Trayvon Martin: The Reasonable Doubt Piles Up…

While criminal (and civil) trials are marketing efforts just as they are legal efforts, one always does well to remember that there are legal requirements for gaining criminal convictions.

When someone is accused of a crime, the legal standard for conviction is evidence that shows guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

But in the Trayvon Martin case, the reasonable doubt continues to pile up in favor George Zimmerman, who is accused of Murder 2.

The injury evidence alone is huge: it appears to back up Zimmerman’s story. The gashes, the broken nose, the black eye.

The fact that Zimmerman only shot once is indicative of someone not intending to kill an assailant. (Anyone knowledgeable of tactical issues knows that it is prudent to at least double-tap the assailant. I know of NRA instructors who recommend shooting the assailant at least three times.)

Making matters worse for the Trayvon Martin camp: Martin had THC in his system. He was at least partially impaired, and this would not bode well for his judgement.

Now, keep in mind, that none of this evidence shows who started the fight.

And THAT is the key issue.

If Martin started the fight, then none of the haggling means anything: Zimmerman is totally innocent.

If Zimmerman started the fight, then he is, at mininum, partially-negligent and, at worst, totally negligent.

The dilemma for the prosecution: the evidence does not jibe with the story of Zimmerman starting a fight. In order to believe the prosecution, Zimmerman picked a fight with a younger man who towered a foot over him.

I’m the same size as Zimmerman. I’m in excellent shape–less than 10% body fat, and strong cardiovascular and core/upper-body fitness–but have serious health issues (bad disks in my back, torn cartilage in my left knee).

But even in my prime, I would not consider starting a fight at all, let alone one with someone who had a one-foot height advantage on me. I find it very hard to believe that Zimmerman was that stupid.

I carry a firearm–and know how to use it. But, if anything, that makes me LESS likely to get into fights. This is because I know that, if I so much as draw my weapon, I’d better be ready to show–in a court of law–that my actions were totally justified.

In fact, Zimmerman’s actions–after the fact–tell me he is nothing if not innocent. He volunteered to talk to the cops; he trusted law enforcement to believe his side of the story.

Even though his father is a retired judge, he didn’t “lawyer up”. He could have asserted his Fifth Amendment rights, told the cops to go to Gehenna, hired the best lawyer he could find, and he would be totally in the clear.

Personally, what has transpired is an object lesson in why our Founding Fathers designed our Constitutional protections into our system. They knew–firsthand–how European legal systems, England in particular, railroaded innocent people.

While there are many good people among the ranks of prosecutors, keep in mind that they have competing interests.

In theory, prosecutors are supposed to be interested in going after only those people who are guilty. In reality, they are under pressure to get convictions, especially in high-profile cases where they have political aspirations.

Sadly, George Zimmerman has found this out the hard way.

If I were on the jury, I’m not seeing enough evidence to support even a negligent discharge of firearm conviction, let alone Murder 2 or manslaughter (voluntary or involuntary).

10 thoughts on “Trayvon Martin: The Reasonable Doubt Piles Up…

  1. If found innocent the powers that be will simply try him on some other charge and keep doing so until they finally get a conviction. The only question in my mind is whether or not his fellow Hispanic inmates protect him from being raped by Blacks.

    • @maxsnafu: you may be right. Even if Zimmerman gets acquitted here, the Feds are probably going to try him on Civil Rights charges. On top of that, he’ll get his pants sued off in a “wrongful death” lawsuit.

      • Civil rights charges? Yes, very likely, I say. But, from my reading of Florida law—I may be a lawyer, but I’m definitely not a Florida lawyer—if Zimmerman is acquitted, Martin’s family can’t sue him for wrongful death. Under Florida statutes, if someone is determined to have been justified in using physical force to stop an attack/home invasion/et al., he (or she) is completely immune from civil suit by the other party. That includes suits by the family or estate of a deceased “bad guy”.

        • Yes, but would that preclude a federal lawsuit? I expect the folks who practice grievance politics will do everything they can to make George Zimmerman’s life a living hell for as long as possible, if not longer.

        • @Cubbie: That may be correct–an acquittal will give him immunity from a wrongful death lawsuit. At the same time, the federal Civil Rights angle will almost certainly bankrupt him.

          If he gets an acquittal here, the NRA needs to help him against the Feds, as any federal involvement here will be pure harassment that our Founding Fathers would have equated to double jeopardy.

    • Yep. That is what innocent people are hard-wired to do: volunteer information and cooperate.

      But that is exactly what gets people into trouble: police and prosecutors have competing interests here: they are in business to get convictions so they can tell people that they are keeping bad guys off the street.

      Never mind that they are supposed to be in the business of separating the good guys from the bad guys and prosecuting only the bad guys. And if the prosecutor has a chance at a good political career, the “bad guy” is the one who takes the fall for him.

      The Duke lacrosse case was the abberation in which the prosecutor got caught. But how many times does the prosecutor bag his proverbial animal and get his ticket punched up the ladder?

      This is why you never–EVER–talk to law enforcement without a lawyer present. No matter how badly you are itching to cooperate and prove your innocence; no matter how affable the investigators seem to be; no matter what they tell you to make you want to cooperate…

      No…you hire a lawyer and you shut the hell up.

  2. If Zimmerman started the fight, then he is, at mininum, partially-negligent and, at worst, totally negligent.

    This is why I’m so shocked at the Murder 2. I remember CA had a dozen charges brought against her and they proceeded to see what would stick. Alas, nothing did.

    This entire case is nothing but a political maneuver and I’d hate for AZ to be a sacrificial goat.

    • At this point, Zimmerman has a very reasonable chance of walking.

      The problem is, his life–as he knows it–is over, no matter what happens. The best he can hope for is an acquittal, and then living the rest of his life “off the grid”.

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