The Bottom Line on the Zimmerman Trial

July 13, 2013 § 35 Comments

Tonight, George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges related to the death of Trayvon Martin. Here’s all you need to know.

1. A jury that was selected with input from both the defense and the prosecution heard all the evidence that was admitted by each side. They had the best seat in the house, and the evidence was presented to them by both the prosecution and defense. They know the evidence better and viewed it in more detail than CNN, MSNBC, the BBC, PBS, ESPN, Nancy Grace, and anyone else who is employed by a news/broadcast agency. They especially know the evidence better than anyone on Twitter. The jury looked at every witness, observing their demeanor and listening to each word.

2. The jury deliberated for approximately 16 hours. Weighing the evidence and juxtaposing it with current Florida law.

3. They found that the prosecutors did not prove the elements of the alleged crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.

4. Based on this, they found Zimmerman not guilty.

5. Despite what is said on Twitter, the prosecution, state, governor, and the Martin family cannot appeal a not guilty verdict. They cannot appeal it to a state appellate court, state supreme court, federal court, federal appellate court, the United States Supreme Court, Maritime Court, Bankruptcy Court, small-claims court, The People’s Court, Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Roy Bean, Cour Internationale de Justice;, or the Salem Special Court for Witchcraft Appeals. The only thing Twitterers who encourage the Martin family to appeal the case to the US Supreme Court are showing is that they did not pay attention during high school civics class. Use their collective wisdom as a watermark for how woefully sad we are as humans.

6. A young man named Trayvon died. He didn’t need to die. That is both tragic and sad.

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§ 35 Responses to The Bottom Line on the Zimmerman Trial

  • But the Martin family can file a civil suit, no?

    • Eric says:

      Yes, but that is a civil suit and has nothing to do with criminal procedure. A civil trial is not an appeal for a criminal matter, it is an new legal action with different rules, procedures, outcomes, and standards.

      • Ralph Cahill says:

        Maybe, but probably not actually. The statute regarding self defense says the following.

        776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—
        (1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
        (2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
        (3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

        So, the question is, does the acquittal of the charges indicate that the use of force meets the standards of 776.012 and 776.013 or 776.031 (the relevant self defense laws to the case)? If so, then I would say this would prevent a civil suit from being brought against him.

  • But it’s a form a justice nonetheless

    • Eric says:

      For some people’s view of justice, sure. Of course, lynching is a form of justice in the eyes of some.

      Winning a civil judgment over a penniless defendant is about as rewarding as having an award-winning blog.

      • Christine says:

        Oh, did the penniless defendant mis-spend ALL of his donations?

      • Eric says:

        According to what I’ve read (for what it is worth), the legal fees associated with the defense exceeded the amount of donations. Considering what I’ve learned through the years about the cost of criminal defense (especially with serious charges, newsworthy trials, and protracted trials), I find this easy to believe.

        Of course, if you have information to show that he became rich as a result, I’m open to considering it. Even if you did, it still wouldn’t make a civil trial equivalent to an appeal of a criminal matter.

  • […] is not a Trayvon Martin post; this is not a George Zimmerman post. For that, go read these fine pieces with which I wholeheartedly […]

  • I think they can appeal to Judge Judy. You may be wrong about that.

    • Eric says:

      Through undisclosed sources, I heard the folks up in Salem are feverishly reviewing their criminal procedure code and channeling the spirit of Cotton Mather. So, we may have some movement on that front soon.

  • Johnson Taylor says:

    At least the US justice system showed how it doesn’t value the lives of blacks. Its consistent and has been since the beginning. It is now legal to hunt black teenagers and blow their heads off.

    • If you think that way the justice system does not value whites either because OJ killed 2 white people and got off. The news doesn’t report all the crime committed and the statistics of who gets off on what but the door does swing both ways African Americans need to stop playing the victim and live their lives. The best revenge is success with a big fat I proved you wrong!

    • Middiefrosh says:

      Yeah, we all know you watched CNN or MSNBC this whole time.

      This wasn’t a race issue, and you don’t need to make it one. Now shoo.

  • Philo says:

    To clarify one point – while there is no appeal from a not guilty verdict, the federal government *could* bring criminal charges of their own. The problem here is that one person shooting another within the boundaries of a single state probably does not violate any federal criminal law. (I’m not sure what’s been thrown on the books post-9/11)

  • Sandy says:

    Stop making statements about people not paying attention in civics class. I get so tired of someone looking down their nose at others, and judging. You don’t know if they paid attention or not. You are just opinionated. Obviously. Just because civics is a topic you remember well, does not mean everyone will! If you were truly intelligent, you would know this. So, maybe your weak area is human relations, psychology? Someone else on here may be a mathematical genius, but can’t remembers civics detail. Stop showing YOUR forgotten subject matter!

    • Eric says:

      The difference is that, unlike the fine Americans on twitter last night, I don’t blather inaccuracies about the use of L’Hopital’s Rule because I’m upset about the state of math departments in the US.

      And your background is? And your blog can be found where?

      You mad, bro?

      • Doug says:

        I swear, if you use L’Hopital’s Rule incorrectly there will be hell to pay!

      • Eric says:

        OK, OK! Jeez.

      • nekelund says:

        I agree with your point and, as someone who actually knows what L’Hopital’s rule is, appreciate your math reference.

      • Damon says:

        Indeed.

        Personally, I’ve long forgotten anything I learned in high school. But I am a rigorous logician in matters I opine about.

        Some of the comments I’ve seen people make about the Zimmerman acquittal have bordered on bizarre. As if opinion alone, without the need to understand the criminal legal system or Constitution, is enough.

        Bottom line: is Zimmerman guilty of murder? No one knows!

        Maybe the feds will get a conviction now that the state lost its case (a crafty way to sidestep the double jeopardy clause in criminal cases, though not without hurdles). Or maybe Zimmerman will get hit in a civil trial, where the verdict rests on lower standards of evidence than a criminal trial (preponderance of evidence vs beyond reasonable doubt).

        But back on point: it is very clear when a person lacks an understanding of the criminal legal system. Sadly, they lack the class to remain silent. Twitter and blogs have lit up like Christmas trees with the ignorance of the public.

        Scary.

    • For the 3rd time, my weak topic was actually math.

  • James Bolar says:

    well again, i don’t care about zimmerman nor trayvon.. obviously the only thing bad on zimmerman’s part was having a gun…Trayvon confronted a man with a gun… both should have minded their own business and walked away from trouble.. both are an aggressor and both are just as guilty except the *white looking hispanic* guy had a gun the “ultimate” equalizer. i don’t know law, i don’t care to know law. the issue isn’t whites or white looking hispanics killing blacks… or hell EVEN THE MILLIONS OF BLACK ON BLACK violence happening in the world today (which gets no mention or news time)… it shouldn’t be about race or social class… it should have been about a man taking a life and if it was a justified defense obviously the prosecutor couldn’t prove without a doubt that he went out there to shoot this man. it’s over let it go and move on.. just a reminder in the US …. you never know who is carrying, you never know who is crazy, you never know who is willing to take a life accidentally or willing. SO Mind your business, be respectful and don’t cause trouble. trayvon should have called the cops when he noticed a strange “creepy” man following him not someone else i think his mother..

  • DonnyMichael says:

    I am disgusted with the media, shinning the light on uneducated Sanford Grand Mothers who are very ignorant to what actually happened out there that night between TM and GZ….after all the evidence that is out on the table for every one to see, they are still “acting as if” TM did absolutely nothing wrong, that it is okay for TM to attack the “creepy cracker”, and that GZ followed and gunned this innocent boy down because he was black…… The “black community” needs to man up now, show your children and the rest of the world what “really happened”, teach your kids not to “act in violence” for any reason, teach your kids not to be racist, and to think they are different from other races. Blacks are in every corner of success today, we have a black president !! The “real prejudice” in this country is actually the way our government and justice system act towards the poor, we all have the same opportunities and choices to make in this country. If our kids lean towards being gangsters and criminals, we must own up to that fact without playing the seriousness of such activity down. Gangsters and criminals have been trying to “get over” on politics and “the law” from day one. Stop teaching and or allowing the kids to be thugs, warn them what violence and thug life will get them, TM got justice that night in the worst way imaginable, TM got killed in the act of several violent felony acts he was committing on GZ, true if GZ would have done a few things different that TM would still be alive, but when the first punch was thrown, and no one helped when GZ screamed over and over for help, all chances of a better outcome went out the window !! In the end GZ had no choice but to use his weapon in self defense and in fear for his own welfare, just as the jury had no choice but to find GZ not guilty according to the law. We can all learn and grow from this terrible tragedy, but we must unify in order to do that, we can not allow out teens and tweens to think that TM was in the right when he acted in violence. Please people, do not involve and or paint your racism with the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord Jesus sees us all as we should see each other, as one race, as brothers and sisters in blood. May the will of Jehovah God be done in Christ Jesus name !!! Peace !!

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  • misfit120 says:

    If you can’t accept the decision of a jury in a court of law then what is the sense of having a legal system?

  • brendan says:

    I’m going to contact GZ to ghost write his auto-bio, this is America, someone needs to profit or we’re doing it wrong. Sad news I know. Tongue firmly in cheek.

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  • Steve Hines says:

    Bonus internets to you for comedic use of the notably unamusing Maritime Court.

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  • Federale says:

    Trayvon did not need to die, but he chose to die when he attacked George Zimmerman. It is curious that many liberal lawyers are supporting the verdict, but then condemn Zimmerman for “getting out of his car” as if that caused the shooting. What caused the shooting was Trayvon’s vicious attack on George Zimmerman. That is why Trayvon Martin is dead. He chose the wrong victim. A victim who could fight back with superior force.

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