Why is George Zimmerman allowed to roam free tonight?

There was never a doubt in my mind that he would walk. This just reinforces it.

At least it's drawing some attention to the bullsh*t going on in the criminal "justice" system. The deck is unbelievably stacked against you if you have too much melanin in your skin.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
jdzappa wrote:
2. Zimmerman, after (allegedly) having the crap beat out of him refuses to go to the hospital and then makes an appointment the next day to see a doctor for a work release note.

3. Zimmerman, after (allegedly) having the crap beat out of him doesn't, upon his doctor's advice, seek follow up treatment.

In all fairness, the doctor's report shows Zimmerman suffered some pretty serious injuries, and that his nose was indeed broken. Now, he probably was never actually about to die but he could make a plausible case that he felt his life was in danger. Unless of course you can prove the doctor was lying, which is going to be hard to prove.

jdzappa, the problem with the doctor's report is the span of time between Martin's release from police custody and his visit to the doctor. There's effectively a break in the "chain of custody" of his medical condition.

I agree with you about the broken chain of custody, but at some point you go down the road of insane conspiracy theories. For example, if Zimmerman was going to go all Shane from the walking dead, why didn't he cause his own injuries and then go to a hospital and collapse? That would greatly help his story of being beaten nearly to death, and get him some free sick days at work. Instead, he shows up at the doctor's office hoping to get cleared to go back to work.

Malor wrote:

At least it's drawing some attention to the bullsh*t going on in the criminal "justice" system. The deck is unbelievably stacked against you if you have too much melanin in your skin.

Uhhm, could you show me some recent (as in past 5 years) studies showing a huge disparity in how whites and blacks are treated by the justice system? Because from what I've been reading this has become far less of an issue over the past 15-20 years. Now, a wealthier white defendant is going to have more resources, but that doesn't mean the justice system is institutionally racist.

Because marijuana is known for making people violent? Oh, I forgot that there a people that think Reefer Madness is a documentary.

iaintgotnopants wrote:

Because marijuana is known for making people violent? Oh, I forgot that there a people that think Reefer Madness is a documentary.

That was my first thought. As previously said, it sticks around in your system long after the effects wear off but even if he was high it just increases the changes that Zimmerman was the instigator.

jdzappa wrote:

Uhhm, could you show me some recent (as in past 5 years) studies showing a huge disparity in how whites and blacks are treated by the justice system? Because from what I've been reading this has become far less of an issue over the past 15-20 years. Now, a wealthier white defendant is going to have more resources, but that doesn't mean the justice system is institutionally racist.

Third result on Google for "race disparity us justice system" is a 2011 article: Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System.

The scale of racial disparity with the criminal justice system is shocking. African-Americans are incarcerated at a rate of nearly 6 (5.6) times the rate of whites. The Sentencing Project, Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Race and Ethnicity 3 (2007). One in three (32%) of black males can expect to serve time in prison at some time in their lives, Hispanic males have a 17% chance and white males have a 6% chance.

Thus, incarceration in America is concentrated among African-American men. While one in 87 white males between the ages of 18 to 64 is incarcerated and the figure for similarly situated Hispanic males is 1 in 36; in black males it is 1 in 12. More than one third (37%) of black male dropouts between the ages of 20 and 34 are behind bars. The Pew Charitable Trust, Collateral Cost: Incarceration Effects on Economic Mobility (2010).

Within the State of North Carolina, 46% of misdemeanor convictions and 53% of felony convictions for the fiscal year 2008-2009 were African-American even though African-Americans make up only 21% of the state population. African-Americans also constitute roughly 60% of the prison population.

As far as I can tell the incarceration rates are in line with the violent crime rates by race.

Here are the crime data that the Times doesn’t want its readers to know: blacks committed 66 percent of all violent crimes in the first half of 2009 (though they were only 55 percent of all stops and only 23 percent of the city’s population). Blacks committed 80 percent of all shootings in the first half of 2009. Together, blacks and Hispanics committed 98 percent of all shootings. Blacks committed nearly 70 percent of all robberies. Whites, by contrast, committed 5 percent of all violent crimes in the first half of 2009, though they are 35 percent of the city’s population (and were 10 percent of all stops). They committed 1.8 percent of all shootings and less than 5 percent of all robberies.

http://www.city-journal.org/2010/eon...

•Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery.
•When blacks commit crimes of violence, they are nearly three times more likely than non-blacks to use a gun, and more than twice as likely to use a knife.

http://www.colorofcrime.com/colorofc...

I don't see the incarceration rate as proof of a racist criminal justice system.

edit - I just pulled the top two results for "crime statistics by race". Upon closer inspection, I'm not sure how reputable this "New Century Foundation" is.

Another good article from African American commentator Larry Elder about the five myths of race and the criminal justice system:

http://townhall.com/columnists/larry...

1. Blacks are arrested at higher rates compared to whites -- but wrongly so.

Not true. While only 13 percent of the population, blacks accounted for 28 percent of nationwide arrests in 2010 and 38.1 percent of arrests for violent crime (murders, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault). But are they unfairly arrested? Studies find that arrest rates by race are comparable to the race of suspect identification by victims.

For example, in a given city, x number of robbery victims describe their assailants as black -- whether or not the suspect has been apprehended. It turns out that the race of those arrested matches the percentage given by victims. This has been found repeatedly across the country, in all categories of crime where the race of an assailant is identified. So unless the victims are deliberately misidentifying their assailants -- unconcerned about whether the suspect is apprehended and knowingly give a false race -- blacks are not being "over-arrested."

2) Blacks are convicted at higher rates and given longer sentences than whites for the same crime.

Not true. Differences in conviction and sentencing rates by race are due to differences in the gravity of the criminal offenses, prior records or other legal variables. A 1994 Justice Department survey of felony cases in the country's 75 largest urban areas actually found lower felony prosecution rates for blacks than whites and that blacks were less likely to be found guilty at trial.

3) The sentence disparity between powder and crack cocaine is racist and accounts for a large percentage of imprisoned blacks.

Not true. Concerned about the deadly effect of crack within their own communities, black members of Congress led the charge to pass the 1986 federal drug laws. The bill that was passed -- which included the crack/powder sentencing disparity -- did so with the support of the majority of black congresspersons. None at the time objected to the sentencing disparity as "racist."

In 2006, the feds tried 5,619 crack sellers, and 4,495 of them were black -- out of the 562,000 blacks in state and federal prisons at the end of that year. Add in county and city jails, and the figure rises to 858,000. And states' crack cocaine laws are not the culprits. Only 13 states employ differing sentencing guidelines for crack vs. powder -- and their differential is much smaller than that of the feds.

4) The "War on Drugs" accounts for a large number of blacks behind bars.

Not true. In 2010, blacks were 31.8 percent of all arrests for drug crimes. But arrests for drug offenses are only 12.4 percent of all non-traffic arrests in the country and accounted for 14.2 percent of the offenses for which blacks were arrested.

5) More blacks are in jail than in college.

Not true. "More blacks (are) in jail than college, in every state," said Jesse Jackson in 2007. That same year, presidential candidate Sen. Obama, echoed: "More young black men languish in prison than attend colleges and universities across America."

If Jackson and Obama refer to black men of the usual college-age years, their claim is not even remotely true. The Washington Post "Fact Checker" wrote: "According to 2005 Census Bureau statistics, the male African-American population of the United States aged between 18 and 24 numbered 1,896,000. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 106,000 African-Americans in this age group were in federal or state prisons at the end of 2005. ... If you add the numbers in local jail (measured in mid-2006), you arrive at a grand total of 193,000 incarcerated young black males, or slightly over 10 percent.

"According to the same census data, 530,000 of these African-American males, or 28 percent, were enrolled in colleges or universities ... in 2005. That is five times the number of young black men in federal and state prisons and two and a half times the total number incarcerated. If you expanded the age group to include African-American males up to 30 or 35, the college attendees would still outnumber the prisoners."

Racism against blacks exists, but it is no longer a meaningful obstacle to success. People are not angels. Some people are rotten. Humans make mistakes -- and always will. But the facts do not show a "racist criminal justice system."

Heading to bed now, but I'd love to see citations for any of the claims in Larry Elder's editorial (especially his claims 1), 2) and 4)), so they can be evaluated rather than simply accepted/rejected as an article of faith.

[Edit to add: I agree with TrophyHusband that "New Century Foundation" is a problematic source for reliable data. Kudos to him for spotting and acknowledging it]

I think this would actually make for a great other thread topic. I'm not saying that to be a mini moderator either, I think it's a good topic.

Race and judicial system talk, eh?

Interesting report from the New York Civil Liberties Union on how well the city's 'stop-and-frisk' policy (which is great fodder for the police state thread) is working.

Young black and Latino men were the targets of a hugely disproportionate number of stops. Though they account for only 4.7 percent of the city’s population, black and Latino males between the ages of 14 and 24 accounted for 41.6 percent of stops in 2011. The number of stops of young black men exceeded the entire city population of young black men (168,126 as compared to 158,406). Ninety percent of young black and Latino men stopped were innocent.

I think my first link above does a good job refuting some of those claims.

IMAGE(http://www.city-journal.org/assets/images/eon0514hm.jpg)

http://www.city-journal.org/2010/eon...

jdzappa wrote:

I agree with you about the broken chain of custody, but at some point you go down the road of insane conspiracy theories.

The reason I mention it is because we've seen the video of him arriving at the police station. No blood, no marks, not even a band-aid. It's not a conspiracy, it's an attempt to explain the discrepancy.

Trophy Husband wrote:

I think my first link above does a good job refuting some of those claims.

IMAGE(http://www.city-journal.org/assets/images/eon0514hm.jpg)

http://www.city-journal.org/2010/eon...

Not that it invalidates everything you're saying, but this is a house organ of the Manhattan Institute, a highly partisan conservative think tank.

New photos up on CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/17/justic...

It's not entirely clear when and where the photos were taken.

Edit: For reference, this is the original surveillance video of GZ arriving at the station (the dumbsh*ts at ABC block most of the footage of his face/head with their station logo).
http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/georg...

This is ABC's "enhanced" version (again, a lot of footage blocked by the motherf*cking ABC logo).
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/geor...

I have to say, on second review, knowing what the look for, the videos do look fairly consistent with the marks in the photos.

Consistent with his version of the struggle? I don't know. Certainly his eyes look fine but I know black eyes can take a while to appear.

Interesting to note that the dried blood trails on his head indicate he was leaning forward/on his stomach when the blood was flowing, rather than being on his back, as described.

SixteenBlue wrote:
iaintgotnopants wrote:

Because marijuana is known for making people violent? Oh, I forgot that there a people that think Reefer Madness is a documentary.

That was my first thought. As previously said, it sticks around in your system long after the effects wear off but even if he was high it just increases the changes that Zimmerman was the instigator.

"In your system" is ambiguous words too. Sticks around in your urninary system for a handful of days, is detectable in your hair for up to 3 months after use, and in your blood for a couple of days.

None of which imply that Martin was impaired at the time. And the same result would probably apply to most American 18 year-olds: it's not like weed is uncommon.

Jonman wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
iaintgotnopants wrote:

Because marijuana is known for making people violent? Oh, I forgot that there a people that think Reefer Madness is a documentary.

That was my first thought. As previously said, it sticks around in your system long after the effects wear off but even if he was high it just increases the changes that Zimmerman was the instigator.

"In your system" is ambiguous words too. Sticks around in your urninary system for a handful of days, is detectable in your hair for up to 3 months after use, and in your blood for a couple of days.

None of which imply that Martin was impaired at the time. And the same result would probably apply to most American 18 year-olds: it's not like weed is uncommon.

Pee test is up to one month based on amount, duration of use, body fat % and metabolism.

Jonman wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
iaintgotnopants wrote:

Because marijuana is known for making people violent? Oh, I forgot that there a people that think Reefer Madness is a documentary.

That was my first thought. As previously said, it sticks around in your system long after the effects wear off but even if he was high it just increases the changes that Zimmerman was the instigator.

"In your system" is ambiguous words too. Sticks around in your urninary system for a handful of days, is detectable in your hair for up to 3 months after use, and in your blood for a couple of days.

None of which imply that Martin was impaired at the time. And the same result would probably apply to most American 18 year-olds: it's not like weed is uncommon.

Exactly. This proves he's in high school? Cool.

African Americans make up 39.4% of the incarcerated population and 13.6% of the total population. source

This is the real key: studies show that caucasians and african americans use drugs at close to the same rate.

Drug use numbers for youth by ethnicity: White 38.2% Black 30.6% source

However, if we look at the total prison population of drug offenders, a hugely disproportunate number of them are African Amercan.

Drug offenders in jail by ethnicity: 55% White 44% Black source (Table 3.2 in this big document)

The data are stark and clear: white and black americans enjoy illegal drugs at close to the same rates. However, black americans are far more likely to go to jail for drug crimes.

These numbers don't come from blogs, media, or think tanks. These are numbers from the National Institute of Health and the Bureau of Justice statistics. African Americans make up 13.6 percent of the total population and 44% of the drug offender population while using drugs at a slightly lower rate than their white counterparts.

Hmm. I don't think I've ever heard of someone doing too much pot and getting into a fight. I think I'd be more inclined to believe Martin was a danger if they found booze in his system.

Was Zimmerman given a tox test?

Does anyone else think "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit!" every time this thread rises back to the top?

The Chewbacca defense, actually, but it works out to the same thing.

Oso wrote:

The Chewbacca defense, actually, but it works out to the same thing.

Ladies and gentleman of the supposed jury...THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!

Paleocon wrote:

Hmm. I don't think I've ever heard of someone doing too much pot and getting into a fight. I think I'd be more inclined to believe Martin was a danger if they found booze in his system.

Was Zimmerman given a tox test?

Martin got a full tox test, but they didn't do any on Zimmerman.

SixteenBlue wrote:

Exactly. This proves he's in high school? Cool.

I'm guessing it is to show that Martin wasn't the stereotypical "innocent child", and that he was actually a criminal.

I do wonder though if this had been the images we saw at first would we be thinking differently about this case
IMAGE(http://cdn3.thomhartmann.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/member-blog-small/george-zimmerman_trayvon-martin_media-bias.jpeg)

rosenhane wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

Exactly. This proves he's in high school? Cool.

I'm guessing it is to show that Martin wasn't the stereotypical "innocent child", and that he was actually a criminal.

I do wonder though if this had been the images we saw at first would we be thinking differently about this case
IMAGE(http://cdn3.thomhartmann.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/member-blog-small/george-zimmerman_trayvon-martin_media-bias.jpeg)

While smoking pot is illegal, I dont quite think that it makes you a criminal.

And I have worse pictures than that from high school.

rosenhane wrote:

I do wonder though if this had been the images we saw at first would we be thinking differently about this case

We still have an armed vigilante, albeit in a suit, stalking, shooting, and killing an unarmed teenager, albeit w/ a penchant for weed. Trayvon is just as dead.

The suit may give him more sympathy, but in the end, he had a gun and Trayvon had skittles.

Focusing on failures of journalistic ethics seems to be little more than a sleight of hand to distract from the dead body Zimmerman left when he went looking to right the wrongs in his gated community.

Oso wrote:

Focusing on failures of journalistic ethics seems to be little more than a sleight of hand to distract from the dead body Zimmerman left when he went looking to right the wrongs in his gated community.

Yes, indeed. Passively-aggressively "wondering" might serve as a nice distraction, but it will never put anything in Martin's hand but some iced tea.

NathanialG wrote:

While smoking pot is illegal, I dont quite think that it makes you a criminal.

Well, by the strictest, most technical, most Websters Defines As definition, it does. But on the spectrum, my lifetime total of 2 speeding tickets makes me the more dangerous criminal.

NathanialG wrote:

While smoking pot is illegal, I dont quite think that it makes you a criminal.

And I have worse pictures than that from high school.

While Zimmerman shot Martin, I don't quite think it makes him the killer.

All the photos the prosecution released were taken during the time frame the cops were "not investigating the case" or "not taking it seriously". My understanding is the detective in charge of the case wanted to go ahead with charges, but the DA at the time told them to release him as they didn't have a case (yet).

Oso,
You make it sound like Zimmerman left the house that day intent on "busting some bad guys", he was going to Target, not even on his NW patrol. He wasn't looking for trouble that evening.

Jayhawker wrote:

I have a hard time taking these kinds of delusional rationalizations serious.

just to be clear, I was going to just put a facepalm in there, but thought someone might not get how illogical the original statement was.