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Zimmerman Update: BLOCKBUSTER: State witness says Zimmerman wanted to be Prosecutor!

Zimmerman Update: BLOCKBUSTER: State witness says Zimmerman wanted to be Prosecutor!

BREAKING NEWS

State witness Scott Pleasants, a Professor of George Zimmerman’s for an online criminal justice course, just testified on cross-examination by O’Mara that Zimmerman’s stated career goal was to become and attorney and eventually a State prosecutor.

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 11.08.37 AM

Professor Scott Pleasants, testifies: “Zimmerman wanted to be a prosecutor.”

This is not going well for the state.


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

I don’t see how this hurts the sate’s case. Please elaborate.

    Frank Underwood, D-SC in reply to Sopater. | July 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I am starting to wonder if maybe this prosecution might backfire on those who pushed it forward…but given the circumstances I couldn’t possibly comment.

    Does wanting to be a prosecutor show a depraved heart? Perhaps it does!

    Talking about depraved hearts, I was watching Chris Matthews last night on Crossfire (I know, I know, why would I do that to myself…) and he seemed to be hedging on an acquittal. He had guest pundits saying it was going great for the State, but they know the case is in trouble. The media are starting to back track and pivot… Not to admit they were wrong, but to spin it in another biased direction.

    Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Sopater. | July 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    You are kidding, right?

    swimmerbhs in reply to Sopater. | July 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    The state is trying to prove he was a wanna be cop, this witness hurts the state because his career goal was not leo but an attorney. Alot of lawyers backgrounds on criminal justice and leo

    SeanInLI in reply to Sopater. | July 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    On it’s face, I don’t see it either.

    However, if the defense plans on establishing his character to be one of champion for the underdog and minorities, this fits directly in their wheelhouse. There are enough friends and associates who can/will serve as character witnesses in Zimmerman’s past whose testimony will absolutely support that narrative.

Do you see how it HELPS the State?

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Yes, it goes to their theory as a wannabe law enforcement type who is out to get bad guys and a s result killed Trayvon because GZ had profiled TM as bad guy and functioned as his judge and execution.

    However, it also helps the defense. GZ is your basic law abiding type as the language he used to encounter events would show. Respect for law, the workings of the system, and therefore unlikely to have functioned as judge, jury, and executioner re TM.

    IMO, no biggie.

      Ragspierre in reply to Juba Doobai!. | July 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      The whole line of “evidence” is a big fat nothing-burger.

      When you sponsor a witness, you REALLY need it to mean something.

      This will not.

      Well, except for the fact that the young captain…a prosecutor in the JAG corp…LOVED Zimmerman.

      Net loss for the State.

      JoeThePimpernel in reply to Juba Doobai!. | July 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      If being a “cop wannabe” is bad, then being an actual cop has to be far, far worse.

        Frank Underwood, D-SC in reply to JoeThePimpernel. | July 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm

        The jurors are not big fans of The Agitator, are they?

        kentuckyliz in reply to JoeThePimpernel. | July 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm

        I don’t think that jury (with its nurses, security guard, and DV vic) think cops are bad. This is a losing line of questioning for the state. Defense is pwning them on this.

        Phillep Harding in reply to JoeThePimpernel. | July 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm

        Uhm, “no”. Most cops go through a winnowing process, either during their hire interviews or as rookies. The worst problem types /usually/ get bumped.

        This, unfortunately, is not universal.

    snopercod in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    If the Judge has now allowed testimony regarding Zimmerman’s background, wouldn’t justice dictate that she’ll allow the same for Trayvon’s?

      Ragspierre in reply to snopercod. | July 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      I keep telling people…this is NOT a JUSTICE system. It is a LEGAL system. On a good day.

      SCLEO in reply to snopercod. | July 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      I’m betting that she won’t. It’s completely screwed up if she doesn’t, but just based on her stalwart state side leanings thus far, I would be astonished and elated if she did allow the information about Martin being a total thug to come in.

radiofreeca | July 3, 2013 at 11:38 am

I’m sorry – what bearing does this have on the charges Zimmerman faces? It would seem ( at least to me) to be just as relevant as what his favorite breakfast cereal was. But I’m not a lawyer, could you please explain?

    jox223 in reply to radiofreeca. | July 3, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Among other insights, it probably indicates a desire to be in law, not a “wannabe cop” and acting like a cowboy/vigilante.

      kentuckyliz in reply to jox223. | July 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      His voice is so calm on all his calls, and he describes suspicious *behavior*, dispatcher always the one to bring up race…LEO witnesses describe him as obedient, compliant, meek. Serino said controversial curse words on call were more frustration than hatred. Said quietly and not yelling in rage. People who case houses are fucking punks. It’s the behavior. Tender Catholic conscience that doesn’t know that Catholic moral theology says killing in self defense is morally licit.

    Observer in reply to radiofreeca. | July 3, 2013 at 11:49 am

    The prosecutors are trying to use George Zimmerman’s academic coursework as proof of the “depraved mind” required to prove second degree murder.

    IOW, the prosecutors are essentially saying that George Zimmerman’s desire to become . . . a prosecutor . . . is proof that he is evil!

      Frank Underwood, D-SC in reply to Observer. | July 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Well given how Angela Corey is, they may be onto something…

      iconotastic in reply to Observer. | July 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      I wonder what Patterico or Rags would think of that implication (cue Dr. Evil laugh)…

      kentuckyliz in reply to Observer. | July 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      Remember too that Judge Nelson is a former prosecutor. If you criticize GZ for wanting to be one, you criticize the state and the judge too. bwa ha haaaa

I don’t see how it hurts either.

I do see how the state might think it helps – I think they want the jurors to believe Zimmerman was not only a “wannabe” cop, but also a “wannabe” prosecutor, judge and jury.

    jox223 in reply to rokiloki. | July 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

    That’s a stretch. What’s next, will there be evidence that he attended a funeral? Judge, jury…. coroner? lol

      rokiloki in reply to jox223. | July 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Of course its a stretch. This whole trial has been a stretch from the state’s pov.

        Moe4 in reply to rokiloki. | July 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm

        Every time I’m punched in the nose, thrown to the ground and have my head bashed on the sidewalk at night by a young black man, my thoughts race back to my college classes in Criminal Law and what they taught me. This prosecution theory does not compute at all.

          kentuckyliz in reply to Moe4. | July 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm

          Fight flight faint or freeze…the panic response in the amygdala, the primitive part of the brain…not the pre-frontal cortex. Don’t expect a person experiencing aggravated assault in fear of their life to take the time to stop and think it through.

Drudge has his flashing light with this headline:
ZIMMERMAN TRIAL IN TECH MELTDOWN

Anyone know what that’s all about?

    snopercod in reply to Kitty. | July 3, 2013 at 11:50 am

    The photos at Drudge are the screens that come up when someone is calling you on Skype. Apparently, somebody (who?) was getting four calls at once.

    snopercod in reply to Kitty. | July 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Drudge has a link now: Hilarious Skype Bombing Brings Halt To Witness Testimony In George Zimmerman Trial

    As a witness in the George Zimmerman murder trial testified this morning via Skype, pranksters watching the case bombarded the man’s account with calls, forcing the judge to interrupt the man’s testimony.

    As seen in the above video, Scott Pleasants, a criminal justice professor at Seminole State College, was testifying about Zimmerman taking a criminal investigation course when the Skype meltdown occurred.

      JohnC in reply to snopercod. | July 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
      We’re so glad you could attend
      Come inside! Come inside!
      There behind a glass is a real blade of grass
      Be careful as you pass.
      Move along! Move along!

      Come inside, the show’s about to start
      Guaranteed to blow your head apart
      Rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth
      The greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth.
      You’ve got to see the show, it’s a dynamo.
      You’ve got to see the show, it’s rock and roll ….

      Right before your eyes, we pull laughter from the skies
      And he laughs until he cries, then he dies, then he dies
      Come inside the show’s about to start, guaranteed to blow your head apart
      You’ve got to see the show, it’s a dynamo
      You’ve got to see the show, it’s rock and roll…

      Soon the Gypsy Queen in a glaze of Vaseline
      Will perform on guillotine
      What a scene! What a scene!
      Next upon the stand will you please extend a hand
      To Alexander’s Ragtime Band
      Dixieland, Dixieland!
      Roll up! Roll up! Roll up!
      See the show!

      Performing on a stool we’ve a sight to make you drool
      Seven virgins and a mule
      Keep it cool. Keep it cool.
      We would like it to be known the exhibits that were shown
      Were exclusively our own,
      All our own. All our own.
      Come and see the show! Come and see the show! Come and see the show!
      See the show!

      jayjerome66 in reply to snopercod. | July 3, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      In usual fashion, Drudge got it partially right but distorted. His lead makes it seem like the testimony was seriously interrupted, but it was quickly restored, not really interrupting much at all.

    rokiloki in reply to Kitty. | July 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    It happened during a video testimony. The witness got multiple skype calls during his testimony.

    Sopater in reply to Kitty. | July 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Yeah, it looks like the issue that Drudge was highlighting was a “skype bomb” on the witness’ skype account during testimony. There were so many calls to the witness’ skype account during testimony that his testimony over skype had to be stopped and then finished via cell phone instead.

      f2000 in reply to Sopater. | July 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      The calls were to Mantei, which is why they were popping up on his screen. With his name displayed anyone could look him up (actually, this could have been done at any time since there’s only one rich mantei on Skype) and contact him because his account wasn’t private and he wasn’t set to invisible/do not disturb.

      Based on the prosecution’s tech savvy so far, it’s probably still wide open for text message and phone calls.

LOL. Zimmerman wanted to become a prosecutor?

That proves he’s evil and sneaky and dishonest — right BDLR?

DINORightMarie | July 3, 2013 at 11:43 am

This apparently has garnered the coveted Drudge “siren”!!

Wow!

The siren headline (no link – yet):
“ZIMMERMAN TRAIL IN TECH MELTDOWN”

stevewhitemd | July 3, 2013 at 11:45 am

I rather imagine Mr. Zimmermann will re-evaluate his career plans after watching BDLR in action.

Juba Doobai! | July 3, 2013 at 11:45 am

BTW, can we send Obama to Egypt? To Cairo? To Tahrir Square? Without SS?

PrincetonAl | July 3, 2013 at 11:46 am

The state has made a big deal out of Zimmerman being a “cop wannabe” in a desparate attempt to, I don’t know, (a) make it out like he was some kind of frustrated cop/vigilante o the loose, (b) unintentionally slander people who want to become cops, (b) paint Zimmerman.

Its a pretty slim reed to hang part of your character assassination on, but they have persisted in this throughout the trial.

Unfortunately, (a) Zimmerman has declined opportunities to take a greater LEO-type role as part of neighborhood watch, and (b) apparently has stated that he wanted to be a prosecutor, not a cop.

Given that a State witness yet again undercut their own case, its not good for the state.

I don’t think this rises to the status of “Blockbuster”, not even close; however, for those in the weeds of this thing, it is fun to see yet another State witness go over to the defense and watch the prosecution trip over their own concocted theories.

I think this is only about opening us some credibility issues in the character assassination portrait of the state nothing more. Another drip of credibility leaking away from the prosecution.

(Its been dripping steadily from the start … even liberal Mediate has jumped on the bandwagon of laughing at the media cheerleaders for Martin. Which means you know its bad).

    kentuckyliz in reply to PrincetonAl. | July 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Need to verify timeline. 2010 ridealong app, wants career in law enforcement. 2011 wants to be an attorney and prosecutor. After taking a class from an amazing guy (Carter) who is an attorney and a prosecutor. He obviously admired Carter and wanted to emulate his role model. Carter came off great. Good to know that this good adjunct instructor inspired a young Hispanic man to higher career goals.

      jayjerome66 in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      I mostly agree with you K-liz, but referring to George as “Hispanic” is as much a distortion of reality as referring to Obama as “Black.”

        kentuckyliz in reply to jayjerome66. | July 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm

        I was being tendentious. I know GZ is triracial and 1/4 Black. He’s triracial like Tiger Woods “Caublasian.”

The prosecution has a big framed exhibit displaying Trayvon’s hoodie spread flat. That ought to impress the jury on what a skinny little kid he was.

    rokiloki in reply to myiq2xu. | July 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I was surprised by the display. I’d never seen clothing evidence mounted and framed like that. Maybe its going into a civil rights museum or Al Sharpton’s office after the case is over.

      kentuckyliz in reply to rokiloki. | July 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      After Gorgone testimony, we know it’s mounted sealed in a box like that to attempt to hide the fact that it stinks to high heaven–sealed in plastic while wet, when reopened smelled like mold and ammonia, had degraded the DNA. Good job defense for bringing out those facts.

        Matt in FL in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        The shirts probably don’t smell any more, now that they’re dry. I think the displays are pretty effective at y’know, displaying the items. Much better that trying to have a witness or assistant hold the shirt up while pointing to holes.

> I don’t see how this hurts the sate’s case. Please elaborate.

Wanna-be cop at least has a hint of someone relishing violence. Wanna-be prosecutor, not so much.

Even if it is, it’d be amusing to see BDLR try to make that point to the jury. Maybe O’Mara can depose BDLR and ask him whether he’s happy with his job and think prosecutors serve a noble goal.

Or maybe Bernie can make a meta argument, using the prosecution in this case to hint that anyone who wants to be a prosecutor must be a scumbag. 🙂

    Marco100 in reply to rob411. | July 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    “Wanna-be cop at least has a hint of someone relishing violence.”

    ***********

    Do you think the State is prepared to put on a qualified expert psychologist witness to testify to the above inference, either in the general case or the GZ case specifically?

    While that inference is obviously what the State must be hoping the jury arrives at, there has not yet been any admissible evidence that it would be reasonable for the jury to draw such a conclusion, either generally or in GZ’s specific case. It’s pure speculation based on assumptions about people who wash out of police training based on….no evidence, at least none so far in this trial.

    kentuckyliz in reply to rob411. | July 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Don’t forget, Judge Nelson used to be a prosecutor.

Henry Hawkins | July 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm

This ‘revelation’ will serve as just another Rorschach test, depending on perspective. One will believe it indicates a desire to serve in support of justice or one will believe it reveals a judgmental, prosecutorial character who slipped into persecutorial behavior.

How we see it is irrelevant. How might the jury see it? Will they consider it at all?

    Marco100 in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    “One will believe it indicates a desire to serve in support of justice or one will believe it reveals a judgmental, prosecutorial character who slipped into persecutorial behavior.”

    *******************

    That’s getting into an analysis of the psychological make up or response of the defendant but there hasn’t been any evidence presented either way (i.e. expert psych. testimony) and probably there won’t be.

    As such, it’s pure speculation and the jury really has no basis to draw any conclusions one way or the other about the issue you raised.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      I’m suggesting the jury may react anyway and wondered how posters with legal expertise think they’ll react to it, if at all.

      (?)

The re-direct of this witness (gun lady) seems pointless.

The prosecution is getting de-cocked.

So, does defense get to bring up Trayvon’s career goals??

    MarkS in reply to SpearWolf. | July 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Not with the current judge

      Ragspierre in reply to MarkS. | July 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      Not with any judge. Not unless you can show that Zimmerman knew about Martin’s stuff.

      And, of course, that is silly.

        kentuckyliz in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm

        If prosecution is trying to assert to know what was going on in GZ’s mind, doesn’t defense get to present evidence to indicate that GZ’s observations, perceptions, and intuitions have a basis in fact? Unknown to GZ at the time but apparent in the casing behavior he reported to NEN dispatcher.

          Ragspierre in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm

          You’re conflating time-frames.

          Zimmerman’s observations of Martin are clearly in evidence already.

          There is nothing in evidence that shows any of that was informed by knowing that Martin was acting in conformity to prior conduct.

          Since Zimmerman’s frame of mind is an element of the crime he is charged with, it is fair game. What Martin was thinking is not.

Andrew – the state asked officer Serino if he had any evidence that TM was committing a crime on Feb 26, 2012. Did that open the door for the defense to introduce evidence during the defense case that TM was committing a crime (e.g., smoking marijuana) during his long trip to the store and back to his dad’s girlfriend’s house?

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

    It seems obvious that the defense could say TM was engaged in classic “casing” behavior (wandering around, looking in windows of houses, being suspicious behavior characteristic of people who commit burglaries).

    I’m not sure if “casing” in itself is a crime–but it’s definitely sufficient to justify enhanced scrutiny of whoever is doing it.

    Let’s remember it was GZ who called the police to report TM. Decidedly NOT the conduct of someone who has any intention whatsoever to get into an altercation and/or otherwise break the law.

      kentuckyliz in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      IKR? Conducting a personal tour of homes without a real estate agent present, in the pouring rain on a winter night. Is that the prosecution’s next theory? TM was looking to buy a house in the neighborhood?

Motivation. The state is saying the Zimmerman was out walking, saw Trayvon and said “Hey! Black kid! I think I’ll go murder him in cold blood!” They hoped the witness would testify that George was a vigilante hell-bent on whacking someone. Instead, he’s saying he wanted to be a state’s attorney and a prosecutor which changes his motivation from racism to law enforcement. The state could not be any more incompetent in this trial.

The State is brilliant !
Incredible trial strategy.

1) Show Z. wanted to become a Prosecutor, like them.

2) Use this as proof of a Demented Mind.

    PackerBronco in reply to Rick Z. | July 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    3) Put on a totally ineffectual case showing that prosecutors want to inflict harm to an innocent man and
    4) Conclude that GZ wanted to do the same to Martin.

The state is trying to argue that the fact that Zimmerman wanted to be a police officer logically leads to the conclusion that he was a wannabe bad cop/ vigilante.

To clearly state the argument is sufficient to show the logical fallacy. The fact that Zimmerman also apparently wanted to be a prosecutor highlights the problem with the state’s so-called logic.

Carol Herman | July 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Knit the pieces together. let’s say you’er a juror, here. You’ve been cut off from home and harth. And, are sequestered with other people. But you cannot discuss this case. So what’s left? Family histories. Which may bring out a “group sense” as some of the women become friends.

BOOM! Right out of the opening box “guy” uses profanity. These words sink in. And, now you’re in a courtroom, where every day Zimmerman comes in. Sits down. And, wears the greatest men’s suits and ties. He doesn’t look like the type of person who “gets depraved” and shouts out insults.

While all the woman have probably at one time or another said something under their breaths that sound like “f*ck off. And, @ssholes always get away. And, it could happen when they see a cockroach in their kitchen. And, the beastly bug goes away. YOU DO NOT HAVE A DEPRAVED HEART, here. Your scared and angry at bugs that you cannot reach to kill.

Today we also learned about “trigger pressure.”

So, I’ll go back to my description of childbirth. Where it takes pushing pressure to get the baby out. (As an aside, over in England, there’s a bet you can make, now, that “Kate will be too posh to push.”)

But why did we need this female gun engineer talking about “getting shots off” … And, how gun safety’s work. We know the case is about ONE SHOT. At very close range. And, Trayvon didn’t break any of Zimmerman’s fingers.

If Zimmerman didn’t have his gun. And, people weren’t really coming out to help him when he screamed for help; after neighbor Good opened his door and shouted out … Trayvon “could’a” been off guard?

Trayvon stayed there though still pummeling Zimmerman.

And, I don’t care what a college professor thinks, because I know the moon isn’t made of blue cheese, and they’re always out to take common sense and beat it with a rock.

Well, I have to chalk up the state’s forensics woman up as a win for the prosecution. HOWEVER, I have had to redefine the term “win” in this case. A win for the prosecution seems to be any witness that steps off of the stand without having stomped a mud hole in the state’s case. This witness seems to have not really done anything other than point out things we already know and don’t dispute.

Considering the way that almost every other witness has exploded in the state’s face, I would have to say that any witness for the state that doesn’t end up specifically harming their case is probably considered a win for them!

    Ragspierre in reply to SCLEO. | July 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Yeeup. Thing is, the State had to establish all that in the record. It was just ticket-punching, like having to prove up a contract before you can go on to proving a breach.

    No larger meaning.

    But it DID get that HUGE sweatshirt exhibit into the juror’s consciousness. Which was a net loss, IMNHO.

    Marco100 in reply to SCLEO. | July 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I think the State may have initially thought they could try to pass off her testimony as reasonably implying that GZ’s gun might NOT have had a round “chambered” or “racked” prior to the altercation.

    I.e. if so then GZ would have had to withdraw the gun from holster, “rack” the cartridge, then fire it, which obviously would have 1) shown more deliberation on his part and 2) would have contradicted what he had told investigators.

    But then West on cross spent a great deal of time pointing out to the jury that it’s not unusual at all for lawful gun-carriers to have that round already “racked” (as obviously if you’re about to be wasted you might not have time to fire TWICE –dry round first & then chambered round).

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

    I disagree that the witness was a plus for the prosecution. She established two point that can be used to devastate the prosecution’s theory of the case. 1) The weapon was a semi-automatic that would shoot one bullet with every trigger pull and thus the magazine could have been unloaded quickly and 2) it had 7 unused bullets in the magazine.

    If the state’s theory is correct, then surely Zimmerman would have wanted to make certain that Travon was dead and this gun had the capability of shooting seven rounds very quickly. Yet Zimmerman only fired on shot.

    This is consistent with Zimmerman’s story that he thought he had missed and then thought that Travon said something suggesting that he was giving up. When Zimmerman thought Travon disengaged, Zimmerman stopped shooting even though he could have kept firing. The certainly is inconsistent with the “depraved mind” necessary for the 2d degree murder charge.

    I would have liked to see this argument suggested more clearly in the cross-examination, but the facts necessary to make the argument in closing have been established.

    zdude in reply to SCLEO. | July 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I don’t see the win for the state using a medical examiner from somewhere else who didn’t examine Zimmerman, just pictures. If I were on a jury, I’d be wondering why the prosecution had to drag such a non-connected expert. There are people who actually examined Zimmerman’s injuries. Seems like they would be the proper choice.

      SCLEO in reply to zdude. | July 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      I’m talking about the woman who testified about the gun. However, I’m with you as far as the M.E. testimony based off of pictures and not in person.

      I don’t think that she should have been allowed to testify giving her expert opinion of two dimensional representations of a three dimensional event. I think the prejudicial effect of her expert status outweighs the probative value of her opinion of things she never got to see first hand, but only in photos.

MOM not west.

I am curious as to how the state is going to argue Zimmerman was profiling. As I understand the term, profiling occurs when you consider a persons skin color as evidence that he is or maybe committing a crime.

Here Zimmerman doesn’t mention skin color until he is asked by the dispatcher.

It surely cannot be “profiling” that he called the police when he observed someone engaged in suspicious behavior. If that were true, every time a police officer accosts someone engaged in suspicious behavior he is engaged in “profiling”. I call that doing his job. Likewise, Zimmerman was doing what he was trained to do as a neighborhood watch volunteer.

Am I missing something here?

    Ragspierre in reply to Pauldd. | July 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    They’ve been careful to assert the “profiling” was over conduct.

    Easily dealt with in closing. Everybody “profiles” all the time.

    Zimmerman was alerted to a potential criminal by what Martin was doing. He did what he’d been trained to do, and had done before, as had others in the NW program. He was expecting an officer to respond at any time, as advised by the dispatcher he was speaking to.

      BubbaLeroy in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      At least one prosecution witness has confirmed that GZ was reasonably suspicious of TM based on what GZ described seeing in his 911 call.

    Marco100 in reply to Pauldd. | July 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    “Profiling” (let’s assume “racial profiling”) requires evidence that Zimmerman was following a pattern of behavior focused on the race of whoever was being profiled.

    But you can’t prove a “pattern” (be it racial profiling or some other kind of pattern) based on a SINGLE OCCURRENCE.

    Additionally, there’s simply no evidence (at least so far) that GZ’s attention was drawn to TM by his race as opposed to his 1) behavior and/or 2) other, non-racial physical characteristics.

    If the State could present evidence that Zimmerman had a past history of following people around due to their race (as opposed to other aspects of their appearance and/or their behavioral characteristics), then profiling might be a reasonable inference for the jury to draw.

    Or, perhaps, some other evidence in the form of a prior statement or admission by GZ tending to point to racial animus on his part.

    So far, the only evidence in the trial of racial animus by anyone, against anyone, is that of TM against “creepy ass crackers” via the testimony of Jeantel.

    GZ did talk about “these a-holes always get away” to the police. However there is nothing about that statement which indicates it references animus due to race as opposed to animus against criminals who burgle houses in the neighborhood and run away.

      Ragspierre in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      His comments were clearly generalized, not personalized.

      If you could have asked him if he knew Martin was any brand of “asphole” on that night, I doubt he would have answered in the affirmative.

kentuckyliz | July 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm

GZ starts the description of the suspicious person with the clothes he’s wearing, then mentions race, and confirms it later when TM is circling GZ’s car in an intimidating gesture–if that sweatshirt hung low and baggy, TM would have to pull it up to show his hand in his waistband. Hinting I’ve got a gun. If GZ were out to murder, he would have acted then. That to me would count as brandishing and a threat to life. LEO’s could testify if they would shoot if someone were doing that to them.

    kentuckyliz in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I’m glad GZ’s other calls were admitted, because it’s always the DISPATCHER who asks about race. GZ never spontaneously brings it up.

      Marco100 in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      The fact of the matter is there’s no evidence in or out of the courtroom (at least so far) that GZ actually has any racial animus against African-Americans.

      If his name were “Julio Gonzalez” or “Juan Ibanez” we wouldn’t even be here, would we?

      “George Zimmerman” doesn’t just imply “Caucasian/European male,” it ambiguously implies “possibly Jewish.” [Although it could be a non-Jewish Germanic surname.]

      A la Robert Zimmerman (you may have heard of him).

      “Privileged white male crypto-Jew guns down poor innocent black child” is a more persuasive narrative, among some parts, then “Hispanic dude uses lawfully-carried firearm in self defense to terminate a mugging.”

    Marco100 in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    More likely an LEO would know better than to use deadly force unless the glint of metal was actually seen and perhaps not even then since it might just be the screen of a smart phone reflecting a street light.

    No, an LEO would probably keep a cautious watchout and call for back up.

    Oops that’s what GZ did, isn’t it?

    Wolverine in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Assuming Zimmerman’s description of Martin’s initial behavior as true. A police officer would have had reasonable articulable suspicion that Martin was engaged in a crime (or was about to).

    Consequently, an police officer (but not a private person like Zimmerman), would have the authority to stop and detain Martin.

    If Martin, when contact was being made by a police officer, would have pulled up his Hoodie and even reached for his waistband, Martin would have been shot right then and there.

It seems to me that there are two distinct issues involved in this trial. For the second degree murder charge, the state needs to establish that Zimmerman was the driving force in the encounter, acting on the basis of a depraved mind or whatever. The purported act is a question of fact that involves who attacked whom first. For the manslaughter charge the issue involves Zimmerman’s state of mind, i.e., was he really in fear for his life. While the exclusion of evidence of Martin’s past behavior is irrelevant to Zimmerman’s state of mind unless Zimmerman were aware of it, it would not be irrelevant to the question of who assaulted whom, which is at issue in the second degree murder charge.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to alcuin. | July 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Kinda right. There are two different charges possible – 2nd degree murder and manslaughter. While the state only indicted on the first, the second is a lesser included offense, and thus automatically at issue. They both require that the defendant caused the death of a victim. The difference in this case is that the former also requires the additional element of a depraved mind, which is where the racial profiling theory comes in.

    But for both of these felony charges, the justifiable use of deadly force is a defense, which the state has to overcome in Florida beyond a reasonable doubt. Which is to say that the jury must dismiss either charge if self defense is not disproven, and even if they have proven depraved mind. For murder 2, they need to prove depraved mind and disprove self defense, while for manslaughter, they only have to disprove self defense.

If you accept the State’s theory :
Zimmerman was an out-of-control racist (Profiling, wannabe Cop)

Then tell me:

1 – What other incidents show such a pattern of behavior.

2 – In this incident, WHY would Zimmerman

. . . Call the cops to his murder site ?
. . . Get into a serious fight before firing his gun ?
. . . Not lawyer-up before talking to the cops ?

Cowboy Curtis | July 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Are creepy ass crackers even allowed to be state attorneys?

    Marco100 in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | July 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    One thing if someone can explain it to me, is “creepy ass cracker” supposed to read:

    (creepy ass) cracker

    or

    creepy (ass cracker)?

    The first version being ass is a modifier of creepy, which both modify “cracker”? The second version I believe I’ve read is dialect or lingo for a white gay male in some parts of the African Community, “ass cracker”, w/”creepy” being the modifier of the entire phrase?

    IOW did Trayvon believe GZ was out to rape him, or what?

      Cowboy Curtis in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Its the former. The rape thing was either Rachel making something up, or TM making a smartass remark on the phone.

      DrKyleJones in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      You just have to go here: http://xkcd.com/37/ if you’re gonna make a comment like that. (:

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      Drug use, guilt because of his drug and theft lifestyle. as well as past sexual or physical trauma, peer pressure, brain damage of any kind, may have created paranoia, undue fear, emotional lability, immorality, less self-control or tendencies toward violence in Martin’s mental state and/or behaviors.

      kentuckyliz in reply to Marco100. | July 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      All you have to do is hear her say it and you know what meaning is intended. There would be two different intonations or emphases that would shift the meaning. It’s plain to ordinary folx and you don’t need a linguist to sort that one out. We trashed Ann Althouse over this when she blogged on the question.

    Ragspierre in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | July 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    OH, YEAH… High premium on creepy-ass crackahs in the recruiting of prosecutors…!!!

    Actually, the irony here would be that Zimmerman, with his racial makeup, would be a potential affirmative action hire.

      Cowboy Curtis in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      I got a kick out of the lead investigator noting that he’d reached out to contacts in the local white supremacist movement and none had heard of GZ.

      Really? A guy who plainly isn’t white wasn’t involved with any white-only groups?

The words “the exclusion of” should be removed from the last sentence of my comment above.

Carol Herman | July 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Professor Pleasants teaches on line courses. So, though he knows Zimmerman was once a student, years ago, in a pre-requiste course … Pleasants comes forward to the prosecutors. And, now he also knows what Zimmerman looks like from TV.

What got me watching the Skype testimony is how many people HATE Pleasants! And, they went to skype him, in order to corrupt his testimony. Not just one person. Not just two. But “lots.” And, I’ll bet they were also watching the trial … and watching the “PING MELTDOWN.”

Wouldn’t you suspect Pleasants has had students who don’t like him much?

What do you think the jurors thought?

And, where is Trayvon’s white hoodie, now framed? Does it just sit there facing the jurors?

    Marco100 in reply to Carol Herman. | July 3, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Captain Carter stated GZ was an above average “better” but not necessarily a brilliant or stand out student.

    I’m not sure what Pleasants said about it.

    I still don’t know what the State’s point in calling either of these profs as witnesses was.

    None of the profs would have testified that anything they’d taught in their classes would have educated any student including GZ in clever ways of committing homicide and getting away with it.

    Which apparently is the inference the State wants the jury to draw.

    “GZ took legal classes so as to educate himself in how to successfully claim self-defense in anticipation of murdering someone years later, a person he didn’t even know, and had no idea was going to be a confrontation with on the night thereof?”

    Every law of self-defense class I’m aware of essentially makes it clear to the students that it’s a complex area of the law and if you actually have to seriously injure or even kill someone make very sure that’s your last alternative since if you do kill someone you will probably get raked over the coals one way or the other even if ultimately acquitted.

    Basically you are ALWAYS advised to call for help or run away if it’s feasible to do so without incurring/exposing yourself or someone else to a greater risk of harm by doing so.

    SYG or not…no competent prof is going to ADVISE you to kill someone just because you think you have legal grounds to do so–assuming you have an alternative that is.

Connivin Caniff | July 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I am having a real problem trying to figure out the prosecution’s alleged final itinerary for Traynon. If Trayvon was scared and running from GZ, how does the prosecution contend that he did so, BUT finally wind up fatally close, chatting on his cell phone?

    Marco100 in reply to Connivin Caniff. | July 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    The State’s narrative is simply that TM was justified in assaulting GZ because GZ was stalking TM based on 1) racial animus + 2) being a frustrated/homicidal wannabe cop reject.

    TM was justified in feeling threatened by GZ and therefore TM’s escalation/assault of GZ was similarly justified.

    TM went far beyond simply defending himself if he thought himself to be threatened, he escalated but that too (per the State) is justified because in TM’s subjective/objective reality it’s justifiable to assault and threaten to kill a creepy ass cracker who follows you around at night.

    In contrast, GZ’s use of gun to terminate the altercation was NOT justifiable because (in the State’s viewpoint) the chain of “but for” causation began not with TM’s actions in wandering the neighborhood but in GZ’s scrutiny of those actions and response to them.

    The banging of GZ’s head into the concrete did not break the chain of causation because (I am assuming the State will argue this point) TM, subjectively speaking, is not to be held to the same standard of behavior as GZ, and GZ SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT.

    You see? The entire narrative for this prosecution is that GZ, having “profiled” TM, SHOULD HAVE KNOWN TM would react by attacking GZ and attempting to beat the life out of him.

    If you disrespect the TMs of the world by questioning their actions or motives, you should not be surprised to get a severe beat-down. In fact you should expect the beat down and it is what it is. You should take the beat-down like a man.

    Now of course none of the above is really a valid basis for a legally-sustainable conviction of GZ but this is in fact the “subtextual” (although maybe it isn’t “sub” textual) of this prosecution.

      kentuckyliz in reply to Marco100. | July 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      I take it you are describing your understanding of the state’s case, not that you agree with it.

        Marco100 in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        Merely my speculation on what the State might possibly be trying to sell the jury as this wraps up.

        Without a coherent theory of the case what is the story that the prosecution tells the jury in closing argument to move it to convict?

        The problem isn’t with the narrative, it’s that there really isn’t a scrap of evidence that supports the narrative.

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

          Or at least your speculation with a tablespoon of well deserved sarcasm towards the persecution….

      Phillep Harding in reply to Marco100. | July 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      That is certainly one of the arguments I’ve seen on the net. Real double standard, there.

    Bryan24 in reply to Connivin Caniff. | July 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    The defense will be all over that when they present. From the time Zimmerman lost sight of Martin until he was attacked was probably 2 minutes. Martin could have WALKED all the way to his apartment and been sitting inside by the time the assault happened.

    IF MARTIN WAS SCARED OF ZIMMERMAN, WHY HANG AROUND AND CONFRONT HIM INSTEAD OF GOING HOME WHEN HE WAS WELL AHEAD OF HIM?

    Every prosecution theory falls apart.

      Marco100 in reply to Bryan24. | July 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      More fundamentally, there is no “prosecution theory.”

      That’s why it seems as if they’re calling witnesses who give evidence in support of the defense.

      The prosecution has no theory of the case for which they’ve been able to present credible evidence in support thereof.

      GZ a racist? A frustrated wannabe cop who was looking to take out his career frustration on innocent victims? Fine. Great. Show us the EVIDENCE of those things.

      We’ve seen EVIDENCE that he took law courses. Evidence that he wanted to be a cop or perhaps a prosecutor. Fine. But where’s the evidence, any evidence, that GZ has any motivation to convert those experiences into abuse or aggression against innocent children wandering in his neighborhood? There is none. No evidence of that.

      GZ presents as a working class Hispanic dude who had goals and aspirations and wanted to better himself. His plans didn’t work out the way he wanted, but so what?

      We all have disappointments in life, but what’s the evidence that tends to make us into killers? None. No evidence. No evidence to support that notion in the general case, no evidence to support it in the specific case of GZ.

      There’s evidence that he had a gun and shot and killed another human being. For that to be a convictable homicide, there has to be evidence that GZ was lacking in reasonable justification at the moment of trigger pull.

      The evidence shows that GZ and TM got into a physical altercation and TM was banging/bashing/bumping GZ’s head into the concrete. GZ had already called the police on TM to report TM’s behavior, they were on their way; so it makes absolutely no sense at all that GZ would either deliberately or wantonly kill TM and put himself in jail.

      On what planet, in what universe, in what dimensional reality does any of this NOT provide reasonable doubt as to murder 2 or manslaughter?

      What exactly did GZ actually DO that was illegal?

      The prosecution needs to answer that question and so far it’s laying a goose egg.

    BubbaLeroy in reply to Connivin Caniff. | July 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Trayvon did not want the weird ass-cracker to follow him back to his crib where he might steal his Purple Lean or rape him (since ass-cracker simply refers to a white homosexual and is not intended as racist in any way).

However, Angela Corey wanted to be a lying constitution-shredding bitch when she grew up

Some dreams come true…

kentuckyliz | July 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Defense asking for Friday off court to take depos that they haven’t been able to do yet. Judge resisting. Denied…more grounds for appeal/overturn. Judge saying state intends to rest today. This late in the afternoon, that suggests they aren’t calling Sabryna and Tracy Martin. Those would be fairly long testimonies and CX, wouldn’t they? This judge is not impressing me at all.

    Marco100 in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I know nothing about Nelson but she is most likely just whatever local judge was available and who drew the short straw. She wasn’t necessarily selected for her jurisprudential brilliance or ability to handle this kind of spotlight. She is just a local trial court judge in Sanford, probably not much different from the local judge in your own local courthouse, go on down and sit through a couple of cases sometime, there’s probably at least even odds you won’t be overwhelmed with the sheer legal brilliance at work.

    Most of these local court judges if not outright political appointees are very politically connected in order to get the party nomination. Not necessarily or even frequently brilliant legal minds.

    That doesn’t mean she isn’t brilliant, she might be, but nothing about this trial indicates she is anything more than run of the mill.

    SCLEO in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Nelson is actually impressing the heck out of me. I’ve never seen a judge so willing to just lay her blatantly offensive bias out there for the world to see. Most would at least pretend to be impartial… the odor of my sarcasm is overwhelming.

GZ wouldn’t have gotten his head pounded in if he hadn’t been a creepy ass cracker following TM from a distance.

The state is beginning to sound like they are blaming a rape victim for dressing provocatively and having excelled at a pole dancing course at some point in the past.

kentuckyliz | July 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm

NEN call tape indicates GZ thought TM had left the area and that it was over. Still asking for police officer to come…that would be stupid if GZ intended to chase down TM and murder him. I think I’m a reasonable person.

That stupid judge is so in the tank for Trayvon and the rest of his cesspool entourage, she’s turning into Flipper.

if the jury acquittal is in cursive we might be able to avoid a lot of violence.

[…] Zimmerman Update: BLOCKBUSTER: State witness says Zimmerman wanted to be Prosecutor! […]

What’s probably going to happen is that the women in the jury will be so terrified that they and their families will be either murdered, burned and/or raped by the Trayvon fan club, that they’ll go against all the evidence that Zimmerman is totally innocent and recommend manslaughter to appease the scumbags. It’s not even America anymore.

I’ll almost bet on it, no matter what additional prosecutor asskicking the defense team comes up with.

It’s a kangaroo court with that joke of a “judge” and lying media.

I’m worried this could be construed as an inconsistency. I believe the record indicates that GZ told his kindergarten teacher he “wanted to be president” when he grew up. 😉

Oh, would that George would take the stand.

BDLR: So you want to be a prosecutor?
GZ: Well, that was before I found out about the witch trials…

MOM should have asked FDLE how many hands it takes to rack a 9mm, and how one might go about while getting his head smashed into the pavement during a cage match.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to cpurick. | July 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Takes two hands to grab a head and smash it down, which leaves the victim’s two hands free to draw a weapon and chamber a round.

      Phillep Harding in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Likely to be difficult with someone on top of you. The PF-9 has a hammer block safety, getting rid of the number one reason to not carry one in the chamber. Google images does not show an external safety, so the PF-9 is about as safe as a modern double action revolver. (Draw, pull the trigger, BANG.)

      (I have not handled a PF-9, obviously.)

      It is about on par with a snub nose revolver, from all I’ve read.

Carol Herman | July 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm

How was this professor found? I’m going to guess Zimmerman took a full array of courses. When the State went knocking on doors, did other professors exclaim “they don’t remember this particular student?”

Did Pleasants come forward on his own? (Sure, I suspect that Pleasants IS liberal. And, wanted to nail Zimmerman. Whom, I think was taking an on-line course!)

How did the Skype interruptions occur? Scattered people around the United States who know how Skype works? Let me admit ignorance, here, for I do not know how Skype works.

But Drudge running one of his screaming sirens above the headline that there was a “meltdown” in “Aisle X” ??? That grabs millions and millions of people’s attention. Because Drudge has a very large audience.

What if this case is receiving a very large audience, too?

And, in the “what if” department, as soon as people recognized a professor they thought wasn’t worthy of respect … that a slew of them just dialed up the correct Skype number.

You know, it also threw the “timeline” off course. Enough transpired so that Don West, at the end was “able to run out the clock?”

Plus, Debra Nelson dictated to West & O’Mara that they’re going to have to work thru tomorrow’s day off. O’Mara and West have their reputations on the line! For what purpose would they even dream of taking a day off to go to the beach?

When the defense rests, just in case there’s been a drop off in interest … Aren’t there lots of people like me who can’t wait to see what the Defense puts on?

Will will be comparing witnesses? Let’s say Roa, who makes medical examiners look bad, versus someone of Vincent diMaio’s stature?

Can we look forward to an upgrade in witness competency?

Perhaps, BDLR thinks he can regain momentum by stalling through most of Friday, and then calling Sabrina Fulton during the court’s last half hour before the weekend break?

Do you think West and O’Mara aren’t working out how they’ll handle what’s coming on Friday? Wouldn’t one of their options be to take the “next row” of BLDR’s witnesses … and make short shrift of them during X-cross?

And, if Sabrina Fulton becomes the State’s last witness, t’marra … what happens along all those roads of the Internet? Plus TV shows that want to get ratings … not going over “inconsistencies” which might occur during Sabrina’s testimony? Amderspm Cooper has already interviewed Alicia Martin. So you know Trayvon had “lots of moms.”

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