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George Zimmermann Found Not Guilty

Posted Aug 2, '13 at 8:44pm

Sonatavarius

Sonatavarius

1,344 posts

Is it unethical, immoral, or even illegal to approach someone you find suspicious in your neighborhood? 

911 operators cannot legally command you to do anything.  They can give suggestions, and suggestions are in fact not legally binding commands.  Just because a 911 operator suggests that you maybe make him a sammich doesn't mean that you have to do it.  The young man's untimely death would have just as easily been avoided had he not attacked Mr. Zimmerman.  It would've been avoided if he'd run home and used the key to his house (like 15 seconds from their initial encounter or maybe just less than a minute).  It would've been avoided had several things been done differently on the kid's part.  I'm not going to place "responsibility" of someone's death on the person who defended their own life until I know that person intended unprovoked harm on the other person.  I'm not responsible for the other person's wellbeing if they assault me first. 

...and so what if he's "responsible" for his death by your definition?  You're using the word outside of the context of the situation.  Being responsible for something doesn't mean that you deserve the death penalty or life in prison just because of the end result.  In fact, the end result shouldn't matter unless contextualized with the story of what happened.  If you have no story, then you have no case.  If you have no proof, then you're not much more than a butt hurt lynch mob.  You don't even have circumstantial evidence that in any way indicates that it was a hate crime. 

Instead of running 10 seconds to get to and into his house the kid ran down the street all the while not calling 911 to report the creepy a** cracka that was following him.  Now what if GZ at some point actually did relay the fact that he was Neighborhood Watch to TM?  That and the running away from home/no 911 parts confuse me. Why attack the man when nothing may be wrong? 

Is it such a foreign concept that a series of unfortunate events would lead to two individuals that have misunderstood each other's intentions could come to a fight to the death and neither one, assuming they were the survivor, would deserve punishment?

 

Posted Aug 10, '13 at 3:37am

rafterman

rafterman

623 posts

Is it really self defense if he was the one to initiate it? Or to cause it? The operator he called told him not to follow. Whether he acted in self defense may or may not be the case (I wasn't there) but he certainly is responsible for the incident in some manner, and it could have been avoided altogether.

The person to cause it was the person who attacked him. Following someone is not justification for assault.Should Zimmerman not have followed? Yes, but he should not be assaulted because he followed.

 

Posted Aug 11, '13 at 9:05pm

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,667 posts

Knight

The person to cause it was the person who attacked him. Following someone is not justification for assault.Should Zimmerman not have followed? Yes, but he should not be assaulted because he followed.

I think it would also be important to ask if he was doing anything while following him to provoke a fight.

 

Posted Aug 14, '13 at 3:24pm

Moegreche

Moegreche

2,765 posts

Moderator

I'm not responsible for the other person's wellbeing if they assault me first. 

I tend to agree with this point. I'd beat the holy hell out of anyone who assaulted me, though I have a feeling this is a result of pent up anger and aggression.
But there would clearly be some threshold for a person's well-being even in cases of outright assault. Suppose someone attacked you, but you quickly diffused the assault. Using the suggested maxim, I have no responsibility to not continue to beat the person to death. While this may seem a stupid and extreme example, what it presents us is some inclination (I hope!) that there is some sense of responsibility in cases of assault.

So applying this example to the case (please forgive me because I'm not intimately familiar with the details). Suppose Zimmermann was following Martin which led Martin to assail Zimmermann. Let's suppose further that Zimmermann pulled out his gun - a scenario which likely happened (assuming the details of the case are correct to begin with). At this point, it would seem reasonable to suppose that the assault stopped. Is Zimmermann justified in shooting Martin? Yes, his life was in danger but that is no longer the case. At a certain point, it seems, self defence does become murder.

 

Posted Aug 14, '13 at 4:54pm

EmperorPalpatine

EmperorPalpatine

4,971 posts

At this point, it would seem reasonable to suppose that the assault stopped.

When someone is likely grabbing for the weapon at close range, still pinning you, it hasn't stopped because that danger still remains.

 

Posted Aug 14, '13 at 5:27pm

Moegreche

Moegreche

2,765 posts

Moderator

Yeah, I totally agree. I wasn't aware that this was the case in the Zimmermann trial. Deadly force in such a situation seems reasonable, though I'm curious now about the broader point. There still seems to be a threshold at which self defence could become murder. I'm wondering if this threshold is reached when the assault stops. I can imagine cases in which someone continues attacking their assailant long after the assault has ceased, but the defendant still isn't culpable. Such a case might involve, for example, emotional distress on the part of the victim such that their actions don't meet the standard of mens rea which is necessary for a guilty verdict. But the emotional gamut seems somewhat arbitrary when I think of the range of cases involving assault and the associated circumstances.

 

Posted Aug 14, '13 at 8:35pm

Sonatavarius

Sonatavarius

1,344 posts

If someone is hopped up on adrenaline and turned towards feral rage to defend yourself, then is it murder if you continue to fight beyond the point of actual danger?  I'm not trying to excuse killing someone who attacked you after you're no longer in danger... I'm just appealing to the possibility that insanity may play a point in some cases.  If someone's beating me to death and I turn the tables in an adrenaline frenzy, then should I go to jail if and when I rip their head off after they've called it quits? 

example... A bully beats me every day and during one particularly bad beating I grab a baseball bat and start swinging.  In my emotional adrenaline fueled rage I ignore his cries for cease fire and he ends up dead.  It's not like I premeditated it or initiated it... I just ended it.  Granted, I don't think think I'd be excused in every context, but I feel like there are some by which I would be excused.

I'm pretty sure that the story being told has Trayvvon Martin attacking George Zimmerman first.  George followed, and Trayvvon attacked him.  George was reported to have been screaming for help for around a minute while being straddled on the ground by TM as TM beat his head into the concrete.  This information was relayed by the one eye witness who saw TM "Ground and Pounding" GZ before he shot him.  ...meaning George was in the process of being and having been beaten for over a minute before he pulled a gun and shot the person who was still beating his face in.  That is how the scenario has been presented.  I don't know if it is the truth or not... I wasn't there.

 

Posted Aug 14, '13 at 11:45pm

Mickeyryn

Mickeyryn

244 posts

Ahh, hell, it was fricken self defence (so they ruled). Deal with it.

 

Posted Aug 15, '13 at 7:45am

MacII

MacII

1,369 posts

I'm pretty sure that the story being told has Trayvvon Martin attacking George Zimmerman first.  George followed, and Trayvvon attacked him.

Maybe the deeper issue shouldnt be who's guilty or not, but whether vigilante neighborhood watches aren't an obvious road to disaster, with tragic results such as the one at hand to underline the issue.

 

Posted Aug 15, '13 at 8:16am

HahiHa

HahiHa

4,955 posts

Knight

Maybe the deeper issue shouldnt be who's guilty or not, but whether vigilante neighborhood watches aren't an obvious road to disaster, with tragic results such as the one at hand to underline the issue.

I would defiintely question the concept of vigilante neighbourhood watches, as I think this case would have been easily avoidable. But also more generally speaking.

 
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