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  1. #91
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Right. Martin is not on trial here and whether his actions were justifiable is irrelevant.
    Uhh, this might be true in a fantasy world, but in the real world Martin's actions matter. Why would the defense be trying so hard to portray Martin as the aggressor if his actions were irrelevant?
    "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."

  2. #92
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Zimmerman did not initiate the physical confrontation. Zimmerman was reasonably in fear for his life or GBH.

    Did it in 17 words.
    He pursued Martin against advice for reasons I can't understand and thus instigated the situation. And whether or not the presence of his gun was apparent, it further suggests how ready he was for conflict. One thing that has flip flopped in this case are Zimmerman's alleged emotions. I don't get how he pursued someone with a gun but was not ready for conflict. I don't understand how he was afraid of Martin but went well out of his way to pursue him.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    So there was no legal justification for the use of force by Martin.

    The argument goes, if you buy into Martin going for Zimmerman's gun, that Martin felt the gun with his leg while straddling GZ. That's the only argument I've heard thus far regarding Martin's knowledge of the weapon.
    The excerpt you quoted doesn't state how it got that point. It seems to me that we are left with assumptions about the start of the confrontation and the escalation of the violence.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Welcome to law.

    Innocent until proven guilty, so the "situation doesn't go to anyone by default".
    That's a ridiculous thing to say. No one has claimed Zimmerman is innocent of shooting and killing Martin. We all know he did. Is that not the biggest detail? He is guilty of that. Thus, in absence of extraordinary circumstances that would justify Zimmerman, we only know that he shot and killed someone. I'm amazed at how you keep glossing of the single most salient detail of the story. Given what we already certainly know (that Zimmerman followed and ultimately killed Martin), the onus is on you to provide new knowledge that somehow mitigates Zimmerman's guilt. If no new information is made certain, Martin's case wins automatically because we do know with certainty that Zimmeran followed him and shot him dead. Get it?


    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    You're right, having your neighborhood burglarized that many times in the past year would heighten a reasonable persons suspicions.
    I didn't realize vigilinateism was a defense in court.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    So you can show that Zimmerman wasn't justified in his use of deadly force?

    Very well let's hear it.
    No. I can't. I also assert you can't show he was. It's ambiguos. What we do know is that Zimmerman followed Martin for no good reason, and that Zimmerman ultimately shot and killed Martin. Again, what we know sides with me, we have to add crap you assume for it to side with you. If it's ambiguous, I win the case. Plausible deniability of Zimmerman's justified self-defense should be all it takes for me to win, because we know he followed and we know he killed.

    I find the precedent of doing this any other way disturbing in its implications.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Because a) that state hasn't shown Zimmerman to have been the aggressor in the physical altercation, and the forensic pathologist has agreed (which I have found quite convincing) and b) it has been convincingly argued that Zimmerman reasonably feared for his life.

    Here is an excerpt from a Legal Insurrection piece that contains the gist of the Forensic Pathologists testimony.
    So what if he reasonably feared for his life? When does that stop being a justification? What if a man enters a woman's home to rape her, and bungles his attempt, and she starts attacking him with a knife? If he killed her in self defense from that knife attack, would you think he should get off? I'm not declaring Zimmerman was attempting anything that terrible, but I'm pointing out that you can wind up in a self-defense situation while you were doing something terrible, while the person attacking you had good reason to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Wrong because stand your ground is still a defense if his intent and the circumstances meet the requirements of the statute. Those things are not certain as best I can tell.
    If you can follow someone with a gun, get into a fight with them in which they are unarmed, shoot them dead, and then get off free for "standing your ground", then I've found a great way to murder anyone I don't like in Florida.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Right. Martin is not on trial here and whether his actions were justifiable is irrelevant.
    It's very relevant. Zimmerman is known to have followed and ultimately killed someone. If we left it at that, he'd be a murderer. Thus, justifications are needed for the actions of the people involved to explain why Zimmerman might not be a murderer. That would include Martin's justifications.

    Here's an example of where your position would get silly. In any situation in which two people get into a fight and both could potentially feel they are defending themselves (which is not an implausible scenario) your saying that the jusfication for such violence is removed from anyone that dies in that situation. So basically, kill the other guy first, and your the one acting in self-defense.

    This is probably the whole problem with stand your ground laws in general. In the real world, not every conflict is divided into a vicitim and perpetrator.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    You are operating a convenience store, a robber comes in with a gun; you manage to shoot him instead, and then, in the heat of a moment you never asked to be put in, while every survival instinct in your body is urging you to make absolutely sure you have put a permanent end to the threat, you give in to that moment of weakness and shoot the robber dead while he's wounded on the floor. You are guilty of murder or manslaughter because....?
    Because you killed someone. What else am I supposed to say?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    At most, Zimmerman is guilty of something along the lines of reckless endangerment, not murder or manslaughter; Martin had legitimate reason to feel threatened, and Zimmerman had legitimate reason to believe he was at risk of death or grievous bodily harm (and before that he had legitimate reason to believe the police would not arrive in time to protect the neighborhood). Sometimes, tragic misunderstandings just happen, and there is no way to prevent them through statutory law without creating even worse situational tragedies or injustices.
    The bold part is why I can't agree. Who made Zimmerman protector of the neighborhood? What put that idea in his head? How many things can I get away with if I claim I'm trying to protect my neighborhood. His unreasonable impulse to be Charles Bronson allowed the whole situation to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Edit: in case there's any misunderstanding, I do believe the convenience store owner should have been charged with manslaughter, albeit with a reduced sentence for extenuating circumstances. My point was you can't say the robber could become a victim after instigating such an incident through criminal activity, but Zimmerman could not become a victim after instigating an incident through arguably stupid, but perfectly legal, activity.
    What Zimmeran and the store owner have in common, that separates them from what Martin and the robber have in common, is killing somebody. However, in real life, I find Zimmerman worse than the store owner, because Zimmerman literally pursued that situation. He did not passively receive it.
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  3. #93
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Uhh, this might be true in a fantasy world, but in the real world Martin's actions matter. Why would the defense be trying so hard to portray Martin as the aggressor if his actions were irrelevant?
    Yes, Martin's actions are relevant because they go to show the intent of Zimmerman and the reasonableness of his actions. But, whether Martin's actions were justifiable is not relevant because that's a matter of Martin's intent.

    People seem to think that if one guy is entitled to protect himself then the other guy must automatically be guilty. That's not how this works. Terrible misunderstandings in the dark of the night do happen. I don't know if that's what happened here, but they do happen.
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  4. #94
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    In the bigger picture, Zimmerman's argument doesn't so much seem to be self-defense as much as pitying idiocy. It's like we should let him off because he was being helplessly moronic. I, however, had always heard that ignorance was no excuse in matters of law.

    Haven't you been on forums enough to worry about trolls? The interpretation of stand your ground laws that I'm seeing here is like a troll's dream come true.
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  5. #95
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post

    Haven't you been on forums enough to worry about trolls? The interpretation of stand your ground laws that I'm seeing here is like a troll's dream come true.
    Pretty much. Even if Zimmerman is telling the truth... well, it reminds me of a schoolyard bully running to the teachers and whining about how he was attacked because the kid he was harassing for no damn reason finally decide to punch him in the face. (course, because Zimmerman had a secret hidden deterrent weapon, it's worse than that.) Somehow, the bully is the victim, because violence is bad unless it has to do with your vigilante fantasies.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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  6. #96
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Because you killed someone. What else am I supposed to say?

    The bold part is why I can't agree. Who made Zimmerman protector of the neighborhood? What put that idea in his head? How many things can I get away with if I claim I'm trying to protect my neighborhood. His unreasonable impulse to be Charles Bronson allowed the whole situation to happen.

    What Zimmeran and the store owner have in common, that separates them from what Martin and the robber have in common, is killing somebody. However, in real life, I find Zimmerman worse than the store owner, because Zimmerman literally pursued that situation. He did not passively receive it.
    1.) You're supposed to address issues relating to self-defense and original instigation.

    2.) I don't consider it unreasonable to want to protect your neighborhood when its experiencing a crime wave (Zimmerman was unreasonably obsessive about it, but its not something that's unreasonable in principle). As for Zimmerman starting the incident, so did the robber in the convenience store scenario; it doesn't mean they can't later be victims in their respective scenarios....especially if the instigation was unrelated to any crime.

    3.) All four people in these scenarios have something in common with each character in the other scenario; for example, neither the convenience store owner nor Martin asked to put in that situation, and both gave in to their survival instincts to protect themselves (as did Zimmerman). I don't deny that Zimmerman instigated the incident, only that manslaughter (much less murder) is an inappropriate charge against someone who a.) committed no crime and b.) was acting in self-defense. The fact that Martin ended up being killed by the sequence of events that Zimmerman's actions instigated means that charges along the lines of reckless endangerment might be appropriate, however.

  7. #97
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    So what if he reasonably feared for his life? When does that stop being a justification? What if a man enters a woman's home to rape her, and bungles his attempt, and she starts attacking him with a knife? If he killed her in self defense from that knife attack, would you think he should get off?
    That's taken care of in almost all states.

    It's called felony murder.

    You really don't know what you're talking about.

    It's very relevant. Zimmerman is known to have followed and ultimately killed someone. If we left it at that, he'd be a murderer.
    Wrong. We are a society that still cares about morality enough to at least not incarcerate people for murder in most cases without proving that they "evinced a depraved mind." The actions themselves might prove mal intent, but we generally do not send people to jail for murder strictly because it can be shown that they killed someone.



    Thus, justifications are needed for the actions of the people involved to explain why Zimmerman might not be a murderer. That would include Martin's justifications.
    I still have no idea how you reach this conclusion and you'll have to better explain it to me.

    Here's an example of where your position would get silly. In any situation in which two people get into a fight and both could potentially feel they are defending themselves (which is not an implausible scenario) your saying that the jusfication for such violence is removed from anyone that dies in that situation. So basically, kill the other guy first, and your the one acting in self-defense.
    I have no idea what you're talking about. You seem to be thinking about this from a purely policy perspective with complete disregard for the law, how it's developed, and why it's developed the way it has. Moreover, you seem to not really care about intent or moral culpability which our entire criminal justice system is based on.
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  8. #98
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    Somehow, the bully is the victim, because violence is bad unless it has to do with your vigilante fantasies.
    The bully is the victim, because violence is a criminal response except for self-defense. Punching the bully is more than understandable, as is shooting a wounded man who just tried to kill you (as in my convenience store scenario, based on a real event). This case is made even more complicated by the fact that both participants were acting out in (perceived) self-defense-that makes it tragic, but it doesn't make Zimmerman legally liable for murder.

  9. #99
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I don't get how he pursued someone with a gun but was not ready for conflict. I don't understand how he was afraid of Martin but went well out of his way to pursue him.
    He could be prepared to defend himself against attack, not to deliberately instigate violence. And, um, people overcome their fears to do things they regard as necessary, morally imperative, or just plain fun or advantageous all the time.

  10. #100
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    The bully is the victim, because violence is a criminal response except for self-defense. Punching the bully is more than understandable, as is shooting a wounded man who just tried to kill you (as in my convenience store scenario, based on a real event). This case is made even more complicated by the fact that both participants were acting out in (perceived) self-defense-that makes it tragic, but it doesn't make Zimmerman legally liable for murder.
    Probably not, but I think he's guilty of manslaughter or some sort of negligence. I don't think Zimmerman went into that situation intending to kill Martin, but he's definitely guilty of something. If there's no law for that, there should be. This is why we have professional law enforcement and not frontier justice. While I don't pretend that law enforcement is incapable of fucking up, at least they have training and some degree of accountability.

    Between this and the Snowden thing, I'm Fe'ing a lot lately.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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