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An update on the Trayvon Martin case

2012/04/14

George Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Prosecutor Angela Corey is being fairly tight-lipped about the case, which is a good sign. It makes me hopeful she is interested in justice, not just a media trial to counter bad publicity for her office.

There are going to be a lot of legal issues in play, here. To make second degree, they’ll have to show that Zimmerman really intended to kill Martin and that he did it because he was angry or for some reason other than fear for his life. While the story he told the police is clearly bullshit, proving exactly what happened will likely be problematic. I am interested to see what evidence the prosecution will have in the trial. He is pleading not guilty for reasons of self-defense. Florida has a very broad definition of self defense compared to most states, but you still can’t pick a fight and kill the other guy because you feel threatened when he fights back. For him to succeed, he’d need to make it seem likely he didn’t start the fight, which will be pretty difficult from what we already know and that he had a reasonable fear that he was going to be killed or seriously injured, not just lose a fight. I’m guessing we’ll end up with a manslaughter conviction on the basis he started it and/or had an unreasonable fear for his life.

I’m just guessing, though. There’s a lot of important evidence we don’t know about yet, particularly the autopsy results. I will be watching this trial closely.

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From → legal

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