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Charges Expected Against Zimmerman

Looks like the special prosecutor is going to bring charges. Probably manslaughter charges. The question is: will manslaughter appease the mob? Or will the media renew calls for Zimmerman’s lynching?

This is what justice looks like. Now the true facts will come out.

UPDATE: Nope, it’s 2nd degree murder. Either there is some new evidence in this case that we have not yet seen, or the special prosecutor has gone with total mob appeasement on a charge she knows the can’t win. If that’s the case, the hot potato now goes to the just who has to decide on Zimmerman’s eventual motion for immunity.

66 Responses to “Charges Expected Against Zimmerman”

  1. The claim is being made that the jury doesn’t have the option in Florida of picking a lesser charge. If so, this may be an attempt to kick the can down the road to a time when the lynch mob isn’t so willing to burn down cities when Zimmerman is found not guilty.

    This means hell for Zimmerman and a pile of expense to defend himself, but the alternative is half a dozen U.S. cities in flames and the National Guard called out, with dozens dead. When you live in a barbarian culture, the choices are bad.

  2. Stephen says:

    Might this be a “let’s charge him with something really serious in hopes the jury will compromise on something less serious” ploy? (assuming juries can choose to downgrade charges in FL).

    She’s probably focusing on the audio expert and etc. and what little hyped up evidence there is, even if it can be easily defeated in Court. Sucks to be George Zimmerman, but if he’s telling the truth and was truly in fear of his life or serious bodily harm this is still better than the alternative, and I hope he gets the aquital he deserves.

    And if he was the aggressor — then I hope they put him away for a very, very long time.

  3. Matthew Carberry says:

    Kicks the trial out past November as well. When are the local and state elections scheduled?

    • Harold says:

      In Dennis v. State Florida Supreme Court addressed the immunity from criminal prosecution granted in section 776.032, specifically (quoting from the first link):

      […] the issue of whether a trial court should conduct a pretrial evidentiary hearing and resolve issues of fact when ruling on a motion to dismiss asserting immunity from criminal prosecution pursuant to section 776.032…. The Court concluded that “where a criminal defendant files a motion to dismiss on the basis of section 776.032, the trial court should decide the factual question of the applicability of the statutory immunity.”

      The reasoning behind this is that the Florida Legislature “intended to establish a true immunity and not merely an affirmative defense.” An affirmative defense is a defense which a criminal defendant may raise at his or her actual jury trial. The ruling in Dennis means that a criminal defendant has the ability to have a judge decide, as a matter of law, before subjecting himself or herself to a trial, whether he or she is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action based on the facts the particular case.

      It is explained that a trial judge must be the finder of fact at such a pretrial evidentiary hearing, and that he or she must weigh only factual disputes. It is the defendant’s burden, by a preponderance of the evidence standard (51%), as to whether the statutory immunity applies.

      While the threshold of establishing this immunity is much lower than the reasonable doubt of a jury trial, this pretrial hearing is going to be an early opportunity for Zimmerman to make his case for legal self-defense. Could even happen before November….

  4. Jake says:

    First impressions from watching the press conference:

    With that charge, she’s either trying to bully him into taking a plea, knows something that didn’t get leaked, or (as you noted) is going for mob appeasment knowing either that she can’t win or thinking she can get a conviction on a lesser included offense.

    I did have to laugh at several points where she totally pwnd several individual reporters for asking questions she had already told them that she couldn’t answer, the media as a whole for their conduct with this case, and (by indirect implication) certain unnamed agitators.

    As would be expected from someone in her position, she is a consummate politician. That is not a compliment. Despite my previous paragraph, I came away from that video stream feeling vaguely… slimey and unclean.

  5. mobo says:

    Cool. Now I don’t have to worry about the barbarian hordes rioting all over the city. Maybe now we can get these “justice seekers” to demand justice for the Taco Bell shooter.(crickets)

  6. Stephen says:

    I’m watching it now. She keeps talking about “justice for Trayvon Martin” and not mentioning justice for George Zimmerman. And how she called the “sweet” parents of Trayvon but never mentioned the sweet parents of Zimmerman. I’m disgusted. But hopefully it will assuage the agitators.

    • ephilly says:

      Because he is dead. Why don’t you even acknowlege that Zimmerman was the instigator. He said: “these assholes they always get away” and “f-ing punk” which tells me he was in a confrontational mode. He tried to detain the kid, the kid got the best of him and he shot him. Now he makes up this story about the kid trying to grab his gun and tell him he was going to shoot him…with his OWN gun. Sorry he killed someone with no evidence that this person was even doing wrong. Got what he deserved.

      • Jake says:

        Sorry he killed someone with no evidence that this person was even doing wrong.

        Other than holding him down and bashing his head into the pavement.

        He tried to detain the kid, the kid got the best of him and he shot him.

        There is no evidence (that we currently know about) to support that assumption.

        Also, if you stop and think about it, justice for Martin and justice for Zimmerman are the exact same thing.

        • ephilly says:

          Agains, what evidence do you have that his head was bashed in-his words?? If his head was slammed that bad-why no trip to the hospital that night to rule out a concussion or a bandage on his head to prevent infection/bleeding. Listen to Zimmerman’s father’s interview- he said his son did not receive medical attention that night. Please google it and listen to it.

          • ParatrooperJJ says:

            There’s video of head wounds and at least two eyewitnesses.

            • ephilly says:

              What head wounds on that video- nothing that makes me feel like he was in a life or death struggle. All those eyewitness testimonies conflict. Again-why no trip to the hospital?

              • Matthew Carberry says:

                The justification for use of deadly force is reasonable fear of death or grievous bodily harm. You use force prior to that happening.

                The first time your head is slammed into the concrete is sufficient reason to stop the slammer from doing it again, as the next blow may be the one to kill you or stun you into being unable to defend yourself.

                Lack of injury is generally irrelevant in self-defense cases except where it supports or denies the defendent’s account. Absent other testimony, the injury shown seems to support that part of Zimmerman’s account.

            • ephilly says:

              Again- why do you ignore- Zim saying:“these assholes they always get away” and “f-ing punks”. He also tried to embelish his story by saying “he looks like he is on drugs or something” and he ran after him at one point even though there was no evidence that this person did anything wrong, he just looked “suspicious”. That shows this was done out of hate and he was in a CONFRONTATIONAL mode. Why do you all completely discount that part of this whole thing?

              • Sebastian says:

                The prosecution will certainly use this to establish his frame of mind, but to get a conviction, they will have to PROVE beyond a reasonable doubt, which requires evidence orf witnesses that Zimmerman was the aggressor. Even there, manslaughter is the correct charge.

                I don’t think they have a prayer of winning on murder two. That was a nod to the mob. They’d stand a much better chance of proving manslaughter.

                • ephilly says:

                  Wow. I used to respect you Sebastian. Was it not you all along who said just wait to see what the evidence shows. How do we know that:

                  Zimmerman did not have Trayvon’s DNA under his fingertips to prove that this was not just a fight vs a complete beatdown.

                  Perhaps the gun did not have Trayvon’s DNA on it, which would prove whether or not there was a struggle over the gun.

                  Maybe the bullet trajectory shows the angle the gun was pointed and could give us an insight into the position of the two gentlemen.

                  Maybe there was another witness who saw the actual START of the fight and can give testimony that Zimmerman started it and Trayvon got the best of him and he shot him. Even the witness John obnly saw the altercation after it started.

                  All of the above COULD be evidence that we do not know about.

                  You claim that you are impartial yet you say “mob” mentality. Let the evidence speak for itself.

                  I don’t think 2nd degree would be all that hard to prove Zimmerman’s mental state at the time when he said “these assholes always get away” and “f-ing punks”- what did he mean by that????? There is no proof Trayvon was committing a crime. He assumed Trayvon was up to something and he chased him based on the communication in the Police call. Why should we believe that “he stopped chasing him” because he said so??????? There are no witnesses that actually saw him stop.

                  • Sebastian says:

                    Maybe they do have that evidence, but murder two is going to be hard. Murderers generally don’t call 911 before a murder. That’s going to play heavily against a depraved mind, and play into manslaughter.

                    • Harold says:

                      Murderers generally don’t call 911 before a murder.

                      And ask for the police to come ASAP and arrange for a rendezvous.

                      Here’s a local (Orlando) lawyer’s page on Second Degree Murder which touches on “depraved mind” as a term of art:

                      Murder with a Depraved Mind occurs when a person is killed, without any premeditated design, by an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind showing no regard for human life.

                  • Sebastian says:

                    I’ve also yet to see anyone with a background as a trial attorney who think this conviction is going to be easy.

                  • Jake says:

                    “Why should we believe that “he stopped chasing him” because he said so??????? There are no witnesses that actually saw him stop.”

                    Because there are also no witnesses that saw him continue. Zimmerman does not have to prove that he stopped, the prosecution has to prove that he continued.

                    Remember, to overcome his self-defense claim the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a) Zimmerman was the one to initiate the physical confrontation, and b) that Zimmerman did not have a reasonable belief at the time that he was in imminent danger of either death or grave bodily harm.

                    His motivations and mental state are essentially irrelevant until they overcome the self-defense claim.

          • Jake says:

            The video ParatrooperJJ mentioned and the police report both support his claims of a head injury. I would assume there is also an EMS report that will be introduced as evidence in court, since the police report says he was treated at the scene.

            His father’s claim that he did not get medical attention is hearsay, and is contradicted by at least one original source.

            Just because what you see on the video doesn’t make you “feel like he was in a life or death struggle” that doesn’t mean Zimmerman didn’t have a reasonable belief that he was. A blow to the head doesn’t have to leave a visible wound to be fatal.

      • mobo says:

        How do you know he tried to detain the kid? Or do you “just know”?

        And what about the shooting death of Daniel Adkins? (Notive I used the term ‘shooting death’, rather than inflamatory terms such as “gunned down” or “unarmed man” in an attempt to stir emotions, BTW.) You see, I am open-minded enough to consider the possibility that the story about the dog leash might be fabricated or embellished, just as the “skittles” bullshit was, and there might be other evidence that we are not aware of in the Taco Bell shooting case.

        But the shooting of Daniel Adkins does prove one thing: that the police do not always arrest and charge black people when the roles are reversed.

        • ephilly says:

          How do you know he bashed his head in-Again his words? Why no hospital visit for the broken nose or to rule out a concussion. Also, I saw the new mugshot. His brother claimed his nose was still broken as of 2 weeks ago. His nose looked quite proportioned to me in that new mugshot. Again-google it.

          • mobo says:

            I don’t have to know or prove that his head was bashed in. The burden is on the accuser to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it wasn’t. There is plenty of evidence to at least cast a reasonable doubt.

            I was jumped by a bunch of lowlife scum ghetto thugs about 15 years ago. There is no doubt that it was a racially motivated attack, either, as they repeatedly chanted “gets dat white poosey” and the like (they were all between the age of maybe 12-16, btw) My head was smashed into the pavement until I was actually blinded temporarily in one eye, and yet there was not a single scrape on my head. No blood…. Nothing. So knock it off with all your CSI bullshit. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

            And I pray to this day that they get the life they deserve.

            • Alpheus says:

              Amen to this! Amen, and AMEN!

              Mobo sums up beautifully why ephilly is completely wrong on this issue.

              As for CSI issues, I know Zimmerman was innocent: I repeatedly said “Zoom! Enhance!” on my computer, until I could see the very surface of Zimmerman’s brain; I then did an MRI X-ray on the image to hilight the concussion. And while I was at it, I did a voice analysis to discover that the yeller of “Help” was Zimmerman, maybe, if it wasn’t Martin.

              (That Xkcd cartoon showing scientists in movies vs scientists in real life is certainly applicable here; it should be required as a part of the instructions to a jury to remind them that CSI is not real life.)

              Sebastian, I look forward to the day you add “Like” buttons; only I wish you could add a “Like to infinity” button as well. :-)

              • Sebastian says:

                There is no plugin just for like, only voting plugins that have both like and dislike. I’m not big on being able to vote either way. I’ll have to modify the code, and I won’t have time for that for a bit.

            • ephilly says:

              Bullshit. I was jumped by a group of white kids. I am latina. Nothing happended to them. The threw rocks at me and I still have a cut over my eye and I had to go to the hospital that same night. He is saying his nose was broken and he was one step away from needing diapers due to head trauma- where is the hospital report that proves this from that night? If it existed, we would have seen it. The Sanford Police would definately have provided that report because if they were granting immunity for self defense-this would have shut folks up weeks ago. He would have been taken to the hospital that night—standard procedure.

              • Matthew Carberry says:

                You have testimony, from Zimmerman, not second-hand from family, using exactly those words for his account of his injuries?
                Cause that’s the testimony the prosecutor will be challenging at trial, what he said to officers at the scene (which will be noted as impassioned and distressed) and what he said in his formal interviews, not what his family claimed in the media.

                He’s not a doctor in any event so his account of his injuries will be judged based on his reasonable belief, not medical “fact.”

                • Jujube says:

                  And if his beliefs aren’t reasonable?

                  • Matthew Carberry says:

                    Not sure how they could be found not to be, abstractly rationally beyond a reasonable doubt, as people regularly die from single impacts to the head, which is easy to enter into evidence.

                    But if so determined at trial? Then he probably loses on the self-defense claim and has to defend himself on the charge of 2nd Degree Murder.

                    • Harold says:

                      As I recall we’ve heard 2nd hand or worse from his family that at the end he and Martin were struggling for control of his gun (and its reported failure to fully cycle supports this); I think at least one said this was after Martin had noticed it, i.e. Zimmerman didn’t introduce the gun into the combat.

                      Depending on what Zimmerman has convincingly claimed to the police and the forensics, wouldn’t this go far beyond any issues with his head and the pavement?

                    • Jujube says:

                      I’m sure you can find evidence of people who have died from paper cuts in the past but it’s not reasonable to be afraid of a Skittles wrapper.

                      That’s an example of an unreasonable belief.

                      If they were not near concrete, that means Zimmerman’s head was hitting something else. (I’ve seen no evidence, other than what Zimmerman’s side has said) that supports this happening on the sidewalk.

                    • Sebastian says:

                      The lacerations on the back of his head would tend to support it hitting on something pretty hard.

                      And the skittles claim has not been substantiated by any of the police reports or the evidence. The source for that I’d the family PR firm, so that casts doubt on that claim. Not that it’s relevant, either way, but there are two witnesses that say Martin was on top of Zimmerman bashing his head into the ground, you have the lacerations shown on the ABC video, the grass stains on his clothes, and Zimmerman’s own statements.

                      The prosecution will have a tough time overcoming that with a jury unless they have evidence that disproves those set of facts.

                    • Jujube says:

                      If they can prove that Zimmerman was the aggressor all the way through, they’ve proven their case. If they can prove Zimmerman started the physical confrontation, that’s all they need.

                    • Sebastian says:

                      That’s all they need for a manslaughter conviction. Murder two has a higher standard. Typically killing with a depraved mind. They’d have to disprove the evidence and witnesses that say Martin was on top of Zimmerman pounding his head into the ground. It would have to be a. Very different set of circumstances for it to be murder 2. If Zimmerman was the aggressor, but ended up having to kill Martin in the fight because he was legitimately in reasonable fear of grave bodily injury or harm, that’s manslaughter, not second degree murder.

  7. Art Welling says:

    A) She has already set up the grounds for Zimmerman’s appeal should he be convicted.

    B) The Martin family will file a wrongful death suit within a few weeks, as under Florida law they needed this arrest to do so. It’s the reason their high profile legal council has been pushing hard for the arrest.

  8. Ronnie says:

    the special prosecutor has gone with total mob appeasement on a charge she knows the can’t win. If that’s the case, the hot potato now goes to the just who has to decide on Zimmerman’s eventual motion for immunity.

    Now I understand why special prosecutor Corey decided to forgo taking this case to a grand jury. I think that was done because she could not find anything to discredit Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense, but she has decided to charge him anyway to appease the racial agitators and the lynch mobs. She folded in to all the political pressure. She also did not want to get blamed for helping cause nationwide rioting over this case.

    • Patrick H says:

      That makes sense. She probably knew the GJ would not choose to indict, and that would have been bad. Now the mob can have their trial, and what ever the result, its out of her hands.

      • ephilly says:

        They would not choose to indict for first degree murder because it is a capital offense. Just like Casey Anthony people would be leary of convicting him of a capital offense due to the fact that a fight led to a death. However, with 2nd degree murder all she has to prove is he did it out of spite or hate or a depraved mind. By Zim saying:“these assholes they always get away” and “f-ing punks”. He also tried to embelish his story by saying “he looks like he is on drugs or something” and he ran after him at one point even though there was no evidence this person did anything wrong, he just looked “suspicious”. That shows this was done out of hate. Sorry Zimm supporters, he is toast.

        • Alpheus says:

          All you claim is true, to an extent: these statements can be used to show that Zimmerman was out to get Martin.

          But then, do you know what these statements also show? That Zimmerman was watching out for “punks” on “drugs” wanting to “break into houses and steal things”; and that in his “Neighborhood Watch efforts” to try to prevent the “rash of break-ins” he was tired of “suspicious” people “always get[ting] away”.

          Do you know what I also took from the 911 call, when I listened to it: Someone who was “chasing” a “suspicious person” until a 911 Operator said “You don’t need to do that”, after which Zimmerman seemed to “stop running” and tried to “describe the location”–but not in “too much detail” because he “lost track of the suspect” and he “didn’t want the suspect to hear where he was”.

          In other words, he had reason to believe that the suspect could just pop out of nowhere and attack him–but he didn’t seriously belive it; it was merely just a possibility.

          And everything I’ve heard and read and seen (well, almost everything–NBC, ABC, and general media manipulation notwithstanding) leans towards supporting this version of events.

          I, for one, still think there’s plenty of room for reasonable doubt. But it’s going to the courts, and so anything can happen! (Up to and including conviction for 2nd degree murder.)

        • Matthew Carberry says:

          You might want to check the actual Florida Statute, none of those three things are elements of the crime in the text, if I recall correctly.

        • Ronnie says:

          @ ephilly: Do you even know the difference between first degree murder and second degree murder? All of these non-sequitur ramblings and logical disconnects that I have read coming from you on this blog lately would suggest to me that you actually don’t know the difference between these two charges.

  9. Xrlq says:

    I hope Zimmerman’s lawyers challenge the constitutionality of the indictment. The notion that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates everything in the Fifth Amendment *except* the grand jury clause is beyond absurd. Remember, the odious doctrine of selective incorporation is the only reason we ever needed a McDonald case after Heller. And the only reason a wise-ass Latina could get away with dissenting in McDonald after pledging to honor Heller as “settled law.” All individual rights secured by the Bill of Rights should be incorporated against the states, and this case is as good a vehicle for that as any.

    • I agree with you that full incorporation was the original intent, but the Court has made it clear that they do not intend to do full incorporation. Things like grand jury indictment are part of why they won’t.

  10. tony says:

    This prosecutor’s demeanor at this PC was sickening. Her ridiculously cloying opening remarks about the “sweet” parents told me all I need to know about her. Just another full of shit politician.

  11. None says:

    Lawson Lamar, elected State’s Attorney in Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit (Orange and Osceola counties; Orange is the county immediately south of Seminole County where the city of Sanford is located. Seminole and Brevard counties compose Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit) had his attorneys bring first degree murder charges and seek the death penalty against Casey Anthony for the alleged murder of her daughter Kaylee. On July 5, 2011 after the case was in the media for three years and in trial for 6 weeks the jury returned a “not guilty” verdict on the murder and child manslaughter charges. Post-trial public interviews with jurors indicated that they did not believe the evidence presented was sufficient to support a first degree murder charge, a child manslaughter charge or the death penalty.

    Lamar was not substantially criticized for not pursuing a lesser charge with a lesser penalty than the death penalty that may have had a better chance at getting a conviction. Due to public and political pressure he had no choice but go for first degree and the death penalty (Lamar is running for re-election in 2012, and is in a primary battle against Jeff Ashton, one of the Assistant State’s Attorneys Lamar selected to prosecute the Casey Anthony case).

    It was quite rare to see a Central Florida TV newscast from late 2008 through mid-2011 that did not have some mention of Casey Anthony, and one station assigned a reporter to the case full time as the trial drew near. Several TV stations located local studios on the undeveloped lot across the street from the Orange County Courthouse during the trial. The case garnered national attention, but local media coverage was wall-to-wall for well over two years. The jury was selected in Pinellas County (Tampa area) and brought to Orlando for the trial because the Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. (who presided over the Anthony trial) felt there would be no way to assemble an untainted jury from Orange County due to three years of media coverage.

    I suspect we’re going to see pretty much the same thing play out with Zimmerman, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the trial doesn’t get into a courtroom until 1Q 2013.

  12. ParatrooperJJ says:

    In the last sentence I think you meant “justice” or “judge” and not “just”.

  13. Alpheus says:

    There’s one way I can see Zimmerman being toast, even if he’s completely innocent: he went to the Prosecuting Attorney and the Police, and talked. As the pair of videos on Boing Boing* pointed out, you should never talk to the police. The video even pointed out how, if you tell the truth, but the officer innocently misremembers what you tell him, the officer can say “He lied to me!” and nothing you can say will correct that, because it becomes your word against a police officer’s.

    *I’m too lazy to provide a link at this moment.

    Of course, if Zimmerman went to talk to them, and all he said was “Give me all the evidence you have; I have a right to that evidence, and I don’t trust my legal council.” then he’s perfectly safe. We have no idea what he said to the police or the Prosecution, though, so we *still* have no idea what other evidence there is.

    If Zimmerman was having problems with his legal council, he should have sought out another lawyer. If he were depending on court-appointed council, though, I’m not sure if that would be possible…

  14. Jujube says:

    Corey says that she has evidence to support the charge “beyond a reasonable doubt.” We haven’t seen all of the evidence. Who knows who all the witnesses are and what they’ve said? Who has seen all of the evidence? Who knows what the forensics show?

    I think we should withhold judgment until the facts are all in.

    • Sebastian says:

      If she had evidence for manslaughter, I might believe it. I don’t see how you can prove 2nd degree murder.

      • Jujube says:

        Maybe a witness turned up who actually saw the entire thing from the beginning? Don’t forget, this happened at 7 p.m. Lots of people are awake and about at that time.

        It’s possible someone stepped out for a cigarette (for example) and watched the whole thing happen.

        • Sebastian says:

          It could be. I hold out that possibility. But then why not use the Grand Jury? To me, that says there was concern they wouldn’t return a true bill.

          • Jujube says:

            On the other hand, why use them if you don’t need to?

            • Matthew Carberry says:

              If you have the evidence, using the GJ makes everything look very “above-board” and leaves little room for claims you are trying to evade a second set of eyes on the evidence.

              Perception is important when it comes to the legitimacy of the law in the eyes of the people.

          • Jake says:

            My understanding (from the MSM’s stories, so view it with healthy skepticism) is that this prosecutor never uses a grand jury except in cases where it’s required by law. So it probably means nothing.

  15. AntiCitizenOne says:

    Having severe head injuries puts you at risk for migraines, seizures, pugilistic Parkinson’s, etc – all of which can severely affect one’s quality of life and may even put someone on disability. If you were an active person and you got placed on disability because you decided not to use all effective measures against a grappler, being crippled by these chronic diseases is like a death sentence. For you antis, you make the call – get bashed by a grappler because you “don’t want to kill an unarmed man” or what?

    • Matthew Carberry says:

      That even overstates it. There’s a reason in supervised fights, like legal boxing or full contact martial arts, that the refs immediately step in when one of the participants even appears to not be able to effectively defend themselves, it’s because an undefended blow is the one most likely to cause real injury.

      And that’s in a fight against someone who doesn’t actually mean the other guy real harm; to allow yourself to potentially be knocked even woozy in a real fight, unable to defend yourself effectively for even a moment, against someone about whom all you know is they were willing to assault you in the first place, beggers any claim of “unreasonable” in terms of response. Particularly if they could use that opportunity to do the statistically unlikely action of using your own gun against you.

  16. Ronnie says:

    I just looked at these photos of George Zimmerman that were taken during his first court appearance. The guy looks scrawny and on the short side for an adult male – 5 foot 9 and l60 lbs soaking wet. It’s so obvious now why the media kept showing us pictures of Trayvon Martin before he even finished puberty. This kid was without question bigger and stronger than Zimmerman on the night of the shooting. It should not be hard at all to convince any jury that Trayvon Martin was quite capable of doing serious damage to George Zimmerman on that fateful night.

    • mobo says:

      Nope. George Zimmerman is easily 100# heavier than the cute little Skittle munchkin. To even suggest otherwise is racist.

      I still think Zimmerman is a douchebag for not minding his own business and all, and part of me wants him convicted just so we don’t have riots everywhere, but I will not lose any sleep if he walks.

      The thing that keeps me up at night is all the people who are rotting in prison for legitimate acts of self-defense. Where are all the “justice seekers” for that guy in Philly who stabbed his way out of a robbery where three guys were beating him with a pipe? There are witnesses and everything, yet Philly is still charging him with murder.

      • Harold says:

        I still think Zimmerman is a douchebag for not surrendering his community to the tender mercies of the thugs attacking it….

        Fixed it for you.

        Sanford has a “bad part of town”, a high violent crime rate for the state and country and ditto for property crimes, which tend to extend way past a bad part of town. His community had suffered a rash of burglaries, several acts of vandalism, one very ominous if not done by the homeowner being foreclosed on, and one home invasion that was stopped short of face to face robbery or worse only by a locked interior room doorknob and the police showing up.

        And I guess you’ll get your implicit wish, this is going to severely suppress Neighborhood Watch program, especially if/when the presumably insured homeowner’s association gets sued by Martin’s family’s lawyers. Even if that snaps back harshly on the latter—actually, since the immunity grant with teeth for civil litigation is to the guy claiming self-defense, would it extend to the homeowner’s association?—anyway, I expect insurance companies to veto official Neighborhood Watch programs going forward.

        I can’t see that as being a good thing. “Minding your own business” is a form of Danegeld as others have pointed out.

        • Xrlq says:

          If Zimmerman didn’t do anything wrong, the HOA didn’t, either. Even if he did, I don’t think the case against the HOA would be a slam dunk. Not that they won’t try, of course.

          • Harold says:

            Problem is, if they’re worth suing, it’s because they’ve got insurance and the insurance company will be calling the shots. Frequently they settle, and in a case this politicized I’d expect that to be more likely.

            If so, unless there’s significant political pushback, I would expect “no Neighborhood Watch program” to become a condition of getting or renewing insurance.

            Although I wonder how many of these programs are set up by HOAs vs. “freestanding” or whatever.

    • Jujube says:

      According to the booking info, Zimmerman weighs 185.

      • Matthew Carberry says:

        So the “tale of the tape” (depending on what sport you prefer) is an actively athletic welter-to-middle-weight with 10 years (probably equalling speed) and a significant (3-4″ height diff.) reach advantage against a not particularly fit looking middle-to-very-light-heavy-weight.

        That is a pretty even match-up if they actually started from a face-to-face “fair fight” confrontation.

      • Harold says:

        Note that with the stress he’s been under he’s very possibly put on some weight since the shooting.

  17. Xrlq says:

    If the neighborhood watch program was not set up by the HOA, I’m not sure what the theory would even be for going after them. If it was, the HOA would still have a pretty straightforward defense: Zimmerman exceeded his authority by engaging Martin rather than merely calling the cops and leaving it at that.

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