ForumsWEPRGeorge Zimmermann Found Not Guilty

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Maverick4
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MageGrayWolf
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Zimmerman grew up living with, mentoring, and housing black people. An adamant racist is not going to do any of that.


I was thinking what if it was age profiling instead of racial profiling. Perhaps Zimmerman thought Martin was up to something just because he was a young man out at night?
MacII
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Just given as "one of those thoughts," see what you make of it, and no, I haven't read all of the above. I'll not quote this, as I think it tends to break hyperlinks here; and I am omitting a call to share or to sign a petion, that is up to everyone themselves. I came across this through a partner link at Salon.com, the original piece is here: http://www.upworthy.com/in-case-you-missed-it-heres-what-you-may-not-realize-about-the-whole-trayvon-martin-thing-2?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+upworthy+%28Upworthy%29 .

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In Case You Missed It, Here's What You May Not Realize About The Whole Trayvon Martin Thing, by Adam Mordecai, for Upworthy.

Say what you will about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. Get it out of your system. Feel better? Now it's time for some serious talk about what this is really about.

It's about the awful laws that helped make this something Zimmerman could get away with. It's about how the awful "Stand Your Ground" laws really help white people, yet really hurt people of color. It's about the awful thing this famous dad has to tell his son to make sure he doesn't get shot. It's about the woman who got 20 years for shooting her gun in the air to protect her children. It's about the awful turning point we had in protecting voters rights in 2013. It's about the insane and awful stuff we forget happened decades ago. It's about the awful state of our priorities. It's about the awful racial profiling that people of all colors do. It's about all the awful misperceptions that some people have about entire races of people.

Trayvon was a kid, like a lot of kids, with his own issues. He wasn't a saint. He was your average teenager. But it wouldn't have mattered if he wasn't. Martin Luther King Jr. accomplished much more in his life, but to many people in this country, he could have been just another black guy in a hoodie. Things have to change.

[...] Ask your community: "How the hell do we fix the underlying problems that made this all happen?" I really would love a tangible answer that can move us toward making things actually better.

Moegreche
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No, they found him not guilty. That doesn't mean he isn't actually guilty. It means there wasn't enough evidence for the jury to convict him as guilty.


This is a point that absolute fascinates me regarding the criminal justice system in the US. Obviously the notions of 'guilty of crime X' and 'committed crime X' can come apart, at least in a legal sense. I think that your above statement equivocates on the word 'guilty'. In your first sentence, you're using guilty in a legal sense. Then in the second, it sound like more of a moral/ethical usage.

But this brings me to my main point: we should equivocate like this. In other words, there are people who are morally guilty of a crime (i.e. they did, in fact, commit the crime) but who should not be found guilty in a court of law. Another way of putting this is that they did, in fact, break the law but they shouldn't be punished for this act.

A straightforward example of this would be a person who is caught selling drugs by the police. But the police lacked the requisite search warrant (or what have you) thus any evidence they found would be inadmissible in court. In this case, we have someone who did commit a crime. But because of shoddy police work they should not be found guilty.

At the end of the day, there just doesn't appear to be enough evidence to convict Zimmermann of either count (certainly not 2nd degree murder). But this is a separate question entirely from whether he actually intended to kill that kid. There is also a separate (but related) question of whether the jury reached the proper decision.

I wonder, though. Would the verdict be more palatable if it were tried in the UK where the additional verdict of 'Not Proven' is available? Perhaps it could help separate the natural equivocation between moral guilt and legal guilt?
KnightDeclan
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It was self-defense. People have many ways of telling the story, but only one story meets reality.

-Only an opinion, by Declan

Sonatavarius
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Can I get an explanation of the opinion of why the stand your ground law is so horrible in this case? I see those words used again and again when it played absolutely no part in this case. The defense team worked the self defense angle. They're two completely different things, so please stop saying that law played a part.

That being said... I shouldn't have to make a mad dash for my life or try to before attempting to defend it with deadly force.

HahiHa
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That being said... I shouldn't have to make a mad dash for my life or try to before attempting to defend it with deadly force.

Because killing someone is so much better than being beat up?

That being said, both parties most certainly could have avoided the outcome. I realize that is more difficult to claim for Zimmermann, being one of those stupid neighbourhood watch bound to poke his nose around; still, he shouldn't have followed Trayvon without evidence of the latter being up to no good. Of course noone knows what really happened, but this does neither support nor counter my point.
Sonatavarius
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Being beaten up allows for more than just a few sore bruises. There is potential for lifestyle ruining breaks, fractures, etc. There is also permanent disfiguration and brain injury to be considered. I shouldn't have to fight just because someone thinks they can force me to. When it comes to that scenario, I am responsible for my well being. I am not responsible for what the other party has chosen to do. They made their decision. If they end up dead, then it's no problem of mine. It's not much different than violent rape cases... Aside from the lack of the actual intercourse. Is it better for the woman to be violently beaten and raped than it is for her to stave it off with deadly force? If the would rapist dies before harming her, then I'd say, YES, the better outcome did in fact occur.

I'm not saying he was on the same level as a rapist, but I am saying there is not sufficient proof that says he didn't start assaulting Mr. Zimmerman no questions asked.

I have no way of knowing how things between the two individuals in question actually went down, but it doesn't sound like Mr. Martin had any intention of ceasing his pummeling of Mr. Zimmerman's head into the concrete (potentially deadly for the defender) at the point of the gun shot

MageGrayWolf
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I wonder, though. Would the verdict be more palatable if it were tried in the UK where the additional verdict of 'Not Proven' is available? Perhaps it could help separate the natural equivocation between moral guilt and legal guilt?


Yes "proven" "not proven" might be a more accurate way to state it.

Another way to look at it is if we were to say extraterrestrials exist as a "guilty" verdict. Now we can say it's very likely that extraterrestrial life exists. We can say that just on the math alone. However for a guilty verdict we would have to say "not guilty" to the existence of extraterrestrial life. Because it's not good enough that something be very likely. It would have to be shown to be demonstrably so, beyond a shadow of doubt.

Can I get an explanation of the opinion of why the stand your ground law is so horrible in this case? I see those words used again and again when it played absolutely no part in this case. The defense team worked the self defense angle. They're two completely different things, so please stop saying that law played a part.


It's believed this law makes it far to difficult for aggressors to be prosecuted. For an example let's say a innocently kid goes into your yard and starts playing. For whatever reason that kids presence leaves you feeling threatened so you go out and shoot and kill that kid. You could get off as not guilty under this law.

Another problem is there is a clear racial bias when applying the law.
http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/2013/July/gun-privilege.jpg

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/criminal-justice/is-there-racial-bias-in-stand-your-ground-laws/

Now personally I don't think having such a law is entirely a bad thing, but there are some clear flaws that need to be fixed for it to work effectively.
EmperorPalpatine
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I think White is far too broad of a term. Based on links from that link, White includes people of Hispanic, Asian, Arabic, mixed, etc descent, greatly broadening the divide to non-black vs black.

pangtongshu
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A straightforward example of this would be a person who is caught selling drugs by the police. But the police lacked the requisite search warrant (or what have you) thus any evidence they found would be inadmissible in court. In this case, we have someone who did commit a crime. But because of shoddy police work they should not be found guilty.


Wouldn't this fall under reasonable suspicion?
MageGrayWolf
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I think White is far too broad of a term. Based on links from that link, White includes people of Hispanic, Asian, Arabic, mixed, etc descent, greatly broadening the divide to non-black vs black.


When you really get down to racial profiling the skin color is really all that matters.
EmperorPalpatine
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When you really get down to racial profiling the skin color is really all that matters.

Sure, but there are plenty of "tan" profiling incidents as well, like in AZ for Hispanics or NY for Arabs. So it's not as simple as really dark vs everything else.
Sonatavarius
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then you also have white Hispanics like Zimmerman and white blacks like the president who skew the white vs black world and give us this continuum of craziness in between that we just don't know what to do with! They don't fit in anywhere!!! What do I do??

EmperorPalpatine
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@Sonatavarius
That's closer to my point. We're becoming more of a blended society where a strict White vs Black can no longer exist. It becomes a literal grey area of much lighter vs lighter vs slightly lighter vs moderate vs slightly darker vs darker vs much darker. But no one can say absolutely where those lines are drawn, so it's generalized as "darker + much darker" vs "the rest".

Sonatavarius
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I feel that these institutions that were once needed for progress have become the very hate mongering institutions they set out to destroy. Do they still do some good? Yes! Do they start a lot of the flames of current day unnecessary hate and rage? Yes! The N double the hate C P goes a little crazy all too often, and that's all I have to say about that

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