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

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  •  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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