are trolls, but out of politeness--when you post here, identify yourself in some reasonable way. "Joe from North Dakota, HS teacher" or "Suzy from San Diego, orthopedic surgeon."

B) Zimmerman is, by his own admission at the time, guilty of shooting someone and killing him. That's a lot more than "disobeying the police." The fact that he was acting in a hostile and threatening manner before he shot Martin is a strong suggestion that he was primed for a direct confrontation. The fact that he carried a firearm is a strong suggestion that he was prepared to use a firearm--to shoot someone--in this case, Martin.

C) Whether you think the evidence presented at trial was sufficient or not is in part a result of what you would have considered sufficient evidence...and that will vary from person to person depending on their prior attitudes about the situation in hand as well as their courtroom and jury room experience. Other jurors would have thought differently.

D) I don't want to get into a lengthier discussion. If you want to post here again, identify yourself.
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[User Picture]From: thewayne
2013-07-14 04:38 pm (UTC)
When I was working for the police department in the '90s (civilian computer guy) we received regular general orders and operational orders updates. Whenever a cop did something wrong (sometimes in another city or state) and got called on it, updates came out and training was modified to try to prevent a repeat performance. One thing that I learned was that if a cop shot someone and had followed procedure to the letter, the department would back them to the wall. If they violated procedure, they were thrown under the bus. They took training very seriously to try to avoid de-escalating situations and killing people.

Zimmerman specifically disobeyed instructions from the dispatcher, who is highly trained, and continued following Martin. It looks pretty clear from what I read that he wanted to be a hero and was looking for an opportunity to get in to trouble. And he did at the cost of a 17 year old's life.

The reason why he carried a gun was a pit bull had been reported in the area and officials had recommended he carry one. I'm sure he was very happy to be told that, I have no idea if he owned one or carried one before that point.

I took training to carry a concealed weapon, back when training was actually required. And one of the things the instructor told us (he was a detective that I knew who'd helped write the state laws) was that if you warned a person that you had a gun and would shoot them if they attacked you, if they attacked you they were pretty much insane by definition. But he also stressed not looking for trouble and trying to avoid confrontation.

Zimmerman was looking for confrontations and is possibly paranoid. We'll see what happens: the DoJ can sue him for violating Martin's civil rights and Martin's parents can sue him for negligence in their son's death, just like OJ Simpson was sued.
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[User Picture]From: Rob Bolger
2013-07-14 08:36 pm (UTC)
Finally got myself logged in properly....

Of course there are many points of view on these matters. The problem is which one is correct. Zimmerman could have been a concerned citizen wanting to better his neighborhood by trying to do something about the crime in the area. He could also have been a wannabe cop trying to find glory. The most disturbing possibility is that he was a racist looking for an excuse. All are possibilities, but how do you tell what is true?

I'm not convinced that Zimmerman is innocent, but neither am I convinced he was guilty.
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[User Picture]From: persevero
2013-07-14 05:20 pm (UTC)
The BBC are asking for reactions to the Trayvon Martin verdict from people in the US. Would you be willing to repost this powerful reaction on their website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23307610 too? I can understand why you might not, but a more compassionate viewpoint rarely gets represented in these things.

(PhD student in law, UK)
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-07-16 05:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for info. Took a day off for medical stuff and work. Thinking about it.
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[User Picture]From: beledibabe
2013-07-14 05:52 pm (UTC)
A-fuckin'-men! (Now I wonder, if I want to kill someone, can I, a mature white woman, go down to Florida, find a guy who scares me, stalk and harass him, and then shoot him? 'Cause it sure seems like that's what they're saying. Unless, of course, stand your ground only applies to white guys, since it certainly doesn't apply to anyone of color.)

Justice in this country is a sick joke.
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[User Picture]From: trebor1415
2013-07-14 08:48 pm (UTC)
There are several statements you make that are either outright mistaken or, at the very least, not supported by the evidence.

"...posed no threat to George Zimmerman until George Zimmerman followed, harassed, and then accosted him..."

Zimmerman followed Martin. That is not disputed. He believed Martin was "suspicious" by how he was acting. He may well have been wrong. Let's assume he was wrong in his suspicion. That doesn't make "following" Martin illegal. Remember, he was also on the phone to 911 at the time and wanted to give the police a location.

Ok, he followed Martin. That's understood. However, there is NO evidence that he "harassed" or "accosted" Martin. Where is you evidence for that statement? No evidence of that came out in the trial. There is no evidence they exchanged any words.

"Followed" is not the same as "harassed" or "accosted."

"Mentally stable people don't disobey police orders to cease following and harassing someone they suspect."

Ok, a couple things here:

1. A 911 dispatcher talking to you on the phone is not a "Police order." A 911 dispatcher does not have the right to issue you an "order" and what a 911 dispatcher tells you to do, or not to do, is not a "police order."

2. The dispatcher asked if Zimmerman was following Martin. Zimmerman said he was, and the dispatcher said, "We don't need you to do that." Zimmerman said, "OK," AND HEADED BACK TO HIS VEHICLE. That means he DID listen to the 911 dispatcher, and was no longer following Martin.

This is according to Zimmerman's voluntary statement to the police and the 911 tape. Where is the evidence that "Zimmerman continued to follow Martin after he was ordered not to do so by the police."

Seriously, where is the evidence that contradicts Zimmerman's account and the 911 tape of his convesation with the dipatcher?

"But because it was a white man killing a black kid...he gets away with murder."

Zimmerman is Hispanic, not white. The New York Times tried to create the new category of "White Hispanic" for Zimmerman, but no one bought that, other then the NYT. So, the whole idea that he was a "white guy who killed a black kid" isn't true either.

The prosecution admitted, in the trial, that it was Martin who was on top of Zimmerman, hitting him and bashing his head into the concrete.

How did they get there? Zimmerman voluntarily talked to the police several times and went over what happened. He said he was headed back to his vehicle when Martin attacked him.

Zimmerman said Martin punched him in the face, knocked him down, and was straddling Zimmerman while punching him and banging Zimmerman's head on the concrete.

At that point Zimmerman had to defend himself. The law does not require that your brains be bashed out on the sidewalk or that you suffer some other serious injury before you are allowed to use lethal force to defend yourself. You just have to believe you are about to suffer serious injury, or death, and the evidence has to back that up.

This is Zimmerna's story and what he based his claim of self defense on. Where is the evidence that it is not true? The prosecution had claimed that it was Zimmerman on top, beating Martin, but during the trial had to admit otherwise. (Had it been that way though, Zimmerman would have been the attacker).

The physical evidence of the gunshot wound matches the witness descriptions that put Martin on top, hitting Zimmerman.

Now, Zimmerman may have made a mistake when he got out of the vehicle to follow Martin and try to figure out exacty where he was to tell the police. A more prudent course would have been to stay in the vehicle.

But, that doesn't eliminate Zimmerman's right to self defense when MARTIN ATTACKED HIM. It was Martin who threw the first punch, not Zimmerman.

It's an emotional case but has to be judged on the evidence presented to the jury. If the jury, who saw all the evidence introduced in court, didn't believe the prosecution, what evidence do you have that they are wrong? Outside of emotion?

Rob Reed

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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-07-14 11:13 pm (UTC)
Zimmerman is not a Hispanic name, and compared to Martin he looks white. I grew up among Hispanics.

If you do not think being followed is a form of harassment, then you have not been properly harassed. I have been, and it is. We have only Zimmerman's word--Martin being dead--that was not also verbally harassing him, but following him is in itself harassment.

"Accosting"--exiting his vehicle to speak to or detain Martin is "accosting." Zimmerman had no legitimate reason to a) follow Martin or b) exit his vehicle, and the only logical reason for it was to confront Martin.

Doing so is not a sign of his being afraid for his life; it is clear evidence that he considered himself armed and safe.

Who was on top when Zimmerman shot Martin does not determine who touched whom first. We have only Zimmerman's word that he did not attempt to detain Martin before Martin threw a punch. That's the word of a man who a few years ago assaulted police officers--a violent man, a man who weasled out of a prison sentence for that assault.

Did you ever consider that a teenager who's just been followed by a stranger's car for blocks--and then the stranger gets out and approaches him--might be in fear for _his_ life? What if the stranger tried to grab him? If someone like Zimmerman followed me, I'd be scared. If he came out of his truck to approach me, if he tried to grab me, I'd fight with everything I had, because I know--from experience--that if you let the bad stranger grab you, you're either raped or dead or both.

Zimmerman has a violent history and a bad attitude about people of color and a gun. Zimmerman is a proven killer who's been willing to attack cops.

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[User Picture]From: jordan179
2013-07-14 09:38 pm (UTC)
Why do you believe that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense? All the reasons that you give are tangential to the main issue of whether or not Zimmerman had (in legal terms) provoked Martin, and (if not) if Martin started the physical part of the confrontation. And in particular, whether or not Martin put Zimmerman in reasonable fear of his life, which is the usual test for allowing the use of a lethal weapon in self-defense.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-07-14 11:38 pm (UTC)
No, my reasons are not tangential.

Let's start with a simple one. Have you ever been stalked? Have you ever had a car following you block after block after block? That's a form of harassment, and it's scary. The person who should have been (and by some evidence I don't think was admitted at trial was) scared was Martin.

Zimmerman exited his vehicle. Now the only reason to exit your vehicle if you are following someone you think is a criminal is to confront them. To attempt either to question them or physically hold them. We have only Zimmerman's word for what he did, and frankly I do not find him a compelling witness. Especially not since he had, in the past, physically attacked police officers making a legal arrest. This indicates an explosive violent personality, and one very willing to both create a confrontation and get physical.

He caused the confrontation by exiting his vehicle; he could have driven away--Martin could not outrun a truck. As I commented previously, having been followed by a stranger, and familiar with what can happen to young people who just stand there when a stranger gets out of the car and approaches, a street-wise young person knows that his/her life is in danger from that person in the car.

The choices available are few. Are you likely to be faster than the person who's confronting you? If there's light enough to see, and you know the terrain better than the pursuer, and you're really fast, that's sometimes an option. But when the pursuer has a vehicle and you're in a built-up area, the pursuer can follow faster than you can run--and too often kids who knock on a nearby door and ask for help are not helped or shot. Also, if the pursuer has a gun, he may shoot you and *then* beat you up, rape you, drag you into the car. If he has a gun (as Zimmerman did, and we don't know if Martin knew it) then "stay out of reach" doesn't work at all. Get in fast and knock him down may be the only way to survive. You want the pursuer disabled enough to give you a solid two block head start (yes, I'm speaking from experience.)

But more likely, in my view, is that Zimmerman attempted to lay a hand on Martin, and that a legitimately frightened Martin struck out in self-defense. That he was a better boxer than Zimmerman isn't his fault. That he wanted Zimmerman sufficiently disabled for him to get a good head start away from this obviously dangerous person makes perfect sense. And Zimmerman, supposedly so beat up that he was afraid for his life...didn't even look that beat up in the police photos. I've seen beat-up. That wasn't it. That was someone who took a few punches and pulled out his gun and shot the person he'd been harassing and had chosen to confront.

Why, after all, should Martin retreat? He was not committing a crime, nor had he committed a crime. He was not doing anything wrong, despite Zimmerman's paranoid suspicions. So why don't you consider that he was defending himself from an older man with a car who was tailing him and then got out of the car to confront him? Or don't you think HE had a right to defend himself? I can tell you, again from experience, that when you're a scared young person and think you're in danger...you fight hard.

So, given Zimmerman's previous demonstration of explosive and violent behavior, his attacking police officers, I think he started after Martin looking for trouble, caused the trouble he found, and then shot and killed his victim. I think the police did a lousy job of investigating the crime from the first, and I think justice was denied.

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[User Picture]From: shockwave77598
2013-07-15 03:59 am (UTC)
My personal opinion is that Zimmerman committed manslaughter and deserved some prison time for that. While he didn't set out to kill the kid, he did set out to confront him -- with a weapon. Note the kid broke no laws and Zimmerman wasn't a peace officer. So he shouldn't have gone all gung ho and jumped out at the kid in the first place, like the dispatcher told him.

Zimmerman should have stayed in his truck. And the kid should have kept on walking and ignored him. But both of them had to prove their man bits were bigger, so a fight started. And while Zimmerman may not have set his sights originally on killing the kid, he did create the entire situation which then spiraled out of control and brought it about.

He deserves Manslaughter and some prison. But Murder 1? That was a stretch, and the DA shouldn't have stretched that far.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-07-16 05:55 pm (UTC)
Given the screwups in the initial investigation, and the unwillingness to prosecute, I find it quite possible the DA intentionally threw the case.
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[User Picture]From: EClaireMcLean
2013-07-15 02:34 pm (UTC)
Irony is not dead. George Zimmermann will now experience the need to constantly look over his shoulder, to rigorously control his behavior, and to dread meeting new people, just like most black boys have been warned to do by their families for a very long time.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-07-16 05:30 pm (UTC)
But his need for a gun to be vigilant with is being fiercely defended...oh, NOW he needs a gun more than ever.

Whereas, let's see how many black men don't have any problem walking around with a gun in their pocket even if they can obtain a concealed carry permit.

Let's see what happens if a black man walks down the street in Zimmerman's neighborhood with a gun in his pocket. Will Zimmerman have a panic attack and shoot him immediately--and get off again? Because it's OK that he shoots people when he's scared.
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From: geekmerc
2013-07-15 03:00 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I have had issues with the following/stalking. I do agree that a lot could have taken place which we know nothing about due to lack of witnesses. However, I respect the decision of our current legal system. If we believe there is a problem in how juries are selected or presented with evidence, we should seek to fix that. Otherwise, a jury found him not guilty based on the evidence they were presented.

The other arguments I hear is that Travon was close to his own home and could have run there instead of ambushing Zimmerman. There was evidence that he could be violent or racist. I don't know the validity of these arguments and I don't know how the jury perceived the evidence they were given.

I can't argue either way. I wasn't part of the jury. It is obvious that they felt there was doubt and could not find Zimmerman guilty. If Zimmerman had been committing another crime at the time, he'd likely have been found guilty. However, following someone is not considered a crime (it doesn't constitute stalking without meeting additional criteria).

Based on our current legal system, justice was served. A jury found him not guilty. We could change the current system, but what would we change in this case? How would those changes alter other cases that are actually self defense or the defendant is innocent? What if Zimmerman is actually the victim? Granted, he did follow Travon, which I disagree with, but that in itself is not actually a crime. Community watch people follow people. They sometimes talk to them. This is especially true when there are a rash of crimes in the area.

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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-07-16 05:54 pm (UTC)
Your first paragraph contains a lot of weaseling.

Let's start with the last sentence in it: "a jury found him not-guilty on the basis of the evidence they were presented." The problems with our current legal system start right there: at the discretion of everyone involved BUT the jury, juries are routinely denied access to obviously pertinent evidence. First, both prosecution and defense may seek to conceal evidence that would hurt their respective cases: it has been done, and done successfully enough to send the innocent to prison and set the guilty free. Second, judges have discretion to rule out obviously pertinent evidence on specious grounds: I have cited such a case above, where a judge ruled that the medical history of a child--the diagnosis of a bone condition that made his bones fragile--was inadmissable in a trial of the parents for abuse of that child (the abuse being "proved" by the fractures that resulted from the condition.) This is something that needs to be changed, but you will find--if you talk to prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys--that none of them are willing to let juries have "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." The system is rotten from the inside out.

In this case potential evidence was not collected by a police department that, clearly biased, chose to believe Zimmerman's initial story and thus failed to do what they would have done had the races been reversed, or even the same. Some evidence was kept out by the judge. We don't know--can't know yet, at least--what evidence was concealed or destroyed by either the prosecution or the defense or both.

Jurors come to a case with pre-existing beliefs about the likelihood of another person's behavior...what's reasonable and what's not. Jurors apparently came to this one believing that fear of black teenage boys is so reasonable--those black boys are so horrible--that it justifies killing one if you're scared enough. It justifies assuming a black teenage boy walking down the street is probably a criminal. It justifies following him, confronting him...and shooting him. Different jurors would have dismissed that argument out of hand.

You're obviously trying to find a way to make this Travon's fault. It wasn't. If Zimmerman had been home with a stomach-ache that night, Travon would have walked home from the store with his candy and would still be alive. He had not committed whatever neighborhood crimes had been committed. He wasn't going to commit one that night. He did not start the sequence of events that led to his death. Zimmerman did. Zimmerman did not prevent any crimes, or catch a criminal, when he killed Travon. He committed one, and now he's gotten away with it.

And given his violent history, he will do it again, and use the same excuse.

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From: (Anonymous)
2013-07-16 08:02 pm (UTC)

My thoughts to those who call George Zimmerman a murderer

I originally posted this to a Yahoo group, and someone who read it on there asked me to repost it on here. I am gladly doing that based on the vitriol that I am sensing here.

I do not wish to post my name on here due to the fact that I have some involvement with my local city government and public safety entities, but I will gladly state that I am Mr. T of Central California.

None of the evidence supported the fact that Zimmerman was the instigator of the attack. Nor was there any indication of racism on Zimmerman's fact -- when the dispatcher asked what race the "suspicious man" was, Zimmerman had to look again and said tha the looked black. In fact, there are actually racist tendencies shown in Trayvon's comment of calling Zimmerman a "crazy-ass cracker."

Continuing this, Zimmerman is, according to the laws of Florida, -not- amurderer. He was found not guilty of 2nd degree murder, and is therefore, -not- a murderer. Yes, he is ultimately responsible for taking Trayvon's life. He will have to live with that decision for the rest of his own life, and I'm sure it will have an impact on him.

After hearing the evidence in the trial, I believe that -both- sides were guilty of poor judgment. Trayvon had the chance to go into his father's girlfriend's house and avoid the confrontation--instead he came back out looking to intimidate the "crazy-ass cracker". Zimmerman had the chance to pay attention to the -advice- (yes, advice. He was not TOLD by the police to not follow Trayvon, he was ADVISED to stay in his car. As the dispatcher stated, for liability reasons, they are not allowed to give commands.) of the police and stay in his car to observe. He chose to not follow that advice and we all know the end result of that decision.

Unfortunately, again as we have all seen, there are two sides to every story and we are only able to see one. We have absolutely no way of knowing what the absolute truth is in this matter, as only two people knew what that was, and one of them is dead. It COULD be just as Zimmerman stated -- Trayvon attacked him, and he was in fear for his life. It COULD be just like the other side states -- Zimmerman was mad because of all the breakins and saw an opportunity to take it out on someone. We DO NOT and will NEVER know which is the absolute truth. We must have faith in the justice system -- based on the evidence provided to the jury, there was insufficient proof that a murder was actually committed.

(Honestly, I believe that the proof that was lacking was intent. From the way he came across on the 911 calls and the testimony of the first detective on the scene, I don't believe that he intended to get out of the car to kill Trayvon. I believe he got out of his car to follow, and get an address, and advise the police of that address, as a good citizen. I believe that Trayvon got a bit spooked because Zimmerman was following him, went to the house, and decided that he wanted to put a bit of a scare into this "crazy-ass cracker" that was following him, and ended up dead. Again, this is all speculation, and it's all we will ever have is speculation.)

In finishing, several of the protests have called for violence or for killing Trayvon (or even for the jurors and Zimmerman and his supporters to kill themselves!), but that solves absolutely nothing. That ends up in an ugly cycle of violence and fingerpointing.

Yes, what happened was wrong and shouldn't have happened. Yes, it was a tragedy for BOTH families involved. The authorities were forced into prosecution (remember that they originally did NOT press charges) of a charge that was not backed up by the evidence, and the jury has spoken. We can not change that. It's settled. Period. We as a country need to move on and learn from our mistakes...
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-07-17 04:06 pm (UTC)

Re: My thoughts to those who call George Zimmerman a murderer

Unlike you, I do not go around posting on someone else's blog because a third person asked me to. This is my space. I don't trespass on others' space.

I'm sorry you feel that your position in city government obliges you to remain anonymous online. I didn't feel that way when I was on city council, but to each his own fears.

Your title implies that I said George Zimmerman was a monster. I did not. I think he was an ordinary garden variety bigot with a history of violence, anger mangement issues, and a gun he should not have been carrying, filled with self-righteousness and a desire to play the hero on a COPS-type show. Monsters are in a different category.

Your statement that "we must have faith in the justice system" rings really hollow in light of the experience of many with the justice system...the justice system includes humans, and humans are by nature imperfect. Some of them lie (a former judge and DA in this county lied, as a DA, and concealed evidence that would have exonerated Michael Moore of his wife's murder. In the meantime, the real murderer went free and committed more crimes." Many other people have been convicted of crimes they did not commit, and spend decades in prison--some were never released. In the meantime, those who committed their crimes went free and in some cases committed other crimes. As I have written in comments above, there is ample evidence that the justice system is not so perfect that it should move anyone to "have faith" in it. I have faith in God, not in fallible and sometimes deliberately dishonest humans.

You read the evidence differently than I do. That is your right. But it is not your right to assume that everyone must see it as you do.

You say "It's settled." If you were as old and experienced as I am, you would know that such things are never truly settled.

You have now had your say on my blog. That's it.
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