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Author Topic: The Case of Christopher Cervini  (Read 2167 times)

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Offline meikle

Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2013, 07:52:33 AM »
Was Zimmerman's acquittal just? I don't know. But, I do know that I would much rather live in a society that, while aspiring to just verdicts, insists on legal ones.

The people who want to see justice for Trayvon may be content to see it no longer be the case that in Florida, it is legal to kill people if you don't leave anyone alive to counter your claims to self defense being afraid of that person.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 07:53:58 AM by meikle »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2013, 10:14:20 AM »
With the Travon case, there's a lot of folks ( ie. Sharpton ) demanding "Justice",

BTW, trying to use Sharpton in these debates as code for "craaaaazy" is long past its sell-by date. It worked in his Eighties and early Nineties huckster days when he actually was an outlandish figure, not so much anymore. 

Quote
I don't see a lot of white people claiming racism when there's a conflict between a black person and a white person.

Did you not see the post this thread was originally built around? I see plenty of occasions of this -- though the frequency with which the claims are actually honest and realistic is dubious; since as with this thread, the purpose of white people bringing up their ostensible suffering from "racism" is usually to derail discussion of acts of very clear racism committed against blacks.

See, America doesn't have a history of whites being a caste forcibly subordinated to blacks. That history is the other way around. Therefore the history of attempts at racial subjugation is not symmetrical between the two groups. And like I said in the Trayvon Martin thread, I simply do not believe someone who tells me they are alive and have functioning higher cognition in America and does not know this, and genuinely needs it explained to them.

I get the feeling, rather, that some people have convinced themselves that the "You're Teh Real Racist" gambit is some kind of rhetorical "judo chop!" to easily get them out of talking about racism and all the uncomfortable shit that comes with it....but it's really not.  It just smacks of passive-aggressive derailment and obfuscation of an especially perverse and offensive kind. I'm not even sure at this point if it's a genuine improvement over outright racist slurs, which at least have the virtue of forthrightness.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2013, 10:15:10 AM »
The people who want to see justice for Trayvon may be content to see it no longer be the case that in Florida, it is legal to kill people if you don't leave anyone alive to counter your claims to self defense being afraid of that person.

I take this to be the point as well.

Offline NiceTexasGuyTopic starter

Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2013, 10:15:45 AM »
Actually, I'm not trying to discuss Zimmerman without discussing Zimmerman.  In fact, I'm not even sure what that means, and I'm not inclined to expend energy trying to figure it out.

No, this thread was started as a result of a conversation (some joking around and a little wager) I had with a friend here.  The result was pretty much as expected, with the highly predictable rhetoric.  I confess I was a little supprised there weren't more tirades regarding my being a racist.  Perhaps, unlike me, people were too busy roleplaying.

I sometimes wonder why people even want to start up conversations about such controversial subjects?  Does anyone think anyone has ever changed their mind about something because they lost an argument?  I just do it for amusement.  Still, I wanted to share something I started writing (for another venue) -- It' still in the beginning stages, so don't be hatin' on me cause I can't write, ok?  And if you're prone to believing all the worst about someone when it fits with your world view, please don't feel obligated to change your mind.

I was thinking of starting with the phone call Junior makes from jail, telling Mommy and Daddy the mean ol' cop stopped him for speeding even though he wasn't going that fast (he was only going three miles per hour over the speed limit.)  Because he didn't have his drivers license with him, the mean cop put him in jail.  Predictably, Mommy and Daddy proceed to tell all their friends what the mean cop did to their little angel, and everyone agrees "the cops in this town are all a bunch of assholes."  Of course if Junior was black, the cops in that town would all be "a bunch of racist assholes."  Nobody considers the possibility little Junior was actually going 13 miles per hour over the speed limit (instead of the "three" her reported), and that he wasn't put in jail because he left his drivers license in his other pants, but because his license was suspended for a drunk driving conviction.  No, because people who aren't into personal accountability are always quick to believe the worst about police officers and ministers --and sometimes teachers.  (An earlier conversation with the parents might have gone like this:  "Little Junior was cussing out the teacher." - "What did the teacher do to get our little angel so upset?")

Yep, no proof required, go ahead and spread that rumor.

Now school's out, and the same cop that arrested Junior goes to sit in the school zone, in the area where a large number of kids walk.  He sets up in plain view of everyone coming from any direction as a deterrent to speeding in the vicinity of the children.  Most of the drivers give him a surly look -- he's the cop who's there trying to write speeding tickets, right?  Of course they don't consider that if he was trying to write speeding tickets, he'd probably find a better hiding place, and all he's trying to do is keep some dumbass for running over a kid. 

Sitting there with nothing better to do, he might be amenable to chatting with the children as they pass.  When I was that age, if a police officer deigned to speak to me it would have been the high point of my day.  (Maybe just a reflection on how boring school was?)  But now, all the children who walk past go to great pains to avoid eye contact with the cop.  No doubt they got that from their parents (or whomever they live with) -- cops are the bad guys, cops want to take you to jail, cops want to shut down daddy's meth lab, etc.

Since nobody ran over any kids on his watch, the cop then goes driving around and ends up making a few more traffic stops.  Since he's out there paying attention, he's observed the same phenomena that I have regarding race and driving.  While most people speed, he's observed that the ones who speed fastest are predominately black.  That isn't to say all black people speed, or that no white people speed, but it doesn't matter, nobody can say the ones speeding fastest are black because that would him up to charges of racism.  Though I have no proof, I suspect this phenomena is mostly limited to blacks who were brought up in the United States, should anyone be interested in my take on the nature vs nurture thing.

At the same time, this cop's police department probably has an unwritten (but highly enforced) rule handed down by a judge or prosecutor or police chief that says he can't give anyone a speeding ticket unless the person is going at least x-miles per hour over the speed limit.  Maybe x = 5, or maybe it's 7, or maybe it's 10.  I can't say, each department is different.

So, when some law abiding resident complains about people driving too fast through his neighborhood (40 miles per hour where conditions are not really safe to go the posted 30 mph) and the cop doesn't do anything about it, he's an asshole, right?

So, back to the major streets and this cop who's supposed to be enforcing traffic laws to try to make it safer for the public makes 10 traffic stops for speeding.  Five people (two black, three white) were going x mph over the limit, and five people (three black, two white) were going 2x mph over the limit.  If he issues citations to the 2x crowd, what happens?  According to Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Al Gore, and virtually every news outlet in the nation, he's racist and "targeting" blacks.  So, in order to avoid these accusations, what does he do?  Probably lets more blacks go with a warning then he does whites.  Ironic, isn't it, that the goal of traffic enforcement is to promote compliance with laws intended to make the streets safer, but in letting people go, he's actually reinforcing the idea in their minds that even if they get caught, there are no consequences. 

Or perhaps the real irony is that the guy who isn't issuing speeding tickets to blacks because they are black is the guy who's always being accused of racism.

And when it gets dark and he stops the car that went past him at 3x over the speed limit, the first thing the driver says is "you just stopped me because I'm black" and the cop wants to say "no you stupid fuck, it's dark and you went by so fast I couldn't see the color of your car, much less the color of the driver through the tinted windows" but instead he answers politely "no sir, the reason you were stopped is because...." and maybe the driver doesn't get a ticket because he's black, whereas if he was white he would have, just to keep the numbers looking good for Jesse Jackson.  And in the final accountability, I wonder how many people are dead as a result of people who put their own political agenda over the public's safety.

Oh, but no time to think about that, because the cop now gets a call regarding some woman screaming to her neighbors to call the cops because her live-in boyfriend is beating her to death.  It's an address he recognizes, and hopefully tonight he'll be able to put the dirtbag in jail.  But alas, when he arrives, she realizes the implications of losing her (a) only source of income; or (b) her only source of dick; or more likely (c) only source of drugs -- so she claims nothing happened and the neighbors were lying.  Same story as the previous eleven times.  And since there was no victim, there was no crime.  And next week, when the boyfriend finally puts her in the hospital or beats her to death everyone will say "the cops have been there a dozen times, but they never did anything."

Occasionally, if a cop knows as soon as he leaves the beating will continue, he might get creative and arrest the guy for something not related to the beatings he can't prove have taken place.  A legitimate arrest, of course, but on what some people might consider a bullshit charge, like failure to have the address changed on his drivers license within the designated time frame of moving.  He might have saved the woman's life, at least for one night, but the common perception is he's an asshole for arresting the guy on a bullshit charge ... After all, "all the cops in this town are a bunch of assholes" -- right? Or, if the guy is black, change that to the cops being "racist assholes."

Then it's on to the next call (because the good calls usually start coming in after dark) - one dirtbag stabbed another dirtbag.  It's not life threatening, but still, it's a stabbing.  Pretty cool, huh?  The cops chase down the one what done the stabbing as well as taking care of the one what got stabbed, and guess what?  After all is said and done, the guy who got stabbed doesn't want to press charges.  Instead, him and his homies will take care of it themselves.  Well, in our present system, the prosecutor will not prosecute a case without a victim, and if the victim doesn't want to testify, then that means there's no victim and no need to waste time on a case that can't be won.  So, the cops have to let the dirtbag who did the stabbing go, and the officer whose call it was goes off to do a bunch of paperwork while waiting for his next call, or for another car to go speeding past at 3x over the speed limit.

Oh, and the victim's mommy tells everyone her baby was stabbed and the cops didn't do anything.  Because they're all a bunch assholes.  Or maybe racist assholes.

As for getting fired, it hardly means the cop actually did anything wrong.  Usually, it means just the opposite.  There's the one cop who got fired for not giving preferential treatment to a local star football player.  I know two more who were fired after arresting one of the mayor's friends.  You can tell which cops in a department are doing their jobs .. it's the ones with the greatest number of complaints made against them.  And here's another irony for you.  Because of the large numbers of people who make up false accusations against police officers, they're putting a strain on the resources that should be investigating legitimate complaints.  Kinda ironic, ain't it?

Oh, but please don't change your world view because anything I said here might be true.   I'm sure the cops in your town really are a bunch of racist assholes.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2013, 10:19:39 AM »
Actually, I'm not trying to discuss Zimmerman without discussing Zimmerman.  In fact, I'm not even sure what that means

Uh, who said this? I said the purpose of the article you linked was to derail discussion of Zimmerman and Martin by using false equivalence, not to "discuss Zimmerman without discussing Zimmerman."

Quote
I sometimes wonder why people even want to start up conversations about such controversial subjects?

You tell me, man. Who started this thread again?

Quote
this thread was started as a result of a conversation (some joking around and a little wager) I had with a friend here.  The result was pretty much as expected, with the highly predictable rhetoric.


You mean all "the highly predictable rhetoric" that pointed out that your premise was nonsensical, to which you have no coherent response at all? I guess the claim now that it was all just on "a little wager" makes a certain amount of sense. 

FWIW, the reason I bother debating on the Internet at all is that people sometimes do change their minds and learn something, and sometimes I do. It usually doesn't happen in response to long, rambling, passive-aggressive semi-fictional not-quite-anecdotes, but in the presence of actual quality arguments it does happen.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 10:51:58 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Neysha

Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #30 on: July 22, 2013, 10:45:14 AM »
Anecdotes can sometimes make threads suddenly awkward. Like now for example. ;)

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2013, 10:56:19 AM »
Yeah... now that I read it in more detail. Yeah.

Offline meikle

Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #32 on: July 22, 2013, 10:58:24 AM »
Uh, who said this? I said the purpose of the article you linked was to derail discussion of Zimmerman and Martin by using false equivalence, not to "discuss Zimmerman without discussing Zimmerman."

"I don't want to talk about the Zimmerman trial, but I'm going to be absolutely certain to make sure that when I start the thread, I start it off talking about the Zimmerman case, to make sure it's on everybody's mind."

Trieste called him out on it directly, but it was obviously his intention from the get-go, right?  There are no "injustices" in the topic he linked, and the only reason to even pretend they were there is because on the surface, with no critical thinking or even a moment's thought applied, the two cases maybe kind of a little bit resemble one another.  The entire article was about comparing the two cases, at that.

There ain't nothin' more powerful than the odor of mendacity.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 11:05:41 AM by meikle »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2013, 11:02:02 AM »
"I don't want to talk about the Zimmerman trial, but I'm going to be absolutely certain to make sure that when I start the thread, I start it off talking about the Zimmerman case, to make sure it's on everybody's mind."

Trieste called him out on it directly, but it was obviously his intention from the get-go, right? 

Ah, it was Trieste he had in mind. Didn't see that post. (And yes, it seems that way to me.)

Offline Neysha

Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2013, 11:24:53 AM »
Well at the very least, I learned what the word mendacity means so it wasn't a total wash.

Now all I need to do is use it in a sentence, preferably improperly... though not incorrectly.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 12:39:46 PM by Neysha »

Offline Trieste

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2013, 11:43:16 AM »
Anecdotes can sometimes make threads suddenly awkward. Like now for example. ;)

I got bored halfway through and started scrolling through looking for a point. It's kind of obfuscated. ::)

Uh, who said this?

Yeah, that was me. *raises hand*

Offline vtboy

Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2013, 12:05:09 PM »
The people who want to see justice for Trayvon may be content to see it no longer be the case that in Florida, it is legal to kill people if you don't leave anyone alive to counter your claims to self defense being afraid of that person.

Your formulation of Florida law is just a bit demagogic, isn't it? Self defense in Florida, as in other jurisdictions, requires a reasonable perception of risk of physical harm, and a reasonably proportionate response. "Being afraid of [the other] person" is not legally sufficient, in Florida or anywhere else, and Judge Nelson correctly charged the jury on the issue. Obviously, in any jurisdiction, a homicide defendant who relies on self-defense will be better off if there are no eyewitnesses to testify to the contrary.

In any event, the question becomes, how would those "who want to see justice for Trayvon" change the law? If they are asking for the repeal of "stand your ground," or for a prohibition against policeman wannabes packing heat while out on "neighborhood watch," I am all for it. If they would bar defendants from asserting self-defense in the absence of a corroborating witnesses, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2013, 01:10:27 PM »
If they would bar defendants from asserting self-defense in the absence of a corroborating witnesses, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease.

I agree with this statement.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2013, 01:21:55 PM »
Your formulation of Florida law is just a bit demagogic, isn't it? Self defense in Florida, as in other jurisdictions, requires a reasonable perception of risk of physical harm, and a reasonably proportionate response.

Of course, you need "Stand Your Ground" laws to make killing into a "reasonably proportionate response."* Or at least to make it likelier to be interpreted as a "reasonably proportionate response." Which is precisely what makes them insane.

(The main part of what makes them insane, anyway. It also doesn't help that the application of Stand Your Ground laws and the degree to which they actually protect defendants of various ethnicities is -- shocker of shockers -- racially biased [cf. the Case of Trayvon Martin thread for links].)

* EDIT: Although actually, you know? Come to think of it, I don't think even Stand Your Ground laws technically should do this; since most of them talk about meeting force with force "in equal proportion," it should not be possible to use them to defend the act of shooting an unarmed attacker. That's presumably why Zimmerman's defense team didn't actually invoke the law, though its presence may have influenced the jury's thinking.

When it comes right down to it, the premise that Zimmerman's acquittal was an inevitability of how the self-defense statutes are written in Florida is wrong; this is the same state that handed Marissa Alexander 20 years for firing in the air. What the case hinged on was whether one was willing to believe that Trayvon Martin was a badass aggressive thug whose hands were potentially lethal weapons: if you believed that portrayal, Zimmerman walks; if you find that portrayal to be a ludicrously racist hatchet job that flies in the face of documented facts about the victim, Zimmerman walking is a travesty. Generally speaking I'd lean toward the latter proposition, and indeed toward the conduct of the whole case being pretty much a travesty.


Quote
In any event, the question becomes, how would those "who want to see justice for Trayvon" change the law? If they are asking for the repeal of "stand your ground," or for a prohibition against policeman wannabes packing heat while out on "neighborhood watch," I am all for it.

I think this likely is the direction things are heading, yes.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 02:01:02 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Rogue

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #39 on: July 22, 2013, 02:08:18 PM »
I'm just going to glaze over that ramble of assumptions about people. Because in the south, racism is still a very real thing. And in the north for that matter. And every parent I know would look at that kid (with the drunk driving conviction under his belt) like lol. You done goofed kid. Helped him out maybe but... he goofed. The ones who call "angel" typically get ignored if there's no evidence to back it up. (Such as high GPA and such and no prior convictions).

Your formulation of Florida law is just a bit demagogic, isn't it? Self defense in Florida, as in other jurisdictions, requires a reasonable perception of risk of physical harm, and a reasonably proportionate response. "Being afraid of [the other] person" is not legally sufficient, in Florida or anywhere else, and Judge Nelson correctly charged the jury on the issue. Obviously, in any jurisdiction, a homicide defendant who relies on self-defense will be better off if there are no eyewitnesses to testify to the contrary.

In any event, the question becomes, how would those "who want to see justice for Trayvon" change the law? If they are asking for the repeal of "stand your ground," or for a prohibition against policeman wannabes packing heat while out on "neighborhood watch," I am all for it. If they would bar defendants from asserting self-defense in the absence of a corroborating witnesses, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease.


I'm hoping that that's what's going to happen. Or more like, "Prohibition of nutcases with prior cases of assult/abuse racked against them from carrying guns." That's my opinion anyways. I don't mind guns. Know a few hunters myself, and wish to carry a firearm as well. I wouldn't mind being put through a psych evaluation to do so or having a hunting only permit. Nor would I mind having my gun taken away the moment I was found to be a perpetrator of a violent crime on someone. Just... my opinion.

Of course, you need "Stand Your Ground" laws to make killing into a "reasonably proportionate response."* Or at least to make it likelier to be interpreted as a "reasonably proportionate response." Which is precisely what makes them insane.

(The main part of what makes them insane, anyway. It also doesn't help that the application of Stand Your Ground laws and the degree to which they actually protect defendants of various ethnicities is -- shocker of shockers -- racially biased [cf. the Case of Trayvon Martin thread for links].)

* EDIT: Although actually, you know? Come to think of it, I don't think even Stand Your Ground laws technically should do this; since most of them talk about meeting force with force "in equal proportion," it should not be possible to use them to defend the act of shooting an unarmed attacker. That's presumably why Zimmerman's defense team didn't actually invoke the law, though its presence may have influenced the jury's thinking.

When it comes right down to it, the premise that Zimmerman's acquittal was an inevitability of how the self-defense statutes are written in Florida is wrong; this is the same state that handed Marissa Alexander 20 years for firing in the air. What the case hinged on was whether one was willing to believe that Trayvon Martin was a badass aggressive thug whose hands were potentially lethal weapons: if you believed that portrayal, Zimmerman walks; if you find that portrayal to be a ludicrously racist hatchet job that flies in the face of documented facts about the victim, Zimmerman walking is a travesty. Generally speaking I'd lean toward the latter proposition, and indeed toward the conduct of the whole case being pretty much a travesty.



This. So much of this. All of it about the equal force. Because that obviously was not equal force.

Side topic: This might also be why the woman who shot in the air was still charged for it despite stand your ground... since technically her force was not equal, though she could never hope to bring equal force to that scenario....

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #40 on: July 22, 2013, 02:24:33 PM »

This. So much of this. All of it about the equal force. Because that obviously was not equal force.

Side topic: This might also be why the woman who shot in the air was still charged for it despite stand your ground... since technically her force was not equal, though she could never hope to bring equal force to that scenario....

No that's because in that moment, the man did not use physical force.  In other words, her gunshot in the air was not provoked in that instance with a physical gesture by the man.

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2013, 02:28:25 PM »
No that's because in that moment, the man did not use physical force.  In other words, her gunshot in the air was not provoked in that instance with a physical gesture by the man.

Sorry for the de-rail: Yes. But she was backed into a corner by a man who'd abused her and even supported her in the case saying he had threatened her. Just saying...

Offline Valthazar

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2013, 02:36:05 PM »
I know, I'm aware of the threats and the past history of violence.  I'm just saying that in that particular instance, he did not inflict physical violence on her that would have acted as a pretext for her gunshot.

I'm not saying that this is morally correct.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 02:37:44 PM by ValthazarElite »

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2013, 02:39:46 PM »
Fair. Going strictly by the law, you are entirely correct. I just don't like it.

Offline BlackRose

Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2013, 04:35:15 PM »
People often forget the innocent until proven guilty part of how our justice system functions. A jury of your peers should also include peers of the victim's circumstance as well as the accused.

I did give that anecdote the benefit of the doubt when I started reading it that it would be a piece of total fiction. Unfortunately I was wrong. The amount of cognitive dissonance is staggering. Making claims that people of x type do y thing the most is ludicrous without having clear, unbiased numbers in front of you. If I surveyed 100 people who lived in rich, suburban neighborhoods about what their biggest fear was, I would get a far different answer than if I surveyed 100 people living in a place like St. Louis KY, Provo UT, San Francisco CA, Austin TX, etc. If you look at crime rates per city, per state, per country, or whatever else, the only thing you see, thanks to bias of one kind or another, is what got reported. Did you know Hawaii doesn't even report hate crimes as hate crimes? So if you look at hate crimes across the USA, it looks like Hawaii has no hate crimes, ever, in the history of Hawaii. This isn't true, it's just an artifact of how they handle the crime.

The more I read of this thread the more it seems to me that the OP is just attempting to stir up trouble and not actually have an intellectual conversation. I find this unfortunate.

In the anecdote, there are several problems that should be pointed out aside from the one above. Police officers do not always need a victim's cooperation to prosecute a crime. While there have been cases, such as Crawford v. Washington, that have done a lot to limit the ability for police to prosecute crimes when victims refuse to cooperate, there are plenty of other avenues of evidence that allow for the prosecution when a victim/witness is unwilling or unable to testify, such as was the case in Crawford v. Washington, where the witness was the wife of the defendant and her testimony was deemed protected by the 6th amendment.

One very clear example of when police can prosecute someone if the victim is unwilling/unable to testify is when the victim is murdered. You cannot speak out at trial if you are dead. However, medical evidence can be submitted. In domestic abuse cases, where the person being abused isn't dead, but doesn't want to testify, police still have avenues to pursue criminal charges against the abuser. As you mentioned, they can often arrest the person in question for something else all together, or hold them for questioning. The situation you describe where the victim keeps saying no and the cops keep coming back and then not doing anything at all is not as common as television dramas make us think they are. If the neighbor called the cops, the neighbor is the witness. A witness can testify even if the victim is unwilling to. If, for example, the victim states he or she fell down a flight of stairs and that was how his or her arm got broken, but the x-ray shows a spiral fracture (often a clear sign used for child abuse), it is enough to show that the victim's testimony is untrue. Given how common this trope is in television, it is even easier now to prosecute things like that when there is a neighbor that called 911 and prosecution can play the "unwilling to cooperate" victim trope like everyone has seen on TV.

In the case of stabbings or gunshots, gang related crimes are investigated and prosecuted even if the victim and his homies want to take the justice into their own hands. While I find it unsurprising that this point was brought up, these crimes are far more prevalent in low income areas. This is not because black people are savage beasts or inherently more likely to commit crimes. This is because police don't have the resources to effectively control crime in areas where there isn't enough income to pay enough tax to fund the police department properly. Places like this often lead to exhausted law enforcement officers who spend most of their time chasing the crimes after the fact than being able to enforce peace.

I live in a city where people are afraid of their police officers and it is sad. It's not because they are bad people, it is because they are poorly trained and underfunded. I see speed traps set up all over the place and feel safer because of it. I rarely even drive 1 mile over the speed limit, let alone 5, and it bothers me when people shoot past (regardless of race, age, apparent gender, or any other factor) going 10-15 miles over the speed limit. I don't care who you are or why you are speeding.

The problem is a systemic one. Racism happens. People effected by racism get lower paying jobs for the same amount of work. People congregate in areas where the other people there are like them, it is only natural. Low income areas provide less tax money for funding of public projects and police officers and schools. As the income of the school goes down, so too does the quality of the school. As the funding for the police department goes down, so too does its ability to effectively control crime. With poor education and high crime rates, what choice do youths have besides joining the one group of people that can and will protect them?

This happens in predominantly white areas (Ohio, for example) and in areas where any other skin color or nationality is prevalent. We just only hear about the ones that are minorities because there are far more of them due largely in part to the continued racism in the USA. Racism isn't over. Sexism isn't over. We still have a lot of work to do.

In both cases, the Zimmerman case and the Cervini case, the justice department did what it was supposed to do. It may not have done what you, or any other sensationalist, wanted it to do. It heard the evidence the state was able to bring against the accused. It deemed that the evidence was insufficient to prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt the accused was guilty. Whether this was because of poor investigation or because the person really was innocent of crime, we will never know. We did not do the investigation. We did not hear all of the evidence presented at trial.

There were very, very clear differences between the two cases, which very likely leads people to understand why (aside from the fact that this case was in 2009) people did not really hear about it. Zimmerman was told to stand down over the phone, on tape. Zimmerman continued to follow, while on the phone, and was told to stand down. Zimmerman thought he looked suspicious and jumped to the conclusion that Martin was out doing something wrong. Martin, scared of the crazy white guy following him, ran. Whether or not Martin was up to no good, it doesn't matter. Zimmerman followed him and killed him. Zimmerman repeatedly put his life in danger in order to seek justice. He witnessed no crime being committed, and it was, according to public opinion a hate crime. If nothing else, the reason for the outrage was not just that Martin was black and Zimmerman was white, but that the 911 recording showed him being told not to follow Martin and he did it anyway. It seemed clear his intent was to stop a crime he was imagining. He also refused to testify in his own defense. This raises speculation that had he taken the stand, it would have been proven that what he did was wrong. Speculation breeds rumors. Rumors breed opinions. Thus is the media firestorm continued.

In the case of Scott, he testified that he was actively stopping a crime in progress with the intent to detain. He was charged by the victim, and he shot in self defense. He testified, told his part in what happened, and was found not guilty. The only reason to try and force a media storm over this is because the party interested is trying to draw parallels to the Zimmerman trial, which happened after this case was closed, in an attempt to make it look like people who called for the investigation of the events leading up to the trial and acquittal of Zimmerman were racists.

The news in this country has shifted from being informative to being sensationalistic. We see evidence of that all the time. From "Dogs are barking, that is right. Something is definitely happening." to a bus driving by two reporters who are pretending to be far apart when really, they are less than 20 feet from each other. From the explosion over the president's birth certificate to prove he is in fact a legitimate US Citizen born on US soil (which I still feel is a dumb law) to the fact that President Obama didn't use the word God in his statement. These are not things we need to know. These are not news. They are a poor attempt at getting viewers to keep watching so that their sponsor's commercials are seen. It is problematic and detrimental to intellectual discussion.

If you are unwilling to allow your opinion to change on a matter when presented with rational arguments and facts, you are incapable of having an intellectual discussion about it. What you intend to do, instead, is have a philosophical argument. Those two things are not the same.

Thank you for bringing this case to our attention. Your source is not the only source on the internet, however, and a little research into the matter shows quite clearly that there is nothing for the public to latch onto in this case. The justice system did it's job.

Offline vtboy

Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2013, 05:18:43 PM »
When it comes right down to it, the premise that Zimmerman's acquittal was an inevitability of how the self-defense statutes are written in Florida is wrong;

"Inevitability" is your word, not mine. My point was that, in the absence of eyewitness testimony or other direct proof (e.g., a security camera video recording) contradicting Zimmerman's own accounts to the police of his encounter with Martin, the prosecution's burden to disprove self defense beyond a reasonable doubt was an enormously difficult one to meet. Whatever your own conclusions about what actually happened between the two, I don't see how the jury can be faulted for deciding the prosecution failed to meet that burden. Nor do I think the jury could have been faulted if they had convicted Zimmerman, at least on the manslaughter charge. Reasonable minds may disagree over inferences to be drawn from incomplete and unreliable evidence.

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What the case hinged on was whether one was willing to believe that Trayvon Martin was a badass aggressive thug whose hands were potentially lethal weapons: if you believed that portrayal, Zimmerman walks; if you find that portrayal to be a ludicrously racist hatchet job that flies in the face of documented facts about the victim, Zimmerman walking is a travesty.

Not really. The jury did not have to believe Martin was a badass aggressive thug; to acquit; it need only have concluded the prosecution failed to dispel reasonable doubt that Martin attacked Zimmerman and that Zimmerman reasonably perceived he was at immediate risk of having his skull cracked open or of being shot with his own gun. While I think Zimmerman's account to police was seriously flawed, the prosecution was required to do more than demonstrate some degree of improbability. 

I am not sure to what "documented facts about the victim" you are referring. While Zimmerman's statements to police may have been "a ludicrously racist hatchet job," I know of no evidence presented to the jury about Martin which established that. Moreover, if "documented facts" had been presented to show Martin was the sort of pacific, decent, law-abiding kid who never would have attacked Zimmerman, any resulting conviction would almost certainly have been reversed on appeal.

George Zimmerman is at least a reckless moron, and perhaps much worse. He was entitled, however, to the fair trial he got.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2013, 08:12:19 PM »
NiceTexasGuy, I'm not gonna go through that post line-by-line because, well, it's probably the longest way of saying "You're the real racist!" I've seen yet. But... well, if you want that claim to be taken seriously, maybe try not to make blatantly racist remarks in the middle of your speech?

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2013, 11:26:04 PM »
"Inevitability" is your word, not mine. My point was that, in the absence of eyewitness testimony or other direct proof (e.g., a security camera video recording) contradicting Zimmerman's own accounts to the police of his encounter with Martin, the prosecution's burden to disprove self defense beyond a reasonable doubt was an enormously difficult one to meet.

Not really. It was clear enough who had the gun and who didn't and what reasonable force usually means in that situation. It was clear that Zimmerman wasn't outnumbered. For some juries those factors alone would have been decisive; just not this one. Meikle is right about this: it would be a hugely dangerous precedent to establish that all you need to do is be alone and unrecorded with your victim in order to murder him and credibly claim a "self-defense" that is functionally impossible to challenge. This in effect turns such isolated murder into the perfect crime, at least for those whom the justice system favours.

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The jury did not have to believe Martin was a badass aggressive thug; to acquit; it need only have concluded the prosecution failed to dispel reasonable doubt that Martin attacked Zimmerman and that Zimmerman reasonably perceived he was at immediate risk of having his skull cracked open or of being shot with his own gun.

This is a distinction without a real difference. The posthumous reframing of Trayvon-as-dangerous-delinquent was done precisely to make the notion of Zimmerman having this "perception" non-ridiculous.

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if "documented facts" had been presented to show Martin was the sort of pacific, decent, law-abiding kid who never would have attacked Zimmerman, any resulting conviction would almost certainly have been reversed on appeal.

No-one can predict the trajectory of the appeals process.

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George Zimmerman is at least a reckless moron, and perhaps much worse. He was entitled, however, to the fair trial he got.

And Trayvon Martin was entitled not to be put on unfair posthumous trial for his own murder.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 11:31:52 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline meikle

Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #48 on: July 23, 2013, 02:46:35 AM »
"You're the real racist!"

These Zimmerman supporters seem perfectly content to let everyone know that they are the real racists, though.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: The Case of Christopher Cervini
« Reply #49 on: July 23, 2013, 04:09:01 AM »
Wow, that news story wasn't slanted or biased.