The Trayvon Martin thread

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the innominate one
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by the innominate one »

To determine whether the change in justified homicides frequency is a good thing or a bad thing or a neutral thing, I'd want to review all the cases individually and make my own judgement. At least one example they give (I haven't finished RTFA yet) doesn't really do a good job making their case that the law has bad outcomes (drunk guy tries to enter wrong home at 3 am, gets shot, dies). Maybe many of the prosecutions preceding the passing of the law were unjustified prosecutions, justified killings.
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Jennifer
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Jennifer »

All this self-defense business completely overlooks the innocent teenager who was accosted and shot while he was walking in his own neighborhood.
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Kolohe
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Kolohe »

Fwiw, I think it was his uncle's and aunt's neighborhood. (not that it matters)

Also fwiw, the news tonight said that the police are reversing their story and Zimmerman had actually gone back to his car, and it was Martin that confronted him. (which matters, (a very little bit) but it's hard to believe.)
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Mo
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Mo »

How stupid do they think we are? Not everyone works for a Florida police department. Some of us work in jobs that require brainpower, like being a Walmart greeter.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by dhex »

Like thats going to save them from the upcoming fed buttfucking?
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Kolohe »

dhex wrote:Like thats going to save them from the upcoming fed buttfucking?
Frankly, I'm surprised they haven't reversed course and charged Zimmerman. It's the easier thing to do at this point, bureaucratically.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

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Jennifer wrote:All this self-defense business completely overlooks the innocent teenager who was accosted and shot while he was walking in his own neighborhood.
Well, that's true, but that's because there doesn't seem to be much to discuss. A teenager was shot and killed, from all available evidence, for no good reason other than living while black. Inexplicably and inexcusably, the cops haven't arrested the shooter. If anyone here thinks the shooting was justified, they haven't said so. Agreement doesn't lead to much discussion beyond "me too".

Assuming we know the facts, Zimmerman deserves to go to jail.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by JasonL »

D.A. Ridgely wrote:It's worth noting that, at least at common law -- Gawd knows what some states have done by codifying changes -- the test for justifiable homicide has always been not whether the actual individual actually believed his or some other innocent person's life was in danger or danger of grievous bodily harm, but what a reasonable, prudent person in that situation would believe.

I'm pretty sure a reasonable, prudent person, standing his ground or even backed into a corner, still wouldn't be threatened by a cell phone. Well, maybe a RAZR, (Get it? RAZR=razor? Thank you. Thank you very much. I'll be here all week. Don't forget the waitstaff.)
This is what I found confusing WRT the supposed specialness of Stand Your Ground. Reasonable Man Standard of Fear for your Life is nearly a universal in US states. It's intentionally vague, but if a guy surprises you, puts his hands on you, says he's going to kill you, and pulls something out of his pocket, he's probably going to get shot if you are trained in armed self defense. If it turns out to be a cell phone, that sucks for him, but in all liklihood the totality of the event would create a reasonable expectation of harm.

We were taught that there are a series of events that stack to create a situation where you should in all prudence shoot: the first level is verbal threat of harm, the next is moving to cut off an attempt to exit - this is where I'm starting to position myself, the next is an aggressive movement which can be putting hands on you or can be deploying a weapon. If you see a weapon you have a green light. You may situationally have a green light before then.

Maybe one thing they could be getting at is the general requirement to attempt to exit the situation. This is a highly subjective affair. If I take one step and the other guy slides one step in the same direction such that one more step will have him in physical contact range, did I try to get away? If I'm a woman and turning and running is an option, but I can't run faster than the aggressor, did I try to get away? Would I be committing a bit tactical error turning my back in that situation? So, to the extent state laws have a baked in requirement to flee, a lot of scenarios come up where we put someone in jail inappropriately from where I'm sitting.

I have no patience for following someone to ensure engagement (unless there is a third party being defended). The context around this makes the shooter seem like a good candidate for a trial and likely conviction.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

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They also interviewed the (R) Florida legislator that wrote the Stand Your Ground bill and he said something to the affect of 'it shouldn't apply in this case, it was not designed for you to follow someone and get them'
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

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I read an account that while the bill was debated, one of the opponents brought up this exact sort of situation. I think as libertarians we're pretty aware of how intent and practice of the law are rarely the same.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

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When they talked about the language of the law, it seemed fine to me, and it shouldn't apply to someone following someone else in their car (regardless of what happened later)
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

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Jason: the exit requirement is mostly what people are talking about. Most states have one; Florida doesn't. As Mo points out, although the self-defense law almost certainly shouldn't apply here, making it strong like that makes it easier for asshole police departments to avoid charging people they don't feel like charging.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Mo »

Jadagul wrote:Jason: the exit requirement is mostly what people are talking about. Most states have one; Florida doesn't. As Mo points out, although the self-defense law almost certainly shouldn't apply here, making it strong like that makes it easier for asshole police departments to avoid charging people they don't feel like charging.
There's another case that highlights the absurdity of the SYG case going on as well. Short version: Kid from out of town brings a skateboard to a park, asks a father with his daughter if he can skateboard there. Old man sees kid, yells at him there's no skateboarding, gets gun from garage and comes out and flashes the gun. Dad gets mad, yells at him for flashing it and the old man whips out the gun. Dad tries to grab it from him, there's a struggle and he shoots the dad because he felt threatened that the dad was going to take his gun and shoot him.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Mo »

I'm all for self-defense and a relatively weak exit requirement, but the "He's coming right for us" requirement is ridiculously broad.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

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Mo wrote:
Jadagul wrote:Jason: the exit requirement is mostly what people are talking about. Most states have one; Florida doesn't. As Mo points out, although the self-defense law almost certainly shouldn't apply here, making it strong like that makes it easier for asshole police departments to avoid charging people they don't feel like charging.
There's another case that highlights the absurdity of the SYG case going on as well. Short version: Kid from out of town brings a skateboard to a park, asks a father with his daughter if he can skateboard there. Old man sees kid, yells at him there's no skateboarding, gets gun from garage and comes out and flashes the gun. Dad gets mad, yells at him for flashing it and the old man whips out the gun. Dad tries to grab it from him, there's a struggle and he shoots the dad because he felt threatened that the dad was going to take his gun and shoot him.
I'm not gonna defend the old man there, either, but I would again caution - if I'm carrying concealed and you and I are in an argument and you initiate an attempt to grab the weapon because I foolishly showed it to you on my hip, you are in fact putting me in reasonable fear for my life and that situation could wind up with justifiable use of force. Don't close space with an armed person. Very nearly as many police are shot with their own weapons as are shot with someone else's either as a result of an active attempt to disarm them, rolling around in physical confrontation on the ground, or because the officer attempted to talk dude down due to being unwilling to pull the trigger.

That's just to say, the rule makes sense to me. The question to be resolved is who had reasonable fear for their lives in this case, and did the guy who got shot have grounds to use lethal force (attempting to grab a firearm is the same in principle as delploying a firearm for use). My argument would be that the guy who got shot was plausibly the person first in fear for his life and had a right to act. He was foolish in his response, his response in isolation could be something that would result in his getting shot, but the old dude's actions created the first threat of harm.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Mo »

From the sound of it, he tried to grab it from him when the old man was waving it around in his hand.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

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JasonL wrote:I'm not gonna defend the old man there, either, but I would again caution - if I'm carrying concealed and you and I are in an argument and you initiate an attempt to grab the weapon because I foolishly showed it to you on my hip, you are in fact putting me in reasonable fear for my life and that situation could wind up with justifiable use of force. Don't close space with an armed person. Very nearly as many police are shot with their own weapons as are shot with someone else's either as a result of an active attempt to disarm them, rolling around in physical confrontation on the ground, or because the officer attempted to talk dude down due to being unwilling to pull the trigger.

That's just to say, the rule makes sense to me. The question to be resolved is who had reasonable fear for their lives in this case, and did the guy who got shot have grounds to use lethal force (attempting to grab a firearm is the same in principle as delploying a firearm for use). My argument would be that the guy who got shot was plausibly the person first in fear for his life and had a right to act. He was foolish in his response, his response in isolation could be something that would result in his getting shot, but the old dude's actions created the first threat of harm.
As I read the article, the old man drew his weapon before the victim tried to disarm him. If an apparently unstable man draws a weapon in the vicinity of children, I can see why a reasonable man, in that moment, might try to disarm instead of flee. There's a crazy man waving a gun, kids are around, and you're close enough to grab it. I'm not saying it's the best move, but it's an understandable one.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Warren »

dhex wrote:it's far lower than i'd think it'd be in terms of total #s, given the way people talk about florida as a kind of white trash mad max playground.
I've lived in Fla. I never made it as far south as Miami, but for most of the state, the population is overweight in college kids and retirees. A very volatile mix. On any given three lane road, half the cars are going 60 weaving in and out of the other half going 30.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

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Warren wrote:
dhex wrote:it's far lower than i'd think it'd be in terms of total #s, given the way people talk about florida as a kind of white trash mad max playground.
I've lived in Fla. I never made it as far south as Miami, but for most of the state, the population is overweight in college kids and retirees. A very volatile mix. On any given three lane road, half the cars are going 60 weaving in and out of the other half going 30.
I was puzzled by the "half going 60 .. other half going 30" until I realized you were talking about school zones. :lol:
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

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I think he's referring to the slow-driving elderly.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

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thoreau wrote:
JasonL wrote:I'm not gonna defend the old man there, either, but I would again caution - if I'm carrying concealed and you and I are in an argument and you initiate an attempt to grab the weapon because I foolishly showed it to you on my hip, you are in fact putting me in reasonable fear for my life and that situation could wind up with justifiable use of force. Don't close space with an armed person. Very nearly as many police are shot with their own weapons as are shot with someone else's either as a result of an active attempt to disarm them, rolling around in physical confrontation on the ground, or because the officer attempted to talk dude down due to being unwilling to pull the trigger.

That's just to say, the rule makes sense to me. The question to be resolved is who had reasonable fear for their lives in this case, and did the guy who got shot have grounds to use lethal force (attempting to grab a firearm is the same in principle as delploying a firearm for use). My argument would be that the guy who got shot was plausibly the person first in fear for his life and had a right to act. He was foolish in his response, his response in isolation could be something that would result in his getting shot, but the old dude's actions created the first threat of harm.
As I read the article, the old man drew his weapon before the victim tried to disarm him. If an apparently unstable man draws a weapon in the vicinity of children, I can see why a reasonable man, in that moment, might try to disarm instead of flee. There's a crazy man waving a gun, kids are around, and you're close enough to grab it. I'm not saying it's the best move, but it's an understandable one.
I agree with this. When I said he was foolish, what I meant is that I don't think he thought we was acting in a way that could very likely wind up with him being shot. If you mean to disarm someone, you have to go at it hard and fast and understand your life is on the line. If you are grabbing at an arm, you are going to get shot. I completely agree with the idea that based on the information we see here, the shooter initiated the sitution that placed other people in fear for their lives and as a result has no legal protection under a stand your ground kind of law.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Mo »

WTF?
On April 22, 2011, Zimmerman called to report a black male about “7-9” years old, four feet tall, with a “skinny build” and short black hair. There is no indication in the police report of the reason for Zimmerman’s suspicion of the boy.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by dhex »

zimmerman is a fuckface, i think we can all agree.

however, if i'm reading things right there's about 35 or so of these stand your ground homicides out of about 1000 or so homicides per year in florida (again, iirc) before the law passed it was about half that, so 17 or so? for all its flaws, it doesn't seem to be the invitation to murder on a wide scale that it's being drawn out as - note "spontaneous grassroots rallies" in new york last week.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

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For all we know, the increase in justifiable homicides could be offsetting a decrease in unjustifiable homicides because the defender was allowed legal cover to defend him or herself.
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Re: The Trayvon Martin thread

Post by Fin Fang Foom »

JasonL wrote:
I'm not gonna defend the old man there, either, but I would again caution - if I'm carrying concealed and you and I are in an argument and you initiate an attempt to grab the weapon because I foolishly showed it to you on my hip, you are in fact putting me in reasonable fear for my life and that situation could wind up with justifiable use of force.
No, that's probably just homicide given that you flashed a weapon and thereby committed "menacing" or whatever its local equivalent.
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