Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trayvon Martin, Michael Lindsey: Different Colored Skin, the Same Good Old Boy System.


The Trayvon Martin issue has captured national attention, and the outrage is as strong in the white community as it is in the black community. Many whites are outraged that there is no charge in this crime, while others are in a tizzy because they say black on white crime is not considered a hate crime when racial slurs are used, and they are right about that, but most of the black on white crime that has been passed around are crimes that have been prosecuted.  The issue here is that Zimmerman is not being prosecuted.
     Zimmerman's story did not add up to police, and police wanted to make an arrest, but it was put on hold by a judge. New evidence brings to light the witnesses’ account of what happened, and it does not reflect the story Zimmerman is telling.  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/29/trayvon-martin-witness-casts-doubt-on-shooters-self-defense-claims/
It is my personal belief there should not be a hate crimes bill because all it does is cause division.  Crime is crime, it does not matter the color of the victim.  I happen to think if you kill someone you hated them at the moment, and the reason why you killed them is irrelevant to the fact of murder. If you committed a crime, you should be charged, and it should be sorted out by a jury.  
     Zimmerman is claiming he is covered under the stand your ground, "Castle Doctrine" which states that if you feel your life or the life of someone close to you is threatened you have no duty to retreat.  Zimmerman is using  Castle Doctrine to escape prosecution, but Castle Doctrine also states if you have a lawful right to be somewhere and you feel threatened, you do not have a duty to retreat, and it is obvious that Trayvon Martin had a right to be where he was, and  had no duty to retreat when he felt threatened by Zimmerman, and it is obvious from his phone conversation with his girlfriend he felt threatened, and he also had the right to do what he felt he need to do in order to feel safe.  So here we have a catch 22 when it comes to "Castle Doctrine".
     Castle Doctrine is being used more and more as a defense for what is cold blooded murder, and it is also allowing people that commit crimes to escape accountability for their actions. I'm not saying Zimmerman is guilty or innocent, I'm saying his guilt or innocence needs to be determined in a court of law.
     Most young men have been in a fight at some point in their life.  So let me give you something to think about.  If your son and another boy get into a fist fight, and your son is getting the best of his opponent, does that give his opponent the right to shoot and kill him?  If you, as a parent, are watching the fight, and the other boy is winning, does that give you the right to shoot and kill the other boy or if your son is getting the best of his opponent, does that give the other parent the right to shoot and kill your son? 
     If your son was white, and he was walking through a gated community wearing a hoodie, and a man followed him in his car at night, and then started following him on foot, and your son started running, and the man continued to follow him, and your son decided to stop running, and a fight broke out, and the man shot and killed your son, would you think it was justified? The fact is, most children would be afraid no matter who was following them, I know I would have been, and I am an adult.
     Would you think you at least would have the right to see a trial to determine whether it was justified or not.  I can assure you I would.  I would want to see a jury determine the truth about what happened. Not the media, not the KKK, not the NAACP, but a fair and impartial jury made up of your peers.
    More often than not, whether there is a charge or not, depends on who you know, and who you are friends with.  If there was nothing to hide, then why was the boy’s body held in the morgue for three days before anyone tried to contact his family? Why does there appear to be no blood or serious injury on Zimmerman?  If he was hurt so bad, as to fear for his life, why was there no hospital visit? Why could you hear someone yell in the background on the call Martin made to his girlfriend right before it sounded like someone hit Martin and his phone went dead? Why was there no bruising on Martin's hands if he was involved in such a horrific fight as portrayed by Zimmerman?  These are all questions any reasonable person should ask, and questions we all deserve to hear answers to.
     Zimmerman's father is a former judge, and Zimmerman was a familiar name to the police, had he been someone they did not know, there would probably have been an arrest, and a charge of manslaughter, at the very least. This is just another example of how the Castle Doctrine is used to protect the connected in society from prosecution, while a poor man would have been stripped of his rights and hauled before a jury.
     Another case in Mississippi that should have been covered by "Castle Doctrine" is the Michael Lindsey case in Pearl, Mississippi.  Let’s contrast the Trayvon Martin case and the Michael Lindsey case for a moment.
     Michael Lindsey was getting ready for bed when he heard a commotion coming down the street; he stuck his head out to see what was going on.  It was a neighbor that had broken the window out of Mike's vehicle earlier in the day.  Mike retaliated by breaking the window out of his vehicle.
     Lindsey tried to calm the guy down, and told him, lets talk about this.  The guy did not want to talk, he wanted to fight.  He took a beer bottle from his back pocket and broke it over Michael Lindsey's head, and then proceeded to grind the broken beer bottle into Lindsey's face that required 50 stitches, broke two of his ribs (Lindsey thought he had been stabbed) and partially collapsed two of Lindsey's lungs, and pulled huge chunks of Lindsey's hair out with the clumps falling on Lindsey's doorstep.  
     Lindsey begged and pleaded for someone to call an ambulance.  When he tried to break free, his attacker ripped off his shirt as he was trying to get into his house.  He made it in his house with blood streaming into his eyes, his contacts out ground out by the beer bottle; he glanced outside and saw his attacker with his arm around his roommate, and thought he was attacking him.  He saw a knife lying on the kitchen counter, grabbed it and went outside and stabbed his attacker once to disable him, and hoped he would call an ambulance, because Lindsey felt he was bleeding to death.  His attacker died from internal injuries. 
     Lindsey was listed by emergency personnel as a priority one life threat, and they thought he had been shot because of the amount of blood he lost.
     Lindsey, according to law, should have been covered under "Castle Doctrine", but he wasn't.  Instead he was charged with murder, and because he had a felony conviction over 30 years old, was threatened under the habitual offender law with life in prison unless he accepted a plea deal for manslaughter.  He was given the maximum sentence, and is now in prison serving a twenty year sentence.
     If Michael Lindsey, with life threatening injuries, was not covered under "Castle Doctrine", why should Zimmerman, who did not even need to go to the hospital, be covered? 
     Regardless of whose side you are picking on this issue, don't you think it at least deserves to go before a jury and be heard?
     These two cases not only highlight the inequities of "Castle Doctrine", but they also highlight the inequities in our justice system.  
     Who is charged and who is not, more often has more to do with a person's connection's in society; their connections to law enforcement, their standing in society, how much money they have, or the color of their skin.
     We have watched as high profile killers go unpunished, and people like Lindsay Lohan, who is in and out of trouble, always escapes the same punishment those without connections receive for the same crime. 
     Whites and blacks have a lot more in common on this issue than race, and we all need to come together to demand better from our justice system.  As long as we allow the news media, and others, to divide us by race, we will be divided.  We are one nation, under God, and it is time for us to come together and demand justice and fairness in our court systems, regardless of the color of ones skin, social or economic status.
     It is also time for the people to demand that, if the state is going to provide paid expert witnesses against a defendant, they should also have to provide a paid expert for the defense, or else it is not a fair, impartial trial, because the prosecution's expert witness never goes against what the police say, they say what they are paid to say, and many times it is refuted by other experts, but the defendant does not have the money and resources the state has to hire those experts.
     Maybe it is time to repeal the Castle Doctrine and the hate crimes bill, and get back to the basics of our judicial system.

Voice experts have determined that the voice heard in the video below, crying for help, could not be Zimmerman's.  That leads me to the conclusion they belong to Trayvon Martin. 
Heartbreaking to listen to.  I just hope justice prevails.

You can read more on the Michael Lindsey case at  http://muddymississippijustice.blogspot.com/

  

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