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Zimmerman Trial – Open Comment Forum – Weekend Wrap-Up & Reader Poll

Zimmerman Trial – Open Comment Forum – Weekend Wrap-Up & Reader Poll

Hey folks,

Our Friday end-of-day analysis post had accumulated in excess of 200 comments, and, perhaps coincidentally, we also began hearing increasing complaints of slow loading.  Whether the cause is the large number of comments or some other aspect of the page, Professor Jacobson and I thought it would be worthwhile to put up a separate post compiling the posts of the last week, and providing a “fresh” comments section for all of you.  So, this is it.

First, however, we have a poll for you pleasure and amusement (non-scientific, of course, and closes at midnight Sunday):


It’s been a crazy busy week, of course, and we’ve done our best to cover it in detail here at Legal Insurrection.  For your convenience, below are links to each end-of-day analysis post, as well as other substantive posts, made over the course of the week:

Meet the Zimmerman Trial Jurors, Sunday, June 23, 2013

Zimmerman Trial Day One – Analysis of Opening Statements, Monday, June 24, 2013

Zimmerman Trial Day One – Analysis of State’s First Four Witnesses, Monday, June 24, 2013

Zimmerman Trial Day 2 – Analysis of State’s Witnesses, Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 1.39.33 PM

Evidence photo, Trayvon Martin, Florida v. Zimmerman

Zimmerman Update Exclusive — Witnesses: Trayvon on ground when shot, Zimmerman on top in fight, Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 10.37.12 AM

Jane Sudyka, testifying in Florida v. Zimmerman, June 26, 2013

Zimmerman Trial Day 3 – End-of-Day Analysis & Video of State’s Witnesses, Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Zimmerman Update Exclusive — Mid-Day 4 — West’s Cross-Examination of Rachel Jeantel, Thursday, June 27, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 3.46.07 PM

Jenna Lauer, providing “ear witness” testimony, Florida v. Zimmerman

Zimmerman Trial Day 4 – End-of-Day Analysis & Video of State’s Witnesses, Thursday, June 27, 2013

Zimmerman trial blockbuster — Eyewitness says Trayvon on top punching Mixed Martial Arts style, Friday, June 28, 2013

ZIMMERMAN TRIAL BLOCKBUSTER — TRANSCRIPT — Eyewitness Good: Black guy in black hoodie on top punching down Mixed Martial Arts style, Friday, June 28, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 10.07.26 AM

Jonathan Good, eye witness testimony, Florida v. Zimmerman

Has State Opened Door to Defense Introducing Martin Fight Video?, Friday, June 28, 2013

Zimmerman Trial Day 5 – Analysis & Video – State’s own witnesses undercut theory of guilt, Friday, June 28, 213

 


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

Uncle Samuel | June 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Greta posted this video of the Morning After the Shooting Reinactment: http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/video/george-zimmerman-re-enactment-video-with-the-police-before-he-had-a-lawyer-and-right-after-the-shooting/

You can get a good read on Zimmerman’s manner and character from this video.

    bernie49 in reply to Uncle Samuel. | June 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    That is one powerful video and Greta is right that the prosecution is going to avoid presenting it and I doubt they will even call either detective involved in its production lest they explain why they did not charge GZ at that point.
    It makes me sad to think that Justice has one eye on the politics.

    Pauldd in reply to Uncle Samuel. | June 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    The reenactment video is well worth watching.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Uncle Samuel. | June 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Here’s a video with a brief sample of what MMA-style “pound-and-ground” looks like: http://nation.foxnews.com/2013/06/29/arrest-made-brutal-home-attack-caught-nanny-cam

    I’m thrilled that I never saw this video until now, it saved me the further outrage I would have experienced much earlier had I known what was happening.. So far, after all of the witnesses that have taken the stand, not one of them has refuted any of the statements that Zimmerman volunteered at the earliest opportunity.. The only evidence that conflicts with his narrative is the position of the arms..

    GZ claims he stretched out TM’s arms, after he shot him and stopped when the police arrived.. TM’s arms where found beneath him when the first reporting officer viewed the body.. There could be many explanations for the discrepancy, but at this moment in the proceedings that is the only fact in conflict that I have seen…

If George Zimmerman wanted the left to support him he should have shot a cop.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to myiq2xu. | June 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    No, a Tea Partier, Allen West, Rush Limbaugh or better yet, Sarah Palin – they all HATE her.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to myiq2xu. | June 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I bet you Zimmerman is now a Conservative.

      There are few people in contemporary America more vilified than him, and nearly all of them are Republicans or conservatives. That doesn’t mean he will re-register as an independent, third-party, or a Republican, but his eyes have been opened to the evils of political correctness.

Thanks again for your outstanding work in helping inform (accurately) non-LSM viewers.

Your coverage is priceless.

    Thanks! Don’t forget to also check out my blog, http://www.lawofselfdefense.com. The day-to-day Zimmerman coverage is all here at Legal Insurrection, but you’ll find other posts of relevance to the case at Law of Self Defense, as well.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      I will check it out. Have you ever thought of writing a novel? I confess I am partial to Grisham and love the way he intertwines legalese with his plots and characters.

      I mean, you’ve got plenty of free time on your hands, right?

      😀

        Juba Doobai! in reply to wyntre. | June 29, 2013 at 6:48 pm

        If you write a novel, Andrew, please don’t say ‘X and myself did something’. ‘Myself’ is a reflexive pronoun used for emphasis, amongst other things, and not as a subject pronoun as the many illiterati amongst us are prone to do in speech and writing,

        The correct construction is ‘X and I did something’. Yes, ‘X and me did something’ is also wrong.

        Who died and left me grammar queen? Nobody, but if you’re going to use a language you should strive to be accurate in your use of its basic grammar; anything else ruins the impact of your prose.

          healthguyfsu in reply to Juba Doobai!. | June 29, 2013 at 8:15 pm

          Any decent publisher has content and syntax editors for this.

          byondpolitics in reply to Juba Doobai!. | June 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm

          Why on Earth did you dump your grammar peeve on someone who writes quite well and is a published author?

          Oh, I don’t mind Juba’s grammar comments. I’ve written professionally enough in my life to know that a good editor is worth their weight in gold. There’s been times I received my own writing back post-editing and thought, Man, I’m really good! — until I compared it to the pre-edit version. Oh, all the core concepts and framing were still there and entirely of my creation, but it was like the difference between an unfinished piece of wood and one that has been sanded, stained, and varnished. That finish work really makes it shine.

          Having said that, in the context of these blogs I’m typically writing several thousand, sometimes tens of thousands of words over the course of a day that frequently ranges from 5-something AM until 12-something AM (post-midnight). Grammatical mistakes, even blunders, are going to be made from time to time, and you’ll all just have to bear with me for the duration.

          Or not, it’s up to each of you, but I won’t take offense either way.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Mister Natural in reply to Juba Doobai!. | June 30, 2013 at 11:19 am

          maybe he can get editing help from miss dee dee

          That might not be a bad idea. Who needs to know how to lawfully defend themselves from violent crime more than the other people living in Dee-Dees neighborhood? 🙂

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com I added you to my blog list. Thanks, great coverage of the trial so far.

what i find striking is how perfectly zimmerman acted in all respects. exactly according to his training. absolutely perfectly. if not for that this lynch mob would prevail.

    Matt in FL in reply to ggoblu. | June 29, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    It is interesting to me, though, that GZ did exactly the opposite of what most self-defense “experts” say you should do following a defensive gun use. Most of them will tell you that you should absolutely not talk to the police until you’ve had the opportunity to speak to an attorney. But doing so (and even participating in a videotaped reenactment) seems to have gotten GZ out of trouble in a way that lawyering up may not have. I don’t, of course, know what an attorney would have said if he had one; he may very well have allowed him to do exactly what he did.

    Also, I’m referring, of course, to the initial investigation and decision to not file charges, not to any of the political/racial stuff that came after that decision was made.

      Saying nothing to police until you’ve spoken to your lawyer is good advise for people who are really not very bright–too much foolish talk can certainly get a person in a great deal of trouble. The police are there to investigate a potential crime, not to salve your trauma.

      Having said that, anyone of reasonable intelligence can, and should, take a much more sophisticated approach to interacting with the police following a defensive force incident.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Damn. “Advice,” of course, not “advise.”

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm

        I am a pretty clinical person in emergencies.

        But I would seek the adviCe of an attorney if I ever had to shoot someone, regardless of how shot they were.

        You should have an attorney’s number if you carry a firearm.

          You know, I have to respectfully disagree that your “one phone call” be to “your” lawyer (whatever that really means, lots of people have my business card but I consider myself the lawyer of only a small number of them).

          Most violent encounters don’t happen in the middle of a week-day afternoon when your lawyer is likely to be accessible (even then, I’m very frequently not accessible for large portions of the day–something called “work”).

          Most violent encounters occur in the wee hours of the night, or on weekends (probably an almost perfect correlation with the populace’s level of intoxication at the time), and you are not likely to reach your lawyer during those hours.

          I recommend phoning someone you have a high probability of reaching directly. You spouse at home (unless, I suppose, you were out and up to no good), a family member, a business partner.

          Remember, once you’ve reached such a person even once, they are able to make an unlimited number of calls on your behalf, to lawyers, to family, to work, etc.

          Not many people know a criminal defense attorney, anyway. I wouldn’t want my go-to lawyer in the immediate aftermath of a defensive shooting to be the (very nice) young man who handled my house closing.

          Anyway, that’s my view of it.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          That’s not to say, of course, that you don’t want competent legal counsel just as fast as you can get it–you certainly do. I’m just not sure leaving a 3AM voice mail on “your lawyer’s” phone is the best way to accomplish that goal.

          Reasonable people can, of course, and do, differ on this question.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          You can make your one phone call to a spouse to have them call attorneys, etc.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm

          Good advice, Andrew.

          Thing is, unless you are actually in custody, nobody has any business limiting you to one call. You can…and should…call whoever you want.

          IF you call your lawyer…or A lawyer known to handle firearms cases…SHUT UP. You have frozen the process UNLESS you unfreeze it by talking. The LEOs can STILL talk to you, but they are not supposed to ask questions.

          One interesting thing about human nature that a good negotiator or interrogator exploints…we ALLLLLL find it very tempting to fill a silence.

          Well, yes, I was assuming a custodial situation where one’s ability to call would be limited. Obviously, if you are free to call without limit, call everyone. Everyone.

          Or, as Gary Oldman put it in the movie “The Professional”: EV-ERY-ONE!!!!

          http://is.gd/jovPdd

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          stevewhitemd in reply to Ragspierre. | June 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm

          Wonderful set of comments here. I’m neither a lawyer nor a gun-owner, but if I can summarize a reasonable set of actions to take in a self-defense situation (and tell me where I go wrong here)

          1 — defend my life. That’s the point of self-defense. Do no more than is necessary to do that.

          2 — call 911 as soon as I possibly can. Ensure that I’m safe. Ditto for anyone with me.

          3 — talk to the police. I’m the victim here, after all. Be factual, tactful, and Joe Friday-like in my comments. Point out all the available evidence and witnesses. Avoid expressing opinions, and absolutely avoid making derogatory comments about anyone.

          4 — if my brain is working, get photos and video with my cell phone.

          5 — if my brain is working, call my wife. I won’t ever be in a situation where that’s a bad idea 🙂

          6 — wife works on finding me a lawyer.

          7 — if police detain me, at that point shut up and say, politely, “I’m happy to cooperate further but first I’d like my lawyer present”.

          8 — as a corollary to the last point, if the police become adversarial or difficult in any way, shut up and ask for my lawyer.

          Does that sound about right?

          Well, stevewhitemd, that’s quite a bit more loosey-goosey than I’d be comfortable with. I don’t have time at the moment to respond to your lengthy comment in detail, but for one thing there seems to be an implicit assumption that the will recognize you as the “good guy” only there’s only a possibility that they might become adversarial.

          The problem is the police are very, very good at coming across as friendly and non-adversarial, and meanwhile taking note of everything you say and do in case it can be used against you later in a court of law. Until you’re actually in custody you don’t have Miranda protection. By the time they ACT adversarial and the cuffs have come out you’ve already said what you’ve said, done what you’ve done, and they’ve written it all down.

          You’d be surprised how innocently sounding comments made in the aftermath of a traumatic self-defense encounter can be twisted by an aggressive prosecutor to make you sound like a murderous monster.

          And who would know different? Not the jury, not the judge, not even your own lawyer, really–chances are not even he had the slightest notion of your existence before your use of force against another person put you on their radar screen.

          I think the idea of saying absolutely nothing except “I want my lawyer” is silly and harmful because it prevents the preservation of evidence that may be essential to your claim of self-defense, and implicit in the claim of self-defense is the admission that you, indeed, committed the act of force against another so stating that fact would have been necessary under any circumstances at some point in the process. Going so far as not identifying yourself to officers at the scene as the user of force would like qualify as consciousness of guilt evidence, and if you’re going to have to do that anyway what harm can come from adding–“because I was in fear for my life.”

          I wouldn’t say a word beyond that scope-I’m the guy, I was in fear for my life, that over there is evidence, those people over there are witnesses, happy to talk more after legal counsel–until I had competent counsel present.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Andrew sez: You’d be surprised how innocently sounding comments made in the aftermath of a traumatic self-defense encounter can be twisted by an aggressive prosecutor to make you sound like a murderous monster.

          Jack replies: And ~this~ is the reason why law professors still show the movie, “My Cousin Vinny” in legal classrooms.

          stevewhitemd in reply to Ragspierre. | June 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm

          Andrew, thanks for that. Didn’t mean to be too lengthy.

          I guess the issue is finding the proper balance in telling the police what they need to hear up front to understand that it was a situation of self-defense, life-or-death, and saying things that will then be used against you later. Without a specific situation that gets to be rather hard to determine.

          I do agree that police will record everything they see and hear (or at least what they thought they saw and heard), and that a zealous prosecutor can use that information later. Of course, if I’m up against a zealous prosecutor I’m also in trouble even if I’ve said nothing but “I want a lawyer now.”

        I would respectfully disagree. Unless you are well prepared in advance and really know what you are doing, say nothing to the police (other than being respectful and polite in a general sense) and tell them you want to speak to an attorney. Do not rant about your rights. Do not argue. You will likely spend the night in jail, but so what. Wait till morning (you are probably not going to sleep anyway).

        If you speak, you are acting as your own lawyer. And a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.

          And will the witnesses and evidence still be there the next morning, when you have your lawyer beside you and your finally willing to say something other than “I’m not saying anything until my lawyer is present?”

          Will the tourists from out of town who were out for the evening and saw the whole thing, will they still be on scene to have their statements taken by responding officers? Or will they be back in New York, or Calgary, or Berlin, or Auckland?

          What about your attacker’s knife that slide under that car when he hit the ground? Or the bullet hole in the moving van from the missed shot he fired at you? Is any of that still going to be there when you’re finally speaking with investigators the next morning?

          I don’t know about you, but personally I’d like the responding/investigative officers to be aware of that stuff right at the scene. Bird in the hand, and all that . . .

          And I can assure you that if you do not tell the responding officers at the scene that you acted in self-defense, the fact that you did not do so will be hammered relentless by the prosecutor should you be brought to trial. “If it was lawful self-defense,” he’ll say to the jury, “why didn’t he just the officers that. That’s not against the law. You know why he didn’t say it right then? Because it wasn’t self-defense, that’s why. He came up with that self-defense idea later.” Then he’ll add, “Besides, where’s the evidence of self-defense. There’s nothing. No weapon that threatened him, no witness to say he’s telling you the truth.” (Only post-arrest statements can be protected from such shenanigans.)

          The jury will have that argument made to them (the last thing they hear before going into deliberations, by the way), your unsupported and self-serving claims of self defense, your hot pistol and the victim’s cooling body (conceptually speaking, of course). Ugh.

          But that’s just me. Different strokes, and all that . . .

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          myiq2xu in reply to EBL. | June 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm

          Silence is golden and handcuffs are made of steel.

          Or as Chris Rock said, “Would you rather look guilty at the mall or be innocent in jail?”

          janitor in reply to EBL. | June 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm

          Ordinarily the advice is to not talk to police. HOWEVER, if you just shot someone in self-defense, then you were the VICTIM of an initiated or attempted crime, and victims reach out to the police and talk — they don’t clam up and act as if they did something wrong. So Andrew is absolutely right in this instance.

          ConradCA in reply to EBL. | June 30, 2013 at 12:23 am

          GZ should have said that he couldn’t function now because of the pain from his injuries. That he needed immediate medical care and was worried about a concussion/brain damage.

        txantimedia in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm

        I hang out a lot at the Texas CHL Forum. The owner is a lawyer who has been the driving force behind much of Texas CHL law. He points out several things about a deadly force incident.

        1) Always be the first to call 911. He who calls 911 first gets the benefit of the doubt.
        2) NEVER fail to call 911 after drawing your weapon. Even if you don’t have to shoot, you can be charged with a crime if someone reports you displaying your weapon. You want the police to have your side of the story before anyone else reports the incident.
        3) Be polite and forthright with police but only give them facts. E.g. He walked up to me with his gun drawn and demanded money. I threw my wallet over there, and when he turned to retrieve the wallet I drew my weapon and fired. I was afraid he was going to shoot me after he had the wallet. His gun is over there. (If you don’t point that out, and the police don’t see it – remember, it’s dark at night and things get missed – his buddies may retrieve it later. Then he will claim he was never armed.)
        4) Never express an opinion to the police – stick to the facts. He looked like a thug provides motivation other than self defense for shooting him.
        5) Before engaging in a formal interview with police, retain a lawyer. Politely tell them, I am willing to talk to you but to protect my rights I would like a lawyer present.

        I’m sure Andrew can comment on this if he sees any flaws in it.

          Wow, by the time-stamps it looks like we tied. 🙂

          The advise in your post is both more succinct and yet more comprehensive than mine, and sounds right on to me.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          myiq2xu in reply to txantimedia. | June 29, 2013 at 6:55 pm

          #1 on my list would be “Learn the law”.

          I don’t mean go to law school. But if you are going to own/carry a firearm, find out what the relevant laws are in your state. Every state is different, and what is legal in one state can be a felony in another.

          Lots of people screw up because they are misinformed about the law. You may think what you did was legal and find out the hard way you confessed to a felony.

          “I thought it was legal” is not a defense.

        Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm

        Would you say that “the day after run-through” by Zimmerman was a custodial situation?

        I frankly dunno…

        Estragon in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm

        Talking to the police cannot possibly help you. And even an innocent person who tells the truth and offers no directly incriminating statements can still give the prosecution evidence which can help convict them, for instance if that conflicts with another witness statement that is honestly mistaken, or if a police officer’s memory of an unrecorded statement differs from the defendant’s.

        http://youtu.be/6wXkI4t7nuc

          We’ll have to agree to disagree then.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Andrew is correct if the investigating officer is ethical and objective. Most are…but not all. Perhaps the best approach is a short factual statement of what happened for the points he is making so facts and witnesses can be identified. That you acted in self defense. And then say you would request a lawyer. But assume anything you sat can and will be used against you if they can do so.

          Estragon’s comment captures my basic position on talking with the police following the use of defensive force.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Ragspierre in reply to Estragon. | June 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm

          WRT preserving evidence, most of us forget we have a camera and a video recorder on our hip. I know I do.

          I would hope to think to use them both liberally in the immediate aftermath of a shooting.

          A lot of trauma, both physical and mental, can occur very quickly in a fight for one’s life. I wouldn’t find it at all remarkable that someone forgot to photograph evidence with the cell phone camera. When I worked an ambulance crew we’d commonly treat trauma victim’s who couldn’t remember their home phone number to call their wife–and not because of TBI, just because of the overwhelming stress of it all.

          Existential stress breaks things. Often transiently. Sometimes permanently.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Ragspierre in reply to Estragon. | June 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm

          Perhaps you mistook that for criticism of Zimmerman. It was not.

          Also, if you are that traumatized, you have no business talking to LEOs. IMNHO.

          Is TBI “Traumatic Brain Injury”? Every GOOD writer should spell out acronyms. I got praised recently by a reader for doing just that. Evidently it is a very common failing among writers.

          So what’s the “M” in “MSimon” stand for. Every GOOD commenter should spell out their initials. I got praised recently by a reader for doing just that. Evidently it is a very common failing among commenters.

          Ha, ha, thanks, I needed that. 🙂

          Though, really, some people must have a LOT of spare time on their hands. Maybe I should just go post my Zimmerman stuff on a writer’s workshop blog, to free up more space for their writing tips here. 🙂

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Everybody’s a critic. SMH.

          Phillip McGregor in reply to Estragon. | June 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm

          I’m with Estragon. I’m not saying anything to the police, per the legal professors video. In it he explains, among many other things that federal evidence rule 801(d)(2)(a)says nothing you say to the police can be used in trail to help your case, it is hearsay. I’m friends with a criminal defense attorney that agrees, SHUT UP.

          Video link at the timestamp explaining the above rule.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=6wXkI4t7nuc#t=555s

          I plan to speak as much as Jason Bourne did in his interrogation.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwaxFAC6rzk

          To McGregor:

          This is silly on several levels.

          First of all, it’s highly unlikely that you would ever be advancing a self-defense claim in Federal court, virtually all self-defense cases are heard at the state level, in which case the state, not Federal, rules of evidence will apply.

          Second, utterances made in the immediate aftermath of an event are routinely exempted from hearsay rules.

          “I’m friends with a criminal defense attorney that agrees, SHUT UP.”

          Oh, had even noticed that sentence until this moment. Too bad, it would have saved me the effort of writing this comment.

          Say hello to your criminal defense attorney buddy for me, I guess.

          Andrew
          @LawSelfDefense
          [URL=https://www.facebook.com/pages/Law-of-Self-Defense/176397865719110]Facebook: Law of Self Defense[/URL]

      txantimedia in reply to Matt in FL. | June 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Matt in FL, Zimmerman is young and his father was a Justice of the Peace. I think he had a naive faith in the goodness of the justice system (which has surely been profoundly shaken now) and sincerely believed that if he told his story accurately and honestly he would be believed and released.

      I doubt he will ever make that mistake again.

    Skookum in reply to ggoblu. | June 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    According to the media, GZ could have behaved better:
    – He shouldn’t have been carrying a gun,
    – He should not have profiled TM as suspicious-looking,
    – He should not have referred to TM as a punk or anal orifice,
    – He should not have emerged from his truck,
    – He should not have left the vicinity of his truck,
    – He should not have looked like a creepy ass cracka,
    – He should not have talked to TM,
    – He should have taken the beating TM was dishing out like a man,
    – He should not have shot TM,
    – He should have rendered first aide to TM,
    – He should have cried hysterically in the immediate aftermath of the shooting,
    – He should have gone to the ER, and
    – He should have had the decency to cop a plea to at least manslaughter.

      cazinger in reply to Skookum. | June 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      You forgot a couple:

      – He should not have wanted a career in law enforcement,
      – He should not have been going to a gym to get in shape,
      – He should not have accepted the appointment to be a captain/liaison for the neighborhood watch program,
      – He should not have been ON the neighborhood watch program,

      Meanwhile, Trayvon Martin was fully justified in assaulting and beating the head of a smaller person against the sidewalk, just because that person was following him.

        rantbot in reply to cazinger. | June 29, 2013 at 6:21 pm

        While we’re at it, maybe his most important error should be mentioned – he should live someplace which isn’t infested with gansta wannabes and race-baiters.

I have to say I’m enjoying the articles and comments. I, at one time, was very interested in pursuing a career as a behavioral profiler so I combine the psychology and the criminal justice in everything. From time to time a case grabs my attention and I fixate on it. Perhaps this time it’s because this happened about 2 miles from our house but I think more than anything else the dynamics of the case have riveted my attention like few high profile cases do. My brain is getting some much needed exercise taking all the information and making sense of it all. Just a huge thank you to all the lawyers here and others with specific knowledge on scientific issues for helping lay people such as myself to understand what is going on. As for some rumblings I’ve been seeing as to what may happen should ZImmerman be acquitted, I’m not overly concerned at this time. I think most people here want the truth and to move on. It’s the “outside the community” people I feel who will cause the problems, if there are any.

    wyntre in reply to caambers. | June 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I feel the same way. This site provides amazing education for lay-people. I am hooked.

    rantbot in reply to caambers. | June 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    The really mysterious bit (and one which I don’t think can be addressed by this site) is just why modern liberalism and its minions, from the President to CNN, are so hot to railroad Zimmerman straight to jail. In other notorious cases, like, say, Sacco and Vanzetti, or Alger Hiss, there was some plausible reason to believe that the accused might actually be guilty of crimes. But here? Nothing. And that has been addressed by this site. Nothing at all. This case is as weird as l’affaire Dreyfus (though that at least can’t be blamed on the American legal system).

      Juba Doobai! in reply to rantbot. | June 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Obama said Trayvon could’ve been his son. That made it incumbent on everyone to railroad GZ. The alternative was to accuse the POTUS of race-baiting, race-mongering, and verbally tampering with the judicial system.

        Mister Natural in reply to Juba Doobai!. | June 30, 2013 at 11:31 am

        long ago and far away what you described was called “working towards the fuhrer” source: I.Kershaw “Nemesis”

      myiq2xu in reply to rantbot. | June 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Because from the very beginning it was decreed that this case was about racial injustice – specifically: a WHITE man gunning down an unarmed BLACK man.

      The facts and evidence were changed or made up to fit the predetermined narrative.

      Because it was election season and you always need a reason for your base to get stirred up and not sit at home. It’s the same reason why after agitating for a prosecution it is Obmama’s and his twin brother Sharpton’s best interest to not have a conviction. Gotta keep folk riled up…

      wald1900 in reply to rantbot. | June 30, 2013 at 5:46 am

      Just judging from some of these comments, I’m guessing that I’m pretty far left of most of the posters here. To my mind, there is certainly a progressive concern about civil rights in this case. However, unlike most of my progressive friends, the civil rights that I’m worried about are Zimmerman’s. There’s something about this case that makes many progressives insane at the very mention of Zimmerman’s name. It’s a lot of near-incoherent rants about “profiling” and “wanna be cop” and “got outta the car even after he was ordered not to”. It’s as if they’re determined to use this trial in order to litigate 400 years of racial oppression and a long list of compelling contemporary grievances. Of course, while there has been 400 years of racial oppression and there is a long list of compelling contemporary grievances, none of it gets the hearing it deserves in Zimmerman’s murder trial. As O’Mara himself has pointed out, if Zimmerman wins, how exactly is that a loss for civil rights? The answer, of course, is that it’s not…..but try telling that to those who’ve convinced themselves that it is. Good God, talk about a formula for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

      To my mind the program of overt media vilification, the “social outcry” and ultimately, the special prosecutor who brought charges without evidence to back them up should be concerning to anyone interested in civil rights. Trial by media and indictment by mob is not the way I, a self-identified and proud progressive, think progressives should roll. It was as wrong when it happened to Zimmerman in 2012 as it was in 1931 when it happened to the Scottsboro Boys.

      What’s scary to me is that most of the media coverage I’ve seen on the case makes it seem like the prosecution and defense are running neck and neck. I’m not sure what case they’re watching, but from what I’ve seen every day so far, the prosecution is getting mauled. If the jury is seeing the same case I am, they’ll have to acquit. The public, having watched national coverage to date that has led them to believe it’s a close call, will first be stunned and then will turn violent. Right around the time we get the last bodies buried and the last smoldering embers stamped out, it’ll be time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I’m just not sure how exactly one goes about celebrating 50 years of getting dumber.

        Mister Natural in reply to wald1900. | June 30, 2013 at 11:34 am

        and nobody in the msm will address the weekly slaughter-fest in chicago, home of the greatest community organizer that ever was. his job was finished there, tonto

Reading various newspaper reader comments, I’m struck how many people are not a certain as they once were of Zimmermans guilt.

Struck also at this common narrative that no amount of evidence seems to be able to crack:

“Zimmerman was told to stay in his car, but instead grabbed his gun and chased Trayvon around and shot him.”

The media (and elected officials) did a superior job at poisoning the well.

    caambers in reply to Browndog. | June 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Totally agree…you don’t know how many times a day I see that comment on a blog or FB and no matter how many people jump in to correct that, it just doesn’t sink in. It is a credit to Ryan Julison (initial media consultant to Crump, Parks, et al) that they’ve been so effective in getting that meme out there and how persistent the belief in that is to this day. Of course it doesn’t help that the lazy LSM journalists are still repeating it but there ya go.

      Observer in reply to caambers. | June 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      When I saw the photo (actually a still shot from the surveillance video) of Trayvon Martin at the 7-11 that night, towering over the 5’10 clerk, it really made an impression of how big Martin was.

      Couldn’t help but wonder if that picture, instead of the one showing Martin as a baby-faced 12 year old, had been shown after the shooting, would the public have been so quick to believe the race-baiters’ phony narrative?

        myiq2xu in reply to Observer. | June 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm

        Why do you think that old photo was chosen? They had others available.

        Wolverine in reply to Observer. | June 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm

        Why wasn’t that picture shown, along with a scaled picture of Zimmerman, to the lady that said the bigger guy was on top? She had identified the guy on top as Zimmerman by using the photo of 12 yo Martin and concluding that an adult must certainly be bigger that a 12 yo boy.

        I know the defense explored that pretty well and the jury probably sees her error. I also understand that the State wouldn’t want that since it undermines their case.

        I guess the defense didn’t want to do that in the off chance that she would still ID Zimmerman as being on top even after seeing a recent photo of Martin. Since the defense had already sown the seed of doubt, why snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

          fogflyer in reply to Wolverine. | June 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm

          Yep, I think you answered you own question there.

          Plus, they actually got the witness to say she may have been wrong, after seeing the 7-11 photo.

      ConradCA in reply to caambers. | June 30, 2013 at 12:32 am

      You need to remember that the vast majority of the news media are propaganda agents working for the progressive fascist cause. Just look how the lied and manipulated the facts to get Obama elected in 2008 and 2012. This case is just one more example of their lies and manipulation. Preying on the weaknesses of black people is how they get 95% of black voters to vote for their masters.

    txantimedia in reply to Browndog. | June 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    @Browndog

    Reading various newspaper reader comments, I’m struck how many people are not as certain as they once were of Zimmermans guilt.

    Now think about the fact that the prosecution is still presenting its case, and you have some idea of how incredibly unjust his being charged with second degree murder was.

    If, while the prosecution is still presenting its case, the common man is unsure of the defendant’s guilt, you have what has to be a profoundly unique case. Usually you think the defendant is guilty until the defense introduces doubt.

      caambers in reply to txantimedia. | June 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Hey, I didn’t think about that but really good point. I did tell hubby the other morning, because he works longer hours and can’t pay much attention to the trial, that since this is the prosecution’s turn, they should be jacking them out of the ballpark with every witness. Every witness should be backing up the charges. But they don’t. So there’s already reasonable doubt before the defense even puts up one witness that would be favorable to their side. Wow…dunno why I didn’t see that before. Glass half empty person. That and the frustration I constantly feel when having to explain again that GZ did not have to stay in his truck, he didn’t follow, he was entitled to carry a firearm ( my MIL God bless her said ‘he shouldn’t have had a gun with him…really?!) and so on.

      Tx you always make good points.

      Never have I heard of a trial like this one where the persecution witnesses are speaking up for the defense and the others have been lying.

        myiq2xu in reply to Aussie. | June 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm

        Most people have never seen all the evidence. They saw/heard carefully edited bits mixed with outright lies.

    Roux in reply to Browndog. | June 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Elected officials should keep their opinions about ongoing cases to themselves. Jeb Bush made a negative statement about the “stand your ground” law shortly after this case gained national attention. Because of that one statement I no longer consider him fit to be POTUS.

      rotate in reply to Roux. | June 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Well that’s rich. It’s his law. He signed it .

      MKReagan in reply to Roux. | June 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Totally agree. And Rick Scott and Pam Bondi will not get another primary vote from this Conservative chick. Not voting for Marco Rubio again either, but that’s a whole other discussion…

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Browndog. | June 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Law-yah Crump was the instigator of the propaganda campaign and race-mongering. That our alleged POTUS and AG participated was scandalous, if not criminal.

    There ARE laws against what they did.

      Skookum in reply to Uncle Samuel. | June 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      What laws were violated?

        Uncle Samuel in reply to Skookum. | June 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm

        Obstructing investigation and putting out false information, instigating prejudice, inflaming public opinion.

        Rule 4-3.6 Trial Publicity

        (a) Prejudicial Extrajudicial Statements Prohibited.

        A lawyer shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding due to its creation of an imminent and substantial detrimental effect on that proceeding.

        (b) Statements of Third Parties.

        A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to make such a statement. Counsel shall exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, employees, or other persons assisting in or associated with a case from making extrajudicial statements that are prohibited under this rule.

        (law citations courtesy of Ragspierre)

          Ragspierre in reply to Uncle Samuel. | June 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm

          Unc, those are ethical rules for Florida attorneys, not laws.

          Now, that said, I think Crump has liberally violated the canon of ethics, and should be held to account for it.

          If I practiced in Florida, I’d be raising a stink about it.

      Mister Natural in reply to Uncle Samuel. | June 30, 2013 at 11:40 am

      black solidarity , baby! power to the people! off the pigs! kill whitey. that’s mother’s milk to the likes of the POTUS/HNIC and Holder his enforcer. they grew up with this 1960’s black power sh*t.

    rotate in reply to Browndog. | June 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    “Hunted him down and shot him in the street like a dog” Pink cowgirl hat lady TX rep.

      Browndog in reply to rotate. | June 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Pink cowboy hat lady is a U.S. representative, and spoke those words on the House floor…

      …into the Congressional record, for all eternity (well, at least as long as the Republic holds together, which may be a matter of years, not decades or centuries).

      How would you like having that hang over your head if you’re Zimmerman?

Andrew – really like your perspective and excellent reporting. Did you see the Great Wire post? What is your take on it?

I want Andrew’s self-defense book. It will go right next to de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear”

    Indeed, de Becker’s book is awesome–I actually have it on my nightstand at home as I type this. Highly recommended.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      caambers in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      I think that book has already saved me from something. Just a weird incident that made no sense at the time and still doesn’t. But the book helped me tune up my spidey sense and who knows. I recommend it all the time to women but men should read it too.

    txantimedia in reply to caambers. | June 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    If you order it now you get 30% off plus free shipping. (I already have.)

Thanks for re-posting … I was indeed having lots of trouble last night. I anxiously check each day to see when your summary is posted. I follow your Twitter feed all days which certainly helps me put the empty heads comment at night in perspective! Thanks so much for all your hard work. It is much appreciated.

I’m stuck on the Jeantel testimony. Not about what she purportedly heard, but on how her testimony was obtained. I got the sense that she intensely dislikes and fears Sybrina Fulton whom she referred to repeatedly as “the mother”. (I almost got the feeling she wanted to refer to her as the “m…fer”.)I also have a hard time getting over how the family lawyer and the prosecution got away with taking a deposition of a key witness in the PRESENCE of the victim’s mother. How in the world does such testimony even get admitted? How can these people not get away with such witness tampering? So my question to you is – is this legal and ethical and accepted behavior on the part of the prosecution and the family lawyers? Is there any motion the defense could file to protest this testimony?

What do we know regarding the timing of GZ’s concealed carry permit and his acquisition of a firearm? In other words, was the Feb 2012 incident the first occasion GZ was packing while surveilling a suspicious individual? I had a dream last night in which rhorton1 was partying with Ms. Jeantel and as rh1 refilled the punchbowl with purple drank, he mused on that possibility, albeit somewhat incoherently.

    My Florida CWL is valid for 7 years.

    The expiration date on Zimmerman’s CWL appears to be 12/17/15. Assuming the same 7 year period, his CWL would have issued on 12/17/2008.

    FYI, you can view the actual license at the link below, although it’s a poor image. I posted beside it an image of my own CWL (redacted) to aid in deciphering the info on Zimmerman’s CWL.

    “Zimmerman Trial: Evidentiary Flashback: George Zimmerman’s Concealed Weapons License”
    http://is.gd/lXbLUM

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew,
Like many others I want to hank you for your coverage and blogging on this case. I will be ordering your book as soon as the paycheck gets here.
At the risk of seeming to be promoting another writer on your blog are you familiar with Alan Korwin? His book “The Arizona Gun Owner’s Guide” has been invaluable to me. He gives the exact text of all Arizona gun laws and many federal laws and then breaks them down into layman’s terms for us non-lawyer types. He has several books like this for different states, Florida being one of them. I think his Florida book would be good reading for anyone following this case.

    kentuckyliz in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you for your live-tweeting and coverage on the Legal Insurrection blog. I am not a lawyer and I don’t even play one on TV. What I am is a single woman who lives alone, who is too arthritic to run away and escape, who has great neighbors who are all geezers and who I would expect not to endanger themselves by helping me in a potentially violent situation. They would call police, who are only 20 minutes away (assuming they are available). A lot can happen in 20 minutes. I recently became a life member of the NRA and fully intend to take training, obtain a weapon and a CCW permit. If I lived in a place where I expected riots at the acquittal of GZ, I would be acting fast to make this happen. I don’t think I will have any riot or Kill-A-Cracka-For-Trayvon risk. I ordered your book out of gratitude! And the need to learn more about this issue. I appreciate the commenting community here, which seems to include a lot of lawyers. It is remarkably flame-free. I am amazed at the difference between the trial proceedings and the media and social media coverage of it. Trouble’s a brewing. How do you sue the media for malpractice? I’ve been wondering that since Obama’s first presidential campaign.

      That’s awesome, thanks so much.

      If you lived in the Boston-metro area I’d be happy to dust off my NRA Instructor’s certificate and train you myself, but I’m sure you can find good, inexpensive training in KY.

      Here in MA for many years I volunteered for a woman-led organization called AWARE (Arming Women Against Rape and Endangerment), and hopefully gave a lot of abusive partners reason to fear for their lives should they ever return. I worked for free, of course, but the organization charged only a nominal fee, and would waive even that if it would cause undue economic hardship–nobody who needed training was ever turned away. Ever.

      I’d suggest you see if KY has a counterpart of that. Often those groups minimize the “gun” part of their training offerings so as to not frighten women away, and instead emphasize things like Model Mugging and pepper spray, so you might search on those terms first, and see if it leads you to the kind of training you’re looking for.

      Best of luck, and thanks again!

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

I know Alan only by reputation, and it’s a good one. And I never mind other authors being mentioned, there’s room enough for everybody.

I differ from a lot of other “gun lawyers,” for lack of a better term, in that my focus is entirely on the law of self-defense, and not on guns per se at all. Stuff like which states have reciprocity with your CCW, or what AR’s are allowed under your state’s assault weapons ban law, or whether your state allows CCW in a restaurant that serves alcohol, or the rules for Title II/III stuff–I don’t know any more about that stuff than any other life-long gun guy. I know quite a lot about those things, and enjoy talking about them informally, but I wouldn’t provide legal advice in those areas.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    divemedic in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I will be placing my order on Monday. It will go on the shelf, right beside Mr Gutmacher’s book.

    Andrew… I want to take a moment and thank you for your work in helping us understand self defense. I pretty much memorized your previous book and for the past decade I’ve had a reference to it on Amazon.com and you saved in a text file.

    When the subject matter on a forum requires it I just load up the text file and cut and paste the info so that others can see it. I’ve shared your book with hundreds of thousands over the years because it is needed.

    I am glad to hear that your update is coming out.

      Wow, that’s awesome Jack!

      If you liked the 1st Edition, you’re going to love the 2nd Edition–it’s way more comprehensive and detailed, yet much easier to read for a non-lawyer. I’ve darn hard to strip out as much of the legalese as I could–law school seems to destroy our ability to write like a normal human being, and it takes a hell of an effort to get around that training.

      Best,

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

txantimedia | June 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Andrew, I just go done reading your post about the jurors. Thank you for that. I have much less concern about them now than I previously had.

I do have a concern, and I wonder if you could address it? I’m afraid that Judge Nelson, who seems to favor the prosecution, would instruct the jury in the law regarding second degree murder and say nothing about self defense law. This would leave the jury with the impression that finding Zimmerman not guilty would not necessarily be justice.

If she does, is there anything the defense can do about it? Is it a reversible error? Would it result in a new trial if he’s found guilty?

    Wolverine in reply to txantimedia. | June 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    That is a really good question. Thus far we understand that if the defense raises a self-defense claim, then they are entitled to the self-defense jury instruction. How much and what type of evidence needs to be presented? Is the mere claim of self-defense sufficient or does it require more? I imagine the details are to be found in FL case law, so perhaps someone from FL can enlighten us.

      Yeah, no worries about the self-defense instructions.

      I mean, Judge Nelson can do whatever she wants, but if she doesn’t instruct on self-defense I expect the 5th DCA will strike down any guilty verdict as vigorously as they’ve struck down every other one of her rulings that the defense has appealed to them.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Wolverine in reply to txantimedia. | June 29, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I think I found our answer. In Murray v. State, the Florida Court of Appeal ruled that the defendant need only introduce evidence sufficient to suggest the mere possibility that self defense was justified. After that, the burden shifts back to the Prosecution and the jury must be instructed on the self-defense justification including that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that self defense was not justified.

    Zimmerman’s injuries and his statement to officer Smith probably meet that level already and I expect the defense is going to offer more than is needed.

    Failure to provide those instructions is a reversible error (along with some others that this judge has already made).

If it has come up in discussion, I may have missed it but was is the impact of the prosecutor getting in the point that Zimmerman was already under the care of a psychologist.

So how many more witnesses does the State have to go? I know there is the unlikely to be called lists and such, perhaps a professional guess?

    Wolverine in reply to CREinstein. | June 30, 2013 at 3:19 am

    I don’t have a clue, but I heard on one of live streams a discussion between the lawyers and the judge where it was mentioned that the official witness list (prosecution and defense) has 220 names on it.

    I’m pretty sure that won’t be calling all of those, but the forecast is 2-4 weeks of testimony, so I expect the state has a ways to go yet.

Hmmm. Most reviewers are praising Mr. Branca’s book for its exposition of the law.

Does it also have investment value? http://po.st/b6Eqj6 😮

    Hey, the price has come down, it used to be $200! 🙂

    I don’t know who that guy is, and in any case I wouldn’t recommend buying that book at any price (except for collectible value, if you’re into that kind of thing). That’s the first edition of the Law of Self Defense, published way back in 1998. Things have changed considerably since then.

    Why spend $100 for 15-year-old content when for a mere $30 you can have hot off the press goods, am I right? 🙂 http://is.gd/MiCo0J

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      rantbot in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      That’s what the guys who sell reloading manuals say, too. Of course the hot loads have been deleted from the later manuals, which is a bit odd, as most of the guns and cases and bullets and propellants are the same as they’ve been since God was in short pants.

        Man, I haven’t bought a reloading manual in, what 20 years. Once I worked up a good load I just stuck with it.

        in 45ACP I like a touch over 5g of Titegroup under a 200g LSWC for my 1911, and in 9mm I like a touch over 4g of Titegroup under a 125g LRN for my G17 and other 9mm’s (and yes, I know about Glock “kabooms”, I just keep my G17 clean and have never had a problem).

        Both shoot great for me, and I’m not much of an experimenter on reloads.

        That’s for practice/match ammo, of course, I use quality factory ammo for serious social purposes.

        OK, now back to the legal talk. 🙂

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Harperman in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 3:43 am

          OMG you are talking reloading. Please don’t get this old man too excited. My heart can’t take it!! LOL
          Still Andrew seems to prefer a 200 grain JHP as a defensive round in his 1911. I am also a 1911 fan but prefer the 230 grain Federal Hydro-Shok as a defense round. I never use home loads in my personal defense weapons. I am not ready to face what a prosecutor might make of it if I had to use one.
          Now if you want to talk wildcats…

Better phrasing/spelling for the above question – I wish there was an edit button.

If it has come up in discussion, I may have missed it but what is the impact of the prosecutor getting in the point in front of the jury that Zimmerman was already under the care of a psychologist? If recall there was an objection that was sustained but still it was in front of the jury.

This happened near the end of the physician assistant’s testimony.

Kerrvillian | June 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Yell Like Hell

My subject above refers to a quote known to some as The Rule of Law.

“The Rule of Law: 1. If the facts are against you, argue the law.
2. If the law is against you, argue the facts. 3. If the facts
and the law are against you, yell like hell.”
http://www.anvari.org/fortune/Laws/1417_the-rule-of-law-1-if-the-facts-are-against-you-argue-the-law.html

Watching testimony this week has made evident that the facts are against the State. Every witness bore out substantial parts of the statements he gave the police. The one, and only, witness that produced a significant deviation was Rachael Jaenet. If the jury trusts any of her testimony they have to deal with the only person who was racially profiling that night in February was the late Travon Martin. Her statements pointed out that Martin told her he was behind his place of safety. Steps away from being indoors and away from any pursuer. Her words show that HE WENT BACK TO CONFRONT ZIMMERMAN.

That’s important. The media claim that Zimmerman was the aggressor and sought confrontation with Martin. That is not part of Zimmerman’s story. Jaenet’s testimony says that Martin was almost indoors when he went back to confront. Her claim about who spoke first indicates who was initiating the confrontation, it was Martin.

I think her testimony altered in the course of the several versions over the last words on the phone call. In an early version of her story she said she heard “a little bit of get off”. She has changed her statement, particularly on her second day after being coached hard the night before, to claiming that she heard Martin pleading for someone to “get off! get off!”

I don’t believe that part of the story, but what if some variation of this is true. What if she was saying something the prosecutors, and most people in the court room, could not grasp?

If she heard “a little bit of get off” could she be referring to hearing a little bit of fighting?

“Get off the gate – Get it on: to start fighting” – http://streetgangslang.com/slangetoh.html

We know that Jaenet is a product of the street. Should we look into the use of the term that might make sense to her? She heard a little bit of the fight starting.

I don’t know if the defense will bring this up. If I were them I’d save that little jewel for closing arguments where the State has no time to counter it.

The most valuable witness of the week was Jonathan Good. What he saw made clear that no matter who started what Martin was on top raining down blows. That would be enough to grant the jury a reason to believe that Zimmerman was being injured, as we know he was.

Having lost on evidence the State might try to argue the law. This would be a mistake. The law in Florida is clear. if Zimmerman had a reasonable fear for injury or death he had the right to use lethal force. There is no exception for age of attacker or the presence of Skittles.

That leaves the only tool in their tool box. They used a variation of it in the opening statements. I suppose they did this because they knew it was their only real tool.

Mantei did his scarey movie voice. If he wants to leave the law (as he may very well want to after this) he has a career in narrating horror movie trailers. He decided to use the profanity muttered half under his breath by saying it very much louder in court, giving it the angry voice to try and paint George Zimmerman as some sort of crazed vigilante who is so stupid as to be on the phone to the police as he hunts down his prey.

I don’t know if he thinks the jurors are total idiots, but I guess he has to pray they are.

Watching a re-direct this week I noticed that de la Rionda was literally yelling at his own witness. In contrast to the quiet of West and O’Mara he is loud and even louder when not getting his way.

The State has no choice about that. They have failed to build a case strong in evidence or strong in law. So they have to yell like hell.

    Is “Jaenet” a variation on Genet? AKA Jean Genet?

      Her surname is Jeantel. Not Jaenet. Aficionados of “urban dictionary” mythology (“Purple Drank”, “he was on drugs”, “creepy-ass cracka” means “homosexual”, “get off” is a phrase meaning “start fighting”) aren’t much interested in getting anything else right.

      Believe it or not, facts are actually important in a murder case.

I believe I asked this in another post, but I can’t seem to find it, so I apologize for asking it again and to those who may have already answered this…

Are there any videos that actually show TM fighting?

The only one I remember seeing was the one he recorded of the two homeless guys fighting.

    divemedic in reply to fogflyer. | June 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Since Trayvon has had his name trademarked, I would think that the family now has control over the publication of any films, images, or recordings that he appears in. This means complete control of the narrative.
    I would imagine that any recording showing him fighting will be scrubbed from YouTube and the like with a copyright takedown notice.

      Well, it doesn’t really work that way. “MacBook Pro” is a trademark held by Apple for a line of laptop computers, but they can’t use that as a lever to prevent me from writing, say, a review of a MacBook Pro (not even a very bad review–which seems unlikely, I’m quite fond of my MacBook Pro).

      The can certainly prevent people (or, try to prevent them–China is hard to stop) from selling, say, Trayvon-branded T-shirts, or Trayvon-branded ear buds, or a Trayvon-branded line of street-fighting-specific clothing, or even Trayvon-branded paper targets for that matter, but they don’t control the entire narrative.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        fogflyer in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm

        So Andrew,
        What about the videos though???
        I keep seeing speculation that the state has opened the door for letting in TMs fight videos… are there actually any videos though? I seem to recall there were texts that may have addressed TM fighting, but I don’t remember any actual videos of him fighting, just the one of the homeless guys fighting.

          txantimedia in reply to fogflyer. | June 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm

          Yes, there are videos. The Martin team has been busily trying to erase any evidence on the net that might hurt the case, but others have been downloading and uploading and screenscraping furiously to keep the evidence from disappearing.

          This site is a bit over the top for my tastes, but they have done yeoman work in this category – http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2012/05/19/trayvons-fight-club-the-inconvienient-truth/

          fogflyer in reply to fogflyer. | June 29, 2013 at 5:59 pm

          Went to that site, had to look around as the link does not take you to the “fight club” article.
          There wasn’t any videos of TM fighting though, only a video of a couple of guys fighting that TM recorded.

          Can anyone claim that they have actually seen TM fighting in a video?
          The two videos that TM recorded really dont offer any substantive evidence of his fighting prowess, inclination, or frequency.

          fwper in reply to fogflyer. | June 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm

          This is supposed to be a video of Trayvon fighting he is wearing the light colored shirt.

          http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/82409033/

          fogflyer in reply to fogflyer. | June 29, 2013 at 9:03 pm

          Fwper,
          Even if that video is of Trayvon, I don’t think it really has any evidentiary value.
          All it shows is two guys having a friendly boxing match with boxing gloves on. Nobody gets hurt and they are very friendly toward each other at the end. Just a couple of teenagers goofing around.

          Still looking for something that would be useful in court. I am not saying it doesn’t exist, just that I haven’t seen it yet.

          Wolverine in reply to fogflyer. | June 30, 2013 at 3:29 am

          The disclosure that Zimmerman was enrolled in MMA training doesn’t imply that he would go off and start a fight either. It goes to show that the person on top in Good’s testimony could be Zimmerman because Zimmerman is trained in the type of fighting Good observed the person on top was engaged in.

          If Zimmerman was trained in MMA style fighting and Martin was not, the jury might conclude, based on Good’s testimony, that it is more likely to have been Zimmerman on top and Good was in error about the clothing colors (it was a dark and stormy night).

          However, if it can be shown that Martin was also familiar with MMA style fighting, Good’s description of the fighting style is no longer diagnostic.

          fogflyer in reply to fogflyer. | June 30, 2013 at 9:43 am

          Yeah, I am not too worried about GZs MMA training muddying the waters. You know what else shows who was on top? Zimmerman’s pummeled face and the grass stains on his back.

          If y’all are making up the “fact” that there are youtube videos showing Trayvon engaging in MMA-style fighting, that’s no good. There are enough damning facts – making stuff up is not going to do anything for your credibility.

        divemedic in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm

        Ah. I was thinking that they could try and control the narrative, since they have done so effectively.

Lawyers for the Martin family now say the case is not about racial profiling or race.

An attorney for Martin’s family, meanwhile, suddenly declared Thursday that the high-profile case was not about race.

“It’s not about racial profiling,” Daryl Parks told reporters. “He was profiled (criminally). George Zimmerman profiled him.”

….Asked why he changed his take on the matter, Parks replied: “We never claimed this was about race.”

Really? Then why did Benjamin Crump say race was “the elephant in the room.” Racial injustice was the core of their argument. It was always about race to them. Race was what they used to transform this local shooting into a case of national importance. [More…]

Q. Many people see this as a story about race. Is it?

Crump: “It shouldn’t be about race. But race is the elephant in the room. Nobody believes that if you make Trayvon Martin white [and the Neighborhood Watch volunteer black], there’s no way he would not be arrested, and that’s the unfortunate and tragic truth of the matter. There is a double standard. That’s why race is involved in this case.

It is the state, not Team Crump, that has alleged since the beginning that Zimmerman profiled Martin as a criminal (not that he racially profiled Martin. )It’s good that Team Crump is now acknowledging the difference, but it is laughable to claim their new position isn’t backtracking.
http://www.talkleft.com/story/2013/6/28/154919/856/crimenews/Martin-Family-Attorneys-Now-Say-Case-Not-About-Race

Via JustOneMinute.

Interesting…

    Fabi in reply to Ragspierre. | June 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I don’t think it ever was about race. I don’t remember any talk about ‘walking while black’ or new racial/ethnic categories being unfurled, e.g., white Hispanic, or some elected official musing about how an imaginary son may look.

      Ragspierre in reply to Fabi. | June 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      I know, right? Like who injected race in this whole thing? Where did THAT come from…???

        Fabi in reply to Ragspierre. | June 29, 2013 at 5:37 pm

        I read Jeralyn’s linked article, as well as the hundred or so comments, and a first time reader would’ve enjoyed their visit to TalkRight! Virtually no support, and certainly no rational support, for the TM narrative. There may be some white-guilt buyer’s remorse brewing?

          Ragspierre in reply to Fabi. | June 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm

          One of the things I’ve found that the Collective rarely exhibits is guilt…for anything they did or got wrong.

          Now, PROJECTING it on you and I…different deal, ALTOGETHER….!!!

      healthguyfsu in reply to Fabi. | June 29, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Oh really? I wonder how many shades darker on the Von Luschan scale does Zimmerman need to be before this case never even sparks a protest in the first place (or MSM activity for that matter).

Re-watching yesterday’s witnesses I am convinced more than ever the state isn’t trying to win. It os putting on this mock trial to slowly disseminatethe evidence that clearly shows zimmerman is innocent. I think they are hoping enough people will see the facts and that will stop any riots before they start.

It won’t work because most people who support Martin are too blinded by their own prejudices to see the truth.

    fogflyer in reply to rokiloki. | June 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I understand why it would seem that way, but I am pretty sure that is not the case. The state has played dirty too many times; they wouldn’t have done that if they were just going through the motions. The state is trying their best to win this case with the crappy evidence and witnesses that they have.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to rokiloki. | June 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    The state created the situation in the first place by bringing charges that were unsustainable.

      rokiloki in reply to Juba Doobai!. | June 29, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      They brought charges due to public pressure and fear of riots.I’m starting to get the feeling they are using the trial as a means to give the public the evidence, bit by bit, with the hope it will satisfy the majority.

      Surely, the State can’t be so stupid as to believe it actually has a case. If I didn’t know better, I would swear I just watched a week of the defense’s case.

        fogflyer in reply to rokiloki. | June 29, 2013 at 9:12 pm

        No, I don’t believe the state thinks they have a winning case. They are not stupid. But I still think they are doing the very best they can to win. When you have a jury, nothing is certain.

        What I really wonder is how the state attorneys trying this case will be able to sleep at night if Zimmerman gets convicted. As I said, they are not stupid people, and they know Zimmerman is not guilty. There is no way I could justify this to myself, by saying I was just doing my job, if I helped convict Zimmerman.

          Here is my take for what it’s worth.. The State will do whatever they need to convince the public that they tried but failed, and hope and pray for a hung jury.. That way they can defuse and drag out the attention span that the public and media knows is short.. Eventually, after a long delay, they will decide to drop the case for lack of new evidence.. WIN, WIN…

Andrew – I just linked this Zimmerman question/answer session to my son-in-law who is a manager at a gun range in Texas and he also teaches gun safety CC permit classes. Both he and my daughter have CC permits. I think they will find the info being posted here very valuable. Thanks to you and everyone here for the input!

A frequent point made by the anti-zees is that none of TM’s DNA was found on GZ’s pistol.

Query: Whose DNA was found on the pistol? Officer Smith, at the scene, handled the weapon–was his DNA found?

I’m assuming he didn’t do the old pencil-in-the-barrel, TV-movie-thingy when he disarmed GZ…maybe I’m wrong, there’s an approved way of handling weapons with the same (no DNA) effect?

    DNA evidence is only interesting when you find it where it’s not supposed to be.

    The absence of DNA evidence proves nothing. There are a great many reasons a person could be someplace or touch something, and yet none of his DNA be discovered there.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Wolverine in reply to gregjgrose. | June 29, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    The people making the claim that Martin’s DNA was not found on the pistol, therefore Martin didn’t attempt to grab the gun, are missing several key points.

    One is that absence of DNA is not evidence that someone didn’t touch it. There are a minimum of two reasons for this. First, DNA is not always transfered when you touch something. Second is too little DNA was present for the labs technique to detect. There are many more, but that alone suffices.

    Another, is that Zimmerman’s claim is that he perceived that Martin was going for his gun, not necessarily that Martin actually got his hands on it. Of course, if Martin was only reaching for the gun then one wouldn’t expect any DNA to be transfered.

    Third, Martin didn’t actually have to be reaching for the gun for Zimmerman to have a reasonable belief that he was.

      Wolverine in reply to Wolverine. | June 30, 2013 at 3:55 am

      Replying to my own post.

      It’s not really important that Zimmerman believed Martin was going for his gun – this only adds more justification to an already justified use of lethal force in his own defense.

      Keep in mind, that police officers fairly regularly employ lethal force when someone simply makes a furtive movement towards a place that could *possibly* contain a weapon. In these cases they use the same self-defense justification that Zimmerman is claiming. There aren’t separate self-defense statutes for police and private persons like Zimmerman.

One interesting thing I have found over the years in conversations with people and from reading comment sections in various newspapers and blogs is that so many people have such little understanding of their various state laws on self defense. Whether you carry a gun or not it is just common sense to know what you can and cannot do in self defense.

The laws here in AZ are quite similar to the laws in Florida on this yet I constantly run into people who have no understanding of them. Many seem to think that one cannot use a weapon or any form of deadly force if their opponent is unarmed. Many think that you must be suffering an actual physical battery before you can defend yourself. Others think that you have to receive a certain level of physical damage before you can use deadly force. They are all wrong.

I think this is great contributor to the way the general public views the Zimmerman case. They make great noise about TM being unarmed although actually he was armed, with his fists and a cement sidewalk. They make a big thing about GZ’s injuries not being “serious”. They also make a big noise about TM’s age, as if a 17 year old cannot kill you.

Sadly when you try to educate them on the truth about the self defense laws they refuse to listen. Their minds are made up and no amount of quoting the law, giving examples or logic will sway them from their preconceived positions.

Not a lawyer, just a paralegal that loves learning and studying the law. I have watched some live video of the trial and read every day’s synopsis here (thanks for the awesome coverage!!) and it leads me to wonder this.. why is it that the State is seemingly doing such a poor job??! From my understanding, there really are few smoking guns once things get to the court room. Depositions have been taken, transcribed and studied. Evidence has exchanged hands. Arguments are understood from pleadings and hearings. So, how is it that the State has seemingly called such terrible witnesses (seemingly bolstering the defense’s arguments) and is shooting themselves in the foot (pun intended)?? I wonder this.. it is my understanding as a CWP carrier (in SC) that for self-defense to prevail, the defendant cannot have “asked for” or “egged on” the fight. You cannot initiate mutual combat and then kill the aggressor and claim self-defense. Is that maybe what the State is trying to do?? If they can show at the end of the day that GZ initiated the combat – that he followed (or even stalked) TM, that he slurred racist comments, that he backed the “boy” into a corner, then it will not matter that perhaps TM threw the first punch, nor that TM did actually inflict serious bodily harm – all that will matter is that GZ somehow initiated the fight and if they can show that – then self-defense fails. Is that a possible out come here??

    Unless Martin’s use of deadly force (the aggravated battery) on Zimmerman was lawfully justified, Zimmerman was himself lawfully justified to use deadly force to save his life.

    What circumstances would have had to exist in order for Martin’s use of deadly force lawfully justified (I’m presuming, for purposes of this discussion that he’s not som “00X” agent with a governmental license to kill)?

    Martin would have need to have a reasonable fear of imminent death or grave bodily harm from some act of Zimmerman’s.

    So, we look to the facts in evidence to see what we can find.

    Did Zimmerman “follow” Martin? That’s devolved into a discussion of it depends on what “follow” means, but merely following someone is neither illegal nor imminently dangerous to life or limb, so that won’t work to justify Martin’s use of force

    After that, there’s no direct evidence of any cat of Zimmerman’s that could possibly be reasonably perceived as an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm. None. Lots of speculation and unicorn dust, but not actual facts in evidence.

    So, the state is reduced to innuendo and speculation. Zimmerman was a racist. Wait, FBI sent a bunch of SAs down and searched for evidence of that, no good.

    Now they’re reduced to making the argument that because ZImmerman, as part of his Neighborhood Watch Program responsibilities, cooly and calmly reported suspicious activity to the police, exactly as trained by the police, he must have in fact been a man filled with seething hatred, to such an extent that when he saw the 17-year-old Martin wandering through the rain and peering in the windows of a community being wracked with burglaries, he snapped, and committed murder in the second degree.

    And their evidence of that seething hatred? A sighed, frustrated, “f*cking punks”–spoken while, by the way, he was speaking with the police dispatcher to request that they send out a patrol car, I guess so they could arrest him promptly after he committed his act of murder in the second degree.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Henry Hawkins | June 29, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Are they selling George & Travon action figures yet? Bobbleheads, maybe? Tee shirts?

Well, that all just makes sense. I guess I am just really looking for a reason as to why the State is seemingly calling witnesses that just seem to back-fire. No prosecutor is that bad, nor defense lawyer that good that almost EVERY witness for one side turns up to have testimony that benefits the other. I suppose the answer is that the facts are just not there and as a State prosecutor you get the cards you are dealt so you have to put on the best case you can. But that would mean this case should never have seen the inside of a court room and that just makes me ill and lose faith in the system. I am honestly terrified for the friends I have in the area when this verdict is read… Thanks again for your coverage and insight.

This case is not, and never has been, about justice. It is purely political.
I may be jaded but I believe that there is little about our “justice” system that is about justice any more. It is all about winning and to heck with justice or any semblance of right and wrong. I think this is why prosecutors often over charge. If they can negotiate down to a plea bargain they get to put a check in their win column. It is more about winning than justice. I have seen AGs attack certain people over and over, bringing different charges each time in order to run their victims out of money and obtain a plea bargain. It is an abuse of power that has appeared to become all too common these days.
Even if Mr. Zimmerman wins this case I look to the government to find other charges to bring against him and I wouldn’t be surprised if they continued to do so until they can make something stick. Their need to win demands it and the politicians motivating them out of self interest demand it. Justice hasn’t a darn thing to do with it.
The simple fact is that once the government decides they are going to “get you then they are going to get you no matter what and no matter how. Unfortunately for George Zimmerman the people out to get him go all the way to Oval Office. He may win this round but in the long run he doesn’t stand a chance.

    wyntre in reply to Harperman. | June 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I’ll go one step further. I think the POS administration and the DOJ are leaning on this judge and prosecutor the same way I believe they leaned on Roberts during the ACA fiasco.

    As I believe there is a “smoking gun” (which will never lead to the POS, he’s got layers of protection) in the IRS scandal.

    Not to mention HHS seeking healthcare providers to “contribute” to promoting OCare and the many other federal alphabet agencies directed through the WH.

    No, I have no proof. But we all know how Chicago thug tactics work.

      kringeesmom in reply to wyntre. | June 30, 2013 at 12:14 am

      Yep. Not only does it fit the race baiting narrative, it also fits the semi-automatic guns are evil narrative. Two birds, one stone. Justice is really beside the point.

      Solomon in reply to wyntre. | June 30, 2013 at 12:17 am

      Generals Petraeus and Allen concur with your closer.

Andrew and/or others,

How rare is it to make a self-defense claim but not take the stand and how successful is that strategy?

Thanks.

    You can’t really generalize self-defense cases like that. Most claims of self-defense are made by criminals caught with their hand in the cookie jar and using a “throw it all up against the wall” defense strategy, including self-defense. Or they’ve assaulted a police officer, etc., and want to claim self-defense for that. These people naturally don’t want to take the stand, so that biases the figures.

    In addition, most of us probably don’t live perfect lives. Even if a self-defense shooting was perfectly lawful, once you take the stand you open the door to the prosecution fishing in your past for prior bad acts and twisting them in front of the jury to make you seem like a murderous fiend. (Word to the wise, it’s prudent to avoid such behaviors in life, even if it means taken guff from losers from time to time–or it can come back to haunt you when everything is on the line.) So, people in this circumstance may be very reluctant to take the stand, but not for any reason that has to do with their actual defensive use of force.

    So, that’s a long-winded way of saying that whether the defendant in a self-defense case takes the stand depends on the facts and circumstances of the case, and these vary so widely from case to case that it’s very difficult to draw broad generalizations.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Mansizedtarget | June 29, 2013 at 7:15 pm

One thing that bugs me about all the second guessing of Zimmerman’s 911 Calls is that people are already too hesitant to call 911. They either don’t want to get involved or don’t realize it’s time sensitive or assume somehow the cops can know what you see without you telling them. Suspicious behavior is behavior out of the ordinary. Not all of it is crimes, but that’s why you call the cops. They can check it out; that’s their job. There is nothing wrong with any of Zimmerman’s calls based on the crimes that were occurring in the neighborhood. You see people in your ‘hood every day, and their cars too. You know what is unusual. Pretty much any pedestrian is a little unusual in Florida if they’re not out running, jogging, etc. This is true everywhere on a rainy night.

Read a police blotter or listen to a scanner sometime. Cops almost exclusively are responding to calls and rarely, other than traffic stops, seeing any crimes or suspicious people themselves.

Finally, to point out the obvious, blacks commit a lot more crime than whites. Something like 5-15X depending on the crime. Nothing wrong with being more suspicoius of young black men. Black people themselves are more suspicious of other blacks. This can’t be discussed in polite company, but it’s a fact of life and something everyone on that jury knows. It helps they had the actual arrest of another 17 year old young black man for burglary in the neighborhood to reinforce this well founded basis for heightened suspicion when coupled with a) rainy night b) age c) clothes d) strange demeanor and e) fact that we now know Trayvon jumped Zimmerman and started pummeling him after f) committing multiple similar hotheaded crimes that got him kicked out of HS.

    Better watch out. The LI political correctness “police” will slam you for pointing out the obvious even if the stats about black crime are readily available.

    Can’t question the narrative that black people are (deservedly coz of slavery) now more equal than other people.

    H/T Orwell.

    ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN
    OTHERS

    👿

      Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to wyntre. | June 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      You weren’t called on your racism because you cited facts. You were called on your racism because you saw the word “stupidity” and thought it meant “black people”.

      Glad you are still butt-hurt about it.

      ConradCA in reply to wyntre. | June 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      “Can’t question the narrative that black people are (deservedly coz of slavery) now more equal than other people.”

      No one deserves better treatment than others. No one alive has experienced slavery in the US. This special treatment is one of the reasons for the crime, poverty and hopelessness that is endemic among blacks.

      What is “LI” ?

    fogflyer in reply to Mansizedtarget. | June 29, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I totally agree with your post, but I just feel the need to point out that Zimmerman did NOT call 911. He called the non-emergency line, as he should. I am so tired of seeing all the news shows still reporting about his 911 calls.

    Please don’t call 911 to report suspicious characters. 911 is only for emergencies. I urge everyone to program their local non-emergency phone numbers into their cellphones, so you not have to tie up a 911 operator that might be dealing with an an actual emergency

    (Stepping down off pulpit)
    Thank you 🙂

      Bettijo in reply to fogflyer. | June 30, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      I was visiting in another city recently and noticed they had a non-emergency police number, I think it was 311. That is a good idea. Where I live we have a non-emergency number also, but it is 10 digits long and anyone wanting to use it will have to look it up.

thats retarded sir | June 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I’m going to be bold and say murder 2 ain’t gonna fly at this point, and it seems highly unlikely the state is going to knock down the defense theory. I don’t think the jury instructions will allow a sensible jury to come to that conclusion.

So it might be time to start looking ahead at how manslaughter comes into play.

    There really is not much difference and far as I understand it. For murder2, you must prove a depraved mind, ill intent, careless regard for human life… Something like that.

    The self defense claim, if believed, covers both charges.

    To put another way, GZ is guilty of manslaughter. He killed a guy, however, he is saying he did it in self defense, which the state then has to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt.

    If the jury thinks there is even a reasonable possibility that GZ acted in self defense, then they must acquit on both charges.

    I am sure one of the attorneys will explain it better than I, but I think that is the gist of it.

    Manslaughter is a lesser included charge of murder 2 in Florida, so the jury will be read the manslaughter instruction as a matter of normal procedure. Then they have a two-fold decision to make.

    (1) Has the State produced sufficient evidence on every element of (a) murder 2 or (2) manslaughter, beyond a reasonable doubt.

    If the answer is no to both charges, verdict is Not Guilty.

    The State will never be able to prove murder 2 beyond a reasonable doubt on the facts in evidence that I’ve seen, because there’s no evidence of a depraved mind other than speculation and unicorn dust. Manslaughter, on the other hand, should be a straightforward exercise for them (although with this crew, it’s hard to be sure).

    (2) Has the State disproved self-defense, beyond a reasonable doubt. This really means has the State disproved ANY SINGLE element, of self-defense, beyond a reasonable doubt. The only shot for this I see is if they can prove that Martin’s aggravated battery of Zimmerman was in response to some provocation on Zimmerman’s part that a reasonable and prudent person would have interpreted as a threat of imminent death or great bodily harm. Following someone does not rise to this level–no one ever died or suffered great bodily harm because they were followed, and there’s no evidence whatever of what harm, if any, Zimmerman intended to cause Martin.

    If the State cannot disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, then self-defense stands. And if self-defense stands it is an absolute defense against the charge of either murder 2 or manslaughter.

    Not guilty, justifiable use of force in self defense.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      legacyrepublican in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Andrew,

      Funny you should say that about unicorns.

      There is this Doritos commercial that is kinda how the state of FL is prosecuting GZ. Thinking they are doing one thing and getting a different result.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3usaGfn7r0w

      Thought it might bring you a laugh.

      DennisD in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 29, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      “The only shot for this I see is if they can prove that Martin’s aggravated battery of Zimmerman was in response to some provocation on Zimmerman’s part that a reasonable and prudent person would have interpreted as a threat of imminent death or great bodily harm.”

      Are we talking about a criminal act such as pointing a gun at him or threatening to shoot him? Hypothetically, what non-criminal act/provocation would someone reasonably consider life threatening and thus act in kind?

        DennisD in reply to DennisD. | June 30, 2013 at 12:06 am

        In thinking about this, if someone has a reasonable belief that his body or life is in peril, loses his life in a struggle and his belief was wrong, why wouldn’t his killer have a justifiable claim to self-defense? I’m not sure I can think of an example of this which is why I asked if you were addressing a criminal act in your answer to fogflyer, but such a case does seem possible.

          Wolverine in reply to DennisD. | June 30, 2013 at 4:52 am

          Florida has a fix for this dilemma, to defeat the person’s claim of self defense, the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that person was engaged in a foreceable felony.

          So, in you hypothetical, even if the dead guy had a reasonable belief that he was in danger of life and limb, he wasn’t, so the non-dead guy could still defend himself from the dead guy’s mistaken acts.

          It is difficult to think of a case in which someone has a reasonable fear of death or grave bodily injury when the other person had not committed a forceable felony. That is the power of the reasonableness standard I think.

Lady Penguin | June 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I want to thank you for your excellent analysis and summarizing of this case. It’s been great to catch some of the “Perry Mason” moments. I loved your input and discussion on the jurors. Agreed with your perceptions about the people.

When this story first hit the headlines it seemed clear that there were ulterior motives involved in even making a case out of it. It was used to foment racial hatred and stir the pot in an election year where race was the only way an election could be won. They succeeded.

The media driven narrative and control by the race baiters is quite similar to the Duke LaCrosse case – sans the corrupt district attorney. As an RN, once I saw the abrasions on the back of Zimmerman’s head it was fairly obvious someone had been pounding his head on the concrete…

Knowing that there are people like you and Dr. Jacobson, learned individuals out there standing for the Rule of law and moral principles, gives the rest of us hope that all is not lost in this country.

[…] occurring now. Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion has too many posts to list, but has a good index of them here. Sister Toldjah has #GZtrial: State tries to discredit own witness after favorable defense testimony […]

ParalegalGirl | June 29, 2013 at 8:38 pm

When R. Jeantel testified, she stated she was fixing her hair while talking with Trayvon on the phone. Did she ever specify if she was listening via speaker phone or ear buds? Was she cradeling the phone on her shoulder? I’m just curious, as this would significantly affect how well she could have heard the conversation, especially any dialogue that Trayvon allegedly had with Zimmerman.

Also, in her deposition or earlier interviews (not sure where i heard it), didn’t she say she heard Trayvon say “What are you looking at?” or something of the sort, which later changed to “Why are you following me?” Couldn’t Trayvon have encountered someone else before he went back to confront Zimmerman? The one witness said she heard what sounded like a 3 way conversation. I am just wondering if there was someone else who crossed paths with Tryavon that night right before the fight who isn’t coming forward.

KingofArizona | June 29, 2013 at 8:55 pm

As defense counsel, I would not recall Rachel to the stand. The prosecution could lead her around to its heart’s content, and she is the perfect witness to be lead. Risk far too great, gain not that much, especially in light of how the trial has gone, so far.

    Harperman in reply to KingofArizona. | June 29, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    They won’t recall Dee Dee. There is no need to. Her credibility has been blown out of the water so badly she couldn’t sell a used Popsicle to a two year old.

Any theories on what the purpose of the clubhouse cameras footage was?
I am sure it has something to do with a timeline, but I wonder what?

    kringeesmom in reply to fogflyer. | June 30, 2013 at 12:32 am

    I’m not sure, but it was riveting testimony.

    Was it a flashligt? headlights? GZ headlights? Another resident’s headlights? How do you prove what it is.

    Shame that they didn’t have a camera for the mailbox kiosk, that could have shown TM lurking about, per RJ’s testimony.

    Timeline may not work so well, as O’Mara shot down the time stamps on the video pretty effectively. The best timeline evidence is gonna come from the NEN, 911 calls and cellphone records.

    Our friend tmason seems to think it “proves” that Zimmerman’s flashlight had been on earlier (he’s certain that that’s Zimmerman’s flashlight we see going past the clubhouse window), and that since it wasn’t on by the time it was all over and the police came, that he must have switched it off in order to sneak up on Trayvon and gun him down in cold blood. Proving that it was a premeditated act and that Zimmerman was the initial aggressor.

    I know, I know. But that’s really all he’s got. Poor tmason. Bless his heart.

kringeesmom | June 29, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Thanks Andrew! I’ve been following your twitter feed while I watch the trial.

I’ve been watching since jury selection and have made it my #1 priority. My kids have learned that they are not allowed to speak to me after 8 CST, but that I will be available during bench conferences/breaks/lunchtime. My housekeeping has suffered as well.

I was a Sr. Claims Examiner for a commercial lines insurer. I handled high $ and litigated claim files. Some from the day the loss was reported until the verdict was in. While I’m not a lawyer, (far from it), I attended depositions, directed defense counsel activities, spoke with lots of plaintiff attorneys and got yelled at by a judge or two (usually for not offering enough $$). I’ve attended a trials and been part of trial strategy sessions.

I did handle self defense claims from a liability perspective and even attended a criminal trial (for attempted murder) of my carrier’s insured.

If I were still in the insurance business, this case could very well have landed on my desk, (on behalf of the HOA).

I’ve been watching the trial with my claims examiner eyes.

I think O’Mara and West are doing a bang up job. Starting with getting the Self Defense jury instructions read to the potential jurors two (maybe even three times) to the last question prior to Friday’s break.

BDLR’s drama queen “shot to the heart” question came across as wounded vindictive schoolboy.

The RJ story about the Crump statement and sworn statement in Sabryna’s living room has me gobsmacked. It flies in the face of the way I was trained to take statements, especially statements of (at the time) minors. I think that BDLR worked overtime to cover up the 16 vs. 19 issue during discovery and must have known about it at the time he took her sworn statement in April. RJ’s actual age was withheld from the defense until just before trial.

The ethics of this has me seething angry, and I hope that there can be some sort of recourse, discipline etc. This sure doesn’t sound like SOP to me. The fact that RJ’s sworn statement was a major factor in the charging of GZ makes me ill.

Is the jury restricted to finding Zimmerman guilty or not guilty of Murder 2 or is manslaughter also on the table? Do the prosecutor and/defense have to agree to allowing a verdict on manslaughter? Thanks.

    fogflyer in reply to JLT. | June 29, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Been answered many times, but yes, manslaughter is an included charge in murder2 and the jury will receive instructions for it also.

    No offense, but I’ve answered this one so many times the last few days I got tired of typing it repeatedly and just did a blog post on it over at the Law of Self Defense blog:

    Zimmerman Trial: If State can’t get murder 2, can they get manslaughter? Yes . . . and no

    http://is.gd/4PZJEm

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Thanks, Andrew. The blog item you linked to explained the matter quite clearly.

      Actually it will be quite easy to disprove GZ’s claim of self defense:

      Skip the article and take a look at the embedded video in the link: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/trayvon-martin-trial-quote-police-interview

      This is GZ’s interview three days after the shooting. Once the detective is put on the stand and this interview plays it will become painfully obvious that GZ’s making up facts and skipping over obvious holes in his testimony.

      It will be manslaughter he is found guilty of.

        Harperman in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 12:25 am

        LMAO You think Esquire magazine, one of the most racist rags in the world, is a legitimate counter to what many professional trial lawyers have been saying here? As I have pointed out before on the day five blog you have little understanding of the self defense laws. Like the people I was talking about in a post above you don’t understand the self defense laws nor will you listen to them when they are explained to you.

        I am assuming you are black and like many blacks you refuse to look at the facts of the demographics. Although they are a small percentage of the population blacks account for the largest portion of violent crime and property crime in this country. Trevon Martin shows all the characteristics of a black wannabe gang banger. His cell phone text records alone show that.

        Now before you call me a racist bigot let me explain a few things. My second wife was a Mexican who immigrated legally to the United States. My two adopted children are Hispanic of Mexican origin. The wife of one of my brothers is Hispanic of Mexican origin as is her son whom my brother adopted. Another of my sisters in law in Vietnamese. The father of her daughter whom my brother adopted was black and his grandson is one quarter Vietnamese and three quarters black. Christmas at our house couldn’t be more American melting pot if you planned it.

        Oh and besides that I am an openly gay conservative male who has been living with the same man for 13 years.

          kringeesmom in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 12:41 am

          Just a guess, but I’ll bet that the food at these gatherings is amazing. Melting pot indeed.

          To one up you on family relationships… I am my daughter’s great-aunt, and my sister-in-law is her grandmother.

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 12:44 am

          I should have added that my side of the family is English, Irish, Scott, French and a tiny fraction of Native American that dates back to the 1700s.
          As I said, American melting pot and proud of it.

          Sunlight78 in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 12:48 am

          and even if you were a Conservative White man married to a Conservative White woman with the traditional 2 kids, there should not be a presumption of racist even if you lived in the heart of old Dixie.

          The PC thing has gone too far (similar to the accusations of being a RED back in the 50s)when people have to try to justify why they are not racists (showing that yes they are also a minority or have minorities in their family or etc).

          I still think MLK was right that hopefully some day people will judge people by the content of their character but the money and power of race witch hunting is such I fear it will never happen (there is too much money to be made claiming people or companies are racist for people like Al and Jesse).

          Sunlight78 in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 12:50 am

          My Grandfather always said we were American mutts. I do agree the food at your family gatherings sounds like it would be fantastic. I make wicked good Japanese food for our family gatherings.

          Sunlight78 in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 12:50 am

          My Grandfather always said we were American mutts. I do agree the food at your family gatherings sounds like it would be fantastic. I make wicked good Japanese food for our family gatherings.

          Sunlight78 in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 12:53 am

          Apologizes for the duplication. The submit button appeared to freeze and I hit it one too many times.

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 12:57 am

          Well said Sunlight78. Too many Blacks today forget MLK’s message or willfully twist it. He didn’t want special treatment; he wanted, and sacrificed much, for equal treatment.

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 12:59 am

          Also for Sinlight68. I love japanese food. I spent a year in Japan while in the service. It was one of the best years of my life an experience of a lifetime. I was 20 years old.

          tmason in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 1:05 am

          Only reason why I linked to Esquire was for the interview, not for the article.

          Anyway, did you actually play the audio of the interview?

          Doesn’t sound like it. Play the audio and then tell me how Zimmerman won’t be found guilty of manslaughter.

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 1:22 am

          Yes I listened to the interview. I have heard it before. Being a gun enthusiast and a person who hasn’t left home without a firearm on my body for over thirty six years I always follow such cases closely when I can. I see nothing incriminating in that interview. What was it you wished to point out but neglected to tell us?

          tmason in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 1:48 am

          In the interview at about 10m:30s he says that he is at Retreat View Circle (when the dispatcher asks for his phone number in the 911 call).

          At 10m:50s in he tells the detective that he is walking back to his car (in the 911 call he is telling the 911 dispatcher where the police can meet him at).

          At 11m:00s the detective then starts timing the time Zimmerman said he is walking back to his car while on the phone with the 911 dispatcher. At this point Zimmerman says he essentially gets near his car but does not get back in.

          At 13m:05s in the video the detective points out it is 84s (about a minute and a half) from when he told the detective he was walking back to his car. As the detective points out, he is getting wet in the rain, Trayvon has already ran away, and the police was on their way. GZ was simple going to tell the police where he was at when they got there. Period. According to the interview he claims he DID NOT pursue Trayvon.

          So…

          Why not get in your car and go to a well lit area?

          Why does he now go to find “an address”? AFTER he hung up from the 911 dispatcher and told them to have the police call him. He could have been in his car, in safety, and moved it to a well let, safe location.

          Manslaughter.

          “Why not get in your car and go to a well lit area?

          Why does he now go to find “an address”? AFTER he hung up from the 911 dispatcher and told them to have the police call him. He could have been in his car, in safety, and moved it to a well let, safe location.”

          So walking in the rain is now proof that GZ attacked TM?

          Well OK. How about walking in the rain is proof that TM attacked GZ?

          ====

          Why would GZ need to go to a “safe” location? He had lost TM and the police were coming. What could be safer than waiting for police (minutes away) in such a situation?

        Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 12:29 am

        Yet more nonsense probative of nothing.
        Hey tmoron…er tmason….he had been asked by the dispatcher for addresses a couple times during the call. I wonder why? Do you??

        Does the t stand for trainwreck?

        You have no place here at the table with the adults.

          Did you actually listen to the entire audio? Play from 10m:30s in.

          Then talk to me after you here both the 911 audio and the police officer’s questions after that.

        Harperman in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 1:57 am

        Sorry tmason but at no point in that interview or that 911 tape does GZ say he is back at his truck.

          tmason in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 2:08 am

          Listen closely, GZ says he is back at Retreat View Circle where his Truck was parked; the detective SPECIFICALLY asks “why didn’t you get back in your car” to which GZ replies “I was waiting, [..] , I had light there.”

          He doesn’t say “I am not near my car or anything like that.”

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 2:29 am

          GZ does say he is “near” his truck. Define his definition of near. Is it relative to how far away from it he was at the max? Is it 5Ft? Is it 50Ft? Is it 100 FT? Is it 100 yards? Define near as GZ meant it. If he had been 500 yards from his truck then he may have viewed 100 yards as “near” because he was 4/5ths of the way back.
          What he never said was that he was AT his truck as tmason tries to imply. Nor does he say exactly how far from his truck he is in any definitive measurement.
          Near or close is relative to the attitude of the speaker. Let me put that in terms I, as a dedicated shooter, am used to. A close target to me when shooting a .22 rifle is 50 to 100 yards. To some it is 25 yards and 100 yards is a long way. To me a close target when shooting a 22-250 is 300 yards. To some that is a long distance. For me a long distance with a 22-250 is 600 yards or better.
          I am not trying to brag about my shooting skills. I am trying to make the point that “close” or “near” is relative to the speaker.
          GZ said he was “near” his truck. Define near.

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 2:50 am

          Another thing. Can you relate to me exactly what you did last night to the minute without making any mistakes? Can you relate exactly what you did or what you were thinking even when you are lacking the stress of having just taken a human life? No you cannot. Yet you expect a person who is under extreme stress to remember every instant with precision.
          It seems to me that you have never been under extreme stress. When I was serving in the United States Coast Guard I often had to write detailed reports of some very hairy search and rescue missions. The stress on those missions was extreme to say the least, especially in heavy weather when the boats you were boarding were being pounded to toothpicks on the rocks. It was very common for the reports of five or six people to differ greatly even though they had been in the same place at the same time. Often, in retrospect, we read each others reports and realized just where we had been incorrect ourselves. Remembering the details of stressful events is not really all that easy especially when suffering the effect post traumatic stress.
          Police understand this.

          tmason in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 2:52 am

          You must think the Jury is going to play word games in deliberation.

          “What’s near?”

          “I dunno.”

          “It wasn’t explicitly defined in trial so not guilty!”

          You have what’s call a map of the area; the detectives already establish, based on the 911 phone call and GZ’s own words, that he was 30-40 ft. MAX from where he initially parked his vehicle. He said himself that #1 he was heading back to his car after TM ran off (while on the 911 phone call) and #2 he eventually ends up back on Retreat Circle (his words during the police interview).

          You can make a reasonable guess that he was back near his vehicle.

          tmason in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 3:02 am

          As for your points on stress, I actually do understand this.

          Your problem (really GZ’s problem and why he will be found guilty of manslaughter at least) is the fact that from the get-go he is lying about BASIC FACTS. He is claiming he NEVER chased TM (per his written statement that night onward).

          You mean we can’t expect GZ to at least remember whether he was chasing TM or not?

          Folks are so desperate to fill holes in this guy’s story it isn’t funny.

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 3:19 am

          What do you not understand about the difference between following and chasing?

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 3:30 am

          tmason says,”Folks are so desperate to fill holes in this guy’s story it isn’t funny.”
          And other people are so trying so hard too paint this little drug using, wanna be gang banger thug as an angelic innocent.
          This is consistent from the beginning with the press releases of Trevon’s photos as twelve year old which they tried to imply were recent photos. The family has still not released a true photo of Trevon at 17. NBC edited the 911 tapes to present GZ as a racist. The spin doctoring here from Trevon’s side is disgusting to say the least.
          The jury may not see it but the rest of us have seen true photos of him. We have also read his text messages where he talks about dope, buying guns, buying dope and beating people up when they didn’t “bleed enough 4 me.”
          Lets talk about spin doctoring Mr. tmason.

          tmason in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 4:00 am

          What does anything you said about TM have to do with what TM was doing that night? Oh, nothing.

          We have none other that GZ himself saying (on the 911 call, not his written statements or anything afterward here he has a reason to lie) that TM was only running away. On that day was TM committing any crimes? No.

          Does TM have every moral and legal right to be where he was? Yes.

          So cut the nonsense about his past.

          Wolverine in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

          tmason needs to get out a map. Zimmerman was NOT parked on Retreat View Circle as tmason claims, He was parked on Twin Trees. The walkway extends from Twin Trees to the “T”, then to Retreat View Circle. So, in the video tmason references, when Zimmerman says it was at Retreat View Circle, he was 200+ from his truck. To get to his truck he has to walk back past the “T”.

          Of course he wants to be near the light. He WANTS the police to see him.

        healthguyfsu in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 2:03 am

        That piece is as delusional and hare-brained as you are. It is very telling…but only about what kind of pre-conceived biases you have..one born of a mis-guided and racist notion to “defend your race” (presumably from other evil races) rather than observing the law and the facts of the case.

        You do realize that police routinely question with aggressive pressure like that all the time right? It’s part of trying to find a hole in the story to lead to an arrest and conviction. They found none, Zimmerman passed, and that’s why he wasn’t charged. There is no legitimate conspiracy for white privilege, no conspiracy for the police burying evidence, and no reason to start a riot. This case was pretty open and shut until the race-baiters started demanding arrests. They got their wish and our result is this farce of a trial.

          tmason in reply to healthguyfsu. | June 30, 2013 at 2:10 am

          Again, forget the article, sheesh. As I originally stated I posted the link to the article only because they had the embed link for the audio.

          As for not pressing charges, the detective wanted to press charges but was overruled.

        Actually it will be quite easy to disprove GZ’s claim of self defense

        The prosecution has had five days so far, and has still not given us any evidence that GZ was not acting in self-defense.

        When do you expect them to get around to it?

Andrew: I just found a Yahoo News article that I think is fresh that still says this:
“a Seminole County grand jury indicted Zimmerman on second degree murder charges”.

I’ve read here many times there was NO GJ (b/c the prosecution couldn’t risk not getting such over-charging voted in by a GJ).

Don’t the MSM have ANY responsibility to report this kind of factual information accurately??

    Yes, I’ve seen that one. It was published in Yahoo News 20 hours ago and has already been picked up and quoted verbatim in a number of other news and blog outlets.

    The killing became a national story after Sanford police refused to charge Zimmerman with any crime, saying they had no evidence to counter his self-defense claim. Forty-four days later a Seminole County grand jury indicted Zimmerman on second degree murder charges.

    They lie. The MSM has been and is still lying about this whole thing. And they get away with it, so why not?

    It’s hopeless.

    And no, there was NO grand jury. One was convened, but the new special prosecutor on the case (Corey) cancelled it less than 24 hours before it was slated to start hearing evidence.

avwh, just Googled ‘a Seminole County grand jury indicted Zimmerman on second degree murder charges’.Turns out you are correct but Yahoo picked it up from the Christian Science Monitor. This is what they wrote: ‘The killing became a national story after Sanford police refused to charge Zimmerman with any crime, saying they had no evidence to counter his self-defense claim. Forty-four days later a Seminole County grand jury indicted Zimmerman on second degree murder charges.’. Unbelievable! They actually give a timeline for the GJ indictment. Heres a link to the story: http://m.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2013/0629/Trayvon-Martin-case-How-Rachel-Jeantel-went-from-star-witness-to-train-wreck-video/(page)/1.

I am a criminal defense lawyer in practice for 38 years. I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade here, but I have a question for Andrew or anyone else who would like to address it. Immediately after the shooting, Zimmerman gave a written statement that included the following description of the moment when he pulled the trigger:

“At this point I felt the suspect reach for my now exposed firearm and say, “Your gonna die tonight Mother Fucker!” I unholstered my firearm in fear for my life as he had assured he was going to kill me and fired one shot into his torso. The suspect sat back allowing me to sit up and said, “You got me!” At this point I slid out from underneath him and got on top of the suspect holding his hands away from his body.”

This, to me, is the most critical piece of evidence in the case, and if I were Zimmerman’s lawyer, it would make me very uncomfortable. It just doesn’t sound plausible. Even assuming that Martin grabbed for the gun, why would he announce his intentions in this way? It sounds like a script for a bad TV show. It also sounds like the fabricated statement of someone who knows enough about the law of self-defense to know what the standard is (i.e., a reasonable belief that one is in imminent danger of suffering great bodily injury or death), and realizes what kind of evidence is needed to meet that standard (“as he had assured he was going to kill me”). And the “You got me” part REALLY sounds like a bad TV script (more like from a 1950’s Cowboy show). If I were the prosecutor, I would put this statement up on a billboard in front of the jury, and hammer it to the max. I think a very persuasive argument could be made that this statement proves that Zimmerman himself knew that the beating he was receiving from Martin (however severe it may have been) was not sufficient to meet the standard for use of deadly force, so he had to embellish his account to include an actual death threat. Does anyone share my concern? Thank you.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Neil Morse. | June 30, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Is this you?
    http://www.morsemorseandmorselaw.com/

    I’m no lawyer but I’m guessing the laws and burden of proof in FL are very different from those in a very unfriendly gun state like CA.

    tmason in reply to Neil Morse. | June 30, 2013 at 2:02 am

    There’s also the fact that Zimmerman said he pulled TM’s hands away from his body but when everyone found him TM’s hands was under his body holding his chest. GZ never once mentions that after he shot TM he was still moving around.

    On top of that the whole “you got me!” is a complete lie as TM’s lungs collapsed immediately after getting shot (from Forensics).

    It’s hilarious everyone is thinking GZ is going to get off without even seeing how all of various statements GZ has made is going to come across to the Jury.

    Manslaughter…

      divemedic in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 8:23 am

      As a paramedic with over 24 years of medical experience, I can tell you that lungs don’t collapse “immediately.” It takes one of two things to collapse lungs:
      1 a hole in the chest wall that is larger than the windpipe (trachea). For a person TM’s size, this would be on the order of 12-14mm. A 9mm pistol bullet, for various reasons, will not make a hole large enough to cause this.
      2 blood fills the pleural cavity. Since according to the autopsy report, the right ventricle was punctured, TM’s blood pressure likely reached zero almost immediately, thus not filling the pleural cavity with blood very quickly.

        The autopsy report states explicitly that they found 1300 milliliters in the right pleural cavity (1.3 liters, about 1.4 quarts) and about 1000 milliliters in the left pleural cavity (1 liter, about 1.05 quarts) of blood.

        Also, we don’t know the size of the puncture in the right ventricle–a smaller puncture would have jetted high pressure blood in smaller incremental volume and a larger puncture would have dispensed lower pressure blood in much larger incremental volume.

        Either way, isn’t the outcome the same? Two-and-a-half quarts in the pleural cavity of someone lying face down on the ground. I’m fairly confident that those are sufficient circumstances to collapse both lungs and effectively stop respiration.

        But I’ve been wrong before (just ask my first wife 🙂 ).

        As it happens, I just did a blog post on the autopsy report and the related medical issues over at Law of Self Defense this morning:

        “Zimmerman Trial: Evidentiary Flashback: AUTOPSY REPORT: Clinical cause of death of Trayvon Martin”
        http://is.gd/etUdSK

        IMPORTANT: If you go and take a look, and I hope you do, please come back here if you wish to comment, as I won’t be monitoring comments over there over the course of the day–just too busy. If you comment there today, it will be into a vacuum.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          kentuckyliz in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm

          After reading the coroner’s report, I concluded that it took some time for the blood to fill up the pleural cavity and collapse the lungs. That is why GZ restrained TM and asked for help restraining him when the first person arrived on the scene. There would have been a little while where TM still could have acted.

          Wolverine in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm

          I’d like to her the ME’s testimony and even then we might not get a definitive answer.

          Assuming that Martin’s heart didn’t initially go into fibrillation, it will keep pumping until ischemia stops it. This can be either from insufficient oxygenation of the blood or loss of blood pressure.

          Interestingly, loss of blood pressure occurs when about 2.5 liters of blood has been lost. Since this is roughly the amount of blood found in the pleural cavity, this suggests that the cause of death was hypovolemia. Normal cardiac output is about 5 liters/minute, so even if all of the blood were going out the hole in the right ventricle this would take 1/2 minute. That is clearly not the case so it is reasonable to estimate that Martin lived for minute(s) after being shot.

          If it is possible that he was alive on the order of a minute or more, then oxygenation via the lungs can come into play. Typically, one has a couple of minutes oxygen reserve held in the blood (otherwise every time we held our breath we would pass out). Here we have both a decreasing blood flow and decreasing oxygenation. I don’t know if anyone can say with any confidence which one wins out in the end.

      PackerBronco in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      As I read your multitudinous posts on this site, I can only come to the conclusion that you think GZ has to prove his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. You keep on posting theories and arguing they “prove” his guilt.

      But everything you’ve posted has an equally reasonable, if not more reasonable, interpretation assuming GZ is innocent.

      And GZ has the presumption of innocence — which his something you are not giving him.

      Voluble in reply to tmason. | July 1, 2013 at 11:12 am

      People die the way you describe in movies more often than real life. In real life they linger and are capable of all sorts of things. Lungs don’t fill up instantaneously, especially when the heart filling them is not pumping at capacity.

    Harperman in reply to Neil Morse. | June 30, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Odd that a trial lawyer doesn’t understand that life often resembles a bad TV script. In fact real life often makes bad TV scripts look good! LOL

    txantimedia in reply to Neil Morse. | June 30, 2013 at 2:11 am

    No offense, Neil, but you’re obviously not familiar with self defense laws. The mere suggestion that you are going to punch someone is justification for drawing your weapon and telling the attacker you intend to use if it he advances. The action of swinging your fist toward another’s face is justification for the use of deadly force.

    If you listen to the 911 calls Zimmerman cried for help for more than 40 seconds before firing. If you look at his injuries, he was clearly beaten badly. That is more than sufficient for self defense, even if you could prove he started the altercation (and the evidence doesn’t support that conclusion.

    Whether or not his explanation for the shot makes sense to you the fact is his actions are justified under the law and he should never have been charged with the crime. Which is precisely what the Sanford Police Department concluded before the race baiters jumped in and made this a national case.

      tmason in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 2:21 am

      Riigghtt, so according to your legal theory:

      1. You can chase someone
      2. Start an altercation with said person who was running away from you
      3. Then once you lose the fight pull out a gun and kill that person.

      and not be convicted of manslaughter. Uh huh.

      Guess you will be surprised in a month or two.

        Harperman in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 2:57 am

        Yet again you demonstrate that you do not understand the laws of self defense.
        You also apparently misunderstand stalking laws. Following someone is not stalking unless you follow the same person repeatedly over a period of time.

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 2:58 am

          Oh and following is not “chasing”.

          tmason in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 3:05 am

          Who brought up stalking? Never said TM had a right to attack GZ (if that were the case) but that TM’s actions given the circumstances still didn’t warrant GZ shooting him.

          Looks like we will see your theory of self-defense falls apart in a few months.

        DngrMse in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 9:13 am

        I’d like to correct a few things TMason has alleged, and are simply not true.

        “We have none other that GZ himself saying (on the 911 call, not his written statements or anything afterward here he has a reason to lie) that TM was only running away.”

        1. It was not a 911 call. GZ called the non emergency number.

        2. While in his truck, and on the phone with the police, he reported TM has circled his truck. (Next day reenactment with detectives)

        “GZ never once mentions that after he shot TM he was still moving around.”

        Wrong again. (Next day reenactment with the detectives)

        It seems to me, TMason, that you’re hearing what you want to hear, and not all that was actually said, or testified too.

      kringeesmom in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 9:11 am

      When I listen to the NEN call, I hear the dispatcher ask GZ, which way did he go, GZ opens the door of his truck to go and see. I hear wind and breathing sounds. The dispatcher asks, “are you following him?” GZ says yes? but doesn’t say where TM is (perhaps he can’t see him?) TM was running before GZ got out of his truck and could have had quite a lead over GZ.

      When the dispatcher says “you don’t have to do that” GZ says “OK”, you hear the wind for a second or two and then no more wind sound. There is still conversation but no wind/breathing noise.

      RJ testified that she heard TM running. Heavy breathing and wind noises.

      This indicates to me that they were both travelling in the same direction and that GZ had turned around to walk in the opposite direction of the wind.

      Once GZ had turned around was he an immediate threat to TM? Nope.

    this statement proves that Zimmerman himself knew that the beating he was receiving from Martin (however severe it may have been) was not sufficient to meet the standard for use of deadly force

    I’m sorry?

    How close, in your world, does someone have to come to killing you before you’re allowed to defend yourself with your weapon? Do you have to be more than halfway to dead? Three quarters?

    You may well be a criminal defense attorney, but I’m guessing not in Florida.

    DennisD in reply to Neil Morse. | June 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I think you bring out a good point if they can somehow damage Z’z credibility. But if they can do that then any story he may’ve related becomes a question. I also don’t think that “You got me” or “You got it” or “You’re going to die tonight….” is necessarily fantastic or as easy as you think to deride.

      Voluble in reply to DennisD. | July 1, 2013 at 11:18 am

      I would interpret “you got me” as a way of saying that he gives up and please don’t shoot me anymore. I will cause you no further harm.

      And even were it an embellishment it is not one Zimmerman would have been likely to add as it did nothing to help his case.

    The very notion that it is not credible that a person who would dish out the vicious, sustained, and potentially life-threatening aggravated battery that Martin delivered to Zimmerman could also have said the words “Your gonna die tonight, MF’er,” or reach for his victims’s gun (especially when we know Martin had a fondness for handguns) is . . . well, how can I put it . . . not credible. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

txantimedia | June 30, 2013 at 2:17 am

tmason, I have am quite familiar with this case having transcribed Zimmerman’s non-emergency call and all of his police interviews, constructed a timeline for the case and watched every video and listened to every audio multiple times, including the interview you cite. Zimmerman’s statements have been consistent throughout on all the important details. There have been some minor inconsistencies but nothing that rises to the level to question the important elements of his account.

BTW, if anyone wants to read those transcripts they are available on my blog – https://www.txantimedia.com/?s=transcript

    tmason in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 2:31 am

    I won’t dispute that Zimmerman may have said the same things over and over again; my point is that the statements he made simply doesn’t add up to the evidence that is available (or common sense, for that matter).

      Harperman in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 3:10 am

      Your point is hard to discern. It seems to be a combination of you don’t understand the laws of self defense. You don’t understand what the definition of stalking is. You don’t understand the fact that distance means different things to different people.
      To be quite frank your only understanding is that a non-white shot a black kid and nothing else matters to you. That is what it really boils down to you. If the races had been reversed you wouldn’t even be commenting here while I would be talking the same line I am in defense of the black shooter. To you it is about race. To me it about the American citizen’s right to self defense regardless of race. You are following this because a black kid was killed. I am following this because an American citizen is being persecuted for defending himself for political reasons. To paraphrase President Obama, “If I had a son he would look like Trevon Martin.”
      This has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with the race baiters playing their little games.

        tmason in reply to Harperman. | June 30, 2013 at 3:26 am

        Funny, point to where I brought up race.

        Oh, you can’t.

        I do find it interesting you will over-analyze a case which is quite simple. GZ is obviously lying about not chasing TM (you can clearly hear GZ chasing TM on the 911 phone call. Heck, even the non-emergency dispatcher heard this right away, in real time) yet you want to ignore that piece of the evidence.

        Now, what you should be asking yourself is why would GZ lie about that? Well, hmmmm, if he was chasing TM that would mean TM had every right to defend himself from another human being who was chasing him around a place he had every legal and moral right to be.

        It also erodes his claim of self-defense and he knows this. And I suspect you know as well.

          Harperman in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 3:36 am

          You keep using the word “chasing”. The simple use of that word shows your basic dishonesty. Chasing and following are two very different things. GZ was following TM, not “chasing” him.
          Now I am done here for the night. In AZ it is 1235 and it is past my bed time. I will be happy to take this up with you in the morning.

          tmason in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 3:51 am

          Uhuh, if he was simply “following” TM why is he out of breath on the 911 call after he admits to “following” him.

          You’re funny. Every criminal needs you around in their lives to explain away obvious lies.

          Harperman in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 4:10 am

          Mr. tmason I love a good debate and you have been a good adversary. So I have a proposal.
          If you are ever in AZ and GZ loses I will buy you a steak dinner and a couple of cold beers. If he wins you buy the same for me.
          Then we can make toasts to each other and slap each other on the back for being worthy adversaries.
          Good night.

          kentuckyliz in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm

          GZ was out of breath because the NEN dispatcher asked him to keep TM in sight, so he walked up to where the dog walk is (on an incline from the street), and his BMI was clinically obese (31), and when you’re fat and walking uphill it is aerobic exercise. I speak as a formerly obese (and still overweight) person with firsthand experience.

          Uncle Samuel in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm

          Mason, You can’t make a valid case for Zimmerman being an aggressor or CHASING poor little victim Trayvon on the basis of heavy breathing.

          Fact is, ANY breathing, especially while walking, is greatly amplified on a cell or cordless phone.

          Uncle Samuel in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm

          Mason, FURTHERMORE:
          You write: “We can also easily infer that he wasn’t simply “following” TM but “chasing” him.

          The evidence is so obvious that he was chasing TM it is hilarious anyone would try to tap dance around this.”

          Your inferences, conjectures and illusions are more in line with a fiction writer or a propagandist than an attorney.

          I’m not an attorney, though I have two daughters who are lawyers and one is a paralegal, but I can see you are not honestly dealing with facts in evidence, but trying to photo-shop it to fit your narrative – just like Crump and Parks.

          So, from now on, I’ll call you T. Mason Crump.

      txantimedia in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      @tmason

      I won’t dispute that Zimmerman may have said the same things over and over again; my point is that the statements he made simply doesn’t add up to the evidence that is available (or common sense, for that matter).

      Rather than dance for hours, how about if we get to the point?

      Matters such as his timing being off (which you’ve pointed out) or his locating certain events being not entirely accurate (which you’ve also pointed out) are of much less substance than the altercation from a self defense law point of view.

      n the interview at about 10m:30s he says that he is at Retreat View Circle (when the dispatcher asks for his phone number in the 911 call).

      In every call that Zimmerman made to the non-emergency number, dating back years, he always gave the address 1111 Retreat View Circle, which is the clubhouse. That’s because it would be the first thing you would see upon entering the complex. It doesn’t mean that’s where the event was taking place. In fact, he gives other addresses when he knows them and can more accurately describe the location of the suspect.

      In this instance he did not say he was at the clubhouse. He said, “The best address I can give you is 1111 Retreat View Circle.”

      Here’s the transcript if you don’t believe me. https://www.txantimedia.com/?p=1042

      You can download the audio and listen to it yourself if you think I haven’t accurately transcribed it.

      I’ve also provided an annotated copy that includes my interpretation of the sounds I heard on the tape. I probably spent upwards of sixty hours working on this, trying to get it as accurate as I could. (My wife wanted to kill me.)

      https://216.58.158.174/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/zimmerman_non-emergency_call_annotated5.pdf

      In the reenactment, he does have them pull in to the parking space in front of the clubhouse, just as he did that night, but he doesn’t say how long he was parked there.

      At 10m:50s in he tells the detective that he is walking back to his car (in the 911 call he is telling the 911 dispatcher where the police can meet him at).

      At 11m:00s the detective then starts timing the time Zimmerman said he is walking back to his car while on the phone with the 911 dispatcher. At this point Zimmerman says he essentially gets near his car but does not get back in.

      At 13m:05s in the video the detective points out it is 84s (about a minute and a half) from when he told the detective he was walking back to his car. As the detective points out, he is getting wet in the rain, Trayvon has already ran away, and the police was on their way. GZ was simple going to tell the police where he was at when they got there. Period. According to the interview he claims he DID NOT pursue Trayvon.

      So…

      Why not get in your car and go to a well lit area?

      You’d have to ask him that, which they will not be able to do. But there was no legal requirement for him to get back in his car.

      Your response to someone pointing out that he never said he was back at his truck is:

      Listen closely, GZ says he is back at Retreat View Circle where his Truck was parked; the detective SPECIFICALLY asks “why didn’t you get back in your car” to which GZ replies “I was waiting, [..] , I had light there.”

      He doesn’t say “I am not near my car or anything like that.”

      There’s two problems with this. First of all, his truck wasn’t parked at Retreat View Circle. It was parked at Twin Trees, near the sidewalk leading to the T. Second, claiming he was right by his truck and pointing to that as inconsistency when he never said that would take a defense attorney about 5 minutes to address.

      You continue:

      You must think the Jury is going to play word games in deliberation.

      “What’s near?”

      “I dunno.”

      “It wasn’t explicitly defined in trial so not guilty!”

      I’ve been on juries. This is exactly what juries do. When you have someone’s life in your hands, you take it seriously and consider every piece of evidence carefully. It’s not a game.

      On one jury I changed my vote from guilty to not guilty simply because other jurors were browbeating two women who were having a problem deciding. I told the jury members, you can browbeat them into submission, but you won’t get me to change my vote, so you’d better try to convince them, or this jury is hung.

      You have what’s call a map of the area; the detectives already establish, based on the 911 phone call and GZ’s own words, that he was 30-40 ft. MAX from where he initially parked his vehicle.

      Yes, but it’s ten times that distance to the clubhouse, which is apparently where you think he was parked. It’s approximately 400 feet from the parking space in front of the clubhouse to the sidewalk where he parked his car. You can clearly see where he parked in the video. In fact he points to a truck and says I was parked just to the left of that truck.

      He said himself that #1 he was heading back to his car after TM ran off (while on the 911 phone call) and #2 he eventually ends up back on Retreat Circle (his words during the police interview).

      No, he never said that. Please provide a precise cite. Remember, I have transcribed all of this and have ready access to every word he spoke in police interviews.

      You can make a reasonable guess that he was back near his vehicle.

      You can, and it places him a long distance away from where you place him. You’ve clearly not studied the evidence as I have.

      Why does he now go to find “an address”? AFTER he hung up from the 911 dispatcher and told them to have the police call him. He could have been in his car, in safety, and moved it to a well let, safe location.

      Because the police are coming and he wants to be accurate in his reporting when they get there.

      If you’re serious that you’re open minded, you might want to look at this:
      http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/txantimedia-1472782-trayvon-shooting-timeline/

      I put together a timeline that compares witness statements to Zimmerman’s statements. You will see that, with few exceptions, his account accords perfectly with those of the relevant witnesses.

      There are a couple that do not, but one insists there were three shots, which we know to be false, so her testimony can be discounted entirely as unreliable. The other one has been destroyed on cross by O’Mara as utterly biased.

      For interested readers, here are the transcripts:
      1st tape – https://www.txantimedia.com/?p=1025
      2nd tape – https://www.txantimedia.com/?p=1035
      3rd tape – https://www.txantimedia.com/?p=1079

      I also provide a download of the audio, so you’re welcome to check the accuracy of my transcripts against the actual audio.

        Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm

        Terrific work, tx.
        tmason isn’t actually open-minded. He’s just a troll pretending to know stuff that isn’t, you know, factual.
        remember the flashlight that was going to convict GZ?

        I respect your patience and admire your energy documenting the case. Wish I had more of both.
        tmason hasn’t presented anything here in good faith and has displayed considerable ignorance.

        You don’t expect a cogent response from him, do you?

          When I write on my own blog or comment on others’ my goal is not to change my adversary’s mind or to educate them. It’s to provide information to the many “silent” readers who are open-minded and might be swayed by my arguments.

          IOW, tmason provides a convenient foil to advance my case.

          And you’re doing champion’s work at it. I daresay, if you didn’t have tmason as a foil, you’d have invent him

          hmmmmm . . . . .

          🙂

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

I’m new here and I was wondering something. I apologize if this has already been discussed. What purpose is there in calling Martin’s parents as witnesses? Is it to testify that they believe that it’s their son’s voice screaming on the 911 tapes? As far as I can tell, that would be a waste of time as Zimmerman’s family will testify that it’s their son screaming for help resulting in a wash as there is no expert testimony to say one way or the other.

Now aside from trying to manipulate the emotions of the jury what else could possibly be gained? Wouldn’t examining Martin’s character, i.e., “He was a good boy, he was my baby boy” etc, etc allow the defense to bring up Martin’s trouble in school, the drugs, the gangster persona?

Sorry if my question is naive, but I honestly can’t figure out any benefit to the prosecution having Martin’s parents testify.

    I won’t pretend to be able to read the defense’s mind, but I imagine at the very least it might be productive to have them testify as to the circumstances of the BDLR interview of Rachel Jeantel at Sabrina Fulton’s home (Trayvon Martin’s home, until soon before his death), a most unusual setting for taking a witness statement in my experience.

    Although there’s no need, really to call back Jeantel, driving home how coercive was the environment in which she gave the statement that provided the foundation for the affidavit of probable cause might well be worthwhile.

    Incidentally, if you haven’t seen the actual affidavit of probable cause you can find it here:

    “Zimmerman Trial: Evidentiary Flashback: Affidavit for Probable Cause–Count the untruths”
    http://is.gd/PF2obg

    There may be a range of other possible questions they could be asked as well, but obviously putting the grieving parents on the stand is a sensitive matter and I certainly wouldn’t spend “jury capital” on ancillary issues or simple fishing. Go where the gold is, then get out.

    Or they may not end up using them as witnesses, at all, who knows.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Grinreaper in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Are Martin’s parents even on a witness list? If so, why are they allowed to attend the trial?

        MegK in reply to Grinreaper. | June 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm

        From what I understand the victim’s next of kin are always allowed to be in the courtroom, even if they are witnesses.

        Wolverine in reply to Grinreaper. | June 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm

        Yes, the judge ruled on that the first thing Monday. Martin’s parents can be in the courtroom even though they are on the witness list. Zimmerman’s parents can not be in the courtroom. If I remember correctly, Zimmerman’s parents on on the State’s witness list. Zimmerman’s attorneys insinuated that the State had put them on their witness list in order to keep them out of the courtroom.

        Yes, Martin family can stay. I have a blog post on this very issue at http://www.lawofselfdefense.com.

        “Zimmerman Trial: Why Can Martin’s Parents Stay in Courtroom, But Zimmerman’s Family Can’t? FL Law Explained” http://is.gd/ayIEcR

        As before, if you want to comment on that’s awesome, but please do it here, as I won’t be observing comments there in a timely fashion.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Mister Natural in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 11:52 am

      yeah but I NEED miss dee dee to return to the stand. i hsven’t enjoyed such a lousy liar since jodi arias took the stand

      Perhaps I was unclear or maybe I’m just not understanding your response. I can see the benefits to the defense in calling Martin’s parents either by establishing the coercive environment in which Jeantel’s statement was given, undermining the affidavit of probable cause, or by introducing Martin’s negative history. I just don’t see any benefit to the prosecution, which seems odd to me that a prosecution witness has no discernible benefit to their case.

      Although, given the way the trial has been progressing so far, you could say that it would fall in line with the state’s plan. I would think that Martin’s parents wouldn’t be called, but the state seems determined to prove Zimmerman’s case for him.

TRAYVON MARTIN AUTOPSY REPORT

Hey, folks,

I’d received numerous inquiries lately about information regarding Martin’s autopsy report, forensic findings, drug test results, and so forth.

Rather than respond to everybody individually, I’ve written a quick blog post on the subject, including a PDF download of the original medical examiner’s autopsy report, over at my Law of Self Defense blog. (It’s not really topical or forward-looking information, so it seemed a better fit there than here.)

“Zimmerman Trial: Evidentiary Flashback: AUTOPSY REPORT: Clinical cause of death of Trayvon Martin”
http://is.gd/etUdSK

IMPORTANT: If you go and take a look, and I hope you do, please come back here if you wish to comment, as I won’t be monitoring comments over there over the course of the day–just too busy. If you comment there today, it will be into a vacuum. 🙂

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 9:09 am

    So, you want us to believe tmason was WRONG about lung-collapse being “immediately”? It would take a period of time for the plural cavity to be pumped full of enough blood?

    Where is that “incredulous” face…???

    “Ya got me”, the valediction of many a loser in a gunfight.

    divemedic in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I am a paramedic with 24 years of experience in EMS. Your estimation of the cause of death is incorrect. Let me explain:

    The central veins supply blood to the right atrium, and from there to the right ventricle. The blood leaves the right ventricle at relatively low pressure- about 30 mm Hg. It makes its way through the lungs to the left ventricle and is pumped out to the body at about 120mm Hg.

    The left ventricle cannot pump blood that it does not receive from the right ventricle. The loss of blood supply to the left ventricle, caused by the perforated right ventricle was likely a more immediate cause of death than the collapsed lungs.

      I’m not sure I understand your point.

      Are you saying that 2.5 quarts of blood in the pleural cavity of a man lying face down isn’t enough to collapse his lungs?

      Are you saying that the loss of 2,300 millimeters of blood was sufficient to kill him, and would have done so even if it had not flooded the pleural cavity? My sources tell me that death from blood loss wouldn’t normally be expected in a health individual Martin’s size until more like 3 liters was lost, about 30% more.

      Not contesting your expertise, just trying to understand.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        divemedic in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 8:26 pm

        Please understand that this is a complicated topic, so many simplifications are being made to save time and space.
        Everyone who dies and has ever died, expires from the same cause: A failure of the body to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to the vital organs, most notably the brain. This state of hypoperfusion is colloquially known as “shock.”

        There are four main types of shock, each with their own subtypes:
        1 obstructive, such as cardiac tamponade and pulmonary embolism
        2 distributive shock, which includes anaphylactic (allergies like bee stings cause this), septic (infection), and neurogenic (brain damage),
        3 hypovolemic, which includes exsanguination (bleeding to death)
        4 cardiogenic – heart failure

        I am not saying the volume of blood found in TM’s pleural cavity will not collapse the lungs. I am saying the lungs probably collapsed postmortem.

        TM died because his heart could not deliver the blood that was in his body to his vital organs- cardiogenic shock. The reason that it could not do so was that the pump was damaged so severely that it couldn’t get the blood where it needed to go.

        It doesn’t matter that he had not lost enough blood to die, if that blood wasn’t getting to the brain. A good analogy is a car that stalls because the fuel pump is bad. It doesn’t matter that the tank is half full of fuel, if the fuel never makes it to the carburetor.

        The heart is a two sided pump. The right side pumps blood to the lungs for it to be oxygenated. That blood has to travel a very short distance and lung tissue is delicate and easily damaged by high pressure, so the pressure is low on this side. Normally, every drop of blood that leaves the right ventricle travels through the lungs and arrives at the left ventricle, and is pumped out to the body.

        Since the blood must travel a long distance, it is pumped here at higher pressure. This is why the walls of the left ventricle are so much thicker than the right- the higher pressure requires more effort. If the right ventricle cannot deliver blood to the left, because it has a hole in it, for example, then the person dies because the left ventricle can’t pump blood that it isn’t receiving from the damaged right ventricle that is sending blood into the pleural cavity instead of to the left ventricle, so blood pressure quickly falls to levels that are incompatible with life. (Generally accepted as anything below 40mm Hg)

        I believe this is supported by the fact that the paramedic pronounced TM dead at the scene. In order for the paramedics to declare a still warm, young, and otherwise healthy TM dead at the scene, he would have had to be in asystole (flat line) on the EKG. Lungs collapsed by blood would not cause that as rapidly as was seen here in a healthy 17 year old, and as you said, there was not yet enough blood loss for death.

          That was awesome, really appreciate your expertise, divemedic.

          Incidentally, I’m PADI open-water qualified myself, although it’s been years since I strapped on a BC and lead-weight belt–not too many opportunities for fun diving in New England if you don’t like cold water (and I don’t).

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    I too found his story about Trayvon reaching for his gun a bit suspect, however the problem is there is no real evidence that refutes it. Short of getting him to admit it didn’t happen, I don’t know how the state eliminates any reasonable doubt that it did.

    The fear of losing consciousness with someone on top of you and a gun on your hip constitutes a very real fear for your life, I would think. Not to mention that the defense doesn’t have to prove that he was in fear for his life, only that he was in fear of death OR serious bodily injury. The bodily injury was already occurring.

What I really want to know is did the investigators ever find the “Choom Gang” button BHO gave to his son TM?

Healthguyfsu: No, that is not me, although I am in California. It may surprise you to know that we have had “Stand Your Ground” here since the 1840’s. I am very familiar with the law of self-defense in both California and Florida.

Txantimedia and AmyFL: I assure you I am very familiar with self-defense laws, having handled numerous murder cases. You are completely missing the point of what I am saying. I fear that my concern is really only meaningful to someone who has actually tried a case and is a bit too subtle for this crowd, but I will try again. Yes, I get it that there is more than enough evidence to support Zimmerman’s self-defense case. BUT, his credibility is absolutely critical. If a jury thinks he is lying about something in order to “embellish” his defense, they may reject it. His explanation for why he actually shot Martin sounds fabricated to me, despite the circumstances at the time. There is nothing but his word to support his claim that Martin was trying to grab his gun and that Martin actually threatened to kill him. This is in contrast to his claims about Martin hitting him, which are corroborated by his physical injuries. I see little or no possibility for a murder conviction in this case, but I think he may get convicted of manslaughter on a theory that (1) he’s lying about what actually happened, and (2) the circumstances were not such that he was reasonable in his belief that deadly force was necessary.

    This is just silly.

    Martin was committing an aggravated battery on Zimmerman, and we’ve already had testimony from a medical professional that the injuries Zimmerman was receiving could readily have caused brain damage or death.

    Zimmerman already had all the legal justification necessary to use deadly force in self-defense even if Martin had not reached for his gun.

    Or, to put it another way, no one need rely on Zimmerman’s credibility to determine whether his use of deadly force was justified–the direct evidence of his injuries does that. Even if he DID lie about Martin reaching for his gun, that doesn’t make his potentially life-threatening injuries disappear, and thus strip him of legal justification for his use of deadly force in self-defense.

    Maybe that’s too subtle for YOU, I don’t know.

    Incidentally, the fact that you’ve “handled numerous murder cases” doesn’t say anything whatever about your knowledge of self-defense law, as most murder cases do involve a credible issue of self-defense. Your framing of the issues here suggests strongly that your knowledge of self-defense law is rather limited.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      DennisD in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      I think Morse has a point. If the jury has reason to question Zimmerman’s credibility/integrity this case becomes shaded in a different way. That is, if the jury doesn’t question Z’s credibility then the injuries and screaming itself seem enough to find for him, but if they do they may find that while the evidence may seem enough, Z, himself, never felt that reasonable fear, that he shot for another reason. Remember that a 17 year old kid who was minding his own business is dead and that is a huge weight on the jury.

        “Remember that a 17 year old kid who was minding his own business is dead . . . ”

        Ha, ha, you almost had me there for a minute, until you let that spill out.

        Was Martin minding his own business when he drove his fist into Zimmerman’s face, knocking him clear to the ground? When he mounted the fallen Zimmerman “MMA-style,” and began his relentless “ground-and-pound” attack? When he refused to halt his aggravated battery even when Zimmerman begged for help. When he efusing to even look around when Jonathan Good yelled at him to do “raining down blows”? Those are all facts in evidence, by the way, testified to in court under oath.

        Is that kind of ” a 17 year old kid who was minding his own business” you had in mind?

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          kentuckyliz in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm

          I don’t think TM was “just minding his own business” when he was standing on the lawn of an empty house casing it–not on the sidewalk, but on the lawn, closer to the house. In the walk-through with police right after the shooting (next day, in daylight), before he got a lawyer, that’s where it started. That *BEHAVIOR* in a neighborhood that has had a problem with break-ins and theft is a highly suspicious behavior. TM was clearly not minding his own business. If he were walking on the sidewalk minding his own business, it’s likely GZ would have just driven on to the grocery store. I don’t find it plausible that teens in hoodies go out in the dark in the pouring rain for a personal Tour of Homes.

          DennisD in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 9:13 pm

          LOL I knew someone would take issue with “innocent kid.” but I think you understand my point. Or I should say Morse’s.

          Voluble in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 1, 2013 at 11:30 am

          He wasn’t minding his own business when he circled Zimmerman’s truck or when he doubled back from his house to start the confrontation either.

        Uncle Samuel in reply to DennisD. | June 30, 2013 at 5:24 pm

        Re: Trayvon minding his own business.

        Evidently, the Twin Lakes Retreat neighborhood has been selected by Obama’s sons who frequent the local Arizona juice and Skittles outlet, to serve as a sort of Job Corps/ATM machine in which these young people procure funding resources for these essential needs.

        In Miami, Trayvon was caught at school with some of the kind of tools used to procure (Tea and Skittles, codeine and marijuana) funding and some jewelry that was on a police watch list.

        How racist of the neighborhood establish a Watch Group and spoil these young entrepreneurs’ work/study plans!

        That smacks of vigilantes and the KKK.

        To profile or watch them is an affront to their self-esteem and sense of autonomy, frustrate their initiative, motivation and engagement in profitable capitalist enterprises.

      tmason in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      Or, to put it another way, no one need rely on Zimmerman’s credibility to determine whether his use of deadly force was justified–the direct evidence of his injuries does that. Even if he DID lie about Martin reaching for his gun, that doesn’t make his potentially life-threatening injuries disappear, and thus strip him of legal justification for his use of deadly force in self-defense.

      Quite frankly your theory of self-defense is laughable; you expect a jury to believe that essentially the circumstances which caused Zimmerman to be either assaulted or which caused Zimmerman to feel he needed to use a gun aren’t relevant?

      Anyway, there is actually case law which disproves your theory:
      http://www.ohioverticals.com/blogs/akron_law_cafe/2012/04/florida-cases-interpreting-section-776-041-person-who-initially-provoked-incident-may-not-claim-self-defense/

      It seems that Zimmerman, even that night, is smarter than you on legal self-defense here.

      Whether or not we believe Zimmerman’s account he established HIMSELF via testimony that #1. he wasn’t following TM and #2. it was only when TM reaches for the gun that he decided to use deadly force.

      I do find it hilarious that a defense attorney believes that just because you may be in imminent fear of death than that justifies self-defense without accounting for circumstance.

        You, tmason, are too deliberately ignorant to be worth responding to, but for others who are interested here is the relevant Florida statute:

        FL 776.041 Use of force by aggressor
        http://is.gd/1Bl594

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          tmason in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 3:49 pm

          Mixon v. State 59 So.2d 38 (Fla. 1952)

          The appellant and the man he later admitted killing had an altercation while the appellant was sitting in his jeep, the other man standing at the side of the vehicle. The appellant drove to his home nearby where he procured a revolver, while his adversary continued along the highway, afoot. The appellant, accompanied by his wife and their young daughter, then drove in the same direction until he overtook his former antagonist when both stopped. …Â Were we convinced that the final encounter was of such nature that the issue of self defense was properly introduced and the appellant’s blame should therefore be judged by the amount of force he used in resisting his victim, we think the testimony would have been admissible. But the facts believed by the jury point too strongly to a deliberate pursuit by appellant, after the original difficulty had ended and the parties had separated. The law is quite clear that one may not provoke a difficulty and having done so act under the necessity produced by the difficulty, then kill his adversary and justify the homicide under the plea of self defense. (emphasis supplied)

          Matthews v. State (1937) (“In murder prosecution, defendant could not invoke defense that deceased was armed with a pistol and that defendant shot him in self-defense, where evidence showed that defendant was aggressor in bringing on difficulty and was not free from fault.”)

          Bowman v. State (1934) (“Killing is not justifiable or excusable if necessitated by accused’s acting wrongfully or without being reasonably free from fault in provoking difficulty.”)

          Gaff v. State (1931) (“Accused, to successfully excuse homicide on ground of self-defense, must have been free from fault, or receded after having been aggressor.”)

          Scholl v. State (1927) (“One interposing self-defense in prosecution for homicide must not have wrongfully occasioned necessity of killing.”)

          Landrum v. State (Fla. 1920) (“On a trial for murder, it is proper to charge that one cannot acquit himself of liability for the consequences of a personal difficulty on the ground of self-defense, unless he is reasonably free from fault in entering thereupon.”)

          Stinson v. State (1918) (“Defendant cannot avail himself of defense of self-defense when he himself brought on the situation under the compulsion of which he strikes the blow or fires the shot which he claims was justified.”)

          Barton v. State (1916) (“If one wrongfully occasions necessity for self-defense, though he may have reasonable ground to apprehend a felony, or serious personal injury, and there is imminent danger thereof, he cannot justify a killing on the ground of self-defense.”)

          Barnhill v. State (1908) (“One who seeks and brings on an affray cannot plead self-defense.”)

          Kennard v. State (1900) (“The aggressor in a difficulty, one not reasonably free from fault, cannot justify homicide committed in such difficulty on the ground of self-defense.”)

          Oh, looky here. Looks like the circumstances of the use of self-defense matter beyond imminent fear of death.

          Someone needs to reread case law.

        Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 3:55 pm

        Once again tmason exhibits his ignorance and bias.
        You don’t understand the very link you provide.

        But please, tmason, what are your bona fides? Where did you read for the law? Of which state bars are you a member?

        What is the genesis of your legal prowess? Where do you have standing to make the claims about Mr. Branca that you do? Do you have books on the subject matter?

        You are embarrassing yourself, or at least should be if you have any intellectual integrity.

        You’ve posted some very ignorant, stupid stuff in here. Why? Are you so bought in to the crap you’ve been fed that you won’t even contemplate your own fallibility. Perhaps in a quieter moment you will contemplate your actions and attitude here and find a way to grow from this experience.

        This forum is a great place for someone with a truly open mind and desire for the truth to learn something about the law from a well-regarded expert. If you had read through and comprehended the very deep and well-placed questions, the thoughtful, patient answers, the honestly contested points and the respectful rebuttals, you would have come away with an accurate understanding of the state of the trial, the facts in evidence, the burdens of proof for all parties…and you would have been the proud recipient of an informed, reasoned opinion as to the merits of the case.

        Instead, you’ve chosen to stick stubbornly to preconceptions, cite garbage as fact, completely misrepresent other facts, demonstrate erusive behavior, and belittle our host.

        What an awful person you are; a person who wants to see his bigotry confirmed through the pain of what appears to be more and more an innocent man.

        Pitiful.

          Notwithstanding your attacks on me, point to a case (in FL) where a person can start a fight themselves, lose said fight, kill the other person in the fight, and then claim self-defense.

          Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Goetz von Berlichingen. | June 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm

          Where is the evidence that that happened?
          Do you plan to fabricate and conjecture more scenarios that I need to find case law for?
          Not sure why I would want to do that.

          Busy typing up your CV to justify your attack on Mr. Branca?
          I hope so.

          Occam’s razor here. Why on earth would an unfit, clinically obese, older man go out of his way to start a physical fight with a younger, fitter, taller man?

          If Zimmerman was just a typical Central Florida hispanic racist looking to gun down a poor, poor innocent black person in cold blood (as they do, apparently…), why didn’t he just shoot him? Why go through the charade of starting a physical fight?

          Where is the evidence that that happened?
          Do you plan to fabricate and conjecture more scenarios that I need to find case law for?
          Not sure why I would want to do that.

          Busy typing up your CV to justify your attack on Mr. Branca?
          I hope so.

          We have the non-emergency dispatch with GZ agreeing with the operator in saying “Yes” after the dispatch asks GZ whether he was following TM. Keep in mind that he has no motive or reason to lie on the non-emergency call; so anything he said on that call should be weighed far more heavily than anything he said after he shot TM.

          We can also easily infer that he wasn’t simply “following” TM but “chasing” him.

          Here is txantimedia @ June 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm:

          “He was obese and out of shape. Five seconds of running would be enough to cause him to breath hard.”

          The evidence is so obvious that he was chasing TM it is hilarious anyone would try to tap dance around this.

          We ALSO have GZ in his written statement afterwards saying he WASN’T following him as well as every subsequent interview after that. This is a basic fact, not like where he was relative to any building or which turn he made.

          He is lying about a basic fact of whether he was following/chasing another human being or not.

          That in and of itself justifies TM’s fear of danger since even GZ on the non-emergency dispatch admits that TM ran; TM was trying to get away from GZ moments before his death. TM doesn’t have to “go to his house” or be anywhere else. The brute fact is that TM tried to get away from GZ moments before the altercation took place.

          So, it is fair to say GZ started the altercation, based on his own words and evidence.

          Now, care to cite case law where a person can start a fight themselves, lose said fight, kill the other person in the fight, and then claim self-defense?

          Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Goetz von Berlichingen. | June 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm

          My mistake. I actually locked eyes with the nutter.

          OK. Where is the evidence that GZ started the fight?

          Rachael (reporting the words of TM) vs GZ’s report?

          Depends on who you think is telling the truth. Rachael has had a little problem in the area of truth. GZ not so much.

          But what ever. When the altercations start due to misconceptions it is my hope that you do not get burned out. In fact I hope that there are no altercations. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

        txantimedia in reply to tmason. | June 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm

        There’s only one problem with your cite, tmason. In none of those cases was the defendant attempting to escape the encounter or unable to if they had tried.

        775.041 reads, in part, “a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant;”

        Zimmerman was on the bottom, mounted “MMA style” and the recipient of a “ground and pound” attack (these things are on the record in the case) and crying for help for more than 40 seconds before he shot. That is not analogous to the cases cited in the article and precisely in line with the intent of subsection (a).

        Again, the problem is the evidence. The state has to get around all that evidence.

        The writer is absolutely correct when he states:

        In the Zimmerman case the prosecution will make the following argument. Based upon his own statements to the police dispatcher Zimmerman profiled Martin and followed him in his car, and then exited his car and followed him armed with a gun. Zimmerman suspected Martin of committing a crime and was intent that Martin should not get away. Martin was completely innocent of any crime; he was simply walking home from a trip  to the store. Zimmerman was unjustified in pursuing Martin and under the circumstances his conduct was threatening. This, the prosecution will argue, was sufficient to “initially provoke” the ensuing struggle, no matter who struck the first blow. There is no credible evidence that Zimmerman either tried to escape from Martin or that he withdrew and clearly indicated his intent to withdraw from the altercation. Accordingly, under 776.014, Zimmerman may not claim that he acted in self-defense.

        And that is precisely what the state is doing. The problem they have to overcome is that the evidence points to the invocation of subsection (a), and the state cannot overcome that with anything other than flashy rhetoric and emotional appeals. The evidence is against them.

        You may rest assured that the defense will point that out every chance they get and emphasis it in their closing argument.

          tmason in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm

          Zimmerman was on the bottom, mounted “MMA style” and the recipient of a “ground and pound” attack (these things are on the record in the case) and crying for help for more than 40 seconds before he shot. That is not analogous to the cases cited in the article and precisely in line with the intent of subsection (a).

          Again, the problem is the evidence. The state has to get around all that evidence.

          No, I don’t think you can discount what happened before GZ and TM was on the ground. The trial won’t center around that 40 seconds and quite simply the Jury will most certainly take into account the circumstances to which the crucial 40 seconds took place.

          Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm

          I guess tmason needs a class on what the word “evidence” means in the law as well as who has the burden of proof in this particular incidence.

          You know, the remedial stuff.

          tmason in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm

          I guess tmason needs a class on what the word “evidence” means in the law as well as who has the burden of proof in this particular incidence.

          You know, the remedial stuff.

          The State is already supplying their burden of proof (of course their case isn’t finished yet). We have GZ in his own words on the non-emergency dispatch saying he was following TM, at least for a few moments prior to the fatal altercation. TM had every reason to fear GZ and is the only person with documented evidence showing HE was running from GZ. Of course there is a lot more but these elements alone show GZ created the circumstances to which TM would be in a fight-or-flight mode and he was already fleeing.

          Question: why doesn’t TM have the right to defend himself IF Zimmerman was indeed chasing him down? If GZ didn’t need to identify himself to TM why would TM need to identify himself to GZ?

          Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm

          The State is already supplying their burden of proof (of course their case isn’t finished yet). We have GZ in his own words on the non-emergency dispatch saying he was following TM, at least for a few moments prior to the fatal altercation. TM had every reason to fear GZ and is the only person with documented evidence showing HE was running from GZ.

          You know, none of what you state is illegal. The last statement is false. What he has is a witness who makes that claim. Is that witness credible? Is it strong enough to disprove GZ’s statement?

          And “other evidence”??? Hahahahahahaha.

          That’s why you are called ignorant here.

          You keep trying to twist the facts to fit your own fevered conjecture. Why? You got money riding on this?

          Still waiting for some evidence of your expertise. Your responses to Mr. Branca demand that you establish your own credibility.

          You haven’t done that yet.

          tmason in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 4:58 pm

          You know, none of what you state is illegal. The last statement is false. What he has is a witness who makes that claim. Is that witness credible? Is it strong enough to disprove GZ’s statement?

          And “other evidence”??? Hahahahahahaha.

          That’s why you are called ignorant here.

          You keep trying to twist the facts to fit your own fevered conjecture. Why? You got money riding on this?

          Still waiting for some evidence of your expertise. Your responses to Mr. Branca demand that you establish your own credibility.

          You haven’t done that yet.

          Ummm, we have GZ himself saying via the non-emergency dispatch that TM ran away. Before he had a motive to lie.

          What the Defense (and you) have to show is that it is plausible in less than three minutes TM went from frightened 17 year old who was never convicted or arrested for any violent assault to person who would wait in the bushes to attack someone.

          Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm

          tmason…TM was running home? How did the short fat man out run him, while talking on the phone to the police?
          they must have had a pretty lousy football team if he was capable of being caught by a short, fat man on the phone.

          Give it a rest.

          Once the defense points out what I just did, it will become apparent to all impartial enough to see it, that TM circled back and ambushed GZ. There is no actual evidence that supports it.

          You are really a shambles.

          Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm

          Meant to say that there is no evidence to refute GZs story beyond that of a questionable witness’ testimony.

          tmason in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm

          Didn’t say TM was running home, just that he ran away. In any event why does TM need to go home when he already ran away from the threat thereby attempting to deescalate the situation?

          Bettijo in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm

          I wish you guys would quit responding to tmason–it just encourages him on. Early in the week I learned to skip over his comments. There are so many intelligent, informative comments on this site that I don’t want to waste my time on his uninformed ramblings. This is my first post, but I have been reading all week. Thank you, Andrew, for making this very education resource available.

    I fear that my concern is really only meaningful to someone who has actually tried a case and is a bit too subtle for this crowd

    Gosh. I think you should try being a little bit more overtly condescending. That one was probably a bit too subtle for us.

      txantimedia in reply to AmyFL. | June 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      AmyFL, although Neil’s answer does come across as condescending, I think what he’s trying to get across is that juries don’t just rule on evidence and the law. They rule on emotion too. If they think his words prove he wasn’t really in fear for his life, he was just getting a good butt whippin’ and didn’t like it, they very well could find him guilty of manslaughter.

      If you see this as a weakness in his case, as Neil apparently does, I don’t think it’s something the defense can’t overcome. Emphasizing the extent of his injuries and the life threatening aspect of those injuries as well as the prolonged period of time before he shoots should overcome any doubt about his words at the fatal moment.

        He wrote,


        Zimmerman himself knew that the beating he was receiving from Martin (however severe it may have been) was not sufficient to meet the standard for use of deadly force

        Okay, so I’m 5’10 in stocking feet and reasonably fit. Just how many times do I have to let an attacker smash MY head against a concrete sidewalk before I’m allowed to defend myself?

        I don’t like this insinuation that it’s not enough to fear for your life or fear that you’re going to be grievously injured; you have to actually be three-quarters the way to dead before you’re allowed to fight back.

        I may be missing some sophisticated nuance here, not being as smart as y’all, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works in Florida. If it were, no rapist would ever be put off by a girl with a gun, since as long as he only raped and beat her halfway to dead, she wouldn’t be allowed to use it.

          P.S. And do remember that this jury is all females. I’m not so sure they’re going to fall in line with Mr Morse’s “you gotta let him beat you three quarters the way to dead before you can defend yourself” line.

          tmason in reply to AmyFL. | June 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm

          All well and good; with one big caveat, AmyFL. Zimmerman claimed the reason he shot TM was because TM reached for the gun. Not the punches or even “pounding to the concrete” on the head.

          Use HIS words and statements to defend him.

          kentuckyliz in reply to AmyFL. | June 30, 2013 at 5:23 pm

          I saw a man killed with one stomp to the head on concrete. Good’s testimony was compelling in this: at first they were on the grass, TM was already on top, and then they were on the sidewalk, TM still on top. The clear inference by this hesitant and frightened witness is that TM scooched GZ up to the sidewalk *so that he could ground and pound him against concrete instead of wet spongy grass*!!! Did anyone else catch that out of the Good testimony?! It was plain to me. Another fact is that when Good heard the calls for help, he knew it was from the guy on the bottom because they were perpendicular to him at first. The guy on the bottom was facing him, the guy on top had his back to him–if the guy on top called for help, it would have echoed off the walls of the homes opposite. There was no echo. Then they were up on the sidewalk and Good had a side view (not having moved himself), after TM scooched GZ to the concrete. That’s when he saw TM doing the MMA style ground and pound raining down blows–“downward arm movements.” Watch the Good testimony again if you didn’t catch all this. I believe moving GZ to the concrete shows intent to kill.

          kentuckyliz in reply to AmyFL. | June 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm

          Amy, another important question to consider is *when* was the jury sequestered? Did they see the Chastin nanny cam assault video, which came out days before? (Or news at 11 previews of it while watching TV in the evening?) That would create a certain fear or alarm in those women jurors and increase their desire to have a good neighborhood watch program going on. A GZ getting involved might have stopped a Chastin like home invasion where he grounds and pounds the mother right in front of her 3 year old daughter. (What moved me to gulp is that the mother decided not to scream, because she thought it would make her daughter scream, and then Chastin would beat the child.) Gawd.

          Zimmerman Update — How Much Injury Is Required Before Self-Defense is Justified? http://is.gd/Honu7N

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Stephen in reply to AmyFL. | June 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      I find Morse to be a bit of a pompous ass also, but I think I understand his nuance. My wife and I have our CCW and that is because she wanted hers. She had an incident and we will leave it at that. She is 5’0” and 94 lbs. She was very afraid of firearms at first. What I have done with her is enrolled her in numerous firearm academy classes. The kind you roll around on the ground while firing live rounds. Some have been very intense, meaning they physically attack you(from the side or behind), again while live firing and trying to keep on target. Most of these types of classes are put on by ex-leos or ex-military. But they all have pretty much the same commonality when deciding to discharge your firearm. The range goes something like this: My 91 yo neighbor can pretty much shoot who ever she wants if she is claiming self defense and will never be prosecuted or found guilty. My other neighbor, who is 6’5”, 250lbs, better have organs lying on the ground if he is claiming self defense. I think Morse is writing from a practical perspective. The law may be one thing, but, in reality, jurors are going to decide based on life experience and how probable they believe the defendant would have died without discharging his/her firearm

    Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Neil Morse. | June 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    I live in California and would be grateful to know if you are commenting under your real name. I would hate to find out that I had hired you to defend me.

Mister Natural | June 30, 2013 at 11:47 am

i hear the vegas bookies have begun to lay odds on which locale will be the first, second, third, etc. to experience the rioting flash mobs of the trayvon/thug supporters, post-acquittal.
they’re doing a win-place-show and trifecta kind of thing.
gee, i hope trayvon and miss dee dee’s homeboys and gals realize that FL is a concealed carry state. apparently, as in the case of miss dee dee some folks are incapable of learning from experience.
and i hope they are aware that POTUS/HNIC is the greatest poster child for the 2nd amendment that ever lived.
the country is more prepared for insurrection than ever.

    kentuckyliz in reply to Mister Natural. | June 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I do not live in an area where I think there is substantial risk of riot at acquittal, or Kill-A-Cracka-4-Trayvon type assaults/murders. If I did, I’d have everything in place that I needed to defend my person and property: gun, ammo, CCW permit, surveillance tech (like nanny cam). If you think there’s risk in your area, get ready.

txantimedia | June 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm

tmason asks “Uhuh, if he was simply “following” TM why is he out of breath on the 911 call after he admits to “following” him.”

He was obese and out of shape. Five seconds of running would be enough to cause him to breath hard.

Explain this. After Zimmerman stopped running (he was no longer out of breath) more than 2 minutes elapsed before the confrontation. During that time Trayvon told “DeeDee” that he was “right by his father’s house”.

How and why did he suddenly appear at the T 2 minutes later to confront Zimmmerman? (Why are you following me?)

    Ragspierre in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    “Why are you following me?”

    (soto voce… I dunno… It’s kinda creeply, innit…??? Shh… Not too loud… He’ll/she’ll hear us, and then there will be no stopping him/her…)

    kentuckyliz in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    If you watch the walk-through video that GZ did right after the shooting (next day in daylight), before he hired an attorney, you will see that where he walked was up an incline. I used to have the same BMI that GZ did at that time (31, obese), and that would have made me huff and puff when I was in that shape. It wouldn’t take running. Are any juror ladies that large?

      Uncle Samuel in reply to kentuckyliz. | June 30, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Talking on a cell or cordless phone when walking greatly amplifies breathing anyway. He would not have to be running or chasing anyone to make loud breathing sounds.

      T. Mason Crump is propagandizing, fictionalizing, conjecturing, and making allusions to create a scenario that fits the Crump narrative.

txantimedia | June 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm

For tmason, who persists in his misreading of the law, here is a case you need to deal with. The Florida 5th District Court (the same one that will take appeals in the Zimmerman case if he is found guilty) overturned a verdict of guilty due to the trial court’s jury instructions regarding 776.041 and reversed a second case in the same opinion.

http://www.5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2007/102907/5D06-3988.op.pdf

In fact, the jury instructions provided by the Florida Supreme Court demand that subsection (a) be cited if it applies.

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/jury_instructions/chapters/entireversion/onlinejurryinstructions.pdf

The Second District Court also reversed a case on the same grounds.

http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Page_2012/May/May%2025,%202012/2D10-5515.pdf

Thank you, Andrew, for responding to me (even though I’m a “condescending, pompous ass” whose “knowledge of self-defense law is rather limited.”  I am happy that one poster (txantimedia) understood exactly what I was saying. The point I’m trying to make has more to do with the nature of jury trials than the law of self-defense. Of course, I understand your legal point that “Zimmerman already had all the legal justification necessary to use deadly force in self-defense even if Martin had not reached for his gun,” but the defense will still need to persuade a jury to acquit him. What you say is certainly accurate with regard to the legal question of whether substantial evidence supports Zimmerman’s claim (and it certainly does), but he is not entitled to an acquittal as a matter of law. And juries don’t like to be lied to. Nor do lawyers like to be put in the position of having to effectively argue to the jury, “Okay, sure my client might have lied about X, but you should believe Y and Z and acquit him based on that.”

My remark about this point possibly being “too subtle for this crowd” was in response to the first series of responses I got, with people telling me I didn’t know what I was talking about. Even you have engaged in a bit of an “ad hominem” argument by questioning the extent of my knowledge. I think those who are not even willing to entertain the point I am raising are blinded by their obvious bias. All I’m suggesting, after all, is a potential problem with Zimmerman’s defense that has to be dealt with. As txantimedia accurately says, it’s not something the defense can’t overcome.

Lastly, you say that the fact that I’ve handled numerous murder cases “doesn’t say anything whatever about your knowledge of self-defense law, as most murder cases do involve a credible issue of self-defense.” I assume you meant to say most murder cases do NOT involve a credible issue of self-defense. That is certainly true. Zimmerman’s self-defense case is remarkably strong. But I disagree that working on murder cases with weak self-defense claims doesn’t require one to gain a knowledge of the law of self-defense. On the contrary, having to find a legal way to support a weak self-defense case requires closer study of the law than working with a stronger one.

    Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Neil Morse. | June 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    N.M: Your point was that you find it not credible that TM said “You got me” etc. and that the jurors may find it that way too.
    That is simply weak sauce. Jurors can take any statement any way they wish. Not a very original thought.

    As a former LEO I have personally interviewed assault victims where statements like the ‘mofo’ one attributed to TM were used.

    I mean, really.

    This is what worries me. A sympathetic juror spending 2-4 weeks staring at the grieving parents of a 17 year old could just be looking for a reason to convict. Ultimately Zimmerman is the only one who knows that really happened so his credibility is pretty imperative.

      Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to MegK. | July 1, 2013 at 12:55 am

      I am sure what Neil Morse was doing was injecting how he, as a defense lawyer would try to position GZ’s statements as ‘too good to be true’ so as to raise a doubt to their veracity.
      It’s a courtroom ploy, kind a cheesy, but hey.

kentuckyliz | June 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Meaning, GZ “running” is not in evidence.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to kentuckyliz. | June 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    No it is not.

    Talking on a cell or cordless phone when walking greatly amplifies breathing.

    Zimmerman would not have to be running or chasing anyone to make loud breathing sounds into the phone.

You should take a look at the comments from readers of the NYT on this case. It’s clear that they don’t consider the facts or the law in this case. Just amazing!

1) Zimmerman left his vehicle in violation of a police order.
2) Zimmerman profiled/stalked/hunted down the poor black child.
3) Zimmerman was a wanabe cop full of hatred and prejudice towards blacks.
4) Stand your ground caused this tragedy and will allow Zimmerman to get away with murder.
5) Zimmerman shot Martin without justification.

etc.

NO injuries need be sustained to shoot an attacker as long as you reasonably believe that the force is necessary to prevent imminent great bodily harm.

No injury needs to happen – as long as you fear great bodily harm is imminent.

His head already busted up front and back – George only needed to fear serious injury was likely.

CASE CLOSED

The time gap that was being discussed earlier in the thread can be viewed in a short video here. It’s been analyzed by others and I asked about it here a few days ago. Essentially, Zimmerman’s story seems to be missing time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PQ0SQcQmOQ

    Wolverine in reply to DennisD. | July 1, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Do we know what systems generated the timestamps? Do we know if their times were crosschecked?

    Unless they were recently synchronized to say NIST, they are going to drift both relative to NIST and also relative to each other. This can easily be minutes*

    *Just checked one system, drifted 2 minutes and 17 seconds in 3 days compared to NIST.

Andrew,

Do you think the judge is biased towards the prosecution because she wants them to win or do you think she is scared of backlash when Zimmerman is found not guilty?

Well Andrew, it’s a shame the justice system is working that way. I am an outsider and I don’t want to make any quick assumptions. You are an insider and for you to say that is disturbing.

DrKyleJones | July 1, 2013 at 9:18 am

115 + 56 + 66 people have not read a single word of the analysis on this site but yet have answered the poll. I think that in itself is pretty interesting.

    Bettijo in reply to DrKyleJones. | July 1, 2013 at 10:10 am

    How do you know they haven’t read a word? I am not being critical, I am just curious. Thanks.

      Bettijo in reply to Bettijo. | July 1, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Dr. Kyle: I figured it out. You added up the votes in favor of/or neutral to Martin. Duh. I’m a little slow this morning.

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