Saturday, July 27, 2013

The more education people have, the better they are able to stand up to authority

Five white women, including the wives of a lawyer and an engineer, convinced juror "Maddy" that she had to find Zimmerman innocent even though "Maddy" believed he was guilty of murder.

Why was Maddy unable to stand up to these women? Education is a likely reason. It has been proven that higher education enables people to stand up to those who misuse the authority that they are perceived to have.

See Milgram’s Experiment on Obedience to Authority

Stanley Milgram's famous "obedience" experiment showed that most people will set aside their moral inhibitions if someone wearing a white laboratory coat tells them to inflict horrible pain on a stranger.

Milgram found that education levels had a big impact on behavior.

Milgram found that people who have confidence in their own thinking ability are less likely to obey someone just because he is in a position of authority.

Juror B29, ‘Maddy,’ says ‘Zimmerman got away with murder’
Video: A member of the jury that acquitted George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin told ABC News that Zimmerman got away with murder.
By Ruth Tam
Washington Post
July 25, 2013

Two weeks after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, the only person on the jury who is a member of an ethnic minority said in an ABC News interview that Zimmerman “got away with murder.’

Juror B29, identified only by her first name Maddy, sat down with ABC’s Robin Roberts, to discuss the trial for “Good Morning America.” As the first juror to show her face on camera, Maddy expressed both conviction and regret.

‘Justice for Trayvon’ rallies across the U.S.: Protesters chant and march, calling for a federal investigation and changes to “stand your ground” statutes after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida.

“You can’t put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty,” Maddy said of Zimmerman.

[Maura Larkins: Actually, yes you can. It's called manslaughter. He followed Trayvon, sneaking up on him with a hidden gun, and ended up shooting Trayvon dead. Zimmerman was intentionally aggressive toward Trayvon, precipitating a shooting. Zimmerman had no right to be stalking Trayvon. He disobeyed police and caused a death.]

A nursing assistant and mother of eight children, Maddy, 36, who is Puerto Rican, said she believed she owed Trayvon Martin’s parents an apology because she felt “like I let them down.”

She also said that the case shouldn’t have gone to trial and that it was “a publicity stunt.” Despite this, she said the decision weighed heavily on her.

“It’s hard for me to sleep; it’s hard for me to eat because I feel I was forcefully included in Trayvon Martin’s death. And as I carry him on my back, I’m hurting as much [as] Trayvon’s Martin’s mother because there’s no way that any mother should feel that pain,” she said.

In the interview with Roberts, Maddy also discussed the different options the jury was presented and how she “fought to the end.”

“I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury,” she said.

In response to Maddy’s interview, Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, released a statement Thursday night.

“It is devastating for my family to hear the comments from juror B29, comments which we already knew in our hearts to be true. That George Zimmerman literally got away with murder.”

Excerpts of the interview aired on ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” and on “Nightline” Thursday night. The full interview aired Friday morning on “Good Morning America.”

The 6 Decisions That Could Have Saved Trayvon Martin's Life
By Ryan Grim
Huff Post

It's impossible to know whether it was Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman who threw the first punch in the confrontation that ended Martin’s life. The jury apparently relied on that ambiguity to acquit Zimmerman of murdering Martin, because he said he killed the 17-year-old in self defense. But despite the confusion, there are plenty of facts that both sides can agree on. While Zimmerman may have been found not guilty, that doesn't mean he wasn't responsible. Trayvon Martin would be alive today, but for at least six decisions made or not made by Zimmerman and the state of Florida.

1. Zimmerman could have decided not to follow Martin.

For starters, George Zimmerman is not a law enforcement official trained in spotting suspicious or criminal behavior. Zimmerman told a 911 operator that Martin seemed suspicious and appeared to be "on drugs or something. It's raining and he’s just walking around, looking about." It was not 3 a.m. when Zimmerman spotted Martin. Rather, it was early evening, a time when people typically "walk around, looking about." Had Zimmerman simply gone about his business, we never would have heard about either of them.

2. Zimmerman could have listened to the 911 operator and not followed Martin. Talking to an operator, Zimmerman complained, "These assholes, they always get away." He later narrated, "Shit, he's running.”

"Are you following him?" the operator asked.

Zimmerman confirmed he was. "Ok, we don't need you to do that," the operator told him. If Zimmerman had simply let Martin run away, he'd be alive today. Martin, it later emerged, found Zimmerman as deeply suspicious as Zimmerman found him. Only one of those judgments turned out to be correct.

3. If Zimmerman had not been secretly armed, he probably wouldn't have followed Martin. Zimmerman knew that he had an advantage in any possible confrontation with a neighbor: He was concealing a weapon. If a fight started, and Zimmerman began losing, he could pull out the gun and shoot his opponent. The state of Florida allows Zimmerman to patrol his neighborhood armed, which emboldened him.

4. If Zimmerman's weapon had not been hidden, Martin probably would have dealt with him differently. When a man follows another, tensions rise. One way or another, those tensions led to a physical confrontation. But if Florida law barred concealed carry, Martin would have been able to see that Zimmerman was armed. Zimmerman defenders suspect Martin threw the first punch. But even if that's true, would he have done so if he knew Zimmerman was carrying a loaded weapon?

5. Zimmerman could have been barred from carrying a weapon.

Zimmerman had a long history of violence, including a restraining order for domestic violence, felony charges of resisting arrest, and assaulting an officer (the charge was pled down to a misdemeanor and then closed; Zimmerman's dad was a magistrate at the time). He was bounced from a job as a bouncer for being too aggressive with patrons, the New York Daily News reported. And a family member accused him of a pattern of sexual molestation. He wasn't convicted of any felony charges, which could have barred him from a gun license, but in some societies, people would determine that such a history makes someone less than an ideal candidate for the right to carry around a hidden loaded weapon.

6. Zimmerman could have not shot and killed Martin.

Regardless of who threw the first punch, a series of aggressive decisions by Zimmerman led toward the fight that broke out. Zimmerman therefore bears some responsibility for the altercation. If one starts a fight and loses, the result is generally a bloody nose, a fat lip, a black eye, a concussion or even a broken bone. That's the price one pays for getting into a fight, and it tends to be a deterrent to starting a fight. Zimmerman could have chosen to take his lumps and rethink the decisions he had made that landed him where he was. Instead, he pulled out his gun, squeezed the trigger and killed Trayvon Martin.

Of course, there's a seventh decision that could have been made that night -- Trayvon Martin could have chosen to not defend himself.

It's important to note that the jury's verdict sends a message to anyone confronted or pursued by another man: If you engage the confrontation, even an act of self defense could be used as justification to shoot and kill you. What led up to the confrontation in the Martin-Zimmerman case was ruled irrelevant; only Zimmerman's state of mind at the time he shot him was to be taken into account by the jury. That doesn't leave someone being followed through their neighborhood many options other than fighting back.

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