George Zimmerman charged with second degree murder

From the Associated Press:


Murder charge brought in Trayvon Martin case

By Brendan Farrington, Associated Press – 11 minutes ago

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The neighborhood watch volunteer who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was arrested and charged with second-degree murder Wednesday after weeks of mounting tensions and protests across the U.S.

George Zimmerman, 28, could get up to life in prison if convicted in the slaying of the unarmed black teenager.

Special prosecutor Angela Corey announced the charges but would not discuss how she arrived at them or disclose other details of her investigation, saying: “That’s why we try cases in a courtroom.”

Second-degree murder is typically brought in cases when there is a fight or other confrontation that results in death but involves no premeditation to kill. It carries a mandatory minimum of 25 years behind bars when a gun is used.

More at the link. The Editor asks that commentary on the Zimmerman case be placed on this thread, and discontinued from the Open Thread.

18 Comments

  1. Now it will be up to the prosecutor to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that George Zimmerman committed murder in the second degree; whether she can do it remains to be seen.

    A lot of people thought the charge would be manslaughter, but prosecutors charge high: you can plea bargain down, or a jury can choose to convict on a lesser offense, but you can’t plead up, or get a jury to convict on a more serious charge. But a trial will be on the actual evidence, and not the bovine feces which has been spread about this case.

  2. “Will it still be considered “justice” (should a trial ensue) and Zimmerman is found not guilty?”

    Good question!

    Justice has been served by merely bringing Zimmerman to Court, which should have been done at the outset.

    The challenge for the prosecution will be their “fight” (as the Special Prosecutor said) with the stand your ground law in FL, which, btw, was lobbied for by the notorious National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Koch Brothers sponsored corporate funded American Legislative Education Foundation (ALEC).

    “Now: try to find an unbiased jury.”

    Fortunately we have among us fair-minded people who can be counted on to come to a verdict based on the facts presented in the court on this case, perhaps a difficult concept for an ideologue to comprehend.

  3. SINP writes

    The challenge for the prosecution will be their “fight” (as the Special Prosecutor said) with the stand your ground law in FL, which, btw, was lobbied for by the notorious National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Koch Brothers sponsored corporate funded American Legislative Education Foundation (ALEC).

    Yep, and I bet those nasty ‘ol Koch Brothers had a situation just like the Martin-Zimmerman one in mind when they backed such legislation, eh? Y’know, cuz they’re RACISTS!

    (Just don’t tell SINP the real racist roots behind gun control ….)

  4. Will it still be considered “justice” (should a trial ensue) and Zimmerman is found not guilty?

    No, it will not. At least to a certain segment of the population, that is. See: the Rodney King verdict. Of course, hopefully the prosecutor isn’t way overreaching here, or even pandering. Anyone remember a guy named Mike Nifong? But I think the 2nd degree murder charge is merely a “bargaining chip” as it were, to ultimately settle on a lesser charge. If Zimmerman decides to settle.

  5. I got another sardonic laugh out of reading this passage served up by “TAMARA LUSH and GREG BLUESTEIN” the reason impaired mental incompetents at the AP:

    “He followed the teenager despite being told not to by a police dispatcher and the two got into a struggle.”

    Have any of these morons actually listened to the 911 tape? They must be taking journalism lessons from Perry.

    And the two “got into” a struggle? Geez, got into a struggle? How did that happen exactly? They just kind of floated into physical contact?

    That passage reminds me of the anonymous witness presented the other day, (by whatshisname the grey haired son of whoeveritis) and who witnessed to the “fact” that he heard voices but didn’t know what was being said, who saw two men but could not see who was who, but who knew somehow that it was not George Zimmerman yelling for help. He’s the same witness who tortuously “struggled” throughut the interview to mightily, if ungrammatically, phrase what he saw in acceptably “equivalent” terms. Thus [in a partial paraphrase]: “I saw two men on the ground one on top of each other

    This bit of idiocy he repeated more than once, as if it were some kind of verbal lifeline he was desperately grasping for.

    One on top of each other. Or, for example, “One man shot each other”. Or, how about: “Joe’s house was robbed when a burglar broke in and robbed each other”?

    The liberal brain on display. There is no such thing as a “cause”.

    In other news, Trayvon’s mother has been reported as saying now that she thinks that the shooting was an “accident”. That is very generous of her from one perspective, since according to reports, Zimmerman never claimed it was an accident.

    Zimmerman according to published reports claims that after being sucker punched to the ground, and while his head was being bashed into the sidewalk and he was being punched in the face, Trayvon tried to take his gun, and he responded by shooting Trayvon in self-defense.

    Now Zimmerman may be lying. But he doesn’t seem to be claiming it was an accident.

    Maybe what Trayvon’s mother is thinking is that when Zimmerman’s head was knocked against the pavement his finger “accidentally” pulled on the trigger of his firearm.

    Or maybe she means something else.

    As with the witness who could not say what he really witnessed other than that “one was on top of each other”, (oh and that he heard multiple shots) it’s hard to know what some people do mean.

  6. “Fortunately we have among us fair-minded people who can be counted on to come to a verdict based on the facts presented in the court on this case, perhaps a difficult concept for an ideologue to comprehend.”

    The air must be mighty thin up on that high horse of yours. By the tone of what you wrote we must assume you believe yourself to be one of those “fair-minded people” to which you refer. We can tell by your use of the word “notorious” before the NRA. That’s a fair-minded view, we’re sure. Perhaps if you used “notorious” before the New Black Panter Party, or Bill Ayres or even the soon to be tried Jon Edwards we might buy your schtick.

  7. So far, it appears that George Zimmerman is being railroaded by the Florida special prosecutor. The charges brought against Zimmerman are a near perfect recitation of every false accusation made in the media’s rush to judgment. In this case justice isn’t blind it’s dancing to the racist tune of intimidation.

    The probable cause affidavit filed in the second-degree murder case states that “Zimmerman confronted Martin,” which contradicts Zimmerman’s earlier version of the events.

    Martin tried to run home, the affidavit says, but Martin was followed by Zimmerman. “Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Martin.”

    The affidavit goes on to say that “Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher” who told him to stop, and “continued to follow Martin who was trying to return to his home.”

    Zimmerman, the affidavit says, “confronted Martin and a struggle ensued.”

    According to the affidavit: “Trayvon Martin’s mother has reviewed the 911 calls and identified the voice crying for help as Trayvon Martin’s. Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest.”

    Unless the prosecutor has access to facts not yet reported, it seems clear the impartial administration of the law has been made subservient to the threats and accusations of a racist lynch mob.

  8. Well, rope, the prosecutor has the burden of proof; Mr Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty. If the prosecutor can prove the charges she has leveled, beyond a reasonable doubt, then Mr Zimmerman will be found guilty.

    Imagine if you will that Mr Zimmerman is acquitted on all charges. The initial, local prosecutor decided that there was insufficient evidence of a crime to bring Mr Zimmerman to trial, and normally, that would have been the end of it. But Florida appointed a special prosecutor, and the special prosecutor did decide to bring charges. If Mr Zimmerman is acquitted, he ought to have a claim against the state of Florida for his lost time and legal bills, given that the state went around a determination by the appropriate person that charges should not be filed, to get charges filed. I know that such a claim would never be upheld, but it ought to be.

  9. “Unless the prosecutor has access to facts not yet reported, it seems clear the impartial administration of the law has been made subservient to the threats and accusations of a racist lynch mob.”

    It looks to me as though ropelight is looking at this case as if it were a sporting event such that he has decided to choose sides, and root for the white guy. Speaks volumes about ropelight!

    “Imagine if you will that Mr Zimmerman is acquitted on all charges. The initial, local prosecutor decided that there was insufficient evidence of a crime to bring Mr Zimmerman to trial, and normally, that would have been the end of it.”

    So has our Editor, not surprisingly. Mr Editor, do you think there is a possibility that the Special Prosecutor has more information than the local prosecutor? Of course this is most likely, which is why charges should have been made in the first place by the local prosecutor, knowing that more investigation was needed, which makes for logical sense to me.

    New information presented in the affidavit charges that Zimmerman pursued Martin who was trying to get home, then confronted him after which a struggle ensued. This may weaken Zimmerman’s Stand Your Ground defense.

    I am all for letting the justice system work. I note that famous defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, on the Chris Matthews show, Michael Smerkonish sitting in as host, decried the affidavit calling it very weak, and predicted that the Judge would throw the case out.

    I am going to let the FL justice system carry out its duty. Whatever the outcome, this case will generate years of discussion, like the O J Simpson case did, where we will be debating back and forth the outcome, whatever it may be. In the meantime, let us be patient and let the facts of the case be known.

  10. Perry, explain yourself. What in the quote you selected indicates I consider it a sporting event. Your response will speak volumes about you.

  11. Take a look at the Instapundit side bar, click on the Alan Dershowitz headline, it connects to the following excerpt:

    April 12, 2012
    ALAN DERSHOWITZ: Charges Against Zimmerman Won’t Hold Up. “It’s irresponsible and unethical. . . . This affidavit doesn’t even make it to probable cause. Everything in this affidavit is consistent with a defense of self-defense. . . . A good judge would throw this case out.”

    Instapundit has a link to the video of Dershowitz making points strikingly similar to those expressed in my comment @18:12. Dershowitz goes much further than I did, but I don’t disagree with his perspective. I’m not a Harvard Law professor, but we both recognize an obvious travesty.

    The special prosecutor has made a pandering fool of herself, and has botched her case.

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