Wrongful Death Suit – Will The Martin Family Precede?

I just came across an article, which says the Martin family may open a wrongful death case against George Zimmerman. Honestly, i really hope they do. No matter what the outcome, let them exhaust all there legal options.

This sounds like “double jeopardy“, but it does not apply, because the previous trial was in criminal court, where as this is going though civil court.

In the article I read however, Zimmerman’s brother warned the family, that should they precede with the case, some “unflattering” details about Trayvon’s past may come out.
I want to comment on that.

I knew Trayvon had a past, it does not surprise me. Shit happens.

But no matter who had the past of “criminal” behavier, and who had a seemingly “clean” record, the facts don’t change.

One was armed, one was not. Hopefully people see that, and not the false smoke screen that is past details.

If everyone were judged by there past acts, we would all be guilty.

It be one thing if they both had weapons. BUT THEY DIDN’T.

The Zimmerman Trial – Was Race A Factor? And Was Justice Served?

This trial is likley the biggest one of the year, it certainly is likley to be the most talked about and publicized one of the year, maybe of years to come. One thing is certain, almost everyone has heard about it and has formed an opinion about it, about Zimmerman and Martin, and about the whole incident/case itself.

I have written about this before, on the night of the trials end. At the time I was, like most others, feeling hot under the collar about the seemingly blatant failure of the justice system. But having had a while to “cool off”, I now wish to go though this again. Though some of my initial opinions will not have changed, some have.

This case, has proven to be an interesting one.

One of the most difficult parts about any trial, is getting past the emotions, and the bonds of the people in question. You see the parents, who naturally think the best of there child. Then you see the defense, the Zimmerman side, who’s family and friends also can see only the good in this person. So without the aid of direct witness’s to the crime, you only have one (the other was killed). And so without witnesses, pretty much the only thing you have to go on, is the character of the person’s in question.
The problem of course with that, is in this case, the only “character witness‘s” I seen from either side, were those that were FAR to close, to be unbiased. You need someone somewhat distant to the person’s life, to get a semi- accurate picture of them (co-workers, boss’s ect).

And looking at the case without the blinders of emotion, it also becomes not so clear cut.

One thing I have heard just recently (today on Dr.Phil), is that it is apparently against the policy’s of most Neighborhood watch programs to be armed whilst on patrol. Granted, Zimmerman apparently had a concealed weapon permit. And it is said that he was “on an errand” when the whole mess begun (not on watch, or so were supposed to think?).

Lets go though the details of the case, up until the end, where the details start to get murky.

We know that Zimmerman was driving “on an errand” when he spotted Trayvon walking down the street. Here, we have to assume that Trayvon was indeed, only walking though the neighborhood. But I really see no reason to believe otherwise.

In any case, Zimmerman gets suspicious and calls the police, informing them of the presence of a suspicious character in the area. Which is good. But now, Zimerman’s own words tell us that he decided to not wait on police to apprehend the “suspect”, but to do it himself.

And so, the case starts to get interesting. The details become muddy, like the puddles of rain water that fateful night.

We know that Zimmerman was chasing (at very least, following) Trayvon, from his 911 call, and Trayvon’s call to his cousin. Here, for me, is where things get messy.

From Trayvon’s phone call to his cousin, I am to conclude that he thought he had outrun Zimmerman, only to have him catch up and pick a fight. And from Zimmerman’s testimony, I am to conclude that Trayvon ambushed him, threatening to kill him.

And so you have to choose between the 2 sides.

I think that Zimmerman should have just kept an eye on Trayvon, and let the police do the policing. I feel that the many robberies in his area motivated him, and the presence of his gun gave him the courage and “balls” to confront this suspicious person. Unfortunately, I think that Trayvon proved a more worthy opponent then he had initially realized.

I personally, do not think Trayvon was initially, out to kill. I do not think that he threatened Zimmerman with death. I think that was invented for the trial.

I am going strictly on what Trayvon had in his possession. He had no weapon.  He had an Ice Tea and Skittles. Someone who is up to no good, it seems to me, would be carrying something to defend themselves with. But being he had family in the area, maybe he felt safe, walking alone. Again, an assumption, but Skittles and Ice tea sounds like the possessions of a munching stoner, NOT a murderer.

In any case, I have no doubt that a fight ensued. And I have no doubt that Trayvon probably ended up getting the upper hand in the fight. And I also have no doubt, that Zimmerman felt that his life was threatened by Trayvon.

Which is another key thing. He FELT that his life was threatened.

We know that Zimmerman obviously got more then he bargained for, he obviously didn’t think he would be on the short end of the stick. But I do not think that Trayvon intended to Kill him. I think he pissed him off, yes. But I sense he was just going to knock him out and be on his way.

I do not think that Trayvon told him he was “going to die tonight BITCH”.  I do not think that Trayvon “armed himself with the concrete sidewalk” (that is the most moronic argument I have EVER heard in my life!). And I do not think that Trayvon went for Zimmerman’s gun, I question if he knew he even HAD a gun (I know I would not go into a gun battle without a gun, let alone, NO WEAPON AT ALL). But I don’t have any doubt that Zimmerman felt his life was in danger.

And so you get into the difficult grey area. Both were in the right. Yet, both were in the wrong.

Trayvon was pissed off by Zimmerman, and so he went after him. He was “Standing His Ground” against an asshole who was provoking him. Zimmerman’s life was, in the legal sense, threatened, so he was in the right to pull the trigger. Its an interesting thing to ponder.

But to the questions that initially motivated this post:

1.) Was race a factor?

2.) Was justice served?

When it comes to race, it seems that the only opinions you are hearing (in regards to the case) are the extremes on either side.  Some say race had EVERYTHING to do with EVERY aspect of the case, some say race had NOTHING to do with ANY aspect of the case. All of the people saying the above, for the most part, are coming from biased positions. For example, members of the black community, and members of the white community (to put it PLAINLY in BLACK AND WHITE).

I think that the real extent of race’s role in the crime and trial, lies somewhere in the middle.

Zimmerman may not be a racist. However, like I said in my previous post (and as eluded to in president Obama‘s surprise press release), paranoia towards members of the black community, is still very much a part of life for black people in America. So while that may not be the SOLE reason Zimmerman zoned in on Trayvon that night, its a mighty big mistake to completely throw out the possibility.
The phenomenon of mistrust if so pervasive, it might have even been subliminal, in nature. You hear something so much, that your reaction may be automatic. Keep in mind, the action of giving chase is still personal. But its the initial reaction at the sight of Trayvon, that im speaking of.

As for the question that is, were the jurors racist? Again, looking at most of there backgrounds, you know that they likley do not have much (if any) ties with the black community. And they may not be racist. But they are a part of the same culture as George. If you see a certain race always on the news for committing crimes or other mischief, you may internalize the bias without even realizing it. We all have done it at some point in time.

I think race DID play a role in the crime and the trial. But I don’t think it was nearly as prominent as some think (or feel) its role was.

Was Justice Served?

That is an interesting question. One where there really is no right or wrong answer, just personal interpretation. When it comes to me, Trayvon’s parents, and anyone standing behind Trayvon, then no, justice was NOT served. When it comes to the Zimmerman party, then yes, justice was indeed served.

That’s the interesting thing about a trial. Its not necessarily about the truth. Its about who has the bigger bag of proof.

In this case, from the beginning, it was obvious who had the bigger bag of proof.

With no direct witness’s, and the most direct witness dead, all you had was the word of the defendant. The trial had testimony of friends and family of both sides, but again, this is automatically not good proof, because they are far to close to the 2 people in question.

And so you are left with a story, and some questionable evidence that happens to back it up, and no alternate view of the situation to shed light on it either way. In this sense, the trial was an easy win for one side.  Or lost before it even begun, for the other side.

So, was justice served?

In that the jury came to its conclusion and the gavel fell, Yes. Justice was served.

But was there Justice for Trayvon? No.

George Zimmerman Acquitted Of Murder In Trayvon Martin Shooting

George Zimmerman Acquitted Of Murder In Trayvon Martin Shooting

SANFORD, Fla. — Neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was cleared of all charges Saturday in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager whose killing unleashed furious debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defence and equal justice.

Zimmerman, 29, blinked and barely smiled when the verdict was announced. He could have been convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter. But the jury of six women, all but one of them white, reached a verdict of not guilty after deliberating well into the night Saturday.

Martin’s mother and father were not in the courtroom when the verdict was read; supporters of his family who had gathered outside yelled “No! No!” upon learning of the not guilty verdict.

The jurors considered nearly three weeks of often wildly conflicting testimony over who was the aggressor on the rainy night the 17-year-old was shot while walking through the gated townhouse community where he was staying.

Defence attorneys said the case was classic self-defence, claiming Martin knocked Zimmerman down and was slamming the older man’s head against the concrete sidewalk when Zimmerman fired his gun.

“We’re ecstatic with the results,” defence attorney Mark O’Mara after the verdict. “George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self-defence.”

Another member of his defence team, Don West, said: “I’m glad this jury kept this tragedy from becoming a travesty.”

Prosecutors called Zimmerman a liar and portrayed him was a “wannabe cop” vigilante who had grown frustrated by break-ins in his neighbourhood committed primarily by young black men. Zimmerman assumed Martin was up to no good and took the law into his own hands, prosecutors said.

State Attorney Angela Corey said after the verdict that she believed second-degree murder was the appropriate charge because Zimmerman’s mindset “fit the bill of second-degree murder.”

“We charged what we believed we could prove,” Corey said.

As the verdict drew near, police and city leaders in the Orlando suburb of Sanford and other parts of Florida said they were taking precautions against the possibility of mass protests or unrest in the event of an acquittal.

“There is no party in this case who wants to see any violence,” Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said immediately after jurors began deliberating. “We have an expectation upon this announcement that our community will continue to act peacefully.”

The verdict came a year and a half after civil rights protesters angrily demanded Zimmerman be prosecuted. That anger appeared to return Saturday night outside the courthouse, at least for some who had been following the case.

Rosie Barron, 50, and Andrew Perkins, 55, both black residents of Sanford, stood in the parking lot of the courthouse and wept.

“I at least thought he was going to get something, something,” Barron said.

Added her brother: “How the hell did they find him not guilty?”

Perkins was so upset he was shaking. “He killed somebody and got away with murder,” Perkins shouted, looking in the direction of the courthouse. “He ain’t getting no probation or nothing.”

Zimmerman wasn’t arrested for 44 days after the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting as police in Sanford insisted that Florida’sStand Your Ground law on self-defence prohibited them from bringing charges. Florida gives people wide latitude to use deadly force if they fear death or bodily harm.

Martin’s parents, along with civil rights leaders such as the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, argued that Zimmerman — whose father is white and whose mother is Hispanic — had racially profiled their son. And they accused investigators of dragging their feet because Martin was a black teenager.

Before a special prosecutor assigned to the case ordered Zimmerman’s arrest, thousands of protesters gathered in Sanford, Miami, New York and elsewhere, many wearing hoodies like the one Martin had on the night he died. They also carried Skittles and a can of iced tea, items Martin had in his pocket. President Barack Obama weighed in, saying that if he had a son, “he’d look like Trayvon.”

Despite the racially charged nature of the case, race was barely mentioned at the trial. Even after the verdict, prosecutors said race was not about race.

“This case has never been about race or the right to bear arms,” Corey said. “We believe this case all along was about boundaries, and George Zimmerman exceeded those boundaries.”

One exception was the testimony of Rachel Jeantel, the Miami teen who was talking to Martin by phone moments before he was shot. She said he described being followed by a “creepy-ass cracker” as he walked through the neighbourhood.

Jeantel gave some of the trial’s most riveting testimony. She said she overheard Martin demand, “What are you following me for?” and then yell, “Get off! Get off!” before his cellphone went dead.

The jurors had to sort out clashing testimony from 56 witnesses in all, including police, neighbours, friends and family members.

For example, witnesses who got fleeting glimpses of the fight in the darkness gave differing accounts of who was on top. And Martin’s parents and Zimmerman’s parents both claimed that the person heard screaming for help in the background of a neighbour’s 911 call was their son. Numerous other relatives and friends weighed in, too, as the recording was played over and over in court. Zimmerman had cuts and scrapes on his face and the back of his head, but prosecutors suggested the injuries were not serious.

To secure a second-degree murder conviction, prosecutors had to convince the jury that Zimmerman acted with a “depraved” state of mind — that is, with ill will, hatred or spite. Prosecutors said he demonstrated that when he muttered, “F—— punks. These a——-. They always get away” during a call to police as he watched Martin walk through his neighbourhood.

To win a manslaughter conviction, prosecutors had to convince the jury only that Zimmerman killed without lawful justification.

First thing I will say, is I acknowledge that there is a different “enviroment” (be it just perceived or otherwise) where I am, to where this crime happened, and thus, that will create barriers in terms of understanding such questions as “Why”. I do not live there, I have not lived the life, so I would not know what risks one might face in such an area.

But I wish to comment on this trial verdict, because though arguably the jury came to a unanimous decision, I still don’t find it right.

First things first, im going on only details that everyone else is going off of, so as always, your at the mercy of the media (are we missing a part of the picture?). But In any case, I will frame it as I see it.

A member of the said neighborhood’s neighborhood watch team is driving out on an errand, and spots an unfamilier black kid roaming the area. Seemingly no reason he should be there, so I guess therefore, he must be up to no good. So he gets out his cellphone and dials up the police, and informs them of a possible troublemaker roaming the streets in the area.

After he gets off the phone with the police dispatcher, he apparently decides not to wait for police, and gets out of his vehicle and decides to confront this mysterious person himself. In the process, a fight ensues, and the mysterious person ends up getting the upper hand in the fight. Until the “victim” pulls out his gun and shoots him dead.

Now, lets review what we just read.

Someone is driving though there neighborhood, and sees a potential trouble maker. They call the police and give them a heads up. Good, nothing wrong there. My main instinct would be to stick around and watch until the police get there. Be somewhat incognito, and watch. If the person tries anything funny before police arrive, and you feel you can handle the situation, take him down with only the minimal amount of force necessary.

The problem here, if what were told is correct, is that did not happen.

Mr Zimmerman not only did not wait for police that he had contacted, but he also confronted Trayvon UNPROVOKED. As a result, he ended up getting the shit kicked out of him, apparently not realizing the strength of the teen. In order to end the fight, Mr. Zimmerman shot, and subsequently killed Trayvon.

The big argument of the defense, was that it was self defense, because had he not shot Trayvon, he may well have killed him instead. Granted.

But when one looks at the situation, some hostile asshole getting in your face for seemingly no reason (race???), I would quickly get hostile to. You get in almost any ones face, and they are going to kick your ass.

Not to mention Trayvon was unarmed. Mr Zimmerman did NOT have to kill him.

In this situation, Trayvon’s death was avoidable. Had George just waited for the police to check the situation, he would not have been “attacked”, and Trayvon would be alive.

Its for this reason, that I think this jury’s decision, was bullshit.

Its one thing to defend yourself of an imminent attack. Its another to PROVOKE an attack.