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Zimmerman Trial LIVE VIDEO – Day 2 – State’s Witnesses

Zimmerman Trial LIVE VIDEO – Day 2 – State’s Witnesses

Today we will again be covering the Zimmerman Trial live, all day, with streaming video. Continuing commentary will be posted in the Twitter feed of selected contributors below the first video feed, and breaking news will be added at the bottom of this post. Also, at day’s end I will post a separate comprehensive wrap-up discussing what happened with analysis and implications for the case moving forward. Thanks for joining us!

This morning Court is expected to start at 8:30AM so that a hearing can be held on whether to allow into evidence numerous calls made by George Zimmerman to the police in his role as Neighborhood Watch Program coordinator. Then, at 9:00AM we are expected to continue with presentation fo the State’s case and continued questioning of the State’s witnesses.

Click here to see our wrap-up and analysis of yesterday’s opening statements:  Zimmerman Trial Day One – Analysis of Opening Statements

Click here to see our wrap-up and analysis of yesterday’s witnesses:  Zimmerman Trial Day One – Analysis of State’s First Four Witnesses

To see our extensive prior coverage posted on Legal Insurrection, click here: Legal Insurrection’s Zimmerman Trial LIVE coverage all day, everyday by Andrew Branca, author of The Law of Self-Defense

For all of our prior coverage on issues specific to the Law of Self Defense as covered at my own blog, click here: Law of Self Defense Blog: Zimmerman Trial

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[For live-stream video without commentary, see NBC live feed at bottom of this post.]

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(My tweets can be identified as coming from @lawselfdefense.)

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Tuesday, June 25 Commentary

. . .

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, 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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[…] Zimmerman Trial LIVE VIDEO – Day 2 – State’s Witnesses […]

Doesn’t his whole “prior incidents” thing open up the same can of worms in regards to Martin’s character for the defense?

    Moe4 in reply to Browndog. | June 25, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I sure hope so.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to Browndog. | June 25, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Having not allowed Trayvon’s cell phone photos (drug use, guns, and stolen property), I think it would be a pretty strong indication of bias by Nelson if these recordings are permitted.

    siguiriya in reply to Browndog. | June 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    “… open up the same can of worms in regards to Martin’s character for the defense?”

    Unfortunately, I don’t think the rules of evidence work the same way for both the defense and the prosecution.

    What bothers me about the police calls situation is a philosophical issue. George is basically damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

    If George had cursed and said “they always get away” in other calls to the police, that would be used by the prosecution as evidence of George’s “angry mind,” or however they would put it.

    But if George doesn’t curse and say “they always get away” in other phone calls, the prosecution uses that as evidence that George changed, and finally “got fed up.”

    So no matter what happened with the other phone calls, the prosecution can paint George as a bad guy. If he had cursed on the other calls, he’d be a bad guy. If he doesn’t curse on the other calls, he’s still a bad guy.

    Of course everything in this case is backwards and upside down, so we shouldn’t be surprised by this latest situation.

Again, big strategery issues here…

Is there really stuff on the tapes that hurts Zimmerman?

Or would they tend to put the jurors to sleep and irritate them for the waste of their time?

As a matter of law they seem to me facially irrelevant, and they evoke that whole prejudice/probative calculus again. Hence, more proffers to the judge to make errors for an appeal.

So, O’Mara, having now preserved his objection, may not fight too damn hard to keep the tapes out.

    Browndog in reply to Ragspierre. | June 25, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I agree that this may just be a strategy to get the judge to rule, and use the Judge’s own ruling to introduce evidence regarding Martin’s “character”.

      Ragspierre in reply to Browndog. | June 25, 2013 at 10:48 am

      But it may easily not work that way.

      You assume that the court has to deal exactly fairly with both sides here. She does not, and the law does not.

      One side has the burden of proof, and really only one side here. Zimmerman is not REQUIRED to prove anything as a matter of legal theory. (Practicality, of course, is different.)

      This is why the State goes first, and finishes last. Primacy and recency are HUGE advantages in persuasion.

      The judge could rule these old tapes in because Zimmerman’s mind-set is an element of the State’s case that must be proven.

      She could keep out all evidence of Martin’s past because it (arguably) is not relevant to the actions of the evening in question (not my favorite argument, btw, just putting it out there).

        Browndog in reply to Ragspierre. | June 25, 2013 at 11:19 am

        Actually, I didn’t assume. I’m very aware of all the procedural “unfairness” thus far-

          Ragspierre in reply to Browndog. | June 25, 2013 at 11:26 am

          It isn’t supposed to be…and never pretends to be…”fair”.

          It is just supposed to be LEGAL. Not “justice”; certainly not flawless.

          As I’ve observed many times.

          It is still a very good system, by comparison to others.

          Browndog in reply to Browndog. | June 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm

          I never said it was fair, supposed to be fair, or pretended it to be fair-

          Gees, go argue with somebody else over nothing.

        Midwest Rhino in reply to Ragspierre. | June 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm

        Seems (to a non lawyer like me) that Martin’s state of mind while stoned would be important, requiring a look at his stoner tweets or texts. Sorta like whether a drunk is an “angry drunk” that gets in fights, or just a sleepy drunk. Martin was in an “altered state”.

        It sure seems Martin’s violent and troubled past has MUCH to do with the equation of what evoked the confrontation. It takes two to tango, and one can’t balance the equation without knowing both sides … not just Z’s.

        (Perhaps the NSA could release the phone conversation between Trayvon and girlfriend/perjurer Dee Dee.)

          Ragspierre in reply to Midwest Rhino. | June 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

          But there is no evidence showing Martin was intoxicated on ANY drug.

          At all. And IF there were, you can bet it would be in play.

          Midwest Rhino in reply to Midwest Rhino. | June 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm

          OK, thanks. I thought they knew he was smoking dope. Guess it was just that he had in the past, and maybe it was still in his blood.

          kentuckyliz in reply to Midwest Rhino. | June 30, 2013 at 7:54 pm

          According to the THC and THC metabolite levels in TM’s blood, he had used marijuana about 12 hours earlier. Count 12 hours back–that’s a wake and bake. Perhaps he was suffering withdrawal and that’s why he went to get Purple Drank ingredients?

        inspectorudy in reply to Ragspierre. | June 25, 2013 at 2:17 pm

        How could old evidence be allowed for Z that establishes a mind set for him but not one for M which shows his predilection to gratuitous violence and criminal history? I understand keeping all of it out but how can only one side be probed for intent or past actions?

    divemedic in reply to Ragspierre. | June 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I think they are going to use it to point out that GZ was only calling people in who were black. They are trying to use it to throw down the race card.

      inspectorudy in reply to divemedic. | June 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Perhaps the only people that were committing the crimes were Black. Would that be a racist statistic? Should Z have called in and said that they look White?

      kentuckyliz in reply to divemedic. | June 30, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      Actually, the calls that I have heard (that are available on the Internet), GZ never brings up race, but what the suspicious behavior is–the dispatcher’s first question is always, “Is s/he Black, Hispanic, or White?” I find that to be incredibly discriminatory against Asians and Native Americans.

    fogflyer in reply to Ragspierre. | June 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Yes, after hearing the tapes, I am also wondering if it might not be better just to let them in. While I see how the state is going to try and spin it, it seems as though the defense can easily counter and perhaps even use them to their advantage. Seeing as the jurists already heard one call, and the objections, I am afraid they may imagine the tapes contain something far worse than they actually do, and taint there conclusions.

    I think the defense screwed up here. They should have tried to keep these tapes out completely, or at least objected before the first tape was played.

    Don’t think it is a big deal though.

      Ragspierre in reply to fogflyer. | June 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Just for chuckles…

      there is a rule of evidence called the “doctrine of optional completeness”.

      VERY broadly, it holds that if one side cherry-picks stuff out of a document or recording, they can be compelled to introduce ALL of the content.

      It might be fun to have the defense move to include ALLLLLLL the neighborhood watch tapes from ALLLLLL watchers.

        fogflyer in reply to Ragspierre. | June 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        Yes, that would be hilarious!
        Unfortunately it would also piss off the jurors.
        I like the way you think though!

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to fogflyer. | June 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      My guess is that the FBI listened to all those tapes when investigating whether or not GZ was racially motivated to shot Trademark. They concluded he was not. I doubt there’s much, if ayny, damaging material there. The cops probably listened to them too during their investigation and came up empty. This objection could be a ploy by the defense to get the tapes in, knowing how recalcitrant the judge is to rule anything in their favor. This may be West and O’Mara playing the judge. I think the State wants them in because they want to depict GZ as an overly zealous vigilante, but it’s more likely to show he simply took the responsibility seriously.

      Women, jurors or otherwise, dig men with a sense of duty and responsibility. 🙂

        The “over zealous” meme is easily punctured by—

        1. pointing out the development was crime plagued, and

        2. statistics on all neighborhood watch calls in the area.

        Assuming that Zimmerman’s calls were a fraction of the total calls. I figure O’Mara has done this statistical discovery, since I would (and did in a premises liability case I defended).

        inspectorudy in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | June 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm

        over zealous is going to be hard to prove when you consider the stucco workers that “Followed” the 17 year old black kid whom they saw robbing a home across the street from where they worked in the neighborhood. I though that the prosecutors had made a huge mistake by asking the HOA pres how the workers acted in helping to catch the theif. He responded that they “Followed” them and then called the police. This exactly what Z did.

          fogflyer in reply to inspectorudy. | June 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm

          Well, not exactly.
          A big difference is the the stucco guys identified the kid they followed as one they had previously seen commiting a crime. Zimmerman followed Trayvon simply because he was suspicious.

          Milhouse in reply to inspectorudy. | June 26, 2013 at 6:02 am

          How is that different? What difference does it make why he found him suspicious? The point is that he was suspicious, and that is what you do with a person you suspect of being up to no good.

          kentuckyliz in reply to inspectorudy. | June 30, 2013 at 7:59 pm

          If you watch the walk-through that the police did with GZ the next day, GZ first noticed TM was standing on the lawn near an empty house looking at it. He wasn’t on the sidewalk just walking along. It was the behavior that was suspicious. It comes through on the NEN call (he’s looking at houses). It wouldn’t be suspicious if he had a real estate agent with him in broad daylight. At night, alone, in the pouring rain, looking around to see if anyone else was seeing him…suspicious BEHAVIOR.

I noticed yesterday the news was still using the 14 yr. old Trayvon photo.

I thought The tv was on CNN, so I changed the CNN.

Turns out it was Fox News.

Wondering how or if all the neighborhood watch guidelines are relavent if Zimmerman was not on watch duty that night???

    Ragspierre in reply to Nick. | June 25, 2013 at 10:51 am

    How the Beastly Day treats Neighborhood Watch folks…

    Prosecutors in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial sought on Monday to have the self-appointed neighborhood vigilante’s previous calls to police be admitted into evidence…

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Nick. | June 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    The fact tat GZ was not specifically on watch duty that night is only relevant to the point that GZ was not specifically LOOKING for criminal activity but happened to spot suspicious behavior as he described it in his call to the police. This is helpful to the defense. But, since GZ was a NW captain and had had police department instruction in this area and NW is an ongoing thing he ad others do, I don’t think it matters that GZ was not specifically on duty that night. For instance, if he had been at home and heard something outside or saw something through the window he considered suspicious or at least attracted his attention enough to look into it further based on NW instruction, he would have done so. Or think of it this way: Suppose you’re on the NW team. You’re pulling weeds in your backyard, obviously not on duty. But you see or hear something going on that you know is suspicious based on your NW instruction. Would you NOT call the cops simply because you were pulling weeds instead of being on duty at that moment? Of course not. So it doesn’t matter. What matters is that GZ was trained in NW and found the behavior suspicious enough to call the police even though he wasn’t on duty.

    kentuckyliz in reply to Nick. | June 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I’m going to the grocery store, so suspicious behavior that indicates someone might be casing a house for a potential break-in and burglary is just something I’m not going to notice or call about?

I read Mr. Branca’s summation yesterday and this morning I listened to the cute blond reporterette on our local news station. I don’t think they were talking about the same trial.

Maybe instead of law school and all those years in practice Mr. Branca would have a better understanding of courts and court procedures if he had spent an equal amount of time studying broadcast journalism, teeth whitening, and boob enhancement.

    Ragspierre in reply to Anchovy. | June 25, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Tell us more about this “enhancement” of which you spoke, stranger…

      Objection. Photographic evidence of these ‘enhancements’ would eliminate the subjectivity of the testimony, and provide a far better observation.

        Ragspierre in reply to georgfelis. | June 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm

        Heh! The “best evidence rule”. That was BEST…don’t take it where I did not go….

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | June 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm

          What I observe is several horny old men fantasizing about what they WISH would be presented as evidence and don’t care what it could be evidence of! 🙂

Well that’s awkward. The prosecution’s witness is turning into a dream defense witness.

What a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Morning for the state.

    Ragspierre in reply to AmyFL. | June 25, 2013 at 11:29 am

    The 911 operator was a REALLY good defense witness, too.

    And O’Mara is good at cross.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to AmyFL. | June 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    So, if the police position for NW members is to follow at a safe distance, and someone is trying to do that in a environment of numerous similar buildings separated by turning walkways and lawn areas such that constant surveillance cannot be maintained, and the subject double backs or goes to his residence and comes back out again retracing his steps or looking for the person he thinks is following him because/or views that person as a potential robbery or assault victim, it cannot be reasonably cocluded that the subject was fearful nor that the person trying to follow the subject at a safe distance intends to victimize the subject.

      inspectorudy in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | June 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      You make a good point. There is also NO law against following anyone in your neighborhood at anytime as long as you are not doing so in a threatening manner. On public property the distance between you and anyone else is not protected by law.

        Ragspierre in reply to inspectorudy. | June 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

        Not to quibble, but, yah. It kinda is.

        If you were following me on an open sidewalk close enough to step on my heals, you WOULD get some consequences. I doubt a Texas jury would find that inappropriate.

          legacyrepublican in reply to Ragspierre. | June 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm

          This Texan agrees. Personal space around here is respected.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | June 25, 2013 at 8:22 pm

          I think if somebody was so close (in an uncrowded environment) that they were practically stepping on your heels, it would not be accurately described as just “following”. It would be better described as a physical threat or gesture of harrassment or disorderly conduct. Obviously, that would not be true at, say, a crowded sporting or concert event.

Also, y’all better be following Mr. Branca’s twitters. He’s had some real zingers so far this morning.

#Zimmerman Trial: State may as well have just stepped on a land mine–that's their bloody leg in the corner.— Andrew Branca, LOSD (@LawSelfDefense) June 25, 2013

Bob Owens, too:

At this pace, #Zimmerman will likely be given a citizenship award before the trial concludes.— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) June 25, 2013


Talking heads are trying to figure out how State can prove their own witness’ testimony should not be trusted.

Have any objections been decided in favor of the Defense?

So, when does the prosecution start calling witnesses that actually help the prosecution????

Is there a recess every time the Prosecution bombs?

Is the non-commentary live feed lagging/buffering for other people?

The prosecutions big “GOTCHA!” as far as Zimmerman’s gun goes, is that they didn’t find Trayvon Martin’s DNA on it? Seriously?

Is anyone listening to the NBC9 commentators? These guys almost pissed themselves when they saw a photo of a gun.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JasonI. | June 25, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    They should probably switch professions to become elementary school teachers.

    I wasn’t watching them, but I was following their tweets. The gun reaction wasn’t remarkable enough for me to remember it, but they were all like “squeeee! when the skittles, “iced tea” (that’s still what a lot of them are calling it), and hoodie came out. Seriously, men and women alike, grown-ups all, squeeeee! SMH.

Alan Dershowitz says West’s “Knock-knock” joke is grounds for requesting a mistrial.

Yeah. I know. But I thought you’d get a kick out of it.

Where is state going with this witness and the left to right (south to north) movement?
What does movement TOWARD the tee show? It seems that it would show Zimmerman was heading back toward his car when Trayvon confronted him?

fogflyer, my take is that he’s trying to show her testimony is suspect. Left-to-right is probably not important, but it leaves the jury with the impression her memory may not be good. The defense would like to impeach as many state witnesses as possible. O’Mara has been excellent on cross examination so far.

    Jim in reply to hoglaw. | June 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    The question is what facts has this witness established? The answer is not many IMO. When a witness is called and establishes next to nothing, the jury’s time is wasted and so is the prosecution’s.

      The witness has always been questionable. I think she is the one who can barely see. She is the one who first claimed she saw shadows of figures running.

      She could have seen Austin running with his dog for all we know. That is how unreliable she is as a witness.

    Jack Long in reply to hoglaw. | June 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    From commentary I’ve read elsewhere the ‘left to right’ movement would put Zimmerman 2 houses closer to where Martin was staying. That is, it would help the prosecution’s intent to show Zimmerman was pursuing Martin.

    Another issue is that this witness never stated the ‘left to right’ movement in previous depositions. Apparently she met with her sister and a state investigator last week. There may be a lack of discovery issue at hand.

    Destroying this witness would probably destroy her sister as well, who is coming up.

      fogflyer in reply to Jack Long. | June 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      That is an interesting thought. I suppose it could show that at one time Zimmerman was further south, but it could just as easily be used to show that Zimmerman was indeed heading back to his vehicle and that Trayvon was going the opposite way from his house when the confrontation happened.

      I guess it must just be that the defense figures it is more valuable to discredit the witness (which they certainly did!) than to argue that movement to the north actually bolsters their own case.

      Or as others said, it is to discredit the sister also, which it seems they have already done.

      It was obvious though that the state wanted the left to right movement brought in. No way they didn’t know that was coming. So my question still stands… To what purpose? There is something I am just not seeing here.

The prosecutor really screwed up in opening the door to the information about how the witness filmed an interview to be on TV. That was an unforced error.

The defense should have done a better job explaining the petition that was signed. I could not tell if she explicitly signed her name to something or if the link to the petition showed up on her Facebook page due to a “like” or context sensitive type ad etc… I assume she sought out and signed the petition and it then displayed a link on her page as a result but this was not shown definitively enough for my satisfaction.

    Jack Long in reply to Voluble. | June 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    There were two website issues.

    1. The witness ‘liked’ a Justice for Trayvon facebook page. That was brought up in cross.

    2. The witness signed an online petition to ‘prosecute the killer of Trayvon’ (or something similar). That was brought up during re-cross.

    cazinger in reply to Voluble. | June 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Voluble, I think part of the art of being a good defense attorney is not just in the questions you ask, but also in the questions you don’t ask – so that you let the jury feel a little “unsatisfied”. They start to feel unsure of things, and that translates in their heads into “doubt”.

    For example, yesterday when Chad testified about how Trayvon did not come home that night, O’Mara asked about whether Chad was still up when Tracy Martin and Brandi Green DID get home. He said he was. The natural next question would be “What time was that?” probably followed by something like “Did they ASK about where Trayvon was?” and so on and so forth.

    But O’Mara let that line of questioning drop. Now, as an observer, I am very curious to find out the answers to those questions. I am sure the jury is as well. So what that does is it leaves the jurors feeling unsatisfied – like they are not getting the “whole” story. And nobody likes to make judgment calls without knowing the “whole” story – especially when one of the consequences of making such a call is that somebody loses their liberty for a VERY long time.

    Knowing when to ask the next natural line of questions and when to let the line of questions drop is really part of the “Art” of being a good defense attorney – and it takes a long time to master. I’d say this defense team is pretty good at it.

    Jim in reply to Voluble. | June 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    You can bet the farm that the defense will use that information now in evidence to destroy this witness on final argument when it really counts.

      Ragspierre in reply to Jim. | June 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      Right! One of the things lawyers HAVE to learn is NOT to ask “the last question”.

      It is TERRIBLY tempting to ask one…or a few…questions too many. The goal is often as not to NOT dispel all questions, especially for a criminal defense type.

      The goal is sometimes to RAISE questions, and gain points for argument.

    fogflyer in reply to Voluble. | June 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Well, IF they have proof that she actually signed the petition, then they didn’t follow it up enough to make that clear. On the other hand, it could be that all they have is seeing the link to the petition on her page, in which case they did an excellent job of implying that she signed it.

      (1) She “liked” a Facebook page called “Justice For Trayvon”
      (2) She signed a petition by Martin’s parents to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, to “Prosecute the killer of our son.”

      High-traffic site Buzzfeed picked that up – they have a link to the petition and a screenshot of the Facebook page she “liked”.

Well, I will say the prosecution finally put on a witness that was on their side, but if this is the best they have, they are in BIG trouble 🙂

Andrew – excellent reporting…and love the “Rumors” – absolutely hilarious!

I get the sense a well deserved acquittal is coming for Zimmerman – your sense, too?

    Fabi in reply to freeperjim. | June 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Serious reporting and wicked humor, too. Keep up the great work Andrew!

      The “rumors” had me laughing too. I have my own “Zimmerman Trial” twitter list, modified from Professor Jacobson’s because there were a few people I wanted to add, and it was hilarious seeing those pop up in between the more serious “court reporter” type tweets.

        Fabi in reply to AmyFL. | June 25, 2013 at 8:22 pm

        Loved Gutman’s comment promising ‘drama’! Why do I think he’s missing the irony of it all?

          This one?

          tonight on @ABCWorldNews drama at #zimmermantrial when #trayvon Martin's hoodie, skittles, and Arizona presented to jurors.— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) June 25, 2013

          Drama! It’s all about the Skittles! And the hoodie! and the can of drink!
          THE HOLY RELICS!

          And that’s all they got from today’s testimony.

          And that’s why I don’t watch TV.

          Fabi in reply to Fabi. | June 25, 2013 at 11:03 pm

          That’s the one.

          Holy relics? lol Well, they have built an ugly altar upon a false foundation. Speaking of foundations, I guess donations have slowed a bit?

        kentuckyliz in reply to AmyFL. | June 30, 2013 at 8:33 pm

        Thanks for that twitter list Amy! I subscribed.

Andrew, while I don’t think that today was AS bad for the prosecution as you seem to think (I thought that last witness scored a few points for the prosecution, so that should make the score now … Defense 48 – Prosecution 3), but I have to say, your wrap-up tweets for the day had me rolling with laughter.

Well done, sir.

I also loved how the witness gave a physical display of what she meant by “arm movement” she saw.. She basically looked like a MMA fighter delivering a “ground and pound”. LOL!

This case is almost starting to get comical!
At first I was guessing at a hung jury, but now I am starting to believe the jury will find for acquittal unless the state really pulls out a surprise.

Her “scream” testimony added nothing. Her “left to right” testimony was shaky on direct because of her admitted inability to see anything. Then came the cross’s two major points: She never mentioned the left to right detail before, and she had a pro-Martin bias. Her testimony was less than worthless for the prosecution because she proved to be untrustworthy.

    cazinger in reply to Jim. | June 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I disagree that her testimony was worthless for the prosecution. It provides a basis for believing that Zimmerman was further down the dog walk than the defense is claiming – if you believe her. I think O’Mara was somewhat effective in casting some doubt on her credibility, but I would have liked to have seen him get more into the physical details of how she possibly COULD have told such a thing.

    I mean, if I am inside, and thus hearing the sound of something approaching (be it a car, a walker, a jogger, or whatever), and I am hearing that sound through a window, how do I tell the DIRECTION that the sound is coming from and going to? Generally, if I am hearing that sound through a window, the sound is just gradually getting louder as it approaches and softer as it recedes, but I can’t tell what direction it is coming from, other than from my window. Of course the closer to that window I am, the more likely I am to be able to tell the direction a sound is coming from, i.e. if I am right at the open window, I might be able to tell, but if I am across the room from the window at the time, I probably won’t be able to tell.

      Jim in reply to cazinger. | June 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      And if the defense is on their toes, that is exactly what they argue in final argument, caz. Cross examination of a lay witness is not the place to make those points because the witness doesn’t know any more about it than the members of the jury. Argumentative questioning is not permitted either on direct examination or on cross, and the good points you are making are really arguments why her testimony is unreliable.

      Because she was there, however, her testimony as to what she thought she heard is admissible. It is not persuasive for the reasons you state.

        cazinger in reply to Jim. | June 25, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        See, that’s why I am not a litigator. My own curiosity would always get the better of me. 😀

      caambers in reply to cazinger. | June 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      There’s all sorts of physics when it comes to sounds and how the travel, echo, Doppler effects, and so on. She just wasn’t a credible witness and I think actually hurt the prosecution. My understanding is the prosecution promised that today would be a huge day for them. Don’t think they thought it would turn out quite this way.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to cazinger. | June 25, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      But she’s not credible because of her bias and inconsistent statements. Further, her observations, even if true, about who, what, when and where are too vague and too remote to other more solid evidence to be of any factual value.

        I try not to look at this from what I find credible or not, but more from a “what MIGHT the jury think of their testimony?” standpoint. You really never know what another person might find credible or not, so when I weigh arguments, I try to think of “if I believe witness X’s testimony, what conclusion might that lead me to?”

        Frankly, I do not see enough of that kind of critical thinking when looking at this case – from both sides. Many of the Trayvon Martin supporters start at the conclusion that GZ is guilty and work backwards from there – trying to find some scenario, any scenario that will fit the proffered evidence and still lead to a guilty verdict. And frankly, many of the Zimmerman supporters seem way too eager to dismiss any piece of evidence that might cast doubt on George’s innocence.

        I am not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman is innocent – but I don’t need to be. I recognize that the burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman is guilty. And from the evidence I have seen, I do not see that happening.

      kentuckyliz in reply to cazinger. | June 30, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      When it comes to sound and hearing, don’t forget that there was a heavy rainstorm happening. Rain can be loud.

Mansizedtarget | June 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I did think state did mediocre job and most of their witnesses–crime scene tech, eyewitness, neighborhood watch coordinator–were at least equally if not more helpful to the defense.

There really is nothing they have to tie it altogether, like someone who can say Zimmerman was chasing Trayvon, hurling epithets, a rampaging crazy person, etc. Plus timeline, fight location, and physical evidence all support their defense. Let’s not forget, once they proffer the self defense theory, state must knock it out “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Pretty hard to do here, whether for 2nd Degree or Manslaughter.

As for the prior bad acts evidence, it’s not clear what relevance the prior 911 calls are. What do they show? What is state’s theory of case? Frustration? Wannabe cop? Racism? It seems a mishmash and they want to keep it vague and negative and not commit to it explicitly.

Also, as for Trayvon’s acts, his reputation (but not specific acts unless known to witness) can come in to show he was initial aggressor. Whereas Zimmerman, as defendant, cannot have prior bad acts to show conformity therewith unless to show motive, means, absence of mistake or habit evidence. In other words, he’s judged on what happened, whereas Trayvon’s reputation can be brought into play. But that does not mean a recitation of Trayvon’s various bad acts. It’s the difference of reputation evidence and evidence of specific acts. What was his reputation for fighting? He was known as a violent bully. Period.

Now, if prosecutors get his folks or relatives or someone up there saying he was an angel and never would have started a fight, the texts about him starting fights, prior fights, videos of fighting, and reputation and pretty much anything tending to discredit the testimony can come in as impeachment. So impeachment is always a wide door.

Finally, I’m not sure I agree with the view of 2nd Degree murder requires some particularized showing of ill intent, malice, etc. Mere intent to kill is enough to show sufficient malice, without some provocating act required to show manslaughter. I believe this is the thrust of Florida and most other states’ case law. While the standard appears conjunctive–A,B, AND C–in practice, intentional killing gets it done.

Finally caught a few minutes, just as what looked to me like a little liebaby.

She thinks she hears directional movement, then sees a serious brawl, then (oh yeah — must’ve heard a shot while attending to the cooking, almost forgot about that part), and (after taking a second look), goes to the phone to gossip instead of 911.

While those witnesses who are trying to ‘help’ the prosecution are likely working from emotion instead of reason, I doubt they’re all stupid. When a scam is exposed, the first one to flip gets the easiest ride.

Said another way; somewhere, someone is trying to muster up the courage. Just do it!

When the last witness of the day began her testimony with her calm demeanor, college background, professional job, communication skills and generally attractive appearance, I thought she would be a very good witness for the prosecution.
That impression dissipated quickly as her substantive testimony was so insubstantial and was quite disproportionate to BDLR’s exaggerated excitement. (My trial lawyer’s spidey sense gave me the fleeting impression that her “left to right” testimony had either been hidden from the defense (probably purposely IMO) or manufactured in the past few days.) Of course no witness with a functioning cortex would admit to that on cross, and this witness clearly had a functioning cortex.

When the prior inconsistent statements came in, and she admitted she signed a “Justice for Trayvon” Petition, I would think at least one of the Juror’s had to agree with me that her testimony failed to establish the proffered “left to right” detail (whatever that is worth). She did establish there were noises, and corroborated where the noises were coming from. She acknowledged the noises could have been the same as those heard on the 911 recordings.

All in all a minus for the prosecution. This witness was a waste of time.

    Ragspierre in reply to Jim. | June 25, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I have not followed the blow-by-blow, so I don’t know.

    Have ANY of the witnesses been effective for the State?

    And has anyone notice E6’s reactions? I figure her for the opinion leader.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | June 25, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      What did you observe about E6?

      No, Rags. The jury, being anonymous, is not pictured in the feeds so only the courtroom commentators can observe their reactions. I’m going by the feed. With occasional breaks, I am trying to watch as much of the testimony as I can. Being retired, I have a lot of time flexibility, but have stuff like MD and dentist appointments, grandchild duty, and the like, so can’t watch it all. So far, though, my general impression is pretty much the same as Andrew’s that the prosecution’s case is woefully inadequate.

      Having said that, nearly 40 years ago, I lost a jury verdict on one of my cases that went in as well as it could possibly could have gone in. It went in so well that one of the alternate jurors bumped into my co-counsel after the trial and asked him how much money we won. Sadly, he would have replaced the juror, had I struck him, who turned out to be the one who rolled the jury against my client.

      Lesson learned. If possible strike anyone you don’t like irrespective of his/her apparent demographic identity with your client.

        Ragspierre in reply to Jim. | June 25, 2013 at 10:28 pm

        Yep. I picked up someone noting that E6 had been nodding at some point in the State’s opening, but that is all I’ve been aware of.

        I totally get you on the effects of having the ONE wrong juror be the opinion leader. I’ve had it go both ways. I’ve found that engineers are MURDER, and usually try to strike them.

        My impression is that the State has not scored any points of note. I think that O’Mara is doing a good, competent job, as is West. I don’t think a lot of the prosecutor’s bench, thus far.

          I’ve found that engineers are MURDER, and usually try to strike them.

          Agreed. Banker’s ain’t so great either. Especially if they are in the accounting department.

          cazinger in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2013 at 1:04 am

          “Agreed. Banker’s ain’t so great either. Especially if they are in the accounting department.”

          It’s funny you mention that. I sat on a mock jury for a law school class that happened to be taught by a few of the attorneys I had clerked for the prior summer. My background was as a CPA before I entered law school. The teacher/attorney knew this (having worked with me over the summer). After I tore apart the damages claim that we (the mock jury) were to be considering, he had us (the mock jury) explain to the class our reasoning behind the verdict we rendered. As I explained the accounting principals I used, he interrupted me to explain that this (my independent analysis during deliberations) was exactly why he would NEVER let someone like me, a CPA and an attorney, anywhere NEAR one of his juries. 😀 It is for this reason that I think all attorneys, CPAs, and especially attorney/CPAs should all be statutorily excluded from jury duty for life. 😀

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2013 at 10:05 am

          I have a restitution case (pure equity) that I would LOVE to have you on!

          But I will probably try it to the bench, as a jury could easily be confused, and my party opponent is himself a lawyer of rather poor scruples.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Jim. | June 25, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I’m not sure it was a waste of time. The State did a good job of teasing the jury with the unscrupulous standard to which they will stoop to hang GZ and the defense did a good job of serving it to them on a silver platter.