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

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

Today seemed to begin with a rare and much needed “win” for the State prosecutors. Unfortunately, what followed was a relentless unraveling of that win into a snatching of defeat from the jaws of victory. First, however, we should start with what little good news the State received today.

Court Rules Zimmerman College, Police Evidence Admissible

This morning the parties appeared before Judge Nelson at 8:30AM, thirty minutes before the scheduled start for the jury. The reason was to hold a hearing on whether the State should be permitted to admit into evidence Zimmerman’s records of is criminal justice studies, as well as his rejected application to the Prince William VA police academy, and his application to the Sanford Police Department for a ride-along, a service provided by many departments across the country.

The reason for the submission of this evidence was rather apparently so that the State could argue that Zimmerman had learned the “trade craft” of the police and prosecutors so that he could “game” the legal investigation following his shooting of Trayvon Martin. The police-related records were to serve the purpose of again seeking to make Zimmerman out to be a reckless “wannabe” cop whose over-aggressiveness led to the death of Martin.

Surprisingly, the State seemed far better prepared for this hearing than did O’Mara, who requested a couple of hour continuance so he could research the case law presented by the state. This continuance was denied by Judge Nelson, who told the defense that they’d had all night to research the case law and she was not going to hold up waiting witnesses. This was at least the third continuance made by the defense (I would argue reasonably made) that Judge Nelson has denied.

After hearing detailed case law arguments from Mantei, and a rather wishy-washy counter by O’Mara, Judge Nelson allowed all the evidence into the record, with the exception of some modest redactions. It seemed like an utter loss by the defense, and one couldn’t help but wonder why O’Mara had not fought back with his customary vigor.

Events were to reveal that he may never have truly intended to do so. Indeed, it very much appears now as if O’Mara had successfully convinced the State to toss him into the briar patch.

As a result of the Court’s ruling to allow in the State’s evidence, however, it was necessary to step through a number of administrative witnesses who could attest to the authenticity of the documents. The defense scored minor but valuable points on cross-examination of most of these, but the overall import of their testimony was not substantial enough to warrant in-depth discussion here. These “administrative” witnesses were:

Sonja Boles Melvin, Registrar, Seminole State College

Ms. Boles’ attest to the authenticity of Zimmerman’s college records.

Lieutenant Scott Kearns, Prince William County Police Department, VA

Lt. Kearns testified to authenticate that Zimmerman had applied to and not been accepted at the academy.

Mr. Arzenski, Administrative Services Manager, Sanford Police Department

Mr. Arzenski appeared briefly to authenticate Zimmerman’s application for a ride-along with Sanford PD.

State Calls Zimmerman Professors to Testify

The State did call two of Zimmerman’s professors, however, and based on the intensity with which the State had pursued this theory of the case the expectation was that their testimony would be somehow devastating to Zimmerman. Perhaps this was where the “lid was lifted” and we would gain our first real view of the seething hatred that boiled over that night of February 26, 2012, and led the apparently friendly and meek Zimmerman to murder Trayvon Martin with a depraved mind.

In fact, the testimony of both Professors overwhelmingly favored the defense. Let’s consider each in turn.

Captain Alex Carter, US Army Judge Advocate General (JAG)

Captain Carter, now a JAG officer (a lawyer for the military) had previously been a professor of Zimmerman’s at Seminole State College for a single course. The State’s direct of him was not a particularly interesting, and they seemed to have him there merely to create an evidentiary foundation from which they could spin their speculative theories of the case at closing.

Captain Alex Carter, Part 2

Captain Alex Carter, Part 3

Captain Alex Carter, Part 4

West’s cross-examination of Carter, however, was devastating for the State. Carter described Zimmerman as “one of my best students,” and asked what grade he had assigned he answered, “an A.” (Interestingly, when Captain Carter had first entered the court room he had said, “Hi,” to Zimmerman.) Then West led Carter through a lengthy discussion–a lecture, really–of Florida’s self-defense law. It was like a legal seminar for the jury, and West particularly emphasized that there was no legal requirement to have actually incurred any injury whatever before you can act in self-defense. Carter even opined that you definitely would not want to wait to act in self-defense until you had been seriously injured. As the State saw the narrative spinning against them they repeatedly objected, constraining West’s cross. By then, however, the damage had largely been done to the State’s theory of the case.

Professor Scott Pleasant, Online Criminal Justice Course

Next up was Professor Pleasant, brought into court by way of a (horrifically bad) Skype connection. Indeed, throughout his testimony it seemed his friends and family were swarming his Skype account with requests, resulting in various “beeps” and “boops” emitting throughout the court room. Again, the direct was straightforward, uninteresting, and apparently intended merely to establish an evidentiary foundation in preparation for the State’s closing.

Professor Scott Pleasant, Part 2

Professor Scott Pleasant, Part 3

Again on cross, however, things turned badly against the State. Under O’Mara’s questioning it became clear that much of the content put into evidence by the State may have been contained in the class textbook but was never actually covered in class. The greatest blow, however, came with O’Mara’s last question (as has happened before) when he asked Pleasant what Zimmerman had told him about his career goals. Pleasant answered,”he said he wanted to be an attorney, and eventually become a Prosecutor.”

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

How the State might seek to spin a desire to be a State prosecutor as evidence of a seething hatred that would drive a person to commit depraved mind second degree murder should be interesting to observe.

Amy Siewert, Forensic Analyst, FDLE

The final morning witness was the State’s forensic analyst who studied Zimmerman’s firearm. You can see the original firearm forensics report here:

FDLE Forensic Report: Zimmerman’s Gun & Fatal Bullet

Amy Siewert, Forensic Analyst, Part 2

Again the State’s direct was, well, direct, with little interesting in it. And again, O’Mara’s cross examination gutted the State’s theory of the case. You may recall that the State’s opening statement placed a very considerable emphasis on two forensic facts: (1) that Zimmerman’s gun had been “pressed” into Martin, with a contact shot to Martin’s sweatshirt, and (2) that Zimmerman’s gun had been carried “ready-to-fire” in an apparently careless manner. O’Mara eviscerated both histrionic points in his cross of Siewert. She first testified that although the muzzle of the gun did appear to have been in contact with Martin’s sweatshirt, she was not prepared to testify that it had been pressed into his skin.

Later today Dr. Bao, the real medical examiner in this case, will testify as to his findings in this regard, but having read his autopsy report it is clear there was not muzzle-to-flesh contact shot. You can see the original autopsy report here:

Zimmerman Trial: Evidentiary Flashback: AUTOPSY REPORT: Clinical cause of death of Trayvon Martin

Next she testified at some length that the manner in which Zimmerman carried the gun–loaded to capacity, including a round in the chamber–was the manner in which the gun was intended to be carried, was how law enforcement officers are trained to carry their firearms, and was in no particular way unsafe.

That’s it for the mid-day wrap-up.

Please join us back at our live coverage page as we get back to the courtroom for the rest of the day:

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

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

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

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

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


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Looks like the judge is going all out for the prosecution this afternoon.

KrazyCrackaEsq | July 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Has Judge Nelson lost her mind1? I don’t remeber jurors’ inconvenience being a factor with regards to a defendant’s right to a fair trial. Maybe I missed that day in law school?

been wondering how, in the end, the whole discovery issue the defense has had with the state will play out.
was it bad enough to warrant sanction?
I know that would not be part of this proceeding I was thinking afterwards.

    snopercod in reply to dmacleo. | July 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    We can only hope that Angela Corey eventually gets the Mike Nifong treatment.

      Ragspierre in reply to snopercod. | July 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Unless there is something not obvious here, she will not.

      She colored within the lines the State of Florida has provided prosecutors. We may all agree it is an ugly picture…as the evidence now shows…but it was within her mandate.

      Nyfong was VASTLY different.

      She and/or her team may get a wrist-slap. I don’t see anything more, again unless something shows up I am not aware of.

      Others in the legal profession might disagree, and I’d like to hear from them.

If the jurors are intelligent, unbiased, rational, without pre-conceived ideas, able to understand legal issues, oblivious to social pressures that have accumulated for the last four decades, fearless and confident of their personal safety and the safety of their loved ones, Zimmerman will walk out of the courtroom a free man, surrounded by his body-guards and able to a life in hiding from the mob.

Otherwise, the prosecution’s strategy just might be successful.

    MarkS in reply to donmc. | July 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Too many “ifs” in your analysis. Emotion could likely play a large roll with women sympathizing with a woman who lost her son.

      caambers in reply to MarkS. | July 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Not if they get the impression that that son died as a direct result of her inaction and his poor decisions. George Zimmerman is someone’s son too…and punishing him for something he did not instigate would not sit well with any woman. I actually think a male juror would have more sympathy than a woman in this case.

        kentuckyliz in reply to caambers. | July 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm

        One can wonder if they saw the Chastin beating nanny cam video before the sequester started–came out the weekend before. GZ could be seen as their protector. One works in security, two are nurses, one is a DV vic, a oouple have CCW permits. I wouldn’t necessarily make any assumptions. You don’t know what’s happened in their neighborhoods where they live, either. That would be an interesting exploration.

      seeing_eye in reply to MarkS. | July 3, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      I am optimistic that this jury will use common sense and reasoning. Listening to their comments during jury selection, they seemed to be mature and intelligent women. I know that many believe, because they are females and mothers, they will be more sympathetic for a mother’s loss and will be heavily swayed to convict George. But being a woman and mother close to the ages of the mature women on the jury, I remind everyone that there are 2 mothers experiencing terrible losses of their sons in this case. I, myself, have much more sympathy for the mother whose “wanna-be cop” son is losing his life and freedom than the mother whose loss is the “wanna-be thug” who was forced to raise himself.

“Indeed, it very much appears now as if O’Mara had successfully convinced the State to toss him into the briar patch.”

Oh, dear, this made me laugh out loud! I don’t know if Mr. Branca intentionally made that reference (I assume so) to the “racist” Uncle Remus story of Br’er Rabbit and the briar patch but it is genius! (I wonder how many people would even get the reference these days)!

    snopercod in reply to JoAnne. | July 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Hey, I’ve got my grandfather’s copy of Uncle Remus right here on my bookshelf!

    I read those stories growing up and they were not racist.

      JoAnne in reply to Aussie. | July 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      No, they are not. That’s why I put racist in quotes. But I can’t tell you how times I’ve read that those stories are “demeaning.” And it’s why they never play “Song of the South” anymore. The race card players have reduced us to a bunch of whiney sissies.

    punditius in reply to JoAnne. | July 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Julius Lester has written updated versions of the Brer Rabbit stories, omitting the dialect humor that so many ignorant people regard as racist but which make the Joel Chandler Harris books almost incomprehensible to the modern reader. They are terrific.

    rokiloki in reply to JoAnne. | July 3, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    “Indeed, it very much appears now as if O’Mara had successfully convinced the State to toss him into the briar patch.”

    It would make an excellent editorial cartoon to sum the state’s case.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JoAnne. | July 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    eh…..maybe not the State so much as the judge. The judge has ruled for the State every time except on Frye. That one was a bridge too far even for her. So, MOM may have rolled her on this one via her propensity to rule for the State, which may be why his rather unprepared objection was simply “relevance” and lack of time to prepare a response, a point which she has consistently ignored and waved off. She cut MOM off after three minutes, then let Bernie argue AGAIN for another half-hour.

    While Bernie sand-bagged himself, MOM sandbagged Nelson.

    That’s the way I see it. Hoisted on her own petard.

When is Ashton Kutcher gonna jump in front of the judge and tell us that we’ve all been punked?

That’s the only thing that hasn’t yet happened…

Word is out that the Prosecution will rest today. MOM was advised to be ready on Friday.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to gad-fly. | July 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Did they finally realize that each subsequent witness was doing more harm than good? And that the few hacks that they were able to buy weren’t worth what they paid them? I’m surprised they didn’t dig up another “dee-dee” to appear out of the woodwork and claim they saw the whole thing but were too afraid to come forward. Some hero finally brave enough to speak out against their white oppressors… yada yada yada …

      What if Chad saw the whole thing? He was not telling the truth on the stand and there is something very fishy about his testimony.

        rokiloki in reply to Aussie. | July 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm

        “Dee-Dee” said Martin told her he was at his father’s fiancee’s house just before he confronted Zimmerman. I would be srprised if he didn’t say something to Chase before he ran back to the T.

        VetHusbandFather in reply to Aussie. | July 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm

        Honestly I think that’s a really intriguing idea but I kind of expect that he was too busy just playing video games.

      graytonb in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      I have to believe that the State is rueing the decision to call Dee Dee. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and this one was not helpful to the prosecution.

        VetHusbandFather in reply to graytonb. | July 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm

        They are probably rue that they coached her so much on how she should manipulate her responses to help their case and not enough on the basics of how to act like a decent human being.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

          Such an effort would have been an epic failure. She could attend a finishing school for three years and come out as ghetto as she went in.

          You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

legacyrepublican | July 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Did the jury see Prof. Carter say hi to GZ?

If they did, that will be worth mega points for the defense I would think.

    Matt in FL in reply to legacyrepublican. | July 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I don’t know if it’s worth anything, but yeah, they saw it. When the prosecuting attorney asked him to identify GZ, he looked around the courtroom, saw GZ, gave him the “‘sup nod,” and said “How ya doin’, George?”

      Ragspierre in reply to Matt in FL. | July 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Right up there with the top-cop declaring “I believe him” as GOLDEN moments for the defense.

      You cannot BUY that kind of atmospherics for the jury.

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

        If I were a juror my golden moment would be GZs response to the challenge interview, and the prospect that a video had been found: “Thank God”. The fact that he wants a video to be found casts serious doubt on any of the threads that the state is spinning.

          Ragspierre in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

          Oh, yeah. TOTALLY agree. Just imagine how even a very cunning person would react to that news if they had even a hint of a “guilty mind”.

          It would be one of those “OH, SPIT…!!!” moments, fer shure…

      divemedic in reply to Matt in FL. | July 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Being on such friendly terms with his African-American law professor hardly makes him seem to be a racist.

    V.McCann in reply to legacyrepublican. | July 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    All that proves is that he’s racist! Derp!

Something that has been eating me…

any good trial lawyer develops a theme for their case, something that will readily connect with jurors.

I am damned if I can see any theme in anything the State has done in this trial.

    Browndog in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I disagree.

    The theme “we really don’t have any evidence to support the charges” has been thoroughly developed by the State.

      Observer in reply to Browndog. | July 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      The state’s theme is: If you don’t convict, you must be a raaaaaacist!

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Observer. | July 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm

        Sounds familiar. Hmmmmm……where have I heard that? …..Snap! By God, I’ve got it, Ollie!

        “If you vote against obama, you’re a racist.”

    As near as I can tell, the State’s theme was supposed to be:

    “He (Zimmerman) is a reckless wanna-be cop who has a racist streak, and decided to shoot first and ask questions later. He followed the boy, and was confronted. Rather than wait to see if he would be injured when confronted, he chose to kill TradeMark (err, Trayvon) instead of trying to get away.”

    Instead, the theme that they ended up presenting (due largely to the aforementioned devastating cross examination) was this:

    “He (Zimmerman) tried to follow and watch TradeMark (again, err Trayvon) so that the police would be able to find Trayvon later, and Trayvon lost Zimmerman, ending up within yards of his own home, and yet Trayvon turned and viciously “confronted” (read attacked) Zimmerman, because that is an entirely reasonable response to being followed. And, and, and we have an unreliable report that Zimmerman was on top! And, and, and we have an “ear-witness” who didn’t actually hear anything, but made a written statement about what “happened,” made to the Victim’s Mother that the witness can’t read! But, even if Zimmerman wasn’t the attacker, that attack did not cause “Serious Bodily Injury” and thus it was unreasonable for Zimmerman to shoot Trayvon. And he MUST have MEANT to shoot Trayvon because it was at such close range. So, look at those “grieving” parents sitting in the first row, and ignore all common sense and all the inconsistencies the witnesses have given you, and find him guilty, because you shouldn’t shoot someone unless you’re suffering “Serious Bodily Injury” and doing so shows a “callous disregard for human life.”

    That’s the theme that the State ended up presenting, as near as I can tell.

    If the State rests today, as has been rumored, MOM and West should make a Motion for a Directed Verdict of Acquittal (or whatever the appropriate Florida motion is) because the State has not met their burden for Depraved Heart Murder via a showing of a “callous disregard for human life.” The mere testimony presented so far should be enough for a “reasonable doubt” finding.

      Ragspierre in reply to Chuck Skinner. | July 3, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Well, I had something a bit more catchy…

      Like, “None of us, regardless of our good intentions to be vigilant in our communities, has a right to act in the role of a self-appointed police force”.

      As to a motion for a directed verdict, I agree. You make them as a matter of form in all cases (or I do). But here, it would be totally justified in the record.

      The State came a cropper.

        snopercod in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm

        “None of us, regardless of our good intentions to be vigilant in our communities, has a right to act in the role of a self-appointed police force.”

        Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but in Florida (and most states), Citizens Arrest is allowed. You are completely withing your rights to chase someone down and detain them until the police arrive.

        A private citizen does have the common law right to arrest a person who commits a felony in his presence, or to arrest a person where a felony has been committed, and where the arresting citizen has probable cause to believe, and does believe, the person arrested to be guilty. Even though there was time to obtain a warrant, a private citizen may make such an arrest and justify his failure to obtain a warrant by proving the person arrested was actually guilty of a felony.

          Ragspierre in reply to snopercod. | July 3, 2013 at 6:15 pm

          You kinda missed the point of the theme.

          It is intended to be a readily understandable set of concepts targeted to the jury.

          It is not intended to be something that cannot be argued on abstruse, little understood legalisms. Sort of the opposite.

          Think “commercial” versus “law review”.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | July 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

        There would be no NW programs if that was strictly true.

        GZ followed the NW protocol.

      moonstone716 in reply to Chuck Skinner. | July 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      Beautiful summary, Chuck. You only left out one important piece of completely damning evidence — he had a gun, LOADED WITH ALL OF THE BULLETS IT WOULD HOLD! AND READY TO SHOOT!!!! 🙂

    graytonb in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I think that I can. It’s ‘ Who are you gonna believe, us or your lyin’ eyes/ears?’

Connivin Caniff | July 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

How did the running, scared Trayvon wind up beside GZ, chatting on his cell phone?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Connivin Caniff. | July 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    In some local jurisdictions you’re allowed to call a time out during an ongoing murder if you hand signal it properly, you know, pro sports fashion.

If the prosecution rests today, will the defense ask for a directed verdict today, or wait until Friday. Is the defense required to make a case for a directed verdict?

    V.McCann in reply to Immolate. | July 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    They can make their motion at the end of the state’s case.

    Rick in reply to Immolate. | July 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Why rest on the day before a holiday? That just takes away one’s options to decide to put on additional evidence, and it provides certainty to one’s opponent. First thing Friday morning, if that is still the decision, should be just as good from the prosecution’s point of view.

WTF is BDLR trying to prove with DNA? Is he claiming GZ’s injuries were self-inflicted?

We know TM was shot at contact range. The two men were seen tussling. Somebody beat the hell out of GZ.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to myiq2xu. | July 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Not even worth trying to argue that. He was under observation from the gunshot on, somebody would have noticed him beating his own head against the ground. As for prior to the fight, how would he have known that TM would knock him to the ground, and make motion s towards his head? That leaves one possibility, he could have pulled TM on top of himself and beat himself silly while holding onto TM so he couldn’t escappe, finally finishing with a killing gunshot. Quite a risky way to go about a murder if thats the thread the state wants to spin, but i suppose doing something so crazy would show a depraved mind.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to VetHusbandFather. | July 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      LOL! But, yeah, you left out one other critical factor…..GZ would have had to have gotten all this done BEFORE the cops, whom he’d called twice already and whose location and ETA he did not and could not know, came upon him. Unless, of course GZ WANTED direct LE witnessing of him committing a heinous felony. 🙂

    Ragspierre in reply to myiq2xu. | July 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I got nutin…

    I was thinking MAYBE just for the CSexI factor of DNA…

    but, really, why guild that lilly some more…???

    creeper in reply to myiq2xu. | July 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    You are one courageous woman.

    Ragspierre in reply to myiq2xu. | July 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm


    You see why I say the law is a clumsy tool. A hammer, at best…never a scalpel.

    Anyone who does this for a living sees miserable outcomes.

    I have never had a case where everyone got what justice would require. Not one.

    You just have to recognize that…as systems made up of fallible people go…ours is as good as they come.

    Which is NEVER to say it cannot be improved.

    rokiloki in reply to myiq2xu. | July 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    It is impossible to relate the actual pain and fear to a jury unless they have experienced something similar in their lives. Words simply cannot convey all the suffering and injury and trauma of a crime. Memories just dont capture the real moment no matter how well articulated. Victims of violence will rarely see their attacker given the justice they deserve.

      kentuckyliz in reply to rokiloki. | July 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      One juror is a DV vic and she may well comprehend fully what it’s like to be overpowered by someone stronger. Who knows the full story there.

    GumBoocho in reply to myiq2xu. | July 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Since in marriage, the wife’s body belongs to the husband, & the husband’s body belongs to the wife, there is no such thing as rape by a spouse. A spouse has no right to refuse sex to the other spouse, unless it is physically harmful (like anal sex). And this has been held by courts for a very long time. However, our immediate generation is re-inventing the law and also morality. So, assuming what you say is true, your husband might be convicted for assault and battery, but not rape (so far as true justice is concerned).

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

This just in: Dennis Rodman and Alex Baldwin have both offered to testify for the prosecution.

Humphreys Executor | July 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Andrew, if your book is as entertaining and informative as your tweets and updates posts, I’m glad I ordered it. I’m thoroughly enjoying this. Thanks.

This DNA is slow and we still have West to go. With Trayon’s (part-time) mother testifying and the prosecution finishing today, will there be no ME?

I’ve never heard of a murder trial without an ME testifying.

If they don’t finish until Friday morning, the defense will start right away, correct?

    Matt in FL in reply to LoriL. | July 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    There will probably be a short recess in between, but yes, the defense will start as soon as the State rests.

Carol Herman | July 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Questioned after they acquitted OJ, someone asked the jurors “but what about DNA.” And, one juror responded “we all have DNA?”

Personally, I think seeing a State’s witness actually holding the gun. And, talking about various ways guns have triggers, and safety devices, I thought plays straight into Zimmerman’s self-defense. Plus, it lets the ladies of the jury know, handling a gun is easy to pick up and test. Etc. What makes you think in the jury room the gun wouldn’t be an experience of “touchable” evidence?

Defense is still ahead.

The State hasn’t produced a shred of evidence that GZ was in a “depraved state of mind” when he shot Trayvon.

Today’s State witnesses (especially JAG Carter) who indicated he both remembers Zimmerman as a student (because he was one of the best). And, how the jurors will now be able to weigh the issue of “self defense,” in an imperfect world.

Where’s the framed White hoodie Trayvon wore that night? How large is the frame it is in?

And, since Boa (from China), who did the autopsy … Not Valerie Rao who took the stand, yesterday … Get asked how he measured Trayvon’s body? Can you cut off the feet on a dead body and just throw them into a pot of soup?

Won’t Trayvon’s real height, versus images of him when he was nine … Become an issue on how the State has manipulated all the key pieces of evidence?

I think seeing the gun was startling. And, seeing it in the hands of a female State witness … is one of those things that reaches out to all females. Not just to these jurors.

    myiq2xu in reply to Carol Herman. | July 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    In re: OJ

    It wasn’t that the OJ jury didn’t understand or believe the DNA science. They didn’t believe the LAPD.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to myiq2xu. | July 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      To the contrary, they believed LAPD, which made it all the more enjoyable for them to find OJ not guilty.

      OJ murdered a white woman and a white man. The jury simply used the OJ case to thumb their noses at whitey.

      The case was lost by Gil Garcetti at the git-go by moving it to South Central instead of using the court and jury pool where OJ lived and committed his heinous crimes, which was Brentwood. Moving the trial to South Central insured a not guilty verdict.

      It ain’t rocket surgery. 😉

    Wolverine in reply to Carol Herman. | July 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    “Plus, it lets the ladies of the jury know, handling a gun is easy to pick up and test. Etc.”

    One of the ladies on the jury has had a concealed carry permit in the past and her husband currently has one. She will know how to handle a handgun, and will likely teach the other jurors safe handgun handling. In addition, she will have gone through the mandatory training which covers Florida’s firearm and self defense laws. She, at least, will probably not be swayed by the prosecution’s implication that learning Florida’s self defense laws makes one out to game the system.

kentuckyliz | July 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Anyone else glazing over at Gorgone testimony? Nothing compelling coming out. Any bombshells I was too asleep to miss?

    Matt in FL in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    No, it’s just boring drudgework, but this step-by-step method is the only way to get it into the record, so it has to be done.

      LoriL in reply to Matt in FL. | July 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      And soon we’ll see Mr. West demolish the results due to putting the items in sealed plastic bags while wet. Even the DNA person said it contaminated/ruined the testing.

Brilliant Prosecution Strategy –

1) They finish up Friday morning (or maybe this afternoon)

2) They tell the judge that since all the testimony they got so far has only benefited the defense that

o – the defense doesn’t get a chance to plead their case
o – and the prosecution gets to do it one more time.

That would be only fair.


FYI: Saint Skittles was ON SUSPENSION from school when Mr. Zimmerman saw him prowling around looking to burglarize yet another home. His suspension was due to his being caught with dope and having burglar tools in his possession. My guess is these critical FACTS about the criminal character of trayon martin will NOT be presented to the jury in this KANGAROO COURT travesty of justice.

    No. Those facts wouldn’t be. While relevant to us as “outside observers” they’re not admissable as to what Zimmerman knew at the time of the shooting, which is when “mental state” is tested (time of the commission of the “crime”).

    Criminal character of the “Victim” only becomes important if the Prosecution tries to make a “saint” out of the victim, aka showing good character or peaceable reputation. But if they do that, the Defense will CRUSH the Prosecution under the weight of all of Trayvon’s sins.

      Ragspierre in reply to Chuck Skinner. | July 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Glad to see you back, Chuck!

      stevewhitemd in reply to Chuck Skinner. | July 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      So, a question — by what you’ve written, I would assume that the defense is looking for an opportunity to introduce Mr. Martin’s school record, juvenile record, and recent activity. Likewise the prosecution (if they’re smart, and while the trial so far doesn’t demonstrate that I’d not assume otherwise) would prefer to keep all this out.

      So the question is this — what has to happen for the defense to get all this in? What sort of mistake by the prosecution, or testimony by a witness yet to testify, allows the defense to explore this?

      donmc in reply to Chuck Skinner. | July 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      So much for the quaint and outdated concept of the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

      Personally, I’m so naive that at one point in life I thought that prosecutors are supposed to represent the public, not the most threatening current special interest group. That went out the window decades ago, but I continued to defend the American system of justice; better than any other and all that. But after this travesty, it appears there really isn’t anything to defend.

      Think about it. This isn’t really a question of incompetence on the the part of the prosecutors. They are deliberately, maliciously deceiving the jury in order to get an innocent man convicted. And it’s not like the man was committing some kind of questionable act either. Hell, he was being a hero. On a scale of 1 to 100, his actions during the incident and in the year leading up to it would rate 99 or 100. A movie should be made about Zimmerman as an example of how a brave and courageous citizen should act in difficult and dangerous situations.

      And Zimmerman is probably going to go to jail for years for his trouble. His BEST possible outcome is to be released to be hunted and abused for the rest of his life.

      That’s where we are as a country. Even Orwell didn’t foresee that.

        Ragspierre in reply to donmc. | July 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm

        “His BEST possible outcome is to be released to be hunted and abused for the rest of his life.”

        Nonsense. Quite a few people soberly testified he would not live through his original time in jail.


        Consider how short the attention span of the archetypical low information voter is.

        Zimmerman can go LOTS of places in perfect safety. Moving in next to the Palin household would be one of my recommendations.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Chuck Skinner. | July 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      Then it seems like putting Sabrina on the stand will be very dangerous to the State if the State wants to keep out all the bad character and behavior stuff about Trademark.


    citizen grand jury is non-binding. mostly just show.

    Fake news on the always reliable internet!

    the citizen jury has no force at all.

    Ragspierre in reply to Trapped in Davis. | July 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Please, guys… STOP with the nutter stuff…!!!

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | July 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      They’re really not nutters. Their beliefs and reasoning are sound and their petition thingy does draw attention to this travesty, which is helpful with presenting a new paradigm to this country’s situation of malleable, low-information, non-critical thinking people. It serves as a “shock” to the public psyche which has been molded to side with Trademark by the slimestream media, Corey, Crump, etc..

      In contrast, from the perspective of those of us following this case intently and understand it by having the benefit of Andrew’s observations and insights, it seems silly.

      I don’t interpret it as them believing they’re actually taking some sort of viable legal action. They’re just making a statement to draw attention to the legal abomination that this prosecution really is.

“DNA is a long sequence of letters”


Is TrayMom™ going to have time to cry on the stand before the jury breaks for the day?

inquisitivemind | July 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm

What if any substance can come from TM’s mother?
Other than to saint him up

    Solomon in reply to inquisitivemind. | July 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Not if Professor West runs out the clock.

    If mom saints up Trayvon, could the defense then counter with a recitation of his unsaintly deeds?

      kentuckyliz in reply to MarkS. | July 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Who else thinks it’s at least a bit risky to put either parent on the stand? What doors will fly open? What testimony could they offer that outweighs the downside risk of those doors flying open?

        VetHusbandFather in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 9:41 pm

        Super big risk for the State. After all how could his mom talking about her innocent little boy just buying skittles. Easily opening up to: “oh so your son was just running an errand for his brother, so why do you think thc was found in his system during the toxicology report? Did your son have a history of drug use?”

eaglesdontflock | July 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm

West has uncovered a couple of useful things. No DNA under five fingernails is odd. And we know this must be done and why.

    kentuckyliz in reply to eaglesdontflock. | July 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    How is no DNA under the fingernails odd? TM didn’t fight like a girl (scratching). Stipulated.

      eaglesdontflock in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      No DNA under five fingernails. Not even his own DNA? Makes me think they didn’t scrape, just threw a stick in the bag unused.

      seeing_eye in reply to kentuckyliz. | July 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      I’ve seen a video on Youtube (don’t have the link handy) of an example of MMA “ground & pound.” The fighter straddling the one on the bottom was “pounding” his opponent, not with fists, but with his elbows. Could that be the reason no blood was found on Trayvon’s sleeves or hands?

Mrs. Leroy Goldberg | July 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Andrew, would it be plausible for the defense to call Alicia, the woman who actually raised Traydmark?

As one Fox News commentator said, “The prosecution did a great job proving reasonable doubt.”

In any reasonable time, I believe you’d see the judge just give a summary judgement of “not guilty.”

Or this never going to trial to begin with either.

So we aren’t going to hear from the medical examiner who did a whopping 1 1/2 hour autopsy?

    rokiloki in reply to LoriL. | July 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Probably when the defense presents its case.

    (believe it or not, the past two weeks have been the state’s case!)


      LoriL in reply to rokiloki. | July 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      If I were on the jury, I’d find it more than a little odd that the ME hasn’t testified for the state. It would make me think he screwed up pretty bad and/or findings don’t support the state.

      I think the defense is calling their own, so add the two together and the state is in an even bigger mess than they are now.

txantimedia | July 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Is West trying to run out the clock so the prosecution can’t rest?

Carol Herman | July 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm

In researching their case, the prosecutors went for evidence of Zimmerman’s school records. So, today, we saw they called (via Skype), Professor Pleasants. Where Drudge said the prosecution suffered a TECH BREAKDOWN. Becuase Pleaants’ Skype address was shown live. And, then, just people out in the audience started calling Pleasants’ Skype ‘phone number.’

Did this give anyone here the impression that there a people watching who (a) didn’t like professor Pleasant. And, (b), knew how to PING, PING, PING. So this trial farce got “played with?” (Didn’t O’Mara used the term “played with?”)

Pleasants, as a witness, was neither here nor there.

But then the State calls JAG Carter. Big, black, and handsome, black guy. Seems to have remembered Zimmerman for class, because he was an exceptional student.

The camera rolled to Zimmerman’s face. And, he really smiled. So, as far as “race relations” go … Here is the State’s “big, black witness. Who goes beyond just making eye-contact with Zimmerman. He exudes confidence that Zimmerman is a nice guy. (If this were called “racial harmonetics” … The jurors saw how a superior JAG actually saw Zimmerman for his own professional point of view.)

JAG Carter proved to be pro Defense, here. Even though in the Army “he prosecutes.” Here the testimony definitely went in Zimmerman’s favor.

And, then the State lady who could handle a gun. Not be afraid to pick it up. (It seemed weightless in her hands). And, now the jurors are way less intimidated about this weapon.

The jurors have also developed a “cadence” feel to how testimony works in court. It’s like watching a band, and halftime, forming different patterns on the field, where band members walk and play their instruments at the same time.

Today wasn’t boring.

If by now “doubt” that Zimmerman is actually guilty of murder 2 hasn’t already been acquired by jurors? (They can’t avail themselves of what we discuss here.) And, ahead, they’ll be told to follow the judge’s instructions.

If Nelson chooses incoherent instructions, what then? What would the Defense team have to address in their close? “Ladies, you’re holding a man’s life in your hands.”

So now, the task is up to Don West to keep the DNA guy on the stand until the end of the day. Defense does not want the memory of Sybrina Fulton, the grieving mother, to be festering in the jury’s minds over the holiday.

Is the clothing evidence in space-qualified display frames for some reason? Did they draw down a proper vacuum for preservation?

skittles1960 | July 3, 2013 at 5:10 pm

If it wasnt for al sharpton and jesse this would have never made it to court hope karma visets them both.also sabrina martin there everyday looking so somber she didnt even raise him.whats it say when a mother dont raise her kid.this whole system makes me sick

    Exiliado in reply to skittles1960. | July 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Did not raise him but sure went running to collect that million from the HOA.

    seeing_eye in reply to skittles1960. | July 3, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    I suspected as much when I saw her first interview on national media. It was obvious she didn’t know much about her son. I also got the impression he more or less had to fend for himself while in her household.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to skittles1960. | July 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I’m wondering if the video in which she confirms that all they wanted was an arrest can be played, followed by the fact of the lawsuit and a brief primer on there needing to be an arrest as an evidentiary basis for the suit?

txantimedia | July 3, 2013 at 5:17 pm

It seems significant to me that Trayvon was a possible contributor to the stain on Zimmerman’s right cuff. That’s his gun hand. If Trayvon’s DNA is there, it supports Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon was going for his gun and he trapped Trayvon’s hand against his arm.

Okay, if Judge Alex is just going to steal our posts (re: Don West keeping DNA guy on stand for rest of day to avoid ending day on Sybrina Fulton’s emotional testimony) and then tweet them as his own thoughts, then I am just going to stop posting. >:(

KingofArizona | July 3, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Some excellent trial work by defense counsel, ending the other evening with the State’s lead investigator vouching for GZ’s character (were both prosecutors asleep at the switch?) and running out the string today so that TM’s mother is not the last witness heard by the jury before the July 4th break. Also give very high marks to their cross examination skills.

KingofArizona | July 3, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Talking heads like the “Sonny” girl on HLN TV anger me to no end. She says she’s a former Federal prosecutor, and based on her one sided, myopic, and unfair analysis of each day’s evidence, “former” is the operative word. Get a great laugh from Mark Geragos. The state’s case is so bad, he’s convinced the prosecutors are intentionally “throwing the case” because of some kind of internecine, bureaucratic warfare.

    wyntre in reply to KingofArizona. | July 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Had to stop watching their coverage. The 2 black guys are excellent but many of the women experts are obnoxious. Except for Jean C_____?

    I watch the trial through the Orlando Station livestream, now.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to wyntre. | July 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      I really don’t know how anybody can stand to watch that horrid channel with those vile people.

    seeing_eye in reply to KingofArizona. | July 3, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    I’ve seen “Sunny” comment on a lot of trials before this one and she has always had opposite opinions to what I’ve thought (not that that means anything though).

Fantastic reporting, Legal Insurrection and Mr. Branca. Thank you.

OK, this may seem crass (it may BE crass), but if I am O’Mara, the rest of this trial is just fun.

At this point, I have SEEN the worst that’s coming at me. I have weathered adverse rulings (which are perversely BETTER than too good rulings, since I can attack them on appeal). Mama Martin is a known quantity. No surprises there. Just a little very careful cross to go on that.

For the first time in days, I am going home to have a nice LARGE adult beverage.

I have seen the enemy. I say, meh…

Just a thought – i’m reading the autopsy report and part of the examination includes the vocal cords. Would they show any visible signs of strain had he been screaming for his life for over 40 seconds? Just curious about that.

    healthguyfsu in reply to rokiloki. | July 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Speaking medically I guess its possible but it’s hard to connect that to the time of the altercation.

    What if he was screaming in fight club the night before? (I withdraw the question)

    A more pertinent question backed by evidence…could his vocal cords be inflamed and show histopathological (that means microscopic viewed damage) signs of strain due to smoking blunts?

      caambers in reply to healthguyfsu. | July 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Probably, but what science is there to show the level of damage, time frame, level of healing, and taking in to consideration individual differences and how they heal. Not to mention previous activity that could have affected the vocal cords.

    Ragspierre in reply to rokiloki. | July 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Martin’s vocal cords could have seen a LOT of exercise.

    Not to make you blind, but think about doing the nazty with DeeDee…

      VetHusbandFather in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      Honestly I can’t, and that’s a big part of why her testimony seems unbelievable to me. Do you really think she was as romantic interest of him? At a minimum I’d expect several other girls to appear out of the woodwork and claim they were the real girlfriend and that Dee Dee was just a wannabe tramp.

    rokiloki in reply to rokiloki. | July 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Another autopsy related note – the abrasion to his left hand, according to the diagram, is right below his fourth knuckle. Its interesting because he has a similar scar on his right hand on the first knuckle.

    We know Martin liked to fight. Both these look like the type of wounds one might get from punching someone in the mouth where the teeth of the victim cut into the knuckle.

brucet45410 | July 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Well, I bought the the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense” today. As a CCW license holder, I know it is always best to avoid confrontation, however, if confrontation occurs and self defense is ultimately called for, I want to know that I understood the self defense statute as well as I possibly could have.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to brucet45410. | July 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Me and the guy who provided my initial concealed carry course ended up friends and every year I sit in on the classroom portion of it just to refresh my grasp on the laws.

      Matt in FL in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      I’ve assisted three different friends through the “first gun” and carry permit stage, and I’ve sat in on the permit class that each one of them has taken, just as a refresher.

skittles1960 | July 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Cannot wait till this trial is over and zim gets off getting six pack and watch cnn nancy grace and msnbc to see there dump faces bitching it was an all white jury or someother racial crap

Henry Hawkins | July 3, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Now, I’ve said the following before on other hot button topics, and I realize people get tired of reading it, but the fact remains: George W. Bush did absolutely nothing to prevent the Trayvon Martin shooting. NOTHING, people! How much more evidence of Zimmerman’s guilt do we need????

    Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 3, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    It gets even worse. Turns out GZ lives in Florida and GW Bush was IN Florida when 9/11 happened.
    Only an idiot couldn’t put that together.

    We’re through the looking glass, people.

      VetHusbandFather in reply to Goetz von Berlichingen. | July 3, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Clearly GW saw Martin while he was in Florida, blamed the then 10 year old black kid for 9/11, and later hired GZ to put a hit on him. Murder 1 the prosecution rests.

Carol Herman | July 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I thought Zimmerman was left handed? When he’s writing, he’s using his left hand to hold his pen.

Yes, I, too, am left handed (in that way). But I have what is called “mixed dominance.” In that I’ll use my right hand for tasks (such as cutting stuff with a scissor). So has it been ascertained, het, that Zimmerman shoots right handed?

Where’s the evidence of a stain on the cuff of Zimmerman’s shirt?

Plus, the site I was using to see the trial “live,” stopped working for this afternoon’s testimony.

Will Sabrina Fulton’s testimony be all that great? She stopped mothering Trayvon when he was 3. And, Tracy Martin married Alicia. Then? He divorces Alicia. And, Trayvon starts spending time with Sabrina, his birth mother. But she couldn’t handle him. So, he bounces to his dad’s custody. And, his dad is living with a girlfriend. At the condo complex. In a unit that when the police came … since Trayvon’s dead … Chad doesn’t hear the commotion? (Okay. He had on headphones for video games.) But his bedroom window faces the front … where just the red & blue “cop” lights … had to be passing inside his room, to and fro?

I’m just not getting the dyamics of how Sabrina can identify screams that experts can’t confirm. When Sabrina gets crossed examined how much stuff will fall out? Tracy, the dad, LIED about how Trayvon got to the girlfriend’s condo. (There’s tapes of Trayvon’s where he tells people he’s traveling there by bus.) And, Trayvon’s dad, Tracy, saying he “drove half way.”

Besides, isn’t it possible that Sabrina’s now under lots of stress? How does having to testify in court affect people?

And, what sort of stuff is out there describing what sequestration does to jurors? Can someone have a marriage break up over this?

I remember in the OJ trial jurors were allowed to have family visits on weekends.

What is this sequestration doing to the jurors? (I think they were told they’d be sequestered for a month.)

Meanwhile, it looks like the prosecution got assigned “the short end of the stick.” And, they are braving out an impossible task. For a grade from the judge?

You don’t think senior judges aren’t in touch with Debra Nelson when she rests for the day? The courthouses in Florida are really unraveling, if Nelson has no senior peer to give her advice. Making her more proficient at the law. Rather than letting her grab at straws … which she uses to “thrash” West and O’Mara.

Okay. If Nelson is calling Obama’s team for help, especially if she’s calling Eric Holder, she can fall off her judicial perch and slam her head hard on the “concrete.”

By the way, O’Mara’s expert medical examiner witness is a man named Vincent di Maio? He’s supposed to be the best of the best. With books on bullet wounds. Bao probably would be very grateful for NOT being called to testify. But that’s just my opinion.

This case shouldn’t be allowed to go to 2014.

    Matt in FL in reply to Carol Herman. | July 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    I’m thinking maybe you should have your own blog.

      Goetz von Berlichingen in reply to Matt in FL. | July 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      that has been the most frequent response to CH’s comments across all the blogs I have seen her in.

      Anna Robic in reply to Matt in FL. | July 3, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      I commend Carol Herman’s comments on THIS blog, for their thoughtful relevance and provocative stimulation. Some years ago I enjoyed her comments on (IIRC) Richard Fernandez’s Belmont Club, which is now among the PJM group of blogs and still attracts commenters of Carol’s caliber.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Matt in FL. | July 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      Mabe she (or he?) does have a blog and is simply incognito here?

      Just a thought.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to Carol Herman. | July 3, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    From the reenactment, GZ clearly shoots right handed and carried his firearm on his right side. And I would suggest that was why he was able to get to it faster than TM, who had to reach across GZ’s body and down, given his MMA style straddling of GZ. GZ demonstrates this in the reenactment video.

I just heard more legal experts say the jury can come back with a lesser offense. I thought per actual Florida lawyers, self-defense covers manslaughter as well. True?

    Ragspierre in reply to LoriL. | July 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm


    And the same burden applies. The State has to CONVINCE the jury that Zimmerman did not act in reasonable fear for his life or of grave bodily harm.

    I think that they’re done. They had their shot. If the jurors think that the evidence shows even SLIGHTLY more that Zimmerman COULD have acted reasonably, they have to acquit. (I stand to be corrected by my criminal law brethren and sistern.)

    Put a fork in this case.

      htowndavid in reply to Ragspierre. | July 3, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      I fear the jury will not judge this case on the evidence, but on emotion, and the racial aspects that were played up before the jury was picked and sequestered. I fully expect Zimmerman to be found guilty of at least manslaughter. I do not see him going free, no matter what the evidence is.

    Matt in FL in reply to LoriL. | July 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Sorry, I hit post too quickly. I meant to type that “Yes, self-defense covers (and invalidates) both Manslaughter and M-2.” and then include the link for more info.

I have a couple of questions about the mother. If she testifies on Friday, what is gained by that for the State beyond the having the crying mother on the stand and couldn’t the defense try to get her to saint up her son in order to introduce Martin’s thuggish tendencies, similar to the way the State used the Hannity interview to introduce Zimmerman’s school records?

Also, since there won’t be a long recess to let that image (the grieving mother) sink in, does anyone think the State will put someone else on the stand so as to not allow the defense an opportunity to expose Martin’s negative qualities?

    Ragspierre in reply to jmare. | July 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Mom is a minefield for both the State and defense.

    Both have to treat her VERY gingerly. The State has to be VERY careful about what they ask, and shut her down if she starts to run into “sainthood” territory.

    The defense has to be very sympathetic and respectful of her.

    It WILL be interesting to watch!

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

IIRC, the Court does not have to inform, or cannot inform, the jurors that M-2 and manslaughter ( in this case, aggravated due to age of victim) in the state of FL carry essentially the same prison term. What’s frightening is that the jury may decide to punt to manslaughter, reasoning that the sentence would be a greatly reduced time incarcerated.

What disgusts me about our present “justice” system is that is not about justice. It is about scoring points like it was a game of cribbage. When you play a video game like Call to Duty you make points for every opponent you kill. In this legal game you also make points for every opponent you kill or life you destroy. The difference is that in Call to Duty or any other video game the people you kill and the lives you destroy are imaginary people and imaginary lives. In the legal game the lives you kill and destroy are real lives of real people but those lives don’t matter to the lawyers. Only the scoring of points matters. It is just a game and an incredibly immoral one. It is like playing chess where the pieces are real live people who engage in mortal combat every time a move is made. To most of the lawyers, not all but most, the lives don’t matter, only the points matter.
It is a game, a disgusting and immoral game, but still a game.
Remember the old layer joke: Why won’t a shark eat a lawyer? Out of professional respect.


Is this still the United States of America.

1) Rachel Jeantel now has her own attorney. Who will her attorney sue? Can he go after West civilly over one remark his daughter made that was perhaps insensitive? Was that a million dollar offense?

2) If the riots cause injuries and death, would any of these TV journalists and attorneys engaging in such trashy contemptible behavior be liable?

3) Will the defense be able to bring up the traces of marijuana, jewelry, and the burglary tool that the school found in Martin’s backpack? Or the reason it was covered up?

4) Was the infamous Arizona “ice tea” actually watermelon flavored? Is that drink when mixed with skittles and cough syrup the recent fad being used for high?

5) Is anyone else concerned that the aftermath of an acquittal will be more destructive than looting and starting a few fires? Is it likely that some of the threats of rape and death are being “organized?”

jayjerome66 | July 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Is Zimmerman trial scheduled to start early tomorrow?

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