Who started the fight?
Dale Gilbreath has stated that he doesn’t know who attacked first, and none of the witnesses Serino interviewed saw the start of the confrontation. But the physical evidence shows a lopsided encounter where Trayvon Martin inflicted serious injuries on George Zimmerman, while Zimmerman was incapable of fighting back. As stated above, Trayvon Martin was unscathed aside from a small abrasion on his left hand and the fatal gunshot wound. Zimmerman, meanwhile, sustained various injuries that required medical attention. This fits with the version of events leaked to the Orlando Sentinel.
If George Zimmerman is innocent, why did Chris Serino want to charge him with manslaughter?
Chris Serino felt that the confrontation could have been avoided if Zimmerman had stayed in his vehicle or had identified himself as a concerned citizen. But the law doesn’t require people to be polite or deferential; following people around and asking them nosy questions is perfectly legal. Zimmerman may have exercised poor judgment, but he didn’t violate the law. The case should be decided based on the facts and the law, not on how we personally feel about George Zimmerman or his behavior.
Did George Zimmerman reasonably fear being killed or seriously injured?
That is the most relevant question, and the answer weighs on the side that he did. The evidence suggests that it was George Zimmerman who was pinned to the ground and unable to defend himself. He was being beaten mercilessly and had no idea when help would arrive or if his attacker would stop. Even if George Zimmerman had attacked Trayvon Martin first (which is extremely unlikely given the physical evidence), Trayvon was not entitled to pin him to the ground and beat him. The lethal gunshot was fired from less than eighteen inches away, disproving any speculation that he had managed to wriggle free before shooting Trayvon from a safe distance.
Thus, as Alan Dershowitz has recently argued, a legitimate argument could be made that, under the law, George Zimmerman has enough evidence to support his claim of self-defense.
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