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State pushes to keep Trayvon Martin's past out of George Zimmerman trial

 
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 12:08 pm
@firefly,
painting zimmerman as a troubled wanta be cop who may have been looking for trouble that day does not even begin to meet the states burden of proof.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 12:12 pm
@gungasnake,
How sad for you that a bloody nose equates with imminent threat of death.

He certainly wasn't in danger of bleeding to death....


Edit: Of course, the law says "reasonable fear of serious injury or death," and Gunga, of course, is not an indicator of what is reasonable.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 12:18 pm
@DrewDad,
The problem with the jury system.


painting zimmerman as a troubled wanta be cop who may have been looking for trouble that day does not even begin to meet the states burden of proof.

========

How sad for you that a bloody nose equates with imminent threat of death.

He certainly wasn't in danger of bleeding to death....
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 12:32 pm
@JTT,
zimmerman said he was pinned, being beaten, then martin saw his gun...zimmerman claims that he had fear in his heart that martin would take the gun and use it on him, which under florida law is justification for killing Martin. there are no witnesses so there is no way to prove zimmerman is either wrong or lying which under florida law is where they need to get to for a murder charge. the state will try to get manslaughter on the grounds that zimmerman was known to carry while on patrol, though in this case he was not on patrol, and that he met up with martin was ill advised, thus his disregard for safety was a part of the problem so he is liable for what happened, which is exactly the same reasoning as blaming a rape victim for her own rape because she allows herself to be too close to the man who ended up raping her. it is a bullshit argument.
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 01:12 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
zimmerman said he was pinned, being beaten, then martin saw his gun...zimmerman claims that he had fear in his heart that martin would take the gun and use it on him, which under florida law is justification for killing Martin. there are no witnesses so there is no way to prove zimmerman is either wrong or lying


That was only one version/reason he gave for firing his gun. If his head was being pounded into the ground, by Martin, how could he have seen what Martin was looking at or reaching for? Just thinking that Martin might take his gun may not be sufficient justification, under Florida law, for Zimmerman to have pre-emptively used deadly force.

Zimmerman's own inconsistencies, and the contradictions in his accounts, go to his credibility. By presenting enough of those, the prosecution will call into question how much the jury should believe him--about anything. And there are plenty of inconsistencies, and contradictions, in what he told the police. That's why the chief police investigator was immediately suspicious, and wanted Zimmerman charged, in the hours right after the shooting.

Quote:
his disregard for safety was a part of the problem so he is liable for what happened,

Not only did he disregard his own safety, he appears to have actively provoked the entire situation. Had he stayed in his parked car, and waited for the police, nothing would have happened. If he provoked a justiable defensive reaction, from an unarmed kid, because of his actions, the entire situation is viewed differently, in terms of legally justified self-defense. And Zimmerman seems to have made no effort to defend himself, except with lethal force--he didn't fight back at all, he simply drew his gun and fired it.

This is not just about Zimmerman's disregard for his own safety...he disregarded Martin's safety, and Martin's concern for his own safety...Martin wasn't engaged in the commission of any crime, he wasn't menacing Zimmerman, in any way, when Zimmerman began following him...it was Zimmerman who went after Martin, not the other way around. The jury is going to consider the entire situation.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 01:23 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
zimmerman claims that he had fear in his heart that martin would take the gun and use it on him, which under florida law is justification for killing Martin.

Actually, his fear is NOT justification under Florida law.

The question is not whether he was afraid, but whether the fear was a reasonable one.

I know many people with an unreasonable fear that the government will take their guns....
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 02:16 pm
@DrewDad,
Quote:
The second element in that list will likely be the most difficult to prove, and it is part of the reason the State will likely have a difficult time securing a conviction. Of course, most of the speculation surrounding this case is whether or not Mr. Zimmerman was justified in killing Travon Martin. The legal analysis, however, has nothing to do with whether or not Mr. Zimmerman was really "justified."
Instead, Mr. Zimmerman has a very low burden of proof in order to show self-defense. He must show enough evidence for a reasonable juror the simply possibility of believing Mr. Zimmerman acted in self-defense. As one court stated, if a defendant on trial for Murder in the Second Degree can raise enough evidence that a reasonable juror could believe he acted in justifiable self-defense, "the state had the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense." This language comes from Mosansky v. Florida, a case decided only two years ago in 2010.
In other words, Mr. Zimmerman must produce this minimal level of evidence to support a reasonable juror's belief in his defense. Once that is done, the state will have the burden to show that Mr. Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.


http://www.jacksonvillecriminaldefenselawyerblog.com/2012/04/jacksonville-criminal-defense-11.html

this guy is a florida lawyer......i will take his word over yours.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 02:53 pm
@hawkeye10,
Not quite true hawkeye. If someone initiates a confrontation the burden of showing self-defense becomes higher for the defendant. Under your reading, someone could kick over some bikes and then claim self defense for shooting bikers that come out of the bar.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 02:57 pm
@hawkeye10,
It's still how "justified self defense" is defined under Florida law.

Quote:
FL 782.02. Justifiable use of deadly force

State: Florida

782.02 Justifiable use of deadly force.—

The use of deadly force is justifiable when a person is resisting any attempt to murder such person or to commit any felony upon him or her or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person shall be.

Quote:
Florida Statutes (Fla. Stat.)

Title XLVI. Crimes.

Chapter 776: JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE

776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—

The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant
; or

(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

The state will likely contend that Zimmerman provoked the use of force.

In that case, there must be a "reasonable belief" of being in imminent danger of death, or great bodily harm, and and Zimmerman must show that he "exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force".

So, "reasonable" fear of death does enter into it.

In does under this statute as well, if this one is invoked.
http://lawofselfdefense.com/statute/fl-776-013%E2%80%83home-protection-use-of-deadly-force-presumption-of-fear-of-death-or-great-bodily-harm/

Let's look at another lawyer's more complete take on the trial...

Quote:
Zimmerman Case: The Five Principles of the Law of Self Defense
by Andrew Branca
June 9, 2013

The Criminal Charge Against Zimmerman

The above listed self-defense related statutes will find application in establishing Zimmerman’s affirmative defense of self-defense. We do not even get to that point, however, unless the State has managed to prove each and every element, beyond a reasonable doubt, of the crime with which Zimmerman has been charged.

The formal charge against Zimmerman is murder in the second degree: 782.04. Murder.

In Florida (as in most states) manslaughter is a lesser included offense of murder, and so the jury will also be read the manslaughter charge as a matter of course. 782.02. Manslaughter.

Details matter when dealing with statutes, and we’ll be delving into those details in the coming days and (perhaps) weeks of the trial. Before getting enmeshed in minutiae, however, I thought it might be productive to establish a general framework of the law of self defense generally, a of 30,000-foot point of view to put everybody on the same piece of landscape in preparation for the start of the trial. These five principles apply generally the the laws of self defense everywhere in the United States (although their specific application does, of course, vary in different jurisdictions.)

The Five Principles of the Law of Self-Defense

American society recognizes that there are certain circumstances in which the use of force, even deadly force, against another person may be necessary and justified. When this is so, the use of that force is deemed not a crime, and even if the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt each and every element of, say, murder, the fact that the act was done in lawful self-defense requires an acquittal.

This is, really, a remarkable degree of autonomous power held by the individual citizen. A person who reasonably believes that they are being threatened with imminent and otherwise unavoidable death or grave bodily harm may in that instant take the life of their attacker, with absolutely no requirement for prior permission from any governmental authority. In contrast, think about how long it usually takes the government to execute someone who has been proven guilty of a capital crime with all due process of law.

Where the government does enter the picture in a self-defense scenario, of course, is after the fact. Examining events in hindsight they seek to determine whether the use of force did, in fact, adhere to all five legal principles of self-defense. If they can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that any single one of those principles has been violated, the defendant’s right to claim self defense disappears.

That said, let’s briefly discuss each of the five principles of the law of self-defense: Innocence, Imminence, Proportionality, Avoidance, and Reasonableness.

For the State to win on the issue of self-defense in the Zimmerman case it must prove, busing the facts in evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt. one or more of these fundamental principles to be false.

Innocence—Aggressors Need Not Apply

The principle of Innocence refers to the notion that a person who initiates a conflict should not later be permitted to justify his use of force as self defense. It is this principle that is captured in Florida statute 776.041. It is, however, possible for the initial aggressor of a conflict to regain his “innocence” under certain circumstances., and thereby regain his right to justifiably use force in self defense

What I expect we will see at trial with regard to the principle of Innocence is the State arguing that Zimmerman engaged in conduct of a nature sufficient to qualify as “aggression”. The defense will respond that nothing Zimmerman did could reasonably qualify as an act of “aggression,” and at the same time that even if he did engage in such conduct he nevertheless “regained his innocence” afterwards.

Imminence—Right NOW!

The principle of Imminence refers to the notion that you can defend yourself with force only against a threatened danger that is about to happen RIGHT NOW. You can’t use force to prevent a danger that may arise at some later time—the law expects you to seek an alternative resolution in the mean time, such as calling the police–nor may you use force in response to a danger that has already occurred or passed—doing so would be retaliation, not self defense.

The principle of Imminence may come into play around the arguments that Zimmerman was the initial aggressor, in that his observation/following of Martin would create in a reasonable person’s mind (in this case, Martin) a fear of imminent harm. The defense will, naturally, argue the contrary.

Proportionality—The “Goldilocks” Principle (Just Right)

The principle of Proportionality refers to the notion that the degree of force you may use in self-defense must be proportional to the degree of force with which you are threatened. Briefly, a non-deadly threat may only be countered with a non-deadly defense. A threat capable of causing death or grave bodily harm (e.g., a broken bone, blinding, a rape) may be met with deadly force.

Usually, the use of deadly force against an unarmed attacker is fatal to a claim of self defense. If you nevertheless wants to argue self defense you will have to convince the court that the unique circumstances warranted your use of deadly force despite the fact that the attacker was unarmed.

In many states, the fact that the attack occurred in the defendant’s home often raises a legal presumption of a threat of death or grave bodily harm (e.g., the so-called “make-my-day” laws). That, of course, is not relevant in the Zimmerman case. In all states, however, if the unarmed attack is of such ferocity that it nevertheless raises a reasonable fear of death or grave bodily harm, the use of deadly force in self defense would be justified.

Much has been made in the public narrative about the fact that Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed Martin. For Zimmerman to be successful in arguing self defense as a legal justification for the shooting he will need to present the court with a compelling narrative of his own recounting his reasonable fear of death or grave bodily harm. The success of Zimmerman’s narrative will surely be a function of the unremitting nature of Martin’s attack—straddling the prone Zimmerman and punching him “MMA-style” even after Zimmerman was clearly no longer any apparent threat and was, by eye-witness account, screaming for help—and the extensiveness of Zimmerman’s injuries as evidenced by medical reports and contemporaneous photos.

Avoidance—A Duty to Retreat as Long as Safely Possible

The principle of Avoidance refers to the notion that you should not use force in self-defense if you can avoid the need to do so by making use of a safe avenue of retreat.

Florida is, of course, a “stand your ground” state (776.013(3)), where a person acting in justifiable self defense has no general duty to retreat before doing so. This does not, however, take the principle of Avoidance out of this trial.

As previously mentioned, it is is possible that the State will argue that Zimmerman was the initial aggressor. As the aggressor he would not be eligible to argue self-defense unless he first “recovered his innocence.” A condition to “recovering innocence” is that you have “exhausted every reasonable means to escape” or that you “withdraw from physical contact with the assailant.” (An alternative means of “recovering” innocence comes into play when the aggressor’s non-deadly attack is countered by a deadly-force attack.)

In this way the principle of Avoidance and a legal duty to retreat can arise even in a Stand Your Ground state, like Florida, which has no general duty to retreat before using force in self-defense.

Reasonableness—Meet the “Reasonable and Prudent Man”

The principle of Reasonableness is really an umbrella principle that applies to each of the previous four. The issue here is whether your perceptions and conduct in self-defense were those of a reasonable and prudent person under the same or similar circumstances. If they were not, any claim to self-defense fails.

So, if you believed the other person was an aggressor, but a reasonable person would not have believed this, you did not act in lawful self-defense. Similarly if you believed that the threat was imminent but a reasonable person would not have, or that the force you used was proportional to the threat but a reasonable person would not have, or that you could not have avoided the threat but a reasonable person would have . . . in each case the claim to self defense fails.

It is within the contours of the principle of Reasonableness that the attacker’s prior acts and/or reputation might be made relevant at trial, even if they were unknown to you at the time. The reasonableness of your perception that the attacker’s behavior was threatening would be buttressed if your attacker had a reputation in the community for behaving in threatening manner. Similarly, the reasonableness of your perception that the attacker was acting in an irrational and frightening manner would be buttressed if your attacker habitually used intoxicants, and was in fact intoxicated at the time of the attack.

Wrap-Up

So, those are the five principles of the law of self-defense in a nutshell. Obviously, a ton of detail has been left out, so take it for what it is, a concise overview. Hopefully, this can serve as a useful conceptual framework and context into which we can place the specifics of Florida law and the particular facts of this case in the days to come.

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/zimmerman-case-the-five-principles-of-the-law-of-self-defense/
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 03:00 pm
@firefly,
walking up to talk to someone is not a use of force.

bye bye goes your argument.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 03:09 pm
@hawkeye10,
Gee... there goes the argument that Zimmerman feared for his life.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 03:10 pm
@hawkeye10,
Did you read what the lawyer said in the article in my last post? Read it, it covers the legal bases in the Zimmerman case.
Quote:
The principle of Innocence refers to the notion that a person who initiates a conflict should not later be permitted to justify his use of force as self defense. It is this principle that is captured in Florida statute 776.041.

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/zimmerman-case-the-five-principles-of-the-law-of-self-defense/

The state will contend Zimmerman initiated the conflict--he followed Martin, he provoked it.
Quote:
walking up to talk to someone...

You don't know that's what Zimmerman did. He was following this kid in the dark and in the rain. And, you don't know what he might have said to Martin, or whether he grabbed the sleeve of his hoodie, etc.

One witness is the girl Martin was talking to on his cell phone when Zimmerman was observing him and when Zimmerman came up to him..
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 03:17 pm
@firefly,
Quote:
One witness is the girl Martin was talking to on his cell phone when Zimmerman was observing him and when Zimmerman came up to him..

the defense has iron clad evidence that she has lied about this case, she is now nearly useless to the state.

with no witness to pull any words from zimmermans mouth when they met nor any actions on his part the state is left trying to argue that following someone can reasonably be believed to be justification for getting attacked by that person. that argument is going nowhere in America, we like to believe that we are more civilized than that.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 03:28 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
t the state is left trying to argue that following someone can reasonably be believed to be justification for getting attacked by that person. that argument is going nowhere in America, we like to believe that we are more civilized than that


For an unarmed black kid, to be followed in the rain and darkness, by a white guy, for no apparent reason, is enough justification for that kid to feel threatened and react defensively. And I say "white guy" because we are talking about the South...Even putting aside Zimmerman's skin color, I think most parents on that jury might want their own kid to defend himself in a similar situation.

"Following someone"--in the dark and in the rain, for no apparent reason-- can most definitely be perceived as menacing by the person being followed.
Suppose Zimmerman wanted to mug him? Suppose Zimmerman was a crazy racist? What was Martin supposed to think about Zimmerman's suspicious behavior or possible motives?
parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 03:28 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:

the defense has iron clad evidence that she has lied about this case, she is now nearly useless to the state.

That is too funny.
She lied so we can't trust her.
Zimmerman lied but his version of the events is what we should accept.

I think the jury will see through that silly BS hawk.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 03:38 pm
@firefly,
Quote:
The state will contend Zimmerman initiated the conflict--he followed Martin, he provoked it.

zimmerman had no way of knowing this even if it matters, which it does not.

Quote:
for no apparent reason,
zimmerman gave chapter and verse of great reasons

Quote:
is enough justification for that kid to feel threatened and react defensively
irrelevant, zimmerman was responsible for what he did, he was not responsible for martins emotions, nor if martin was unable to control his emotions.
Quote:

Suppose Zimmerman was a crazy racist?
suppose martin was a crazy racist home invader?? using your own argument zimmerman was right. you cant have it both ways, we are americans, we are supposed to be equal under the law. if fear justifies our attacks on others than you have to give zimmerman a pass for following and killing martin.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 03:41 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:

the defense has iron clad evidence that she has lied about this case, she is now nearly useless to the state.

No, they have no such evidence, as far as I am aware. Can you produce it and post it? I'd like to see it.

She may have misstated/lied about her age (as many 16 year olds do at times), and she may have lied about being hospitalized during Martin's wake. I haven't heard that she lied about the phone conversation, or that she won't be called as a witness in this case.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57577071-504083/trayvon-martin-case-handwritten-letter-from-girl-reportedly-on-phone-with-slain-teen-made-public/

0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 03:42 pm
@hawkeye10,
And I'm to believe that this random blogger who doesn't proofread is a reliable source?

0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 03:58 pm
@hawkeye10,

Quote:
walking up to talk to someone is not a use of force
.

Maybe not, but shooting someone is a use of force. Zimmerman would have had to have a reasonable fear of loosing his life in order to use the self defense excuse in court if I understand it right. Getting a little blood on his nose, is not life threatening.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 04:01 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
suppose martin was a crazy racist home invader??

But he wasn't. He wasn't engaged in any crime when Zimmerman followed him. And there was no way that he'd have any idea why this nut was following him in the rain and in the dark, for no apparent reason, and a reasonable person would feel menaced by being followed that way, and they might justifiably react defensively out of fear.

Quote:
if fear justifies our attacks on others than you have to give zimmerman a pass for following and killing martin

Zimmerman killed someone--someone who wasn't threatening or bothering him, or anyone else, when Zimmerman followed him--and Zimmerman wound up killing him after he caught up to him. I'm not going to give him a pass--he provoked the entire incident. He should have stayed in his parked car and waited for the police. I want to hear the state's entire case against him as well as how the defense can justify the following/stalking of Martin, and the provocation by Zimmerman that led to the altercation....
Quote:
irrelevant, zimmerman was responsible for what he did, he was not responsible for martins emotions

Of course he would be responsible for provoking fear/anger/whatever if it was directly caused by his following/stalking someone. And he had no legitimate reason to follow Martin, the police were on their way, Martin wasn't engaged in a crime, or doing anything to him, and the police dispatcher told him they didn't need him to follow Martin.
0 Replies
 
 

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