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So I've ceased to understand

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stratoaxe View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 July 2013 at 11:57pm
...most anything about the legal logic behind the Trayvon Martin case anymore.

Mostly, because of things like this.

Where does the DOJ have anything to say about this? Who's the federal government to declare that the police, jury, and all local authority are wrong in a case where there's little to no evidence that supports foul play among the officials involved?

Maybe I'm naive here, but the whole thing smells of shameless political pandering. It's all over my FB feed, it's front page news every where, but half of the "facts" I'm hearing thrown around are either shameless speculation or outright untruths.

Meanwhile, Zimmerman will either need a new country to live in or a security detail everywhere he goes, because everyone from Al Sharpton to the President's administration have all but declared him guilty after police and a jury found him to be within his legal rights (or at least acquitted of the charges.)

I'm not shouting out for Zimmerman's innocence or anything here, frankly if what little I know of the story is true he seems to have acted in a rather sketchy manner through the whole affair, and you just kind of assume that the usual media hogs will come out to make a name for themselves, but the federal involvement really strikes me as unwarranted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote impulse418 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2013 at 2:23am
If this incident didn't hit national airways, the Feds would have never been involved. But when you have the President making comments that Martin could have been his son, you can bet the Feds will be stepping in. If Zimmerman was found innocent they can ultimately say "We stepped in to make sure everything was follow correctly, can't say we didn't do anything" Politics pure and simple. 1 more case to hammer a wedge between the citizens of this country, and destroy a innocents persons life.

I wonder how much that gun would go for at auction.




Edited by impulse418 - 19 July 2013 at 2:24am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stratoaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2013 at 3:10am
That's the thing though, he was acquitted in a trial that was so forced the initial prosecuter for the DA's office resigned over it. They didn't even want to pursue charged for crying out loud.

The DoJ is wanting to pursue civil rights charges on Zimmerman-I'd love to hear how that plays out legally. I'm sorry, this is has gone beyond pursuit of justice and into the league of insanity unless I've missed something vital.

Reading the FB and Internet comments makes me want to pull my hair out and simultaneously thank God that most of these people will never represent anyone in court.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evillepaintball Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2013 at 8:38am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote StormyKnight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2013 at 3:38pm
Zimmerman was never found "innocent".  He was found not guilty.  That just means there wasn't enough evidence for the jury to select otherwise.

I agree that Zimmerman's life is over as he knows it.  He'll be hounded by the Federal Government now.  You have the President of the United States now saying that 35 years ago, he could have been Trayvon.  Also saying that if Trayvon were white, the outcome might have been different, or if Trayvon was of age and armed could he have stood his ground.  And now you also have Eric "Fast & Furious" Holder addressing the NAACP convention calling for changes in the Stand Your Ground laws.  The same NAACP convention that turns away black conservatives.

Enough rambling.  I just don't get it.  It's over.  The Prosecution & Defense did their jobs as well as the jury.  Just let it go.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scotchyscotch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2013 at 8:27pm
That's what you get with jury's I suppose, the case was far too high profile for them not to be affected. The media frenzy and cries for his downfall could have actually prevented a conviction. In a less public and heated setting the jury could well have viewed their decision differently.

I'm not sure how the U.S contempt laws work but I would be very interested to hear a frank discussion of what was behind their decision. Not that I mean to say I disagree with the one made.

I'm not overly familiar with the case but it sounds a wee bit out of the presidents remit. The judiciary have made a decision via the appointed agency (jury). Unless it can be shown the jury have acted out with their instructions and outside the law then it's done and dusted. The law is the law and funnily enough there are even more laws put in place to prevent exactly this kind of influence from the government. I am assuming that the DoJ is a government department and still independent of the Judiciary.

When Abu Quatada (terrorist "suspect" facing trial in Jordan) was not extradited on a human rights basis Queen Elizabeth II was not happy with the decision. She did not for one second believe she could influence it however and respected it.  If the president/ DOJ has made statements to say that he/they aren't happy with the decision and wants to pursue it further then that sounds insane. 

I would have thought that murder would trump civil rights abuses, and surely if he is not guilty of murder or even manslaughter then there is no basis for the second case. The act of Zimmerman shooting this kid is the issue and the law seems to have confirmed that he was within his own rights to act as he did. The man is by all available measures innocent of the charges. 

Is it the racial profiling angle that they're going for? Might as well haul the TSA in front of the judge and compare any sentence one of them would receive to anything Zimmerman gets if they manage to get this to stick. I would consider them two different and independent acts one may be the root cause but if he profiled him without the intention to shoot him then it can't equal a murder charge or even close. 

Please bear in mind that I only know as much as I've watched and read which may have been on the back of a cereal box so ignore me if I've missed the point entirely.


Edited by scotchyscotch - 19 July 2013 at 8:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2013 at 10:38pm
Civil cases require a lesser standard of proof than criminal. It is not uncommon for defendants to be found not guilty in a criminal trial, only to later be found liable in a civil trial.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote deadeye007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 July 2013 at 12:38am
It's a shame that the DOJ sent protesters to Florida during the first protest and is now looking into the verdict. If I'm not mistaken, the "evil racist" Zimmerman filed a complaint against the Sanford PD for excessive force against a black person and mentored underprivileged children in the area.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stratoaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 July 2013 at 2:41am
Originally posted by deadeye007 deadeye007 wrote:

It's a shame that the DOJ sent protesters to Florida during the first protest and is now looking into the verdict. If I'm not mistaken, the "evil racist" Zimmerman filed a complaint against the Sanford PD for excessive force against a black person and mentored underprivileged children in the area.



That's what I've heard as well.

The thing is, I've avoided the "is he racist" aspect of the case because I find it irrelevant to the trial. I think that's where the case took a nosedive to begin with-it became a white vs black issue when that's as far from the reality of the situation as possible.

Like I said, I don't look at Zimmerman any more innocently than any other murder suspect. I don't claim to know any inside information or hold an allegiance to either side of the trial-I do, however, find it disturbing when the federal government chooses to go after a private citizen on so little evidence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rofl_Mao Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 July 2013 at 3:00am
Besides the fact that Zimmerman isn't even white.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 July 2013 at 10:58pm
What all the facebook lawyers out there seem to forget is that Martin laid in wait for Zimmerman. In short, he ambushed him. He wasn't standing his ground as Zimmerman posed no clear threat to his life while following. Plain and simple, he hid out, and jumped someone who was investigating his presence in a gated community. The onus is on the one who first makes contact in a violent confrontation. Martin had offensive wounds on his knuckles and a single gunshot wound to the torso. No defensive wounds what-so-ever. Zimmerman on the other hand had multiple defensive wounds and wounds to the back of his head. You don't need a CJ degree to know what that evidence means.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stratoaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 July 2013 at 12:43am
Originally posted by tallen702 tallen702 wrote:

What all the facebook lawyers out there seem to forget is that Martin laid in wait for Zimmerman. In short, he ambushed him. He wasn't standing his ground as Zimmerman posed no clear threat to his life while following. Plain and simple, he hid out, and jumped someone who was investigating his presence in a gated community. The onus is on the one who first makes contact in a violent confrontation. Martin had offensive wounds on his knuckles and a single gunshot wound to the torso. No defensive wounds what-so-ever. Zimmerman on the other hand had multiple defensive wounds and wounds to the back of his head. You don't need a CJ degree to know what that evidence means.



It's a shame Americans have lost all sense of critical reasoning. Everything comes down to emotional reaction-because Trayvon wasn't armed and Zimmerman was bigger and older that sums the entire situation up.

And it was a crappy situation no doubt-had either of them been anywhere else or made a different decision they'd both be walking free and happy. But it didn't and the goal is to answer the bigger question-who was acting in self defense?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Mack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 July 2013 at 6:38pm
Originally posted by StormyKnight StormyKnight wrote:

Zimmerman was never found "innocent".  He was found not guilty.  That just means there wasn't enough evidence for the jury to select otherwise.


One of the few things you've said on here that I have to disagree with.

A basic tenant of the U.S. legal system is the concept of innocent until proven guilty.  If he isn't found guilty, he is innocent.  (Legally)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote StormyKnight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 July 2013 at 10:40pm
Originally posted by Mack Mack wrote:


Originally posted by StormyKnight StormyKnight wrote:

Zimmerman was never found "innocent".  He was found not guilty.  That just means there wasn't enough evidence for the jury to select otherwise.


One of the few things you've said on here that I have to disagree with.

A basic tenant of the U.S. legal system is the concept of innocent until proven guilty.  If he isn't found guilty, he is innocent.  (Legally)

This is true. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. How many "innocent" verdicts have you ever seen? I'll bet none. You are either found "guilty" or "not guilty". "Not Guilty" does not equal "innocent". It just means that the prosecution didn't have enough evidence or the ability to find you "guilty". You don't have to agree with me, but that is how the judicial system works.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scotchyscotch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 July 2013 at 5:34am
In Scotland we get around this problem by having the third option of "Not proven" or "Not guilty but don't do it again"

Originally posted by StormyKnight StormyKnight wrote:

 
You are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

Combined with,
Originally posted by StormyKnight StormyKnight wrote:

 the prosecution didn't have enough evidence or the ability to find you "guilty"

Is the point Mack is making. If someone is found not guilty by a court of law then as far as you or anyone else is concerned they didn't do it. Now in practice we all know this to be a different story what with OJ and the countless people who've been fingered by corrupt PD's a judicial systems etc. But change the fundamental principle of western law this does not. 

Although the innocent until proven guilty isn't necessarily always going to be interpreted as "the defendant is treated as though he is innocent and we must be completely impartial/borderline favourable to the defendant" One of the reasons it fly's around so much is simply to emphasise the burden of proof. ie Not my job to prove I'm innocent but it is your's to prove I'm guilty, innocent is the status quo as per right to remain silent. 

So although everyone in the courtroom knows the guy done it. If it cannot be proven to the objective standards of the law (if we imagine a perfect jury if there is one) then he walks and any attempt at street justice, slander or defamation will be prosecuted and will very likely be successful as in the eyes of the law he is innocent so even a newspaper reporting that he really did do it could end up in court for libel.




Edited by scotchyscotch - 23 July 2013 at 5:57am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 July 2013 at 2:00pm
Originally posted by Mack Mack wrote:

 
A basic tenant of the U.S. legal system is the concept of innocent until proven guilty.  If he isn't found guilty, he is innocent.  (Legally)

This is 100% not correct in anything other than colloquial nomenclature. 

There is a world of difference, legally, between the legal finding of "not guilty" and the legal finding of "innocent." 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 July 2013 at 2:05pm
Originally posted by StormyKnight StormyKnight wrote:

 "Not Guilty" does not equal "innocent". It just means that the prosecution didn't have enough evidence or the ability to find you "guilty".

This is correct. And a point of clarification to add, it means that the jury decided the prosecution didn't have or provide enough evidence or argument to find a suspect "guilty" of the charges filed against the defendant. 
 
This was a horrible situation, and I think George Zimmerman stalked and killed an unarmed teenager due to racially motivated profiling, but the jury got this one right. This was presented, prosecuted, and defended as a second-degree murder charge, of which I don't believe it was. The manslaughter addendum was indeed added at the end, but the prosecution had argued attempting the level of premeditation needed for the murder charge. 

I fully believe that if the state had charged and prosecuted based on a manslaughter charge, the verdict would have been different, even with "stand your ground" legislation. 
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 July 2013 at 2:24pm
This case has left a pretty solid distaste in my mouth for the act of carrying firearms. It's a growing distaste I've had for a while now. At one point I didn't seem to mind it as a concept, but I've begun to realize that people who carry a firearm, concealed or otherwise, are hoping they get to shoot someone. I hear lots of empty talk about hoping and praying that one never has to use it, but that's a dissonance-filled projected lie. If not having to use it was such a powerful thing that one hopes and prays, they'd just leave it at home.

Originally posted by tallen702 tallen702 wrote:

Martin laid in wait for Zimmerman. In short, he ambushed him.
 

A teenager who believed someone was stalking him attacked the person who he thought was stalking him. I don't know why one form of self protection counts more than another. 

Quote Zimmerman posed no clear threat to his life while following.
 

How, exactly, was Martin supposed to know that the person stalking him, at night, didn't intend to hurt him? 

Quote who was investigating his presence in a gated community.
 

Zimmerman was not a police officer. Martin had every right to be in that community. 

Quote The onus is on the one who first makes contact in a violent confrontation. Martin had offensive wounds on his knuckles and a single gunshot wound to the torso. No defensive wounds what-so-ever. 

Personally, this case makes me pretty frightened of people who conceal carry. Granted, this case had no wide-spread precedent, it's troubling because of the potential basis made for state cases. Martin may have very well started the violent portion of the confrontation, but it was against someone who instigated the initial confrontation by stalking the person in a place they had every right to be. There is no indication that Martin didn't believe he was acting in his own self defense against someone following him against his will. Essentially the state just said it was totally fine to carry a gun, instigate a confrontation, and if you lose, shoot the person who ends up besting you because you felt threatened. 

So yeah, I'm not big on hanging out with people who carry anymore. 


Edited by agentwhale007 - 23 July 2013 at 2:36pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stratoaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 July 2013 at 2:59pm
Whale, I typically line up with you on most issues but I vehemently disagree with a couple of your assessments here.

Primarily, I think your entire argument is hinged on this one statement-

Originally posted by Whale Whale wrote:

I hear lots of empty talk about hoping and praying that one never has to use it, but that's a dissonance-filled projected lie. If not having to use it was such a powerful thing that one hopes and prays, they'd just leave it at home.


I grew up with a gun in my vehicle. I lived 10 miles out in the country where snakes and other unsightly critters tend to scurry around your ankles when you're walking around and that's really a way of life in the south. Up until the last 10 or 15 years shotgun racks were as common as bumper stickers in Texas and I never knew a single one of them that was actually carrying their gun for people reasons.

Are there crazy concealed carry owners out there trigger happy to pop some teenage thug for violating their daughter's purity? Absolutely, but I fully believe that they're a fringe element. For most concealed carriers I know they carry it on the off chance that they find themselves in a situation in which they can save a life (be it their own or their families) in an area where officers may not be able to respond in time. To take that a step further, they don't talk about their guns or let the world know they own them. Saying that not wanting to use something means you'd leave it at home is like saying I really don't want to have a flat so I'll just leave the jack and spare tire in the garage. It doesn't in any way provide meaningful commentary on the mentality of the person in question.

If you're going to judge concealed carry owners, you should do so by the overwhelming statistics and not the occasional cook (and there have been very few of those in crime data.)

Zimmerman, based on what I've seen and heard from the media and prosecution / defense (mainly defense because the prosecution seems to be tongue tied or just completely inept) probably fits the bill of vigilante CCW cook who REALLY wanted to be a cop but couldn't cut it.

That being said, I don't find the discussion of their personalities to be particularly relevant to this case. The internet is full of discussion about these two guys that none of us actually know and of whom very little account exists of any activity before that night, we have people painting Zimmerman as a an all around good guy, others saying he was a power hungry scum bag, then in Martin's camp we have the innocent school boy vs thug who was always in trouble.

Just towing the middle of the line I think that odds were good you have two individuals here who were had very likely made some repeatedly bad decisions and now were about to make a few more. As I said earlier, I'm not in Zimmerman's camp here. In fact, I have no opinion as to either of these guys. The only real value I see in discussing this case is in dissecting the details from a legal standpoint and making a reasonably educated assumption as to the validity of the verdict.

The other place you lost me is here-

Originally posted by whale whale wrote:

. Martin may have very well started the violent portion of the confrontation, but it was against someone who instigated the initial confrontation by stalking the person in a place they had every right to be.


Confronting someone on the street is NOT an instigation for physical violence. You're condemning Zimmerman for his use of force and then justifying the illegal use of force the Martin used.

Originally posted by whale whale wrote:

There is no indication that Martin didn't believe he was acting in his own self defense against someone following him against his will.


Self defense against someone who was on the phone with the police and had no outward indication of being armed? Unless I'm wrong I haven't hear anything about Zimmerman having his gun out while he was following Martin. People keep going on and on about Martin being within his legal rights to be where he was, but Zimmerman was equally within his rights to question Martin as to why he was there. Martin was under no legal obligation to leave, and furthermore didn't OWE Zimmerman an explanation, but saying that Martin being afraid of being "stalked" by Zimmerman after dark is no less questionable than Zimmerman's paranoia of dudes roaming his block after dark.

Also, another detail I keep hearing form this trial that drastically changed my opinion of this case is that not only did Martin disappear from view, Zimmerman was on his way to his truck when Martin emerged from the shadows and began beating him senseless.

So now not only is there an illegal escalation of force, he's actually running after a man with his back turned.

Let's apply that to a concealed handgun owner. Let's go with an unquestionable case of self-defense-you're being robbed at gunpoint. If someone pulls a gun on you and you kill them, there won't even be a question of guilt. Yet, if you wait until this person has walked away with your wallet and shoot them in the back, you've committed a felony and will almost certainly face prison time.

I'm sorry, but just by the details of this case, there's almost no grounds to say that Martin acted in fear for his life. By all details of the case, from the racial expletives he exchanged with his girlfriend while describing Zimmerman, to him physically coming after Zimmerman and proceeding to wail on him with his fists, what I see is a thug who decided that he'd teach someone a lesson and was rudely surprised by a firearm.

Also, let's talk race for a second-

Originally posted by whale whale wrote:


This was a horrible situation, and I think George Zimmerman stalked and killed an unarmed teenager due to racially motivated profiling


First of all, I agree it was a terrible situation. I truly wished Zimmerman had stayed in his car or at the very least martin kept walking instead of decided to assault Zimmerman.

That said, the racially motivated profiling here is receiving far more negative press than it (by the details of the trial, anyway) deserves. This wasn't a case of "OH NO A BLACK GUY IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD." There were repeated burglaries on that block by young men matching Martin's description-young black male wearing a hoodie.

So again, I agree that Zimmerman shouldn't have confronted Martin. But I disagree that there's definitive proof that Zimmerman was just an all out racist who didn't want men with skin pigment in his neighborhood-I think he was trying to curtail what he perceived to be a crime.

Like I said earlier, we can throw away the idea that teenagers walking around neighborhoods they don't live in where burglaries by teenagers happen frequently might arouse suspicion because, you're right, they have a LEGAL right to be there.

But what about Zimmerman's legal right to inquire as to who he is? Again, if you're going to set aside what many might see as a logical reaction on one end simply because the law allows it, you have to allow the same room for Zimmerman.

I think the tragedy of the situation is outweighing the reality of it-it's absolutely terrible that Martin is dead now, but had Zimmerman not killed him would he be alive? Would the media be playing the tragedy of George Zimmerman had Martin beat him to death? Would we be seeing "Trayvon Martin has angel wings" on Facebook had he been allowed to continue the action that was in the middle of attempting when he was shot?

I'm all about criticizing people who abuse their liberties. But let's talk about the fireman that tried to use the stand your ground law in Texas to kill a man in front of his 2 year old daughter and wife at their birthday party because he didn't like the noise-that's cut and dry evil and makes a good case against certain privileges. The Trayvon Martin case is in no way black and white.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 July 2013 at 4:40pm
Well I had a long response written up that the forum deleted, so I'll just chat with you on FB messenger like always, 'cause I really don't like posting here. 

Edited by agentwhale007 - 23 July 2013 at 4:40pm
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