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View Diary: Yet Another Ruling against Trayvon -- Audio Experts excluded from Trial (155 comments)

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  •  I would say that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dream weaver

    stalking someone, with a gun, is an unlawful activity.

    Carrying Skittles and Iced Tea, is not.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 12:41:07 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  This was not illegal stalking. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neuroptimalian, Pi Li, VClib

      See this comment, where I quoted the law and cases interpreting the law.  

      To summarize that comment, to be stalking under the law, you have to show repeated events.  You maliciously follow, you stop following (like you leave the area or start doing something completely different and unrelated), time passes where you are not following or attempting to following, there's another incident where you maliciously follow, you stop, you start again . . . "Stalking" laws take an action that is perfectly legal (but perhaps not "good") -- following someone, calling them, even saying nasty things to them -- and says that, if there are numerous separate and distinct instances of doing something otherwise legal , the repeated nature of those instances of conduct that would be legal if you did it once, along with malicious intent behind the repetition, is what is being criminalized.  For example, there's nothing illegal about walking past a person's house when they are leaving to go to work and saying really nasty things to that person.  (It's not a good thing, but it's not illegal.)  But if you do that every day for a week, that repetition is what may convert a bad, but otherwise legal act into stalking under the law.

      As far as the law is concerned, this was one instance of one person following and watching another person in a public area.  Regardless of what either person was thinking, regardless of whether that was a stupid thing for Zimmerman to do,  there's nothing illegal about following someone and watching them in a public area.  And I strongly suspect that the jury will be told exactly that when they are instructed on the law.  

      Now, if Zimmerman physically attacked Martin punched him, swung at him, etc. -- or if Zimmerman pointed a gun at Martin, THAT would be illegal conduct.  

      •  I believe Zimmerman (0+ / 0-)

        had a long history of calling in young black males to law enforcement.

        The pattern is there ... it's stalking.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 01:33:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. He has to have repeatedly followed Martin (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pi Li, VClib, Dr Swig Mcjigger

          for it to be stalking.  You can't "stalk" you follow different people at different times.  It has to be repeated action directed at the same person.  

          Think of it this way.  If a guy repeatedly and maliciously follows his ex-girlfriend, that's stalking.  If he's just angry at women, and repeatedly follows different women between the ages of 20 and 30, that's not stalking.  It may be bad behavior, but it's not stalking under the law.  

          •  I know how to think of it (0+ / 0-)

            and I think my example is valid.

            It may not have been tested yet, but it's a decent case to answer.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 02:25:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It goes to "intent" (0+ / 0-)

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              Who is twigg?

              by twigg on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 02:26:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You are just wrong. You don't have to take my (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pi Li, VClib

              word or it.  Think of it this way.  If Zimmerman was in the commission of felony stalking, then the prosecution could have charged him with first degree murder -- murder in the commission of a felony is first degree murder.  They did not.  They charged him with second degree murder - -which means they are NOT claiming he was committing a felony by following Martin.

              Here's more proof.  While you will hear the prosecution say "profile" "wannabe  cop" and other things the Court approved, I'll bet you WON'T hear the prosecution say "stalking," because legally, he wasn't stalking.  If they say he was "stalking" -- acting illegally-- that would likely be a mistrial, because they essentially would be alleging he committed a criminal act that he has never been charged with committing.  

              And "goes to "intent" only matters if your ACTIONS are illegal.  In my example about the man following different women, his "intent" is completely irrelevant, because his ACTIONS are not illegal.  If I'm walking behind you on a public street, watching you -- an action that is completely legal -- it does not matter what my intent is.  Period.  End of story. It does not matter if I hate you and wish you were dead.  As long as ALL I am doing is walking behind you, watching you, or even saying something to you, the fact that I hate you and wish you were dead doesn't matter.  

              "Intent" matters in Z's shooting of Martin, clearly.  But it has nothing to do with the question of whether Z acted completely legally by following and watching Martin.  It may have been a stupid thing to do, but legally, it was NOT stalking.  

            •  twigg - not under Florida law (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coffeetalk, Pi Li, andalusi

              Z did nothing illegal up to the point the two of them confront one another. What happened at that point is what the trial is all about.

              The prosecution isn't going to make a stalking claim because under Florida law an event that takes ten minutes from the 911 call to the tragic end in no way fits the Florida stalking statute. The prosecution won't embarrass itself by making such a frivolous claim. The judge would smack them down and embarrass the prosecution in front of the jury.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:44:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Could a lawyer argue the contrary? (0+ / 0-)

        For example, by claiming that breaking a pursuit into two parts makes it a repeated pursuit?

        Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 03:18:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. (I am a lawyer, by the way.) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pi Li, VClib

          In that comment I linked to, a Florida Court, interpreting the Florida statute, discussed what "repeatedly" under the statute meant.  It concluded that a case where person 1 harassed person 2 at a kiosk in a mall, then person 1 left the area, 15 minutes passed where he was gone from the area, then he came back and did it again, then left the area, then an hour passed where he was gone from the area, then he came back and did it again, could be stalking.  The Court said that "repeatedly" meant what you normally think for it to mean-- different events, separated by the passage of time.  The fact that harasser left the area, time passed, and then he came back and did it again, he left the area, time passed again, and he came back again is what made it "repeatedly."

          In addition, this is a criminal statute.  You can't play those kinds of semantic games with criminal statutes.  Criminal statutes have to be strictly construed -- they have to be crystal clear, so that you know BEFORE you commit the act what is criminal and what is not.  

    •  It was not stalking according to Florida law. (0+ / 0-)

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