While the mainstream media made sure to report with exclamations and gasps that marijuana was found in Trayvon Martin‘s system on the night that he was killed, many outlets failed to also report that the level was well below what medical studies show cause “performance impairment.” The same can not be said for George Zimmerman. According to the paramedic report, the vigilante neighborhood watch captain was on the prescription drug Temazepam, reports MSNBC.com.
RELATED: NewsOne’s Trayvon Martin Coverage
Temazepam, also known as Restoril, is known to cause insomnia and anxiety, reports MSNBC. But there are more important side effects that were not mentioned.
Newsone exclusively reports:
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the drug is also known to cause “aggressiveness” and “hallucinations,” among other problematic symptoms.
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“You should know that some people who took medications for sleep got out of bed and drove their cars, prepared and ate food, had sex, made phone calls, or were involved in other activities while partially asleep. After they woke up, these people were usually unable to remember what they had done. Call your doctor right away if you find out that you have been driving or doing anything else while you were sleeping.
“You should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways while you are taking this medication. It is hard to tell if these changes are caused by temazepam or if they are caused by physical or mental illnesses that you already have or suddenly develop. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: aggressiveness, strange or unusually outgoing behavior, hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist), feeling as if you are outside of your body, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, new or worsening depression, thinking about killing yourself, confusion, and any other changes in your usual thoughts, mood, or behavior. Be sure that your family knows which symptoms may be serious so that they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.”
According to the U.S. Library of Medicine, after taking Temazepam, patients should not be walking around trying to watch anything or anyone. They are cautioned that if they do not sleep for at least 7-8 hours after taking the drug, they may experience memory loss. This means, that not only should Zimmerman not have gotten out of his car in an aggressive move to menace Trayvon, he should have stayed his “crazy and creepy” behind in the bed.
Zimmerman was also on the often abused prescription drug Adderall, which is known to cause “worsening mental or mood problems (eg, aggression, anxiety, delusions, depression, hallucination, hostility),” according to Drugs.com.
Maybe, now, the mainstream media will focus on Zimmerman — who not only has a prior violent criminal past, but was also on a mind-altering drug — instead of trying to vilify an innocent, 17-year-old child, who was murdered simply for trying to walk home to his father.
UPDATE: 5:57 P.M. EST: After some of our readers voiced concerns about whether this could potentially benefit Zimmerman’s defense, I decided to dig into the law and share with you all what I found:
1.) According to Steven J. Topazio, Attorney-at-Law, voluntary drug use does not excuse criminal acts.
“Defendants who commit crimes under the influence of drugs sometimes argue that their mental functioning was so impaired that they should not be held accountable for their conduct. Generally, however, voluntary impairment does not excuse criminal conduct, since people know or should know that drugs affect mental functioning, and they should therefore be held legally responsible if they commit crimes as a result of their voluntary use. An exception to this rule may exist in cases involving a crime that requires “specific intent,” in which the offender must have intended the precise result that occurred but arguably could not have formed that intent in his or her drugged state.
The caveat pertaining to “specific intent” led me to clarify the definition of second-degree murder, which is what Zimmerman is charged with:
2.) Arnold Law Firm, LLC, in Florida says that to “convict a defendant in Florida of Second-degree murder, the State of Florida must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The victim is dead;
- The death was caused by the criminal act of the defendant;
- There was an unlawful killing of the victim by an act imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind without regard for human life.
Understanding a second degree murder can be more confusing than the more serious first degree murder. The “criminal act” reference in the statute must be a single event or series of related actions arising from and performed pursuant to a single design or purpose of committing the murder or creating the dangerous condition that led to the death.
These facts are in keeping with Special Prosecutor Angela Corey‘s charge against Zimmerman.
After profiling Trayvon, Zimmerman exited his vehicle, followed him, then continued to follow him against 911 dispatch orders, stalked and menaced him, then killed him during an interaction that was “ultimately avoidable” by him:
“The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement, or conversely, if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog in an effort to dispel each party’s concern,” the document by Sanford, Fla. Police said.
“There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter.”
As stated above, Zimmerman’s voluntary use of the drugs Adderall and Temazepam do not justify killing a child in cold blood.