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Thread: NRA Happy if Zim Guilty?

  1. #1
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    NRA Happy if Zim Guilty?

    It is already being speculated that Zimmerman will be offered a lesser-charges deal and will take it. One reason: who's got money for defending the case, or appeals?

    I don't think that Zimmerman can expect any help on that from the NRA or other pro-Stand Your Ground groups. If SYG ends up "protecting" Z, we can expect that to add fuel to the already blazing anti-SYG fire.

    If, on the other hand, Z is convicted and is unable to appeal, or pleads out, then everyone can say, "See? SYG isn't bad at all. Even with FL's SYG law, that mean ol' Zimmerman--who shot that nice young man--is going to prison. See? SYG doesn't protect criminals like him."

    As earlier reported by the Examiner, even as august a scholar as Dave Kopel has insisted that SYG offers Z no protection.

    In order to protect SYG, they have cut Z adrift: bon voyage, sucker.



    Personally, it is not clear to me that Z committed any crime in exiting his car and following M: I don't think he had mens rea, and he was standing "where he had a legal right to be", walking back to his car, when the fatal confrontation started.

    If SYG doesn't protect Z, I'd say it protects very few people. And the NRA seems fine with that.

    Question: are we over-estimating the value of SYG laws in keeping those who shoot in SD out of jail? Is the NRA going to be happy to sacrifice Z to the cause, if that helps keep SYG laws standing in FL and other states?
    Last edited by Loosedhorse; April 14th, 2012 at 05:16 PM. Reason: sp

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    Gee whiz, we're in a corner.

    If pro-gun groups support Z's use of SYG, anti-gun groups will use that as a reason to work against SYG laws. Big deal! Anti-gun groups are against SYG laws no matter what pro-gun groups do.

    If pro-gun groups do not support Z's use of SYG, there might be less noise about SYG laws. However, what is the value of having SYG laws if they do not really provide any benefit?

    I make no assertions about Z's qualification to use SYG. But, if he is qualified, pro-gun groups should support him as much as anyone else qualified to use the SYG laws that so many people have put so much effort into getting passed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loosedhorse
    Question: are we over-estimating the value of SYG laws in keeping those who shoot in SD out of jail? Is the NRA going to be happy to sacrifice Z to the cause, if that helps keep SYG laws standing in FL and other states?
    Yes, we probably do over-estimate the value of SYG laws. I saw some discussion on TV last night that there have been about 150 SYG claims in Florida since the law was adopted and about 50 grants of immunity.

    More to the point, SYG laws do not come with the type of legal presumptions that accompany Castle Doctrine laws. SYG laws do not add to a person's claim of self defense or make the claim stronger. SYG laws really only provide a barrier to prosecution AFTER a person shows their actions would have qualified as self defense under pre-existing laws. Even the provision in Florida law telling police to not make arrests if self defense is justificed adds NOTHING - police were not supposed to be arresting people for justifiable self defense even before the SYG law. Heck, there are a lot of states without SYG laws and the police do not make arrests if a shooting is justified as self defense.

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    I fail to see how SYG even applies here. If we believe Zimmerman's story, Martin jumped him, pinned him in what's known in UFC as the mount, and was engaging in what's known in UFC as ground & pound when Zimmerman shot him.

    You can't run when you're in the mount even if you want to (and you would want to). You'd have to escape the mount first.

    On the other hand for all we know Zimmerman started the fight, in which case SYG definitely doesn't apply to him.

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    Everyone seems to forget that the Retreat at Twin Lakes homeowners association actually listed Zimmerman as a contact to report suspicious activity, right after the police. He was the volunteer neighborhood watch captain.

    a notice from the homeowners' association: "All residents are part of the Neighborhood Watch program and are encouraged to get to know your neighbors and look out for one another! … "
    Up until a minute before the scuffle and shooting, Zimmerman was on the phone with the non-emergency police line (not 911 as consistently misreported). He cooperated with the investigating officers, submitted to interrogation without an attorney, when the warrant was issued he sought out law enforcement and voluntarily surrendered. Not consistent with the behavior of the typical murderer.
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    I fail to see how SYG even applies here.
    The duty to retreat would start as soon as violence seemed likely. Perhaps even including responding to "Why are you following me?" with "Hey, man, I'm sorry," rather than "What are you doing here?"

    Commentators such as Kopel, when they have said that SYG doesn't protect Zimmerman, have not referred to the suddenness of Martin's attack, but rather to Zimmerman being an aggressor, as the reason for their belief.
    Not consistent with the behavior of the typical murderer.
    I agree 100%. The charge of SDM is therefore incredible.
    Last edited by Loosedhorse; April 14th, 2012 at 05:17 PM. Reason: sp

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    Let's clear up a few things ....

    There are presumptions given to defender's in a 'castle-doctrine'-defense setting, because the facts required to assert the self-defense through such a provision, once established, imply that the transgression to be prevented are felonies, and violent felonies, to be committed within a dwelling, which is, at the outset, an individual's last place of retreat.

    Not necessarily so when we're out in public.

    But .... let's not extrapolate that to say in order to remain lawful, we must, under all circumstances, run away, i.e., retreat. (Though we should recognize the wiser reality of it, under many circumstances.)

    The analysis for use of deadly force in self-defense takes into account ALL of the circumstances of the encounter (which may or may not include whether the defender actually retreated as an actual affirmative requirement) in determining whether, at the moment that deadly force was used, the defender reasonably feared imminent death or serious bodily injury.

    The analysis does NOT begin by asking whether or not 'one, generally, can stand their ground'. (Actually, where there is no statutory ‘affirmative duty to retreat’, just as in this case, the question of 'who' is properly characterized as the aggressor at the time of the use of deadly force in SD is a more important consideration). And this is where public misperception is being manipulated for anti-gun newstime, to attack the premise of self-defense and of concealed carry, generally, and to attack 'self-defense provisions' that do not 'sufficiently burden to their liking' an individual's right to self-defense. The next attack will be upon the process (if no jury trial, why?), and then upon the civil liability immunity provision.

    In reality, it cannot be said that an 'affirmative duty to retreat' is the norm among the several States. Even in those jurisdictions where there is a statutory duty to retreat, there will be any number of limitations on imposing that affirmative duty to retreat, e.g., the duty to retreat is not necessary (a) in response to robbery, a violent felony, (b) where escape cannot be made in complete safety, (c) where the attack occurs in/upon entering the home (see above), or even (d) where the attacked person is in the process of making a lawful arrest. Moreover, there are States that may not have so-called 'stand-your-ground' statutory provisions, but, nonetheless, resort to case-law, which, by delineating those circumstances under which there is no affirmative duty to retreat, in effect, make for a 'case-law-stand-your-ground'-jurisdiction.

    (This is why it is always so important to limit hindsight discussion to the parameter's set by a particular State's law(s).)
    Last edited by thesecond; April 12th, 2012 at 06:00 PM.

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    Here are the relevant FL statutes (italics are mine):

    http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statute...hapter0776/All
    776.013 (3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
    776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—
    (1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
    Here are the statutes for stand your ground, and immunity from prosecution.

    You can stand your ground if you are attacked when not engaging in an illegal activity.

    The key is that the individual who is attacked can stand their ground - the attacker cannot.

    The intended victim (the one attacked) is immune from prosecution.

    Whether the victim is Martin or Zimmerman will be determined by the evidence presented in court.

    It is a reasonable assumption, at this point, that the charges against Zimmerman were predicated by initial evidence that he was the attacker, not the victim.
    Jamie

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    It is a reasonable assumption, at this point, that the charges against Zimmerman were predicated by initial evidence that he was the attacker, not the victim.
    In a reasonable world that would be a reasonable assumption.
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    In a reasonable world that would be a reasonable assumption.
    Yea, I was choking when I wrote that.
    Reasonableness is not a driving force these days anywhere.......
    Jamie

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    It is a reasonable assumption, at this point, that the charges against Zimmerman were predicated by initial evidence that he was the attacker, not the victim.
    I don't see it that way, and apparently neither did the Sanford PD.

    AFA the prosecutor that has it now...well, politics is now firmly embedded in this case. Even Martin family lawyers/supporters expressed surprise that he was charged with 2nd degree instead of manslaughter.

    Let the games begin...
    It only becomes class warfare when the working class decides to fight back.
    When they don't, it simply becomes a case of economic genocide.
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    Good post Jamie!

    Informative and seems definitive, on the issue.

    I don't think professional hate-mongers on both sides will accept any court verdict though..

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    AFA the prosecutor that has it now...well, politics is now firmly embedded in this case. Even Martin family lawyers/supporters expressed surprise that he was charged with 2nd degree instead of manslaughter.
    Knock yourself out.
    Politics will not fly in a court of law, but evidence will.
    Politics will not ensure that a jury will find the verdict that you want.
    Evidence will.
    The judge's rulings, behavior, and actions will be scrutinized for judicial accuracy.
    So will all of the proceedings by lawyers all over the US.
    There will be very little that will slide in these proceedings.
    Politics did not create the murder 2 charges out of thin air.
    Bogus charges will not survive the process at any level.

    You keep your head in the sand, though, and believe what you want to.
    Jamie

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    Politics will not ensure that a jury will find the verdict that you want.
    I certainly hope the jury is not going to be influenced by politics-I was referring to the SP.
    I'd be curious to know what verdict you think I want?
    It only becomes class warfare when the working class decides to fight back.
    When they don't, it simply becomes a case of economic genocide.
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    The jury is the biggest question here.
    Will they decide based upon the evidence, or will they decide based upon what they believe that the vocal people want to hear.

    The SPD has a very poor reputation in FL.
    They are on their 3rd chief in as many years.
    Brother lives in Clearwater, and SPD has a horrid history of bad police work.

    I wonder if they will be crucified for a poor investigation.
    It looks like they took the SYG defense at face value, with little additional evidence gathering, but who knows.

    I'd be curious to know what verdict you think I want?
    No idea. I would guess pro Zimmerman, I suppose.
    Jamie

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    Will they decide based upon the evidence, or will they decide based upon what they believe that the vocal people want to hear.
    Mebbe some would feel pressured to decide based on what they think folks want to hear, but I'm betting it's going to come down to folks judging just on the law/facts, and those allowing their emotions to influence thier vote.

    The SPD has a very poor reputation in FL. They are on their 3rd chief in as many years.
    Which brings up a good point-since they realize they had a problem, and were bringing in different folks to clean it up, who's to say this police chief wasn't doing so? A lot of talking heads whined about how he got overly involved in this case (I assume they were thinking cover-up), but maybe he got involved because he was there to clean things up and was taking a hands on approach to what he was brought in for!?
    Guess we'll never know.

    I wonder if they will be crucified for a poor investigation.
    It looks like they took the SYG defense at face value, with little additional evidence gathering, but who knows.
    The investigation does not appear to be nearly as poor as some would have us believe. Jesse Jackson stating they didn't even put up yellow tape at the scene, folks whining 'bout him not being arrested (sure looked like it on the police garage footage), "they didn't even take his gun" comments (says gun entered into evidence on the police report), yadda yadda yadda.
    The SPD may be as crooked as the day is long, but at this point I'm not seeing it.

    I would guess pro Zimmerman, I suppose.
    Nope-I've stated many times at this point I don't know who is the guilty party.
    I think it comes down to who commited the first overt physical act, and at what point the gun came out. At this point we don't know the answer to either, and unless there's some evidence that we haven't yet seen, I don't know that we'll ever know the answer to those two questions?

    The answer to those two questions (apparently with no witnesses) is what makes this case so tough - forget 'bout race, hoodies, neighborhood watch, etc.
    It only becomes class warfare when the working class decides to fight back.
    When they don't, it simply becomes a case of economic genocide.
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    I can only hope that all relevant evidence is presented to the jury, and the case is decided on legal merits, and legal merits alone.
    I also believe that if Mr Zimmerman is pronounced innocent we will likely have LA '92 all over again, this time in Florida. Then the scenario will quite possibly repeat itself with Mr Zimmerman being removed to another location and charged with Federal civil rights violations, convicted and imprisoned to placate the mob. Makes you wonder if any state will stand up to that type of deliberate counter attack on citizens who are vindicated? Note, this does NOT suppose Mr Zimmerman will be vindicated, merely a supposition along a particular line of reasoning.
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    I've stated many times at this point I don't know who is the guilty party.
    I think it comes down to who commited the first overt physical act, and at what point the gun came out. At this point we don't know the answer to either, and unless there's some evidence that we haven't yet seen, I don't know that we'll ever know the answer to those two questions?
    I haven't seen/heard any evidence that it was anything other than self defense on the part of Zimmerman. Unless there are presently unknown/unpublicized facts brought to light in the trial, I don't see how there can be a guilty verdict, unless based on racial prejudice or fear of rioting.

    Last I heard, it was not any sort of crime to approach and speak to someone on the street - though I suppose that if one has a guilty conscience then one might react badly to it.
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    let's not extrapolate that to say in order to remain lawful, we must, under all circumstances, run away, i.e., retreat.
    As you say, it very much depends on the state.

    We have in MA a Supreme Judicial Court ruling that says since a mother may have been able to sneak out of a basement window (and maybe leave her child behind) while an angry attacker was upstairs threatening murder, she was NOT justified in shooting him when he started down the basement stairs...of her own home.

    True, that injustice caused the legislature here to pass a (limited) Castle Law, removing the DTR in one's "dwelling"--but providing no shield to civil suit.

    I would assume the same stringent DTR outlined by the Court is in force today outside of the home.

    What everyone does in regard to a brewing fight is up to them. As a practical matter, I think you are in better tactical and legal shape if, as soon as people are getting angry or unpredictable, you retreat. Even if you are in the right, even if you could legally "stand your ground." The only good reason not to do so, IMO, is if your retreat is less safe (for you and anyone with you whom you must protect) than standing and fighting.

    No matter what jurisdiction in which you find yourself (and that's important for any of us who exercise legal out-of-state carry ability), an investigaor, prosecutor or jury will have trouble misinterpreting this:

    "As soon as he got hostile, I wanted to retreat. I was prevented from retreating by [fill in the circumstance], so I tried to calm things down. When he attacked, I was in fear for my life. I had no choice but to respond with lethal force because [fill in the circumstance]."

    Obviously, such a detailed statement should only be made after sitting down with your attorney, and only if he so advises you. But if I was a juror, I don't think I could consider someone who shot another person "not guilty" of anything until I heard some credible statement with that information.
    Last edited by Loosedhorse; April 14th, 2012 at 10:29 AM. Reason: grammar

  20. #20
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    Ann Jones, Women Who Kill, Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1980.

    In Massachusetts Roberta Shaffer was convicted of manslaughter for the 1971 shooting of her fiance, John Ferruzzo, who was threatening to beat her and her little boy, as he had done before. She fled to the basement of her house to join her son and daughter, and when Ferruzzo kept coming, she shot him. Massachusetts law, however, requires that the defendant retreat as far as possible to avoid violence; and Roberta Shaffer had only retreated as far as the basement. Shaffer argued that she could not retreat farther with her young children, and she would not leave them behind; but in 1976 the Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld her conviction. Ironically, in almost any other state Roberta Shaffer could have been acquitted. Most states find no duty to retreat from one's own lawful residence; and in Michigan a wife's conviction for murdering her husband was reversed because the judge had failed to instruct the jury that the defendant was not required to retreat from an attack in her own home.
    The change instigated in Castle Doctrine laws is first in removing duty to retreat if in one's home in states that required retreat from one's own dwelling, and second in removing civil liability when the use of force was justified.

    Traditionally, according to Ann Jones (and my personal experience quite frankly), the DTR was most commonly invoked against women defending against abusive men, and other inferiors who didn't keep their place. That is what patriarchs like Bloomberg want to do away with. That is what patriarchs fear about castle doctrine, stand your ground, and no liability if justified: they don't identify with victims who fight back. They identify with the oppressors, and want the restoration of the old order of things.
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    (E)ven as august a scholar as Dave Koppel has insisted that SYG offers Z no protection.
    Dave Koppel is not a conservative. He is a Democrat. All the good he has done and all the credentials he has does not make him right when he is wrong. Your milage may vary.

    Also note that Koppel made the comment that IF Zimmerman perpetrated a criminal act on Martin, the SYG law would not be a defense in the killing of Martin. DUH! Zimmerman's defense would obviously include SYG along with self defense. Note too that Martin didn't threaten Zimmerman wherein Zimmerman could have fled. Martin simply started beating on Zimmerman without warning. When Martin attacked, Zimmerman was not following him.

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    One reason: who's got money for defending the case, or appeals?
    Casey Anthony didn't have any money either.
    Nobody ever heard of Jose Biaz before that trial,
    now he's a rock star defense attorney.

    Some law firm wanting to make a name will defend Zimmerman pro-bono.

    I would hate to see Zimmerman cop a plea because he couldn't afford a lawyer. That isn't justice.

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    I would hate to see Zimmerman cop a plea because he couldn't afford a lawyer. That isn't justice.
    Happens all the time. People cop pleas all the time also b/c they dont think a jury will uphold the truth and serve justice. Look at any BATFE instance where they have filed charges against an FFL for whatever. The FFl suddenly doesnt have a way to make a living anymore. His inventory is seized. Any money in the bank is seized b/c nobody knows if was obtained through criminal means or not. The accused is broke far beyond comprehension of normal people. Should the FFL not have a worthy case that attracts the SAF or NRA for free defense then they are screwed. Realizing the FFL doesnt have any money and probably wont have any his counsel reccomends that he accept a plea. Then the Feds show up to court with a shoestring demonstrating how its really a machine gun and then everybody on the gun forums turn against the FFL after they cop a plea b/c now it is clear that they were guilty all along.
    Brandon

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  24. #24
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    I would hate to see Zimmerman cop a plea because he couldn't afford a lawyer.
    I normally steer clear of donating to stuff like this, but if this thing plays out and he's cleared, I'm seriously thinking 'bout sending a few bucks his way.

    He may be guilty, but unless the prosecutor is holding back some good evidence, it sure looks like he's being railroaded.

    'Course, he could also be guilty but might walk - suppose he pulled or flashed the gun, which initiated the struggle? Since it appears witnesses came into the situation well after the struggle started, I'm wondering if he might be found not guilty due to beyond a reasonable doubt?
    It only becomes class warfare when the working class decides to fight back.
    When they don't, it simply becomes a case of economic genocide.
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  25. #25
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    I would hate to see Zimmerman cop a plea because he couldn't afford a lawyer. That isn't justice.
    Unfortunately it's an all too common occurrence. Usually followed after their release by some upright LEO shooting him because they feared for their lives as the person is a felon.

    And again, the courts aren't in the justice business, only the appearance of justice.

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