Zimmerman, Loughner and Holmes: Are they Evil?

James Eagan Holmes allegedly killed 12 people and wounded 58 at the midnight opening of the new Batman film at a movie theater in Aurora, CO.

He had recently dropped out of the University of Colorado Medical School where he was enrolled in the Neuroscience doctoral program and we now know that he was a patient of Dr. Lynn Fenton, a psychiatrist and member of the medical school faculty specializing in the causes and treatment schizophrenia. She also is in charge of Student Mental Health Services.

Given his red and orange hair that he had recently dyed, he apparently believed himself to be or he assumed the role of the Joker, Batman’s arch enemy.

The Telegraph reports:

Police have said that he planned the attack meticulously, ordering ammunition and paramilitary supplies over the internet and buying four weapons legally at gun-stores in the Denver area over two months.

He also rigged his apartment with potentially lethal explosive devices that investigators believe were intended to kill police officers when they arrived to search his home.

The Telegraph reports that Holmes claims he does not recall the incident.

He is scheduled to appear in court Monday at which time he will be formally charged.

Colorado is a death penalty state and likely will seek the death penalty.

Like Jared Loughner, who potentially faces the death penalty for killing six people in Tucson, AZ, including U.S. District Court Judge John Roll and a 9-year-old girl, as well as wounding 14 others, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Holmes may not be competent to stand trial.

A person cannot be tried for a crime unless they are competent to stand trial.

To be competent, they must be oriented as to time and place, comprehend the charges against them, appreciate their legal peril, recall the events that caused them to be charged, and be able to communicate with and assist their attorneys to defend them.

According to the Telegraph, Holmes claims that he does not recall the incident. If that is true, he is incompetent to stand trial.

Should he become competent, he probably will assert the insanity defense.

Colorado combines the M’Naughten Rule with the irresistible impulse rule defining legal insanity as follows:

Whether as the result of a mental disease or defect, the defendant is unable to distinguish between right and wrong and conform his conduct to the requirements of law, or if he can distinguish between right and wrong, is he unable to stop himself from committing the crime.

The biggest stumbling block to satisfying the legal test for insanity is establishing that the defendant could not tell right from wrong. Any behavior that indicates an effort to conceal evidence or the crime itself demonstrates that, however delusional and psychotic a person may have been, they still knew they had committed a crime and sought to escape responsibility for it.

Many people use the word evil to describe people like Jared Loughner and James Eaton Holmes and the acts they allegedly committed.

But what constitutes evil?

Does evil exist?

Is evil something dark and satanic that exists somewhere out “there?”

Does it possess people?

If so, how does that happen?

If it does not exist out “there, where does it exist?”

Are people born evil?

How should the criminal justice system deal with evil, or should it ignore it?

Assuming evil exists, does it increase or diminish personal responsibility for committing crimes?

Assuming for the sake of argument that Jared Loughner committed the crimes charged, is he evil?

If convicted, should he be sentenced to death?

Assuming for the sake of argument that James Eaton Holmes committed the crimes charged, is he evil?

If convicted, should he be sentenced to death?

Finally, what about George Zimmerman?

Is he evil?

272 Responses to Zimmerman, Loughner and Holmes: Are they Evil?

  1. Charles Ramsey says:

    The case of James Oliver Huberty is relevant here. After Popular Mechanics reported that the cause of the massacre had been solved I went back and read everything available in the Portland state university. Exactly zero people got the cause right. The pathologist who examined Huberty’s brain said it had the highest levels of Cadmium he had ever seen. Rather or not evil exists is irrelevant Huberty would not have did what he did if his cadmium levels had been “normal”. This whole area needs to be taken away from psychiatrists and turned over to epidemiologists.

  2. taiorafan21 says:

    You ask a lot of questions, so I’ll just answer them.

    “Does evil exist?” In my opinion, yes.

    “Is evil something dark and satanic that exists somewhere out “there?””

    It can be, but not necessarily.

    “Does it possess people?”

    If you’re referring to demonic possession, I happen to believe in it.

    “If it does not exist out “there, where does it exist?”

    It can exist in people, or even in objects if you believe in things like evil dolls.

    “Are people born evil?” In some cases, yes, I believe they are.

    “How should the criminal justice system deal with evil, or should it ignore it?”

    Make sure they’re cut off from society, either through incarceration or death.

    “Assuming evil exists, does it increase or diminish personal responsibility for committing crimes?”

    In my opinion, no. We’re all responsible for our actions and whether a person is evil or not in no way impacts that responsibility. That just means we need to make sure that the punishment entails the evil person can no longer cause harm.

    “Assuming for the sake of argument that Jared Loughner committed the crimes charged, is he evil?”

    I used to think so, but considering that he’s allegedly expressed remorse for his actions and it seems that he was experiencing a psychotic break at the time he committed his crime, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

    “If convicted, should he be sentenced to death?”

    If not for the plea bargain, I would say yes.

    “Assuming for the sake of argument that James Eaton Holmes committed the crimes charged, is he evil?”

    I don’t know anything about his motivations or what was going through his head when he gunned down those people, so I can’t say either way.

    “If convicted, should he be sentenced to death?”

    Yes. He committed the crime, he should pay the consequences.

    “Finally, what about George Zimmerman? Is he evil?”

    Yes, without question. He killed Trayvon out of racial prejudice, in a cold blooded manner, and has expressed no remorse or regret for his actions. He needs to pay and I believe he will.

  3. GZ specifically called the Sanford PD and asked for their help in setting up a Neighborhood Watch program. In the guide for setting up the program, it specifically states that volunteers are not to be armed, nor are they to confront anyone they find suspicious. They are to call 911. Zimmerman not only was armed but he followed TM.

    Now you want to claim it was OK for GZ to be armed because it wasn’t an “official registered NW program?” Then why did he have the police come out to help set it up and get their input? You just want to twist everything to protect GZ’s actions the night of the 26th. Say what you want, but it won’t work here. The rest of us are not clueless when it comes to the reality of what happened. GZ admitted to following TM in his police interview. You can’t change what he said.

    As far as the events that occurred on the 26th, TM is most definitely a minor because he was up against an armed adult. It would have been illegal for TM to be armed because of his age. He was 17 and a minor.

    • TruthBTold says:

      @Kate,

      Exactly. These defenders or believers want to go round and round in word games and nonsense. They bore me personally.

      • They do not understand that GZ’s conduct, in ignoring and disregarding the policies and procedures established for neighborhood watch program participants by the Sanford Police Department to promote their safety and discourage vigilantism, is probative of his intent.

        By doing what he was expressly instructed not to do by the NWP police liaison and the dispatcher, he demonstrated that his actions were not accidental. They were intentional.

        Furthermore, his conduct in telling the dispatcher to tell the officer en route to the scene to call him on his cell phone when he arrived in the neighborhood, instead of meeting him at a prearranged location such as where he parked his vehicle, demonstrates that he did not intend to return his vehicle.

        Instead, his conduct demonstrates that he was so eager and determined to find and prevent TM from getting away, just like all those other “assholes” who had gotten away before the police arrived, that he was willing to disregard the NWP rules and the dispatcher’s advice.

        As I said, those rules were designed to protect the safety of both people by preventing acts of vigilantism that might escalate into an out-of-control situation resulting in serious injury or death, which is exactly what happened.

        Moreover, GZ cannot credibly claim that he did not know the purpose of the NWP rule, since he worked with the liaison to set it up and she explained it to him many times.

  4. Sandbagger says:

    I have always been suspicious of why TM body was found face down with his hands under him. I think GZ turned his body over to see if there was an exit wound. I don’t believe that GZ was on his back when he shot TM, knowing this I think he scrambled with the body and once finding that there was no exit wound, thus leading to a lack of forensic trajectory evidence (as a AJ student he knows this stuff and has been trained) he lied and said that he shot him while being attacked.

    Also, my opinion of a possible scenario is, TM and GZ got into a verbal fight at the T, Let’s just say that TM did punch GZ, lets even say that GZ fell backwards and hurt his head on the cement. I think once this happened TM started to resume a course south, away from GZ. GZ then got up and chased him the 40 feet and shot him out of anger.

    There is no way that a jury will let that 40 feet go. SYG means just that, you must stay where you are, you can’t, out of anger, chase and kill. This also fails a traditional self defense. The physical evidence proves without doubt that GZ version is implausible. Once they prove this version of events wrong the defense has no chance to present an alternative story. GZ, the moment he opened his mouth to police destroyed any chance of a viable defense.

    A viable defense starts with a client that has said either nothing or very little to the police. A lawyer may then create a plausible version of events that fits the collected evidence. This story, as a possible outcome, causes doubt in a jury. This just can’t happen in this case as the defendant get only one chance at this “plausible story” and GZ chose to use his one chance without a lawyer and before all the evidence was collected.

    The reason that I feel GZ is guilty of some degree of premeditation is because I feel he had a grudge against young black males who he felt where the prime cause of crime in his neighborhood. I see him and his friends saying “the next one is going to get a bullet” and sure enough the next young black male to walk into his neighborhood got one. I think when he saw TM he made his mind up there and then that alive or dead “this expletive punk” was not going to get away.

    To anyone that may find themselves here but feels GZ is innocent. IF he was, he has done everything in his power to eradicate any chance of defending himself in court. He is his own worst enemy, and now he has gathered an army of followers to become his own worst enemies. The NRA, Fox News, racist pastors, racist groups, and far right wing gun nuts.

    • You said,

      “A viable defense starts with a client that has said either nothing or very little to the police. A lawyer may then create a plausible version of events that fits the collected evidence. This story, as a possible outcome, causes doubt in a jury. This just can’t happen in this case as the defendant get only one chance at this “plausible story” and GZ chose to use his one chance without a lawyer and before all the evidence was collected.”

      The Rules of Professional Conduct expressly prohibit manufacturing a defense to beat the prosecution’s case and scripting the client’s testimony.

      A lawyer potentially could lose their license for violating this ethical rule.

      We see no potential upside to giving a statement while the downside potential is incalculable.

      If the client gave a statement to the police, the defense is generally prohibited by the rules of evidence from referring to it during the trial because it’s inadmissible hearsay.

      The prosecution can refer to it because it’s admissible as admission by a part opponent.

      If the defendant testifies, the prosecution can use the statement or any part of it to impeach (discredit) the defendant on cross examination.

      Put another way, the defendant’s statement can be to discredit him by showing the jury that he told the police a different story than he told the jury.

      This is called impeachment by prior inconsistent statement and it’s one of the most effective ways to discredit a witness during cross examination.

  5. ajamazin says:

    LOS ANGELES TIMES 41 MINUTES AGO

    Jared Loughner to plead guilty in Tucson shooting, sources say

    WASHINGTON — Jared Lee Loughner is set to plead guilty Tuesday in the shooting attack that severely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, according to knowledgeable sources, as mental health officials believe he is now competent to understand the charges.

  6. Recreantnejos says:

    Digger said:

    “I believe George Zimmerman from the moment he saw Trayvon, followed and killed without hesitation.”

    And what on earth would motivate GZ, who has no criminal record, no record of hostility towards black people, and whose history of “violence” involves pushing and retaliatory slapping to kill Trayvon from the moment he saw him? I mean the anti-Zimmerman rhetoric is so over-the-top. So he mentors black kids earlier in the day and then decides he wants to kill one in the evening? And why on earth would he summon the police before he did it? Makes absolutely no sense.

    “..he has skillful use of words to satisfy and keep his woman around while he wouldn’t hesitate to slit her throat in a state of rage if at anytime he might decide she is no longer under his spell in obedience.” 

    Oh brother. He never slit anyone of his other exes throats or even punched them. He has no history of “rage” and the woman who he slapped (after he slapped him) said he was the last person she wold expect to have had this happen. Your thoughts on Zimmerman, his motivations, and his “sociopathy” are contrived.

    • Mike S says:

      Recreantnejos said:
      “And what on earth would motivate GZ, who has no criminal record, no record of hostility towards black people, and whose history of “violence” involves pushing and retaliatory slapping to kill Trayvon from the moment he saw him? I mean the anti-Zimmerman rhetoric is so over-the-top. So he mentors black kids earlier in the day and then decides he wants to kill one in the evening? And why on earth would he summon the police before he did it? Makes absolutely no sense.”

      I agree sometimes the rhetoric can sometimes go overboard, and people can sometimes co-mingle hard evidence with pure emotional responses. On that note I don’t know if I can buy the “without hesitation” part, but for the rest, I think Zimmerman’s recent history does throw some light on why he might have followed and shot Trayvon.

      If you listen to the available Zimmerman NEN and 911 calls, and look at the records on the remaining ones, you can see a pattern of paranoia coming out of George, and a pattern of him becoming increasingly frustrated. He’s pretty over the top about the things he’s calling about, such as people leaving their garage doors open.

      If you listen to one of his most recent NEN calls, you can hear him talking about a “suspect” that his wife identified recently as part of a robbery gang in the neighborhood. She spotted that same person again roaming around in the neighborhood. Zimmerman is on the phone in their house describing the suspect and what’s happening, and his wife is heard commenting in the background. Near the end of the call George is going out to follow and possibly confront the suspect. You can hear Shelley in the background telling him not to go out there, and he eventually agrees with obvious reluctance. Keep in mind he always goes out armed except for when he goes to work, and work that into the context of this call. In the end the person got away, the police responded too late.

      Now fast forward to the night Zimmerman shot Martin. His wife isn’t there to restrain him, he’s still has his gun. He sees a suspicious kid, once again calls NEN – and the kid runs. We hear Zimmerman cursing that these “assholes always get away”. We hear him get out of his truck and start pursuing. We hear the dispatcher tell him he doesn’t need to follow and Zimmerman agreeing – and you hear him continue to pursue anyway. Ultimately you hear Zimmerman refuse to give an address or an area to meet with police, but instead tells the dispatcher to have the cop call him when he gets on the scene. We only know the outcome of the rest of it.

      Do you see the pattern? Over time Zimmerman is getting increasingly frustrated that law enforcement isn’t doing enough to prevent these burglaries and to apprehend suspects. We see Zimmerman wanting to pursue these suspects and being restrained. We see Zimmerman finally in a situation where there is no one to restrain him, and where he can finally effect some action himself.

      I don’t see any evidence that Zimmerman intended to shoot Martin but I see every indication that Zimmerman was out to detain Martin the moment he saw him run.

      • recreantnejos says:

        “If you listen to the available Zimmerman NEN and 911 calls, and look at the records on the remaining ones, you can see a pattern of paranoia coming out of George, and a pattern of him becoming increasingly frustrated. He’s pretty over the top about the things he’s calling about, such as people leaving their garage doors open.”
        I don’t consider that over-the-top at all. Just a neighbor looking out for another neighbor. Was he calling to complain about the garage doors being open or just asking the sheriff to look into it?

        “Zimmerman is on the phone in their house describing the suspect and what’s happening, and his wife is heard commenting in the background. Near the end of the call George is going out to follow and possibly confront the suspect. You can hear Shelley in the background telling him not to go out there, and he eventually agrees with obvious reluctance.”
        He apparently wanted to go outside, but that doesn’t mean he wanted to either follow or confront the person. I believe they saw the person approaching someone’s car, right? He may have thought his presence outside might have deterred him. Or he might have wanted to go outside to get a better look. It’s hard to say, but all we can reasonably conclude is that he wanted to leave the house- we don’t know for what reason.

        “Now fast forward to the night Zimmerman shot Martin. His wife isn’t there to restrain him, he’s still has his gun. He sees a suspicious kid, once again calls NEN – and the kid runs. We hear Zimmerman cursing that these “assholes always get away”. We hear him get out of his truck and start pursuing.”
        We hear him moving to the “T”- there’s no reason to think he was ‘pursuing’. He was following in the sense that he was moving to somewhere Trayvon had previous been, but no indication he had any intention other than to see which way he went.

        “We hear the dispatcher tell him he doesn’t need to follow and Zimmerman agreeing – and you hear him continue to pursue anyway.”
        I don’t hear that. And if this were true then he would have been down to Trayvon’s house or beyond by the end of the call alone. But the encounter seemingly began at the top of the “T” according to ear-witnesses and the place GZ dropped his phone.

        “Ultimately you hear Zimmerman refuse to give an address or an area to meet with police, but instead tells the dispatcher to have the cop call him when he gets on the scene. We only know the outcome of the rest of it.”
        He didn’t refuse. But he didn’t have a good one to give him cause he forgot the street name he was parked on. He was going to get an address off the street he did know the name of to give them an idea of where he was at.

        “Do you see the pattern? Over time Zimmerman is getting increasingly frustrated that law enforcement isn’t doing enough to prevent these burglaries and to apprehend suspects.”
        Absolutely- but I think this manifested itself by his wanting to keep an eye on Trayvon. This explains why he walked to the “T”. But it doesn’t imply chasing- or an interest in personally detaining someone. Given the timeline and location of events, I actually believe it’s pretty clear that he did not pursue him southward. Or he would have been much further south.

      • recreantnejos says:

        His keys- not his phone. His keys. I keep thinking it’s his cell phone he dropped.

  7. I read about Judge Lester denying O’Mara’s motion for his recusal and that he’ll be filing an appeal. In doing so, are attorneys ever concerned that their motions and appeals can actually make things worse for their client? After all, Lester didn’t deny Zimmerman bond a second time and it was an amount that he knew they had the money to cover so why take the chance on aggravating him further? Obviously, IANAL, so I might be completely off base here but I think that Zimmerman got off fairly easy considering he lied to the court. Furthermore, O’Mara’s excuse about his “youth” playing a part in his fear of what the court might do or that they were worried about someone taking their money was insulting to anyone with a modicum of intelligence.

    Do you expect O’Mara to be successful in his appeal and isn’t he also taking a chance in possibly angering any potential future judge who is aware of his past actions and disapproves of them? Thanks, I look forward to hearing your opinion on this as it seems to me that once GZ got bail for the second time, they were better off leaving things alone. Of course, we realize they aren’t of the same mind considering the Hannity interview.

    • I worked as a law clerk for two appellate court judges after I graduated from law school.

      The first judge in Chicago was a former Colonel in the military who went to law school after he got out of the Army following WWII. He was an eccentric gentleman who wore three piece suits with an antique pocket watch that he loved to show off. He also was very fond of orchids and had quite a few exotic varieties in glass cases with lights. He used to love to fiddle with them. I worked for him for two years.

      The second judge in Seattle loved poetry and owned a sailing yacht that he used to sail up to the San Juan Islands with an all female crew that never failed to set tongues wagging.

      I learned a lot from both men for which I am very grateful.

      I mention them because judges are as different as people are different. One thing, however binds most of them together and that is a sense of obligation to do justice and a sense of separation and isolation from the rest of society to avoid entanglements that might lead to accusations that they are biased or prejudiced.

      They take those accusations personally and sacrifice many former friendships and relationships to avoid the appearance of unfairness. The court becomes their second family and when they are off the bench with their robes safely put away in their closets, their faces light up and they kid and tease each other like family.

      They talk endlessly about the people that pass through their courtrooms, especially the lawyers and they love to tell stories and gossip just like normal people.

      Like family, they have a tendency to look after each other and when a judge is dealing with a difficult case or an aggressive and arrogant lawyer, they stop by after court and ask how the case is going and sympathetically listen to the latest horror story. They support each other emotionally and definitely take it personally when one of their fellow judges is attacked.

      This little story is pretty common in every courthouse in the country. People being people, there are exceptions. Some judges, for example, do not get along, but most at least make an effort to get along.

      One thing they all have in common is an abiding respect for the court as an institution and they expect lawyers and their clients to show respect.

      I don’t know Judge Lester or any of the other judges who sit on the Seminole County Circuit Court, but I’ll bet they are shaking their heads at Zimmerman’s arrogance, sense of entitlement, lack of remorse and fundamental disrespect for the court as an institution and Judge Lester personally, even though he has been extremely accommodating, reasonable, and patient in dealing with Zimmerman’s bizarre demands for special treatment.

      I also think they are puzzled, dismayed, and angry at O’Mara’s somewhat bizarre conduct attempting to try his case in the media and troll for dollars at a bail hearing instead of getting control over his client and silencing him. I’m reasonably certain they were as appalled and perplexed as we were by the Sean Hannity interview.

      Assuming Judge Lester is admired and liked by his colleagues, I’m certain they are circling the wagons, so to speak back in chambers and emotionally supporting him.

      They know groundless motions and thinly disguised attempts at forum shopping when they see them and they will not forget or likely forgive what has happened although they will never show it in court or even whisper about it to anyone outside their family.

      • Thanks so much for your reply. It restores my faith in the justice system to a great degree when I hear attorneys speak of judges as you do. Although I’ve often felt that it’s the occasional sleazy attorney that tends to give our legal system a bad name, not the great majority of those who admire and respect the law and work hard to see it applied fairly and justly.

        I couldn’t agree more when it comes to O’Mara’s conduct and consider it bizarre myself. He has to know that another judge will most likely look at GZ’s conduct in the same manner and that shopping for a different forum to try this case in is not necessarily going to be the best way to go for his client. After everything that GZ has done so far, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we saw another change in representation before this case goes to court. His arrogance may lead him to believe he knows better than his attorney and if his motion to have GZ’s bond restrictions lifted so he can leave the state is not successful, he might be stupid enough to think another attorney could do better. I’ve listened to several of the phone calls between GZ and his family members. His controlling personality comes through strong along with his arrogance. What he does next is unpredictable but he remains a loose cannon and I don’t doubt that O’Mara is wishing he had never signed onto this case.

      • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

        Professor, you just described my cousin’s persona, who is a Judge, in your description of Judges, especially paragraphs 5 and 6. For a minute, I thought you knew him personally. 🙂 And just think all this time I thought he was being snobbish. 🙂 Thank you for helping me see the light in his case. 🙂

        • You are very welcome.

          I’m pleased to hear that I was able to help you understand your cousin.

          To avoid being accused of prejudging matters that might come before them in a case, they will rarely express an opinion on any matter in the news. They make a point of appearing to be disconnected, but they really aren’t.

    • recreantnejos says:

      If Zimmerman lied to the court surely he would be charged with perjury.

  8. Chi says:

    Judge Lester won’t be stepping down. He denied O’Mara’s motion today.

  9. TruthBTold says:

    recreantnejos wrote,

    “I can fully understand why you question Zimmerman’s account, even disbelieve parts of it.”

    Okay, so what’s the problem then if people are questioning his accounts and reaching the conclusion that he is not being totally forthright? Doesn’t this pose serious problems when the only living witness to the event account is supposed to be relied upon as truth?

    “The truth is, I give little weight to what he says. I think it’s quite possible he exaggerated, embellished, minimized or even said things that just plain aren’t true either unintentionally or with the intention of making his account seem more believable, or more compelling.”

    *quizzical look* Say what now? Then what on God’s green earth are you basing your belief in him on? A person is not going to say something that is not true unintentionally. To open your mouth and tell an untruth is intentional. You are really reaching now.

    “But even innocent people may do this.”

    Really? Why when you have truth on your side?

    • stormreaper says:

      Recreantnejos here. Signed up on this wordpress, since I’m making a habit of this.

      “Okay, so what’s the problem then if people are questioning his accounts and reaching the conclusion that he is not being totally forthright?”

      I don’t think that is a wholly unreasonable conclusion. But it is not a conclusion that is necessarily indicative of guilt.

      “Doesn’t this pose serious problems when the only living witness to the event account is supposed to be relied upon as truth?”

      It does pose some problems, but they would be far more serious if the other sources of evidence contradicted the most important parts of his account.

      “A person is not going to say something that is not true unintentionally. To open your mouth and tell an untruth is intentional.”

      That’s simply not true, which by your definition, would make what you said a lie. In reality, people quite often say the wrong things, mix-up facts, or make inaccurate conclusions.

      Every single one of the witnesses in this case have said things that were not true. That doesn’t mean they were lying.

      I think- whether he ‘murdered’ him or not- he genuinely did not remember where he shot him at, for example. Not lying.

      There are also a host of psychological/cognitive biases that often unconsciously influence what we say.

      Having said that, I think it is possible that some of things he said were him intentionally misrepresenting what happened.

      “Really? Why when you have truth on your side?”

      The truth isn’t always readily apparent to others. Sometimes, the truth doesn’t even *seem* true.

      Let’s say your dog actually did eat your homework. Are you going to tell the teacher that? Some people would. But many people would offer a version of events that is more likely to be accepted.

      It is not uncommon to exaggerate, embellish, or lie for self-serving purposes. This may sound terrible, but that’s human nature. Virtually everybody does it. And they do so even when it isn’t- or shouldn’t be- necessary.

      Let’s say we accept that Zimmerman and his wife intentionally deceived the court about their finances. You can interpret this as proof that Zimmerman planned to flee.

      But you can also interpret this as indicative of his desire to receive the legal benefits of indigent status (that his attorney explained to him would be beneficial and possibly necessary.)

      There are a ton of other things I could say about the bond hearing/hidden funds matter that are beyond the scope of our discussion. The point is only that mistruths are not necessarily indicative of a sinister intention.

      Zimmerman may have had a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm or death. He may have been (understandably) scared that he would be second-guessed or disbelieved. So he may have presented his account in a way he thought seemed more compelling.

      The question is what remains after you remove the embellishments. You can conclude that what is left is murder. But you can also conclude that what is left is self-defense.

      For the record, I am not stating that I think he has lied about anything. Merely making the point that his lies, embellishments, exaggerations, etc. are not necessarily due to a malevolent intent.

      • TruthBTold says:

        I’m not saying that people don’t make mistakes, or think they saw something when it may have been something else, etc. This is the reason that eyewitness identification is being challenged so hard. What I’m saying is, to say that you were mugged and for the record if you haven’t familiarized yourself with the second discovery dump, he proceeds to tell this co-worker his account. My thing is saying that were mugged is a blatant lie as well as being having the crap kicked out of him. That’s what I am referring to. This is not a mix-up or anything else, but a lie. Like I said, he has a credibility issue and line that up with the evidence, poses a major problem for his claim. Point blank period!

  10. TruthBTold says:

    Brown wrote,

    “Does he actually think that the judge is even going to entertain a motion to revise his conditions SMH !”

    I think not. The peddling for money, the security detail. Ridiculous. *smh* Please.

    “The only part I see that need revision is the fact the judge left out no firearms in his second bond order.”

    Did he really? I haven’t looked at in a while. I am surprised that wasn’t in there.

  11. TruthBTold says:

    Digger wrote,

    “Prison systems seem designed for revenge or to punish the evil ones.

    I have to disagree with the first part of your statement. If were about revenge, instead of incarcerating individuals, we would engage in retribution of sorts or do onto them what they did onto others.

    “I believe they’d be more effective if they concentrated on rehibilitation.”

    Yes, our system is a punitive one and I agree that more attention should be placed on rehabilitation and alternatives to incarceration (more so for non-violent offenders). We do have specialized courts (e.g. drug courts, etc.) I think though overall, services and other resources are being provided to those incarcerated and after care services as well, during the re-entry and transition phase.

    “Only those who cannot be improved should stay locked up, and that’s to protect society from them, not to punish them.”

    I would say it’s both as well as an attempt to try and deter others from engaging in criminal activity. Like, hey see what will happen to you if you violate the law(s). How would you determine who cannot be improved?

    • aussie says:

      There is zero evidence that the prospect of prison time deters anyone from any crime. They don’t expect to be caught.

      I think in France they have quite short sentences for many crimes, but they have a guilty-until-proven innocent kind of legal system, certainly a non-adversarial one. So about 90% or more offenders do get caught and convicted.

      A 90% chance of a 2 year sentence seems to be a deterrent, a 10% chance of a 20-year sentence is not.

      Meanwhile there is the travesty of incredibly long mandatory minimums, appropriate only to the most serious incidents. These lead to people being undercharged if the police are sympathetic to them, or being overcharged to make sure they go to prison if they are unsympathetic, the latter probably often being on racial or other prejudicial grounds.

      When just discharging a firearm, without hitting anybody, brings the same sentence as Murder 2, yet the not-hitting-anybody causes it to be dismissed as a SYG situation, there is something sick in the system.

      The first thing all prisons should have is a school. Many if not most prisoners have not finished their education. Let them do it in there. Then let them be trained for occupations that may get them actual jobs on release, unemployment being one stressor for repeat offences, especially robbery or drug dealing or other illegal ways to get money.

      • TruthBTold says:

        @aussie,

        I wasn’t saying that the system actually deters individuals from committing crimes, just responding that this maybe a chain of thought of those law enforcement professionals, etc,. when determine the purpose of a prison system. I disagreed that it was designed for revenge. Thanks

  12. TruthBTold says:

    GZ has some serious credibility issues even acknowledged by his own attorney. Difficult hurdles to overcome to say the least. Those who believe in GZ’s self-defense claim try to minimize and explain away GZ’s lies and various inconsistencies. How do people pick and choose what to believe when it comes to GZ? Do we just abandon our common sense and what’s objectively reasonable? A few questions for GZ believers:

    1. If GZ was not following or stopped following TM as he claims, why wasn’t he able to produce an address (based off of the re-enactment video wouldn’t help him anyway, but I will play along) for the dispatcher? He was still on the phone when he reached the other side of the street.

    2. Why did GZ tell a co-worker that he was mugged and that TM was kicking the crap out of him?

    3. He gave us a gift that keeps on giving and something many criminal justice professionals always try and do, which is get inside the mind of a perpetrator. According to GZ, “these expletive always get away,” “expletive punks.” He acknowledged that TM was a teen and even referred to him as a kid towards the end of the NE call. He also didn’t think he was armed per his interview with Det. Singleton. Isn’t it entirely plausible and reasonable that GZ tried to detain a kid, thinking he would have the upper hand, until the police arrived?

    4. He stated that TM was running (oh crap, he’s running) and so did DeeDee and they are on opposite sides of the issue here. Why would he then attempt to clarify his statement by suggesting TM was “skipping? and that he knew he was not running out of fear? How is he qualified to make that determination?

    5. If TM circled his car literally according to his own account, why didn’t he mention that to the dispatcher?

    6. How would TM know that GZ had a holstered gun tucked in his waistband if he was straddling him “repeatedly punching, slamming his head, and suffocating him?” Why would his hand go down his side, starting from the top, like that?

    • recreantnejos says:

      First, you are posting your questions in the wrong place. There are approximately 1 posters here not already convinced of Zmimerman’s guilt.

      “1. If GZ was not following or stopped following TM as he claims, why wasn’t he able to produce an address (based off of the re-enactment video wouldn’t help him anyway, but I will play along) for the dispatcher? He was still on the phone when he reached the other side of the street.”
      Maybe he had his phone in one hand and his malfunctioning keychain flashlight in the other. When he got off the phone, he put his phone away took out his working flashlight and tried to find an address. Maybe he was focused on talking to the dispatcher. Maybe he had a brain fart. Who’s to say?

      A counter-question might be, if he HAD followed Trayvon while he was on the call with the NEN, why was his cell phone found near the “T”, and everything else not at the bottom of the “T”? If he had headed south then he would have been well past Trayvon’s by the time he got off the phone. It’s a lot easier to poke holes in Zimmerman’s theory than for those convinced of his guilt to provide a theory that does not have bigger holes.

      2. Why did GZ tell a co-worker that he was mugged and that TM was kicking the crap out of him?
      The FBI said that a co-worker said that GZ said that. There is a reason hearsay isn’t allowed in court cases. We don’t know if that is what he said to the co-worker. Let’s say it is though.

      What would his motivation be? And why would he tell that co-worker he was mugged but tell everyone else what he told the police?

      These are the seeming inconsistencies that naturally occur in the course of a complex set of events such as this. There is not a single witness in this case that you could not find contradictions, inconsistencies, and things that just don’t make sense. Not a single one. And George has talked about events a hundred times more to a hundred times as many different people.

      “3. Isn’t it entirely plausible and reasonable that GZ tried to detain a kid, thinking he would have the upper hand, until the police arrived?”
      He doesn’t strike me as the type that would do that, contrary to widely held belief. He had called the NEN a number of times before, and never did anything like that.

      Yeah, yeah, I know.. he’s super violent, etc. That’s another canard. He *pushed* a man wearing plain-clothes who appeared to be attacking his friend in a bar. He *slapped* a girlfriend who had slapped him earlier. (The same girlfriend said he would be the last person she thought would be involved in something like this.)

      There’s no indication he wanted to do anything but keep an eye on the kid. And the main thing is this- I keep going back to it. There is no credible evidence that he ever went south. His phone was found at the “T”-intersection, witnesses heard the altercation move south down the “T” from there. Whatever happened appeared to have started at the top of the “T” and moved downward. Well, if he had walked south to “catch” Trayvon, it wouldn’t have started at the top of the “T”.

      “4. He stated that TM was running (oh crap, he’s running) and so did DeeDee and they are on opposite sides of the issue here. Why would he then attempt to clarify his statement by suggesting TM was “skipping? and that he knew he was not running out of fear? How is he qualified to make that determination?”
      I think it’s silly to make too much out of awkward phrasing and complex contexts. When he said he’s “running” I think he meant that he believed he was leaving the area. When he says “skipping” I believe he meant that he kind of “bounded away” so to speak. I don’t know that he is ‘qualified’ to make that determination, but I think this was his impression.

      “5. If TM circled his car literally according to his own account, why didn’t he mention that to the dispatcher?”
      He did. He said, “He’s coming to check me out.”, etc. Why didn’t he say *specifically* “He is circling my car.”? Who knows? There will always be a ton of things to look at in retrospect and magnify out of all proportion.

      As I say, every witness has something that doesn’t make sense. Are they all lying?

      “6. How would TM know that GZ had a holstered gun tucked in his waistband if he was straddling him “repeatedly punching, slamming his head, and suffocating him?” Why would his hand go down his side, starting from the top, like that?”
      At some point, after Zimmerman wriggled off the sidewalk his shirt moved and his gun was exposed. He thinks Trayvon saw it and was reaching for it. Personally, despite what Trayvon did or did not say, I don’t believe he intended to shoot GZ with it. But that’s not the point. I believe GZ believed he thought he needed to.

      • aussie says:

        Just correcting a few “facts” . If you get these right, it makes a difference to your explanations.

        1: the keychain light was functioning; it was actually found turned on. The non-functioning one was the big one, which was found at the death site.

        GZ’s cell phone remained with him all along. TM”s cell-phone was found at the death site.

        The only debris found near the T (about 8 ft south of it near the little tree) was the keychain light.

        3: again GZ’s phone was not found at the T. GZ’s cell phone remained with him all along. TM”s cell-phone was found at the death site.

        5: He didn’t tell the dispatcher “circling my car” because it never happened, he invented that in time for the walkthrough. In interview with Serino (tape #3) he admits TM just went past his car, no closer than a car-length away (so not even really close).

        6: if the positions were as GZ describes them, TM’s knees would be blocking any view of GZ’s right hip area where the gun was. They would also be blocking GZ’s ability to draw the gun. So two parts of GZ’s story don’t match up. Either half could be true, the two together cannot.

        Now my comment: the head-bashing was not enough to cause GZ to fear for his life. By his own statement, the fear of death came from fearing TM would take the gun and use it against him, once TM noticed the gun. For this story to work, it IS NECESSARY to accurately show how TM may have noticed the gun. In the fight positions described by GZ this could not have happened.
        So EITHER TM didn’t reach for the gun, OR the circumstances were different.

      • areweoldyet says:

        Aussie – “1: the keychain light was functioning; it was actually found turned on. The non-functioning one was the big one, which was found at the death site.”

        And so GZ, who claims that up by the little tree he was punched in the nose by TM and reeling, stumbling, whirling, he thinks, for, oh, some 40-50 feet before falling on his back where TM leapt on top of him and started pummeling him, etc., somehow managed to carry this medium-sized flashlight the whole way without ever once thinking of using it to defend himself. Indeed, GZ has never mentioned this potential weapon in any of his numerous retellings of his life-and-death struggle with TM. Doesn’t mention that he had it, when he dropped it. Curious.

      • Recreantnejos says:

        “The only debris found near the T (about 8 ft south of it near the little tree) was the keychain light.”
        Yes, I meant the keychain.

      • aussie says:

        areweoldyet

        he’d not throw away the flashlight, those Tacticals are quite expensive, even the small ones. If it truly wasn’t working, he’d have put it into a pocket, from which it could easily fall out during the fight. ALL THE SAME I would like to see if it had any blood on it.

        IF it was working, he may have used it, eg to shine in TM’s eyes (which would certainly make TM think he’s up to no good). If TM then took a swing at him (the bag+iced tea, the phone, bare hands, whatever) he may have dropped it.

        So either way it would be no use as a defensive weapon. An offensive one he didn’t want, hoping to just “order” TM into letting himself be detained. When he didn’t cooperate, well, there was always the option of detaining him at gun-point.

        Although there’s a long complicated scenario available for how the keychain light ended up at the T, I am still leaning towards it being a plant.

        He DID frisk the body, (destroying evidence of where he fell), he DID reholster his weapon (destroying evidence of where THAT fell), he DID walk up and down, he DID walk as far as the little tree. That light could easily have been dropped or thrown there after the event, deliberately left turned on to make sure it’s the first thing anyone entering the scene would notice, which is precisely what happened.

      • recreantnejos says:

        “Although there’s a long complicated scenario available for how the keychain light ended up at the T, I am still leaning towards it being a plant.”
        Of course, it could also be that he dropped the keychain at the “T” when the young ruffian slugged him. Even more fortunately, there were witnesses that saw him immediately after the shooting and none of them reported him throwing or planting his keychain. And to add to his fortune there are multiple ear-witnesses that heard the altercation begin at the top of the “T” and move south. Welcome to Team Zimmerman.

      • aussie says:

        recreantnejos,
        “Of course, it could also be that he dropped the keychain at the “T” when the young ruffian slugged him.”

        Strange that he himself never says this, isn’t it? He goes to great lengths to explain how long and hard he tried to get the flashlight going.

        Never ever mentions the keychain light at all. So, on his own account he was not using it. So how did it get there? Don’t say he must have forgotten to mention it… after the long story about the other one.

        The story went, he had to get the big one going because his car headlights, which had previously lit his way, had gone off on timer. So, he’s gone through to RVC, stood about finishing the phone call. got back part way to the and the headlight went out. Then he stood about trying to get the flashlight going. Then TM approached/jumped him,
        FACTS:
        1) he could not go to RVC , talk, and part-way back by his car headlights. He was gone over a minute, the headlights are designed to turn off after 15 seconds (check the specifications).
        2) so he would have had to get the flashlight going on his way to RVC.
        3) if it didn’t work there, THEN he could have used the keychain one.

        This way he may have dropped it when he was jumped.

        Problem is, in this case, why is he hanging around at the T for a further minute, to give TM the chance to attack? Unless he’s walking up and down, with the keychain light, looking for TM?

        As the saying goes, you can’t have it both ways.

        His own version is that he was at the T trying to bash life into the big flashlight. (This is his explanation for spending so much time there). YOU can’t then say he actually using the little one and that’s why it ended up there. Unless you are also saying that he lied in his statements to the police.

        If,on the other hand, he had to try the big one of his way DOWN to RVC, and was already on the little one on the way back, then why was he just hanging around up there? THIS is why he doesn’t mention the little one to the police at all. Because he is trying to make out there is no possibility that he was actually following or searching for TM.

        You can’t have it both ways.

      • aussie says:

        ps

        “there were witnesses that saw him immediately after the shooting and none of them reported him throwing or planting his keychain.”

        Most witnesses couldn’t even get the colour of clothing right. It was DARK and raining. Half of them saw “one person” as they couldn’t see another underneath. It was DARK. They would NOT see a small dark object being dropped, 15 to 30 feet from them.

        But 2 witnesses saw him walk to where the keylight was found, and the third witnesses, who took the photos, actually came across him there and they went back to the death site together.

      • areweoldyet says:

        Aussie —

        We know from GZ’s own statements that he had the larger flashlight that he couldn’t get to work in his hand. GZ never mentions the flashlight after telling Detective Serino he wanted to use it to walk in the dark back across the T to his car. http://www.wftv.com/videos/news/zimmerman-audio-interview-with-sanford-pd-on-feb/vcQzm/ Since he doesn’t tell Serino or anyone else that he put the flashlight in his pocket, I think we have to assume that GZ kept it in his hand until he tells us otherwise. (Although holding a lit keychain flashlight and a larger flashlight and simultaneously reaching into your pocket for a cellphone might be a trick. Perhaps this is why GZ dropped the keychain flashlight near the tree?)

        Whether GZ put this rather large flashlight into his pocket or not, whether the flashlight was working or not, my point is that such a flashlight is a blunt object that can be and frequently is used as a weapon and that GZ had it available to him the entire time he claims to have been warding off an assault from TM. He does not explain why he couldn’t use the flashlight to defend himself. He does not explain why he made no effort to use the flashlight against TM rather than draw his gun and fatally shoot TM in the chest.

        The larger flashlight, as you know, ended up near TM’s body.

        I am not speculating about what might have happened. I am looking at the holes in GZ’s defense story.

        The flashlight was tested for suspected blood evidence. http://www.talkleft.com/zimm/skittles1.jpg. I don’t find that the results have been released. However, TM had no wounds consistent with being hit by a flashlight.

        Good points about how long GZ was hanging around after ending his call with the dispatcher.

  13. TruthBTold says:

    recreantnejos wrote,

    “If I were to present a theory about Trayvon attacking Zimmerman as part of his initiation into a local gang, how quickly would the forum call for the ban-hammer?”

    I am pretty sure that wouldn’t happen, but what would happen is it being struck down as absolute nonsense considering gang initiations are not done solo. When individuals participate in gang initiations, it is done in the presence of actual gang members and other prospects, not some unverified random solo mission. *tsk tsk*

    • recreantnejos says:

      I don’t actually believe that happened. At any rate, how would you describe Ajamazin’s theory?

      • TruthBTold says:

        I’m on record already stating that I am not putting much stock into the more than one involved theory. Also, I don’t believe that it was pre-meditated. Others that are pursuing this avenue of more than one involved from my understanding, are still gathering their evidence. More power to them. I think it is a bit out there the whole trophy kill, prior stalking, etc.

      • ajamazin says:

        I think Aja’s theory is brilliant!

    • recreantnejos says:

      From another thread

      “Private EYEsOrlando says:
      July 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm
      I’m becoming inclined to believe this could be a Murder 1 case after the recent DUI arrest of Taafe and the strange friendship with Osterman, the air marshal. Zimmerman , Taafe and Osterman were probably looking for someone specific to execute because of some connection to the shady baseball player that Osterman was involved with. It’s very likely a debt was never paid or Osterman was still seethingly angry over losing his job because of his dealings with the supposed baseball player that went sour. Perhaps Martin resembled someone who was a friend of the “supposed” baseball player and Zimmerman set out to stalk then execute him or demand something from him. A case of mistaken identity for a premeditated execution style killing is Murder 1.”

      Ajamazin, I think you’ve got some pretty serious competition.

      (In fairness, he did say, “I’m just throwing this out there for rumination.”)

    • TruthBTold says:

      Thanks Brown. *smh* Craziness.

      • Brown says:

        @Truth
        Does he actually think that the judge is even going to entertain a motion to revise his conditions. SMH ! The only part I see that need revision is the fact the judge left out no firearms in his second bond order.

  14. I have a new post up setting forth the guidelines and rules for the site:

    Welcome to My House

  15. Digger says:

    I have believed there is evil, perhaps because I have, as most, been told there is evil, while growing up and becoming aware by way of different religions of man which use evil as a weapon of control, inhibiting to a degree our own mental capacities.
    Sometimes I think there is no evil even in the mind of a murderer
    because as I acknowledge the many physical defects we can be born with, why would I not include the brain. We are used to a pattern, a body, 2 arms, 2 legs, torso, 10 fingers, 10 toes and
    so on. If one is born with 12 fingers, for instance, we view it as an unfortunate straying from the usual pattern, Or it could be less fingers and toes than the 10 each. My point is, just because we can not look inside our own brain to see if it has been cut from a perfect pattern, if it has a missing button, or a torn seam, which
    can cause the pattern to not fit into society, inviting bullying, judgement, abandonment, either wilting or growing in defiance and hatred. Adhere to the normal, what is normal? People are born blind, or with perfect eyesight yet can not see nor comprehend, can not hold to the patterns of what people expect. We most all have the capacity to learn and retain making it possible to be mind controlled, either personally having self control controlled by another. To me, the mystery is, where is the beginning of fault, is it inherited in the genes, learned, or do we each start on a clean sheet and out of desire and enticement , we come to be in a kind of emptiness where our minds become comfortable in its own caged fury until it bursts into a wide destructive act. So perhaps evil does not exist unless each as an individual create it.

    • aussie says:

      It is so hard to tell, Digger, as you say; we cannot see inside.

      “where is the beginning of fault,” you ask. Do you mean fault in action, or fault as how do we apportion blame?

      The action is mixed.. in some cases clearly physical or biological, sometimes genetic, sometimes caused by trauma or substances (not just abuse, I include accidental toxicity too). In the absence of these, it may be from “nurture” or more likely the lack of nurture. But this feeds back into changes that can be seen on brain scans.

      There has been found a gene that seems to predispose to violence… but only gets “turned on” by being subjected to abuse. People with the gene brought up in loving homes don’t get violent. Most other people don’t have the gene at all. People without it brought up abusively don’t get violent.

      Still, we expect them all to resist doing wrong, if they can tell right from wrong. At one extreme, people with severe menial illness were considered evil, possessed by the Devil; at the other there’s a tendency to absolve from blame those with very abused or twisted/brainwashed upbringings. It is extremely hard to strike a fair balance.

      Prison systems seem designed for revenge or to punish the evil ones. I believe they’d be more effective if they concentrated on rehabilitation. Only those who cannot be improved should stay locked up, and that’s to protect society from them, not to punish them.

      • Digger says:

        Appreciate your knowledge Aussie, I have heard there is a fine line between good and bad we all walk, how easily we could slide one way or another. I guess this is willpower. Believe me
        I have, emotionally, out of despair, anger, exasperation or other, felt the pull to slip for a second but have always been able to stay on line leaning toward good. Others must wrestle with the same experience. What we fail to do is admit we most all have potential to do bad. Thankfully mostly little bads.

        “Prison systems seem designed for revenge or to punish the evil ones. I believe they’d be more effective if they concentrated on rehibilitation. Only those who cannot be improved should stay locked up, and that’s to protect society from them, not to punish them.”

        This brings to mind Casey Anthony, so many still and will continue to wish her dead while no way of knowing what really happened. Now I study the face of James Eagan Holmes and see a blink of sadness, mostly emptiness.

  16. TruthBTold says:

    Regarding my response to the Professor’s question regarding evil and the criminal justice system, I meant to include in my response that the system, without having to categorize so to speak the concept of evil, deals with it in it’s own way. Dealing with evil as a concept and our criminal justice can be a slippery slope. However, and I believe it be Aussie who brought up the evil intent, etc., aspect as one of the elements in the GZ case and I was pretty sure that I had heard the same before but couldn’t recall definitely, then leads me to believe that “evil” is recognized in our system. Or is evil intent totally different than being evil itself?

    • You are thinking of the depraved-mind element of murder 2.

      You won’t find the word “evil” mentioned in the Model Penal Code upon which the vast majority of state criminal codes are based.

      Evil is inextricably tied to pre-enlightenment beliefs in satan, witchcraft and superstition. It’s a throwback to earlier times and gradually falling into disuse. Mental health professionals by and large avoid it and you won’t find it in DSM-IV, the diagnostic classification system of mental illness.

      Basically, evil has been cast out of the rational world even though many people, including myself, use it at times to describe sociopathic behavior. That is, self-centered behavior without empathy, compassion or concern for other people. It’s acting without a conscience.

      Unfortunately, we see it everywhere we look today.

      I think most of us would agree that acting with a depraved mind is evil whereas acting out during a psychotic break is a form of mental illness.

  17. boar_d_laze says:

    I strongly disagree with nearly all of your premises, and completely disagree with your conclusion.

    • boar_d_laze says:

      The above was directed at a post which seems to have been edited or removed. Do me the kindness of ignoring it.

      • Mike S says:

        @recreantnejos:
        “I don’t consider that over-the-top at all. Just a neighbor looking out for another neighbor. Was he calling to complain about the garage doors being open or just asking the sheriff to look into it?”

        I think it’s over the top. If he was looking out for the neighbor why not call him or walk over and knock on his door? Think about it seriously – calling the police repeatedly over open garage doors? That’s paranoid. Also, consider this in the larger context of a pattern. Any one of these items considered individually doesn’t mean much. But it looks very different when you look at it as part of a larger pattern.

        “He apparently wanted to go outside, but that doesn’t mean he wanted to either follow or confront the person. I believe they saw the person approaching someone’s car, right? He may have thought his presence outside might have deterred him. Or he might have wanted to go outside to get a better look. It’s hard to say, but all we can reasonably conclude is that he wanted to leave the house- we don’t know for what reason.”

        Listen to the calls, listen to the tone in Shelley’s voice. She’s very, very concerned about what George is about to do. In the context of that call it sounds like George is going to follow the person at least.

        And again, please – don’t forget that George is always armed with his gun. He wanted to go out and I think it’s entirely reasonable to assume that he was armed at the time.

        “We hear him moving to the “T”- there’s no reason to think he was ‘pursuing’. He was following in the sense that he was moving to somewhere Trayvon had previous been, but no indication he had any intention other than to see which way he went.”

        We don’t know exactly where Zimmerman was for any of this. We do know that George says he was following, the dispatcher said he didn’t need to do that, George said “OK” – and yet the sound of him running doesn’t change. We know George was following Martin, and despite his “OK” it sounds like he’s continuing to follow Martin after what the dispatcher says. The running continues.

        “I don’t hear that. And if this were true then he would have been down to Trayvon’s house or beyond by the end of the call alone. But the encounter seemingly began at the top of the “T” according to ear-witnesses and the place GZ dropped his phone.”

        The wind noise is very plain when the dispatcher says “we don’t need you to do that”, and continues on for many seconds after George says “OK”. We don’t really know where George was during any of this so I don’t know why you keep assuming certain locations are facts. They’re not.

        “He didn’t refuse. But he didn’t have a good one to give him cause he forgot the street name he was parked on. He was going to get an address off the street he did know the name of to give them an idea of where he was at.”.

        You can look at it that way but I think that’s really, really stretching things. Zimmerman lived there for years and he had friends that only lived a few houses away. He was self-appointed neighborhood watch captain. Not knowing where he was is fairly outrageous.

        The only way I would buy that is if Zimmerman was on his sleeping medication at the time or had been drinking (or both). That would actually explain many things, but we’ll never know since the cops didn’t give him any toxicology or drug tests.

        “Absolutely- but I think this manifested itself by his wanting to keep an eye on Trayvon. This explains why he walked to the “T”. But it doesn’t imply chasing- or an interest in personally detaining someone. Given the timeline and location of events, I actually believe it’s pretty clear that he did not pursue him southward. Or he would have been much further south.”

        If someone goes out of your line of sight, and you go to try to “keep an eye on” them, you are following them (or chasing them, depending on your POV). You are playing word games if you think it’s anything else. That means he lied to the dispatcher.

        • stormreaper says:

          Signed up for an account here.

          “In the context of that call it sounds like George is going to follow the person at least. …I think it’s entirely reasonable to assume that he was armed at the time.”
          Let’s assume these are both true. You would probably acknowledge that it’s not illegal. I would go further and say I think it is understandable- and I might have done the same.

          I understand that many people think one should just report an incident to the police and then stay inside. Shellie is apparently one of them. Clearly, that is the safest thing to do.

          But I don’t see anything inherently wrong with taking a proactive approach to protecting your neighborhood. I also don’t see anything wrong with being armed.

          I guess that would make me a ‘wanna-be cop’ in many people’s eyes. I personally see it as someone acting reasonably to help protect their neighborhood.

          And if he went out there brandishing his weapon or to tackle the guy, then this would be different. A vigilante is different. But he did what one should do- called the police.

          There is every reason to think that he was understandably frustrated that suspects got away. There is every reason to think he wanted to keep an eye on their location so he could report it to the police.

          There is no reason to think that he wanted to directly confront these individuals himself- in fact, there is good reason to believe he didn’t. In another of those calls he says, “I don’t want to approach him.”

          “…and yet the sound of him running doesn’t change.”
          First, I disagree that this was the sound of him running. Second, the sound does change in my opinion.

          “We know George was following Martin, and despite his “OK” it sounds like he’s continuing to follow Martin after what the dispatcher says. The running continues.”

          If he continued to follow Martin then, during the remainder of that phone call alone, he would have been far away from the “T”- down past the house TM was headed to. If you actually want to state that he’s running, then he could have run out the back entrance of the entire place in that time.

          But there is every indication that the altercation began a few feet from the top of the “T”. Therefore, what you are suggesting clearly did not happen.

          “We don’t really know where George was during any of this so I don’t know why you keep assuming certain locations are facts. They’re not.”
          The locations that the body and the items were found are about as factual as you can get. Also, the ear-witnesses heard it down from the top of the “T”. His keys were found near the top of the “T”.

          Ignoring that, the best case scenario for your argument would be the furthest point south that items or bodies were located. And that was apparently about 40 feet.

          Again, Zimmerman would have been FAR FAR past that in the duration of the remainder of his call alone had he been following him as you say.

          “You can look at it that way but I think that’s really, really stretching things. Zimmerman lived there for years and he had friends that only lived a few houses away. He was self-appointed neighborhood watch captain. Not knowing where he was is fairly outrageous.”

          First, he wasn’t self-appointed. Second, I can completely relate to not knowing where the hell I am in a spatial sense, or remembering the names of streets I drive on every single day.

          Even if you can’t relate to that, the fact remains he clearly did not know where he was. The dispatcher asked him for an address and he couldn’t give him one. Unless you want to say that he was *pretending* not to know where he was because he anticipated using this as an excuse somehow, then he obviously didn’t know where he was at.

          “If someone goes out of your line of sight, and you go to try to “keep an eye on” them, you are following them (or chasing them, depending on your POV).”
          In the sense that you are moving to a location they had been previously, yes. Chasing implies pursuit- following *with an intent to overtake or capture*. So chasing wouldn’t be an appropriate word to describe this.

          Now don’t ignore my question this time: Given the *known* timeline and the *known* location of the body and items, explain to me how Zimmerman was running after Martin?

          You can’t.

          • ajamazin says:

            “There is no reason to think that he wanted to directly confront these individuals himself- in fact, there is good reason to believe he didn’t. In another of those calls he says, “I don’t want to approach him.””

            See Emanuel Burgess mugshot with his height and weight .
            It is no wonder George did not want to approach him.

            “First, I disagree that this was the sound of him running. ”

            So what is with the “huff, puff, gasp, huff, puff, gasp”?

            George continues to run for about 20 seconds and then stops.

            “First, he wasn’t self-appointed.”

            George was the first and only one to volunteer.

            “Chasing implies pursuit- following *with an intent to overtake or capture*. So chasing wouldn’t be an appropriate word to describe this.”

            So what word best describes follow and shoot dead?

          • stormreaper says:

            You didn’t answer my question.

          • ajamazin says:

            “But there is every indication that the altercation began a few feet from the top of the “T””

            No, there is not.

            Your question has been discussed and is based on a suspect assumption.

          • aussie says:

            “So what word best describes follow and shoot dead?”

            HUNT.

          • ajamazin says:

            aussie,

            And that one word accurately describes what George was doing.

          • MichelleO says:

            HE KNEW the names of those streets because there were only three, and he patrolled them regularly as “captain” of the neighborhood watch. He asked the police dispatch to have the police to meet him near the mailboxes, which is off of the main entrance. To enter and exit that community, he would have to travel that road. To get to his own residence, he would have to travel that same road and turn onto his own street. To leave the community, he would have to travel that very same street.

            He admits that he followed the boy in his interview with the police after the shooting. His friend, Frank Taaffe, made the statement that if only the boy had properly answered his questions, none of this would have happened. I noted that the ex-police chief said the same thing. He followed the boy to confront him and then when the boy refused to be detained, executed him. This man police wanna-be and an idiot, who apparently had friends in high places (note the police chief’s endorsement).

          • ajamazin says:

            MichelleO writes:

            “…made the statement that if only the boy had properly answered his questions,…”

            What questions did George ask Trayvon?

          • More importantly, if George thought he had some type of authority of any kind, why didn’t he identify himself as the head of the NW and explain why he was following Trayvon or showing any interest in what he was doing? He had a few opportunities to do so but never did. If he had explained what he was doing and why, chances are great that TM would be alive today and GZ wouldn’t be facing a couple decades in prison.

            This infuriates me every time I think about it. This wannabe cop didn’t have enough common sense to realize that he looked just as suspicious in following TM!

          • stormreaper says:

            “More importantly, if George thought he had some type of authority of any kind, why didn’t he identify himself as the head of the NW and explain why he was following Trayvon or showing any interest in what he was doing?”

            No reason to think that George thought he had any special authority other than what any regular citizen would have. Although the evidence suggests he did not confront Trayvon, he did have the authority to do so.

            “He had a few opportunities to do so but never did. If he had explained what he was doing and why, chances are great that TM would be alive today and GZ wouldn’t be facing a couple decades in prison.”

            In retrospect, he should have identified himself but he had no obligation to do so. And it might not have made any difference.

            “This infuriates me every time I think about it. This wannabe cop didn’t have enough common sense to realize that he looked just as suspicious in following TM!”

            Then why didn’t TM call the police? Why didn’t he flee? Why did the altercation start at the top of the “T”?

          • ajamazin says:

            Apparently, George doesn’t have the common sense God gave a goose.

          • MichelleO says:

            “What are you doing around here?”

          • ajamazin says:

            I am confused because George has told so many versions.

            Was that before or after;

            “Yo, you got a problem, homie?”

          • stormreaper says:

            What boy? There wasn’t a boy involved in this. And it’s racist for you to refer to Trayvon Martin was one, even if you are the first lady.

          • Dave says:

            A seventeen year old male is a boy, whatever his “race” might be.

          • The Neighborhood Watch program specifically states that volunteers are not to be armed nor are they to confront anyone but to call the police. GZ obviously confronted him considering both Taafe and the ex-Chief of Police’s statement in regards to “TM not recognizing GZ’s authority and not answering his questions.” However, GZ had NO AUTHORITY to confront or to try to detain someone. TM had done nothing of a criminal nature.

            GZ admitted to following TM in his interview and when speaking to the dispatcher. Since he was clearly running, you can hear him breathing hard, that is a pursuit. He also states, “he’s gone” in reference to TM. He wouldn’t be saying that if he wasn’t actively looking for him.

            Given the known location of the body, some 47 feet from the “T”, explain to us how GZ’s explanation is going to hold up. In his re-enactment, he couldn’t get himself close to the marker for the body. He tried, as he pretended he was stumbling and swatting at TM who allegedly ended up on top of him but he was still quite a distance from the marker. In the interview, immediately after the incident, he said that when TM hit him, he fell immediately onto his back. The following day when confronted with the crime scene, that statement wouldn’t stand up and you can clearly see it when he attempts to cover the ground involved according to the crime scene markers. Explain that, please.

          • stormreaper says:

            “The Neighborhood Watch program specifically states that volunteers are not to be armed…”

            There is no official neighborhood watch program. Anyone can set one up and they can carry a gun if they please. Besides, he was on his way to the store, not out on patrol.

            “…nor are they to confront anyone but to call the police.”
            He did call the police and I don’t think he confronted TM.

            “GZ obviously confronted him considering both Taafe and the ex-Chief of Police’s statement in regards to “TM not recognizing GZ’s authority and not answering his questions.”

            Who cares what Taaffe and the police chief said? They weren’t even there that night.

            “However, GZ had NO AUTHORITY to confront or to try to detain someone. TM had done nothing of a criminal nature.”

            No evidence that he did either one. Even by Dee Dee’s account Martin initiated the confrontation.

            “Given the known location of the body, some 47 feet from the “T”, explain to us how GZ’s explanation is going to hold up. In his re-enactment, he couldn’t get himself close to the marker for the body. He tried, as he pretended he was stumbling and swatting at TM who allegedly ended up on top of him but he was still quite a distance from the marker. In the interview, immediately after the incident, he said that when TM hit him, he fell immediately onto his back. The following day when confronted with the crime scene, that statement wouldn’t stand up and you can clearly see it when he attempts to cover the ground involved according to the crime scene markers. Explain that, please.”
            Encounter began at top of “T” and moved S just like the ear-witnesses and the location of the items suggest. Dark and under attack, Zimmerman didn’t remember where it ended up.

            Care to answer my question? I note that you didn’t.

          • ajamazin says:

            stormreaper,

            “Care to answer my question?”

            What question was that?

          • aussie says:

            Dark and under attack, he imagined he was knocked to the ground with the first blow (at the T) and then jumped on and held down and bashed on concrete etc etc. NEVER in any other account, to police or to friends/relatives, did he say anything about the 40+ ft swatting scramble to the death site.

            In the reenactment you can see him stop and blink as he realises that he has so far failed to explain how he got knocked down and STILL ended up 40 feet away.

            If he doesn’t remember where it ended up, to within 10 feet or so, that is fair enough. But in all statements but the reenactment, he totally ignores the fact that it DID end up considerably south of the T where he was “knocked down and immediately pummelled”.

          • Mike S says:

            @Stormreaer: “Let’s assume these are both true. You would probably acknowledge that it’s not illegal. I would go further and say I think it is understandable- and I might have done the same.

            I understand that many people think one should just report an incident to the police and then stay inside. Shellie is apparently one of them. Clearly, that is the safest thing to do.

            …”

            You’re missing something here. At the end of the day Zimmerman shot and killed a 17 year old. I’m walking backwards from that moment to see how Zimmerman got there. Part of Zimmerman’s argument seems to be that he was not trying to pursue or detain Martin at all. But looking back at Zimmerman’s past, you see him getting increasingly frustrated with people getting away with crimes in his neighborhood. You have him on tape wanting to go out and follow a person and his wife having to restrain him. We have every reason to assume that George was armed then, as he was armed the night he shot Martin.

            He did in an earlier call say he didn’t want to approach someone. Note: that’s an earlier call. As I said, George apparently gets bolder over time, which is how many criminals move towards criminality. They don’t jump into it, they inch towards it.

            George has a pattern of wanting to inject himself into situations as a hero, with his gun as backup. That’s a textbook definition of a vigilante.

            @stormreaper: “First, I disagree that this was the sound of him running. Second, the sound does change in my opinion”.

            I have to disagree. I think it’s almost painfully obvious he is running both before and after he says “OK” to the dispatcher.

            @stormreaper: “The locations that the body and the items were found are about as factual as you can get. Also, the ear-witnesses heard it down from the top of the “T”. His keys were found near the top of the “T”.

            Ignoring that, the best case scenario for your argument would be the furthest point south that items or bodies were located. And that was apparently about 40 feet.

            Again, Zimmerman would have been FAR FAR past that in the duration of the remainder of his call alone had he been following him as you say”.

            You keep making assumptions about where Zimmerman was and where he went. None of that has been factually established. We don’t even definitively know where Zimmerman’s car was parked.

            Where are you getting your baselines for where Zimmerman started from? And how do you know which direction he went in from there? There are several possibilities.

            @stormreaper: “First, he wasn’t self-appointed. Second, I can completely relate to not knowing where the hell I am in a spatial sense, or remembering the names of streets I drive on every single day.

            Even if you can’t relate to that, the fact remains he clearly did not know where he was. The dispatcher asked him for an address and he couldn’t give him one. Unless you want to say that he was *pretending* not to know where he was because he anticipated using this as an excuse somehow, then he obviously didn’t know where he was at.”

            From what I recall George was in fact self-appointed.

            As for spatial sense, we are not talking about some random road somewhere. We’re talking about a neighborhood with three streets that George lived on for years. Seriously, when you’re a block away from your house you lose all your spatial sense? Come on, you’re stretching things way past credibility.

            Zimmerman does not like to give addresses out, period. In the earlier call I cited George did not want to give his address out. He was fearful that someone would learn his home address. He was calling from his house with no chance of being overheard, yet he wouldn’t give the dispatcher his address. On the night of the Martin shooting he was again afraid to give out his address. People assume it’s because he was afraid of being overheard but we know George routinely refused to give his address.

            I think not telling the dispatcher where he was was part of that. George, for whatever reason, doesn’t like giving hard addresses out. Maybe it’s because he was so close to Taaffe’s place, I’m not sure.

            @stormreaper: “Now don’t ignore my question this time: Given the *known* timeline and the *known* location of the body and items, explain to me how Zimmerman was running after Martin?”

            It’s quite simple – we don’t know where Zimmerman parked his truck, we don’t know what direction he was running in, we do not know if he went in straight lines or turned. All we really know is where the body was, and where the debris field was. All the rest is based on George’s ever-changing testimony. I don’t trust George’s testimony on this – why do you? Why do you want to believe George’s words but ignore the huffing and puffing and the wind noises on the NEN call?

  18. boar_d_laze says:

    Loughner is severely mentally ill, and it appears Holmes is as well. Illness is not evil, it’s illness.

    Zimmerman doesn’t appear to be severely mentally ill, at least from a legal perspective. The known facts and circumstances seem to indicate that — for whatever shortcomings he feels — he’s overcompensating by trying to be a hero. That’s not evil, it’s just pathetic; and unfortunately not uncommon.

    What might be evil is an agenda to put guns in the hands of people who should not have them by encouraging their violent fantasies and perception of victimization.

  19. Fabuloso says:

    ajamazin says:
    \”When Burgess was arrested 2 weeks later w. the stolen laptop, Zimmerman was asked to identify him, but got no ‘credit’.
    [the roofers were credited w. spotting Burgess]\”

    \”Consequently, Zimmerman had to kill a black boy to regain his ‘dignity’ and he set out to find one.\” \”He stalked Trayvon prior to that night so he could claim his “Trophy Kill”

    \”I believe that Zimmerman was aware that Trayvon was staying in the Retreat and knew where he was staying.\”

    \”It is my belief that Zimmerman knew of Trayvon and that he and possibly an accomplice tracked Trayvon in the days before the killing.\”

    Do you think the conspiracy was limited to just Taaffe, or were Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum involved as well?

    • ajamazin says:

      Fabuloso writes:

      “Do you think the conspiracy was limited to just Taaffe, or were Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum involved as well?”

      Perhaps Shellie or Osterman were also involved.

      A conspiracy is a crime planned/perpetrated by 2 or more people.
      A conspiracy theory does not imply delusional thinking or paranoia.

      A conspiracy theory is often the basis for solving a crime.

      • recreantnejos says:

        “A conspiracy theory does not imply delusional thinking or paranoia.”
        Groundless ones that are outside the bounds of reason do.
        My understanding is that discussions are supposed to be evidence-based.

        If I were to present a theory about Trayvon attacking Zimmerman as part of his initiation into a local gang, how quickly would the forum call for the ban-hammer?

        • There is a reason to question whether GZ encountered TM by coincidence, as he claims.

          There is no factual basis to believe TM suddenly attempted to kill GZ with his bare hands for any reason while talking to his girlfriend, after successfully running away from and eluding a pursuing and much heavier creepy adult stranger.

          The he-went-psycho theory is not supported by any evidence independent of GZ’s story. Not only is it not supported, it’s contradicted by the known evidence and common sense.

          Let me spell it out for you.

          Trayvon Martin was unarmed and walking home in the rain with a can of Arizona Iced Tea and a bag of Skittles for his likely future stepbrother and they were going to watch the NBA All Star game. TM was afraid of George Zimmerman, who by his own admission failed to identify himself to Trayvon as a neighborhood watch person, despite two opportunities to do so.

          These are uncontroverted facts.

          You can believe whatever you want to believe, but your beliefs are not supported by any evidence.

          Put yourself in TM’s shoes and you should be able to see why we do not believe George Zimmerman.

      • recreantnejos says:

        “There is a reason to question whether GZ encountered TM by coincidence, as he claims.”

        It seems to me that Trayvon returning home from 7-11 while GZ was headed to Target sufficiently explains their encounter.

        What “reason” is there to think that their encounter was *actually* the result of a days-long surveillance operation that stemmed from a conspiratorial plot (involving Z’s friends or family) to murder a black boy- so that GZ could claim his “Trophy Kill” because he didn’t get enough credit for spotting a guy who stole a laptop?

        Really, professor?

        • I will assume you were responding to me, since you said, “Really professor?”

          You placed words in my mouth and that is not a valid debate tactic.

          I said maybe it was a coincidence that their paths crossed according to chance and maybe it wasn’t.

          I assume GZ lies about everything because we have caught him in so many lies that he is unworthy of belief.

          Therefore, I question whether he told the truth when he said he was on the way to Target to do the weekly grocery shopping after mentoring children with his wife.

          Absent independent verification of his statement that has not been forthcoming, I will continue to assume that he lied.

          The question is, Why?

          I do not know the answer, except to say that I suspect he is covering up something that he does not want the public to know.

          If I were investigating this case, I would be searching for that answer.

          Depending on what is discovered, if anything, the answer could lead to increasing the charge to Murder 1.
          I said that is a legitimate area of inquiry and I now affirm what I said.

          In the future, please do not mischaracterize what I say.

      • Recreantnejos says:

        Let me clarify my post. The only thing I was claiming that you (Professor Leatherman) said was:
        “There is a reason to question whether GZ encountered TM by coincidence, as he claims.”

        I then summarized Ajamazin’s statements to illustrate that what she actually said went far, far beyond that.

        Her actual statements were not presented as “hypothetical”, nor were they merely “questioning whether GZ encountered TM by coincidence” as those defending her have suggested.

        I’m suggesting that you have taken what is clearly nothing more than over-the-top, anti-Zimmerman rhetoric (that ought to be put in check) and sanitized them into something more palatable and easier to defend.

        • I’m suggesting that you have taken what is clearly nothing more than over-the-top, anti-Zimmerman rhetoric (that ought to be put in check) and sanitized them into something more palatable and easier to defend.

          Nonsense.

          I said:

          I said maybe it was a coincidence that their paths crossed according to chance and maybe it wasn’t.

          I assume GZ lies about everything because we have caught him in so many lies that he is unworthy of belief.

          Therefore, I question whether he told the truth when he said he was on the way to Target to do the weekly grocery shopping after mentoring children with his wife.

          Absent independent verification of his statement that has not been forthcoming, I will continue to assume that he lied.

          The question is, Why?

          I do not know the answer, except to say that I suspect he is covering up something that he does not want the public to know.

          If I were investigating this case, I would be searching for that answer.

          You have not explained why my reasoning is faulty. Instead, you said:

          nothing more than over-the-top, anti-Zimmerman rhetoric (that ought to be put in check) and sanitized them into something more palatable and easier to defend.

          You get an “F” in debate because you are not engaging in debate. You are throwing empty accusations that are unsupported by any facts and that will get you nowhere.

      • recreantnejos says:

        “You have not explained why my reasoning is faulty.”
        “You get an “F” in debate because you are not engaging in debate. You are throwing empty accusations that are unsupported by any facts and that will get you nowhere.”

        I should get an “A” because I’ve disregarded the straw man that you presented in favor of trying to debate the actual topic.

        The topic of this particular sub-thread had been Ajamazin’s assertions, and my contention that they are not only unsubstantiated, but not even within the bounds of reason.

        In your reply to this assertion, you changed the topic to whether it’s “reasonable to question whether GZ encountered TM by coincidence”.

        This argument, while worthy of debate in its own right, seemed to be a red herring only superficially related to what had been the topic of debate.

        Since Ajamazin’s actual assertions would be nearly impossible to defend intellectually, I agree it is best to debate yours instead.

        “There is no factual basis to believe TM suddenly attempted to kill GZ with his bare hands for any reason while talking to his girlfriend, after successfully running away from and eluding a pursuing and much heavier creepy adult stranger.”
        First, I’m not convinced TM was *actually* trying to kill George Zimmerman. In fact, I have relatively strong *doubts* that was TM’s intention. (But I think that *GZ* sincerely *believed* he was in danger of death or at least great bodily harm.)

        Second, I do not accept your premise that GZ had ever “pursued” Trayvon Martin. There is no credible evidence for this, in my opinion. There is only credible evidence that he left his car and traveled to the “T”-intersection. (Incidentally, even *if* he pursued TM, he did not forfeit his right to self-defense.)

        “Trayvon Martin was unarmed and walking home in the rain with a can of Arizona Iced Tea and a bag of Skittles”
        This isn’t really relevant, but I don’t dispute this.

        “for his likely future stepbrother and they were going to watch the NBA All Star game.” This isn’t really relevant either, but I don’t consider these to be incontrovertibly true.

        “TM was afraid of George Zimmerman, who by his own admission failed to identify himself to Trayvon as a neighborhood watch person, despite two opportunities to do so.”
        I’m not convinced that TM was afraid of George Zimmerman. Just because Dee Dee said she thought he was afraid doesn’t make it so. In fact, there is some reason to think that TM was not afraid of GZ and also reason to think that Dee Dee didn’t think he was either.

        “These are uncontroverted facts.” At most, *some* of what you stated are facts that are not in dispute. The most material of these facts are very much in dispute.

        “Put yourself in TM’s shoes and you should be able to see why we do not believe George Zimmerman.”
        I can fully understand why you question Zimmerman’s account, even disbelieve parts of it. The truth is, I give little weight to what he says. I think it’s quite possible he exaggerated, embellished, minimized or even said things that just plain aren’t true either unintentionally or with the intention of making his account seem more believable, or more compelling.

        But even innocent people may do this.

        • First, I only jumped in to your response to ajamazin because you ended it with “Right, Professor?”

          (or something like that)

          I responded directly to you stating my basis for concluding that further inquiry into GZ’s explanation for being where he was when he encountered TM by “chance” is warranted.

          In other words, she is right to be questioning his claim.

          I did not get involved to defend her theory. Her theory is still a theory and a good investigator would check it out.

          Second, you admitted that you are relying on faith, rather than evidence, when you said,

          The truth is, I give little weight to what he says. I think it’s quite possible he exaggerated, embellished, minimized or even said things that just plain aren’t true either unintentionally or with the intention of making his account seem more believable, or more compelling.

          Believe he is innocent, if you want, but at least admit that your belief is faith based and not evidence based.

          In my experience, a person is lying when they cannot keep their stories straight, particularly when there are patterns to their lies that attempt to conceal or explain away damaging material facts to the person’s defense.

          Third, innocent people do not do that.

          Fourth, he is one of the worst liars I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of them.

          Fifth, his own lawyer admits he has credibility problems.

    • aussie says:

      I don’t believe “conspiracy theory” and “theory of conspiracy” are quite the same.

      Conspiracy theories surrounding this case are along the lines of who is pushing it to cause what riots for whose political advantage.

      “Hypothesis” would be a better way of stating the idea that perhaps there was another person knowingly involved IN THE KILLING. I don’t believe there was, as it was not premeditated IMO.

      The idea that GZ may have been tipped off to TM’s presence in the area involves no conspiracies — it is a big part of the NW idea that people pass on their suspicions to the leadership. Even if one (temporary) resident is watched a bit more than others, that is no conspiracy, as there is no crime…as long as they stick to watching. Forget the stalking and shooting bit.

      • There is nothing wrong with forming a hypothesis and discussing whether there is any evidence to support it.

        Scientists do this all the time. They call it the scientific method.

      • Recreantnejos says:

        ““Hypothesis” would be a better way of stating the idea that perhaps there was another person knowingly involved IN THE KILLING.”
        She actually presented it as a combination of fact and her beliefs, not hypothetically.

        “The idea that GZ may have been tipped off to TM’s presence in the area involves no conspiracies — it is a big part of the NW idea that people pass on their suspicions to the leadership.”
        There is no evidence that this happened, but that is at least within the bounds of reason.

  20. Sandra E. Graham says:

    IMHO, a human being is evil if they have taken another human life without remorse and will continue to be a danger to society. this includes those who are taking medication to control their mental illness. If they go off their meds, as they say, there is a danger of repeating history. None should see the light of day. Zimmerman is another case and the evidence is still unfolding. He is innocent until proven guilty.

  21. Digger says:

    Sociopath, is this applied to those who deliberately lead people into thinking they are so good, so good a friend as they say and do all that others need to hear then deliberately burst their bubble. Who lead people, suck them in only to leave them betrayed. I am not speaking of marriage, relationships and the like, just everyday deliberate usage of people as long as they serve a purpose. For some reason I have this feeling about GZ and his wife. Like Shellie is so inthralled by his soft spoken adoration of her while telling her what to do. She uses a lot of words like “baby”, my handsome man, terms that mothers use to speak to their children, sons. He has the benefit of her service, her constant support of his ego, but oddly enough I just can’t bring myself to believe there is “love” from him but that he has skillful use of words to satisfy and keep his woman around while he wouldn’t hesitate to slit her throat in a state of rage if at anytime he might decide she is no longer under his spell in obedience. I believe Sociopath exists in many subtle undetectable personalities who love control of people not people.
    Hitler, was he more than a Sociopath, Hussain? Promises while at the same time, he denies.

    • Wikipedia describes sociopathic behavior:

      Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is described by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition (DSM-IV-TR), as an Axis II personality disorder characterized by “…a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.”

      • Digger says:

        Professor, when you study to be an attorney is it required to study and learn the different personality traits and apply them to your practice. Undoubtedly you are beyond intelligent and have involved yourself in many many areas of knowledge understanding and wisdom, but I am interested how much is applied in defense of a client or is the “law” no matter what, the only tool used. We in general public are quite judgemental based on what we read, observe and apply in speculation but are attorneys limited when they get to trial as in defense as well as prosecution.

        • Professor, when you study to be an attorney is it required to study and learn the different personality traits and apply them to your practice.

          Answer: No, but every competent trial lawyer applies his or her full range of knowledge and skills to winning the case. Unfortunately, most of the skills a lawyer needs to master in order to be a successful trial lawyer are not taught in law school.

          The skills are learned via on the job training.

  22. Recreant says:

    How is Taaffe’s possible DUI relevant to anything? The cousin of GZ who accused him of being a racist has a DUI. So what? I’m sure some of Trayvon’s friends aren’t perfect either.

    • hinkster4ever says:

      Having a DUI is not something to be proud of…it, to me, is the same as cocking a gun at motorists….drinking & driving= innocent lives taken with a deadly weapon.

      This particular man did introduce Gz to gun’s and how to use them and is his BFF…..I find this relevant because he has supported Gz since he murdered a young boy…very loudly. IMO

      • Fabuloso says:

        He’s his BFF, eh? And what is your evidence of this?

      • recreantnejos says:

        \”Having a DUI is not something to be proud of…it, to me, is the same as cocking a gun at motorists….drinking & driving= innocent lives taken with a deadly weapon.\”
        And that has what to do with whether Zimmerman is legally culpable for Trayvon\’s death?

        \”This particular man did introduce Gz to gun’s and how to use them and is his BFF\”
        Actually, you are misrepresenting the facts. it was not Taaffe who introduced GZ to gun\’s or how to use them. Second, there is no indication that GZ or Taaffe were particularly close friends. But even if what you said were accurate, it would still be irrelevant.

        \”…..I find this relevant because he has supported Gz since he murdered a young boy…very loudly. IMO\”
        Yes, he did his best to support someone he knew that he believed was being unfairly maligned in the media. Even if you don\’t care for the person, GZ can\’t control what Taaffe does. Most people wouldn\’t blame Jesus for the Westboro Church members.

        Incidentally, Trayvon was not a \”young boy\”, nor was he \”murdered\”.

        • masonblue says:

          Incidentally, Trayvon was not a \”young boy\”, nor was he \”murdered\”.

          He had just turned 17 and was still a child under the law. He also was murdered because GZ is a liar and there is no evidence to support his claim of self-defense.

    • ajamazin says:

      “The cousin of GZ who accused him of being a racist has a DUI.”

      Link, please.

  23. princss6 says:

    Listening to the GZ Jail house calls – he is not in touch with reality. He does not or will not appreciate the magnitude of his crime or that he murdered an unarmed teenager. He is more worried about his media image and his comfort in prison. I don’t think this makes him insane but it is chilling. A sociopath for sure, however.

    • In fairness to GZ, his lawyer would have warned him not to talk about his case to anyone in jail or with anyone on a jailhouse telephone, including his wife.

      Therefore, you cannot assume anything based on the absence of any reference by GZ to the shooting and the events that led up to it.

      In one or more of the recorded jailhouse telephone calls, however, he did mention wearing a hoodie when he got out of jail. I do not know if he was kidding or serious, but if he was kidding, that’s mighty cold.

      Mighty cold.

      And the jury will not like that.

      Not. At. All.

      • MichelleO says:

        Hello, Professor Leatherman:

        GZ did know that the jail house telephone lines were recorded. I’ve read the transcripts, and before every telephone connection; there is a warning that the calls will be recorded. In fact, in one of the transcripts, he even acknowledges to his wife that their conversations are being recorded!

      • DamagedGoods says:

        GZ also spoke in codes and constantly reminded his relatives to do the same. In a number of calls GZ told relatives that “just like the Casey Anthony case” they can expect all their jail calls to get to the media so all incriminating conversations should not be discussed on the calls.
        It is however my analysis that much of the information leaked through these conversations are complete slips and poorly constructed code planning as due to GZ narcissistic personality, he had to stay the star of the show and in control of all the planning even while jailed.

      • Chi says:

        I heard the hoodie comment, and also the short snort of sarcastic laughter that followed, no doubt in my mind he was referring to Trayvon, and all the hoodie talk that was in the news. Remember people were wearing hoodies as a symbol of support for Trayvon’s rights?
        Cold indeed. But this is a guy who also went on TV and described the incident as “God’s will”, and to this day has not shown any remorse.

        When the EMTs checked Zimmerman at the scene, his heart rate and respiration were in the normal range.

      • MollyK says:

        @Chi: I heard the hoodie reference in the same way – as an “inside joke” between GZ and SZ. There is really something wrong with GZ, something “off”. I keep thinking that many of his comments about Trayvon on the NEN calls really apply to him.

      • TruthBTold says:

        Totally agree about the hoodie reference; it was in poor taste and directly contradicts his claim that he offered an apology to the family during his numerous statements after the incident. BDLR confronted him about this during the first bond hearing.

      • recreantnejos says:

        I interpreted this as a recognition of the irony of him wearing a hoodie given the iconic nature that hoodies had taken on. Nothing more.

        He referred to the fact that he would need to wear one in order to disguise his identity when he left the jail. Unless one is already inclined to view Zimmerman negatively, this was a non-event in my opinion.

        • Nonsense! Regardless whether GZ murdered TM or killed him in self-defense, there is nothing funny or appropriate in joking about wearing a hoodie.

          Apparently, you’re too blind to see that.

          Perhaps, you would regard the matter differently if TM were your son.

      • princss6 says:

        I’m not basing it on the absence of the reference to the crime or the events leading up to it. I’ve listened to close to 30 of those calls. Others who have listened to that volume of calls can also attest to him not appreciating the magnitude of what will happen. I won’t detail it all here but if you are so inclined, you can check out the compilation of tweets recapping various calls here –

        http://storify.com/princss6/george-zimmerman-jailhouse-calls-in-spanish-and-en-1

        There are four parts with more to come.

        Believe me when I tell you, they could care less about what happened to Trayvon and feel like persecuted victims. There calls are sickening beyond belief. That much is clear regardless if they discuss the case or not.

  24. DamagedGoods says:

    Hello all. I wanted to say thanks to all for this very informative and mentally stimulating forum.

    I have often lurked but today feel obligated to comment as the topic is one I have personally explored from youth.
    Life experiences have led me to believe the term evil to be a valid description of the mindset or state of mind of an individual who contiously and with intent inflict mental, physical or emotional harm to an individual, animal or thing. Whilst the wrong doing itself does not constitute evil, it is my opinion that the motive, gratification sought and accomplished by the wrong doer and the projected lack of remorse coupled with asserted justification of actions is what determine evil vs just plain wrong. The person must be cognizant of the wrong doing, the pain/suffering/damage caused from his action and yet choose to lack remorse or empathy. A person who murders someone, lies about the events to assert self defense and escape sentencing but feels genuine sympathy and remorse for the life lost is wrong but not evil in my opinion. GZ on the other hand depicts quiet the contrary.
    Mental illnesses in my opinion can result in wrong doing but not necessarily an evil state of mind as the person lacks sane, conscious intentions to choose accordingly. So I think the same wrong dependent on the the sanity can be described as an Evil act or a Crazy act.

  25. ajamazin says:

    Frank Taaffe is as scary as George Zimmerman.

    The self-appointed leader, Frank Taaffe, of Truth and Freedom and Stand-Up Guys was arrested, yet again.

    This time it was for DUI on on July 28, 2012.

    Unfortunately, no tox screen was performed, but it will all come out with time.

    • MichelleO says:

      WOW! You are really on the ball, Ajamazin.

    • aussie says:

      I’ve not seen that story in any mainstream media at all, ajamazin. I only saw it on a small blog, when the story was about an hour old. They didn’t say where they got it from. I’d treat it with a grain of salt unless I see it in the mainstream.

    • ajamazin says:

      “Appearing in numerous media sources shows an item has some public currency. ”

      No, it does not.

      • hinkster4ever says:

        information, right? #FrankTaaffe
        Expand
        Reply Retweet Favorite
        3h Daralene Jones ‏@DaraleneJones
        Frank Taaffe went on to tell me that he’s now encouraging everyone to read labels on their meds.
        Expand
        Reply Retweet Favorite
        3h Daralene Jones ‏@DaraleneJones
        Frank Taaffe also said he’s been suffering from chest pains, dealing w/some tragic personal problems. Really didn’t know he couldn’t mix
        Expand
        Reply Retweet Favorite
        3h Daralene Jones ‏@DaraleneJones
        Frank Taaffe told me that the medication he takes intensifies the alcohol, and that led to DUI arrest..said he didn’t read warning label.
        Expand
        Reply Retweet Favorite
        3h Daralene Jones ‏@DaraleneJones
        Frank Taaffe was #GeorgeZimmerman’s most vocal supporter, at least publicly, in the weeks after GZ killed #TrayvonMartin
        Expand
        Reply Retweet Favorite
        3h Daralene Jones ‏@DaraleneJones
        Frank Taaffe was arrested late Friday night, bonded out ($500) Saturday.
        Expand
        Reply Retweet Favorite
        3h Daralene Jones ‏@DaraleneJones
        Just confirmed-#GeorgeZimmerman’s biggest supporter arrested 4 DUI-Frank Taaffe told me he mixed a drink w/anxiety meds
        ***********
        I added her to my twitter and read it myself, therefore, it is true….I posted a link from mugshots but it got lost lol

      • ajamazin says:

        hinkster4ever

        It amazes me that no one wonders how George happened to know Taaffe before moving into the Retreat.

        Taaffe manages to get arrested about once a year. His criminal record dates back to 1991 in Florida.

        How does Taaffe earn his living? He is a renter as was George.

        How did either of them pass the credit and background check required to live at the Retreat or to rent from the unit’s owner?

    • Jimmy says:

      Relevance to anything?

  26. gsype says:

    Zimmerman borrowed the statement, “I didn’t think I had hit him” from the 1995 movie (on Netflix), ‘Without Evidence’. That is the exact same statement around the 58:00 time frame in that movie.

  27. Recreantum says:

    Sure it does. They don’t use the word “evil”, but it’s very much the same thing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

  28. Digger says:

    In comparison to the murder of Caylee Anthony I believe the death
    of Trayvon Martin was more pre-meditated. Where Casey was
    immediately termed pre-meditation yet still under question this act has evolved into pre-meditation.

    I believe George Zimmerman from the moment he saw Trayvon, followed and killed without hesitation.

    • Sandbagger says:

      I know this explanation doesn’t qualify for a legal definition of pre-meditation.

      But an engineer looks at life through the eyes of a engineer, he spent a lifetime developing those skills and takes responsibility for the outcomes.

      George Zimmerman has apparently spent a lifetime developing a very different skill, one that led him to killing Trayvon Martin. I think he is responsible for that path, unfortunately it would take years of rehabilitation to repair the damage in his mind before he could see this for himself, this is why he passed a lie detector, he really believes he did nothing wrong.

      “I believe George Zimmerman from the moment he saw Trayvon, followed and killed without hesitation.”

      So do I.

    • aussie says:

      I don’t believe he followed with intention to kill. In fact his previous calls show some reluctance to go out and get too involved.

      But he followed without the fear he later claimed, confident in the knowledge that if worse came to worse he had the means to defend himself. I don’t believe he planned to shoot, provided TM let himself be detained quietly.

      I think he was “prepared to kill if necessary” defining “necessary” as in self defence. To some extent all concealed carriers must be prepared, though it would vary how far they’d thought it through. In a twisted way he is probably certain he DID shoot in self defence, because of this prior permission he gave himself.

      But when it came to the point, I believe it was not his physical life he was defending, but his psychic life, his self-esteem. Which is crazy but not evil. Crazy but not insane.

      • MichelleO says:

        “I don’t believe he followed with intention to kill. In fact his previous calls show some reluctance to go out and get too involved. ”

        YOU make him sound like a reluctant angel or a person with police powers. The true fact of the matter is that he had no business getting out of his vehicle in the first place. He was a criminal justice student, and “captain” of his neighborhood watch program. In other words, he more so than others, knew he had no business acting as law enforcement, and taking the law into his own hands. He was trained not to do what he ended up doing by ignoring police dispatch instructions not to interfere. He knew exactly what he was doing—-and did it anyway despite his own call to the police—-and the warnings of numerous witnesses that they were about to do the same.

        • Really makes me wonder why he shot and killed TM with a cop on the way and due to arrive momentarily.

          He was not in any mortal danger with TM struggling to get away from him.

          I think he couldn’t handle the embarrassment of his “suspect” getting the better of him and escaping leaving him empty-handed, bleeding and embarrassed with a loaded gun and some splainin’ to do when the cop arrived.

          He couldn’t handle the humiliation of failing to apprehend the suspect.

          Wouldn’t look good on a resume.

          This is not my idea, although I wish it were. Someone here thought of it first and I think it’s probably true and certainly “depraved.”

          • ajamazin says:

            Professor,

            “Really makes me wonder why he shot and killed TM with a cop on the way and due to arrive momentarily. ”

            There are two reasons, but I will give the most obvious:

            Emmanuel Burgess had left before the SPD arrived on Feb. 2.
            Zimmerman had told NEN dispatcher that he had no intention of approaching him [even though Zimmerman had his gun.]

            Why?

            Trayvon and Emmanuel were roughly the same age, but Emmanuel
            was bigger, more muscular, and looked really mean and Zimmerman was intimidated [read: scared sh!tless ]

            When Burgess was arrested 2 weeks later w. the stolen laptop, Zimmerman was asked to identify him, but got no ‘credit’.
            [the roofers were credited w. spotting Burgess]

            Consequently, Zimmerman had to kill a black boy to regain his ‘dignity’ and he set out to find one.

            He stalked Trayvon prior to that night so he could claim his “Trophy Kill”

          • He stalked Trayvon prior to that night so he could claim his “Trophy Kill”

            How do you know this?

          • ajamazin says:

            Professor,

            4.] from Reuters:

            “EMANUEL BURGESS – SETTING THE STAGE

            On February 2, 2012, Zimmerman placed a call to Sanford police after spotting a young black man he recognized peering into the windows of a neighbor’s empty home, according to several friends and neighbors.

            “I don’t know what he’s doing. I don’t want to approach him, personally,” Zimmerman said in the call, which was recorded. The dispatcher advised him that a patrol car was on the way. By the time police arrived, according to the dispatch report, the suspect had fled.

            On February 6, the home of another Twin Lakes resident, Tatiana Demeacis, was burglarized. Two roofers working directly across the street said they saw two African-American men lingering in the yard at the time of the break-in. A new laptop and some gold jewelry were stolen. One of the roofers called police the next day after spotting one of the suspects among a group of male teenagers, three black and one white, on bicycles.

            Police found Demeacis’s laptop in the backpack of 18-year-old Emmanuel Burgess, police reports show, and charged him with dealing in stolen property. Burgess was the same man Zimmerman had spotted on February 2.

          • Yes, I know about Burgess, but I’m asking about GZ stalking TM “prior to that night.”

            Did I misunderstand?

          • ajamazin says:

            It is my belief that Zimmerman knew of Trayvon and that he and possibly an accomplice tracked Trayvon in the days before the
            killing.

            There has been speculation that George did not act alone.

            I believe that Zimmerman was aware that Trayvon was staying in the Retreat and knew where he was staying.

            I believe Zimmerman made it his business to know everyone’s business. If an open garage door could not elude George, I doubt Trayvon did.

            It is my understanding that the prosecution subpoenaed Zimmerman’s cell phone activity for the prior week, as was Taaffe’s and Shellie’s communication activity.

  29. Digger says:

    Sandbagger, Having traveled through much of your story myself
    your sharing has made me a braver person in realizing I am not alone. Thank you!

  30. Formerly T-Bear says:

    [Comment removed at the request of the author]

    • Dennis says:

      I read the article on Wikipedia regarding “Natural Evil”. The laws of nature are proven, survival of the fittest is the universal law. One of the examples they provide of natural evil is a bolt of lightning strikes a tree, causes a forest fire that traps a baby deer and it slowly burns to death.

      • ajamazin says:

        A bolt of lightning struck a tree and primitive man was frightened and from this fear and ignorance, man created religion with its rituals and dogma.

        Nature knows nothing of right or wrong, good or bad for these are
        man made concepts.

        The forces of nature are awesome. Nature demands harmony and balance and the forces of nature will operate to eliminate that which endangers its survival.

      • The laws of nature are proven, survival of the fittest is the universal law.

        I disagree. Survival of the fittest applies only to determining the outcome of a battle for survival between two animals.

        The rest of the time, which is most of the time, intelligence, cooperation and adaptability determine whether a species survives.

        Survival of the fittest does not drive evolution.

        Evolution is driven by natural selection.

        For example, when the environment suddenly changes in a significant way, some species of plants and animals will not be able to adapt and will become extinct.

        Due to genetic mutations within species that are passed along to offspring via reproduction and inheritance, some individuals who inherited a beneficial trait will survive environmental change whereas others without the trait will perish.

        Whether a genetic trait caused by a mutation is beneficial or not depends on whether it survives environmental change.

        This is how natural selection works and, as I said, natural selection drives evolution, not survival of the fittest.

      • aussie says:

        “Fittest” does not mean the strongest that’s spent the most time in the gym.
        “Fittest” means most suited to the purpose.

        Whatever survives is what gets to pass its genes on to the next generation. On occasion this might be the animal that wins the fight. More often it might be the one whose coat colour, by a genetic accident, is a better camouflage under drought conditions, or whose teeth are that little bit bigger to be able to chew that little bit tougher new food brought on by a change of climate.

        As the better suited survive or thrive in each generation, more and more of the next generation inherits the genes that make life a little more survivable under changed conditions. Short life-cycle lifeforms like insects or plants get to change faster than animals which take 5 to 12 years to reproductive maturity.

    • Formerly T-Bear says:

      [Comment deleted at the request of the author]

  31. aussie says:

    “Also, when he successfully “wrestled” the weapon away from his victim; instead of holding him at bay and awaiting the arrival of the police whom he had called; he preferred execution.”

    Enter deprived mind and Murder2.

    That is the point where a heroic attempt to detain turned into eliminating the only witness who could explode all his hopes and dreams of a respected career in justice. Murder to protect a justice career? the biggest lie of them all.

    “His life vs my self-esteem.”

    “2. Is done from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent”

    • aussie says:

      woops

      deprAved mind

    • You have described a premeditated murder, which it might have been.

    • Dennis says:

      Excellent point. I don’t know if that was really the case though. In that scenario you would almost have to believe that Martin would willingly let some crazy adult stranger hold him. Even if that was true, you could never convince a jury that Zimmerman committed 1st degree murder. There is not enough evidence for that because you have to prove premeditation. I do agree that if Zimmerman realized that Martin was not a criminal and was not armed he may have shot Martin, but I don’t see Zimmerman as a cold blooded murderer like that. Sure he is a sociopath and apparently thinks all blacks wearing hoodies are criminals, but I would really need to see more evidence before I believe that Zimmerman straight up executed an unarmed teenager in a premeditated act.

      • aussie says:

        I’m not saying premeditated, Dennis. I mean what he feared was not that he’d die, but that his life would become unlivable if he was charged with assault etc etc on Trayvon’s evidence. No more NW, forget ever being a cop or judge, forget his CCW licence, future good jobs etc. and everyone looking down on him. “Oh sh*t I’ve overstepped the mark (his fault, he made me do it by not cooperating) now I’m in deep do if he gets to tell….this little asshole has ruined my life…” with the solution for him to NOT tell already n his hand…..

        Not premeditated. Just a split second reaction. A split second in which nothing in him said STOP this is wrong.

  32. Sandbagger says:

    Professor Leatherman, This is my first post on your form. I have been following you for some time now, mostly for the Zimmerman case. However I wanted to share a personal story with you and your readers about evil, and what I think it is.

    This is opinion and my view.

    Starting from the age of about 11 I was a punk, not for fun but a real punk. I am 39 now and obviously very different. I have told this story to a limited amount of people but I feel that being a punk is not just a click you get into but rather a social disease.

    For me it started as early as I can remember. I was incapable of making anyone happy or proud of me especially my teachers and my parents. No matter how hard I tried to pay attention in class or clean my room or do the right thing I ended up with someone very angry at me punishing me for not doing anything right.

    At around 11 – 13 I changed dramatically. It was like a self defense mechanism that went up. I felt the the world did not care or saw how hard I tried to please them, yet they all benefited form the fact that I still cared about them, so rather quickly that changed, and not out of spite but rather of of self preservation. I just stopped caring, about anything. I got beat up all the time, was in the ER a lot, no longer cared about any consequences for any action I did. Finally I was happy. I was FREE for the first time in my life, and I had a group of people around me that felt the same way I did.

    I remember a cop came round to my house and was trying to talk some sense into me, mid sentence I took a screwdriver and stuck it completely through my arm. I looked at him and said “you and your kind had your chance, for ten years your kind treated me like crap and now you want me to listen” I felt so justified in what I was saying. WOW, I was on top of the world.

    Well I went to jail for only a couple of days when I was 19 for a Felony B&E and When I got out at 1am in the morning with my parents looking at me I realized that this is not what I wanted. So I woke the next day, went to AA, enrolled in college full time, got into a learning disabilities class, got into a community drug and alcohol program, and got a privet counselor. The judge after seeing all this gave me six months probation and 60hrs of community service.

    There were many things that changed me but the pivotal point as with so many young people was music, it was one song. It has become my favorite song of all time and though I think I took a different meaning from it than you, that’s the great thing in life about music, it changed something in me for ever. It was Gordon Lightfoot’s version of Me And Bobby McGee. And the saving words for me were “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” I had lived a life of freedom, I had nothing to lose, and it sucked. I had now work hard to obtain things in my life, things that buy their nature take your freedoms away. I though of other people and their needs for the first time in my life.

    Was I evil?

    There is no evil, just people that have for one reason or another changed their perception of the world to where what we see as evil, to them looks like justice.

    Don’t ever underestimate how powerful being kind to someone is. Or how destructive being judgmental and unloving to someone can be.

    Self worth is not a measurement of yourself, but your part in society. Our society has become a cruel place and is in great need of being healed.

    Peace

    • Sandbagger says:

      I will also say that Alan Watts and Robert Pirsig also had a great deal in changing my life.

    • There is no evil, just people that have for one reason or another changed their perception of the world to where what we see as evil, to them looks like justice.

      Don’t ever underestimate how powerful being kind to someone is. Or how destructive being judgmental and unloving to someone can be.

      Self worth is not a measurement of yourself, but your part in society. Our society has become a cruel place and is in great need of being healed.

      Peace

      You are a wise, courageous and powerful human being.

      Than you for sharing your story.

      Namaste

      • Sandbagger says:

        Professor,

        Thank you for providing a place that has inspired me to share. I can see how your life of hard work and kindness have made a better world. We need more of this.

        Peace

      • Sandbagger says:

        There is a 1971 television recording with Alan Watts called, A Conversation with Myself. You may have seen it but this question of “what is evil” is to me a post thought to this discussion he has. There is a wonderful 4 part video of it on YouTube, (I am not sure about the rules of posting links here) so just search YouTube for it and watch all 4 parts. Or ask me and I will post the links.

        We are in a world the wiggles and we try to solve things with rather linear solutions. The law, I feel works best when it’s allowed to wiggle. It fails when we try to put a group of humans into a box so as to distinguish them as something that we are not, so that we feel justified putting them in a box for the rest of their lives.

        This solution of jailing “bad guys” is coming to a failing point. At what point do we admit that it is not these people that are failing us, but our ego and sense of entitlement to a unforgiving, rigid and uncaring society that is the real failure? It seems that the more we try and control the rules of society the more it shows us that it’s construct is not ours to control.

        Evil could be then, just a part of the ego that we use to deny our own failings as a society by blaming the individual as evil, instead of seeing them as part of the consequence of the whole that we are all part of.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        You’re a wonderful human being. Thank you for your blog.

    • MollyK says:

      I found your story very moving. I have also been struck by those words from the song; they made an impression on me the first time I heard them. Thank you for making the meaning so clear.

      Your story also seems to be yet more evidence about how hard it is for children to live with undiagnosed and/or untreated learning disabilities.

      • Sandbagger says:

        Thank you MollyK. Music and art are one of the greatest accomplishments of mankind.

        I feel that the biggest change we could make in our country and around the world is to, as a race of people, all take on the responsibility to provide education and health care to all. These two things may not solve all problems, but I feel they would save so many people from a destructive path in life, and destruction begets destruction.

        I see so many people ask what could have been done after these atrocities we talk about here to avoid them, but when the suggestion of investing in a future that tries to heal instead of judge, most people reduce themselves to a “all for themselves” mentality.

        If I could have spent just a few days with Georg Zimmerman maybe I could have renewed his dwindling sense of respect for human life. It seems that the real evil (if that is what we are going to call it) I see with this guy is not just him, but all of the people around him. They are all insane. No wonder he thinks and acts the way he does. He has had such little contact with caring, loving, sane people it seems.

    • MichelleO says:

      There is a video of a 9-year-old kid floating around the internet, who was captured on video biting, kicking, choking, and socking babies and toddlers at a daycare center. I wonder if this boy views what he was doing as “justice” rather than “evil.”

      I’m sure he’s had some horrific things happen to him in his life to viciously set upon the most innocent in our society. I’m glad he was caught because he surely would have went on to torture and murder small animals and children.

      • aussie says:

        I didn’t see that video, but it sounds like a kid with severe ADD type of problem combined with parents who never had any help in controlling him. These kids often injure their families, too, and break up their homes (I mean literally, like punching holes in walls etc). They do well with the right treatment (medical and social).

        The problem truly starts when they are treated as animals and criminals, instead of like sick kids who need help.

        If you can stomach a truly horrifying story, read up about Cristian Fernandez the 12 year old (he just turned 13) being prosecuted by Angela Corey as an adult. http://justice4juveniles.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/the-story-of-cristian-fernandez/

        • ajamazin says:

          ADHD – both attention deficit and hyperactivity are present.

          Ritalin, dextroamphetamine, and Adderal are often prescribed because a child’s body metabolizes stimulants differently than an adult.

          Example: caffeine would have a calming effect on a child.

          There are no lab tests, etc. that can diagnose ADD in an adult.

          A doctor must rely on his observations and the patient’s antecdotal statements for a diagnosis.

          Some researchers argue that ADD does not present in an adult unless the adult was diagnosed as a child.

      • ajamazin says:

        correction:

        Example: caffeine would have a calming effect on a child with ADD.

      • DamagedGoods says:

        While I embrace the concept of nature nurture, I personally believe once an individual has the cognitive development to determine right from wrong then their actions depicts their personal choices rather than completely experience mishaps.
        I only speak from example:
        My mom had six children all different dads and raised none of us. I lived with my paternal grandmother and fell victim to sexual and physical abuse from my dad. Like w#9 I said nothing at first out of fear and for along time didn’t fight back. I left home (left the country and came to the US) at 17 and told my aunt then because I felt like I was out of my dad’s reach. I was vilified by the family. Some blamed me for being fast and wanted the sex, others say I was lying as my schizophrenic dad was incapable of doing such “evil” acts. I am now estranged from my relatives.

        Though I had a horrible childhood, I never lived up to the stereo types or victimized myself. I continue to face adversities, including death of both parents one year apart, divorce the following year and now most recently the death of my two year old son. With all of life storms, I have never resorted to violence, drugs/alcohol or any such things. My point is irrespective of anyone past, future or present, if there are no mental illnesses manifested, it is a choice to chose good over bad/evil.

        • You must be an extremely courageous, strong and powerful person to have overcome such difficulties early in your life. Difficulties, I might add, that would have broken most people.

          Well done and thank you for sharing your story with us. By doing so, you help us to put our experiences in perspective and give us hope that we too can overcome the issues that plague us from a damaged childhood.

      • Dennis says:

        Did you hear about the young girl I believe around age 11 who beat a very young kitten to death because her temporary foster mother would not take out that night. Many people would define her actions as evil, but obviously I think she has some serious mental problems due to her childhood. They need to get her some serious therapy I hope before she upgrades to hurting humans.

    • aussie says:

      Sandbagger, thank you for everything you’ve told us. Thank God you grabbed that chance to turn your life around: if you got a prison sentence instead, you’d never have had that chance again. Maybe that fact qualifies as truly evil.

  33. MichelleObama says:

    Evil is doing something wrong or harmful to the environment, people, animals—-even one’s self. I don’t know if evil is something “dark and satanic.” As a Catholic, I certainly was taught to believe such was true—and maybe it is. But unless one has a real and clinical psychiatric problem (mental illness), such as schizophrenia; I wouldn’t necessarily label the actions of a mentally ill person as “evil” even if those actions are harmful.

    Therefore, I believe Mr. Holmes to be mentally ill—-while I would label Mr. Zimmerman’s actions as “evil.” It seems to me that he planned to make an example out of any young black person who came through the gates of his community. He waited in his vehicle near the entrance, so that he could observe an opportune target.

    For instance, according to the investigators, he had the opportunity to establish himself as a member of his neighborhood watch program, of which he was “captain.” But preferred confrontation, knowing that his weapon would guarantee that he safely walked away alive.

    Also, when he successfully “wrestled” the weapon away from his victim; instead of holding him at bay and awaiting the arrival of the police whom he had called; he preferred execution.

  34. Chi says:

    Interesting discussion.
    To me the concept of “evil” is something made up when people don’t understand the neuro-biology and personality development of another person and consider them to be an aberration in a harmful way.
    I tend to think that people who are capable of causing great harm, and in fact seek it out are people who ended up with a dangerous combination of several traits, the first one being an inability to feel empathy and a close second would be very poor impulse control.
    When I watched the clip of Holmes in court my impression was this guy is trying to fake mental illness. He is playing a game. Somewhere along the line he decided to take the leap into homicidal criminal behavior, probably because he was utterly bored and unsatisfied with his life and craved stimulation. He already lacked empathy. I’d be willing to bet that he has Asperger’s syndrome, and combined with a few other traits he turned out to be a very dangerous person.
    With Zimmerman, I think it is more of a personality disorder combined with a lack of intelligence. Low empathy, but not completely void of it. He’s like many of the people I have met in the prison system (working as a nurse).
    Holmes will always be dangerous and should never walk the streets again. With Zimmerman– as much as I hate to say it, because I can’t stand the guy- if he doesn’t go off the deep end in prison, his mental health may actually improve and he could one day come out of prison without being a danger to society.

  35. Digger says:

    Within the justice system, to take a life, as with the death sentence?
    How does this act avoid being evil?

    If man is still evolving can we expect good and bad to come to an end as man reaches their end by self destruction? This question
    can not be answered.

    • MichelleObama says:

      I have recently developed the idea that good and evil in people is not unlike good and bad cells within the human body. For instance, we know that the body produces both beneficial and dangerous cells, and that the body is involved in an ongoing battle to defeat cells that are detrimental to the health of the living individual.

      I don’t know if people will ever successfully “evolve” from destructive behaviors—-just as the body is in an never-ending battle for survival against destructive cancer cells, etc. It seems to me that the living are engaged in a lifelong battle for survival. Sometime “good” prevails, and sometimes it does not—-although they both “triumph” for at differing times.

  36. ajamazin says:

    Good and bad are concepts developed by man and man is still evolving.

  37. TruthBTold says:

    “How should the criminal justice system deal with evil, or should it ignore it?”

    I think attempting to define evil and bringing it into the criminal justice in that capacity, is a slippery slope.

    • Anne Victor says:

      ‘Evil’, whatever it is, should translate into an aggravating circumstance at sentencing.

      • TruthBTold says:

        Very interesting Anne. Hmmm….You also said “evil” whatever that is. The question is what is it as it relates to criminal conduct? You have me thinking though.

      • aussie says:

        No, please no. Because the “whatever it is” will always be defined in a way that will discriminate against whichever group is currently the most demonised in society. Certainly should not be codified.

        Bad enough the laws regard offences against minors as being “more evil” by having heavier sentences for them automatically. To the extent that killing a victim 1 day before he turns 18 can double the penalty, even if it was a gang fight he started, because as a “minor” he counts as “child”. By the same token a true child, say 5 years old, harmed by another true child, say aged 10, may end up with the perpetrator being charged as an adult..because that brings the bigger penalty. now THAT I’d say is truly evil.

    • PYorck says:

      A while ago I found an interesting paper that compares how two legal systems deal with this question. In the words of the author, an American working here in Germany: “American criminal punishment expresses a belief in the concept of human evil, while German criminal punishment denies that belief.” At 36 pages it is not a very quick read but it is pretty accessible – even for someone like me without any legal background.

      http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1667093

  38. I am going to get some sleep. I’m very tired.

    Y’all have a great discussion going on.

    Please keep it going for as long as the spirit moves you and I will catch up in the morning.

    Good night.

    • crazy1946 says:

      Case#1: Please allow me first to thank you for allowing me to understand your view as to how this site should debate the topics presented. However, that is not the way, so far, Professor Leatherwood has moderated the site, nor is it the way that the majority of the participants have presented their opinions. Considering there are thousands of web sites that discuss politics and various topics in the way you encourage, and I have removed myself from most that do consider absolute rudeness as an acceptable debate form, I suppose the best thing for me to do is remove myself from this site before it gets to that point. It is not that I have, as you have indicated an “ego” problem, it is simply because I choose not to be dragged into the gutter method of discussion. Again thank you for opening my eyes to what your concept for the future of this site needs to be.

      Professor Leatherman, I would like to offer you a sincere thank you for allowing me to spend some time here, and acquiring some valuable insights into the legal positions involved in the Zimmerman case. I do hope that you understand that my position of leaving this site has been made simply in an effort to avoid becoming involved in the type of conflict that many of the political blogs have made so popular. You are a very talented instructor and if the participants of this site keep open minds and ears, they will expand their minds much more that they probably realize. I will probably lurk and read, but will limit my time here to doing that alone.

      • I understand and respect your decision, but nothing bad has happened yet and nothing will because I am not going to allow the site to degenerate into name-calling and MMA style fighting.

        I haven’t made a final decision regarding the site guidelines yet, but I can tell you that they are not going to be inflexible except for egregious violations of decorum like threats or the like.

        I will set the tone by being respectful of others and expect everyone else to respond in kind. If someone strays from the path, I will warn them if they persist in insulting people, just as I did with Terrance Jones. Then I will ban them.

        I respect and value your opinions.

        I want you to continue participating and contributing to the site.

        Why don’t you take a wait-and-see approach?

  39. TruthBTold says:

    Zhickel wrote,

    “We must not forget that both Loughner and Holmes are young people, susceptible to the most extreme external influences, living in a country where all the above are part of daily life. It’s no surprise that they fell through the cracks of mental health preventative measures.”

    I didn’t take your thought personally nor am I offended. We do live in a culture that many say glorifies violence and it has been and is argued, that there is a direct correlation between violent video games, aggressive misogynistic music, violent imagery, etc., and criminality. Uhhhh……. I don’t know. There seems to mixed results from studies on this issue. Is there some sort of influence? Perhaps, but probably further exacerbated by a pre-existing condition or defect. More people than not that are exposed to the same things and do not go on to commit violent acts against others.

  40. MollyK says:

    I don’t find the concept of evil useful or meaningful. I think that brain chemistry has much to answer for. I have seen brain function studies that made me question the concept of free will. A recent review: Wahlund and Kristiansson, Aggression, psychopathy and brainimaging — Review and future recommendations, International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. Abstract:

    “Violent behavior appears to result from a complex web of interacting genetic as well as environmental factors. Psychopathy is a strong predictor for relapse in violent acts. The current review shed light on rapidly expanding knowledge in brain imaging related to violent behavior and psychopathy. … a rather strong consensus on the connection between dysfunctional parts of the frontal and temporal lobes and violent antisocial behavior and psychopathy. …”

    I have not read extensively about them, but it does appear that Holmes and Loughner are mentally ill, and possibly insane. Zimmerman is clearly not insane, although some aberration in his brain chemistry may make it hard for him to control anger and aggressive impulses. Compare him to, for example, Barack Obama. Anger and impulsivity do not seem to be in his repertoire. I am not excusing GZ. He is responsible for his actions. But I don’t think we should ignore the fact that it is probably a lot easier for Barack Obama to behave well than it is for GZ.

    • I am not a fan of Barack Obama as I cannot support his drone assassination policies.

      If evil means anything, how can those policies not be evil?

      And if they are evil, how can he not be evil?

      • MollyK says:

        Sorry – bad example. I was thinking of his preternatural calm, not his policies. I often find myself wondering why I was so happy when Bush II left office.

      • Dennis says:

        Every president since JFK has been a puppet of the elites. I would assume that you also do not agree with the draconian and unconstitutional Patriot Act I & II which authorizes Star Chambers and puts people in prison without giving them a trial/due process. What do you think of these?

        • I don’t want to turn this into a political blog, but I will say that I am very unhappy about and opposed to the continuing loss of our civil rights since 9/11.

          I do not see a necessity for any of it.

  41. Anne Victor says:

    Evil is just a word one applies to a person perceived to be consciously indifferent to or taking pleasure in the harm caused to someone this person knows to be undeserving of it.

    L and H may be indifferent, but if they are mentally ill you can argue that they were not consciously indifferent. You can further argue, in L’s case, that he did not *know* the people were undeserving of the harm he caused them.

    I don’t believe Zimmerman is evil in any sense of the word. I sometimes suspect that some of his persecutors are but, for the most part, they are just people that (wrongly) believe him to be deserving of it.

    • Can you explain why you think Zimmerman’s persecutors are evil and who you think these persecutors are? Are they the people who wanted to see him arrested and stand trial for shooting an unarmed minor? Are they the prosecutor and her team of attorneys who will be trying the case against him?

      When I hear someone who has killed another person, despite their claim of self-defense, say there is nothing they would do differently if confronted with the same situation again, I think of someone who is without a conscience, without empathy for anyone else but himself as he complains that his life has been changed so terribly since 2/26/12. His parents have actually done the same thing, complained about how their lives will never be the same since that horrible tragedy yet there is zero sympathy given to the parents who buried their son.

      I don’t know anyone who hasn’t said they’d be absolutely devastated if they killed an innocent person even if it was truly self-defense. Zimmerman has shown zero remorse despite learning that Trayvon Martin was not a burglar casing homes in RTL, he didn’t even react upon hearing the news. In fact, he lied when he said that he didn’t know until an hour after he arrived at the police station that TM was dead. WTF? He and another witness were seen with flashlights standing over his body that was lying face down in the grass with his hands underneath him. The police started doing CPR immediately, so why would he lie about this? He has been caught in so many lies yet many people fail to see this as a character flaw and continue to believe every word out of his mouth in regards to what happened that night.

      • recreantnejos says:

        “Can you explain why you think Zimmerman’s persecutors are evil and who you think these persecutors are?”
        I said I don’t think most of them are evil, just misguided in their belief that Zimmerman is a wicked person.

        “Are they the people who wanted to see him arrested and stand trial for shooting an unarmed minor? Are they the prosecutor and her team of attorneys who will be trying the case against him?”
        I wouldn’t characterize those who do things out of ignorance or political pressure as evil.

        “When I hear someone who has killed another person, despite their claim of self-defense, say there is nothing they would do differently if confronted with the same situation again, I think of someone who is without a conscience, without empathy for anyone else but himself”

        I think people can manufacture outrage if they are inclined to do so. We can take someone’s words, especially if they are inarticulately or awkwardly expressed, and portray them in a context that obviously was not meant.

        And we can pretend there was no clarification where he says, “I do wish that there was something, anything I could have done that wouldn’t have put me in the position where I had to take his life.”

        And we can choose to disregard: “And I do want to tell everyone, my wife, my family, my parents, my grandmother, the Martins, the city of Stanford, and America that I am sorry that this happened.”

        On his own volition, he took the stand on his first day of court and said in front of everyone: “I wanted to say I am very sorry for the loss of your son.” Unsurprisingly, it was called “self-serving” by those inclined to see it that way.

        During his first (and only) interview, he said:
        “I would tell [Trayvon’s parents] that, again, I’m sorry.” “I am sorry that they buried their child. I can’t imagine what it must feel like. I pray for them daily.” Unsurprisingly, his persecutors seized on a gaffe he had made, disregarding the clarification.

        It doesn’t matter what he says or does, really. The people that rushed to judgment about him are going to continue to color everything he says or does in the worst possible hue.

        ” as he complains that his life has been changed so terribly since 2/26/12. His parents have actually done the same thing, complained about how their lives will never be the same since that horrible tragedy”
        They’re right. And I feel terribly for Zimmerman and his entire family. I have never seen another public figure so unfairly treated. Richard Jewel is the only other person that comes to mind, but what he went through pales in comparison. Zimmerman and his family have every reason in the world to feel frustrated beyond belief. They have handled it far more calmly than I would.

        “yet there is zero sympathy given to the parents who buried their son.”
        The Zimmermans have all acknowledged the Martin’s suffering. At the same time, they have been vilified, threatened, and their lives turned upside down. It is Zimmerman’s persecutors that lack empathy as far as I have seen.

        They trash Zimmerman, malign his character, and even include his family and friends in their attacks. It’s disgusting to me the way they have been treated, by the media and by the legal system.

        This case has reminded me that leftists can be just as extreme and unreasonable as those on the right. We need less radicals and more moderates.

  42. Digger says:

    “In the eyes of the beholder”

  43. Digger says:

    Evil has to be accepted by the good for good to do evil, not the good bad we all do. Evil exists as in a premeditated act to bring harm. Yet, as in war, forces are ordered to do harm, so at what point has evil begun. A higher power that has brought about the circumstance of war, In one who gives the order, handed down.
    By one who engages in combat?

  44. rayvenwolf says:

    Outside of the spiritual or metaphysical sense of the word, yes I do believe there is such a thing as evil. I don’t use evil to explain away what people have done, but I use it to describe at best what they have done. You can be bad/do bad things, but not be evil.

    Do I think GZ is evil? I really don’t know. I think he’s a bad liar, that’s for sure.

  45. GrannyStandingforTruth says:

    Evil is a person’s way of thinking. I believe that demonic possession is symbolic and has a deeper meaning than appears on surface. And that it represents the different degrees in which a person’s way of thinking is corrupt and deteriorates with bad thought patterns.

    When it says in the bible “repent”, it is literally saying “change your way of thinking.” In other words, change your thought pattern.

    Philippians 4:8
    Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

  46. nan11 says:

    What a wonderful blog you have! I have been stopping by often to read not only your posts, but all the comments. It’s a pleasure.

    This is a very thought provoking post, and has ‘inspired’ me to drop in with a comment as well as a thank-you.

    Yes, I believe evil exists; however, I don’t believe evil is responsible for the 2nd and 3rd individuals you mentioned.

    I guess I would have to say that–because I believe we are all imperfect–a certain level of evil may exist in all of us. Somehow I don’t think it either increases or diminishes our personal responsibility, and should not be used as an excuse. Hopefully, evil is something that we could possibly rise above—provided that we are not mentally ill.

    Loughner and Holmes, in my opinion, suffer from serious mental-illness (or even mental illnesses.) The sad thing is—when mentally-ill people do these terrible things—what is the best course of action for a civilized society to take? I think we need to accept that these diseases are incurable; therefore, the likelihood of reoffending is almost a guarantee.

    I definitely think they should be institutionalized, (and maybe for the rest of their lives)—but a prison seems inappropriate, and an old fashioned ‘asylum’ has been proven to be anything but humane. (And you are looking at a very, very expensive proposition.) So I’m back to where I started.

    As far as George Zimmerman goes—even though I have thought from the beginning that he has ‘two sides’: George the good, and George the bad—I’m not yet seeing the level of mental illness that is more obvious in the other two.

    I’m chilled at his ‘calmness’; I’m chilled at the way he refuses to apologize and ‘own’ his terrible actions. Is it denial due to mental illness; or denial due to evil that perhaps he has chosen not even to try to rise above? I’m not sure.

    He bothers me, though. He even used some of the money he received from his ‘fans’ to purchase a ‘cop killer’ gun. IIRC—one that can pierce a bullet proof vest.

    This may be evil we are looking at here. imo

    • I’m not certain whether I believe in evil, but to the extent that I do, I think George Zimmerman displays it far more than Jared Loughner and James Holmes, who are seriously mentally ill with psychotic delusions over which they obviously have no control.

      Zimmerman is in control, totally self-centered, and remorseless.

      • Digger says:

        I agree Professor, George Zimmerman chose to act, even against suggestion that he not. Particularly because he knew his purpose as Night Watchman was not to kill but to report. Evil overtook easily because George himself was in acceptance of his fantasy heroism. “Remorseless” is the clue.

        • I have seen evil defined as a lack of empathy and that definition works pretty well for me.

          I also believe that our finest trait is empathy and it will carry us through the trials and tribulations that face us.

          But it’s going to be tough and we are going to have to rely on each other to make it.

      • Dennis says:

        Once I saw how Zimmerman laughed before answering many of SH’s questions and admitting that he does not regret getting out of the car, etc…I realized you were exactly correct when you referred to GZ as an “empty shell”. He says that it was “God’s Will” for TM dying and then tries to apologize again to TM’s parents. I hope they try to revoke his bond for that because he really offended the victim’s parents by trying to reach out to them in the interview and say those ridiculous things.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        It’s very possible that he may be far more dangerous than I think. The sociopathic mind is very slick, if indeed he is sociopathic.

  47. ed nelson says:

    But what constitutes evil?
    Thank you for putting this up:

    [“Does evil exist?
    Is evil something dark and satanic that exists somewhere out “there?”
    Does it possess people?
    If so, how does that happen?
    If it does not exist out “there, where does it exist?”
    Are people born evil?
    How should the criminal justice system deal with evil, or should it ignore it?
    Assuming evil exists, does it increase or diminish personal responsibility for committing crimes?
    Assuming for the sake of argument that Jared Loughner committed the crimes charged, is he evil?
    If convicted, should he be sentenced to death?
    Assuming for the sake of argument that James Eaton Holmes committed the crimes charged, is he evil?
    If convicted, should he be sentenced to death?
    Finally, what about George Zimmerman?
    Is he evil?”]

    As I have for a few decades wondered about this question. A rather big question, and even as we are coaxed and… coached by some religious folks who may often claim to own some special understanding… Not buying that much… !
    Is there something (called Evil )? is there?
    I think that there is something that is evil. Some of the things to know about this thing called Evil need to be extrapolated.
    So… I just have to wrap up here… but the thing is: ya know?… : movies like “Rosemary’s Baby”… and so many in literature… I think, I ain’t all that erudite.
    Well my point above would be: that the popularity of that movie would be, that it “resonates” some kinda way… !.
    That movie scared me. Oh yeah, Hell yeah!! we got scared to death” a lot with the great “horror films” in the 50’s/60’s… not like the crap now. There was subliminal stuff that did the job of scaring the kids…
    Wind up: my point is: that, yes there is something that is a thing that is underlying our little world, underlying what we as folks notice in day to day encounters… and etc… . And yes that thing is… something that is … NOT YOUR GOOD FREIND… (not your’s nor mine… ) Something that is poised against the whole idea of life. Something more like Anti-life, for a… term.
    “Is there something called Evil?”
    Yes I think so.

    • A related concept is the idea of natural law.

      Do we have to be taught that we should live by the Golden Rule or is that something we instinctively know, even if many of us violate it multiple times every day?

      • TruthBTold says:

        Mala in se offenses. As a society, we are governed by different doctrines or whatever whether religious, non-religious, some other higher source of inspiration, etc., but for the most part collectively as a society by human reasoning, intuition, etc., we recognize and identify bad and wrong behavior as well as inherently good, right, or just behavior. Then as adults, we teach children about right and wrong, good and bad.

      • ed nelson says:

        That is exactly it!
        some of … them/us… have it, and the rest don’t have it.

        Wild animals show careing instincts/ man is coaxed to believe that he alone is intelligent/cogniscent… of suffiscient value to even consider… it is what some think… but not all of us believe all of that.

        Bullfeathers… insects even care for their young…
        Fish care for their young…

      • Two sides to a story says:

        I think humans are wired for goodness, that we all have a Christ consciousness or Buddha mind, but we have various obscurations and obstacles that we must grapple with in order to express our basic nature fully.

        In that respect, GZ is more of a feckless, damaged person than an evil one, it appears to me.

  48. Digger says:

    OK! Evil, Those who believe in an Almighty God Creator of Heaven and Earth say evil exists in that bad bad angel Lucifer.
    So what is evil here? WE are said to have been given free will.
    The opportunity to make a choice.

    Those who don’t believe in an Almighty God Creator of Heaven and Earth, have no reason to believe in evil. In evolution or by chance. What would evil be here? There is still free will, but not given to us.
    Still we have the opportunity to make a choice.

    A toddler is told the fire will burn you, they still will illustrate their free will to defy and touch anyway. OR, out of curiosity, touch anyway, because they do not know the hurt of a burn.

    A murderer supposedly knows the law (fire), they will still illustrate their free will to defy, until they come to a place to be burned.
    OR, out of curiosity, will kill anyway.

    Many a murderer has stated, they wanted to know what it was like
    to torture, hurt, or kill another. Could these be good wanting to experience evil?

    Hell, I don’t know!

    • Dennis says:

      I don’t want to be bashing anyones religion, but I would find it hard to believe that there exists a being like Satan that can oppose God Almighty. If I believe in God, I believe in a 100% good being that does not allow evil to exist.

  49. Zhickel says:

    The opposite of ‘good’ is not ‘evil’, it is ‘bad’.

    On a continuum of good to bad, no one person is exclusively one nor the other. The primary mistake many people make is calling ‘evil’ the opposite of good.

    I don’t believe in evil. It is a religious construct and relates directly to demonic possession or behaviour. As a non-theist I am no more swayed by the argument of evil than I am by choirs of angels or eternal salvation.

    Before the advent of the internet we ocassionally heard thought-terminating clichés such as ‘Love it or leave it’ and ‘what goes around comes around’. These sayings are designed and uttered to quell argument and dissonance. They are the full stop at the end of the discussion.

    Now we have no compunctions about labelling people as evil, as haters, as psycho/sociopaths without evidence or further thought about the implications of the terms.

    Neither Loughner nor Holmes is evil; the evidence so far suggests they are mentally ill. They are a product of the society that bred them.

    • In support of what you said, DSM-IV does not include evil as a diagnostic form of mental illness.

      • Zhickel says:

        You are brave to lead a discussion on the nature of evil!

        Once more, kudos for a though provoking and civil discourse.

    • TruthBTold says:

      Zhickel wrote,

      “They are a product of the society that bred them.”

      Interesting. What exactly do you mean by this as it relates to Loughner and Holmes? I believe that a contributing factor to crime is an individual’s environment, societal ills, etc.

      • Zhickel says:

        I’ll try to explain as best I can and hope you don’t take this personally as irrational criticism of the USA.

        I’m not American and live in a country where there is very limited access to firearms, religion plays a relatively minor role in our daily life, the death penalty was abolished and the excess that seems to abound in many aspects of American life is treated as a joke.

        We must not forget that both Loughner and Holmes are young people, susceptible to the most extreme external influences, living in a country where all the above are part of daily life. It’s no surprise that they fell through the cracks of mental health preventative measures.

        Cheesy though it may sound, I know many Americans and they are not nuts, psychopaths or evil! However, I feel that your very culture of embracing the extreme and calling it brave or entreprenurial is doing a disservice to the majority of your citizens and normalising violent, excessive behaviour.

      • aussie says:

        Zhikel, I get what you’re saying, in part. Where it’s normal for anyone to get about armed, it creates a different backdrop to life than where even the police don’t carry guns (and yes there are numerous countries where they don’t). It’s confrontational and adversarial, and to some extent paranoia-making.

        And upbringing plays a big part in the formation of certain disorders (sociopathy, depression etc). But so does drug use (in some cases by the mother during pregnancy, and in many cases side-effects of over-prescribed medications). These are treatable to a large extent.

        Loughner and Holmes appear to be schizophrenic. Schizophrenia is a genuinely physiological or bio-chemical mental illness, not caused by external pressures. I am not so sure about Anders Behring Breivik who killed the 77 people in Norway.

    • fauxmccoy says:

      “They are a product of the society that bred them.”

      – – – – – –
      while i agree with your assessment of evil for the most part, i would have to disagree with your final statement – that the mentally ill are a product of the society that bred them.

      mental illness such as bi-polar or schizophrenia have very high rates of being passed on genetically. a child who has a parent with one of these illnesses has an estimated 30% chance of developing the same. there is some argument of course as to whether that chance is strictly biological or a result of mentally ill parenting (classic ‘nature vs. nurture’ argument).

      there may be some newer research that i am unfamiliar with regarding how society as a whole contributes to the development of mental illness and if so i would be interested in reading that. i do think the majority of mental illness is genetic with an unhealthy dose of nurturing thrown in.

      • Sandbagger says:

        Maybe the question should be what to do as a country to help these people? Rather than who’s fault it is that they are sick.

      • Nef05 says:

        See diathesis-stress model or bio/psycho/social model. Wiki has some decent info on the subject, if you don’t want to get all bogged down in heavy psych publishings.

        They basically describe a combination of the genetic/environmental (offshoot of nature/nurtue) discussion. It’s along the lines of a person having a genetic “vulnerability” to a mental illness, that is exacerbated or brought manifest through psychological (impulse issues, negative thinking) and/or social (job loss, bereavement, lack of support system, socioeconomic status, culture) issues.

        These models, of course, add even more complexity to a subject that is already extremely complex to begin with. But, after reading your post, I thought you’d find it interesting.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diathesis%E2%80%93stress_model
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biopsychosocial_model

  50. aussie says:

    Starting on the easy end, Zimmerman is not evil. Just a common or garden sociopath. Nor is he schizophrenic. He is reputed to have a psychiatrist, but that is no evidence of mental disease – in some circles it is a mattter of social cachet. (Probably not in GZ’s case, considering how he complained of his insurance situation not allowing him to get his nose xrayed). In any case he seems competent to stand trial. Repeatedly acting against his own interests doesn’t constitute incompetence.

    Loughner and Holmes look likely to be declared incompetent. Either way, they are not evil. Nor would I use that word for most of the other mass-killings incidents over the years. While they are carefully planned in advance, they seem to be “irresistable impulses” drawn out over a period of time.

    Can an impulse take 7 weeks? is there a time limit on it? Many mass killers end up killing themsleves, so we don’t get to find out why they did it. Even the suicide – is it because they realise they’ve done wrong by killing? is it fear of the trouble they’re in? is it that the first few deaths didn’t bring the expected freedom from feeling oppressed? did they plan all along to kill themselves anst want to take with them those they blame for their feeling that way?

    Evil, whatever it may be, I’d reserve for people who repeatedly over long periods do unspeakably horrible things to others, fully knowing it is wrong to do so. Wanting to do wrong. Enjoying it. People who take prisoners and torture them, or serial killers. Most of these are legally sane, however badly twisted childhoods they may have had (as most did).

    • Dennis says:

      I would have to agree that Zimmerman is not really what most people would define as evil. There is no evidence that Zimmerman intended to kill Martin. The evidence points more toward Zimmerman chasing down a potential criminal and trying to detain them until police arrived. He clearly said “these punks always get away”. Martin had not done anything wrong, yet according to the tapes Zimmerman clearly profiled him as a criminal. By Zimmerman’s own statements, Martin was black suspicious, guilty until proven innocent in his mind,. He is just a sociopath with a narcissistic personality. He failed at his dream of being a police officer and instead pretended to be actual law enforcement by chasing down a fleeing citizen. His previous statements criticizing the police will come back to bite him as well. Those statements help prove that he felt he was really law enforcement and he felt entitled to patrol the neighborhood while armed.

      • TruthBTold says:

        Dennis wrote,

        “The evidence points more toward Zimmerman chasing down a potential criminal and trying to detain them until police arrived”

        You mean a perceived criminal:). BTW, I agree with the detainment. Even according to Serino, someone don’t know who and don’t recall from the witness statements thus far, said that GZ was trying to detain TM.

      • areweoldyet says:

        “There is no evidence that Zimmerman intended to kill Martin.”

        GZ took out his gun loaded with a hollow-point bullet, aimed his gun directly at TM’s heart, pressing the gun against TM’s chest, and pulled the trigger.

        If that’s not evidence of intention to kill, I don’t know what would be.

      • aussie says:

        He has repeatedly said he didn’t know he’d even seriously injured him. A bad case of denial?

        I think Dennis meant no premeditated intent.

        Just the use of hollow points doesn’t count as premeditation. They do expand, they nearly always cause fatal damage. But the official excuse for using them (according to gun sites I’ve seen) is that they don’t pass through the body, therefore don’t endanger bystanders.

      • Dennis says:

        @aussie

        Yes. I did mean that Zimmerman didn’t have a premeditated decision to kill Martin. If he did that would be 1st degree murder, and there is no evidence of premeditation. I also did mean that Zimmerman perceived him as a criminal, even though he did not witness any crimes. Zimmerman tried to detain Martin and received very minor wounds, if any, from the altercation. None of his injuries were life threatening so any logical juror will see right through his BS claims of head bashing and multiple MMA punches.

    • Dennis says:

      Basically, I think that Martin was grabbed or tackled by Zimmerman and he fought for his life to get away from the psychopath. When Martin tried to pull away and run, Zimmerman shot Martin. He then patted down Martin’s body to discover no weapon and at that point realized he was in serious trouble. The guy is just delusional and felt that he was entitled chase down an innocent person that didn’t commit any crimes.

      • MichelleO says:

        WELL, in this country, black life is not seen as something very valuable. Unfortunately, this is observed by some black people themselves, who put self-destructive lyrics to music that “unsurprisingly” is a big success in today’s popular music.

        That being said; Zimmerman felt no fear in extinguishing the life of a young black man (even though non-threatening and possessing no weapon); because he knew that he would most likely get away with it, and could forever reminisce about his “kill” while having a cold one.

    • greenwarrior says:

      “Evil, whatever it may be, I’d reserve for people who repeatedly over long periods do unspeakably horrible things to others”

      That’s pretty much how I think of it as well. I also Include causing others to do unspeakable things.

    • TruthBTold says:

      Aussie wrote,

      “Many mass killers end up killing themsleves, so we don’t get to find out why they did it. Even the suicide – is it because they realise they’ve done wrong by killing?”

      I was kind of surprised that he did not kill himself or do some suicide-by-cop type thing. IIRC, he had on a bullet-proof vest so he had no intentions of dying. I know individuals was weighing in on his court appearance trying to determine if he was playing crazy, medicated up, really out of his mind, etc.

      • Dennis says:

        Just like Frederick, I think the heat and stress on Zimmerman will get so much come trial time that he will possibly contemplate suicide. A man just recently killed himself with cyanide in court right after the guilty verdict was read. If convicted Zimmerman may just do the same thing because he knows that the convicts in there will not be happy with him for killing an unarmed black teenager. After conviction, there is no reason to keep him in protective custody and will be thrown into general population where he will be in real danger.

        • After conviction, there is no reason to keep him in protective custody and will be thrown into general population where he will be in real danger.

          That’s not necessarily correct. If he is convicted and sentenced the prison, the Bureau of Prisons, or whatever it’s called in Florida, will do an assessment and classification and decide where to place him.

          I don’t believe they will place him in general population, if they think his life will be in danger.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      It is fascinating that Holmes is alive and in court. Perhaps we can learn much more about minds that snap or are influenced in some way as his has been.

  51. crazy1946 says:

    I have a question, is it possible for a person who is not insane to kill massive numbers of humans? Even Zimmerman’s state of mind is questionable, other than in a moment of passion, what compells a person to murder? Why have we seen such an increase in these mass murders in the last few years? Can we expect to see an even greater number in the near future?

    • Dennis says:

      @crazy1946

      I am sure we have seen the many cases of soldiers returning from Iraq and snapping due to severe effects of PTSD. This reminds me of the movie “The Hunted” where Tommy Lee Jones is training Benicio Del Toro to be a special forces type assassin. He said they would be trained to kill instantly but the difficulty is turning it off. Experts believe that some of these soldiers get in an argument or domestic dispute and just snap back into their alternate killing mode. I’m sure some of these people may actually get off on insanity if they can convince the jury that they did not know right from wrong when they killed the person. They will still end up in a mental facility for 20-25 years or until they are fit to return to society.

    • areweoldyet says:

      “I have a question, is it possible for a person who is not insane to kill massive numbers of humans?”

      George Bush, Dick Cheney (possibly insane, certainly evil), Bill Clinton (murderous economic sanctions on Iraq), Barack Obama, LBJ, Richard Nixon et al (2 million Vietnamese); Harry Truman and everyone responsible for dropping 2 atomic bombs on Japan, and so on. The list is long.

      • MichelleO says:

        THERE most certainly is some degree of separation from sanity to be able to so such things by the people you have listed.

      • aussie says:

        That’s not killing personally. And it’s not killing specifically for the purpose of causing those deaths. Its predictable certain deaths, true, but they are side effects or means to end, not the main game. I don’t think this is the place to go into the rights and wrongs of the main game.

        But for comparison — arresting Saddam Hussein was the proper thing to do. Going after Osama Bin Laden “dead or alive” was not. That was killing for the sake of causing death.

        Similarly, deaths in the invasion of Poland and France were collateral to the main game. Deaths in the concentration camps were directly intended to be deaths. No insanity there, either, just an extreme of the attitudes exhibited by Breivik in Norway and the more extreme racial supremacist groups anywhere. Doesn’t seem rational to us; may be totally sensible for people brainwashed enough, a process which begins with learning not to seek answers for themselves.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        There are certainly people who are considered normal but are truly disassociated from normality. I doubt any of them are evil through and through. Again, people are complex entities.

  52. TruthBTold says:

    “Are people born evil?”

    So much to tackle, but will start with this. People can be characterized as evil, but not commit crimes. So for the sake of this discussion obviously, evil is being attached to criminality. The classification of criminological theories is typically broken down into three basic types: biological, psychological, and sociobiological with various subcategories. The biological, are we born criminals? is one spearheaded by Cesare Lombroso. Cesare Lombroso popularized the notion of “born criminal” the study of human physical characteristics and the relationship to criminality. This is not limited to physical features but also to the manifestation of sensory impairment, lack of moral compass and remorse, impulsiveness, and the use of slang and body art. Another contribution to this theory is a propensity toward aggression that can fall under the cognitive process in the psychology of criminal behavior. Also, with this theory, criminal behavior may be inherited. I am not sure about criminality being inherited as some form of genetic disposition and some other of considerations of this particular theory. There are various elements that can contribute to crime causation. I don’t know when Holmes started seeing a psychiatrist and for what reasons (we will probably never know).

    • Dennis says:

      Most people like Holmes are mentally ill. Since we have been discussing the term evil we should also delve into what defines mental illness. Most people would agree that anyone who murders another human being in cold blood is mentally ill. Just like Frederick has said, to qualify for an insanity defense, the defense must prove that the defendant did not know right from wrong when he committed the crimes. Frederick has also said that it is tough to convince a jury that you did not know right from wrong when you committed the crimes. I agree. You would have to be very crazy for a jury to buy into that kind of stuff.

      Mental illness can be inherited through genetics, but I believe society in general can be cruel and cause people to develop things like depression etc… I’m sure many of us remember the horrible Columbine massacre. No human being that has a soul can justify what those two kids did, but society in general can still learn a lesson from these attacks. It is a proven fact that those two monsters were bullied by numerous people for several years. Good hearted people literally stood by and let this happen. It even came out in the news that faculty at the school knew those kids were being bullied and would not do anything about it in fear of losing their jobs. Sounds a bit like the Penn State scandal to me. I don’t want to be pointing fingers at anybody, but many of the staff at the school are directly responsible for what happened. Good men standing by and doing nothing is evil enough…I can’t remember the exact quote so forgive me.

      • TruthBTold says:

        Dennis wrote,

        “It is a proven fact that those two monsters were bullied by numerous people for several years.”

        Interesting that you bring this up. There was a man/author the other day on television who has been studying this case for many years and stated that being bullied was not the reason. He said, we would be surprised as to why these individuals did this. IIRC, he alluded to mental health issues. I guess we have to read his book to find out.

      • areweoldyet says:

        “It is a proven fact that those two monsters were bullied by numerous people for several years.”

        Not so.

        http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-04-13-columbine-myths_N.htm

    • Cesare Lomboroso’s theories have long been rejected by modern day social scientists and mental health professionals.

      For another concept of evil, have you read People of the Lie by Scott Peck?

      • TruthBTold says:

        @ Professor,

        No, I haven’t read that book but will, upon your recommendation. Thank you. Yeah, I never quite got on board with Cesare’s theory. However, I do appreciate studying various theories relating to crime. Interesting.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        That’s a powerful book. I think evil is other things gone to an extreme, as Peck aptly illustrates. People are complicated and are never one thing or another.

  53. crazy1946 says:

    Is evil a factual state of mind? Is evil simply a descriptive term used to explain an act of a person with a depraved mind? I know we have all perhaps at one time or another used the term evil in talking about another human, but have we actually considered that we did so because of a lack of understanding? The three individuals mentioned in your article did horribly bad things but only if they were possesed by outside forces could (IMO) they be considered evil.

    • The three individuals mentioned in your article did horribly bad things but only if they were possesed by outside forces could (IMO) they be considered evil.

      What outside forces?

      How would you test for their presence?

      How would you define them?

      In what sense can they be said to exist, if they cannot be detected?

      • crazy1946 says:

        Professor Leatherman, I really don’t know if there are or even if there could be outside forces! Both of those cases when entered into the computer chips the reside between my ears, come back as cause unknown, motive unknown! I am actually wishing for some one with actual knowledge of the root causes of good and evil to help me to understand both of those cases and the individuals involved…..

      • Dennis says:

        I’m not going to say that any sort of spiritual possession isn’t possible, but I would find it hard to believe that all people that commit evil acts are possessed by some sort of evil spirit. I’m sure you have read claims by people that a voice in their head or a demon made them commit a murder. Those cases seem more like Zimmerman in his abilities to invent a fantasy scenario to justify their actions. Some mentally ill people will invent or believe alternate stories to forget or justify their actions.

        MOVIE SPOILER – be advised
        If you saw the movie Shutter Island, the main character did just that. He returned from the war to find his wife insane and she had killed his children. He strangled her but he could not come to grips with what he had done so he invented a fantasy world where he is a U.S. Marshall investigating the escape of a mentally ill person. In reality, he is really a patient at that very island facility.

    • Cielo says:

      Loughner and Holmes are mentally ill. They are not “evil” although their ACTS are evil. Zimmerman might not be evil; he’s just stupid, but again his ACT was evil done with some premeditation. Of the 3, Zimmerman has the most culpability. The other 2 are like volcanoes; natural forces (mental illness) that cannot be predicted or controlled. and yes, sometimes these natural forces cause death.

  54. Dennis says:

    Frederick, years ago on my street a teenager murdered his mother by stabbing her 111 times. Just like the shooter in the Batman massacre, this teenager had blue hair. I am just wondering if there is a possible like between people that dye their hair and mental illness. It seems like people like that have deep personal issues and strive to be completely different. I’m sure you would possibly agree that dying your hair blue or orange is somewhat odd, but people are still entitled to do what they want.

    I am really upset that this psychopath will be walking the streets in as little as 25 years.. We are supposed to allow sickos like this back into society under the assumption that they are rehabilitated and most will continue their own ways once released from prison. The lawyer that defended this teen is also representing the grandma in Michigan that shot her 17 year old grandson 8 times. I’m not sure why he is even wasting his time representing her because there is no death penalty in Michigan. Mitchell Ribitwer seems like a pretty good defense attorney.

    http://mylifeofcrime.wordpress.com/2006/02/11/diane-michele-murder-42505/http://
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57465566-504083/sandra-layne-mich-grandmother-will-stand-trial-in-grandsons-shooting-death-judge-says/

    • rayvenwolf says:

      As someone who does dye their hair(its red and black atm, before its been purple and even blue teal and purple at the same time) and hangs out with people who do as well – Its not about being completely different. Its about expressing ourselves as we choose – same with tattoos. Did I get looks when my hair was three colors? Sure, but I also live in a city that is predominantly white, so I get looks either way.

      And considering the number of people who have done things like this or other acts of horror with their own dna given hair, the dye job is a moot point.

      And regarding Holmes – more than a few think he’s faking it and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is. This guy studied neuroscience if anyone could fake it, its him.

      • Many neuroscientists believe our consciousness is locked inside our head and the “external reality” that we perceive is merely the product of a chemical reaction that takes place within our brains. This reductionist view isolates and alienates us from each other and the universe.

        As Mr. Holmes slipped into psychotic delusions as real to him as our perception of reality is to us, did he even realize that he wasn’t in Kansas anymore?

        Did he get lost in a vast and impersonal universe where there is no right or wrong, up or down, and everything is what it is?

        Is madness a loss of boundaries and with their loss, a loss of the self?

        Does he even know what he did, or is he trapped in a comic book adventure that passes for a life?

      • Dennis says:

        The mugshots of Holmes and the photos of him in court make him look very mentally ill. Since he already was mentally ill before this horrible event, I assume he might be even further off the deep end. I, like most people, do not enjoy them blasting his name and photo all over the news. If anything is evil in our society, it is surely the media. We should all be concentrating on the victims in this case and helping them recover from this terrible tragedy. I would be much happier if they just convicted him and stuck him with the needle and call it a day. Mentally ill or not, letting a monster live is as evil as I can think of. If you do not agree with the death penalty, I respect your stance.

      • lynp says:

        Neuroscience is the study of the brain but it is not behavior, mental illness or psychority.

      • pws (@pws4) says:

        Ah, but this was not a crime of gain. He gained nothing except whatever enjoyment or rush such a person might feel from committing a mass murder. The crime itself suggests some kind of madness.

        If he had murdered his wife for her insurance money, and then claimed to be Two-Face, your argument would make more sense.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Um. How perfectly evil to associate colored hair with heinous acts! LOL! :/

      • Dennis says:

        I was pretty much referring to the kid who killed his sweet mother. He had blue hair, did not have any friends, and was very quite according to his classmates. I’m pretty sure the fact that he had blue hair was evidence that there was something wrong with his head. What convinces people to stick several piercings in their face even though it makes them look like a freak? What convinces people to get plastic surgery? It is because they can’t deal with how they look and strive to be completely different because they have low self-esteem.

      • pws (@pws4) says:

        On a woman, blue hair can be sexy.

        Orange hair is my brother’s natural color.

        Attacking people for changing their hair color is evil, along the lines of McCarthyite witch hunting.

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