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View Diary: Charles M. Blow has some questions for us to consider (27 comments)

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  •  aren't you leaving out part of what Zimmerman said (0+ / 0-)

    that Trayvon saw his gun and then started to beat him which is why he felt in fear of his life?  

    Is not at least one of Zimmerman's public statements at least implicitly the fear that Martin would get his gun?

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:01:49 PM PDT

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    •  That's a version of... (0+ / 0-)

      ...Zimmerman's story I've not heard - any pointers? Are you referring to something on the Hannity interview, which I've not seen (and assign much less weight to than I do interviews done under oath or to government investigators)?

      The only claim I heard from Zimmerman interviews/walk-through with the police is that Zimmerman was on his back with Martin beating him. Zimmerman was squirming to get his head off the concrete. Then (while on the ground) Zimmerman's jacket lifted up and Martin saw the firearm (and, IIRC, made a comment) and reached or grabbed for the firearm. At that point Zimmerman got to it first and shot Martin -- all apparently very quickly (I don't think Zimmerman ever estimated how long it was from Martin seeing the firearm to the shooting, but from his description it seems it must have been a very few seconds).

      Don't confuse the walk-through where Zimmerman motioned several things while standing up with no pretense this was a detailed re-creation (obviously it was not as during the walk-through, Zimmerman described being on the ground, but never got on the ground nor was he asked to by the detectives). There, while standing and describing/motioning what happened on the ground, he referred to Martin seeing his firearm but Zimmerman certainly didn't assert or imply that he was standing when that happened.

      •  don't remember where specifically (0+ / 0-)

        but i believe that led them to test gun for Martin's dna on it, and it wasn't

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:23:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They did test for DNA on the gun... (0+ / 0-)

          ...and Martin's was not found. Indeed that's what led to one of the experts testifying as to how a hard surface such as a gun was not very good at capturing touch DNA and that porous materials such as cloth were better at capturing touch DNA (I don't think the prosecution refuted that at all -- but I missed some testimony here and there).

          But, the only "Martin saw gun and grabbed for it" I've heard in any evidence remains that of Zimmerman's statements (of which I may have missed some -- in particular the Hannity appearance) where Martin only saw the gun after allegedly having punched Zimmerman and allegedly begun to beat Zimmerman's head into the concrete. In that story, Martin grabbed for the gun within a moment of seeing it. Thus, it's hard to see how Martin thought he was being followed by an armed man before he had allegedly already punched Zimmerman and gotten and begun to beat him.

          If we dismiss all of Zimmerman's story because we assume it's completely unreliable, we are then left with no evidence about when the gun was first seen by Martin so can't conclude that Martin felt he was in danger due to Zimmerman's firearm.

          •  it doesn't matter what you can or can't conclude (0+ / 0-)

            the issue before the jury is that if they do not accept that Zimmerman is offering a credible story of self-defense then it is pretty easy to convict him of manslaughter because in following and then by leaving his car he was responsible for initiating the confrontation that lead to Martin's death.

            When defense closes tomorrow, they will try to narrow the focus to the 40 seconds or so of struggle to try to preserve a basis for self-defense.

            They get two hours.

            Prosecution gets last word, up to an hour to rebut defense closing.  And I expect they will remind the jury that had Zimmerman not followed, had Zimmerman not gotten out of his car, no confrontation between the two would have happened.

            And given the contradictory statements Zimmerman has offered, and how some of his statements conflict with evidence, does the jury want to accept his statement that it was self defense, that his actions had nothing to do with Martin attacking him . . .  "f*&ing &*^$s - they always get away"  is by itself sufficiently damning.

            "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

            by teacherken on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:12:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In Florida on these charges, (0+ / 0-)

              it's my understanding that self-defense (unlike SYG) is not an affirmative defense -- so the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that it wasn't self-defense -- Zimmerman doesn't have to prove anything or offer any credible story. The jury doesn't have to accept Zimmerman's story on anything to acquit, instead they must look at the prosecution's case, taking into account rebuttal from the defense's case, and decide that the prosecution didn't prove it wasn't self defense.

              Both M2 and manslaughter have the same requirement that the prosecution prove that it wasn't self-defense so if the jury decides the prosecution didn't meet their burden on this one aspect, they are done and can send the Not Guilty verdict to the judge and don't even have to think about other elements of either M2 or manslaughter.

              The burden is pretty high for the prosecution and you are obviously confident they have met it -- I'm not, but then I may just be more "pro defendant" than you (much to the chagrin of prosecutors when I've been on a jury).

              The prosecution has put on a very strange case - but I guess if you've got nothing and you're forced to prosecute w/o sufficient evidence, that's what you do as it beats getting fired.

              Of course, one can never tell what a jury will do regardless of the facts or evidence -- the prosecutor is obviously hoping they convict on emotion because that's really his best shot -- I'm betting at least one of six will not fall for it.

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