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Brief Update on the Zimmerman Case

Dave Kopel has an excellent summary of Florida’s stand your ground law, and how it’s not relevant in the Trayvon Martin case, no matter which narrative you believe.

A forensics firm has taken the 911 audio that’s been released and analyzed them, and determined the screaming voice was not George Zimmerman’s. The guy who did the analysis is credentialed. That said, I’m skeptical of a lot of this CSI stuff, after so much of it that was accepted as scientific was later proven to be based on junk science. Phones and walls acts as filters for audio signals. If I’m on the jury, they need to show me, using the same methods, how much the scream correlated to Martin’s voice before I’ll accept it. Keep in mind there was an eyewitness, and in my view as a juror, an eyewitness is going to trump audio forensics, if they can’t ID the scream to either voice. Also, one person in this field thinks you’d need an exemplar of Zimmerman screaming to do an accurate analysis.

3 Responses to “Brief Update on the Zimmerman Case”

  1. Kermit says:

    Will read the links, but have to say that, ironically, Florida SYG may have allowed key witness #1, who saw Martin sitting on Zimmerman (holding him) pummeling him would have allowed for witness #1 to use lethal force to stop it.

    • kfg says:

      Yeah, then maybe that guy trying to shoot someone might have been taken out, pronto! You do see the problem, don’t you?

      This looks like a job for a half dozen or so of the well regulated militia arriving on the scene with a distinct chorus of Ka-Chunk! That would have stood a fair chance of ending the incident with a flurry of he said-he said rather than any lethal force at all.

      But well regulated militias seem to have gone out of style.

    • Harold says:

      Stand Your Ground has generally nothing to do with your right to intervene in a situation where someone’s life is in jeopardy. It’s a sufficient justification all by itself.

      However, we’re taught to be extremely careful when contemplating intervention. In this case, if Zimmerman was in the wrong, i.e. if he initiated the physical violence or otherwise started it by making a credible threat of illegal force against Martin, then he can’t claim self-defense (although I’m not sure about the implications if Martin had been responding to a threat of merely illegal force vs. deadly force and then escalated the conflict to deadly force first).

      Anyway, the point here is that if you misread the situation and intervene in favor of the person in the wrong you lose your claim to legitimate use of deadly force. This was emphasized quite strongly by my first CCW course instructor with various scenarios to get us to think it through.

      There’s also the minor detail that even if you’re right, you’re doing the equivalent of walking past someone in a hospital needing very expensive treatment and putting a low to medium six figure check in his pocket. That’s what it costs to effective defend yourself against a serious felony prosecution.

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