Author Topic: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges  (Read 19377 times)

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Offline Johnnie F.

Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« on: July 14, 2013, 11:30:40 AM »
Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges

BREAKING NEWS: George Zimmerman has been acquitted of all charges in the February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.

The jury of six women informed Judge Debra Nelson shortly before 10 p.m. local time Saturday that they had reached a verdict after deliberating for approximately 15 hours over two days.

Zimmerman, 29, blinked and barely smiled when the verdict was announced. After hearing the verdict, Judge Nelson told Zimmerman he was free to go.

"We're ecstatic with the results," defense attorney Mark O'Mara said after the verdict. "George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self-defense."

Another member of his defense team, Don West, said: "I'm glad this jury kept this tragedy from becoming a travesty."

Prosecutors called Zimmerman a liar and portrayed him was a "wannabe cop" vigilante who had grown frustrated by break-ins in his neighborhood committed primarily by young black men. Zimmerman assumed Martin was up to no good and took the law into his own hands, prosecutors said.

State Attorney Angela Corey said after the verdict that she believed second-degree murder was the appropriate charge because Zimmerman's mindset "fit the bill of second-degree murder."

"We charged what we believed we could prove," Corey said.

A court public information officer said that members of the jury had no desire to speak to the media Saturday night. Identities of jury members are currently protected by a court anonymity order.

Supporters of Martin's family who had gathered outside the courthouse yelled out "No! No!" when the verdict was announced.

"Today, justice failed Trayvon Martin and his family," said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP in a statement. "We call immediately for the Justice Department to conduct an investigation into the civil rights violations committed against Trayvon Martin. This case has re-energized the movement to end racial profiling in the United States."

"We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict," said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, in another statement. "We stand with Trayvon’s family and we are called to act. We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed."

Around an hour after the verdict, Zimmerman's father tweeted: "Our whole family is relieved. Today... I'm proud to be an American. God Bless America! Thank you for your prayers!"

Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, tweeted "Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have. At the end of the day, GOD is still in control. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I will love you forever Trayvon!!! In the name of Jesus!!!"

The verdict came a year and a half after civil rights protesters angrily demanded Zimmerman be prosecuted. That anger appeared to return Saturday night outside the courthouse, at least for some who had been following the case.

Rosie Barron, 50, and Andrew Perkins, 55, both black residents of Sanford, stood in the parking lot of the courthouse and wept.

"I at least thought he was going to get something, something," Barron said.

Added her brother: "How the hell did they find him not guilty?"

Perkins was so upset he was shaking. "He killed somebody and got away with murder," Perkins shouted, looking in the direction of the courthouse. "He ain't getting no probation or nothing."

Several Zimmerman supporters also were outside the courthouse, including a brother and sister quietly rejoicing that Zimmerman was acquitted. Both thought the jury made the right decision in finding Zimmerman not guilty -- they felt that Zimmerman killed Martin in self-defense.

Cindy Lenzen, 50, of Casslebury, and her brother, 52-year-old Chris Bay, stood watching the protesters chant slogans such as, "the whole system's guilty."

Lenzen and Bay -- who are white -- called the entire case "a tragedy," especially for Zimmerman.

"It's a tragedy that he's going to suffer for the rest of his life," Bay said. "No one wins either way. This is going to be a recurring nightmare in his mind every night."

Meanwhile, authorities in Martin's hometown of Miami said the streets were quiet, with no indication of problems. The neighborhood where Martin's father lives in Miami Gardens was equally quiet.

O'Mara, Zimmerman's attorney, said his client is aware he has to be cautious and protective of his safety.

"There still is a fringe element that wants revenge," O'Mara said. "They won't listen to a verdict of not guilty."

Martin's family can still file a civil suit against Zimmerman under Florida's Wrongful Death Act, which requires proof that Martin's death was caused by the negligence of another person or entity. To prove negligence under the statute, it must be shown that Zimmerman owed Martin a legal duty, that the duty owed was breached, and that an injury was caused to Martin by Zimmerman's breach.

Zimmerman was initially charged with second-degree murder in the death of Martin, but jurors could have also convicted Zimmerman on the lesser charge of manslaughter. The jury had asked for a clarification on the manslaughter charge earlier in the evening.

If convicted, the former neighborhood watch volunteer would have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder or 30 years in prison if convicted of manslaughter.

The jurors sent Judge Debra Nelson a note asking for clarification on the manslaughter charge, the less-serious charge Zimmerman faces, after deliberating for about eight hours Saturday. The question read simply: "May we please have clarification for the instruction on manslaughter?"

As jurors awaited an answer, Nelson talked to lawyers at the bench and then said court would recess for a half hour. When attorneys returned, prosecutor Richard Mantei said that after conducting research, he would suggest asking the jurors to elaborate. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara agreed.

"Let's get clarification on their confusion," O'Mara said.

The judge then sent a note back to the jury that read: "The court can't engage in general discussion but may be able to address a specific question regarding clarification of the instructions regarding manslaughter. If you have a specific question, please submit it."

The jury also recessed for an hour for dinner, during which they were allowed to continue deliberating. They did not immediately respond to the judge's note.

During the day about two dozen people gathered outside the courthouse awaiting a verdict, with supporters of the Martin family outnumbering those there for Zimmerman. One man held a sign that read, "We love you George." A woman lay in the grass in a hoodie, her arms spread, in a re-creation of Martin's death.

On Twitter, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, shared what she called her favorite Bible verse: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

During closing arguments, Zimmerman's attorney attempted to portray him as a neighborhood activist who shot Martin in self-defense and prosecutors attempted to paint him as a wannabe cop whose misguided suspicion resulted in the teen’s death.

As the jury began their discussions, police and civic leaders in this Orlando suburb went on national television to plead for calm in Sanford and across the country, no matter what the verdict.

"There is no party in this case who wants to see any violence," Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said. "We have an expectation upon this announcement that our community will continue to act peacefully."

There were big protests in Sanford and other cities across the country last year when authorities waited 44 days before arresting Zimmerman.

Zimmerman shot Martin as the two fought following a confrontation in the gated Sanford community where Zimmerman lives.

"Your verdict should not be influenced by feelings of prejudice, bias or sympathy," Judge Debra Nelson told the jury, reading from a 27-page set of instructions. "Your verdict must be based on the evidence, and on the law contained in these instructions."

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sicho

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Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2013, 11:44:58 AM »
Amazing. I expected a manslaughter verdict.

Zimmerman will now live a life in hiding knowing the truth of why he killed Martin. I suppose that's some form of punishment at least.
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2013, 02:45:28 PM »
It makes up for the O.J.Simpson acquittal.  :-[

Quote
Martin's family can still file a civil suit against Zimmerman under Florida's Wrongful Death Act, which requires proof that Martin's death was caused by the negligence of another person or entity. To prove negligence under the statute, it must be shown that Zimmerman owed Martin a legal duty, that the duty owed was breached, and that an injury was caused to Martin by Zimmerman's breach.

I can't imagine that the NAACP doesn't support them to do just that. Long from over! Maybe Zimmerman would have been better off with a manslaughter-conviction now...
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Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 09:31:46 AM »
Obama calls for calm after Zimmerman acquittal; protests held


Thomas Bouldin (L) of Jacksonsville, Florida, and Sabrina Cochran, of Smiths Station, Alabama, listen to a speaker during an open forum to discuss the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial and verdict at Melon Park in Sanford, Florida, July 14, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Nesius

(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama called for calm on Sunday after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin, as hundreds of civil rights demonstrators turned out at rallies to condemn racial profiling.

Zimmerman, cleared late Saturday by a Florida jury of six women in the shooting death of the unarmed Martin, still faces public outrage, a possible civil suit and demands for a federal investigation.

In Washington, the U.S. Justice Department said it was evaluating whether it has enough evidence to support prosecution of Zimmerman in federal court after his acquittal in Florida.

Civil rights activists have been pressuring the Obama administration to bring civil rights charges in federal court.

Critics contend Zimmerman wrongly suspected 17-year-old Martin of being a criminal because he was black, making it a civil rights issue. At a rally in New York's Union Square, more than 200 protesters turned out Sunday, chanting "No justice, no peace." Some held signs calling for "Justice for Trayvon, Jail for Zimmerman."

Similar rallies were held or expected to start later in other cities including Boston, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento.

Obama, who once said, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," called for a peaceful response to a case that polarized the U.S. public from the beginning, raising issues of racial profiling and gun control.

"We are a nation of laws and a jury has spoken," the first black U.S. president said in a statement. "I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son."

The jurors who deliberated for 16 hours over two days found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter. If found guilty of the most serious charge, Zimmerman could have faced life in prison.

Zimmerman's lawyers argued he acted in self-defense the night of February 26, 2012, when he and Martin met inside a gated community in the central Florida town of Sanford. They accuse civil rights advocates of wrongly injecting the issue of race.

"It was such a shame. The whole case nearly destroyed George from Day One ... . That they put a racism spin on this prosecution just hurt him very deeply," said John Donnelly, a close friend of Zimmerman who testified in the trial.

In Sanford at the largely black Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, pastor Valarie Houston dedicated a Sunday morning prayer service to Martin.

"I am hurt. I am sad. I am disappointed and my heart is overwhelmed with pains," Houston said. "I thought in my heart that justice would be served."

Civil rights leaders including Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Benjamin Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), urged the Justice Department to pursue federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

Jealous said Martin's family may bring a civil suit against Zimmerman but said federal criminal charges should be filed because evidence suggests race was a factor in the case.

A Justice Department spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday it would determine whether "the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction."

'WE DON'T GET JUSTICE'

The jurors, who were sequestered during the three weeks of testimony and remained anonymous by court order, have declined to speak with reporters since handing down the verdict in one of the highest-profile trials of the year.

Zimmerman, who showed little reaction when the decision was read, was unshackled from a monitoring device he had been wearing while on bail. He previously only left home in a disguise and body armor, his lawyer said.

His brother said he would remain out of public view for some time, but friends said the former neighborhood watch volunteer had recently spoken about the possibility of entering law school.

The tense drama that climaxed with the verdict had been building for more than a year, since police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman for shooting Martin, whose gray hooded sweatshirt has become a symbol of injustice for many.

Zimmerman, 29, who is white and Hispanic, spotted Martin from his car and called police, believing Martin to be suspicious. The teenager, who was staying in the neighborhood at the home of his father's fiancee, was walking back from a convenience store where he had bought candy and a soft drink.

Minutes later, after Zimmerman got out of his car, the two engaged in a fight that left Zimmerman with a bloody nose and head injuries. The encounter ended when Zimmerman shot Martin once through the heart with a 9mm pistol.

Prosecutors had to prove that Zimmerman committed a crime in pursuing and killing Martin and that he did not act in self-defense, a bar they failed to clear with jurors.

The acquittal will weaken any wrongful death civil lawsuit that Martin's family might bring. Zimmerman's lead defense lawyer, Mark O'Mara, predicted Zimmerman would seek and win immunity from a civil suit.

Around Sanford, some residents expressed relief at the verdict, while others said they failed to see how Zimmerman could have been acquitted.

"You said he's not guilty, but why would you say he's not guilty?" said 28-year-old Robyn Miller. "It's crazy."

At rallies in Boston and New York, several hundred demonstrators expressed a similar sense of frustration. "I feel we don't get justice when it's needed," said Kabrina Oliver, 18, a Boston high school student.

Reuters

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sicho

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Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 09:49:58 AM »
His brother said he would remain out of public view for some time, but friends said the former neighborhood watch volunteer had recently spoken about the possibility of entering law school.

Quite the obvious thing for a killer to do!
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 10:21:53 AM »
Here is something in contrast to the "stand your ground" law:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57433184/fla-mom-gets-20-years-for-firing-warning-shots/

Alexander's case was prosecuted by Angela Corey, the Florida State's Attorney, who was also "prosecuting" George Zimmerman.

The one who actually killed after having challenged the situation himself by his own inadequate actions, goes free because of "self-defense not disproven", while one who only threatened in self-defense, most likely due to having been victim of domestic violence before, gets 20 years for attempted murder! :o



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Offline Al

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2013, 11:04:16 AM »
This trial had nothing to do with the stand your ground law.  That defense was discarded well before the trial even started.
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 11:18:50 AM »
This trial had nothing to do with the stand your ground law.  That defense was discarded well before the trial even started.

Thanks for the clarification, Al! "Self-defense" has already been clearly indicated as reason in my post. The "stand your ground" goes broader to self-defense, similar to a catch-all provision. Alexander was denied "self-defense" for firing warning-shots in the air even with the history of her husband's domestic violence. That she wasn't granted immunity due to the right to "stand her ground" is even graver! :o
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sicho

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Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2013, 11:34:02 AM »
Here is something in contrast to the "stand your ground" law:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57433184/fla-mom-gets-20-years-for-firing-warning-shots/

Alexander's case was prosecuted by Angela Corey, the Florida State's Attorney, who was also "prosecuting" George Zimmerman.

The one who actually killed after having challenged the situation himself by his own inadequate actions, goes free because of "self-defense not disproven", while one who only threatened in self-defense, most likely due to having been victim of domestic violence before, gets 20 years for attempted murder! :o


That case refreshes the question as to whether race comes into these decisions.

'Stand your ground' may have been 'discarded' but it was certainly in the minds of the news media throughout the trial and may still have influenced the jury.
 

Offline Al

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2013, 12:23:38 PM »
No doubt race issued influenced the media, or perhaps the media took the lead on this issue.

However, concerning influencing the jury - I don't buy it.  The scope of guilty vs not guilty was very narrow.  At the instant Travon Martin was pounding on Zimmerman, did Zimmerman fear for his life.  If he did, he must be found innocent.  Everything before that instant, including whether or not Zimmerman should have gotten out of his car and followed Martin is a separate issue and not related to the decision point of the jury.
 


Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2013, 12:39:08 PM »
At the instant Travon Martin was pounding on Zimmerman, did Zimmerman fear for his life.  If he did, he must be found innocent.

But he was found not guilty, because it could not be proven that he did not act in what he thought self-defense. The law has termed that "putative self-defense", a common "excuse" to excesses causing the death of other people. In most law-systems "putative self-defense" has to be examined deeply by psychological experts, before granted. In Florida, it seems, it is granted, when claimed but not disproven. I didn't hear of the DA or the police having investigated in that direction at all. So the jurors, five white and one Latin women, the "lay judges", couldn't decide about that.

I can imagine, that Eric Holder will be forced to bring the case to a federal court for a complete new ruling by competent judges.
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sicho

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Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2013, 12:40:48 PM »
No doubt race issued influenced the media, or perhaps the media took the lead on this issue.

However, concerning influencing the jury - I don't buy it.  The scope of guilty vs not guilty was very narrow.  At the instant Travon Martin was pounding on Zimmerman, did Zimmerman fear for his life.  If he did, he must be found innocent.  Everything before that instant, including whether or not Zimmerman should have gotten out of his car and followed Martin is a separate issue and not related to the decision point of the jury.

There's some selection and use of unproven evidence in what you write there.

Zimmerman's various statements were contradictory and, therefore, all very suspect. What was established is that, against the wishes of the police and having followed Martin in his car, he then followed his intended victim on foot. One witness said that she was talking to Martin when he expressed his realisation that he was being followed. A confrontation followed and a fight ensued. If he had not been killed, martin may have claimed that he was rightfully 'standing his ground'. Zimmerman shot Martin through the heart at close range rather than, to disable him, in a limb.

It seemed clear that a verdict of manslaughter was on the cards but, perhaps, that was too much to ask from an all white jury. The latest news suggests that this case will now be investigated at Federal level and not be merely the subject of protests around the US.
 

Offline Al

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2013, 12:53:48 PM »
Again, following someone is not against the law.  It is the resulting fight that is the issue, and again, did Zimmerman fear for his life at that point. 

Concerning the federal investigation - http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/07/12/155918/more-evidence-released-in-trayvon.html#.UeONfxZM7zK - the issue is one of civil rights, not of retrying this case - that would be double jeopardy.
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2013, 01:05:28 PM »
George Zimmerman likely facing federal prosecution after acquittal

George Zimmerman isn't out of the clear just yet: As of July 14, the United States Justice Department has revealed that the man recently acquitted by six Fla. jurors of second-degree murder will be investigated federally. This will undoubtedly anger those in support of Zimmerman's killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, but to others this is another level of justice in what appears to be a race-fueled murder -- and even worse: A civil rights travesty in criminal court.

To be clear, this is not double jeopardy. Zimmerman was acquitted at the state level in a murder case that has much of the country believing race was involved. A higher court (which any federal court is) can legally challenge that acquittal and reopen the investigation. It doesn't help that the jury that acquitted him happened to be essentially all white, and many of them gun-owners. Even when given the options of manslaughter and child abuse, this basically all-white southern jury found Zimmerman innocent of malice in the shooting of a teenager whom he admitted to following in the middle of a dark and rainy night. Furthermore, it should be noted that after his acquittal, Zimmerman's lawyers went on the record as saying the following:

    "If he [Zimmerman] were black, he would have never been charged with a crime [of shooting Trayvon Martin.]"

A lot came out in the trial that the jury seemingly ignored. It was revealed that George Zimmerman was following Trayvon that night, after being told not to by the police. It was revealed that Martin was creeped out by the fact that he was being followed -- and his fight or flight reflexes took effect. In historic civil rights cases, there is a pattern of persecution in the deep South, and the "all white jury" has been prevalent in many of these instances. The U.S. Justice Department recognizes that there may still be grounds on which to charge and convict Zimmerman, so his battles are far from over. If you support justice for Trayvon Martin, this information comes as wonderful news after the bleak outcome in court over the weekend.

Whether or not you support the Justice Department's latest news, it should be respected as part of the criminal justice system. This has historically been a system of checks and balances -- and the southern states have notoriously been violators of the civil rights of African American people. If the feds don't intervene sometimes, then these violations go unchecked, and people who should be convicted of murder end up walking free, leaving justice out of reach for the families of slain children.

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Offline Al

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2013, 01:28:03 PM »
"A higher court (which any federal court is) can legally challenge that acquittal and reopen the investigation."

That is simply not true.  Once a person has been found not guilty, they cannot be retried by another court for that crime.

The federal government can investigate concerning whether or not Zimmerman violated Martin's civil rights.  That is all.  That is why the FBI's previous investigation on this issue makes that a difficult bar to hurdle.
 

sicho

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Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2013, 01:35:31 PM »
CNN now reports that Zimmerman is under investigation on suspicion of violating Martin's civil rights.

My experience of Florida is that the white population is as racist, on the whole, as that of people in other southern States of the US. By that I mean prejudiced against black citizens. If I'm correct, then it may well be that every member of the jury instinctively tended to favour the accused and, therefore, be selective in which unproven evidence its members accepted and which it rejected.

The police officers who gave evidence in the case were, according to reporters present in Court, aggrieved that their decision neither to charge Zimmerman nor to obtain tests for alcohol or drugs was overruled by the Prosecutor. Therefore, their evidence in Court should have been regarded with some suspicion.

Some jury members were reported as appearing to ignore the testimony of witness Rachel Jeantel whilst being transfixed by the defending lawyer's antics with a dummy. That should have raised some questions as to their objectivity on the matter of race.

This matter probably has a long way to go now as individuals and groups seek the real truth, investigate aspects of the case that seem to have been overlooked or merely attempt to calm the anger and dismay that many Americans are showing at the moment.

One concern that the verdict raises is the possibility that gun happy, prejudiced half wits think that they can get away with shooting to death unarmed and innocent black kids.
 

Offline Al

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2013, 01:54:49 PM »
" according to reporters present in Court . . . "?

"Some jury members were reported as appearing . . ."?

Saf, believe what you want to believe.  With all due respect, most of your points are conjecture and speculation.  Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury of his peers that were picked with the agreement of both the prosecution and defense.  The trial is over.  Zimmerman is a free man.  There is no avenue to "investigate aspects of the case that seem to have been overlooked."

I would be surprised if the civil rights investigation goes anywhere, especially since the FBI has already determined that this was basically a non issue.

Of course, the Martin family can always sue Zimmerman for damages.  But if they lose, per Florida laws, they can very well be charged with paying all court costs.  As it should be.
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2013, 02:24:16 PM »
Attorney General Holder Has a Compelling Reason to Consider a Zimmerman Prosecution

The moment George Zimmerman was acquitted, the NAACP and the Reverend Al Sharpton immediately called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to bring civil rights charges against him. The Justice Department has already conducted an exhaustive investigation to determine whether Zimmerman killed Martin out of racial animus. It found no evidence of that. That's one hard and fast requisite for a civil rights prosecution. The other is that the state so bungled the prosecution of a defendant that in effect it nullified the intent of the law, namely to insure that justice was truly served. On the surface, this doesn't appear to be the case with Zimmerman.

Still, the call for Holder to strongly consider a federal prosecution is the right call. There are several factors within federal law that federal prosecutors must look at to determine whether there is a "compelling interest" in a second prosecution of a defendant who's been acquitted in a state court. It must involve a substantial federal interest, the state prosecution must not have vindicated that interest, the government must believe that the defendant's conduct could constitute a federal offense, and that there is still sufficient evidence against the defendant that the government can obtain a conviction.

There are clear elements of each of these hard federal prosecution requirements in the Zimmerman case. The compelling interest is probably the easiest of the requisites to satisfy. The defense and prosecution agreed that Martin did not commit a crime, was not even suspected of a crime, and was on a public thoroughfare when he was killed. The right to freedom of movement without the danger of undue harm is a fundamental right that's enshrined in constitutional law and public policy. It's inviolate. The courts have repeatedly upheld a citizen's right to freedom of access and movement in public places.

Though there was no apparent racial motive in Zimmerman's confronting Martin, his action clearly violated Martin's right to exercise his freedom of movement. This directly impacts on an individual's right to life and liberty. This civil right was violated the moment Zimmerman presumed that a young black man walking on public sidewalk had committed a crime. The safeguard of that right must be a fundamental concern of federal prosecutors.

The Martin case also strongly pointed to systemic issues of excessive force, the excessive force being the slaying of Martin. This strikes to the heart of another basic right of citizens, namely the right to life and liberty, and again the freedom from undue harm. There was audio evidence that strongly hinted that it was Martin who was screaming for help and therefore was under physical assault from Zimmerman. Therefore it was his life, not Zimmerman's, that was in mortal danger. This is sufficient cause for federal prosecutors to question whether the jury ignored that Martin was likely the victim, and Zimmerman was likely the assailant. This is one of the basic ingredients in determining whether the jury nullified a compelling prosecution fact.

The Martin case raised deeply troubling questions about the power of the law to protect citizens from their unimpeded right to life and safety. Federal prosecutors play a major role in insuring that where there's the suspicion that an individual's rights might have been violated solely because of their race and gender that the power of federal law is brought to bear to insure that right is protected.

Zimmerman was not a police officer and did not abuse his power in killing Martin under the color of law. However, he was acting in a quasi-legal capacity as a one-time neighborhood watchman who had close ties and collaboration with local law enforcement. This in effect bestowed on him the presumption of authority to take action to stop and question an individual he considered a crime suspect. This was the rationale that federal prosecutors used in the Rodney King beating case to bring civil rights charge against the four LAPD officers that beat King. The linchpin was that they acted in an official capacity when they violated King's rights.

The Justice Department scrupulously tries to avoid a dual prosecution of a defendant acquitted in a state court. It goes to great lengths to shield itself from the charge that it's bowing to media or public pressure to prosecute. This is why the percentage of civil rights prosecutions it authorizes is infinitesimally low. Yet in the Martin slaying there are crucial federal interests in insuring the rights of individuals to be free from undue harm because of their color, age, and being in a public area merely because someone perceives they shouldn't be in and then acts on that perception with no cause other than that belief or perception.

If the Justice Department gives serious consideration to the civil rights violations in the Martin case, it will again send the strong message that civil rights violations will always be subject to full and public scrutiny by federal prosecutors. This is exactly why Attorney General Holder has a more than compelling reason to consider a Zimmerman civil rights prosecution.

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sicho

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Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2013, 02:40:53 PM »
The public expressions of support for Zimmerman on the one hand and the annoyance at the verdict on the other suggest that race is and issue here and that the nation is divided. Rather like, and linked to, the gun law issue.

I'm reminded of the Hattie Carroll case, immortalised in song by Bob Dylan:

[i]"The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll"

William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gath'rin'
And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears.

William Zanzinger who at twenty-four years
Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres
With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him
And high office relations in the politics of Maryland
Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
And swear words and sneering and his tongue it was snarling
In a matter of minutes on bail was out walking
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears.

Hattie Carroll was a maid in the kitchen
She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children
Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn't even talk to the people at the table
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level
Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air and came down through the room
Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle
And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger
And you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears.

In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all's equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain't pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught 'em
And that ladder of law has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin' that way witout warnin'
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears.

[/i]
 

Offline thaiga

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2013, 02:48:27 PM »
From Dont Look Back Bob Dylan Live 1965. Great artist


Bob Dylan - The lonesome death of Hattie Carrol
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

Offline thaiga

Re: US Justice Department open news case against Zimmerman ♦ video
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2013, 05:05:56 PM »
The US Justice Department may open a civil rights case against George Zimmerman, 29, who was found not guilty for shooting dead of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, 17. Meanwhile some US cities have seen clashes between African Americans and the police during the peaceful marching against the Zimmerman’s acquittal.

 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), an African-American civil rights organization,started a petition on the website MoveOn.org calling for the Justice Department to open a civil rights case against Zimmerman. "The most fundamental of civil rights - the right to life - was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin," NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous wrote in the petition addressing to Attorney General Eric Holder.

 "Experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction," the Justice Department said in the statement released after the acquitting judgement. Justice added that it will determine "whether federal prosecution is appropriate in accordance with the department's policy governing successive federal prosecution following a state trial."

 Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, claimed that on the night of February 26, 2012 an unarmed teenager knocked him to the ground, punched him, straddled him and slammed his head into the concrete. Zimmerman had licensed Kel Tec 9mm pistol and after the fight he shot Martin once in the heart, killing him. While prosecutors said that Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, wrongly suspected Martin of being a criminal because he was black.

 Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder on April 11, 2012. But as long as there were no witnesses to the shooting, he was found not guilty on July 14, 2013 by Florida jury, consisting of five white and one Hispanic women.

 Spontaneous protests broke out in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington and Atlanta overnight, following the verdict, though they were mostly peaceful.


Raw: Protests in Calif. After Zimmerman Verdict



George Zimmerman not Guilty "Nationwide Protest"


On Sunday, a large demonstration in New York attracted several thousand people, with placards that read, "Jail racist killers, not black youth," and "We are all Trayvon. The whole darn system is guilty."

Read more english.ruvr.ru
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

sicho

  • Guest
Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2013, 08:38:10 PM »
Thanks for the videos, Thaiga.

Perhaps not all of the nation has taken leave of its senses.
 


sicho

  • Guest
Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2013, 08:19:59 AM »
An interview of juror B37 by Anderson Cooper has just been broadcast. What she said must reinforce the views of many who have doubts about the verdict in this case.

An important point of law upon which the verdict should have depended is 'reasonable doubt' but she didn't mention it.

She said that the jury didn't consider whether racial prejudice was an aspect of the case. Surely it was worth considering to some extent.

She seemed easily to accept the opinions of witnesses whose testimony favoured the defence but equally easily dismissed the opinions of others as not credible. That smacks of a mind made up at an early stage in the Court proceedings if not previously.

She was patronising about Rachel Jeantel, referring to her lack of education and communication skills, dismissing in the same breath Rachel's testimony as unreliable. In the same response to Cooper, she also dismissed the community of Rachel and Trayvon as 'they' - 'us and them', something of an insight into the juror's personal attitudes and prejudices.

She has an extreme view of gun law, believing that 'everyone' should carry a gun. She presumably believes that self defence with a gun must always mean killing rather than wounding to incapacitate. Zimmerman fired at close range and could easily have aimed at a limb.

When the jury first retired there was a show of hands. Three went for not guilty, two for manslaughter and one for second degree murder. What a turn around to agree a verdict in just a few hours. Perhaps Monday is still wash day in Florida.

Towards the end of the interview, we were treated to a show of crocodile tears as she expressed regret for the death of Martin and the life that Zimmerman will now suffer as a result of the verdict. She claimed that the whole jury cried.  If they were that emotionally shaken by the job they had to do, then perhaps they should not have been doing it.
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2013, 09:31:38 AM »
Anderson Cooper Interviews Juror B-37 - Zimmerman Trial Jury - Part 1 (360 EXCLUSIVE)
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

Offline Baby Farts

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Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2013, 09:40:51 AM »
Where was all this anti-racism enthusiasm when O.J got to walk free?
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2013, 09:50:50 AM »
Anderson Cooper: "Going into the trial, did you have an idea in your mind about what happened?" Juror B37: No, because I hadn't followed the trial at all!"  :o
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

sicho

  • Guest
Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2013, 09:59:19 AM »
"Going into the trial, did you have an idea in your mind about what happened?" No, because I hadn't followed the trial at all!"  :o

Because there had been no trial at that point! Is it possible that no juror had been following the news prior to being called for service?
 

Offline Johnnie F.

Re: Jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty on all charges
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2013, 10:14:00 AM »
All people not following news on the media and neither discussing important neighborhood issues like security! Who believes that, after she has just shown her readiness to let the media "drag" her in front of a microphone. :-[

Why did she speak to the media? In most law systems it is forbidden to reveal what was discussed among judges or jurors. Don't know about Florida though.
Fun is the one thing that money can't buy
 

 



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