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He would have been convicted.

That his not a hypothetical, that is not conjecture, that is not speculation.  You see, there actually was a "Stand Your Ground" case with a Black Defendant and White Victim that took place before the Trayvon Martin case.

People have said "All you need is Fear of Great Bodily Injury" to justify use of lethal force.  They have said Trayvon "circled around turned into a threat".

Well... Trevor Dooley testified that David James was "Killing Him" and "Left Him No Choice".  

http://www.wtsp.com/...

Dooley said Monday he was simply defending himself that fateful day and that David James, twice his size, was choking him. Dooley said he had no choice but to fire the gun that he had taken out of his right pocket.

Dooley told jurors, "He gave me no other choice. He was killing me. He had me by the neck. I couldn't breathe. He tried to take the gun away from me. If he took the gun away from me, what do you think he would have done with it? I had no other choice. I was on my way home. That's all I wanted to do."

Continued...

I originally wrote about this a year ago when the trial was still taking place.

Dooley claims that James grabbed him by the neck. "He had me by the throat and he saw the gun and he said, 'How dare you pull a gun on me!' and he slammed me to the ground." Dooley told jurors that he was "flat on his back" and that he was looking up at the sky at that point. He couldn't even see James. Dooley says that David James "never let go of my neck."

"I couldn't breathe," Dooley told jurors. "I feel like I was going to black out. I was scared. I poked him twice with the gun because I couldn't call out to him, 'you're killing me here,' because I couldn't say anything. I couldn't talk."

Dooley claims that he was "scared" because David James "tried to get the gun."

He added, "I didn't want him to get the gun," he said, "I can't breathe. Choking, squeezing. He was a strong man. I had no use of my left side, my left shoulder. It was hurt."

So even with that testimony, even with that argument - that he was in direct fear for his life - the Tampa Jury still found Trevor Dooley guilty.

Apparently the jury just didn't buy into Dooley's story that Mr. James was a threat to his life.  By contrast Trayvon Martin was turned from a teenager trying to get home on a rainy night, an A/B Student who was fond and math and wanted to be an engineer - was turned by Zimmerman supporters and the defense team into a hulking Violent Drug Addled Thug with a "Rap Sheet".

At the heart of this maelstrom — in which the thorny issues of race and justice have surfaced as themes — is a boy who dreamed of becoming a pilot and liked to work with his hands.

After taking an airplane ride two years ago, Trayvon decided he wanted to learn to fly, his uncle Ronald Fulton said. The teen attended a Miami aviation school part time and was studying to be an engineer, a path to realizing his ambition, Fulton said.

Math was Trayvon's favorite subject.

...

"He was extremely creative," said Michelle Kypriss, Trayvon's English teacher at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in Miami. "He just loved building things. He really was intrigued by how things worked."

She described Trayvon, a junior, as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness.

Trayvon could be demonized.  Trayvon was turned, by this defense time, into the architect of his own demise because he didn't run home fast enough.  Trayvon had no "Fear" after being followed for blocks by a strange adult man. He has no right to defend himself, or to Stand His Ground, because if he had - and as a result had given George a bloody nose and two scratches on his head - well, that only gave George Zimmerman a Open License to KILL HIM, even though it would have Physically Imposslble for George to pull his gun out if Trayvon had been sitting on his chest, and the only way he could reached it pulled in out and fired was if Trayvon was standing up or backing away.

But the Jury decided they didn't believe the physics or the facts, they believed George's ridiculous Lie-Riddled story.  

And so, George was acquitted.

Apparently that defense strategy didn't, or couldn't work, with family man and father David James.  He couldn't be turned into a hulking threat even with the direct testimony to that effect by the defendant.

Trevor Dooley, age 72, Black - was Convicted on All Counts of the Manslaughter of David James then sentenced to serve 8 years in State Prison.  Chances are, at his age, he won't live to see freedom again.

So we know that when Mark O'Mara claims that if only George Zimmerman were Black - he would have Never Been Charged....

“I think that things would have been different if George Zimmerman was black for this reason: He never would have been charged with a crime,” defense attorney Mark O’Mara said at a press conference.
That is a Lie.  That is a Sad Delusion, that is NOT what would have happened.

If George had been Black, and his Victim White - clear experience shows us this case, with all other factors relatively equal, would have had a completely different outcome.

And that's how it is. That's how it's been in America for Decades.  Now many more of us finally recognize it, we can all finally see how out of balance and out of wack this INJustice System truly is, and always has been.

This case was the re-wake up call. Now we need to do something constructive about it.


Vyan

2:07 PM PT: Dooley is currently free on bail pending his appeal.

2:48 PM PT: I'm not saying these case are perfectly parallel - clearly there were more than a few eye-witnesses in Dooley's case - the point I was addressing was O'Mara ridiculous claim that with a similar self-defense claimed asserted if Zimmerman had been Black, that he wouldn't have been arrested or charged.  Even though there was initially a delay between the event and Dooley's eventual arrest, just as their was with Zimmerman - he WAS arrested, he was charged and he was convicted.


Originally posted to Vyan on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges, White Privilege Working Group, Trial Watch, and RaceGender DiscrimiNATION.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (164+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz, fou, Egalitare, Glen The Plumber, greycat, Gooserock, MrJayTee, matching mole, SilverWillow, Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death, Bonsai66, Villanova Rhodes, TealTerror, Kristina40, Chi, zerelda, SneakySnu, carpunder, owlbear1, BvueDem, dclawyer06, TDDVandy, ferg, SixSixSix, rubyr, smoothnmellow, ranger995, beltane, Hanging Up My Tusks, Stwriley, Debs2, rubyclaire, Only Needs a Beat, TomP, randallt, anodnhajo, DEMonrat ankle biter, Liberal Granny, detroitmechworks, stevenaxelrod, artisan, Vetwife, hester, Shockwave, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, jeff in nyc, poco, 3goldens, orlbucfan, MufsMom, Lost and Found, KayCeSF, Yasuragi, Siri, madtownpopulist, wu ming, scorinaldi, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, bruh1, kyrol, Constantly Amazed, kevinpdx, earicicle, shanikka, IL clb, countwebb, AaronInSanDiego, Assaf, sfarkash, scyellowdogdem, cybersaur, onionjim, Gareth, wasatch, belinda ridgewood, Eric Nelson, kathny, shesaid, WFBMM, boadicea, muddy boots, chantedor, gulfgal98, mconvente, Marjmar, Chaddiwicker, HCKAD, asilomar, NYWheeler, Tonedevil, grover, doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers, K S LaVida, cai, Meteor Blades, flitedocnm, FogCityJohn, GeorgeXVIII, mahakali overdrive, profundo, joedemocrat, kerflooey, costello7, Lefty Ladig, TexDem, myboo, sumitsu, Joy of Fishes, second gen, FiredUpInCA, Supavash, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, ruscle, sethtriggs, Dr Squid, OldSoldier99, KenBee, howabout, cama2008, Knucklehead, codairem, jamess, psnyder, koNko, Lilyvt, BYw, Joe Bob, emal, Cartoon Messiah, YucatanMan, JanetT in MD, FindingMyVoice, Sarahsaturn, JekyllnHyde, Avila, SaintC, bronte17, JoanMar, crescentdave, Cedwyn, radical simplicity, Bryce in Seattle, MJ via Chicago, DerAmi, begone, quagmiremonkey, SueM1121, Oke, MsGrin, tegrat, LiberalMegan, La Gitane, radarlady, caul, jlms qkw, democracy inaction, Superskepticalman, wader, Denise Oliver Velez, rmonroe, amsterdam, petulans, Oh Mary Oh, rbird
    •  Without knowing the rest of the story, ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sawgrass727, VClib

      I agree that the jury apparently reached an incorrect verdict.  But I'd need to know ALL the evidence that was made available to the jury before I'd risk sounding certain about anything.

      That said, I wish it were possible to take race out of trials completely, have witnesses testify behind screens or something and prevent the jury from seeing the faces of all involved, including the defendant.  However, that's not possible because juries include facial expressions, mannerisms, etc., in making their determinations, so it would seem an alternative/protective method of conducting trials is not possible.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:37:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a difference in lawyering as well as race... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      codairem, mattc129

      I do believe Mark O'Mara could have gotten Mr. Dooley off.  There was some extraordinary lawyering in the Zimmerman case, and without O'Mara and West I believe Zimmerman would have been convicted.

      Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

      by Happy Days on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:38:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wondered if the NRA paid (6+ / 0-)

        for these defenders of injustice.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:46:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The only relevant difference between the (31+ / 0-)

        two cases was race

        There wasn't anything particular great about OMara except he put up a smoke screen. That smoke screen only worked because it played on what the audience, which is the American society already believes about race

        The denial of racism in American is such a part of the conversation now that I am not surprised to see a comment like yours

        What was great about O'Mara is that he used racism, but he never said anything about race. He let the jury and the liberal white public do it for him.

        •  liberal white public? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          onionjim, codairem

          The majority of the white public are not liberal, in my view.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:10:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am referencing here the media (8+ / 0-)

            coverage, which was by people who almost certainly think of themselves as liberal

            I am also trying to get a point bout the source of the problem. Its not just that there are conservatives who think these things (look at the stats I present of San fran or see stop and frisk in NYC).

            One can't have a fair justice system under the conditions we have right now in this country. The laws, despite what some other lawyer here claim, especially in a jury trial system, are written vague enough so that a jury can convict (which means its hard to undue what was done) or acquit (which means there's no way to undo what was done) based on race.

            That's true regardless of belief system,b ut right now , I wanted to focus on the liberals rationalizing these o utcomes

        •  Believe me, I'm not saying that race was (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          orlbucfan, codairem

          insignificant. It was at the heart of the whole killing. Had Trayvon been white, Zimmerman never would have followed him in the first place.

          But I did watch most of the trial on WFTV's live stream, and I have never seen an attorney as skilled as Mark O'Mara.

          He was far more familiar with every detail than were any of the prosecuting attorneys. His questioning of prosecution witness turned most of their testimony in favor of the defense.

          And he did it all in a very quiet, folksy way as contrasted with the yelling style of Bernie de la Rionda. He came across as more believable than Bernie.

          I don't like it. I wish that Zimmerman had not had O'Mara as an attorney. The State was wayyy over-matched in lawyering.

          Sucks for justice.

          Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

          by Happy Days on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:11:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My point, however, and this is key (8+ / 0-)

            its not about attorney skill level

            I discussing the emotional aspect

            Dealing with clients, this is something I had to learn the hard way

            Often what's going on has little to do with the laws for the lay person. I actually get this issues as a corporate lawyer in a different way. Because I am the black lawyer (rather than just lawyer advising my clients o n business issues , when they come to me, there's this part of them that at first questions and my re-affirm everything I say through another attorney, often a white one, if its something they don't want to hear.

            Lay people always bring all their baggage to the mix from my experience as lawyer.

            He could have been Darrow or the prosecution could have been perfect, and the key element that would have determined this case, according to the stats still would have still been race. That's the sad truth.

          •  I found him to be smarmy and insulting (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Patango, caul

            those oh-really's during closing were particularly annoying.

            "This is the best bad idea we have by far..." ~Argo

            by MsGrin on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 11:44:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  IMLO (0+ / 0-)

          You could almost say the Sanford PD who testified , along with the medical examiner , were one way or another bought and paid for by the defense team , their testimony was boarder line offensive , the klan runs deep there  

          But at this point , even if their testimony had been more competent , it may have not even mattered , since the prosecution could not even place one black person on the jury  

          Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

          by Patango on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 12:29:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Huge differences in the two cases (0+ / 0-)

          http://www.tampabay.com/...

          Dooley brandished his gun, which meant the SYG motion to dismiss was properly denied because Dooley was engaged in unlawful activity. Four witnesses saw what happened in this public park in daylight. Two witnesses testified they saw Dooley flip up his T-shirt, revealing a gun in his waistband, as he cursed James.

          The jury of two woman and four men was multiracial and took 90 minutes to convict. Besides manslaughter, Dooley was convicted of improper exhibition of a weapon and open carrying of a firearm, both misdemeanors.

          Killed an Iraq war veteran in front of his 8 year old daughter. Dooley had no injuries according to paramedics.

          A similarity is that Dooley was not arrested at the scene just like GZ and SYG laws need to be changed.

      •  Happy Days - I agree that the prosecution (0+ / 0-)

        was "out-lawyered" by the defense team. In our system of adversarial jurisprudence, its always a benefit to have the best lawyers.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:37:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I find it very odd also that (17+ / 0-)

      the jury took one day to deliberate and ran out the back door without speaking to anyone. I was also disturbed to read that someone said that the 'social pressure' on the jury would not allow them to find Zimmerman guilty and return home in peace.

      Something about the jury is very odd.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. - Elbert Hubbard -9.62/-8.15

      by GustavMahler on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:41:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, it's not good that the jury didn't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nellgwen, Eric Nelson, sethtriggs

        stick around.  Though they had no obligation.  I think I would have explained.  Someone owes that to Trayvon.

        He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

        by Publius2008 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:53:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It wasn't just that (6+ / 0-)

        Some of them shouldn't have been on the jury in the first place given some of their comments during the process for choosing a jury, but then, given the location of the trial, there was little chance that they weren't going to have an extremely negative view of people of color, or that they weren't going to have a strong view in favor of Zimmerman.

        •  Including the black woman? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          And if they had an extremely negative view of people of color, wouldn't they have convicted Zimmerman, who is clearly a person of color?

          I remember everyone here being excited that it was an all woman jury, because surely mothers would have more empathy for a teenager being killed.

          And as much as you don't like the jury in hindsight, you must admit it was not fair to the defendant either.  He did not get one indigenous or even white Hispanic male on the jury.

          •  Take a look at her biography (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BYw, Patango, caul

            Every juror there was pretty much sympathetic to the defendant's POV. And she was Black Latina. Not AA. Big difference of POV. I wasn't exited by this jury because of their actual biogaphy.

          •  Yeah (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            andalusi, buddabelly, caul, VClib
            I remember everyone here being excited that it was an all woman jury, because surely mothers would have more empathy for a teenager being killed.
            I was engaged in a number of conversations here in the days leading up to the verdict with people on this issue who were assuring me that because the jury was composed of women and mothers, that they'd think with their "heart" (as the state asked them to do), act on their mother's instinct, have sympathy for Trayvon and return a conviction.

            That went on right until the acquittal.

            Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

            by Pi Li on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 06:46:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Let me give you a practical read (6+ / 0-)

            on why anyone hoping for gender to matter don't get it. Clarence Thomas is black. It doesn't mean I think as a black man he's going to vote the right way on racial issues. The people making that judgement call you are describing were looking at the situation superficially, as superficially as those who think race didn't matter in this case. Finally a lot of that was likely wishful thinking. i undersgtand- i certainly had it as far as hoping the jurors would actually do their job-which was to look at the defendant's actual statements rather than the speculative what may have happened since that was entirely depended on believing the defendant's stor AND believing that the victim was realloy a threat to the defendant. Once you cut right down to it- the entire story rests on fear of a dead kid who they had no reason to believe (based on the evidence presented) was going to cause death to the defendant. How do they get there without racism fueling their image of black people? Not based on any physical evidence in the case. The best they could use was one witness who didn't even see the victim doing what the defendant claimed: which is using the side walk to kill him. And the many conflicting versions (including the impossibility with the gun) of why he feared for his life. Etc. It was all just too easy to believe a black kid had super human powers and was capable fo killing the defendant because the defendant said so although the defendant was a liar. That's all it really was that got him off. Belief that a black kid was superhuman based on the defendant's statements. The "doubt" is beliefs about race

      •  Sanford is a racist city so the trial should have (13+ / 0-)

        been moved elsewhere. Virtually no African-Americans live in Sanford because of Jim Crow real estate marketing. There is a primarily black community located nearby just outside of Sanford. Hence the makeup of a jury in Sanford is going to reflect the racial makeup of the residents there. Among the white residents of Sanford is a popular resentment against the black residents who live in the adjacent town and work in Sanford. (If you saw the movie "The Help" you will know what I mean.) This arrangement is typical of small southern cities so that it is normal for the white residents to automatically believe black people are genetically predisposed to be lazy and criminal by nature. This is "southern hospitality" for black people in the south.

        •  Sanford was a sundown town (9+ / 0-)

          Another diary reported that it once had a sign saying that all negroes (I'm not sure which word they actually used; this was into the mid-20th century) had to be out of town by sundown. This was not uncommon, both in the south and even the north. Apparently a few African-Americans, like Tracey Martin, lived in GZ's subdivision, so the town has been at least slightly integrated.

          •  Did you hear the joke... (10+ / 0-)

            ...about the black woman who was sentenced to 20 years in a Florida prison for firing a warning shot into the ceiling while being confronted by her abusive spouse?

            That's because it wasn't a joke.

            •  people were talking about this at church today (6+ / 0-)

              she shot a wall.  hit no one, hurt no one.  got 20 years.

              Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
              Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

              by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 05:31:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That was her mistake and what I preach at any (0+ / 0-)

                individual who decides to carry a pistol.

                I do, I am generally always armed unless specifically disallowed like in a courtroom or other...and here they have gun lockers....anyway...you never ever fire a warning shot for one simple reason, if the situation is serious enough for you to endanger innocents by pulling the trigger what with possible misses or pass through stray bullets, then the situation is serious enough to shoot the bastard.  

                If you don't have to actually shoot the aggressor, the situation was not serious enough to pull the trigger...

                Display to avoid conflict is one thing, firing warning shots just puts everyone around you in danger and does nothing to stop the situation...If a person isn't dissuaded by the sight of a firearm, the sound isn't going to do any better.

                If you are in danger shoot to stop the assailant.  Otherwise, keep your finger off of the trigger....

                Honestly with his record of DV and the threats made, she would have been perfectly in her rights to shoot his coward ass....I wish she had, she would be free, odds are, and there would be one less wife beating scumbag in the world waiting to inflict damage on the next poor woman who falls for his crap.

                If you can't bring yourself to actually pull the trigger when needed then never ever carry a gun or it will be worse than useless....It  might even land you in jail like this poor gal....or worse on a slab in the morgue.....

                Not even getting into the obvious disparity in charging, trial and sentencing....In my opinion it's a travesty of justice that she was charged at all let alone convicted but it boils down to do not pull the trigger unless you need and intend to destroy what you are aiming at......

                Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                Emiliano Zapata

                by buddabelly on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:33:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Her crime was to miss (0+ / 0-)

                  Under SYG, that's what it sounds like:  If you kill someone who you think might hurt you, it's okay, but if you miss, then you've committed a major felony.

                  What a fscked-up law.

                  (I am not disagreeing with you that warning shots are a bad idea, just pointing out the irony.)

          •  The signs I have seen said (7+ / 0-)
            Colored man
            Don't let the sun
            Set on you here
            I have seen a few of these over the years, most of them falling down or in pieces.  But the first I saw was in 1968.  I couldn't believe it. I still remember it. Three planks of lumber on two posts.

            The plank with "Don't let the sun" had a line drawing of a semi-circle with extended rays symbolizing the setting sun as  a graphic element both before and after the text. As if a little artwork enhanced the message.

            The sign fell down not too many years later, but it wasn't taken down. Last I saw that one, the weeds were growing over the slowly decaying wood.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:41:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sundown towns were more a Midwest thing (0+ / 0-)

            Southern-style racism allows blacks living in town, suppressing them in other ways instead.

            Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

            by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 06:55:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  otherwise - if the defense does not request (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coffeetalk, Catesby

          a change in venue how could the trial be moved? Our system of jurisprudence is structured to favor the accused. Are you suggesting that the trial location should have been moved because the community didn't provide a jury of Zimmerman's peers or because you thought the jury pool should have been more representative of the victim?

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:44:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, the town you are talking about (0+ / 0-)

          is called Midway.

          Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

          by orlbucfan on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 04:03:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You don't think there is racism against (0+ / 0-)

          native Hispanics in the same area?

      •  With some of the comments (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buddabelly

        I have been reading about them and what people would like to do to them (not here, I don't think), I think they made a smart move.

        •  and the Judge's instructions after the judgement (0+ / 0-)

          was read were very explicit that the jurors do not have to talk to a damn single soul should they choose not to.  It is their absolute right to never speak of the case again if that is their choice....

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:36:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Legal rights vs. moral responsibility (0+ / 0-)

            But this one who gave the interview... it's clear that the reputation of jurors as the only people too dumb to get out of jury duty is going to persist.

            "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

            by libdevil on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 10:14:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The better analogue is the Marissa Alexander case (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA, caul

      diaried separately, where she got 20 years for firing a warning shot in the air.

      I think the diarist is incorrect that the Dooley verdict definitively proves that Zimmerman would have been convicted if black.  No two set of facts, juries, judges, lawyers, tactics are exactly the same, so there can be no definitive conclusion based on that comparison.

      However, it is true that there is a high probability, based on patterns of many cases, including Dooley's and Alexander's, that African-Americans are much more likely to be convicted than whites in almost any situation.

      but I don't think it's helpful to overstate the case -- there is a very high likelihood of a different result if the races had been reversed (or even if they were the same race), but we don't know that conclusively.

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:51:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Upper West - the Alexander case is a travesty (0+ / 0-)

        but has no relation to the Zimmerman case, except the same States Attorney who has a reputation for overcharging and playing hardball with defendants.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:46:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It illustrates what statistics bear out (6+ / 0-)

          that there is not equal justice in treatment of blacks and whites -- both as accused and victims.

          The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

          by Upper West on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 05:14:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  kinda but not really, warning shots will get you (0+ / 0-)

            busted anywhere. see my comment above for a fuller explanation.....

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:37:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Busted doesn't usually mean 20 years (0+ / 0-)

              in that situation.

              The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

              by Upper West on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 11:21:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Not always (0+ / 0-)

              There was a case locally - guy in his auto repair shop late at night, hears somebody trying to enter, and thinking he's being robbed, he fires a warning shot.  The cops outside, who had noticed a cracked window and thought the place was being robbed, identified themselves and ordered him to come out.  He did, and once the story was sorted, they released him.  (I find that a small miracle, given how violent and vindictive cops have become, but perhaps there are some who aren't looking for any excuse to be dicks.)  The story doesn't have a completely happy ending though - the guy admitted to having some weed (why did he admit that - no idea), and so they arrested him for that.  But not for the warning shot.  Strange story all around.  I'll almost guarantee that the dude wasn't black though.  No mention or picture in the paper.

              "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

              by libdevil on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 10:19:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Today I saw a vdeo posted showing how racist ... (8+ / 0-)

    Our society is. The video can be found here:

    http://www.upworthy.com/...

    It really shows how racial profiling and systemic racism is prevalent in our society.  

    - Jeff US Army/Retired ... With a long enough lever one person can move the World! DoSomething-Anything.Info

    by l3m0n on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:41:53 PM PDT

  •  Great find. (7+ / 0-)

    On the parallel case.  I've been thinking along those same lines ever since this has been in the news.

  •  as i said last night (47+ / 0-)

    if zimmerman were black and martin had been white, we never would have heard of the case, because zimmerman would have been arrested on the spot, the trial would have been swift, and the penalty severe.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:53:57 PM PDT

  •  The law is vaguely written. Its entire (18+ / 0-)

    point is to allow the jury's prejudices to decide what the outcome will be.

    That's why I kept arguing with the people here who claimed to be certain of the law. How one can be certain of laws where similar facts can produce completely different outcomes is beyond me. But they kept claiming it was clear and simple

    the only thing clear and simple is the "fear of a black man walking in my neighborhood" defense.

    But like I said, for many reasons (not just this one, but also those related to the fact that I have spent the last 17 years in corporate America, in which I have to deal with racism of a different form) I am over this country. This was just a step that helped the train reach the destination of that conclusion.

  •  Sad (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kristina40, dclawyer06, rubyr

    That's all I I can say for this country.

  •  Disgusting. We are (5+ / 0-)

    doomed as a society until such time as this no longer occurs. How can anyone take seriously a "justice" system that is anything but just? A corrupt, vile system that protects only the wealthy and powerful sociopaths in our midst.

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:14:53 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for posting this case. (6+ / 0-)

    I hadn't heard about it before -- is it a surprise that the first place I'd read about it is DailyKos? :-)

    President Obama's words are healthy:

    The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy.  Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America.  I know this case has elicited strong passions.  And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher.  But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.  I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son.  And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.  We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis.  We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this.  As citizens, that’s a job for all of us.  That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.
    •  Yes, the President's words are healthy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem, Tonedevil

      and also, I think, he has pointed the way towards what we, as a society, need to focus on:

      And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.  We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis.  We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this.
      And what I'd really like to see is for his words to become an actual agenda for real actions.  The taking of Trayvon Martin's life is a tragedy and it is also a sign----a glaring, flashing sign----that our society and our system of justice are deeply flawed.  Now, we've just let things roll along for decades without continuing to make a truly just society become reality.  And it's time for our lawmakers and our judiciary system to listen to what people are saying and then to ACT.  We all know that the arrest, conviction, and imprisonment rate for people of color----especially black males-----has been flashing a warning signal for years.  I don't want to see Trayvon's murder become another lost opportunity. Our laws----like Stand Your Ground and concealed carry----need to be looked at and our legislators pushed (and I do mean pushed!) to DO something about them.  

      Specifically, I'm going to be looking for ways to get involved with laws that impact with disparity on minorities; I'm going to be searching for ways that I can get involved in helping to create a more just society.  We have lost our way IMHO in some pretty serious ways over the past 50+ years and it's time we got ourselves back on track.  WE have to make this happen.  Our legislators, our judiciary system, our treatment of minorities will NEVER change if we do not DEMAND it.

      "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

      by 3goldens on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:02:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought the President's words were (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, BvueDem

      gracious and appropriate.

      The is no question that the death of this young man was a tragedy.  And I have been hugely impressed with the dignity shown by Martin's parents throughout what must have been a horrible ordeal for them.    

    •  I thought the president's words were pablum (0+ / 0-)

      starting with: "we are a nation of laws."

      uh huh. As if that meant anything in this case, other than perpetuating a despicable history.

      It's like putting lipstick on a pig. "How can we prevent future tragedies like this?" NOT expecting this "nation of laws" to address the problem is a most excellent beginning.

      "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". –George Orwell

      by crescentdave on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:11:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can an appeal be launched to free Trevor Dooley? (9+ / 0-)

    This sounds like one constructive action that could follow from this travesty? Who decided the sentence in the Dooley case - and why was this example never referenced in any of the media coverage. I wish I could be shocked - but I'm just numb with the obviousness of flagrant racism on display.

  •  Okay, so SYG only applies (11+ / 0-)

    to white people.  Got it.  Check, check.

    This senior citizen was not let go.  He was arrested and they decided to charge him with manslaughter.  So what is the basis for the cops to decide whether SYG is applicable and when it isn't?

    •  And let me add that I think (11+ / 0-)

      if there is a pattern of convicting people of color and letting whites go under SYG, then the State of Florida should be sued under federal law that this crazy statute is a violation of civil rights under disparate treatment.

      •  I don't know how reliable this is, but here (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bruh1, costello7, caul

        are some data that show SYG effectively protects white people when killing blacks in all states where it is legal.

        SYG Data

        "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

        by ranger995 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:51:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's true across criminal justice system (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          orlbucfan, caul, Denise Oliver Velez

          Where  there's a white defendant, and black victim there's always a bias or disparity of outcome:

          Death row’s racial disparity, however, is not the result of race-neutral application of the death penalty or a perverse form of affirmative action to favor black defendants. Rather, a racial hierarchy clearly exists. Black defendants who murder white victims receive death sentences at the highest rate; white defendants who murder white victims receive death sentences at the next highest rate; and black defendants who murder black victims receive death sentences at the lowest rate.7 The hierarchy stems in part from prosecutors’ reluctance to seek death in cases involving black victims,8and eagerness to seek death in cases involving black defendants and white victims.9  Because black offenders nearly always murder black victims, reluctance to seek death in black victim cases reduces black death row populations and  more than offsets the propensity to seek death sentences for blacks who murder whites.
          http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/...
    •  I stand corrected. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranger995, caul

      He was initially let go, then arrested after an investigation by the Tampa Police when witnesses did not collaborate his story.  

      But the guy was followed by the victim and sought out a confrontation.

    •  It's stand "your" ground -- white folks' ground (4+ / 0-)

      When you stand ground, do you own the ground you're standing on?  If you're black in Florida, it's not "your" ground; it's white folks' ground, or maybe Cubans' ground, but not black folks' ground.  So SYG doesn't apply when standing on ground without standing.

      At least that's the way it seems to work.

      The concept at the heart of racism is "knowing your place".  As George Corley Wallace once said, before becoming enlightened by a bullet, "I love nigras... in their place".  Jonathan Haidt describes it as one of the five key conservative values, only two of which are also liberal values.  SYG is a way of enforcing that social rank.  Courts and white juries know it.

  •  Thanks, Vyan. Another excellent diary. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, Vetwife, Yasuragi, 3goldens, shanikka, a2nite

    Then there's this:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:22:42 PM PDT

  •  These cases could not be closer in their stories. (7+ / 0-)

    It is a clear example of racial bias, and how the law allows for it's use in Florida courts.

    It's disgusting.

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:28:49 PM PDT

  •  So, that's the bizarro Zimmerman trial? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    Well, that's... something.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:34:07 PM PDT

  •  But racism is only in the PAST! (10+ / 0-)

    We know this because the Supreme Court says so.

    /snark

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:37:53 PM PDT

  •  Wasnt Dooley originally charged with manslaughter? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, VClib

    Had the state originally charged Zimmerman with manslaughter instead of murder two, and built their case around manslaughter, the outcome may have been different. All that about whether Zimmerman intended Martin spite with the "fucking punks" comment, etc. would have been irrelevant in a straight manslaughter case, because killing with spite is not an element of manslaughter. As it is, manslaughter was almost an afterthought in their closing argument. Charging murder two, which was always a very difficult proposition under these facts, probably complicated state's case more than it needed to be.

    Yes, prosecutors overcharge all the time, but in this case it may have really backfired on them. Of course we'll never no, but I don't think it's unreasonable to conclude they'd have had a better chance of conviction had they charge straight manslaughter.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:49:44 PM PDT

  •  If he'd been black, and given his background, (5+ / 0-)

    he would never have been allowed to have a gun and would not have been allowed to be security patrol.

    The fact is, Z was ticking time bomb.  He still may be.  Reloaded.

    He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:50:42 PM PDT

  •  Here's a problem with this analogy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badlands, BvueDem, johnny wurster, skymutt

    Dooley was no innocent.

    Dooley also told jurors that he never pulled up his shirt to reveal a gun. He explained that he would never place a gun in his waistband, like witnesses had claimed, "because it's too close to my privates."
    Dooley's version of what happened conflicted with eyewitnesses.   I followed this story closely as it developed.  Dooley was a "Get off my lawn!" type of neighbor and he brought a gun to the argument.  An argument he wanted to have with teenagers riding skateboards on a basketball court.  Totally inappropriate.  What set James off was that Dooley flashed the gun in front of everyone.  

    Dooley and Zimmerman are alike in that both instigated trouble.  The comparative difference, far more than race, is that Zimmerman had the luck to have no eyewitnesses.  

    I think Dooley made a huge mistake and someone lost his life as a result.  And like Dooley, Zimmerman should have gone to prison too.

    •  You are missing the point. Both men are guilty (8+ / 0-)

      of the same thing. The only difference is the white guy was acquitted, while the black man was convicted.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:00:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, I'm not missing the point (0+ / 0-)

        You--and the diary--are oversimplifying.

        As I said, I watched this case closely.  The linked article is a poor summary of the case.

        I'm saying that race is secondary to the fact that one case had several eye witnesses, and the other case had zero.

        If Zimmerman had eye witnesses and was acquitted, then we'd be talking about similar cases.

    •  Read the story closely. (12+ / 0-)

      Even though Dooley might have flashed the gun, he turned around and started home. James CAUGHT UP WITH HIM, meaning James went after him and there was a struggle for the gun. James could have gone home and called 911 but it appears that he continued the conflict.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. - Elbert Hubbard -9.62/-8.15

      by GustavMahler on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:05:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correct and it brings up the question (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bruh1, shanikka, nailbender, caul

        what does SYG mean?  Does it mean that it only applies if some would be criminal is trying to attack you?  Does it mean if you get into an altercation and then the person tries to do you bodily harm, it doesn't count?  Does it mean that SYG is not applicable in domestic violence cases?  What about incest?  Does SYG not apply if you know the person?

        Does this law made any of this clear?  No it doesn't.  It leaves that to the subjective judgments of the police and juries.

    •  READ THE DAMN DIARY----AGAIN! (6+ / 0-)

      You're completely missing Vyan's point!

      JEEEZ!!!!!!

      People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

      by WFBMM on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:15:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jesus yourself (0+ / 0-)

        Read my comment closely and check the date stamps (adjusting for time zones). I posted my comment BEFORE Vyan updated the diary. Prior to that, the word "witnesses" did not appear in the diary, which I think was a critical deficit of the diary.

        I agree that O'Mara was entirely wrong, and I think his statement was one of the most despicable aspects about this case.  

        The diary's intent would have been more clear if it had instead started with

        He would have been convicted arrested and tried.
        Huge difference drawing parallels between the two cases, and a parallel I would have strongly supported.
  •  Agreed! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WFBMM, 3goldens

    We have major problem here in the USA.  The racism has corrupted us to the core.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:52:32 PM PDT

  •  What to do? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego

    What is a constructive thing to do here?

  •  Different -- eye witnesses (5+ / 0-)

    And they provided testimony that told a different story.

    In a day of anguished testimony, eyewitnesses who included the 14-year-old skateboarder consistently described Dooley as the aggressor who cursed his neighbor and flashed a pistol before a fatal struggle for the gun.
    link to story about the SYG hearing

    When Dooley shot James there were several witnesses that observed the entire event.

    Unfortunately, there were no eyewitnesses to the Trayvon Martin shooting so the prosecution could not provide credible evidence that proved the required elements of manslaughter or murder...or evidence to overcome the self-defense claim.

    •  That is true, but then the Zimmerman argument (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bruh1, a2nite, Eric Nelson, FogCityJohn, caul

      was always, "Does this person have FEAR" in their heart. Witnesses can't see that.

      •  That was never the Zimmerman argument (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pi Li, VClib, Catesby, skymutt, SoCalSal

        And yes, eyewitnesses WOULD have made a difference in the Zimmerman case.  

        The law requires jurors to evaluate the circumstances around the defendant at the time of the use of deadly force to determine whether a reasonable person - -given those same circumstances -- would believe that they needed to act to prevent death or great bodily harm.  From the jury instructions:

         A person is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself.In deciding whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.
        Witnesses CAN testify as to the circumstances surrounding the defendant at the time of the shooting, and the "appearance" of the danger at the time of the shooting.  Here, the defense argued that the "circumstances" at the time of the shooting were that Martin was on top of Zimmerman beating his head.  (Mr. Good and Dr. DiMaio supported that.)  If there had been three or four witnesses who said, for example, no, Martin got off of Zimmerman and was walking away from him when Zimmerman shot him, Zimmerman likely would have been convicted.  

        Eyewitnesses make a huge difference in a trial.  

        •  Ah, but a "reasonable person" (7+ / 0-)

          would never have been in GZ's position in the first place.  A "reasonable person" does not pursue someone they find suspicious and, as stated in his many, many different accounts of what happened, frightening.  A "reasonable person" stays in the fucking car when so advised by a police dispatcher.

          To believe GZ was rightfully acquitted, under the reasonable man standard that is the basis of our laws, you have to limit yourself to that one second before the death of Trayvon.  A more fair evaluation of the evidence is to look at the whole of the circumstance--where it originated, how it came to be.  It was not reasonable for GZ to follow Trayvon.  I believe the evidence shows that GZ confronted and initiated the altercation.  But even that doesn't really matter because no "reasonable" person would have gotten to that point.

          Put another way, the Zimm defenders want to parachute in at the moment they believe he was being beaten savagely (though the evidence does not substantiate that) and say "well what was poor George to do."  Quite opposed to what you're arguing, John Good did NOT testify that Martin was "beating his head".  He testified that he believed Martin was on top and Zimmerman, although he wasn't entirely certain, seemed to be the one calling for help.  He sprecifically said that he did NOT see Martin pounding GZ's head into the pavement.  Dr. DiMaio--a hired gun--could not testify to what happened because he wasn't there; all he could say is that, in his expert opinion, it COULD HAVE happened the way Zimmerman claimed.  It could have hapopened ca hundred other ways, too, he testified, but he didn't specifically consider those because he was paid by the defense to look at one scenario and say it could possibly have happened that way.  Not to get too deep into the weeds, but there is no way GZ's head was pounded repeatedly into the cement and he received only two small cuts, imperceptable bruises and no swelling.  Is it possible?  Maybe.  But the odds are about a million to one against it.

          I look at it this way: there is no way any reasonable person can parachute into that moment just before the killing shot because no reasonable person would have gotten to that moment.  I will never ever in my life have to worry about what I will do should some suspicious looking kid I was following be pounding me senseless because I would never think a kid of any color just "walking slowly" was suspicious.  And, even if I did, I would never stalk that kid and I would never confront that kid.  But Trayvon Martin was simply walking home.  I can put myself in his shoes because he was doing what a reasonable person would do.  Walking home, then trying to avoid and lose a stalker, not going home because you never lead a stalker to your home, and defending himself against a creepy ass cracker who never identified himself as neighborhood watch but who, instead (if you believe the testimony) tackled the kid without explanation.  You can only apply a reasonable man standard to a reasonable man.  Trayvon Martin was, George Zimmerman was not.  The unreasonable man killed the reasonable one.  GZ created a problem out of thin air, racial bias, personal paranoia and the problem he created resulted in the death of an innocent.  And, even if you did parachute into that moment, no reasonable man would assume he was about to be killed when his injuries consist of a boo-boo no bigger or deeper than a paper cut.  GZ belongs in jail.

          "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

          by costello7 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 04:32:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In fact, the speculation of what (6+ / 0-)

            could have happened (a process that allows the racist mind to wonder to what they believe about blacks) is exactly how OMara won the case because out that mind wondering, the defendant's actual story, still makes sense and is full of lies. Even the "he feared for his life" at the end part solely relies on belief that he feared for his life, but why should we believe that? No answer can be given other than 'no witnesses" which really doesn't help IMO the defender's case that this wasn't racism, since what's left is the imagination of the jury to speculate as the hired gun did rather than base their verdict on what the defendant's own statement said happened. The only way you get to where the jury got is to ignore the defendant's statements as far as them being inconsistent. There's nothing reasonable about that.  How can you know a liar actually feared for his life? The entire process of denial that Coffee Talk hides behind breaks down once you asked that fundamental question, and let me repeat it: How can you tell whether a liar feared for his life unless you believe him? The answer of course, which she will never say: they made assumption about the victim  since the whole premise at the end was not that the wounds were sufficient proof, but what might have happened. Might have happened being their fevered imagination about the victim. Nice way to hide behind process, but it doesn't make it less racial.

          •  This is not the law the jurors had to follow. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            andalusi, Samulayo, VClib

            This is what you said should have been done:

            To believe GZ was rightfully acquitted, under the reasonable man standard that is the basis of our laws, you have to limit yourself to that one second before the death of Trayvon.  A more fair evaluation of the evidence is to look at the whole of the circumstance--where it originated, how it came to be.  It was not reasonable for GZ to follow Trayvon.  I believe the evidence shows that GZ confronted and initiated the altercation.  But even that doesn't really matter because no "reasonable" person would have gotten to that point.
            In contrast,   This is the law that was read to the jury and sent with them to use in their deliberations:  
            In deciding whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used.
            That is the Florida standard jury instruction, and the instruction that both the prosecution and the defense in this case agreed to as an accurate statement of the law.  

            There is a separate law to address the claim of self-defense by someone who provoked the use of force against himself, titled "Use of Force by an Aggressor."  However, to be an "aggressor," or to "provoke" the use of force against yourself, the prosecution must demonstrate (beyond a reasonable doubt, like everything else) that you were the first one to do something "more than mere words or conduct without force" -- in other words, the prosecution must prove that you were the first to use or threaten actual force.  Anything less is not legally consider provocation of the use of force against you.

            Remember, during the charge conference, the prosecution wanted the judge to give the jury instructions about "use of force by an aggressor" on the grounds that, by profiling and following Martin, Zimmerman was an aggressor.  The defense, citing that case I linked to, argued that the law was clear that profiling and following did not make someone an aggressor, and did not provoke the use of force, under that case I linked to above.  The judge ruled that she would not give the instruction.  You can see that argument in the video here (it begins about 3 minutes in) and the two following videos.  

            The notion that "he started it by getting out of his car"  is contrary to the law that the jurors were instructed to follow.  

            •  "circumstances by which he was surrounded at the (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FogCityJohn, caul

              time the force was used".  Hmm.  What does that mean, exactly?  Does that mean just that one second you want to parachute into?  Or does that mean the totality of the circumstances that arrived at the point of the kill shot?  I suibmit that that is entirely open to interpretation and that the jurors' obligation is to look at the totality of the circumstances.

              I had a whole long thing I typed out, here, looking at every bit of evidence and such and it struck me that that was hijacking the diary.  So let me say this.

              If you just want to parachute into that one second before the kill shot, we're right back to the point of Vyan's diary.  Which is the black defendent who shot the white victim is convicted while the white defendent who shot the black victim walks.

              Even beyond these two cases, the pattern is clear...over many decades...all over this country.  Race and class are more often the decisive factors in our system of justice than are evidence and law (at least in any case where race or class is an issue).  Justice is not blind; it is most certainly racist.

              "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

              by costello7 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 06:32:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, the point was that there is a way (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                andalusi, SoCalSal, VClib

                to look to see who was the original aggressor -- that other statute I cited -- but that requires evidence of who was the first one to use actual force.  

                If you are doing something legal but annoying, obnoxious, horrible, etc., you aren't legally the aggressor, and so what you are doing does not become relevant for the self-defense claim.  

                The "start" of the episode under those laws is the first time someone uses force.  That's why the basic question, "Who threw the first punch?" matters so much.  The profiling and following -- not so much, because that's not illegal.  (I can "profile" and follow anyone I want as long as we are both in a public place.)  Illegality doesn't start until someone uses, or threatens force (like throwing a punch or pulling out a gun and pointing it at you).  That's when someone becomes the aggressor, and that's when it's relevant.  

                •  Do you think that law matches our reality well? (0+ / 0-)

                  It's a law that implicitly assumes equal power among the parties to a quarrel, and that there's no need to defend oneself before there's an explicit threat.

                  Are you content that the law applies justly to the following hypotheticals?

                  1. Truck with its lights off follows an AA youth at night. Drunk young white occupants scream racial slurs and say that "your kind" doesn't belong in the neighborhood. They pull over in front of him, pile out of the car, and block the sidewalk. The law, as I understand your description, is that the youth has to wait until someone makes an explicit threat before taking defensive action. In reality, would you say that the youth was or was not in immediate danger?

                  2. Woman is jogging alone. A man jumps out of the bushes and begins running after her. He makes some hostile remarks that aren't explicitly threatening. She crosses the street: he crosses after her. Whatever the law, I would personally approve of a decision on her part to pull out and use her pepper spray. Would you also, speaking as a citizen rather than as a lawyer? If so, do you think the law should be changed?

                  Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

                  by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 07:59:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  wish i could rec this an infinite number of times (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Denise Oliver Velez

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 06:33:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Speaking of parachuting in (0+ / 0-)

            Skydiving instructors repeatedly explain that the best way to handle all emergencies is "Don't get there in the first place".

            Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

            by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 07:42:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  That is something the diary failed to mention (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pi Li, VClib, Catesby

      Prosecutors can only deal with the evidence they have.  In the case involving Mr. Dooley, there were a number of eyewitnesses who contradicted the defendant's claim.  

      In the Zimmerman trial, the closest thing to an eyewitness was Mr. Good, whose testimony supported the self-defense claim.  Some forensics (Dr. DiMaio) supported the defendant's self-defense claim. There were no eyewitnesses to dispute the defendant's self-defense claim.  Had there been eyewitnesses to the actual shooting, as there were in Mr. Dooley's case, this might have been an entirely different trial, one way or the other.  

      The outcome of a trial is based on what the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  And they can only present to the jury the evidence that they have.  Our system of justice is built on what can be proven in court -- that is central to our notions of due process.   When there is evidence on both sides -- some supporting the prosecution and some supporting the defense -- that's generally reasonable doubt.  

  •  Thanks Vyan (7+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:59:03 PM PDT

  •  There are two things that are clear to me (10+ / 0-)

    1) Florida (specially Northern Florida) is a clearly racist society.  Other racist societies in the past found white killers innocent.

    2) "Stand Your Ground" laws promoted by the NRA and ALEC give racist juries a framework for acquittal.  BTW ALEC is part of the ubiquitous Koch brothers network.

    The racism is going to take time.  When the sickly large prison population becomes more representative of the overall demographics I'll start to relax.

    But perhaps we can do something about the  "Stand Your Ground" laws.  Just starting to think aloud.  I am still speechless after the verdict.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:01:54 PM PDT

    •  I agree with your about (4+ / 0-)

      laws promoted by the NRA and ALEC providing a framework for acquittal.  And I think one thing all of us could do is to go after ALEC.  I am sick and tired of the fact that this entity is writing our laws like SYG and then legislators are taking them to their legislatures and presenting them, in effect, as front people for ALEC.  Since when did we, the people, agree to outsource the writing of legislation to an outside group?!  I know that they "include" legislators in their sessions, but the fact remains that we did not elect these people and yet they ARE providing our lawmakers with legislation in final form before it's even handed over for discussion or debate within a legislature.  And our legislators (and we've got a load of 'em in Wisconsin) who are working FOR ALEC and NOT FOR US need to be held to account.  Allowing this group (ALEC) to operate behind the scenes has gone on far too long.  We need to make our politicians pay a price (like being either primaried or voted out of office) for their laziness and culpability in allowing this crap to even make it within the doors of a State Capitol.

      I wonder if it would be possible for our Action Team here at DK to develop a strategy and tactics for removing ALEC's influence on the creation of our laws.

      "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

      by 3goldens on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:14:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did you speak out for Nicole Brown Simpson? (0+ / 0-)

    The jury system is not perfect.   Here, I can't fault the system.   The prosecution put this case in poorly.  End of story.

    The patellar reflex is a deep tendon reflex which allows one to keep one's balance with little effort or conscious thought.

    by SpamNunn on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:05:04 PM PDT

  •  CNN mistake? NOT! (3+ / 0-)

    I just saw this on Twitter.

    GZ will eventually get what he deserves. Karma is a b*tch on a broom.

    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

    by WFBMM on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:11:17 PM PDT

  •  AA youth found guilty in deadly shooting (14+ / 0-)

    - his own

    That is the headline I would write if it was my job to write headlines. Iow's who was on trial here?

    Trayvon could be demonized.  Trayvon was turned, by this defense time, into the architect of his own demise..
    - Vyan
    What George Zimmerman Can Do Now - by Charles Pierce  July 14, 2013

    excellent follow up work Vyan

  •  Absofuckinglutely Beautiful! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, ranger995, costello7, Vyan

    Click the link on this tweet. You'll be amazed.

    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

    by WFBMM on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 02:31:35 PM PDT

  •  Just to be clear (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranger995, bruh1, shanikka, caul, amsterdam

    People have said the cases are different, that there were witnesses that disputed Dooley's account.  The same goes for Zimmerman's case.  The question the jury have to pose themselves is whether Dooley's guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  If there was a reasonable doubt in the case of Zimmerman, how could there not be in the case of Dooley?  The logic doesn't compute for me.  It's very obvious that cultural factors were involved.  

  •  Even after the update, there's still a problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, Pi Li

    with the point made in the diary, I think.  

    Here's your update:

    2:48 PM PT: I'm not saying these case are perfectly parallel - clearly there were more than a few eye-witnesses in Dooley's case - the point I was addressing was O'Mara ridiculous claim that with a similar self-defense claimed asserted if Zimmerman had been Black, that he wouldn't have been arrested or charged.  Even though there was initially a delay between the event and Dooley's eventual arrest, just as their was with Zimmerman - he WAS arrested, he was charged and he was convicted.
    Here's what I quarrel with, your title and opening of the diary:  
    We don't have to ask "What If Zimmerman had been Black?" We know the Answer.  He would have been convicted.
    And you use Mr. Dooley's case as support of the statement that if Zimmerman had been black, he would have been convicted.  I think that's disingenuous.  I believe that if Zimmerman had been black, with exactly the same evidence as was presented to the jury in this case,  the outcome would have been exactly the same. If you looked at the law as read to the jury, the prosecution did not present to the jury sufficient evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that at the moment Zimmerman fired the gun, he did not reasonably believe that he needed to act to prevent death or great bodily harm.  There was evidence (Mr. Good, Dr. DiMaio) that supported the self-defense claim, and the prosecution did not have enough evidence to disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt, as was their burden.   Conflicting evidence on crucial points generally means reasonable doubt.

    On the other hand, if there were (as there were in the Dooley case) three or four eyewitnesses who clearly saw the actual shooting and testified that Martin was NOT on top of Zimmerman beating his head when the shot was fired, I believe that Zimmerman would have been convicted regardless of race.  

    Perhaps you can argue that the fact that Zimmerman was Hispanic and Martin was African American played a role in the delay in the arrest, but the trial, I think, was about the evidence presented to the jury, and the prosecution's failure to carry its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  

    •  The trial was about a lot of things (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hester, FogCityJohn

      of which practicing the law in the criminal system was just one.

    •  You're very selective with your evidence (8+ / 0-)

      and, when necessary, you expand on what was actually there to fit your theory.

      Let me guess.  You give absolutely no credence to the testimony of Rachel Jeantel.

      Yeah, nothing racist going on there.  (whistling quietly)

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

      by costello7 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 04:39:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Certainly the jury could give credence (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        to Ms. Jeantel's testimony.  They were instructed to weigh the testimony of all witnesses under the same standard.  Under that standard,

        You should consider how the witnesses acted, as well as what they said. Some things you should consider are:1. Did the witness seem to have an opportunity to see and know the things about which the witness testified?  2. Did the witness seem to have an accurate memory?  3. Was the witness honest and straightforward in answering the attorneys'questions?  4. Did the witness have some interest in how the case should be decided?  5. Does the witness' s testimony agree with the other testimony and other evidence in the case?  6. Did the witness at some other time make a statement that is inconsistent with the testimony he or she gave in court?
        The jury could credit some or all of Ms. Jeantel's testimony, just like all other witnesses.  If they credit her statement that she heard a bump and possibly Martin's voice saying "Get off, get off," they have some evidence that something happened at some point which caused Martin to say that to Zimmerman.  I'm not sure that contradicts the testimony of Mr. Good (who testified to what he saw much closer to the time of the actual shot) and Dr. DiMaio (who testified based on forensics of the positions of the two at the time of the shot).  If they considered it inconsistent, then they had conflicting testimony from credible witnesses (Ms. Jeantel on one side, and Mr. Good and Dr. DiMaio on the other side) - which generally results in reasonable doubt.  

        Remember, the burden was on the prosecution to disprove the self-defense claim beyond a reasonable doubt.  Raising questions about the self-defense claim is not sufficient.  

      •  Don't waste your keystrokes. (5+ / 0-)

        This user is in total denial about racism.  You'll notice that she never, ever addresses the role it played in this trial.  

        She has, of course, praised the tactics of the defense, tactics which relied in no small part on trying to play upon stereotypes of young black men.

        But you're right, absolutely nothing racist is going on here.  After all, as Charlie Pierce said today:

        And, of course, this was not about race because nothing is ever about race.
        Remember, we're only discussing what the law requires.  Further, as we all know, the law is completely colorblind.  So what happened here clearly wasn't influenced by race at all.

        Now excuse me while I get back to selling this lovely bridge I own in Brooklyn . . .

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 05:49:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You're either a liar or deluded: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bruh1, caul, a2nite, amsterdam
      I believe that if Zimmerman had been black, with exactly the same evidence as was presented to the jury in this case,  the outcome would have been exactly the same.
      Because there's no way a black man in Zimmerman's position would have been treated the same if his victim were white.  

      At some point, your persistent denial of racism is going to make people conclude you're a not-so-closet racist.  Maybe you ought to go gloat about the verdict with some of your right wing friends.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 05:52:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh that is so sweet (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bruh1, FogCityJohn, caul, amsterdam

      i think you actually believe

      if Zimmerman had been black, with exactly the same evidence as was presented to the jury in this case,  the outcome would have been exactly the same.
      you actually believe that people would have looked at the evidence in the same way if the races of the defendants were switched.

      that's why I can't too angry with you, because I can tell you are stuck in lawyer-think.  it's like that old physicist joke where they have to assume perfectly spherical chickens.  in your mind you actually assume that a jury would consider the same evidence in the same way regardless of who the defendant is, in spite of all the anecdotal social psychology evidence that that is just not the case.  just as the eye can be fooled by what appears around it to see something that is not there, the brain's perception of truth can be manipulated by what is around it, for people to see something that is not there.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 06:47:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Empirical research, judges though, not juries (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TrueBlueMajority

        Send judges dummy sentencing folders, ask them what sentence they'd come up with given the information in the folder.

        Only, without any of the research subjects knowing that you've done it, some of those folders are identical except some subjects got the folder with a photo of a black defendant in it, others got the same folder with a photo of a white defendant.

        Collect the results and average them.

        With otherwise identical facts, judges averaged longer sentences for the black pseudo-defendants.

        Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:20:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There was a delay in arresting Trevor Dooley (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bruh1, FogCityJohn, caul

      just as there was in arresting Zimmerman.

      I would say this, eyewitnesses can have their own perspective on who is the "aggressor" based on who they think is more threatening to them.  Dooley had walked away and was leaving the scene when James pursued him. That's exactly the scenario that Zimmerman claims happened. Witnesses who agreed with James defense of the skateboarder are going to naturally feel Dooley was the "agressor", even if Dooley had already disengaged and was withdrawing from the conflict.

      Nobody testified they saw Trayvon "beating Zimmerman" - that didn't happen, only Zimmerman, who can't be trusted, says so.

      Here's the key thing to me, the defense brought on a witness whose sole purpose who to say some black kid burglarized me, as if to say this gave credence and legitimacy to Zimmerman's actions to "protect the neighborhood". There was no suggestion or evidence to say that kid was Trayvon, only the fact that (A) happened, therefore (B) is justified even if the actual culprit had already been arrested and released. Could you imagine, could you IMAGINE Dooley's defense saying "Some white guy got into an argument with some other neighborhood person once and therefore Dooley had legitimate fear - by association of this guy also being white and about 20-ish - that his life was in danger, even though it was a different guy?

      That didn't happen.  They didn't make that argument. They couldn't, but somehow Zimmerman's defense could.

      Now, we can both agree the prosecution had holes in the way they presented the case - i've written several diaries about that - and they may have legitimately lost because of their own failures and other problems with the evidence, but the point here is to address O'mara's contention that "Self defense is absolute" and this cases would never have been even brought "if Zimmerman was Black".

      The case would've been brought, even with a delay both times  - and without all the media hype - it was.

      If self defense is absolute, it's doesn't matter what the witnesses say or what their opinion is, that's subjective, all that matters is what the defendant Thinks.

      But we both know that's not how it truly is. Ultimately it's about what the jury is willing to believe.  They believed Trayvon was a threat and James wasn't.

      Vyan

      •  This is indeed the key thing: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dogs are fuzzy
        Here's the key thing to me, the defense brought on a witness whose sole purpose who to say some black kid burglarized me, as if to say this gave credence and legitimacy to Zimmerman's actions to "protect the neighborhood". There was no suggestion or evidence to say that kid was Trayvon, only the fact that (A) happened, therefore (B) is justified even if the actual culprit had already been arrested and released. Could you imagine, could you IMAGINE Dooley's defense saying "Some white guy got into an argument with some other neighborhood person once and therefore Dooley had legitimate fear - by association of this guy also being white and about 20-ish - that his life was in danger, even though it was a different guy?
        This is one of the most pernicious aspects of racism -- it makes black men as a group responsible for the crimes of individual black men.  Worse still, there need be no real resemblance between the description of the person who committed the earlier burglary and Martin's description.  It's sufficient that both are black men, and thus Zimmerman had a "reasonable" fear.

        As you point out, this sort of argument would never, ever work with a white person.  If a white guy had committed burglaries in the neighborhood, no one would (1) automatically suspect that all unfamiliar white guys in the neighborhood were up to no good, or (2) accept the argument that it was reasonable to fear a particular white guy merely because some white guy had committed burglaries in the neighborhood.

        Instead, if the burglar had been white, we would have seen a ferocious contest over whether the description of the burglar matched the description of the person who'd been shot because someone "reasonably feared" he might be the burglar.  There would be questions about issues like whether the two men were of the same height, weight, and build, whether they had similar hair color and hairstyles, whether they wore similar clothing, and whether they were of similar ages, to name just a few.

        You don't have to do that with young black men, who exist under a constant pall of suspicion.  You might say it's another variant of the idea that all black people look alike.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 01:03:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Zimmerman is 1/8th black (0+ / 0-)

    3/8 native Peruvian, and the rest apparently white.

    Anywhere in Florida, and I would say most of the country, people would take one look at him and describe him as "Hispanic", even though that term doesn't refer to race.  Lazy Americans.

    Now he has somehow become an honorary white on both extreme sides because it suits their narrative.

    I would argue that how cases turn out has less to do with the race of the accused, but has everything to do with the race of the victim.

    As happened here.

    But Zimmerman was acquitted in spite of clearly not being white.

  •  Couple of comments from a long-time (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catesby, bruh1, caul

    east central Floridian (Orlando is 35-40 minutes south of Sanford):

    #1- Racism runs rampant in this area. Hispanics are just as biased against Afro-Americans as whites and vice-versa.

    #2- If this country wasn't led around by the NRA and a sick popular culture that worships blood and violence, this trial would have never happened. Period. Why is it that you can get a lethal weapon easier and cheaper than a healthy meal? Why?

    A sad T and R!!

    Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

    by orlbucfan on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 06:27:04 PM PDT

  •  So which party gets to stand his ground then? (0+ / 0-)

    Trayvon was standing his ground, at some point, apparantly, because he was scared for his life, from an armed large man at night, who happened to be on drugs and have a history of violence.

    Just incredible....

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 06:38:34 AM PDT

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