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What Trayvon's Family Risks in a Civil Case Against Zimmerman

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2013 01:39 pm

What Trayvon's Family Risks in a Civil Case Against Zimmerman

by Eamon Murphy Jul 18th 2013 5:00AM

Since the O.J. Simpson case, a wrongful death suit has been the obvious recourse for a bereaved family after a failed murder prosecution. The lawyer for Trayvon Martin's family has said that they are considering such a civil action against George Zimmerman, who was acquitted on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter in Martin's death.

But 21st century Florida is not California in the 1990s. In particular, the law known as Stand Your Ground not only presents a significant hurdle to proving Zimmerman's liability for Martin's death; it could also lead to the Martin family owing money to the man who killed their son.

If a civil suit were brought against Zimmerman, his lawyers could move to have the case dismissed under Stand Your Ground. According to the statute, ABC News explains, "a person whose self defense claim is found lawful 'is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such self defense.'" If such a motion were to succeed -- the decision would be a judge's -- Zimmerman could win "reasonable attorneys fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff," according to Dan Abrams, ABC's Chief Legal Affairs anchor.

In other words, Trayvon Martin's family would have to pay George Zimmerman.

Even if Martin's family were to prevail in a civil case, the example of O.J. Simpson shows that winning a judgment and collecting the money are different propositions. In 1997, after his acquittal on murder charges, Simpson was found liable for the wrongful deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, to the tune of $33.5 million. But the NFL Hall of Famer reportedly paid little of that sum, which by 2007 had grown to $40 million with interest, before the armed robbery that landed him in prison.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 13 • Views: 8,178 • Replies: 214

 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2013 02:12 pm
@Miller,
Not to mention a lot of information would come into a civil trial concerning Trayvon that did not come into the criminal trial of Zimmerman.

Such as his texts on how he love to fight and how good he was at it and that he had have large amount of women jewel seized by his school security and on and on.

farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2013 02:22 pm
@BillRM,
It could just as easily end in an overturning of "Stand your Ground Laws". Shooting inncocent people with impunity isn't what the lawmakers intended and they are slowly beginning to admit it.
As far as the righteousness of the case, a good civil tort lawyer could have fun with the case. Remember PREPONDERENCE of the EVIDENCE is NOT "Without a reasonable doubt"

BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2013 05:02 pm
@farmerman,
I
Quote:
t could just as easily end in an overturning of "Stand your Ground Laws"


Sorry but the Florida northern rednecks in the panhandle will not allowed that to happen in Florida and for once I am in total agree with those rednecks.

Quote:
Shooting inncocent people with impunity isn't what the lawmakers intended


So Trayvon while he was on top of Zimmerman beating the **** out of him was innocent in your mind?

Sorry the Zimmerman and Trayvon case is a fine example of what the law was design to address.

If anything the law need to be stronger to help prevent more political pressure trials in the future.

farmerman
 
  4  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2013 05:14 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:

So Trayvon while he was on top of Zimmerman beating the **** out of him was innocent in your mind?


YEP, Zimmerman precipitated the entire thing by stalking Martin because he felt FALSELY EMPOWERED because he was packing a gun. Most other states that have" STAND YOUR GROUND" type laws (like Pa) distinguish your right to use deadly force if you feel threatened ONLY if your "assailant" is also carrying and displaying a gun.
I think only tExas, Fla and Louisiana have these "I feel threatened by an unarmed man. Ill shoot him because of that and Ill get off"

Quote:

Sorry the Zimmerman and Trayvon case is a fine example of what the law was design to address.
Bullshit. The statistics prove you dead wrong. Homicides have gone up by 3X since the law was enacted
BillRM
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 19 Jul, 2013 06:11 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
YEP, Zimmerman precipitated the entire thing by stalking Marti


It nice to know that you feel that it is ok to attempt to kill someone for the crime of annoying you in a public space by doing such things as following you.

Sorry no matter how often you used the work stalking Zimmerman did not break any law by following someone who he fear might be looking for targets homes to break into until the police could arrived.

Tell me Farmerman if someone cut into a line in front of you would you also feel you would have a right to try to kill that person as that is at least as annoying as having someone following you in public.

Interesting thinking in any case killing in self defense is wrong but trying to killed or greatly harm someone for following you is ok with you.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 10:22 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

Quote:

So Trayvon while he was on top of Zimmerman beating the **** out of him was innocent in your mind?


YEP, Zimmerman precipitated the entire thing by stalking Martin because he felt FALSELY EMPOWERED because he was packing a gun. Most other states that have" STAND YOUR GROUND" type laws (like Pa) distinguish your right to use deadly force if you feel threatened ONLY if your "assailant" is also carrying and displaying a gun.
I think only tExas, Fla and Louisiana have these "I feel threatened by an unarmed man. Ill shoot him because of that and Ill get off"



In my opinion, the law just needs to require a visible holstered gun to lessen the chance that the person without a gun would feel "falsely empowered."

Perhaps, this is why the old west had "cowboys" with visible holstered guns?
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 12:42 pm
@Foofie,
Flas original "packing citizens" law required that gund be holstered and displayed openly. It was later overturned and the SYG bullshit enacted.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 01:01 pm
@Foofie,
Foofie wrote:

...In my opinion, the law just needs to require a visible holstered gun to lessen the chance that the person without a gun would feel "falsely empowered."...

Carrying one's gun everywhere in an external holster strikes me as rather embarrassing, and as something that would simply tend to discourage people from carrying guns. That is something which the government has no right to do. People have a legitimate right to protect their safety, and therefore to the means to do so - period. What is "falsely empowered" anyway? If you let people have the means to protect themselves, yes some will be jerks, but it doesn't mean that the right ceases to exist.
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 04:29 pm
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
Carrying one's gun everywhere in an external holster strikes me as rather embarrassing, and as something that would simply tend to discourage people from carrying guns.


I known a bar owner who business is located in a high crime area and who found a legal loophole to be able to carry a small cannon openly on his hip when he drop the bar money to the bank drop box.

Old firearms dating back before 1898 are not consider firearms and as he was into reenactment of civil war battle with his own field piece even, he had a black power civil war cavalry revolver on his hip.

No one ever annoy him going to the bank with thousands of dollars on him as a result.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 07:43 pm
@Miller,
Miller wrote:
According to the statute, ABC News explains, "a person whose self defense claim is found lawful 'is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such self defense.'" If such a motion were to succeed -- the decision would be a judge's -- Zimmerman could win "reasonable attorneys fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff," according to Dan Abrams, ABC's Chief Legal Affairs anchor.

Yes indeed. It is unreasonable to expect someone to have to pay a lawyer $50,000 to defend them from a wrongful death lawsuit just because they were violently attacked and had to shoot their attacker.

A very good law, that.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 08:08 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
It could just as easily end in an overturning of "Stand your Ground Laws".

If the Left even tries, the NRA will stomp on them hard, and it'll be a long time before they ever see power again.


farmerman wrote:
Shooting inncocent people with impunity isn't what the lawmakers intended and they are slowly beginning to admit it.

Where is your evidence that Trayvon was innocent?
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 08:20 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
BillRM wrote:
So Trayvon while he was on top of Zimmerman beating the **** out of him was innocent in your mind?

YEP,

In the real world, people are allowed to defend themselves from violent attackers.


farmerman wrote:
Zimmerman precipitated the entire thing by stalking Martin

Wrong. Following someone to keep an eye on them does not justify being assaulted.


farmerman wrote:
Most other states that have" STAND YOUR GROUND" type laws (like Pa) distinguish your right to use deadly force if you feel threatened ONLY if your "assailant" is also carrying and displaying a gun.

Nonsense. They might limit Stand Your Ground to such a situation, but they certainly don't impose such limits on self defense in general.


farmerman wrote:
I think only Texas, Fla and Louisiana have these "I feel threatened by an unarmed man. Ill shoot him because of that and Ill get off"

No, you can defend yourself from an unarmed attacker anywhere in the nation. If Stand Your Ground doesn't cover unarmed aggressors, just use the normal rules for self defense.


farmerman wrote:
BillRM wrote:
Sorry the Zimmerman and Trayvon case is a fine example of what the law was design to address.

Bullshit. The statistics prove you dead wrong. Homicides have gone up by 3X since the law was enacted

Given the way you've been spewing an endless stream of falsehoods about this case, I think we can take this claim with a sizable grain of salt.

But even in the unlikely event that your claim is true, it wouldn't prove BillRM's statement wrong.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 04:28 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

Foofie wrote:

...In my opinion, the law just needs to require a visible holstered gun to lessen the chance that the person without a gun would feel "falsely empowered."...

Carrying one's gun everywhere in an external holster strikes me as rather embarrassing, and as something that would simply tend to discourage people from carrying guns...


The problem with having a "concealed" weapon, rather than a visible holstered weapon, in my opinion, is that a concealed weapon could allow a person to play "gotcha." A visible holstered weapon would prevent that game being played; all the cards are on the table so to speak.

In my opinion, a concealed weapon is sort of like an ace up one's sleeve; it makes for a winning hand, if one is losing.

And, if a visible, holstered weapon is "embarrassing" then perhaps there is something wrong with having a gun on one's person for some people. This goes back to the old saying, I believe, one can't have one's cake and eat it too, sometimes. Meaning, if one is carrying a gun, then in my opinion, let's not possibly pretend one is a pacifist by hiding it, or let's not possibly worry about the good citizens that might not want to associate with a gun carrying citizen. By concealing a gun, one might almost believe the gun concealer wants to "pass" as an ordinary non-gun toting citizen. Why? Upsets the good church going ladies? Bad influence on children? Well, perhaps these other folks need to realize that society is not as civilized as we would like to think, if some people choose to carry a visible, holstered gun?

Naturally, some folks would never have a visible, holstered gun; however, they can just ask for assistance from the gun carryer, by calling out, "Mr. Dillon, Mr. Dillon." (The standard phrase for getting the attention of Matt Dillon, U.S. Marshall, in the old tv western Gunsmoke.)
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 05:13 pm
@Foofie,
Quote:
is that a concealed weapon could allow a person to play "gotcha." A visible holstered weapon would prevent that game being played; all the cards are on the table so to speak.


You mean that a poor robber, mugger or rapist should not need to take a chance that their victims might be able to fight back?

We need to play "fair" with such criminals so they do not need to run that risk of the old man or woman who look like a defenseless victim might pull out a gun and hurt them instead of the other way around.
Foofie
 
  2  
Reply Mon 22 Jul, 2013 10:13 am
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

Quote:
is that a concealed weapon could allow a person to play "gotcha." A visible holstered weapon would prevent that game being played; all the cards are on the table so to speak.


You mean that a poor robber, mugger or rapist should not need to take a chance that their victims might be able to fight back?

We need to play "fair" with such criminals so they do not need to run that risk of the old man or woman who look like a defenseless victim might pull out a gun and hurt them instead of the other way around.


You are ignoring the preventive value of a visible, holstered gun. Assuming we the good citizens do not want to see mayhem, then preventing mayhem is a benefit. Also, with the possibility of a concealed gun, the person bent on mayhem might just up the ante in the attack, with a more vicious attack, figuring the victim "might" have a gun.

My thinking is no different than the military thinking between nations, in my opinion.

In my opinion, the concept of "playing fair" with a criminal is silly, since it is not a game being played, zero sum or otherwise. In a way, a visible, holstered gun might even be protecting a potential criminal (aka, perpetrator) from his/her own criminal tendencies, since many crimes are just crimes of OPPORTUNITY. So, a visible, holstered gun on a good citizen might just be in keeping with the best concept of management, a win-win situation, rather than the often expedient approach of win-lose.

But, I know in many instances, my thinking is falling on likley "deaf ears," since this country was built on winners and losers.

Having a concealed weapon on good citizens, in my opinion, might be tantamount to eliminating uniformed officers of the law (aka, police) so they can catch more criminals in the act.

But thank you for showing me the nuanced differences between our thinking. It so makes me realize this big country is really balkanized culturally (in my opinion), and I can never be comfortable elsewhere.
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Mon 22 Jul, 2013 11:18 am
@Foofie,
Quote:
You are ignoring the preventive value of a visible, holstered gun. Assuming we the good citizens do not want to see mayhem, then preventing mayhem is a benefit


Sure is a wonderful prevention for the person who is openly armed however all that means is the robber, rapist or whatever will just cheerfully picked on someone who is not openly armed.

Moving a crime target from one person to another seems not to be off hand a useful thing to do as far as the overall society is concern.
Foofie
 
  2  
Reply Mon 22 Jul, 2013 11:31 am
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

Sure is a wonderful prevention for the person who is openly armed however all that means is the robber, rapist or whatever will just cheerfully picked on someone who is not openly armed.

Moving a crime target from one person to another seems not to be off hand a useful thing to do as far as the overall society is concern.


Carrying a weapon does not mean one should not be "street smart" and walk down dark, empty streets alone, since a bad guy can jump out of the shadows with a weapon pointed at a victim. Therefore, with enough people with visible, holstered weapons in normal everyday places, the bad guy will have to troll the shadows for the person that chooses to ignore the common sense approach of not making oneself an easy victim. There is no 100% way to prevent a criminal from attempting a crime. Please have this repartee with someone else. Your perspective is yours. Do not try to out logic me; it is annoying to me at this point.
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Mon 22 Jul, 2013 11:52 am
@Foofie,
At the moment there is roughly ten times the numbers of arm citizens then armed police officers in Florida and as they are all conceal carriage a criminal never can know if there is or is not someone in a group able to fight back if need be and that is just fine with me.

I see little or no benefit to allowed the criminal to know for sure if there is or is not an arm person in the area.

The thinking is the same as not allowing would be hijackers/terrorists to know for sure whether there is or is not armed sky marshals on any given flight.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Mon 22 Jul, 2013 12:18 pm
@Foofie,

Foofie wrote:


You are ignoring the preventive value of a visible, holstered gun. Assuming we the good citizens do not want to see mayhem, then preventing mayhem is a benefit. Also, with the possibility of a concealed gun, the person bent on mayhem might just up the ante in the attack, with a more vicious attack, figuring the victim "might" have a gun.


I disagree, but at least there is a basis for discussion. My first objection is that open carry will sometimes be taken as provocative. There really are people out there that will take a visible gun as a challenge. It's generally acknowledged that calling someone an SOB (for example) is not sufficient cause to shoot, or even brandish a firearm. Yet, sooner or later, someone looking for status will have to make a point of proving their bravery. Also, the gun itself can become a target of robbery, and no one can always be aware of what is happening behind their back.

All that can be avoided by concealed carry, not to mention that it carries what might be called a herd immunity. If our crook believes that three out of ten potential victims are carrying, he's in the position of having to guess which seven are relatively safe.

I should point out that carrying, whether open or concealed, has its own handicaps. A gun of effective caliber is an awkward thing, unless it's in your hand. It can be dropped in any kind of skirmish, which can be anywhere from embarassing to fatal. Finally, your attacker just might gain control of it.

ETA: I notice that Bill has made similar points.

 

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