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

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

As the State prepares to rest its case against George Zimmerman as early as tomorrow, I can’t help but juxtapose where we ought to be in terms of the weight of evidence of Zimmerman’s guilt of second degree murder, and contrast it with where we are. The gap is of Grand Canyon proportions.

The Charge:  Second Degree Murder

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R George Zimmerman, defendant, survivor

First, it is worth recalling that Florida’s second degree murder statute requires that Zimmerman have possessed a “depraved mind” when he killed Trayvon Martin. For more information on what is required for a “depraved mind,” and why the State is so unlikely to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, its existence, see:

Getting to Murder 2: Finding George Zimmerman’s “Depraved Mind”

FLJI 7.4 MURDER—SECOND DEGREE

To charge Zimmerman with second-degree murder, then, the State had to somehow acquire facts suggestive of this mental state. These facts would then provide the foundation for the affidavit of probable cause providing the legal basis for Zimmerman’s arrest and prosecution on murder 2.

The Shameful Affidavit of Probable Cause

So, what did the affidavit allege to advance the State’s theory of a depraved mind?

 

Angelo Corey, Special Prosecutor, responsible for this prosecution

Angela Corey, Special Prosecutor, responsible for this prosecution

In the context of the nationally-known racial activists who descended on tiny Sanford FL in the wake of the shooting, the affidavit claimed that “Zimmerman felt that Martin did not belong in the gated community,” a “dog-whistle” claiming that racism had motivated Zimmerman’s suspicions of Martin. This sentiment was buttressed by the contemporaneous release by NBC news of Zimmerman’s non-emergency call to police to report the suspiciously wandering Martin, in which he appeared to make an unsolicited identification of Martin as “he looks black.’ In fact, as everyone involved in the case knew, that tape had been doctored to create exactly the desired perception of racism:

Zimmerman Trial: Myth Busters: Did Zimmerman really “racially profile” Martin?

That affidavit claimed that “Martin attempted to run home but was followed by Zimmerman”. But this cannot be true, because if Martin had indeed run home it would have been impossible—based on the times and distances involved—for the older, clinically obese Zimmerman to catch up to him before he secured safety.

Myth Busters: Did Zimmerman “Chase Down” a Fleeing Martin?

The affidavit claimed that “Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher[‘s alleged instruction to not follow] and continued to follow Martin”. This also is known not to be true, because alleged instruction never occurred.

Zimmerman Trial: Myth Busters: Did Zimmerman “chase” Martin against police orders?

The affidavit goes on to claim that “Zimmerman confronted Martin.” Another untruth, as testified to this past week by Rachel Jeantel, who claims to have overheard, by cell phone, the brief confrontational speech between the two men.

Zimmerman Trial Day 3 – End-of-Day Analysis & Video of State’s Witnesses

Zimmerman Update Exclusive — Mid-Day 4 — West’s Cross-Examination of Rachel Jeantel

Worst of all, however, is the fact that ALL of these foundational claims of the affidavit for probable cause were known to be untrue at the time the affidavit was sworn to and filed with the court.

Keeping in mind the foundational and demonstrably false “facts” that were included in the affidavit, we can take a look at some critical information that was left out of the affidavit.

Noting blandly that “a struggle ensued” between the two men, the affidavit fails to acknowledge the almost total absence of injuries on Martin (absent, of course, the gunshot wound that ended the fight), except for cuts on his hands consistent with having struck a blow. Similarly, no mention was made of Zimmerman’s far more extensive injuries, including abrasions, contusions, and lacerations all around his head, consistent with having had his head beaten against a concrete sidewalk (as Zimmerman claimed was the case), nor Zimmerman’s bloody and broken nose, the initial blow that left Zimmerman dazed, on his back, and vulnerable to Martin’s unrelenting (until shot) aggravated assault. Further, no mention was made of any fact consistent with Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. Nor was that very claim of self-defense mentioned.

Again, every one of these facts excluded from the affidavit was known to investigators at the time the document was sworn and filed.

The affidavit closes with the following sentence:

“The facts mentioned in this Affidavit are not a complete recitation of all the pertinent facts and evidence in this case but only are presented for a determination of Probable Cause for Second Degree Murder.”

No kidding.

Career Prosecutors, Police Pressured to Bring Unwarranted Charges–Resigned, Fired, Demoted

Why, then, was this prosecution brought at all? We now have sworn testimony as an answer–there was pressure being brought upon the lead investigators, both from within and without the police department to bring charges of second degree murder against Zimmerman, when neither the lead investigator, his Chief , nor the local prosecutors handling the matter believed such a charge was warranted.

In short order the lead investigator was re-assigned from Investigator to the much less prestigious job of Patrolman, the Chief had been fired, and the local prosecutor had resigned and been replaced by a Special Prosecutor, the politically-ambitious Angela Corey, appointed by the Governor, along with her hand-picked cadre of State attorneys our of Jacksonville, a city with no relationship whatever to the Orlando-suburb of Sanford where the events occured.

Zimmerman Trial: Evidentiary Flashback: Investigator Serino Tells FBI He Was Pressured to Bring Charges

Zimmerman Update — Investigator Chris Serino Demoted to Patrolman by Superiors

Prosecution, Fearless of Sanctions, “Slow Rolls” Discovery

As the case proceeded to trial and both sides began to investigate and share, through mandated discovery, the findings of their investigations, it became increasingly clear that the State was “slow-rolling” its own discovery obligations, and being duplicitous in the discovery it did provide.

For example, a State-generated report summarizing the data gathered from Martin’s cell phone–a process requiring equipment available only to law enforcement–was presented to the defense, along with a copy of the raw (and, to the defense, unreadable) data. When a State employee noted the discrepancy and consulted legal counsel to determine his exposure if he remained silent, that legal counsel was required by legal ethics to inform the defense of the deceptions. In court the State argued that they had, in fact, complied with their discovery obligations by providing the raw data unreadable by the defense.

This is an interesting interpretation of discovery obligations to be sure, but one which led to the initiation of sanction hearings against the State prosecutors. Ultimately, however, Judge Nelson proved uninterested in hearing the matter of the State’s dishonest discovery practices until after the jury had handed down a verdict.

Similarly, the State’s key witness who claimed to have overheard the confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin had lied under oath while being deposed on an issue directly impacting her credibility as a witness. The State informed the defense of this perjury only months after they had learned of it themselves, during which they pretended to be trying to hunt down the records that would have affirmed the known-to-be false claim by the witness, and even then only when they were ultimately cornered in Court with facts.

Prospective Jurors Lie and Deceive in Attempt to Deny Zimmerman Fair and Impartial Jury

Then came jury selection, in which it was discovered that more than one juror claiming to have not yet formed an opinion on the case had in fact advocated strongly for the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment (or in at least one case the actual death) of George Zimmerman. This was in effect an deliberate attempt to deny Zimmerman his due process right to a fair and impartial jury. It is not anticipated that any of the individuals involved will face sanctions of any sort.

Zimmerman Prosp. Juror E7: “no conclusions,” but posted on pro-Trayvon, anti-Zimmerman site containing threat against Zimmerman

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Jerry Counelis (prospective juror E7) Facebook post

State’s Opening Statement Writes Checks Unlikely to Clear at Closing Argument

Then, of course, came the start of the trial proper, and along with it each sides’ opening statements. The State went first, as is the norm, and presented a histrionic and largely fact-free emotion-laden narrative for the conviction of George Zimmerman for second degree murder. In addition to the already debunked claims of having “profiled” and “chased down” Martin, the State emphasized the dangerous manner in which Zimmerman carried his personal defense handgun with a round in the chamber as “ready-to-go, all he had to do to kill Trayvon Martin was pull the trigger.” The State also emphasized how the muzzle of the gun had been in contact with Martin’s shirt when fired, suggesting the kind of callousness the State prosecutors had so desperately been seeking to support their theory of a depraved mind.

At trial, it would be revealed, however, that carrying a semi-automatic pistol intended for personal protection with a round in the chamber was the normal and accepted method of such carry–and the manner in which every Deputy in the courtroom was carrying their own sidearms. In addition, it was shown that although the muzzle of the gun had been in contact with Martin’s sweatshirt, it had not been in contact with Martin, as the sweatshirt had hung down from Martin’s torso as he straddled the largely helpless Zimmerman “MMA-style” and rained down blows in a “ground-and-pound” attack intended to debilitate, or perhaps even kill, Zimmerman.

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

ZIMMERMAN TRIAL BLOCKBUSTER — TRANSCRIPT — Eyewitness Good: Black guy in black hoodie on top punching down Mixed Martial Arts style

Clearly, much of the State’s opening was being shown to be lacking in factual basis.

State’s Own Witnesses Routinely Undermine Their Theory of the Case, Buttress Defense Claims

This unraveling of the State’s theory of the case under the relentlessly unfavorable testimony of their own witnesses was the norm, rather than the exception, in this trial. One by one, the State’s witnesses were consistently co-opted to testify favorably to the defense, shown to be substantively lacking in credibility, or at best to testify ambivalently on the events at issue. Witness after witness found themselves subject to the raised, angry voice of State prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda practically shouting at the witness–his own witness!–that in fact they knew nothing about anything, isn’t that true?

Indeed, after eight solid days of the State presenting its case, and benefiting from a tailwind of consistently favorable rulings by Judge Nelson, it can not honestly be said that they walked away from any single one of those days the clear winner–and at the end of more than one of those days they left the courtroom soundly beaten.

Such a performance would not seem to have the makings of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Few Witnesses Supportive of State Have Credibility Damaged, Destroyed

Perhaps only five of the witnesses overall could be said to have clearly favored the State.

One ear-witness was Selene Bahadoor, a neighbor, who claimed that she had heard the sound of the two men moving from one region of the courtyard to another, as if one person had been chasing another. This was the first testimony consistent with the State’s theory that Zimmerman had “chased down” Martin. On cross by defense attorney Don West, however, it was soon revealed that she was disclosing this critical information for the first time in court that day, despite having been repeatedly questioned and deposed in the 14 months since the events occurred. She had also, it was disclosed, signed a petition in support of the arrest and prosecution of George Zimmerman.  Thus, her credibility was destroyed.

Zimmerman Trial Day 2 –Analysis of State’s Witnesses

State witness Selene Bahadoor

State witness Selene Bahadoor

Jane Sudyka was another such ear-witness, but her histrionic 911 call and her insistence that she had heard a physically impossible three shots fired collapsed her credibility (and drew some concern about her mental state generally).

State witness, Jeane Sudyka

State witness, Jane Sudyka

Jeannee Nanalo, another neighbor, testfied that it was the “larger” person on top during the physical confrontation between the two men, but on cross admitted that it had been too dark to see anything definitely, and that she was basing her judgement on post-event photos of the two men–photos in which Martin was consistently portrayed as being younger, and in some cases years younger, than the night of his death. Her credibility as a witness suffered accordingly.

Zimmerman Trial Day 3 – End-of-Day Analysis & Video of State’s Witnesses

State witness Jeannee Nanalo

State witness Jeannee Nanalo

Rachel Jeantel, previously mentioned for her perjury during deposition, testified that she had overheard Zimmerman speak to Martin in an aggressive and angry tone, consistent with that day’s theory of the case for the State that although Zimmerman was outwardly calm and polite on the outside, he was a seething cauldron of hatred on the inside. Unfortunately for the State, not only was Jeantel carrying the burden of having lied under oath about several facts relevant to the case, her claims regarding what she had overheard were based on sworn testimony she gave to Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda while sitting in Trayvon’s living room with the dead boy’s weeping mother at her side and other family members and advisors strewn about the room. A more coercive and leading environment is difficult to imagine.

Zimmerman Update Exclusive — Mid-Day 4 — West’s Cross-Examination of Rachel Jeantel

State witness Rachel Jeantel

State witness Rachel Jeantel

Finally, the State called in the medical examiner–or, rather, “a” medical examiner. Rather than call to the stand Dr. Shiping Bao, the ME who had actually autopsied Martin, they instead brought in Dr. Valerie Rao, an ME who had been disgraced in her former professional position, fired, and had her career resurrected by the good graces of Special Prosecutor Angela Corey. If the obvious incentive for being biased in favor of the State wasn’t enough, she hilariously characterized Zimmerman’s injuries as inconsequential, in line with the State’s theory of the day that because Zimmerman had not suffered life-threatening injury his use of deadly defensive force could not have been justified.

State witness, Medical Examiner Valerie Rao

State witness, Medical Examiner Valerie Rao

There was much humorous cross in which defense attorney Mark O’Mara held out a series of large color photos of Zimmerman’s head, taken at different angles, and asked her if this, that, or another abrasion, contusion, or laceration, was a meaningful injury. The good doctor either mocked them as insignificant or refused to acknowledge they existed at all. By the close of her testimony one could only wonder how many times Dr. Rao’s own head would need to be smashed against a sidewalk before she would consider the blows “significant.”

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

State Witnesses Routinely Co-Opted by Defense, Undercut State’s Theory of the Case

The other State witnesses either presented testimony at least consistent with Zimmerman’s claim of lawful self-defense or positively favored the defendant.

Wendy Dorival, who coordinated the local Neighborhood Watch Program for the Sanford Police Department, thought so highly of Zimmerman that she tried to recruit him to be a “Citizen on Patrol,” in which he would be supplied with a police department issued patrol car and a uniform of sorts. In sharp contrast to the State’s repeated characterization of Zimmerman as a “wannabe” cop who went over the edge in his pursuit, confrontation, and shooting of Martin, Ms. Dorival regretfully stated that Zimmerman had declined the offer.

State witness Wendy Dorival

State witness Wendy Dorival

Another State witness, Donald O’Brien was President of the Twin Lakes HOA, which had paid out a very healthy settlement to the Martin family, and clearly not a fan of Zimmerman. Nevertheless, on cross he revealed that he had commended a group of workmen a the townhouse community for their efforts leading to the apprehension of a burglar. Their method? Following the suspect from a distance so that he could be definitively located and identified by responding officers–exactly as Zimmerman had intended to do that night with Martin.

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State witness, Donald O’Brien

Zimmerman Trail Day 2 — Analysis of State’s Witnesses

The testimony of the only real eye-witness, neighbor John Good, was particularly destructive to the State’s theory of the case, because he stated with utter conviction that it was the man in the dark hoodie [Martin] who was “mounted MMA-style”” on the man in the red/white coat [Zimmerman] raining down blows in a “ground-and-pound” style. So obviously dangerous was the beating that Good immediately phone the police emergency number.

State witness John Good

State witness John Good

ZIMMERMAN TRIAL BLOCKBUSTER — TRANSCRIPT — Eyewitness Good: Black guy in black hoodie on top punching down Mixed Martial Arts style

The next day then-Investigator Chris Serino testified the Court through a video re-enactment of by Zimmerman of Martin’s brutal attack upon him, and his desperate fight to live. Serino also testified that he believed Zimmerman to be telling the truth when he recounted how he had to shoot Martin to save himself from the other man’s brutal aggravated assault–a comment which the State convinced Judge Nelson the following day to strike, meaning only that the jury got to hear it twice.

State witness Chris Serino

State witness Chris Serino

The next day Federal Air Marshal Mark Osterman, who described Zimmerman as his best friend, appeared as State witness and testified at length in and in horrific detail about Martin’s brutal attack upon Zimmerman, and Zimmerman’s desperate fight to live.

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

State witness Mark Osterman

State witness Mark Osterman

The next day the State produced as one of their “witnesses” an interview given by Zimmerman to the Sean Hannity show in which the jury got to hear once again–you guessed it–the defense’s narrative of Martin’s brutal attack upon Zimmerman, and Zimmerman’s desperate fight to live.

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

Finally yesterday, after much finagling and over the defense’s objections, the State managed to call to testify two of Zimmerman’s criminal justice professors. All wondered how badly the defense would be hurt by the testimony of these two witnesses the State had struggled so greatly to have admitted to testify.

In the end, the first professor, Army Captain Alex Carter testified that Zimmerman had been one of his best students, to whom he had given an “A” grade, and that it would have been foolish for Zimmerman to have waited until he was gravely injured before using deadly force to defend himself. The other professor, Scott Pleasant, was ambivalent about every “fact” the State had claimed would reveal Zimmerman’s secretly nefarious nature, but did testify that Zimmerman had told him his career goals were to become an attorney and then a State prosecutor.

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

State witness Captain Alex Carter

State witness Captain Alex Carter

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State witness, Professor Scott Pleasants

 

I have, of course, left out a great deal in the above recounting–nothing about the Frye hearing, the repeatedly denied defense motions for a continuance, the still incomplete State discovery obligations, the as yet to be deposed Benjamin Crump–he who arranged for the coercive interview of Rachel Jeantel, among much else.

So, Here We Are, On Cusp of State Resting Its Case

Nevertheless, that brings us to today, the ninth day of State witness testimony. It is expected that Sabryna Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, will testify that the now unforgettable screams on the Jenna Lauer 911 tape were made by her son, and perhaps finally Dr. Shiping Bao who peformed the autopsy upon Martin.

How those two additional witnesses, or any number of additional witnesses, is supposed to create for the State a compelling narrative of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is beyond this observer’s ability to foresee.

Keep in mind, as well, that we are not at the end of the trial, with closing arguments about to occur. We are merely closing in on the end of the State’s case, during which the defense has been constrained in its questioning of witnesses to the range of issues raised by the State on direct questioning.

The defense has not, as yet, presented so much as a single witness, nor a single fact not already put into evidence by the State.

If the State’s case is this much of a shambles on the eve of the start of the defense, is it likely to be any stronger a week or so of defense produced witnesses, testimony, and evidence.

One would think not.

Despite this, for both legal and political reasons it seems clear that Judge Nelson will not cut short this trial by signing off on a motion for a directed verdict when the State rests, and we can therefore all look forward to another week or so of testimony favorable to the defense in the matter of Florida vs. Zimmerman.

What Does the Defense Have Planned?

How many of the State’s witnesses may be recalled as defense witnesses, given their earlier testimony favorable to the defense? I dare say most of them are on the list. Might Zimmerman be obliged to take the stand in his own defense? I stand apart from the majority of MSM analysts who seem (almost desperately) certain this will happen, but I just don’t see the upside for the defense given the train wreck that is the State’s case. Will Rachel Jeantel be brought back as a hostile witness for the defense, now that the jury has seen through the paper thin narrative of guilt and may have lost what many assumed was an initial degree of sympathy for her? I certainly hope so.

Only the defense team knows for sure, and as they’ve demonstrated they are darned good at keeping their cards close to their chest.

I’ll be here, watching, analyzing, and commenting–and you should be, too.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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

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

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

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

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Comments

txantimedia | July 4, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Thank you, Andrew, for this summary and analysis of upcoming events. I appreciate the lawyer’s view of what’s going on. It helps us laymen understand why some things are done they way they are done.

Thanks for the summary, Andrew. We do seem to be deep in banana republic territory, but perhaps justice will eventually prevail.

I’m having trouble understanding why it would be bad for Zimmerman to testify in his own defense. Anybody?

    pmasters in reply to snopercod. | July 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Because there really is nothing to gain by him testifying. His story has already been told numerous times through witnesses and evidence. Putting him on the stand would only serve to expose him to cross exam where BDLR will nit pick inconsistencies and then claim that is why the jury must convict. The only reason any defendant takes the stand is to tell their side of the story and this has been done over and over.

      ^^^^ This ^^^^

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      snopercod in reply to pmasters. | July 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      I’m certainly not going to argue with the experts here, but if I were on the jury I would sure like to hear the defendant stand up and tell his side of the story.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to snopercod. | July 4, 2013 at 8:57 pm

        The jury has seen the re-enactment that the State foolishly played for them. That’s GZ’s story right there, all of it.

        In my view, there would not be much to gain but a lot to lose via BdlR’s viciousness and the unfair rulings by the judge by having GZ testify.

      GRuggiero in reply to pmasters. | July 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm

      If I were the defense, I would point out to the jury that GZ did testify … He told a consistent story to Sean Hannity, the police, to his friends. The state witnesses, including police examining the matter, believed GZ. And the prosecutors bullied their own witnesses on re-direct when they didn’t give testimony that supported their weak case.

      I would also bring in an MMA instructor to explain GZ was one punch await from losing consciousness. The UFC uses padded gloves, with special rules, in a ring that bounces (unlike concrete), a referee ready to stop the fight, with medics mere feet away.

    Humphreys Executor in reply to snopercod. | July 4, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Its sort of like what Lincoln said: “It’s better to remain silent and be thought of as a fool, than speaking and removing all doubt.” There are some inconsistencies in GZ’s story, sure, but as Det./Patrolman Serino said, that’s not unusual. Testifying isn’t going to fix those, it may only make them worse.

    bawatkins in reply to snopercod. | July 4, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Basically, he has nothing to gain – the state’s witnesses proved his case, all that can happen if he takes the stand is that something happens to undermine that. I wouldn’t be surprised if the defense calls very few witnesses for exactly this reason – why risk messing up what you already have. Maybe a few expert witnesses to rebut the states expert witnesses, but there is
    so little to rebut, it’s almost not worth the risk that somebody says something that confuses the jury.

    If he has a bad day, he puts himself at risk. There is really no upside given the evidence out there.

Zimmerman had the alienable right to defend himself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJmNnEPZHW8

the defense needs to present the following witnesses:

a dna expert to testify that the state dna tests were not done at a low enough level to provide any useful information, and dna would probably not be found anyway in any of those situations.

a medical expert to testify to the severity of Zimmerman’s injuries.

a leo to testify that tracy martin identified the voice as not belonging to his son.

several Zimmerman family members to testify the voice belonged to Zimmerman.

crump, assuming he was deposed, to show the coaching of rj.

    fogflyer in reply to rspung. | July 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    The DNA was pretty meaningless, but they may still have someone testify to it.

    As far as Tracy Martin, they can’t testify as to what he said (hearsay), but hopefully they can call him as a witness and make him state that himself.

    Personally, I really want to see them call Dee Dee back up to the stand, but that is just for my own guilty pleasure.

    I would also like to see Crump called, but I doubt we will as he could be dangerous.

      unitron in reply to fogflyer. | July 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Is it hearsay if they testify as to what Tracy Martin didn’t say?

      “When this recording was played back for him, did you hear Tracy Martin claim that the screams were made by his son?”

        V.McCann in reply to unitron. | July 5, 2013 at 12:13 am

        Martin’s statement that Trayvon was not the one screaming would only be hearsay if offered to prove that Trayvon was not the one screaming. It would be admissible for many other purposes, including impeaching the witness.

    Good points.

    The problem as I see it is threefold. 1- the Judge is afraid 2. the police and mayor have openly stated they expect riots if Zimmerman found innocent- which biases the jury.

    And 3- The jury is afraid.

    The case on its face is so absurd I would not be surprised if the prosecutor stood up in closing and said he changed his mind and thinks Z is innocent!

    But to prove a defense, OMara can provide a number of witnesses. As you’ve pointed out an expert in brain damage and impact to the skull could prove easily that even one blow can kill. Examples can be provided.

    He can even put up the FBI agent in charge who did the report on Z and came to the conclusion he was not a racist or a profiler. (that could be dangerous)

    More likely he will put up witnesses to Z’s work on trying to bring attention to the black homeless man who was beaten by the son of the Sanford Lt which forced them to finally arrest the kid. That alone proves Z’s point of view.

    Self defense experts can testify to the dangers of being on your back being beaten MMA style and how difficult it is to get up. Believe, I know. I trained with ground fighting and had a guy twenty pound lighter than me pin me on my back for as long as he wanted. I couldn’t get up.

    Experts on self defense law can be called to. The rules need to be clear for the jury. It is what you THINK is going on that is important, not the actual event. Being on the receiving end of several beatings during my police career I can tell you without a doubt, had I’d been an officer on the ground, only able to get my gun as Martin beat me, I would have shot him SEVERAL TIMES until he fell off. There would be no remorse no question and I’d be cleared by everyone as a good shoot. Why? Because everybody in my business knows that getting your head beat in will get you killed.

IMHO, there will be serious matters, regardless the verdict.

Z-man Convicted. Taunting by the non-cursive readers. The na-na-na-na-neener, until something does break loose.

Z-man Acquitted. All hell will break loose, period.

    serfer1962 in reply to JP. | July 4, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    JP…Blacks usually destroy their home area. They leave any armed (ie Korean store owners) people alone. The attacks are usually on the vastly outnumbered victims.
    Of course with the DOJ protection, Holder’s People may do the unexpected…and meet the unexpected in return.

    I say, bring on the popcorn!

      Is it buttered? 😉

      “ie Korean store owners”

      So that’s where Marion Barry got his racist “dirty Asians” shot, eh?

      Uncle Samuel in reply to serfer1962. | July 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      Governor Scott should call out the National Guard at the first sign of threat or trouble – post cracka jack snipers with real bullets and give fair warning.

      And also encourage his citizens to lock and load their weapons and have them at the ready.

      I’m not willing to have riots and looting here in FL.

      NJ Governor Christie should post National Guard at the re-building sites where the looters are taking building materials from folks whose homes were destroyed by the hurricane.

      I’m of a Sheriff Joe mindset, however. I would have had Hasan shot within 30 days of his mass murder. I would not force feed the terrorists in Gitmo.

        Estragon in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 5, 2013 at 2:44 am

        If Scott had been willing to just let the system work without outside interference and backed it with the National Guard, we wouldn’t be where we are now. He allowed this Stalinist show trial to occur.

        He is betting that time cooled the hot tempers and there will be no rioting, and is willing to cost Zimmerman his job, his home, his privacy, his reputation, his future safety, untold legal bills and potentially his freedom to make the gamble.

        I have no more respect for Scott – or Bondi.

      punditius in reply to serfer1962. | July 5, 2013 at 1:02 am

      While the past history of black riots is as you say, I think things will be different this time.

      The blacks in Chicago have learned how to use the CTA trains to transport them to places in the city where they commit their crimes, including flash mob robberies and wilding. These things have occurred in the Loop, and also in places like the gay neighborhood, Boys Town, north of Belmont on Halsted and streets branching off from Halsted. People who follow the police reports have been pointing to criminal activities by blacks around the recent Gay Pride parade.

      Other black criminals have taken to cruising yuppie streets, both commercial and residential, looking for victims, then leaping out of the car or van, committing the assault & robbery, then fleeing in the vehicle.

      My guess is that the plans have already been laid for this sort of thing to spread the riots to areas other than the black areas, places where the pickings are good & the victims will be seen as unprotected. The police can’t handle it, and one can only hope that the Mayor has already made arrangements for the National Guard to be called in. Nothing in the news about it, at least that I’ve seen or heard, but perhaps that’s some residual sense of responsibility in the media.

      Other cities with significant black populations had better be preparing as well, or so it seems to me.

    I doubt that all hell will break loose when George Zimmerman is set free. There will be a small group of mindless mind-numbing zombies who will want to riot. This group will consist of Black Panthers. They are pathetic people anyway.

    By now most people recognize that George Zimmerman is lucky to be alive. They will not riot when he is set free.

    psmeall in reply to JP. | July 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    If convicted there will definitely be an appeal.

Pretty disgusting conduct by prosecutors. I understand prosecutors have absolute immunity for advocative conduct. Have they gone beyond this?

    J Motes in reply to Wilburdog. | July 4, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I don’t know if these prosecutors have exceeded a legal line. But remember that Nifong, prosector in the Duke rape case, was finally charged and convicted for his conduct in the case. Let’s hope that happens here.

    Oh, and if I recall correctly, it was a blogger who exposed Nifong’s wrongdoing, virtually single-handedly overcoming the media’s massive onslaught against the defendants. You can search KC Johnson’s blog at
    http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/
    if you want to know more about how this history professor from New York brought down the prosecution in that case.

    Perhaps Andrew Branca and Prof Jacobson will be equally successful in delivering justice for Zimmerman — and just desserts for every malefactor on the prosecution’s side.

      ebartley in reply to J Motes. | July 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      IIRC, Nifong was convicted because he made the mistake of investigating the case, and in *that* context he had only qualified immunity; as a prosecutor he had absolute immunity.

    ever heard of Mike Nifong after the Duke LaCrosse trial? Neither have I because he was disbarred.

goddessoftheclassroom | July 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Because words matter and I just want to help tidy things up:
“disinterested” should be “uninterested” and “it’s”(“…it became increasingly clear that the State was “slow-rolling” it’s own discovery obligations…”)should be “its.”
Thank you for all you’re doing for true justice.

I should have added the very strong possibility that Corey if Z is acquitted, will appeal that verdict, as she has had wont to do, until a verdict is reached to her liking. (google her history)

That may, MAY keep the destruction to a minimum.

    fogflyer in reply to JP. | July 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Uh, pretty sure you can’t appeal a verdict of not-guilty.

      huskers-for-palin in reply to fogflyer. | July 4, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      File a case in the Federal courts?

        serfer1962 in reply to huskers-for-palin. | July 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm

        Holder is waiting for a conviction to do that. Without a conviction he has no ground (as if that stops these people, and then theres the IRS)
        Words from Andy?

          Juba Doobai! in reply to serfer1962. | July 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm

          The IRS may be stymied by CNN’s release of GZ’s SSN. Any hacker could seriously mess with GZ using that.

          V.McCann in reply to serfer1962. | July 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

          Whether or not Zimmerman is convicted at the state level has no bearing on whether he could be charged federally. The federal government and the state of Florida are separate sovereigns, so a federal criminal action against Zimmerman would not be barred by double jeopardy. As a matter of policy, however, the Department of Justice does not pursue such charges. There are other jurisdictional issues involved, too. I don’t think the feds generally prosecute homicide unless there’s a connection to a crime like tax evasion that falls more squarely within federal purview or a connection to interstate commerce. As noted, the feds seem to have already looked for their hook and failed to find it.

          And, obviously, a criminal verdict generally has no bearing on whether a defendant can be sued civilly, either locally or federally. Although,–maybe someone else has the answer to this–I wonder if a not guilty verdict in this case, because it would seem to require a finding of lawful self defense by the preponderance of the evidence, would trigger Zimmerman’s immunity from civil action in Florida. Or would some separate civil finding be required?

        FBI already sent a bunch of SAs down to look for racism, found nothing. I think Holder’s got bigger issues to worry about.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      darwin-t in reply to fogflyer. | July 5, 2013 at 12:13 am

      But the feds could charge him with violating Martin’s civil rights. They’ve done it before.

    Corey will not get that chance because she is likely to get the Nifong treatment.

Paladin1789 | July 4, 2013 at 7:19 pm

A coue of general procedural questions:

First, both sides seem to engage in bolstering. At several points it seems to me that an inference-on-inference objection would lie. Have those aspects been raised, and. If not, why not?

Also, leading is not usually permitted in redirect under witness vouching principles. What gives here?

BTW., a newbie who appreciates the coverage.

    If Bernie de la Rionda couldn’t ask leading questions, he wouldn’t be able to ask questions at all.

    The defense would have to be objecting to every question, I think they decided to let all but the most egregious go.

    BDLR’s just not a very good lawyer, has great difficulty formulating a non-leading question.

    He should do great on cross of the defense witnesses, though. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

huskers-for-palin | July 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm

The prosecutor’s case is a NOTHINGBURGER.

The concern over riots when Zimmerman is acquitted is almost certainly overblown. The “community” so often cited in this case runs almost entirely on threats and braggadocio, and is unlikely to actually do anything more substantial than talk unless there’s a chance of looting some wide-screen TVs or overpriced sneakers.

In other words, in general, barking racists don’t bite.

    Harperman in reply to rantbot. | July 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    You don’t understand the psychology of the looter. The point of the riot IS the looting. The perceived racism is merely the excuse.

      rantbot in reply to Harperman. | July 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      The imaginary racism is the justification. It is the only claim of The Community to be legitimately aggrieved. Without it, they’re just a bunch of uppity thieves. So let’s stop playing along with that sham. It’s not rage at racism, it’s petty street crime.

        Harperman in reply to rantbot. | July 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm

        I read one tweet where a fellow said he had been “window shopping” at the local mall in anticipation of the riots. He specifically mentioned the shoe store and the toy store for things he needed for his kids.
        Petty criminals indeed.

          rantbot in reply to Harperman. | July 4, 2013 at 8:00 pm

          Although I don’t condone it, looting toys, at least, I can understand. I just never really grasped the mania over fancy-ass sneakers.

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | July 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm

          Yes Ranbot, I also never understood the sneaker thing, fancy-ass or otherwise. Most of them are uglier than sin anyway.
          My footwear is pretty much limited to cowboy boots when I go into town and knee high moccasins when out in the desert, mountains or on the shooting range.

    kentuckyliz in reply to rantbot. | July 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Bob Owens has been tweeting some amusing anti-riot information, warnings, and advice. One is “flat screen TV’s make poor body armor.”

    Harry9000 in reply to rantbot. | July 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Supersized at that.

    V.McCann in reply to rantbot. | July 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Unfortunately, sometimes they bite with the force of Florida’s criminal justice system.

Another fine distillation of events by Mr. Branca. Yes I know you prefer Andrew but please accept a well deserved tittle if respect.
Still we know this trial has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with the politics of tyranny through appeasement.

tarheelkate | July 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm

In your description of John Good’s testimony you say: “…he stated with utter conviction that it was the man in the dark hoodie [Zimmerman] who was “mounted MMA-style”” on the man in the red/white coat [Zimmerman] raining down blows…” The first [Zimmerman] should be [Martin].

Thanks for your work on this trial.

Pretty good summary, as usual, and generally clear enough, though I’m baffled by the line

“the State’s witnesses were ever co-opted to testify favorably to the defense”

“‘consistently’ co-opted”, perhaps?

There are others, but they’re minor stuff, missing conjunctions, etc; nothing to obfuscate meaning.

So, seeing as Trayvon’s mom is undoubtedly going to be the last witness for the state,what do you think about calling Tracy Martin as the defense’s first witness and make him state that he said it definitely was NOT Trayvon when he first heard the tape.

    LilMissSpellcheck in reply to fogflyer. | July 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Let’s pray that Mama can be tricked into testifying about how well Trayvon was brought up. Then defense can ask Daddy about his Crips gang tats, and the praying hands added to hide them.

    maestro in reply to fogflyer. | July 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I’ll bet anyone a dollar that Martin’s mother is put on right after some gory testimony by the medical examiner, In a deliberate effort to present her as fragile and emotional as possible.

      txantimedia in reply to maestro. | July 4, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      It’s hard to make his death gory. He has a small hole in his chest. He bled internally causing his lungs to collapse, but he was likely unconscious before that happened anyway, so you’d be hard pressed to argue he was gasping for breath.

      kentuckyliz in reply to maestro. | July 4, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      I think it would be great for the real ME or ME consulting expert to testify that it would be professionally inappropriate to diagnose living people from photographs (dissing Rao), and then answer questions from their experience and expertise about corpses with skull bash and/or punching injuries as cause of death.

      Mark30339 in reply to maestro. | July 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      While I concur with most of Andrew’s assessments (and this reply is to maestro — NOT to Andrew), we need to respectfully afford some space for a mother grieving the gunshot death of her 17 year old son. Of course most of us privately disagree with her posturing, but wouldn’t each of us be tempted to similarly indulge in blame scenarios, if we had to endure the same horrible loss?

        kentuckyliz in reply to Mark30339. | July 4, 2013 at 10:50 pm

        Understand that…however this political show trial is a very expensive form of reality therapy for the family and friends of TM. They’ll never believe he instigated a fight and I listened carefully to RJ’s testimony and the timing of when she says TM is at his house vs. listening to him out of breath and wind noise…it is obvious to me that TM is walking back to the T. No way that fight started at TM’s house. No neighbors on that end heard anything and called 911. It was all at the other end.

        J Motes in reply to Mark30339. | July 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm

        Compare and contrast:

        Fred Goldman (father of 25-year-old Ronald Goldman, allegedly killed by OJ Simpson — he was acquitted)

        Bill Cosby (father of 27-year-old Ennis, who was murdered while changing a tire by Mikhail Markhasev, an 18-year-old Ukrainian immigrant who later confessed and was convicted)

        Harperman in reply to Mark30339. | July 4, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        You mean the grieving mother who ran to trademark her son’s name after his death? That grieving Mother?
        Or maybe you mean the grieving mother who had so little to do with raising her son that he spent more time at his father’s girl friend’s house? That grieving mother?
        Excuse my callousness but it seems to me that the grieving mother’s time would have been better spent actually raising her son. If she had then the trademarking of him might never have been an issue and he would be alive today.

        txantimedia in reply to Mark30339. | July 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm

        Although I would not have, in similar circumstances, chosen the path the Martin’s took, people grieve in different ways. They lost their teenage son and have just as much right to grieve as any other parent who loses a child, regardless of the circumstances.

        No matter what the evidence in this case, the death of Trayvon will always be a tragedy, and his family will feel the effects as long as they live.

        What has happened to George Zimmerman, however, while at first was a tragedy, has become a national outrage and an insult to law abiding citizens and those in the legal profession who truly care about this country and the rule of law.

        This trial is symptomatic of a much large problem in our society; the breakdown of honor and trust.

          punditius in reply to txantimedia. | July 5, 2013 at 1:20 am

          Indeed. The rule of law has broken down spectacularly, at the top level, with the Supreme Court’s abandonment of the “case or controversy” standard, the Dept. of Justice’s abandonment of the prosecution of the Philadelphia Panthers voting intimidation case, the unilateral change in the effective date of part of Obamacare by the president, Harry Reid’s failure to even attempt to meet the budget requirements, the effective legislation of the Dream Act via executive order, and so forth and so on ad nauseam.

          Compared to this, the Zimmerman Persecution is merely business as usual.

        I will accord respect to Alicia Stanley who is the step mother because she raised Trayvon until 2 years prior to his death.

        I will not accord the piece of trash who is the birth mother with any respect because she kicked her son out of her house. She did not raise Trayvon. When he was not with Alicia Stanley he was staying with other relatives.

        The alleged griefed of Traytrash Mom is nothing but crocodile tears, and if you look into her eyes there is only $$$$ to be seen.

          Sally MJ in reply to Aussie. | July 5, 2013 at 3:40 am

          And the question I’ve been wondering: What action of TM’s made mom kick him out of the house? I’m pretty sure it was not earning his Eagle Scout.

          Sally it is not hard to imagine that Trayvon was not behaving in an angelic fashion when he was kicked out of the house.

          You can bet a lot of people are interested in learnin what was the catalyst for her kicking him out of the house. Was it because he was already very unruly?

          The point to be made is that she had very little to do with him because Trayvon was repeatedly palmed off to other people.

        Observer in reply to Mark30339. | July 5, 2013 at 8:35 am

        I’ve been wondering for a long time if both parents’ reaction to Trayvon’s death wasn’t an effort (perhaps subconscious) to shift blame. The kid came from a broken home, his father was a one-time gang member, his parents passed him back and forth. At the time of his death, he was living with one of his father’s girlfriends, because his mother had kicked Trayvon out of her home after he was suspended from school (again) for drugs.

        Skipping school, using drugs, committing burglaries, getting into fights — Trayvon was clearly headed for serious trouble in the last year of his life, and he was in desperate need of some real parenting. Yet both of his parents dumped him off on a third party. And Trayvon ended up dead.

        Blaming “racism” for Trayvon’s death may be a useful psychological defense mechanism for the parents — a way to deal with their own guilt about the course their son’s life took. If they can turn George Zimmerman into a monster, they can put all the blame for their son’s death on him, and absolve themselves of any responsibility.

        Of course, that doesn’t excuse the race-baiting jackals like Crump who rushed in to take advantage of the grieving parents’ pain, or the spineless politicians (and politician wannabes, like Angela Corey) who played to the mob.

Oh, umm Andrew, here’s a toast with my raised bottle of Guinness. Happy 4th and damn fine analyses and recording thereof..

Great job, Andrew. Thanks for taking up your holiday putting this together. I’m hoping the members of the jury are capable of cutting through all the bluster by the prosecutors and can simply apply common sense in their decision. Hope springs eternal!-:)

    Best way to say thank you —> http://is.gd/MiCo0J

    “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition” is now available at Amazon, but the 30% pre-order discount + free shipping is still good at http://www.lawofselfdefense through Friday.

    Sales of the book is what lets me put my regular work on hold to do this, so . . . . if you like me around, *hint* *hint*

    Saturday we start shipping to our pre-order customers, and pre-order time is over.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Harperman in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Look at it this way Andrew, your next book “The Injustice of the George Zimmerman Trail Fiasco” is almost all completely written and is right here on Legal Insurrection. All you need is a little of that editing you dread so much and a publisher!

        Juba Doobai! in reply to Harperman. | July 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm

        I’ll be glad to edit it pro-bono in gratitude for your marvelous work. If there is an error of any type in there, I’ll find it.

        Humphreys Executor in reply to Harperman. | July 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm

        Andrew’s posts may serve as the foundation of a scholarly treatise: “How NOT to Try a Criminal Case.”

        Andrew, I think these people are on to something here. What you have been writing has been really easy to understand.

        This case should be something taught in law school since it is a case that should never have been prosecuted in the first place.

        Your posts should be a book in the making.

        add me to the volunteer editor list. You might want the Queen’s English edition 🙂

      creeper in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      I will commence haunting the mailbox on Monday.

        FYI, Monday likely too soon, I’m sorry to say. With the first print run, it turns out to be a few days to deliver. Looks like end of week, maybe a day sooner.

        I don’t even have a consumer copy yet, myself. 🙁 Waiting just like everybody else. And my 2-year-old crayoned all over the final galley, so that is . . . well . . . interesting to read at this point. 🙂

        –Andrew

          I should make clear, the shipping slow is from me, Amazon claims 2-day shipping available. Their subsidiary is my printer, so Amazon may get priority inventory, I don’t know.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense.

          Anything worth having is worth waiting for Andrew. 🙂

          Plus we have another week of trial and your outstanding analysis coming I hope.

Can Sabryna Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, testify? I thought witnesses in a trial were not allowed to watch the trial.

    Zimmerman Trial: Why Can Martin’s Parents Stay in Courtroom, But Zimmerman’s Family Can’t? FL Law Explained

    http://is.gd/ayIEcR

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      creeper in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Okay. I understand. I think.

      It still sucks.

      Thank you sir!

      I have been also wondering this my self.

      As a first time commentator, the last thing I am going to say is I like the 12 character original password this site sent me. True security to start, I keep a 3×5 card file of different site’s passwords, call me paranoid but it can’t be hacked and I expand them to 14 characters.

    amwick in reply to Lord Snark. | July 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Any legal professionals care to speculate about a possible cross by the defense? Will they let her (ambiguous?troubled?) relationship with Trayvon slide? I understand the grieving mother prohibition, but it doesn’t seem that simple here.

    As always, thank you Andrew. Hope you had something of a break.

      Spent the day working on today’s blog post (above) and formatting LOSD2 for Kindle.

      Turns out Kindle doesn’t like tables.

      And LOSD2 has a LOT of content in tables–each 50 states worth of content, most multiple columns of content.

      Aaargh. 🙁 Why does every 48 hour task turn into a 480 hour task?

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      kringeesmom in reply to amwick. | July 4, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      I think West could do a masterful cross of Sabryna. He handled RJ quite well. His quiet manner comes across much better than the “flying” BDLR.

TiggerNitties | July 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Does anyone know if there’s any chance of Rachel/Dee Dee/ Diamond Eugene being prosecuted for perjury? Thanks in advance. This site has kept me sane during this obscenity called a trial.

    stella dallas in reply to TiggerNitties. | July 5, 2013 at 10:54 am

    In the Duke lacrosse case the false accuser Crystal Mangum was not prosecuted for perjury. The AG Roy Cooper felt it would serve no good purpose because she was psychologically unstable! Crystal went on to murder one of her boyfriends.

Hello All! I am the Newbie of the day. Happy Independence Day!

Andrew, I love to read your website and Twitter, so I decided to register. Regarding typos, I find them refreshing to see – because I am smart enough to figure out what you meant and I believe you have other, more important, things to do (such as type more great stuff for me to read) than to toil and obsess over every its or it’s; I mean really!?

Anyway, I have been in several federal lawsuits as a plaintiff, but I am not a lawyer. Is it likely or even possible that the M2 charge will be downgraded to Manslaughter tomorrow. I only ask because that is what is being discussed on the “Kill Zimmerman” websites.

Thanks

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

    http://is.gd/4PZJEm

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Juba Doobai! in reply to DriveBy. | July 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Dude, it’s not about you being smart enough to figure things out. It’s about quality product looking 100% quality. It’s about well-written prose being an instructional instrument for the many incognoscenti. And, dagnabbit, it’s about language and grammar. America is flooded with people who can’t speak or write standard because the morons producing tv programs helped to foster poor langauge habits. Just watch the old Mission Impossible series and see if you hear any ain’ts. Now here you are puffing yourself up and advocating for errors when the Man himself is thanking people for editing help. Bah!

      DriveBy in reply to Juba Doobai!. | July 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      I have been reading the comments here the past week and this had seemed like a “Grown Up” place. Could I have been wrong?

      You assert that I puffed myself up? Go ahead, explain that one to me.

      How many times was the word “Dude” used in all of those Mission Impossible episodes, Dude? In that era smoking on airplanes was condoned and three Martini lunches were the standard, even for surgeons. As well, the newspaper classified advertisements for “Woman Wanted” or “Man Wanted” for any conceivable job opening were also the standard. My recollection is that it was a very forgiving but also screwed up era, not utopia, just like this era.

      I spoke about a silly typo: its versus it’s. It was/is my take that Andrew pushes out important information to his readers as fast as possible so that they can consume and enjoy it as early as possible. Potential typos be damned, IMNHO, and it is refreshing, to me, Dude.

        Michiguy in reply to DriveBy. | July 5, 2013 at 12:06 am

        Accuracy matters. If you text me that your kid has a temperature of 89.5 degrees (F) and should you give him Tylenol, sure, the logical inference is that the temperature is 99.5 and you hit the “8” key by mistake, but I’m sure as hell going to ask you to verify. Because an 89.5-degree temperature suggest serious problems, like he’s dead and the temperature is passing through 89.5 on its (sic) way to ambient.

        It’s (sic) not meaningless nitpicking. We all make mistakes and most of those mistakes don’t make us idiots, or bad people or whatever (so no need to get all defensive), but dismissing errors as unworthy of notice leads to the mentality of “but the needle was only a little in the red.”

          Plus the keyboard does some very strange things.

          The errors that we found were likely keyboard errors. You will find I posted something and when I saw the actual post there was an unintended error – that dang keyboard again!!

          I actually back up comments by Michiguy on the subject of why it matters.

    txantimedia in reply to DriveBy. | July 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    @DriveBy

    Is it likely or even possible that the M2 charge will be downgraded to Manslaughter tomorrow. I only ask because that is what is being discussed on the “Kill Zimmerman” websites.

    Well, at least we’re making progress. Apparently even the rabid haters are seeing that the case is weak tea indeed.

      my late father, a tea drinker btw had another saying and I think it is more appropriate. He used to say it about what he thought was very weak tea:

      “the case for the prosecution is like a stale bottle of urine”… it is as weak as “p”

        Harperman in reply to Aussie. | July 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm

        Not to nit pick but I don’t know about stale urine being so “weak”. Used to moisten and meal the correct proportions of potassium nitrate, sulfur and charcoal it delivers a pretty good muzzle velocity. LOL

          kringeesmom in reply to Harperman. | July 4, 2013 at 11:20 pm

          That’s gross. I have just lost my appetite for desert. Thanks. A lot.

          Harperman in reply to Harperman. | July 5, 2013 at 12:38 am

          Why would that effect your appetite for dessert? Are you having black powder for dessert?

          look at the colour and that should provide the answer about being weak.

          Both my late father and myself like to have a cup of tea that is not too strong and not weak. If it has too much milk it is terrible!! Hence that is part of the saying.

kentuckyliz | July 4, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I wrote an incredible post of what I think the jury is thinking, being a woman similar to them in some respects. Long, beautiful, weighting testimony, key facts, etc. And then my internet signal was off so my post was eaten. Y’all will just have to wonder at my hidden brilliance. LOL

    Harperman in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    That is why when you write long posts on sites like this you are always better off writing then in Word or whatever word processing program you use and then copying and pasting.
    Yes I also have lost a lot of long posts!

      kentuckyliz in reply to Harperman. | July 4, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      Yeah, I know. I should know better. I didn’t intend to write a long post. I tried to copy and paste before my screen went blank and that didn’t work. Live and learn.

        gregm in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm

        Look in your Winders folder and find “notepad” make a shortcut and drag it to your desktop. Also avoid WordPad as it will add junk. Stay with a plain txt editor as mentioned above.

      Avoid Word for cut-and-paste into forums, please, it carries over all kinds of hidden code.

      A basic text editor is best for that.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    creeper in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Download an add-on called “Lazarus”. It resurrects dead posts. I’d have shot this fool machine years ago but for Lazarus.

      kentuckyliz in reply to creeper. | July 4, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      Yes, good recommendation. I have Lazarus on my older laptop and my work computer but not on my new lappie yet. Must install!

      AZ_Langer in reply to creeper. | July 4, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      I used Lazarus to recall something just yesterday.

      Encryption aside, since it’s basically a keylogger, I use another browser or profile when I make secure transactions. Alternately, you could disable it.

      gregm in reply to creeper. | July 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Good tip creeper, but isn’t that like shooting a housefly with a 12ga.?

I don’t think the state ever thought they could get 2nd degree but are using it in the hopes of a compromise verdict. And Mark O’Mara may have obliged by putting his client on a TV show so he could be proven to be a convincing liar who has the knowledge to create a plausible story of self-defense.

I’m not saying the defense can’t get past O’Mara’s blunder, but it makes it easier for any juror so predisposed to find Zimmerman never really felt as threatened as he claims and lied about it.

Great job, O’Mara!

    DriveBy in reply to DennisD. | July 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    But did not the professor (Army Captain) testify that his class and the book that they used did not discuss SYG as specific to Florida, or even SYG at all? I do not remember that.

      amwick in reply to DriveBy. | July 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Funny thing is that CNN failed to mention that part of the testimony.. hmmmmmmmm…

        DriveBy in reply to amwick. | July 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        LOL!

        This is the first criminal trail that I have watched. On YouTube a member named “THECOURT” has posted all of the trial in video, and Andrew has a complete narrative.

        I feel so badly for George and his family, having to go through this politically motivated persecution, and I am in awe that the prosecutors did not simply resign days ago rather than continue this farce. At times I watch CNN because it is on the TV, but they cut to a break often times when things for O’Mara and West are about to heat up, so I keep a live feed open on my cell phone to switch to.

        As far as the commentary, the Talking Heads’ focal points, it is so bad that I refuse to listen to it for more than 15-30 seconds. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people will only have CNN, MSNBC, and even FOX to use as a reference to what is happening in the Court. I read a Fox update today online and it was devoid of reality as to how bad the case against Mr. Zimmerman is going. Sad.

          amwick in reply to DriveBy. | July 5, 2013 at 8:23 am

          It would be funny, if it weren’t so, so sad. I can never trust the talking heads again.. All these years, decades even, with my head buried in the sand, now what?? I just might be forced to think a little..

          ps. Thanks to all the legal professionals (along with Andrew) that have taken the time to post here.

    you really cannot help yourself.

    This is not a case of 2nd degree or of manslaughter is is self-defense.

    rantbot in reply to DennisD. | July 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    “to create a plausible story of self-defense.”

    Complete with plausible fake head injuries, of course. Unfortunately some pestilential police type photographed them, so maybe they’re not so fake. But they’re still plausible.

    kentuckyliz in reply to DennisD. | July 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    You bet a Hannity and I’ll raise you a John Good (eyewitness who saw the fight in progress). MMA style ground and pound. If you listen carefully to his testimony, TM-astride-GZ scooched up to the sidewalk. GZ was trying to wriggle away from the sidewalk and TM was trying to get him further onto the concrete. Skulls on concrete = not a good mix. I saw a guy die faster being beaten on concrete than the 1 minute 10 second intense thrashing GZ took without getting a lick in.

      kringeesmom in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      Good’s statement is consistent with Zimmerman’s initial statement that was taken a few hours post shooting. Look for a side by side comparison in defense closing. IMO Good came across as the most credible of the eye/ear witnesses.

    James IIa in reply to DennisD. | July 4, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    DD, earlier I thought it might have been a blunder, as everyone said, but the way it works out is that GZ has managed to get his whole story before the jury through video recording, without having to sit through cross examination. What’s the word for the opposite of a blunder?

      Matt in FL in reply to James IIa. | July 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      James IIa sez: “What’s the word for the opposite of a blunder?”

      Well, in computers, everyone knows what a bug is. A “feature” is a bug that you make use of. So we’ll call it a feature.

      jayjerome66 in reply to James IIa. | July 5, 2013 at 12:44 am

      Stratagem ?

    txantimedia in reply to DennisD. | July 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    If you thought Zimmerman was lying in the Hannity interview, you don’t understand what lying is.

      kentuckyliz in reply to txantimedia. | July 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      I believe GZ probably remembered some of the content of the ideas of SYG from class (if it was taught), but not necessarily the name for it (SYG). Go back to the NEN call; from the beginning (before TM circled his car), he screws up the address for the clubhouse (111 instead of 1111) and the dispatcher is asking for clarification, is it 1111, and GZ is not even answering that question, he’s focusing on trying to give driving directions to pass to the responding police officer to be dispatched. GZ has a hard time with house numbers (from the T, in back of the houses) and street names (as did Lauer and Sgt Raimondo). I think he just forgot the term SYG. If that’s the “lie” you’re trying to point out–that was what the prosecutor was after with that Hannity clip vs. having the professors testify.

      And we know how well that went for the defense.

      Fun fact…did you know Scott Pleasants is a former police officer? I found him on LinkedIn and invited him to connect. With my background and LI summary, he will likely accept. Some people have connected with me likely due to my tweetstream (LI is my link), so I spent some time posting some sunshine and light today. #SoMe strategery.

    theamishlawyer in reply to DennisD. | July 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    It tells you well this case is going for the State of Florida: the highlight of the first 8 days of prosecution testimony is that Zimmerman *may* have mis-remembered some details of a criminal justice course he took.

    Folks, it’s a second degree murder trial and the best evidence going is trivia about a college course?

    Sally MJ in reply to DennisD. | July 5, 2013 at 3:47 am

    MOM didn’t put GZ on Hannity – GZ went on Hannity himself between first and second attorney. He was doing some things he shouldn’t have been doing.

kentuckyliz | July 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

The bloody lines on the back of GZ’s skull I believe is the edge of the concrete sidewalk, and if TM knew physics he would have stayed right there. The edge of the sidewalk could have concentrated the force better than the flat concrete resulting in a greater likelihood of cracking open the skull with continued slamming.

    txantimedia in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    If TM knew physics he might have been studying to be an aerospace engineer.

      kentuckyliz in reply to txantimedia. | July 4, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Even some basic non-mathy concepts like the concentration of force in a smaller surface area. That’s why it hurts more to be whipped than paddled.

At the end of the second paragraph under “State’s Opening Statement…”, I think you mean, “or perhaps even kill, Zimmerman” (not “Martin”).

I have enjoyed your Tweets and your commentary very much and am looking forward to more. I can’t afford your book but I wish you the very best.

Man, if I was a regular reader of LI, the comment subscriptions getting turned off at random would really tick me off.

When I first clicked into this article, I scrolled to the bottom and hit Subscribe, so that any comments that were posted after I started reading would get kicked to email. I got a couple emails, and then they stopped. I scrolled to the bottom, turned the subscription on again, and kept reading. I got 5 more, then they stopped. I scrolled to the bottom, turned it on again and kept reading. I just got to the bottom of the existing comments to find out it has somehow magically been turned off again.

Really frustrating if you’re trying to keep up with conversational threads.

    Matt in FL in reply to Matt in FL. | July 4, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    And now, at 11:45 p.m., realizing I hadn’t heard from this post in a while, I come back to check, only to find that my subscription to this post is turned off again! The last email I received was at 9:54 p.m., approximately 10 minutes after I left my last comment. Really quite frustrating.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Matt in FL. | July 5, 2013 at 9:52 am

      LI has a 3-month long hazing software program for new regular posters. Your capacity for patience and perseverance is being measured. Hang in there.

Most of this is easy to understand.

The prosecution is being directed by radical leftists who care only about their political agenda, and not an iota about justice or the life of George Zimmerman. Whether the assigned prosecutors are totally on-board or being dragged along for the ride isn’t as clear, since one would expect that any professional lawyer who wished to retain his job would be less disastrous than the assigned clowns.

But what I can’t understand is why every single commentator on Fox News and every other conservative source isn’t 100% adamant 100% of the time that this whole charade is a sham and a show trial. They should never make a peep without first saying “Understand, this is the most contemptable show-trial in American history, but having said that…blah blah blah”. Specifically, I’ll cite Gretta, who, although she is largely contemptuous of the skills of the prosecutors, often presents herself as someone who seems to think that there is another side to the case, albeit a side that she doesn’t totally support. Why? Gretta and the whole pack of pundits who aren’t foaming-at-the-mouth-leftists, should be screaming from the rooftops every chance that they get.

It reveals how astonishingly effective the radicals criminal 24×7 assault on rational American values has been.

    jayjerome66 in reply to donmc. | July 5, 2013 at 1:08 am

    “The prosecution is being directed by radical leftists who care only about their political agenda, ”

    The prosecution was ordered by the Republican governor, who appointed the dishonest Republican special prosecutor, who appointed all the lawyers and staff. Are you suggesting radical leftists have mind snatched the gov and th SP? And Bernie too?
    (Eerie zither music as the leftist controlled zombie prosecution lock steps thru the courtroom)

      donmc in reply to jayjerome66. | July 5, 2013 at 10:34 am

      The governor was a damned fool.

      He should be voted out of office for appointing that woman. Either he didn’t know who she is or chose to ignore the obvious.

      And if that isn’t enough, he and Jeb allowed this “legal system” to develop to the point where it is capable of putting on show trials like this one. That alone is enough reason to disqualify Jeb Bush from any other public office.

Oh dear, I see that “Angela Corey, Special Prosecutor, responsible for this prosecution” has mystically morphed into “Angelo Corey, Special Prosecutor, responsible for this prosecution”.

Sure, she looks more like an Angelo, but perhaps that’s not her fault.

Andrew, in the paragraph about the opening statements, have you changed “emotion-laded” to “emotion-laden”?

I have reblogged the whole of this on my own blog. It is a must read for anyone following the case.

Hey William nice work on the fireworks!!

    Harperman in reply to Aussie. | July 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    I strongly disagree. I am here to read the blog and the comments. It is kind of hard to read something with virtual fireworks going off all over it. It is not yet dark here in Arizona. When I is and I am ready to see fireworks I will go see real fireworks.

      Ha, we do not celebrate July 4 in my country. On top of that when I was last in the USA in 2009 on July 4 I missed the fireworks in NY because we left that day to go to Hartford and then Hartford did not have fireworks for us to witness!! 🙂

Love the fireworks and music! THANKS so much!!

Carol Herman | July 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm

You know I’d like to take one of these fire crackers and place it in “creepy ass cracker’s” behind. Because I’m not so sure Don West knows all that much about presenting facts to this jury where they’d come to their feet and give him a rousing welcome!

Take the “Crump” thing where Don West wanted to take Crumps deposition today. Or tomorrow. And, yes. Debbie Nelson looked fit to be tied. But she did give West a good clue: THIS IS A SEQUESTERED JURY. Hello, Don West. Your killing time. And, that’s NOT an advantage to Zimmerman!

Oh, yeah. “Step aside jury considerations” to deposition Crump. Who does a mean Louis Armstrong immitation. And, you’re not gonna win by trying to climb on top of this guy’s shoulders!

Please God. Just call in your medical examiner (Vincent Di Maio) FIRST! If you can’t get the ME to rip to shreds the government’s evidence: GIVE UP! Zimmerman deserves better lawyering. Alas, so far, all Zimmerman has is a wardrobe of great ties.

    Carol this is mumbo jumbo. The filibustering made sure that Sybrina Fulton did not take the stand to do her act of crying like a grieving mother.

    The real grieving mother is Alicia Stanley.

    cjharrispretzer in reply to Carol Herman. | July 5, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Carol, sometimes I think you partake in adult beverages before making your comments. What the heck??

Andrew in paragraph on the terrible alleged M.E. Valerie Rao, it should be hilariously or at least that is what I think it should be 🙂

So, after all these days, after the prosecution finally rests, George’s parents will FINALLY be allowed back into the courtroom (I am assuming the defense will not list them as witnesses).

The prosecution listed them as witnesses simply to keep them out of the courtroom during their case in chief.

Pretty bush league move, IMO. >:[

    fogflyer in reply to cazinger. | July 5, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Oh, I am quite sure they WILL.
    George’s parents are going to testify that it is GEORGE screaming on the tape.
    Something they both said as soon as they heard the tape.

    So, guessing they have them testify last, as the state is doing, they won’t end up being at The trial until the very end.

      jayjerome66 in reply to fogflyer. | July 5, 2013 at 1:19 am

      I’d have them testify immediately after TMs mother, the defense first witnesses. Neutralize one parent recognition with another, then they can take their seats in the courtroom for the rest of the trial.. I think MOM may have hinted that during one of the interplays with the judge when Crumb was excluded from remaining in the court.

        fogflyer in reply to jayjerome66. | July 5, 2013 at 1:49 am

        Yeah, actually I like that idea better. Better to have them in the courtroom.
        I would call Tracy Martin first, then the Zimmerman’s.

          cjharrispretzer in reply to fogflyer. | July 5, 2013 at 2:54 am

          Oh Please, you KNOW the state will not release George’s parents from subpoena. They will be “subject to recall” on re-direct, and therefore will not be allowed to be present for any part of this trial. I had the same thing happen to me during my rape case when I was the victim/witness. Of course, I couldn’t even be present at my own rapist”s trial, but the defense also prevented my mom from being present, too, since she was on the witness list. Can I just tell you how horrible that is as a rape victim/witness…to not be able to attend your own trial? It took 2 1/2 yrs and 10 trial delays to finally get my chance for justice, and I felt like my whole life was on the line. And I was barred from being present and knowing how the proceedings were going along. Beyond frustrating!!!!!

        jayjerome66 in reply to jayjerome66. | July 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        Guess the defense team was listening 🙂

Charlie Foxtrot | July 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Dumbe Question: Does the jury have the option of convicting to a lesser charge than 2nd Murder? Manslaughter, Reckless Endangering, discharging weapon inside city limits?

conservativegram | July 4, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Thank you so much, Mr, Branca, for taking time from your 4th of July celebration to give us your commentary.
Thank you also, Professor, for the festive music and fireworks.
Aside from being very boring, did anyone else think it was a complete mistake for the prosecution to spend so much time (or any time) with the DNA expert? All I took away from his testimony was that Trayvon Martin’s sweatshirt looked pretty large and that a lot of George Zimmerman blood was found.
Happy Independence Day, everybody.

    AZ_Langer in reply to conservativegram. | July 4, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    I’ll agree that much of that testimony was near torturous but it was not without value.

    Much was made about what DNA wasn’t found, and if you heard Don West’s cross examination, he focused on how poorly some of the evidence was collected and transferred, particularly that inside the red biohazard bag. It’s possible that unprofessional handling led to degradation of DNA evidence.

So you wrote this sitting out in your yard. I’m jealous. I wish my Adirondack chairs had such large adult beverage holders.

WOW, there are some seriously large booming fireworks going off around my home. Fortunately my 18 year old deaf watchdog has happily slept through it all. Poor ol’ boy

Someone mentioned about being tried federally as well as on the state level. I am a lawyer by training. Isn’t that what they did to the police officers who were accused of beating Rodney King? When there was a lack of convictions for police brutality, the feds took over and accused the officers of violating Rodney King’s civil rights. I am not saying the officers were innocent, but they were in essence put under double jeopardy.

So yes, if GZ is found not guilty, the feds could theoretically use some trumped up charge like denying TM’s civil rights. The feds can charge separately and it is not considered double jeopardy. Whether they would actually consider that with as obviously ridiculous as this case is is another matter. Hopefully, they wouldn’t do that in this case.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to hbernste. | July 4, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    It’s much easier for the feds to charge and convict on acts denying civil rights committed under color of authority than it would be for a private citizen.

    The sleazy investigation by the FBI already cleared GZ of acting out of racial hatred so they won’t be left holding the bag if/when GZ is acquitted. They’ll just say, “We investigated; we got nuthin’.”

    The difference and the exception is that the Feds investigated and did not find any racism involved. Case closed.

So, based on the jury that was enplaned for the trial, and the evidence that has been submitted, what do you think the outcome will be? I’ve got my own opinions on the matter, but I’d like to hear your prognostications.

Read the tea leaves for us. Will the defense let this go to a jury decision? Or will they be happy pleading out on a lesser charge? If so, do you think we’d see aggravated assault be the final outcome? Or will the prosecution only be happy with manslaughter or above?

    foghorn trollhorn, it should be obvious by now… no pleading on a lesser charge.

    This case is about the right to self-defense. Pleading on a lesser charge would be a travesty of justice.

    The defense is doing a very good job turning around the State witnesses.

    Mister Natural in reply to foghorn. | July 5, 2013 at 7:51 am

    WTF?

    en·plane
    [en-pleyn]
    1.
    to board an airplane: We enplaned in New York at noon and arrived in Washington an hour later.
    verb (used with object)
    2.
    to allow to board or put on board an airplane: We will be enplaning passengers shortly.

    perhaps you meant empanel?

Carol Herman | July 5, 2013 at 12:28 am

Tomorrow, the trial coverage resumes. Don West’s “trick” of trying to bounce Friday’s testimony off the stage didn’t work.

Whatever Sebrina Fulton does on the stand, when she is called, all of us now know to look at out watches. And, we can understand how the “clock” (instead of common sense, and flow), come into play. Used by both sides of lawyers. BDLR wants Sabrina’s tears to go in last. And, then the court breaks until Monday morning.

I’m not a lawyer. But I think “these timing devices” work when you’re throwing grenades. But they aren’t worthy elements in the practice of law. Law should be held to a more sacred ideal, than mere theatrics.

Which brings me to the point that first BLDR has to call other witnesses before he calls Sebrina to the stand. If “tears” are the purpose of convicting Zimmerman.

What if she can’t cry on cue? Does she lift an onion to her nose to sniff it? Why is Don West so terrified of Sebrina? And, thinks that controlling “timing for TV” makes for the Defense having a compelling case?

Do I suspect that a “real” Medical Examiner, like the Chinese fella Bao, come in and explain how the state has a case based on the evidence?

Crump is a RED HERRING! If Dee-Dee,Rachel, Rachel, Diamond, Eugene, actually lied on the stand, wouldn’t the State have a compelling interest in chasing her down for prosecution?

Doesn’t it serve Zimmerman best if he only had able lawyers who could hone in on the evidence the State presents, and make mincemeat out of their experts who claim their evidence is foolproof?

I just saw a little clip of Crump. And, if he can’t do a Louie Armstrong WINNING approach to being deposed … then you don’t know Louis Armstrong! (Sweat. Wipe your brow. And, then play your instrument like an expert.) You didn’t have to be Black to buy the performance. And, if you were old like me, you’d have seen Louie Armstrong on Ed Sullivan’s Show.

    Oh please Carol you are into the mumbo jumbo again. You are writing things that are not factual.

    Do you really believe that the Persecution will charge Rachel with perjury? Of course not. They put her on the stand already knowing that she had lied.

      txantimedia in reply to Aussie. | July 5, 2013 at 1:18 am

      @Aussie

      They put her on the stand already knowing that she had lied.

      After admitting on the record that she had perjured herself in sworn testimony and that they had hidden that fact from the defense for months.

    Matt in FL in reply to Carol Herman. | July 5, 2013 at 1:32 am

    I really don’t understand your stream of consciousness posts. After the first one, I just skip over them.

    Elliott in reply to Carol Herman. | July 5, 2013 at 5:23 am

    The clock running “thing” is a tactic to throw off the order of the state’s witnesses. After De La Rionda’s myriad discovery violations followed by his bald faced lying, plus this judge’s idiotic fixation on her imagined “schedule” to bum rush the defense, a little foot dragging by West alternated with hurry up with O’Mara’s hurry up is mild stuff. Timing is everything as O’Mara showed this jury ending the day with the early lead detective saying Zimmerman is telling the truth, compounded with the goofiness of this judge and the state having his statement REREAD to the jury with an order to strike. While Ms Fulton was getting ready for her closeup Wednesday which the state hoped to end the day before a jury and court holiday, O’Mara had the state’s exhibit of an size XXXXL sweatshirt and hoodie helpfully mounted in a huge commercial sized rolling signage contraption suggesting visually that Trayvon Martin was a NFL linebacker rather than a small child. It is more and more obvious that the state overcharged the hell out of this case for political purposes, to extract a plea, to aid and abet plaintiff’s lawyers and cronies, and evidence was never meant to become public because there isn’t any that can stand even minor scrutiny.

I hope he’ll walk but what if Z will be found guilty by the all-women jury like a reverse OJ double-murder trial. Didn’t we expect 0bama wouldn’t be re-elected, right?

    fogflyer in reply to James Lee. | July 5, 2013 at 1:53 am

    I thought he would get elected.
    I even one a bet of one penny from my republican coworker.
    I couldn’t stomach winning more than a penny off of Obama’s victory.

    If the jury was to believe the utter bs that had been served up by the state, then they should be locked up for good.

    However, if that was the verdict then there will be an appeal because of all of the reversible errors in the current trial.

    The trial has been a travesty of injustice based upon a series of decisions from the moonbat Nelson.

OBloodyhell | July 5, 2013 at 1:50 am

Can someone explain to me why there are only six on the jury instead of 12?

My wife made an interesting point about mothers knowing their child’s screams. She disagrees, noting that there have been several occasions when she was with a group of mothers with children playing out of sight and then a child start screaming. All of the mother’s come running to see if it is their child.

I remember being inside when I heard a child screaming.I ran outside to see what was happening and who was hurt. It turned out my son broke his arm, but there was no way I could tell from the screams that it was him rather another neighbors child. My immediate thought on hearing the scream was who got hurt.

    OBloodyhell in reply to Pauldd. | July 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Unless you’re a sociopath, EVERYone runs towards ANY child’s scream. There has to be something socially wrong with you not to be protective of children no matter whose spawn they are.

Mister Natural | July 5, 2013 at 7:46 am

anyone know what “sundance” over at “The conservative treehouse” is referring to when he refers to “CRS”
seems to be a big secret relayed to his research efforts of this case and it was corruptly brought to trial

Mister Natural | July 5, 2013 at 7:46 am

anyone know what “sundance” over at “The conservative treehouse” is referring to when he refers to “CRS”
seems to be a big secret relayed to his research efforts of this case and it was corruptly brought to trial

Andrew, earlier this week I saw the very end of the Hannity interview for the first time. This is where GZ looks directly into the camera and says he is sorry for what happened. It almost made me cry (I’m a woman 🙂 Did the prosecution open the door to that part of the interview being played by the defense?

    Marco100 in reply to MKReagan. | July 5, 2013 at 8:37 am

    O’Mara knew that George Z. had already given extensive statements to the police. He also must have known the Hannity interview was subject to being used in court as part of the state’s case. Undoubtedly the Hannity interview was orchestrated with that probability clearly in mind.

 782.07 Manslaughter; aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult; aggravated manslaughter of a child; aggravated manslaughter of an officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic.—
 (1)The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification according to the provisions of chapter 776 and in cases in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder, according to the provisions of this chapter, is manslaughter, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.775.084.

—————

 776.012Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
 (1)He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

————–

 776.041Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
 (1)Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
 (2)Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
 (a)Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
 (b)In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

————-

I don’t think the trial judge can dismiss this case at the close of the State’s evidence.

While there seems inadequate evidence for Murder 2, manslaughter is supportable (with all favorable inferences being made in the prosecution’s favor on a motion to dismiss) based on Jeantel’s testimony that Trayvon in his cell phone call to her, said “Get off!”, which the jury could reasonably infer indicates Zimmerman was the initial “aggressor.” (It’s up to the jury as the finder of fact to choose which evidence it believes or disbelieves, including Jeantel’s.)

The above Florida statutes when read as a whole then seem to indicate the real issues are whether 1) even if GZ was the “initial aggressor,” did the situation then turn around at some point to where GZ became reasonably fearful for his life or at risk of serious bodily injury? and 2) whether or not GZ’s actions in firing his gun at TM constituted “culpable negligence.”

Believe me I am no fan of the prosecution’s tactics in this case, but clearly there seems to be a jury issue here. Was the degree of force allegedly being inflicted by TM upon GZ sufficiently threatening so that it is absolutely impossible for any reasonable jury to find GZ “culpably negligent” beyond a reasonable doubt in firing his weapon?

I’m not sure what the definition of “culpably negligent” is under FL law but the very phrase seems inherently circular–“negligence” alone implies “culpability,” there doesn’t seem to be a way of being “negligent” in a “NON-culpable” manner.

This is probably something that is addressed in FL case law and is also probably very idiosyncratic and fact specific.

However in ANY altercation which starts out as a “street brawl” and ends up with one of the participants dead, I’m not sure it’s possible to fault ANY judge for letting the finder of fact make the ultimate call on guilt or innocence.

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

Uncle Samuel | July 5, 2013 at 8:46 am

Legal Question:

Can the jury specify a subset or type of Manslaughter: INVOLUNTARY Manslaughter, ACCIDENTAL Manslaughter, UNAVOIDABLE Manslaughter or Manslaughter WITHOUT Malice Aforethought or Malicious Intent that would not involve incarceration, but probation?

Hopefully, when Ms. Sybrina Fulton takes the stand, she will say she is now convinced that George Zimmerman did not mean to harm her son and that this trial has satisfied both her and her husband’s desire to know the circumstances of Trayvon’s death.

She will also acknowledge that Trayvon had gotten out of control by his activities, hanging with the wrong crowd and into the dangerous black gangsta lifestyle and had made choices that brought harm to himself and others and could have caused his death so sooner or later.

She will warn other black youth and their parents of the dangers of this lifestyle.

She will ask that the trial be dismissed and George Zimmerman be set free.

She will ask the black community to see the truth and desist from threats and violence against whites.

This will not let Crump and Corey and their retinue of race and Political/financial gain-mongers off the hook, but it is the best possible outcome at this point.

This would be the path of redemption and restoration for everyone: George Zimmerman, the Martins, the young black youth who consider the gangsta lifestyle cool…and maybe will wake some parents up to the dangers.

This would be maybe even better than a Not Guilty verdict.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 5, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Dear Grammar Nazis (hopeful smile), Please forgive the young black youth redundancy.

    Marco100 in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 5, 2013 at 8:55 am

    I’m not sure Sybrina’s testimony is going to have much weight one way or the other. Assuming she says “The screams were Trayvon” how does that really change anything? She obviously has to be viewed as an inherently biased witness, if for no other reason than TM is her son. Just because Sybrina might sincerely want to believe the screams sounded like her son doesn’t really give any conclusive information to the jury. I am assuming the jury doesn’t decide she’s deliberately lying, but even if she’s not lying, it doesn’t mean her subjective observations are very reliable.

    Contrast that with the testimony of Good who has no axe to grind in this case and clearly puts TM in the position of the aggressor doing a ground and pound on GZ. I really think it will be difficult for the jury to discount Good’s testimony and the result will be that Sybrina’s testimony will be discounted. Even if Sybrina did hear Trayvon screaming that doesn’t mean GZ did not scream and it doesn’t really provide the jury with information to determine whether or not GZ was culpably negligent at the moment he pulled the trigger, which seems to be the real issue in this case.

    I think it’s completely unrealistic though to expect Sybrina to testify in any other manner than an avenging valkyrie against GZ since that’s her assigned role in this socio/psycho/legal drama. And most likely she will indeed be so “over the top” against GZ (especially since the prosecution will probably be too clumsy in eliciting her testimony for things to play out otherwise) that will give the jury even more reason to discount it.

OpenTheDoor | July 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

Sooo, just wondering, does Angela Cory not have a taxpayer funded job to show up for? Why is she sitting FRC at a show trial?

I imagine the only possible charge that might stick at this time is Man Slaughter ? Then again it is all up to the Jury.
How protected are the members of the Jury from any possible reprisals after their verdict is reached? In addition, even if there is a guilty verdict of some sort, an appeal would be a certainty.

May the Defense call Travon Martin’s guidance Counselors ?
Ask them how TM behaved at school etc ? Or can the Judge disallow any review of TM’s past antics, including his video taping of a street brawl using MMA style technique ?
May they also allow the Defense to cross examine both parents, relative to their relationship with TM and their own past activities ?

I have believed all along that this was a political prosecution, which of course is no great revelation.

I have also believed that the reason GZ was charged with a crime that he could not realistically be convicted of is that there was never any intent to convict him.

Now here is where I come to diverge with my own opinion; the prosecution’s motivation.

At one time I thought that this was a Hail Mary move on the DA’s part that would allow a claim of “Look, I tried to get him for murder and failed. You can’t blame me for a stupid jury.” and on the slim chance that it worked and GZ was convicted, the DA would look like a hero and be hailed as having worked prosecutorial magic.

Lately I have come to realize that there is a far darker, more cynical explanation that seems to be growing more and more plausible.

Simply put, the very people who INSTIGATED this prosecution for political reasons would BENEFIT from an acquittal that leads to violence in the streets.

[…] for the prosecution that should be read in full, but an excerpt is sufficient to show the “Grand Canyon” between what has been shown and what must be shown for a […]

Mr Branco, thank you for the magnificent reporting on this show trial. I think your work will have a big impact on future lawyers who may put their duty to justice above all.

“But this cannot be true, because if Martin had indeed run home it would have been impossible—based on the times and distances involved—for the older, clinically obese Zimmerman to catch up to him before he secured safety.”

This part is wrong. Zimmerman’s weight changed since he was arrested (he put on about 120 pounds). At the time of the incident, he was roughly 180-190 pounds.

    Sorry, but the testimony of Zimmerman’s physician’s assistant had Zimmerman clinically obese in his contemporaneous medical records the day after Martin attacked him. He’s only become MORE clinically obese since then. (Incidentally, it takes less than you might think to be clinically obese.)

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

I hope I may ask a question that may seem simple, however, I have not read the answer to it yet. Why isn’t the conversation between Dee Dee and Trayvon? It is clearly offered for “the truth of the mattered asserted” isn’t it? Was it allowed as an “excited utterance”?

TomSmith2011 | July 7, 2013 at 1:40 am

From the audio of George Zimmerman’s statements, when Serino “told him that was him screaming”. George Zimmerman said “Don’t sound like me”.
Anyone knows if he himself was screaming or not in the same situation.

George Zimmerman’s Statements To Sanford PD [Audio] at:

http://trayvon.axiomamnesia.com/audio/george-zimmermans-statements-sanford-pd-audio/

You want to know what my biggest question is?? Why has nobody done anything about the death threats made against GZ via FB and twitter? Or the threat of rioting? By my recollection, the threat of riots can be considered a terroristic threat. Yet none of this has been mentioned anywhere. Alan Dershowitz predicted the future correctly when he said the state overcharged GZ in the beginning and setting up possible race riots.
There was a teen in Texas who made probably the worst comment ever in his life when he quote ” ‘Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk.,” This was following on a game of sort. Anyway, a woman in Canada of all places Googled his address and turned him in. And the teen was charged with making terroristic threat.
I guess I do not understand the double standard here.
Guilty or not, and I really firmly believe he is innocent, nobody should go through what this man has gone through because of political pressure and racial overtones. His life is forever ruined because of this. The media has such a huge impact on this while case, namely NBC and CNN (CNN leaking GZ social security number) that I hope he owns both of them when this is over, and he can pay his million dollar legal bill, give or take. I also hope that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton crawl back under the rock they came from and stop adding fuel to the already dangerous situation. What will GZ do if he’s acquitted? Get plastic surgery? Or live in a area like Ft Knoxs?

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

Anybody catch this story about Angela Corey being charged last week ? Is this true ? If so did I miss the lame stream media covering it ?

http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/02/5539380/zimmerman-prosecutor-angela-corey.html

Zimmerman Prosecutor Angela Corey Criminally Indicted By Citizens’ Grand Jury For Allegedly Falsifying Arrest Warrant And Complaint

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/02/5539380/zimmerman-prosecutor-angela-corey.html#storylink=cpy

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

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

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