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Judge Rules Defense Can Use Trayvon Martin Tweets 848

Posted by timothy
from the if-you-cannot-or-will-not-afford-an-attorney dept.
theodp writes "The NY Times reports a judge in the second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman has ruled that Trayvon Martin's school and social media records should be provided to the defense. Judge Debra S. Nelson said Martin's Twitter, Facebook and school records were relevant in the self-defense case. In those instances, showing whether a victim 'had an alleged propensity to violence' or aggression is germane, the judge said. The defense also got permission for access to the social media postings of a Miami girl who said she was on the phone with Martin just before the shooting. Time to update the Miranda warning to include: 'Anything you Tweet or post can and will be held against you in a court of law'?'"
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Judge Rules Defense Can Use Trayvon Martin Tweets

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 20, 2012 @02:41PM (#41715863)

    This case has always been much more about media bias than about a mexican shooting a black.

  • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @02:43PM (#41715869)

    Tweeting, and posting on facebook or other social sites are forms of speech, speech is protected by the first amendment but that said it can also be used against you in any court of law. 'Anything you say can and will be used against you' so I think the current miranda rights cover that.

    So nothing really ground breaking here as far as I'm concerned.

  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yaur (1069446) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @02:44PM (#41715887)
    Zimmerman, not Martin, is the accused here so of course he should be entitled to what ever exculpatory evidence he can find. If the "Miami girl who said she was on the phone with Martin just before the shooting" wanted her social media postings protected on 5th amendment grounds and the court found that they weren't protected there might be a story here, but the summary at least doesn't hint at that.
  • by webbiedave (1631473) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @02:51PM (#41715937)

    Time to update the Miranda warning to include: 'Anything you Tweet or post can and will be held against you in a court of law'?

    Sorry but courts allow emails to be introduced as evidence so long as authenticity can be established. Why shouldn't this hold true for tweets and facebook posts? This has absolutely nothing to do with Miranda.

  • by ToadProphet (1148333) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:00PM (#41715981)

    It also only relates to the rights of the accused while in custody.

  • by geoskd (321194) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:02PM (#41715999)

    "Anything you tweeted six months ago can and will be twisted to portray you in whatever light suits the prosecutor's agenda."

    It amazes me that so few people understand how truly dangerous social media is. Everyone who uses it is creating a permanent record of things that used to be hearsay. Even the most innocuous posts can come back to haunt you. Like any corporation, people need to be exceptionally careful about the image they present, even if they believe it to be private. Failing to so so could easily affect ones entire life.

    For example, Take a fellow we just received a resume for. The gentleman had all of the qualifications we were looking for, and did quite well on a phone interview. Googling for this guy produced some pictures of what we presumed to be college gatherings that demonstrated extremely poor judgement on this guys part. Final result: no in person interview, they guy is on our block list, and he will never even know why he didn't get an in person interview. How many different opportunities is he going to miss out on that he will never know he missed because of those photos. Same thing goes for all social media postings. How long before Facebook decides to start "enhancing their revenue" by providing this kind of damning information to HR services for a fee. The company I work for wouldn't hesitate for a second to pay for such a "search", and neither would a lot of places. Facebook has almost no real risk of exposure because no HR department would want to publicize this kind of research, and people would have no way of finding out they had been the "victim" of such a search.

    -=Geoskd

  • by ToadProphet (1148333) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:04PM (#41716011)

    Things you have already said publicly (not to the police) are AFAIK fair game.

    Not really. They are still subject to the rules of evidence, and can be excluded for numerous reasons.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:04PM (#41716017) Homepage

    Even if the kid was bragging about breaking into houses, and even if Zimmerman was aware that Martin broke into houses, that doesn't clear Zimmerman: A citizen with evidence of somebody else's criminal behavior that isn't in immediate danger is supposed to notify the police, not shoot the alleged criminal.

    What I'm assuming they're claiming they're after is evidence that Martin was a violent person who was likely to have responded to Zimmerman by assaulting him. What they're actually almost definitely after is information that they can use to drag Martin's name through the mud to try to convince the jury that Martin's life was not worth protecting under the law.

    I watched a defense attorney try this exact move while I was sitting on a jury. The defendant had been accused of smashing a brick over the victim's head, making her smoke crack, dragging her into a house, and then cutting up her face with a knife. The defense counsel offered no defense except to insinuate as much as he could get away with that the victim had entered the house voluntarily and traded the use of her car for the drugs. The jury realized very quickly that this didn't matter at all, because the available evidence made it quite clear that defendant had still taken a knife to the victim, and we were only asked to decide whether an assault with a deadly weapon had occurred. It was plain to me that the point of the "defense" was not to suggest that the defendant was innocent, but to suggest that the victim was a worthless human being so we wouldn't care what the defendant had done.

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thaylin (555395) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:06PM (#41716029)
    Correct, but you cant use the 5th to prevent incriminating someone other then yourself, unless doing so would incriminate you.
  • Re:wtf? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zcar (756484) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:12PM (#41716069)

    Why should they need to have prior knowledge?

    In an fairly extreme example: if I post on FB about my martial arts hobby that I'm going to go out and beat some random guy on the street up. Then I'm shot dead out on the street. Then the shooter is prosecuted for shooting innocent me with wide reporting of how innocuous I was. Then it's certainly reasonable to use my prior statements displaying bad intent to call that description of me into question and of my martial arts training to suggest capabilities beyond what might normally be expected of someone my age and appearance.

    I don't know all the details of this case and almost certainly neither do you. But it's ludicrous to suggest prior statements are only relevant if the defendant knew about them beforehand or can't be used in this situation under some misunderstanding of the constitutional protections of free speech.

  • by Zcar (756484) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:15PM (#41716091)

    But generally not on self-incrimination grounds, which is the protection the Miranda warning about "anything you say" is about.

  • by westlake (615356) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:16PM (#41716099)

    Time to update the Miranda warning to include: 'Anything you Tweet or post can and will be held against you in a court of law'?'"

    In 1912, instant messaging meant sending a telegram or mailing a postcard. "Ten words or less." In 2012, you tweet. That changes nothing. Evidence that is relevant to an issue in dispute is admissible unless there is a compelling legal reason to exclude it.

    A Miranda warning is required only when you are about to be interrogated by the police, with damn few exceptions, what you expose to others has always been fair game.

  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:18PM (#41716123)

    I still don't recall a single story in the mainstream media that had a picture of the victim as anything other than a kid of 11 or so. They're obviously trying to generate outrage for attrcting clicks or purchases.

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:23PM (#41716143) Journal
    It's the way the system works. It's how it's designed. If a fact is relevant, then it's admissible. The defence is arguing that this is relevant. Given that he's going to be locked away from society for a very long time and have his life ruined, I don't think it's too much to ask to be absolutely sure that his actions were totally unjustified.

    It's important that all relevant facts are disclosed. The court is meant to consider these facts impartially. If the court can't be impartial, and we need to hide factual information from the jury, then we have bigger problems than this specific decision.

    You think he's guilty. That's fair enough. So do I. The court is acting on the presumption that he's innocent, and that's how it should be.
  • by e3m4n (947977) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:33PM (#41716197)

    they wont see it that way... let me counter that with a different medium but similar concept..

    I am hanging around a campfire with 5 of my buddies, we are all drinking. I make the comment that I cant stand my boss and I'm probably going to kill him one day. A week later he is found murdered in his home. One of my buddies drops an anonymous tip about my drunken outburst to the cops. The cops go gather witness statements from a couple of these buddies and collect enough evidence for grand jury indictment. Later all 5 people are brought into court, sworn in under oath, and made to testify as to the accounts of that night.

    I cannot claim that just because I didnt get on live TV and make the announcement, I had some expectation of privacy. If these twitter and facebook posts as well as school records create a pattern of violence and other criminal activity, it garners support of the defendants claim:

      "during the physical altercation with Travon Martin, Travon found the gun lodged in the waistband of George's belt and grabbed for it while saying 'you're going to die tonight mother fucker!'. During the struggle for George's life, the gun discharged once into the chest of Travon at point-blank range".

    This is a statement of account that has no eye witness. The defense claims that the intent was just to detain one of the people that has been constantly breaking into the homes of the neighborhood and Travon jumped him, resulting in a struggle for life. Some of these breakins have even been home invasions while residents were home. For weeks cops have gotten there 30min too late to catch them. Many times even called in by George to come grab them. This again gives a story of a man simply trying to slow people down just enough for the cops to arrive. Its a good story. Nobody will ever know what really happened besides George and Travon. Dead people obviously cant testify.

    Meanwhile the media, and the victim's family, are painting Travon as this completely innocent angel, an honor roll student, that's only crime in life was being black. So if these records show:
    1. travon was a C and D student
    2. Travon had a poor attendance recorc
    3. Suspensions and records of disciplinary action for extreme violence
    4. tweets bragging about breaking into homes
    5. facebook posts bragging about, or pictures showing, stolen goods

    Then although they, by themselves, do not prove travon grabbed the gun and tried to murder George; still accomplish character assasination. "If they lied about these things, then they're probably lying about everything else too, just to avoid public record of their son being a criminal". Once that opinion gets formed with the jury it will be harder to get a conviction for sure. The evidence to decide on is not whether George shot and killed Travon, he clearly did. The question is whether George's life was actually in immanent danger, justifying self defense.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:36PM (#41716223)

    So you declined an interview to a qualified applicant because they partied in college?

    I hate to break it to you, but almost all your other interviewee's did too. What we need to do - as a society - is recognize certain social norms. We already do to an extent, but its the silent code that its all ok until you get caught.

    Having just read RA Salvatore's Homeland it reminds me of the Drow society - everyone attacking each other and scheming and its fine if you get away with it but if you get caught society punished you to the utmost.

    Hypocrisy at its finest.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:43PM (#41716287)

    Zimmerman is a red herring. This would never have become a major news case if the police had done a proper investigation instead of questioning the killer for some hours and letting him go, like he'd been caught nabbing candy.

    The question is why a murder case, claimed self-defence or not, was given about as much diligence as your average shoplifting.

  • by Bluude (822878) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:45PM (#41716301)
    It you attack a cop with stones or a knife or even your hands, it is not excessive force for them to shoot you. Why should it be any different for the public?
  • by mysidia (191772) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @03:50PM (#41716343)

    Deadly force should never be used, even in self defense.

    There are times that deadly force MUST sometimes be used in self defense, if you intend to survive.

  • by maxdread (1769548) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:00PM (#41716409)

    A fist fight can easily end in the death of one of the parties. If you didn't start the fight, is your only option supposed to be lay there and take it? Hope you don't end up dead by the time the attacker stops?

    Non-lethal self defense training or not, you pull a knife and get close to an officer, you're getting shot and rightfully so.

  • by RocketRabbit (830691) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:01PM (#41716411)

    Yeah when the recent photos of Treyvon became available the media ignored it.

    Let's face it - the reason this story even became national news was to push a gun control agenda, and to outrage blacks.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:03PM (#41716425) Homepage

    being in such a situation isn't going to give you much opportunity to draw a weapon and fire it, let alone do much else.

    Nice blanket assumption. Ever been in that exact situation?

  • by redmid17 (1217076) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:14PM (#41716481)
    NYT piece here listing him at 170 lbs: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/02/us/trayvon-martin-shooting-prompts-a-review-of-ideals.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=all [nytimes.com] At his booking he was listed at 185, but weight can fluctuate, especially under high stress conditions, which I think you'd agree he'd been under. Either way, it's not like Zimmerman was a grown man fighting a toddler. A 17 year old football player is going to be strong and in great shape. That doesn't make Zimmerman right or even in a moral grey area for what he did, but quit trying to portray someone like Martin as a helpless child.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:17PM (#41716493)

    And evidence that Trayvon was in a fight club would give credence to the zimmermans statements that trayvon was winning a physical fight with him and travon beating the hell out of him.

    A fit 6'2 17 year old who fist fought for sport could credibly get an out of shape heavier man afraid for his life.

    If you look at the 911 calls and peg the locations to the maps- Travon- was last seen over a minute only 300' from his house. It takes about 20 seconds to cover that distance.
    Zimmerman continues talking to 911 for about a minute after last seeing Travon with no evidence he had seen Travon again yet.

    Travon didn't go home. It's possible he got pissed off and returned to the scene.

    The main scenario where Zimmerman could be guilty and culpable is if Travon had been hiding and zimmerman spots him and goes over and puts his hands on travon to attempt to detain him.

    If on the other hand Travon got pissed that Zimmerman was following him, they exchanged heated words and travon attacked first- then zimmer man killed in self defense. You don't hit other people. You don't key their cars. If there is a problem, you call the police. Travon could have called the police and said someone was following him.

    17 year olds are unfortunately adults in body but unwise children in temperament and logical thinking.

    This situation is tragic but if I were on the jury, based on the evidence I've seen so far, I'd have reasonable doubt. And in america, you have to prove people are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal trials.

  • by aepervius (535155) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:31PM (#41716579)
    On the internet everybody is a bigger mouth than in reality. I know quite a few people which have semi "violent" forums post, but are cowards in real life. Saying that facebook post shows a history of violence is utterly bullshit. A history of violence is when you bully others, steal, go into a lot of fight. Facebook post are for poseur. If this is used as defense than it is utter bullshit. I hope the prosecutor make sure to check trayvon in real life to show such "history of violence" from facebook psot for the bull it is.
  • by geoskd (321194) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:37PM (#41716607)

    So you declined an interview to a qualified applicant because they partied in college?

    No where in that post did I say it was a party. In point of fact, it looked to be some kind of hazing ritual. It wasn't even the candidates involvement in the ritual that put the nails in the coffin. If it had been hearsay, we would have dismissed it. The part that got him permanently removed from consideration was that he was stupid enough to allow evidence of a crime to be permanently recorded. That kind of lapse in judgement we can do without. The posting of the pictures were obviously thought to have been private, but through one stupidity or another, the pictures were made publicly available. The moral of the story, is never trust any repository of legally admissible evidence that you, yourself, cannot legally set fire to and destroy.

    -=Geoskd

  • by Fjandr (66656) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:48PM (#41716693) Homepage Journal

    It'll be pretty much the same.

    The few people who are actually capable of putting together coherent descriptions of what should reasonably happen given certain assumptions will be shouted down by whoever has decided they know what happened. Regardless of how the case turns out, there will be a large group of people who believe that justice was perverted for political purposes, and the result is more proof that there is a vast left-wing/right-wing conspiracy to destroy group X.

    We'll have lots of basement legal experts claim hundreds of completely illogical and irrational things about how the law works, and in general the discussion will devolve to how big a given person's e-peen is.

  • by tragedy (27079) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:52PM (#41716723)

    But since defending yourself with your body against someone attacking you with a gun is also not excessive force, there's a bit of a problem here. Zimmerman was hunting Martin down and was armed with a gun. Martin clearly felt his life and safety were threatened by Zimmerman. So, you have two people committing an act of self-defence against each other. So, then you have to ask how the heck this situation happened and could it have been foreseen. I think that a violent confrontation is a foreseeable consequence of hunting someone against police advice. So, when someone dies as a result of foreseeable consequences and their own negligence, it's generally considered to be at least manslaughter.

  • by Lehk228 (705449) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:57PM (#41716777) Journal
    you mean the one that wasn't even him? yea thet is why it only showed up in right wing rags and neo nazi blogs
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:57PM (#41716779)
    From the information released so far, I've been in a similar enough situation to believe that Zimmerman is lying.
  • by atriusofbricia (686672) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:59PM (#41716791) Journal

    He shot and killed a man.

    True.

    He deliberately went out with a weapon to kill someone.

    False. You're attributing intent where none has been proven. Carrying a gun does not equal intent to kill anymore than wearing your seat belt indicates an intention to get into a car wreck.

    How is that not murder?

    See above.

  • by Zcar (756484) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @05:21PM (#41716925)

    Possibly.

    The legal standard in most states for the use of deadly force is belief of imminent severe bodily injury or death. Essentially, would a reasonable person believe they might die or be severely injured and that use of deadly force would prevent it? States differ on what other avenues must be attempted prior to the use of deadly force, such as trying to run away, etc.

    You can die in a fist fight. You can certainly sustain severe bodily injury.

    There's another issue here. In most states, the initiator of the use or threat of force can't claim self defense. So if I punch you and we start fighting, you could then claim self defense if you shot me, but I couldn't if I shot you. The same if I pulled a knife and threatened to stab you.

    And thirdly, there's the difference between what's moral and legal. There are probably situations where I'd think the person's choice to shoot was morally despicable but should be legal under the general principles of self defense.

  • by fredprado (2569351) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @05:40PM (#41717037)
    If someone has a gun and you don't, attacking him is the last thing you will do, unless you are corned and cannot run away. Unless Zimmerman actually pulled his gun at Martin and put him in a situation where he couldn't possibly escape, or escape were unlikely, before firing at him, Martin had no logical reason to attack him if he knew he had a gun. More likely than not Martin attacked Zimmerman because he was unaware he had a gun and if Zimmerman didn't had a gun he could easily be the one dead or at least severely injured.

    Exerting your freedom and going where you are legally allowed to go even if you know you may be attacked, whilst taking precautions to defend yourself in case you are attacked, is hardly negligence.
  • by Belial6 (794905) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @05:44PM (#41717059)
    You have that backwards. If the goal was to make white people fear black people, they would not have printed photos of an 11 year old child. You are right that it was to create racial divide, but it was to rial black people to hate white people, and to kick in the 'white guilt' in white people. The whole thing was portrayed as a big bad evil white man shooting a poor defenseless black child. Of course, the black person wasn't a child, and the white guy was Mexican. Who was the aggressor is hard to say, but what is clear is that this wasn't an attempt to rally white folks against blacks.
  • by russotto (537200) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @05:47PM (#41717083) Journal

    Zimmerman was told to de-escalate the situation by the 911 operator by staying in his vehicle and instead he decided to escalate. That's murder.

    And you can cite the Florida law requiring persons to obey the instructions of 911 operators, and which further provide that self-defense is rules out if that law is broken?

  • Re:*walks on by* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sribe (304414) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @05:49PM (#41717097)

    It's only tragic if the kid was completely innocent and did not attack zimmer first.

    These things seem severely in doubt.

    Bull. Fucking. Shit. The evidence points strongly to Zimmerman stalking and harassing Martin. What happened after that, we don't know for sure, and never will. But it is pretty obvious that Zimmerman engaged in some level of provocation.

  • by sribe (304414) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @05:53PM (#41717131)

    Your life is no more important than anyone else's, to assume so is extremely arrogant and selfish.

    ??? Do you not understand the notion of "social contract"? You can say that our lives have equal worth, OK, fine. You don't attack me and I won't attack you. However, if you do attack me, you give up the right to not be attacked. You get that, right?

    So if I have to kill you to stop the attack, I damn sure will, and that's one of the most fundamental human rights there is.

  • by Americano (920576) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @05:54PM (#41717147)

    Why would it be unfortunate?

    The *killing* is unfortunate. In the final analysis, a 17 year old kid is dead, regardless of the reasons. I consider that unfortunate, and I can still be sorry to hear of his death, even if it was a completely warranted act of self defense on Zimmerman's part.

    If the shooting was self defense, I'd never suggest that Zimmerman shouldn't have defended himself... but the outcome is still tragic.

  • Re:*walks on by* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eunuchswear (210685) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @05:56PM (#41717167) Journal

    All death is tragedy you sociopathic fuck.

    Death of innocents is double tradgedy.

  • Re:*walks on by* (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 20, 2012 @06:18PM (#41717325)
    No death is tragic, you sniveling, sheltered fuck. People and ALL living creature die all of the time. It's part of life, so grow up and accept it.
  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @06:18PM (#41717327)

    Zimmerman was hunting Martin down and was armed with a gun. Martin clearly felt his life and safety were threatened
     
    That is not a fair way to describe what happened. A neighborhood watchman following what he considers a "suspicious" looking person is not "hunting them down with a gun". Sure he may have been overzealous and it is not pleasant to be followed around and considered a criminal when you are not, but that's not enough of a reason to jump on the guy and start pounding his head against the concrete (saw the pictures?). On the other hand, once that happened, Zimmerman WAS justified in using deadly force to defend himself. It's a shitty deal for Trayvon but this case should never have been brought to trial and it wouldn't have been if it wasn't so politicized.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @07:05PM (#41717615)

    Of course, that could be highly unfair treatment. It assumes that past behavior is a reliable predictor of future behavior.

    You are misunderstanding what this is about. This is not "there's a 17 year old, tall, strong kid looking at me. If he's never done anything wrong, then he is harmless. If he has a history of fights, then I look for my gun". This is a case "The guy shooting the 17 year old claims it was self defence. There are no witnesses. Do we believe him? If the 17 year old has never been in trouble, then the guy is likely lying. If the 17 year old has a history of fights, then it is quite possible that the story is true".

  • by Glock27 (446276) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @07:11PM (#41717665)

    Of course, the black person wasn't a child, and the white guy was Mexican.

    Actually, the white guy is half Peruvian, and half white. Since he was described as a "white Hispanic" I guess we should describe 0bama as a "white African-American". ;-)

    Who was the aggressor is hard to say, but what is clear is that this wasn't an attempt to rally white folks against blacks.

    Right, instead it was an attempt to railroad Zimmerman and derail "stand your ground" and "Castle Doctrine" laws. Fortunately all that looks to have backfired. I'm hopeful that Zimmerman will walk after the first "stand your ground" review, if in fact the evidence that TM initiated violence continues to be supported.

    "Stand your ground" is a very reasonable doctrine, it simply allows self-defense without retreating first.

  • by FrangoAssado (561740) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @07:23PM (#41717755)

    Yeah so my point still stands. Next time save yourself the time and effort in posting.

    I completely disagree. He offered relevant information and clarified what the law says. Even if it doesn't invalidate your point, it's a good post.

    Discussion is not about winning arguments, it's about exchanging ideas to better understand things.

  • by bfandreas (603438) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @08:10PM (#41717993)
    Funny. I was under the impression it became national and international news because a kid got shot buying ice tea. And because there was no proper police investigation. There was a very belated public outcry, a belated investigation and a resignation.
    Now a national shame is a cause celebrée and the shootist a modern day Alfred Drefus? Does that make right-wing pundits the equivalent of the intellectual circle which was rallied behind the words "J'accuse"?
    Monsieur Zola, I presume?
  • by Glock27 (446276) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @08:34PM (#41718153)

    It appears to be interpreted by the gun lobby as allowing killing someone after deliberately advancing towards potential harm.

    If you think about it (a high standard, apparently) you will find a ton of gray area in that. There are a lot of legal, and quite responsible actions, that fall under "advancing towards potential harm".

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @09:07PM (#41718355) Homepage

    No. It became national news because it defies any notion of sanity in a civilized society.

    It even defies "Wild West" standards.

    If it's at all related to "gun control" in any manner it's a good example of what can happen when the NRA is allowed to run amok.

    There is this myth that there was no sense of law and order in the old west. There were even things like gun control. It wasn't all just some sort of Mad Max macho fantasy.

    Florida has lower standards now than Tombstone.

    People need to get that through their thick skulls.

  • by IHateEverybody (75727) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @09:30PM (#41718495) Homepage Journal

    Really? I thought it was about the murder of a teenager which went investigated because of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.

    And just because somebody embraces his Hispanic heritage after being arrested, it doesn't make him not racist.

  • Re:*walks on by* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gorobei (127755) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @10:13PM (#41718727)

    So person A was walking home doing nothing wrong.
    Person B creates a situation, and gets a few minor injuries while killing Person A (inflicted by Person A, a bit upset about the whole being attacked/killed thing.)
    Person A was in Florida because he was kicked out of school.

    I'm sure you have doubt in your mind. Justifying the idea of killing the weak because they fought back a little before dying is hard.

    So you sit in your armchair, drink your drink, and pontificate on the ifs and buts. And with enough words said, you sort of convince yourself that those people had it coming and the world is just.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 20, 2012 @10:25PM (#41718775)

    Zimmerman used a gun on an unarmed opponent - there are stages of escalation even in combat and you never go straight from "hands" to "gun".

    Zimmerman said that Martin was slamming his head into a concrete sidewalk; that's potentially lethal right there. Zimmerman also said that Martin spotted the gun and said "You are going to die tonight". We only have Zimmerman's word for the latter, but as to the former, he had head wounds consistent with his story.

    And a witness said he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, attacking "MMA style", which most people took to mean beating with alternating fists.

    So, while I agree with you that a simple bare-handed attack is several levels below lethal force response level, this situation may well have been an appropriate one for a letal force response.

    In any event, it is not your job to make that decision, or mine. There will be a trial, and the issues of fact and law will be laid out.

  • by thesandtiger (819476) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @07:11AM (#41720769)

    My problem:

    You do not go on neighborhood watch with a gun. You do not attempt to apprehend people while on neighborhood watch. You are neighborhood WATCH, not a sworn and trained officer of the law.

    Everything about this sounds like Martin was a fucking idiot kid who liked to shoot off his mouth and Zimmerman imagined himself to be some kind of law dog who was going to bust this thing wide open.

    Zimmerman also is putting tons of words into Martins mouth, and many of those words sound to me like bullshit - like a very, very bad script writer tried to write a part for scary black thug #2 or something.

    I don't know what happened that night - I'm actually not even sure Zimmerman knows what happened that night at this point. I do know that Zimmerman is not helping himself and has not been helping himself this entire time.

    I also know that it's good that this has been investigated and is going to trial rather than just being waved off as it initially was. A man is dead at the hands of another man, under unclear circumstances, and that Deserves an investigation and trial. If Zimmerman really was acting in self-defense (or at least is found to have been acting so) then he'll be fine. If not, he will be punished according to the law. Isn't that what should happen?

    I am not a gun person, though I am somewhat realistic about guns and gun culture in the US. I don't think it is unreasonable for a man who used a gun to shoot another man to stand trial for that. I don't care about the racial noise, I don't care about the politics. I just want people who kill other people to be held accountable for their actions.

    I actually am somewhat surprised at the number of people who post here and seem to be pro-gun and simultaneously bothered that Zimmerman is being tried. You would think responsible gun owners would be glad that we live in a nation of laws and that a man who shot another man under incredibly unclear circumstances wouldn't just be left free to walk on his own say-so. I mean, what if things had gone differently and Martin shot Zimmerman with Zimmerman's gun? Wouldn't people want that to be investigated and tried also?

  • by Cederic (9623) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @07:26AM (#41720831) Journal

    You racist cunt.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @10:41AM (#41721547) Homepage

    It would be less slanted of you to say "the homicide" than "the murder."

    I have followed all sorts of stuff about this case and have found two serious problems colliding here. The first is a person who was clearly frustrated with his neighborhood and the crime going on all around there generally committed by "not middle-aged white females" if you get my drift... also a person who had his own issues of self-importance and lack of good personality control. Not an ideal condition on Zimmerman's side of things. The second is a community which supports and defends all young black males with blind faith against anything and everything. (Check this story to see some obvious parallels: http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/black-mob-picks-the-wrong-guy/ [wnd.com]) It does not matter to them that the deceased was a person with behavior problems of his own or that he had a documented past of similar behaviors to the ones being alleged as the cause leading to his death. The media fell into place siding with the religious support of a young black male and has blocked every attempt to update the story with truth or facts.

    At the end of the day, it should be the truth and the facts which SHOULD bring a conclusion to the case. Unfortunately, other factors are in the way.

Entropy requires no maintenance. -- Markoff Chaney

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