And now a letter from the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Newsbag. It’s from James in London, Ontario. James asks:
“Hey Goldfinger. Love the Blog. Long time reader, first time inquirer. I gotta know your take on the Zimmerman case. Not guilty? Also, do you think the Toronto Blue Jays are gonna make the World Series? Let me know.”
Thanks for your email James.
The George Zimmerman trial had legs. It was followed by all major news outlets. Even though the trial took place miles and miles away, it was headline news here in Ontario. The case had all sorts of undertones: race, human rights, the right to bear arms, the right to self defence, age, profiling, community safety, intent to harm vs. intent to protect.
The laws in Ontario are much different than the laws in the State of Florida. I can’t really comment on Florida law, other than from what I’ve read, it’s pretty archaic.
Trayvon Martin was a black teenager on his way home from a 7/11 convenience store. He was wearing a hoodie over his head. He had no weapons on him. He was carrying a bag of Skittles Candy.
George Zimmerman was in his car. He had a lawfully registered gun. He was conducting a routine community patrol.
I think we can all agree on those facts from the trial? Yes?
What happened next is kinda murky. Why? Because Trayvon Martin is dead and we aren’t getting one of the biggest parts of the story.
My blog post from last week dealt with a wrongful death case at a Vaughan Daycare. I said that the problem with death, or wrongful death cases is that it’s difficult to get all of the evidence, because the departed party cannot tell their version of the events which took place leading to the death.
From what I understand, Zimmerman thought that Trayvon looked suspicious. He called it in to police. Zimmerman continued to follow Trayvon. Police told Zimmerman not to follow, but he continued to pursue.
Then what happens next is even more murky. Somehow, Trayvon allegedly attacks Zimmerman. Zimmerman, fearing his life, proceeds to shoot and kill Trayvon, all in the name of self defence and fearing his life.
What I don’t get is how the story goes from Zimmerman following Trayvon in his car, to Zimmerman getting punched in the face by Trayvon. That would mean that Trayvon would have needed to either jump in to Zimmerman’s car and attack him. Or, Zimmerman gets out of his car and gets engaged by; or engages Trayvon.
What I don’t get is that Zimmerman had been told by police not to pursue Trayvon, yet he continued to do so. That shows me that he knew, or ought to have known he was getting himself into a sticky situation where he shouldn’t have been.
Let’s now assume that Trayvon (a teenager who weighed like 150lbs) proceeded to kick Zimmerman’s a$$ (a grown a$$ man weighing 300lbs or so). I gotta hand it to Trayvon. He kicked a grown man’s ass with only his fists. Kid can thrown a punch.
What happened after Zimmerman got his a$$ kicked by Trayvon is that he proceeded to shoot and kill him; under the guise of fearing his life or self defence.
Had Mr. Zimmerman listened to police, he never would have got his a$$ kicked by Trayvon. Had Zimmerman listened to police, he never would have needed to fear for the safety of his own life. Had Zimmerman been a better fighter, he never would have needed to pull a gun.
The insane way that the laws in the State of Florida work make it such that Zimmerman; acting in self defence had the right to shoot Trayvon. It’s his right under Florida Law.
Now, think about that. You follow a guy after the police tell you not to. You somehow get your a$$ kicked by a teenager who’s half your age and half your weight. Then, at law you can shoot him to defend yourself. That’s one messed up law! Sounds like the wild west to me.
They say you never bring a knife to a gun fight. Trayvon didn’t know he was getting himself into a gun fight that night. If I’m living in Florida, I want to carry a gun. You never know when you’ll feel threatened.
In Canada, most of the self defence cases we see involve home invasions. A robber breaks in to your house and tries to steal your valuables and harm your family. I’m all in favour of shooting that robber. This was different. It took place on a public street while Trayvon was on his way home from a 7-11.
If Zimmerman were black, and Trayvon were white, do you think that the verdict would have been the same? I don’t.
In Canada, I’m sure that this wouldn’t have happened because gun culture isn’t as prevalent as it is in the United States. Even if it did happen, I’m confident that Zimmerman would have been found guilty of manslaughter at the very least.
What happens now? Interesting question. Remember when OJ got acquitted in the Nicole Brown case? Brown’s family then sued OJ for millions and won in a civil suit. I suspect that the same will happen here. Trayvon’s family will likely sue Zimmerman for his death. They’ll likely win as the burden of proof (balance of probabilities vs. beyond a reasonable doubt) is much lower in civil cases than in criminal cases.
Rock and Roll Republican Ted Nugent is encouraging the Zimmerman family to sue Trayvon’s estate for pain and suffering. His theory is that Zimmerman was found not guilty, yet he had to to through a 16 month trial which inflicted suffering on him and his family. Sound weird? Sure does. Check out an article on this here.
This was a case where natural justice (killing another man) got trumped by man made justice (the weird laws in the State of Florida). Do we have the same problem here in Ontario? Yes! Look no further than Ontario’s No Fault Accident Benefit Regime and the Insurance Act. Drunk driver hits you? Automatic $30,000 deductible applies to your case and you must show the Court that your injuries are serious and permanent. So even if you can’t work for 2 years following the accident, but after that 2 year period you go back to normal; then your injuries might not meet the threshold and you may recieve ZERO compensation. These are archaic man made laws which trump natural law; and have been doing so ever since the SABS were introduced, and tinkered with year after year.
Alright James. 2nd part of your query. Will Toronto’s baseball team make it to the World Series this year? No they won’t. There’s always next year though. Just ask Toronto hockey fans.