Stick to the facts – Not another Straw Man

President Obama: Would Martin Be Justified Shooting Zimmerman under Stand Your Ground Law?

NO! Not unless it’s OK to shoot someone after you pound the hell out of them, or after someone follows you for a while. What kind of perverse logic is that?

I know there is no way to settle this much tumult over the George Zimmerman trial. I’ve listened to the President’s remarks, and two jurors that have talked about this case. Facts are twisted as to create a universal straw man argument.  I’ve even read where Zimmerman followed Martin and hunted him to the point where he was as if he was cornered so he had to fight back. You can concoct any story you want but the evidence doesn’t support those imaginative theories.

Trayvon Martin couldn’t have used the stand your ground law to his advantage because of this simple fact; he attacked George Zimmerman who was on the ground beneath him. No one in their right mind is going to find it justifiable to follow someone and then shoot them.  If that’s the case then the whole idea of self-defense in any situation is made a mockery. A stand your ground law is based on having to defend yourself when the threat is perceived as life threatening. You don’t have the option in a civil society to pound a person into the ground unless they started beating on you first. Even then, after gaining the upper hand, you need to cease fighting.

It was firmly established Trayvon Martin was near his apartment and came back to confront Zimmerman. No one in that court room doubted that occurred. The act of following someone, although it can be portrayed as feeling threatened, isn’t illegal. If you feel concerned about someone following, the rational thing to do is to walk or run away.  Trayvon turned around and walked for at least 2 minutes (provable elapsed time and GPS phone data) to go back and confront George.  All of this wasn’t illegal or life threatening until George was brought to the ground and repeatedly pounded.

Even more absurd is the fact that all of the physical evidence (scattering of personal items of George Zimmerman) show he was physically assaulted. It was also brought into evidence that Trayvon Martin didn’t show any blunt force trauma or facial injuries as did George Zimmerman. Eye witness testimony wasn’t able to say with absolute certainty it was Trayvon Martin via facial recognition because the light conditions were too poor, however the physical evidence shows  Zimmerman was getting a beating and had no way of escape.

What disturbs me is that so many people for racial reasons want the facts to be distorted and the case retried because they want Zimmerman guilty of something. It’s understandable that emotions run deep but the problem is a fight broke out, Zimmerman wasn’t able to get out from under Martin, therefore in the best of circumstances he was unable to retreat.

Changing laws and rulings don’t change what actually happened that evening. We can do ‘what ifs’ until we turn blue as Smurfs and it still doesn’t matter. One man took another man down to the concrete and pounded on him with his fists until he was bleeding and his head was swollen. The race or color of the men is not material to this fact. If we want to add another ‘what if’ to make a point; what if both men were black? If that were the case, we wouldn’t be hearing about it and wanting to retry the case. That’s another ridiculous ‘straw man‘ argument.

not a medical conditionI’m aware that some of the jurors wanted to find Zimmerman guilty at first. The problem is the evidence didn’t demonstrate he was carrying out an act of murder. A juror said she felt Zimmerman could have exercised better judgment that evening and perhaps there wouldn’t have been a later confrontation. I agree with that and I also think he should have either had a taser or pepper spray but this doesn’t give the jury the latitude to convict. Both men didn’t exercise the best of judgment that evening. It’s the worst outcome of this combination of bad judgment of both men. Martin beating up Zimmerman was the final catalyst to end this tragedy. Perhaps if Zimmerman didn’t have that gun, Zimmerman might have been beaten to death, we just don’t know for sure because that’s not the way it happened.

If we have to change rulings because of race, which ever way that twists, it’s wrong. We know that’s happened in the past against people of color (black or brown), but changing the results of this case doesn’t correct the injustice in another.

[1] What’s a straw man argument or debate technique?

A straw man or straw person, also known in the UK as an Aunt Sally, is a type of argument which is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet nonequivalent proposition (thus the “straw man”), and to refute it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. This technique has been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly in arguments about highly charged, emotional issues. (Wikipedia)

[2] A person is not innocent until proven guilty. That’s a misinterpretation of the law.

In a court of law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Presumed innocence requires a person to be shown committing the crime by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. A crime has nothing to do with what happens in court.

A guilty person can be found not guilty. An innocent person can be found guilty. Their guilt or innocence is not affected by court proceedings. Only the legal system’s presumptions about their guilt or innocence can be altered by court proceedings.

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