#1 Would *you* ignore instructions to a jury?
07-14-2013, 10:22 PM
- Join Date
- May 2008
DUers proudly claim that if they were on a jury they wouldn't vote to convict or acquit based on the law, but based on what they thought and felt.
Star Member MannyGoldstein (22,283 posts)
Would *you* ignore instructions to a jury?
Based on what I've read, it seems like the Zimmerman jurors were instructed by the judge to convict only if they were quite certain that Zimmerman did not fear for his life.
The standard was not something more reasonable, like "did Zimmerman do something stupid/evil that eventually caused Martin's death".
Given those instructions, I think many folks would have to say "yes, the scumbag could have feared for his life, even though the scumbag caused the whole thing by, well, being a scumbag with mayhem on his mind and a gun."
Tough situation for the jurors, I think.
I'm curious as to the thoughts of other DUers: would you override a judge's instructions because you thought the situation was bullshit and a higher justice should be served?
P.S.: I hope that the DOJ imposes real justice on the situation, but... I'm not holding my breath.Star Member Mr. David (333 posts)
1. In this case, I would.
And I'll be the lone holdout, and will remain convinced that he needs to be sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The defense teams are jerks. They proved nothing but lying their asses off.
You tell me that the jury chose poorly.
When I see this photo, it brings me to a tear because his justice was denied.NoOneMan (2,182 posts)
Regardless, I don't think they proved the average person should be in fear of imminent death or harm to excuse the murderStar Member ileus (9,488 posts)
3. As a juror you have the ultimate right to judge the law and defendant.Bonobo (21,358 posts)
4. In order to deliver justice, I would "interpret broadly". ntStar Member Avalux (29,081 posts)
5. Sometimes you just have to do the right thing. Yes. n/tStar Member pacalo (21,127 posts)
6. I wouldn't have to ignore those instructions because I don't believe Zimbo feared for his life.
I don't think he has any remorse for what he did.
I would not put aside my common sense in any murder trial.Star Member arcane1 (20,414 posts)
10. Bingo. He had a gun AND he knew the police were on their way.Star Member truebluegreen (2,375 posts)
7. With our alleged justice system? You bet I would.ctaylors6 (498 posts)
11. As sad as it is,
I think you may have just summed up the case the best I've seen or heard anywhere.
To answer your question, I'd like to think I would follow the instructions. Even in the face of cases like this, I think i'd like to think that it's better for a guilty person to go free than to make laws such that innocent people are more readily convicted. I would submit that there are many self-defense cases in which defendants did something lacking in judgment (but not illegal) and ended up in a position in which they had to defend themselves. (That's not a comment what happened in this case, just a general comment.)
That being said, I really think the immunity portion of the SYG law needs to be evaluated seriously.Star Member DirkGently (7,516 posts)
12. No laws say "Did so and so do something stupid ... therefore murder."
Think about that for a second. Imagine for a heartbeat that all the assumptions that Zimm is a bad guy (he is) and therefore set out to kill (no one was able to prove that) are not in play.
How many murder convictions do you want for someone that "did something stupid" where eventually there is a killing?
If a non-Zimmerman person, say, flipped off another person, do they then lose the claim of self defense if the flippee starts murdering them? Must they suffer whatever a person they insulted or shoved or annoyed wants to lay down, even IF they actually do reasonably fear being killed?
All of this nattering is based on a great big leap of logic. These particular facts, and the evidence available, got an ugly result.
But change the facts, and a different law would convict an innocent person.
I think the GUN was the out-of-balance issue here. Someone packing heat cannot afford to get into ANY violent entanglement. One cannot simply scrap or tussle or fight, with a gun, without the gun coming into play.
I can see a different standard set for concealed carry. One where they have to be more clear of having caused the situation then is usually the case. But the law itself is structured the way it is for a reason.Star Member MannyGoldstein (22,283 posts)
18. I believe stupid->death is involuntary manslaughter
At least in some states, but I could be wrong.Star Member DirkGently (7,516 posts)
21. Okay, but FL has that.
Our manslaughter statute is pretty normal too.
782.07 Manslaughter; aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult; aggravated manslaughter of a child; aggravated manslaughter of an officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic.—
(1) The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification according to the provisions of chapter 776 and in cases in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder, according to the provisions of this chapter, is manslaughter, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(2) A person who causes the death of any elderly person or disabled adult by culpable negligence under s. 825.102(3) commits aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult, a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) A person who causes the death of any person under the age of 18 by culpable negligence under s. 827.03(2)(b) commits aggravated manslaughter of a child, a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) A person who causes the death, through culpable negligence, of an officer as defined in s. 943.10(14), a firefighter as defined in s. 112.191, an emergency medical technician as defined in s. 401.23, or a paramedic as defined in s. 401.23, while the officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or paramedic is performing duties that are within the course of his or her employment, commits aggravated manslaughter of an officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic, a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Culpable negligence. I agree the facts may have supported that in this case. The jury apparently did not.Star Member Raine (20,327 posts)
13. Yes, I believe in juror nullification.Star Member rexcat (3,237 posts)
14. I have sat on a Grand Jury...
after that experience I would definitely ignore a judge's instructions if I sat on a local, county, state of federal jury, including a Grand Jury. Our judicial system is fucked up.Star Member ZombieHorde (24,453 posts)
16. I support jury nullification. ntStar Member jmg257 (4,943 posts)
17. Doesn't matter if Zimmerman feared for his life, mattered if that
Fear was reasonable...
I don't think it was.grasswire (37,168 posts)
19. it is the right of the juror to judge the law as well as the facts of the case.
That precious principle stands between us and tyranny.
It is called Jury Nullification.
The right of the juror to judge the LAW as well as the facts of the case.
I may or may not choose to exercise that right in this or any other case. But it is my right, as an American.
www.fija.org. Fully Informed Jury Association.PoliticAverse (5,955 posts)
28. 'Jury Nullification' is about refusing to convict someone for a law you think is wrong
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullificationotohara (21,765 posts)
20. Zimmerman Ignored The Cops
he wasn't facing the death penalty - so yes, fuck him.forestpath (2,572 posts)
22. In a heartbeat.Star Member Just Saying (1,192 posts)
23. I believe the jury is supposed to decide of a
reasonable person would believe they were in danger of death or grave injury not if Zimmerman thought it.
I think the jury's problem was trying to get their minds around a law that makes the prosecutors try to prove a negative beyond a reasonable doubt.Star Member MannyGoldstein (22,283 posts)
27. I don't think *reasonable* is the standard in FLStar Member BlueJazz (18,097 posts)
24. In this case, Yes.Star Member Nye Bevan (11,627 posts)
25. If I was a juror, I would be prepared to do nullification to free someone,
but I would never do nullification to send someone to prison.
I would be quite prepared to nullify in something like a medical marijuana case.Star Member Skittles (87,906 posts)
26. I am certain someone did fear for his life
problem is, it was NOT ZimmermanStar Member dflprincess (19,633 posts)
29. I would have thought that if Zimmerman feared for his life
he would not have ignored the 911 operator and gotten out of his vehicle and stalked his victim.G_j (31,490 posts)
and it's a jurors' right (and i would say duty) to do so.
07-14-2013, 11:25 PM
Fortunately, the prosecution, defense, and sometimes the judge ask potential jurors questions like crazy to try to weed out biased non-objective people.
07-15-2013, 12:13 AM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
Here's the problem. Even with the jury instructions, you only have the following relevant evidence:
1. 7-11 video: establishing when Martin went to 7-11 and what he bought. This begins the timeline and leaves a lot of time unaccounted for before Zimmerman sees him.
2. Zimmerman's 4 minute call to non-emergency dispatch, establishing that at 7:09, Trayvon was at the mailboxes, that he walked towards Zimmerman's car (about a minute), that he then broke out in a run, that Zimmerman got out of his car and tried to pursue him (15-20 seconds max), was told not to (by dispatch), said "OK", stopped pursuing (based on heavy breathing stopping), and didn't know Trayvon's whereabouts at the end of the call.
3. A two and a half minute gap between the time Zimmerman ended the call and the time the 911 calls from neighbors started, by which time, Zimmerman and Trayvon were on the grass in a fight. There are no eyewitnesses for this time period. No one knows what really happened here. This is the crucial time period for establishing who was the aggressor, and there wasn't any evidence about what really happened here.
3. Cell phone records indicating that Trayvon received a call from Rachel Jeantel's number a little before those 911 calls. There are no witnesses to that call (or none that came forward) as to what was actually said or as to who was actually on the phone. (If we take Judge Debbie seriously, someone else could have been using Rachel's phone.) Assuming Jeantel was telling the truth, she admitted under cross examination that she had changed her story of what Trayvon had actually said, after having been brought to Sabrina Fulton's house with the prosecution. This cast doubt on her testimony.
4. From 7:16 on, we have eyewitnesses to a fight in the grass, and one clear eyewitness, John Good, who saw Trayvon on top of Zimmerman, punching him in MMA style. Good reports that Zimmerman is screaming. This held up under cross examination.
5. Around 7:16:55 we have the gunshot (on a 911 call), and a police officer driving up to the scene seconds later.
6. We have the physical evidence of Zimmerman's injuries to the back of his head and his nose, and grass stains on the back of his shirt. We have the physical evidence of Trayvon Martin with grass stains on his knees. We have the ballistics evidence that Trayvon was shot while over Zimmerman and while his shirt was away from his body.
What is a jury to do with all this?
This was the only REAL evidence at the trial. The rest of it was emotion, smoke and mirrors.
07-15-2013, 07:39 AM
There's a good reason we call them DUmmies...May the FORCE be with you!
07-15-2013, 09:59 AM
I'm glad the vast majority of them are such lazy shirkers and/or have drug arrests so that they won't be sitting on juries anyway.
07-15-2013, 11:58 AM
I was on a jury once-it wasn't a murder case, but a home invasion case. It is really difficult to vote for a conviction, when you consider reasonable doubt. In a criminal court, that is a high standard. That means the juror needs to be convinced by more than 80-85% of the evidence.
In family court, we only need a "preponderance of the evidence" to remove children, which is a 51% standard. But family court is not sending adults to jail, they are deciding custody issues.
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