Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘Trayvon Martin’

Yes, “Stand Your Ground” Law Played A Role In Trayvon Martin’s Killing And Aftermath

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 15, 2013

Media Matters has the details:

In fact, Florida’s self-defense laws set the framework by which Zimmerman was tried, setting the standard by which the jury would have to determine if Martin’s death resulted from the justifiable use of force. Indeed, the jury instructions in the case specifically mention that “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 use deadly force. 

From the instructions

In deciding whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.

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.

Former State Sen. Dan Gelber, who was a leading opponent of Stand Your Ground’s enactment, noted on his blog that those instructions differed widely from the instruction that would have been read to a jury before that law took effect. At that time, jury instructions would have stated:

“The defendant cannot justify the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless he used every reasonable means within his power and consistent with his own safety to avoid the danger before resorting to that force.

The fact that the defendant was wrongfully attacked cannot justify his use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm if by retreating he could have avoided the need to use that force.”

Florida’s Stand Your Ground law also had ramifications on the case before the trial began and will continue now that it has concluded.

By the way, the SYG laws also will likely keep Trayvon’s family from getting justice even in a civil court:

Attorneys for Mr. Martin’s family said they are considering filing a civil lawsuit against Mr. Zimmerman, though they haven’t made a decision. “We’re still trying to make sense of the verdict in the criminal case,” said Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the family. “We’ll be talking about our options going forward in the coming days.”

Such a case would face high hurdles, legal observers say. Mr. Zimmerman can seek immunity from civil lawsuits under Florida’s so-called Stand Your Ground law–something his attorney said he planned to do. “In effect, there will be no civil suits,” said Tamara Lave, a University of Miami law professor. “If there is a civil suit filed, it will be dismissed, and future ones will be barred.”

But of course that’s exactly why ALEC and their NRA pals pushed these SYG laws.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Zimmerman Skates, Racists Rejoice

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 14, 2013

See this.

And this.

And this.

And then, this. A key excerpt:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said Sunday that President Barack Obama helped to politicize the Trayvon Martin case and the state never should have prosecuted George Zimmerman, who was found not guilty Saturday night of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

He said this on FOX News, of course. Home of the White Sheeters.

I’ll let Billie Holiday have the last word, in song:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

FOX News: Freedom=Slavery, Ignorance=Strength, Neo-Nazis=”Civil Rights Group”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 8, 2012

Right after we see John Derbyshire’s final (?) racist flameout, we are provided with yet more evidence of the central role of fanning racial hatred as a conservative modus operandi by the conservatives’ favorite TV network, FOX News Channel:

Wow. Breathtaking point of view from the editors at My Fox 35 Orlando (screencap 3:50 PM, 4/8):

Does anyone down there at FOX35 know how to use “the Google?” The National Socialist Movement is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

That’s FOX for you: either breathtakingly stupid or breathtakingly racist — or, quite possibly, both.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

John Derbyshire Gives Away Conservatives’ Racist Game

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 7, 2012

From the National Review’s and Taki Mag’s John Derbyshire (by way of a horrified Frances Martel at Mediaite), advice he suggests that white parents give their kids:

(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.

(10f) Do not settle in a district or municipality run by black politicians.

(10g) Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.

(10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.

(10i) If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.

(11) The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”

Need I point out that Derbyshire’s IQ maunderings are racist nonsense? Apparently I must, so here goes:

Myth: Intelligence tests are not culturally biased against American blacks or other native-born English-speaking people in the United States. Culture bias in IQ tests does not explain the difference in black-white IQ scores, a difference of approximately 15 points between the means of group distributions.

Reality: The idea that all “native-born English-speaking people in the United States” develop and live in the same culture is anthropological nonsense. Cognitive performance is never independent of culture any more than the way language is used is independent of culture. Linguistic structure, in fact, controls the way people think and learn, so that if linguistic structure is culture dependent, so also is thinking and learning. As for cultural bias in IQ tests not explaining the difference in black-white IQ scores, there is no hard scientific evidence to support any such idea — and considerable evidence against it. The notorious black-white IQ gap of one standard deviation (about 15 points), touted by genetic determinists to be independent of culture, was in fact substantially reduced between 1972 and 2002 — and it continues to shrink.

Another thing conservatives like Derbyshire ignore — because to admit it would require them to back environmental regulations — is that concentrations of lead, which are still higher in the inner city than elsewhere because of the prevalence of older buildings with lead paint, are harmful to the human brain:

Some people assume that lead poisoning went away with the total ban on leaded gas in 1995, 23 years after its phaseout began and almost 50 years after lead was first added to gasoline as an antiknock agent. National health surveys in the 1970s had revealed high lead levels among children and adults but showed a 75-percent decrease by 1991. As the tide of childhood lead-poisoning ebbed, there were declarations of victory; a 1995 Atlantic Monthly article hailed America’s “triumph over lead.”

But lead poisoning remains the most significant environmental-health disease of children; it is especially prevalent among inner-city kids. Even though environmental lead levels caused by gasoline have dropped, lead poisoning is a pressing issue now because we’ve discovered much more about its capacity for human harm.

Children from all levels of society are at risk of lead poisoning, but those at the bottom, who are more apt to live in older, poorly maintained housing, are most often harmed. African-American children have 2 1/2 times the risk of white children, and Latino children about 1 1/2 times the risk, according to the CDC. Ellen Silbergeld, professor of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, refers to this as the “ghettoization” of lead poisoning.


Lead can harm children before birth: It leaches from the bones of expectant mothers exposed during their own childhoods and crosses the placental barrier to enter the fetal brain. The May 2006 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives confirmed earlier findings that very low lead exposure during gestation may cause “lasting and possibly permanent effects” on a child’s cognitive development.

Lead’s deadliness has been known for well over a century. (It in fact is suspected of contributing to the decline of the Roman empire, as the Romans used lead to make pipes for plumbing and even prepared wine and wine-based drinks in lead vessels.) Yet paint manufacturers were still allowed to use it in this country up until 1978. Think of all the old buildings with old paint on them, and you get an idea of the size of the problem — a problem linked to income levels, not race.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Funny How Conservatives Aren’t Saying That Trayvon Should Have Had A Gun Too

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 24, 2012

Markos makes a good point:

Notice that conservatives aren’t arguing that Trayvon should’ve been packing? I wonder why…

Yeah, one would think that these ALEC-crafted “Castle Doctrine” and “Stand Your Ground” laws were meant for both nonwhites and whites, right? Or are these laws all designed to allow for open season by whites against blacks?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Funny How Conservatives Aren’t Saying That Trayvon Should Have Had A Gun Too

%d bloggers like this: