Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Zimmerman-Martin Thought Experiment

So suppose it was George Zimmerman, not Trayvon Martin, who was shot to death in Sanford, Florida.  Imagine a simple reversal: Martin was visiting the apartment complex, walking along, and realized he was being followed by an older, larger man.  The man got out of his car and started chasing him.  There was a struggle, Martin feared for his life, so he pulled out the gun and shot Zimmerman.  After a couple of days of uncertainty, Martin was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

And suppose that all the ambiguities of the incident remained the same.  There were no direct eyewitnesses.  A final scream for help could have come from either of them.  Martin claimed that he was underneath Zimmerman, his head bashed against concrete, but this is only a claim.  All we know is that a visiting black teenager shot to death a white community patrol volunteer, and that his defense is that he was “standing his ground”.

How do you think the jury would have decided it?

1 comment:

mike shupp said...

Jury wouldn't have heard the case. Martin would have gotten a pro bono defense attorney who explained the realities of the legal system to him, then plead Guilty to manslaughter II, and he'd already be in his second year of a 5-15 year jail term.