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The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby DCB » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Dangerousman wrote:
Sno, if you're sitting on the jury and the guy only testifies that "I couldn't see his hands, so I felt threatened and shot him" would you vote for acquittal? No, I didn't think so. Neither would I, if that's the sum of his defense.


Why do you assume there is a trial? The only reason Zimmerman is on trial is because it was highly publicized. Initially they were will to take him at his word, and let him go. That probably would not have happened before the stand-your-ground law.

If Zimmerman gets acquitted, that will likely set a precedent.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby Dangerousman » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:29 pm

DCB wrote:
Dangerousman wrote:
Sno, if you're sitting on the jury and the guy only testifies that "I couldn't see his hands, so I felt threatened and shot him" would you vote for acquittal? No, I didn't think so. Neither would I, if that's the sum of his defense.


Why do you assume there is a trial? The only reason Zimmerman is on trial is because it was highly publicized. Initially they were will to take him at his word, and let him go. That probably would not have happened before the stand-your-ground law.

If Zimmerman gets acquitted, that will likely set a precedent.


If there's no trial then it's because the prosecutor is convinced by the self-defense argument. Again, absent other factors, how many prosecutors do you think would be swayed by the "I couldn't see his hands, so I felt threatened" argument? Only a very lazy or very stupid prosecutor would pass up on the opportunity to get an easy conviction.

Hmmm, it's interesting that you say "the only reason Zimmerman is on trial is because it was highly publicized." That doesn't sound like a very good reason to put a man on trial. One would think that the only valid reason for putting a person on trial for a crime is because there's probable cause for suspecting that person committed a crime, not because of publicity and public pressure. Quite an admission.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby DCB » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:38 am

Dangerousman wrote:
Hmmm, it's interesting that you say "the only reason Zimmerman is on trial is because it was highly publicized." That doesn't sound like a very good reason to put a man on trial. One would think that the only valid reason for putting a person on trial for a crime is because there's probable cause for suspecting that person committed a crime, not because of publicity and public pressure. Quite an admission.

I agree. Its a sad state of affairs that the authorities in Florida were either too stupid, too lazy or too racist to press charges from the start.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby Dangerousman » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:26 am

DCB wrote:
Dangerousman wrote:
Hmmm, it's interesting that you say "the only reason Zimmerman is on trial is because it was highly publicized." That doesn't sound like a very good reason to put a man on trial. One would think that the only valid reason for putting a person on trial for a crime is because there's probable cause for suspecting that person committed a crime, not because of publicity and public pressure. Quite an admission.

I agree. Its a sad state of affairs that the authorities in Florida were either too stupid, too lazy or too racist to press charges from the start.


Stupidity, laziness and racism are bad reasons to do anything, or to fail to do something. Public pressure is a bad reason to prosecute too.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby HawkHead » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:08 pm

Dangerousman wrote:
jman111 wrote:Act 94:
...the actor is presumed to have reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent imminent death or bodily harm to himself or herself or to another person.


Keep in mind that provision only applies to three places: home, business and vehicle; AND, it only applies in cases where someone was in the process of a forcible and unlawful entry into one of those three places.


Just got back from a weekend up North and saw this.

So is this a misrepresentation or a purposeful "misdirection"?

Travon Martin was not shot at George Zimmerman's home, business or vehicle. So the Stand Your Ground can't be in force at the time of death. If that is the case how was Zimmerman not held for suspision of manslaughter immeadiately?

Are you trying to "stretch" the truth to make your point look "more" reasonable?
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby HawkHead » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:12 pm

Dangerousman wrote:
DCB wrote:
Dangerousman wrote:
Sno, if you're sitting on the jury and the guy only testifies that "I couldn't see his hands, so I felt threatened and shot him" would you vote for acquittal? No, I didn't think so. Neither would I, if that's the sum of his defense.


Why do you assume there is a trial? The only reason Zimmerman is on trial is because it was highly publicized. Initially they were will to take him at his word, and let him go. That probably would not have happened before the stand-your-ground law.

If Zimmerman gets acquitted, that will likely set a precedent.


If there's no trial then it's because the prosecutor is convinced by the self-defense argument. Again, absent other factors, how many prosecutors do you think would be swayed by the "I couldn't see his hands, so I felt threatened" argument? Only a very lazy or very stupid prosecutor would pass up on the opportunity to get an easy conviction.

Hmmm, it's interesting that you say "the only reason Zimmerman is on trial is because it was highly publicized." That doesn't sound like a very good reason to put a man on trial. One would think that the only valid reason for putting a person on trial for a crime is because there's probable cause for suspecting that person committed a crime, not because of publicity and public pressure. Quite an admission.


Kind of like Montee Ball getting assaulted on University Ave and now there is a call for cracking down at bar time violence! That doesn't mean the people assaulted at bar time before weren't assaulted. It just means police departments will turn a blind eye to certain problems and won't address them until the media presses them.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby Dangerousman » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:39 am

HawkHead wrote:
Just got back from a weekend up North and saw this.

So is this a misrepresentation or a purposeful "misdirection"?

Travon Martin was not shot at George Zimmerman's home, business or vehicle. So the Stand Your Ground can't be in force at the time of death. If that is the case how was Zimmerman not held for suspision of manslaughter immeadiately?

Are you trying to "stretch" the truth to make your point look "more" reasonable?


Neither one. jman commented on and posted a link to the text of 2011 Wisconsin Act 94, otherwise known as the "Castle Doctrine" law. The last time I checked the Martin/Zimmerman case was in Florida and will be judged under Florida law, not Wisconsin's.

The problem I'm seeing here is that a lot of you are confusing "castle doctrine" and "stand your ground." They're really separate legal concepts although there is the possibility (but not the necessity) of interplay between them.

I think I've done it before, but let me try to briefly clarify these two concepts again.

As I stated before, one of the things looked at in a self-defense case is whether the person used a "reasonable amount of force" for their defense against another person. In answering this question, sometimes a jury can be instructed to consider whether the actor (i.e., defendant) had the opportunity or ability to flee. If they believe there was that ability, but the actor did not take advantage of it, they may rule that the actor used more force than necessary because, under the circumstances of the case, the actor could have used lesser force (escape) instead of whatever level of force they did use.

"Stand your ground" is simply the legal concept that if you are legally entitled to be at the place you're at when you defend yourself (e.g., not trespassing or in the act of committing a crime) then you have no legal obligation to flee an attack. In other words, any opportunity to flee or escape that you may have had won't be used against you if you did not take advantage of the opportunity. Obviously the opportunity to escape or flee is not always present, but it may be in some cases.

As far as I have been able to determine, the concept of "stand your ground" is in effect in one form or another in almost every, if not every state in the USA. Wisconsin has always been a "stand your ground state" because the legislature has never put anything into the statutes saying that a person has an obligation to flee an attack. This was confirmed in 1909 by the state Supreme Court. However in 1999 in the case "State v Wenger" the court of appeals muddied things up a bit when it ruled "While there is no statutory duty to retreat, whether the opportunity to retreat was available goes to whether the defendant reasonably believed the force used was necessary to prevent an interference with his or her person." So basically the court said "yeah, you have no legal duty to retreat, but we'll allow a jury to take whether you had the opportunity to retreat it into consideration when judging whether your belief that force was needed was reasonable."

Along with establishing a Castle Doctrine in Wisconsin, Act 94 removed the Wenger jury instructions from the picture from 3 places: your dwelling, your vehicle and your place of business. Presumably the Wenger provision is still fully in effect whenever you use self-defense anywhere outside of those 3 places. The rationale, as I understand it, is that when you are in your vehicle, home or business you ARE already in your place of retreat and it is unreasonable or wrong on some other grounds to expect a person to retreat from what already is a place of retreat.

Castle Doctrine is simply the awarding of certain legal protections or immunities in certain places. In Wisconsin they chose the vehicle, car and business as the places where, if someone is in the act of unlawfully and forcibly entering there is the presumption that the use of force, up to and including deadly force, is justified in defense. It is certainly not a free ticket to kill any person who happens to be inside one of those three places. Some have suggested that it allows a person to kill their spouse or family member. Well, not really since those people are not normally unlawfully and forcibly entering the place where they also live.

I know somebody will say that it's "easy to lie" and just tell the police that a person was in the process of breaking in and they'll have to take your word for it. Well, no they don't. No law in the world can stop a person from lying about something. Lying is a matter addressed by good police work, not by some law. It would be a simple matter for someone to just randomly shoot another person when nobody else is around and then toss a knife down and say "he came at me with a knife so I was forced to shoot." No law could possibly prevent that from happening. The only thing that can counter lying about such a thing is a good investigation by the police to determine whether everything adds up. The police can be fairly resourceful and skilled with conducting investigations, and if you shoot a person and tell the cops "he was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering my home" I'm sure they'll want to poke around and decide whether they agree with it. The Castle Doctrine doesn't say they have to accept anyone's statement at face value.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby Dangerousman » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:01 am

HawkHead wrote:Kind of like Montee Ball getting assaulted on University Ave and now there is a call for cracking down at bar time violence! That doesn't mean the people assaulted at bar time before weren't assaulted. It just means police departments will turn a blind eye to certain problems and won't address them until the media presses them.


I think it's a little more complex than that. If Montee Ball had been the only person assaulted downtown at bar time, it still would have made the news but I don't think there would be any particular calls for "cracking down" on bar time violence nor any extra effort by the police. The call for a crack down is predicated on there having been a number of incidents, not just a single incident. The police, along with anyone who pays attention to the news, knows very well that there have been multiple instances of assaults downtown around bar time or after. Also known is that is not anything really new. Montee Ball unwillingly made it dawn on everyone, if it wasn't already clear to them, that every person-- including a star-quality athletic man-- was at risk for a violent assault. It goes without saying that there are factors that multiply the risk which may or may not be avoidable. But the bottom line is, if it can happen to him it can happen to anyone. I'm fairly confident that Madison PD would have liked nothing better than finding or trying some ways to lessen the risks of assaults downtown after bar time and were no doubt already trying to address the issue without the publicity of the Montee Ball incident. The incident probably put more focus in the news what the PD was trying to do. A police force is limited in many ways in what it can do, so the greatest contribution to decreasing the problem has to come from the people and business owners in the area. Nobody is going to be more responsible for your personal safety and security than you.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby HawkHead » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:13 am

Dangerousman wrote:
HawkHead wrote:
Just got back from a weekend up North and saw this.

So is this a misrepresentation or a purposeful "misdirection"?

Travon Martin was not shot at George Zimmerman's home, business or vehicle. So the Stand Your Ground can't be in force at the time of death. If that is the case how was Zimmerman not held for suspision of manslaughter immeadiately?

Are you trying to "stretch" the truth to make your point look "more" reasonable?


Neither one. jman commented on and posted a link to the text of 2011 Wisconsin Act 94, otherwise known as the "Castle Doctrine" law. The last time I checked the Martin/Zimmerman case was in Florida and will be judged under Florida law, not Wisconsin's.



Sorry, I didn't see the link to the change in topic. I thought we were discussing the Martin/Zimmerman.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby HawkHead » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:52 am

From a Huffington Post Article:

Zimmerman's attorneys, Mark O'Mara, said last week that they would use Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force – rather than retreat – if they believe their lives are in danger.

"The facts don't seem to support a `stand your ground' defense," O'Mara said.

So Zimmerman's lawyer will not argue Stand Your Ground.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby Dangerousman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:17 pm

HawkHead wrote:From a Huffington Post Article:

Zimmerman's attorneys, Mark O'Mara, said last week that they would use Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force – rather than retreat – if they believe their lives are in danger.

"The facts don't seem to support a `stand your ground' defense," O'Mara said.

So Zimmerman's lawyer will not argue Stand Your Ground.


Makes sense. "Stand your ground" only applies to cases where a person has the option of retreating. If Martin was on top of Zimmerman, as alleged, then Zimmerman had no real option of retreating rendering the "stand your ground" law irrelevant to the case.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:26 pm

Or maybe because Martin was the one standing his ground.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby Dangerousman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:58 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Or maybe because Martin was the one standing his ground.


He's not on trial. You really don't understand this law, do you?
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:14 pm

Dangerousman wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:Or maybe because Martin was the one standing his ground.


He's not on trial. You really don't understand this law, do you?

My point is that Zimmerman's lawyer isn't claiming a "stand your ground" defense because it seems that Martin was the one standing his ground. But we'll never know for sure since dead men cannot tell tales.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman Story

Postby Dangerousman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:16 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Dangerousman wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:Or maybe because Martin was the one standing his ground.


He's not on trial. You really don't understand this law, do you?

My point is that Zimmerman's lawyer isn't claiming a "stand your ground" defense because it seems that Martin was the one standing his ground. But we'll never know for sure since dead men cannot tell tales.



Well that's not how this law professor views it:

University of Miami law professor Tamara Lave said this change by O'Mara may be a signal that he thinks his case for self-defense is solid even without the special provisions afforded by "stand your ground."
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