Comments:George Zimmerman found not guilty in Trayvon Martin case

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I cannot believe some people...614:14, 25 July 2013

I cannot believe some people...

Some people in the USA amaze the hell out of me. George Zimmerman was tried by a jury of his peers, one of whom was BLACK, and found not guilty of 2nd degree Murder unanimously. And yet, the NAACP is calling for Civil Rights charges against Zimmerman. I say, leave the guy alone, get over it, and move on. You know full well that you will never, ever be able to have him tried again - Double Jeopardy will see to that. In case you are reading this and don't know what double Jeopardy is, it's a law which prevents you from being tried twice for the same crime if you're found not guilty by a jury of your peers. His peers have said he's not guilty. End of. (Hopefully.)

Bashir-ibn-john (talk)12:42, 21 July 2013

The concept of self-government is more demanding than that. It's not enough to ask whether an individual has been found guilty, or innocent, of a crime under an existing law. Sure, there are rules of conduct toward the individual. But one also has to ask whether the law should be changed, and whether the justice system is working as well as it can.

Pi zero (talk)13:19, 21 July 2013

Yes, Pi Zero, that's absolutely correct. But - and this is a big but - the campaign going on across the USA should be focussing on getting the law changed if those people believe it is incorrect - it shouldn't be having a shot at Zimmerman and complaining that justice wasn't done; nor should people be directed toward persecuting Zimmerman now he's been exonerated. The campaigning is right - the direction is wrong.

Bashir-ibn-john (talk)16:13, 21 July 2013

Discussing whether justice was done is appropriate, and pursuing separate charges is fair game. Neither is double jeopardy. Honestly I don't think the term "exonerated" works well for this situation. I do think this is a beautiful example of why Scotland gets bragging rights for having three possible verdicts, "guilty", "not guilty", and "not proven".

Pi zero (talk)16:22, 21 July 2013

So where do you think this would have fallen, were it tried in Scotland? Not guilty, or not proven? My personal opinion only, is that justice most certainly was done.

It was the prosecution's job to prove beyond reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin with no reason to do so. They failed in that task. In Scotland's system I think this would still have gone Not Guilty.

Bashir-ibn-john (talk)17:09, 21 July 2013

My own opinion; as you say, opinion only. There are multiple factors to take into account here, which I suppose is in itself likely to make the defense's case easier since the more doubt is floating around, the better for the defense in a system were guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Was Zimmerman looking for trouble?
  • Did Trayvon attack him?
  • Did Trayvon fear for his life?
  • How does the law apply?
  • Did the prosecution make its case as well as it should have?
  • Does the Florida justice system have a racist bias?
  • Is the law wrong?

It seems that under Stand Your Ground, person A can go looking for trouble and confront person B, who then fears for their life and attacks A, who then fears for their life, and at that point either has the legal right to kill the other. Making most homicide legal as long as both parties see each other coming. The prosecution can't build their case directly on "this law is bat-shit crazy"; it's a legal question whether or not it matters whether Zimmerman created the situation where he feared for his life... if there was a situation where he feared for his life... and if he created that situation. Basically the Stand Your Ground law stacks the deck against the prosecution trying to make what, standing back, seems like it ought to be a common-sense case. It may be a moot point whether or not they could actually make a common-sense case because the law discourages them from trying. All of this also bears on whether the law is wrong, of course.

The question of racism in the justice system is better assessed by looking at many cases than by looking at one. It isn't necessary to judge the prosecution in this case harshly in order to see it fitting predictably into a trend.

There do seem to be some points on which the prosecution didn't do well, so that the jury may actually have known fewer of the facts of the case than they should have. The media may have turned up some significant points that the jury didn't get to hear (which by no means mitigates the dangers of 'trial in the press').

As for the Stand Your Ground law, I tend to think it should be declared legally insane.

Pi zero (talk)12:05, 22 July 2013
Edited by another user.
Last edit: 14:14, 25 July 2013

American laws of self-defence are not free from prejudice. Prejudice is remarkably a law for the white to kill blackmen and go free afterwards. A situation that encourages freedom paradox. In Zimmerman v Martin the judge and jury were right! (talk)14:05, 25 July 2013