7/05/2013

My newest piece at Fox News: "The Zimmerman trial is already over"

I have a hard time even seeing why the defense needs to present its own case here.  From Fox News:
Prosecutors in the George Zimmerman second degree murder trial have pushed hard on two points as they seek to make their case against him: that the injuries to Zimmerman on the night Trayvon Martin died were “insignificant” and that he had studied Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law in a college class in 2010. 
To win conviction on second-degree murder, the prosecution has to show that the death was caused by a criminal act “demonstrating a depraved mind without regard for human life.”   
That’s why the prosecutor keeps pushing the claim that Zimmerman profiled Martin because he was black. Meanwhile, the lesser charge of manslaughter generally is a crime that's been committed in the heat of passion, where there is no premeditation. The jury would have to believe Zimmerman lost his temper in shooting Martin. . . .
My piece is the most read piece on the Fox News website.



Even over a day later the piece was still ranked within the top 5 pieces.

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7 Comments:

Blogger scott brimrough said...

The piece is littered with misinformation but before doing the work of laying it out I am curious if the author would approve of fact based criticism?

7/06/2013 7:19 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Scott:
If you can point to errors, please do so. If you read through comments posted elsewhere on your website, you will see that there have been more than a few debates on issues. Of course, Fox News also allows posted comments at their site.

7/06/2013 10:55 AM  
Blogger scott brimrough said...

Let's address the first fact: you never tell readers the only reason Zimmerman has ever given for pulling the trigger. Why is that?

7/06/2013 11:58 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

I thought that I made it quite clear: Zimmerman thought that it was “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves.” There were two reasons why he thought that was imminent: the physical attack (the beating that he was taking by a man who had him pinned to the ground) and the verbal threat that Martin made to kill Zimmerman. Either would have been quite sufficient to justify defending himself. Since there is ample evidence that Zimmerman was being beaten while Martin had Zimmerman pinned down, I focused on that.

7/07/2013 12:35 AM  
Blogger scott brimrough said...

Zimmerman never once said the injuries or getting hit is why he pulled the trigger. Never. His claim is Trayvon did not threaten his life until after Trayvon supposedly saw the gun. A simple verbal threat is insufficient to use deadly force as a response. There must be evidence the threat could be physically accomplished. By Zimmerman's own words he was completely on the grass when he pulled the trigger. By his own words Trayvon was not hitting him when he pulled the trigger.

It is simply fascinating you are claiming Zimmerman was justified and you do not even know why he said he pulled the trigger. Please forgive the abrasive language, but it is shocking.

By law it does not matter what Zimmerman personally believed. We are all held to the objective reasonable person standard so I ask you sir, is it reasonable to believe Trayvon saw his small black gun inside of his pants when it was dark outside with intermittent rain? It was so dark witnesses had trouble comprehending what they were witnessing.

Does your position remain unchanged now knowing Zimmerman never cited the concrete, being hit, or injuries as to why he pulled the trigger?

Thank you for the dialogue.

7/07/2013 8:11 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

So far it does not appear as if we are anywhere close to meeting the legal standard of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for the charge of 2nd degree murder. My understanding is that under Florida law the jury can say as much, but still find him guilty under the lesser charge of manslaughter. When the prosecution realizes they are losing, they may finish with a strong appeal to that by arguing that Zimmerman is a fault for having caused the situation. If he hadn't profiled the teenage Martin, following him precipitating the violent encounter, if he had followed the neighborhood watch group he was a captain of policy of not engaging or following, no confrontation, and Martin still alive. That only leaves the defense arguing that it makes no difference if that is true, by the letter of the law at the moment Zimmerman fired Martin was on top of him pummeling him, you must find in favor of the defense. That might be legally true theoretically, but I would love to see the data on how often a defendant perceived as being at fault for causing the situation leading to the deadly force still manages to get self-defense in court. The only law that really counts is the verdict in court, not legal theory.

7/07/2013 8:09 PM  
Blogger scott brimrough said...

Tim, by Zimmerman's own written statement and video reenactment, he was not being hit when he pulled the trigger or in the immediate prior moments.

Moreover, if the defense allows the prosecution to successfully argue Zimmerman created the situation it will then have to prove Zimmerman exhausted every reasonable means of escape prior to using deadly force in addition to swaying the jury to believe Trayvon was exerting deadly force or force so great as to cause serious bodily harm. By Florida law the person who invokes the situation is not qualified for the SYG statute and that is the only reason for disqualification. No competent criminal defense attorney is going to brush aside SYG simply on the claim his client was on his back when he pulled the trigger.

I agree M2 was a ridiculous charge but people keep citing injuries when Zimmerman himself never gave that reason for why he pulled the trigger.

7/08/2013 8:14 AM  

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