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Trayvon Martin and the Irony of American Justice - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic


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This was the job given to the state of Florida. I have seen nothing within the actual case presented by the prosecution that would allow for a stable and unvacillating belief that George Zimmerman was guilty.

That conclusion should not offer you security or comfort. It should not leave you secure in the wisdom of our laws. On the contrary, it should greatly trouble you. But if you are simply focusing on what happened in the court-room, then you have been head-faked by history and bought into a idea of fairness which can not possibly exist.

The injustice inherent in the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman was not authored by a jury given a weak case. The jury's performance may be the least disturbing aspect of this entire affair. The injustice was authored by a country which has taken as its policy, for the lionshare of its history, to erect a pariah class. The killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is not an error in programming. It is the correct result of forces we set in motion years ago and have done very little to arrest.

There's only one thing left for America to do. Call in Bugs Bunny!

Bugs Bunny saws Florida off gif Imgur

In all seriousness, the problem is Florida's law.

Florida needs to change its overly permissive stance on what constitutes "self defense".

Ha ha.  But seriously, I exhort everyone to read the full article here:  http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/07/trayvon-martin-and-the-irony-of-american-justice/277782/

It doesn't give me comfort... because, from too-frequent direct observation, this is the type of flimsy case that prosecutors way-too-frequently present to juries. It is only because defendants cannot afford decent representation that they usually get convicted. 

If everyone had the defense that George Zimmerman had, most people would go free?

The full article is very good, Geege.

I still blame Florida's laws for encouraging people to defend themselves from unarmed people.

An unarmed person that told him "you are going to die tonight m*****f****r" and then continued to bash his head into the concrete.   That's called attempted murder in all 50 states.  You are saying a person doesn't have the right to defend themselves in that situation?  Is he just supposed to pretend what he heard was a joke? 

I'm saying that because there were no witnesses there's no way to know if his story is true.

What we do know is that the kid was unarmed and that the police told him to get out of there.

Instead, he stayed and killed the kid. And Florida law considers that to be self defense.

there's enough question there for reasonable doubt.

There's reasonable doubt on all sides, it's true.

The main question is whether a person is allowed to shoot an unarmed person in the name of defense.

Florida says it's okay. I disagree.

A person who is armed bears a responsibility to be cautious, not reckless.  Reasonable doubt for murder 2 and manslaughter, but what about reckless endangerment? 

It depends on the actual order of events... Being armed is an aggravating element.  If he accosted the boy, then that's Aggravated Assault by definition and self defense can't apply, even under FL law, according to the article's blockquote. If Martin ambush attacked Zimmerman while screaming an intent to murder, then the right to self defense is absolute by any means available.  The fact that neither order of events can be definitively determined means there's reasonable doubt.

Right, the lack of witnesses really means anything could have happened.

There's just no way to know.

As for whether Zimmerman feels guilty, that's between him and his God.

And perhaps his book deal, if he gets one.

There will still be a civil trial as well to financially compensate the family of the boy he killed.

OJ Simpson may have avoided jail in the criminal trial, but the civil trial really took away his wealth.

Big difference btw OJ and Zim... Zimmerman was found not guilty by reason of self-defense... Successful affirmative defenses are far more likely to pass the gambit in a civil trial.

True that.

Florida State Attorney, Angela Corey, was interviewed on HLN last night.  When asked to describe Zimmerman in one word, she said "murderer".  She said Martin was his "prey".  WOW!!!! 

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