Zimmerman Verdict Survey Results

Last week, we asked people what they thought about the verdict in the George Zimmerman case. A total of 7,718 people responded. Though not a scientific poll, the results are enlightening.

1. Do you agree with the verdict?

Yes – 95.8%

No – 4.2%

Sample comments:

It was self defense against a younger, probably stronger opponent.

Everyone has a right to defend themselves!

He is guilty of bad judgment and a little over eager but not murder.

2. Do you believe Zimmerman acted properly in self defense?

Yes – 93.6%

No – 6.4%

Sample comments:

Absolutely, he waited much longer than most of us to defend himself.

Once he left his car and was attacked, he had no choice. But he was still wrong for leaving his car.

As the situation escalated to the final point, I believe he had no other choice.

3. If you had been in Zimmerman’s situation, would you have done the same thing?

Yes – 73.8%

No – 26.2%

Sample comments:

Absolutely. The man was pounding him out and could have killed George Zimmerman.

I would not have gotten out of my car.

I do not know.

4. The prosecutors used all of Zimmerman’s statements against him. Do you believe it was a mistake for Zimmerman to talk to police immediately after the shooting?

Yes – 74.6%

No – 25.4%

Sample comments:

They are the police and not the Pope! No confessions to anybody unless they are your lawyer.

NEVER talk to police without a attorney present in a case as serious as this.

Politely ask for an attorney before speaking with police about any details.

5. If you have to use your firearm in self defense, do you have legal counsel you can call immediately?

Yes – 46.7%

No – 53.3%

Sample comments:

Don’t need to. Just tell the truth

I will now. This should be a wake-up call to gun owners. Be prepared.

I will cross that bridge when or if I ever get to it.

6. If you have to defend yourself legally, do you have money to pay for a legal defense you can access immediately?

Yes – 37.1%

No – 62.9%

Sample comments:

Not really on my middle class income.

I am sure that a self defense shooting would cost far more than I can afford.

Hope insurance would cover.

7. Zimmerman may face multiple civil suits seeking millions of dollars from him. Do you have the financial resources to pay a lawyer to defend you against a series of suits?

Yes – 14.5%

No – 85.5%

Sample comments:

There is no grounds for any suit

I still don’t understand, once innocent how can you be tried for the same thing again?

Looking at a liability umbrella for 2-5 million.

8. Will the Zimmerman situation affect how or whether you carry a firearm?

Yes – 11.3%

No – 88.7%

Sample comments:

I’m going to carry an extra magazine.

Still will carry. Its not a safe World.

I will carry more frequently!

Our analysis: Strong Agreement, Much Wisdom, Troubling Denial

The results of this survey didn’t surprise us much. We expected most people to agree with the verdict. The evidence was overwhelming in support of the defense and the prosecution appeared to have nothing but speculation and emotional appeals for “justice.”

We also think most of those taking this survey display wisdom when they suggest that it would have been better for Zimmerman to have stayed in the truck. He should have also employed more situational awareness. He didn’t expect a physical assault and appears to have been caught off-guard.

What troubles us about many of the answers is the denial so many people have about the legal fallout from a defensive situation. A lot of people assume that you can’t get into trouble if you’re in the right and are confused about how you can be sued after being found not guilty in a criminal trial. It is also disturbing that most people don’t have the resources to pay for legal defense and most haven’t even thought about it.

In almost every case where someone legally defends themselves, there is a risk of being criminally prosecuted and sued civilly. It would help to review the cases of Jay Rodney Lewis, Carl Kozlosky, and Harold Fish.