I am going to avoid the racial component, as I think in both this thread and the controversy in the media, the racial component is overshadowing the actual shooting,and whether there was a crime or not.
Every now and then Chalup, when you aren't being retarded that is, you remind me why you're one of the better posters on this forum.
Martin was 17 years, 6'3" and 140lbs, Zimmerman is 28 years, 5'9" and 250lbs. While Martin was taller by 6", he was outweighed by 110 pounds. Someone who is only 140LB at 6'3" does not have very much muscle mass at all, meaning he could not have been very strong, and should have been someone an adult man who outweighed him by over 100 lbs should have been able to overpower.
Relevant, but only to a point. For example, I guarantee you that you are stronger and bigger than me, since I'm 5'2" and I don't think I've ever weighed more than like 110 lbs. But if I point a gun at you, you can still use deadly force in self-defense.
Here, Martin obviously was not armed, so his physical composition becomes relevant, but I'm just pointing out that it's not always necessarily so, so you have to be careful.
The story Zimmerman told the police when they arrived on scene was inconsistent with what occurred. Zimmerman clearly was recorded having called 911, about a suspicious man (Martin) appearing to case the neighborhood, and 911 advised Zimmerman not to pursue Martin,. When the police arrived, Zimmerman did not mention he was on the phone with 911, and said he had exited the truck to check a street sign when Martin jumped him for no reason
I don't think that's relevant. Maybe Zimmerman is lying, maybe he isn't, but the fact that he called 911 earlier (and didn't follow the operator's instructions) isn't particularly relevant to what happened in the altercation with Martin. The only way this inconsistancy is relevant is if can be used to prove Zimmerman initiated the altercation, and perhaps even had a pre-meditated intent to shoot Martin. That changes everything, but the mere fact that Zimmerman pursued Martin is not enough to prove a pre-meditated intent to kill. All it proves is that Zimmerman followed Martin- it could have been for a variety of reasons. You need proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict.
Martin was returning from having gone to 711, and was armed only with a bag of skittles and a canned drink. Zimmerman had a hand gun. Even if Martin intimidated Zimmerman physically, maybe even for sake of argument, initiated the fight, I don't see how a heavier adult man can be justified in the use of deadly force.
Agree. This is the weakest part of the case for Zimmerman. It would be quite another thing if Martin had a weapon on him.
Let's say Martin did jump Zimmerman from behind for sake of argument. At some point after that, Zimmerman was strong enough to overcome Martin and able to turn to face Martin, and we know this because Martin was found face down with a shot to the chest. When a gun is pulled on someone, how many people charge the guy pointing a gun at them
This brings up an interesting point. The altercation itself hasn't been reconstructed to the degree that I'd like to be able to be certain on this; but your thinking is in the right place (i.e. trying to recreate the altercation and focusing on who attacked who and when). You are getting closer to an actual legal analysis than anyone on the thread so far (except maybe Ev), and you are right to focus on the altercation, because that will determine if Zimmerman has the self-defense claim or not (this is the point Justus keeps missing for some reason).
Anyway, this point is interesting, because the timing of the shooting may turn out to be critical. For example, if the actual scuffle had ended and it was Martin that was fleeing Zimmerman, and then Zimmerman shot, there is absolutely no self-defense claim (the law is unambiguous on this). The question is- does the fact that Martin was found face down necessarily prove anything, either way?
I'm unsure. I'm not a forensic expert, but I don't know if we can establish the timing just based on that.
Furthermore, I don't think we can establish yet that Zimmerman overcame Martin. Perhaps Martin was actually shot in the struggle?
We need more facts. The timing of the shooting is important, so is if Zimmerman faced danger. Also we have to establish when Zimmerman received his injuries and timing of that vis-a-vis the gunshot.
His girlfriend confirms that she was in fact talking to him, and that he mentioned some strange guy following him.
Careful! We have her statements, but that doesn't prove what Martin was actually doing or saying. At this point, her testimony is hearsay. Even if the phone records are subpoenaed (has the call actually been released anywhere? I don't think so, but I could be wrong), and let's say on the phone call Martin actually says what his girlfriend is claiming, that still doesn't prove anything. Martin is dead- he cannot be called on the stand to be questioned on his statements over the phone, nor does the sound of a "scuffle" prove anything in regards to who pushed who first. Therefore, the sounds on the phone cannot be admitted as evidence to prove Martin was actually being followed, nor that he didn't start the attack; they are just hearsay.
What we would need, is an eyewitness that could testify that Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, and then (even better) saw what happened in the altercation. Until we got that, the only evidence that can be admitted is Zimmerman's own testimony. Will that be enough to convince a jury? I don't know. But there is no evidence to actually contradict what he is saying, either (at least at this point). All we have is the phone conversation (assuming it is released) and the girlfriend's statements, both of which are hearsay.
Edited by Letsgo_7_7, 27 March 2012 - 09:46 AM.