Zimmerman Charged

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Maniac Craniac, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Allow me to help you out a bit. The responsibility to retreat is the letter of law in many states, basically this means that a victim of a crime had a duty to try and get away from an attacker in any way possible before using deadly force. The burden of proof was put on the victim and the victim would have to potentially endanger themselves or suffer further abuse in order to protect the attacker from death or serious bodily injury. A group of smart guys got together one day and said “man, that doesn’t make sense at all” and wrote the “stand your ground” law which acts much like the castle doctrine. This places the legal burden upon the attacker and shifts the potential for harm or bodily injury from the victim to the attacker. The core of this law basically is that an attacker is responsible for their own conduct and also the conduct of their victim as a result of their "deadly" felonious assault rather than the other way around. It also assumes the victim has every legal right to be where they are, secure in their person, as the attacker does.

    As much as we all like a sense of fair play, the right to use deadly force to defend yourself is based upon a very specific criteria. That the threat was imminent (or already occurring) and that the threat was potentially deadly or could result in serious injury. What is NOT a legal consideration is “who started it”. For example you are punched in the face in a bar (assault) and you respond by trying to stab the guy in the neck with a beer bottle (deadly assault) and he shot you while you were doing so. He would be in the clear for the shooting but still may face charges for the initial assault (the punch) which would likely be misdemeanor assault. Who started it is irrelevant to the shooting…what is relevant is at what point the confrontation became deadly and who was committing the deadly conduct.

    Zimmerman is responsible for the initial contact BUT, that means nothing as legally Zimmerman had a right to be where he was and Trayvon had a right to be where he was. Both men had a right to be there.

    Second, Zimmerman was licensed to carry that weapon concealed, the weapon was legal. He did not exit the vehicle gun in hand (which would be brandishing) nor did he point the weapon at Trayvon when he did so (that would have been either deadly conduct or assault with a deadly weapon). The presence of a weapon was unknown to Trayvon or he likely would have mentioned something about it when he saw Zimmerman following him. I doubt Trayvon would have attacked a man with a gun in his hand.

    Third, the mere presence of someone cannot legally be called “escalation” if they have a legal right to be there and are otherwise acting in an orderly fashion. But in a more pragmatic sense, if it made Trayvon nervous and Trayvon began to act disorderly then it would be Trayvon who is legally in the wrong, not Zimmerman.

    Again, who attacked who first? Unknown. Regardless, at the point that Trayvon began to slam Zimmerman’s head into the ground he was performing “deadly conduct” and Zimmerman shot him. If a jury agrees that Trayvon did slam his head into the ground, case closed…it will be “self defense”…unless the DA can prove that Zimmerman intended to kill Trayvon during the fight “just because”. The prosecutor would have to prove that either getting your head slammed on the ground is not deadly conduct or that it never happened. There MAY be a case if the prosecutor can prove that Zimmerman baited Trayvon into deadly conduct so that he could shoot him but that would more appropriately be classified as malice aforethought and make this a murder 1 case. The only other legal route would be for the prosecution to redefine the interpretation of the law to basically negate itself if the shooter committed the initial assault...however that would be a reeeeaaaalllll stretch. I am very curious to see what angle she takes on this.

    Whether what Zimmerman did was moral, right, just or smart is debatable but given the fact as I understand them now, it sounds like self-defense. But then I was quick to rush to judgment once without all the facts which to this point have not been fully disclosed. We will learn more as the trial goes on but for now, it looks like the prosecutor has a tough road ahead of her.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2012
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    How do you know that Zimmerman started the physical altercation?

    Anyone is free to approach anyone else in a public place and engage them in conversation. I highly doubt that Zimmerman threw the first punch (why would he?), so a claim of self-defense could be totally warranted.

    If I were walking down the street and someone approached me claiming to be a neighborhood watch volunteer, I'd say "That's nice, but unless you're making a citizen's arrest, I'm going on my way". If they tried to physically stop me, I'd call the police myself and wait for their arrival, not start throwing punches.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2012
  3. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    The big thing I am waiting for is the forensic evidence regarding precisely what their relative positions were when they were shot. If the forensics reveal Trayvon to be physically on top of Zimmerman in grappling range at the time of the shooting then 2nd degree murder would seem extremely difficult to prove.

    However, what if the forensic evidence show Trayvon being standing 3 to 4 feet away when the shot was fired? It sounds outlandish, but I can completely imagine a scenario where they are fighting, Trayvon gets the better of him, stands up and Zimmerman shoots him. I would have thought that there would be a significant amount of blood on Zimmerman if he shot a man in the chest that he was grappling with, but I am no forensics expert.

    The head wound on Zimmerman doesn't bother me. I was once playing with this beautiful girl in college and accidentally dropped her on her head. She was bleeding, but it didn't come from me slamming her head repeatedly in the concrete or anything. I have also seen many guys take a bad fall and scrape their head. Maybe it is because I am a big guy, but the idea of repeatedly slamming someone's head into the concrete more than once or twice and them still being conscious is hard for me to comprehend.

    Oh well, this will all come out at trial.
  4. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    It all depends on how they physically try to stop me. If they just stand in front of me, then calling the cops is fine. HOWEVER, if someone GRABS me, it's on. At the absolute minimum he is getting pushed away. If he escalates it, he is getting KTFO.

    Events like this really encourage me to get those Nevada and Florida CCWs with the multi-state reciprocity agreements, and just carry any and everywhere I legally can. I forsee events like this below being more frequent.

    link: The Stand Your Ground Before He Stands His Ground Defense | WeKnowMemes
  5. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I agree 100%.

  6. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    One thing that consistently amazes rookie cops is how little that most gunshot wounds bleed. Unless you catch a vein or artery, there generally isn't much external bleeding.

    If someone lays their hands on you, then you certainly have the right to defend yourself, but I always advise using just enough force to disengage and call the police, especially if there are no independent witnesses (he said/he said). The brother of one of my co-workers got into a scrape in a parking lot, punched the other guy, who fell back and whacked the back of his head on the asphalt, which killed him. No one needs that kind of headache.

    Since 2004 when the Law Enforcement Officer's Safety Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Bush, any police officer who meets minimal standards (carrying their ID, currently qualified at the range, not under suspension, etc.) can carry a concealed handgun anywhere in the United States, their territories, and possessions. Before that, I had CCW permits in New Hampshire and Maine for when I visited family, but now it's nice to not have to worry about expiration dates on multiple gun permits. I haven't carried outside New England yet, but I'm going to Disney World in Florida this year, and will definitely have my Glock 26 with me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2012
  7. perrymk

    perrymk Member

    I prefer to carry pepper spray. The consequences of a stray stream of pepper are far less than those of a stray bullet.
  8. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    The consequences to you? After being pepper sprayed you can still be attacked and killed, easily. Yes the consequences for stray bullets are high, which is why most people who carry legally know how to watch their backgrounds, try to hit what they are aiming at, and never point weapons at anything they don't intend to kill.The consequences for not puting down your attacker? Death.I'll take my chances.
  9. perrymk

    perrymk Member

    These words don't inspire confidence.
  10. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    What will alarm you more then is that less than 10% of shots fired in a gun fight actually hit their intended target. We recently had a gunfight at a bus stop in North Texas where the responding officer actually shot the attacker but also shot 2 bystanders as well. Needless to say when guns get drawn take cover or haul ass.
  11. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    Well, go and read the NY Time or Huffington Post so you can hear flowery language not based in reality. Having served in the Marines and spent time in Iraq, I know what happens when rounds are coming/going down range. People react to it in different ways. I can only imagine what happens in the civilian world when a gun comes out. Like FoF says...hit the deck.My point is that....your Pepper Spray won't do shit if someone really wants to get you. Would you rather hear the truth or live in a make believe world of fantasy?
  12. perrymk

    perrymk Member

    I've served in the military also. Another truth is that bullets don't always stop people either. People with gungho Dirty Harry fantasies on the street are also dangerous. I'm done with this conversation. You can have the last word.
  13. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    What? You mean some of the things TV and the movies taught me about gunshot wounds were wrong? That's just crazy talk. :pat:

    Thanks for the insight.
  14. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Bingo... gun shots and pepper spray can have widely varying reactions on people. Unless the bullet hits the central nervous system or otherwise induces immediate shock, the attacker will still be able to carry the fight on. Read the Miami Dade FBI shootout reports. Counting on 1 shot stops is a bad gamble.

    Reaction to pepper spray can vary. Some people it just doesn't bother. Others can work through the pain. Some have allergic reactions and need medical attention. Most people though start to experience swelling, limited vision, shortness of breath and intense pain and otherwise cannot carry on the fight. But in all cases the attacker knows they've been sprayed.

    Tasers (not stun guns) are also very effective because they attack the central nervous system directly resulting in involuntary incapacitation. Forget about working through the pain because it is not a pain compliance device...even if it does hurt like hell. It incapacitates the CNS to communicate with the muscles.

    I've known either directly or indirectly a few gun shot victims, one shot with a .38 who did not know he was shot until the fight was over. He lived for several minutes before sitting down and saying "I think he hit my liver" then died on the spot. Another gunshot victim was hit with bird shot from a shotgun, knew he had been shot, was bleeding severely from seemingly everywhere, but was walking around talking to the cops and paramedics. Another had been shot in the chest with a .45, he ran a few feet and passed out (he lived somehow) and another who was shot with a .22 while breaking into a home, shot in the chest. He ran a mile and died. The last one I knew was shot in the stomach with a 9mm in a road rage incident, point blank, he walked back to his car, called 911 and sat there waiting on an ambulance. He lived. Bullets do weird things to people.
  15. DLer

    DLer New Member

    This statement made me wonder if the guy who pulled the trigger and shot this person (or anyone else) could/would use the "stand your ground" defense in a road rage incident. So then I did a google search and found the answer. Deadly Shooting: Road Rage or Stand Your Ground? - New Port Richey, FL Patch
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2012
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

  17. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Our neighbor is a cop and said, "Always fire twice in center mass, once might just piss someone off"
  18. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I'm a big fan of pepper spray; I'm getting too old to fight with these idiots anymore, so I spray everyone who adopts a fighting stance or otherwise becomes assaultive. Most of the time it works like a charm....I've lost count of how many pseudo tough guys have been reduced to blubbering infants after they get sprayed.

    However, if someone has a weapon, then pepper spray and other less-than-lethal options are out of play. As veteran cop Andy Kilvinsky said in the movie The New Centurions, "If a dude uses his fists, you use your stick. If he uses a knife, you use your gun, cancel his ticket right then and there".

    If someone wants to turn their encounter with me into an MMA match, then expect to be pepper sprayed and beaten with an aluminum pipe (ASP baton). If you pull a knife, gun, or other potentially lethal weapon, expect to absorb multiple .45 ACP hollow points.
  19. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

  20. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    "Better to be tried by 12, than carried by 6"

    Unless of course you are a hispanic married father of two tried and hung my a media and "post-racial" lynch mob. Fair trial, schmair trial.

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