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Zimmerman Trial Day 8: Live Video, Analysis & Reader Poll: DNA Inconclusive & Judge Nelson Terse

Zimmerman Trial Day 8: Live Video, Analysis & Reader Poll: DNA Inconclusive & Judge Nelson Terse

First things first–Legal Insurrection presents yet another of our class-leading internet polls on Florida v. Zimmerman.  Vote to lend your voice to whether George Zimmerman should be called by the defense to testify:

Trial Day 8: Nearing the Close of the State’s Case

We already covered the morning testimony in our mid-day analysis and video, which you can find here:

Zimmerman Update Exclusive — Mid-Day 8 — State Wins Evidentiary Battle, Loses Testimony War

Normally at this point we would be covering the multiple witnesses that testified in the afternoon.

As it happens, however, the combination of a late return from the lunch recess, some in court wrangling (outside of the juror’s hearing) between Judge Nelson and the defense around the subject of the still-to-be disposed Benjamin Crump, and a direct and cross of the State’s DNA expert that can perhaps be best described as excruciatingly long and uniformly uninformative, brought us to the end of a day that was supposed to see the State rest with no such milestone in sight.

Let’s get what must be done out of the way, and deal with the testimony of the State’s DNA expert.

Anthony Gorgone, FDLE Crime Laboratory DNA Analyst

State witness Gorgone was interminably subject to direct questioning by State prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda for what seemed like hours, and then met a similar trial at the hands of defense attorney Don West.

In the end it was all all largely pointless. There was no DNA evidence that substantively contributed to any issue in the case, and what DNA evidence was found was largely tainted the manner in which it was collected, transported, and stored, all matters over which Gorgone had no role whatever.

In the event, however, that you find yourself have great difficulty falling asleep tonight, we present for your pleasure the dulcet tones of Gorgone, de la Rionda, and West:

Anthony Gorgone, FDLE DNA Analyst, Part 2

Anthony Gorgone, FDLE DNA Analyst, Part 3

Anthony Gorgone, FDLE DNA Analyst, Part 4

Anthony Gorgone, FDLE DNA Analyst, Part 5

Anthony Gorgone, FDLE DNA Analyst, Part 6

Anthony Gorgone, FDLE DNA Analyst, Part 7

Judge Nelson Takes the Defense to Task, Again

Perhaps the highlight of the afternoon, however, occurred prior to the testimony of Gorgone, when Judge Nelson took the opportunity to vent her frustrations at the defense team when they requested additional time to arrange for the deposition of Martin family advisor/attorney Benjamin Crump. She was markedly unsympathetic to the defense’s explanations that they had only been authorized by the 5th District Court of Appeals to depose Crump. It is notable that the authority to depose Crump at all was delivered to the defense by the 5th District Court of Appeals (DCA), which did so by overruling Nelson’s earlier ruling to deny the defense this opportunity. Judge Nelson was also unsympathetic to the defense’ explanations that they had been fully consumed in the intervening period with the Frye hearing, Jury selection, and the State’s presentation of the case. The sense seemed to be that if they’d had enough time to shower and take care of basic biological necessities during the last several weeks, then they had had enough time to depose Crump.

Judge Nelson was also adamant that the State hold to its commitment to rest its case today. Upon hearing this, Bernie de la Rionda began to backpedal aggressively, noting the lateness of the hour, but the Judge simply urged everyone to just get on with it.

And then came Gorgone–hour after hour, afte hour of him. Poor guy, he was obviously so competent and diligent at his work, and equally obviously unable to meet the expectations of either side, one could not help but feel bad for him.

So, no, the State did not rest today. Instead, the State will present at least one additional witness. That witness, it is believed, will be Sabryna Fulton, Trayvon’s mother. Her testimony will be the last desperate attempt of State prosecutor’s to use a grieving mother’s tears to convince the jury to return the guilty verdict that the facts in evidence have been unable to justify.

July 4, Birthday of the Greatest Nation on Earth

Tomorrow, July 4, the celebration of the birth of the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, is a day off rest for the Court, and hopefully for most of you.

But not for this humble correspondent. Tomorrow we will present a post that prognosticates on the path forward for this trial including the prospects for mid-trial motions for a directed verdict, likely strategies and witnesses to be called by the defense, and how both the State and defense are likely to try to fit the developed facts in evidence, as well as circumstantial evidence, into the compelling narrative that is their closing arguments–and how closely those closing arguments are likely to align with the commitments they made to the jury at the start of this trial.

So, keep your eyes open for that tomorrow, and have a safe, wonderful, and fireworks-filled day of celebration of the birth of our great nation.


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

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

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

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


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Living room TV was on local 7 (WSVN) and I caught a glimpse of what looked like an announcement for a public hearing next week. I think I heard something about explaining or clarifying the legal issues of the case.
I am not really sure exactly what they said because it was super-fast before my kid changed the channel.
But I think I saw an address with 183rd street on it. That happens to be Miami Gardens drive.

Could the authorities be preparing for a not-guilty verdict?

    Fabi in reply to Exiliado. | July 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm


    punditius in reply to Exiliado. | July 4, 2013 at 12:45 am

    It would be dereliction of duty not to prepare for a not guilty verdict. Forget the odds, one way or another – a not guilty verdict will mean riots and deaths, not just in Florida, but anywhere the black underclass exists in sufficient numbers to overwhelm the police. Even if the chance of an acquittal were one in a hundred, it needs to be prepared for. And if the jurors are women of reason & integrity, there will be an acquittal.

    Any governor who does not have the orders to deploy the National Guard in place should be impeached or recalled. Any mayor who has not already secured state & federal police support, likewise.

    Better yet, call out the Korean shopkeepers. They are the only ones who have the sense & guts to stand off the blacks.

      Bettijo in reply to punditius. | July 4, 2013 at 9:39 am

      I had written a masterpiece response here, but when I tried to submit it, it disappeared and a mssage to the effect that my time had expired. I will try to recreate.

      If there are riots following a not-guilty verdict you cannot blame the prosecution, the defense, the witnesses or the judge. The blame falls squarely on Attorney Benjamin Crump, Natalie Jackson, and Ryan Julison of “Julison Communications” The Media Image Firm Hired by Benjamin Crump, plus the Black Reverends, New Black Panthers, etc. They set out right after the shooting to incite the black people. Ryan Julison published a picture of Travon as a 12-year-old when he was actually 17. And protrayed 12-year-old Travon as being profiled, stalked, attacked and killed by a racist “white” Hispanic. These are the people who brought pressure on the state to charge Zimmaman when the police had aleady determined he was not guilty. The Martin family needed an arrest (not conviction) to proceed to civil cases. Follow the money.

      kentuckyliz in reply to punditius. | July 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

      I think they need to prepare for rallies/riots even if GZ is convicted. Think celebration riots after sports championships. I think even if there is a conviction, there will be some nuts who still want to Kill A Cracka 4 Trayvon. There should be a special showing of Django with free passes to anyone who needs an anger management outlet. Free pop and snacks too. Laced with Quaaludes to calm folx down.

      Exiliado in reply to tigercpa. | July 4, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Thank you, thank you, thank you.

      Now let’s hope the event is not hijacked by agitators and race baiters.

      Let’s also hope the authorities take the time to educate “faith leaders” and “advocates” before attending the meeting, so they avoid trying to impose their emotions over the rule of law.

      Let’s hope the media takes notice and starts damage control on all the stupidity they have been spreading.

      Let’s hope.

Thank you … I have been eagerly refreshing my LI page for the last hour looking for your summary. -:) Have a great 4th and I’ll indeed check for your post tomorrow. My blood pressure medicine is NOT working today while I’m watching TV coverage of today’s events. (Not sure WHAT trial THEY are commenting on …. so glad I have your account.)

LilMissSpellcheck | July 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Is there any reason on God’s green Earth why the whole DNA thing couldn’t be agreed and stipulated in advance? Why did defense assist Bernie running out the clock with his pointless cross?

    VetHusbandFather in reply to LilMissSpellcheck. | July 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    From what I understand the defense ran out the clock so that TM’s mother crying on the stand wouldn’t be the last thing jurors see before the holiday, and the first thing they see when they get back.

      cazinger in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 3, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Exactly. Though I think it is a risk. While they avoided having Sybrina Fulton crying being the last thing the jury sees before the holiday, the state could round up another witness or two to try to make their direct of her the last thing presented to the jury before the Prosecution rests on Friday (thus giving the jury the whole weekend to absorb and contemplate that testimony.

      Something tells me that Friday’s first witness (presumably the M.E.) will be very quick. I think the prosecution will then try to sneak in one other witness before Sybrina, just to try to get the timing perfect (finish direct with a sobbing Sybrina on the stand, and send the jury off for the weekend).

      This is getting to be like watching a close football game with two coaches trying to manage the clock so that their team has the last shot to score and win the game …

      … except that this game isn’t really that close.

        VetHusbandFather in reply to cazinger. | July 3, 2013 at 10:46 pm

        Definitely a possibility, but putting the ME on the stand, or any other witness they can dig up tomorrow will likely help the defense more than hurt them. They force the State to open up more testimony in favor of the defense in order to get mom on the minds of the jurors for the weekend.

      mwsomerset in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 3, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      That’s exactly what I think West was doing…running out the clock.

      Observer in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      I’m curious to see how the mother is going to be handled. As I understand it, the reason for her testimony is to identify the screaming voice in the background of the 911 tape as Trayvon Martin’s. (Never mind that common sense, Zimmerman, and the closest neighbor witness, all say that it was Zimmerman yelling for help).

      How far will the defense be able/willing to go with mom to test her claim that she can recognize the screaming as Trayvon’s? I’m guessing the defense won’t be able to ask Trayvon’s mom about the fact that Trayvon reportedly spent most of his childhood being raised by another woman. I’m also guessing they won’t be able to ask Trayvon’s mom about the fact that her son was living in the home of his father’s girlfriend at the time of his death, instead of with his mom, because his mom threw him out of her house (after he was suspended from school for drugs).

      The jury, and the American public, won’t hear any of that. But I bet there will be non-stop coverage of Trayvon’s mom weeping on the stand.

        kentuckyliz in reply to Observer. | July 3, 2013 at 10:47 pm

        However…the last thing on Friday strategy could totally backfire on the state if Sabryna opens a door and the state gets pwned the last thing before the weekend. What if the jurors have the whole weekend to reflect on her absence from her son’s life. What if she goes on about what a perfect pure angel TM was and opens the door for cross to establish otherwise and bring in all the nasty crap. The jurors could spend the weekend being grateful to GZ. He might have saved lots of property and lives.

        VetHusbandFather in reply to Observer. | July 3, 2013 at 10:49 pm

        Too bad they can’t do a blind test where they play recordings of three different screams and try to get her to identify which one is her son.

        neils in reply to Observer. | July 3, 2013 at 11:47 pm

        Based on testimony from the voice expert, how much time mother spent with TM is relevant to how likely she was to have heard him scream in distress, the relevant comparison. Thus, testimony as to how much time TM lived with her is relevant to her familiarity with his voice. Also, TM had a growth spurt, and presumably a puberty related change in his voice, shortly before his demise. Only the familiarity with this changed, more manly, voice is relevant, and not familiarity with the different earlier boyhood voice.

        guycocoa in reply to Observer. | July 4, 2013 at 12:24 am

        Will the defense ask the mother if she could recognize Treyvon’s voice when he was high?

        MegK in reply to Observer. | July 4, 2013 at 1:51 am

        At this point I don’t see how her testimony about the screams matters much. The prosecution has put forth absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Trayvon was chased, grabbed, restrained or attacked. It’s just not plausible that he was screaming for help for any period of time. She is testifying purely for sympathy’s sake. Defense should tread lightly lest they make the jury even more sympathetic to her.

          cjharrispretzer in reply to MegK. | July 4, 2013 at 2:17 am

          Why would Trayvon have been screaming? He had not a single mark on his body. It’s clear Trayvon was kicking GZ’s butt, GZ wasn’t getting in a single blow, so Trayvon would be screaming for his life….why??? It strains credulity. Especially when you have GZ’s account that it was his own screams even before he knew there would be corraborative evidence of his screams on the neighbors’ 911 calls. And I’m sorry, I’ve listened to both Trayvon’s voice and George’s voice, and it is just obvious that the scream comes from George. I’m not sure why the voice experts can’t back that up. It is obvious. Truly.

          profshadow in reply to MegK. | July 4, 2013 at 7:03 am

          In the currently demonstrated context, so ably presented by the prosecution, Zimmerman screaming would be a scream for help while Martin screaming would be a “rage scream.”

          Wilburdog in reply to MegK. | July 4, 2013 at 10:02 am

          Prosecution theory is that Trayvon was screaming because he had painfully skinned his knuckles on George’s skull. Could have been very painful as close-cropped hair stubble causes painful scraps as you deliver telling shots to skull.

          Observer in reply to MegK. | July 4, 2013 at 10:07 am

          Yes, given the testimony of the closest neighbor, Zimmerman’s own statements to police, and the fact that Trayvon Martin’s father initially said the voice on the tape was not Trayvon, putting the mother on the stand to say she recognizes that voice as her son’s seems to be dangerously close to suborning perjury, IMO.

          Fabi in reply to MegK. | July 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm

          He also told the cop on-scene about screaming for help and it’s doubtful he knew that those screams had been recorded. I think that helps make the case for the screams being his. At least a little bit…

        tigercpa in reply to Observer. | July 4, 2013 at 8:59 am

        If Sybrina Fulton takes the stand, the defense may ask her why she didn’t immediately contact police when she learned the identity of mystery girlfriend witness #8, some two weeks before investigators. Additional questioning along those lines should reveal the extent to which the Crump/Martin/Fulton family may have tampered with this witness, and may have suborned her testimony

          Fabi in reply to tigercpa. | July 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm

          I’d have to ask Sybrina why her son would be screaming? No marks on the boy. Had she heard him scream like that before? Under what circumstances? He wasn’t a prone to being scared, given the repeated story of him pulling his father out of a burning kitchen. A brave person. Again, why would he be screaming and when had she heard something similar.

PackerBronco | July 3, 2013 at 8:01 pm

The prosecution rests???
Don’t they have to be active first?

Is that all the State’s got? It better be one boffo closing statement.

VetHusbandFather | July 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm

I vote no to GZ testifying, at this point it really only can hurt him. His whole story has been presented ad nauseam during cross, so there is nothing to gain. But he does have plenty to lose if the State can get under his skin during cross.

Have read/ heard that state has two, potentially three more witnesses for Friday, Sabrina Fulton, Dr. Bao the autopsy ME(?), and….(?). Thinking in any case, defense will have a chance to cross Sabrina before court adjourns Friday. So that should hopefully take some wind out of the states sails that might be cause by Sabrina’s hyperventilating and sobbing on the stand.

Have also heard/ read that jury is being treated to Disney trip over break. Hmmmm, rather free with state tax payer $. Quite a opportunity for jury to be poisoned by potential Traybot demonstrations, I would think.
And finally…didn’t Trayvon’s aunt remark in an interview a while back that Trayvon was nicknamed “Mouse”?
Do I smell a rat?

    VetHusbandFather in reply to DuraMater. | July 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Seems a bit of a conflict of interest if “the State” is paying for the jury trip while also begging them to find GZ guilty with no evidence. I know it’s not the same bureaucrats, but the optics are there.

      Milhouse in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 4, 2013 at 8:13 am

      It’s not the state doing this, it’s the court. This would make them better-disposed to the judge (who is, after all, their jailer). When I was on a jury for four weeks (not sequestered), it was the judge who decided to give us lunch once a week, and the court officer made sure we knew it. He said she liked to keep her juries happy.

        Matt in FL in reply to Milhouse. | July 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm

        Anybody hear what their special lunch was on Wednesday? I’m curious.

        If I had been on the jury, I’d have been voting for 4Rivers. You central Floridians now what I’m talking about.

    fogflyer in reply to DuraMater. | July 3, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    If that is true, surely it must just be a trip to watch the fireworks.
    I can’t imagine they would allow the jury to mingle with the crowd in any way. That would be insane.

    Milhouse in reply to DuraMater. | July 4, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Don’t forget that they’re being kept almost as prisoners, away from their families. The last thing Zim wants is for them to be pissed off and take it out on him.

I wonder every day why the defense drags everything out so long. It’s a mystery to me.

Humphreys Executor | July 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm

The defense asked the judge to order Crump be deposed on the 4th. That would solve everyone’s problem. She just ignored the request. Hard to believe.

Earlier today someone on mid-day update by Andrew, sorry I don’t remember who, mentioned that if judge denies a defense request for a directed verdict that it could be perceived by jurors that the state has a good case, if she denies it. My question, if defense asks for a directed verdict isn’t it before the jurors are seated? Also Jeralyn at Talk Left wrote that after the prosecution has rested it’s case the defense has 2 options 1) ask the court for a motion to dismiss the charges based on the stand your ground (immunity) statute and 2) a motion for judgment of acquittal, arguing the state had not made a sufficient case to go to the jury. Link to her article: Does anyone know if these would take place in front of jurors and is she correct about the 2 potential motions. Thanx. I would like to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July!! and thanx to Mr Andrew Branca for all his hard work keeping us all informed.

    If Jeralyn wrote that there are two potential motions, I am confident that she researched before she wrote. Very smart lady and I understand that she is a top-notch defense lawyer – even if she is a liberal.

      styro1 in reply to gad-fly. | July 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Well it read as if wasn’t absolutely sure herself if thats the law in Florida, if thats the procedure or not.

      Jeralyn knows her stuff, and on court procedure way better than I do. I would definitely defer to her expertise there.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    fogflyer in reply to styro1. | July 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Yeah, I wrote the earlier comment.
    I don’t know if it takes place in front of the jury or not, which is why I was asking the question. Hopefully someone will let us know.

    mwsomerset in reply to styro1. | July 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I’m not a lawyer, but all the other motions have been out of earshot of the jurors so I would think this one would be as well.

    rantbot in reply to styro1. | July 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    That item is speculation from four months ago. It seems to be seriously obsolete.

      Matt in FL in reply to rantbot. | July 4, 2013 at 12:32 am

      While some of it is out of date, the parts about what options are available to the defense and when are still completely accurate, to the best of my knowledge. Except for when it talks about filing them pre-trial, of course. But the mid-trial and post-trial options are still there.

Andrew – thank you for all your insightful reporting. A couple of observations from outside of the court room… The MSM take. My observations from the first week. No one from the major networks there until the prosecution’s case is falling apart… all of a sudden Ashlie Banfield and the third world media shows up to bolster the TM family story. Totally obvious they had to come back to totally destroy George Zimmerman. It is really heating up in the MSM so they make sure they convict him. Unbelievable that these hacks thought they had already convicted him, never showed up for the first week and now that the prosecution’s case is falling apart (as it should) that the MSM is now injecting their prejudice back into the case. This man will never receive a fair trial in this country as long as the MSM is alive in this country! Sickening, considering this all falls during the 4th of July! Our founders must be rolling in their graves.

    Granny55 in reply to Granny55. | July 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    And if this judge could stop the trial and announce his guilt right now – she would do it in a heartbeat regardless of the evidence. Shameful!!!

    Believe it or not, the only knowledge I have of the MSM coverage of the trial is what you people tell me. From about 5:30AM until about 9:30PM, I’m covering this trial one way or another, and have not time for MSM–haven’t seen or heard a word of it.

    Having said that, I know they are all a bunch of liars in the bag for the progressive fascists, so I rarely give them the time of day regardless. 🙂

    Glad you folks are enjoying the coverage–don’t forget the best way to say thank you ( 🙂

    I’m also glad tomorrow is July 4th, birthday of the greatest goddamn country ever to exist on the face of the earth (yes, even now, in its relatively debilitated state). It’s my practice to take very one of my military arms to the range and give them a reasonable workout–Garand , AR, 1911, everything. I encourage you all to do the same. We are a country borne of military resistance to tyranny, let’s not forget it.

    I will not have the whole day off, however, as I’ll be writing up some forward-looking analysis of the remainder of the trial–if I can think of anything to say, that is. Keep you eyes open for it, probably mid-afternoon.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Granny55 in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      You Are A Great American!!!! No matter what you do on July 4th. You are my hero! Keep up the good fight for the truth. Not only for GZ but for those of us, the “little people” whose voices are never heard. God Bless You Andrew!

      Granny55 in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Andrew: The MSM ignored the first week because they thought their previous reporting had already convicted him. Then the first week of the trial started. The MSM was not present. When the prosecution’s case started unraveling, with the revelations of the facts – guess who showed up? We, the people, are not stupid! The MSM is CORRUPT!!!

      ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBS – Eff You! We have the facts and the defense has not even started their case!

      Granny55 in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      You have been so focused on the trial that you can’t see the obvious. I have followed LI for quite some time so when the Prof told us you would be blogging the trial – of course – I followed you. But I also followed other coverage. Those news outlets that convicted GZ from day one – major news outlets – were not blogging or reporting on this trial until after the first week. When it was apparent that the state’s case was falling apart – GUESS WHAT??? Enter the MSM again! Convict that White Hispanic Bastard!!! And guess who showed up after a week. Ashleigh Banfield and her ilk!!! She is a major, white, Canadian racist against White Hispanic US citizens!!!

      Cowboy Curtis in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      I’d been debating for nigh a week over whether or not to buy a legal book from a Godless yankee, and then you go and say this: “I know they are all a bunch of liars in the bag for the progressive fascists.” And then I find out you’re a M1 and 1911 lover.

      Well, if you ever come to visit Central Florida, you’ve got a M1 fan to go shooting with on a sprawling cattle ranch just outside Orlando. Hell, I might even let you shoot my never issued HRA Garand. Are you sure you’re not from the South? I mean, have DNA tests been done? Branca is starting to sound a bit Mississippi-ish to me.

        Granny55 in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | July 3, 2013 at 9:43 pm

        Think you having taking it up the ya know what….

        I’ll take you up on that, my folks just moved to St. Sebastian, I’m sure I’ll take a ride down there pretty soon–it’ll be getting cold up here in New England soon enough if memory serves me correctly.

        As for the HRA, I’ll gladly put some rounds through it–haven’t turned down the offer to shoot a fine gun since I was old enough to balance one on a shooting bag.

        As for Godless, well, never had a proper religious upbringing, but my wife kind of makes up for that, as for so much else. She even gets me to church once in a while, when I’m in the mood to hear some bad singing. 🙂

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Cowboy Curtis in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 10:12 pm

          I haven’t done it in a while, but I used to send the professor tips, so he will probably (maybe) still have my email address on his server. I’ll pass my contact info on to him via the old LI contact email, and he can pass it on to you (let me know if you get it- if not, we’ll figure something out). Give me a shout, and we’ll work something out. Matt in FL will be welcome as well, just so long as he brings a bottle of Johnnie Walker black.

          Heck, I might even break out the Walker Colt. I can tell you, she’s a crowd pleaser.

          Disregard my Corey inquiry, I got your tweet. Squirrel? I should have guessed with the “citizen” grand jury issue.

        Matt in FL in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | July 3, 2013 at 9:57 pm

        {Cough} I live in Orlando {Cough} I like guns {Cough}


      legacyrepublican in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      I like how you cross your Ts and dot your Is sir! 😎

      AZ_Langer in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      It seems there’s a lot more we agree about than I’d had time to read. You’re like a breath of Hoppe’s No. 9.

      I look forward to reading your book.

      have a great partial 4th. And is there anything to this indictment of Corey?

        Matt in FL in reply to EBL. | July 3, 2013 at 10:36 pm

        “Indicted by a citizens’ grand jury” has as much meaning as “I took a poll at the bar tonight.”

        Neo in reply to EBL. | July 4, 2013 at 2:38 am

        The George Zimmerman defense has recently gotten a lucky break. Angela Corey, Florida’s state attorney and the prosecutor against Zimmerman, has been indicted by a citizens’ grand jury for allegedly falsifying an arrest warrant and the complaint that led to Zimmerman being charged with the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin.

        The indictment accuses Corey of allegedly withholding photographs of Zimmerman’s head after the incident. Also, Corey allegedly falsely signed an arrest warrant under oath without including the pictures as evidence. Critics claim that Corey rushed the arrest warrant through because activists were rallying around the Trayvon Martin shooting, demanding that Zimmerman be charged with murder. Critics argue that Corey was attempting to secure a reelection with the support of the activists.

      Well you’ve done a great job. Sadly, I’ve seen people outside the bubble who still claim Zimmerman shouldn’t have followed Martin, that he was a karate expert, that he wasn’t being beaten and was on top and that he’s racist wanna be cop.

      That is the greatest harm to his cause right now. Worse, the jury is being biased by comments from the police chief and the mayor saying they are getting ready for race riots. They may convict out of fear. My ex-partner suggested he might get convicted of discharging a firearm within city limits just to make someone happy!

      As a former detective in Florida, I can only say this is the first time I’ve seen a prosecutor put on a case because of political pressure. I’m ashamed of Scott for blinking and find the personality types like Corey (and Lois Lerner comes to mind as another) who are willing to destroy an innocent man on the orders of their political boss.

      That said, if the prosecutor simply states in his closing argument that HE is now convinced Zimmerman didn’t do it, I’d not be surprised! He would be joining all his state witnesses.

      And talk about being afraid and bending over backwards, that judge is a joke. She oozes fear of retaliation.


        kentuckyliz in reply to archer52. | July 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm

        If GZ is acquitted, the governor’s in a bad spot. The TM true believers will be furious and the self defense believers are already angry about this show trial. The gov thought he was pacifying the race monger protestors…but was really crawling out on a limb and sawing. A grand jury could have solved this problem easily, quickly, cheaply. Nah…the low information voters will forget about it by then. When is the next FL gubernatorial nominations/election?

          stella dallas in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 11:44 pm

          The governor is in a bad spot? So sad. NOT

          kentuckyliz in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

          Stella, I don’t say the gov will be in a bad spot as if I’m sympathetic to his plight. I mean it as in he will rue the day. He hasn’t made anyone happy and made lots of people more angry. You can’t please everybody; you shouldn’t piss off everybody.

        DuraMater in reply to archer52. | July 4, 2013 at 12:18 am

        Hey, Archer. I am inclined to cite Pam Bondi here as she was the one who recommended Cory and was likely the conduit through which the gov’na was placed on notice by the full weight of the Racial Grievance Industrial Complex (which as we all know extends all the way to 1600 Penn. Ave).

        Scott has stood up to Washington before, more than once or twice. This time he apparently deferred to his legal advisers & top dog legal beagle, Bondi. She has become another serious disappointment to this voting conservative.

      VetHusbandFather in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm

      All I can say is that I’m glad the jury isn’t watching the MSM either. It would tragically reduce the odds that justice would be done.

      kentuckyliz in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Question for trial attorneys: when you have a high profile case like this, being covered in the media (local and/or national), and a sequestered jury, do you tune out the media so that you can focus on just what information the jury is receiving? That way you don’t think they have seen/heard something that’s in the media but not the trial. (The differences are so vast in this trial’s case and there is so much spin and tendentious coverage/commentary.)

I just wanted to say that for the past week I keep seeing the same thing all over the blogosphere – people saying “the place to go for news and analysis of the George Zimmerman trial is Legal Insurrection”.

Great job, Andrew.

VetHusbandFather | July 3, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Maybe the judge wanted the State to rest by today so she could dismiss the case on lack of evidence and let the Jury go home for the 4th. Nah, I doubt she cares. But how disappointing would it be to be sequestered for the 4th only to have the case dismissed on the 5th?

Given the prosecution’s notion that Zimmerman’s injuries were not life threatening and thereby negating his claim of fearing for his life, does anyone else think that the defense should bring up Natasha Richardson during closing?

The coverage of this trial has been appalling, excepting LI of course. It really makes one wonder if the talking heads actually believe the nonsense they’re spewing or if it’s just a cynical ploy to boost ratings.

    James IIa in reply to jmare. | July 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    It’s shame that the defense hasn’t found someone who a) is an expert on neurological trauma and b) was rendered quadriplegic by one blow to the head.

      myveryownpointofview in reply to James IIa. | July 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      My oldest son was in a car accident, a bad one. He had one bump on his head and was disoriented for a few days.

      It turned out he had mild permanent brain damage. Logic, short term memory mainly. He changed forever.

      There is head injury, and there is head INJURY. The invisible injury.

        kentuckyliz in reply to myveryownpointofview. | July 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm

        I saw a fight where a guy was killed on concrete faster than GZ’s beating. Punching someone with their head on concrete is dangerous and life threatening…do you think those nurse, security, and DV Vic jurors know that? I trust that they do.

      jmare in reply to James IIa. | July 3, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      That’s what I’m saying, the defense should bring up high-profile cases where people have died from “bumps on the head” to show that Zimmerman’s injures were in fact life threatening, even if you disregard the fact the Zimmerman stated that he didn’t shoot until Martin went for the gun.

        myveryownpointofview in reply to jmare. | July 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm

        If he were to contact a GOOD head injury association, they can help him out. Most cities have them.

        It might be more helpful to profile cases of people who have lost their logic skills, memory, anger control, etc. Shows that although some do die from even one hit, even people who live after “mild” head trauma can suffer permanent and devastating effects.

        It’s heartbreaking.

          I agree that not every brain injury leads to death and it is tragic. I was suggesting focusing on fatal brain injuries resulting from relatively, at least in appearance, minor traumas since the State is trying desperately to imply actually receiving a life threatening injury as the only justification to use deadly force in self defense.

      Pauldd in reply to James IIa. | July 3, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      I understand that the defense has a world class forensic medical expert on the witness list.

        VetHusbandFather in reply to Pauldd. | July 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm

        So true, it’s easy to forget that the defense hasn’t called a single witness yet.

      JAL in reply to James IIa. | July 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      We don’t know what the defense has planned, do we?

        No, we don’t know.

        We can, however, take a reasonable guess, and I plan to do that in a blog post here tomorrow.

        But, frankly, O’Mara and West are playing this game an extra dimension beyond my ability to follow, so my speculation will be just that.

        I mean, the way O’Mara suckered the State into throwing him “into the briar patch” with those two professors today–pretending he was so afraid of their testimony, then one Professor greet George Zimmerman by first name in the court room (in front of the jury) and describes him as one of his best students to whom he gave a grade of “A”, and the other professor over Skype says Zimmerman’s career goal was to be a State prosecutor–in other words, a law enforcement job with NONE of the direct-contact a “cop wannabe” would be desperately seeking–was just brilliant.

        BDLR, Mantei, and Guy though they were going to take O’Mara’s lunch money, and he sent them home in a paper bag. Ouchie. Then West closed in with the delaying action to the bell.

        This prosecution team is playing high school football against NFL players in their prime. That’s why it’s so ugly out there.

        Frankly, what O’Mara and West are doing to this prosecution team probably ought to be considered a felony of the sexual variety.

        But we as a nation chose an adversarial system, thank God, and hopefully it will keep this particular innocent man out of jail.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          pomeroyjohn in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 12:44 am

          I have always heard that a good lawyer doesn’t ask a witness a question that the lawyer doesn;t already know the answer to. Sounds and looks like BDLR has forgotten this.

          Walker Evans in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 1:40 am

          I’d like to see the defense call Massad Ayoob as an expert witness. He could demolish all of the inappropriate Stand Your Ground talk and focus on the realities of self defense in a situation where a person has legitimate reason to fear death or grievous bodily harm, which is all that’s needed for justifiable use of deadly force.

          The prosecution seems to be saying that a person has to be at Death’s door before they can take positive defensive action. For myself, as a military retiree, CCL holder, and self-evaluated “reasonable person”, if someone years younger than me jumps me and begins to pummel my head into a concrete slab, I am going to consider that a “preponderance of force” situation and shoot my attacker until he is no longer able to continue the attack! And if I have the opportunity, the attack won’t happen, as there is no requirement to be able to show bruises, abrasions, or any marks at all to prove I was defending myself!

          The prosecution in this case is trying to write new trial law on-the-fly, as it were, ignoring the actual laws that are on the books … and making themselves appear to be Pinocchio’s asses in the process.

          Wilburdog in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 10:22 am

          “Frankly, what O’Mara and West are doing to this prosecution team probably ought to be considered a felony of the sexual variety.” AB

          That may be the best of your often brilliant comments.

    I did watch Tingles Matthews last night (I had a few in my to be able to do so) and I swear he was backpeddling so as not to look like a bigger fool when an acquittal comes. He is genuinely puzzled why the case is not going better for the prosecution.

      VetHusbandFather in reply to EBL. | July 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      An incompetent prosecution will be just as popular of an excuse as a racist jury in the coming days.

        kentuckyliz in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm

        Saw commentators and tweeters accusing the prosecution of throwing the case, of being in cahoots with the defense. Laughable. Except not funny because of serious consequences.

          stella dallas in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 11:50 pm

          Not laughable for the prosecution. They’ll be blamed when GZ is found innocent.

          VetHusbandFather in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 4, 2013 at 12:27 am

          Of course they’ll be blamed, why else would Corey have been such a ghost during such a high profile trial. You almost feel bad for BDLR, Guy and Mantei that they are too oblivious to notice they are playing the part of patsy. Almost.

        Exiliado in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 4, 2013 at 7:37 am

        We have all laughed at the apparent incompetence of the prosecutors.

        I doubt they are actually THAT incompetent though. Their main problem is that they simply don’t have a case. They have no evidence of any kind to support their case, so they are resorting to character assassination and appeal to emotions. Then they are throwing in a bunch of witnesses in the hope of “fishing” something.

        What I think is that more than incompetent I would called them UNETHICAL and UNSCRUPULOUS. For that reason, like I said before, I hope they are ALL disbarred. That will help me keep the faith on our justice system.

    Sanddog in reply to jmare. | July 3, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I almost laughed when that hack ME from Jacksonville described Zimmerman’s injuries as “insignificant”. If someone were pounding her head into the ground, would she feel that was an insignificant event, not worthy of even raising her hands to defend herself?

      Wilburdog in reply to Sanddog. | July 4, 2013 at 10:26 am

      ME’s brain could not be damaged by pounding into concrete. Can’t damage what isn’t there.

Orwell would be flabbergasted.

Here we have the state obfuscating justice, using legal tricks to hide evidence, and flat-out lying about the facts of a case.

It isn’t incompetence. It’s criminal.

It would be one thing if Zimmerman really was a racist slime ball. Then it would just be despicable and wrong. But Zimmerman is close to being a hero. Here is a guy who basically put his life at risk to protect his neighbors. And while doing it, he bent over backwards to dot the i’s and cross the t’s in an effort to do everything in a legally correct way. In doing it, he was assaulted, beaten, and had his life threatened. Thank God he had the foresight to arm himself and the courage to use his weapon when he did. They should make a movie about him. He should be a cartoon hero rather than the NBA/NFL thugs that 10 year old gangtas want to become.

Instead, he is the scourge of the mob. His best outcome is to be allowed to live a life on the run. If he is lucky enough to escape jail, he will never live a normal life again; his odds of living to 70 are probably a fraction of an average American’s.

Nobody could have foreseen what this country has become. It’s beyond the wildest dreams of the vile Marxist architects who set out to destroy America decades ago. Even if Zimmerman is found guilty, the fact that this show trial was allowed to be held is a travesty.

    inspectorudy in reply to donmc. | July 3, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    A very insightful article about GZ. I still cannot believe that our stupid president made the remarks he made about TM right after he was killed. He recently did the same thing with some issue in the military which many lawyers have stated could be considered the CIC meddling in legal affairs that he is in direct charge of. It is no coincidence that Judge Nelson is acting the same way. No one on the left has any respect for any of our laws any longer. One only has to look at Holder to see what I mean.

    glenn1946 in reply to donmc. | July 4, 2013 at 12:16 am

    I have to say I too admire Zimmerman for his commitment to his neighbours, all voluntarily. I wonder how often the haters consider that if Zimmerman had not shot Martin then there is a good chance Zimm would be dead or seriously injured and it would be lil Trayvon in the dock facing a murder 1 or 2 charge and life sentence, I think he’d be too young to fry. Either way Sabrina and Tracy were going to lose their son, tho from all accounts he was lost to them anyway. Very sad that all these adults can’t bring up their children to lead happy productive lives.

      VetHusbandFather in reply to glenn1946. | July 4, 2013 at 12:31 am

      Would he be in the duck for murder 1 or 2 though? After all there wasn’t any of his DNA found on GZ, and certainly none of the ‘witnesses’ would have been able to witness him. It’s more likely that he would have gotten away with murder, and felt bolstered to do it again next time someone caught him in the act.

        VetHusbandFather in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 4, 2013 at 12:32 am

        should have said: *would have been able to ID him*

          glenn1946 in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm

          I like to play Devil’s Advocate and imagine what Trayvon’s defense would be if he had seriously injured Zimmerman who lay there unconscious/dead/bleeding, what would Trayvon say? — I saw this white guy driving & then watching me loitering, I approached him and I circled his car, then I moved away in a hurry. A few minutes later I saw him walking and I believed he was following me, so I punched him in the face and smashed his head on the concrete— .

          Seriously tho, one of the many things that concerns me about this case is that it will give pause to anyone considering fighting off an aggressor in certain situations. If Zimmerman can be accused of murder for defending himself, that split second pause before we take a shot at an aggressor might just cost us our or someone elses life. I am of the firm belief that this case is being used as a means to temper the use of conceal carry and to give some aggressive people more leeway when it comes to being prosecuted for criminal behavior. Don’t forget the DOJ – who refused to prosecute the New Black Panther’s intimidation of voters, got involved in this with ‘peacemakers’ and also investigating all the evidence to take appropriate action at a later date.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to donmc. | July 4, 2013 at 3:42 am

    IN A SANE WORLD, George Zimmerman would be a hero.

    With a sane media, not one owned and bent by nefarious leftists and profiteers, the truth about this case (and about Obama) would be covered honestly.

    Fact is, riots would give them something big to cover in a non-election year.

    The racists: Al Sharpton, Crump, Holder and Obama, and the NBPP have set the media up for raking in LOTSA $$$ if there are riots.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to donmc. | July 4, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I think that what GZ and wife may need to do is move into deep red America. Esp., I am thinking some place like Utah, where he really is almost a hero, and the sense of community is strong. Parts of Texas might work well, esp. given his Hispanic background. Stay out of Houston and Dallas though.

      Bettijo in reply to Bruce Hayden. | July 4, 2013 at 10:00 am

      I am afraid he might have to leave the country. Remember, there is already a bounty on his head. My heart goes out to George Zimmerman and his family. God keep them safe.

        kentuckyliz in reply to Bettijo. | July 4, 2013 at 11:51 am

        I am sure he and his family could live comfortably where I live–Appalachian eastern Kentucky. Very pro gun, pro self defense, and these well-armed hillbillies wouldn’t let a mob of racemongers hunt him down. If GZ lived at the head of a holler, the mob wouldn’t make it far up the holler.

    Joseph Farnsworth in reply to donmc. | July 4, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Even if he was a racist slime ball, it is wrong, as you say. Even if he had said “he’s black” without him actually just responding to the dispatcher’s question (as artfully and mendaciously edited OUT by the Media), even if he got out of his car in his own neighborhood, even if he took a college course which discussed “stand your ground”, even, even, even. He did not commit Second Degree Murder. Period.

The Orlando Business Journal reported on July 2 that “Zimmerman Prosecutor Angela Corey Criminally Indicted By Citizens’ Grand Jury For Allegedly Falsifying Arrest Warrant And Complaint”

    Matt in FL in reply to lottem. | July 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    I really wish people would stop linking to that story that means absolutely nothing. “Indicted by a citizens’ grand jury” has as much meaning as “I took a poll at the bar tonight.”

    Jazzizhep in reply to lottem. | July 3, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    they have about as much power as the voters of cali

Hi, everybody!

I’ve been lurking here since last Tuesday but registered today just so I could post a very hearty “THANK YOU!!” To Andrew and crew for your truly awesome daily (or 2X daily) summaries! Even though I’m watching/listening all day it still helps to get insightful, knowledgeable digests with legal perspectives not driven by the on-screen folx who, like you said the other day, have a vested interest in preserving their media product and making things sometimes appear to be a “close tie” between sides when it’s clearly not…

Almost all commenters here are thoughtful and helpful as well, with only a couple of trolls (that I’ve noticed, anyway, and hey- what would any forum be without them, too?) So big props to the community you’ve established here, as well. Lots of sharp wits around here….

Cheers, everybody. See you around.

    Harperman in reply to Hodor. | July 3, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    I would like to add my appreciation not only to Andrew but to the insightful people commenting here.
    My favorite local newspaper recently changed their commenting format. They claim it was to “promote Civility” (Obviously a liberal rag). Really the purpose for the change was to suppress debate and it was quite successful.
    I have been searching for a while for a place to debate. Unfortunately this is not it. As a layman in legal matters I have little place commenting on a site like this. Give me a good Second Amendment debate and I am in my element. Debate on legal niceties and I am out of my element. However I have learned much here from Andrew and many of the people commenting and I thank you all.
    I was going to buy Andrew’s book but just learned that a close friend, a lady who I am training in self defensive combat shooting, has bought a copy for me. Lucky me!
    Anyway, thank you Andrew and thank all the highly educated and brilliant people who have educated me here.

      janna in reply to Harperman. | July 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      Hello All!
      I agree with all Harperman has said! But I go one better. I LOVE ANDREW for his brilliant mind and this blog. I have been reading since day one of the trial and had to comment. Harperman is, as most of you are, more articulate than I am …so I highjacked his comment!
      Keep up the good work all of you.
      GOD BLESS AMERICA and have a great 4th of July.

        kentuckyliz in reply to janna. | July 3, 2013 at 11:27 pm

        Me three (or four)….and I love his sense of humor in his tweets. LOL literally. Bueller? Smart and funny…oh I better watch it cuz I could go all Crushy Crusherson.

        Harperman in reply to janna. | July 4, 2013 at 12:28 am

        With a response like that you are welcome to hijack my comments all you want.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to Hodor. | July 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm


    Welcome, and awesome name by the way.

I not tech savvy but wish I could post a picture of my white hispanic grandson! He is adorable!

Looks to me like GZ is a victim twice, once to felonious assault from TM and once to bigotry and racism from ??? if he can’t walk from this because of those “external forces” Serino was talking about.

The judge was probably REALLY angry at West for getting him to explain the law, and there was nothing she could do about it.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to edbarbar. | July 3, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Yup once the prosecution brings in GZs knowledge of self defense from his college courses it becomes really hard for the judge to keep an explanation of self defense law out of the trial.

It wasn’t asked or stated in that exchange about the Crump deposition, but I wonder how many times the defense has tried to schedule that deposition since the Appeals Court ruling came down. Once? Twice? Ten times?

If they haven’t tried at all, or only once since the ruling, then I don’t have a lot of sympathy for them. However, if they’ve tried a half dozen times and been rebuffed every time for a month, I think they should have let the judge know that. Maaaaybe it would have made some difference.

I’m still gobsmacked at the tone that Judge Nelson used during that exchange. She seemed unsure, and covered it with bluster. She did not speak with “the dignity of the Court,” she sounded petulant and angry. Near the close of the discussion, around 7:00, she was clearly done, and West kept talking, and she just kinda sat on the bench looking uncomfortable. She certainly did not appear in control of the courtroom at that point. Finally, after about thirty seconds of flailing about, she spoke up, but her tone was still schoolmarmish, still not dignified or engendering respect. Gobsmacked.

    caambers in reply to Matt in FL. | July 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    She probably has it out for the Defense because they went over her head to get permission for that deposition. As I understand it, the court let her know in no uncertain terms, quietly of course, that they would be paying close attention to this trial from then on. You know that has to chap her buttocks.


      The defense has several times appealed Nelson’s rulings to her bosses, the 5th District Court of Appeals, and won each time.

      For a Judge, that’s about as close to sheer humiliation as one can get.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        caambers in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm

        I hate to say it (but I will anyway because it’s what I doooooo!) that many women hold grudges. I’ve seen it too many times and I think it’s a sign of insecurity and plain meanness. But people like this judge, who has obviously attained a bit of power, probably takes exception to not only having her rulings and by extension her power, questioned…especially in such a public way. Therefore, I’m sure every time the defense makes an objection or has an issue with something hinky the state is doing she will do what she can to stick it to them. Grudges are nasty things to hold on to.

          stella dallas in reply to caambers. | July 4, 2013 at 9:53 am

          Do you think it is appropriate to make a statement like that, especially here? Women make up half the population. Would you make similar blanket statements about blacks, Poles, Jews?

        cjharrispretzer in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm

        You would think the Judge would be on notice after the previous Appellate reversals that the Defense is not going to just lay down and take her crap.

      Matt in FL in reply to caambers. | July 3, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      It might chap her buttocks, as you said, but you’d think it would also make her more… circumspect in her biases.

        caambers in reply to Matt in FL. | July 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm

        Weak-minded people often can’t control themselves. Plus, the more she does it, the easier it is to continue. That’ll make it all the more stunning when she really crosses the line and gets her hand slapped.

    sdharms in reply to Matt in FL. | July 3, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I have had only limited experience in court, but the three judges I have encountered ALL covered up error, incompetence and not knowing the law with bluster, rudeness, and raised voices. One YELLED AT MY SISTER from the bench, thinking she was me and I was supposed to be out of the court because I was a witness. Another LECTURED the plaintiff with out knowing ONE FACT of what she was talking about. The third was very kindly handed a copy of the Texas law from a law book when she raised her voice and asked why is this in my court, this should be in Wharton County! My attorney showed her the law said it should be right where it was in her court.

      punditius in reply to sdharms. | July 4, 2013 at 1:02 am

      My experience was in an Article I trial court – US Tax Court – over several decades, and my experience is that your observation is correct. Good judges often are abrupt, but they are rarely intemperate.

Is there any literature online about how a Kel Tec PF9 would perform if out of battery?

    I presume that the Kel-Tec is manufactured to adequate levels of quality that it WILL NOT fire out of battery. If you have never seen a firearm fire out of battery, trust me, it’s not a pleasant experience.

    Modern handguns operating without defects have disconnectors and/or other features to prevent an out-of-batter discharge.

    What DOES tend to happen with semi-autos if you press them into something hard is that they DO go out of battery and then they DO NOT fire. Not a good thing if you really, really need it to fire.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      TJP1982 in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      Thank you. Do you believe, or is there anyone available that the defense could call to testify to such?

        If the gun tended to fire out of battery the company would long ago be out of business. A gun that fires out of battery when you fire it is like a car that catches fire when you drive it. If it tended to happen, everyone would know about it.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      DuraMater in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 12:46 am

      I remember reading a few years back some criticisms that this firearm had some issues with jamming. I presume the manufacturer addressed that to public satisfaction as it still seems to be a popular concealed carry item.

      Sanddog in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 1:34 am

      I actually have two Kel-Tec’s. A P-11 and a SU-16C. The P-11 I bought years ago because at the time it was the smallest 9mm on the market. Other than a pretty horrific trigger pull, it’s a good, reliable firearm. I’ve never had a single problem with either Kel-Tec. I have had two students who had problems with the PF9 but they were operator issues, not mechanical issues. When you’re shooting a small firearm, there’s not a lot of margin for error when it comes to a good grip.

Huevos, huevos, my kingdom for my huevos!

What makes you think the defense doesn’t have medical experts of considerably more competence than the State’s “experts” ready, able, and willing to testify to that?

After all, the defense hasn’t had the opportunity to call their witnesses yet. . . .

    caambers in reply to Narniaman. | July 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I’m looking forward to the Defense bringing on a doctor who specializes in TBI. maybe some ER docs too for good measure. Should be fun to watch them destroy the BS narrative that George’s injuries were insignificant at the time and will never be a problem.

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew …

It pains me to say this about anybody, but your posts are starting to read like something from The Guardian. I refer to the way your typos actually reverse the meanings of too many of your sentences. For instance, did you really mean to say, “Her testimony will be the last desperate attempt of State prosecutor’s [sic] to use a grieving mother’s tears to convince the jury to return the guilty verdict that the facts in evidence have been able to justify”? Shouldn’t there be a negative in there somewhere? Something like, “…that the facts in evidence have been UNable to justify”?

Readers who are sufficiently mature (ahem, old) may recall that The Guardian was famous for interchanging “now” and “not” on nearly every damn occasion when it was possible to do so, making the ol’ British Pravda even more incomprehensible than necessary.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to rantbot. | July 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Too much time on your hands? We understand what Andrew is saying, even with a couple errors here and there. This is a blog site with somebody putting out volumes of information and opinion work in a very short time, not a so-called professionally published newssite with proofreaders, etc.. Andrew’s reportage is presented in an informal “copy” format.

      Speaking of too much time on your hands .. you figure he can’t handle it himself without an assist from the peanut gallery?

        jayjerome66 in reply to rantbot. | July 4, 2013 at 1:23 am

        Like a tavern where people gather to converse, if someone directs a stupid comment at a well respected member of the group it’s likely and appropriate others will respond to the goofball making the uncalled for remark. So chill out dude, have a beer and be more sociable.

      Without a few errors the Grammar Nazis, Punctuation Fanatics and Spelling Fascists would have nothing to complain about.

        kringeesmom in reply to myiq2xu. | July 4, 2013 at 7:59 am

        It sounds like you have spent too much time talking to my daughter. I correct her grammar and spelling at every opportunity. I’m trying hard to make her a great writer.

        So far so good, as she has quickly grasped the there, their, and they’re conundrum. She’s also become quite the good natural speller.

        She’s 10 so I am allowed. I may even give her a pass or two for just typing faster than her brain.

    Thanks for pointing out the type, that’s always appreciated.

    As for the rest, *yawn*

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      There, took me about a minute to fix “my” problem. Good luck spending the rest of your life to fix “yours”.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Ha, ha, just noticed–it’s not every day one makes a typo out of “typo” (managed to type “type” instead).

      More grist for the rantbot mill, I guess. 🙂

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Voluble in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 1:14 am

        I particularly hate when I make a typo whilst calling someone out for stupidity. Not that I would let something like that stop me ;o)

        I have noticed that since I hit middle age, and my eyes have started to weaken, my spelling seems to have deteriorated. I guess it is harder to catch the errors now.

          Indeed, I have been struggling with exactly that problem recently. My eye doctor warned me I’d be picking up some cheap reading glasses at CVS soon. I guess today’s the day.

          Ouch. 🙁

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Narcissa in reply to rantbot. | July 4, 2013 at 3:08 am

    Wow. Do you not grasp the incredible job that this man is doing by way of informing the public-which is accomplished all by of listening to every nuance of an entire days testimony, analyzing it, and sticking to a publishing deadline? I guess not, or you surely would not focus on few navigable typos!

    Andrew is providing an invaluable (and, sadly, unique) service for which you should express gratitude, not criticism as to whether a few errors make him sound like a writer from The Guardian, of all places! And, I say that as a self-confessed grammar Nazi who has a hard time reading comments because I find myself picking apart errors.

    Moreover, as a recovering government lawyer who practiced for over a decade in the cesspool that is government politics, I would urge any reader that likes to think for themselves to take advantage of Andrew’s outstanding analysis; his explanation as to what is REALLY going on both in front and behind closed doors is totally spot on. The fact that he is able to make all of it interesting, understandable, and educational to lawyers AND non-lawyers alike should tell you everything you need to know as to his level of talent.

    My late husband was a legendary criminal defense attorney in our state. I was a government schlub that could only try and pick his brain when he would let me, so, let me tell you-Andrew’s post are an incredible gift. I love the way he accurately conveys what (I guaranty you) are also the whisperings of every other top drawer attorney regarding this fiasco of a case. It should be required reading for those who REALLY want to understand defense strategy.

    Finally, the (I guess, predictable) truly bewildered expressions of the MSM pundits when it comes to addressing the atom bombs that keep landing on the state are astonishing. And scary.

    Thank you, Andrew. I love reading the thoughts of those who help define the saying, “There are lawyers, and then, there are LAWYERS”. And, you, Sir, are a LAWYER.

      Well, shucks. *blush*

      Well, truth is it’s all only possible to put my real work on hold and cover this case because of all the generous people buying copies of “Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition”. People who pre-ordered will start receiving their copies in the mail this week. Saturday is our officiel “ship day”, and the end of the 30% pre-order discount and free shipping, so if you’re thinking about buying, you can save your sel $15-$20 (depending on ship) if you do it before Saturday. Just FYI.

      And with that: HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! You still look darned good to these eyes, even at 237 years young. 😉

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Exiliado in reply to rantbot. | July 4, 2013 at 7:55 am

    I caught that mistake, too.

    But I also noticed that it was just a mistake. I know what the intended meaning was. I don’t see why you have to generalize based on one single mistake and try to put down Mr. Branca’s excellent work.

    Do you have any ill feelings? Envy? Jealousy? Are you just trying to be mean? Are you just an idiot?

JackRussellTerrierist | July 3, 2013 at 10:18 pm

You need to contact Bill Jacobson or his IT peope NOW and get your post taken down. A 3-second Google search (and I won’t post the search string I used) brought up multiple articles on your subject. The very first one includes your name and photo.

There are desperate, vicious people out there who hate GZ and his supporters. They are likely to troll this site trying to find people to harass or even contact and victimize. They can locate you in five minutes.

DO IT NOW and change your user name.

    cjharrispretzer in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | July 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    I would think I’m in no more danger than Andrew Branca himself, or other GZ supporters whose names are known. Plus, I carry concealed.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to cjharrispretzer. | July 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      Suit yourself.

      caambers in reply to cjharrispretzer. | July 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      Just be careful. A cursory gander at some of the postings on the Traybot sites will prove they are batcrap crazy. And not the garden variety either.

        cjharrispretzer in reply to caambers. | July 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm

        After thinking about it, and the fact that I do have enough drama in my life, I did send an email request to Professor Jacobson to delete my post. Hope he’s not “off” for the Holiday….

      In fairness, I’m very rarely unarmed. If you don’t have the same defensive options, it’s worth some consideration.

      Having said that, I don’t seriously expect any trouble from these people. Like little dogs, they bark a lot, but they’re not actually willing to get bit.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        cjharrispretzer in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        I am always armed as well. Just how I have to live now.

          Narniaman in reply to cjharrispretzer. | July 3, 2013 at 11:41 pm

          Prayers that if you ever do have to use your firearm, it will only be in a behavior modification mode and that you won’t have to ever use it in the hollow point kinetic energy mode. . . . .

        Jazzizhep in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 12:29 am

        I hope, as with anybody, you never need to use you weapon. Is there ANY doubt your book would be used to incriminate you regarding a depraved mind. You not only wanted to be a lawyer, you ARE a lawyer, so you have years of experience crafting what you would say if found in similar circumstances. Asuuming, of course, your attacker was a member of the protected class, e.g. anyone non-white*.

        *white/hispanic only counts in certain circumstances

          Honestly, I just don’t get where this whole notion of “your knowledge of the law will be used to incriminate you” like of nonsense comes from.

          First of all, you are ALREADY ASSUMED to KNOW all the laws. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” The State prosecutors are never going to say, “Oh, you didn’t know? OK, we’ll let it go this time, but NEXT time . . . ” Your knowledge or lack of knowledge of the law will play absolutely zero role in whether they choose to pursue you.

          Second, if you don’t know the law, educate yourself on it, how do you avoid breaking the law and making yourself legally vulnerable and attractive “prey” to aggressive prosecutors When the investigative report lands on their desk and they see that you might have played a role in starting the conflict (e.g., you made a snarky remark to the guy who stole the parking spot you’d been waiting for), or that you’d failed to take advantage of a perfectly safe avenue of retreat (and, yes, this can a role EVEN IN STAND YOUR GROUND states), or that you might have used excessive force (did his tire iron at 15 feet distance really warrant your shooting him?)–well, a fact scenario like that one is like blood in the water to a shark.

          Wouldn’t it be better to have understood up-front the potential legal complications that can arise, in the context of self-defense, from even the most mild seeming confrontation? Or to know that even in a SYG jurisdiction the prosecutor can STILL ARGUE that your failure to retreat, while not a legal duty, still made your use of force unreasonable, and therefore unlawful? To know the Tueller drill, and to have demonstrated that knowledge at the first police interview at which you had counsel at your side?

          Bizarrely, some people believe their ignorance will somehow protect them from a criminal justice system that is geared and incentivized to mercilessly crush people who have made EXACTLY those kinds of mistakes (because those mistakes make your conduct criminal).

          I know these people exist because I’ve gotten letters from some of them–with a prison return address. 🙁

          –Andrew @LawSelfDefense

          Honestly, I just don’t get where this whole notion of “your knowledge of the law will be used to incriminate you” like of nonsense comes from.

          First of all, you are ALREADY ASSUMED to KNOW all the laws. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” The State prosecutors are never going to say, “Oh, you didn’t know? OK, we’ll let it go this time, but NEXT time . . . ” Your knowledge or lack of knowledge of the law will play absolutely zero role in whether they choose to pursue you.

          Second, if you don’t know the law, educate yourself on it, how do you avoid breaking the law and making yourself legally vulnerable and attractive “prey” to aggressive prosecutors When the investigative report lands on their desk and they see that you might have played a role in starting the conflict (e.g., you made a snarky remark to the guy who stole the parking spot you’d been waiting for), or that you’d failed to take advantage of a perfectly safe avenue of retreat (and, yes, this can a role EVEN IN STAND YOUR GROUND states), or that you might have used excessive force (did his tire iron at 15 feet distance really warrant your shooting him?)–well, a fact scenario like that one is like blood in the water to a shark.

          Wouldn’t it be better to have understood up-front the potential legal complications that can arise, in the context of self-defense, from even the most mild seeming confrontation? Or to know that even in a SYG jurisdiction the prosecutor can STILL ARGUE that your failure to retreat, while not a legal duty, still made your use of force unreasonable, and therefore unlawful? To know the Tueller drill, and to have demonstrated that knowledge at the first police interview at which you had counsel at your side?

          Bizarrely, some people believe their ignorance will somehow protect them from a criminal justice system that is geared and incentivized to mercilessly crush people who have made EXACTLY those kinds of mistakes (because those mistakes make your conduct criminal).

          I know these people exist because I’ve gotten letters from some of them–with a prison return address.

          –Andrew @LawSelfDefense

          legacyrepublican in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 10:52 am

          I had a very good driver’s ed teacher who reminded us that we were driving a lethal weapon and that the laws governing how we drove and used our vehicle were there to keep us from using it as a lethal weapon.

          So when I get into a car and start driving, I am always aware that my conduct is important and that even if I don’t know the law, knowing that it governs my conduct with a lethal weapon keeps me out of trouble.

          I observe the same thing about GZ. He had his weapon holstered. If he were to be the outraged and out to kill man that the prosecution says he was. His weapon would have been drawn from the beginning.

          I believe TM attacked him because he knew he could hide in his father’s girlfriend’s house. His conduct was criminal, not GZs.

          Mister Natural in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 11:41 am

          Dear Mr Branca
          You are clearly the go to guy for armed self defense.
          Considering the fact the “the usual suspects” a/k/a the Trayvon Brothers of the ‘Hood Brigades” overt threat to commit mayhem and murder, can you give advice to those of us who legally possess rifles and shotguns. How does the right to self defense kick in when in the midst of a violent riot/protest or what they like to call it ” insurrection ”
          My greatest hope is that the TM brigades do not mess with he folks in FL or any other concealed carry locale

          cjharrispretzer in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm

          Andrew, this notion comes right out of the Zimmerman courtroom. To watch the prosecutors bring in the fact that Zimmerman tried to educate himself, and therefore “knew what to say to make himself look in the best light possible” to the police, and therefore the jury should use that knowledge against him. That’s what the prosecutors attempted to do yesterday, did they not? I think reasonable people would agree with everything you say in your post above, it’s just that we are watching the world shift due to the courtroom antics in FL. It’s truly disconcerting. It’s akin to a scenario where YOU are involved in a self-defense shooting, and the prosecutors pull out your book during your trial and say, “but of course you acted the way you did after the shooting, you knew what to do, you literally wrote the book on the law of self defense.” You would watch your own efforts to be a responsible gun owner used against you.

          The state’s argument would be more plausible if Zimmermans account relied on some subtle nuance of self defense law. In fact, Zimmermans story seems run of the mill. Does it really take a legal knowledge to come up with such a story? What is remarkable about the story is not the way it incorporate legal theory but the way it matches up with the physical evidence,and witness accounts.

          jayjerome66 in reply to cjharrispretzer. | July 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          Hi CJ, happy 4th. (I believe we’ve communicated before, on Donchais Jodi Arias site – the people here are much more emotionally coherent, don’t you think? 🙂 )

          It’s true the view of self-defense, and neighborhood watches, has shifted since the Zimmerman affair has saturated the news.

          Tonight I’m going to be watching the fireworks show at Dodger Stadium, from the hilltop near my house, as I do most years. The acoustical layout of the valley-like basin below helps amplify the sounds of the fireworks, a lot of mini thuds and explosions easy to hear. Last year under cover of those fireworks explosions a gang of ethnic Armenian car thieves broke open the side windows of about 30 vehicles in the surrounding streets in less than a half hour. We know they were an organized Armenian gang from discussions with the police, and media coverage of other criminal activity by Armenian criminals, here in Los Angeles.

          During the car rampage they swiped whatever valuables were available: cd players, cell phones, Bluetooth mobile amplifiers, etc. My car was one of the ones burglarized and vandalized. It cost me $250 to get the window replaced, and another $125 for the stolen hands-free mobile phone mounted speakers.

          After that event, and other similar crime sprees in the neighborhood, some of us decided to form an unofficial neighborhood watch, to keep an eye out on our homes and vehicles. We didn’t organize officially, like Zimmerman did at his residential complex – just shared cell phone numbers, and put the neighborhood branch police station number on our speed dials. Tonight, for the 4th Fireworks show, we had decided to patrol our street in shifts while the fireworks were detonated, and keep an eye out for ‘suspicious’ activity.

          But now, in light of what’s happening in the Zimmerman trial, we’re having second thoughts about doing that. If we see some ‘suspicious characters’ lurking about and confront them, what would happen to us if things went south, as we say here in So. Cal? Even if we’re in the right, if push comes to shove – and we’re not even talking about using a firearm – and something goes wrong, defending ourselves with fists say, we could see a jail-time arrest in our future, with expensive attendant lawyer consultations, not to mention an irate ethnic minority community accusing us of sinister racist motivations.

          At the time I write this we haven’t decided what we’re doing. Most likely, we won’t be patrolling tonight, but just make sure nothing of value remains inside our cars. That way the worse-case scenario would be another couple of hundred bucks in car window repair – way less expensive and nerve-wracking then some Zimmerman-like alternative.

          In the past I’ve always enjoyed watching the fireworks spectacle — now it seems like the joy will be tempered with an undertone of disillusion.

          James IIa in reply to jayjerome66. | July 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm

          An important post, jayjerome66. You show how prosecutors could eliminate the right of self-defense, not by changing the law or even getting convictions, but merely by adopting a policy of charging people who have resorted to self-defense. Contemplating Zimmerman’s fate you might very well think that the penalty for self-defense is equivalent to a few years in prison even if you are found innocent. On that basis many people will abandon this right.

          Uncle Samuel in reply to jayjerome66. | July 4, 2013 at 4:52 pm

          GO – BUT IF YOU DO:

          1. Enforcement – Person most skilled in use of firearms and/or martial arts – armed to the hilt.
          2. Film crew – cell phone and video camera and lights – to video and transmit immediately any action.
          3. Phone crew – to call in any action. Have 911, non-emergency, family member, lawyer and maybe TV News crew numbers on speed dial.

          4. WEAR MATCHING HATS WITH NWP (neighborhood watch patrol) in reflective letters, jackets with NWP in reflective letters on front and back and reflective arm bands.
          5. WEAR bullet proof vests and night vision goggles (just kidding on the goggles).

          Go get’em! Time to stand up to criminals of any ethnicity and ideology.

          Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm

          Post above was in reply to jayjerome66 | July 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 4, 2013 at 5:01 pm

          Jay Jerome 66 – Don’t forget really BIG Jamama Flashlights, there are some that are police and military grade that will scare the heck out of Armenians, maybe not Chechens.

          A can of mace and a couple of screaming noise alarms would also help.

          If you go and film anything, please post it here at LI.

          (Hope this one gets posted in the right place)

          Harperman in reply to jayjerome66. | July 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm

          It seems to me that by deciding not to patrol you have surrendered. You have acknowledged that the criminals have the upper hand and you are helpless against them. You are tacitly admitting that you have no right to defend yourself and/or your property from them.
          When the sheep dog meekly surrenders his teeth because he fears the repercussions of using them he accepts his role as sheep and he invites in the wolves. When you invite in the wolves they will come. Believe me, they will come.

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | July 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm

          Post above was in reply to jayjerome66 | July 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          jayjerome66 in reply to Harperman. | July 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm

          Thanks to all for suggestions above.
          We contacted our local police station and they promised they were assigning extra patrol cars to the area where the break ins occurred last year. The watch captain also offered to let any of us still worried to park our cars adjacent to the station tonight. That’s inconvenient for us, but nice of him to offer the suggestion. The increased police presence has reduced my stress level, so I’ll be filling up my Makers Mark hip flask and heading over to watch the fireworks soon as they start flaring.

          Thanks again, and Happy 4th of July!

          (This may have gotten posted twice – sorry if that happened)

          cjharrispretzer in reply to jayjerome66. | July 4, 2013 at 5:54 pm

          Hi Jay. Nice seeing you here. I couldn’t take the hysterics of CFJ site any longer. I like Donchais, but some of the people on there were too much to take. And I could tell they were all going to buy the “Zimmerman is Guilty, Trayvon was an angel” meme, so I bailed.
          As for tonight, I say, don’t give in to the criminals. At the very least, maybe patrol with video recording equipment that you can supply to the police so they can then go back and do what they need to do?
          Happy 4th whichever way you go. 🙂

        Harperman in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 12:56 am

        I am not rarely unarmed. I am NEVER unarmed. Of course I don’t have to regularly enter government buildings for living either. As a harpist if I was playing for your wedding you might not see the gun but it is there! Usually more than one because I believe in back ups. LOL

        DuraMater in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 1:30 am

        You’re not from around these parts, are you?

        Miami Dade county, particularly the north end (Miami Gardens and its environs) and into so. Broward area are always ready for some smash and burn. Good news, bad news, doesn’t matter.

        And the element in north Dade has been receiving non-stop agitation for over a year from local politicians as well as members of the community in an Historically Black University and the Black Law Student Society at another one of the universities in that area. Adding fuel to their distorted and aggrieved perspective has been local and national media.

        Your minimization of threat is understandable and may be accurate in some areas of the country. But Miami has been down this road before and a wise person is forewarned, and well armed.

          Uncle Samuel in reply to DuraMater. | July 4, 2013 at 8:58 am

          HOPEFULLY, Governor Scott will pull a Rick Perry and have National Guard snipers posted on rooftops ready to shoot to frighten off the gimmes.

          Love this story (posted by Carol Herman) in which firearms owners used this tactic to guard their businesses in Pasadena during the LA burning and looting:

          Exerpt: “…near Pasadena, back in 1991 when the Rodney King Riots broke out. And, the cops weren’t able to contain it for 3 days. Here? Where I live? There are more guns in homes than there are residents. Gun cabinets opened. NO PROBLEMS CAME THIS WAY.

          But up at Walnut, above Colorado, where you have Pasadena City College, sits blocks worth of car repair places. So, I know from one owner of such a place, that the metal frames came down outside their space. And, upstairs, they spent 3 days … with armed friends. Sure, there was a toilet. And, even a kitchen. But it was also possible to barbecue meals on the roof. Where armed people just waited.

          On Day #3 a group from the Black area of Pasadena, was coming together to raid the car places. There seemed to be a leader. (If anyone got killed there was a plan to toss bodies into a military truck and cart them away.) But it didn’t come to that. The mob grew large. And, one man with a rifle loaded it. And, aimed about a block away … at the toe of the leader. One shot. Picked up the tar in front of this man’s toe. And, you never saw a whole bunch of rioters turn like crazy people … or wild horses … hooving it home.”


          That’s what it takes. Either Governor Scott shows as much courage as Governor Perry or Sheriff Joe Arapaio, or it will be up to the business-owners and private citizens to protect their own.

          Hint: There are some returning vets and retired law enforcement in need of a first or second job.

          Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

          This was in reply to JackRussellTerrierist above re: the potential for rioting in case of a Not Guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.

          If George Zimmerman is convicted it will be a gross miscarriage of justice.

          kittycat in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm

          Hello, I’m new here, and I agree about Zimmerman. He should not even be in a trial. It is self-defense plain and simple. It’s all political nonsense.

          inquisitivemind in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 4, 2013 at 10:55 am

          While I firmly agree with the concept of self defense and use of deadly force in such matters….one would be ill advised to believe a pot shot at long distance should it potentially injure the intended target be construed with self defense.
          This is an offensive warning shot

    kentuckyliz in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | July 3, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    They’d be silly to come after me…I live in gun lovin’ crackaland

    kentuckyliz in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | July 3, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Is this cautionary warning for everybody, or directed to one person/post?

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 4, 2013 at 1:18 am

      The post at issue has wisely been taken down. Apparently that process threw the reply/reply/reply indentation off by left-justifying a section of posts. No biggee. Yes, people should be careful about revealing too much info about themselves when it’s not at all necessary. A little prudence and caution will keep the wolves at bay.

      Time to let the subject rest.

Physics Geek | July 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Here is Jeralyn’s comment about the state of the trial:

If this is all the state has, I don’t see a case. I’m looking forward to hearing the judge’s explanation for denying the defense motion for judgment of acquittal when the state rests.

Yeah. So will the rest of us.

Over 30 years ago, I had a judge rule in my favor on all my opponents’ objections. His rulings allowed me to put on sometimes questionable evidence. When he encouraged me to move on to close my case, I became somewhat concerned, for good reason it turned out. At the close of my case, he poured me out on a directed verdict. Even though I got him reversed on appeal, it was a painful lesson. I wonder if this might be happening to the prosecution.

Judge Nelson has given the prosecution the benefit of every ruling, indeed every leeway, and the prosecution still has not adduced any evidence whatsoever tending to prove that GZ, beyond a reasonable doubt, was not reasonably in fear of great bodily injury to his person when he pulled the trigger resulting in TM’s death. Without any proof of that element, GZ must be found not guilty as a matter of law. If she fails to so rule after the prosecution rests, she commits clear error, and if GZ is subsequently convicted, his conviction will be reversed, IMNSHO.

    jayjerome66 in reply to Jim. | July 4, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Jim, she did rule in favor of the defense on one major issue, excluding the voice recognition witnesses (which surprised the hell out of me).

    And MOM has gone out of his way in interviews as recently as last week to stress he thought she was fair and evenhanded to both sides — I didn’t have the impression he was saying that to curry favor, or avoid future retribution). I think her problem may be that she’s a former prosecutor who tends to give the state the benefit of the doubt when making rulings, coupled with her reputation as a tough on crime judge.

    And though she seems to be intelligent, and tough-minded is some ways, she doesn’t strike me as having the kind of moral courage it would require to issue a directed verdict in the media focussed super heated political climate in which the case is being tried. Imagine the hatred that would be directed at her and her family if she dismissed the charges.

      The State’s so-called “experts’ could pass the laugh test. It was hardly a difficult legal decision.

      I was surprised she didn’t allow the evidence as a political decision, however–there’s no way the State would have dared put either of those clown on the stand, even if permitted. They would have been eviscerated on cross.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

What disgusts me about our present “justice” system is that is not about justice. It is about scoring points like it was a game of cribbage. When you play a video game like Call to Duty you make points for every opponent you kill. In this legal game you also make points for every opponent you kill or life you destroy. The difference is that in Call to Duty or any other video game the people you kill and the lives you destroy are imaginary people and imaginary lives. In the legal game the lives you kill and destroy are real real lives of real people but those lives don’t matter to the lawyers. Only the scoring of points matters. It is just a game and an incredibly immoral one. It is like playing chess where the pieces are real live people who engage in mortal combat every time a move is made. To most of the lawyers, not all but most, the lives don’t matter, only the points matter.
It is a game, a disgusting and immoral game, but still a game.
Remember the old layer joke: Why won’t a shark eat a lawyer? Out of professional respect.

    Harperman in reply to Harperman. | July 3, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Maybe i should, as you lawyers say, rephrase that. many layers are good and respectable men and women. Unfortunately it is the bad apples that give your profession the reputation it has.
    It just goes to prove that some people are really only useful as moving targets. ( For the information of you NSA people monitoring this site that is what is called a joke.)

    Personally, I never mind lawyer jokes.

    Like any other group of people, there are good ones and bad ones.

    The tragedy is that the bad ones can do so much harm that is difficult for normal folk to defend against. You don’t need too many slaps to the face before you decide you don’t like people who can do that and get away with it.

    As it happens, the only real solution against a bad lawyer is a good lawyer.

    But we’re out there, too. 🙂

    As O’Mara and West have been demonstrating for over a year now.

    And if anybody believes they are being paid anything like their hourly rate, they’re crazy. Both these guys are effectively working for free, I guarantee it. The actual cost of this defense would be approaching or in excess of $1MM at this point, easily. Nobody is getting paid that here.

    Fortunately for the prosecution, the taxpayers of Florida get to pick up that tab, which is certainly a multiple of the defense’s bill.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      kentuckyliz in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 3, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      If FL is facing any unpopular budget cuts of about the same amount as the cost of this prosecution, the citizens should be reminded that this trial is what they wanted. Link the case cost to the budget cut. The books have to balance somewhere. Maybe it will make them think twice before clamoring for the next show trial.

      Harperman in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 12:10 am

      I had to leave for a while to go feed the cats of a friend who is in the hospital.
      It is funny that while I was gone Andrew brings up so many points that I was thinking of while doing so.
      Now you are on a subject where I can talk. Philosophy.
      Lawyers are like any other profession. There are honorable ones and crooks. I agree 100% that O’Mara and West are not getting anywhere near their normal fees. That is why there is a GZ defense fund which I have contributed to.
      The thing is that many lawyers work a certain number of probono cases. Some do it because it is expected of them. Others, like O’Mara and West, do it because it is simply the right thing to do, the honorable thing to do. Anyone who has any sense of real morality understands personal honor and integrity.
      There is always, for example, the preacher who preaches morality while cavorting with underage prostitutes. The one prosecuting attorney, his name escapes me. He is the younger one, balding with the petulant mouth. He is the kind of person I instinctively avoid. He has no honor. He is a game player as I described above. I don’t think he is even following any real philosophical belief in this trial. He wants a win and couldn’t care who he destroys to get it. That is why he seems to take it as a personal affront whenever anyone disagrees with him. He is a predator as surely as a mugger is a predator except that I have more respect for the mugger because he is more honest in his criminality.

Even though I would like to see the judge stop this farce, I can hardly wait to hear the MSM’s reportage next week after MOM and West get their case going. Someone needs to remove all sharp objects around BDLR.
I really enjoyed seeing GZ laugh when his professor made his joke about not waiting too long to shoot.

    graytonb in reply to rekorb. | July 4, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Same here…. I thought it humanized him, at exactly the right moment. But you saw the MSM reaction to the smile and chuckle: “ZOMG! He laughed in the face of a murder charge !”

Henry Hawkins | July 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm

ATTENTION: Seeking volunteers to serve on a LI Posters Grand Jury so we can indict the next newbie who rushes in to breathlessly inform dozens of lawyers that a civilian grand jury has indicted Angela Corey.

I suppose we’ll need volunteers for a LI Posse as well.

Carol Herman | July 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm

The Big Kahuna in the room is THE SECOND AMENDMENT

True, July 4th is about 1776. But our Revolution was also about the farmers in Massachusetts all riled up over unfair taxation. Who shot their way to freedom using guns.

Then, to get the 13 Colonies together. We end up at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Fits and starts. We’re at 1789. And, besides the US Constitution, a BILL OR RIGHTS had to be guaranteed.

The smoke clears, and the beauty of the legal documentation that was brought forth in Philadelphia gives us, all, as Citizens, a Contract. Including the right to bear arms.

Yet today, what does Obama, and his partners on the left want to do? They want to DESTROY THE 2ND AMENDMENT (contained in our Bill of Rights.)

This case is about those Rights. Governor Scott is on the wrong side of this issue. And, so is the whole prosecutorial team. And, Judge Debra Nelson. Oh, and the race baiters who are given free reign to parade around this case with their obnoxious antics. You’re telling me that by way of some “hocus pocus” these race baiting clowns can start a Civil War? And, Sabrina Fulton can reach the jackpot “if only” the 6 ladies on the jury convict Zimmerman? (And, you don’t see this as an intelligence test where women can fail?)

Oh, yes. I’m counting on the Defense Team being loaded for bear. Just their expert witness to deal with the State’s evidence, they’ve got Vincent di Miora (sp?) lined up. 40 years of experience. The best known man to call upon, since his career revolves around what he knows of gunshot wounds.

Also, regarding DNA, presented by Gorgone. It was raining outside. And, the evidence was put into plastic bags, WET.

The Big Kahuna question remains: “When can you use a gun in self-defense, and this usage not be considered excessive force” if, to save your own life, you use a gun “outside your castle?” And, once you’re punched in the face, you’re not aware of your assailant’s age. Size, yes. Age, no.

Up ahead, in 2016, which candidate will be willing to run for president on a platform where the 2nd Amendment has disappeared?

Even in the elections to come of 2014, can a candidate espouse hatred of gun owners? And, what of it being directed at Hispanic gun owners?

Obama’s numbers have pretty much tanked. He even seems unaware that his trip to Africa misses out completely on the raw passions the Egyptian public is displaying. And, if Egyptians don’t want the Islam imperative, why would Americans? If this was music it would all be sour notes. Unbelievable.

    DuraMater in reply to Carol Herman. | July 4, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Carol H., I submit that the target issue here is the SYG law,as written in FL statutes. A very well written piece of legislation (IMHO)which prohibits Civil action against persons found not guilty by reason of self defense stymies people like Crump and the entire Trayvon-Trademark SchemeTeam…if you know what I mean.

    You are correct in that it fits in with the national liberal assault on our 2nd Amendment, but for people like Crump / Parks / Natalie Jackson/ Sabrina Fulton etal it is far more about personal economics.

is it possible i saw your case covered on a t.v. show episode? i know i remember watching the account and was floored b/c the judge seemed to think he was doing you (if this is the same case) a favor by not making you pay the FULL amount allowed by law. i am fairly sure it is your case b/c the show stated the victim went on to get the law changed. THAT WAS HORRIFYING to hear can’t imagine having to be victimized twice !!

I’ve cross examined some extremely sympathetic witnesses, such as a man dying, soon to be dead, allegedly as a result of my client’s actions. The jury expects politeness and sympathy, but it also expects the attorney to do his job. The jury can pick up on the attorney being more gentle than normal because of the sensitivities, and that is all that is required.

Hey! I finally convinced my wife’s friend that George Zimmerman might not be guilty after all!
I have told her all the legal stuff before, but it seemed to have no effect. She was adamant that George was looking for trouble. That he profiled Trayvon and that he never should have got out of the car. Sound familiar?

So, tonight I asked her to imagine the following:

You have had several cars in your neighborhood broken into in the last month. At 1am you hear a noise out by our car which is parked on the street.. Your husband peaks outside and sees a guy crouched over beside your car and he runs out the front door and yells, “Hey, get the hell away from my car!”

Now, it turns out this guy is actually just out for a jog and was bending over to tie his shoe.
Your husband has just incorrectly profiled this gentleman as a criminal.

Does the jogger now have a right to attack your husband, break his nose, get on top of him and start beating his head into the sidewalk? If that did happen to your husband and he had happened to put a gun in his pocket before he went out the door, would you want your husband to use it, or would you prefer he just lay there and take the beating until the police arrive?

She admitted that she would want her husband to shoot, but she tried to argue, saying it wasn’t the same. I then showed her how that story was actually much worse than Zimmerman’s.

Your husband profiled the jogger, he didn’t call the police, he went outside and confronted the jogger, and he carried a firearm into the street without a concealed carry permit.

Zimmerman called the police first. He didn’t confront Trayvon Martin. And his gun was being legally carried.

She finally admitted that she could see my point and maybe I was right.

Maybe was as good as I was going to get with her, so I was pleased.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to fogflyer. | July 4, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Well done. Always nice to see logic prevail. Usually in instances where my wife and I present this kind of logic to a liberal friend, we find that they just resort to calling us all sorts of foul names and huff off deciding to never be our friend again.

      fogflyer in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 4, 2013 at 2:34 am

      It is because of this woman that I have been fearful of the jury. She is forty and of above average intelligence. Similar to much of the jury.

      But then I remembered that most of the public have no understanding of the true facts of the case. They may hear some of the facts from people like us, but they haven’t studied the evidence and learned the law like most of us here have. The main stream media has failed miserably in presenting an even-handed view or the relevant information

      But the jury… well, they have seen all the evidence and heard all the testimony, even better than we have. The will be instructed in the law and I believe they will render a just verdict of not guilty on both counts.

      Man, I hope I am right.
      I really hate the thought of watching an innocent man go to jail and have his life ruined… If not ended.

        MarkS in reply to fogflyer. | July 4, 2013 at 7:33 am

        Agreed! That’s why I think there is an irrational exuberance on LI about the weakness of the State’s case, which a weak, low information juror might find appealing.

      Exiliado in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 4, 2013 at 8:45 am

      I bet they called you a racist.

    wyntre in reply to fogflyer. | July 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm


I’m here to report pigs fly! I heard Shep Smith(rhorton?) factually report the difference between SYG and Self Defense. I shit you not! Then I remembered that Megan Kelly is moving to prime time, so now we know who’s slot she’s getting.

is it just my scripts editor and/or pop-up bloicker acting up. or are the comments a little whack?

    Matt in FL in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 4, 2013 at 12:33 am

    There were a couple comments deleted (at the author’s request) and it caused everything that followed them to become decoupled and/or orphaned.

Some questions from a layman:

It appears that the defense is going to call Detective Serino as its own witness because of a ruling by the judge that he couldn’t be questioned about some of his normal job functions by the defense during cross because he wasn’t asked about them on direct. I read that the detective had been demoted because he refused to charge GZ with murder and thought manslaughter was the more appropriate charge. If true, can the defense ask the detective about this in front of the jury?

If the jury is not willing to convict on Murder 2, but thinks GZ is guilty of something, can they convict him of a lesser charge? Does GZ have a say in this? Can he roll the dice for Murder 2 or nothing?

    punditius in reply to guycocoa. | July 4, 2013 at 1:15 am

    I’m not familiar with Florida law, so I might be wrong, but the general rule is that a charge of second degree murder encompasses all lesser charges which are composed of any subset of the required elements of the primary charge.

    Which is why I think we are going to see a conviction based on a finding of involuntary manslaughter, which I believe is the minimum possible conviction based on the indictment.

    Mind you, I don’t think that the evidence in this case would actually support involuntary manslaughter, since the evidence is that Z deliberately decided to shoot rather than accidentally but negligently got off a shot. I just think that, based on the reports I see here, there’s no chance of a murder conviction, and that there will be enough dissent on the jury to prevent agreement on voluntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter will be all that is left – unless the jury has the integrity to acquit.

      DennisD in reply to punditius. | July 4, 2013 at 3:51 am

      “Mind you, I don’t think that the evidence in this case would actually support involuntary manslaughter, since the evidence is that Z deliberately decided to shoot rather than accidentally but negligently got off a shot.”

      What if your intent in shooting is not to kill but simply to stop the assault? I though voluntary manslaughter was intent with some form of mitigation.

    Wolverine in reply to guycocoa. | July 4, 2013 at 1:25 am

    In this case, Manslaughter is a lesser included offense. The jury can find Zimmerman guilty of either.

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

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

I still have a major problem with O’Mara putting his client on the Hannity program. It enabled the state to get in testimony that he didn’t want in and now allows a juror to legitimately believe Zimmerman is a liar, a smooth one at that, who had the requisite knowledge to fabricate a plausible self-defense claim. Jurors can do what they want and O’Mara put an arrow in the quiver of any juror who may be predisposed to find guilt.

healthguyfsu | July 4, 2013 at 1:06 am

It’s like the police officer primer for how to deal with a criminal in the future utopia from Demolition Man.

“Approach and repeat the ultimatum in a slightly firmer tone of voice while adding the words ‘or else'”.

Captain Carter’s testimony totally discredited Jeantel’s testimony. Not only was he articulate, educated, and communicated clearly, I feel he provided a stark contrast to Rachel’s attitude during her testimony. While both testimonies were to different areas, you bet the jurors saw a black man who was respectful to everyone and did not bring a predetermined attitude. Then again, he knows this is not about race.

How many lawyers does the Martin family have? I count at least four that I’ve seen on TV interviews. Are they in this for the fame/street cred or the lawsuit settlements?

    DuraMater in reply to xfactor. | July 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

    All of the above.

    Jazzizhep in reply to xfactor. | July 4, 2013 at 11:51 am

    they could have a hired a law firm, and not four separate lawyers…except “hire” is loosely applied…these racial hucksters LIVE for this, and gladly do it to get in front of cameras…but as Branca pointed out earlier, so have GZ’s lawyers, but not b/c they live to gin up racial animosity (it is really good PR for them–not the only reason I am sure, but they getting paid in reputation and not dollars)

Andrew or anyone else that might know, a question.

There has been some noise about the fact that Martin’s DNA was not found on Zimmerman’s handgun. We all know that this does not mean that Martin was not reaching for the gun, or even if Zimmerman only reasonably believed he was.

We also understand that DNA is not always transfered in detectable amounts.

To illustrate this, Officer Smith testified that he removed Zimmerman’s gun from its holster and shoved it into his utility belt. Later, presumably after parking Zimmerman in his patrol car, Smith unloaded the gun and turned it over to his wife.

Do you know if the DNA examiner reported Smith’s DNA on the gun or not?

    I’m not sure why that would matter. Smith clearly handled the gun. If the DNA is on it, it’s because he handled the gun. If it isn’t, it’s because it didn’t transfer, or it did transfer it did so in insufficient quantity for detection, or if it transferred in sufficient quantity for detection it was washed/wiped away.

    Either way, Smith clearly handled the gun.

    I guess I don’t understand the point of the inquiry.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      pjaym59 in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 11:17 am

      From my understanding of the question, since officer Smith clearly handled the gun but if his dna was not found, then the fact that TV’s dna was not on the weapon is no longer relevant. That would certainly prick the over-inflated balloons of the alleged commentators on cable who have decided that if no dna was found, ergo never touched it or even tried to grab it.

      ebartley in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 11:48 am

      The point is an illustration of the weakness of lack of DNA evidence.

      Wolverine in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks for everyone’s replies.

      The prosecution wants the jury to believe the common misconception that DNA is uniformly transfered and detectable and can be used not only as evidence of contact, but evidence of no contact.

      That absence of DNA is evidence of no contact, seems to be the whole point of the State’s lengthy direct examination of the DNA examiner. The defense did a good job of countering that notion, particularly in regards to the wet clothing. But this line of questioning is rather theoretical with a lot of “it depends” “maybes” “could haves”.

      Here we have a great experiment that is in evidence that shows this is not true.

      Officer Smith handled Zimmerman’s firearm (direct testimony)
      Officer Smith’s DNA was not found on the firearm (direct testimony)

      Seems worth a note during examination of any experts and during final argument.

      “The State would like you to believe that because Martin’s DNA was not found on Zimmerman’s firearm then that proves that Martin didn’t touch it. You have heard the testimony of Dr. X acknowledging that DNA is not always present in detectable amounts even if someone touches an object. In particular, you have heard the testimony of officer Smith. We know He handled Zimmerman’s firearm and yet even his DNA was not found.”

      I was wondering if anyone recalls specifically, that Smith’s DNA was not found (rather than it was found and eliminated).

        Wolverine in reply to Wolverine. | July 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm

        Not surprisingly, today CNN has bought in to whole “Martin’s DNA not on the gun, therefore Zimmerman was lying about Martin going for his gun”.

          Matt in FL in reply to Wolverine. | July 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm

          Yeah, but in CNN’s defense, there are literally millions of people that don’t understand that when it comes to DNA “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Time for predictions. This case is really weak. Its simply hard to imagine why it was filed as M2. Im willing to wager a bag of skittles (ok this is insensitive but this whole trial has been crazy) that DN grants defense motion for a directed verdict and only send the case to a jury on manslaughter. She has got to know this is weak and will want to be seen as fair while not really giving the defense all that much in that GZ still is looking at 30 years.
Second prediction once the case is sent to a jury, prepare for an avalanche of jury questions to come back. They are going to be so confused on self-defense, it would be really funny to hear them arguing. It shouldnt really be a surprise given all the arguing you hear amongst the talking heads and average people. Result, hung jury.

Uncle Samuel | July 4, 2013 at 7:28 am

Iowahawk nails it:

David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog 19h
@msnbc @NBCNews @cnn @NYTimes @abcnews @cbsnews If I were you, I’d get my legal departments drafting those apologies to Zimmerman.

What I really would like to see is Sharpton, Ferrakhan and the NBPP mentioned in a reckless inflammation of public opinion endangerment, terrorist, treasonous threat and much more lawsuit.

Same to Crump and Chump (Corey),Bondi, Holder and Obama as well, since the buck stops with him.

Crump needs to go down and lose his law license forever for this.

This case is as serious as a heart attack, so please excuse the frivolous nature of this question, but who is that blond with glasses and a laptop who sits at the second defense table behind the table with GZ?

On the matter of a directed verdict…

Procedurally, does a Florida criminal law judge dismiss all potential lesser included charges when ordering a directed verdict?

What is the standard of review on appeal (I assume this is subject to appeal by the State)?

There appears to be some commonality between the standard for a directed verdict and that of summary judgment.

Can it be said that the State’s case, when viewed most favorably for the State, has failed to raise any material issues on which reasonable jurors could disagree? (If that even applies in Florida).

    Material issues HAVE been raised, via the testimony of Jeantel, Rao, maybe some of the second day of Serino–barely raised, arguably incredibly (literally) raised, mind you, but once raised its in the purview of the jury.

    That’s more than enough cover for a Judge who would sooner dip her hand in boiling water than prevent this trial from going to jury.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

kentuckyliz | July 4, 2013 at 9:40 am

If GZ is convicted, there will still be rallies/riots in the streets, from crowing celebration…like riots after winning a NBA championship. Throw a penalty flag for excessive celebration.

Uncle Samuel | July 4, 2013 at 10:18 am


Sanford Police Department in hot water over WWII ribbons Worn by officer who testified for prosecution:

The PC does not award ribbons, so just went to the Army surplus store and got a few pretty ones from WWII.

Their explanation makes things worse: Since most WWII vets are dead, they didn’t think anyone would notice.

After all, what difference does it make?

    Exiliado in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

    It seems like this trial is just a mockery of the things we hold the most dear.
    First they mocked the rule of law and due process.
    Now our veterans are being disrespected.

    What goes next?

    DuraMater in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 4, 2013 at 11:51 am

    “..The [Sanford PD] official also stated that they intentionally chose World War II ribbons because there are not many veterans still alive from that era and they did not think anyone would notice.”

    The former chief was fired. Det. Serino pressured by three other officers in the PD to file charges on Z. and was then (demoted, punished)reassigned to the road on mids. The above statement is consistent with the prevailing mentality in their current department leadership and elected municipal leadership.

    Beyond disgusting.

    Jazzizhep in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    hey aren’t you the same guy who kept getting a stiffy over the “Civilian Grand Jury”

    Jazzizhep in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    should have added, do you really think the SPD buys their awards at the surplus store, really? no i mean really? don’t forget right-wing media can be just as manipulative of the facts as left-wing. what do you think happens? somebody walks into the store and says, “oooh, that one looks pretty, and that one.” c’mon man

      Wolverine in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Yep. The DOD should have trademarked and copyrighted their decorations and licensed them rather then giving them away. Then they could have employed their “Terms of Use” agreement to keep them out of the hands of people that didn’t earn them, rather than relying on people’s sense of honor (or the failed Stolen Value Act).

      Fabi in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      The ribbons are DoD-issue and were incorrectly displayed on the officer’s uniform. Facts.

      C’mon, yourself.

Uncle Samuel | July 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

THIS THREAD HAS GONE CRAZY. It puts comments out of order and you can’t reply to anyone and have your comment appear under their comment.

Winner, Double Post Award, goes to Andrew Branca! *golf applause*

Sorry folks!

Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Question from and Australian observer if I may

Say Jury says not guilty Murder 2
then jury say undecided on Manslaughter 5-1 or something like that.

Can Zim be retried for manslaughter?

The prevalent theory of the prosecution is that they are incompetent boobs.

My theory is that they are going for a hung jury by feeding nervous jurors just enough tidbits to enable a few to vote stubbornly guilty. A hung jury may be the best outcome from a public safety perspective (although, I don’t really know what happens after that, a retrial perhaps? If so, the hot potato may be handed to a different set of prosecutors.)

But it occurs to me that something different may be going on. Perhaps the prosecutors, recognizing the obvious innocence of Zimmerman, may just be going through the motions and, deliberately or not, ignoring the fact that most of their “evidence” is actually making the case for the defense. After all, a football coach with a pitiful team still coaches, doesn’t he? A teacher with a class full of idiots still teaches, doesn’t she? And it might be even more than that. The prosecutors could be deliberately INSURING that the truth actually comes out – to assuage their own guilt for having to be a party to the travesty, or for other reasons of their own.

I haven’t spent any time examining the prosecutors, much preferring to read Mr Branca’s sterling accounts of the proceedings, so perhaps some who have paid closer attention will know whether the prosecution is really trying, just punching the ticket, or actively sabotaging the state’s case.

    MegK in reply to donmc. | July 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I don’t think they are either incompetent or intentionally throwing the case. This is a case that should never have been prosecuted in the first place. They can’t win many evidentiary points because the evidence just doesn’t exist. They are doing their best to grasp at whatever straws they can but there just aren’t all that many.

      Wolverine in reply to MegK. | July 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      Nah. The State wouldn’t have slow rolled discovery, or opposed the defense’s motions. I’m sure the State wants to convict Zimmerman of M-2.

      Remember, to a great many people in this country that Zimmerman even owned a gun is sufficient evidence of a depraved mind.

    cjharrispretzer in reply to donmc. | July 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I think a hung jury is the last thing the state would want. A hung jury means a re-trial, and I think the last thing anyone wants is to go through this again. It only delays the inevitable result. I imagine riots with a hung jury anyway.

    I R A Darth Aggie in reply to donmc. | July 4, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Nah, I think you’re being overly harsh. There’s an old saw about lawyers:

    When the facts are against you, pound on the law. When the law is against you, pound on the facts. When the law and the facts are against you, pound on the table.

    What you’re seeing is table pounding.

kentuckyliz | July 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm

No, manslaughter is a lesser included charge, and once acquitted it would be double jeopardy. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Addendum: what I have learned here is that if the jury thinks GZ is not guilty of murder because of self-defense, then they can’t convict him of manslaughter either. The self defense would have to apply to that count too.

marshahallet | July 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Since he can’t pull a gun in the courtroom, maybe Zimmerman will have enough “imminent fear” to just walk away from a confrontation with the prosecutor.

I think the greatest lesson to be learned from the GZ case is to keep your mouth shut. Almost all of the evidence in the trial has come from interviews with GZ and statements he has made. Rather than claim self-defense he should have immediately asked for a lawyer and then said nothing. Because of the recent Salinas v Texas ruling by the Supreme Court once you start talking the fact that you stopped talking and your physical reactions to questions can be used against you in court. I have made up the following card which I carry with me and will give to any officer of the law who attempts to question me about anything:

To Whom It May Concern:

Because of the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Salinas v Texas if I talk to a law enforcement officer and then refuse to answer any questions the fact that I stopped answering questions and how I physically reacted to those questions, or any that follow, can be used against me in a court of law. As such, I will not talk to you, or any law enforcement officer, without my lawyer present. If asked to do so I will provide you with identification and will, of course, obey any lawful orders from you. I hereby invoke my 5th amendment right against self-incrimination and would like to speak to my lawyer.

I welcome any suggestions on how to make this better.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to guycocoa. | July 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    This is so true. I hate to say this but the cops are not on your side and remember anything you say can and will be used against you in court. In the aftermath of a shooting you will not be in the best state of mind to answer questions.

    You WILL be in shock and under the influence of massive amounts of adrenaline. Also you have other things to pay attention to as well, don’t let evidence disappear. Remember you can be cooperative with out answering every question that is asked. Until you speak with a lawyer you are best answering as little as possible.

    Instead of the card I would go with what is recommended by Massad Ayoob in the following video.

    I think by just giving the 5 points that he points out you would be fine. At least that is what I will do should I ever, God Forbid, have to use my weapon in self defense.

    Skookum in reply to guycocoa. | July 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I’ll play.

    Add that you do not consent to any search or seizure in the absence of a warrant.

    Ayoob’s recommendation is to say only the following:
    1. point out the perpetrator
    2. agree to sign the complaint
    3. point out the evidence
    4. point out the witnesses
    5. agree to fully cooperate after consulting a lawyer.

    You, in effect, already have addressed #5. Just add text indicating that you are willing to do #1 thru 4, as well.

    cjharrispretzer in reply to guycocoa. | July 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    guycocoa, I agree that as a general rule, if you are involved with the police in any criminal investigation, it is always wise to have an attorney. However, I’m thinking in GZ’s case, all of his many interviews have actually served him pretty well. They’ve served him well because his story has remained largely consistent all along, his demeanor has always been calm, and the interviews have basically allowed him to testify in this trial without having to take the stand and be cross examined. How many times and ways has GZ’s story been brought into this trial now? The jury has heard GZ’s defense many times without GZ having to take the stand or be cross examined. If he had never spoken, none of this would be in evidence.

    maestro in reply to guycocoa. | July 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    While I would normally agree that a person who has discharged a firearm in self-defense should generally keep his mouth shut, in this case it seems to have worked very much to Zimmerman’s advantage. The statements both, written and recorded, plus the video walk-through allowed Zimmerman to essentially testify on his own terms without being required to submit to a cross-examination. This is a dream come true in a criminal trial.

    Self defense guru and renowned expert witness Massad Ayoub teaches what should and shouldn’t be communicated to the police in a self defense shooting. If Zimmerman had said nothing to the police, he would have been immediately identified as a suspect instead of a victim. By establishing facts and information that point to him as the victim and Martin as the aggressor he set the investigation on a course that was in his favor. He did this so well, in fact, that police declined to arrest him for quite some time. In fact no arrest was planned until external pressure was brought to bear.

    It certainly helps that his version of the story has not changed substantially from telling to telling. Add to that witness statements and physical evidence that all corroborate his story, and he has a very, very strong case.

This is what I have been wondering since deedee testimony last week. She says trayvon told her this guy had been behind him, never in front of him. So how does one person attack someone that is quit far in front of him?

    maestro in reply to swimmerbhs. | July 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    They weren’t standing in one place. Their positions changed throughout the ordeal. We have no idea, except from Zimmerman who was in front of whom when they met at the location of the attack.

Does anyone wonder how someone can confront someone that is in front of them? Doesnt that person have to turn around and then he would be the one to confront the person behind him?

Uncle Samuel | July 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Jay Jerome 66 – Don’t forget really BIG Jamama Flashlights, there are some that are police and military grade that will scare the heck out of Armenians, maybe not Chechens.

A can of mace and a couple of screaming noise alarms would also help.

If you go and film anything, please post it here at LI.

jayjerome66 | July 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Thanks to all for suggestions above.
We contacted our local police station and they promised they were assigning extra patrol cars to the area where the break ins occurred last year. The watch captain also offered to let any of us still worried to park our cars adjacent to the station tonight. That’s inconvenient for us, but nice of him to offer the suggestion. The increased police presence has reduced my stress level, so I’ll be filling up my Makers Mark hip flask and heading over to watch the fireworks soon as they start flaring.

Thanks again, and Happy 4th of July!

jayjerome66 | July 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Help, Andrew – comments getting posted out of sequence!!!

[…] the day, was on the witness stand a very long time (more masochistic readers can view his testimony courtesy of Andrew Branca), and contributed virtually nothing to the case.  The state tried to make much of the fact that […]

What can we senior citizens in Minnesota do to defend ourselves? After reading today’s comments, I did my best to look up the pertinent laws.

I discovered that our Governor (Mark Dayton) vetoed the self-defense laws that the legislature passed.

I guess we just pray that our end of life will be swift and painless.

Testy Troll | July 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm

If the jury finds GZ innocent of all charges due to self defense, can GZ be subject to Civil Proceedings in the future?

    Heck, I’m not a lawyer and I can answer that one in one phrase : OJ Simpson. (In other words, yes, and they can collect)
    Now if you want more depth to the answer, I’ll quickly jump off this soapbox so a real lawyer can answer.

Another Q
If there is a retrial is all the witness statements in this court part of the evidence in the retrial?
or do they call all the witnesses again and ask them the same q?

    They’ll call them all again. Of course, what they said THIS time could be used to impeach them NEXT time.

    But there won’t be a next time.

    This was a politically-motivated with-hunt, and the political benefits have not materialized. No incentive for a politically-driven State attorney to bring the case once agan, and that’s the only kid of State attorney who would even consider doing so.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense