Religious Orders

Can't Take Much More

Posted: Thursday March 29 2012 @ 6:30am

Religious Order: Politics

I posted this on Facebook, as a series of comments. I think it's good enough to be a blog post:


I don't know if I can take much more stupidity surrounding the Martin shooting. But here are some tips to avoid looking stupid:

(If I get any of these wrong, please tell me.)

1) Things like Stand Your Ground are a defense, not a Not-Get-Arrested card. Think about it. How do we know Zimmerman reasonably felt threatened? Via sworn witnesses and other evidence. What's the forum for presenting that evidence? That would be a trial.

As long as there's enough evidence to get past a Grand Jury, he ought to be arrested. Zimmerman's disregard of the 911 operator and his own admitted chasing of Martin would bring enough doubt to his Stand Your Ground defense to get past a Grand Jury.

2) That photo of Martin with his drawers hangin' low and giving the finger isn't him.

3) Even if that photo was of him, even if he's a bad, bad kid, it still doesn't matter. Unless Zimmerman has prior knowledge of that, it doesn't support his claims of reasonably fearing harm.

4) Innocent Until Proven Guilty isn't a general rule, it's a legal concept. You can't point to it if Zimmerman hasn't even been arrested yet. You can certainly say that you think people should reserve judgement, but me thinking and even saying that Zimmerman is probably racist scum looking for trouble isn't violating some Innocent Until Proven Guilty right.

5) Arrest isn't the same as conviction. People are upset that Zimmerman hasn't been arrested. I don't think anyone is suggesting that he should be thrown in prison without trial.

(Now, afterwords, when people go fucking nuts that the case wasn't decided the way they think it should be and start talking about street justice, then you can complain about them.)

6) In the US, jails are typically where you hold folks before trial, if they weren't granted or couldn't make bail. Prisons are typically where they go if they're convicted. Saying you think Zimmerman should be in jail means you think he should have been arrested and not allowed bail. Saying you think he should be in prison means you think he should have been found guilty.

So, it's perfectly fine for me to say I think he should be in jail. But I wasn't there, so I can't say whether he should be in prison. (Pedantic, but important.)


Here's a great post arguing, convincingly I think, that the Stand Your Ground defense doesn't apply at all in this case.


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