idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Assuming that the information we have about the relative positions of Zimmerman and Martin just prior to the shot being fired are correct, then we do know it was self defense. You keep bringing up things I've already proven are irrelevant in this case. And speculating as well.
Assuming we do know
that Zimmerman was beneath Martin, which we don't...
We don't? I provided quotes from witnesses (and a link to an audio interview on TV from one), which clearly established this way back on like page 2 or 3 of this thread. Did you forget this?
I originally linked to a site that had the video of the actual interview (though the guy's front door), but here's an article
written about it more recently:
"The guy on the bottom who had a red sweater on was yelling to me: 'help, help…and I told him to stop and I was calling 911," he said.
Trayvon Martin was in a hoodie; Zimmerman was in red.
The witness only wanted to be identified as "John," and didn't not want to be shown on camera.
His statements to police were instrumental, because police backed up Zimmerman's claims, saying those screams on the 911 call are those of Zimmerman.
"When I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point," John said.
What part of a witness saying that "the guy who was on top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point" confuses you? This witness clearly places Martin on top of Zimmerman beating him, while Zimmerman yelled for help.
...it does NOT logically follow that it was self defense.
Holy hell. Yes it does. Zimmerman shot someone who was according to the eyewitness I just quoted on top beating Zimmerman up. What about that makes you conclude that he didn't shoot in self defense. What's not logical is anyone insisting that it wasn't self defense. It very clearly was.
Who the aggressor or defender in a confrontation does not change with who has the upper hand in the actual engagement, unless it is accompanied with a significant amount of escalation.
So what? The criterion for self defense is met when you are on your back with someone on top of you beating you. Always.
That is the question here. Who is directly responsible for the fight that led to Martin's death? If Martin jumped Zimmerman, does that mean he has sufficient responsibility? Does following Martin place sufficient negligence on him to void his ability to claim self defense?
None of this matters. You may think it does. You may want it to. But it doesn't. Not with regards to criminal charges against Zimmerman. And I'll point out that the same law in this situation makes Zimmerman immune
to arrest, to charges filed against him *and* to civil litigation. That's the price you pay when you choose to jump on top of someone, pin them to the ground and beat them. And that's exactly why that portion of the law was written.
Who was winning once the fight began literally only matters if Martin was losing, as the claim demands Zimmerman have reason to believe his life was in danger. But we aren't likely to have anything but hear-say on that front.
Huh? You have it completely backwards. All that matters is the state of the fight immediately before Zimmerman fired his gun. Period. And all of the evidence we have supports Zimmerman's claim that he was on his back, with Martin on top of him, beating him. That is all we need to know to establish clear self defense for Zimmerman.
And no. He does not need to believe his life was in danger. The statute says:
776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or
(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.
Section 777.013 refers to home protection BTW, so it doesn't technically apply here (except for one section, but that only applies if we assume Zimmerman was acting under stand your ground rules, which we don't know for sure).
I think at the point where you're on the ground being beaten in the face, you have a reasonable belief that you may be in risk of imminent great bodily harm. He does not have to wait until he's been beaten into a coma to act. The mere fact that Martin was hitting him, while he was in a position unable to escape automatically gives him the right to self defense no matter what happened prior to that point
I just don't know how much more clearly I can show this to you. The law is absolutely clear about this. Try reading it.
Self defense requires that you can either prove you were the defender from the start, or that the encounter escalated to life-threatening levels for reasons that were not your fault. (Fisticuffs vs. pistols at dawn).
Not completely true. Obviously, if you were the defender from the start, it's self defense. But even if you were not, the requirement is not that stiff. I already quoted this, but you're slow, so I'll do it again:
.041 Use of force by aggressor. —The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
So if Zimmerman did initiate the fight (or somehow provoked it on himself), he does not have a right to self defense unless
, he believes the same risks as is normally required for self defense (note the language is identical) *and* he has exhausted every means to escape other than the use of lethal force.
He's on his back. He's being pummeled by Martin. He yells for help. Someone opens a door nearby, but instead of helping, just tells Martin to stop, and closes his door (and calls the police). It is only after this point that Zimmerman shoots Martin. Assuming he could not extricate himself (and if he could, why's he still laying on the ground getting beat?), he's clearly exhausted every method to escape, including yelling for help and watching someone just slam his door on him.
Let's we forget, words Zimmerman told police when they first showed up was "I was yelling for help, but no one would help me". Does this paint a clear enough picture for you? Every single piece of information we have overwhelmingly shows that this was a case of self defense. I'm really honestly unsure why anyone keep thinking it wasn't.
Can you actually address any of those points? You're acting on what you think the law might be, or maybe should be, but I'm actually reading the applicable legal code and basing my position on that. And you're acting on speculation, but I'm acting on the police report from the scene and the witness accounts. When you put all of that together, it's a clear cut case of self defense. Why do you suppose Zimmerman still hasn't been charged even with all the outrage going on? If it were even remotely questionable, they'd have arrested him just to shut up the angry mob and then worked out the details later.
The problem is that the law is absolutely clear on this:
776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—
(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).
He's immune from criminal prosecution and civil action. Period. And section 2 clearly states that the burden is on police to show that the force was unlawful just to arrest him. Exactly as I've been saying all along.
You need much much more than just speculation that maybe under some contrived circumstances for which we have no evidence, Zimmerman's actions might not have been self defense. The starting condition given the physical evidence and the witness statements, is that this was self defense. From that starting condition, you need to come up with some evidence that it wasn't. Can you? Do you honestly have anything other than speculation to argue it wasn't self defense?
Because so far, I've heard nothing but speculation. You're free to try to do better, but I've been asking people for actual evidence for much of this thread, and have received nothing but more speculation and what-if's and maybes. You can't charge someone with a crime based on speculation. You need facts. You need evidence. Where is it?