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  1. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I'm arguing morality. Regardless of what the legal system says, I believe it is wrong for one individual to follow another individual, provoking a response out of him, then killing him because he "felt threatened". There is WAAAAAAAAAAY too much room for abuse.
    Moving past legal arguments.

    OK, I guess the problem I have with your argument is that (out side of the shooting and the physical altercation) that Zimmerman was operating within the scope of his agency as a neighborhood watch participant.

    If no physical altercation or shooting occurred, I would argue that most would say that in being suspicious of Martin and following him as far as was needed to determine whether Martin was a threat, Zimmerman was doing what he was supposed to be doing as a neighborhood watch participant.

    Now in the reality of what occurred, after Zimmerman disregards the 911 instructions the situation changes and Zimmerman is acting beyond the scope of his neighborhood watch position.

    He is culpable in my mind for actions taken subsequent to the 911 instructions, but prior to the physical altercation (assuming that said altercation was initiated by Martin).

    I do agree with you that the way stand your ground is written leaves too much room for abuse, and that there is the possibility of a Legally Sophisticated individual initiating conflict with the intention of killing another and getting away with it.

    That being said, that is not what I think happened here. Zimmerman's actions strike me as coming from a place of suspicion and paranoia, not premeditation and calculation.

    I don't think the fact that Zimmerman followed Martin amounts to sufficient provocation to shift (the majority of) culpability, moral or legal, from Martin for initiating physical violence to Zimmerman for following Martin.

    I don't like leaving things like this up for interpretation. Zimmerman was in no way qualified to determine whether or not Martin was a threat.
    Unfortunately, we don't know everything and the best bet we have is leaving it up to sound legal minds to contend (and interpret) the issue.

    He was the head of the neighborhood watch, he was more qualified than say the head of the PTA.

    Up until he disregarded the 911 directions, I don't see anything wrong with the way he acted.

    Now whether Zimmerman's mental state should have kept him off the neighborhood watch to begin with is another question.

    Do you think we should have neighborhood watch at all?

    Lastly, and this may be answering a question you didn't ask, I totally think Zimmerman was qualified to determine whether or not Martin's actions were threatening his life or great bodily harm (insofar as any human is capable of assessing that threat).

    I'm not a fan of the guilty until proven innocent position, either. Your law would result in some innocent people going to prison. Sometimes there's just no way to know how "threatening" someone was. We certainly don't know in this case. Zimmerman might have been completely justified in shooting Martin or it could have been a cold-blooded murder and there's simply no way to know. That's why my problem is with the fact that Zimmerman was even there in the first place. He shouldn't have been following Martin. Period!
    Like I said earlier, he was the captain of the neighborhood watch, if he shouldn't investigate individuals he finds suspicious, what should he be doing?

    I have no problem if neighborhood watch people follow those they find suspicious. In fact, I kind of think that's their job.

    Now certainly they should call the authorities and follow the instructions given by the same, but prior to that, I have no problem with the following of suspicious individuals in an effort to evaluate the threat and then make a call to the police.

    I think the general level of abuse would be lower with the law the way I described earlier than it is with the law the way its written now. I also think that the consequences would be less severe, innocent in jail vs. dead citizen.

    Either way I do agree that the potential for abuse is there either way its written.

    How would you handle the self defense issue to limit the possibility for abuse? (I'm genuinely curious here, not just looking to shoot down your ideas)

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    I'm not sitting on any bombshells, sorry.
    But generally speaking, if you initiate an altercation, you won't have much of an excuse in using deadly force.
    Coming back to the provocation issue, I guess we disagree on who initiated the altercation.

    Before violence was employed both parties were equally able to extricate themselves from the situation.

    The instant it became physical no one was getting away, and any response to a physical threat is (in my mind) more warranted than a response to the MUCH more nebulous threat of being followed.

    Now if Zimmerman went into this whole situation thinking, oh goody I'm gonna get to shoot this kid, I'd be the first to vote for lethal injection. But like I said earlier I don't think that's what happened here

    And just to be clear, I wasn't speculating on what Zimmerman supposedly did or didn't do - I was just answering Jock's post as to how the law usually works across the states.
    Indeed.

  2. #132
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Moving past legal arguments.

    OK, I guess the problem I have with your argument is that (out side of the shooting and the physical altercation) that Zimmerman was operating within the scope of his agency as a neighborhood watch participant.

    If no physical altercation or shooting occurred, I would argue that most would say that in being suspicious of Martin and following him as far as was needed to determine whether Martin was a threat, Zimmerman was doing what he was supposed to be doing as a neighborhood watch participant.

    Now in the reality of what occurred, after Zimmerman disregards the 911 instructions the situation changes and Zimmerman is acting beyond the scope of his neighborhood watch position.

    He is culpable in my mind for actions taken subsequent to the 911 instructions, but prior to the physical altercation (assuming that said altercation was initiated by Martin).

    I do agree with you that the way stand your ground is written leaves too much room for abuse, and that there is the possibility of a Legally Sophisticated individual initiating conflict with the intention of killing another and getting away with it.

    That being said, that is not what I think happened here. Zimmerman's actions strike me as coming from a place of suspicion and paranoia, not premeditation and calculation.

    I don't think the fact that Zimmerman followed Martin amounts to sufficient provocation to shift (the majority of) culpability, moral or legal, from Martin for initiating physical violence to Zimmerman for following Martin.



    Unfortunately, we don't know everything and the best bet we have is leaving it up to sound legal minds to contend (and interpret) the issue.

    He was the head of the neighborhood watch, he was more qualified than say the head of the PTA.

    Up until he disregarded the 911 directions, I don't see anything wrong with the way he acted.

    Now whether Zimmerman's mental state should have kept him off the neighborhood watch to begin with is another question.

    Do you think we should have neighborhood watch at all?

    Lastly, and this may be answering a question you didn't ask, I totally think Zimmerman was qualified to determine whether or not Martin's actions were threatening his life or great bodily harm (insofar as any human is capable of assessing that threat).



    Like I said earlier, he was the captain of the neighborhood watch, if he shouldn't investigate individuals he finds suspicious, what should he be doing?

    I have no problem if neighborhood watch people follow those they find suspicious. In fact, I kind of think that's their job.

    Now certainly they should call the authorities and follow the instructions given by the same, but prior to that, I have no problem with the following of suspicious individuals in an effort to evaluate the threat and then make a call to the police.

    I think the general level of abuse would be lower with the law the way I described earlier than it is with the law the way its written now. I also think that the consequences would be less severe, innocent in jail vs. dead citizen.

    Either way I do agree that the potential for abuse is there either way its written.

    How would you hand the self defense issue to limit the possibility for abuse? (I'm genuinely curious here, not just looking to shoot down your ideas)



    Coming back to the provocation issue, I guess we disagree on who initiated the altercation.

    Before violence was employed both parties were equally able to extricate themselves from the situation.

    The instant it became physical no one was getting away, and any response to a physical threat is (in my mind) more warranted than a response to the MUCH more nebulous threat of being followed.

    Now if Zimmerman went into this whole situation thinking, oh goody I'm gonna get to shoot this kid, I'd be the first to vote for lethal injection. But like I said earlier I don't think that's what happened here



    Indeed.
    How was that kid supposed to know this individual was part of Neighborhood Watch? Do we know if there are any signs stating that's in effect in that area? Being a gated community, one might assume there would be a security presence somewhere with marked vehicles or uniform.. not just some random dude in a SUV. Also, I'm pretty sure that neighborhood watch isn't any sort of legitimate agency, so to speak, but rather a general community understanding/commitment to be observant and open with one another about suspicious activity.

    If someone followed me because I was wearing a hoodie and walking in the rain, and that individual appeared to be a rather large civilian of no particular authority, I would be quite alarmed, as well. If I were pursued enough, I might choose to react with violence to protect myself in a situation like that. Zimmerman obviously took his role as 'neighborhood watchman' far too seriously, and made brash, inaccurate judgement calls that resulted in a kid feeling threatened enough to run away and to also take measures to defend his personal safety from a potential attacker. How was Martin supposed to be aware that this man was not a threat to his safety? He just started following him. It should be noted that he died fairly close to his relative's home, and likely felt cornered at that point. I certainly wouldn't want whoever was following me to see what home I entered, and risk being taken by surprise later on/having some harm come to my loved ones, etc.
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  3. #133
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Coming back to the provocation issue, I guess we disagree on who initiated the altercation.
    How can you disagree with me when I did not state any opinions on the matter?
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  4. #134
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    I would have been cool if that guy could have crossed paths with that guy Brevek instead of this black kid, he'd be a hero then, it'd be like Taxi Driver or something.

  5. #135
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Moving past legal arguments.

    OK, I guess the problem I have with your argument is that (out side of the shooting and the physical altercation) that Zimmerman was operating within the scope of his agency as a neighborhood watch participant.
    When I think Neighborhood watch, I think about people observing and reporting what they see to the authorities, but leaving the actual pursuit and arrest to those with proper training and authority. That's not what Zimmerman did. On top of that, he was armed.

    If no physical altercation or shooting occurred, I would argue that most would say that in being suspicious of Martin and following him as far as was needed to determine whether Martin was a threat, Zimmerman was doing what he was supposed to be doing as a neighborhood watch participant.

    Now in the reality of what occurred, after Zimmerman disregards the 911 instructions the situation changes and Zimmerman is acting beyond the scope of his neighborhood watch position.

    He is culpable in my mind for actions taken subsequent to the 911 instructions, but prior to the physical altercation (assuming that said altercation was initiated by Martin).
    Zimmerman could follow Martin forever and not be able to determine whether or not he's a threat. Being a member of the neighborhood watch, alone, is meaningless. If the guy was a retired police officer my opinion would be different. But he's not. He's an untrained buffoon.

    I do agree with you that the way stand your ground is written leaves too much room for abuse, and that there is the possibility of a Legally Sophisticated individual initiating conflict with the intention of killing another and getting away with it.

    That being said, that is not what I think happened here. Zimmerman's actions strike me as coming from a place of suspicion and paranoia, not premeditation and calculation.
    I agree with that. I don't think Zimmerman intended to kill Martin. He's just an idiot who got in way over his head and he was too stupid recognize this. But being stupid is not a excuse, IMO.

    I don't think the fact that Zimmerman followed Martin amounts to sufficient provocation to shift (the majority of) culpability, moral or legal, from Martin for initiating physical violence to Zimmerman for following Martin.
    I don't agree with this for the simple fact that Zimmerman was armed. If Zimmerman had been unarmed, my opinion would be different (and Martin would probably be alive).

    Unfortunately, we don't know everything and the best bet we have is leaving it up to sound legal minds to contend (and interpret) the issue.

    He was the head of the neighborhood watch, he was more qualified than say the head of the PTA.
    I don't agree. Being head of the neighborhood watch does not mean you're qualified to assess threats any more than being elected coroner means you're qualified to perform autopsies. It's a meaningless title.

    Up until he disregarded the 911 directions, I don't see anything wrong with the way he acted.
    I agree, except that he was armed. Being armed gave this guy the confidence to act on his stupidity.

    Now whether Zimmerman's mental state should have kept him off the neighborhood watch to begin with is another question.
    That's part of the reason I believe it's a meaningless title.

    Do you think we should have neighborhood watch at all?
    Yes, but neighborhood watch doesn't involve arming yourself, following people you deem to be threats. Otherwise it would be called neighborhood police.

    Lastly, and this may be answering a question you didn't ask, I totally think Zimmerman was qualified to determine whether or not Martin's actions were threatening his life or great bodily harm (insofar as any human is capable of assessing that threat).
    At the moment of the altercation, maybe. Maybe not. But before the altercation, no. He thought hoodie = criminal.

    Like I said earlier, he was the captain of the neighborhood watch, if he shouldn't investigate individuals he finds suspicious, what should he be doing?
    Neighborhood watch is not a detective organization.

    I have no problem if neighborhood watch people follow those they find suspicious. In fact, I kind of think that's their job.

    Now certainly they should call the authorities and follow the instructions given by the same, but prior to that, I have no problem with the following of suspicious individuals in an effort to evaluate the threat and then make a call to the police.
    I don't, as long as they're NOT ARMED.

    I think the general level of abuse would be lower with the law the way I described earlier than it is with the law the way its written now. I also think that the consequences would be less severe, innocent in jail vs. dead citizen.

    Either way I do agree that the potential for abuse is there either way its written.

    How would you handle the self defense issue to limit the possibility for abuse? (I'm genuinely curious here, not just looking to shoot down your ideas)
    I'll answer this later. I don't have time now.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon View Post
    How was that kid supposed to know this individual was part of Neighborhood Watch? Do we know if there are any signs stating that's in effect in that area?
    From CBSNews:



    Trayvon certainly had notice.

    Being a gated community, one might assume there would be a security presence somewhere with marked vehicles or uniform.
    From 407re.com:

    Additional Community Information
    School District

    Seminole County

    Schools

    Northwest Cluster Elementary (choice bet
    ween four schools: Bentley, Idyllwilde,
    Sanford Middle
    Wickow and Wilson)
    Seminole High

    Amenities

    Community Pool
    Gated Community
    Community Clubhouse
    If they had a guard house, they would say so in their advertising for the community.

    Having a guard is a huge advertising pull, and is not something a community would leave off it's advertising info.

    If someone followed me because I was wearing a hoodie and walking in the rain, and that individual appeared to be a rather large civilian of no particular authority, I would be quite alarmed, as well.
    A large civilian who you have 3 inches on and who would probably run out of breath trying to change a tire.

    You very well might be alarmed I would as well, but would you say nothing prior to attacking?

    If I were pursued enough, I might choose to react with violence to protect myself in a situation like that. Zimmerman obviously took his role as 'neighborhood watchman' far too seriously, and made brash, inaccurate judgement calls that resulted in a kid feeling threatened enough to run away and to also take measures to defend his personal safety from a potential attacker. How was Martin supposed to be aware that this man was not a threat to his safety? He just started following him.
    First things first, there is no such thing as a preemptive defense.

    What happened was an attack in an effort to either beat Zimmerman to the punch, or just beat Zimmerman period.

    Well he had legal notice of the neighborhood watch.

    There's no way he could have been aware realistically, but given the relative sizes of the individuals involved, the ability to run (faster than Zimmerman) in literally any direction, and the option to ask WTF Zimmerman was doing following him, I don't really have a problem with Martin not having any idea Zimmerman was neighborhood watch.

    Just to give some context to the situation here's an article from the DailyBeast I just read on the situation:

    Zimmerman’s Twin Lakes Community Was on Edge Before Trayvon Shooting
    George Zimmerman called police 46 times in the years before he shot Trayvon Martin. As far as the cops were concerned, that wasn’t excessive in a neighborhood fighting petty crime, reports Amy Green.

    Olivia Bertalan was home alone with her infant son one morning last August when a man came to her door, knocked, and rang the doorbell. She peered out a window, didn't recognize the man and called police when another man came to her back door.

    Bertalan, 21, ran upstairs and locked herself and her son in a bedroom as the second man entered her home, which was in the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated, middle-income neighborhood of 260 townhouses in Sanford, Fla., outside Orlando. Terrified, she and her son cried as the man tried to turn the knob of the door where they hid. Both men ran when police arrived, but not before stealing a laptop and digital camera.

    "It was terrible," said Bertalan, who moved from the neighborhood last month after about half a year, because of this and other burglaries. "I'm sure he could hear me in there because my son was crying, and I was crying. ... Who knows what would have happened if the police hadn't been there."

    Twin Lakes has been in the national spotlight since one of its residents, George Zimmerman, shot and killed a 17-year-old boy named Trayvon Martin while Martin was walking through the neighborhood on a rainy February night. Martin, who was unarmed, was reportedly headed to a relative’s house. Zimmerman, who was carrying a concealed 9mm handgun and was the captain of the neighborhood-watch organization, told police that Martin had assaulted him after Zimmerman had asked why he was there.

    Under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows people who believe they’re in danger to respond with deadly force, Zimmerman was not arrested, but Martin’s death has since inspired protests and public demonstrations nationwide. The U.S. Justice Department on March 20 announced a review of the case for possible civil-rights violations. Two days later, the Sanford police chief stepped down temporarily, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced the appointment of a special prosecutor in the case and a task force to review the controversial law. Even President Obama weighed in last week, saying, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."

    In attempting to understand Zimmerman’s actions, much attention has been called to the fact that Martin was black, and to the frequency with which Zimmerman, who is half-white and half-Hispanic, called police in the years leading up to the shooting. Twin Lakes is almost 50 percent white, with Hispanic and African-American populations of about 20 percent each.

    Conversations with several residents, however, suggest that Zimmerman’s calls reflect a wider feeling of concern and distrust in the community. For years, Twin Lakes residents had been on edge—demonstrated by their decision last September to start a neighborhood-watch organization, which was initiated by Zimmerman himself. The burglary of Olivia Bertalan’s home was just one of at least eight reported over the previous 14 months—several of which, neighbors said, involved young black men. On Feb. 26, the odds were stacked against Martin: he was a young black man in a neighborhood that was feeling besieged by crime and blaming it—fairly or not—on people who looked like him.

    Three weeks before Martin’s death another Twin Lakes resident arrived home to discover a kitchen window open and a laptop and gold necklaces missing. Two witnesses said they saw a young black man standing nearby, but they did not see the man break into the home, according to a police report. One witness said he believed it was the same man who had stolen his bike. The next day officers responding to a call confronted three black men and one white man on bikes near the neighborhood. The same witnesses identified one of the men as the same man they saw near the burglarized home. The officers found the laptop in the man's backpack.

    Last July a rental car was stolen from one townhome along with the car keys, which were inside on a dining room table. The resident awoke in the morning to discover her sliding glass door open. The car was eventually found abandoned. In August a PlayStation and videogames were stolen from another townhome. In September someone vandalized a townhome under construction. In December someone broke into a foreclosed townhome, stopped up a toilet and started the water running. According to a police report, the water flooded the bedroom and caused drywall in the garage to collapse.

    During the months before he shot Martin, Zimmerman called police about once a month, said Kim Cannaday, spokeswoman for the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. He called about suspicious-looking people in the neighborhood, many whom, like Martin, he identified as black. Zimmerman also called to report a neighbor's garage door open and children playing in the street, asking that he remain anonymous so as not to offend other neighbors.

    In all, police have records of 46 calls from Zimmerman since 2004, both to 911 and a nonemergency number, sometimes for reasons as mundane as reporting a pothole blocking a road, as he did in 2005. The sheriff’s office released the records after Sanford police detectives requested them as part of the investigation into Martin’s death, Cannaday said.

    Cannaday said he did not believe that the number of calls Zimmerman made to police was itself concerning.

    "I would not consider it excessive," Cannaday said. "That's typically what we encourage, is if anyone in the community sees something out of the ordinary, concerning, or suspicious, we would want for them to call."

    Olivia Bertalan said it was George Zimmerman's wife, in fact, who helped her to identify the burglar who stole her laptop. Bertalan didn't know Zimmerman well, but said he was helpful and "sweet" after the crime, inviting her to call them anytime if she felt afraid or needed anything.

    Officers eventually identified the person who burglarized Bertalan's home as a neighbor. He was arrested but released because, as Bertalan understood it, he was a minor. Both he and the other man were black, according to the police report.

    After the crime, Bertalan said, she was afraid to come home and find things missing. She and her husband got a dog, as advised by police.

    "There was definitely a sense of fear in the neighborhood after all of this started happening, and it just kept on happening. It wasn't just a one-time thing. It was every week," she said. "Our next-door neighbor actually said if someone came into his yard he would shoot him. If someone came into his house he would shoot him. Everyone felt afraid and scared."

  7. #137
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    words
    That sign says people REPORT suspicious activity. Last time I checked, walking back from a store with candy and iced tea, with my hood up, in weather with water precipitation, is not suspicious.

    He had no way of knowing that guy was part of neighborhood watch. It was Zimmerman's responsibility, imo, to identify himself as such, when the boy asked why he was being followed. That obviously did not transpire.

    I should note, that I've actually worked as a security guard, in the past, & though I never worked in a gated community, a couple did use the agency I worked for, & it was not actually listed on any of the information about the communities. Also, there were no guard houses or main posts, within either of them. The security officers had to hang out in their vehicle at the end of certain streets, making rounds every few hours and using the main office restroom. It actually wasn't even in the job description as a uniformed guard to actively pursue someone who is acting suspicious. The job was strictly to observe and report.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
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    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



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  8. #138
    Senior Member Wanderer's Avatar
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    Being armed doesn't make a difference; we have the second amendment for a reason.

    Whether Zimmerman should or should not have followed Treyvon is irrelevant to the discussion.
    Zimmerman has been head of the neighborhood watch for a long time. More to the point, he has followed individuals he deemed suspicious and called 911 many, many times. http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/1...-habitual.html

    What, Treyvon was the first out of place black kid to traipse through the gated community? I think not.
    Also, the community that Zimmerman was policing was multi-ethnic. Do you really think the community would have wanted/allowed a racist to be head of the neighborhood watch? This entire situation got out of control. It is not, however, the first time Zimmerman has followed someone in the neighborhood, and I am inclined to hold the random variable (Treyvon) responsible. Zimmerman cooperated with police completely. Not exactly the act of someone who's guilty.

    Also; Treyvon did not belong in that neighborhood. He was walking to his Gf's house when this occurred. When confronted he could have simply told Zimmerman where he was going and who he was going to see. He could have invited Zimmerman to escort him to his GF's place of residence. Or called his GF and had Zimmerman talk to her. Or he could've just run like hell. I've BEEN followed before (A homeless guy) and my reaction was to pick up my walking pace and GTFO. It's not worth risking assault and battery just to confront someone who might be following me.

    This case is some of the most blatant race baiting and yellow journalism I've seen in a long time. Those "tapes" that NBC aired with the alleged racial slur were EXTREMELY doctored and NBC had to retract them. It was apparently unseasonably cold the night of the incident, and he could have just as easily have said "f----ng cold" as he did "f----ng coons." As to him saying "he's black" - that was in response to the dispatcher asking "What ethnicity is the subject." A question conveniently edited out of the HIGHLY doctored tapes as they were aired and reported on.

    I wouldn't be inclined to pick a side normally, since I've seen racism from both sides of the aisle. Normally, I just don't care.
    In this case however, the media has abandoned all pretense of impartial journalism and has brought the case so much scrutiny, and rabble roused so many unthinking racists from both camps, that I sincerely doubt he'll get a fair trial. It's very clear who the prosecutor sympathizes with. I got to listen to the press announcement as it was being made, and I drew a few conclusions (besides that fact that the prosecutor is an attention driven windbag who loves the sound of her own voice.)

    (1) The prosecutor has abandoned all pretense at impartial prosecution according the law. She made statements such as "I've worked on highly charged cases before, and the families of the victims have always become like family to me." Tacitly placing Treyvon in the category of "victim" and the assumed innocence that goes with that label.

    (2) By charging Zimmerman with second degree murder, she is trying to convict him of:
    "1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable 'heat of passion' or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life"

    A fight (especially one that you're losing - being underneath someone and getting the tar beaten out of you isn't exactly a good position to be in.) is where you HAVE the heat of the moment, 'the heat of passion'. As for the second definition, "obvious lack of concern for human life" how do you determine that from a case where there is very little proof? Besides the fact that you're a stone's throw away from the creation of thought crime. If he had drawn his gun from the get go and been threatening him to GTFO or else, I could see you saying that. But he didn't. Unless he chased Treyvon down, or shot him in the back as he was running away, I don't see how you can prove that there was a disregard for human life. No one (at least, no one fit to survive) has respect for
    the life of an opponent when their own life is in jeopardy FROM that opponent.
    I would've given Zimmerman manslaughter. If Treyvon had actually been a full blown thug I would've acquitted him. That of course, assumes Zimmerman's innocence. None of us really know - nor does the media. There is apparently video footage of some kind involved as well, and God only knows what other evidence will be scraped together before this is all over.

    This is not the 1960's. This was not a lynching or a clear cut open and shut case of verified racism. There are very few hard facts, and lots of conjecture from everyone. Zimmerman has his personal faults (broadcast by the media) Treyvon has his (suspended for marijuana possession and possible dealing. I'm sure that speaks volumes about his status as a fine upstanding citizen.) The facts are not all in, and it is not for us to decide whether or not Zimmerman is guilty or of what.

    No matter what his status, guilt or innocence, the ironically named American justice system can be counted on to mess up on the verdict. (The OJ Simpson Trial, anyone?)

    It is not however, the place of the media or the public to try, acquit, or condemn this man.

    tldr;This entire case is ridiculous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    But generally speaking, if you initiate an altercation, you won't have much of an excuse in using deadly force.
    But what is considered to be initiating? The law does not allow someone to use violence unless the court believes that a reasonable person in the same situation would have felt physically threatened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon View Post
    That sign says people REPORT suspicious activity. Last time I checked, walking back from a store with candy and iced tea, with my hood up, in weather with water precipitation, is not suspicious.

    He had no way of knowing that guy was part of neighborhood watch. It was Zimmerman's responsibility, imo, to identify himself as such, when the boy asked why he was being followed. That obviously did not transpire.

    I should note, that I've actually worked as a security guard, in the past, & though I never worked in a gated community, a couple did use the agency I worked for, & it was not actually listed on any of the information about the communities. Also, there were no guard houses or main posts, within either of them. The security officers had to hang out in their vehicle at the end of certain streets, making rounds every few hours and using the main office restroom. It actually wasn't even in the job description as a uniformed guard to actively pursue someone who is acting suspicious. The job was strictly to observe and report.
    Where the guards allowed to carry/use firearms at all in the scope of their job/as a civilian/are the two mutually exclusive or not?
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