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Zimmerman Trial Day 8: Live Video, Analysis of State’s Case & Witnesses

Zimmerman Trial Day 8: Live Video, Analysis of State’s Case & Witnesses

Today we will again be covering the Zimmerman Trial live, all day, with streaming video. Continuing commentary will be posted in the Twitter feed of selected contributors below the first video feed, and breaking news will be added at the bottom of this post.

During the lunch recess, or immediately thereafter, we will post a mid-day update (not just a list of tweets this time!). We’ll then follow up with the usual detailed end-of-day wrap up, including video and embedded Tweets, at the usual time in the evening.

This morning Court is expected to start at 8:300AM to hold a hearing on whether George Zimmerman’s college records and applications to a VA police academy should be admitted. Once that is done, the trial proper will start.

To see yesterday’s end-of-day analysis and video, which describes how Mark O’Mara’s cross-examination of Investigator Serino so severely damaged the State’s theory of the case, click here:

Zimmerman Trial Day 7 Wrap Up: Prosecution recovers a little, prepared to introduce college records

To see yesterday’s mid-day wrap up, which provides analysis and video of the testimony of State witnesses (former Investigator, now) Patrolman Chris Serino, and Federal Air Marshall and self-described Zimmerman best friend Mark Osterman click here:

Zimmerman Update Exclusive — Mid-Day 7 — Serino more ambivalent, Osterman supports self-defense

For all of our prior coverage on day-to-day events in court, as covered here at Legal Insurrection, click here:

ARCHIVE: Zimmerman Trial LIVE coverage all day, every day

For all of our prior coverage on issues specific to the Law of Self Defense as covered at my own blog, click here:

Law of Self Defense Blog: Zimmerman Trial

(NOTE: If you do wander over to the LOSD blog, be sure to come back to Legal Insurrection to comment, as nearly all my time is spent here for the duration of the trial.)

Live Stream Video


[For live-stream video without commentary, see NBC live feed at bottom of this post.]

Twitter Feed:

(My tweets can be identified as coming from @lawselfdefense, or @lawselfdefense2 if I’m in Twitmo–follow both!.)

Live Stream Video Alternative


Tuesday, July 2 Commentary

. . .

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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O’Mara does to realize that a four pound trigger pull is quite light for a double action gun. He should just be talking about the trigger travel length rather than the trigger pull force required.

    Skookum in reply to fogflyer. | July 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    I’m willing to bet the State’s pseudo firearms expert would be eager to testify that a 2-lb trigger is unsafe.

    fogflyer in reply to fogflyer. | July 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    OMara does NOT realize… Sorry

    txantimedia in reply to fogflyer. | July 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Did you not hear the expert state repeatedly that it was within the manufacturer’s specs? IOW, the trigger was not altered in any way. You may think it’s light. The manufacturer does not.

      fogflyer in reply to txantimedia. | July 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      Oh, I get it.
      I am not saying it was unsafe, or too light.
      I am just saying that compared to other DAO guns, 4 1/2 pounds is actually on the light side of the scale. I wouldn’t have kept asking about that, in case the witness decided to say that very thing.

        Semper Why in reply to fogflyer. | July 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm

        It’s hard to say. Glocks have 4.5 lbs. triggers out of the box. They’re considered DAO but are really closer to a half-cocked. And that’s the most popular LEO sidearm in the country. It’s probably more accurate to say the PF-9’s trigger is typical, but a few DAO pistols have stronger trigger pulls.

        Kel Tec’s website reports 5 lbs. for the PF-9.

          fogflyer in reply to Semper Why. | July 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm

          This is a minor point, but can you show me any DAO handguns with a trigger pull under 4 lbs?
          I can name many that are over 6 lbs. some even over 10. Therefore I would still say that 4 1/2 is on the light side of the scale for DAO.

          kentuckyliz in reply to Semper Why. | July 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm

          Another CCW trainer firearms expert friend tells me it’s 8 lbs and a long pull back on the trigger to get past the built in safety. Also, this gun is thin and light and with an IWB that warms up to body temp it’s easy to forget you have it. Popular model with CCW crowd because of the thin and light and IWB ease of carry.

          fogflyer in reply to Semper Why. | July 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

          H&K sells a .45 that is available I in either light or heavy trigger pull.
          The light version is 4.5-5.5 lbs
          The heavy version is 7.5-8.5

A heavy DA trigger pull is not a safety feature of a handgun?!

    fogflyer in reply to Skookum. | July 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Well, 4 1/2 pounds is not heavy for a DOA gun.
    In addition, it can legitimately be said that it is not a safety feature, but rather just the nature of a DA gun. It requires more force due to having to cock the gun with the trigger pull. It does, however, make it “safer” due to this property.

    Actually, I liked this witness. She was hesitant to call particular things “safer” than others, and I agree. That is often a personal preference.

Isn’t it about time the prosecution GIVES UP?

I think this testimony about the gun lacking an external safety is helpful to Zimmerman, as it shows how quickly he can fire after getting the gun out of his holster.

    Aridog in reply to rhorton1. | July 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    It really matters little if a person is trained and practiced. The choice of a long trigger travel double action (even if exceptionally light for a D/A) indicates GZ wasn’t trying to be quick draw McGraw…e.g., there is a conscious “pull” involved, not merely a squeeze.

I’m guessing MOM is not a gun owner.

Well, that would have really confused any juror that was not already familiar with firearms.
That was very poorly explained.

    fogflyer in reply to fogflyer. | July 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Just wanted to clarify…
    I don’t think it was poorly explained by the witness, but rather by the confusing questions from the lawyers.

    kentuckyliz in reply to fogflyer. | July 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    IIRC two jurors are CCW permit holders and at least have a passing familiarity with guns.

Kathi Belich later clarified that Gordon Pleasants was referring to what people were saying about the case on

And how much time does it take to flick off a thumb safety?

Might the State be positioning to argue the absence of an external safety might mean the shot was fired accidentally, thus setting up an accusation for negligent manslaughter?

Pistols should have thumb safeties, as John Moses Browning intended.

    Ragspierre in reply to Skookum. | July 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    JMB designed multiple safeties in his brilliant design. Never bettered, IMNHO.

    fogflyer in reply to Skookum. | July 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    My main carry gun has a thumb safety, and I like that extra measure of safety.
    I also carry a .357 mag revolver though, which obviously has no safety, but does have a long, heavy trigger pull. Both are perfectly safe to carry so long as you know what you are doing.

      Ragspierre in reply to fogflyer. | July 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Never liked having a wheel gun as my primary defense piece with kids in the house. Never doubted my own, but they did have friends who I did not train.

      I like the 1911 for all its safeties.

        fogflyer in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm

        Yeah, no kids in my house.
        I carry the .357 when hiking the woods around here. We have bear and mountain lions around here.
        If I had kids, I would have to seriously think if I even wanted a gun in the house. Probably would keep one handgun in a quick action fingerprint safe, or something.

    Aridog in reply to Skookum. | July 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    As a John Moses Browning disciple, I agree…however, the Tupperware gun makers will not, especially among the striker fired addicts….like that DEA agent giving a demonstration to kids [you-tube video] who then shot himself in the leg with his own Glock pistol and an A/D due to trigger sensitivity…and no external safety.

      Semper Why in reply to Aridog. | July 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      That DEA agent shot himself not because of a light trigger and no external safety. He shot himself because he wasn’t following the rules of safe gun handling.

        Aridog in reply to Semper Why. | July 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm

        Yeah, I get it…he had his finger on the trigger. I can put my finger on the trigger of my M1911 [Kimber] all day long with the gun in condition 2, cocked and locked, and it will not fire. A manual safety and better handling would have preserved his leg….I did not mean to imply that a safety alone was sufficient….you DO have to engage the safety.

          Sez I in reply to Aridog. | July 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

          Hammer Cocked and thumb safety on (locked) is condition 1. Condition 2 is chambered round and uncocked. This requires you to lower the hammer gently with a live round in the chamber in a 1911. Other pistols have a “decocker” that allows you to do this in greater safety.

          Aridog in reply to Aridog. | July 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm

          My error … Sez is correct on the proper citation of “conditions” following the Jeff Cooper protocols:

          Condition 4: Chamber empty, no magazine, hammer down.
          Condition 3: Chamber empty, full magazine in place, hammer down.
          Condition 2: Round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer down.
          Condition 1: Round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety on.
          Condition 0: Round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety off.

          I apologize for the confusion. In my experience and training we had no citation for Cooper’s Condition 2 as it did not represent any practical condition anyone would utilize…and if occurring, one that you would “clear” as necessary (drop magazine slightly, rack slide back, thus clearing chamber, re-insert the magazine, and apply thumb lever safety). Thus, backing up, my experience had “1” become “2” and “0” become “1” for three condition levels.

          The only time I had to utilize that sub-division was as cadre training new Attorney and Medical Officers at Camp [now Fort] A. P. Hill…at that time an engineering compound in Virginia. I will be kind and say it wasn’t a terrifying experience, but one where each cadre was well advised to count each and every cartridge issued and shells returned. Lawyers and Medical Doctors have one feature in common…curiosity.

          I realize Jeff Cooper was a eminent expert on Model 1911’s, however, for the life of me I cannot figure out why he would classify chamber loaded & hammer down as a practical condition for M1911’s. In ordinary use it is the result of a hang fire, or other jam, and should be cleared. However, I am not the expert he was, therefore I stand corrected.

      txantimedia in reply to Aridog. | July 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      As a devotee of gun safety (and not a Glock fan at all – Sigs are my choice), I have to disagree with you. ANY ND (and that officer’s faux pas was an ND, not an AD) is the result of poor firearm safety practice.

      NO GUN, regardless of trigger pull weight, alteration, etc. should EVER fire unless the trigger is depressed. The vast majority of gun “accidents” like the marshal’s are not accidents at all but poor safety practice.

      Just so we’re clear:
      AD – Accidental Discharge – the unexpected firing of a weapon without depressing the trigger
      NC – Negligent Discharge – the unexpected firing of a weapon due to poor firearm safety practices

      If you drop your weapon and it fires, that’s an AD. If you try to draw your weapon, put your finger on the trigger, and it fires, that’s a ND.

        Aridog in reply to txantimedia. | July 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm

        Thanks for the clarification. But it really isn’t relevant. That agent was holstering his pistol, not drawing it. Negligent or Accidental…either term you use, it means unintentional discharge. Where intrinsic firearm safety is concerned, it should have some device to impede firing when not engaging a target…most (not all) striker fire pistols do not, hence models demanded to be double action only or with trigger pulls of 10 lbs or so, depending upon the agency.

        rantbot in reply to txantimedia. | July 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm

        “NO GUN, regardless of trigger pull weight, alteration, etc. should EVER fire unless the trigger is depressed.”

        Yes indeed. But in practice, a problem appears when guns are dropped. If a cocked hammer hits a hard surface (a rock, or even a wood floor), the inertial load on the hammer is tremendous, and relatively small parts like the tumbler or sear have a distressing tendency to shear off, allowing the gun to fire. The 1873 Single Action Army was notorious for this failing, to the point that the only really safe way to carry it when out riding the range was with one of the chambers empty and the hammer down on that one. Modern metallurgy has gone a long way to solving that problem, and transfer bar mechanisms pretty much solved it completely; even if a tumbler shears and a hammer drops, the cartridge won’t fire if the trigger-linked transfer bar isn’t in place.

    rantbot in reply to Skookum. | July 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    No, John Browning was a fan of the GRIP safety, not the thumb safety. His personal M1911 wasn’t really a 1911 at all, but a 1910, identical to the Army’s M.1911 but with no thumb safety. The thumb safety appears to have been political. The artillery wanted a pistol which could be reloaded faster than the ancient Colt SAA (hence their request for one of those newfangled autos), the infantry didn’t seem to care, the Navy wanted to adopt a Savage design, but the real holdup was the cavalry, which had managed to accidently shoot a horse or two during trials, and blamed it on the lack of a manual safety. So John M added one and the cavalry were stuck. Many nowadays claim that “cocked & locked” is the “way John M. Browning designed it”, but there’s no historical evidence for that. The US Army seems to have uncharacteristically noncommittal, too. ALL US service holsters for the 1911 can carry the gun cocked or uncocked, and I have yet to find an original Army, Navy or Marine instruction manual, from 1912 on, which specifies how the gun is to be carried.

    The problem with the thumb safety is that it operates on the sear, and the tumbler/sear/disconnector mechanism is just about the smallest and weakest part of the whole gun, and the most critically fitted.

I would have pointed out the semi-automatic feature of the gun, allowing the entire magazine to be unloaded quickly. Zimmerman fired one shot, but could have unloaded the magazine.

I think this tends to corroborate his story that he thought he might have missed and then heard Travon say “you got me” causing him to think he was giving up. Tends to negate ill-will. Under state’s theory, Zimmerman surely would have wanted to make certain that Travon was dead and emptied the magazine.

    Ragspierre in reply to Pauldd. | July 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Bingo. When Martin broke off the attack, Zimmerman was done.

    HUGE point in closing.

    Jazzizhep in reply to Pauldd. | July 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    i haven’t even thought about the “you got me” as meaning i give up, VERY WELL DONE. explains everything!! “frisked” him, in the context of NOT being shot, holding his hands out (which JM brought underneath him to grasp his chest), and then PPL walking up

      kentuckyliz in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Tape of first interview with PO Smith(?) lady–GZ says You got it, PO later misquotes it back as you got me, and that puts it into GZ’s head. On walkthrough tape next day GZ says you got me or you got it. I think TM said you got it out of surprise that this mushy little wuss got to the gun first when TM was so clearly dominating the ground and pound fight.

    AZ_Langer in reply to Pauldd. | July 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    The single shot still amazes me. The fact that GZ asked the neighbor to help restrain TM is even more proof of self-control that could have proved deadly to himself. I don’t believe he had any intention at all of killing TM, just of using the force necessary to save his life in that instant, and to distance himself from the immediate threat.

    I haven’t been taught to exercise that kind of restraint because it could cost me my life.

    How many LEOs would fire a single shot, or two, or three in a similar situation? I don’t think any would; they would empty their weapons to neutralize the threat.

      kentuckyliz in reply to AZ_Langer. | July 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      CCW trainers say empty the gun and shoot to kill. GZ clearly didn’t do that–only shot enough to stop the attack and still had to restrain TM and asked Mr Manalo to help him restrain the guy. Later surprised that TM died. Evidence he wasn’t trying to kill.

        Knimrod in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm

        What CCW trainers say “shoot to kill”? A good instructor will tell you to “shoot to live”. That is, stop the threat so that you can live. When employing deadly force, the life or death of the attacker is irrelevant. Eliminating the attacker as a threat is the object whether it’s one round or many rounds to accomplish the task.

        Jazzizhep in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

        CCW trainers NEVER say shoot to kill, or they never should…they always say shoot to stop the threat for liability purposes–for the trainer and the CCW applicant..and they also instruct that is what to tell the police if involved in situation

To me, the import of the firearm testimony is that GZ never intended to get in a hand to hand situation. He would have been acutely aware during the fight that TM would kill him w/o any knowledge of how to operate the handgun. Police with revolvers sometimes leave a cartridge on top with an empty cylinder in the next position, in case they lose possession during a close encounter. I even knew an FBI agent in Puerto Rico who carried an empty gun in front and a ready one in his back waistband.

I don’t see how this testimony matters at all…are they trying to argue because his gun could be readily fired he’s some kind of trigger happy maniac? I know nothing about guns, but obviously if you are carrying a gun for protection it’s not going to do you any good if you can’t fire it quickly.

    fogflyer in reply to MegK. | July 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    It doesn’t matter…and yes, that is what they are trying to argue.

      kentuckyliz in reply to fogflyer. | July 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      The way he carried was advised by police due to pit bull threat. Pit bull in neighborhood menaced his wife and others. Good testified his first impression was a dog attack before he realized it was two men. Corroboration.

I actually laughed so hard I started crying!

    fogflyer in reply to SCLEO. | July 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    You have to admit though…
    I gun with a 4 1/2 inch trigger pull would be pretty darn safe! 😉

I’ve been lurking until today, but I’m not new to this website, having learned about it from Instapundit. I want to thank Professor Jacobson for hosting an excellent resource even for those of us who aren’t lawyers.

I particularly appreciate Professor Jacobson’s choice of Andrew Branca to analyze the Zimmerman trial because of our shared interest in self-protection.

if the State wants to call TM’s mother at about 4:15, which they has every right to do, is there a some type of legal mechanism that would allow the defense to ask the court to postpone b/c he would not have time to cross what will be very emotional testimony before a 4 day recess? if there is no legal mechanism, is there some sort of courtesy that a judge “usually” follows regarding these circumstances..knowing full well Nelson is unlikely to honor any non-legal courtesies that the defense would like to be extended

    Lisa_PA in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    At this point I’m wondering if defense shouldn’t just say “no questions” and end it right there. I guess it would depend what she has to say.

      Marco100 in reply to Lisa_PA. | July 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      The jury expects the defense to beat her up at least a little on cross, and not doing so would suggest to the jury that the defense feels they can’t impeach her testimony.

        MegK in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm

        The only substantive thing she can testify to is whether that is Trayvon screaming or not. That is purely her opinion and I don’t think he will really to to “beat her up” too much on that.

        Crump suggested in an interview recently that “homie” is not a word they knew Trayvon to ever use, but if she says that I would think it opens the door to the defense showing her tweets of other words she probably never heard him use. Can’t imagine the prosecution wants that.

          kentuckyliz in reply to MegK. | July 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm

          Her familiarity with TM’s voice can be mitigated by the fact that she didn’t have custody of him age 3 to 15.

          Nick in reply to MegK. | July 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

          I’m quite sure they would also say he never used the word Cracker either but we know that to not be true.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to MegK. | July 3, 2013 at 7:31 pm

          She’s been in the CR watching the defense pound the State.

          I think she’s afraid to testify. Rather than her waiting in the wings to be called, she may have ducked out.

    Ragspierre in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    West could have a heart attack.

    That would be about the only thing.

    This is trial strategy, and the sides are free to conduct their case using very advantage they can get.

    fogflyer in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Not a four day recess, unless something changed.
    There will be court on Friday.

      Jazzizhep in reply to fogflyer. | July 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      ohhh, i thought i heard all parties agreed to a 4 day weekend…by bad…muth be the normous smounts of tefilla that i drunked to tolerate speaking the prosecution…at the end of the day things can get fuzzy, if not completely black 🙂

Man. The prosecutors should require all of their witnesses to bring a couple of pieces of toast with them to the stand.

That is of course to go with the egg they keep getting all over their face.

Andrew Branca, LOSD @LawSelfDefense

#Zimmerman Trial: Sounds like O’Mara might own SigSauer 9mm, keeps mentioning it as example.

My take is that if you are likely to win this particular case perhaps it is not a bad idea to drop that comment into the conversation now and then. Not that I am suggesting he is doing it purposely.

Double action all the way? This semi-auto shoots just like a revolver – super-safe.

There’s something here that I don’t understand.

If GZ has a weapon, & is hunting down TM with intent or depraved indifference to human life, then what’s the point of waiting until TM gets on top and then taking the weapon out and firing from a prone position, from underneath TM?

The whole point of having the gun would be to assure that control is maintained over the target.

“I will deliberately let my target get on top of me in a wrestling match because I know in advance I will predictably be able to draw my weapon, fire upwards, kill him, and have a clever self-defense case?”

This just doesn’t make any sense whatever way it’s sliced.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Leftists. Don’t. Employ. Reason. Or. Logic.

    BubbaLeroy in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Also, ask any copy if a perp had him on his back and was beating the crap out of him would he have a reasonable fear about the perp getting his gun and shooting him (either before or after beating the cop senseless)?

    rotate in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    yesterday that Shep Smith started his show with Z chased a 17 yr old with Skittles and attacked him.

    What an ass.

    Narniaman in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Oh, I’m sure there are some Lefties that are convinced of that scenario. . . and figure that besides taking criminal justice courses years in advance to learn how to manipulate the justice system after he shot somebody, Zimmerman also grabbed Martin by the shirt and then fell over backward, so he would have a laceration on the back of his head and Martin would be on top of him, just to make it look like he shot him in self-defense. . . . .

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Before you get to that question, you have to ask why, oh why, would Zimmerman have called the cops not once but twice before the shooting to give TM’s location?

    Was Zimmerman hoping to have police officers witness him commit a cold-blooded murder?

I think we saw a change in the prosecutions strategy today. 1st the state was saying GZ was a wanna be cop but the police officers who testified came off as professional, honest, hard working and credible. So now it’s GZ is a wanna be lawyer/prosecutor. After professor testifies we’ll see Scheme Team TV interviews, Angela Corey press conf. then BDLR will say look how disreputable all these people have been. That’s GZ

    Exiliado in reply to styro1. | July 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    There’s no change. That flip-floppity is just the nature of their “strategy.”

    They have no evidence, no case. All they are doing is calling as many witnesses as they can in the hopes of:

    a) – Fishing for some kind of unexpected evidence.
    b) – Attacking GZ’s character in the guise of “proving a state of mind.”

    That’s all they can do.
    That’s all they are doing.

      Exiliado in reply to Exiliado. | July 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      By the way, they are failing miserably.

      styro1 in reply to Exiliado. | July 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Well I know that and most “reasonable” people e.g., those actually listening to evidence know that. It’s been obvious from the 1st day of the trial that the state doesn’t have a case. The only evidence that we have seen so far that the Sanford police didn’t have was RJ, Dee Dee, witless #8 whatever you want to call her. And she was a disaster and a liar. I don’t think the Special Prosecutors Office did any more investigating at all before indicting GZ. Purely a politically motivated case.

thebombdiggity | July 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Sorry but I haven’t really followed that close, but didn’t the prosecutions opening statement declare that Zimmerman was on top and pinned Martin down to fire the gun into him? Why not call a gravity expert to explain the impossibility of a contact clothing wound and an intermediate range impact wound? There’s got to be a Seminole state physics professor they can Skype in

    kentuckyliz in reply to thebombdiggity. | July 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    The two eyewitnesses who came outside during the fight clearly identified TM on top and GZ on the bottom, identifying clothing and complexion. Neither of those witnesses had signed the Justice for Trayvon petition like the left to right lady did.

      kentuckyliz in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Watch the John Good and Selma Mora testimonies if you want to zero in on that. Olympic runner lady heard three shots (wrong) and only saw after shot, when GZ was on top (corroborates his version); Lauren (?) ran and hid upstairs. Left to right lady changed her testimony on the stand from previous statements. Good and Mora are powerful witnesses. Only eyewitnesses to the fight. Good was closest.

Would it be safe to conclude that the consensus of well-informed posters to this site is that GZ used lethal force only as a last resort?

    Bryan24 in reply to Solomon. | July 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Pretty much his ONLY resort. NO evidence he started the fight. NO evidence that he struck any blow on Trayvon Martin.

    EYEWITNESS testimony that MArtin was beating Zimmerman BEFORE the gunshot.

    IF GZ had his gun in his hand, ALL HE HAD TO DO WAS PULL THE TRIGGER!

    Again, ALL the testimony backs up Zimmerman’s account. How can the prosecution argue that GZ was angered and wanted to murder Martin? Who gets on the phone with the police as they are planning on doing physical harm to someone?

    EVERY theory that the prosecution may try to argue is not supported by the facts established by testimony.

    BubbaLeroy in reply to Solomon. | July 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Yes. The only question is whether six uninformed women on the jury will agree.

Juries must be tempted to split the difference in many cases, and that raises the question of manslaughter. Will the judge’s instructions on manslaughter also state that self-defense is a complete defense against that lesser charge? Or would the basis for manslaughter be that although GZ did not intend to kill TM, he recklessly got himself into a situation where death was the foreseeable result? In other words, is there any plausible path from what we know now to a conviction on the manslaughter charge?

    rhorton1 in reply to James IIa. | July 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm


      LoriL in reply to rhorton1. | July 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      On your third answer, yes to plausible manslaughter, all the FL attorneys I have read, and heard, say that if the jury accepts the self-defense on Murder 2, that is also a defense to manslaughter. So I think that should be no?

Why is the judge trying so hard to put obstacles to Benjamin Crump’s deposition?

    Voluble in reply to Exiliado. | July 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    She seems to be very flexible as to her concern for the jury. The defense asked for time before the jury was selected since the prosecution was hiding exculpatory information. She forced the trial to start anyway. Now she lambasts them for not having done everything they wanted to do before the trial started.

    styro1 in reply to Exiliado. | July 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Judge didn’t even think defense should depose Crump after he filed self-serving affidavit full of lies and falsehoods. Now the judge is upset that defense went over her head and successfully appealed to higher court. She’s been pro-prosecution since she was assigned to this case and I believe GZ already has grounds for appeal. I agree with you I hope judge and BDLR/Corey face disbarment proceedings.

txantimedia | July 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm

For the lawyers here – is this normal for a judge?

For the sake of my trust in the integrity of our justice system, I hope the prosecutors AND the judge are disbarred after this circus is over.

    stella dallas in reply to Exiliado. | July 3, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Totally agree. And for the sake of real estate values in Florida. Who in their right mind would ever move there if they couldn’t defend themselves from thugs?

    Estragon in reply to Exiliado. | July 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    “integrity of our justice system”

    That’s so cute!

    And admirably idealistic on the eve of Independence Day, to suppose there is any integrity to a system that allows judges and prosecutors like these!

I’m stealing ragspierre’s word. I’m completely gobsmacked. My mouth was literally hanging open during that conversation. The exchange
“Surely the court would not expect myself or Mr. O’Mara to leave court to take Mr. Crump’s deposition during the hearing?”
“You’ve left court for other reasons.” caused me to verbally exclaim, “Are you kidding me?”

I’m astonished, nay, gobsmacked at the petulance evident in Judge Nelson’s words and tone when talking to West.

BDLR has the Moira Lasch Award for Asinine Florida Prosecutor of the decade. Marsha Clark National Award still up in the air pending verdict.

Keltec’s have a lot of travel on the trigger.
You can read threads where owners are trying to smooth out and lighten the triggers.

I just learned something.
An index card is a standard measuring unit.

I thought a nanogram was a billionth of a gram or something like that. Now I know it is a millionth of an index card.

I agree can’t believe the judge said he left the courtroom for other reasons???? What? A deposition can take a long time and I can’t imagine them leaving to do that. Also sounds very much like Crump has not been available to them. To me then they should get to depose him tonight regardless of what his schedule is. Maybe I am wrong but can’t judge order a witness to make themselves available?

    Exiliado in reply to bizbach. | July 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Crump has been openly avoiding that deposition. He must have something (a lot) to hide.

    He had the nerve to try to submit an affidavit in lieu of the deposition. And the judge allowed it! She was overruled by the Court of Appeals, but the deposition has not happened yet.
    Go figure.

    KrazyCrackaEsq in reply to bizbach. | July 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    After she kept emphasizing the fact that tomorrow was a holiday and the jury’s inconvenience with being sequestered, I thought she was going to order the deposition be held tomorrow during July 4th. I figured she was going to say that whatever plans either parties had, they should be canceled and the depo be held. But no, she somehow thought it was reasonable for Crump to only offer to meet at 6pm on Sunday – that’s ridiculous in my opinion.

Mrs. Leroy Goldberg | July 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Amazing, the defense is still winning in spite of the roadblocks the State continually throws at them.
When this circus is over, a movement needs rise up to “nifong” this bunch.

I could never be a lawyer because if I had appealed over this judge and got permission to depose a witness and then she pulled this crap to prevent that from happening I would call her on it in no uncertain terms.

Then she has the temerity to hide behind the jury. Unbelievable…

the reports say the state may rest today, so the depo of crump is so the defense can call him as a witness…are they nuts, and have they not learned from the prosecution…you may get a nugget or two but i fear a man like crump will be given free reign by the judge b/c he would be a defense witness…no matter what you think, he is not an idiot and after coaching by the procecution will get in tons of zingers b4 the objections, and even “if” the objections are upheld, we all know you can’t unring that bell..this seems like a mistake to me, all for what? to impeach Miss Dee-Dee–already done

    styro1 in reply to Jazzizhep. | July 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    They don’t have to call him but they should depose him. Depose him under oath and if they find something incriminating they can call him to testify. More info is always better than less.

      Jazzizhep in reply to styro1. | July 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      duhh (slaps forehead w/hand)….i wasn’t thinking about that at all…i wish we could edit our posts 🙂

Well, maybe judge Nelson knows there is no case against GZ and plans to tell the defense to shut up when the prosecution is done at 9pm and direct an acquittal. Then the jury won’t have to come back on Friday and Judge Nelson can take a vacation. The more leeway she gives the prosecution the easier it is to pull the plug when they have had their best shot. If that’s her plan she wouldn’t be interested in hearing about Crump’s deposition.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to cwillia1. | July 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Dream on. With each passing day, this heavily biased judge reveals herself as an integral part of the State’s effort to railroad GZ.

So the whole point of this conference on DNA testing is to prove that TM did not touch the gun.

Did GZ say TM touched the gun?

    styro1 in reply to Exiliado. | July 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    No he did not. He said he was reaching for the gun not that he grab the gun. Pointless testimony, but like all the rest of their case.

Usually the defense calls witnesses to confuse the jury but in this case up is down, wrong is right and prosecution should go to jail defense should go home.

legacyrepublican | July 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Just read Andrew’s tweet about the DNA on GZ’s gun being GZ’s.

Does this mean GZ is guilty of telling the truth? Does MOM dare ask the witness that question for fear of the question being struck from the record?

That doesn’t look good. GZ’s gun has his DNA on it. DUH, I bet everything he owns has his DNA on it.

I have a valid science experiment.

Punch BDLR 20 times in the face with the right hand, then 20 times with the left. Then have Mr. DNA expert sample my fingernails and see how much of BDLR’s DNA is under my fingernails.

None of this testimony will have any effect on the jury, as it is clear Zimmerman’s injuries were caused by Martin: Zimmerman did not bloody his own nose and bang his own head against the walkway. But the prosecution has to introduce testimony about DNA because, with the proliferation of crime shows on tv, the jury expects it.

    fogflyer in reply to rhorton1. | July 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Yes, I can’t think of any DNA or lack of DNA found anywhere on either Trayvon or George that what would be the least bit significant. What a waste of time.

      txantimedia in reply to fogflyer. | July 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      Yeah, just ask the expert, “Were there any significant or unexpected findings in your DNA analysis?”
      “No sir.”

1 tell tale sign the judge will give the defense a directed verdict when prosecution rests is if police officers around the county are assembling in riot gear. But I fear judge lacks the courage to apply the law as she should.

    Dr Stiffy in reply to styro1. | July 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Not happening. This woman is too biased. She’ll probably give the prosecution’s closing statements.

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller….

Do you think there is any danger to asking for a directed verdict?

Obviously the is very little chance it will be granted, and seeing as I believe the request happens in the presence of the jury, doesn’t that show the jury that the judge thinks the state has a valid case?

LilMissSpellcheck | July 3, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Mr Branca promised to stop plugging the book about an hour ago, when he reached his sales quota for the day.

That expired faster than an Obama promise.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to LilMissSpellcheck. | July 3, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Button it, commie. Andrew represents capitalism at its finest, and capitalism is the very best economic system the world has ever seen.

    Given the tremendous service and courtesy Andrew is providing to all the readers here, I say more power to him in selling his book or asking for a little traffic to his site. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else.

    Andrew, thanks so much for all you do here. I hope you make a million $ on your book. 🙂

LilMissSpellcheck | July 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

MSNBC dumped out on its promised gavel-to-gavel coverage to cover the fall of Morsi in Egypt.

They’d rather highlight Obama’s Middle East policy going down the crapper than let you watch the death throes of “Justice” for Trayvon.

kentuckyliz | July 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm

No directed verdict. It is clear that the judge doesn’t have the spine or decency to do it. She will not spare the jurors the risk of retaliation that Nelson already faces in general as a judge. They will be making as many calls to 911 as Good has since the day it all happened.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    The diffrence is that the judge can probably get cops assigned to her for security 24/7. The jurors can’t, unless they have mega $.

Uncle Samuel | July 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Breaking: Angela Corey indicted for falsifying arrest warrant.

Next, Crump and Parks Lawyers indicted for multiple ethics violations.

LilMissSpellcheck | July 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Rumor: Obama clears ground on National Mall for shrine to St. Trayvon. The Holy Hoodie will be centerpiece, and its miraculous healing rays will help Obamacare reduce costs.

Will waive separation of church and state.

Per usual, West has gotten himself into an unnecessary – and boring – morass.

Close your eyes and listen to West’s voice. Just let it wash over you. Isn’t it like he’s trying to lull you gently to sleep, so he can do unspeakable things? Isn’t listening to West a worse torture than waterboarding? AARGH. HELP.

    Matt in FL in reply to rhorton1. | July 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I’m sure there are any number of former opponents who have been lulled into a sense of complacency by West’s dulcet tones, only to wake up to a judgment against them and a faint feeling of violation.

    Solomon in reply to rhorton1. | July 3, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    They call it slow walking…

LilMissSpellcheck | July 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Is there any reason on Earth why the DNA evidence wasn’t agreed and stipulated? Yaaaaaaawwwwwwwnnnnnnn.

BDLR is slow-playing this to delay calling Trayvon momma.

Thats exactly what he is doing. The last thing he’ll do is play the 911 call with screaming in background and ask TM Mom if thats TM. She’ll start crying and prosecution will rest. Mother crying = Guilty!

State’s next witness will be Jim Carrey doing his David Caruso/”Horatio” CSI impression, sunglasses and all, with The Who playing in the background….

Does anyone know if Angela Corey-Nifong is in the courtroom today?

When you need to take the air out of the ball to prolong your possession of the podium, West is your man.

Presumably, the prosecution will end with the medical examiner and Martin’s mother. This could go on through the might, if the judge holds to her promise/threat to finish the prosecution’s case today.

    Matt in FL in reply to rhorton1. | July 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I’m listening to this, and it’s really not information of any import. But it’s great for running out the clock so the jurors don’t go home with Sybrina Fulton’s tears in their memory.

      caambers in reply to Matt in FL. | July 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      She better be really good at acting because if those women on the jury sniff a scintilla of phoniness, it will be game over. Women can be really hard on each other when comes to proper grief and the my experience is it’ll be pretty easy to determine if she’s truly upset or going through the motions.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to rhorton1. | July 3, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Maybe, just maybe, after seeing West and O’Mara destroy state witness after state witness, she’s afraid to testify and hit the road.

naughtynumbernine | July 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm

At what point does a reasonable judge force the prosecution to put forth some actual evidence against a defendant? Can one really establish beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant acted with a “depraved state of mind” based on honorable career aspirations, willingness to responsibly exercise thier Constitutional right, and a quiet expletive? This is some of the stupidest shit I’ve ever seen. A lot of the comments and theories from these time traveling psychics probably take the cake though. Scary that those levels of stupidity are tolerated and frequently even encouraged. Not sure I want to live on this planet anymore.

There’s a dead rat standing up behind the prosecutor’s table…

Uncle Samuel | July 3, 2013 at 5:17 pm

The Judge is bending over backwards so far for the prosecution that her hair got caught under the wheels of her leather chair.

    Marco100 in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I think just bending over, period. I just looked at the reversal ruling on the Crump motion, this judge doesn’t know what she’s doing, sorry Judge Nelson.

      Jazzizhep in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      do you mind elaborating so those who came into this when the witness testimony began (me), will understand what you mean

      remedy in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      How many innocent people are sitting in prison because of biased and incompetent judges like this one? Make one wonder…

      Voluble in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      It bears repeating that these prosecutors and the judge were not selected on merit but rather for how reliable they would be politically. It is the same reason Obama chose Holder. Holder had already brokered the pay-off to Clinton where he pardoned some terrorists so rather than that being disqualifying it was seen as him making his bones the same way mafioso do. Obama knew he could rely on Holder to do whatever dirty deeds he needed done. The same goes for the people picked for this trial by the state.

      For instance, I am not sure why we did not see the ME who actually conducted the autopsy, nor why the one we did get thought it her business to discuss wounds on a living human being other than the fact that the state thought she would carry their water when no one else better qualified would do so. That is the only explanation that makes sense.

      In contrast, the defense had the PA whom George normally saw for treatment — who also examined him after the incident — and who thus had first hand information where she did not have to guess about things such as the shape of his head.

        remedy in reply to Voluble. | July 3, 2013 at 5:54 pm

        I have no doubt that we will see the ME who conducted the autopsy before this is finished, and it likely won’t help the state’s case.

        As a juror I would be asking myself, “why HAVEN’T we heard from the ME who actually did the exam”?

      Voluble in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      It is worth noting that she was also reversed for not giving the jury an instruction on self-defense in another case.

      Any more questions about why she was picked to sit on this case?

This re-direct is stupid. Just stupid. So what if he didn’t find GZ’s DNA on the white hoodie?

Uncle Samuel | July 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm

George Zimmerman DNA is NOT on Trayvon Martin’s sweatshirt – indicates that Martin was ON TOP.

Blood from Zimmerman’s broken nose was went down his own throat until he got up.

Wow. BDLR badgers the witness to admit there was “possible” TM DNA on the right sleeve of GZ’s jacket. The witness explains It could have come from bodily fluid or skin cells or words to that effect. Obvious question. Was that consistent with TM grabbing for the gun and getting a hold of GZ’s wrist? Seems like a reasonable inference to me. At least that’s what I am arguing on summation if I’m defending GZ.

    Marco100 in reply to Jim. | July 3, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Since the two men were rolling around on the ground for at least 30 – 60 seconds there could have been all kinds of incidental body contact, sweat, saliva, what have you, all rubbing up together in one great big Florida bro fest.

    The Sanford police/forensics unit obviously isn’t that good at handling/storing/preserving evidence (“yeah we put the moldy sopping wet gym socks in a ziplock bag and left it out in the sun for a couple of weeks, why oh why does it smell so bad?”).

    Bottom line is TM was observed punching GZ’s lights out (“but Mr. Good you didn’t actually SEE his FISTS did you?”), which doesn’t mean GZ DNA would transfer to TM’s knuckles.

    What is the State trying to prove by all the DNA testimony?

    What is the point?

    If it’s confusing to me, it’s probably confusing to some of the jurors.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      There was no rolling. GZ was pinned down until he shot TM. GZ squirmed trying to get his head off the sidewalk, but could not get up.

Uncle Samuel | July 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm

The two-step forensics process is not conducive to render much about the encounter between the two parties involved. A forensics team had been on site, they could possibly done a better job of that. No tent was put over TM to prevent DNA from washing away. GZ was cleaned up by the EMT before DNA was taken and before going to the police station. The firearm and holster were tucked into the first arriving policeman’s jacket and not an evidence bag right away.

But, there was not much external bleeding from TM, nor from GZ until he was able to escape being pinned down, choked and beaten and stand up.

The strange thing about this case is that when the prosecutor calls a witness and asks questions to drive a point home, it doesn’t mean the testimony is favorable to the state. The fact that Zimmermans DNA was not on the hoody shows Zimmerman was never on top. Otherwise his bloody nose would have dripped all over the hoody. The lack of blood is consistent with Zimmermann being on his back with blood from his nose draining down his throat. Unfortunatelythe press seems to think a point favors the state because the prosecutors makes it. usually true but not here.

BDLR is auditioning for the part of MPH in the next Toy Story sequel.

Carol Herman | July 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Seiwert, the gal State witness, today, who picked up Zimmerman’s gun and handled it IS LEFT HANDED.

If you see a photo,she is facing towards the jurors. And, she uses her left hand to show how firing the gun works.

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.

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