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#1 Dark Wizard

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 02:44 AM - 078321

For all you Americans, what do you think about the verdict in the George Zimmerman case? I know the case was very polarizing to the American public, please feel free to use evidence as you please to back up your points, and try to keep it as un-heated as possible :D

 

Link to the story for non-Americans: http://edition.cnn.c....html?hpt=hp_t2

 


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#2 Zygon

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 02:53 AM - 078322

Im just ashamed of the Verdict thats all....He killed a kid because he was threatened as an adult.....


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#3 Dark Wizard

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 03:04 AM - 078323

I will come out right away and say that the verdict disappointed me. I thought there was going to be some legal punishment for his actions and I felt that he deserved it granted the circumstances. That said, I can certainly understand why the Jury found him not guilty. The prosecution did not meet the burden of proof that is needed to establish that this was pre-meditated (something that would need to be established to get a murder conviction) and that he acted in a way to intentionally kill Trayvon Martin (something that was needed for a manslaughter conviction)  While all this is swell and dandy, my real problem rests in the Stand Your Ground law itself, which can be found here. In the law, or statute, there is no clarification on whether or not the law can or cannot be used in the case that somebody instigates an altercation. Obviously in this case the Prosecution was not able to establish without reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman did for sure begin the altercation that lead to the shooting, but some things that need to be considered here:

 

(for this first example please assume Trayvon Martin did begin the altercation)

 

1st: Trayvon Martin has the right to self-defense too. Let's be honest, you are walking alone at night, doing nothing wrong, and you notice a man following you. The man is about twice your age and certainly bigger than you. After trying to elude him he is still trailing you, doesn't Martin reserve the right to attack anyways? In my opinion yes, the reasonable assumption is that you are being followed by a stranger and that you might be mugged or worse. Zimmerman never identified himself (to my knowledge), it is a reasonable assumption to attack first for self-preservation.

 

2nd: Obviously we don't know who actually attacked first, but Zimmerman put himself in a position of danger. By following and approaching Trayvon Martin after the police told him to stay in his car he knowingly put himself into danger. No matter who attacked there would have been no problems if he waited for law enforcement. By stalking Martin he provoked the attack either directly (by physically beginning it) or indirectly (by making Martin fear for his life). This leads to my main point.

 

3rd: There is no provision in the Florida State law that safeguards people from provoking attacks and then using a self defense argument once the opponent gets the upper hand. This is an absolute abomination of a flaw in the actual law. While it is implied that it only occurs when in a defensive role, according to the law as written, Zimmerman could have systematically stalked Martin and knowingly thrown the first punch and then once Martin hit back he had the full force of law behind him to shoot.

 

No matter the verdict it is tragic that a young mans life had to end, and I certainly hold no malice towards the Jury because by the law I don't see any real crime. So in summary my issue is with the legal system and law code, not the actual case itself. 


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#4 TankKiller

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 08:03 AM - 078324

Angry, armed man follows kid returning home from the shop down an alleyway at night and shoots him, and gets away entirely free?

I dun unnerstand.


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#5 Zygon

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:58 PM - 078325

DW that was well put and really i have to agree with that because you need to be punished for a murder and to add to that it was a minor.


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#6 Gandorian

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 02:58 PM - 078326

What happened was tragic, no doubt. No matter how suspicious TM looked to GZ, it certainly would have been best if he would have not pursued toward TM. That being said, there was near the evidence needed to convict GZ of just about anything. As far as DW's post, here's what I think...

1. Most expert testimony showed TM was much more athletic than GZ, and GZ wasn't as big as he is today. He gained over 100 pounds since the indecent happened. Because your being followed doesn't give you a right to physically attack someone. The question is why didn't he call 911 if he was in fear of being attacked. GM did call call 911 fearing TM was up to something. If he just intended to hurt TM, there was no reason he would have first called 911. If you listen to the 911 call, Zimmerman was preparing to meet the police when they arrived. Less than three minutes later the altercation happened.

2. GZ, obviously took his position as neighborhood watchman coordinator very seriously, especially with all the recent break-ins. Crimes committed in the gated community in the year prior to TM's death included eight burglaries, nine thefts, and one shooting. Residents were on record as saying there were dozens of reports of attempted break-ins, which they said had created an atmosphere of fear in their neighborhood. In fact the police were called to the community complex 402 times within that year, 7 times by GM (5 of which he said there was suspicious activity). That being said, no doubt- he should have stayed in his truck. But, he would have been found guilty if there was evidence he started the altercation- there simply wasn't any. In fact, what we do know is the best witness, who had the best view, saw TM on top of GM beating him (with injuries corroborating it).

3. From what I understand, the response to being attacked should be proportional. You can use deadly force if you feel your life is in danger. Also, the "stand your ground law" was not cited in the trail.

I believe GM acted stupid. Even if he believed TM was up to something, he shouldn't have pursued him. But remember, he did call the police, and was waiting for them when it happened. While GM was talking to police, he said TM was walking toward him, and then went the other way. With all the break-ins he said "they all get away", so he followed waiting for the police to call him as soon as they got there. In those three minutes after the call when he was expecting the police, there was no evidence GZ started the fight, only that there was a fight and TM was on top of GM beating him. GM made a bad decision, but so did TM when he didn't call 911 (as GM did), and didn't run away to his father's house (70 yards away), instead of confronting GZ. It's bad all the way around, and the fact TM is dead is the worst.


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#7 Dark Wizard

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 03:49 PM - 078327

1. Most expert testimony showed TM was much more athletic than GZ, and GZ wasn't as big as he is today. He gained over 100 pounds since the indecent happened. Because your being followed doesn't give you a right to physically attack someone. The question is why didn't he call 911 if he was in fear of being attacked. GM did call call 911 fearing TM was up to something. If he just intended to hurt TM, there was no reason he would have first called 911. If you listen to the 911 call, Zimmerman was preparing to meet the police when they arrived. Less than three minutes later the altercation happened.

 

I agree that there is no self defense argument for TM but in all honesty put yourself in his shoes.Yes, he could have called 911, but really are the police going to come to his rescue in a gated community that wasn't his in the middle of a rainy night, they would make the same assumptions as GZ did. I'm speaking as a younger guy, if I was minding my own business and somebody started following me, I would eventually attack him too. 

 

2. GZ, obviously took his position as neighborhood watchman coordinator very seriously, especially with all the recent break-ins. Crimes committed in the gated community in the year prior to TM's death included eight burglaries, nine thefts, and one shooting. Residents were on record as saying there were dozens of reports of attempted break-ins, which they said had created an atmosphere of fear in their neighborhood. In fact the police were called to the community complex 402 times within that year, 7 times by GM (5 of which he said there was suspicious activity). That being said, no doubt- he should have stayed in his truck. But, he would have been found guilty if there was evidence he started the altercation- there simply wasn't any. In fact, what we do know is the best witness, who had the best view, saw TM on top of GM beating him (with injuries corroborating it).

 

 

I don't doubt there was a reason for GZ to think that there was something fishy going on, he did what was right and called the police, but instead of listening to them, he decided to act alone. The claim that "he was going to get away like the rest of them" doesn't really seem to be a good defense for going after him seeing as the altercation took place not overly far from where GZ was set to meet with the police (clearly within the confines of the complex). It's fairly clear GZ jumped the gun and profiled TM even though he wasn't doing anything wrong. 

 

3. From what I understand, the response to being attacked should be proportional. You can use deadly force if you feel your life is in danger. Also, the "stand your ground law" was not cited in the trail.

 

 

The law might not have been used explicitly in his defense, but the same principle applies, he pleaded not guilty on the grounds of shooting somebody in self defense, which is the exact nature of the law. The problem is, even if TM gave a hug to GZ it could be claimed that GZ felt his life was in danger, see the problem. For all we know GZ could be anti-black and think they are all killer thugs, thus just seeing him prompted a need to kill in self defense. 

 

I believe GM acted stupid. Even if he believed TM was up to something, he shouldn't have pursued him. But remember, he did call the police, and was waiting for them when it happened. While GM was talking to police, he said TM was walking toward him, and then went the other way. With all the break-ins he said "they all get away", so he followed waiting for the police to call him as soon as they got there. In those three minutes after the call when he was expecting the police, there was no evidence GZ started the fight, only that there was a fight and TM was on top of GM beating him. GM made a bad decision, but so did TM when he didn't call 911 (as GM did), and didn't run away to his father's house (70 yards away), instead of confronting GZ. It's bad all the way around, and the fact TM is dead is the worst.

 

This we can agree on. TM could have put himself in a better situation, GZ could have as well. Unfortunately somebody had to lose their life. 


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#8 Gandorian

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 05:57 PM - 078328

I agree that there is no self defense argument for TM but in all honesty put yourself in his shoes.Yes, he could have called 911, but really are the police going to come to his rescue in a gated community that wasn't his in the middle of a rainy night, they would make the same assumptions as GZ did. I'm speaking as a younger guy, if I was minding my own business and somebody started following me, I would eventually attack him too. 

 

TM was living there with his father's fiance, which was about 70 feet from where he was shot. The police were called there 402 times within the past 13 months prior. TM made the wrong decision not to simply run home (if he was scared), or call 911 (as GZ did). Instead, he confronted GM, and beat him. IMHO, they both made bad decisions, but the decisions they made would have been made by many other people too. GM was the neighborhood watch coordinator. Many communities take that seriously when there are as many problems as they had at that time. He thought TM looked suspicious poking around in the rain. Then TM came toward him (while he was talking to 911), then saw TM run away. GM told the police after he was told not to follow him, TM attacked him as he went back to his truck. If that is true, GM wasn't at fault at all. If it isn't true and he went toward TM, it would not have many any sense to start an indecent if he knew the police would be there any minute. Which they were, about 3 minutes later- unfortunately too late. Again, in that amount of time TM could have already been home, so I would tend to believe TM chose not to go home, and instead confronted GM, and attacked him. 
 

I don't doubt there was a reason for GZ to think that there was something fishy going on, he did what was right and called the police, but instead of listening to them, he decided to act alone. The claim that "he was going to get away like the rest of them" doesn't really seem to be a good defense for going after him seeing as the altercation took place not overly far from where GZ was set to meet with the police (clearly within the confines of the complex). It's fairly clear GZ jumped the gun and profiled TM even though he wasn't doing anything wrong. 

 

Again, crimes committed in the gated community in the year prior to TM's death included 8 burglaries, 9 thefts, and 1 shooting. Residents were on record as saying there were dozens of reports of attempted break-ins, which they said had created an atmosphere of fear in their neighborhood. The police were called to the community complex 402 times within that year. GM was the community watchman coordinator and saw someone acting suspicious in the rain. I don't think calling 911 and reporting it was wrong if he thought TM was acting suspicious. There's also nothing wrong with wanting to see someone that may be about to commit a criminal act actual be caught. You are assuming GZ is lying that TM didn't attack him when he was going back to his vehicle and wait for police. Again, why would GM look to attack someone when he just called 911 and was waiting for police to arrive? Even if he did somewhat follow TM to make sure he was still in sight, he already told 911 he wanted the police there so he couldn't get away. With respect, the racial profiling is ridiculous. He never even mentioned what color TM was until 911 asked, and he said  he "thought" he was black. GZ is far from a racist. Look up about his crusade to help the homeless black man who was treated unfairly by police.
 

The law might not have been used explicitly in his defense, but the same principle applies, he pleaded not guilty on the grounds of shooting somebody in self defense, which is the exact nature of the law. The problem is, even if TM gave a hug to GZ it could be claimed that GZ felt his life was in danger, see the problem. For all we know GZ could be anti-black and think they are all killer thugs, thus just seeing him prompted a need to kill in self defense. 

 

That's not true. The burden is much higher than that, and yes- I had to look it up and also ask my son who's just about to finish law school. It's not that broad. Remember, TM beat up GZ as witnessed by the person closest to them, and GZ injuries corroborate it. I addressed the racism above.

 


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#9 Dark Wizard

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:20 PM - 078329

 

I agree that there is no self defense argument for TM but in all honesty put yourself in his shoes.Yes, he could have called 911, but really are the police going to come to his rescue in a gated community that wasn't his in the middle of a rainy night, they would make the same assumptions as GZ did. I'm speaking as a younger guy, if I was minding my own business and somebody started following me, I would eventually attack him too. 

 

TM was living there with his father's fiance, which was about 70 feet from where he was shot. The police were called there 402 times within the past 13 months prior. TM made the wrong decision not to simply run home (if he was scared), or call 911 (as GZ did). Instead, he confronted GM, and beat him. IMHO, they both made bad decisions, but the decisions they made would have been made by many other people too. GM was the neighborhood watch coordinator. Many communities take that seriously when there are as many problems as they had at that time. He thought TM looked suspicious poking around in the rain. Then TM came toward him (while he was talking to 911), then saw TM run away. GM told the police after he was told not to follow him, TM attacked him as he went back to his truck. If that is true, GM wasn't at fault at all. If it isn't true and he went toward TM, it would not have many any sense to start an indecent if he knew the police would be there any minute. Which they were, about 3 minutes later- unfortunately too late. Again, in that amount of time TM could have already been home, so I would tend to believe TM chose not to go home, and instead confronted GM, and attacked him. 
 

I don't doubt there was a reason for GZ to think that there was something fishy going on, he did what was right and called the police, but instead of listening to them, he decided to act alone. The claim that "he was going to get away like the rest of them" doesn't really seem to be a good defense for going after him seeing as the altercation took place not overly far from where GZ was set to meet with the police (clearly within the confines of the complex). It's fairly clear GZ jumped the gun and profiled TM even though he wasn't doing anything wrong. 

 

Again, crimes committed in the gated community in the year prior to TM's death included 8 burglaries, 9 thefts, and 1 shooting. Residents were on record as saying there were dozens of reports of attempted break-ins, which they said had created an atmosphere of fear in their neighborhood. The police were called to the community complex 402 times within that year. GM was the community watchman coordinator and saw someone acting suspicious in the rain. I don't think calling 911 and reporting it was wrong if he thought TM was acting suspicious. There's also nothing wrong with wanting to see someone that may be about to commit a criminal act actual be caught. You are assuming GZ is lying that TM didn't attack him when he was going back to his vehicle and wait for police. Again, why would GM look to attack someone when he just called 911 and was waiting for police to arrive? Even if he did somewhat follow TM to make sure he was still in sight, he already told 911 he wanted the police there so he couldn't get away. With respect, the racial profiling is ridiculous. He never even mentioned what color TM was until 911 asked, and he said  he "thought" he was black. GZ is far from a racist. Look up about his crusade to help the homeless black man who was treated unfairly by police.
 

The law might not have been used explicitly in his defense, but the same principle applies, he pleaded not guilty on the grounds of shooting somebody in self defense, which is the exact nature of the law. The problem is, even if TM gave a hug to GZ it could be claimed that GZ felt his life was in danger, see the problem. For all we know GZ could be anti-black and think they are all killer thugs, thus just seeing him prompted a need to kill in self defense. 

 

That's not true. The burden is much higher than that, and yes- I had to look it up and also ask my son who's just about to finish law school. It's not that broad. Remember, TM beat up GZ as witnessed by the person closest to them, and GZ injuries corroborate it. I addressed the racism above.

 

 

I have an honest question. 

 

If TM was white and GZ was black do you think the outcome would have been different. 


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#10 bsshedd

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:02 PM - 0783210

Legal outcome no, the effect of the case on the public certainly 


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#11 Dark Wizard

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:16 PM - 0783211

Legal outcome no, the effect of the case on the public certainly 

But i mean, who's to say that the investigation will be carried out the same way? Race plays a huge roll in societies choices even if it's not directly involved in thought processes. 


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#12 Gandorian

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:33 PM - 0783212

If TM was white and GZ was black do you think the outcome would have been different.

 

Yes, it would never have even went to trail. Enough political pressure was put on, even though the police and most legal scholars knew there wasn't nearly enough evidence to convict. 


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#13 Kochers

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:46 PM - 0783213

This was my tweet right after the news broke. I think most people can agree with it.
 

The people with the most information, viewing the evidence, found Zimmerman not guilty. I trust in their judgement over my own analysis.

I think it is silly when we, as simple members of the public, debate a case that we know very little about. Many of us were predisposed to believe that Zimmerman was guilty. The media gets the American public riled up about these high profile cases, hungry for blood, and then when it turns out that there actually wasn't enough evidence to support the story that the media sold the public in the beginning, people cry injustice. Does no one else see the irony of a country, run with the belief of "innocent until proven guilty" crying out for the punishment of a man ruled innocent by a jury?

 

Don't misunderstand me. Trayvon Martin's death is a preventable tragedy, as is the harm done to George Zimmerman physically, mentally, and emotionally, not to mention the heart-wrenching lives both of their families must have undergone during the trial. But second-guessing the most informed group in the world on the matter (the jury) seems slightly silly to me.  


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#14 Dark Wizard

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 10:40 PM - 0783214

This was my tweet right after the news broke. I think most people can agree with it.
 

The people with the most information, viewing the evidence, found Zimmerman not guilty. I trust in their judgement over my own analysis.

I think it is silly when we, as simple members of the public, debate a case that we know very little about. Many of us were predisposed to believe that Zimmerman was guilty. The media gets the American public riled up about these high profile cases, hungry for blood, and then when it turns out that there actually wasn't enough evidence to support the story that the media sold the public in the beginning, people cry injustice. Does no one else see the irony of a country, run with the belief of "innocent until proven guilty" crying out for the punishment of a man ruled innocent by a jury?

 

Don't misunderstand me. Trayvon Martin's death is a preventable tragedy, as is the harm done to George Zimmerman physically, mentally, and emotionally, not to mention the heart-wrenching lives both of their families must have undergone during the trial. But second-guessing the most informed group in the world on the matter (the jury) seems slightly silly to me.  

 

I wouldn't fully agree with what you said about the media. The media polarized the case, either you watched Fox news and Zimmerman became a pioneer for gun rights and the right to defend yourself or you watched MSNBC and Zimmerman was the epitome of the devil. As to your tweet, I agree fully.


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#15 Arminius

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 12:49 AM - 0783215

The verdict was correct and in accordance with the evidence.  The prosecution had a weak case to begin with, and only took on the case because it was politically expedient to do so.  The evidence is all that matters.


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#16 Koniac

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:19 PM - 0783216

 

If TM was white and GZ was black do you think the outcome would have been different. 

 

A little off-topic, but I thought it was funny when they were considering Zimmerman white.  He's clearly hispanic.


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#17 Dark Wizard

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 04:14 PM - 0783217

 

 

If TM was white and GZ was black do you think the outcome would have been different. 

 

A little off-topic, but I thought it was funny when they were considering Zimmerman white.  He's clearly hispanic.

 

Well he's half white half hispanic.


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#18 Aloysius

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 06:40 AM - 0783218

Which half? ;)


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#19 Dark Wizard

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:47 PM - 0783219

I believe it was his left half :P


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#20 FreddieMercury

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 07:02 PM - 0783220

Zimmerman should have been charged with manslaughter at least. He started the confrontation and ended up killing a innocent boy. The self defense claim is laughable. You don't start a fight and then call foul when you've been bested.

If the races were reversed zimmerman would have quickly been found guilty. If you really don't think so, you're delusional about the state of entrenched racism in American society.
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