idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
In the broad sense, it is not a chance encounter because Zimmerman was patrolling the neighborhood, on the lookout for anyone he considered suspicious.
As opposed to it not being a chance encounter when two people run into each other at the mailboxes for the complex? Both are heading to the same area to do the same thing. So if you meet some woman at a bar for the first time, it's not a "chance encounter" because you were both going to the same bar on purpose? That's an incredibly silly and meaningless distinction IMO.
Zimmerman did not know that Martin would be walking down that street at that time. Martin did not know that Zimmerman would be patrolling that street at that time. Therefore, their meeting was a "chance encounter". WTF?
In the specific sense, referring to the fight, it is not a chance encounter because Zimmerman had already singled Martin out and, regardless of whether or not he began the fight, had certainly set into motion the events that would lead to one.
So? I'm honestly curious what point you think this proves? Zimmerman didn't walk out his front door that day and say to himself "I'm going to go find a black kid named Trayvon Martin, follow him, get into a fight with him, and then shoot and kill him". I guess I'm not sure why you think this is relevant. You've manipulated the meaning of "chance encounter" so much at this point, that it no longer proves any point you might make with it.
And, again, we are saying that we don't care if Martin started the fight.
The law cares though.
We don't care if Martin had the upper-hand in said fight when he was shot.
The law cares though.
We don't care if Martin went for Zimmerman's gun.
And the law cares. You're demanding that we completely ignore all the factors that actually matter when determining the legitimacy of a self-defense use of a firearm and insisting that we focus on things that don't matter. The fact that Zimmerman followed Martin is neither a violation of the law, nor gives Martin justification under the law to commit violence against Zimmerman.
Do you want justice under the law? Or justice under the mob?
Our point is that Zimmerman had presented himself as a significant threat to Martin...
No, he didn't. And no amount of you repeating this over and over makes it true. Not if "significant" means "sufficient threat to legally justify Martin taking violent action against Zimmerman". Anything less than that makes an assault by Martin an act which Zimmerman is legally justified to respond to. Even with lethal force.
...regardless of whether or not he realized he was doing it, which voids his ability to claim self defense.
The altercation between them, regardless of who threw the first punch, is directly related to Zimmerman's choice to follow Martin in his car, despite the request from the police that he not do that.
Wrong, wrong, and wrong. The law doesn't work this way. Zimmerman is absolutely within his right to follow Martin. Period. If Martin attacked Zimmerman purely because of that then Martin is in the wrong, and has given up the right to not get shot. Period.
You've managed to move the goalposts so far that they're nearly out of sight. Are you seriously arguing that all one needs to legally justify attacking someone else is thinking the other person is a threat, whether the other person actually is, or is even aware that what he's doing might be perceived as threatening? Do you want that to be the legal standard? Because that would justify a hell of a lot more violent acts if it were. By that same logic, Zimmerman could have shot Martin to death when he first saw him walking down the street.
Seriously. Step back and look at the legal standard you're trying to apply here.
Had he listened to that dispatcher, Trayvon Martin would be alive today.
There's a nearly infinite number of things which, had they happened differently, would have resulted in Martin living. We can't hold someone legally responsible for any or all of them. Only those things which were in violation of the law. The first triggering act was *not* Zimmerman following Martin. The first triggering act was when a physical fight started. The "he looked at me funny, so I decked him" defense does *not* work in our legal system.
Again, what's bizarre is how selectively you're applying this. You're arguing that Zimmerman was in the wrong for merely following Martin on the grounds that he thought Martin was up to no good, but turning right around and justifying Martin assaulting Zimmerman for what is more or less the same reason. Even if we assume that both thought the other was doing something they should not have done, Zimmerman's response was legal, while Martins (assuming he initiated the fight) was not. Why defend an illegal act in response to merely thinking something about someone else, while condemning the legal act?
Rule of law should apply to everyone, not just the people we've chosen to side with. Edited, Mar 27th 2012 5:36pm by gbaji