George Zimmerman arrested again; wonder if former jurors now have second thoughts...
Another domestic dust-up for the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman, whom jurors acquitted in the murder of Trayvon Martin. Unlike the last domestic incident, involving his estranged wife three months ago, this time, police filed charges of domestic violence and aggravated assault with a weapon, a felony. Lest we forget, Zimmerman and another live-in girlfriend at the time filed domestic violence injunctions against one another in 2005, long before Trayvon Martin. That's three domestic violence incidents for Zimmerman.
One wonders if those jurors have second thoughts about having set Zimmerman loose, no matter Florida's stand-your-ground law. One wonders if Zimmerman's defenders will now concede that this young man should never have been part of a neighborhood watch.
Perhaps what goes around comes around. Remember O.J. Simpson?
No matter how you felt about Zimmerman, if you ever read the Florida law, you would have to agree with the jury that Zimmerman did not break the law. The law actually makes murder legal (seriously, read it); all you have to do is pretend it was in self-defense and you are off scot-free. In fact, it specifically states that a person may not even be arrested after a murder, if the murderer states... it was in self-defense. Only the intense public pressure caused the state attorney general to force the trial despite the law.
The jury should never be blamed for the verdict. The Republicans of Florida... should always be blamed for that miscarriage of justice..
Was Zimmerman guilty of murder by every other state law? Absolutely. But when you make bad laws, bad things happen, and Republicans - more than any American political party - make bad law.
Tue, Nov 19, 2013 8:31am
Ever hear of jury nullification?
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Nov 19, 2013 8:38am
My guess is the jury probably did at the time have second thoughts, because Zimmerman was guilty as sin, he shot an unarmed teenager.
The problem a jury has is jurors get instructions from the judge before being dismissed to deliberate the case. He instructs them about what point in the law they are to consider in a given case. So for most of us sitting here following the case, we could tell from the evidence that Zimmerman shot a kid who was wearing a hoodie who was the "wrong" color for that neighborhood, who was armed with a bag of Skiddles, and probably had a smart mouth when realized he was being followed; rather than trying not to have a confrontation with a dangerous idiot who was stalking him [being a teen that second thing is a given]. None of which are a crime. So from our vantage point, this was an easy verdict, guilty of murder and guilty of being a racist. The jury had instructions as to how to interpret that crazy Florida law, which as Kavips said, made it darn near impossible for the jury to convict.
What surprises me is Florida hasn't repealed that stupid law, yet. I guess when a white kid gets gunned down for the crime of being a mouthy teen who's carrying Skiddles in a "black" neighborhood with the black perp claiming self-defense then maybe the "good" citizens of the Sunshine State will pull their collective heads out of the sand and repeal or make serious modifications to that poorly written law.
It's one thing to have a stand your ground law for true self defense, but its something else when you essentially are giving every nut job in your state a free pass to shoot whomever and to be able to hide behind such a law.
Tue, Nov 19, 2013 1:25pm
I never did like this guy OR his victim.
Tue, Nov 19, 2013 1:27pm
I should also add, that given his previous incidents of domestic violence, he should have never been allowed to be a neighborhood watch volunteer in the first place. It's crystal clear now in the rear-view mirror that he had a vigilante agenda all along.
Tue, Nov 19, 2013 11:10pm
Allan. I was not familiar with it. Upon investigating it, I do not see how this jury would have had the fortitude to invoke it. Across history, nullification has only been applied during times leading up to either rebellion or religious war, when the price of conviction did not meet the destructiveness of the crime. Such as being put to death for preaching a Quaker sermon.
William Penn was released on a landmark case involving jury nullification which I did not previously know.
Wed, Nov 20, 2013 5:54am
Ordinary jurors can invoke jury nullification for either the application of the law in a particular case, or because they consider the law unjust and/or immoral. Of course, judges and prosecutors are hardly inclined to advise jurors of that.
Wed, Nov 20, 2013 9:49am
True Allan. That is a little-known fact that juries do have that option. With hindsight, if one remembers the hard-nosed specific instructions the judge gave to the jury on this case, one senses with the ability to look back, that he was worried they might invoke it, so he basically told them, they had to comply with the law, in order to prevent it.
Some of the jurors said in their post interview they wished they could have pinned something on him, but the law gave them no option. I guess the judge's admonition worked.
Thu, Nov 21, 2013 5:36am
MFD: Your post about repeal of the SYG law makes a good point, however I would submit to you that every law on the books could be abused in a similar way. Just look at all the frivolous lawsuits out there. Anything for free money.
Thu, Nov 21, 2013 9:07pm
Whoa.... What's wrong with free money? Do you give back all the tips you receive?
You do? All of them? Oh. ok.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Nov 22, 2013 7:46am
Mrpizza: I agree that there will always be abuses of the law, just as there are with government programs, but do we get rid of a law or program because some folks try to game the system? No, we makes changes to the law or program to make it more difficult for those folks to prosper by fraudulent means. So no we shouldn't end SYG, but modify it to keep people like Zimmerman from abusing it.
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