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Skype Overload Interrupts Zimmerman Trial

timothy posted about a year ago | from the do-you-have-prince-albert-in-a-can? dept.

Communications 325

MouseTheLuckyDog writes "Today during the George Zimmerman trial, an ex-professor of Zimmerman's was allowed to testify via Skype while on vacation. When setting it up the prosecution didn't have the sense to blank the destination account. The result, according to The Smoking Gun, was a flood of callers to the destination account resulting in the connection being terminated and cross examination being done on a cell phone in the witness box." Also at CBS News.

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Microsoft Product (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183303)

Which part of "Microsoft Product" did they not understand?

Whole Trial is bullshit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183341)

This is an obvious case of self defense, if the thug that attacked Zimmerman wasn't an African-American, there would be no trial. There was too much race baiting and fake charges of murder were trumped up to appease the Martin family.

My message to the Martin family is clear. If your son was not a THUG, he would be still be here.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1, Flamebait)

dadelbunts (1727498) | about a year ago | (#44183353)

If he was a THUG he would have just shot Zimmerman.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183377)

He tried, but Zimmerman stopped him from getting his gun. At this point I know I would have personally have believed my life was in danger and opened fire on the THUG.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183915)

Except Martin's DNA was not on the holster or the gun.

The only thug here is Zimmerman. If Zimmerman was the aggressor, Martin can use equal force to defend himself. If Martin thought his life was in danger, the response can include deadly force. If Zimmerman showed Martin he had a gun, that is all that is required for Martin to incapacitate Zimmerman.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184035)

Therein is the entire problem with "stand your ground" laws. The victor can always claim they were the victim as long as there are no witnesses. Homicide in self defense is still homicide, someone killed someone else. I do not feel we should allow people that kill other people to walk free, even if they were justified.

Prison exists to house violent people such as murderers and rapists. How about we let loose the non-violent offenders and permanently remove from society everyone that commits violent acts. Within three generations we could weed virtually all aggressive genes out of the gene pool.

That or bring back dueling. If one has the right to defend oneself then one should have the right to contractually engage in mortal combat to settle disputes.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (4, Informative)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year ago | (#44184155)

"Stand your ground" has nothing to do with this case. It's a pure case of self-defense.

"Within three generations we could weed virtually all aggressive genes out of the gene pool."
And within four generations the few aggressive ones left would rule the rest with an iron fist.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184233)

Actually, it's a case of pure confrontation and aggression, which means neither stand your ground or self-defense applies.

Why?

Zimmerman got out of the car.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184327)

This may come as a shock, but you actually still have the right to get out of a car.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184557)

This may come as a shock, but I never said the crime was getting out of the car, getting out of the car merely invalidates Zimmerman's claim to self-defense.

That's why it is a case of pure confrontation and aggression.

You can do things that are legal on their own, but that invalidate further conduct on your part.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (3, Informative)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year ago | (#44184671)

That is just utterly ridiculous. Getting out of the car makes no difference to the right to self defense.
Even "confrontation" makes no difference. The only thing that would negate the self-defense plea is if Zimmerman actually physically attacked Martin and then progressed from fighting to shooting.
And there is absolutely no evidence nor testimony that he did so.

It would be ever so refreshing if people made the slightest effort to understand the law before they started blathering about it.
I know, too much to ask.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year ago | (#44184221)

"Except Martin's DNA was not on the holster or the gun."
That was covered in the trial. Even under ideal conditions DNA doesn't stick 100% of the time, and it was raining.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184461)

Except Martin's DNA was not on the holster or the gun.

The only thug here is Zimmerman. If Zimmerman was the aggressor, Martin can use equal force to defend himself. If Martin thought his life was in danger, the response can include deadly force. If Zimmerman showed Martin he had a gun, that is all that is required for Martin to incapacitate Zimmerman.

You've never been mugged by a pack of blacks.

When you are, your world view will change.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#44184845)

. If Zimmerman showed Martin he had a gun, that is all that is required for Martin to incapacitate Zimmerman.

Im pretty sure having an unconcealed firearm on your person is not justification for someone attacking you.

In fact I believe its a constitutional right to have one, I do believe I read that somewhere.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183385)

This is an obvious case of self defense

Yes, I too often "defend" myself by following and then chasing down my future assailant.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183425)

That story was made up by the damned media and the Martin family to start race riots and blame Republicans. People that actually know anything know that democrats are the racists!

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (3, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44183451)

From what I've read, it corresponds to the 911 transcript. The operator tried to get him to back off.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44183573)

From what I've read, it corresponds to the 911 transcript. The operator tried to get him to back off.

From what I heard, you shouldn't make a 911 call over Skype. Apparently, talking about 911 calls over Skype is also a bad idea.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183601)

Did you read the transcript? I did. "You really don't need to do that" is not trying very hard.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184457)

That dispatcher was a witness earlier in the trial. He clarified that he was NOT giving an order. He also clarified that he is not allowed to give orders to callers.

The wording was that the police didn't NEED Zimmerman to follow. It didn't even imply that it might not be HELPFUL to the police. And, it certainly didn't even suggest that Zimmerman, if he wished to do so, shouldn't.

Anyway, according to Zimmerman, he stopped following when the dispatcher made that suggestion but that he was returning from trying to get the address for the police to meet him at when Martin accosted him. So far, I've seen no reason not to believe Zimmerman's version of the story.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (5, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year ago | (#44183603)

He does not lose his right to self-defense because some 911 operator told him to back off. So he followed a guy walking around in the rain in an area that had recent burglaries. So perhaps he 'profiled' him because he wore a hoodie, perhaps because he was black. Perhaps he did a poor job as a neighborhood watchman, he got too zealous in protecting the neighborhood (not as much as some mall cops but whatever). None of this has any baring on the fact that once Martin jumped on him and started bashing his head against the pavement (as all evidence suggest he did) he had the RIGHT to defend himself with lethal force. A legal right, as in under the law in force at the time. Charge him for sucking as a neighborhood watchman, or for following the guy (whatever crime that is) but there is no rational reason to charge him with murder. It is pure mob justice of the worst kind.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183697)

Indeed, it's because his actions were confrontational that he loses his claim to self-defense to excuse his homicide, not because the 911 operator told him anything.

Trayvon Martin, if he did indeed confront Zimmerman, was the one engaging in lawful defense. Or would you try to charge Martin with homicide if he had killed Zimmerman?

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183973)

If someone who is armed with a pistol is stalking me on a rainy dark night, you damn well better believe I'm going to defend myself in any way I can.

Lock that turd up and throw away the key.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year ago | (#44184363)

Looks like someone already locked your brain up and threw away the keyuse facts and not emotions. Did he know Zimmerman had a gun? Martin could have just left the area instead of acting tough.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184435)

What we see here is a classic physics experiment, unstoppable force meets immovable object.

He didn't need to know if Zimmerman had a gun or not. All he needed to do to be justified in standing his ground was to feel threatened.

Zimmerman had the right to approach the youth and question him and the youth had the right to not be harassed by an adult in the middle of the night. Martin could have just left, but he had no obligation to flee from a threat. Like a proud American, he stood his ground. And when he stood his ground that gave Zimmerman justification to stand his own ground. Martin was justified in attacking Zimmerman in self-defense and Zimmerman was justified in attacking Martin in self-defense. Self-defense against a potential threat is justifiable if you truly felt your life was in danger.

Therein is the problem, laws should not be based on "feelings". So called "stand your ground" laws are bad policy.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184717)

Your understanding of self defense is wrong. Only one person can claim self defense. One person is the aggressor and one is the responder. Only the responder can claim self defense. Who is the aggressor is a question for the jury and is an objective standard. One can't just claim "I felt threatened." The jury has to agree that your feeling of danger was justified.

The aggressor can only lose that status with a clear sign that they are giving up. Like tossing the gun down (or putting it away) and saying "sorry" or something to the effect of I retract my actions. It has to be objectively clear. You can't take the stand and say, "I was pointing the gun at him, but I wasn't really going to shoot him."

The aggressor can also lose the status if the other person takes out a disproportionate amount of force. That is, you start a fist fight (you're the aggressor) and the other guy pulls out a knife (he's now the aggressor). You then pull out a gun (this doesn't necessarily make you the aggressor the question would be whether that person with a knife is equal to you with a gun - you can kill him could he have killed you with the knife? It's situational).

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184731)

Fortunately the people who wrote the stand-your-ground law were a whole lot smarter than you.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (4, Interesting)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year ago | (#44184517)

Indeed, we have testimony that Martin was almost home when he decided to go back and attack Zimmerman.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184659)

Martin could have just left the area instead of acting tough.

Is that your take on Stand Your Ground laws? I'm pretty sure Stand Your Ground laws say you don't have any duty to flee an area you are lawfully in. That means if Martin felt threatened he had no duty to leave as you say he should have. He can stay and stand his ground.

Funny thing is, if this were reversed, that is, if Zimmerman was being followed by Martin, and Zimmerman confronted Martin starting a confrontation which ended with Zimmerman shooting Martin, the same people defending Zimmerman now would still defend him. They'd just say, Stand Your Ground, Self defense "I'd feel threatened if someone were following me. Damn right I'd confront them!" But, in this case, Zimmerman followed Martin and shot him. Therefore Martin had no right to defend himself or confront his pursuer.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (3)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year ago | (#44184781)

When "confront his pursuer" means "knock him down and beat his head against the sidewalk" then I think there's possibly a minor flaw in your argument.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183897)

Actually, yes you do lose your right to self-defense if you're told to back off.

By your logic, I have the right to racially profile you, follow you anywhere you go and I can shoot-to-kill if/when you panic cause an unknown armed man is following you around at night.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#44184023)

Actually, yes you do lose your right to self-defense if you're told to back off.

By your logic, I have the right to racially profile you, follow you anywhere you go and I can shoot-to-kill if/when you panic cause an unknown armed man is following you around at night.

You do not lose your right to self defense if "you're told to back off".

You do not lose your right to self defense if "you racially profile me" (whatever that means)

You do not lose your right to self defense if "you follow me anywhere I go"

None of that matters in the slightest.

If your are assaulted, you have a right to self defense. If you assault the other guy, you don't. Whoever escalated from words to violence is the criminal (and I have no idea who that is here, also IANAL yadda yadda).

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184259)

Actually you just have to "feel" your life is in danger to take defensive violent action. If you see someone coming at you with what you believe is a weapon then you can defend yourself from them under stand your ground law.

And when they turn out to not have had their weapon out they pull their weapon to defend them self from you.

That is precisely what happened in this case and explicitly why SYG laws are irrational and need to be struck down. As written SYG laws are little more than a license to kill.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184493)

So far, this has NOTHING to do with SYG laws - this is, at this time, a simple self defense case.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184387)

In this scenario, I have a gun.

In this scenario, I have a gun and I am following you home.

In this scenario, I have a gun and I am following you home and its night time.

In this scenario, I have a gun and I am following you home and its night time and you don't know who I am.

In this scenario, I have a gun and I am following you home and its night time and you don't know who I am and I just got out of my car after following you several blocks.

At NO point do I lose my right to self-defense despite repeated verbal warnings to back off? I'm sorry, but you're insane. You've just given stalkers a blank check to murder anyone they choose by simply claiming "self-defense" when their victims resist/fight back/attempt to run away.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184505)

Nice scenario. Is that from some trial in your home town or something?

That scenario doesn't have anything to do with the trial of George Zimmerman that is currently going on in Florida.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184593)

In this scenario, I have a gun and I am following you home and its night time and you don't know who I am and I just got out of my car after following you several blocks.

In this scenario, I have a gun that you don't know about and I am following you home and its night time and you don't know who I am and I just got out of my car after following you several blocks and you lost me and I'm returning to my vehicle moving away from you, telling the 911 operator where I think I saw you last, and you follow me back to my vehicle and attack me, then I shoot you in self-defense.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184739)

Would you quit posting this complete bullshit in every fucking thread in this article? Your lies are getting tiring.

Look, we know the government has an agenda to disarm everyone. We know they don't want people defending themselves. They want people completely helpless and totally dependent on the government. Shills like you are part of that effort.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Chryana (708485) | about a year ago | (#44183979)

once Martin jumped on him and started bashing his head against the pavement (as all evidence suggest he did)

I'm not sure where you got that from. The wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] linked to in the summary mentions about the opening statement for the trial, and I quote, "The prosecution's statement focused on the lack of evidence of bodily harm to both Zimmerman and Martin (...)".

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Chryana (708485) | about a year ago | (#44184025)

Well, I just read the second paragraph of my quote, and the defense says the opposite of the prosecution. We'll have to wait until the trial goes on to know what evidence there is for either case, but a blind statement saying that "all evidence suggests he did" seems premature at best.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184563)

There is no requirement that you already be dead or have suffered serious injury to before using deadly force to defend yourself (obviously, that would be a ridiculous requirement as those are the very conditions that your self-defense right exists to prevent).

When an attacker is on top of you after having sucker punched you and you have been unable to get free and the attacker is/has:

  1. Tried to suffocate you (in your view -- it's hard to distinguish between an attempt to prevent you from calling for help by covering your nose and mouth from an attempt to suffocate),
  2. Pushed your head into the concrete multiple times causing some injuries,
  3. Noticed you have a holstered gun and has attempted to grab it, and
  4. Threatened you.

I think a reasonable person would feel that they were in danger of suffering serious bodily injury or death at the hands of said attacker.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184149)

The following problem arises.

Jim can approach Dwight.
Dwight can misinterpret the approach as a threat of lethal violence, possibly he thought he saw a deadly weapon.
Maybe he did see a weapon,maybe not. Reality is irrelevant in the case of a stand your ground defense, all that matters is perception. Did Dwight feel his life was in danger? Absolutely he did.

Dwight, fearing for his life, is then justified to defend himself with lethal force and attempts to do so.
Jim, who may or may not have had intention of killing Dwight, is now forced to confront Dwight in a life or death struggle or face death himself

There are four possible outcomes:
1 - Jim draws his concealed weapon and shoots Dwight in a clear cut case of self defense.
2 - Dwight draws his concealed weapon and shoots Jim in a clear cut case of self defense.
3 - Jim and Dwight draw their concealed weapons and shoot each other in a clear cut case of MADD.
4 - Jim and Dwight draw their concealed weapons and spontaneously develop mutual respect for one another.

The problem here is that if you suspect someone might attacks you then you can attack them first under stand your ground laws. The black kid in this case felt his life was in danger and stood his ground, meanwhile the latino man ALSO felt his life was in danger (after being attacked) and stood his ground.

Irony is the real victim here.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (2)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year ago | (#44184689)

Did Dwight feel his life was in danger?
 
That's your problem, right there. It doesn't matter what Dwight feels. The question is whether a 'reasonable person' would conclude that Dwight's life was in immediate danger. That's what the law says. To me it seems obvious that this test does not pass in case of Martin (guy follows him) but does in case of Zimmerman (guy sitting on him and pounding him in the face)

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (3, Interesting)

mrlibertarian (1150979) | about a year ago | (#44184137)

Zimmerman's claim is that he got out of the car and walked in the same direction to see the name of the street to phone it in. If true, that would explain why he didn't argue with the operator.

So, unless he is lying, he didn't "chase down" Martin. I suppose you could argue that Martin felt threatened when Zimmerman reached into his pocket to get his cellphone. But that argument only makes sense if you start with the assumption that any civilian who shoots an unarmed teenager must be in the wrong and you reason backwards from there.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (3, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44184507)

From what I've read, it corresponds to the 911 transcript. The operator tried to get him to back off.

I think you need to reread that transcript again. Zimmerman had agreed to meet the police officers that had been dispatched to the site. Martin confronted and assaulted Zimmerman after that. Since he was ahead of Zimmerman and on his way home, if Marin had continued on his way he would have been home instead of assaulting Zimmerman, which led to his being shot.

Map and timeline of incident [cbsnews.com]

Trayvon Martin shooting death -- initial police reports and '911' call transcript [chicagotribune.com]

Dispatcher: Are you following him? [2:24]

Zimmerman: Yeah. [2:25]

Dispatcher:OK.We don’t need you to do that. [2:26]

Zimmerman: OK. [2:28] (wind noises heard)

Dispatcher:Alright, sir, what is your name? [2:34]

Zimmerman:George. He ran.

Dispatcher:Alright, George, what’s your last name?

Zimmerman: Zimmerman.

...

Dispatcher: Alright, George, we do have them on the way. Do you want to meet with the officer when they get out there?

Zimmerman: Yeah.

Dispatcher: Alright, where are you going to meet with them at?

Zimmerman: Um, if they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the clubhouse and, uh, straight past the clubhouse and make a left and then they go past the mailboxes you’ll see my truck. [3:10]

...

Dispatcher: OK, do you just want to meet with them at the mailboxes then? [3:42]

Zimmerman: Yeah, that’s fine. [3:43]

...

Dispatcher: OK, no problem. I’ll let them know to call you when they’re in the area. [4:02]

Zimmerman:Thanks.

Dispatcher: You’re welcome.

Call ends 4:07

The trial seems to be going strongly in Zimmerman's favor, of course juries are unpredictable.

Witness: Trayvon Called George Zimmerman A ‘Creepy-A**,’ ‘White, Kill-My-Neighbors Cracker’ [mediaite.com]

Zimmerman trial blockbuster — Eyewitness says Trayvon on top punching Mixed Martial Arts style [legalinsurrection.com]
Zimmerman Trial Day 5 – Analysis & Video – State’s own witnesses undercut theory of guilt [legalinsurrection.com]
Zimmerman Trial Day 6 – Analysis & Video – State’s witness Chris Serino seriously undermines charge [legalinsurrection.com]
Zimmerman Update Exclusive — Mid-Day 8 — State Wins Evidentiary Battle, Loses Testimony War [legalinsurrection.com]

Has State Opened Door to Defense Introducing Martin Fight Video? [legalinsurrection.com]
Zimmerman judge excludes Trayvon Martin fighting, social media and marijuana use [legalinsurrection.com]

Zimmerman Case: The Five Principles of the Law of Self Defense [legalinsurrection.com]

Lest we forget: NBC News Apologizes for Editing George Zimmerman's 911 Call [foxnews.com] (Which falsely mad Zimmerman appear to be racist.)

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183531)

Actually, it's an obvious case of confrontation, because George Zimmerman chose to get out of his car, thereby putting Trayvon Martin at risk for his life.

Therefore, Trayvon Martin, who was previously engaged in peaceable business returning to the place where he was staying, was perfectly within his rights to have felt threatened, and even if he had confronted Zimmerman with the threat of force, was justified in his actions. Zimmerman, by choosing to get out of the car, was not, as his express intent was directly involving Trayvon Martin, therefore making him guilty of a criminal action by provoking the conflict.

Had Zimmerman had the sense to stay in the car, nothing would have happened.

Instead he killed somebody.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1, Troll)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#44183743)

So, if someone is walking around in a place where they should not be, you are not allowed to get out of your car? Why don't we just lock up the law abiding and let the criminals roam free, if we are going to let them dictate our lives like this. Instead he killed somebody.
Just like most cases of self defense, nobody sets out to kill anybody (well, except for the criminals sometimes), but if somebody jumps you and starts bashing your head against the ground, you have the right to defend yourself.
It seems clear to me that case by case, the government is trying to take away our rights to defend ourselves. They hand out harsher sentences against people who kill an armed assailant, than they do to assailants who kill an unarmed victim. It's pretty clear the message they are trying to get across: Just let the criminals do whatever they want with no dear of reprisal.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183825)

How do you justify " if someone is walking around in a place where they should not be" with a young black teenager walking on a public street? Are you that much of an twit or just that good of a troll?

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (4, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44183875)

So, if someone is walking around in a place where they should not be, you are not allowed to get out of your car? Why don't we just lock up the law

MARTIN WAS NOT WALKING AROUND IN A PLACE WHERE HE SHOULD NOT BE.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1, Troll)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#44184043)

Sure, but Zimmerman thought he was, for whatever reason.

This is exactly how communities were expected to be, before we all became strangers to our neighbors. "Hey! You there! I don't know you - what are you doing here?" is a perfectly valid thing for a local to ask. Doesn't give the local any right to initiate violence, but certainly doesn't give the person asked the right to initiate violence either. Pretty much no words whatsoever give you the right to attack the person who said them.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184747)

Your idea sounds like a police state to me, and exactly the opposite of how I think a community should be. Very unfriendly and very threatening.

See I like the idea of being able to walk without being accosted by somebody who thinks they're in charge of things, who is suspicious and confrontational.

Spare me from your community.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184169)

He absolutely was somewhere he shouldn't have been.

He was kneeling on top of a man beating his skull into the pavement.

And he got killed for it.

That's the full of it. He had every right to walk there. He had every right to pull out a cell and call the police and report a stalker. He had every right to flee. He had every right to stand his ground and to kill Zimmerman if he was actually physically assaulted -- up to and including if he was merely threatened and reasonably believed force might be used.

In some states he would have had the right to retreat to his home, and if followed -- to produce a firearm and shoot to kill without a moment's question.

He ambushed somebody, demonstrated lethal intent -- and died for it. That's all there is to it.

Even if the ambush and jump is a lie... that's all there is to it.

Any amount of profiling, racism, hate crime or whatever may be societally relevant, but it's not criminally relevant. He utilized lethal force ... even against a provacateur... it's a justified homicide. End of story.

Tired of me repeating myself? I'm sorry, I'm just stating the truth. Not as I see or believe it ... but as all anybody can possibly freaking tell and appropriately conclude from the available facts. No bullshit voice data, witnesses that didn't look, people that barely recall screamed voices. Not as someone who sits there and believes anybody deserved a killing or a beating or an ass-kicking or acted rightly, wrongly, or appropriately or not.

Two people were out at night. Two people behaved aggressively and failed to de-escalate. One of them died. One of them was on top of the other. One of them had head wounds, a broken nose, and lacerations. The other was shot.

This is what happens when you get in a fight. This is what happens when you get in a fight and use, threaten to use, or cause someone to believe you will use lethal force.

Martin may have been killed originally because Zimmerman pursued him, but ultimately and immediately he was blown away for presenting an immediate threat to life.

Justice has nothing and everything to do with it. This isn't about justice for his killing. This is about justice (acquittal) for lawfully justified self defense. It's why you don't even see stand your ground being claimed -- it's wholly irrelevant and not needed.

That people demand justice for a killing may be appropriate -- but that only works if they actually attempt to retreat. Not once. Not the first time. Not initially. If you're on top of me beating my head into the ground it's a good shoot at that moment no matter what I did to deserve it.

Maybe that needs to change, but as of today... that's the only lawful outcome.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44184651)

MARTIN WAS NOT WALKING AROUND IN A PLACE WHERE HE SHOULD NOT BE.

Martin was behaving in a way that a neighborhood watch volunteer (Zimmerman) found to be suspicious, which caused him to call the police, and agreed to meet the dispatched officers when they arrived. Martin described Zimmerman with a racial slur, then confronted and attacked Zimmerman.

Witness: Trayvon Called George Zimmerman A ‘Creepy-A**,’ ‘White, Kill-My-Neighbors Cracker’ [mediaite.com]
Zimmerman trial blockbuster — Eyewitness says Trayvon on top punching Mixed Martial Arts style [legalinsurrection.com]

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (3, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | about a year ago | (#44183883)

So, if someone is walking around in a place where they should not be, you are not allowed to get out of your car?

It's called the neighborhood watch, not the neighborhood police - for a reason. Watchmen are told not to confront, but report suspicious activity, otherwise this kind of shit happens. Zimmerman had a history of this kind of behavior, and he was in the wrong place and did the wrong things. Bad things happened.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183925)

if someone is walking around in a place where they should not be

It was a public neighborhood, not a military base surrounded by signs saying "Trespassers will be shot".

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183967)

Except Martin had every right to be there. He was walking down the block with his candy and tea, talking on his cell phone, cutting through some front yards to get back to a residence in the community.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184691)

Of course he did. But he didn't have the right to go all nigga-with-attitude on that crazy-ass-cracka who he spotted following him.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184017)

Please provide a source that clearly states that Trayvon Martin was trespassing.

Or are you contending that because he was black he should not have been walking in public after dark or something?

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184411)

So, if someone is walking around in a place where they should not be, you are not allowed to get out of your car?

You can get out of your car, but if you shoot them, it'll be due to a confrontation you initiated through your actions, thereby destroying your claim to self-defense.

Not that Martin was in a place where he was not supposed to be, which makes Zimmerman's actions even less justifiable.

Why don't we just lock up the law abiding and let the criminals roam free, if we are going to let them dictate our lives like this.

Would you rather somebody like George Zimmerman dictate to us? I wouldn't. There's a reason why the police are supposed to be trained, to clearly identify themselves, and not to use the threat of force except when it constitutes appropriate action.

Random persons should know better than to act as a police officer, and not get a pass on their actions which results in somebody else's death. And any person with a gun should know better than to get into a situation where their actions are provocative and confrontational. Zimmerman failed to meet that standard, therefore his claim of self defense is not valid.

Or should I have to live in fear of somebody like him?

Just like most cases of self defense, nobody sets out to kill anybody (well, except for the criminals sometimes), but if somebody jumps you and starts bashing your head against the ground, you have the right to defend yourself.

Not when you've provoked and threatened them. Which is exactly what Zimmerman did.

It seems clear to me that case by case, the government is trying to take away our rights to defend ourselves. They hand out harsher sentences against people who kill an armed assailant, than they do to assailants who kill an unarmed victim. It's pretty clear the message they are trying to get across: Just let the criminals do whatever they want with no dear of reprisal.

It seems clear to me that people like you want to create a culture of fear and intimidation, where the people who you support get to use force against others, and excuses are made for that regardless of the abuses, because we sure can't hold somebody accountable for a homicide that is a direct result of their willful and provocative actions.

That way you can get us all intimidated by you, since you'll get away with whatever you do, while the rest of us have to knuckle under.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#44184831)

You can get out of your car, but if you shoot them, it'll be due to a confrontation you initiated through your actions, thereby destroying your claim to self-defense.

So, let me get this straight. If I get out of my car, and someone assaults me and I shoot them, then that is not self defense? Because my getting out of the car was "asking for it"?

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#44183769)

and even if he had confronted Zimmerman with the threat of force, was justified in his actions

No, sir. That is called assault.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184317)

No sir, that's self-defense from somebody who you believe has created a danger to you.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0, Flamebait)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44183871)

Exactly. Martin would have been justified under Florida law in killing Zimmerman. The other way around is not the case because Zimmerman approached and threatened Martin, not the other way around. But in Bizzarro World, Zimmerman was supposedly OK to approach Martin, challenge him, provoke a fight and shoot him dead because...

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184125)

But in Bizzarro World, Zimmerman was supposedly OK to approach Martin ...

Not illegal.

... challenge him ...

Not illegal.

... provoke a fight ...

Not illegal.

... and shoot him dead.

Not illegal if Martin really gave Zimmerman a valid excuse to defend himself with deadly force under the terms and conditions of Florida's "stand your ground" law. On the other hand, if Martin was banging Zimmerman's head against the ground, that actually is illegal; it's called assault.

So, no, merely following someone and even provoking them is not enough cause to enact deadly force for defence, even under Florida's laws, so Martin would absolutely not have been justified in doing so. This case is just a big waste of money; undoubtedly the DA felt compelled to file it because of pressure from racially-motived social personalities and groups, but it's still a big waste.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44183595)

If your son was not a THUG, he would be still be here.

I didn't realize it was ok to seek out, confront, and then shoot someone, as long as that person is a THUG?

Martin may well have been a THUG; I know i don't buy the media portrayal of him as a perfect angel showing a photo of him several years younger etc. But Zimmerman was armed and deliberately sought a confrontation with him, not the other way around.

A murder trial is appropriate.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183615)

Just ask them if Trayvon Martin had shot Zimmerman with Zimmerman's gun, if they'd be asking for Martin to be put on trial, or declaring his actions self-defense.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44183715)

Just ask them if Trayvon Martin had shot Zimmerman with Zimmerman's gun, if they'd be asking for Martin to be put on trial, or declaring his actions self-defense.

Who is "them"?

As for me, I'd probably want a murder trial for that scenario too. He can plead self defense, and we'll see how it goes. Although self-defense seems pretty likely... or do you regularly imagine "unarmed thugs" confronting and then attacking people with guns, taking those guns by force, and then using them to shoot the owner?

How often does that happen?

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184321)

If there's a murder, it deserves a trial. End of story.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44183677)

I didn't realize it was ok to seek out, confront, and then shoot someone, as long as that person is a THUG?

Hey, everyone needs to let the inner Batman out once in a while.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44184681)

Batman hates guns.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183813)

I'd peg this one at manslaughter. He should have known well enough that even a teenager who wasn't up to something might freak out and attack him after he had been following him for so long. Zimmerman created the situation that resulted in the death, but I do believe that once it had been set in motion it did become a self defense situation.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44184601)

But Zimmerman was armed and deliberately sought a confrontation with him, not the other way around.

No, what Zimmerman did was observe Martin from a distance and call the police, he didn't seek to confront Martin. It was Martin that described Zimmerman with a racial slur, confronted and attacked Zimmerman.

Witness: Trayvon Called George Zimmerman A ‘Creepy-A**,’ ‘White, Kill-My-Neighbors Cracker’ [mediaite.com]
Zimmerman trial blockbuster — Eyewitness says Trayvon on top punching Mixed Martial Arts style [legalinsurrection.com]

You're right, Martin wasn't a perfect angel.

Has State Opened Door to Defense Introducing Martin Fight Video? [legalinsurrection.com]
Zimmerman judge excludes Trayvon Martin fighting, social media and marijuana use [legalinsurrection.com]

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183685)

Fucking leftists modded the parent down!

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

Beavertank (1178717) | about a year ago | (#44183711)

And if you were actually confident in your views you wouldn't be posting AC.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (-1, Troll)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#44183751)

Couldn't agree more. The only thing they should be trying to decide is what sort of medal to give him for having the courage to defend himself against an assailant.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#44183809)

Couldn't agree more. The only thing they should be trying to decide is what sort of medal to give him for having the courage to defend himself against an assailant.

I'd love to hear both sides of the story. But I can't. Because one side shot and killed the other side.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (1)

JeanInMontana (2020420) | about a year ago | (#44184239)

This is an obvious case of self defense, if the thug that attacked Zimmerman wasn't an African-American, there would be no trial. There was too much race baiting and fake charges of murder were trumped up to appease the Martin family.My message to the Martin family is clear. If your son was not a THUG, he would be still be here.

by Anonymous Coward ~~~~ says it all.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184509)

by Anonymous Coward ~~~~ says it all.

The fact that someone doesn't choose to have a user account has no
bearing on the validity of their post.

If this is the best you can do to refute someone, you'd best go fuck some
sheep instead of posting on Slashdot.

Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184427)

I'm not the same AC that posted this, but he said what a lot of us have been thinking.

I've said all along that I don't think there's evidence to convict Zimmerman. It's possible that he killed Martin in cold blood and is guilty, but there is not the evidence to convict him. And the more I see of the trial, the more I've become convinced of this.

I'm a firm believer in better that 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man be sent to prison and I just don't see the evidence to convict Zimmerman, Based on my limited experience with the court system, I think this happens too often. When I served on a jury in an auto theft case, the prosecution painted the defendant as scum. We, the jury were easily convinced of that. They then trotted out the person whose care was stolen so she could tell us how she discovered her car was stolen. What was the point of that? No one, including the defendant or his lawyer, disputed that her car had been stolen.

It seems to just send the message that if you're charged with a crime, you'd better cop a plea because if you don't we're going to spend a shit ton of taxpayer dollars trying to put you in prison.

The prosecution in the auto theft case where I was a jury member never proved their case. I and my co-jurors had a lot of doubt that he stole her car.

In the case of Zimmerman, I have enough doubt that if I were on the jury I could not convict him. The case does seem like a waste of time to me. I think the only reason it went to court was because of racially based political pressure.

Holy sh$% look at the comments from TFA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183347)

omg... just wow... some audience this blog has.

Re:Holy sh$% look at the comments from TFA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183399)

No shit.

Obama wants the Zimmerman trial to result in riots. Why else would he inject himself into the dialogue by saying "If I had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin".

Once the race riots start...Obama can declare martial law...and he is just looking for a reason to do this. Why else do you think the Social Security Department, HHS, the EPA and Homeland Security have been stockpiling weapons and ammo.

430 upvotes for that.

Re:Holy sh$% look at the comments from TFA (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44183683)

Batshit crazy isn't limited to politicians. In fact I suspect that a lot of them are faking it, to win the votes of people like the one you quoted.

Re: Holy sh$% look at the comments from TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183759)

When did the EPA start enforcing with firearms?

Re: Holy sh$% look at the comments from TFA (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#44184061)

The rural right hates the EPA with the burning passion of a million suns, because the EPA will show up out of no where and tell you that the way your family has been earning a living for many generations is now illegal. That makes them a handy go-to villain for conspiracy theories, much like the US in certain parts of the world.

Re:Holy sh$% look at the comments from TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184375)

Replace "Obama" with "The powers that be" and that comment would find much support on Slashdot. It's only the overt anti-Obama sentiment that turn off slashdotters.

Destination account? (4, Informative)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#44183359)

Both sources said the calls were being made to the witness. The courtroom was seeing the prosecutor's screen. I'm pretty sure the calls were being made to the prosecutor's account, not the witness's.

Re:Destination account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184445)

for what it's worth i modded the skype comments up and the armchair lawyer comments down.

It didn't help.

Wirness? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183367)

What the fuck is a wirness box?

Re:Wirness? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a year ago | (#44183491)

It's a stupid-editors-don't-even-check-spelling box.

Re:Wirness? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44183703)

You'll only see those kinds of errors on Slqshdot.

WITNESS box. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183371)

FFS timothy, why do you even bother logging in?

Re:WITNESS box. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183423)

Even because most likely logging in takes lots of retries, as he keeps pressing the wrong keys while typing the credentials.

Florida must be liberal when it comes to testimony (2)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#44183553)

Wow letting a witness "phone it in." He didn't even use Skype Audio, he used a land line for testimony.. funny.

I'm surprised that this case hasn't already been declared a mistrial...

Re:Florida must be liberal when it comes to testim (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44183699)

Wow letting a witness "phone it in."

They wanted to make sure the NSA got a transcript of it.

skype privacy option (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44183569)

Skype has an option to "accept calls from contacts" that would have solved this problem.

--Sam

Re:skype privacy option (1)

Time_Ngler (564671) | about a year ago | (#44184033)

How do you know it just wasn't the prosecutors friends playing a joke on him? In that case, they would already been in his contact list.

WTH?? (1, Flamebait)

JeanInMontana (2020420) | about a year ago | (#44184199)

This murderer is going to walk on technicalities! The court itself should be setting up and Skype calls and hopefully have someone who knows what the hell they are doing!

Re: WTH?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184561)

Murderer? He just whacked a future felon. We should give Zimmerman a medal.

Re: WTH?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44184597)

This murderer is going to walk on technicalities!

He is not a murder because he was defending his own life against a thug.

Jean, you really need to shut the fuck up. You are a stupid cunt, regardless
of your gender.

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