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The Courts Crime

George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin 1737

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-now-stop-submitting-the-news dept.
theodp writes "Following nearly three weeks of testimony, a jury of six women in the George Zimmerman trial has found the former neighborhood watch volunteer not guilty of second-degree murder. He was also found not guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter, which the jury also weighed."
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George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

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  • I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MasseKid (1294554) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:00PM (#44273231)
    I'm amazed the Media didn't manage to convict him, despite how hard they tried.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:02PM (#44273247)

    Has Slashdot become a politics/crime board now?

  • by I'm New Around Here (1154723) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:02PM (#44273249)

    I'm not surprised that the final verdict is not guilty on any count, since the state didn't show proof of guilt.

    I am surprised the jury members didn't cave in to the threats of violence and find him guilty of the manslaughter that was thrown in at the end.

    Good for them for doing their jobs.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:04PM (#44273267)

    I normally dislike those people who whine about this or that story being on Slashdot, because there is generally some kind of technological thread to it or else social issues that technical people need to be aware of.

    However there seems to be NO reason to have this story on Slashdot. There's no technological angle. There's nothing in the trying of this that really relates to technology in any kind of larger context. So come on, leave general news on whatever sites people use for news and try to keep at least some shred of technology within Slashdot stories.

  • by nadaou (535365) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:08PM (#44273297) Homepage

    > Everyone feels they are right, and everyone feels strongly.
    > Is it possible for commenters to keep that in mind?

    I'm guessing "no".

  • Due Process (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nebrfan (1009459) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:09PM (#44273307)
    It's better to let a guilty man go free then to put an innocent man behind bars.
  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:12PM (#44273323) Homepage Journal

    yes, and in a few years when only the police has guns, don't be surprised when they trample all over your rights and do whatever they want.

  • Re:Lost. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:12PM (#44273325)

    Anyone who followed this trial in even a cursory manner and disagrees with a not guilty verdict based on the evidence presented by the state should spend some time looking in the mirror. The level of cognitive bias required to believe that the state proved murder or manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt is staggering. Heck, the state came closer to proving self defense beyond a reasonable doubt than they did to proving their own case.

    Look, one need not believe that Zimmerman is a good guy or that any of his decisions were wise or even competent in order to understand that the state did not prove their case. He can be a bad guy and have done bad things and still be not guilty of the crime charged.

  • by bigfinger76 (2923613) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:13PM (#44273339)
    Seems to me that paying closer attention to the details of the case would be a solid choice for the media, yet much of the hype regarding this case has been purely emotional. I know it's good for ratings, but it makes the "news" seem foolish these days...
  • Re:Due Process (Score:4, Insightful)

    by seebs (15766) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:14PM (#44273341) Homepage

    Pretty much. I don't particularly think Zimmerman's innocent, but I do think there is a pretty good case that there's reasonable doubt as to whether he's guilty. I mean, come on. Does anyone seriously think O. J. Simpson didn't kill those people? Nah. But the prosecution failed to prove their case, so he was "not guilty".

  • by hedwards (940851) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:16PM (#44273367)

    The disturbing thing is that in a more civilized part of the country, beating somebody that's on the ground would entitle the person on the ground to self defense, not the person that instigated the fight and is now standing over the victim. Which is what witnesses testified to and is the only way that GZ could have used the weapon that he would have been lieing on if pinned.

    I'll add this to my list of reasons why I'm not going to be going to the FL ever again. I'm not sure how anybody can think that menacing a kid can turn into legitimate self defense.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:18PM (#44273381)

    I'm amazed the Media didn't manage to convict him, despite how hard they tried.

    Everyone likes to talk about how they'd vote, or what they'd do. The media simply caters to that with show trials and "investigations", showing us distorted and idealized versions of this. It's the same reason why in the middle of a crisis, or when in the presence of a celebrity you'll find plenty of people whipping out their phones, and nobody actually doing anything useful. We feel important when we're around important people... or important events. We try to assure ourselves of our own relevance in whatever situation is placed in front of us. The terrorist attacks on 9/11 didn't directly affect more than a tiny, tiny fraction of the population, but everybody got emotionally involved in it, because it was spectacular, epic, and we wanted to insert ourselves into the story, the conversation, the dialogue. Show trials like this are based on this same emotional need, and the media is only too happy to indulge in it -- it sells more papers, more advertisement, etc.

    But the overwhelming majority of it is total shit, and frankly harmful to our way of life. Whether Zimmerman is guilty or not, he'll never have another job. He'll always be "that guy that got away with murder", irrespective of the actual, judiciary merit of that position. There have been many people, for example, accused of rape, and were later proved not just not guilty, but totally and irrefutably innocent of the charges. Their lives were still over all the same.

    The founding fathers knew this -- that's why they advocated jury trials in the first place. It was an attempt to remove this mob mentality from the judicial process, and as a balance against populism swaying the government and giving in to the transient emotional outbursts of the crowd, the mob, the public. I don't think, if they were alive today in the age of the internet and instant communication, they would still advocate that these trials be open to the public... I believe they would have wanted a person who, if found not guilty, could go back to the life they had and the community would treat them no differently. Conversely, the country was still a "big" place, in terms of social circles -- someone convicted and having served their time, could move somewhere else, start a new life, and leave their mistake(s) behind them. Neither option is possible nowadays...

    Today, our justice system may still beat back the mob mentality and the public's need for vengance, and the corruption of the media, but once a person leaves the system -- guilty or innocent, their lives are irrevocably changed. And rarely is it for the better.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:19PM (#44273387) Homepage

    I think it boils down to presumption of innocence. There was not enough concrete evidence of exactly what happened to find him guilty. I suspect he committed manslaughter, and that Trayvon escalated the situation, and that under our legal system Zimmerman should not be found guilty. Given the uncertainty, it is an accurate reflection of our preference to let a guilty man go free than to convict an innocent man.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:26PM (#44273451)

    It is on slashdot because it is a conservative victory, and this is a conservative web site. Any news that proclaims victory for conservatives - even if they are a loss for justice itself - automatically make the front page. Expect to see a front page story here when the Texas governor signs the latest anti-abortion bill as well.

    This is not a conservative victory. This is the court doing its job to find the truth and making rulings on the law and the disposition of alleged criminals.

  • Re:Due Process (Score:4, Insightful)

    by I'm New Around Here (1154723) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:26PM (#44273455)

    Pretty much. I don't particularly think Zimmerman's innocent, but I do think there is a pretty good case that there's reasonable doubt as to whether he's guilty. I mean, come on. Does anyone seriously think O. J. Simpson didn't kill those people? Nah. But the prosecution failed to prove their case, so he was "not guilty".

    That's a big part of my reasoning on these cases. It's not just that there isn't enough evidence to convict. The prosecution actually so botched their own case, they couldn't win. In the OJ case, the police and investigators assisted in that acquittal quite a bit through their own stupidity and cluelessness. This time, the police did their job, and the prosecution helped the evidence prove the case for the defense.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:32PM (#44273511)

    Know how many white people are killed each year by black people? How many robberies? Why does race never come up in any of these crimes, but comes up every time a white person does anything to a black person? (And I'm not white).

  • by shentino (1139071) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:37PM (#44273567)

    I for one don't want to live in a society where you could be robbed blind just because a brazen thief takes advantage of the fact they cannot legally be shot if they steal from you.

  • by reve_etrange (2377702) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:38PM (#44273575)

    The most striking thing to me has always been that both actors would have been within their rights, under "Stand Your Ground," to attack the other.

    The subject is referring to the doorway gag.

  • Re:Lost. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:41PM (#44273601)

    Defending himself from an armed stranger following him...now there's your problem.

    If you walk somewhere in a public space - I can follow you. I can even ask you a question. Those are legal acts, even if you don't like me, or don't want to talk to me. (Also, Martin had no idea Zimmerman was armed. If Zimmerman was running around with a brandished weapon out there, it would have been some serious legal bad news for him. Seriously...even if you have no interest in it - take a CCW course sometime to familiarize yourself with the laws.)

    Now if I am following you and trying to find out who you are or what you're doing - that's legal. If you attack me for it - it's not. At that point I need to either get away from that situation (recommended) or defend myself (as a last resort - as I might be pinned to the ground, etc.)

    This case isn't difficult. The police didn't even feel that there was enough evidence to arrest him that night. This isn't the first time someone has ever shot another person in self defense. If someone defends themselves in the event of a physical attack, should they go to prison for winning the fight? Seriously...how does this work for you?

    Is a woman who is raped and murdered morally superior to one who explains to the nice officer how the gentleman came to get a bullet in his head?

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ebno-10db (1459097) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:43PM (#44273615)

    The founding fathers knew this -- that's why they advocated jury trials in the first place

    That and the fact that it had been part of the common law for centuries.

    I don't think, if they were alive today in the age of the internet and instant communication, they would still advocate that these trials be open to the public

    On the contrary. The reason for requiring that criminal trials be public is to help ensure that they're not totally corrupt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:44PM (#44273627)

    Slashdot is News for Nerds, Stuff the Matters.

    This trial is obviously not news for nerds nor stuff that matters to nerds....

    Except for American geeks/nerds. Then you can add guns to the "stuff that matters" list due to Slashdot's main focus being on American geeks, and Americans having that dodgy cultural obsession on firearms and the "God given" right to shoot people to death.

    Now it all makes sense why this article is on Slashdot.

  • Re:Lost. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:45PM (#44273639)

    The site Legal Insurrection [legalinsurrection.com] has some interesting and informed commentary about the trial, by actual lawyers.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:45PM (#44273645)
    Lets see how misguided you were by the news. The woman in question:

    - was previously arrested for domestic violence and no complaint was ever registered against her husband.
    - went out of the room and into the garage to get a gun and got back to fire. She didn't run, she didn't lock herself in a room and called the police. And her husband stayed at the room and didn't follow her.
    She fired several shots at arbitrary directions that could not only have hurt her family as could have hurt or killed innocent people in the neighborhood.

    No, it wasn't about race or gender, it was just a crazy, violent and irresponsible woman playing the domestic violence card to falsely accuse her husband in the hope of getting a free out-of-jail card. An attempt that fortunately failed.
  • by Dan East (318230) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:46PM (#44273651) Homepage Journal

    "Due process" does not include the media, nor the will of politicians. Due process was violated when this went to trial after all those who had to proper authority and jurisdiction did their jobs and said that there wasn't a case against Zimmerman. Yet their authority was usurped by powers that are biased and not neutral.

  • Re:Due Process (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tftp (111690) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:47PM (#44273665) Homepage

    IMO, GZ was only guilty of pushing his luck. While laws permit a non-LEO person to patrol territory and talk to people, this is not all that wise - GZ presented lots of evidence to that; it may be that his ordeal is not over yet, unless he leaves for Peru on the first airplane.

    A LEO in the same position wouldn't need to explain why he was there, following potential burglars - it's his job. A LEO would be in real time radio contact with his partners and managers. A LEO would not need to shoot because he'd never allow a suspect to come behind him and so close. If it came down to blows, a LEO would be strong enough to defeat TM without killing him; an LEO carries a baton, and Taser, and handcuffs, and pepper spray in addition to the firearm. On top of that, any aggression of TM against the LEO would be illegal, short of some major violation of TM's civil rights.

    This means that GZ should have left the policing to the police officers. They are better prepared, and their hands are less tied, and if they do kill a perp then they, barring an obvious crime, won't be facing the DA. This is the only thing, IMO, that GZ did wrong. Perhaps that gun under his belt made GZ feel protected, invulnerable. Such feelings are known to occur. An unarmed man will seek to avoid confrontation; an armed one may just barge in and have it all - just as this case illustrates.

    This means that if you carry a firearm, your duty to avoid conflicts only gets stronger because it can easily escalate into a homicide. If you are wise and logical, like Spock, you may do good if you carry; but at every point make sure that your actions are not only legal, but also safe. For example, do not leave your car to go where you don't really belong (after strangers who, in your own opinion, are on drugs and up to no good.) However if a criminal tries to carjack you, or to break into your home, a gun will help because in these situations you have no other options - neither short term, nor long term.

    Some lament that bad boyz need to be shot and killed by vigilantes, as it was common a few centuries ago. But the fact of life is that the laws do not permit that. The laws explicitly say that you shall fear criminals, and you shall avoid them. In some way it is wise because you do not know who is and who isn't a criminal. Only when someone breaks into your home you could be reasonably safe; but still check - it could be SWAT, after having house numbers mixed up again. The cost of shooting a person is very high; one might say that after shooting someone you might just as well shoot yourself, all things considered. GZ was this far ->.<- from getting an effective death sentence.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:48PM (#44273681)

    Remember that they looked for people who hadn't followed the leadup to this a ton. Not everyone gives a fuck what is in the media. Also it turns out in most cases jurors do a reasonable job of following what the judge tells them. The judge tells them what evidence they can consider, and what is required for a charge, and they usually listen to that, at least reasonably well.

    The system is far from perfect, but they really do try and get people who have little to no knowledge about a case beforehand, and they try to instruct those people as to what is and is not to be considered.

    Also the prosecution screwed up their case at several points, and that makes a big difference as well.

    Remember that while the rest of the world (that was interested) was following the media accounts, the jurors were following only what happened in the courtroom.

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:50PM (#44273699) Homepage Journal

    or officials want. Juries tend to see through the attempts to impose social justice over legal justice. This trial became a farce when the prosecution was allowed to change their charge on the fly, worse they almost got totally into silly land on trying to change up the charges.

    Now comes the fun part, will the Feds get involved directly and attempt a hate crime charge?

    Zimmerman was an over reactive wanna be cop that created a situation that got out of his control. Frankly if Tray had survived I would have expected him to use the same defense. Still witnesses and crime scene evidence were not in favor of the prosecution and the local sheriff was right in not trying to field a case that could not be one.

    We the people won, both Zimmerman and Martin lost. We won because the law was upheld. Martin paid the ultimate price and Zimmerman will pay the rest of his.

    The tragedy beyond this one death is the number of people who died and their cases will never be given the same attention.

  • by fredprado (2569351) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:51PM (#44273715)
    No matter what people may think really happened there is obviously "reasonable doubt" in this case, and that is what the jury rightfully concluded.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:51PM (#44273719)

    Apparently the idiots in the NAACP are unfamiliar with an area
    of the law which is known as "double jeopardy".

    All the NAACP is these days is a bunch of whining trouble-causing
    idiots.

    The real bottom line is that black people act in ways that result in harm
    to themselves. Bill Cosby said as much some years ago and was met with
    derision, but that did not lessen the truth of his comment.

    By the way, I am black, and the behavior of some blacks sickens me. In this case,
    if Martin had not attacked Zimmerman, Martin would quite likely still be alive today.
    The correct response when someone is following you is not to attack them, it is to
    put distance between the person following and yourself. Martin was a violent person
    and he paid the price for his violent behavior.

  • by meta-monkey (321000) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:54PM (#44273735) Journal

    GZ: "Hi, neighborhood watch. Do you live around here?"
    TM: "I'm going to attack you now."
    GZ: "Holy shit, my face is getting pummeled and my head is being slammed into the concrete. I should defend myself before I die."

    Just saying, that is a possible way that questioning a high school student could turn into legitimate self defense.

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:54PM (#44273737)
    To anyone who is upset that this story popped up despite not strictly relating to computers, three things:

    One: why didn't you stop it [slashdot.org]?
    Two: Slashdot's motto isn't "News for linux, news that linuxes." Other nerds have different interests in you. You should realize this by now.
    Three: If you don't care, go back in your browser. You do not need to click on every link on slashdot! DO NOT CLICK ON THE ONES YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT!
  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:57PM (#44273777)
    George Zimmerman:

    - police record, including being accused of domestic violence, resisting arrest, and battery of law-enforcement officer.
    - continued following TM, even when instructed by 911 operators not to.

    So really, I don't see how your refutation adds anything to the discussion.
  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:57PM (#44273779)

    When a white man kills a black man, it's because he's racist. When a black man kills a white man, it's because the racism of the white man provoked him.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thruen (753567) on Saturday July 13, 2013 @11:58PM (#44273793)
    I'm missing some huge aspect of the case that I can't seem to find anywhere. There's a few big questions on my mind.

    1. Why is everyone so upset that evidence about Martin's background that Zimmerman couldn't have known was kept out of court? It seems like since he couldn't have known, it didn't affect the situation at hand and therefore shouldn't be considered. But I might be missing something about why the victim's background is relevant in any case where the murder isn't premeditated.

    2. At what point does getting out of your car and pursuing somebody become an aggressive act? We know for a fact that he followed Martin, there can be no doubt given where he was parked and where the body was, yet this is still considered self defense? I'd appreciate some help with that.

    3. The stand your ground law was mentioned several times throughout this case, although it doesn't seem to have directly caused the not guilty verdict. What I'm wondering is why that law didn't give Martin the right to stand his ground when Zimmerman pursued him?

    And a smaller question, relating to the attitude of the above poster. Unbiased reporting is gone, and has been for a while, but this didn't seem that over the top to me. I'll admit, I've only read a few dozen articles, but I'd appreciate if you explained this sentiment to me. Not that you're obligated to, responding at all is nothing more than a favor to me and anyone else who is confused about the same things.

    I'm not trying to step on anyone's feelings here, but honestly the verdict doesn't make any sense to me so I'm looking for some help. I'd appreciate it if there isn't any racism (if the explanation includes justifying things by saying he's a young black male in a neighborhood full of young black males, it's probably racist) or truth manipulation (like saying it must have been self defense because at the time Martin was shot he was on top). This isn't a court of law and I don't expect answers that sound like they're coming from a lawyer from one side or the other, I'm looking for honest, unbiased answers to help me understand this verdict. Everything I've been able to find suggests that Zimmerman was in the wrong and murdered Martin, and I haven't heard any reasonable explanation from people who have felt it should go the other way, everything seems to open with Zimmerman being justified following him because he was a young black male.

    TLDR? Explain why this verdict isn't just racist without coming off as racist yourself.
  • Re:Due Process (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tftp (111690) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:01AM (#44273827) Homepage

    Both errors are grave. Arguably, having more criminals go free, increases the rate of crime on the streets.

    Let's presume there is 1% of criminals and 99% of innocents. If you want to eliminate crime, why then don't you kill everyone who is ever arrested? Eventually 1% of criminals would be whittled down to about zero, and that would devastate the criminal world. But the losses among innocents would be leass than 1% (innocents rarely get arrested,) which is barely perceptible.

    This strategy is known as "kill them both; God will know his own." For some strange reason no society on Earth uses it. Why would that be? It's a pretty effective strategy, after all... Perhaps it's because the society values life of an innocent person far more than it values death of a criminal?

  • by meta-monkey (321000) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:05AM (#44273851) Journal

    But, he's not. No one can prove that, because we simply don't know what happened between the time Zimmerman asked Martin what his business in the neighborhood was and the time the shots were fired. We do know Zimmerman was on the receiving end of a beat down because of his injuries.

    Replace "wannabe cop neighborhood watchman" with "police officer." Police officer sees someone behaving suspiciously in a neighborhood where several homes have been burglarized and asks him, "Hey, what's going on here?" The suspect attacks the cop and the cop shoots him.

    I really don't see the controversy. I am an anti-authoritarian, but one of the real, actual legitimate uses of cops or neighborhood watchmen is....looking out for people who might be about to rob their neighbors.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:15AM (#44273911)
    - being accused of domestic violence or resisting arrest has nothing to do with GZ accusations, but has a LOT to do with this women's (it was inclusive used as an excuse by falsely accusing her husband).

    - continued following TM, even when instructed by 911 operators not to, wasn't a good decision, but it was well within his rights.

    I don't really know if he was guilty or innocent in this case, but what I am completely sure is that there was reasonable doubt in his case. That was definitely not the case with Marissa Alexander. She was obviously guilty, and tried to falsely accuse her husband to excuse herself. She is exactly where she belongs.
  • Yes we do (Score:1, Insightful)

    by publiclurker (952615) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:20AM (#44273947)
    if Zimmerman didn't have his little penile replacement with him he would have stayed in the car like he was told to instead of trying to act like a vigilante stalking that uppity black kid armed with skittles.
  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Totenglocke (1291680) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:24AM (#44273973)

    He'll always be "that guy that got away with murder"

    TIL that Slashdotters equate self defense with murder. In a pro-gun state, he'll have no problem getting a job because the citizens of those states respect people who defend themselves against violent people.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mspangler (770054) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:28AM (#44274007)

    "We know for a fact that he followed Martin,"

    Stupid mistake #1. Zimmerman got out of the car. If Zimmerman had stayed in the car, then either Martin would have kept walking home, or if he had chosen to attack, would have had to kick in a window to get to Zimmerman, and there would have been no doubt about Zimmerman's self-defense claim.

    Stupid mistake #2. Martin did not just keep walking. If Martin had kept on walking regardless of Zimmerman getting out of the car, Martin would have either gotten home safely, or Zimmerman would have shot him in the back, and there would be no doubt about his guilt.

    What is clear is that at some point, for some reason, Martin turned and attacked. Was he a 17 year old gangster wannabe looking for some street cred, and beating up "a creepy cracker" seemed like a way to get it? Did Zimmerman start yelling out racial slurs, goading Martin beyond the point of reason? We don't know, and there was no evidence either way that could convince the jury. So they were left with reasonable doubt. And if you have reasonable doubt, you are required to acquit.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:34AM (#44274059) Journal

    I've always believed that one should not ever brandish a firearm in a confrontation unless they're prepared to use it to cause harm.

    Warning shot? No. If you think you can fire a warning shot and "scare someone away," then you've still got other less-lethal methods of handling the situation. (And if nothing else, it wastes ammunition.)

    Drawing a firearm is the very last resort. And once you've drawn that weapon weapon, always fire at the person you are in confrontation with (with intent to, you know, actually hit them) -- not in random directions.

    (The reason: If you don't intend to shoot the person, don't be waving a gun around. It isn't safe. A gun is not a threat, nor is it a scare tactic. It's a goddamn killing machine. Either use it properly and swiftly, or leave it alone.)

  • Just because one of the 5 talking heads on a panel was irrationally pro-Trayvon, doesn't mean you have a point.

    It's obvious that the media was either 1) Stupid or 2) Complicit with racism.

    Even choosing the subject to discuss, it's so easy to see the bias towards Zimmerman (b/c the gun lobby and conservatives in general say him as a bellwether).

    Ex: a news panel discussing the decision not to allow blood test results showing Trayvon had used marijuana in the last 60 days before his killing.

    That's racist b/c the whole notion is absolutely immaterial. First, the discussion should have been about **ZIMMERMAN's** blood contents, b/c oh, **he wasn't tested for drugs/alcohol** until much later if at all. Second, weed does not cause aggression and never has been claimed or evidence shown in scientific tests that it causes aggression.

    Everyone knows that the "scary doped-up black man" trope has been used as a cultural Jim Crow since the '30s.

    If these concepts are new to you, shame on you. This is part of American history and our daily struggle as humans living in a community.

  • Re:Due Process (Score:1, Insightful)

    by RazorSharp (1418697) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:34AM (#44274069)

    I don't particularly think Zimmerman's innocent, but I do think there is a pretty good case that there's reasonable doubt as to whether he's guilty.

    I think the reason this case has been such a big deal is that if the situation were reversed, had Trayvon Martin killed George Zimmerman, the justice system wouldn't have demanded such a high burden of proof. He would get get tried as an adult for first degree murder and spend the rest of his life in prison. No one would know or care about it because the story wouldn't even make the front page of his local newspaper.

    Meanwhile, the William Zantzingers continue to kill the poor Hattie Carrol's of the world, all while receiving a mere slap on the wrist.

    There's no reason to doubt that Zimmerman killed Martin. He admitted as much. It's on him to provide justification for the act, and unsurprisingly a Florida jury found that ridding his neighborhood of a black menace was justification enough.

  • I'm not usually one to claim that stuff doesn't belong here; in fact, I usually make shitty, trollish posts in whatever thread brings that up. I'm not upset, and I came here specifically to argue both sides with vaguely racist nonsense and make people angry, so I'm pretty content. But I wholeheartedly agree: this garbage does not belong on a Slashdot which claims to be a tech news site. If Timothy wants to post this, he should go back to Reddit. This isn't a complain about a perceived abundance of Bitcoin and Raspberry Pi articles, it's a complaint about blatant clickbait to stir up page views. If I had any decency myself, I'd say it shameful that Timothy would so low as using a racially and politically charged (understand that I'm referring to the media circus, irrespective of what the true truth was) tragedy to do so. But, as I've said, I'm ruining the article myself, so I have no room to condemn him ^.^~!
  • by thaylin (555395) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:40AM (#44274123)
    So the black woman on the jury was a closet racist? How did that help Zimmerman?
  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quantaman (517394) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:47AM (#44274187)

    Whether Zimmerman is guilty or not, he'll never have another job. He'll always be "that guy that got away with murder", irrespective of the actual, judiciary merit of that position. There have been many people, for example, accused of rape, and were later proved not just not guilty, but totally and irrefutably innocent of the charges. Their lives were still over all the same.

    He might need a name change and a relocation but if he wants to he can regain his anonymity in a few months.

    The founding fathers knew this -- that's why they advocated jury trials in the first place. It was an attempt to remove this mob mentality from the judicial process, and as a balance against populism swaying the government and giving in to the transient emotional outbursts of the crowd, the mob, the public. I don't think, if they were alive today in the age of the internet and instant communication, they would still advocate that these trials be open to the public...

    I'd say this case was a perfect example of why we need open trials.

    In the initial case I frankly do think there was a racial bias. Whether or not innocent was the proper finding I think it's hard to justify the casualness of the initial police response. Media oversight was a good thing here.

    As for the trial, a trial open to the public actually protects the accused from being convicted by the media!

    The media were talking about Zimmerman long before the trial so closing the trial won't stop him from being convicted by the media. But the only way to stop the media conviction from turning into a courtroom conviction via corruption is to keep the trial open to the media.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:57AM (#44274255)

    Read the trial transcript, it’ll be clearer. In short:

    1) The defense claimed that Zimmerman was attacked by Martin, and got (more or less) badly beaten. Based on the fact that there were no other wounds on Martin other than the gunshot, and Zimmerman had lots of damage to the head, I tend to believe that. (Of course, I’m not a doctor and I haven’t seen either, I’m just reporting what evidence and testimony was presented during the trial, which is what the jury bases their decision on.) They also claim Martin saw Zimmerman’s gun while beating him, reached for it, and that was when Zimmerman shot him, while being pinned under Martin. Based on what I’ve seen of the trial, I’m pretty sure about the second part; the first is of course convenient, so believe what you will. The prosecution argued that Zimmerman was a wannabe vigilante, and that Martin was an innocent child. If you’re the jury and you believe that, you will not believe Zimmerman. Therefore, it’s relevant to show that Martin was not *just* an innocent child, and in fact was both able and inclined to violence, and from what I’ve heard about the cell’s contents it seems it could be pertinent for the defense. (The phone data wasn’t in the trial, so I can’t judge if in fact it tells anything about Martin. But I can see why it could be relevant.)

    2) I becomes an aggressive act when you assault them, of course. Now, I wasn’t there, and in fact there were no witnesses until after the altercation started, so I can’t tell which of the two attacked. Martin of course cannot testify, and Zimmerman claims he was attacked while returning to the car (which, according to him, he left to find out where Martin was going). Note that the guy was part of the neighborhood watch, and there had been quite a few break-ins in the neighborhood, so it is justifiable to at least investigate where the “suspicious guy” went. (Regardless of why he thought him suspicious.) Of course the evidence is not enough to determine with certainty what went on, but there’s no evidence (that I saw) of lying, either.

    3) No law is required to stand your ground when someone pursues you. (It doesn’t even make sense, if you’re pursued, it means you’re already leaving or running.) That law gives you the right to fight back when attacked. If in fact it was Martin that was attacked, he had right to defend himself. (I assume he wasn’t trespassing, since he was visiting someone in the same neighborhood.) I don’t know for sure who attacked who, but what evidence do you have that Zimmerman initiated the fight?

    * * *

    As I haven’t been there, here’s what I saw in the transcripts. The police received the call from Z. Z told the operator M was leaving, and the operator asked in what direction. (Z claims he left his car to check, lost M in the dark, turned back towards the car, and was assaulted by M by surprise. Which at least is plausible.) Apparently M was talking on the phone with a friend at the time, but other than telling her a “creepy ass cracker” was following him, and that “she thought race was an issue because Martin told her he was being followed by a white man”, which to me sounds like the race issue was the other way around. (Note that the media made a lot of noise about Z telling the operator M was black, when in fact the full recordings show that the operator clearly asked if the guy was white, black or Hispanic. Z did not volunteer that information until asked. And he actually said “He looks black”.)

    About this time several neighbors called 911 because there were screams for help and sounds of struggle. (Each side claimed the screams were theirs, though M’s dad changed his mind a couple of times.) Nobody intervened, but one (male) neighbor saw the scuffle (not very well, *everyone* claims it was dark and I don’t think he got close; he testified that he saw (based on clothin

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Torodung (31985) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:59AM (#44274267) Journal

    Two words explain this attitude historically: "Secret Tribunal." (You can insert the word "military" if you'd prefer three words).

    What would have them spinning at 5000 rpm in their graves is Guantanamo Bay, not this trial and public reaction. A public trial by jury is exactly what they designed, and the country was so small and insular at that point that reputations could be ruined far more thoroughly than in today's overpopulated, urban, and largely faceless culture. They absolutely expected mob mentality to be a result, which was why so many of them were members of secret societies. Privacy to speak one's mind may never have occurred to them as a possibility without that. The possibility of a public trial ruining someone's reputation was probably expected, in my considered opinion.

    I don't have any primary sources to back that up though.

  • Re:Due Process (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ancientt (569920) <ancientt@yahoo.com> on Sunday July 14, 2013 @01:00AM (#44274279) Homepage Journal

    I'm glad you pound on that point in class. I suspect most instructors do much the same.

    I was interested in this trial because I did wonder what laws were broken. That seems to be the most overlooked question in this whole thing. I've heard many people rant about what people did wrong and I absolutely agree with many of them. But that's not the point, living under a rule of law means that you shouldn't be punished by the legal system unless you actually break the law.

    Your sig is also quite interesting in relation to the question of legality. Do we really want a country where you are legally required to do what the police tell you regardless of whether it is legal or not? People adamantly state that Zimmerman should go to jail because the police told him he should behave differently. When they say that, they're really saying that they want the police to have the legal authority to tell you what to do regardless of what the law says. I find the number of people who believe that just a little frightening.

    My sig is intended to be humorous. We as a society have decided that being stupid is not in itself a crime. We believe that rule of law is critical to freedom. We believe that the law and not the opinions of people we grant authority should define our freedoms. Or at least we used to.

  • by bogjobber (880402) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @01:27AM (#44274449)
    Trayvon Martin was a violent, racist sociopath, eh? Sounds like you're the one constructing a narrative separate from the facts.

    I agree that the legal ruling in this case was the right one. There was no evidence to convict Mr. Zimmerman. But claiming that you know exactly what happened that night, or that you know anything about Trayvon Martin's personality is absolutely ludicrous.
  • by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @01:36AM (#44274495)

    Then you spent your mod points well. That summary was rubbish. Absolute rubbish. Please, show evidence of badgering. Martin jumped Zimmerman.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @01:39AM (#44274515) Journal

    He doesn't know. sadly in today's age, anything you don't agree with is racist. It's because they cannot support their opinions with facts and reality and need to limit the conversation to menial flaws of the person you disagree with instead of the context of the actions or disagreement.

    there is a growing group of people who simply cannot debate ideas and have to shut the debate down in order to preserve their view points. The GP is one of them.

  • by daninaustin (985354) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @01:40AM (#44274519)
    Warning shots are illegal and dangerous. A gun is deadly force. If someone needs to be shot then shoot them, Don't fire the gun in a random direction and kill an innocent person.
  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @02:02AM (#44274619) Journal

    Assaulting a person is not really defending yourself unless you have reason to believe you are about to be assaulted yourself.

    The prosecution claimed Zimmerman had a duty to retreat but that same duty applied to Martin too. Martin had a phone, he could have called the police and said someone is following me. He could have tried to lose Zimmerman, but instead, he went to confront the cracker ass cracker or whatever racial slur his friend he was on the phone with said he said before hanging up to put Zimmerman in his place.

    From what I can tell with the court testimony, Martin attacked Zimmerman because he was following him. Martin was never defending himself. It also appears that Martin went out of his way to find Zimmerman and surprise him as Zimmerman lost sight of him just before Martin came from behind. That is all supported by court testimony. Martin simply was not defending himself.

  • Re: I'm amazed... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 14, 2013 @02:06AM (#44274639)

    And the balistics say its impossible for him to have been on top

  • Re: I'm amazed... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 14, 2013 @02:07AM (#44274641)

    Because when a black person follows, picks a fight with and kills a white person, they don't get a not guilty verdict.

  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @02:19AM (#44274705)
    You are a fool. The majority of murders are carried out with hands and feet. And the people with any sense in their skulls are not going to wait and see how things go before they defend themselves, because at that point, they're either dead or dying. A teenage kid can kill a grown man [digtriad.com] with one punch. I for one will never underestimate somebody who has chosen to become violent. They might actually be emboldened to make such a choice because they are good at it, and anybody who lets them gain the upper hand deserves what follows. For my part I'm not going to wait for my own funeral.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Sunday July 14, 2013 @02:34AM (#44274769) Journal

    his *life was not in danger*

    Maybe your life wouldn't be in danger if you got your brain smashed on the pavement, but that's not the case for most people.

    -jcr

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Totenglocke (1291680) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @02:43AM (#44274823)

    I expect a number of "stand your ground" laws will be amended to restrict the "charge into the situation until you escalate it, then stand your ground" that George used.

    Wow, you honestly have no clue what went on in this case. No one except the anti-gun people in the media ever brought up "stand your ground". Zimmerman's case was entirely based off of normal self-defense laws that exist even in the most anti-gun state. He was pinned to the ground and was having his head bashed into the pavement - that's attempted murder. Even in your most anti-gun area, that's still full grounds for using deadly force to protect yourself. As for "stand your ground" laws, they do not change the circumstance for using force to defend yourself, they merely state that in a self defense situation the defender is assumed to be innocent of a crime unless the prosecutor can prove that they acted unjustly. In states without "stand your ground" laws, you are by default assumed to be guilty and must prove that you acted justly in defending yourself. "Stand your ground" laws do NOT change the fact that you MUST have a valid reason to believe you are in danger of serious injury or death in order to use deadly force to defend yourself and that you must NOT be the aggressor.

    Zimmerman was NOT the aggressor. Walking on a sidewalk and following someone is NOT an act of aggression. Trayvon physically assaulting Zimmernman was an act of aggression and since Trayvon initiated the fight and Zimmerman was unable to flee, under EVERY SINGLE STATE'S self defense laws, Zimmerman was 100% within the law to use deadly force to defend himself.

    The only thing that needs to be "amended" here is your ignorance of both the law and the facts of the case.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Sunday July 14, 2013 @02:45AM (#44274833) Homepage

    I'm not saying there arent issues

    Oh, there most certainly are issues! Because Gitmo was made into such a hot potato during the previous presidency, the current President, evidently, banned putting new detainees in there... Guess, which of the two alternatives to such detentions did he pick? Right, kill them on the spot [guardian.co.uk] — no judge, no jury.

    That his supporters, after condemning Bush for the mere detentions, are a-Ok with the extra-judicial killings, is really telling any observer everything one needs to know about their attention spans. That the President is ordering the killings [theatlantic.com] for political expediency (so as not to be blamed for Gitmo's existance much), never mind the possibility, however slight, that a few of them are innocent, is telling the same observer about his values and morals. That he does it despite the intelligence value destroyed by each killing, expands nicely on his priorities.

    To sum up: the "village idiot" and "Constitution-shredder" Bush presided over Milosevic and Hussein being delivered to justice. Harvard-educated lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Obama presided over bin Laden and Qaddafi shot on the spot...

  • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @03:07AM (#44274931)

    If you're in a fight as an adult you fight to kill and let fly with everything you have. This might be IT.

    You want to dance? Take a salsa class.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuperTechnoNerd (964528) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @03:16AM (#44274989)
    I have a .38 revolver and a 9mm auto. I use them for home protection and only take them with me when I go to the range. I don't go slithering around in shadows looking for trouble and an excuse to shoot people. It's far more easy to just walk away and call authorities. I don't think at any time was Zimmerman's life was in danger.
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @03:20AM (#44275007) Homepage Journal

    Since when do I need a "good reason" to get out of my car?

    Since when does a teenager need a "good reason" to be walking along the street?

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @03:39AM (#44275117) Journal

    1) Because it wasn't Zimmerman who attacked Martin. Martin's history showed a youth with a lot of issues with violence. Could this wannabe thug be resentful of having to life with this sister in this gated community and gone and confronted this wannabe cop who was part of the man? A lot of people are talking about the wannabe cop mentality of Zimmerman, it is then also fair to talk about the wannabe thug mentality of Martin, especially as he was forced to live in a gated community away from his friends.

    2) Zimmerman had lost sight of Martin. Stop rehashing the media lies, use the evidence presented in court. Zimmerman was patrolling a gated community were the people had chosen to allow Zimmerman that right. When you life in a gated community, you forfeit certain normal rights because apparently you prefer security over freedom. Remember, these two where living in the SAME gated community. They were neighbors if people still talked to each other.

    3) The stand your ground defense wasn't used in the case, just by the media, Zimmerman defended himself on ordinary self defense laws, because he was on the ground being beaten with intent to kill (as evidenced by wounds) by a much taller and fitter man.

    This case has been handled incredibly badly by the media. If you followed the actual court case an entirely different story plays out.

    If you want to know what I think happened? Two cats forgot that the point of a staring match is NOT to fight. Martin has a history of wanting to appear as a thug, intimidating others and using violence if that doesn't work. Zimmerman is a wannabe cop who wasn't going to let anymore hoodlums affect his community. They met late at night and neither backed down. Who said what first? I don't know, maybe Zimmerman called out. Maybe Martin wanted to show this white guy who owned this street.

    Fact was they ended up on the ground, Travor was beating a much older and fitter man to death but it didn't end the way travor intended, Zimmerman had a gun.

    Two men with to much anger/ego who weren't going to take it anymore. Either could have walked away. remember, Travor wasn't shot in the back, he wasn't shot from he a distance, Travor was shot while he was pouding an old far short man's head into the ground.

    But hey, why should facts presented by the PROSECUTION matter to you. Much easier to just read one or two stories and spout lies.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @03:43AM (#44275133) Journal

    If Martin had known Zimmerman had a gun, would he have attacked him?

    If Martin knew Zimmerman had a gun and feared getting shot in the back, attacking him was even more insane, he would have to close with a man who could whip out a gun in a split second and fill him with lead (WHICH DID NOT HAPPEN).

    If Martin did not know Zimmerman had a gun, him attacking him is a clear case of aggression with murderous intent considering the near outcome of the fight as in if Zimmerman had NOT shot Martin, would Martin have stopped beating his victims head into the ground BEFORE he died or after?

    To many people assume that because Martin was the one who ended up death, Zimmerman was the only one with murder on the mind that night.

  • by terjeber (856226) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @03:46AM (#44275145)

    Zimmerman's life was not in danger, and defending yourself is *never* an excuse to harm someone with impunity

    We don't know everything about what happened that night. We never will. There are a few things we do know however...

    The reason this got to the point it did was because Zimmerman was a jerk, a bigoted loser and a moron. Neither of which are crimes. The trigger situation is that Zimmerman has profiled Martin and is following him around, which is not illegal either. From the evidence we do know that Martin at some point jumped Zimmerman. It seems unlikely he'd do that if facing a gun, so it is quite reasonable to conclude that the illegalities in this matter was instigated by Martin. In other words, it appears that Martin jumped Zimmerman and started to pummel him. A broken nose, a cut to the back of the head etc on Zimmerman seems to be ample evidence for this. Some time after that Zimmerman shoots Martin. He claims self defense. If his head was being hit against something hard, that is reasonable.

    So, what are we left with? Have we proven that what Zimmerman says is correct? Not even close. There is no possible way for us to know from the evidence that Zimmerman is telling the truth. That Martin jumped him and he feared for his life. We can not know, and we do not need to. Zimmermans account, and the supporting forensic data is plenty enough to say there is reasonable doubt though. If you say there is no reasonable doubt in this case, you are a moron. If there is reasonable doubt, there is no way the jury can do anything but acquit.

  • by terjeber (856226) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @03:53AM (#44275171)

    it seems to me that people who find themselves being pursued by strangers are generally assumed by the "justice" system to forfiet their right to life

    Hmmm, seems to me like you are cherrypicking here. Please note, I do not know everything that happened that night, and neither do you. Going by only the forensic evidence published in the new rags, it seems your statement above is a little moronic however. If it was the case of Marting being "pursued by a stranger" only, where does Zimmermans broken nose and cuts to the back of the head come from?

    Here is the thing: The fact that Martin pummeled Zimmerman means that Zimmermans claim of self defence is a plausible alternative version to the Martin side of the story (which sadly he never got to tell). If there is a plausible alternate explanation that means there is reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt is what is needed to acquit. Zimmerman never had to prove his story to force the jury to acquit, he only had to make it a plausibe explanation. Reasonable doubt it is.

  • by gibbsjoh (186795) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @03:58AM (#44275187)

    Causation doesn't equal correlation. Also the key word is "can."

  • by Rakarra (112805) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @04:02AM (#44275211)

    This isn't a damned action movie. If someone is banging your head against the pavement you should have every right to believe your life is in danger.

  • My 1.5 cents (Score:3, Insightful)

    by itwasgreektome (785639) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @04:10AM (#44275247)
    The justice system ran its course. The protests resulted in a prosecution that never would have happened otherwise. A jury hand picked by the prosecution (6 women, 5 of whom are mothers) was unanimous in deciding the state failed to prove either second degree murder or manslaughter. It HAD to be an acquittal from the beginning because there was no way the Special Prosecutor could prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. And that is the burden the state had to meet. Anything other than an acquittal could only have been explained as people following their emotions and not the rule of law (which saves us from these sometimes). One of our justice system's great weaknesses is actually its greatest strength, it is designed in such a way that it would rather acquit 10,000 guilty men than convict 1 innocent person.
  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 14, 2013 @04:16AM (#44275275)

    The difference is that if Zimmerman was black, he would have been arrested on the spot and he would already be serving his life sentence.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lakitu (136170) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @04:41AM (#44275369)

    The prosecution claimed Zimmerman had a duty to retreat but that same duty applied to Martin too. Martin had a phone, he could have called the police and said someone is following me. He could have tried to lose Zimmerman, but instead, he went to confront the cracker ass cracker or whatever racial slur his friend he was on the phone with said he said before hanging up to put Zimmerman in his place.

    This is something it seems like most people are missing out on in their rush to polarize.

    Many people are trying to dismiss Zimmerman's duty to retreat by saying it was lawful or he had good intentions or whatever, but the fact is he was following the kid for dubious reasons, got lost, and then was ambushed by the person he was following. He should never have allowed himself to be in that situation, and he should have been prepared for Martin to verbally confront him.

    Lots of people dismiss Martin's actions because they feel like Zimmerman's behavior was unwarranted, starting with following him. But that doesn't excuse his confrontation of Zimmerman.

    The fact is, both of them made dumb mistakes that night, and both of them have paid for it. It will always seem unfair, because Martin was only 17 and, while he should have known better, it's understandable that he didn't know better. And he paid for it with his life.

    Zimmerman's life is changed forever because of this, too, but it will never really seem fair because he's incompetent and an idiot who definitely should have known better and got off light compared to Martin.

    The whole thing is just a tragedy that didn't need to happen.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mean pun (717227) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @05:59AM (#44275661)

    In order to be accorded the full privileges and protections of the Geneva Convention you must wage war in a lawful manner. That is part of the treaty enforcement mechanism. Al Qaida and its associates do not do so and are therefore not entitled to the full privileges and protections. The US does act in accordance with the treaty, you just seem unfamiliar with its terms, or perhaps have listened to advocates that wish the treaty was other than it is.

    Can you back that up with some proof? As far as I know the Geneva Convention was always a set of rules that civilised countries adhered to because they were, well, civilised. (And of course because they would want their own PoW to be treated in the same manner.)

    And exactly what is `waging war in a lawful manner' supposed to mean? Is carpet-bombing `waging war in a lawful manner'? How about using agent orange? Exterminating an entire village? Bombing a restaurant because Saddam Hussein just might be there? Droning wedding parties and other ordinary meetings, repeatedly, because you're too stupid/lazy/careless/ignorant to get your information right?

    And even granting some people somehow do not deserve to be treated as PoW, is there any legal basis for treating them any worse than normal criminals? And no, introducing some kind of mealy-mouthed new term like `enemy combatant' after the fact doesn't address this issue in any way.

  • by pugugly (152978) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @06:15AM (#44275745)

    What an amazing set of rationalizing "What If's".

    At some point if you decide to ignore the advice of a 911 operator and follow someone, you are taking responsibility for the consequences of those actions. Maybe Trayvon Martin did something anyone would have done at the time, and maybe he was stupid, and maybe both . . . but he didn't create these circumstances, Zimmerman did.

    That you can follow someone on the street, kill them, and not even be found guilty of manslaughter beggars the imagination.

    Pug

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @08:22AM (#44276195) Homepage

    I think one thing is coming from this trial and that's the attention black racism has been getting. In watching videos on aftermath, I saw black protesters responding to white people holding signs which read "creepy assed cracker is a racist slur" or something to that effect. The response was screaming out cracker-this and cracker that followed by chanting that they are not racist.

    I think the attention to the matter is and will continue to grow. There is no "making up" for something no one alive today is responsible for. I think it has been amply demonstrated it is behavior which leads to mistrust and even fear among people far more than racial appearance. Of course, bad experiences with a person of a particular genetic lineage, but that is most certainly true on both sides -- Al Sharpton is a dinosaur and a profiteer who sees a racist in every white person and earns a LOT of money from his insistence that there is. But he fails to recognize his own people are the current cause of any fear and mistrust.

    And younger people today? I'm actually a little scared for them at the moment. My son has lots of black friends and he is very, very mixed himself. He trusts his black friends in every way. And that's great. I have met them and most of them are pretty genuine people. (most, but not all) Indeed they think the whole racism issue is ridiculous -- an item for history books. And yet, there is no shortage of violent threats out there. There isn't much noise from the KKK these days, but there is certainly a lot of noise about killing white babies from the new black panther party. These threats are real and they aren't driven by any strong or particular "anti-black" sentiment or activity.

    Seriously, these black racists are scary to me. They, like the US government, are fighting a nebulous war on a vapor enemy.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PRMan (959735) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @10:36AM (#44276865)
    A 38-year-old chubby guy should be able to overpower a weightlifting 17-year-old football player after being jumped? In what universe?
  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by modmans2ndcoming (929661) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @11:09AM (#44277145)

    1) Constitutional rights have nothing to do with how any of those 4 men were adjudicated.

    2) the local politics of both Melisovic and Hussein were important to the reason to bring them to trial.

    3) Qaddafi was killed by the rebels. The US was no on he ground in Libya or even running air operations (the French were running the show) so Obama has no responsibility there.

    4) Bin Laden? Really? It was a military operation in a hostile zone in a foreign country and everyone has been trying to kill the guy since 9/11. Bush would have killed him too.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @11:39AM (#44277359) Homepage

    But it can't be a holding pen for POWs because that would make us one of those crazy backward evil countries that ignores the Geneva convention.

    That's why the U.S. is so careful to proclaim loudly that they are not in any way POWs.

    So if they're not POWs, they must be subject to civilian law, right? Apparently not. Doublethink is alive and well in the U.S. We invented a brand new category of people who don't get military or civilian rights.

    I'm guessing that has the founders up to at least 5,000 RPM by now.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 14, 2013 @11:53AM (#44277453)

    As there more than five times as many whites than blacks in the US, this means a) that blacks are much more likely to become murder victims, and b) that blacks are much more likely to (commit | be convicted of) murder.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bladesinger (2420944) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:46PM (#44277811)

    He'll always be "that guy that got away with murder"

    TIL that Slashdotters equate self defense with murder. In a pro-gun state, he'll have no problem getting a job because the citizens of those states respect people who defend themselves against violent people.

    We need to understand the difference between self-defense and self-offense. When you stalk a person incidentally travelling down the street- man, women, or child- and that person ultimately ends up dead by your hands, you have committed murder as manslaughter. You are the instigator. Your choices, not happenstance, led to the death of someone. All the details- I called the police first, "He/she looked suspicious!", emotions, race- are just extra and will be used by the defense and the prosecution to either escalate the charge or keep it at manslaughter.

    Zimmerman, the moment he followed an incidental passer-by with ANY intent, was at risk of manslaughter should Martin die. It doesn't matter of Trayvon Martin broke every bone in Zimmerman's body before he was shot- Zimmerman was the instigator; this is not self-defense.

    This case has set a disgusting precedent, at least in Florida, where we can leave the safety of our homes in pursuit of *suspicious* figures, and ultimately kill them, and that may be known as quote self-defense quote... if the victim puts up a fight.

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:54PM (#44277877)

    If you read the numbers, it must be pretty close to equal: 49% of murder victims are white, 49% of murder victims are black, and the remaining 2% are of other racial backgrounds. Among murderers, 51% are black, 46% are white, and the remaining 3% are of other racial backgrounds.

    If you're going to quote "actual statistics," you need to know how to use them. These stats are relatively useless when making comparisons between murder rates among races, since they don't take into account the actual population size of various races.

    The white population is roughly 6 times the size of the black population in the U.S. (72.4% vs. 12.6% vs. 15% other). Using these statistics (which admittedly are 2010, instead of 2009, which is the year of your crime stats), we get an estimate of actual rates within the population:

    Out of every 1,000,000 people, 29.4 of them will be white murder victims, 168.4 will be black, and 7.8 will be other. Out of every 1,000,000 people, 23.6 of them will be white murderers, 151.3 will be black, and 5.3 will be other.

    To break this down by victim:

    (Please note that the following stats given much lower rates than above, because BOTH offender and victim race are identified in only about half of the statistics given in the source.)

    If the victim is white, per million people, 13.2 murderers will be white, 2 will be black, and 0.2 will be other.

    If the victim is black, per million people, 5.4 murderers will be white, 66.9 will be black, and 0.3 will be other.

    If the victim is other, per million people, 1.1 will be white, 0.6 will be black, and 2.2 will be other.

    That's not to say that murder is OK, but it's hardly a situation in which black people are murdering white people left and right while white people are just innocent victims.

    Agreed. However, when you compare actual murder rates rather than percentages from unequal population sizes, you can actually get an answer to the question you want. Basically, if all races were equally distributed, a black-murdering-white crime is about 2.6 times as likely as a white-murdering-black crime.

    Of course that isn't the real shocking figure here. The shocking figure should be that black-on-black murders are 5 TIMES more prevalent than white-on-white murders. So, the conclusion shouldn't be that blacks are murdering innocent white people, but rather that the murder rate is a lot greater among blacks in general, and when that violence spreads outside the black community, white people are involved somewhat more often... compared to when white violence is perpetrated on blacks.

    (I'm not trying to make any sort of racial judgment here at all, just to interpret the statistics you quoted fairly. Honestly, all murders are terrible, and we need to work to curb all of this violence... regardless of the races of victim or perpetrator.)

  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thaylin (555395) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @01:41PM (#44278201)
    If someone it following you, and then confronts you, then you did not assault them, you defended yourself.
  • Re:I'm amazed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ubermiester (883599) * on Sunday July 14, 2013 @03:36PM (#44279031)

    In case you have forgotten - not sure how old you are - for most of American history non-white crime was treated universally as a racial issue. When I was a kid (in NYC), the local news used to report on at least one or two drug-related crimes committed by blacks every night. They didn't actually come out and say "look at these black people and how savage they are", but they were clearly using people's prejudice to frame the story in racial terms that would keep them watching. In reality most of the crime they reported on was actually "black-on-black", but the implied story was, "What are we going to do about all these out of control black people?" There is a reason most people in prison are non-white. There is a reason so many people think there should be an electrified fence across the Mexican border, while the Canadian border is essentially open. The media has never been good at dealing with race, but the new "punditocracy" has taken it from subtle racism to a more hysterical finger pointing about who is a racist and who is not. The news media follows trends, they don't make them. Talking about race is no longer as toxic as it used to be, and the media has taken advantage of that fact to raise ratings.

    Putting the media aside, when the motivation for a killing is money, it is difficult to make the claim that racism was involved - unless you consider the relative wealth of whites vs non-whites and assume that a non-white person is targeting a white person because they are likely to have more steal-able stuff. But when Zimmerman followed and ultimately shot and killed Martin, it was clearly motivated by "racial profiling". No one even disputes that. The only question was whether Zimmerman had any choice but to shoot Martin once the scuffle began. Obviously the jury thought he did not.

    Are you claiming that race was not involved here? Zimmerman was clearly profiling, and Martin was clearly reacting to being followed by a "creepy cracker".

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @03:43PM (#44279081) Journal

    Hang on. The way the law reads, lethal force is allowed if a reasonable person in his position would think that their life is in danger. Zimmerman's head had been banged against the pavement, and in the opinion of one medical witness, one or two more impacts were likely to have killed him.

    So, someone taller and younger (and evidently stronger) than you are on top of you and had at least once smacked your head into the pavement. At that point, I contend, a reasonable person would believe that their life was in danger. I would have.

    Again, the requirement is that a reasonable person would believe that their life is in danger. They're not required to read the mind of the assailant and discover the assailant's true motives. This means, for instance, that if someone has every appearance of intending to beat you to death, you have a right to use lethal force, regardless of what his actual plans were.

  • by Mabhatter (126906) on Monday July 15, 2013 @11:33AM (#44285053)

    This just made VERY bad case law.

    Effectively Zimmerman baited the kid so he could murder him. He followed police-style rolling up and preventing the kid from leaving, he called the police ahead to plant the alibi, then persued on foot anyway, he didn't put the kid "under citizens arrest" he just attempted to yell at him and physically detain him... Lastly, he didn't announce before trying to detain the kid that he had a gun. And just blew the kid away because he lost a fistfight.

    Basically you had a 17YO kid, illegally (or just barrly legal) cornered, prevented from walking away, and threatened by an adult ..attempting to fight his way out of the situation. If the kid was alive, Zimmerman would be wholly at fault.

    This just makes extremely bad law. Lets say next time I get cut off in traffic by somebody texting (that's a crime!) i can block their car in at the next rest stop and verbally accost them for their poor decision... I don't even have to call the cops. When they try to escape by swerving at me or pushing my car out of the way, now I can "defend myself" and blow them away! Hell, you can even outright punch people in the face and walk away... If they "presue" then it's "self defense" on your part.

    Yea Florida, you can pretty much antagonize a situation out in public right to the limit and as long as they hit on you more, you can blow them away as self defense!!!! Woot!

    He needed to go down just to prevent that from becoming legal precedent.

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