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So... Do you trust your neighborhood watch dude?


274 replies to this topic

#101
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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.


#102
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That's what I ment though, the whole "read as written" belief, it's done in that game also. Sometimes people take the wording out of context of things to have it mean something that it wasn't ment to mean.


...that's the Rep's point: a careful reading will not lead to the conclusion reached by Zimmerman. The second he ignored the command of the 911 operator, he lost his defense. Add Martin being unarmed and how does this look? Zimmerman's only responsiblilty was to follow orders, and wait for police response (if the police took the situation seriously enough to send a car). He could not leave it alone, so we have chaos.


Well that's what I mean, and it's one of the things I hate about the system. When teh Rep pushed for the law that's not what he ment, but in pratice, what happened is what the law allows.

But as 7777 said, his "I ment for it to be this way" doesn't work in court.

I was just stating I hate how the whole "read as written" belief is done in the court system. Expecially when a law is interpreted in a way it wasn't ment to be. I used the game warhammer as an example because the same line of thinking is done there, only there's a complete difference between a game with models and real life. But the thought process is the same.

#103
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Does Zimmerman's own 911 phone call prove that he was pursing Martin?

#104
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I'd have to see the transcript of the call, but possibly, yes. What the prosecutor could do is when Zimmerman is on the stand, ask him if he began pursuing Martin, and if so, why. If he then says "I wasn't pursuing Martin," the prosecutor could admit the phone call into evidence to impeach his credibility on this point.

Again, however, that wouldn't necessarily prove that Zimmerman doesn't have a self-defense claim; all it proves is that Zimmerman was pursuing Martin. What happened in the encounter between the two is much more relevant. Unless there was something in this phone call that indicates a pre-meditated intent by Zimmerman to shoot Martin.

In other words, let's say Zimmerman lies, then the prosecutor points out the 911 transcript, to which Zimmerman says "ok, I was pursuing him." The prosecutor will then ask why, and then Zimmerman can say "cause he looked like was doing suspicious activity."

And then we're back at where we started. There is no evidence to contradict that statement by Zimmerman (at least that I've seen yet), nor nothing to contradict that Martin initiated the scuffle.

#105
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I know your speciality is not criminal law, but let me ask you this: what do you think of building a case on mostly circumstantial evidence (such as Zimmerman's 911 call)? I'm sure it's been done before, and in cases such as this where there are no eye-witnesses, the physical evidence is limited, and it's pretty much going to be the defendant's word against a dead body, there seems like it would be just short of impossible to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt. Is this an inherent part of life, or a serious flaw in the system?

#106
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If he was getting out of the truck to look at a street sign, why did he take the gun with him and street signs are found on corners, not the near sides of a building where the body was laying. Zimmerman is going to have a hard time with explaining a lot. I still find grass stains on the back of his shirt and a cut on the back of his head important because this proves he would have had an altercation with Martin. If he had been thrown to the ground that would make it hard for a chubby dude to scramble up and run away.

#107
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Even if it's difficult for him to run away, does that mean he reasonably believed his life to be in danger by the smaller, unarmed man on top of him? It's still a pretty hard sell. I don't think "I couldn't get up, so I shot him" is going to fly.

#108
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why is everybody so worked up about this

#109
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why is everybody so worked up about this



It should be easy to figure out.

#110
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Cause it is big news and I don't care about the science topics.
  • Pong Messiah +1 this

#111
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Even if it's difficult for him to run away, does that mean he reasonably believed his life to be in danger by the smaller, unarmed man on top of him? It's still a pretty hard sell. I don't think "I couldn't get up, so I shot him" is going to fly.


I agree.

what do you think of building a case on mostly circumstantial evidence (such as Zimmerman's 911 call)? I'm sure it's been done before, and in cases such as this where there are no eye-witnesses, the physical evidence is limited, and it's pretty much going to be the defendant's word against a dead body, there seems like it would be just short of impossible to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt. Is this an inherent part of life, or a serious flaw in the system?


Cases can be built upon circumstantial evidence; as long as the evidence is admissable (i.e. it conforms with the rules of evidence.. such as, it's not hearsay, it's relevant, it's not character evidence- which is inadmissable except in certain situations), then it goes to the jury. The judge will instruct the jury that they can only convict if there is no reasonable doubt. If the case is solely circumstantial evidence, then it's very possible that there will be a reasonable doubt, but sometimes not.

Here's an example- let's say pong was murdered, and the neighbor (Evolence) saw Brando running away from the house with a bloody knife, about 10 min prior to when the coroner states pong deceased, from a knife wound. The prosecution can call Evolence to the stand, and it's not hearsay and it's admissable, since Ev is testifying directly (and not merely relaying what he "heard" from somebody else). Let's say Brando has no alibi. Ev's testimony is circumstantial evidence, since he didn't actually see what happened. Nonetheless, it's admissible and it might be enough to convict. Let's say Brando's fingerprints are all over pong's house too. Well, that also is just circumstantial evidence (i.e. it doesn't directly prove he was there on the night), but it helps add to the case.

The phone call, on the other hand, is not only circumstantial but probably irrelevant, and may be useful insofar that the state tries to convict Zimmerman on murder 1. Then, evidence of stalking down and "hunting" Martin might be enough to show pre-meditation. But, I suspect that even if Zimmerman is arrested, the state won't even go that far and just try to get a murder 2 charge. In murder 2, pre-meditation is not necessary to show, so the police report that (presumably) has a statement from Zimmerman saying he intentionally shot Martin will be enough evidence to convict- assuming that Zimmerman doesn't win the self-defense claim.

The phone call (both the 911 and the girlfriend call) aren't particularly relevant to the self-defense claim, because they neither prove nor disprove that Zimmerman was in fear of death when he shot Martin. No one is questioning that Zimmerman was the one who killed Martin, so the calls don't really prove anything useful (if Martin's dead body was just found one day, and no one knew who did it, obviously that would be different and these calls would be very important). Unless there is something in the calls that suggest that Zimmerman instigated the fight (if you instigate the altercation, you can't claim self defense- i.e. if "you started it"), then the calls are probably irrelevant. There is nothing, to my knowledge, in the calls that suggest that, so what we need is evidence of what happened in the encounter between Zimmerman and Martin- that's why I thought Chalup's post was probably one of the best in the thread so far, because this is where he's focusing. What we have, at least at this point (to my knowledge) is:

a) Zimmerman's injuries
b) Zimmerman was armed, Martin was not
c) Zimmerman's testimony

I think that's all. If I had to guess, what I think probably happened is there were some words shared (maybe with an accusation from Zimmerman, perhaps with some racial slurs involved), Martin then may have started the actual fight (with a shove or something), and Zimmerman freaked out and started shooting. Now, if that's what actually happened, Zimmerman should be convicted of at least manslaughter, but there is a big difference between what you think happened, and what you can prove happened. It's the latter that matters here.


Again, I'm not a litigator and I'm not a criminal attorney. If somebody is and can chime in, then obviously I'll STFU. Which is why I wish JM was lurking about, but o well

Edited by Letsgo_7_7, 27 March 2012 - 12:30 PM.


#112
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I did some looking around, since no one has posted any actual facts about the altercation so far (minus Chalup's post), which is the critical point in this case.

Cerina- as it turns out, there may actually be some witnesses to the altercation (this evidence is what will be crucial at trial, and not the phone calls, or what Rep. Baxley thinks, or any other nonsense).

http://www.courant.c...0,7159367.story

"With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the neighborhood watch volunteer who eventually shot to death the unarmed 17-year-old, then climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times...That is the account Zimmerman gave police, and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses ...
Martin asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cellphone, he told police.

Martin then said, "Well, you do now" or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose, police said.

Zimmerman fell to the ground and Martin got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk, police said he told them.

Zimmerman began yelling for help.

... One witness, who has since talked to television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Martin on top, pounding him and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help."


Now, I have no idea who these "witnesses" are, and who the one witness who talked to the TV is (as noted in the article). So it's premature to tell how believeable they are. However, their testimony provides the first direct evidence we have of the altercation so far.

#113
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I'd have to see the transcript of the call



http://phoebe53.word...trayvon-martin/

#114
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Ah, thanks MG.

Well, then, to go back to Cerina's question, yes- this phone call transcript can probably be used to question Zimmerman on the stand if he "followed" Martin.

However, as I also noted in that post- whether Zimmerman followed Martin is completely irrelevant to the self-defense claim. There is nothing in the transcript that suggests intent to kill, or even shoot Martin. The closest thing might be where Zimmerman states "they always get away." But I don't think that's enough to show intent; nor is it at all relevant to actually who attacked who in the fight. So we are back where we started- we have to analyze the encounter/fight between them.

The witness accounts I linked to above are probably the most relevant evidence so far.

#115
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Justus,

In my post to Tank, I made it clear why I wasn't discussing your point about Rep. Baxley. Since you ignored it, I'm going to state it here very clearly: that point is irrelevant to this case because the opinion of a legislative sponsor is inadmissible as testimony in a criminal court in which a suspect is being charged.


Kid, pay attention, so I do not have to repeat this again: Baxley's opinion is not posted here strictly for the sake of it; it is posted because any clear-minded reading of the law will lead to Martin side using this same interpretation to nail Zimmerman, while Zimmerman's attorney has no choice but to use a twisted interpretation of the law (like armchair lawyers) to create a defense for Zimmerman. It is all but unavoidable. Everything hinges on how this law is interpreted and which version is accepted in court.

I already explained, both in my long response to MG on pg 2 and once again, in the part I quoted to Tank above, that the relevant analysis focuses on what happened in the supposed altercation between Martin and Zimmerman, and the facts surrounding the altercation (such as the fact that no weapon was found on Martin).


You need a good dose of smelling salts if you're still dreaming that Zimmerman ignoring the 911 operator is not going to figure in the Martin attorney's case as support of how the law does not apply to Zimmerman due to his own actions, as there would be no case if this self-appointed crusader simply followed instructions. Instead of playing amateur detective with a clear bias, try looking the case sans whatever shortsighted lens you choose to employ here. It would be refreshing to say the least.

Edited by Justus, 27 March 2012 - 02:32 PM.


#116
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How about the part where he says '****ing coons'-DOJ hate crime possibilities?

#117
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I really doubt it. First, it isn't clear exactly what Zimmerman is saying there, the reception is not clear enough. Second, I am not a civil rights attorney, but I sincerely doubt that even if Zimmerman used a racial slur, that is enough to convict him in federal court of a civil rights violation. Third, this is all irrelevant since nothing in the transcript neither proves nor disproves that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense. I have repeated the elements of self-defense at leats 10 times now; they are: a) a reasonable apprehension of imminent deadly force; b) the defender did not instigate/initiate the altercation.

So, probably un-important MG. Zimmerman can be the biggest racist in the entire world- racism isn't against the law and a racist still has a right to self-defense if he is actually attacked by a black person. So his comment (let's assume he actually did say "coon"), may be a reflection of how nice a guy ZImmerman is, but it's not relevant if Zimmerman shows he was acting in response to a reasonable apprehension of imminent deadly force. So the more relevant evidence is what actually happened in the fight. I linked to a news story above, which suggests we may have witnesses who saw Martin begin the attack and had Zimmerman pinned to the ground, slamming his head into the sidewalk.

Whether that testimony is believeable is the most relevant piece of evidence I have seen so far.

#118
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So, the news is reporting that affidavits released show that the head investigator with the Sanford PD felt that Zimmermann's story didn't wash, and wanted to charge him with murder. He was prevented from doing so, however, by the prosecutor, who sited the 'Stand your Ground' law as the reason not to do so.

Again, it sounds like the problem lies with the law itself. While 'Stand Your Ground' may not have been intended to protect situations such as this, it is clear that the results and the intentions are two different things. The doctrine of unintended consequences at it's finest.

Edited by Obsidian, 27 March 2012 - 03:34 PM.


#119
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Do you have a link for that?


(asking due to curiosity, not to challenge)

#120
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I already explained, both in my long response to MG on pg 2 and once again, in the part I quoted to Tank above, that the relevant analysis focuses on what happened in the supposed altercation between Martin and Zimmerman, and the facts surrounding the altercation (such as the fact that no weapon was found on Martin).


You need a good dose of smelling salts if you're still dreaming that Zimmerman ignoring the 911 operator is not going to figure in the Martin attorney's case as support of how the law does not apply to Zimmerman due to his own actions, as there would be no case if this self-appointed crusader simply followed instructions. Instead of playing amateur detective with a clear bias, try looking the case sans whatever shortsighted lens you choose to employ here. It would be refreshing to say the least.


What are you talking about? What Martin attorney?? Are you trying to talk about a civil case? We're all talking about the criminal case, where the Martin's don't get to choose their own attorney. And why don't you understand that NOBODY in the US has to follow instructions given to them by a 911 operator. It's not illegal to ignore them.

#121
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Do you have a link for that?


(asking due to curiosity, not to challenge)

http://abcnews.go.co...74#.T3I28NWe5QL

Sorry, meant to post it. And I misspoke. The Investigator wanted to charge him with manslaughter, not murder.

Edited by Obsidian, 28 March 2012 - 02:25 AM.


#122
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Thanks, Obsidian.

Good stuff. The more facts we have, the better, and it decreases the speculation-driven frenzy. One new thing that this story provides is that Zimmerman actually was detained, but then released. Unfortunately, without actually reading the affidavit mentioned in the story, I cannot comment on it, as I have no idea what it says. It appears we have two conflicting affidavits on the issue of probable cause- the policeman is saying one thing, the D.A. states another. Without being able to look at them, I have no idea to know who has the superior reasoning.

One thing I'd be especially curious about, however, is how the witnesses who saw the attack were dealt with. The story mentions the policeman was "unconvinced" of Zimmerman's account, but the story doesn't mention why, nor does it mention if he factored in the other witnesses or not. Similarly, we have no idea from the story why the D.A. was convinced. Did he factor in the witnesses? Or was he convinced solely based on Zimmerman's statement?

#123
Joey Ramone

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Once again Amidala is right on nearly everything.

We can't really pass judgement until we know more about the case.  Maybe there's some important fact that hasn't been made public.  I think everyone should wait until more facts come out before crucifying the guy.

That being said I think that it was a mistake to pursue Martin, if in fact Zimmerman did pursue him.  It seems that was the case but I'm not certain. If so the whole thing may have been avoidable.

After reading the 911 transcript:

1.  Zimmerman knew the police were coming.  Why tell the police where to meet him during the 911 call if he were planning on murdering Martin?

2.  Why would Martin stare down Zimmerman then run off?  Not really normal behavior for someone just walking home.

Of course none of that proves Zimmerman is innocent but it seems odd.

#124
Nanten Janubi

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Lately I'm seeing this as racism on National teevee more than about the law.


That's pretty much all it is, at this point. When it was a white guy shooting a black kid, it was at least compelling on that level...or as compelling as you find race. Now that it's a Hispanic guy shooting a black kid, what's the point? Why is this getting attention? Well, because they thought it was a white guy at first.

#125
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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. ;)

Thanks...I think. :confused:

A back-handed compliment is still a compliment, I suppose.

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.

Point taken. I also acknowledge that even unarmed, with proper training (IE martial arts, Krav Maga, etc), someone like you could be a potential deadly threat to someone who is over twice your body mass and significantly taller...under the right circumstances. And yeah, a deadly weapon is always a game changer, too.

That said, this case involves a far heavier man with a gun, who had some degree of law enforcement training, and used a gun on a taller but very skinny teenager who has not been reported to have had any specialized training in hand to hand combat. It may be speculation, but if you are 5'2" and 110 LBS (which is petite), then what does that say about a young man who is 6' 3" and only 30 pounds heavier than you? He could not have been that physically strong, and a grown man who was 110 heavier than him, was almost certainly physically stronger AND had a gun. Yet Zimmerman said he felt his life was threatened? Something just does not add up. That was the point I was making, and I think you agree at least with the idea of a larger man with a gun shooting a teen, has a hell of a task to prove his life was in jeopardy.


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.


OK, from a legal standpoint, the relevance may be debatable, as I am not a lawyer. You state that it is relevant only if there is evidence that what Zimmerman was doing was premeditated or he approached Martin, first. I would say that the phone call itself is evidence that Zimmerman WAS in fact following Martin, not the other way around. And if the phone call was all on the up and up, why didn't Zimmerman mention it to the police in the report after the shooting? In fact, Zimmerman goes out of the way to imply he was not following the teen and that the reason he got out of the truck was to check a street sign? That is a bizarre explanation to get out of a truck, if you ask me. Then all of a sudden, the same kid that he called 911 about just moments before jumps out of nowhere and blindsides him? That doesn't pass the smell test to me.

Maybe by itself, the 911 call would not necessarily be enough to prove anything, but I think if I were a lawyer, I would certainly use this in my case against Zimmerman, along with other evidence to paint a larger picture of his guilt.



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.

Well, there was speculation on my part, because you are right, we don't have a lot of facts to go on. I was going on the assumption that the gunshot entered Martin's chest, because it was stated he was shot in the chest, not the back, meaning Martin and Zimmerman were facing one another at the time Marin was shot. This would also lead one to reasonably conclude that once shot in the chest, Marin fell forward, if he was found face down. But that is all the article I read said.

I can speculate all day long on various scenarios of how the fight, if any, went, and which one was the aggressor. I can also speculate whether the injuries Zimmerman had when the police arrived were inflicted by Martin, or maybe Zimmerman inflicted them on himself, to make his story more believable. We just don't have enough info right now. This is frustrating.


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.

Well maybe the exact words of the phone conversation may be inadmissible under hearsay. I just don't know. However, I would be willing to bet that the phone records kept by the phone company of the actual call taking place that establish when Martin and his girlfriend were talking, are legit and admissible.

This could prove that Martin was actually walking home minding his own business, rather than skulking around and acting suspicious through the neighborhood.

With human nature being what it is, a 17 year old teenage young man walking home on the phone with his girlfriend is far more likely to be engaging, and totally engrossed in, one of those discussions about nothing and conducting much flirtation as we all had done at that age, rather than him burgling about and "casing the joint" with his girlfriend being the mastermind on the other end of the phone.

Another point: I think the girlfriend CAN be considered a witness because she said she heard what was going, at least in the case of the scuffle itself. Maybe what Martin said according to the girlfriend could be considered hearsay, but if she testified that she personally heard a scuffle then that wouldn't be hearsay. And consider this: who is more likely to cause the scuffle: a kid on a phone with one hand being used to hold the phone, or a man who has his hands free?



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