A Question for Our Legal Eagles



One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

Related Post Roulette

40 Responses

  1. Avatar trumwill mobile says:

    Hannity is correct. The standard in Florida is reasonable doubt even for justifiable homicide. This team contrary to what I had thought was the case as well.Report

  2. Historically it is the defendant’s burden, so on that you are correct. But in Florida the burden on self-defense is that it may be used to create reasonable doubt, so in the case of Florida, Hannity is correct.Report

  3. Avatar Kazzy says:

    By the way, watching HLN, I’ve learned that one of the tag lines for Nancy Grace’s show is, “There is so much more to the story than the facts.”


  4. Avatar Shepard says:

    It appears that everyone is going to be surprised by the verdict here. What is being discussed in the media/public sphere is radically different then what is going on in the courtroom.

    As the law reads lethal force can be used even in a fight that you start. So regardless of the foolishness in chasing Trayvon down, George was still permitted to shoot him when Trayvon starting swinging. This has actually been used in trials like this before.

    The public may want to hang him, and not without reason, but the way the law stands I don’t see good odds that he’s going to jail. The SYG law in Florida is just to liberal for that.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Shepard says:

      Zimmermann is claiming straight self-defense; he explicitly waived an SYG hearing.

      Which leads to another question for our legal beagles: In explaining why he waived SYG, Zimmermann’s lawyer said that he could, if he chose, file for an SYG hearing after the regular trial, even in the case of a verdict of guilty. Is that correct?Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Shepard says:

      Except that Zimmerman’s not claiming SYG.

      So legal eagles, how does this change things?Report

      • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to zic says:

        It doesn’t change the answer to the original question, the burden is still reasonable doubt.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to trumwill mobile says:

          Is there a legal definition of “self-defense”? Is there any burden that must be met to provide it as a defense?Report

          • Avatar Cletus in reply to Kazzy says:

            There were discussions of the self-defense statute in a previous thread if someone can dig it up. My reading of the law is that if Zimmerman triggered Martin’s right to self-defense that Zimmerman’s own claim of self-defense becomes invalid as per the statutes involved. You can’t walk up to someone with a loaded weapon or a knife and start a fist fight knowing that you have a holdout weapon for if you start losing.Report

            • Avatar dand in reply to Cletus says:

              i don’t think that’s the case there are times when both parties have a claim to sefl defense such as the Cory Maye case.Report

            • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Cletus says:

              If I remember correctly, Zimmerman had lost sight of Martin & was returning to his truck. If that is true, then Martin had successfully retreated & had no reason to engage Zimmerman. SYG says you don’t have a duty to retreat, but if you do retreat, you do not have a right to re-engage at your discretion.Report

              • Avatar Cletus in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

                That is still a question of fact. Zimmerman may claim to have lost sight of Martin but there is a question of whether Zimmerman simply found Martin again and decided to confront, in his words, the “fucking punk”.Report

          • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Kazzy says:

            I think it varies from state to state. I know in Washington, it hinges on defending against the commission of a felony or the infliction of great personal harm to the defender or another.

            The code also defines “necessary” & “deadly force” rather explicitly, although the word “reasonable” does a lot of heavy lifting in there.Report

  5. Comments closed, per Kazzy’s request.Report