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George Zimmerman is not innocent

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,275 times Debate No: 43332
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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Last year there was a big court case concerning George Zimmerman killing Trayvon Martin. The resolution is that George Zimmerman is NOT innocent.


I am for his innocence right?
Debate Round No. 1


Sorry I got confused when I made the debate. I meant to argue that he's not innocent.

So heres my argument: According to Trayvon Martin's friend who was on the phone with him at the time; George Zimmerman started following him; scaring Trayvon. Therefore what George Zimmerman did was STALKING.

STALKING: According to a 2002 report by the National Center for Victims of Crime, "Virtually any unwanted contact between two people [that intends] to directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear can be considered stalking"-wikipedia

Stalking is illegal and George Zimmerman following Trayvon placed him in fear; thus George Zimmermans actions were stalking and since that is illegal, he is not innocent.


Section 784.048 (2) of the Florida Statutes states when "a person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person" the person is guilty of the offence of stalking. Stalking is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and a fine not exceeding $1,000.
In order to be convicted of stalking, it must be proved the defendant followed the victim "repeatedly." Whether or not Zimmerman stopped following Martin after the dispatcher told him it was not necessary or continued to follow him, the following was all one act. He did not "repeatedly" follow Martin.
Another aspect of the offense is the following must be done "maliciously". Malice is similar to the "ill will and spite" that is necessary in order to get a conviction for second-degree murder.
Since the jury was not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman had "ill will and spite" at the time he shot and killed Martin, there is no evidence he had any malicious intent at the time he followed him.
As well, it would be extremely hard to argue Zimmerman was maliciously following Martin while, or even after he was on the phone to 911, had identified himself, and gave his location to the dispatcher so officers could be sent.
Stalking can also consist of "harassment" rather than "following"
"Harassment" is defined as a "course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose."
Again, even if Martin did experience emotional distress, prosecutors would have to prove this one brief encounter was "a course of conduct" and that Zimmerman had no legitimate purpose in "harassing" him. It would be difficult to argue that following Martin so the police would know where he was after they arrived constituted stalking, when it was done on only one occasion, and without malice.
Florida also has an offense of aggravating stalking applicable when a "credible threat" is made during the course of stalking.
Aggravated stalking is a felony but there is no evidence this crime is applicable.

According to Florida law, George Zimmerman didn't commit a crime of stalking.

Debate Round No. 2


Okay then; you've been able to debunk the stalking argument, but theres one other: racial profiling.

George Zimmerman saw Trayvon walking home; Trayvon wasn't doing anything that would suggest criminal activity but George Zimmerman for some reason called the police and started following him. The only possible reason is that he racially profiled Trayvon Martin and figured he was a criminal because of his race. Racial profiling is an illegal act. Therefore George Zimmerman is not innocent.


Zimmerman was not a law enforcement agent. He was a civilian, operating under different legal standards than those applied to the police. Merely because he was a neighborhood watch captain does not attach law enforcement status to him.

Tape showed Zimmerman's anger over black man's beating

It has been reported that he acquired a concealed weapon permit, which legally allowed him to conceal the gun that was used to shoot and kill Martin.

Hence, although Zimmerman was possibly negligent, irresponsible and exercised poor judgment, it was not illegal for him to follow Martin, carry a gun when doing so or even ignore the opinion of the civilian 911 dispatcher when advised, regarding his following Martin, "OK, we don't need you to do that."

The only legal relevance as to whether race was the determining factor in the following and killing of Martin was whether it goes to establish if Zimmerman exercised a "depraved mind" regarding the killing.

Source: CNN
Debate Round No. 3


"Hence, although Zimmerman was possibly negligent, irresponsible and exercised poor judgment, it was not illegal for him to follow Martin, carry a gun when doing so or even ignore the opinion of the civilian 911 dispatcher when advised, regarding his following Martin, "OK, we don't need you to do that."

One last argument based on this comment. George Zimmerman committed criminal negligence.

Some examples from wikipedia:
United States

Examples of criminally negligent crimes are criminally negligent homicide and negligent endangerment of a child. Usually the punishment for criminal negligence, criminal recklessness, criminal endangerment, willful blindness and other related crimes is imprisonment, unless the criminal is insane (and then in some cases the sentence is indeterminate).

George Zimmerman acted negligently and committed homicide. Therefore he committed negligent homicide.


Pro has disproved two of my arguments but this accusation of negligent homicide is irrefutable.



I would like to say that my opponent has failed to use any other type of source rather than wikipedia. And wikipedia is known as not being reliable. That is something to consider.

"The charge of manslaughter was also a stretch. Under Florida law, as in other jurisdictions, manslaughter is committed where a killing results from negligence rather than an intention to kill. The negligence must be sufficient that the act, although not intentional, becomes criminal.
Negligence, and therefore manslaughter, would have been open to the jury had there been some evidence of negligence on Zimmerman"s part; there wasn"t any. Negligence would have occurred if, for example, Zimmerman"s gun accidentally went off, killing Martin. But the evidence of Zimmerman was that he intentionally shot Martin because Martin was beating him. What Zimmerman did was intentional. He intentionally shot Martin once in the chest at close range. Either he was justified in shooting or he wasn"t; it was second-degree murder or nothing." - decoded science

"Homicide is when one human being causes the death of another. Not all homicide is murder, as some killings are manslaughter, and some are lawful, such as when justified by an affirmative defense, like insanity or self-defense. " - Cornell Law

1) George Zimmerman would have been guilty of negligent homicide, or manslaughter, if he hadn't intentionally shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense. Let me also state that the prosecution couldn't prove that George Zimmerman commited manslaughter.
2) Although George Zimmerman did commit homicide, he had acted in self- defense which was proved in court, so his homicide was lawful.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by theta_pinch 5 years ago
I got confused I am for him being guilty.
Posted by sungod97 5 years ago
R u for his innocence?
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