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killing Trayvon - Page 283

post #4231 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchausen View Post

What did he really do, though? He walked 80 yards to see where Trayvon went after he ran off. The worst thing you can really accuse him of based on the evidence is being nosy and kind of dumb.

He did nothing wrong. The guy was looking out for his neighbors. He should be applauded.
post #4232 of 6250
"We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that's a job for all of us. That's the way to honor Trayvon Martin."

No Mr. President I will do no such thing. This is a tragedy but in no way is Martin some kind of martyr. He was shot and killed in a self defense case. That means he was actively involved in something that caused another person to believe that they were going to die. That would mean Mr. President, that Martin was committing a serious crime or at the very least was intent on doing so.. Zimmerman acted within the bounds of the law and a jury found him not guilty of a crime despite your race baiting and interference in the case. Perhaps you need to be investigated for obstruction of justice sir or at the very least reviewed by an ethics committee.

You want to prevent future tragedies like this? Really? First off, yes it's a tragedy but not like the one you're trying to paint. Why don't you start with reminding people that if they do stupid shit like what Martin did they just might get shot. You see Mr. President, we have laws in effect where a person has the right to defend themselves with lethal force if the situation goes that far. Oh and those laws don't care what color.creed or race you are.

The second thing you should do is just shut up and get over it.

/rant /sarcasm
post #4233 of 6250
Thought I'd cut-and-paste my facebook bloviating here. Originally addressed to my generally left-leaning friends, so my starting assumptions are obviously really different from many of those in this thread (and in the responses immediately above).
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

My overall sense is that we need to refine our sense of the general (historical patterns, inequalities that exist on a large scale) and the particular (individual cases). I say this for a few connected reasons:

- I don't think that acknowledging the historical and current patterns of racism necessarily entails that I must profess epistemological certainty of what happened in each individual case.
- Since jury trials rely on factual evidence mediated by narrative plausibility, accounting accurately and responsibly for the verdict seems difficult rather than simple. I.e., the obvious fact that the prosecution did not muster enough evidence to convince a jury that Zimmerman was guilty might still not be a simple fact given how complicated any individual's standards of judgment are. I have no interest in singling out individual jurors as biased (or worst)--I take it that the various complications of standards of judgment become visible at the macro level.
- Despite the fact of large-scale inequalities, it does seem important (and I'm speaking here of matters way outside my expertise) that individual criminal cases maintain at least *the fiction* of strict, exclusive attention to a singular incident. I think the question of the race of jurors is a really salient example. It might be common knowledge among prosecutors and defense attorneys that the race of potential jurors really matters. And yet it seems really problematic to try to codify this kind of working knowledge into rules that would ensure fairness. Or, to speak more generally, I have no idea what it would look like for individual criminal cases both to debate the strict facts of a case while also having an eye toward how this case relates to broader currents.
- I take it that it's the job of legislation and policy to deal with large-scale problems while it's the job of criminal courts to deal with individual cases. Again, I'm sure that the latter is a fiction that conceals all the ways that large-scale patterns pervade individual cases in all sorts of ways, and yet it feels like this division is at necessary: I might be uncomfortable with judges and juries bringing their varied views to bear in the decision-making process, but I might be even more uncomfortable with mechanisms designed to foster certain values or even outcomes.
- As time passes and we have more time for reflection, I wonder if we need to clarify what our calls for justice might mean. Re-trying Zimmerman (through federal prosecution, for example) doesn't seem plausible. My own hunch is that the calls for justice will or even should eventually morph into calls for more just legislation and policy--the kind of legislation and policy that might help individual court cases maintain the necessary fiction of hewing strictly to the law while also producing more tenable, just outcomes.
[/spolier]
post #4234 of 6250
You must have some interesting facebook friends. I take it you know a lot of wannabe fascism-for-justice-and-the-public-good types.
Have any suggested that "you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs" yet?
post #4235 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by dopey View Post

The Judge was speaking English (or trying) and not referring to the "Stand Your Ground" law. It was standard "no duty to retreat" language. If people have a beef with that, they must mean that you should be obligated to retreat from danger if possible rather than defend yourself.

BTW, the Coates piece is seriously unhinged. He acknowledges that Zimmerman should have been acquitted but concludes with this anyway:

Agree that the judge probably did not mean to invoke SYG, but using that language in the instructions to the jury invited confusion.

Coates is definitely on the left, but I don't think he's consistently unhinged. As I said above, I found Jelani Cobb's New Yorker pieces the most interesting.
post #4236 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

It's a bit disingenuous but it's hard to argue that Zimmerman did place himself in a situation he did not need to and the result was he killed an unarmed teenager with a gun.

I've heard varying opinions on this - and it comes down to whether or not you think Zimmerman was reasonable in his belief that Martin was up to no good, and as a neighborhood watchman, should he have kept an eye on this person until the police arrived? Martin would have been long gone before any police showed up, and Zimmerman's reasoning, as we heard in the 911 call, was that he wanted the theft in this neighborhood to stop and he knew that following this person was the only way for the police to have a shot at finding him. If we take Zimmerman's word that Martin attacked him out of nowhere, then it's really hard to say that Zimmerman was completely responsible for the confrontation.

If I had been in Zimmerman's shoes and I saw someone that I thought was dangerous, I would have stayed in my car. I would have gotten the hell out of there if I had reason to believe they were truly dangerous. I think Zimmerman perceived him to be suspicious, not necessarily dangerous, although one could argue that anyone suspected of a home robbery should be considered dangerous.
post #4237 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchausen View Post

What did he really do, though? He walked 80 yards to see where Trayvon went after he ran off. The worst thing you can really accuse him of based on the evidence is being nosy and kind of dumb.

Well, that's the thing though. You know I agree that the jury applied the applicable law correctly but it's hard to argue that if Zimmerman had made more cautious decisions Martin would probably still be alive. I do suspect his gun gave him some false courage, which again is not illegal, but his bad judgement led to the confrontation. Yes, Martin probably initiated the physical altercation, but again that would have been avoided if Zimmerman had not initially decided in anyway interact with Martin. This is not to say I do not find Martin culpable in the physical altercation.
post #4238 of 6250
Let's reiterate that Zimmerman didn't start running after Martin until 15 seconds after Martin ran. By that time Martin should have been a hundred yards or more ahead and out of sight to boot. It's not like Zimmerman was in hot pursuit.
post #4239 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by erictheobscure View Post

- Despite the fact of large-scale inequalities, it does seem important (and I'm speaking here of matters way outside my expertise) that individual criminal cases maintain at least *the fiction* of strict, exclusive attention to a singular incident. I think the question of the race of jurors is a really salient example. It might be common knowledge among prosecutors and defense attorneys that the race of potential jurors really matters. And yet it seems really problematic to try to codify this kind of working knowledge into rules that would ensure fairness. Or, to speak more generally, I have no idea what it would look like for individual criminal cases both to debate the strict facts of a case while also having an eye toward how this case relates to broader currents.

- As time passes and we have more time for reflection, I wonder if we need to clarify what our calls for justice might mean. Re-trying Zimmerman (through federal prosecution, for example) doesn't seem plausible. My own hunch is that the calls for justice will or even should eventually morph into calls for more just legislation and policy--the kind of legislation and policy that might help individual court cases maintain the necessary fiction of hewing strictly to the law while also producing more tenable, just outcomes.

What exactly would you legislatively change here? I mean I guess you could outlaw self-defense and say that you are never entitled to protect yourself from a violent attack. Or you could remove the burden of proof and put it on the Defendant to prove his innocence at trial. Or remove the right against self-incrimination and force the Defendant to testify.

But barring that there's really no way to get a different outcome in this case. And frankly, there's a place like that, it's called England and it's a fucking disaster.

And by the by, since the vast majority of my clients are of African-American heritage any restrictions on the rights of the Defendant you put into place will have a disproportionate impact on black people, not on white-Hispanics. Talk about shortsightedness.
post #4240 of 6250
Perhaps we could have an affirmative action plan for criminal justice, whereby a different standard of proof could be applied depending on the races of the victim and defendant.
post #4241 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post

Perhaps we could have an affirmative action plan for criminal justice, whereby a different standard of proof could be applied depending on the races of the victim and defendant.

This, and what Harvey said above this, are the only conclusions that can be drawn from the outrage over this verdict. Otherwise, they'd have to agree with the jury's decision.
post #4242 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by suited View Post

This, and what Harvey said above this, are the only conclusions that can be drawn from the outrage over this verdict. Otherwise, they'd have to agree with the jury's decision.

There's another option. Let's just flip a coin and let chance decide these things. A mistrial would happen if the coin landed on edge. In those rare cases we could just immediately flip it again. Just think of all the time and money this would save.
post #4243 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by dopey View Post

You must have some interesting facebook friends. I take it you know a lot of wannabe fascism-for-justice-and-the-public-good types.
Have any suggested that "you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs" yet?

Well, interesting, if you find bookish nerds interesting. I'm probably the real wannabe fascist of the bunch, sadly.

On a less glib note: what I've been most intrigued by is the sense (ON ALL SIDES, GODDAMMIT), that "good" politics (whatever that means) implies knowledge-claims rather than simply ideals. Politics as the inheritor of religion, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post

What exactly would you legislatively change here? I mean I guess you could outlaw self-defense and say that you are never entitled to protect yourself from a violent attack. Or you could remove the burden of proof and put it on the Defendant to prove his innocence at trial. Or remove the right against self-incrimination and force the Defendant to testify.

But barring that there's really no way to get a different outcome in this case. And frankly, there's a place like that, it's called England and it's a fucking disaster.

And by the by, since the vast majority of my clients are of African-American heritage any restrictions on the rights of the Defendant you put into place will have a disproportionate impact on black people, not on white-Hispanics. Talk about shortsightedness.

I know all of these remarks are barbed (treating me as if I were an idiot, etc.), but I'll respond sincerely. I am curious (really, since I know nothing about Florida law) how the Stand Your Ground Law doesn't exacerbate rather than alleviate the simple problem of one's ability to act like an egregious asshole, provoke a fight, then respond with lethal force.

And FWIW, my comment was meant to register that I think the jury probably reached the right legal conclusion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post

Perhaps we could have an affirmative action plan for criminal justice, whereby a different standard of proof could be applied depending on the races of the victim and defendant.

Was this directed as a response to me? If so: my comment explicitly registered the fact that this kind of thing is obviously undesirable.
post #4244 of 6250
Maybe the riots will spark other self-defense shootings; perhaps by White Koreans to add a twist.

Then we could run the cycle perpetually until the U.S. ran out of people.
post #4245 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by erictheobscure View Post

I am curious (really, since I know nothing about Florida law) how the Stand Your Ground Law doesn't exacerbate rather than alleviate the simple problem of one's ability to act like an egregious asshole, provoke a fight, then respond with lethal force.

I am not a lawyer but I dont think the Stand Your Ground law had anything to do with this case. I think it was just purely self defense. If someone is straddling you and smashing your head into the concrete you do not have the choice to either withdraw or stand your ground. As far as the Stand Your ground Law in general, what evidence do you have that it is exacerbating the relatively rare phenomenon of provoking a fight in order to shoot your victim without consequence? It doesnt seem to be a problem.
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