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Thread: The shooting of 17 yr old Trayvon Martin

  1. #181
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    quick, call Charlton Heston. or whoever is their face now that he's kicked it and it was pried from his cold dead hands.
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  2. #182
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    According to the Stand Your Ground laws, Trayvon's parents might not even be able to go after him in a civil trial. Their only hope would be to sue the homeowner's association that allowed Zimmerman to be their neighborhood watchman.

    The cops fucked up this case so bad that it will take a miracle to get a conviction in this case, whether in state or federal court. And that is a damn shame.

    Hopefully this case can get this stupid law changed. I don't mind the Castle Doctrine law - that deals with defending yourself on YOUR property at YOUR home. But the Stand Your Ground law allows people to get away with murder while claiming they were feeling "threatened." It's basically a get out of jail free card for murderers.
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  3. #183
    Elite Member stef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    Unfortunately the Florida law specifically has the presumption against arrest written right into it. If a suspect raises 'stand you ground' the way the law is written and interpreted, the police cannot arrest unless they have probable cause refuting the claim. How it stands up to even the mildest of constitutional review is beyond me. The law completely circumvents the trial and jury process.
    this is so fucked up.
    i honestly still can't wrap my head around this crazy law. this is so wrong on so many levels. i can't believe you can just claim you acted in self-defense and walk away after killing someone. there needs to be an investigation and a judge has to decide whether you acted unlawfully or within your rights, it can't be the other way around.
    the next time i want to kill someone i'll just invite them to florida, i guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    Except that it wasn't his job, no one hired him or asked him to do. Where the hell is your neighborhood and who the fuck's right is it to stop and harrass another person in the street because the didn't recognize someone. That's some seriously twisted shit.
    it is.
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  4. #184
    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Well i don't think that's what the lawmakers intended when they actually wrote it and judges probably won't interpret it that way if the cases actually came before them instead of being decided by a bunch of lazy cops.
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  5. #185
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    'Stand your ground' law protects those who go far beyond that point

    The men responsible for Florida's controversial "stand your ground'' law are certain about one thing: Because of his actions before he pulled the trigger and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman is not protected from criminal prosecution.

    Because Zimmerman exited his vehicle, because he followed Martin, because his actions put him in a situation where he felt it necessary to shoot a boy dead, he should be booked, jailed and forced to face a jury of his peers.

    Said Durell Peaden, the former Republican senator from Crestview who sponsored the bill: "The guy lost his defense right then. When he said, 'I'm following him,' he lost his defense."

    Said Jeb Bush, the governor who signed the bill into law: "Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn't mean chase after somebody who's turned their back."

    But they are wrong.

    Since its passage in 2005, the "stand your ground'' law has protected people who have pursued another, initiated a confrontation and then used deadly force to defend themselves. Citing the law, judges have granted immunity to killers who put themselves in danger, so long as their pursuit was not criminal, so long as the person using force had a right to be there, and so long as he could convince the judge he was in fear of great danger or death.

    The Tampa Bay Times has identified 140 cases across the state in which "stand your ground'' has been invoked, and many involve defendants whose lives were clearly in jeopardy. But at least a dozen share similarities with what we know about the Trayvon Martin case, and they show the law has not always worked as its sponsors say they intended.

    Early morning, Jan. 25, 2011. Greyston Garcia was in his apartment in Miami when a roommate told him someone was stealing the radio from his truck.

    Garcia grabbed a kitchen knife and ran outside. The burglar saw him coming, grabbed his bag of stolen radios and fled.

    Rather than calling the police, Garcia chased the thief down the street and caught up to him a block away. The confrontation lasted less than a minute and was captured on surveillance video. The thief swung the bag of radios at Garcia, who blocked the bag with his left hand and stabbed the thief in the chest with his right.

    Pedro Roteta, 26, died in the street.

    Those are the facts. You be the judge.

    Florida statute 776.013(3) says: (a) person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    The old law required a person to use every reasonable means available to retreat before using deadly force, except when the person was in his or her home or place of work. "Stand your ground" expands that to any other place where he or she has a right to be.

    Should that be enough to protect Greyston Garcia from prosecution?

    Does it help to know that a medical examiner testified that a blow from a 4- to 6-pound bag of metal to the head would cause great bodily harm, possibly even death? Does it change your mind to learn that police found a folding knife in the dead man's back pocket?

    Does it matter that Garcia didn't call the police? That he went home and fell asleep? That he later sold the other stolen car stereos and hid the knife and denied killing anyone when police finally caught him?

    The judge considered all those facts. In the end, she ruled that Garcia's use of force was justified. It didn't matter that he had chased the thief for a block with a knife in his hand.

    All that mattered was what happened in those few seconds when the two men stood face to face.

    "Mr. Zimmerman's unnecessary pursuit and confrontation of Trayvon Martin elevated the prospect of a violent episode and does not seem to be an act of self-defense as defined by the castle doctrine" wrote state Rep. Dennis Baxley, the Ocala Republican who co-authored the law, in a column March 21 for FOXNews.com. "There is no protection in the 'stand your ground' law for anyone who pursues and confronts people."

    Lawyers say the bill's supporters are either uninformed or politically motivated.

    "That's not what the law says," said Steven Romine, a Tampa Bay lawyer who has invoked "stand your ground" successfully. "They might think that in their own heads, but it's just not true.

    "If you're doing something legal, no matter what the act is, and you're attacked, it's in that moment that you have a right to stand your ground."

    Prosecutors, who are generally critical of the law, agree.

    "The real issue is what happens around the 60 seconds prior to the shooting," said Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, which brought the charges against Greyston Garcia.

    "Everything else has emotional content, but from a legal perspective, it all comes down to the 60 seconds before the incident."

    One of Romine's cases is a prime example. In 2008, his client, Charles Podany, noticed a truck speeding past his house in Thonotosassa, where his children play in the front yard. Podany fetched his handgun and rode his bicycle down the street to the house where the truck was parked to get a license plate number.

    He found himself in a confrontation with Casey Landes, 24, who had been a passenger in the truck. Landes, legally drunk, attacked the smaller Podany and wound up on top of him. Podany drew his weapon and fired twice. The second bullet entered Landes' left cheek and struck the back of his skull, killing him instantly.

    Podany was charged with manslaughter. But before trial, a judge ruled that despite initiating the confrontation by arming himself and riding his bicycle to the speeder's house, Podany was in a place he had a legal right to be and he was carrying a weapon he had a legal right to carry. He found that Podany feared for his life and had the right to defend himself with deadly force.

    "There is not an exception to the law that says if you're doing something stupid, or risky, or not in your best interest, that 'stand your ground' doesn't apply," Romine said.

    In May, Carlos Catalan-Flores, 26, a security guard at a Tampa strip club called Flash Dancers, confronted men who were drinking beer in the parking lot. One of the men threw a beer bottle at Catalan-Flores' head and prepared to throw another. Rather than taking cover inside the club, or using his baton or pepper spray to protect himself, Catalan-Flores drew his weapon and began firing. Several of the six shots hit the man who threw the beer.

    A judge ruled that Catalan-Flores was justified, even though he initiated the confrontation. Being hit by a beer bottle constitutes a forcible felony, so he had the right to shoot, to protect himself.

    "Fundamentally, this law is in place to protect us from prosecution and to allow us to protect ourselves," said Catalan-Flores' attorney, Joe Caimano. "If somebody takes it to the extreme, it will come out in the investigation."

    Some extreme cases have tested the law.

    A man got into a shootout on a Sarasota street, for instance, killing a man who owed him money and endangering bystanders. But a judge granted him immunity because a witness testified that his rival had claimed he had "fire in his pocket" and threatened the shooter. Police found no weapon at the scene, but that didn't matter. What mattered was that the shooter believed his enemy had a weapon and was ready to use it.

    The court has even ruled that the statute can protect someone who shoots a retreating person. In overturning a ruling against Jimmy Hair, who shot a man who was retreating from a fight, a judge in Tallahassee wrote that the statute "makes no exception from the immunity when the victim is in retreat at the time the defensive force is employed."

    Prosecutors argue that these types of cases should be brought before a jury.

    "Jurors understand self-defense," said Griffith, the spokesman in Miami. "That's really where it should be."

    Nine days after Trayvon Martin was shot dead in Sanford, Brandon Baker, 30, and his twin brother were driving separate cars toward the apartment they shared in Palm Harbor.

    Seth Browning, a 23-year-old security guard who later told deputies he was concerned with Baker's erratic driving, pulled in close behind Baker to get his license tag number.

    Baker turned off East Lake Road, then onto an access road and came to a stop, according to Pinellas sheriff's investigators. Browning followed and stopped behind Baker's Chevy truck.

    Baker climbed out of his truck and walked to Browning's window. His brother, Chris, watching from behind, said Baker was trying to figure out why Browning was tailgating him.

    Browning sprayed Baker with pepper spray, then shot him in the chest. He told deputies that Baker had punched him and he was in fear for his life. Browning called police as Chris Baker tried to revive his brother.

    His father, Kevin Lindsay, rushed to the scene and watched as Browning was questioned at length. Then he learned the man who killed his son was released.

    Baker's parents had never heard of the "stand your ground" law. Waiting for some type of action has exhausted them. They long for justice in what appears to them to be a clearly unjustifiable killing.

    "I always knew that the law would protect you if somebody broke into your home. Sure, you can protect yourself," said his stepmother, Alex Lindsay. "But why did they have to expand it to protect people who do things like this?"

    Their friends and family are just as shocked when they learn Browning might not be charged.

    "They're incredulous," Alex Lindsay said.

    More than 500 people have signed their online petition to get "stand your ground" repealed.

    "This case is being considered a 'stand your ground' case and should not be since Seth Browning was the sole 'AGGRESSOR' and 'CHOSE' to tailgate, pull over, pepper spray, and shoot and kill Brandon Baker," it says. "Seth Browning did NOT act out of self defense and should be prosecuted for killing Brandon Baker."

    But if history serves, the pursuit may not matter. The case will hinge on what happened in the moments before Browning pulled the trigger, and whether he feared for his life. Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gaultieri said this week that the case is still under investigation.

    Baker's parents, like Martin's, are appalled that the law might protect the man who killed their son, and shocked that men who backed the law are saying they didn't know it could.

    "Even if they had the best of intentions, they need to change this law," Alex Lindsay said. "They will never fully understand the repercussions of it."

    "I don't wish this on anyone," said her husband. "And this is going to keep happening. It's going to happen to other families."



    'Stand your ground' law protects those who go far beyond that point - Tampa Bay Times
    These scumbags didn't give a shit about the law and what it allowed. They were all too busy counting the NRA's sweet lobbying money.
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  6. #186
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    The first two examples in that article are misleading. Trayvon Martin didn't do anything suspicious. He bought an iced tea and a bag of skittles and looked around. That's not the same thing as stealing someone's radio or driving erratically. That's where the racial issues come into it. Zimmerman thought he was suspicious mostly because he was a black kid in a hoodie.

  7. #187
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    There's nothing misleading in it at all. You're just (deliberately) missing the point of this particular article, which summed up in one line is:

    If you are the instigator or aggressor killing is still allowed by this law, has been sanctioned by the FL courts, and even the people that passed it aren't aware of what the law actually is.
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  8. #188
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    The nuances of each of those stories are so different. I wonder what the legal definition of self-defense is in most other states? (Yeah, I know I should google.)

    With regard to Trayvon's case, it's not as though he had done anything or seemed to be about to do something (ie, he wasn't peering through peoples' windows, no one had just reported a crime in the neighborhood that he might be fleeing from, etc.). As far as I know, there was nothing, no reason to approach him except for his mere presence. It's not like a crime had been committed and Zimmerman could be justified in trying to detail Trayvon until the cops came. Nothing like that. If Trayvon did give Zimmerman a shove, for example, after being accosted by him, wouldn't that be self-defense? ETA: I mean, self-defense for Trayvon, of course.
    Last edited by BBDSP; April 4th, 2012 at 10:58 AM.

  9. #189
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    To me, there is still the issue of whether Zimmerman's belief he was in danger of death or great bodily harm was reasonable. That's an objective standard. I simply don't believe the cops could properly determine that at the scene, unless "great bodily harm" is defined as some blood rather than serious injury.

    What I get from this law apart from that is that from moment to moment in this confrontation, GZ and Trayvon could both have alternately had the right to "stand your ground" and defend themselves, and it is just the non-dead person who comes out the winner. But I keep going back to the fact that Trayvon was UNARMED and GZ was ARMED. And I circle back to whether GZ had a reasonable fear. Conclusion: fucked-up law AND fucked-up failure to arrest.
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  10. #190
    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    There's nothing misleading in it at all. You're just (deliberately) missing the point of this particular article, which summed up in one line is:

    If you are the instigator or aggressor killing is still allowed by this law, has been sanctioned by the FL courts, and even the people that passed it aren't aware of what the law actually is.

    Those cases cited are so different from each other that I don't think that conclusion can be drawn.
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  11. #191
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    The cases that are cited in the article are similar enough that they show how Zimmerman will walk.

    As in the earlier cited cases, it won't matter that Zimmerman was following Martin for several minutes. Zimmerman's claim, from what I can gather was that Martin noticed that Zimmerman was following him, Martin confronted Zimmerman, and then proceeded to beat him.

    If police evidence shows that Martin had no marks on his body, but that Zimmerman had a broken nose, grass on the back of his jacket, and gashes on the back of his head, it will support the story that Zimmerman was being beaten and badly before he drew his gun and shot Martin.

    That fits in with the "last 60 seconds" point that the lawyers in the article are making. It also fits the Baker/Browning case in that very wide latitude is granted to the person who fired the gun in terms of what can reasonably be termed "Feeling threatened". Baker didn't even land a fist on Brown apparently before Browning shot him.

    Casey Landes was not driving the car that sped Charles Podany's house. However, Landes was on top of Podany, beating him (similar to what Zimmerman is claiming about Martin), when Podany pulled his gun and fired. Podany walked. And that was in Florida.
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  12. #192
    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    But in all those cases they went before a judge or grand jury. The police didn't just let them walk.
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  13. #193
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greysfang View Post
    But in all those cases they went before a judge or grand jury. The police didn't just let them walk.
    In Baker/Browning, Browning was never charged. And in that case, Browning literally pursued, pepper sprayed, and shot a person who supposedly punched him from inside a car. And this happened in Florida nine days after the Trayvon Martin shooting. Browning may be charged eventually, but it doesn't look promising.

    Zimmerman may be charged, too, but the precedent set in Florida, with these cases, looks terrible for anyone looking for a conviction of Zimmerman on anything.

    I am telling you, the Stand Your Ground laws are like some kind of insidious cancer eating away at pieces of this country bit by bit.

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    I don't have a good feeling about the outcome, either.

    But I bet a lot of people in Florida don't care. What a sick law. It's basically Zimmerman's word against Trayvon's, and Trayvon is dead.

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    The outcome of Zimmerman is that he will walk because an investigation was not immediate, in fact the investigation didn't start until the mob screamed loud enough to get the Feds to hear. The Baker/Browning case is at least being actively investigated and appears to have been from the beginning.
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