Vigilante Injustice

If you live in Florida, ‘Stand Your Ground’ means that while carrying a loaded gun– you can stalk human beings as prey in your neighborhood. You can verbally and physically harass them. You can prevent them from the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness if you don’t like their face.

And, here’s the best part, lunatics, because when your human prey resists your twisted Gran Torino snuff fantasy to kill another human being, or “punks,” and attempts to fend off your delusional, creepo-advances, not until they begin adhering to the original Stand-Your-Ground law of kicking your ass in self-defense can you shoot them and claim “self-defense.”

I think they’ll even amend the law further, loosen it up a bit, seeing as how it’s working out pretty well, statistically-speaking, for people with a concealed handgun and a warped vigilante complex. The Tampa Bay Times reported:

• Those who invoke “stand your ground” to avoid prosecution have been extremely successful. Nearly 70 percent have gone free.

• Defendants claiming “stand your ground” are more likely to prevail if the victim is black. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white.

If you’re the defense, just go with the Reefer-Madness excuse, or the same defense you give when you shoot a dog that gets too bite-y.

And, while you’re at it, gun nuts in Florida, why not institute the same rule for food that you drop on the ground for your pick-a-punk vigilante shooting? say, the “three-second rule.” Like, you shoot someone, anyone, and if you call out, “1-2-3 Stand-My-Ground-Not-It!” and then say, “no backsies!” you get to have your victim stuffed at a taxidermist of your choice, paid for by the taxpayers, of course.

I get the impression that in Florida, if George Zimmerman had stalked Trayvon Martin with a military grade flamethrower and set him on fire, at a minimum he’d probably be in prison right now for arson, or felony damage to a wealthy landholder’s private property.

Think Progress notes that Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara said soon after the verdict was handed down,

“things would have been different if George Zimmerman was black for this reason: He never would have been charged with a crime.”

For the ever-loving life of me I have no idea what this was supposed to mean other than defense-attorney-for-scum speak to say, “smells like someone died.”

George Zimmerman said to dispatchers who had told him to mind his own business, “Fucking punks. Those assholes, they always get away.”

Understatement of the year?

This entry was posted in George Zimmerman, Guns, Racism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • 1933john

    Sanford is the Redneck Capital of Florida and women are redundant with the men.
    It’s long awaited pay-back for OJ.

  • blackdaug

    Apparently…the new dynamic is that, if we are not currently engaged in at least 3 unnecessary foreign wars, we will immediately set about destroying ourselves from the inside…as violently and quickly as possible.
    Can televised executions and gladiatorial games be far off? Now that human hunting has been codified for the masses? The “Hunger Games /Hand Maids Tale Variety Hour’…Monday nights on Fox!
    …or as Greely once lamented : “You can always pay half the poor to kill off the other half…”
    I don’t think he envisioned legally arming them so efficiently.

  • Brutlyhonest

    How incompetent does a prosecutor have to be to lose a case to a moe-ron that opens the trial with a terrible “joke”?

  • missliberties

    This law in Florida is the GOP’s dream come true. And it all happened while we weren’t watching. But Snowden……..! Police State.

    The harsh truth is the perception that is reality; black men are perceived as thugs and Trayvon Martin is in the wingnut mind a stand in for the President. Thus the unmitigated glee on the right.

    • Brutlyhonest

      My wife made the error of reading some of the comments on a “news” site. She didn’t grow up around the southern racists I did, so she’s still somewhat shocked by how open they are – especially on the interwebs where no one is going to punch them for being an asshat.

      • FlipYrWhig

        Then again, if someone did punch them for being asshats, they’d have the right to shoot that person dead in “retaliation.”

      • incredulous72

        Actually that EXACT situation happened here in New York a couple of days ago. Apparently a pissed off white male was at a bar/restaurant in The Village. He was lamenting about his wife/girlfriend leaving him and losing his job or something, and then he accosted an african american couple in the restaurant, said something to the effect of “You n$#!as are the reason I lost my job!”. He might have made another derogatory statement, and the african american male got up and punched him in the face; laid him out cold according to the other patrons, and then left the restaurant with his girlfriend.

        The african american male was taken into custody about a half hour later by police.

    • villemar

      The real victim here? Glenn Greenwald.

      http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/4047/18k1.jpg

      • missliberties

        Exactly. While some liberals obsess over the degree of purity they will insult you with, or what rules should apply for communal living in their utopian vision, the real world has slapped them in the face, because the right has been busy codifying a literal police state ‘stand your grand’ into law, while we weren’t looking.

        Honestly shouldn’t this be a wake up call to how ineffective purist liberal populism is. Not everyone from the South is a bigot, just as not all black people are thugs.

  • js hooper

    With that statement by Mark O’Mara…Zimmerman’s camp is literally taunting the black community.

    That’s probably the most absurd and offensive statement i could have imaged from an attorney after such an emotional trial.

    Absolutely disgusting.

    • muselet

      In addition to O’Mara’s inflammatory statements in his press conference yesterday, George Zimmerman’s brother Robert said this last night on CNN:

      “I want to know if it’s true, and I don’t know if it’s true, that Trayvon Martin was looking to procure firearms, or growing marijuana, or looking to make lean,” he told Piers Morgan and Don Lemon.

      It sounds to me like O’Mara and Zimmerman are trying to stir something up so they can claim, “Look, we told you those people were dangerous and violent, but you wouldn’t believe us.” If successful, it would certainly make a federal civil rights prosecution (and a civil lawsuit by Trayvon Martin’s family) more difficult.

      –alopecia

      • missliberties

        Translation: All black people are angry, scary and prone to be criminals.

        • muselet

          Especially when they’re wearing hoodies and armed with sugary snacks.

          But, as Charlie Pierce reminds us, this trial was never about race, because nothing is ever about race.

          –alopecia

      • js hooper

        GOOD LORD…i missed that because i refuse to watch CNN anymore. Unbelievable that the Zimmerman’s are going “all in” to smear Trayvon and are using the most blatant racial imagery possible.

        I’m literally shaking with anger over this.

        • missliberties

          And they want to prosecute the prosecuters for having the audacity to bring the case. Gag.

          • Badgerite

            Well, knowing what a second degree murder conviction required, they did over charge. I didn’t notice that they actually did ‘bring it’ as it seemed to be more of a show trial than anything else. And a show trial where they allowed the defense to put Trayvon Martin on trial instead of George Zimmerman. If they didn’t have the goods and weren’t actually going to bother to prepare witnesses, why go for so much. Something like reckless homicide, which actually seems more appropriate to the evidence they had, might actually have gotten them a conviction, the black community some sense of justice and not completely destroyed Zimmerman’s life. I think Zimmerman’s ‘victory’ will be and maybe should be a little bit of a hollow one. He was not some blameless victim. He had choices to make and he made some very bad ones. He should be aware of that and his defense attorneys especially be aware of that. A statement of condolences to Martin’s family would have gone down a hell of a lot better then letting their ‘inner racist’ out did.

          • missliberties

            The good news is that it exposes the rank biases in our culture. The defenses use of stereotypes to suggest that all black men are scary thieves, because a black man robbed a white woman in the neighborhood was pretty atrocious.

            The we need to have a conversation thing is not really working, if you look at the comments on Politico. Lordy. But perhaps the general public will see through the bs.

          • Victor_the_Crab

            You’re putting in a lot of faith into the notion that people will change. The people whose attitudes need changing the most are only going to have their beliefs vindicated.

      • Lady Willpower

        Remember now, these are the same people who want you to pay attention only to the facts. No speculation is allowed. No what if’s. No hypotheticals. Unless you hypothetically state that Trayvon was probably “up to no good.” Probably out to buy guns/procure weed/murder a white guy.

        All those kinds of speculations are OK.

        • muselet

          I saw a comments thread a day or two ago that followed exactly that pattern. Even people who correctly pointed out that George Zimmerman broke Neighborhood Watch rules—he followed Trayvon Martin, which is a no-no, and he was armed, which is a big no-no—got hooted down (Speculation! What-if! Forensic evidence!) by the same people who insisted, repeatedly, that Martin was the thuggish aggressor who had no business in that gated community and Zimmerman was a heroic hero who did nothing wrong.

          What the hell is wrong with people?

          –alopecia

          • Lady Willpower

            A lot of people, too many people, are happy that Trayvon is dead. They might not say it publicly, but they’re delighted that a “piece of ghetto trash” like him was taken off the street.

  • Scottsteaux63

    This whole mishegoss was a travesty from jump. GZ’s lawyers should NEVER have been allowed to put on a self-defense case because their client SMOKED his right to claim “self-defense” the SECOND he got out of his car and hunted down that unarmed child after the police dispatcher had told him in no uncertain terms “WE DON’T NEED YOU TO DO THAT, SIR!!!!!”

    • missliberties

      But the Florida Law goes to state of mind…. as in were you afraid for your life…. right before you killed the guy.

      People don’t understand how odious the stand your ground law is in Florida. It’s horrid.

      • Scottsteaux63

        I agree but I thought they disallowed “Stand Your Ground” in this case and that’s why they had to take it to trial. Had Zimmerman been allowed to claim “Stand Your Ground” it was my understanding that the case would never have seen the inside of a courtroom. Of course I could be wrong but as I understood it his self-defense claim was a fallback position.

        • missliberties

          I think you are right.

        • nasani

          Nope, the judge’s instructions included self-defense under the the “Stand Your Ground Law.”

      • nasani

        As far as I am concerned, “stand your ground” laws are the modernized version of the old extralegal “lynch law.” This time, white racists can lynch people (especially if they are Black and Brown) legally. Just as IDs for voting are a modernized version of the poll-tax/property requirement with a pinch of the “good conduct clause,” of the not so bygone Jim Crow era.

    • Badgerite

      Well, that is not really what they law says or how it operates.

  • muselet

    TPM reader DD today:

    I’m a criminal defense lawyer in Wisconsin, but I’ll tell you my reaction to the Zimmerman verdict today. I’ve had friends in Florida asking for my take. I haven’t watched the trial very closely (it seems like an ordinary criminal case to me in many respects). But I was astounded that the defense would put on a “self-defense” argument without the defendant testifying. In most civilized jurisdictions, the burden is on the defense to prove, at least more likely than not, that the law breaking was done for reasons of self-defense. I couldn’t figure out how they could do this without the defendant’s testimony.

    I got curious and read the jury instructions Friday night and, I was wrong. In Florida, if self-defense is even suggested, it’s the states obligation to prove it’s absence beyond a reasonable doubt(!). That’s crazy. But ‘not guilty’ was certainly a reasonable result in this case. As I told in friend in Tampa today though, if you’re ever in a heated argument with anyone, and you’re pretty sure there aren’t any witnesses, it’s always best to kill the other person. They can’t testify, you don’t have to testify, no one else has any idea what happened; how can the state ever prove beyond a doubt is wasn’t self-defense? Holy crap! What kind of system is that?

    I’ll never be able to read Carl Hiaasen the same way again.

    –alopecia

  • incredulous72

    Hey Brink,
    To be clear, Zimmerman was not allowed to use the “Stand Your Ground” defense.

    This law stinks to hell, but that wasn’t his defense at trial.

    And his defense team is absolutely arrogant, clueless and disgusting (West).

    • nasani

      Take a look at the Judge’s instructions.

    • mrbrink

      Check this out, as per judge’s instructions to the jury in the case:

      If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in anyplace where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony[…]

  • stacib23

    For the ever-loving life of me I have no idea what this was supposed to mean other than defense-attorney-for-scum speak to say, “smells like someone died.”

    For the ever-loving life of me I have no idea what this was supposed to mean other than defense-attorney-for-scum speak to say, “They kill each other all the time anyway. Who cares?”.

    • muselet

      That’s how I read it, too.

      –alopecia

    • nasani

      To me the meaning is very clear: Black lives aren’t worth s**t!

  • burbank_burt
  • Badgerite

    As to what O’Mara said: No, I think it was ‘God’s plan’.
    Is he kidding. If Zimmerman had been black and he had killed a white teenager who was dabbling in gangsta rap, are you seriously telling me they would have put the teenager on trial for causing his own death. The truth is black guy killing white kid = conviction. And he knows it. Black guy killing black kid? Harder to say. But black guy killing white kid? Oh please!

  • Badgerite

    Self defense. Zimmerman didn’t even have to go to the hospital. That is how threatening his injuries were. Trayvon Martin was shot through the heart. He had no chance for survival whatsoever.

  • D_C_Wilson

    He’s my prediction: George Zimmerman will kill someone again. It’s only a matter of time. Dodge City justice has just been sanctioned by the courts.

    Welcome to the NRA/ALEC’s paradise. Lock n’ Load

    • Badgerite

      No, I don’t think so. I actually think what happened in this case might be a deterrent to this kind of thing happening again. Who would want to go through this? Even if you are acquitted.

      • D_C_Wilson

        Because Zimmerman thought things through so well last time?