Reginald, I agree that your description of what happened is not unreasonable; in broad terms it is probably what happened, though I doubt Zimmerman immediately brandished his weapon, given the injuries he sustained. It is hard to believe that Trayvon would charge toward a gun pointed at him point blank. Also the Defense will argue that Zimmerman was not acting as a "stalker" but rather as a Community Watch volunteer. But that is probably not the way it would have appeared to Trayvon. And Zimmerman was acting in contradiction to police instruction, which I presume is not how Community Watch volunteers are supposed to behave, so perhaps that nullifies the Community Watch argument. In response to that, the Defense might argue that Zimmerman was just an overly-zealous Community Watch volunteer determined to protect his neighborhood, whose actions were colored by the fact (if true) that in the past criminals have gotten away by the time the police have arrived.
Your overall description of what happened is probably correct, though. Emphasis on the word "probably." In a civil case Zimmerman would be facing greater hazards under the preponderance of evidence standard. But, as to the criminal charge of murder, given the injuries he sustained and the stains on his clothing, it would seem that the Defense has a strong self-defense argument. We don't know what happened at the time of the confrontation. Frankly, a part of me emotionally wishes he didn't have that corroborating evidence that, at that critical moment, he was acting in self-defense. But he does. Unless the forensic evidence will somehow contradict his story, which seems doubtful or else it would have already been disclosed.
The factors you describe regarding Zimmerman's past do help the prosecutor's case, if the prosecutor can get them into evidence. I have not read everything about the case, and was unaware of that background. Thanks for sharing the info. But Trayvon was not a woman or child either, so on that point I think you're going a bit overboard. However, I do see your point as to the weight differential, though I guess that would in part be influced by the physical shape Zimmerman is in. But I can see how their weight differential could be used by the prosecutor to argue that even if Zimmerman was bloodied and on his back, he could have subdued Trayvon in a non-lethal way even if he was acting in self-defense at that moment. That would have to be filtered throuigh the lense of this "stand your ground" principle, but it would be strange if that principle stood for the proposition that excessive force is always justified. So we'll see what happens at the trial, I guess, assuming the matter is not dismissed by the judge first.
Moving beyond this specific case, what about the broader concept of community-based community-staffed neighborhood patrols? Should they be permitted, or are they taboo because a volunteer on patrol might follow a stranger, at night, etc. Should they be allowed to approach strangers? Wealthy neighborhoods can hire private security patrols. What about middle class or poorer communities? Are they out of luck? Permitted to rely only on the (often inadequate) police? If so, in some neighborhoods, you'll see slow responses if any, and rampant crime. Yet community volunteers can make mistakes in who they focus on (targeting strangers on the basis of gender, age, race, style of clothing, etc.) and may be influenced by racial prejudice. However, community volunteers can also be at risk, depending on whether the person they spot does end up being a criminal. Should they only be allowed to patrol and call the police, but not personally interact with persons on the street? If they do interact, at what lengths are they allowed to defend themselves if attacked?
I do think a "stand your ground" rule in public areas is a dangerous social policy. (In your home against an intruder is another matter). Because the line between standing your ground and being the aggressor is rather fuzzy, or can be, in the context of an actual confrontation. As is evidenced by the discussion we have been having.