Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “Trayvon Martin”

Another Trial or Two

The man on the bottom, whose head had been slammed into the concrete sidewalk, whose nose was broken by the fists of the man on top, had no gun.  The man on top continued the assault.  He continued it after the man on the bottom lost consciousness.  He continued it and the man on the bottom sustained brain damage.  The man on the bottom died.

At the trial, the man on the top, seen by eyewitnesses, would be convicted of murder or, if you prefer, depending on intent and other factors, manslaughter.  Would that be expected?  Would that be fair, provided the evidence was presented at trial?  Use your imagination.

Or, imagine the man on the bottom did not die, but just had the head injuries described and no brain damage, just the unfortunate victim of assault.  It probably happens every day somewhere.

Does it matter if the man on top is black?  Does it matter if the man on the bottom is black?  Does it matter if both are the same race?  Does it change your answer if they are not of the same race?

If the man on top was convicted, whether of murder or manslaughter or assault, would you expect protests?  Does your answer depend upon the race of the assailant or of the victim or of both?

There was a trial already, of course.  The man on top was Trayvon Martin.  The difference from the actual incident is that the man on the bottom did not succumb, but rather had a gun.  The scenario I laid out was what could have happened without that effort at self defense by the man on the bottom, George Zimmerman.

Or, here is another test for racism — what if Trayvon was on the bottom?  What if Trayvon had a gun.  What if Trayvon used it for self defense?  Use your imagination, again.

Would the result be different?  The answer ought to be:  “No, the result would be the same on the same facts regardless of the race of either man.”

Aren’t blacks entitled to self-defense?   The answer to that question is certainly:  “Yes, of course black persons are entitled to the same jury instruction about self defense.”

Would there be protests if Trayvon had been acquitted due to self defense?

Race is involved in the protests, but was not involved in the trial, and should not have been.

Colorblind Rule of Law

Our President is a lawyer.  So is the Attorney General.  They have sworn oaths to uphold the Constitution.  The Constitution guarantees, among other things, the right to a jury trial.

George Zimmerman had a jury trial on charges of second degree murder and manslaughter.  He was acquitted.

The jurors heard all the evidence presented by each side.  It was a fair process.

Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman.  That is undisputed.  What was disputed was whether Mr. Zimmerman was entitled to shoot Mr. Martin as a means of protecting himself.  The evidence showed that Mr. Martin attacked Mr. Zimmerman, broke his nose, and was banging his head against the concrete sidewalk.  There was a jury instruction about self-defense.  That means that a person is entitled to use deadly force under certain circumstances.   That was the basis of the acquittal.

The President was not one of the lawyers trying the case.  Neither was Eric Holder, our Attorney General.  Since they were not involved in the trial, they should not second guess the results of the trial from their lofty positions.

It does not help racial tension to criticize the trial as if it was unfair because Trayvon was black and Zimmerman white/hispanic.  Each side had its day in court.  If our nation is so racist, how did a black man get elected President by the white majority?

The protestors chanting “No justice, no peace” are not helping racial tensions, nor are they respecting the Constitution and rule of law.  That chant might have made sense if the prosecutors had refused to bring the case to trial.  They did bring the case to trial, however.  That really happened.  That was how we dispense justice under the sacred rule of law.  The way to contest the results is to appeal to a higher court, not to riot in the streets.

Can someone explain how stealing jewelry from Target in the process of “protesting” promotes justice for Trayvon?  As far as I know, Target had nothing to do with the case.  If some priest I don’t know in another city gets convicted of sex abuse, I just might shoplift from Walmart because, you know, I have many relatives who are Catholic.  Feel me?

Maybe President Obama will scold the protestors like he scolded the police before charges were brought against Mr. Zimmerman.

Attorney General Holder, who is black,  added fuel to the fire by holding out hope that he might bring federal charges against Mr. Zimmerman (since the NAACP did not like the trial result).  Shame on him.  He took an oath to uphold the Constitution.  Was he absent from law school on the day they taught about the right to a jury trial?  Double jeopardy is prohibited by the same Constitution.  It does not seem likely that Attorney General Holder, who heads, get this, The Justice Department, got an “A” in Constitutional Law.  Let us chip in and send him back for a remedial course, not in Ethnic Studies, but in Constitutional Law.  I fear that he and the President are confused about the meaning of their respective oaths of office.

What I Got Out of the Zimmerman Case

Many Americans are tired of the media frenzy about the acquittal of George Zimmerman, so I, CowboyLawyer, am here to provide a short commentary.

George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer interested in a career in law enforcement, should not have gotten out of his car.  It was enough to advise the police dispatcher about spotting someone who might be suspicious.

Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old who had every right to be in that particular neighborhood, nevertheless should not have attacked Mr. Zimmerman.

After those two mistakes in judgment occurred, George Zimmerman’s head was being slammed against the concrete sidewalk and he was punched with sufficient force to break his nose.

While in this situation, he shot his attacker, who was on top of him like an MMA fighter, according to a witness.

The jury, who heard the evidence, concluded that Mr. Zimmerman was entitled to the legal defense called self-defense.  That is appropriate when the evidence indicates that a person who uses deadly force to protect himself reasonably believed that he was in danger of serious injury or death.

Whether you are black or white or hispanic, this defense is available to you.  It is available whether you are being attacked by someone who is your same race or a different race.

Race was probably a factor in young Trayvon deciding to attack George Zimmerman, whom Trayvon perceived to be a “crazy ass cracker” according to his friend who testified.  It is not as clear whether race was a factor in George Zimmerman pulling the trigger.

I happen to be white.  I am not a racist.  I would shoot you whether you are white, black, hispanic, native american or asian IF YOU ARE SLAMMING MY HEAD INTO CONCRETE.

It is sad that Trayvon Martin is dead.

It is a right in our nation for George Zimmerman to have a jury trial.

Let us trust the jury and our legal system, like we did when O.J. was acquitted.

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