1. George Zimmerman is a neighborhood watch volunteer.
2. Zimmerman saw someone he thought was suspicious and followed him. This was Martin.
3. Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed him when Martin tried to avoid him. Dispatch said he did not need to do that. That wasn't a lawful order, but is relevant to state of mind.
4. Zimmerman was armed. Martin was not.
5. At some point, there was a physical confrontation. There is speculation as to how it occurred and who initiated the physical confrontation.
6. Somebody was yelling for help. Speculation has conflicting sides to who it was.
7. Zimmerman had some sort of bleeding wound on the back of his head and nose, as well as grass standing showing that he was on the ground at some point.
8. As some point Zimmerman fired his weapon, killing Martin.
9. Police arrived and initiated a manslaughter investigation, detained Zimmerman and took him to the station.
10. Zimmerman was later released without charges. There is speculation as to whose decision it was for released. Zimmerman was not arrested. That means either there was no probable cause for an arrest or the prosecutor did not think there would be a conviction.
11. There is going to be further investigation, so this case is not closed.
12. Zimmerman has no convictions. Yes, he was arrested, but not convicted so that's irrelevant. Martin has no convictions. Yes he was suspended from school, but that's irrelevant. Those have no bearing on what happened in this individual case.
That's it. The rest is speculation, or irrelevant unless you have the inside information, and we don't outside of what has been released. Most of the rest is 'go team' bullshit going on between those who love the race card and limelight and those who want Zimmerman to win just so the Jesse Jacksons of the world lose. I like to see them lose too, but other things are more important here. You have politicians running their mouths on this when there's an ongoing case. Obama didn't help matters, but Santorum was actually worse with his comments, and I say that as a Santorum voter. Both of them are attorneys, should know better, and should let the system play out. The media at first, largely based on George Zimmerman's German or Jewish last name, played this up as a white on black shooting, stirring stuff up, even though Zimmerman's half Peruvian and does not look white. They made this a racial issue. Political correctness at its worst.
You have ABC likely doctoring a video so it fits their politically correct narrative. You have the New Black Panthers taking out a $10,000 bounty. You have Al Sharpton of Crown Heights infamy running his mouth. Jesse Jackson doing his thing. This is an ongoing case. State attorneys are still looking at this. Zimmerman deserves a fair investigation and if probable cause is found, a fair trial, and a chance to be either convicted or acquitted based on facts and the evidence, no more, no less.
You also have gun grabbers using this to attack the "stand your ground" law. Stand your ground has nothing to do with this. Michigan has a "stand your ground" law as does Florida. Here's Michigan's law. It sounds very controversial, right. Jennifer Granholm signed it, and she wore a hoodie in protest of this case and made comments on these laws. Does she know what she actually signed?
780.972 Use of deadly force by individual not engaged in commission of crime; conditions.
(1) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly force may use deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if either of the following applies:
(a) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.
(b) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent sexual assault of himself or herself or of another individual.
(2) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses force other than deadly force may use force other than deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if he or she honestly and reasonably believes that the use of that force is necessary to defend himself or herself or another individual from the imminent unlawful use of force by another individual.
This wasn't that controversial and passed easily.
Roll Call No.463 Yeas--27
Allen Cropsey Jelinek Schauer
Barcia Garcia Kuipers Sikkema
Basham George McManus Stamas
Birkholz Gilbert Olshove Switalski
Bishop Goschka Patterson Toy
Cassis Hammerstrom Prusi Van Woerkom
Cherry Hardiman Sanborn
Brater Emerson Leland Thomas
Clark-Coleman Jacobs Scott Whitmer
House Vote 1:
Roll Call No. 371 Yeas--91
Accavitti Elsenheimer Law, David Sak
Acciavatti Emmons Law, Kathleen Schuitmaker
Adamini Espinoza Marleau Shaffer
Amos Farhat Mayes Sheen
Anderson Farrah McDowell Sheltrown
Angerer Gaffney Meyer Smith, Virgil
Ball Garfield Miller Spade
Baxter Gillard Moolenaar Stahl
Bennett Gleason Moore Stakoe
Bieda Gonzales Mortimer Steil
Booher Gosselin Newell Stewart
Brandenburg Green Nitz Taub
Brown Hansen Nofs Vagnozzi
Byrnes Hildenbrand Palmer Van Regenmorter
Byrum Hoogendyk Palsrok Vander Veen
Casperson Hopgood Pastor Walker
Caswell Huizenga Pavlov Ward
Caul Hummel Pearce Waters
Clemente Hune Plakas Wenke
DeRoche Jones Polidori Williams
Dillon Kahn Proos Wojno
Donigan Kooiman Robertson Zelenko
Drolet LaJoy Rocca
Cheeks Hood Lemmons, Jr. Murphy
Clack Hunter Lipsey Smith, Alma
Condino Kolb McConico Tobocman
Cushingberry Leland Meisner
House Vote 2:
Brandenburg Green Mortimer Stewart
Brown Hansen Newell Taub
Byrnes Hildenbrand Nitz Van Regenmorter
Byrum Hoogendyk Nofs Vander Veen
Casperson Hopgood Palmer Walker
Caswell Huizenga Palsrok Ward
Caul Hummel Pastor Waters
Clemente Hune Pavlov Wenke
DeRoche Jones Pearce Williams
Dillon Kahn Plakas Wojno
Donigan Kooiman Polidori Zelenko
Drolet LaJoy Proos
Cheeks Hood Lipsey Smith, Alma
Clack Hunter McConico Smith, Virgil
Condino Kolb Meisner Tobocman
Cushingberry Leland Murphy Vagnozzi
These passed with super-majorities. These passed easily nationwide, including Florida. Florida's version is quite similar.
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.
776.012 covers stand your ground.
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.
776.013's circumstances are:
776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
(b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
(2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or
(b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or
(c) The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or
(d) The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle 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 entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer.
(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
(4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
(5) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
(b) “Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.
(c) “Vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.
What's a forcible felony under Florida law? It's what you'd think it would be.
776.08 Forcible felony. —“Forcible felony” means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.
Just to cover all the bases, here's aggravated assault and aggravated battery as defined under Florida law.
784.045 Aggravated battery.—
(1)(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:
1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or
2. Uses a deadly weapon.
(b) A person commits aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.
(2) Whoever commits aggravated battery shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
784.021 Aggravated assault.—
(1) An “aggravated assault” is an assault:
(a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
(b) With an intent to commit a felony.
(2) Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
The stand your ground law there is very similar to ours, although Florida's more detailed. It doesn't cover this case at all any more than normal self defense.
Reasonable is a key word here. Reasonable not as viewed by George Zimmerman, his dad, those who don't like race baiting assholes and want to teach them a lesson, those who are race baiting assholes who want to teach cracker and whatever is derogatory for Peruvians a lesson, Al Sharpton, or anyone else except the jury or police/prosecutors when they decide to charge/not charge.
The questions that need to be answered are this as the process unfolds.
1. Is there probable cause to charge George Zimmerman with Manslaughter?
2. If yes, can he be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a fair trial?
No more, no less. The best thing the general public and media can do is let the system play out and quit poisoning the case.