Originally Posted by cutthemdown
I'm just pointing out that what you think is so important means nothing.
Actually, it's critical
to Zimmerman's defense (not necessarily to murder 2, but against any wrongdoing whatsoever
). Zimmerman is claiming self defense as a justification for the use of deadly force which he admits to. This means, according to FL law, that he has to convince the jury not just that he thought
his life was in danger (his state of mind), but that he had a reasonable expectation
that his life was in danger.
State of mind only matter inasmuch as how that state of mind relates to a reasonable expectation of death or grave bodily injury. For example, if you're on drugs that cause paranoia, then your paranoid state of mind that results from that might lead you to believe someone just walking down the street is about to kill you. In that instance, your state of mind alone does not justify the use of deadly force.
The key word, of course, is reasonable
. Now what can be considered a reasonable expectation
is composed of several factors (see the link below), but one of them is proportionality. A person does not
have the right to meet non deadly force with deadly force. According to FL law, the only justifiable use of deadly force is (straight from FL statute): "...if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony." Again, note the word "reasonably".
For example, if you're in a bar fight and take a punch, you do not have the right to pull your concealed weapon and waste the other guy (even if you are a giant p***Y or on drugs/etc. and just think
your life is in danger from being punched). If I just flash a concealed firearm at you, and you think
I'm going to shoot you, you don't have the right to use deadly force against me. You do
have the right to shoot me if I make a move for my gun though. Force used in self defense has to be proportional to the force being used against the defender. And, force can only be used to meet force, not non-force (e.g. threats). See FL statute quoted below.
As to the discussion of knuckle woulds, etc. Zimmerman's argument of proportionality rests purely on his testimony and that of witnesses claiming that Martin was delivering a beating to him. IF that was the case, the requirement of proportionality would seem to be met (in my opinion). However, the physical evidence puts his claim to proportionality in serious doubt.
Wounds consistent with a single punch to the face do not support the claim that Martin was in the process of
using deadly force against Zimmerman. So, the witness testimony (and Zimmerman's testimony) that claims that happening can be reasonably doubted. And, by extension, the credibility of Zimmerman and his witnesses.
But don't take my word for it: read what an actual lawyer
(rather than a lawyer's lackey) who specializes in self defense law has to say about self defense and how it relates to this case:
And here's the relevant Florida statutes:
776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or
(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.
776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
(b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
(2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or
(b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or
(c) The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or
(d) The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle 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 entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer.
(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
(4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
(5) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
(b) “Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.
(c) “Vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.
All emphasis added.
The only thing that matters is Zimmermans state of mind.
Nope, what matters is did Zimmerman have a state of mind that resulted in a reasonable
expectation of being killed or gravely harmed. In order for the self defense plea to hold up, Zimmerman has to convince the jury that he had a reasonable expectation of being killed or receiving gross bodily harm, which includes convincing the jury that Martin was using deadly force
From the link above: "For Zimmerman to be successful in arguing self defense as a legal justification for the shooting he will need to present the court with a compelling narrative of his own recounting his reasonable
fear of death or grave bodily harm. The success of Zimmerman’s narrative will surely be a function of the unremitting nature of Martin’s attack—straddling the prone Zimmerman and punching him “MMA-style” even after Zimmerman was clearly no longer any apparent threat and was, by eye-witness account, screaming for help—and the extensiveness of Zimmerman’s injuries as evidenced by medical reports and contemporaneous photos."
And again, the only "evidence" that corroborates Zimmerman's story is that of eyewitness accounts about the nature of the final confrontation (a supposed "MMA style beat down" by Martin proceeding the fatal shot). Eyewitness accounts that are not consistent with the physical evidence.
Now, whether or not the jury believes one narrative or the other I have no idea. I ain't the Jury, and jury's are quite fickle.
If someone mounts you and starts punching you in the face you don't have to wait until your injuries are life threatening to defend yourself. You can use force if you believe your life is in danger. I've seen people knocked out have less damage to face then Zimmerman had.
Possibly, but if they aren't actually punching you, just sitting on you for some other reason, then there is no clear and reasonable expectation of death or great bodily harm. The only fact that seems to be consistent with the physical evidence is that at some point, for some reason, Martin ended up on top of Zimmerman. Claims about Martin applying deadly force (MMA style punching) are not substantiated (in my opinion, according to the physical evidence).
Given that the only thing we can be reasonably sure of is that Martin ended up on top of Zimmerman, there are many possibilities about what actually occurred. As pure conjecture consistent with the physical evidence
, it's possible Martin punched Zimmerman, who then went for his gun prompting Martin to tackle him and fight over possession of the gun (which would also fit the witness' description as a scuffle over a weapon could easily be mistaken for a punching match in the dark).
To be clear, I am not claiming the above is what happened -- only that it's a possibility given the physical evidence.
Your opinion that clearly the witnesses are lying because his face not bashed up enough is also a total joke. Do you even believe what you say?
When the physical evidence doesn't match what the witnesses say, it's eminently logical to conclude that the witnesses are likely to be lying and/or honestly mistaken.
The only joke is someone who claims to work in the legal field not understanding the basic concepts of self defense law. Of course, that's why you just fill out the paperwork and aren't trusted to do the actual thinking.