77 thoughts on “George Zimmerman

  1. Chris Gerrib

    As one of the commentors at the link said, “yeah, looks bad, but Martin’s dead.”

    There is no such thing as “legally lynching” somebody. Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed man who, until chased by Zimmerman, was doing nothing wrong. We only have Zimmerman’s word as to how the fight started. Zimmerman will get his opportunity to explain himself to a judge – an opportunity denied Martin.

    1. Jardinero1

      No Chris, the accused does not have to explain anything to anybody. It is up to the state to prove to the people, represented by a jury, not a judge, that Zimmerman is guilty of a crime. Your statements are merely allegations, not facts. Zimmerman is in fact, innocent, until he is proven quilty.

      1. Chris Gerrib

        As this article written by a lawyer and posted on a pro-carry site says, the shooter in this case does have to explain his actions. The money quote:

        But if you are going to be claiming self defense, you will wind up admitting all the elements of what would, absent legal justification, constitute a crime. You will necessarily admit that you were there, that you fired the gun, and that you intended to shoot the decedent. Your defense is that your use of lethal force in self defense satisfied the applicable legal standard and that, therefore, it was justified.

        So now you would have to affirmatively present evidence from which the trier of fact could infer that your conduct met the applicable legal standard justifying the use of lethal force in self defense.

        1. Jardinero1

          There is a difference between “may”, “should” and “must”. The author is in the realm of “may” and “should”. How Zimmerman chooses to defend himself in court won’t be known until the trial begins. Since the only witness to the shooting is dead, the state has a significant burden to even prove manslaughter.

          Per the author, all the defendant has to do on the manslaughter charge is show “that it was an accident. In each case the defendant doesn’t have to actually prove his defense. He merely has to create a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors.” If the state can’t prove the lesser charge of manslaughter, then it won’t prove the higher charges either.

          1. Chris Gerrib

            Except that Zimmerman has already admitted that the shooting was not an accident. That’s the point of “affirmative defense” – you’ve already confessed to the act of a crime. Now you must prove that your actions were justified.

            Personally, I suspect that if Zimmerman is convicted of anything it will be manslaughter. I don’t think Zimmerman intended to murder anybody.

          2. Jardinero1

            Admitted what to whom? He’s only admitted to pulling the trigger. What is an accident and not an accident is for the jury to decide.

          3. wodun

            Know what else wasn’t an accident? Martin’s choice to beat the shit out of Zimmerman. Maybe if Martin was bashing Zimmerman’s head on the sidewalk, Zimmerman would not have been in fear for his life.

          4. Karl Hallowell

            Except that Zimmerman has already admitted that the shooting was not an accident. That’s the point of “affirmative defense” – you’ve already confessed to the act of a crime.

            Chris, Zimmerman admitted to shooting Martin. But he asserted then and now that he was acting in legal self defense. How can you claim that Zimmerman confessed to a crime when he didn’t and it’s been well recorded that he didn’t?

            Jardinero1, it’s not an accident, if someone intends to shoot someone else.

      1. R Anderson

        I see you too are fluent in Fist. Can I borrow your services for translation? I’ve always wondered – what is a simple “hello,” in that language?

    2. wodun

      But what do you think about the story at the link? It appears that either the police or the prosecuter altered a photo that was released to the media and used as evidence in court.

      This photo was used in a PR campaign designed to destroy Zimmerman in the public eye.

  2. Paul Milenkovic

    Leaving aside the rote narrative of “chased and then killed an unarmed man who did nothing wrong”, consider a police office who shot a man dead a couple weeks ago in Madison, Wisconsin and the community reaction.

    There was this man who, perhaps after a night out at the bar, came home to the wrong house, entered it, and scared the Missus. The Missus called the police. In the mean time, the Mister reasoned with the fellow, a neighbor, and offered to walk with him to guide him back to the correct house where he lived.

    In the mean time, the police arrived in the neighborhood, and they saw the Mister and the dude scuffling with each other for some unknown reason. The police officer yelled out ordering both parties to “get down on the ground.” The Mister is said to have maybe not followed the instructions to the letter but least he put his hands up in the air and backed away from the dude and from the officer, and that was OK.

    The dude advanced towards the officer, ignoring orders to stop, and the officer shot him dead. Maybe he was beligerently drunk — is that a reason to die? The dead man was unarmed as far as it has been disclosed.

    Chief Wray is publically defending his officer, but there is a lot of grumbling about this and I have seen random protestors carrying signs about this around Campus.

    If police officers get into these controversial use-of-force situations, citizens who are “carrying” are going to get into controversial use-of-force situations by virtue of being armed. It is a little different in that we expect officers to put themselves into such situations for the public good whereas we expect private citizens not to act like Robo Cop and to avoid such situations.

    The thing is that our liberal vanguard reluctantly accepts police officers having to shoot someone dead and is squarely set against concealed carry, which means that non-police officers will end up shooting people dead in equally challenging to justify to the community circumstances (unarmed person “not bothering anyone” until engaged or confronted).

    Difficult cases make bad law, but there is an entire faction in our society who is “spinning” this case as not being difficult at all as they want this case to make law, against the principle of citizen concealed-carry of deadly weapons. Legal lynching may be immoderate language, but I am sure there are a lot of people who want this case to set an example to all those who are “carrying” or thinking about it.

    On the other hand, I cannot imagine that Mr. Zimmerman’s legal defense is not the beneficiary of a high-dollar defense fund raised on the Internet. Everyone who believes in the principle of permitting concealed carry among the citizenry understand that this case is about establishing precedent in a direction to roll back concealed carry as being an unnecessary danger to the public. I am imagining that Mr. Zimmerman is in jail (yeah, yeah, he “lied” by standing mute) because the judge’s eyes popped out of his head when he saw the amount of money raised on his behalf, and Mr. Zimmerman might be able to make any level of bail if the fund money could be applied to this purpose.

    Chris, be careful regarding what you wish for because by demonizing Mr. Zimmerman, you might be giving him access to limitless resources to argue for his defense. The other thing is that if you are vehemently opposed to concealed carry laws as it will lead to just this kind of situation, I can respect that. Your “spin” on the facts of this case in your zeal to deem Mr. Zimmerman guilty, that is something I cannot abide.

    1. Chris Gerrib

      I’m actually in favor of concealed carry laws, and I own guns (have my whole life).

      What I’m not in favor of his people chasing after other people while armed. And “chasing” is exactly what Zimmerman did, as per his 911 conversation.

      In the Madison case, assuming the facts are as you have stated, the situation is clear – unfortunately (for the dead guy) this was a good shoot. But despite my opinion, I want an investigation of this shooting. Maybe the facts aren’t as you have stated?

      The problem with the Zimmerman case is we have something that’s much more ambiguous and there appeared to be no real investigation.

        1. McGehee

          Well obviously, the investigation begins after you arrest a suspect. If you don’t have a suspect in custody how can you investigate?

          All thgose detective shows on TV, where they invest all thoseman-hours asking questions and collecting evidence before they make an arrest? That doesn’t reall happen.

          …on Planet Gerrib.

      1. Karl Hallowell

        Chris, what is the justification for the charge of manslaughter? Merely being followed or in your words, “chased”, doesn’t justify Martin’s attack on Zimmerman. And it appears to me that Zimmerman did have a reasonable fear for his life and acted appropriately when it came to the point of physical struggle.

        1. Chris Gerrib

          Martin was being chased by Zimmerman through the subdivision, per Zimmerman’s call to 911. Martin didn’t know who Zimmerman was, had done nothing wrong and had no duty to retreat. Martin also had every right of self-defense.

          Per Zimmerman’s videotaped statement to police, when Martin asked Zimmerman “what’s your problem?” Zimmerman said “no problem” and reached into his pocket.

          How exactly was Martin to know what Zimmerman was reaching for? And that’s if you believe Zimmerman 100%.

          1. Karl Hallowell

            So what? What is there to make the attack on Zimmerman justified? Zimmerman exercised poor but not illegal judgment at at least a couple of places, but that doesn’t deny him a right to self defense. And his injuries are consistent with someone who was fighting for his life.

      2. Paul Milenkovic

        The facts as I have stated in the Madison, WI case are as they have been presented to the public by City of Madison Chief of Police Noble Wray. The Madison shooting is under investigation as are all instances where police officers discharge their weapons.

        I would never characterize the killing of some unarmed drunk guy in Madison, WI as a “good shoot.” It is tragic that this man lost his life. On the other hand, given what police officers have to deal with every day and the risks they take with their lives, ignoring a police officer’s lawful orders and charging that officer who has determined that the tactical situation requires pointing his service weapon, such is never a good idea. But people drink too much and do really stupid things, but they are otherwise rather harmless.

        I regard the shooting of Mr. Martin to be deeply tragic, but there are tragic outcomes that are not unlawful.

        What I offered is an opinion that when a person is armed, whether a police officer or a non-police citizen, the shooting of an unarmed person who charges, scuffles, or batters that armed person is a possible outcome. There is a “use it or lose it” situation where an unarmed person reaches for an armed person’s gun, and this has happened more than once with police officers shooting unarmed persons. It is axiomatically going to happen, sooner or later, with concealed carry.

        1. Chris Gerrib

          I use “good shoot” in the technical sense of “legally justified.”

          There is indeed a use it or lose it situation when an armed person gets into a scuffle. The problem is, if the armed person initiates the scuffle, they can then be considered the aggressor and thus not eligible to claim self-defense.

          Or as my Grandpa told me – “don’t go chasing after people with a gun.”

      3. Chris L

        Unfortunately I have to agree with you on this. Zimmerman chose to confront someone who was doing nothing wrong, and he chose to do that while armed with a deadly weapon. One of the reasons we make police officers wear those real nifty uniforms is that when they confront private citizens on the street (who may or may not be doing something wrong), such citizens know who they are dealing with. For all Martin knew, Zimmerman could have been a mugger. I know I wouldn’t assume the best of anyone following me.

  3. Der Schtumpy

    As much as it pains me to do so, I’m with Chris G. this time. At the point where Zimmerman lost sight of Martin he should have stopped the pursuit.

    I was one of the people who thought this was ALL trumped up. But a good friend who is a retired NYC policeman and a guy who went to school with my younger and he’s LEO here in NC both said that when you lose contact with the ‘perp’ you break off pursuit. And the LEO’s are taught that SO the bad guys can’t circle back behind them, or so that they don’t see a guy in a black hoodie and ass-u-me it’s the guy you WERE following who had on a similar hoodie.

    I still think it sucks that he was convicted in the MSM and that his city’s DA knuclked under to MSM / Race Baiter pressure to go after Zimmerman like this. I am STILL in the dark thoough, as to just what constitutes a White Hispanic.

    1. wodun

      It sounds like Zimmerman was going back to his car but not by the most direct route. But it isn’t like Zimmerman was chasing Martin with his gun drawn, there was a physical altercation in which the only injury Martin had was a gunshot and Zimmerman had gashes on the back of his skull, broken nose, and busted lip, scratches on his forehead.

      I don’t think being followed or a person speaking to you is justification to beat them to the point they fear for their life. I haven’t read any scenario where Zimmerman’s actions would have justified Martin beating him.

      1. Der Schtumpy

        I’m not going to disagree with anyone saying Zimmerman having the right to defend himself. But I thought at the beginning of this, Zimmerman admitted to continuing the pursuit. That’s WHY I referenced Zimmerman continuing a pursuit.

        I will go back and read up on the original stories and see if the way I remember it, is the way it was reported.

      2. Der Schtumpy

        wodun,
        I just went back and after much looking I found what I remembered. Here’s the chronology.

        Zimmerman followed Martin because he said Martin was ‘acting suspicious’, and that’s what he told the police when he initially called them.

        He then reported that Martin was ‘cutting between some houses’, Zimmerman got out of his car to see where he’d gone, and again that’s what he reported to police, then Zimmerman went further to look at the street signs so he could give the police his exact location to the dispatcher.

        Zimmerman headed back to his car then, and that’s when Martin was behind him, and they circled around the car, and wound up in the fight.

        That’s the way I remembered reading it the firs day it hit the interwebs. And that’s why I always stayed with him having lost sight of Martin. That also explains, in my mind anyway, how Martin could have gotten close enough to an ARMED man to get into a fight like they did.

        1. Chris Gerrib

          Except that the fight didn’t happen anywhere near Zimmerman’s car. If you watch the video reenactment (released by the defense – Google it) the fight happened in between the houses. If Zimmerman was really “walking back to his car” he was moving at a crawl.

          You also have to believe that a man who’d lived for several years in a subdivision with three streets would need to get out and look at a street sign.

          1. Chris L

            Again, that is correct. Since the fight happened about where Zimmerman said Martin had disappeared to, it is unlikely that Martin double backed on him. He was following the guy, and the guy (like most rational human beings) saw that as a threatening action.

        2. Will McLean

          That’s Zimmerman’s story. The problem is that where the body was found, where stuff was dropped in the fight, and what the witnesses reported all contradict it. The other evidence is more consistent with a running fight with Martin retreating towards the house he was staying at until Martin knocked Zimmerman down.

          1. Karl Hallowell

            The other evidence is more consistent with a running fight with Martin retreating towards the house he was staying at until Martin knocked Zimmerman down.

            The injuries aren’t consistent with a running fight. As noted before, Zimmerman is the only one with injuries from a fight.

          2. Karl Hallowell

            It’s possible to swing at someone and miss, or hit him without leaving a mark, and grappling is even less likely to leave evidence in an autopsy.

            While your first remark is true, it’s worth noting that we still have Zimmerman with a lot of injuries. I still think that’s more consistent with someone who got caught flat footed. As to your second claim, I simply don’t buy it, especially when the medical examiner is looking for such evidence of struggle. The deceased wouldn’t have straightened out their clothing afterward. And tight gripping during the grapple leads to bruising.

          3. George Turner

            An eye witness said Martin decked Zimmerman with the first punch, then got on top of him and commenced to beating him. The medical examiner said Martin’s only injuries aside from the gunshot wound were bloody knuckles. From the evidence, Zimmerman didn’t throw the first punch and never managed to land a subsequent one, whereas he showed multiple injuries to the face and head, including cuts and broken bones. He also said that Martin’s last words were “You got it, you got it” which apparently referred to Zimmerman’s gun, implying that Martin and Zimmerman were both trying to go for the weapon. The dying words are not something Zimmerman could likely have concocted on the spot, since they are somewhat vague (a lie would be structured to be clearer and more incriminating, such as “You beat me to your gun that I was going to shoot you with.”) and don’t make much sense outside of the context of the last thoughts that were probably running through Martin’s mind.

          4. Will McLean

            George Turner: do you have a link to an eyewitness account that saw the start of the fight? The only ones I have read were by people that saw the fighting beginning from when Zimmerman was already on the ground.

      1. George Turner

        That’s the first I’ve heard that, and I’ve followed the story quite closely. He was looking for an address so he could tell the police where to go.

        1. Leland

          What the transcript and recording has is him moving to a location to meet the cops in transit not running after Martin. The pursuit of Martin had stopped.

      2. Der Schtumpy

        He got out of the car and started running, when Martin cut between the houses. He told the dispatcher he was trying to see what he was doing.

        He may have thought he was doing a B & E.

    1. Chris L

      Replace the “white guy with gun and black kid in hoody” with “creepy ex-fellon and pretty college coed” and you might get a feel for why the “he was just following the guy” thing doesn’t work as a defense.

      1. Karl Hallowell

        Except if we do that, then we get a completely different situation especially if that “pretty college coed” were physically unable to bash the “creepy ex-felon” into the concrete repeatedly like Martin has been alleged to do. So where is the credible self-defense situation going to come from?

        You also have the issue that the ex-felon probably can’t legally own or carry a gun. “Creepy” seems to indicate an inability to get their record expunged.

        I find it quite ingenuous to materially change the scenario and then claim the issues remain the same.

        1. Chris Gerrib

          Fine – substitute “cute coed who took karate classes.” The point is, neither of the parties that night knew who the other one was.

          If you’re being followed by some random dude, especially one who gets out of a dry and warm car on a wet and cold night, do you feel threatened? If you feel threatened, what do you do about it?

          1. Karl Hallowell

            Fine – substitute “cute coed who took karate classes.”

            And the guy with the gun isn’t an ex-felon.

            If you’re being followed by some random dude, especially one who gets out of a dry and warm car on a wet and cold night, do you feel threatened? If you feel threatened, what do you do about it?

            Call 911 on my working cell phone. Make a lot of noise. Run to a nearby house which appears occupied. Bargain for my life. That sort of thing. I don’t confront a possibly armed person, especially, try to kill them, unless I’m sure that my life is in danger and there isn’t a better way. IMHO the Martin shooting demonstrates why your alleged Martin approach doesn’t work. You can end up dead and the other guy go free due to self-defense.

          2. Chris Gerrib

            Except under “stand your ground” you have no duty to run away.

            Except per Zimmerman, Martin was running away – Zimmerman went after him.

            Except you keep telling me that Zimmerman did nothing wrong, so why should Martin run away?

            We don’t know what Martin said when the confrontation started – we have only Zimmerman’s side of the story.

          3. George Turner

            No, Martin was never running away, per his own defense team and even the witness they fabricated. When he noticed that he was being watched, he attacked.

  4. Paul Breed

    >I haven’t read any scenario where Zimmerman’s actions would have justified Martin beating him.

    ^This exactly.
    Its clear from this picture that martin was beating Zimmerman.

      1. David S

        But Chris, UNLESS YOU HAVE CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE, the default assumption is required by law to be that Martin started the fight. The standard is innocent until proven guilty. The question is, was that standard followed in this case.

        I don’t see how anyone could think that justice was served here.

          1. Chris L

            That’s the thing. If you are making a positive claim about what happened, you have to provide evidence to support that claim. Injuries only prove there was a fight (and that the injured was probably on the losing end until the gun was fired), not who started it. I don’t think we want to encourage the idea that killing someone in the middle of a fight you started is justifiable homicide.

          2. Karl Hallowell

            Why is the default assumption that the dead guy started the fight

            Because the dead guy isn’t the one being accused of a crime in court. Innocent until proven guilty with “proven” meaning beyond a reasonable doubt.

            If that’s the case, you could never convict anybody of murder.

            You use evidence, Chris. Why are you have trouble with such basic concepts?

          3. Karl Hallowell

            Injuries only prove there was a fight (and that the injured was probably on the losing end until the gun was fired), not who started it.

            I disagree. If one party has injuries and the other doesn’t, that’s evidence for the non-injured party starting the fight.

          4. Chris Gerrib

            Karl Hallowell – the dead guy is the victim here. Victims aren’t charged with anything.

            The State doesn’t have to prove that Zimmerman pulled the trigger – he confessed. Zimmerman has to prove that he was justified in pulling the trigger.

          5. Karl Hallowell

            Zimmerman has to prove that he was justified in pulling the trigger.

            As I noted earlier, no he doesn’t. But let me add that he has supplied plenty of evidence, such as lengthy police interviews to support his side.

          6. Karl Hallowell

            Come up with evidence or shut up. Saying that Zimmerman’s word isn’t good enough ignores that contrary to your assertion, his word is good enough in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

          7. George Turner

            We also have a half-dozen witnesses and the police investigators, none of whom contradicted Zimmerman’s account of events. From the witnesses, Martin knocked Zimmerman down with one punch, got on top of him, and started beating him MMA style. One was then calling 911 to report the assault when Zimmerman finally fired his weapon.

      2. Der Schtumpy

        “You can’t start a fight and then shoot your way out of it.”

        Chris, if that was true, there’d be fewer shootings every year. There are situations in the news every weekend who start a fight, then pull a gun. I think what you meant to say was,
        .
        .
        You can’t start a fight and then say you had to protect yourself by shooting your way out of it.

  5. ken anthony

    We have Zimmerman’s side of the story. There is no particular reason to believe it’s completely accurate.

    Let’s stipulate this to be true. How does that help your argument? You keep presenting a fantasy situation with no evidence. Let’s further assume that everything you imagine is correct. Trayvon is the angel and Zimmerman is the devil. In that case, the lack of evidence for your fantasy means the devil goes free.

    So, it appears those presenting this bad photo share your view that evidence isn’t necessary, but they should manufacture it anyway.

    1. Chris Gerrib

      From a self-defense perspective, you can’t be the aggressor and claim self defense in a fight, no matter how badly you were beaten. Additionally, Martin had equal rights of self-defense.

      So, everything that happened out there has to be looked at through two lenses – what a reasonable person in Martin’s shoes would have seen and what a reasonable person in Zimmerman’s shoes would have seen.

      My argument has consistently been that Martin had good reason to be concerned about the threat from Zimmerman. All of his actions have to be seen in that light.

      Thus, one plausible interpretation is that Martin thought (correctly, as it turns out) that Zimmerman was threatening his life. Perhaps, when Zimmerman says he was reaching for his cell phone in his pocket, he was (or seen to be) really reaching for his gun. Or perhaps when Zimmerman said all he did was reach into his pocket on meeting Martin, that wasn’t accurate. All we have to go on is Zimmerman’s word.

      If two people get into a fight for no good reason and one of them kills the other, we usually charge the killer with manslaughter. That is another plausible interpretation of the facts as they are known.

      The only plausible interpretation that clears Zimmerman is if Martin attacked him for no good reason. Since the only evidence that supports this interpretation is what Zimmerman says, it’s fair to ask that his credibility be heavily scrutinized.

      Bottom line – I would like to see Zimmerman explain himself to judge and jury, give them the other evidence, and let them decide who or what to believe.

      1. George Turner

        From a self-defense perspective, you can’t be the aggressor and claim self defense in a fight, no matter how badly you were beaten.

        Yes, you can, and in fact people do all the time. Scuffles and confrontations are not a rarity, they happen thousands of times a day, involving bars, ex-wives, and countless other encounters. If you go in to your boss’s office and confront him about some egregious matter and he knocks you down and starts trying to beat your skull in with a 20 pound marble lamp, you retain the right of self-defense. If you run into your ex-wife outside a bar and she comes over and starts berating you, even slapping the smile off your face, she still has the right to defend herself if you go nuts and start trying to kill her.

        Thus, one plausible interpretation is that Martin thought (correctly, as it turns out) that Zimmerman was threatening his life.

        Which is extremely unlikely, as they hadn’t even exchanged words until Martin hollered at Zimmerman, and were standing in a residential neighborhood. Martin would have to be a paranoid schizophrenic to believe that someone putting his hand in his pocket constituted an imminent threat of death or bodily harm, and if he thought Zimmerman represented a threat, he wouldn’t have hollered at him and charged (per Martin’s lawyers description of what the girl on the other end of his phone conversation heard). You cannot legally assault anyone because you felt threatened, in the complete absence of a voiced threat, physical contact, or the brandishing of a weapon. We lock up people who do that, because they run around beating up people for looking at them, parking near them, walking in the same direction, approaching them, etc. If that was the standard, we’d all be free to swing baseball bats upside the head of census workers who dared to approach us.

        1. Chris Gerrib

          In both cases, the initiator needs to convince the legal system that the initiate-ee’s response was unjustified. If your boss ends up dead, you need to prove that he came at you with a lamp and that you hadn’t done anything to justify him doing so.

          But that’s not the case here. Martin’s was followed at night by somebody not known to him in a vehicle who then got out and chased after him. A reasonable person might find that threatening.

          Nor did Martin yell at anybody. Per all testimony, the only words exchanged were Martin’s question and Zimmerman’s untruthful answer.

          1. Karl Hallowell

            Chris, once again I need to point out that the principle of innocent until proven guilty excludes your interpretation of Florida law. Zimmerman doesn’t have to prove to a jury that his lethal response was justified, though that would help his case, but rather than there is a reasonable doubt that he committed manslaughter.

            I also think you should drop the negative connotation of the language you use throughout this thread, such as “chased by Zimmerman”, “Zimmerman’s untruthful answer”, “confessed to the act of a crime”, etc. You aren’t the prosecutor and aren’t, to my knowledge, being paid to condemn Zimmerman or his actions.

        2. George Turner

          Yes, that is the case here. Zimmerman was obviously badly beat up, having had his head slammed into the concrete (grass doesn’t cause big cuts on the back of a person’s head), his nose broken, and was unable to back away or regain control of the situation, as evidenced by his cries for help and the lack of punches landed on Martin, who was on top of him, beating him MMA style, according to both Zimmerman and eye witnesses.

          Zimmerman said Martin then saw his gun and started to reach for it, and had said, “you die tonight”, which is the point where lethal force is justified. ie, the maniac is now reaching for the marble desk-lamp, and you don’t have to await the lethal blow passively.

          It doesn’t matter why the confrontation was initiated, or by whom, as long as Zimmerman wasn’t in the process of committing a felony (ie, “my hostage got the upper hand, so I had to shoot them.”) They could’ve both been drunks arguing over a football game, with nobody remembering how the fight started, just that one was left with no resort to save his life other than the use of lethal force.

          Under your system, I would be free to charge you, punch you, knock you down, beat you up, and then finish by murdering you, just because I thought you were keeping an eye on me, and there would be absolutely nothing you could legally do to stop me. Suppose we used that rule system in Hollywood, where any celebrity being pursed by paparazzi could deck them, beat them nearly unconscious, and then kill them? Suppose we guaranteed that any photographer who succesfuly resisted such an untimely demise got sent to death row?

          1. George Turner

            No, both the police investigators and witnesses confirm that Zimmerman faced a lethal threat. When someone is sitting on you, beating you senseless, and there is a gun in the front of your pants (which the person sitting on you can’t fail to notice), the threat is lethal and imminent. No police officer without backup would be convicted for using his firearm in that situation, because as a general rule, a cop who gets his gun taken away in a hand-to-hand fight is very often a dead cop.

  6. ken anthony

    you can’t be the aggressor and claim self defense

    This is where you fail Chris. Again, stipulating that you are correct (but only for the sake of argument) that Zimmerman was the aggressive chaser…

    You can always claim self defense, especially when you are defending yourself… regardless of any stupidity (if such exists and usually does) before you need to defend yourself.

    The only relevant question is did Zimmerman feel his life was threatened? His injuries provide all the evidence required to support that supposition.

    This is why in a civilized society you never want to be perceived as threatening another persons life. That kind of stupidity can get you killed. It should, because the alternative is a society only thugs can live in.

  7. Will McLean

    “Zimmerman said Martin then saw his gun and started to reach for it, and had said, “you die tonight””

    Zimmerman’s testimony is the only evidence that Martin said that or that the gun in Zimmerman’s waistband was visible.

    1. George Turner

      And Zimmerman’s statement is credible and not contradicted by any evidence. You do realize that the defense has the right to have their account heard and weighed by the jury?

      Somehow the rules of procedure have changed for Zimmerman. The new rule is “If he’s not guilty, he wouldn’t be sitting at the defendant’s table, now would he?” and “I ask that the defendant’s statement be struck from the record, your honor, because he’s obviously guilty so the jury shouldn’t listen to a word he says.”

      1. Chris Gerrib

        Zimmerman’s statements aren’t contradicted because the other witness is dead. The evidence I have seen can be interpreted in several ways.

        You are correct – the jury will have to decide if they find Zimmerman credible. Were it not for the protests, no jury would have been looking at this.

        1. Leland

          So George is uncorrected. Zimmerman’s statement is credible and not contradicted by any evidence.

        2. Karl Hallowell

          To elaborate on what Leland said, sure the jury will consider those points. But in the end, if Zimmerman’s testimony isn’t contested by conflicting evidence, including in trial evidence such as Zimmerman’s demeanor in court, then there is reasonable doubt against manslaughter.

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