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  #1    
Old July 13th, 2013, 06:09 PM
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A Florida jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty.

Zimmerman, 29, said he was acting in self-defense when he shot the unarmed Trayvon Martin, 17, in the chest during an altercation in a gated community of Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. 2012.

He was not charged for 44 tumultuous days in which the case generated large protests in several cities, turned a hooded sweatshirt like the one Martin wore into a symbol of solidarity, and drew the attention of President Obama, who said, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

As debate over race, guns and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law swirled, a special prosecutor appointed by the governor announced April 11, 2012 that Zimmerman was being charged with second-degree murder – a move that his supporters said was meant to quell the public outcry.

Zimmerman pleaded not guilty throughout the case to the charges against him.

When the trial unfolded a year later, prosecutors argued the volunteer neighborhood watchman was a wannabe cop who “profiled” Martin as the teen walked back from buying Skittles at a 7-Eleven, and then followed him against the advice of the police dispatcher he called to report a suspicious person.
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This case has caused a media frenzy for over a year now. Thoughts? What do you think should have been the verdict?
  #2    
Old July 13th, 2013, 06:32 PM
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I thought this was absolutely unacceptable.

I didn't follow the case very closely, but I do remember that tons of the evidence was in Trayvon's favour.

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  #3    
Old July 13th, 2013, 06:36 PM
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Not that suprised really.

Murder 2nd wasn't going to stick, but I was expecting a hung jury over manslaughter.

Anyway, given the comments that many people made about what they would do if Zimmerman goes free, and what had happened before he was arrested, I'm expecting rioting over this though. I'm hoping that it won't reach the level that police are preparing for and some of the media predicting, but some rioting over this verdict is a very definite possibility.

Edit @ Purple Materia

A lot of people forget the part about reasonable doubt. If no reasonable doubt exists, then it's a guilty verdict. If reasonable doubt exists, then it's a not guilty verdict. As much as people hate to admit or realize this, a lot of trials pretty much come down to how good of a speaker the prosecuting attorney and defense attorney are.
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Last edited by Mr. X; July 13th, 2013 at 06:42 PM.
  #4    
Old July 13th, 2013, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Purple Materia View Post
I thought this was absolutely unacceptable.

I didn't follow the case very closely, but I do remember that tons of the evidence was in Trayvon's favour.
You remembered wrong. The prosecution's case had more holes in it that a block of swiss cheese. This innocent man has received justice today, showing that our legal system isn't completely lost... yet.
  #5    
Old July 13th, 2013, 06:38 PM
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MSNBC is up in a storm about it right now. Comments range from "justice was served, you f***ing commies" to "justice is now dead, you ****ing rednecks", among other things such as accusations of racism, someone singing Queen's "We Are The Champions", calling Florida the 'land of acquitted murderers', someone declaring it 'open season on blacks in Florida', to lauding/berating/death threatening the jury, and oh God, now people are bringing abortion into the picture (WHAT?).

As for the trial, I don't know whether I should agree with it or not. I honestly forgot about it until today, but apparently the media was really trying to whip people into a frenzy about this one.

It really doesn't matter what I think the verdict should be. What's done is done. That said, I agree completely with what this cop said:

Quote:
"We will not tolerate anyone who uses this verdict as an excuse to violate the law,” Sheriff Donald Eslinger said.
Remember the L.A. riots? Let's not go back to that again.
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Last edited by CarcharOdin; July 13th, 2013 at 06:56 PM.
  #6    
Old July 13th, 2013, 07:22 PM
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Certain political figures, such as Jesse Jackson and newsmedia outlets made accusations and overbearing speculation that incited outrage without proper legal examination.

Those who did not watch the court proceedings or understand the Florida criminal laws to which the facts of the case were applied should not be making any judgment calls about this jury's decision. Further, some who did follow the court closely had already been exposed to biases or only followed bias news summaries of the court proceedings.

This is truly one of the worst things that certain self-proclaimed civil rights advocates have done to racial relations in the United States in decades, as Carchar alluded to this issue. This case should have never centered around race, let alone have been a national concern.

And Purple Materia, you have exemplified this mindset. To believe one is guilty of a crime despite not being informed to make such a proclamation. It's an equivalent to humans in the past proclaiming that the Earth is flat because they just knew it and some of their acquaintance felt the same way. Evidence, or known truths and facts, allow for man to have a fair justice system, sentiments and speculation will bring us back to the Salem Witch Trials and a flood of injustice.
  #7    
Old July 13th, 2013, 08:30 PM
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Very happy with the outcome, it was definitely self defense. The media blew this case up so much, I will not be surprised if there are riots. But it was the right call, to me at least.
  #8    
Old July 13th, 2013, 09:04 PM
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Facebook is awash with Zimmerman comments.

Most of them about how someone is going to kill him, someone is going to kill the jurors. That kinda stuff.

Anyway, here's what I put on fb about it, since pretty much everyone else is doing the same thing.

And the Zimmerman verdict is in... Not guilty.

I was surprised on this one really. Not guilty on murder 2nd was no surprise, but I was expecting a hung jury over manslaughter.

Anyway, all the people raising **** about how the verdict should have been guilty, and how easy it should be to see that he was? They don't realize what the verdicts really mean. The verdicts are shortened to guilty and not guilty, but the full versions would be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and not guilty due to reasonable doubt.

Now, whats interesting about reasonable doubt is that the evidence doesn't always establish it one way or the other. While people believe or like to think it does, most of the times reasonable doubt is open to interpretation.

What reasonable doubt comes down to is how the attorney interprets the evidence. It's a sad fact but a lot of trials are decided by whichever attorney is the better speaker, or to some people, the better bull****ter.

Interpretation and reasonable doubt go both ways however - It's the prosecutors job to interpret the evidence to remove reasonable doubt and the defense attorneys job to interpret the evidence either preserve or create reasonable doubt. It's this reason why a lot of people have a dislike or hatred of lawyers and attorneys.
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  #9    
Old July 13th, 2013, 10:00 PM
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I dunno, grown man with a gun versus a kid. Unless Trayvon knew some crazy ninja stunts and pressure points and all that, Zimmerman had all the advantage in the fight, especially when it goes to the ground. Even given that Travyon was a young punk, I'm not sure when a gun should've entered the picture, but it did. That's my verdict >>
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  #10    
Old July 13th, 2013, 10:00 PM
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I am very happy with the outcome.

@Freakylocz: Zimmerman was given a stress voice test quite sooner after the shooting. He was asked if he confronted the man he saw lurking in his neighborhood and also if he was in fear of his life when he shot. Both results came back NDI, which means No Deception Indicated. And what that means is that he was telling the truth.

More evidence in Zimmerman's favor.. On the night of the shooting, when he was examined by medical professionals. He suffered a broken nose and scrapes on the back of his head. On Martin's autopsy, the only wound he had other than the gunshot was a cut on his left knuckle. So, from just these two small bits of evidence, he seems pretty innocent to me.

EDIT: Zimmerman answered No and then Yes on the stress test questions.










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  #11    
Old July 13th, 2013, 10:10 PM
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i have a feeling that truth indicators aren't always accurate

the jury wasn't wrong to make the decision. you can't say someone is guilty when there is reasonable doubt

the media paid more attention to this case than it should have
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  #12    
Old July 13th, 2013, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyl-icious View Post
I am very happy with the outcome.

@Freakylocz: Zimmerman was given a stress voice test quite sooner after the shooting. He was asked if he confronted the man he saw lurking in his neighborhood and also if he was in fear of his life when he shot. Both results came back NDI, which means No Deception Indicated. And what that means is that he was telling the truth.

More evidence in Zimmerman's favor.. On the night of the shooting, when he was examined by medical professionals. He suffered a broken nose and scrapes on the back of his head. On Martin's autopsy, the only wound he had other than the gunshot was a cut on his left knuckle. So, from just these two small bits of evidence, he seems pretty innocent to me.

EDIT: Zimmerman answered No and then Yes on the stress test questions.
And we're basing the outcome of the case on very shaky pseudoscience at best. Which is what polygraphs, etc, are. That's very reassuring.

And none of Zimmerman's DNA was found on Martin's corpse. And let's not forget Zimmerman pursued Martin preceding the altercation. You're not "defending yourself" or "fearful for your life" if you're the one initiating the conflict.
  #13    
Old July 13th, 2013, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Post
I dunno, grown man with a gun versus a kid. Unless Trayvon knew some crazy ninja stunts and pressure points and all that, Zimmerman had all the advantage in the fight, especially when it goes to the ground. Even given that Travyon was a young punk, I'm not sure when a gun should've entered the picture, but it did. That's my verdict >>
Zimmerman has grass stains on the back of his clothing and lacerations on his head which corroborated his personal statement which claimed that Trayvon had him pinned between his thighs with Zimmerman on his back, and slammed his head into the pavement, which, if I was in the situation, I might assume that great bodily harm or death could be bestowed upon myself. Thus, I should be able to resort to using a fire arm if under such conditions.

Zimmerman was wrong to disregard law enforcement not to question Trayvon about his apparently suspicious behavior, as even a witness on the prosecution had corroborated the suspicious behavior of walking through private property under the eaves of several homes in the night. Rather than casually walking home with some skittles from the store as several media sources had claimed.
Though, you cannot be charged with manslaughter on the basis that you were physically confronted when questioning someone engaging in suspicious, and yes, illegal behavior of trespassing on private property.

The whole idea that race was a factor in the media portrayal is preposterous. ABC even edited Zimmerman's 911 call to make him appear to be racially driven. Then, in court, they aired the entire dialogue, and the statement was completely altered. Who's to say Zimmerman would not have been concerned if a Latino or White young man had been behaving in that manner.

There was little to no physical evidence that corroborated the claim that Zimmerman was race-driven, was the aggressor, or used excessive force. In order to be found guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt requires around 75-90% of the evidence in favor of the prosecutor as the burden of proof. The prosecutor had less than half, his witnesses continuously corroborated Zimmerman's account or were self-contradictory. How can we convict a man of a crime when there is no evidence to support it? Like any case, high visibility cases tend to drive the public to label the defendant guilty prematurely. with the false reporting of media news sources, given that they were revealed as fabrications given the evidence shown in the trial, this contradicts what a proficient justice system should entail. Further, given the lack of evidence to charge, the fabrication and public outcry forced the arraignment, which would not have occurred without such fabrication and attention given there was inadequate evidentiary support.

The whole facebook hostility is ridiculous and undermines the justice system, and therefore the law of the land which establishes stability. There needs to be reforms made to newsmedia reporting and fabrication involving criminal proceedings. They should not have free speech to perpetuate false information. They may give any opinion they please, but the evidence and summary of proceedings cannot remain free of consequence as it detracts from the public good disjointing judicial outcome based on fact with sentiment based on sensationalism.
  #14    
Old July 13th, 2013, 11:01 PM
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I'm not surprised by this. I had a feeling he was going to be acquitted. Florida prosecutors can't prove ANYTHING. The only good thing now is that CNN will stop showing coverage of this trial. That's all they've been showing ever since it started.


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  #15    
Old July 13th, 2013, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
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And we're basing the outcome of the case on very shaky pseudoscience at best. Which is what polygraphs, etc, are. That's very reassuring.

And none of Zimmerman's DNA was found on Martin's corpse. And let's not forget Zimmerman pursued Martin preceding the altercation. You're not "defending yourself" or "fearful for your life" if you're the one initiating the conflict.
He got out of his truck to find what cross street he was on when he was asked by the 911 operator.

I'm not even going to get into it with you about your other statement. If the shoe would have been on the opposite foot you would be claiming how they should have just listened to the polygraph when he failed it. If you deny that, I would have to say you're the dumbest excuse for a human i've ever met.

Actually, I will go ahead and get into this with you. You claim it's a "pseudoscience" at best. But after it being tested multiple thousands, if not millions of times, with very favorable results indicating that it is able to be used to distinguish between truth and lies.. It would seem like it's quite a bit more than just something that has no proof to back it up.
  #16    
Old July 14th, 2013, 12:13 AM
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Actually, I will go ahead and get into this with you. You claim it's a "pseudoscience" at best. But after it being tested multiple thousands, if not millions of times, with very favorable results indicating that it is able to be used to distinguish between truth and lies.. It would seem like it's quite a bit more than just something that has no proof to back it up.
No, that's just plain speculation. Polygraphs don't have favourable results, in fact the NAS have determined that there is little basis that polygraphs have high accuracy. It's not quite a bit more than no proof, it's rectum-derived.

You can beat polygraphs by just being confident, or in his case, unconfident and worked up. Just because he was worked up does not mean he had a legitimate reason to be worked up. We all know people who get wayy too excited under stress for no good reason. That's why Zimmerman is described as overzealous, that he would see a kid as a threat. He's not lying when if he says he saw Trayvon as a threat, I'm sure he believed that. But his judgment would then be questionable.
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  #17    
Old July 14th, 2013, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by FreakyLocz14 View Post
You remembered wrong. The prosecution's case had more holes in it that a block of swiss cheese. This innocent man has received justice today, showing that our legal system isn't completely lost... yet.
Like I said, I didn't follow it. So I wouldn't really know.

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  #18    
Old July 14th, 2013, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by FreakyLocz14 View Post
You remembered wrong. The prosecution's case had more holes in it that a block of swiss cheese. This innocent man has received justice today, showing that our legal system isn't completely lost... yet.
The prosecution did fine. I do not understand the ignorant claim that the prosecution failed. The testimony of every medical examiner was enough to convict Zimmerman. He only got away with self defense because racism turned the case into a black kid giving someone a bloody nose (which was the only proven event of self defense in the entire scenario, and was in Trayvons/the states favour). Self-defense should not be an option for the one who started the conflict, especially when advised not to, especially when armed vs. unarmed, and most especially when they pursued the victim because of racial profiling.

But your right, Freaky, our legal system can't fail people it never was meant to, or intends to, protect.
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  #19    
Old July 14th, 2013, 01:30 PM
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One thing that I feel hasn't been mentioned in this thread...

Are there any witnesses? I haven't heard of any on the BBC or reading comments. If so, it is just the words of one man against a dead boy who can not defend himself.

Whilst there may be doubt that he can be convicted for murder, I certainly feel like there should be repercussions for killing someone. As many have said, this isn't clear-cut self defense.


Also:
Spoiler:
  #20    
Old July 14th, 2013, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyl-icious View Post
He got out of his truck to find what cross street he was on when he was asked by the 911 operator.

I'm not even going to get into it with you about your other statement. If the shoe would have been on the opposite foot you would be claiming how they should have just listened to the polygraph when he failed it. If you deny that, I would have to say you're the dumbest excuse for a human i've ever met.

Actually, I will go ahead and get into this with you. You claim it's a "pseudoscience" at best. But after it being tested multiple thousands, if not millions of times, with very favorable results indicating that it is able to be used to distinguish between truth and lies.. It would seem like it's quite a bit more than just something that has no proof to back it up.
Oh boy


There's a reason polygraphs aren't widely used anymore. Because, buddy, it's dated. News flash, it's not 1950 anymore. And it's very, very far from being a perfected science. It may be able to deduce deception to a degree, but not perfectly. That's a fact.

So no, if the shoe was 'on the other foot', I would not be basing the crux of my argument around a 90 year old lie detection method. Something modern and more fool-proof, like DNA, perhaps.
  #21    
Old July 14th, 2013, 01:43 PM
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Also:
Spoiler:
Yeah, I remember seeing that. That's why I'm unsure whether or not agree with this verdict, because I think with that it's safe to say that the sanity and credibility of Florida's judicial system is questionable at best.

I also have to agree that deliberately putting yourself into a situation where you have to use self-defense is a rather douchey move. So while Zimmerman didn't technically do anything illegal (at least not in the eyes of the Florida judicial system), his actions were still kind of morally dubious. He should've just stayed put like the police told him to.

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  #22    
Old July 14th, 2013, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Keiran777 View Post
The prosecution did fine. I do not understand the ignorant claim that the prosecution failed. The testimony of every medical examiner was enough to convict Zimmerman. He only got away with self defense because racism turned the case into a black kid giving someone a bloody nose (which was the only proven event of self defense in the entire scenario, and was in Trayvons/the states favour). Self-defense should not be an option for the one who started the conflict, especially when advised not to, especially when armed vs. unarmed, and most especially when they pursued the victim because of racial profiling.

But your right, Freaky, our legal system can't fail people it never was meant to, or intends to, protect.
Actually the prosecution withheld evidence: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/...,2426704.story

I'm glad to see he wasn't charged with murder, but this doesn't mean he's innocent of the death of a person. He has to live with that for the rest of his life, and no one should be able to condemn him for that.
  #23    
Old July 14th, 2013, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keiran777 View Post
The prosecution did fine. I do not understand the ignorant claim that the prosecution failed. The testimony of every medical examiner was enough to convict Zimmerman. He only got away with self defense because racism turned the case into a black kid giving someone a bloody nose (which was the only proven event of self defense in the entire scenario, and was in Trayvons/the states favour). Self-defense should not be an option for the one who started the conflict, especially when advised not to, especially when armed vs. unarmed, and most especially when they pursued the victim because of racial profiling.

But your right, Freaky, our legal system can't fail people it never was meant to, or intends to, protect.
It depends on your definition of starting the conflict - He approached Trayvon, but Trayvon 'apparently' was the one who threw the first punch.

That said, he 'got away' because his injuries supported his claims of self-defense. These injuries were enough to give reasonable doubt that he approached Trayvon fully intent to kill him.

This is what people forget - Reasonable doubt. They forget that if reasonable doubt exists then a juror is supposed to vote not guilty.

It's a failing all right - But not of the justice system. The jurors followed protocol for this case, despite what people say or believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwiftSign View Post
One thing that I feel hasn't been mentioned in this thread...

Are there any witnesses? I haven't heard of any on the BBC or reading comments. If so, it is just the words of one man against a dead boy who can not defend himself.

Whilst there may be doubt that he can be convicted for murder, I certainly feel like there should be repercussions for killing someone. As many have said, this isn't clear-cut self defense.


Also:
Spoiler:
In the court of public opinion he's guilty, but in the court of law he isn't.

As for the picture, people are ignoring a lot of things.

1 - She was convicted of assaulting him in the past, and ordered not to approach him.
2 - She violated this order when she decided to approach him. While it is true that she had a restraining order against this person, it's kind of hard to say that he was the one who violated it when she was the one who decided to drop by for a visit.
3 - She left the house, went to her car, got her gun and then went back in.

Self-defense is only applicable if you have a genuine fear for your life. She left the house and entered her car. At this point she is free from danger and could have decided to drive away. She instead decided to get her gun. At this point the stories differ, some say she shot randomly at the house (knowing full well that there were children inside) while some say that she went back into the house and tried shooting him (even though his children were in the same room) Still though, no matter the story she can't claim self-defense since she had already escaped the situation.

Is 20 years to much? I can't make up my mind on that. But because of her exiting the house and deciding to come back with a gun, she can't claim self-defense.
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Last edited by Mr. X; July 14th, 2013 at 02:08 PM.
  #24    
Old July 14th, 2013, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CarcharOdin View Post
Yeah, I remember seeing that. That's why I'm unsure whether or not agree with this verdict, because I think with that it's safe to say that the sanity and credibility of Florida's judicial system is questionable at best.

I also have to agree that deliberately putting yourself into a situation where you have to use self-defense is a rather douchey move. So while Zimmerman didn't technically do anything illegal (at least not in the eyes of the Florida judicial system), his actions were still kind of morally dubious. He should've just stayed put like the police told him to.

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  #25    
Old July 14th, 2013, 02:37 PM
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Well, I guess I am rather neutral on the outcome, given that the story was kinda overshadowed by other news stories here in Europe, but I cannot say I am exactly surprised by the outcome, though mildly disgusted that it even had to end this way for Trayvon Martin, who, even if he was the instigator, was punished for that in a way that was far beyond what he needed to get. Now, here are my careful, and hopefully not ridiculously wrong two cents on this.

In order to raise the issue of self defence in Florida, there must be some evidence that self-defence occurred in addition to any testimony given by the defendant (defendant testimony is insufficient). There must be some physical evidence or separate witness testimony that self defence occurred. If such evidence exists, then the Florida prosecution must prove it wasn't self defence beyond a reasonable doubt.

New York has a similar burden of proof setup if wiki is to be believed.

In most other states, self defence must be shown by "clear and convincing evidence" or "by a preponderance of evidence", depending on jurisdiction.

The below links kinda give an image of how the self-defence laws in Florida work in comparison to other jurisdictions, and why the burden of proof was with the prosecutors, who obviously did a shoddy job at disproving the self-defence claim beyond reasonable doubt. Basically, had this taken place in another state, Zimmerman would have probably been guilty...I think...

http://www.husseinandwebber.com/florida ... force.html

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_defense
RP's I am in:
Pokemon: Journeys Through Novia - Glyn Schaffer

"And they tell me there are people who are normal, but I don't know what they look like because I've never met one. And neither have you, so why not compare yourself to real people instead?"
"Three lives of a gamer: the first'll be your best, because you can always restart if it isn't; the second pales in comparison, and the game will cheat you out; but the third one's going to be better, because it gets do or die from then."

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