(Revised)Despite the suggestive media spin to the contrary I think it’s looking worse for George Zimmerman.
What does the newly released evidence suggest? First of all, if the defense even tries to toss-over the yellow journalists’ character evidence as to the days-old residue of THC in Mr. Martin’s body they risk some pretty serious blowback from the jury. Twelve reasonable people will probably not like such cheap insults to their intelligence. However, the presence of drugs flowing through the veins of the gun-wielding Zimmerman is a very different matter.But to me, on these facts, it is still a no-brainer. Arguably Travon did exactly what I’d hope any sensible 17 year old would do in the circumstances as we know them so far. A skinny black kid walking down the street minding his own business, not loafing, perfect legal right to be where he was, and walking purposefully from one place to another: Store to home.
Put yourself in his shoes. It’s night. You know this neighborhood. You have friends who live here. Your own family live near here. Since it is ‘gated’ you presume it to be safe. A sense of safety may well be why you are even here. You know (presume, hope!) others are watching out. You are no stranger to this place. Safety may be why you take this route.You are clearly engaged on no imminent act of forceful criminality. Remember! Stop and think before you swallow media spin. This law is clear and it does not allow any trumped-up self-serving excuse of subjective suspicion to suffice as an excuse to kill another person who is doing no harm.
So you are coming from the store and, suddenly, a burly Latino in a truck pulls over and gets out and comes towards you. Shit! First thing I’d hope any street-wise kid would do is put his hand in his pocket or waste-band to give his aggressor the impression he might be able to defend himself. If the kid is really smart enough to think he might reach for his cell phone to make a record.Wasn’t his girl friend’s father’s house just yards away? Was he running from Zimmerman to seek sanctuary? One thing we do know is that he was trying to stay the hell away from George Zimmerman.
In any event Zimmerman kept on coming. The next smart thing Trayvon did was turn and walk away! Wise choice I’d say. Get the hell away from this guy! But Zimmerman still kept on coming. When he finally overtook Trayon it appears it happened exactly as I suspected. (‘What do you want? You got a problem? Get away from me. Don’t bother me. Go away! Leave me the fuck alone! I am minding my own business! I am not bothering you so don’t bother me fucker! Back off! Go away! You are not a cop. I don’t know who the fuck you are.)What the evidence suggests is that, arguably, Trayvon had no choice but to stand his ground against an advancing aggressor and fight for his life where he reasonably believed Zimmerman posed a serious threat of great bodily harm. Who appears to have been engaged in an imminent act of forceful violence? George Zimmerman. Indeed, he did kill Trayvon Martin. And we now see chilling evidence of how desperately Trayvon fought for his life.
What? You are going to now prosecute Trayvon Martin posthumously for asserting his right to equal protection of ths same law? Really? Well now, that’s a cynical manipulation of the law if I ever saw one. Sorry, but I don not think that argument can withstand to much scrutiny. It is not that easy to pull the wool over the eyes of twelve reasonable people.OBVIOUSLY any reasonable kid like Trayvon would reasonably fear great bodily harm or death. Wouldn’t you if a (according to this police report) a 5' 8" 185 pound latino pulled his truck over on a dark rainy night and jumped out and came towards you while he’s on a cell phone?! Wouldn’t you reasonably fear great bodily harm if you walked away and he kept coming at you? Come on. This is easy. Be reasonable.
This evidence strongly suggests, as I have argued here and here and here that Trayvon Martin and only Trayvon Martin had the legal right to stand his ground and meet force with force in the reasonable belief that Zimmerman posed a serious threat of great bodily harm. After all, again, who was, who proved to be more capable of deadly force and was ready to use it!?
It appears that Trayvon Martin fought desperately to take down his aggressor and once he had him down (if that’s what happened) he fought make sure Zimmerman could not get the fuck back up! Wouldn’t you? Frankly he seems to have behaved exactly the way I’d hope any sensible kid would behave in such circumstances. Avoid confrontation. Don’t go looking for trouble. WALK AWAY if it comes after you! But if an aggressor overtakes you then stand your ground and turn and fight for your life! And if you can get him down then you better make sure you keep him down and incapacitate him so he can’t get up. Stand your ground!Imagine if an aggressor came after you as you are walking down the street minding your own business and he still kept coming after you when you walked away and you finally had to turn and fight back. If your aggressor (a mugger or basher for all you know) then pulled out a gun and shot you almost point-blank in the chest can he really claim he was only defending himself? Hell no he can’t! Not when you are the one standing your ground against an obviously dangerous aggressor. Isn’t Zimmerman’s defense just as disingenuous as a rapist who blames his victim for tempting him?
Understand this law. Respect it. Demand it’s enforcement in letter and spirit: as it is written and for the purpose the legislature enacted it: so Trayvon Martin can Stand his ground against arguably illegal aggressors like George Zimmerman and use any force necessary to bring him down and keep him down. Again, this is Trayvon’s law not George Zimmerman’s.Do not trash this law. Understand what this law says and why it was enacted. It was wisely enacted so people like Trayvon Martin, who reasonably feared great bodily harm or as here, death in fact!, would have the legal right to stand their ground and take down an aggressor by any means necessary. Wouldn’t you want that right? At least on the facts as we know them so far this seems a no-brainer. This law is Trayvon Martin’s law. It was enacted for people like him to stand their ground.
Criminal defendants almost never take the witness stand. But here I think Zimmerman may have to because, no matter how strongly the judge instructs and admonishes the jury, this is all about Zimmerman’s claim of self defense. Despite admonishments from the bench any juror might rightly think: ‘Look me square in the eye and tell me exactly what you claim happened. I want it eyeball to eyeball and from your own lips.’So far I have seen no facts to even suggest George Zimmerman was standing his ground as this law describes it. It appears he was not a threatened victim but the aggressor. The law was not enacted to protect an aggressor. Indeed, all the facts I have seen so far suggest that only Trayvon Martin was standing his ground. Jurors are not fools. They want to see evidence. They will have questions for Zimmerman and if he does not explain himself I doubt they will have any reasonable doubts as to his guilt. They are not just going to take his word for it. We shall see about all that.
Intent to kill? Come on. When you pull a gun and shoot a kid in the chest you intend to kill him. We are all deemed to intend the probable and foreseeable consequences of our acts. E.g., You can’t drive 80 mph in a school zone and claim you did not intend to kill the child you hit. The law will not accept such disingenuous defenses.During this trial we are going to hear, and hear, and hear, and hear that desperate screeching voice crying out for help. Someone was clearly, desperately, fighting for their life. Unless Zimmerman’s voice is that of 17 year old child all this evidence so far suggests it is not looking good for George Zimmerman.
The facts tell a story. And remember we still do not have all the facts. Each side will use the facts to tell their own version of the story. The jurors must examine the credibility and relevance of each of the facts of which they are the final arbiters of fact. They then must apply those facts to the law to reach a verdict. All must agree. No reasonable doubts. The burden is justly enormous.On the facts I have seen thus far the prosecution has a rather strong case-in-chief showing that:
(1) The moment George Zimmerman (packing a semi-automatic weapon) left his truck and took after Trayvon Martin, who no one can yet reasonably believe was forcefully breaking any law, Zimmerman forfeited this statutory defense according to its own plain language. And,
(2) It was Trayvon Martin, and only Trayvon Martin, who had every legal right to stand his ground and bring down an aggressor by any means necessary.It appears Trayvon Martin was murdered in the act of exercising the very legal right George Zimmerman seeks to strip him of and then falsely claim for himself. Zimmerman has stripped the young Mr. Martin of his life and I seriously doubt twelve reasonable people will now strip him of the law and his best legal defense against Zimmerman. Again, Zimmerman’s sword is Trayvon Martin’s shield. The question is wether twelve reasonable people will agree.
Francois ArouetCopyright © 2012