The Instigator
InVinoVeritas
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
bossyburrito
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

It is more likely than not that George Zimmerman is innocent of the crime he has been accused of

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
InVinoVeritas
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,636 times Debate No: 23201
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

InVinoVeritas

Pro

First round is for acceptance.
bossyburrito

Con

Ok, I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
InVinoVeritas

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate challenge, bossyburrito. I would like to note that burden of proof is shared, due to the nature of the resolution (i.e., "It is more likely than not...").

1. Witnesses' input:

Statement made by witness (wishing to be identified as John): "The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, 'Help! Help!' and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911." [1]

The "guy on the bottom," it can be inferred, was George Zimmerman. But who was on top?

Continuation of the aforementioned witness' testimony: "And then, when I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point." [1]

The "guy who was on top" was Trayvon Martin. And as the witness stated, Trayvon was "beating up" Zimmerman.

2. Wounds:

There is surveillance camera footage of Zimmerman going to the Sanford police station. Some well-publicized still-shots of the video clearly how bleeding on the back of Zimmerman's head. [2]

Moreover, neighbors claim that Zimmerman wore bandages the day after the incident. [3]

Clearly, a physical confrontation did arise that led to Zimmerman's wounds. In accordance with said witness account, it can be inferred, with confidence, that Zimmerman was assaulted before he shot his gun once and killed Martin.

3. Motives

There is no evidence that George Zimmerman is racist. Personal accounts from his family and friends all indicate that he is not racist. He was actively involved in a protest against the 2010 beating of a black man. [4] Zimmerman was raised in a multiracial family, and, in fact, some of Zimmerman's relatives are black, as stated by Zimmerman's family. [5]

Zimmerman, at the time of the shooting, was on community watch; he was playing the role of a defender his gated community. This a more likely explanation to why he called the police and confronted the 17-year-old Martin. Crimes committed at his community in the year prior to Martin's death included eight burglaries, nine thefts, and one shooting, so Zimmerman had reason to be concerned and attentive to the situation. [6]

---

Evidence suggests that it is far more likely than not that George Zimmerman is not culpable of the crime that he is accused of.

Thank you.

---

[1] http://www.myfoxorlando.com...
[2] http://gothamist.com...
[3] http://www.reuters.com...
[4] http://dailycaller.com...
[5] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[6] http://www.miamiherald.com...
bossyburrito

Con

I will do my best to refute my opponents arguments.

1. For the majority of the time, eyewitness accounts are unreliable. "Since the 1990s, when DNA testing was first introduced, Innocence Project researchers have reported that 73 percent of the 239 convictions overturned through DNA testing were based on eyewitness testimony. One third of these overturned cases rested on the testimony of two or more mistaken eyewitnesses."[1] For the sake of it, i will assume that Trayvon Martin was, indeed, on top of George. You state that George Z was yelling for help, when "Forensic experts have weighed in with what they say is 99 percent accuracy: the screams on the 911 tape are not from George Zimmerman."[2]. Also, the call from GZ says that "This guy looks like he's up to no good. Or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about." and "He looks black". If GZ was able to observe these things from a distance in the rain at night, then i am batman. It is obvious that GZ was following TM for some time before the confrontation. How would you feel if you see someone following you at night with a gun? Even if TM was able to get Zimmerman on the ground before he could get his gun, it would be in self defense and fear for his life.

2. Same as above about stalking.

3. If GZ was defending the neighborhood, why did he not confront TM at first, before defying police orders stating not to follow him?

Therefore, it can be assumed that it is more likely than not that GZ is not innocent.
=========================================================================
Sources: [1]http://www.scientificamerican.com...
[2]http://video.ca.msn.com...
Debate Round No. 2
InVinoVeritas

Pro

1. Eyewitness accounts are not as reliable as DNA testing, but due to the absence of contradictory (or any) DNA testing in this situation, we must put some reliance on eyewitness testimony. Eyewitness testimony does have value, since its probability of being accurate is certainly greater than the accuracy of a game of "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe."

I did not state that Zimmerman was yelling for help; I simply quoted witness testimony. Although a source has said that it was not Zimmerman, it was not confirmed to be Martin's voice. For all we know, it was a witness' screams.

Zimmerman was (justifiably) worried, because his neighborhood had a history of burglaries in the past. Imagine being a community watchman, responsible for the protection of a crime-ridden gated community, and seeing someone walking around the community in the rain (when most people do not take strolls) late at night? Suspicions do arise, and Zimmerman wanted to look into it, because he knew that he bore a responsibility to defend his community.

"How would you feel if you see someone following you at night with a gun?" Con asks. Well, first off, if Trayvon had noticed Zimmerman, there is still no way that Trayvon would have noticed the concealed weapon Zimmerman was carrying. If the gun had been out and Zimmerman had the initial intention to kill, then the close-up confrontation (on the ground), in which Zimmerman was wounded, between them would likely have never ensued.

The opponent's theory that, possibly, Martin tackled down an armed Zimmerman in self-defense and fear for his life is founded on two assumptions: (1), that Martin knew that Zimmerman was armed and had the intent to use his weapon, and (2), that Martin was willing to physically attack an armed man who had an intent to use his weapon. If (1) is not true, then (2) is irrelevant. But since the opponent assumes (1), (2) must also be assumed. Hence, both (1) and (2) are true or both are false (and (1) being false and (2) being true is a situation that is not germane to the matter at hand.) We find that (2) is illogical, because tackling a man with a gun (and an intent to use it) onto the ground is not something that rational people would do, because this does not null the possibility of the gun being used. Hence, the entire concept (of Martin tackling Zimmerman out of fear for his life, while knowing Zimmerman is armed) is invalid.

2. See above.

3. Zimmerman did not confront Martin before calling the police, because he felt that he wanted to report it and have officers arrive to ensure that the situation is placated. Due to past troubles in the community and the suspicious nature of a person walking through the rain late at night, looking around, Zimmerman was justified to be concerned.
bossyburrito

Con

1. "Well, first off, if Trayvon had noticed Zimmerman, there is still no way that Trayvon would have noticed the concealed weapon Zimmerman was carrying."
Reports have stated that Zimmerman kept his gun in a holster by his waist. [1] However, about your points about TM attacking an armed man, could it be possible that TM saw a man with a gun following him home, and he decided to run away? When GZ saw him running, he drew the gun, and pursued. TM, in the rain, managed to tackle GZ because of the low visibility, and because he was scared that he would get shot anyways?
2.See above
3.Well, certainly the worry was justified, but after GZ called the police and they said they would come and for GZ to stay put, do you think he would have followed TM?
Debate Round No. 3
InVinoVeritas

Pro

1. Even if Zimmerman kept his gun in a holster by his waist, Martin would not have noticed it until the close-up confrontation; it is difficult to see a dark gun in a dark holster from afar in the middle of the night. During the confrontation, if Martin had noticed the gun, he would not have physically tackled Zimmerman, because that is irrational and extremely risky.

If Martin ran, Zimmerman would not have caught up if he pursued. Zimmerman is a pudgy, 5'9 guy who is nearing 30 years of age, while Martin was a 17-year-old athlete with a lean, six-foot-tall young man. [1] If Martin saw the gun from afar and ran, he would have had no reason to stop for a close-up confrontation with the armed man.

2. See prior response.

3. Zimmerman took responsibility as the community watchman. He had had to call the police 46 times [2] during his duty as community watchman since 2004. He felt that it was his duty to get involved, so he investigated and certainly made sure that he knew of Martin's whereabouts he walked through the neighborhood during that rainy night.

---

My arguments stand. My opponent nitpicked at the established Pro arguments, dropping several, and his refutations have been effectively dismissed.

It is, therefore, more likely than not that Zimmerman is innocent of the murder of Martin. The resolution stands.

Thank you.

[1] http://blogs.chicagotribune.com...
[2] http://www.psychologytoday.com...
bossyburrito

Con

I just wanna say thanks for the debate.
1.So you are assuming that TM tackled GZ when it was not in fear for his life? This makes even less sense, as TM had to be close enough to see the gun when he tackles GZ. TM had no weapons on him. It is very improbable that he would straight-up attack GZ. " If Martin saw the gun from afar and ran, he would have had no reason to stop for a close-up confrontation with the armed man." What if GZ followed him in a car?
3. Yes, but the police call specifically told GZ NOT to pursue TM.

Well, anyways, that was a fun debate. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by bossyburrito 1 year ago
bossyburrito
Another thing about this debate is that i assumed that TM was on top of George, for the sake of argument to try to show how the least favorable situation for my case can be explained. It could have been entirely possible that GZ tackled TM first and, as Pro said, TM is in much better condition than GZ. (NOTE: do not let this influence your votes. I just wanted to explain something. )
Posted by Ixaax 1 year ago
Ixaax
Also, one of pro's sources [1] goes on that GZ appeared uninjured later that night.

[1] http://gothamist.com...
Posted by bossyburrito 1 year ago
bossyburrito
I overuse GZ and TM don't i lol
Posted by InVinoVeritas 1 year ago
InVinoVeritas
Yum.
Posted by bossyburrito 1 year ago
bossyburrito
Lolz you popped my serious debate cherry
Posted by InVinoVeritas 1 year ago
InVinoVeritas
Because of the nature of the opponent's other debates, this is probably going to be a troll debate... Oh, well. I'll just remake the debate until a suitable opponent comes up.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by randolph7 1 year ago
randolph7
InVinoVeritasbossyburritoTied
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't see either party as having met the BoP of the resolution as stated. However, I found Pro's sources more reliable.
Vote Placed by Ixaax 1 year ago
Ixaax
InVinoVeritasbossyburritoTied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had a strong open, but his arguments lost wind as the debate progressed. Pro's biggest fault was utilizing quotes and recordings- there is much more information of that sort against Zimmerman. Pro should have focused more on the "GZ is not a racist" argument, because that was strong and not well refuted (Which is I'm giving Pro conduct). Another fault is using opinionated columns and reports- fox- which has led me to award Con the sources points.
Vote Placed by phantom 1 year ago
phantom
InVinoVeritasbossyburritoTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Cons arguments got more and more reaching as this went allong. I don't think any probable motives were introduced and evidence such as the wounds and witness testamonies pointed to pros favor. Con shows that DNA testing was more reliable than witness acounts, but we don't have that evidence so we stick to what we do have.