Racialized prosecutorial indiscretion in the Zimmerman case
Considering the wonderful job Andrew Branca has done covering the George Zimmerman trial, I’ve been relegated to something approaching potted plant status here.
It ain’t broke, so I ain’t gonna fix that. But I will weigh in with my own thoughts on the case and the trial.
As you know, I covered the case from the inception, focusing on the racial narratives and media mishandling of “evidence” leaked or revealed in court filings.
I’ve also listened to almost all of the trial, and those parts I missed because of my relocation I’ve accounted for through Andrew’s coverage.
My overall impression of the trial doesn’t really deviate from my overall impression of the pre-trial phase: This is a case which never should have been brought, and would not have been brought except for racial politics.
Florida prosecutors made an initial decision not to prosecute after the police investigation. Those prosecutors did what prosecutors should do, take a disinterested and dispassionate view of the evidence in determining whether the state could prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The facts known at that time of the initial decision not to prosecute do not materially differ from the facts known now that the prosecution has rested its case.
What changed along the way was that the Martin family through the Parks and Crump law firm, assisted by agitators like Al Sharpton, launched a campaign to portray the decision not to prosecute in racial terms. The media was an all-too-willing accomplice in stirring up public protests alleging that this was a racially motivated killing.
NBC published an edited tape purporting to show that Zimmerman considered that Martin was suspicious because black; in reality the full tape showed that Zimmerman identified Martin as black only in response to a later police question. Allegations were made that Zimmerman used the word “coon” to describe Martin, when even the prosecution now acknowledges that the word used was “punk.”
The “hoodie” was mentioned only when the 911 operator asked Zimmerman to describe Martin’s clothing, yet the “hoodie” has become the image most associated with the case and is used to put a racial context on Zimmerman’s concern. That did not stop college and law students from holding rallies in which students wore hoodies in solidarity with Martin, as if that were the reason a shot was fired.
The false racial narrative of the case created such public pressure and threats of ongoing protests and potential violence that Special Prosecutor Angela Corey was appointed, and the inevitable decision to file the case was made. Corey has shown herself to be particularly thin-skinned as to criticism of her decision to prosecute.
The prosecution never let go of its desire to inject racial politics into the case. Only by virtue of a judicial ruling barring the use of the term “racial profiling” was the prosecution stopped. Once it became clear that the racial angle could not be worn on its sleeve, the prosecution acted as if it never really intended to go there anyway.
But the prosecution has gone there the best it could, seeking to introduce evidence of prior 911 calls from Zimmerman in which the suspicious person was black.
The prosecution also serially struck whites from the jury, leading the Judge to overrule two of the strikes.
The prosecution also is obsessed with showing that Zimmerman “followed” Martin as part of “profiling” even though that has no legal significance under the law as Zimmerman was permitted to follow whomever he wanted. The legal question is who commenced the physical altercation and what the status of that physical altercation was at the time of the use of deadly force.
On that point, the evidence in the form of physical injuries and eyewitness testimony points to Trayvon Martin as the aggressor under the law and Zimmerman having a plausible case of self-defense.
The prosecution case has not shaken the prime factual basis for a finding of not guilty — Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman punching him at the time of the shot. At best for the prosecution, there is somewhat conflicting eyewitness testimony on this point, which itself raises reasonable doubt.
I kept hoping that the prosecution would come forward with evidence to change my mind and justify the prosecution — perhaps bullet trajectory showing Zimmerman was on top when Martin was shot. But that evidence never came.
Instead we had a pathetic prosecution attempt (rejected by the Judge) to introduce dubious audio “expert” testimony. We have been subjected to the spectacle of the prosecution repeatedly attacking the police witnesses called on the prosecution’s case because the police found Zimmerman’s various accounts of the night essentially consistent.
Yet nothing has changed the basic equation: Regardless of who you think has the better argument at this stage, it’s hard to see how a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt could emerge from a dispassionate view of the evidence.
Yet a finding of guilt remains a possibility given how the prosecution is handling the case and its willingness to spin the facts to convince the jury to convict.
I think Andrew had it right when he described the prosecutors’ argument on the motion for acquittal. While that argument was before the Judge only, it is a preview of closing arguments:
Mantei provided the State’s counter to the motion for a directed verdict in a manner that cannot readily be described in language suitable for a family-accessible blog. To say it was histrionic, lacking in factual evidence, and rife with abject fabrications, would be to put the matter too kindly.
The spin spun by the prosecution could result in a finding of guilt, but what does that tell you?
It tells you that this is a prosecution which has to build conjecture upon conjecture, argumentative hyperbole upon hyperbole, just to get to the jury. It is a prosecution devoid of dispassionate prosecutorial discretion and on a mission to convict rather than to see justice done.
Reasonable people can differ on whether George Zimmerman committed a crime under the law. Reasonable people cannot differ on whether there is evidence of that crime beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s why prosecutorial discretion is so important, and that’s why this case is a travesty.
The original prosecutors were not so invested in the case. Only the false racial narrative put this case in the hands of those who want to win at all costs.
[Note: A few wording changes and additions were made to this post after initial publication, mostly to add additional source material.]
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I kept hoping that the prosecution would come forward with evidence to change my mind
for clarification, I read that to mean you hoped they had something so as to justify taking this to trial correct?
on a quick glance someone could think you were hoping for evidence against GZ but taken in context with the rest of the article that didn’t see to be true to me.
so I wanted to get clarification, thanks.
That’s the way I read it…that the Professor was desperate for some evidence the legal system hadn’t been completely perverted. Sadly, it’s not there.
Yes, that was the point. I’ve clarified the language now.
thank you, I appreciate that.
In Obama’s America, a lie trumps the truth in the service of race politics. As for the victims, like GZ, at all levels of our society, the lying hacks don’t care. What matters to them is that they have deprived you of your rights and liberty in their quest to reshape the country in their own lawless image. This case is just a symptom of the disregard for rule of law that has pervaded this country.
Not only in Obama’s American, but in Republican Rick Scott’s America too, the Governor of Florida who appointed Angela Corey, the Republican Special Prosecutor whose actions in the case have been driven by the same political dysfunctions you ascribe to liberals. And Judge Nelson most likely is Republican (as are most judges). And BDLR may be as well (tho I’m getting the feeling he’s not smart enough to vote, and may not be affiliated with either party).
But the ‘heros’ defending GZ so far have been liberal-leaning. Alan Dershowitz was the first and loudest voice to criticize the charges against Zimmerman and the ‘illegal’ behavior of the special prosecutor. And Mark O’Mara is reported to be a ‘progressive-liberal Democrat.’
I’m a moderate/independent. There’s more of us then there are conservatives or liberals. And, truthfully, we don’t want to hear the same old ideological blame games — there seems like there’s enough of it to smear people on both ‘minority’ sides.
After Rick Scott’s name, you make assertions without proof. Next you will ll me that Trayvon was a Republican.
JJ – I don’t want to be harsh, but your analysis is uninformed. While a few liberals with integrity have stood up for the rule of law and decried the actions of the state of Florida in this mess, Zimmerman’s advocates have been predominantly conservative. Independents may outnumber liberals or conservatives, but they are not known for taking positions in opposition to the media’s instructions. They are low-information deciders, for the most part, with the notable exceptions of engaged moderates. Liberals have been soldiering for the racial witch hunt, with notable exceptions like Dershowitz and Talk Left.
George Zimmerman was a Democrat and supported for Obama.
Of course, as the old adage goes, “A liberal is a conservative who hasn’t been mugged yet.”
Oh, but what a handsome “potted plant” you are!
It strains credulity to think that Zimmerman might be convicted. If that happens, it will be the worst miscarriage of justice in my sixty-seven years. Yes, worse than OJ because in that case the prosecution screwed up royally. The Zimmerman defense has been excellent. There should be no question in any juror’s mind that this is a clear case of self-defense.
In the unlikely event Zimmerman is convicted, it will be reversed on appeal.
Now that the prosecution has rested its case, it also is obvious that the only one with grounds for a civil lawsuit is Zimmerman — for abuse of process.
Excellent read. Though as a fellow central New Yorker who knows Ithaca, I doubt you’d find much support there.
Although, I saw Mantei’s argument as the prosecution’s final argument to the jury, I also saw Mark O’Mara’s argument for acquittal as the defense’s final argument to the jury as well. I have to believe it will be persuasive enough to a jury less politicized than this biased judge.
One can only hope that, with the higher stakes, MOM’s final argument will rise to the occasion. As Andrew Branco said (I’m paraphrasing), MOM’s JOA argument was the sound of someone doing the best job he could, even knowing that his efforts were futile.
For the judge to grant that motion at the time it was made would require she ignore the law of Florida governing such a motion.
It would be appealed, and it would be reversed.
That would be no favor to anybody.
Shouldn’t a JOA end the case against GZ because of double jeopardy?
The racial Lords would then ask DOJ for a civil rights violation case and Zimmerman would be back in the hot seat.
Of course, that can still happen.
At which point I think I might start giving dead serious thought to counterfiling against the agencies and officials involved in this trial.
That aspect was investigated and the FBI found that there was no case.
Yes. However, If a judge grants a JOA after a guilty verdict, it can be appealed by the state. Otherwise, JOA is an acquittal for which a defendant is immune from future prosecution.
Love to see some case-law on that.
Principally because it makes no sense to me to have a procedural provision that can be freely abused by a judge that cannot be reviewed by an appellate court.
Not saying it can’t be. Just saying that makes no sense.
Take the hypothetical where a NBP thug kills a person, and the state rests its case. Whereupon the judge grants a motion to acquit in a manner that ignores the standards governing that motion practice.
Doesn’t it depend on whether the acquittal is granted by the judge pursuant to the defense’s renewal of a motion made prior to the case going to the jury, rather than pursuant to a motion made after the jury’s verdict?
Is it a rule 3.190(c)(4) motion that was filed? If so … I think it can be reversed. And quite possibly the judge was right.
State v. Rogers110 illustrates the significant restrictions on the types of issues that may be raised in a Rule 3.190(c)(4) motion.111 In Rogers, the defendant, charged with second-degree murder, filed a (c)(4) motion to dismiss on the grounds that the facts clearly showed he lacked the requisite “depraved mind, regardless of human life . . . .”112 It was undisputed that the deceased approached the defendant while the two were at a bar, flicked his cigarette, striking the defendant’s forehead with it, and then clenched his fists and verbally invited a fight.113 The defendant responded by striking the deceased with the glass he was holding.114 The glass shattered upon impact and *354 had the unlikely and fatal effect of severing the deceased’s carotid artery.115 Recognizing that the defendant could not be found guilty of any crime greater than manslaughter, the trial judge granted the defendant’s motion.116 The Second District Court of Appeal reversed, however, stating as follows:
[I]ntent or state of mind is not an issue to be decided on a motion to dismiss under Rule 3.190(c)(4). Instead, it is usually inferred from the circumstances surrounding the defendant’s actions. Since the trier of fact [the jury] has the opportunity to weigh the evidence and judge the credibility of the witnesses, it should determine intent or state of mind.
We hold [that] the trial court erred by resolving the issue of whether [the defendant’s] actions “evinc[ed] a depraved mind regardless of human life” on a motion to dismiss the information.117
As Rogers illustrates, the appellate courts’ refusal to permit trial judges to determine issues like state of mind and intent reduces Rule 3.190(c)(4)’s efficacy.
A 3.190(c)(4) motion is the equivalent of a motion for summary judgement. Different species because jeopardy doesn’t attach until a jury is sworn.
I agree. “Depraved mind” and the other conditions for second degree murder and first degree manslaughter are issues for the jury.
It is exceedingly rare to have a judge acquit after the State rests. We have a jury there for a reason, they aren’t potted plants like the Professor! Besides, a judge can set aside a guilty verdict which has no foundation in law, so they nearly always let the jury have the case.
Can defense attorney (let it be MOM dear gawd please) say in closing argument, “I would like to commend the judge on granting great latitude to the prosecution so they could make a vigorous attempt at presenting their case.” That would be a hint pointing at the judge’s bias. Would that be allowed or slapped down?
The jury is basically a hostage here.
They know that a verdict exonerating Zimmerman will result in race riots and many deaths.
I predict they will knock the verdict to manslaughter or negligent homocide, just to appease the violent jackasses.
Zimmerman is clearly innocent but the media and the Trayvon Martin cesspool of a fan club want their ounce of flesh.
Consider that this is a jury of 6 women, five of whom have children/grandchildren. Even though sequestered, these jurors have to be aware of the ramifications of a not guilty verdict. They will not be able to remain anonymous; the info will be leaked, and the same TM supporters who gleefully re-tweeted GM’s Social Security number will spread their names and addresses.
Faced with the prospect of retribution against themselves and their families — as well as the inevitable riots with death and destruction — the jurors will have no choice but to offer up as sacrifice an innocent man. Given that choice, how many of us would do otherwise?
During jury selection, a dismissed juror pointed toward the jury pool and asked, “Do they know what they’re in for?” I wonder if any of the final six realized the no-win situation they would face.
I hope I’m wrong about all of this.
They know they are in danger. It was hinted at in Good’s testimony. That was the first call Good ever made but there have been lots since. He let that little bomb drop and it was right after it was announced that today (on the stand) was the first day that his identity was revealed and only because it was necessary. It is obvious to me that he has been experiencing intense intimidation and harassment as the only eyewitness to the fight in progress taking place 17′ away from him that he stepped outside to see and address. His wife warned him not to get involved, and she was right. I think that is the lesson the public is learning from this. Don’t look, don’t get involved, don’t call 911. It might screw up your whole life like it did John Good’s. Snitches Get Stitches. It’s all Kitty Genovese from here on out. Hopefully you aren’t the Kitty Genovese in the next situation to happen.
In that context, “Snitches don’t have CCW.” Nor can they freely move to a more favorable area.
I will never be intimidated by threats from blacks, and my conscience would never allow me to vote guilty for an innocent person.
I’m sure I’m not alone.
There is a lot of mythology about the Genovese case. It happened in the wee hours of the morning in a neighborhood where drunken arguments were not unheard of. She screamed for a few seconds, but by the time people had gone to their windows, the perp was gone and she was quiet, the street was dark. No one had any reason to believe someone was injured – until the perp returned some time later and finished her off. Again there was little or no time for sleeping people in their apartments to respond.
Does having children and/or grandchildren give a woman a desire for safer neighborhoods free from break-ins, burglaries, and home invasions? A stay at home mom of small children might want to legally defend herself – see the Chastin video, which came out the weekend before the sequester started.
If I were on that jury, and the other 5 ladies were vehemently pro conviction, they would encounter this immovable object *me*. Not only did the state fail to make its case, it proved self defense. Now I’m just in it for the free lunch. 🙂
Correcting myself–I wrote Chastin, but it’s Custis.
If it were me in the jury, here’s the thing, I couldn’t live with myself, first of all, if I found someone guilty who is innocent. And that’s even if there is the possibility of riots. Imagine having that hanging over your head for the rest of your life, or put yourself in their shoes.
Actually any of the media shouldn’t have reported on the possibility of riots anyway. That’s because the crazies love all the attention. Some of the crazies are blowhards, some not.
There was never the kind of danger the State and others feared. That was manufactured by Crump and his team of race pimps in search of a payday.
Martin lived in Miami, not Sanford, and there aren’t so many people taking to the streets. This isn’t LA, and this case lacks the tinderbox features like police beating or shooting, the whole racial angle has been deflated by the trial.
There is more danger of rioting in LA, Oakland, or Miami than locally.
These women should also know what should happen to their community if they abdicate control to thugs and let them have free reign without recourse.
@TJ.. Well don’t you think a hung jury would be the best outcome for them if they are in fear of their safety? Anything else will go to appeal(except NG).
I realize that you have received 15 thumbs up for your post, but I can’t figure out why. I would rather deal with riots and potential murder by a certain group than see an innocent man spend one day in prison. If you were innocent and on trial fighting for your life, would you think it acceptable for the jury to throw you to the wolves to quell a potential backlash? Do we really want the new standard to be, sentence an innocent man to a lesser term to make radicals or racists happy? If we do that once then we’ll have to do it every time a certain group demands it. If we think that acceptable, then we are really in trouble. If he’s believed to be innocent by the jury then it’s their duty to set him free.
We’ll just have to deal with the backlash with the full force of the law.
I never said I condoned that
I simply stated that the jury will be identified by the MSM and they will take heat for their decision.
For nostalgia’s sake go on YouTube and google “LA Riots”
It will frighten anyone.
I personally would never cowtow to race pimps
But who knows what’s on this jury..
You stated “They know that a verdict exonerating Zimmerman will result in race riots and many deaths.” to the post I replied to. Let me ask you how you know that the jury has any idea that there are threats of violence if GZ is acquitted. One would believe since their knowledge of the case was almost non-existent as shown in jury selection and they have almost certainly not heard any information regarding a backlash during their sequestration.
I fail to see how what you wrote rates 19 thumbs up. What am I missing?
I completely understand his point. The threats of retaliation and riots in the event of no conviction have predated the trial by months….. all over social media such as twitter and Facebook. The posts in many case are simply terrifying examples of the mindset of some.
Examples are very easy to find. It’s hard to imagine that as these potential jurors were being screened, none of them heard from family and friends who had been exposed to some of this junk.
Run a simple hashtag search on twitter, and you will be absolutely appalled.
Regarding the ramifications of a guilty verdict, the evidence is that the jurors are far from clueless:
Juror B-51, when asked in jury selection about her knowledge of the case, replied, “I haven’t lived under a rock for the past year.”
Juror E-6 said that she had heard news reports about the case.
Juror B-76 said she had watched “some” news coverage about the case.
Jury B-37 said she had watched initial news reports about the case.
Convicting GZ would encourage criminal activity. Not convicting would jeopardize mainly minority groups, not the jurors or their neighbors.
The people in greatest jeopardy are those living in areas where gun control is strongest.
You may be right about them convicting, but they would be wrong about what to fear. Convicting places them in greater jeopardy, IMO.
“I missed because of my relocation”
Thank your lucky stars that you didn’t have the same problems, as this Snowden chap..
Have no idea whether you had time to peruse this:
JAMES TARANTO: Who’s the Most ‘Racist’? What a new poll does and doesn’t tell us.
The Left and the usual race baiters, of ALL color(s) are determined to convict Zimmerman, come hell or high water. If not convicted, the above will make sure, the USA never forgets OUR mistake!
Your College Insurrection post, seems to have found another, by the name of McWhorter.
The problem really isnt racists. They are a small minority no matter their skin color. The problem are those who behave like racists to prove they are not racists.
Really, really hope you are wrong and justice prevails. But, sadly, I fear you are right. As has been pointed out by others, we have a legal system, not a justice system.
Can the Defense bring up the subject of the Toxicology Report to the Jury suggesting as to why the State never brought it into evidence?
As a layperson, I would think the Defense can bring this up because the state has claimed all along that Zimmerman racially profiled when in fact he behaviorally profiled. One of the first things he said on the NEN was that the suspicious person was acting like he was on something. Well..if in fact the tox screen shows he did have enough of a controlled substance in his system that would be recognizable as enough to impair…that bolsters Zimmerman’s narrative. I do not know what Florida’s requirement for the amount of THC that would make it a DUI offense but I do understand that the amount that was present in Martin’s blood did meet the threshold for impairment in California. Any legal minds wish to help us laypeople out?
I’m pretty sure the judge has ruled that the evidence must be excluded (in pre-trail and later) on relevancy grounds. Unless the state opens the door to it somehow upon questioning- which they’ve been very careful not to do- it won’t be coming in. Another example of this is that you’ll notice none of the state witnesses have been asked about what a great kid Treyvon was- as soon as character testimony is given about TM, all that dirty laundry that’s been hidden from the jury (the fighting, drug use, social media, etc) is fair game.
Which isn’t to say the ruling was correct.
But wouldn’t the submission of the toxicology report open that door? Can’t the Defense have their own experts review a report that was submitted by an employee of the state and who was a witness called by the state? I would think during the Defense’s portion they can bring information to light that the state chose to ignore BUT was contained in their own reports.
Please forgive me if I seem thick…I’m trying to understand not just for myself, but when others ask these questions I want to be able to explain it to them.
I don’t think you’re thick. The rules of evidence were bad enough in law school, when you had professors walking you through it- they’ve got to seem insane looking in from the outside. That said, the Anglo/American legal system spent over a thousand years developing them, and even when they seem crazy, most exist for a good reason. Which isn’t to say that judges make correct rulings on them.
I’m hoping an attorney who is much more familiar with them than I (I’m not a trial lawyer), will chime in here, because I don’t think I can do a good job of it. I gave a couple tries at drafting something, but no dice.
I’m not saying that they bring up any contents of the Toxicology Report.
But in final argument, can’t they tell the Jury there was one generated and that they note it wasn’t brought into evidence.
TJ’s comment raises an issue I had not previously considered: ‘negligent homicide’. I know Andrew has written about the manslaughter issue (and very helpful that was indeed), but what is the law about a conviction for negligent homicide? Is that a real possibility here?
Dunno about anyone else here, but that would seem a very voidable verdict on appeal.
One of the things that seemed weird to me about the cross of the firearms expert was the emphasis on how deliberate the firing of Zimmerman’s piece had to be. Until I realized what they might be doing.
That put evidence before the jury that negates negligence, IMNHO.
I would like to think he could have a guilty verdict tossed on appeal but I wouldn’t count on it. I believe politics goes all the way up through the courts and includes the man sitting in the Governor’s office.
If the conviction is overturned it would only result in another trial in which “new evidence” or “new witnesses” would be found to strengthen the prosecutors case.
Meanwhile, Zimmerman will stay in no mans land living in fear of corrupt law enforcement as well as relatives of Trayvon who may want to take the law in their own hands.
Negligent homicide is not a lesser in this case. The case was file as a voluntary act so only manslaughter by voluntary act is a proper lesser.
At this stage any verdict except Not Guilty on all counts will be a travesty and a surrender to rule by threat of riot. This entire episode is disgusting as the political system has distorted the judicial system as a result of prior veiled threats of rioting if GZ is not convicted of murder.
The judicial system’s perversion is demonstrated here at the trial-court level, and in the Obamacare and other recent decisions at the Supreme Court level. It also is demonstrated in multiple appellate-court rulings, most of which go unpublicized. This perversion will get worse as the process of selecting judges, at all levels, becomes ever less related to traditional judicial qualifications.
There are some excellent, thoughtful, and traditional judges out there. I felt blessed when I had a case before one of them.
Do you think a conviction will embolden thug/gang behavior and/or create white and other middle class flight out of Florida or certain areas of it?
It might skyrocket sales of Me cameras that you wear like a button and it can record video and audio. You might have to have that level of evidence to be able to practically have the right to defend yourself.
Could create a market for Google Glass
What are the sanctions available, if any, for the prosecutor’s comments during the request for acquittal phase?
Mantei said that GZ identified himself as in the NWP in all of the NEN calls except the night he killed TM. That is evidence he fought hard to introduce and he’s LYING. The first two calls GZ doesn’t mention the NWP because it hadn’t formed yet. Listen to the calls. No NWP mention. Mantei lied about HIS OWN EVIDENCE.
I think the whole NWP is another bit of smoke anyway the prosecution is throwing out there. The whole idea of NW is not to be a replacement for police as many Traybots seem to think. Its just a group of concerned citizens in an area who are the eyes and ears of police…just like Janet Napolitano has admonished us all to ‘if you see something, say something’. George was a citizen, legal resident of the apartment complex, with a CCW. He was no different than any other person in that respect.
If you carry this further, not only are they trying to demonize our legal right to bear arms for personal protection, but also a backhanded slap against NWPs. This trial is about much more than it appears on the surface, of that I’m convinced.
He also said that the fact of the bullet striking TM’s heart was in itself proof of ill will/depraved mind.
This kind of statement from the state should have EVERY citizen in Florida in fear right now. It puts each and every one of us in danger of being prosecuted for any and every frivolous matter that suits those in power.
And please take into account that even if you are found not guilty, your life would be destroyed anyways.
I suspect that the shot was NOT-well aimed, but center of mass to get some sort of shot to stop the attack and to prevent Martin from disarming him and then firing on GZ.
On tape, GZ is said to be shocked to hear that Martin was dead, which is evidence of the aim or lack thereof. Yet the prosecutor then turns that surprise into more evidence of hate.
By contrast if the short was less well aimed, would he NOT have had a animus according to the prosecutor?
or is any shot, even by a poorly aimed shot at an arm that missed, evidence of hate simply due to where it finally ended up?
I think charging Zimmerman with manslaughter was a stretch, but Murder II? This trial has shown what an absolute travesty that was.
If GZ is not guilty of M2 because of self defense, then neither would he be guilty of manslaughter.
True. Justified use of deadly force in self defense would negate both murder II and manslaughter. BUT, if the prosecution can overcome it, murder II has the addition element over manslaughter of requiring a depraved mind, which few watching the trial truly believe the prosecution has proven by even a preponderance of the evidence (beyond a reasonable doubt is required). Their argument is that the depraved mind element is satisfied by GZ racially profiling TM.
I would like to bust a meme right now: GZ was incapable of racial profiling. Why? He is not and was not a law enforcement officer. Principles for Promoting Police Integrity (DOJ) is linked on the Color of Law page.
What is racial profiling? “Any police-initiated action that relies on the race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than the behavior of an individual or information that leads the police to a particular individual who has been identified as being, or having been, engaged in criminal activity.” -Deborah Ramirez, Jack McDevitt, Amy Farrell, US Dept of Justice (cited on Wikipedia page)
GZ on the NEN call describes suspicious behavior, and only includes race in the description of the person after the dispatcher asks for it, and GZ even describes clothing first, before race. If TM was looking at the house, dressed as he was, GZ wouldn’t have seen TM’s race until he turned around and faced him. GZ confirms the race for the dispatcher when TM is circling GZ’s vehicle.
So, no racial profiling.
That USDOJ cite on Wikipedia is referenced thusly: Ramirez, McDevitt, Farrell. “A Resource Guide on Racial Profiling Data Collection Systems”. US Department of Justice. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
The huge problem here is that the effect of a manslaughter conviction will , under FL law ,be essentially the same for Zimmerman re prison term , yet the jury may think they are compromising with a lesser charge.
graytonb is absolutely on point. Under FL law the jury will not be told of the range of possible sentences for manslaughter, nor that the sentence could be doubled because a firearm was involved. A wavering “not guilty” juror could easily be convinced to “compromise” on manslaughter under the misperception that this would involve a short sentence and, after all, GZ did kill TM and that GZ himself said that killing someone is “always wrong” when he first learned of TM’s death during his initial police interview. In fact, the charge of murder 2 may have been brought, despite the lack of evidence, precisely to permit this “compromise” by uninformed jurors.
This failure to inform jurors of even the range of sentences for a given charge makes it a logical impossibility for a juror to properly apply the reasonable doubt standard in the absence of certainty. After all, the amount of doubt that is “reasonable” is not defined quantitatively, and only makes sense in the context of knowing the possible consequences of being wrong. For example, most jurors would and should accept more uncertainty as to factual guilt when convicting a defendant of a traffic violation than of a capital offense, based on their expectations as to punishment involved. In fact, I was once excused from jury in a Florida criminal case after informing the judge of this concern during voir dire, and truthfully stating that I would be unable to apply the reasonable doubt standard unless I knew the range of possible sentences (not the actual sentence just possible range) for the crime charged.
And PJ, kudos for you for bringing Andrew Branco on for the moment by moment coverage. Well done.
That is not to say your comments are not welcome PJ! Or comments from Anne, Mandy and the rest of your LI colleges and posters! There is lots to talk about regarding this trial.
The racist-in chief, Obama, had to be reelected. That meant taking the crucial state of Florida. And that meant firing up black voters in Florida. And that meant fanning the flames of black racism with a false narrative about a white man murdering a black boy and getting away with it because the racist police let him get away with it.
They are, he is, Obama is, willing to put an innocent man in prison for life to retain power.
They are evil racist fascists. The three prosecutors, that one hopes will never, ever live this down; evil Angela Corey; and Obama.
Don’t forget though, Angela Corey is a Republican in a large minority district. She needed this bone tossed to her so she could win re-election. Especially after the heat she took in the way her office handled another high-profile minority case. So Pam Bondi gave her this case and she won–unopposed–last year. This is rotten on so many levels.
The primary reason black people voted en masse in 2012 was because of the efforts of republican govs and legislatures doing everything possible to suppress their votes.
Voter suppression by Republicans Do you really want to go after that myth now?
Tell it was a myth to the overwhelming increase in black voters….
What kind of potted plant?
>>”Allegations were made that Zimmerman used the work “coon” to describe Martin, when even the prosecution now acknowledge that the word used was “punk.””
Exactly the M.O. of the black congressmen in making their allegations against the Tea Party. Only they never acknowledged their lies.
This is a racket and it pays off ALL THE TIME and will continue until it stops paying off, that is, until the cost becomes too high. It will never become too high as long as the media enables and often outright manufactures the lies that sustain the racket. The media is the inimical X factor in all of this. They feed the beast of the racialist Left and browbeat the weak-willed Right with the racist cudgel if they protest.
Until the establishment Right takes on the media in ways we haven’t even come close to yet, the racket will not stop.
What are the chances that, either outcome of the trial, Zimmerman gets hit with a bazillion dollar civil lawsuit and ends up owing a bunch of money to Martin’s parents?
I would put them approaching zero, as a civil trial lawyer.
For one thing, Zimmerman won’t ever be worth enough.
If he is acquitted, and it’s because of a self-defense defense, isn’t he immune from civil penalties? It would suck to have to pay off the family of the guy who was trying to murder you.
Not under any legal theory I can think of. It often happens that someone is acquitted of a crime, and they are still found liable for some civil wrong.
I think that the legal justification might be the portion of the SYG law that provided for both civil and criminal immunity in the case of self defense. Problem there is that the self defense must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, whereas not guilty merely requires that the prosecution failed to make its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Florida’s self defense laws includes a tort shield in cases of justifiable force. http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.032.html
Yeeeup. A specific statutory provision would do it.
Which is precisely why TX when formulating its’ Castle Doctrine self defense law was careful to include a section saying that if the shooting was justified a lawsuit is off the table.
OK so in those states that have immunity under SYG but not self defense–what about when you have the inability to retreat? How can you have the duty to retreat when you are pinned on the ground? Where was GZ to retreat to? Pray for a sinkhole?
Stand your ground has immunity provisions for criminal and civil liability. I’m not sure how it would work where the defense is relying upon self defense rather than stand your ground.
This is good to know. I remember when this debacle first started it became clear the real reason the Martin’s were pushing for ‘only an arrest’. I thought that was weird because if I truly felt someone had murdered my child in cold blood, I’d want a conviction. But under Florida law, an arrest opened the door for civil penalties. Something about only needing to arrest someone which indicated probable cause. Remember, the HOA (or rather their insurance company) has already settled with the Martins. Funny thing tho…apparently Sybrina is already in foreclosure on a home in Miami. Where HAS that money gone…hmmmm?
IKR? Sybrina said she wanted an arrest, nothing more, nothing less. That would have been an interesting question by defense on CX (although probably not allowed). It would introduce the idea to the jury that Sybrina got what she wanted–an arrest, nothing more. That would relieve some pressure for conviction.
I am pretty heavily invested in this case, emotionally. I reflected a lot on that the past few days. Why do I care so much?
Then it struck me: NSA following our every communication, foreign and domestic, the IRS being used as a political WMD against conservatives, the lies surrounding Benghazi, the Obamacare waivers to Obama’s bankers and money-bundlers, Fast and Furious,etc. It looks to me like America is becoming something unrecognizable. Therefore I cling to this trial in the hope that, through the imperfect mechanism of our justice system, my belief that America is still a nation of laws will be confirmed.
I am grasping for any hold that will help restore my faith in this country. And I feel my fingers slipping.
Rush said something last week that I harmonize with.
Something to the effect that he remains optimistic about America.
I believe in our systems, including juries. They are, essentially, expressions of democracy, and our ability to govern ourselves.
Do they produce loopy results sometimes. Of course. Just as do elections.
As Milton Friedman said, “You have to compare something with something”.
Are there serious flaw that we see? Yes!
What are you prepared to do about it?
Juries, when directed, manipulated and intimidated by a corrupt system, are not a valid expression of the will of the people.
Of course you are correct that there are examples of juries succeeding and failing. But that isn’t the issue here. The issue is the bone-deep corruption of the state and the media, and their utter disregard for, not just the rights, but the very life of a blatantly innocent man.
This trial will boil down to the courage, intelligence and moral awareness of 12 jurors. There is an awesome social pressure to convict Zimmerman. It is a toxin in the air we breathe. Can they understand it and work past it?
But even in the event they do, it won’t be enough and it won’t change anything. The corruption will remain. The determination of the forces of atomization on the Left to try the SAME thing again as soon as they have the opportunity will redouble. They will exploit the division and emotion of this failure and roll it into the next prosecution. It never stops. Absent a social pressure to force it to stop, it will never stop.
In this brave new world, having “faith in the system” is no longer a good bargain. It could even be considered a nostalgic fallacy.
We’re in a war. And we’re all going to face some things in the next five to 10 years we may not have thought imaginable five years ago.
Six jurors, to begin.
Your sense of history is absent in your post.
Have American jurors never before faced an atmosphere charged with emotion and bigotry? Sure they have. And there are examples of them both cratering to it and fighting it.
You should be able to think of examples, if you try.
I wasn’t evoking history but the now and future. What happened in previous trials is meaningless. History, the past, is meaningless to the Left; their project always is to re-write it toward their vision. They are doing this all the time — as they write the new Narratives of our time going forward. We shouldn’t be studying our own history, but theirs. We need to understand them to fight them, to take the fight to them, more than we need to encircle our own dwindling campfires of nostaglia and consolation. We need a new way of envisioning our Americanism.
No, you are gravely wrong: we have never faced a social onslaught of total malicious disinformation and transformational radicalism as we do under the modern Left installed at every level and in every function of government and throughout the cultural stations of our time. If these six people can resist it, can the next 6 or 12?
I am not talking just about jurors (whether 12 or 6) dealing with the discrete bigotry or emotion of a single case — but of our time, and moving forward. If this trial is a Leftist defeat, it will be exploited toward greater power and future victories. It is how they think and work. We have shown no match for this, no equal force of defiance and anger. Instead, our reaction to actual justice will be, wow, the system still works in some places, what a relief, I’m glad for that — good old America. It’s a losing reaction. It is of the past — of a beachhead constantly losing ground against the tide. It cannot compete with the vicious and relentless drive to corrupt and socially overpower.
What is NOW has never been before. The Left can imagine their perfect world; they work at achieving it every second of their lives. Refusing to imagine either theirs or an opposing one for ourselves, but rather repositing faith in a past that is gone and will never be again — this is just what has left us in our modern predicament of loss and defeat and defensiveness.
The issue isn’t history but the future.
My family has asked me several times why I “care so much” about this case, and when I really looked for the reason, it was mostly the sense of loss, of being the peon who gets smashed by the ever-growing jackboot of the tyrannical state, of the continuing frustration of seeing thugs in DC and any other places of “power” so brazenly defying our laws and Constitution–AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT!
I don’t know what to do, except pray more than I ever have. And even then, I worry that we are being allowed to reap the consequences of our own actions/inactions/apathy, and that it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.
Ok, now that I’m thoroughly depressed
I was replying to Goetz von Berlichingen… Hard to tell now!
I’m quite sure the six women of the jury are feeling the pressure right now and it’s not from the state.
Meaning of burden of proof in Florida, courtesy of Casey Anthony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANndx586Msk&feature=relmfu
Had the prosecution charged Anthony with M-2, or at least removed the death penalty as an option, she may very well have been convicted and sent to prison. Another example of prosecutorial overreach that resulted in acquittal, even though IMO she was definitely guilty of a crime.
This would be a show trial but for the internet. Mr Branca and you should be proud of serving justice. Thanks.
Everyone from Matei thru Corey to Obama should be stuck with their infamy for the rest of their lives. They’re ok with falseley imprisoning Zimmerman for 25 to life. That’s nearly akin to murder.
It’s worse than lawlessness, which implies a random disregard for the rules that keep civilization afloat.
This is deliberate sabotage of the law, by the very people who are charged with enforcing it, and hence, charged with protecting the public.
Can anybody imagine that this could have happened if Barack Obama had not been elected?
And it’s not like it’s an isolated incident either. Black Panthers, cops acted stupidly, the little publicized scandal about the black “farmers”, OFA, open borders, the IRS scandal, and hundreds more.
It’s hard to see how the United State can ever again be what it once was. The radical criminals have been running free for too long.
If we got past Nixon you can get past this….
Actually, if a judge grants a JOA, it cannot be appealed. When i was an appeals prosecutor for the state of Fl, I had a number of my trial attorneys want to appeal but double jeopardy governs. The only time a JOA can be appealed by the state is where it is granted after a guilty verdict.
Some citations to case-law would be really good.
Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution. Article I, section 9 Florida Constitution. Watson v State, 410 So.2d 207 (Fla. 1DCA 1982).
You don’t see those as readily distinguishable?
A quick reading of your case shows that in each instance, the court granted a motion to acquit, then reversed itself and allowed the State to continue.
“We conclude that the better rule is to find that double jeopardy barred further proceedings and that the trial court should not have permitted the prosecution to reopen its case to provide the missing element of proof after the state had rested and after the court had declared that the defendant was not guilty based on the state’s failure of proof. Even if this court were to find that jeopardy had not attached in this case, it was an abuse of discretion for the trial court to allow the state to present proof of the missing element once the defendant identified the deficiency in the state’s case.”
I dun tink so, Looooosy….
Sorry, i don’t have a cite immediately at hand but you’re welcome to fire up your own westlaw account and check for yourself. I prosecuted for the state of Florida and headed the appellate advocacy unit for about 18 months. We had this fight on more than one occasion while I was a trial and appellate attorney. It does seem unjust but that’s the law in Fla. While I haven’t practiced criminal law in about 12 years, I have not come across a case in Florida Law Weekly that changes this rule. I believe fed cts do allow an appeal but Fla cts do not.
I have wondered at different times and ended up wondering again as I read this post about how all this started. Not the actual event but the media frenzy which started weeks after the event. Is it linked to when the Martins started the wrongful death action?
Did their lawyer tell them that they needed publicity and an arrest in order to support their action?
Yes it is linked.
[…] UPDATE: “Racialized prosecutorial indiscretion in the Zimmerman case” […]
I think it should be mentioned that both lawyers took up considerable afternoon time arguing these points. And, at times the cameraman would focus on the judge. Who looked bored. Looked at time she was either yawning with her lips pressed closed. Or burping, with lips pressed closed.
By the time Judge Nelson ruled it was coming up towards the afternoon’s end of 5 PM. I believe it was O’Mara who asked her if the court could recess for the weekend, and a bright smile came across her face as she said ‘no.” And, then she said (batting her eyelashes), why don’t we let the jury decide?
The jury comes in. And, is asked. (They’ve been out of the court since the lunch recess began). And, they said “they wanted to hear the case continue.”
So O’Mara calls in George’s mom. Gladys makes eye contact with all the jurors. A brief look to her son. And, her face lights up in a smile. Within two minutes her testimony is over. And, O’Mara calls in the next witness. A man with a stellar background. Respected by the Orange County court house! But he’s not in his uniform. He is here as George’s uncle. He states he knows George since October 1983, the day he was born. He states he knows when his sister, Gladys, went into labor! He’s heard George laughing and crying. The whole gamut. Since he supervised George when George was at play with his own two children.
The dramatic fashion in how he was at his computer. His wife was watching TV behind him; when he first heard the scream: OMG that’s Georgie! He stood up. Turned to face his wife, to ask her what she was watching. And, the wife replied “the news.”
Jorge goes to great lengths to remove himself from the case against Zimmerman. He shows you, and he explains to you, how he could not get involved in the testimonial aspects of this case. And, if I had to guess? He was a surprise witness to the prosecution.
And, this ended the day.
I think the judge went home mad. Because by forcing “let’s do it now. Call the jury in.” And, the jurors enthusiastic response to continue … doesn’t upset the applecart just yet. But BAMM. Two witnesses in under 4 minutes. Excellently presented to the jury. WOW.
The idea that you can be at your computer, and you hear a shocking sound, rang a bell with me. My house is quiet. The dogs barking don’t interfere with my concentration. But wow, a terrible auto cash not far from my window, had me up and turned around. To look at what had happened. (A kid riding a motor cycle was killed.)
I hope O’Mara and West can present their other witnesses speedily. I know they need Vincent DiMaoi, who is the textbook example of an expert witness, on the subject of gunshot wounds. With DiMaoi the Defense should establish where Zimmerman was when the gun was fired. He can probably explain out the inert body rolled. And, the lapses in Rao and Boa’s attemps to accuse Zimmerman of murder.
How many people will be writing books? Well, some will be textbooks used in law schools. So I don’t know if those count. But books to be read about this case? I think there will be a few.
People who won’t read them? Are people who never read, anyway. Plus, maybe You Tube keeps a count of how many times people view taped segments of testimony already passed?
A professor who wants to wake up a class learning how to do “cross” may already have copies of Dee-Dee, Jachel, Diamond, Eugene, Jeantel. (And, will note her ability to make three-way calls from her Bloo-toot-? Bao’s performance is then a bonus.
If the Duke LaCrosse case made it into the textbooks, then, this one, too, looks like it will be a winnah.
Regarding Judge Nelson possibly going home mad:
At least a couple of commenters mentioned in a previous post by Andrew that they know Jorge Meza due to his work as an Orange County Courthouse deputy. Sounds like he is well respected by a LOT of people in the local legal system.
What are the chances that Judge Nelson knows him also? (If so, what a pleasant surprise to have him be the last witness before the weekend break!)
Both testimonies – from Gladys Z and Meza – were very compelling.
I loved how both Gladys and Uncle Jorge, when worn in, answered by saying a second time “…so help me God.”
Historical note: In the old courthouses in Virgina, the courtroom is arranged so the jury sits directly in front of and below the bench, with their backs to the judge. This was done, as understand it, so the jury wouldn’t see the judge’s facial expression, rolling eyes, and whatnot, as witnesses and lawyers spoke.
Oops. Accidently down thumbed you. This system does not have a “take it back” function.
That sounds like an excellent idea to me, although I’ve never seen a judge do anything like you have described. I strongly suspect the courtrooms here have a camera in front of the bench so the judge can track what people are doing without looking at them, and that includes the jury. Also a good idea.
Does Florida allow surprise witnesses? I thought that would be rather unusual.
I think that surprise witnesses are problematic. The two sides are supposed to exchange witness and exhibit lists enough in advance of trial that the other side can rebut, etc. this may involve depositions, or other witnesses or exhibits. Now, you don’t have to call all the witnesses on your list, which is why GZ is apparently listed as optional.
Judges can allow last minute surprise witnesses, but don’t like to, esp. since the other party may wish to depose them, which translates into a delay in the trial. So judges typically require a pretty good justification why the witness wasn’t disclosed earlier. Used to be that surprise witnesses and documents were fairly common, but that goes against the modern trend of maximizing justice through minimizing surprise.
Really worried that the jury may be too afraid of the aftermath of an acquittal to do the right thing.
I would be the William Wallace juror if they were chickening out and saying, “Convict, and we will live.” I respond, “Aye. Acquit and you may die; convict and you will live. But in what kind of world? One where neighbors will no longer look after each other, one where innocent people die because they hesitate to defend themselves, one where witnesses hide in their houses and refuse to call 911; one where the thugs and the gangs and the burglars and the attackers and the rapists feel emboldened by the fear of their targets and bystanders. Then you will be old and dying in your bed, having made this world worse. Would you then trade all your days from that day to this, for one chance, just one chance, to come here and send the message to the thugs threatening riots and murder and retaliation: We will not be intimidated! We will not sell justice for the cheap price of fear! We will not give up our neighborhood watches, our concealed carry permits, our ability to defend ourselves, our desire to call 911 to help those in distress! This country will not be overrun by rival gangs and lose her former glory! This country will not embrace injustice against the innocent!
I would even paint my face blue and ride a horse into the deliberation room if required.
You forgot one:
“A world where the government has the power to lie, obfuscate and manipulate the Law and the Truth in order to incarcerate those who dare to use the rights given to them by God.”
I have lived in such world before, and believe me, it ain’t pretty.
Somehow the Left refuses to believe the lessons offered by other countries and the history of our own. Humans are human and behave like humans, no matter good, bad, or ugly. It’s not going to be different because the people acting, or the Leftists observing, believe it will.
Truly conservative people also suffer this weakness, but there are few around, and all I know of are allied with the Left. Those called conservative today are mostly just moderates who don’t want to mess with other peoples lives and want to be left alone.
I am not seven feet tall, but six, and I can shoot lightning out of my ass if I eat enough spicy Mexican food. (referring to the Braveheart clip)
I predict the defense will ask the judge for a jury instruction that they not consider the potential public reaction to their verdict, and I predict the judge will deny it.
This discussion raised a point that I had not considered, but now that it has been mentioned, my reaction is “of course”. If this jury courageously returns a “not guilty” verdict the DOJ will certainly charge GZ with a federal hate crime. After all TM looked like Obama’s son would look, if he had one. I guarantee that the jury in that trial will look a lot different than the one now.
When GZ gets to prison the smart thing to do would be to punch a (white) guard and get himself put into solitary. Every time he is released into the general prison population, he needs to do the same. If his last name were not Zimmerman, he could use his Hispanic ethnicity to get that segment of the population to protect him from the other segment. All in all I think my strategy would be safer.
Not sure how civil rights charges can be brought when the FBI report has already determined it wasn’t racially motivated.
I believe that would work the same way that the current case was brought.
Civil rights charges could be wrought from thin air. You’ve heard of this Holder guy, right? He’s kinda down with the program.
I could be over-reacting, though. It’s not like George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door and blocked his sister-in-law from enrolling saying ‘Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!’
Remember, it’s been less than a month since MSNBC was identifying him as George Wallace (R). And don;t forget that great Republican sheriff Bull Connor of Birmingham.
So Holder is what “down with the shtruggle” really means? No thank you!
Perhaps someone here can help me understand one nagging issue about this trial. As I understand it, Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman were not allowed in the courtroom because their prospective testimony could have been tainted by the prosecution’s case and witnesses. Fine, I can see the rationale there. Why, then, was Ms. Fulton and Mr. Martin allowed to remain in the courtroom, when they too, were prospective witnesses? No one was surprised that Ms. Fulton took the stand, yet she had been in the courtroom all along. Can someone explain the difference? Couldn’t her testimony be tainted by listening to the prosecution’s case too?
From my understanding….it is the law in Florida that the victim’s family can be in the courtroom regardless.
As I heard it explained, it was because the victim was a minor.
Yes…that too. I am glad they were able to get Crump out of the court room…keep him on their witness list to the very end.
“This is a case which never should have been brought, and would not have been brought except for racial politics.”
Short, sweet, simple and spot on.
I am still amazed and confuse by the media coverage of this whole incident. From the get-go, with the pictures of Trayvon from when he was 12, to the pictures of Zimmerman in his “jailhouse orange” from his arrest back in 2005, I just could not, and still cannot understand WHY the press is so obviously biased in this case.
I was watching Nancy Grace Mysteries the other night (I know, I know, but I was just curious about her coverage of the case), and the show outright LIED about the evidence. There was Nancy, talking in her overdramatized voice about the tragedy of it all, and how the SPD took sooooooooo long to make an arrest, despite the supposed mountain of evidence against GZ. As part of that she talked about a woman who supposedly saw the whole thing. She then played part of the 911 call from Jane Sudyka (witness 18) – the one that Mr. Branco has conservatively described as “histrionic”. Nancy described how this witness was on the phone with police while watching the altercation, when the fatal shot happened. She then played a clip from the 911 call from Jane Lauren (witness 11). Basically, she fabricated and twisted the evidence to make it appear like an open and shut case of GZ being guilty.
And I do not accept any plea of biased reporting in this circumstance. She plainly represented facts that are not just misleading or characterized in a biased fashion, but outright false. If her producers had the recordings of the calls from which to take clips to make that segment, then they knew that they were two different calls and two different witnesses – so there can be no claim of mistake or ignorance. This was flat out LYING.
And for the life of me, I cannot figure out WHY. Why lie in that manner. Especially now that, if you have followed the trial at all, you know that we are headed straight for a “not guilty” verdict. Are these media personalities (I cannot, in good faith call them news reporters) actually TRYING to stoke the fires of racism – are they actually TRYING to get uninformed people to riot?
It just makes no sense.
The media is almost completely radicalized. Facts and justice don’t matter to them. They have their own definitions of facts and justice. And they don’t care any more about who they hurt than Stalin did.
If journalists, news media organizations, and news channel commentators stake their credibility on a manufactured narrative, then they should not be surprised to discover that no one is watching them any more. Nancy Grace is putting that sh** out there after the trial has already presented this evidence and debunked the narrative. Stick a fork in Nancy Grace because she is OVER.
I am no fan of NG either, but I think that as a former prosecutor, she always presents as pro- prosecution . Her schtick leans heavily on ( and in fact, embellishes) her role as former victim of violent murder ( a fiancee was killed) , and I can’t think of an instance where she has taken a pro- defense…or even a neutral… stance.
That said, her show is till a farce.
I’d lay odds that her fiancee wasn’t murdered but committed suicide on the basis that he was actually her fiancee.
Nancy Grace was describing TM as a scared little boy trying to run away from the scary racist giant man hunting him down to shoot him in cold blood…last night! Has she not watched the trial at all?
No need for her to waste time watching the trial… she has Sunny Hostin & Jane Velez-M to keep her up to speed.//
Why? Another George, sorry Soros.
Who nearly destroyed the British economy, who enjoys playing puppet master, whose voting machines have diverted elections in Egypt, Turkey and the USA.
Soros should be persona non gratis in the US (along with Sharpton, Farrakhan, the NBPP and a good many more)
The mass media – the ones who keep saying or insinuating that any opposition to Obama’s agenda is inescapably racist – are desperate to find some evidence to support the notion that innocent black people are constantly in danger of being victimized by white people simply because of race. Somewhere deep down in their twisted minds, they know it’s bunk; they know that violence by a subset of black people against whites far exceeds the reverse.
Here, they thought they had an illustrative case – the shooter’s name sounds kinda German, after all – so they grabbed it. Their motives are obvious in the way they labeled GZ a “white Hispanic” even though they would have called him simply “Hispanic” and probably a victim of white racism in most other situations.
I think the “see, racism against blacks is still rampant” angle is part of the effort to keep insulating Obama’s agenda from any effective opposition: If “white” people are stalking and shooting black youth in hoodies without provocation, that proves there’s a pervasive racism in our society that’s blocking Obama’s wonderful plans! (Granted, the “white” person in this case looks rather Hispanic and apparently voted for Obama, but this is too great an opportunity to let little details get in the way.)
Add to that the strong aversion to allowing people to carry firearms for self-defense, and you’ve got a two-fer from the leftist viewpoint. They think this case demonstrates that an armed citizenry is more likely to hurt the innocent than stop the guilty.
“If it bleeds, it ledes.”
Riots give the media something to write about or show on TV. They are good for the ratings. Heck with the human suffering.
They lie because it’s the only thing they can do: the facts are not on their side. My questions are why do they even have a side and why, in light of the evidence presented in court, do they refuse to switch sides and stand with truth?
That is kind of my point when I ask “Why”. I mean I understand having an idealogical bent in reporting news stories. And I understand having an op/ed page that routinely favors one side or the other. After all, that really IS what the freedom of the press is all about.
But why the need to actually LIE about the real facts? If an incident like this doesn’t fit your political ideologies, then ignore it and don’t report it. But to twist the facts beyond their breaking point to where you are out and out lying (and claiming that Mary Sudyka was an eyewitness who actually witnessed the shot is an out and out LIE) – I mean, at that point you are not a reporter. Heck, at that point you are not even an advocate or a cheerleader – at that point your merely inciting riots and violence.
Scott Maxwell in our Orlando paper is still parroting the ‘he shouldn’t have followed him’ in today’s birdcage liner. And the funniest thing is his article is on how people are stuck to one narrative as the truth…bwaaahahahahahahaha
I wouldn’t be surprised if Nancy Grace started to rotate her head 360 degrees, stuck out a forked tongue and vomited out a gallon of green bile.
She is that insane about sending Zimmerman to jail for life.
Nancy Grace. Oh gawd. If I ever hear that screeching harpy’s voice again as long as I live…
At one point in my lifetime in this country, a black man could not get a fair trial involving a crime involving a white person. We worked hard as a society to overcome this.
Have we gone so far that a white man (assuming away the fact that he is a polyglot man of mixed races) cannot get a fair trial involving a crime with a black man?
Has the pendulum swung that far in the opposite direction?
“Have we gone so far that a white man (assuming away the fact that he is a polyglot man of mixed races) cannot get a fair trial involving a crime with a black man?”
First, let me say that I think George acted in self defense when Trayvon snuck up on him and sucker punched him and should be found not guilty. However, there are a few issues that are unresolved for me (a middle aged white woman) and thus might be for some of the jurors. It does appear at times that George is making excuses for his actions…”I was looking for an address” and kept walking across the T…(ergo, continuing to look/follow where Trayvon was going after being told he did not need to do that.)
I also find it hard to believe that George “forget” he had a gun. To forget that you are carrying a lethal weapon is reckless and pretty much the height of being an irresponsible gun owner and some of the jurors may think that as well.
George’s explanation regarding the initial confrontation and “looking for his cell phone to call 911 and then Trayvon punched me” sounded like a reach to me also. It’s more plausible that he was reaching or at least checking for his gun (wanting to at least have his hand on it). I can also see how the jurors may think that that might possibly be when Trayvon first spotted the gun and thus hit him thinking George was going for his gun.
The bottom line for some of the mothers on this jury might be …an “innocent, unarmed teenager was shot and killed walking home from the store” and someone is to blame for this death.
When this story first hit the news I too asked how could this happen….until I got the real story about Trayvon’s thuggish behavior and school suspensions. Bear in mind this behavior did not make it to the main stream media as much as it did on the conservative (which I am not) websites. I’m pretty sure that O’Mara will point out Rachel’s references to fighting (If Trayvon’s past is not brought in as evidence) and thread the needle for these jurors. At least I hope so….the jurors need to know that Trayvon was capable of being the attacker.
“However, there are a few issues that are unresolved for me (a middle aged white woman) and thus might be for some of the jurors. It does appear at times that George is making excuses for his actions…”I was looking for an address” and kept walking across the T…(ergo, continuing to look/follow where Trayvon was going after being told he did not need to do that.)”
–This may go to the culpable negligence (manslaughter) issue. Maybe he was negligent for volunteering to do something he didn’t have to do lacking adequate training to do it.
“I also find it hard to believe that George “forget” he had a gun. To forget that you are carrying a lethal weapon is reckless and pretty much the height of being an irresponsible gun owner and some of the jurors may think that as well.”
–If you believe he forgot he was carrying a weapon that goes to culpable negligence too. I don’t think it’s “reckless” to forget you are carrying a weapon per se as long as it’s properly secured. It could be considered negligent to forget you are carrying a gun and then get involved in a situation where you might have to use it though.
“George’s explanation regarding the initial confrontation and “looking for his cell phone to call 911 and then Trayvon punched me” sounded like a reach to me also. It’s more plausible that he was reaching or at least checking for his gun (wanting to at least have his hand on it). I can also see how the jurors may think that that might possibly be when Trayvon first spotted the gun and thus hit him thinking George was going for his gun.”
–If the jurors think GZ displayed the gun to TM and that might have scared TM into escalating the struggle that is also a culpable negligence issue.
“The bottom line for some of the mothers on this jury might be …an “innocent, unarmed teenager was shot and killed walking home from the store” and someone is to blame for this death.”
–Well if you think he jumped and punched GZ then TM isn’t “innocent.” I think the real question goes to the culpable negligence/manslaughter issue. GZ isn’t really very well trained to deal with burglary suspects and yet he’s armed. Maybe if someone is going to put themselves in such a situation and carry a gun they have a duty to educate and train themselves and perhaps equip themselves with non-lethal means of responding to an unarmed attacker. Although the prosecution didn’t bring in any evidence on that theory. But clearly we don’t send out police officers with a gun but little or no other training in dealing with unarmed suspects.
Still, if the jury buys that TM was the aggressor and was ground and pounding when the shot was fired, there is a basis for a reasonable doubt acquittal even on the manslaughter/lesser included offense (assuming it’s charged to the jury).
“When this story first hit the news I too asked how could this happen….until I got the real story about Trayvon’s thuggish behavior and school suspensions. Bear in mind this behavior did not make it to the main stream media as much as it did on the conservative (which I am not) websites. I’m pretty sure that O’Mara will point out Rachel’s references to fighting (If Trayvon’s past is not brought in as evidence) and thread the needle for these jurors. At least I hope so….the jurors need to know that Trayvon was capable of being the attacker.”
–But let’s assume TM WAS the attacker. Does that in itself necessary exclude a finding of manslaughter based on culpable negligence by GZ? Maybe the jury could decide that although GZ was attacked by TM and ultimately had to shoot him to avoid serious physical injury, he was nevertheless culpably negligent by undertaking to pursue Tm when he may not have been adequately trained or equipped to do so.
I don’t know what the law in FL says about this, and the prosecution didn’t even present it as a theory at least not yet. Maybe it will be argued in closing though.
Thanks for responding…
To establish involuntary manslaughter, the prosecutor must show that the defendant acted with “culpable negligence.” Florida statutes define culpable negligence as a disregard for human life while engaging in wanton or reckless behavior. The state may be able to prove involuntary manslaughter by showing the defendant’s recklessness or lack of care when handling a dangerous instrument or weapon, or while engaging in a range of other activities that could lead to death if performed recklessly. Florida state laws also establish involuntary manslaughter if the prosecutor shows that the defendant used excessive force during self-defense or the defense of another person.
You concoct the following possibilities as justifying a convicting Zimmerman of involuntary manslaughter:
displaying his gun and “scaring” Martin into attacking
not equipping himself with non-lethal weapons so he wouldn’t have to use his firearm
forgetting he was carrying and getting involved in a situation where he might have to use the firearm
“undertaking to pursue” Martin
“volunteering to do something he didn’t have to do lacking adequate training”
None of these comes close to meeting the legal standard described above.
As to the “forgetting that he had a gun”. While I don’t carry one, or even own one, I could understand that if someone does regularly carry, it becomes like a part of their regular attire, such that they “forget” about it in that they are not constantly conscious of it.
The closest example I can personally give is that back when I was in college, I would work during the summers for a moving company. As a worker out on the truck, you would regularly carry a knife with you, pretty much at all times. Not for self defense, but as a tool you used in your daily work – cutting open boxes, cutting tape to make new boxes, etc. You pretty much carried your knife with you at all times and it became habit/natural to do so.
Well, one night, after work I went out to a concert, and at the gate, they searched patrons for prohibited items. One of the prohibited items was weapons. I had not only forgotten that I had my knife with me, I did not even consider it a weapon, so much as I considered it a tool. I imagine it is similar for people that conceal carry everywhere they go.
There have been more than one occurrence where people legally carrying concealed weapons tried to go through TSA airport security, and at least once discovered himself later after he had been cleared. So, it does happen.
I see your point but find it doubtful anyone would ever mistake a gun for a tool. If one can’t remember they are carrying a loaded gun on their side they don’t need to be carrying it at all.
That model of gun is thin and light and he had an internal waistband (IWB)–it makes this model popular for concealed carry. You can habituate anything.
mwsomerset, just as a point of reference, I carry every day, and I am always acutely aware that I have a firearm with me. This is because I carry a larger caliber, medium size weapon that is hard to not notice.
The weapon GZ carried is smaller and lighter. I have been told by other CHL holders that they have often forgotten they were carrying a weapon. It’s not a danger, however, because the weapon is properly secured and carried.
Posted this tweet today: I am never going to live in a complex where there is a public sidewalk in my unlit back yard. *shudder*
Solomon splitting the baby in half. Remember that ruling? What followed was the real mother came forward, and said the fake mom could take the baby. So the baby lives. And, then Solomon gave the real baby to the real mom. End, of story.
Yesterday afternoon’s whole live trial coverage should become a classic in law schools. And, yes, it chewed the clock. And, nobody went to the bathroom. Even the judge who may have been burping gas through closed lips.
The judge already knew how she’d rule. So what the audience saw was “just pro forma” stuff. However, if you’ve ever been in a classroom, where a professor could call on you. AND, you weren’t prepared … some sadistical professors do this as a routine. (Not to me! I love being called upon.) But for many people this is a dread. Even to some law school students. Because you can make people feel shamed.
Anyway, the “pro-forma” arguments for “acquittal/dismissal” were presented by both sides. Mantei has come into awareness, now, for those watching the trial, as a man who can pervert the truth. As if this was only a bad law school assignment, and he was doing the best he could “under the circumstances.
It’s the judge! As soon as the “ceremonial aspect of asking for a JOA” is brought to a close. And, it’s close to 5PM. (On a Friday … where I think one of Andrew’s quotes said “you could fire a canon off in the courthouse and you wouldn’t hit anyone”) … the judge says court’s not going to recess until she asks the jurors. Who have been sitting in their jury room since lunch.) I wasn’t surprised that the jurors voted to continue and hear. I’d have been more surprised if they had voted to go back to their hotel.
And, then, after being on his feet with the JOA most of the afteroon, O’Mara switches gears and calls in two witnesses. In under 4 minutes. Now, the jurors go back to the hotel on that!
We know lots more about Jorje Meza because there have been comments on what a stellar honest guy he is. And, very well liked (when he’s in uniform), at the neighboring Orange County Courthouse.
How did O’Mara keep this witness under wraps?
Was BDLR’s decision not to really Cross Examine be based on the fact that “everybody in the know in the courthouse” trust Jorge to tell the truth? You could have gotten whiplash for how fast the witnesses presented Defense testimony … and BOOM. Time to go home. NOT time to request a break for dinner. And, everybody exiting … goes back to find the parking lot(s) empty. And, all the other offices dark.
Yes, it’s a female jury. But I doubt they’ll vote for conviction to appease the “hangman’s cries.” I think they wouldn’t be able to live with themselves, if they did that!
Even in the famous OJ case, how many people today know where any of those jurors live? Why is it being stipulated (I think incorrectly) that the mob will influence the ladies.
Can this jury hang? Yes. Can we discover some of the women grew to dislike one another? Why not? But so far it seems the jurors are conscientious. And, the one alternate was let go for personal reasons, the other 3 have stayed. They will be discharged before the jurors go in to form their verdict. Here, will the media become a nuisance? In other words, there will be a pause. Where you’ll see if the media goes bonkers chasing the alternates.
By the way, Talk Left is also covering this trial. So, from the left, too, you can see sympathy for GZ.
When it comes to people, I’ll put my money on the American people any day. And, I don’t see violence in the cards.
BDLR made a feeble attempt to manipulate Meza’s statement on cross, but Meza’s reply went in the form of “You misunderstood what I said, sir.”
As Mr. Meza clarified the meaning, you could see BDLR almost running back to sit down. It looked like Mr. Meza’s sole presence and attitude instilled fear in the prosecution.
There are people like that, and it is a good thing that he is testifying for the defense. Quite a contrast with the parade of hoodlums and clowns the state team called to the stand.
(LOL. The Prof hated it when my hand went up is Biz Law many years ago. My requests for clarification usually had him blinking. Got 4.0, though.)
(Biz law can be weird. I shudder at Crim law.)
My trick for getting through law school was to volunteer early and often. Profs would inevitably get to the point where they wanted to hear from the other students, so would quit calling on me. After that, I would be the one controlling when I participated in class, which meant that I needed to brief far fewer cases than most of the rest of the class.
BTW – one thing that really helped there was having taken Dale Carnegie classes (once as a student, then once as an assistant) a year or so before LS. Took the fear out of standing up in class – knowing that almost everyone else was more scared than I was.
Mr. Jacobson, I have a question and I hope you can answer it. Though it has no bearing on the case, how do you as an individual react to the accusations against Zimmerman by witness number 9. While I believe that this is a racially motivated prosecution and that Martin started the fight, it is hard for me to feel good about a Zimmerman win, if it happens, with this hanging over the case. What if any thoughts do you have on this? I know the prosecution threw it in just before jury selection and that judge allowed it, and still, it has no bearing on what happened that night, it is just that I find it disturbing for me to hope the facts in this case bring an acquital, and still have this hanging over the whole proceeding. Thank you.
The testimony and/or character of Witness 9 must have been blatantly false and/or unreliable that even the prosecution could/would not use it.
Indeed, the FBI investigated the charge of racism and did not find evidence of racism nor that the death was racially motivated.
Look for the Defense to present even more compelling testimony next week.
It may not be so much that they couldn’t/wouldn’t use it but that they can’t? Is it because she is just saying these things without the benefit of having taken them to court that they didn’t use them? I mean, it seems that if she was willing to testify in court that they could have really damaged him.
Perhaps they decided their narrative already had enough lies, innuendoes, smears with no basis of fact.
There’s only so much guano their leaky barge can hold without sinking.
Ah, the sweet smell of intellectual discord. What time do the bong aficionados get up?
Up on top “Juba Dubai” (not spelling this one correctly), says casting aspersions on Rick Scott is inaccurate. Well, in our day and age of Google, all you have to do is plug in his name.
Rick Scott is in his FIRST term. There had been a republican primary (back in 2010), and Scott won it. And, then he won the election over the democratic candidate.
Rick Scott had come in from the private sector. His claim to fame was that he was a CEO, with the ability to make snap decisions. And, he’d be a master of fiscal responsibility. (If I may go off course for a moment, I’d like to point out how the housing bubble has caused the domino effect to fall on some states more than others. See Meredith Whitney’s new book: ( “Fate of the States.”)
Politicians, it seems, went for broke, grabbing money during good times, by GUARANTEEING pensions. And, bond debt. (Not equally distributed over all states.) And, Florida happens to be in a whopping hole.
Rick Scott, prior to being elected governor, was a CEO who got in trouble at the end of the 90’s, where a company he was running (hospital management of a public company called, I think, Columbia Hospital.) He was charged with FRAUD. Here, you can Google more information on your own.
While the Republican Governor, Scott, making snap decisions, thought that the political cards he’d pull would only work in his favor. Like all gamblers, I think he’s lost this bet. I don’t even think Jeb Bush comes out clean as a whistle. While Mitch Danield of Indiana, does.
Sure. Obama won a second term. (Mitt Romney got rejected.) But just like in his first term, Obama has managed to grab his victory and stick it into the jaws of “Carnival.”)
I do believe Rick Scott is up for re-election in November.
I used to make fun that this trial wouldn’t be ended by then. But I’ve changed my mind. Trial will end first. Then we get to see the governor’s race playing out in Florida.
Racism isn’t the card you want to play. Especially since Zimmerman is in no way Jewish. An incompetent prosecution, here, won’t help Rick Scott, either. (Can a sitting governor be primaried? Nah. I don’t think so.) But I sure think any democratic hopeful can run with this case, and gets lots of attention.
Thanks for baring with me. This case is so political, it will come screaming down the pike towards Hispanics. So if they’re not riled, yet, at Rick Scott, they sure could be.
While Governor Scott is responsible for appointing the lamentable Angela Corey to this case, he is not involved in re-election until November 2014, so Carol Herman is incorrect in that.
Gov.Scott didn’t appoint Corey, her buddy Pam Bondi (AG) did. Pam Bondi is also good buds with Crump and Parks. The circle tightens
Pardon me for getting off topic, but does Ithaca still use a VW for a police car? I took this picture of it in ’06:
Quite honestly, I thought it was a joke. But someone who lives there assured me it was for real.
Can anyone tell me how tall Jahvis Fulton-Martin is? How much he weighs? You’d make no mistake thinking he looks a lot like his brother. If you were one of the 6 jurors, or 3 alternates, would Trayvon’s brother’s appearance had shocked you?
He is TM’s half brother, also. Same mother, different Dad.
I thought he said that Tracy was also his dad? They look a heck of a lot a like to have different dads. Didn’t Javharis(sp?) say Tracy was the only dad he ever had?
Dad, Mom, brother, sister, uncle, aunt and home are fluid terms in Trayvon’s family and culture. Trayvon had three women who shared the role of Mom…if you count Brandi.
IIRC, he said Martin was the only father he’d ever known, but said Martin was not his biological father. Apparently, the biological father was never in his life.
One’s a Fulton, as in Sybrina; other is a Martin (Trayvon).
Jahrvis Fulton had a nice deep low resonant voice. Think of the potential effect on how jurors process the testimony about voice from RJ, JS, Lauer 911 call. Points to TM being the aggressor.
“JUST A KID WALKING HOME”
Actually, here you just go to Chris Serino’s testimony. None of the homeowners who came out to see the dead body, actually knew this kid! (So, I think “Just Walking Home” and “he gets shot.” Would have given the ID to Chris Serino right there. They may have even pointed out “home” … because neighbors might recognize neighbors, and their kids.) DIDN’T HAPPEN HERE!
Even your GOOD witness could not identify the dead chap.
You are right, Nolo Contendere. The election of governors occurs in even years. Two years after we vote for president.
We also vote in a brand new House every two years.
And, alas, 11/13 is very minor league. Usually local government posts in odd years.
I still don’t think Rick Scott is going to fair well.
And, I also think, given Meredith Whitney’s predictions that some of our states (central corridor) are fiscally in better shape. With less debt thrust upon taxpayer shoulders; this big case throws a spotlight on Florida that is very unbecoming.
Lots of people with real estate in Florida are underwater. And, now, who would want to move into a condo where even your neighbors can have “guests” … who are “casing da’ joint?) How do the schools come off if Dee-Dee enters her senior high school year, unable to read or write cursive. Has a big fat attitude against white people. And, then you have McWhorter arguing for Ebonics being a language. And, not a handicap?
Anyway, thanks for the correction. Rick Scott is only in the 3rd year of his first term.
So, is RJ now going to be a rock star at her HS in her senior year? Prolly.
Actually, let me amend that. Trayvonites were trashing her in YouTube comments of her posted testimony videos, saying she’s ruining Justice 4 Trayvon. If there is acquittal, there could be a lot of anger directed at her.
Why would Z go on the stand? His entire self defense case has been presented by the prosecution.
I have read many comments that imply the jury may make a decision to convict GZ, maybe even on a lesser charge of manslaughter based on the threats of violence by a certain group. Why would anyone have reason to believe the jury has any knowledge of those threats when they had almost no knowledge of the incident involving GZ and TM according to answers given during jury selection? They almost certainly have not heard such threats during their sequestration. I really don’t think that will play a part in their decision.
Juror B-51, when asked in jury selection about her knowledge of the case, replied, “I haven’t lived under a rock for the past year.”
Juror E-6 said that she had heard news reports about the case.
Juror B-76 said she had watched “some” news coverage about the case.
Jury B-37 said she had watched initial news reports about the case.
In other comments of note, Juror B-37 once had a concealed weapons permit, and Juror B-29 said, “I think everyone is entitled to protect your life.”
If George Zimmerman was black and Trevon Martin was white, would the State have brought murder charges?
If Eddie Murphy was white and Dan Ackroyd was black would “Trading Places” have been as funny as it was?
Actually, a remake of Trading Places with the races opposite could be very funny. Take an uberwealthy black guy like Sean Combs or JayZ or Kanye West, and some nerdy white middle class or lower class guy and develop the plot from there. Hilarity ensues.
The defense team will have the difficult task of persuading the jury that GZ was not “culpably negligent” in voluntarily undertaking the neighborwood watch obligation, while armed with a deadly weapon, yet apparently not sufficiently-skilled in self-defense so that he might be able to handle an unarmed agressor such as TM with LESS than deadly physical force.
While GZ is obviously not a police officer, before police officers are sent out on patrol, they are not just given a firearm. They are provided with lots of training and other sorts of equipment to enable them to handle situations in which they might have to face an unarmed aggressor with less than deadly force in response.
This assumes the jury will believe the situation as to how the conflict started was ambiguous and not simply a straight-out sneak attack mugging of GZ by TM.
NWs are not expected to get into conflicts of any sort. Also, GZ was not on duty, so him being armed is less relevant.
But I think there is a difference between strapping on a gun purely for self defense, and strapping on a gun and wearing it while doing NW. No it’s not “on duty”, however, it’s a level above simply wearing a gun for personal protection while going about one’s own personal business. It might impose a somewhat greater degree of responsibility on the gun owner in that situation.
Add to that GZ said the gun was for defense against pit bulls only and it does raise a question about whether he was really exercising adequate caution in undertaking the NW while armed.
You’re holding Neighborhood Watch in way too high esteem. You may as well impose a higher level of care on a jogging club or new neighbor welcoming program.
I believe some clarification is in order here. Zimmerman wasn’t patrolling the neighborhood, armed, as part of NW. He was on his way to Target to pick up a few things for Shellie, he had his CW, and near the exit to Oregon is the clubhouse and where he first saw a suspicious person.
George was not “doing neighbourhood watch”. He was heading to the shops when he spotted someone looking suspicious.
In my country neighbourhood watch is all about eyes and ears. There are no neighbourhood watch patrols.
Certainly Neighborhood Watch rules have supremacy over the Florida Constitution and resultant statutes. Is that the suggestion? I hope GZ didn’t violate any portion of the Boy Scout handbook, either – what a mess that would be…
Here’s another thing that I’m wondering about the possibility of rioting. There is so much Obama worship among certain groups of people. In their minds, maybe he gave them the okay to riot when he said what he did about, if I had a son, he’d be like Trayvon or look like him, whatever it was.
If that’s the case, why can’t BO come out and make it right. Talk to those who worship him so and say that he jumped the gun, rushed to judgment, and GZ might be innocent. I’m sure there’s something he could do to make it less of a chance of rioting. I know that he probably won’t, though, but he could.
You expect Obama to do anything right or honorable? Come on. The man accepted a Nobel Peace Prize he did nothing to earn. That alone should give you all you really need to know about his character.
I guess you didn’t listen to either his press conference upon hearing he was award the prize or his acceptance speech. President Obama was surprised and did not think he had done anything to deserve it yet he hoped he would during his presidency. I would imagine the Nobel Prize committee wished they could ask for it back.
On the other hand, a decent person, with a modicum of humility, would have declined an obviously undeserved tribute.
he knew he had been nominated and he did not have to accept it when the award was given. If he had been an honest person he would not have accepted the award when he has done nothing but sow the seeds of civil war and revolution in other countries.
No, I don’t think BO can do the right thing. I think that I did stipulate it with the word “if.” Such a small word with a huge meaning.
I can dream, can’t I?
Not the first time he’s jumped the gun. Remember the Boston professor and the beer on the WH lawn?
You don’t have a problem with the police arresting you in your own home after showing them your ID and explaining that you are not breaking into your own home but that the lock jams?
You have a problem with reciting the actual facts of a case when you offer a defense?
Re the Beer Summit, if I were the cop, just to stir the pot, I would have ordered a Black Dog Ale. Maybe even their Crystal Weiss (Crystal White!).
President Obama was answering a question from a reporter when he made the “if I had a son” comment. He prefaced his comment saying he was talking to the parents…meaning…he could empathize with them losing a child…since he had kids. Some people read way to much into the President’s comments. He clearly encouraged the nation to allow the justice system to work. Check out Youtube and get the whole quote ..isn’t that what one wants people to do for George’s sake? If George is found not guilty and people started rioting the full force of the federal government will be available to help the states if it gets to be too much.
If Obama had wanted to speak with or to the parents, he could have called them. He probably did that.
His statement to the press intentionally personalized and racialized the situation. Obama is an integral part of the race industry, and he plays his part well.
In your little world maybe….
What’s OFA paying concern trolls nowadays?
Wow. The reporter’s question included the clause ‘…allegation of lingering racism within our country…’ and you don’t think that’s noteworthy? Or the fact the BHO didn’t just say ‘No comment’?
He started off by saying ‘Well, I’m the head of the executive branch and the Attorney General reports to me…’ Yeah, no big deal. I’m sure the President comments on every single murder in this country. Nothing to see here.
You’re right. You said: “His statement to the press intentionally personalized and racialized the situation. Obama is an integral part of the race industry, and he plays his part well.”
He’s been playing the race card ever since before he was elected the first time. BO just causes more division in our nation. He’s a divider. Doesn’t understand a unified nation.
He won’t. Because he’s a dick.
I don’t see how the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was not reasonable in fearing imminent and great bodily harm. However, you can see how the jury could get to manslaughter if they’re so predisposed: The injuries were not severe, would not become so even if the fight continued because they hadn’t already and Martin wasn’t armed, Zimmerman lied about Martin going for his gun and was operating under the false assumption that his assailant was a criminal and so more dangerous than the average person. As such, Zimmerman’s fear was understandable but not reasonable.
I’m not saying this view is legally correct, but since when do juries always decide based on solely on facts and instructions?
Re; “The injuries were not severe”. They don’t need to be.
Re; “Zimmerman lied about Martin going for his gun” Do you have some information that is not available to the rest of the world?
As much information as the claim that he did go for George’s gun….one can only take George’s word for that. There are several discrepancies that will never be answered.
The very best indications of George Zimmerman’s mindset and proof of his story are these pieces of DIRECT TESTIMONY:
1. Officer Serino: “We now have a video of the fight.”
Zimmerman: “Thank God. I hope they got it all.”
2. The conversation with the female police officer, when Zimmerman said, “It’s always wrong to kill another person.”
The police woman had to tell George it was not immoral to defend yourself if someone is trying to kill you.
3. George Zimmerman bought the firearm because of the pit bull dogs in the neighborhood, not to apprehend or harm the burglars.
That is DIRECT TESTIMONY BACKED BY RECORDED INTERVIEWS WITH POLICE OFFICERS.
I don’t doubt that GZ is being truthful about his account but it does appear to me that some parts of his story are embellished just a tad. I agree, him remarking, “thank God if somebody had videotaped it” speaks volumes about his veracity.
‘Seem to me’ is not good detective work. Won’t stand up as evidence in a court of law, either.
He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself. “prevent”
I agree with your point about the Martin/Fulton family lawyers ( the Martin family through the Parks and Crump law firm) being a large part of why we are witnessing this farce. Their lawyers have obviously committed a tremendous number of man hours over the last several months. I have not read anything about how they are being paid, but their billable hours must be near the GDP of a small country. Neither of the parents seem to have the means to pay, from which one would infer that either the lawyers are working on contingency (against what?), pro bono (don’t seem the type), or being paid by big money behind the scenes. Why am I cynical about this?
The lawyers have probably already raked in 1/3 of a million dollars from the HOA settlement.
Even at $500/hr, that only covers 600 hours. I think they’ve been on TV more than that 😉
If GZ was not acting as NW when he shot TM (headed to Target and not on patrol, didn’t identify himself as NW to either NEN dispatcher or TM), can anyone explain why HOA settled?
Their insurance company decided, I would imagine.
Cheaper in the long run vs protracted litigation.
Camera time. You can’t buy that kind of publicity but the networks can give it to you pro bono.//
What’s the point of a neighborhood watch, if you can’t watch?
IKR? I am afraid of the chilling effect of a conviction, for Neighborhood Watch Programs and perhaps even for people who die because of hesitating in the moment when they can’t afford to and need to defend themselves. I am concerned about people concluding from Good’s obvious allusion to experiencing witness intimidation (lots of 911 calls since that night) that people will hesitate to call 911 or to give an eyewitness report. This “No Snitches” ethic will take hold. Any future vics are Kitty Genovese. A conviction will be incredibly damaging.
I am right there with you Liz!
I actually haven’t decided what I personally am going to do if George is not acquitted.
I have carried for 10 years, but this whole fiasco of a trial has me worried. Seriously!?!? Just pulling the trigger shows ill will and malice? It seems George did nearly everything right, yet here we are. Plus, this is Florida and I live in California. Yikes!
I am not one to back down due to political pressure, but I really have to consider if the risk is worth it. I am wondering if it might be better just to carry a taser and brush up on my hand to hand combat.
But, I still think the women in his jury will see this mockery of a trial for what it is and acquit George on all counts. Lord, I hope I am right…
I think the chilling has already been accomplished, which was the intent from the very first.
how can you keep tabs on someone from a distance
The people who chose to put GZ on trial must be related to the anti-gun campaigners who tell women to try ‘ vomiting, urinating, or fainting’ if they are attacked. As a last line of defense, they suggest ‘ asking the aggressor to stop it ‘.
Don’t forget the really bizarre: “Glance at them and nod” self-defense tactic.
Zimmerman wasn’t chasing Martin, he was keeping an eye on him.
Martin mugged him when he walked back to his car
You don’t have to be “qualified” to keep your eye in some strange kid wandering around your heavily burglarized neighborhood in the middle of the night.
Watch the damn trial. It’s all there.
People who are used to carrying their guns, and have concealed carry licenses, are probably people who can even access their guns if they’re fast asleep in bed. When something wakes them up.
I don’t think Zimmerman has to explain why he’d conceal carry. He’s not going to draw his weapon unless he feels his life is threatened.
Where I get amazed is where are the Hispanic voices? Is it possible hispanic politicians have decided to “put a lid on it,” because they want Amnesty to pass?
For Blacks, we can actually see Al Sharpton able to get a heads up from Obama. But other than getting himself on TV, I don’t see Al Sharpton as being a “monolithic voice” for the Black community. As ti tge ghetto, I know they live in neighborhoods with such exact lines, a Black person won’t cross the street, if his neighborhood ends at a street border, where the next block up the neighborhood turns white. Or? Middle class mixed.
The media sure is spinning its story. But what if, taken as a whole, they haven’t reached any level where people are tuning in their every word?
So far, here, we are a small community, not capable of starting revolutions. And, in many cases we are here for the “overview” which becomes so interesting! While the jurors aren’t exposed to what we know.
I’m glad someone here inputted that Seminole County is a local community. All the jurors are local. And, when the State may try to enter information about the weather (at Disneyland), or otherwise at least six miles away from this courthouse … What if any jurors really remembers the night. And, the rainstorms?
The other thing? Jorge Meza is not the only employed hispanic (who is a very nice guy!) What about the staff at this courthouse the jurors are getting to know? What if the Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites all seem competent and friendly. And, then the prosecution team seems to be from Mars?
…where are the Hispanic voices?
This case is not about race, only to al Sharpton and his followers.
This case is about the right ALL OF US have to defend ourselves. It is also about the right all of us have to due process.
The state is not targeting Hispanics. They are targeting each and everyone of us. They are trying to suppress the idea that you have the right to stop an attacker, and in doing so, they seem more than willing to cross every ethic or moral boundaries.
It is disgusting and scary.
The left has always been fond of show trials whether it was Bolsheviks or racial arsonists.
A man on the hunt is not usually on the phone with the police with his weapon holstered while he is hunting.
and as several have noted, he also doesn’t call the police prior to targeting a victim.
This whole thing is a farce beyond description.
And he most certainly doesn’t give the police his name and phone number and tell them where they can find him.
gz did what most would not have done by cooperating fully with the police….jesh the man even took a stress test which i assume is a step up from the old lie detector and that probably convinced most involved that what he was saying was true. the case only went forward after rj was found- that witless is one step removed from grunts and squeals.
Between themselves, the jurors cannot talk about the case. But they can talk about themselves. They can tell each other their names. And, where they live. And, if they have kids/grandkids. And, even if they’re missing out on parties because they are sequestered.
Is it okay to bring up the topic of the jury summons? Each one of these people got drawn into court out of about 300,000 eligible to serve jurors.
Because this is an all female jury, the usual male topics of sports is not in play, here. And, women, as a general rule can communicate to each other their emotional pangs. What about frustration of having to serve? What about pets (and or kids. And, or husbands at home. Whom they miss?)
I know men don’t talk about this stuff. But I think I remember that one of the juror’s has a pup at home. Did she have to put her pet at a pet hotel? If these were my animals, I’d be going crazy just about now.
And, I’d lay odds that each and every juror has gotten personal information. Including the terror of getting a jury summons in the mail. So, what exactly is the judge disqualifying when she says “the trial testimony is off limits?” What’s within limits?
Carol, I think the judge is admonishing the jurors not to talk about the case among themselves until the conclusion of all the evidence. Once the Judge makes the charge to the jurors, they will deliberate and talk all they want.
Hope this helps.
[…] Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has up a great post today on “Racialized prosecutorial indiscretion in the Zimmerman […]
I tried to keep up but on seeing the 850 comments threads I stuck with my original viewpoint which just happens to have been the same as Prof J’s.
Simple & saved me a lot of time. First impressions are 80% the ones that stay.
somebody needs to put this trial to bed and i think it will be west that does
When talking about agitators like Sharpton, let’s not forget the White Hispanic nonsense peddled by the New York Times and others.
I’ve never heard of the terms “White Hispanic” until this happened. If they’re going to call Zimmerman a White Hispanic, then why don’t they call Obama a White Black?
How George Zimmerman should have handled the case, according to the prosecution. NeN = Non Emergency Number. GZ = George Zimmerman.
NeN = Sanford Police, what is your information?
GZ = Yes, I was heading out to the grocery store, so, I left my handgun locked up at home. While I was leaving, I noticed a person standing inside of our gated community.
NeN = What is your name?
GZ = George Zimmerman. I am the Neighborhood Watch coordinator in my neighborhood.
NeN = OK, Mr Zimmerman. Are you SURE you were headed to the Grocery Store? You haven’t been out in your neighborhood looking around, have you?
GZ = No Ma’am, I have been inside minding my own business.
NeN = Ok, so you saw this person. Why did you call us?
GZ = Well, we’ve had a rash of robberies inside of a gated community. So, when I see someone standing around, just looking aimlessly around in windows, and I don’t recognize him, I thought I should give you a call to check him out.
NeN = Ok Mr. Zimmerman, I guess that is enough reason to call. Now. What did this person look like?
GZ = Well, the person looked a little like a man, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions.
NeN = Well, did you stop to get a better look at him?
GZ = Oh, No. If I did that, it might make the person mad or make them scared, and I can’t do that.
NeN = That is good Mr Zimmerman. Now, what was the person wearing?
GZ = He was wearing clothes. I definitely saw that.
NeN = What color clothes was he wearing?
GZ = They were just average. Nothing special. I don’t want to get too detailed because I might get it wrong and then I would be in trouble for mis-identifying the person or even worse, profiling them based on the color clothes they wear. That would be a tragedy.
NeN = Ok, then, what color clothes was this person wearing?
GZ = Well, they were a little bit darker colored. Now, I’m talking about his CLOTHES mind you. Only his clothes. They were maybe on the darker side of average.
NeN = OK, did you see if this was a black person, or a white person?
GZ = Oh, I didn’t look at his face or hands to see what color he was. That might have been profiling him based on his race, and that would be wrong.
NeN = Ok, Mr. Zimmerman, I think we have his description. Can you tell us where he was?
GZ = Oh yes, He was at the clubhouse in Twin Lakes Estates. He was walking about 7 feet from the mailboxes and 3 feet from the edge of the street. That street is Twin Pines Lane. It is 752 feet long. He was about to walk across the North end of it.
NeN = Ok, we have a good location for him. Now, when did you see him?
GZ = Well. It is dark now, so I guess it was 30-40 minutes ago right when I called you.
NeN = Did you see which way he went?
GZ = Oh, I have no idea. I wasn’t about to try and see where he was going. He might think I’m chasing him and track me down and assault me.
NeN = Good job, Mr Zimmerman. Had you tried to tell us where he was headed, you might get in trouble for trying to keep tabs on strangers in your gated community, and we can’t have that, can we? We’ll send a police car to your location. Where are you now?
GZ = I’m inside the Wal-Mart at the ammunition counter.
NeN = MR. ZIMMERMAN, YOU ARE N*O*T ABOUT TO BUY AMMUNITION FOR A GUN ARE YOU? DON’T MOVE! WE’LL HAVE SOMEONE THERE IS JUST A FEW SECONDS! ! !
According to the SecondCityCop blog, there’s a regulation being considered in NYC (sponsored by a Dem councilwoman) to forbid physical descriptions of criminal suspects (color, height, weight, hair, etc) and only allowing descriptions of clothing to be used by the police and public when looking for someone. Who said “I try to be cynical, but I can’t keep up”?
“Suspect is running east on thirteenth street. He’s dressed like a black guy.”
You are kidding, right?
this case is about the law and what happened in the few minutes before tm was shot. i do believe that the timeline of the events will decide this case. i look to west
How about “If the head is split you must aquit.” ?
Well, the Sanford Watch Trials could certainly use the levity.
🙁 I wanted to use that.
I have an off topic question for you knowledgeable people. If someone is arrested for committing a homicide, be it self defense or intentional murder do the police automatically submit them to a drug test? Is that required by law? Thanks.
Probable cause is still required. If the arresting officers had evidence that drugs or alcohol were involved, then perhaps so; but not without suspicion thereof.
even in a car accident where there is a fatality, blood draws are taken
Want to see something amazing? Get the testimony of Tracy Martin re: how Trayvon went to Sanford. He said he drove him. He said this 2 times, once first time mentioning it was Wed, along with Sybrina (or at least she said wed) and a 2nd time when he corrected the record.
What he didn’t mention is that Trayvon took the bus, Tracy was not involved. This is proven due to the release of Trayvon’s texts. Dated 2-21-12. The same day his cousin, who used to tweet as mr_4dat, tweeted to tray he didn’t realize Tray swung at a bus driver.
No bull. So it’s the defense’s job to explain this and lead to why the parents would lie about why Tracy ‘drove’ him to ‘meet Brandi’ (where she probably had to pick him up after he was in trouble)
I also read that they called Juvie first before 911. If this is the case, it would lend credibility to the issues of 2-21-12. So the question is…HOW does the defense introduce those texts into evidence and bust them for these lies?
TY for the time.
Call Tracy to the stand and ask him. And then ask why he wouldn’t give the cellphone account PIN to the police while they were trying to investigate his son’s death. And then ask him when he first called Rachel. And then ask him… (well, this could take way too long)
Just ask him!
Could be one more reason why the State didn’t have Tracy on its witness list:)
Tracy Martin’s testimony is going to be devastating to the state case. (I assume matter-of-factly that the defense is going to call him.)
He was the first in the family to listen to that 911 call and said THAT was NOT his son. He said that BEFORE ben crump hinted to a possible multi-million payout. Probably the only time any of them has been honest about the whole thing.
I wonder how the HOA settlement was divided after atty’ standard 1/3…. Tracy and Sybrina don’t appear to have much affection for each other.
Ask him why if he and Brandi got home at 10:30 that night, how they didn’t see any of the crime scene that was lit up like Christmas. Ask him why he called Juvi looking for his son the next morning. Ask him why he said he had seen Trayvon earlier Sunday night sitting on the back porch at Brandi’s.
i think omeara and west are trying their best not to throw bricks and keep this case simple. focus on the law
Florida AG Pam Bondi and Angela Corey need to be brought up on charges of prosecutorial misconduct. This case should have never been brought to trial. Would love to see both of them “Nifonged.”
when the key witness is rj-one step removed from grunts and squeals, nobody wanted this turd to polish.
Scanning the list of prospective Defense witnesses, there appear to be scads of Martin family members available…. interesting that only two were called by State. Also interesting, but alarming as well, the large number of of witnesses for GZ who are ID’d only by numbers and letters, due to fear of reprisals.
i don’t like the fact gz tried to pull a fast one hiding his finances. and i don’t like his interview with hannity. one thing is certain, gz will live to see another day. i go back to just how fast things can go south. it’s scarey!
If TM used ‘lean’ or ‘purple drank’ and/or ‘blunts’ (cigar wrapped around a marijuana joint) that night and/or often, he may have had heightened aggression due to the effects of the combination of those drugs (+ his culture/peers + possibly RJ egging him on). http://www.ukcia.org/research/AgressiveBehavior.pdf
The night Trayvon was filmed at the store, he tried to buy a cigar, but was told he was not old enough. He sent friends in right after that to buy one for him.
ME Bao tried to discuss the mental/behavioral changes (direct, cumulative, interactive, long term) that drugs can have on mental state (paranoia, disturbed sleep, hallucinations, fear, anxiety, hyper-reactivity, etc.) and behavior (aggression) with BDLR, but the Prosecutor would not listen.
GZ described him as acting like he was on drugs.
I-gawd, Unc, but you are a FREAK for that drank.
When you WANT to hear more from Dr. Boa, you have a serious mental disorder.
Sir, this is a serious matter.
Vicious ad hominem attacks make you look bad and do not add to the discussion.
I’m not being vicious, Unc. I’m laughing at you and your death-grip on that nonsense.
Drugs have an effect on personality, thoughts and actions.
Paranoia and aggression are among those.
This is a fact not a joke.
This is what the justice system (colluding with Crump, the million dollar defense fund donor) is trying to cover up by excluding it from the jury’s ears.
However, the fact that Trayvon had personality changes due to drug use, peer culture and family problems is being covered up, but that very fact is why he was sent away from his mother’s home to live with his father in Sanford, FL.
Keep in mind that Rags is a booster for the prosecutors in this case.
The “fast one” was an attempt to be accurate, rebuffed and then spun into perjury. They asked his wife how much was in the defense fund, she answered, “I think it’s $X, but I’m not sure; I can ask my brother-in-law”. They responded with, “No, that’s OK”
Then they claim she intentionally lied. No — she apparently was not sure, and offered accurate information which they declined.
From The American Spectator: The State’s Case Against the State by Daniel J. Flynn who addresses the incompetence of the prosecutors:
If there is no evidence to support the Crump/Julison/Jackson media-touted (fictional emotional racial) narrative, it is the prosecution’s fault for touting that narrative in its opening statement and mid-case summary.
Just to have charged Zimmerman is incompetent and political.
Interesting on several levels.
One being that it makes a (feeble) attempt at objectivity.
Another being that it fails rather badly. (See “myth” no. 2, which is not shown to be a “myth” at all.)
Finally, it cites to Crump as some kind of credible source, instead of doing some actual reportage.
Crump is probably seeing himself (with Obama’s and Holder’s endorsements) as the next FL Attorney General with Bill Nelson or Debbie Wasserman Shultz as Governor.
The Shamnesty Bill and continued vote/election fraud, will make this possible.
A PICTURE IS WORTH A MILLION WORDS
Does anyone know if Florida police could have obtained GZ’s or TM’s cell phone GPS/location history the night of the shooting? I thought we were at the point that investigators could readily obtain such information.
They can get some of the cell phone location history but I’m not sure how precise it is. They were able to determine that the Boston Marathon Bombers were in the area of the triple homicide that happened a year earlier. Apparently the friend who died mysteriously whle being interviewed by the FBI – they were able to locate him at the scene also. Imagine, one year later.
[…] the background. Maybe that’s just because I’m going crazy – or maybe the case is perfectly proving Lee […]
[…] Racialized prosecutorial indiscretion in the Zimmerman case […]
[…] Update: Hey, call me old-fashioned. I think the government should not be in the business of identifying targets first, trying to figure out if a crime was committed second. In an era in which everyone is guilty of something, this is a prescription for prosecutorial atyranny, as Prof. Glenn Reynold wrote in Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything is a Crime. See also my prior post, Racialized prosecutorial indiscretion in the Zimmerman case. […]
[…] Update: Hey, call me old-fashioned. I don’t think the government should be in the business of identifying political targets first, trying to figure out if a crime was committed second. In an era in which everyone is guilty of something, this is a prescription for prosecutorial tyranny, as Prof. Glenn Reynold wrote in Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything is a Crime. See also my prior post, Racialized prosecutorial indiscretion in the Zimmerman case. […]
[…] not enough that the Florida justice system caved to threats of racial terrorism by the Grand Trifecta of grievance-mongers Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and […]