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Zimmerman Closing Analysis – O’Mara: No Evidence of Guilt; Guy: Martin Deserves the Truth

Zimmerman Closing Analysis – O’Mara: No Evidence of Guilt; Guy: Martin Deserves the Truth

(Note: the first couple of paragraphs reflect today’s earlier, short post.  To start at the newest updates, skip to the first heading, “Mark O’Mara Delivers Compelling Narrative of Innocence Based on Evidence &  Law.”  The remainder of the post also contains embedded and linked video of both the defense closing and the State rebuttal.)

This morning saw the defense give its closing statement in Florida v. Zimmerman, the last opportunity for them to deliver their compelling narrative of innocence to the jury. And boy, did Mark O’Mara deliver. In a closing rich with evidence, facts, and the law, O’Mara focused the jury on their legal obligation to deliver a verdict consistent with the State’s burden to prove Zimmerman’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

O’Mara stepped them through every significant piece of evidence, and every single witness that had appeared in court. He reminded them of their duty to come to a verdict using only the evidence actually presented at trial, and that any “filling in the gaps” must be seen as contributing towards reasonable doubt, and therefore towards a not guilty verdict. He urged them to do the opposite of what the State had suggested in Bernie de la Rionda’s (BDLR) fact-free closing, when the State seemed to suggest that the jury not be overly concerned with the evidence but rather apply their “common sense.”

Mark O'Mara shows cell phone photo of Trayvon Martin

Mark O’Mara, defense counsel, delivers closing argument

O’Mara’s last few sentences were particularly powerful. He urged the jury, when they went into deliberations, to consider self-defense first. Because unless the State has disproved self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, they must find George Zimmerman not guilty.

It was, in short, a masterful closing of the highest order, appealing to the civilized qualities of the jurors and their legal and moral charge.

In response, Mr. Guy delivered the State’s rebuttal closing in a manner that was even more fact-free than had been BLDR’s–something I hadn’t imagined possible. He started an immediate emotive appeal to the “human heart”, and never looked back. He referred to Martin as a “child” at least a half-dozen times, and Zimmerman as a “grown man”. What he did not do, what he could not do, was argue facts in evidence to exclude any reasonable hypothesis consistent with innocence. This was yet another childish and histrionic “performance” by the State in a prosecution that had long since become their Gallipoli.

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Mr. Guy, State prosecutor, delivers State rebuttal closing

Mark O’Mara Delivers Compelling Narrative of Innocence Based on Evidence &  Law

Mark O’Mara began his closing argument today with the directness and command that have been his a hallmark throughout this trial. After thanking the jurors for their patience, he immediately focused their attention on his fears. He was concerned, he said, that the the jury might attempt to apply their normal decision-making process, the one that works perfectly well in day-to-day life, in their deliberations of the guilt, or non-guilt, of George Zimmerman.

Mark O'Mara shows cell phone photo of Trayvon Martin

Mark O’Mara

Necessity for Jurors to be Deliberative and Focused on the Facts in Evidence

In normal life, he noted, we make decisions all the time on vague and incomplete facts–it’s just not worth the time and effort to nail everything down to the last degree of certainty. We move through life with a broad range of assumptions–we assume that car isn’t going to suddenly swerve into our lane, for example. We use these assumptions to fill in the holes left by the fact we don’t have. It’s perfectly normal and natural way to deal with a complicated world.

It is also, he said, completely inappropriate for determining guilt or the lack thereof. He feared, he said, that if the jury applied the vague, assumption-filled decision-making process of day-to-day life to this case, the result would be an injustice to Mr. Zimmerman. Instead, the jury is charged with applying a type of decision making with standards of certainty and proof substantially higher than that used in daily life.

Facts in Evidence, Not Emotion, Lead to a Just Verdict

This higher standard is a direct consequence of the fact that the American legal system places upon the State the burden of proving the guilt of the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Not just in a general sense, but on each and every specific element of the crime charged.

The State, he noted, had seemed to suggest in the closing argument of Bernie de la Rionda (BDLR) that a looser standard than what was legally required, a standard merely of “common sense”. While it was, indeed, important to use common sense in deliberations, however, the standard of guilt–beyond a reasonable doubt–meant a finding much more substantive and certain than the phrase “common sense” might suggest.

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George Zimmerman

Assumptions and Speculation Lead to Injustice

In this courtroom, and in the jury’s deliberations, they were not allowed to fill in any gaps with assumptions of what might have been. If there was no evidence on an issue, the issue was as a matter of law unproven, or at least uncertain–and any uncertainty had to be resolved in favor of the defendant, as it contributed to reasonable doubt.

As an aside, at this point in his closing O’Mara delivered what has become one of his trademark moves, a subtle, swift jab to the larynx of the State’s theory of the case. What do you know about Trayvon Martin? Not much. But if a decision was made by the State to not present some particular evidence about Trayvon Martin, you mustn’t’ consider the matter. O’Mara might as well have told the jury to not think about pink elephants-thinking about what the State might have held back about Trayvon Martin could only have been at the forefront of their minds after O’Mara’s low-key remark.

His concern, he said, was that the way decisions must be made in deliberations was sufficiently different from how we normally make them that it requires particular care on the part of the jury to not default to them more normal, comfortable approach.

Zimmerman Has No Duty To Testify, Although In A Sense He Had

O’Mara noted that George Zimmerman was not required to prove anything, was not even required to testimony–although, he noted, you have heard him testify, repeatedly, in the many audio and video recordings introduced into evidence by the State. This was another nice move by O’Mara, as it implicitly gathered to Zimmerman the benefit of a defendant who “has testified,” without ever placing his client in the jeopardy of a cross-examination.

The Jurors Are “Living the Constitution”

The burden, O’Mara emphasized again, is on the State to prove Zimmerman’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Why have such a high burden on the State, why is it important? In answer O’Mara began quoting from our Founding Fathers, including the great American lawyer John Adams, as well as Thomas Jefferson. “You,” he told the jury, “are living the Constitution in your deliberations.”

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State Raises Reasonable Doubt, While Defense Drives to Certainty

O’Mara mentioned that he had come to refer to Florida v. Zimmerman as the bizarro case, because it seemed to be turned all around. Normally, it was the State prosecutors who spoke in terms of definite findings of fact, of “did” and “had” and “must,” and it was the defense that spoke in terms of uncertainty, of “what if,” and “could have,” and “might have been.” It is the State that has the charge to provide near-certainty, the defense lawyers who are charged to create a doubt. Yet “how many what-ifs have you heard from the State in this case?” he asked pointedly. (Certainly, this writer lost count weeks ago.)

He knew how prosecutors ought to approach the pursuit of a conviction, O’Mara said, because he used to be a prosecutor before, and used to use those definite terms when asking a jury to return a verdict of guilty. “Those,” he said, “are the words of good prosecutors.” ( There was more than a little emphasis on the “good”.)

The Reasonable Doubt Continuum, and the Threshold for Guilt

At this point O’Mara pulled out two charts, one illustrating the continuum of “doubt” from considerable to beyond a reasonable with respect to the criminal charge, and the other taking a similar approach with regard to the defense of self-defense. In both cases, he pointed out, a guilty verdict could be returned only if the jury was convinced the State had successfully secured a position at the highest levels of certainty, beyond a reasonable doubt. The vast majority of those continuums required, mandated, that the jury return a verdict of not guilty.

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Mark O’Mara

State Must Prove Beyond Reasonable Doubt That No Self-Defense

In the context of self-defense he noted that the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that George Zimmerman did NOT act in self-defense. If the jury concluded that self-defense was likely in this case, their verdict must be not guilty. If they decided self defense was unlikely, but might have been? Not guilty. If they found self-defense was less than likely? Not guilty. Even if they decided that self-defense was highly unlikely in this case, but they retained a reasonable doubt–not guilty.

In terms of the criminal charge the State has to prove guilt to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt whatever. Only then may the jury return a verdict of guilty. Only then.

Let’s Talk About the Evidence

“So now,” O’Mara segued, “let’s talk about the evidence.” That simple sentence could only reinforce how little BDLR had touched upon the evidence in his lengthy, meandering closing the day before.

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Zimmerman, the “Wannabe” Cop

He started with the contention by the State that George Zimmerman was a “wannabe cop”, with every evil connotation they could associate with the phrase. Indeed, O’Mara acknowledged, Zimmerman was a “wannabe cop.” And a wannabe prosecutor, lawyer, and helpful neighbor. He reminded the jurors of all the law enforcement officers who had testified during the trial, called by both the State and the defense (sometimes the same individual by both). They were not merely wannabe cops, they had actually become cops–and all, without exception, had found a life calling in honorable service to protect their communities. Just as George, in his own small way, sought to serve and protect.

What Was Learned When State Called Professors To Testify?

The State had an obligation to prove to you that George had engaged in inappropriate conduct, if they wished you to use that conduct in support of guilt. So, who did they bring? Two professors. The first said that George Zimmerman was a nice guy, who wanted to be a lawyer and a State prosecutor. The other professor, O’Mara reminded them, had provided a fairly comprehensive lecture on the law of self-defense. (It’s likely the jurors also recalled Captain Carter greeting George Zimmerman warmly by name as he entered the courtroom.)

Why Had the State Withheld Evidence from the Jury?

O’Mara then reminded the jurors that the State had also provided them with a half-dozen additional audio recordings of Zimmerman phoning the police to report other suspicious activities. Actually, he corrected himself, the State had only provided five of those tapes–it was the defense that made sure the sixth tape was included. Why, he pondered, would the State have left out that sixth tape? He encouraged the jury to listen to that sixth tape themselves, and see if they could discern a motivation by the State that was consistent with the State’s claim that they were simply seeking justice.

And when you listen to the tapes, O’Mara suggested, listen to Zimmerman’s voice. Is he shouting at the police to get over here and get these guys, get these young black males? No. The only shouting, in fact, has been done by the State. Don’t, he urged the jury, allow the State to put their own words, their own ton, into the mouth of George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman stands during closing

Mark O’Mara, George Zimmerman

The Crime Wave of Twin Lakes

O’Mara talked about the wave of crime through Twin Lakes, and told the juror they would find a pile of police reports about these crimes in the evidence they would receive. Look through it, he urged them. Was George Zimmerman frustrated? Of course, would it not be reasonable to be frustrated under the circumstances?

Where Was the Witness to Zimmerman’s Seething Hatred? Anyone?

At its opening statement the State had suggested that Zimmerman was “playing cop,” and “patrolling” the neighborhood, overzealously looking for trouble. In fact, Zimmerman took the same trip to Target every Sunday evening, to gather the foodstuffs he used to make his lunches for the week. Indeed, there was not a single witness who testified that Zimmerman patrolled the neighborhood. Why not? The State had not produced a single witness who could personally testify as to his allegedly “angry, seething” tone of voice? Why not?

State Asking, Demanding, that Jury Adopt Its Assumptions

Instead, the State wants you to assume that because they say it, it must be true. And you would have to assume it, because there’s no actual evidence. The State wants to make Zimmerman out to be a hateful man looking for people to harass. Yet they have no evidence, none. Well, if Mr, Guy thinks, O’Mara challenged, he can show me wrong in his rebuttal.

Recall the home invasion victim that did testify, Bartolo. If Zimmerman had come to her and ranted like an angry maniac about criminals, somehow swore vengeance, surely the State would have elicited such testimony. Why didn’t they? She did testify about what Zimmerman did, however. Zimmerman gave her a lock to secure her door. He gave her his phone number in case she needed any help. He offered to have her spend time with his wife Shellie, to comfort her.

The night of the event, did this angry, seething vengeful wannabe cop run out of his car with his gun in his hand to track Martin down? No, he did just what he was told to do–identify the direction in which Martin had gone.

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The Only People In Case Who Ever Shouted Expletives Were State Prosecutors

What about the language, the expletives uttered by Zimmerman, that the State used as the cornerstone for its characterization of Zimmerman as consumed by hate, spite, and ill-will, by a depraved mind? You’ve heard the words enough, O’Mara noted, unwilling to repeat them again. Certainly he was not going to shout them out. Mr. Guy shouted them out. Mr. de la Rionda shouted them out. But George Zimmerman never shouted them out. Not that night, not ever.

Where’s the Hatred, Ill-Will, Spite, Required for a Depraved Mind?

O’Mara then presented a ten-foot long graphic representing the timeline of Zimmerman’s non-emergency call to the police. It was somewhat difficult to follow some of his discussion here, as the chart was not visible to me. But the real key points didn’t really require sight of the chart. O’Mara noted that the State wants to make a big deal out of the dispatcher saying, “We don’t need you to do that,” but also wanted you to ignore, “let me know if he does anything else.” At the point where Zimmerman says, please get an officer over here,” O’Mara pauses and asks, “Is that evidence of hate, ill-will, spite?”

At the moment when Zimmerman mutters, “These assholes, they always get away,” O’Mara paused again and asked, “Is that hate, ill-will, spite? Did George Zimmerman say those words as Mr. Guy did, as Mr. de la Rionda did?

Then Trayvon runs, and the dispatcher asks, “What’s he doing, which way is he going?” Is that, O’Mara wonders, the moment that the wannabe cop was supposed to have cracked, the straw that broke the camels back? Is there some crescendo of hatred evident in the tape?

When the dispatcher asks, “Are you following,” what does George Zimmerman say in response that shows his hatred, his angry desire to track down and kill Trayvon Martin? He says yes. When the dispatcher tells him, “We don’t need you to do that?” is that when George Zimmerman snaps? No, he simply says, “OK.”

 

Where is the Evidence that Zimmerman Pursued Martin?

Indeed, O’Mara asks, is there any evidence whatever to support the State’s conjecture that George Zimmerman ran after Trayvon Martin after he told the dispatcher, “OK”? O’Mara issued another challenge to the State–let them show you, he told the jury, with evidence that George Zimmerman so much as walked after Trayvon Martin after he said “OK.” Because the evidence is simply not there.

The State wants to suggest that the encounter occurred some distance down the dog walk, as if Zimmerman had pursued Martin toward’s his destination. But based on what evidence. We know that the little flashlight with the key ring was found at the T, right where Zimmerman says Martin confronted him. Jenna Lauer’s testimony was also consistent with the confrontation starting at the T, as was Sudyka’s testimony, and that of Manalo–all State witnesses.

The Animated Video

O’Mara then spun up his animated video, which simply portrayed the actions as purported by the defense. The video itself didn’t strike me as particularly compelling, but the fact that it showed the defense’s recounting of events was completely consistent with the evidence of the case, and therefore both were consistent with a narrative of innocence, was compelling.

What Was Martin Doing During the Four Minutes He Could Have Gone Home?

O’Mara then turned the tables on the State. They’ve raised questions about these mysterious two minutes, he noted, and about what George Zimmerman was doing during that time. But what about Trayvon Martin? What was he doing? He started running at 7:11:47, as noted in the non-emergency call of Zimmerman. The call of Jenna Lauer that captured the sound of the fighting, and which she made within seconds of hearing the first verbal exchange of the confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman, was at 7:16:11. So there are almost four minutes of time from when Trayvon Martin ran until their actual confrontation.

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Having the Jury Sit, in Silence, for Four Minutes

At this point O’Mara, who had already been speaking for more than an hour, announced he would take a short break. Before they recessed, however, he wanted to ask the jury to simply stay where they were, sit in place, not talk, until he told them otherwise. Then, in a wonderful piece of courtroom theater, he simply stayed silent for four minutes. Finally, he said, “that’s how long Trayvon Martin had to run, if he wanted to run, four minutes. To reach safety, he had to run perhaps slightly further than a man could throw a football. Yet in the same time that a man can run a mile, Trayvon Martin was unable to move even a couple of hundred feet. Or unwilling to.

And, by the way, O’Mara noted, did the State make any effort to explain to you what Trayvon Martin was doing for those four minutes? Why not? Does that raise doubt in your mind about their theory of the case?

After a brief recess, O’Mara was back on the four minutes. We know, he said, that Trayvon Martin had ample opportunity to secure safety, to get home. We know that. But he didn’t.

Somebody WAS Filled With Ill-will, Spite, Hatred–Just Not Zimmerman

It’s true, he said, that someone was angry that night, filled with ill-will, spite, and hatred. The person who felt those emotions was the guy who could have gone home, but chose not to, who chose instead to wait. The State, O’Mara said in his first show of outrage, dares to tell you that Trayvon Martin made no decisions that night? Well, they say they want you to use your common sense, let’s do so. Trayvon Martin was doing something, for certain.

In an interesting twist, O’Mara then highlighted how weak the State’s theory of the case was in the face of countervailing evidence. Let’s toss away, he suggested all of George Zimmerman’s statements consistent with self-defense. The State says they are self-serving lies. Ok, let’s say he never made them. What does that leave us with?

It leaves us, O’Mara said, with this–and he held up the worst of the bloody photos of Zimmerman’s face, his nose crushed sideways and blood running down his lip, taken by Officer Tim Smith while Zimmerman sat in his patrol car.

You, he told the jury, should tell the State with your verdict, don’t ever come back to us with a case like this. Because you can go into deliberations right now, place the burden of proof of self defense on the defense beyond a reasonable doubt, and you would still have to conclude not guilty. But of course, that’s not the legal standard, the legal standard is the State has to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. It merely illustrates how far they are from being able to do so.

Of course, O’Mara said, I’m not going to suggest that Trayvon Martin did anything bad . . . (and don’t think about pink elephants).

Zimmerman, Wannabe Cop?

O’Mara then moved back to the State’s wannabe cop theory. This wanna be cop, he noted, was offered a chance to be as close to a police officer as his life was likely to take him. A patrol car, with flashing yellow lights. A uniform of sorts. A charge to genuinely patrol the neighborhood. And what did this desperate wannabe cop say to this offer? No thanks. Hatred, spite, ill-will?

Mark OMara shows cell phone photo of Trayvon Martin

Evidence Favorable to the State, Gutted

O’Mara then spoke to the few witnesses who presented some appearance of favorable evidence for the State. Frankly, he needn’t have bothered, because neither Bernie de la Rionda nor Mr. Guy ever referenced any of these witnesses (but, of course, he could not know yet what Guy might say in his rebuttal). Bahadoor’s credibility was quickly exposed for the shell it was, Sudkya he treated kindly as simply traumatized by the event, Manalo as having been misled by the widespread distribution of the 12-year-old Trayvon photos.

Then O’Mara got to Rachel Jeantel, and sighed. Clearly, he said, she didn’t want to be involved in the case. Did he care that she’d lied about her age, or her name, or about being in the hospital? No. But clearly her crystalline memories at her deposition by BDLR, Crump, et al. of a phone conversation that took place weeks earlier was simply not credible. In any case, the setting in which the deposition was taken–in Trayvon Martin’s living room, seated next to the crying mother, surrounded by Trayvon’s family and family lawyers, and speaking to a State prosecutor whose job is to send people to jail–it’s hard to imagine a more coercive environment or how that would have affected her recall. Remember, “oh, you want that, too?”

Indeed, the more coercive the environment and the more it might have influenced her testimony, the more that testimony must be discounted, and the greater the uncertainty and reasonable doubt.

Stepping Through Every Witness, State and Defense, In Search of Guilt–Nothing

At that point O’Mara continued to transition from one witness to the next, both State and defense, providing a brief recollection of their testimony and its implications for a verdict. Of the few whose testimony seemed to favor the State, he had already addressed Bahadoor, Sudyka, and Manalo. Drs. Rao and Bao pretty much discredited themselves. Sabryna Fulton, well, of course she wanted to believe it was Trayvon’s voice. The half-brother Jaharvis didn’t really know. Tracey Martin had first concluded that the screams were not those of his son.

All of the other witnesses, whether called by the State or defense, provided testimony that was entirely consistent with Zimmerman’s narrative of self-defense and innocence. Many of them compelling so, especially the defense witnesses Jorge Meza, Dr. Di Maio, Adam Pollack, Mark Osterman, and Dennis Root.

“He Had No Other Choice”–Uncontested Testimony of Dennis Root

Speaking of Dennis Root, the expert in the defensive use of force, he was asked by BDLR, “George Zimmerman had other choices that night other than to shoot Trayvon Martin, didn’t he?” And Root answered, “No, he did not.” So, sure, Root was a defense witness, maybe you want to discount his testimony because of that. But why didn’t the State offer its own defensive use of force expert, to describe these purported alternatives that Zimmerman had at his disposal? Did they provide so much as one shred of evidence for these claimed alternatives?

Recall the grass stains on Martin’s knees, and the wetness on the back of Zimmerman’s jacket and pants—totally consistent with Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense, of being knocked to the ground, mounted, and beat upon, head smashed into sidewalk.

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Defensiv Force Expert, Dennis Root

Weighing the Testimony–Credible, nor Not?

O’Mara also spoke to how the jurors were to evaluate and weight the testimony of different witnesses. Were they all honest or straightforward? Take Mora, the Sanford PD coordinator for Neighborhood Watch programs and her forthright responses to questions, all entirely consistent with her earlier depositions. Compare her to Bahador, whose key piece of testimony–that she had heard movement from left to right, suggestive of a pursuit–was uttered for the first time when she appeared in court, after having consulted with Prosecutor de la Rionda the night before.

Setting Sympathy for Martin Family Aside in Seeking A Just Verdict

He reminded the jury that he had asked them at voir dire if they would be able to return a verdict of not guilty with the Martin family in the courtroom, if the State had failed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and they said they could. It was their duty, he said, to base their deliberations on the facts in evidence, and their common sense, but not assumptions, not speculation, as the State had suggested. You must, he said, leave your natural sympathy for the Martin family’s loss at the door, outside of your judgment of guilty or not guilty.

The Law of Self-Defense

Next O’Mara transitioned into the law of self-defense. Zimmerman did not need to think he was going to die, he noted, in order to be justified in using deadly force in self-defense. He merely needed to have believed he was going to suffer serious bodily injury. The threat didn’t even need to be actual or real, so long as a reasonable person would have perceived it to be real.

The jury would be read a number of laws by the judge, he told them, but there were also laws they would not be read because they did not exist. There was no law against merely following somebody, for example. Following somebody suspicious and reporting them to police is not a crime, not an act of wrongdoing.

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Why Had the State Withheld, Distorted Evidence?

He then returned to the theme of the many things the State had, for whatever reason, not chosen to present to the jury.

Why had it been the defense who showed the jury that Tracey Martin had first denied that the screaming was the voice of his son? If the State was seeking justice, the truth, why hadn’t they presented that evidence to the jury?

Why didn’t the State tell you about the many robberies, the veritable crime wave, overrunning Twin Lakes, almost entirely the work of young black men? Why had it been the chore of the defense to ensure those records were in the evidence for the jury’s consideration, if the State was seeking justice, the truth? Where was the State’s expert on defensive force? The State’s expert on gunshot wounds? Remember how in their opening the State claimed that a key indicator of guilt that Zimmerman had pressed his gun into Trayvon Martin? Where was their expert to counter Dr. Di Maio’s conclusion that this never occured?

Why, O’Mara asked, had Mr. Guy and Mr. de la Rionda shouted those expletives at you, over and over. You heard the tapes, he reminded them, and Zimmerman never shouted those words. Were they shouting them to help you find the truth? Do we really need demonstrations of anger from the prosecutors towards the jury?

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Robert Zimmerman, Sr.

Where Was Even One Piece of Evidence That Zimmerman Attacked Martin?

Clearly there was a confrontation between the two men, O’Mara noted, given Zimmerman’s plain injuries. But where were Martin’s injuries, if it had been Zimmerman who attacked him? There were none, except some minor cuts on his hands consistent with having punched someone.

Indeed, he asked, was there even one piece of evidence that Zimmerman attacked Trayvon Martin. That Zimmerman did anything to justify Trayvon Martin’s blows against him? Mr. Guy, he noted, could point any such evidence out when he rebutted. Even the testimony of Rachel Jeantel, if believed, showed only that ZImmerman may have verbally challenged Martin. But what’s the appropriate response to such a verbal challenge. Mr. Root, the defensive force expert, told us–a counter verbal challenge. Not striking a blow, breaking someone’s nose, driving them to the ground, mounting them, and continuing to beat them while they screamed for help and neighbors threatened to call 911. Indeed, if Martin had been shot through the hip and survived, is there any doubt that the State prosecutors would have charged and tried him for aggravated assault?

Martin Armed Himself with His Fists and the Sidewalk

The State made much of the fact that Zimmerman was armed with a gun, and Martin merely with Skittles, O’Mara said. He then lugged out into the court room a large piece of sidewalk. That, he said, was not an unarmed teenager, with nothing but Skittles trying to get home. Martin had armed himself with dangerous items, with his fists, and with concrete. Further, the claim by the State that a concrete sidewalk could not be a weapon, could not cause great bodily harm, was disgusting.

As he began to conclude his remarks, O’Mara said that he believed that the defense had actually proven Zimmerman innocent beyond a reasonable doubt. Not that this was the burden, of course. The burden was on the State to prove Zimmerman guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But that’s how lopsided the evidence was.

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Sabryna Fulton and Tracey Martin

Consider Self-Defense First–If That, We Can All Go Home

In a few minutes, he noted, Mr. Guy was going to stand up and call my client a liar, and a murderer. Let’s skip the details of the criminal charges for a moment. Let’s look only at self-defense. Do you think that Zimmerman may have acted in lawful self-defense. Just may have? If so, you can stop right there. Because if you have a reasonable doubt that self-defense has been disproved, you have to find George Zimmerman not guilty. Because unless the State has disproved self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, self-defense stands, and if it stands it is an absolute defense to any use-of-force criminal charge–to murder, to manslaughter, to aggravated battery, everything.

If you conclude that the State has not disproved self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, then you need go no further–your only choice is not guilty. And if you look at this evidence, these photos of these injuries, you have to have at least a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman acted in self-defense.

It doesn’t mean he acted perfectly in every way. Your job is not to find the defendant “innocent”. Your job is merely to determine whether the State has me their burden to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If they have not, the verdict must be not guilty.

And then O’Mara closed with perhaps the strongest line of an excellent close: “Go back in that room, he urged, and talk first about self-defense. Because if it’s self-defense, we’re done here.” And, he didn’t need to add, you all get to end your sequester and go home.

With that, the defense was done.

Defense Counsel Mark O’Mara, Closing Argument, Part 2

Defense Counsel Mark O’Mara, Closing Argument, Part 3

Defense Counsel Mark O’Mara, Closing Argument, Part 4

Defense Counsel Mark O’Mara, Closing Argument, Part 5

Defense Counsel Mark O’Mara, Closing Argument, Part 6

Defense Counsel Mark O’Mara, Closing Argument, Part 7

Defense Counsel Mark O’Mara, Closing Argument, Part 8

Defense Counsel Mark O’Mara, Closing Argument, Part 9

Defense Counsel Mark O’Mara, Closing Argument, Part 10

Defense Counsel Mark O’Mara, Closing Argument, Part 11

State Prosecutor John Guy Offers Rebuttal

Next up for the State’s rebuttal, was Mr. Guy. From the first words out of his mouth it was clear that his presentation was to be even more fact-free than that of Mr. de la Rionda had been.

“The human heart,” he stated, “guides us in big things and little things. Let us look into the heart of this child.”

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John Guy, State prosecutor

Referring to the towering, 17-year-old high school athlete Trayvon Martin as a “child” and the clinically obese 28-year-old George Zimmerman as a “grown man” was to be a recurring theme throughout Guy’s remarks.

He emphasized to the jury that Rachel Jeantel–the State’s key witness–was a “human being,” as if the issue were in doubt.

He seemed desperate to return to the State’s long standing practice of shouting “a-holes” and “f’ing punks” at the top of their lungs, but this utility of this technique had been destroyed by O’Mara’s mockery of the practice.

Guy spoke in histrionic scary/creepy voice reminiscent of some kind of serial-killer preacher from a low-budget horror movie, in an apparent effort to add weight to statements completely unmoored from any facts or evidence.

“The defendant LIED, about stuff that REALLY MATTERED,” he said, although he neglected to specify the lies or why they really mattered. “The defendant told SO MANY lies, that’s why we’re here.” But again, he declined to state what these lies were.

“Where was the defendant for those critical two minutes,” he asked, peppering the jury with questions as if that would advance the State’s theory of the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“I don’t have any charts or timelines,” he said, referencing O’Mara’s demonstrative tools, “I’m asking you to use your heart.” I only wish I made up that last part.

“That child”–there it is again–“had EVERY RIGHT to be at 7-11, to walk home.” As if anyone had contested these matters. “To be afraid of being followed, after all isn’t that every child’s greatest fear, being followed home by a stranger.” It was as if he believed the only photo the jury had ever seen of Trayvon Martin was that of the smiling 12-year-old, and not the 7-11 photo of the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin towering over the 5′ 10″ clerk.

zimmerman-closing-prosecution2 (1)

John Guy, State prosecutor

He mocked the claims that Zimmerman had been able to draw his gun while Trayvon Martin was mounted atop him, and urged the jurors to learn this for themselves by mounting each other in their deliberations. (Seriously.)

Guy then began a series of speaking points, every one of which was a question, “If this . . . ,” and “If that . . . ,” in a manner perfectly appropriate for a defense counsel seeking to raise a reasonable doubt, but bordering on the mad for a prosecutor seeking to advance his theory of the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

At some points he seemed to spin off into the simply nonsensical, as when he announced “This is not a case about self-defense, it’s a case about self-denial.” What?

He then jumped on the “Zimmerman lied,” train. “It wasn’t 10 seconds from the time ZImmerman got off the phone with the dispatcher until Trayvon confronted him, it was two minutes.” Yet . . . now the State conceded that it was Martin who confronted Zimmerman?

Zimmerman could not possible have had his head smashed against a sidewalk as many times as he claimed, or he’d be dead. So how many times would be an acceptable number? 10, 5, even once?

Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 8.35.14 AM

Judge Brenda Nelson

Then things got very strange when Guy asked, “Didn’t Trayvon Martin have the right to self-defense, too?” So, apparently the complete absence of injuries of Trayvon Martin (other than the gunshot that ended the beating) allowed for him to act in self-defense, but George Zimmerman’s real and bloody injuries did not?

Guy mocked the alleged assertion by the defense that Zimmerman was a responsible gun owner by noting, “What did he do after he shot Trayvon Martin? Did he yell for an ambulance?” Having been a firearms trainer for more than two decades, that was the first time I’ve heard “calling an ambulance” as one of the characteristics of a responsible gun owner.

At one point Guy began to read an incorrect characterization of reasonable doubt to the jury, leading to O’Mara’s sole objection.

State Prosecutor John Guy, Rebuttal, Part 2

State Prosecutor John Guy, Rebuttal, Part 3

State Prosecutor John Guy, Rebuttal, Part 4

State Prosecutor John Guy, Rebuttal, Part 5

And with that, the State ended their rebuttal, and the matter returned to Judge Nelson for the charging of the jury, and to the jury for their deliberations.

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Comments

Three hours? Manslaughter.

–bks

Even with all the evidence I’m nervous that they didn’t bring in a verdict tonight.

    Does anyone have any links on how the jury reacted during the trial and closing arguments?

    Because that is the big unknown. No one is reporting on it (which is appropriate during a trial) but there must have been some body language signals.

      Kyle Hightower, an AP reporter, tweeted that juror B29 appeared to wipe away a tear during Guy’s rebuttal.

        When Dr. Jeffrey McDonald was on trial for killing his wife and two children at Ft. Bragg, NC, in the late 70’s, the jury came back with their verdict. Before it was read in the courtroom, some of the jurors were said to have wiped away a tear. Some reporters at the time, before the verdict was read, gushed that the tears showed that the Jury had acquitted Dr. McDonald.

        Tears can mean a lot of things:” emotion, exhaustion sadness that a lie had been taken. I’m not reading anything into the “tea(r) leaves.”

      kentuckyliz in reply to EBL. | July 13, 2013 at 12:17 am

      Somebody commenting at Jeralyn’s blog said that the jurors were not taking notes at state’s close yesterday, and they were leaning away and looking bored. Today they were leaning in, taking copious notes, and attentive at the defense’s close.

I am still sticking to my guns.
Full acquittal, or a hung jury strongly in favor of acquittal.

I expect a verdict tomorrow.
These ladies are just taking there time, or maybe trying to sway a holdout.

I have never seen a trial with this much evidence supporting actual innocence.
I just can’t believe the will be a guilty verdict.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to fogflyer. | July 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    This is my belief as well, I think they probably had a majority and had to convince one or 2 hold outs. So they decided to let them sleep on it and hold a final vote in the morning. Since they are back at 9 the probably won’t even really get started till almost 10, so I am expecting a verdict by noon.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 12, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      I’m concerned that MOM never made the point that if GZ was out to kill Trademark, why would GZ have called the cops first? It seems like such an obvious point to make.

      xfactor in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 13, 2013 at 12:23 am

      From my jury experience (one case), a night to sleep on it makes a big difference.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 13, 2013 at 4:26 am

      Or maybe they decided it was late and they would sleep on it and see if they thought the same way tomorrow before coming in.

      Can anyone point me to a description of the jurors?

      I suppose if there is a split it is the older jurors who have grown through child raising that are leaning towards a more fact based approach–because they’ve developed their bs meter.

      OTOH the younger jurors have lewwer developed bs meter and are more
      prone to be swayed by emotional arguments.

Carol Herman | July 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm

This case ain’t gonna be over, even when it’s over. Because it’s gonna go through a process of eagle eyed legal reviews for years and years. O’Mara, here, will be a standout.

And, in other news, the judge kept lightening and cutting her hair. She didn’t look enough like a poor Chris Farley imitation, she then went and spent time on the cosmetics.

Yes, I hope tomorrow brings relief. And, a full acquittal. Is that asking a lot? Is that asking too much?

Underneath it all with the republican examine what goes wrong when they elect republicans? As you know Jeb Bush still has presidential ambitions. And, his family is very well connected! The outsider, though is Rick Scott.

We’ve got a stinko two party system. There are blobs of females that go all the way up to the top. And, Florida is a perfect example. Where Jeb Bush appoints the Chris Farley of females to a judicial chair. And, she’s able to take this through 3 election cycles, usually without opponents. And, now, for the first time, you can look INSIDE. What do you see? Do you see her getting any political opposition?

What about her attitudes to Don West and George Zimmerman? Female blobs, it seems, hate men. And, they don’t suffer for it politically.

Please. Let’s go on the record. You tell me why such hatred doesn’t bring with it backlash? (It’s backlash if it costs you political power.) And, I don’t read tea leaves.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Carol Herman. | July 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I got he impression that maybe she and West used to date or something, cause she never did get really snippy with MOM.

    Oh, and please don’t use Rick Scott and Jeb Bush in the same sentence with real Republicans. Rick Scott showed himself to be a self serving RINO and the only real Presidential hope that Jeb has is in his and the establishment Republicans mind. The real republicans are not those republicans.

      Carol Herman in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 12, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      Oh, Gremlin, Jeb’s not the answer. No way a Bush can get elected. When it comes to pickig politicians, the GOP has to a better job. What half-nelson taught me is how Jeb gave half-nelson her seat on the bench. And, this time around, Rick Scott was glad Zimmerman’s case ended up in her courtroom.

      I wish I could explain why I think “the big female blobs” will remain in the way of republicans actually gaining ground when they seek national office.

      Reagan knew the art of Politics. Palin knows some of it, but she’s tainted by the right wing fantasy. And, if Florida is a lesson, it should be a lesson, too, in the dynamics of politics that lets hostile females ride and whip men. I’d bet Don West never laid a hand on half-nelson. What West does do is best her in legal arguments. So she holds a grudge. And, here? She had a public forum. She also got to dump on Zimmerman. Not her “type” of guy.

When they didn’t come back within an hour, I told husband that they wanted to look at the evidence, discuss how they were gonna handle media, get good night sleep, hair/makeup just right and new/best clothes for the media tomorrow. I pray that I’m right. George Zimmerman is Innocent.

    MarkS in reply to Lake. | July 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I disagree. They’re going to “compromise” on what they think is the innocuous charge of manslaughter, not knowing it carries a 30 year sentence.

      fogflyer in reply to MarkS. | July 12, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      We just have to hope that OMara’s preemptive strike on that line of thinking will do its job.
      I think it will…. But I am still nervous.

      gxm17 in reply to MarkS. | July 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      That’s my fear as well. I hope we’re wrong.

      smfoushee in reply to MarkS. | July 12, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      The jury is informed of possible sentences before deliberations.

        divemedic in reply to smfoushee. | July 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm

        No they aren’t. The jury is prohibited by law from considering the possible sentence when deliberating guilt.

          kentuckyliz in reply to divemedic. | July 13, 2013 at 12:23 am

          I’m guessing that they are thinking manslaughter carries a sentence of 5-8 years, based on what they’ve seen on TV, the news, or from situations that they know about personally.

          Seems to me DV murders carry light sentences compared to stranger murders, and it should be an equally heavily sentence, because the duty of love and care being breached makes it worse than stranger murder. Sorry, off topic to this case, and I’m not really attempting a thread hijack.

          smfoushee in reply to divemedic. | July 13, 2013 at 1:04 am

          You’re right, and I messed up. I was copying that based on a tweet directed at Andrew earlier today asking if the jury would know the possible punishment associated with the new charges, and I left out “not” from my hasty reply. Next time I’ll proof read, but here was the tweets:

          https://twitter.com/txsleuth/status/355753059491655681
          https://twitter.com/lawselfdefense/status/355753190697869312

    DriveBy in reply to Lake. | July 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Hum, good points. You may be right. No one knows. If you were one of them, would you go along with that plan?

    What gives me concern is that they must be dying to get out of there, so why do all of that stuff and have to stay there tonight? I mean if they have the not guilty verdict in hand after 3.5 hours, why not just go home to their families for the evening and do all of that other stuff tomorrow? It works out the same, but they get to get out of there and get home tonight, right? But again, no one knows what is happening right now.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Lake. | July 12, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I think they might have been taking time tonight to make sure their families are safe and to arrange how to get the heck out of the city ASAP after the verdict. They may even been discussing this with the authorities. It would fit with the not so veiled warning by the Sheriff and Police Chief.

      conservativegram in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      I had forgotten about all the evidence MOM told them to go over. I think I might be curious to listen to that other 911 call and check out the other evidence that MOM made sure was included. If no verdict tomorrow–then I’ll worry.

Saturday’s much more agreeable to my schedule anyway. I “peacefully demonstrate” better when allowed to awake refreshed at the crack o’ noon and don freshly laundered riot trousers.

    Voluble in reply to Hodor. | July 12, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Yeah, but all you can say is, “Hodor, Hodor!”

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Hodor. | July 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Could you link to a photo of riot trousers. Are they flame proof in case of Molotov Cocktails, torches, tar and feather, rotten egg and tomato stain resistant?

    How do you accessorize riot trousers? Shooting jacket and ascot? Riding boots or wellingtons? What sort of head-gear? White gloves or lined leather?

    My wardrobe seems to be sadly lacking in appropriate riot wear of any kind.

      A pith helmet and goggles for the head and a sturdy vest with an accessory pocket for your absinthe will suffice quite nicely most times. One would probably do well to not neglect the “athletic supporter with reinforced insert” as well. 😉

        Hodor in reply to Hodor. | July 13, 2013 at 12:23 am

        Oh- and as for the feet?

        Golf spikes. This is bat country, after all…

          Uncle Samuel in reply to Hodor. | July 13, 2013 at 5:36 am

          I’ve heard some in Europe are wearing Jack Boots this year. Do you think those would be an affectation and a bit faux macho since I’ve only engaged in fisticuffs strictly by the Marquess of Queensberry rules?

          Should my vest be in the family colors, a rival clan’s or is discretion the better point of valor (aka go incognito)?

        kentuckyliz in reply to Hodor. | July 13, 2013 at 12:27 am

        And one of those criss-cross ammo belts loaded with bullets.

      ConradCA in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      45 auto and 12 gauge pump.

    kentuckyliz in reply to Hodor. | July 13, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Saw tweeted a protester wearing a Happy {smiley face Ritz cracker] – bwa ha haaaaaa. Is this word going to become a new term of affection like fag, n****a, and bitch? Turning the word upside down. Actually, one of the professors I work with has a nickname of Cracker. Not from a racial sense of the word though.

      nifepartie in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 13, 2013 at 3:10 am

      I also hear Paula Deen is making Creepy Ass Crackers for Halloween this year.

      I’m surprised the New Black Panthers didn’t copyright “cracker” after their use of it on Election Day in 2008. I’m annoyed, but not surprised, that Holder’s DOJ gave up on the case after their conviction in the case based upon the NBP’s actions on that day.
      I’m sure something else, from either DOJ or Florida’s AG will wind up falling upon Zimmerman’s head. I’m sure the next step will be to charge him with a civil crime, just as was done with OJ and a few other high-profile cases. I wish this would count as double jeopardy since I doubt that GZ will be able to earn any type of income after this farcical “trial.”
      He won’t be able to earn any sort of income as there is doubt that anyone would ever hire him after this, even if he won. And I’m certainly tired of murder cases that are followed by civil cases just because people want to “get” a person who was found not guilty in a murder case.

      Hodor in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      The fact that you couldn’t spell one of those “terms of affection” completely out should answer your question.

And Guy followed up basically saying ‘ignore the (lack of) evidence, vote your heart’ aka ‘sympathy for the poor dead child’ ( who at 17 would be charged as an adult for assault had he survived).

But here’s my big question, Andrew – Guy in his rebuttal used PowerPoint to show words and phrases. He used it from the very start. He put up the first slide, and then yelled at the jury about “fucking punks” as usual. But the network feed did not show that first slide. They showed the very next one (I forget what it was), and every other one, but not that first one.

Did he REALLY start out his rebuttal with a slide that said in huge letters ‘FUCKING PUNKS !!’? Is THAT why the cameras went to very other slide except that one ????

And BTW, I LOVED the way MoM had a slide for every witness, with the index showing thumbnails on the right to emphasize how many there were.

Prepare for rioting either way on verdict, for or against. Some peopel burn down cities when their basketball team WINS ! Or loses…..

    MarkS in reply to pjm. | July 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    He was surely tugging on the heart strings of an all female jury.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to MarkS. | July 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      It was also pretty insulting to the female jury. It was like he was saying, “Ignore the evidence and use your soft little lady hearts.” Heck I am an guy and I found it insulting. Just because they are women doesn’t mean they can’t put their emotions aside and be objective.

      robbi in reply to MarkS. | July 13, 2013 at 12:11 am

      While I may be wrong, we females have a read on someone like Guy pretty quickly. He may have been able to fool homely gun girl but I doubt the jurors are not star struck.

    fogflyer in reply to pjm. | July 12, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Shoot, that’s nothin’!
    In Brazil, they just beheaded a soccer referee and stuck his head on a pike in the middle of the playing field!

    And Brazil is hosting the next World Cup and Olympics!!
    That should be interesting!

    Thor Odinson in reply to pjm. | July 12, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    No kidding. When I heard him say that I thought to myself “Are you telling them to use their hearts because, if they use their brains, they’ll realize that the prosecution’s case is non-existent and built on a foundation of leprechaun gold and unicorn dreams?”

    Also, did anyone else find it incredibly hypocritical when he “choked up” and said how much he’d like to put his hand on the shoulder of Trayvon Martin? Seriously?!? If he’d lived, as you say, he would’ve been put on trial for Assault as an adult. Hell, Guy may’ve ended up being the prosecutor trying to send Trayvon to jail.

      1st- yes I read/heard/saw it that way too. Insulting.

      2nd- Yes, it came across as fake but pretty good all the same. If I hadn’t known I was looking at a snake I might’ve fallen for the apple. Sadly I think this kid is Future DA all the way. (Did John Edwards maybe leave a bastard down there in FL…?)

      If Trademark were still here though, Guy wouldn’t have gotten the chance for that little Hallmark moment regardless. Bernie’s head would’ve gone through the nearest wall about the 2nd time that bald-ass-cracka called him “boy.”

Gandalf the Black | July 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Absolutely fantastic summation, Andrew! Thank you.

I am disgusted that these ladies failed to fund self defense already. Typical female committee looking to complicate and discuss, as opposed to sticking to the matter at hand.

This is the fear so many of us had when the make-up of this jury became evident.

    We shall soon know if that fear was well founded!

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gandalf the Black. | July 12, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    I agree, and I’m a woman. Not all, but many women are as you say. They talk everything to death, can’t make a decision, and are afraid of their own shadows. They conjure up all manner of irrelevancies.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Gandalf the Black. | July 12, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    I have no problem with them taking their time and being thorough. A mans life is at stake and a young mans life has already been taken. Not to mention the families on both sides. I knew that females would probably be more deliberative than men, most men would already have their decision before the closing arguments. I think especially they should take their time if they are going to find him not guilty, simply because it is how you should do it, be damned sure.

      fogflyer in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      I agree with you, except I would reverse your ending.

      I would expect a jury to take their time if they were finding him GUILTY.
      The LACK of proof can be obvious.

        robbi in reply to fogflyer. | July 13, 2013 at 12:15 am

        I disagree. If the jury has decided Zimmerman is guilty, why wait to announce the verdict? He’s already in jail. Then they could have gone home. I think there’s 1 holdout, maybe 2 and they wanted to bring them over to the light.

      Canusee in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 13, 2013 at 12:47 am

      No life was taken; that would mean George took it. Trayvon, the assailant killed himself.

[…] has a related article as well.  You’d also be well served by visiting Andrew Branca’s informed comments on the day’s […]

The only two FACTUAL statements I can remember from Guy’s close is that Trayvon is not made of cardboard, and Jeantel is a human being.

    Pablo in reply to Voluble. | July 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Wait, are you sure about those?

    mwsomerset in reply to Voluble. | July 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    It was true that Trayvon bought skittles at the 7-11….I think he mentioned that as well too.

    I’m on board with the cardboard, but apparently even the State feels obliged to reassure the jury that “Jeantel is a human being.” When these State prosecutors say something with confidence, I’ve learned to assume they are lying. When they’re pushing a point? Certain lie.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      “…but apparently even the State feels obliged to reassure the jury that “Jeantel is a human being.”
      Hilarious, thanks for the laugh!

      Danny Leong in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 13, 2013 at 9:32 am

      The state is basically playing the race card. The implication is that if the jurors don’t return a guilty verdict, it’s because they are unable to see Jeantel as a human being–i.e. they’re rabid racists. It’s not a laughing matter given the strong possibility of the media running with such a narrative in the event of an acquittal.

        LordSega in reply to Danny Leong. | July 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm

        Yes, she is a human being, but she’s also a teenager. Anyone who has a teenager or has raised one knows their brain function is, shall we say, a few degrees out of phase. Even the best teenagers have their moments, but most do eventually grow out of it.
        I tried really hard to ignore her attitude, linguistic teen talk style, and failure to respond in coherent sentences. When she was done (what? a second day?) I still was not impressed with her testimony helping the prosecution in any real way.

Just wanted to thank Andrew for all the great coverage.

I thought from the beginning that the case can’t be proven but the jury will come back with manslaughter. A dead teenager requires accountability, correction, something along those lines. We’ll see, of course.

Kinda glad they didn’t come back with a verdict tonight. My commute to work at night goes in part through a dodgy neighborhood, and tonight’s my Friday.

Yes, Trayvon deserves the truth. And the truth is that he also deserves a Darwin Award.

Don’t bring Skittles to a gunfight, kids.

    Guy’s argument confounded me. “Trayvon deserves the Truth.” Hell, Trayvon knows the damned truth. The truth is: when you decide to assault a pudgy Hispanic-American because you think he is an easy mark, make sure that he has no CC Permit.

I wanted to ask if anyone thought O’Mara was lacking a bit on persuading the jury that Z’s fear of harm was truly reasonable.

Thanks.

JackRussellTerrierist | July 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I, as a woman, have not held high hopes for this jury. I read or heard one of them was crying while the State was giving its closing.

Anxiously awaiting a verdict. Thanks for the wonderful coverage, Andrew. I’m a new fan of Legal Insurrection and Law of Self Defense. Keep up the good work!

Thor Odinson | July 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm

The end of the first half of O’Mara’s closing was pretty interesting. An average person can walk a mile in 20 minutes, so in 4 minutes Martin could’ve covered 1,056 feet. The distance from the T intersection to the townhouse he was staying at was about 400 feet, so he could’ve WALKED that whole distance, walked BACK, and still had about a minute to spare, and that’s if you assume he walked and didn’t run. Considering what Jeantel said, it seems extremely likely that he DID get home, but then went back to confront Zimmerman. In which case, how fearful could he have possibly been if he lost Zimmerman (Which we know he did, which is confirmed by both what Jeantel testified he said to her as well as Zimmerman’s remarks on the NEN call), had plenty of time to make it home, but ultimately ended up right back at the T intersection? That sounds more like someone who quickly got over his fear and went looking for a fight.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Thor Odinson. | July 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    You are assuming that what Jeantel said about their conversation was truth. There is no proof of any word of her testimony and account of that night.

    No NSA transcript (as if we could trust even that).

    No corroborating witness.

    For all we know, this alleged conversation was entirely different or someone else was talking with him on her phone or it was another person’s phone at the time. When asked if it was her phone, she answered, ‘it is now.’

    Does anyone really believe her?

      I’ve been saying, ad nauseam, that the entire Rachel Jeantel construct is a complete and utter popcorn fart. There’s no there, there. And I’m sickened that this was not addressed during the trial.

      This apparition was allowed to be the state’s key witness and it stinks to high Heaven. Okay, I’ll stop tilting at her windmill…

      DriveBy in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      No. Next stupid question. (Joking)

      Thor Odinson in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      @Uncle Samuel: Well, we do know that Trayvon Martin was on the phone with the owner of that phone at the time, and it’s pretty likely that it was Jeantel. I always figured a good chunk of her testimony was false, but in this case I think that part’s the truth, as it actually hurts the prosecution. If Martin actually made it home, then that totally destroys the image of the “poor frightened child who just wanted to get home.” Poor frightened children who already made it home don’t then go back out and confront the person who terrified them so.

      Either way, I DID think that portion of O’Mara’s closing was extremely interesting, because it drove home the point that, if Trayvon Martin really WAS so frightened of George Zimmerman (“Stranger Danger” and all that), then why didn’t he simply go home? It was about 400 feet. He could’ve WALKED that distance in 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. He was running, though, not walking, and the average person can RUN a mile in 10 minutes, so Trayvon Martin could’ve made it there in 45 to 60 SECONDS. He had time enough to go home, jump on the couch, turn on the tv, down half that bag of skittles, and still have time to spare, so what DID he do during those four minutes?

        kentuckyliz in reply to Thor Odinson. | July 13, 2013 at 12:37 am

        RJ testified that her first call with TM was cut off when he started running (7:11). When she called him back at 7:12:06, he said he was at Brandi’s house (in the back of it). Then RJ said he was breathing hard and she heard wind noise and TM talked in a low quiet voice for the next four minutes. He was walking back up to the T!

        If you count the fight as starting in the last 5 or 10 seconds of that call, the fight lasted 1 minute and 10 seconds. The 40 seconds doesn’t refer to the total length of the fight, but the amount of time screaming can be heard in the background of the Lauer 911 call.

        So I think there’s some bits that can be mined out of RJ’s testimony–more trustworthy because they are unguarded and narrative-busting. These points are obviously not the PR line manufactured by Crump and Company.

        Carol Herman in reply to Thor Odinson. | July 13, 2013 at 1:07 am

        He took a ‘p?’ You know. Nature calls. There’s also a possibility that Trademark didn’t know that GZ got out of his truck? Why does everyone assume Trayvon didn’t catch a glimpse of GZ “looking” … and, that’s what set Trademark to attack Zimmerman?

        The sucker punch is the give away.

        As to Jeantel, among her skills, was the ability to connect 3rd parties into 3 way conversations.

    Canusee in reply to Thor Odinson. | July 13, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Take what you are saying and add to it the phone evidence that Tracy is “Fruit” who Trayvon was talking with about guns and add to it that Fruit kept the phone for awhile. So was the gun conversation that night and was Fruit Daddy telling begging with his son not to engage the crazy azz cracker with something like, “For God’s sake, Son, the guy is talking to 911. Leave him be. Go home. You get caught with that gun on you, you be in prison, Tray.” (different dialect, of course) And Tray took the gun home….but did not stay home; instead went to take care of the cracker. By the time Tracy brought up the phone, the wheels of ‘justice’ were already spinning. Just a thinking….

My fear is that there was enough time for the idea of social unrest to bake into the minds of the Jurors. That they will think they have to find him guilty on something or live with the consequences. Yes it should be a full acquittal, but I fear it wont be.

    kentuckyliz in reply to Zaggs. | July 13, 2013 at 12:40 am

    They live in that area and are perhaps experiencing similar problems. Perhaps they have a strong desire not to empower B&E home invading thieving assaulting thugs. People who do these things (regardless of their race) are fucking punks and assholes. Troof.

DUMBFOUNDED

…if they come back with a guilty verdict.

It can’t be rationalized.

It can’t anythingized.

Natural Law, codified by Laws of Men, in this hemisphere, date back to the Magna Carta.

I’m talking “self-defense”.

So when does the jury begin deliberating? Because if they come out with a not guilty verdict in the middle of the NAACP convention, I’m expecting some ‘incitement.’

Unfortunately, an acquittal doesn’t even end the legal jeopardy for Zimmerman. Holder has kept an open civil rights investigation of him at DOJ – very quiet and dormant for now.

My guess is a “Not Guilty” verdict means a civil rights persecution just like in the Rodney King case, even without riots to pressure it. Holder has been a racial pimp and political bag man himself his entire career, never anything else.

    pjm in reply to Estragon. | July 12, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Count on it, from Holder and his ‘civil rights division’.

    Also ref Bernie Goetz aka ‘Subway shooter’ – acquited on all counts related to the self defense shooting, but convicted on ‘posessing an unlicensed gun’, did 6 months.

    The State simply WILL NOT let GZ walk. He shot black man. They will exact a price for that, no matter the facts.

    Just like 12 other people shot 12 other black men in Chicago last Saturday, but they weren’t white. Blacks are allowed to shoot blacks, just like they can say the’ N’ word (or ‘cracker’), but white people better not even think about it.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Estragon. | July 13, 2013 at 3:06 am

    You might want to have a look at pages 6-8: http://www.justice.gov/jmd/2013justification/pdf/fy13-crt-justification.pdf

    The FBI completed their investigation and indicated that GZ did not act out of racism.

BannedbytheGuardian | July 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I know nothing about the jury but that it is 6 women. Without any other feedback posters are slandering them because they are female.

Pretty disturbing in itself.

The prosecution never used the phrase “the evidence proves” in 3 hours of closing arguments in a murder case.

I think a book can be written based on that premise. It is simply dumbfounding that a prosecutor would bring a murder case and NEVER in three hours of closing arguments say “the evidence proves”.

byondpolitics | July 12, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Just a little typo. The name of the young mother who had her home broken into is Bertalan (Olivia).

Carol Herman | July 12, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I think before obama gets impeached, the knives in DC will be out for Holder.

And, Lake (@ 9:34), I think you’ve given a brilliant analysis. The gals want to get their hair and makeup done. And, put on their Sunday best.

I have been noticing how half-nelson’s hair kept getting streaks of blond. Plus, inches coming off the bottom. Till, today, when it looked like her whole head changed color.

That courtroom must smell like bear sweat.

And, George Zimmerman, throughout never lost his cool. Never lost his sense of respect for the court. And, only today sweated a little. I can’t believe the pressures he is under.

As to the Sybrina and Tracy “show” … the way you had this “pocket” in the courtroom, without allowing in supporters for Zimmerman ADDS to my sense of frustration and disgust at the Chris Farley impersonator so under-qualified to be a judge.

    Browndog in reply to Carol Herman. | July 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Carol, try to focus.

    Your writing would be so much more appreciated.

      I have been reading Carol for years. You either appreciate her writing or you don’t. I actually liked her previous more unfocused style better. But that is a matter of personal taste.

So this jury could find Z guilty of manslaughter, and not even know that their verdict carries a 30-year sentence??
Isn’t there something wrong with this picture?

    DriveBy in reply to avwh. | July 12, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    The 30 years kicks in because Treyvon was a minor. IIRC it was either 10 or 15 years for manslaughter on its own, with no mandatory minimum – someone else can fact check that. But that is the real biche for George, he killed a minor.

      divemedic in reply to DriveBy. | July 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Actually, no. It is due to Florida’s 10/20/life law. 775.087. The law’s name comes from three main mandatory sentences: 1) producing a firearm during the commission of certain felonies mandates at least a 10-year prison sentence; 2) firing one mandates at least a 20-year prison sentence; and 3) shooting someone mandates a minimum sentence of 25 years to life regardless of whether a victim is killed or simply injured.

      If he is convicted of manslaughter, since he used a firearm, he will actually get a longer sentence than if convicted of the Second Degree murder (which 10-20-life doesn’t apply to)

        DriveBy in reply to divemedic. | July 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm

        Or perhaps this is even more accurate?

        Offense Mandatory sentencing:

        Manslaughter, maximum of 15 years in prison; maximum of 30 years in prison if a firearm is used plus a mandatory minimum of 25 years

        Aggravated Manslaughter of a child Maximum of 30 years in prison; maximum could be enhanced to life in prison if a firearm is used plus a mandatory minimum of 25 years

      Uncle Samuel in reply to DriveBy. | July 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      But what a bonus for Obama’s sons everywhere, at least until they are 18.

      If George Zimmerman is convicted, they can practice their punches on whites whenever they need to work out their victim angst and frustration.

holmes tuttle | July 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I keep hearing that the jury may go with manslaughter as a compromise, not knowing it carries 20-30 yrs. Why wouldn’t they know? Why wouldn’t the defense tell them? Is it illegal to tell the jury about sentencing? If so, why?

thanks

I am confused on a couple points:
First, he was tried for 2nd degree Murder.
How can they bring up other possible charges during the trial?
I thought they had their pick, and had to stick with it.
It went to 3rd degree, then Manslaughter.
Shouldn’t those be tried seperately?
And then, the Judge was interrogating the Defendant as to whether or not he would take the stand, and did so while the trial was on-going.
I have never even heard of a Judge doing more than advising a Defendant.
This doesn’t seem right to me.

    mwsomerset in reply to snowshooze. | July 12, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Apparently it is the law in Florida…you can suggest lesser charges….they tried to even tack on child abuse but West got that blocked.

      Most states have provisions for charging on lesser included charges. There’s nothing unusual about it, usually.

      Having said that, the murder 3 predicated on child abuse was preposterous on its face.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Thanks Andrew for taking the time to address my question.
        As a rank amateur, I have to wonder were the accepted charges might end. Jaywalking?
        It would appear the prosecution can select at will, or at random…something… anything… to convict of entirely at their discretion.
        I am appalled at this entire dog and kangaroo show, actually.
        Zimmerman… gosh, I wish he would have just stayed home that night.
        But, it is what it is. He may well have prevented something else. We can’t guess that one.
        Thanks again,
        Mark

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm

        Then why didn’t Nelson blow it off more quickly?

        If it was so damn important to not keep the jury waiting, and for GZ to decide on the spot – before the defense had even finished with its witnesses – whether he intended to testify, then why did she spend so much time listening to the absolute absurdity of the State’s request for the additional charge?

    graytonb in reply to snowshooze. | July 13, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Manslaughter is only one of numerous lesser includeds that ride along with M2 at the judge’s discretion. She didn’t have to let it in, but there was never any real doubt that she would. I’m actually pleasantly surprised that she didn’t give a pass to M3 as well.

      So the Judge has the final discretion?
      Thanks,
      Mark

      In Florida, the only discretion the judge has in a murder trial on including MS as a lesser included is if there is no factual evidence to support the charge of MS.

      It is difficult to imagine a murder cases in which some subset of the factual evidence would not support “manslaughter by act” as defined by Florida law.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

holmes tuttle | July 12, 2013 at 10:42 pm

By the way, would anyone else be surprised if we find out that Obama and Holder have been using the NSA to do surveillance on O’Mara and West and Zimmerman and have been passing the info along to the prosecution to help them out?

    Janet, did we get the IP adress on the above? Oh crap this got posted?

    mwsomerset in reply to holmes tuttle. | July 12, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Seriously…with all that is going on in the world…you really think this trial is any kind of priority for them? Do you realize how many people would have to be involved with a conspiracy such as that?

    Carol Herman in reply to holmes tuttle. | July 13, 2013 at 1:19 am

    You want to compound the incompetence? O’Mara and West PROVED Zimmerman didn’t commit any crimes. But was in fact punched in his face to “stun” him.

    Since BDLR overlooked what his witnesses would give the Defense, I don’t see how even being in the same office with the Defense team would have gotten them to pay attention.

    Did you notice? First, Trademark’s parents purposely came in late! HOW DID THEY GET SEATED! Plus, Tracy kept eating food. In a courtroom, you can do that? As to the 3 prosecutors, BLDR, Guy and Mantei, did you notice they shuffled papers and purposely didn’t pay attention?

    HELLO, NSA could have bombed them with info. But unless in came in the form of an enema, I don’t think it would have reached their brains or guts.

This jury has given up a big chunk of their time for the community. I believe that they are taking their duty very seriously and they figure that one more day to cover all the bases is worth the investment. This trial has to have been emotionally draining and I would guess a good nights sleep will go along way towards coming up with the right answers. I expect the “Not-Guilty” verdict will be delivered to the judge before early afternoon tomorrow.

    Browndog in reply to tcbaz. | July 12, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    George Zimmmerman probably hasn’t had a good night’s sleep since the night of the shooting. 17 months ago.

      tcbaz in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 10:53 pm

      Agreed

      DriveBy in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      What!? Wait. What did you say? Your posts are typically really funny, and this one is no exception.

      George said on Hannity that that it was God’s will, he would not change a thing, he would still get out of his truck and follow, he would still have his firearm, etc… George has been sleeping (and eating!!!) very well! IMO 😉

        Browndog in reply to DriveBy. | July 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm

        I get that.

        Most, with Christian faith, believe that any tragedy that befalls them, believe that is God’s will, a test.

        Mock it, dismiss it. That is you’re right and privilege. As it is George’s to believe it, and espouse it publicly.

          DriveBy in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 11:43 pm

          I am not mocking it nor dismissing it. He was simply asked if he would do anything differently if he could, and he said “no” to all of them. The questions were premised upon his own actions, his own decisions, and whether or not he would change any of them in hindsight. IMO, those were not religion based answers that he gave, they were answers based on legal consequences.

          If he had said, “Yes, in hindsight I definitely would have left the area to avoid that stranger that had circled my truck and scared me; he would be alive today and we would not be doing this interview and my mind would be at peace for having not killed another human being.”

          I don’t know, people here are so screwed up; they thumbs down anything, anything, that is not a “George gets a ticker tape parade” in downtown Orlando and New York City after being acquitted. Just really weird!

          Michiguy in reply to Browndog. | July 13, 2013 at 12:15 am

          Geez, DriveBy. Even if Zimmerman wished he had done something differently he’d be an idiot (and his legal counsel would be idiots, which they manifestly are not) to make such a statement for posterity on a national television program. Are you playing at being obtuse? If so, then you can count coup on me for tricking me into responding. If not playing, well ….

          As for the taking counsel of his fears issue, facing and overcoming fear to do what you believe to be the right thing is a hallmark of character and integrity. If you feel otherwise (as you’ve said previously about GZ’s lack of common sense relative to your own in the matter of getting out of the car — paraphrasing here), that’s your business.

          And, this is just a suggestion, lay off the harping on the “God’s will” thing. I’m at a minimum areligious (and seriously anti towards pushy proselytizing whackos) and even I’m not offended by Zimmerman’s use of the expression. If he has something (imaginary or not) to comfort him during these difficult times, then good for him. He’s not on your doorstep with a handful of Jack Chick tracts screaming at you to repent, is he?

          kentuckyliz in reply to Browndog. | July 13, 2013 at 12:48 am

          Remember the night of the shooting, as he was being interviewed at the station, he said that it was always wrong to kill another person, and asked the officer (Singleton IIRC) if she was Catholic.

          GZ was showing Catholic guilt and a poorly formed conscience. He didn’t know that Catholic moral theology teaches that self defense is morally licit.

          GZ knew this by the time he got to Hannity, and that explains the God’s will thing that creeps people out so.

          Yes, it is God’s will that you defend yourself.

          Here it is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
          http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2264.htm

      ConradCA in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      He has gained 100 pounds through stress eating.

        DriveBy in reply to ConradCA. | July 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm

        Wait. George lost nearly 100lbs before “the event.” Now after the event he regained it. So is Stress Eating a sign of suffering, remorse, sadness, pain, regret? What? What does it indicate? He gained weight, nothing exculpatory about that! Why add the title “Stress Eating” to George’s personal issues unless a physician comes forward to discuss a medical condition. He is pigging out, sleeping, and his life is all God’s will with absolutely no regrets. Geez…

          theduchessofkitty in reply to DriveBy. | July 13, 2013 at 12:12 am

          He’s stress-eating because HIS LIFE IS ON THE LINE HERE.

          kentuckyliz in reply to DriveBy. | July 13, 2013 at 12:50 am

          Stress eating is largely unconscious and a way to self-medicate. Carbs calm the brain. Think: comfort food. If GZ worked out for 18 months at Kokopelli Gym to lose the weight (and kudos to him for it), do you honestly think he has been able to go to a gym since this sh**storm started?!

When I was part of a jury years ago, deciding the fate of a man accused of sexually assaulting underaged girls over a period of years, we were faced with two members of the jury that were adamant they needed to trust their emotions and instincts rather than the evidence. These two nearly hung the jury until I just about pounded the table in half demanding they stop. It took us two days to return a verdict or guilty, at which time the defendant just about stormed the bench shouting some rather nasty things and was taken to a holding cell where he proceeded to pound away at the bars for the better part of ten minutes.

After we were dismissed I caught one of the prosecutors in the lobby and she informed me that they had additional witnesses to his abuses but an LEO and clerk messed up on paperwork and they were prohibited to testify. Apparently this monster had been abusing girls for over a decade. One of the two holdouts from the jury heard that and began to cry, saying how sorry she was that she nearly hung the jury because of her “feelings”. Of course the lawyer had no idea what had gone on in the jury room so she was rather shocked at the sudden outburst.

Point is, I don’t trust a jury of six women to leave emotion at the door, and I pray there is some level headed, well-spoken women in that group that cares more about logic and fact than her gut feeling or instincts.

Henry Hawkins | July 12, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Jury selection was laborious and I doubt any goofballs were selected.

That any group of six women will be flighty, shallow, talkative magpies is a laughable and risible stereotype. See above.

I’m sure the jury is aware of the national attention given this trial and at least to some degree aware of the threats of violence over an acquittal. They obviously know this isn’t a check fraud level case and will take their job seriously.

I’m sure the jury will conduct a responsible review of the evidence, and also make sure they’ve got the instructions down right.

Should any jury member(s) got off on an emotional approach, I’m certain the others will reel that in.

It is their responsible, caretaking approach that takes deliberations into tomorrow.

I predict a verdict by 2 pm Saturday.

I predict a verdict of full acquittal.

    Browndog in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Just so you know-

    I’ve bantered with you in the past, but–in the past months I’ve been in such agreement with your postings, there was no point in me chiming in.

    …for what it’s worth.

    respect

    Gandalf the Black in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    It only takes one who wants to draw things out to force things to be drawn out. I turn your argument on you – in a group of six females making a hugely important decision, do you doubt that at least one of them will seek to bring in all manner of irrelevancies?

      Ragspierre in reply to Gandalf the Black. | July 12, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      Just so you know…I try NEVER to let an engineer on my jury, for that very reason.

      “Irrelevancies” come in all kinds of flavors.

        Gandalf the Black in reply to Ragspierre. | July 12, 2013 at 11:59 pm

        Happy to grant you your point about engineers since you implicitly have granted mine about ladies. Ironic that engineers are entirely irrelevant to this case, eh?

        Michiguy in reply to Ragspierre. | July 13, 2013 at 12:35 am

        Nah, as a guy with two engineering degrees I have to concur with Rags. In my current line of work we sometimes ask a patient to keep track of their blood pressure at home for a week or so (to see how a new medication or dosage is working). Most patients we have to beg and cajole to get one reading daily.

        We can spot engineers out in the waiting room, because they’re the guys (and it’s usually guys) with a big fat folder clutched in their hands. When you sit the guy down you find he’s taken BP like at least every 2 hours, with data presented not only as raw numbers, but also summarized by mean and standard deviation (after test for Gaussian distribution) and stratified by time of day and body position (seated, standing). Plus some graphs.

        Well, that was long. Looks like the engineering has not worn off yet.

          kentuckyliz in reply to Michiguy. | July 13, 2013 at 12:58 am

          Ohmigod, I’m not even an engineer and I’m like that. I had an oncologist tell me that I was the only patient he ever had who showed up with a briefcase full of my own research of the scientific literature. Gaining intellectual mastery over something is how I cope.

          I’m a counselor and a woman! You would think I’m the biggest, mushiest, huggiest mommy type but I’m really not. I believe in standing back and letting people say their dreams and pursue them, and I help them put the pieces together into a plan so they can. I’m really good at it, too.

          So I am not going to assume anything except to say that I believe in the intellectual toughness of nurses and security guards. (on the jury)

          Fabi in reply to Michiguy. | July 13, 2013 at 3:00 am

          My oncologist was an electrical engineer who hated working with other engineers so much that he decided to change careers and went to medical school. I laughed like heck when I asked him if working with a bunch of doctors was an improvement. He laughed, too. He went from working with a bunch of dork know-it-alls to working with a bunch of arrogant, dork know-it-alls.

          Full disclosure: some of my best friends are doctors; engineers, not so much.

        “Just so you know…I try NEVER to let an engineer on my jury, for that very reason.”

        That is VERY comforting for this engineer.

I’ve mentioned the influence that the opinion leader on a jury can have.

If she is with Zimmerman, I have confidence they jury will acquit. Even if she has to stand alone, we wind up with a hung jury.

I have nearly boundless admiration for O’Mara. This guy has been the commanding general of a brilliant campaign, and is a wonderfully skilled trial attorney who really knows his profession.

In coming days, many of us will study this case in the cold, dispassionate way that attorneys do. It will be interesting to know what role some of the defense team played. IF Hirshhorn was advising through the close, I would love to know how O’Mara’s close varied from his usual close.

Whatever else Zimmerman has had…and may yet have…to face, he was well served by his defense team, his family, and his friends.

    Browndog in reply to Ragspierre. | July 12, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I have come to believe O’Mara to be a kind man. Not so much from his courtroom antics, but from his interviews.

    I noticed how he self-corrects himself in court as to not be prejudicial…as if it’s second nature.

      Ragspierre in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      “Integrity”. I think juries can see it. That is something a really good trial attorney tries to provide his clients.

        Browndog in reply to Ragspierre. | July 13, 2013 at 12:00 am

        Yep, went down and got a bit of Cuervo, and a stogie.

        Just lit it up, in your honor. The woman is out of town visiting her folks, chores are done, animals fed–gonna kick back and listen to music.

        Lawyers ain’t all bad….(don’t quote me)

      Are those “errors” he’s “self-correcting” actually errors?

      I rather think not.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Browndog in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 13, 2013 at 12:09 am

        Oh, gees.

        So attuned to legal language he stops mid sentence to re-phrase, out of fairness to the court? And you’re going to circle the wagons over that?

          kentuckyliz in reply to Browndog. | July 13, 2013 at 1:01 am

          He’s saying it’s strategic. I’ve heard the little bombs he’s dropped.

          I can’t say that I fully understand our post.

          But I suspect that O’Mara is a far better trial lawyer than you (or me, for that matter).

          I’d be cautious at calling out a Master at his craft.

          But that’s just me.

          If you’d care to put up your own murder defense experience to juxtapose against that of O’Mara, I’m sure we’d all like to see it.

          Sure, we’ll wait.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Haha, should have read YOUR post.

          Obviously.

          –Andrew,@LawSelfDefense

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Browndog. | July 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      It’s delberate – and effective in contrasting between truth and the smoke the State is blowing. He does something very similar when he gently “excuses” or explains away the faulty testimony of certain State witnesses; faulty either by outright lying or mistake.

      He’s a very studied rhetorician.

I’ll tell you why the ladies did not render a quick verdict, they are totally enjoying being waited on and catered to. No cooking, cleaning, childcare, husbands…just relaxing all night…heck yeah…let’s stay another night…it’s 6 pm…let’s have dinner…take it easy one more night. Especially that woman with 7 or 8 kids…who works full time…you think she wants to return to THAT? I wouldn’t be surprised if they drag it out until Monday. (I hope everyone realizes I am being facetious….sort of.) I think if we don’t get a verdict by noonish tomorrow then there are probably hold outs for a not guilty verdict….and a hung jury will result.

Am I wrong to think a hung jury would be ok? They get to say they’ve appeased the angry mob by putting him on trial. Would they really attempt to try this cr*p sandwich of a case again?

    mwsomerset in reply to MegK. | July 12, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    The only problem with a hung jury is…it will be hanging over George’s head the rest of his life. He can be retried. I’m no lawyer so I don’t know if he would still be considered “out on bail” and have to wear the ankle monitor or what.

      I would think if the state declines to retry it would be over? I’m not a lawyer either, but that’s my impression.

      Ragspierre in reply to mwsomerset. | July 12, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      No. If the State does not elect to retry (and they would be facing a MUCH more prepared defense case and another judge, in all likelihood), they have to dismiss.

        mwsomerset in reply to Ragspierre. | July 12, 2013 at 11:57 pm

        Would the state have to declare their intentions when the hung jury is announced or do they get some time to consider? Also…would George still be considered out on bail and have to continue wearing the monitor?

        Gandalf the Black in reply to Ragspierre. | July 13, 2013 at 12:20 am

        Among other things, TM’s phone texts will be thoroughly vetted. No way they get excluded next time.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | July 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

        Yeah, wouldn’t it just be a shame if the defense had ALL the discovery?

        I’m also thinking Crump would probably have to run to Walmart and pick up a fresh pair of undies if the jury is hung. The longer this goes on, and the more discovery the defense gets, the more interest there is in his corrupt involvement.

        BTW, do you, or does anyone else, think MOM will pursue the matter of Crump taking Jeantel to the interrogation with Sybrina sitting next to her?

    graytonb in reply to MegK. | July 13, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Depends on how many hung it. If only one or two holdouts for guilty hung it, probably not. OTOH, if it was a close call with one lone holdout for acquittal, they might very well take another run at it.

Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but does anyone else think Don West looks like Walter White from Breaking Bad?!

    Browndog in reply to timwreck. | July 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I don’t watch the show, but the pro-mo’s…sure looks like him

    (all bald guys look the same?)….

    profiling…..

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to timwreck. | July 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Actually, I noticed the resemblance, too. It’s not a really strong resemblance, but the features and the expression are similar.

Tell me why you have been paying attention to this case? There are so many other important things, Benghazi, IRS, ObamaCare, Egypt, that we could be focused on.

I am following this case because I see it as an abuse to the judicial system by Obama and the progressives. It is evil in which they sacrificed the life of an innocent victim of Trayvon and all integrity of the judicial system. All so Obama would deceive blacks into voting 110% for him in 2012. IMHO, it is another reason to impeach our evil Tyrant Obama.

    kentuckyliz in reply to ConradCA. | July 13, 2013 at 1:05 am

    I think this trial caught me because I have a student who is GZ at 20. It’s freakish. A younger twin. Even a Criminal Justice major who wants to go to law school.

    LordSega in reply to ConradCA. | July 13, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Hey there ConradCA, I’m a ConradOR, lol.

    My reasons for following this case is primarily that I’m an open carrier here in Oregon. Any self defense case is of interest to me as a learning experience. Good or bad.

    When this first hit the news I thought, oh no, sounds like it could be a bad shoot. Then over the following weeks as the police reports and other preliminary evidence came out and the media corrected their false / incorrect reporting I came to believe that it was probably a good shoot… but I tried to stay neutral until ALL the information was released, up to and including the trial.

    I don’t have a problem with the race card being played IF there is evidence that race is actually a part of the situation, but when outside forces immediately blew it all out of proportion saying the shooting was racially motivated with no evidence to back up the claims, that really caught my attention.

    The fact that the local investigators did their job, and the DA’s office did their job, and there was no indications of “pencil-whipping” the investigation or covering up of evidence… therefore the legal system did it’s job of not bringing charges against GZ that they could not prove to a reasonable doubt. Having outside forces overrule these findings, well, this really bothers me, and should really bother everyone. That the legal system can be manipulated by political / racial groups is wrong and needs to be stopped.

    This case shows me that as an open carrier of a firearm for self defense and defense of my family and others, should I ever have to use my firearm (and I hope to never have to) that you can still get screwed by the system, even when you do everything right.

    I just hope seeing what GZ is going through does not make me walk away from a situation, or stand back afraid to “get involved”, or hesitate when my family, myself, or someone else needs help.

First, enormous thank-yous to Andrew, Prof. Jacobson, the twitterers on the live list, and many of the commentators. IANAL but you have helped me understand what is happening.

I think that the jury is more focused on “getting it right” than “getting it done”. I think when we hear them interviewed, they’ll impress us with their memory and understanding of what the witnesses (and lawyers) said, and what that testimony meant to their verdict.

I hoped, of course, that they’d be back in twenty minutes with “Not Guilty to All”, but that may be my male impulses speaking. It might take them a week. They might hang. I don’t think they’ll go for either conviction (and if they do manage to get to guilty on manslaughter and find what the sentence will be … they’re going to be very very angry.)

The defense team … superb. If I ever need a criminal lawyer, I hope I can find someone that good.

    Browndog in reply to htom. | July 12, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Jurors are chosen from the same pool of flawed humans that exist in society.

    I hold them not above, or below, the rest of us.

    graytonb in reply to htom. | July 13, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Given the late afternoon start to deliberations, I feel sure that these women believe that to come back in a rush with a verdict either way would be disrespectful, and paint them in the same light as the OJ jurors.
    Besides, they probably wanted a big glass of wine. Can’t blame them.

There is an irony in this travesty. The very prosecutors that withheld evidence, lied to the court, coached witnesses and prosecuted without evidence, also prosecute a number of young black men, some not much older than Martin. And in cheering them on, the black community is condoning this behavior, this same lack of “justice”, that is undoubtedly being applied to their own. And they are too blind to see it.

If this is happening in a high profile trial, it is undoubtedly occurring in the prosecutions of many young black men who don’t have the resources, the quality of counsel, nor the publicity that Zimmerman has. But they cheer the prosecution on, because in this case revenge is more important than justice. If it is happening to Zimmerman, it is happening many times over to themselves.

Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

I think the fact there are only six jurors rather than twelve may also mean that it is easier for the jury to swing towards one extreme or the other. It is just the law of averages.

I am sooo over hearing that manslaughter is the probable ‘ compromise ‘ verdict….
A possible 30 years in prison is NOT a compromise. I certainly have to hope that the written instructions stating that a finding of self defense eliminates manslaughter is clear to these six women. And I hope the attorney’s wife, or alternatively, the juror whose son is in the guild has taken the forewoman’s position.

    DollzWize in reply to graytonb. | July 13, 2013 at 12:04 am

    I agree but am very worried about this perceived compromise verdict because its FL Law NoT to instruct the jurors on what the mandatory sentencing times are so as not to influence the verdict…in this case the perceived compromise of manslaughter actually carries a longer mandatory time than the perceived stronger charge because TM was a minor.

      DriveBy in reply to DollzWize. | July 13, 2013 at 12:14 am

      Really the “so as not to influence the verdict” is BS. The real reason is to get the (poor sucker) defendants to plead guilty to “anything” to avoid the possibility that a jury might press the wrong button and send them to prison for 30 years to life.

    steffmckee in reply to graytonb. | July 13, 2013 at 12:04 am

    The problem is that the jurors have no idea of what the sentencing guidelines are. They may think they are being Solomonic and then find out he has a mandatory 30 year sentence.

      graytonb in reply to steffmckee. | July 13, 2013 at 12:23 am

      There’s always a chance that the jurors with attorney family members had a chance to get up to speed on this question before they went into sequester.

        Dr Stiffy in reply to graytonb. | July 13, 2013 at 12:32 am

        I don’t know. That’s a tricky one. Hopefully some of the jury already understood that manslaughter was a serious charge in Florida.

      xfactor in reply to steffmckee. | July 13, 2013 at 12:54 am

      Next time I’m on a jury, I may do a little research on sentencing laws before the “no research” prohibition takes effect.

      Fabi in reply to steffmckee. | July 13, 2013 at 3:10 am

      Jury is instructed to ignore any possible sentence resulting from the charge. Not saying that’s humanly possible, just saying that’s in their instructions.

    Dr Stiffy in reply to graytonb. | July 13, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Agreed, all we can do at this point is hope for the best. If Zimmerman is convicted of anything I will be really disturbed. I consider myself a moderate politically, but some of this sh#t really needs to stop. When did it suddenly become wrong for someone to worry about the security of their neighborhood.

Carol Herman | July 13, 2013 at 12:09 am

As O’Mara said to the jurors in the “opening” of his “close,” our government, in fact, looks for people with the least amount of knowledge about the case … And, after listening to O’Mara’s opening, again, I am at peace.

The jurors will do what jurors gotta do. That’s how our system works. It’s a great burden to be a juror. And, a great honor. If only other cases were as decently presented.

I’m very grateful to ya, Andrew, for such wonderful, insightful, coverage. I’m too old to learn anything new. But I thank you. Because I think I did.

There are two women on that jury with a history of having carry permits. They are asking themselves what they would have done, and the answer is clear: defend yourself. Those two will not allow a guilty verdict. Acquittal at best, hung jury at worst.

    Dr Stiffy in reply to CTimbo. | July 13, 2013 at 12:17 am

    I thought there was only one with a CHL. I can’t imagine the prosecution letting two in. This case sucks. I hoped there would be a not guilty verdict this evening. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

      CTimbo in reply to Dr Stiffy. | July 13, 2013 at 12:21 am

      I had heard, on TV I think, that one has a currently valid permit and one has had one in the past which IMO gives her the same perspective.

Hung jury is the best the State can hope for.

They have unlimited (taxpayer) resources to re-try. George has none. Omara and West have families to feed.

    Dr Stiffy in reply to Browndog. | July 13, 2013 at 12:28 am

    I have a feeling O’Mara and West will not have any trouble finding work in the near future. I think their performance in this trial was extraordinary. I can’t imagine them giving up if there is a re-trial. This case has become bigger than anyone had expected, especially to those of us siding with Zimmerman.

    DriveBy in reply to Browndog. | July 13, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Quote:
    “Hung jury is the best the State can hope for.”

    Um, maybe a conviction on either of the two charges might be “the best” that the State can hope for? Just asking…

    There has been a trial! It is in the hands of a jury! I would think that a hung jury is one of the two options that George can hope for, but I may be wrong.

      Browndog in reply to DriveBy. | July 13, 2013 at 12:46 am

      Unique, is this one.

      “Hey, you don’t know. You don’t have the evidence the jury has”

      Well, we do.

      Sunshine.

      I watched the entire trial.

      No way can all 6 agree, based on evidence, that George killed that kid out of hatred or apathy.

    Danny Leong in reply to Browndog. | July 13, 2013 at 9:48 am

    A hung jury is certainly a possibility. If I were on that jury and the other five vote for not-guilty, I would feel awfully tempted to be the lone holdout, knowing how doing so would catapult me into sainthood among cultural elites.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Danny Leong. | July 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      I can’t really explain why, but it seems to me that a holdout, man or woman but more likely a woman, would be more likely to abandon a “guilty” vote than a “not guilty” vote.

Does anyone know if a juror or jury question why an additional charge is thrown in at the last minute? My first questions would be, ” Why is the prosecution doing this? Do they not feel they had a good case?”

    Browndog in reply to robbi. | July 13, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Standard stuff, but inherently unfair, and unjust.

    Prosecutors prosecute a crime, defense defend against that crime. Then, after the trial, the jurors are asked to convict on a crime the defendant wasn’t charged, or defended.

If acquitted, George will never get his gun back, or his CCW license.

Anybody disagree?

(Personally, I don’t think he wants either….anymore)

    Canusee in reply to Browndog. | July 13, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Depends. Can you have ccw in witness protection?

    DriveBy in reply to Browndog. | July 13, 2013 at 1:00 am

    If he gets it or if he doesn’t (and whatever happens after that), it will all be God’s will. Not. But he has to get out of this mess first; we are nowhere near your hypothetical.

    kentuckyliz in reply to Browndog. | July 13, 2013 at 1:13 am

    I disagree. He hasn’t lost his civil rights. And he may need the personal protection after acquittal more than ever before.

    Who’s going to mess with him? He has demonstrated his willingness to get the job done if need be.

    Perhaps if it’s legal in FL, he should open carry to just let everyone know to back the f*** off.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Browndog. | July 13, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I see no viable reason for not returning his weapon and restoring his CCW, assuming it’s been suspended.

Perhaps they are waiting for morning to release the verdict, because, really, nobody riots before noon.

Really.

I mean, really.

Really?!?

REALLY!!!

    kentuckyliz in reply to cazinger. | July 13, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Good point…and keeps more of the mob energy in the daylight hours. Maybe it will fizzle out by nighttime.

Much criticism (to put it mildly) has been leveled at George
RE: “It was God’s plan.” Yet, I have not found 1—not 1—MSM article linking THIS interview of $ybrina & Tray-not my son-Dad.

NOTE >>> “In this video, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of Trayvon Martin, speak to the World Socialist Web Site about their son’s death and legacy.”

WORLD SOCIALIST WEBSITE

Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin: Trayvon was sacrificed to expose injustice.
http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/sybrina-fulton-and-tracy-martin-trayvon-was-sacrificed-to-expose-injustice/

    Fabi in reply to boomer. | July 13, 2013 at 3:42 am

    The ‘World Socialists’ were also out in force (about twenty bodies, or about half the crowd) at the St. Skittles anniversary event in New York City. (He was killed in NYC, right? Why else would you hold the event there?)

    The ‘World Socialists’ loves thems somes injustices! Fight the power! They had signs, on the night of the St. Skittles rally bemoaning – wait for it – capitalism! Ha! Right up their red-diaper alley! Rat bastards, all.

    Fabi in reply to boomer. | July 13, 2013 at 3:51 am

    ‘their son’s…legacy’

    De mortuis, my ass, Pliny. Shouldn’t have raised a thug TradeMom and Lap-Dance Daddy-O! There’s your friggin’ legacy. Put that in your one-hitter and smoke it…

    (Am I too sensitive? Should I just let go?)

Much criticism (to put it mildly) has been leveled at George
RE: “It was God’s plan.” Yet, I have not found 1—not 1—MSM article linking THIS interview of $ybrina & Tray-not my son-Dad.

NOTE >>> “In this video, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of Trayvon Martin, speak to the World Socialist Web Site about their son’s death and legacy.”

WORLD SOCIALIST WEBSITE

Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin: Trayvon was sacrificed to expose injustice.
http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/sybrina-fulton-and-tracy-martin-trayvon-was-sacrificed-to-expose-injustice/

And don’t you think the all-female jury has noticed that TradeMom has laid it on too thick with the pearls and the eyeglasses? Females have a pretty damned good fake detector and theirs has been red-lining for the last week, I hope!

I’d like to ask Professor Jacobson and Mr. Branca if they think a motion for a judgment NOV would be granted IF the jury actually does convict?

Angela Corey fired Kruibos on Friday! Cellphone data whistleblower! This stinks, folks! Stinks!

Hey guys, GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Today I will be up in Epping, NH at SigSauer’s world-class academy to help SO the Chaplain’s Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) charity match. CERF raises funds for military chaplains to provide small amounts of monetary aid to individual sailors in need–as you probably know, the lower ranks in particular aren’t paid much, and are easily put in a financial bind.

It’s a great match, lots of great people, and well worth shooting just for that. Match format is 6 pistol stages (all steel), with 2 divisions (centerfire and rimfire). Also, there will be a side pistol stage.

Some fraction of the entry fee of $40 goes to CERF (maybe all of it, I don’t know the details).

I’ll also have books available to sell sign, $30 cash, of which $5 of each sale will be contributed to CERF.

Here’s a link with more info, at the Sig web site:

http://is.gd/dsHYI5

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Something to look forward to on this wonderful summer weekend, eh?

Asininities of the Human Kind

Something to look forward to on this wonderful summer weekend, eh?
———————————————–

Broadcast Nets Poised to Pounce on Zimmerman Verdict…

SHOW JUDGE LIFE LONG DEM…

Pressured by Obama administration?

Levin Blasts: ‘She’s Obnoxious and Pathetic’…

BERNHARD GOETZ: ‘The Same Thing Is Happening’…

Pastor Says Miami Will Be ‘Ground Zero’ For Riots, Looting…

TWITTER Flooded With New Wave of Threats…

‘If Zimmerman walks, let’s wild the f*** out’…

Police Readying ‘First Amendment Zones’…

All via http://www.drudgereport.com/

I kind of feel sorry for the IT guy because the timing of his firing obviously shows malice by Corey.

On the other hand if you want to be a whistle blower don’t do it unless you have a well-thought out exit strategy. Especially if you have a four month old son.

Maybe they are thinking “whistle blower lawsuit” but that’s dicey.

I also have no idea what Florida’s discovery rules are. The State did turn over the source code from the cell phone to the defense according to the linked article, they just didn’t turn over their IT guy’s analysis of it. The pictures on the cell phone are not clearly exculpatory.

Clearly the firing is retaliatory for the IT guy trying to do the right thing, but as GZ is finding out, no good deed goes unpunished.

    Irony Tag in reply to Marco100. | July 13, 2013 at 8:16 am

    The text messages go to the heart of the defense’s case. They show Martin enjoyed getting into fistfights and making people bleed. That is every bit as relevant as Zimmerman’s MMA knowledge and abilities which were allowed into the trial. From the jury instructions:

    “In considering the issue of self-defense, you may take into account the relative physical abilities and capacities of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. ”

    Martin’s fighting experience is definitely relevant.

I certainly impressed with O’Mara’s closing statement, it’s a huge contrast with the State prosecutors’ histrionics, but I have one big concern about one really missing part of the picture: WHY TM attacked GZ? One can argue that it doesn’t matter from the legal point of view and existing evidence as to what really happened is sufficient to make a just verdict, but there’s no full picture without understanding “why”.

I know that judge Nelson hasn’t allow crucial info about text messages and pictures from TM’s phone which would depict the real character of TM, and would seriously undermine prosecution’s BS about “child’s heart and skittles”. Also I know the case only briefly but I think there was at least something to show what “Martin’s family” was: why not to emphasise all lying under oath by Tracy Martin and Rachel Jeantel? Why not to show that GZ encountered an angry, foul-mouthed person who had recently used drugs? Why Jeantel really said over the phone that he felt guilty after that and didn’t want to show up to the funeral and lied about the reason why. MOM on opposite has chosen to be indulgent to all that (“kids talk stupidly”, “poor girl didn’t want to be involved” etc etc).

I still can understand that MOM considered allowed evidence to be insufficient in order not to be seen as the attempt to damage TMs image with ungrounded speculations, and he perceived chosen strategy to be the most effective for the result, but the fact that he hasn’t included toxicology report in the evidence, the fact that it was Don West who fought for the tapes to be included and O’Mara almost tried to calm him down, and GZ hesitations about taking the stand make me really think if we shouldn’t more critically look at O’Mara. Again, I agree that he’s a top notch lawyer, I’m just not sure he’s woking in the best interest of GZ or himself, and himself he might have a bit different agenda.

    James IIa in reply to AndyTucker. | July 13, 2013 at 8:58 am

    O’Mara made the calculation that character attacks on TM or family might backfire against his client. If there’s a retrial his approach could be different.

No, it is not due to the spread of Islam, quite the reverse actually. The problem is oxymoronic ‘thinking with the heart’. It is heard in everyday conversations: ‘How do you feel about this?’ or ‘I feel that such and such is best’.

That some will win and others will lose may not ‘feel’ right, but it is right. We have lost sight of that fundamental fact.

I’m hoping Andrew or one of the lawyers here will answer a question I’ve got about sequestration — jury and witness.

While the judge was very, very, very, very (think I got that right) concerned about the violation of witness sequestration, another commenter noted that this is a bit strange given recent technology. That is, every single witness could have watched the whole trial on the web. That seems to put witness sequestration on the honor system. In my view, many people will be too curious, especially about a trial like this, to obey the instruction when it is so safe and easy to violate it.

Which brings me to jury sequestration. I presume the jury is put up at a hotel somewhere and told not to watch the news or talk about the trial with anyone. But are they allowed to keep their smartphones? To have a computer? Is the process of keeping the jury away from media reports, too, based on the honor system? If so then I think one has to be naive to trust it.

My fear is that the jury has been tainted by media reports, both cheerleading for a conviction and threatening riots — and hence threatening them, if they are clear headed about the likelihood of their remaining anonymous.

What do those of you with more knowledge about this stuff think? Is sequestration really possible in the modern technological environment?

    AndyTucker in reply to DJ. | July 13, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Judge instructs jury like following: “You’re not to read or listen to any radio, television or newspaper reports about the case. You’re not to use any type of an electronic device to get on the Internet to do an independent research about the case, people, places, things or terminology. And, finally, you’re not to read or create any tweets, e-mails, text messages or social networking pages about the case.”

      Thanks for the response, Andy.

      But if jury sequestration relies entirely on trusting the jury members to follow the judge’s instruction rather than satisfy their curiosity in a case like this — when that would be so easy to do without detection — then I have no confidence in it keeping the jury from being tainted.

      Worrisome, in the current environment.

I will try to answer the following question:

“I certainly impressed with O’Mara’s closing statement, it’s a huge contrast with the State prosecutors’ histrionics, but I have one big concern about one really missing part of the picture: WHY TM attacked GZ? One can argue that it doesn’t matter from the legal point of view and existing evidence as to what really happened is sufficient to make a just verdict, but there’s no full picture without understanding “why”.

********************

Here is my answer–

If this case wasn’t such a media-driven event, maybe if the jury had a different composition, and maybe if O’Mara wasn’t genuinely worried about his own physical safety, and that of his family–then YES of course, as the defense attorney, you supply Trayvon’s motive to the jury–as the defense attorney you ARE allowed to connect the dots that would suggest reasonable doubt.

The “why”, the motive of Trayvon for attacking George Zimmerman, is altogether obvious: This “child” was a thug, not only was he a thug, but a racist thug. The cell phone evidence (which Nelson excluded) proves Trayvon was a thug.

Jeantel’s quotation of TM referring to Zimmerman as a “creepy ass cracker” is at least proof enough to establish reasonable doubt as to whether or not TM was a racist thug. The words on their face are indicative that TM was racially profiling George Zimmerman far far far more than GZ’s saying “These assholes/fucking punks always get away.

O’Mara conceptually came close by pointing out how inverted and bizzaro this trial was. And that includes the MSM narrative of GZ being the racial profiler.

But that’s a total inversion of what actually happened. Based on the trial facts and what we know that Nelson wouldn’t let into evidence.

TM was the assailant, GZ the victim. TM was racially profiling GZ and attacked him.

O’Mara couldn’t say it. He didn’t dare say it. But I’ll bet he really wanted to say it. On the other hand he probably didn’t want to walk down the steps of the courthouse to get a shotgun blast full in the chest from some “disgruntled protestor” either. And he probably didn’t want his house firebombed. And I’ll bet West didn’t either. Remember the ice cream cone twitter pic? These defense attorneys and their families are all too vulnerable in the age of social media when no one is anonymous. And you better believe they know it, and are very very concerned about it, even if they never openly talk about it. They must be terrified. They and their families are walking around with targets on their backs.

The only known racists sitting in that courtroom were the victim’s family, advisers, and posse. Corey is part of that group obviously. BDLR and Guy are just bureaucratic puppets doing what they are told to do.

O’Mara wanted to say, but couldn’t:

“You’ve heard BDLR say over and over and over again my client was profiling TM. But the opposite is true. TM was profiling GZ. He was racially profiling GZ, the proof of that is when he described my client to Jeantel as a crazy ass cracker. TM coldly calculated his assault, he coldly took the measure of GZ, and circled back to sneak attack him. He didn’t like the neighborhood watch captain monitoring his suspicious behavior. He especially didn’t like it when GZ called the police to report it. Perhaps he overheard GZ call the police as GZ feared. And this 17 year old adult sized juvenile–not a child, a juvenile–football playing athlete made a deliberate decision to punish GZ by attacking him and either taking his life away or causing him brain damage by bashing his head into concrete.

And do you know how you can tell just how cold and calculating and sociopathic TM was? He did all of this when he had just come from the store with his candy and drink. TM could easily commit an aggravated assault, which would have been a murder, just as easily as Joe Pesci went to his mom’s house to have scrambled eggs with a dead body in his trunk in the movie “Goodfellas.””

    AndyTucker in reply to Marco100. | July 13, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Thank you. I certainly hope that “why” is understandable for the jury. Also I hope that MOM that it was a strategic decision to win this trial because the most important thing now is to win it for GZ.

    But the huge problem I see here is that it wasn’t allowed to make public exactly what you wrote (that the “child” was not even a thug but a racist thug). That the problem with many black young males in jail is not the racism towards black, but rather in culture they grow up in to behave like he did and end up like he had (it’d be helpful to see how TM was raised, who his father is etc).

    I strongly believe that it wouldn’t be right to sacrifice GZ chances to win the trial in return for exposing the reality behind the crime, but I really hope that after the verdict there will be follow up cases to expose prosecution violations and lack of basic morale as well as grieving family’s side scheming and I hope it will be lead by somebody who isn’t afraid. Because otherwise it can be just one case won, but the door for other cases like this still wide open.

“Then things got very strange when Guy asked, “Didn’t Trayvon Martin have the right to self-defense, too?” So, apparently the complete absence of injuries of Trayvon Martin (other than the gunshot that ended the beating) allowed for him to act in self-defense, but George Zimmerman’s real and bloody injuries did not?”

Yesterday I discussed this with some guy who told me the same thing. He said “If someone was following me, I would shoot him.”

I don’t think this is for the jury. The State is hoping for a guilty verdict, no doubt, but the law doesn’t support it, and they haven’t proven it. This is for the race community, to stir up racial tensions.

And here it is, July 12th, 2013, on CNN:

“The question that has not surfaced in the courtroom — the elephant in the room — is this: Did Martin fear for his life after being followed and confronted by a stranger while going to the store to buy candy and a soft drink? Was he, Martin, justified in standing his ground and defending himself when this stranger, an apparent stalker, approached him in a threatening manner?”

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/11/opinion/francis-zimmerman-trial/index.html

Not a legal matter. Just more race baiting.

    Yesterday I discussed this with some guy who told me the same thing. He said “If someone was following me, I would shoot him.”

    I hope you replied: Well then you, sir, would be guilty of murder. Unlike GZ, who had a reasonable fear of great bodily harm.

      edbarbar in reply to DJ. | July 13, 2013 at 9:56 am

      I told him he would be guilty of murder. I felt justified in talking with the guy because he inflicted me with MSNBC by having them turn it on to get end of trial analysis.

      Here are some of his contentions:

      GZ was a wanna-be cop looking for trouble.
      TM could “stand his ground.”
      TM was doing nothing wrong.
      GZ was racially profiling.
      GZ was walking around with his gun.

      His view, GZ will be guilty of manslaughter. I told him I wouldn’t be surprised.

At which points can the defense go to the Appellate court? Could they have taken the cell phone data ruling there during the trial or were they relegated to only take that issue up after a verdict not in their favor? If already asked and answered I missed it. Tia

I served on a 6 person FL jury where we convicted a woman on DUI. Only a one day trial, but a very long day with the jury being taken out for long bench conferences. After choosing a foreman, we took our first straw vote, unanimous for guilt. We decided that we should review the evidence, an overview, so that we knew we had given the defendant the benefit of any possible doubt. We also went over the law and jury instructions. Forms took some time to fill out as well. I still remember the feeling of a heavy burden on my shoulders to be voting to send a first grade teacher with kids to jail.

This jury has a lot more reason to be careful in their deliberation process. At least I hope that’s what they’re doing.

Connivin Caniff | July 13, 2013 at 9:57 am

Has anyone heard any one from the media. or their “experts” refer to the refusal of the judge to admit the explosive comments from Trayvon’s cell phone? If the comments had been admitted, the jury would have acquitted last night in time for the jury to watch Nancy Grace melt down like the Wicked Witch. The issue is so big I don’t think these media idiots even bother to look into such things.

Any comments regarding O’mara’s opening Closing Argument? From a layman’s perspective, it appeared utterly incomprehensible why he was talking about his “fears”. Wife and I got bored until the Martin’s walked into the courtroom. It struck me that he noticed this and was taking up space since their entry erased everything he had just said. Was this an example of a filibuster and could he be this good?

Over on PMSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry is already continuing to spin the race side by lisping through the BS narrative that “the evil white man” is afraid of “black rioters” and how it is unjustified and they are all racists. Seriously?? One only needs to read the twitter feeds to see that this “fear” is not being spread willy-nilly by American citizens…it’s being spread by REAL PEOPLE saying they are going to do it! WTF?

Then, she goes on to say that it’s not blacks that have the bad record on riots, it’s whites. Forget 1992 in LA, forget the 60’s…yeah, those were black riots, but the most egregious riots were of whites…in 1921 and 1923!!! Seriously!!? She had to go back almost 100 years to make your point!?! Let’s not use RECENT data, let’s go back NINE DECADES and point out how the white mans record.

As long as the liberal media continues to make race a big deal, that will be the perception, regardless of reality.

So if the jury looks at grass stained knees of TM jeans and compares to George’s with no stains will that help confirm self defense in their minds? Do we even know if George’s jacket was tested for grass stains?

HLN is swooning all over Guy. I couldn’t listen anymore. He may be a good lawyer; but he is way to into himself to really be attractive. I am not sure he is a good lawyer since he went along with the devious plan. That’s even less attractive.

What’s the possibility of one or more prosecutors being charged with felonies?

on what grounds – seriously?

The inconvenient truth is that there is no evidence that Trayvon could not have just walked home that night. He had a walk of less than 2 minutes from when Zimmerman lost sight of him. Hard to argue that he was not faster than GZ and had a head start. Of course, he should not have to back down. He could not have known that GZ had a gun. If Zimmerman doesn’t have a gun, Trayvon is not dead. If he does not have a gun, then maybe this is an assault trial of Trayvon Martin instead.

[…] Branca did amazing, wall to wall coverage of the Zimmerman trial over at Legal Insurrection, and he’ll be our guest today to give us his reaction to the verdict, and also share some […]

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