Overheard on CNN.com: Trayvon Martin case 'no-win situation' for all parties?
George Zimmerman testified, along with his wife and parents, at a bail hearing Friday in Sanford, Florida.
April 20th, 2012
08:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Trayvon Martin case 'no-win situation' for all parties?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Some new details emerged from the hearing during which a Florida judge set a $150,000 bond for George Zimmerman. Readers have been assessing the information, and they're telling us they aren't quite sure what to make of the Trayvon Martin case. Since some of the most critical information in the case has not been released publicly, it's difficult to make a judgment. Many of our commenters felt that both Zimmerman and Martin's stories are sad.

More details about Zimmerman emerge during bond hearing

This was the most-liked comment:

W0ofie:
"1. Overzealous. 2. Rash. 3. Naive. 4. Foolish.

Four words that describe Zimmerman. This case doesn't meet the standard for murder, it probably meets the standard for manslaughter. I do not believe Zimmerman intended on shooting anyone, I do beleive that his actions were sufficient for Trayvon Martin to feel threatened. Very sad, Zimmerman thought Trayvon was a criminal, Martin thought Zimmerman intended him harm. One is dead and one has ruined his life. Should have just let the cops handle it. Thanks to the NRA pushing laws that Law Enforcement Officers have repeatedly opposed because of this exact reason we now have one life ended and one life ruined. I can empathize with both, I am sure that will (anger) a few of you."

The replies were along similar lines, with this reader saying no one wins from the situation.

userjoe9066: "Very well worded, pretty much matches up with what I feel right now, it's just a no win situation even if they public gets what they want and Zimmerman gets hung or whatever happens to him it won't bring back Trayvon, there really is no winner in this situation. Hope it works out somehow though. I empathize with both sides."

This person said they fear "Stand Your Ground" laws, but don't know what to make of the case.

KellyinMN: "I can't say whether second degree murder or manslaughter is more appropriate, since I don't have access to all the evidence, just as you don't. With that said, I agree that I can sympathize with both (I can't empathize since I've never been shot or shot someone). It's a very sad situation which likely could have been prevented had the NRA not been allowed to push their dangerous laws. They tried passing a "Stand Your Ground" law similar to Florida's in Minnesota, but our law makers took law enforcements concerns and chose to only allow for the SYG type force in your home, car, RV, and tent (camping). I applaud their restraint and am proud they didn't bow to the NRA like so many other states have."

What information makes the difference in this case?

wodley: "We cannot pass judgment now whether it's manslaughter or not before knowing all the facts. The important thing is to prove forensically whether Zimmerman shot Martin while his head was being slammed on the concrete or whether he shot him from a distance. If it's the first, then it's self-defense. If it's the second, then it's second-degree murder."

This reader said they feel a second-degree murder charge is too much.

caliconor: "I agree with the original poster. I think Zimmerman was foolish, but he wasn't out to kill anyone. He was out doing a service for the community and was attacked. It sucks that someone died, but this was one of these circumstances where everything went wrong and it did. He's guilty of manslaughter, not murder. Wrongful dead lawsuit? More than likely. But 2nd degree murder? That's pretty ridiculous."

This is only a portion of the conversation that took place. What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Florida • Justice • Overheard on CNN.com • Trayvon Martin • U.S.
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    A stand-your-ground law is a good law.

    April 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      @jif the only peeps who agrees with you is zimmerman's narrow-minded da and non-witness brother, the joker judge awarding the joker's bail, and the judicial system operating a double-standard of justice...it is amazing that killing an unarmed person isn't a capital offense so bail is granted...thanks judge wal-mart for your reasonable prices 🙂 !

      April 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      correction: dad

      April 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • portland tony

      A "Castle Doctrine" law is what I believe is fair. This BS of follow me down the street and shoot me when nobody's looking is stupid and allows premeditated aggression.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • shawna

      I agree!

      April 21, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Yes and No..

      April 21, 2012 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. mikecalo

    If, as you say, some crucial information hasn't been released to the public, WHY isn't someone putting Al Sharpton on a leash? And why isn't the President telling the country to stay calm because not all the crucial information is out? Is he hoping for a race war? I hope this "crucial information" is a picture of video of Zimmerman's bandaged nose and head, which would prove his story. I'd love to see what Al Sharpton would say to THAT?

    April 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      I agree with you 100%

      April 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deej

      Are you even kidding me? Why would the POTUS say anything about this case other than expressing his condolences to the Martin family, which he was soundly critisized for? He is not responsible for Sharpton or Jackson anymore than GWB was responsible for the behavior of Rush or O'Reilly's big ugly mouths. He is no more responsible for what they say than CNN is responsible for the silly stuff YOU say. Yeesh!

      April 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    Since there were no eyewitnesses to the confrontation, those pictures prove nothing. It still Zimmermans word against Trayvons. Oops, I forgot, Zimmerman made sure Trayvon couldn't tell his side of the story.

    April 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      Does anyone in America realize that you are innocent until proven guilty. With the way jessie Jackson and al sharpton have blown this into a race thing, ( the boys hood was up so how did he know he was black) he can easily get a mistrial. As Florida law stands, and as their president from past cases stand, be needs too be set free.

      April 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      zim clothes were so clean he could do a tide commercial..,

      April 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      micky1313:
      He said it was a black person on the 911 tape.
      His hood was also up because it was raining.
      If you are so intent on evidence, leave Sharpton, Jesse, Obama, and everybody else out of it.
      Time, and the trial, will tell.

      April 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      "Florida law stands, and as their president from past cases stand, be needs too be set free."
      I think you mean precedent, I HOPE, and that law is for cases where someone in breaking into your home and you are protecting you hearth and family.
      None of that applies.
      Not one little iota.

      April 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes

      Bringing in the clowns is hardly the solution. Your feelings about J. Jackson or A. Sharpton has nothing to do with the fact this student is dead. Empathy on the part of those who try to turn his death into a joke, is lacking. Having a hoodie on in a rainstorm is not uncommon. Nor is it uncommon to see blacks in Florida. Zimmerman is an idiot who should never have been placed in a state under which he had a sense of authority, much less a gun!

      April 20, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim B.

      The forensic evidence could be quite telling if the police collected it properly at the scene.

      The pattern of gunpowder residue on Martin's pants and Zimmerman's sweater could establish that Martin was sitting on Zimmerman when the gun was fired.

      Grass and mud stains on the knees of Martin's pants would be consistent with him sitting on Zimmerman.

      Fiber transfer between Martin's pants and Zimmerman's sweater could also help establish that Martin was sitting on Zimmerman.

      Powder burns could establish how far the gun was from Martin when fired.

      The angle the bullet entered the body could establish that Zimmerman fired upward, consistent with a prone Zimmerman firing at someone sitting on him..

      April 29, 2012 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. High Hopes

    One day of successful P/R work by the defense doesn't convince me of anything except that the laws and the justice system, as well as the conduct of officers, is lacking in Florida. And, that, imo, is what the people are marching against.

    Juducial incompetency is one thing, as is a district attorney's inability to win a case. But when you have an unarmed citizen killed of a gunshot wound and there is not as much as a report on the incident, a gathering of evidence or written witness reports, it reaks to high heaven of corruption. Sadly, that is what this case is going to be about... and, rightly, so!

    Justice for All,
    Hope

    April 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim B.

      I believe there was ample evidence collected including the autopsy, ballistics, witness statements, crime scene photos, three interviews with Zimmerman, etc. The police just did not release any of the evidence except the 911 tapes and the video of Zimmerman arriving at the police station.

      The police and prosecutor reviewed the evidence originally and decided that it was self-defense.

      The special prosecutor arrested Zimmerman due to public and political pressure not because of the evidence. The FL governor does not want riots or for the Zimmerman case to affect the Presidential election. If the case is not thrown out due to the Stand Your Ground law, then it will not go to trial until after the election.

      April 21, 2012 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. ♚Mmmmm♛

    where's the skittles zim?
    where's the ice tea can zim?
    where's the cell phone zim?
    you saw these things fly when you attacked and murdered him...

    April 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      so you lied on the stand today when you said you didn't know he wasn't armed...

      April 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    @ mickey 1313

    What you don't seem to realize is, if Zimmerman had done what the 911 dispatcher said and not followed Trayvon, the confrontation would not have occured and Trayvon would still be alive.

    April 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes

      I strongly agree!

      April 20, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. High Hopes

    Banasy!

    Brilliant minds think alike!

    Amazing!

    I saw some old friends posting here today... It made me very happy!

    April 20, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Yes, we are brilliant, aren't we? Lol.
      I'm glad you're back, and I'm glad that it made you happy; not enough smiles going around these days!

      So, here: 🙂

      April 21, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes

      Thanks! I needed that...

      And, right back at cha!

      😀

      Keep the faith!

      .

      BTW:

      Where's Chrissy these days?

      April 21, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Chrissy pops in and out...her name gets stolen a LOT!
      It gets very tiring for her.
      She is as indomitable as ever, though!

      April 21, 2012 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. Reggie LeBlanc

    1st degree murder is pre-meditated. You have previously thought about killing the victim, and then you set about doing it. By his call to the non-emergency police line, pre-meditation doesn't appear to apply to this case.

    2nd degree murder is when the actions of the killer reflects, to a reasonable person (the judge/jury) the killer acted with reckless and depraved disregard for and indifference toward human life.

    April 21, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Reggie LeBlanc

    Can I continue?

    April 21, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Deej

      What kind of a question is that? Do what you want.

      April 21, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jermaine Watkins

    I THINK...

    That our thoughts are all confused by too much speculative information being reported around the clock. Not that I altogether blame media for producing back-to-back "This Just Ins." It's simply A LOT for people to process, and way too soon.

    If Angela Corey sees a reason for any degree of murder charge, I personally have to wait to discover her evidence. Much of what we actually know came by waiting. It's difficult but the right thing to do.

    In the end, I only hope that Trayvon's family get the facts they need for the sake of closure. Their son is gone. I don't believe any person, for one side or the other, wouldn't fight for the justice of their own lost child.

    Stay Positive,

    Jermaine

    April 21, 2012 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    @ Mmmmm, 9:42 PM:
    Many "peeps," as you call them in your attempt to be little-girl cute, agree with my entire statement, "a stand-your-ground law is a good law."
    A law supported by as few persons as you wish to believe could not exist in any state, and I do not believe that the judicial system in Florida employed a double standard of justice in this case before the arrival of racist professional activists, T-shirt salespersons, tornadoes of whirling-dervish reporters, and demonstrators.
    I am well aware that many, including some of my friends, disagree with me on the issues involved here, but do not, Mmmmm, delude yourself into your stated belief that very few agree with me, unless you choose to suspend your relationship to reality completely.

    April 21, 2012 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      it won't be the first time, historically, dummies do comes in masses, can be herded like cattle, and rounded with the sheep...so the majority thingy is outta whack...it's the lone rangers with their sidekick tonto that make throughway...and the vector bit...oh pleeze!

      April 22, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      it never fails after the perp does an heinous act...a little liquid diet weight loss, suit with a necktie with a knot bigger than his chin supposed to somehow legitamize and humanize his treachery...

      April 22, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. **cosmicVox *

    ... Have to agree with you JIF, the media frenzy lynch mob mentality surrounding this case is actually even more frightening than the tragic event itself. Let the court do its job, we'll all learn more soon and if Stand Your Ground doesn't apply here we'll find that out too. It is a good law if applied properly.

    April 21, 2012 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

      Thank you **cosmicVox*.
      I thought about adding that the SYG laws have to be applied properly, but I didn't want to apologise for my statement and thereby weaken it. Also, some SYG laws may be written better than others, but any SYG law is better than none.
      There is no reason for the State of Florida to be forced to placate angry racists by saying that the SYG law will be examined: we deserve to live in a law-abiding, safe society without having to prove in court that we are not racists. It should be possible to live without as much violent crime as we have, with much of it being socially approved because of consideration of the sociological matrix.
      I do not think that Florida can convict Zimmerman of murder, but Florida is forced to charge him with murder to placate racists, some of them very successful professional advocates of racism.
      I know a New York policeman who left the force because of laws that prevented his defending himself while enforcing the law. He started a business installing alarm systems in houses and places of business. Those who demonstrate for Justice For Trayvon may not see the irony of that vector, but I do.
      Many of those who demonstrate for JFT may not even understand the word vector.

      April 21, 2012 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      @cosmicvox...boot kisser!

      April 22, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sasha

    Why is S.R. Baxely on the task force re-examining the SYG law when he is the one who wrote it? Anybody see anything slightly WRONG with this???

    April 21, 2012 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

      Yes, Sasha, I see something wrong with it: the SYG law should not be examined, so there should not be any task force to do that.

      April 21, 2012 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    I'm leaving the house now to go to the gym. Then I'll go to work to make a living in classical music.

    April 21, 2012 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. Amanda

    Hey, I look at it this way. . . It was dark, so they say, and Zimmerman was looking at Trayvon as HE was walking away. Trayvon felt threatened, but what kind of look did he get at Zimmerman. How does stand your ground not apply to Trayvon. . . Yes, yes, I know he did not have a gun, but that is not the point. Trayvon most likely did not know that Zimmerman was anything more than a "thug" that was going to jump him. So I just want to know, where is the self defense theory for Trayvon?

    Everyone has felt that feeling, when you know someone is after you. . So "innocent" Trayvon felt threatened, and even if he did attack Zimmerman, he had it coming. It was SELF DEFENSE!!!! Doesn't give the guy a right to shoot anyone, especially an innocent man walking home.

    April 21, 2012 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
    • NamDebra

      How is it self defense for Trayvon when according to the information available Zimmerman was on his way back to his vehicle after losing sight of Trayvon and it was Trayvon who actually confronted/approached Zimmerman?

      April 21, 2012 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
    • NamDebra

      Btw I still think it sucks that Trayvon was shot & killed... I'm just trying to understand what your reasoning is behind saying Trayvon acted in self defense. If you were following me, then lost sight of me, and were on your way back to your car & I came up to you, and punched you in the face, would you consider me punching you self defense? Trayvon had the chance to go home & instead chose to double back & confront Zimmerman. Personally, if I was frightened by someone following me, the last thing I'd do is turn around after that person quit following me & walk right up to them... I'd be running home as fast as possible & tell my parents, 'hey some weird guy was following me and I don't know why'

      April 21, 2012 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
    • bennyhill

      I served on a jury for a murder trial where an infant was murdered. You must hear all the facts before you make a decision. It wasn't plesant to go through but everyone deserves a fair trial in this country. We don't know all the facts yet. Can we wait to here all the evidence before we pass judgement one way or the other.

      April 21, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim B.

      Preemptive self defense, as apparently practiced by Martin, is not a good idea, especially if you aren't armed.

      Lots of people with concealed weapons and Stand Your Ground laws is supposed to deter crime because the person you punch in the nose may pull out a gun and shoot you. Martin learned that the hard way.

      April 29, 2012 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
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