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Zimmerman Trial: Defense’s Closing Argument LIVE

Zimmerman Trial: Defense’s Closing Argument LIVE

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, below.

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Mark O’Mara defense counsel, Florida v. Zimmerman

This morning Mark O’Mara is to present the defense’s closing arguments, striving to raise at least as much reasonable doubt of guilt as the prosecution achieved yesterday in its own closing statement, an analysis (and video) of which can be found here:

State’s Closing Argument: Two Hours of Raising Doubt

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 9 Commentary

This past weekend I posted up an analytical piece of Mark O’Mara’s request for a judgment of acquittal. O’Mara’s motion was well-reasoned and supported by Florida’s case law. It was, of course, doomed to peremptory denial by Judge Nelson. In that piece I’ve linked almost all of the case citations made by O’Mara to full-length copies of the decisions, so you can see the sources for yourselves, if you like (most of the decisions are gratifyingly brief). You can see that here:

Why Zimmerman’s Motion for Acquittal Should Have Been Granted

Last Thursday, July 4, I had posted up a review of the trial to date, with some prognostication of how things may role out in the coming days. To take a look at that, click here:

Zimmerman Trial Review– How We Got Here, And Where We’re Going

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.)

ALERT: A price increase of ~$10 is imminent for “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition” on due to Amazon having raised their price to $45 yesterday (full explanation here). If you’ve already ordered the book, or don’t care to have one, this obviously isn’t of consequence.

But if you’ve been sitting on the fence, you might consider jumping off today.  I will maintain my price of $33 on, until a verdict is delivered in this case. Once the verdict is read — and I hope very much to see that happen today with a verdict of not guilty — the price of the book on my site goes from $33 to $45, to match Amazon .

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. Take advantage of the 20% “Zimmerman trial” discount & free shipping (ends when the jury returns a verdict). NRA & IDPA members can also use checkout coupon LOSD2-NRA for an additional 10% off. To do so simply visit the Law of Self Defense blog. I have also instituted a similar coupon for Legal Insurrection followers LOSD2-LI(Coupons works ONLY at “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition” is also available at

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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Listening to Guy’s arguments, if Zimmerman is found guilty, the refusal to allow the evidence of Trayvon fighting has to be reversible error.

Now he imputes to Zimmerman prescience.

I’d be tempted to hit him in the head, see the blue flashes, and ask him what other people were doing around him.

Henry Hawkins | July 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm

If I ever get diagnosed with a fatal disease, I’m gonna locate Guy, hand him a gun, knock him on his ass, and ground and pound him just to see whether he still thinks it’s not enough to shoot.

He’s dropped the syrupy Southern accent entirely now, and is back to that bland-as-paste CNN accent.

inquisitivemind | July 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Somehow he got the gun?
Guy he got the gun – TM got a cap in his ass
It’s been established

    “somehow got the gun out”

    Is it the defense, or is it the prosecution that is claiming Z’s gun never ‘got out’ ?

    Like the fighting expert said, they were rolling around on the ground. They weren’t in a static, frozen position.

    Question 1 : If George intended to murder Martin in cold blood….
    coming at TM with Fire-in-his-Eyes … and Bullets-in-his-Gun …..
    Why didn’t Zimmerman just blast him away from 2-3 yards away ?

    The last thing he would want is a grappling struggle, where his HOLSTERED weapon could be (and almost was) taken away and used on him.

    Question 2 :
    If GZ intended to murder TM because of malice in his heart (or in his gizzard, whatever), the tell me, please :

    WHY did GZ call 911 and demand that an officer be sent to his location. The cop arrived within a minute or two of the incident.

Mark Levin plays soundbites of Judge Debra Nelson during Zimmerman trial and fumes, saying, “How obnoxious and pathetic is this judge? Way out of line! Way out of line!”

Ah, here we go…

Martin did not go home to protect baby brother…!!!

What a crock of crap.

No, he didn’t push the gun into his chest.

Guy just challenged them to do something he KNOWS they can do… namely roll around on the floor and see if they can reach for each other’s guns. Is he REALLY that stupid? Does he really think two guys rolling around will NEVER be able to reach the gun one of them has?


I’ll bet that within 24 hours of Zimmermans acquittal Obama will make an inane statement that inflames racial tensions between white Hispanics and blacks … my bad, I meant whites and blacks …

inquisitivemind | July 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm

No they can’t say MAYBE/POSSIBLY etc.

This must be surreal for the jury. “So… you want us to wrestle? That’s… that’s your argument? You’re asking the six of us to get on the ground and wrestle for the state’s amusement?”

It was about time.

inquisitivemind | July 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

MOM’s had enough of the BS

Hey an objection

Fred Thompson | July 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Guy gives misleading instructions to the jury on reasonable doubt. MOM objects.

What happened? They’re at the bench.


Your Honor, how much longer are you going to allow this putz to blatantly misrepresent the evidence and the law before these poor jurors get to go to lunch.

LOL Guy ran out of town.



he ran out of time

Guy knows he just tried to mislead the jury.

No ethics at all…

This case is not about race?

Oh please… it’s all about race.

Oh great, now Mr Weasel is going to lecture us about “right and wrong”

This case is not about race.

If the roles were reversed and he was beating the crap out of Martin then Martin would have been justified in shooting him too

Henry Hawkins | July 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm

“This case is not about race.”

OMG. Log that one in next to other Hall of Fame lies like ‘I am not a crook’ and ‘I did not have sex with that woman’.

this case is NOT about race

Creepy ass crackers

ill will, malice, spite, and hatred

ASSHOLES and f ing punks

Not racism is GZ was shot

Well, that inversion was a huge fluck up.

caseyanderson2112 | July 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm

What did Nelson say after the objection? I didn’t get the volume back up in time to hear.

We owe truth to the living too you stupid numnutz.

We don’t “owe” anything to Trayvon Martin.

Now he’s injecting Trayvon’s character into the jury.

The last thing he tried to do on earth was to try to beat GZ’s brains out.

    He completely misunderstood and misrepresented the context of that quote anyway.

    “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.”

    We need to show respect and sometimes compromise about the truth for the sake of diplomacy and getting along with the living. It’s more important to tell and show the truth about those that are dead and history so that we can learn from it. We owe the living the opportunity to get along in a respectful manner. We owe the dead the truth about how they were and what they did to paint a realistic picture of them.

    Voltaire would have supported letting Trayvon’s cell phone photos and texts in.

“What do we owe Trayvon Martin? ”

A burial to prevent the spread of infection.

    Dr P in reply to MSimon. | July 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to bury TM, not to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them

Fred Thompson | July 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Guy presents fantasy scenario based on the premise that GZ murdered TM with malice:

“If a black TM would have murdered GZ with malice, you would convict him of murder. So you should leave race out of it and convict GZ of murder, too.”

Thank you Lord, for finally shutting this pompous ass’ mouth.

Why does he keep repeating “the hate in his heart”. The state N*E*V*E*R proved any hate at all.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Bryan24. | July 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm


    George Zimmerman was not a hater or a racist, but he was/is interested in law and order and safety for his wife and neighbors.

    That is no crime to anyone except lawless leftists.

    We have seen how much the law means to Obama and Holder, to Corey and Crump.

    Not a tinker’s dam.

Guy says the trial was not about race?? Wonder what his partner BDLR was talking about with all the profiling stuff?

Question for one of the Lawyers, why can’t the Jury discuss the case among themselves? Isn’t that what they are there for or is that only supposed to happen in the Jury Room.

    I think they’re just not supposed to discuss it until it is time to prevent them from basically coming to a premature conclusion without having heard everything.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    They are only to consider the totality of the case as it is presented…not do a running critique.

      allmenroder in reply to Ragspierre. | July 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Might be a lawyers view but as a twice selected juror (1 civil 1 ciminal) I can say that the whole point of the trial is to convince me that the defendant is guilty since I presume he’s innocent. So what I’m saying is that it’s a continuum: you listen and you form an opinion as the trial progresses. From my layman’s perspetive that’s the whole point. In my two cases not once did I feel that I had to sift throught the evidence to ‘find’ the truth. By the end of the trial I believed, in both cases, I knew what the truth was.

        Ragspierre in reply to allmenroder. | July 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm

        No. I didn’t say you shut down your brain. The question was about when you discuss the case with others.

          allmenroder in reply to Ragspierre. | July 12, 2013 at 1:30 pm

          Right you can’t discuss the case; agreed. As an aside, One of the things that always bothers me is the statement from former jurors that you see on various shows is the ‘I think he’s guilty but there wasn’t any evidence to support it.’

          To which I reply: you were supposed to start with the presumption of innocense so that now, at the end of the trial, if you think ‘he’s guilty’ the case has been proven.

          I think sometimes jurors think they have to retry the case in the jury room.

    Matt in FL in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I’m not a lawyer, but I can still be right. They do not want the jury discussing the case before the evidence presentation is complete to avoid, as mjs69002 said, coming to premature conclusions.

    Voluble in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I would assume because they are to come to their conclusions and process the evidence independently and then only discuss it when they deliberate. I am not a lawyer but I suppose this would keep a strong personality from working on everyone else during the trial.

    But I am interested to hear what the lawyers say.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    They haven’t heard jury instructions yet.

charlesaustin | July 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Many years ago someone observed that a big problem with policing was that cops were watching TV and thinking that was how they were supposed to act. Clearly, we now have the same problem with state prosecutors.

I know they want to win, but as officers of the court aren’t they supposed to act with honor and integrity?

the FBI, the State and the prosecution will be responsible for the deaths and injuries that arise out of the riots that occur after the acquittal … we’ll have dozens of Trayvons in the not too distant future and I’d bet a couple of innocent dead white folks as well …
there is a big racial fight brewing thanks to the race baiters … better sooner than later … best would be never but the Sharptons of the world won’t let that happen …

It is going to take weeks to dig free the jury from the tons of BS that the prosecution just heaped on them.


Talking about right and wrong? Whats wrong is that this show trial is taking place at all! Right is what GZ did to save himself from a thug beating him, as the police and original prosecutor decided.

They still have not provided even a theory about how it came to be that George Zimmerman was injured and Trayvon Martin was not.

Jurors will have time to think about Guy’s effective rebuttal.
All accounts are that jurors were listening intensely.
Nice close out by Mr Guy. It did get at the heart of the issue.

    Matt in FL in reply to archtyrx. | July 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    “…at the heart of the matter.”

    Pun intended?

    All joking aside, that might have been a passionate rebuttal, but it was far from an effective one.

      archtyrx in reply to Matt in FL. | July 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Thank you for at least a respectful answer.. The passionate rebuttal may or may not make a difference, but who knows with juries? And for that matter, an all women jury. I concede that that the defense did an excellent job with what they had, and the prosecution was not that strong. But sometimes these juries deliberate on issues that fall on the periphery of what the legalities direct observers to. They cannot leave their own feelings outside the door.

        healthguyfsu in reply to archtyrx. | July 12, 2013 at 1:27 pm

        So you are hoping for a conviction based on a lack of evidence?

        I heard the USSR might be getting the band back together…

        el polacko in reply to archtyrx. | July 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

        i sat on a jury for a non-lethal shooting in which the prosecution had ZERO evidence other than the shooting victim’s accusation that a store owner, several blocks away, had shot him. i was unable to understand how the case had ever been brought to trial without evidence of any kind.the prosecution’s case consisted of telling us to take a leap of faith, to feel sympathy for the victim, and to trust the accuser (who couldn’t keep his story straight from one sentence to the next on the stand) ..and yet, when the jury took its first vote to see where we all stood.
        the votes came in ‘guilty’,’guilty’,’guilty’,’guilty’…
        i was the only holdout for not guilty, the only male on an otherwise female jury. believe me, shocking as it may be, it happens. emotional appeals can trump the facts, or rather the lack of them.

    MegK in reply to archtyrx. | July 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Yes it most certainly did. “We don’t have any evidence but please use your sympathy and convict.”

    Voluble in reply to archtyrx. | July 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Analysts just said Guy mailed it in. He didn’t even bother to point to any evidence. He just tried to pull the heartstrings in a rather halfhearted manner… no real passion, no sincere emotion.

    Ragspierre in reply to archtyrx. | July 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Several will order something light for lunch, to counter all that rich, creamy emotional treacle.

    People really do not like having their intelligence insulted by having a pretty boy tell them a young man is a “child”.

    Fen in reply to archtyrx. | July 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Why does the left always argue by assertion? Don’t they know how stupid that looks?

Well, the jury will go to deliberations, select their foreperson, and the first question will be…

who believes the State PROVED the Defendant did NOT act in self-defense…???

I’m convinced the state has proved reasonable doubt.

I sure wouldn’t want to be the one that had to have three jurors stand up and be excused, and know they’ve just sat there for three weeks for nothing.

    bizbach in reply to Matt in FL. | July 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I served on a jury recently and there were 7 of us and it was only 3 days and I felt really badly for the guy they let go. I mean there has to be relief but at the same time it feels like you spent all that time and then you have nothing to do with the outcome.

    jmare in reply to Matt in FL. | July 12, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    But isn’t the alternative having alternates not paying attention because they know they’re unlikely to have to deliberate?

HLN described O’Mara’s close as “snoozeville”.

    Matt in FL in reply to fogflyer. | July 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Well, HLN would call it snoozeville, because he didn’t yell and disagree and berate anyone, and he didn’t have to cut anyone’s mic. Without those essential elements, it doesn’t meet the HLN standard.

    Dr Stiffy in reply to fogflyer. | July 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Pretty scary. Millions of Americans are interested in the outcome of this trial. Unfortunately, all they probably saw of it were the clips selected by the media with bias commentary. There are going to be people outraged if Zimmerman is found not guilty that will be claiming it was fixed. They won’t know that in reality the defense had no evidence and Bernie and crew were out-classed by O’Mara and West.

    I’ve been looking at CNN and MSNBC a little to see what they are saying. They are presenting the trial they want to see. I also have been reading some of the comments there to see what people are saying. I just saw this one on top at MSNBC:

    “I don’t wanna hear nothing the defense has to say. Their arguments packed with lies and conniving jive. I’ll wait for the rebuttel and listen in.”

Fred Thompson | July 12, 2013 at 12:59 pm

The court is in recess for the next hour.

The jury is not allowed to discuss the case amongst themselves or with anyone until they get the instructions and are told they are now to deliberate.

Check this out from American Thinker. Here’s a portion of a very excellent article by Jack Cashill, and this is one of TM’s phone calls. Bae is short for babe. The article is called Why the Zimmerman Prosecutors Should Be Disbarred. Here’s the link:

MARTIN: Cause man dat nigga snitched on me

FRIEND: Bae y you always fightinqq man, you got suspended?

MARTIN: Naw we thumped afta skool in a duckd off spot

FRIEND: Ohh, Well Damee

MARTIN: I lost da 1st round 🙁 but won da 2nd nd 3rd . . . .

FRIEND: Ohhh So It Wass 3 Rounds? Damn well at least yu wonn lol but yuu needa stop fighting bae Forreal

MARTIN: Nay im not done with fool….. he gone hav 2 see me again

FRIEND: Nooo… Stop, yuu waint gonn bee satisified till yuh suspended again, huh?

MARTIN: Naw but he aint breed nuff 4 me, only his nose

    ProfessionalSpectator in reply to kittycat. | July 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    This is outrageous. Character Evidence 101 in law school is that the victim’s reputation for violence and aggression is at issue and admissible in a criminal trial where the defendant alleges self-defense. If Zimmerman is convicted, this will definitely be reviewed on appeal.

      I thought that this was only if the defendant knew the deceased. But I would think that in an unbiased court that once the door was opened to GZ’s gym that it would reveal TM’s history of fighting as well.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to kittycat. | July 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I think the problem is that TM’s character has nothing to do with self defense. GZ didn’t know his attacker liked to make people bloody, and therefore couldn’t use that to justify his self defense. And really thats what thisvtrial should be about. But the prosecution has this so backwards that they are asking what motive TM had to attack. Does it matter what his motive was? No we know from several witnesses that he did attack.

      Marco100 in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 12, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Victim’s character or propensity for instigating violent conflict is directly relevant to the self-defense theory.

      If vic is reputationallly a violent individual it increases the probability that vic started a violent confrontation with GZ resulting in a justifiable homicide.

From what I heard sounded like Guy said use your heart (and not the facts) to decide this case.

Analysts just pointed out what I was thinking. Prosecution never broached subject of manslaughter.

They were playing for TV and for political purposes. They mentioned Hurricane Katrina more than they mentioned manslaughter.

    aerily in reply to Voluble. | July 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    They didn’t need to. I believe it was intended to be on the menu as a compromise for the jury between murder 2 and a not guilty verdict.

    being that SD is a defense to both, what other reason whould this be allowed?

Why do I think hopelessly deadlocked jury? I am thinking of the Jon Cusak movie and wonder if the DOJ will pay for protests to gin up racial strife then putting a ringer on the jury is not implasible.

I want to be a fly on the wall in jury room to see jurors wrestling with each other.

    MegK in reply to styro1. | July 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Such a ridiculous argument anyway. I don’t think George Zimmerman ever claimed that the two of them were frozen in one position the entire time.

Where’s the “Citizens’ Grand Jury” guy?

I want to indict Guy for trying to bastardize a perfectly good Voltaire quote.

    Voluble in reply to Amy in FL. | July 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    A little education is a dangerous thing.

    I am waiting for the civil suit from Voltaire and MLK for abusing their work.

Incentive for reaching a verdict today.

You get to go home for the weekend.

SmokeVanThorn | July 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm

There is nothing so shameless as a shameless prosecutor.

Storming here now….maybe that will keep the rioters in for a bit.

caseyanderson2112 | July 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I haven’t seen anyone sell themselves so cheap since the last time I was in Las Vegas and wandered into the wrong side of town. How can Guy and the rest of the persecution sleep at night?

Every time I hear the prosecution speak the words from Don Henley’s song play in my head:

“We can do “The Innuendo”
We can dance and sing
When it’s said and done we haven’t told you a thing
We all know that Crap is King”

Uncle Samuel | July 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

WHAT I REALLY WISH – that Professor Jacobson or Andrew Branca (or another lawyer listening to the case) had the time to actually LIST THE LIES AND MISREPRESENTATIONS OF EVIDENCE in John Guy’s last statements to the jury.

I heard multiple lies.

Ladies, this Guy guy is the one that picked you up at a bar, took you home, had his way with you and said he would call you after he left the following morning-and that call never came.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Alan Cain. | July 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    More likely, he’s the one who picked you out in the crowd and wooed you because your Daddy was a rich and powerful Senator, Governor, Mayor, member of a prominent political family.

The 17-year-old “child” was old enough to join the military.

Did I hear Guy suggest that instead of getting out of the car GZ should have driven his car down to the rear exit?

Yeah – Nothing like moving out fast to cut off the retreat of the person you have been observing. That is evidently one of the options the prosecutor would deem proper.

txantimedia | July 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I have a question for the lawyers. Here’s the Florida Supreme Court’s jury instructions for 2nd degree murder:

§ 782.04(2), Fla.Stat.

To prove the crime of Second Degree Murder, the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. (Victim) is dead.

2. The death was caused by the criminal act of (defendant).

3. There was an unlawful killing of (victim) by an act imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind without regard for human life.

An “act” includes a series of related actions arising from and performed pursuant to a single design or purpose.

An act is “imminently dangerous to another and demonstrating a depraved mind” if it is an act or series of acts that:

1. a person of ordinary judgment would know is reasonably certain to kill or do serious bodily injury to another, and

2. is done from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent, and

3. is of such a nature that the act itself indicates an indifference to human life.

In order to convict of Second Degree Murder, it is not necessary for the State to prove the defendant had an intent to cause death.

But the SC, in appeals, has articulated that ill will, hatred, spite or an evil intent must come from a longstanding relationship, not a brief encounter between two strangers.

So why isn’t that part of the instructions? It seems they don’t want the jurors to really understand its meaning.

Furthermore, why do prosecutors bring the charge when no such relationship exists knowing what the SC has held?

    Ragspierre in reply to txantimedia. | July 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    I kinda need to read the case-law.

      txantimedia in reply to Ragspierre. | July 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Light v. State, 841 So.2d 623 (FL Ct. App. 2003)

      Although exceptions exist, the crime of second-degree murder is normally committed by a person who knows the victim and has had time to develop a level of enmity toward the victim. See, e.g., Conyers v. State, 569 So. 2d 1360 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990) (victim is defendant’s son); Dellinger v. State, 495 So. 2d 197 (Fla. 5th DCA 1986) (victim is defendant’s wife); Larsen v. State, 485 So. 2d 1372 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986) (victim is defendant’s wife). Hatred, spite, evil intent, or ill will usually require more than an instant to develop. See Hooker v. State, 497 So. 2d 982 (Fla. 2d DCA 1986) (holding that second-degree murder established where defendant shot into occupied trailer killing stranger because of preexisting racial ill will).

        retiredprosecutor in reply to txantimedia. | July 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm

        The key word in the opinion is “normally.”

        In other words, the Florida courts’ (and, in particular, the Florida SC that drafts the pattern jury instructions) don’t want to foreclose the possibility that in some case (the prosecution would argue the GZ case) ill will, etc. can be established beyond a reasonable doubt without a preexisting relationship between the defendant and the victim.

        Ragspierre in reply to txantimedia. | July 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm

        Also “usually”. This was not a real strong “precedent setter”.

Fred Thompson | July 12, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Had he survived, TM could have been tried as an adult (14 years old or older) if this was his second aggravated assault or aggravated battery violation.

retiredprosecutor | July 12, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Prosecutor Guy’s job was to savor some victory from the jaws of defeat.

In my opinion, based upon 30 years in this business, the best the prosecution can hope for is a hung jury.

All 6 jurors will not convict GZ of murder or manslaughter.

Guy’s job — and he did a good job at it — was to get one or more juror’s to feel a moral obligation to convict GZ of something. His emotionally-based theme being that there has to be some accountability, some responsibility, on the part of GZ for taking life of a 16 year-old who was not guilty of any crime.

In the end, IMHO, most likely result is a coin-flip between acquittal and hung-jury (75% chance); manslaughter conviction (20%); and murder (5%).

I have personally gotten jurors emotions fired up against a defendant in closing argument. But, in the end, the law and facts (not emotion) was the deciding factor in 90% of the hundreds of cases that I handled.

In this case, the law and the facts are on GZ’s side. But TM’s death at the hands of GZ does bring a significant degree of emotion into the case — emotion that helps the prosecution and hurts GZ.

We shall see if these 6 women are guided by raw emotion or, as their oath as jurors requires, an unbiased evaluation of the facts and the law.

    inquisitivemind in reply to retiredprosecutor. | July 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    excellent unbiased analysis

    My feelings exactly.

    I was about ready to write a long comment when I read yours, rp. You captured my impression of the case to the extent that further comment on my part is unnecessary, except to lend my 40 years of trial practice experience, including several years early on as a prosecutor, in your support. If this jury follows the law, GZ gets acquitted. If it allows passions inflamed by the prosecution (improperly IMO) to enter in, GZ will die in prison, unless the judge’s manifold errors excluding evidence are found to be grounds for reversal. GZ’s life is in the hands of the jury and we both know how unpredictable juries are.

      retiredprosecutor in reply to Jim. | July 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      Good points, Jim. And congratulations for “surviving” 40 years in this stressful field.

      I don’t know about you, but I had mixed experiences with women jurors. Without sounding sexist, or raising Batson flags, I generally did not prefer to have women on the jury. I found, in some instances (again without overgeneralizing) that they were more prone to being moved by emotion. And since emotion in criminal trials can cut both ways, women generally presented a wild-card. And I tried to avoid wild-cards during jury selection.

      In one murder case, in fact, I learned that a single women on a 12-person (8-man) jury was able to turn the first jury vote (11-to-1 for guilt) into an acquittal. I subsequently learned that this women juror was persuaded by the emotion-based fact that the defendant “didn’t look like a murderer.”

      Needless to say, this experience caused me to get a verbal promise from each juror on the record during jury selection that they would decide the case based upon the facts and the law and would not be guided solely by emotion, or by whether or not the defendant (who was dressed up for trial in a nice sweater) “looked like a nice person.” I had them all agree that you couldn’t judge a book by its cover.

      Now, in the GZ case, this might hurt the defense, because GZ looks like a nice guy (and has been portrayed as a nice guy by many witnesses). So, in the end, emotion actually cuts both ways in the GZ case.

    The ME photos of Trayvon will influence at least one of the women, if not all of them. Having lost half of his blood (bled in to his lungs) and he was already very thin, he must look so so scrawny (emaciated) and non-threatening in the ME photos. O’Mara showed a photo from November to put it in to context, but I am not sure if the jury will be able to reconcile the contrasting images.

    The case for not guilty is screaming to be decided (IMO,). But Mr. Guy was saying that if George felt threatened when Trayvon circled him in his car, then why didn’t George use common sense and put some distance between himself and the menacing teen instead of following him in to the darkness…

    I hope that the jury sees the case the way everyone here does, but that is not a “given” by any stretch of the imagination.

Guy: “To the dead we owe the truth.” Only one problem with that. Prosecutors haven’t told the truth in the closing and rebuttal. Full of lies and innuendoes.

“Zimmerman had a gun, therefor no reason to have fear of bodily harm”
-Some brainiac at WAPO

    Fred Thompson in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    That person is just parroting the mantra that has already been repeated many times.

    styro1 in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Does a gun provide a shield against injury? Then how are LEO’s hurt or killed on the job every day in the US? How about hunters or even GZ. What a maroon.

    aerily in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    no kidding, in today’s society a CCW permit holder has to go to pretty good lengths to show that they didn’t escalate and had no other choice but to shoot.

      Browndog in reply to aerily. | July 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      One of the main points of this trial is to tell CCW holders “Fine, you can carry, but if you use your gun we’ll put you away”

      chilling effect

    Michiguy in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    “Zimmerman had a gun, therefore no reason to have fear of bodily harm”
    -Some brainiac at WAPO

    Wait! Aren’t these the same people telling us that having a gun makes you 43x (or 58x or whatever) more likely to die as a result of gun violence? By their logic Zimmerman should have been terrified to be in possession of a gun.

How does work re Work Leave? Do most businesses expect you to come back to work the next buss day?

I’ve read a ton of comments on other sites (mainly news, not blogs) over the past couple weeks.


“Judging by these comments, it appears the government is giving out free internet access with Obama phones.”

I agree with that American Thinker article that the prosecutors need to be disbarred.

    Exiliado in reply to kittycat. | July 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Effective three weeks ago.

    Wait, no!

    What was the date they arrested Zimmerman?

    Dr Weevil in reply to kittycat. | July 12, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Absolutely agree. Hope no one objects if I repost a comment I made at Just One Minute a little while ago (this time without the typos):

    – – – – – –

    Doesn’t the judge ask the jurors whether they are all in agreement after they read the verdict? Here’s what I want to hear the forewoman say:

    “No, your Honor, we agree on the verdict of Not Guilty but we are not all in agreement on the details. Four of us find the defendant absolutely innocent, while the other two are not sure whether he’s guilty or not but feel obligated to find him Not Guilty because of the reasonable doubt. By the way, four of us also think the prosecutors should all be disbarred for wasting our time and Mr Zimmermann’s with a ridiculous case that should never have been brought, while the other two jurors think they should just be fired for incompetence.”

    archtyrx in reply to kittycat. | July 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    take a deep breath kitty, that’s way over the top.

And the judge fired.

Most of us here have more than 2 brain cells. We can look The evidence and see Zimmerman shot Martin in SD. I think he should be acquitted. During the Casey Anthony trial, I knew she’d be found not guilty after watching an expert talk about Caylee’s skull. In this case though, I have no idea. Has anyone here had a pivotal moment where you’ve felt not what the verdict should be but what it will be?

    DriveBy in reply to robbi. | July 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    The ME photos are an issue for me, see my post above.

    If no verdict is reached this afternoon/evening then I think George has a problem, maybe not a guilty verdict, but a problem non the less.

    kittycat in reply to robbi. | July 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm


    My concern now is that in America, we seem to be having a perversion of justice. So this is definitely scary to all of us and should be.

      archtyrx in reply to kittycat. | July 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      justice isn’t always ‘fair’. It can cut both ways, and almost never satisfies everyone’s expectations.

    MegK in reply to robbi. | July 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Actually, the Casey Anthony case is a perfect example of a jury that was bale to ignore emotion. I believe most of the jurors really wanted to convict her but they just weren’t given enough evidence. A dead innocent two year old wasn’t enough to make them rule with their hearts alone.

    MegK in reply to robbi. | July 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Although I will say reading comments form stupid people who don’t understand the law at all does scare me. “If he had stayed in his car this never would have happened. Therefore it’s all his fault.” A common sentiment that I hope has been erased by the judge’s (and O’Mara’s) instructions.

      DriveBy in reply to MegK. | July 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Wait a minute. Are you saying that I am stupid for discussing a portion of Mr. Guy’s closing? Really!? Really?! To use Mr. O’Mara’s words.

        txantimedia in reply to DriveBy. | July 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm

        DB, you are far too sensitive. I know this blog layout is hard to follow, the reply you responded so stridently to was to someone else’s comment, not yours.

        Calm down, take a breath, read carefully. No one is attacking you.

Prosecution wins on these points:

1 – Most convincing arguments, if you just ignore the facts
2 – Most skillful histrionics, including arm waving and shouting
3 – Shiniest head
4 – Presented best case for the Defense

Obama voters starting to re-tweet Spike Lee’s bogus Zimmerman address: “ya’ll know what to do”

    Karla1953 in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Sadly they began tweeting the wrong info last week and the home of the wrong address has had to have a 24 hr police guard since they have begun to get deliveries there for GZ………..

Guy: “To the dead we owe the truth.”

The dead doesn’t give a shit, ‘cuz they’re dead.

    Browndog in reply to Alan Cain. | July 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    If you believe in God, they already know the truth.

    If you’re an atheist, you’re just dead, so nothing matters.

    The truth is for the living.

      I believe in a very ancient religion. The Force which binds the stars together.

      Where does that leave me?

      Ah. Ancient religions are no match for a blaster.

      Do not underestimate the power of the Force.

      txantimedia in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      If you believe in God, they already know the truth.

      That’s not true. If you believe people go to heaven or hell immediately upon death, then your statement is correct. But that has nothing to do with believing in God. It has to do with believing in a certain claim regarding death that is only supported by one interpretation of “the Good Book”.

Carol Herman | July 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I remember when the ‘bar’ was a respectable place to go. Now, it’s just a saloon. And, a saloon for midgets,no less, given how low those swinging doors are … Where serfs enter, and are not allowed to speak. Because they had to hire counsel.

You’d think at some point after getting credentialed all lawyers would have to take an oath to tell the truth.

If Vegas hired characters like the ones passing through this trial, on TV, Vegas would see all the money skimmed off the table. Meanwhile, Vegas runs honest games. Because when they’re caught doing shenanigans it could put them out of business! That’s why it pays to stick to the truth!

Hat’s off to O’Mara and West. If this is a real courthouse, then Alice in Wonderland is a non-fiction book.

Kathi Belich, WFTV ‏@KBelichWFTV 15m
.@monadrose 27 pages! Here are the #Zimmermantrial jury instructions in full: #Zimmermanon9
View conversation

How long does it take to complete something like that?

Since legal blogs aren’t normally my wheelhouse, I probably won’t be here much in the future. So, before this is all over, I just want to say that I’ve had great fun here, even with those with whom I disagreed. I thank all of you for your input, and I thank Andrew Branca for writing all that he did, and William Jacobson for hosting Andrew and the rest of us for the past month.

    Enjoyed being here with all of you. Even the occasional troll has provided amusement.

      kittycat in reply to MSimon. | July 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm


      I’ve enjoyed it, too. Been nice to have some people with brains, logic, and common sense to talk to.

    robbi in reply to Matt in FL. | July 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Excellent post Matt and I’d like to second your thanks to everyone for their feedback. This is a wonderful place to get an intelligent outlook.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Matt in FL. | July 12, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Nice try, homey. I saw you slip our silverware into your pocket as you said that.

    Dennis23 in reply to Matt in FL. | July 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Ditto! Glad I found this site, though I will try to come back as I have an interest in the Bradley Manning case. Also, I would never have known about Andrews book, which I just got in the mail yesterday! Great book for those with CCW and home defense.

Wow, Nelson almost choking on words re how if justifiable homicide, it can’t be manslaughter.

Hey, guys,

It’s not all over with yet. We have to find out the verdict and discuss that a little bit.

We hope it’s not guilty.

Where’s Angela Corey?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Dr Stiffy. | July 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Under suicide watch.

      Dr Stiffy in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Possibly, or in hiding, but if there was a time when I would expect her be around, it’s during closing arguments. Has she been reported to have been in court at all today? I guess she could have decided to make herself scarce after Bernie’s performance yesterday.

This is pretty much over now. I found this blog shortly after the trial started and I’ve enjoyed reading the work of Andrew Branca. And the opinions here about George’s innocence jive with mine.

People here keep referring to Troll and/or Concerned Troll. In my search for information on this case I stumbled across an interesting blog. Here is a website with people that you can reference, if they ever post here, so that you can recognize a real Troll when/if one should ever stop by and post:

    Matt in FL in reply to DriveBy. | July 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Which is why Yelp is such an outstanding source for accurate information. I would estimate that 99.9% of those bad reviews came from people who have never been to that place, and more than 75% don’t live in Central Florida.

      DriveBy in reply to Matt in FL. | July 12, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Matt, you miss the point completely. Who cares about Yelp!? The point is that the posters there do not share any of your opinion(s) about George’s case, but I do. Yet when I asked a question the other evening, you personally “ID”ed me as a Concerned Troll. That was hurtful and completely inaccurate, you should use more discretion in the future.

      I had no idea that the Comments section at Legal Insurrection is supposed to be EXCLUSIVELY a pep rally for George to get a not guilty verdict…

Nelson- Don’t side with O’Mara because Bernie is a douchebag.

For the record, I just want to express my extreme disappointment in Pam Bondi.

….she reminds me of a Marco Rubio.

    ebola131 in reply to Browndog. | July 12, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I have to agree re Bondi.
    I thought she was a stand-up AG….turns out she is a political hack who brought a political arrest and trial with no evidence.
    May she get fleas.

txantimedia | July 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm

So how will we know when a verdict has been reached? I want to watch that.

We need an Andrew Branca bat signal.

I would keep an eye out here, and on Drudge and CNN and HLN. They will all announce the jury has reached a verdict, and it will probably be 30 minutes to an hour after that ’til it’s actually announced in court, to allow all the required people to return.

txantimedia | July 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

When you learn the true nature of a politician/judge/DA/etc is dishonesty, you need to stop voting for them regardless what party they are a member of. Voting for dishonest people of one party and not the other perpetuates the problem. They ALL need to go.

A couple of observations. . . .I hadn’t really visited here much, but now. . .

1. Legal Insurrection is on my menu bar as a result of Counselor Andrew’s excellent overviews introducing me to other articles by the professor. . .

2. Counselor Andrew’s excellent book is sitting on my nightstand. Upon completion a very favorable review will be written on Amazon. . . .

I do, however, have a couple of questions. . . first, does “archtryx” = “SDK- ” = “rhorton” ??? None of the trolls ever seem to be signed on at the same time.

Second, are these guy(s?) being paid to be trolls?

Third, just what do the trolls think they are going to accomplish. . . do they really think they are going to change somebody’s mind with their inane observations and arguments?

Once again, thanks to the Professor and Counselor Branca’s excellent work. The two of you are journalists in the most excellent sense of the word!!

    inquisitivemind in reply to Narniaman. | July 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    And by connecting the dots to the 3 trolls you sir have earned your first of 3 thumbs down

    Dr Stiffy in reply to Narniaman. | July 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I don’t know if I would characterize them as trolls yet, but you have to kind of wonder why a Trayvonite would want to post here just to get beat up. This is now probably the most pro-Zimmerman commentary I have seen. I think much of that is due to us actually watching the trial and hearing from some of the lawyers on here. It seems some of these guys might have a better time commenting to the Trayvon Martin lovefest over at MSNBC, but to each his own.

      Marco100 in reply to Dr Stiffy. | July 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      That’s cause any lawyer prosecutor or defense attorney is trained & understands the state’s case is bullshyte, the most horrendous example of incompetence imaginable. Even if they get lucky and get a conviction.

      Rao, Bao? KWIM?

      Now the police chief is basically pleading “Black people, please don’t riot if there is an acquittal!” [The reference to “we spoke with the pastors” is the clincher.]

      This performance by these officials is craven and disgusting.

      It would sort of be very condescending and insulting towards the black community, racist even, except that the concerns of law enforcement are probably justified based on the murmurs and threats from that same community.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Narniaman. | July 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    “Third, just what do the trolls think they are going to accomplish. . .”

    If anyone replies to troll posting, as you have here, that’s what they seek to accomplish.

    Have to be careful with the troll tag – sometimes it’s a person who sincerely believes in what he’s posting but he’s, well, a moron. Usually it isn’t hard to see that a troll is seeking only to evince angry responses.

    We get occasional trolls here, but in the 2-3 years I’ve been posting here they’ve proved to be a pretty inept bunch, that is, they’ve evinced little more than derision and/or pity from regulars.

    As a former long time website owner where the topics where arguable, one general truism about trolls is that the best way to get rid of them is to simply ignore them – the one response they cannot abide. It starves them of their two primary needs: attention, and the sense that they matter, that they can affect others, albeit in a negative way. Think “preadolescent”.

      DriveBy in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      I have now identified the four (4) least respectful posters, thank you.

      “….one general truism about trolls is that the best way to get rid of them is to simply ignore them – the one response they cannot abide. It starves them of their two primary needs: attention, and the sense that they matter, that they can affect others, albeit in a negative way. Think “preadolescent”.”

      I agree 100%!!!

    Dennis23 in reply to Narniaman. | July 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    To know they are trolls, you really need to search inside your heart for that answer.

txantimedia | July 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I noticed something interesting on They had a poll up after the prosecution closed. Here was the results:

Current Results: Not Guilty (61%, 409 Votes) Guilty – Manslaughter (30%, 201 Votes) Guilty – Second Degree Murder (9%, 61 Votes)

That’s after the PROSECUTION closed. Very telling.

Important follow: @PIOFLCourts18. Public information officer for the court, will tweet announcement when verdict reached.

Who is the seminole county sheriff is worried about rioting after a verdict?

Is it the white people?

The white hispanics, perhaps?


So it isn’t just GZ’s gated community, it’s the broader Seminole Cty. community that remains a hostage to, and fearful of, irrational violence from the black community.


So that’s what this whole case was about?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Marco100. | July 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Just as cable TV news outlets routinely scout for stories that have potential for ratings bonanzas (bonanzi?), this DoJ and administration at large routinely scouts for events they can paint as evidence of racism, thereby to exploit it for their political agenda.

    In that Obama and the DoJ have both involved themselves in this case, pouring pressure downhill to force an arrest, evade agrand jury, and go to trial without probable cause for even an arrest, then…. yes, race is what this case is about.

    But even then, it isn’t really about race at all. It’s about political power, with race-baiting as simply a tool o tactic deployed to help acquire it.

    Think about it – if this ends in conviction and the conviction sticks, the word is then out to prosecutors across the nation: with the support of the fed gov and the media, you no longer need probable cause to arrest, you won’t need evidence to convict, and the justice system may now be fully molded into a coercive tool of the progressive agenda, to be surgically applied for effect wherever deemed advantageous to do so all across the nation.

NOT Guilty. Baa-Daa-Bing. Like Dat.

NEVER EVER should have been a trial. Ridiculous. Some of the many things I like about my adopted home state(Florida)is that we have an official respect for citizens who defend themselves and their homes against punks, thugs, crooks, break-in pukes and other law breaking slime.

My lifelong home state(Calif.)is well past losing its mind, cojones and belly muscles. Here in Florida we’re encouraged to carry a pistol in our cars and to shoot anyone breaking into our homes(OR, attempting same!!)…Back in the Peoples Lost Republic of California, we’d be arrested.

Baa-Daa-Bing. Like Freaking Dat.