George Zimmerman is now on trial by default before his actual trial has begun. But is he guilty?
Having surrendered himself to authorities yesterday (there was a brief moment of concern that he might be a fugitive as Mr Zimmerman wavered about whether he should face the music after having been released the night of the murder of Trayvon Martin) the world over has begun asking themselves the simple question of whether George Zimmerman is guilty of the murder of the 17 year individual that he shot dead on the evening of February 26th, 2012.
On the surface a death had been perpetrated, that much is obvious but what has been up for contention is whether Mr Zimmerman willfully shot what he thought to be an intruder, or as the courts mandate did he shoot Trayvon Martin with a ‘depraved mind,’ the necessary quotient needed to successfully convict him of murder of the young man (he is being tried on charges of second degree murder). For his part Mr Zimmerman has argued all along that he only acted in self defense and that he feared the imminent demise of his being had he not resorted to shooting the young man who Mr Zimmerman argues had begun to ‘bash his head over and over’ against a street pavement floor. In essence what Mr Zimmerman has attempted to assert is that he was only acting in self defense and in the state of Florida, a legal mandate, ‘stand your ground,’ allows would be victims (here is the operative word) to use any means necessary to protect themselves in the fact of imminent serious injury or loss of life.
That though may be the problem and it has already caused wide consternation in the community and certainly within media circles (who’s business it is to ask such questions even if Mr Zimmerman asserts that he has already been found guilty by default at the hands of the media- see his website: therealgeorgezimmerman.com).
That said, whether Mr Zimmerman feels comfortable or not, questions have been raised and they must be answered, for there has been a loss of life and currently a family and a community grieve what they have vehemently argue has been an egregious loss of life. On some level who is on trial isn’t necessarily Mr Zimmerman (that part is obvious) but the Florida mandate, ‘stand your ground,’ that many have begun arguing removes the culpability of those who choose to ‘hide’ behind its shield to necessitate a type of behavior that many question to be heavy handed and out of place.
Of course there have been many questions raised as to what actually happened on the night of Trayvon Martin’s death. Many have said that the young man had only gone out to get some snacks before returning to the gated community where the boy’s father lived. Except on that wet night, Mr Zimmerman, a volunteer watch dog of the gated community had thought that he had instead come across an interloper who shouldn’t have been there and who in his mind was going to ‘stop’ from ‘getting’ away from the perceived (imminent) infraction and to whatever dastardly plan he may or may not be up to. In his mind, he was bound to protect the community and shield it from nefarious behavior that he assumed to be the case. How he came to that assumption many have argued as questionable, was it enough that because the man was of colored skin and was wearing a hoodie (do only inner city street thugs where such regalia- are we supposed to believe these are the warning signs of
imminent bad behavior?) that he was up to no good? Was Mr Zimmerman on some level guilty of racial profiling and discrimination?
Then again should we really fault Mr Zimmerman for thinking that when the world over is regaled with such prejudices and indoctrination and he was only acting out what he thought to be good intentions. Even if many have come to argue his thought process was faulted (which it may well be) one has to wonder is it his attitude that is on trial here or the actual course of events that transpired during the evening?
Of question in this author’s mind is whether Mr Zimmerman had provoked the reaction (if we are to believe Mr Zimmerman that he was attacked) of the young man who by now had begun to suspect he was being ‘stalked’ by some dubious individual who by now was ‘stalking’ him as he traveled along the streets of the gated community. If that is the case that certainly leaves open the contention that Mr Zimmerman was hardly acting out in defense but in essence seeking some sort of confrontation because in his mind he was destined to ‘stop these kind from always getting away’ with what underhanded things they are supposed to be doing.
What’s interesting to note is at the time of the shooting, George Zimmerman was told by dispatchers to remain in his car as authorities were on their way as a result of him informing them of a presumed intrusion. So why then did Mr Zimmerman choose to defy those orders and start chasing after the boy again? He was after all just a volunteer, not a career detective or even a paid security guard with a role to fulfill, nor was his or anyone’s life or property at that time threatened.
Could it be that Mr Zimmerman was acting out some sort of vendetta against a minority figure and would show the world that he at least could keep the neighborhood clean, that despite the trauma of race tensions in the community at least he could get the job done- at any cost? At least, if anyone, he could be the ‘big’ man in the hood that dared to settle things. Is this what Mr Zimmerman was thinking when he once again set out for the boy with a gun in his hand??
No one can really know the answers to these questions until Mr Zimmerman is brought to trial and have those questions examined under a court of law. That said, curious to feel the pulse of what the pubic at large have come to understand of the case I have copied and pasted various comments and media insights that intrigued me and perhaps shed some light as to what is actually at stake in the arrest and death of Trayvon Martin. See what you think….
miamiherald: To prove Zimmerman was guilty of second-degree murder, Corey will have to show Zimmerman acted with a “depraved mind” when he shot Trayvon.
“The only evidence we have now is what Zimmerman says and what an eyewitness says – that Trayvon was beating him,” Mason said. “Well, if that’s the case, this shouldn’t reach a jury. There’s just no evidence showing he acted with a depraved min. If Zimmerman was being beaten, it’s clearly a homicide. He had a right to carry his weapon. He had a right to confront a person who was walking around in a hoodie in the rain around dark when there had been crimes in the neighborhood.”
One-time federal prosecutor, former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey, suggested Corey might not stick with the second-degree murder charge through trial.
“This is an aggressive charge,” he said. “And there are times when an aggressive charge gives more incentive for the defendant to seek a plea. The vast majority of cases don’t go to trial and end in a plea.”
newyorker: Well, let’s see what will happen. And there are many implications. Right now there are anywhere from 4 to 8 million people living in gated communities in the country. Some 40% of new housing in California is in gated communities. Some of these have ornate guard systems, including armed security who certainly will run after and try to detain anyone who looks suspicious somehow on the grounds. Colleges now routinely are arming their security forces and these not only because of student flipping out but because of surrounding neighborhoods which are seen as threatening. Much of this is racial. There are indexes of countries about discrepancies of wealth and degrees of lawlessness. Try Columbia and kidnappings and ransom. In an upscale gated community, Treyvon Martin would not have been allowed in the gates and would have met armed guards. If he had been killed at the gates in some altercation, those guards would very doubtfully have been prosecuted (standing their ground almost by definition of having a post). Zimmerman was a watchman and a guard too (he seems to have actively stopped previous break-ins), but not uniformed and in a porous gated community. And ultimately this case is all about police, say, going into housing projects as they do in NYC — and are being sued for doing this — stopping and frisking people who look suspicious, defining again what territory is considered watchable or protected. Remember, a big reason malls grew in this country and inner cities dies was crime, that armed private police forces could carry weapons to protect people and property.
time: He’s narcissistic. He felt imp0rtant enough to be the judge of who gets in or out of the little area he lives in. He probably identified with cops and thought he was really “one of them” when he was calling them every week. He found something he felt he was good at so he put a lot of time into it. We haven’t heard much of his past to suggest he really had much going for him, being the neighborhood watchdog was it. When you add guns to the mix people like that suddenly feel important and powerful.
Even if Zimmerman successfully argues that he acted in self defense, he initiated the incident. He followed Martin. Most people would feel intimidated and either run or fight. I think Martin would have been justified in beating Zimmerman under the state’s Stand Your Ground law.
Another thing, NO ONE knows what happened that night. NO ONE! So, people need to stop trashing this poor kid’s name. I’m talking about Trayvon more than Zimmerman because Trayvon is dead and he, I believe, is the TRUE victim of this tragedy. However, I don’t believe Zimmerman killed him cause he is a cold blooded racist I think he killed him only because he was on a HUGE powertrip. This is what I believe only because his story to me makes no sense. Until I hear the REAL facts, then I may change my mind. I could be wrong. Everyone is entitled to thier own opinion, however you need to acknowledge that’s exactly what it is. OPINION. NOT FACT. Clearly, there are facts that have not yet been released to the public. So, remember that.
thedailymail.co.uk: On Tuesday, Zimmerman’s former lawyers portrayed him as erratic and in precarious mental condition.
But O’Mara said Zimmerman was OK: ‘I’m not concerned about his mental well-being’.
He said his client will plead not guilty at his arraignment, which has not yet been scheduled – and that he will try and secure a bond that’s affordable for Zimmerman’s family.
O’Mara said: ‘He is troubled by everything that has happened. And I can’t imaging living in George Zimmerman’s shows for the last couple of weeks’.
He added: ‘He’s a client who has a lot of hatred focused on him right now. I hope the hatred settles down’.
It is now time for the judicial system of the United States and particularly the state of Florida to find the truth under the law. The media and bloggers may continue to speculate, but at last the case is where it should be … in a court of law.
Well, I guess the baggy pants, gang bangin’ minority got its way again.
I hope Zimmerman walks.
this is not justice. this is the media pushing for arrest. Our system should not be used in this manner. There are also bigger things at stake. the stand your law ground is important. It only muddies the water.
The reason Zimmerman was not charged to begin with was because the evidence supported his claims. This is nothing more than giving in to the masses and ignoring the laws of the land. There was a reason this wasn’t presented to a grand jury, he wouldn’t have been charged. Nice to know as long as you make enough noise, someone will cave in!! This paves the way for criminals to get the upper hand as it’s obvious the law is on their side.
Seriously… Zimmerman’s story simply doesn’t make sense. No one does anything without a motive, and I don’t find that Trayvon had any motive to jump GZ. Why would he do that? If he was already hiding as Zimmerman claims and he was returning to his car, effectively giving up the pursuit, then the boy was home free. There is no REASON for him to jump out and attack someone that he has already escaped.
Zimmerman however, DOES have a motive for provoking an altercation, as well as a history of physical confrontation. (For the record, Martin had no record of violence.) We know that Zimmerman was pursuing Martin against the advice of the police dispatcher because he found him “suspicious” and (his words) they always get away. That gives us reason to believe he INTENDED to detain him at the very least – to keep him from getting away. Martin’s girlfriend has already given a statement that she heard Martin ask Zimmerman why he was following him, followed by words she couldn’t hear and then some sort of scuffle. This tells us that Martin did NOT jump out and attack him.
My guess is that he grabbed him, Martin resisted, it turned into a wrestling match, both guys went down in a mutual struggle, Zimmerman drew the gun and shot him.
As someone who has worked closely with teenaged boys, I can assure you that they frequently make poor decisions in judgement. We don’t know what happened, but it is plausible that Trayvon (who didn’t know that Zimmerman had a gun) DID pursue and attack Zimmerman, if he did indeed turn his back on him. It wouldn’t be the first time a poor decision ended badly for a teenaged boy.
I don’t purport to know what happened. I just realize that Trayvon could have done something that caused the situation to end badly.
It is a tragic situation and one that didn’t need to end the way it did. Zimmerman could have pulled the gun and pointed it a Trayvon to get his point across. He didn’t have to shoot him. I suspect that most people (especially if they were just a cocky teenager trying to teach someone a lesson) would stop and back away from a gun pointed in their direction. Good kids can make tragic decisions. That could be the case here and it could be that Zimmerman WAS actively tracking him down to kill him. We don’t know.
There are so many scenarios that are plausible and way too much lynch mob mentality going on. Let the system work and the details will some out.