Sunday, July 14, 2013

Zimmerman Verdict


Well, as you know, there it is.

I've been trying to go back and work my way through the facts just to try to get it all straight in my own head, and had kind of hoped to be able to do so before the verdict was returned...

This is, of course, significant. Six normal people who heard all the evidence clearly and forcefully stated, and who were given the actual responsibility of deciding the case (rather than just bullshitting about it on the internet) concluded that Zimmerman was not guilty. However this came out, I'd have taken the verdict very seriously in my own deliberations. The law doesn't always tell us about the moral situation, but in many cases it tells us something important. The verdict doesn't mean that Zimmerman isn't morally guilty, nor that he doesn't bear some measure of responsibility for the death--but, speaking for myself, I haven't figured how that all comes out. I reckon he might still face a civil suit, and that should also tell us something.

The two sets of facts that loom largest in my own thinking right now are:

Zimmerman was armed, and persons who are armed have special responsibilities (e.g. to avoid avoidable conflicts)


It seems most likely that Martin initiated the physical attack, and  the person who initiates such an attack typically bears the majority of the responsibility for the physical violence.

Conservatives seem to be ignoring the first one, or underestimating its importance here; liberals of my acquaintance are roundly ignoring the second--something they'd never do in most situations. In fact, I've never heard liberals be so eager to defend someone for initiating entirely optional physical violence.

Anyway, it's all just chatter now. Well, it's always been just chatter, I guess...


Blogger The Mystic said...

Why do you think it's most likely that Martin initiated the physical attack?

11:08 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Could we first discuss the conditional?

I doubt I can even secure agreement here to the proposition that Zimmerman is largely innocent IF Martin initiated physical hostilities.

If Zimmerman initiated them, then it's an open-and-shut case, morally speaking, right? Or close to it...

11:19 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Incidentally, I've agreed with many of your points on this case thus far, M.

11:20 AM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

I agree with the proposition that Zimmerman is largely innocent if Martin attacked Zimmerman without receiving legally justifying provocation. I also agree that Zimmerman's initiation of physical hostilities would make this pretty open-and-shut.

I really don't know what there is to disagree with there. I think we're on the same page.

Additionally, based on your comments thus far, I think you might like to know that I have never thought it impossible that Zimmerman is completely innocent. I do think it improbable.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Bacon Attack said...

If you want a careful account of what happened, go to legalinsurrection. The trial was covered in detail from day one by a lawyer named Bronco who is an expert of the law of self-defense and has written a book on the subject. That should settle your doubts about the events leading up to the shooting.

12:13 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Somehow, a lawyer named "Bronco" from "legal" just doesn't strike me as something that would clear up all doubt about events which occurred largely without anyone aside from the defendant and the dead guy seeing them...

3:58 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Legal Insurrection is actually one of the blogs I've read on this case, but I got bad vibes from it. I know what the left-wing orthodoxy is, and I know what the right-wing orthodoxy is, and I'm trying to avoid anybody hawking either. I'm not saying Bronco is wrong, but I've been fleeing from sites that seem partisan to me.

4:04 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

1) I was hopefully clearly joking in my last post, but I just wanted to point out that the guy's name is Andrew Bronca, not "Bronco." I thought that was some sort of pseudonym chosen by a guy writing on a website with a name somewhat characteristic of conspiracy theorist sites.

So my joke isn't so funny if it's the guy's actual name. The point remains, however, that it seems to me a lack of information is the problem here, so I'm not sure what Bronca could contribute to help. Let me know if my ignorance is blinding me here.

2) WS - now that I've answered your question, I'm still interested in your reasoning for your position that Martin is most likely to have initiated the physical attack.

4:16 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Gah, correction of my correction: The lawyer's name is Andrew Branca (I knew I should've double checked it before I hit submit).

4:18 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I'm slowly working through the events here, aiming to get to that.

Though I'd be happy for hearing your reasons for thinking that Zimmerman is mostly likely to have initiated the physical attack.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An unarmed kid on foot followed by an armed man in a car and then accosted by said armed man is likely the initiator of the physical attack?

Question: What was Trayvon supposed to do?

7:25 PM  
Blogger Dark Avenger said...

You know, I think it would be a matter of common sense that when a LEO gives you a suggestion, unless following it would lead to a risk of loss of property, limb, or life, one would follow that suggestion.

Also, Winston, there's a lot of stuff on the right that Martin was some sort of master supercriminal who was going to use the skittles and tea with cough syrup to make some sort of drug.

Plus the fact that the MJ in his system may not have been at intoxication levels in his blood, and if it was, MJ usually doesn't make people violent, unlike alcohol, cocaine, or meth or other stimulants. Most of the time when someone who did MJ did something violent, there's usually alcohol or something else involved as well.

1:38 PM  

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