What SHOULD George Zimmerman have been found guilty of?

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SpaceInsomniac

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Poll What SHOULD George Zimmerman have been found guilty of? (695 votes)

First degree murder (willful and premeditated) - Note: this was not an option for the jury 4%
Second degree murder (not premeditated or planned in advance) 26%
Manslaughter (a careless act that lacks the intention of causing death, drunk driving for example) 39%
He should have been found innocent, due to a lack of evidence and / or reasonable doubt 30%

I was just curious to see what Giant Bomb thought of this.

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joshwent

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Where's the option for "I wasn't a part of the jury so I have no idea, nor does anyone else who wasn't there."

Judging video games before playing them is bad enough. Ignorantly judging someone's guilt when a child is dead is at best... flawed.

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TruthTellah

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#2  Edited By TruthTellah

I had a feeling you might make a thread about this(a poll, no less). I suppose I can see why someone might be curious, but I would say this is likely ill-advised.

As far as it goes, I think manslaughter was possible, but the evidence did not go so far as to prove that it was not in self defense. And since the burden is on the State to prove charges, not for the defense to prove innocence, I think they appear to have made the right verdict in this trial. It doesn't mean Zimmerman is innocent, as he is certainly responsible for Martin's death, but he has been found to not be guilty of the charges brought against him.

(And you should change the last answer to "Not Guilty", because no jury is determining innocence, only whether evidence proves guilt.)

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reisz

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#3  Edited By reisz

None of my business.

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djou

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@reisz: None of your business? Are you kidding with that? This poll is misplaced for a video game website but this is the business of every American. A person aggressively stalked and killed another person unprovoked, then was found not guilty in the criminal justice system. Its SHOULD be everyone's business to take five minutes out of their day to filter punditry and understand how something like this happened.

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falserelic

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#5  Edited By falserelic

2nd degree murder.

Edit: Meant to say manslaughter..

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SpaceInsomniac

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I had a feeling you might make a thread about this(a poll, no less).

That pretty impressive, since I don't think that I've expressed an interest in this case before today. I do express interest in various social issues and heated debate topics though, so I can see someone making the assumption.

As far as it goes, I think manslaughter was possible, but the evidence did not go so far as to prove that it was not in self defense. And since the burden is on the State to prove charges, not for the defense to prove innocence, I think they appear to have made the right verdict in this trial. It doesn't mean Zimmerman is innocent, as he is certainly responsible for Martin's death, but he has been found to not be guilty of the charges brought against him.

(And you should change the last answer to "Not Guilty", because no jury is determining innocence, only whether evidence proves guilt.)

This is close to my line of thinking as well. Although due to the 911 operator telling him not to follow, I would have been alright with manslaughter. Even with self-defense, it was still Zimmerman's negligent actions that led to another person's death. I haven't been following the case TOO closely, but did Zimmerman ever say why he started following Martin in the first place?

(And you should change the last answer to "Not Guilty", because no jury is determining innocence, only whether evidence proves guilt.)

You're absolutely right. We can't edit polls, or I'd make that change.

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TobbRobb

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@djou: What if he isn't American. :P

I'm kidding of course, even as someone completely unrelated, just saying "none of my business" is a useless and kind of shitty thing to do.

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SpaceInsomniac

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@djou said:

@reisz: None of your business? Are you kidding with that? This poll is misplaced for a video game website but this is the business of every American.

Speaking of which, CRAP. This REALLY should have been posted in off-topic. Sorry about that. If a mod would be so kind as to move the thread, I'd appreciate it.

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thatdutchguy

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What the fuck are you talking about ?

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SpaceInsomniac

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#10  Edited By SpaceInsomniac
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FourWude

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Just another judicial injustice against the Black man in the US of A.

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mellotronrules

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well, allow me to be inflammatory and answer your question at the same time:

owning a concealed carry permit despite having an arrest record. god bless america.

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erhard

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@djou: "Filter punditry"? The only reason this thread exists and you're discussing it is because of how enormously overblown the pundits have made it.

But maybe you should've been a witness for the prosecution, since you seem to know exactly what happened.

And OP, people aren't found "innocent," they're found "not guilty." There's a huge distinction. At any rate, polls or petitions or questionnaires about what decision a sworn jury should have made are inherently fatuous and serve only to demonstrate how little the people who squawk lines about "what the world has come to" and the "state of the justice system" actually know about legal matters.

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Ares42

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I'm just gonna go with "the jury probably made the right desicion".

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CaLe

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#15  Edited By CaLe

I dunno because there's not enough evidence. Still, even if you have a gun, there's no need to shoot a person just because they are beating your ass down. I feel like he could have fought back or at least gotten the guy off of him if he really wanted to. I didn't experience it myself so I can't accurately imagine how he felt, but I know I have let sudden and intense emotions make me do regrettable things in the past. I wouldn't feel comfortable condemning the guy for life or anything, he's already had his life pretty much ruined by all of this.

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Petiew

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#16  Edited By Petiew

I haven't been keeping up with this story, I heard about it ages ago when it originally happened and only heard about it again now. The stories seem so different I didn't even know it was the same case at first.

Originally I heard about a racially motivated attack in which a white man shot a black boy who just went out to buy a packet of skittles. The story I'm hearing now is that Zimmerman was Half Mexican, Half Caucasian, after tailing Trayvon, who he thought was suspicious, for a while he gave up but was jumped back at his car and got his face beat in, called for help then eventually shot Trayvon when none came.

Anyone want to give me the rundown on what actually happened, since there seem to be so many conflicting stories.

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AlexW00d

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From I've read this Zimmerman fellow essentially stalked this young man and then shot him to death, to me (and the laws in my country) this is murder.

But of course, all I have to go on is secondary sources of info, so what I think isn't really based on much.

Jeff Green thinks its sickening that this man got away with it though, and I am inclined to side with him cause he's fuckin' Jeff Green.

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Nivash

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#18  Edited By Nivash

@petiew said:

I haven't been keeping up with this story, I heard about it ages ago when it originally happened and only heard about it again now. The stories seem so different I didn't even know it was the same case at first.

Originally I heard about a racially motivated attack in which a white man shot a black boy who just went out to buy a packet of skittles. The story I'm hearing now is that Zimmerman was Half Mexican, Half Caucasian, after tailing Trayvon, who he thought was suspicious, for a while he gave up but was jumped back at his car and got his face beat in, called for help then eventually shot Trayvon when none came.

Anyone want to give me the rundown on what actually happened, since there seem to be so many conflicting stories.

No-one knows. The only story we have is that which Zimmerman gave us seeing how Martin is, well, dead.

This we do know:

- Zimmerman spotted Martin from his car after the latter was returning to the house he was staying at in the same neighborhood.

- Zimmerman for reasons unknown to anyone but Zimmerman decided he was suspicious and thought he was involved in a series of break-ins in the neighborhood. It could be noted that Zimmerman was part of the neighborhood watch. He decided to call 911 and, against the advice of 911, to follow Martin in his car. He brought a firearm with him which goes against recommendations from the police for neighborhood watch members but is legal since he had a concealed carry license.

- At some point he exited his vehicle and followed Martin on foot, again against the advice of 911.

No-one except Zimmerman knows what happened after that but we know that it ended in Martin dead. If there was a scuffle Zimmerman might have suffered some very minor injuries although even this is unclear. There are no witnesses which means Zimmerman's story is unopposed.

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The_Laughing_Man

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@nivash said:

@petiew said:

I haven't been keeping up with this story, I heard about it ages ago when it originally happened and only heard about it again now. The stories seem so different I didn't even know it was the same case at first.

Originally I heard about a racially motivated attack in which a white man shot a black boy who just went out to buy a packet of skittles. The story I'm hearing now is that Zimmerman was Half Mexican, Half Caucasian, after tailing Trayvon, who he thought was suspicious, for a while he gave up but was jumped back at his car and got his face beat in, called for help then eventually shot Trayvon when none came.

Anyone want to give me the rundown on what actually happened, since there seem to be so many conflicting stories.

No-one knows. The only story we have is that which Zimmerman gave us seeing how Martin is, well, dead.

This we do know:

- Zimmerman spotted Martin from his car after the latter was returning to the house he was staying at in the same neighborhood.

- Zimmerman for reasons unknown to anyone but Zimmerman decided he was suspicious and thought he was involved in a series of break-ins in the neighborhood. It could be noted that Zimmerman was part of the neighborhood watch. He decided to call 911 and, against the advice of 911, to follow Martin in his car. He brought a firearm with him which goes against recommendations from the police for neighborhood watch members but is legal since he had a concealed carry license.

- At some point he exited his vehicle and followed Martin on foot, again against the advice of 911.

No-one except Zimmerman knows what happened after that but we know that it ended in Martin dead. If there was a scuffle Zimmerman might have suffered some very minor injuries although even this is unclear. There are no witnesses which means Zimmerman's story is unopposed.

Zimmerman also had a past record of aggressive stuff.

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Nivash

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#20  Edited By Nivash

@nivash said:

@petiew said:

I haven't been keeping up with this story, I heard about it ages ago when it originally happened and only heard about it again now. The stories seem so different I didn't even know it was the same case at first.

Originally I heard about a racially motivated attack in which a white man shot a black boy who just went out to buy a packet of skittles. The story I'm hearing now is that Zimmerman was Half Mexican, Half Caucasian, after tailing Trayvon, who he thought was suspicious, for a while he gave up but was jumped back at his car and got his face beat in, called for help then eventually shot Trayvon when none came.

Anyone want to give me the rundown on what actually happened, since there seem to be so many conflicting stories.

No-one knows. The only story we have is that which Zimmerman gave us seeing how Martin is, well, dead.

This we do know:

- Zimmerman spotted Martin from his car after the latter was returning to the house he was staying at in the same neighborhood.

- Zimmerman for reasons unknown to anyone but Zimmerman decided he was suspicious and thought he was involved in a series of break-ins in the neighborhood. It could be noted that Zimmerman was part of the neighborhood watch. He decided to call 911 and, against the advice of 911, to follow Martin in his car. He brought a firearm with him which goes against recommendations from the police for neighborhood watch members but is legal since he had a concealed carry license.

- At some point he exited his vehicle and followed Martin on foot, again against the advice of 911.

No-one except Zimmerman knows what happened after that but we know that it ended in Martin dead. If there was a scuffle Zimmerman might have suffered some very minor injuries although even this is unclear. There are no witnesses which means Zimmerman's story is unopposed.

Zimmerman also had a past record of aggressive stuff.

And he and his wife attempted to lower the bail by lying to the court, resulting in the wife being charged with perjury. And he has also behaved oddly regarding any feelings of guilt that would be expected in a man who ended up shooting a teenager that turned out to be completely innocent, stating in interviews that it was "God's plan".

All of this is circumstantial of course, although it does put Zimmerman's story of being a model citizen and a victim in a questionable light.

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BRich

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#21  Edited By BRich

@cale said:

I dunno because there's not enough evidence. Still, even if you have a gun, there's no need to shoot a person just because they are beating your ass down. I feel like he could have fought back or at least gotten the guy off of him if he really wanted to. I didn't experience it myself so I can't accurately imagine how he felt, but I know I have let sudden and intense emotions make me do regrettable things in the past. I wouldn't feel comfortable condemning the guy for life or anything, he's already had his life pretty much ruined by all of this.

Martin spotted his gun and went for it. He was already on top beating him from a dominant position. I don't think Zimmerman had any choice but to react and prevent his own death. He could have aimed for a non-lethal shot, but I don't think aiming even comes into a life-or-death instinctive reaction.

Still, fuck states with concealed carry laws.

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Subjugation

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#22  Edited By Subjugation

I wasn't on the jury so it isn't my call.

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#23  Edited By RonGalaxy

This argument is a one way street; if you've made up your mind about the situation, nothing can/will change it. Just let it go, or else the argument could turn nastier than it needs to be (I've seen it before).

The best thing to do is concede to having differing opinions and go on your merry way.

Edit: Also, this is in General Discussion when it should be in Off-Topic.

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@nivash: Thanks! I found the phone log between Zimmerman and the dispatch officer, looks like Zimmerman lost Martin and was supposed to wait for the police. But it seems like he might have found him later and decided to confront him when Martin was on the phone to his girlfriend. The injuries Zimmerman got were shown in a medical report though, 2 black eyes, a fractured nose and 2 lacerations to the back of his head, which were apparently caused by having his head bashed off of concrete 4 times.

Zimmerman's past behaviour does make him seem like less of a sympathetic victim, though the same could be said about Martin. I think it's best not to think of that stuff since it can really complicate the whole issue.

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EnduranceFun

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Hahaha, oh Giant Bomb community. You have no idea about how the law works, do you?

For once my faith in humanity was restored. There was no evidence that Zimmerman committed any crime in accordance with Florida law, the whole trial was a circus organised by race baiters and useful idiots. It would've been one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in American history if they convicted this clearly innocent man.

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JoeyRavn

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#26  Edited By JoeyRavn

I'm not American, and I haven't been following the case since it happened originally... My only opinion on this matter is that it's fucking ridiculous how easy is to get a gun in America. You guys are still following a law (or rather, an amendment) written 222 years ago. Insane.

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deactivated-60dda8699e35a

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@endurancefun said:

Hahaha, oh Giant Bomb community. You have no idea about how the law works, do you?

For once my faith in humanity was restored. There was no evidence that Zimmerman committed any crime in accordance with Florida law, the whole trial was a circus organised by race baiters and useful idiots. It would've been one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in American history if they convicted this clearly innocent man.

Said it better than I could have.

The media blew this WAY out of proportion, and was claiming that outright lies were facts, and they were even distorting the truth to try and make it so Zimmerman came out as a complete monster. I can guarantee you if that if this kid was any other race, this story wouldn't have exploded like it did. It's also a textbook example of why you shouldn't trust the media anymore. They try to go for the most sensational approach possible, and if that means lying and trying to make an innocent man out to be a murderer, they'll do it.

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People have really overestimated how much damage Trayvon did to Zimmerman. The key medical examiner stated that his injuries were "very insignificant".

The police also told him not to follow Trayvon, and he did anyway.

Finally, I think it's ridiculous that police did a toxicology and criminal baqckground check on Trayvon, but not the guy who shot him.

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BoFooQ

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I go with the jury, Also I am very pleased to see the the GB community hasn't gone batshit crazy like most of the idiots on tv or twitter. Hopefully this will now blow over and there aren't any riots or other over reactions. In a matter of a few days the media will move on to whatever the next thing is.

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Barrock

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#30  Edited By Barrock

He killed someone. That's about all I know.

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maginnovision

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The evidence they had apparently did not seem like enough for the jury to even convict him of manslaughter, so I have to assume they made the right call. Media really is just trying to say a white man killed a black man, white man is the devil. That's not how our system works, even though people seem to be thinking it is. Our system is not a rock paper scissors of races, where certain races trump others, it's a fucking system of proving guilt. If you can't do that, then a not guilty verdict is the only way to go. Supporters of either side should suck it up and realize we've been doing it this way for a long time. If somebody were there and SAW that Zimmerman defended himself would that make people think any differently? What about the other way around? People get too emotional, not looking at the facts, which our system is based on(or tries to be)

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audiosnow

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#32  Edited By audiosnow

Zimmerman should have stayed in his vehicle and not followed Martin, as directed by the dispatcher. But he still shot in self-defense.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/04/05/11045284-in-police-calls-zimmerman-mentioned-race-only-when-asked?lite

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:George_Zimmerman_front_of_head.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:George_Zimmerman_back_of_head.jpg

@brich Concealed-carry laws have little to no positive or negative effect on crime rates. The resultant crime statistic differences are negligible, or increases in one crime category are offset by decreases in another.

http://www.uwplatt.edu/~wiegmake/Intro_Files/CJ%20-%20paper%20example.pdf

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deactivated-5e49e9175da37

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@joeyravn said:

I'm not American, and I haven't been following the case since it happened originally... My only opinion on this matter is that it's fucking ridiculous how easy is to get a gun in America. You guys are still following a law (or rather, an amendment) written 222 years ago. Insane.

..? That they were written 222 years ago does not by nature of time make them deficient. They're still following a law written 222 years ago that says that the people will not fear arrest or execution based on their speech, I don't find that 'insane'.

Then again, it seems like the American government doesn't seem to think the 4th amendment is very important anymore, so maybe you're right. They haven't respected the 5th amendment for about a decade now. Yeah I guess you're right. Repeal the Bill of Rights.

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donutfever

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@maginnovision said:

The evidence they had apparently did not seem like enough for the jury to even convict him of manslaughter, so I have to assume they made the right call. Media really is just trying to say a white man killed a black man, white man is the devil. That's not how our system works, even though people seem to be thinking it is. Our system is not a rock paper scissors of races, where certain races trump others, it's a fucking system of proving guilt. If you can't do that, then a not guilty verdict is the only way to go. Supporters of either side should suck it up and realize we've been doing it this way for a long time. If somebody were there and SAW that Zimmerman defended himself would that make people think any differently? What about the other way around? People get too emotional, not looking at the facts, which our system is based on(or tries to be)

He pursued Trayvon. Not self-defense when you start a fight.

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@alexw00d: I wanna see if I can summarize everything in case anyone that hasn't been paying attention can get the real gist.

  1. Zimmerman is on his way to Target. Just about to exit the complex when he spots Treyvon entering. At this point I believe they noticed each other in some way and Zimmerman calls non emergency to get the cops to come out.
  2. As Treyvon is walking back home in the rain, He's using the house porches to cover himself from the rain. I think at this point Zimmerman mentions that Treyvon may be casing houses because he is so close to the sliding glass doors/ windows of the houses.
  3. Dispatch at one point asks Zimmerman if he can see what else the suspect is doing. At this point I believe Zimmerman can no longer follow Treyvon because he's moved far enough away from the streets.
  4. Zimmerman decide he wants to keep perusing a person who he thinks fits the description of one of the two guys who had broke into a home just weeks prior.
  5. The dispatcher recommends that he doesn't
  6. At this point Zimmerman may or may not have actually stopped persuit. He may have at least feigned it by saying he was then going to look for an address of a nearby house for the cops.
  7. Treyvon has been talking to his lady friend this whole time. At one point he admits to her that he thinks he's being followed and she tells him to run. He's supposed to be around less than a block away from home.
  8. For some reason he decides he's not going to run any longer and (this is where it gets iffy on what actually happened) confronts Zimmerman.
  9. Treyvon supposedly asks something like, "Do you have a problem?". Zimmerman says no and I think proceeds to pull out his phone.
  10. At this point Treyvon may or may no have said, "Now you do" and punched Zimmerman in the nose, knocking him to the ground.
  11. At this point witnesses hear scuffling outside and some investigate. Since it's dark and raining almost nobody can get a clear view of what's going on. Some witnesses say they see Treyvon on top, "raining down blows MMA style" while others see Zimmerman on top (though it sounds like they see him on top after the shot had been fired).
  12. There are reports of one of the men screaming for help but nobody knows for sure who it was.
  13. A single shot is fired. Screaming stops. At this point Zimmerman says he was able to get on top of Treyvon and keep him restrained.
  14. Soon after the cops show up and do their thing. A picture is taken at that time of Zimmermans face with bruised eyes a busted looking nose (that may or may not be broken) and cuts on the back of his head. Treyvon only having a scratch of some sort on one of his knuckles.
  15. Weeks later Treyvon Martins family are upset because nobody is charging Zimmerman and protests ensue.
  16. Politics are now involved and some people on the police force of various positions get fired.
  17. A charge of Murder 2 is forced on Zimmerman
  18. He's found not guilty of Murder 2.

I think that covers it okay. I hope I didn't leave anything out. I didn't really want to go over why he was found not guilty other than that the evidence just wasn't there. Now remember, he was charged with murder in the second degree which means he was supposed to have intent to kill. The prosecutor had no evidence to that effect. At the last second they try to throw in manslaughter after they've rested their case.

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godzilla_sushi

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The facts of the case are out there. Everyone likes to attach themselves to a side that they feel they identify with. The media was more than willing to exacerbate the case to get people fired up. We're suddenly exposed to this country wide boxing match between the prosecution and the defense over what are two shitty individuals.

George Zimmerman was patrolling his neighborhood because that's something a guy does when he has literally nothing to contribute to society. Dudes who patrol in the middle of the night probably aren't going to their engineering job at 5 AM the next day. Let alone the fact that he was probably sick of not getting any real action doing so.

Tray Tray was a little thug that gave the media the opportunity to skew. The news never shows the most recent pictures of Trayvon Martin because he looks like a gang banger. Instead they have that smiling picture from 6 years ago. They describe him as an "unarmed 17 year old boy" when physically he was a man. 17 year old men are not frumpy weak little things. As nature intended.... So he's doing literally nothing with his life either, just getting high with his friends.

The jury heard the evidence, the prosecution either fucked up royally or they didn't have much to begin with. And now, because America is still in love with civil rights "your a special unique person" and "our side deserves justice" some business owner in Oakland gets his windows broken into. All the while, the lead up to this verdict from the media has been "Don't riot. Ohhhh please don't riot. Tell everyone you know not to riot, especially not on Saturday night."

I mean, for goodness sake, Obama even inserted himself into the discussion. To what end? Nothing, literally nothing, good will have come from this entire thing. It just makes people angry, resentful, and ignorant.

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@joshwent said:

Where's the option for "I wasn't a part of the jury so I have no idea, nor does anyone else who wasn't there."

This. All of this. I don't have nearly enough information for myself to judge whether Zimmerman should have been declared guilty or innocent. Most everyone in this thread is lying if they don't say the same.

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@jams said:

@alexw00d: I wanna see if I can summarize everything in case anyone that hasn't been paying attention can get the real gist.

  1. Zimmerman is on his way to Target. Just about to exit the complex when he spots Treyvon entering. At this point I believe they noticed each other in some way and Zimmerman calls non emergency to get the cops to come out.
  2. As Treyvon is walking back home in the rain, He's using the house porches to cover himself from the rain. I think at this point Zimmerman mentions that Treyvon may be casing houses because he is so close to the sliding glass doors/ windows of the houses.
  3. Dispatch at one point asks Zimmerman if he can see what else the suspect is doing. At this point I believe Zimmerman can no longer follow Treyvon because he's moved far enough away from the streets.
  4. Zimmerman decide he wants to keep perusing a person who he thinks fits the description of one of the two guys who had broke into a home just weeks prior.
  5. The dispatcher recommends that he doesn't
  6. At this point Zimmerman may or may not have actually stopped persuit. He may have at least feigned it by saying he was then going to look for an address of a nearby house for the cops.
  7. Treyvon has been talking to his lady friend this whole time. At one point he admits to her that he thinks he's being followed and she tells him to run. He's supposed to be around less than a block away from home.
  8. For some reason he decides he's not going to run any longer and (this is where it gets iffy on what actually happened) confronts Zimmerman.
  9. Treyvon supposedly asks something like, "Do you have a problem?". Zimmerman says no and I think proceeds to pull out his phone.
  10. At this point Treyvon may or may no have said, "Now you do" and punched Zimmerman in the nose, knocking him to the ground.
  11. At this point witnesses hear scuffling outside and some investigate. Since it's dark and raining almost nobody can get a clear view of what's going on. Some witnesses say they see Treyvon on top, "raining down blows MMA style" while others see Zimmerman on top (though it sounds like they see him on top after the shot had been fired).
  12. There are reports of one of the men screaming for help but nobody knows for sure who it was.
  13. A single shot is fired. Screaming stops. At this point Zimmerman says he was able to get on top of Treyvon and keep him restrained.
  14. Soon after the cops show up and do their thing. A picture is taken at that time of Zimmermans face with bruised eyes a busted looking nose (that may or may not be broken) and cuts on the back of his head. Treyvon only having a scratch of some sort on one of his knuckles.
  15. Weeks later Treyvon Martins family are upset because nobody is charging Zimmerman and protests ensue.
  16. Politics are now involved and some people on the police force of various positions get fired.
  17. A charge of Murder 2 is forced on Zimmerman
  18. He's found not guilty of Murder 2.

I think that covers it okay. I hope I didn't leave anything out. I didn't really want to go over why he was found not guilty other than that the evidence just wasn't there. Now remember, he was charged with murder in the second degree which means he was supposed to have intent to kill. The prosecutor had no evidence to that effect. At the last second they try to throw in manslaughter after they've rested their case.

Other than the fact that Zimmerman shot Trayvon. That does not happen through accident or recklessness, it MUST be intentional.

The only part in your timeline that I doubt is 10. You don't go from running in fear from somebody to starting a fight with them, especially when there's the size advantage.

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If you can chase someone, have a gun on you, get into a fight with and ultimately shoot that person dead, and come out of it all with no legal repercussions, someone fucked up.

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@donutfever:

There is no evidence he started a fight. He thought he was doing the right thing by keeping an eye on someone he thought was suspicious, even if 911 told him not to. Chances are having a gun made him feel braver than he really was which is why he decided to ignore the advice(unless you're an on duty officer they would tell you not to, because it's dangerous and they could be liable for telling you to go for it), and when the fight started (whatever started it)he panicked. What are you going to do when you're panicking, scared, and have a gun? Depending on how scared, and how much you're panicking you'll shoot. In the middle of a fight, and by looking at his pictures I'm going to assume he wasn't used to being in fights, he wasn't able to actually aim. I mean he shot him IN THE HEART and then got on top of him thinking he finally got the upper hand. He shouldn't have been carrying a gun, he shouldn't have followed him, but that doesn't mean he was doing it with the intention of killing him. Manslaughter might have worked, but they threw that in there when they realized murder 2 would never happen. In the end, the jury heard everything that was known, and decided that murder 2 didn't work, and for whatever reason they didn't like manslaughter. There is nothing wrong with this verdict even if Zimmerman being reckless eventually caused the death, because that's not what he was on trial for. Hell if his family is really upset I'm sure they'll go the OJ route and pursue a civil case to make sure his life is over. Only thing better than one life ending is two I guess.

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Manslaughter I imagine; evidence wasn't strong though either way and guy doesn't seem to be a vindictive monster or anything; but he still killed a dude for no particular reason. Said dude might not have been a saint but being an idiot isn't exactly cause for getting shot.

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#42  Edited By EnduranceFun

@theht: Um, chase? There is no law against following someone. Nor is illegal to carry a firearm. Multiple witnesses who saw the fight said it was Trayvon on top punching Zimmerman in the face until the gunshot. There has been no evidence that Trayvon had any bodily injuries besides the gunshot wound and you can bet the prosecution would've presented it if the evidence existed.

No legal repercussions, huh? Besides the nationally-televised and incredibly damaging trial. All for naught, as there was no case in the first place and this should not have gone to trial.

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Do I think Martin was racially profiled? Probably, though that doesn't make Zimmerman a racist.

Do I think that Zimmerman instigated a conflict by making a lot of assumptions about Martin? Probably.

Do I think Zimmerman went into that alley only because he knew he had a gun on him? Yep

So, despite the numerous inconsistencies and outright falsehoods in Zimmerman's story...

The problem is that there was never any way for the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman didn't act in self defense. Nobody other than Z and the dead kid knows what really happened and one isn't there to tell his side of the story. Zimmerman will be a social pariah for the rest of his life though, so I suppose that is quite a punishment in and of itself.

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#44  Edited By Pvtporter

@joshwent: That is probably the most intelligent thing I've read in relation to this case since it went to trial.

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you know, the title of this thread, could be a cards against humanity card

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@jams: Thank you, I was not following the Zimmerman case too closely and this helps. Before the jury started deliberating my money was on Zimmerman going free with an equal chance of manslaughter. This is mainly because prosecution had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman essentially knew he was likely to kill Martin (this is a generalization given how wonky FA defines 2nd Degree Murder). I simply didn't think the evidence was there to convince a jury that Zimmerman had the intent to kill during whatever happened that day.

Now for the Manslaughter charge, it really did boil down whether or not the jury bought Zimmerman's self defense claim. Here, Zimmerman had to show by preponderance of the evidence that he acted in reasonable self defense. As there was evidence for both sides of the story, this really comes down to who the jury was and how deliberations for them went.

Now even though Zimmerman is not found guilty for these charges, he is by no means a free man. The media and certain social circles have essentially marked him as a murderer. He will need to watch his back from this point forward. The crowd reaction shows that Zimmerman will likely be in a constant state of paranoia in case somebody disregards the law, and takes what they believe is justice into their own hands.

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Manslaughter I imagine; evidence wasn't strong though either way and guy doesn't seem to be a vindictive monster or anything; but he still killed a dude for no particular reason. Said dude might not have been a saint but being an idiot isn't exactly cause for getting shot.

yep.

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@animasta said:

@fredchuckdave said:

Manslaughter I imagine; evidence wasn't strong though either way and guy doesn't seem to be a vindictive monster or anything; but he still killed a dude for no particular reason. Said dude might not have been a saint but being an idiot isn't exactly cause for getting shot.

yep.

No particular reason = getting beaten in the face while screaming for your life, got it.

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@jams said:

@alexw00d: I wanna see if I can summarize everything in case anyone that hasn't been paying attention can get the real gist.

  1. Zimmerman is on his way to Target. Just about to exit the complex when he spots Treyvon entering. At this point I believe they noticed each other in some way and Zimmerman calls non emergency to get the cops to come out.
  2. As Treyvon is walking back home in the rain, He's using the house porches to cover himself from the rain. I think at this point Zimmerman mentions that Treyvon may be casing houses because he is so close to the sliding glass doors/ windows of the houses.
  3. Dispatch at one point asks Zimmerman if he can see what else the suspect is doing. At this point I believe Zimmerman can no longer follow Treyvon because he's moved far enough away from the streets.
  4. Zimmerman decide he wants to keep perusing a person who he thinks fits the description of one of the two guys who had broke into a home just weeks prior.
  5. The dispatcher recommends that he doesn't
  6. At this point Zimmerman may or may not have actually stopped persuit. He may have at least feigned it by saying he was then going to look for an address of a nearby house for the cops.
  7. Treyvon has been talking to his lady friend this whole time. At one point he admits to her that he thinks he's being followed and she tells him to run. He's supposed to be around less than a block away from home.
  8. For some reason he decides he's not going to run any longer and (this is where it gets iffy on what actually happened) confronts Zimmerman.
  9. Treyvon supposedly asks something like, "Do you have a problem?". Zimmerman says no and I think proceeds to pull out his phone.
  10. At this point Treyvon may or may no have said, "Now you do" and punched Zimmerman in the nose, knocking him to the ground.
  11. At this point witnesses hear scuffling outside and some investigate. Since it's dark and raining almost nobody can get a clear view of what's going on. Some witnesses say they see Treyvon on top, "raining down blows MMA style" while others see Zimmerman on top (though it sounds like they see him on top after the shot had been fired).
  12. There are reports of one of the men screaming for help but nobody knows for sure who it was.
  13. A single shot is fired. Screaming stops. At this point Zimmerman says he was able to get on top of Treyvon and keep him restrained.
  14. Soon after the cops show up and do their thing. A picture is taken at that time of Zimmermans face with bruised eyes a busted looking nose (that may or may not be broken) and cuts on the back of his head. Treyvon only having a scratch of some sort on one of his knuckles.
  15. Weeks later Treyvon Martins family are upset because nobody is charging Zimmerman and protests ensue.
  16. Politics are now involved and some people on the police force of various positions get fired.
  17. A charge of Murder 2 is forced on Zimmerman
  18. He's found not guilty of Murder 2.

I think that covers it okay. I hope I didn't leave anything out. I didn't really want to go over why he was found not guilty other than that the evidence just wasn't there. Now remember, he was charged with murder in the second degree which means he was supposed to have intent to kill. The prosecutor had no evidence to that effect. At the last second they try to throw in manslaughter after they've rested their case.

Other than the fact that Zimmerman shot Trayvon. That does not happen through accident or recklessness, it MUST be intentional.

The only part in your timeline that I doubt is 10. You don't go from running in fear from somebody to starting a fight with them, especially when there's the size advantage.

Please dont try and make actions people will take as absolutes. It's really easy to say what you would do in a situation when you are not actually in the situation. I am not siding either way on this case, I just think people arguments are really weak when they try and say what someone would and wouldn't do in a situation.