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George Zimmerman’s Gonna Walk

It turns out that George Zimmerman did, in fact, have a broken nose, like he’s been saying all along. ABC News reports: [1]

A medical report compiled by the family physician of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman and obtained exclusively by ABC News found that Zimmerman was diagnosed with a “closed fracture” of his nose, a pair of black eyes, two lacerations to the back of his head and a minor back injury the day after he fatally shot Martin during an alleged altercation.

Zimmerman faces a second degree murder charge for the Feb. 26 shooting that left the unarmed 17-year-old high school junior dead. Zimmerman has claimed self defense in what he described as a life and death struggle that Martin initiated by accosting him, punching him in the face, then repeatedly bashing his head into the pavement.

Trayvon Martin was beating the hell out of George Zimmerman. That can’t be denied. Martin’s death was a tragedy, and an avoidable one. That can’t be denied either. But in light of this medical report, and its implications for Zimmerman’s self-defense defense, it’s mighty implausible to say a jury will find Zimmerman guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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79 Comments To "George Zimmerman’s Gonna Walk"

#1 Comment By Buckwheat On May 17, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

 No, he’s saying when the prosecution DOESN’T think it has proof beyond a reasonable doubt it probably does not, and it is inappropriate to press charges in that case.

#2 Comment By Buckwheat On May 17, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

 “I’d reserve judgment on whether he’s gonna walk or not until we find out what’s in the prosecution’s eight pages of evidence. ”

If it’s anything like the prosecutions affadavit, it’s rubbish.

#3 Comment By Buckwheat On May 17, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

 “should therefore have arrested Zimmerman and investigated the event, regardless of the (very ill-considered) statute). ”

Arrest first, and investigate later?  Seriously?

#4 Comment By Sands77 On May 17, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

Now that you know Martin’s cell phone had a pass code and his father was notified the next morning, the lack of a rap sheet is what you’re going to hang on to?  You’re reaching my friend.

I’ll say this one last time: the police released Zimmerman because the DA declined to charge him.  The investigation continued for several weeks and the DA still declined to charge him due to a lack of evidence.  You act as though the investigation stopped the second Zimmerman walked out the door.

#5 Comment By Red Phillips On May 17, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

I excerpted the part of the quote that was relevant to my point. Seeing as how, as I stated in another thread, that the chief object of the PC brigade is to lie with a straight face, I would be very careful about accusing anyone of “dissembling.”
 
Of course it is “possible” that the case was “largely dismissed simply because Martin was a black kid in a hoodie.” It is also possible that they knew they didn’t have a case. It seems to me that it is reasonable to presume that law enforcement is professional and interested in justice. I would even argue that it is probably safer to presume, if anything, that law enforcement would be over eager to pursue prosecution, not under eager. So the presumption that race played a part in their decision to me says more about the assumer than about the facts at hand.
 
What it say to me about the assumer is this: “I’m a white guy who is ridden with white guilt and self loathing, and I want everyone to know that I’m not one of those grubby wrongthinkers so I’m going to grandstand on a public blog about the injustice of the Trayvon Martin case and even throw in a reference to a hoodie so everyone will know that I presume all my fellow whities are racists unless they, like me, inoculate themselves by grandstanding otherwise.”

#6 Comment By Buckwheat On May 17, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

No, we’re supposed to have a very good idea of what happened in order to bring charges.   And by that I mean the prosecution is supposed to have a very good idea of what happened.   You don’t just sort it all out at trial and see what sticks.  Only in this particular case do so many people think that’s appropriate, and it’s pretty clear they think it’s appropriate because they want to be fashionably pro-Trayvon (or, perhaps, they formed strong initial opinions based on erroneous early media reports, and their particular psychology doesn’t allow them to conclude they were wrong).

#7 Comment By Buckwheat On May 17, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

“Now if the State knows it can not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman confronted Martin”

I like most of what you have to say here, but the word “confront” is pretty broad.  There is nothing that says he can’t “confront” someone in a non-physical matter (i.e., “what are you doing here?”).  That isn’t grounds for martin to attack and beat his head in.  If by “confront” you mean “initiate a physical confrontation”, that’s different.  Oddly, the flordia statute would still exonerate him in that case since he couldn’t escape when he was on his back and reasonably feared great bodily harm or death.  But I think it’s moot, since it almost has to be that Martin that initiated the physical confrontation.  He had no injuries but to his knuckles (other than the gunshot).  He had several minutes to walk home but still ended up in a fight about 40 yards from the truck.

#8 Comment By Red Phillips On May 17, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

The fact that the woman is facing 20 years actually hurts your case. It suggest, as I said above, that if any bias is to be presumed against law enforcement it is that they are more likely to overcharge rather than undercharge.  Some of that is to make it more likely that they can extract a plea. So the fact that Zimmerman was not charged for a potentially worse offense suggests they knew they didn’t have a case.

#9 Comment By Sean Nelson On May 17, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

So, the only people who don’t get the protection of Stand Your Ground are people victimized by their spouses? Holy crap, what terrible law.

#10 Comment By Sean Nelson On May 17, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

You act as if it’s normal for police to release killers without even bothering to ID the victim. Give me a break, Sands: your insistence on ignoring evidence is getting tiresome. 

If you’d be happy with your kid getting shot in the street and the police saying, “the killer said he was defending himself, so we released him,” I really don’t know what to tell you. 

And the investigation DID stop–the only reason there has been any movement on it was because the black community pressed the issue. It didn’t hit the MSM for weeks. If there had been no citizens pointing to the lack of a proper investigation, none of us would know anything about Trayvon Martin. You have this EXACTLY backwards.

#11 Comment By Sean Nelson On May 17, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

You excerpted the quote so that you could make a point without bothering to engage with your interlocutor. You freely admit this, since your “point” was just to call those who disagree with you liars and preeners, not to engage with their arguments. 

Oh, and you don’t get a pass on “dissembling” simply because you’re accusing someone else of lying. That’s absurd on its face. Your dissembling is right there in black and white–it doesn’t disappear the moment you cry “PC!”

#12 Comment By Sean Nelson On May 17, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

Folly that results in needless death ought to be discouraged by the law, which includes penalizing people for making fatally bad decisions, within reason. Society has an interest in making killing at the very least extremely inconvenient. 

#13 Comment By Red Phillips On May 17, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

I wasn’t really engaging with my “interlocutor.” I readily admit that I was making a general point at his expense. This Martin/Zimmerman debate has been going on on Rod’s blog on several different threads that I have been invovled in. So it is with all that history in mind that I made my comment. I am not calling everyone I disagree with liars. I am calling PC grandstanding an exercise in dishonesty. (For example people telling me with a straight face [virtually speaking] that the racial aspect of the flash mob phenomenon wasn’t deliberately surpressed.)

I’m not even sure what I’m being accused of “dissembling” about. Because I didn’t excerpt the whole quote? The whole quote was not what I was making a point about.

If anything, you are attempting to distract from my argument with your own righteous grandstanding.

There are multiple things that could have influenced the decision of the original jurisdiction not to press charges. If race was involved at all, I would be inclined to believe that they would be MORE likely to “throw the book at” Zimmerman because the victim was black for fear of outrage (exactly what has happened), not less. In my mind, the fact that he wasn’t charged despite the highly charged atmosphere makes a STRONGER, not a weaker, case that they didn’t have a case. 

As I said, the casual assumption that they let Zimmerman go because Martin was a black kid in a hoodie says a lot more about the mindset of the assumer than it does the facts of the case.

Now perhaps you could address my point instead of further attempting to derail.

#14 Comment By Sands77 On May 17, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

Sean,
I’m the one ignoring evidence?  Guy, I have refuted your erroneous claims, line by line, with evidence that’s available to the public.  And I’m going to refute your latest claim that the Sanford Police didn’t continue to investigate after Zimmerman was released.   Read this article and note the date: [2] Before you make another false allegation, you should at least perform a 30 second Google search.

#15 Comment By SiarlysJenkins On May 17, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

 I for one do not assume a jury is unlikely to convict. If there is objective evidence that a law has been broken, even if a jury is unlikely to convict (think Medgar Evers or Emmet Till) then prosecution should still be done. If a jury is unlikely to convict because there is no evidence, then there should be no trial. Of course, there are cases where a jury was more than willing to convict, where the defendant turned out to be stone cold innocent…

#16 Comment By Sean Nelson On May 18, 2012 @ 2:07 am

Sands, it’s incredibly frustrating to argue with someone who deliberately misconstrues my arguments. I stated quite clearly that the Sanford Police didn’t open the investigation back up until public pressure forced them to act. This makes ALL the difference in the question of whether the Sanford PD appears to have conducted their investigation with professionalism and care. 

You can ignore this all you want, but don’t get yourself into a self-righteous lather over my response when you can’t even demonstrate the reading skills to comprehend it. 

#17 Comment By Sean Nelson On May 18, 2012 @ 2:09 am

Arrest, charge with manslaughter in order to keep the known killer in custody while he awaits trial. The police do this all the time. It’s a good way to keep killers from lying to police, then running.

#18 Comment By Sean Nelson On May 18, 2012 @ 2:10 am

Why can I only see part of my response here? I responded in detail, but all I see is the quoted portion. 

#19 Comment By Sean Nelson On May 18, 2012 @ 2:12 am

So, you didn’t notice the race of the woman sentenced to 20 years, Red? You can try to square the circle of releasing a killer based on his testimony within a couple of hours and the Sanford PD being “biased” toward overcharging all you want, but the facts make that seem like a long stretch.

#20 Comment By Sean Nelson On May 18, 2012 @ 2:23 am


I’m not even sure what I’m being accused of “dissembling” about. Because I didn’t excerpt the whole quote?

Let me help you out, then, Red. If you had quoted the entire sentence, you point about this just being PC grandstanding wouldn’t have made any sense. Justin’s original point was that it could be POSSIBLE that there’s race involved, even if the other facts are generally on Zimmerman’s side. It was as clearly an example of acknowledging the other side’s argument and incorporating it into a potential answer. 

Your response stripped all of this away, thus misrepresenting Justin’s position so that you could make a point that doesn’t fit the comment you were responding to (unless, of course, you pretend that the rest of the comment doesn’t exist).

Ergo, you dissembled. It would sure be nice if you bothered to read the comments posted by the other side and respond to them directly, rather than using them as a launching pad for whatever your hobby-horse is today. This is supposed to be a conversation, but we can’t have one of those if some people refuse to listen. 

#21 Comment By Sands77 On May 18, 2012 @ 10:54 am

You’re just flat out wrong; the PD never stopped investigating.  Here’s a trove of information: [3] Read through that and take note of the dates.  Do that and come back and tell me that the police didn’t open the investigation back until there was public pressure to do so.

Look, we can argue this case, but the facts are in regarding the investigation.  And it is clear that the PD conducted a fair, professional, and complete investigation.  Was it perfect?  No, but no investigation is.

#22 Comment By Sean Nelson On May 18, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

Yeah, real THOROUGH investigation. The photos of the crime scene didn’t arrive for almost a month. The killer was released before the body was ID’ed. The killer was never tested for drugs or alcohol, which is standard procedure. No one thought to check the victim’s phone or call his girlfriend, which would have revealed that the victim was talking to her at the time of the incident. (Pass code? Please. Police Departments have broad rights to crack those, especially when the phone belongs to the victim of a homicide. In Florida, the Police can look through your cell phone without a warrant, too, so I don’t think there’s a valid civil-liberties argument here.  [4])

What’s “complete” about an investigation that included releasing the killer before the body was ID’ed? In ANY homicide investigation, you try to determine what the motive for the killing was, and you don’t just take the killer’s word for it. (Read through the unredacted portions of those witness testimonies: very little about them is conclusive. It was dark, and nobody saw how the incident began, which is a central question in establishing motive. The only “proof” that Martin was the instigator was Zimmerman’s word, which is complicated by the fact that Zimmerman says he pursued Martin.) You also, especially, don’t try to guide witness testimony in ANY way–something which has been alleged by one of the witnesses. 

I have years of experience in questioning witnesses, taking witness statements, taking fingerprints, and intelligence analysis (which is where you put all of this together). My problem with the Sanford PD’s “investigation” is that so much of it occurred after the release of the killer, which is simply not what you do when your “evidence” is limited to a bunch of inconclusive witness statements ant the killer’s word. 

Look, my position is the same as the Investigator’s: Zimmerman should have been detained and charged with manslaughter, or perhaps negligent homicide. That’s not an unreasonable position, and it would have been no violation of Zimmerman’s rights to charge him with a crime he looks to have committed.

Also, note that for all the huffing and puffing about how Zimmerman is “clearly hispanic,” it was the crack squad in the Sanford PD who identified him as “white.” So, if us libruls are complete morons for ever saying that Zimmerman was “white,” what does that say about the cops who got a good, hard look at him in person? Le me guess: “professional and thorough,” right?

(Edited by Sean to add paragraph breaks, and finish the sentence beginning “My problem with the Sanford PD’s “investigation” is….”

#23 Comment By Sands77 On May 18, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

 Sean,Crime scene photos were taken that night. Did you see all the evidence that was collected in this case? Hell, they even swabbed Zimmerman’s mouth for DNA. Did you totally skip over the report about the cell phone? They tried like hell to turn the phone on. And when they called Mr. Martin for the cell phone records, he told them that he would have to check with his attorney. The police could have cracked the code? You’re watching too much CSI. Police departments do not employ ‘code crackers.’You don’t seem to understand that police and prosecutors serve two different functions. Everyday police officers take people into custody with weak evidence, and everyday prosecutors decline to formally charge people because of that weak evidence. Police officers don’t have the option of saying, “Screw you Mr. DA, I’m going to lock this guy up anyway.”The fact that those witnesses didn’t see the start of the confrontation is EXACTLY why the original prosecutor declined charges. Remember, the burden of proof is on the prosecution.One witness out of 11 claims her testimony was guided. And you know who she claims guided her testimony? That’s right, the investigator you agree with. You know, the guy who wanted the prosecutor to charge Zimmerman? And that’s another thing, you point out that the lead investigator wanted Zimmerman charged, and then you complain about his shitty investigation?I also have years of experience questioning people, taking statements, and fingerprinting. I also have years of experience arresting people and working with prosecutors. I know what kind of evidence it takes to make a solid case.It absolutely is a violation of Zimmerman’s civil liberties to charge him with a crime when there is enough evidence to believe he is telling the truth. And the evidence in this case suggests that he is telling the truth. Like I’ve said before, these kinds of cases always flush out the phony civil libertarians. And let me add that special prosecutor Angela Corey praised the work done by the Sanford PD and said that the department conducted a ““thorough and intensive” investigation.Sean, I enjoy reading your post and debating you, but I believe we are on a road to nowhere here.

#24 Comment By SiarlysJenkins On May 18, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

 Now you are back to, unless it is certain that the defendant is guilty, there shouldn’t be a trial… in which case, why have a trial? Why not just proceed to  executing sentence?

A prosecutor, if they have any integrity, should have a bona fide confidence that there is evidence of a crime, and evidence that the defendant committed the crime. A prosecutor, if they are honest, will recognize that they may be wrong.

In state courts, 40 percent of defendants who go to trial are acquitted. I’d be worried if 99 percent were convicted.

#25 Comment By SiarlysJenkins On May 18, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

 Apparently in this case, the prosecution DOES think it has proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Its the Lords of Blogdom who are certain that they know better, or worse, that the defendant is guilty, or innocent.

#26 Comment By SiarlysJenkins On May 18, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

There is indeed something awfully smug about Rod’s headline and presentation. Fair and balanced and I don’t know all the facts but before we rush to judgement… seems to be out the window. And Mr. Dreher appears to be truly enjoying this supposed turn of events.

Funny, just this morning I saw a news broadcast reporting that Trayvon ran away from Zimmerman, thought he had lost him, then Zimmerman is after him again… Yes, that did come from Mr. Martin’s girlfriend, who is not an unbiased neutral party. But she was on the phone with Martin at the time of the “incident.”

And for everyone who thinks the case is settled by “Zimmerman said…” … Individuals facing prosecution for homicide usually offer the world a plausible story that spins very much  in their favor. It COULD be true of course, but it hardly disposes of the case.

#27 Comment By Sean Nelson On May 19, 2012 @ 12:55 am

Sands,

You should really learn to separate your thoughts with paragraph breaks–you appear to be ranting. But I agree, we’re on a road to nowhere. You refuse to grant that there are any irregularities in the case, or that someone could look at this case and honestly conclude something different than you. You think I have blinders on and I think you have blinders on. Addressing my points directly, without accusing me of being some kind of PC apologist, would be a good start. I still haven’t heard a peep from you about the fact that they released a killer based on his word alone, and before they could even establish whether the killer knew the victim. Maybe you think that’s just fine, but I’ve never seen it. If you’ve done that in your professional life, I hope you were fired for it. It’s inexcusable. 

#28 Comment By SiarlysJenkins On May 19, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

 We can indeed agree that this case comes down to who confronted who, how many times, in what order, with what prior provocation. As to what the evidence is, all the hullaballoo by various bloggers who claim to know it all is absurd. Jurors do have to rely on the evidence presented to them… and they will get all the evidence. We haven’t. Once they get the evidence, jurors retire into a closed room and do what they do. If the aquit, there is no appeal. If they convict, an appeal must be based on either procedural error (not the jury’s fault), or a judicial finding that “no reasonable person” could possibly convict on the evidence presented. We’ll know the verdict when the jury comes back with one. Everything until then is so much hot air. Paid news reporters have the excuse that they have to fill time and space to justify their salary. What excuse do the rest of us have?

#29 Comment By frank On June 22, 2013 @ 12:18 am

George Zimmerman is going to get off scott free, because setting him free will be pay-back for the O.J Simpson verdict of 1995.It doesn’t matter if zimmerman truly executed this kid because he is black. In the eyes of white people, zimmerman had the right to do it.It sends a strong message to my kids that no matter how we dress;be it a suit or a hoody, if you venture into a majority white neighborhood -and also, even if you happen to live in one like myself, you risk being gunned down just like trevon martin.Even if the black guy is the victim, he will be arrested by the cops. This is the price and the risk that every black male takes when he walks around in a neighborhood that whites feel that he does not belong..