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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:30 pm 
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I would be tempted. I hate to say that about myself but I most definitely would be.

I like to think I wouldn't do it so quickly though.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:33 pm 
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Yeah, I am definitely interested in what the jurors have to say. I think it's in poor taste to profit off it and the speed with which this happened really made me question her motives and really raises issues as to how involved her attorney husband was in her knowledge of the case.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:25 pm 
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another one for the "just... no" files: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/15/opini ... index.html

(yeah, i know, perpetuating impotent internet outrage, but i feel compelled to share)

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:13 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
Why are so many people saying that it is "offensive" and "problematic" for people to question the jury's verdict and the judicial process? While at the same time saying we need to learn from the verdict and move on. How do we learn without questioning?


I don't think it's the jury that's the problem. I think it's the law that's the problem. Generally, people don't seem to have a strong enough understanding of the legal process to be able to distinguish between problems with a particular legal process or procedure or proceeding, and a problem with a law. A lot of what I'm seeing thrown around is criticism that the jury or particular jurors didn't think Zimmerman was motivated by racism, and that really misses the mark, I think, legally speaking. Yes, race is obviously a factor in what happened, and how the proceedings played out. As this makes clear, the "stand your ground" law, and related self defense laws can be used to allow actions based in racism to be excused, and that's a terrible state of affairs. However, "racism" is not the finding the jury had to make in order to convict. In terms of the legal standard, it seems to me that the accusations of racism were a red herring that the defense was happy to let fly around, since it distracted from the fact that the prosecution had utterly failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, based on evidence before the court, that Zimmerman had committed either second degree murder or manslaughter.

In this case, it seems pretty clear to me that a law that allows a subjective fear with little or no standard of reasonableness (i.e. that allows a racist person with an unfounded fear of black people) to justify shooting to kill in self defense is a bad law. To me, that's the biggest problem in this case, not anything the jury did. However, there might be serious issues with the instructions the jury was given, or whatever. I've been too busy to read much about that, so if there are issues like that, pardon me.


While I agree that the law is the problem in this particular case, and think you've put that piece really well, I am not a huge fan of the jury system, and I think many countries that had lay jurors have replaced them with professional finders of fact and law because lay jury verdicts are far less consistent, with verdicts being swayed a lot more by emotions or good theater by attorneys than just by an even application of the law.

For me there are two problems: first the law that says that all you need is a reasonable fear in one moment (regardless of fault up to that point or an ability to retreat) and second that the standard of what is reasonable is determined not by professional jurists, but by ordinary citizens, acting from their own prejudices etc. I just think that the lay jury system, esp when you have one like you did in this case that excludes black people, tends to give very uneven results - like the case in Atlanta, where you have a jury of middleclass white people who have cars can't understand why a black mother with 3 children would cross a highway after getting off the bus rather than walking 2 miles to the nearest crosswalk and back. I just wish we had a more evenhanded system that delivered more equitable results. I like to think that a professional jury/finder of fact and law would have more sympathy for witnesses like Rachel Jeantel and for the victim's situation, but perhaps that is unduly optimistic.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:24 pm 
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I don't know why whiteness would affect your ability to understand the burden of walking four miles just to cross the street. Jaywalking seems to be a pretty color neutral activity seeing as how all the white people I know are unwilling to walk 100 feet to a crosswalk to get back to their cars parked across the street.

I think the reasonableness standard is supposed to be with regard to the way an ordinary citizen might understand the world and the size of juries is supposed to even out the potential extremes of individual bad sense. I have no idea if professional juries really do better (I haven't heard much good about the European system, and they have a benefit of more homogenous populations which may obscure bad systems), but in the US I would be worried about them just concretizing the racism of the system. Like, do think these professional jurists are going to be poor and of color? Instead of occasional all white middle class juries we could have permanent all white upper middle class juries. Sounds worse.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:29 pm 
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This whole thread is so depressing. I know that's an understatement but reading all of this, it just makes me really sad and there's a lot that I could say but most of it's been said and at the end of it all, I just still feel sad. I just wish this shiitake would stop.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:40 pm 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
This whole thread is so depressing. I know that's an understatement but reading all of this, it just makes me really sad and there's a lot that I could say but most of it's been said and at the end of it all, I just still feel sad. I just wish this shiitake would stop.
This is how I feel, too. I feel exhausted and defeated and unsure of what to do going forward.

Sometimes this country seems hopeless to me. The older I get, the more I feel like dispassionate, rational, ideas-based discourse is the only way to have a meaningful conversation, but there is so much resistance on every side, and the water gets so muddy. For instance, I firmly believe (pace the 1st amendment) that religion has no place in publicly funded life; when I was growing up it was never even a question that anyone would pray in school; the idea would never have been raised. And now all these years later this is a fight? Ditto reproductive rights - when I accidentally became pregnant after my freshman year of college, it never crossed my mind that I wouldn't have every choice available to me, because I DID, and that was with Reagan in the White House. My parents made it clear that they would support whatever decision I made, whether that was to terminate the pregnancy, have the baby, or give it away (obviously I kept it, but I didn't HAVE to), and all that was legitimately on the table. Now it seems like girls are threatened with having fewer choices than I did, and that's just wrong. Worst of all, it's so hard - maybe even impossible - to escape the deep-seated national wounds of slavery and racism that were so tied up in the first centuries of our country. This depresses me, because there are a lot of things to love about the USA as a concept, but as a reality it so often falls short - even seems to WANT to fall short - and so often makes me want to cry.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:44 pm 
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I've only represented clients (pro bono and assisting a German lawyer) in a professional jury setting in Germany, and we did a few rape and domestic violence cases, where I felt like the professional jurists were a lot better at not getting sucked into victim blaming. They weren't perfect, but I saw them not get hooked into asking questions blaming the victim for hanging out with the man who raped her on, but focused on the events of the night etc. Also, my ex is a German judge, so I hung out with many of them, and I thought it was great that their appointments weren't political and they had far more limited ties to private practice. They were judges because they did really well on their legal exams and went into training programs before they finally got their final assignments. I like that better than having a political appointee without special training in the role or owing their positions to political connections.

Also, I don't know that I agree that Europe is more homogeneous than the US across the board - certainly large European cities have substantial minority populations and certain US states and towns have very homogeneous ones.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:57 pm 
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bastah wrote:
For those who have never been on a jury, it's pretty difficult. There really needs to be a significant amount of evidence and it needs to prove guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt, but beyond that, you're given extra parameters. You get a list of things that the evidence must prove. If the evidence does not prove those things, then you can't go with a guilty verdict. It was interesting when I was on a jury, because one of us asked "did he most likely commit this crime?" and all of us raised our hand, but then then next question was "does the evidence support this?" and none of us raised our hand. There was definitely enough evidence to have a "gut feeling" that the guy was guilty but when you looked at the list of things we had to prove he was guilty of, a gut feeling was not enough. So for this reason, I don't think it's too surprising that we got this verdict in the Zimmerman case. I'm just hoping that the national outcry will help change these stupid stand your ground laws that allow for such crimes to take place.

Yeah and I agree with others that it's the law that's messed up, not the jurors. Other stuff I forgot to say earlier is that jurors don't get to see all of the evidence, and maybe not even very crucial evidence (something that we as jurors were so frustrated with). Plus, there are things said on the witness stand that jurors can be told to ignore and not use as evidence. That was also super frustrating as a juror. So jurors aren't given all the tools that everyone else is given; they have less knowledge than us. It's one of the reasons why they can't read or watch stuff about the case or even discuss it with others.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:01 pm 
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Tofulish, I agree there are big problems with the jury system. What my point is, though, is that it's not about THIS jury, which is where I'm seeing a lot of criticism directed, and what I believed you were referring to with your earlier comment.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:16 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
Tofulish, I agree there are big problems with the jury system. What my point is, though, is that it's not about THIS jury, which is where I'm seeing a lot of criticism directed, and what I believed you were referring to with your earlier comment.


Its hard to know enough to criticize any particular jury. It would all be speculation. From reading the instructions, I think they were given pretty clear instructions and they followed them. But no one knows what and how they weighed the evidence, and if they didn't weigh important evidence, that is probably due to the prosecutor's failings not their own. We will never know if they dismissed Rachel Jeantel's testimony or why. We will also not know why they believed Zimmerman's attorney's who said that Trayvon was holding GZs nose, while punching him, while also wrestling away his gun, while TM had only two arms and GZ didn't have a lot of bruising that would be consistent with his account.

tl;dr I don't think any of us should be criticizing the jury without more info at this point, but I do think its useful to look at failings in the jury system in general. And part of the problem with lay jurors is that they only see one of many cases, while a professional finder of fact and law will see many, which means that they are better able to weigh and standardize the outcomes, which is more likely (in my view) to be equitable.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:34 pm 
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Just to address JoPa's point about my earlier quote, which I missed in the post above, for clarification, I don't think there is anything wrong with looking critically at the verdict, though I do believe that our criticism of the particular jury should be directed towards learning what works and doesn't in the process, not for any blaming of the 6 women who served on the jury (unless there were to be evidence of corruption etc which hasn't been alleged anywhere so far). I think it would be useful to look at how the presentations, instructions, biases etc played out, but only for the purposes of a broader understanding of how the system works.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:47 am 
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Because apparently it wasn't enough to get away with killing their son; now he wants their money, too. I think I may have a stroke.

http://nationalreport.net/george-zimmer ... enile-son/

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:58 am 
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Desdemona wrote:
Because apparently it wasn't enough to get away with killing their son; now he wants their money, too. I think I may have a stroke.

http://nationalreport.net/george-zimmer ... enile-son/

This is fake. Here's the Snopes article http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/zimmerman.asp


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:00 am 
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Bastah beat me to it! I was just about to post that. Thank goodness it's fake. I had a fit when I first read the National Report piece.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:14 am 
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bastah wrote:
Desdemona wrote:
Because apparently it wasn't enough to get away with killing their son; now he wants their money, too. I think I may have a stroke.

http://nationalreport.net/george-zimmer ... enile-son/

This is fake. Here's the Snopes article http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/zimmerman.asp
lobsteriffic wrote:
Bastah beat me to it! I was just about to post that. Thank goodness it's fake. I had a fit when I first read the National Report piece.
Oh, thank god! At this point nothing would surprise me (I initially thought Zimmerman's parents talking to Barbara Walters was a joke), so I'm very grateful that this one isn't true!

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:20 pm 
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Watching clips of Juror B37 on AC360 and it kind of makes my head explode. She says, after weeping through the insistence that the jury did care about Trayvon Martin, that he was partially responsible for his own death because he could have 'just walked away' from Zimmerman. Which, excuse me-- what?!

a. He very well may have tried to, as we no longer have his version of events to rely on, and none of the other witnesses (save Zimmerman himself) saw how the confrontation escalated from stalking to brawl

b. Was Trayvon Martin not allowed to "stand his ground" as well? Is standing one's ground only for non-black people? Oh wait, I guess that other case already answered that question.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:25 pm 
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Further to my last point, also from CNN:

Quote:
Florida is one of 22 states that have a version of the law, which permits the use of deadly force anywhere as long as a person is not engaged in an unlawful activity, is being attacked in a place he has a right to be and reasonably believes that his life and safety are in danger as a result of an overt act or perceived threat committed by someone else.


Let's see, nn the night of his death, Trayvon Martin:
1. Was not engaged in an unlawful activity
2. Was being attacked in a place he had a right to be, and
3. Had good reason to believe his life and safety were in danger (he was being stalked by a stranger with a weapon).

Clearly he met the criteria for standing his ground in the state of Florida. And yet he is somehow still the aggressor in all of this, and he gets murdered, to boot.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:26 pm 
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No strokes for Desdemona!


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
that he was partially responsible for his own death because he could have 'just walked away' from Zimmerman. Which, excuse me-- what?!

and where to? his house? what reasonable person would have gone to their own house when being stalked by some crazy person intent on doing them harm?

i do wonder though if the outcome would have been different if trayvon would have called 911 as soon as he realised he was being followed.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
Watching clips of Juror B37 on AC360 and it kind of makes my head explode. She says, after weeping through the insistence that the jury did care about Trayvon Martin, that he was partially responsible for his own death because he could have 'just walked away' from Zimmerman. Which, excuse me-- what?!

a. He very well may have tried to, as we no longer have his version of events to rely on, and none of the other witnesses (save Zimmerman himself) saw how the confrontation escalated from stalking to brawl

b. Was Trayvon Martin not allowed to "stand his ground" as well? Is standing one's ground only for non-black people? Oh wait, I guess that other case already answered that question.

I had the exact same response. I just don't get it. Yes, just walk away from someone you are already walking away from and it's not working. How does that work?


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:54 pm 
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bastah wrote:
Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
Watching clips of Juror B37 on AC360 and it kind of makes my head explode. She says, after weeping through the insistence that the jury did care about Trayvon Martin, that he was partially responsible for his own death because he could have 'just walked away' from Zimmerman. Which, excuse me-- what?!

a. He very well may have tried to, as we no longer have his version of events to rely on, and none of the other witnesses (save Zimmerman himself) saw how the confrontation escalated from stalking to brawl

b. Was Trayvon Martin not allowed to "stand his ground" as well? Is standing one's ground only for non-black people? Oh wait, I guess that other case already answered that question.

I had the exact same response. I just don't get it. Yes, just walk away from someone you are already walking away from and it's not working. How does that work?
And you know that if Trayvon had run away that bullet would have been in his back. That kid never had a chance from the minute Zimmerman laid eyes on him.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:49 pm 
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This whole case and the verdict have me heartbroken. To add insult to injury, my mother (even though she was also upset about the verdict) told me tonight that I better "be careful" while attending a vigil for Trayvon in my town. She also told me her boyfriend (who I think is racist and homophobic) said I shouldn't go. When I pressed her for a why (knowing what the real reason is), she just said "because" and wouldn't give me a real answer. I said, "Why? Because black people will be there?" She just said that other people may not have the good heart that I do and may be there for trouble.

My head is about ready to explode right now. I go to animal rights and environmental protests all the time and they've never warned me about the dangers of my civil disobedience. Tonight, for a f**king VIGIL where we are instructed to bring candles, hoodies, or to just wear black, I'm suddenly in danger. Ugh!

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:59 pm 
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I can't stand talking about this to people irl. Just no one is there with me.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:03 pm 
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Fee wrote:
I can't stand talking about this to people irl. Just no one is there with me.

WORD. Although I had a beautiful experience tonight with a local gift store owner (who is also vegan). He's an older white man and seemed just as upset about the case as I was. I started crying about it in his store and he gave me a hug and some free candles to bring to the vigil tonight since he couldn't be there and wanted to support it. It gave me some faith in people.

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