This wasn't triggered by anything in particular, but I had an experience that triggered some thoughts the other day about my own personal perception of the city I live in, and how I view its racial makeup.
A lot of people know Little Rock for the Central High crisis so the city has a history of racial problems.
I moved to little rock in 1992. At the time, parts of Little rock were pretty bad. However, the city is very divided geographically.
Little Rock is south of the river and north little rock is north of the river. North little rock has it's own issues, I'm mainly talking about the main city south of the river.
The city is divided roughly into two chunks, north and south of I630 which runs east west through the middle of the city. Prior to the highway, the main east-west road was Markham, which is the primary east west street in the city. Off the west edge of the map is mostly residential, upper middle class subdivisions, and within the past couple years, high class type commercial stuff. The east part of the city, East of I30 is the airport and mostly industrial, not many people live there, but the ones who do are poor as well.
Little Rock as a whole is about 40% black, 50% white, 5% Hispanic and the balance various others,
However, north of I630, the city is about 85% white, and predominately middle and upper middle class.
South of I630 the city is 70% or so black, and predominately poor. The highest crime areas are in the south-central and southeast portions of the city. When my parents moved to the city in 92, they were told by their real estate agent that they shouldn't even consider any houses south of I630.
It's a testament to how much the city has improved that in working downtown I've never felt unsafe, and that I wouldn't have any real reservations about driving into the poor parts of the city, even at night. 20 years ago that wasn't the case for most people.
However, I was down there recently, got lost and ended up taking a tour through that party of the city and something made me think.
Despite thinking of myself as being pretty open minded, I realized the other day that I concieve of the city I live in as being a vast majority white, even though it's really not. 80%+ of the people I see and deal with on a day to day basis are white. It's really easy to forget that almost half the city is African American.
Not meeting face to face is much more common than you think. I routinely represent people without having met them face to face. Its even more so in my case since most of our clients are out of state.
As far as not having heard from him, that happens sometimes too, particularly in my practice, where an insurance company has hired us and is paying our bill, our clients sometimes don't particularly care, and will go AWOL and have us trying to find them to get the information we need.
And dropping him, going out of contact, and contacting the prosecutor outside of your lawyers as good a reason as any. I'd suspect they're also not being paid.
.Ok but this is a case where someone was killed. If Zimmerman is not guilty and use self-defense like he said he did than why would he not meet with his attorneys face to face or why would he just leave. I am sorry but just leaving like that means in my book that you are guilty or crazy. I hope they find him and bring him to court because if you really believe you are not guilty than stay until you are prove right.
What's probably behind this is that his attorneys weren't being paid. You realize how much most attorneys want to defend a murder case? You're most likely talking hundreds of hours of work over the course of a year.
You'd be very lucky to find someone who would do it for $15,000. I know several established criminal defense attorneys that wouldn't take on a murder case for a penny under $50,000.
I've worked on the civil defense of a wrongful death lawsuit involving punitive damages (drunk driving in a commercial vehicle) where our our hourly fees ended up almost four times that even.
You've piqued my curiosity. Is Civil defense where the defendant has picked their lawyer, or is it where they are court appointed...or is it just defense in Civil court? Do you get a standard rate for court appointed defense or do you get to bill your usual rate? If so...who pays?
It's the defense of a civil lawsuit. Some states have nominally seperate civil and criminal courts, but like most, our state has the primary trial courts combined. Many judges hear both, some judges hear one or the other, but that's a preference of the judge and his seniority to only take the cases he likes kind of issue.
Criminal cases are brought by the state and nominally seek justice, or something resembling it. They can result in fines or imprisonment.
Civil cases are brought by private parties and seek money damages.
Insurance companies are often involved in lots of different civil cases. For example, if you get in a car wreck, and someone sues you, your automobile insurance carrier will hire a lawyer to defend you. That's sort of what we do most, although we don't do a lot of personal lines type cases (usually because they're small). This happened to be a drunk driver who had a big insurance policy and has some personal assets, so there's reason for the Plaintiffs to think they could get a couple million in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Last night, my roommate and I had a conversation about the lawyers quitting. One reason we threw out there for why he may have not gone to meet them or them to meet him was the statements made by the lawyers in another instance where "poeple are watching" for Zimmerman. With all the shit-storm of uninformed anger out there, I don't see that as a bad reason to hide even from my lawyers.
The issue coming to charges was probably the smartest cop-out that could have happened. The smart side: the public will be able to see all the evidence (that gets reported on) in an open environment...and if he's innocent after the trial, there's likely going to be less rioting than if they simply said "we don't have enough evidence to charge him". The cop-out: if they really do have evidence that he defended himself (I.E. Zimmerman innocent), it's kind of a waste of time and money for both Zimmerman and the state.
There is some of it that I think is ridiculous, the whole 'why didn't he outrun," argument nixing his "Zimmerman probably did return to his car.." part. There are some good points, for instance the whole calling out the community for vigilante justice/lynching et al and the presumptive 'right to violence' that seems to be perpetuated. I've seen some crazy things being said on Twitter, and it really isn't helpful at all. People really need to take a step back before this gets out of hand.
Read the bottom where it explains that all the comments are by an unnamed friend and colleague where the parts in between appear to be the blogger attempting to follow his colleague's logic which appears to be firmly entrenched in unabashed victim blaming, that's what I'm on about. The cross-post ( human-stupidity.com/stupid-dogma/racial-differenc... ) has working links for me (not on PC) and more in-depth responses, notably by egalitarian Jay.
When you're pulling from a pool of 43,500 homicides and can only come up with 25 "justifiable" white on black incidents, your statistics aren't very strong...especially when they could have actually just gone and looked at individual cases and come up with a more accurate representation of events.