# George Zimmerman found Not Guilty.

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

1. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

Messages:
5,051
Wegs - kwhilborn is right that attacking someone without a clear self-defense reason is assault and is illegal; Yes, it means the only criminal that day was Martin. And that's why it is so critical to establish if Zimmerman started the fight; it was required for a conviction to prove Zimmerman started the fight or committed some other criminal act leading up to the fight.

....But it is still wrong to say "it's been assumed that he [Martin] started the fight." It isn't assumed at all. It is just a weak conclusion based on evidence. Saying it is assumed means that there is no evidence, yet people believe it absolutely. That just isn't the case.
"Instigator"? Of what? I didn't use that word, I said Martin likely started the fight. You can weasel out of that with intentional obfuscation.
I have a hard time believing you honestly believe that. First of all, you ignored half of the evidence I mentioned, which implies again intentional deception on your part. Indeed, the fact that Martin had no injuries from the "fight" implies that Zimmerman wasn't even "fighting" at all.

But beyond that, the element of surprise and aggression matters. All else being equal, throwing the first punch, when the other is not even expecting a fight, makes the person throwing it more likely to win.

Then, also mentioned by kwhilborn and others, is the element of the gun changes the thought process for the person who has it. If Zimmerman was out looking to kill someone (as the prosecution's murder charge would require), why wouldn't he shoot Martin instead of just fighting with him? It is a dumb enough suggestion that for the prosecution to put it to the jury implies they are just reaching and hoping instead of trying to prove a single coherent story. But in addition (as said), starting a fight when you have a gun is a very risky proposition. It turns what could just be a minor fistfight into a potentially deadly situation, for either person. The argument 'Zimmerman could have started the fight knowing he had a gun to fall back on' (paraphrase) doesn't really work because there are lots of scenarios and similar examples where he could be the one ending up getting shot.
Martin would have been very unlikely to successfully prove self-defense, so while it is "unfortunate", it isn't nearly as unfortunate as you imply. Martin was not in a catch-22, where he could have been dead either way. He had a choice to leave and decided instead to attack. I doubt he realized that dabbling in thuggery would cost him his life that night, but he underestimated Zimmerman, to his demise.
That isn't 100% certain but it is still a good point. More important I think is at the time they came into contact with each other the second time, it was Martin who was following Zimmerman, not the other way around. Many of the 'Zimmerman "instigated" it' complaints assume that it was Zimmerman following Martin the whole time, and I've typically let that go because it isn't essential, but it isn't even true anyway.
Well, Zimmerman did know he (Zimmerman) was armed.

And yes, Zimmerman definitely seems reckless here. But how reckless? So reckless that you don't even have a reasonable doubt that wasn't dumb enough to start a fight with someone taller than him, who he considered dangerous, while hiding a gun?
Actually, several people here have, but...

Yes, Zimmerman acted recklessly. But not criminally recklessly.
It is certainly possible, but in order for him to have told significant lies, he would have to be a true criminal mastermind, since he called the police long before the shot. He would have had to have known he was setting up a defense for a crime he hadn't committed yet when he said (for example) that he was walking back to his truck. Like you, I think Zimmerman is reckless and kinda dumb, so I don't see how it is reasonable to believe he's also a criminal mastermind.

3. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

Messages:
5,051
Yikes:

• 1. "Child" is false. Yet again, people having trouble with definitions of basic words. A child is someone well below the age of maturity; typically below even puberty: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/child
2. Zimmerman didn't say he was walking like a typical afro-american teenager.
3. No, he wasn't. He was told "you don't need to do that". Those words are carefully chosen because dispatchers do not have the power to order people to do or not do things.
4. "Stalking" is intentionally misleading/inflammatory. Trollish. In particular, Zimmerman had lost Martin so he may have been trying to follow, but wasn't. And when Martin attacked him, Zimmerman wasn't even trying to follow, much less "stalk" Martin.
5. Reckless. Not criminal.
6. Yes. So once he had successfully escaped, why did he go back and attack Zimmerman?
7. Really? A young Hispanic guy in a suit looks creepy? I'm not sure how that can be seen as anything but a racist comment.
8. Intentionally inflammatory and inaccurate (again).
9. You said above, "escape".
10. It was Martin who "accosted" Zimmerman, then attacked him.
11. In your ordering of events (which I agree with), Martin was not "fighting back", he started the fight.
12. I doubt that, but if they were, they are bad parents for suggesting violence when none was needed.

5. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

Messages:
5,051
Agreed: but that doesn't absolve Martin in the assault and therefore doesn't make Zimmerman a murderer.
Yikes:
1. 7:00 pm is early evening, not the middle of the night.
2. At the time Martin attacked him, Zimmerman was not "chasing" him.
3. Even if the first two hadn't been wrong, the third still would be: no, you are not entitled to start fights unless there is a clear threat. Just being followed/chased (regardless of the time of day) is not an overt threat.

7. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

Messages:
10,890
It is potentially harrasment under Florida Statutes 784.048. There's a point here though, Zimmerman arguably had a legitimate purpose (as the neighbourhood watch captain) however Martin had no way of reasonably knowing this without some kind of a confrontation.

While the point that Zimmerman could have stayed in the car doesn't absolve Martin, and Martin could have stayed at home doesn't absolve Zimmerman, Martin had as much right to confront the person harrassing him as Zimmerman had to defend himself with reasonable force.

None of which actually tells us who said what during the confrontation that might have lead to fisticuffs, because, as this thread has demonstrated, it could be argued that both parties were equally ready for a fight.

Ultimately the question boils down to whether or not Zimmermans harrasment of Martin was reasonable (yes, while he may have arguably had a legitimate purpose it should be viewed as from the victims perspective).

8. ### kwhilbornBannedBanned

Messages:
2,088
@ Tiassa,

I would tell teenagers today that when they use hands free phones they look like Schizophrenics muttering to themselves.

It is my belief racism had nothing to do with why Treyvon was shot, and had he been a strange white kid dressed the same and acting the same, the same results would have transpired.

But let us take two effective portions of your argument in order to make the point:

Any neighborhood watch will watch a strange teen in their neighborhood regardless of race. There is a large percentage of Black/Hispanic neighborhood watch (like GZ). Would you suspect a strange teen more if he/she was black? Half the neighborhood was black/Hispanic.

No. If you want to tell your children not to grow up to be a thug that beats people up for snitching and tell them not to sell guns to children then I am all for that. In fact I encourage everyone to teach their kids not to act like a thug.

(SEE PHONE RECORDS BELOW TO SHOW WHY I CONSIDER TREYVON A THUG. IT IS BECAUSE OF TEXTS, NOT RACE).

The only person interjecting race into those above points is you.

I hold "a black person" as wrong, but buy saying "a black person", I really mean you. I think you should teach your children they can grow up to be anything they dream of, but if you wish to tell your kids they will be held down by "The Man", then go ahead. I've heard of freakier parenting styles.

Wow! It's like you walked out of the 1940's or something. I cannot judge your redneck pocket of the Earth, but my god if racism is that bad there go live someplace real. Does the south ban all television shows, because I can guarantee you there is a bi-racial couple in EVERY single dramatic or comedy television series. I own 10 acres of land in Florida, I'm guessing I should winter in Texas instead (After Kids move out).

As you know I am in a bi racial marriage, and I can tell you I have traveled coast to coast, vacationed in Jamaica and Cuba, and my kids have probably been to Disney World more times than most Florida natives. We have never had anyone treat us in a way that seemed disrespectful. Maybe they say stuff behind our backs, but I don't think anyone really cares that much.

Times, they are a changing. Heck, Someday there may even be a black president. It is not me who is naive about life in America. I would argue you are only witnessing a small slice of it.

I am 46 years old and very well traveled. I have never heard a white person call a black person "nigger". I have heard black people call other black people using that term, but I don't think anybody actually thinks poorly of other races anymore. Do you live in the country, surrounded by cotton farms or something? I find it hard to believe race is a barrier in any city.

Tell your child to get a good education. Don't tell them not to bother because blacks cannot be Doctors. That's bull.

I can tell you one place I experienced a lot of racism, and that was from natives (Indians) while living in Alberta Canada. Not so much in the city, but often they were very clear they did not like "White Men". Other than that I believe Canada and the US are mostly racism free.

I had a black girlfriend whom I took to Vegas when we lived in BC and that was 20 years ago. I have had Girlfriends in Toronto from just about every nationality over the years. Black, East Indian, West Indian, Filipina, Chinese, Jewish, etc. No big deal, and I would not hesitate to take them to any American city.

You guys dump on your country pretty harshly. Waa, Waa, Waa, it sucks to be an American, Whine, Whine. Do any of you work in an office where ethnicity is not a factor? Honestly?

I've hired all kinds of ethnicities. I had one guy straight off the boat from India show up with bare feet in a steel toe environment. I let him work the shift that way because I desperately needed a worker, and there was no machinery around.

If your son is a doctor he will get respect from everyone, even rednecks. Same goes with any job they want.

I recently gave my kids a talk. I told them to pick a vocation that will be around in 40 years. My parents had a booming Printing company, but Press Speeds quadrupled, Digital Printing kicked in, and Computers phased out need for paper. They shut the doors and retired.

I wrote a childrens book and my best friend (who is Black) did the illustrations. She was also my roommate before I met my wife. She is Black, but attended the same University as me and is also a Soil Engineer like me. We met at work. She was an adopted black girl into a black family. (Since we are discussing race and society). She grew up in a small Northern Ontario Community (Collingwood) and was "Student President" of her school. Through student loans she attended Queens University and makes a good living. She was thinking about becoming a bylaw officer (***Soil Engineering has same type of duties as Bylaw officers apparently) and making $85 000/year, and she is only around 30. *** They both Drive to various locations, research problems, file reports, etc. Now let's get back to Treyvon. First if Treyvon was on Trial we would be discussing his rights, but he is not. Zimmerman is (Was really). You assume Zimmerman profiled him because he was black. Maybe yes, maybe no. Zimmerman had called police to report suspicious White people in the neighborhood before. I know you won't count those because you only count the blacks he reported. Because he is "The Man", oppressing you and all. You say Zimmerman started it. He said Treyvon did. The difference is he was actually there. Zimmerman NEVER followed Treyvon a single inch in his Truck after Treyvon suspected GZ was watching him. He was parked in that one spot through the entire ordeal. Treyvon did not notice GZ until after he was parked according to Deedee. So GZ never followed him by car. After Treyvon vanished down the path, THEN GZ got out and walked down the path and he stopped when the police told him to. He was 19 seconds away from his truck and at the crime scene. Treyvon had gone south on the path and was gone for several minutes with his home only 300 feet south of GZ. Watch.. This video is good because you can hear door slam with stopwatch.. PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO HOW LONG HE WAS OUT OF SIGHT. HIS HOME WAS 300 FEET AWAY. HE COULD HAVE GONE HOME AND HAD A BBQ IN THE TIME HE WAS GONE FROM SIGHT. [video=youtube;hj3_krn5mAQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj3_krn5mAQ[/video] TREYVON MADE IT HOME. 3 witnesses placed him there, and his BROTHER said he went through the back gate. Listen to this statement. [video=youtube;jIbHdS5OG6A]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIbHdS5OG6A[/video] His brother said he KNEW TREYVON CAME IN THE BACK GATE AND WAS SITTING ON THE PORCH. Deedee also said he made it home. Brandy Green also said he went to store and then was sitting out on the porch. He had ample time. His Girlfriend said Treyvon had lost Zimmerman, and he was out of sight, and that he was by his house. IF he was by his house, how did he get 100 yards (300 ft) North to the T intersection. Did George march him at Gunpoint from his house? How? Seriously.. How? I know you guys prefer your racism tirades over real facts, but at least answer that question. @ Tiassa, Forget Race. Forget the following. Forget everything. Was there reasonable doubt GZ started the fight. That's all a Jury needs is reasonable doubt. Now earlier I said don't teach your kidsto be thugs. I don't care that Treyvon is not on trial here, but this is evidence Treyvon was a guy who fought and lived a violent lifestyle. Ignore it if you wish, but it is fairly blatant to anybody smart enough to read it and understand the slang. NOTE: SOME IDIOTS ON THIS THREAD HAVE SUGGESTED MAYBE THESE WERE LEGAL GUN TRANSACTIONS. It is not legal for people to SHARE OWNERSHIP of a .38 handgun as Trayvon suggests above. (Smacks Morons in Face.) 2.VIOLENT ASSAULTS (PLURAL), Taken from Extraction report # 3 (NOTE: Somebody is seeking Trayvon for fight training. This shows Trayvon is respected a bit as fighter by at least someone). Taken From Extraction Report # 6 Trayvon: Cause Man dat nigga snitched on me [NOTE: He is claiming here to beat up a snitch] (NOTE: Notice Trayvon was not satisfied with a little blood. He wanted more blood). So ignore this. Beating up snitches and selling illegal guns is common teenage behavior. @ Tiassa again, Answer This ... If Beating up snitches is just common Afro American teenage behaviour, then could we not at least imagine this 6'2" Tall and Muscular Teen who was sought as a fighting trainer (in texts above) could have started the fight with 5'7" Zimmerman. Even if Zimmerman was blatantly following him he would have no legal right to punch. The fights yelling had many neighbors respond and dial 911, if Treyvon really was in danger he could have called for help. There was 50 homes within 100 yards. Zimmerman was 7" shorter than Treyvon and a trainer said his fighting skill was 0.5 out of 10. Zimmermans nose was also targetted as was the Snitches nose. I think GZ would have followed a white teen. I think the hands free telephone is what made Treyvon look schizophrenic or drugged. I think there was reasonable doubt X 10. Last edited: Sep 17, 2013 9. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member Messages: 5,051 You cannot respond to harassment with physical violence. Indeed, Martin certainly had a right to "confront" Zimmerman but we're not talking about Martin "confronting" Zimmerman, we're talking about Martin attacking Zimmerman. 10. ### wegsMatter & Pixie DustValued Senior Member Messages: 4,911 I posted this a page back...would someone mind addressing it? Thanks Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! 11. ### wegsMatter & Pixie DustValued Senior Member Messages: 4,911 If he wasn’t part of a neighborhood watch, would we have thought differently? Can I just follow people, armed with a gun, who I deem suspicious? If not, how does being a neighborhood watch person suddenly elevate me to a different status, when following a person through a neighborhood? All of this said, GZ did act recklessly. He was specifically told by the police to not pursue Martin, and he continued. To me, that should have been evidence that he was behaving recklessly. I’ve come to the conclusion that GZ will eventually land himself in a jail cell. He has a history of reckless behavior, and he recently threatened his estranged wife with a gun. (I think she dropped any charges, though—they make quite a pair. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! ) But…sooner or later, he will act out again, because history has a way of repeating itself especially if no lesson is learned… and hopefully, the justice system will take the man off the streets. 12. ### CapracusValued Senior Member Messages: 1,209 Fights are only restricted to damaging punches? Low or non impact action such as verbal taunts, missed punches, shoving, grabbing, or drawing of guns aren’t considered provocations? I don’t consider Zimmerman to be a racist or a murderer, but due to the inconsistency and embellishment of his narrative, I do doubt the credibility of his version of events. He seems to feel a necessity to create justification for his action where it may not have existed. Do you realize how common nasal fractures are in organized sports? And that they rarely require emergency treatment? Many such fractures require no treatment at all. Athletes routinely continue competition with the injury. Zimmerman himself thought so little of his injuries that he declined medical treatment the night of the killing. The notion that Zimmerman’s very insignificant injuries posed a threat to his life is not consistent with the known facts. Zimmerman wasn’t squealing about non existent life threatening injuries, but rather over losing control of his life threatening firearm. I don’t believe the evidence warranted a murder charge. The prosecution should have simply focused on discrediting his questionable self defense assertion to obtain a manslaughter conviction. It’s not in a defendant’s best interest to present a reasonable account? Isn’t that like doing the prosecution’s job for them? No, because noses are not exclusively broken in fights. Zimmerman’s nose was determined to be broken, and there was additional evidence he was in a physical altercation. Implication? Reasonable doubt is conditional on the subjectivity of the individual deciding party. There is often commonality of perception in unequally weighted cases and decisions are accordingly more certain. In cases weighted more equally, such as Zimmerman’s, the range of subjectivity among juries and jurors can render decisions close and more uncertain. 13. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member Messages: 24,690 That's not just illegal, it's stupid! You just lowered your respectability in my eyes. And I'd sure like to hear your twisted logic for calling this particular law a "gray area." We all consider laws we don't approve as "gray areas," don't we? That's what this is all about! Google it and you'll get a zillion hits. After a review of several articles, I'd say some of the ones that "respectable" people like us most often break are: • Breaking the speed limit (three miles over is illegal, even though no cop in the country will bust you for it) • Using a hand-held cellphone while driving (this is illegal everywhere I drive and it's spreading quickly) • Not making a full stop before turning right on a red light or a stop sign (traffic laws and the vehicle code alone probably rack up ten violations a day for anyone who drives to work) • Illegal gambling (e.g., the office football pool) • Copyright infringement (e.g., copying a movie or music album, or just making a mix tape--although the laws now allow you to make one backup copy of anything on electronic media, and it's perfectly sensible to keep it at someone else's house in case yours burns down, and of course that person must test it once in a while to make sure it still works Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! )--oh yeah "Happy Birthday to You" is copyrighted and the corporation that owns it rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars every year by busting restaurants whose waiters sing it to their customers--notice that you never hear it in movies or on TV) • Public drunkenness (many of these laws are not enforced regularly, but breaking them is still illegal) • Lying on legal forms (e.g., income tax returns, mortgage applications) • Ticket scalping (just selling an extra ticket to a friend for ten bucks more than it cost you, to cover your gas and parking, is scalping) • Licensing and zoning ordinances (e.g. paying someone who isn't a licensed cosmetologist to cut your hair or do your nails in their home in a residential-zoned neighborhood) • Walking a dog without a leash (illegal in most big cities and many smaller towns) • Leaving dog feces in someone else's yard or on public property • Having sex with a person under age 18 (my friend's son is on the "sexual predator list" for having sex with his girlfriend when she was 17.9 and he was 18.1 and her daddy didn't like him) • While we're on the subject of sex, oral sex is illegal in many places, although it's generally only enforced against gay people • Jaywalking (we've all done it, even you) • Sharing prescription drugs (you have a prescription for the same meds but you left yours at home; it's illegal for me to loan you one of mine) • Assuming a false identity on the internet is a federal crime (this applies to Fraggle Rocker and to Stanley, unless that's your real name) • Getting lost on your snowmobile and inadvertently crossing onto federal property, such as a park, is illegal and they do enforce it • Chemicals are a major problem (pouring vinegar into a goldfish bowl to kill the fish because you're tired of them is a federal crime; so is not cleaning your garage floor after working on your car and spilling fluids on it) • Banking has its own rigmarole: If you deposit$10K into your business account, you have to fill out some forms; if you make 20 deposits that total \$10K and don't realize it, you still have to do it.
Is that enough?

14. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

Messages:
10,890
And of course you can prove that the physical violence came about directly as a result of the harrasment, as opposed to say, something Zimmerman said or did during the conversation (a taunt, a racist comment, a flashed weapon, a missed first punch), right?

15. ### BalerionBannedBanned

Messages:
8,596
I would beg to differ with Russ' assertion that physical violence is not an acceptable response to harassment. The kind of harassment Zimmerman was engaging in--following Martin in his car and on foot, in the dark, while armed--amounts to Trayvon having plenty of reason to respond with physicality.

16. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

Messages:
5,051
No, never. The burdens of proof and goals are completely different. Criminal trials require "beyond a reasonable doubt", while civil trials require a "preponderance of the evidence". If you want to put numbers to that, a preponderance is just a majority: 51%. Beyond a reasonable doubt is typically considered as high as 90-95%. So it will be interesting to see what the result of the civil trial will be (I have no doubt there will be one).

Also interesting will be the outcome of the slander/libel lawsuits Zimmerman has/will file against the media. I expect they'll settle out of court for huge sums of money.

17. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

Messages:
5,051
Martin didn't know Zimmerman had a gun, so it can't provide him a reason to feel threatened. Beyond that, just following someone is not, in this universe, harassment.

And beyond that, of course, is the fact that when Martin accosted Zimmerman, it was Martin doing the following (chasing).

You're talking nonsense.

18. ### wegsMatter & Pixie DustValued Senior Member

Messages:
4,911
Can you imagine if he wins something like that?

Thanks for your reply, Russ. I read something about if a civil suit is filed by the Martin family, it may mean Treyvon Martin's past coming into play. Of the articles I've read, the courts can allow evidence in that wasn't allowed in the criminal trial.

19. ### ElectricFetusSanity going, going, goneValued Senior Member

Messages:
18,523
We have no proof Martin assaulted Zimmerman, other than Zimmerman claim. Sure Zimmerman was wounded but for all we know it was a result of Martin defending him self.

You love picking nits, what do they taste like? What does it matter if its evening or night?

Again we have no proof of this.

Again we have no proof Martin even throw the first blow or attack his chaser.

20. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

Messages:
5,051
I know they can allow additional evidence, but I don't know if it includes evidence about Martin's past. I can't see how it would be relevant.

21. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

Messages:
5,051
The evidence isn't clear ("proof"), but it is still evidence. Again, the evidence leans somewhat toward Martin being the aggressor whereas the prosecution needed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was the aggressor.
If it didn't matter, you wouldn't have intentionally mischaracterized it. It is not a coincidence that all of the mischaracterizations by the "Zimmerman-is-a-murderer" crowd are anti-Zimmerman. You guys are doing it on purpose; intentionally misleading for the sake of trying to win an argument by deception. It is dishonest and, quite frankly, pathetic. I feel like I'm spoonfeeding to schoolchildren.
Again, with the mischaracterizations: no proof, just evidence. We have very strong evidence that it was Martin who accosted Zimmerman, not the other way around.
Again, no proof, just evidence. It may not be very strong, but it does lead us away from the conclusion that Zimmerman started the fight. Remember the required burden of proof.

22. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

Messages:
5,051
No, I can't. Did you forget (again), which foot the burden of proof shoe is on? (and that there was harassment was not my argument: I argued against it.)
Well, I can't prove Martin started the fight, only show evidence that suggests it, which more than satisfies my burden of proof. For you, you have no evidence whatsoever that Zimmerman started the fight, much less enough to satisfy your required burden of proof.

23. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

Messages:
5,051
There is nothing official about a neighborhood watch. It has no bearing on this case whatsoever.
1. Absolutely! Indeed, many people, including myself, consider it a civic duty to report suspicious activity and if feasible, keep that person in sight until the police arrive to question them. If Zimmerman had had his way, that's all that would have happened that night.

2. Having a gun or not has no bearing on whether or not you can follow someone. Gun ownership is a right and concealed carry is a privilege when permitted (he had a permit).

3. Thank you for being reasonable and using proper terminology. It makes for a so much nicer conversation than using intentionally inflammatory/misleading language.
Not told not to, just told he didn't need to. There's a difference.
And it is. But that doesn't get the prosecution anywhere.