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  1. #1051
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  2. #1052
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    I need to stop arguing with people on comments' sections. There are some ridiculous amount of stupidity, racism and whatnot going on right now. Not good for my blood pressure.
    Thank God for ETS.

    Down to stupid things like Trayvon's height. Someone is arguing that the "general consensus" is that Trayvon was 6'2 while I'm arguing that the autopsy report says 5'11. This dude would rather go with the "general consensus" rather than the autopsy report.

    On a related note, singer Lester Chambers was attacked by a a white female during a song which he dedicated to Trayvon Martin.

    Another interesting thing from juror who spoke to CNN. First vote was 3 not guilty, 1 murder and 2 manslaughter. Surprised those 3 women were able to swing those 3 other jurors in such a short period of time.
    Last edited by Deepvoid; 07-16-2013 at 09:24 AM.

  3. #1053
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    I think once they get in there and review the jury instructions from the Judge (linked above) and the facts, that's what makes them ultimately decide. No juror is likely to be "talked into" a decision they know is wrong.

  4. #1054
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    I think once they get in there and review the jury instructions from the Judge (linked above) and the facts, that's what makes them ultimately decide. No juror is likely to be "talked into" a decision they know is wrong.
    I understand. At which time does the first vote happens? Is it right off the bat to get a feel of everyone's position and then they review evidence exhaustively before another vote?

  5. #1055
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    Usually right away, yes. They very carefully read the jury instructions and use them as guidance when reviewing the facts. The jury instructions and laws are very confusing; what they think in the beginning may contradict the jury instructions and/or the laws.


    Meanwhile, this is such a sad, powerful OpEd piece in the NY Times
    Last edited by allegro; 07-16-2013 at 10:06 AM.

  6. #1056
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    This broke my heart today: Bullied N.M. gay teen posts suicide note online before taking his own life. I'm not going to post all of the note, and if you're going to read this, I'm going to add some serious trigger warnings, but this I can't help but want to share:

    The kids in school are right, I am a loser, a freak, and a fag and in no way is that acceptable for people to deal with. I’m sorry for not being a person that would make someone proud.
    I hope every single person who ever treated this young man as anything but worthy of respect, understands the responsibility they carry, the consequence of their actions. This is society's murder as much as theirs.

  7. #1057
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    lost me when they switched to "the founding fathers were racist, therefore the country must still be" logic... but this is a good jumping point for something I've wanted to post in this thread:



    There is no doubt that there is racism within the system, but the Zimmerman trial seems to be a very poor choice to stand as a symbol of it. People walking around with "THE PEOPLE SAY GUILTY" signs immediately after a verdict in a trial that worked exactly as it should have is a goddamned LYNCH MOB. That's just fucked.

    Don't you think this downplays the reality of the true racism in the system? Crime statistics work against blacks in so many situations. Zimmerman is so much harder to demonstrate and is on a statistical fringe compare to something like Chicago's crime stats. ~80% of shootings in Chicago happen to blacks. You said there were what, 70 shootings 2 weekends ago in Chicago? Where the hell are their protests?

    The obvious fix there is something you and I already agree on: Ending the drug war and focusing on the education and poverty problems. Obama sure as hell isn't going to make that happen. His disgusting reply to the Zimmerman verdict was to leverage it for more empty gun control rhetoric. Hell, even though I say Zimmerman/Martin issue is more of a fringe, it's entirely possible that situation would have been positively influenced by fixing those 3 items.

  8. #1058
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elke View Post
    This broke my heart today: Bullied N.M. gay teen posts suicide note online before taking his own life. I'm not going to post all of the note, and if you're going to read this, I'm going to add some serious trigger warnings, but this I can't help but want to share:



    I hope every single person who ever treated this young man as anything but worthy of respect, understands the responsibility they carry, the consequence of their actions. This is society's murder as much as theirs.
    Ugh, that's awful. 20-fucking-13 and still, STILL this shit is happening. Almost makes me wish the US and Soviets had just launched everything they had in their missile silos during the Missile Crisis, just punch the fucking RESET button on humanity...

    I don't, really, it's hyperbole, but I'm still disgusted with people right now.

  9. #1059
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    it's happening because kids don't know how to stand up to bullies. bullies affect everyone. giving kids the proper ammo to fight bullies (and now social media) will help. this includes mentors, advisers, coaches, and rules in school systems that will lead to suspensions.
    Last edited by allegro; 07-16-2013 at 09:06 PM.

  10. #1060
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deepvoid View Post
    I understand. At which time does the first vote happens? Is it right off the bat to get a feel of everyone's position and then they review evidence exhaustively before another vote?
    When I was a juror, the first thing I suggested was that we start by writing a numbered list (for multiple charges), putting our votes on each one, and piling them up to see where we stood as work from there.

    Thankfully, ours was both non-violent and extremely black and white in terms of establishing our decision. Deliberations lasted all of 20 minutes or so.

    In this case: let me preface my statement by saying I didn't follow the trial at all. But my guess is that ultimately, if the jury followed the letter of the law right down to the T, they reached the "right" decision. Do I think the whole situation could have - SHOULD have - been avoided in the first place? Yes, 100%. Do I believe that the chain of events leading to Martin's death began with a conscious decision made not by him, but by Zimmerman? Yes, 100%.

    But here's the problem: according to the law, even though Zimmerman was (I believe) responsible for initiating the events that ultimately led to a young man dying, my understanding is that the law deems that irrelevant. By law, he was within his rights to shoot to kill if he felt threatened - even if he started the confrontation.

    Morally: I disagree 100% with the outcome and believe that Zimmerman, in the context of morality, is a murderer.

    Legally: unpopular though I may be, I think the jurors made the call that the law required of them. I predicted the outcome the day he was charged, so it came as no surprise at all.

  11. #1061
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    ^^ exactly. A legal expert I saw on TV described it like this: Martin "reset the clock" when he climbed upon Zimmerman and started pounding on him, according to Florida law. (Outside of Florida, not necessarily.)

    The juror interviewed said that all 6 of the jurors wished they could have found Zimmerman guilty of SOMETHING, but the jurors weren't given any other viable options.

  12. #1062
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    We should have some sort of "legal/litigation" thread to discuss high profile cases or simply discuss the law in general. Just throwing the idea out there for moderators.

  13. #1063
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    it's happening because kids don't know how to stand up to bullies. bullies affect everyone. giving kids the proper ammo to fight bullies (and now social media) will help. this includes mentors, advisers, coaches, and rules in school systems that will lead to suspensions.
    It's not the 'victim's' responsibility to end bullying. That's like saying rape could be prevented if every woman was taught self-defense, and we all wore burqas so men weren't lured into desiring us so much. It's not up to a child to stand up to bullies, it's up to the community around this child to single out the bully and shine a spotlight on why they suck so much.

    And what exactly is 'proper ammo' when you are treated with disdain and ignored? Because bullying isn't about calling names and tagging photos. It's about being made invisible, reduced to one thing. How do you fight back against people who make you disappear? The more you try to show yourself and be yourself, the more oppressive the bullying gets. And if you really want it to stop, there's only one way out: you have to disappear. Stop reacting, stop crying, stop complaining - just take it in stride and move on. That's what too many adults advise as well: just ignore the bullying and it'll stop.
    Yes. It'll stop. Because they've won. They destroyed a vital part of you, and you just let them.

    When it comes to gender politics, the prevelant form of bullying is not the one-on-one reactions of peers and parents; it's the fact that these children feel invisible in their own worlds. They often don't have role models, don't know any openly glbt adults, don't get to learn about glbt subjects or hear adults talk about them.
    Instead of focussing on empowering victims (and yes, all children should be empowered, but by their parents through love), we should focus on making ideas like homophobia or genderqueer baiting the odd one out. We should focus on making diversity so normal, so visibile, that when someone denies or attacks that diversity, we can all point the finger and say You know dude, you're kind of weird.

    The truth is that the only reason a kid can be made to believe that a faggot isn't worthy of love or respect, is because that is - to that kid - the truth. Because in that child's world, it's a fact that a faggot isn't worthy of love or respect.

    Last year I had a conversation with one of my favourite, but sadly also most homophobic students. After class, I held him back a couple of minutes and confronted him with the way he talked about gays. He was defensive, until I told him that he was offending me, personally. I never talk about my sexuality with my students, because as a religion teacher that might cause problems where there don't need to be any. But at certain times, I don't mind being visible; and this was one of them. And he felt incredibly bad, and apologized. He even held back any more comments during the next couple of classes, and never broke his promise of not telling anyone what I told him. Which is all kinds of awesome, really.
    However, this year he's with a different teacher, and I was told the homophobia is cranked up a notch. I could get him to respect me, but I can't get him to change his mind about that thing about me he doesn't like - because he honestly believes it's true. He was taught it was true.

    So unless we change the truth for these kids, it's going to keep happening. In that respect, visibility is everything, as is the ongoing public support of glbt allies.

  14. #1064
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    Whenever I see someone whinge about marriage equality (or teaching kids about GLBT issues) as "normalising" homosexuality, I deem it an implicit endorsement on their part of homophobic bullying and hate crimes.

  15. #1065
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    The juror interviewed said that all 6 of the jurors wished they could have found Zimmerman guilty of SOMETHING, but the jurors weren't given any other viable options.
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/in-...dup-law,33126/

    I don't know if I fully buy this "our hands are tied by the letter of the law" argument.
    Isn't this why we have juries made of lay people not lawyers? Are juries not allowed to say "well the law may say such and such, but we find the defendent guilty"? In other words are juries not allowed to challenge the law itself as unjust/stupid/wrong etc? Can a judge strike down the jury's verdict in such a case?

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    juries can't stray beyond the jury instructions.

  17. #1067
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    So basically, there's nothing opposite of jury nullification?

  18. #1068
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    I don't understand the question.

  19. #1069
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    I don't understand the question.
    Am I correctly understanding that jury nullification happens when a person believed to be guilty ends up being acquitted because the jury doesn't agree with the law or because they think the law should not apply in their situation.
    My question is, can a jury find someone guilty because they do not agree with the law (i.e. Stand Your Ground) or whatever law that legislate the use of force in cases of self-defense?

  20. #1070
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    No, the jury must acquit or find guilty based only on the strict definition of the law. It is not their job to define the law, agree or disagree with the law, or look to other laws. I suggest you read the jury instructions linked in this thread; jury instructions are customized specifically for each trial, civil or criminal, and all jury trials have jury instructions. The jury must follow those instructions.

    In this country, what you call "jury nullification" can't happen because our Constitution provides that all persons are innocent until proven guilty (not the other way around).

  21. #1071
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elke View Post
    It's not the 'victim's' responsibility to end bullying. .
    .
    I totally agree. But bullying isn't being punished because the kids being bullied are too afraid to do anything about it. This isn't just a gender thing, kids are bullied for all kinds of reasons. This "cyber bully" shit in this country is completely out of control. The parents don't seem to know it's happening. It's nuts. Kids are killing themselves here after being bullied for NO reason at all on FB. You're choosing one gender case and one issue; but there are kids who are suddenly ostracized and then bullied for no reason other than the bullying kids are sadistic fuckers who seem to think this behavior is enjoyable entertainment. Kids should be allowed to peacefully exist in whatever way they choose, whatever gender they choose, without being subject to this torture. Period. But, they aren't being protected. Nobody seems to give a shit. There's no place for them to turn. Even their own parents seem to be hesitant to do anything, for fear that it will make the bullying worse.
    Last edited by allegro; 07-17-2013 at 12:02 PM.

  22. #1072
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    No, the jury must acquit or find guilty based only on the strict definition of the law. It is not their job to define the law, agree or disagree with the law, or look to other laws. I suggest you read the jury instructions linked in this thread; jury instructions are customized specifically for each trial, civil or criminal, and all jury trials have jury instructions. The jury must follow those instructions.

    In this country, what you call "jury nullification" can't happen because our Constitution provides that all persons are innocent until proven guilty (not the other way around).
    This is why we need a separate thread but anyways ...
    Here's what I found on jury nullification.
    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews...marijuana-case

    I will take a look at the jury instructions as well.

  23. #1073
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deepvoid View Post
    ]Here's what I found on jury nullification.
    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews...marijuana-case
    Well, but that relates to a specific law passed in that state providing for "jury nullification" under certain circumstances, and it's bound to be challenged. And, it only provides the power to acquit.

    Here's the Wiki article about it in this country, really I've *never* see it here, I've never seen it in any pattern jury instructions, ever.

    Here, this is from Cornell Law. Here, this is also interesting.
    Last edited by allegro; 07-17-2013 at 12:20 PM.

  24. #1074
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    I totally agree. But bullying isn't being punished because the kids being bullied are too afraid to do anything about it. This isn't just a gender thing, kids are bullied for all kinds of reasons. This "cyber bully" shit in this country is completely out of control. The parents don't seem to know it's happening. It's nuts. Kids are killing themselves here after being bullied for NO reason at all on FB. You're choosing one gender case and one issue; but there are kids who are suddenly ostracized and then bullied for no reason other than the bullying kids are sadistic fuckers who seem to think this behavior is enjoyable entertainment. Kids should be allowed to peacefully exist in whatever way they choose, whatever gender they choose, without being subject to this torture. Period. But, they aren't being protected. Nobody seems to give a shit. There's no place for them to turn. Even their own parents seem to be hesitant to do anything, for fear that it will make the bullying worse.
    I took the gender thing because that's what this case was about. I was bullied for simply being weird: I read books, wasn't interested in boys or girls or dating or sex much, knew the answer to almost any question in class and made no effort to be pretty. Because my parents taught me to be myself, I was myself. And I got bullied for it.
    So I know.

    I also know that in order for a child to succumb to bullying, it needs to believe the bully is right. And that's only possible if it sees other people agree with said bullies; if it sees society agree with said bullies. There was about a year of my puberty where I was convinced my parents thought I was a freak too, and just didn't want to tell me because they love me, because my mom kept trying to get me to go to parties and date. For me, that was something exceptionally difficult to overcome: my own mother, to this day, thinks there's something incredibly wrong with me because I choose to be single.

    Diversity in all things, and visibility in all things, is the key. Because bullies don't do it for entertainment value, that's a cheap out. Bullying stems from the need to control your environment, and more specifically your peer group. Children who bully are on average less intelligent, less educated, come from socially difficult (and often violent) backgrounds and have exceptionally low self esteem. These kids, too, need to be taught that they are a part of that diversity, and that the difference they experience everyday is just as okay.

    Again: I don't believe in punishment, especially when it comes to teens and bullying. Bullying continues well into adulthood, and it's visible in so many power dynamics. It takes people to stand up and say See, this girl might be a little weird, but so are you dude; not punishment and detention and suspension. Because it makes powerless people feel even more powerless, and they'll simply become repeat offenders, and become so much better at hiding it.

  25. #1075
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elke View Post
    Bullying stems from the need to control your environment, and more specifically your peer group. Children who bully are on average less intelligent, less educated, come from socially difficult (and often violent) backgrounds and have exceptionally low self esteem. These kids, too, need to be taught that they are a part of that diversity, and that the difference they experience everyday is just as okay.
    I've seen kids bullied for being short; for being overweight; for having acne; for being "ugly"; for wearing thick glasses; for being quiet. Hell, *I* was nearly beat up on several occasions for being quiet. Until I told the potential bullies to fuck off. I didn't have the energy to physically fend off girls who were beating the shit out of other girls in school (I had the ABILITY, trust me, I grew up with a younger brother), but I had the gift of having a brain and a mouth otherwise I'd have been toast, too. I even managed to stop a few other classmates from getting the shit kicked out of them (one for "wearing too much makeup and looking fake"). Yes, the bullies are fucked up, too, but I came from a single-parent home so it's hard for me to to buy that shit. Maybe the bullies need counseling, OR SOMETHING, but our school system did "diversity" training and even the younger grade school kids studied the "Ugly Duckling" story and it didn't do shit. Have you seen "Mean Girls?" Or "Heathers?" "A Christmas Story?" Now, it's like that, times 100. The friends I knew who got chased home every single fucking day from school went home and told their parents, and you know what the parents said? "Stand up to them." When the bully is 6" taller than you and you're a little guy, how the fuck is THAT gonna work? Carry a gun to school? Believe me, that's what's happening, too. Sometimes those bullies steal your bike, throw out your books, or threaten to hurt your little sister. Then what? Maybe things are "different" in Belgium, but this is some serious shit, here. And the bullies often run in packs, and they become the "popular" kids.

    I mean, look at this. Seriously, wtf.
    Last edited by allegro; 07-17-2013 at 05:01 PM.

  26. #1076
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    I was bullied all the fucking time in 7-8th grade. It lessened in 9-10th. 11-12th it mostly stopped as kids grew more mature, the dipshits dropped out or were force out from school, and I grew more of a "fuck you" attitude. I weighed less than almost everyone in my grade so I made for a good target.

    Kids absolutely have a need to band together to form their own identity. Identity formation is a big part of the teen years. Bullying makes the person/group feel power, control, and superiority in a world where they rarely have that. It's a sort of addicting high. You learn a lot in the situations that are 1 on 1 vs group on 1. The 1 on 1 situations can usually result in the bully instantly backing down if you defend yourself (physically) in some way. They are almost never looking for a fight, they want a punching bag. The kids that have beef with each other are the ones that keep going and escalate. That's not bullying. The group attacks are a very different beast. People passing by will add in a kick/punch in the middle of the chaos just because they can. That speaks volumes of herd mentality.

    Another interesting aspect is geography. I grew up in the midwest. My wife grew up around silicon valley. The bullying that happened around silicon valley was incredibly tame in comparison. Parents seem to invest a lot more time into their kid's lives around here.


    I can't imagine kids actually needing any sort of weapon. They probably feel like they need it, but i just can't see that being true. If my kid ends up having similar issues I'll just put him in some BJJ classes.

  27. #1077
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    7th and 8th grade was the WORST, omg horrible. The boys used to go down the hall SLAMMING OTHER KIDS ARMS IN THEIR LOCKERS! There were these things called "rumbles" where a group of maniac 8th graders would get together and hurt as many people as possible, slamming body parts in lockers, knocking people down, shoving people into lockers, wtf. Everybody knew to RUN when they saw it coming. One time, I worked in the school library for extra credit and I was about to retrieve the library books from this little cart where the books land when you put them in the Returned Books slot in the hall ... and some fucker THREW A LIT FIRECRACKER INTO THE RETURNED BOOK SLOT! I was deaf in that ear for, like, hours. I'm lucky it wasn't worse. And whomever did it did so blindly, without knowing what was on the other slot of the book slot. Fucking little bastards. And this was in an upper middle class white boring midwest suburb!

    they need to show more of this stuff on television
    Last edited by allegro; 07-17-2013 at 04:52 PM.

  28. #1078
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    It also doesn't help that the administration at times could seemingly care less. I remember one time in middle school after my buddy got decked in the face out front of the school waiting on a bus, i ran the 15 ft over to one of the principles and told him what happened and he barley even looked at me. Fast forward to the last day of class and my buddy walked into to school with a .22 rifle in a packing tube, he told the bus driver it was a snake terrarium. The reason he did this was because one of the "tough" guys had stated that he was gonna kick his ass. I could tell rather soon that he wasn't gonna actually gonna do anything but also the gun wouldn't fit into his locker. It didn't take long before seemingly everyone but the teachers etc knew what was going on and it wasn't until about 10 mins after the bell and the huge crowd hadn't dispersed that someone finally caught wind of it.

    Mind you this was '92 before the more recent events of this nature. So, rather sadly, when the colorado shooting happened i wasn't too surprised having, literally, in a way been there before. And from what i have been reading and hearing about lately it seems that while some of the things i remember kids getting picked on for, like being gay, fat and what not, have become somewhat more acceptable.(?) There is now many other avenues of attack that were not present at that time namely the interwebs. Which i fear makes it even easier for passively aggressive acts to be committed as there is less need for face to face confrontation. Which unlike a physical black eye, like stated above, makes it even harder for parents to actually know the extent of what is going on. It also doesn't help that some of these assholes grow up to beat other parents to death at their child's hockey game. I can only see it as willful ignorance on the part of some parents that this type of shit behavior continues. I realize it may be hard to accept that your little Jonny/Suzie was at one point your little baby, but have since turned into a budding sociopath.

  29. #1079
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    It's so fucked up. It's the exact same thing you see in the Little Rock Nine & Elizabeth Eckford pictures. Humans have a built in need to define themselves by dividing themselves from others as a way to say "I am NOT these people". That's not a form of identity you fucking cattle, it's your genetic predisposition to tribalism when you lived in huts. Nationalism, religion, sports, politics, etc... it's in everything. I hate it so fucking much. Humanity needs to eliminate this to bring ourselves to the next level. In some ways it absolutely is "just what kids do" but there are many things we do that promote it. A slow steady change seems to be the only way.

  30. #1080
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    7th and 8th grade was the WORST, omg horrible. The boys used to go down the hall SLAMMING OTHER KIDS ARMS IN THEIR LOCKERS! There were these things called "rumbles" where a group of maniac 8th graders would get together and hurt as many people as possible, slamming body parts in lockers, knocking people down, shoving people into lockers, wtf. Everybody knew to RUN when they saw it coming. One time, I worked in the school library for extra credit and I was about to retrieve the library books from this little cart where the books land when you put them in the Returned Books slot in the hall ... and some fucker THREW A LIT FIRECRACKER INTO THE RETURNED BOOK SLOT! I was deaf in that ear for, like, hours. I'm lucky it wasn't worse. And whomever did it did so blindly, without knowing what was on the other slot of the book slot. Fucking little bastards. And this was in an upper middle class white boring midwest suburb!

    they need to show more of this stuff on television
    Yea, that about sums up 7-8th grade for me. Though, they usually weren't so indiscriminate with their activity. It was almost always a single person. Mine was also the midwest white suburb. The school had corn fields on all sides. Time was my retribution. Very few of those assholes did anything productive and have a fairly miserable existence now. Granted, I guess my paycheck is now supporting them through taxes... so fuck that.

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