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Tue Jun 4, 2013, 12:32 PM

The importance of separating legal and social issues in Zimmerman trial.

Last edited Tue Jun 4, 2013, 03:11 PM - Edit history (2)

It's true that the Zimmerman trial involves issues of racism and gun control. These are social issues that need to be debated and resolved in our social arena. However, a trial is based on legal issues only. It deals with this particular instance. By mixing the social and legal issues, the trial is being judged not on what it can and should do but on issues can't deal with. This is a disservice to the du community.

That is not to say that wider issues of racism and gun control should not be discussed here, but it should be clear that one's opinions on the actions of Martin and Zimmerman do not constitute a legal basis for a verdict.

Here is correction:
To defeat self-defense claim

At least one of the following must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
1.Zimmerman was committing a forcible felony at the start of the physical conflict with Martin. For example, trying to forcibly detain him.
2.Zimmerman did not have a reasonable fear of great bodily harm at the time he shot Martin.
3.Both a) and b) below must be proven BRD.
a)Zimmerman was the initial provoker of the conflict with Martin.
b)Zimmerman could have safely withdrawn from the fight but chose not to do so.

Also posted is the legal definition of stalking and what evidence is admissible in court.


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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply The importance of separating legal and social issues in Zimmerman trial. (Original post)
cheyanne Jun 2013 OP
Bjorn Against Jun 2013 #1
cheyanne Jun 2013 #2
liberal_at_heart Jun 2013 #3
GreenStormCloud Jun 2013 #4
liberal_at_heart Jun 2013 #6
Hoyt Jun 2013 #5
GreenStormCloud Jun 2013 #7
cheyanne Jun 2013 #8
Demo_Chris Jun 2013 #9
GreenStormCloud Jun 2013 #11
Demo_Chris Jun 2013 #12
GreenStormCloud Jun 2013 #13
Zoeisright Jun 2013 #10

Response to cheyanne (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 12:46 PM

1. Read up on affirmative defense...

Self defense is an affirmative defense and that shifts the burden of proof to Zimmerman. The state does not have to prove Trayvon was not a threat, Zimmerman has to prove he was.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 01:34 PM

2. thanks you're right . . .

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Response to cheyanne (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 01:36 PM

3. well we know 3a is true because the dispatcher told him to stay in his car and wait for police.

All he had to do was stay in his car and let the proper authority handle the situation. If he had done that Tryvon would still be alive.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 01:43 PM

4. No. Z was ALREADY out of his truck when the dispatcher told him to not follow.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 01:48 PM

6. well then he should have gotten back in his truck. The dispatcher gave him instructions. He was to

wait and let the police handle the situation. He did not follow instructions. If he had stayed with his truck, whether in or out of it, if he had stayed with his truck and let the police investigate whether Trayvon was a threat to the neighborhood Trayvon would still be alive and George would not be on trial. Zimmerman destroyed a lot of lives that day including his own simply by not following the dispatcher's instructions.

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Response to cheyanne (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 01:45 PM

5. Not this crud again. Sad fact, bigots and gun lovers will have a say in this if they end up on jury

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Response to cheyanne (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 02:04 PM

7. You have it backwards.

That is not a defination of self-defense. It is a list of what the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt to get a conviction.

Here is a direct copy from that thread OP on that website:

Here is an attempt to distill down from the redundancies and inapplicable portions of FL 776, exactly what the prosecution must do to get a conviction for at least manslaughter, in other words, defeat Zimmerman's self defense claim. Unless they have a plausible case here, I don't think it is worth getting into what in addition must be proven to get a Murder2 conviction.

At least one of the following must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
1.Zimmerman was committing a forcible felony at the start of the physical conflict with Martin. For example, trying to forcibly detain him.
2.Zimmerman did not have a reasonable fear of great bodily harm at the time he shot Martin.
3.Both a) and b) below must be proven BRD.
a)Zimmerman was the initial provoker of the conflict with Martin.
b)Zimmerman could have safely withdrawn from the fight but chose not to do so.

My impression is that the defense can refute any evidence the prosecution has for 1, 2. or 3 without calling Zimmerman to the stand, unless the prosecution has dynamite GPS evidence to establish 1. Under Florida law, can O'Mara read such a list as above to the jury in his opening statement?

http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php/topic,2414.0.html

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 03:09 PM

8. thanks for the corrrection.

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Response to cheyanne (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 03:15 PM

9. Not quite...

 

I am not an expert, but an affirmative defense seems to shift the burden onto Zimmerman. Otherwise pretty much EVERY murder which took place without witnesses would be impossible to prosecute. Fortunately this is not the case. It is Zimmerman's job to convince a jury that his story is believable, that he did not initiate the conflict by twice pursuing and then attempting to detain a fleeing Martin, that he could not disengage from the fight once begun, that he did feel that his life was in danger and that a reasonable person would feel similarly.

It is NOT the prosecutions job to convince a jury that these claims by Zimmerman are false -- no prosecutor would bother if this were the case -- it is Zimmerman's job to convince a jury that these claims are true. More, he has to do so without taking the stand himself. And it is here that the prosecution can succeed. Zimmerman's lawyer has to first convince the jury that Zimmerman's story is accurate. Not some of it, but ALL of it. And this is an impossibility because Zimmerman's story has already been proven false. The physical evidence and witness testimony show that he was lying about what happened that night.

He lied to the police dispatcher, he lied during the reenactment, he lied in his statements. This is not my opinion, it is objective fact. And Zimmerman's lawyer has to somehow correct these many errors in his many stories without putting Zimmerman on the stand to explain them.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 12:52 PM

11. Florida works a bit differently that all the other states.

The prosecution has to prove that it wasn't self-defense.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #11)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 01:53 PM

12. I do not believe that this is quite correct.

 

If so, essentially ANYONE could walk simply by claiming self defense. A law like that would mean that basically any murder without witnesses was always not-guilty. In fact, all any defendent would need to say is "I was terrified, it was them or me!" They would need offer no more information than that, it would become the state's job to prove what happened and that the defendent did not feel threatened -- an impossibility.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #12)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 12:12 AM

13. I am not an attorney. You may be right. N/T

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Response to cheyanne (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 03:19 PM

10. All of those points are easily proven.

It's up to the jury, unfortunately, to be able to figure it out. And since at least 50% of the American populace is beyond stupid, I'm not holding my breath.

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