View Poll Results: My verdict (anonymous poll)

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  • second degree murder

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  • manslaughter

    7 25.93%
  • not guilty

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  • I don't know enough to decide

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  • I have not heard of this case

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Thread: If you had been on the jury (Zimmerman case)

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    Default If you had been on the jury (Zimmerman case)

    in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case, what would have been your verdict?
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    I think he's guilty of murder; reading the sequence of events and certain parts of the evidence presented I just don't think a 'scuffle' was had and that he choose to pursue the child against better advice.

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    My feeling is that as the lay public, we dont REALLY know all the facts. What we know is the sensationalized info that has come through the media. There is also a lot of mob justice mentality going on out there, fueled by centuries of past injustices due to racism, which is understandable. However, the jury did deliberate quite a bit and even asked for clarifications on various charges. That, as well as the jury knowing the kind of mob mentality that is prevalent and how many enemies they were going to have, the jury still felt he was innocent. There is a possibility that the image portrayed of the victim by his family (and by the media) was actually highly skewed; if not, it would have been a clear cut case of murder, but it seems it wasn't so clear cut. Bottom line, I dont feel i can really make any judgements because I dont have all the facts. The jury had the facts, and seems like they tried hard to be fair, so the best I can do is have confidence in the jury's decision. If Zimmerman really committed premeditated murder, well then I hope he gets punished in other ways. But imagine the other point of view, race aside, if he really were trying to defend himself, and the other guy (whether black or white) was dealing drugs or something and got caught in the act and tried to muscle his way out of it by beating him to death, would it be justice to put this guy in jail for defending himself? What if it were you who got caught in the middle of this? The bag with the snacks doesnt mean much to me; he could have had drugs in there that he'd sold (or hidden), or something along those lines.
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    http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/201...g_to_walk.html

    Prosecution's case was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That is the point i'm trying to make.

    And in my opinion, convicting him with that doubt still in mind (especially with the compelling evidence about the bullet trajectory) would actually not be a moral thing to do. We cant make assumptions about the defendant's mentality about whether he was racist or not. If he was defending himself and is not racist, it's unfair and morally reprehensible to call him racist.
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    Ti centric krieger's Avatar
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    to decide on the level of a US state court jury member i really need more information. how much is each side offering as a bribe
    Last edited by krieger; 07-14-2013 at 08:04 PM.

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    I really think the US court system is fucked.

    cough: zimmerman, amanda knox, casey anthony...

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    The evidence made it pretty clear that Zimmerman was on his back and Martin was beating his head into the concrete. The evidence also made it pretty clear on the way that Martin was positioned when he was shot. With all the facts that were put forth in the case, I really see no way in hell that Zimmerman should have been convicted of either murder or manslaughter; it was a rather open and shut case to be honest, most people that had been keeping up with the trial knew before the verdict even came out what it was.

    People saying that Zimmerman should have listened to the response operator and think that's a reason that he should be convicted are absolutely wrong.. and quite frankly the only reason that that sort of evidence is admissible is due to the fact that the prosecution has to be allowed to piece together Zimmerman's state of mind to the jury.
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    Generally I am a bit disturbed by the fact that a grown adult can stalk a teenager with a gun without consequences. He put himself in this situation AND he has a history of violence. Trayvon Martin was walking while talking on the phone - what is suspicious about that?
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    I'd just round up 50 random people and execute them. lol @ all the fancy legalese itt
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    No one saw exactly what happened. He may have racially profiled him, but it's not as if Zimmerman just shot him for the hell of it, there was obviously a physical fight and anyone who happened to have a gun on them during a fight could have easily done the same thing he did. There were no eye witnesses so how can you possibly convict him of murder?

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    I think it's ridiculous that the law favors asshole wannabe cops who shoot to kill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jessica129 View Post
    No one saw exactly what happened. He may have racially profiled him, but it's not as if Zimmerman just shot him for the hell of it, there was obviously a physical fight and anyone who happened to have a gun on them during a fight could have easily done the same thing he did. There were no eye witnesses so how can you possibly convict him of murder?
    I can see that the jury might have not been convinced beyond reasonable doubt. But Trayvon Martin was not the aggressor - he was being stalked by an armed man in the dark who could have just NOT followed this kid. Should it be legal to wave your gun at an unsuspecting kid in a dark neighborhood? At the very least, there needs to be some investigation in the "stand your ground" law and if race factors in the outcomes. It absolutely cannot be that Zimmerman goes free and she gets 20 years:

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/11/justic...nd-sentencing/
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    Given the size and weight differences of the individuals I find it hard to believe shooting the boy was his only option scuffle or no scuffle. The kid was also unarmed if I recall correctly. I haven’t really followed the case much at all tbh… I was not on the jury and therefore couldn't say.

    I was a cop shortly and from what I remember cops aren't trained to shoot unarmed teenagers....This is what the hand to hand combat training is for? Anyone seen "Cops?" there'd be so many shot people...

    As it stands I disagree with the verdict from what I know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    I don't care about the case. It's all propaganda from the major news networks.
    So you don't care about any publicized trial?
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscorey View Post
    Given the size and weight differences of the individuals I find it hard to believe shooting the boy was his only option scuffle or no scuffle. The kid was also unarmed if I recall correctly.
    He was armed with Skittles and fruit juice and Zimmerman was explicitly told by the 911 dispatcher to not follow him, police was on their way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by felafel View Post
    ? he wrote *THE* case - what has that got to do with *ANY* trial?
    I was curious if he doesn't care about trials covered by different news networks ("propaganda") in general or if it's because of a specific coverage regarding this trial that he doesn't care.
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    Quote Originally Posted by felafel View Post
    he already specified *IT* so it just looks to me like you're playing with words
    You misunderstand. I understand that he doesn't care about this case, but I am wondering if he also doesn't care about other trials for the same reason or if there is something specific with this case and its coverage that makes him not care.
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  18. #18
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    Well facts are nice, I agree, I would like to know as much facts as possible to make the right decision. But my gut says Zimmerman is guilty of manslaughter, murder is premeditated so manslaughter is accurate as far as my legal knowledge goes.

    The argument that he was dealing drugs doesn't justify his death imo. I think killing someone should only be an option when you feel like your own life or someone you are protecting is threatened and the only option to survive is to kill the other party. My gut feeling is that the kid was probably attempting to escape and was only attacking him to subdue him so that he could escape, and not attacking to kill Zimmerman in which case based of my own value system I do not think this justifies his death. I also feel from the gut that Zimmerman was a bit of a want to be cop or neighborhood protector that wasn't in the correct mentality. He probably felt like he had something to prove, was in pursuit of his own vainglory and heroism to clean up the neighborhood, was slightly paranoid and suspicious, and didn't have the proper diplomatic understanding on how to deal with conflict and situations like he was presented with. He gave into paranoia and pursued Zimmerman in order to fulfill his vainglorious conviction of cleaning up the neighborhood and proving himself as a "protector" with little rational thought or foresight to the consequences of his actions and when confronted with an actual physical confrontation out of fear decided to kill the attacker feeling it was his right to be able to use a firearm to protect himself in a battle (that he probably instigated).

    Once again, I do not have all the facts but that is my gut feeling. Although facts could persuade me differently. The argument Trey was a drug dealer and a bad kid doesn't sway me, as I think for such an act to be justified Zimmerman would have to factually show that Trey had intent to threaten his life and was not trying to subdue him in order to flee. Some will argue Zimmerman was being like a cop and couldn't allow a criminal to flee, but my value system doesn't like the idea of shooting others for resisting arrest or petty crimes like dealing drugs in a bad neighborhood because I think such a policy will create more problems than solve them.

    Many police will for example have policies not to engage in high speed chases to protect civilians and instead will write the plates down and catch the perps later. A very wise policy imo, and I think Zimmerman simply lacked this wisdom, which imo should go hand in hand with packing lethal force. Traditionally something like a martial artist or soldier would have to train in discipline mentally as well as physically, even police go through this process so they don't loose their cool under pressure. Zimmerman didn't have this training and I think he spurred on something that was more than he asked for and went for the gun out of fear.

    I don't like this because the global consequences of people resolving conflicts with lethal force without the proper focus mentally is well downright depressing and frightening. But maybe there are facts I don't know....

    That's always a possibility and maybe they can sway my gut feeling. But either way I think the whole thing is a tragedy and could have been prevented by wiser decisions on many parties involved. Trey was a kid from a bad neighborhood, Zimmerman was older and self-appointed protector -- he should have held himself to a higher standard imo.

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    I don't think he was a drug dealer. I think one time cops found an empty baggy of weed, but that's about it as far as I know. I am pretty sure he didn't have anything on him that night.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    I don't think he was a drug dealer. I think one time cops found an empty baggy of weed, but that's about it as far as I know. I am pretty sure he didn't have anything on him that night.
    I just offered that hypothesis as a possibility. My point is that him carrying a bag of snacks doesn't rule out his part in aggression nor any wrongdoings he may have been involved in that could have led to the confrontation. We just dont know.

    Aside from that, i'm sure the fact that there was a baggy of weed in there did not help the victim's case. That changes the scenario from him having just stopped by a 7-11 for snacks to him doing something he shouldn't have been doing (was he smoking the weed, was he selling the weed, who did he buy the weed from, was he stealing to pay for the weed, etc), and begs the question, what ELSE was he doing there, and gives more credibility to the defendant's story. If he was smoking the weed, it's possible he was abusing another drug (like crack/cocaine) that could have made him unusually aggressive, again lending credibility to the defendant's story. IDK whether any substances were found in his body during post-mortem forensic analysis, but even this small factor already introduces a large element of reasonable doubt and makes the case not so clear cut.
    Last edited by Suz; 07-15-2013 at 01:48 AM.
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    No no no, the baggie of weed was found at another time and he was suspended from school. This had nothing to do with this case and I don't know many 17-year-olds, to be honest, who did not at one time smoke weed (myself included). Xerx, they tested the residue in the bag I suppose (you can usually still smell it).

    George Zimmerman was arrested in the past for resisting arrest with violence, which was reduced to resisting arrest without violence when he agreed to enter an alcohol problem. He also had a restraining order against him because of domestic violence.

    Trayvon Martin was walking down the street, talking on the phone and holding a bag of skittles and fruit juice. Why would anyone think he is a drug dealer?
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    To be honest it sounds like the authorities are closing ranks because they know that if they find a security guard guilty then it would open up many other cases of police on civilian killings/brutality which have been brushed under the carpet.

    One does not simply end up in a brawl with someone who is heading directly home after purchasing product. The young mans goals was to consume the product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    Generally I am a bit disturbed by the fact that a grown adult can stalk a teenager with a gun without consequences. He put himself in this situation AND he has a history of violence. Trayvon Martin was walking while talking on the phone - what is suspicious about that?
    Well that is the picture the media painted for us. We dont really know all the details.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorkaholicsAnon View Post
    Well that is the picture the media painted for us. We dont really know all the details.

    I think we know enough details to conclude that no civilian should be legally allowed to go after an unarmed kid with a gun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Oh shut up!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    No no no, the baggie of weed was found at another time and he was suspended from school. This had nothing to do with this case and I don't know many 17-year-olds, to be honest, who did not at one time smoke weed (myself included). Xerx, they tested the residue in the bag I suppose (you can usually still smell it).
    Ohhh ok. But this still did not help the victims case.
    {rant} I was a 17 year old that never smoked weed, most of my friends didn't either. I dont understand what the big deal is, and why someone would risk their reputation and public record just to puff on that stuff. What the hell is so freaking special about weed?? {/rant}

    I think what ultimately made the case was what hitta mentioned, about the positioning and the bullet trajectory. I dont know all the details of the case, i wasn't following closely, but given that element of huge doubt, in my opinion, ethically and morally, it's better to set a guilty man free than to convict an innocent man, and i think ultimately this was the equation that the jury was struggling with. Like i said, if zimmerman is truly guilty, he'll be punished by his own demons. If he is innocent though, and goes to prison for murder, well, i dont think anyone would have an easy conscience if that were to turn out to be the case.
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    There is really no evidence of this case being murder, and anyone suggesting that he should have been convicted is being ridiculous. Whether or not Zimmerman is at fault or not, there's really no evidence to support that. All the evidence supports is Martin being on Zimmerman bashing his head into the cement, and that Zimmerman fired from a threatened position. If you want to get into the whole racism thing, Zimmerman literally took a black girl to the prom in high school. He helped in several community projects that involved mostly black kids. The prosecution had no case at all, zilch, other than thousands of people screaming racism. I mean it's kind of absurd really to even think about this, you have famous people on twitter screaming for the deaths of jury members even though they just did their job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    Saying 'So you don't care' as opposed to asking 'Do you care' seems a little more defensive and like drawing conclusions. I understand what you're asking though.

    I do think some trials could have importance. Legal implications, precedents, etc. I even considered studying law at one point, as I care strongly about justice. Don't feel like accruing $150,000 of law school debt for only a 50% chance I'll get hired though. Perhaps a lofty pipeline dream for some.

    But currently, I'm very skeptical about anything publicized during the Obama administration. I don't feel like going into great details, but there have already been a couple cases which were very questionable what the major news networks reported. And it's not necessarily just Obama - how Bush faked the whole 9/11 deal to convince Americans to infiltrate the Middle East for oil... just anything this past decade, I'm very skeptical what the government is trying to get Americans to think.

    While the trial went on, behind the scenes I wonder how many more drone attacks the US made to defenseless villages overseas, how many rights Obama is still trying to take away, how much medical practice will occur now that Obama's trying to press HMOs and government-recommended doctors instead of letting people pick their own. Meanwhile America's foreign debt is still trickling higher, TRILLION by TRILLION. How much longer till other countries demand repayment, even wage war? It's not that I don't care about the justice of trials, it's just I find it's a very small drop in a large ocean of current events.

    I think America is going downhill and its justice is as well. I'm very bearish on the US with my investments. There's just so much going on behind the scenes to worry about a singular homicide case, imho.

    And I feel like discussing the trial plays into the government's control of wanting you to think about certain things. I feel those who give this attention are vastly missing other events. It's the 'wool' over the sheep's eyes.
    the media isn't under the control of the government though...at least not in the US... but regardless, i agree that info relayed in the media shouldn't be taken for 100% accuracy.
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    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1386764.html - No blood/bruises on Zimmerman, police cctv footage shows.

    In other news, I always read Russia today when I want to find out what's really happening in the UK/US. I always read CNN/BBC when I want to find out whats happening in Russia/China.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    He was armed with Skittles and fruit juice and Zimmerman was explicitly told by the 911 dispatcher to not follow him, police was on their way.
    Thanks. I'll have to actually read about the trial perhaps.
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    I'd be more skeptical of some of the posters here who can't use google and are forming opinion based on hearsay.

    Do your homework slackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    Yeah. If I *were* to care about the case, I would be skeptical of the 'evidence' the defense provided to prove Zimmerman was beaten up.

    I mean, at least from my itty-bitty non-intuitive sensor perspective - just seeing some pictures of Zimmerman, he looks to be a fairly big, physically strong, possibly 200+ pound man, and the idea that he could be beaten up by a 17-year old sounds pretty ridiculous.
    He put on like 100 lbs after the he was charged, he was a fairly skinny person prior to the incident.
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    I don't know enough to decide, but why was he even allowed to keep neighborhood watch with a gun?? A normal person would have just called the cops if they suspected suspicious activity. He should be punished for his complete ignorance and stupidity.

    The whole case makes me very angry. You just don't shoot people walking down the street, even if they look suspicious. An innocent kid lost his life because of an idiot who was most likely trying to prove his faux masculinity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireyed View Post
    I don't know enough to decide, but why was he even allowed to keep neighborhood watch with a gun?? A normal person would have just called the cops if they suspected suspicious activity. He should be punished for his complete ignorance and stupidity.

    The whole case makes me very angry. You just don't shoot people walking down the street, even if they look suspicious. An innocent kid lost his life because of an idiot who was most likely trying to prove his faux masculinity.
    He didn't just shoot him. It's not like he just walked up to the dude and was like "hey kid"... pop pop.... the guy got his head beaten into the cement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    From what I gather, Martin was indeed shot by Zimmerman in self-defense, and there was evidence of a severe physical altercation having occurred pursuant to that—such as Martin slamming Zimmerman's head w/ concrete, etc.

    It does seem overzealous on Zimmerman's part that he placed himself in an unnecessarily risky situation by leaving the car (without presumably good reason to do so)—however, being stupid isn't against the law, and fault lays with Martin for initiating battery. To argue otherwise would be akin to blaming a rape victim for their own rape because they happened to be intoxicated, wearing sultry clothes, and hanging out with sketchy shitheads at the time.
    I haven't followed the case closely but my understanding was the Zimmerman pursued him out of suspicion not that Martin initiated aggression due to Zimmerman simply walking out of his car. Which if that was the case like I said I'd have a different perspective. Regardless its hard to tell at this point through all the media smoke and mirrors what actually happened, I guess I'm more interested in facts but once again I haven't followed the case closely.

    Also you may be stretching things a bit, I've been to New Orleans before several times and have been directly in all black neighborhoods of low income and most of the time merely getting out of the car doesn't incite violence from people. It just seems out of pure gut instinct that Zimmerman must have done something to ellicit that behavior, such as chasing after him or aggressive posturing that may have made Trey feel threatened. There is a huge gap in motive why Martin would just attack Zimmerman out of the blue for as you put it simply walking out of his car.... no I don't think it is that simple and it seems like you are blowing smoke over the entire situation.

    There are so many possibilities and its hard to know exactly what happened without actually having witnessed it, but I still from my gut think Zimmerman pursued Martin and he freaked out tried to subdue him to escape and Zimmerman felt threatened and pulled the trigger. Now if Martin saw Zimmerman exit his vehicle and freaked out and just started to jump him or attack him for some reason and Zimmerman fearing for his life used a weapon to protect himself from serious injury or death then yes, I'd agree its pretty clear self-defense. But little inconsistencies like the lack of motive why Trey would just attack someone at random without any prior history of assualt just for getting out of the car is a little far fetched at a gut level imo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitta View Post
    He didn't just shoot him. It's not like he just walked up to the dude and was like "hey kid"... pop pop.... the guy got his head beaten into the cement.
    Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin and TM told his friend on the phone that he was uncomfortable. Zimmerman DID walk up to the dude and maybe Trayvon Martin "stood his ground" because he was scared of this guy who also apparently never identified himself as part of the neighborhood watch? Zimmerman had no business following children with a gun and that's that. Everything that followed, including getting injured, is his own fault.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post

    And it also doesn't make sense, if Martin noticed he was being followed, that if he were actually scared - why wouldn't he get away? I mean, if he had enough time to make a phone conversation, he obviously wasn't sprinting as fast as he could, or running for his life. It seems like this 'following' had occurred for quite some time.
    .
    He was already on the phone when he noticed Zimmerman and he tried to get away. Here is the transcript of Zimmerman's 911. And if you listen to the transcripts, he says "fucking coons." The defense tried to argue that he said "fucking punks," but it surely doesn't sound like it. Trayvon Martin TRIED to run and Zimmerman followed him. To be honest, I would find that pretty scary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin and TM told his friend on the phone that he was uncomfortable. Zimmerman DID walk up to the dude and maybe Trayvon Martin "stood his ground" because he was scared of this guy who also apparently never identified himself as part of the neighborhood watch? Zimmerman had no business following children with a gun and that's that. Everything that followed, including getting injured, is his own fault.
    So Zimmerman should go to prison for walking up to someone? Say Zimmerman was a police detective or some other sort of police officer dressed in casual clothing, and walked close to Martin because he suspected something. And if Martin then blind sided this cop, and started beating his head into the ground, and then the cop shot him.. would this situation be any different?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    I don't doubt that Zimmerman was stalking Martin out of suspicion (which likely put Martin more on edge as well—it would me too if I thought I was being followed). But AFAIK, Martin's the one who struck 1st blow; whether he felt it necessary at the time in his state of mind to attack preemptively, I dunno. But then one could just as well argue that if Martin felt imminently threatened, why didn't he call the cops…?
    He tried to run, Zimmerman followed him, and the run-in began when he was still on the phone with his friend. He had no time to call the police Zimmerman caught up to him.
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