07-14-2014 07:46 AM
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  1. Aquila's Avatar
    I think the state over-charged him and that they didn't meet their burden. He clearly without a doubt in my mind will be found "not guilty" for second-degree murder. I'll wager anybody 100 to 1 odds on that prediction
    I'm not sure it's "clearly", but I agree that 2nd is going to be much harder to prove because of the lack of evidence regarding his mindset. Malice isn't necessarily required for 2nd in that negligence can be used under certain circumstances, but generally negligent homicide is downgraded to manslaughter. Because of the shifted burden of proof in an affirmative defense, the prosecution has less of a need to prove intent, etc than the defense has to prove no other recourse, and that also didn't happen. The cases for both sides are incredibly weak, that's why I have it basically 2:1 Deadlock:Guilty and 2:1 Guilty of something to Acquittal.
    07-12-2013 08:54 PM
  2. Kilroy13's Avatar
    Not guilty! And it's not even close!

    Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk 2
    Live2ride883 likes this.
    07-12-2013 08:55 PM
  3. Aquila's Avatar
    I am not sure if that is correct. I don't know enough about Florida law and criminal law but the state always has the burden to prove the charges. In order to raise self-defense all one has to do is reasonably believe their life was in mortal danger. I don't think it is that high of a burden, and the state still has the burden to disprove it.
    The state still has to prove that the defendant killed the deceased, which is a slam dunk when the defendant admits it and says, "but I had to". At that point, the defense has to convince the judge and jury that the justification is valid while the prosecution only has to maintain their position and counterpoint the defense's assertions.

    Instead of the typical, "I go free unless you all agree I'm guilty", it's "I'm going to prison unless you all agree I had no choice".

    I'm kinda oversimplifying but affirmative defenses are very weak and have low success rates in general. Florida they rates are better, but it's not a sure thing by any means.
    07-12-2013 08:58 PM
  4. kanucme's Avatar
    Fact remains he approached a situation(against directions not to) with a loaded weapon. There was definitely profiling involved and someone ended up dead.... Manslaughter at the least.

    Posted via Android Central App
    07-12-2013 08:58 PM
  5. jdbii's Avatar
    I'm not sure it's "clearly", but I agree that 2nd is going to be much harder to prove because of the lack of evidence regarding his mindset. Malice isn't necessarily required for 2nd in that negligence can be used under certain circumstances, but generally negligent homicide is downgraded to manslaughter. Because of the shifted burden of proof in an affirmative defense, the prosecution has less of a need to prove intent, etc than the defense has to prove no other recourse, and that also didn't happen. The cases for both sides are incredibly weak, that's why I have it basically 2:1 Deadlock:Guilty and 2:1 Guilty of something to Acquittal.
    Yeah, I don't know all the "qualifiers" to get to 2nd Degree, but "malice" or "negligence" and others makes sense. I can't recall any of the lawyers, judge, or commentators mentioning anything about self-defense being an affirmative defense, but that doesn't mean much. I might have missed it or misunderstood when it was mentioned. I thought this had more to do with the Florida "Stand Your Ground Statute" and if you reasonably believed you were in danger you could use lethal force.
    07-12-2013 09:00 PM
  6. Aquila's Avatar
    Yeah, I don't know all the "qualifiers" to get to 2nd Degree, but "malice" or "negligence" and others makes sense. I can't recall any of the lawyers, judge, or commentators mentioning anything about self-defense being an affirmative defense, but that doesn't mean much. I might have missed it or misunderstood when it was mentioned. I thought this had more to do with the Florida "Stand Your Ground Statute" and if you reasonably believed you were in danger you could use lethal force.
    Stand Your Ground is a very successful affirmative defense in Florida and some other states, however the defense and prosecution agreed it is not relevant in this case. From what I understand I agree (I'm not an attorney so 90% of what I am saying is either from listening to the arguments and reading at Find Laws, Legal Information, and Attorneys - FindLaw). An affirmative defense is basically any time you say, "Yeah I did it, but you should find me not-guilty of A CRIME because of _______". Fill in the blank with just about anything, self defense, justification, the law is unjust, emergency mitigating factors, etc.
    jdbii likes this.
    07-12-2013 09:03 PM
  7. jdbii's Avatar
    Instead of the typical, "I go free unless you all agree I'm guilty", it's "I'm going to prison unless you all agree I had no choice".
    I like the way you say that. Good points.

    I'm kinda oversimplifying but affirmative defenses are very weak and have low success rates in general. Florida they rates are better, but it's not a sure thing by any means.
    Probably such a low success rates for defendants since the state has the luxury of choosing what cases they are going to prosecute and therefor always have very strong cases when they go to trial. Any defense is not going to stand up very well in the face of overwhelming evidence.
    07-12-2013 09:07 PM
  8. jdbii's Avatar
    Stand Your Ground is a very successful affirmative defense in Florida and some other states, however the defense and prosecution agreed it is not relevant in this case.
    Oh my goodness, all this time I thought this was about stand your ground, but that is when you are protecting your property or home isn't it? Okay thanks for pointing that out. I still stand by my predictions: not guilty on murder II (95 percent chance) and I also think it will be not guilty on manslaughter. (55 percent chance).
    07-12-2013 09:15 PM
  9. Aquila's Avatar
    I personally have not formed a solid opinion on whether or not I think Zimmerman actually did anything wrong.. I definitely do not like that a boy is dead, but there just isn't enough real information for me to judge whether or not it was necessary. Legally without that compelling evidence in either direction, this is a weak case from both sides. Weak cases in an affirmative defense usually result in convictions, however depending on the judge's instructions and liberties taken by the jury because of the weakness of the case, etc. it could possibly results in acquittal as well.
    07-12-2013 09:25 PM
  10. jdbii's Avatar
    Gun Geo Marker app tries to locate homes, businesses of gun owners

    This app allows users to input location information on anyone they feel is an unsafe gun owner. Let's assume for a second that I either do not own any guns or someone puts my information in for whatever reason. My house or business has just been marked as a target for criminals to hit. This is worse than the map printed in NY awhile back.

    Read more: Gun Geo Marker app tries to locate homes, businesses of gun owners | Fox News
    My feelings -- wrong, wrong, wrong. I hate these sorts of things that single people out, especially when they can be modified at will by anybody. Next there will be "meth lab" marker and the cousin who hates you because Grandma liked you better will input your house onto it.
    msndrstood likes this.
    07-12-2013 09:26 PM
  11. jdbii's Avatar
    I personally have not formed a solid opinion on whether or not I think Zimmerman actually did anything wrong.. I definitely do not like that a boy is dead, but there just isn't enough real information for me to judge whether or not it was necessary. Legally without that compelling evidence in either direction, this is a weak case from both sides. Weak cases in an affirmative defense usually result in convictions, however depending on the judge's instructions and liberties taken by the jury because of the weakness of the case, etc. it could possibly results in acquittal as well.
    Personally I am happy he was charged and the case was taken to trial. Even if there is an acquittal there is some justice for the family in that the state at least tried. (Opinion will vary greatly on that but that is just my own). If I had known the prosecution was going to present such a weak case then I would not have wanted it to be charged as second-degree murder but something less like manslaughter. I think Zimmerman did a lot of things wrong, and I don't actually buy his self-defense claim. He didn't seem that believable to me afterwards, and I felt like he knew all the right things to say to claim it was self-defense. I feel bad that Trayvon Martin died too. Having said all that, I'm don't think I would be able to convict on murder II, since I don't think the state proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
    07-12-2013 09:41 PM
  12. llamabreath's Avatar
    The key to all this is this:

    We (and especially the jury) MUST throw away all outside influences in this case.

    Throw away the racial angle. Throw away the possibility of riots. Throw away the possibility of revenge and retribution. Throw away the media.

    Then (and only then) will the facts be clearer. Admittedly, there are not many, but this is the only way to filter them out. Mentally eradicate all outside influences.

    Then maybe, a just decision can be made.

    Live2ride883 likes this.
    07-12-2013 09:49 PM
  13. Live2ride883's Avatar
    I pulled out my Handbook of Ohio Firearms Law book tonight as kind of a reference, Ohio and Florida do offer reciprocity in respect to concealed carry permits. From my understanding of Ohio and Florida firearms law the two states are similar in the laws in effect, other than the fact that Ohio does not have a stand your ground law which I address later in this post. Everything below this paragraph is taken directly from The Handbook of Ohio Firearms law. This information along with the coverage of the trial that I have watched/read is what I used to form my opinion that Mr. Zimmerman should be acquitted of all charges. Also if anyone lives in Florida or has more knowledge of Florida firearms law or the stand your ground law in Florida please advise me of anything I have stated that is incorrect, or outdated.

    In Ohio the laws regulating the use of force are designed to prevent excessive violence in society. Ohio law prefers non-deadly means of resolving conflicts, but recognizes that there are situations in which force is the only option. Statutes and cases govern the use of physical force, including deadly force.

    A) Non-deadly force

    Reasonable non-deadly force may be used to defend against personal attack or property. Common sense dictates that a person has the privilege to use reasonable, non-deadly force to prevent common law civil injuries and crimes against the person, such as battery, assault, and false imprisonment.

    Reasonable non-deadly force is defined as any degree of force or threat of force that is sufficient to repel the threat and no more.

    B) Deadly force prerequisites

    Generally speaking deadly force is any degree of force that may cause serious injury or death. Whether an act has the potential to cause serious bodily injury or death is determined on a case by case basis in light of the particular facts of each circumstance. There is simply no way to say that in all situations, certain types of force are deadly and others are not. Being beaten by an unarmed assailant may not rise to require the use of deadly force, but being beaten by an unarmed assailant who has extensive training in hand-to-hand combat is quite a different matter. Similarly, a length of pipe in the hands of a young attacker may be a deadly weapon, but that same pipe in the hands of a frail elderly woman may not be.

    Any defendant who claims self-defense in conjunction with the use of deadly force must be able to prove three elements 1) that the defendant was not responsible for creating the need for deadly force, 2) That he actually and reasonably believed in the need to use deadly force to prevent serious bodily injury or death, 3) And that there was no duty to retreat (or that the defendant satisfied the duty to retreat)

    1) Clean Hands

    A victim who wishes to claim self-defense must not have been at fault in creating the situation giving rise to the affray. Unfortunately, determining whether the victim gave rise to the affray isn't quite as simple as it sounds. Parties claiming self-defense need not be totally free from involvement in creating the situation, but must not have "engaged in such wrongful conduct towards the [other party] that the [other party] was provoked to attack. Note that courts appear to require some type of wrongful conduct when attempting to justify the use of deadly-force. A person who engages in legal conduct-by demanding a trespasser depart the owners premises for example-will almost certainly not be at fault for creating a violent encounter, ever if the trespasser responds with force.

    The initial aggressor rule, despite some vagaries, almost always denies self-defense to the party who throws the first punch, fires the first shot, or is otherwise the first to use force.

    2) Need for deadly force

    Most states require that the victim have an actual and reasonable belief in the need to use deadly force to defend against a threat of death or serious bodily injury. That is to say, the victim must actually (subjectively) believe he is being threatened with deadly force and his belief must be reasonable as judged by a third party (objectively). A minority of states, including Ohio, reject this approach-at least to some extent. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes stated: "Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife. Similarly, an early Ohio case suggests that: "it is not. . . necessary that the danger should prove real, or in fact exist, for, whether real or apparent, if the circumstances are such to induce a belief . . . that life is in peril . . . , the party threatened with the danger may act on appearances." These quotes recognize that humans are generally incapable of calmly processing information and making well-reasoned choices while facing imminent death. So, Ohio's use of force laws apply a subjective test and do not include an objective test per se. The element of reasonableness still exists, but it is measured from the victims own perspective and subject to his particular characteristics. For instance a person suffering from paranoid anxiety and who misinterprets an ordinary gesture as the prelude to a deadly attack and uses deadly force to defend himself might be said to have acted appropriately. This is so because notwithstanding the fact that the persons observations were flawed by his disorder, he perceived an imminent deadly attack, and his response was reasonable under the circumstances.

    3) Duty to retreat.

    Finally, Ohio law requires that before deadly force can be used, the victim must retreat from the situation if the retreat can be performed safely. Some states have enacted so-called stand your ground laws (or make my day laws as they are commonly called by anti-gun groups). These laws acknowledge the theory that forcing the victim to retreat before defending themselves gives the criminal a material advantage. If his victim may retaliate with immediate deadly force (assuming the other elements of self-defense are satisfied), criminals may be discouraged from using deadly force at all.

    Ohio has not enacted a stand your ground law, though the matter has been discussed in the General Assembly. As currently written however, the duty to retreat does not apply to one's home or office. The mere fact that an intruder is wrongfully in the victim's home, may in some situations, establish that the criminal is there with the purpose to cause serious bodily harm or death. Visualize a home invasion at nights the owner and his family are sleeping in an upstairs bedrooms. If the homeowner notifies the intruder that the intruder will be fired upon if he ventures upstairs, any attempt by the intruder to ascend the stairs will most likely indicate that the intruder was not just in the home to steal, but to harm the occupants of the home because a criminal who has no intent to harm the occupants would probably not knowingly meet the threat of deadly force. However if the intruder remains downstairs presumably grabbing what property he can before the authorities arrive, a court may find there was no imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the homeowner or other occupants and may deny the privilege of self-defense to an occupant who travels down the stairs to engage an intruder.
    Aquila likes this.
    07-13-2013 01:09 AM
  14. Aquila's Avatar
    So the "Clean Hands" part is the basic point of contention in this trial from what I can tell. It's obvious that were Zimmerman to have obeyed orders from law enforcement representatives that the encounter would never have taken place. Does that eliminate his justification in retaliatory defense once he's past that line? From what I understand, it was not illegal for him to continue to follow Martin but whether or not the jury believes it creates any culpability for the encounter taking place at all is really the crux of the matter.
    07-13-2013 01:20 AM
  15. Live2ride883's Avatar
    So the "Clean Hands" part is the basic point of contention in this trial from what I can tell. It's obvious that were Zimmerman to have obeyed orders from law enforcement representatives that the encounter would never have taken place. Does that eliminate his justification in retaliatory defense once he's past that line? From what I understand, it was not illegal for him to continue to follow Martin but whether or not the jury believes it creates any culpability for the encounter taking place at all is really the crux of the matter.
    I don't believe simply continuing to follow Mr. Martin has any effect on the clean hands section due to this part. "Parties claiming self-defense need not be totally free from involvement in creating the situation, but must not have "engaged in such wrongful conduct towards the [other party] that the [other party] was provoked to attack."

    Part of the issue that I have with those instructions is that Mr. Zimmerman was on site, he may have witnessed Mr. Martin's behavior in a certain way that he interpreted as a reasonable need to further observe Mr. Martin as he traveled through the area.
    07-13-2013 01:26 AM
  16. gollum18's Avatar
    Hmm it's a good concept, but how about they restrict modifications to it by law enforcement officials only. That way the above mentioned does t happen.

    As stated, if someone has a grudge on you they could very well send you to jail using this app.

    Sprint GS3 Running TN's Msg and Chubbs
    07-13-2013 01:34 AM
  17. Aquila's Avatar
    I don't believe simply continuing to follow Mr. Martin has any effect on the clean hands section due to this part. "Parties claiming self-defense need not be totally free from involvement in creating the situation, but must not have "engaged in such wrongful conduct towards the [other party] that the [other party] was provoked to attack."

    Part of the issue that I have with those instructions is that Mr. Zimmerman was on site, he may have witnessed Mr. Martin's behavior in a certain way that he interpreted as a reasonable need to further observe Mr. Martin as he traveled through the area.
    That's the debate I think jdbii had it partially correct when stating that it is important to take this to trial and reach a decision. While I would hate to use any defendant as a guinea pig, this case may be instrumental in defining or clarifying what is or is not acceptable, both in terms of self defense as a concept (in most places, what you're allowed to do is extremely limited) and as a civilian attempting to uphold safety and security in their community. Part of the problem is that we're extremely vague in these concepts now (for good reason), but it creates a lot of discord when something collides with that thin line of defense and offense.
    07-13-2013 01:45 AM
  18. Live2ride883's Avatar
    Hmm it's a good concept, but how about they restrict modifications to it by law enforcement officials only. That way the above mentioned does t happen.

    As stated, if someone has a grudge on you they could very well send you to jail using this app.
    It's a terrible concept, this app regardless of its accuracy targets homes for criminals to break into. Firearms, hand guns in particular are one of the first things they look for when breaking into a home due to their easy carry, and high dollar return on the black market.

    It invades my privacy, I have a 2nd amendment right to bear arms. That doesn't mean you or anyone else has a right to know whether or not I actually do own them, or if your neighbors 4 houses down on the left own them.
    jdbii likes this.
    07-13-2013 01:57 AM
  19. jdbii's Avatar
    I think it is debatable whether he had clean hands per the handbook L2R sites. My personal opinion is that he did not, but to prove so under the law and beyond a reasonable doubt is a whole different matter.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
    07-13-2013 02:15 AM
  20. Aquila's Avatar
    I think it is debatable whether he had clean hands per the handbook L2R sites. My personal opinion is that he did not, but to prove so under the law and beyond a reasonable doubt is a whole different matter.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
    To me the most important thing about this trial is integrity. If the jury reaches guilty or not guilty by a reasoned means in a fair trial, I have no objection to that. Like Danny said, I don't want them to be swayed by public opinion, and I understand they are sequestered. I think I could successfully argue both for guilt and acquittal findings based on fairness, but in my current understanding of the laws in standing, I think the law is on the prosecution's side on this one. The jury may disagree.
    07-13-2013 02:21 AM
  21. jdbii's Avatar
    To me the most important thing about this trial is integrity. If the jury reaches guilty or not guilty by a reasoned means in a fair trial, I have no objection to that. Like Danny said, I don't want them to be swayed by public opinion, and I understand they are sequestered. I think I could successfully argue both for guilt and acquittal findings based on fairness, but in my current understanding of the laws in standing, I think the law is on the prosecution's side on this one. The jury may disagree.
    I am really fascinated that you think the prosecution has a shot on this one. I didn't see the state proving the element of malice which is a necessary element to convict for second degree. I could possibly see conviction for manslaughter, but I thought the defense did an outstanding job of creating reasonable doubt. (On that point too we disagree because you mentioned earlier that you thought the defense presented a weak).

    Edit: total agreement with you about the importance of the integrity of the trial.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
    07-13-2013 02:29 AM
  22. Aquila's Avatar
    I am really fascinated that you think the prosecution has a shot on this one. I didn't see the state proving the element of malice which is a necessary element to convict for second degree. I could possibly see conviction for manslaughter, but I thought the defense did an outstanding job of creating reasonable doubt. (On that point too we disagree because you mentioned earlier that you thought the defense presented a weak).

    Edit: total agreement with you about the importance of the integrity of the trial.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
    I think their best chance is to press the lesser included manslaughter charge and emphasize the defense's obligation to prove the self defense justification. I think we're in fairly close agreement on what's going on, just interpreting the defense's requirements for affirmative defense slightly differently.

    They can easily put doubt to the 'malice' angle because there is no evidence to suggest premeditation, or really anything other than just herping the proverbial derp and having delusions of grandeur.

    What they haven't done, in my opinion, is prove that his actions were a justified and rational, that any reasonable person in his position would have been left with no alternative than to follow and confront a suspicious person, which ultimately resulted in the altercation that resulted in the alleged self preservation action of using lethal force. It's also difficult to assert that his life was in danger, or rather that he felt it was, given the medical examiner's testimony of extremely mild injuries.

    Of my 30% chance of conviction, I'd say 29% of it rests on manslaughter and 1% murder two.

    Also, just curious... are you watching it or reading it? I'm reading only, I haven't seen any coverage live or on film. I wonder if that makes a difference.
    07-13-2013 02:42 AM
  23. Aquila's Avatar
    Also, do we believe the account that this kid was walking home with his skittles, minding his own business, noticed he was being followed by an armed fat guy, approximately twice his size and, without any provocation or words from the defendant, went into a rage and charged in screaming and fist flailing? I've never seen that happen or even heard of that happening except maybe in accounts of people on PCP, etc. It's possible, but if that's the case this child is brave and stupid beyond all reason.

    It's entirely possible that both participants were "in the wrong" in which case manslaughter is the right answer. But, Zimmerman obviously has something defective going on in him, regardless of the trial outcome. Perhaps prison is the wrong answer and mental health treatment is more appropriate.
    07-13-2013 02:54 AM
  24. jdbii's Avatar
    Funny you should ask, I was only streaming it and watching the recap on CNN. I did watch quite a bit being streamed live by a local Florida TV station and the legal commentator they had was very critical of the prosecution. CNN also was so critical of the prosecution's performance (with the exception of their token pro-defense commentators) that I think the network's editors had to tell them to ease up on their criticism on the state.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
    07-13-2013 03:01 AM
  25. Aquila's Avatar
    Funny you should ask, I was only streaming it and watching the recap on CNN. I did watch quite a bit being streamed live by a local Florida TV station and the legal commentator they had was very critical of the prosecution. CNN also was so critical of the prosecution's performance (with the exception of their token pro-defense commentators) that I think the network's editors had to tell them to ease up on their criticism on the state.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
    Personally I trust the attorney's opinions of performance more than mine and CNN's staff less than mine I've also wondered if it is a token trial.. like, "go through the steps, but..."
    07-13-2013 03:06 AM
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