an innocent man

This is going to be an unpopular thing to say, but it has to be said at some point. George Zimmerman–the man who unquestionably shot and killed Trayvon Martin–is innocent.

This is a fundamental aspect of the U.S. Constitution. Every citizen who stands accused of a crime must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. This isn’t some legal nicety we can overlook simply because it’s unpopular. If the presumption of innocence has any value at all, it has to apply to everybody–even George Zimmerman. It’s true that standard only applies to juries, but when you hear somebody say Zimmerman ought to be tried and punished, they’re basically saying the Constitution shouldn’t apply to people they don’t like. And that’s fucked up.

So there it is, George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin and wherever he is right now, he’s an innocent man. I hate to say it, but he’s probably innocent in two ways. He’s presumptively innocent and may, in fact, be not guilty under the law. According to Florida’s statute 776.013 (3) – Justifiable Use of Force, Zimmerman may never have his innocence challenged. It’s very possible he’ll never be charged with a crime. The law clearly states “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.” The way the law is written, it’s very nearly a license to kill–and indeed, ‘justifiable’ homicides in Florida have increased threefold since the law was enacted.

We can’t know with any certainty what took place in the final few moments before George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. But we can make some educated guesses based on what we do know. We know what Zimmerman told the police during his 911 call. We know, for example, he was unreasonably suspicious of Martin. We know he was following the young man, and continued to do so even after the police told him he shouldn’t. We also know Trayvon Martin knew he was being followed and was nervous about it. We know Zimmerman prejudged Martin (“These assholes, they always get off”), and we know he felt antagonistic toward Martin (he called Martin either a “fucking coon” or a “fucking goon”).

That’s what we know. We can surmise Martin felt threatened by the man following him and decided to confront Zimmerman. We can surmise Zimmerman felt threatened by the confrontation and so pulled his weapon. We can surmise Martin felt threatened by the weapon and may have struck Zimmerman in self-defense. And we can surmise Zimmerman felt threatened by the assault and shot Martin in self-defense.

The way the Florida law is written, the last person to survive feeling threatened is innocent.

Trayvon Martin was innocent in reality. George Zimmerman is innocent under the law. The people who aren’t innocent are the members of the Florida legislature who enacted this stupid fucking law.

There won’t be any real justice for Trayvon Martin. There won’t be any justice for George Zimmerman. The only possible justice that could come out of this tragedy is if the good people of Florida rise up and force their legislature to repeal the law, and maybe vote out the idiots who thought the law was a good idea to begin with.

But this is Florida, where guns don’t kill people–people kill people. And in Florida, you can get away with it.

5 thoughts on “an innocent man

  1. Florida and in—what?—twenty-two other states?

    Indeed if Zimmerman is not charged (and boy, can you believe the incompetence of the Sanford Police Department for not even investigating this?), I hope Trayvon Martin’s parents sue him for wrongful death. And win. I hope this brutal act haunts him to his grave.

  2. The weird thing–one of the weird things–is that it doesn’t appear the other states have had the same spike in ‘justifiable’ homicides that we see in Florida. It’s as if Florida is trying to out-crazy Arizona.

    And I wish I could blame the lack of an investigation by the Sanford PD on incompetence. But I’m inclined to think it was just neglect. I think they’re competent enough to have done their job; they just didn’t bother. An off-duty neighborhood watch guy who was a bit bloodied up, a dead black kid who didn’t live in the gated community–it’s Chinatown, Jake. Chinatown.

  3. Crayon Martin caused his own death. He was a gansta nigga wannabe whose mother sent him to live with his father because he was acting out. Martin had previously thrown a punch at a bus driver, been found with jewelry not belonging to him, was found carrying a deadly weapon on school property (screwdriver), and was tossed from school three times. The kid was on his way to trouble FAST. Crayon Martin COULD’VE CALLED THE COPS to report Zimmerman was following him. But Crayon Martin CHOOSE TO NOT CALL THE COPS. Zimmerman, on the othe had, DID CALL THE COPS on Martin…..because Zimmerman WANTED TO COPS TO COME INVESTIGATE WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR. Zimmerman had a LEGAL right to FOLLOW ANYBODY IN ANY NEIGHBORHOOD. Crayon Martin also had a legal right to FOLLOW ANY PERSON IN ANY NEIGHBORHOOD. Zimmerman had a legal right to carry a firearm. Zimmerman told the police dispatcher that he’d lost sight of Martin. At that moment Martin came up behind Zimmerman, ANGRILY CONFRONTED ZIMMERMAN….AND THEN PUNCHED ZIMMERMAN IN THE FACE AND KNOCKED ZIMMERMAN DOWN…..CRAYON MARTIN THEN JUMPED ON ZIMMERMAN AND PROCEEDED TO SMASH ZIMMERMANS HEAD INTO THE CONCRETE. Florida law is very clear and says deadly force can be legally used when a person reasonably believes his life is in danger. Zimmerman claims he was in fear for his life when he shot the man who was violently smashing his head onto the road. NOT A PROSECUTOR IN THE WORLD CAN DISPROVE THAT ZIMMERMAN WAS AFRAID FOR HIS LIFE. THAT’S WHY THERE WILL BE NO ARREST….AND IF THERE *IS* AND ARREST THERE WILL BE NO CONVICTION….AND ZIMMERMAN WILL THEN SUE FOR WRONGFUL ARREST. Crayon Martin killed himself.

    • Yeah… I can’t seem to give much credence to those who can’t even correctly spell Trayvon, or to people who have presumed guilt on a dead seventeen year old who can’t tell his side of the story.

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