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Thread: George Zimmerman was acquitted

  1. #1

    George Zimmerman was acquitted

    I'm ignorant about the details, but doesn't this seem at least a bit wrong? I don't see how one should be allowed to shoot an unarmed individual and get away with it just because of a physical altercation. Surely the defendant was innocent until proven guilty, but if the proof is in the pudding, it is clear enough that he is responsible for killing an innocent (until proven guilty) victim. I suppose we are entitled to self-defense, but I would have thought that:
    1. Force need be proportional
    2. Self-defense does not include situations entered into deliberately (e.g., stalking somebody)

    Edit: It looks like the consensus on Reddit is "innocent until proven guilty". Perhaps I've been brainwashed by the media coverage of this minor event in history.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-13-2013 at 10:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Literally everything we actually know about the case:

    - Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.
    - Floridian law allowed him to use lethal force when he felt threatened.
    - The police did not want to arrest Zimmerman, in spite of what you think happened.
    - The prosecution did not want to charge Zimmerman, in spite of what you think happened.
    - The jurists ultimately did not convict Zimmerman, in spite of what you think happened.
    - The corporate media made a lot of money making you angry about the case while telling you nothing substantial.

    Really miss when the media circus and peanut gallery stuck to celebrity trials.

  3. #3
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    But therein lies the problem, Reverend. If you start deviating from a "beyond all reasonable doubt" or "innocent until proven guilty" framework, it's an even worse legal landscape. It's unfortunate, but sometimes this framework protects obvious douchebags like Zimmerman. By all textbook definitions of the law, he's innocent. Could you imagine how even more exaggerated the racial inequality in the justice system would be without the framework?

    Do I think he should walk away free for shooting a teenager and killing him? Hell no. But that's my opinion. There was no need for him to shoot Trayvon, as the injuries he sustained while being "pummeled" were actually quite minor in a relative sense. I doubt Trayvon would've sat there and beat him to literal death. But by all evidence presented, there was no proof that his shooting WASN'T in self-defense. In the end, wrong does not equal illegal, and the law was on his side.

    Frankly, this is more an issue relating to the absolutely bat-**** "Stand your Ground" laws. The law saved Zimmerman. He wasn't even going to be prosecuted until Obama basically used his awesome presidential power to make this a national case. Just know that even though the man is "innocent", he will live the rest of his life with blood on his hands, hiding from those who are pretty confident he used more than necessary force to kill a teenager.
    Last edited by mscbuck; 07-13-2013 at 10:30 PM.
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  4. #4
    Thanks for the responses. After a bit more reading, it seems clear that the jury made the right verdict.

    I suppose the family may file a civil suit against Zimmerman (not that doing so reverses the unfortunate events). I do agree that the "Stand your Ground" laws are surely mad. Thankfully I don't live in Florida.

    And, the whole time I was thinking this was a big story just because of media bombardment.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-13-2013 at 10:39 PM.

  5. #5
    America is such a ****ty country.
    COUCHMAN IS BACK BABY

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mscbuck View Post
    There was no need for him to shoot Trayvon, as the injuries he sustained while being "pummeled" were actually quite minor in a relative sense. I doubt Trayvon would've sat there and beat him to literal death.
    Oh, I agree, it's totally unreasonable to use a gun when you're being beaten. I'm sure Martin would have stopped eventually.

  7. #7
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    I mean, even prosecution witnesses were all like "um yeah zimmerman was getting the **** kicked out of him, and the kid wouldn't stop even when we said we were shouted that we were calling the cops", the EMT who treated him said his nose was broken and he had a concussion and he probably should have feared for his life in that situation, but instead of all that stuff that got zimmerman acquitted lets keep bloviating about how he has blood on his hands and was like an untamed beast because a 17 year old kid got killed in a street fight he started.

  8. #8
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    let's also angrily compare this case to the acquittal of casey anthony, not because of the material similarities, but because it also took place in florida and floridian jurists are just stupid.

  9. #9
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    George Zimmerman is left-handed, but the ballistics reports show he was holding his gun in his right hand!! There's something fishy going on, since clearly nobody ever shoots with a different hand than they write. I know, because my life as an inbred upper-crust ivy league journalism grad who married into democratic party elite has given me a lot of experience with firearms and shooting. For this, and even more demonstrations of my strong jaw muscles, join me at 8 PM central on MSNBC.

  10. #10
    "Force need be proportional" is total BS. If I am in a serious altercation with somebody, and I HAPPEN have weapons or other tools that give me an advantage, I need to use them or I will risk losing them to the other person who could then very well use them on me. But that's not the issue here.

    According to what we all are able to know, both parties were at some point struck/assaulted by each other. No crime would have been committed here until somebody started assaulting somebody else, at which point the other person would be justified in using whatever self defense they deemed necessary. So basically if you can't prove beyond reasonable doubt that Zimmerman "assaulted" first, then the only other choice is no crime committed.

    I can't fathom how anybody wouldn't be able to see that the right decision was made. These laws are made to protect the innocent from prosecution. Even if one bad apple, like possibly Zimmerman in this situation who may very well be a murderer (only he knows) slips through on the coat tails of the doctrine, the protections from unjust prosecution that doctrine provides to citizens is more than worth it. Think for a second what would result, especially considering the racial tensions in a place like the south, if the law DIDN'T work that way (actually I think we already have a pretty good taste of that - see history books).

    [Heh, sorry Buck. I think I read your post, then kinda forgot I read it, then came back to the thread and basically paraphrased exactly what you said in my last paragraph without realizing what I was doing]
    Last edited by Dash_rendar; 07-14-2013 at 01:21 AM.

  11. #11
    American television "news" media is a mostly useless national disgrace. After that 777 crash landing in San Francisco, there were anchors on CNN spouting useless information at the maximum possible rate, complete with morbid speculation about how there surely MUST have been more fatalities in the tail section! That would be just swell, of course, since more death would boost ratings.

  12. #12
    It seems like the only argument anybody is making against Zimmerman is the fact that he got out of his car and approached Martin. In a way, they're right, at least from a common sense perspective. Zimmerman really shouldn't have gotten out of his car to pursue any interest in Martin. The problem with this argument is that its not illegal to step out of your car and approach a stranger and initiate contact. I mean really, is that the kind of world you want to live in?

  13. #13
    Side note: ~25,000 people have been murdered in this country since Martin was killed. Get a grip.

  14. #14
    Oh, but Dash, without such important events as these, what ever will the television "news" circus have to talk about?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Dash_rendar View Post
    It seems like the only argument anybody is making against Zimmerman is the fact that he got out of his car and approached Martin. In a way, they're right, at least from a common sense perspective. Zimmerman really shouldn't have gotten out of his car to pursue any interest in Martin. The problem with this argument is that its not illegal to step out of your car and approach a stranger and initiate contact. I mean really, is that the kind of world you want to live in?
    I agree at this point that Zimmerman is in all likelihood justified in his actions once he arrived at the scene. What bothers me is that he was there in the first place, armed. One narrative of the events claimed that Martin reached for Zimmerman's gun, and that it was only then that Zimmerman fired the shot. But, what if he never had the gun? Would Martin have beaten Zimmerman to death?

    There are some cities in which I would perhaps feel the need to carry a gun for my own protection. But, if I felt so unsafe that I was inclined to carry, surely I would not be patrolling the streets at night. Is that what a neighborhood watch program is about? I'm not sure if I am in support of such programs if they entail performing random interviews of suspicious individuals, all the while carrying a gun; that setup seems to be begging for trouble. Training may be required (e.g., police).

    Or maybe I'm just making mountains out of molehills.

  16. #16
    They don't. Neighborhood watch is about observing and calling the cops. But, that doesn't mean it's ILLEGAL to approach somebody on the streets if you are so inclined.

  17. #17
    ...and I suppose such an inclination comes more naturally should you be carrying† (in a "Stand your Ground" state, to boot). If you're fairly certain that your weaponry overwhelms the stranger†, you'll be happy to enter into an altercation that might have been avoided were you less certain the ultimate victim of the struggle could have been you. I think that I'm saying that the self-protection that firearms offer presents a social cost by shifting the danger from the carrier to those around him/her.

    † I'll propose a conservation of death law w.r.t. firearms: when the number of guns present equals one, the minimum number of survivors in an altercation also equals one.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-14-2013 at 12:03 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    But, what if he never had the gun? Would Martin have beaten Zimmerman to death?
    Maybe?? It's not like we'll ever know, but according to the prosecution's witnesses Martin was definitely winning that fight.

  19. #19
    In all likelihood you're right as usual w.r.t. the facts.

    Maybe pepper spray is a more appropriate form of self-defense for citizens. (I guess not in Florida, though.)

  20. #20
    On second thought, it looks like his neighborhood wasn't exactly safe.*

    *summary of the longer Reuters article

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    ...and I suppose such an inclination comes more naturally should you be carrying† (in a "Stand your Ground" state, to boot). If you're fairly certain that your weaponry overwhelms the stranger†, you'll be happy to enter into an altercation that might have been avoided were you less certain the ultimate victim of the struggle could have been you. I think that I'm saying that the self-protection that firearms offer presents a social cost by shifting the danger from the carrier to those around him/her.

    † I'll propose a conservation of death law w.r.t. firearms: when the number of guns present equals one, the minimum number of survivors in an altercation also equals one.

    In my opinion: The social cost of denying good people from making the choice to prepare themselves as they see fit is greater than the social cost that results from a small number of those people misusing the right.

    Should you prevent via law good people from making such a choice, I don't think it's outlandish to suggest that somebody with intentions sinister enough to misuse said right to the point of murder might disregard the law and put themselves in a position to commit murder regardless of what they are allowed or not allowed to do.
    Last edited by Dash_rendar; 07-14-2013 at 12:23 AM.

  22. #22
    ...and once again we arrive again at the age old "Handgun Violence in the U.S." debate.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    ..."Handgun Violence in the U.S." debate.
    Guns are a huge ****ing scapegoat for a wide array of social issues that plague cities in this country. Why? Because it's a lot easier to come up with a "plan" that will attempt to restrict access to guns (so they can say VOTE FOR ME) than it is to come up with a plan to actually address poverty.

  24. #24
    A germane passage from a Daniel Kahneman book (posted to Hacker News).

    Edit: fixed link.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-14-2013 at 12:44 AM.

  25. #25
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    Regardless of the numerous social and economic factors that contribute to crime, concealed carry is still a dumb thing for dumb-dumb psychopaths who don't know the difference between deterrence and punishment. You want to actually prevent crimes? Advocate for open carry.

    Because right now it's all getting threatened by someone who would never threaten an armed person to begin with, and then suddenly HEH YOU JUST ACTIVATED MY TRAP CARD *blam*.

  26. #26
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    Here's another question we'll never be able to answer: Would Martin have tried to fight Zimmerman if he had been open-carrying? I'm guessing not.

  27. #27
    That's a great point. I was thinking something along the lines of: first pepper spray him, don't let him come near your, and don't pull out your gun. But if the gun is visible in the first place, there is no need to pepper spray (which might not be a good idea anyway.)

  28. #28
    Unfortunately, the "open carry" movement has somewhat marginalized itself in the couple of few years by insisting on assembling in Starbucks and the like and scaring customers.

    Edit: The Starbucks thing has mostly been an issue in California (I think). Well, guess what? In response to the perceived obnoxiousness of the open carry activists, the CA legislature has banned the open carry of pistols, rifles, and shotguns, as of late 2012.

    Edit: Apparently open carry is illegal in Florida as well:



    (Red means a ban.)
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-14-2013 at 01:21 AM.

  29. #29
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    Well, at least the Starbucks patrons can rest easy knowing that, even though they're still surrounded with that many armed people, they don't have to know about it!

    Out of sight, out of mind. Just like the poor and the Forever War.

  30. #30
    Trust me. Those of us that can no longer sling an unloaded rifle over our shoulder and walk out to the car (even if we stay on private property) are well aware of the ****storm that is gun politics in CA.
    Last edited by Dash_rendar; 07-14-2013 at 01:27 AM.

  31. #31

  32. #32
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    The full and complete summary of this case goes something like "Prosecution did not meet its burden."
    If you think the waiters are rude, you should see the manager.

  33. #33
    Open carry in Florida is only legal when doing outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, hiking, etc (and when at a gun range, obviously). Every now and then there's open carry fishing events on the piers here that mainly serve to bring awareness to the legal ability to do so.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Thanks for the responses. After a bit more reading, it seems clear that the jury made the right verdict.

    I suppose the family may file a civil suit against Zimmerman (not that doing so reverses the unfortunate events). I do agree that the "Stand your Ground" laws are surely mad. Thankfully I don't live in Florida.
    Would it have made a difference? He could have just as easily said that he went to talk to him, got attacked, and by the time he had to shoot Trevon, he had no way to escape. Hell, he could have just not called the police, and it would be just like any of the other hundreds of unsolved murders in the US that no one cares about. If you kill a guy with out haveing met him before, with no witnesses, and don't leave enough evidence, or claim self defense, the police are going to have a hard time finding/convicting you.

  35. #35
    The cause of this is obvious; it's _______!

    A. Abortion
    B. Guns
    C. Video Games
    D. Muslims
    E. Republicans
    F. Liberals
    G. Terrorists
    H. Welfare
    I can't wait for the day schools get the money they need, and the military has to hold bake sales to afford bombs.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Zarn View Post
    The cause of this is obvious; it's _______!

    A. Abortion
    B. Guns
    C. Video Games
    D. Muslims
    E. Republicans
    F. Liberals
    G. Terrorists
    H. Welfare
    Like blaming snow for the color of the moon, at least we can be certain that the causes aren't: democracy, a free and independent press, a not-for-profit criminal justice system, a competent president who knows when to shut up,

  37. #37
    I'm going to make a video game about muslims aborting babies using guns they bought cheap off of wellfare cheaters.
    The end boss will turn out to be either a high-profile liberal or a high-profile republican who's been pulling the strings all along... depending on what choices you make in the game.
    It'll be brilliant!
    It'll be stick figure graphics with low quality sound, crappy gameplay and absolutely nothing going for it, but thanks to the media it'll get record breaking sales.
    You can't judge a book by it's file size

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Regardless of the numerous social and economic factors that contribute to crime, concealed carry is still a dumb thing for dumb-dumb psychopaths who don't know the difference between deterrence and punishment. You want to actually prevent crimes? Advocate for open carry.

    Because right now it's all getting threatened by someone who would never threaten an armed person to begin with, and then suddenly HEH YOU JUST ACTIVATED MY TRAP CARD *blam*.
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    George Zimmerman is left-handed, but the ballistics reports show he was holding his gun in his right hand!! There's something fishy going on, since clearly nobody ever shoots with a different hand than they write. I know, because my life as an inbred upper-crust ivy league journalism grad who married into democratic party elite has given me a lot of experience with firearms and shooting. For this, and even more demonstrations of my strong jaw muscles, join me at 8 PM central on MSNBC.
    Except that unless the pistol is custom designed for lefties, you'd never reach the safety with your thumb / would be forced to use your other hand to flip it (though if it's a Glock, then that's completely irrelevant, hehehe). But I guess you're parodying somebody?

    Anyway, I know **** all about this case and only slightly more about firearms, but hey, figured I'd chime in anyway.

    **** it. SPACE.

    Last edited by Koobie; 07-16-2013 at 05:15 AM.

  39. #39
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    Open carry is legal in Arizona. It's kind of weird when people walk up to my cash register with a gun on their hip.

  40. #40
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