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Zimmerman Trial: Jury Asks for Clarification on Manslaughter

Zimmerman Trial: Jury Asks for Clarification on Manslaughter

The Zimmerman trial jury paused their deliberations at around 6:00PM EST to present Judge Nelson with a question:

“May we please have clarification on instructions regarding manslaughter?”

Nelson announced the question to the parties in open court, and has now recessed court 30 minutes to address the issue with the jury.

The verdict form is here. Final Jury Instructions here.

The implications of this question can only be addressed speculatively. It does, however, strongly suggest that murder 2 has been discarded from the jury’s consideration. All six jurors may be seriously considering manslaughter, or it may be a situation in which 5 jurors believe manslaughter does not apply (presumably because the State has failed to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt) but find they are having trouble convincing the 6th jury of the same.

Update: The Court took a brief recess to allow the parties to gather case law on the issue of providing jury clarification. Parties agree it is acceptable to clarify on a specific question, if that is what the jury is struggling with, but not to provide a general overview of manslaughter. The parties are now co-drafting a question to the jury to ask whether what they seek is, in fact, clarification on a specific issue. Judge Nelson will then deliver this question to the jury.

Stay up to date with our live-stream, Twitter-scroll post:

Zimmerman Trial: Verdict Watch LIVE

Zimmerman Verdict Form

Zimmerman Final Jury Instructions (2)


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense,” now available at www.lawofselfdefense.com.   “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition” is also available at Amazon.com.

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.

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

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Comments


It means they’ve cleared hom of 2nd degree.

    archtyrx in reply to gospace. | July 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Manslaughter = how much time in state pen?

      kittycat in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      I think that it can be up to 30 years. Wish they knew that, as well.

      Steam in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      In Florida, the State Statutes Ch. 782 define manslaughter as a second degree felony which merits a sentence of up to 15 years and up to $10K fine unless the crime is a repeat thing committed by a habitual felony offender (conviction of 2 or more violent felonies), which doesn’t apply here.

      It’s not the manslaughter sentence itself that gets the big jail time, it’s what’s called the 10-20-Life law. A person using a firearm in the commission of a felony is subject to 10 years in the pen. If they fire the weapon, whether it hits or hurts anyone or not, it’s 20 years. If they kill someone, it’s Life.

      I believe the fear is that the prosecution may try to get sentencing under the last one, but that’s a big if. If they apply the 20 year one for firing a weapon, that’s 20 stacked on top of up to 15, and that’s longer than 2nd degree murder.

      That’s where all the big numbers are coming from IMHO.

        Steam in reply to Steam. | July 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm

        And to clarify the above, the “Life” is actually at least 25 years up to a max of life.
        Also, the 10-20-Life statute (FL 775.087) requires a “reclassification” of the felony and that only applies where a firearm was NOT an essential element of the crime.

        You lawyers can s’plain that one.

          Mansizedtarget in reply to Steam. | July 13, 2013 at 7:15 pm

          Long story short, manslaughter like any felony can be upped in degree, from second to first, first to life, life to capital based on 10-20-life enhancements. This increases the maximum penalty, doubling it for manslaughter from 15 years to thirty. Unlike other felonies–including aggravated assault sought by prosecutors–manslaughter is not a specified felony with a mandatory minimum under 10 20 life.

          There’s also nonbinding sentencing guidelines for sentence sin the range. I think it’s about 10 for manslaughter.

          Richard Hornsby has an extensive analysis of this issue on his blog.

        txantimedia in reply to Steam. | July 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm

        However, Zimmerman would be convicted of first degree manslaughter, which is punishable by up to 30 years to life.

        (3) A person who causes the death of any person under the age of 18 by culpable negligence under s. 827.03(3) commits aggravated manslaughter of a child, a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

        (b) For a felony of the first degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 30 years or, when specifically provided by statute, by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment.

          Steam in reply to txantimedia. | July 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm

          The key phrase here is “under 827.03” and that is the child abuse/neglect statute. The judge has already rejected the state’s attempt to take this path (child abuse), so 827.03 is not going to apply if he is convicted of manslaughter. The state can still use the 10-20-Life statute to jack Zimmerman’s sentencing through the roof.

          If any of you watched the special commission hearings that resulted from this case, this very issue was brought up as problematic because it was never intended to be used in cases where gun-related charges apply, such as manslaughter and murder. It was intended to bolster things like robbery where the use of a firearm significantly ratcheted up the danger of the encounter between perpetrator and victim. It was never intended as a mere sentence-enhancer for sentencing guidelines already laid out by the legislature, but that’s what the courts have done with it.

    pjm in reply to gospace. | July 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    You can not draw that conclusion.

    redconners in reply to gospace. | July 13, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I agree, if they had ruled out self defense completely then they would have come back with a 2nd degree murder conviction. Asking for a clarification on manslaughter means, at the very least, Zimmerman’s self-defense claim was enough to defeat the state of mind element for murder 2.

I guess the pathetic morons don’t know how to spell “Self Defense”

    Rational in reply to TexasJew. | July 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Yeah, I guess that if they don’t agree with you they must be ‘pathetic morons’.

      Fen in reply to Rational. | July 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Its not about having a different opinion. The State has not proven any of the charges. There is an abundance of reasonable doubt, the “total tonnage would stop a team of oxen in its tracks”.

      Anyone who believes otherwise is either very ignornant of the case or very very stupid.

Manslaughter carries a minimum of 25 years in Floriduh

    archtyrx in reply to TexasJew. | July 13, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    ouch. and according to andrew’s tweet, the sentence for MS could end up being longer than murder2. Not sure how, but… not good.

Could be positive? Could be negative? Who the fook knows?

Anyway, maybe they are asking because they arent going with murder and maybe they just want to be clear so that they can also rule not guilty for manslaughter?

On the other hand…could be they is just going to go with murder????

No matter what the talking heads say it could mean anything. In contrast to them all thinking this points to a compromise it could be 1 juror holding out for manslaughter and the rest are hoping for a clarification to persuade them. Just as when any jury walks into a jury room anything is possible and all of those people bloviating on the television REALLY know nothing more than you and I – and sometimes less.

    That was my first thought — one juror who bought into the emotion of the prosecution’s closing wanting to place blame *somehow*, clinging to a tortured interpretation of a clause in the manslaughter section to rationalize a “guilty”, while the other five couldn’t convince her their reading of it was right so they wanted the judge to confirm and help them beat some sense into the holdout.

I thinkm it means they’re going to convict. It may not be murder, but he’s going away for a long time. If I were him, I’d be hating hearing that… fer sure.

So black thugs can pound people’s heads on concrete and that’s ok with these schmucks?

    archtyrx in reply to TexasJew. | July 13, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    now you’re insulting the jury? You may not like the outcome, but the process of justice does work. It just doesn’t fit neatly into everyone’s idea of what it is.

      TexasJew in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Yeah
      Ask Natasha Richardson what a single small pound on the head can do
      Oops, she’s dead

      Trayvon pounded his head into concrete for a full minute

      Plus you’re an idiot

        caambers in reply to TexasJew. | July 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        Or the soccer coach who was recently killed by a 17 YO “child” who punched him one time in the head…or the man here in Florida who just last week was decked at Dave & Busters by his son. He landed on the concrete and is still in critical condition.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      You’ll be singing a different song if he’s acquitted on all charges.

      angienc in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      If the “process of justice” worked this case never would have gone to trial in the first place — like the original investigation/police/DA determined before Holder/Obama/the race-hustlers like you got involved & pressured the appointment of hack “special prosecutor” Angela Corey who brought charges without even the benefit of a Grand Jury indictment.

        kentuckyliz in reply to angienc. | July 13, 2013 at 7:10 pm

        GZ should sue all those people/parties to pay his legal bills and support him for life, since he is now a pariah who won’t be employable or safe.

        Skookum in reply to angienc. | July 13, 2013 at 7:29 pm

        What is the probable cause that supported GZ’s arrest for either murder 2 or manslaughter? There was an admitted killing, which ticks off one of the three prongs of murder 2 and one of the two prongs of manslaughter. The vast preponderance of the evidence points to the killing being justifiable by self defense against a forcible felony being committed, which negates the second prong of both charges, the final of two for manslaughter. And, there is no credible evidence of GZ having acted with depravity, which negates the final prong for murder 2.

        As the fired police chief said, there was no probable cause to arrest GZ. I think the only evidence he was deprived of was DeeDee’s tainted deposition. Thus, I assume the key justification for the arrest and charges was that tainted deposition. Furthermore, I assume that Corey ducked using a grand jury to get an indictment because she knew that key testimony was tainted and offered by a witness with no credibility. How far off target am I?

        If GZ is found guilty, will the FL legislature reinforce their justifiable use of force statute?

      styro1 in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      “The process of justice does work” In this case it has not worked. The police and the prosecutor decided they didn’t have enough evidence to press any charges. Then “The Scheme Team”, White House, DOJ, The New Black Panthers and politics got involved and turned the justice system upside down!

    archtyrx in reply to TexasJew. | July 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    it’s interesting that you inserted the word ‘black’ into that sentence. It speaks volumes. It’s not about race, idiot.

      bullshit.

        archtyrx in reply to dmacleo. | July 13, 2013 at 6:34 pm

        “bullshit”
        Unfortunately I think you’re right – if they acquit.

          heres a decent timeline of this “nothing to do with race” issue
          http://tinyurl.com/pcc2yl7
          suck it

          angienc in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm

          Aw, see how the hypocrites use the race card. Never mind that’s how they got this brought to trial in the first place — “Zimmerman — the *white* Hispanic — wasn’t charged because he’s white & Martin was black!!!” you all screamed. Now you — without shame — you declare that “it isn’t about race unless I don’t get the verdict I want.”

        pjm in reply to dmacleo. | July 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm

        Please use the complete phrase :

        ‘Your Honor, everything dat guy just said is bullshit. Thank you.’

        tencz65 in reply to dmacleo. | July 13, 2013 at 8:31 pm

        how can you be so stupid an call yourself a human being ?

      Dr Weevil in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      It’s interesting that you don’t know – or pretend not to know – that if some white punk had been beating GZ’s head into the concrete and been shot dead for it, you would never have heard of it, because Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the President, the NAACP, and all the other people demanding a conviction wouldn’t give a damn. A hypothetical white punk exactly like TM except for his race would be lucky if his mother cared.

        Rational in reply to Dr Weevil. | July 13, 2013 at 6:58 pm

        Sure, black kids sure have all the advantages. They may start out on average with less resources and be more likely to receive an inferior education. Why I’ll bet it would be hard to find one white person who doesn’t wish he was born black.

        The world sure has been turned on its head. We all know what the rightful order should be. (sarcasm)

          Fen in reply to Rational. | July 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm

          Bitch please. There are Somali’s starving to death in Africa while you whine about how hard it is to be “black in America”

          BTW, how come none of the Africans I know that recently relocated here… how come they don’t have your “black in America” problems?

          You think its an accident that “black in America” culture created a wanna-be thug punk like Trevor Martin? And while you go on your little racist rant, hundreds of black children are being murdered in America by other black children.

          You have a problem with being “black in America”, go find a mirror.

        Dr Weevil in reply to Dr Weevil. | July 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm

        The supposed ‘reply’ does not in any way address what I wrote. What is it that makes some of the most irrational commenters pick pseudonyms like ‘Rational’?

          Rational in reply to Dr Weevil. | July 13, 2013 at 7:38 pm

          It doesn’t? I mocked you for making this about race and then making the absurd claim that it is somehow disadvantageous that GZ killed a black kid. The national outrage was specifically because this was ‘man bites dog’. Normally a black kid gets killed and that is the end of the story. The police, the prosecutor and the local media were all too willing to let this drop. That the state took a second look at this is unusual. The usual would have been to bury TM and forget him.

          Dr Weevil in reply to Dr Weevil. | July 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm

          You tried to mock me by attributing to me something I didn’t say, don’t think, and any idiot could see that I was not saying. Which is to say that you mocked only your own stupid self. I am not the one who made this about race. It was the racists who insisted, and continue to insist, on prosecuting an innocent man.

          And yes, it is perfectly obvious that it is extremely “disadvantageous that GZ killed a black kid”, because if he had killed a white or Hispanic or Asian a “white Hispanic” in exactly the same circumstance, he would not have been charged. You’re quite right that “The national outrage was specifically because this was ‘man bites dog'”. And you’re absolutely right that “Normally a black kid gets killed and that is the end of the story”, but you fail to mention that in the vast majority of cases the black kid is killed by other blacks, in which case Al Sharpton and company and (as far as I can tell) you don’t give a damn. “That the state took a second look at this is unusual” – indeed it is, because normally people who kill people who are trying to kill them are not charged with any crime. Yes: “The usual would have been to bury TM and forget him”, and that was also the right thing to do – too bad racists and racial agitators insisted on canonizing a criminal who picked the wrong man to try to beat to death.

      V.McCann in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      If you have to lie to support your position, it’s not worth supporting.

    kittycat in reply to TexasJew. | July 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    It certainly could happen that it could be that way. Now people are going to be afraid to defend themselves.

Not good. They may have ruled out self defense.

    archtyrx in reply to maestro. | July 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Yes, I think they WANT to convict him of something, but the sate case for murder wan’t strong enough.

      angienc in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      They *want* to convict him of something because the rule of emotions, which you advocate, and not the rule of law is all that matters. Good job, prog — you & your kind are successfully destroying this country. Oh well, Athens fell to the sophists & demagogues, why should the USA be better.

    graytonb in reply to maestro. | July 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Only if they considered it first, which I just think would mean they never had any understanding. They should decide on M2 & M/s first, then ask themselves if/ then re self defense.

What if Trayvon had killed Zimmerman?

    Northwoods in reply to Kitty. | July 13, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Then he would be on trial for murder.

    archtyrx in reply to Kitty. | July 13, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    he’d be convicted of murder already

      caambers in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Nope…there would have been one delay after another granted by the state so the defense could prepare for trial and we would have never heard anything about it anyway. Just another statistic.

    Do you think he would have called the police?
    And if he did, do you think he would have waited for them to arrive?

    J. W. in reply to Kitty. | July 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Then we would never have heard about it. There would have been a small funeral where some folks said some nice things about Zimmerman.

      V.McCann in reply to J. W.. | July 13, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      And not one of them would have described him as white.

      Dr Weevil in reply to J. W.. | July 13, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Judging from the people who have testified on his behalf, it would have been a fairly large funeral in which a lot of people would have said very nice things about GZ. If one or two of the commenters here get their wish, it may come to that.

      kittycat in reply to J. W.. | July 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Also, they would not have described Zimmerman as a White Hispanic, just as an Hispanic.

    Jim Bo in reply to Kitty. | July 13, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    The prosecution would have told a very different story of what happened that night where Trayvon would not had been referred to as a child.

I’d like clarification, too:

If Zimmerman hadn’t gotten out of his car, none of this would have never happened, RIGHT? So, is getting out of one’s car = manslaughter?!

/snark off

    archtyrx in reply to Fredro. | July 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    ummm, you forgot that he shot someone, right?

    caambers in reply to Fredro. | July 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I’m really tired of morons repeating this stupid line about he shouldn’t have gotten out of his car. That is the dumbest thing anyone could say. He lived in the complex and there’s nothing illegal about getting out of your vehicle to keep your eye on a suspicious person…the damn dispatcher kept asking him questions about what they person was doing, etc anyway. Fact: Martin went out of his way to confront Zimmerman…it wouldn’t have matter where he was. Martin had FOUR MINUTES to go from the clubhouse to Green’s apartment. And a really scared person would have done just that. No…he had something to prove and he picked on a person who was armed. His poor decision making lead to his own death. The fact that Zimmerman sustained any injuries at all…jeebus…how thick can you be? Can I punch you in the nose, breaking it, then hop on you and start pounding with no sign of stopping and be assured that you won’t do everything in your power to make me stop? You are truly an idiot if you think I’d believe that. Justifiable homicide.

      Rational in reply to caambers. | July 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      “Martin went out of his way to confront Zimmerman” So GZ get’s out of his car and follows TM despite being intimidated and knowing he can’t defend himself, except with his gun. At best, it wasn’t very smart. At worst, it shows that he was willing to shoot someone that he thought was a suspect. But TM was not a suspect; as the police repeatedly pointed out during Zimmerman’s interrogations.

        Lake in reply to Rational. | July 13, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        What George was thinking, who George was talking to doesn’t really matter. In America, we can drive slow in our neighborhood while on the phone, park our car at a club house and talk on the phone, get out and walk in our neighborhood with a flashlight on while on the phone or not and NOT get jumped and beaten. We have the right to shoot a person who is hurting us. Especially when we yell help for 40 secs or more and others are calling 911 because they think it’s an emergency, they are afraid, they are so afraid they don’t come outside to help but yell stop it I’m calling the cops. I just don’t understand why you even have to hesitate to say NOT GUILTY/INNOCENT.

        Lake in reply to Rational. | July 13, 2013 at 7:39 pm

        Some nut job “lawyer” on fox suggested that all of her lawyer friends including herself think George was on top, was the aggressor and a liar. She thinks he’s guilty of who knows what …

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Rational. | July 13, 2013 at 8:25 pm

        “it shows that he was willing to shoot someone”

        Or it meant that like most responsible CCW holders he had accepted the possibility that he may have to use deadly force in defense of him self or another, unfortunately, he did have to do that. Oh, and carrying a gun does not mean that you want to kill someone, it just means you are prepared to if it becomes necessary.

      not_surprised in reply to caambers. | July 13, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      That’s no different than saying if GZ would have stayed in bed that day, nothing would have happened. So I reason if he is found guilty we can’t leave our houses anymore because we are going to be held liable for murder sometime later in the day.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to not_surprised. | July 13, 2013 at 8:27 pm

        Yep and if Zimmerman had not left the house to go to the store, or even if Martin had not gone to 7 – 11 everything would have been peachy.

    Judyt2013 in reply to Fredro. | July 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Well smart ass… if the kid of the woman Traydad was f’n did not want Skittles then TM would have never gone to the 711… I blame Skittles and think SF ought to sue the Mars family… they have deep deep pockets.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Fredro. | July 13, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    It wouldn’t have happened if Trademark hadn’t made a skittles run.

    It wouldn’t have happened if Trademark hadn’t been kicked out of school and sent to live with his dad.

    It wouldn’t have happened if Tracy Grifter had stayed home to keep an eye on his violent, miscreant son instead of going out partying until 4am.

Anything short of acquittal will piss me off. The prosecution’s witnesses did not contradict his story at all, and in fact many supported him. The pictures of him after the crime support his decision to defend himself the way he did. The four minute pause wipes away any stalking nonsense.

I wish there was one man on the jury. These women might believe his fee wasn’t justified.

    archtyrx in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    acquittal is asking way way too much. He bears at least half the responsibility for what happened.

      Mercyneal in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      No, it is NOT too much to ask for acquittal. Did you follow the trial?

        archtyrx in reply to Mercyneal. | July 13, 2013 at 6:32 pm

        all of it. same as you

          Mercyneal in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:36 pm

          This site is most likely not for you.

          GRuggiero in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm

          You should understand that there is no percentage of blame. If TM used excessive force against GZ, who didn’t break any laws by following TM, than he would have been charged with assault and battery if GZ didn’t kill him.

          If GZ was in fear of his life or grave bodily harm when TM was attacking him, he should be acquitted.

          angienc in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:13 pm

          Ah, but you followed it through the lens of stupidity, so it doesn’t really count.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Mercyneal. | July 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm

        It’s time we stop feeding this idiotic troll.

      graytonb in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      The legal question has nothing to do with splitting the blame. Legally at this point TM should be out of consideration except for whether or not GZ was afraid for his life/bodily harm.

      Right, Felony Getting Out of the Car, everyone knows that’s a dangerous, reckless action that has a high likelihood of getting some stranger killed, and thus makes one entirely culpable for anything that happens thereafter, it’s exactly as precipitating as pinning someone down and trying to smash their skull in because you don’t like how they’re looking at you.

      …or so it is in the minds of people to whom “rationality” is a foreign concept.

      Oh look, here’s one now.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      I agree he is responsible for killing Martin and will have to live with that act for the rest of his life, which is not an easy thing to do. However, he is only responsible for that half that isn’t against the law, because the other half is that Martin attacked him.

    GRuggiero in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Fee = fear

    kittycat in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    The prosecution needs to be disbarred. They are deceitful pigs.

So what happens if the jury convicts GZ of manslaughter, thinking that he’ll be sentenced to a year or two, maybe even time served, and then the judge sentences him to 25 or 30? Will they all jump up in the box, screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”, burst into tears, demand a do-over on their verdict, try to grab the verdict form out of the hands of whoever’s holding it (the judge?) when the sentence is passed and tear it up? Or would they be sent home first and the sentencing scheduled for later, in which case they’d be doing their screaming and crying at home? Allowing for that kind of nasty surprise can’t be good for the justice system.

I was certainly astonished to learn (from reading this site) that any state could punish any form of ‘manslaughter’ with anything near 30 years, and I imagine the jury will be, too, when they find out. I mean, all my life (I’m 60) I’ve been reading news stories about people who committed first-degree murder less than 10 years after being convicted of a previous first-degree murder. (Many of them had been sentenced to 20-to-life but had only served 7-8, and had gone back to killing soon as soon as they got out.) How can a scale that included 1st-degree, 2nd-degree, and manslaughter and maybe more levels be so out of whack?

I just hope the jury doesn’t find out about Florida’s absurd manslaughter sentences when it’s too late and they’ve already done something the judge doesn’t let them take back.

    archtyrx in reply to Dr Weevil. | July 13, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    “I just hope the jury doesn’t find out about Florida’s absurd manslaughter sentences”

    I would add to that florida’s absurd self defense laws.

      guycocoa in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      What is absurd about Florida’s self-defense laws?

      J. W. in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      I agree. People shouldn’t be able to defend themselves. If they do, they should go to jail.

        archtyrx in reply to J. W.. | July 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        self defense works for both parties in this case. see?

          J. W. in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:47 pm

          Oh, so you think Zimmerman defended himself. I guess he should be acquitted, then.

          Dr Weevil in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm

          Once TM had GZ on his back on the sidewalk with his nose broken and his head bloodied front and back, hadn’t he already successfully defended himself from whatever (totally hypothetical) attack GZ had conceivably made on him?

          Why didn’t he stop beating GZ, even whan the neighbors begged him to and told him the police were on the way? I wish MO’M had made this point: the fact that he didn’t stop the beating even when he knew the police were on the way is strong evidence that he intended to keep on beating GZ until he died or the police got there, whichever happened first – unless GZ had a gun, of course, which was the only other possible way to stop his homicidal beating.

          V.McCann in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm

          No it doesn’t. There isn’t a shred of credible evidence that Zimmerman used unlawful force against Martin.

          I do see. I see that you’re an idiot. There’s no law in any state of the country that says you can “defend yourself” by pinning someone down and trying to smash their skull because you don’t like that they’re following you in a public area.

          Martin would have gotten convicted of felony assault and possibly attempted murder if he had managed to survive, and any defense attorney that attempted a self-defense argument for his actions would have been laughed out of court.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 8:39 pm

          You should really read the laws again. Actually, from your earlier comments, I suggest you get someone rational and intelligent to explain them to you.

    iRain in reply to Dr Weevil. | July 13, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    So what happens if the jury convicts GZ of manslaughter …?

    They will all go home well satisfied that they’ve proven themselves not to be racist.

    pjm in reply to Dr Weevil. | July 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Zimmerman’s chances of surviving ANY prison time are less than the chances of a bug surviving my windshield.

    A ) He’s white
    B ) He killed a black man
    C ) He’s famous for it (that gets his killer in prison bonus points, like the 10-20 gun add in the charges)
    D ) He’s a marshmallow
    E ) He talks too freaking much, which is largely what got him where he is today
    F is for Fuggetaboutit.

Not a good sign.

Rut-Roh…

JackRussellTerrierist | July 13, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I’m not taking this as a bad sign, and I’m an eternal pessimist.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the judge’s instructions on manslaughter also contained the admonition along the lines of….if it’s self-defense then they can’t find him guilty of manslaughter. They must have concluded self-defense, or they’d be looking at M2. Hense, when they read the manslaughter instruction, they will see the self-defense also applies.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | July 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    hence 🙂

    they’re not even thinking of self defense anymore – that’s over.

      Mercyneal in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      I disagree, and you are in the minority here. Have you considered going over to Daily Kos?

        archtyrx in reply to Mercyneal. | July 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm

        Read andrews tweets, you’re not disagreeing with me, but with him:

        “It suggests to me that they didn’t take MOM’s advice and start with SD. If they had decided against SD, MS is a no-brainer gulity.”

          angienc in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm

          Do you even realize that what you quoted from Branca means they have NOT ruled out self-defense or they would have found him guilty of Murder 2 — or are you really *just* that stupid to quote something that means the opposite of what you wrote (“They’ve ruled out self-defense”) as support for what you wrote?

          Work on your reading comprehension. Andrew’s point is that if they *had* ruled out self defense, manslaughter would be a no-brainer slam-dunk. His point is that they need clarification on some point regarding manslaughter, thus self-defense is *not* out of play, QED.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm

          Yes, and no where in that quote did he say they had given up on Self Defense, he said they didn’t do that first.

    Unless they’ve ruled out M2 for lack of a depraved mind, not b/c of self defense, thus setting the table to find against self defense on the MS charge.

    I hope not.

I am curious about the question asked. Was it ” we would like a clarification on MS” or was something more specific and the judge just read the general question aloud?

Andrew Tweet:
“It suggests to me that they didn’t take MOM’s advice and start with SD. If they had decided against SD, MS is a no-brainer gulity”

he’s going down.

OMG. Tall black kid standing on courthouse lawn wearing t-shirt with picture of GZ’s head in crosshairs.
Classy.//

Hmmm…how can you say someone was guilty of manslaughter but then under the special findings have an option which goes completely against that?

Regards

Mailman

It’s manslaughter by intentional act, not normal manslaughter. Jury instructions: Jurors cannot convict on manslaughter in this case if death justified, excusable, negligent or accident.

Usually GZ has no visible reaction when he comes into the courtroom, but when he just came into the courtroom he looked sort of pleased. Hope I’m reading him right.

    archtyrx in reply to guycocoa. | July 13, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    he could feel pleased… It probably means they ruled out M2. But…asking for MS might go either way – they want to convict, or they’re going through a process of elimination

During his closing argument, I was concerned that MOM didn’t point out that jurors shouldn’t interpret the phrase “lesser included offense” as indicating that manslaughter is an extremely serious offense, subject to extremely severe punishment, as is second degree murder. The only difference in the elements is the state of mind, and they must find GZ not guilty of either if they find the state has not proved, beyond all reasonable doubt, that use of deadly force was not justified.

I know that discussion of specific sentences is not permitted, but MOM could have skirted close to the line by indicating that manslaughter carries severe punishment, and that compromise verdicts are not proper.

Maybe they’ve ruled out Murder2, and they’re going through a process of elimination?

So the real question here is ‘ what part of self defense do you not understand’…
Interesting that State & Defense both seem to be relatively ok with how Nelson proceeds.

Doug Huffman | July 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm

“Going down,” perhaps, but to an appeal before a competent judge (there can’t be two Chris Farley doppelgängers).

Mr. Guy suggested that the judge tell the jury that there is no law. They are supposed to use their emotions.

    archtyrx in reply to guycocoa. | July 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    no matter what you tell them, they are going to rely on their own experiences, which include emotions. They’re not all Spocks in there. lol

Onward toward the appeal.

The verdict form seems odd to me, and misleading. It provides “If you find Manslaughter, you must choose A or B.” Seems to me it should say that in order to find Manslaughter you must first find A or B. The verdict form suggests that the jury can find Manslaughter and then decide between A and B.
This must be standard Florida practice.

The lawyers on both sides and the judge seem to be having a good time.

Seems to me this kind of manslaughter would be like a gansta shooting into a crowd and killing an 11 year old bystander.

A woman shooting a 17 year old (6 foot) rapist who has already broken her nose and ripped half her clothes off … manslaughter or self defense?

If they convict on manslaughter it’s one more travesty, and a big one.

    archtyrx in reply to boris. | July 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    a travesty – or a legal precedent that could be pulled into future cases.

    kentuckyliz in reply to boris. | July 13, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I read KY laws. I can shoot you if you are breaking in to my residence or dwelling, or someone else’s. Dwelling includes my vehicle and workplace and anybody’s house where I’m an invited guest. I can shoot you if you are attacking or going to attack me, or someone else. I can shoot you if you are trying to rape me or someone else. I can shoot you for mere property crimes. I don’t need to have injuries or a single scratch. Just be reasonable.

    I’ve been getting death and rape threats, so yes I have a weapon handy all the time. I may look like a nice middle aged lady who can’t outrun a paraplegic, and you’d be right. However, I will not tolerate assault against me, my coochie (it’s just rape!), my home, my stuff (it’s just stuff!), or my neighbor’s and friend’s person or property.

    In TX, a convenience store employee shot and killed a man who walked out with a case of beer without paying. No charges were brought. People were horrified, saying, why would that clerk kill for <$20 worth of beer? That gets it wrong. The real question is, why would that man think that a case of beer is worth risking his life? That's the gamble he (the thief) took–he gambled and lost.

Oh wow. Sounds like there is at least one juror a few french fries short of a Happy Meal. Hope that’s all it is.

I am wondering also at this point if the jury is waiting for Monday to give the verdict. There are too many people ‘protesting’ in front of the courthouse. On second thought, I doubt if any of the protesters has a real job so it won’t make any difference. Many have probably been bussed in courtesy of Eric Holder. I had to head out 46 east today and go down 17-92 for a bit when I got back, to head over to Altamonte and there are TONS of police cars patrolling. This never had to happen. I hope those who want a race war are happy.

So George Zimmerman should have laid there and permitted himself to get shot to death over legally following a suspicious-looking kid. Then he could have avoided manslaughter.

Ugh, I really wish Andrew would put up a notice on Twitter when he puts up a new post here, so I wouldn’t find it 45 minutes and 115 comments later.

But doesn’t the jury instructions for manslaughter include “justifiable homicide”?

http://lawofselfdefense.com/jury_instruction/flji-7-7-manslaughter/

    graytonb in reply to rokiloki. | July 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Yes, but waay down the list/ page. If they ‘ve gotten only as far as manslaughter ( after passing on M-2, which headed the list), they may not have picked up on that yet.

By the way, I KNOW WHAT THE QUESTION FROM THE JURY MEANS!

It means absolutely jack until the jury tells you what their decision is. 🙂

perhaps settling in on something, enough to take a break and eat dinner. If I were George, I’d be very very nervous.

BluesPlayer | July 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm

People (see arch) are reading what they want to into this. No one knows if all six jurors have a question, or just one or two. It also doesn’t mean they ruled out SDM, OR an acquittal… OR they may still end up with a deadlocked jury.

    archtyrx in reply to BluesPlayer. | July 13, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    of course no one knows exactly what this means… but that hasn’t stopped anyone from doing exactly what were all doing

      BluesPlayer in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      What I see you doing is making transparent comments about how “he’s going down,” based on your prejudice.

      You’re a joke, and the type of message board troll who, if the verdict or score of a game doesn’t go their way, will be out of here faster than a fat girl in dodge ball, never to be read again.

For a MS finding to make any logical sense at all, which, sadly, it doesn’t have to, the jury would have to believe that GZ actually started the fight, not merely that he shadowed Trademark.

The MS instructions allow GZ to resist the commission of a felony against him with deadly force and Trademark’s bushwack was clearly a felony.

So its only if the jury comes to the preposterous conclusion that GZ started the physical altercation that he goes down for MS.

Which may well be precisely what happens here.

But perhaps such obvious illogic will either avail itself to these ladies before they take such a fateful step or provide the obvious foundation to overturn on appeal.

I HATE to say this. But allowing an all women jury to decide a case that turns on psychologically hard-to-accept fact and that is laden with emotion was a mistake.

    bildung in reply to maestro. | July 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Yep.

    Sorry, I can’t agree. While there’s support for the notion that women “on average” may be more apt to decide matters emotionally or by “their gut” than men, that’s no reason smear them all as a group this way.

    There are great numbers of very rational women, and very emotion-driven men.

    Furthermore, in a case like this, women in general have something that helps the defense. Women are much more likely to be physically victimized, or to actually have been personally, and have spent a lot more time thinking very seriously about protecting themselves, being victimized, being helplessly overpowered, and so on.

    One or two of the jurors might be starry-eyed enough to buy into the pacifist notion that it’s not right to respond to violence with violence, but I’d be amazed if fewer than four of them weren’t thinking, “If *I* were the one pinned down and being beaten bloody, I wouldn’t just take it either, and anyone who tries to argue that I should have or should be sent to jail for saving my own life can go screw themselves.”

Mansizedtarget | July 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I note the instructions are confusing, even if based on forms.

The justifiable homicide instruction at the beginning is followed up by a justifiable use of deadly force instruction later. There is no reason to give the felony instruction under circumstances, it is confusing.

I also note that if jurors arguing about instructions or going through in order, the justifiable use of deadly force instruction follows the manslaughter instruction, i.e., they haven’t gotten to it yet.

I think this question as written suggests one or more of the jurors is really really stupid. What a stupid question stupidly asked? Even if they do right thing, I fear it will be result of randomness.

Jeralyn over at Talk Left makes this point:

If the jurors are following instructions, it means they have rejected Murder 2 because the instructions tell them not to consider manslaughter unless they have rejected Murder 2.

In considering the evidence, you should consider the possibility that although the evidence may not convince you that George Zimmerman committed the main crime of which he is accused, there may be evidence that he committed other acts that would constitute a lesser included crime. Therefore, if you decide that the main accusation has not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, you will next need to decide if George Zimmerman is guilty of any lesser included crime. The lesser crime indicated in the definition of Second Degree Murder is: Manslaughter.

Uncle Samuel | July 13, 2013 at 7:14 pm

WHY ISN’T SELF-DEFENSE MENTIONED ON THE VERDICT FORM?

That form seems especially prejudicial towards murder, manslaughter, malfeasance with a firearm.

If I had been the counsel for the defense, I would never have agreed to this verdict form.

    graytonb in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    They shouldn’t even look at the verdict form until they’ve reached one. and hopefully have not.

    archtyrx in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I think self defense is out of the equation now…

      iRain in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Perhaps; but only for now. There’s not a doubt in my mind that upon appeal this verdict would be/will be (if it comes to that) turned over onto its head, and Zimmerman acquitted.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Just go ahead and say that you hope self defense is out of the picture, at least be honest.

    The jury instructions read:

    “In this case, George Zimmerman is accused of Second Degree Murder.

    A killing that is excusable or was committed by the use of justifiable deadly force is lawful. If you find Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman, you will then consider the circumstances surrounding the killing in deciding if the killing was Murder in the Second Degree or was Manslaughter, or whether the killing was excusable or resulted from justifiable use of deadly force.”

    The bolded part of the instruction has all the elements of self defense.

I think they’re going to key in on the negligence part of MS.

“Each of us has a duty to act reasonably toward others. If there is a violation of that duty, without any conscious intention to harm, that violation is negligence”

    graytonb in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    But, sigh….
    Negligence is not mentioned here, because it’s a given that GZ shot intentionally. It would be Intentional Manslaughter, which precludes negligence.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    There was no negligence at all. George Zimmerman waited until Trayvon Martin went for his gun and uttered threats to his life and with malice/hate speech.

    George Zimmerman had no other options. None.

    Trayvon had turned into a deadly killer. It was a matter of life or death.

    He did not have time or experience/expertise to aim anywhere.

    George Zimmerman did not have malice, spite or hate. He was only trying to protect his neighbors from criminals.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 13, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      In one short week, Trayvon had turned from burglary to felony assault into a deadly killer.

      archtyrx in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      you are way out of touch…

      archtyrx in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      There was no negligence at all. George Zimmerman waited until Trayvon Martin went for his gun and uttered threats to his life and with malice/hate speech. CONJECTURE

      George Zimmerman had no other options. None. HE COULD HAVE STAYED IN HIS CAR, HE’S A n WATCH GUY, NOT A COP

      Trayvon had turned into a deadly killer. It was a matter of life or death. OH GET REAL. GZ HAD THE GUN LOL

      He did not have time or experience/expertise to aim anywhere. I’LL GIVE YOU THAT – UNTRAINED

      George Zimmerman did not have malice, spite or hate. He was only trying to protect his neighbors from criminals. DOESN’T HAVE TO FOR MANSLAUGHTER

    angienc in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Now you’ve done it — you have *proven* yourself to be a liar as you have *not* followed the trial NOR have you read the jury instructions — both of which you said you did. The judge did not give the culpable negligence instruction. There is only manslaughter by act in the jury instructions because *that* is the charge the state brought. Stop pretending you know what is going on here, Troll.

      archtyrx in reply to angienc. | July 13, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      I followed the trial, same as you have. And, I’m entitled to my opinion, as others here are. It may not agree completely with yours, but heh, it’s a free country. Do you want to suppress free speech?

    MegK in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    If you go on to read the instructions, it says negligence is NOT sufficient to convict him of manslaughter. It has to be culpable negligence, which involves a complete disregard for hum life, a knowledge that your act could cause death, etc. This may be where their confusion is.

notlookinggood | July 13, 2013 at 7:19 pm

It seems someone has left the drain pipe unplugged and a troll has arrived. Though lacking the proper credentials of a full fledged basement dwelling sophistry, he more exhibits the crawl space variety rodent who scurries about spraying nonsense in a desperate attempt for attention and relevance…sad!

[…] All we do now is sit and wait and keep our eyes fixed on Sanford and her son. […]

During testimony by one of GZ’s profs, there was a brief, incorrect discussion of the concept of “imperfect self defense.” Correctly, this represents the situation in which defendant truly fears death or serious bodily harm, but jury finds this fear was not reasonable. Were the jury to reject self defense, and find MS, it would more likely be on the basis of this theory than that GZ wasn’t in fear. The problem is that manslaughter related to imperfect self defense, in most jurisdictions, truly is a much lesser offense, with much lower penalties, than M2. Any juror who has read the newspapers or listened to news over the years may assume this is the case.

When MOM talked about not making assumptions during his closing, I sure wish he had told jurors not to make any assumption as to whether a particular verdict will result in a short or long sentence. (I know this is close to the line about discussing specific sentences, but probably not objectionable and well short of contempt.)

    iRain in reply to neils. | July 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    I tend to believe that’s exactly what these jurors are thinking. It’s an ultimate compromise stemming from this Kangaroo court that reins in the land of Oz.

      Mansizedtarget in reply to iRain. | July 13, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      I participated in that discussion and am also a Florida lawyer. Florida does not have an “imperfect self defense” means of allowing a very low level manslaughter. It’s either reasonable self defense or not.

      I did think West was a bit confused on that point, confusing impefect self defense with the idea that one can recover the right of defense, even if an aggressor, if one tries to leave the fight (in this case by calling for help, for example) and the opponent has escalated things to the point where death or great bodily harm may result, even when the initial blows may have been lawful defense by the victim.

It may be that B-51 is actually acting as a B-52…….

ProfessionalSpectator | July 13, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Negligence isn’t at issue. The jury instruction says that a merely negligent act will not suffice, which is probably what has the jury confused. It’s undisputed that Zimmerman intended to pull the trigger. The intent element is only concerned with the act performed that killed Trayvon Martin. They aren’t properly focussed; they should be looking solely at self-defense (and acquitting on that basis…).

Hmmm.Smells as though someone here, has a new T-shirt.

zimmerman-crosshairs-shirt
Cretinous protester sports t-shirt with Zimmerman in crosshairs [photos]
http://twitchy.com/

    Uncle Samuel in reply to JP. | July 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Look up the Trayvon Thug fail hoodie

    DriveBy in reply to JP. | July 13, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    He is definitely “Cretinous.” But this is still The United States of America and he has every right to express himself with the dumb shirt. Get over it. At least you can see the shirt, identify a problem, and steer clear of him.

This is a scam. Every single prosecution team should overcharge … Fight a losing case … And then give it to a jury.

The defense has been denied a chance to adequately call witnesses to refute the charge of manslaughter.

The court should be forced to decide all charges before the trial takes place.

    dust92 in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    That’s how it works. It leads to a ton of pleas. Our justice system utterly depends on most cases being pled out instead of going to trial. There are simply far, far too many criminal cases for our justice system to give everyone a trial. So prosecutors overcharge, tell someone who either committed a minor offense (or even an innocent person) that they will get 1700 years of prison if they don’t plea to something much shorter.

    If I were king for a day they would be wiping off the books 99% of our laws, sticking to the basic offenses. I think it’s only fair that the law being something everyone can understand, and if the state wishes to put someone in prison, they really need a trial. Perhaps we should make a trial mandatory for any felony offense.

Hey, I was reading something by Ann Coulter, and she was saying that there were 8 burglaries in 14 months before Martin was killed. This was at Twin Lakes. Almost all of them were blacks or a black male.

Another thing that just ticks me off, and she was talking about this on Hannity. The prosecution kept saying that Zimmerman was a wannabe cop, that he was on the neighborhood watch, blah, blah, blah.

So, hey, is it a bad thing all of a sudden to want to be a law enforcement officer? Isn’t that really a good thing to be to be of service to your community? What’s bad about being a neighborhood watch person anyway? Those are really good things. It’s good to be watching out for our neighbors and not want any harm to come to them.

    DKlein in reply to kittycat. | July 13, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Anyone know if the burglaries in the Miami neighborhood, the area of that woman’s home – the woman whose stolen property – jewelry – was found in TM’s book bag – did those burglaries STOP after TM was removed to Sandford?

    I’ve been wondering about that.

    archtyrx in reply to kittycat. | July 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Ann Coulter is a bimbo

I’m curious.

Anyone STILL beleve that TM bought that bag of Skittles for his little buddy Chad?

I see many are saying it’s a mistake to read too much into this, but it seems like a terrible sign for George.

If the jury accepts the argument (the absolutely correct argument) that if the state has failed to disprove beyond reasonable doubt George’s self defense claims, then they shouldn’t be worrying about the specifics of the charges themselves. They don’t really matter. What matters is if George acted in self defense.

That someone on the jury is looking at the charges means, to me, that someone on the jury has rejected either the law or believes the state really did disprove George’s self defense claim beyond reasonable doubt (which is just plain insane).

But hey, someone had to vote in the knuckleheads here, right? Someone elected Corey and Jeb (and via Jeb Bush, this judge, who was also elected after appointment). In short, we’re looking at a state of dumb voters, aren’t we? I can’t be surprised if they also have dumb juries.

    archtyrx in reply to dust92. | July 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I tend to agree, as Andrew has tweeted in not so many words. It’s not looking good for GZ. I don’t think they want to see him walk.

    mrjr101 in reply to dust92. | July 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    You’re correct in logic, if we assume that these women are following the law and the instructions, then self-defense is out of the question. Not good for GZ.

    It could also mean, that at least 1 or more jurors are not following logic and the law, therefore, that person or persons are getting confused about MS instructions. Not good for GZ unless it’s only 1, maybe 2 jurors that are confused about it.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to mrjr101. | July 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      How is “self defense out of the question”, the state offered zero proof that is wasn’t self defense.

      I tend to be of the opinion that there is one juror who is just refusing to go with self defense and they are trying to show that one how the law doesn’t agree with her.

        mrjr101 in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm

        I do believe is self defense too, you did not understand me correctly. I agreed to the poster above that if they are following the law and agreeing to self defense, they shouldn’t be even worrying about what MS means. The defense does not want a discussion about MS, none whatsoever.

        iRain in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm

        The only thing the State proved was that Trayvon’s name was Trayvon.

    profnickd in reply to dust92. | July 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    All of these stupid, mob-appeasing, and biased state officials who so desperately want to convict GZ, every one of them, are are Republicans. Bondi, Corey, all of them are just as hostile to gun owners rights to self-defense as Dems — even more so, because at least the Dems they don’t hide their true colors.

The other scam … The jurors are less educated than we are. If they knew the facts that we know, that this idiot judge kept from them … Maybe they would agree with us.

    kittycat in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    GRuggiero,

    Speaking about what was kept from us, did you read this from Drudge: IT director who raised questions about Zimmerman case is fired

    He had printed out that 900-page report from Martin’s cell phone records. Check it out:

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/13/justice/zimmerman-it-firing/index.html

    archtyrx in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    be careful, you skating on thin ice. There’s alot of people – very smart people, that do not think the way many others on this blog do.

      are you implying that you are a smart ass?
      I would agree that you are a smart ass, but you are not smart.

      GRuggiero in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      I find the dissenting opinion can be broken down to two groups. African Americans, who have an emotional stake in this … And I won’t argue with them. We need to solve race issues in America in general.

      The second group includes progressives, or liberals before they changed their name. They aren’t worth talking to.

        Micha Elyi in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 8:47 pm

        Welcome to the post-racial Obamatopia!

        Looks a lot like America did during the O.J. trial, donnit?

        Progressives call this “progress”. Makes ’em look full’o smarts – smart as in the German cognate schmertzen.

        Carol Herman in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 8:53 pm

        What’s to solve? There’s a Black population in America that feel entitled to express hostilities to Whites. Perhaps also there are hostilities between Blacks and Hispanics, and Asians?

        In each of these communities, where is anything of value provided by the entitled Blacks? Yes, we’re told to be afraid of riots? If there are riots what exactly do the Blacks destroy that they built themselves?

        Yes, politically we’ve seen the cancerous growth of two extremes, with nothing in the middle. Very sad.

          GRuggiero in reply to Carol Herman. | July 13, 2013 at 9:05 pm

          Looks like you answered your own question. You pointed out several problems that need to be solved. There are others.

        JohnC in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 9:06 pm

        Yes. I have experienced that.
        I know a black man who is very smart and capable of expressing great insight into social situations. But on this particular subject (the whole incident and trial) he just doesn’t get it. He literally can not see the confrontation between GZ and TM as anything other than ‘another young black man is shot dead.’ I have come to believe he NEEDS GZ to be guilty. I suppose the truth of this particular incident is too horrible for him to accept so his mind blocks out any possibility that GZ could have been in the right and still wound-up having to shoot TM. I just ignore him when he talks about this case. There’s no point even discussing it. He will never change his mind because his opinion is based on emotion rather than logic and evidence.

      Fabi in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      A lot of smart people know that ‘alot’ is not a word, dweeb.

      Fabi in reply to archtyrx. | July 13, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      Oh, and your syntax is deplorable.

Frank Taffy (Zimmerman’s friend) just said on Fox News that he has information that the jury is 5 to 1 in favor of acquittal. The one holdout is the one who requested the manslaughter info.

Don’t know how reliable he is, but thats what he just said on the Fox Report.

    Matt in FL in reply to rokiloki. | July 13, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Frank Taffee is working out his 15 minutes of fame talking to Nancy Grace and her ilk. Not a word he says is any more worth listening to than Nancy herself.

      NeoConScum in reply to Matt in FL. | July 13, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Nancy Grace, HLN Blather Queen & Crack Piper, along with her hideous colleague Jane Valez-Bitchell need to be shipped of to Hazelden or Betty Ford Center for a minimum of a year. Drama Queens on Speed. Vapid, blathering, Doofuses.

      Carol Herman in reply to Matt in FL. | July 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Body language? Certainly, one of Zimmerman’s friends might be discussing (even incorrectly) what has been observed of the female jurors? That’s something we have not seen with our own eyes. But, yes, Zimmerman saw with his.

      Also, there’s ONE JUROR that the defense wanted to STRIKE. But the judge (who is batshit crazy when it comes to understanding the law), said “no.”

      Lots of comments piling up. On a Saturday night, no less.

      Should be interesting to see how the judge’s question back asks for “specifics.” She can’t go “wild” on interpreting this legal challenging question.

      Is the jury in recess? Can they work on a Sunday?

    I’d be amazed if the jury wasn’t locked up tighter than a drum and there’s pretty much no way for any such info to “leak” out of their deliberations.

    If so anyone who claims to have “inside information” is a fool or a liar.

      Matt in FL in reply to Ichneumon. | July 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a foolish man speaks because he has to say something.

      I’m pretty sure that anyone, regardless of education level or life experience, who goes on TV to be abused by Nancy Grace or anyone like her is most assuredly in the latter category.

      “Have to fill airtime” by definition equals “have to say something.” You do the math.

      archtyrx in reply to Ichneumon. | July 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      totally agree

      pjm in reply to Ichneumon. | July 13, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      ‘…fool or liar’ – in Taaffe’s case, I believe the man is multi-faceted like that.

      Exiliado in reply to Ichneumon. | July 13, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      A fool AND a liar.

    kentuckyliz in reply to rokiloki. | July 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Unless someone has bugged the jury room, neither FT nor any of these prognosticators can know what’s going on in there. It’s speculation.

    I wonder if a parabolic ear would work? Ah, too long of a drive. I’ve got to work Monday morning.

    archtyrx in reply to rokiloki. | July 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    that’s BS. There’s nothing coming out of there.
    That’s the same thinking that had Romney winning over Obama the night before the election.

    rokiloki in reply to rokiloki. | July 13, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    The Fox Report panel all agree he couldn’t know.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to rokiloki. | July 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    While I agree that is the most probable situation, there is no way he actually knows that and if he does that is jury tampering and/or breach of sequestration and a mistrial.

    gregm in reply to rokiloki. | July 13, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Frank must have a hacker friend at the NSA 🙂

    They know everything in real time.

      Narniaman in reply to gregm. | July 13, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      Very good point. . . .do you suspect that Obama and company know what’s going on in the jury room? (Not that there would be anything wrong with the Won monitoring the jury room like he does everything else. . . . . )

    pjm in reply to rokiloki. | July 13, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    *IF* he said that, he’s in deep deep shit with Judge Martin ! Count on DAT !

    That would imply the secrecy of jury deliberations (sequesterd jury no less) has been vioalted, and I PROMISE people would go to jail for that, IF it happened.

    It also might be grounds for a mistrial, IF true.

    FYI – he not only talked to Nancy Grace once, but he’s come back to do it over and over again. That speaks to his (lack of) intelligence.

Well, for the first time in three weeks, I’m turning off my email subscription to a thread here. Too many comments flooding in, and most of them are either complete BS, trolling, or groundless speculation. It’s not worth the time it takes to read them.

    foghorn in reply to Matt in FL. | July 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Damnit, Matt! Get back to TTAG! Who let you out of your cage?

      Matt in FL in reply to foghorn. | July 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      I’ve been here for three weeks. 🙂 I’ve entertained a few people, and made a couple internet enemies, so I assume I’m doing something right.

    archtyrx in reply to Matt in FL. | July 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    it’s true. exhausting with the speculation, as I’m guilty too.

    PS I’m not a troll here, just have my own viewpoint which differs somewhat than others here. I respect others. I would expect they respect mine.

kentuckyliz | July 13, 2013 at 7:48 pm

I’ve read the jury instructions, and I can’t even think of what manslaughter is–a culpable oopsie? It’s confusing, so I think the wheels are spinning in mud here. They just need time to struggle with it and work through it and apply the law to the facts of this case.

    graytonb in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I’m a woman also, and I’ll be pretty embarassed if what this means is that these six just cannot comprehend what they read and decide to hug it out with a ‘compromise’ .

I think they put a ringer in there
How the hell do they not see this as an act of self defense?

    MarkS in reply to TexasJew. | July 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Does it defy coincidence that someone moving from Chicago (think Obama, Jesse Jackson, et al) as reported, three month before the trial gets on a jury?

eaglesdontflock | July 13, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Hung jury. One holdout wants manslaughter. All the rest for acquittal. Rumor.

    archtyrx in reply to eaglesdontflock. | July 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    could be the other way, too

    Ragspierre in reply to eaglesdontflock. | July 13, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    If you read the manslaughter blub, you will see why they are confused.

    Juries do what they are instructed by their judges. She gave them a cookbook, and they are following it.

    The are just moving through the instructions.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | July 13, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      I read the Jury Instructions, I just don’t see with the evidence they have the could come up with manslaughter, unless one of them just doesn’t understand.

        Ragspierre in reply to Gremlin1974. | July 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm

        Well, do you know all the felonies in Florida…???

        That is one of the conditioning predicates in manslaughter, innit?

We have to be fair to the jury, here. At this point no one, outside the jury room, has any idea what is going on. And, we probably won’t, until the jury informs the judge of a verdict or that they can not reach a unanimous decision. All of this is simply speculation.

Another thing is the fact that the members of the jury are not professional jurists. They are lay people who have no education or training in interpreting the law. This is an educational process for them. And, this is one of the reasons why we see horrible miscarriages of justice from some juries.

Our criminal trial system recognizes this and provides a professional jurist, the trial judge, to off-set the limitations of the jury. In cases where the burden of proof for a charge has not been met by the prosecution, the judge [our professional jurist] has, not only the power, but the duty to directly acquit a defendant without going to the jury. The judge is able to do this because of the training and experience he has in administering the law. In this case, the judge chose to abrogate that duty to the totally untrained citizen jury. This is akin to a professional airline pilot allowing a passenger, picked at random, to land a 777 in marginal weather conditions. The judge can also set aside the verdict of a jury, if he feels that it is not substantiated by facts in evidence. These are not things that a jurist may do or can do. These are things that a competent jurist must do,

Now, in the latest example of the judge’s competence, rather than making a decision, she asks the attorneys to make the decision for her. I’m sorry, this is a criminal trial and the presiding judge should know the current case law with regards to jury instructions. And, she should make the decision as to how top handle the situation, not have the opposing attorneys decide for her.

This is very scary stuff, here.

    bks in reply to Mac45. | July 13, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    What are you talking about? The judge did exactly what she was supposed to do. Jury instructions are a minefield and consulting with the attorneys and Zimmerman was mandatory.

    –bks

    kittycat in reply to Mac45. | July 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Mac45,

    Thanks for that. I had thought that years ago that we should be going to professional jurors.

eaglesdontflock | July 13, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Ringer may be Chicago nurse transferred to Florida 3 mos ago.

It does seem like the choices are murder II with spite and ill will (or whatever), manslaughter – as an intentional act producing death unintentionally, or manslaughter- as an UNintentional act producing death unintentionally, or self defense as a justification for any of the above.

Where would manslaughter as an intentional act producing death but WITHOUT ill intent be covered?

I fear for our friend GZ. I can only pray the jury is just going through the instructions serially, and therefore have not yet reached the self defense justification .

    graytonb in reply to maestro. | July 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    That is what you just described, intentional manslaughter. Any ill will, hatred or spite has to fall under M2.

ProfessionalSpectator | July 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm

The manslaughter instruction is not straightforward for a layperson. The fact that neither side explicitly addressed it during the trial only compounds this. It would hardly be surprising if they’re struggling with the intent element and/or whether self-defense is an applicable defense.

    I believe it’s spelled clearly in the instructions that self-defense is an applicable defense against MS under “Justifiable Use Of Deadly Force”.

    This is what I’ve been thinking. I have read the instructions a few times and the MS part seemed confusing to me. But then I’m not the sharpest spoon in the chandelier.

    It wasn’t addressed because it wasn’t on the table until the last day or 2.

    The prosecution sneaked it on to the case along with a request for a third degree murder/child abuse charge. Judge threw that out but allowed MS. Defense did not have a chance to dissent much less lay out their position for the jury.

    It was a nasty sneaky maneuver and the judge enabled the prosecution, as usual.

      DriveBy in reply to wyntre. | July 13, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      No offense, but that is not true. In Florida the Prosecution has a right to add Manslaughter to a Murder Charge for the jury, it is a given. They requested many other charges, but O’Mara and west declined before the judge, on the record. In a similar case where the defendant is guilty the attorneys would fight for the opposite, add as many lesser charges to the list as possible in hopes that the jury would pick one of them and not the most severe primary charge.

        Matt in FL in reply to DriveBy. | July 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm

        DriveBy is correct. Manslaughter is a Category One Lesser Included Offense. It was always on the table. It is the judge’s discretion whether to add it or not, but in practice, it’s almost always there. The only requirements for the judge to add a discretionary LIO is for the prosecution or defense to ask for it, and for the judge to determine that the facts as presented warrant its inclusion. For instance, if they had asked for vehicular manslaughter, she would not allow it, because there wasn’t a vehicle involved. Similarly, she disallowed the prosecution’s request for Third Degree Felony Murder-Child Abuse, because she found that the facts as presented did not warrant its inclusion.

        The defense argued against Manslaughter, because that’s what defense attorneys do, but they had no real expectation of its exclusion.

    You’re correct. It’s not clear in a situation such as thism and especially as muddled deliberately by the prosecution with insinuation and speculative claims. (I am a Florida lawyer). If there is a conviction, however, it will be reversed on appeal.

jayjerome66 | July 13, 2013 at 8:13 pm

For George, via Tom Petty, who did what a responsible man should do, but may be getting screwed for it:

Well I won’t back down
No I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

No I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin me down
gonna stand my ground
… and I won’t back down

    Go see Tom Petty while he’s still getting around. He has Lou Gehrig’s disease. His hands are shaking so badly that it pains me to watch…

    Great song, by the way.

A lot of people, including myself, were going “WTF?” at the fact-free, confusion-sowing, emotion-jerking closing(s) of the prosecution. That’s no way to win a trial.

Correct, it’s no way to win. But what if you know at the start you can’t win, because your case is weak-to-non-existent, shouldn’t even have gone to trial, and any reasonable person would rule for the other side?

Well then, you hope there’s a *non-reasoning* person in the jury, demagogue as hard as you can with the kind of BS that empty-headed bleeding-hearts fall for, and shoot for a hung jury.

In that light, the prosecution’s closing (and much of their presentation) makes perfect “sense”.

They can’t win, but they’re trying hard not to lose, using whatever it takes, regardless of what the fallout might be.

“Who’s that tripping over my bridge?” roared the Troll.

I just read the instructions again and noticed that self defense isn’t covered in the excusable sections at all and isn’t mentioned until page 12. I pray the jury just hasn’t gotten there yet.

Carol Herman | July 13, 2013 at 8:22 pm

The female’s intelligence test. And, O’Mara’s close. Which told the jurors to “look at the evidence.” Obviously, there’s “HANGING” going on. Probably? From the beginning. We know the judge is batshit crazy. And, many have had doubts about the 6 women picked.

Since the jurors are asking about “compromise,” you can guess they’d give the State “a bite” … but not if manslaughter equals 30 years in prison.

The ALLEN CHARGE, is not accepted in all states. It goes back to a murder trial in Massachusetts. In 1896. Where two previous juries HUNG. And, in the “DYNAMITE” Allen Charge the jury is told they were 12 impartial jurors.

Well, this jury is not composed of 12 people. Only 6. And, they’re hung.

Since this case has MISTRIAL written all over it, and I’m sure Zimmerman’s team has the Appeal(s) ready … I can only imagine, NOW, we’re dealing with an intelligence test to see if females are BERSERK. Emotionally to crazy to handle what would have appeared to men to be an acquittal.

Sure. They were picked “knock knock” like at the beginning because they said they knew so little about George Zimmerman.

After around ten hours of deliberation, the George Zimmerman jury has asked a question: “May we please have clarification on instructions regarding manslaughter?” In general, courts don’t answer questions of this sort; they simply refer the jury back to the instruction that has already been given.

Should anything be inferred from the jury’s question? Probably not: I’ve learned over the years that most of the time, you can’t conclude anything in particular from jury questions. But you can always speculate: after electing a foreperson and reviewing the evidence, the jury likely would have begun by discussing whether they can find Zimmerman guilty of second degree murder. If the answer to that question were “Yes,” there would be no need to move on to manslaughter.

So very possibly, if the jury is now looking seriously at manslaughter, they may have decided to acquit on second-degree murder. But that is just speculation.

Manslaughter is a lesser included offense, but there is not much reason, in this case, why a jury should find Zimmerman guilty of manslaughter but not second degree murder. The difference is one of state of mind, but Zimmerman has always claimed self-defense, which is equally a defense to second degree murder and manslaughter.

Most likely the jury is simply being methodical. Its first request was for a listing of all the exhibits that were in evidence. Despite having been sequestered, the jurors no doubt have some sense of how much attention is being paid to the case (i.e., a ridiculous amount). My guess is that they are simply taking their time and discussing everything thoroughly. If they review the evidence carefully, take the court’s instructions seriously, and render an honest verdict, it just about has to be not guilty. The only caveat is that the glare of publicity that surrounds a case of this sort is capable of distorting reality.

UPDATE: It seems obvious that the court couldn’t respond to the jury’s question as framed, even if it were willing in principle. So the prosecution is arguing that the court should go back to the jury and ask it to be more specific in its request for clarification. In my experience, it would be extremely unorthodox–to say the least–for a judge to get into this sort of a colloquy with a jury. Things might be different in a Florida state court, but I doubt it.
JOHN HINDERAKER

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/07/zimmerman-jury-wants-clarification-on-manslaughter.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+powerlineblog%2Flivefeed+%28Power+Line%29

    Ragspierre in reply to JP. | July 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    True fact. Judges are loath to clarify. Most often in my experience, they just send back a note saying to the effect, “You have your instructions”.

If I understand correctly, a hung jury means a mistrial which may or may not mean a retrial, correct. If there were a decision not to retry, at what point would Zimmerman regained his liberty? If he were retry, would the bond be held over for the second trial?

    maestro in reply to maestro. | July 13, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    (The first sentence was a question. Where the hell is that edit button question)

    styro1 in reply to maestro. | July 13, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I would imagine so, he has appeared everyday to his trial and hasn’t broke any of the conditions of his bond as far as we know. If the state had a whiff of his not doing so we would have heard of it.

    Ragspierre in reply to maestro. | July 13, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    They have to fish or cut bait. The time to determine whether they retry is limited (dunno what the limits are in Florida or where they are stated).

    They dismiss unless they notice intent to retry.

    Everything is in stasis, as per now, regarding Zimmerman.

theduchessofkitty | July 13, 2013 at 8:31 pm

I’m telling you, guys. I don’t trust this jury.

    Women. Can’t live with ’em…..

      As is said, we can’t live without them.

      Thanks, Dearly Departed Momma Mia.

      Yeah Yeah, you and Papa, somatimes !.. 🙂

    GRuggiero in reply to theduchessofkitty. | July 13, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    We don’t have any information that we can’t trust them. I would think that women tend to be rational, and deliberate in these matters.

    As I would guess women understand fear.

      gwest in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      I’m a woman, and I have the same baaaad feeling theduchess has…

        GRuggiero in reply to gwest. | July 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm

        If it were me and 5 women … I would guarantee acquittal. I just might take a long time going over everything with them. 🙂

        DriveBy in reply to gwest. | July 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm

        Why?

          gwest in reply to DriveBy. | July 13, 2013 at 9:08 pm

          Because women tend to think with their hearts instead of their heads.

          /Although this is becoming more true of the population as a whole, unfortunately.

      maestro in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      I have my reservations as I have stated. But as I imagine six women sitting in that room with access to the Lauer(sp?) tape and listening to Zimmerman’s screams for almost a minute, it’s hard to conceive that they wouldn’t believe he was in reasonable fear of death or grievous bodily injury.

      Carol Herman in reply to GRuggiero. | July 13, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      You have only one piece of evidence. The Defense wanted to strike one of these women, and the judge “over-ruled.”

      A long time, ago, one summer was devoted to PEYTON PLACE.

      This may be our summer of the Zimmerman trial. And, I don’t think all they eyes watching this (including Drudge, and other blog spots), is going to go to sleep. As if we can sum up all the HORRORS of the State of Florida UNWILLING to give Zimmerman a fair trial.

    Ok, so, you don’t trust this jury. Why not?

Juba Doobai! | July 13, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Meanwhile, the hypocrisy of the NAACP and the black community is laid bare:
http://www.wavy.com/dpp/news/local_news/norfolk/naacp-president-asked-to-step-down

“If he had been talking to another person or two or three people and voiced his personal opinion that’s different,” Rawls added. “When you put it on social media so somebody in Florida, California, Oregon or New York is reading, this, that is wrong.”

It seems the NAACP in the Peninsula, VA, regards speaking the truth on a case as washing dirty family linen in public. To silence Tristan Breaux, young new president of their chapter, they want to recall him. What did Breaux say? He committed heresy. He wrote this on FB.

“I wonder why it is that we are always willing to say someone who clearly had a shaky past, was the victim,” Breaux asked in the Facebook post, referring to Trayvon Martin.

The post went on to ask if people are blinded to why Trayvon was staying with his dad and why he wasn’t at home at at time of the shooting.

They want to lynch him for saying publicly what many are saying privately and what the evidence in the case shows is true: Trayvon Martin is a thug whose actions caused his own demise.

I know this was posted earlier but it should be headlines in every major newspaper and lead on every newscast: “Alan Dershowitz believes prosecutors in Zimmerman case deserve disbarment” They are a disgrace to the justice system.
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/dershowitz-zimmerman-trayvon-martin/2013/07/12/id/514847

    Ragspierre in reply to styro1. | July 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Yabut…Da Dersh was TOTALLY wrong in his commentary early on in this case. IMNHO.

    I don’t disagree with his comments here, as I have them in that piece, however.

    And Corey and her team have been outrageously wrong in much of their conduct of this case.

      Rags, I agree (and most of the time I disagree with you for some odd reason 🙂 ).

      I disagreed with the Dersh over some of his comments because of his imperfect understanding of the facts. It seems he changed his mind a little bit as a result of the trial. Good.

      I agree with the Dersh that Corey should be disbarred and should be given the full Nifong treatment.

      What I think is most reprehensible is the firing of the IT guy who blew the whistle on one of the most underhand things that has taken place in this whole case.

      I say this as a foreigner and outsider.

        Ragspierre in reply to Aussie. | July 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm

        The firing of the IT guy was just a part of a piece…and a relatively small injustice compared to the others.

        He will get another job, and maybe a nice windfall from the State.

        Zimmerman may not be getting much of anything for a long time.

If the jury convicts Zimmerman, I wonder how they will feel once they have access to the truth about St. Travon, the Skittle loving child.

    DriveBy in reply to Anchovy. | July 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Just another day in paradise, I mean Floriduh…

    But seriously, can’t we put the Skittles away already? Treyvon did not have cocaine in his Toxicology report, and Codeine is the key ingredient in the concoction that so many people seem to be falsely beating the kid up about. Maybe, just maybe, he had a sweet tooth for Skittles!?

      steffmckee in reply to DriveBy. | July 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      DriveBy: He had skittles and watermelon drink, two ingredients for Lean, Purple Drank, sizzurp, whatever you want to call it.

        Ragspierre in reply to steffmckee. | July 13, 2013 at 9:06 pm

        And I have sugar and flour, but I’m not making brownies with pot.

        I have diesel and fertilizer, but I’m not making bombs.

        CRIPES….!!!

          steffmckee in reply to Ragspierre. | July 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

          Ragspierre:Do you write text messages about making bombs or hash brownies? Trayvon wrote many messages about making and enjoying “some fire-ass lean.” I find it suspicious he had 2 of 3 ingredients.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 13, 2013 at 9:15 pm

          Swell. Find it suspicious.

          When I was a teenager I LIED. A LOT. Boys do.

          MAYBE he actually used “Drank”. STFW? If O’Mara had found evidence of that, it would have been an issue. It never was.

          Get OFF that nonsense.

          steffmckee in reply to Ragspierre. | July 13, 2013 at 9:28 pm

          I’m not saying it’s evidentiary. But it’s obvious Trayvon was a troubled teen.

        DriveBy in reply to steffmckee. | July 13, 2013 at 9:24 pm

        I know they look suspicious Steff, but one is a candy (sugar) and the other is a sweetened beverage (sugar), so what!?

        Treyvon would need prescription strength medicine with Codeine, not Robitussin, to make it and get any “high”; the skittles and Tea have no true correlation to the high.

        If Robitussin is used, the effective ingredient is an antihistamine that simply causes sleepiness if taken in large quantities.

        This whole thing had been a lie, but it sounds good when combined with all of the other things used to make the kid look subhuman.

      wrong buddy. It is DXM and the ingredient is not Codeine.

        Spiny Norman in reply to Aussie. | July 13, 2013 at 9:06 pm

        Kids were getting high on DXM (Robitussin DM) back in the 1970s. We called it “Robies” back then.

        styro1 in reply to Aussie. | July 13, 2013 at 9:10 pm

        When they use a mass spectrometer it only looks for what they have programed into the machine, most likely just illegal drugs. If they wanted to find DXM they would need to add it to machine 1st, then run blood sample. A mass spectrometer doesn’t look for substances that aren’t programed into it.

        DriveBy in reply to Aussie. | July 13, 2013 at 9:10 pm

        Like I said, Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine.

        Quote:
        “Purple drank is a slang term for a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southern United States, originating in Houston, Texas. Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine.[1] Cough syrup is typically mixed with ingredients such as Sprite soft drink or Mountain Dew and pieces of Jolly Rancher candy. The purplish hue of purple drank comes from dyes in the cough syrup.?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_drank

          steffmckee in reply to DriveBy. | July 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm

          Quoting from another site. drug, “purple drank”?
          Lean, also known as purple drank is created by mixing prescription cough syrup with two other things. Usually the two are jolly ranchers and soda, but a particular mixture requires skittles, Arizona Watermellon tea, and robutussin. The two items needed were purchased by trayvon before his death.

          Trayvon has been know to talk about “purple drank” both on social media and in school. Of course, he was out of school not only for assaulting his bus driver but also for his drug use.
          Side effects of the usage of “lean” includes aggresive behavior. This could help us understand why this rabid young man was so eager to attack both his bus driver and george zimmerman.

      Dr Weevil in reply to DriveBy. | July 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      And maybe his dad’s new girlfriend had some Robitussin in her medicine cabinet and he was planning to make the potion when he got home.

      By the way, wouldn’t Skittles washed down with Arizona Iced Tea brand watermelon drink (NOT iced tea) taste awful? Wouldn’t they be disgustingly sweet together? My understanding is that the whole point of Purple Drank is that the extreme sweetness of the two legal ingredients multiplies the intoxicating effect of the illegal third one. If so, would anyone NOT intending to make Purple Drank ever buy those two ingredients together? Theoretically, but look at it this way: When you see someone buying cookies and potato chips at the store, it doesn’t mean he’s planning to smoke dope and anticipates a bad case of the ‘munchies’: cookies and chips go tolerably well together in lots of non-drug-related contexts. But when you see someone buying tonic water and fresh limes at the same time (as I did a week ago) it’s a pretty safe bet that he has some gin at home (as I did) or plans to acquire some very soon, and that he’s going to be drinking gin and tonics (as I am). Who consumes tonic and limes without gin? (Mormons and Muslims who want to feel sinful without committing a sin? I don’t think so.) The fact that he bought those two things together is not a proof, but a very strong indication, that he was planning to make some Purple Drank, as he had discussed doing on Twitter more than once.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to DriveBy. | July 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Not to be nit picky but Cocaine and Codeine have nothing to do with each other. If he had had codeine in his system it would have been a positive test for opiates, Cocaine would just show up as Cocaine.

    gwest in reply to Anchovy. | July 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    If they convict, in spite of the overwhelming evidence and the laughably obvious use of self-defense in this case – even *without* the texts, photos, etc – they deserve all the suffering that the rest of their lives brings upon them. And I hope it brings tons. Seriously.

    I know it’s ugly of me, but too f’in bad.

      DriveBy in reply to gwest. | July 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      I have not heard of anything bad happening to the Casey Anthony jurors, but I may be wrong…

        Sending an innocent man to prison in spite of overwhelming evidence that he’s not guilty is a far greater injustice than letting a murderer go free in spite of evidence of guilt.

    styro1 in reply to Anchovy. | July 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    What truth? He didn’t walk with the angels? He wasn’t the sweet innocent child 6 yr old child the persecutors said he was? Skipping home with his Skittles and Iced Tea, Tra La La La

    Ragspierre in reply to Anchovy. | July 13, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    How would you feel? What would you do about it?

      Dr Weevil in reply to Ragspierre. | July 13, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      If I were on the jury and got pushed into voting for manslaugter thinking that GZ would get sentenced to a year or two in jail, and then he was sentenced to 25 or 30, I’d be shocked, horrified, humiliated, disgusted.

      If I then heard all the evidence that was withheld, and read the very solid legal arguments (e.g. the ones on this site) that they should not have been withheld, I suppose I’d either kill myself, or get the other five jurors and head for the governor’s mansion and sit in front of the gate day and night demanding that the governor pardon GZ and start the impeachment process for the judge and disbarment for every damned lawyer involved in the prosecution. I’d probably wait on demanding he resign until after he did the other things.

        Ragspierre in reply to Dr Weevil. | July 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm

        Yeeeeup. And maybe you’d become politically active in removing demi-tyrants from office, and in militating for a better criminal legal system.

        Just like all of should be doing right now.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Dr Weevil. | July 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm

        I wouldn’t get pushed into voting for a damn’d thing unless I believed it to be the truth. I have no problem being the cause of a hung jury, better that than convict an innocent man. Thankfully, the one time I have been on a Jury the defendant was obviously guilty and we deliberated for all of 30 minutes.

Ok I am a long-time lurker, first-time commenter. After review, the jury instructions for manslaughter are quite clear and are in no need of clarification:

“The killing of a human being is excusable, and therefore lawful, under any one of the following three circumstances:
1. When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent, or
2. When the killing occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or …”

The defense has established “sudden and sufficient provocation” by virtue of the FACTS that have been presented in the case (regardless of what’s been omitted), so what is the question here?? Any human (male or female) who can’t realize (nay, refuses to admit) that the facts have established that it’s reasonable to believe that “sudden and sufficient provocation” didn’t exist in this scenario is lying to him/herself. I’ll be among the protesters if anything but an acquittal is delivered…

    Ragspierre in reply to toofless. | July 13, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    “When the killing occurs by accident and misfortune…”

    …does not mean, “When you intentionally pull the trigger on a loaded firearm”.

    The condition it refers to is when you shove someone, and a balcony railing breaks.

This has me thinking about the West Memphis 3 case. Not sure why. I guess facts don’t matter to some. Multiple confessions by the only one who showed remorse (Miskelly) wasn’t good enough for the do gooder left.

Is Trayvon the next Damien?

    Ragspierre in reply to Hershey. | July 13, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    I expect most people here do not know the story of that case.

    It was horrific, and another terrible failure of our criminal legal system.

Sounds to me like the jury is searching for a “compromise” verdict. Which would make it a huge victory for the prosecution.

    gregm in reply to rec_lutheran. | July 13, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Sounds to me like the jury is searching for a “compromise” verdict. Which would make it a huge victory for the prosecution.

    Meanwhile the natives are outside screaming that Manslaughter won’t be good enough. They (the jury) may as well go with NG the results on the street will be the same. The only one suffering from the “compromise” will be Zim.

      not_surprised in reply to gregm. | July 13, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      it is sad to see that, no matter what, they want blood, eye-for-an-eye and nothing short of that plus money will settle this. If they tables were turned, the would demand his freedom and accuse the system of jailing him due to his color.

    Carol Herman in reply to rec_lutheran. | July 13, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Sounds to me like the jury is hung.

    Sounds to me like the judge, who over-ruled one of the Defense’s reqest to strike one of these females … Absolutely got a RINGER into the jury room.

    I hope half-nelson gets whalloped by an Appeals Court.

    While I do worry our entire judiciary has been co-opted by lunatics on the left and the right. It’s not a system you can prop back up, again.

    At least Zimmerman has the best possible Defense Team in the whole country!

    This trial has been a travesty.

    And, obama’s 2nd term looks like it’s becoming one, too.

      Thor Odinson in reply to Carol Herman. | July 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      The problem is that, if it is a hung jury, then Zimmerman likely won’t have the same defense team representing him in any retrial, so the next time the state will probably get a conviction. 🙁

Fox reporter/lawyer? commented that he thinks the jury is simply going through the 27 pages of jury instructions right down the line in order. Manslaughter is on page 10, Self Defense is on page 12. Additional Fox female attorneys both feel that this is typical for female jurists to want to absolutely take as much time as needed to go through every sentence of instructions and discuss….equated it with shopping. Men go to store, buy pants in five minutes, leave.
Women go through every department, evaluate pants, go to six additional stores, then go home and search on internet. (I’ll add, especially since they know , unlike ugly pants,they can’t return this verdict, they are going to wrestle this every which way before deciding.”I’m not ready to commit”. I say this as a female myself)

Another observation. What man reads the instruction manual?

Women read the instructions completely then ask someone for help(Judge, can you explain about manslaughter?).

I don’t think there will be a verdict for at least another day.

    DriveBy in reply to Uh Huh. | July 13, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    The worst timed post of the day!

    Umm, Uh Huh, the male of the species is bound by his man card.

    Where it states: Rule #137¾: Reading an instructive manual, is cheating!

    Also: Rule #1¼: Asking directions is subject to you forfeiting your Mancard!

reporter just tweeted that court spokesperson told media when verdict is read remain quiet and no gasps or rushing out of the courtroom….getting close?

Michelle Kennedy ‏@PIOFLCourts18 20s
We have a verdict

Verdict reached

mike_bruns_99 | July 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm

If we accept GZ’s account of the fight, was the first punch by TM (battery I assume) considered a misdemeanor or a felony? How about the “ground and pound”

I’m wondering how it applies in the Justifiable Homicide section of the jury instructions, where it says “Resisting an attempt to murder or commit a felony on GZ…”

If the jury thinks is a misdemeanor, I’m assuming they would decide that Justifiable Homicide wouldn’t apply. Self-Defense is another story, obviously.

CNN says
verdict is in

MS it is

Fox News just said the verdict is in.

Verdict is in!

Cross your fingers y’all.

Flyover Conservative | July 13, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Verdict is in…………..

It’s gotta be manslaughter! These dumb ass broads!

Drumrol!!!!!!!
Verdict has been determined.

Waiting for the jury.

My heart is racing!

I am not optimistic.

I feel sick to my stomach

If the verdict is guilty what are the odds the judge sets aside the verdict? A million to 1

I just heard handcuffs clicking.


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