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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1457 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2012 :  17:55:17  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Armed untrained self-appointed "neighborhood watch leader" guns down unarmed kid for the "crime" of running away from him and pleading for his life. Astonishingly, no arrest yet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/opinion/blow-the-curious-case-of-trayvon-martin.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Trayvon&st=cse

9-11 audio:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/trayvon-martin-911-audio-_n_1354909.html?ref=tw

PZ Myers opines:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/03/17/racist-goddamned-florida/

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2012 :  21:12:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I certainly think Zimmerman was racially motivated in confronting Martin. Was it murder? Was it manslaughter? What actually went down just prior to Zimmerman shot Martin is less clear to me at this point. Calling Zimmerman a murderer at this point is premature and prejudicial to justice in itself. But the case (and it needs to be a case!) needs to be thoroughly investigated as a homicide. The police and DA need to get off their asses.

Edited to add: If, as has been reported by PZ, Martin was running away when shot, that alone is strong evidence of murder or manslaughter.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 03/17/2012 21:40:44
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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2012 :  14:54:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's the police who is wrongly applying the law. I don't see how it even applies in this case. This shooter has some serious problems ahead of him.

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2012 :  21:26:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It seems the investigation has finally, perhaps, become a real one.

The thing is, despite whatever facts are in this case, there are still places in Florida, the South, and elsewhere in the USA where being a young black male in public is considered reason for the application of deadly force. I believe that President Obama had that in mind when he remarked that this case should give Americans pause to think.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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perrodetokio
Skeptic Friend

275 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2012 :  22:52:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send perrodetokio a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One thing is clear: Zimmerman should not have confronted Martin. I don´t know what´s going to happen with this now, but a least gun-ho vigilantes should learn from this. He wasn´t defending himself to begin with and supposedly police told him not to go after the boy. What was he thinking? If Martin wasn´t doing anything illegal, why go after him? Even if he had been, Zimmerman´s life, nor anybody´s, was at stake. It strikes me not so much of racism but more of immaturity. Trying to feel powerful, perhaps? Thing is the fact that if Martin had been a white boy thing would have turned differently just adds to the mess.

"Yes I have a belief in a creator/God but do not know that he exists." Bill Scott

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"We should have millions of missing links or transition fossils showing a fish turning into a philosopher..." Bill Scott
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2012 :  00:59:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by perrodetokio

One thing is clear: Zimmerman should not have confronted Martin. I don´t know what´s going to happen with this now, but a least gun-ho vigilantes should learn from this. He wasn´t defending himself to begin with and supposedly police told him not to go after the boy. What was he thinking? If Martin wasn´t doing anything illegal, why go after him? Even if he had been, Zimmerman´s life, nor anybody´s, was at stake. It strikes me not so much of racism but more of immaturity. Trying to feel powerful, perhaps? Thing is the fact that if Martin had been a white boy thing would have turned differently just adds to the mess.
One societal problem, outside racism, that I see in action is the over-encouragement by right-wing politicians of the notion that people should "defend" themselves, specifically with guns. (I hasten to add the opinion that such self-defense is not always nonsense, but it should be a last resort.)

I think laws like Florida's "stand your ground" law in effect encourage untrained and perhaps trigger-happy people to shoot first, rather than rely on law enforcement. Then it lets such shooters get off fairly easily:
The legal question at the heart of the case involves Florida's so-called "stand your ground" law, which the legislature passed, at the behest of the National Rifle Association, in 2005. Before that time, Florida law resembled that of most other states; during confrontations, individuals had a duty to retreat rather than to respond to provocations. Under the new law, a person is allowed to use deadly force if he is in a place he has a right to be and feels reasonably threatened with serious harm.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1884 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2012 :  05:03:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

The legal question at the heart of the case involves Florida's so-called "stand your ground" law, which the legislature passed, at the behest of the National Rifle Association, in 2005.
With 4 states already with unrestricted concealed carry 4 more states considering unrestricted concealed carry and shall issue/may issue in all but Illinois. Then compounded that with the extension of the castle doctrine in more than half the states we should expect more of this. I'll see if I can find it again, but I believe that even John Lott "More Guns, Less Violence" admits to a saturation point. Hell a defense lawyer should be disbarred for incompetency for not using the extension of the castle doctrine when he is defending a Zimmerman.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2012 :  05:59:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Originally posted by perrodetokio

One thing is clear: Zimmerman should not have confronted Martin. I don´t know what´s going to happen with this now, but a least gun-ho vigilantes should learn from this. He wasn´t defending himself to begin with and supposedly police told him not to go after the boy. What was he thinking? If Martin wasn´t doing anything illegal, why go after him? Even if he had been, Zimmerman´s life, nor anybody´s, was at stake. It strikes me not so much of racism but more of immaturity. Trying to feel powerful, perhaps? Thing is the fact that if Martin had been a white boy thing would have turned differently just adds to the mess.
One societal problem, outside racism, that I see in action is the over-encouragement by right-wing politicians of the notion that people should "defend" themselves, specifically with guns. (I hasten to add the opinion that such self-defense is not always nonsense, but it should be a last resort.)

I think laws like Florida's "stand your ground" law in effect encourage untrained and perhaps trigger-happy people to shoot first, rather than rely on law enforcement. Then it lets such shooters get off fairly easily:
The legal question at the heart of the case involves Florida's so-called "stand your ground" law, which the legislature passed, at the behest of the National Rifle Association, in 2005. Before that time, Florida law resembled that of most other states; during confrontations, individuals had a duty to retreat rather than to respond to provocations. Under the new law, a person is allowed to use deadly force if he is in a place he has a right to be and feels reasonably threatened with serious harm.



I have been watching the gun blogs on this one.

Several won't comment (because that's not what they do) but some have.

So far, they have expressed doubt about the story presented. Mostly, they do fault Zimmerman for following the kid above and beyond what is reasonable. They see the crossing of the line when Zimmerman exited his vehicle to persue the kid.

Now the press is bringing out the kids past and the actions of the child's mother.

This does not change the "stand your ground" issue that both individuals had.

1) Zimmerman observed Martin walking in the neighborhood and called police.
2) Zimmerman followed Martin in his vehicle.
3) Martin was aware of this and, being 17 and from a rougher neighborhood, attempted to ditch the tail.
4) Zimmerman informs police that Martin is moving and he is following.
5) Police advise him to terminate persuit.
6) <-----line crossed here --->
7) Zimmerman continues his persuit of Martin
8) This is where things get hazy.
8a) Zimmerman initiated contact with Martin, who then defends himself. During the struggle, Zimmerman pulls the weapon and shoots Martin.
8b) Martin confronts the man following him, a scuffle ensues and Zimmerman shoots Martin.

In both cases, Zimmerman has provoked the confrontation. This is a bad shoot.

Absent any other evidence, Zimmerman should not be protected by the "stand your ground" law. Otherwise, gang members could use the same law to settle turf wars.

To Mooner's point that self defense is a last resort and moakley's comment about Illinois, the police have no duty to save your life. If confronted by an armed person, personal defense is preferrable to being victimized. In each victimization, the criminal must make certain profit/loss calculations. Allowing gun ownership and CCW adds more loss into the criminal's calculation.

The NRA and other gun owners primarily stress training with the weapon and to deeply consider what is a reasonable response to a threat. Pulling the weapon and firing it is one of the last resorts because the training typically goes from pulling the weapon to firing the weapon. It allows for the de-escalation of an issue without use of the firearm. It also stresses situational awareness. If you look like you are watching for threats, you are less likely to be targeted.

Illinois is a bit of a misnomer. Chicago doesn't want CCW or gun ownership. Since Chicago has 51% of the population, the tail wags the dog. Because of this, legislation has been introduced to eject Cook County (where Chicago is. AKA Crook County) from Illinois.

In any case, defending oneself when necessary is an imperative. When seconds count, the police are just minutes to hours away.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2012 :  09:10:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I totally agree about the point where Zimmerman (based upon what we know) "crossed the line." "Stand your ground" means staying put, neither running away nor chasing the person. And it's idiocy, anyway. That Martin tried to put real estate between himself and Zimmerman and Zimmerman used a car to chase him down (after being told not to by the cops) makes it looks probable that Martin did what he should have, and Zimmerman did everything but "stand his ground."

Despite whatever happened with fists after Zimmerman jumped out of his car (and remember, by that law, Martin also had a right to "stand his ground" and use what little force he had at hand, and damned good reason to think Zimmerman was going to attack him), I'm thinking that this probably is nothing less than manslaughter, and very possibly premeditated murder by Zimmerman. The difference between those two classes of homicide depends on what kind of madness was going on within Zimmerman's skull case. Self-defense seems logically out for Zimmerman.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2012 :  11:06:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's unlikely that it was premeditated. That suggests planning. But 2nd degree murder or voluntary manslaughter sound about right.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2012 :  11:30:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

It's unlikely that it was premeditated. That suggests planning. But 2nd degree murder or voluntary manslaughter sound about right.
I think that's a good guess. I wish we knew more about what actually went down, though.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2012 :  21:38:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mother Jones has a huge article about this, updated very often. The latest update (about six hours ago as of this writing) says that the lead investigator wanted to arrest Zimmerman but the lawyers didn't think they could convict, and that Zimmerman claimed there was actually a struggle over his gun.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1884 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2012 :  07:15:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

and moakley's comment about Illinois
My comment had very little to do with Illinois. My comment had to do with lowering or eliminating restriction on concealed carry compounded with the extension of the castle doctrine. To a point we have had competent owners with concealed carry permits who are among the least likely to be involved in commiting crimes. The two trends I see now are that we are allowing less competent owners to carry and extending the range over which the less competent can excercise poor judgement.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9672 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2012 :  12:35:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by moakley
My comment had very little to do with Illinois. My comment had to do with lowering or eliminating restriction on concealed carry compounded with the extension of the castle doctrine. To a point we have had competent owners with concealed carry permits who are among the least likely to be involved in commiting crimes. The two trends I see now are that we are allowing less competent owners to carry and extending the range over which the less competent can excercise poor judgement.
This is why I'm for strict weapon laws. If it is too easy to get a licence to own a gun, then morons can get a gun. People who aren't competent or wise enough to handle it responsively. Zimmerman is a case in point.



(edit spelling)

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Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 03/28/2012 12:36:46
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Machi4velli
SFN Regular

USA
854 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2012 :  13:04:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Machi4velli a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not sure that Zimmerman following the kid is illegal, so if we're to believe Zimmerman's story (which is a big if -- but the burden of proof is of course on the state), wouldn't he still have the right to shoot Martin if Martin actually attacked him first? You don't really have a right to attack someone for following you.

I think it would be a good idea to make it legally binding that you stop following someone if an emergency operator tells you...

"Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
-Giordano Bruno

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge."
-Stephen Hawking

"Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable"
-Albert Camus
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2012 :  13:39:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Machi4velli

I'm not sure that Zimmerman following the kid is illegal, so if we're to believe Zimmerman's story (which is a big if -- but the burden of proof is of course on the state), wouldn't he still have the right to shoot Martin if Martin actually attacked him first? You don't really have a right to attack someone for following you.
Apparently you do, if you think you're at risk of death or great bodily injury.

But the important point made elsewhere is that regardless of who was the aggressor in the final moments, if Zimmerman had stopped when told to, Trayvon would still be alive, Zimmerman wouldn't be afraid for his own life, and an elderly couple wouldn't be receiving death threats (but would Spike Lee still be a moronic thug?).

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Why not question something for a change?
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