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Has State Opened Door to Defense Introducing Martin Fight Video?

Has State Opened Door to Defense Introducing Martin Fight Video?

Under direct testimony John Good testified that the black man wearing the black hoodie was straddling the man in the white or red sweatshirt “MMA-style” and rained down blows in a “Ground-and-Pound” style of attack.

 

Screen Shot 2013-06-16 at 8.32.38 AM

Taryvon Martin at 7-11, February 26, 2012

It seems possible that this line of questioning may have openend the door to the defense being able to introduce video and other evidence of Martin’s own activities and expertise in street-fighting, evidence which to date has not been admitted into evidence.

BDLR:  I want to go back to what you described as a straddling position, is that because of the posture of the person on top versus the person on the bottom.  At some point you also used descriptive words as MMA-style, do you remember saying that.

Good:  Yes

BDLR: Did you mean by that, what, sir?

Good: As a straddle position like that, it’s a common position you would see in a–

BDLR: MMA is mixed-martial arts? Is that correct?

Good: Correct.

BDLR: You watch that on TV?

Good: Not recently.

BDLR: When you say that you’re referring to the position of the person had top over the position of the bottom

Good: And the actions of the arms, looked like something I’d seen on TV before, so it was the first thing that came to my mind.

Recall that John Good had elsewhere in his testimony stated that “the guy in the top in the black hoodie pretty much just throwing down blows on the guy kind of MMA-style.” See link below for details:

ZIMMERMAN TRIAL BLOCKBUSTER — TRANSCRIPT — Eyewitness Good: Black guy in black hoodie on top punching down Mixed Martial Arts style

As those following the case will know, there exists evidence that Trayvon Martin had an active interest in developing skills in “street fighting,” essentially MMA-style fighting without the legal sanction and corporate logos. Indeed, there appears to be video and other evidence of specific instances in which Martin was practicing, organizing, or otherwise engaging in such street-fighting.

Naturally, the defense would like to have that evidence presented to the jury. But can they? Under normal evidentiary rules the answer is “no,” unless Zimmerman was aware of those prior acts at the time he used deadly force against Martin. In this case, of course, the two men were unknown to each other, so Zimmerman would have had no such knowledge.

It is admissible under Florida law to introduce testimony about Martin’s general reputation for violence to show that is more likely that Martin was the aggressor, and it’s not necessary that Zimmerman knew of that reputation at the time of the attack. The difficulty is where would the defense find someone who was close enough to Martin to know of his reputation for violence and who would also be willing to testify as to that reputation in court.

For more information on how an attacker’s prior acts or reputation can be admitted under Florida law click here:

Can the Prosecution Keep Trayvon’s History of Violence and Drug Use from the Jury? Yes . . . and no.

There are, however, other possible avenues by which the defense might successfully have Martin’s past specific acts of street fighting or MMA fighting admissible as evidence, and the State may have opened one of those doors through de la Rionda’s questioning above. By asking questions about whether Martin’s actions against Zimmerman were consistent with MMA-style fighting, they have made exactly that point an issue in the case.

Because the State has raised the issue on direct questioning of their own witness, the defense would seem to have a compelling argument that they should now be entitled to introduce their own evidence about Martin’s knowledge, experience, and expertise with exactly those fighting techniques, and in this way get the video and other evidence of Martin’s street fighting before the jury.

More specifically, the State has contested who was on top in the fight between Martin and Zimmerman. They have also suggested that Zimmerman had learned MMA-style fighting. Now their witness has said on direct that the person on top used MMA-style fighting techniques (he also said the person on top was black, but whatever).

Were I the defense I would argue that the relative MMA-style fighting knowledge of Martin compared to Zimmerman is now an issue of material fact raised by the State, and the video and other evidence of Martin participating in such fighting is therefore relevant, probative, and admissible.

So, there’s some food for thought.

Meanwhile, keep your eyes open for our detailed end-of-day wrap up, around the 8:00PM hour, as well as a piece or two over the weekend to prepare us for week 2 of the trial proper.

–Andrew


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense,” now available in its just released 2nd Edition, which shows you how to successfully fight the 20-to-life legal battle everyone faces after defending themselves. UPDATE: July 5, 2013 is the LAST DAY to take advantage of the 30% pre-order discount, only $35, plus free shipping. To do so simply visit the Law of Self Defense blog.

BREAKING: “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition” is now also being carried by Amazon.com, at list price but with a commitment for 2-day delivery.  A Kindle version to come within a week or so (I hope).

Many thanks to Professor Jacobson for the invitation to guest-blog on the Zimmerman trial here on Legal Insurrection!

You can follow Andrew on Twitter on @LawSelfDefense (or @LawSelfDefense2 if I’m in Twitmo, follow both!)on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

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Comments

I tried civil cases around the country for 41 years. Even the most scurrilous and unethical plaintiffs’ counsel had more evidence to support their mostly fraudulent civil claims than the government has in its criminal case against Zimmerman.
It is disgusting that we have this political show-trial going on in our once-great country.

    Rational in reply to Rick. | June 29, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Rather silly. To begin with, this trial is not being held by a ‘once great country’. We have not gone down hill. This once great country once had lots of lynchings without benefit of any trial. People even took photos and bought postcards. In that era, Martin would have been quickly forgotten. I guess it is inconvenient for Zimmerman that it doesn’t work like that anymore.

    But it is the never particularly great state of Florida that is holding this trial. It is true that in the era of Jim Crow, Martin would be automatically deemed to be suspicious. But in this era we don’t have an explanation for why Martin was suspicious; since the inquiring minds on this site have ruled out racism. There are still questions about how a teenager, simply walking to his invited place of residence landed up dead. I am sorry if you don’t think this is worthy of review. At the very least Zimmerman’s state of mind is in question. He was angry about the others that got away. The end result was that Martin did not. Some people here would like to hold a parade for Zimmerman. Zimmerman may be found not guilty, but he is not innocent.

      tw32814 in reply to Rational. | June 29, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      Actually, while you claim no one on this site has ruled out racism, the FBI has. Please sir, enlighten us Luddites what evidence there is of Zimmerman’s anger. Also, please enlighten us how the state will deal with the Law decision to avoid a judgment of acquittal. There has been no evidence to support depraved mind to support 2nd degree murder. Additionally, since the state alleged intentional act, manslaughter by voluntary act is the only category 1 lesser.

      By the way, a criminal trial for a life felony is not the legally ethical way to find out why someone found a young tall male walking in the rain suspicious. Remember the activity in Terry was also innocent but the combination of factors made them suspicious.

        Rational in reply to tw32814. | June 29, 2013 at 9:49 pm

        So Zimmerman was not angry, or perhaps frustrated, at the ones who got away? The FBI ruled out racism? I am not sure how you rule it out. You could rule out organized racism, but how do you rule out what was in Zimmerman’s mind? After every high profile murderer is charged you can find people who will tell you that that person would never hurt a fly. That Zimmerman never uttered certain words in the presence of certain neighbors is hardly proof. Maybe the FBI found that the Sheriff’s Department or the Condo association were not involved in a racist conspiracy.

        OK, Zimmerman is not a racist. Please tell me why GZ was suspicious of TM. Suspicious enough, that Zimmerman did not approach Martin politely and say: “Excuse me sir, I am a neighborhood watchman. I am sorry to bother you, but we are having a crime problem. I have not seen you around before. Could you please tell me where you are headed.” No, it is far less confrontational to stalk Martin and confront him with: “What are you doing here?”

        I think the state should have charged involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide. I don’t know FL law well enough to know what the proper charge would be. If you tell me those are not lesser included charges, I think the state did made a mistake. But to claim GZ is innocent is to ignore that there is a dead teenager who at the time of the incident was not contemplating any criminal act. Zimmerman’s suspicion, in the absence of any fact, seems a rather low bar for an act that ended with someone dead. So far zero evidence has surfaced that TM had previously committed any crime in the condo or was associated with anyone who did. If it is unfair to bring racism into this, I guess you can blame history. Far too many times in the past racism was present and accounted for in southern sheriff’s offices.

          fogflyer in reply to Rational. | June 29, 2013 at 11:21 pm

          Hey Rational,
          You do realize that George Zimmerman made a big stink about a white cop who was seen kicking a black homeless man that was on the ground. George organized protests and the cop ended up getting fired. You also realize that George has a black business partner and that he has been in a big brother type of program where he has mentored several black children.

          Sure does sound like a racist guy, huh?

          George may have been frustrated that “they” keep getting away, but “they” are criminals. I don’t think George cared if they were black, brown, white, or purple… He was just sick or criminals in the neighborhood.

          So, George’s frustration with criminals may have caused him to make a poor decision to follow a suspicious character into a very dark area after that person ran, but while that may be unwise, it certainly is not illegal.

          So, I have asked this of you before, but perhaps you will answer this time.

          Who first initiated contact with the other?
          Who is the first person to commit an illegal act?
          What evidence is there of the illegal act?

          Rational in reply to Rational. | June 30, 2013 at 12:00 am

          Hey @fogflyer, No I don’t know those things that you claim. I guess they can be brought up by the defense at trial. I do know that GZ lied to a judge about his financial resources and the money he was collecting. So his veracity is in question.

          I do know that GZ initiated 1st contact while following someone whom he determined was suspicious. I do know that he seems to have found other people suspicious and that he was determined that TM would not get away. I do know that there is a natural human response to fear called ‘fight or flight’. I do know that TM tried flight first; hence the running away. Maybe TM tried fight second, when he couldn’t lose TM. Maybe. i do know that the only gun was in the possession of GZ.

          Your last 2 questions are contradictory. GZ is on trial to determine if he committed a crime. There is absolutely no evidence that TM had the any criminal intent as he returned home. Do you have any evidence that TM was committing a crime at that time? Should we just take the word of the only person still alive?

          GZ may not be a racist. But it is curious that he found a kid walking in the rain suspicious and the kid just happened to be black. No other factor has been mentioned. I have less doubt about the people on this site. They seem very sure on issues that they have no way of being sure. Personally, I am content to wait until the case is fully adjudicated. I was referred to this site by someone who came on another site I read and seemed extremely sure of the facts. I took his suggestion and checked out this site. I found the one-sided opinions shocking. I decided to offer an alternative and ask some questions. The responses has been pretty hostile. I guess if I don’t accept your view, there must be something suspicious about me, too.

          Your last 2 questions are contradictory. Personally, I will accept the jury’s verdict. I have a feeling that people who participate in this site have already decided. If the jury agrees, they will be self-congratulatory. If the jury doesn’t, there will be a whole new round of attacks on the stupid jury, the stupid media and the stupid Rational. That’s OK with me. This site is a bubble.

          fogflyer in reply to Rational. | June 30, 2013 at 2:03 am

          OK, this is my last try with you.
          I am trying to have a rational discussion with you (no pun intended)
          I am simply trying to get your side and ask you pertinent questions.
          I don’t know why you would say my last two questions are contradictory, as they most certainly are not. To prove this, I will give you my answers to them. I would still like to hear yours.

          First though, you may not hear about George’s anti racist qualities, as they may not be admissible seeing as the judge prevented the state from raising the issue of racial profiling. These items are very easy to find if you just research it though.

          OK.
          Who made first contact?
          You answered that question by saying it is a fact that George made first contact. I disagree. Both Rachel and George stated the first words exchanged were Trayvon asking George why he was following him. Following from a distance is certainly not contact, but you will probably argue that George approached very closely or perhaps even grabbed Trayvon. While that is possible, there is no evidence to back this up. Please state what you think shows this to be true. The biggest problem you have with that theory is that the encounter took place way up north by the T intersection, some 2 1/2 minutes after Trayvon ran south toward his home. The only way he ends up back at the T is if he decides to go back and confront Zimmerman.

          Who committed the first illegal act?
          My answer is Trayvon. No matter how the two met, it is Trayvon who broke Zimmerman’s nose and beat his head rather severely. Trayvon threw the first, last, and only punches.

          What evidence do you have to support who committed the first illegal act?
          Well, Zimmerman had the crap beat out of him and Trayvon didn’t have a scratch, except for the bullet wound of course.

          Now, one more time, why don’t you answer the questions? These aren’t trick questions. The are questions that are pertinent to the case.

          tw32814 in reply to Rational. | June 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

          Yes! The FBI was brought in to determine if Trayvon Martin’s civil rights were violated. They determined that racism played no roll in this incident. I suggest you familiarize yourself with criminal laws and ethical obligations of prosecutors before you post anything else. Your posts highlight your woefully inadequate knowledge of these areas. Your post highlights very little awareness of Terry so given that fundamental lack of knowledge, you might not understand a whole lot of criminal law. You might also want to familiarize yourself with the facts that were developed in the investigation of his case. That might clear up some of your misconceptions of this case.

          BTW-A criminal trial is not where a determination is made whether a crime is committed. A criminal trial is where the prosecutor must prove beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable doubt that the crime charged has been committed. The corollary is that a prosecutor must not bring a case that cannot in good faith result in a conviction for the crime charged.

          A few years ago a toddler in New Smyna Beach ran toward his father who was coming out of the ocean. Tragically, he ran directly in front of a car and was killed. By your logic, the driver would have been charged and convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The child was innocent (children under 7 are presumed to be non negligent).

          Getting back to your doubt of suspicion of GZ of TM. First, as a threshhold, GZ doesn’t have to prove squat. The state has to prove all elements of the crime charged beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable doubt. However, I’ll entertain the question since you haven’t read any of the investigative materials in this case. First, GZ doesnt recognize TM. This is a small gated community where he knows a good number of the people who live there. GZ sees TM in the backyard of Frank Taffe. Some might say that alone is suspicious particularly since Taffe’s house had been burglarized 3 weeks earlier. He also sees TM acting suspiciously in the manner in which he is walking in the rain.

          Now when innocence is discussed all the direct evidence suggests GZ’s innocence. GZ’S injuries, TM’s lack of injuries, the dirt and grass stains on the knees of TM’s clothing, the grass and wetness on GZ’s back, the screams for help, and GZ’S prior phone calls. The state is trying to rely upon circumstantial evidence to make their case. Since they cannot disprove the reasonable hypothesis of innocence they should not get past JOA. An ethical prosecutor does not bring a case that cannot surpass JOA.

          Rational in reply to Rational. | June 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm

          @tw32814 I want to thank you for a answering the questions I asked. That beats most of the responses I received. I think you make a compelling case for the defense. Much of what you assert has not yet been entered into evidence, but if correct, this case will end in an acquittal. Perhaps, it should not have been brought. You mention an ethical prosecutor more than once. I do not automatically assume prosecutors are ethical, but there must be more to this than you claim, since the case was brought.

          I have listened to the 911 call and read various versions. They do not corroborate your scenario. They do indicate that Zimmerman was in an agitated state and might not have been rational. He mentions that TM had something in his hand. That would have been a phone or his food, not a weapon. GZ does not mention that TM was on someone’s property. He may have mentioned this in a subsequent interview, but I am skeptical of all the ‘evidence’ that is selectively sited by one side or the other.

          By my logic, if the driver in the car in New Smyna Beach had been speeding or acting recklessly, he could have been charged. It is easy to find cases like that on the internet. I searched ‘speeding car accident homicide’ and easily found cases. There was a notorious one in FL involving a woman, her daughter and her daughter’s friend.

          No, I have not read the investigative reports. But soon enough they will be entered into evidence. Yes, Zimmerman is presumed innocent. But he did kill someone and has chosen an affirmative defense. That does place some of the burden on him.

          I have read other accounts of the physical evidence that argue the opposite of what you claim. I also think the question of whether GZ provoked this is material. He seems to have been motivated to stop the burglaries and jumped to the wrong conclusion. TM asks, “Why are you following me?” It is possible that TM was angry enough to double back to ask that. But it is just as possible the GZ was following him and got close enough to threaten TM. That a black kid would be fearful in this situation is quite plausible. GZ knew he had a gun and could have been reckless. He had no grounds for a citizen’s arrest. He wanted this kid investigated. What he said after the shooting could easily be self-serving. If he takes the stand, I think we can expect a withering cross. I understand that he doesn’t have to. But the state must be planning on putting some law enforcement officials on the stand to provide evidence that the shooting did not go down as you believe.

          You say it should not get passed JOA. If that happens, I will be satisfied (for what that is worth). But if the evidence is not as you claim and Zimmerman is convicted, will you accept it? I won’t presume your answer to that.

Goetz von Berlichingen | June 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I was having similar thoughts, Mr. Branca. Isn’t Ms. Jenteal still available for recall. She’s had so many inconsistencies in her testimony…. and perhaps MOM could revisit her testimony about why she failed to come forth until 3 weeks post-event. I seem to recall her not being concerned because it was ‘just a fight’.
Why would she not be concerned about it being a fight? Did she believe that TM could handle himself well in a fight? Where does this belief come from?

I guess if he tried that route we’d see more bench time than the entire roster of the 1977 Philadelphia Flyers.

    That was my thought too. My bet is he calls her up and begins a line of questioning about why she waited for Treyvon to call back. Wasn’t she concerned? If he’s in a fight wouldn’t you at least be concerned that he was okay, or was this pretty standard fare for him? Was he prone to fighting?

    Which of course opens up a whole line of questioning about his background.

    This seems to be the burning question amongst us laymen so it would be good if a lawyer would step in and explain why the defense was unable to get the information in during RJ’s testimony.

    It seems when RJ says she was unconcerned because it was just a fight then the defense attorney could have said something like “For most people fighting is a really big deal, and never, or almost never occurs. Why did you think it was no big deal for Trayvon to get in a fight?” Or simply, “Why would you consider it no big deal for Trayvon to get in a fight?” She also left an opportunity when she said Trayvon would have told her if he was going to get in a fight when the only possible way she could know that was if he had done so previously. To the layman it looked like RJ left some holes big enough to drive a truck through.

    Maybe I missed where one of the resident lawyers took up those points but this same question gets asked in every thread so I am about at the point of thinking it is either a really stupid question, or that the defense really blew it there and no one wants to point it out.

      tencz65 in reply to Voluble. | June 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      i have a little different take . I think Z-mans defense is way ahead of us . Point, Dee-Dee is good for recall . Let her sit home a while an drink (drank) smoke some pot and get nervous as she can’t handle pressure (we all saw this fact).She will crack on the stand 2nd time around. I believe she feel guilty cause she egged Martin on . Don’t take that Chit off no Cracker ..

        Estragon in reply to tencz65. | June 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm

        I absolutely agree, it makes sense after her outcry about having to come back a second day for cross. Now she gets to sit at home some more, and won’t know when she will be called until the day before.

        Dee-Dee is in deep doo-doo, whether or not the defense gets more openings from her answers.

      Wolverine in reply to Voluble. | June 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      Asking her if she found it unusual for Martin to get into a fight might backfire if that question hadn’t been brought up during her deposition.

      She could answer simply that she never knew that Martin was ever in a fight, so if he was going to get into a fight it would be highly unusual and she thinks he would have told her.

      It is possible, depending specifically on how she answered, to use her answer as grounds to bring in Martin’s fighting history, but that might be a gamble.

        Voluble in reply to Wolverine. | June 28, 2013 at 10:20 pm

        Would even saying, “it would be unusual for Trayvon to get into a fight” not open the door to information to the contrary? I guess it depends on if she refers only to her personal knowledge rather than making a more general statement. You can’t convince me that women was smart enough to be that careful though.

        BTW, she really can’t claim it is unusual for him to fight after just saying it was unremarkable without raising even doubts as to her testimony. She had already cut off that avenue of retreat and would be contradicting herself.

          Wolverine in reply to Voluble. | June 28, 2013 at 11:58 pm

          Yes, if she spoke only of personal knowledge, the State would have a good argument for not allowing the other Martin evidence. I agree it would be astounding that this witness could walk such a fine line, but it is a risk.

    Sorry, who or what is MOM? Do you mean TM’s mom?

    @Goetz von Berlichingen – the defense did ask that she be subject to recall. I suspect they wanted the prosecution to open some doors so they could explore more later. According to Andrew Branca they may have done just that.

    I see two avenues that may be fruitful. I hope Andrew will respond, because I suspect he will see more.

    1) the fighting aspect – was TM regularly in fights? Had she ever seen him fight before? Was he any good at it? Etc.

    2) she said that he said he was “right by his father’s house”. Does she have any idea how he ended up back at the T where the altercation appeared? Does she think his heavy breathing followed by whispering may have been because he ran back to the T and then hid waiting for Zimmerman to appear? If not, how does she explain his ending up at the T? Is it possible Trayvon wasn’t telling her everything that was going on?

    Too much time is spent on this trial. It is sensationalized by the media to distract from the many and frequent scandals plaguing Obama, Holder, Sebelius, Napolitano, et al.
    Forget this trial and focus on what the public needs to hear from this gang of thugs.

Mr. Branca, I was hoping you could explain something to me. I’ve been trying to figure out what would invalidate GZ’s self-defense claim, given the facts we know.

We know TM confronted GZ intentionally, as you showed. So given the following scenario, would it still be self-defense for GZ?

1. TM stops and waits for GZ.
2. TM asks calmly, “Why are you following me?”
3. GZ says angrily “What the f are you doing you dirty [n-word]?”
4. GZ shoves TM.
5. TM breaks GZ’s nose, gets on top, beats him.
6. GZ shoots TM.

This seems the most favorable scenario possible to the state, given the facts we have (GZ couldn’t have done more than shove TM given lack of injuries on TM’s body). Would this count as self-defense for GZ?

    Wolverine in reply to Eidolon. | June 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    At step 5. TM has exceeded his legal response to 4. by escalating the level of force beyond what TM would need to defend himself.

      Wolverine’s got it.

      –Andrew

        ftauqir in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 28, 2013 at 7:13 pm

        Couldn’t TM invoke “stand your ground,” simply by being assaulted by a unknown and armed man? Therefore legally justify breaking his nose?

        I could be wrong, I don’t know the nuances of Florida’s self defence laws.

          I’m afraid you don’t understand what Stand-Your-Ground means. There are five fundamental principles of the law of self defense–innocence, imminence, avoidance, proportionality, and reasonableness.

          Stand-Your -Ground involves “avoidance”–the duty (or absence of duty) to retreat before using force in self defense–but that’s it.

          Stand-Your-Ground has nothing to do with proportionality–how much force you can use in defense as a function of the degree of force with which you are threatened.

          if only there were somewhere I could suggest where you could learn more on this law of self defense stuff . . . 🙂

          –Andrew

          Wolverine in reply to ftauqir. | June 28, 2013 at 7:29 pm

          Yep. If Zimmerman had assaulted Martin with a gun, then Martin is entitled to defend himself with force including lethal force. But carrying a gun inside his waistband under a jacket is not an assault with a gun.

          txantimedia in reply to ftauqir. | June 28, 2013 at 8:27 pm

          Here’s one who ordered your book today. (Raises hand.)

          profshadow in reply to ftauqir. | June 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

          I hear there is a great book coming out Real Soon Now at http://lawofselfdefense.com/

          *Shameless promo for you, Andrew. Thanks for following this case and interpreting for those of us in the unwashed masses 😉

          profshadow in reply to ftauqir. | June 28, 2013 at 9:07 pm

          In addition, Martin was a minor. I’m not sure what his standing would be relative to Stand Your Ground.

          Especially since it seems that he came back when he had plenty of time to be at home, call 911 about the “cracka” and then be sitting back, sipping some Lean/Purple Drank. He had the Skittles and Arizona Watermelon tea. Just a matter of the cough syrup…

          Consider this case: ( http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2012-05-11/story/jacksonville-woman-sentenced-20-years-prison-stand-your-ground )
          The woman LEFT and came back with the gun. Nobody in the home was under threat. Fired a round.

          Was convicted. Doing 20 years.

          Stand your ground doesn’t mean you can come back once you are safe.

          Martin came back to confront Zimmerman, that is clear. He thereby eliminated any “Stand Your Ground” option.

          At least, in my non-legal opinion!

        SoCA Conservative Mom in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 28, 2013 at 7:51 pm

        This is a reply to your reply below, “if only there were somewhere I could suggest where you could learn more on this law of self defense stuff . . .”

        My husband has taken classes with Massad Ayoob which address rules of engagement for armed law-abiding citizens and the legal ramifications/fallout of doing so. Check out their website: http://massadayoobgroup.com/?page_id=7

          I believe Mr. Branca was trying to get in yet another pitch for people to buy HIS book on the subject. 🙂

          I myself am a student of Mas, although I took his course back in the days when he was running Lethal Force Institute (LFI), rather than his current Massad Ayoob Group (MAG)–yes, I’m old. H

          Anyway, I’m a fan. I’ve shot many IDPA matches with him at his then-home range, Pioneer Sportsmens Club in Hopkinton, NH, before he retired to Florida a few years back.

          –Andrew

        Too much time is spent on this trial. It is sensationalized by the media to distract from the many and frequent scandals plaguing Obama, Holder, Sebelius, Napolitano, et al.
        Forget this trial and focus on what the public needs to hear from this gang of thugs.

      Eidolon in reply to Wolverine. | June 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks for your replies! I was just playing devil’s advocate. I find the scenario I described very implausible. I was trying to come up with anything I could that was within the bounds of the physical evidence that might put GZ in the wrong, and I really don’t see it.

      I was reacting to the idea of “you can’t start a fight and then shoot someone because you’re losing,” which I’ve heard people say with respect to this case many times. I was curious if any behavior by GZ short of punches or kicks would be egregious enough to legitimately provoke TM to beat GZ the way we know he did.

      So if I understand correctly, in order for GZ’s self-defense argument to be defeated with the facts we have, he would have to either verbally threaten to kill TM or actually unholster the gun and threaten TM with it?

        Wolverine in reply to Eidolon. | June 28, 2013 at 9:42 pm

        Martin would have been justified in applying lethal force to Zimmerman only if Zimmerman was engaged in a forceable felony (against Martin or a third party).

    ftauqir in reply to Eidolon. | June 28, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    In my opinion, no. I am basing this as a Canadian law student. This would likely fall under “unlawful approach.” Also likely showing a degree of confrontation under bad faith. In this case TM would likely be able to invoke “stand your ground,” and kill GZ if he felt threatened. And since GZ had the gun it would be a cake walk, as TM could easily demonstrate a reasonably perceived threat.

    I think simply put, you can’t invoke a fight, and once your getting your ass beat you can’t pull out a gun and kill the person you started the fight with.

      txantimedia in reply to ftauqir. | June 28, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      That may be true in Canada. It is not in Florida. Or Texas. Andrew can probably tell you where it is true (if anywhere) in the US.

      Wolverine in reply to ftauqir. | June 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Fascinating laws you have up North. Just to make sure I understand correctly. If I walk up to you and punch you in the nose, you are entitled to beat me to death and I can’t do anything about it?

        ftauqir in reply to Wolverine. | June 29, 2013 at 3:56 am

        In Canada, as long as you can prove, unlawful approach, attempting duty of retreat, criminal intent and risk of serious bodily harm (note that Canada has very strict handgun laws, with no open or concealed carry for private citizens).

        The Crown would have a tough time proving 2nd degree murder if TM killed GZ after GZ confronted TM, at night, armed, and after assaulting. TM wouldn’t have to demonstrate a duty of retreat in this case because it is a relatively open place and GZ had a gun so he could still shoot TM.

        However, these are not the facts of the case, nor is this in Canada. I support GZ claim of invoking self defence.

      Yeah, we don’t do it that way here in the US. You can use deadly force to defend yourself against a deadly attack–not merely because somebody is observing you from a distance, or staring at you from their car. I’m surprised Canadians would allow the use of deadly force in those circumstances, the ones I’ve met have been a very mellow–and ferociously brave–bunch.

      –Andrew

      nifepartie in reply to ftauqir. | June 29, 2013 at 5:18 am

      If GZ started the fight but then made a reasonable effort to discontinue the fight or walk away, and then TM still attempted to keep fighting with GZ, GZ would then still be able to use deadly force to protect himself had he feared for his life or great bodily injury.

      Phillep Harding in reply to ftauqir. | June 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      I don’t think “reasonably perceived” can be used to describe that firearm, unless GZ shifted his clothing so TM could tell it was there or unless GZ pulled it.

      If GZ pulled it, then TM would be an idiot to start swinging, unless he was trying to disarm GZ, and the head injuries suggest otherwise.

      I’ve also seen no comments about fingernail marks on GZs wrists, indicating a struggle for the firearm.

    James Lee in reply to Eidolon. | June 28, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Eidolon, me don’t think GZ pitbull enough to have started a fist fight with a 6’2″ fast kid, gimme a break!

CrankbaitJohnson | June 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm

State also had the PA read GZ’s medical record specifically wherein it mentions he participated in MMA training when suffering from insomnia.

    Wolverine in reply to CrankbaitJohnson. | June 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Mr. Good had mentioned the MMA style attack by the person on top, which he identified as Martin. By introducing the fact that GZ has had MMA training, I believe the State is hoping the jury will believe that the identification was in error (it was a dark and stormy night after all), and make the connection that it was GZ on top. That fits with some of the other witnesses testimony where same person was on top before and after the shot.

      Yes, the State has contested who was on top. And they have suggested that Zimmerman had learned MMA-style fighting. Now their witness has said that the person on top used MMA-style fighting techniques (he also said the person on top was black, but whatever). If I were defense I’d say the relative MMA-style dighting knowledge of Martin compared to Zimmerman is now an issue of material fact raised by the State, and the video and other evidence of Martin participating in such fighting is therefore relevant, probative, and admissible.

      Damn, should have said that right in the piece, too much rushing (guess I’ll do it now).

      –Andrew

        Rick Z in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 6:32 am

        The State, bless their cherubic souls, introduced Zimmerman taking MMA classes 3 times a week.

        Cyber-Dollars to Cyber-Donuts, Zim’s counsel will call his instructor to give an analysis of skill level, results in class fights, etc.

        No need to put Zim on the stand for that.

        Next, to further explore the relative MMA skills of Martin, why I’d next bet there are videos on YouTube or whatever of Martin whaling away.

      Sally MJ in reply to Wolverine. | June 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      George may have been taking MMA lessons, but can anyone say in all honesty he knew how to do it? Did he use any of its techniques there? No, and No. GZ was not a good fighter, TM was a much more skilled and effective as afighter. So whether GZ took MMA classes, and whether TM did not is immaterial. Which one was a better fighter? TM. Would someone who maybe fights like a girl pick a fight with another guy considerably taller than him, who looked suspicious? No, he would be an idiot asking to be pummeled. I don’t think the MMA course issue would be effective at all; it would just prove how much better a fighter TM was. And there was no evidence on TM that GZ assaulted him.

        txantimedia in reply to Sally MJ. | June 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm

        If you know anything about MMA you know that superior height and arm length gives a fighter a distinct advantage. Only the most pugnacious of shorter fighters prevails against a taller, longer-armed opponent.

        nifepartie in reply to Sally MJ. | June 29, 2013 at 5:29 am

        Even his trainer testified that GZ sucked at MMA and would not even consider putting him into the ring with anyone, and his doc testified to the fact that she has it on file that he only took MMA as a form of exercise.

      txantimedia in reply to Wolverine. | June 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      You have missed a subtlety. No witness has testified to seeing Zimmerman on top BEFORE the shot.

        Wolverine in reply to txantimedia. | June 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm

        Jane Sudyka did and she was quite adamant about it.

          txantimedia in reply to Wolverine. | June 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm

          Ref – https://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06/zimmerman-trial-day-analysis-and-video-of-states-witnesses/

          At about 18:00 on the third video down, she saw a man with “a dark shirt” on top of the other man. That was Trayvon. When she heard the shot she said she was on the phone, although the 911 call disproved her memory.

          At about the 22:00 mark she said that after she heard the shot she saw the man who was on top walking around.

          This is in complete accord with Zimmerman’s account. He himself stated that he got on top of Martin after he shot him because he feared that Martin was still going to beat him.

          She also testified to things we know are impossible, and which neither side is claiming are the facts–e.g., that three distinct shots were fired, that Martin was shot in the back, etc.

          She’s crazy. I’m sure Jeantel has some cool phrase for that kind of folk. 🙂

          –Andrew

          Wolverine in reply to Wolverine. | June 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm

          Her testimony is guy in dark on top, shots fired pop,pop,pop, guy on top gets up and walks around.

          On cross she was asked if she saw the two guys switch places after the shot and she was certain that they did not.

          Of course, many of us think her story is full of holes, but her testimony is what it is.

          krazy kat lady?

    Yet the gym person has stated that is not the case… go figure.

    Yes, but that reference wasn’t to Martin.

    –Andrew

    nifepartie in reply to CrankbaitJohnson. | June 29, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Yes but the doctor has it on file that he was taking it as a form of exercise. The trainer actually said he sucked bad and would not even consider putting him into the ring with anyone.

Yes, it is simply appalling what this country has come to. The race grievance industry, Sharpton, Jaclson, Crump, et alia, jumped on this thing as sooon as it happened, and immediately began lying their heads off, day and night, with the propaganda media helping, natch. Remember the initial lie going around Sanford was that Zimmerman had a relative in the Sanford police force, and so naturally the racist police would just let him go, even for a cold-blooded murder.

Then Obama jumped aboard, needing to whip up the black vote in the crucial state of Florida.

Now the media are still lying as hard as they can, even as the joke p[otemkin “case” falls apart.

If there is a not guilty, and blacks riot, who will suffer?

Blacks will. If the police have to put down rioting, blacks will die. I don’t know the figures, but I’d bet that the majority of blacks who died in the Rodney King riots were black.

So by lying so relentlessly to the black community the way they do, and inducing them to riot for what the will perceive as an “injustice,” the propaganda media is going to cause even more disasters for blacks in the US.

Trayvon, little thug that he was, was also unquestionably a victim. Just not a victim of George Zimmerman. Instead he was a victim of worthless parents. Poor kid.

    wyntre in reply to Bud_Denton. | June 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Why wouldn’t the race industry jump aboard the lynch the White Hispanic bus?

    Look how successful that tactic has been over the years.

    For the poster child of race-baiting 101 look no further than MSNBC’s fav host, Mr. Sharpie himself.

    I bet he’s pinching himself every morning wondering how a two-bit slimy hustler like him could have hung around long enough to be considered a cultural icon and a respected commentator.

    He’s proof that pigs can fly.

    txantimedia in reply to Bud_Denton. | June 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    “Blacks will. If the police have to put down rioting, blacks will die. I don’t know the figures, but I’d bet that the majority of blacks who died in the Rodney King riots were black.”

    I wouldn’t doubt that, but I think you meant to say the majority of PEOPLE who died….. 🙂

Doug Huffman | June 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Mr. Branca for all of your efforts. In spite of some trolls’ dismissiveness, many at Open Carry Dot Org are watching and I am learning.

Wait?!?

That’s Trayvon Martin in THAT picture?!? I knew he was “bigger” than the pictures everyone has been showing, but…that’s a full grown man there.

    Yes, the defense used that photo (or one like it) during the cross of the 7-11 clerk, and pointedly asked the clerk to stand up and state his height. I’m pretty sure the clerk said he was 5′ 10″. Trayvon’s obviously got a few inches on him; imagine Trayvon next to Zimmerman who is three inches shorter than the clerk.

holterbarbour | June 28, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Eidolon, I’ll give you the “what they test you on the bar exam” law, not Florida-specific law.

If those were the facts, GZ would not have been privileged to shove TM. TM would then have a reasonable right to use reasonable force to prevent further attack. Getting on top of GZ and restraining him by pinning his arms would have been appropriate, and given that we know that TM actually did get on top of GZ, this would have been possible. However, by repeatedly punching GZ in the face, TM escalated the situation and returned a self-defense privilege to GZ. If GZ was left with no reasonable means of escape (and escape is nearly impossible when your attacker is sitting on top of you), and GZ reasonably believed he was in danger of serious bodily harm or death (and serious bodily harm sounds likely here), then GZ was privileged to use deadly force to the extent necessary to end the attack. GZ shot once, and ended the attack.

The facts presented so far would not even cause a second-year law student to scratch his or her head over whether GZ was privileged to use self-defense.

    …and yet there are so many people claiming that this is an “Only In Flori-DUH” kind of situation, like we’re some kind of crazy place with laws like none other in the country, and throwing the phrase “Stand Your Ground” around as though it had anything to do with Zimmerman’s self-defense in this particular case. Sigh.

      txantimedia in reply to AmyFL. | June 28, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      AmyFL, that’s simply false. The deadly force laws in Texas are quite similar to the laws in Florida. So tell those people they don’t know what they’re talking about. Then google “deadly force law texas” and prove it to them.

      Here’s Texas law:

      Sec. 9.31. SELF-DEFENSE. (a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor’s belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

      (1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:

      (A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

      (B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

      (C) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery;

      (2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

      (3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.

      (b) The use of force against another is not justified:

      (1) in response to verbal provocation alone;

      (2) to resist an arrest or search that the actor knows is being made by a peace officer, or by a person acting in a peace officer’s presence and at his direction, even though the arrest or search is unlawful, unless the resistance is justified under Subsection (c);

      (3) if the actor consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other;

      (4) if the actor provoked the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless:

      (A) the actor abandons the encounter, or clearly communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing he cannot safely abandon the encounter; and

      (B) the other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the actor;

        I’ve given up trying to talk sense into them… or am at least taking a hiatus. It’s so frustrating! But thank you for the primer in Texas law; I’ll add it to my arsenal of facts for clue-batting stupid yankees with 🙂

      A majority of states, 33, are stand-your-ground states (although they may not label the law with that term). Of the 17 states that have a general duty to retreat, almost all of them have a wide variety of exceptions (ALL have the Castle Doctrine).

      Of course, then there’s Massachusetts. 🙂

      –Andrew

2 questions, When Diamond Dee Dee Rachel said she thought he was going to fight or was fighting, did that give West the opportunity to ask her what Trayvon knew of fighting, had he ever been in a fight to her knowledge, has she ever seen pictures or video of him fighting or refereeing a fight? Might they still ask her that? The 2nd question is have you seen the instagram picture on Mediaite of West, his wife and daughter with the ice cream? How will this hurt the trial if at all?
Link: Zimmerman Lawyer’s Daughter Allegedly Posts ‘We Beat Stupidity Celebration’ Photo On Instagram http://www.mediaite.com/online/zimmerman-lawyers-daughter-allegedly-posts-we-beat-stupidity-celebration-photo-on-instagram/ via @mediaite

    wyntre in reply to Lake. | June 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Oh Jeezus. What poor taste. His daughters seem like “typical rich white” youknowwhat. They’re just as bad if not worse than Rachel. And she was obnoxious as he11.

legacyrepublican | June 28, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I have been baffled as to why the defense is holding so many of these records back which I can tell bolster their narative.

Then it just hit me. Maybe they aren’t doing it because of this case. Just maybe they are doing it because they suspect Mr. Holder will come in and prosecute GZ using Federal civil rights violations as an excuse.

    I don’t get it.

    cazinger in reply to legacyrepublican. | June 28, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Or it could be that the Defense has yet to even present it’s case. I know, I know. It seems like these are all defense witnesses. But believe it or not, these are still all the PROSECUTION’S witnesses. :O

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to legacyrepublican. | June 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Under what theory is this a civil rights case, given that the FBI has already looked into the racial issue and determined that GZ was not motivated by racial animosity?

      It’s a civil rights case because the city and Special Prosecutor arrested an innocent man, charged him with murder in order to prevent riots, help the Special Prosecutor get re-elected, and committed pretty heinous legal malpractice.

      The Special Prosecutor admitted on video that the first thing she did in this case was to meet with TM’s family, pray with them, and tell them she would fight to get justice for TM. Did she meet with the Z family, pray with them, and tell them she was going to fight for justice for GZ? Did she say she was going to fight for JUSTICE period? GZ did not receive equal protection under the law.

      Because of what the city did, GZ’s life was destroyed. He may have to move and change his name. And will he still be at risk for murder? ALL of that is the fault of the SP and the city.

jayjerome66 | June 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Andrew– will the defense have more leverage to bring in TM’s fighting history after the State slipped in that info about GM’s MMA exercise regimes via the medical woman’s casual mention of it today? And isn’t her testimony that his wounds could have proved fatal if the fight hadn’t been stopped another nail in the state’s case because it corroborates his life was in danger ?

    That last questoin by O’Mara was the touch of a master criminal defense attorney. The answer, while pleasing, hardly mattered. All that mattered was that the jury heard the question.

    Brilliant stuff.

    –Andrew

      Wolverine in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      I’m confident that the defense has at least one Neurosurgeon in their expert witness list that can attest to the lethality of head injuries.

      Surprisingly, skull fractures aren’t necessarily the most dangerous. Closed head injury from swelling, bruising or a hematoma, raises the intracranial pressure to a point where blood flow to the brain is significantly decreased. This can lead to permanent injury, coma and death.

      Very common injury seen by every Neurosurgeon in every hospital across the country.

      Sally MJ in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 28, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      Andrew, are all cases so one-sided with the prosecution not having jack and nearly all their witnesses supporting the Defense? Or is it because this case is a stinker, and should never have gone to court?

        The overwhelming majority of of self-defense cases that get to trial–I’d estimate well in excess of 90%, based on my rather extensive reading in the area–have the situation reversed. It’s the Prosecution that’s overwhelmingly in the right, and the defense that has the loser of the case.

        There are several reasons for this:

        (1) Most cases where there is a claim of self-defense, it’s a patently transparent effort by an experienced criminal trying to wriggle out of the offense. Most criminals aren’t very smart, and therefore they don’t get very far with their manufactured claim of self-defense.

        (2) Prosecutors are conditioned to not take “loser” cases to trial–by which I mean cases in which they are not overwhelmingly likely to obtain a conviction. (Zimmerman is the exception that proves the rule–no non-politically motivated prosecutor would have brought this case, just as the professional career LEOs and prosecutors in the community had chosen not to.) So, if they come across a “real” self-defense case, they tend to see it as a loser and not bring it to trial. (Two caveats–that doesn’t mean that they won’t threaten to do so to induce you to take a plea, and this generalization may not apply in very anti-gun blue states or cities).

        (3) Sadly, too many well-intentioned, otherwise law-abiding armed citizens simply never bothered to learn the rules or principles that frame the law of self-defense, and they make innocent mistakes that are unfortunately fatal to their claim of self-defense. I think often of the letter I received some years back, written in pencil on legal pad paper, with a prison return address, from a fellow who told me that if he’d only read my book before, he wouldn’t now be living where he was.

        –Andrew

How’d you like BDLR’s “throwing crap against the wall” tactic of throwing that last question at the physician assistant, “What kind of damage could you expect from a bullet penetrating the left ventricle of the heart?”

He had to know it would draw an objection, but furthermore, it was just unsporting and ungentlemanly. Even further than that, it’s a cheap stunt that almost guarantees a reaction of contempt from those that hear it. It would have cost him points with me, if I was a juror.

What’d you think?

    Sally MJ in reply to Matt in FL. | June 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I thought, What the H?

    He was trying to pull an O’Mara, but it was pointless. No one is contesting that Zimmerman shot Martin in the heart. When O’Mara sneaks in that last question, it works like a dagger in the ribs of the State precisely because it’s focused on an issue in dispute, not merely because its petulant.

    –Andrew

Gerard Harbison | June 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm

But if I recall correctly, the witness who identified Zimmerman as the person on top did so on the assumption that Zimmerman was the bigger man. But in fact, Zimmerman was much shorter than Martin and of comparable weight.

    Observer in reply to Gerard Harbison. | June 28, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Yes, as I recall there was a female neighbor who testified that she concluded Zimmerman had been the person on top only after she saw the photos of the two (Zimmerman and Martin) that the media put out. As we all know, the photos that were shown of Martin in the months after the shooting pretty consistently showed him at a much younger age, when he was considerably smaller than he was at the time of the incident. And there was also the constant media narrative (some of which is still going on) that characterized Trayvon Martin as a “child” and a “kid” who was just innocently walking home with his bag of Skittles when he was viciously set upon by a racist vigilante who was prowling his neighborhood just looking for innocent black kids to murder.

      txantimedia in reply to Observer. | June 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Zimmerman was on top after he shot Martin. He said so himself. And that’s when those witnesses saw him, after the shot was fired. So they are corroborating his account.

    Wolverine in reply to Gerard Harbison. | June 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    One of the neighbors, Jane Sudyka, claimed that the person on top before the shot(s), was the same person who stood up after the shot(s). She was asked on cross if he was possible that the two people switched places and she said no.

    Although it is likely that her testimony in general is suspect, that is her testimony. For example, she claims there were three shots “pop,pop,pop” when we know there was only one (echo?) and she was *extremely* distraught as recorded on the 911 call. Someone that distraught is reasonably going to have difficulty processing information and is likely to have altered memory of the event as a psychological defense mechanism.

Henry Hawkins | June 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm

This Branca guy is like, I dunno, some kind of blogging lawyer ninja.

Andrew, do you have any connections to O’Mara or West? I’m going to post this in every thread.

In cross of Mr. Manalo(sp), the UPS guy, Manalo said that, GZ said that he yelled for help, no one came I HAD TO DEFEND MYSELF.

On redirect, BDLR incorrectly quoted this. He told Manalo that though Mr. West told him that GZ was defending his life, he (Manalo) had on way of knowing this. Manalo agreed. That was NOT West who said “I had to defend myself”. That was Manalo, repeating what GZ said immediately after the shot. West didn’t object and I don’t think they caught it.

    DennisD in reply to LoriL. | June 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I think the jury and most watching understood what was exchanged between the UPS guy and Zimmerman.

    I wish I had a connection to O’Mara or West, I think they’re awesome lawyers. But sadly, no. Nor to any person associated directly with the case.

    I don’t know why people keep asking me that, but the answers always the same. I’m just a third-party observer/commentator of events. I do, of course, bring my own intrinsic perspectives to the case, but none of those could have been influenced by any relationship to the parties, because no such relationship exists.

    –Andrew

      Oh, I should mention, I suppose, that Robert Zimmerman is following me on Twitter, I’ve followed him back, and we’ve had a brief 2 or 3 message DM exchange when I first noticed him there. That was last week sometime. But it was a purely superficial communication, and I very much doubt we’ll ever have opportunity to communicate again.

      –Andrew

To the poster upthread, the West daughter gaffe has already hit HLN legal channel. Not a good thing. Calling it a “blockbuster” development.

We all know what LSM is going to do with this and it’s not gonna be pretty.

OTOH, West’s daughters’ seem to reflect their dad’s clumsy arrogance. Remember how he started the case with the Knock Knock joke?

Like father like daughter.

    Matt in FL in reply to wyntre. | June 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Two things about this. First, why does anyone think that the daughter photo is going to have any more impact on the trial than any other random BS blather that’s being spouted in the media?

    Second, if you think the knock-knock joke was a product of clumsy arrogance, you dramatically misunderstand the situation. Sure, it played poorly in people’s living rooms, and the news pundits had a field day with it. But none of those people were the intended audience. That was the jury. Other people have explained it elsewhere on this blog much better than I can. Maybe one of them will re-explain it for you.

      wyntre in reply to Matt in FL. | June 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Stuff the condescension. I understood the other explanations of the joke. Maybe you need an explanation as to why this disclosure of idiocy by the lead defense attorney’s daughter is potentially damaging. In the hands of LSM (which IMHO does impact the case much as people would like to pretend there is no spillover of everyday news into the jury). It strengthens the perception of racism.

      I won’t bother to elaborate as you apparently consider yourself a court expert.

      I don’t pretend to be a lawyer but I do understand the nonstop propaganda and the importance of this case in the political arena.

        cazinger in reply to wyntre. | June 28, 2013 at 8:28 pm

        So you’re saying you think the jurors will ignore the judge’s admonitions about avoiding any reports related to anything about this trial?

          wyntre in reply to cazinger. | June 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm

          I confess I am cynical and I hope I am wrong. At the very least, this could be used to push the meme that not only is Zimmerman a racist for “following” Martin but so is his defense team.

          I’m just saying the LSM is out for blood (Zimmerman’s blood) and will stoke any perceived racial insult into a bonfire.

          That’s reality. Not what I would prefer. I would hope for a fair and impartial trial. But with the POS in the WH already going on record with his “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon” remark it’s pretty clear what conclusion he and his administration want.

        Sally MJ in reply to wyntre. | June 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm

        You do realize that sadly, that you have racist attitudes, right? Based on liberal “logic.” How sad to live life so as to see everything in terms of racial warfare. MLK would be upset about how you think. Yes, I realize it’s not you who made it up. It’s something created by liberals as their world view. It’s reinforced by the MSM, academia, and Hollywood. It’s just sad. So many people who leave those racial division change – whatever their ideology – report that they feel “free at last” – EXACTLY what MLK strived for. Why not be a liberal who rejects racial stereotypes and racial division, and treats people as people?

          wyntre in reply to Sally MJ. | June 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm

          Um. I’m not a Lib. I don’t want fuel added to the get-George fire. This episode plays into the rabid LSM racebaiting narrative.

        Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to wyntre. | June 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm

        I do not see anything racial about this. Why do you automatically perceive this as racist?
        Why does stupidity = black person for you? Why do you see it being directed at blacks and not at stupidity as an abstract construct, which spares no ethnicity.
        Probe into your own heart, my friend.

          I’m on Zimmerman’s side but even I recognized the inappropriateness of the instagram and, apparently, so does the attorney, Mr. West.

          Here’s the link and the info.

          I am against anything that gives more ammo to y the race-baiters and this episode clearly does that.

          West’s statement: “As a parent, we’re not always proud of things our children do, but we love them anyway, and then we move on.”

          His spokesman, Shawn Vincent “added the defense team understands the context of the comments with what’s happened in court this week are grossly insensitive.

          After the courtroom was nearly empty, (Friday) Vincent walked up to defense attorney West and Mark O’Mara to discuss the issue, as reporters waited. West confirmed that he took the photograph with his phone.”

          http://www.local10.com/news/defense-attorneys-daughter-posts-controversial-instagram/-/1717324/20766328/-/13hy58lz/-/index.html

        Matt in FL in reply to wyntre. | June 29, 2013 at 2:25 am

        @wyntre: I suppose I should apologize for the condescension, if you felt there was some. I genuinely meant every word I wrote, but I didn’t write it with that tone in my head.

        I really don’t think that photo will have any impact whatsoever on the trial. The jurors are sequestered, and while I realize that’s not an unbreakable wall, I fully expect that all nine of them will come out the other end of this trial with zero awareness of that photo. Of course, I have no way of confirming that, but that’s what I think. You of course are free to feel differently.

    dms in reply to wyntre. | June 29, 2013 at 12:44 am

    i heard that joke was used to reset the jury after that pretty picture the state painted in their opening statement, and it seems to me it worked.

he (Manalo) had on way of knowing this

—in that sentence, it should be NO way of knowing this

Was it a surprise at all that the state was able to bring up the MMA course or exercise class that Zimmerman took?

    Sally MJ in reply to DennisD. | June 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    George may have been taking MMA lessons, but can anyone say in all honesty he knew how to do it? Did he use any of its techniques there? No, and No. GZ was not a good fighter, TM was a much more skilled and effective as afighter. So whether GZ took MMA classes, and whether TM did not is immaterial. Which one was a better fighter? TM. Would someone who maybe fights like a girl pick a fight with another guy considerably taller than him, who looked suspicious? No, he would be an idiot asking to be pummeled. I don’t think the MMA course issue would be effective at all; it would just prove how much better a fighter TM was. And there was no evidence on TM that GZ assaulted him.

      cazinger in reply to Sally MJ. | June 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      I had a thought about that. If I were the defense, I would not be fighting the idea that GZ took MMA classes. IMO, I’d think the more skilled he was, the better for the defense, and here’s why:

      In a street fight, the winner is most often not determined by the relative size or strength or even fighting skill of the combatants involved, but rather by who can get an initial advantage and then press that advantage. And the easiest way to get such an advantage is to attack first and attack someone who is not expecting it, someone who’s guard is down. Thus, if we have someone who is heavier and more skilled in fighting than their opponent, yet they still lost the fight, that would lead me to believe that the winner of that fight got in maybe a sucker punch or even the first couple of blows and then pressed their advantage. Given the fact that GZ obviously lost the fist fight, if he were more skilled and more trained in hand to hand, that would lead me to believe that TM was the one who struck the first blow while GZ’s guard was down – and followed that up with a series of blows.

      Of course you have to counter that line of thinking with the fact that this is going to be an all-female jury. Quite frankly, I would NOT be confident that MOST women would understand how such a fight would actually go down (I know, I know – that is a little sexist, bit honestly, how many of the women on the jury do you see ever getting into a street fight?).

        But, an all-woman jury would very well understand that simply having some martial arts or self-defense training doesn’t necessarily mean you’re capable of beating younger, fitter, taller and stronger opponents.

        If I’ve taken some self-defense courses, and I also carry, and one night I’m accosted by someone younger, fitter and taller than me, and I end up having to shoot to save myself from them, I don’t want the jury saying, “Well, she had self-defense training – she should have poked him in the eye and then kneed him in the balls rather than shooting him!”

        So I wouldn’t discount that women will be able to “get” that simply having some knowledge of how to fight back physically, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always going to work. The fact that you’ve learned some techniques for warding off an attack that don’t involve shooting, shouldn’t preclude you from going ahead and shooting if you feel it’s a life-or-death situation.

    Voluble in reply to DennisD. | June 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Yeah, there is now way the old biddy behind the bench would have let the defense get something in by that method.

CrankbaitJohnson | June 28, 2013 at 9:05 pm

There’s an MMA-flavored fitness regimen that involves bagwork and calisthenics where you kick and say “Hai-ya” a lot. It is not the same as training for the octagon, and I’m guessing it’s exactly what GZ was doing.

Trogluddite | June 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Two quick questions – I appreciate LI’s in-depth coverage and have been skimming the stories, but not watching every video or reading every article in-depth.

At this point in time, what is the LI legal team’s estimate on the defense getting a directed verdict of “not guilty” when the state rests? I’m not familiar with Florida criminal procedural law, but I presume there is some way that the defense gets to simply ask the judge to rule that no reasonable finder of fact could find the defendant guilty and shuts down the case w/o requiring the defendant to put on a case-in-chief.

Also, at this point in time, do the Florida prosecutors run the risk of a civil lawsuit against them by Zimmerman? A litigant in a civil trial (e.g., a personal injury case) may be able to “throw mud at the wall” and hope something sticks w/little risk of being held accountable for a frivolous case. However, prosecutors, as agents of the state are usually held to a higher standard – its not enough to prefer charges if “yeah, some panel might find this guy guilty, if they’ve been up drinking the night before the trial.” The prosecutor must have a good faith basis for believing that the charges are valid (even if the defendant is ultimately acquitted). Given how the prosecution witnesses have testified, its hard to see how the prosecution team meets this burden.

cjharrispretzer | June 28, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Regarding Attorney West’s ice cream photo: “stupidity” can be a reference to a lot of things, least of which is the entire trial itself. Anyone who assumes he means Jeantel is making their own racist projection about her. As far as its impact on the jury, aren’t they sequestered? I assume they will have no way to see the picture. Right?
Does the fact that GZ only shot one bullet weigh in his favor and against him being a hothead vigilante out for blood? I am a woman with a CCW permit, and I guarantee you if I am ever in a position where I need to use my gun to protect myself, I am emptying my magazine, and possibly loading in a second one and emptying that one, too. Once the threat is great enough to warrant that first bullet, it warrants all of my bullets.

Goetz von Berlichingen | June 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm

So your point is that, because others will view it as racist, as opposed to the perfectly innocuous statement Occam’s Law suggests is the real answer, you are against it.

O. K.

I see no racial aspect at all. There have been what, 17 witnesses that have testified? Which race is the target of his bigotry? The hispanic? The jew? The cracker?

This is a stupid trial based on the prosecution’s case thus far.
That GZ has gone through these traumas when all he was doing was being a good neighbor …that’s stupidity.

Goetz von Berlichingen | June 28, 2013 at 9:19 pm

That last comment was directed to up the thread.
Couldn’t reply to a reply for some reason.
Peace. Out
GvB

Goetz von Berlichingen | June 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm

And placating the media is a smart move. Why argue something you can’t win? It doesn’t help the client.
Bite the bullet, blame the dadburn children, and move on to winning the case.

He knows that people will choose to think in line with their pre-dispositions.

healthguyfsu | June 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm

I’d speculate that “the stupidity” is the state’s really weak case. Maybe they will try to say his daughter is racist against BDLR? He is in the good old “white hispanic” ambiguous category again that the MSM has loved to use.

By the way, anyone catch this? (not new)
http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/403455/matt-dixon/2013-02-15/state-attorney-angela-corey-upgrades-her-pension-taxpayer

    Corey’s been running kind of a jihad against the Times-Union ever since they started being critical of her. Not that I’m a water-carrier for the T-U, but the way she’s punishing them for daring to ask some questions “without fear or favor” as it were, is really a bad look.

    State Attorney Angela Corey’s office is refusing to include The Florida Times-Union on its media distribution email lists, a decision made as the newspaper was writing stories about Corey using taxpayer dollars to upgrade her pension and the pensions of others in her office.

    “Corey and her spokeswoman have refused to explain why the Times-Union was removed from the email list, despite multiple emails and phone calls asking why the newspaper has been denied equal treatment.

    “When asked again to justify why the Times-Union was removed and other news organizations were not, Barnard emailed the same one-sentence statement a second time.

    “Barnard did not respond to another email asking if the removal was due to Corey’s displeasure over the pension stories, which ran Feb. 15 and Feb. 27. Corey has threatened to sue the Times-Union over the Feb. 27 story.

    By the way, she also apparently threatened to sue Dershowitz and Harvard, over criticism of her handling of this case. Bad look. Bad, bad look.

To Clarify to Mr. Bianca

In Canada, as long as you can prove, unlawful approach, attempting duty of retreat, criminal intent and risk of serious bodily harm (note that Canada has very strict handgun laws, with no open or concealed carry for private citizens).

The Crown would have a tough time proving 2nd degree murder if TM killed GZ after GZ confronted TM, at night, armed, and after assaulting. TM wouldn’t have to demonstrate a duty of retreat in this case because it is a relatively open place and GZ had a gun so he could still shoot TM.

However, these are not the facts of the case, nor is this in Canada. I support GZ claim of invoking self defence.

Who cares about this case? If Martin was White and Zimmerman Black, there would be no case or headlines. It is a liberal plot to distract from the many and frequent scandals plaguing Obama, Holder, Sebelius, Napolitano, et al.

Does anybody know what evidence they have of TM engaging in MMa style fighting?
The only video I saw was TM filming to homeless guys fighting. Are there videos ofbTM actually engaging in fights?

Late Friday, the references to MMA took on a new complexity. A physician’s assistant who had treated Zimmerman testified that his medical notes show that Zimmerman had been practicing MMA and training “intensely” in hopes that the exercise would help him overcome difficulties sleeping.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/conflicting-testimony-from-neighbors-in-zimmerman-trial/2013/06/28/124f211a-e01c-11e2-963a-72d740e88c12_story.html

There’s a lot of talk about Florida’s stand-your-ground law, but I don’t see it as relevant to Zimmerman’s defense. Stand-your-ground relates to whether you have a duty to retreat. Once Zimmerman was on his back and being pounded by Martin MMA-style, as the witness described it, he was unable to retreat. As such, retreat and stand-your-ground have nothing to do with the situation Zimmerman found himself in. Either Zimmerman had a right to defend himself or not. It’s hard to imagine he did not.

brooklynblessed | June 29, 2013 at 11:12 am

And if that door is open the prosecution can bring up GZ’s violent criminal charges, being fired from security job per the NY Daily news for assaulting a woman, etc.

T i t for tat,is how it goes.

Goetz von Berlichingen | June 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Don’t think so, Brooklyn. Prosecutor opened door to comparing MMA skills…not entire histories.
And I do not believe the prosecution wants TM’s other incidences made known to this jury.

[…] Zimmerman himself had been instrumental in pushing the Sanford community to demand justice in an incident in which the well-connected son of a local cop (from an affluent family which had made a lot of money on the sale of land in Volusia county) sucker-punched and drubbed a homeless black man, and no charges had been filed. That case was settled for $7.4 million, of which Zimmerman saw not a dime, but now Zimmerman is being painted as a racist at the direction of some of the very same people involved in that case. The narrative demands that he 'profiled' Trayvon, 'stalked' him with a gun, 'confronted' him in order to 'provoke' him, and then 'executed' him. On Twitter, I've seen people under the #zimmerman tag repeat these allegations over and over, elaborating the theory that he called 911 with the premeditated purpose of killing Trayvon Martin, that he knew how to use the law for protection because had studied criminal justice and his father was a magistrate (or as many of them like to claim, a judge), that he was carrying a gun because he was hunting for a black youth to kill, and that he beat himself up after shooting Trayvon in order to make it appear that he had been assaulted. Trayvon's own social media statements on Twitter have been excluded from trial, but published by the Daily Caller, yesterday. In them, we find considerable evidence of a character diverging at multiple points from the Skittle-carrying innocent shot in cold blood by Zimmerman, including references to using and, it seems, dealing marijuana, creating a cough syrup cocktail called 'lean' or 'sizzurp,' lots of references to hoes and juvenile sex-obsessed misogyny, references to mixed martial arts training and swinging at a bus driver, among other gang-banger wannabe persona building. None of that necessarily clarifies what happened the night he died, but by introducing evidence that pudgy George Zimmerman, who on the night he shot Trayvon was 5'7" and over 200 lbs, had also attended MMA training sessions, the prosecution may have opened the door to the defense to show video of Trayvon fighting. […]

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