Archive for July 28th, 2013

Argument from geometry.

      When Zimmerman stopped his car, Martin was walking away. He got out, against the advice of the 911 operator and Neighborhood Watch protocol, because he thought he would lose sight of Martin. His testimony. Every second that passed, Martin was one step farther away. If Zimmerman walked in the same direction, but more slowly, Martin would probably not have seen him, and the distance between them would have grown. If he had walked at the same speed as Martin, the distance between would have remained the same, and there would have been little chance of an altercation.

      Thus it is demonstrated: Zimmerman closed the distance, he walked faster, he pursued, he initiated.

      And Martin became aware of someone closing on him, alone in the rainy dark. Who? Not a cop. Why?

      How did Martin respond? He could have have run away. He could have stopped, turned, and waited, or even moved towards Zimmerman. What did Zimmerman say? What did Martin say? Who touched or pushed or punched first? Who was more afraid? Why wasn’t a brief conversation enough to resolve things?

      All unknowable, unless you are Zimmerman. My guess is Martin declined to accept the authority Zimmerman asserted. Lacking command presence, a badge, a uniform, or any actual authority, Zimmerman pulled what he had, his gun. In terror, Martin lunged, Zimmerman fired. Or Martin punched him first, not liking the guy who chased him down, fearing a mugging.

      Point is Zimmerman didn’t get the submission he was seeking, so he killed the kid. And there isn’t a narrative to excuse that.

      Quod Erat Demonstratum

      Tighter still: didn’t like the look of that boy, so he killed him. He was frightened, of course he was. Repeat.

 

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Stand by your ground, as amended, judge & jury.

      I missed a crucial part of the Florida law, and it is a part of most of the stand-your-ground laws around the country. I feel bad that I missed it, but so did most commentators, and so did the judge (in so far as jury instructions went).

      There’s an instigator exception: if you picked the fight, if you initiated the altercation, you cannot claim the stand-your-ground defense. You can still claim common-law self-defence: you thought your life was in danger, so you did what you had to do. But you might have to prove, or at least argue convincingly, that you had no chance to retreat or descalate. Could you have pulled your gun, and backed away? For instance. And you might be challenged about exactly how and why you got into the situation. You can’t just play the get-out-of-jail-free card.

      There is no real first-hand testimony about the sequence of events, who did or said what first, except Zimmerman’s version (via interviews and videos and statements — he didn’t testify in court). So he might still have won the case. But the dubious jurors might have hung on a little longer, and persuaded some of the others.

      The judge did it.

 

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