Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Making Mississippi look good

Florida, where you can murder a black guy and, if no one saw you, get away with it by claiming "self-defense."

If there's no state prosecution, the feds need to get all over this.


  1. Well as we all know funny things happen in FL. I don't understand why a "neighborhood watchman" would go around armed. In this case I assume the facts will be presented to a grand jury. From what I can read hard to understand how this this can be self-defense esp. since the teenager was doing no wrong.JL

  2. I call shenanigans on the notion this is automatically self-defense.

    There's a rule in Mississippi, much watered down by our court's desire to affirm all criminal prosecutions, that if the defendant has the only account of the crime-- is the only witness-- and it is uncontradicted by other evidence, the defendant's view automatically prevails. The rule, an obvious corollary to the burden of proof, is called the Weathersby rule. The court in the last 20 or so years has watered it down to almost nothing by courts saying "oh, it's a jury issue," even in cases pretty clearly covered by it.

    But even under the old stronger version of Weathersby, this doesn't make it-- the guy's pursuit, the statements to the police number, etc. They contradict self-defense.

    On the other hand, I don't see how you think the feds get involved. What's the federal crime? (No state action as required for civil rights prosecutions). Now, all this went down on the Natchez Trace....

  3. Good point re: the feds, NMC; my indignation exceeded my judgment.

    But it seems evident that if a black adult had shot a 19-year-old white kid on these facts, the adult would be in jail, and there would be no question whether to take it to a grand jury - instead of the police "passing its investigation over to the state's attorney office to determine whether or not to press charges against Zimmerman."

  4. I think ya'll are as guilty of jumping to conclusions and speculating about other people's motives as this Zimmerman idiot was.

    Terminally stupid? Yes. Racist? Yes? Intent to murder? I don't think so. From the facts I read, he (incorrectly) assumed this kid was "up to no good" - more than likely because the teenager was black - and he pursued and confronted the teenager. A fight took place and, it appears from the testimony of eyewitnesses and injuries to Zimmerman, that the teenager was (justifiably) whipping his ass.

    However, Zimmerman's mental state is the issue. If he just wanted to shoot this kid, why not do it once he caught up to him? Why wait until the kid's kicking his ass? Mens rea anyone?

    Liberal bias and conservative bias are both bias.

  5. One can parse it as second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, whatever - it seems inescapable, given that Z. ignored the advice to stay in his car, that he was looking for an opportunity to use his gun on this kid, and he found it.

  6. Clearly we can infer from the fact that he was armed that he confronted the kid with the intent of killing him. I mean, why else would someone have a gun unless he planned to use it to murder someone?

    So you take one perfectly legal activity (carrying a gun), pair it with another perfectly legal activity (asking the kid what he was up to) and use them to infer malicious intent to murder someone. There's a bad precedent in there somewhere.

    I'm curious as to what the guy's version of the events actually was. How did he go from a fist fight to a shooting? If he had said he just decided to shoot the kid to avoid a beating, he'd have been charged...I'm guessing he must have said the kid tried to take the gun and use it on him.

  7. I think it's reasonable to conclude, based on the statements made by Z, that he believed a criminal would get away if he did not intervene. I also think it's reasonable to assume criminals are potentially dangerous, and that they could be armed, and that one should be armed if they are going to confront someone who is potentially dangerous. The fight that ensued probably just confirmed, in Z's mind, that the kid was a violent criminal.

    But making the leap from being a racist Barney Fife to a murderer is speculation, and your conclusions seem neither evident nor inescapable. If you cannot stop feeling shame for something your ancestors might have done to someone else's ancestors, so be it. Just don't apologize on behalf, and stop burning witches to prove how much you love God. Z is an idiot, and I believe he will get what's coming to him, but he shouldn't be sacrificed on trumped up charges to assuage your, or anyone else's, guilt (or, what is more likely, to further a prosecutor's political ambitions).

  8. Clearly we can infer from the fact that he was armed that he confronted the kid with the intent of killing him. I mean, why else would someone have a gun unless he planned to use it to murder someone?

    Are you kidding me? I own multiples of guns and I am pretty sure I don't have the intent to murder someone. Hunt, yes. Collect something, yes. Defend my family, yes. Murder someone, hell no.

    WTF is this person talking about?


  9. Razor, I believe that Anon is being sarcastic at my expense, choosing to believe that I was referring to gun ownership in general, as opposed to this creep's having a gun on him in the present instance and behaving like someone hell-bent on blowing away somebody black with it.

    Look, Anon, if your defense of the guy is "racist Barney Fife," then I hope he hires you and you try that out on the jury. Might work. But a jury could find otherwise.

  10. Petition for the feds to get involved:

    (lol to your headline)

  11. Sorry, I guess folks here are against the feds getting involved. Didn't read all the comments before I posted the link.

    1:33 "why wait till the kids is kicking his ass?".

    Hmmmm...that's always been a nagging question in the Brett Jones case that I've bought and paid for. If he was intent on murdering his grandfather (as the state claims and still defends) why would he wait until this much larger enraged man is kicking his ass in the corner of a tiny kitchen with no way around him? The state never disputed Brett was being assaulted, presented no evidence that Brett was not being assaulted and generally agreed he was. Alone, dazed and confused, cuffed for hours into the night, no food, no water, no parent, no lawyer, 8th grade education, badgered by 4 cops until he gave a statement. He said he was being attacked by a man who had turned monstrous to him. He maintains his innocence to this day. His grandmother, the widow, maintains his innocence as well, she was married to the man for over 40 years. But Will Bristow and Rob Laher, did not interview her until 2 days into the trial and then discarded her as useless. Well…… I could go on and on, so pardon me please, but my feathers are ruffled again!