Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby columbia on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:01 pm

Shyster wrote:The various grades of homicide are typically differentiated by the intent of the person doing the killing. If you act with the specific intent to kill someone, that is typically murder. Murder often includes actions taking with reckless indifference to life (often referred to as “depraved heart”), such as firing a gun into a crowd of people. Manslaughter is the killing of another human being as a result of culpable negligence. In other words, it applies when you didn’t intend to kill anyone but you did something that you should have known could or would result in death and it in fact caused a death.


Where does chasing after someone, while armed, fit into that?
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby shafnutz05 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:12 pm

columbia wrote:Where does chasing after someone, while armed, fit into that?


In the following scenario:

"Excuse me sir, what are you doing here"

**kid walks faster away**

"Excuse me, what are you doing in this neighborhood."

**kid continues to walk away**

*Zimmerman picks up speed, Martin panics for some reason and turns around, jumps him, and starts smashing his head into the pavement*.

Again, I am not going to defend the idea of deputizing neighborhood watch officers (although I think Neighborhood Watch in general is a good idea). HOWEVER, if homes had recently been burglarized and Martin was slinking through neighborhoods, Zimmerman had a right to check him out. From all accounts, it was MARTIN that initiated the physical confrontation.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby shafnutz05 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:23 pm

To add, and suddenly this is becoming a topic of conversation...what if Martin noticed Zimmerman's gun and tried to grab it?

The kid has had his picture taken holding illegal firearms before, not that Zimmerman knew that.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Shyster on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:24 pm

columbia wrote:Where does chasing after someone, while armed, fit into that?

I don’t think it does. The level of negligence for something like this is very high, typically something along the lines of “the defendant acted in a way such that no reasonable person could possibly have acted in that way under those circumstances.” I don’t think merely following someone would qualify.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby ExPatriatePen on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:24 pm

shafnutz05 wrote:
columbia wrote:Where does chasing after someone, while armed, fit into that?


In the following scenario:

"Excuse me sir, what are you doing here"

**kid walks faster away**

"Excuse me, what are you doing in this neighborhood."

**kid continues to walk away**

*Zimmerman picks up speed, Martin panics for some reason and turns around, jumps him, and starts smashing his head into the pavement*.

Again, I am not going to defend the idea of deputizing neighborhood watch officers (although I think Neighborhood Watch in general is a good idea). HOWEVER, if homes had recently been burglarized and Martin was slinking through neighborhoods, Zimmerman had a right to check him out. From all accounts, it was MARTIN that initiated the physical confrontation.


*** Kid says "I'm visiting my aunt and uncle right up the street you stupid cracker-azz" "You wanna walk with me and check it out &^*%-head"? ***

Same outcome? I doubt it.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby MWB on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:30 pm

shafnutz05 wrote:
columbia wrote:Where does chasing after someone, while armed, fit into that?


In the following scenario:

"Excuse me sir, what are you doing here"

**kid walks faster away**

"Excuse me, what are you doing in this neighborhood."

**kid continues to walk away**

*Zimmerman picks up speed, Martin panics for some reason and turns around, jumps him, and starts smashing his head into the pavement*.

Again, I am not going to defend the idea of deputizing neighborhood watch officers (although I think Neighborhood Watch in general is a good idea). HOWEVER, if homes had recently been burglarized and Martin was slinking through neighborhoods, Zimmerman had a right to check him out. From all accounts, it was MARTIN that initiated the physical confrontation.


Neighborhood watch generally means just what it says. You help watch over the neighborhood. Call authorities if needed. Not take it into your own hands, which is what you do when you pursue or question someone.

I get what you're saying, and it certainly could have gone down like that. The question will always be, who became unreasonable.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Hockeynut! on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:30 pm

shafnutz05 wrote:
columbia wrote:Where does chasing after someone, while armed, fit into that?


In the following scenario:

"Excuse me sir, what are you doing here"

**kid walks faster away**

"Excuse me, what are you doing in this neighborhood."

**kid continues to walk away**

*Zimmerman picks up speed, Martin panics for some reason and turns around, jumps him, and starts smashing his head into the pavement*.

Again, I am not going to defend the idea of deputizing neighborhood watch officers (although I think Neighborhood Watch in general is a good idea). HOWEVER, if homes had recently been burglarized and Martin was slinking through neighborhoods, Zimmerman had a right to check him out. From all accounts, it was MARTIN that initiated the physical confrontation.


Wouldn't a teen being followed by an adult male who is also armed (and not a law enforcement official) have the right to feel endangered in that situation? Not saying Zimmerman is guilty of murder, but I know it I'd have been in Martin's shoes at that age, I definitely would have been more than a little freaked out.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby ExPatriatePen on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:33 pm

Hockeynut! wrote:
Wouldn't a teen being followed by an adult male who is also armed (and not a law enforcement official) have the right to feel endangered in that situation? Not saying Zimmerman is guilty of murder, but I know it I'd have been in Martin's shoes at that age, I definitely would have been more than a little freaked out.


You think Martin knew Zimmerman was armed before the confrontation? :shock:
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby tifosi77 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:39 pm

Firebird wrote:
tifosi77 wrote:
Firebird wrote:This never would've made it to trial if the police released the photo's of a beat up Zimmerman, as opposed to waiting 2 months.

The police didn't actually have any pictures of 'beat up' Zimmerman. The only photos taken at the scene were shot by a neighbor, the cops never got a picture of Zimmerman's wounds before they were cleaned up by the EMT.


They showed photos in court taken in the police station with dried up blood on the back of his head, right?

Also, I'm sure the neighbor showed his photo some where soon after the shooting. They chose not to share it.

But the station photos with the dried blood present a considerably less compelling case for Zimmerman being reasonably fearful for his life or of being in danger of grievous bodily harm. (The wounds didn't even need stitches, fwiw) I think the neighbor's photos only came to light through the pre-trial discovery process, not the police investigation. (Could be wrong on that, but I seem to recall reading that in the last week or so)

The point there being that the police's inaction on the night of the incident could have made it harder for Zimmerman to claim self-defense than it maybe needed to be. And it may have also had the knock on effect of also making the prosecution's job more difficult by not properly documenting the crime scene.

Shyster wrote:I don’t think merely following someone would qualify.

I have to call a bit of BS on that.

1) He had placed a 911 call because he deemed TM to be suspicious, therefore he was - by his own estimation - following a prospective criminal, who may or may not be armed themselves;

2) Zimmerman was not 'merely following' anyone, he was providing information to 911 on the person's movements;

3) As the 911 call wore on, he ignored the 911 dispatch operator's words about not following the person, and lied to police when questioned about it.

Everything about his actions indicate that he was attempting to assist in 'apprehending' Martin. Which at best can be described as foolhardy.

Given all of that, in a similar situation, who among us here would have chosen to follow the person on foot? I've been in broadly similar situations, but with the key difference of knowing who I was following and having a more complete understanding of the potential risks I was exposing myself to by pressing on. Zimmerman was ignorant of the situation, yet chose to move on foot in the dark during a rain storm to follow someone he was told to stop following, who - by his own estimation - was a likely criminal.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby MWB on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:40 pm

If we're going to go through the different scenarios of what was said, couldn't it just have easily been something like this:

Zimmerman: Fine young sir, what are you doing here?
Martin: keeps walking
Zimmerman: catching up... I asked you what you're doing here.
Martin: Leave me alone.
Zimmerman: closing in... Listen punk, I wanna know why you're here.
Martin: None of your business. Get outta here.
Zimmerman: moving in front of Martin... A*******, I asked you why you're here. You don't have any business here and I'm sick of you guys running around this neighborhood.
Martin: Leave me alone.
Zimmerman: Tell me why you're here or I'll make you tell me, scumbag.

Scuffle ensues.
Last edited by MWB on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby shafnutz05 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:41 pm

I'm not even trying to be a jerk, but you should have been a screenwriter for the Dirty Harry series :lol:
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby MWB on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:42 pm

shafnutz05 wrote:I'm not even trying to be a jerk, but you should have been a screenwriter for the Dirty Harry series :lol:


What do you think I do during the summer?
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Hockeynut! on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:43 pm

Well, we don't really know what started the altercation, do we? Maybe Zimmerman grabbed him. Maybe Martin didn't know there was a gun and decided to jump the old dude who was hassling him. We'll never know.

When I was 19, I was stopped in an alley by a parole officer who started to question me - asking my name, address, etc. I was really freaked out even though I was doing nothing wrong. He told me I looked just like one of his cases who hadn't checked in at a scheduled time. He kept it up for about 10 minutes before he eventually let me go after scrutinizing my license and checking for a tattoo, but I felt very unsafe with the way he was talking to and treating me. And I was an adult. :lol:
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby shafnutz05 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:44 pm

The "fine young sir" part is the essence of the piece. It illustrates the raging dichotomy between the proper, refined Zimmerman that enjoyed a blue-blood upbringing, and the brash, prone-to-violence personality he has acquired since joining the beat to avenge his philanthropist uncle.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby MWB on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:49 pm

shafnutz05 wrote:The "fine young sir" part is the essence of the piece. It illustrates the raging dichotomy between the proper, refined Zimmerman that enjoyed a blue-blood upbringing, and the brash, prone-to-violence personality he has acquired since joining the beat to avenge his philanthropist uncle.


Exactly what I was going for. Glad you can appreciate it.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Shyster on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:55 pm

tifosi77 wrote:
Shyster wrote:I don’t think merely following someone would qualify.

I have to call a bit of BS on that.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe according to Zimmerman's narrative of what happened, he was returning to his truck when Martin appeared and confronted him.

And I think you recognize that something foolhardy does not rise to the level of gross negligence typically required to support a manslaughter charge.

For the record, I believe this is the official Florida jury instruction for the level of behavior—culpable negligence—necessary to support a manslaughter conviction. The judge would be the one speaking:
I will now define "culpable negligence" for you. Each of us has a duty to act reasonably toward others. If there is a violation of that duty, without any conscious intention to harm, that violation is negligence. But culpable negligence is more than a failure to use ordinary care toward others. In order for negligence to be culpable, it must be gross and flagrant. Culpable negligence is a course of conduct showing reckless disregard of human life, or of the safety of persons exposed to its dangerous effects, or such an entire want of care as to raise a presumption of a conscious indifference to consequences, or which shows wantonness or recklessness, or a grossly careless disregard for the safety and welfare of the public, or such an indifference to the rights of others as is equivalent to an intentional violation of such rights.

The negligent act or omission must have been committed with an utter disregard for the safety of others. Culpable negligence is consciously doing an act or following a course of conduct that the defendant must have known, or reasonably should have known, was likely to cause death or great bodily injury.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby tifosi77 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:53 pm

First, I want to apologize if the "I cal BS" bit came off as improper. That was not my intent, but reading it back in the quoted bit above, it certainly looks rude.

Second, I think drawing a distinction between the outbound part of following Martin and inbound part is unimportant to the facts. GZ wouldn't have been in a position to return to his truck if he hadn't gotten out of it in the first place. And it is that action - getting out of his truck - that put everything else into motion for the following 30 seconds or whatever. "I should not be charged with breaking and entering, Mr Policeman, because when you arrested me I was on my way out of the house. There is no crime for breaking and exiting."

Third, your jury instruction is only for part of the FL rules covering manslaughter; that particular instruction only applies in the specific cases of culpable negligence. If the defendant is found guilty on a charge of intentionally committing an act or acts that caused the death of the victim, culpable negligence need not apply. The instruction in that case reads: "In order to convict of manslaughter by act, it is not necessary for the State to prove that the defendant had an intent to cause death, only an intent to commit an act that was not merely negligent, justified, or excusable and which caused death."

So while Murder 2 is a reach, to me this is a case of Category 2 Manslaughter (Aggravated Assault) §§ 782.07, 784.021, Fla.Stat. The only point where it might falter the four-pronged test is in proving GZ initiated the confrontation in a way that illustrates he intentionally threatened TM with violence. I'm not 100% sure that's what happened here, but it darn sure wasn't Murder 2.

One of the reasons why I go with agg. assault is because it still hasn't been made clear to me if GZ had the legal authority to be where he was when the confrontation with TM happened. It seems as if it was in a public walkway through the housing development, but I'm still unsure. (One of the tenets of stand-your-ground is being where you are lawfully; GZ waived his right to a pre-trial hearing to determine if SYG applied, which could have ended this case a month ago if the judge ruled in his favor. The defense could invoke SYG later, of course, and there are myriad tactical reasons why you might forego the pre-trial SYG, namely keeping the defendant off the stand. It's just one of those questions that doesn't quite go away for me.)
Last edited by tifosi77 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby itissteeltime on Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:17 am

anybody watching this skype fiasco?
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby shoeshine boy on Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:40 pm

lol! how pathetic that people do that just to see their name pop up on the TV! LOOOOOSERSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby ExPatriatePen on Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:42 pm

And that surprises anyone here? Given the size of the pool of potential idiots, I'm surprised the screen wasn't hacked any GUILTY wasn't displayed as a screen saver.

Hmmmmm, that gives me an idea. :)
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby newarenanow on Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:28 pm

itissteeltime wrote:anybody watching this skype fiasco?


What's going on with that?
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Idoit40fans on Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:31 pm

what is the skype fiasco? Is Kenny Melvin on there or something?
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Shyster on Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:40 pm

tifosi77 wrote:First, I want to apologize if the "I cal BS" bit came off as improper. That was not my intent, but reading it back in the quoted bit above, it certainly looks rude.

No problem. It was not taken as rude.

Third, your jury instruction is only for part of the FL rules covering manslaughter; that particular instruction only applies in the specific cases of culpable negligence. If the defendant is found guilty on a charge of intentionally committing an act or acts that caused the death of the victim, culpable negligence need not apply. The instruction in that case reads: "In order to convict of manslaughter by act, it is not necessary for the State to prove that the defendant had an intent to cause death, only an intent to commit an act that was not merely negligent, justified, or excusable and which caused death."

But in that case, the act itself must be something that is not merely negligent, but rather wanton, careless, or grossly negligent. In addition, the specific instruction you are referring to—2(a)—apparently applies only of manslaughter is being included as a lesser included offense to first-degree murder: "Give only if 2a alleged and proved, and manslaughter is being defined as a lesser included offense of first degree premeditated murder." This instruction will not possibly be given in this case.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby count2infinity on Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:43 pm

I really don't understand some of the moves by the prosecution. They just went over all the stains on Zimmerman's shirt the night of the incident. All of them were the blood of Zimmerman, none matched Martin. Why would they present that evidence? Makes no sense, unless they're trying to show that Martin was not on top of Zimmerman when Zimmerman shot as there would clearly be blood from Martin on Zimmerman's shirt.
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Re: Shooting Reignites Racial Questions

Postby Shyster on Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:43 pm

Idoit40fans wrote:what is the skype fiasco? Is Kenny Melvin on there or something?

A witness was testifying remotely over Skype. Morons watching the trial could figure out the Skype username of the witness, so the connection was promptly bombarded with incoming calls, each of which created a pop-up on the screen.
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