There is only one question I want answered at this point. There might be more questions once I get the answer but I suspect I’ll know all I need to know with that one answer. I would like to think that answer would enough for everyone else as well but for the people chanting for Zimmerman’s arrest and those putting up “dead or alive” rewards for Zimmerman little things like facts probably won’t make much of a difference.
I strongly suspect Zimmerman is innocent of a crime. I need one more fact to convince me it was a lawful use of deadly force or that we cannot know the answer.
It is possible that Zimmerman instigated the confrontation in such a way that Martin attacked him. Taunting or “picking a fight” with Martin would have Zimmerman sharing a significant amount of responsibility in the death of Martin. But I have heard zero reports of a beginning to the confrontation in this manner. Hence I am of the opinion it did not happen this way or that as long as Zimmerman does not change his story we will never know about it.
I realize the police can’t always be trusted that concern is usually associated with the facts in regard to police conduct, the conduct of those with significant political power, or the conduct of groups being discriminated against. In the case of Zimmerman I don’t think there is any particular reason to believe the police are “fact challenged”. I realize witnesses can be mistaken and/or have a bias. If possible I would like to be able to reach a conclusion based entirely upon physical evidence that is difficult to convincingly fake in a timely manner without getting caught. Hence the particular facts that I think are most relevant are:
- The grass stain on the back of Zimmerman’s shirt
- Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody cuts to the back of his head—presumably with matching blood on the sidewalk
- There have been no reports (correct me if I am wrong on this) that Martin had physical injuries beyond a single gunshot wound to the chest
The one question I have that will probably settle the issue for me is when the authorities said, “Zimmerman then shot Martin once in the chest at very close range”; What was that range? I’ve probably spent more time and money than most on learning about such things and if the investigators know what they are doing, and I have no reason to believe they don’t, then they should be able to determine that range quite accurately. If the range was under 12 inches they can probably determine the range to within a fraction of an inch. And of course the angle can be determine quite closely as well.
If the range is determined to be within six inches and the bullet path matches Zimmerman’s story then I have to conclude the two were in a fight at contact distance and Zimmerman was losing badly. If I were on a jury I would insist that Zimmerman was in reasonable fear of imminent permanent physical injury or death and was justified in using deadly force to protect himself.
End of story for me.