Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

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addams
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby addams » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:07 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:Setting aside this specific case for a second, everyone here does acknowledge that the judicial system as a whole is demonstrably biased against black people, right?

Maaybbee.
Let us think this through.

Today is not 1960.
I think that today it is a matter of Class more than Race.

Inside the court room?
In 1960, inside many of our nation's court rooms a black person was sunk before the boat was untied from the pier.
That is not so much the case, today. It is more a Class issue. Justice is for sale or rent.

Of course, some people see dark skin and see red.
That is true of white skin, too. It's True!

Did a young man lose his life on the street because a hispanic man was prejudice against Young Black Men?
That totally could happen.

When our people come before our Judges in 2013, the judges are not blinded by skin color as was the case in 1960.
I think Dr. King's dream has come true to a large extent.

Class matters. Judges are blinded by Class. Some; Not all.
In cities, men and women of color may carry the burden of poverty and all the class distinctions that come with poverty.
In rural settings white men and women carry much of that burden.

I see this as both good and bad news.
Do ya' ever look at your own people and want to say, "Be more classy." ?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

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Some of us see The Gutter.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:15 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:CorruptUser, the defense theory is that Zimmerman was going to check a street address. The prosecution advanced the theory that Zimmerman followed and attacked Martin, but said nothing about a citizen's arrest. If you have some non-public information showing that he was attempting a citizen's arrest, it would have been good to share that with the prosecutors.

Otherwise, I can't see how such speculation is helpful.


Yeah, I've seen a lotta speculation, but at the end of the day, the verdict is "not guilty", not "innocent". Endless speculation is possible, but there's that whole evidence bit. The evidence we have certainly doesn't prove that Zimmerman is actually a murderer, so sure, he should go free.

CorruptUser wrote:I'm referring to before then, when he was running after Martin while on 911, with the 'fucking punks always get away' and all. Did Zimmerman even have a right to chase down Martin is what I'm asking. Because if not, he was menacing/harassing/something Martin.


Menacing requires you actually be a menace. Likewise, merely observing someone and briefly walking after them falls pretty far short of harassing.

I do agree that the expectations of riots seem somewhat blown out of proportion. Sure, any massively publicized case that goes the "wrong" way from the media perspective has a possibility of violent reactions, but it's not actually all that common. There's pretty much always a big media frenzy over SOME trial. Thing is, it seems almost...self serving on the part of the media. They make an event out of a case, often including misleading or incomplete reporting, as in this case, and eagerly speculate on the possibility of violence. Of course, since reporting on disasters is huge for the media, there's an obvious benefit for them, and it seems likely that they have at least some causal effect due to publicity, especially when it's inaccurate. Kind of unfortunate.

The entire case of the defense rests upon the idea that Trayvon beating Zimmerman is an acceptable escalation, but the shooting was not. Look, even if Zimmerman was nosing around, looking creepy or what have you, that isn't justification for a beating. I agree that discrimination can be a problem, but assuming that it is a problem here rests on generalizing from statistics to individual cases. That's not really a good idea. I can't assume that from a higher rate of conviction, that THIS case must be one of those that is injust without further supporting evidence. Realistically, I suspect that the discrimination happens in a much less flashy way, by way of apathy, etc. Poor public defense, for instance, is a huge problem, and I could easily see this resulting in discriminatory effects. Probably more so in terms of rich vs poor, but hey, that's acknowledged to be a factor.

Still, whatever we feel about discrimination overall, we must judge this case on it's own merits.

Belial wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:What evidence is there that Zimmerman instigated the fight, unless you're counting getting out of his car as instigation?


The part where he was stalking a teenager walking home, was told explicitly by 911 operators not to pursue, and then was inexplicably in a physical confrontation with said teenager a few minutes later.


You are misrepresenting the facts. First, the 9-11 operators suggested, not told. They went to some length to clarify that this is policy. "you don't need to do that" is not the same as "Do not do that". Both sides presented explanations for why the physical confrontation occurred, so portraying this as inexplicable just seems like you don't want to have to defend the prosecutions explanation.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Zimmerman was definitely charged with manslaughter, see the jury instructions above. I'm curious why you think he should have been convicted of it. Do you think the prosecution succeeded in excluding self-defense?


Manslaughter is a more defensible charge...the evidence for second degree murder is much weaker, I agree...but I also agree that there is a reasonable possibility of self-defense from the evidence we have to work with. Sure, we don't know for sure either way...but I think that the evidence in this case is such that Zimmerman is likely ok even in a civil case, where only a preponderance of evidence is necessary.

Requiring self defense to be proven by the defense is a bar that I'm not sure is desirable. The whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing is kind of essential to justice. The current system seems reasonable, and if someone wants to make the case that we should put a huge burden of proof on those defending themselves, I'd be curious to hear the rationale for why.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby addams » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:54 am UTC

by Tyndmyr
Still, whatever we feel about discrimination overall, we must judge this case on it's own merits.

No. We do not Have To judge this case.
This case was judged by a judge that got paid to do it.

We are gossiping about this case.
We don't Have To.
We want to.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:40 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Requiring self defense to be proven by the defense is a bar that I'm not sure is desirable. The whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing is kind of essential to justice. The current system seems reasonable, and if someone wants to make the case that we should put a huge burden of proof on those defending themselves, I'd be curious to hear the rationale for why.


This is pretty standard practice with any sort of affirmative defense, including self-defense, the insanity plea, fair use (in copyright law), truth (in slander/libel cases), etc. The essential logic behind it is that when you make an affirmative defense, you are introducing new facts beyond what is being asserted by the plaintiff, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate the truth of those facts. Generally, it's a pretty unreasonable standard to expect the plaintiff to prove a negative.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:44 am UTC

In 49 of 50 states, prosecution must disprove self-defense beyond reasonable doubt if there's some evidence suggesting it.
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:29 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:In 49 of 50 states, prosecution must disprove self-defense beyond reasonable doubt if there's some evidence suggesting it.


The United States' legal system is pretty messed up :|

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby addams » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:59 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:In 49 of 50 states, prosecution must disprove self-defense beyond reasonable doubt if there's some evidence suggesting it.


The United States' legal system is pretty messed up :|

LaserGuy;
It has been a rough fifteen years for some of us.

The legal system in the US was never perfect.
There were high ideals and romantic poetry written into the foundation stones of our legal system.

Remember; Our legal system was never perfect and it was always administered by frail and flawed human beings.

Policy papers and laws like the Pat Act do have an effect on the ground.
The last twelve years have seen implementation of sweeping changes in the fundamental laws of the nation.

I do not have a background in Law. Some folks around here do have a background in Law.
The law is not worth the paper it is printed on if law enforcement does not believe in the Law.

We have seen symptoms of Anarchy in the News.
We have also seen obvious corruption rewarded and whistle blowers punished and destroyed.

Yes. Your assessment is fair.
The legal system in the US is messed up.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:04 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:In 49 of 50 states, prosecution must disprove self-defense beyond reasonable doubt if there's some evidence suggesting it.


The United States' legal system is pretty messed up :|

I'm guessing 49 out of 50 states don't see it that way.
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Vash » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:16 am UTC

addams wrote:
setzer777 wrote:Setting aside this specific case for a second, everyone here does acknowledge that the judicial system as a whole is demonstrably biased against black people, right?

Maaybbee.
Let us think this through.

Today is not 1960.
I think that today it is a matter of Class more than Race.

Inside the court room?
In 1960, inside many of our nation's court rooms a black person was sunk before the boat was untied from the pier.
That is not so much the case, today. It is more a Class issue. Justice is for sale or rent.

Of course, some people see dark skin and see red.
That is true of white skin, too. It's True!

Did a young man lose his life on the street because a hispanic man was prejudice against Young Black Men?
That totally could happen.

When our people come before our Judges in 2013, the judges are not blinded by skin color as was the case in 1960.
I think Dr. King's dream has come true to a large extent.

Class matters. Judges are blinded by Class. Some; Not all.
In cities, men and women of color may carry the burden of poverty and all the class distinctions that come with poverty.
In rural settings white men and women carry much of that burden.

I see this as both good and bad news.
Do ya' ever look at your own people and want to say, "Be more classy." ?


If you look at statistics, there is definitely still a lot of racial bias in conviction and sentencing.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:28 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:In 49 of 50 states, prosecution must disprove self-defense beyond reasonable doubt if there's some evidence suggesting it.


The United States' legal system is pretty messed up :|


Care to explain why this specific standard is messed up?

The requirement for some evidence would seem to rule out the most egregious misuses, and certainly, I don't see a great deal of value in persecuting victims who defended themselves.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:08 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:In 49 of 50 states, prosecution must disprove self-defense beyond reasonable doubt if there's some evidence suggesting it.


The United States' legal system is pretty messed up :|


Yeah, we need to get the 50th state on board already.

Wait, did you mean that the burden of proof should not be on the state? That you are guilty till proven innocent? That there should be no benefit if the doubt? That it's better to imprison one innocent than let a guilty man walk away?


The thing is, people will say all the bullshit about how they believe "it's better to let 99 guilty men walk than convict 1 innocent", but do they believe it? Let's do some math. Let's say that a serial murderer has a 20% chance of getting caught. And that after having been caught and on trial, if set free a 90% chance of remaining a murderer. Meaning, each murderer will kill on average 4.5 people before being caught again. You have before you 100 alleged murderers. What percentage of them is the most that can be innocent? If you said even 1% is too much, you are saying that it is better to let 99 murders walk, the result being in this hypothetical scenario that ~444 more people will be murdered, and that's better than 1 innocent thrown in prison.

Feel free to fiddle with the numbers, and use those numbers to make a judgement call as to the maximum acceptable 'collateral damage'.

Why did I choose those numbers? Possible trigger.
Spoiler:
IIRC, rape has a 20% conviction rate. IF charged. And rapists, if not dealt with, usually continue.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:41 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:In 49 of 50 states, prosecution must disprove self-defense beyond reasonable doubt if there's some evidence suggesting it.


The United States' legal system is pretty messed up :|


Yeah, we need to get the 50th state on board already.

Wait, did you mean that the burden of proof should not be on the state? That you are guilty till proven innocent? That there should be no benefit if the doubt? That it's better to imprison one innocent than let a guilty man walk away?


The burden of proof for affirmative defenses should be on the person presenting that defense. The burden of proof for the plaintiff/state is to prove satisfactorily each of the elements in the definition of the crime in question. IANAL, but I'll point to the relevant Martin v. Ohio, 1987 case that looks at this matter in some detail.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:59 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:The burden of proof for affirmative defenses should be on the person presenting that defense. The burden of proof for the plaintiff/state is to prove satisfactorily each of the elements in the definition of the crime in question. IANAL, but I'll point to the relevant Martin v. Ohio, 1987 case that looks at this matter in some detail.



Why should the BoP be on the defendant and not the state?

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby kiklion » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:21 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:The burden of proof for affirmative defenses should be on the person presenting that defense. The burden of proof for the plaintiff/state is to prove satisfactorily each of the elements in the definition of the crime in question. IANAL, but I'll point to the relevant Martin v. Ohio, 1987 case that looks at this matter in some detail.



Why should the BoP be on the defendant and not the state?


Doesn't the defense have some BoP when claiming self defense? I thought that the defense needs to prove self defense by a preponderance of the evidence. Such that a reasonable person in the situation may fear for their life. In this case they had to prove that a reasonable person, being mounted by an aggressor would fear for their lives. They may have also needed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Martin was on top of Zimmerman. Then the prosecutor would need to disprove the defense beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:38 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:The burden of proof for affirmative defenses should be on the person presenting that defense. The burden of proof for the plaintiff/state is to prove satisfactorily each of the elements in the definition of the crime in question. IANAL, but I'll point to the relevant Martin v. Ohio, 1987 case that looks at this matter in some detail.


Why should the BoP be on the defendant and not the state?


So that the defendant can't just assert random claims that have no bearing on the case and force the state to disprove them all?

Affirmative defenses are treated as a separate issue from proof of reasonable doubt. They aren't mutually exclusive. It's a two-part test. First, the prosecution must establish all of their claims beyond all reasonable doubt. If an affirmative defense is launched, then the defense may establish, to within a preponderance of evidence, that there is some legitimate justification that renders the prosecution's claims invalid. If the first fails, then the defendant is acquitted; if the second succeeds, then the defendant is acquitted. Only if both the prosecution establishes their claims beyond reasonable doubt and the defendant fails to demonstrate that their actions were legally justified can they be convicted. As the Martin v. Ohio case above notes, even if the defendant does not establish self-defense affirmatively, that evidence may still be considered when accounting for reasonable doubt.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Lucrece » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:06 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:The burden of proof for affirmative defenses should be on the person presenting that defense. The burden of proof for the plaintiff/state is to prove satisfactorily each of the elements in the definition of the crime in question. IANAL, but I'll point to the relevant Martin v. Ohio, 1987 case that looks at this matter in some detail.


Why should the BoP be on the defendant and not the state?


So that the defendant can't just assert random claims that have no bearing on the case and force the state to disprove them all?


So that's unreasonable, but when a prosecution decides to throw a litany of charges at a defendant to see what sticks and scare them into pleading, somehow that doesn't seem odd to people. He must defend against all charges the prosecution may throw regardless of the merits.
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:46 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:So that's unreasonable, but when a prosecution decides to throw a litany of charges at a defendant to see what sticks and scare them into pleading, somehow that doesn't seem odd to people. He must defend against all charges the prosecution may throw regardless of the merits.
Well, the idea (I think?) is that it's up to the prosecution to prove each and every one of those charges has merit beyond a reasonable doubt, which creates a big workload on the prosecution for pursuing 'frivolous' charges.

That's how it should work in theory. In reality, I imagine it's not actually that hard to fuck somebody over via this method -- not, at least, as hard as it should be.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby ojno » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:55 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:The burden of proof for affirmative defenses should be on the person presenting that defense. The burden of proof for the plaintiff/state is to prove satisfactorily each of the elements in the definition of the crime in question. IANAL, but I'll point to the relevant Martin v. Ohio, 1987 case that looks at this matter in some detail.


Why should the BoP be on the defendant and not the state?


So that the defendant can't just assert random claims that have no bearing on the case and force the state to disprove them all?


So that's unreasonable, but when a prosecution decides to throw a litany of charges at a defendant to see what sticks and scare them into pleading, somehow that doesn't seem odd to people. He must defend against all charges the prosecution may throw regardless of the merits.


The burden of proof in affirmative defences is different because the nature of the claim is different. When you assert an affirmative defence, you are saying, "Yes, I did it, but I was allowed to, because... [x and y mitigating circumstances]." If you are presenting an affirmative defence, you are essentially admitting guilt, so 'innocent until proven guilty' does not apply, and still applies in other areas.

If the burden of proof were on the prosecution to disprove self-defence, no one would ever be convicted of murder if there were no direct witnesses.

Yes, I stabbed him while we were alone in that room, and indeed there is a mountain of forensic evidence that I did, but I had to. He came at me first with the knife I planted in-- I mean, the knife you found in his hand. Go on, disprove it.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:52 pm UTC

I think the distinction people are drawing between elements and affirmative defenses is a naive one. Some crimes have elements that look an awful lot like saying "Yeah, he did it, and he wasn't allowed to do it, either" - think mens rea, or the requirement that perjury be material. Indeed, sometimes we manipulate the elements of an offense, not because of some principled distinction between "being allowed" and "not being allowed," but because we don't like what the burden of proof would be otherwise. For example, (in many jurisdictions, at least) we made statutory rape and drunk driving into strict liability crimes because we didn't want the hassle of proving that someone knows that she's sleeping with someone below the age of consent or that she was actually impaired in addition to being above a certain BAC.

Y'all are acting like there's this context-blind determination of the burden of proof for actus reus, affirmative defenses, and so on, and then a value-blind sorting of things-to-be-proved into those categories. But, in reality, the elements of the offense are quite often determined in response to concerns about evidence; it's not a one-way relationship.

To tie this directly to the present case, why should we require that first-degree murder be proved "unlawful" and "perpetrated from a premeditated design," or that second-degree murder must be proved "evincing a depraved mind," but not require proof that either crime be "unjustified"?

ojno wrote:If the burden of proof were on the prosecution to disprove self-defence, no one would ever be convicted of murder if there were no direct witnesses.

So what you're saying is, nobody in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District Of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, or Wyoming has ever been convicted of murder without direct witnesses? Only in Ohio?
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:26 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:In 49 of 50 states, prosecution must disprove self-defense beyond reasonable doubt if there's some evidence suggesting it.


The United States' legal system is pretty messed up :|


Yeah, we need to get the 50th state on board already.

Wait, did you mean that the burden of proof should not be on the state? That you are guilty till proven innocent? That there should be no benefit if the doubt? That it's better to imprison one innocent than let a guilty man walk away?


The thing is, people will say all the bullshit about how they believe "it's better to let 99 guilty men walk than convict 1 innocent", but do they believe it? Let's do some math. Let's say that a serial murderer has a 20% chance of getting caught. And that after having been caught and on trial, if set free a 90% chance of remaining a murderer. Meaning, each murderer will kill on average 4.5 people before being caught again. You have before you 100 alleged murderers. What percentage of them is the most that can be innocent? If you said even 1% is too much, you are saying that it is better to let 99 murders walk, the result being in this hypothetical scenario that ~444 more people will be murdered, and that's better than 1 innocent thrown in prison.

Feel free to fiddle with the numbers, and use those numbers to make a judgement call as to the maximum acceptable 'collateral damage'.

Why did I choose those numbers? Possible trigger.
Spoiler:
IIRC, rape has a 20% conviction rate. IF charged. And rapists, if not dealt with, usually continue.


Assuming a perfect tradeoff between innocents being jailed and guilty people going free, that is indeed a hard sell. However, once you set up a justice system that is comfortable with innocents being jailed, you have created a problem that has the ability to grow...governments that take an attitude that the sacrifice of some of their innocent members is acceptable in the pursuit of law and order tend to engage more and more heavily in this behavior, often using a much more expansive definition of law and order than just stopping murderers. What's the expected value in innocent lives of taking a non-violent offender off the streets, hmm? There are a LOT more of them than there are murderers.

It's a bit like the case of throwing out evidence obtained illegally. In *that* case, it may lead to a sub-optimal outcome, but it provides value in keeping the system accountable, which avoids much larger failings in justice.

The Great Hippo wrote:
Lucrece wrote:So that's unreasonable, but when a prosecution decides to throw a litany of charges at a defendant to see what sticks and scare them into pleading, somehow that doesn't seem odd to people. He must defend against all charges the prosecution may throw regardless of the merits.
Well, the idea (I think?) is that it's up to the prosecution to prove each and every one of those charges has merit beyond a reasonable doubt, which creates a big workload on the prosecution for pursuing 'frivolous' charges.

That's how it should work in theory. In reality, I imagine it's not actually that hard to fuck somebody over via this method -- not, at least, as hard as it should be.


Agreed. The prosecutor typically has a lot more resources than the defendant, so they have something of an advantage here. Keeping the burden of proof on the side of the prosecution may not entirely mitigate that, but it certainly helps. Without that, the prosecutor would have a very significant advantage. Every burden of proof that is shifted to the defense shifts more power to the prosecution.

ojno wrote:If the burden of proof were on the prosecution to disprove self-defence, no one would ever be convicted of murder if there were no direct witnesses.


Direct witnesses are not a requirement for conviction, regardless of burden of proof. In fact, often, as in this case, direct witnesses can be contradictory and less reliable than many would think. Physical proof, circumstantial evidence, etc...there are many forms of evidence that can be gathered.

For instance, it's a little bit harder to argue that poisoning someone's food is self defense. Not impossible, depending on circumstance, but clearly, all manner of factors can play into likelihood of getting a conviction.

kiklion wrote:Doesn't the defense have some BoP when claiming self defense? I thought that the defense needs to prove self defense by a preponderance of the evidence. Such that a reasonable person in the situation may fear for their life. In this case they had to prove that a reasonable person, being mounted by an aggressor would fear for their lives. They may have also needed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Martin was on top of Zimmerman. Then the prosecutor would need to disprove the defense beyond a reasonable doubt.


That is the case with "Stand Your Ground" hearings. It's a pre-emptive hearing where, if you have the preponderance of evidence, you can skip the full trial. Pursuit of this is optional, and did not happen with the Zimmerman case. IMO, people who are trying to use this case to call Stand Your Ground laws into question are seriously reaching. It wasn't really central to the case, and self defense is a thing even without such laws. It is very likely that even without such laws, the outcome of this case would have been exactly the same.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:38 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Why should the BoP be on the defendant and not the state?


So that the defendant can't just assert random claims that have no bearing on the case and force the state to disprove them all?

If the claims are random and have no bearing ("the McRib is back!"), they won't support the defense at all. If they're relevant, then the defendant is within his rights to make relevant claims that would aid in his defense. In fact, the defense can make all kinds of claims in opening and closing arguments, relevant and irrelevant, but the jury isn't likely to find them believable if no evidence was presented to support those claims.

It'd be wrong to deny the defense the ability to make claims during trial that could aid their case.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:02 pm UTC

Holder vows to press federal charges.

It would seem to be a case that has a high bar to clear, though, as to demonstrate it as a hate crime or the like, you have to establish state of mind. The not guilty verdict at the state level would also seem to offer a lack of support for any such charge.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:13 pm UTC

Vowed to press forward with the investigation. That's different from a vow to press charges, i.e. to charge Zimmerman with another crime.
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:14 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Vowed to press forward with the investigation. That's different from a vow to press charges, i.e. to charge Zimmerman with another crime.


Fair...but the investigation started 'bout a year back, and we've had a full criminal trial, I can't imagine that there's a ton of additional information to uncover.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:16 pm UTC

Vowing things gets you a lot of likes on Facebook.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Belial » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:38 am UTC

It seems like, if the BoP is on the state to disprove self defense, it makes most murder unprosecutable. All you have to do is say "yes, I went to his house with a gun and started a fight with him but then he did something scary and I shot him." And it's essentially on the state to do the impossible and prove that isn't how it went down.

In reality, however, we tend to basically forget that it works that way in most cases. Like, for example, when a black woman fires warning shots at an abusive husband...
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby K-R » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:47 am UTC

Belial wrote:It seems like, if the BoP is on the state to disprove self defense, it makes most murder unprosecutable. All you have to do is say "yes, I went to his house with a gun and started a fight with him but then he did something scary and I shot him." And it's essentially on the state to do the impossible and prove that isn't how it went down.

Except for the fact that even if that were true, they'd still be guilty.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:59 am UTC

You can't generally start a fight and then claim self defense, unless you lie and say you didn't start the fight, of course. Zimmerman's defense kinda hinged on claiming Martin started the violence.

The other trial you referenced probably would have gone a lot differently if the only (living) witness had been the defendent and the forensic evidence was inconclusive regarding who started it.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:12 am UTC

Or if a number of other aspects of the defense claim hadn't been deficient.

That's not to say that there aren't examples of people being convicted in spite of plausible self-defense claims.
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby folkhero » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:21 am UTC

Belial wrote:It seems like, if the BoP is on the state to disprove self defense, it makes most murder unprosecutable. All you have to do is say "yes, I went to his house with a gun and started a fight with him but then he did something scary and I shot him." And it's essentially on the state to do the impossible and prove that isn't how it went down.

In reality, however, we tend to basically forget that it works that way in most cases. Like, for example, when a black woman fires warning shots at an abusive husband...

When you say "we" are you including the defense attorneys for people charged with murder?

If we take a step back and look at reality, we see that murder cases are successfully prosecuted all the time and self defense isn't brought up as a defense in a terribly large percentage of them. Now either almost every defense attorney that works murder cases is grossly incompetent, or self defense isn't really a magic spell that lets everyone get away with murder. I mean, I guess it's possible that Belial knows more about trial law than an entire profession devoted to it, [lawyers hate him! one weird trick to get away with murder] but somehow I don't think it's very likely.

And don't give me the whole, 'overworked public defenders don't give their clients a proper defense' angle because if claiming self defense was as effective as you are imagining, then it would benefit an overworked lawyer more than anyone. Two murder cases this week? Boom self defense, now they're both unprosecutable. Win both cases and get home in time for dinner.
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Belial » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:27 am UTC

What I'm saying is that it clearly isn't as simple as "prove beyond a reasonable doubt this wasn't self defense" because if so this is what we could expect to see.
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Chen » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:53 am UTC

The wikipedia article on the trial is surprisingly detailed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_F ... _Zimmerman). Most of it seems sourced pretty well too. Frankly after reading it I'm surprised it took that long for a jury to determine there was reasonable doubt. Perhaps it was because of the lesser included manslaughter charge, but for 2nd degree murder the decision is piss easy (assuming that article is actually correct of course).

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Thesh » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:31 pm UTC

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/11/justice/f ... sentencing

I'm not sure burden of proof is treated equally in all cases.
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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:41 pm UTC

Belial wrote:What I'm saying is that it clearly isn't as simple as "prove beyond a reasonable doubt this wasn't self defense" because if so this is what we could expect to see.

I think this is because the jury makes the final decision, and uses their subjective judgement rather than the objective law. Or, to put it another way, you can make an unsupported self-defense claim, but it's unlikely that the jury will believe you. Of course, this subjectivity means that a jury can decide cases based on their gut feeling that the aggressor was probably the black one.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:48 pm UTC

Belial wrote:What I'm saying is that it clearly isn't as simple as "prove beyond a reasonable doubt this wasn't self defense" because if so this is what we could expect to see.


That is your expectation of what would be seen. We disagree with your expectation, and thus, see no dissonance with the results in reality. Reasonable doubt isn't ANY doubt. Lots of cases are vastly simpler than this one. Sometimes there's a whole pile of witnesses that all agree on what they saw. Sometimes no struggle occurred, due to the manner of murder, and self defense is thus, very unlikely. Sometimes the killer is a few brain cells short, and gleefully incriminates himself.

Often, self defense isn't brought up as a defense for the simple reason that it's implausible. Much like the insanity defense. In certain cases, it does work, but it very definitely doesn't work in most. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is used in many aspects of law, and does not lead to your expected results elsewhere...why should it here?

Thesh wrote:http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/11/justice/florida-stand-ground-sentencing

I'm not sure burden of proof is treated equally in all cases.


Stand Your Ground isn't particularly relevant here. Zimmerman's defense opted to not pursue a SYG trial, and in fact, did not mention it at all. In addition, a SYG trial is a higher bar of evidence(in return for, if successful, skipping the giant mess of the full trial). It's a way to rapidly dispose of obvious cases.

The twenty year verdict in the case you reference is perhaps excessive, considering that nobody was hurt, but that's the breaks with minimum sentencing. Minimum sentencing is very different from SYG, though. Additionally, consider that intentionally firing "warning" shots aimed elsewhere than at the aggressor is a hazard to others. In this case, the shot was fired in the direction of a room with children inside. That's a bit worrying. The fact that she elected to return to the house is also bad for the case of self defense. In short, if you retrieve a weapon, go back, and shoot at the aggressor later, it sounds a lot more like venegance than self defense.

I do agree that setting the minimum and maximum to the same term is bad policy, but we cannot reasonably describe the sentencing as racism, etc. The sentence was fixed by the charge of aggravated assault, and yeah, I can see a pretty good case for that charge. It's a stupid system, but it's stupid because of ignoring mitigating circumstances at a systemic level, not because of race.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:44 am UTC

I'm really not a fan of the Young Turks (I dunno, something about the host -- grates me? Maybe that's unfair), but I liked this summary of his issues with the whole Zimmerman trial and what he found to be outrageous about it.

I don't know the details around this case; I'm not very well-versed in law. I think the thing that bothers me most -- in press coverage, in the discussions I see, and in general -- is when we keep moving away from the fact that a young man was shot and killed in a confrontation that absolutely did not need to happen.

I don't know if Zimmerman should be in prison. I do know that I would prefer to live in a culture where people do not think it is okay to arm yourself with a gun and proceed to stalk then confront a young man just because he's black.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:51 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I'm really not a fan of the Young Turks (I dunno, something about the host -- grates me? Maybe that's unfair), but I liked this summary of his issues with the whole Zimmerman trial and what he found to be outrageous about it.

I don't know the details around this case; I'm not very well-versed in law. I think the thing that bothers me most -- in press coverage, in the discussions I see, and in general -- is when we keep moving away from the fact that a young man was shot and killed in a confrontation that absolutely did not need to happen.


While true, that fact is so generalized that focusing on that alone doesn't get us anywhere. Certainly, it isn't of much use in determining guilt or innocence. Violent confrontations in general do not need to happen, yet not all of them are equal.

I don't know if Zimmerman should be in prison. I do know that I would prefer to live in a culture where people do not think it is okay to arm yourself with a gun and proceed to stalk then confront a young man just because he's black.


Stalk is not quite the correct word here. Stalking has implications that either do not apply here, or are wildly unproven. Did Zimmerman observe Trayvon, report on him to 9-11? Sure. That's not so much stalking as standard behavior for community watch folks. If they don't do that, what good are they?

I'm gonna watch and critique the video. I'm skeptical that it starts with proclaiming outrage, because claiming a need for rage of any kind tends to set off my hyperbole detectors. Anger and the like very rarely improve situations, and more moderate claims like "why the verdict was wrong" would be a more reasonable sort of disagreement in most cases.

First, the obvious skepticism over the "watch" is worrying. Yes, it was authorized. It would have taken the producers maybe ten seconds on google to figure that out. The skepticism and ambiguity is intentional, I think, in order to frame Zimmerman in a poorer light.

Next, they blame the cops. Well, cops showed up after all was said and done. They then took Zimmerman into custody, collected evidence, and interviewed witnesses. That's what cops do. They weren't there when the confrontation happened, and obviously could not have prevented it. Claiming that the police neglected to conduct a toxicology report on Zimmerman, and that this is always done in such cases is a little disingenuous as well. Toxicology reports ARE often done in unusual deaths....to the dead person. It establishes cause of death, etc. Zimmerman was not the dead person. The police don't routinely test everyone...even in cases of crimes...for illicit substances. They need some sort of reasonable suspicion, generally speaking, because police being able to test you for whatever without that would be kind of an illegal search issue. They're deliberately misrepresenting things again to try to frame Zimmerman in the worst possible light...because there isn't any evidence that he was drunk or high, and they had no warrant, they literally could not test him. You must also remember that at this point, Zimmerman had multiple injuries, so the police decision to turn him over to a paramedic was pretty reasonable.

Sure, Zimmerman wasn't formally arrested...because he was complying with the police. They didn't need to. They took his gun, took physical evidence, interrogated him at the police station that night, ran him through a lie detector test. The police were doing due diligence here. Criticizing them for NOT throwing the constitution away seems strange.

Describing him as "pursuing the kid" is also not reasonable, especially on the basis of the tape. The tape makes it quite clear that Zimmerman lost contact with Trayvon, and he continued to converse with the 9-11 operator. That's...not hot pursuit. That's a standard observe and report. We have no witnesses or other evidence of Zimmerman pursuing Trayvon at any time, so saying "we all know that" is...pretty terrible reporting. Also, saying "dispatch told him 'don't do that'" is demonstrably wrong. Dispatch said "we don't need you to do that". Zimmerman then said "ok". The fellow here is trying to frame this as Zimmerman ignoring instruction to go chase Trayvon down, but the exchange is nothing like that at all. Outright mis-quoting in order to describe the scene incorrectly is pretty terrible, especially when the dispatcher explicitly disagreed with this re-interpretation when testifying.

He then listed a lot of accusations against Zimmerman. Accusations are not convictions...shit, they're not even arrests. The case that police should treat you differently because of a couple old accusations that never went anywhere is pretty worrying. Yes, police should check out accusations. If they come to nothing, you should be treated like anything else. Incidentally, Zimmerman's actual record isn't perfect...the fellow in this clip COULD have legitimately cited an offense, but he didn't...did he miss it? Did he get all his information from a few minutes on twitter? Neither Trayvon nor Zimmerman have perfect records...but in neither case were their records really relevant. Did Trayvon smoke pot at some point? Yeah. So what? The histories of both were imperfect, but had no bearing on the current incident unless you really stretch for a connection.

People celebrating the acquittal? That's legitimate. It is different from celebrating death. The death happened the night of the incident. If you wanted to celebrate that, you did not need to wait for the trial to do so. No, folks celebrating the acquittal were probably mostly happy because of the acquittal. They saw it as justice being done. Certainly Zimmerman was happy that he wasn't going to jail, and no doubt his family and friends share the sentiment. I'm sure the same happens to defendants all the time...this was just publicized because the media has been following this case, and thus, the whole affair became a bigger deal.

Ah, then the reporter claims that Zimmerman had to be the aggressor. His evidence? "You'd have to be stupid not to understand that". Lovely. Insults are always such a convincing substitute for evidence. The physical evidence doesn't bear this out. The witnesses don't bear this out. Yes, we can't be absolutely, 100% sure...but when the evidence is pointing only one way, taking the other side and insulting those who disagree is not the intelligent response.

Describing it as "Martin resisted. They fought." is deceptive. Look, we learn about proper grammar early on partly because of these things. Martin resisted what, or who? That's an obviously incomplete sentence. Why are we trimming out all the context? Is it because the context makes your side look bad? Resisting is a word with defensive connotations...the idea that Martin was defending himself is very, very far from the claimed "indisputable". You've got a witness placing him pinning Zimmerman to the concrete, striking him repeatedly. Self-defense is not the only possible explanation for Trayvons actions there. Not even a very convincing explanation, even.

He then goes on to denigrate "Zimmerman's fanboys". Obviously, there's no pretense of objectivity here. But he goes on to say that they claim "[Trayvon] shouldn't have resisted". It's pretty easy to see bullshit claims when they use the language of the side they are not attributed to. Pro-lifers describe abortion rights advocates as "pro death", for instance. Abortion rights advocates do not, invariably preferring monikers like "pro-choice". In actual fact, googling "Trayvon shouldn't have resisted" returns absolutely no results. Anytime you get an absolute zero results from google, it is NOT what all the fanboys are saying.

Ugh, I'm not even halfway through the 11 minute clip, and this has already gotten obscenely long. I'm calling it quits on this terrible human being.

I suspect what grates you about the host is his attitude. He's strongly opinionated, and has this attitude of believing that he is obviously right. I also find that grating, especially when the person in question hasn't bothered to check...anything. In fact, it goes beyond negligence, because he goes beyond merely repeating untruths and lies, inventing wholly new ones. I don't know what more I can say, except that I believe intentionally inventing lies for the purpose of spreading hatred is perhaps among the closest things to true evil that exists in this world.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:37 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I'm really not a fan of the Young Turks (I dunno, something about the host -- grates me? Maybe that's unfair), but I liked this summary of his issues with the whole Zimmerman trial and what he found to be outrageous about it.


First I've heard of the molestation charges. Can't verify it in any major news source.

As for the whole 'the 911 operator said not to follow thus GUILTY', that is utter horse shit. 911 operators will always always always ALWAYS tell you not to follow, not because they are sending in SWAT, but because if the 911 operator says to follow, the city becomes liable.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:06 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:I'm really not a fan of the Young Turks (I dunno, something about the host -- grates me? Maybe that's unfair), but I liked this summary of his issues with the whole Zimmerman trial and what he found to be outrageous about it.


First I've heard of the molestation charges. Can't verify it in any major news source.


Looking around, it looks like it's something that didn't come up until mid-trial. "Witness 9" claimed that Zimmerman molested her for a decade. Given that this was unreported until the trial itself, it seems particularly silly to criticize the police for not finding it in their records. It wouldn't have been there at all.

In addition, it would require one to believe that Zimmerman started abusing her when he was eight, and nobody managed to find out about it. The timing of the reporting is also suspicious. Given that previous prosecution witnesses have admitted to lying in the course of the trial, I can't help but be skeptical. It's pretty recent news, and just an accusation, so it's really impossible to know for sure, but regardless, it was certainly not a viable reason for criticizing the police.

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Re: Your clothes were asking for it: Now in mens!

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:30 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I don't know if Zimmerman should be in prison. I do know that I would prefer to live in a culture where people do not think it is okay to arm yourself with a gun and proceed to stalk then confront a young man just because he's black.

Whoa, whoa. Just because he's black? No. He was black AND wearing a hoodie. Clearly dangerous.
Tyndmyr wrote:Describing him as "pursuing the kid" is also not reasonable, especially on the basis of the tape. The tape makes it quite clear that Zimmerman lost contact with Trayvon, and he continued to converse with the 9-11 operator. That's...not hot pursuit. That's a standard observe and report. We have no witnesses or other evidence of Zimmerman pursuing Trayvon at any time, so saying "we all know that" is...pretty terrible reporting.

Just because it wasn't on the tape doesn't mean it didn't happen. He lost contact with the kid while he was in his car. By the time the cops got there he had found the kid he had lost, exited his vehicle, and shot him dead. I don't think it's a stretch to say he pursued Martin.

This is also why Stand Your Ground is relevant. The jury was instructed that Zimmerman had no duty to retreat. So even if the jury decided Zimmerman could have gone back to his car safely, they were still instructed to ignore that when determining whether or not it was self-defense. We won't know how relevant this was in the deliberations until the jurors reveal that information, but it's possible it had an impact.


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