Monday, April 30, 2012

Mind-Boggling Injustice: Another Take on Trayvon

In keeping with my blog's on-going coverage of the Trayvon Martin case, I present to you two things. 1) an article from The Root, which contains a brief post about potential perjury and/or lies by Zimmerman regarding his perceptions of Martin's age. 2) is a fantastic article written by Patricia J. Williams, professor of law at Columbia University. Most of it is a more eloquent rendition of my own thoughts, but let me post a few important portions:
Here’s the relevant text of Florida Statutes Chapter 776: “A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if: … He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another.” Any person who does have such reasonable apprehension is “immune from criminal prosecution and civil action.” However, this immunity is not available to one who “initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself.” Thus framed, the issues are relatively simple: Was Zimmerman’s belief that his life was in danger a reasonable one? Was his admitted pursuit of Martin “necessary to defend himself”? And did his admitted initiation of the encounter provoke use of force by Martin? These are questions of fact, now properly before a court of law.

Police failed to follow the most basic procedures for a homicide investigation: Zimmerman was never tested for drugs or alcohol, while Martin’s body was. After sticking him in the morgue, there was no attempt to identify Martin or to notify his family. This was not just sloppy and unprofessional; it flouted basic tenets of our jurisprudence. The police’s facile conclusion that there was nothing to contradict Zimmerman’s account is explicable only on one of two grounds: either they blindly deferred to the word of the confessed killer and thus abandoned any adherence to a community standard; or they instinctively shared Zimmerman’s vision, establishing being frightened to death by a young black man as a reasonable community norm.
I implore those of you following this case to read it. You'll find it far more informative, and less biased than other accounts.

(Sidebar: I mean, seriously? You don't trust the FBI's voice analysis? And 17 year old teenager is MORE likely to have a deeper voice than a grown man? Why? Because 17 year olds don't go through puberty? Because you assume, based upon zero facts or supporting information, that he's "seemingly sexually active and engaging in all sorts of adult-like behaviors"? ... Face-palm.)

So yeah, skip the racial bias and read up on the links I suggested.


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