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My Four African-American Sons & Trayvon makes Five...

  1. chipsball profile image60
    chipsballposted 3 years ago

    Having survived the "Rites of Passage of an African-American Teenager in America" myself as a teenager and having raised four African-Americans teenagers in America I feel so blessed today that none of them ever encountered George Zimmerman. Nor having them ever being judged by the jurors that acquitted Chicken George in his criminal trial.

    That's is not to say that none of my sons didn't face problems from misconduct deeds by law enforcement.officers,.Fortunately I was able to resolve all the matters and keep each of them out of very hostile criminal justice system for Black youth.. Unfortunately another of my sons...Trayvon Martin didn't make it.. He didn't make it through the "Rites of Passage" and had to settle for a partial opening and a sudden closing created by a now free and alive George Zimmerman.

    For those Black fathers with Black sons they should equip their sons well for the challenges that remain and for those moving forward.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      That's surely a wonderful response to a prosecutor, a judge, and 6 jurors that did their absolute best to see that justice was done.  You might consider sending them all a bouquet of flowers with a "Thank you" note for a job well done under extremely difficult conditions.

      Especially the judge and jurors; while the prosecutor is automatically "biased" it had to be tough for the rest of them to remain objective in view of the media coverage (and doctored tapes) and the barrage of nonsense opinions from the 'net.

      1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        The one black woman on the jury apparently now has second thoughts, perhaps wishing she had hung the jury. The defense lawyers did a good job. I'm not sure that's true of the prosecution. Zimmerman might not have got off scot free if they had charged him with a lesser offense. I find some folks in these forums attempts to make a hero out Zimmerman and a villain out of Trayvon offensive. Zimmerman is a pitiful character, most definitely not a hero. The real villains are the people from ALEC and WalMart (the largest seller of rifles in the U.S.) who are responsible for the stand your ground law and preventing sensible gun control laws and effective enforcement of them consistent with the Second Amendment. Here's an article from this morning's paper that illustrates the quality of law enforcement in many cities in this country which is consistent with my suspicion that criminality is higher in the law enforcement community than in the general population.

        The two police sergeants accused of being connected to an armed robbery in Detroit earlier this month have been released from custody pending a review of the case by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

        The veteran officers — from the Detroit and St. Clair Shores police departments — are accused of drawing their guns on two citizens at a gas station on Detroit's east side, robbing them and assaulting one.

        Sources familiar with the investigation told the Free Press the officers believed the men were connected to an assault and robbery on a daughter of one of the sergeants that resulted in her cell phone being taken.

        Detroit police spokesmen Eren Stephens said today that she couldn’t go into details about the case, adding that a warrant request is being reviewed by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

        The names of the officers have not been released. Both men, who were arrested Saturday and released Monday night, have been suspended from their jobs, officials said.

        “We can hold individuals up to 48 hours,” she said.

        Todd Flood, the attorney for the St. Clair Shores sergeant, declined to talk about specific details of the case today.

        “This is a case that as the truth comes out, it will be different than what’s being reported,” he said.

        Detroit Police Chief James Craig said at a news conference Monday that the men are accused of getting out of the vehicle with their guns drawn, detaining two citizens, stealing money from one and a cell phone and wallet from the other and then physically assaulting one of the individuals.

        Craig did not go into details about a motive, but said the incident happened at about 4:45 p.m. July 21 at a gas station on French Road.

        He said a citizen took a photograph of the incident and one man was recognized as being a Detroit police sergeant, a 20-year veteran of the department. The other man had previously worked for the Detroit Police Department for two years and had been with St. Clair Shores police for 17 years.

        An investigation is under way by the Detroit police's internal affairs section, Craig said.

        No charges have been issued.

        St. Clair Shores Police Chief Michael Walleman released a statement today saying it appears that the investigation into the allegations against an officer in his department have not been finalized.

        “Once the investigation has been completed and finalized and charges, if any, from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office have been determined, we shall have an additional statement at that time,” the statement said.


        http://www.freep.com/article/20130730/N … ry-Detroit

    2. Credence2 profile image83
      Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      In the face of this tragedy, we have to give the President credit for his candid and courageous comments, providing an explanation as to why all the protests and how the "Stand Your Ground policies of many states needed to be subject to greater scrutiny, This could only come from one who lived the Black experience and is now in an eloquent positon to explain what that means to the nation.

    3. Don W profile image82
      Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I don't have the experience of growing up as an African-American teenager in America, but I consider Trayvon Martin also to be my family, because he was a human being. I think the actions of George Zimmerman were utterly reprehensible, and a young man's life was taken needlessly.

      I genuinely believe though, that a conviction based on the evidence presented would have been an unsafe conviction. Not because I think Zimmerman is not guilty of wrongdoing, but because I believe the prosecution did not make its case sufficiently, and the necessary burden of poof for a conviction on the charges brought was not met. This struggle is described by one of the jurors.

      Juror B29 said “I stand by the decision because of the law. If I stand by the decision because of my heart, he would have been guilty.” And: "the evidence shows he’s guilty [of] killing Trayvon Martin, but as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can’t say he’s guilty.” To me, it seems to be saying she believes Zimmerman is morally guilty, but going by the letter of the law, she could not find him legally guilty. I think that sums up the issue. Personally I would have struggled to maintain that level of objectivity given the details of the case, so I think it is remarkable that a young woman who is not versed in the law, was able to maintain such clarity between moral and legal. Although I think the verdict is difficult to accept, I think it does abide by the letter of the law.

      But I'd like to see the same level of objectivity and clarity applied consistently to all defendants regardless of their background. Currently an African-American male is more likely to be convicted than a white male, given the same level of evidence. In this case Zimmerman was literally given the benefit of the doubt. That fundamental principle should not depend on the color of someone's skin though. I am certain that had Zimmerman been the victim and Martin on trial, a different outcome would have been reached.   

      But even if Zimmerman was found not guilty, that does not absolve him of the moral responsibility for his actions, and it does not mean that an injustice has not been done. A teenage boy lawfully going about his business was followed and fatally shot. There are no words to describe what an injustice that is for Trayvon Martin, his parents, family and friends, you, your sons and everyone who identifies with this young man. We should all be grieving because every child belongs to us all, and it should hurt us when we loose one. Going by the comments of Trayvon's parents, that hurt may yet be turned into a positive legacy that might eventually lead to some healing. Until it does we can only do everything we can to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else. Talking about it openly on internet forums is a start.

      1. chipsball profile image60
        chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Don W

        First I'm not sure what you meant by "unsafe conviction" ? What kind of a conviction is that?

        Secondly you give Juror B29 way too much sympathy to help her ease her pain for not doing the right thing.. Juror B29 wasn't given any jury instructions that required her or any of the other jurors to find "Intent to Murder". Wasn't in the jury charge and she had no way of considering "Intent to Murder" unless the other jurors convinced her she did. If she believed she needed to find it  and used the lack of intent in her decision process...well she didn't follow the law abandoning her oath and ignored the jury instruction. I think this vague comment she makes about lack of evidence is a cover for her failure to hold out for guilty...which was her original vote based on what she saw from the "evidence" and not her heart as you and other try to make it appear. So let me see, while all the other jurors ruled based on the lack of evidence...but this particular juror's heart wanted him guilty? Give me a break!

        I agree with you that George Zimmerman actions were "utterly reprehensible. That a young man's life was "needlessly taken" and yes, Chicken George was give the "benefit of the Doubt". All evidence beyond a reasonable doubt for a impartial jury to reach a conviction for 2nd degree murder.

        Now regarding the aftermath of this event there are positive actions that can be taken and have been taken to remedy some of the challenges facing African-American youth living in America's rural areas, towns and cities.  They and their parents must re-educate themselves. Sit down together and discuss  law enforcement, criminal justice and the criminal justice system in America.  Moreover, how it operates and how their sons must deal within that hostile system for their survival. For they could be walking home from the store with a juice and bag of candy...and wind up DEAD.

        1. Don W profile image82
          Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I mean a miscarriage of justice.


          I do have sympathy for her. While I understand the sense of indignation surrounding this case, we should not forget that she (and the other jurors) did not choose to have this responsibility. It must have been, and must still be, a heavy burden. She is an ordinary person thrust into a situation in where I don;t think "the right thing" was as obvious or immediately clear as you suggest, due to the nature of the case. I can understand a degree of criticism, but I think it's unfair to accuse her of wrongdoing.



          The instructions given to the jurors were confusing in my opinion, and in places seemed contradictory. Some sections refer to a need to prove "evil intent" while others suggest that no intent needs to be proven. She interpreted those instructions as best she could and made her final decision based on that determination. It would be very easy to criticise from where we are sitting but just look at the instructions the jury was given. Imagine trying to digest that information in the high pressure situation of a court house where a defendant is literally waiting for you to determine whether he spends his life in prison, and the parents of a dead teenager are waiting to see if you will set free the man who killer their son. I think it's unfair to blame her for any misinterpretation or misunderstanding she may have arrived at. That is one of the risks of a trial by a jury of peers which is tolerated because of the importance of that principle.



          The case did not hinge on whether 2nd degree murder could be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Zimmerman was citing self-defense as his legal defense. Self-defense renders the use of force (including deadly force) lawful. So the case hinged on whether the prosecution could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was NOT acting in self-defense. Because even if his actions would ordinarily constitute 2nd degree murder (an unlawful act) the self-defense claim nullifies that by virtue of the fact that it renders use of force (including deadly force) lawful.

          Remember, the defence was under no obligation to prove Zimmerman was acting in self-defense or to prove anything. The burden of proof sat entirely with the prosecution. The self-defense claim was the crux of the case, and the prosecution team (in a display of incompetence in my opinion) failed to address that.


          I agree that the system is hostile to those who are not white. Less so than years past, but still to a significant degree. What is to be done? How are you suggesting your sons deal with such a system, for example?

          1. Seth Winter profile image84
            Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            If this trial was truly how the media made it out to be, the prosecution would of had an easy time. Want to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Zimmerman was not acting in self defense? Easy prove he's a racist.

            People hunger at the idea of punishing racists...as long as the racists aren't black. And since a mixed ethnicity person like Zimmerman was portrayed as being only white, it should have been easy...if he truly was racist.  But he wasn't.

            And to be perfectly honest the entire justice system wanted to punish him for something he wasn't guilty on. Everything from Zimmerman's history was dragged up but large droves of information on Trayvon were barred from trial. Our own President showed his opinion by taking the side of Trayvon before (and after) the trial.

            1. chipsball profile image60
              chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Seth...Chicken George past was never brought up nor his  under oath explanation in the killing.

              1. Seth Winter profile image84
                Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Your point being Chipsball? Most defense cases are won without their client ever taking the stand and besides which even if he took the stand he wouldn't of been proved a racist.

                Did you know that Zimmerman and his wife participating in a big brother type program for needy youth. The two kids the couple took under their week got to experience baseball games, park trips, public events, the movies. The program ran out of funding at some point and Zimmerman and his wife continued to take the two small boys to fun events...giving them a chance that most of society didn't.

                The two small boys were both black. Sounds like a hate filled racist to me.

                1. chipsball profile image60
                  chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Seth I never stated Chicken George was a hate filled "racist". He had hate filled anger when he confronted Trayvon...a black teenager walking home from the store.

                  With him not taking the stand in his defense we actually got better insight into his character as a human being and what value he places on his fellow human beings from different races and backgrounds.

  2. chipsball profile image60
    chipsballposted 3 years ago

    That's the point I am making Wilderness they didn't do the best to see that justice was done. They ultimately failed to carry out justice and should be ashamed of the way they handled this case. Bouquet of flowers...nothing far from the smell of a trash can is warranted.

    When the make-up of the jury was announced it was predictable what the verdict would be. All it took was a dominate juror on the panel with bias and prejudice which she hid, with an agenda to write a book about how she along with Hannity/FOX influenced the process of acquitting Chicken George. This same juror who is speaking out lied when she stated she hadn't made a decision on his quilt or innocence and she lied when she stated she could cast aside any bias and prejudice in her deliberations. She brought those bias and prejudices into the deliberation room and and craft fully persuaded the other.  Easy pickings I would say.

    The prosecutors are used to jurors like the ones selected in the Zimmerman trial. They are trained and accustomed to selecting jurors exactly like the make-up of the Zimmerman jury when they themselves prosecute Black youth everyday in Florida.. The State was preaching to the choir, sadly they didn't adjust. This jury cowardly left the seen and escaped any question other than to let the dominate juror speak for them. Justice  wilderness would have been for Chicken George having been found guilty of second degree murder.

    The judge handled the case in the same manner that Criminal judges handle cases throughout the U.S. 95+ % of criminal cases never get to trial and most defendants plea. This was a particular case that brought particular attention to this judge...but she handled it in the same manner all judges appear to do.

    1. profile image61
      Zophiajohnsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      " They ultimately failed to carry out justice and should be ashamed of the way they handled this case."

      Because you didn't get the verdict you wanted?

      "Justice  wilderness would have been for Chicken George having been found guilty of second degree murder."

      That must be the verdict you wanted and no other would have suited you.

      "This was a particular case that brought particular attention to this judge...but she handled it in the same manner all judges appear to do."

      I would say she gave deferential treatment to the prosecution.

      This jury was chosen by both prosecution and defense and made a judgement upon hearing all of the evidence. You have chosen to degrade the jury based upon purely emotional reasons.

      1. Superkev profile image86
        Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        That's all any of these types seem to work on, emotion. Thankfully the law does not work that way, it works on facts and evidence.

        Both sides had the right to question potential jurors during Voir Dire and had the same amount of preemptive challenges. Even when the prosecution was given the unheard of latitude to charge GZ with a lesser offense, they still could not get a conviction.

        Because the evidence, hell even the witnesses, all bolstered GZ's case and defense.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebu6Yvzs4Ls

        1. Mighty Mom profile image91
          Mighty Momposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          The justice system works on facts and evidence?
          Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
          You don't even have to be African American to get screwed by the justice system
          in this country.
          But it sure helps.
          And that is a FACT and stated UNEMOTIONALLY.
          Too many links to list.
          Just Google "people of color" and "justice system."
          There are any number of studies and organizations tracking the phenomenon.

          1. Seth Winter profile image84
            Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Okay mighty mom drop a few cases of blacks being screwed by the justice system in the last few years...seriously. If blacks are getting screwed as much as your claiming, let's hear a few of those cases...or are they all cases that have been conjured up by an overactive imagination?

      2. chipsball profile image60
        chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        A verdict of quilt was warranted based upon the evidence...not emotion. The emotion was interjected by the juror who is speaking out and who had an agenda. The outcome was certainly not what I wanted and if the jurors had discarded bias and prejudice, dismissed all of the lying statements of the defendant they would have reached a guilty verdict. They could not and their verdict is evidence of that.

        1. Superkev profile image86
          Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Did you see ALL the evidence presented to the jury? Of course you didn't.

          So the black woman on the jury was biased and prejudiced was she? LOL

          This was a unanimous verdict based on the evidence and testimony. That is how the LAW works. You know nothing about what was in every juror's mind but have to pretend so to justify your need for revenge regardless of the law and verdict.

          So, again, you are operating on emotion, not facts and evidence.

          1. Superkev profile image86
            Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            So, tell me chipsball what is the fundamental difference between the Zimmerman case and this one:

            http://rochester.ynn.com/content/top_st … -shooting/

            Do you think this man should be in jail too? Why or why not? And where were you when this happened? Were you penning op-eds and protesting this as an injustice to a white 17 year old unarmed teen?

    2. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Of course.  To someone that did NOT sit in the jury, that did NOT hear the evidence, did NOT see the accused or witnesses it is obvious that the wrong verdict was given.  It's always easier to understand what truly went down when only part of the evidence is considered - that way one can choose the verdict to match what they want.  Makes it lots easier to accuse the judge and jury of malfeasance, too.

      Or did you even wait for a small part of the total evidence to be presented before declaring Zimmerman guilty?  Was it easier when it first hit the news and all that anyone knew at all was that a person was dead?  Because that surely means that someone is legally guilty of murder!

  3. chipsball profile image60
    chipsballposted 3 years ago

    The evidence presented to the jury was more than sufficient and beyond a reasonable doubt. for a conviction. That they chose to ignore this and take any of the statements of Chicken George  as creditable is the injustice. Interject a bias and prejudicial jury for "George" and a bias and prejudicial against "them" and the verdict they rendered was predictable. Judge the post-verdict for what it is...an injustice.

    1. PrettyPanther profile image84
      PrettyPantherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      In fact, several jurors initially voted to convict Zimmerman after seeing all the evidence.  We don't know for certain why they changed their minds, but it is entirely possible that a strong personality dissuaded them from their guilty verdict.  That is how juries work, after all.

      This ridiculous assertion that people who disagree with the verdict are basing their opinions on emotion rather than fact is pure baloney.  Reasonable people can look at the evidence and conclude that George Zimmerman, the adult who was armed and is still alive, did not have good cause to follow and shoot an unarmed teenager.  Reasonable people can look at the evidence and doubt his story.  He easily could have been found guilty, given a different jury with the same set of facts.

      1. Credence2 profile image83
        Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        That is very much how I come down on this as well, Pretty Panther

    2. Superkev profile image86
      Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Really? Which evidence that was presented disproves any part of the claims made by GZ about what happened that night?

      How do you know the jury was biased and prejudicial? Do you have any evidence of this other than your own hurt feelings and lack of factual information? There go those feelings again huh?

      "Never argue with a man who will not agree that two plus two equals four. You will never win the argument because facts don't matter" - Abraham Lincoln

      You are proving to be that man chipsball

      1. PrettyPanther profile image84
        PrettyPantherposted 3 years ago in reply to this
        1. Superkev profile image86
          Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Because NOTHING you have presented rises to the level of disproving anything GZ said.

          Everyone seems to have some evidence that disproves his claims but nothing that was actually presented IN COURT does so.

          Face it, you all wanted a lynching, and are now pissed you didn't get one regardless of the facts in evidence. Sad.

          1. PrettyPanther profile image84
            PrettyPantherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            All of those pieces of evidence were submitted in court.  As I stated above, several jurors initially voted to convict so apparently they also thought it rose to the level of guilt at one time.  I don't know why it bothers you that someone might look at the same evidence and find cowardly George Zimmerman guilty. 

            I am not "pissed."  I am merely expressing my opinion.  My opinion is not based upon emotion, but based upon the facts. 

            Oh, yeah, expressing an opinion of guilt is equivalent to calling for a "lynching."  Got it.  roll

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Paraphrasing the words of one juror, it seems that yes several jurors initially voted to convict.  Until they were reminded that it was "Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt"

              It would seem that there was reasonable doubt that your evidence disproves what Zimmerman said.  At least to the people charged with determining the remainder of his life.  As always, it comes down to the value, or "weight" of the evidence.  When one doesn't care how much weight a particular testimony carries any verdict at all is possible.  When one weighs the evidence for veracity and is asked to find a verdict that is true beyond any reasonable doubt it changes things quite a bit. 

              It is, after all, how OJ was convicted, basically of a crime he was declared "not guilty" of.  When it comes to criminal penalties we require a much more solid basis before convicting.  As it should be.

              In the Zimmerman case, I've already seem rumblings that there will be no effort to convict civilly, either; that there is insufficient evidence for even that lax requirement.  We shall see.

              1. PrettyPanther profile image84
                PrettyPantherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                As I have said from the beginning, that jury found him not guilty based upon the evidence and we have to accept that.  That doesn't mean another jury would not have weighed the same facts, including the veracity of George Zimmerman's statements as compared to the actual physical evidence, and come to an entirely different conclusion.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  You're right - it is always an option to simply declare a jury incompetent because they didn't rule the way you thought they should.  A different jury would undoubtedly do better, especially when you say it could easily happen.

                  I believe that the voting stands at 6 to 1; your opinion seems rather lonely.

                  1. PrettyPanther profile image84
                    PrettyPantherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Um, where did I say the jury was incompetent?  And where did I say a different verdict would be "better"?

                    Stop putting words in my mouth, wilderness.

                    My opinion is not equivalent to a juror's vote; stop elevating it to something it is not.  It's just my opinion and I am entitled to it.

                2. Superkev profile image86
                  Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  It doesn't matter what some "other" mythical jury might have done.

                  The jury that was agreed to and impaneled by both the prosecution and the defense came back NOT GUILTY. 

                  They had ample opportunity to examine jurors in Voir Dire and to make peremptory challenges to as many as they liked.

                  The man is NOT GUILTY a preponderance of the evidence proved he was NOT GUILTY and a duly appointed jury of his peers found him NOT GUILTY.

                  But again, TM's defenders want a lynching and just dismiss any factual evidence that kills their sacred cow.

                  1. PrettyPanther profile image84
                    PrettyPantherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    LOL, you're a little worked up, aren't you?  Once again, expressing an opinion on an internet forum does not equal lynching no matter how much drama you try to gin up.

                    Once again, a verdict of not guilty does not necessarily mean he is innocent.  It just means he is innocent in the eyes of the law.

                    Once again, I base my opinion on the facts.  Just because it differs from yours (and I have a feeling you have a lesser grasp of the facts than I do) does not mean it is invalid.

                3. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                  Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  True. Moreover, acquittal certainly doesn't mean that what Zimmerman did was right, let alone commendable, as some of our respected commentators seem to believe.

              2. Superkev profile image86
                Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                They are also fearful of much more evidence of TM's thuggish nature being exposed as they will be allowed to bring all that evidence in a civil trial that was disallowed in the criminal case.

                Again I would challenge anyone who thinks that TM was an innocent victim to watch this video and then debunk any of the factual claims made in it. If you can.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebu6Yvzs4Ls

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  A pretty damming commentary of American journalism.

                  And if even half of it is true, it could well be a reason no civil trial will be brought.  For you're right - a civil trial requires a different level of evidence for conviction, but it also allows a different type of evidence.

  4. Alphadogg16 profile image88
    Alphadogg16posted 3 years ago

    @Superkev.......there is absolutely no difference in both cases in my opinion. They both should be in jail and are responsible for taking someone's life. It would be different if either of them defended themselves in their home/on their property, but both put themselves in that position & took the law into their own hands.

    1. Superkev profile image86
      Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Then why the outrage over one and nary a peep over the other?

  5. chelleche profile image60
    chellecheposted 3 years ago

    After reading all of these responses it seems that people want to justify what happened. It is not a good thing when people lose their lives regardless.

    1. Superkev profile image86
      Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      No one is claiming that what happened was a good thing. It wasn't good for anyone involved.

      It was, however, justified. And the jury agrees.

  6. chipsball profile image60
    chipsballposted 3 years ago

    I would contend that there should be no credibility into statements of George as "evidence" in the case.  Add that to his decision not to testify in his own defense subject to cross examination when his lies would have been exposed. Additionally you cannot set aside the juror(s) with an agenda...IMO the state presented "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" to support a conviction.

    Another jury may have come with different results...maybe not! But this jury failed to look at the "evidence" and used their bias and prejudice to free George. That lone dominate juror interview to CNN was most interesting and revealing.

    1. Superkev profile image86
      Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      You prove by this post that you have no idea how our justice system works and simply want to lynch the man based on your emotions.

      1. chipsball profile image60
        chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        What ever Superkey. You like others chose to believe statements by Chicken George and rationalize as evidence...I don't!

        1. Superkev profile image86
          Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          No one took his statement as gospel, but his statements are born out by the physical evidence. No court takes a defendants statements as "evidence" which shows your fundamental lack of knowledge as to how our justice system works.

          The defendants statement is taken and then it is the prosecutions job to prove he he lying by showing the physical evidence that proves it could not have happened as he says it did.

          In this case the physical evidence bore out that how GZ said it happened is how it happened, every piece of evidence was consistent with what he said occurred.

          You simply want a lynching regardless of the facts in evidence.

          1. chipsball profile image60
            chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Superkev

            Which of George's statements did YOU not take as gospel?

          2. chipsball profile image60
            chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Which statements  Superkev did you not take as gospel?

  7. Seth Winter profile image84
    Seth Winterposted 3 years ago

    "Having survived the "Rites of Passage of an African-American Teenager in America" myself as a teenager and having raised four African-Americans teenagers in America I feel so blessed today that none of them ever encountered George Zimmerman."

    So you mean none of your sons attempted to murder someone with a side walk? I guess that's an accomplishment.

    1. PrettyPanther profile image84
      PrettyPantherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      What a repulsive statement.

      1. Seth Winter profile image84
        Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Well everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that a jury acquitted Zimmerman believing that he defended himself. That he protected his own life from someone who wanted to take it away.

        For those screaming about Justice for Trayvon...wasn't justice a bullet?

        1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
          Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          "That he protected his own life from someone who wanted to take it away."

          Your conclusion is quite a stretch. You are inclined for some unknown? reason to believe the worst about Trayvon and the best about Zimmerman.

          1. Seth Winter profile image84
            Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Your right Ralph, and the funny thing is, it's not because Trayvon's black but rather because Trayvon was so young. It's a fact that young kids are stupid-studies show that the decision making part of the brain doesn't fully develop until the age of around 25.

            Coupled with the fact that Trayvon had a troubled history. History of attacking others, history of stealing, history of selling drugs, history of vandalism...heck he was kicked out of his mother's house and spending time  with his father because of a school suspension.  While having a troubled history alone isn't reason enough to warrant death, it goes a long way in trying to figure out who the victim and who the perpetration really was.

            I've always worked security and understand fully the emotion behind Zimmerman's dispatcher transcript of "Punk's always get away." Because they do. Out of all the arrest's I've made as security I've had to let 99 percent of them go for one reason or another....and the arrests I made was because I broke company policy to make that arrest (Security for JCPennies-Secret Shoppers).

            Zimmerman had a past, but also wanted to be a cop someday. Volunteered his time as both a Neighborhood Watchman and taking care of two black kids for a Big Brother type program.

  8. chipsball profile image60
    chipsballposted 3 years ago

    Wilderness...what  statements by George do you call into question as to his veracity? Remind you he was never cross-examined. Please don't dodge the question.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Not sure at all what you're looking at in any of my comments, but:

      ALL of Zimmerans comments should be questioned for veracity, just all those of all witness should.  The girl on the phone, the cops that were there, anything from the EMT's, the coroner; anyone that had anything to do with the whole sordid affair.

      Some - the coroner, the EMT's - can reasonable be taken with a small grain of salt.  Others - the phone girl, Zimmerman and even the cops (given their history) should be taken with a pound of salt and carefully compared to what little physical evidence there was.

      Your point?

      1. chipsball profile image60
        chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        You are dodging the question Wildernes. Which statements of George did YOU find lacked veracity?

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I thought it was pretty plain: ALL of them.

          I expect Zimmerman to say whatever he thinks will get him out of trouble.  If they're true, all the better, but whatever will save him.

          Just as I expect the girlfriend and Martins parents to say whatever they think will get him convicted.

          If you're really asking what I found to be a blatant lie, none of them.  I didn't listen (or read) everything Zimmerman had to say (because I put so little weight on his comments) but nothing I saw I could definitely say was a lie.  Apparently the jury agreed with that conclusion.

          1. PhoenixV profile image79
            PhoenixVposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Most people will often attempt to express themselves in a way that lessens personal culpability.

            Almost all politicians make a career out of doing that.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Of course they do, thus my answer.

              Zimmerman is human, just as all the other parties to the case.  I expect them all to express themselves in such a manner that will produce the verdict they want.  Even the words from the prosecuting and defending are designed to do so; they are there to produce the verdict they are being paid to get, not truth or justice.

              The only exceptions are the judge and jurors and even then I expect at some subjectivity to leak through regardless of their efforts to do otherwise.

              1. PhoenixV profile image79
                PhoenixVposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                When humans are in the equation is there objective truth?

          2. chipsball profile image60
            chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Come on Wilderness! Are you pulling a George and taking the 5th. Which statements did George make which YOU thought was a lie? Stop dodging with this "blatant" lie.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              From the post above:

              "If you're really asking what I found to be a blatant lie, none of them. "

              I've already responded to both your words and what you really wanted.  What more can you ask for?  What I thought might be a "little white lie"?

              1. chipsball profile image60
                chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                cross examination is a bee-atch isn't it Wilderness?

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Sorry, but you've completely lost me with this line of questioning.  You want a discussion, you're going to have to be a lot more clear about what the subject is.

                  1. chipsball profile image60
                    chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Wilderness cross-examination affords an opportunity to examine witnesses statements under oath more profoundly and more critically. When not afforded the opportunity of cross examination then statements go unchallenged, assumptions are made and lies are not uncovered.

                    I asked you on several occasions now, which statements of George you considered lies. Not whether you thought he lied about certain things. You chose to avoid the question and remain silent...just like Chicken George. It's his right as well as yours. I understand.

                    The jury in this case dismissed George's lies as "little white lies", disregarded the evidence presented to them by the state and let their bias, prejudice and agenda guide them to a not guilty verdict.

                    So be it and it's time to move on!

  9. chipsball profile image60
    chipsballposted 3 years ago

    Willderness and others...what statements by George did you find "not the gospel or lacked truthfulness?

    Remember he was never subjected to cross-examination so he made a lot of different statements.Many IMO to chose from. Please don't dodge the question.

  10. rosered60 profile image60
    rosered60posted 3 years ago

    Impression/image is everything. Wearing pants down to your knees, listening/making music that glorifies aggression, violence, violence against women, and irresponsible sex, calling your ladies "Ho's," "Bitches," and "Whores," promoting the gangsta life style, will NOT give a positive impression or image!!! TM was an aggressive, angry, and violent young man.  He did and sold drugs. He was expelled from school for his violent behavior. His own Mother couldn't control him so he was sent to his Dad's house. He promoted drug use and violence on his FB. You can blame the GZ's, the police, and the "crackers" but perhaps, you should look closer to home? I hope you're teaching your sons the correct way to present themselves, treat their ladies, and how to dress appropriately. I hope you're teaching them how to respond NOT react when trouble happens. You have to show respect to earn respect. It's just that black and white! THIS will change how the black community is perceived by the world. I'm feel for Trayvon's family. They have acted with dignity and honor. However, many of the "protesters" haven't. Tell me how does burning cars, vandalizing stores, and beating people honor Trayvon Martin?? Again, image is everything. You can't fight violence with violence. As Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." Just for the record... I think George Zimmerman should have been charged with involuntary manslaughter. I don't believe he went out that night looking to kill anyone. I think when Trayvon jumped him, it escalated out of control. However, once the 911 operator told GZ to stop following TM, GZ should have stopped immediately and went home. He chose to continue following a young black man. who was aggressive, angry, and violent. It was a tragedy in the making. I'm glad Trayvon Martin wasn't your biological son. I have personally lost a son at a young age. (21) I would not wish that kind of devastating heartbreak on anyone.

    1. Credence2 profile image83
      Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Would you have expose us all to the same litany if Trayvon were a 17 year old white kid?  Such is white privilege, if Trayvon were a white kid, you can bet that this situation would not have occured.It is amazing how blind you are to the realities that we off-white folks see everyday. Thus, the great deal distrust we have of each other. You folks need to deal with your own bogey men in your own minds and not have it acted out  through public policy.  Believe it or not, it is the white kids that buy all that gangsta rap as wanna be thugs, till daddy and mom tell them its time to put away the toys  It is the black kids that get the stigma. The underling  themes that underlie this tragedy will be subject to protest for quite a while

      The President in his courageous statement of late tells the world what is that he and I both know has been going on, and you all would do well to listen.

      Yes, I support the protests, nonviolent (of course)and blame Zimmerman as most responsible party for this tragedy.

      It is unfortunate that there is still so much angst between the races and ethnicities in America. Unless we all start treating each other with more respect that situation will continue.

      No justice, no peace...........

      1. Superkev profile image86
        Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        " It is the black kids that get the stigma."

        Yeah, because there's no black kids in a gangs or rolling through the 'hood pulling drive-by shootings, that never happens.

        It's always someone else's fault isn't it?

        1. Credence2 profile image83
          Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Yeah, so that is the big picture huh, Superkev? Perhaps you have been watching too much Tee-Vee?
          Due to your consistent lack of vision, this time its YOUR fault

          1. Superkev profile image86
            Superkevposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            No, credence, why don't we try 18 years in Law Enforcement as my perspective along with 6 years in the USMC.

            Like I said, as long as you can blame it on someone else and avoid any personal responsibility, I'm sure you are just dandy.

            Even gangsta rap is somehow the white man's fault. Love it.

            1. Credence2 profile image83
              Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I hear you, but that does not make you a critical thinker. One of your backiground is probably authoritarian, subject to firmly held beliefs and prejudices? It reveals a tendency to not be able to empathize, putting yourself in another persons shoes.

              So, I did 4 years USAF and was a government contracting officer for thirty, so I just did not fall from the turnip truck , if you don't mind me saying.......

              So who's assigning or contributing blame to gansta rap? It may be before your time, but people assigned 'blame' to acid rock.

              1. Seth Winter profile image84
                Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                "Would you have expose us all to the same litany if Trayvon were a 17 year old white kid? " -Pretty sure they would of convicted a white kid who did the same thing Trayvon did, except you wouldn't have the public uprising/looting/etc and Obama never would of claimed it was him...

                1. Credence2 profile image83
                  Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Being convicted is one thing, being dead is quite another....The protests will continue for some time so sit back and enjoy the ride!

                  1. Seth Winter profile image84
                    Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    That's a pretty stupid comment. On one hand your arguing that only the white kids are the thugs, but then tell us to "enjoy the ride" as crime waves (of blacks) hit America and stores get looted, random people get attack all in the name of Trayvon Martin. And then you wonder why many black people have a negative stereotype attached to them. That's beyond ignorant that's just plain stupid.

                    And what's sadder is that this case isn't really a case of racism. Holder, Obama, the Court System and the FBI would of loved to find something racist about Zimmerman but they couldn't/can't. But the media...well the media through editing police dispatcher transcripts and posting inaccurate "dated" photo of Trayvon were able to stir up the racial hatred of the black people and get the fools to get angry. Blacks in this case are the pawns of the media in an attempt to sell more...and they bought it hook, line and sinker.

                2. chelleche profile image60
                  chellecheposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Other groups are also in gangs so it isn't about just minorities. This is a ridiculous statement

            2. chelleche profile image60
              chellecheposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Coincidently, I am a disabled veteran of the armed forces (Air Force) and I did serve my time for this country which I fought for.  My husband is currently in the Navy. I'm ALSO a mother to two children that don't fit your stereotypical racial profiling.  They are highly educated and at a minimum bilingual. Just to let you know not all of us minorities grew up in the ghetto. My brother is a lawyer and has graduated with his third degree aside from the law degree. He's also serving proudly in the United States Army as an officer. So don't assume that everyone is living in the negative. My mother was also law enforcement and she did many years serving for this country as well. To let you know something back in the day my grandfather was tied to a automobile and drug through the streets and killed because he requested his payment for a job he did for a white person. So please don't give me that crap because in that day and age it was not customary to speak up about transgressions from a white person. I know as a whole that the suffering continues for a lot of minorities at the hands of civilians as well as law enforcement. So you cannot tell a person how they should feel in regards to something that hits close to home for that person. My main issue with this case is the fact that it seems as if it is being paraded around in our faces that the law does not sway in our favor usually. I understand what you were trying to say but not every minority fits in that little box that you have created to describe them.

              1. Credence2 profile image83
                Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Welcome aboard, Chelleche, your revelation is appreciated. My Point exactly, the rightwinger is great pigeonholing and stereotyping. I, like you, have not been directly involved in all the negative behavior that they endlessly hype over. It is so easy to fall into the trap of 'one size fits all'. Not exactly the mark of a critical thinking individual. Stereotype is the lazy persons way of claiming they know someone, without taking the the time to really know.

                And they now want to know why we cant just get over it and just get along?

  11. chipsball profile image60
    chipsballposted 3 years ago

    Wilderness I think you know what I was asking. We simply have different points of view. You believe it was a "smart" move by Chicken George not to testify and the truth be hidden...I believe the truth would have come out if Chicken George would have not misled  police investigators, not lied about events that night and faced some tough cross examination. But it's time to move on.

    1. chipsball profile image60
      chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Seth

      President Obama does stand with the Black Community. It's a good thing that he does. Perhaps you have never heard this type connection in vocal terms coming from a U.S. President to the Black community, however his speech and substantive measure was well received. I can assure you of that!

    2. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, we might as well move on.  I accept the jury verdict as the best effort we can make towards truth.  Personally I rather expected that verdict unless new evidence not given to the media was found - there never was enough to convict him.  Which is why he wasn't charged earlier - it took time for politics and racism to raise their ugly heads to the point that it was necessary to put on a trial that never stood a chance of conviction.

      You - you make up your own version of truth.  You don't need to have sat with the jury and listened to testimony, you need nothing but media reports (both lies and truth) to pick and choose whatever fits your predetermined idea of what happened that night.

      So yes, might as well move one.  You won't get any other answer from me besides everything Zimmerman said is suspect but I can find no overt lies.  Everything fits with the physical evidence found, as we can see from the jury verdict, and anyone truly interested in justice will find reasonable doubt that Zimmerman committed the crimes with which he was charged.  Those with an agenda other than justice will find no doubt whatsoever that he is a murderer, but that's life.  A great many people in this country need no evidence to support their beliefs, just a desire that it be so.

      1. chelleche profile image60
        chellecheposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        It is never that simple sadly..... It is rather easy as can be to move on. However, I ask you this one question... When is it ever going to stop being appropriate in  the minority community to just move on? Will it be when all of the minorities are dead? Is that the perfect time to actually deal with this apparent issue? There had to be a place designated to take a stand.

  12. chipsball profile image60
    chipsballposted 3 years ago

    Wilderness I agree with you that every statement by Chicken George should be considered "suspect"...you use the terms "little white lies, blatant lies and overt lies by him for your reasoning but I settle with him being a liar and the jury should have dismissed any statement he made.

    But its time to move on!

  13. chipsball profile image60
    chipsballposted 3 years ago

    Don W the instructions given jurors were not complicated or confusing. They are similar instructions given to jurors across America and in Florida. There is no "intent" to commit second degree murder and this juror and you are using it as an excuse. I'm not buying it! This juror withered in the face of mild pressure coming from the other five and she feels bad about...as well as she should IMO.

    You would not have been confused with the jury instructions nor was she...her statements to the contrary.

    Regarding Chicken George self-defense claim...you rely on statements he made not under cross examination.I discount and dismiss them all...and this jury should have done the same. You and the jury chose to believe his uncontested lies to support a not guilty...I don't.

    Don W I warn my sons about an unequal criminal justice systems in America that has not changed much over the history of this country. This verdict is an illustration of that.  I warn them against persons within the criminal justice system who are out to do them harm and will try many different means of arresting them, prosecuting them, incarcerating them and using them to profit monetarily. I warn them that they don't have to commit a crime to get caught up in this criminal justice system...that being a young black teenager walking down the street or driving to McDonald's is enough. My four African American sons must be on guard against those types and they are.

    1. Don W profile image82
      Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      The instructions say: "To prove the crime of Second Degree Murder, the State must prove: . . . 1. Trayvon Martin is dead. 2. The death was caused by the criminal act of George Zimmerman. 3. There was an unlawful killing of Trayvon Martin by an act imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind without regard for human life."

      The first criteria is categorically proven. I'll come back to the second. The third criteria begs the question, what constitutes an act that is "imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind"? According to the instructions, it is: "an act or series of acts that: 1. a person of ordinary judgment (sic) would know is reasonably certain to kill or do serious bodily injury to another, and 2. is done from ill will, hatred, spite or an evil intent, and 3. is of such a nature that the act itself indicates an indifference to human life". Note the use of "evil intent" as a requirement.

      Shooting someone in the chest is an act that a person of ordinary judgement would know is reasonably certain to kill or do serious bodily injury. So I think the first criteria is met. I do not believe the prosecutor proved beyond reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin with "ill will", "hatred" or "evil intent", nor do I do believe it was possible to prove that with the evidence available. So I do not believe the second criteria was met. Therefore, according to the instructions, the criteria for what constitutes an act that is "imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind" is not fully met. Consequently, the criteria for second degree murder, according to these instructions, is not fully met. As such it would have been a miscarriage of justice to find the defendant guilty of that charge.

      Even if that criteria had been met,  there is still the second criteria: "2. The death was caused by the criminal act of George Zimmerman." This is why that claim of self defense was so important. If Zimmerman was acting in self defense, then his use of force would be deemed lawful, so his shooting of Martin would not be a "criminal act". Therefore that criteria for 2nd degree murder would not have been met either. Remember the defense was not required to prove Zimmerman acted in self defense. The defendent maintains a presumption of innocence until that presumption is overcome by evidence to the exclusion of reasonable doubt. The jury were (rightly) instructed to that effect. So in order to satisfy that criteria, the prosecution was required to prove (beyond any reasonable doubt) that Zimmerman's actions were not self-defense, and therefore a criminal act. Due to a lack of sufficient evidence they were unable to do that. So this criteria for 2nd degree murder was not met either. Again, a guilty verdict would therefore have been a miscarriage of justice.





      I don't rely on those statements. I also believe Zimmerman's account of events is untrue. Instead I (and the jury) are relying on the lack of evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman's account is untrue. Because what you and I believe happened, and what we can prove happened are two different things. Personally I believe Zimmerman might have tried to detain Martin, or block his path in some way. He did have a history of violent conduct, and was frustrated that "these punks always get away with it" so could have been the aggressor. The problem is that neither I (nor the prosecution) have evidence to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, and that is what is required for a criminal conviction. The juror B29 did not go by what she believed happened "in her heart". She went by what the prosecution could/could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt. I think she should be commended for that. As I said, I think I might have struggled to maintain that level of objectivity, given the details of the case.



      How very sad that you have to give such warning, and how tragic it would be if young African-American men started crossing the road to avoid white people for fear of being falsely accused, followed, and killed in an act of "self defense".

      1. chipsball profile image60
        chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Nonsense!

        1. Seth Winter profile image84
          Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Chipsball ignoring the evidence again....sounds about right. Let's lynch an innocent man!

        2. Don W profile image82
          Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I like a short, succinct comment, but if you have time to elaborate it might help me understand why you think it's nonsense. I'm genuinely interested.

          I understand the complaint that had Zimmerman been African-American, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt would not have been so stringently adhered to. Fair point. But we have to separate this specific case from the general legal principles applied to it. Is it good that the family of Trayvon Martin will not see the man responsible for his death face legal punishment for it? If (like me) you believe Zimmerman is guilty of wrongdoing, then no it's dreadful. I wish there was sufficient evidence to secure a conviction. Is it good that the presumption of innocence was applied properly and a defendant was not convicted with insufficient evidence? Yes, I believe that is a good thing.

          At the moment that general principle is not applied consistently to all defendants, and race has been shown to be a factor. I think people should be campaigning for that to change. Arguing for Zimmerman's conviction despite sufficient evidence is like arguing that white people should be treated just as unfairly by the justice system as black people. Surely we want the system to be equally fair to all, not equally unfair to all.

          1. Credence2 profile image83
            Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Don, that is the rub, the protests are based upon the circumstances that found Zimmerman at the scene of the crime in the first place and how the matter was handled from the outset. But, alas that was not what was on trial here.  If focus could be moved over to the so called "Stand Your Ground" laws  (A License to Kill) which can allow Zimmerman and cowards like him to identify and provoke one to the point of  conflict then subsequently kill with the excuse of self-defense. Without the gun, he would have been more than comfortable hiding behind his mama's skirt. These are just bullies and killers, that want to be free of the criminal justice system. Truly the mindset of an adolescent, a sick one at that.

          2. chipsball profile image60
            chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Don W...first I believe the evidence presented by the Attorney General was sufficient proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict the defendant. If the jury relied on ANY statement given by the defendant to anyone they should have dismissed it and not taken any of them under consideration in reaching their verdict of not guilty. Doing so was a violation of their oath. You can discuss all the factors that you believe went into play...however the jury should not have taken any evidence that was not supported by the fact absent Chicken George's lies.

            Secondly I believe the jury was partial to Chicken George and used their bias and prejudice when they deliberated his fate.

            Thirdly Chicken George never took the stand in his defense...his right under our Constitution, however he was hiding behind that principle to escape justice. The jury used a supposed "lack of evidence" to rationalize their goal of setting him free. Three of the jurors never would have convicted him and would have found factors, which they did, to find him not guilty. They easily persuaded the others to follow along. Three of the other jurors got it right and voted guilty...based on the "evidence"...however they withered  IMO under mild pressure. That lone juror caved easily not putting up any battle from what I heard from her live interview. Her tears and apology to the family not withstanding.

            Finally Don W I'll ask you the same question. What statement(s) of Chicken George did YOU find to be lies? If you were on the jury what statement(s) of his would you have dismissed. I would like a truthful answer from you.

            Seth...you hold Trayvon responsible for his own death...no need of further discussions with YOU!

            1. Seth Winter profile image84
              Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              ...because people should be able to try to kill other people without fear of self defense.

            2. Don W profile image82
              Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              They didn't need to rely on any statement from Zimmerman to find him not guilty. They had no choice but to presume him innocent from the start, because that is (or should be) the legal right of every defendant regardless of who they are or what they are accused of. Zimmerman was not required to prove or disprove anything. It was the prosecution's job to prove that his actions were unlawful, i.e. not self-defense. The issue is that lack of sufficient evidence left room for reasonable doubt. I would be interested to know which evidence you believe proves Zimmerman's guilt beyond reasonable doubt.



              Based on trends within the justice system, I also think they would have been less sympathetic if he had been African-American. But surely we want to address that by making sure the presumption of innocence is applied properly to more people, regardless of who they are, not less. That includes George Zimmerman.


              The jury was instructed as to the following:

              "George Zimmerman exercised a fundamental right by choosing not to be a witness in this case. You must not view this as an admission of guilt or be influenced in any way by his decision. No juror should ever be concerned that George Zimmerman did or did not take the witness stand to give testimony in the case." (p.20, Instructions read to jury by The Honorable Debra S. Nelson, Circuit Judge)

              That was the right instruction to give in my opinion, regardless of who the defendant was, or what he had been accused of.



              With respect, I don't think it's possible to know that with certainty without being in the room at the time. The last juror said in her interview that she felt Zimmerman was guilty "in her heart" but couldn't find him guilty based on the instructions given. That suggests that subjectively she felt the horror of deed Zimmerman committed, but objectively she could not consider him guilty according to the instructions she was given.



              1. I think physical appearance (including race) was one of the factors that made Zimmerman consider Marin was "suspicious".
              2. I do not believe Martin instigated the physical confrontation. Based on a history of violence, his stated frustration that "these punks always get away with it", and a proven desire to be involved in law enforcement, I think it is reasonable to believe that Zimmerman instigated the physical confrontation by trying to detain Martin in some way. Therefore under Florida statute 776.041 a claim of self-defense is not applicable: "The [self-defense] justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who: . . . (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself . . ." (my emphasis).
              3. I do not believe he was in genuine fear of death or serious harm during the physical confrontation. I believe he simply overreacted to a situation he was responsible for causing.

              But unfortunately neither I (nor the prosecution) can prove any of the above beyond a reasonable doubt, and therein lies the problem. It is entirely reasonable, for example, to think that a 17 year old could lack the maturity and experience do deal with someone like Zimmerman without a physical confrontation. The information available leads me to disagree with that view, but I can't consider it to be unreasonable. If there was some CCTV showing Martin trying to get away and Zimmerman grabbing him (or not) then case closed, but unfortunately there isn't. It is that lack of substantial evidence that leaves room for reasonable doubt.



              Ideally I would have tried not to take account of any statements made before the trial, and only considered the evidence presented. In reality I think I would have struggled to be that objective. I might not have gone as far as to find him guilty, but I might have held out for a hung jury to give the prosecution another opportunity to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, if it could.

              1. chipsball profile image60
                chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Don W again you avoid answering my question to you. What statements of Chicken George did you find were not truthful?

                I will address the presumption of innocence and his 5th amendment rights not to take the stand once you have answered my inquiry.

                I already stated that I believe the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

                Thanks
                Chester

                1. Don W profile image82
                  Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Oh I thought I had answered. Well to be perfectly clear, I do not believe Zimmerman's statements relating to the events that night. Specifically I do not believe that:

                  1. He was not following Martin but "just going in the same direction he was".
                  2. Martin "circled" his vehicle and "rolled up his window to avoid a confrontation".
                  3. He got out of his vehicle only to "look for an address".
                  4. He was returning to his vehicle when Martin "jump[ed] out of the bushes"
                  5. Martin said "You're gonna die now".
                  6. They "struggled" over the gun.
                  7. He shot Martin in "self-defense".

                  I do not believe any of Zimmerman's statements relating to the above to be true, but neither do I believe there is sufficient evidence to prove any of these statements untrue beyond reasonable doubt.

                  What evidence do you believe proves beyond reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was not acting in self-defense?

  14. chipsball profile image60
    chipsballposted 3 years ago

    Nonsense and you know it Seth...Trayvon Martin was gunned down by an racist adult with a brain fully developed...Give me a break!

    1. Seth Winter profile image84
      Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Actually I was making an underdeveloped (uncooked?) brain reference to that of Trayvon not Zimmerman. Look at his past...for that matter look at the screw up's Zimmerman made in his past. At roughly the same age Trayvon did WAY more bad things then Zimmerman did...and Zimmerman learned from it. Trayvon's stupid mistakes and poor decisions lead him to picking a fight with someone armed with a gun.

      If Zimmerman was racist Eric Holder, Obama and the FBI would of found something on him and hung him out to try. They were all frothing at the mouth to get an innocent man and couldn't find anything.

      I was talking with another Trayvon supporter on here call Tom he talked about the 46 calls Zimmerman had made to the police in the past.  At first top did what you do and made stuff up; claiming all 46 calls were on black males. Turns out only 6 were for suspicious black males, 1 group of black kids were playing games on a busy street and Z was worried, and around  30 other calls were on white or hispanics.

      Only racists in this case are those who support Trayvon. Blindly supporting Trayvon based on skin color and ignoring the facts. :-) Have a great day.

      1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I beg your pardon. It was pretty clear that Zimmerman was suspicious of Martin and followed him because he was black.

        1. Seth Winter profile image84
          Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Only if you watch ABC news Ralph and listen to the edited versions of the police dispatcher's recording. While Zimmerman did find Martin suspicious it wasn't because of the color of his skin.

          Zimmerman mentioned the break ins, a guy looking around and suspicion of drug activity (and behold Trayvon was tested positive for drugs)

  15. chipsball profile image60
    chipsballposted 3 years ago

    Don W I don't understand something. Are you asking the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt with sufficient evidence that Zimmerman's lies were in "fact" lies? Didn't they pretty much do that not only with his many contradictory statements but also simply logic about how those events described by Zimmerman in those statements to law enforcement could not have been possible.

    Also I would agree with your lie list from Zimmerman's statement and would add these as well:

    He lied to police investigators when he stated Trayvon repeatedly bashed his head on the concrete. Medical Examiners and Medical assistance reports  show minor injuries.

    He lied to police investigators when he stated Trayvon started the altercation when he punched him in the nose.

    He lied to police investigators when he stated he was the person heard on the tapes screaming for help.

    He lied to police investigators when he stated Trayvon reached for his gun.

    He lied to police investigators when he stated he turned Trayvon body over and spread his arms apart thinking he might still be alive.

    He lied to police investigators when he stated Trayvon was looking into apartment windows.

    He lied to police investigators  when he stated that Trayvon looked to be on drugs.

    Strip his self defense argument that we both agree...What is left DonW?

    1. Don W profile image82
      Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      There is a difference between what you and I suspect happened, and what can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt with the available evidence. CCTV footage, multiple credible witnesses who observed the the incident, scientific evidence are all types of evidence that can establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Slivers of information from people who heard a commotion but could not determine whose voice was who's; the nature of Zimmerman's injuries which were not consistent with having his head pounded against the ground; the friend on the phone who heard something but not the crucial moments. These are all inconclusive. At best some of the evidence available casts doubt on Zimmerman's account, but that's not enough.

      Which of Zimmerman's statements do you think could not be possible, and how does that prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that he did not act in self-defense? The key relevant points are how the physical confrontation started, and what happened when it did. The prosecution did not adequately prove either, and the defense was right to continuously reminded the jury of that.

      1. Seth Winter profile image84
        Seth Winterposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        "he nature of Zimmerman's injuries which were not consistent with having his head pounded against the ground" yeah its not like Zimmerman had wounds on the back of his head or anything....oh wait! If your a limp noodle when someone is trying to smash your head into concrete it would of caused more damage, but resisting would of greatly lessed the damage.

        1. chipsball profile image60
          chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Seth...what's your point? You have already concluded that Trayvon Martin was responsible for his own death.

        2. Don W profile image82
          Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          That's the point. That's a reasonable doubt. The evidence presented was not sufficient to overcome such doubts. That would not be the case if there was multiple, credible, independent eye witnesses who saw the whole incident, or CCTV footage etc. Unfortunately none of those things are available. As a result Zimmerman was found not guilty. That doesn't mean his account of events is true. It just means there was insufficient evidence to satisfy the burden of proof for a criminal conviction. No more, no less.

      2. chipsball profile image60
        chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Don W

        Re-read the Florida Penal Code section pretaining to elements of second degree murder and what  elements the State is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Then re-read that same section  pretaining to self-defense as to who must establish that defense.

        No statement by Zimmerman...since lacking veracity and many outright lies established self-defense to the charge. No witness was put forth to establish it for him. His defense of self-defense should have had no bearing on the juries verdict. This is where you have things wrong. The
        State of Florida is not required to prove he didn't act in self-defense. That burden is on the defendant to prove that he did.

        1. Don W profile image82
          Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I have, and I've quoted from them in a previous post, but I'm happy to reiterate. Some links to the sections you are reading would be helpful so we know we are looking at the same thing.

          In relation to second degree murder, statute 782.04 (section 2) states: "The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree and constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 (my emphasis)

          So the prosecution had to prove:

          1. Zimmerman committed an act imminently dangerous to another
          2. Zimmerman had a depraved mind and no regard for human life

          Standard jury instructions in Florida for murder 2 state that an act is imminently dangerous to another and demonstrates a depraved mind if it is an act or series of acts that:

          1. A person of ordinary judgement would know is reasonably certain to kill or do serious bodily injury to another, and
          2. is done from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent, and
          3. is of such a nature that the act itself indicates an indifference to human life.

          Notice the AND between each of those sub criteria. The prosecution had to prove all three. It was not able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Zimmerman acted with evil intent, so the second criteria was not met.

          In relation to manslaughter, statute 782.07 (section 2) states: The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification according to the provisions of chapter 776 and in cases in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder, according to the provisions of this chapter, is manslaughter, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. (my emphasis)

          So the prosecution had to prove:
          1. Zimmerman's use of deadly force did not constitute justifiable or excusable homicide

          In other words, the prosecution had to prove that the killing was not an accident (excusable homicide) and not done in self-defense (justifiable homicide). That is the only way Zimmerman could have been found guilty of manslaughter. Zimmerman confessed that it was not an accident, but the prosecution was not able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense. 


          Self-defense is an affirmative defense, but the issue is not that Zimmerman could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that he acted in self-defense, it is that the prosecution could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that his actions were NOT self-defense. The very claim of self-defense (even if unproven) introduces a reasonable doubt, unless it can be overcome by the prosecution. In this case it could not. The fact is that neither defense, nor prosecution could prove beyond reasonable doubt, the events of that day because there was insufficient evidence to so for both sides. However that situation always favours a defendant because he is (should) always be presumed innocent. So if the evidence is inconclusive, as I believe it was in this case, the default should always be not guilty. That is exactly what happened here.

          I'm happy for anyone to point out if there are any inaccuracies here, I'm not a scholar of the law, but I've tried to be as accurate and objective as possible.

          1. chipsball profile image60
            chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Don W this is where you are wrong and maybe it will take someone else to make you understand the law. The State of Florida is not required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman didn't act in self defense. It is an affirmative defense HE must establish at trial.

            1. Don W profile image82
              Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              It has been confirmed in case law by the rulings of the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Florida. For example (in no particular order):

              Montijo v. State (2006):
              "When a defendant claims self-defense, the State maintains the burden of proving the defendant committed the crime and did not act in self-defense. . . The burden never shifts to the defendant to prove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, he must simply present enough evidence to support giving the instruction."
              Montijo v. State, 61 So.3d 424 (Fla. 5th Dist. 2006)

              Fields v. State (2008)
              "Once a defendant makes a prima facie showing of self-defense, the State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense. . . The burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, including the burden of proving that a defendant did not act in self-defense, never shifts from the State."
              Fields v. State, 988 So.2d 1185 (Fla. 5th Dist. 2008)

              Murray v. State (2006):
              "No, [the defendant] did not have to prove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. He did not have to prove even that his additional facts were more likely true than not. The real nature of his burden concerning his defense of justification is that his evidence of additional facts need merely leave the jury with a reasonable doubt about whether he was justified in using deadly force.[8] Hence, if he wanted his self-defense to be considered, it was necessary to present evidence that his justification might* be true. It would then be up to the jury to decide whether his evidence produced a reasonable doubt about his claim of self-defense."
              Murray v. State, 937 So.2d 277, 279 (Fla. 4th Dist. 2006)
              (*emphasis appears in the original ruling).

              Fowler V. State (2006)
              "The State must prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and when the defendant presents a prima facie case of self-defense, the State's burden includes 'proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense.'"
              Fowler V. State, 921 So.2d 708 (Fla. 2nd Dist. 2006)

              I hope this convinces you. If not, then I think I've run out of ways to present it any clearer. Could you link to the source(s) you are relying on for information as that might be where the confusion lies. If it's just a simple misinterpretation, then I hope this clarifies things.

              1. chipsball profile image60
                chipsballposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Don W your case law only supports both our conclusions. Both of us  did not believe Goerge acted in self-defense...and the law requires a prima facia case of self defense be established before the burden shifts to the State. A prima facia case of self-defense was never established by the defendant Zimmerman IMO thru any of his self-serving and contradictory statements and lies, therefore  the State was not required to prove beyond a reasonble doubt that he didn't act in self-defense.

                1. Don W profile image82
                  Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Prima facia means "at face value". While I suspect Zimmerman did not act in self-defense, it's a bit of a stretch to suggest the defense didn't show at face value that he might have. The judge certainly thought so otherwise the jury would not have been instructed on self-defense. As such the prosecution had the burden, as per case law, to rebut that presumption beyond a reasonable doubt. It failed to do that so the jury found in favor of the defendant, as per their standard Florida court instructions. Personally I think we could have done a better job than the state prosecutor on this case, but that's another story.

                  Ultimately the sum of evidence presented by the prosecution was inclusive. That situation will always  favor a defendant because of the presumption of innocence. If a case can't be proven, the default must be not guilty. Although it is a bitter pill to swallow, that is what happened in this case. I cannot say I think that verdict is right in the moral sense, but I do believe it was correct in a legal sense. Alas legal does not always equate to morally right.

                2. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  You are mistaken - the state must ALWAYS prove guilt "beyond any reasonable doubt" before a defendant is considered guilty of the charge.  If the defense presents absolutely no evidence whatsoever there must still be no reasonable doubt that they are guilty.  The burden of that proof is ALWAYS on the state; a defendant is ALWAYS presumed innocent until such proof is presented. 

                  Zimmerman did not need to do anything more than say he was innocent (which he did); at the point the burden becomes the states to prove otherwise, and prove it beyond any reasonable doubt.  Your claim that Zimmerman lied with every word he spoke is not proof of anything but your personal opinion until you can prove beyond any doubt that, for instance, Zimmerman threw the first punch.  A little hard to do with no witnesses.

 
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