Blue is what Zimmerman’s persecutors argue. Red is what his defenders argue.
- Zimmerman murdered Trayvon.
- No, Zimmerman was being attacked 1.3. and had a reasonable fear of great bodily harm or death 4.
- Trayvon was the one defending himself, and he was the one in fear of great bodily harm or death.
- Trayvon had no reason to be defending himself or to be in fear of great bodily harm or death. 2. 3.
- Yes he did. Zimmerman aggressively chased Trayvon and then threatened Trayvon with his gun.
- Unless the chase took place in a circle, Zimmerman had obviously not been chasing Trayvon, and the evidence is not consistent with the presence of a drawn gun nor a struggle for one.
That’s it. His persecutors have no place to go after this but the land of ludicrous.
- Zimmerman had significant injuries.
- Martin had no injuries except a cut on a finger.
- Witness(es) saw Trayvon on top of Zimmerman.
- Frantic cries for help are recorded on 911 calls.
The evidence indicates (or outright proves) that Trayvon was not chased, Trayvon was not injured, and was not threatened by Z’s gun. So how did Trayvon have any legitimate cause to attack Zimmerman? He didn’t. And why in the hell would it be Trayvon screaming for help? It wasn’t.
This has always been, at worst, a manslaughter case. The only serious questions in this case relate to manslaughter. I think there are basically two approaches one could take to it:
- Zimmerman’s fear of imminent great bodily harm or death was not reasonable. In other words, that he overreacted to a self-defense situation.
- Zimmerman’s actions (or inactions) contributed to the circumstances in a way that he should have reasonably anticipated. In other words, he acted recklessly.
I’ll approach the question of manslaughter in more detail in a future post, but briefly:
1. While his injuries were not life-threatening, I believe the fact that Trayvon did not cease the attack while Zimmerman screamed for help (over and over), indicated a desire to really hurt Zimmerman. Having already sustained a broken nose, I believe his fears of great bodily harm were reasonable. (His screams for help are incredibly helpful to Zimmerman for so many reasons. Without them, the question of whether his belief was reasonable would be far more difficult to determine. This would be a different case.
[Note: I am not ignoring Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon threatened to kill Zimmerman and then reached for Zimmerman’s gun because I disbelieve Zimmerman, but because it can’t easily be proven, and it doesn’t need to be.]
2. I actually believe his actions were understandable and appropriate based on the circumstances as they appeared to be at the time. I don’t believe he acted recklessly at all. If I were to criticize anything it would have been placing himself in what he could have foreseen was a potentially (but not likely) possibility of a conflict, while armed. However, as I said, I think he could not have reasonably foreseen that the guy would relentlessly attack him , nobody would help him, etc. This wasn’t a shoot first, ask questions later situation.