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Author Topic: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.  (Read 12160 times)

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Offline Tamhansen

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #100 on: April 07, 2012, 01:07:35 PM »
another question from a confudled ousider.

Is it true that due to this legislation martin's family can not file civil case against zimmerman. I heard this on a Dutch broadcast, so not sure if that is correct.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #101 on: April 07, 2012, 01:24:00 PM »
another question from a confudled ousider.

Is it true that due to this legislation martin's family can not file civil case against zimmerman. I heard this on a Dutch broadcast, so not sure if that is correct.

You know.. I'm not sure. It would seem, to me, that they have justifiably standing to do so.

Offline Cythieus

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #102 on: April 07, 2012, 02:08:36 PM »
The Castle Doctrine is where SYG originates. Not sure about Florida, but here in Texas you can kill any home intruder you deem to be a threat or even someone who breaks into your car. At night you can shoot them outside or inside of the house, in the day I think they have to be inside (I remember that being something in a case that happened here)

another question from a confudled ousider.

Is it true that due to this legislation martin's family can not file civil case against zimmerman. I heard this on a Dutch broadcast, so not sure if that is correct.
Pretty sure they did, even though OJ got off he was still sued in civil court and lost the case.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #103 on: April 07, 2012, 05:36:06 PM »
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/02/tagblogsfindlawcom2012-injured-idUS90783590520120402


Apparently Zimmerman, AND the Homeowners Association CAN be taken to civil court. I imagine this will happen if the grand jury fails to bring charges against him.  200 households can be involved.  I imagine a LOt of homeowner groups will be revising the Watch program bylaws in the very near future.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #104 on: April 08, 2012, 02:16:45 AM »
another question from a confudled ousider.

Is it true that due to this legislation martin's family can not file civil case against zimmerman. I heard this on a Dutch broadcast, so not sure if that is correct.

CNN says that they plan to file a civil case.  Typically, plaintiffs will wait until a criminal case has been concluded before filing a civil suit.  For one thing, anything that comes out at trial can be used in the civil case.  For another, if you have filed a civil suit, and you are called as a witness, the defense attorney is likely to bring up the civil case as a reason for you to testify in a biased manner.

I believe they have every basis for a 'wrongful death' case.  (Speaking as a non-lawyer, but avid court-follower)

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #105 on: April 08, 2012, 05:25:43 AM »
the reason I ask is this:

776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—

(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.

(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).


Offline vtboyTopic starter

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #106 on: April 08, 2012, 06:28:34 AM »


Actually if you look at the language of the law, and I have (as did the man  who wrote it) and it comes down to this. Zimmerman called the cops..they (though the operator) warned him off. That is where 'just cause' goes out the window as far as I'm concerned. He was the aggressor from the beginning. He wasn't defending his house or business. There is sufficient evidence to show that he'd chased down others as well. Zimmerman's actions could easily be interpreted by the ongoing grand jury as 'aggressive beyond need' and there is a fair argument to be made that he'd been told to stand down.

I, too, have read the statute. The problem with it is that it eliminates the duty to retreat unless the party claiming self-defense was engaged in some unlawful activity. It is not at all clear, however, that Zimmerman was doing anything unlawful before his encounter with Martin escalated into violence. Simply being "aggressive" would be insufficient, under the statute, for Zimmerman to forfeit the right to "stand his ground" (i.e., to subject him to a duty to retreat in the face of actual or threatened violence).

We are agreed that: (1) there is plenty of evidence for a grand jury to indict Zimmerman for manslaughter, at a minimum; and (2) Zimmerman was the "aggressor", in the sense that he pursued Martin. However, following another person, even if out of racial bias, is not a crime, and Zimmerman's disregard of the 911 dispatcher's advice does not make it one. If Zimmerman did little more than this, no matter how obnoxious or racist his behavior, he would have been entitled, under Florida's statute, to stand his ground in the face of an assault by Martin, assuming there was one.

There may, of course, be evidence, not yet made public, that the violence was the product of some unlawful conduct by Zimmerman which would have deprived him of the statutory exemption form retreat -- perhaps, for example, he attempted to restrain Martin physically, or was the first to resort to violence in an encounter which had previously been only verbal. Further, even if Zimmerman had the right to stand his ground, there may yet be reason for a jury to reject his self-defense defense --  his claimed perception of threat to life and limb may be found unreasonable or even wholly incredible. These are questions for a jury, and the real crime here is that for over three weeks following Martin's killing, the authorities did all they could to keep the case from ever going to a jury.

"Stand your ground" laws are bad public policy because they encourage resort to deadly force in situations where other effective alternatives are available. Much as I like cinematic showdowns at high noon on the streets of Dodge, I would prefer not see real ones on the manicured lawns of the Retreat at Twin Lakes.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 06:31:21 AM by vtboy »

Offline vtboyTopic starter

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #107 on: April 11, 2012, 11:33:44 AM »
The behavior of Zimmerman's attorneys, who yesterday announced to the media the termination of their representation, is jaw-dropping.

The attorneys' disclosures that Zimmerman is presently residing outside of Florida, suspended communication with them, contacted the prosecutor's office on his own, and had discussions with Sean Hannity (which can only be presumed to have concerned the matter that lends him such notoriety) are potentially prejudicial to their ex-client. The termination of their professional relationships with Zimmerman would not have ended their duties to preserve his confidences and to avoid unnecessary disclosure of anything potentially harmful to him.

What are people smoking in that State?

Offline Torch

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #108 on: April 11, 2012, 11:47:13 AM »
The behavior of Zimmerman's attorneys, who yesterday announced to the media the termination of their representation, is jaw-dropping.


I was thinking that myself.

Certainly they can disclose that they are no longer representing him, but the rest? Has attorney-client privilege suddenly become optional?


Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #109 on: April 11, 2012, 12:08:24 PM »
I was thinking that myself.

Certainly they can disclose that they are no longer representing him, but the rest? Has attorney-client privilege suddenly become optional?

Maybe not optional, but I presume it has a proportionate relationship with 'paying attorney fees'.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #110 on: April 11, 2012, 12:24:38 PM »
I think I'll shoot my lawyer brother an email and ask him if the lawyers broke confidence.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #111 on: April 13, 2012, 09:33:42 PM »
I'm surprised that no one has commented on Zimmerman's arrest.  I'm giving his defense team even money on using the 'Stand Your Ground' decision before trial.

Online Jefepato

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #112 on: April 16, 2012, 08:05:47 PM »
I was thinking that myself.

Certainly they can disclose that they are no longer representing him, but the rest? Has attorney-client privilege suddenly become optional?

Speaking as a lawyer...well, I really am a lawyer but I have no damned experience.  I don't know if they crossed the line, but I would have kept my mouth shut in their position.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #113 on: April 16, 2012, 08:07:57 PM »
Speaking as a lawyer...well, I really am a lawyer but I have no damned experience.  I don't know if they crossed the line, but I would have kept my mouth shut in their position.

At a guess.. I figured they did it to get their phones to clear up. I don't imagine the media would have left them alone without some sort of announcement.

Offline SilentScreams

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #114 on: April 22, 2012, 01:20:05 PM »
Florida is a disaster. The affidavit that the prosecution relies on is total crap. It's thin, and it does nothing to support a murder 2 charge. Had this affidavit been filed in New York, a judge would would toss the case. The whole thing smells like  misconduct there is no mention of the photos of Zimmerman's bloody head that ABC has. So either the prosecution is incompetent for not having them or the prosecution is motivated by something other then justice for not mentioning them. The aff. is three pages long and says absolutely nothing. It's an absolute joke and in most states (short list being NY, CA, VA, IL, TX, MA, PA, OH, MI, etc.) this three page piece of nonsense could in no way shape or form lead to grounds for a murder 2 charge.

The aff. that was filed is called a probable cause aff. Like the name suggests, it seeks to establish the probable cause of an action in a criminal case, whether that action is the filing of charges, the granting of a search warrant, or whatever else. There is a general rule that these affs. must stand on their own, or between their four corners. What that means is that all that is necessary to prove the case must be in the aff. and not located in other places. As was already mention, this is a three page aff. that fails to mention what ABC was nice enough to splash all over. The crime scene photos of Zimmerman's bloody skull.

The aff. is pretty standard until paragraph five, which is the first one to deal with any actual facts of the case. However, after explaining why Martin was there the aff. says that Zimmerman "profiled" him. That's all fine and good when one is talking to the media or blustering on a blog or standing around a water cooler. However, for lawyers and judges that is not fine and good. if you make a claim like that it can't be unsubstantiated. However, in the aff., which is supposed to be able to stand on its own without bits and pieces of stuff everywhere, there is no animus for the claim.

Without any animus the profiling alleged would be legal, since animus (things like race, religion, sex) is what makes it illegal. In addition, the aff. does not say where it gets this idea of profiling from. Fine if you are a lay person, but a conclusory statement if you are a lawyer (those are bad). So paragraph five, while being rhetorically charged for lay persons, actually does nothing to show probable cause for the crime charged.

Paragraph six also fails the four corners test. When you include a statement like "assumed he was a criminal" and fail to back it up, especially when there is a rule saying the document has to stand on its own, are judge's to assume this information was obtained from witnesses, through a psychic perhaps? Paragraph six also mentions Zimmerman was driving his car. It fails to mention from where to where (things like this, while boring and not important to the public are both interesting and very important to people like lawyers and judges because they help, sometimes, to prove or disprove the required elements of a crime). All in all paragraph six also fails to establish probable cause for the charge.

Paragraph seven; the state finally manages to attribute a statement to a source (in an aff. every sentence needs to be attributable to a source). However, we are now seven paragraphs into a three page aff. and the state has yet to outline or mention ANY legal wrongdoing. As in, in the first seven paragraphs of a VERY short aff. everything that has been done by both parties has been legal.

Paragraph 8; starts with a phone call Zimmerman was on. However, the rules for aff. writing are again ignored by the state. The aff. does not tell us to whom the call was made, how long it was, the exact time of the call, nor are we told how this information is known (again, not important to those watching the news on the couch or writing in newspapers but critical facts for lawyers and judges). The rest of paragraph eight, with the exception of the 911 tape, is full of conclusory statements that do not explain the why, what, when, where, how of the things claimed by the affiants. And, at the conclusion of paragraph eight in a three page aff. there is still no evidence of criminal or illegal activity.

Paragraph 9; starting with the first sentence "Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued." the problems begin. Who saw it? Was there video? Is it based on Zimmerman's testimony? Another witness? Who started it? These are all critical questions that should have been answered in the aff. itself yet they are not. One reasons why they are all so important is that a charge of murder two in Florida means that the state must prove the defendant acted with a "depraved mind". It's quite impossible to act with a depraved mind if you are not the one who starts the physical fight. Paragraph nine still contains no criminal activity.

Paragraph 10; Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest. Ok, this establishes that there was a homicide (legal term for for the killing of one human by another, different from murder which is the legal term for the unlawful killing of one human by another). Paragraph 10 fails to establish any criminality, or a depraved mind.

Paragraph 11; Martin dies from his wounds. No criminality or depraved min information.

Paragraph 12; cops have more evidence. Well? Where is it? More importantly, why are prosecutors and cops in Florida allowed to violate the rules of criminal procedure? The aff. brief, full of conclusory statements, and fails to establish the basic requirements for murder two. Florida has been a legal joke for the last two decades and it's good to see that they are continuing that fine tradition.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #115 on: April 22, 2012, 01:31:40 PM »
If this gets thrown out before it hits trial because of how poorly written it is, does it still qualify for 'double jeopardy'?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #116 on: April 22, 2012, 01:41:05 PM »
double jeopardy will apply I'm sure.. barring new evidence. I'm curious if criminal negligence and/or legal maneuvering counts?

Personally I think Murder 2 is a bit high.. Manslaughter would apply since there is no 'idiot with a gun' out there.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #117 on: April 22, 2012, 01:44:50 PM »
So much about this whole mess stinks to high heaven and I suspect this is only going to get worse going from this point onward.

The waters are so muddied at this point and the only person who knows what truly happened is Zimmerman (someone who has a vested interest in trying to make sure everything points to him being innocent). I've long held that this was not about race but rather someone with the Barney Fife attitude - someone wanting to be the big law enforcement, wanting to be the hero and jumping the gun. Ignoring what a police dispatcher told him.

I hate that Trayvon has been (and will continue to be) dragged through the mud. I do not buy that Trayvon was a 'thug' that attacked Zimmerman. The man was stalking the boy. Period. Everything from that point created the 'perfect storm' that lead to a young man being dead. Things do not add up at all and now Florida is screwing up this. If Zimmerman sees any jail time for this I'd be seriously surprised.

And yes, I think he should see jail time. He was in the wrong and it was his decision to try and be the hero that lead to Trayvon dying.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #118 on: April 22, 2012, 01:50:45 PM »

The waters are so muddied at this point and the only person who knows what truly happened is Zimmerman (someone who has a vested interest in trying to make sure everything points to him being innocent). I've long held that this was not about race but rather someone with the Barney Fife attitude - someone wanting to be the big law enforcement, wanting to be the hero and jumping the gun. Ignoring what a police dispatcher told him.


That's been my perspective on the whole thing. Zimmerman thought he was Batman/Dudley Do-Right/Barney Fife/Paul Blart, heroically saving the neighborhood from the evil criminal scum. How he apparently called 911 constantly with similarly frivolous false alarms backs that up.

And now, cue the conspiracy theories that this badly written affidavit was deliberately poorly written to get thrown out and invoke double jeopardy?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #119 on: April 22, 2012, 01:53:37 PM »
I could be wrong, but I thought double jeopardy only attached once a verdict had been reached?  If not, we wouldn't have such things as mistrials leading to the prosecution refiling charges.

Offline Torch

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #120 on: April 22, 2012, 02:20:53 PM »
You aren't wrong, double jeopardy only applies after an acquittal or a conviction.




Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #121 on: April 22, 2012, 03:09:40 PM »
You aren't wrong, double jeopardy only applies after an acquittal or a conviction.

Thank you for the clarification. Much appreciated.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #122 on: April 22, 2012, 05:35:48 PM »
You aren't wrong, double jeopardy only applies after an acquittal or a conviction.

Thought so.  All those days watching Vinnie and the gang have paid off. ;D

Offline SilentScreams

Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #123 on: April 22, 2012, 07:38:20 PM »
I don't think it was poorly written on purpose. I think it was poorly written because Florida courts have for many years, and continue to do so, played loose and fast with the rules- especially concerning criminal procedure. It's just now that their lazy attitudes are catching up to them as a case gets national attention.

Everything the state has is supposed to be in the charging document. Contrary to public perception (thanks, Law & Order) there are almost never surprises at the trial level. Think of a trial as a well directed play or symphonic piece. All the work has been done and the two sides are giving their best show to convince the jury.

That literally covers everything. During the course of discovery both sides see what the other side has, both sides have access to the witnesses and conduct depositions. The questions you see asked in a court room have already been asked and the witnesses have rehearsed their testimony numerous times with whichever counsel has decided to call them.

Manslaughter would have a much higher chance (but it still a stretch)since the prosecution is going to have a nearly impossible time showing the required elements of murder 2, such as depraved mind.

As to the situation itself, I don't think either party is innocent. Zimmerman seems like a law and order type who is all gung ho and hasn't been properly educated in things such as due process. However, Martin is no child either. There was the jewelry incident, and as it goes to trial we will hear more. For instance, if he has a sealed juvenile record which contains an assault charge that will be unsealed since it's material to the defense's case. Only time will tell.

The fact is, there are photos of the back of Zimmerman's head bloody and cut. Self defense has been used in Florida in domestic violence cases with a lot less evidence then that.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Trayvon Martin and the return of a quaint southern tradition.
« Reply #124 on: April 22, 2012, 09:55:51 PM »
It seems to be a habit/common practice for prosecutors to indict on the highest charge they can, so that they have all the lesser-includeds for the jury to fall back on during deliberations.