Prosecutor to judge: Can we also charge Zimmerman with third-degree murder based on, er, child abuse? Update: Judge rejects

posted at 1:21 pm on July 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

Revealing, for two reasons. One: It shows that the state’s worried enough about its case that not only do they want a lesser charge added to hedge against an acquittal on second-degree murder, which seems all but assured, they want one added to hedge against the lesser-included offense of manslaughter too. The judge already agreed this morning to instruct the jury on manslaughter, which was always a more plausible explanation for what happened between Martin and Zimmerman. But the state couldn’t get away with not trying for murder; this case is supposed to illustrate a Larger Truth about white (or “white Hispanic”) racism, and something as malignant as that requires a murder charge. If the jury acquits, as it almost certainly will, at least the state’s covered its own ass on the left by saying, “Hey, we tried.”

Two: The fact that they’re now floating a charge as nonsensical as murder committed in the course of felony child abuse when the shooting itself is the ostensible child abuse lays bare just how political the state’s goal is. That was already clear from the fact that the police chief was relieved for refusing to arrest Zimmerman, and then doubly clear when the state decided it needed a special prosecutor to make sure that this was brought to trial. They must have a conviction here, not only to vindicate that Larger Truth but to lower the chances of violence after the verdict. I’m intrigued to see if the judge agrees to instruct the jury on the charge, as inane as it is, precisely for that reason. She surely knows, and the jury must have some idea, that the political stakes of this verdict are sky high. Why not give them a chance to railroad Zimmerman on a much lesser, albeit incoherent, charge in the name of preserving social harmony? Hey — like the judge said, he can always appeal.

The prosecution also wants the jury to consider third-degree felony murder, which like manslaughter is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Third-degree murder is defined as “the unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated without any design to effect death, by a person engaged in the perpetration of” certain felonies. The felony in this case, according to the prosecution, is…child abuse, because Martin was one year shy of 18 at the time of the shooting. According to this theory, the gunshot to Martin’s chest was both an act of child abuse and an unlawful killing committed in the course of that felony. Don West, one of Zimmerman’s attorneys, went ballistic at this suggestion, strenuously objecting that the charge was absurd and had been sprung on the defense at the last minute in an email sent by the prosecution this morning. If Zimmerman shot Martin in the course of a fight that the teenager initiated, West asked, by what stretch of the imagination does that count as child abuse? Judge Nelson will hear arguments about the proposed third-degree murder instruction this afternoon. After she rules, the jury will hear the prosecution’s closing argument.

You can defend instructing the jury on manslaughter because the difference between that and second-degree murder is purely a question of Zimmerman’s intent (or lack thereof). The evidence produced during the trial speaks to both charges. Child abuse adds a dimension that wasn’t addressed at trial. If they’re alleging that Zimmerman “abused” Martin somehow independent of the gunshot during the fight, the defense should have been allowed to rebut that. In fact, here’s what Florida law says about child abuse:

(b) “Child abuse” means:
1. Intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child;
2. An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child; or
3. Active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.

You need to intend to inflict injury. If the jury believes Zimmerman intended to inflict injury on Martin, i.e. that he wasn’t acting in self-defense, aren’t they more likely to get him on second-degree murder or manslaughter instead? The whole point of this charge, as far as I can tell, is simply that it gives jurors an escape hatch to pinch Zimmerman on something smaller if it turns out they’re too squeamish to get him on one of the two higher charges. It has nothing to do with the facts. It’s just a way to send him to jail for less time in case they’ve decided manslaughter is a tiny bit too severe.

Anyway. I’ve been wondering: What’s the media’s feeling right now about whether Zimmerman should be convicted or not? Obviously they’ve wanted all along to see him convicted; this trial wouldn’t be on your TV 24/7 if they didn’t. (Larger Truth!) But now, on the eve of deliberation, that would mean the end of the story; the fact that he might be railroaded for political reasons is kind of interesting to them, but not terribly so since the “right” result was reached. An acquittal on all charges gives the story new legs, though, because of what might happen in the aftermath. At the very least, it’ll be time for another media-led “national conversation on race” with all the terrible, terrible commentary that entails. I bet they’re on the fence now.

Update: A bridge too far for Judge Nelson:

The jury will be instructed on second-degree murder and manslaughter only, despite the state’s best efforts. I guess the court figured that the third-degree charge would reduce the proceedings to laughingstock status.


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Apparently other Americans also recognize that the sources of racism are different today from what they were in the past. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 31 percent of blacks think that most blacks are racists, while 24 percent of blacks think that most whites are racist.

Via Thomas Sowell
http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell.html

burt on July 11, 2013 at 5:04 PM

When GZ was angrily muttering ‘F#cking punks. Those assh*les, they always get away’…what exactly was Martin (you know the ‘punk’, the ‘assh*le’) getting away with?

verbaluce on July 11, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Punks and thugs come in all colors, there’s nothing racist about it.

Wagthatdog on July 11, 2013 at 5:07 PM

But this is not really a murder trial. It’s an attempt to hijack justice in furtherance of racial demagoguery, and possibly even cause martial law.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 11, 2013 at 5:03 PM

I think the only way martial law would be declared is if Zimmerman is convicted and whites riot over it. To do it against Holder’s and Obama’s ‘people’ would put the government at odds with them, and that won’t sit.

Washington will do nothing if blacks riot, except send out investigators to make sure there were no ‘civil rights violations’.

Liam on July 11, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Should have read, ” “Self-defense doesn’t fit, so you can’t acquit.”
Liam on July 11, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Liam on July 11, 2013 at 5:09 PM

You can’t think of a single error or questionable decision on the part of GZ. I just don’t see that anyone with that opinion has much of one. But you’ll find plenty of folks here to slap you on the back for being 100% certain of how this whole thing went down.

verbaluce on July 11, 2013 at 4:47 PM

The problem has been the focus on irrelevant arguments – some of which are actually unsupported by the evidence.

1. ‘GZ racially profiled TM’

There is no evidence of this.

2. ‘GZ disobeyed an order by the police’

* The civilian dispatcher, Sean Noffke, testified that he did not give GZ an order and, in fact, he, like his fellow dispatchers, are trained not make comments that sound like commands.

* Noffke also testified under cross that, as a result of his asking GZ which way TM was going, GZ could have reasonably interpreted this as being asked to follow Martin.

* It is also not a crime in Florida to disregard a comment made by a civilian dispatcher

3. ‘GZ got out of his car’

Not a crime on public property and not negligent either.

4. ‘GZ followed TV’

Again, anyone can follow anyone on a public street unless the followee has obtained a restraining order against the follower and even there, the RS only places time, place, and manner restrictions on the person enjoined.

5. ‘GZ wasn’t really injured’

* Under Florida’s self-defence laws, one doesn’t have to be injured AT ALL to use deadly force

* No one is required to refrain from defending himself while another is engaged in or attempting to commit a felony (I posted the self-defence law earlier on this thread)

6. ‘TM is dead through no fault of his own’

* If you believe that TM assaulted GZ, then he IS dead as a result of his own actions

7. ‘GZ could have left’

* Under Florida law, there is not a duty to withdraw rather than use deadly force

* TM was straddling GZ so how the latter was supposed to leave the scene is unanswered

8. ‘GZ was armed and TM wasn’t’

* One’s fists can be considered weapons and can result in severe bodily harm or death, as I proved above in my link regarding the murder of the Utah soccer referee, who was punched once in the face by a teenage player

* GZ was legally carrying a weapon

* There is no requirement under the law that the same weapon be used by the assailant

* A homeowner can kill an intruder whether or not he has been threatened

* Those that attack cannot feign surprise if they are met with superior firepower

9. ‘Stand Your Ground!’

* SYG is NOT at issue in this trial.

* The defence is a classic self-defence case

10. ‘Black men NEVER get to use SYG!’

* Wrong http://tinyurl.com/nboht35

11. ‘GZ is a man and TM was a boy!’

* As if ‘boys’ don’t commit murder, rape, and assault everyday in this country

Resist We Much on July 11, 2013 at 5:11 PM

I suppose what we are arguing about is not whether he committed manslaughter, but whether he committed a crime.

No. Manslaughter is a crime. Killing someone in self-defense is not manslaughter.

I tried to explain what Braca was saying in my post. We are at an impasse.

Braca’s wording was awkward and it seemed to imply if read that way that the killing was manslaughter but it was justified if in self-defense. That is not what he meant or intended to say. I suggest you send him an email to clarify. I’ve been following him throughout the case and he seems like a good guy. He might reply.

You may be conflating homicide with manslaughter. Anyone who kills someone else has committed homicide. There is justifiable homicide. There is no such thing as justifiable manslaughter.

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Resist We Much on July 11, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Verbulance has ignored all facts contrary to what is in his racist mind.

He will ignore these too. And stick to what what his messiah tells him.

cozmo on July 11, 2013 at 5:16 PM

oldroy on July 11, 2013 at 4:52 PM

It’s doubtful that the court has made the jurors aware that their names were “inadvertently” released.

Nor have they been able to see any facebook or twitter threats by the community savages to riot and assault/kill whites and hispanics.

They have also seen no TV reports of the trial or the expected violence; and they haven’t had access to newspapers.

It could just be that the jury will deliberate and decide based on what they saw and heard in the courtroom and not on their fears for their personal safety or the danger to their families and community.

Of course, when the trial ends, if they have acquitted (as the evidence should lead them to do), they’ll become aware of what their government has done to place them in jeopardy. Then, of course, it’ll be too late. They’ll have been tossed to the sharks.

Solaratov on July 11, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Solaratov on July 11, 2013 at 5:18 PM

I’m sure the jurors have heard the LSM spin for the year leading up to this sham of a trial. The only question is to what degree they might have paid attention.

I’m amazed there are no blacks on the jury. I would have expected the judge and prosecutor to not settle for fewer than five blacks, just to make the trial ‘fair’.

Liam on July 11, 2013 at 5:24 PM

YOu want to make this a question about decisions to follow Martin. Whether you think that was a good or bad decision – even if you think Zimmerman only followed Martin through public streets because of race – Zimmerman had every right in the world to walk those public streets and watch Martin.

The sad thing is, you on the left are so poisoned by racism that you believe Martin had ever right to beat Zimmerman, even onto death.

You are sick people.

Monkeytoe on July 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Well, ya gotta give verby some slack here, given that libtards idolize criminals.
Really – what reason could there possibly be for a neighborhood watch captain, on neighborhood watch patrol at night, in a neighborhood plagued by burglaries, to follow a non-resident acting suspicious by wandering around at night, in the rain casing houses?
I jus don unnerstand…….

dentarthurdent on July 11, 2013 at 5:26 PM

you’re only credible if you tow that line.

verbaluce on July 11, 2013 at 4:47 PM

a)The expression is “TOE the line”.

You leftists always get that wrong.

b)Someone still spouting the leftist/progressive talking points (that would be you) on a perpetual basis – with no deviation whatsoever – has absolutely no room to whine and snivel about anyone “toeing the line”.

Perhaps you should try original, independent thinking sometime; rather than following leftist cant. It might be a refreshing experience for you.

Solaratov on July 11, 2013 at 5:26 PM

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 3:01 PM

He might have worded it poorly, but what Dusty said is correct. If I kill someone, the elements of manslaughter (or more – but manslaughter is included in all higher offenses) have been met. However, I might have a defense (against the accusation) if I was saving myself or another from harm (and in TX, if he’s stealing my stuff!). If I can show that I was defending myself or another, then the manslaughter charge has to be excused – not because I didn’t commit manslaughter, but because I had a good reason. However, if no manslaughter occurs, then there is no need to claim “self-defense”. This defense often precludes a trial (at least in areas that don’t have aggressive progressive anti-gun prosecutors) – and it did in this case, initially. It was only after it was politicized that 2d degree muder charges were brought.

Legally speaking (I’m sure RWM will correct me) I don’t think “self-defense” can be a defense to 2d degree or 1st degree murder. The “ill will” or “premeditation” elements would preclude “self-defense”. To use “self-defense” in those cases, you would have to defeat those elements of the crime first, then use “self-defense” against the lesser-included charge of manslaughter.

GWB on July 11, 2013 at 3:45 PM

So it’s technically manslaughter, which is normally considered a crime. But if it was done in self-defense, then it is not a crime, even though it otherwise meets the definition of manslaughter.

I think it’s the fact that manslaughter is normally considered a crime that causes the confusion. Much like justifiable homicide is not a crime, even though we usually consider homicide to be a crime.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM

I think you lose any credibilty giving those answers.
That you can’t see any flaws at all in GZ’s actions.
When GZ was angrily muttering ‘F#cking punks. Those assh*les, they always get away’…what exactly was Martin (you know the ‘punk’, the ‘assh*le’) getting away with?

verbaluce on July 11, 2013 at 3:15 PM

The racism of the leftists like verbaluce and Capitalist Hog is simple. White people are always to blame because black people like Trayvon are animals, subhuman, incapable of reasoning or understanding their actions.

Just state that Trayvon was a savage animal who George Zimmerman shouldn’t have provoked and we’ll let this be.

Go ahead, verbaluce and Capitalist Hog. State for the record that Trayvon was an animal, subhuman, incapable of determining right or wrong, incapable of reacting intelligently; like an ape, he felt his territory threatened and he reacted violently.

Do it. We’re sick of your racist games. You want to hold white and Hispanic people to higher standards of behavior, you can acknowledge that you consider black people like Trayvon incapable of meeting them.

And that is what it is. You are the sickest kind of racist, verbaluce and Capitalist Hog.

northdallasthirty on July 11, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Resist We Much on July 11, 2013 at 5:11 PM

The legal merits of whether one has the ‘right’ ‘disregard a comment made by a civilian dispatcher’, etc. aside…
My point is that GZ in fact did make many bad decisions – including ignoring the dispatcher.
And despite the ‘fists are deadly weapons’ narrative being pushed, GZ suffered relatively little injury
Lots happened up until the point that a bullet got fired into TM’s chest. I think perhaps had he not faced a 2nd degree murder charge, GZ might even himself be able to acknowledge the mistakes he made here. I’m thinking he feels pretty awful…and I think he should. He played cop…plain and simple. A really bad choice.
I find his police statement to be too thought out and CYA.
The quotes he attributes to TM during the confrontation sound like bad Hollywood script writing.
In short, I think he effed up that night, badly and with terrible consequences.
I don’t think he set out with malice to kill the kid.
Yes, I know he’s 17…and I’ll get corrected that’s ‘technically an adult’…but still, a 17 year old kid.

verbaluce on July 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I think I saw a kangaroo in that court…

… This third world banana republic is paradise, no?

Seven Percent Solution on July 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin because like many, he had an inordinate fear of a black youth.

Capitalist Hog on July 11, 2013 at 1:41 PM

‘Cause, you know, Zimmerman would have never shot a white man sitting on his chest, punching him in the face, and banging his head on the sidewalk.

questionmark on July 11, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Of course not. That’s just something white folk like to do in the evening when there’s nothing good on TV.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 11, 2013 at 5:35 PM

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM

The whole thing hinges on whether or not Zimmerman was justified in shooting. That’s why the prosecutors, the judge, and the entire Left have been making up things that aren’t borne out by the evidence. They need to delegitimize his entire argument, which has been a dismal failure.

The accusations of racial hatred, profiling — even using the school yard line of Kindergarteners of, “He started it!”

This has been a joke from the beginning, all thanks to Obama, Holder, and Sharpton.

Liam on July 11, 2013 at 5:36 PM

This has been a joke from the beginning, all thanks to Obama, Holder, and Sharpton.

Liam on July 11, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Pretty much standard procedure from this regime from the very beginning.

dentarthurdent on July 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM

From Richard Hornsby’s web site.

Manslaughter in Florida

Manslaughter can be committed in one of three ways…
”– Richard Hornsby

If accused of Manslaughter in Florida, you need to know the:

– Definition of Manslaughter
– Penalties for Manslaughter
– Defenses to Manslaughter

Definition of Manslaughter

The crime of Manslaughter can be committed in one of three ways, either by:

1. Manslaughter by Act (Voluntary Manslaughter): Committing an act that was neither excusable, nor justified that resulted in the death of another person.
2. Manslaughter by Procurement (Voluntary Manslaughter): Persuading, inducing, or encouraging another person to commit an act that resulted in the death of another person.
3. Manslaughter by Culpable Negligence (Involuntary Manslaughter): Engaging in “Culpably Negligent” conduct that resulted in the death of another person…

Defenses to Manslaughter

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Manslaughter are:

Excusable Homicide

The killing of a human being is excusable, and therefore lawful, under any one of the following three circumstances:

When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent, or
When the killing occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or
When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune resulting from a sudden combat, if a dangerous weapon is not used and the killing is not done in a cruel or unusual manner.

Justifiable Homicide

The killing of a human being is justifiable homicide and lawful if done while resisting an attempt by someone to kill you or to commit a felony against you.

Self Defense

Also known as the justified use of deadly force, self defense is a defense to the crime of Second Degree Murder. Please view the Florida Self

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM

I should add that Zimmerman is charged with Manslaughter by Act and not Manslaughter by Culpable Negligence.

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 5:47 PM

And no lack of participation in that here –
with all the terrible commentary that entails.
 
verbaluce on July 11, 2013 at 3:41 PM

 

‘Yeah, Something Like 1,000 Dead Kids,’ Reports Spokesperson
 
verbaluce on December 21, 2012 at 2:16 PM

 
BTW, you never responded on whether you were referencing some other mass murder of non-Sandy Hook children on that thread.
 
Feel free to clear it up now if you’d like.
 
rogerb on June 24, 2013 at 1:21 PM

 

Nope…I never did.
 
verbaluce on June 24, 2013 at 1:43 PM

 
So are dead kids only funny when they’re white pre-teens, verbaluce?

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 5:48 PM

My point is that GZ in fact did make many bad decisions – including ignoring the dispatcher.

verbaluce on July 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

See. There’s your problem: GZ did not ignore the dispatcher. When told that he “didn’t need you to do that”, GZ’s reply was “OK” – and he then began to walk back to the truck. Whereupon, he was ambushed by Trayvon the thug.

And, no, he wasn’t told that by the dispatcher before he exited the truck. You can hear the door long before the dispatcher ever says it.

Solaratov on July 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM

My point is that GZ in fact did make many bad decisions – including ignoring the dispatcher.

You don’t even know that he ignored the dispatcher, but you want to jump to conclusions based on the conclusion you just jumped to.

And despite the ‘fists are deadly weapons’ narrative being pushed, GZ suffered relatively little injury

Which means he defended himself in time. Unless you somehow believe your duty during a beating is to lie there and take it?

Lots happened up until the point that a bullet got fired into TM’s chest. I think perhaps had he not faced a 2nd degree murder charge, GZ might even himself be able to acknowledge the mistakes he made here.

His primary mistake was letting himself get blindsided in the first place. His biggest problem in the whole incident is that he looked like an easy target.

I’m thinking he feels pretty awful…and I think he should.

I think he did feel pretty awful, even though he had no real choice and was in the right to defend himself. Because I think Zimmerman took no pleasure in what he had to do.

But no, he shouldn’t feel awful. Trayvon Martin caused his own death.

He played cop…plain and simple. A really bad choice.

Your assumption, and hardly an original one.

I find his police statement to be too thought out and CYA.

I think he knew he had done nothing wrong.

The quotes he attributes to TM during the confrontation sound like bad Hollywood script writing.
In short, I think he effed up that night, badly and with terrible consequences.

The big mistake was when Trayvon Martin physically assaulted a man with a concealed weapon, causing his own death.

I don’t think he set out with malice to kill the kid.
Yes, I know he’s 17…and I’ll get corrected that’s ‘technically an adult’…but still, a 17 year old kid.

verbaluce on July 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I’ve seen no evidence of malice, and am quite sure that he’ll be acquitted on Murder Two.

We’ve learned quite a bit about Zimmerman. He’s not much of a fighter, he’s not confrontational, he was very nervous and careful about possibly getting attacked, he was no athlete.

He also seems to have been a really nice guy, had lots of good friends, lent a hand to people in need, and was involved in his community. There’s a lot to admire.

I’m impressed that he was involved in Neighborhood Watch, given it was potentially dangerous, and he could have just claimed to be too busy.

It’s a shame to see a guy like that have his life turned upside down for a show trial.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 11, 2013 at 5:54 PM

See. There’s your problem: GZ did not ignore the dispatcher. When told that he “didn’t need you to do that”, GZ’s reply was “OK” – and he then began to walk back to the truck. Whereupon, he was ambushed by Trayvon the thug.

And, no, he wasn’t told that by the dispatcher before he exited the truck. You can hear the door long before the dispatcher ever says it.

Solaratov on July 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM

The trolls know that, having been told multiple times. Since they refuse to accept the facts of the case, all they’re going to do is repeat the same oft-debunked lines over and over.

Only racist bigot rubes refuse to believe the lie(s).

Liam on July 11, 2013 at 5:57 PM

[farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM]

It appears you are right and Branca’s statement that I excerpted is clearly misleading and effectively wrong, whether worded poorly or not.

He did, however, link to his blog which has what looks to be Florida’s standard instructions to jurors on the charge of manslaughter. If that is accurate, then you are right and the judge will instruct the jury to not find Zimmerman guilty of manslaughter if he is found to have committed justifiable homicide.

I apologize for doubting your assertions, but I wish you’d have linked to something that would have cleared it up quicker. For my part I won’t excerpt Branca’s assertions without first checking them against the actual statutes.

Dusty on July 11, 2013 at 6:01 PM

My point is that GZ in fact did make many bad decisions – including ignoring the dispatcher.

Bad decisions are not crimes.

And despite the ‘fists are deadly weapons’ narrative being pushed, GZ suffered relatively little injury

Under Florida’s self-defence law, he didn’t have to sustain ANY injury.

And, one is certainly not required to be beaten within an inch of one’s life before defending one’s self.

BTW, the ‘fists (can be) deadly weapons’ is NOT a ‘narrative.’ It is the law, which is why the 17 year-old who killed Ricardo Portillo with one punch is facing homicide charges.

Lots happened up until the point that a bullet got fired into TM’s chest.

True, but the only ones that are relevant are those that either prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If the jury finds the evidence to be equal or even 95% in the favour of the prosecution, it will be instructed that it must find for the defendant on it.

It’s not the defendant’s burden to prove.

I think perhaps had he not faced a 2nd degree murder charge, GZ might even himself be able to acknowledge the mistakes he made here.

Possibly, but, again, there is a difference between a mistake and a crime.

It also didn’t help to have the ‘Leader of the Free World’ and his Attorney General weigh in on this case and then spend taxpayer money on ginning up the racial animosity.

As an aside, don’t you find it instructive that Obama and Holder felt completely within their rights to weigh in on both the Skip Gates and George Zimmerman cases, but took the ‘ongoing legal matter’ dodge when Dr Gosnell’s gory actions were on trial?

I’m thinking he feels pretty awful…and I think he should.

Even soldiers feel remorse about those that they kill. I would probably feel bad for the family if I killed someone who was harming me in self-defence.

He played cop…plain and simple. A really bad choice.

No, he played ‘good neighbour.’

I find his police statement to be too thought out and CYA.

None of his statements vary much. I think that you are giving him too much credit. You are assuming that he was not impacted by the event and had the time and presence of mind to come up with a story that was consistent with witness accounts and the forensic evidence while waiting the 1 minute for the police to arrive.

The quotes he attributes to TM during the confrontation sound like bad Hollywood script writing.

TM’s tweets read like bad Hollywood script writing. Should we ignore the fact that he was quite capable of making such a statement based on his own writings?

BTW, from a strictly legal matter, it is irrelevant whether there is a verbal threat to kill made before a legal self-defence is waged.

In short, I think he effed up that night, badly and with terrible consequences.

Even if true, that doesn’t make it second degree murder or manslaughter. If TM hit GZ in the face, this is a classic self-defence case.

I don’t think he set out with malice to kill the kid.

As I’ve always said, the investigation in this case was hijacked by politicians and the legal case was overcharged.

If GZ set out to maliciously kill TM, he wouldn’t have called the police first.

Yes, I know he’s 17…and I’ll get corrected that’s ‘technically an adult’…but still, a 17 year old kid.

No, 17 is not technically an adult, although 17 year-olds are often tried as adults depending upon the crimes alleged and the facts of the case.

The problem is that, from a legal standpoint, it is irrelevant. GZ had no way of knowing whether TM was 17 or 18 or 15 or 20. The area was quite dark and no one has alleged that GZ either inquired of TM’s age or inspected his identification. It is also irrelevant because an adult is not prevented from defending herself because her assailant is a teenager or even younger. If a 10 year-old is beating you with a bat or about to pull the trigger on your wife, you can blow the little b@stard away.

Now,removing my legal hat, it is always a tragedy when anyone dies. I don’t think that GZ intended to kill TM and I don’t believe that TM recognised the possible dangers of his actions (assault & battery). I believe that it was a dark, rainy night. TM was probably walking between the houses to seek protection from the rain under the eaves. I also think that GZ was doing what any neighbourhood watchman or plain neighbour would do after seeing a stranger walking between houses on a rainy night in a neighbourhood that had been targeted repeatedly by criminals.

Both made decisions that I’m sure they’d love to take back, if they could. If TM had understood that assaulting someone could lead to him being shot through the heart, he probably would have acted differently. If GZ had known what would have happened to his life as a result of the events of that night, I’m sure that he would have kept on driving to Target.

Resist We Much on July 11, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Bad decisions are not crimes NECESSARILY.’

Making the bad decision to drive drunk is still a crime.

Getting out of one’s car and/or following someone are not crimes per se.

Resist We Much on July 11, 2013 at 6:07 PM

July 11, 2013 5:40 PM

George Zimmerman trial: Prosecutor blasts Zimmerman’s self-defense claim during closing arguments
*******************************

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57593377-504083/george-zimmerman-trial-prosecutor-blasts-zimmermans-self-defense-claim-during-closing-arguments/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

canopfor on July 11, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Verbaluce, so bad decisions are now to be assessed and weighed in any subsequent legal arena; such as:
1) Her going to that part of town?
2) Her wearing THAT dress?
3) Her going to that bar?
4) Her getting that drunk/tipsy/light-headed?
5) Her flirting with those guyz?

So if “she” ends up on a pool table being gang-banged, can she and her attackers now weigh HER bad decisions in the ensuing rape trial?

Or bad decisions like:
1) Drinking too much?
2) Coming onto that guy, though she didn’t know him?
3) Oh and NOT having been diligent in her birth control?

Can we now say her bad decisions can be weighed in her decision to get an abortion?

Or is it only “White Hispanics” bad decisions that can be weighed?

Oh and BTW, please demonstrate with anything OTHER THAN Hindsight what these bad decisions were.

JFKY on July 11, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Getting out of one’s car …are not crimes per se.

Resist We Much on July 11, 2013 at 6:07 PM

It is if you get out of your car on the lake Pontchartrain bridge.

cozmo on July 11, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Yes, I know he’s 17…and I’ll get corrected that’s ‘technically an adult’…but still, a 17 year old kid.
 
verbaluce on July 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

 

I don’t have the same view you do as far as ‘at conception’.
I see if more as gray matter, evolving to a gray area, evolving to what you feel it is at conception.
 
verbaluce on September 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

 
Compare/contrast.

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 6:20 PM

I apologize for doubting your assertions…

Dusty on July 11, 2013 at 6:01 PM

No problem. We are on the same side.

Braca’s explanation was poorly worded. Since I knew what he meant I unconsciously glossed over that. I can see how you read it the way you did.

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Oops. Sorry. Wrong link. That’s the one where I was making fun of the hypocrisy in yesterday’s abandoned thread:
 

But ‘Hard-line conservatives’, as you call them, have always had a hard time staying out of peoples bedrooms and bodies.
 
verbaluce on July 8, 2013 at 2:16 PM

 
Here’s the correct link for the 6:20 “kid/not-kid” post.

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Sheesh… It’s Branca, not Braca.

My apologies for all of the misspellings to Mr. Branca, who has done an outstanding job covering this trial.

On twitter … https://twitter.com/LawSelfDefense

And for Legal Insurrection.

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 6:35 PM

If the prosecution wants a charge that might stick, I suggest littering–for leaving the body on the sidewalk and not disposing of it properly.

merlich on July 11, 2013 at 6:53 PM

One more thing, there is a great misconception about self-defence law. The extent of or lack of one’s injuries is IRRELEVANT. If someone is holding a knife to your mother’s neck, you do not need to wait until he draws blood to take out your gun and shoot him between the eyes. If a would-be rapist is lunging at a woman, she doesn’t not need to wait until he actually makes physical contact before blowing his head off.
Resist We Much on July 11, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Very well said, RWM.

JimLennon on July 11, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Ain’t THAT the truth. The most inverted world I’ve certainly lived in!

This won’t be confined to Florida. And even if Z is convicted of a lesser charge, there will be riots and deaths.

oldroy on July 11, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Shouldn’t SOMEONE be held responsible for those deaths?

How can a nation that legally slaughters 55 million babies pretend to concern itself with “child abuse?”
Don L on July 11, 2013 at 2:26 PM

In the words of Limbaugh–right on, right on, right on!

The bright side is that when the jury finds GZ not guilty, Sanford could qualify for stimulus funds to rebuild.
Shovel (and fire department) ready jobs!
BobMbx on July 11, 2013 at 2:45 PM

You may not be far from wrong–Sandford, FL is where the Amtrak auto train has a depot from VA south–it could use a little rebuilding!

Rachel Jeantel? The View has an opening.
oldroy on July 11, 2013 at 3:53 PM

ha! can’t you just see her ‘debating’ w/Bobwha?

I haven’t the time to address the Hog–so many of you have already, so thanks for that. Incidentally, Judge Nelson was appointed by Jeb Bush–no big surprise there!

jersey taxpayer on July 11, 2013 at 6:56 PM

If GZ had known what would have happened to his life as a result of the events of that night, I’m sure that he would have kept on driving to Target.

Resist We Much on July 11, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Which is also tragic. He did nothing wrong.

The lesson I’m sure many people are taking away from this, though most of them would never say so out loud — Ignore suspicious people walking around in your crime infested neighborhood. Don’t bother calling the cops.

Chalk up a win for the bad guys.

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM

If GZ had known what would have happened to his life as a result of the events of that night, I’m sure that he would have kept on driving to Target.

Resist We Much on July 11, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Which is also tragic. He did nothing wrong.

The lesson I’m sure many people are taking away from this, though most of them would never say so out loud — Ignore suspicious people walking around in your crime infested neighborhood. Don’t bother calling the cops.

Chalk up a win for the bad guys.

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM

It’s a powerful disincentive for “getting involved.”

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Let’s see — the prosecutor claims Zimmerman profiled Martin. What is this, then?

Via Twitchy…

Prosecutor de la Rionda in Zimmerman case: “He had skittles, skittles that he didn’t even steal!” Is this real life? http://t.co/0Tal1p8H60—
Matt Douty (@mdouty) July 11, 2013

http://twitchy.com/2013/07/11/racist-much-zimmerman-trial-prosecutor-notes-martin-didnt-even-steal-skittles-video/

Liam on July 11, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Re:profiling-
 
Zimmerman wasn’t an officer of the court.
 
Profiling isn’t illegal.

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Profiling isn’t illegal.

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Give it time.

Especially after Zimmerman gets convicted.

cozmo on July 11, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Why the hell is this post already so far down the HotAir home page??!?

DethMetalCookieMonst on July 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Re:profiling-

Zimmerman wasn’t an officer of the court.

Profiling isn’t illegal.

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 7:36 PM

But it’s still a very very bad word among liberals. The accusation itself is enough to infer guilt of sinister intent.

The prosecutor is looking for any angle, presuming motive to engage a confrontation where any evidence indicates Zimmerman didn’t have such motive.

But the prosecutor, on the other hand, where profiling becomes a question…

Liam on July 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Give it time.
 
Especially after Zimmerman gets convicted.
 
cozmo on July 11, 2013 at 7:39 PM

 
No kidding. Can the jurors ask about or research basic things like this?

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Re:profiling-

Zimmerman wasn’t an officer of the court.

Profiling isn’t illegal.

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 7:36 PM

“Profiling” the context of this political show trial and lynching is nothing but a PC code word for racism.

Everyone “profiles”, probably almost every day of their lives. Often many times a day.

It’s a form of subconscious statistical cost/benefit and risk/benefit analysis based on past experiences and, unfortunately, the crap people see on TV. Some people do it well. Some do it not so well.

Trayvon Martin did it not so well. Based on testimony and evidence in the trial, Trayvon apparently profiled the “crazy-ass cracka”. Zimmerman looked like a low-threat low-risk low-cost target to him. Someone on whom he could practice his fighting skills. Else he would have ran home, locked the doors, and called 911. He had a lot of time to do that after he ran around the corner of that building. The “crazy-ass cracka” was at least 150 ft behind him and still in his vehicle. He only had about another 350 feet to go to get there. He did not do that. He chose poorly.

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 7:57 PM

He chose poorly.

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 7:57 PM

And then Martin compounded that error of judgement by thinking he had beat Zimmerman enough to grab Zimmerman’s gun.

Steve Eggleston on July 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

And then Martin compounded that error of judgement by thinking he had beat Zimmerman enough to grab Zimmerman’s gun.

Steve Eggleston on July 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

I’m sure liberals think that was self-defense.

Liam on July 11, 2013 at 8:25 PM

And despite the ‘fists are deadly weapons’ narrative being pushed, GZ suffered relatively little injury

verbaluce on July 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Thank you for pointing out that GZ acted appropriately in defending himself, and thus suffering little injury after being assaulted, laid out on the sidewalk, and having his head beat against the concrete. Without his concealed carry, GZ probably would have ended up dead. Surely you did want that, right?

dominigan on July 11, 2013 at 8:37 PM

That should read, “Surely you did NOT want that, right?”

dominigan on July 11, 2013 at 8:38 PM

I’m sure liberals think that was self-defense.

Liam on July 11, 2013 at 8:25 PM

The liberal version has poor Trayvon cowering and hiding somewhere when Zimmerman finds him in the 90 seconds he frantically searched for him after ending the NEN call. And then Zimmerman provokes Martin to strike first, or hits Martin first, or something.

Assuming that is true, I have tried but I cannot construct any scenario or theory of what happened after this point that fits with all of the testimony and evidence. Not even one that kinda of sorta of fits. None. Nada. Not one.

No one can. The prosecution can’t. If they could have they would have. We would have heard it in the prosecution’s closing argument. We didn’t.

But the substance of George’s version holds up quite well. And he voluntarily repeated it many times.

This is why the Sandford PD’s lead investigator and the police chief refused to arrest and charge Zimmerman, even if they were told the could (wink-wink) dismiss the charges later. For standing by their conclusions, by their oaths, and by their personal integrity, the lead investigator was demoted to patrolman and the police chief was fired. And the entire PD was tarred with charges of racism.

A DA who was assigned to prosecute Zimmerman after he was arrested and charged quit rather do what he was being ordered to do.

J’Accuse

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

even if after they were told the could

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 9:06 PM

…I missed a good thread!

KOOLAID2 on July 11, 2013 at 9:11 PM

And then Martin compounded that error of judgement by thinking he had beat Zimmerman enough to grab Zimmerman’s gun.
 
Steve Eggleston on July 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

 
I’m sure liberals think that was self-defense.
 
Liam on July 11, 2013 at 8:25 PM

 

If you’re being followed in the car by a strange man, in a neighborhood you’re visiting you don’t have any right to fear that you might be in danger of harm? Exactly how much responsive force should Trayvon have used to not justify being shot in the chest and killed? One punch? Was it two defensive punches that did it?
 
libfreeordie on March 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 9:16 PM

And then Martin compounded that error of judgement by thinking he had beat Zimmerman enough to grab Zimmerman’s gun.
 
Steve Eggleston on July 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

 
I’m sure liberals think that was self-defense.
 
Liam on July 11, 2013 at 8:25 PM

 

Where’s the concern for Martin’s rights to Stand His Ground? Someone is following him, for no appearant reason, and Martin doesn’t have the right to defend himself.
 
Hog Wild on April 12, 2012 at 9:38 PM

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 9:17 PM

And then Martin compounded that error of judgement by thinking he had beat Zimmerman enough to grab Zimmerman’s gun.
 
Steve Eggleston on July 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

 
I’m sure liberals think that was self-defense.
 
Liam on July 11, 2013 at 8:25 PM

 

Can you imagine the possibility that this kid felt threatened and made some sort of defensive move? What was the kid thinking? We know a bit what Zimmerman was thinking – as the kid walked home eating some skittles.
 
verbaluce on March 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 9:20 PM

See the time stamps, verbaluce?

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Why the hell is this post already so far down the HotAir home page??!?

DethMetalCookieMonst on July 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

It will drop off the main page soon.

The race based railroading of an innocent man by the left-wing fascist state and the collateral damage, like the firing of a police chief, is not very important in the grand scheme of things, or something.

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Why are the media so focused on Barack’s imaginary thug’s death?

SouthernGent on July 11, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Why the hell is this post already so far down the HotAir home page??!?
 
DethMetalCookieMonst on July 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

 
It is kind of odd.
 
The “bro-choice” thread has remained up top since yesterday with ~160 posts while this one has plummeted with 350+ since around noon today.

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 9:44 PM

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Is there any forensic evidence showing Martin grabbed for the gun? Oh and how is it that Trayvon managed to smother Zimmerman, while reaching for the gun and punching him, which also allowed Zimmerman to yell out for help. How many hands did Trayvon have exactly?

libfreeordie on July 11, 2013 at 10:32 PM

libfreeordie on July 11, 2013 at 10:32 PM

You are an idiot.

You don’t even understand how stupid, ignorant, uninformed, and “intellectually dishonest” your questions are.

You do not have a clue how a confrontation like this happens in real life and in real time and how the bodies and limbs are moving every which way in fractions of a second.

Apparently you think this happened in stop action motion, one frame every second or two or three, over ten or fifteen seconds.

This place should have banned your a$$ a long, long time ago. But you get special treatment here, just like you do at your university.

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 11:06 PM

lowinformationperfesser on July 11, 2013 at 10:32 PM

farsighted on July 11, 2013 at 11:06 PM

The perfesser has his Saint Trayvon talking points in a revolving file, and it looks like he has reached the end and started over again from the beginning.

slickwillie2001 on July 11, 2013 at 11:23 PM

Again, according to the prosecution’s OWN witness, Trayvon Martin told her on the phone that he was at HOME – in his father’s girlfriend’s back yard, then LEFT said backyard to DELIBERATELY go and confront Zimmerman.

No matter how much the Libbies try and spin it as GZ did something wrong – all TM had to do was STAY AT HOME after he got there.

No mention, either, of TM circling GZ’s vehicle with menace in his eyes.

Convenient recall doesn’t BEGIN to describe these people.

Jenteal is the one who supplied all this info and she was the PROSECUTION’s witness!

PJ Emeritus on July 11, 2013 at 11:47 PM

How many hands did Trayvon have exactly?

libfreeordie on July 11, 2013 at 10:32 PM

How many do thugs normally have?

JohnGalt23 on July 12, 2013 at 1:54 AM

Quick, libfreeordie! Call Florida! Surely the prosecution hasn’t thought of that angle yet! Maybe there’s still time! Get that quirky tattooed girl to play some slightly unusual but still not entirely offensive music while she runs her tests and then she can call the chief at the last minute and… and…
 

Racism, once again, has corrupted your ability to reason.
 
libfreeordie on April 26, 2013 at 12:53 PM

rogerb on July 12, 2013 at 2:57 AM

Why the hell is this post already so far down the HotAir home page??!?

DethMetalCookieMonst on July 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

It is kind of odd.

The “bro-choice” thread has remained up top since yesterday with ~160 posts while this one has plummeted with 350+ since around noon today.

rogerb on July 11, 2013 at 9:44 PM

It still hasn’t been bumped up…

OmahaConservative on July 12, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Oh, look. Fell off the front page… somehow. Despite 300+ posts in a day.

makattak on July 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM

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