SST poll on the Zimmerman Case


 Now that the Zimmerman Case has gone to the jury for a decision as to guilt or innocence on either Murder 2 or Manslaughter charges, I would like hte opinions of SST readers as to how the jury will vote wirth the understanding that a guilty verdict as well as a verdict of not guilty would require a unanimous vote of the six jurors.  If you wish to "grade" the state and defense lawyers as well as the judge feel free to do so.  pl

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112 Responses to SST poll on the Zimmerman Case

  1. no one says:

    I have had the trial live playing in the background while I work.
    IMO, the prosecution had no case at all. Jury instructions pretty good.
    Not guilty on all charges.

  2. r whitman says:

    I, personally, would vote for acquittal but would not be surprised by a manslaughter verdict. I cannot see evidence of second degree murder. Good job by the judge and the defense. Prosecution attorney seemed too angry most of the time.

  3. Didgeri says:

    Zimmerman was obviously acting in self-defense and so is obviously not guilty.
    State witness after state witness “turned” on the state by bolstering the defense’s theory of the case. The sheer absence of evidence may explain the prosecution’s emotionalism in demeanor and argumentation.
    There’s a real possibility of a compromise verdict for manslaughter. This happens sometimes when juries can’t find the defendant guilty on the “real” charge but want to grant some measure of empathy and emotional solace to a family.
    Nice for the jury, nice for the family. Not so nice for an innocent defendant.

  4. toto says:

    I understand that he can only be convicted of anything if it can be proven that he physically attacked Martin (if Martin threw the first punch, Florida’s “stand your ground” laws take effect).
    Maybe he did, but I don’t think that the prosecution managed to prove this beyond reasonable doubt. So my guess is that he’ll walk.
    The problem is that it creates a precedent that you can shoot somebody if you’re losing a fight that you “invited” upon yourself.
    There is a murder scene in the Godfather (?) that takes place during a celebration in the Italian quarter. A bunch of assassins goad their target, who reacts by having a go at them – then they shoot him.
    If Zimmermann walks (and he will), then this will become entirely legal – the assassins could do the exact same thing and walk into a police station for protection.

  5. Nancy K says:

    I think if it were an all male jury there would be an acquittal, however I think this jury may find Zimmerman guilty of manslaughter. In rating the lawyers I give O’Mara higher marks than West and de la Rionda higher than Guy. As far as which side was better, I don’t think either were spectacular. I give Judge Nelson very high marks, she was in control of her court.
    If I were on the jury I would probably go with manslaughter not 2nd degree murder.

  6. turcopolier says:

    You are saying that this all woman jury will decide the issue of guilt or innocence on the basis of emotion rather than reason? pl

  7. NancyK says:

    No I am not saying that at all. I’ not even implying that men would decide guilt or innocence on the basis of emotion rather than reason. There is however a reason that the lawyers went with an all female jury.

  8. no one says:

    toto, “The problem is that it creates a precedent that you can shoot somebody if you’re losing a fight that you “invited” upon yourself. ”
    Nonsense. Utter nonsense, but the kind of nonsense that is repeated incessantly by the Trayvonites. Mark O’Mara very effectively put what should have been a final nail in that argument’s coffin when, in closing, he let a clock run for four minutes. Four minutes – that’s what Trayvon had to run home, run away, call 911, do something, anything other than attack Z. But, instead, he elected to circle back and assault Z.
    Is that the kind of world you want to live in? A world where people are permitted to physically assault others if they perceive they are being followed or watched? Any how, the law doesn’t support your contention and neither does common sense or common courtesy.

  9. Fred says:

    I have mostly managed to avoid the publicity charged hysteria of this trial. The press is routinely calling Mr. Zimmerman white, while elsewhere in the press they label men (and women) with the same parentage as ‘Hispanic’. That works great in media driven (?) meme that the ‘Republicans’ are doing bad on polling with Hispanics, the latter, in the immigration debates, are soon to be legal tried and true citizens and all vote – democratic. Meanwhile it is the same republicans who are ‘pro-gun’ and the democrats the defenders of the down-trodden minorities. In Michigan months ago, as I commented on in a similar thread, a 70 year old African American male was accosted at night on school grounds by two teenage African American males, he (the 70 y.o. man) pulled his lawfully owned and carried fire arm and defended himself. One assailant was killed and the second hospitalized. There have been no charges and virtually zero media coverage – and absolutely zero politician, media, nor activist group outrage for prosecution of that man nor rallies demanding justice for those teenage African American boys. I’m sure if that 70 year old man had been white the story would be different. Not that there is any racism involved, mind you. Of course not.

  10. ron says:

    He will be acquitted of 2nd degree murder. There is a possibility that jury will go with manslaughter, but I believe this case was self defense on George Zimmerman’s part. Anyone who is having their head smashed against concrete and their face beaten has the right to use whatever level of force is needed to stop the unlawful beating.

  11. Walrus says:

    My guess is manslaughter but it should be murder. You don’t go armed and looking for a fight like Zimmerman did.
    My interpretation of ” stand your ground” is that you are entitled to act in self defence if a person brings the fight to you. My opinion is that you are not entitled to procure a fight in the knowledge that you have the ability to kill the other person if attacked. My opinion is that Zimmerman procured the fight with Martin by virtue of the fact that Martin was unsettled enough by zimmermans attentions to make a telephone call.
    To put that another way “there I was minding my own business when I was suddenly attacked by a scary pot head black guy” does not convince me.
    However I was brought up in an English common law regime. My personal opinion is that everything concerning this incident and trial is repulsive and I will be very surprised if the judge can salvage any good from it.

  12. jonst says:

    I think he should be found not guilty. I long ago gave up trying to figure out what juries will decide. Unless I can see them….in person.
    With a huge caveat that I was not in the courtroom all the time…which is the only way to really judge the job lawyers do in a trial, I think I give the defense a C+. The Prosecution, a D. The judge an F…a disgrace…that cross she pulled on Zimmerman was a friggin embarrassment, for anyone who is an Office of the Court. And I think it will be grounds for appeal. It would be in Maine, anyway.
    And Toto…I could not disagree with you more..”invited” on himself indeed. Incredible

  13. turcopolier says:

    Your comment seems internally self-contradictory. pl

  14. twv says:

    Most likely this jury will deliver an emotional decision.
    6 women will probably find for manslaughter, although the defense established “reasonable doubt.”
    Hell, the prosecution established reasonable doubt.
    The women probably have never been in a physical confrontation, so no understanding there.
    All the noise about riots from an acquittal has probably scared the bejesus out of these women jurors.
    And last, I have been on several juries (criminal and civil) and NO WAY do I want my fate decided in a jury room.

  15. turcopolier says:

    So, if you are armed you are looking for a fight? pl

  16. Dr. K says:

    If you carry a weapon you already are expressing unwarranted fear. Fear makes for very unreasonable decisions and unintended consequences,i.e. George Zimmerman.

  17. Matthew says:

    If I had been prosecuting the case, I would have framed the case around Treyvon Martin standing his ground. Theme: Zimmerman stalked a teenager who was only guilty of “walking while black.” I would then have asked the jury to focus on Treyvon Martin’s reasonable fear: Imagine if he had been white–or a woman–and a strange man had followed and accosted him, wouldn’t Treyvon have been scared? Wouldn’t he have a right to stand his ground? Zimmerman’s subsequent self-defense claim would be equivalent to a bully claiming self-defense after the bully started the fight.
    Would this have worked? Who knows. But if prosecution truly believes that Zimmerman was only negligent in disreqarding the police’s instructions, then they should never have indicted him. The proper response would have been a civil wrongful death suit.
    I anticipate a not guity verdict because it’s the path of least resistence, i.e., we don’t really know what happened = reasonable doubt.

  18. turcopolier says:

    Dr. K
    “unwarranted fear?” My. My. Bless you. You belong among the angels. pl

  19. Peter C says:

    This is a political, Shakespearian, criminal, oversized lawyereristic egos battling it out, with a sliced and diced jury. Compromise on the part of jury will give some sort of human murder verdict against Zimmerman.
    One of my favorite concealed hand gun techniques is as follows as I observed a traffic stop by the Police. As we all know traffic stops are a highly dangerous activity for police.
    During the summer, even in warm weather this one patrol officer always wore an unzipped windbreaker when approaching stopped autos, with his hands in both pockets.
    In each of his pockets were .22lr hammerless double action revolvers. While making the initial stop and contact his hands were always in his pockets while approaching and making contact. This way he was fully prepared to react in a split second, with out having his service pistol fully drawn and aimed.

  20. NancyK says:

    I’m not sure why you are saying that. I think both the prosecution and defense wanted women on the jury not because they would go with their emotions but possibly because they can see shades of gray versus black and white. Women would also be sympathetic towards Zimmerman seeing that he could have been fearful and felt his life was threatened. They might also see that a 16 year old who was being stalked by an adult might also feel threatened. I have no bias in this case, in fact I have a daughter, a son-in-law and 3 grandchildren who are Peruvian and live in Peru.

  21. walrus says:

    Sir, I don’t believe that carrying automatically implies you are “looking for a fight” at all.
    My belief is that an unarmed Zimmerman would not have engaged with Martin.
    From that follows, by my logic, that since a reasonable man would not carry a weapon without being prepared to use it, that Zimmerman was quite prepared to kill Martin if he deemed it necessary, and that decision was made well before he interacted with Martin.
    That, to me, is taking the law into ones own hands without the slightest possible reason or excuse.

  22. Medicine Man says:

    My opinion is manslaughter conviction or an acquittal, with slightly better odds on the acquittal. They simply overcharged when they labelled it 2nd degree murder; very difficult to prove that given the evidence and I don’t think the prosecution made the case.

  23. Margaret Steinfels says:

    How about jury nullification of Florida’s stand-your-ground law? Presumably the justification for that legislation was a defense of self, family, and/or home if you were accosted. Zimmerman ignored the local police to get back in his car, he trailed Martin, a fight ensued, and he pulled his gun. How does that fit or not the stand-your-ground criteria? Or are there any?

  24. Bobo says:

    They intentionally overcharged believing they could get Manslaughter. This is typical in Florida. The outcome will be Not Guilty on 2nd degree murder and hung jury on the lower charge with jurors going 2 for and 4 against.
    From a non legalistic view the Judge gets an A, Bernie de la gets a D and O’Mara gets a B but West gets an A+ for effort. Fortunately for us Judge Ito was not in session as we would be listening to this for another month if he was.

  25. Fred says:

    As that other movie said “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me?”
    That’s a great line but no permission to assault someone. Neither of these two men were assassins. LIfe isn’t a movie and by age 17 an American man should have learned how to respond to goading.
    “… but I don’t think that the prosecution managed to prove this beyond reasonable doubt. So my guess is that he’ll walk.”
    You mean the jury of Floridians is going to fulfill their legal obligations under the Constitution and Statutes of the great and sovereign State of Florida and find the defendant “Not Guilty”?

  26. The Twisted Genius says:

    I haven’t obsessed over this trial, but couldn’t help getting an earful from the nonstop coverage. I don’t think anything was settled by the prosecution or the defense, so a tie goes to the defense. The jury will probably vote for acquittal.
    From the only facts that were available a year and a half ago and my opinion of what happened that night, I still would have found Zimmerman guilty of extremely poor judgement and probably manslaughter. The facts are that Zimmerman shot Martin on a rainy night some distance from Zimmerman’s truck and that Zimmerman had wounds consistent with a fight.
    Everything else is my opinion. There were two men who acted out of fear and incomplete information that night. Zimmerman saw someone who could be up to no good in his neighborhood. Martin saw someone taking an unnatural interest in him as he was heading home. If I was in Martin’s place, I would not have led somebody like that follow me home to do God knows what evil. I would have broke that creepy ass cracker’s neck… or died trying. Zimmerman left his truck and went down the walk behind the houses looking for who he thought was a thief about to break into a neighbor’s house. At some point they faced each other, each thinking the worse of the other. The fight ensued. The man with the gun was getting his ass kicked. He fired in self defense. If Martin actually was a thief in the act, Zimmerman would have been a hero. But he would have been a hero who did a very stupid thing. As a neighborhood watchman, Zimmerman knew not to go after a potential thief. If he was on duty, he should not have been armed. He wasn’t on duty and he had every right to be armed. He shouldn’t have left his truck in search of Martin. If he gets out of this trial with an acquittal, he’s looking at a mean civil suit.

  27. DaveGood says:

    From over here in Britain, we see a guy who was doing nothing more then walk home.
    Apparently that’s enough to get you shot dead, and most of you seem to think that’s justice.
    God bless America.

  28. Mark Logan says:

    Mine is George’s credibility problem has made it three-sided coin flip. Heard his lawyer slip in “Just forget everything George said..” at one point.
    Looks like the larger issue may have petered out to me. They just demanded a trial, not a conviction. They know how the courts are, they can deal with him walking, but no trial at all was unacceptable. A bright side, I hope.
    Anybody know a parable or comedy of the two village idiots bumping into each other in the dark and nearly causing the the whole town to fight? Twain? Aesop? Mel Brooks??

  29. turcopolier says:

    More reflexive anti-American BS. pl

  30. Robert C says:

    Anyone who is stalked by a man with a gun has a right to defend themselves.

  31. John says:

    Frankly, I do not care what the verdict is. OK?

  32. Tyler says:

    He ignored a dispatcher, and it was impossible for him to trail Martin, as the defense proved quite succintly that Saint Trayvon of the Skittles, would be MMA fighter, drug user, and braggart of how he learned to sucker punch someone, circled around and attacked Zimmerman.
    “Jury nullification” ahahaha. Liberal fever dreams are so charming because they’re so childish.

  33. Tyler says:

    From over here in America, we see a nation that tells its soldiery to not wear their uniforms for fear of offending Muslims, who stand around taking pictures of a solider being hacked to death by two Muslims in the middle of the street, who’s police kick down doors in the middle of the night for ‘rayciss’ twitter comments.
    And apparently you think that’s justice over there. Please keep your bleating to yourself, thanks.

  34. optimax says:

    I haven’t followed the trial much. The state would never have filed charges against Zimmerman or would have sent it to a grand jury if the the DOJ hadn’t sent it’s community agents down there to stir up the ire of the natives and make this political. Holder is shameless. It reminds me of the Brown Shirts.

  35. Tyler says:

    This trial was frightening because it was a trial pushed by the State for the means of justifying thier insane egalitarianism. We’re coming to find the USG sent the DOJ – too impotent to prosecute the killers of BPA Brian Terry, too weak and flaccid to go after the bankers who wrecked our economy – was apparently strong enough to send racial agitators to force out the police chief of Sanford and demand ‘justice’.
    The State’s persecution has been nothing but appeals to emotion and outright lies aided by deception and chicancery to try and convict an innocent man.
    They have been aided by Chris Farley look alike Judge Nelson, who has made awful ruling after awful ruling. Apparently Zimmerman’s high school records are allowable, but she engaged in Ninth Dimensional chess to pretend that Trayvon’s text messages (hidden behind two layers of passwords in an encrypted file) might have been sent by someone else over the last two years, repeatedly referring to his violence and drug use.
    The defence has made the best of it that they could, and have acted admirably. Even if the jurors buy into the emotional claptrap that the State presented as a ‘case’, this case will be overturned in the appeals based off the fundamental flaws that should be an insult to all of us who believe in rule of law.
    This just goes to show you that there is no slime the Left won’t crawl through in order to impunge an innocent man that activated their BURN THE WITCH impulse. Zimmerman points out the laughable lie – pushed by the media, the whores in the press, and all the rest who would sacrifice everyone on the altar of false egalitarianism in order to please their false god of diversity. This is how a society begins to end, folks. Be careful what you wish for.
    I’d like to note that the usual whores in the press are licking the blood of each other’s hands at the idea of more ‘black rage’, always justified in their mind. Must put them in the mind of their glory days in the 60s. Even if they can’t ruin one man’s life, they’ll get their blood in the end.
    America, 2013.

  36. Rackstrawm says:

    GZ is a pathetic cop wannabe, who really shot himself in the foot this time.
    On the phone with 911 GZ referred to TM as “an effing ahole: who always get away woth it” – where did that idea come from? It came from the fact that TM was Black – thats all GZ knew of TM, that he was black – which makes it a classic case of racial profiling.
    Meanwhile over at Drudge Report, Bernhard Goetz is saying “It feels like Deja Vu, all over again.”
    I predict a hung jury and a retrial, or a compromise verdict of
    Eventually, a wrongful death lawsuit.

  37. Tyler says:

    Your unwarranted fear of weapons makes any opinions you have worthless. Like I want to take defense advice from a sheep.

  38. robt willmann says:

    Trayvon Martin’s parents made a wrongful death civil claim against the homeowner’s association for the residential subdivision where it happened and there was a settlement for probably something over $1 million dollars.
    Zimmerman was not a party to the lawsuit, but regardless of the outcome of the criminal trial, Trayvon’s parents will probably file a civil suit against him, and the article also says that.
    I don’t know if Florida law provides that a guilty verdict in a criminal case can be used as evidence of civil liability in a civil lawsuit that could go to trial after the criminal case. Even if Zimmerman is found not guilty, he can probably still be sued in a civil case, as occurred after the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. I would be surprised if Florida law says that an acquittal in a criminal case blocks possible civil liability on the part of the defendant.

  39. turcopolier says:

    A small problem for you argument. Neither man knew whether or not the other was armed. pl

  40. turcopolier says:

    I think this trial is replete with reversible error that will appear on appeal if GZ is convicted of anything. I do not think the state proved its case but the outcome is likely to be determined on the basis of hysteria and fear of “ethnic entrepreneurs.” IMO the most likely result of jury deliberations in this is a hung jury because although these jurors will in the main want to punish the killer of “this child” they will decide that it is safer for them personally to fail to agree. This kicks the can down the road to another trial and jury. pl

  41. jonst says:

    so you discount Z’s words on the police report that he was confronted by Martin as he, Z, walked back to his truck?

  42. jonst says:

    Yours is a factually challenged comment. It is as if you DG, can’t comprehend complexity and dispute. So you buy into a mythical narrative. Learn more about the facts. They are in dispute. This is more akin to Rashamoon, you see it as the Lone Ranger, evidently.

  43. jonst says:

    Why is a person a “pathetic cop wannabe” because he wants to help protect his neighboorhood–however ineffective or counter-productive his efforts may, or may not have been? Why do liberals insist on seeing the concept of protecting your neighborhood as something done only by ‘cop'[s]? The homes in the gated community where Z lived had recently been burglarized. By a juvenile male, black, as it turned out. Why are these facts dismissed? Now, none of the above means, or should mean, that Z is innocent or guilty. That decision should rest on the facts. As presented at trial. But I can’t understand liberals obsession with the ‘cop wannabe’ meme. As if a person living in a community has nothing to do, or, should have, nothing to do in protecting the community. Odd…but instructive to me. I’m glad you are not my neighbor Rackstrawm…if, indeed, you are not.

  44. Mac N. says:

    Not guilty on M2 and FM….the manslaughter charge is a little trickier because I think there is a possibility of the jury appeasing the ethnic politics this case has spawned outside the courtroom. Both sides will reserve appeal and this will continue on.
    What the case reveals about the racial issues is troubling. I am not even sure how to broach the issues for fear of causing a sh*t storm.

  45. Margaret Steinfels says:

    What are the criteria for “stand your ground” laws? None? Some? Anything you want?

  46. John Minnerath says:

    I’m not sure, but I fear a hung jury on this mess.
    I don’t see any winners coming out of this, but lots of losers.

  47. Peter C says:

    After reading the profile of jurors, I’m tending to think a manslaughter verdict. This will be appealed, no matter what direction the jury’s decision goes.

  48. no one says:

    I am honestly completely baffled – utterly intellectually stymied – by anti-Z arguments around the “cop wannabe” meme as well as pro-TM perspectives that have him assaulting Z out of fear. I just don’t understand – and I’ve tried to put myself in a totally objective mind set – how anyone can be so adamant in these positions.
    At bottom, I think that lefties have a knee jerk side with the minority reflex. And they are cowards that are unable to see themselves – thus anyone else – putting themselves at risk to stop a bad guy.
    TM had four full minutes to run away, run home, call 911 *if* he was scared of Z. Elucidating this fact was a powerful portion of the defense’s closing arguments.
    Four full minutes…..yet TM decided to circle back and physically attack Z.
    This is NOT an action borne of fear. This is clearly a thuggish mindset borne of a desire to be king of streets a la gangsta style.
    How can the lefties supporting TM not understand that the answer to perceiving being followed is NOT to slug the person in the nose and then bash his head?
    In a civil lawful society such an encounter between two such people should go like this (while still containing some realistic tension), TM “Hey man, you followin’ me?”. Z “I am a neighborhood watchman and I am just checking to make sure you belong here. We’ve had a number of break-ins lately”. TM “You profilin’ me ‘cuz I black” Z “No. NO. It’s not like that. Do you live here?” TM “Yeah. I be stayin’ wit ______ just down the road”. Z “OK. Thanks. Sorry to have bothered you”.
    It’s that simple and that’s the way it happens every day all over the world.
    Interestingly, the Trayvonites and America haters have not considered that, for all TM knew, Z could have been a plain clothes detective who had not yet had the reason or opportunity to identify himself when TM ambushed.

  49. Dave Schuler says:

    For those of you remarking on Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, the issue was not raised in this trial. While it might be raised in other trials, it’s irrelevant to this particular trial.
    I think the jury should vote to acquit since, if published accounts are correct, the prosecution failed to make its prima facie case. On the other hand I wouldn’t be surprised if the jury voted to convict on the manslaughter charge in the belief that it needs to convict on something.
    If Mr. Zimmerman is convicted, there are ample grounds for a retrial.

  50. Tyler says:

    Physician, heal thyself.
    “”Stand Your Ground”, “Line In The Sand” or “No Duty To Retreat” laws thus state that a person has no duty or other requirement to abandon a place in which he has a right to be, or to give up ground to an assailant. Under such laws, there is no duty to retreat from anywhere the defender may legally be.”
    I don’t know Margaret, but if I was sitting on your chest and pounding your head into the concrete, I imagine you’d be fearing for your life as well.

  51. Tyler says:

    Yeah, I’d agree with Walrus too if I was on LSD and had lived under a rock for the past two years.
    Seriously, what color is the sky in your world? As someone who has participated in a number of fights, Zimmerman’s injuries are totally in line with someone who was in a ‘ground and pound’ situation. “As an ER lackey I…” please. If you had any experience you’d know that it doesn’t take a whole lot of damage to the head to cause serious issues, especially if he was getting slammed against concrete. “Self inflicted injuries”, goodness gracious you’re laughable engaging in 9th Dimension Chess to try and justify your views.

  52. Tyler says:

    Just a reminder to the gentle souls here at SST: If George Zimmerman had not been the Great White Defendant the media dreams of (to borrow a phrase from Tom Wolfe), if his name had been say Rashawn Brown, this wouldn’t have made it outside of the local news cycle.

  53. Mark Logan says:

    I called it a “three sided coin-flip” because some individuals are utterly intolerant of the sort embellishments and fibs that George made and some aren’t.
    After re-thinking, that doesn’t point to a random result but to a split in the jury. Changing my bet to a hung jury.

  54. jonst says:

    “defending the indefensible”? I don’t think that is even remotely true. But leave that aside….do you have even the slightest clue how (ideally) the American Criminal Justice system works? You simply don’t seem to grasp what is the role of the defense lawyer. And why—-however despicable, indeed, the more despicable, the better, for this example, a defendant is entitled to a defense. Think about the power of the State, unopposed.

  55. Charles I says:

    Trayvon had four minutes to call 911, run away
    Zimmerman was on the phone with 911, they told him to stand down.
    Sauce for the cooked goose, but not the gander?

  56. Dr. K says:

    Trayvonites=America haters. When you see a black kid what is your Tom Ridge code color?

  57. Will Reks says:

    I find myself in agreement with much of what TTG wrote. Two guys thinking the worst of each other who then acted foolishly. One man ended up dead. It could have been Zimmerman dead just as easily and Trayvon Martin with a possibly legitimate case for self-defense.
    I expect Zimmerman will be acquitted. I don’t believe the prosecution proved it’s case for murder although I think manslaughter is a possibility.

  58. no one says:

    Charles I, So if I think you’re following me or acting suspicious in some I have the right to slug you in the nose, jump on you and bang your head into a concrete sidewalk?
    One more time; following someone is NOT a crime nor is being followed grounds to justify acting out physically in self defense (i.e. punching, straddling, head slamming).
    This is really simple and it’s the law – good law at that. If you doubt me, look it up.
    Furthermore, Zimmerman had no legal obligation to turn around and leave the area. Is it so difficult to understand that?
    Trayvon broke the law by violently assaulting Zimmerman. And he is the only one in the entire scenario that broke the law. You want to make excuses for him. Why? I don’t know. I don’t think I want to wade through that psychological swamp.

  59. turcopolier says:

    Dr. K
    You live in a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin. the population of your town in 2010 was 86% white and 6% black. I suppose you are at the University of Wisconsin in some capacity. I always find it interesting when Midwestern people lecture on the subject of race. pl

  60. no one says:

    “…….and Trayvon Martin with a possibly legitimate case for self-defense”
    Really? How so? On what legal grounds?
    My wife was on a jury a number of years ago back in Tucson. A young man who had been drafted by the U of A football program shot and killed another young man at an apartment complex. He claimed self defense. State put him on trial for murder 2.
    There had been an argument over a drug deal up in the victim’s 2nd floor apartment. The accused left the apartment and went out to his car, which he started. The victim came running out of the apartment and down the external stairs with a large hunting-type knife and he was obviously enraged. He ran toward the accused’s car – a distance of, I think, about 50 feet. The accused had a handgun in the car, picked it up, opened the door and fired once. Killing the victim pretty much instantly. There were witnesses and these facts were not disputed by either side.
    Verdict? Guilty, murder 2. Why? Because the accused could have simply put the car in drive and left the scene. He had a viable alternative course of action.
    Ditto Trayvon. There was no good reason for him to come back – having had four minutes to leave the scene – and attack Z. None. So no self defense option for him had he killed Z.

  61. Will Reks says:

    Why is that? I can hardly go anywhere in public without seeing this trial on a tv screen. I suppose we feel our lectures are as relevant and valid as any other.
    Speaking as a Midwesterner and not a supporter of anything Dr. K may have written.

  62. Margaret Steinfels says:

    Pretty sketchy on Florida’s “stand your ground” criteria” written by a Massachusetts lawyer. I will take your response to be you don’t know.

  63. Margaret Steinfels says:

    Manslaughter. Overturned on appeal.

  64. turcopolier says:

    no one
    Charles the First is a dear friend. he is a recovering Ontario liberal lawyer. he seem to be afflicted by the collective guilt of white people. pl

  65. turcopolier says:

    Margaret S.
    This is not a “Stand Your Ground” case. The defense did not offer that as a defense. they relied on more usual self defense criteria. pl

  66. Tyler says:

    Oh but I do know. Read again darling. I’m sitting on your chest pounding your head into the cement. You may be able to save your life by shooting me. What do you do?

  67. Tyler says:

    The above was written from a lily white suburban enclave, for reference.
    Liberals love diversity as long as they do not have to live near it.

  68. jonst says:

    The evidence of the transcript reveals that did NOT tell Z to “stand down”. You are buying into a myth.

  69. Walrus says:

    However Tyler, someone is dead, and railing against your favourite demons doesn’t change that. The law as it stands now would allow me to arm myself, walk to the worst part of town on Saturday night and shoot the first drunk who takes a swing at me.
    Zimmerman created this situation. He must pay for it.

  70. jonst says:

    Why Doc K, why, play the stupid race card? All the damn time. Why the eternal victimization? Here is a quote from Jesse Jackson..
    “Even Jesse Jackson said a few years ago, “There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” – See more at:
    The reality, the painful reality, is black youths and particularly black males commit crimes more often, percentage wise, than whites.. Ok, there may or may not be historical justification for this…less opportunity/poverty/broken homes equal more crime. Granted…to a limited extent. But that does not change the risk assessment a person walking at night makes. Or, better make.
    Olivia Bertalan’s home was invaded, a few months before the events in question, by black males. In the same gated community all these events took place. She testified at the trial that Z was “helpful’ to her in the aftermath of the invasion. It turned out one of the males involved lived within the gated community.
    So, someone reacts a certain way, to a certain data set, and off you go…condemning Americans. And writing some childish, simplistic nonsense about a dated and discarded color code–that has nothing to do with the way you are implying “color” is involved. Stop generalizing. Stop playing the victim. Stop assigning blame so fact free and casually…and empathize with all concerned that tragic night.

  71. Walrus says:

    Jonst, there are more than enough exercises and examples that demonstrate that “cop wannabes ” are a danger to themselves and every other law abiding citizen. That is why the police dispatcher cautioned Zimmerman.
    To put that another way, not every black male carrying a crowbar at night is a thief.

  72. Walrus says:

    Fail, there are cases when plain clothes police have been taken to be criminals by their targets.

  73. Walrus says:

    TM, under the same law, has no duty to run away, neither had Zimmerman. That’s why it’s bad law.

  74. no one says:

    Sir, Good to know, but recovering from being a liberal, a Canadian or from being a lawyer? All of the above?
    I jest.
    If I ever get in trouble up at Woodbine I’ll give your friend Charles the First a call.

  75. turcopolier says:

    We don’t want to “back away.” If we do we will be prisoners in our own country. pl

  76. Tyler says:

    I’m glad in your ridiculous world Saint Trayvon of the Skittles bears no responsibility for picking the fight that he ended up losing.
    Tell me some more about what you know of America from your lily white yacht club, Walrus.

  77. Tyler says:

    Walrus, I understand from the lily white yacht club you go to that you may not have to worry about abo youfs breaking into your house and stealing your shit. Your ridiculous insistence that Zimmerman watching out for his neighbors makes him a “cop wannabe” is disingeneous.
    Meanwhile you CONTINUE to ignore how Saint Trayvon was into fighting, drug use, and other anti social behavior. Bragging to Precious (aka Rachael Jeantel, that darling of white liberals everywhere) how he had learned to sucker punch someone. Talking about his guns. How he liked to smoke weed.
    Yeah, I’ll take ‘cop wannabe’ Zimmerman letting me know if some urban youfs are casing my house as my neighbor over would be thug Trayvon Martin anyday.

  78. turcopolier says:

    fanto and tyler
    That’s enough! pl

  79. Mark Logan says:

    noone, I’ll try to help with your puzzlement.
    Police wear uniforms and the first thing out of their mouths in confrontations is “Police!” for good reasons.
    George was 29, Martin barely 17, a minor, and a guest of one of the people living there. He carried no burglary tools.
    Fights can and do result in both guys going to jail.
    Jails, IMO, contain far more stupid people who have done something wrong than evil people who have done something stupid.

  80. no one says:

    Walrus, I am spending way too much time on this, but I can’t help myself. I am as fascinated as I am baffled by thinking like yours.
    True, under Florida law T doesn’t need to run. He can stand his ground.
    However, the major component that is escaping you is that he can only use physical force if there is a *reasonable* threat of unlawful physical harm. Where is the reasonable threat? All he had to do was to ask Z what Z was up to.
    Furthermore, “stand your ground law” means stand your ground – as in no need to retreat if confronted. T had already run away from Z. In order to apply once T had run away, stand your ground would have to include circling back to attack people that annoy you; which it does not. If it did then it would be called “the circle back law” or perhaps “I’m a pissed off minority so it’s open season on crazy ass crackas law”.
    In fact, according to Z, having circled back, T did ask if there was a problem (good start). Z said he didn’t have a problem (good response). T then stated that, “now you do” and attacked (oops, here he derailed into illegal land).
    See? This has nothing to do with the stand your ground law. This has to do with T’s piss poor gangsta attitude. T was angry and looking for a fight when he circled back to Z and, in that state of mind, he initiated the fight. There is nothing to suggest otherwise other than your imagination running wild.

  81. no one says:

    Like you, Dr. K I live an area that is overwhelmingly white – a small college town in a rural setting. And yes, I prefer it that way. At least I am honest about that. The nearest city is 30 miles away and it has a large % black. It is crime ridden. Drug deals on the street corners. Murder is on the rise and it’s largely blacks committing the murders.
    Blacks do occasionally come down to our community (Other than the college kids, some of whom are black and are perfectly well behaved) from the city. Generally this is to commit crimes. They like do home break-ins (most of us out here don’t lock our doors and we have acreage separating our homes from our neighbors; so it’s easy for them) and they rob the Walmart fairly often (grabbing TV sets and such and running out of the store and driving back to the city). Several have been caught.
    So, yeah, when I see a black person who I do not know and who doesn’t look like a college student. I keep an eye on him. So do all of the other “townies”.
    Sorry if that offends you. Not.

  82. Matthew says:

    Tyler: That’s the nature of televised trials. They are all man-bites-dog stories. The daily horror of the poor, ugly, and the hopeless is not going to get viewers.

  83. walrus says:

    Tyler you ignore the fact that even a drug using anti social sociopath is still a citizen and has exactly the same rights to a fair trial as anyone else.
    For example here Mick Gatto, a notorious “character” shot and killed an equally notorious drug gang thug – he was found not guilty – self defence.
    It doesn’t matter if Martin was a convicted pedophile – he has rights, and your emotional attempt at alleging that he was somehow beneath our notice is pathetic.
    To put that another way, that is why the statue of justice is depicted blindfolded.
    Similarly Rachael Jeantel may be comical on the witness stand but as Plato said in the Theban plays “If a fool says the sun is shining, it doesn’t make it dark outside”.
    As for “cop wannabees” they are an abomination everywhere, just ask your local police. As my Son told me the other day – a citizen may perform an arrest based on fact. An officer (here, anyway) can arrest on reasonable suspicion.
    To put that another way, if Martin had a screwdriver in his pocket instead of chocolate, and was caught trying to jemmy a back door, I wouldn’t mind at all if he was shot.
    However the idea that you can be walking on your lawful occasions and be accosted by some creep who has decided that he doesn’t like you, and then he kills you when you resist his aggression and tell him to eff off is beyond reason. Is there any doubt that Zimmerman caused this confrontation? Surely not!
    Furthermore, young Aboriginals in urban areas to the North occasionally do commit theft, but we don’t shoot them dead.

  84. NancyK says:

    If George Zimmerman had been a black man and Martin a 16 year old white boy from the good side of town it would also be a different case. Just saying,

  85. turcopolier says:

    More collective white liberal guilt. IMO Martin attacked Zimmerman. That is all that matters. Zimmerman is being crucified by “ethnic entrepreneurs.” The head of NAACP said today on radio today that if GZ is acquitted the “Civil rights” community will se to it that DoJ prosecutes him for violation of TM’s civil rights as well as supporting TMs family in a civil suit for “wrongful death.” The Martins have already collected a million plus from the condo homeowners in return for a quit claim. pl

  86. turcopolier says:

    “they are an abomination everywhere, just ask your local police.” What an arrogant thing to say. Tyler is a federal law enforcement officer. I think you should have more respect for the fact some of us think Martin attacked GZ. Lastly Martin was not an aboriginal Australian native. pl

  87. twv says:

    And the media (with it’s race-based agenda of damning their own country) would have buried it.
    How about that home invasion in NJ a couple of weeks ago?
    Black man invades middle class white home,violently assaults mom – caught on the nanny cam.
    He has been arrested.
    AND he is a career criminal.
    Where is the news coverage?

  88. Dr. K says:

    How Eastern Seaboard of you. Easy to condemn the Midwest when militarists like you in Alexandria suck up all the tax dollars.

  89. Tyler says:

    What DOES matter, what all your sophistry continues to ignore, is that he was shot trying to beat a man to death.
    All your upset hand wringing is beside the point. I find it hilarious that you, who posts nothing that isn’t laced with appeals to emotion and outright lies based off the perch from the ivory tower you retire too, would accuse anyone of being emotional.
    He didn’t shoot Martin because he didn’t like him, he shot him BECAUSE HE WAS BEATING HIM TO DEATH. I don’t know how I can make that any clearer to you, but its obvious that you refuse to engage a world view (aka reality) in which your noble youf was doing the things he was shot for, I.E: BEATING A MAN TO DEATH.
    Martin had four minutes to go home, to run further away, to call 911, to do anything but run back and attack Martin for ‘dissin’ him and them attempt to BEAT A MAN TO DEATH.
    Finally, even in Australia I’m sure that you’d be able to claim self defense if an Abo was BEATING A MAN TO DEATH. Do you get it yet? Do you understand the situation was not some ridiculous drama you’ve created in your head, but the last act of a man fearing for his life?
    The most disgusting thing with you, walrus, is that in your system of values you would have been alright with Zimmerman being beaten to death by thug in training Martin simply because Zimmerman somehow bares the racial guilt of all whites everywhere by virture of being Peruvian, somehow.
    This is your insanity.

  90. Tyler says:

    No, it wouldn’t have.
    Black on white violence goes unreported all the time. If two white kids had walked up to a black lady and shot her child in the stroller, we’d still be hearing about it.
    Instead, this event has fallen down the memory hole:

  91. Tyler says:

    I think “ethnic entrepreneurs” is a stroke of wit from you.

  92. jonst says:

    There are, equally, “more than enough exercises and examples” of–what you call, “cop wannabes”, and what I call, helpful citizens, being of positive assistance to law enforcement and the neighborhood, in general. I support them.
    I do not agree with your assessment that the dispatcher “cautioned” Zimmerman. The dispatcher informed Z that they did “not need him” to follow Martin. He, Z, claims at that point, in the wake of that caution, he STOPPED ‘following” him. At least have the decency to admit this matter is in dispute. That will mark you as an honest person. We just don’t know what happened. Exactly. Stop buying into a cheap, pulp fiction narrative.

  93. Stephanie says:

    “The evidence of the transcript reveals that did NOT tell Z to “stand down”. You are buying into a myth.”
    I believe the wording was, “We don’t need you to do that,” which I would take as a polite way of saying, “Stay in your vehicle, your job is done here.” I am not at all sure that Zimmerman would have heeded more forceful language. In any case, he ignored the sound instruction he received and is now paying the price. Martin, who was doing nothing other than walking home, has paid a far higher one.
    My hunch is that if Zimmerman is not armed, he never leaves the car.

  94. The Beaver says:

    Verdict in: Not guilty

  95. The Twisted Genius says:

    Not guilty verdict just announced. I think the judge ran a fair trial and the system worked. Let’s see what the national reaction will be. The next step will be the wrongful death lawsuit. This might be another OJ all around. Zimmerman is still screwed.
    I thought a manslaughter verdict was possible based on circumstances similar to the case no one described in which the defendant was convicted of 2nd degree murder. In no one’s words “Why? Because the accused could have simply put the car in drive and left the scene. He had a viable alternative course of action.” I don’t know if the question of why Zimmerman left his truck was asked in the trial. Zimmerman could have stayed in his truck or left the scene as easily as Martin could have ran out of the gated community in those four minutes. I still think it would be stupid for Martin to run directly to his father’s house and possibly lead some suspicious character to his house. Of course he also could have called 911 himself.

  96. no one says:

    TTG, There is an important difference between the actions of the defendant in the case in which my wife was a juror and Z getting out of his vehicle. In the former, the defendant failed to take the other viable option (putting his running car in drive and leaving the scene) for the sole purpose staying put to commit a homicide. In the latter the defendant did fail to stay in his vehicle, but *not* for the purpose of committing homicide.
    I am glad justice was finally served in the Z case. It is a shame that Z had to endure persecution for political reasons. The verdict shows that there may be hope for this country after all.

  97. fred says:

    That is not what the defandant did, however.

  98. Fred says:

    Pray tell what ever happened to ‘justice for Paul Heenan’? Guess that was just good police work by Madison’s finest since there hasn’t been any nationwide news coverage of police shooting an unarmed man. Maybe the fact that a dozen other complaints of misconduct by the killer, re: a Madison Police officer, can be ignored by the national media, too. Wisconsin must have really gone down hill since I lived there.

  99. Walrus says:

    First of all Col. Lang, thank you for running this thread. I hope contributors will continue to try and shed more light than heat.
    Regarding “law Enforcement Wannabees” I offered to do something like this a very long time ago when my girlfriend and her housemates were being terrorised by a peeping tom/underwear thief.
    I and the boyfriends of the other girls in the house were given a long lecture about NOT being law enforcement Wannabees by Three detectives at a one hour meeting at the house and believe me we were all young, fit, reasonably aggressive and we had made “plans”. The main argument used by the Detectives was that there are a host of alibis a crook can use for being some place, and that assumed we even caught the right guy in the first place. For chrissake , the Police themselves make enough mistakes despite their training and the last thing they want, absent a full blown riot, is “help” by well meaning amateurs, exactly as Zimmerman was told by the police dispatcher.
    You now get to wear the financial and social costs of amateur detective Zimmerman and probably some copycats to come.
    I agree with you that Martin probably attacked Zimmerman, but my point is that Zimmerman actively sought a confrontation which is a crime in my opinion because Zimmerman had his ace in the hole and started this thing with intent to kill.
    However, the jury thought otherwise.
    The question that next gets asked in this repulsive mess is what the verdict would have been if the races were reversed, something I suspect we might have to face in the weeks and months ahead.
    And a P.S. the peeping Tom thing was resolved a month later. One of the girls confided about the crimes to the nice old man who lived a few houses away on the street corner. He just happened to be something of a Mafia Godfather. End of problem;)

  100. Charles I says:

    I cannot fathom that given the 911 recordings of Zimmermans’ predisposition, that none of you think Zimmerman has any responsibility for any of this.
    Wtf would you do if I started following you? Zimmerman started this and an un-armed boy is dead. That’s enough swamp for most.
    Hope I’m not armed would be a start.
    Its true non Americans have trouble fathoming how you can stalk and kill a man, even one who gets the hairs on the back of his neck up and doubles back on you.
    So its kosher to stalk and kill a man, but not for a man to engage in response to the stalking?

  101. Charles I says:

    I turned into a human being.

  102. Charles I says:

    It did take a while to recover from being a lawyer!

  103. Charles I says:

    Its hardly the strange fruit of persecution to kill boy, be charged with an offense, get bail be tried and be acquitted.

  104. Stephanie says:

    True, up to a point. I only see one village idiot involved in this altercation. I do have some sympathy for Zimmerman. A frightened loser with a gun who got in over his head. At least that’s the most charitable interpretation.
    Of course, if not for the persistence of one or two black journalists we might never have heard of any of this. It’s quite easy to imagine the case ending where it did the night Zimmerman killed Martin. Z was unlucky.

  105. Mark Logan says:

    Serino recommended a charge of manslaughter after his interview, conducted after it was discovered Martin was a guest at the community.
    Therein lays the problem. Public distrust of the police. They bungled badly here. Didn’t discover who the kid was for several days. Didn’t even hit re-dial on his cell phone. He was carrying ID from his usual address in Miami, and fit a certain profile, aside from a lack of burglary tools. They put him in the fridge and it was “Doughnut time.”
    When they discovered who it was they tried to tell the parents they couldn’t file charges, but these were middle-class, good-citizen blacks, their other son was in college. They were not going to let it ride.
    This struck a chord with the community in general. They are wary of the police letting people go. They depend on trials and arrests to deter the ones they really fear. George was caught in the middle. Not a racist, just too dumb not to wind up acting like one. There were black people living in that complex.
    There is a certain type of person who sometimes are drawn to law enforcement but are entirely unsuited for it. Weak, dumb, and probably picked on through their youth. Looking for both a place in the community and power, and with the best of intentions, they are sad cases. They usually get weeded out pretty quick, and George was having difficulty even getting a foot in the door.

  106. Dr. K says:

    No. Since Walker was elected Governor.

  107. Zimmerman once assaulted a police officer and an ex-girlfriend once had a restraining order against him. So they were both hot heads. I imagine he saw Martin, thought he might have been the burglar, ignored the dispatcher’s suggestion not to pursue him and decided to hold him for the cops. So Zimmerman laid the first hand on Martin. Martin turned around and punched him, so the fight started, and Martin got the upper hand. At that point Zimmerman had no choice but to shoot him. That would be something like voluntary manslaughter, but it sounds like the defense rang rings around the prosecution.

  108. Fred says:

    “At least we can deal with rogue cops.”
    Paid administrative leave since the shooting, now to be paid leave through November when he a) retires and b) files for medical disability due to mental health issues?
    I call that a white wash. There are still no criminal charges filed. Quite the way to deal with ‘rogue cops’ – give them a year of paid time off and then a medical disability retirement. You can’t blame that one on the Governor.

  109. optimax says:

    “So Zimmerman laid the first hand on Martin.” That’s pure speculation.
    We have a government mistrusting all of us, shredding the Constitution as prelude to fascism and people can only get excited enough to protest over some government sponsored miss-perception of racism.

  110. Stephanie says:

    True, but Stand Your Ground did affect the judge’s instructions to the jury, which, as Dan Gelber observes, would have been different before the passage of the law:
    Zimmerman’s team relied on standard Florida self-defense laws, but those codes were no longer the same after the passage of SYG, which required crucial alterations in the language of existing law. It is also quite likely that SYG influenced how the cops dealt with Zimmerman in the immediate aftermath of Martin’s death. Very little about this case remains the same without SYG.

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