George Zimmerman found Not Guilty.

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Saturnine Pariah, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

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    As you have read correctly the case of George Zimmerman which started in Feb 26, 2012 has now ended on July 14, 2013 with the jury reaching the verdict of not guilty on all charges.

    "Zimmerman, 29, was acquitted on charges of second-degree murder in the death of Martin, a 17 year old whom the defendant shot during a scuffle in a nearby gated community on Feb 26, 2012. The six-woman jury also found Zimmerman not guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
    The jury signaled they had reached a verdict 9:45 pm ET and filed into the courtroom around 10 pm. After the verdict was read, Judge Debra Nelson polled the jurors to make sure each agreed with the decision. She then told Zimmerman he was free to go.
    "

    http://news.yahoo.com/jury-reaches-verdict-in-zimmerman-trial-131511601.html
     
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  3. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    Now tell me your country is not racist, what a bloody disgrace.
     
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  5. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    There is racism in the US, no doubt. However, I followed this very closely (the incident occurred about 3 hours from where I live) and from what I could see the prosecution just didn't have much of a case. So while it is tragic and may even have been partially motivated by racism, the state simply didn't have adequate evidence to prove it. The case definitely has sparked controversy in this country - debates rage over racism, gun regulation (or lack thereof), stand your ground laws and the justice system in general.
     
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  7. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    George Zimmerman shouldn't have followed Trayvon Martin. He wasn't doing anything wrong. So should we follow every person who we think is suspicious looking, antagonize. And then when we are assaulted ...shoot the person? Regardless of race, Zimmerman felt gutsy that night because he had a gun on him. Had he not, he wouldn't have followed Martin. Going with what Zimmerman said, Martin shouldn't have struck him but Zimmerman put himself there. I don't believe it was second degree murder and I want to believe that the jury acquitted based on pure facts and if the facts truly didn't support those charges, they did their job. But...this is a tragedy that shouldn't have happened. And it sends a message that you can follow someone and provoke fights, and shoot if necessary. I don't feel settled. A teenager who was minding his own business that night is dead. Where's the justice for him?

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  8. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    According to Zimmerman, he followed Trayvon Martin unaware at first of his race. Whether ppl choose to believe that, I don't know.
     
  9. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    I wasn't referring to HIS racism in my post, I was referring to that of the jury. He initiated, he put the poor guy in fear of his life, he chased him and then assuming we believe that .... (I seriously cant think of an insult bad enough) then when he lost the fight HE started he shot him. If he had stopped at any point then this poor kid, would still be alive. How is that NOT manslaughter at the very least, that should have never been in doubt. Its only the murder charges which could be argued.
     
  10. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    In case anyone is not familiar with this issue...

    SANFORD, Fla. — A Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman of charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter Saturday night in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a case that alternately fascinated and appalled large segments of a spellbound nation.

    Zimmerman bowed his head in the moments before the verdict was read. As the judge confirmed the verdict with jurors, one of the six women in the jury sat with a face flushed with emotion.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Did prosecutors prove their case against Zimmerman?

    Yes
    25%
    No
    75%
    CAST YOUR VOTE
    Results from an unscientific survey of Washington Post readers
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After the jury filed out of the courtroom, the defendant’s brother, Robert Zimmerman, sitting in the second row, hugged his mother, Gladys Zimmerman. The row became a swirl of tears and hugs. A man sitting next to Zimmerman’s brother slapped his hands together in joy and sobbed.

    The jury deliberated for more than 16 hours over two days until 9:47 p.m. Saturday, when court officials announced that there was a verdict.

    “The prosecution of George Zimmerman was disgraceful,” Zimmerman’s attorney Don West said after the verdict. Mark O’Mara, another Zimmerman attorney, wondered aloud at a news conference “how many civil lawsuits will be spawned by this fiasco.”

    Outside, dozens of demonstrators, backlit by a sea of television camera lights, massed on the long lawn outside the Seminole County Circuit Courthouse. Some carried signs decrying “racial oppression” and demanding “Justice for Trayvon.”

    In a somber post-verdict news conference, Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin’s family who led the early public relations push for Zimmerman’s arrest, said the teenager would go down in the annals of history “next to Medgar Evers and Emmett Till.” He was making a reference to African Americans killed in two of the most infamous slayings of the civil rights era.

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

    The saga of Zimmerman’s shooting of Martin, an unarmed African American teenager, filtered into the American vernacular, transforming “hoodie” sweatshirts into cultural markers and provoking a painful reexamination of race relations in this country. Even the racial and ethnic identity of Zimmerman — he has a white father and a Hispanic mother — demanded a reordering of conventional paradigms. He was frequently referred to as a “white Hispanic,” a term that, for some, reflected a newly blended America and, for others, felt like an uncomfortable middle ground.

    Attorneys fought over Zimmerman’s fate in a heavily guarded and windowless fifth-floor courtroom, calling more than 50 witnesses during three weeks of testimony before a sequestered six-woman jury. Afternoon thunderstorms sometimes shook the building, but the participants could see nary a drop of rain as they relived the night in February 2012 when Zimmerman killed Martin after spotting the 17-year-old walking through his gated community in the rain.

    Washington Post
     
  11. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I live in Florida not far from this incident. And I have talked about it a lot with people and not until your post right here, did I find anyone who agreed with me ...I agree with what you say here to the letter.

    Manslaughter in this instance held a long prison sentence. I can't help but think that that swayed the jury. Because it was manslaughter. I agree with you.

    It's a sad situation at any rate.

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  12. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    This was always the real question in my opinion. The jury requested clarification from the judge on the details of the manslaughter charge but apparently felt that the State did not meet the burden of proof necessary for conviction. Although a closer call, I agree that the evidence just wasn't there. That doesn't necessarily mean it was a justifiable shooting but we have that pesky "beyond a reasonable doubt" thingy in our legal system...
     
  13. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    So what chain of events would have had to have happened that night for Zimmerman to have been convicted of manslaughter? Anyone know?

    I don't blame the jury. The system seems flawed.
     
  14. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    Its racist pure and simple
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/nyregion/23trial.html?_r=0

    This guy has a group of teens threatening his son on his own property and when he defends HIS SON from an ACTUAL thread his is convicted of manslaughter but when a guy stalks and kills a child who was on the phone to his girlfriend (yea big threat there) because he happens to wear a hooded shirt he gets off scot free.
     
  15. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    Information on the penalties associated with conviction of manslaughter was intentionally and specifically withheld from the jury. In theory, they were not even aware of the 10-30 year sentence that would be imposed if they had found Zimmerman guilty.
     
  16. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Wow I didn't know that. Thank you for sharing.

    I guess the jury felt the prosecution didn't prove its case. On any level. I guess I don't understand how a reasonable person could think "neighborhood watch" extended to this.

    I don't know.

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  17. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    He (Zimmerman) would have had to shoot Martin "without justification". Said justification can include self defense if Zimmerman was "in fear for his life or great bodily harm". I believe there was reasonable doubt that he may very well have been in fear of this. You may not like the law or the system but that's what we have and the state simply couldn't meet the burden of proof. It's that simple.

    Murder requires the state to have shown that Zimmerman acted with ill will, hatred or spite; manslaughter requires showing that Zimmerman shot without lawful justification. Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, whereas manslaughter can result in a sentence of up to 30 years.

    ...

    Zimmerman’s attorneys say their client shot Martin in self-defense, while prosecutors have argued that Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who is Latino, racially profiled the black teenager and then lied about the attack.​

    LA Times

    This is the larger question and arguably the more important one. Perhaps reform will stem from this tragedy.
     
  18. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Okay, I see. Thank you for better explaining this.

    Yep.

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  19. Stanley Registered Senior Member

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    His sentence was commuted.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/24/nyregion/24commute.html

    Another issue here is that people outside the U.S can never seem to understand how laws and sentences vary from state to state. New York and Florida are very different when it comes to firearms and when to use them whereas New York is most likely the last place in the U.S where you want to use a gun but his sentence was still commuted.

    There were key differences in these cases too so they definitely were not the exact same circumstances. Same for OJ Simpson, it is easy for us to sit here and say something like "the jury let him go", but that was not really the case. It is a tough decision for a jury to convict a person to decades in prison where we dont have to make that decision. Wherever there is reasonable doubt they are going to side with the defense over a conviction and that is the way it is supposed to work. Even serial killers who admit to numerous murders may only actually get convicted for one or two.

    During the Casey Anthony trial it seemed like everyone wanted a conviction, but really there was no proof she committed the murder, and you cannot just say "oh well she did it...she had to" because it is the jury that is seeing this a different way.

    I watched the Zimmerman trial (most likely you did not) and I cannot fault the process or the presentation.
     
  20. turk Registered Member

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    66
    I was living right down the road from where this happened. My girlfriend has really taken this to heart due to the proximity and the fact she has a son a year younger than Trayvon. We went to the rallies and everything. I was like the only white guy that wasn't a news person there. I'm actually glad I'm visiting family in St.Louis right now! I'm sure tensions are high in Sanford right now. I think the stand your ground law is ridiculous. Basically, from what I understand, you can shoot a person dead simply if they want to fight you. I seen so many news stories where some unarmed thief gets shot dead for trying to steal a car radio probably to support his drug habit, and everyone hails the murderer for ridding the world of a thief. I didn't grew up in Florida so my jaw would always drop. I'd rather a person make off with my entire car than to end a human life whose only harm is materialistic. Craziness!
     
  21. Balerion Banned Banned

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    The problem is the law. It's a license to commit murder. That said, I'm not sure how Zimmerman got off. We know he was acting with ill-will and spite; his mindset was made clear by the 911 call. Is it really just because we don't know who actually initiated the physical exchange?
     
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    The jury could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The less evidence there is, the more likely an acquittal - and there wasn't a whole lot of evidence concerning what happened when they finally met.

    Basically yes.
     
  23. Stanley Registered Senior Member

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    195
    That is not the "stand your ground law" though.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand-your-ground_law

    If someone is robbing your car radio and you kill them you for the simple fact they are stealing a radio then you are going to be in a lot of trouble. If you read the link the first line covers it, if you go further distinctions are made if it is in your own home and someone breaks in, but that is left for someone with a better understanding of how the law works and again a lot of this varies from state to state.
     

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