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Proves Bigotry, Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt

I'm sorry but this really pisses me off... That poor girl (Nineteen-year-old Rachel Jeantel) didn't ask for any of this and now she is being mocked by the Right side of our country. One of the biggest reasons I could never adapt to a conservative ideology is the fact that so many of them seem to think it’s OK to be mean, hateful and cruel. They wickedly judge others without having a clue as to what it might be like to walk in their shoes. I've had it with the Right-wing; they are too infantile and too obnoxious to be taken seriously. They really should be pitied. If that sounds like a judgement, so be it.

thinkingblue

When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself. - Wayne Dyer
Read entire article Here: http://news.yahoo.com/...

Read entire article Here: http://news.yahoo.com/...

Originally posted to thinkingblue on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 05:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges and Trial Watch.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You really want to see the racism and hypocrisy? (4+ / 0-)

    Organize a Second Amendment Open Carry march.

    With all Black marchers carrying guns through White areas. Or big cities.

    Or in Red states like in the Deep South--Say...Birmingham?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 05:51:49 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, thinkingblue. Everyone should concentrate (14+ / 0-)

    their energy and send good, positive thoughts to this child who is being maligned because of superficialities, elitism and rotten bigotry.

    Overlooked is the fact that she never backed down when a man three times her age with probably five times the education she has and 100 times the wealth pushed and pushed to get her to make a misstep. She was utterly true to herself and to Trayvon's memory.

    I have written elsewhere that I have rarely seen anyone so alone as that teen was on that witness stand. She has more dignity, grace and true grit than all of those cruel, empty-hearted people put together.

    When the trial is over, everyone on the GOS should write to her (via the prosecutor's office) and thank her and tell her that she is nowhere near the things that are being said about her. She is a heroine and she is beautiful...in every sense of the word.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 05:53:39 AM PDT

    •  I have a great deal of sympathy for her. (4+ / 0-)

      It is not easy for anyone to be a witness in a trial, and it is a huge burden to be a witness in an emotionally charged, high profile case like this.  Someone who is forced, by circumstances, to be a witness in this kind of case does not deserve the vitriol she is getting.  

      I also think that she was not well served by the prosecution , first in their decision to take her statement under oath with Martin's mother sitting next to her, and second in the prosecution's apparent failure to properly prepare her to testify at trial, as I explain below.  

    •  She kicked West's butt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, Progressif

      The good thing about West's repetetiveness was that Rachel got to repeat the details over and over again. Every one of those jury members now know these details by heart. Those details match up perfectly with forensic evidence, phone records and what can be heard in GZ's nen call.

      For instance Rachel kept repeating Trayvon was in the mail kiosk, when GZ began to watch him. She said he started walking to get away from GZ. The clubhouse videos show that a car was parked opposite the mail kiosk and facing it.
      For Trayvon to walk home, he had to walk past GZ's car. GZ said in the nen call, Trayvon was coming towards him.

      The most amazing thing in West's cross was that he conceded the fact that GZ then followed Trayvon in his car. That is what Rachel said, and you can hear the gear in GZ's car.

      Trayvon tells Rachel GZ is following him in the car, and he is going to try to lose him. She can then hear him running. While Trayvon is running, the phone disconnects.
      Trayvon's phone records show that that call ended at 7:11:47.
      GZ said "he is running" at 7:11:41 in the nen call.

      None of GZ's multiple stories match what we can hear in the nen call. The jury doesn't know that yet, but they sure will remember that Rachel's matched perfectly.

      Another fail for the defense and a big win for Rachel is that according to media sources in the court room, juror 5 or E6, has shown expressions of contempt and disgust towards West and the way he was treating Rachel.
      This is the same juror the prosecution attempted to strike during jury selection.

      Rachel was great. I was in awe of her memory, her consistency, and her perseverance. She outlasted and outwitted West, by staying focussed and not missing a beat.

      Screw them all.

  •  I fear that John Goode's testimony will be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nuclear winter solstice, soros, VClib

    given more weight by this jury simply because he was more articulate and had the demeanor a middle class jury would expect in a courtroom.

    When she first came to the stand and started talking, I was really afraid how this jury would react to her.

    If Trayvon had been on the phone with a more articulate person, the account would likely have made a bigger impact on the jury just by how it was told.

    My other worry about her is that if they see her as "ghetto", the jury might be more apt to believe by association that Trayvon was a "thug" that GZ had a reason to be suspicious of.

    It's not right, but it's human nature. Whether you relate to someone or not can affect how credible they are to you.

    Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

    by Happy Days on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 05:56:38 AM PDT

    •  They're not inconsistent. (6+ / 0-)

      Goode's testimony and Jeantel's testimony aren't inconsistent; the jury can believe both because they're about different parts of the sequence.

    •  Prosecutorial mistake? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil

      The prosecutors obviously interviewed Ms. Jeantel prior to the trial, and must have been aware of her appearence and demeanor and communication skills.  The prosecutors then made a deliberative decision to put Ms. Jeantel on the witness stand.  The prosecutors must have understood the defense would play on stereotypes in their eforts to assail her testimony.  

      I'm sure the prosecutors recognized the downsides of having Ms. Jeantel testify.  Despite those, the prosecutors must have thought her testimony would be an overall benefit to their case.

      On the plus side, the jury is sequestered, so they won't know about the public reaction for and against Ms. Jeantel.  They will form their opinions of her based on her testimony alone.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 07:46:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Goode walked back his claim that he saw Martin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Progressif

      punching SuperZim. The jury heard that just like they heard changes in Jeantel's testimony. They've also heard some witnesses testify that Trayvon was on top in the struggle or that Zimhole was on top. I bet they can put it together that these witnesses observed the events at different points in this fatal encounter when different things were happening.

      Oh, having slid about on wet grass a time or two, it sounds like "swish" or "swaht" to me. What's it sound like to you?

      •  I haven't read anything indicating (0+ / 0-)

        that he walked back his testimony.  link?

        •  Gotta stand my ground on this one. Goode stated on (0+ / 0-)

          the stand he did not see Martin punch Zim. Read an article about it in DU.

          •  probably this: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AsianAfricanAmerican
            However, Good said he did not see anyone's head being slammed into the concrete sidewalk, which Zimmerman's lawyers say Trayvon did to him. Good initially testified that it appeared "there were strikes being thrown, punches being thrown," but during detailed questioning, he said he saw only "downward" arm movements being made.
            http://csmonitor.com/...
          •  No. He stood fast saying that he saw (0+ / 0-)

            Martin moving his arms downward toward Zimmerman in an MMA "ground and pound" style.  He did not back off from that at all.  What he said is that, because of the darkness and the angle, he could not see Martin's hands actually coming into contact with Zimmerman's face.

            I watched the testimony.

            That's not exactly the same thing as saying "he did not see Martin punch Zimmerman."  He saw Martin's actions in punching MMA "ground and pound" style, so he testified he saw what Martin was doing.  He did not actually see the contact made.   In other words, he saw the punching by Martin but did not see the punches land on Zimmerman's head.

            If you were a juror, and IF you found Mr. Good overall to be a credible witness, given that, and given Zimmerman's head injuries, which the State's witnesses later testified were consistent with being struck in the head, would you conclude beyond a reasonable doubt (the prosecution's burden) that Martin was not on top of Zimmerman punching him when Martin shot him?  That's the legitimate question -- what will the jury conclude from the evidence presented to them?

            We have not yet heard the forensics about the angle of the gunshot, for example.  Perhaps the forensics will discredit Good's testimony; perhaps the forensics will confirm Good's testimony. We will have to see.

            •  Would Good be an expert to name a style (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              a2nite, Tonedevil

              of punching?   Why did the prosecution not object regarding the language Good used?   It is opinion and speculative.

              We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

              by Vetwife on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:51:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The timeline will show (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil, Grabber by the Heel

              Good only watched for a very brief time at the very beginning of the altercation. There are 3 witnesses who saw him. Two are very detailed about what they did after they went back inside and saw Good going back inside. Serino timed w19's movements between the time she went back in side and the shot was fired. It was close to 60 seconds.

              Another problem with Good's account is that he claims to have seen a change in position in the 10 seconds he was watching. The problem with his testimony is that he fails to describe how they moved to this second position.

              Good's description is impossible and any martial arts expert will tell you that.

              The jury instructions for self defense includes physical capabilities.
              We have a 28 year old man who weighed 204 lbs at the time of the incident, and was carrying a gun.
              We now also know that GZ had been training MMA for 3 days a week 3 hours a day for more than a year.

              Trayvon was 17, weighed 158 lbs and was carrying skittles a drink and his cell phone. There is no evidence he had received any training in MMA.

              •  We will see if the prosecution makes these (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                arguments in its closing.  I didn't hear all of this in the testimony -- I heard Good's time line differently than you did, but the prosecution is very likely getting a daily transcript (that's almost always what you do in a big trial) so they will have access to exactly what the witnesses said, and will know if there's evidence  to support those kinds of arguments.  They know these facts better than you do or I do -- they've likely been living with this case 60 - 80 hours a week for months now.

                I'm not sure if they are going to argue that Good is lying or mistaken about seeing Martin on top of Zimmerman "throwing down" punches (although because of angle and lighting he couldn't see  actual contact between hand and head).  That would be very very very unusual, because they are the ones who called him and elicited all the facts that you say are not reliable.  It would be very unusual for a prosecutor to say, "remember that witness we presented to you? Don't believe what he said."  

                I also think it will be important to see what the forensics experts say.  Having a forensics expert testify what the gunshot damage on the shirt shows, and what the gunshot wound shows (angle?  how close?) will be important in either crediting, or discrediting, Good.

                One thing I think is still problematic for the prosecution is that they have not provided any explanation for the injuries to Zimmerman's head (which their witnesses acknowledged in testimony on Friday).  Their opening suggested that there WAS no injury to Zimmerman ("he shot for no reason other than he wanted to").  I think if they are going to meet their burden, they have to provide to the jury an explanation of the source of those injuries that the jury will believe beyond a reasonable doubt.

        •  he clairified (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, amsterdam, Tonedevil

          what he had not said, he walked back the defense attorney's conculsions.  

          It's possible that Zimmerman will be found not guilty, but only because in the state of Florida it's legal to go after a teenager, provoke a fight with him, shoot to kill the fellow and claim that you feared for your own life, even though you outweighed him by one-hundred pounds and you were short and muscluar and he was taller and thus much slimmer and you could have stopped and walked away. This wouldn't be the first time in Florida.

          Zimmerman may then be tried in civil court, and he'd lose there.  In Florida it's okay to be a provokative gun killing racist as long as anything at all can make you fear for your life.  But it's still not okay to violate civil rights.  

          As for me, I am staying away from Florida.  

          "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

          by anna shane on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 11:33:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is not true. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster, VClib
        Goode walked back his claim that he saw Martin (0+ / 0-)
        punching SuperZim
         

        If you watched his testimony, he said that he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman "MMA style," and he saw the blows going down as in a "ground and pound."  He said that he believed that what he saw was Martin beating on Zimmerman.  He said that he later clarified that he could not see Martin's hands actually camin into contact with Zimmerman's head, because of the angle and the darkness.  The question for the jury, given his testimony about where Martin was and the fact that Martin was moving his arms downward toward Zimmerman's head in a way that resembled an MMA-style "ground and pound," and given the injuries to Zimmerman's head (that were acknowledged by the State's witness later on Friday), is whether the jury can conclude that it is possible that Martin's hands were actually striking Zimmerman's head, even though Mr. Good could not see the actual contact being made.

        I saw "possible" because this is a fact that the defense contends proves self-defense.  The defense does not have to prove that Zimmerman acted in self-defense.  Instead, the prosecution has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was NOT self-defense.  In other words, if the jury believes that it is possible that it was self-defense, but they are not sure that it was self-defense, that means they must acquit.  

        •  Goode stated on the stand that he did not see a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          amsterdam

          punch thrown by Martin contact with Zim. He saw two people struggling in the dark. Isn't that what his testimony boils down too? He could not back up his claim about a martial arts beat down. Other witnesses, (two?), have said they saw Zim on top in the struggle. There was a dynamic struggle and it sounds like to me, if everyone is honest and accurate about what they saw, that even in its briefness, during this struggle the advantage was traded off between the teenager with Skittles and the adult with a gun.  

          The kid was fighting to save his life, Zimmerman was fighting to take it.

          I have made up my mind. And I can because I'm not on the jury.

           

          •  No, that's not accruate. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            johnny wurster

            I watched the testimony.

            He completely backed up the "ground and pound" and "MMA style" statements.  He completely backed up Martin on top moving his arms toward Zimmerman in punching motions.   He clearly said, over and over, he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, moving his arms downward in a "ground and pound" motion.    He said he did not see the contact between hand and head.  He did not see Zimmerman's arms, or movement from Zimmerman.

            So, IF YOU BELIEVE Good, then either (1) Martin was on top of Zimmerman, punching the air around Zimmerman's head; (2) Martin was on top of Zimmerman punching in a way that aimed at Zimmerman but he missed; or (3) Martin was on top of Zimmerman punching him.

            Good was emphatic that he saw Martin moving his arms downward in a "ground and pound" style.  The only fact he said he could not established is whether those punches actually made contact with Zimmerman's head. He did not see whether they did or did not.  

            •  Ground and pound sure sounds more sinister than (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil

              two people struggling in a fight. And almost all fights end up on the ground. Good shouldn't rot his brain watching gage fighting.

              Ground and pound style also sounds a lot more sinister than Skittles.  

              I am inclined to believe Good when he says Trayvon was on top during the part of the struggle he saw. And I am inclined to believe the other witnesses who have stated they saw Zimmerman on top during the part of the struggle they saw.

              I do think its weird that Zimmerman didn't ask that his wife be told he was safe and well after a life threatening struggle, he told the police to tell her he shot someone.

              Weird.  

              •  no witnesses put Z on top of M. (0+ / 0-)

                one saw Z on top of M after M was shot, but that's consistent with Z's account.

                •  Really? I'm going to have to start bookmarking (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tonedevil

                  what I'm reading.  Didn't at least one women witness testify she saw Zim on top? And I just heard a guest on The Alex Witt Show say that some witnesses saw Zim on top and others saw Trayvon on top... as I'm typing this reply.

                  WTF

                  I don't take what I hear on some MSNBC "news" programs to the bank though. But I have been under the impression that Good is the only witness who has stated with complete assurance that Zimmerman was straddled by Martin during the whole encounter.

                  I will dig in a little deeper johnny, thanks.

                  •  Only Good put T on top. All others said Z or they (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    amsterdam, Tonedevil

                    weren't sure. At least 2 and I think 3 said they saw Z on top--often by inference. For example, one witness saw the man on top, who was astride the other man, stand up. That, by inference, had to be Z.

                    Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

                    by Happy Days on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:20:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's the information I have been getting from (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tonedevil

                      what I have read and heard. I find the trial footage hard to watch. Even if Zim wasn't hunting Trayvon, and I think he was, his poor judgement and pursuit of young Trayvon ended up killing the kid.

                      Was it reckless stupidity or murder that took Martin's life? It doesn't read or smell like self defense to me.

                    •  The other witnesses said they were not sure. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Grabber by the Heel, VClib

                      For example, one witness said that her statement that Zimmerman was based on size comparisons, using pictures of Martin when he was 12 or 13 years old.

                      The witness who said that she thought Martin was screaming for help said she had never heard either voice.  She based that on the fact that she heard two voices, one lighter pitched than the other, and assumed the lighter pitched voice was that of the "boy."  If the jury listens to Martin's voice and decides it sounds high pitched like a boy's, or at least higher pitched than Zimmerman's on the video's, that helps the prosecution.  If not, her testimony does not help much.  

                      But keep in mind, if you have conflicting testimony as to who was on top beating on whom, and the testimony on each side is credible, that's reasonable doubt and that means acquittal.  That's how the criminal justice system works.  The prosecution must prove their scenario beyond a reasonable doubt.  The defense simply needs to raise a reasonable doubt.  

                      •  I agree that what I think and intuit about what (0+ / 0-)

                        I hear and read about this case has no value in a court room.

                        I believe Zimmerman is guilty of murder and that he has a pretty good chance he'll getting away with it.

                      •  It is about justifiable homocide (0+ / 0-)

                        Even if the jury believes Trayvon was on top of GZ at some point, that doesn't mean that passes the threshold of justifiable homocide.

                        You don't get to pull out your gun, if someone slaps you with a bag of skittles. GZ may have been justified to slap Trayvon with a bag of skittles, he wasn't justified to nudge the photo button on Trayvon's shirt out of the way with his gun in order to have a clean shot at his heart.

                        •  It's not a question of justifiable homicide. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          VClib

                          It's a question of self-defense.  The law is here:  

                           

                          However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
                          (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another
                          The prosecution's theory of the case, as outlined in the opening, is that Zimmerman was frustrated that there had been crime in the neighborhood, that he had previously called law enforcement and all the "punks" and "assholes" had gotten away, that he was a building time bomb, that he followed Martin, that there was an exchange between Martin "why are you following me," and Zimmerman "what are you doing here," that there was a blow, the sound of Martin saying "get off, get off"  (all as per Ms. Jeantel's testimony) meaning Zimmerman was on top of Martin, the phone cut off, and Zimmerman shot Martin "for no other reason than that he wanted to," according to the prosecution in its opening, meaning Zimmerman was not being beaten when he fired the shot.  The prosecution has not yet explained to the jury the angle of the shot and the positions of the two when the shot was fired (we haven't heard forensics from the prosecution) nor where it contends the injuries to Zimmerman's head came from.

                          The defense theory of the case, as outlined in their opening,  is that Martin didn't like Zimmerman ("creepy ass cracker") following him and so Martin attacked Zimmerman, ended up on top of him "MMA style" (according to Good), "throwing down" punches in a style like "ground and pound" according to Good, although because of the angle and darkness he didn't see the contact between Martin's hand and Zimmerman's head.  The defense theory is that its reasonable to conclude that those blows made contact with Zimmerman's head and caused the injuries to Z's head, which the prosecution's witnesses testified could have been serious enough to cause a subdural hematoma (which carries a risk of death and qualifies as great bodily harm). The defense contends that Martin was on top of Zimmerman beating him when Zimmerman shot (they apparently will have a forensics expert to testify to that that  the forensics support a conclusion that Martin was leaning over Zimmerman when the shot was fired).  

                          The question is whether the prosecution can point to evidence  to convince the jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that scenario 1 is what happened, and convince the jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that scenario 2 could not possibly have happened.  The defense, to the contrary, simply needs to convince the jury that while scenario 1 may have happened (or even that it's likely that scenario 1 happened), but that it's possible that scenario 2 might have happened.  That's reasonable doubt.  

                          You don't get to pull out your gun, if someone slaps you with a bag of skittles.
                          I have no idea where you got this from.  I heard nothing about people slapping people with a bag of skittles since the trial began.  
                          •  I want to hear from GZ's MMA instructor (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil, Grabber by the Heel

                            Zimm was the one receiving training in MMA. According to his health records, he was going 3x/week.

                            If John Good actually saw TM on top of GZ before Good called 911, I wonder if GZ had the MMA skills to turn the tables and mount TM instead.

                            He did have a 45 pound advantage over TM.  I'd like to hear from that MMA instructor!

                            GZ could have pulled the gun once he got on top--that's when TM screamed for 8 seconds until he was shot dead. Then as GZ dismounted TM, his leg rolled the body over to its stomach where it was found.

                            Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

                            by Happy Days on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:15:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Why is Good an expert in MMA? How does he rate on (0+ / 0-)

                            on identifying other types of fighting styles? If all the witnesses
                            are being truthful, including the gung fu master, then it was a dynamic encounter with 1st one and then the other having the advantage of being on top. Which is not much of an advantage if the other guy is able to pull a gun out and kill you.

                            Martin was profiled, stalked, and bagged by his hunter. And ZimHole, his executioner, seems to have a very good chance of getting away with murder, or manslaughter, or reckless endangerment, or whatever word jugglers care to call what happened to this young innocent.

                •  that is not true (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tonedevil, Grabber by the Heel

                  Jane Surdyka and Jeanea Manola both said, the guy who was on top when the shot was fired, was the guy that got up and walked away.
                  O'Mara's biggest mistake so far, was asking Selma to reenact her movements from the kitchen to the patio. He didn't think about the fact that this woman is an architect, and effortlessly recreated the layout of her appartment in that court room. It took her 3 seconds to get outside to watch GZ straddled on top of Trayvon.

        •  Correct me if I'm wrong. (0+ / 0-)

          Zimmerman has put forth an affirmative defense - that of self defense.  So the burden of proof is on him not the prosecution. Which means he must prove he acted in self defense to the jury.

          "If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. Isaac Asimov (8.25 / -5.64}

          by carver on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 03:57:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're wrong. The burden is on the prosecution (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.  

            If the judge gives any jury instructions on self-defense, those instructions include the following:

            Read in all cases.
            If in your consideration of the issue of self-defense you have a reasonable doubt on the question of whether the defendant was justified in the use of deadly force, you should find the defendant not guilty.'

            However, if from the evidence you are convinced that the defendant was not justified in the use of deadly force, you should find [him] [her] guilty if all the elements of the charge have been proved.

            That means the burden is on the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was not self-defense.  
  •  I agree that some comments have been horrid (7+ / 0-)

    and that Ms. Jeantel does not deserve much of the vitriol that has been directed against her, especially on the internet.  (It's really notable how people who want to spew this kind of thing choose places where they can be anonymous to do it.)

    I do think, however, that there were two problems with Ms. Jeantel's testimony, neither of which have to do with those horrid racial comments.  First, she admitted on the stand that she was placed under oath on April 2, 2012, and despite that, she lied during her sworn statement on April 2, 2012.  The jury will be told in instructions that this is something they can consider in evaluating her credibility.  The only safeguard the criminal justice system has to make sure that witnesses are testifying truthfully is the oath, and the attendant penalties for lying under oath.  When a witness had demonstrated that he or she is not deterred from lying by that oath, that is problematic.  It is not the end of the story, of course, because the jury may choose to believe the witness anyway, but it is more difficult to conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt, that everything the witness is testifying to is true.  

    Second, the prosecution obviously did not do a good job in preparing her to testify.  To prepare a witness to testify in a trial like this, there are two things that should have happened, that do not appear to have been done well.  First, the prosecution should have had a mock set up, having her sit roughly in the situation, showing her where the judge, jury, etc. would be so she could practice talking into the microphone (so the jury did not have to tell the judge they could not hear her) and so that she could talk to the jury.   Second -- and more importantly - they should have had practice sessions where they asked her every possible question that either side could be asking her at trial.  The reason you do this is because witnesses often get nervous and flustered in that witness stand (especially here, with all the cameras) and their mind races, making it more difficult to get thoughts together.  Lawyers therefore, in practice sessions, go through all possible questions so that the witness has thought about the answers ahead of time, and is prepared to answer.  That keeps the witness from those situations where the witness does not appear to have an answer to the question, or whether the witness does not answer the question directly, necessitating repetition by the attorney questioning the witness.  That does not appear to have been done.  An unprepared witness tends to come across as less credible to a jury.  

    Again, I completely agree that the racist comments about Ms. Jeantel are horrid, terrible, and embarrassing to us as a society.  But people need to keep in mind that this witness had problems that had nothing to do with race.  If the jury chooses to question her testimony, it could be based on those other two problems.  

    •  Right she was not well prepared but (7+ / 0-)

      The thing I really don't understand is why law enforcement in her first interview let Trayvon's mother sit next to her the whole time.  Considering she said that she lied about going to the hospital to spare Trayvon's mother's feelings, having Trayvon's mother sitting next to her while she was testifying can really call her whole testimony into question.  What else might she have lied about to spare Trayvon's mother's feelings?  Jeantel also said she cleaned up the language Trayvon used to spare Trayvon's mother.  Not preparing her adequately was a mistake but this may have been a bigger mistake.

      BTW I was a prosecutor many years ago and sometimes despite all your efforts the prep doesn't take.  No matter how realistic you try to make it, a crowded court room with press and even well hidden cameras can be a shock.  

      •  I completely agree. It was a terrible move (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brooklyn137, Pi Li, Neuroptimalian

        by the prosecution to interview a witness to a possible murder with the victim's mother sitting right there.  Of course the witness is going to be tempted to color her testimony to the feelings of the victim's mother.  That's why law enforcement almost never does that.    You can certainly lay that one at the feet of law enforcement.  And I'm sure you will hear, in closing something like this:

        The prosecution had Ms. Jeantel sit right next to Trayvon Martin's grieving mother when they put her under oath to ask her about what she heard and what Trayvon Martin told her.  Ladies and gentleman of the jury, Ms. Jeantel told you on the witness stand that, even though she knew she was under oath, she lied.  She also told you that, even though she knew she was under oath, she did not tell the truth about what Trayvon Martin said to her on the phone with respect to the names he called Mr. Zimmerman.  Can you be sure, beyond a reasonable doubt, that those were the only falsehoods in that testimony?  Remember, even though she previously signed an statement about the case and had been interviewed about the case, that's the first time that she told anyone she heard "get off, get off."  Did she add that detail because Trayvon Martin's mother was sitting there, and she knew that is what she wanted to hear?  Since she's admitted to you that the oath to tell the truth is not as important to her as telling a story her audience wants to hear, how can you be sure she's not telling you, the jury, a story that she thinks you want to hear?  

        Any lawyer who's ever tried a case can see exactly what the defense will say in closing.  And that's largely the fault of the prosecution, who put Ms. Jeantel in that situation in the first place.  

    •  True (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk, johnny wurster

      Regrettably that's the way courtroom examination works. How many "poor witnesses" have damaged a case? Or "bravo performances" enhanced one? Lying under oath and unstable testimony is really damaging. And as you say the horrid racists comments aside, her performance puts the case in a hole.

    •  Jenna lied on the stand (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil

      about her twitter account.

      John Good has made material changes to his statements, unlike Rachel.

      You are a hypocrite.

  •  I'm so glad I denounced Texas. I just tweeted (3+ / 0-)

    for my one single #Zimmerman tweet...

    George Zimmerman fabricated the entire story on the spot. Gis Father is a FEDERAL JUDGE. The entire family has been simply creating doubt since that night.

    To watch Hannity defend and assist in manufacturing this perception illusion really pisses me off. This could be bigger than R King. There are so many FUCKING LIES and media tricks the whole family has pulled, and the defense works overtime twisting words, badgering the witness, attempting to extract a desired story.

    It's fucking obvious he made up the whole story on the spot. It's obviously TM screaming.

    People aren't this stupid. The jury will see right through this shit. It's the dad playing dumb and fighting with every trick in the book, which he wrote.

  •  Trayvon Martin and Rachel Jeantel (7+ / 0-)

    She was in terrible grief for Trayvon.  She kept her friend alive with overall clear testimony.  She was real, honest, and dignified.  Not traits one can associate with bully attorneys or racist Southerners who can now suppress the votes of African Americans openly through legislation because the 5 bigots on the Supreme Court voted to gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Ms. Jeantel will have to sufice stand for the dignity we lack in the body politic of America.  

  •  Hopefully I won't see the grammar police here (5+ / 0-)

    sounding alarm on people who comment from now on.  At first I thought  this is a smart ass angry girl who can't express herself in basic English.  By the 2nd day I understood her anger, her hurt, and hidden pain for not having a great start during the first years of life.  Both the school system and her parents failed her greatly. But she came out strong in the end, standing her ground in a seat where the average MA grad would have fallen to pieces under the same scrutiny.  The defense calls her responses unreliable yet were eager to grab part of "what they called unreliable such as "Creepy White Cracker" as evidence Trayvon was a racist.  I say "How stupid can that be Mr. defense lawyer, sir, to call her a liar yet use one of those supposed lies to claim racism on Trayvon's part?

    "That's retarded sir" was the correct response to a lawyer who has no proof of such accusations, and I was laughing hard as she pissed them off for not being able break.

    If Trayvon was going to surprise attack him he would of secured his phone.  If he attacked him in self-defense the phone would of dropped, which it did.

    Rachel was the best witness I have heard on the stand in ages.   She was brutally honest.  

    Bottom line is Zimmerman was pissed off because he was going to get his arse kicked by someone who felt he was being stalked and he had to prevent the embarrassment and erase the evidence by killing him.  In the not so long ago real legal world, getting your arse kicked is no reason to shoot anyone in the heart.

    Half of the people who reacted with "I can't believe this girl speaks that way, how stupid, what a punk, asshole, etc." are the kind of people who hate "them".  Hate them enough to do what Zimmerman said,  "F**ing punks, these a*holes always get away", and did what he probably told his wife he would do, "tell my wife I shot somebody".  She knew who he was going to shoot.

    •  When is "that's retarded" a correct response (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster

      to any question?  The phrase is in and of itself a mocking of mentally challenged people -- equating a stupid question or statement with what would be said by a mentally challenged person.  But of course she (and you) get a pass.

      •  can't force me to think like you. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, amsterdam, Progressif
        •  no, we can't force decency into others. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TrebLoc
          •  There we go (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil, janemas

            Decency. You want to talk about decency. How about an arrogant old fart, who was standing in a court room before this girl was born, who treated a 19 year old black girl with the contempt you would expect from a southern racist.

            This man who is a disgrace to humanity, who had the audacity to request the court to order Rachel to just stay around in case he wanted another go at her, and the jury should not be inconvenienced by having to wait for the court to haul her back. This man who told her Trayvon lied to her, because he was going back to hit GZ instead of going home.
            That is when Rachel said "that would be retarded". That was the only right answer.

            I hate these faux pursed lips, holier than though calls for decency.
            Eew

          •  Knock it off. Go feed off someone else. You (0+ / 0-)

            don't dictate to me what's popular or not, right or wrong.  Your poor attempt at trying to make me feel shame by placing me on the same level as Rachel shows how hypocritical you are.  Go police somewhere else.  And you wonder why liberals can't stand others.

    •  janemas,re"to prevent the embarrassment and ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Grabber by the Heel, Tonedevil

      ....  erase the evidence by killing him."

      I cannot be convinced that Zim was up for killing a blackman.

      IMO, Big Zim has a very poor self concept & probably little self confidence. He probably compensates for this by holding himself out for the Watch and not only that but heads the group. Carrying a gun is just icing on the cake 4 him.

      Poor judgement is what got him into the tussle and with the gun out disaster was waiting 2 happen and it did.

      This is a shlep who deserves some prison time to reflect on the whole situation IMO.

    •  "Tell my wife I shot somebody" is a very strange (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Happy Days, amsterdam, Tonedevil

      message to send to a loved one after you have survived a life threatening situation.

      I was a Back Country Guard and level II law enforcement for the Feds for 13 years. And when we assisted or rescued injured or lost people from a dangerous situation, they would ask us to assure their loved that they were fine, even if injured. They wanted to ease the strain and fear of their people.  

      Sounded like "mission accomplished" to me too.

  •  Thank you, thinkingblue. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution, amsterdam

    Tipped, rec'd, and republished.

    "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

    by Yasuragi on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:29:26 AM PDT

  •  Thanks , republished to 'Trial Watch' nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution, amsterdam

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:54:35 AM PDT

  •  Yes, it's only the right that does the mocking. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, Vyan

    We here on the left never do any mocking of uneducated and ignorant people.  Case in point:  Uneducated and ignorant teabaggers with their misspelled signs.  Never any mocking of those people here.

    •  Well those people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil

      made a choice to go out and wave misspelled signs at cameras. This girl didn't have a choice. She didn't want to be a witness to the murder of her friend, and she didn't want to be in that witness box for 6 hours.

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