Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:04 PM
RZM (8,556 posts)
Remember that line from 'Training Day?' . . . 'It's not what you know, it's what you can prove'
I suspect this is what's going on with Zimmerman. I don't doubt that the legal minds in Orlando have been looking at this for a while. I suspect that if they thought they had enough evidence to charge Zimmerman and stood a reasonable chance at getting a conviction, they would do so (and still might, though I kind of doubt it). It looks like the cops screwed up and he might never face trial because of it.
I'll bet this actually happens all of the time. Except we never hear about it because it's like a tree falling in the woods with nobody around. If nobody knows or cares about an event, nobody notices when no criminal charges result from it. The difference here is that this shooting made national news. Plenty of other shootings don't and in many of those, nobody is ever charged. I've heard before that police know who the killer is in most murders, but that doesn't mean they are able to marshal enough evidence to get a charge, let alone enough that will get a conviction.
As we all know, the justice system doesn't always comport well with what actually happens. It should, but it doesn't.
7 replies, 1146 views
Remember that line from 'Training Day?' . . . 'It's not what you know, it's what you can prove' (Original post)
Response to RZM (Original post)
Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:11 PM
peacebird (8,284 posts)
1. Years ago a lawyer i was friends with said that justice was not right or wrong, truth or innocence
It was giving your client the best representation they could have. Which is why he always told clients NOT to tell him what they did if guilty.
Response to peacebird (Reply #1)
Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:18 PM
RZM (8,556 posts)
2. Pretty much
Whenever people bring up an instance of an innocent person being convicted, I can't help remind them that such cases are probably far outnumbered by the guilty walking free. Probably by a factor of hundreds, if not even thousands.
But that's the way our system is set up. You're innocent until proven guilty and it's the state's job to prove you did wrong. And that's how it should be.
Response to justgamma (Reply #5)
Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:01 PM
RZM (8,556 posts)
6. I don't think there were witnesses to the shooting, but there was the 911 call
From somebody who apparently witnessed the pre-shooting altercation.
This witness has said that the two were fighting and that Trayvon had the upper hand when he called 911. Then he ran upstairs and heard the shot. When he looked again, the tables had turned. The person who had previously had the upper hand was now lying on the ground shot.
So he didn't see the actual killing, but he apparently saw what happened right before. I believe he's probably a credible witnesss. My opinion is that Zimmerman confronted Trayvon, there were fisticuffs, and Zimmerman shot Trayvon in that altercation.
What that means legally I honestly don't know. It's probably not first-degree murder, but it certainly could be a lesser murder or manslaughter charge. But I don't have much knowledge of the law so I can't say.
Response to RZM (Reply #6)
Fri Mar 23, 2012, 01:15 AM
JDPriestly (47,140 posts)
7. But the witness's impression that Trayvon had the upper hand
only means that he was defending himself against an unknown assailant with a gun.
What is missing is any explanation for why Zimmerman was following Trayvon or questioning in the first place. For what reason?
Was Trayvon threatening someone? Stealing? What had he done to raise a suspicion.
Zimmerman's defense is self-defense or defense of others. Did Trayvon attack Zimmerman out of the blue? That is did Trayvon attack a man with a weapon? Trayvon did not have a weapon.
So far I haven't heard any claim that Trayvon was stealing anything. If he was "on top" for a time, it may have simply been because he was defending himself while black.
So the witness's testimony, if all of it is presented in that article, does not answer the most crucial questions.
No one, not even a Neighborhood Watch representative, has the right to simply chase someone down because they are walking around. Zimmerman may have thought that Trayvon was an intruder, but even if that was true, unless Zimmerman could have credibly believed that Trayvon really was an imminent danger to himself or others, Zimmerman should have called the police.
This will have to go to a jury in my opinion. There are too many judgment calls.
And this is the problem with that crazy Florida law. Who gets to judge whether there is an imminent danger.