Grifman wrote:El Guapo wrote:3.) Zimmerman "did not know if he was armed or not." That's a damaging admission for Zimmerman to make unprompted. Zimmerman didn't say, "I thought he was armed." He said he didn't know. (Or rather: "did not" know. The absence of contractions throughout is, I guess, meant to convey the gravity of the situation.) Yet not knowing, Zimmerman fired the gun anyway. Even under Florida's stupid "stand your ground" law, I can't imagine citizens have license to shoot people merely on the off chance that they might possibly have guns.
I'm not certain why this matters. Armed or not, if Martin attacked him, and was on top of Zimmerman beating him, then Zimmerman had a right of self defense.
That said, it wasn't all roses for the prosecution either:In Friday's hearing, an investigator for special prosecutor Angela Corey's office said authorities have no evidence showing who started the altercation that led to Martin's death.
"Do I know? No," investigator Dale Gilbreath said when asked if he knew who started the fight.
It's a fair point - Florida's SYG law just says that if you're attacked in a place where you have a lawful place to be, you have the right to use lethal force. So it's not clear that his does matter.
That said, I'd think judges are likely to read in some limitations to the word "attacked". If someone slaps me in a bar (say), do I then have the the right to shoot them in the head? What about shoving? Tackling?
I do wonder whether the SYG defines "attacked" in a more precise way. Logically there must be some scale to "attacked" - there must be SOME amount of perceived threat involved to justify what would otherwise be a murder, right?