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Zimmerman Update — How Much Injury Is Required Before Self-Defense is Justified?

Zimmerman Update — How Much Injury Is Required Before Self-Defense is Justified?

Well, it’s Sunday evening, and that means it’s time to set the mood for . . . you guessed it, another week of Florida v. Zimmerman.

I thought I’d do that by sharing some thoughts on an aspect of the State’s (apparent) theory of the case this week that centered on an area of the law with which I am passing familiar–the law of self defense.

Thoughout the week the State has sought to minimize the apparent seriousness of Mr. Zimmerman’s injuries. These efforts reached an almost ludicrous stage during Friday afternoon’s re-cross of Lindzee Folgate, the physician’s assistant who examined Zimmerman the day after the shooting. Apparently frustrated at Mr. O’Mara’s masterful performance on cross-examination (see Zimmerman Trial Day 5 – Analysis & Video – State’s own witnesses undercut theory of guilt for our analysis) Mr. de la Rionda asked, as if he meant it, whether all people have perfectly round heads or wasn’t it true that a person can have a bumpy or raised area of their head as a normal state of affairs, and not solely as the result of traumatic injury.

Was he trying to suggest that the normal appearance of Mr. Zimmerman’s skull included contusions, abrasions, lacerations, and blood trails? It was more than a little bizarre.

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 5.03.19 PM

Lindzee Folgate, Zimmerman’s physician’s assistant, under cross-examination by defense counsel Mark O’Mara

In fact, the State had pounded on this theme of “Zimmerman’s minimal injury throughout the day, asking witnesses if they had observed Zimmerman to be staggering or unresponsive to communication (it must be said that more than one witness–State witnesses, mind you, all of whom were previously deposed by Mr. de la Rionda or a colleague, testified that Mr. Zimmerman had, in fact, complained of dizziness, etc.)

It seems that the State is attempting to establish in the jurors minds that Mr. Zimmerman could not have been justified in his use of deadly force in self-defense unless he had actually and already sustained life-threatening injury. If one accepts this notion, then the fact that Mr. Zimmerman’s injuries have (apparently) turned out to be transient may substantially attenuate his claim that his use of deadly force in self-defense was lawful.

(I say Mr.Zimmerman’s injuries were “apparently transient” because it may be many years before there are clinical symptoms of any brain injury resulting from the repeated blows to Mr. Zimmerman’s head by well-thrown punches and sidewalk cement. What is emerging from the NFL with regard to late-life brain damage among players who have suffered repeated blows to the head is not encouraging.)

Must You Wait for the Attacker’s Bullet to Strike Before You Act in Self-Defense?

The very idea that the State is seeking to establish–that self-defense is conditional upon actually suffering serious injury–is, of course, ridiculous on its face. The purpose of the law of self-defense, particularly in the context of the use deadly defensive force, is to be able to protect yourself from an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm before that harm occurs, not to require that you actually experience death or grave bodily harm before you may act to protect yourself.

Under the conceptual framework being advanced by the State, if a man were to clearly state his intention to kill you, slowly remove a pistol from his desk drawer, point it at you, and pull back the hammer, you would be required to wait until he shot at you–indeed, until he actually hit you–before you would be entitled to use deadly force to protect yourself. After all, if you acted with the swiftness appropriate to the occasion and struck down your attacker before his bullet tore through your body you wouldn’t have so much as scratch to later show Mr. de la Rionda as justification for having used deadly force in self-defense.

Indeed, it is not hard to imagine a circumstance in which waiting to be struck before you act in self-defense can be interpreted as violating the second principle of the law of self defense, imminence, thereby stripping you of your right to argue self-defense at trial.

For example, if in the same scenario your attacker shoots you before you act (as Mr. de la Rionda seemingly requires), then throws his pistol out the third-story window and moves to leave the room, by all reasonable appearances intending to leave you to bleed out on the floor, you have no right under the law of self-defense to shoot him.  At that point he no longer represents an imminent danger of death or grave bodily harm. Shooting him as he departs might be extremely satisfying, and even morally just (depending on your moral framework, eye-for-an-eye, and all that), but it’s not lawful self-defense.  It’s unlawful retaliation.

(As an aside, I note that a reasonable person might suggest it best in such a situation, once the deadly threat is apparent, to shoot first, shoot straight, and place a timely call for appropriate medical treatment for the poor fellow (assuming that medical treatment would be productive under the circumstances).  But that’s just me.)

I strive, as always, to be a fact- and evidence-based blogger on matters of the law of self-defense, so prepare yourself–here come a few statutes, with a jury instruction thrown in for the fun of it.

782.02. Justifiable use of deadly force

First up is the admirably brief 782.02. Justifiable use of deadly force, which states:

The use of deadly force is justifiable when a person is resisting any attempt to murder such person or to commit any felony upon him or her or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person shall be.

Note those words: “resisting any attempt”. You need not wait until the harmful act has been completed, or has even begun its application. You are permitted to use deadly force under the circumstances described to resist even a mere attempt to murder you or to commit a felony upon your person or upon your home where you shall be. Any requirement that you first suffer disabling injury? No. Any requirement that you first suffer trauma sufficient to cause bruises that last longer than a day, or even half a day? No. Any requirement that you first suffer so much as the slightest scratch of your skin? No, no, no.

776.012 Use of force in defense of person

What then of what most people first think of when they look to Florida’s deadly-force self-defense statute, 776.012. Use of force in defense of person, another admirably brief statute. It provides in relevant part;

[A] person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if: (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony . . .

Again, note those words: “to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm”. Again, the intent of the legislature, and our own common sense, can read such language in only one way–you may lawfully act in self-defense in prevention of death or grave bodily harm, and without any requirement that you first suffer some death or great bodily harm.

Jury Instruction 3.6(f). Justifiable Use of Deadly Force

Finally, let us take a step away from the statutes and look to what the jury will be ordered by Judge Nelson to apply to the facts of this case: Florida Jury Instruction 3.6(f). Justifiable Use of Deadly Force. This, I’m afraid, is not brief reading, running to nearly 1,600 words (including all alternative language). The relevant portion for our purposes, however, is not too long:

The use of deadly force is justifiable only if the defendant reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to [himself] [herself] while resisting:

1. another’s attempt to murder [him] [her], or
2. any attempt to commit (applicable felony) upon [him] [her], or
3. any attempt to commit (applicable felony) upon or in any dwelling, residence, or vehicle occupied by [him] [her].

A person is justified in using deadly force if [he] [she] reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent 1. imminent death or great bodily harm to [himself] [herself] or another, or 2. the imminent commission of (applicable forcible felony) against [himself] [herself] or another.

I thing I risk not too much if I assume that the bolding I’ve inserted in the jury instruction above is sufficient to drive the point home.

Caveat:  The Fear of Imminent Harm Must Be Reasonable

There is one caveat I feel obliged to mention, although it is not relevant for the purposes of discussing Mr. de la Rionda’s theory of the case, such as it is.  One cannot use deadly force to prevent a fantastical or imaginary threat of death or great bodily harm.  Rather the threat must be such that a reasonable and prudent person would have perceived as an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm.  Indeed, the threat need not even be REAL–imagine, for example, that your attacker’s gun turns out to be a realistic-looking water pistol.  So long as a reasonable and prudent person would have perceived the threat as one of imminent death or grave bodily harm the use of deadly force in self-defense is justified–and no need to first allow yourself get spritzed with water so that you can show the state your damp shirt.

Naturally, I’ve now opened the door to a discussion of what is meant by the phrase “a reasonable and prudent person.”‘  Unfortunately, that’s beyond the scope of this single blog post.  Perhaps I’ll try to cover it later.  Alternatively, I’ve heard that there’s a book available that covers the matter in detail:  The Law of Self Defense, Second Edition (for a few more days available at a 30% pre-order discount and free shipping).  Take a look.

What Could BDLR Be Thinking?

The wonder in this instance is not in the statutes and the jury instruction, which are marvelously clear on this issue, but on what would lead State Prosecutor Bernard de la Rionda to believe that the considerable investment he is making in this theme of “Zimmerman’s minimal injury” can possibly yield a positive return for him.

Can he be unaware that Judge Nelson will instruct the jury precisely as described in 3.6(f)? Or that O’Mara and West will not drive this very point home relentlessly to the jury–all the while showing them those brutal, bloody, early photos of Mr. Zimmerman’s injuries?

Well, as I’ve said perhaps too many times before, if the facts are on your side pound the facts, if the law is on your side pound the law, and if neither is on your side, pound the table.

I expect the State’s table may need some refinishing before this trial has ended.

Join us Tomorrow, Monday, July 1, 9:00AM

That’s it for blog posts from me for tonight, although I’ll be haunting the comments areas, as usual.

Don’t forget to join us again tomorrow, 9:00AM, right here at Legal Insurrection for day 6 of the trial proper. As usual we’ll have live-streaming video of the courtroom (dual sources–safety first!), as well as our rolling Twitter feed of selected commentators. My own tweets can always be identified as coming from @LawSelfDefense.

We again plan to provide a mid-time up-date post near the end of the lunch recess (or soon thereafter), or anytime sufficiently exciting events take place during the say.

See you then!

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

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

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

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

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


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Just google “Traumatic Brain Injury Concrete”. Several instances like a man in the UK who had his head slammed into a concrete surface. Resulting in Traumatic Brain Injury.

He has a family. He can’t talk to them or even walk. They have to feed and wipe him.

Based on that knowledge, just the *threat* that you would slam my head into concrete constitutes “reasonable fear of grevious bodily harm”.

    wyntre in reply to Fen. | June 30, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I had a head injury long ago when I drove a cab in NYC. An elderly guy ran a light and smashed into the driver’s side door.

    I was unconscious, taken to the hospital and then released. I didn’t realize the extent of the injury or its possible repercussions at the time. It was only in retrospect, after reading about head injury trauma, that I realized many of my problems over the next few years were likely caused by the crash. I’m talking fear, paranoia, going from someone with a confident independent personality to a person who was afraid to take the subway, much less drive.

    I was lucky. I eventually recovered but only after 5 or so years of he11.

      My first injury came at the age of 4 and 1/2 years of age. Two incidents occured within approximately a month of each other. The first incident I was hit in the mouth by a swing. You could say I am now experiencing a lot of repurcussions from that incident. The second one was the car accident and I have a scar above my eye to prove I was injured. I have no recall of the accident yet perfect recall of things immediately before and after the accident. I had headaches that were denied by the adults but that is a long story. I continue to get headaches and I have other issues relating to arthritis of the jaw. I do think it is related.

      There have been other injuries, especially the one that was close to my temple, but more important was the one where my face landed on concrete after I tripped over a hose in my yard. I had scrapes around my left eye (yes the same eye) and I was bleeding from the scratches at the time. In my case it did not take much to end up with an injury!! Afterwards I had headaches and I remain not very keen on having cool air around my forehead if that makes any sense.

    myiq2xu in reply to Fen. | June 30, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    It is not uncommon for people to die from a single punch to the head.

Zimmerman was obviously supposed to be bashed to within an inch of death before using the gun.
But if course, they would charge him with reckless endangerment if he waited till that point.

“Shooting him as he departs might be extremely satisfying, and even morally just (depending on your moral framework, eye-for-an-eye, and all that)”

It’s the littering that would cinch it for me…

Well it’s not just the issue of his injuries. George Zimmerman was carrying a gun that was holstered in his waistband. Saint Trayvon Martin was in the now famous “ground and pound” mode.
If Trayvon sees the gun and goes for the gun, I would imagine that any alleged requirement to sustain a particular level of injury from a beating goes out the window.


You have a new fan over at AOS.

“Andrew Branca, a lawyer in Massachusetts who specializes in self-defense issues, has been tweeting the George Zimmerman trial like a boss. I’ve enjoyed his twittering all week long, so I will put in a plug for his book The Law of Self-Defense: A Guide for the Armed Citizen which, for whatever, is cheaper on Mr. Branca’s website than what you can get it for on Amazon.”

Sunday Morning Book Thread 06-30-2013: Self Defense Edition [OregonMuse]
—Open Blogger

    I saw that earlier. I consider myself an honorary “moron” over at AOS, I probably spend more time there than any other other blog (when Zimmerman’s not on trial).

    Awesome. So proud I almost called my folks and told them, then realized they’d have no idea who Ace was. Oh well. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Andrew, if the shooter throws the gun out the window after shooting the victim, but the victim, now writhing in agony on the floor, possibly with his eyes closed or lying face down or facing toward a wall, doesn’t see the gun get tossed and then musters the fortitude to pull his gun out and shoot the shooter who then assumes room temperature, I say too bad so sad for the shooter.

      If I got shot, it’s unlikely I would see the shooter toss his gun out the window.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      Oops, forgot my question: So where would my scenario leave the victim/now shooter, legally? Seems to me it would still be a strong case of self-defense, based on the victim’s reasonable perception that surely he would die if he got shot again.

byondpolitics | June 30, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Thanks again for your analysis and insight. It’s really helpful.

I hadn’t realized that deadly force could be justified for anything other than the expectation of death.

One argument that has been made is that Mr. Martin feared for his life first. If that was something a reasonable and prudent person would fear (I’m not saying that is assuredly true in this case, just that some people think it is), then that would justify his violence towards Mr. Zimmerman. Is that correct?

So, this is my hypothetical:
In a case where person A is legally permitted to use deadly force against person B, is person B still justified in using deadly force in turn? And so will get off scot-free?

To me this is a cautionary tale. Person A may be justified in shooting at someone committing a felony against his house, but that person A damn well better be prepared to die (when initially he/she wasn’t) if he/she choose this course.

    memomachine in reply to byondpolitics. | June 30, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    This is why people who have two brain cells to rub together never want to get into a gun fight. The escalation that wielding a pistol brings into any situation will automatically make things worse. The only way to avoid that is to do anything possible to escape the situation and then try to defuse any lingering danger by putting as much distance between antagonists.

    But if escaping is not an option and putting distance between yourself and an assailant isn’t possible then if your life is in danger then pretty you’re out of options.

    And this is what tells me that Zimmerman is innocent. Why? Because if he was one with the power to keep Martin from escaping then Zimmerman wouldn’t have the injuries he had. That enough time passed for those injuries to be inflicted tells me that Zimmerman simply ran out of options.

      And memomachine for the win.

      Nicely put, I agree 100%.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Skookum in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 1, 2013 at 9:11 am

        Please define “forcible felony.”

        I assume it means a felony involving force upon a person (e.g., murder, assault), as opposed to a felony limited to property (e.g., theft).

          Skookum in reply to Skookum. | July 2, 2013 at 1:28 am

          776.08 Forcible felony.—“Forcible felony” means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

      Humphreys Executor in reply to memomachine. | June 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      This is also evidenced by the fact that Zimmerman repeatedly yelled for help but none came. Afterwords he voiced his frustration that no one would help. This rebuts any notion that he was “trigger-happy.”

      caambers in reply to memomachine. | June 30, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      You know what convinced me last year, probably in May, of Zimmerman’s innocence? Google map the apartment complex and note the major places in the narrative–the clubhouse, Green’s apartment, and the scene of the altercation. It forms a triangle. If a person is trying to get back to an apartment and feels unsafe, they are going to take the shortest and fastest path there right? A reasonable person would. How then did Martin end up at the point of the triangle between the clubhouse and Green’s apartment? That never made sense. Only two possibilities—Zimmerman somehow tackled Martin enroute, dragged him to the opposite corner and shot him OR Martin walked himself to that point.

    Ragspierre in reply to byondpolitics. | June 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Two part answer…

    Part one: What are the statues in the jurisdiction? (That is the technical legal issue.)

    Part two: If A is justified in using deadly force on B, B BETTER stop whatever it is he/she is doing, because NO use of a weapon is going to do anything but AGGRAVATE the crime they were committing in the first instance.

    PLUS, a criminal aggressor does not lose that status because someone resists them.

    See, it it kinda like pleading your orphan-hood after you commit parricide.

    txantimedia in reply to byondpolitics. | June 30, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    For someone (person a) to be in reasonable fear of bodily injury or death, the other person (person b) must be committing a crime, usually a felony. When person b is committing a felony, they have deprived themselves of the protections of the law of self defense.

    For example, a man walks in a store with the intent to rob it. He pulls a gun and tells the clerk, “Give me all your money.” A customer, who is a CHL holder pulls his gun and tells the robber to drop his weapon. The robber turns, weapon in hand, to confront the CHL holder. The CHL holder is justified in shooting. The robber is not. He forfeited his right when he attempted the robbery.

    The argument that TM was the first to have fear is easily shot down (excuse the pun).

    Let’s look at the timeline and we can see that TM had plenty of time to reach Brandi Green’s apartment, yet he ended up back at the T. This is the factor that shoots that argument in the foot. It is simply rot. TM backtracked and was hiding close to that T intersection when he confronted GZ.

    myiq2xu in reply to byondpolitics. | July 1, 2013 at 12:00 am

    It is possible for two different people to legally use force in self-defense against each other.

Popcorn worthy post.

This really caught my attention:

“Mr. de la Rionda asked, as if he meant it, whether all people have perfectly round heads or wasn’t it true that a person can have a bumpy or raised area of their head as a normal state of affairs, and not solely as the result of traumatic injury.”

Did he REALLY say that? (I assume you are paraphrasing).

The only sensible way for a juror to understand what is a reasonable and prudent reaction is to put themselves in Zimmerman’s place. They have to imagine Martin standing over top of them punching them in the face and slamming their head into the concrete. They must have that image of this violence being inflicted upon them. What would they do? The verdict then becomes clear.

Carol Herman | June 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm

I just watched my computer eat my comment. So no more previews for me. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t be willing to be treated by a “physician’s assistant” unless a real doctor was also in the room. Not here. Because the rules are set by the insurance company. And, George Zimmerman lost all the patient confidentiality he could have expected from a real doctor.

As to BDLR’s questioning of Linzee Folgate, I couldn’t help by notice BDKR’s less than perfectly shaped bald spot on the top of his head.

As to broken noses going untreated, the world used to see prize fighters (other than Cassius Clay)who had flatten, and crooked noses.

I also knew that Marlon Brando, when he was 23, got into a fight, and his nose was broken. It was said he had an absolutely perfect face prior to this fight. But he decided not to have it fixed. Brando went on to a spectacular movie star career, with the bump on his nose, unfixed.

GZ went to this outfit because this is what his insurance coverage pays for. He lost patient confidentiality. (So now the world knows he’s constipated.) And, that this dame recommends psychological services to help people cope with stress. Again, no privacy included.

Plus, the ONLY reason GM goes here is to get a note to return to work. If this isn’t a scam operation, what is?

    txantimedia in reply to Carol Herman. | June 30, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Totally off topic. Prepare for a lot more of that under Obamacare.

    terimwal in reply to Carol Herman. | June 30, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    What am I missing? Why does one lose patient confidentiality by seeing a physician assistant? In my area, that is pretty much our only option. I don’t see why the rules would be different for a PA.

      Ragspierre in reply to terimwal. | June 30, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Not, of course, certain, but Zimmerman very likely waived the confidence.

      You cannot use evidence of injuries if you have straight-armed the other side WRT medical matters.

      The ol’ “sword and shield” rule.

        terimwal in reply to Ragspierre. | June 30, 2013 at 8:52 pm

        Of course, as you say, he must have done so in order the get this testimony in. I would think, however, that confidentiality with regard to any other medical condition, not relevant to this case, remains.

          In my not legal view, I would have expected that all conditions that are not relevant to his injuries should have remained confidential. I honestly think that there has been a breach of confidentiality.

          As to constipation, well, that could be caused by his medication.

    divemedic in reply to Carol Herman. | June 30, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Not true. A physician assistant is a medical provider that has the same amount of provider/patient confidentiality as a doctor. Either MUST testify if brought into court to do so.

    The term physician assistant is somewhat misleading. It isn’t as though a PA is a doctor’s gopher. This profession requires an advanced degree that is quite difficult.

    I would not want to be treated by one because those people do not have all the medical knowledge of a doctor. Some of her assumptions were lousy. I refer specifically to the sacroiliitis that was pre-existing to this event. Her assumptions on any pain were crap.

      divemedic in reply to Aussie. | July 1, 2013 at 7:12 am

      That isn’t always true, either. The law requires that the PA have so many hours of continuing education to maintain certification, and also requires that the PA pass a licensing exam periodically.
      Doctor does not. There are some excellent PAs out there, and some really crappy doctors.
      This is coming from a person who has spent the last 24 years working with both PAs and Doctors.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Carol Herman. | July 1, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Both PAs and doctors as well as all personnel working in a medical office are required by law to maintain HIPAA confidentiality of medical records.

    Surely you aren’t insinuating a PA is somehow less obligated to maintain HIPAA standards than an MD are you? You’d be dead wrong and I’m hoping I read you wrong.

    He forfeited his HIPAA rights for his claim of self-defense. I think I saw that in your post but I can’t be certain because it seemed like you were just bashing a PA for no real reason.

    ThomasD in reply to Carol Herman. | July 1, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Zimmerman’s confidentiality evaporated with the subpoena, not because he was treated by a mid-level practitioner.

    He could have been treated by the Chief of Emergency Medicine and, when the doctor took the stand, he would have been required to provide susbtantially similar responses to the questioning.

Not following today’s topic, but I just read something interesting. Seems the Miami Herald did an article in March, 2012, concerning Martin’s backpack containing stolen jewelry and a burglary tool. I also saw a pin map of burglaries in the vicinity of Martin’s school. One of the reported burglaries listed loss items consistent with those items recovered from Martin.

The case was botched because of the school district’s attempts to hide crimes committed by students to reduce the number of young black males arrested. This ultimately cost the school police chief his job.

The lawyer in me knows this isn’t admissible, but the old cop in me knows the burglary investigator for that area would have liked to have had that info available to him, and would have interviewed Martin.

    terimwal in reply to hoglaw. | June 30, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    For an in-depth treatment of this topic and everything else concerning the GZ trial, I highly recommend the Conservative Treehouse blog. They have been doing yeoman’s work from the very beginning on this case. LI and TCT both deserve journalism awards for their coverage of this trial. See here:

      Ragspierre in reply to terimwal. | June 30, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Not to be contentious (heaven fore-fend!), but that blog is EXTREMELY dubious, IMNHO.


        caambers in reply to Ragspierre. | June 30, 2013 at 9:51 pm

        I’d agree if their info wasn’t so well documented and researched. They seem to be dead on with getting information out that otherwise would be ignored. If anything is found to be not factual, then it will be obvious.

          Ragspierre in reply to caambers. | June 30, 2013 at 11:16 pm

          It is my practice to look under the hood of things people post.

          That whole ‘drank’ thing was riddled with demonstrable BS.

          healthguyfsu in reply to caambers. | July 1, 2013 at 1:29 am

          Considering that TM was tweeting about it I’m not sure how farfetched it is. It’s not implausible that he bought the watermelon drink (pictures available from crime scene) to take it home and mix it with some cough syrup at his house (since he couldn’t get a hold of codeine which he was looking for online).

          Did you know that skittles are also commonly added to “purple lean/purple drank”?

          Ragspierre in reply to caambers. | July 1, 2013 at 7:32 am

          Not the part to which I referred.

          According to their blog, Martin was ate up with the drank, had organ lesions at autopsy, etc. (Those have no basis in science, btw.)

          And, yah, I do get he posted stuff. Young men lie a lot, too.

          Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But, at any rate, he was not intoxicated at all on anything, according to the evidence.

          Milhouse in reply to caambers. | July 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm

          What’s your source that skittles are commonly added to purple drank? According to Wikipedia (which tends to be reliable about subjects like this) the most common sweeteners are Sprite and Jolly Rancher. Neither watermelon drink nor Skittles are even mentioned.

        DizzyMissL in reply to Ragspierre. | June 30, 2013 at 11:56 pm

        That site has been the go to site for all things GZ/TM for well over a year. And take a look at TMs tweets and the drank thing will become very clear.

    caambers in reply to hoglaw. | June 30, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    I’ve heard some chatter that when they were trying to ID Trayvon his prints were rolled and checked. (Remember it was sometime the next day before the caring father finally got a clue that his son, who was a relative stranger in the are, was missing) There was a hit that was quickly squelched due to what you have said. Not that it really matters now but I wonder if he had ever ‘visited’ the area before February and if his visits just happened to coincide with any burglaries in the area. We will never know because I’m sure that is completely scrubbed.

I’ve been lurking and enjoying Mr. Branca’s deconstruction of this travesty. Of course, any rational person knew very early on that this whole charade was just that, an orchestrated charade, conducted by the msm, with the loathsome leadership of the execrable Al Sharpton and his merry band of race hustlers. The thug kid was casing the property to add to his string of robberies and almost certainly high. If he wasn’t, then he was beyond stupid to assault a grown man who was highly likely to be a resident and given the hour, likely to be armed. There isn’t even a reasonable alternative explanation, and 100% of the evidence has consistently shown that Zimmerman was doing exactly what he should have been doing in his role as the neighborhood watch guy. And once he was assaulted, his only course of action was to protect himself. Only a fool would have let himself be pummeled to death, and Zimmerman might have been soft, but he wasn’t a fool. He didn’t shoot to warn; he shot to save his life.

But it won’t matter.

Because what nobody is talking about is the jury; and what will happen is that multiple, probably several of those women will refuse to vote innocent for a simple reason. They will be in fear of their own lives, and the lives of their loved ones. They will all know the truth. They probably knew it from the first day. But they won’t vote the truth. It will be a hung jury, if not unanimous to convict.

    Catherine in reply to donmc. | June 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I hope that these jurors aren’t wimps. If a juror was afraid to be on this jury all he had to do to get out of jury duty was to say that he had a bias and that he couldn’t over look that bias and then he would have been kicked off the jury.

    wyntre in reply to donmc. | June 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    “and what will happen is that multiple, probably several of those women will refuse to vote innocent for a simple reason. They will be in fear of their own lives, and the lives of their loved ones.”

    I am afraid you might be right.

Carol Herman | June 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm

At 8:30 AM tomorrow morning (July 1st). O’Mara has been given an extra half hour (before the jury returns at 9 AM). He needs to put something in evidence. Even though the prosecutor hasn’t rested, yet.

Anybody else but me (who never went to law school), thinks Dee-Dee’s gonna be “impeached?” How much can you lie under oath? And, how can ANY witness recollect BETTER AS TIME GOES BY? Memories don’t work like that. (Though race hustles do.)

If body language talked, by the end of the day. After the Jurors had left. And, O’Mara had the judge’s attention. It was as if all the air came out of BDLR.

To: Hoglaw. I saw the same article. It exposed the school system’s desire to eliminate the statistics of crime. So the recovered jewelry was treated as “found.” But the people robbed were never told of its recovery.

So far, folks, I am not impressed with Judge Nelson. Is she even aware she can be compared poorly to Judge Ito? And, yes. BDLR to Marcia Clark, whose career evaporated after the OJ circus.

The other thing to notice? You may have heard it discussed by the GOP. Because the one constituency to woo happens to be the Hispanics. Are only white people following this trial? (And, then, aren’t we including American Hispanics?)

Don’t politicians carry sharp knives to cut the rugs out from under even evil Black racial baiters? How did Tawana Brawley, the Duke Mangum chick, and Nifong’s disbarment, plus Dee-Dee who is now the poster child for Blacks being processed through our educational system. I also heard Dee-Dee (nee’ Rachel) isn’t a face anyone will soon forget. Remember Bill Cosby? He tried so hard to make middle class Blacks appear like us. Then, along comes this case from Florida. And, Obama saying “if I had a son he’d be just like Trayvon.” RIIGHT. The advantage does not belong to the prosecution. Not now. And, not if there’s a retrial.

    Can I ask your source for court starting at 8:30 tomorrow? I hadn’t heard that, but if I can confirm I’ll promote more widely.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      caambers in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Court isn’t going to start until 9a, but the attorneys are going to be there at 8:30a for some ‘housecleaning’, sounds like there are some points or paperwork that needs to be cleared up/cleaned up or entered. I don’t know if they’ll livestream that but it will be interesting to see if it is something more than mundane court schtuff 🙂

      txantimedia in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Andrew, at the end of this tape 45:07 mark, O’Mara said they were “making a lot of progress on the statements” but if they were “at loggerheads” they might need a few minutes of the court’s time. At that point Judge Nelson said they would be back in court at 8:30, and the jury would be ushered in at 9.

      No idea what that all means.

        f2000 in reply to txantimedia. | July 1, 2013 at 12:16 am

        If memory serves me right, O’Mara also asked Good to meet him in some side room after his testimony. The tone sounded like “there’s that one matter we need to discuss”.

        Maybe something related to witness intimidation? And since its “statements”, maybe it involves more than just Good?

          bigdawgbeav in reply to f2000. | July 1, 2013 at 8:49 am

          My thought was that O’Mara wanted to talk to Good about coming back a witness for the defense…

    That’s the minimum excitement I expect at 8:30. I want something even bigger and better!

    Rachel (DeeDee) is done. Hopefully headed to jail, and perhaps with a ‘friend’. Where’s attorney Crump?

Carol Herman | June 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm

donmc, Don’t overlook the Knock Knock joke.

Whatever books come out ahead, I hope a lawyer writes a book full of Knock Knock jokes. Here’s one:

Knock Knock. Who is there? OBJECTION !

It’s like Haiku. Only with Knock Knock> (OVERRULED)

Years ago when I was taking firearms training, it was always impressed on us when you could shoot—you had to be able to say you were in danger of physical harm or deathto yourself or others. As a woman though, the question always came up to ‘what if the attacker is unarmed but stronger than you–as in a male’. Our understanding was that since people are killed every day by bare hands, you can still use deadly force to protect yourself or others even if the person is unarmed. So I can’t believe the prosecution is even trying to go down this path. Especially to a jury of women. I think they would understand better than anyone how a larger and more aggressive assailant, even though unarmed, could be capable of causing serious bodily harm or death.
I think it’s further proof as to how desperate they are.

Very interesting. Andy McCarthy on our Andrew, and the Zimmerman case.

Humphreys Executor | June 30, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Andrew, I’m really enjoying your blog. Do you have a link to a post that explains how the burden of proof of self-defense operates in this case?

    I’ve posted the explanation online in various comments and blogs so many times I can’t count them, I couldn’t point you to where they were, I just did them in passing and forgot about them.

    On the other hand, for the low-low price of $35 you could get that, a couple of hundred pages of additional law of self-defense wisdom, and hundred of statutes, court cases, and jury instructions on the law of self-defense, right to your doorstep.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew, I wonder whether might venture an opinion whether Zimmerman will testify.

    txantimedia in reply to rhorton1. | June 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Not unless his attorneys have lost their minds.

      Ragspierre in reply to txantimedia. | June 30, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      At the end of the day, it isn’t their call.

      It is Zimmerman’s.

      At the moment I don’t see the upside, but trials are highly dynamic situations. One witness could swing things wildly.

      Interestingly, though, if all that Zimmerman has in his background are the things BDLR is already trying to get into evidence–the years-old mutual restraining order and the cop-battery reduced to nothing–it’s ironic but true that if BDLR manages to get them in, then there’s no longer any reason for Zimmerman NOT to testify. The dirty laundry is already out there.

      In that scenario, it’s all upside for Zimmerman to testify.

      Of course, that’s a bucket load of speculation right there, so take it for what it’s worth (not much).


      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        rhorton1 in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 1, 2013 at 12:03 am

        I don’t think that by taking the stand to testify about the night of the shooting Zimmerman puts his character at issue so as to make his prior history relevant.

        Bruce Hayden in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 1, 2013 at 12:07 am

        What about the problems that GZ and his wife had with their legal fund? Not useful to show a propensity for violence, but maybe for veracity, which might be relevant if he does take the stand.

          rhorton1 in reply to Bruce Hayden. | July 1, 2013 at 12:31 am

          Florida evidence Code 90.404 sets forth the rules for admissibility of character evidence. As I read that section, potential falsehoods regarding the money Zimmerman had at his disposal (I think that was the dispute) would not be admissible to show Zimmerman has an untruthful character. The prosecutor would have to persuade the judge that evidence is admissible under subsection (2)(a) to prove a relevant “material fact in issue.” I don’t see it.

How was Zimmerman to know that the next blow wouldn’t render him unconscious and thereby helpless against Martin’s attack?

    kentuckyliz in reply to MrE. | June 30, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    The next blow could knock him unconscious, or TM holding his hands over GZ’s nose and mouth (making him black out), or TM reaching for GZ’s gun and shooting him (instead of or after rendering GZ unconscious). TM holding his hands over GZ’s nose and mouth explains the pause in the calling out for help that the earwitnesses and eyewitness testified to. If TM just wanted to shut GZ up, he’d only have to cover his mouth. By also covering his nose, it was an obvious attempt to make GZ lose consciousness.

    ThomasD in reply to MrE. | July 1, 2013 at 9:11 am

    IMO any blow that has the potential to cause loss of consciousness constitutes great bodily harm.

Well I think it’s obvious that Angela Corey-Nifong, BDLR are not reasonable and prudent people. I had posted on Friday that it seemed that BDLR was trying get across that GZ wasn’t staggering & could put 2 words together so he wasn’t beaten enough. Incredible. If your getting your head smashed against a concrete walkway how do you judge when assailant has done enough damage? Alright Mr Criminal you smashed my head 6 times now I’m allowed to use deadly force accoding to BDLR. Don’t forget that GZ told police that night and during walk thru bext day that TM felt or saw his pistol and was trying to grab it. I think this is when according to GZ that TM said “you’re going to die tonight”. If someone is beating the hell out of you and then goes for a gun, no matter who’s, you bet your ass even BDLR would shoot. When reading about self defense cases and judging them in my own mind I’ve always used the, if it was a cop in that position would they be allowed to use the same amount of force. In this case I think it would be without a doubt.

    caambers in reply to styro1. | June 30, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Corey is a politician who was trying to get re-elected last year. Shades of Nifong. And she deserves the same treatment after this taxpayer-funded boondoggle of a trial is over.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to caambers. | July 1, 2013 at 6:43 am

      Ms. Corey has, just in case, prudently upped her retirement pension significantly, at taxpayer expense.

Mansizedtarget | June 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Based on GZ’s injuries, Good’s tesimony that he was screaming, Mr. Manalo’s testimony that he said no one helped him and he shot in self defense, the responding officer’s testimony that he said no one helped him and he shot in self defense, the imprecision of the ear witness testimony about who was screaming, and finally the lack of injury to Trayvon’s skull (from autopsy), the jury will likely conclude that screaming was GZ’s. Without regard to the extent and ultimate seriousness of those injuries, it is obvious from that screaming that he was incredibly afraid for his life at the moment he pulled the trigger.

Mansizedtarget | June 30, 2013 at 9:26 pm

I don’t know why when they did CX regarding the “bigger person” on top, they didn’t ask now and in discovery, “By bigger, do you mean taller?” I do have this criticism of West’s crosses, they are rambling, and of the type you’d expect to see in a depo. They’re supposed to short, sweet, tight, and focused on questions already asked to the extent possible. This “I wasn’t asked that before” defense is kind of unforgivable, given the fact that depos occurred of many of these people.

    Then you have not been paying attention. The witness who was making claims in that directiion was shot down because her perception of the shooting victim happned to be that he was a child as depicted by the press.

    By stating the bigger person was on top she was actually confirming that it was TM.

      Mansizedtarget in reply to Aussie. | July 1, 2013 at 8:44 am

      That’s pretty laughable Aussie since I’ve listened or watched pretty much the entire trial. A lawyer’s job is to make things easy for a jury. The tall/big person on top was still hanging around after Mora’s testimony as well as that of the cat lady, Surdyka. The word taller would have been a useful way of making this issue even less of an issue. They never used this word, and never used it in earlier depositions. I suppose they’ll just piece it together with 7-11 photo during closing.

Andrew, what evidence, if any, can the defense present (during the defense case) as to what a reasonable person in like situation should (or is allowed to) do, e.g., can they call someone from the police to testify what the police are trained to do in such a situation?

P.S. Ordered your book (I have a CCW permit). Do you have an ETA for the release of the 2nd edition?

    Ships this week. There’s a considerable back-log of pre-orders, so it may take a few more days for recent purchasers to receive their copies. If you don’t have it within a week, contact me directly via my blog, and we’ll straighten it out. If necessary, I’ll hand deliver a copy.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      fogflyer in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 1, 2013 at 12:03 am

      Hey Andrew, if you hand deliver mine to Northern California, I’ll let you take my 1975 R90S on a ride through the redwoods! Heck, maybe I can even get you to strap on a BC and go for a dive 🙂

Carol Herman | June 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm


Was it during the Civil War? Or even before? That enemies were close to ya. (Like in the Revolutionary War “instruction:” DON’T SHOOT UNTIL YOU SEE THE WHITES OF THEIR EYES.)

So? Wasn’t Travon on top when Zimmerman got his hand (right or left?) to his gun which was inside an “inside the waistband” holster. And, given he didn’t get a lot of time to aim … He shot Trayvon pretty quickly. I think I read somewhere that because of the rain, the residue that should have been on Zimmerman’s hand “wasn’t.” But what if no one looked?

Plus, doesn’t the medical examiner know how to photograph the wound? And, maybe, to ascertain how close a weapon could be to the wound? (For instance, with JFK, we know the rifles were not inside the car.)

And, we know from military parlance that soldiers are taught to kill. (It seems in basic training it’s hard to teach this.) And, in Zimmerman’s case, he being on the ground … What exactly happened?

Zimmerman said that as soon as his shot went off, Trayvon rose to a sitting position … from the one where he had been leaning forward (doing MMA “pound the ground”) And, he said “You got me.” Then, Zimmerman forced Trayvon off. So he could stand up. But before he stood up he wanted to make sure Trayvon’s arms wouldn’t hit GZ again.

Zimmerman had no idea he had killed Trayvon with one shot.

And, since guns don’t have bayonets, they can be used to shoot someone at close range.

The fact that Zimmerman drew his pistol, I think, is evidence that he thought Trayvon could kill him. And, then? Without anyone answering Zimmerman’s pleas for help, he could have assumed Trayvon was gonna run away.

Isn’t it interesting to you that the government went out of its way to get “experts” (with credentials off of cereal boxes) to say it was Trayvon pleading for help?

Zimmerman at least thought he was screaming for help hoping one of his neighbors would intervene. (Good does. And, also shouts out “STOP IT” … And, he’s calling the police.)

It’s as if ON PURPOSE the prosecutors looked to contaminate Zimmerman’s best evidence.

I wonder if the upcoming July 4th holiday won’t dampen interest in this case? (How long after the OJ verdict, were we still talking about OJ?)

I hope Florida gets called out “big time” for this corrosive case.

Thank you, Andrew, for your wonderful blog.

    kentuckyliz in reply to Carol Herman. | June 30, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Also, Manolo was the first to arrive at the scene–with a flashlight. GZ first asked if he was a cop–GZ was pinning TM to the ground. Manolo said no, and GZ asked for help in restraining TM. TM continued to talk to GZ. Death was quick but not immediate–it took a while for the blood to fill up inside the pleural cavity and collapse his lungs.

Question….if Zimmerman is acquitted, will he get his gun back from law enforcement? He’ll need it for protection from crazies of all sorts wanting to make a name for themselves. If I owned a gun company, I would consider hiring him in some capacity—gun show sales rep, instructor, security guard, YouTube spokesman

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.


What are the odds the judge will dismiss the case when the prosecution rests?

    Bruce Hayden in reply to Fiftycaltx. | June 30, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    I think the odds are low that the case is dismissed after the prosecution rests. What may happen though is that the judge only gives the manslaughter instruction to the jury, and not the 2nd degree murder instruction. For one thing, the case is too political. And another is that judges like juries doing their dirty work in this sort of situation.

    If it was an honest and reasonable judge, and not a female judge, then the odds would be good… but it is Nelson, so the odds are bad.

    divemedic in reply to Fiftycaltx. | July 1, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Zero. This case is being prosecuted for political reasons, and no judge is going to dismiss this. It will go all the way to the jury.

Carol Herman | June 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Why would Trayvon Martin have called for help if he wasn’t being anally raped? (And, we know he wasn’t.)

Trayvon didn’t live in the complex. If people came running he knew he’d be considered the “outsider.” And, his dad wasn’t home. Why would he yell “help?”

Yet the prosecutor went out of his way to suggest the calls for help couldn’t possibly have come from George Zimmerman.

Doesn’t this make your stomach sink?

Women on the jury. Woman judge. A conviction would make women look bad. A jury “hanging?” Nelson would keep sending out encouragements to “get over your differences.” “Anyone on the rag?” “You need a Midol?”

Separate from “Knock Knock” jokes, it may come to pass that “women convict if they have their periods.” But they acquit when the pad isn’t part of the sit.

Let alone how Blacks still need white stooges like the prosecution crew … to get their racial card played in a Florida courtroom.

Remember in the 2000 Gore V. Bush fight? How the lady with the raccoon eye makeup was on one side (The GOP’s) While their Supreme Court got taken to lunch by the DC’s uber Supreme Court. In a decision more people were willing to live with. Plus, now, ahead, both parties will be courting Hispanics.

You tell me, who will bring TRUST back to our court system? And, to our police?

    kentuckyliz in reply to Carol Herman. | June 30, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Did the jurors see the Chastin nanny cam home invasion attack before they were sequestered? Or after, in a preview of what’s coming up on the news at 11 while watching primetime TV? That will help them do the right thing.

Bruce Hayden | June 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm

What must be remembered here, that is shown in the reenactment that I linked to last night, is that the extent of GZ’s injuries may be armed herring. In the reenactment, GZ goes through his coat or shirt riding up, exposing his firearm, then Martin stating that he will kill GZ, as he grabs for the gun. GZ demonstrated how Martin was reaching for it as he (GZ) reaches down, unhosters the weapon, and shoots Martin one time.

My view is that a reasonable person, with an assailant sitting on him, telling him that he will kill him, and reaching for the gun, would believe himself in danger of his life or great bodily injury.

The flip side though is that at that point, Martin may have taken a break from pummeling GZ. Could that be seen as withdrawal? Probably not, but maybe better t

The current argument I seem to be reading in some blogs and comments sections is that Zimmerman could have fought back with his fists and MMA training and instead chose to use his gun. They are saying his arms were free and he wasn’t even trying to fight back. So my question is, are you obligated to attempt to use less than deadly force if it is an option?

    Bruce Hayden in reply to MegK. | June 30, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I don’t think that there is any real evidence to support this narrative. GZ apparently claims (in his reenactment) that he was trying to escape Martin, who was straddling and pummeling him MMA style up until he shot Martin.

    Rick Z in reply to MegK. | July 1, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Yawn ! Maybe little green Martians would teleport T Martin.

    1. MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) ‘Ground and Pound’, like Martin was doing to Zimmerman, is almost impossible to escape from.

    It’s a matter of leverage and not being able to strike back effectively, or escape from the pin.

    In MMA tournaments, the ref would end the match before the guy on bottom is beaten into a paste.

    2. All we know about Zimmerman’s skills is that the PA said she was TOLD that he went to MMA.

    How about getting his MMA instructor to testify on Zimmerman’s skills.

    Fen in reply to MegK. | July 1, 2013 at 9:06 am

    They are idiots. Here is a good video demonstrating what Ground and Pound is like. Notice that the PROFESSIONAL fighter underneath can barely shield his face, much less strike back:

It would be interesting to know what training Zimmerman received on the use of lethal force in self-defense. If he were taught that one can only use lethal force when threatened with death or serious bodily injury, then it seems to me that this would strengthen his self-defense claim — in other words, that Zimmerman fired the gun not because he was pissed or because things were going badly for him in the fight, but because he believed, in accordance with his training, that he was in danger of death or serious bodily injury.

But I have to wonder what kind of training Zimmerman received. Everything I’ve ever heard is that when you’re involved in a self-defense shooting, you NEVER talk to the police without having an attorney present. But there’s George, chatting away right after the shooting, and then making a video with the police the next day.

That makes me wonder about George’s training. Because if he didn’t know about not making statements without an attorney, then it makes me wonder what else he didn’t know, and what a prosecutor might be able to do with that lack of knowledge.

    Matt in FL in reply to siguiriya. | July 1, 2013 at 1:56 am

    @siguiriya re: talking to police following a DGU: I asked about that in Saturday’s post, here, and it led to quite a bit of forth-and-back about when “never” may or may not apply. You might want to check it out.

    Fen in reply to siguiriya. | July 1, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Also, you empty the clip into the perp. You tell the officers that you were in fear for your life. If you are going to use a firearm to defend yourself from assault, better to kill the perp so there is only one story to be told.

    Can you imagine the hijinks in court if Martin had survived? Martin’s testimony would have made Z out to be a racist perv monster intent on murdering little black children.

Bruce Hayden | June 30, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Continuing from my inadvertent premature posting.

The flip side is that at that point, Martin may have taken a break from pummeling GZ. Could that be seen as withdrawal? Probably not, but maybe a better argument than the prosecution has otherwise.

That said, I have always found this aspect of GZ’s story almost too pat or convenient. Almost like something that a CCW instructor (or maybe even a cop) would tell someone – that the best story for self defense after shooting an unarmed person is to claim that they grabbed for the gun. I think that there may be a possibility that FZ was entitled to use deadly force due to Martin beating his head on the concrete, but wanted the added security of the story of Martin grabbing for his gun. The thing though is that it is probably impossible for the prosecution to disprove this.

    You’re investing a lot of effort in pure speculation aren’t you? We have some evidence on one side–Zimmerman’s testimony that Martin–who was still engaged in a life-threatening battery upon him–reached for his gun.

    What’s the evidence on the other side–that Zimmerman’s making it up? Gut feel? Fairy dust? You say it’s probably impossible for the prosecution to disprove, and the very reason it’s impossible is that there’s no evidence.

    How would you suggest the jury decide a factual issue where there is evidence, however slight and self-serving on one side and zero evidence on the other. In favor of the side with zero evidence?

    Really, unless there’s some evidence that emerges to the contrary, this line of discussion is just navel gazing.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      DennisD in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      Which is the point brought out by Morse and now Bruce. If someone is caught lying they can lose their credibility altogether about the incident. So a jury could say, depending on the lie, that the shooter was actually predisposed to shoot not acting in true self-defense, depending on the evidence.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      None whatsoever. Just sounded too good. All that we do know, and probably will ever know is that GZ received head injuries consistent with his head being hit repeatedly against the concrete walk, and that he claims that Martin grabbed for his gun after incurring the head injuries.

      The evidence is that Z only fired one shot. He did not use “disproportionate force”, he did not intend to kill Martin, he only intended to stop the assault by Martin.

      Remember, Z’s actions after the first shot (extricating himself and standing away from Martin) indicate he assumed the wound to Martin was not fatal.

      From my own CCW classes, we are taught to empty the clip into the perp. Z didn’t do that, his intent was not to kill but to protect himself.

        Aridog in reply to Fen. | July 1, 2013 at 10:09 am

        I wonder how much this simple fact will impact the jury’s decision…e.g., that GZ did not fire repeatedly as if to be certain of a kill, rather than disabling an attacker? Otherwise, only to protect himself from further harm or possible death.

        I began my training with firearms at age 7 as an NRA Junior Member, and continued it at various times up to today. Last year I took the official 12 hour course for CPL licensing in my state, with my daughter who sought a CPL, and yes, they did emphasize firing repeatedly. Due to my own experience, military and civilian, I would apply that instruction only to circumstances that were very dynamic … e.g., continued hectic assault.

We’ll see if Zimmerman’s testimony about Trayvon going for his gun comes in, but you’d have to expect the defense to bring in some experts to show that the beating Zimmerman was enduring had the potential to do great harm, no?

    We heard that testimony from Lindzee Folgate Friday afternoon.

    Zimmerman Trial Day 5 – Analysis & Video – State’s own witnesses undercut theory of guilt

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      DennisD in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 11:25 pm

      Yes, a prosecution witness. I remember. But I’d expect the defense to have their own.

        DizzyMissL in reply to DennisD. | July 1, 2013 at 12:01 am

        They have some well known expert out of TX. DW mentioned him in his opening.

        Milhouse in reply to DennisD. | July 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm

        Why? With the prosecution witnesses making the defense’s case so well, why bother calling their own witnesses?

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Andrew Branca. | June 30, 2013 at 11:38 pm

      Wouldn’t you agree that Martin grabbing for GZ’s gun would be sufficient for self defense? And since GZ’s statement stating that is in evidence, that the defense can argue it in closing?

      I would expect that the prosecution would need to attack GF’s credibility to overcome this, which may be hard if he doesn’t testify? Or, can the prosecution keep this from consideration by the jury because they can’t cross examine GZ? You are the expert here.

        I claim some passing familiarity with the law of self defense, obviously.

        Rules of evidence are a different kettle of fish. They are slippery and always highly subjective. Here, we’re also dealing with a judge that clearly favors the State (denying a continuance reasonably requested from a defense team that just received a dump of State discovery days before, and flatly tells the Court, we’re not ready for trial . . . to use the formal legal terminology, WTF? Could there be a more classic ground for reversal?)

        So I think I’ll avoid making predictions on this end. Were I to guess, however, I’d guess the judge has been made aware that the powers that be prefer a fundamentally flawed conviction certain to be reversed than they do an acquittal or hung jury.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

I just has an interesting thought.
I seems to me that the state should be the one arguing that Trayvon did grab the gun and that they should be the ones arguing that DNA doesn’t always transfer and that the rain might have washed it away.


Well, the state wants us to think it was Trayvon Martin screaming for help.
The state also wants us to believe that Trayvon was actually the one defending himself from Zimmerman, who was the aggressor.

Now the only way I see these two things being a possibility is if George confronted Trayvon with his gun drawn. Trayvon would be justified in defending himself in that scenario. But what should I guy do who was struggling with a crazy man that had just pulled a gun on him? Try and disarm him of course. Trayvon’s prints should be all over that gun! He would have been struggling for nearly a minute to get the gun away from Zimmerman.

So, I would argue that having Trayvon’s prints on the gun would have actually been beneficial for the state.

Of course they would have had to argue that scenario from the get go.

Well, see you all in the morning:-)

Mr. Branca, I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis as illustrated by the story of the slowly drawn gun along with the intent to kill. I’d only add that the shooter’s intent to kill and indeed his actual possession of a lethal weapon are not required for self defense. For example, if the shooter only intended to scare you, and was holding a toy gun that looked real, but you believed he possessed a real gun and intended to kill you, then by all means, fire away, as you are still within your rights.

Changing subjects somewhat, this is basically what Saddam Hussein did, on a larger scale, by making the west believe that he possessed WMD’s, and that he may one day use them. America, under the leadership of GWP, exercised its right to self defense, which was the right thing to do. I’d rather our country act, and then suffer unfair scorn when it is revealed that a threat did not exist, then to not act, and then suffer utter destruction when it turns out that the threat was real.

It is the threat of serious harm which enables a person (or a country) to take action in order, as you point out, to use deadly force avoid that serious harm from occurring. And it is those who give rise to those fears that are ultimately responsible for their own demise with that deadly force is then justifiably used against them.

    Indeed, it is the reasonable perception of an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm.

    The threat need not be real, if a reasonable person would have perceived it to be real.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Mister Natural in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 1, 2013 at 5:58 am

      and now for something completely different.
      “The case of the dogs of race war that didn’t bark in the night or “The other White Hispanic”.
      Regarding the arrest of Aaron Hernandez(football hero, punk,thug, button man) who’s been arrested and charged with the premeditated execution style slaying of an authentic 20 something young black male:
      where are the race hustle franchisees on this one. More than enough circumstantial evidence to suggest mens rea, yet all we get from the race baiters is crickets.

        Uncle Samuel in reply to Mister Natural. | July 1, 2013 at 6:59 am

        Hernandez had a number of priors and is not 17 years old.

        While Trayvon had priors, they were not as serious…yet, though he had ambitions in that direction.

        If Trayvon had not died at 17, he may well have been incarcerated, killed or OD’d before he was 30.

          Mister Natural in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 1, 2013 at 7:42 am

          uncle sammy i’m not reading you. the intentional execution of a young black man is overlooked by the racial hucksters who were inciting violence vis a vis the GZ vs TM death are not interested because hernadez had priors. again, sorry sammy that just does not compute. please advise

    Saddam Hussein’s actions are getting a work out in both of our countries. The fact remains that the WMDs did in fact exist, and there was evidence of the chemicals required to make more. The mobile labs were discovered, and so were some of the chemicals. On top of that the weapons were sent into Syria.

    However, people continue to believe that the WMDs did not exist after allied forces when into Iraq. It is simply not true, because there was enough time to remove traces of the weapons prior to the invasion.

    Now back to the plight of George Zimmerman.

bob aka either orr | June 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Andrew, you’ve done quite well here.
Question: What are the chances that the defense moves for a directed verdict once the prosecution is finished? That seems to be a common maneuver, and, based on the reporting I’ve seen to date, a maneuver that would have a chance for success.
Of course, I expect the judge would turn it down, not wanting to bear the wrath of the race-baiters.

    I’ll go ahead an answer you seeing as poor Andrew has had to answer this question way too many times already.

    Yes they will move for a directed verdict.

    The chance of that happening is slim to none, even though the evidence might warrant it.

      Fabi in reply to fogflyer. | July 1, 2013 at 2:27 am

      I don’t think they can move for a directed verdict before the prosecution finishes their case (and realize you are not suggestion that timeframe), but, something is going to happen at 8:30 in the morning. I think it relates this:

      The Rachel (DeeDee) in the Crump interview is not the same as the Rachel (DeeDee) in court. Read that again if needed.

      The voices are completely different: tone, vocabulary, enunciation, cadence, et cetera.

      The files are several places on the internet. I have the copies (files) on my computer, but not the links. Try diwataman or maybe even GZlegalcase websites.

      This is a sickening travesty of justice. (In my opinion, of course, but if true, you heard it here first…)

        Fabi in reply to Fabi. | July 1, 2013 at 2:42 am

        Also why Crump didn’t want to be deposed; why they didn’t want to hand over contact info for Rachel (DeeDee) – they needed to find a substitue; why they’re now saying it’s not about race (Rachel Courtnails went off-script with the crazy-ass cracka aside); and many, many other issues.

        All speculation and just my opinion, of course.

        divemedic in reply to Fabi. | July 1, 2013 at 7:26 am

        If I had been MOM, I would have put an investigator outside of her hotel room and had her followed. Furthermore, if possible, I would have watched her electronic communications.

        I’m betting that there was some coaching going on, despite the judge’s order that she not discuss the case with anyone.

        txantimedia in reply to Fabi. | July 1, 2013 at 8:42 am

        Fabi, I’ve listened to the tape of her interview over and over and over and transcribed it. The girl on the stand is the same girl on the tape. There’s no question in my mind.

Carol Herman | July 1, 2013 at 12:00 am

For 44 days after the shooting, by being open with the police, the police felt GZ acted in self-defense.

Only after the State brought out the “big guns” to prosecute. And, then “DOCTORED UP” all the evidence, even to claiming that Trayvon was calling for help! (Excuse me, if you’re using your arms to “pound and ground” … or even to whip egg whites … I doubt you’re going to engage your brain to make your mouth come out with screaming sounds. NOPE. You’re concentrating on what you’re doing.

And, Trayvon was winning the fight!

Don’t know if Dee-Dee scrubbed it … But Trayvon had become used to “tweeting” her about his fights. And, there was one that lasted 3 rounds. (Don’t ask me.) But I think he tweeted her “he lost round 1. And, then came back in 2 and 3.”

Plus, WHY would Trayvon scream? If his dad had come back … and gone outside … and seen Trayvon plummeling an older guy … I think his dad would have removed his belt from his pants, and given Trayvon a real good licken.

Remember, too, that Trayvon’s dad was living with his fiancee … who also had a son. And, he was told (either by his father or mother) … to be on his best behavior.

So? Being in a fight where the fiancee lives … leaves you with a felling Trayvon would just call out for the heck of it?

This bizarre story is fraught with racial overtones. And, maybe, someone has to translate “WHITE ASS CRACKER” … because I think it means a white homosexual who wants to have anal sex with Trayvon. You mean you don’t think Dee-Dee would know what anal sex was? And, “white ass cracker” just means “pass me the Ritz?”

Again. On who was the most likely to scream? The guy getting beaten up. Out in the rain. Ain’t Trayvon.

I hate to say this, but I always thought you’d need Vaseline. Am I the one who is not in the know?

    Sunlight78 in reply to Carol Herman. | July 1, 2013 at 12:26 am

    @ Carol
    Cracker can be a derogatory word used for White people similar to the N word for African Americans. It is a racial epithet. So to hyphenate it the way it appears to have been used by Dee Dee and Trayvon is creepy-a$$ cracker and not referring to any type sexual activity. So it would appear to be racial profiling to refer to Zimmerman as a cracker (and not very accurate profiling since Zimmerman self identifies as Hispanic).

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Sunlight78. | July 1, 2013 at 7:15 am

      Perhaps Trayvon intended it as a double entendre and had both meanings in mind.

      For this demographic, sex, rap, movies, games, fighting, drugs and hating whites are the main areas of thought and deed.

      Young good-looking teen boys, are often the prey of older white and black gay males. Black women have estimated 50% of young blacks are on the ‘down low’, meaning they are secretly bi-sexual.

      Thinking he was being followed by a sexual pervert, and not for the first time, was not outside the realm of possibility.

      Re: DeeDee/Rachael/Diamond, if she were not the original friend, the phone records would show that Trayvon had been on the phone with someone else as well.

This case makes no sense to me. I was watching the news post Rachael J’s testimony and a commentator was discussing how Rachael was coffee colored and lovely. Also, how brave she was to get up on the stand and be authentic. The commentator then went on to discuss how the criticism of Rachael was due to her dark coloring and if she had been a lighter skinned AA then people would not be making comments.

My jaw hit the floor. When I saw Rachael give testimony my two main thoughts were 1) she admitted to committing perjury and 2) the Florida school system needs an overhaul if Rachael is a Senior with plans to graduate. It is a major disservice to anyone not being able to write or read cursive especially for kinesthetic learning (or just to be able to take rapid notes). How Rachael looked should have no bearing on the case or her testimony but that seemed to be the main discussion on the News program I watched.

I also saw Geraldo with one of the Martins lawyers and the lawyer for the Martins seemed to think the case was going fantastic and Zimmerman should be behind bars soon. Geraldo was like I don’t think so it appears Zimmerman so far has a strong case for self defense but he could not get the Martin’s lawyer to even consider that possibility.

This case only seems to get more bizarre.

    Sunlight78 in reply to Sunlight78. | July 1, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Does anyone know as a result of this trial if Racheal’s school is going to be investigated for the type of education it is providing and if it appears not to be serving the best interest of its students that something will be done.

      bigdawgbeav in reply to Sunlight78. | July 1, 2013 at 8:56 am

      If you are referring about not being able to read cursive, a lot of public schools are no longer teaching cursive writing. And it’s my understanding that the Florida public school system is not the best.
      I say that because that is the reason my brother-in-law moved his family. Plus my Aunt and Uncle paid for private schools for my cousin even though they really couldn’t afford it.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Sunlight78. | July 1, 2013 at 7:19 am

    If nothing else, this trial serves to expose the extremely wide disconnect between the liberal PC media, mindset, narrative and actual reality, evidence, logic, morality and truth.

Carol Herman | July 1, 2013 at 12:53 am

Sunlight 78, I read somewhere that Dee-Dee (nee’ Rachel) failed her “f-CAT” which is a Florida assessment test, given statewide. Failures count against a school’s grade. (Which can go from A through F).

What does Dee-Dee’s failing this exam mean? It means she can’t earn a “regular” diploma. Though the school may have a substitute paper which just says “you attended.” And, by “graduating her” she’s out.

She may also get called on her dishonest testimony?

When this case began the race whores thought they owned it. And, Zimmerman, indeed, would be painted into a corner. Now? Seems like hundreds of thousands of people are actually watching the live coverage! Then, of course, there’s You Tube. Where word-of-mouth sends people to look at the segments. Let’s say were Dee-Dee calls Don West “retarded.” And, of course, the repetitions of “white ass cracker,” because the stenographer had no idea what her answer to West’s questions were.

You know, I think “white ass cracker” refers to anal sex. Where a homosexual man pursues an innocent lad. Given that there’s no anal rape, what Trayvon is really telling Dee-Dee is that he wants to fight. But it’s ghetto talk.

The State also doesn’t mind to come down hard on a local police department.

Similar to the Duke LaCrosse mess; Nifong never thought he’d lose control! But he did. Because one of the students had gone from the frat house to the ATM. And, he had a receipt to show for it, from the bank. “Pocket litter.” A scrap of paper that broke the case wide open.

Here? George Zimmerman, at first, had received hundreds of thousands of dallars from strangers. (Which is why the Florida Court ripped him a new one. For not telling the judge at his bail hearing … that the case had brought him a windfall. Then? These donations dried up. And, I’d bet the race whores thought interest in Zimmerman also dried up.

I think the prosecutor tried to drag his feet before coming to court. He also tried NOT to turn over “some” evidence. People, too, seem at a loss at all the hocus pocus done over the tape where Zimmerman is heard screaming for help.

The prosecutor found “experts” who said while they weren’t sure … “it could be St. Trayvon’s voice.”

Nifong got disbarred. So giving the Mangum lady the stage to accuse white students, did seem to backfire.

Tawana Brawley’s claim also backfired. Al Sharpton, however, is a regular face on MSM. As is Geraldo. (Since I don’t watch TV, I only know these faces being on TV decades ago.)

Back in 1953 there was a book: THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE. It was the story of a ghetto school in Manhattan. If anything, these days all the ghetto schools are worse.

Heck, I laughed when there was a request a few years ago to “teach Ebonics.” But that’s what Dee-Dee speaks! She has zero use for what she considers “white culture.”

If people actually are tuning in this trial, and are not dependent on the MSM for their filter, the scales have fallen off their eyes.

Zimmerman is not Jewish! That was supposed to be the hook of hate. Instead, he’s Hispanic. A decent man. Whose life has been ruined by race baiting whores. I hope there’s a price attached to this.

Carol Herman | July 1, 2013 at 2:00 am

I had heard that judges go to each other for help. Especially on a big case like this. When Judge Nelson says she’s not going to give a decision from the bench, immediately, but will give the decision “the next day.” What she could be doing is calling colleagues. (Hopefully, respected ones!) Where she asks for advice.

How did I hear this? From a woman who had been newly appointed. There were senior judges that she’d call on. Because judges don’t want to get in trouble.

So on a case like this Nelson would be a fool not to call on senior colleagues for advice. What would a man like Richard Posner say to her? (I give this as an example because I don’t know too many judges worth calling.)

You know this case is going to be reviewed. From Knock-Knock jokes. To a witness’ prompted testimony. Especially if its gone over with a fine tooth comb.

Even if Nelson didn’t expect it, she did allow the cameras in! It’s like revisiting Judge Ito all over again! Before you had cameras in the courtroom you had real journalists. That’s how you know about the Scopes Trial. And, Clarence Darrow. And, Dryfus (over in France).

Americans want their justice system to work. It’s not an “affirmative action rewards program” … like the way you were once able to get “free stuff” with green stamps.

And, Dee-Dee should never have made it to the 12th grade! (In what is now the “old days” she’d have been left back in the 4th grade until she quit. Or she sat in one of the student seats, unable to get out of it. Stuck, until she was cut loose.)

Anyway, what I’ve discovered is that blacks have no use for our culture. None. Whatsoever. At all. Welcome to the fun house.

    Mister Natural in reply to Carol Herman. | July 1, 2013 at 7:56 am

    regarding the educational malpractice and how miss dee dee came to be such a silver tongued orator, an old story comes to mind.
    mort Sahl and genl. al Haig were discussing Henry Kissinger. Sahl mentioned that, ofcourse, Kissinger could not be the US President since he was not born
    in the US. Haig said, no, that’s a common misconception, Kissinger was born in the US.
    “How did he get that accent?” asked Sahl.
    Haig replied, “From never listening to anybody.

The most charitable (to the State) assessment I can conceive of this prosecution is that it was decided – at levels including the Governor and Attorney General – that pursuing it served some “greater good” by defusing potential mob violence if they did not.

But in a society supposedly dedicated to justice and the rights of the individual, this was not only ill-advised but unacceptable and destruction of our system. Better to incur the expense of calling out the National Guard to protect the citizens and their property than to knowingly persecute an innocent man to appease the mob.

citizenjeff | July 1, 2013 at 3:38 am

At this point, could the prosecution still argue that Zimmerman pulled his gun (or some such thing) before Trayvon hit Zimmerman, even though it has not so far produced any evidence that the gun was a factor in initiating the physical aspect of the confrontation?

Thanks in advance to anyone who might be kind enough to answer.

Andrew, wouldnt you think that since the prosecutors have brought raised GZ MMA training and the issue of injuries (whether or not it is a factor), they have essentially opened the door to TM’s ability to fight and reputation of alleged victim? By anticipating a self-defense theory, they have raied the issue.

    Fen in reply to M3Princess. | July 1, 2013 at 8:56 am

    You would think. Not only evidence of Martin’s MMA training, but his experience watching street fights (and taping them), as well as his father’s influence and example as a street thug.

The prosecution is riding on the early narrative established by the Crump group’s PR guy. Specifically that Martin was a young boy as evidenced by the family and attorney’s referring to him as a child accompanied by 5 year old photo portraits showing a smiling boy. The defense has done an admirable job breaking down the fact that TM was a tall young man and not a stripling youth in the first flush of adolescence.

The other part of the narrative is that as an adult GZ was supposed to take a beating from a scared child. I am unfamiliar with this form of parenting or interaction with adolescents. I think most of us are. When has it become acceptable, even required to take an assault from anyone or anything especially a child. This was not a case of a distraught infant pulling an adult’s ears. The fury and damage caused to GZ’s head and face shows this was not done by a puny child.

The prosecution only has left of the narrative sold by the media regarding the “insignificant” injuries. This of course was duly hid by the media by manipulating tapes showing GZ in the police bay getting out of the squad car after being cleaned up by paramedics, using poor quality grainy video with poor resolution to hide the significant extent of the injuries. The prosecution hid discoverable photos of GZ from the defense and the public taken immediately after the furious assault on GZ. The prosecution initially released a black and white photocopied degraded “copy” of the full frontal carnage to disguise the gore and litany of damage done to GZ’s skull and face. Where I live GZ would have been taken to the hospital to determine brain damage, brain bleeding or skull fracture with his consent or not since he was in custody. The EMT’s know they may be liable so covered their ass. The fact that the police hauled him in to be grilled after possible (probable) brain injury is appalling.

The prosecution suggesting that there is some unknown, unwritten standard that requires a certain degree of injury before the rules of self-defense apply is ludicrous. Where in the statute is that? I do not think that suggesting GZ did not bleed enough, have a fractured skull or have enough of dislocated cartilage is a road the courts (or the public) want to travel. This prosecution is idiotic.

There is a local legal commentator on that live coverage stream that is clearly playing to the mob.
At one point he seemed to be reassuring viewers that if the jury comes back with a guilty verdict on a lesser charge, that the judge will give him a maximum sentence.
To me, that means that the defense needs to go all out in convincing the jury that this was self-defense. If the jury goes with manslaughter to please the mob/avoid riots then George is screwed.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Jackster. | July 1, 2013 at 7:39 am

    The media are reporting a fantasy trial, not the one that is actually going on.

    This is a clear revelation of the disconnect between the PC narrative and leftist mindset and actual reality and evidence.

    Perhaps their minds are damaged by liberalism and they cannot receive or perceive reality.

Advice to Racists:

1 – You are a very dumb Racist if you
. call 911
. speak to 911 for almost 5 minutes
. tell 911 exactly where you are
. Demand that an officer be sent IMMEDIATELY to your location
and THEN go and shoot someone.

2 – You are a very incompetent Racist if you
. intend to murder someone
. but first get into a Rolling-on-the-Ground fist fight
. get your head slammed repeatedly on the concrete
. have to wrestle your gun away from the guy on top of you
and THEN shoot him.

3 – It’s so much easier to blast him from 2 or 3 yards away.

/ sarc

If(when) acquitted, will GZ get his gun back from law enforcement?

Uncle Samuel | July 1, 2013 at 8:17 am

Some still consider this a political, publicity and racial trial:

DRUDGE REPORT: “Jamie Foxx Wears Trayvon Martin Shirt to BET Awards…”

However, the latest Foxx movie has bombed despite its quartet of big stars, so maybe he’s trying to catch a ride on Trayvon’s star.

If acquitted, could Eric Holder bring Federal civil rights charges against GZ?

bigdawgbeav | July 1, 2013 at 8:37 am

So BDLR is shooting for the “Top Gun” method of self defense? Do not fire until fired upon?

Uncle Samuel | July 1, 2013 at 9:07 am

It’s 9:06 in FL, where is our Live Coverage?

[…] Zimmerman Update — How Much Injury Is Required Before Self-Defense is Justified? […]

[…] has done covering the George Zimmerman trial in Florida. (Mr. Branca’s most recent update is here.) I am only surprised to find myself in a disagreement with Mr. Branca – or what I at least […]

What we have here is a nominally Republican Governor, a nominally Republican Attorney General, and a nominally Republican State’s Attorney attempting to administratively repeal the right of self-defense all in the name of surrendering to a mob of radical racist Democrats.

[…] Insurrection has this, on the actual theory being developed by the prosecution,  the courtroom deployment of which seems […]

I think this may be what the prosecutors are trying to do:

Florida courts have generally defined “great bodily harm” as “great as distinguished from slight, trivial, minor or moderate harm, and as such does not include mere bruises as are likely to be inflicted in a simple assault and battery.” [Citations omitted.] In C.A.C., the Second District emphasized that the state “must prove more than that the victim suffered some harm.”

    inspectorudy in reply to DRJ. | July 2, 2013 at 12:19 am

    What would the state call it when a man hanging out of a ten story building on a slender rope and his aggressor is about to cut the rope? He would not have any signs of assault nor would he be able to prove that the man was about to cut the rope once he shot him even though there was a knife found at the scene. Would that be stand or hang on your ground?

FWIW, I think Zimmerman suffered injuries consistent with the “great bodily harm” standard. (See here:

So the prosecuter’s arguement against self-defense is to argue that the deceased *was* beating up on the defendent by sitting on his chest and pounding his head into the concrete, but that the deceased was far too puny and weak to actually have done any damage to the defendent, photographic evidence notwithstanding?

That’s like, “Yes, your honor, I was carrying the tv out the door when the police showed up, but I had seen the appartment door was broken and I was putting the TV in my car for safe keeping in case any criminals came by…”

inspectorudy | July 2, 2013 at 12:14 am

I heard two comments today on TV and both have not been answered to my knowledge. One, why were TM’s hands under his body with the photo taken by a resident when GZ said that he had pulled TM’s hands out to look inside for some kind of weapon. I had thought it might have been because of the CPR being used on him but he would not have been face down after that. And two, that the stand your ground law cannot be applied if you are the one threatening the other person. If the state can convince the jury that GZ pursued and then threatened TM then he cannot use the stand your ground law or self defense law. Has anyone heard these two items discussed and cleared up?

    Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to inspectorudy. | July 2, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Re: your later point, this has been covered ad nauseum in the daily discussions.

    And Stand Your ground has not been invoked. You have a lot of catching up to do.

    Re:Arms. Nothing has been brought up in trial about this yet. TM lived some moments after the shooting. GZ and Good both state that he had said some things, made noises.
    I can imagine that TM pulled them in at some point as a natural reaction to the pain.
    Let’s see what happens at the trial.
    Good luck on catching up!

    Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to inspectorudy. | July 2, 2013 at 12:47 am

    Hey, I just quickly scanned the comments here and the first question you brought up is also discussed in this thread.

    How about putting in a little effort, eh?

    Good luck!

    jayjerome66 in reply to inspectorudy. | July 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    The goofy ME in one of his mumbling rants said at least twice that with the heart wound to TM’s chest the survival time could be anywhere from one to ten minutes.

    It only takes seconds to pull in your hands.

theyjustcantstop | July 2, 2013 at 2:57 am

i’m not as versed as many in this case, but can tm’s words be used in gz’s defense, saying your going to die, and proceed in his actions.
just thinking as if someone was chasing you firing a gun at you saying your going to die, and the chasing is an action to accomplish what was threatened, where the continuation of the beating was the action to accomplish what he had threatened.
is that admissible, to gz’s state of mind, even though all the eye witnesses heard was the screaming, but the jury has heard it in the admissible evidence,ie, Zimmerman’s statements, and police questioning.

[…] has done covering the George Zimmerman trial in Florida. (Mr. Branca’s most recent update is here.) I am only surprised to find myself in a disagreement with Mr. Branca — or at least what I […]

[…] – Andrew Branca in How Much Injury is Required Before Self-Defense is Justified? [at]     […]

[…] Zimmerman Update — How Much Injury Is Required Before Self-Defense is Justified? […]