We Hold These Truths

Guilt sells in America, innocence does not. More often than not, the public tunes in for guilt, and changes the channel for innocence. Either innocence is boring to them, or they take a perverse joy in believing some defendant they know nothing about has more flaws than they do, which means their lives aren’t so flawed after all. Or, perhaps it’s that their lives are so filled with perceived slights by others, at work or at home, they just want someone to beat up on – their own personal punching bag – to lessen their frustration and make them forget their own problems. What better scapegoat than a stranger everyone agrees to hate in unity?

The media, all too willing to sacrifice truth for higher ratings and increased ad revenue, indulges the guilt- hungry viewing public. It’s a vicious cycle that never seems to end. Add to the mix a few private parties with a well-oiled public relations team, and chaos ensues. [More...]

It’s as if the country has time-traveled back to the days of the Salem Witch trials and still not satisfied, goes back further to the days of ancient Rome and gladiators. A guilty verdict in America today brings throngs of cheering spectators to the courthouse steps. The prospect of a not guilty verdict has public officials planning for riots and protests. All this in nation where the most fundamental and bedrock principle of the criminal justice system is the presumption of innocence.

It is beyond shameful that on the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, our national and cable news channels, instead of paying respect to the rights and individual freedoms we all enjoy today, choose to fill the airwaves with guilt-mongers, who out of ignorance or to promote their personal partisan agenda, unite to declare a man guilty before his defense has even begun to present its case.

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    to the media (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:02:17 AM EST
    It's all about the story they want to tell. Since they are no smarter or more informed than the general public, they are no help.
    By the way there is a woman on CNN all day as legal analyst, who is clearly on the side of the state. She should be presented that way.
    As goes the media, so go the mob,IMO.

    As I have discovered since (none / 0) (#221)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:45:52 AM EST
    that would be Sunny Hostin. Since the verdict she looks like she ate a lemon.

    Except (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:28:15 AM EST
    Nothing in the case to which you are referring, has anything to do with "innocence" - legal, moral, or otherwise.  This is not a "whodunit" case?  We know what happened, who did it, and what the end result was.  What we don't know clearly are any or all the intervening mitigating factors.

    George Zimmerman may be found guilty.  He may be found not guilty.  He may be found guilty of the lesser charges.  We don't know. What we do know is that he will never be found "innocent", because that's not how the system works.

    Today I am celebrating the fact that even with all the talking heads and noise, it doesn't seem to be infecting the presentations or behavior in court, and since the jury is sequestered, they are being spared all the nonsense as well.  

    The system is working: from what we can tell of the testimony so far, the police did their job, George Zimmerman has very good representation (even though he can't afford it) and whatever happens, there will always be people unhappy with the outcome.  If there are those who choose to riot and cause trouble (which I would think be a very, very small group, if any, since people like to talk big), then they themselves should get an up close and personal view of the criminal justice system.

    And there's always a solution to the talking heads-problem.  Turn them off and go outside and enjoy the day!


    If Zimmerman is acquitted (none / 0) (#4)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:35:19 AM EST
    and it appears he has a good chance of that, I am sure he will be able to obtain the funds to pay O'Mara.

    His best friend has already written a book...

    And, I think that under Florida law if you are acquitted based on self-defense, you are granted immunity from civil liability as well....


    Which would be teriffic for all involved (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:36:20 AM EST
    Zimmerman can clear his debt and O'Mara and West get paid.

    ...and (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by Palli on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:16:10 AM EST
    there are two empty beds in the homes of Trayvon's mother and father.

    Well ... (1.00 / 4) (#48)
    by rickroberts on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:53:07 AM EST
    Actions have consequences.

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:48:43 PM EST
    The action of walking around DOING NOTHING WRONG ultimately resulted in the consequence of BEING KILLED.

    Oh well...

    Actions have consequences. No worries.


    Not the walking (1.00 / 1) (#87)
    by rickroberts on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:22:08 PM EST
    The assault.  Attacking an armed man can get a person shot.

    No Doc (1.00 / 4) (#150)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:48:19 AM EST
    if GZ is found innocent of murder it would be the action of attacking a person and beating him to the point of making him think his life was in danger, that got the kid shot.  That action has consequences.  If GZ is found innocent of murder then TM is responsible for his actions and the constant playing of the "the dead teenager with his skittles and ice tea" trump card is really getting so ridiculous. Really, someone should make a photo-shop image of him holding a kitten and wearing a wreath of flowers on his head while doves fly around and Jesus beams break through the clouds.
    None of us know at this point what all the facts are.  Why don't we try and just stick to what we know rather than playing the Dead child card, shall we.  It really is getting to be as obnoxious as the race baiting.

    Neither Zimmerman nor anyone else charged (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by Peter G on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:09:43 AM EST
    with a crime in this country can be "found innocent."  The jury might find him "not guilty," however, if they unanimously conclude that there is a reasonable doubt about criminal guilt.

    Presumption? (1.00 / 1) (#198)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:41:29 AM EST
    It appears that Innocence is only a presumption, not enough for a "get out of jail card". "Not guilty" gets you the card.

    Or maybe our idea that you are innocent until proven guilty is due to a bad translation from the latin, or an assumption, based on the presumption, that not guilty and innocent are the same.

    Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the burden of proof lies with who declares, not who denies),



    There have been photos of him (none / 0) (#193)
    by Char Char Binks on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:45:45 AM EST
    made like that -- some sincere, some ironic.

    Two empty beds? (none / 0) (#62)
    by unitron on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:49:44 PM EST
    Do you mean one for Trayvon when he stayed with one parent and another for him when he stayed with the other?

    Yes, (none / 0) (#92)
    by Palli on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:33:54 PM EST
    Yes, clumsy writing though, sorry.

    That's great. And then, he can ... (none / 0) (#104)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:35:37 PM EST
    ... be sued by Trayvon Martin's parents in civil court, where certain thresholds of legal absolutism don't necessarily hold sway.

    IMHO, that's where Zimmerman has always been most vulnerable, because his personal culpability in this sorry matter can be established upon the preponderance of evidence, rather than dependent upon a finding of his criminal guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

    And perhaps, that's really where this case most properly belongs.



    I am guessing (none / 0) (#153)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:59:25 AM EST
    That there would be a counter suit by GZ against Crump and crew and the city of Sanford for allowing itself to be bullied in to a criminal case to appease part of the community who started crying racial injustice. No one should be used that way.

    If found not guilty, Zimmerman has a much stronger case IMO.


    No, under Florida law... (none / 0) (#8)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:06:05 AM EST
    ...you are NOT necessarily granted immunity from civil liability. You really should stop making proclamations of law you do not understand.

    Thank you for the correction (none / 0) (#15)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:36:05 AM EST
    I thought I made clear I was not sure of the rule....But if there is some type of civil immunity, could you provide a link?

    Actually, there is immunity (none / 0) (#19)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:47:08 AM EST
    from civil liability under section 776.032.  Maybe there is a reason why that statute does not apply.  Is that what you are saying?

    But perhaps the issue (none / 0) (#28)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:19:52 AM EST
    of the use of justifiable force can be relitigated in the civil matter because a defense verdict in the criminal matter based on self defense can prevail on less than a preponderance of the evidence??  

    In other words, the Prosecution failing to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that self defense does not apply is not the same thing as establishing the defense by a preponderance of the evidence in a civil matter...And I have no idea if this is the case, as I have not the time or (free) access to the Florida annotations to review the case law....(The statute, however, does provide immunity from civil liability for justifiable force used in self defense.)  

    Bmaz, is that what you are saying?  


    You've got it - burden of proof (none / 0) (#31)
    by cboldt on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:32:02 AM EST
    I don't know of a case where a finding of 776.032 immunity (which by law is to a preponderance of the evidence) was obtained in a civil court.  This case would probably set a precedent.  Most people seeking immunity do so to avoid the criminal trial.

    And most people who GET immunity are never charged.


    And attorneys fees (none / 0) (#34)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:36:14 AM EST
    to a prevailing defendant....interesting statute.

    Effectively, yes (none / 0) (#32)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:33:58 AM EST
    It would depend on the verdict forms the jury is provided and how they find. But is is more than possible that an acquittal could simply be a "not guilty" which would not necessarily establish the basis for "justifiable". Jeralyn has explained it in further detail previously, but in short, immunity has to flow from specific findings and burdens that may well not be contained in the criminal verdict (although it is also possible they could depending on the instructions and findings on them by the jury). Assuming there is not a dispositive finding in the criminal case, yes it could be relitigated in a civil case.

    If the verdict form (none / 0) (#57)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:37:15 PM EST
    provides a question for self defense and the jury so finds, then would that be sufficient for immunity?

    Or, is there still a burden of proof difference that would require relitigation?  What I gather from your post is that a specific finding by the jury of self defense would provide immunity.  In that case, a lot would be riding on the verdict form--and perhaps the Florida Rules of Court would already have an approved verdict form.

    The potentail irony is that if Zimmerman is acquitted based on a finding of self defense that carries immunity, he would actully be better off legally than if the State had never brought him to trial.   If the State had never filed charges, the Martins would have been free to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Zimmerman.  In that event, and assuming no pending criminal trial, they would have been able to depose Zimmerman and call him as a witness at trial.  Much different case, beyond even the lower standard of proof.

    And, with a civil judgment, the Martins could have collected any fees Zimmerman would get from a book.

    Right now, it appears that Zimmerman could well receive a not guilty verdict.  And the victory lap will be something to behold.  Books, speaking engagments, back to Sean Hannity to sell his book, etc.    


    there are probably more than 25 posts (none / 0) (#61)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:47:58 PM EST
    on this site along citing the statute and case law on self defense and immunity.

    Sorry, I will try to find them (none / 0) (#71)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:07:42 PM EST
    I haven't heard .. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Phil Perspective on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:11:23 AM EST
    or seen much of the trial .. but Zimmerman's story doesn't add up .. so I can't see how the cops did their job

    If you haven't bothered to follow the trial... (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by rob411 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:06:11 AM EST
    that's a fine choice to make but it puts you in a really poor position to judge whether Zimmerman's story "adds up".

    I gather that you're essentially asking "what am I missing?" But I doubt that anyone can explain it in a short comment, especially since they don't your sticking points.


    Uh, I have.... (none / 0) (#49)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:03:05 PM EST
    "followed the trial". Very closely. I also have read most all of the discovery save for some of the last in and have written and commented on the case since the insufficient affidavit was filed and released on the 2nd degree murder charge. Maybe not perfect, and not as good as Jeralyn, but I have a pretty decent grasp on the lay of the land, and stick by what I said.

    Doesn't "add" up (3.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Jack203 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:37:16 AM EST
    Not to criticize the websites that have informed you of this revelation.....but does the prosecution plan on providing evidence of this during the trial?

    So far they are doing a good job showing George went on a police car ride years ago in the past.

    I do not think anything of George's version of events do no "add" up.  In fact they "add" up to a scenario that is not only very easy to see happening, but also backed up by witnesses and physical evidence, and also believed to be the truth by the lead detective, police of chief, and prosecutor.

    Seems like it's time for your fallback option.  Scream RACISM at the top of your lungs.


    A contraire... (none / 0) (#36)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:41:07 AM EST
    I think Zimmerman's case adds up, and has held up, quite well on the whole. The only real question is whether the jury finds his acts reasonable.

    what logic fails bash the cops (none / 0) (#65)
    by lily on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:59:19 PM EST
    ha (none / 0) (#157)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:05:00 AM EST
    you're not watching but it doesn't add up.  Good one.  
    What exactly doesn't add up and why?

    Jeralyn doesn't specifically ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:45:25 AM EST
    mention the Zimmerman case in this diary.  And her points apply to most of the media's coverage of law and order.

    The media, all too willing to sacrifice truth for higher ratings and increased ad revenue, indulges the guilt- hungry viewing public.

    Jeralyn's point above can, however, be applied to the Zimmerman case. Many in the media had clearly picked sides in that case.  And they even edited tapes disingenuously (lied) to make their case stronger. And the media became much less interested in the case when their "good v. evil" frame no longer held.

    In this case, the media was caught in their lies.  But, I think, one of Jeralyn's greater points is most often they're not.  Mostly the media sides with the state.  And the process is endemic.  


    She says (none / 0) (#136)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:39:49 AM EST
    It is beyond shameful that on the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, our national and cable news channels, instead of paying respect to the rights and individual freedoms we all enjoy today, choose to fill the airwaves with guilt-mongers, who out of ignorance or to promote their personal partisan agenda, unite to declare a man guilty before his defense has even begun to present its case.

    Is there any other criminal case involving a male defendant that is being discussed ad nauseum on the cable channels?


    thank you, Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:56:58 AM EST
    for reminding the nation what we are supposed to be celebrating today.

    Whether, as others write, GZ is acquitted, the behavior of the media has been truly shameful and the rush to judgment concerning.  I am glad you maintain this forum and spend so much time sifting through the evidence for us, all the while discouraging partisan-based speculation and incorrect statements.

    excellent post (none / 0) (#67)
    by lily on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:00:26 PM EST
    and skilled writing

    Thanks, Jeralyn! (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:26:51 AM EST
    Your diary is something to truly cheer about this Independence Day.

    Let's also remember, specifically, our Bill of Rights.

    The Government (past, present and future) will attempt to abridge, limit or narrow these rights.

    They will make elegant cases for "exceptions", they trot out bogeymen to scare us, and they will claim they are only trying "to protect us" or speak of "common sense". While all along they are busy pulling yet another bit of those rights away from us.

    So, if you haven't in a while, take some time to read them again today.  It won't take but a minute or two.  You can find them here.

    We are all prejudiced (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:16:59 AM EST
    Me, you, Jeralyn, the mayor, the postal carrier, the drug dealer (legal and illegal), everyone included, but we're usually too busy being full of sh*t and self-absorbed to really know it. This case highlights so many things that make America a mess. Just my opinion.

    Have a great 4th, everyone. And remember to get your fill of AN AXE LENGTH AWAY. Today it's volume 57 (link).

    So, do you... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:35:23 AM EST
    ...then also loathe the villification of George Zimmerman and everybody around him, or is that (as appears from your comment) only reserved for Martin?

    bmaz, my observation about (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:52:15 AM EST
    vilification and focus on the superficial (Rachel's "court nails") was meant to be commentary on what has and hasn't been allowed at this site - I haven't really been following the case or the trial anywhere else,and for the most part, I try to stay out of the Zimmerman threads because so much of what I see there is just so ugly.

    While Jeralyn has been good about keeping the discussion to only those issues raised as part of the case, I don't see how you ignore, for example, that the negative speculation about Martin and company is far more likely to stand than anything negative about Zimmerman.  

    I get that this is a defense-oriented site. And if, as Jeralyn suggests, the state has people combing websites like hers looking for ways to help its cases, I understand why she doesn't like to let things stand that she believes could help the prosecution.

    I have to keep reminding myself that the aim of these posts and discussions isn't fairness, it's defense - and as someone who tends to look at things from all sides, I often struggle with that.  I know, for example, that if it had been Martin who had killed Zimmerman, Jeralyn would be defending him with as much passion as she now defends Zimmerman - or maybe it would be better to say, with as much passion as she dissects the legal issues and points out the inconsistencies that aide in the defense.

    We are a nation that takes sides in everything - it's all sport now, isn't it?  It's all about winning, vanquishing, triumphing - in sports, in business, in foreign policy, in the judicial system.  And that's why, in this case, we have to make one person the bad guy in order to make the other one the good guy.  Isn't that part and parcel of strategy on both sides?  As a defense lawyer, doesn't it help your case if you can cast the victim in a bad light?  Isn't that part of creating reasonable doubt?

    And while I couldn't agree more that we should be honoring the bedrock principles upon which this nation was founded, I can't help feeling sad at how hollow the celebration is given how far we have strayed from them.


    If a certain grown woman... (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by unitron on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:00:30 PM EST
    ...had not "tweeted" about her "court nails", I doubt anyone else would have mentioned them or even known about them.

    It was the owner of the fingers on which those nails reside who turned it into a meme.

    Frankly I thought her action in this regard out of keeping with the solemnity of the occasion.


    Great post, Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by citizenjeff on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:53:13 AM EST
    Thank you!

    Self-defense (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:40:48 PM EST
    If you have a reasonable fear of being hit (and all blows can cause death we have been told here), then fire away.  And everyone has a constitutional right to an assault weapon, so 300 million plus people walking around with an assault weapon with legal justification for firing when they are afraid they will be hit....True paradise...

    well, I am thinking (1.00 / 1) (#162)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:19:18 AM EST
    if somebody is sitting on you and has hit you already a few times and you are bleeding from your nose and the back of your head and you have lumps all over your head, it might be reasonable to fear you might get hit some more and that those next hit/hits might be either fatal or cause more severe harm.
    If you would like to test the theory I can recommend a guy and I can tell you exactly what puts him in to a rage.....

    Self-defense (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:41:14 PM EST
    If you have a reasonable fear of being hit (and all blows can cause death we have been told here), then fire away.  And everyone has a constitutional right to an assault weapon, so 300 million plus people walking around with an assault weapon with legal justification for firing when they are afraid they will be hit....True paradise...

    Is the media in the Zimmerman case typical? (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by redwolf on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:54:43 PM EST
    Because if these types of lies, distortions, and cheer leading is normal then I find it hard to believe anyone gets a fair trial.

    Also if Zimmerman had nothing more than a public defender he would probably be toast right now.  He would have taken plea a long time ago.

    Yes, typical media - but exceptional case (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by cboldt on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:06:21 PM EST
    Most defendants aren't subjected to so much publicity, so the media take on their cases is inconsequential.

    But whatever the media covers, it does so with about the same concern for truth and balance as it demonstrates in the Zimmerman case.


    I think the proliferation (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by casualobserver on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:37:33 PM EST
    Of Internet access and Internet blogs as a principal source of "news" to so many people over the past 15 years that MSM has morphed towards the blog mindset as a natural evolution. That is, 98% of blogs have no desire to achieve balance or even report on more than one aspect of events. In effect, reporting of news as become dispensing of opinion

    That may be what... (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:11:32 PM EST
    ..."stirs" it up for YOU, but it is irrelevant to the criminal jury trial, or at least it ought to be. And those concepts are corrosive to a fair trial as they are purely emotional and political, not factual or legal for purposes of the ongoing trial.

    The State of FL (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Char Char Binks on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:12:26 PM EST
    gave GZ a CCW permit.

    Again, the presumption of innocence (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by Palli on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:31:49 PM EST
    So it seems
    the presumption of innocence ends at death.

    GZ is a paragon of innocence because with only "superficial injuries" he can tell his story.  

    Of course (1.00 / 2) (#101)
    by Char Char Binks on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:20:52 PM EST
    the presumption of innocence ends at death!  We put live people on trial in this country, not corpses.  

    GZ's injuries were superficial because they were literally "on the surface", and surface is just about all there is on a scalp.  That's the nature of head injuries -- if the skull holds, you're generally fine, if it cracks, or if there is internal bleeding, it's life-threatening.


    As I said before (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by Teresa on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:23:08 PM EST
    due to divorce, death and other things in my life, I knew next to nothing about this case until jury selection started and I started reading TL again. I didn't remember GZ's first name, Trayon's last name and I'd never heard of Crump. I didn't know he hadn't done a deposition until yesterday and I still don't know his first name. I have a tab up to read about the court order, but I haven't read it yet. The only opinion I had prior was that based on what I did know, GZ was guilty, period.

    I didn't know a special prosecutor had been appointed. Pretty much nothing except a teenager had been shot. Because I am fascinated by legal sparring, I decided to watch the trial and have seen every minute of it. I think in no way has the prosecution proved its case, not even by civil standards, much less criminal.

    I've watched TV every night since the trial started. The media narrative, now that some of them have seen the prosecution's case is pretty weak, is changing from "since it's not Murder Two, manslaughter would be a good compromise for the jury" due primarily to TM's age. They think, at the end of the prosecution case, that there isn't evidence of guilt to convict him, yet they think up to 30 years in prison is a good compromise because they have issues with someone shooting a 17 year old in what could have resulted in a deadly fight. We'll never know that it would have been deadly, but I do know for a fact that one slight hit to head can result in death. I know this for a fact.

    Does it not scare you that people in the media, including many lawyers, think 30 years in prison is a good compromise because guilt wasn't proven? It does me. And I hate CC permits, I hate SYG laws. I think guns should be illegal except hunting rifles and I don't even want them around me.

    But it's the law in Florida that's the issue. I don't see how finding someone guilty based on other issues that bother us, me included, is legally the right thing to do. I think we should work to change the laws, though I doubt that'll every happen in this John Wayne movie type of country we live in. We're going backwards as a country in some areas - like gun laws, the War on Drugs, the death penalty, many others. But innocent until proven guilty should still matter, no matter what our moral issues with the case are.

    Teevee and Jury Different (5.00 / 0) (#106)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:43:21 PM EST
    Unless the prosecution proves that Zimmerman did not kill Martin in self-defense, the jury must acquit, imo..  I think that Manslaughter precludes self-defense..  

    GOod thing that they do not get to watch teevee..


    True, Squeaky (none / 0) (#107)
    by Teresa on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 04:21:22 PM EST
    But I don't have total faith that people on a jury don't watch TV and have opinions before they get on the jury. They did find some that they showed were actually trying to get on the jury, and they already had opinions.

    I guess I just wonder if the jury isn't thinking along the same lines because living where they do, I just think they'd have to have some knowledge of the controversies surrounding this case. Or maybe they had issues like I did last year and weren't aware. Then again, people who claim not to be aware of news also worry me when they're on juries. I guess I put them in a no-win situation. I think I could be objective on a jury, so I guess I need to give them that benefit and accept whatever verdict they come up with.

    And I just now found an article that explained the manslaughter vs self-defense. Now let's see how long until I forget it again!


    Good Point (none / 0) (#108)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:05:00 PM EST
    But I think that it is not worth speculating about stealth jurors, and best to assume that the system will work as best it can.

    No (none / 0) (#132)
    by bmaz on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:38:12 AM EST
    Manslaughter does not preclude justification self defense.

    Really? (none / 0) (#143)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:01:14 AM EST
    Maybe I am getting my double negatives confused, but I thought that cbolt and you agreed that it was likely that Corey chose 2nd Degree Murder so that

    the state itself did not have to address the justification issue affirmatively.

    That was as to the charging document (none / 0) (#156)
    by bmaz on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:02:12 AM EST
    ...only. Does not apply to the jury instructions or consideration.

    OK (none / 0) (#169)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:07:54 PM EST
    I guess I am really not a lawyer...  because I understood from reading the Florida Statutes as well as the comments on the forum as well as here, that there is no manslaughter category that  applies if self-defense is not disputed.

    Save for the exceptional homicide (783.03) which is akin to crime of passion or voluntary manslaughter.


    Can you repeat that in non-lawyer (none / 0) (#184)
    by Teresa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:07:34 PM EST
    speak? Or maybe try Tennessee hillbilly, because I'm confused. Are you saying that self-defense is not a defense to manslaughter?

    If the jury believes it was self-defense, they can still find him guilty of manslaughter? That doesn't make sense to me and it might be that I don't understand your proper use language.


    From Other Thread (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:23:42 PM EST
    This is Jeralyn's take on manslaughter:

    .....The way I interpret this is that if the jury  finds the state did not disprove self-defense, the state gets nothing. That's because a finding of self defense is  a finding of justifiable homicide. Justifiable homicide means there is no crime, the killing was lawful. If the killing was lawful, it can't be second degree murder or manslaughter.

    Only if the jury rejects self-defense, can it find Zimmerman guilty of either second degree murder or manslaughter.

    I just don't know that this is the order of consideration of offenses in Florida..... [more]

    See? I said yesterday I'd forget (none / 0) (#192)
    by Teresa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:16:23 PM EST
    again. Jeralyn's explanation is the most easy to understand one I've read and I think I understand it.

    if it is self defense (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:31:23 PM EST
    it is justifiable homicide. Justifiable homicide is not a crime. He cannot be convicted of manslaughter or any other crime from the shooting.

    The jury will be instructed:

    The defendant cannot be guilty of manslaughter by committing a merely negligent act or if the killing was either justifiable or excusable homicide:


    Justifiable Homicide:

    The killing of a human being is justifiable homicide and lawful if necessarily done while resisting an attempt to murder or commit a felony upon the defendant, or to commit a felony in any dwelling house in which the defendant was at the time of the killing. § 782.02, Fla. Stat.

    The jury may decide it was not self defense but he is not guilty of murder 2 for some other reason,  e.g., that he did not have ill will, malice etc. In that event, they could decide he was guilty of manslaughter by act and possibly manslaughter by culpable negligence.

    The judge has to give the manslaughter by act instruction when instructing on murder 2 because it is a necessarily lesser included offense of murder 2.

    I have posted the relevant instructions here. The manslaughter and lesser included instructions are here.


    Thank you, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#191)
    by Teresa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:14:20 PM EST
    I think I need to print this out so I can remember it.

    Teresa, I appreciate your opinion (none / 0) (#183)
    by SuzieTampa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:42:46 PM EST
    because your experience (or lack of knowledge about the case beforehand) mirrors the jury's.

    It seems obvious to me that the prosecution expresses righteous indignation in lieu of evidence. I was really surprised that they didn't have more evidence. Meanwhile, I'm guessing people who think GZ is guilty think the trial is going well for the prosecution. But it's refreshing to hear from someone who started watching the trial without an opinion.


    Thank you Suzie. (none / 0) (#185)
    by Teresa on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:16:21 PM EST
    I admit I'm cheating now and doing what a juror can't. Reading here and trying to read a little in the forum. Plus I've read a few of the judge's rulings. I can't help myself because I want to know the truth. I haven't read any of the discovery, though, so the testimony is all new to me.

    I really wish John Good had stayed at his door another 15 seconds or whatever it was. I would believe him.

    I don't think I've read enough that would make me judge the prosecution case unfairly, though. I think they were dealt a bad hand and I think we need to change some laws. I'm stuck between what's legal and what I think should be legal. But this case is about what's legal in Florida and I don't think they came close to proving it wasn't self-defense.


    I didn't mean to write a book and (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by Teresa on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:36:00 PM EST
    to those of you I've known for years, I still have the utmost respect for you and your views.

    I hold this truth to be self-evident: (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by shoephone on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:54:45 PM EST
    that whatever our differences, we all deserve the rights set forth in the constitution, and deserve to have leaders who will respect and uphold them.

    I'm off soon to my July 4th party. Hope it's a pleasant evening for all TL'ers, especially our hostess.

    As ever, I'll be prepared to get back into more web mud wrestling tomorrow.


    Have a safe Independence Day... (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by John Bond on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 07:29:21 PM EST
    I have been reading this blog for a few days now and have decided to join.  Thank you for the ability to comment.

    Welcome aboard, JB (none / 0) (#114)
    by Cylinder on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 07:35:09 PM EST
    Have a safe and merry 4th of July!

    You have a good point o make but it doesn't apply (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Babel 17 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 07:38:09 PM EST
    You have a good point to make but it doesn't apply to the quote in question, imo. What you're quoting is a frame of reference for the condition of our judicial position.

    Read it again but imagine yourself in an auditorium listening to a lecturer. If you do that I think you won't have an objection to it.

    That quote doesn't show contempt for your feelings about how this case is being debated in the public forum.

    With respect, I sympathize with the strong feelings but I've been finding a lot of those strong feelings are independent of how the court case is progressing.

    As an aside I'll note that I'm extremely unhappy about how Florida allows people to stroll around while packing heat. I'm unhappy with Zimmerman for doing so.

    But those are feelings and exist separately from the reality of what the law actually is in Florida. They don't have to do with how the trial should go.

    The quote in question exists in a reality wherein thousands of people are estimated to be falsely incarcerated. It relates to a reality wherein prosecutions and convictions and executions have happened to innocent people. And in part it is because of the attitude addressed in that quote that those miscarriages of justice occurred.

    There is a lot of ugliness in the debate of this trial but we need to be above that.

    I accept your point about context for the quote. (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:03:54 PM EST
    Although I don't completely agree, and I would add that there is a longstanding pattern here of looking at some people's search for justice and truth through a somewhat disdainful lens, as if they are simply looking for 'punching bags' or are 'bloodthirsty for revenge'.

    As to your other point about what is and is not related to this trial, I'll simply quote a favorite philosopher:  "Not all the law exists in books."


    thankfully in this country (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:52:50 AM EST
    you cannot be sent to prison if your conduct has not been found to violate "a law on the books."

    It's about time (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Michael Masinter on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:39:43 PM EST
    Someone spoke up for Aaron Hernandez, who has exactly the same rights as George Zimmerman.  I have great confidence in the juries in both cases.

    Presumed (none / 0) (#123)
    by Char Char Binks on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:07:20 PM EST

    those issues have nothing to do with (5.00 / 3) (#126)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:49:22 AM EST
    whether GZ acted in self defense or whether the killing of Martin was justified. I have repeatedly said I am not hosting discussions on the issues you perceive this case is about. So please share those views on some other site.

    This case is about whether the state can disprove Zimmerman acted in self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, period.

    The criminal justice system was not designed, and is not equipped to solve all of society's ills. You are welcome to make Zimmerman the poster face of all the problems you mention, just not here.

    The constitutional right to a fair trial is a right of the accused. The Bill of Rights was designed to protect the citizen accused against the awesome powers of the Government.

    I have never opined that GZ is innocent. I have opined that the state's case is weak, the disclosed evidence supports Zimmerman, not the state, the charge is overblown and Zimmerman's demonization by those acting out of a personal or political agenda, is shameful.

    Trials should occur in courtrooms, not living rooms. And every juror is told they cannot make up their mind or even discuss the case with other jurors until all the evidence is in. The defense has not even begun its case.

    Your attitude is unfair to GZ... (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by rob411 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:24:47 AM EST
    because the system doesn't allow the defense to challenege moral misconceptions.

    From what I've seen, people who think they're taking a broader moral view rather than a narrow legal view are simply wilfully fooling themselves. I say this because,IMHO, they inevitably base their moral disapproval on acts that GZ simply did not commit.

    Since Jeralyn wants to stick to legal issues, I won't say more. But those who're separating their moral judgement from the legal judgement, I'd say this: all you're doing is picking an arena where the defense has no hope of correcting your misconceptions. It doesn't make you sensitive and caring, just unfair and callous, especially given what this defendant has had to put up with.

    Molly has been put in time out (none / 0) (#173)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:26:32 PM EST
    After disregarding several requests to stop misrepresenting the facts and stop making racial accusations, she just will not. I have deleted several of her comments and will delete more when I have time to review the thread throroughly.

    If you want to spread hatred and nonsense, do it on someone elses site or get  your own blog. It is not tolerated here.


    I read the post by Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:46:30 AM EST
    two or three times.  I have no idea why anyone would automatically assume that she is referring to the Zimmerman case.

    Plenty of cases have floated around the media.  Jodie Arias and Casey Anthony come to mind.  The upcoming trial of James Holmes will brush aside the Zimmerman case and we will be off to new and other cases.

    Other cases I was thinking of (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:05:54 AM EST
    JonBenet Ramsey (unfounded allegations against parents and even brother); Duke LaCrosse defendants; Scott Peterson, Chandra Levy (the false opinions Cong. Gary Condit was involved, which ended his career); Natalee Holloway's mother; Michael Jackson's child molestation trial; Kobe Bryant; the Nanny (Boston shaking baby case); OJ Simpson (murder and Nevada trials); Michael Skakel;

    The point isn't whether the vilified accused was ultimately found to be guilty. It's the rush to judgment before any finding of guilt was had and the role that the media played in promoting guilt by constantly booking grieving parents and allowing them to demonize the person they thought responsible.


    Wait for Boston Bombing case (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by cate999 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:17:43 AM EST
    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was judged guilty before he had even be found in the boat unarmed - with people cheering in the streets and chalking the USA flag on the blood of his dead brother in the street. What chance does he have if his case goes ever does go to trial?

    The media have already done their job despite the untruths and inconsistencies from government authorities and at least one suspicious death linked to the case.

    Ah, this would be the same person... (5.00 / 0) (#145)
    by John Bond on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:30:45 AM EST
    ...who along with his brother hi-jacked a car, murdered a police man, got into a gun fight with the police where his brother was shot dead, and then ran and hid from authorities?  And, you think the media was too slanted towards his guilt?  Hmmm.

    So, in your world, the presumption of (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:37:27 AM EST
    innocence is unnecessary in this case, and there's no need for a trial?

    Gotta love the situational ethics.


    call me old fashioned (5.00 / 2) (#196)
    by cate999 on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 03:08:19 AM EST
    I'm only a law student but I'm not willing to judge Tsarnaev guilty based on allegations of the FBI - they should have to prove their case against him in court just like any other suspect. Bring the evidence to the court, have it admitted and judge him on that. We are dealing with the same agency who claimed Todashev attacked their agent with a knife/ceremonial sword/broom stick/metal pole in various accounts provided by FBI sources to media. All just prior to being shot 7 times during an interrogation occuring in his own home after midnight.

    Seems the USA has lost the rule of law somewhere between September 9 2001 and today. Sad to see.


    Call me old fashioned too... (none / 0) (#199)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:47:26 AM EST
    and, in so saying, isn't your final paragraph a bit of a jump from individual situation(s) to the general/universal...aka big overstatement!?!

    How many individual situations does it (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:58:48 AM EST
    take to get to "general?"

    You may be old-fashioned, but you're also smart enough to know the commenter wasn't voicing the opinion that we've abandoned the rule of law on the basis of the one incident mentioned, but on the many that preceded the Todashev shooting and made its outcome more "business as usual" than "exception to the rule."


    But, I do expect overstatement (1.50 / 2) (#201)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:11:27 AM EST
    from you, Anne.  Trans: Your comments suggest typically focus on the negative about the US and mine focus on the positive about US policy.  You don't like comparisons with other countries nor western history in that regard...while I find such contrasts quite instructive in the world in which we live.  You are correct in some of what you say; and, I am correct in some of what I say.

    BTW, my first paragraph is a generalization too.  I acknowledge that.  And, I acknowledge that you & I have very different view of how things work or not in this country as well as in other countries.


    Tsarnaev deserves (none / 0) (#194)
    by Char Char Binks on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:57:48 AM EST
    due process, and the presumption of innocence, just like any other defendant.

    I have see this firsthand (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Slado on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:31:13 AM EST
    It now seems obvious that the state cannot prove that GZ did not kill TM in self defense beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Now it appears the lynch mob wants him to be convicted of something because we have a crying mom and family and it's just not fair.

    That's not how it works.  I sat on a jury and the accused guy was obviously a dirt ball.  He all but admitted mistreating a women while they and a companion smoked up meth and did all sorts of things my catholic faith wouldn't approve of.

    But guess what.   That's not what he was charged with.   He was accused of kidnapping and assault.   I didn't believe him or the accuser and neither did anyone on the jury.   We had some holdouts however who just didn't feel it was fair that this guys was going to walk.  He was a meth head, he'd do something else in the future etc...

    I informed them that this wasn't our job.  Our job was to look at the facts and determine if this guy did what the state said he did beyond a reasonable doubt.

    They couldn't say he did so the guy walked.

    The state can't prove that GZ didn't defend himself.   Maybe they can convince a sympathetic jury that GZ was responsible for the altercation because of his actions but from what I see that's a stretch.

    If you take your emotions out of it then it seems to me this guy should walk.   Is it fair?  Who cares.   That's not how the system works.

    I bet this doesn't stay up long :) (5.00 / 3) (#180)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:45:27 PM EST
    Maybe I'm wrong

    Yup. People keep commenting (5.00 / 3) (#182)
    by sj on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:20:50 PM EST
    and the comment count keeps going down.

    you are right it was deleted (none / 0) (#188)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:34:43 PM EST
    It misstated several key pieces of evidence. A laundry list of them in fact.

    I am out of here (5.00 / 3) (#181)
    by Zorba on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:46:46 PM EST
    for awhile.  It is getting too ugly for me, in a whole lot of ways.
    Don't even bother to respond to me, because I will not be looking at responses, ratings, or anything for awhile.
    I need a break.  I will be busy with my wonderful garden and its produce.
    Be well, everyone.  Namaste.

    I know exactly how you feel... (5.00 / 2) (#190)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:51:53 PM EST
    like an alien in our hometown.

    Please don't go...just stay off the Zimmerman threads my hippie sister.  I have half a mind to join you, with the other half curious to know what we're dealing with out there, as ghastly as it can be.


    Apparently there is an exception to this: (5.00 / 1) (#206)
    by ZtoA on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:00:57 PM EST
    "The media, all too willing to sacrifice truth for higher ratings and increased ad revenue, indulges the guilt- hungry viewing public."

    Except when one's preferred side (not talking about justice here, just the the colosseum players) courts the media.  Plus those increased Fox ratings do pay out and Z and his legal team seem just fine with that.

    If true, then that (5.00 / 1) (#215)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:24:31 PM EST
    was (a) a warning from Trayvon to leave him alone, and then (b) a retreat by Trayvon.

    After, and in spite of, (a) and (b), Zimmeman follows Trayvon down a dark path.  (And any suggestion that Trayvon motioned as if he had a gun sounds like after-the-fact justification.)

    The following is my opinion:

    Who is the aggressor in such a situation?  Anywhere outside of antispetic suburbia,the person following Trayvon is acting in an anti-social, provocative, aggressive and hostile manner.  Maybe in sterile suburbia the answer is for Trayvon to call the police, but anwywhere else, Zimmerman has called out Trayvon for a fight.  And only one of them is armed and knows he will never lose such a fight.

    In too many comments here, it seems (4.00 / 12) (#9)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:10:45 AM EST
    the scapegoat is someone who can't speak for himself, because he's dead.

    And everyone in that dead young man's life has been vilified, or mocked or demonized - for what?  It's tempting to say, "for sport," because every day seemed to bring some new accusation, some new sarcastic taunt.

    I have no problem and take no issue with George Zimmerman's right to a fair trial, to the best defense he can muster, but there is no question that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin and Trayvon Martin's self-evident truth of the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness was denied to him by George Zimmerman.

    If you wanted to celebrate the rights with which we are endowed, and honor the people who toil on behalf of those rights, you would have pulled yourself away from the utter spectacle of the Zimmerman trial and the cesspool the comments section often devolved to, and would have made a front page post highlighting an HBO documentary that I tried to encourage people to watch: Gideon's Army.

    You might still be able to get it on demand.

    What is wrong (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by bmaz on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:23:04 AM EST
    With celebrating the bedrock principle of presumption of innocence, which flows from the 5th, 6th and 14th Amendments and Habeas Corpus? This is the foundation of the American criminal justice system and rule of law. It is worthy of celebration. An awful lot of people throughout American history have died to protect that fundamental right.

    And in the case that this blog has long focused on, Mr. Zimmerman is entitled to said rights. The tragic fact of Mr. Martin's death does not abrogate Zimmerman's rights or the rule of law.


    Rights denied (5.00 / 5) (#45)
    by rob411 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:28:55 AM EST
    "Trayvon Martin's self-evident truth of the Right to Life...we're denied to him by George Zimmerman".

    If Zimmerman is innocent then, no, Trayvon's rights were NOT denied to him by Zimmerman. If you insist that when people talk about the Right to Life, it means nothing more than the right not to be killed under any circumstances, you've simply made the term utterly devoid of any moral significance.

    What you're doing is using hyper-literalism to twist words out of their common usage to smuggle in the moral judgement associated with the common meaning of the term to your literalist interpretation. Some examples would be:

    Guilty - "He's surely guilty of killing a kid"
    The opprobrium attached to criminal guilt does not allow such a usage.

    "Stalk" instead of follow or observe.
    "Profile" to associate racial profiling and bigotry with everyday judgement.
    "Child" instead of juvenile, to associate "innocent and harmless" with a mere statement of age. Juvenile detention centers aren't called "child prisons" for a good reason.


    Perhaps (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by lentinel on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:46:04 AM EST
    this is a tangent, but I would be made quite anxious and possibly angry if I noticed that some guy was following me. To me, that is a confrontation. It is threatening in and of itself. He is in my space. It makes me nervous. I am made to feel a sense of unease even when some people cut me off as I'm walking - even with a friend - to ask for some money. I don't know what they have in mind, and suddenly someone is in my space and in my face.

    Caveat: I'm not making any judgment on Z's behavior and certainly not on whether he broke any laws.

    Just discussing that for me, not necessarily for anyone else in the world, I would feel a sense of being threatened if I noticed someone following me.


    Tangent (1.00 / 3) (#139)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:10:11 AM EST
    Well lentinel, take care and note that being followed, even if you believe it is an aggressive or provocative act, does not entitle you to strike someone. So if you are ever in the situation that Martin was in, it is best not to use his alleged behavior based on the evidence of the case, as an example of how to behave. You will be subject to arrest for assault, and maybe worse.

    Co-tangent (5.00 / 4) (#140)
    by Yman on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:05:16 AM EST
    "Well lentinel, take care and note that being followed, even if you believe it is an aggressive or provocative act, does not entitle you to strike someone."

    By itself?  Of course it doesn't - which is probably why no one is making that argument.  Just as being punched in the nose (by itself) does not justify the use of deadly force.  The issue is whether (under all of the circumstances) Zimmerman's actions (legal or not) rise to the level of provocation and (more importantly) whether Martin's actions justify the use of deadly force.


    As Anne (5.00 / 5) (#144)
    by lentinel on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:17:48 AM EST
    has mentioned, I sometimes sense that you don't take much care in reading what people have actually written before you reply.

    All I wrote was how, subjectively, personally, I feel if I sense someone is following me. It makes me anxious. And if someone gets in my space or my face when I'm walking along, minding my own business, it really makes me nervous - and sometimes angry - and sometimes against our best interests.

    I did not say or imply that I would be justified in striking the person following me, nor would I counsel anyone to do so - but I will admit that my behavior might be influenced by how nervous I am made to feel by the person following me. Sometimes apprehension makes us behave in a manner that is out of character.

    I am not justifying Martin's alleged behavior.
    Nor am I justifying Zimmerman's alleged behavior.

    I am really just regretting that this circumstance happened at all.
    It seems as if Martin's presence made Zimmerman nervous, and visa versa. Now one of them is dead, and the other is on trial.

    A real waste.


    I Read Your Comment (1.80 / 5) (#146)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:32:37 AM EST
    And understood it, fully.

    The context is the 2nd degree murder charge that GZ is defending. And specifically the fact in the case of TM being followed. Your comment can only be taken to show that you empathize with TM, and given that imply that you might have acted the way TM acted. For you, the act of being followed is a threatening and aggressive act.

    Since you know yourself so well, I reiterate, if you struck someone because they were following you, even if the person made racial slurs about you and your family, you would be liable for assault charges if you struck them, and possibly worse, as the person you struck would be justified in their self-defense.


    Comprehension problems? (5.00 / 4) (#164)
    by shoephone on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:24:58 AM EST
    Once again, you either did not carefully read what lentinel wrote, or you willfully mis-characterized what he wrote.

    I won't be surprised if you try -- for the third time -- to attribute to him things he never wrote.


    I have followed women (none / 0) (#195)
    by Char Char Binks on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:20:49 AM EST
    late at night, on dark streets.  I've noticed them getting nervous, worried about what I might be up to.  Was I stalking them, planning an assault, chasing them?  No, I was just walking in the same direction, because I happened to be walking to work,or to a local convenience store, etc..  I generally adjust my speed or direction, trying to make them feel less threatened, and myself less "creepy".  And I've been followed, too, and I've watched my back -- it would be foolish not to.  But in none of these situations would a pre-emptive attack have been justified.

    When they were "getting nervous" ... (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by Yman on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:25:25 AM EST
    ... from you watching them in your car, did you quickly exit your car and run after them down a dark footpath?

    Dishonest Argument (1.00 / 2) (#203)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:30:41 AM EST
    did you quickly exit your car and run after them down a dark footpath?

    Is this what you have decided that GZ did? If so, you have not been following the case very well, imo.


    In your opinion (5.00 / 2) (#207)
    by Yman on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:54:47 PM EST
    Sorry, I don't need your opinion.  I have the NEN call Zimmerman made while he was watching Martin.  When Martin runs away, you can hear Zimmerman react ("$hit, he's running.").  Within 2 seconds, you can hear his car door open and close, then you can hear the wind, Zimmerman's wavering voice and his heavy breathing, which is why the NEN dispatcher asks "Are you following him?".  The wind noise and the heavy breathing then continue for a short period.

    If you claim this is a "dishonest argument" (gotta love the utter lack of any specifics), then you have not been following the case very well, imo.


    That is News (none / 0) (#208)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:15:47 PM EST
    Well you better contact the prosecutor right away, because as far as I know, he is not aware that at any time Zimmerman was running after Martin.

    Maybe you're right (5.00 / 2) (#209)
    by Yman on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:40:09 PM EST
    Maybe Zimmerman wasn't running after Martin.  Maybe he had a sudden urge to locate a street sign two seconds after he said "$hit, ... he's running," so he immediately got out of his car.  Maybe despite the "$hit, he's running" and his prior comment where he expressed concern about "the @$$holes" always getting away, he decided to walk after the guy who was running.  Maybe - only four seconds after leaving his car - his voice wobbles and his breathing is heavy from the strain of walking.  Maybe the wind suddenly picked up at the same time, prompting the NEN operator to ask him if he was following Martin, which - he acknowledged - he was.  Then, 13 seconds after the NEN dispatcher tells him "We don't need you to do that," Zimmerman is better able to stand the strain of walking and that sudden windstorm disappears.

    Not very convincing to me, but you should contact the defense right away.


    So...if you got too close to one of (5.00 / 2) (#204)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:36:13 AM EST
    these women, and she abruptly turned around and blasted you with pepper spray, you'd be the victim?

    She Would Be Liable For Assault (1.00 / 2) (#205)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:00:13 AM EST
    Yes (none / 0) (#210)
    by Char Char Binks on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 02:53:09 PM EST

    What (3.40 / 5) (#14)
    by lentinel on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:30:59 AM EST
    I am still trying to find out is why GZ approached Martin in the first place.

    It seems to be an uncontested fact that Trayvon Martin was doing nothing wrong. He was walking and talking to his friend on his cell phone.

    If a fight ensued, whoever initiated it, and whoever was responsible for the deadly result, the fact is that nothing would have happened if Martin had not be approached and followed by Zimmerman.

    I have read things about Martin's personal life. That he used marijuana - all of which is irrelevant. The press prints this stuff to make us feel that his death wasn't all that undeserved. Really contemptible stuff from the press.

    But, as I said, (as Blow pointed out in his NYTimes piece), the simple fact is that Martin was doing nothing wrong, and he wound up being killed.

    Maybe speculation has no place in this discussion, so I ask indulgence - but I wonder what would have happened if Martin had been of age and had a licensed firearm with him - and he is walking along minding his own business, is approached by some guy and hassled - a fight ensues and he winds up shooting the guy hassling him. Then what?


    First things first (4.00 / 8) (#16)
    by cboldt on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:37:07 AM EST
    What is your evidence that Zimmerman approached Martin?  Or do you just assume this to be true?

    And similarly with "Martin did nothing wrong."  There is credible eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence that Martin was administering a beating.  You can say it is an uncontested fact that Martin did nothing wrong, but that does not make it uncontested.

    On your hypothetical, the law covers the situation.  Nobody has a right to initiate a threat or use of force.  Insults and name calling are legal.  Force is not.


    It (3.29 / 7) (#24)
    by lentinel on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:13:22 AM EST
    is my impression from reading accounts of this event, that Z spotted Martin and called the police and followed him, against the advice of the police who said that they did not need him to do that.

    I haven't seen any suggestion from anyone that Martin approached Zimmerman? Is that what you are suggesting?

    Whatever happened once there was a confrontation, who was beating who, is not what I was referring to when I said that Martin had done nothing wrong.

    What I was referring to is the fact, uncontested as far as I know, that Martin was walking along, talking on his phone, doing nothing wrong.

    If Zimmerman had stayed in his car, as it was suggested to him, Martin would be alive and Zimmerman would not be on trial for killing him.

    As far as my hypothetical, it is my impression (correct me if I'm wrong) that Zimmerman's approach to Martin was in itself a threat. I know I would feel that way if I was walking along, minding my own business, and some guy approached me and started asking me what I was doing there... etc. Supposing I replied, what business is it of yours, mf? He starts hassling me. A fight ensues, and my licensed handgun goes off and he is now dead. How would this scenario play? If Martin had been armed, and it was Zimmerman who had been killed in the tussle, what would that trial look like?


    And another thing... (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by unitron on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:14:53 PM EST
    "If Zimmerman had stayed in his car, as it was suggested to him..."

    At no time did the dispatcher say anything directly about Zimmerman's presence inside or outside his vehicle.

    Until Zimmerman mentioned his truck, the dispatcher didn't even know that he was in a vehicle.


    Your premises ... (4.20 / 5) (#30)
    by Yman on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:23:30 AM EST
    ... are not "false" or "garbage".

    Garbage in, garbage out (3.00 / 4) (#26)
    by cboldt on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:16:51 AM EST
    You are working from false assumptions, and so is most of the public.  Have a great 4th of July!

    not garbage, just false (none / 0) (#125)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:32:08 AM EST
    Lentinel, the only sources you cite are the media reporting on the case. Your claim that Zimmerman confronted Martin is contrary to the evidence at trial and produced in discovery. It is uncontroverted thus far that Martin initiated the verbal encounter. No witness has testified that Zimmerman threatened Martin with physical violence. No one saw (as opposed to heard) the beginning of the struggle. The only witness (John Good) who testified to observing the struggle while it was ongoing and before the shot says Martin was on top of Zimmerman, straddling him, and his arms were in the air moving downward, and Zimmerman was struggling to get up. After the shot, Zimmerman got on top of Martin, which was observed by state witnesses  and which Zimmerman has always acknowledged.

    Even Rachael Jeantel said Martin initated the verbal encounter by asking Zimmerman, What are you following me for?

    The state's chief investigator on the case has said Zimmerman broke no law in getting out of his car or following Martin.

    If you have a source from the trial testimony that says differently,  please let us know the witness who said it and what they said.

    This entire post is about the misstatements in the media. Please don't bring their opinions here as fact. Either watch the trial yourself and do your own research, and cite a source from the trial or the documents, or refrain from arguing here that GZ confronted Martin. That is the stats's allegation and thus far, they haven't proved it and none of their witnesses support that position.


    I freely (5.00 / 3) (#135)
    by lentinel on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:32:59 AM EST
    admit that I have not followed the testimony - and am certainly not knowledgeable about the facts at any where near the level that you are.

    I am also interested in the rights of the defendant.

    But, even reading what you wrote above:

    Even Rachael Jeantel said Martin initated the verbal encounter by asking Zimmerman, What are you following me for?

    it appears to me, a layman, that Z had followed M. He thought he looked suspicious. There had been previous burglaries, etc.

    All that I was trying to express was that in fact, M had been doing nothing wrong. He wasn't burglarizing anyone or planning to do so. And had Z not "followed" him to the point where it was evidently noticeable to M, M would be alive and Z would not be on trial.

    I am not trying to comment on anyone's guilt or innocence -

    Just on the sad loss of life of a teenager, and the attendant necessity for a trial for someone who, for the sake of argument, broke no laws and was out to protect people who he thought needed protection.

    If I have garbled any facts in this response, I apologize and will refrain from posting any more comments on this subject.


    Thank you and.... (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:56:46 PM EST
    Thank you Jeralyn for setting the record straight once again.  But was it necessary that Lentinel's comment be referred to as "Garbage in, garbage out."  I am disappointed when commenters here feel it necessary to use inflammatory and derogatory language to make a point.  I thought such usage is one of the hallmarks of the media coverage we all here hold in disregard.  

    TM did nothing wrong... (none / 0) (#118)
    by John Bond on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:16:06 PM EST
    ...up to the point where he confronted GZ.  That confrontation set in motion a fight that led to a shooting.  

    Actually, you can initiate force if you fear for your life.  There was no evidence that TM feared for his life to the point where he needed to initiate force.

    There was 1:42 minutes between when GZ agreed to stop following and when GZ terminated the phone call with the police.  Why was TM still in the immediate area?


    Why was George? (5.00 / 3) (#120)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:37:52 PM EST
    And is responding to being followed the same as "confronting?"

    I'll give you the classical "Depends" (none / 0) (#133)
    by casualobserver on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:48:35 AM EST
    Depends on how threatening the "response"is. In the RJ version, "Why are you following me?" would not likely convince most juries of being harm threatening. However, GZ's version that it was more like"Do you got a problem, homey" more likely would especially when accompanied by TM now backtracking to GZ. Taken together, I think those elements totally changed the circumstances.

    Okay, but now consider this: (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:13:06 AM EST
    which version of response is more likely to get "the follower" to stop, to back off?  The one that keeps the person being followed in a defensive position, or the one that shifts the dynamic to the follower being on defense?

    You're not quite 18, you're in a neighborhood that's not your own, so, if I'm Martin, I want the person following me to stop.  I don't want to run, because I don't want to be chased.  I want to say something that will cause him to halt and then go in the opposite direction, so I can go on my way.  I don't want to engage by asking why I'm being followed - I want this creep who's following me, for no reason I can figure out, to stop.

    It's easy enough for us to sit back and armchair QB this whole thing, but I think we have to remember that while we have Zimmerman's version of events, we only have a small window into Martin's - and the blanks that others have filled in - especially for those that are truly blank, with no witness testimony - have, for the most part, been in support of what Zimmerman has said, without consideration of the possibility that maybe it didn't go down exactly as Zimmerman reported.

    I'm not saying it couldn't have, just that we can't ask Martin for his side of this, can't know what he was thinking.  And in my mind, I think it's going to come down to the jury considering the possibility that both of these people were acting out of fear; does that mean they acquit George?  I don't know, I guess it will depend on which of them they blame more for the eventual outcome.


    I see Lentinel is back at square one (2.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Jack203 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:42:54 AM EST
    Repeating a bunch of nonsense that have been responded to ten thousand times already.

    We have possible answers from (none / 0) (#50)
    by rjarnold on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:04:26 PM EST
    GZ's account. He started paying attention to Trayvon because he felt that he looked suspicious. We don't know what exactly he saw that made him feel that way and we don't know if a reasonable person would have found him suspicious, but that is what he felt.

    Personally I don't find the marijuana tidbit isn't entirely irrelevant. There were reports that THC was found in his system at his autopsy, but could not confirm the exact labels. Marijuana use could have made him appear more suspicious. Marijuana use also increases paranoia. It also shows that he has a tendency to break rules. In my mind this doesn't really vilify him or make his death justified (as you say the reports try to do), but it could have influenced what happened in several ways.


    But we do know... (none / 0) (#119)
    by John Bond on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:22:19 PM EST
    TM was standing on the grass in the yard of a house that was burglarized recently -- a condo where GZ had also seen suspicious activity.  So, TM's action in the rain, in the dark, was suspicious.  

    Between the two (GZ and TM) I believe that TM was the braver and GZ was more in fear of confrontation.  Why?  TM's own conversation with Rachel that he confronted GZ (not the other way around) and GZ's belief that he needed a gun.


    Right to life and pursuit of happiness (3.00 / 4) (#124)
    by Tuduro on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:55:40 PM EST
    "Ihave no problem and take no issue with George Zimmerman's right to a fair trial, to the best defense he can muster, but there is no question that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin and Trayvon Martin's self-evident truth of the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness was denied to him by George Zimmerman".

    I would say that one's right to life, liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness does not include assaulting and perhaps trying to kill another individual, which is,'self-evidently', what Trayvon was trying to do to George Zimmerman. Seems to me that Trayvon had plenty of time, 2 to 3 minutes while George was on the phone with LE after Trayvon ran out of sight,  to make it back to Brandi Greens's condo before being "pursued", as is claimed. In fact, DeeDee says Trayvon made it to the condo. The debris field at the scene was at the T about 15 yards from Zimmerman's truck and 115 yards from Brandi Green's condo. I would guess that Trayvon doubled back from the condo to confront Zimmerman.He had plenty of time while George talked on the phone with LE. The notion that Trayvon was 'unarmed' does not take into account Trayvon's MMA training, the element of surprise and initial punch to the nose of Zimmerman. Trayon then used the cement sidewalk as a weapon to bash Zimmerman's head. Look up an MMA video and see someone being punched in the face while on the ground. See their head bounce on the ground. Imagine their brain shocked by the kinetic force in the punch and the impact on the ground. Imagine the brain bouncing from the front to the back of skull, coup contrecoup, like in a shaken baby case. That was Trayvon assaulting Zimmerman. That is not a liberty granted by the notion of the 'pursuit of life liberty and happiness.


    Willful Blindness (2.00 / 8) (#18)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:45:50 AM EST
    In too many comments here, it seems the scapegoat is someone who can't speak for himself, because he's dead. And everyone in that dead young man's life has been vilified, or mocked or demonized - for what?  It's tempting to say, "for sport," because every day seemed to bring some new accusation, some new sarcastic taunt.

    Amazing that you passively accuse Jeralyn of making a mountain out of a molehill. But then again, considering that you are also treating this a sport, and rooting for the prosecution, you miss that Jeralyn's words ring true.

    Nothing new here.  


    Well it's true that you are still up to (4.11 / 9) (#22)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:02:11 AM EST
    your usual tricks - not reading what people are actually saying, and putting words in their mouths.

    I certainly did not accuse Jeralyn of making a mountain out of a molehill - I suggested that if she really wanted to highlight the ideals and principles and rights she feels so strongly about, it would have been great if she had done a post about the HBO documentary Gideon's Army.  I happen to think that doing that might have helped bring people back to the principles and get them out of the cesspool that the comments sections have become at times.  

    I have not and am not cheering for the prosecution.  I have asked a lot of questions that people don't seem to want to address, but I haven't cheered for the prosecution.

    I haven't cheered for George, either, because I don't happen to think that killing someone, regardless of the circumstances, is something to cheer about or celebrate.  Sadly, there has been cheering for George, and I have no idea how that celebrates the ideals we're supposed to be honoring today.

    Perhaps there's an element for me of thinking about where we are as a country, what has happened to our rights, how much has been taken from us, and not feeling particularly celebratory today.

    Now, you go make of that something I didn't say; would that you put as much effort into basic reading comprehension as you do in character attacks.


    Gideon Army (none / 0) (#21)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:51:21 AM EST
    almost watched that yesterday....It is still on, at least as of yesterday.

    It was really well done...the depth (none / 0) (#23)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:06:10 AM EST
    of these young lawyers' caring and belief in the system is moving.

    I managed to get it on DVR (none / 0) (#149)
    by sj on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:45:32 AM EST
    But won't have a chance to watch until this weekend.

    A somewhat different perspective (3.67 / 3) (#7)
    by ZtoA on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:04:00 AM EST
    I think Zimmerman's trial has caught the collective is because guilt is not obvious and, complicating things, it is not obvious that the laws on the books are fair. Another complication is there is a dead teenager - legally a child.

    In cases where either guilt or innocence is obvious there is much less collective attention with the possible exception of mass murders. Take the Ariel Castro case where is it obvious that he in fact did keep women hostage, the collective is interested in the womens' story. He has a defense team but I don't see blog posts for weeks and months about them, or hear endless coverage of them on TV or radio. No mock trials televised for him. His guilt has not 'sold in america', but rather the trials those girls/women went through.

    Its interesting that you reference the Roman games because they were essentially sport. The winner was stronger, quicker and luckier. The crowds loved the winners and losers. High profile legal cases have much in common and we, the crowds are rooting for our champion but with no skin in the game. I have yet to meet a lawyer who does not care about winning a case. In that, lawyers are like the rest of us. We like to win. Sometimes at the expense of justice, but a win within the rules of the game is a win. There is an apparently human need to shame the opponent and assign to them negative qualities, like you do in this post.

    Look I get that lawyers fight for their clients, and TV shows fight for their owners, and everyone fights for attention and ratings. No problem, its just the way people are. Apparently everyone involved loves the cheering throngs, it pays the rent and a few perks.

    That is not why the case has (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by rjarnold on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 11:43:27 AM EST
    become a big issue. It's not because people think that facts surrounding the case are not obvious. It's because so many people think that it is obvious that Zimmerman is guilty and is lying, that they think it is obvious that he should have been arrested and charged with murder or manslaughter immediately, that they think it is a grave injustice that he wasn't tried immediately, and that they think that race played a big role in this injustice.

    So many people found these ideas to be apparent even though they knew much less about the case than the Sanford Police Department last year. And it is a shame that so many people became so sure of these conclusions just based on inflammatory remarks from the family lawyers and skewed media reports.

    This case would have been a total non-story nationally if it were not for so many people coming to these conclusions and demanding that something be done.


    Legally a child (2.00 / 8) (#55)
    by Char Char Binks on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:18:46 PM EST
    Yes, seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was indistinguishable from a seventeen-month-old!  George Zimmerman killed a child!

    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by ZtoA on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:51:12 PM EST
    I understand that this is a site that is promoting certain legal strategies and respects the rules that help its case. Still, rules are rules, and Zimmerman did in fact kill a person who was not legally an adult and therefore in the eyes of the law a child. The rules protect him too as is was perfectly legal for him to follow someone and to carry a loaded and chambered gun.

    So... (1.00 / 3) (#102)
    by Char Char Binks on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:22:38 PM EST
    that means you agree with me?

    Sadly (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by sj on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:37:15 AM EST
    Some people still think this sort of comment is clever.

    What matters... (3.40 / 5) (#117)
    by John Bond on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:11:06 PM EST
    You are right, although you were being sarcastic.  TM and GZ did nothing wrong, up to the point of their confrontation.  Then the escalation triggered a conflict that evolved into a fight that ended with GZ claiming self defense.  And the state has not proved otherwise.

    That was not the case (2.33 / 3) (#73)
    by unitron on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:11:23 PM EST
    " The only thing I assume to be accurate is that Martin was walking along, and that Zimmerman started following him - against the advice of the police who told him that they did not need him to do that.

    Enlighten me if that was not the case."

    The following began before the dispatcher expressed an opinion about it.

    Your wording disingenuously implies a reversal of the actual chronology.

    I realize that (3.00 / 2) (#158)
    by sj on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:08:08 AM EST
    legal analysis is all about picking nits like this one, but to a completely disinterested observer (which I assure you I most certainly am), you are yourself being disingenuous by ignoring the fact that the following continued after the dispatcher expressed an opinion.

    And I would add that I'm quite annoyed that a special GZ thread wasn't added for me to stay out of.


    Really? (1.00 / 2) (#160)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:11:05 AM EST
    you are yourself being disingenuous by ignoring the fact that the following continued after the dispatcher expressed an opinion.



    hmmm.... (4.00 / 4) (#163)
    by sj on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:20:19 AM EST
    ...let me see
    Dispatcher: Are you following him?
    Zimmerman: Yeah
    Dispatcher: Ok, we don't need you to do that
    And yet somehow the two people ended up on the same street.

    Just stop. Not just you. This whole thread is getting ugly and once again everyone is getting GZ pugnacious. Everybody is looking for the nits to pick that justify their opinions and preconceptions. Including me, admittedly.

    I doubt I'll check back in until there is a new, refreshed, clean open thread.  Of course I may also need to disengage from my current technical problem which is when I often come to visit TL (that allows my subconscious to do the thinking). But this is just ugly.


    I AM going to respond (1.00 / 3) (#168)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:03:40 PM EST
    Because what you quote clearly does not prove the point you were trying to make - that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin AFTER the dispatcher suggested he didn't have to. (Dipatchers do NOT give orders - he even testified to that).

    So you CANNOT prove that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin AFTER the dispatcher advised him not to, so your comments in this thread were totally irrelevant.


    Like I said nits to pick (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by sj on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:11:54 PM EST
    Moreover nits that don't exist. Show me where I said that the dispatcher gave him an order. And who really cares how relevant you consider my comments to be?  I know I don't.

    Nits? (1.00 / 2) (#177)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:08:01 PM EST
    Whether Zimmerman continued to pursue Martin or didn't is one of the big issues in the case!!!

    HA HA! (1.00 / 2) (#197)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:16:29 AM EST
    "1" ratings by people who apparently STILL don't understand the case.

    Badge of honor - thanks!


    TM did do something; he failed to retreat (1.00 / 4) (#112)
    by ding7777 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 07:15:49 PM EST
    TM, if he was able, had a duty to retreat from whatever threat GZ posed.

    TM failed to retreat by continuing the beating when John Goode came out.

    A Duty To Retreat? (5.00 / 3) (#174)
    by daring grace on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:44:23 PM EST

    A duty to retreat...stand your ground...

    What a world, what a world...


    Haven't you figured out yet (5.00 / 2) (#216)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:26:24 PM EST
    that it is not a two-way street?

    What was that guy's name again? (none / 0) (#1)
    by unitron on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:33:09 AM EST
    " What better scapegoat than a stranger everyone agrees to hate in unity?"

    Emmanuel Goldsomething?

    Revolution, anyone? (none / 0) (#11)
    by lentinel on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:18:11 AM EST
    ... Or, perhaps it's that their (the public's) lives are so filled with perceived slights by others, at work or at home, they just want someone to beat up on - their own personal punching bag - to lessen their frustration and make them forget their own problems. What better scapegoat than a stranger everyone agrees to hate in unity?

    Another explanation, one that I feel intensely, is that this is our government throwing a victim to the wolves for our entertainment and diversion. It is a substitute for them giving us the respect and the services that we pay for, and sometimes die for.

    It is the government urging us to hate a specific target that they have chosen for us - as a substitute for directing well-deserved anger at them.

    When countries have revolutions, it is they, in the government who get thrown to the wolves. Perhaps they should remember that on this day of celebration of our independence and triumph over tyranny.

    I don't think we can blame (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by rjarnold on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 12:16:32 PM EST
    the government. They certainly aren't worried about a revolution, people are too caught up in their own lives and so many people are apathetic politically, and the rest of the people are divided in their beliefs. Plus, I think that in balance our government benefits most people.

    I think Jeralyn is right and would add view my that it is a flaw in human nature. We like to point out other people's flaws, assume they are guilty, we make quick judgments, and we turn things into battles of good and evil.  


    I can't (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by lentinel on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 06:09:27 PM EST
    help but believe that it is a manifestation of Orwell's "two minute hate" where the State directs its citizens in a ritual of expressing "hate" towards an enemy which it designates.

    I will never forget after 9/11 - I was angry as hell at the airlines for letting those guys on the planes with boxcutters.

    There had been plenty of hijackings before - mostly to Cuba.

    But security was lax.

    So I was angry as hell at the government for the lax regulations, and at the airlines for the same reason.

    Bush told us all to "be angry" - but told us at whom to direct our anger. First Bin Laden (whose family he helped escape), then Afghanistan, then Iraq - then Iran - then North Korea --etc.

    They are constantly telling us who we should fear - and who we should hate.

    Anybody but them, it seems.


    But (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:05:30 AM EST
    So I was angry as hell at the government for the lax regulations, and at the airlines for the same reason.

    You don't trust the government.  

    The government DID respond - We now have TSA with searches, pat downs, body scanner, etc.  But I'm willing to bet you don't like that because it's an invasion of our privacy.

    What do you want the government to do?


    Oy (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by sj on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:51:43 AM EST
    Let's pretend there are only two possible choices/paths of action and then throw it out there as poisoned red meat.

    I asked a question (3.00 / 2) (#152)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:56:42 AM EST
    Lentinel was mad at the government for not protecting us before 9/11 0 his/her words, not mine.

    Now the government has instituted measures to try and protect us better.  You and lentinel may not like or agree with the what the government has done, but they have done something.

    My question is vaild - of you don't like what was, and you don't like what is, then what do you want?  I don't know where you read it as a "two possible choices / paths of actions" when inherent is my question is  - what are other options?  I'd love to hear some ideas.

    Not sure how you missed that.

    Oy, indeed.


    I (none / 0) (#220)
    by lentinel on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:33:09 PM EST
    don't know if you remember, but there was a time, before 9/11, when "security" amounted to somebody asking you if anybody had given you a package to take on board. If you said, "no", that was that. And that was after umpteen high-jackings to Cuba!

    I have not railed against the security measures currently in force - although I do not enjoy them and fly as little as possible.

    But my main point was that Bush told us to be angry.
    I couldn't believe it.

    And he told us whom to be angry at - while he was planning his adventures into Afghanistan and Iraq.

    I experienced it, as I mentioned, as something right out of Orwell's "two minutes hate". I thought it was creepy then, and I think it is creepy now.


    Great Post Jeralyn!! (none / 0) (#98)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 02:53:28 PM EST
    So true..  thanks to people like you we get to see how insane we are as a culture.. prison nation.

    Keep up the great work!

    nothing new here, that's pretty much been (none / 0) (#134)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:20:06 AM EST
    the case throughout the course of human history. the only difference is that we now have the means to spread the word far & wide in an instant. In the (real) old days, you had to wait for market day, to hear the latest gossip/scandal. if someone had been detained by the local lord, it was just assumed they were guilty, of something.

    thus has it ever been, up to the present. unfortunately, the gossip/scandal mongers haven't changed: see: fishwife/nancy grace

    That is a misstatement of the evidence (none / 0) (#154)
    by bmaz on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:00:00 AM EST
    as has been related to the court. It may be your and Ben Crump's personal opinion, but it is quite far from the weight of the evidence as adduced.

    that comment was deleted (none / 0) (#172)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:21:12 PM EST
    as you say, it was false.

    Really J? (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:42:30 PM EST
    Deep down I think you know what starting trouble means.  Not the legal definition, but the human one.  If that's false, nothing is true.

    That's it a nutshell (5.00 / 2) (#219)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:40:29 PM EST
    You think this helps Zimmerman? (none / 0) (#218)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:34:29 PM EST
    Just the opposite in my opinion.

    Why would you follow someone who just did that?  What could possibly be your motive as someone who is armed?